Telchinion through Daphneion 2017/2018
Telchinion (XII) Oct. 20 – Nov. 18, 2017
(T) Tau, (Δ) Delta, (I) Iota
During the month of Telchinion, there is the warning of separation for one’s own betterment. If you now socialize with, or otherwise associate with individuals who do not share your own ethic of hard work and accountability, then you are better off without them. The Gods and circumstances will conspire to fulfill this promise, if you are unwilling to do it yourself. Things that may hold you back from taking this action may be tradition or customs, cherished and long-standing in your circle, but you must go your own way. Tradition is useless if you stagnate upon it’s corpse. What comes next will be determined by your tenacity.
Hyperboraios (XIII) Nov. 19 – Dec. 18, 2017
(N) Nu, (Θ) Theta, (Π) Pi
The month of Hyperboraios portends a great blessing to be bestowed by the Gods. It will make your life more difficult. This is not an easy blessing to bear, but the Divine Ones walk beside you, guiding and showing the way. You must remain focused, and stay upon the path They have laid out for you. Any attempt to set aside Their gift will result only in loss, pain and hardship. So struggle forward, and you will earn the righteous rewards for your efforts.
Perihelios (I) Dec. 19 – Jan. 17, 2017/2018
(K) Kappa, (M) Mu, (Δ) Delta
A great wave of motion will toss you within its twirling winds, during the month of Perihelios. It will sweep you up, and affect all that you have done up to this point. Do not fight change. Change is the constant. It will grind you down like a weathered stone if you try. And yet, through this change, it is possible to forge ahead on your journey, resting in far off places you never would have known had the great wind not taken you. Change is harrowing, but also a blessing in disguise. Do your work, and the timing for ascent out of the maelstrom with reveal itself to you. Strike then, with force, and be released.
Prostaterias (II) Jan. 18 – Feb. 15, 2018
(T) Tau, (A) Alpha, (Ψ) Psi
During the month of Prostaterias, you will be called upon to release someone (or something– this could easily pertain to a project you have worked on for many months or years– something so dear to you, it is as a child parted from its mother’s arms) into the harsh world, where they may face struggles and criticisms that you can not shield them from. It must happen for the growth of the one you hold dear. Letting them (or it) go now will result in the most favorable outcome. To attempt to withhold them (or it) will likely be disastrous in the long term, though it may assuage your short term fears. The Gods are watching, and have concurred in this oracle.
Daphneion (III) Feb. 16 – Mar. 17, 2018
(O) Omicron, (Φ) Phi, (Ξ) Xi
In the month of Daphneion, we receive a warning. What we give to the Universe comes back to us. Our actions have consequence. When we receive the fruit of our labors, or our words, we must take full responsibility. The Gods are not at fault for what we do and say, and the criticisms or troubles we reap. If we wish to receive the good, we must first cultivate the good in ourselves, so we may send it forth to generate the profits we seek. If we do not, or we do nothing, we can not expect a prize fruit from a tree untended.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 7]
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.
Well, where to begin? Apollon has begun His tour of the world before He inevitably retires to Hyperborea for the Winter. Persephone has begun Her decent into the Underworld. Winter is on its way, and I have felt the stirrings of the veil between the worlds. The Departed Ones will soon join us once more, in our Autumn celebrations.
What does this season mean to you? In years past, even last year, I met this season with anxiety and foreboding. I was, and am prone to be, stretched too thinly in my attentions at this time of year. But this time around, I have resolved to be less, fervent, shall we say, and instead more present in my life and in the festivals that I celebrate, as they come.
So, the Aegletia this year will be less performative, and more contemplative. It will be for me a family celebration, as it was always meant to be. This is my son’s second Aegletia, and he is at a point of forming memories of our time together with Apollon, so this is very important for our household. It is time for us to be in the spirit of the season, and not outwardly focused.
