Ways of Worship: Demeter
Hellenic Witch/Wiccan Worship of Demeter
Demeter is the Goddess of agriculture, harvest, the cycle of life and death, fertility, and sacred law. Her Roman name is Ceres. She is one of the 12 Olympians and sister to Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Zeus, and Chiron. Her parents are Cronus and Rhea, but her age isn't known. Her children are Persephone, Despoina, Arion, Plutus, Philomelus, Eubuleus, Chrysothemis, and Amphitheus. She has ad consorts with Iasion, Zeus, Oceanus, Karmanor, Poseidon, and Triptolemus.
While Demeter is most well-known for her role as Demeter's concerned mother in the marriage of Persephone and Hades, she is also well-known for her time with King Eleusis of Attica. In her initial search for Persephone, Demeter went to the palace fo Celeus where King Eleusis and his family lived. Demeter disguised herself as a little old lady and asked the King for shelter. He agreed, taking her in, and she nursed his sons Demophon and Triptolemus, born of Metanira. To reward the King's kindness, she planned to make Demophon immortal.
To do this, she secretly anointed him with ambrosia and laid him in the flames of the hearth to burn away his mortal self. However, Metanira walked in and screamed in fright at the sight of her son in the flames. Demeter abandoned the attempt and thought of something else to do. Instead, she taught Triptolemus the secrets she held of agriculture. Triptolemus, in turn, taught these skills to anyone who was interested in learning. Thus, humanity was gifted with the ability to plant, grow, and harvest grains.
Altar, Offerings, and Symbols
General Symbols: Cornucopia, sheaves of wheat, autumn harvest, torch, bread, and honey.
Animals: Cats and dogs (all domestic pets), lions snakes, crane, and lizards.
Plants: Poppies, sunflower, cypress, sheaves of wheat, foxglove, daisy, columbine, ash and oak trees, and acorns.
Colors: Green, dark brown, gold, navy blue, and pink.
Gemstones/Metals: Pearls, star sapphire, cat's eye, silver, ivory, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, amber, mercury, and copper.
Scents: Orange blossom, myrrh, olibanum, civet, patchouli, violet, cloves, and cinnamon.
Things you may want to consider praying for are help bringing a missing child home, good crops, a good harvest, fertility, justice, a blessing of crops or harvest, a blessing of the land you work in, and understanding the cycle of life and death.
Demeter, Lady of fruits and grains,Of ripening suns and harvest rains,I call to you, Mother, to hear my plea—Bestow Your blessings here on me.Goddess, who searches in places wild,To bring home safely Her stolen child,Who changes the summer's greens to gold,And causes the cycle of life to unfold,Beautiful Lady, whose love runs deep,Who banishes growth during Winter's sleep,And causes the seeds to stir in Spring,Attend my circle and blessings bring!
Prayer for a Good Harvest
Demeter, gracious goddess who grants to mankindthe gift of grain, whose might it is that brings the treesto fruit, whose hand we see as buds become blossoms,
who taught to men the art of the seed, whose blessingwe beg, whose wrath we dread, goddess, I pray to you.The green shoot is yours, Demeter, and the rootthat clings to the black soil. In one fair arm you holda sheaf of golden wheat, in the other a poppy,
blood-red and fragrant; by your good will we are fedin body and in soul. Essential Demeter,friend of the farmer, by whose power do we survive,I pray to you, show to us a fruitful season,bless us with an abundant harvest, food enoughto bring us through the long winter. For your goodnessand your kindness we thank you, Demeter; for yourfavor we pray to you, O bountiful goddess!
Hail Demeter,Mother of All, Gentle Hearted Lady, Bright Goddess,Hear my prayer and come to me.Let your radiance pour upon me
Until my heart is full of joy;
Until laughter comes easily to my lips;Until the only tears that I shed are of happiness.Into your hands I give my needs and my sorrows.Bless me with your wisdom.Teach me to hope when all is dark.Teach me patience when all seems fallow.Teach me to accept both stillness and change.
Grant me a life that is just, joyful and bounteous.I ask your blessings for my family and my homeBringing peace and well-being to all.Hail Demeter!