"Silent Nyx shrouded the west in her own colour, and scored the sky across with her own starry cloak." -- Nonnus, Dionysiaca 18. 160 ff
(The Night escorted by the geniuses of Love and Study)
By Brazilian artist Pedro Américo, 1886
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
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 The Ονειροι, Oneiroi, including Μορφεύς, Morpheus, Φοβητωρ, Phobêtôr (also Ικελος, Ikelos) and Φαντασος, Phantăsos can be found HERE.
The accompanying devotional page for Υπνος, Hypnos or Somnus can be found HERE.
"O Nox. . . Ever shall this house throughout the circling periods of the year hold thee high in honour and in worship..." -- Statius, Thebaid 1. 497 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.)
|NYX, Νύξ, Nox Household Shrine Bronze Figure.|
NOX, or NIGHT, the oldest of the deities, was held in great esteem among the ancients. She was even reckoned older than Chaos. Orpheus ascribes to her the generation of gods and men, and says, that all things had their beginning from her. Pausanias has left us a description of a remarkable statue of this goddess. “We see,” says he, “a woman holding in her right hand a white child sleeping, and in her left a black child likewise asleep, with both its legs distorted; the inscription tells us what they are, though we might easily guess without it: the two children are Death and Sleep, and the woman is Night, the nurse of them both.”
The poets fancied her to be drawn in a chariot with two horses, before which several stars went as harbingers; that she was crowned with poppies, and her garments were black, with a black veil over her countenance, and that stars followed in the same manner as they preceded her; that upon the departure of the day she arose from the ocean, or rather from Erĕbus, and encompassed the earth with her sable wings. The sacrifice offered to Night was a cock because of its enmity to darkness, and rejoicing at the light.
-- Charles K. Dillaway, Roman Antiquities, and Ancient Mythology for Classical Schools (2nd ed)
To Nyx (Night), Fumigation with Torches. Nyx, parent goddess, source of sweet repose from whom at first both Gods and men arose. Hear, blessed Kypris, decked with starry light, in sleep’s deep silence dwelling ebon night! Dreams (Oneiroi) and soft ease attend thy dusky train, pleased with the lengthened gloom and feastful strain, dissolving anxious care, the friend of mirth, with darkling coursers riding round the earth. Goddess of phantoms and of shadowy play, whose drowsy power divides the natural day; by fate’s decree you constant send the light to deepest hell, remote from mortal sight; for dire necessity, which nought withstands, invests the world with adamantine bands. Be present, Goddess, to thy suppliant’s prayer, desired by all, whom all alike revere, blessed, benevolent, with friendly aid dispel the fears of twilight’s dreadful shade.
-- Orphic Hymn 3 to Nyx (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.)
I shall sing of Night, Mother of gods and men.
Night- and let us call her Kypris- gave birth to all.
Hearken, O blessed goddess, jet-black and star-lit,
Whose delight is in quiet and slumber-filled serenity.
Cheerful and delightsome, O mother of dreams, you love the nightlong revel,
And your gentleness rids of cares, and offers respite from toil.
Giver of sleep, beloved of all you are, as you drive your steeds and gleam in darkness.
Ever incomplete, now terrestrial and now again celestial,
You circle around in pursuit of sprightly phantoms,
You force light into the nether world, and again you flee into Hades.
Dreadful Necessity governs all things.
But now, O blessed one, yea beatific and desired by all,
I call on you to grant a kind ear to my voice of supplication,
And benevolent, come to disperse fears that glisten in the dark.
-- Orphic Hymn #3 To Nyx, Translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis, 1977
|Nox Mandala, a gift of gratitude from the The Open Gyre, 2015.|
Personal writings regarding mother Nyx:
- Rite of Oneiric Insight, Part 2: Cartomancy & Visualization
- Rite of Oneiric Insight, Part 1: General Outline
- "It's a gift..."
- Love Letters
- Poetry for the Esbat: Long Night's Moon & Thusly, the Mother's Moon
|Nyx, Night Goddess|
Gustave Moreau, 1880
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
|Allegoria de la Nit|
Palau de Cervelló, ballroom ceiling.
Wikicommons image edited by Moma Fauna.
Night (both images)
Edward Burne Jones, British, 1870 (both images)
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons. (left)
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum. (right)
Noc (left), Night with Her Train of Stars (right)
Edward Robert Hughes, British, 1851-1914
Both images courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Henri Weigele, French sculptor, 1858 - 1927
White marble, marble
Auction details at Invaluable.
Cesare Lapini, Italian, 1898
Figure sold at auction via liveauctioneers.com.
No attribution available.
(If you have one, please notify me.)
Lyrics to above recording:
Orphic Hymn to Nyx - Mother of the Gods
Mother of the Gods
I sing to You
Mother of humankind
who gave birth to all
and who is also known as Kypris
hail blesséd Goddess
lit by starlight
You who love silence
and deep peaceful sleep
who loves all-night rituals
Mother of Dreams
You help us forget our troubles
You grant us rest from work
giver of sleep
You who are loved by all
shining by night
chthonian as well as celestial
Your cosmic dance shapes our fate
You shine upon the earth
and Your light reaches into Hades
for You, Ananke
but now, Blesséd Goddess
You of many treasures
every creature yearns for You
hear our words of supplication
come to us,
and put to flight
our fear of the night
translation by Andonis Theodoros