"And Nyx bare* hateful Moros and black Ker and Thanatos, and she bare Hypnos (Sleep) and the tribe of Oneiroi (Dreams)..."
-- Hesiod, Theogony 211 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) *either parthenogenetically or through a pairing with Erberus (Darkness)
Goddess of the Night with Entourage
Christian Rode, 1771
Etching available at auctionata auction house.
Welcome to my devotional pages, a virtual museum for the liminal tribe of the Oneiroi, their somnolent brother Hypnos & the primordial mother Nyx. This is a work in progress, an ever-evolving place to collect & consider written & visual works by a variety of artists featuring the daemones I honour in my personal cosmology & "practice." I would like to make it clear that this is not an authoritative source for, or expression of Hellenisimos (although some practitioners of Hellenisimos may find some of the resources below useful or inspiring). As an animist, I prefer to honour Them with an admittedly less traditional approach which is intuitive, relationship-focused & personally relevant.
The accompanying devotional page for mother Νύξ, Nyx or Nox can be found HERE.
The accompanying devotional page for The Ονειροι, Oneiroi, including Μορφεύς, Morpheus, Φοβητωρ, Phobêtôr (also Ικελος, Ikelos) and Φαντασος, Phantăsos can be found HERE.
Υπνος , Hypnos (also Somnus)
SOMNUS, or SLEEP, one of the blessings to which the pagans erected altars, was said to be son of Erĕbus and Night, and brother of Death. Orpheus calls Somnus the happy king of gods and men; and Ovid, who gives a very beautiful description of his abode, represents him dwelling in a deep cave in the country of the Cimmerians. Into this cavern the sun never enters, and a perpetual stillness reigns, no noise being heard but the soft murmur caused by a stream of the river Lethe, which creeps over the pebbles, and invites to slumber; at its entrance grow poppies, and other soporiferous herbs. The drowsy god lies reclined on a bed stuffed with black plumes, the bedstead is of ebony, the covering is also black, and his head is surrounded by fantastic visions.
-- Charles K. Dillaway, Roman Antiquities, and Ancient Mythology for Classical Schools (2nd ed)
"To Hypnos, Fumigation from Poppies. Hypnos, king of Gods, and men of mortal birth, sovereign of all, sustained by mother earth; for thy dominion is supreme alone, over all extended, and by all things known. 'Tis thine all bodies with benignant mind in other bands than those of brass to bind. Tamer of cares, to weary toil repose, and from whom sacred solace in affliction flows. Thy pleasing gentle chains preserve the soul, and even the dreadful cares of death control; for Thanatos, and Lethe with oblivious stream, mankind thy genuine brothers justly deem. With favouring aspect to my prayer incline, and save thy mystics in their works divine."
-- Orphic Hymn 85 to Hypnus (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.)
I wol make invocacion,
With special devocion,
Unto the god of slep anoon,
That duelleth in a cave of stoon
Upon a strem that cometh fro Lete,
That is a flood of helle unswete,
Besyde a folk men clepeth Cymerie... -- Chaucer, The Book of the Duchess
Hypnos, God of SleepThe shadowy boy of nightCrosses the dusking land;He sows his poppy-seedsWith steady, gentle hand.The shadowy boy of nightYoung husbandman of dreams,Garners his gracious bloomsBy far and moonlit streams. -- Adelaide Crapsey, Verse, 1922
Master of all
immortals and mortals,
of every life
the vast earth nurtures,
you visit us
binding our bodies
with chains never forged.
Freeing us from worries
you offer sweet rest from work.
Giving sacred comfort to every sorrow,
you save souls, easing them
into the thought of dying,
since you are the true brother
of Oblivion and Death.
We beg you, Hypnos,
with sweet temper
be our gentle savior
that we may serve the gods. -- "Sleep" by Kimberly Nichols as published in "The Sacred Songs of Orpheus IV: Ares to Death," in Newtopia Magazine.
|La Mythologie, Hypnos (or Endymion)|
Salvador Dalí, etching, 1963
The Salvador Dalí Society
Hypnos, The God of Sleep I
Simeon Solomon, date unknown
Image credit Simeon Solomon Research Archive.
|Hypnos, The God of Sleep II|
Simeon Solomon, red chalk on paper, 1892
Image credit Sotheby's auction house.
Image from article: Hypnos, God of Sleep
Anesthesiology: Anesthesiology Reflections From The Wood Library-Museum
August 2013 - Volume 119 - Issue 2 - p 255
God Hypnos, Bronze sculpture found at Perugia
Image: Henry Beauchamp Walters, 1915
British Museum. Dept. of Greek and Roman Antiquities
|Head of Hypnos|
Fernand Khnopff, bronze 1897
Originally displayed at Villa Khnopff.
Image courtesy ArtMagick.
Roman replica (I-II d.C.) of Hellenistic statue
(original 150-125 a.C.)
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Greek terracotta figure, 4th-3rd century BC
The Walters Art Museum
|Sleep and His Half Brother Death|
John William Waterhouse, 1874
Private collection. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
|Night and Sleep|
Evelyn De Morgan, 1878
Image courtesy The de Morgan Foundation
|The Realm of Hypnos|
“Morpheus alights to waken the dreamer as Hypnos
orchestrates the dream in the crystal ball he holds.”
Elsie Russell, 1995
Image from The Works of Elsie Russell
|Hypnos 3 by Italian artist Beatrice Riva|
|Plate 60: The House of Sleep|
Bernard Picart, 1731
From The temple of the Muses, or, The principal histories
of fabulous antiquity: represented in sixty sculptures.
|Iris domum Somni adit, Solatura Halcyonem|
(Iris visits the House of Sleep)
Johann Whilhelm Baur, 1639
Ovid's Metamorphoses at The Ovid Project