In my book I talked a little bit in one chapter about offerings that can be given to Apollon. The subject of offerings often tends to be a bit personal so I was purposely rather vague about it. I could go on and on and on about what I liked to do, but this book was’t about me, and so I declined doing so. I decided instead that it is just as easy for me to talk about online, independent from the book, about what I like to do.
First and foremost the idea that wine cannot be given to Apollon is absolutely bubkis. There is no such rule and no evidence that wine was not offered to the god other than the fact that there is a reference to it not being permitted at the Delphic games (which seems reasonable…we have all seen what liquered-up fans are capable of and such indulgences would appear to be contrary to the spirit of the Delphic games). However, this does nothing to suggest that wine cannot be given at all to the god, or that he rejects such offerings. Such stereotypes of Apollon as a god entirely opposing wine are deeply drenched in the Nietzchian dichotomy in which he segregated Apollon and Dionysos to unhealthy, unnatural, and quite flawed extremed. Wine can most certainly be offered to Apollon. In fact the best way would be to serve wine as the ancients did as on offering…mixed with water. Water cuts the potency of wine in which wine can be enjoyed without creating more adverse problems. Wine cut with a percentage of water seems to be very reasonable as Apollon not only introduces the cult of Dionysos but can be seen as a leader of the progressive path of his younger brother, and as such a temperate influence on him. So wine is definently in (Apollon has been depicted in regalia much like Dionysos after all and is called Bacchian), preferably cut with water, and can be enjoyed with a touch of honey. His son Aristaios was the first to have mixed wine and honey together when the gods chose the wine of Dionysos over the honey of Aristaios as an offering. As Aristaios is so closely identified with his father as to be called “the Shepherd Apollon” it is very reasonable to add honey to the wine mixture. It also doesn’t taste bad!
Offerings of oils is also appropriate, most particularly olive oil, but I can see different blends of oils being implimented that might please the god. There is a lovely variety of oils that is used all over the world in the same manner of olive oil, and can be nice to mix it up a bit. There are also the distilled oils of flowers, the essential oils that tend to be rather popular, though these are released into the air by heat. Still the act of pouring the oil onto the heated plate can serve just as well as pouring olive oil into a small bowl. And it gives off a beautiful perfume at the same time which can also serve as an “incense”.
Using scented oils in place of incense is actually quite popular, probably more so than many people suspect. There are alot of people out there who have allergies or asthma which are aggrivated by the burning of charcoals and resins, or even the mass produced stick and cones varieties. Since the oils come in just as a large of a variance as incense does (if not more) it is a wonderful alternative! The most popular that I mentioned in my book, which has a great deal of historical evidence behind it, is the use of frankincense for the worship of Apollon. Equal to that is the laurel. These are scents that have particular historical presidence for the worship of Apollon. However there are is a variety that I particularly enjoy to offer him that is more UPG. Amber is lovely, Hyacinth (for obvious reasons), Sandalwood, Rosemary, Dragonsblood (makes me think of Apollon the dragon..er..Python slayer) , and Vanilla because it has a sweet almost therapeutic affect a number of people.
Other things that I have offered to him was raw honeycomb dripping with honey from a local bee farm, icons representing wolves, dolphins, goats, deer and a number of other animals associated with the god, and solar symbols. When I get into archery (hopefully here in a couple of weeks when I get my bow) I will purchase a pair of wooden arrows to decorate beautifully. One will be given as an offering to Artemis with artwork favoring her in symbolism. The other will be made as an offering to Apollon. The two arrows shall be set up on their mutual shrine in my home hanging above it on the wall, preferably with the arrows crossing refering to an intersection of their influence and domains. Anything symbolic of their domain is a wonderful votive offering, especially as when it is something pertinent in your life.