End of the Aegletia

“The Muses Leaving their Father Apollo, to Go Out and Light the World”, by Gustave Moreau.

Today, I’ll see Him off…

 

Before the dawn, on this, Your day, I once again lament the swiftness of time, and how it does not wait for me to feel at ease with Your absence.  How it continues, unswayed by my protests, unmoved by my tears.  And yes, I do spill tears for the loss of You, even when I know You can never be lost– to me or to anyone.  For, Apollon, You are the measure of this world, and it may not function without Your power, coursing through the currents of all life and matter.

I am grateful for the attention You have shown me, Aegletes, even as You shall wane from my awareness, and I am grateful for the care You have expressed.  As You complete Your journey, I hope You will think of me, remembering my love for You, and knowing that our home awaits You, come spring.


There are a few reasons that I’ve always thought this day was a beautiful day to look forward to, but since it has also become the final day/night of the Aegletia, it has taken on a somber quality which lends itself well to solemn goodbyes.  A beautiful day, indeed, and also my least favorite day, for at the end of it, I’ll say farewell to my Lord, until we meet again on a cool, spring morning.

But, though His most immediate presence will be absent from our world, the underlying power, which threads and harmonizes the Universe, is and will remain forever present.  These are the same basic resonances to which individual natural phenomena and individual lives are bound.  That intrinsic spark of Apollon remains within us, and all the world.  Through it, may we commune with the very core of ourselves, as well as with Him, and in this way, may we pass the harsh season.

As we say our goodbyes, it is good to remember that we are not alone in experiencing this absence.  The coming months are a good time to reaffirm our connections to those we know and love; to really cultivate those connections, so that when Apollon returns home, He will have many harmonious homes to return to.  In so doing, we may prepare for the eventual, and welcomed reintegration of His immediate presence into our lives.

Hail to Apollon Aegletes!

Hail to Apollon Hyperboreios!

Hail to Apollon Anax!

Hail and farewell!

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 9, 2019]

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Honor the Stillness, to Honor the Path

“Apollo, God of the Sun”, by Juan Manuel Molleví.

Apollon of Delos, and of Delphi, and of Hyperborea

Lighter of the Way, Revealer of the Path

Prince, Benefactor

God who warms, illuminates and inspires

Revealer of the way to the illustrious island

Who is generous, Who is kind

But stern, commanding absolute loyalty

Prince, Benefactor

God Who sears, and melts away impurity

Revealer of the way to the Truth of the individual soul

Who is fierce, Who is joyous

And immeasurably firm

Prince, Benefactor

God Who coaxes life forth with burning passion

Revealer of the way to the land of our descendants, yet unborn

Who is steadfast and unwavering, Who is prime and youthful

But deathless, immortal, yes, so very ancient

Prince, Benefactor

Lighter of the Way, Revealer of the Path

Apollon of Delos, and of Delphi, and of Hyperborea


Apollon’s is the hand which guides us, and leads us toward our ends. Whatever those ends may be, only He knows the extent to which we will be bound by them, thus our goal is to make the choices that will take us down His path, in eventuality.

But how do we know which choices are the right ones? By thinking them through, as any logically-minded Apollonian would; then, by applying our spiritual discernment, may we further inform our decision-making process, testing all decisions along side our established spiritual objectives. When both head and heart agree, then we know it is safe to act.

What our Lord brings into our lives, and what we often ask for, is many times, much more profound and difficult than what we have anticipated, whether it be a mental exercise, physical task. or emotional labor. It is imperative that we take the time to suss out our plans of action, rather than dive headfirst into difficult or unknown situations. Quiet and stillness of being will serve us well in these instances, for it is better to perfect a task after careful training, than to repeat a task for lack of preparation.

Calm and quiet. Let these be a mantra within you, to assist in your assessments, so that we may make the most informed decisions possible, and also so that we may do so within the sphere of Apollon’s influence, always to center His will within our work, and lives.

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 8, 2019]

Oracular Forecast – Telchinion through Daphneion 2019/2020

Bee on a flower, by Cassandra Correa.

