Scarecrows for Apollon

When I was leaving work yesterday I passed by the autumn decor and saw these cute little stuffed scarecrows smiling from the shelf. Unbidden, it came to my mind that it would be appropriate to give Apollon, lord of pastures and fields, a scarecrow during the growing and harvest season (which is wrapping up).

The reason is rather simple, aside from the crow/raven being a good omen in the Hellenic religion, it is also, by its nature, a bit if an agricultural thief. This by nature puts crows/ravens in a categorical relationship with other crop eaters ( here I am using it to refer to all manners if crops including shepherding) such as mice, locusts and wolves. That which is sacred to him, he also protects us from their destructive tendencies.

That the name of Coronis is so closely linked by her nature to the crow, and given her actions in her myth that brought about her death, said by some to have been by the bow of Artemis, we can probably infer that the nature of this bird acting as a heraldic animal, is a creature that easily transverses the liminal boundaries of death. A bird of the tomb who foresees, and as such sees the ends of all living things. But as such is also a watchful guardian against destructive ends, or rather, untimely ends. We expect that he make take a cut from the crops we spiritually so, but Apollon safeguards against excessive plunder by this devious little bird. For Coronis is liable to take more than what she is permissibly given. The crow and scarecrow is a reminder against the ills if excess. S, now Apollon needs a crow/raven and a scarecrow!.

 

A Value in Syncretism

There is an inherent value in syncretism that I think is often overlooked. Syncretism doesnt mean that your worship of a god becomes one huge muticultural gobbity gook, but rather it is very effective way to develope a multi faceted understanding of your deity. That is to say, my understanding of my god is vastly expanded through syncretism. But this does not mean that my deity is necessary going to be subplanted with another.

For instance, Apollon as Rasheff brings a certain insight, as does Apollon as Horus ( though really I think the combined Horus and Seth to be more point on, so does my interpretation of Apollon as Shiva. But he is still Apollon. I may find myself happy to worship with followers of his other manifestations, but these other forms are not the ones that I live with so to speak. But it does have the benefit of added clarity. I never truly had a good handle on the benevolence if a destructive god until I got to know him as Shiva. That is but one example.

Syncretism doesnt change your relationship with your gods, and may even never directly impact your worship, but it does its magic on other levels. It does not need to be shunned.

A Mystic Program of Apollon

More than one scholar has commented on how strange it is that Apollon, with all that acts upon and all that he has endured in his myths, suffering, exile etc, that he has no apparent mysteries. Nothing like what is enjoyed by his brother Dionysos, to whom Apollon often acts as a slayer. However I am not sure if I agree entirely.

True enough that Apollon, unlike Persephone and Dionysos, does not offer salvation. However I would say he offers liberation. As such his mysteries, such as they are, are entwined with those of Dionysos and Persephone in which he plays the role of liberator in his actions therein as shepherd butcher and harvester. This is his purpose, to bring freedom through destruction, by first encouraging maturation. Just as be cares for the living, he acts for the maturation of the soul. He makes it necessary for the soul to pass through lifetimes before rewarded with dwelling among the blessed. We thus undergo seasons of lean and plentitude, we withstand our purifications, and we understand the role of sucfering that forges who we become.

As such his mystic program, unlike his previously mentioned siblings, does not involve dying. But rather the theme of necessary action, suffering, exile, purification and return. For these reasons little is said about Apollon’s departure occasion, aside from one source stating that a gold statue of Dionysos was erected. The focus not being on the autumn departure, but rather on the spring return.

So we find Apollon in th Orphic hymn playing the springtime Doric melody, as well as a series of festivals occuring before his return that reinacted the steps of his exile. This was important enough to attract pilgrimages to Delphi. Not o ly that but the boy representing Apollon in exile seeking purification was probably awaited in anticipation. I can imagine the solemn hospitality… and then the celebration as he passed through again as the returning god purified! People joyfully following him in procession to Delphi where he arrives with laurel boughs and has a great feast where he holds his brother Dionysos as his guest of honor ( the festival Theoxenia in March).

Spring is the focus. It lacks the autumnal dying mysteries of which he takes part but is not central, and focuses instead on attainment of spiritual freedom attained by the trials of the soul through its own seasons of life and the final victory, as we see the beast within us, accept it, destroy distinction from it, to destroy  that which hinders us and ultimately find harmony that will allow us to find peace and freedom.

So even though Apollon has left for his fall retreat I am mindful of this promise, and look forward to setting out his plate on his early spring wanderings at the latter part of Anthesterion, for even tho I feel him more intimately and personally closer, I still look forward to the great occasion of his return.

 

The Departure of Apollon, the Season of Pan and the Rule of Dionysos

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Today I celebrate the departure of Apollon as he begins his travel to Hyperborea, his divine garden of light, and in so celebrating the end of his season, and the beginning of the season of Pan and the rule of Dionysos, he who is soon to be the bull cut down, the bull consumed. As we have no date for when these mysteries occur that the thyiades tore him apart and consumed him, I am going to suppose that it will probably be next month following his procession after the thanksgiving to Apollon at the Pyanepsia.

I know that many celebrate this transition at the Pyanepsia between Apollon and Dionysos, but I go with modern scholarship that notes the rise of the constellation Delphus in Delphi that signified the return of Apollon occurred later at Delphi due to the mountains. It would also likely sink earlier. Thiswould align   with scholarship that suggests it was actually around the equinoxes. This in turn would parallel the absence and return of Apollon at Delos in which the god rules for only half the year, and likewise with Arkadia who call Pan and Apollon the original two seasons representing the dry sunny half of the year, and the wet dark half. As Pan is the close companion of Dionysos it all draws together. So I honor these gods today, along with Leto, the dark mother. And I crown Apollon in a wreath of pine, whose open cones signify the start of the wet season and the end of his reign.

On the shrine I lay the autumn flowers and some wild grains, as well as the fiery colored autumn leaves, as well as wild mushrooms that appear this time of the year with gusto as the weather cools and dampens.

Hail Apollon, Hyperborieos, Lykeios! Hail departing one, for you leave us not in want. Hail O lord of the departing summer of the year. Hail O Pan, hail lord of the night, lord of the winter of the year. Hail O gnarled laughing one who frolics in damp fields and snowy cliffs. Hail to you O Dionysos, leader of the mad march in the night, dewy king, roaring lord, you who are to be slain and rising again.  Hail to you O wintry god.

On a related note I plan on hanging a black shroud from Apollon’s crown and shoulders until his return. Thankfully with Halloween around the bend that will be easy to acquire!

 

When a God Tells You Something…

lykeiaofapollon:

This is an excellent pists that further develops the direction of my own worship, as I honor the departure of Apollon as he begins his travels to Hyperborea. Not to me tion paralleling much of my worship of Leto, though a bit in a dire tion I had bot given much thought to. A most excellent pist

Originally posted on Queen of the Waiting Ones:

…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…

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A Vision of Athena

Last night, mindful of my previous post I entreated Athena to reveal how she would like me to know her. This was followed by random images thrown up, some of which did not make sense.

A viper coils in a great nest of serpents

A war crown (similar to a helmet but not completely enclosed at the top with the front stylized like the face of an owl.

A spider spinning her web to entrap her prey

A fishermans net

the bridal veil and death shroud (not new for me)

A flurry of large winged moths

So not a bad start, although the moths mystify me lol