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.

Apollon and Apollo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Lykeia

Decorations and Preparations for the Aegletia

Autumnal Season table setting. Found via Google.

 

The Aegletia (October 1st through October 9th, 2019) will be our eighth annual celebration of our Lord’s Departure. This simple guide is given, that any who choose to, may prepare their homes, or other spaces, for Apollon’s arrival and presence during the festival.

There are a few specific ways in which you may enrich your space, beginning with the cleaning and organizing of the space you have chosen to utilize. Declutter, and put away everything that has a proper place. Dust, and wipe down your surfaces, along with sweeping, vacuuming, and anything else that you know needs to be addressed. This doesn’t have to be a super deep clean, but certainly enough to be welcoming and comfortable for your important g/Guests.

After the cleaning, you may want to look for seasonal flowers or fruits, especially those local to your own area of the world, and place them decoratively around your space. If the leaves have started to turn, even those make a lovely addition to the mood and atmosphere. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps some young buds, or leafy plants, and of course, flowers. This is a time for us to mark the shift in the land, and we must not ignore our own locales. Our environments are the foundations to Treasury practice. Be aware of the land upon which you dwell, and flow with the turn of the seasons, as you experience them, first and foremost.

Note also the fleeting nature of Apollon’s time with us before His final departure, during the Ninth Illumination. Many flowers and plants last only a little over a week after being cut. So, with the festival lasting a total of nine days, by the time the Ninth Illumination arrives, many of them will be ready for appropriate offering to the ritual fire, should you choose to have one.

Moving on to other ways of attuning our spaces toward Apollon’s grace, we take note of the origin of our festival’s name. As the Aegletia is given its name after Apollon Aegletes, our Lord of the Setting Sun, and of the waning light, we must also be aware that what we feel during His Departure is not actually predicated upon the meteorological experience of the season of winter, as exists in the Northern Hemisphere. Apollon makes His journey at the same time each year, in all places, and winter is not the universal season experienced everywhere at this time. Summer holds its own mysteries in conjunction to His Departure, therefor, those in the Southern Hemisphere should feel no less free to fully exercise their own ways of acknowledgement and celebration. Think of the waning light as a metaphor for His encroaching distance, rather than taking the language literally, when it does not apply to your environment.

Having said that, let us move the conversation back toward decoration. Crystals, especially bold, sunlight colors, and those which are traditionally associated with Apollon, are a great addition to your space and festivities. Many Apollonians, including our Sisterhood, are fond of carnelian, or of orange or yellow calcite, as well as amber, quartz and selenite. You can read up on the properties of these crystals if you wish to incorporate them into your decorative choices, but this is not strictly necessary. These are, of course, not the only crystals or stones that one may decide to utilize, and all are encouraged to make their own correspondences, that every aspect of the Aegletia be attuned to their needs and wants.

Crystals or stones may be placed upon the altar, or within His shrine, during the week leading to the festival, that His blessing may be bestowed upon them. Leaving the crystals or stones out (in a safe location) at or near dusk for a succession of days, will allow them to absorb the solar energies which are present, that those energies may to transferred to the space that you are preparing. On the first day of the Aegletia, spread the crystals or stones decoratively about your living space, asking Apollon to extend His blessings across all areas of the home.

Another important preparation would be to clear the space of negative, or undesired energetic influence. This may be done in a variety of ways, and any that you are familiar and comfortable with already will suffice. One simple method of doing so includes the use of prepared salt water. Fill a clean jar with water, add a generous amount of salt (tap water and table salt are absolutely acceptable, though some may choose spring water or sea salt, as suits their tastes), speak your intent into the concoction, seal the jar, and place it upon your kitchen or dining room table. The jar will absorb any negative energy pervading the space, and should be emptied (onto the ground somewhere off your property, or alternatively, down the drain of your kitchen sink) and refilled once a day for best results. Should you choose to continue this during the festival proper, the emptying/filling of the jar may become another meaningful part of the daily/nightly ritual.

The reason for clearing the negative energy of the table is to prepare it for the convivial energy of celebration that should begin to permeate the household, as the First Illumination approaches. The table is also a suggested place for a small altar or shrine for the Divine Guests of the Aegletia.

And finally, it is encouraged that participants set aside a cozy area of the home, perhaps a living room, perhaps a bedroom, or even a different room of your choosing, for the presentation of gifts or other offerings for Apollon, Leto, and Artemis. This could be done near the home’s main altar or shrine for Apollon, or a new shrine or altar created specifically for the festival. Be sure to decorate this area appropriate to your tastes, and Apollon’s liking. Another use of this space may be the creation of the farewell gifts that you will present to Apollon on the Ninth Illumination. It can be a beautiful place of love and conversation, storytelling and dance, and whatever other celebratory ways you choose. If children are present, be sure to include some age-appropriate activities for them, as well, throughout the Aegletia festival.

