Sara Mastros has mounted a Kickstarter campaign to pay for the printing of The Orphic Hymns Grimoire which will feature her translations of all 87 Orphic hymns, with history, commentary, and spell craft. The Kickstarter page states:
“Orpheus, the famed oracle orator hero of Greece, began to teach a new religion at the dawn of the Archaic Age. Deeply rooted in ancient paganism, Orphism taught a doctrine of peace-seeking, reincarnation, and universal brotherhood. The followers, like their leader, worshiped their gods with song. Eighty seven of these ancient hymns have survived to the present day, and are called The Orphic Hymns. They’ve been translated into English many times. Most familiar is the 1792 work of Thomas Taylor, which is lovely verse, but sometimes diverges quite far from the original meanings. The most popular recent translation by Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow holds very close to the original text, but utilizes neither meter nor rhyme, making it less effective for ritual use. These new translations shoot for the best of both worlds; I’ve stuck to the original text closely, rendering them in modern English in rhymed couplets suitable for both oration and singing. Accompanying each hymn are historical context, essays on the gods, and suggestions for spell craft utilizing the hymn. Several are illustrated with original full-page ikons, which you can photocopy out and frame. You can read many of the translations in progress by following the project at www.facebook.com/OrphicHymns
“The ‘basic’ edition of the book will include a prefatory essay about the hymns and their historical and religious context, an original telling of the myth of Orpheus, and a new translation of each hymn, with some black and white illustrations. The ‘special’ edition of the book will include all that, as well as essays to accompany each hymn, and as many full-color illustrations as we can afford to produce and print. (hopefully, that’s all of them!!) . You can read an example chapter here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uV70IGBIj6D0Ck89aH5pzeH5k-3bqoqN/view?usp=sharing
Risks and challenges
I think it unlikely that I will not meet the deadline. I’ve been working with these hymns in my own spell work for years, so the context, “about the gods” and spells are all coming together very quickly. I am a professional writer, and more than half the hymns have already been translated. Once the final translations and accompanying writing are done, I will self-publish, cutting down on the time needed to produce books. My bff has worked in professional publishing, print layout, and design for many years, so I’ve got easy access to help setting up the book, if I need it. I’ve been working as a witch and writer for some time now, and I’m sure any of my clients would be happy to tel you that I always deliver on time.
I think the most “dangerous” aspect of the project is the illustrations, because they are time-consuming (and thus expensive) to produce. While my goal is to provide an illustration for every hymn, I don’t want to promise that. You can “sponsor an ikon” to make sure your favorite is illustrated. (see the rewards).