A Blessed Theoxenia

Simply sharing a bit of altar love, for Theoxenia/Noumenia, 2020 (Yesterday, March 25).  I give you twelve minutes of silent/quiet prayer (with my son calling for me in the background), libations, and flame offering to Apollon.  We welcome our Bright God home, that we may ever shine within His radiance.  ❤

Prayers of Healing: COVID-19 Edition

Apollon the Healer has called His Treasury to offer prayers that the community may utilize for their own health, and that of those whom they hope to protect.  May they be received in the same spirit in which they are given: in love, compassion, fortitude, and respect.

— Treasury of Apollon


Prayer should begin at or around sunset, local time.

March 16, 2020


“Apollo Preceding Hector with His Aegis, and Dispersing the Greeks”, by John Flaxman.

Prayer to Apollon, the Averter

 

You Who Sends and Drives Away Plague,Be with us today in our time of need.

May your family come by your side

Asklepios, Divine Physician,

Arrive with your serpent-intwined staff,

Your glorious daughters by your side.

Gracious Hygeia, bring good health.

Panakeia, help us find aid in this fight.

Gentle Iaso, may you lead the way to good health for all those who are touched.

Please be with us in our need, Good Gods. And may we be blessed by your presence.

— Camilla


“Akslepios”, by Unknown Artist. Found via Google.

Prayer for Containing Pandemic

 

Apollon, Asklepios, Hygeia, Panakeia– it is to the Gods of Medicine, Cleanliness and Cure that I pray– may my mind always turn toward the wellness of my communities, be they close or extended, and in these thoughts let me be led to right action, which preserves the lives and health of those around me.

Cleanliness and courtesy are the mantle I must now bear, without fault, for I am a keeper of lives not my own, as others are now the keepers of mine.  We are many, yet are we as one, drawn together in common cause. And for my part, I shall not take more than is my share, and I will endeavor to care for those whose constitutions are compromised, and also shall I not go forth without necessity.

O Gods of the arts of healing and maintaining health, who govern the subtleties of dis-ease, hear this prayer, and grant Your grace upon my words, that what I speak always be a prelude to action, and never the platitudes of comfort.

Hail to You, O Gods, in Your Glory.

Thank You, Apollon.

Thank You, Asklepios.

Thank You, Hygeia.

Thank You, Panakeia.

Blessed Be.

— Columbine


The Hippocratic Oath.

Prayer for Care of the Elderly

 

Many of us have at-risk elders, who we may not be able to consistently care for due to distance or other factors.  However, as long as we are committed to their well-being, we should do all that we can to ensure their safety and survival.  This includes prayer, in addition to all of the physical measures we (and they– if possible) must take to realize that end. The following is a short prayer for this purpose.  A special shout out to Sunweaver, because I incorporated her brief prayer into this one.

*****************

O Paian, O Blessed Apollon, whose ministrations are like balm for the soul, You who are the source of health and the pinnacle of purity– liven our elders, O God, and instill deep within them (and their caretakers) the will to carry out best practices for their own health and safety.

O God of Plagues, spare our elders (and those adjacent to them) and let them live without fear, that their mental health not suffer during this season of want and isolation.

Apollon, who annihilates impurity, turn Your molten gaze toward this virus (COVID-19), that it be burned away within the aura which surrounds You, O Lord of Splendor and Grace.

In Your holy name, O Paian, O Blessed Apollon, we ask these favors, that our community of elders be spared this plague.

— Columbine


“Psyche’s Parents Offering Sacrifice to Apollo”, by Luca Giordano.

(COVID-19) Healing Prayer/Ritual

 

Supplies:  A single candle (tea-light is fine), dressed/anointed with an appropriate oil, such as bay laurel, pine, rosemary, or cinnamon (olive may be substituted).  A source of flame. A libation and a vessel to hold it.

Instructions:  Dress your candle with the oil, with the intent to draw forth our Lord’s healing powers, with His permission.  Meditate or visualize for a bit, then light the candle while calling upon Him by His healing/purifying/averting epithets.  Ex: (Apollon) Paian, Apotropaios, Phosophoros, Katharsios, Daphnephoros, Hekatos, etc. When you feel His presence, read or recite the following…

“O Lord and Patron who inspires all manner of Healthcare professionals, You whose power is of plague and healing, purification and rot, God to whom all Doctors swear their Oath, hear us in this time of peril and need!

