Of Lycia and Hyperborea

“Landscape with Aeneas at Delos”, by Claude Lorrain.

 

I have written often of Apollon’s term in Hyperborea. Of course when it comes to the cycles of Apollon in Hyperborea there are scholarly discussions of the god traveling to Hyperborea only once every 9 years, thus uniting it with the 9 year cycle of the original organization of the Pythian Games. This would be before the games were later reorganized in four year periods like those of the Olympic games. Now if these scholars are correct and the games were synchronized with the departure and return of Apollon to Delphi then would have his absence in Hyperborea been moved by the Delphians to coincide with the new date of the games? I don’t think anyone has successful answered this to my satisfaction.

Largely among modern worshipers we honor it as a yearly event, which seems to be inspired by a departure and return which we have from Delos. At Delos we have a mingling of the Hyperborean myth with that of the Lycian myth in which Apollon both returns from Hyperborea, with the maidens, and the Old Man of Lycia is paramount, who not only returns Apollon from Lycia to Delos, but also attends to the building of the temple of Apollon at Delphi with the Hyperborean men (at least one of whom, Agyieus, is Apollon…but quite likely both are used symbolically to represent different manifestations of Apollon as the builder of Delphi). For as most are probably familiar, Leto, after birthing her children on Delos, proceeds to carry them to the Xanthus in Lycia. This journey is also bound up in the tale of the Lycian frogs, as well as the unification of Xanthus with Apollon, Artemis and Leto in the forces preserving Troy in the Iliad.

In Delian tradition, despite its early history with the myth of Hyperborea, we have a yearly departure of Apollon to Lycia, where Apollon had his winter oracle. Thus the year was divided equally between Delos and in Lycia on the division of the year by the equinoxes. I think that this seasonal abode of the god for half of the year is also what is chiefly tied to the idea presented by Pausanias from Arcadia, of Apollon being one of two seasonal gods. This, from spring equinox to the autumn equinox, is the time of the year in which Apollon’s domain is acting in nature the strongest. If I remember correctly the Delian calendar differed from the Attic calendar in that it began its year on the Noumenia following the equinox, whereas in the Doric calendar it followed the autumnal equinox. With the case of Delos this makes particular sense as the year begins with the return of Apollon from Lycia.

Lycia of course has an interesting place in all of this. Like what is speculated of Hyperborea, Lycia is a very real place, but also serves as a kind of spiritual place as well. Apollon when called the one who is born in Lycia, the Lycian lord, refers perhaps less to the physical place Lycia, but rather to that Apollon is born in light (as Lycia, refers to wolf, from which we get the myths of Leto being led to Xanthus by wolves, and light just as much as Apollon’s epithet Lykeios). In all regards we see Lycia being accounted as sacred to Apollon as much as Hyperborea has been attributed. In the Iliad the people of Lycia were considered particularly those people of Apollon in a manner I find common with the views regarding the Hyperboreans.

This is not to suggest that Lycia and Hyperborea are the same place, though descriptions following the Orphic Argonautika and academic studies does suggest a possible link of Hyperborea with eastern Europe following along the Danube river to the North. So it is *possible* that there may have been an idea of a relationship between the eastern Lycians and the Hyperboreans who were said to have traveled initially to Delos. That we have the Old Man of Lycia appearing with the Hyperboreans in Delian myth does give a certain strength to this, as with the arrival of Apollon with the Hyperborean maidens, knowing that Apollon has traveled to Lycia in the Delian cycle. So perhaps it was conceived that Hyperborea was located in close proximity to Lycia, or within reasonable distance to each other that would bring the Lycians and Hyperboreans in company together in their legendary arrival to Delos.

Whether Delphi eventually picked up this yearly calendar of Apollon’s movement from Delos is rather unknown, though most modern worshipers tend to experience and worship it as a yearly event rather than following the Delphic calendar in which Apollon was gone for a year once every nine years. It is possible that Delphi, after the movement of the games, altered their celebrations of the movement of the mythos. I have suggested before that people who want to incorporate both Hyperborea and Lycia in their worship of Apollon can do so without any problems. Either by observing  yearly trip to Lycia and then every nine years a Hyperborean trip, or by linking the concepts of the travel to Hyperborea and Lycia. If there is anything in any probability of a relationship between Lycia and Hyperborea then it may make further sense to do so.

