Thursday, December 15, 2011
44 Days of Witchery: Day 6
Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, as well as the twin brother of Artemis. His realm was music, prophecy, colonization, religious healing, archery (except war and hunting), poetry, dance, intellectual inquiry, and shepherds. He was also a God of light, sometimes called "Pheobus" (which means radiant or beaming), and had replaced the previous solar deity of Helios. He was also a God of plague and was worshipped under the name of Smintheus (rat) and Parnopius (grasshopper). Ironically, he was also the destroyer of these plague-carriers. According to the Iliad, he shot arrows of plague into the Greek camp. Being the God of religious healing, he gave people guilty of murder and other immoral deeds a ritual purification.
Hera, the wife of Zues, was outraged with jealousy when she found out Leto was pregnant by Zeus. Hera decreed that Leto was forbidden to give birth anywhere on earth. Not the continent, nor an island. The only shelter Leto could find was at Delos, in the center of the Aegean, which was a floating island. It was difficult to get to, because of strong under-currents.
Hera, angry about the loophole, imprisoned Ilithia, the Goddess of childbirth. Fortunatly, other deities intervened and forced Hera to release Ilithia, resulting in Leto giving birth to Apollo and Artemis on Delos. As a gesture of thanks, Delos was secured to the sea floor by four columns to give it stability and became sacred to Apollo.
Apollo's first acheivemnt was to rid Pytho (later called Delphi) of a serpent (sometimes a dragon) called Python. The monsterp rotected the sanctuary of Pytho from its lair near the Castalian Spring. It stood guard while the "Sibyl" (later called Oracle) prophecied as she inhaled vapors from an open chasm. Apollo killed Python with his bow and arrows and took charge of the oracle.
This act was a blessing for the countryside, because Pythos had destroyed crops, sacked villiages and polluted water. However, Pythos was a son of Gaea, and Apollos punishment for killing him was to serve as a cowherd for eight to nine years for King Admetus.
When his pennance was finished, Apollo returned to Pytho in the disguise of a dolphin, bringing with him priests from Crete. He also took on a new name, becoming "Pythian Apollo". He dedicated a bronze tripod (a symbol sacred to this God) to the sanctuary and bestowed divine powers on the priestesses, who became known as the Pythia.
Delphi was named after Delphinios (meaning dolphin or porpoise), which is Apollo's cult title. The Pythia inhaled hallucinating vapors from a fissure on the temple floor, while sitting on a tripod and chewing laurel leaves. After she mumbled her answer, a male priest would translate it for the supplicant. In time, Delphi became the most important oracle center of Apollo.
101 2011 2012 44 days of witchery ability activism agnosticism air alberta altar ancestor anubis apatheism apocalypse apollo aquarius arachne arts athame atheism athena autotheism autumn banner beliefs bigotry bottle burning times calendar canada candle celtic child children's christian christmas cleaning coexist common man correspondences crafts creation cryptozoology cycle dalai lama deism deity deity of the month demeter deucalion E3 egypt electronic entertainment expo electronics elements end of the world endymion equality equinox extinction feast festival festivus fires flood food fur g4 gaea gaming germany glass god goddess great flood great spirit greek green griffin halloween hanukkah health henotheism herbalism history holiday holidays hospitality instructions international internet irish italian jack o'lantern kathenotheism kwanzaa lakota lavender leather life luna magic magical place makoshika meatless monday microsoft minerva mjöllnir monolatrism monotheism mothers mythology native american nature norse oil oisin ostara pagan pagan values month paganism pandeism panentheism pantheism pelops pepitas persephone philosophy pipa pirate politics poll polydeism polytheism prayer prayer chain preternatural prophecy pumpkin pyrrha rant Recipes religion religious roman rules sabbat sacred element samhain saturnalia seasons seeds selene shrine sioux sol invictus solstice sopa spider spiritual element spiritualism spring stories sun sign sword of truth symbol tantalus thor three tir na nog tools triad trials trio triskele values vegan vegetarian veneration viking vinegar warlock water wax wheel wheel of the year wicca winter witch witchcraft wizard xenia year yule
In the beginning, Chaos was surrounded by an unending stream of water that was ruled by the God Oceanus. The Goddess Eurynome desired to mak...
Anubis is an Egyptian God. Anubis is actually the name given to the God by the Greeks, but it is the most popular so for the remainder of th...
A favorite mythological animal The griffin is a creature with the head, wings, and beak of an eagle, the body of a lion, and (occasi...