Noumenia of Treasury Month Karneion (VIII) – (7/14/2018)
**** Meadow Saffron/Tau ****
“Selene moves silently across the night sky, following a path of ages you can not comprehend. With Her light, She invites you to follow after.
“Over stark landscapes, and desolate streets. Through the ruins of once affluent neighborhoods. Nowhere will escape the destruction.
“You will find your nation and your people in a despair that accompanies only the fallen. And with them, you will walk between the flaming towers, and their light shall cast down upon the land with glee, and ash shall follow in their wake.
“But for the few, there will be peace in due time.
“Let the world defend itself. Let the rain of truth fall now upon the world.”
Noumenia of Treasury Month Batrachion (VI) – May 16, 2018
**** Knight of Pentacles/Beta ****
“Eyes watching from distant shores, where no trouble erodes the sandy beach, are drawn by wonder and awe. But watching so carefully may lead one to not accomplishing one’s own ends. For hungry eyes may fall into an idle envy, and one’s own healthy ambition can lead to jealous grandeur. Watchfulness is good, but take care not to watch yourself into a nightmare of your own making. Tend to yourself, and know that the hands of the Gods are open. Reach for Us in your longing, and in your desperation. Reach for Those who would guide you back to yourself.”
15th day of Treasury Month Pytheion (V) – (5/01/2018)
“A house built of lies is woven strong with words threaded upon a cloth of deceit. That which you wear becomes you, but the cloak of pride is blown away at the advent of the approach of truth. Merely its proximity prompts action to delay its arrival. These are but futile dreams, rendered into oblivion by the path, revealed. Walk the path, and throw away the lies that have kept you warm. I am here now to brighten the way before you.”
This particular adaptation of the holiday is what might be called the “back half” of it. The front half, or first night, is a little more low-key and involves whatever elements of purification and/or katharsos are appealing to you. For me, I make the panspermia, a terrible name for an excellent food, in which I cook some of the dry beans I’ve saved since last Thargelia and save some to plant after blessing them on the second day. This is a good time for spring cleaning and while my focus tends to be on my pantry, this is also a good time to think about other decluttering efforts. Others make poppets to replace the traditional sacrifice, which is another excellent way of going about it. The ancient celebration involved driving the ugliest man out of town with rocks and switches. Tempting though it may be, I don’t recommend that as a contemporary practice.
The first night is also a great time to honor both Leto and Artemis. We could think of this as sort of a Hellenic Mother’s Day, if that’s a metaphor that works for you. Since kharis is one of our foundational principles, a gift to charitable organizations that help mothers and women is as good a sacrifice as any. Charity Navigator compiled a list of highly rated charities that benefit women’s equality, rights, education, and social services, (retrieved 27 April, 2018) for Women’s History Month. If that kind of donation isn’t possible for you, remember that the Theoi are more interested in the content of your heart than the content of your wallet. Any kindness toward women and mothers, including yourself if that describes you, is appropriate if you take care to remember the Labor of Leto and Artemis’ clever midwifery.
In regards to seasonally-appropriate holiday food, I have always celebrated Thargelia as a feast of last fruits on the first day and a feast of first fruits on the second day. “First fruits,” which may neither be first, nor strictly fruits, will vary depending on where you live and what the weather has been. In Middle Tennessee, it’s strawberries and a number of green things such as kale and green onions, which makes for a light and fresh lunch.
This ritual is meant to be a guide, but there’s room for a great deal of adaptation, as best suits you and your needs.
Hestia, who tends the holy house of the 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.
[host lights a candle for Hestia]
Blessed are the Gods of Olympos, Immortal Twelve, who have brought us to this moment. May our joy sustain us through the coming season.
[host lights a candle for the Immortal Twelve]
Blessed are You, Apollon, light of this world, born to queenly Leto.
[host lights a candle for Apollon]
Delos was very glad at the birth of the far-shooting lord. But Leto was racked nine days and nine nights with pangs beyond wont.
Because Eilithyia, goddess of sore travail, had not heard of Leto’s trouble.
As soon as She set foot on Delos, the pains of birth seized Leto, so she cast her arms about a palm tree and kneeled on the soft meadow while the earth laughed for joy beneath.
Then the child leaped forth to the light into hands of Artemis Midwife and all the attendant goddesses raised a cry. Straightaway, great Phoebos, the goddesses washed you purely and cleanly with sweet water and swathed you in a white garment of fine texture, new-woven, and fastened a golden band about you.
…and Leto was glad because she had borne a strong son and an archer.1
We offer the Eiresione (“ir-es-ee-on”), here a grapevine swathed in wool, and the first fruits to Phoebos Apollo, slayer of Python and ripener of fruits.
The Eiresione brings berries and bread,
honey and strong wine,
so you go drunk to bed!2
We now come to the blessing of the meal:
We give thanks to you, Immortal Gods for the bounty before us. May you bless our meal 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 Apollo 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.
“When you have put away craving for sweet food, come with me singing the hymn, Ie Paean!, until you come to the place where you shall keep my rich temple.” So said Apollo.1
…and so say we all
- Adapted from: Homeric Hymn 3 to Delian Apollo. Lines 90-129, 495-505
Anonymous. The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Homeric Hymns. Cambridge, MA.,Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.
- Adapted from:
Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion. Harvard University Press; Cambridge, 1985. p. 101
Fourth Day of Treasury Month Pytheion (V)
This entry is the interpretation of an oracle using bibliomancy that was performed on 19 April 2018.
“The act of communing with Apollo should be considered a positive loving art that treats our relationship with Him as living, growing thing that can be honed over time and requires regular work to maintain.
