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So, you want to celebrate Thargelia?

Introduction

 

This particular adaptation of the holiday is what might be called the “back half” of it. The front half, or first night, is a little more low-key and involves whatever elements of purification and/or katharsos are appealing to you. For me, I make the panspermia, a terrible name for an excellent food, in which I cook some of the dry beans I’ve saved since last Thargelia and save some to plant after blessing them on the second day. This is a good time for spring cleaning and while my focus tends to be on my pantry, this is also a good time to think about other decluttering efforts. Others make poppets to replace the traditional sacrifice, which is another excellent way of going about it. The ancient celebration involved driving the ugliest man out of town with rocks and switches. Tempting though it may be, I don’t recommend that as a contemporary practice.

 

The first night is also a great time to honor both Leto and Artemis. We could think of this as sort of a Hellenic Mother’s Day, if that’s a metaphor that works for you. Since kharis is one of our foundational principles, a gift to charitable organizations that help mothers and women is as good a sacrifice as any. Charity Navigator compiled a list of highly rated charities that benefit women’s equality, rights, education, and social services, (retrieved 27 April, 2018) for Women’s History Month. If that kind of donation isn’t possible for you, remember that the Theoi are more interested in the content of your heart than the content of your wallet. Any kindness toward women and mothers, including yourself if that describes you, is appropriate if you take care to remember the Labor of Leto and Artemis’ clever midwifery.

 

In regards to seasonally-appropriate holiday food, I have always celebrated Thargelia as a feast of last fruits on the first day and a feast of first fruits on the second day. “First fruits,” which may neither be first, nor strictly fruits, will vary depending on where you live and what the weather has been. In Middle Tennessee, it’s strawberries and a number of green things such as kale and green onions, which makes for a light and fresh lunch.

 

This ritual is meant to be a guide, but there’s room for a great deal of adaptation, as best suits you and your needs.

 

Happy Thargelia!

— Sunweaver


Thargelia

 

[Host]

Hestia, who tends the holy house of the Lord Apollon, the Far-Shooter of Pytho, welcome to this house. May this place be made holy, as were the temples of old, with our work and your love.

 

[host lights a candle for Hestia]

 

Blessed are the Gods of Olympos, Immortal Twelve, who have brought us to this moment. May our joy sustain us through the coming season.

 

[host lights a candle for the Immortal Twelve]

 

Blessed are You, Apollon, light of this world, born to queenly Leto.

 

[host lights a candle for Apollon]

 

[First]

Delos was very glad at the birth of the far-shooting lord. But Leto was racked nine days and nine nights with pangs beyond wont.

 

[Next]

Because Eilithyia, goddess of sore travail, had not heard of Leto’s trouble.

 

[Next]

As soon as She set foot on Delos, the pains of birth seized Leto, so she cast her arms about a palm tree and kneeled on the soft meadow while the earth laughed for joy beneath.

 

[Next]

Then the child leaped forth to the light into hands of Artemis Midwife and all the attendant goddesses raised a cry. Straightaway, great Phoebos, the goddesses washed you purely and cleanly with sweet water and swathed you in a white garment of fine texture, new-woven, and fastened a golden band about you.

 

[Next]

…and Leto was glad because she had borne a strong son and an archer.1

 

[Host]

We offer the Eiresione (“ir-es-ee-on”), here a grapevine swathed in wool, and the first fruits to Phoebos Apollo, slayer of Python and ripener of fruits.

 

[All]

The Eiresione brings berries and bread,

honey and strong wine,

so you go drunk to bed!2

 

Hail Apollon!

 

[Host]

We now come to the blessing of the meal:

 

[All]

We give thanks to you, Immortal Gods for the bounty before us. May you bless our meal that from it we might gain strength, health, and long life.

[First]

We give thanks to Hestia for blessing our hearth

 

[Next]

We give thanks to Zeus for bringing the rain

 

[Next]

We give thanks to Apollo for healthy crops and herds

 

[Next]

We give thanks to Dionysos for the gift of wine

 

[Next]

We give thanks to Demeter for the fruits of the Earth

 

[Next]

We give thanks to Athene for the gift of olives

 

[Next]

We give thanks to Triptolemos, who taught us to farm

 

[Next]

We give thanks to Aristaeos, who taught us to make cheese, keep bees, and tend animals

 

[Next]

We give thanks to Kyamites, who taught us to grow beans.

