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Consider entering the Agon….

Don’t forget about the March Agon for Minerva and Apollon, folks. There are prizes (and there will be a first and second prize for Minerva and a first and second prize for Apollon). If you have a devotion to either of these Deities, please consider submitting a poem or prayer, essay, recipe, or piece of art. Deadline is 9pm EST March 31.

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Agon for Minerva and Apollon – Entry #6

GOD MINERVA

by V. Carper

Salve Minerva Augusta!
Goddess of Wisdom
Many are Your Attributes

Salve Minerva Augusta!
With Jupiter Capitolinus and Juno Regina,
You sagely govern us, your Quirites

Salve Minerva Victoria!
You who pierces ignorance
With Your Spear.
You who fends off stupidity
With Your Shield.
You who grants knowledge
With Your Helm.

Salve Minerva Augusta!
You who burst fully formed
Into my life
Guiding me to Rome,
Guiding me to Home,
I thank you.

Salve Minerva Augusta!
Goddess of Wisdom
Many are Your Attributes.

Agon for Minerva and Apollon – Entry #5

GOD APOLLO

by V. Carper

Great God Apollo
God of Light
Only for me,
God of Shadows

Where others make offerings,
I shake my fist.
While others seek You,
I flee.

Deepest Shadow,
You prod me
You push me
You pierce me
How I hate You!

Yet You pursue me
Into the Dark.
Into the Dark,
Where the future lies,
Where the omen comes,
Where the Light shines
… for a price.

Good God Apollo
God of Shadows
You shoot forth
The Light.

I am Python
Pierced by Your Arrow.

Prizes for the Minerva and Apollon Agon

I wanted to post some info about the prizes Lykeia and I have for the Minerva and Apollo Agon.

We haven’t yet decided, now that we’re partnering on this, if we are going to have one first and second prize for the entire Agon, or if we’re going to split it having a first and second for Minerva, and likewise for Apollo. I need to sit my ass down and divine on it.

Regardless, we do know what our prizes currently are:

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8×8 mounted photo of Pantheon in Rome.

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A statue of Apollon and a statue of Minerva hand crafted by Lykeia. These are unpainted, but you may have yours painted if you win and wish. I recently bought an Odin statue from her and I chose to leave mine unpainted — I like the look of it but to each his/her own. 🙂

One of the second prizes is a copy of Lykeia’s “The Name of Apollon” which is available here. This book comes highly recommended to me. I bought a copy already and I’m just waiting for it to arrive. 🙂 It will be one of our second prizes.

Then there are prayer cards also being given out as prizes.

This Agon is running through March. Please email your entries to me at Krasskova at gmail.com.

Agon for Minerva and Apollo – Entry #4

For Minerva

by Keith M.

A long time ago, a man stood on a hill. In the distance, a vast marble city shone in the sun. Behind him, his own home- itself a marble palace built by his wife’s father. He stood between them, unconsciously acting out his inner dilemma. The man held a sheathed sword, his hands twitching ever so slightly as if any moment he might draw the blade… or lay it aside.

“What troubles you, Robert?” The voice belonged to a well-dressed woman carrying a staff and a basket.

The man transferred the sword back to his belt. “Nothing of moment, madam. Are you here to see Mary?”

Beneath her bonnet, the woman’s grey eyes glittered as they locked with his. “No, Robert. I am here to speak with you.”

Her words carried such an air of command that the man had to fight the unconscious urge to stand at attention. He had met strong women before, but none with such forwardness and intensity.

“Why have you come?”

“Take up your sword. Lead Virginia to battle. The South will rally behind you.”

“So you are here to tell me what countless others already demand of me?”

“I am here because I regret what it may cost you.”

“I know that by embarking on such a course I might die…”

“You may live- and that could be much worse.”

“Surely you jest.”

“When the founders of your nation declared their independence, with what did they pledge their determination to that course?”

“Their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, of course.”

“How many enjoyed a long life of wealth and quiet respect afterward?”

He thought for a moment. “Almost none.” He paused for a moment. “Who are you?”

“I am your mother- in the most important way there is.”

