Apollon and Apollo

“Apollo”, by Anne Louis Girodet de Roussy Trioson.

I will be the first to admit I am not terribly well versed in Roman Religion, or at least it has been quite some time since I looked at it, but I doubt that fact is of huge importance to this subject because Apollo was altogether directly borrowed from the Hellenes. The Romans simply didn’t have any god that they considered the equivalent of what Apollon was. Thus all you see as a modification of the name in a Latinized form…and really a very slight modification at that. This is unlike other deities whose myths and attributes were conflated by the Romans with their own gods, which usually produced cults that had distinct differences from the Hellenic ones, but this was simply not the case with Apollo. Unlike the relationship Apollon enjoys with Helios, I have never particular come across anything like that in regards to the Roman Sol. The Roman philosopher in his book On the Nature of the Gods, does says that Apollo is the Greek name of Sol, but I hadn’t previously come across this statement elsewhere and as Apollo’s temple was not part of the city proper, as where would be any gods native to Romans, it seems like a dubious statement in regards to actual belief and practice. There was one scholar I had read some time ago who said that the Romans gave little attention to the features of Apollon’s cult which resembled features already in place with their own native god Sol (my paraphrase). I have no idea how accurate that particular idea may be though it is my general impression that the Romans didn’t make a particularly strong association between the sun and Apollo in their cultus to him, given the Latin epithets that we have don’t even address light much less a specific light-bearing body.

However, he was at one point associated with Luciferos who, though a light bearing god, has no association with the kind of solar light and was rather associated with the morning star, perhaps inspired by Apollon’s epithet Phosophoros. That Lucifer/Phosophoros was connected with the evening star and philosophical statements stated that the evening and morning star were the same it may allude to how the Hellenes and in turn the Romans perceived part of the relationship with the sun, as the star followed before the dawn and after the sunset in the twilight hours which are particular to Apollon Lykeios. That is to say that a recognition of this period between night and day, during the twilight hours, in which the planet Venus shines the most brilliantly. Whether or not either the Hellenes or Romans believed Phosophoros or Luciferos to be directly Apollon or Apollo is debatable, but the concept of the light as being in a related dance with the sun but not being the sun seems to be a common expression in both cases. However, it is possible that at least with the Romans they may have taken a more direct association between the morning/evening star and Apollon, if we consider Diana whom they conflated with Artemis and to whom they attached all of the latter’s myths and symbols. Not only was Diana called Lucifera, but also the philosopher Cicero attributes a particular manifestation of Diana as moving through the heavens as a wandering star. However we do find some divergence artistically as they seemed to have incorporated many elements of a solar idea, more to the point in expressing Apollo’s connection with the sun to illustrate the passage of time or as a vague kind of solar cross halo behind his head in mosaic portraits of the god. Typically though most images of Apollo were, like so many statues, copies from those made by Hellenes. The exception being Etruscan work, such as the statues which made the scene of Herakles and Apollon of Veii contesting over the golden hind. The Etruscan Aplu, or Apulu, is thought to have been borrowed from the Hellenes at a much earlier date and while he never had much presence in Etruscan myths and cosmology he had a popular cult with numerous votive statues among the Etruscans.

From my understanding much of the nuances related to Apollon’s domain among the Hellenes were pretty much stripped away down to a more simple presentation of the god, and one that probably colors how people perceive the Hellenic god today rather than embracing his complexities. There is no evidence of Apollo carrying over any of the characteristics of destruction, death and tombs that Apollon has, as well as his involvement with orchards, roads, pastures, herds, etc. Instead, we find Cicero dealing with some of these parts of Apollon’s domain as entirely separate gods.If that is how the Romans perceived them philosophically then that may explain why so many various functions of Apollon get neglected. That is to say that aside from Latinizing his epithet Phoibos into Phoebus and bringing it into use during the Imperial period, his epithets among the Romans are few and rather straight forward. These are: Articenens (who carries the bow), Averruncus (who turns away evil), Coelispex (who watches the heavens) which is most likely an oracular/divination  association, Medicus (doctor), and Culicarius (who drives away midges, a small two winged fly). Thus you have Apollo as an archer, oracular god, a deity that turns away unpleasant and evil things, and a healer (the latter associated with the former if you consider turning away disease in association). In the later case the Vestal Virgins were known to pray to Apollo Medicus by chanting his name. Apollo Medicus in association with the Vestals is perhaps the most well known forms of Apollo in Rome. It was primarily as a healing god that it has been speculated that he was brought into Rome and until the Imperial period during which Augustus identified himself with Apollo and brought his worship to greater prestige, including the building of the temple on the Palentine hill…outside of the original city limits as befits a foreign god.

