Archive | Epithets RSS for this section

Belonging

I belong to Apollon– the prize of my Lord.  He sees me, He knows me.  I yield to His word.  Who I am, what I am, are extensions of Him.  I walk this world primly, and am bound to His whim.

And yet, no greater freedom have I found, anywhere.  For I pursue my own goals with the utmost care.

I belong to the Prince.  Aegletes, Lykeios.  Phosphoros, Telchinios.  God of sunset and wolves.  Of stars and tornadoes.  None of these can ever be tamed.  So it is with myself.  I alone hold the reigns.

And yet, I am compelled to do as He pleases, for my head and my heart embrace all of His reasons.

I belong to Despota, the one who is Master.  He who becomes the unyeilding disaster.  His will becomes mine, and for it I’m grateful.  His eminent knowledge spares me from what’s hateful.

And yet, I am human, and sometimes can be hurt, but Apollon knows all, and rends lies in the dirt.

I belong to the God with the serene smile.  But make no mistake.  With Him, life is a trial.  In all that I am, and in all that I do, He pushes and moulds me ’til I acknowledge His veiw.

And yet, through His shaping I am made better– more whole.  For such is the fate of the untempered soul.

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 3]

Advertisements

Welcome Here!

Welcome, my Lord!  Welcome here today!  From now until the end of the ninth day, I will see to your every comfort!  All that you desire shall be my pleasure, and all that you care to bestow shall be received in reverence!

Welcome here, my Lord, and rest upon the throne we have prepared!  High upon the mantle may you oversee our love as it ascends toward you!  Also, may you shower us in return with your grace and presence!

Welcome here, my Lord, and rejoice in the love of your family!  We wish only for your happiness, and to honor you with honest, joyous praise!  We have waited the long months since your Return, preparing to send you forth into your Departure gladly, and with much celebration!

So, welcome here, Apollon Aegletes!  Welcome, Apollon Lykeios!  Welcome, Apollon Telchinios!  Welcome, Apollon Hyperboreios!  Welcome, Apollon Anax!  Welcome, our Bright Shining Lord, Father and Protector of this house!

— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 2]

The Tour Begins

It is the Autumnal Equinox, the day whereupon the Treasury of Apollon recognizes our Lord Apollon’s Departure from this world.  But it is not a time of immediate departure, but rather, the beginning of a tour of gradual withdrawal.  In our tradition, this withdrawal ends on the final day of Aegletia, when we bid Him a fond farewell.

He has been with us throughout the year, from Theoxenia onwards, and He has guided us through our unique transformations and circumstances.  Now, as winter approaches, He turns His mind toward other affairs, and other responsibilities.

He is our Lord, and though we, as a species, will be in His thoughts from time to time, along with the other inhabitants of this world, Apollon must now take His leave of us, and travel to His far-northern home in Hyperborea.

So, dear friends, take a moment to acknowledge Apollon’s waning light. Acknowledge His presence as His attention shifts, and be thankful for His power, His love, and all that He gives to our world.  For He is the Civilized God, but now, He again becomes the Wild God– the Wolf, Lykeios, lurking in the twilight.

Again, He is Telchinios, the harsh winds of winter approaching.  Once more, He is Aegletes, the sun falling under the horizon.  And He is Anax, the Northern King, who will watch this and other worlds from afar.  Acknowledge His seasonal shift, and be consoled by the truth of His eminent return, next year, when Theoxenia comes again.

And please, if it suits you, join with us in celebration of our Lord’s Departure. Join us in the Aegletia, for His love is boundless, and now, as He prepares to leave us and our concerns behind, He desires to show us that love, that deep affection which is His.  Apollon welcomes us all into the fold, so that we may know His embrace, and long for it, as the harsh months pass in His absence.

[Aegletia begins October 1st, and ends October 9th]

Prayers of Healing

First, some background: I was raised Baptist and, as it turns out, I’m actually a preacher, but one inspired by Apollon, so there that is. The following prayer is not a parody of that upbringing in any way, but a fully sincere expression of faith. Please approach with that in mind and with respect.
____________________________________

Praise be to the Lord of Light. Praise Him who purifies us, who gave unto us the Maxims that through them, we might know Him and know ourselves. Praise Him! Praise Phoebos!

