For more than a year and a half now, I've been keeping a weekly cycle of prayers in the Starry Bull tradition. I like it. It works well for me, and along with my prayers to the Hyades and the Purple Thread, gives me a pattern, a backbone for my daily practice. A while back, the original Thiasos of the Starry Bull was dissolved. Now the tradition is in the process of being reborn. Which is cool to participate in, but it does mean some things are changing and being updated. For example, the weekly calendar has been changed. The Heroes and Heroines share a day now, and the rest of the Retinue of Dionysos has its own day. I actually really like this particular change. For a while, I had four days of the week with two verses to recite, and three days with only one verse, which felt very unbalanced to me. The new schedule allows me to correct that imbalance, by giving the Nymphs and Satyrs each a verse of their own, where they used to share one, and then dividing the rest of the Retinue into two overlapping groups. It gives me new things to think about, too. I like to store my prayers here, so I can find them easily. Maybe someone else will find them interesting, too. Sunday: I pray to Dionysos Who liberates and saves us Who offers an eternal feast to those who know the Mystery I pray to Dionysos, who is the Starry Bull I pray to Apollon Who runs with wolves Who knows and who tells I pray to Apollon of the Starry Bull Monday: I pray to Persephone The Iron Queen of Erebos Who welcomes and transforms the reveler I pray to Persephone of the Starry Bull I pray to Melinoe She of the double nature The light in the darkness and the dark in the light I pray to Melinoe of the Starry Bull Tuesday: I pray to Ariadne Who guides the way to the Starry Bull, And returns from under the earth I pray to Ariadne of the Starry Bull I pray to Aphrodite She who brings together what is separate Who inspires the action of the night I pray to Aphrodite of the Starry Bull Wednesday: I pray to Hermes Of the staff and the fleet feet Who guides us down and sets our feet on the path I pray to Hermes of the Starry Bull I pray to Hekate Who brings the Dead to the feast Who dances in revels lit by her torches I pray to Hekate of the Starry Bull Thursday: I pray to the Heroes Those who have walked these paths before And feast forever at our Lord’s side
I pray to the Heroes of the Starry Bull I pray to the Heroines
Who have sorrowed before us
And will rejoice beside us when we follow
I pray to the Heroines of the Starry Bull Friday: I pray to the Band Above Who swirl around him in the open air To dance and drink in mortal lands I pray to the Band Above of the Starry Bull I pray to the Band Below Who revel in dark caverns To welcome shades to the Dry Lands I pray to the Band Below of the Starry Bull Saturday: I pray to the Nymphs Who welcome him to mountain and to spring Their songs filling the air sweetly I pray to the Nymphs of the Starry Bull I pray to the Satyrs Who follow him through fields dark and light Their hooves drumming a beat on the earth I pray to the Satyrs of the Starry Bull I'm particularly pleased with a couple of aspects of the new verses. Nymphs are, for the most part, spirits of particular places -- of this spring, that tree, the mountain over there, the mouth of this river where it empties into the sea. And so they welcome Dionysos into their places. Not that they can't and don't travel with him, but they are also already in their own places when he arrives. Satyrs, too, are earth-spirits, but are less place-focused. They tend to be associated more with agricultural and/or seasonal cycles, with rhythms. And so they follow him, and they drum. For the Band -- and finding that one word took as much time as writing all the rest; retinue was too long for the form, and I had to test out three or for others before I decided I liked the alliteration of Band Above and Band Below, and liked the implication of wandering more broadly -- I wanted the strong images of above-ground and below-ground, of sun and trees and open air, and of vast dark spaces where the Dead are, of Life and...