It was mostly out of the interest of this emperor that Apollo was established further in recognition and popularity in Rome from what I can tell, who then instituted the gods place on the Palentine Hill separate from the Apollinare on the Flaminian fields. This of course should be distinguished from any temples that may have existed in southern Italy that were founded by Hellenic colonists. This is in a huge contrast to the numerous temples of Apollon of great antiquity scattered through Hellas and Ionia which is quite telling of how important this god was perceived in the two different cultures. Likewise, as far as I have come across the Romans only had one event that was especially for Apollo, the Ludi Apollinares, a series of games in honor of the god to celebrate his coming to Rome and relieving the people of the plague. This is in stark contrast to the numerous festivals held for Apollon throughout Hellas that honor mythical events and specific functions of Apollon’s domain rather than an event. However, poems seem to be largely inspired by Hellenic hymns, though the Roman ones seem to focus more on Apollo in association with transition of boys into adulthood than anything else from what I recall. Though many of the poems otherwise have a carry over from Hellenic poems and myths to the god. But the most celebrated of poems focused primarily on the successful maturation of boys.

As far as myths regarding Apollo, these were directly borrowed from the Hellenes though often retold in modified forms. For instance it is from the Romans that we find the instance of the death of Orion being attributed to a passion Apollon held for Artemis. This is a version of the myth that for all I can tell is distinctly Roman. Likewise the most well known version of the transformation of Daphne is from the Roman poet Ovid, and this is the only version in which I have read of Daphne being struck by a lead dart. In Hellenic versions of the myth she, a chaste maiden, runs as natural instinct would bid her and needs no prompting from a dart. In fact the whole lead dart thing I find utterly silly, especially considering that Daphne became his most sacred medium as his sacred tree. Seems hardly right for a myth to suggest that she was repelled by him by some negative juju. These are just a couple of examples, but certainly there are many others out there.

Another really distinct difference between the Roman Apollo and the Hellenic Apollon is that the former did not possess a domestic cultus. In Hellas Apollon is well connected the household as a protective deity in the form of a black phallic stone before the household entrance. This same image has been found on a plaque from the Palentinian temple but aside from a scene in which a youth and maiden are honoring the phallic stone draped with arrow and lyre to clarify its association with the god, there is no evidence of Apollon being associated with the roman household in this manner. Apollon has no presence as god before the doorway, lord of the gate. Likewise the beginning of the month, an important occasion among Hellenic households, did not honor Apollon Noumenios or any form of Apollo associated with the new month. Rather the new month was auspicious to Iuno. This completely alienates their Apollo from the most primary protections he provides, the protection of the household, which leads me to think that the protective element of Apollon’s nature was possible either ignored and given less importance. Of course Romans had many of their own gods, numerous actually, associated with every part of the house. That said, it seems strange that this form of Apollon that is so vitally important in the daily life gets forgotten aside from a small plaque on the Palentine temple.

In short I would say that Apollo in the end is more like Apollon-light, a watered-down version of Apollon that was suitable for the Roman needs, and as such is perfectly fine, but lacks the beauty, complexity and depth that Apollon contains within himself in my opinion. That is not to say that during the Imperial period that Apollon’s cult didn’t enjoy a great expression of beauty in Rome, but in the end it just doesn’t come across as being quite close enough to Apollon in Hellas.

— Lykeia

Noumenia of Aegletion, 2019

**Oracular Forecast – Seventh Year of the Treasury – Aegletion (XI), 2019

Aegletion (XI) – Sep. 29-Oct. 28, 2019

(P) Rho, (Ξ) Xi, (E) Epsilon

In the month of Aegletion, we can see ahead, the fruit of our labors.  We see all the potential, and all that is good within the promises we have made, and kept.  We may seek to quickly grasp what lay ahead, but that time has not yet come.  Patience is still required.  We must allow events to ripen, and roots to take hold.  This will ensure that the tree has a solid foundation, as it grows, branching toward the heavens.