To those who have received the poison of hatefulness, may He heal them, Praise Phoebos, and may he take the poison from them and lend them both comfort and courage.

To those who play the part of Python, spewing forth poisonous hate, polluting themselves with calumny and hubris, prejudice and arrogance, may He open their eyes that they might know the way of compassion. May they know love, humility, excellence of character.

Heal them, O’ Lord, and make them see the truth of what their poison has wrought. Free them from lies, purify their hearts, bless them with sight.

Make holy, O’ Lord, you and Hestia, all places where the name of Phoebos Apollon is known. Bestow your furious blessings upon all who put your name in print. Open the eyes and hearts of those who speak it.

Praise the Lord Apollon! Praise He who heals! Praise Him!

So Say We All

— Sunweaver


The Journey 08-22-16

There was a Priestess in ancient Greece
in Apollon’s temple
I have not been told much
Except she made a promise to a fellow Priestess
Who we will call Thea
To be at hand for her time of crises
Little did she know this would be lifetimes later
and that the best part of her would be withheld
until that promise needed to be honored

Spring four years ago we met
online in a group of those wanting to serve as Priest Folk
for Hermes
and in no time I was sworn to help her
and submerged within my Higher Self
for the time until the fall equinox
Her battles for her sovereignty were mine
Her allies within the Holy Powers mine
My whole being dedicated to Them
as They struggled within a war for her being

She got her freedom within the ability to release from the body
and I was left bereft
no longer fully integrated with my Higher aspect
no longer in alliance with my sister
no longer a daily vehicle for aspecting
I did not know if I could bear to be incarnate

It was a handful of polytheists
that gave me the lifeline
I found that spouses of the Holy Powers
resonated for me the most
Because of their independence in how they worked with the Gods
and the strength of their love

They did not tell me how I had to do it
But they shared their stories openly and honestly
and in that I found the threads that connected me
in my own way with the Holy Powers
and more than I expected
because this Love that rides me and that is my life’s blood
is not a small thing bound and diminished by rules
and regulations
other than the ones the Powers have imposed on me

For those I am grateful
Because they know my strengths and they know my weakness
and when I ask for help they know my willingness to accept
boundaries and structure that builds the one and limits the other

I do not have a name specifically for those who love many Gods
but I know that their communal influence upon me
still brings out the best in me
still lets me know I am not alone

For that may all the Holy Powers bless them and build their numbers

Hear me Lord Apollon in this prayer
To me you are Golden and perfect and Healing
Shine upon your children please
Growing up is so hard to do sometimes

— Christine


[Requires sunlight – Ideally should begin at dusk, so be ready if you wish to use this one! – You will need at least one object to be blessed, such as jewelry or a stone.]

*Hold out your object(s) toward the setting sun*

Apollon, Asklepios, please hear my prayer! I call to You in utmost sincerity! Grand Physicians, by whose authority are the arts of medicine practiced, be kind and generous in Your blessings, for there is one/are those in need of Your great skill!

[Individual’s name(s) and relation to yourself] lies infirm, and is desirous of Your Mastery over these arts! Please, bless the hands of the surgeons, technicians and nurses! Keep the minds of all involved medical staff sharp and ready for their sacred work! May all contingencies be planned for, and may none of them be necessary! And by Your grace, may all things occur as cleanly and safely as possible!

O Gods of Healing, shore up the strength of [Individual’s name(s)] body/bodies, and drive away infection! For Yours is the knowledge of the true arts of medicine, from herbs to the scalpel’s edge!

And finally, my Lords, I ask that You bless this/these [Name of object(s)] to be a comfort to [Individual’s name(s)], and for it/them to emit what power You have imbued! May it/they grant relief from pain, anxiety, fear, and all other ills!

Now, on behalf of [Individual’s name(s)], I pour out these libations, as a sign of good will!

Apollon, Asklepios, I thank You, and bid You farewell!

— Columbine


Hail to You, Apollon, and welcome here to my home, where dwell my darling children, ever innocent to that which plagues me, their guardian. By Your grace, I would have them remain untouched by pain or illness, guarded by Your arrows which strike from afar.