Telchinion through Daphneion 2019/2020

 

Telchinion (XII) – Oct. 29-Nov. 26, 2019

(X) Khi, (Θ) Theta, (Π) Pi

Continue down the paths we tread, for we are doing our souls’ work, following the true paths laid before us.  We simply must continue.  We must never lose sight of ourselves and our destinies.  What awaits us is sweet, and satisfying.  Apollon, our Lord, and the other Blessed Gods, are with us, having blessed our works, and we should endeavor to live up to Their blessing, by completing our portion of the work before us, as we are charged to do.  The more obstacles we face, the more sure we should be of the choices we’ve made, for these are the trials we must face in order to claim our success.  There will be obstructions, and we will remove them, for they are not so troublesome, lacking the depth to keep us bound.  We do our Lord’s will when we do our own.

Hyperboraios (XIII) – Nov. 27-Dec. 26, 2019

(Γ) Gamma, (Σ) Sigma, (Z) Zeta

All that we do will be remembered.  We need not worry about how we will fare at the end of things, for our harvest will be ripe and bountiful, and all that we deserve.  When encountering hardship, or a simple impasse, make no drastic moves, and hold ourselves with composure.  The Bright One will shine upon all, leaving falsehood open, and vulnerable to the Light of Truth.  Do not turn away from the maelstrom upcoming.  Stand without fear, knowing that justice is our soft shore.  In flight, we may be struck down.  It is better to withstand, and survive.

Perihelios (I) Dec. 27 – Jan. 24, 2019/2020

(I) Iota, (T) Tau, (B) Beta

When in the midst of the grind, keep our goals in sight, and stay primed for success, so that we already know what course of action to take in the event of, thus mitigating the chance of crippling setbacks in the aftermath of such achievement.  Be not idle, therefor the work must continue.  We need not bear witness to the falling away of unnecessary adversaries, for our own endeavors keep us occupied.  Know that we will soon deal only within the frameworks we choose, and build.  Should we feel the need, the Lord of Pytho will hear our petition, yet must we remember that all success is ours to cultivate or subdue, and we must own our final result.

Prostaterias (II) Jan. 25 – Feb. 23, 2020

(Π) Pi, (Ξ) Xi, (B) Beta

Every step brings us closer to our end result, that which we have studied and striven for.  Never cease striving.  Weigh also the cost of pouring resources, whether tangible or intangible, into areas which never lead to a return on the initial investment.  Be honest about whether or not we can, or even want to repair whatever may be broken.  Perhaps it is best to be rid of the thing that hinders or harms.  Again, Pythios declares His assistance, and we are expected to uphold and fulfill our promises.

Daphneion (III) Feb. 24 – Mar. 24, 2020

(Γ) Gamma, (Ξ) Xi, (O) Omicron

A warning, we are given for the month of Daphneion, to not allow ourselves to rest upon the deeds of the past.  What has already occurred, no matter how glorious, no longer serves Apollon to the capacity that He wishes to be served.  Always look forward, keeping in our sights a new endeavor in which to showcase our talents, on His behalf.  Keeping our talents to ourselves does not even serve ourselves properly, and hoarding, even only our own intrinsic wealth, is detrimental to all in our vicinity.  Lastly, we can not expect to receive the best, when our only efforts are of the lowest caliber.

[Aegletia, Day 7, 2019]

The Destroyer With a Kindly Face

“Apollo, Holding a Lyre”, by Onorio Marinari.

For a god whose domain is largely focused on the natural forces which demolish life and form, it may seem odd that he is often portrayed looking beautiful and often kindly faced. I saw a lovely photo shared of the remains of an archaic statue of Apollon from Delphi, in which the person who originally shared it commented on how sweet his expression is. A person who is familiar with the sweeter and kinder images of Apollon may find it more appropriate for Apollon as known as a god of civilization and the arts than what they would think to associate with a god of destructive natural forces. Yet if we understand Apollon who is a god of civilization and the arts by his compassion and love to hold back and protect civilization from his harsher forces that it may flourish we can see very well how the god of nature’s destructive forces could have come as a being of beauty and infinite kindness and compassion.

