Sunweaver’s Aegletia Ritual, with contributions by Columbine – Reorganized

[The Aegletia begins October 1st, and lasts through October 9th]

Photo art found via Google.

Big thanks go to Sunweaver for the original outline for the Aegletia’s daily/nightly ritual. We have shared it in previous years, but this time it’s been fleshed out a bit, to be more of a guide, rather than simply a framework.


[First Night]

As you know, the first night of the Aegletia is set aside for purification, of oneself, one’s home, one’s close relationships to those with whom we share space, our spiritual lives, and many other things. There are no set ways to go about this, and we have provided a couple of suggestions, here and here, though whatever is your own go-to method should work perfectly well. After such purification is complete, and you have made certain that your space is suitably tidy, you may begin.

Gather all celebrants together in your chosen space, or area of the home. At this time, you may offer khernips to all present, and gently asperge the ritual area and/or the altar(s)/shrine(s).

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“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.”

[To be recited Each Night, henceforth referred to as “The Litany”]

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, light of this world.”

(Celebrants respond– If you are alone, you will simply recite this yourself.)

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

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, gleaming in the distance.”

(Celebrants respond)

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

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, wolf of twilight.”

(Celebrants respond)

“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.”

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, perched upon a high throne.”

(Celebrants respond)

“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.”

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“Blessed are You, Apollon, our Lord, our King.”

(Celebrants respond)

“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.” (<—- End of “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights first candle)

“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.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the first night.

[Second Night]

(Khernips)

(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights second candle from the flame of the first)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“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.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the second night.

[Third Night]

(Khernips)

(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights third candle from the flame of the first, or second, depending upon the symbolism you wish to convey***.)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“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.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the third night.

[Fourth Night]

(Khernips)

(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights fourth candle from the flame of the first, or third)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

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

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the fourth night.

[Fifth Night]

(Khernips)

(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights fifth candle from the flame of the first, or fourth)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“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.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the fifth night.

[Sixth Night]

(Khernips)

(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights sixth candle from the flame of the first, or fifth)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

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

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the sixth night.

[Seventh Night]

(Khernips)

(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights seventh candle from the flame of the first, or sixth)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“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.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the seventh night.

[Eighth Night]

(Khernips)

(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights eighth candle from the flame of the first, or seventh)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“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.”

Now, everyone may go do whatever it is that they/you have planned for the rest of the eighth night.

[Ninth Night]

(Khernips)

(Ritual Facilitator and Celebrants recite “The Litany”)

(Ritual Facilitator lights ninth candle from the flame of the first, or eighth)

(Ritual Facilitator speaks)

“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.”

Aegletia gifts should be presented to Apollon (and Artemis, and Leto) at this time, followed by thanks and much praise.

(Ritual Facilitator speaks something similaruse your own words whenever and wherever possible, for they will likely be more emotionally potent than most words written by others; even ours.)

“Hail to Apollo Aegletes, who casts away the shadow, or lurks within it! Hail to He whom brightens the way within our own darkness, whose passage heralds discomfort, before the Spring (or Autumn– remember, your current location is the centerpiece of Treasury practice) Return!

“Hail to Artemis, His Twin!

“Hail to Leto, Their Mother!

“So say we all!”

(Celebrants respond)

“So say we all!”

[End of Ritual]

(*** Lit from first candle = ‘May our endeavors spring from the purity of the source‘. Lit from the second candle = ‘May our endeavors build continually from our foundations‘.)

— Treasury of Apollon

Ritual Meal, for the Feast of Leto

For the Feast of Leto, prepare a delicious meal, one that you would have no reservations in sharing with the Goddess, as well as Her Children. Set the table nicely, and in the center, prepare a small altar for Leto, with some space for Artemis and Apollon. Utilize whatever images or icons you prefer when making this space. Include a large plate upon which you will place servings of food for your Honored Guests.

Next, you will want to invite Leto, and your other Guests.

Ex: “Blessed are You, Leto, Sister of Asteria, Daughter of Phoebe! Sweet is Your name upon my/our lips! In all of my/our days, shall I/we ever strive toward Your Grace and Excellence!

“Blessed are You, Leto, Daughter of Koios, Consort of Zeus! Ever shall Yours be the way of cunning! Let all brave women follow after Your example, seizing that which they/we desire foremost!

“Blessed are You, Leto, Mother of Artemis, Mother of Apollon! Starry is the veil which covers Your holy face! Within the mystery of twilight, You are the center, the cause from whom ambition emanates!

“Blessed are You, Leto! Be welcomed here, to this seat made comfortable for You! Partake of this meal that I/we have prepared! And please, accept these offerings given freely by Your people!

“Great Goddess, I/we have come only to honor and praise You!