 

[Host]

“When you have put away craving for sweet food, come with me singing the hymn, Ie Paean!, until you come to the place where you shall keep my rich temple.” So said Apollo.1

 

…and so say we all

 


 

  1. Adapted from: Homeric Hymn 3 to Delian Apollo. Lines 90-129, 495-505

Anonymous. The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Homeric Hymns. Cambridge, MA.,Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.

  1. Adapted from:
    Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion. Harvard University Press; Cambridge, 1985. p. 101

 

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Happy Noumenia, and Blessed Theoxenia!

Noumenia of Treasury Month Theoxenion (IV): Theoxenia – (3/18/2018)

Blessed Theoxenia, everyone! May Apollon’s return bring with Him the warmth and radiance of the coming spring! If the flowers have not already begun to bloom, they soon will, and so too will our hearts, full with His affection and grace.

This day marks a turning point in the year, wherein the wild, whirling twilight of Apollon’s primal nature is subdued by His more civilized and anthropomorphic qualities.

These attributes once awakened the oracular powers of the Pythia in Delphi, gave strength and cunning to men during the war campaign season, led farmers to sow, tend, and reap their crops, as well as to raise livestock for food and sacrifice, and much more. Our Lord Apollon is the very soul of civilization.

And so, in honor of our Prince, we welcome Him back into the world which He shall again permeate fully, by welcoming Him back into our homes, for we all are the house of Apollo.

The Lord returns again to the house of Apollo. May the house of Apollo open its doors.


Theoxenia Ritual Outline, by Sunweaver

[ALL]
Hestia, who tends the holy house of the Lord Apollo, the far-shooter of Pytho, welcome to this house. May you, and may Zeus, the all-wise, draw near and bestow your blessings on this place and on all who enter in peace and goodwill.

[Leader]
The Temple at Delphi faced West, welcoming the coming night, the darkness of mystery and the freedom of letting go. That was the house of Dionysus then and this is the house of Dionysus now. We welcome him with an offering of wine.

[All]
Dionysos Lyaeus, hear our prayers,
Blessed is the son of Zeus and Semele
Who frees us from care, we offer this to you,
May we be blessed with your favor.

[libation]

[First]
These past few months, we have celebrated the blessings of Dionysos, feasted and reveled in freedom and good company. We lit candles in the moonless nights of the darkest month, reflecting our own divine light and in hope for peace and freedom for all people.

[Leader]
The Temple at Delphi also faced East, welcoming the light of the rising sun, the light of insight and order, the light of reason that makes civilization possible. That was the house of Apollo then and this is the house of Apollo now. We welcome him by lighting a candle in the East.

[Second]
In those days, the Pythia made and broke nations and kings with her words. She was blessed by Apollo, inspired through the pneuma that rose up from the Earth. The Temple is now broken and the pneuma no longer rises into her holy sanctuary, the adyton, but we offer this incense in thanks for that which Apollo will illuminate for us and in remembrance of the Oracle.

[light incense]

[All]
Phoebos Apollo, hear our prayers:
Blessed son of Leto, god of Prophets who sees afar
May I go forth this day with my eyes open,
To see each moment as it truly is
May all beings be well,
and may Apollo bring them to His light
And may we be blessed by all the Gods of Olympos

[Leader]
We have now come to the blessing of First Breakfast:

We give thanks to you, immortal Gods, for the bounty before us

[Next]
To Hestia for blessing the hearth

[Next]
To Zeus, who brings the rain

[Next]
To Apollo, the ripener

[Next]
To Demeter, for the fruits of the Earth

[Next]
And her priest, Triptolemos, who taught us to farm

[Next]
And to Dionysos, for the gift of grapes

[All]
May all the Gods and good spirits bless this meal and all who have gathered here!

So Say We All!

Ktistêsia Altar Purification

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.

— Columbine


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.

Purification Ritual for Brides, Lovers, and Consorts

This ritual is adapted from my personal purificatory regimen, for use by any bride, lover, consort, etc., of Apollon.  Of course, any devotee may use this ritual, but it was adapted with His many lovers in mind.  It is not traditionally Hellenic.  It is shared for Aegletia, to be done on the first day: purification.  It is to be done before bedtime.

