The Power of Illusion

As someone who belongs to Apollon I find that I have a great appreciation for illusion. Illusion is the other half of light’s natural influence: to reveal truth and to play tricks with our eyes. As such we find that even by illusions we ultimately find truth, although that truth may not be what we expect. Often the illusion makes us face uncomfortable truths about ourselves. What we truly think, what we feel in our hearts. What we fear. Illusion sheds that light upon ourselves… and that is under Apollon’s domain.

These illusions can come through many avenues. That which we think to have seen from the corner of our eyes, or reflections. The other is the slight of hand of magicians who inspire hope and awe. Even the illusion of miracles may serve this same purpose of inspiration, as well as bringing great feeling if devotion and unification.

The illusion and truth of Apollon is his labyrinth, and it is only by our personal harmonized beings (as such is under the domain of Aphrodite) can be navigate surely. Hail lord of truth, lord of illusion!!

 

 

 

 

 

Of Altars and Shrines

I think it is too easy to slip into the habit of using shrine and altar almost interchangably, after all we pray at both. Even I have caught myself saying altar a time or two when discussing my shrine for Apollon, but in reality they are very separate and have their own functions in the household. 

An altar is where the general worship of the household is conducted, where the kharis between the oikos and the gods is predominantly carried out. As such it tends to be rather formal looking, clean and simple in design. It is more less the “work area” of the household. Adornments, if done, tend to be seasonal or for specific festivals. 

I have two altars in my home (although I am planning ancestor altar). At the door I have the rudimental beginnings of my doorway altar where the gods who protect the entrance are honored. The crystal representing Apollon Aygieus is temporary until I find a suitable black stone. I have also yet to find a good stone for the herm, and it lacks images of Artemis Prothyria, Hekate, Herakles and Zeus. This altar in any case perserved the oikos by the woship there.

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The second altar is at the center of the house where Zeus who ruled the center of the house is honored along with all the gods of the oikos. As I do not have a house with roof access as was anciently had and I have had the pleasure of experiencing in Morocco, I cannot set up an altar on the roof for the Dioscouri. So they too are worshiped at this central altar. I am slowly working on providing images of all the household gods on it. This altar is the heart of the oikos.

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Shrines, on the other hand are usually set up for selective gods where personal worship is offered. The shrine is for our relationship with the gods so honored there, and are typically created because the god or goddess is highly favored. Shrines continuously change and evolve as devotional items are added. Most of my own are still rather sparse. Shrines tend to grow organically in my experience, so no two shrines will grow at the same rate.

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Where’s the Support?

lykeiaofapollon:

Although frankly my resources are stretched beyond thin, I plan making a pitifully small donation. It is more than worth while for all the reasons Columbine touches on, it us just unfortunate that I do not really have much of the way of spare cash, or the luxury frivolous spendin that I can draw from when I am counting pennies for formula and diapers but even still I plan to give a few dollars. Many are i similar boats as myself, but a loy of good can come from many giving what few dollars they can spare, even if you might wonder what difference such a small sum can make. It does make a difference. I will give, will you?

Originally posted on Queen of the Waiting Ones:

So, I’m curious and have a question for all the super serious Pagans, Polytheists and other Alternative Religious folks out there who so often proclaim that they are all about founding new temples and other types of religious worship areas for those of our kind.  Where exactly, is your support for the Maetreum of Cybele?

I know most of you have read the recent Wild Hunt article detailing the Maetreum’s struggle against the Town of Catskill, NY, where government officials there have vowed to spend the Maetreum into bankruptcy, despite the Town’s losses in court.  Is it because you are tired of hearing about the priestesses’ plight?  If so, why haven’t you donated anything to help ease their burden?  This lawsuit has been going on for several years, and if you think you are tired and burnt out with it, just imagine if you were one of the priestesses.  Priestesses…

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Apollon, the Great Dragon

Aside from being the wolf, and the goat horned god, Apollon takes a most unlikely form.. that of a dragon, or great serpent. I believe that this is most especially his guise as guardian, most particularly of tombs  for instance, and oracular god. It is as the great serpent that he is coiled, ungulating, at the the boundaries of all things.

 We may consider first he less commonly known mythic origin from Crete, perhaps more specifically a Doric origin myth in Crete that came onto the island with Apollon and the Doric colonists who established sacred cities to the god, in which Apollon is not the son of Zeus, but rather of Corybas, the dark dragon. As the son of Corybas, Apollon struggled with Zeus, but upon the victory of the latter, Apollon yeilded to the great bull, the chthonic serpent. The marked contrast exists here that whereas Zeus, and Dionysos, have funerary and birth mysteries as the serpent bull repeatingly fathering himself, Apollon is eternally renewing himself that we find playing out in his purification myths and ceremonies. He sheds away the skin and renews.

His more popular mythic heritage points this no less. We find his grandfather Koios, the axis the heavens depicted in an ancient stellar poem as a great heavenly dragon whose glaring eye was the axis. Alternate myths where Apollon inherits Delphi from his grandmother Phoebe (seated at the axis of the earth) may suggest some telationship between her and the dragonness Delphyne, especially if we take Aesychlus at his word that Themis and Ge are one and the same, this would imply that a necessary contest  took place for Apollon to be so gifted. Thus giving a different perspective of a particular vasr painting in which Apollon is seated before Delphyne who is before him with her hands presented in a humanoid Echidnar type of form. It hardly seems a coincidence given that Apollon was responsible for sending another Echidnae-like dragon to devastate a village. This would account for the close identity of Apollon with Python, and the appearance the dragonness in art as a kind of guardian daimon of Apollon’s precinct. I believe that by slaying her he assisted her in a transformation of her own. This would account for the punishment and cleansing tjat resulted as shedding the blood of kin was unforgivable (ask Orestes…as a note interesting how Apollon demonstrated in that myth the favoring of higher law that grants for necessity rather than the old law if the Erinyes. That Apollon was nursed by Themis makes him possessing a direct lineage to law). This would be an important feature of his purifications, his own suffering, and the libations and flute song Apollon offers to Delphyne. This descendance of dragons is further highlighted by Leto who was seen to be the same goddess as the Egyptian Wadjet in Greek opinion. 

