The divine Emperor Julian wrote a recommendation to pray to the Gods three times in a daily cycle for dawn, afternoon and evening; with the first and last being most important since dawn is the beginning of the day and twilight is the beginning of the night. Because of this, this prayer to the divine King Helios is strongly recommended, and should be recited standing with hands in the air and palms facing upward towards while facing the Sun (Kupperman 2014, 163):
Hêlie pantokrator, O All-ruling Helios,
Kosmou pneuma, Spirit of the World,
Kosmou dunamis, Power of the World,
Kosmou phôs. Light of the World.
This simple prayer to King Helios is preserved by the Platonic philosopher Macrobius (390 – 430 ACE). According to Macrobius, this is how King Helios is invoked in the mystery religions. It can thus be used as a brief invocation, through which prayer allows a meeting of soul and divinity to take place, which helps align the worshiper to the movements of the benevolent Demiurge.
The Daily Cycle
This conception of the daily prayer cycle is based on the daily praxis of Gemistos Plethon (Kupperman 2014, 163), Emperor Julian (Flavius Claudius Iulianus, II 329), and Proclus (Marinus Vita Procli, § 22):
- Morning prayer: This should be done after rising and either before your breakfast or before starting the workday. This prayer is one of the most important since dawn is the beginning of the day.
- Afternoon prayer: This should be done during the afternoon, or any time prior to supper.
- Evening prayer: This should be done any time following supper and before sleeping. If this is on a fast day, this prayer is spoken after sunset. This prayer is one of the most important since twilight is the beginning of the night.
Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus. Delphi Complete Works of Julian (Illustrated). Hastings, East Sussex: Delphi Classics, 2017.
Janowitz, Naomi. Icons of power: ritual practices in late antiquity. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002.
Kupperman, Jeffrey S. Living theurgy: a course in Iamblichus philosophy, theology and theurgy. London: Avalonia, 2014.