Apotheosis noun, uh-poth-ee-oh-sis, ap-uh-thee-uh-sis
1. the elevation or exaltation of a person to the rank of a god 2. the ideal example; epitome; quintessence:
This poem is the apotheosis of lyric expression.
Sounds nice doesn’t it? Like Imhotep, Amenhotep son of Hapu, and Antinous, who were once commoners, but were so well loved by Kings and an Emperor, were elevated to Godhood.
(Imhotep - "the one who comes in peace" - was an Egyptian chancellor to the pharaoh Djoser, probable architect of the Djoser's step pyramid, and high priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis. Very little is known of Imhotep as a historical figure, but in the 3000 years following his death, he was gradually glorified and deified. wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imhotep)
The Apotheosis of Washington in the eye of the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol by Constantino Brumidi in 1865. Architect of the Capitol. https://www.flickr.com/photos/uscapitol/6082318543
Or as in the painting “The Apotheosis of George Washington” which graces the inside of the dome of the United States Capital building. I first read about this in a Dan Brown novel - you know, the one about the Freemasons.
Anyway, it’s a good thing, Apotheosis. And from our mortal, commoner point of view, it’s a very respectful thing. We here at ICS have been celebrating our Founders’ birthdays every year, even after their departure for the Summerlands. We continue to do so, but we also looked around and acknowledged that we ain’t getting any younger either, and someday, there may be just too many Founders and Elders rockin’ the Underworld to celebrate all their first days of this incarnation.
But why “Apotheosis Day” you ask? Why not just “Dead Elders Day?” (I like it - sounds like a Punk Band!)
We feel close to our Lady and Lord, even though they are operating on other planes of existence, much like Gods. The ties that bind us to them are strong, and strengthen us, our rituals, and our magick. We hear their voices (sometimes laughing, sometimes chewing us out) and feel their presence.
As the saying goes (quoting Starhawk, I believe) “What is remembered, lives” and we know this is true. It’s a lot of laughs, food, and fond memories on Apotheosis Day. At Samhain, at least the way we observe Samhain, it’s quite different.
May we all achieve Apotheosis, if not in or at the end of this incarnation, then hopefully the next. And may those we leave behind celebrate our existence on this Earth after we have left Her.
High Priest, Inner Circle Sanctuary
We celebrated our High Priest's birthday this week. We were able to surprise him with cake and gifts and sentimental cards. He loved it! We loved it! We mark the days that a person was brought into the world because their lives touch ours in the most profound ways. We are grateful and thankful for it, so we celebrate them.
It's not about a special date as much as it is about creating milestones. You only get one chance to live 18, only one chance to live 21 and only once chance to live 30. Birthdays are a natural, and personal, [way] of marking the end of one year and welcoming in the next with happiness in one's heart and the company of friends and family.
Unfortunately, there are many who don't think their birthdays are very special at all... or to consider them special is to be vain or egocentric. There may never be convincing them otherwise but we are pretty sure Isaac Newton, John Gutenberg, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare, Michelangelo, or Martin Luther King didn't think their birthdays were special.
We, as pagans practicing Wicca with Inner Circle Sanctuary, think differently. Here are some wise words from our beloved High Priest, Lord Tanys.
"Here are some religio-magical reasons to celebrate your birthday the best you can:
1. It is your very own Holy Day.
2. It is when your soul (the real you, eternal and divine) entered your body (vehicle) for this incarnation.
3. It is when your Holy Guardian Angel/Daimon/Augoides/Higher Self attached Him/Herself to you for this go-around.
4. It is your personal New Year's Day.
5. It is the beginning of your Wheel of the Years.
6. It is the beginning of your Solar Year.
For more information on this, read Laurie Cabot's Book of Shadows.
7. In a real sense, it is your First Initiation in this incarnation.
So please observe your own birthday with joy. Try to take the day off. Try to do some magic (ritual, divination and/or meditation, etc.).
You are worth it!
"...the position of each and every galaxy, star, planet and celestial body in the universe that was, will never be the same again. (ever)"
CBS Minnesota has an article on how the birthday celebration is pagan in origin with some other great tidbits of information.
Inner Circle Sanctuary
Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.