…I’m feeling thinky today, so I’m going to ponder…
…That perhaps recently too many people have fixated upon Apollon’s “dark” aspects, and now those aspects are feeding upon this fixation, and taking precedence in the thoughts and subsequently the experiences of people who interact with Him. Apollon is more than these aspects– far more– and yet He will come in these ways when we allow fear and dread to influence our expectations of Him. What we fixate upon, in the natures of the Gods, determines the template from which we build our relationships with Them.
As it is today, was it so in the past. Each shrine or temple that was His, was dedicated to sometimes vastly different aspects of Apollon. He would come based upon the expectation of the populace and the tradition (because the people were the tradition– the rites, mysteries and philosophical ponderings were passed down to the young through direct participation), to fulfill the reciprocal contract of Adoration and Favor (Kharis).
Adoration may come in many different forms. We may bestow it upon the Gods through our love and mutually recognized respect/autonomy, or it may be given through our terror and suffering. Favor too, can be given by the Gods gently and with loving purpose, or crudely and with complete disregard. They will be worshiped and experienced in the ways that we worship and experience Them, or They will not be worshiped and experienced. We actually have the final say in how it happens, at least when dealing with Hellenic Gods.
Apollon is a God of Laws, a God of Rules, a God of Reason. He may not overstep the bounds that we place upon Him in relation to ourselves, but if we place no bounds (i.e. we do not fully realize who we are, what we want and don’t want, what we need, and how we may begin to responsibly manifest these things) He will take the lead and will often opt for what He feels is the most efficient approach in teaching you about yourself, so that you can begin to manifest your life as you desire it. Not the nicest approach. Not the most comforting approach. The most efficient approach. That is why He tells us to “Know Thyself”. And if we do not know, we will soon learn.
Note that this does not mean to judge thyself. Knowing, understanding, and working to change things that we find that we dislike or are unsatisfied with is a part of the Apollonian refining process. But it must happen without self-judgement or other negative emotions or reactions in regard to the self. When we work with Apollon, we work to build our best self, the self of our dreams and our ambitions. In order to do that, we first must learn to be honest, with ourselves and also with Him.
It should also be understood that Apollon is a God who inspires terror, naturally. Often one of the first things someone who has just experienced Him can articulate, is how frightening He is, how absolutely glorious, beautiful and terrible He is. Holy Terror translates well into a fear-response, and that fear then colors opinions when seeking outside information, which might be anything from the Lore, to modern perspectives written in blogs like mine, to public forum discussions.
As an Apollonian priestess and bride, my concern is that these speculative “dark” aspects of Apollon are being fed more readily than people are willing to feed their personal relationships with Apollon sans any outside influences.
I have mentioned before that near the beginning of our love-affair, Apollon told me to stay away from the opinions and doxa of others. By then, I had already devoured much of the Lore, so there was that already in the background, but I was able to set it aside, insomuch as I didn’t allow it to frame my interactions with the very real Entity who had come to claim my heart. He deserved, indeed we deserved, to have our relationship built upon a foundation of our own making.
Apollon is more than the stories that are told about Him, ancient and modern, and He is more than the collective experience of His “darker” nature. But it is up to each of us to try to find which aspects of Him resonate the most harmoniously with our own inner light. It is neither safe nor possible for any human to know Him in His totality, therefor we should look to and petition the Names that best suit our life’s purpose, or we may be assigned to work with a Name we would not have chosen for ourselves.