Review of With Lyre and Bow

I just got my copy of With Lyre and Bow: A Devotional in Honor of Apollo complied and edited by Jennifer Lawrence for Bibliotheca Alexandria. Full disclosure: I have an essay published in this devotional. The cover is strikingly beautiful. This book has poetry, wlab_frontcoveressays, art, fiction, and rituals and recipes. Unlike many devotionals that I’ve seen, each category is divided neatly into its own section, so you can easily find whatever you are looking for. I think I prefer the other way of organizing, interspersing poems with essays, fiction, and rituals, letting them flow organically and seeing how they fit together. But I can appreciate the neatness of this organizational method and it suits Apollo’s nature.

I particularly enjoyed the essay comparing Apollo with the Norse God Freyr. As a Greco-Egyptian Pagan, I was of course aware of the overlap between Horus and Apollo (and there is an essay covering that subject as well). But seeing the syncreticism between Apollo and Freyr is a new subject, and the essay contained a lot of useful and fascinating information. I am just beginning my studies into the Norse Gods, so it was like a bonus essay I wasn’t expecting. I really enjoyed that.

Rebecca Buchanan’s creative story “The Bluebird and the Raven” was an excellent example of world-building. It was a sci-fi story set in a polytheistic culture that spanned several planets, following an epidemiologist who worships Apollo and Eir, working on curing a plague that is spreading through the star system. It was awesome. I’ve known Rebecca through Neos Alexandria for years and consider her a friend. I’ve always admired her imagination. I have a lot of difficulty with writing fiction, unless it is a retelling of an ancient myth. My writing skills lay in other directions, so I’m always somewhat mystified by others’ abilities to write such amazing fiction.

I also also quite liked Hélio Pires’ ritual honoring Apollo on the New Year. There are many other things worth reading in this book, so check it out if you are looking for a good book full of love for Apollo from His modern worshipers. Help support the revival of our traditions in this new age!

Postscript: this isn’t related to Apollo, but it is about Bibliotheca Alexandria. When Demeter came up as one of the Gods of this month, I ordered Potnia, which is Bibliotheca Alexandria’s devotional to the Grain Goddess. I am behind on ordering their books, and I’m hoping to try to order one a month. So it seems appropriate to decide based on the God of the Month Club. I hope it doesn’t take to long to ship. So, look for a review of Potnia coming up near the end of the month!

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