Tag Archives: Delphi

Being The Pythia is Not Necessary

For some time, I have loved and honored my Lord’s priestesses at Delphi with a full heart, for all of their attention and assistance, but always with the understanding that I am not, nor will I ever be, one of them.  I am but a simple novice on a path that they have kindly agreed to help with.  Perhaps a surprising admission coming from one who worships Apollon as very much the Oracular God, Pythios being an epithet holding great prominence in my oikos, as does Delian.  But, as much as I honor and respect these aspects of Him, I understand that in so many ways they are location specific, bound to the places where they originated, and are often better contemplated with that understanding in mind.

Apollon has many Oracular sites.  In antiquity there were Delos, Delphi, Patara, Cumae, Didyma, Claros,  and probably more which I have not mentioned, or which have yet to be uncovered.  Each location was itself a catalyst to Oracular work.  It was never only the person acting as mouthpiece that made the connections possible, but a joint effort beween person, Land and God, the result of which we give the name of Oracle– to the mouthpeice (sometimes called a Sybil), to the site itself, and to the message received. So, with such varied templates and strong foundations to work with, why so often are there those claiming to be a Pythia, or worse still, claiming that they are THE Pythia of Delphi, specifically?

Each of His Oracular sites were glorious, but Delphi is the site considered by many to be the most glorious, and I can understand the draw, although for myself, I was always more intimidated by Delphi as the monolith of modern Oracular inspiration.  However, in my contemplation, I now see that perhaps feeling intimidated helped me to stay focused on the real agenda during all my study of Delphi and its priestesses.  The time I spent there was for the purpose of learning, and the application of spirit-taught technique. Forming permanent bonds with the priestesses was never my intention, and indeed the interest originated from their end.

So, this is not a matter of inheriting a legacy from the priestesses of old, because they choose who they will, as does Apollon.  What it is about, is claiming a title that wasn’t for just anybody to claim.

Firstly, any Pythia would have to physically reside in Pytho, and even if a woman were to settle in Delphi to conduct her Oracular work, she would only be meeting the minimum criteria needed to potentially become accepted into the position.  You see, this is because the priests of the Temple of Apollon had the final say in approving/accepting the Pythia. And since there is no living temple tradition dedicated to the Lord Apollon in Delphi presently, controlled and maintained by His priests, absolutely no one has the authority to dole out the title of Pythia to anyone aspiring to be such, and I will acknowledge no Pythia other than the dead priestesses I revere.

I also do not understand why those grasping onto the title do not more readily grasp onto their own Lands, in conjunction with their connections with Apollon, to establish new and local Oracular sites that are eager for work to be done within their boundaries. The site upon which I work is a living, vibrant place, which has its own spiritual destiny to manifest. Delphi, and all of the other ancient sites are wonderful templates, as well as places of learning for those of us who visit them in Other realms, however, the lines of succession are irreparably broken.  We must forge new paths, new sites, new rituals, new Lore, and new understandings of our Gods, especially of Apollon, Who is making His great and long-awaited return into the greater sphere of human influence.

Shall all this be done on the backs of the long departed?  Or shall we first release ourselves from the expectation of surpassing, or even meeting the achievements of those who walked similar paths before us?  There is a fine line, and though we should always try to be the very best we can in whatever we strive to do, I still can not endorse anyone calling themselves the Pythia (and by this I mean equating themselves specifically to the Oracle, not simply as a moniker of identity), no matter how sincere they may believe themselves to be, because they are not her.

Does this make me a bad Hellenist because I will not adhere to whatever happens to come along in the community, even when heavily endorsed by those with supposed credentials?  Maybe, if you judge the goodness and piety of Hellenists only by what so many Reconstructionists tell you.  But, if you are more apt to follow after your own conclusions, then you are probably more apt to acknowledge the growth of young Oracular sites, and the mouthpieces who reside in them.

And there are many, as there have always been many dedicated in love and honor to the Lord Apollon.  And we are varied, as those who honored Him before us were varied.  I hope to see a time when all of our dreams are brought out into the waking world, and when our endeavors for our Lord are met between us, not with hostility, but with toleration, especially when we disagree, as all humans inevitably do.

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Solar Spring

Originally, I was going to write a more technical post, describing and comparing climate zones for the various expressions of Winter in the United States.  It would have been an interesting post, unfortunately I don’t think it would have captured the nature of the celebration that I acknowledge at the time of Solar Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, so here is round two.

Of all the holy times throughout the year, this period of roughly three to four weeks (beginning in early February), is and has always been my favorite time of the year, even before I realized the importance it holds for me, personally. It is the time when the Sun’s newly burgeoning warmth is just beginning to be felt by the land, when the flowers begin to peek up through the soil, and new buds can be seen on the trees.  This is the time when my diligence at the Perihelion is rewarded with the flicker of Apollon’s attention turning back upon me, and indeed upon this world.  It is when I begin preparations for His Return to Delphi.