Purifying Lord, do keep them close in Your heart, that You might grant them good health throughout the many days of their lives. May You keep them youthful in body and spirit, emotion and mind, and may any illness which lurks about them be destroyed, as sure as You bring ends to all profane things.

Let my children glow with strength of will and character, always by the grace of Your healing hands. O Paian, Masterful Physician, I beseech You to shower these, my children, in Your preventative medicine, keeping them from all harm.

If You would do this, Healer, many offerings shall You receive in my profound gratitude. Even now I pour libations to You, and with them also my love.

O Apollon, my Gracious Lord, I thank You for the blessings You have bestowed.

— Columbine


As surely as the sunlight decends upon the Earth, illuminating and nourishing all it touches, do Your healing powers reach those who are in need.

O Daphnephoros, the sweet scents of laurel and rosemary call You forth, and the soft sounds of ocean waves herald Your coming. Be present with us, Venerable One, who adore Your shining countenance.

We each have loved You in our own way, and we each have left savory offerings at Your feet. Remember us, O Lord, and attend to our fervent pleas.

Paian, the Great Healer who lifts us out of the darkness, we await Your grace and Your healing touch. For Yours is the power to cure the ills of men.

Katharsios, the Purifier, wash away that which pains us, so that our bodies may again house these troubled souls in comfort.

Be not distant, Pythios, for Your people need You, and are weary from the weight of this world. Until we may be shorn of the flesh, Yours is the power and the solace we seek.

Khrysáoros, with sword in hand, slice away the evils that exist within us. Let our minds be free. Let ours souls be pure. And let us always be worthy of Your attention.

Apollon, O Blessed Lord, hear our prayer, and be pleased to offer Your divine succor, that we might know peace and health and love.

For Your grace and blessings, Apollon, we offer these libations, and promise more upon fulfillment of our prayers. Please receive these in the spirit of kharis, and be joyfull, as we are joyfull in our honor of You.

Thank You, Lord, and Hail!

— Columbine

Invocation to Apollon

Profound Lord, pouring honey into the mouths of Your Oracles, come now to be honored, for we have made a feast for You in this place.  Grace us with Your golden light, and we shall be as the little children, basking in the hot sun.

You are the fire burning away the impurities which lurk in the crevasses of men– all those dark and hidden biases.  You are the corrosive wind which errodes even the most stern, and the most ridgid among us.  You are the vortex which subdues and swallows the burdensome pains that afflict us.  O Paian, O Healer, share with us the panacea to cure our ills.

Lord of Death, come, and teach us the ways to be free in body and soul.  We are the receivers of Your knowledge, and the receptacles of Your everlasting love.  May we be pure of intention, so that You find a respite in these halls.

O Hand of Zeus, who yields not to the whims of mortal men, speak the True Oracles through these/this man/this woman who are/is prepared to house Your shining glory.  O Loxias, come, and we shall receive You with great pleasure.

O Lord of the pristine sounding lyre, whose music soothes all troubled minds, we welcome Your voice, we welcome Your humor, we welcome the breadth of Your Immortal Self– and we name You, APOLLON!

Destroyer!

Purifier!

APOLLON, who is our Lord, come!

— Columbine

On Getting to Know Him

Happy Prostateria!  In honor of Apollon’s birthday, I finally finished this article!

Happy Birthday, my Prince, and may You receive the love of many new devotees in the coming hours, weeks, and years!  Hail Apollon Prostaterios, Lord Before the Doors!


So, over the last few weeks (months maybe) I’ve received this question from a few different people, which is basically: How does one properly begin a relationship with Apollon?

Now, I can only tell you my own experience in starting a relationship with Him, keeping in mind also that I had a relationship with Him long before I knew it *was* Him.  If you can understand that my approach to this article will be based from that experience, then I think we can begin. Though, I will try to keep this as generic as possible.

If you are looking for all the traditionally Hellenic approaches to His worship, then may I suggest taking a look at this article written by Lykeia, wherein she lays out the basics.


