Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Going to the next point...

Moving on means moving on to the next point in the star. Going clockwise and following the line of the star itself, the next deity to contemplate as I try to understand this vision is Apollo. This will not be easy, for though Apollo is one of the most well known of all the Olympian Gods, he has played very little part in my spiritual awakening and evolution. In order to explore further I will have to spend a little time refreshing my own understanding of the God's attributes and epithets.

Let me begin with the most basic aspects of this God as we see it in myth, both Greek and Roman, for Apollo made his way into Roman religion almost unchanged (at least in name and iconography) and he did so as a God of civilization, healing, music, and to some extent, dance and art as a whole. Apollo is always portrayed as a beautiful but young male who is resplendent and radiant, and in later times even became assimilated into the solar mythos. The shining one (Phoebus) is Apollo as celestial being who, unlike most of the other Gods, has almost subsumed the Chthonic aspects of his being into the more Ouranic aspects which overwhelm with their resplendent glow.

Apollo is also a "Father God" who, like Zeus, produces popular children like Asklepios, the healer who is killed by Zeus when he arrogantly chooses to break the natural order by bringing the dead back to life. Asklepios, like Herakles, is then worshipped as a Hero God and his temples are places of healing where the practice of incubation, a distinctly Apollonian practice, has people sleeping in temples or other sacred places to either Apollo or Asklepios in order to either be healed or be told by the god how to heal themselves.

This aspect of the Apollonian realm, and I do see Asklepios as an aspect of Apollo just as I see Herakles as an aspect of Zeus, seems a rather apropos reason for me to have to turn to Apollo next in my exploration of my inner self and the world around me. If Hestia forced me to recognize what my true home was (this form, this mind, this being who is me) then having to move to Apollo next will force me to recognize where that home is broken, where it is leaking, where it is too drafty or stuffy, where it needs cleaning, etc. That logic had not occurred to me until now, but now that I see it, now that I have explored Hestia, it seems only logical that to recognize the patient is the very first step in figuring out if he is sick and in need of healing...

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