Treasury Month Aegletion (XI), 2019 right-click to open

**All Oracular Forecasts are divined twice a year, on Aegletia 7, and Ktistêsia.

The Sacred Departure

“Apollo in his Chariot”, by Filippo Lauri.

My Lord, Your season comes like a gale force wind, ripping through branch and blade, bending all which is flexible, while breaking the rigid and the frail.

O, my Lord, a razor-wind is welcome, cutting into the breathless, struggling for air within a whirlwind. The sound surrounds, circulates, circumvents all thought and reason– a driving sound, full of hope and consequences.

O, Divine Lord, You have set out upon this world, and we feel the signs of You everywhere. Distance grows, as the night creeps upon the day– cool twilight our companion, our lives held in liminal sway.

Apollon, O Lord, You are the Storm, You are the Calm. You are the boundary of fear and desire. And all shall rejoice where You roam.

It is upon the Autumnal Equinox that Apollon begins His annual tour, before at last moving on toward His winter throne, at Hyperborea. This day is referred to in the Treasury as the Departure, and we honor Him solemnly, quietly, and introspectively, out of respect for this seasonal/psychological transition.

In order to ease our anxiety at His passage, we may focus on His lightbearing qualities, with particular emphasis upon the waning light of dusk, represented in His epithet, Aegletes. Even as the sun sets, we know the dawn will rise again. So it is with Apollon. He leaves us for a time, for His duties take Him elsewhere, to Lands with concerns beyond our own. But He always returns, in the spring.

As we prepare for the Aegletia, the coming days are crucial. Use this time to purify the energies of your home or ritual space, for last minute decorating, and for final planning of rituals and other activities for the Nine Illuminations. The time will move quickly, so be certain you will have what you need.

And when the sun rises on the morning of the First Illumination, know that your only concern should be preparing yourself, in all the ways that you deem necessary, for our Beloved Prince. In the subsequent days, you will be pushed and tested, as well as uplifted and celebrated, so taking this time to lovingly tend to your own needs will replenish you, so that you may in turn replenish those who share space with you, and who walk with you in reverence of Apollon.

— Treasury of Apollon

Sunweaver’s Aegletia Ritual, with contributions by Columbine – Reorganized

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

Photo art found via Google.

Big thanks go to Sunweaver for the original outline for the Aegletia’s daily/nightly ritual. We have shared it in previous years, but this time it’s been fleshed out a bit, to be more of a guide, rather than simply a framework.

[First Night]

As you know, the first night of the Aegletia is set aside for purification, of oneself, one’s home, one’s close relationships to those with whom we share space, our spiritual lives, and many other things. There are no set ways to go about this, and we have provided a couple of suggestions, here and here, though whatever is your own go-to method should work perfectly well. After such purification is complete, and you have made certain that your space is suitably tidy, you may begin.

Gather all celebrants together in your chosen space, or area of the home. At this time, you may offer khernips to all present, and gently asperge the ritual area and/or the altar(s)/shrine(s).

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Hestia, who tends the holy house of Lord Apollon, the Far-Shooter of Pytho, welcome to this house. May this place be made holy, as were the temples of old, with our work and your love.

“Blessed are the Gods of Olympos, Immortal Twelve, who have brought us to this moment. May our joy sustain us through the coming season.”

[To be recited Each Night, henceforth referred to as “The Litany”]

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, light of this world.”

(Celebrants respond– If you are alone, you will simply recite this yourself.)

“May we be kept within Your reach
Always striving to seek what is right
And what is good among all life situations.”

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, gleaming in the distance.”

(Celebrants respond)

“May Your trail illuminate the ways
That we may follow You
Even as the dark begins its reign.”

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, wolf of twilight.”

(Celebrants respond)

“May we never run fearfully from Your howl
Which is the precursor to Your embrace
And a warning to the many who cross Your path.”

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, perched upon a high throne.”

(Celebrants respond)

“May we bask in Your radiance, yearning to honor You
In action, as well as speech
For You are the arbiter of peace and righteousness.”

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, our Lord, our King.”

