Prayer Beads for Apollon

This is a set of prayer beads that I made a long time ago to represent the Homeric Hymn to Pythian Apollon.

An image of the prayer beads I use for the god Apollon

For the purposes of the count, I omitted the part where Apollon lays the foundations of his temple, beginning instead with the part I found most meaningful and relevant (at the time I planned out these beads) to the devotional practice of counting the beads: the establishment of the priesthood and oracle at Delphi. I also wanted to emphasize the relationship between the worshipper(s) and Apollon.

On the old KALLISTI, I also reflected on some of the stones. The final bead has reddish impurities — the one after the white one that symbolizes the sacrificial animals at Delphi. It reminded me of something that I read in Burkert about spraying the blood of the sacrifice on the altar.

An image of the bead with red flecks in it.

You’ll also notice that at some point, I shift from they to we in the count. This is something that has evolved over the years since starting to pray using these beads, and I think that it is a substantially powerful shift that gives a lot to the practice.

Palm Charm: The Birth of Apollon

I pray to the son of Zeus and of Leto, who was born beneath the palm trees on the island of rocky Delos.

First Set: Apollon Seeks His Priests


Out, out across the waters the god goes in search of priests for his opulent temple at resplendent Delphi —


— when he spies a vessel bound and leaps upon it in the shape and form of a dolphin, filling the sailors with terror —


— and he steers the ship on, on towards Krisa —

Second Set: Revelation and Sacrifice


— where out of the vessel, the God leaps like a star in the midst of the day. A million flashes fly forth from his person, and the women set up wailing, the wives and daughters, so gilded under the impulse of Phoebus all are.


Apollon Delphinios, we make sacrifice to you on the windswept beachfront.


Apollon Delphinios, we gather around you for the dance.

Third Set: Delphi


Up the rocky mountainside, we process, reveling in your godhood and in your divinity, for


it is here where people have and will make sacrifice in the eons to come,


and it is also here where the mantis speaks your sacred utterances, the voice of Apollon.

Palm Charm: The Birth of Apollon

And all of this comes from the son of Zeus and of Leto, who was born beneath the bowing palm trees.


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