Novena for Apollon Call for Submissions

Inspired by G alina, now that I have wrapped up Before the Doors: A Domestic Worship of Apollon, I am doing a nine day novena. This will be non profit, published for price of printing by createspace. As such an offering to Apollon, looking for poems submitted focusing on the following six I don’t already have covered: Pythios (the rotting), Smintheus (mouse god dealing with plague and famine), Daphneios (of the laurel/purifying), Alexikakos (averter of evil), Epikourios (helper), and Paean (healer).

Already covered are Lykeios, Prostaterios and Karneios.

The epithets chosen are ones I felt directed towards as ones more relevant to wider regular worship..even if some are less known than others😉

Now in a given hymn you are free to address other closely related epithets if you so choose. 

As I am asking for these as donated devotionals for every accepted poem the author will receive a free copy of the novena.

Please email submissions to daphne.kyrene@gmail.com

New Services

​I offer the following services in my service to Apollon, Artemis and Leto. There is now a permanent page for this on my blog.For any of the following services email daphne.kyrene@gmail.com

1.  Full ritual to Apollon (Artemis or Leto) with full offerings and libations on your behalf at their shrine. $35.00 This covers the use of regular supplies for worship:wine, oil, sometimes perfume in case of the goddesses, incense, honey, and baking goods for sacrificial cakes. Additional charge may be applied for special additions requested.

2.  Composed hymn for Apollon (Artemis or Leto). $15.00

3. Choice between a 18 inch or 10 inch statue of Apollon (or Artemis or Leto) blessed and consecrated with sacred heart.  18 inch: $125.00  10 inch: $70.00 Please allow 3 weeks for production. 

4.  Half dollar sized silver medallion hand crafted, blessed and consecrated. $60.00 Please allow two weeks for production.

5. Prayer beads/devotee beads. Price and time vary depending on what you want.

6.  Painted icons in acrylic or oil on canvas. Prices vary on size and medium roughly $59.00-$135.00

local numinous places of my worship

Being familiar with your home and regular worship of your gods does mean inevitably you will discover numinous places your gods hang out at.

I have several for Apollon. Anchorage is a major port for Alaska so the harbor is one of his numinous places where he can be found lingering with Poseidon and Njord. The ring of mountains that surrounds us I praise and direct prayers of A pollon, Artemis, Leto, Dionysos, Zeus, Hera and Rhea towards. These are also honored at the largest summit in the state with Helios at Mt. Denali for which they are called Denalios or Denalia. Leto has her Potters Marsh outside of the city where the Letoide are also honored.  Apollon and Hermes at the cemetaries. The Letoide with their mother and nymphs at Rabbit Creek which drains into the marsh. Further into the valley one finds Apollon Smintheus among what scant crops we grow and livestock reared around Palmer with Demeter, and also Apollon Karneios and Pan. 

Of course I am on the lookout for things more in my neighborhood still for more regular cultus lol!

Bakkhik Apollon

As I have stated before, that while Hyperborean A pollon gives a sense of the disconnection and distance of A pollon during his seasonal role, likely in residence to a degree among the blessed isles as he is enshrined in Hyperborea, I also consider Apollon at this time quite mystic, and very Bakkhik. This is my Lord in company of his brother that as Diodoros speaks that in the campaign of Dionysos (via speaking of him as Osiris when speaking of the mystic god) that Apollon was always with his company, leading the chorus. Here we see Apollon leader of initiates and leader of the chorus as we can imagine him in Samothrake where he is the father of the korybantes.

This image is on par with our understanding of the god as lord of the cemetery which he was in Hellas, Ionia, and Italy as Apollo Soranus. Yet it is his fall festival as Apollon Karneios that sets the transition up.  His herds and crops are reared to maturity of harvest, the season of reaping has come after which he departs. His departure assures the moist season planting and the mysteries of the seed within the earth and the fertile ecastic mysteries of Dionysos. Yet his festival Karneia assures his final turns in his season and we see imagery if dancing maidens bearing wide baskets on their heads as Perses frightens away satyrs that are likely on the fringes as the season prepares to turn. But not yet…Apollon holds the pipeline, the symbol for the timing of the end golf the dry season and the beginning of the moist season. It is literally his movement and exchange with Pan the proceeds things. Then he no longer holds back the advance of satyrs but is part of the company of Dionysos. Growling, Wolfish, howling, singing.

The locks of Karneios are not lain beautifully or carefully dressed in coiled locks…they are wild, and likely partially dredded,  flowing around his face. Karneios gives us the view of Bakkhik Apollon, here is our clear vision him in all his glory.  Even the Boedromia in Athens where he is the god who presents fear as eagerly as the dark countenance lord bearing the aegis as we see him in the Iliad.

Even the association is so close in the Pyanepsia where beans, so closely associated with the dead are prepared in thanksgiving for him with the adorning of his sacred bough the day before the procession of Dionysos and Ariadne. I always got the impression it was these same bough carried in honor of Dionysos and Ariadne. Karneios through Pyanepsia I consider the festivals of the Bakkhik Apollon…and again with his birth in Prostaterias at the festival Prostateria in the sacred land of Dionysos: Thebes. This is his Bahkkik cycle, and is really my favorite as this is of the herder and reaping lord, the horned Apollon, the wolfish one.

It is true that the muses raved like maenads when first they encountered Dionysos….and I am certain  Apollon to raved in Bakkhik rejoicing.  Which is why he fathered Delphus on the first Thyiad at Delphi. Perhaps during this seasonal frenzy of his where he is wild and most free. My lord the freer.