You will need:

A clean shower or tub
Sea salt

White clothes and veil (optional)
Two prepared purification waters of your choice; one to drink and one to pour over the body
An anointing oil of your choice (olive oil may be used)
A prepared offering of your choice
Bay leaves, and a means of burning and containing them

— Columbine


Special diet consisting solely of fruits, breads, herbs/spices, olive oil, honey, salt and water, must be adhered to for at least twenty-four hours prior to purification ritual.

First, wash the body and hair, shave appropriately (if you choose to shave), then scrub down your whole body with sea salt.  Do not rinse.  Dry and dress in white clothes, and a loose white veil.

Approach the shrine or altar.  Propitiate the Beloved.  Give thanks, and praise unto Him.  Unveil, and drink previously prepared inner purification water. Anoint the body with an oil that both you and Apollon find pleasing.  Begin purificatory visualization, breathing exercises (optional), and chakra cleansing (optional).

Visualize the flow of water, flushing away the impurities, leaving the body clean.  Visualize the same for the auric and astral bodies.  Continue chakra cleansing (optional), and breathing exercises (optional), while visualizing.

Visualize yourself ascending a tall spiral staircase leading to a spiritual abode where the Beloved waits for you, becoming more pure with each upward curve toward perfection.  Visualize your arrival and the Beloved’s presence enshrouding you.  Repeat these words:  “I am whole.  I am holy.  I am perfect.  I am Yours.”

Commune with the Beloved.

After your communion, awaken, and give thanks and praise unto Him.  Veil yourself again, and ask that He create a shield from, and a system with which to flush away all future impurities before they have the opportunity to take root.  Accept His divine touch.  Give thanks and praise unto Him.

Present previously prepared offering, then burn bay leaves to seal your intent.  Give thanks and praise unto Him.

Now, invite the Beloved to be received into your home on the second day of Aegletia.  Leave the shrine or altar and commence rinsing body and hair in a warm bath or shower, then pour previously prepared outer purification water over your body.  Dry, dress in comfortable night clothes (or not, as the case may be) and sleep.

A Modern Hellenic Ritual for Thargelia

The Treasury’s celebration of Thargelia 2016, falls upon April 14th.

Thargelia is one celebration of the birth of the Hellenic God, Apollon, who, under His epithets of Paian (Healer), Katharsios (Purifier) and Apotropaios (Averter), possesses the greatest healing, purificatory and banishing skills within the Hellenic Pantheon. It is a festival in which the first ripe fruits of springtime are offered to Him, for His favor, and in which He offers katharmos (purification) to the City and its inhabitance.

This purification comes in the form of a community feast, followed by the ritual exile of two pharmakoi (singular – pharmakos) or “scapegoats”, who in antiquity would have been persons, one male and one female, specially chosen for this task. In modern times, it is more efficient and humane to produce effigies to represent these scapegoats. The effigies can then be “driven out” by way of ritual fire or burial, thus ensuring effective purification.

During the Thargelia ritual, participants will energetically release their ills, and will also air their grievances against the City leaders and others of high position who fail to recognize the City’s needs, by speaking them (optional) and writing them (mandatory) with intent upon small bits of paper. These papers should then be stuffed into, or otherwise attached to, the pharmakoi effigies, which will be adorned with flowers by the facilitator and placed on the ends of the ritual feast table residing in front of the altar. Then, the pre-ritual khernips purification will begin, and all participants and viewers will rinse their faces and hands to prepare for entry into the ritual space.

 

__________________________________

 

Participants and viewers proceed with the procession, silently, toward the altar/feast table after all are purified with khernips. Barley is strewn across the altar while incense is lit to prepare for Apollon, then the facilitator recites a list of His relevant epithets, followed by the text fragment of the First Delphic Hymn, in honor of the God**. At the altar/feast table, each person then sets their ripe fruits (or fresh flowers), or their prepared dishes neatly down, while more calls are made to Apollon by the facilitator. Personal calls are then made by each willing participant in turn.

