Earlier this morning I was in the temple room, spending some devotional time focused on Hyporborean Apollo. I had lit some candles and incense and made foferings of bay leaves and white the (this has recently become one of my regular offerings for no reason that I’ve yet discerned) and settled down

I gazed for a while at the white statue in front of me, a beautiful figure standing on the back of a swan, one hand resting on an unstrung bow. I watched as the shadows cast on the wallsflickered with the jumping candle flame.

I started thinking about the time of year and what it meant. In a few weeks, Dionysus will take up residence at Delphi, while Apollo will depart for the land of the Hyperborens, His favored people, said to be most pious.

For many of His worshipers, this is a time of distance, of separation from Apollo. His absense is felt in the darkness of the year.  A few years ago when I was becoming more strongly devoted to Him, I remember coming upon this time of year and feeling a bit sad in anticipation of the separation. But as November came and passed and I read discussions onemail lists and people described their feelings of distance, I waited in anticipation for the same feeling to desend on me. it seemed odd that it enver did.

I finally brought this up and one or two other people commented much the same. Someone mentioned the nature of individual relationships making a difference in how people respond to the activity of the gods. As the winter moved on and I learned more about the nature of my own relationship with Apollo, the feeling of closeness only grew stronger.

In the last year or so, for reasons of my own doing (though unintentional) my relationship with Apollo has been overall a distant one, but most of the closest and most personal moments were during the Hyperborean months.

I’ve had thoughts occasionally in the past, never amounting to much but enver abandoning them, on the idea that there are places- both in the physical and non-physical worlds that may be homes, of sorts, to people’s souls. Having seen, several times in meditative vision, what I believe to be Apollo’s Hyperborean temple and feeling as I do at this time of the year, I have entertained (and not discounted) the possibility of the mythical Hyperborea being jsut such a place for me.

Who were the Hyperboreans? Are they a strictly mythical race of highly pious people? Or did they actually live at one time? And where? The article Apollo at the Back of the North Wind by J Rendel Harris explores three possibilities for their origin- as well as for the origin of Apollo himself- based on ancient Amber trade routes. I’ve only just read the article so I haven’t had a chance to research further, but being published in 1925, it is old, and I beleive likely to be very inaccurate but if nothing else, the possibilities make for fascinating speculation.

The answers to these questions are Apollo’s guarded secrets, and we can only guess at them. But what if the Hyperboreans were simply his most dedicated devotees? I would never presume to even begin to consider myself one of His “favorites” but otherwise, the idea makes sense to me.

With no other evidence, it’s as valid an idea as any.