Prayers for Working With St. Hildegard von Bingen
Updated: Aug 13
I'm here today to share some prayers I have used to great effect to perform magical work in the name of and with the power of St. Hildegard von Bingen.
This post is a follow-up to my workshop at the utterly fantastic Viridis Genii Symposium in 2023, where it was my honor and sincere joy to present both a lecture and a hands on workshop. In my workshop we listened to Hildegard's music, learned to write in her original code language, gathered herbs in her name, and prepared charms to be used in continued work with this remarkable saint. I also shared three prayers that Hildegard herself wrote, explaining how I have employed them practically in my own magical practice to achieve various aims with Hildegard's assistance. I will share those prayers here again so that they can be utilized both by my workshop participants and by my readers at large.
First, some discussion of the practical magics one might work with Hildegard von Bingen's help:
Hildegard has been my primary spirit teacher and collaborator for over six years at this point. She functions as a patron saint and primary protectress in my work. As she was engaged in the work of healing and providing spiritual guidance to many people during her life, she is a very useful ally for anyone who provides magical or herbal services to clients.
She is a renowned protector of women. It was thanks to her advocacy that the nuns in her care were granted their own living spaces - free from the monks who were impregnating them on the sly (it was a mess, and of course the nuns were getting blamed for it.)
As a protective spirit Hildegard can defend against a variety of physical and spiritual ills. The name Hildegard literally means "Fortress." She is invoked by artists, especially writers and musicians, to provide inspiration. She was massively, almost inhumanly productive in these mediums during her life. Her name is well known among herbalists and growers, and she can provide assistance in learning the apothecary's art, in growing a garden or when making medicines. Her herbal writing is still referenced in her native Germany and throughout the world today.
Hildegard experienced oracular visions from the time she was three. She was often sought out in her day for advice and for prophesy by everyone from popes, kings and ladies, to humble nuns and many common folk. Therefore she is an excellent ally for those seeking to deepen their mediumship, strengthen their divination, and generally increase the fidelity of their communications with spirits.
It has been my experience that Hildegard is happy to work with anyone who approaches her sincerely, regardless of their religious affiliation. Do recall that although she was made an official saint in 2012 (and even received the special title Doctor of the Church), her official canonization took place some 900 years after her death. It was the people who kept Hildegard's cult alive. I haven't found her to be concerned with orthodoxy or religious propriety but rather with the contents of one's heart. She appreciates honesty and enjoys offerings of frankincense and galangal. If you really want to get on her good side, try baking her some spelt bread. She wrote glowingly of her love of that grain and even of its healing power.
Three Prayers for Hildegard
These prayers are taken from Hildegard's Symphonia, a song cycle she composed in the mid 1100s. Each of the prayers may be recited or sung. I typically recite them in my work. Recordings can be found of all of these prayers set to the music Hildegard wrote — I recommend the versions by Sequentia as a good starting point.
Each prayer is given in Latin (Hildegard's primary ritual language) and in English translation. The translations are drawn from the work of Hildegard scholars Beverly Lomer, Barbara Newman, and Nathaniel M. Campbell. I've also edited them a bit myself for flow, grace, and clarity, which required me to do a little translation work too, so one could say they're in my critical edition. Consider giving the Latin a try. I've found that she enjoys it and is forgiving about pronunciation. And no matter what language, it's always better to speak these aloud.
To Call Upon Hildegard's Power: "Caritas Habundat"
Caritas habundat in omnia, de imis excellentissima
quia summo regi
osculum pacis dedit. Amen.
Caritas* abounds in all. From the depths
exalted over every star.
And love unbounded,
with the kiss of peace,
subdues the sky-king.
*Caritas is a Virtue, the force of absolute love, charity, and care for others. In Hildegard's work these Virtues are personified and they can be worked with essentially as spirits.
A Charm for Harvesting Herbs: "O Frondens Virga"
O frondens virga,
in tua nobilitate stans
sicut aurora procedit:
nunc gaude et letare
et nos debiles dignare
a mala consuetudine liberare
atque manum tuam porrige
ad erigendum nos. Amen.
O leafy branch standing in your nobility as the dawn breaks forth:
now rejoice and be glad
and deign to set us frail ones
free from evil habits
and stretch forth your hand
and lift us up. Amen.
To Call Forth Angels: "O Gloriosissimi Lux Vivens Angeli"
O gloriosissimi lux vivens angeli,
qui infra divinitatem
cum mistica obscuritate
omnis creature aspicitis
in ardentibus desideriis,
potestis saciari: O quam gloriosa
gaudia illa vestra
que in vobis est
intacta ab omni pravo opere. Amen.
O glorious angels of the Living Light*
those below divinity
who gaze upon the eyes of the divine -
Your yearning burns insatiably
in the mystic obscurity of all creation
And glorious joy pervades the form you dwell in,
remaining untouched by every wicked deed. Amen.
*In her writings Hildegard stressed that her visions were revealed to her by "the voice of the living light".