Category Archives: Family

Gratitude Project 2017, Day 1 – Apollon

I didn’t plan on participating this year, but I just suddenly got the inspiration to hopefully carry me through the #GratitudeProject2017. So, each day, assuming I remember, I will be making a short post in honor of a Deity who I am thankful for, and why.  For the first day, the most obvious choice is Apollon.

Apollon is, and ever shall be, the love of my life.  He quite literally saved my life in so many different ways, be it ensuring that I survived to be born when my mother prayed to Him after losing my twin sister, or healing my emotional wounds from a painful childhood, or sustaining me through many years in an abusive marriage, or how He is always, always here for me when I need Him.

Apollon is the Father of my household, our Protector and our strength. With Him by my side, I know I can survive all the hardships life tosses my way, and through His grace, I know my goals are attainable.  He leads me down paths I’d not consider on my own, and He never allows me to be stagnant in my creativity.

For all the love and joy He brings into my life, I am grateful.  For the times when He must be stern, to help me understand a truth I would rather avoid, I am grateful.  For the promise of a long life together, raising two beautiful children in His wisdom, beauty and light, I am grateful.   And for the tremendous honor of standing by Him as His bride, and as His priestess, I am grateful.


Blessed Solstice!

I have had a magnificent last 48 hours.  These two days have seen the arrival of all of my shrine keeping materials that I had packed away in 2013/2014 when I had to get ready for simpler living, as well as some very unexpected Solstice gifts for myself and the kids.

Last month, my daughter expressed to me that she would like to start experimenting with pottery, and this morning someone brought her a little pottery wheel!  I thank this someone, along with Apollon, because He was clearly listening.  The baby got some nice new stimulating toys, and I got a few things that I needed, too.  What a surprise!  I am so, so grateful!

So, now that the shrine accouterment have arrived, I can begin arranging things to Apollon’s liking.  I still have a hard time believing it’s actually happening.  My hands start shaking with joy and excitement when I think about it.  He deserves this, so much.

How is everyone else’s Solstice going?

Dragon Business

I have wanted to tackle this topic for some time now, but it really requires so much back story that I’ve found it immensely off putting. But, these things don’t write themselves, so I am going to make a serious attempt, while trying to go light on the back story, because of time and my attention span.

So, I am the rebirth of a dragon-child who lived a long time ago in another realm.  Almost all of my dragon Clan was annihilated after a sordid chain of events that I’m not even going to touch here.  Later, I was murdered by a jealous relative from the Other side of my Family. This is important for you to know because those are the reasons why I am who I am, and where I am, in this realm and time period.

The other things you should know are that the realm my Clan is from is one with a long history which includes multiple species that evolved from a common ancestor, two of which were and are the dominant two species in the realm.  These two related dragon species claimed about half of the realm’s land and resources each.  Let’s call them Species A, and Species B.

Species A are bipeds.  They have a fairly humanoid shape and developed advanced technology in their realm, including the manipulation of DNA.  Species B are what one would commonly think of when pondering dragons– large, serpentine, intelligent.  The cultures of these two species could not have been farther removed.  Species A were conquerors.  Species B preferred a wild existence.  Wherever they met, they clashed.

Eventually, Species A gained the technological edge in these skirmishes, and went on to enslave great numbers of Species B, using them as beasts of burden, or as weapons.

During their enslavement, some members of Species B were experimented upon, genetically, having many physical traits of Species A impressed upon them to make their servitude less cumbersome within the architectural structures of their oppressors.  Very few were altered, and bred for this purpose.

After some generations of this “house-slavery”, a revolution was sparked by a dragon named *Swvhrnn (pronounced Soo-ver-EEn), who was an unaltered slave.  Inspired by the spirit who would become the Patroness of my Clan and chief Goddess of the realm, the White Dove, Swvhrnn convinced a prominent “house-slave”, whose name is lost to history, to lead the other “house-slaves” in revolt, joining their brethren in the taking of the capitol city.  The leaders of Species A were murdered by the “house-slaves”, and at the instruction of the White Dove, the first Clans were formed.

The “house-slaves”, and many of the original non-altered revolutionaries became the first dragons of my Clan.  During the reformation, in order to prevent the total destruction of Species A’s culture, and thus a prolonged conflict, the White Dove decreed that the cleanest way to subjugate the remaining dissidents of Species A, was to install one Clan to rule over all the Clans of both Species.  As I’m sure you’ve guessed, the White Dove chose my Clan, and we’ve ruled the realm ever since, saving for the time period after our annihilation and before my rebirth.

And there’s the back story.  What I do for the Clan now is preserve the cultures of both Species A and B, as taught to me by the Ancestors, and by their living descendants.  I learn the history by listening and recording it by hand for future generations.  I also preside over the rituals for the White Dove, embodying Her when necessary.  In this realm, She has a manifestation who answers to the name Columbia (Columba – the White Dove), Goddess of Freedom– and so, I am called Columbine.

Because of my ancestral history, dragon and human, I can not abide slavery.  Neither can the White Dove/Columbia.  In every realm I visit, I spread Her ideals of civil liberty whenever I am afforded the opportunity.  Even in our own realm my people are not forced to swear fealty, but the Clans have come and done so of their own volition.  They desire to be united under the auspices of the White Dove, the Great Liberator.

