Establishing a New Shrine to Apollon

Since it rarely occurs to me to detail the process of installing a new shrine, since I decided to put up an individual shrine to Apollon separate from his doorway presence (will likely still get the more regular love just because it is his official seat in the household). This shrine serves as a different kind of foci, more of a celebratory and personal honorific place of worship where the individual relationships can be expressed and nurtured. Also as I established it beside the hearth it is in keeping with certain concepts I have of him as a protector of the hearth even as he has been in one inscription from Lycia region praised as a protector of altars. In short whereas his doorway shrine is about his overall relationship with the household and his primary cosmic role as god of the gates and doors, this shrine focuses largely on particular titles and manifestations of the god which are pertinent to the family individually such as Lykeios and Karneios (hence the main statuary and the goats), With that established as to the why of establishing the new shrine as a principle god of the family rather than as a commonly used household shrine in most Hellenic households, here is how I did it.

First I placed the shrine table where I wanted it and thoroughly washed it off.  After which I cleansed myself.



I then sprinkled the entire surface with lustral water and barley to purify the altar, whereupon I lit the flame and gave prayers and offerings of incense to Hestia. I decided to use sandalwood, that even while it is not an incense traditionally used in Hellenic religion it is one that I opt to frequently give to Apollon for its cool pure fragrance. I then waited until the incense had entirely burned down before sweeping remaining ash and barley from the shrine.



Lastly I assembled the shrine and placed the water purified and oil annointed statue upon it, followed by offerings of incense to Leto (as mother of Apollon) and Zeus (his father), and offerings to Apollon himself. The white bowl on the second shelf of the shrine is designed to hold selected bits of offerings through the year to be burned yearly…I am thinking on his Theban birthday in the month Prostateria (Anthesteria to those who follow an Athenian calendar) which the Doric Spartans and Delphinians seemed to agree with. Likely there will be nothing started to be gathered until that festival this year since it is just now Gamelion and that will be his next major festival. the older statue is on the foot of the shrine, mostly for the benefit of being more on one on one level for my toddler (though that didn’t stop her from placing her hands raised together and staring up at the shrine. Also on the second shelf is the sacred box in which the most sacred items that have been offered to the god are kept.




3 thoughts on “Establishing a New Shrine to Apollon

  1. Reblogged this on Gangleri's Grove and commented:
    This is an interesting and informative article from Lykeia. It rarely occurs to me to write about the process I undertake when prepping a new shrine, but there are quite a few significant steps to follow before the shrine is ready to receive the image of the Deity for whom it’s being made. This account is both thoughtful and clear and a good describe of the care necessary in preparing places at which to house and reverence our Gods.

    Check out the link here:

  2. Thank you for posting this, I love looking at other peoples’ shrines and altars, especially when they’re dedicated to a particular deity. I also enjoyed your description of how you set up the altar in addition to your explanation of the layout.
    Is there a specific significance to the amount of blue decoration on this shrine, or is it a traditional Apollonian colour?

    • Blue and white has often been associated with Apollon so these are the colors that I use in his shrine predominantly (white is a color of purity and light, whereas blue is associated with protection from evil….in Greece I had asked about some trees that the base of which were painted blue for instance and in the Mediterranean in general there is a long tradition of using blue as a protective prominent color for that reason. but I have also used colors that I feel are appropriate such as orange.
      I am glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

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