Tag Archives: Solar Spring

My Prince, Come Charging!

Our Prince!  My Prince!  Come charging through these doors!  Our quiet contemplation is now thoroughly ended!  You who are brightly manifest, You who are the Source, of all that is bright and golden, come!

Dear Prince!  Blessed Prince!  Enter now into these halls!  Their emptiness should be filled by the music of Your presence!  You who deliver the purest notes, You to whom all rhythm clings, move gracefully now through the entrance!

Bold Prince!  Fair Prince! Take command of these structures, these hearts, these minds, these souls!  You who are the cornerstone from which we all are built, You who are the architect of dreams, let us be the clay which Your steady hand shall mould!

Untamed Prince!  Unconquerable Prince!  Show us the ways of Your sight and wisdom!  You who are seated as the Right-hand of Zeus, You who reveal the winding paths of Truth, behold now the reverence which attends You, through these wide open doors!

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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.

Celebrating the Perihelion

Perihelion – n.  the point at which the Earth comes closest to the Sun.

I have taken the name of this yearly astronomical event, and applied it directly to the solitary contemplative celebration that I hold in honor of my Lord. That this event occurs during the height of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, I find to be very helpful in reaching that connected state of meditation.

It is Winter, and the cold creeps into our bones, unmercifully.  The angle of the Earth’s axis has us facing away from the light, even as we draw closer to the celestial body, without whose warmth we would cease to be.  Our attention finds focus on all of the harsh realities surrounding us during the Winter.  The time is near, and few of us will have to imagine the buildup of tension as January approaches.  We won’t have to imagine, because we will all be in the thick of it– right in the middle of the Winter shopping fiasco, because, even if we do not celebrate its consumerism, we will still be obliged to tolerate it.

In this season of stress, touching a little bit of Apollon’s warmth (or Helios’ perhaps), for just a single mindful day, certainly reconnects me to my Source, my Lord, Who is close by, even as our very Planet turns our faces away from Him.  We have to make that conscious effort to connect, and to stay connected throughout the day, despite the many distractions, in order for the time to be most meaningful.

For myself, it is a simple and wordless celebration, through which I am able to strip away the many layers of separation.  There are no words to cloud the air, no curtsies to convey knowledge of my place, and no grand offerings, for I myself am the offering. With the total capacity of my concentration, I find my way back to the light, all the way through the deep of the Earth if I must, for the Perihelion is a celebration of the Earth and Sun, close as lovers in the void.

During this time, when we are nearest, and yet divided by the truth of our separateness, I rededicate myself to the Lord Apollon. Then, He peels back that fragile truth, only to reveal the deeper truth of our Oneness– our Wholeness. We are together in the Winter, and the aching cold is driven back by His light.

Soon after the Perihelion, comes Solar Spring, in the early days of February, when the first of the new growth appears in my climate.  This new growth is the signal for me to prepare for His Return to Delphi, and indeed, His return to this world.  The upcoming months, and their subsequent celebrations, are very important to my Lord.  They may not be in any way Traditional, but He has staked a claim to these events, and therefor I have shared a bit of His interest with you.  May it be helpful, or otherwise inspiring.

Perihelion 2014 falls upon the date of January 4th.

Doing It Right

I wonder if anyone ever notices the writing trends on my blog.  I typically write about my personal observations and occasionally opinions, and frequently poetic accounts of my practices.  But, I usually stop short of offering solid details, or even much in the way of explanations regarding what I do.  And there are reasons for this, mostly revolving around specific taboos. However, I’ll admit to having held back certain things, based mostly on how others might react, which is never good, as my focus should always be on what Apollon approves of sharing, not on other people’s opinions of the subject matter.

Once, I wrote a post briefly concerning a personal devotional celebration that I hold for Apollon, which has for me, become synchronized in part with His annual return from Hyperborea.  I probably wasn’t clear enough about the nuances of the celebration and its references to Delphi and Hyperborea in my practices, but that happens to be my prerogative.

The approach I touched on therein was, apparently, so unconventional that I was offered scholarly evidence to disprove the validity of my practices, in response.  It was assumed that I just didn’t know what was correct, because obviously, I hadn’t studied the dates of the ancient festivals enough.  The default answer couldn’t have been that I’d studied, but came to a different conclusion based on that study, and several other factors.

The point of this, dear friends, is to remind you that there are a lot of know-it-alls on the internet. And they know a lot, and they won’t hesitate to tell you what they know, whether or not it happens to be their place to do so. If by chance you find yourself in a similar situation, where someone whom you regard highly or otherwise respect, decides to tell you publicly that you’re “doing it wrong”, just remember that they had to start somewhere, and that they also had to feel their way around in figurative darkness before their Paths were made clearer to them over time. So, don’t sweat it.

However, I know that it’s not always easy to disregard the words of our “elders” (for lack of a better word), even when they are being obnoxious. If you end up doubting yourself (or your Work, or your Path) based on the comments of another human being, try to use that doubt to fuel a redoubling of your efforts instead of allowing it to send you slinking off into a corner. Work harder to establish your own practices, but be aware of when, and if, anything needs to be changed or discarded. People change all the time, and our practices should reflect who we are now, not who we were a year ago. But, most importantly, remember that we are all only human, and humans are an opinionated lot.

I value the ability to doubt, and to assess circumstances rationally, because there is a place for healthy questioning. Therefore, I consider myself fortunate to have had this exchange, because we all need to be shaken up now and then, and every little thing that keeps me on my toes, which keeps me honest on this Path, is a blessing. Sometimes faith has to come in the wake of doubt, and that is a valid test.

We should also bear in mind that when an “elder” makes such a statement, it is usually not intended to be malicious or demeaning, but rather, is meant out of a desire to help or teach, not because they’re mean.  Professionals, who have poured their lives into a chosen field (in this case, spiritwork) for a number of years, tend to take those matters very seriously, so don’t be surprised if someone takes issue with your stance or statements.  But, don’t be mistaken into believing that because they spoke up about it that they have any better insights into your personal affairs than you do.  Sometimes, people are just ornery.  We all have bad days, sometimes days so bad that every other person we encounter seems like they’ve got their head stuck up their rear-ends, so… when in doubt, cut them some slack, but never slack up on yourself.

Personally, I’ve been through, and conquered, quite a few obstacles on this Path with my Beloved, the least important of which are (as always) the opinions of others. My practices and personal festivals are reflections of my journey with Lord Apollon. They are right, for me and for Him, and we are the only ones who have a say in the matter. Period.

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.