It had now reached a degree of sanctity and only the priest might touch it; it was sprinkled with water, and anointed with butter; finally, the priest made three turns round it with a lighted torch in his hand, which finally separated it from the world and fitted it for its high purpose.
The torch-bearers sometimes seen on the relief represent one being in three aspects - the morning, noon and evening sun, or the vernal, summer and autumn sun.
Relieved, he snatched a torch and waved it thrice, until Vara wheeled and disappeared into the forest.
If the latter view is correct, the torch race would be closely akin to the Lemnian fire-ritual which has been mentioned.
Alone of the gods besides Helios, she witnessed the abduction of Persephone, and, torch in hand (a natural symbol for the moon's, light, but see Farnell), assisted Demeter in her search for her daughter.