This is more poignant when we understand Apollon as a god who has twice been exiled (once by his own means and once again into slavery by his father) and of the gods knows well concepts of suffering and tears, especially given spending a term in human existence which few gods have experienced in myth outside of Dionysos. Thus the myth brings revelation of Apollon as a god in contact with human experience. And yet unlike Dionysos, he is not a dying god. In fact he never matures beyond the transitional point between youth and manhood, eternally young and beautiful like a serpent with which he is intimately associated and form he has often taken that sheds its skin that it ever appears to be youthful and unchanged in the height of its beauty.

The most important thing that has been highlighted in myth regarding Apollon as a god for nature’s destructive forces is that while he can be violent and appear to be cruel in some instances if myth were taken literally, it rather highlights the distinction between organic and natural death/destruction by way of nature and that of murder. Apollon is represented in both instances at once. When he is exiled he is a murderer and thus he often penalizes murderers who come to him for purification in cases of accidental death especially and sentences them to travel afar in exile to form new colonies in penitence. He understands murder as one who has committed murder in the company of the gods, and as such he represents the understood distinction between murder and organic death/destruction. Apollon is presented in literature I believe as undergoing murder because this distinction of understanding is essential for his role in nature. For a distinction between natural death and murder myth is used to illustrate the differentiation as being fully formed in the domain of the god. Although Apollon has murdered and understands murder in myth, he himself abhors murderers and sends them abroad for their purification to remove the stain of their presence. Euripedes in his play Aclestis emphasizes this understood distinction in the domain of Apollon by his confrontation with impartial Thanatos (a distinction between the god which turns time into maturity and to the appropriate time of their death for when they are ripe for it as a god of the forces of nature that include time but also storms and ravages that consequently may take human life due to their fury, and the god who is death itself and is impartial fulfilling his duty to cut down life whenever he is sent to do so regardless of the means of the death). Here Apollon laments against the cruelty of life taken before its time is ripe. In some ways we can see Apollon as a god preserving civilization as an kindness to give humanity the fullest of time to age and die of the most natural causes rather than quickly slain by hostile environments within nature and predators.

Given this his role thus is with organic natural destruction that is a product of nature only it is reasonable that he would not bear a fearsome form as say Typhon does (it is a curiosity too, one that has been remarked by at least one academic at the closeness of the names of Typhon and Python/Pythios but usually with the regard that the myth of Zeus and Typhon was meant to parallel that of Apollon and Python. Nevermind that the whirling wind of Typhon bears links to Apollon’s similar role as a god of wind storms. The biggest difference however is that Typhon is entirely represented as a malevolent being of fearsome visage (despite being the offspring of Hera). It may be a distinction between Apollon as a god of organic and natural destruction and Typhon as being of wholesale destruction without compassion or pity? I have remarked in the comments of my previous posts that there are some strange mythic things occurring with Typhon and his relationship with Delphyne in myth (who resembles Echidnae in many instances in her form) and the odd line up with Delphic myth and the Homeric Hymn to the Pythian Apollon. If Apollon slew her when he was days old and yet he is said to have fled with Typhon emerging as a power with the other gods, to what purpose would Delphyne have been one to hide the sinews of Zeus and why would Hermes have retrieved them with Cadmus when it would be more logical that as a local daemon following Apollon’s rule at Delphi that Apollon would have had potential authority to retrieve them but is not present. It makes some odd things going on in the literary body regarding Delphyne and Apollon, and what possible relationship he may or may not have had with Typhon, especially with Apollon’s later alignment with the sun and it being mentioned to me that Typhon was too associated with the sun. Yet all the same the distinction that appears to be present between Apollon and Typhon as destructive beings is one that is controlled by the confines of nature and one that is absolutely uncontrolled devastation.