We can thus celebrate Apollon who is in abode of the light, where the gardens of Hyperborea flourish, where the swans sing, where gold deer graze, and there dwelling people beloved by Apollon, in a land abundant in fruits and holy grain in this glorious land. Which has less to do with geography and more to do with ongoing spiritual symbolism and the kingdom of Apollon in general. And as scholars have been confounded by the lack of evidence in the geographical regions that are ascribed to Lycia, or rather a lack of early period evidence of the kind that would back up such a physical transmission, it is quite plausible that Lycia was treated in terms much like that of Hyperborea. Mostly conceptualized in a spiritual direction, inspired by a place and people rather than Apollon literally taking up residence every winter in Lycia. Thus his oracle was therefore probably viewed in the same concept of being “away,” without it actually being moved to another physical location. As such the symbolism between what is going on with Hyperborea and that going on with Lycia is united in its ideology.

— Lykeia (12/26/2012)

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Decorations and Preparations for the Aegletia

Autumnal Season table setting. Found via Google.

 

The Aegletia (October 1st through October 9th, 2019) will be our eighth annual celebration of our Lord’s Departure. This simple guide is given, that any who choose to, may prepare their homes, or other spaces, for Apollon’s arrival and presence during the festival.

There are a few specific ways in which you may enrich your space, beginning with the cleaning and organizing of the space you have chosen to utilize. Declutter, and put away everything that has a proper place. Dust, and wipe down your surfaces, along with sweeping, vacuuming, and anything else that you know needs to be addressed. This doesn’t have to be a super deep clean, but certainly enough to be welcoming and comfortable for your important g/Guests.

After the cleaning, you may want to look for seasonal flowers or fruits, especially those local to your own area of the world, and place them decoratively around your space. If the leaves have started to turn, even those make a lovely addition to the mood and atmosphere. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps some young buds, or leafy plants, and of course, flowers. This is a time for us to mark the shift in the land, and we must not ignore our own locales. Our environments are the foundations to Treasury practice. Be aware of the land upon which you dwell, and flow with the turn of the seasons, as you experience them, first and foremost.

Note also the fleeting nature of Apollon’s time with us before His final departure, during the Ninth Illumination. Many flowers and plants last only a little over a week after being cut. So, with the festival lasting a total of nine days, by the time the Ninth Illumination arrives, many of them will be ready for appropriate offering to the ritual fire, should you choose to have one.

Moving on to other ways of attuning our spaces toward Apollon’s grace, we take note of the origin of our festival’s name. As the Aegletia is given its name after Apollon Aegletes, our Lord of the Setting Sun, and of the waning light, we must also be aware that what we feel during His Departure is not actually predicated upon the meteorological experience of the season of winter, as exists in the Northern Hemisphere. Apollon makes His journey at the same time each year, in all places, and winter is not the universal season experienced everywhere at this time. Summer holds its own mysteries in conjunction to His Departure, therefor, those in the Southern Hemisphere should feel no less free to fully exercise their own ways of acknowledgement and celebration. Think of the waning light as a metaphor for His encroaching distance, rather than taking the language literally, when it does not apply to your environment.

Having said that, let us move the conversation back toward decoration. Crystals, especially bold, sunlight colors, and those which are traditionally associated with Apollon, are a great addition to your space and festivities. Many Apollonians, including our Sisterhood, are fond of carnelian, or of orange or yellow calcite, as well as amber, quartz and selenite. You can read up on the properties of these crystals if you wish to incorporate them into your decorative choices, but this is not strictly necessary. These are, of course, not the only crystals or stones that one may decide to utilize, and all are encouraged to make their own correspondences, that every aspect of the Aegletia be attuned to their needs and wants.

Crystals or stones may be placed upon the altar, or within His shrine, during the week leading to the festival, that His blessing may be bestowed upon them. Leaving the crystals or stones out (in a safe location) at or near dusk for a succession of days, will allow them to absorb the solar energies which are present, that those energies may to transferred to the space that you are preparing. On the first day of the Aegletia, spread the crystals or stones decoratively about your living space, asking Apollon to extend His blessings across all areas of the home.

Another important preparation would be to clear the space of negative, or undesired energetic influence. This may be done in a variety of ways, and any that you are familiar and comfortable with already will suffice. One simple method of doing so includes the use of prepared salt water. Fill a clean jar with water, add a generous amount of salt (tap water and table salt are absolutely acceptable, though some may choose spring water or sea salt, as suits their tastes), speak your intent into the concoction, seal the jar, and place it upon your kitchen or dining room table. The jar will absorb any negative energy pervading the space, and should be emptied (onto the ground somewhere off your property, or alternatively, down the drain of your kitchen sink) and refilled once a day for best results. Should you choose to continue this during the festival proper, the emptying/filling of the jar may become another meaningful part of the daily/nightly ritual.

The reason for clearing the negative energy of the table is to prepare it for the convivial energy of celebration that should begin to permeate the household, as the First Illumination approaches. The table is also a suggested place for a small altar or shrine for the Divine Guests of the Aegletia.