May all be blessed, and may our Lord see you swiftly and tenderly upon the morning of the Second Illumination.

Hail Hyperboreios! Hail Aegletes! Hail Anax, Apollon, our King!

— Treasury of Apollon

May the Wind Lift Us Up, Rather Than Strike Us Down

“Apollo Bringing Down Arrows of Plague Upon the Greeks”, by Stanisław Wyspiański.

O Lord, who commands the wind in Mastery, so too do You sway with booming Voice, our unfocused minds! God whose turn of phrase is at once enlightening, and terrible, we who have loved You overmuch, who have dwelt with You in peace and contemplation, are here in honored reverence of You!

God of the nimble dance of fingers against lithe strings, Apollon who has breathed life into our mortal exploits, hear us, the beautiful ones enveloped within Your exquisite magnitude!

Hear us, and grant favor as You see fit, to we, the quiet ones who toil in the whirlwind of modern life!

And Lord, do grant favor also to the bold, those who embody Your deep and scathing wrath, for the whirlwind is cruel, and Your people are in need of Your deft care, as brought about by those whom You entrust!

Apollon, Prince of the sword slicing through the air, slicing through ignorance, slicing through all enemies, grant us a hardened defense, and let us remain victorious, from now until all time hereafter!

Blessed is Apollon Telkinios, Apollon Katharsios, Apollon Loxias, Apollon Khrysáoros!

Blessed is Apollon Argyrotoxos, whose aim is righteous!

Hail to You, Apollon!

— Columbine

The Names of the Gods Aren’t Their Real Names

“Apollo”, by Adam Camerarius.

There is a phenomena that happens in the mystic sector of our communities that regularly drives a knife into the heart of the mystic – That of suddenly realizing that the Gods you are so close to are not who you expected them to be, which is the very foundation of mysticism. At first it is rending. Then it is uncomfortable. You begin the journey, diving into what we define as syncretism, and you’re met with mixed emotions. You mourn the loss of equilibrium. You fear uncertainty. You mourn what you’ve lost. You doubt your path or your sanity, sometimes both. Sometimes there’s the loss of community or co-religionist friends. It hurts. It’s excruciating.

Meanwhile there’s tickling excitement as you find spots where you discover the familiar in new faces and learn new things. You gain new tools for approaching your beloved Gods. You expand your community of like-minded, same-hearted companions.

This is the very basis of the mystic experience. You grow. Your relationship with the Gods grows. You learn and accept (Eventually? Hopefully?) that, like most relationships, you don’t have full control of the situation. Learning to let go of the reigns, trusting that the beings carrying you on your journey know the way even when you may not, is one of the hardest things that will ever happen in your life.

In the last month or two I’ve been musing over this quite a lot. As believers of Many and not just One, we don’t have as many sources of people historically going through this. Many of us identify with the Abrahamic mystics, who have the luxury of there only being One in their core beliefs. We also learn in school that Gods fit into neat boxes of what they’re in power over, and that construct is not something that simply goes away because we will it. Suddenly the God of your heart does not fit into that box. They tell you that they no longer wish to be called by the name you’ve always known them as. They want to be called something else.

Now I’ve rambled here, trying to get the foundation of what I’m actually wanting to say… And that is this: Those who walk with the Powers with root in the Indo-European traditions are grounded in the very nature of the Gods does not allow for boxes. The names of our Gods were rendered in the languages spoken and carried through time. Words, after all, have power, but power shifts like everything else. Our Gods are many-named, otherwise there would have been no need for titles, epithets, and facets. No need for syncretism and interpretation. Everyone in history would agree. But that is not the case.

Many of our traditions hold that the Gods’ true names are rarely known. These true names hold power. Only the initiated learn them, and they are held as some of the greatest secrets lost in history.

These names cannot be found in primary sources and secondary sources are mere speculation. The only way to find these names now are directly experiencing the Powers. These names were regularly part of Mysteries.

We can find this in the Rig Veda:

As God, the secret names of Gods he utters, to be declared on sacred grass more widely.

– RV 9.95.4

We can find this in regard to Rome:

…and, last and greater than all, Rome herself, whose other name the hallowed mysteries of the sacred rites forbid us to mention without being guilty of the greatest impiety. After it had been long kept buried in secrecy with the strictest fidelity and in respectful and salutary silence, Valerius Soranus dared to divulge it, but soon did he pay the penalty of his rashness.

– Pliny, Natural History, Book 3, Chapter 9

We can find this, dear to my own heart, in Hellenic sources for Apollon:

O fair-beamed Sun, how you have destroyed me

and him here. You are rightly called Apollon among mortals,

whoever knows the divine powers’ unspoken names.

–from M.L. West’s Indo-European Poetry and Myth quoting Euripidies’ Phaethon (225 f. = fr. 781. 12 f.)