Once it is determined that the God has arrived, all participants let out a cry of welcoming. Facilitator then recites the myth of Leto’s wandering, the God’s birth on Delos, His subsequent slaying of the Python four days later, and His eventual exile to His Mother’s land of Hyperborea. Facilitator then leads a prayer for the blessing of the food placed before the God, and all participants pray solemnly and silently.

Participants then observe as the facilitator doles out portions of the feast, first to Apollon, and then to the pharmakoi. Prayer for purification/healing continues by all for a period of time. Prayers may be personal, or inclusive of the City and others of concern to participants. After prayers, participants form a wreath of laurel before the icons of Apollon upon the altar, offering gratitude and sincere awe to the God who purifies all things.

Participants then serve themselves from the feast table (not from the plates set aside for Apollon or the pharmakoi) and commence solemn eating and visiting. When all have eaten their fill, the ritual takes an abrupt turn, wherein the pharmakoi are seized and “driven (carried) away” by all participants with shouts and curses.

At the conclusion, if no safe and proper way to burn/bury them exists at the ritual location, the pharmakoi are to be enclosed inside a box or other container, and placed in the trunk of a car. At that point, to increase and maximize the spiritual energy of the participants, the pharmakoi should be driven around the block and away from the ritual, thus ending it.

The car should then be discreetly parked nearby until information is exchanged between participants and viewers, goodbyes are said, and clean up is completed. Excess food/fruit (except for what was placed before Apollon and the pharmakoi, which will instead be set out at night for the wild animals at an appropriate spot, or ritually burned/buried at a later time) will be divided among participants and viewers.

In the ensuing days, it is encouraged that the ritual participants get together again for an informal discussion of the ritual itself, and any thoughts or feelings that it induced in them. This is a good time to work out any issues in the ritual, and to plan for the next year.

— Columbine


** First Delphic Hymn to Apollo – Fragment
_______________________

Hear me, you who posses deep-wooded Helicon, fair-armed daughters of Zeus the magnificent! Fly to beguile with your accents your brother, golden-tressed Phoebus who, on the twin peak of this rock of Parnassus, escorted by illustrious maidens of Delphi, sets out for the limpid streams of Castalia, traversing, on the Delphic promontory, the prophetic pinnacle.

Behold glorious Attica, nation of the great city which, thanks to the prayers of the Tritonid warrior, occupies a hillside sheltered from all harm. On the holy altars Hephaestos consumes the thighs of young bullocks, mingled with the flames, the Arabian vapor rises towards Olympos. The shrill rustling lotus murmurs its swelling song, and the golden kithara, the sweet-sounding kithara, answers the voice of men.

And all the host of poets, dwellers in Attica, sing your glory, God, famed for playing the kithara, son of great Zeus, beside this snow-crowned peak, oh you who reveal to all mortals the eternal and infallible oracles. They sing how you conquered the prophetic tripod guarded by a fierce dragon when, with your darts you pierced the gaudy, tortuously coiling monster, so that, uttering many fearful hisses, the beast expired.

They sing too…..

Sunweaver’s Ritual for Apollo’s Return (Theoxenia)

[ALL]
Hestia, who tends the holy house of the Lord Apollo, the far-shooter of Pytho, welcome to this house. May you, and may Zeus, the all-wise, draw near and bestow your blessings on this place and on all who enter in peace and goodwill.

[Leader]
The Temple at Delphi faced West, welcoming the coming night, the darkness of mystery and the freedom of letting go. That was the house of Dionysus then and this is the house of Dionysus now. We welcome him with an offering of wine.

[All]
Dionysos Lyaeus, hear our prayers,
Blessed is the son of Zeus and Semele
Who frees us from care, we offer this to you,
May we be blessed with your favor.

[libation]

[First]
These past few months, we have celebrated the blessings of Dionysos, feasted and reveled in freedom and good company. We lit candles in the moonless nights of the darkest month, reflecting our own divine light and in hope for peace and freedom for all people.

[Leader]
The Temple at Delphi also faced East, welcoming the light of the rising sun, the light of insight and order, the light of reason that makes civilization possible. That was the house of Apollo then and this is the house of Apollo now. We welcome him by lighting a candle in the East.

[Second]
In those days, the Pythia made and broke nations and kings with her words. She was blessed by Apollo, inspired through the pneuma that rose up from the Earth. The Temple is now broken and the pneuma no longer rises into her holy sanctuary, the adyton, but we offer this incense in thanks for that which Apollo will illuminate for us and in remembrance of the Oracle.

