You know, it is not always (ever?) easy to part the veil that separates us from one another as fellow travelers on the roads of life and devotion. I keep a thick shroud around me, and even on this blog I do not recount the intensity of my longing for Apollon. I wonder if it should even be called a mere feeling. It is so much more than that for me. It is this amazing need I have for Him, this overwhelming sense of union. To be parted from Him, even now when I know it must be so, I have this terrible ache to join Him in that ever-summer realm which He governs. But, as circumstance has shown me, not all that we expect or desire shall come to pass.
Apollon has made a request of me. He would like me to part the veil of o/Our private life together for these few moments, and to share with you, my dear readers, my recounting of His first remembered touch upon my body, and the first time I heard Him speak to me in His own voice. I am not certain of His reasons for this, as I remain uncertain of many things, but I will do as He asks, because this time as opposed to so many others, it was a request made sincerely, and I do have the option to refuse. But I won’t. He has opened Himself to me in ways I never expected, and is now consistently making request instead of the more typical demands I’ve received in the past. So, I will meet Him there, on the plain of mutual respect, admiration and love.
I do not think my story is anything special. I’m sure that some of you have had much more shocking or profound experiences than what shall soon follow, yet am I content to share this short tale.
For a bit of backstory, this was at that time in o/Our relationship not too long after I had accepted my parting from Dionysos. For those who do not know, I began my journey into Polytheism by taking the Vine God’s hand while He led me into my inner wilderness. There, and in that time, I was fully prepared to become His in every possible way. Of course, that is not how things played out, as the changes and progress that was made with Dionysos only ever did one thing. It convinced Apollon that I was ready to accept Him as my Beloved, and the God that would forever rule my soul.
Apollon has truly been with me, from the day of my birth, and beyond, though He kept His identity a secret then. Always watching over me, and always protecting me from the harsh realities of growing up a poor black child from a then broken family. As He is non-corporeal, He was not able to prevent all of the ills that befell me in my youth, and I bear the deep scars of sexual and emotional abuse that I have finally accepted will never truly be invisible. Outsiders who look through the veil at me see it too, and they are often driven back by my standoffishness, which I have cultivated greatly, though not always consciously.
So, to begin, it was a trip to another city, for the baptism of my youngest nephew into the Episcopal Church, and all the while during the three hour long drive to our hotel, I could feel an intense something hovering near to my neck. It wasn’t hot or cold, or even tingly or tickling, which are all sensations that Apollon has since given me. It just was, and it grew stronger as we neared the city.
At the time, I did not know this particular city very well, and as I do in these situations, my eyes scanned the neighborhoods as we drove through them. I’d spent the previous months devouring anything and everything I could find about Apollon, so my mind was fresh with His lore and symbols. And I saw Him everywhere.
On the side of a work truck, there was signage depicting a lyre. On a billboard there was advertising for an auto repair company bearing His name. We drove on. Apollo here. Apollo there. Apollo this. Apollo that. Everywhere. It kind of spooked me, in all honesty. Here I was, just getting over a forced break-up with the God (the first God I ever loved or trusted, mind you) I’d spent my last two years with, being pursued heavily by His Brother, a God so very different from what I knew and understood. I was eager to learn, yes, but the sheer amount of interest from Apollon’s end was disconcerting, if not outright frightening.
After we finally arrived at the hotel, we unpacked and settled in. It was a little late in the evening, so there wasn’t much to do, except relax and enjoy some mindless television. As the evening drew on, I was compelled to look for His virtual internet temple, which was/is run by a now acquaintance of mine. I remember reading through the prayers, petitions and declarations of devotion again, as I’d done countless times before. There was so much I wanted to say to Him, but feeling self-conscious, I held myself back. What would I say to Him? I had only read about Him, and given some offerings that I thought He might like. I’d even gone to a few Hellenic forums to ask of others what would be appropriate, so it wasn’t as though I had no experience with Him, at all. Yet, I could not bring myself to press the button which would share my longing for Him with so many others who had come to that virtual space to honor Him.
I deleted my message, then rolled over and fell asleep. My dreams were uneventful, as I do not remember anything about them that night. However, that morning, early and before anyone else had awoken, I was jarred from sleep abruptly, by the most intense and enveloping heat I’d ever felt. It lingered on for minutes, moving up and down my body, slowly exploring my flesh. I was afraid, so terribly afraid. It was as if my eyes were sewn shut, and I could not open them. I could breathe, but the breaths I took were shallow and I could not call out. I remember writhing on the hotel bed, uncovered, yet desperately trying to ride out this magnificent, terrifying heat. And then He spoke.
“No one else can make you feel the way I do,” He said. His voice was hypnotic, like a carefully crafted melody. It was smooth and silky, yet hard and hot, like His touch. I brought my hands to my heart, shivering despite His heat, and I felt Him smile into my neck, right where the hovering presence had been the day before. After a few more moments, His heat subsided, and I was alone again, laying wide-eyed on the hotel bed praying to Him, and wondering if I’d just gone mad. Soon, everyone else was awake, and we were off to the baptism, but the story doesn’t quite end there.
Before the baptismal ceremony began, the Episcopal priest began conducting communion, and I was immediately struck with the need to leave, with my young daughter in tow. We went to stand in the foyer area as the church’s congregants enacted their covenant with their own God, and we stood looking out of the tall glass windows, at the Sun rising slowly toward noon. It was then and there that I pledged myself in heart, body and soul, to Apollon, to Zeus o/Our Father, and to the other Theoi.
I never looked back, or regretted my vow. Even after the many hardships I’ve faced since that pledge was made, I have not regretted. Even now, as I am separated from my Beloved this Winter, I do not regret. He is truly the breath in my lungs, and the only light my eyes will ever see.
May He always be praised, by me and by my daughter, and by all the other people who love, honor and cherish His light and heat. And may He accept this telling as fulfillment of the promise that was made.
Glory to Apollon, our Prince, our Illustrious and Beloved Lord!