“By Your hand, may our bodies remain strong and free from all illness, be they viral, microbial, bacterial, or any other.  By Your command, may our physicians, nurses, technicians, and all medical and support staff be committed to the values of Hygeia, keeping themselves, their tools, and their workstations clean, and purified in the intention to cure or mitigate dis-ease.

“May we, the public, also keep to best practices concerning our health and well-being.  Let us be responsible toward our fellow humans, as well as to those animals adjacent to us, for we are the hands of the Gods on Earth, and all that we wish for, must we also set into motion.

“Be the cleansing fire, O Lord, and the soothing breath which fills our lungs.  Be the force which holds us accountable to our fellow man, that we remember the bonds which hold us, and society, together.  We are not islands, though for the sake of the vulnerable among us, shall we adhere to self-isolation, whenever and wherever possible.  And for those of us who can not adhere, let Your purifying light be a barrier between them and all danger.

“And for the vulnerable ones, as well as those upon whom this or similar misfortune has already fallen, we ask that You soothe their pain and ease their symptoms– that You assuage their fears, and supply all needed resources by annihilating the barriers between them and their recovery, or their continued well-managed health.

“O Physician, we beseech You for Your favor and Your grace, that our homes, towns, streets and cities (and especially the many medical facilities within them), be protected and secured, and that our lives be truly nurtured, as is Your decree, O Sovereign of the Medical Arts!  And to that end do we offer this libation, in Your honor, Lord Apollon.”

Pour the libation, then pray silently for a bit.

Now, snuff out the candle, or, allow it to burn to completion, depending upon your living situation, always keeping fire-safety in mind.  In the event that you can not burn, you may forego the candle, concentrating solely on the prayer and subsequent libation.

Sincerely thank Apollon, in your own words.  Then, bid Him farewell.

Ritual Ends

(repeat as necessary)

— Columbine


Guidelines:

Prayers are NOT to be directed toward specific persons, UNLESS THEY HAVE CONSENTED to prayers on their behalf.

Participants are encouraged to pray for whatever healing they, or CONSENTING loved ones need (excepting minor children or dependents– discretion lies with parents or guardians), be it physical/medical, mental, emotional, etc.

Prayers ARE to be directed toward closing existing rifts within the spheres of the public Polytheist and/or Pagan communities. This includes local, statewide, national, or online communities.

Prayers should ONLY be directed toward communities that participants are ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN.

ALL prayers should be addressed to the Lord Apollon, or to Apollon and Asklepios (Hygeia, Panakeia, etc.), as the case may be for medical intervention.

Evocation of Kalliope

“Calliope, Muse of Epic Poetry”, by Giovanni Baglione.

O Sovereign Muse, Inspiration’s Crown, who bestows the poetic thrall, by Your hand am I guided, by Your voice am I blessed to turn the pages of my thoughts into words upon the page– words which still, and words which liven– words of silk and words of iron– for what is a tale without blood or love, without death or steel or drive?

Goddess of the tale told carefully– willfully– come forth, that I might recite my song to You who are the Sovereign of Songs, and the peace of the poet’s rest after a lifetime of stories told. If ever I have been dear to You, Goddess, in my frenzy or in my fallow haze, if my joys are known to You as are my pangs, Sublime Wordsmith, grant me the grace of Your ear, that I may improve upon the gifts given, and forever reflect Your mastery upon this bereaved world!

Hail and welcome, Kalliope, Chief of Muses, with Your fingers upon the pulse of history! Hail and welcome, Kalliope, Beloved of Apollon, who coaxes forth the words that set our souls alight! Hail and welcome, Kalliope, first among Mnemosyne’s precious Daughters!

Hail!

— Columbine (12/18/2019)

End of the Aegletia

“The Muses Leaving their Father Apollo, to Go Out and Light the World”, by Gustave Moreau.

Today, I’ll see Him off…

 

Before the dawn, on this, Your day, I once again lament the swiftness of time, and how it does not wait for me to feel at ease with Your absence.  How it continues, unswayed by my protests, unmoved by my tears.  And yes, I do spill tears for the loss of You, even when I know You can never be lost– to me or to anyone.  For, Apollon, You are the measure of this world, and it may not function without Your power, coursing through the currents of all life and matter.

I am grateful for the attention You have shown me, Aegletes, even as You shall wane from my awareness, and I am grateful for the care You have expressed.  As You complete Your journey, I hope You will think of me, remembering my love for You, and knowing that our home awaits You, come spring.


