Category Archives: Apollonian Virtues

Move Quietly Through the World

This world is a teeming, vibrant world.  A world full of the bitter struggles of life in all beings and forms, wrenching their existence out of the elements before them. The fish move throughout the ocean, but they also are the ocean, as their molecules constantly shift between those of the water, and other sea life.  The land animals dig and scrape the earth for food, sometimes even taking the lives of their Earthly cousins for survival.  They too are mingled in form with their elements.  We, humanity, are no different, for even in our cities of concrete and glass, we feed upon the structures of our environment.

Ours is a society nourished by many sources.  We are of course sustained by the Earth, though in a way that seems almost secondary to the human construct of fame, and its behavioral partner, ostentatiousness.

The desire for a place in the world is one which nearly all people have.  We want to belong, and we want to be valued within the particular social structures we navigate.  We are an animal which needs its own place in the world, both collectively and individually.  Hence, we have occupied many niches, and in so doing, have attempted to elevate ourselves through our achievements.  In celebrating our advancements within the animal kingdom, we have become lost in our potential as a species, forsaking the now, and our Earthly brethren, and also one another.  Such is our way, reflected, for example, in humanity’s conquest, use, and sometimes misuse of fire.

We think of fire as a mere tool too often, and we as its masters, when instead we should see fire as our honored ally.  It has its own life and will, and as long as we respect it, treating and feeding it with the proper care, we can prevent fire from suddenly taking everything we value, including our lives.  But if we do not respect it and its responsible care, we need only indulge in one moment of neglect, and all is lost.  In the loss of our once reverent coexistence with the non-human, we have also lost much of our ability to empathize and identify with each other.

We must prevent the loss of these crucial perspectives.  The surest way to do so, is to dismantle the construct of human superiority, and indeed superiority over other humans.  There are no lives which are inherently of more or lesser value.  Each of us, and each individual of each other species, even the tiniest protozoa, has the right to life and respect.  We must protect ourselves in certain circumstances, yes, but self-defense is a far cry from the wholesale destruction of species’.  Because life feeds on life, we must respect life at all costs.

How may we begin to assist in this shift of human consciousness?  How can each of us, as mere individuals, help to end the perpetuation of false ideas of mastery and lordship over the whole Earth?  We need first confront any illusions of superiority lying inside us, dormant or otherwise.  And we must be willing to see and accept the inherent equality of all life.

Know also that this is not the dismantling of pride.  Healthy pride is a virtue that all should cultivate within themselves, for one must first know their strengths if they wish to utilize them.  Pride is not boastful, which is a common vice among those seeking an elevated place in society.  Pride is not loud, nor is it domineering.  Pride is the opposite of ostentatiousness, just as quiet humility is the opposite of boastfulness.

One may, and rightly should if circumstance warrants it, visibly champion their right and just causes, and even their personal goals, to those who would listen and contribute.  But we must not let our pride be swept away in this fervor, for to do so may invite hubris to poison our minds.  Sometimes, the easiest and best way to prevent such an occurrence, is simply to choose to move quietly through the world.

In this context, moving quietly means doing right and doing good in small, unassuming ways along with more overt gestures, but also to do so without any expectation of reward or accolades.  When the focus is on the deed and the rightness of it, rather than the audience of the deed, our egos gain the peace of the shadow.  That is to say, we learn that by occupying the background, we may observe the foreground, quietly remaining within the scene while holding our place subtly.  In this position we become more capable of responding to the actual needs of those or what we champion, instead of the opinions of spectators and future contributors, alike.

Imagine what might be accomplished once the ego has stepped aside, what goals might be met quietly, and without controversy.  Imagine how much good can be done when one is focused on the doing, and not the telling.  The gratification of revealing our deeds can be a potent lure, but we have to look past those urges to see what is truly best, and what we truly care about.

