The second day of every Athenian lunar month is the sacred day devoted to the Agathos Daimon. Agathos Daimon is most often represented in the form of a snake, a symbol of healing, or of a young man with a cornucopia.
“The great mind of Zeus steers the daimon of the men whom he loves” (Pyth. 5.122f).
Hesiod, Works & Days 109 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
“First of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympos made a Golden (khryseoi) Race of mortal men who lived in the time of Kronos when he was reigning in heaven. And they lived like gods without sorrow of heart, remote and free from toil and grief: miserable age rested not on them; but with legs and arms never failing they made merry with feasting beyond the reach of all evils. When they died, it was as though they were overcome with sleep, and they had all good things; for the fruitful earth unforced bare them fruit abundantly and without stint. They dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands with many good things, rich in flocks and loved by the blessed gods. But after earth had covered this generation–they are called Pure Spirits (daimones hagnoi) dwelling on the earth (epikhthonioi), and are kindly, delivering from harm, and guardians of mortal men; for they roam everywhere over the earth, clothed in mist and keep watch on judgements and cruel deeds, givers of wealth [i.e. agricultural bounty]; for this royal right also they received.”
Hesiod, Works & Days 238 ff :
“For those who practise violence and cruel deeds far-seeing Zeus, the son of Kronos, ordains a punishment. Often even a whole city suffers for a bad man who sins and devises presumptuous deeds, and [Zeus] the son of Kronos lays great trouble upon the people, famine and plague together, so that the men perish away, and their women do not bear children, and their houses become few, through the contriving of Zeus Olympios. And again, at another time, the son of Kronos either destroys their wide army, or their walls, or else makes an end of their ships on the sea. You princes, mark well this punishment you also; for the deathless gods are near among men and mark all those who oppress their fellows with crooked judgements, and reck not the anger of the gods. For upon the bounteous earth Zeus has thrice ten thousand Spirits (daimones), Watchers of mortal men, and these keep watch on judgements and deeds of wrong as they roam, clothed in mist, all over the earth.”
If you don’t already have one, consider a small shrine or a representation of the agathos daimon for your household.
Pour a libation for the agathos daimon. A few drops of unmixed wine is traditional.
Offer flowers, herbs, incense, pennies, or other symbols of good luck.
Since the Agathos Daimon was considered to be guided by Zeus according to the fortune he wished for the household, spend time in meditation to commune with Zeus through his aspect as the Agathos, and seek insight or omens regarding the upcoming lunar month.
1. LIGHTING THE SACRED FLAME
Before the start of the ritual, light the incense and candle and recite Homeric Hymn #24:
“Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollo, the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho, with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house, come, having one mind with Zeus the all-wise — draw near, and withal bestow grace upon my song.”
Ritually declare that the space is pure for the festival and sacrifice to the gods by doing the following:
“hehKAHS, hehKAHS, ehSTAY bayBAYloy. Let the profane ones depart!”
Then take a sage or incense stick, light it from the already blessed candle or oil lamp, and put it into the water, saying:
“kayr-NEEP-toe-may! Let this water be purified by the sacred fire!”
Circumambulate around the altar, stopping at the front of the altar. Then you sprinkle the altar, the offerings, and the people with khernips. As you sprinkle the water, say:
“O theoi genoisthe apotropoi kakon! O gods, turn away evils!”
The bowl is set away from the altar outside of the room, as it now ritually impure. The used water should be poured directly onto the earth outside the temenos after the ritual.
3. PRELIMINARY INVOCATION
“I first call to the gods to hear and attend my ritual. O Athanatoi (Deathless Ones), Gods of Starry Heaven, Broad Earth, And the Great Below, Khairete, Theoi! Hear, and attend. Bless me with your presence, as I would honor you.”
For the gods of the household, I pour out the following shares: First, to Hestia, who’s is always the first and the last, Zeus, Agathos Daimon, Apollon, Herakles, Hermes, Hekate, the Dioskouroi.
Pour a libation out after saying each deity’s name. Say Be Well Disposed after each libation.
“Elthete (Come) Theoi (gods), bless me with your presence, and partake of what I offer, in reverence of you. I offer (pure water/sweet wine/fruits of the earth/fragrant incense/cakes of grain and honey/bright flowers/a hymn of praise/other) as sustenance for your hearts. And with my prayers I entreat you: Watch over me and my family and sustain us. Look kindly on my efforts, for it is through you that I receive all blessings.”
TO THE DÆMON, OR GENIUS.
The FUMIGATION from FRANKINCENSE.
THEE, mighty-ruling, Dæmon dread, I call,
Mild Jove, life-giving, and the source of all:
Great Jove, much-wand’ring, terrible and strong,
To whom revenge and tortures dire belong.
Mankind from thee, in plenteous wealth abound, 5
When in their dwellings joyful thou art found;
Or pass thro’ life afflicted and distress’d,
The needful means of bliss by thee supprest.
‘Tis thine alone endu’d with boundless might,
To keep the keys of sorrow and delight. 10
O holy, blessed father, hear my pray’r,
Disperse the seeds of life-consuming care;
With fav’ring mind the sacred rites attend,
And grant my days a glorious, blessed end.
7. FINAL LIBATIONS
“O Theoi (Gods), I offer thanks to you.” (feel free to address in your own words)
(pour libation to all the gods into libation bowl)
“And for Hestia, as yours is always the first and last.”
(pour libation to Hestia into libation bowl).