And finally, it is encouraged that participants set aside a cozy area of the home, perhaps a living room, perhaps a bedroom, or even a different room of your choosing, for the presentation of gifts or other offerings for Apollon, Leto, and Artemis. This could be done near the home’s main altar or shrine for Apollon, or a new shrine or altar created specifically for the festival. Be sure to decorate this area appropriate to your tastes, and Apollon’s liking. Another use of this space may be the creation of the farewell gifts that you will present to Apollon on the Ninth Illumination. It can be a beautiful place of love and conversation, storytelling and dance, and whatever other celebratory ways you choose. If children are present, be sure to include some age-appropriate activities for them, as well, throughout the Aegletia festival.

May all be blessed, and may our Lord see you swiftly and tenderly upon the morning of the Second Illumination.

Hail Hyperboreios! Hail Aegletes! Hail Anax, Apollon, our King!

— Treasury of Apollon

May the Wind Lift Us Up, Rather Than Strike Us Down

“Apollo Bringing Down Arrows of Plague Upon the Greeks”, by Stanisław Wyspiański.

O Lord, who commands the wind in Mastery, so too do You sway with booming Voice, our unfocused minds! God whose turn of phrase is at once enlightening, and terrible, we who have loved You overmuch, who have dwelt with You in peace and contemplation, are here in honored reverence of You!

God of the nimble dance of fingers against lithe strings, Apollon who has breathed life into our mortal exploits, hear us, the beautiful ones enveloped within Your exquisite magnitude!

Hear us, and grant favor as You see fit, to we, the quiet ones who toil in the whirlwind of modern life!

And Lord, do grant favor also to the bold, those who embody Your deep and scathing wrath, for the whirlwind is cruel, and Your people are in need of Your deft care, as brought about by those whom You entrust!

Apollon, Prince of the sword slicing through the air, slicing through ignorance, slicing through all enemies, grant us a hardened defense, and let us remain victorious, from now until all time hereafter!

Blessed is Apollon Telkinios, Apollon Katharsios, Apollon Loxias, Apollon Khrysáoros!

Blessed is Apollon Argyrotoxos, whose aim is righteous!

Hail to You, Apollon!

— Columbine

Prelude to the Aegletia: Nine Illuminations

Sunset over a poppy field. Found via Google.

[The Aegletia begins every October 1st, and lasts through October 9th]

 

Dear friends, we Sisters of the Treasury would like to invite you all, in celebration of our Bright Lord, Apollon, to participate in the eighth annual Aegletia, the first stirrings of which will begin on the Autumnal Equinox (Agetoreios 24 [Sep. 23, 2019]), marking for us the shift toward the Hyperborean Season, and as the Equinox draws near, we will share more articles and information for those who choose to participate.

Those first weeks after the Autumnal Equinox are most sacred, for this is when Apollon begins His journey, and when we welcome Him for a time into our homes, for the Nine Illuminations, in His honor.

The Aegletia also honors Leto and Artemis, as They are integral to Apollon’s life and Mystery. At a time when He is celebrated so lovingly, His Mother and Sister should be included, and are each honored in Their own right, on separate days of the festival.

The overall theme that has persisted throughout these eight years, continuing to persist for this year’s celebration, is coming to grips with Apollon’s eventual and necessary shift in focus away from this world and our human affairs, during the winter. We may approach His absence in a variety of ways, but the purpose of the Aegletia, is to facilitate our unique illumination of the bonds we share with Him, collectively and individually. Each of the Nine Illuminations is measured to guide us through a particular modality of His Power and Being.

Day 1 – Preparation and Purification. Time spent alone in meditation or contemplation.

Day 2 – The Arrival of Apollon at the festival, and thus in our homes. Personal celebration between Apollon and each bride, devotee, celebrant, or familial unit.

Day 3 – Celebrating Artemis and the unbreakable bond between the Holy Twins. Celebrating the freedom of being in harmony with Apollon.

Day 4 – Celebrating Leto and the ferocious spirit the Holy Twins have inherited from Their Mother. Acknowledging risk, danger, fear, and the unknown, existing within the liminal spaces of existence.

Day 5 – Celebrating the Awareness of Life, as the danger passes. Celebrating the world in all of its splendor, truth and terror. Abstinence from untruths.

Day 6 – Exploration of the Beauty of the Illuminated World. Ritual, art, and celebrations with dance and music, as well as competitive games and sacred theater. Telling of myths and revealed stories, especially to and among children, where applicable.