By moving quietly, we can attain the perspective needed to see our world in all of its terrible beauty.  In the quiet, truth is found, and once we have attained even a kernel of that truth, we must continue to cultivate it for our own sake, as well as our causes’.   People unknown to us and the world, in circumstances unfathomable, do right every single day, expecting nothing in return.  We can join them if we choose. Then we can accomplish our great deeds, and our vast projects, by moving quietly, like shadows revealed in the burning light of truth.

Perhaps and hopefully, in the quest to better ourselves, collectively and individually, we will begin to reopen the lines of empathic communication between ours and other species.  Moving quietly also facilitates listening, and that is something that we could certainly do more of when it comes to the animal kingdom, and our species, too.

Hail to the Lord Apollon, who provided the images and emotions channeled through me for translation of this article.  May He continue to illuminate our world, while steering us through the chaos which permeates it.

Hail to the Bright One!  Hail to our Prince!

 

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The Beautiful Truth

Lord Apollon, the very pinnacle of beauty, I pray that You lift the shroud of bias, shame, blame, and control that clouds over the eyes of those who wish to see beauty in the world.  I pray that You, Unshorn One, allow these to see the many truths before them, which they shirk from their sight.  Lord of the Light Unceasing, brighten the world before these who are lost, that they will witness the terrible, ugly, beautiful truth of Nature– that which we see and admire, is also that which may destroy us, even as we sit staring in awe.

The many landscapes are indeed beautiful, especially to those who traverse them not.  Those who look from afar and never step foot into the wild lands.  Fear contains them, and rightly so.  The beautiful world is indifferent to their praises, and hostile to their ignorance.  So, Lord, I pray that You tear away the fragile skin which covers them, that which hides their insecurities, and that which implicates them in the ancient scheme of subjugation.

These whose mouths are open only to speak the ancient falsehoods– that physical beauty alone is the compass of virtue– let their mouths be closed so that their ears, hearts and minds may instead be opened to the vastness of this beautiful, terrible, ugly world.  I pray that You open their eyes to rot and death, to pain and suffering, to plague and fear.  Only then will beauty and ugliness be revealed as twin aspects of the Truth:  All that is beautiful is not automatically good.  All that is good is not necessarily beautiful.  Beauty and ugliness are woven between the fabric of matter, space and time.  One may not exist where the other does not also dwell.

Apollon Despota, Wrathful Lord, I pray that You will do these things and more, to facilitate the growth so badly needed.  For only through the cutting away of disease may the whole body be saved.  So, Lord, to that end, do I offer these gifts, that You might be pleased, as well as favorable toward us who keep Your charge to bring both truth, and beauty, into the world.

Ie Paian!

He Comes, Bearing the Fruit of Conquest

Today is Theoxenia on the Treasury’s calendar.  Theoxenia is the day when Apollon returns to us from His abode in Hyperborea, where His focus was no longer upon the everyday needs of mankind, but instead set upon the many, many deeply primal aspects of creation, over which He governs.  It is widely accepted that during this time, Apollon is absent from our world, yet, as many devotee’s of the god will know, He often is most keenly present in our lives during His Hyperborean stay.

This might be due to the nature of the connection that intimate devotees share with Him.  Not only are we in constant contact with Him, what we experience of Him during the Hyperborean season especially, is well below the surface of what He shows to many others.  He is Lykeios and Telkinios, the wolf and the wind, ripping and cutting away the weak, in nature.  He is the blizzard that whites out all before you, leaving you stranded yet totally enveloped by Him.  He is also the spark that dwells in your heart and never fades, its light always there to show the way through the darkness.  And in this darkness, in this reality of the Hyperborean season, we walk a path that He has laid out– a path that leads to Him.

So, as He does each year at the height of the winter darkness, Apollon seizes the hearts of many new devotees.  These will be led through the wilderness of the Hyperborean season, and out through the gates of coming spring.  And then they will know Him in His completeness, as the light grows with the passage of time.

When He arrives at the doors of the House of Apollo, made up of the households and individuals dedicated to Him, He carries the enthusiastic and unfiltered love and adoration of those whose hearts He won in winter, who will be added to the glorious collection of souls that greet Him on Theoxenia.  For, as befits a conqueror, Apollon comes bearing the fruit of His conquest.