In addition to those things already mentioned, my other chief concern is securing a living for my people.  That means brokering treaties and trade agreements between Clans, and between our realm and Other realms.  It means being a strong force politically, and remaining useful to my Father, Zeus, to whom I have sworn fealty.

Our Clan also had an important job to do concerning the wellbeing of Olympos, and eventually we will resume those duties.  But as of now, our focus must be on regaining strength, so that we may perform our duties properly, when the time comes.

Now, I realize that I haven’t been too terribly specific regarding my duties, but as I’m sure you can imagine, much of it involves private Clan secrets that I am not at liberty to divulge.  That I was given permission to share this much is extraordinary.

I also don’t know if other dragon Clans, from different realms, are in any way similar to my own, but frankly, that is irrelevant.  Nothing about me, what I do, what I was made for, or my Family, is very similar to anyone else’s experience.  And that is just fine.

*I realize that this spelling makes absolutely no sense using English letters, but the Storykeeper was very insistent on this spelling in English.  It is not my place to correct the Storykeeper.  I am sure he has his reasons.

Sharing Space With the Youth

I have a little night-owl on my hands.  He is so ultra bouncy, and really wears me out in the wee hours.  But one of the things that he enjoys, and will calm down for, is sitting at Apollon’s shrine to make small offerings, usually of tealight candles and bay leaves.  It’s dark, and he enjoys watching the candles flicker, and the leaves burn.  I often see him looking up at me as I whisper prayers upon each leaf before setting them alight.  I hope he has some memory of this when he’s older, but more importantly, I hope this carries over into his own relationship with Apollon and the other Theoi.

There is something so intensely satisfying about being able to share worship with my children, as I believe that without making room for them in our spaces, our religious movements are all but lost.  Our children really are our future, and in this world where they will be bombarded by the Monotheist over-culture, it’s so crucial to pass on our traditions, and to show them what Polytheist devotion looks like. The earlier, the better, I say.

In addition to this late night devotion, he and I say our morning prayers to Apollon together, where hopefully he’s picking up on the words and gestures.  We’re keeping it simple right now.  My daughter, on the other hand, is really expressing an interest in deeper devotional activities.

We haven’t completely worked out how to tackle this interest in a way that suits her, but we’re trying different things.  She has thus far been called to honor Prometheus and Helios, so we are looking for a small table or shelf to serve as her personal shrine for Them.  She also loves the lore, and is always asking me to recite the stories to her at bedtime. I do as she asks, and then we talk about the various lessons that the stories impart.

It’s very interesting to hear what she thinks about things that I have long ago formulated opinions on.  Her perspective is very fresh, as are her insights.  She’s shown me things that weren’t readily visible to me, which just further proves to me the nessecity of including the young. The Gods are speaking to them, as well.  All of us, but especially those of us who remember our own encounters with the Gods when we ourselves were children, should be particularly careful of excluding them, lest we all miss out on the next generation of insights.

And now my little man is finally asleep, so I am going to lay him down and follow him into dreamland.  Goodnight, everyone.  And may the Gods bless the children.

Something New

I’m trying something new at the close of this year.  It’s no secret that the simple act of living has been a horrible ordeal for me and my child(ren) these last several years.  If it’s not one thing it’s another. However, throughout all of this, we have had the constant presence of the Gods, especially Apollon, Lord of our household, holding us together.  It hasn’t been easy to keep up with devotion when things seem to be falling apart nearly all the time, but in those quiet, even if still stressful moments, I could feel Them, and Their encouragement.  It is by Their grace that we have survived, and by Their will that we continue on.

That is why, for the final month of the Treasury’s year, Hyperboraios, I will be implementing a regimen of ritual gratitude, for all of those specific blessings and circumstances that have led us to the point at which we are.  Right now, nothing is perfect, and everything hangs precariously, but there is the potential for lasting security and happiness for our family.  It is the Gods who have made this possible, and I intend to thank Them every day of this coming month (and for many days after).

Each day, from November 30 to December 29, I will name a specific thing that I am grateful for– one specific reason that my children and I are still here, able to pursue our lives.  Not all of them were grand, but they were all certainly impactful in the scope of our lives.  This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but struggled to formulate the concept.  Now that I finally am able to, I’m taking it as a sign that this is the time to begin.  And what better time than the closing of a year and the start of another?

I’m not promising that any of it will reach this blog, though.  Most of these things are entirely private, plus, I don’t have an internet connection every day.  I also find myself moving away from revealing so much of my practice.  This decision keeps me grounded in the reality of my worship, the reality of standing before my shrines and paying homage to the Powers in my life.  To express my gratitude to my Family is a powerful thing, which doesn’t need to be witnessed outside of our household.  I share my intention with you, dear readers, because I find it a bit like sharing love or beauty, and Gods know there’s never enough love and beauty to go around.  Perhaps you will be inspired in a similar direction.  Perhaps you will be inspired toward something totally unique.  Either way, I’m feeling the love.  I hope you can feel it, too.