Tag Archive: ritual


Devotional Bracelet for Apollo

I made this bracelet earlier today, based on the ritual that I wrote about in my last post. I had been feeling a bit of an itch to swing by my local bead store and possibly put something together for several days now, but I didn’t really know what until I got there. I rememmbered the green oval-shaped beads which sorta remind me of leaves, and several different pink beads which had flowery designs to them. Roses are an item that I frequently offer to Apollo, and I thought it would be a great idea if I could make a bracelet based on the bay leaf devotional- seven leaf beads with rose beads spacing them.

Well, the simple fourteen-bead bracelet that I had in mind didn’t work out. The green beads are rather large, and to string only seven of those together would create a bracelet far too large for my wrist, nevermind the flower beads to space them. Also, to buy fourteen beads of the sort I wanted- seven of the green beads, seven of the flower beads like the large one pictured above would have been extremely expensive.  so I had to look at other options. There were n other green beads to my linking for this project, they had to be the one pictured. There were smaller rose-like beads. So I decided on one large rose bead and two leaf beads,  and for the actual counter beads, seven smaller rose beads. There are twenty-eight smaller spacer beads, their arrangement is merely my aesthetic preference.

(Apologies for the low picture quality- the only digital camera I have at the moment is the sorry VGA camera on my cell phone.)

This is a ritual that I don’t do as often as I really should. It has no particular origin, it just sorta happened on its own and became a somewhat regular thing for me. This is an easy ritual to add things for a longer occasional observance, or to do very simply on a daily or otherwise more frequent basis.

Required:

-Seven bay leaves (I prefer fresh leaves. They’re not quite as easy to find as dried, but some larger grocery stores will have them in their produce department- I’ve found them so far in Wegman’s Safeway and Giant in my area. They are far ess expensive- usually around $2.50 for a whole package instead of several dollars more for a small bottle containing far fewer. The fresh leaves keep for several weeks (I think I’ve had them for up to two months in the time) in the refrigerator. I generally try to offer leaves that are undamaged and have found that dried packaged leaves are often cracked or broken. Another source of fresh leaves, if you have one available to you, would be a bay laurel tree.)

-bowl in which to place the leaves

Optional: candles, incense, beverage to libate

I do this at Apollo’s shrine in my temple room. I generally sit on the floor where I have to look up slightly to see Apollo’s statue. I generally start by lighting one or two candles- I have a stash of Mediterranean Cypress votive candles from Yankee (a scent which is, very sadly, discontinued.)

I light these candles and sit down at the shrine. Generally, I immediately then light a stick of incense (I usually use Wildberry brand peach or awapuhi incense. It used to be Green tea before Wildberry stopped producing it. No particular reason for these scents, they are just what I started using a couple of years ago and have stuck. Sometimes I burn cedar or lemongrass incense instead. They all seem to be favorably received.)

After that, I spend some time meditating on what my intention is- the intention of this ritual has generally either been to thank Apollo for blessings, or to make offerings that are more abstract in nature.

When I am ready, I take the leaves one at a time, pick each one up, hold it in my hands, and concentrate on what it is that I’m offering or thanking him for. I mentally place my offering/thanks into the leaf, and place the leaf in the offering dish (you could also write your thoughts on larger leaves with a fine-point pen). I do this for all seven leaves.

Sometimes, after that, I’ll pour a libation- usually white wine)- over the leaves. Alternately, I also sometimes will pour the wine into the bowl first and place the leaves in the wine. There’s no real difference in the order.

After this, I generally will meditate or do other things at my shrine until the incense is burned out.

When it’s time to dispose of the leaves, do so when and how you see fit. I end to let the leaves fill up the bowl and then put them all into a plain wooden box that you can get at craft stores. When the box is full, I re-offer the entire thing by way of burning in a ritual fire.