May we all celebrate the inclusion of our new fellows among the blessed of Apollon.  May we welcome them openly, and share what we have to share without hesitancy.  And, may we love them under the light of Apollon, as the members of His family that we all are.  For some, walking an Apollonian path may be difficult, and they may desire varying amounts of guidance.  May we be gentle in our interactions with them, remembering always, that once, many of us were conquests, too.

Hail Apollon!  Blessed Theoxenia!

The Purifying Art

Today, a brief conversation with one of my Treasury Sisters via social media has brought my mind to the subject of purification, especially that which I do, or rather, that which I haven’t done enough of, for Apollon.

My relationship with Apollon is founded on many things; our desires, our Father’s desires for u/Us, the realities of our responsibilities coexisting and being balanced together, and more.  But it is also founded on a motto:  Absolute Purity.

I lived by this motto for a long, long time, through some of the most vile and impure situations of my life.  I kept a strict prayer schedule.  I kept my myself clean and free of miasma in body and mind.  However, there came a time when going through the motions was no longer carrying me through the purification process to His satisfaction, so I was instructed to set it aside for a time.  I did so, and I relaxed into a new state of being, one in which the rigorous pursuit of purity was no longer the pinnacle of our relationship.  I still did the little things, khernips and the occasional ritual bath, but the motto of Absolute Purity did not at that time, and since, rule my life as it once had.

The conversation I mentioned above struck a nerve with Apollon, possibly because I was lamenting His request to shave my head again.  I haven’t shaved in almost four years, since the last time I did so for Him.  I have been enjoying growing out my hair, and even feel a bit vain about it.  I can see that that is a problem.  Vanity is not attractive.  Pride in one’s appearance can be, but those are different things, with different connotations.  So, I am having a discussion with Apollon about where this knowledge takes me.  I know I need to sit with it for a while, to really process the probable direction of my coming focus.  Right now, I do not feel ready to reembark upon the strict nature of my purificatory obligations.  I am not in the best physical, mental or emotional health, to say nothing of the spiritual.

My Otherworld life is chaos, at the moment.  I have had many things thrust upon me  that I would just as soon walk away from, were that even an option.  It isn’t, so I handle it in the best way that I can.  As far as my mundane life is concerned, it is now more stable than it’s been in many years, but not by much.  There are many, many stresses pressing themselves against me every moment of every day, so I haven’t felt like doing much of a purity routine, which, is likely the wrong reaction entirely.  Arguably, I should be doing more in the way of purification, regardless of how my body and mind feel.

Miasma is a state of spiritual reality, as well as a state of mind which attracts that reality.  In clearing the physical space, we make room for the emotional blockages to expand into a state of release, which in turn promotes a healthier view of the spiritual.  It begins with purification, and a routine, preferably a daily or hourly one, I have found in the past to be the best first step for my own self-preservation.

So, as I sit with the probable return to the tenant of Absolute Purity, and all of the requirements and sacrifices that it entails, I will also be trying to remember the feel of my existence before it all, necessarily, fell away from me.  Perhaps these are the missing pieces I have been seeking these last couple of years; the parts of my true being that I left behind.  If I determine that it will bring me closer to my Beloved, as He has suggested, but not pushed, then I really must do as I am bid.  Absolute Purity must again become the pinnacle of o/Our relationship.

Aegletia Shrine Pics! Because, Of Course!

Today the Treasury celebrates the Fifth Illumination of Aegletia, which is Truth.  It is a day when we are especially mindful of the things we say, always striving for the truth to be present in our words.

Today, we attempt to live up to the standards that Apollon sets forth, and to better ourselves, so that we may carry this mindset forward into the days, weeks, months and years to come.  It is, and has been one of my favorite festival days, always challenging me and keeping me honest.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, and if you are celebrating with us, a Blessed Aegletia, and Fifth Illumination!

Hail to Apollon Anax!

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