Written for Coven Life
The Hymn to Health (Hygeia)
(Fumigation from Manna)
O Much-desir’d, prolific, gen’ral queen,
Hear me, life-bearing, Health, of beauteous mien,
Mother of all; by thee diseases dire,
Of bliss destructive, from our life retire;
And ev’ry house is flourishing and fair,
If with rejoicing aspect thou art there:
Each dædal art, thy vig’rous force inspires,
And all the world thy helping hand desires;
Pluto life’s bane alone resists thy will,
And ever hates thy all-preserving skill.
O fertile queen, from thee forever flows
To mortal life from agony repose;
And men without thy all-sustaining ease,
Find nothing useful, nothing form’d to please;
Without thy aid, not Plutus’ self can thrive,
Nor man to much afflicted age arrive;
For thou alone of countenance serene,
Dost govern all things, universal queen.
Assist thy mystics with propitious mind,
And far avert disease of ev’ry kind.
Pluto– refers to the God Hades, He was the God of the underworld. This is where those who died from ill health went to sent by Hygeia herself .
Manna– is a type of resin, the sap from a tree. Various sources describe it in the bible and in the Torah as a food sent from the ‘God’ that was given to the Israelite’s. In this instance it is the resin from an Ash tree. You can also use Frankincense from the Boswellia tree.
So who was the Goddess Hygeia?
This hymn is dedicated to the Goddess of Health, in Greek called Hygeia.
It’s where the word hygiene derived from in the English language.
Her father was the great God of health Asclepius holding a staff with the serpent wrapped around it. Till this day his staff is still used as a medical symbol all over the world.
The symbol of Goddess Hygeia is reserved for pharmaceuticals. It is the chalice with the snake wrapped around it.
The Caduceus that is mistaken as a medical symbol is actually the symbol of the God Hermes. This trend began in the US in the 19th and 20th century.
Hermes was the God of commerce, travel and messages. He was especially popular in the underworld, heralding messages back and forth from the underworld, to the middle world and the upper worlds.
The serpent as the healer has been used throughout time in various cultures and religions across the globe. It was believed that the poison from the serpent in certain doses could be used as medicine.
In fact these ancients were not too far from the truth. Modern science is discovering that venom from snakes and spiders can treat anything from cancer, nervous disorders to blood pressure.
Now I’m sure I don’t need to mention that PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Science has devised a way of extracting and converting this venom to be conducive to our health, otherwise it is toxic and lethal.
But what you can try is this beautiful prayer to the Goddess of health Hygeia Herself imploring her powers and assistance to support you and your loved ones in times of need.
May the Goddess Hygeia Bless You.
After many millennia the Greeks still mention her name, before and after a meal, at leaving and arriving. Στην υγειά μας! (Stin igia mas!) -Translating to our Health- or Our Goddess of Health.