As it stands, I haven’t been able to fully embrace this time as I’d like to. What I am compelled to offer my Lord is at least a weeks worth of cleaning, with the remaining time devoted to decorative pomp.  As I am the only one here who finds creating a welcoming environment for my Lord to be a top priority, I am the only one who can make it happen.  And I do what I can for Him in my limited capacity, but truly, what I (and I suspect He, also) would like to see are a small handful of His women coming together in honor of Him.  Perhaps a sort of voluntary religious seclusion, where we inform ourselves of our femininity, and prepare ourselves to receive again the pinnacle of Masculinity that is our Lord Apollon.

For myself, it is very much centered around the bridal role, that of the welcoming homemaker who provides the comfort and release from the battles of the outside world.  Only Apollon knows what lay beyond the horizon, where we can not see, but I feel as though these weeks of preparation and anticipation allow me to be the excursion He desires during this transition.

Of course, I haven’t yet forsaken my wish for companions with which to celebrate, because who wouldn’t want to clean and pray and bond with other women of Apollon, while singing His praises and awaiting our Lord on the coming day?  *sigh*  How I wish.  In the meantime, I’m afraid He will have to make due with my lonely and meager presence, as He has for the last several seasons.  But, even as I long for a bit of physical community, I am reminded that I was charged with the expression of this holy time for a reason.  Perhaps He doesn’t mind it so much as I seem to, as the time approaches.

Over the November Horizon

__The_Pythia___by_Chimeria

“I give first place of honor in my prayer to her
who of the Gods first prophesied, the Earth; and next
to Themis, who succeeded to her mother’s place
of prophecy; so runs the legend; and in third
succession, given by free consent, not won by force,
another Titan daughter of Earth was seated here.
This was Phoebe. She gave it as birthday gift
to Phoebus, who is called still after Pheobe’s name.
And he, leaving the pond of Delos and the reef,
grounded his ship at the roadstead of Pallas, then
made his way to this land and a Parnassian home.
Deep in respect for his degree Hephaestus’ sons
conveyed him here, for these are builders of roads, and changed
the wilderness to a land that was no wilderness.
He came so, and the people highly honored him,
with Delphus, lord and helmsman of the country. Zeus
made his mind full with Godship and prophetic craft
and placed him, fourth in a line of seers, upon this throne.
So, Loxias is the spokesman of his father, Zeus.”

The Pythia  —  Eumenides

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For it is right that first praise go to Those, in the line of succession, Who made it possible for the Will of the Gods to be translated into human tongues, thus do I, Columbine, daughter of Zeus, bow in succession to Them.

Gaea, Great-Grandmother; the hard, round Earth, Who opens Her Mouth and all things tremble in silence.  Now, to Themis, Who is Tradition and Law, do I speak. Next, to Phoebe, I call out in awe and appreciation for the gift of Her illuminating speech.

But, even These are not the Ones for whom I have come, this day.  My heart– my soul, ache to pay homage to those who were as close to our Lord as any mortal could be.  It is for the Blessed Pythias to receive what is theirs, if they will it.

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To these do I give the first honors of the year, freshly dawned over the November horizon; the women of Apollon, who bore His heavy and burdensome Voice for all who dared to seek for Him, in the shadow of Mount Parnassos.

Choked_Pythia_by_ZigguratArtwork

To them who gave up their lives and bodies to the God, I express my deepest thanks, for their knowledge flows deep and pure, like a whirlpool, awaiting only the many impatient seekers on His harrowed path.

Pythia_by_CaliburnSword

So, receive what is yours, Dear Ones!  In the new light, of the New Year, I bask in the heat of His pride for you!  Your splendor and radiance pour forth into this world from beyond the Veil, presenting all with the opportunity to witness the result of His Masterful Touch!

Hail to you, Blessed Pythias, who are, above all things, His!  Even now, as the sublime newness of the year delights you with gifts of purpose, and vanity, also, for you are worthy of all which is desired of me, and my Sisters, whose time approaches!

Hail to you, and be welcome in my heart and home for as long as it pleases you to stay!  In this place and time, you are honored, respected and revered!  And I humbly ask you to take the many seats at this table, which were always meant for dragons, and gentle maids!

~

[All works of art belong to their respective artists/owners, which if you haven’t guessed, isn’t me.]

