In light of the upcoming return of Apollon to Delphi from Hyperborea I am posting something I posted at livejournal but forgot to add here where it really should have been put to begin with. For the festival itself I am doing a nine day celebration, the first day honoring Apollon in Hyperborea, and then it is Apollon Lykeios, ending with Apollon Delphinius. The festival will stretch from February 13 until February 21. I will set up 9 small candles on the shrine and on the final day I will purchase some white flowers.. maybe white lillies if I can find them. I will be sure to take pics particularly on the final celebration day as it is the final completion of the festival. Below is my writing about Apollon in Hyperborea:
Though I recognize Apollon’s retreat frm Delphi (whether you follow him to Hyperborea or to Lycia, but I tend to go the northern route myself) it has been an amazing winter. For myself, Apollon’s retreat is like intimate time. I guess I would correlate it to how there is family time after one is off work. So it feels like family time to me. I spend more time in reflection with the god, speaking to him at random times with or without use of the shrine, depending on where I am. While I will do this all year I notice that I do it more in the winter. Now that I am in the north, the intense darkness of the winter and the sun riding low on the horizon for a few scant hours brings that home to me even more. I feel his touch reflecting through the columns of ice, spraying rainbows everywhere.
I can’t say that I change the shrine all that much in observation for Hyperborea. I have in the past and perhaps I will in the future when I have a larger space that allows some reorganization. At one time I had crystals and swans everywhere on his shrine. Only one small swan survived shipping to Alaska. I imagine that next winter (when thankfully my days of living out of suitcase will be completely over) I will have expanded his shrine considerably again.
Apollon retreats away to a land of eternal spring, a land of swans, a land of music and beauty. There have been alot of theories as to where this land originally was believed to be located. I have heard Ireland before as one example. One thing is for sure the northern reaches are places of cool summers, hosting large migrations of swans every year where they go to lay their eggs and tend their young. It lacks the killing heat of the summer and in fact retains a youthful beauty until winter sets in. It is a time of great growth in summer in the northern reaches where vegetation grows abundantly to massive sizes for the constant hours of sun shining down. So perhaps such a place during the summer was a model of the Hyperborea of myth. But I don’t think it is the where that matters so much as that we acknowledge that Apollon’s retreat to Hyperborea is time for his family. He is not at Delphi acting among humans in an official capacity, but rather it is a time of personal connection to the god. Or at least as it is in my experience. I have considered creating a small Hyperborean ritual for the god that really ties into a yearly activity that we have in Alaska in response to the darkness. Instituted just a few years ago we have city wide festival of lights during the long winter months. How appropriate honoring of Apollon is that! So I think I will figure out in my calendar the best day to have a ritual festival of lights specifically for the god to honor the Hyperborean Apollon. To place many flaming candles on his altar with all manner of shades like an artifical aurora borealis in the home.
In fact it might be a wonderful thing for February I think! I will consider it.
It is about that subtle light that we all overlook. We are so used to thinking of light by looking up to the sun. And what royal and regal light that is, but in the winter with Apollon’s departure the lack of light is not true lack. It just not a blatant official light, he is there in our lives subtly and intimately. The soft light of the candles and fireplace, the reflected light from snow and ice, the aurora borealis for those in locations to witness it. Small lights that bring pleasure and joy into our lives here is there. He is by the fireside thrumming his lyre and singing softly in some enchantment.
It is a cherished thing that brightens the winter months while we await for the swans to return in the summer. Alaska is summer home to trumpeter swans and the shadow of their presence is always felt until they fly in again on royal wings in the summer.
Livng in the far north I feel like I can tangibly touch Hyperborea though the true meeting of the place is within my heart.
An interesting link about Hyperborea is here: http://www.hyperborei.ru/english.htm