And I have another reason to feel intensely the turning as it unfolds. It has been five years since Apollon and I exchanged our marriage vows. When we did, He did not tell me for how long we were to be joined, but only that I should enjoy each day as it comes, and welcome Him into the whole of my life. And I have. Earlier this year, however, He told me it was time to renew our vows, this time for another seven years. I knew this was probably coming; for a least a year I had anticipated it. And yet, when I was given the news and the time frame, I just sort of… retreated into myself. I have been putting it off for the better part of the year. Apollon, patient and understanding that He is, only asked me to find myself before making this commitment. To be certain that this is what I want for the next seven years. It’s taken time, but I believe I have worked through my apprehension and that I am now ready for the new commitment.
So, on the second day of Aegletia, when the Treasury welcomes our Lord into our hearths and hearts for the duration of the festival, Apollon and I will once again exchange our vows. New vows this time. Clearer vows. Deeper, more meaningful vows. I won’t lie and say that I am not nervous still, but I am definitely no longer stuck, unable to move forward.
And I’m happy. I usually spend so much time worrying about things– how will I organize the festival, how will I balance my time online with my time with the children, how will I deal with the sheer agony of being separated from Apollon when He has finally left? Not this time. Not this year. This year, I will let myself just be in the season, and in the turning.
O Lord of the breath between life and death, He who set the dragon to rot in the holy light of Helios, our Bright Shining God, pleased are we to have hosted You and Your Family.
Delighted were we in Your constant presence, and grateful are we for Your arrival here. But now, as our festival ends, we acknowledge that You must now depart.
In our love for You, we have given You our best, and made room for You in our innermost realms; that which is personal, and that which we share with our loved ones.
O Truth-bearer, we have not recoiled from the lessons You have seen fit to teach, nor have we scorned the revelations You have bestowed. We know that with Your favor comes a price, and we are glad to pay it.
But for now, we rejoice in the knowing of You, O Lord, in Your coming and in Your going forth from this world. For there are Other worlds that You must now tend to, with their many corresponding concerns. Though we love You beyond what mere words can convey, never would we think to deprive these Others of Your grace and devotion.
And so, Apollon, Beloved Anax, Beloved Aegletes, Beloved Hyperboreios, we send You to complete Your journey with naught but love in our hearts. We know that You will again return to us, so we are not concerned by Your absence. What is inevitable always comes to pass.
Lord of the Winds, who brings winter in His wake, do not look back, and do not worry, for we are Yours and we are strong. We are what You have made, and we will shine Your light in the dark months.
And when You return, Apollon, we will be here to welcome You in all Your feral glory, and we will help to ease Your transition back into civilization. But for now, think only of what awaits You over the threshold.
Farewell, Apollon. Farewell, Beloved. Farewell, our Bright Shining God.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 9]
Blessed are the Sisters of the Treasury, we whose love for our Lord is pure and powerful, emerging from the depth of our being as a hurricane emerges from the sea. Swift and swirling, and eager to make landfall, for our Lord is the island awaiting.
Blessed are the multitudes who adore Him, for He feels them all, in their joy and in their despair, keeping them forever close, forever entwinted within His sweet embrace, and dispensing the true peace that is His presence.
Blessed are those who are touched from afar; all who burn within His fury, and in His passion; seeking not for His glory, and yet receiving it tenfold; and drowning in the waters of His attention.
Blessed are those who run, those who flee from the call, for it is maddening and incindiary; all those whose lives are upended by the immensity of His voice, resounding through every erected barrier.
Blessed are the seekers, searching endlessly for He they have yet to know. Guided forthwith by connections untold, swayed by His grace, finding pieces of Him, and discovering themselves along the way.
Blessed are those who struggle against Him, who deny and refuse, as is their choice to do so. Not all will choose the shining path upon the precipice, but even these are blessed, in knowing they are true to themselves.
Blessed are all the lives touched by Apollon. Poets and seers, physicians and artists, lawyers and housewives, morticians and homeless men, too. These and more are blessed by the Lord, and we each are one part of His whole; one part of His truth.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 8]
Aegletion through Daphneion 2016/2017
Aegletion (XI) Oct. 2 – Oct. 30, 2016
(Μ) Mu, (Ο) Omicron, (Ζ) Zeta
Aegletion looks to be a difficult month, one which compels us to lay strong foundations to rest upon for the coming year. All that we do has its purpose, and we will reap what we sow. But, for the trials ahead, it may be best for us to stockpile our energies for the time when they will be most effective. When we are in the midst of the turmoil is not the proper time to set our will against it.