There are a few reasons that I’ve always thought this day was a beautiful day to look forward to, but since it has also become the final day/night of the Aegletia, it has taken on a somber quality which lends itself well to solemn goodbyes.  A beautiful day, indeed, and also my least favorite day, for at the end of it, I’ll say farewell to my Lord, until we meet again on a cool, spring morning.

But, though His most immediate presence will be absent from our world, the underlying power, which threads and harmonizes the Universe, is and will remain forever present.  These are the same basic resonances to which individual natural phenomena and individual lives are bound.  That intrinsic spark of Apollon remains within us, and all the world.  Through it, may we commune with the very core of ourselves, as well as with Him, and in this way, may we pass the harsh season.

As we say our goodbyes, it is good to remember that we are not alone in experiencing this absence.  The coming months are a good time to reaffirm our connections to those we know and love; to really cultivate those connections, so that when Apollon returns home, He will have many harmonious homes to return to.  In so doing, we may prepare for the eventual, and welcomed reintegration of His immediate presence into our lives.

Hail to Apollon Aegletes!

Hail to Apollon Hyperboreios!

Hail to Apollon Anax!

Hail and farewell!

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 9, 2019]

Honor the Stillness, to Honor the Path

“Apollo, God of the Sun”, by Juan Manuel Molleví.

Apollon of Delos, and of Delphi, and of Hyperborea

Lighter of the Way, Revealer of the Path

Prince, Benefactor

God who warms, illuminates and inspires

Revealer of the way to the illustrious island

Who is generous, Who is kind

But stern, commanding absolute loyalty

Prince, Benefactor

God Who sears, and melts away impurity

Revealer of the way to the Truth of the individual soul

Who is fierce, Who is joyous

And immeasurably firm

Prince, Benefactor

God Who coaxes life forth with burning passion

Revealer of the way to the land of our descendants, yet unborn

Who is steadfast and unwavering, Who is prime and youthful

But deathless, immortal, yes, so very ancient

Prince, Benefactor

Lighter of the Way, Revealer of the Path

Apollon of Delos, and of Delphi, and of Hyperborea


Apollon’s is the hand which guides us, and leads us toward our ends. Whatever those ends may be, only He knows the extent to which we will be bound by them, thus our goal is to make the choices that will take us down His path, in eventuality.

But how do we know which choices are the right ones? By thinking them through, as any logically-minded Apollonian would; then, by applying our spiritual discernment, may we further inform our decision-making process, testing all decisions along side our established spiritual objectives. When both head and heart agree, then we know it is safe to act.

What our Lord brings into our lives, and what we often ask for, is many times, much more profound and difficult than what we have anticipated, whether it be a mental exercise, physical task. or emotional labor. It is imperative that we take the time to suss out our plans of action, rather than dive headfirst into difficult or unknown situations. Quiet and stillness of being will serve us well in these instances, for it is better to perfect a task after careful training, than to repeat a task for lack of preparation.

Calm and quiet. Let these be a mantra within you, to assist in your assessments, so that we may make the most informed decisions possible, and also so that we may do so within the sphere of Apollon’s influence, always to center His will within our work, and lives.

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 8, 2019]

Within the Center: A Meditation of Apollon’s Domain

I sit within the center of a song.  A song sung by my Lord.  Apollon strums His lyre to the tune of the living and dying of the world.  Inside me are the notes He coaxes forth.  My voice rises and falls.  My chest releases and contracts to the breath of nations in flux.  His is the Divine Song of the Kosmos, leading all things to their inevitable conclusion.

I sit within the center of a budding flower.  I am the stamen and pollen.  I am the pistil and the ovule.  I am the potential of a thousand, thousand lives after mine.  Lives of flowers and insects, mammals and more.  Earth gives up Her nutrients to me, so that I might live, conceive and die again, to be consumed once more, in another life and form.

I sit within the center of a beating heart.  This heart belongs to a man.  He is young and he is old.  He is elderly and fetal; all at once, a decrepit child to the Gods, no matter what his linear age may be.  And he toils away his short life, dreaming dreams that will not blossom until long after he has left the living Earth behind, and come to the Land of the Shades, where Persephone reigns.

I sit within the center of a shallow stream.  Water rushes all around me.  It carries with it the hope of all life, and the memory of all that has come before.  In this world, water is life, and no life can exists without it.  It is the sweat and the blood, and the fluid of sex.  Water is life; the lack of Water is death.  As Water flows, so too does the fate of the world of man.

