Six votive hymns for the Blue Wave


Ancient religious practice frequently revolved around the making and fulfilling of vows. One prays to a certain deity for a certain purpose, promising to perform this-or-that pious act if the outcome is as desired. In that spirit, I vowed to write devotional hymns to Columbia, Libertas, Hercules Saxsanus, Diana Sancta, Diuus Antoninus Pius, and Diua Faustina Augusta in the event of a Blue Wave in the 2018 United States elections to Congress. For the purposes of this vow, I defined a Blue Wave as a Democratic pick-up of 36 seats in the House of Representatives. It took some time for the outcome of many races to be definitely ascertained, but it is now indisputable that a Blue Wave happened and that the American people delivered a stinging rebuke to the current occupant of the White House with a margin of victory of some 9%. The incoming class of Congresspeople have now taken their seats, including such wonderful and inspiring figures as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Lauren Underwood, Lucy McBath, and so many more. I’ll be posting those hymns here over the course of the next six days.

I chose to address my prayers and vows to the six deities I mentioned above because of their particular associations with the United States, liberty, and good governance, which I will elaborate on further in the text of the hymns themselves. I varied the style and format of the hymns a bit for the respective deities: free verse for Libertas (obviously!) and for Diana, trochaic tetrameter for Columbia (following the Song of Hiawatha, which itself incidentally mimics the Kalevala), and various iambic meters for Hercules, the divine Pius, and the divine Faustina (with feminine endings more common in Faustina’s).

Hercules Saxsanus is an aspect of Hercules whose mythos is set in Gaul (at least according to one interpretation). He was particularly worshipped in Gaul by the stone-workers of the vicinity of Brohl, in the part of the Treveran country tacked onto the Roman province of Germania Superior. This is why I use the provincial spelling Saxsanus in lieu of the standard Saxanus.

The topic of this vow was political, and indeed partisan, so I make no apologies for the hymns’ political allusions. I may say for the record, however, that I don’t mean to cast any personal aspersions on Republican voters. I grew up in a then–Republican-leaning suburb of Chicago; my father and his family in Nebraska were Republican (and still are, in the case of those who are still with us); I’ve never had the luxury of imagining all Republicans to be bad people. Rather, they’ve been taught to think that the lesser evil is to vote for people who do staggeringly bad things. All the more reason, then, to condemn those bad things loudly, consistently, and often.

Permit me to conclude by noting that today is the Ides of January, one of the days—along with the Ides of July—when legionaries in Germania Superior were most wont to dedicate altars of the to-Jupiter-and-many-more type. One such altar, from Mainz in what was also Treveran territory, was dedicated by a soldier of the Legio XXII Primigenia in (h)o(norem) [d(omus)] d(ivinae) / I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / Silvano et Dian/ae Sanctae Genio / catabul(i) co(n)s(ularis) cet(e){r}ri/sque diis inmor/talibus ‘in honor of the divine house, to Jupiter Best and Greatest, Silvanus, and Holy Diana, the genius of the consular docks, and other immortal gods’. I wish a blessèd day in honor of all those deities to everyone who reads this.

About DeoMercurio

I’m a Gaulish polytheist, now back living in lands ceded by the Council of Three Fires after several years’ sojourn in Anatolia and in the land of the Senecas, with frequent travels to Gaul along the way. My grandfather’s family came from the area around Trier, and I identify closely with the Treveri in my religious practice.
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6 Responses to Six votive hymns for the Blue Wave

  1. Very good! I look forward to reading all of these!

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