If you read chapter 3 of M.L. West’s Indo-European Poetry and Myth, you will find other examples of this reality. Which is exactly what it is: Reality.

Years ago, I came across a database of all the recorded names found for Celtic gods, and I was struck by how many gods had once been worshiped in Europe that were entirely lost save for a single inscription. As far as I can tell, despite lots of searching, the database seems to be gone now, which just painfully reminds me of the ephemeral nature of language and names. Some of the names in the database were simply possible reconstructions of meaning, because the language wasn’t so much lost as it evolved naturally over time. The art of describing the world around us changes, words become taboo, and the sounds that roll across our tongues are ever evolving.

Sometimes at night, when the house is silent and I enjoy a few moments of peace to sit with the Gods, I think of all the Gods that we’ve lost over time. But the reality is that the Gods are immortal. They are deathless. They are waiting for us to find our way back to Them as we reforge what is left of our traditions. Rebuild? No. We will never be able to rebuild the structures that were destroyed, but we can take what has been recorded, discovered, and experienced. And with those pieces, we can listen to the Gods whispering how to melt them and forge them into traditions that build into a strong tool used to come back to the Gods of our Ancestors.

That is Revivalism. That is the job of mystics. When a God tells you that they are not who you thought they were, you’re allowed to feel the wide range of emotions that flood over you. You’re allowed to rage. You’re allowed to cry. To scream. To fight with them. To feel the height of joy as a clue falls into your lap. You are allowed to experience all the frustration that comes with this most holy of Work.

Let it take days. Months. Years… Let it take a decade or more. However long it takes you is just the right amount of time, because you’re on the path to the Gods. Not just greatest who are remembered or even simply recorded, but all the Gods. All of Them.

Let Them give you the names They now wish to be called. Let Them be nameless until They are ready to reveal a name to you as an initiate into Their mysteries. Try to be uncomfortable with Their namelessness with hope that one day you will be far along enough in your path to be given that name, which you will hold dear to your heart from that day on.

There will be new names given. New titles. New ways of engaging with the Powers. Dive into scholarly work. Dive into pop culture. Dive into whatever gets you to that place of understanding and love. Deep, deep love. The indescribable love that itself defies names and leaves you wordless when you are cradled in the love of the Gods.

It is entirely human to demand a labeled box with which to place the mysteries of existence. That’s where language comes from. It’s easy and comfortable to shove the Gods into the boxes that were kept from the destruction of our Ancestors’ traditions. But it’s entirely impious to think that these are the only Gods there are. It is clear that those of us reviving and creating traditions have the same understanding of our Ancestors – That only the initiated know the true names of the Gods, and those names are sacred.

Sacred means of the Gods’ and not of humans. You may be faced with the reality that the names of your Undying Ones are no longer known, though They are waiting to be remembered by a new name that means more to Them now, as it will rebirth them into the present.

Our lives are not static, and neither are our traditions.

Keep walking your path even if your Gods are suddenly nameless. You’re walking the paths of our Ancestors, even if it may not feel like it.

Our traditions depend upon it.

— Camilla (7/11/2017)

The Beautiful Truth

Lord Apollon, the very pinnacle of beauty, I pray that You lift the shroud of bias, shame, blame, and control that clouds over the eyes of those who wish to see beauty in the world.  I pray that You, Unshorn One, allow these to see the many truths before them, which they shirk from their sight.  Lord of the Light Unceasing, brighten the world before these who are lost, that they will witness the terrible, ugly, beautiful truth of Nature– that which we see and admire, is also that which may destroy us, even as we sit staring in awe.

The many landscapes are indeed beautiful, especially to those who traverse them not.  Those who look from afar and never step foot into the wild lands.  Fear contains them, and rightly so.  The beautiful world is indifferent to their praises, and hostile to their ignorance.  So, Lord, I pray that You tear away the fragile skin which covers them, that which hides their insecurities, and that which implicates them in the ancient scheme of subjugation.

These whose mouths are open only to speak the ancient falsehoods– that physical beauty alone is the compass of virtue– let their mouths be closed so that their ears, hearts and minds may instead be opened to the vastness of this beautiful, terrible, ugly world.  I pray that You open their eyes to rot and death, to pain and suffering, to plague and fear.  Only then will beauty and ugliness be revealed as twin aspects of the Truth:  All that is beautiful is not inherently good.  All that is good is not necessarily beautiful.  Beauty and ugliness are woven between the fabric of matter, space and time.  One may not exist where the other does not also dwell.

Apollon Despota, Wrathful Lord, I pray that You will do these things and more, to facilitate the growth so badly needed.  For only through the cutting away of disease may the whole body be saved.  So, Lord, to that end, do I offer these gifts, that You might be pleased, as well as favorable toward us who keep Your charge to bring both truth, and beauty, into the world.

Ie Paian!

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]

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