Of course Delphyne should be held distinct from another Python, a male which pursued Leto and was slain. This Python is the son of Ge, Tityus. Yet we know he had sacred observances around the time of the Stepteria festival, the crowning festival. That Delphi has two traditions that seem to occur simultaneously, one of which a serpent was burned (Delphyne) and another of armed combat between between men (Tityus) would indicate two mysteries ongoing. One of which Apollon becomes a master by defeating the dragonness, and the other being a spring rite in contest of two male powers before Apollon returns to Delphi. Tityus seems here to me to be as Dionysos whose grave is held as sacred by Delphi’s neighbor as that of Dionysos at Delphi. It would reason while the flesh of his grandmother was offered up to become the earth, Tityos as Python has a grave, the same grave of Dionysos it would seem.

It reasonable then that Apollon is the dragon guardian of the grave of Dionysos as he seems to appear in the Orphic Argonautika. I will be going into this in more depth as I am writing my booklet the Serpents of Delphi in my Apollonian series . In the picture below Delphyne coils around a serene Apollon

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An Experience in Ritual Cosmetic Adorning

Last night I took the first foray into ritual cosmetic adornment, and for me it was a very powerful experience, even though I was told it makes me look crazier than hell. The down side is that as I did not have decent cosmetics the result was less polished than I would have liked. But the impact was quite strong.

Going through the process was like a personal transformation, wherein my face, the mask I show the world was overlain with a spiritual mask. A soul mask created through cosmetics. For my first foray I started with an altered Mycenaean design. I added ling northern and southern radiants to each rosette, connecting the ones on my cheeks with my eyes. the one on my chin with my lips, and the one on my forehead extending beyond my physical self, into my hairline as a symbol of my extending spuritual body. Marked in dark makeup thedesign  imitates light, that what I see, speak and take within me, be filled with the holy light of Apollon.

This applied symbolism ended up having a potent affect. I felt different, like the realme, a stronger, older and more powerful me rose to the surface. Time felt meaningless as I stood before him uttering my prayers and burning incense, distanced from my regular daily life. As if the world ceased moving around me, and I was more potently aware of Him moving around me. 

This is not merely due to the cosmetic adorning itself, anyone can paint their face. But that wearing the expression of these symbols acted as a communication to my subconscioys, reminding it that I am more than the flesh of this body, and that all which I am is illuminated by my lord. He knows the true face that none other sees. I acknowledge this.

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Cosmetic Veiling

lykeiaofapollon:

I am sharing this in prelude to my own post on ritual cosmetic adorning and how it impacted me my first time doing so in my evening ritual last night.

Originally posted on Queen of the Waiting Ones:

It occurs to me that some people may be wondering why I wear my makeup in the manner that I do.   I do not usually explain these details to others, but I feel that it may actually help someone who could be wrestling with limiting ideas of veiling.

What is veiling?  Why do it?  And, is the head the only part of the body that can/should be veiled?  While all of these questions will have to be answered by each individual for their own needs, I can give a few examples based from my own experience.

Eye Shadow

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Women of color, such as myself, are often seen wearing very bright and/or metallic colors of eye-shadow in media and daily life.  It could be an aesthetic choice, and as such would be perfectly acceptable, because grown persons may wear whatever they feel comfortable in, as evidenced by the many people who go about…

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A Devoted Life

From the time since I have become Apollon’s, I have taken up activities, sometimes apparently minor or with little outside observable meaning, that have more deeply tied me to him over the years.

The earliest form has been tattoing. Nearly all of my tattoos tell the story of my relationship with from the wolf pawprint above the breast to the brudal serpent around my wrist. My body has long been a canvas of love, worship and devotion. It is these marks which shall bear in even in my own funerary ends when I greet the end of my life adorned in honor of him.

I also wear my hair long for the unshorn one, representative of the outward extension of the light of my own soul. But it is worn braided like a coil of rope. By which he may seize my soul as surely as he seizes the anchor or bow of a ship. The brilliance of my soul is his by this testament. However when I am out much of my head is covered by a scarf representative of this spiritual sanctity, even though most of the braid hangs outside of it. I loved having small cornrows, but the texture of my hair makes removing them an extremly painful process. So rather than praying as I annointed oil on my braids. I pray to Apollon as I brush out and rebraud the length, as do I when I adorn my scarf.

Even bathing has become ritualustic under the spray if the shower as I cleanse myself. Especially in my bathing prior to the sunset beginning the Noumenia.

Now it is extending to new levels. I have been nudged to adorn my face in a manner similar to the Mycenaean style. I have seen beautiful Cretan images and Mycenaean images before of women beautifully adorned that I felt compelled to imitate and e en in costumery came clise to doing so unconsciously, but it did not really hit home until today when I happened upon a photo of a model with her face so painted. An artful expression of devotion with small rosettes of light addressing the fourcorners from which his winds issue from the very axis of the heavens. By this I move outside the norm of my existance to give special honor to our relationship.

My life is infused with him, and as such is ever more blessed day by day.