What I’ve Been Up To…

I have a few candid pictures for all of my wonderful readers!  Not to mention some personal, UPG references.  :)

Okay, so for the last few weeks Apollon has been all over me about extending His space further into the house.  His main shrine, which He shares with Aphrodite, is in my living room, and is pretty big, but I don’t spend a whole lot of time in there on a day-to-day basis.  So, basically, He asked me to make ready a new space for Him, in the kitchen.  So, I did, and here are my results! I just thought I’d share, because doing this has made me so happy.  <3

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This is a very special altar.  Every part of it holds meaning for me, from the number of legs on the little table (three legs– it is a tripod), to each individual object placed upon it.  It is a Working altar, and it is designed to cultivate certain Delphic concepts, to evoke in me that connection, for divination and other spiritual purposes.

This is the space wherein which all of my divination will take place, from now on, and indeed was where I conducted my first open session, which was posted to this blog.

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In the above picture, you will first note the round stone sitting atop the pedestal dish (which is really a large candle holder).  It represents to me, the Omphalos of Delphi, upon which daily offerings were given, long ago.  I am called to pay homage to that tradition, in this small way.  When I pour oil over the stone, it flows over it and gathers neatly at the bottom of the dish.

Beside the Omphalos representation, is the dish of purified water which I keep filled to quench the thirst of those who have served Apollon in antiquity, who are represented here by the very small, stone cobra figurine that is being hugged slightly by the green snake (representing Apollon Himself).  I chose a cobra (specifically, the spitting variety) to represent the Pythias and the Priests, because they “spat” forth the word of the god, for all who would come to hear it.

Now, the snake, which I think is obviously representing Apollon, so I won’t go into to much detail here.  However, I bet you’re wondering what those pretty good sized clay, komodo dragon-looking figures (hand-moulded by me) are about, aren’t you?  Well, I’ll tell you!  :)

They are there to represent the two spirit Beings that were given into my care from Apollon, last year.  They are my dragons, and they have an important and prominent place upon Apollon’s new altar.  I shall paint the figures their proper colors when I can afford it, so they are a bit unfinished, but the Beings have settled into them, nicely.

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I think the final items of note, are my Tarot Cards, which are kept wrapped in white cloth, behind the Omphalos representation, and the red pouch containing my Limyran Oracle tiles, hand painted by me.  There is also a candle snuffer back there, along with a small vial of bay leaf oil, and a branch of Mesquite wood (you can’t really see it) that I use as a delicious smelling incense. Burning Mesquite wood has such a wonderful aroma.

And, that’s it!  Our Lord Apollon receives much love from me in His new sacred space.  I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the pictures, and please do enjoy the rest of your day!  <3

Hail Apollon, Lord of Delphi, the All-seeing One, my Beloved!

Location, Climate and Religion

In my location, we are blessed with a growing season that lasts nearly year-round.  The Winters here are typically mild, and we often do not experience a hard freeze for several Winters in a row, which means you can grow all kinds of plants in the Winter months with just a little careful planning.  I’ve also noticed that this interesting climate has impacted my interpretation of some of the old festivals.  I’ll use the example of Apollon’s return/departure from Delphi, since it is coming up later in the year, and because it is one of the most important to me, personally.

I’ve read that Apollon leaves Delphi for from as little to three months, to as much as six.  Around here, Winter lasts about four months, so that pretty much takes celebrating His departure/return on the equinoxes, as is traditional, out of the running all together.  (Besides, for me, the equinoxes are all about Demeter and Persephone, and Their myth cycle makes a lot more sense for celebration on those dates.)  At the end of October, is when I get all the Winter goodbyes from my Lord.

I’ve been welcoming Dionysos into my home every Winter at Samhain for the last several years.  (One day, I’ll think of new names for my personal festivals, but now I think actually celebrating them is more important.)  So, from that point on, which covers all of November, December (at the end of which we have Yule, also known as Midwinter), January and most of February, is four months.  I always get a very strong feeling of anticipation from Apollon a few weeks prior to His return on His birthday in February.  This happens around the time of the Wiccan holiday of Imbolc, but more importantly, it is the time of Solar Spring, when the days first begin to lengthen in the Northern Hemisphere, and when I notice the first flowers beginning to bloom in South Texas.

So, I have a sort of preparation festival in His honor, which mostly consists of purification and decorating the house for His return.  For me, Apollon’s return is more of a weeks long event, culminating with His appearance at the final ritual. It is probably my favorite festival and time of year, hands down, and it is completely personalized, tailored to suit my location and climate.  There are other festivals which I’ve had to tweak for them to fit into my local framework. Such as Thargelia.  I can’t celebrate Thargelia in April, because there isn’t any fruit growing here yet.  However, only a month later, in May, I’ll have many different fruits to offer.

So, while I believe it to be vitally important that we learn about what the ancients did, and how they celebrated, I think it is perfectly acceptable to find ways of celebration that suit us, today.  Our localities should be respected, and our climates considered when we craft our practices.  Even though many of us may be solitary, none of us are islands.  We each share our experiences with the Land upon which we live.