Dearest Apollon, we thank You for Your presence in our lives and in our homes these past nine days. We thank You for Your love and guidance. You are the well-spring of truth, and Your gentle hand leads us to be purified.
In all the days of our lives, You are here, distantly shining out upon the world, which is ours to behold, to love and to cherish. You are present in everything we hold dear and beautiful. Even as You have traversed the world, even as You now depart from the world, You rest within us.
Though we must prepare for the distance, we celebrate the nearness that shall exist, always, between us. We are Yours, from this moment and all moments after, and there is no separation that can diminish our love.
Blessed Lord, take with You our fond wishes, take with You our stalwart reverence. Take with You our assurance of home and hearth when You return. Take with You these offerings of the gifts given to us by You, and all the Gods. Blessed Lord, take with You our love.
Farewell, Dearest Apollon, Hyperboreios, Ageletes, Anax, and may we meet You again fondly, in the Spring flowers.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 9]
Though we reside far from one another, I know that we, my Sister’s, are connected. These bonds are like a tapestry that we weave together, and so we each lend a bit of our own power to it. Each of us comes with a skill, or a virtue, or a goal, or something else that our Lord requires. Each of us is needed by Him to complete this resplendent tapestry.
I am so glad to know each of you, and to get to know you more as time continues to pass. This fellowship is an invaluable part of my life, and I am made better person for having your friendship. It is with the trading of ideas, and the willingness to trust and to share, that our community is made whole and strong.
Ahead of us is the vast expanse of Winter, a time of great reflection. I sense a new type of cohesion building during this time, though it may not be revealed to us until much later. We have a lot to look forward to, and a lot yet to become aware of.
The world awaits us to leave our mark, as individuals, and as a collective. We can support one another in our ambitions, by continuing to listen to each other, and by our willingness to learn also. Together we turn the wheel, steering the ship of destiny.
We are here now, in this time ripe for our Lord’s re-emergence. We get to live in this time, and help Him to reaffirm Himself among this world’s people. We get to be a part of this process, because we ourselves are living it, by honoring Him with everything that we can– with our hearts, our minds, our skills, and all in-between.
I hope that we are able to continue growing within our tradition, and that we can plant seeds of Apollon’s worship throughout our lives and communities, even if it is only within our own homes. Every seed planted is valuable, and each one has a unique potential. We are all beloved of Him, and we all contribute to the furtherance of His goals.
And now I must go. Goodnight, my dear Sisters. May we all dream of Him as surely as He has planted His own dreams within us. And may we exalt Him forever, and ever. Hail to the Magnificent One, Apollon Aegletes, our Lord, Prince and King.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 8]
The House is full of lions;
ferocious and cunning and sleek
They lounge in rooms of plenty,
never wanting for fresh meat
Their coats and manes shine, splendid,
with the allure of those untouchable
And they are not offended,
so long as you’re unreachable
But, step foot inside their House,
and you will know them, surely
Not unlike the timid mouse,
you’ll die, or heed this warning
The House is full of lions;
savage and gentle and sweet
They are My finest weapons,
and against them none shall compete
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 7]
I am the instrument of my Lord
His breath moves through me, and I speak the melody of His thought
In the dance, He leads, like violins leading the score
His wrist and fingers command, and from me the pure sound is wrought
Keen is Apollon in the Hunt;
bow drawn and arrow flung, as swiftly as the lightning strikes
With penned words, both soothing and blunt,
He delivers with regard only to the right
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 6]
Aegletes teaches indirectly. He brightens what was once left dark and void. He glimmers from a far distance, drawing our attention, then driving our glances away, as He stings the eyes of those who dare gaze upon Him.
Aegletes is the setting sun. His path leads Him to concerns we may not fathom. His is a world between worlds, where the fates of all living and unliving dwell.
Aegletes will lead you to the islands; all those long forgotten parts of your own soul. He will make you see what you have avoided, and will not relent until you have accepted.
Aegletes disappears into your darkness, only to reemerge, brighter than your elation at His return. He knows what parts of you are too far gone to save, and what must be coaxed back into the light.
Aegletes is a healer, but He heals through the absence of medicine. He will not hold your hand, but will instead thrust you toward the trial you must face; and there will you find your remedy.
Aegletes is the promise of a new day. His is the security of knowing that the worlds will dance their spiral dance, on through the ages, while He Himself conducts the symphony which drives its movement.
Aegletes will ensure that we are not stagnant. He will pull and prod us through many terrible things. He will have no remorse for His actions, and we will lament His attention, many times.
Aegletes is our Lord and Master, and through His guidance we will master our own imperfections. He wills us to be strong, and by His illumination we sever ourselves from those fragile weaknesses.
Aegletes does not settle for less than perfect truth. He sets the example that we are to follow, and He never demands anything that He Himself would not do. His is the pride of the general leading polished troops.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 5]
I see Her there, seated upon the exposed root of a great and aged tree, its leaves turning the colors of blood and fire. She is in Her element, upon Her throne, a visage of civilization still apparent, yet noticeably porous; the act during the feast.
Her host, Her court, all make wide circles within their crowded space, trying to come ever closer to Her, but She is the distance between the stars, and none can traverse the few steps separating them from Her.
In that area, Her Son stands vigil, staring the crowd into submission. He will not allow any to draw near, and delights in the power to instill fear within those who love Her.