(Celebrants respond)

“Riding on the winds, holding sway over the Seasons
May we know You as intimately as the soil knows the rain
And may we dance to the melody of Your lyre, in Winter, once again.” (<—- End of “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights first candle)

“We have come to the First Illumination: Purification. This light, from which all others will be lit, represents the purity of the Son of Leto. We have made our home a temple and we await Apollo Aegletes, He who Illuminates.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the first night.

[Second Night]


(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights second candle from the flame of the first)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“We have come to the Second Illumination: Arrival. This light represents Apollon’s presence in our lives. Though we may not always see the flame, it still yet burns.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the second night.

[Third Night]


(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights third candle from the flame of the first, or second, depending upon the symbolism you wish to convey***.)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“We have come to the Third Illumination: Artemis. This light represents the everlasting warmth between Leto’s children: a bond that will never be broken.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the third night.

[Fourth Night]


(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights fourth candle from the flame of the first, or third)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“We have come to the Fourth Illumination: Leto. This light represents the indomitable Holy Mother from whom the blessed Twins inherited their fiery spirit.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the fourth night.

[Fifth Night]


(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights fifth candle from the flame of the first, or fourth)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“We have come to the Fifth Illumination: Awareness. This light represents the world as it is and not as it is imagined to be. Apollo’s light is truth.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the fifth night.

[Sixth Night]


(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights sixth candle from the flame of the first, or fifth)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“We have come to the Sixth Illumination: Beauty. This light represents the illuminated world, made brighter with art, music, theater, dance, and games.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the sixth night.

[Seventh Night]


(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights seventh candle from the flame of the first, or sixth)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“We have come to the Seventh Illumination: Fellowship. This light represents those who worship Apollon who, though we may be distant from one another, are brought together by our mutual love of our Lord.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the seventh night.

[Eighth Night]


(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights eighth candle from the flame of the first, or seventh)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“We have come to the Eighth Illumination: Quietude. This light represents the insights that will continue to grow as we cultivate a quiet mind, giving space within ourselves for Apollon’s gifts.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the eighth night.

[Ninth Night]


(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights ninth candle from the flame of the first, or eighth)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“We have come to the Ninth Illumination: Farewell. This light represents all that we will carry with us through the winter’s dark and Apollon’s absence as he rests in Hyperborea. We say farewell in gladness and joy, for He has left us with many blessings.”

Aegletia gifts should be presented to Apollon (and Artemis, and Leto) at this time, followed by thanks and much praise.

(Ritual Facilitator speaks something similaruse your own words whenever and wherever possible, for they will likely be more emotionally potent than most words written by others; even ours.)

“Hail to Apollo Aegletes, who casts away the shadow, or lurks within it! Hail to He whom brightens the way within our own darkness, whose passage heralds discomfort, before the Spring (or Autumn– remember, your current location is the centerpiece of Treasury practice) Return!

“Hail to Artemis, His Twin!

“Hail to Leto, Their Mother!

“So say we all!”

(Celebrants respond)

“So say we all!”

[End of Ritual]

(*** Lit from first candle = ‘May our endeavors spring from the purity of the source‘. Lit from the second candle = ‘May our endeavors build continually from our foundations‘.)

— Treasury of Apollon

Purification Ritual for Brides, Lovers and Consorts – Repost

Photograph found via Google.

This ritual is adapted from my (Columbine) personal purificatory regimen, for use by any bride, lover, consort, etc., of Apollon. Of course, any devotee may use this ritual, but it was adapted with His many lovers in mind. It is not traditionally Hellenic. It is shared for the Aegletia, to be done on the First Illumination: Purification. It is to be done before bedtime.

You will need:

A clean shower or tub
Sea salt
White clothes and veil (optional)
Two prepared purification waters of your choice; one to drink and one to pour over the body
An anointing oil of your choice (olive oil may be used)
A prepared offering of your choice
Bay leaves, and a means of burning and containing them

**** Special diet consisting solely of fruits, breads, herbs/spices, olive oil, honey, salt and water, should be adhered to (by those able and willing) for at least twenty-four hours prior to purification ritual. ****

First, wash the body and hair, shave appropriately (if you choose to shave), then scrub down your whole body with sea salt. Do not rinse. Dry and dress in white clothes, and a loose white veil.