To begin, let me say that Apollon is among the most flexible Deities I’ve ever encountered, in the sense that He will willingly and often eagerly work with new and aspiring devotees within the tradition they are most comfortable or familiar.  This means, if you are Wiccan, Neo-Pagan, or something else entirely, He probably isn’t going to demand that you stop immediately and only honor Him in a Hellenic context.  I’ve also noticed that Apollon is one of the most syncretic-friendly Gods out there.  So while He’ll readily work with us in ways we already know, He does like to push us outside of our comfort zones, even if it only amounts to an intellectual exercise, and not any kind of syncretic worship practices.  Although, that can and does happen, especially if you are involved in anything Roman and/or Gaulish.

When I “began” a relationship with Him is better explained as when I began relating to Him as Apollon, as opposed to the Nameless Spirit who’d been following me around since I was four years old. The only thing that changed was that He finally gave me a name to go along with the energy I was well accustomed to.  And I’ll be honest, having *that* name thrown out of the ether at the same time I was given my first statue of Him (I kid you not– I did not even want a statue of Apollon at the time) caused a whole lot of freaking out.  So much so, that I blatantly ignored Him and His calling for at least a couple of years.  It was during this time that Dionysos and Hermes showed up in my life and basically started guiding me right back to Apollon, but I digress.

Skipping now to when I not only knew it was Him, but was also ready to honor Him, the first thing I did was go online and find everything I could relating to His lore, as well as seek out information on appropriate offerings.  What I learned about offerings was that if all else fails (meaning you just can’t think of anything), falling back on the traditional is a good place to start.  So, milk, honey, a mixture of both (after warming the milk a bit), olive oil, wine cut with water, or just water are all fair and acceptable offerings that He will appreciate.

When giving these offerings/libations do so sincerely.  Do so with honest words of praise.  But don’t get too hung up on whether or not you walked a procession beforehand, or whether you need fancy bowls for His altar or shrine.  When I started giving Him offerings I simply poured or left them upon the Earth.  Remember that He is receiving not the physical aspect of the offering, but the spiritual aspect that is entwined within your adoration.

If you happen to be a witch or Wiccan, you may be familiar with dressing and charging candles with your intent.  Lovingly charged candles are another gift that He received from me in our early days, and I never once got a negative impression from Him about it.

So, in short, just be yourself.  Be unequivocally who you are.  Follow your tradition, but be open to His guidance in new directions.  First and foremost Apollon demands that we know ourselves, and in that knowing we will find what is most proper for us in our relationships with Him– and this includes the knowledge of what is within, and what is beyond our price range.

Some may say the expense of the wine (for instance) will determine how well received it is.  That is not my experience.  Apollon has never asked me to overreach my finances just to show Him how devoted I am.  He is not a selfish God who demands that we put ourselves at risk or into debt as a means of pleasing Him.  That is certainly not to say that He doesn’t appreciate a fancy spread or expensive trinket every now and then.  Just don’t skip the bills or other important matters to do it.  In many ways, Apollon is the God of Adulting, and adults usually take care of the necessities before any indulgences.

Now I want to talk about the lore.  Those who are familiar with His exploits may already know how utterly frightening He can seem, and be on occasion.  These stories are very layered and reveal even some mysteries about Him, and about nature, that have yet to be comprehended.  What was learned in the past is not the totality of knowledge to be imparted upon human civilization.  So, if Apollon leads you toward an alternate view of Himself, or of a certain event, allow yourself to experience it before casting it aside if it doesn’t fit well with your current views.  You can always revisit it later, if it’s warranted.  And remember, we are all not going to interpret the lore in the same ways.  The stories are so nuanced that many can be taken quite literally, as well as allegorically.  Some may reveal aspects of His personality that we may not wish to encounter, but they are there and they are real, and we should be aware of them.

How do you see your relationship manifesting?  Is it romantic?  Is it platonic?  Is it familial?  Is it business?  Is it artistic?  A combination?  Only you and He may determine the final outcome, and it is a wonderful experience just deciding and going forward with the decision.

Some other things to ponder are of course which days or times of day you will set aside for Him.  Having a regular meeting time is very beneficial.  Not only does it ensure that you and He will have this time to focus on your relationship and its goals, it will slowly attune you to His energy, and you may eventually find yourself communing with Him at unexpected times, and without need of any accouterments.

