Apollon… Lord Overseeing My Compost Pile

Recently, I’ve had a run in with one of the local spirits in my area. He requested that I focus on composting as an offering to him. I have been combing my memory and sources for a Roman god of compost. Sterquilinus comes to mind, but he is more a god of fertilization and manure.

And while it isn’t Apollon that has requested it in this situation that I am working with, I began considering what I have been noticing within my circle of Hellenic or Apollonian friends. More than one of us have been called to work our land as homesteaders and farmers. This might not seem strange with that single statement, but all have also received some dream or message that we are also to build temples to Apollon.

This year you will find me talking a lot about working with local gods… About finding some sort of syncretism with the world and culture we live in to help birth the Gods into our modern lives instead of honoring The Immortal Ones in a tradition that, for the most part, has not had a chance to step fully out of the history books… Traditions that have many people fully comfortable with leaving their faiths exactly where they were when they fell from common practice.

I have been considering the American Apollon, or at the very least the Midwestern Apollon (offered ranch dressing on iceburg lettuce and fried Oreos on a stick during the state fair? I kid, I kid… Kind of?). He is clearly wishing to be an agricultural deity once again. He is not the sun here; he is not Phoebus… For the sun is under the care of Sol in my religious life.

In myth, Apollon’s agricultural side was that of a mouse that brought the plague… Here, in my world, He is still a god of purification. While I was sitting here musing over who would be the God or Goddess of Compost, it struck me as all too obvious. It would, indeed, be Apollon.

For He is the God of Decay. He is the God of Rot. He purifies and restores all matter. He breaks down the dead plant parts, cardboard, and whatnots, changing it into the very thing that life starts and thrives in.

This is but a half-thought… Something that I started writing last night after musing upon it and coming to this revelation to myself. I am amused that I had never realized it before. So there it is in the even someone else can use this personal gnosis for their own.

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12 thoughts on “Apollon… Lord Overseeing My Compost Pile

  1. If I have more time, I’ll write you something to this. But I agree… and it’s strange for me to read this… I did not noticed that you and others got this message, too. I should not be surprised but I am… again and again.

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    1. It’s been about 3 years since I got the message, and I quietly carry it with me for the most part. It’s something I’m supposed to be talking about more now, though, and I’m amused by how many people have received this calling. I look forward to reading what you have to tell me!

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          1. When I tried to write about it in the past, everybody thought I’m a zombie-apocalypse-freak or something… I’m also into Survival and Preparedness. Maybe that’s the reason why I’ll better hold my mouth closed 😀 😀 😀 people may think that I’m a wannbe end-time-guru 😀 😀 hehe…

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          2. Lol! Yes, I definitely don’t come from the prepper-side. And I’m pretty vocal about not being an end-of-timer. Farming was the idealized occupation for the model Roman citizen, so I approach it from the frugal side along with food politics being what they are here… Which is that we’re still losing the traditional small family farm here. I think that saves me. 🙂

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          3. I’m not a usual prepper as it is shown on the TV. I just want to know how to live without electricity, outside of “the system”, growing my own food and creating my own things like cloths and stuff. This autonomy and freedom is what He wants from me and it is what I want for myself too.

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          4. I definitely understand. I think talking about it, if the time comes to, is just a matter of figuring out how to choose your words carefully. I come at it from environmental impact and heirloom skills that we could so easily lose side. I’m sure there are people out there who still think I’m crazy. 🙂 I also try to talk about how much personal worth I find in these activities, because to me the sense of accomplishment when I’ve spent 5 hours sweating in the sun and dirt or canning food for our pantry is greater than almost any other thing I’ve done.

            We shall have to compare notes. 🙂

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          5. >>> because to me the sense of accomplishment when I’ve spent 5 hours sweating in the sun and dirt or canning food for our pantry is greater than almost any other thing I’ve done.

            haha, I truly understand that.

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  2. For me I don’t think light, Phoibos meaning shining not just referring to the sun, is exclusive from rot, and is actually an important part of it, the sun and the earth decaying flesh. In fact in the Homeric Hymn to Apollon he uses light to rot the corpse of the dragoness Delphyne. But yes it is certainly a big thing for me too. Although I don’t do composting or agriculture it is very foremost in my awareness. I would also like to offer that the mouse was perhaps less connected to the plague in ancient Hellas in the sense of the black death type of sickness, and more from wasting disease caused by famine from mice consuming immature fruits and grain stores. We find Apollon as a destroyer of mice and locusts both in agricultural contexts 🙂 That is not to say that it doesn’t include the other kind of plague but this is the first that comes to my mind.

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    1. You make a very good point on the sun/light/rotting. It would very much be the same with composting, especially with the type utilizing managed heat.

      I feel like I need to meditate more on Apollon Smintheus and possibly re-read the passage from the Iliad, which it was my understanding is the first instance of that epithet (though I could be wrong). I did read today that one way “plague” can be translated within the Iliad is probably better placed as death and destruction, but I remember the actions of the Greeks being very plague-like.

      I need to dig into the Greek side of agriculture and the Gods more. It’s just so easy with the Roman, because so many major works are around. But obviously the Romans embraced Apollon mainly as a healing god, so you don’t find him in the old grouping of agricultural gods.

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  3. In research that I did a few years back I came across the epithet in Rhodes where Apollon and Dionysos were both honored as Smintheus and destroyed the mice from the vineyards if that helps. Really Smintheus appears to be in the Iliad because according to the Hellenes it originated in the Troazan region and therefore was a local epithet of the god. The way that Apollon strikes down the men and beasts with illness is really rather vague in the Iliad but applicable I think to any such instance of Apollon striking down sudden death regardless of his epithet as far as I can tell 🙂 So I think you are right regarding the plague in this instance being a fancy way of saying he delivered death and destruction.

    Apollon does have significant agricultural ties. One of my favorite festivals of his, the Doric Karneia, is a shepherd and grapeharvest festival that honors Apollon as one who begins the harvest. Harvest requires a period of sunlight and a certain absence of rain, for which Apollon Karneios was depicted holding a pinecone (nature’s barometer apparently). I found digging into references of offerings given to him in agricultural festivals to be rather interesting too. For instances at the Eleusinia I believe it was, he was given two sacrifices in the ritual, one a goat and one a pig. Of course I have my own ideas to Apollon’s relationship to the mysteries of Demeter 😉

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