Approach the shrine or altar. Propitiate the Beloved. Give thanks, and praise unto Him. Unveil, and drink previously prepared inner purification water. Anoint the body with an oil that both you and Apollon find pleasing. Begin purificatory visualization, breathing exercises (optional), and chakra cleansing (optional).

Visualize the flow of water, flushing away the impurities, leaving the body clean. Visualize the same for the auric and astral bodies. Continue chakra cleansing (optional), and breathing exercises (optional), while visualizing.

Visualize yourself ascending a tall spiral staircase leading to a spiritual abode where the Beloved waits for you, becoming more pure with each upward curve toward perfection. Visualize your arrival and the Beloved’s presence enshrouding you. Repeat these words: “I am whole. I am holy. I am perfect. I am Yours.”

Commune with the Beloved.

After your communion, awaken, and give thanks and praise unto Him. Veil yourself again, and ask that He create a shield from, and a system with which to flush away all future impurities before they have the opportunity to take root. Accept His divine touch. Give thanks and praise unto Him.

Present previously prepared offering, then burn bay leaves to seal your intent. Give thanks and praise unto Him.

Now, invite the Beloved to be received into your home on the second day of the Aegletia. Leave the shrine or altar and commence rinsing body and hair in a warm bath or shower, then pour previously prepared outer purification water over your body. Dry, dress in comfortable night clothes (or not, as the case may be) and sleep.

— Treasury of Apollon

Grounding, Daphne, and Elemental Convergence

“Daphne”, by Guangjian Huang.

Back during the early days, I would often mention, though not in any deep way, my affiliation with the nymph, Daphne. And although Daphne, in my understanding and doxa, was a hamadryad, it should be remembered that originally, and before her transformation, she was a naiad, a nymph of fresh Water.

So, as a tree, Water remained an important element in Daphne’s well-being, probably as much as the Earth she was rooted to. I imagine that being grounded in the way that she was, receiving her nourishment from the Earth below, was not exactly the same type of grounding that we understand today in our modern spiritual practices. I also imagine that when the sky opened up to shower her and the other trees with rain, from which moisture was needed, that it helped to wash away her troubled emotions, cleansing her and freeing her of much of the hurt and trauma she was subjected to during the pursuit from Apollon, which itself was the traumatic result of the vengeful Eros’ ire toward the God.

Water is often lauded as a carrier of emotion, and I have found this to be true in my own doxa and experience. Returning for a moment to the lore of Daphne, it is not surprising for me to realize that the pain and fear she experienced during her trial had to somehow be removed if she were ever to truly succumb to Apollon’s will. This necessarily happened after her transformation, because the perspective of a rooted tree, or hamadryad, rather than that of a free-roaming nymph allowed her to finally be embraced by Apollon’s fierce love.

Daphne must have underwent a series of dramatic purifications before she was able to accept Apollon’s love, and thus accept her fate as the vehicle of purification, through Him. In her final state, we see her in a sort of elemental convergence, where Water joins with Earth, and in turn joins with Fire as her leaves are burned to release the virginal essence still residing within her. This essence is then carried up to the realms of the Divine by Air, in the form of smoke lifting away impurities.

This, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of purification, for it is the convergence of all these elements together which fully expresses Daphne’s innate purity, which is then shared with us through the process of simply burning the bay leaves, or in another way by the preparation of khernips, which itself requires Water, sometimes salt, and usually burning herbs or bay leaves, which results in a small amount of smoke before being plunged into the Water, thus joining all of the elements.

So, in these examples, we see the importance of Water as the carrier of the pure essence of Daphne, and the vehicle through which impurities, both physical and emotional, are washed away.

For myself, as one who identifies in many important ways with Daphne, it is little wonder that Water should be so necessary in my own grounding efforts, for it is not only about the cleansing of impurities, but also the release of stagnant emotion, which through Earthen grounding alone I am unable to dispel. Thankfully, however, I was able to figure this out through meditation, trial and error, and some conversations with Apollon in which He all but hammered it into me that I am not, in fact, attuned to the Earth element in any significant way. This is made more evident in the make-up of my astrological chart, which sadly, contains zero Earth.

