With the Noumenia tonight I wanted to greet everyone to have a much blessed beginning to the new lunar month which began sundown tonight. On this occasion we remember an honor, among the household gods, Apollon Noumenios, the lord of the new month as the moon makes her silvery appearance in the thin arc of light in the heavens. I have heard others praise to in conjunction with him his twin as Artemis Noumenia, and although it is the first time I have heard of this epithet addressed toward her, it makes a kind of sense that they who share so many important epithets would share a particular link here with the ushering in of the new month.
The Noumenia is a wonderful time for the oikos, with the gods of the household honored and the family coming together for a bountiful meal. It is about family and community, and the beginning of a new month with all of its potential for greatness and success. We honor the gods at the doorway, we honor the gods at the hearth at the center of the household, we honor the gods of the storeroom/cupboard. We honor all those gods who bring goodness into our homes and repel that which can taint they welfare of the oikos. Apollon is such a god, the guardian of the door and gate..Agyieus and Thrymbaeus as his epithets, as well as lord of the boundary. In such respect we can appreciate the honoring of Apollon particularly during the Noumenia. Even as the arrow marks the forward movement of time as it flies, and the sun and the moon which alternate their course through the skies (both beloved to him), and the death of the old has risen into the new. He is the king of the boundary gates, working ever cooperatively with his twin who by her energy drives all things in their course to him. It is thus that we honor Apollon Noumenios, that by his light that which has been destroyed (for his the destroyer after all) he also nurturers and welcomes to its new beginning even as Artemis, as goddess of the portal midwives it into being.
It is for the Noumenia that we can appreciate the cool beauty of the moon in connection with Apollon, that takes the form so much like his silver bow. For as much as Apollon and Artemis have been given likeness of Helios and Selene to associate them with the passage of time and the cycles of life, they are not the same as these titans, and each cherishes something of the other. Artemis has connections with the fiery sun, and Apollon too with the pale gleam of the moon, especially with several of his festivals (at least among the Doric ones) culminating with the fullness of the moon in all her glory…but no more so apparent than his honor at the Noumenia where Selene is much honored by him, as the passage of days and months are attributed most significantly to her beautiful light in our calendric system. Her dewy nature too is held in esteem that the fertility of the moon bears connection to the fertility that is brought by his light in the passage of the year with the growth of crops and beasts that like the moon waxes through youth into maturity before passing into decline and destruction. We can therefore recognize the lunar month in connection to Apollon particular as a symbolic representation of his influence in the monthly minor scale, for which during this occasion we ask for the blessings of the fertile light of Apollon to enter our household even as the light of the sun and moon piece every living thing. For which the sacrifice of a pig was as appropriate for him at the Noumenia as it was during the festivals of summers end. Artemis too has her likewise connection with these symbols for which she is often the most intimately connected with the moon, which gives a special relationship of Selene with the twins during this auspicious time.
Therefore at the Noumenia we honor them, all the gods, but reserve a seat of honor for Apollon Noumenios and possibly Artemis Noumenia if that attribution is correct, for they are intimately connected with the passage into the new and the new maturation of life as the month moves slowly through the days, gathering her light as she grows in size. We honor them. Hail Apollon Noumenios and Artemis Noumenia!