A basic starting point for this, beyond celebrating a few of His major holidays throughout the year, is to pick a day of the week or month (lunar or Julian, or from whatever calendar you follow) which feels especially attuned to His domain.  The seventh, twentieth, and twenty-first days of the month are all sacred to Apollon.  Sundays and Mondays are also significant as one or the other is seen as the start of the week.  Sunday is obvious because of Apollon’s associations with light and the Sun itself, while Monday may seem a bit more obscure, but as Monday relates to the Moon, Apollon as Noumenios, who ushers in the first sliver of moonlight after the Deipnon, is appropriately honored on that day of the week, just as He is honored on the Noumenia itself.

And this talk of Noumenios provides the perfect segue into the discussion of epithets, which, while not strictly necessary if one is approaching the God through non-traditionally Hellenic means, are still helpful in establishing connections with the aspects of Apollon’s personality and domain that one desires to encounter.  Because He is so large and so powerfully entrenched within both the natural and civilized worlds, narrowing our focus onto a very specific portion of His power will enable us to approach Him from a position of relative safety.  It will also enable Him to guide us down a more narrow pathway than we might otherwise see, which is helpful for maintaining our sanity, for we humans can not touch all aspects of Him (or any God) at any one time, and to try to do so courts destruction on many levels.

Now, on destruction– that which Apollon brings to all that is stagnant and no longer worthy or needed.  As He brings destruction in the lore, He may also bring it into our lives, and in a variety of ways.  For what is katharmos (purification), but the destruction of miasma (pollution)?  What is the sting of His arrow, but the destruction of ego?  Apollon is the Destroyer, and in our workings with Him, and in our honoring of Him, we should never forget who and what He is.

Destruction can be as much of a comfort as a curse, largely depending on the circumstances.  For instance, Apollon Pythios, the Rotting Lord of the Cemeteries, destroys the body after death so that the soul may rise to a new existence.  This frees the individual, but saddens their family and friends.  Apollon’s iconography and methodology may be frightening, but the role He plays in the furtherance of life can not be overstated.  We are all of us the products of continuous creation and destruction.  This is what it means to live.  So, when we develop relationships with Him, we must be willing to remake ourselves in accordance with what we learn about ourselves, through Him.  If we are willing to do that, then we need not fear our Benevolent Lord.

In closing, to begin an effective relationship with Apollon, you need only want to, while acting as your authentic self.  Bring what you have to the table and He will meet you there with sincerity, and often, also with love.  Be open.  Be not rigid in your thinking.  And above all, be aware.

— Columbine

Simple Pythaea Ritual

For my Sisters, and the benefit of any who were perhaps wanting to celebrate with us, I present one of my Pythaea rituals.  This modern funerary celebration of the power of Apollon as Pythios, the Rotting God, may be held in a variety of ways, however, I have decided to share the most traditionally inspired ritual I can stand.  I think this one is the most widely accessible version I’ve ever done, and so the most worthy of being shared.

Pythaea occurs on the twentieth day of Treasury Month Pytheion (V), which we are currently in, falling upon the Julian date of May 8, 2015.

~

The Pythaea

A modern, though traditionally inspired, ritual to exalt Apollon Pythios, He who rules over Death, the Enlightener, who strips away the pretense of the flesh, revealing the untarnished truth, and sending souls forward on their evolutionary paths.

You may find Him in the cemetery, or the mortuary.  You may find Him standing over the roadkill you saw on your morning commute.  Pythios is the Rotting God who commanded the corpse of Python to fall into oblivion, and He is the God whose Temple lies before us, after death.

This is a funerary rite, in which we acknowledge the power of Death, and contemplate Apollon’s role in its implementation.  Death is not an end, but a first step on a journey we can not yet know, just as we may not yet know our enlightenment until we have received it.  But by this rite, may we shed a little of what holds us back.

This ritual is but one example of what might be done for the Pythaea.  Feel free to alter or fix the ritual to suit yourself, and your needs.

~

Be washed and dressed in clean, comfortable, perhaps mournful clothing. Then begin by transferring flame from the sacred hearth/candle to a another candle which can be carried to the altar, while saying: “Hestia, who guards the holy fires of the Lord in Pytho, who holds the sacred task of keeping the ever-burning hearth, we/I ask that You bless this rite and consecrate all that is affected herein.”

