Hello, dear Sisters and associates! The Ktistêsia is soon upon us, and we will celebrate the fifth full year of the Treasury’s existence!
Ktistêsia occurs on the ninth day of Treasury Month Daphneion (March 7, 2017) and is the celebration of the laying of the Treasury’s foundations, the Anniversary of our Sisterhood, and a time of gentle purification.
To mark this occasion, I give you the purificatory formula for the altar wash (of course, feel free to use your own formulas, should you feel so inclined), so that we may enjoy Daphneion, the month of purification, with freshly cleansed spiritual spaces, all in preparation for Theoxenia, at the start of the month after Daphneion.
The ritual of cleansing is simple enough, while it is the preparations for the ritual which should begin almost immediately. Here is the supply list:
A clean bowl that can hold a gallon of water
Something to stir with, like a wooden spoon
Something to spread water with, like a spray bottle and/or rag
1 gallon of water
1 small Citrine, and 1 small Obsidian (quartz can substitute for either)
1 single serving bottle of vodka (rubbing alcohol may substitute, just use less– about three caps full)
9 drops of Bay Laurel essential oil
9 drops of Lavender essential oil
1 tbsp of sea salt
A previously prepared sacred flame, and something with which to apply flame to the water, such as dried bay leaves or bamboo skewers
The first flowers of the season (optional after wash offering)
To begin, you must charge your stones with the appropriate energies. First, charge your Obsidian by the light of the crescent moon on the Noumenia just prior to the Ktistêsia. That is February 27, 2017, for reference. And on one of the remaining days prior to Ktistêsia, charge your Citrine by the light of dawn. After charging, both stones should be kept in a black pouch or cloth until ready for use.
On the day of Ktistêsia, place your stones at the bottom of your empty bowl. Pour the gallon of water over them, while visualizing the light stored within them mingling with and purifying the water.
Next, add the sea salt and stir until dissolved, while singing, chanting or praying to Apollon for the continued blessing of your altars/shrines, and the Treasury itself.
Now, pour in the vodka (alcohol), while continuing to sing, chant or pray. After that, add in nine drops of each essential oil (Bay Laurel and Lavender), while giving thanks to Apollon as you add each one.
Finally, light your bay leaves or bamboo skewers from your sacred flame, and plunge the flame into the water just as you would when making khernips. Your altar wash is now complete.
The next step is to use the altar wash to gently cleanse your altar or shrine, and the objects upon it. In order to do that, you should first strip the altar bare of all icons and accouterments. Set them aside.
If you have altar cloths in need of laundering, go ahead and put them in the wash. Simply add a cup of your altar wash during the rinse cycle. All icons, tools, and decorations may be sprayed down with the altar wash and wiped clean with a dry cloth. To do this, submerge an empty spray bottle in the bowl of altar wash, or use a funnel to pour it into the bottle instead.
Once you have all items removed from the altar, soak a clean rag in the altar wash, then proceed to wipe down your entire altar or shrine area. As you do this, receive the blessings of Apollon into your sacred space, and your life. Contemplate the continued existence of the Treasury of Apollon, and the ways that both it and you have grown over the years.
Now that all has been cleansed, return your icons and accouterments to their usual places upon the altar or shrine. You may give devotion and/or offerings at this time. In addition, if you have gathered the first flowers you have seen growing this season, now is the time to place them in offering upon the newly purified altar or shine, giving your love and adoration unto Apollon as you do so.
As a note, you can use any excess altar wash to wipe down other areas of you home, if you wish, or you may pour what is left over the thresholds leading into your home, or over any stairs outside that lead to your door. This completes the Ktistêsia ritual for altar purification.
Here are some simple ideas for a modern celebration of Prostateria, the Birth of Apollon. I usually want to have idea posts like this one published at least one week in advance of the day, but busy life got the better of me in this instance, so I’m posting this on the day itself. However, there is no reason why you can not celebrate this festival at a more convenient time for yourself. Everything is flexible. 🙂
For more information on Prostateria, see this post by Lykeia.
Decorating the shrine or altar is one obvious way to mark the occasion– gifts and offerings, incense and lit candles, or anything else that helps to remind you of the beautiful occasion that is His birth into the world. I recommend asking Him beforehand what He might like, through whatever method of divination or oracle that you prefer.
Prepare a meal for Him, a special meal that you only make on special occasions, so He feels welcomed in the best way possible.
Dress nicely for Him. It doesn’t have to be overly formal, but put on something flattering, and be sure to clean up a little around the house, especially in the room where His shrine or altar is located.
Express your love and appreciation for Him, with poetry or songs, art or dance. If you play an instrument, this is an ideal occasion to regale Him with your art form.
Include His Mother and Sister in the festivities. Invite Them also when you invite Apollon to be present in your home. His love for Them is well known, and any celebration in His honor is better celebrated in Their honor, as well.
