Aegletia begins October 1st, and ends October 9th
A couple years back, I wrote a short ritual for the Aegletia and felt that it was time to add a little bit to it. One thing I’ve always wanted to have as part of our tradition is some shared foodways. Given that we have many different backgrounds, that’s not easy, but the concepts surrounding the Aegletia give us the opportunity to develop some common culinary practices. I’ve outlined some ideas and will be testing them out this year, but I would also like to invite all of you to share your thoughts and maybe even recipes. The great thing about this is that you can do as much or as little of this as you want to and you should be able to accommodate these ideas, even with a tight budget. I’ve been there myself and I tried to write these guidelines with a mind toward compassion for those of us with smaller budgets or who may not have access to a wide variety of ingredients. First, I offer a blessing for food, which I like to say before a sacred meal. There’s a long-ish list of blessings, but you are meant to choose from those that are relevant to your particular meal. If you don’t have beans, for example, you can leave out the one to Kyamites.
Blessing the Meal
We give thanks to you, Immortal Gods, for the bounty before us.
May you bless our meal, so that from it we might gain strength, health, and long life.
We give thanks to Hestia, for blessing our hearth.
We give thanks to Zeus, for bringing the rain.
We give thanks to Apollon, for healthy crops and herds.
We give thanks to Dionysos, for the gift of wine.
We give thanks to Demeter, for the fruits of the Earth.
We give thanks to Athene, for the gift of olives.
We give thanks to Triptolemos, who taught us to farm.
We give thanks to Aristaeos, who taught us to make cheese, keep bees, and tend animals.
We give thanks to Kyamites, who taught us to grow beans.
Guidelines for eating during the Aegletia
First Night: Purification
Drink nothing but water today and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Meals should be high in fiber and plant-based. If you have any sensitivities, such as lactose intolerance, avoid those foods especially today. Avoid added and refined sugars, where possible, as well as highly processed foods.
There are a lot of “detox” foods and drinks floating around, but the science behind them is dubious, at best. Nutritionally speaking, water and fiber are your two best weapons against toxins in the body. Our bodies are usually very good at expelling toxins, but need water and fiber as the vehicle with which to do that.
Example: Seasoned chick peas, herbed barley, roasted peaches with cinnamon, and fresh salad.
Second Night: Arrival
Include dates, which Mother Leto ate upon Lord Apollon’s arrival. Include imported foods to remind us that Delos is barren and produces no food for herself. For our purposes, any food not produced locally or regionally is sufficient to consider “imported.” I live in the American South, for example, so anything produced west of the Mississippi river and north of Kentucky would be considered outside my region and, therefore, “imported,” even if it’s not necessarily from another country. The distinction isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but rather one you can make for yourself based on what you would consider “regional.”
Apollon’s arrival may be cause to have a somewhat bigger, nicer, “Sunday Dinner” sort of meal, since we are inviting our Bright Lord on this day.
Example: Baked chicken with dried Mediterranean apricots, tropical fruit salad, brown rice or barley, steamed broccoli, and whole dates.
Third Night: Artemis
Food that has been caught from the wild or hunted would be appropriate for the third night, but availability and expense of something like venison or wild-caught fish might prevent this option from being a practical one. Instead, if you live in a household with children, it is their day to choose their favorite meal. Otherwise, a favorite meal from your own childhood, one that inspires fond remembrances, would also be appropriate. If you have pets, this is a good day to give them a special treat.
Example: Hot dogs, sweet potato fries, and baked beans with finely chopped onions and apples. For the dog: a small serving of unseasoned sweet potato, thoroughly cooked and skinned.
Fourth Night: Leto
Once again, this is a good night to serve dates, for the same reason as we did in the second night. This night, it is the mother’s night to choose what’s for dinner. If you are not yourself a mother or no mothers live in the household, you might choose something that reminds you fondly of a motherly figure in your life. This does not necessarily need to be your own mother, just someone who nurtured you as Mother Leto nurtures Her own children and those devoted to Her. Drink only water today and kindly offer water to others when you can. The people of Lycia denied water to Mother Leto, but water is for everyone and should be shared freely.