Not particularly Homeric

I know among modern Hellenic polytheists there is this love affair with Hellenic religion as it was practiced in Athens and the works of Homer and Hesiod. I certainly like their work myself but am not particularly inclined to rely on it in primary when it comes to my worship of the gods. This is largely because I favor Sparta and other Doric states myself. 

In fact outside of Ionian literature, we find a fascinating tapestry of familiar gods appearing in very different ways. This is the land where we likely find the strongest presence of a possibly earlier and definitely more divergent Apollon from the commonly understood son of Zeus. Here Apollon as herder and Lord of the destroying force of nature and lawkeeper is a startling contrast. Via the Spartan colony in Crete we have Apollon with the labrys as god who punishes adulterers. We see throughot Doric lands Karneios with herding staff and pine cone. Also from the colony at Crete is where we here of what may have been the Doric understanding of Apollon’s parentage. Not as son of Zeus but son of the black dragon Corybas, who took this form in punishment by Zeus as myth tells us for trying to violate Rhea if memory serves me correctly.

Corybas himself was the son of Samothrakian Demeter (aka Rhea or Cybele) and the Corybantes named after him as those who give up praise to his mother and were the children of his son Apollon who led them. This may have inspired the mystery cult of Demeter in which Iakkhos bears identity of Apollon but as her son directly and leader of the initiates as Diodorus relates to us through his Egyptian style lens of the mysteries. 

This Apollon thus would have preceeded Zeus and have legitimate reason in challenging Zeus for the right to rule in Doric-Cretan myth. This may likewise bear some relationship to the Arkadian concept of Apollon and Pan as the original seasons of Apollon was of an older pre Olympian line before he became the son of Zeus.

I have often wondered how the relationship initially may have differed between Apollon and Artemis before they became Olympian twins. Certainly in Doric-Crete she is called not the daughter of Leto but the daughter of Hera who worked in company of her sister who midwived new babies into the world with Artemis as their divine nurse. As closely networked as Apollon and Artemis were I have to wonder if before they were brought in as twins if they may have been spousal deities as you commonly find in these kind of situations. Certainly Artemis’ s Doric cult seemed to be of a different bent than that if the Ionian Artemis, the latter with clear virginal boundaries than the other has. That Artemis’ sacred haunt where Adonis was slain is among the same mountain sacred to Apollon (and named for one of his sons) gives a distinct but meshed together view of cohabiting more or less. Of course the mysteries of Demeter says only that Leto was nurse to both…..meanwhile whereas Apollon may have been son by proxy via his hereditary relationship to the mysteries of Samothrakian Demeter, we have Artemis in the Peloponesse and at Eleusis as the daughter of Poseidon and Demeter: Despoina.  If the mystery writing of Diodoros be given any credit Artemis may have been considered wet nursed by Leto.To make it more interesting Pausanias tells us that in the temple of Hera that Artemis and Apollon are grouped with Demeter and Persephone in the hall.

This all has far more significant impact on my relationship with Apollon, Artemis and Leto than the Homeric and Hesiodic recountings of the Ionic system and view of the Olympians…which was far from uniform!

vitality of community?

​Because I am focusing on worship rather than politics. ..I just want to drop a brief note about folks harping on getting involved in your local community as the be all of polytheistic or pagan worship and would like to insist that you are not doing it right if you aren’t involved in your local community here is a bug meh for you. While there is value in community worship, and certainly state cults and temples were a thing in Hellenic religion, the emphasis has always been on the oikos as being utterly important and necessary. I am sure this is likewise in many polytheistic religions. Getting together during festivals was wonderful but the majority of ones daily kharis shared with the gods was at your own family altar. This means that your gods and your worship was largely defined by…your family. It is not about what we as a widespread religious identity *agree* on. Worship together by general owrscripted guidelines if methodology does not mean we are all going to share the same domestic cultus or same relationship with the gods.  

Fact of the matter it was so individual to each family that when someone left their parental home to join another family (typical in the case if marriage but also likely applicable in case of adoption ) one was luteralky leaving ones family gods and modes of worship to adopt that of their new family. So those who say community is everything if we want our traditions to survive….not at all. Each house with children or “adopted” members into their family worship will continue it. It has zero dependency on an idea of agreement or public consensus.

Therefore those of us who are unable to join in public worship with the others by choice or design are not doing it wrong. Granted we know well the things we are missing out on. Trust me as someone who works graveyard and is stuck at home with the babies while my husband is at work during the day, there is a lot I miss out on. No weekend camping trips, no study groups, no temple visits on the one day the hindu temple is open here. Nada. And then there are those who have no co religionists to worship with who dont feel inclined to alter their religious tradition to make it more desirable by the public which is me in my Hellenic worship.

Yet my house is doing well with our family worship and that is life, vitality of our religious worship and the heart of our kharis with the gods. And online I have enjoyed sharing ideas and practice🙂

Reordered oikis altar

Apollon is the god my soul orbits and tunes into so to speak to his oarticular frequency. This extends to his sister (who I knew before him) and their mother Leto. My spiritual life is vastly informed by and through my relationship with them. In fact my relationship with Aphrodite, despite being the divine matron of our family,  improved largely by this (and considerably helped along by giving her worship). Because of this I have made sense and discovered the whys of what I felt inclined to do. I no longer have numerous shrines. Not oven a separate shrine to Apollon any more. Instead the family altar has become his residence around which all other household gods orbit. This includes a small inset shrine to Aphrodite and another one that will be developed for Hera (incidentally my household tends to give her slightly more personal focus than Zeus even while acknowledging his supremely awesomeness).

Despite commonalities and shared religion,  when you get right down to it every oikis is different. This was true anciently as it is now. For a woman to leave home and marry into another family literally meant to leave the gods of her family and the manner of worship of her family. My oikos doesnt look identical to anyone else and that is just how things are meant to be.