Hello, dear Sisters and associates! The Ktistêsia is soon upon us, and we will celebrate the fifth full year of the Treasury’s existence!
Ktistêsia occurs on the ninth day of Treasury Month Daphneion (March 7, 2017) and is the celebration of the laying of the Treasury’s foundations, the Anniversary of our Sisterhood, and a time of gentle purification.
To mark this occasion, I give you the purificatory formula for the altar wash (of course, feel free to use your own formulas, should you feel so inclined), so that we may enjoy Daphneion, the month of purification, with freshly cleansed spiritual spaces, all in preparation for Theoxenia, at the start of the month after Daphneion.
The ritual of cleansing is simple enough, while it is the preparations for the ritual which should begin almost immediately. Here is the supply list:
A clean bowl that can hold a gallon of water
Something to stir with, like a wooden spoon
Something to spread water with, like a spray bottle and/or rag
1 gallon of water
1 small Citrine, and 1 small Obsidian (quartz can substitute for either)
1 single serving bottle of vodka (rubbing alcohol may substitute, just use less– about three caps full)
9 drops of Bay Laurel essential oil
9 drops of Lavender essential oil
1 tbsp of sea salt
A previously prepared sacred flame, and something with which to apply flame to the water, such as dried bay leaves or bamboo skewers
The first flowers of the season (optional after wash offering)
To begin, you must charge your stones with the appropriate energies. First, charge your Obsidian by the light of the crescent moon on the Noumenia just prior to the Ktistêsia. That is February 27, 2017, for reference. And on one of the remaining days prior to Ktistêsia, charge your Citrine by the light of dawn. After charging, both stones should be kept in a black pouch or cloth until ready for use.
On the day of Ktistêsia, place your stones at the bottom of your empty bowl. Pour the gallon of water over them, while visualizing the light stored within them mingling with and purifying the water.
Next, add the sea salt and stir until dissolved, while singing, chanting or praying to Apollon for the continued blessing of your altars/shrines, and the Treasury itself.
Now, pour in the vodka (alcohol), while continuing to sing, chant or pray. After that, add in nine drops of each essential oil (Bay Laurel and Lavender), while giving thanks to Apollon as you add each one.
Finally, light your bay leaves or bamboo skewers from your sacred flame, and plunge the flame into the water just as you would when making khernips. Your altar wash is now complete.
The next step is to use the altar wash to gently cleanse your altar or shrine, and the objects upon it. In order to do that, you should first strip the altar bare of all icons and accouterments. Set them aside.
If you have altar cloths in need of laundering, go ahead and put them in the wash. Simply add a cup of your altar wash during the rinse cycle. All icons, tools, and decorations may be sprayed down with the altar wash and wiped clean with a dry cloth. To do this, submerge an empty spray bottle in the bowl of altar wash, or use a funnel to pour it into the bottle instead.
Once you have all items removed from the altar, soak a clean rag in the altar wash, then proceed to wipe down your entire altar or shrine area. As you do this, receive the blessings of Apollon into your sacred space, and your life. Contemplate the continued existence of the Treasury of Apollon, and the ways that both it and you have grown over the years.
Now that all has been cleansed, return your icons and accouterments to their usual places upon the altar or shrine. You may give devotion and/or offerings at this time. In addition, if you have gathered the first flowers you have seen growing this season, now is the time to place them in offering upon the newly purified altar or shine, giving your love and adoration unto Apollon as you do so.
As a note, you can use any excess altar wash to wipe down other areas of you home, if you wish, or you may pour what is left over the thresholds leading into your home, or over any stairs outside that lead to your door. This completes the Ktistêsia ritual for altar purification.
Here are some simple ideas for a modern celebration of Prostateria, the Birth of Apollon. I usually want to have idea posts like this one published at least one week in advance of the day, but busy life got the better of me in this instance, so I’m posting this on the day itself. However, there is no reason why you can not celebrate this festival at a more convenient time for yourself. Everything is flexible. 🙂
For more information on Prostateria, see this post by Lykeia.
Decorating the shrine or altar is one obvious way to mark the occasion– gifts and offerings, incense and lit candles, or anything else that helps to remind you of the beautiful occasion that is His birth into the world. I recommend asking Him beforehand what He might like, through whatever method of divination or oracle that you prefer.
Prepare a meal for Him, a special meal that you only make on special occasions, so He feels welcomed in the best way possible.
Dress nicely for Him. It doesn’t have to be overly formal, but put on something flattering, and be sure to clean up a little around the house, especially in the room where His shrine or altar is located.
Express your love and appreciation for Him, with poetry or songs, art or dance. If you play an instrument, this is an ideal occasion to regale Him with your art form.
Include His Mother and Sister in the festivities. Invite Them also when you invite Apollon to be present in your home. His love for Them is well known, and any celebration in His honor is better celebrated in Their honor, as well.
And finally, one of the very best ways to honor Him on this day, is to decorate a doorway inside your home in His honor. Apollon Prostaterios is the Lord Before the Doors, who, by His liminal qualities, opens us up to all new possibilities. This is especially relevant as the moment of His birth opened the world to the many possibilities of His existence.
Doorways are inherently liminal spaces, existing between one room and another, or between the outside and inside. Birth is a liminal phenomenon, bridging the time between life and pre-life.
To decorate the doorway, you can use any number of things that you associate with new life life. Seasonal flowers or fruits are always nice, and depending on your area and climate, may be readily available. Barring that, you could use artificial flowers and fruits. Although, you might prefer to hang or wrap evergreens on the doorway, for they are symtbolic of the unchanging, youthful nature of Apollon. Evergreens are also usually still available in colder climates at this time of year, in the Northern Hemisphere.
Within the decorated doorway, as opposed to before the altar (or better still, at an altar erected in the doorway), you may choose to present your offerings and recite prayers or poetry, as well as greet the God, in welcoming.
Blessed Prostateria, and Hail to Apollon, on this, the day of His birth.