Today would normally be the final day of the Month of Devotional Thought, as there are 31 topics. We’re already pouring over into October since September only has 30 days, and we’ll be pouring over a bit more tomorrow and the day after that to accommodate the discussion of epithets and some more festivals I wished to discuss. But on this day I will be giving some tips for newbies, as the title suggests.
The first and most important tip is: take it easy. Don’t try to go too fast or you’ll trip over your own feet. Take things slowly and don’t try to get too far too quickly. This can be difficult, I know, we’ve all been there. But you may make grievous mistakes trying to take things too far too soon. It is better to start out learning and keeping things simple. Make a simple shrine to Apollon if you wish to form a deeper bond with Him. This may be combined but not identical with the shrine of Apollon Agyieus. Get a picture or simple statue or something else that is appropriate to representing Apollon. Get a bowl for libations and a plate for other offerings. Get a candle. Maybe something to burn incense, stick incense or cones are likely the easiest.
Keep your prayers simple as well, this will allow you room to organically grow your ritual liturgy as you feel the need or Apollon gives you insights. Learn the basic ritual structure of Hellenic rituals and stick to it, adding to it only once you have learned it through and through. Look up ancient hymns to Apollon and if you really want to form a devotional relationship, you will likely end up memorising them. A friend of mine has shared a Lithuanian proverb many times: By doing the work, the work teaches itself. So, by worshipping Apollon, you will learn how to worship Him.
If you don’t know Hellenic, I would advise starting out with prayers in your native tongue. Eventually, you will want to familiarise yourself with Ancient or Modern Hellenic pronunciation to get the names right. If you have the time and the motivation, I would urge you to learn Modern Hellenic, which will allow you a closer connection to the original language used to honour our Gods, as well as give you the opportunity to converse with Hellenic polytheists in Hellas in their own tongue. Then, perhaps, you could eventually also learn Ancient Hellenic, which will further deepen your understanding of the language and help you read the ancient texts in the original, and notice linguistic nuances that may be lost in translation. But this is all a bit more advanced and less for newbies.
I don’t have any more advice to give in regards to Apollon, so I think I’ll end things here, for today.