I’ve known this for a long time, but only recently have I put two and two together. I believe it is important for us as practitioners to be aware of the nuances of our elemental natures, and to take these nuances into account when attempting even the most basic of spiritual activities, such as grounding and centering. If we try to adhere to forms which are less compatible with our natures, we may likely find our efforts wasted, leading to more feelings of inadequacy and other negative emotions. It becomes a cycle of self-deprecation that can never help to improve our capabilities in the areas we wish to improve upon.

So, what does grounding through Water (for lack of an appropriate Water-based term) look like? For me, it may begin with visualization, as do many Earthen grounding techniques, but instead of visualizing a connection to the Earth itself, I see a pool of ground Water seeping up to cover my feet, or my entire body if I’m feeling particularly needy. I then try to synchronize the movement and flow of this visualized Water with that of my blood. Through concentration, the Water which comprises so much of my physical form then becomes inseparable from the visualized Water. It is at this point where I am able to release the pent up emotion, which is washed swiftly away, soaking deep into the Earth, along with the visualization.

There are other, more immediately physical ways to engage with Water in this way, such as running cool tap Water over one’s hands, then releasing the unwanted energy; or swimming, particularly in the ocean and other natural bodies of Water; and even standing outside during a heavy rainstorm. All of these I’ve found to be effective, and I will continue to experiment with other techniques as they present themselves, and as the need arises.

— Columbine

Statement Against Racism, Nationalism, and Bigotry

A human-sized replica of the Colossus of Apollonia Pontica, i.e. the 13.2-meter statue of Apollo the Healer which decorated the port of the Ancient Greek Black Sea city state of Apollonia, today's Bulgarian resort town of Sozopol. The Apollo statue was built ca. 480 BC by Athenian sculptor Calamis, remained at its original place for some 400 years, and was then taken as a war trophy to Rome where it stood for another 400 years. Two human-sized (1.6 meters tall) replicas of the statue were built in 2011 by Bulgarian sculptor Boris Borisov based on its images on coins minted by Apollonia Pontica. Photo: National Museum of History

In light of recent events and pervasive attitudes in the pagan community and society at large, the Sisters of the Treasury of Apollon announce that we stand united with our community against racism and bigotry. The Light of Apollon and His lessons are for all people, regardless of race, country of origin, gender, sex, or sexuality.

Racism and bigotry in any form have no place in our community. Our community is, and will remain a safe place for PoC (people of color) to practice free from harassment. Anyone who believes themselves to be superior to another simply by virtue of the color of their skin is not welcome among us.

Our practice is not restricted to one group, ethnicity, or nationality, but is shared with all people.

— The Sisters of the Treasury of Apollon (4/22/2019)

Touched… or… The Hands of the Gods Touch Others, Through You

By @bryanadamc, on Instagram, found via Google.

When we are called by our Gods, oftentimes our first instinct is to run, to flee from Them and Their immensity. Sometimes we get far, other times not. Sometimes we spend years hiding for fear of being touched. Right now, as I type this, Apollon is within me, and I ride the current of His inspiration. His power is pervasive. I feel it in my skin, and in my breath. It compels me to do many things, to take many actions in this life of mine that perhaps I would not take, otherwise. To be a distributor of His word is one of them.

Oh, I would love Him still, would honor Him still, even without this power coursing through me, for I have loved and honored Him in times when this power was absent. I know, truly and fully, that my life would be made easier without this constant flow of Himself into me. But He is here, within, commanding that I speak His thoughts, and sometimes His words, for others to know.

Even now, after having become His in all possible ways, I sometimes run. I sometimes make walls between Himself and I. Apollon annihilates those walls. There is no barrier that He will not destroy for the sake of knowing that I am His– to hold and to touch, and to command. And in return for my willingness to let Him lead, I receive His boundless love, and His unfettered devotion.

To be touched by a God is to form a reciprocal link with Them. It is to house Their power, and Their thought, and Their smiles and laughter and pain and frustration, also. It is to see inside Them, to learn from Their mistakes, and to know Them in many intimate ways.

They will know you also. They will explore your fantasies and your desires, and They will hold onto your secrets and your hidden emotions. To be touched is to be as one, and to be at home within the halls of Another, as They make a home within you.

