Saturday, December 8, 2007

And so...

We come to an aspect of Apollon that I have never quite gotten.

On an intellectual level I get it. All Gods, at lest in the mythos, hold within them their own opposition. They are both light and dark, good and bad (not in the evil sense), masculine and feminine, etc. Apollo, as the great hunter God, is also the wolf God. He is both hunter and prey. In this sense, Apollo is very familiar to me in this sense because he is very much all the other Gods.

It is the specific aspect of Lykeios, the Wolf-Slayer, that I am often at odds with because while the title implies a hunter, which Apollo clearly is, the association with the wolf is not simply secondary, but also primary. In many ways, Apollo is the wolf as much as he is the hunter that slays the wolf.

In modern times we may see this aspect of Apollo in fuzzy eco-friendly ways. Protecting the wolf, for example, would seem to fall as part of the potential activities to participate in in honor of Apollo. But in ancient times, the wolf could be a very real threat to man kind. Much higher population of wolves and a much smaller population of human beings and you can see the potential problem. Add to this that in order to become civilized man had to be a farmer and cattle wrangler (yeeee-haw) and the wolf was a danger to the herds of the Greeks as they were, and often still are, to almost all cultures.

As a god of cities, of civilization, Apollo would have had to take on a role as destroyer of wolves even as he was himself very much a wolf by nature.

According to some sources, Latona, the mother of Apollo, was identified with a bitch-wolf, and in many ways, Apollo here is destroyer of his own mother (Latona is another name for Leto) and as a hunter, he, Leto, and Artemis all take on forms of the very beasts they destroy.

I said that this is an aspect of Apollo, Lykeios, that I don't quite get, and then go on to give rational explanations for it, thus contradicting myself. But, what I don't actually get is the wolf thing itself. I have a great imagination. I can picture amazing things in my head, come up with varied and complex stories in my mind, and I can imagine sex of which your mama would have been very ashamed, but this is a point at which my imagination always fails me. My ability to imagine myself as a wolf, as a wild beast in the woods, is very limited, and as a result I am a bit lost sometimes with regard to this specific aspect of the God.

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