Example: Chopped dates with roasted nuts, ratatouille, barley with herbed pesto and flax seed.
Fifth Night: Awareness
There are some foods that are supposedly good for your brain and may help you be more alert and aware. The scholarship on this may change over time and we can always make adjustments if that happens. A modest amount of caffeine is appropriate today and foods like flax seed, almonds, eggs, beets, fatty fish (such as salmon), walnuts, fresh fruit, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grains, broccoli, carrots, winter squash, and dark chocolate are purported to be good for concentration, focus, and memory.
Example: Spinach/tomato omelettes, whole wheat carrot nut muffins, orange juice
Sixth Night: Beauty
For the sixth night, it doesn’t matter what you decide to make as long as you put some effort forth into making it look nice. Make food with lots of bright, natural colors, make use of a little garnish, arrange the food nicely on the plate, tidy up the kitchen table, put out the good china. Even if you’re having chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese, put a sprig of parsley on top of that mac and cheese; make it look a little bit fancy.
Example: Purple cabbage with onions (sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper); steamed carrots tossed in honey and butter, baked herb chicken, parsley garnish.
Seventh Night: Fellowship
This is a good night to invite a friend to dinner or have a potluck with friends. You could even share food with friends and neighbors. There’s a lot of room for creativity and opportunity for strengthening friendships on this day.
Example: Chili and cornbread, but with friends.
Eighth Night: Quietude
For the eighth night, you will want to avoid caffeine and have foods that are calming in nature. Again, like the fifth night, our ideas about what foods are meant to have a calming effect on the body and brain might change over time and we can adjust accordingly when we have new information. As of now, however, you might consider asparagus (which tends to be expensive this time of year), avocados, berries, oranges, foods containing zinc (oysters are suggested, but I find them repulsive), walnuts, almonds, salmon, spinach, turkey, and oatmeal.
Example: (For breakfast) Oatmeal with dried berries and walnuts, sweetened with a little honey. (For dinner) Spinach salad topped with sliced almonds, mandarin oranges, avocado, slices of grilled or baked turkey, with a raspberry walnut dressing.
Ninth Night: Farewell
Hera gave an apple tree to Zeus as a wedding gift and it grows in Hyperborea under the heavy guard of the daughters of Atlas, the Hesperides, and the dragon Ladon. Not even Herakles could go and get any apples himself (having had to ask Atlas to do so), and even if we could, we would have to return them. We do, however, have delicious mortal realm apple trees, so thank the Gods for that! We can eat “golden,” yellow, or green apples on this day to remind us of the probably way more amazing ones that grow in Hyperborea.
This is also a good night for simple comfort foods, since we will soon be parted with our Bright Lord, the Discerning One. This may mean different things to different people, depending on your upbringing, but warm soups and stews or any sort of fare that reminds you of the comforts of home will do nicely. This is not a day for fancy food that takes hours to prepare.
Example: Grilled cheese and tomato soup with baked cinnamon apples.
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
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
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
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
[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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
We have now come to the blessing of First Breakfast:
We give thanks to you, immortal Gods, for the bounty before us
To Hestia for blessing the hearth
To Zeus, who brings the rain
To Apollo, the ripener
To Demeter, for the fruits of the Earth
And her priest, Triptolemos, who taught us to farm
And to Dionysos, for the gift of grapes
May all the Gods and good spirits bless this meal and all who have gathered here!
So Say We All!
By Sunweaver, for the first day of Aegletia.
We come to Aegletia 1: Purification, so that we may turn our minds and hearts toward Lord Apollon, the Purifier, and that we might be freed from the impurities that afflict us. Our afflictions aren’t limited to physical illness; we can harbor ill will, greed, envy, doubt, sloth, and more just as easily as a virus or a cancer. Our Lord offers us the light of awareness so that we can cleanse ourselves of that which hinders us and prevents us from recognizing our true and divine nature. When we are true to our nature, compassion and honesty come easily. We need not push away ill will or doubt; those are a dreaded Python that constricts us and consumes us, but one that can be burned away with His light. Our choice is this: Do we open our eyes to His blessings or do we turn from Him and allow the sickness of hatred and delusion to slowly kill us?