“Formal communication (through verbal/spirit communication, tarot cards, bibliomancy, or any other medium) is benefited by following a consistent ritual. This not only serves as an amplifier for communication, but the use of traditional practices such as ritual cleansing, offerings, etc, can aid in establishing a safe space of mutual consent and understanding of the boundaries of both parties, especially for those new to practice.
“It is important to Apollo that we understand that we are not merely tools of his divine will, but active participants in our own practice. Our involvement should not compromise our mental, physical, spiritual, emotional health and we should always practice diligent self care, especially as we are asking more of ourselves by opening up to divine communication.
“The goal of this communication should ultimately be to improve upon ourselves, in order to live a more moral and conscious life that improves the quality of our lives and encourages veneration of Apollon.”
Today is Theoxenia on the Treasury’s calendar. Theoxenia is the day when Apollon returns to us from His abode in Hyperborea, where His focus was no longer upon the everyday needs of mankind, but instead set upon the many, many deeply primal aspects of creation, over which He governs. It is widely accepted that during this time, Apollon is absent from our world, yet, as many devotee’s of the god will know, He often is most keenly present in our lives during His Hyperborean stay.
This might be due to the nature of the connection that intimate devotees share with Him. Not only are we in constant contact with Him, what we experience of Him during the Hyperborean season especially, is well below the surface of what He shows to many others. He is Lykeios and Telkinios, the wolf and the wind, ripping and cutting away the weak, in nature. He is the blizzard that whites out all before you, leaving you stranded yet totally enveloped by Him. He is also the spark that dwells in your heart and never fades, its light always there to show the way through the darkness. And in this darkness, in this reality of the Hyperborean season, we walk a path that He has laid out– a path that leads to Him.
So, as He does each year at the height of the winter darkness, Apollon seizes the hearts of many new devotees. These will be led through the wilderness of the Hyperborean season, and out through the gates of coming spring. And then they will know Him in His completeness, as the light grows with the passage of time.
When He arrives at the doors of the House of Apollo, made up of the households and individuals dedicated to Him, He carries the enthusiastic and unfiltered love and adoration of those whose hearts He won in winter, who will be added to the glorious collection of souls that greet Him on Theoxenia. For, as befits a conqueror, Apollon comes bearing the fruit of His conquest.
May we all celebrate the inclusion of our new fellows among the blessed of Apollon. May we welcome them openly, and share what we have to share without hesitancy. And, may we love them under the light of Apollon, as the members of His family that we all are. For some, walking an Apollonian path may be difficult, and they may desire varying amounts of guidance. May we be gentle in our interactions with them, remembering always, that once, many of us were conquests, too.
Hail Apollon! Blessed Theoxenia!
Noumenia of Treasury Month Theoxenion (IV): Theoxenia – (3/18/2018)
Blessed Theoxenia, everyone! May Apollon’s return bring with Him the warmth and radiance of the coming spring! If the flowers have not already begun to bloom, they soon will, and so too will our hearts, full with His affection and grace.
This day marks a turning point in the year, wherein the wild, whirling twilight of Apollon’s primal nature is subdued by His more civilized and anthropomorphic qualities.
These attributes once awakened the oracular powers of the Pythia in Delphi, gave strength and cunning to men during the war campaign season, led farmers to sow, tend, and reap their crops, as well as to raise livestock for food and sacrifice, and much more. Our Lord Apollon is the very soul of civilization.
And so, in honor of our Prince, we welcome Him back into the world which He shall again permeate fully, by welcoming Him back into our homes, for we all are the house of Apollo.
The Lord returns again to the house of Apollo. May the house of Apollo open its doors.
Theoxenia Ritual Outline, by Sunweaver
Hestia, who tends the holy house of the Lord Apollo, the far-shooter of Pytho, welcome to this house. May you, and may Zeus, the all-wise, draw near and bestow your blessings on this place and on all who enter in peace and goodwill.
The Temple at Delphi faced West, welcoming the coming night, the darkness of mystery and the freedom of letting go. That was the house of Dionysus then and this is the house of Dionysus now. We welcome him with an offering of wine.
Dionysos Lyaeus, hear our prayers,
Blessed is the son of Zeus and Semele
Who frees us from care, we offer this to you,
May we be blessed with your favor.
These past few months, we have celebrated the blessings of Dionysos, feasted and reveled in freedom and good company. We lit candles in the moonless nights of the darkest month, reflecting our own divine light and in hope for peace and freedom for all people.
The Temple at Delphi also faced East, welcoming the light of the rising sun, the light of insight and order, the light of reason that makes civilization possible. That was the house of Apollo then and this is the house of Apollo now. We welcome him by lighting a candle in the East.
In those days, the Pythia made and broke nations and kings with her words. She was blessed by Apollo, inspired through the pneuma that rose up from the Earth. The Temple is now broken and the pneuma no longer rises into her holy sanctuary, the adyton, but we offer this incense in thanks for that which Apollo will illuminate for us and in remembrance of the Oracle.
Phoebos Apollo, hear our prayers:
Blessed son of Leto, god of Prophets who sees afar
May I go forth this day with my eyes open,
To see each moment as it truly is
May all beings be well,
and may Apollo bring them to His light
And may we be blessed by all the Gods of Olympos
We have now come to the blessing of First Breakfast:
We give thanks to you, immortal Gods, for the bounty before us
To Hestia for blessing the hearth
To Zeus, who brings the rain
To Apollo, the ripener
To Demeter, for the fruits of the Earth
And her priest, Triptolemos, who taught us to farm
And to Dionysos, for the gift of grapes
May all the Gods and good spirits bless this meal and all who have gathered here!
So Say We All!