[light incense]

[All]
Phoebos Apollo, hear our prayers:
Blessed son of Leto, god of Prophets who sees afar
May I go forth this day with my eyes open,
To see each moment as it truly is
May all beings be well,
and may Apollo bring them to His light
And may we be blessed by all the Gods of Olympos

[Leader]
We have now come to the blessing of First Breakfast:

We give thanks to you, immortal Gods, for the bounty before us

[Next]
To Hestia for blessing the hearth

[Next]
To Zeus, who brings the rain

[Next]
To Apollo, the ripener

[Next]
To Demeter, for the fruits of the Earth

[Next]
And her priest, Triptolemos, who taught us to farm

[Next]
And to Dionysos, for the gift of grapes

[All]
May all the Gods and good spirits bless this meal and all who have gathered here!
So Say We All!

Sunweaver’s Aegletia Ritual

Here is the ritual format followed by many of the Treasury’s Sisters last year, shared for all who may wish to celebrate with us this time. The Aegletia begins October 1st, and ends October 9th.

 

Sunweaver’s Aegletia Ritual, with contributions by Columbine

 

[First Night]

Hestia, who tends the holy house of Lord Apollon, the Far-Shooter of Pytho, welcome to this house. May this place be made holy, as were the temples of old, with our work and your love.

 

Blessed are the Gods of Olympos, Immortal Twelve, who have brought us to this moment. May our joy sustain us through the coming season.

 

[Every Night]

 

[Host]

Blessed are You, Apollon, light of this world

 

[All]

May we be kept within Your reach
Always striving to seek what is right
And what is good among all life situations

 

[Host]

Blessed are You, Apollon, gleaming in the distance

 

[All]

May Your trail illuminate the ways
That we may follow You
Even as the dark begins its reign

 

[Host]

Blessed are You, Apollon, wolf of twilight

 

[All]

May we never run fearfully from Your howl
Which is the precursor to Your embrace
And a warning to the many who cross Your path

 

[Host]

Blessed are You, Apollon, perched upon a high throne

 

[All]

May we bask in Your radiance, yearning to honor You
In action, as well as speech
For You are the arbiter of peace and righteousness

 

[Host]

Blessed are You, Apollon, our Lord, our King

 

[All]

Riding on the winds, holding sway over the Seasons
May we know You as intimately as the soil knows the rain
And may we dance to the melody of Your lyre, in Winter, once again

 

[Host lights the candle(s)]

 

[Host]

[First Night]

We have come to the First Illumination: Purification. This light, from which all others will be lit, represents the purity of the Son of Leto. We have made our home a temple and we await Apollo Aegletes, He who Illuminates.

 

[Second Night]

We have come to the Second Illumination: Arrival. This light represents Apollon’s presence in our lives. Though we may not always see the flame, it still yet burns.

 

[Third Night]

We have come to the Third Illumination: Artemis. This light represents the everlasting warmth between Leto’s children: a bond that will never be broken.

 

[Fourth Night]

We have come to the Fourth Illumination: Leto. This light represents the indomitable Holy Mother from whom the blessed Twins inherited their fiery spirit.

 

[Fifth Night]

We have come to the Fifth Illumination: Awareness. This light represents the world as it is and not as it is imagined to be. Apollo’s light is truth.

 

[Sixth Night]

We have come to the Sixth Illumination: Beauty. This light represents the illuminated world, made brighter with art, music, theater, dance, and games.

 

[Seventh Night]

We have come to the Seventh Illumination: Fellowship. This light represents those who worship Apollon who, though we may be distant from one another, are brought together by our mutual love of our Lord.

 

[Eighth Night]

We have come to the Eighth Illumination: Quietude. This light represents the insights that will continue to grow as we cultivate a quiet mind, giving space within ourselves for Apollon’s gifts.

 

[Ninth Night]

We have come to the Ninth Illumination: Farewell. This light represents all that we will carry with us through the winter’s dark and Apollon’s absence as he rests in Hyperborea. We say farewell in gladness and joy, for He has left us with many blessings.  

 

[Host]

Hail to Apollo Aegletes! So say we all!

 

[All]

So say we all!

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