It seems like it ought to be a pretty simple choice, but it’s all too easy to get caught up in the quick high of self-righteousness and a much harder road to reflect on how we can change our actions and our attitudes for the better. Right now, right very now, someone is wrong on the internet. Someone has said something ignorant, plain stupid, hateful, factually incorrect, or just something that disagrees with somebody else’s worldview or opinions. I’d point out examples, but there are too many to count. Someone, somewhere, is being wrong on the internet or at work or in your family or somewhere else I haven’t thought of. Temporarily, it feels pretty good to speak your mind and be right at the person being wrong, but more often than not, a person will simply cling tighter to their beliefs or opinions rather than consider yours. When we greet someone with a shaking fist of righteousness, we get conflict in return. When we open our hands and speak with patience and compassion, that’s when productive dialogue can happen. That’s not to say that holding ourselves to a higher standard in the comments sections will necessarily lead to anybody else seeing the light, as it were, but we can at least cleanse our own souls by not being hateful and reactive, even when they’re really, really wrong and we can walk away when the conversation is no longer productive.
When I am out in the world or out in the internet, I see it as my sacred duty as a Priestess and Treasury Sister to hold myself to a higher standard when disagreeing with someone. I can’t say that I’ve perfectly fulfilled that duty and I’ve gotten myself caught up in ridiculous arguments about who’s more right, but I do, at least, try to be polite about it and I eventually remember that I don’t have to be right about everything. Somebody somewhere is going to be wrong about something. That’s just going to happen and if I cling to being right, I’m going to blind myself to new perspectives and ideas.
This doesn’t mean that I’m going to roll over and show my belly to hatred or injustice. That does mean that I’m going to try to handle those things with compassion and with xenia in mind. I don’t have to stoop to anyone’s level and another person’s poor behavior doesn’t have to ensnare me into doing something or saying something unwholesome. That also means having firm personal boundaries. I’m not going to engage with someone who acts out in a harmful way toward me and I’m not going to stay in a situation that’s harmful. I’m not going to put my kids, my family, or my friends in danger, either, and I will always reserve the right to say no or to walk away. Being polite to others is, for me, a matter of respect and I sincerely believe that everyone is deserving of kindness, but I’m also not going to be a doormat. Xenia works both ways and though that middle way is not always easy to see, Lord Apollon gives us the ability to be aware of when we stray from that path. Fortunately, the Moirae will be happy to present us with plenty of opportunities to practice.
I pray, then, that Apollon Aegletia purifies my heart and mind of the afflictions that obscure my true nature. May His light cleanse me of ill will, doubt, delusion, and all that is unwholesome and unlike the Bright One, son of Leto. May his blessing shine through me, even as he recedes to His place of rest in Hyperborea. May my speech and actions be wholesome and my body purified. May I shine as my true self, free from affliction, a reflection of His radiant glory. So say we all.
— Sunweaver, Aegletia [Day 1]
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
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.
Blessed are You, Apollon, light of this world
May we be kept within Your reach
Always striving to seek what is right
And what is good among all life situations
Blessed are You, Apollon, gleaming in the distance
May Your trail illuminate the ways
That we may follow You
Even as the dark begins its reign
Blessed are You, Apollon, wolf of twilight
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
Blessed are You, Apollon, perched upon a high throne
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
Blessed are You, Apollon, our Lord, our King
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)]
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.
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.
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.
We have come to the Fourth Illumination: Leto. This light represents the indomitable Holy Mother from whom the blessed Twins inherited their fiery spirit.
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.
We have come to the Sixth Illumination: Beauty. This light represents the illuminated world, made brighter with art, music, theater, dance, and games.
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.
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.
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.
Hail to Apollo Aegletes! So say we all!
So say we all!