So I have finally finished reading the article titled Apollon Kyknos (the Swan Apollon). First of all it is a wonderful read, and it gave some really insightful ideas that thumbing through it had already started. Obviously I am calling this festival for the mythic heroic predessor of the whooping swan. There are only two species I know of that are singing swans.. one native to europe and one native to the americas (which is also the largest species of swan.. the trumpeter). Living in the arctic has placed me in a sympathetic situation as living in a home of singing swans. I do not live in the northeastern europe, but living in AK brings my mind into a sort of empathy, and really the ecology isn’t too far off! And though the swans winter elsewhere our far northern abodes are their real homes where they relax even before the snow is gone, and depart for respite in warmer climates in the fall. Here they nest and spend the largest part of their lives and are a beautiful addition to our wildlife. Whooping swans have from what I understand a bell like whistle, while trumpeters sound like french horns *grin* so both are quite startling to hear apparently. The swans that spend the year in the warmer climates of Europe and north africa are mute swans which don’t have any musical quality to them, though they are attractive enough 🙂
In celebration of the beginning of spring, heralded by the white winged swans I have bought a small swan glass vase that I fell in love with at the florist’s. No flowers for it but a cork. I am going to put amber in it (the “harvest of the north” where gathering amber was called amber fishing by Greeks and Romans apparently lol) and alaskan gold flakes to float around through its head, neck and base of its body. I might get another with a flower in it, but we will see. I have all of tommorow to decide!
Since this form of Apollon is especially tied to the apple tree, though the article sited other examples in Greece of the apple connected to the god, I wanted to have budded apple branches on the shrine, but I will have to go with the tight brown budded branches of another tree this year, since I don’t have an apple tree growing in my yard. I will get one and plant it in my mom’s yard this summer I think hehehe.
I am really excited about tommorow! I am going to begin my kyknosia activity by getting a good spot to take a picture of the sunrise 🙂