Firstly this post is later than planned secondly it’s not what I was originally going to talk about. My initial idea was to discuss Aphrodite and my past/present dealings with Her. However, ‘inspiration’ of sorts struck that I should write about the Agathos Daimon – coincidentally this idea came on the second day of the lunar month, a day traditionally associated with the Daimon.
Agathos Daimon means “good spirit” and is seen as a divine being – sometimes an intermediary between Gods and mortals – less powerful than a God but more so than a mere mortal. This being, associated with the oikos (household) and the protection of it and those within, is often portrayed as a snake or as a young man holding a cornucopia and presides over prosperity, fertility, spiritual evolution..
Not to be confused with the evil ‘demon’ of modern Christian mythology (though a negative counterpart called a kakodaimon did exist) the Agathos Daimon is sometimes linked with being an aspect of Zeus in his role of Ktesios – another deity of household religion – and sometimes with Dionysos and the gift of wine. It is traditional to pour out a small libation of wine in honour of the Agathos Daimon, especially on the second day of the lunar month to ask for aid, guidance, protection or merely just in praise.
Some modern practitioners of Hellenismos see the Agathos Daimon as a type of spiritual companion or guide – similar in some ways to the concept of a guardian angel. This is illustrated by the account of the philosopher Sokrates who spoke of his own daimon as a small voice which spoke to him, warning to refrain from certain actions (Plato, Apology, 31d).
There is a splendid invocation to the Agathos Daimon in the Papyri Graecae Magicae:
Rejoice with me, You who are set over the East Wind and the World, for whom all the Gods serve as Body-Guards at Your Good Hour and on Your Good Day, You who are the Agathos Daimon of the World, the Crown of the Inhabited World, You who arise from the Abyss, You who Each Day rise a Young Man and set an Old Man, HARPENKNOUPHI BRINTANTE’- NO’PHRI BRISSKYLMAS AROURZORBOROBA MESINTRIPHI NIPTOUMI CHMOUMMAO’PHI. I beg You, Lord, do not allow me to be Over-Thrown, to be Plotted Against, to receive Dangerous Drugs, to go into Exile, to fall upon Hard Times. Rather, I ask to obtain and receive from You Life, Health, Reputation, Wealth, Influence, Strength, Success, Charm, Favor with all Men and all Women, Victory over all Men and all Women. Yes, Lord, ABLANATHANALBA AKRAMMACHAMARI PEPHNA PHO’ZA PHNEBENNOUNI NAACHTHIP…OUNORBA, accomplish this Matter which I want, by means of Your Power. (PGM 36.211-30)
In my personal practice, I will admit that I am still trying to connect with my daimon. This post however has allowed me to consider how I can renew and strengthen my relatively weak relationship with Him. My first step will be the setup of a small shrine (will be documented in future follow-up posts) and begin a regular exploration of the daimon, giving offerings, prayers and praise as well as divination and meditation on the matter.
First off, here’s a small piece I’ve written to honour the/my daimon:
Serpentine in form
Whose coils move about my dwelling.
Let no harm befall this place or those who reside herein,
Protect our home against thieves and trespassers.
May all things grow by your acts;
Riches and opulence by your mind
Fertility and growth by your body
Advancement and fulfilment by your spirit!
You who watches over my stores
And keeps good counsel with Zeus Ketesios.
Let your feats and deeds be blessed
Unmixed wine do I sprinkle down upon you in praise!