“Hail Leto, Mother of Wolves!”

“Blessed are You, Artemis, Swift-footed Goddess giving chase like no other! Be welcome to rest here at this table, to make merry, and to feast in the name of Your Mother!

“Blessed are You, Apollon, Prince among Gods, and the Preserver of Honor! Be welcomed here to this table, where You might find comfort, as well as sustenance, in the name of Your Holy Mother!

“Blessed and Divine Twins, be welcomed here in peace and in reverence! Hail Artemis! Hail Apollon!”

Once the food is ready, place each dish upon the table in offering, while saying a few words to indicate such.

Ex: “O Divine Leto, please accept this ______ (name of dish), that it might fill You with the sustenance of my/our love!”

You may also address Artemis and Apollon at this time, though it is really only necessary to address the Guest of Honor when offering dishes. Repeat for each dish offered to the table.

Now, everyone should be seated at the table, and all should offer thanks to the Theoi for the bounty gathered before you, first with a small bit of food offered to Hestia, by burning it in a candle flame, or saving it to be burned or buried later.

Ex: “Hestia, Most Sublime, I/we make the first offering to You, as is the/our custom. May You bless this table, and I/all seated before it, that my/our hearth and home might be ever peaceful and secure.”

Next, food should be distributed first to Leto, then to Artemis, then to Apollon, all upon Their plate at the center of the table. After your Guests have been served, everyone else may serve themselves.

Eating, discussion, and general merry-making may now commence. Examples of this could be songs sung, poems or adorations recited, myths told, or experiences shared.

With the completion of their meal, whomever wishes to leave the table must first address Leto, thanking Her and the Twins for being present.

Ex: “Glorious Leto, Illustrious Twins! Thank You for Your presence at this table, which was prepared in honor of You, for this great feast day! May our love given, accompany You back to the Northern heights of Hyperborea, from whence You have come! O Ladies! O Lord! May You be pleased!”

At the very end, before the last person leaves the table, a final food offering should be made to Hestia…

Ex: “Blessed Hestia, Keeper of the Hearth, again, I/we thank You for the peace and gentleness You have brought into this, my/our home! My/our gratitude hangs thick in the air, like the tasteful aroma which has filled this place of feasting!

“Hail to You, Hestia, and farewell!”

…and care should be taken to clean up the table.

Finally, all participants should return to surround the table, to give final thanks/goodbyes to Leto (and the Twins), for all that She does, and will do, in helping us to further understand ourselves within the roles to which we find ourselves attached.

Ex: “Blessed are You, Leto, and Blessed are Your Children, who enact the very essence of Your demeanor! You, who are bold! You, who are driven! You, who commands life to submit to Your will! Great Leto, I/we thank and praise You!

“Hail Mother Leto! Hail the Holy Twins!  Hail, and farewell!”

— Columbine

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

 

Aegletia Food Guidelines

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.

— Sunweaver

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!

Continue reading “Sunweaver’s Aegletia Ritual”

Nightly Ritual of Reflection

mirrors

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I have designed this ritual as one means for devotees of Apollon to assess their behavior and responses to that which they may not understand or appreciate throughout the course of a day.  If you would like to alter some of your ingrained responses, this ritual may be able to help.

Firstly, you will conduct the ritual as more of a conversation with Apollon. Yes, there will be the usual propitiation and other traditional elements, but there will be a lot of just talking to Him about your day, as well.

To begin, set up the area in which you will speak with Apollon.  This could be your shrine or altar to Him, or this could be the coffee table in front of your couch.  Just make certain that the surface area is clean and dust-free.

Place an image of Apollon of your choosing upon this surface area, along with an appropriate incense holder, keeping in consideration the type and volume of incense to be burned, the accouterments for making khernips, and some blank paper with a pen.  Have also an open bottle of wine and at least one glass– two if you’re planning on having any.

It is not necessary to bathe before this ritual, though you certainly may, but a simple washing of the face and hands will suffice.

As is typical, we will begin with a procession.  Approach the designated ritual area solemnly.  Sit before the image of Apollon (it is important that you make yourself comfortable) as you prepare the khernips.  Proceed to purify yourself and the space.

Next, you will propitiate Him through whichever epithets of His that are personally relevant to you, while you light and offer incense.  I like to use a bundle of stick incense– one stick for each epithet called.

Pour Him a glass of wine for listening, about half way in the glass. Pour yourself one, too, if you want.

Now is the time for you to greet Apollon, to let Him know the purpose of His visit, to obtain His cooperation through your preferred divination method, and finally, to go over the details of your day with Him.  Be honest.  Mention each time you had a hypercritical thought about someone or their choices, or any other negative/unnecessarily cruel (on your end) interactions with other people or beings.  This is a confession, not to absolve you of past wrongdoing, but for you to acknowledge what was done, said or thought, in order to clear the path for change.