I sit within the center of desire.  I am the pulse of a body next to mine.  I am the stroke of a finger upon glistening skin.  I am the soft caress of lips upon lips upon lips.  I am the breathlessness, and the deep moaning pleasure.  All around me, nothing else exists, and I am free in my wild abandon, to delve within my innermost realm, to see and to feel and to taste the soul of wanting.

I sit within the center of an empty peace.  This is the place of detachment from worldly concern.  I have found myself, and now need nothing but myself, for I am all things, everywhere.  And if I am all things, then nothing exists without me, and the world is a dream of my own making.  And if the world is a dream, then I will unmake it, and reveal myself to myself.  Unshorn.  Unadorned.  Unfathomable.

I sit within the center of the One.  Alpha and Omega.  Beginning and End.  Creation and Destruction.  Order and Chaos.  The hand strums the lyre, the song continues.  The Seasons dance.  I am the breath of a Voice, and the flutter of notes upon the breath.  I am the dancer, and the song.  I am the joy, and the despair.  I am Life, and I sit within the center of all that is, was, or ever will be.

© Columbine 2017

Community ≠ Competition

“Apollo and the Muses”, by EunjeongKim Hazzi.

As a Sister of the Treasury, I have made a commitment to bringing Apollon’s will into the world, as best I can, to the best of my understanding.  This is my life’s purpose, and it fills me with joy.  It also fills me with joy to see others doing His work.  And I am so grateful to be a part of a Sisterhood, and a wider community who loves and honors Him.  His will is for all people.  There are no exclusions, save for the ones deep in an individual’s heart.  Their own will determines whether or not they accept His invitation, but the invitation is open to all.  And no one has to accept, but we do have to accept that everyone is welcome, from those we do not know, to those we may not like.

Everyone is welcomed by Apollon to become more than they currently know they can be.  Everyone is welcome to heal.  Everyone is welcome to change.  Everyone deserves the chance for purification.  And His arms are open.  There is no force that can sever His connection to a person who mutually cultivates it, though, it must be cultivated.  It must be nourished and warmed, each by our own conscious development.  Which means, that we should seek not to look toward each other and our individual accomplishments, under the scrutiny of culturally-enforced false competition.

If we are all doing the work He set out for us to do, by His decree, then we should focus on our own work, rather than hover over the accomplishments of others.  Comparison ultimately leads to insecurity, anxiety, envy, or all of the above and more.  Each person is on a different level of individual development, with differing skill levels for different talents.  There is no Apollonian monolith, thankfully, nor should there be, and we should not seek to create one, either purposefully or accidentally.

The emotions that can be stirred up by unhealthy comparison are in direct conflict with many important Apollonian qualities.  Envy is a black hole that lets no light escape.  Insecurity and anxiety are its handmaidens, dim stars caught in its effect.  There, can not also thrive empathy, kindness or compassion.  In the face of such forces, neither can cooperation, co-leadership, or simply any acceptance of others doing work that was not given to another to do.  There is truly enough work to go around.  We needn’t complicate things by driving our minds into competition, rather than expressing our own commitment and love for Apollon.

In times like this, we must embrace our Lord’s purification.  We must let go of preconceived notions of grandeur, for His work is not about us.  His work is the sum total of all His orchestration, all the moving parts He’s nudged into place.  Every cog in the machine working to bring His vision of a chaotic, yet somehow ordered Universe to life, through no vehicle other than all of our individual talents.  This is community, and communities thrive neither on envy, nor the suspicion that envy breeds in others.

Communities can benefit from striving to be places of homecoming, safety, and healing.  We must allow ourselves to be mastered by Apollon, and shaped by His example– to focus on our tasks, and ultimately, to grow in our entire worldview.  A way toward this, is to sincerely embrace the notion of change, for if we can not imagine ourselves differently, it becomes that much more difficult to bring a new self, with new and healthier habits and values, into manifestation.  Purification is part of the work, and we must not exclude ourselves from the paradigm of growth now lapping at the shore of the unknown world to come.  Apollon will keep the way bright for us, as we traverse the fallow grounds awaiting His seed to be planted.

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 1, 2019]

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]

(Khernips)

(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]

(Khernips)

(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]

(Khernips)

(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]

(Khernips)

(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]

(Khernips)

(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]

(Khernips)

(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]

(Khernips)

(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]

(Khernips)

(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