The man’s gaze wavered- the woman’s staff was not a walking stick, but a long spear. Instead of a wide bread basket, She carried a massive round shield. What he had thought a bonnet became a bronze helm pushed back to show the woman’s face. For years, the man had walked beneath that face as he went about his studies.

The man stood in the manifest presence of his Alma Mater.

“I gave to your people the gift of my Republic, Robert. But in their vanity and short-sightedness they did not fully understand.”

“Your republic?”

She turned toward the white city below. The man followed Her gaze as it alighted upon a massive dome being erected at the far end of a vast green lawn. A pedestal was being prepared atop the dome, as if to receive a statue.

When the man returned his gaze to the woman, She once again had changed. Her spear was now a sheathed saber. Her shield appeared like that of a knight and rested at Her feet. Her helm, once plumed with horsehair, now assumed the likeness of an eagle.

“Davis knew,” She said, “I think you did as well, though perhaps you did not admit it to yourself.”

“But you asked me to stand against the republic, to fight them.”

“I asked you to fight against the Union. The Union is not my Republic. It is your kind’s latest attempt, yes, but a greatly imperfect one.”

“So I am to usher in the next?”

“You are to set right some of what your founders got wrong. Horribly wrong.” She glanced at the fields around the mansion, fields filled with dark-skinned workers- slaves.

“But my victory will preserve slavery… Ah, perhaps you mean that my planned manumission of these slaves will inspire others to do the same?”

His heart sank when he met her gaze.

“You will not win.”

He felt the words, and the certainty behind them, like a blow.

“The North will reinvent warfare itself to defeat you.”

In his mind’s eye, he saw the cavernous factories of New England. As smoke belched from their chimneys, their doors opened, vast maws into which young men, boys really, unwittingly strode with the foolhardy courage of youth. Legions of identical soldiers vomited forth, an unending tide of muskets and cannon borne to the battlefield by countless locomotives on railroads that crawled across the land like a horde of serpents.

He fell to his knees.

“Even that multitude will not be enough. So great will be your reputation, so great your early victories, that the Union will do the unthinkable. They will make soldiers of black men.”

“All men are created equal…” he muttered.

“ALL are created equal. Your war will not be the last.”

“Women will be soldiers?”

“Women will be equal, as We intended.”

“What horror could drive men to permit women upon the field of honor?” Even as he said it, he knew that the “battlefield” was a fiction. Women were never immune from war, only excluded from independent agency.

“You really want to know.” It was not a question.

He saw a city slumbering in the starlight, vast beyond comprehension. A new sun flared into being above the rooftops. Wood smoldered and burst into flame as an unimaginably powerful wind shattered windows and splintered timbers. In their beds, children crisped into ash and were blown apart like dandelions before they could even cry out.

He retched upon the grass, vomiting up his breakfast as he wished he could the visions.

“Why would you do this to us?”

“Not I, Robert. You do this to yourselves.” A cool hand touched his cheek. “In your haste, your ignorance, your hubris- you pollute yourselves. You stain the soil, the waters, the very rock… and in turn it poisons future generations.”

“Sweet Jesus…”

“That is why I am here, my beloved General. Jesus knew the sacrifice He made. More importantly He knew WHY.”

“I am to be your sacrifice?”

“You must ensure that the proper sacrifice is made in the proper way.”

“Why?”

“Because some miasmas… some sins can only be washed away with blood. This is a LAW that even gods must abide. Your people have stained this land so badly that they are cutting themselves off from Our blessings, try as we might to bestow them.”

“So you come to demand your due- crows feasting upon the fallen?”

“I come to ensure that the nameless dead of your little war serve some greater cause than the petty complaints of a minor tribe of unlettered miscreants. I come because if YOU, and only you, lead the armies of the South, some tiny spark of good may come of it. I come because future generations might, through this and other sacrifices, begin to create a world worthy of your species’ potential.”

“Because I will fail…”

“Because failure is inevitable, and the South must come to recognize, eventually, that their defeat was due to the evils of slavery and oppression, not bad leadership or cowardice. Even your bitterest enemies will recognize that you are the best possible general, commanding the bravest possible troops.”

