By Sunweaver, for the first day of Aegletia.
We come to Aegletia 1: Purification, so that we may turn our minds and hearts toward Lord Apollon, the Purifier, and that we might be freed from the impurities that afflict us. Our afflictions aren’t limited to physical illness; we can harbor ill will, greed, envy, doubt, sloth, and more just as easily as a virus or a cancer. Our Lord offers us the light of awareness so that we can cleanse ourselves of that which hinders us and prevents us from recognizing our true and divine nature. When we are true to our nature, compassion and honesty come easily. We need not push away ill will or doubt; those are a dreaded Python that constricts us and consumes us, but one that can be burned away with His light. Our choice is this: Do we open our eyes to His blessings or do we turn from Him and allow the sickness of hatred and delusion to slowly kill us?
It seems like it ought to be a pretty simple choice, but it’s all too easy to get caught up in the quick high of self-righteousness and a much harder road to reflect on how we can change our actions and our attitudes for the better. Right now, right very now, someone is wrong on the internet. Someone has said something ignorant, plain stupid, hateful, factually incorrect, or just something that disagrees with somebody else’s worldview or opinions. I’d point out examples, but there are too many to count. Someone, somewhere, is being wrong on the internet or at work or in your family or somewhere else I haven’t thought of. Temporarily, it feels pretty good to speak your mind and be right at the person being wrong, but more often than not, a person will simply cling tighter to their beliefs or opinions rather than consider yours. When we greet someone with a shaking fist of righteousness, we get conflict in return. When we open our hands and speak with patience and compassion, that’s when productive dialogue can happen. That’s not to say that holding ourselves to a higher standard in the comments sections will necessarily lead to anybody else seeing the light, as it were, but we can at least cleanse our own souls by not being hateful and reactive, even when they’re really, really wrong and we can walk away when the conversation is no longer productive.
When I am out in the world or out in the internet, I see it as my sacred duty as a Priestess and Treasury Sister to hold myself to a higher standard when disagreeing with someone. I can’t say that I’ve perfectly fulfilled that duty and I’ve gotten myself caught up in ridiculous arguments about who’s more right, but I do, at least, try to be polite about it and I eventually remember that I don’t have to be right about everything. Somebody somewhere is going to be wrong about something. That’s just going to happen and if I cling to being right, I’m going to blind myself to new perspectives and ideas.
This doesn’t mean that I’m going to roll over and show my belly to hatred or injustice. That does mean that I’m going to try to handle those things with compassion and with xenia in mind. I don’t have to stoop to anyone’s level and another person’s poor behavior doesn’t have to ensnare me into doing something or saying something unwholesome. That also means having firm personal boundaries. I’m not going to engage with someone who acts out in a harmful way toward me and I’m not going to stay in a situation that’s harmful. I’m not going to put my kids, my family, or my friends in danger, either, and I will always reserve the right to say no or to walk away. Being polite to others is, for me, a matter of respect and I sincerely believe that everyone is deserving of kindness, but I’m also not going to be a doormat. Xenia works both ways and though that middle way is not always easy to see, Lord Apollon gives us the ability to be aware of when we stray from that path. Fortunately, the Moirae will be happy to present us with plenty of opportunities to practice.
I pray, then, that Apollon Aegletia purifies my heart and mind of the afflictions that obscure my true nature. May His light cleanse me of ill will, doubt, delusion, and all that is unwholesome and unlike the Bright One, son of Leto. May his blessing shine through me, even as he recedes to His place of rest in Hyperborea. May my speech and actions be wholesome and my body purified. May I shine as my true self, free from affliction, a reflection of His radiant glory. So say we all.
— Sunweaver, Aegletia [Day 1]