Telchinion (XII) Oct. 31 – Nov. 29, 2016
(Ρ) Rho, (Θ) Theta, (Ξ) Xi
In Telchinion, we may wish to bide our time. It is fruitless to try to force action, especially of others, at this time. If they do not come around to your position, know that the Gods are with you and will support your endeavors. Do not become bogged down by the irreverence or bad attitudes of the people around you. There is a time for everything, and when it comes, with the help of the Gods, you will be ready.
Hyperboraios (XIII) Nov. 30 – Dec. 29, 2016
(Λ) Lambda, (Ω) Omega, (Ε) Epsilon
In Hyperboraios, things may be more than what they seem. There will be difficulties, but it is up to us to see what positive effects are brought about by change. We will not want to see these things, for we will prefer to hold onto the status quo. We may also only see the negative impact of change, instead of acknowledging the great benefit of unnecessary barriers crumbling to the ground. We must not leap to ‘fix’ things too quickly, lest we undermine the reordering which is necessary. We will not enjoy this time, and yet, what is right is right.
Perihelios (I) Dec. 30 – Jan. 28, 2016/2017
(Ζ) Zeta, (Ι) Iota, (Ο) Omicron
Perihelios has the potential to be a frustrating month, but if we remain steadfast, we may achieve our goals. Keep a check on your temper, never stop working for what you want, and know that the fruits of your labors will be ripe and sweet when you remember to take the proper care.
Prostaterias (II) Jan. 29 – Feb. 26, 2017
(N) Nu, (Ω) Omega, (M) Mu
In Prostaterias, harsh truths will be spoken, but they are necessary. Uncomfortable words will gather on your tongue, and you will afflict loved ones and strangers alike. Do not pretend, and do not cloud your meaning behind empty platitudes. Truth is the gift of Apollon, meant to be spread amongst deserving ears. This may make for a hard road in the immediate aftermath, but when the dust clears, the way forward will be unmistakable.
Daphneion (III) Feb. 27 – Mar. 28, 2017
(Z) Zeta, (Π) Pi, (Χ) Khi
Daphneion seems to be when the trials of the previous months come to a head in success. At this time, we will ride the waves of fruition, being brought ashore by the tide. Keep your head low, avoiding all controversy, surfacing only to complete your tasks and to claim hard-won rewards. The end is propitious, and to be savored.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 7]
The stars have known Him longer, known His blinding force, His unruly heat. The stars, they have seen His ebb and flow over unspeakable millennia– have burned in their love for Him for just as long.
The stars are companions like no others. They live, and they yearn for Him. And in their pining, they are long-lived, so experience Him in ways so full that we mayn’t dare to imagine.
The stars, they are larger than us– infinitely so. They contain parts of His soul that mortals would die, and altogether cease to be, from their exposure.
The stars, they are not fragile, nor are they demure. And Apollon burns with them in their raunchy, rauchuous, roaring inferno. O, He is the very cause of it, I’m sure– in His ecstatic totality.
The stars, they nourish His need for destruction, and they slake His thirst for creation– exploding, and forming in clouds of death. The cycle of living and dying, and birthing new life– to burn for Him, to burn with Him.
The stars have known Him longer, and their adoration has sustained Him through the darkness of humanity’s past. They were never made to forget Him. They have never forsaken Him. The stars have shone His light unflinchingly.
The stars, O what they can teach us about constancy, about fortitude, about unrelenting desire. They, in their marvellous abode, void of all but Him, in darkness and in light.
The stars, they have known Him longer, and loved Him harder than we could, for our lives are fleeting, gone in the space of an instant as they watch from above. But from them, we may learn of a love that has endured since time began.
— Columbine [Aegletia, Day 6]