Tag Archives: Winter

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!

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CLOSED – Last Call for Oracle

Happy Prostateria (Lunar)!  This is the second and last call for the second Hyperborean Oracle session of the season.  Two people chosen by Apollon will receive oracle.

Please use this Contact Form, and begin your comment with “Hyperborean Oracle”, and you will be added to the list for the next upcoming ritual for the Hyperborean season.

Do not send your actual inquiry in the comment.  If you are chosen, I will ask for your inquiry when I inform you of your status, via email.  All entries will go through the process of choosing by Apollon, regardless of if they are the only entry received.

I will not receive oracle request at any time other than the Hyperborean season, for the two ritual sessions in question.  Also, I am fully aware that the historical Oracle of Delphi was closed to querents during the Hyperborean season, but my services are not based upon the Delphic Oracle, or any historic Oracular site.  I am not an ancient Greek, and I form my practices at the direct instruction of Apollon Loxias.

Please follow the above instructions if you wish to be considered for the ritual.  Donations are now MANDATORY, to be given upfront before the ritual, as this is an exhausting service to my religious community.  These donations are for my time and energy, not payment for the answer/results received.  Please respect these requirements set down by Apollon.

Thank you.

Happy Solstice!

I have only a quick post for today, since it is the Solstice and I will be celebrating the honor of Zeus our Father, and His birth, rearing and defeat of the Titan Gods.  This is not an historical observation, and indeed some may see this celebration as a bit of a stretch, however, it truly makes perfect sense to me and mine, and we have upheld this tradition for several years now.

There will be a savory meal prepared for us to share with Zeus, our Father, Mother Rhea, and with Gaea, our Great-Mother.  And we will stay up late into the night to mark off the individual observations that we have for this holy night. And during the night, as Mother Rhea labors to bring forth our Father, we will bake sugar cookies in the shape of the Sun, which will be finished near to the time of His delivery (as we have conveniently and perhaps arbitrarily determined for our own household).  And while we eat our cookies, we will tell the tales of our Father’s youth, and we will dance for Him and His glory.

And after all of that, those of us still awake will sit quietly, awaiting the Sunrise.  In those moments of twilight, we will honor the lifting of the darkness, as Zeus, young and virile, leads the Olympians to ultimate victory. We will then praise Him in the light of the young Sun, for ending the time of darkness and stagnation, and for ushering in a new age of light and growth.

And this shall be our celebration for the Winter Solstice.  How shall you celebrate, friends?

Leto, Glorious Mother

[Originally posted here at the Treasury of Apollon’s blog, October 4, 2014]

~

I see Her there, seated upon the exposed root of a great and aged tree, its leaves turning the colors of blood and fire.  She is in Her element, upon Her throne, a visage of civilization still apparent, yet noticeably porous; the act during the feast.

Her host, Her court, all make wide circles within their crowded space, trying to come ever closer to Her, but She is the distance between the stars, and none can traverse the few steps separating them from Her.

In that area, Her Son stands vigil, staring the crowd into submission.  He will not allow any to draw near, and delights in the power to instill fear within those who love Her.

She laughs, having been brought to joy by the appearance of Her Daughter, wild and freely dancing with the forest nymphs.  They circle Her, and the great tree with hands clasped together.

And Her Son turns to look upon them all, to smile in that sincere way that would cause a mortal heart to stop.  And His Sister dares Him with Her haughty eyes.

With one graceful wave of Her delicate arm, the Mother, the Enthroned One, compels the crowd to stillness, while simultaneously inviting Her Son to rule the dance.

And when He takes up His lyre, the forest falls into silence.  When He plucks the strings, all the nymphs and spirits swoon.  When His voice carries over the tree canopy, all those gathered are entranced.

And She, upon Her throne, is pleased; served sweet water by the creatures of the forest, while nymphs adorn Her golden hair with night-blooming flowers, each as white as the snows which soon will fall.

This is the court of the Dark Mother, this is the feast of the wild things which dwell in the night.  This is the host which follows Her over the threshold between Seasons.  And this is the stark beauty of life.

Hail to You, Leto, Glorious Mother, and Mistress of Winter’s long nights.

When a God Tells You Something…

…Or, Little Syncretism Things…

Some of you may know that I have a budding relationship with Odin.  When He appeared in my life the first few times it did nothing but scare the crap out of me.  That has lessened, thankfully, and now I can concentrate on what I’m supposed to be learning from Him.  There are circumstances that He wants addressed, but other than that He has yet to suggest anything that I wasn’t already involved in, or anything that I didn’t already know needed fixing.  He and I have a pretty easy-going relationship, partly due to Zeus and Apollon keeping a watchful eye on my interactions with Him, and partly due to Him being incredibly understanding of my situation.