In this respect Apollon, unlike Typhon, does not appear in a form that is fearful and monstrous. He would be the exact opposite of such a form, and as such his kindness could be seen as the kindness that death brings to end suffering, and that decay brings to release souls into the next world as well as make fertile grounds for new life, and the harvest of flesh that humans slaughter even as they take too the harvest of grains. He cuts down all things at their ripeness. Yet it is to natural and benevolent purpose, rather than unkindness or any concept of evil. That is not to say that he was not understood as harsh. Organic destruction is harsh, and cannot be bargained with or changed. You cannot stop a storm from breaking, or water from breaking down stone and thus releasing important minerals even as it corrodes the land. Myth reveals this by speaking of the one time he tried to halt death for his favorite, king Cadmus which called of heroic means and thereafter divination of Aclestis by her part in bravery and Herakles for bringing her back from the gates of the underworld. Yet otherwise we do not see Apollon acting against the means of his own natural law, and one particular translation of Aclestis I had even had Thanatos translated (perhaps erroneously but still an interesting translation for these purposes) of Apollon violating his law. Regardless, the grievance of Thanatos for the interference of Apollon tells us a lot about what is expected of Apollon functioning within his domain. Same could be said in regards to the hostility of the Erinyes against Apollon in the Oresteia as a god who does not condone murder and yet directed murder and protected the murderer. Even though in myth these serve very important illustrations for other spiritual things going on that often involves apotheosis, it also highlights by example of what is abnormal by remarking upon it in the most extreme terms of hostility and grievance of that which was not considered part of Apollon’s function or nature.

In this case I cannot see Apollon as being represented with any other visage than expression of kindness or thoughtfulness. Even with his bow flexed he is often with a relaxed countenance and pleasant expression rather than appearing to be in any way moved by anger or aggression. His entire being is of benevolence, as is appropriate for a god of the passage of time in the harmonic movement of all celestial bodies and god of organic natural destruction. For he does not destroy life out of hatred or anger, or even in opposition to life for which he safeguards himself by withholding his destructive forces. In this respect I do not think he can be represented any other way except with expressions of serenity and kindness without moving off target. This is not to say that Apollon doesn’t anger and can’t be violent against transgression of natural/divine law. He is as much a protector of these laws as he rules a domain within it. Even in the instance of the murder of Clytemnestra we do not find him openly dispute that murder of kin is against nature and as such in punishable, rather arguing where the line has be drawn for accurate punishment as he also demonstrates that murder of mated/wedded pairs is also against nature. As a protector of these laws and as a protector god in general can be very fierce, but it is not what I would consider his primary state of being when it comes to destruction as it is not foremost an act of punishment but rather nature.

— Lykeia (8/31/2015)

Within the Center: A Meditation of Apollon’s Domain

I sit within the center of a song.  A song sung by my Lord.  Apollon strums His lyre to the tune of the living and dying of the world.  Inside me are the notes He coaxes forth.  My voice rises and falls.  My chest releases and contracts to the breath of nations in flux.  His is the Divine Song of the Kosmos, leading all things to their inevitable conclusion.

I sit within the center of a budding flower.  I am the stamen and pollen.  I am the pistil and the ovule.  I am the potential of a thousand, thousand lives after mine.  Lives of flowers and insects, mammals and more.  Earth gives up Her nutrients to me, so that I might live, conceive and die again, to be consumed once more, in another life and form.

I sit within the center of a beating heart.  This heart belongs to a man.  He is young and he is old.  He is elderly and fetal; all at once, a decrepit child to the Gods, no matter what his linear age may be.  And he toils away his short life, dreaming dreams that will not blossom until long after he has left the living Earth behind, and come to the Land of the Shades, where Persephone reigns.

I sit within the center of a shallow stream.  Water rushes all around me.  It carries with it the hope of all life, and the memory of all that has come before.  In this world, water is life, and no life can exists without it.  It is the sweat and the blood, and the fluid of sex.  Water is life; the lack of Water is death.  As Water flows, so too does the fate of the world of man.

I sit within the center of desire.  I am the pulse of a body next to mine.  I am the stroke of a finger upon glistening skin.  I am the soft caress of lips upon lips upon lips.  I am the breathlessness, and the deep moaning pleasure.  All around me, nothing else exists, and I am free in my wild abandon, to delve within my innermost realm, to see and to feel and to taste the soul of wanting.