Alternatively, if you do not keep a sacred flame burning all, most or some of the time, you may instead light and dedicate the flame to Hestia for this ritual specifically, by saying: “Blessed Hestia, keeper of the universal hearth, She who is the nurturer of all flame, everywhere, we/I ask that You bless this rite and consecrate all that is affected herein.”

Here is the procession toward the altar, where all participants gather before walking together, led by you (the facilitator), who carries the sacred flame. The burning candle should be placed on the altar at this time.

Now, you will take a large bay leaf (or a bundle of other preferred herbs) and light it with the newly consecrated flame.  Quickly plunge the flame into the previously prepared bowl of water, saying:  “This water is purified in the essence of Hestia, Virgin Most Holy.”  Khernips are now prepared.

Next, you will asperge (sprinkle with khernips) first the altar and all implements thereon, moving to each participant in turn, yourself included, while circling the altar.  All should hold a prayerful mindset throughout the purification.  A prayer to Apollon the Purifier may also be spoken aloud at this time, if you like.  Example: “Apollon, our Lord called Daphneios, hear the prayer of Your people.  Our Lord called Katharsios, cast out the impurities herein.”  The space is now ritually pure, and the leftover water should be placed outside of the ritual area, to be poured onto the ground later.

At this time, participants should place their offerings upon the altar, each saying a personal greeting to the Lord Apollon as they approach, or they may do so silently.  Offerings for this rite should include a few previously prepared “bodies for cremation” in the sacred fire, in Apollon’s name. These bodies need not be any more complex than paper cut-outs in vaguely human shapes.  Upon these bodies should be written labels of undesirable traits that are relevant to the person(s) present.

Now, you may call to Apollon in earnest, saying (something to the effect of): “Apollon Pythios, our Lord, and commander of the decaying flesh, we/I do call to You, Releaser of the spirit from physical bonds!  Dread Apollon, Most Equitable Pythios, hear us/me and arrive!”  Calls may continue until you feel the Lord’s presence.

Next comes the explanation of the ritual, the reason(s) why you have come and your intent, spoken thus, or similarly: “Apollon Pythios, Lord called Destroyer, He who waits at the brink of death, who rules the transition at the sacred cemetery, we/I have come here to know You, to exalt You, and to be released from our/my bonds, just as You release the pure souls of those lain to rest before Your holy feet.”

You will now hold each of the “bodies” out toward the image of Apollon upon the altar in turn, saying aloud the labels each were given.  Participants will at this time call out any other undesirable traits that they wish to have stripped away by the Rotting God. After all are finished, you will hold the “bodies”, one by one, over the sacred flame until they are consumed.  Any leftovers should be collected in a small bowl for burial later.  During this process, participants, including yourself, should pray intensely and silently to the Lord Apollon.  They may also choose to meditate upon Him in this aspect of Pythios, and the lessons which may be learned from Him.

Afterward, you and participants may light incense from the sacred flame to be placed on the altar in offering and thanks to Apollon Pythios for His presence and purification.  Thanks may be verbalized at this time.  Example: “Apollon Pythios, Lord of the rot who wields the all-cleansing light, we/I thank You for Your presence at this rite, and in our/my lives/life. Thank You for the enlightenment You bring, and for the gift of death’s release.  If we/I have ever pleased You, and if You have ever seen fit to assist us/me in our/my turbulent lives/life, then remember us/me as we/I remember You.”

Next, comes the final offering, in the form of libations poured into a separate bowl.  I have determined that the most appropriate libations for this rite are water and wine, though you may use your own discretion in choosing for yourself.  As each libation is poured into the bowl, say something like: “May You receive this sustenance in exchange for Your presence and attention. Blessed Apollon, we/I thank You.”

At this time, all participants should follow you outside to pour the libations onto the Earth, as well as to bury any leftovers from the “cremated bodies”, and to pour out the used khernips.  Thank Lord Apollon and Lady Hestia one last time to conclude the ritual. Example: “Lord and Lady of Purest Flame, we/I thank You for the kindness You have shown us/me, and we/I humbly seek to remain worthy of Your Divine intervention.  If it pleases You, stay; if it pleases You go, and be welcome with us/me, always.”

Hail Apollon!  Hail Hestia!  Hail the Blessed, Deathless Gods!