Day 7 – Celebration of the Fellowship of the Treasury of Apollon as extensions of our Prince’s mortal family, as well as a safe community for His brides and devotees. Proclamations of love, poetry, ecstatic ritual and prayer, and oracular trance are all encouraged on this day. Child-friendly, and family oriented celebrations are also advised for those to whom it applies.

Day 8 – Calm and Quietude. Resting with the knowledge and insights gained from the previous days, and meditation upon the connections established between the Treasury of Apollon, our Sisterhood, and/or any other type of familial unit in participation with the festival, including connections made by and with our Lord, that we have established with all things seeking, and in reverence of His light and magnitude.

Day 9 – The Procession, and Farewell to the King. At the end of the night, or whenever you decide to see Him and His Mother and Sister off, is the time for intricate, elaborate or long-planned offerings to be presented to Him, for His departure. These gifts are to be burned, and their ashes buried, forever given in sacrifice. If burning is not possible, they should be wrapped in dark cloth and placed in an area where they will not be seen or disturbed, until such time comes that they may be properly burned and buried. After this ritual burning, festival participants should express their goodbyes to Apollon, as He continues on toward Hyperborea.

The Aegletia is designed so that anyone may participate from the comfort of their own home or ritual space, while also eluding to a time when the Treasury of Apollon exists in a physical gathering space, wherein the Sisterhood, along with the outer circle, may gather to celebrate the full breadth of the Nine Illuminations.

This is the future we see and hope for. We believe there is room for each of us, individually, as well as within groups or familial units, to personalize our Aegletia activities, while remaining within the overarching theme, of accepting Him and His influence, reveling in His Nature, the light and the world, and celebrating His departure, while maintaining the certainty that He will return to us in the spring.

So, be welcomed into our tradition, if you will, and join us as we experience the purifying light, and work toward the illumination of us all, through Apollon Aegletes, the Gleaming One, Lord of the Setting Sun, our Beloved God!

— Treasury of Apollon

An Evocation of Apollon

“Apollo and the Cumean Sibyl”, by Noel Halle.

O Lord, Whose presence reverberates throughout the wind and the air;
Lord Who is felt in the vibration of all sound, come forth, if it pleases You to do so!  Hear this mortal voice, Lord, and know that I/we have arrived to greet You here!

I/we whom You have nurtured, Lord, and trained in many arts; I/we who have honored You dutifully, have again come to be taught in the ways of the truly free mind!

Lord of the boundary between thought and word, Lord of Masterful Unraveling, from Whom no lie can be hidden, Apollon of the Orthos Logos, come!  Be welcomed here, O Lord, Who breathes fire and life and triumph into the souls of all who would receive Your Word!

Apollon, Who is the Kind Mentor, and the Firm Instructor, rest here, that I/we may be seated before Your Radiance in reverence and curiosity!  And take refreshment (Libation is poured), dear Lord, before I/we commence, that Your thirst may be quenched, and I/we am/are prepared to receive the wisdom You so generously impart!

Be welcomed, O Lord, and let me/us once more be revealed in the presence of Your Divine Word!

Come, Most Blessed Lord!

— Columbine

Invocation of Apollon

“Apollo”, by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini.

I call to bright Apollon.

Of clear sight and sure hunter’s step,

Whose passing is like wind in the tree tops.

Delian Apollon, whose hands hold equal skill

On both lyre- and bow-string.

Your presence is like sunlight through the forest canopy,

Filtering down soft and warm and green,

To encourage new growth.

From your sure hands come healing,

And from those same hands, the storm of plague.

Your guidance can be seen in flight of arrow and honeybee,

And your music fills the air around both.

Noble and dread god, wreathed in laurel,

Who loves the wild meadows and forests

And whose messages come on the night-dark wings of crows,

Speak, and I will listen.

Your far-seeing eyes shine like stars in the darkness,

Your guidance lights the path like sunlight breaking through clouds.

True of word and deed, Bacchic and wild I call to you,

Turn your shining face to this rite.

— Zoe

The Ecstasy of Flame

“Hear now, those for whom the fire burns still within your skin.  Hear now the crackling of what once was the peak of your arrogance.  It lay in a smoldering pile, the debris of a life filled with sorrow and pain.  But now, the fire rages.  Now, your rotten core shall be expunged in flame.

“Do not fear, for this is the change you seek– the very boundary between the worlds of your unmaking, and the worlds of your creation.  Be calm within the flame, for the flame is you, and you are the vehicle of your own salvation.

“Know Thyselves, sweet children, and be at harmony with your passions, and your flames.  I charge you to carry them, to hold them in honor, and to burn with them when necessary.  Now is the time for the pure flame of Truth, and you, My messengers, will burn brightly to illuminate the new worlds for welcoming eyes.”

— Apollon (Channeled Directly, 6/22/2019)