Today I celebrate the departure of Apollon as he begins his travel to Hyperborea, his divine garden of light, and in so celebrating the end of his season, and the beginning of the season of Pan and the rule of Dionysos, he who is soon to be the bull cut down, the bull consumed. As we have no date for when these mysteries occur that the thyiades tore him apart and consumed him, I am going to suppose that it will probably be next month following his procession after the thanksgiving to Apollon at the Pyanepsia.
I know that many celebrate this transition at the Pyanepsia between Apollon and Dionysos, but I go with modern scholarship that notes the rise of the constellation Delphus in Delphi that signified the return of Apollon occurred later at Delphi due to the mountains. It would also likely sink earlier. Thiswould align with scholarship that suggests it was actually around the equinoxes. This in turn would parallel the absence and return of Apollon at Delos in which the god rules for only half the year, and likewise with Arkadia who call Pan and Apollon the original two seasons representing the dry sunny half of the year, and the wet dark half. As Pan is the close companion of Dionysos it all draws together. So I honor these gods today, along with Leto, the dark mother. And I crown Apollon in a wreath of pine, whose open cones signify the start of the wet season and the end of his reign.
On the shrine I lay the autumn flowers and some wild grains, as well as the fiery colored autumn leaves, as well as wild mushrooms that appear this time of the year with gusto as the weather cools and dampens.
Hail Apollon, Hyperborieos, Lykeios! Hail departing one, for you leave us not in want. Hail O lord of the departing summer of the year. Hail O Pan, hail lord of the night, lord of the winter of the year. Hail O gnarled laughing one who frolics in damp fields and snowy cliffs. Hail to you O Dionysos, leader of the mad march in the night, dewy king, roaring lord, you who are to be slain and rising again. Hail to you O wintry god.
On a related note I plan on hanging a black shroud from Apollon’s crown and shoulders until his return. Thankfully with Halloween around the bend that will be easy to acquire!