Myth Maker: Modern Mythopoetics

A tour of a variety of spirits, and the stories they want to tell.

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The Orphic Hymns

Orpheus, the famed oracle orator hero of Greece, began to teach a new religion at the dawn of the Archaic Age.  Deeply rooted in ancient paganism, Orphism taught a doctrine of peace-seeking, reincarnation, and universal brotherhood.  The followers, like their leader, worshiped their gods with song.  Eighty seven of these ancient hymns have survived to the present day, and are called The Orphic Hymns.  They've been translated into English many times.  Most familiar is the 1792 work of Thomas Taylor, which is lovely verse, but sometimes diverges quite far from the original meanings.  The most popular recent translation by Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow holds very close to the original text, but utilizes neither meter nor rhyme, making it less effective for ritual use.  These new translations shoot for the best of both worlds; I've stuck to the original text closely, rendering them in modern English in rhymed couplets suitable for both oration and singing.  Accompanying each hymn are historical context, essays on the gods, and suggestions for spell craft utilizing the hymn.  Several are illustrated with original full-page ikons, which you can photocopy out and frame.  You can read many of the translations in progress by following the project at or

The "basic" edition of the book will include a prefatory essay about the hymns and their historical and religious context, an original telling of the myth of Orpheus, and a new translation of each hymn, with some black and white illustrations.  The "special" edition of the book will include all that, as well as essays to accompany each hymn, and as many full-color illustrations as we can afford to produce and print.  (hopefully, that's all of them!!) . You can read an example chapter here:

Below, you'll find a brand new translation of the Orphic Hymn to Tyche.  You can read all about her at the link above. :)


the Goddess of Fortune


Come, Tyche!  

We call you, Enodia supreme,

Sovereign of crossroads, altogether good Queen.

Song-renowned daughter of Euboleus’ bloodline:

the good guide who fell, along with his swine,

through the cavernous crack in the crust of the earth,

when Kore descended at Persephone's birth.

Tyche, we call in the great name of Artemis!

Gentle essence of fortune, wondrous and marvelous,

Your irresistible wish is our sovereign command,

For yours is the increase of riches and the wealth of the land.

Sorcerous and streetwise, you weave the tapestry of fate,

with stitches of riches, for those you appreciate.

But those who anger you, you sew into poverty,

Spinning their minds into tangles of anxiety.

Sweet goddess, Eutykhia, be my lifelong companion,

Rain down your favor and your nourishing compassion.

Grant happiness, strong-wishing, and generous charity,


Bless our lives and our work with unending prosperity.

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Sara L. Mastros teaches Witchcraft, Greek and Near Eastern Mythology, Jewish Kabbalah, Pythagorean Mysticism, and Practical Sorcery in Pittsburgh, online, and at festivals all over the East Coast.  Check out her personal blog at or follow along with all her witchy shenanigans on facebooking by "liking" Mastros & Zealot: Witches for Hire" at . In addition to writing and teaching, Sara offers hand-compounded incenses and oils, as well as custom sorcery, hand-made magical tools and altar ware, consultations, divinations, and one-on-one teaching at


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