I sit within the center of an empty peace.  This is the place of detachment from worldly concern.  I have found myself, and now need nothing but myself, for I am all things, everywhere.  And if I am all things, then nothing exists without me, and the world is a dream of my own making.  And if the world is a dream, then I will unmake it, and reveal myself to myself.  Unshorn.  Unadorned.  Unfathomable.

I sit within the center of the One.  Alpha and Omega.  Beginning and End.  Creation and Destruction.  Order and Chaos.  The hand strums the lyre, the song continues.  The Seasons dance.  I am the breath of a Voice, and the flutter of notes upon the breath.  I am the dancer, and the song.  I am the joy, and the despair.  I am Life, and I sit within the center of all that is, was, or ever will be.

© Columbine 2017

Leto: Death and Motherhood

“Apollo and Diana Slay the Children of Niobe”, by Jan Boeckhorst.

As I (Lykeia) am getting closer to the conclusion of my pregnancy, Leto has been on my mind a lot as she was during my previous pregnancy. I have been trying to find a way to work her into the domestic calendar of my household just because she is such an important goddess, and then it occurred to me, given her associations with the underworld and with motherhood, it would be the most appropriate to honor the goddess just prior to the sunset signifying the beginning of Noumenia as the goddess of the previous period that has died and gone and mothering the new month brought forth by Apollon Noumenios even as she mothered him. It would be akin too to a birth of a new day via the night shroud of the goddess who herself has been described as being darkly garbed in a very concealing and obscure manner.

In some ways the close association with motherhood and the dead is kind of an odd one, but yet in other ways it makes sense, especially given just how dangerous of a time child birth was in the life of a woman. So much so that the clothes of mothers who died in childbirth were offered to Artemis at Brauron. Likewise the transmission of new life into being is so like that of death that it requires a certain period of miasmatic influence from the presence of the spirits and beings associated with death as would a person upon dying (but perhaps less so since the purification period is considerably shorter than the 30 days following the day of a person). Still the very real link between birth and death as having a common access is one that really indicates strongly the nature of Leto as both an underworld goddess and a mother goddess. Especially in cults that believed in reincarnation, we could see this exemplified as a return of souls via the mother as portal. In some ways this may also be linked to an association with Demeter in which the grain goddess in some versions is also the a mother of the god Iakkhos in the netherworld, Demeter herself regarded at times as a mother of the dead likely in a similar manner in which the stones of the earth are linked to the bones of one’s ancestors. The dead and the tomb is intricately linked to the advent of new life. As a goddess linked to the tomb and underworld she is thus the ultimate mother of life. Even her mild, often sweet-tempered and calming disposition (when not riled into anger) is very suggestive of her underworld connection as a kindly being that brings rest and comfort to the souls of the dead even as she grants forth the souls of infants to inhabit the wombs of mothers.

It is of little wonder that creatures that go beneath into the hidden realms of the earth are largely sacred to her, such as bees (creators of sweet elixir) who build hives in the roots of trees, in the earth…and in the myth of her grandson Aristaios in the carcass of bulls, frogs which multiply in great numbers beneath the surfaces of ponds and are intimately connected with the underworld as we see in the play “Frogs” where they keep the nursery of Apollon’s reeds (another teasing connection of birth place and the underworld), earth-denning wolves, as well as serpents and shrew (especially in connection with her syncretism with the Egyptian goddess Wadjet) that likewise nest within the ground and spawn numerous offspring from these recesses. Symbolically then it may seem that the earth itself is spawning the young of these creatures from deep within.

As this makes her even more so a great candidate as the mother of Noumenia, even as her niece Hekate closes the month. This will be a great continuation of what I am already doing at the doorway in which she is the deity I address first in my prayers, as mother of the underworld, mother of mothers, mother of the portal and sacred gates. This has become such a significant part of my understanding of the nature of this goddess and it has had a profound impact on the way I am building my relationship with her and her presence in my oikos. Hail Leto!