“That wound will fester.”

“It will be reopened, from time to time, I suspect. It will take time, centuries perhaps, but eventually the wound will heal- if YOU command the armies.”

He bowed his head.

“I know my duty. I must take up my sword against the nation I swore to defend.”

“Take up your sword, but not to destroy. Take up your sword that it might cut away the diseased parts of that nation. Take up your sword so that future generations might have the chance to create that Republic you thought you had sworn to defend.”

The man drew his sword… and was alone upon the hilltop once more.

The rest is history.

Agon for Minerva and Apollo – Entry #3

They (Apollo and ______) talk to Save Rock and Roll

by Molly D.
This is the road to ruin, and we’ve started at the end.
Apollon, apollymi. You sow the seeds and blight the crops. To what end do you come?
A good end. The end that is best for most, and especially for Family.

Anything you say can and will be held against you.
So only say my name, so that can be held against you.

An intermission of laughter.

But what do you reap to bring this sum?
What half-truths told, what promises skirted, to facsimile?
I languish in pain and you come as Paean. Destroyer, healer. Have you won?
It’s not funny, anymore, it’s not.

Step on this road, run with me. Let me show you what is here.
What is for us and what is for them, let me show you.
You want the guts and glory, baby. But this town is wasted and alone.

Hard times come, good times go.
Tonight is just fire and roses. You know it’s so.
You’re here to give them all your love, so you can watch their faces as you take it all away.
They’ll remember me as I was, not as I am.

What is there left of ‘what was’? When did ‘what was’ last exist?
Their memories hold strong.
But you didn’t.
Let me tell you, it’s true. Say it for me.
We’ve already won. I know I know.

In poison places, we are anti-venom.
We’re the beginning of the end.

Agon reminder

Just a reminder that the Agon for Minerva and Apollo has officially opened as of Sunday. I’ve already had two great submissions.

Please take a look at the link above and consider submitting something if you are a devotee of either of these Gods. Lykeia and I are going to run this, in Their honor, through March and there some amazing prizes.

And Devotees of Hermes, you know He’s going to get one sooner or later, so start thinking of what you might like to submit. *G*.

The Greek and Roman Gods have been good to me and it’s a pleasure to honor Them in this small way.

Agon for Minerva and Apollo – Entry #2

Petition to Apollo

by K.J.F.

When the dark cloud of depression falls upon me,
When my emotions become a whirl wind out of control,
Please, great Apollo, send me Your light and reasoning.
Let me see things clearly as they really are, not how I perceive them to be
Let me see my blessings and be grateful for them
Let me remember the old adage “This too shall pass”

When I only hear the sound of silence,
When my ears have become deaf to laughter and to the cries of the needy,
Please, great Apollo, send me Your music.
Let me hear sweet music again so that my heart will become light
Let me hear laughter again so that I may laugh
Let me hear the cries of the needy so that I can help them and forget my own troubles for a while.

When I feel that the Gods do not care about me,
When I feel so small that I must not matter,
Please, great Apollo, send me one of Your diviners.
Let me hear from Your diviner how I am a part of the grand scheme of things in the Kosmos,
Let me hear how my actions do matter, how my acts of kindness and courage will change things for the better.
Let me hear how my ancestors care for me, want me to be well, and are protecting me.

Hail to you, Great Apollo!
God of light, God of reason, God of music, God of prophesy, and God of healing!
Hail to You, son of mighty Zeus and devoted Leto!
Hail to You, beloved twin of Artemis!
Please hear my petition so that I may become well and whole again.
May I always sing Your praises!

Agon for Minerva and Apollo – Entry #1

‘Paean to Apollo-Heros’

by Adam Standring

Shoot! Shoot! Shoot from on high
your arrows to the dark abyss,
Where Python greedy guards the pool
from which renewing life emits.
Fly true your golden darts of life
to pierce the serpent’s hissing flesh,
Convulse the beast! Its blood to flow
and in the waters boil and splash.