And there will be moments when They will ask that you open those halls, both Theirs and yours, to others. Sometimes these will be other Gods, and sometimes they will be human, or spirit– but open the halls you will. By Their insistence, you will open the halls to allow others to partake in your knowing of Them. You will teach by example, and sometimes through direct instruction. But know that though you may be a teacher, it is the God who shall lead the way. Through you, They will touch others.

You may not even always mean to act in such a capacity. For you, the sharing of Their touch may be completely accidental. In such times, you may begin to fear your own mark upon the world, even if restricted by choice or necessity to a small sphere of influence. Actions which you have taken may echo across vast distances and leave traces in the most unexpected quarters. This may cause you to feel that the consequences of your intent are beyond your control. They are. Though we may fear being a vehicle for Their touch, we must not allow the fear to dictate our actions.

Every action that we commit has the potential to be a holy one. Every word that we speak can cause a hundred hearts to melt into Divine hands. Compassionate words and gentle assistance will bring seekers into the fold of the Gods we love and serve. It is not up to us whether this happens, but as vehicles of our Divine Beloveds, we should try to be aware of its potential.

To be touched is to emit Their power in all that we do and are. So, we must be careful. So, we must be wary. Yet also must we be receptive to the needs of our Beloveds, and of those whom They would approach. Because sometimes, we will be the bridges over which They will traverse, in order to grasp the hand of another. And because we are touched, we will feel all the closer to Them, as They extend Their power, and Their embraces forward.

— Columbine

The Aegletia’s Food Guidelines

An Autumn table setting, by Justin Walker.

A couple years back, I (Sunweaver) wrote a short ritual for the Aegletia and felt that it was time to add a little bit to it. One thing I’ve always wanted to have as part of our tradition is some shared foodways. Given that we have many different backgrounds, that’s not easy, but the concepts surrounding the Aegletia give us the opportunity to develop some common culinary practices. I’ve outlined some ideas and will be testing them out this year, but I would also like to invite all of you to share your thoughts and maybe even recipes. The great thing about this is that you can do as much or as little of this as you want to and you should be able to accommodate these ideas, even with a tight budget. I’ve been there myself and I tried to write these guidelines with a mind toward compassion for those of us with smaller budgets or who may not have access to a wide variety of ingredients. First, I offer a blessing for food, which I like to say before a sacred meal. There’s a long-ish list of blessings, but you are meant to choose from those that are relevant to your particular meal. If you don’t have beans, for example, you can leave out the one to Kyamites.

**** Blessing the Meal ****


We give thanks to you, Immortal Gods, for the bounty before us.

May you bless our meal, so that from it we might gain strength, health, and long life.

We give thanks to Hestia, for blessing our hearth.

We give thanks to Zeus, for bringing the rain.

We give thanks to Apollon, for healthy crops and herds.

We give thanks to Dionysos, for the gift of wine.

We give thanks to Demeter, for the fruits of the Earth.

We give thanks to Athene, for the gift of olives.

We give thanks to Triptolemos, who taught us to farm.

We give thanks to Aristaeos, who taught us to make cheese, keep bees, and tend animals.

We give thanks to Kyamites, who taught us to grow beans.

**** Guidelines for Eating During the Aegletia ****


First Night: Purification

Drink nothing but water today and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Meals should be high in fiber and plant-based. If you have any sensitivities, such as lactose intolerance, avoid those foods especially today. Avoid added and refined sugars, where possible, as well as highly processed foods.

There are a lot of “detox” foods and drinks floating around, but the science behind them is dubious, at best. Nutritionally speaking, water and fiber are your two best weapons against toxins in the body. Our bodies are usually very good at expelling toxins, but need water and fiber as the vehicle with which to do that.

Example: Seasoned chick peas, herbed barley, roasted peaches with cinnamon, and fresh salad.

Second Night: Arrival

Include dates, which Mother Leto ate upon Lord Apollon’s arrival. Include imported foods to remind us that Delos is barren and produces no food for herself. For our purposes, any food not produced locally or regionally is sufficient to consider “imported.” I live in the American South, for example, so anything produced west of the Mississippi river and north of Kentucky would be considered outside my region and, therefore, “imported,” even if it’s not necessarily from another country. The distinction isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but rather one you can make for yourself based on what you would consider “regional.”

Apollon’s arrival may be cause to have a somewhat bigger, nicer, “Sunday Dinner” sort of meal, since we are inviting our Bright Lord on this day.