She laughs, having been brought to joy by the appearance of Her Daughter, wild and freely dancing with the forest nymphs. They circle Her, and the great tree with hands clasped together.
And Her Son turns to look upon them all, to smile in that sincere way that would cause a mortal heart to stop. And His Sister dares Him with Her haughty eyes.
With one graceful wave of Her delicate arm, the Mother, the Enthroned One, compels the crowd to stillness, while simultaneously inviting Her Son to rule the dance.
And when He takes up His lyre, the forest falls into silence. When He plucks the strings, all the nymphs and spirits swoon. When His voice carries over the tree canopy, all those gathered are entranced.
And She, upon Her throne, is pleased; served sweet water by the creatures of the forest, while nymphs adorn Her golden hair with night-blooming flowers, each as white as the snows which soon will fall.
This is the court of the Dark Mother, this is the feast of the wild things which dwell in the night. This is the host which follows Her over the threshold between Seasons. And this is the stark beauty of life.
Hail to You, Leto, Glorious Mother, and Mistress of Winter’s long nights.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 4]
I have to be honest. Artemis terrifies me. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’ve never really tried to have a relationship with Her and I feel like that may cause Her to dislike me. I know that She looks at me harshly sometimes, but that’s on me. There are many things which I could improve upon just to satisfy Her Brother more, and She knows that, and probably would rather I change my behavior than continue on not doing what I should to please Him. But that’s only one possible reason.
In my youth, I spent a lot of time with Hekate, but none at all with Artemis. I know that many of Their attributes intersect, and I wonder if the things I could have been learning from Artemis at that time were actually being taught by Hekate. It could be, though I do recall having sort of a passing interest in Her, that was due mainly to the general Pagan scene in my area, which was very much rooted in Goddess Spirituality. Artemis was always very popular in those communities. However, it never really went anywhere. I probably just didn’t know enough about the authentic Artemis for Her to be interested, especially since I was so thoroughly steered away from Reconstructionism at the time.
[I am not a Reconstructionist now, by the way, and I never have been. But, if I had not been so put off by the (probably exaggerated) stories I’d heard from other Pagans, it probably wouldn’t have taken so long for me to find my way to Polytheism.]
But what excuse do I have now? Well, none actually. I get a little shaky and apprehensive when I acknowledge that fact, because it means I have to do something to initiate and maintain a relationship with Her. And She’s still terrifying, but you know, when it comes right down to it, all the Gods and Goddesses are terrifying. So, what exactly is it that keeps me from delving into Her lore as readily as I delved into Apollon’s, or Dionysos’, or Zeus’?
I don’t have an answer yet for that. When I remember my younger years, especially those before I became a teenager, I can clearly see similarities between myself and Her. I was wild thing, at least in my own mind. I had a very strict mother, who didn’t put up with many of the things my sister had gotten away with before me. But deep in my heart, I felt more like some beast living its life free in the mountains. Oh, how I wanted to live a life like that! To be alone, and to roam one’s habitat without any expectation other than that of survival…
Of course, looking back on it from the perspective of an adult, I can see how terribly naive I was. I wouldn’t have lasted an hour, let alone a day, trying to subsist by myself in any fashion, anywhere. And indeed, Artemis is not alone. She may be free, She may be Her own Person, She may never, ever have to depend upon Anyone, but She is far from alone. And I doubt She would even want to be.
All of this is what’s been churning in my mind today, as we welcome Artemis into our homes for the third day of Aegletia. I know She has arrived here, because I very much feel like these thoughts were not instigated by me. Up until I awoke this morning, I hadn’t given all that much thought on how I would personally try to relate to Her today.
Certainly I’d devised some activities to share with my daughter, but that’s about as far as it went. There were no elaborate offerings planned, just some nice words and a quick prayer as I crawled out of bed. There was no desire for meditating on Her nature, because as I’ve said before, She’s terrifying, and She’d already been too close for comfort by having haunted my dreams last night. But, that could never be enough, could it? No. I don’t think so.
And that is why I have written the following brief prayer to show Her honor. Though I doubt I will have any kind of deep interaction with Her in the near future, what with my wimpiness when it comes to Her energy, I can begin to scratch at the surface of things unsaid, and things undone.
Brave Artemis, who did not shy away, even as the pangs of childbirth swept over Her Mother, I honor You, who with deft hands only just born, delivered the Light of the World into the world.
Confident Artemis, so sure of Her prowess, who did ask Her Father to sanction Her enviable freedom, I honor You, who roams the wild woman spaces, collecting the free maidens and keeping them free.
Loyal Artemis, who loves Her Brother beyond knowing, I honor you, who by some versions released the arrow which pierced the heart of unfaithful Koronis, thus protecting the Bright One’s honor.
Fierce Artemis, who, along with Her Brother, destroyed an entire clan for their offensive insult toward Their Mother, I honor you and the drive to mete out justice.
Artemis, I thank you for all that you do to keep the Cosmic Order. I thank you for the strength that you provide to women in need; all those who seek for your guidance. I thank you for the protection of the young, those like my own child, who know you well. And I thank you kindly for the light which you reflect, that of your dear Brother, shining magnificently upon this world.
Hail to you, Beloved Artemis! Hail and Praise!
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 3]