— Lykeia (1/21/2016)

The Brides of Apollon: Reflections of Artemis for the Apollon-Artemis Unity

“Diana, the Huntress”, by Guillaume Seignac.

The unity of Apollon and Artemis, quite easily explained by those orphic hymns which call Misa (clearly derived from the name of Artemis as a daughter of Demeter) as the double Euboleus (Apollon as the swineherd son of Demeter fulfilling his character elsewhere in connection with this mysteries as a herder/leader and of a nature parallel to that expressed by Diodoros Siculus as the chorus-leader of Dionysos/Osiris) expresses the nature of Apollon and Artemis as deriving from the same source…mythically the womb of Leto. As such Apollon and Artemis have naturally reflecting features of their domains, which likewise carries over into a great number of shared or closely related epithets. Though they have distinct functions and personalities, they are inseparable and cosmically linked for that even as Artemis drives the prey in her hunt, Apollon receives what she had hunted. Thus establishing a never ending pattern of energy and the effect of the energy under control. Artemis hunts forth, and Apollon destroys. Even in their cult centers it is difficult to find the presence of one without the other.

Of course the masculine-feminine dichotomy is presented here a bit different than it has been presented with other such cases in which you have myths of a divine source being separating into another, usually the case of a male separating himself into a female. She is still part of him, and he is still part of her, but they are at the same time separate. Usually in such cases when this arises in which you have a male and female deity of the same source they will be bonded together in a marital or procreative relationship. However in the myth of Apollon and Artemis these twins fall into a different relationship that follows its cultural expression. Romans seemed to have attempted to modify the tones of the relationship a bit in the retelling of the story of Orion in which Apollon, jealous of the relationship between his twin and the hunter, tricked his sister into shooting him in a contest. Yet such jealousies in regards to the twins rarely crop up, though they are quick to defend each other and act for each other, as Artemis struck down Coronis.

Yet, there is something that ties into their relationship that reflects a reaffirmation of their unity in a vein similar to the procreative elements, and that lies mostly on the part of the maidens loved by Apollon. This is particularly the case when we see his first love, Daphne. This nymph was for all intensive purposes identical to the nature of Artemis. She too was a huntress who hunted with a band of fellow nymphs throughout Peloponnesius. Likewise, the wife of Apollon, Kyrene is also a double for Artemis in her persona and character. She too is a huntress/shepherdess who disdains the womanly arts to tend to the wilds. In fact, she was so closely associated with Artemis that she was said to have been given dogs by the goddess for her hunt. Of course there are figures who are less like Artemis with whom Apollon carries on a brief affair, but these two maidens figure prominently in his myths in Hellas, and Kyrene is the only marriage that he has had in myth, with full honors by the gods via the presence of Aphrodite creating for them their marital bed.

For Artemis there is a case, retold my Apollodorus in his the Library, in which according to an alternate version of the story of Callisto that the maiden was seduced by Zeus not in the form of Artemis, but rather in the form of Apollon. Herein we have the form of Artemis being replaced distinctly by that of Apollon. That Callisto would permit herself to be embraced by Apollon in substitution for Artemis suggests that the lines are easily blurred between what Artemis is doing, and what Apollon is doing and that for one of her followers to be embraced by Apollon was of quite a different nature than the same action being performed by another god.

I would like to reiterate that this post is not intended to say that Apollon and Artemis are one and the same in all ways, but rather that they are a male and female components of a whole for which we see too Apollon also called hunter like his twin, and Artemis as Despoina carrying on her lap the staff, likely of the kind which a shepherd would use that is aligned to the staff of Apollon Karneios. So they dance together in their cosmic actions. They do not need to be procreative, and in fact it is not necessary for their actions. Apollon is the destroyer at the boundary/gate, Artemis is the nurturing lady of the portal/doorway the huntress who drives forward all things through life. They do not need to be procreative together to do their parts harmonically as twin lights of the same function. Just their unity is brought home between the points of their twinship, and the character of the bride of Apollon. It is merely illustrated in this fashion through myth.

— Lykeia