Apollon, guardian of the vine

Apollon, nourised and protector of the vine, rat slayer of Rhodes (which he performs with Dionysos also of the same epithet).  Delphi, the house of Apollon, that shelters Dionysos sleeping there under the protection of its walls during the winter months, like a seed beneath the ground awaiting the return of the spring sun. As Thargelia approaches we should be aware of Apollon in this fashion, as the god of the first fruits. Why should this deity recieve first fruits of the first harvests, because he is the guardian of them. The orchards and the vineyards, the things so holy to Dionysos, there is Apollon. And too Apollon is there in the company of the nymphs and satyrs, reveling much like Dionysos, even as Dionysos stands with the muses. Dionysos thrives through Apollon, and the vine survives the spring months unmolested by the pestilence of rodents that would devour the small immature fruits so that it may come to full fruitation and lend its essence to the holy wine.

So let us prepare the thargelos, that sacrafice of the first fruits, that we remember.

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