And finally, one of the very best ways to honor Him on this day, is to decorate a doorway inside your home in His honor. Apollon Prostaterios is the Lord Before the Doors, who, by His liminal qualities, opens us up to all new possibilities. This is especially relevant as the moment of His birth opened the world to the many possibilities of His existence.
Doorways are inherently liminal spaces, existing between one room and another, or between the outside and inside. Birth is a liminal phenomenon, bridging the time between life and pre-life.
To decorate the doorway, you can use any number of things that you associate with new life life. Seasonal flowers or fruits are always nice, and depending on your area and climate, may be readily available. Barring that, you could use artificial flowers and fruits. Although, you might prefer to hang or wrap evergreens on the doorway, for they are symtbolic of the unchanging, youthful nature of Apollon. Evergreens are also usually still available in colder climates at this time of year, in the Northern Hemisphere.
Within the decorated doorway, as opposed to before the altar (or better still, at an altar erected in the doorway), you may choose to present your offerings and recite prayers or poetry, as well as greet the God, in welcoming.
Blessed Prostateria, and Hail to Apollon, on this, the day of His birth.
Ninth day of Treasury Month Perihelios – Feast of Leto (Jan. 7, 2017)
These Adorations of Leto are inspired by common knowledge of the Goddess, and by personal doxa. There are 27 lines, equaling 9, the number of days and nights Leto labored to birth our Prince, Apollon.
Leto, I adore You, who fled from Your Homeland
Leto, I adore You, who ensures the wellbeing of Your Sister
Leto, I adore You, who are followed by a mighty warband
Leto, I adore You, who approached the Queen for Zeus’ hand
Leto, I adore You, who is always unafraid
Leto, I adore You, who brought the gift of Your regal bearing into the realm of Olympos
Leto, I adore You, who knew Your own worth
Leto, I adore You, who snared the King in a single glance
Leto, I adore You, who secured a place for Yourself and for Your Sister
Leto, I adore You, who rides upon the wild winds
Leto, I adore You, who drives that pack of fierce-fanged wolves
Leto, I adore You, who is veiled only before midnight
Leto, I adore You, who is fair-skinned and golden-tressed
Leto, I adore You, whose voice is the howl before the hunt
Leto, I adore You, who swelled with the Holy Twins within Your womb
Leto, I adore You, who traversed many lands searching for a place of birth
Leto, I adore You, who was at last cared for by the Sister You so well protected
Leto, I adore You, who brought forth the life of Artemis without pain
Leto, I adore You, who laid beneath the palm for nine days and nine nights to deliver our Lord Apollon
Leto, I adore You, who returned Olympos in sweet triumph
Leto, I adore You, who is demure and unflinching in the face of opposition
Leto, I adore You, who is more than what we see in the bright light of day
Leto, I adore You, whose pride is well-respected and rightly earned
Leto, I adore You, whose ire wrought destruction upon Niobe
Leto, I adore You, whose strength is unfathomable
Leto, I adore You, who brushes aside false pride and ignorance
Leto, I adore You, who is the Mother of the dance between Darkness and Light
O Lord of the breath between life and death, He who set the dragon to rot in the holy light of Helios, our Bright Shining God, pleased are we to have hosted You and Your Family.
Delighted were we in Your constant presence, and grateful are we for Your arrival here. But now, as our festival ends, we acknowledge that You must now depart.
In our love for You, we have given You our best, and made room for You in our innermost realms; that which is personal, and that which we share with our loved ones.
O Truth-bearer, we have not recoiled from the lessons You have seen fit to teach, nor have we scorned the revelations You have bestowed. We know that with Your favor comes a price, and we are glad to pay it.
But for now, we rejoice in the knowing of You, O Lord, in Your coming and in Your going forth from this world. For there are Other worlds that You must now tend to, with their many corresponding concerns. Though we love You beyond what mere words can convey, never would we think to deprive these Others of Your grace and devotion.
And so, Apollon, Beloved Anax, Beloved Aegletes, Beloved Hyperboreios, we send You to complete Your journey with naught but love in our hearts. We know that You will again return to us, so we are not concerned by Your absence. What is inevitable always comes to pass.
Lord of the Winds, who brings winter in His wake, do not look back, and do not worry, for we are Yours and we are strong. We are what You have made, and we will shine Your light in the dark months.
And when You return, Apollon, we will be here to welcome You in all Your feral glory, and we will help to ease Your transition back into civilization. But for now, think only of what awaits You over the threshold.
Farewell, Apollon. Farewell, Beloved. Farewell, our Bright Shining God.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 9]
Blessed are the Sisters of the Treasury, we whose love for our Lord is pure and powerful, emerging from the depth of our being as a hurricane emerges from the sea. Swift and swirling, and eager to make landfall, for our Lord is the island awaiting.
Blessed are the multitudes who adore Him, for He feels them all, in their joy and in their despair, keeping them forever close, forever entwinted within His sweet embrace, and dispensing the true peace that is His presence.