Example: Baked chicken with dried Mediterranean apricots, tropical fruit salad, brown rice or barley, steamed broccoli, and whole dates.

Third Night: Artemis

Food that has been caught from the wild or hunted would be appropriate for the third night, but availability and expense of something like venison or wild-caught fish might prevent this option from being a practical one. Instead, if you live in a household with children, it is their day to choose their favorite meal. Otherwise, a favorite meal from your own childhood, one that inspires fond remembrances, would also be appropriate. If you have pets, this is a good day to give them a special treat.

Example: Hot dogs, sweet potato fries, and baked beans with finely chopped onions and apples. For the dog: a small serving of unseasoned sweet potato, thoroughly cooked and skinned.

Fourth Night: Leto

Once again, this is a good night to serve dates, for the same reason as we did in the second night. This night, it is the mother’s night to choose what’s for dinner. If you are not yourself a mother or no mothers live in the household, you might choose something that reminds you fondly of a motherly figure in your life. This does not necessarily need to be your own mother, just someone who nurtured you as Mother Leto nurtures Her own children and those devoted to Her. Drink only water today and kindly offer water to others when you can. The people of Lycia denied water to Mother Leto, but water is for everyone and should be shared freely.

Example: Chopped dates with roasted nuts, ratatouille, barley with herbed pesto and flax seed.

Fifth Night: Awareness

There are some foods that are supposedly good for your brain and may help you be more alert and aware. The scholarship on this may change over time and we can always make adjustments if that happens. A modest amount of caffeine is appropriate today and foods like flax seed, almonds, eggs, beets, fatty fish (such as salmon), walnuts, fresh fruit, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grains, broccoli, carrots, winter squash, and dark chocolate are purported to be good for concentration, focus, and memory.

Example: Spinach/tomato omelettes, whole wheat carrot nut muffins, orange juice

Sixth Night: Beauty

For the sixth night, it doesn’t matter what you decide to make as long as you put some effort forth into making it look nice. Make food with lots of bright, natural colors, make use of a little garnish, arrange the food nicely on the plate, tidy up the kitchen table, put out the good china. Even if you’re having chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese, put a sprig of parsley on top of that mac and cheese; make it look a little bit fancy.

Example: Purple cabbage with onions (sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper); steamed carrots tossed in honey and butter, baked herb chicken, parsley garnish.

Seventh Night: Fellowship

This is a good night to invite a friend to dinner or have a potluck with friends. You could even share food with friends and neighbors. There’s a lot of room for creativity and opportunity for strengthening friendships on this day.

Example: Chili and cornbread, but with friends.

Eighth Night: Quietude

For the eighth night, you will want to avoid caffeine and have foods that are calming in nature. Again, like the fifth night, our ideas about what foods are meant to have a calming effect on the body and brain might change over time and we can adjust accordingly when we have new information. As of now, however, you might consider asparagus (which tends to be expensive this time of year), avocados, berries, oranges, foods containing zinc (oysters are suggested, but I find them repulsive), walnuts, almonds, salmon, spinach, turkey, and oatmeal.

Example: (For breakfast) Oatmeal with dried berries and walnuts, sweetened with a little honey. (For dinner) Spinach salad topped with sliced almonds, mandarin oranges, avocado, slices of grilled or baked turkey, with a raspberry walnut dressing.

Ninth Night: Farewell

Hera gave an apple tree to Zeus as a wedding gift and it grows in Hyperborea under the heavy guard of the daughters of Atlas, the Hesperides, and the dragon Ladon. Not even Herakles could go and get any apples himself (having had to ask Atlas to do so), and even if we could, we would have to return them. We do, however, have delicious mortal realm apple trees, so thank the Gods for that! We can eat “golden,” yellow, or green apples on this day to remind us of the probably way more amazing ones that grow in Hyperborea.

This is also a good night for simple comfort foods, since we will soon be parted with our Bright Lord, the Discerning One. This may mean different things to different people, depending on your upbringing, but warm soups and stews or any sort of fare that reminds you of the comforts of home will do nicely. This is not a day for fancy food that takes hours to prepare.

Example: Grilled cheese and tomato soup with baked cinnamon apples.

— Treasury of Apollon