Young god rejoice! The deed is done
regale us with your lyre and song,
Of how a Hero shines his light
and in the deep contrives to fight
With worms and beasts that gnaw at health,
and yet in death bring fame and wealth:
A Paean to brave ardent youths,
great Delian sing forth!

Deep black blood runs and soon decays,
in ray of Phoibos’ light and heat,
And flesh it falls from writhing bones,
to putrefy in vapours sweet.
And up on high she looks and breathes:
Pythia on her triform seat,
For messages from returning souls
whom Python once did eat.

Young god rejoice! The deed is done
regale us with your lyre and song,
Of how a Hero shines his light
and in the deep contrives to fight
With worms and beasts that gnaw at health,
and yet in death bring fame and wealth:
A Paean to brave ardent youths,
great Delian sing forth!

Agon for Minerva and Apollo – March 1 – 31, 2015

I had intended to put this off till the summer, but I’ve recently been inspired by a friend’s artwork and I’ve decided to run it now. Last year, when I did some House and personal divination for the year, it came up that in some way, shape, or form, it would be good to hold an agon for Minerva. I”m a Latinist, and while I’m Heathen, I do often ask for Her blessings as I study, so perhaps it is not too surprising. I rather consider the Greek and Roman Gods to be guardians of the very languages in which my studies are rooted.

I didn’t have any relationship with Minerva until this past year as my Latin work deepened (and got more difficult!), but when She stepped forward to offer assistance, I didn’t hesitate to take Her up on it. I need all the help I can get! lol. Then, as I was preparing this post, I started to get an almost overwhelming feeling that Apollo needed to be included too. So, I did what any good polytheist would do: I contacted a mantis (diviner) and had divination done to confirm how this agon ought to be held. As you can see, it is for Both of Them. This is not surprising, since They (and Hermes) are the three Deities that I honor specifically as a Classicist. Apollo had just a few months ago indicated that I should petition Him before study sessions (this came up in a rather extensive divination session I had done) and Hermes is well, awesome. (He may yet get His own Agon later in the year).  I find it amusing. When I first started studying Classics, I asked Odin in prayer, “So, you’ll help me with the languages right?” It’s not my strong suit. I got a very strong, amused response, confirmed by several omens ‘you better start making friends with the Greek and Roman Gods of language and learning.”  So I have done my best. Anyway, this is my small way of saying thank you to two of Them.

EDIT: Lykeia and I are joining forces in this. She has been holding an Agon for Apollo too so we’re going to collaborate. This means more prizes. lol

So from March 1 – 31, i will be accepting submissions to this Agon. It is open to poetry, prayers, recipes (incense, oils), essays, and art work.

At 9pm EST on March 31st, i will put all the names of contributors in a bowl and set it on Their shrine (I have a small one in my office). I will make offerings. When divination shows that it is the appropriate time, I’ll petition Both Deities to make Their choice and draw a name from the bowl and that will be the winner.

There are prizes!

The winner will receive an 8×8 (I think we decided on 8×8–i will double check the size) mounted photo, of this image, by noted Hudson Valley artist Mary Ann Glass. It’s of the Pantheon in Rome. The winner will also receive a small statue of Apollon hand made by Lykeia (picture will be available soon).

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The winner will also receive five of the Minerva prayer cards and five Apollo prayer cards. There are two, so the winner may choose which Apollo image:( Minerva by Grace Palmer, ) Apollo by Grace Palmer, or Apollon Karneios by Lykeia. (All contributors, at the end of the ago will receive one card of their choice from those three). The cards are shown in the order listed above here:

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Apollon KarneiosThe SECOND place winner, will receive a copy of Lykeia’s book “Names of Apollon” and five prayer cards of his/her choice.

Those interested in submitting material in honor of Minerva or Apollo should contact me at krassova at gmail.com. Also, please feel free to pass this on to whomever might be interested.

(as a side note, I am still accepting donations for the prayer card project. donations can be paypaled to tamyris at earthlink.net. If you are interested in sponsoring a card, or donating art, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com and we’ll work out the details. I’m also selling 5×7 devotional cards of Sigyn for $10, the proceeds of which go toward more  prayer cards. Check it out).