Blessed are those who are touched from afar; all who burn within His fury, and in His passion; seeking not for His glory, and yet receiving it tenfold; and drowning in the waters of His attention.
Blessed are those who run, those who flee from the call, for it is maddening and incindiary; all those whose lives are upended by the immensity of His voice, resounding through every erected barrier.
Blessed are the seekers, searching endlessly for He they have yet to know. Guided forthwith by connections untold, swayed by His grace, finding pieces of Him, and discovering themselves along the way.
Blessed are those who struggle against Him, who deny and refuse, as is their choice to do so. Not all will choose the shining path upon the precipice, but even these are blessed, in knowing they are true to themselves.
Blessed are all the lives touched by Apollon. Poets and seers, physicians and artists, lawyers and housewives, morticians and homeless men, too. These and more are blessed by the Lord, and we each are one part of His whole; one part of His truth.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 8]
Aegletion through Daphneion 2016/2017
Aegletion (XI) Oct. 2 – Oct. 30, 2016
(Μ) Mu, (Ο) Omicron, (Ζ) Zeta
Aegletion looks to be a difficult month, one which compels us to lay strong foundations to rest upon for the coming year. All that we do has its purpose, and we will reap what we sow. But, for the trials ahead, it may be best for us to stockpile our energies for the time when they will be most effective. When we are in the midst of the turmoil is not the proper time to set our will against it.
Telchinion (XII) Oct. 31 – Nov. 29, 2016
(Ρ) Rho, (Θ) Theta, (Ξ) Xi
In Telchinion, we may wish to bide our time. It is fruitless to try to force action, especially of others, at this time. If they do not come around to your position, know that the Gods are with you and will support your endeavors. Do not become bogged down by the irreverence or bad attitudes of the people around you. There is a time for everything, and when it comes, with the help of the Gods, you will be ready.
Hyperboraios (XIII) Nov. 30 – Dec. 29, 2016
(Λ) Lambda, (Ω) Omega, (Ε) Epsilon
In Hyperboraios, things may be more than what they seem. There will be difficulties, but it is up to us to see what positive effects are brought about by change. We will not want to see these things, for we will prefer to hold onto the status quo. We may also only see the negative impact of change, instead of acknowledging the great benefit of unnecessary barriers crumbling to the ground. We must not leap to ‘fix’ things too quickly, lest we undermine the reordering which is necessary. We will not enjoy this time, and yet, what is right is right.
Perihelios (I) Dec. 30 – Jan. 28, 2016/2017
(Ζ) Zeta, (Ι) Iota, (Ο) Omicron
Perihelios has the potential to be a frustrating month, but if we remain steadfast, we may achieve our goals. Keep a check on your temper, never stop working for what you want, and know that the fruits of your labors will be ripe and sweet when you remember to take the proper care.
Prostaterias (II) Jan. 29 – Feb. 26, 2017
(N) Nu, (Ω) Omega, (M) Mu
In Prostaterias, harsh truths will be spoken, but they are necessary. Uncomfortable words will gather on your tongue, and you will afflict loved ones and strangers alike. Do not pretend, and do not cloud your meaning behind empty platitudes. Truth is the gift of Apollon, meant to be spread amongst deserving ears. This may make for a hard road in the immediate aftermath, but when the dust clears, the way forward will be unmistakable.
Daphneion (III) Feb. 27 – Mar. 28, 2017
(Z) Zeta, (Π) Pi, (Χ) Khi
Daphneion seems to be when the trials of the previous months come to a head in success. At this time, we will ride the waves of fruition, being brought ashore by the tide. Keep your head low, avoiding all controversy, surfacing only to complete your tasks and to claim hard-won rewards. The end is propitious, and to be savored.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 7]
The stars have known Him longer, known His blinding force, His unruly heat. The stars, they have seen His ebb and flow over unspeakable millennia– have burned in their love for Him for just as long.
The stars are companions like no others. They live, and they yearn for Him. And in their pining, they are long-lived, so experience Him in ways so full that we mayn’t dare to imagine.
The stars, they are larger than us– infinitely so. They contain parts of His soul that mortals would die, and altogether cease to be, from their exposure.
The stars, they are not fragile, nor are they demure. And Apollon burns with them in their raunchy, rauchuous, roaring inferno. O, He is the very cause of it, I’m sure– in His ecstatic totality.
The stars, they nourish His need for destruction, and they slake His thirst for creation– exploding, and forming in clouds of death. The cycle of living and dying, and birthing new life– to burn for Him, to burn with Him.
The stars have known Him longer, and their adoration has sustained Him through the darkness of humanity’s past. They were never made to forget Him. They have never forsaken Him. The stars have shone His light unflinchingly.
The stars, O what they can teach us about constancy, about fortitude, about unrelenting desire. They, in their marvellous abode, void of all but Him, in darkness and in light.
The stars, they have known Him longer, and loved Him harder than we could, for our lives are fleeting, gone in the space of an instant as they watch from above. But from them, we may learn of a love that has endured since time began.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 6]