I am an Apollon’s woman. I veil for my God. Increasingly, as the years have gone by, Apollon has taken my veiling practice under His auspices. Yes, I still acquire the other spiritual benefits of a consecrated veil, but He has made it known that He considers it His sacred duty to oversee my implementation of the practice itself, and many of its benefits.
It is important to me to do the things that please Him, especially when those things are directly beneficial to my health and well-being. And it is equally important for me to follow the directives of my own heart and seeking. Please know that I have veiled publicly and privately for over a decade, well even before my first child was born, and long before Apollon was a major fixture in my life. This is not a passing fancy. This is not a call for attention. This is me living my daily life.
Please understand that I have veiled publicly and privately in the State of Texas for much of that time. Texas isn’t a place that is generally known for it’s tolerance, but you’d be surprised in some places. I find the further south you go, the more tolerant and accepting the people are. Perhaps that’s because the cultural majority in this country (the US) is actually the minority, population-wise, in South Texas. However, you’d also not be surprised by some of the more negative reactions a veiled black woman can receive in any part of the State.
But now I’m in Colorado, and you’d maybe think that such a liberal State, with its progressive stance on certain issues, would be ideal for a Polytheist such as myself, and maybe it is for other Polytheists living here, but because Lord Apollon has taken my veiling practice as a sign of my reverence, love and duty toward Him, I am not currently so privileged as to set it down. Not even now, when tensions are high and all veiled or covered women have become (or have become more so) a “threat”, or “terrorists” in the eyes of many.
You also have to understand what it’s like simply going to the grocery store sometimes. The stares. The whispers. The outright sneers. Most people who take the time to show you how outraged they are by your presence will do so passive-aggressively, so there’s not much to be done about it. But there are those rare instances, which are increasing in frequency, of veiled women no matter what their religious affiliation being physically assaulted by people wishing to inflict pain and terror,–even death– upon them.
This is a hard world to live in. These are the times that we must navigate in all our seeking and heartfelt reverence of the Old Gods. Apollon has not asked me to cease my veiling practice, and He will not. He has marked me and I am set apart from the population. The veil, in my case, is now not only a concealer but also a revealer of my path as one of His. When in our society we agree to take up this practice in honor of a God, we agree to at least try to remember courage in face of fear.
Someone asked me yesterday if, in light of the state of affairs today, would I discontinue veiling. I won’t say is hasn’t crossed my mind. I am a mother. I have dependents who need me. I have a life, and yes, it would be an easier life if I put away my veils. But what does that teach my children? What does that teach the world-at-large? That if enough ignorant people make enough ruckus, women (and men) will bow to their threats and bullying? I will not.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual whether or not their veiling practice puts them in too much danger to continue. If you feel threatened and that setting it aside for a time is the correct action for you, take that action. But also know that our Gods, including Apollon, may have asked us for this devotion because They feel we are strong enough to carry our lives, and Their presence in our lives, openly. We are the ones the future priests, priestesses and facilitators are looking toward now. We are the ones they are watching, and so are our detractors within our own communities. In time, let them not say to our children truthfully that we were too afraid to love liberty, and the Gods. Instead, let us win the battles over our own bodies, and what we choose to cover them with.
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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.