There are several things I work with Him on, but the most important thing He tries to teach me is how to be Sovereign; what that looks like in my life and with the spirits under my care, and what I need to do in order to project that Sovereignty without stepping on Apollon’s toes, and also how not to let Apollon walk all over me in the marriage.

As I’m sure you can guess, Apollon isn’t always pleased with the subject matter, but this education stems from an agreement between the two Kings, Zeus and Odin, and as much as He might not like it, He still has to abide by it, and so do I.  So, I listen and I watch, and I try to apply what I’ve heard and seen.

Now, as Hunt season has already begun (early, so I’ve heard) I’m in the position of being truly involved in my Court’s activities.  The Waiting Ones (which is the name they’ve called themselves since before I was finally given to them) are a host of dead fighting men and women, most of them previously human, some not so much, or at all.  After having spent so long just waiting for me to be born for them, they now get to act upon their extreme boredom.

Sometimes that means chasing terrified wildlife, sometimes it means giving me nightmares, and still other times it means merging with another long established Hunt during the darkening days of the year.  This is where Odin comes in again, though perhaps not in the way one might first expect.

I was told a story by Him, about two young Goddesses who once fled Their Homeland for reasons I am not at liberty to mention here.  They came to a place entwined with another Pantheon, and over the course of many, many years, were accepted into that Pantheon via personal human experience and established myth.  When looking back upon this, I’ve seen traces, though I claim it as nothing more than my personal doxa, even if I have spoken with the Goddesses in question about it, and even if They have vouched for the authenticity of Odin’s tale.

In the story, it was told that these Goddesses did not travel alone, but with a host of Their own– a Hunt, if you will, that remains loyal to Them to this day. It is this Hunt that my Court runs with during the darkening days, and their time with Them is soon to begin.

The Autumnal Equinox is, depending upon what calendar one uses, either tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow.  According to my calendar, it’ll be the day after.  As most Hellenic Polytheists I know of will perhaps be celebrating Persephone’s decent, I will be honoring Leto, and the riding of Her Hunt across the lands.

Of course, many also celebrate Apollon’s departure to Hyperborea on the Equinox, and this makes sense and is incorporated into my doxa, as Apollon and Artemis both will be riding in Their Mother’s Hunt, for at least the time between the Equinox and the end of Aegletia (the Treasury of Apollon’s October festival).  So, there is certainly a departure at the Equinox, but Apollon hasn’t gone completely from the world yet.  He remains on the outskirts of civilization, in our peripheral vision.

[And before anyone dares to tell me that this is “wrong”, please remember that Gods do not have to be in only one place at a single point in time.  If that is your reason for rejecting my doxa, fine, but don’t think to explain to a bride of Apollon, who regularly interacts with other brides of Apollon, that her God (or any God) can not be in more than one place at a time. Save your breath.]

So, Leto, the fair-haired and veiled Consort of Zeus, seems to have a lot more going on than the motherly demure that She is so often characterized by in what writings on Her that survive, which of course gives us very little information on how peoples of the past actually viewed Her.  In this, I rely on my doxa and on interactions with Her via dreams and symbolism.

When I see Leto, I do not see one who is tied down by conventional motherhood, though a large portion of our understanding of Her come from Her role as Mother of Artemis and Apollon.  I see a Goddess of liminality, of twilight, flanked by wolves, who takes no shit and doles out justice of the finest quality.  Leto suffers no insult lightly, either to Herself or to Her Children, and when She rides out on the darkening days, She does so unveiled, hair streaming behind her in awful glory.  This is the Goddess whom Niobe insulted– the Goddess whose honor was defended by Artemis and Apollon, and these traits are but a few inherited from Her, by Them.

When I look at Leto, I see a Whole Goddess, Someone who has a past, a history, a life that began long before the birth of Her Children, and in that I find common ground for the growth of our relationship, as well as for personal growth.  There is much I have (and have yet) to learn from Her in regard to keeping my own identity intact after becoming a mother.  In this culture, motherhood is so easily dismissed, yet it is also lauded as the highest pedestal a woman can be seated upon, to the detriment of society.

Leto, who is quiet, who is veiled, is the same Leto who does not flinch in the presence of Hera, or any Other.  She is the same Leto who throws off her veil to ride vigorously through the wilderness, and the same Leto who, for reasons of Her own, fled Her birthplace along with Her Sister and Their host to stake Her claim to the varied lands in ancient Hellas.  And She was well respected throughout.

So, as the days darken, my spirits will wander off to follow Her, as they have done in years past, while I will remain here preparing to receive Apollon and His Mother and Sister for the Aegletia.  And then They will leave to carry out Their various concerns for the Winter months.

It’s fascinating how so many of these revelations were brought about by a God with whom I never imagined I’d have anything to do with, directly.  It’s fascinating how Zeus arranged this.  And it’s fascinating how right it all feels… for me.