At this time, you will ask Apollon for purification, through the release of your anger, resentment, jealousy, desire to control, etc.  To symbolize this purification, you will hand write one letter of apology to each individual wronged that day.  Take this seriously, and remember that Apollon is watching and listening.  This is your physical act of contrition, and you may or may not choose to actually deliver the letters.  The important part for now is just to acknowledge that there are things about past interactions that you would like to change.

Next, you will set an affirmation– something attainable, such as “mindfulness toward compassion”, or “an open exploration of empathy”, etc.  This will be your guidepost for interactions throughout the subsequent day.

Now, you will praise Apollon, truly and sincerely, in your own way, in your own words.  During this praise, you will pour a libation to Him, of wine, finally filling His glass.

In closing, you will express gratitude to Apollon, for His presence and purification, and for His willingness to assist in your transformation.

The ritual is meant to be performed every day for a set amount (your choice) of days, preferably at the same time each day, for best results.

Modern Apollonian Veil Blessing

veil

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Choose a veil that helps to convey the epithets, aspects or manifestations of Apollon that you wish to be associated with the veil. Its size, shape, colors and patterns should be selected to enhance your connection to Apollon, as well as to the specific intent and goal of prayer/workings while wearing the veil.

Next, select an appropriate anointing oil, the scent of which should evoke the feeling of your love and adoration toward Apollon.

This ritual is to be done in the nude, freshly bathed, and requires access to unobstructed sunlight, via an open window or door (or outside if you are willing/able). Dawn, or shortly after dawn is the best time for this ritual.

Begin by preparing khernips, and purifying the space and yourself.

Process toward/into the unobstructed sunlight with lit incense, and gain Apollon’s attention by propitiating Him through epithets which correspond to the intent of the ritual, along with something else tangible to please Him, such as a semi-precious stone that you associate with Him or His domain. A sweet offering like cake, or a libation of sweet red wine would also be appropriate, but are not entirely necessary.

Present the tangible gift while it is wrapped in the veil you have selected. Say: “O Lord of the apotropiac rituals, I present to You this (name of gift) that You might be inclined to direct your favor upon me! O Lord, be pleased by this gesture! I honor You, my Lord Apollon!”

Now, anoint yourself with the oil previously selected, on at least these five chakras, in this order: Sacral, Heart, Throat, Brow, and Crown. At each chakra, say: “I attune myself to You, my Lord, that I might flow with Your presence, and protective power! With You, I dwell in a state of love, knowing Your touch, embracing Your heat! Be pleased by my true devotion, O Venerable Lord Apollon!”

At this time, unwrap the selected veil, holding it open in the sunlight. Feel your emotions well up inside you. Think of the protective and clarifying aspects of Apollon’s power and domain that you wish to have woven into the fabric of the veil. Imagine Him penetrating the fabric with threads of golden sunlight. You may recite His relevant epithets, or otherwise pray for the transformation of this simple item into a powerful tool for protection, clarity, insight, or whatever other quality you deem necessary. Reinforce your vision, and imprint your desire with these words: “I present this tool for the furtherance of our connection, and to be a vessel for the light of Your presence! Apollon, my Prince wielding the Silver Bow, be poised to strike with wisdom all those who would enter into our shared space! Apollon, my Beloved wielding the Golden Sword, be ready to slice through all impure thoughts directed toward me, Your loving ward!”

Again, you may recite or chant His relevant epithets as you infuse your (and His) intent into the veil. When you feel the blessing is complete, slide the veil over your head and face, wrapping it around your body, if long/large enough. Feel His love and power seeping down through your Crown chakra, traveling along those previously anointed, ending with the Sacral chakra (or whichever chakra you started with). You may now bask in His presence for as long as desired.

Light more incense now as a final offering while you thank Apollon for His time and attention. Say: “My Lord Apollon, whom I do love and admire, I shall cherish this gift of Your own Divine Presence, woven into this fabric with protective intent! Lord called Destroyer, avert all potential harm and ill-will through the use of this tool, from the vicinity of this, Your loyal devotee/servant/priest(ess)/bride (name your relationship here)! I thank You, Beloved Apollon, for all You have done or will do in my defense, and I shall strive to receive clarity, while sharing Your wisdom through right speech and right action! Hail to You, Apollon, Prince of High Olympos! And may You be greatly honored by the many who know and seek for You!”

With the completion of this ritual, you now have a veil blessed with our Lord Apollon’s protective strength. Wear as needed or desired, in or outside of ritual or prayer.

Simple Pythaea Ritual

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

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

~

The Pythaea

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

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

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

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

~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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