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Apollo, the Greek God of Prophecy
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Head of the Apollo Belvedere, a famous Roman copy in marble, now in the Vatican collection. Copied from a Greek original, probably bronze, from the fourth century BC.
Apollo became associated with all the power of the Sun and became recognised as perhaps the most popular god in the Roman pantheon, eclipsing his father, Jupiter. He was born a twin with Artemis, the Moon, presumably reflecting their inextricable balancing act, demonstrated most dramatically in the eclipse tango. His deadly bow symbolised his formidable power but his lyre accompanied his role as patron of the arts, reflecting the creative instincts of the Sun in the Fifth House (Key to the Houses) and the pride of the Lion in the limelight.
Often called Phoebus Apollo, Phoebus was another name for the Sun, denoting ‘light’ and ‘purity’ and goodness and, like Shamash, the Babylonian Sun god, Apollo was associated with truth, justice, and right conduct. He is also called ‘Alexikakos,’ ‘Averter of Evil,’ recalling the role of Ra and Horus, the Egyptian Sun gods, in combating the evil and darkness of Seth.
Apollo was the patron god of the oracle of Delphi which was famous and held in awe throughout the ancient world. Apollo had many other oracles and his titles ‘God of Oracles,’ ‘Foreseeing’ and ‘Distributing by Lot’ testifies confidence in prophecy and destiny, or predestination, traditional pillars of spiritual wisdom, not least in Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Perhaps there is also a suggestion this interest was not entirely satisfied by the astrologers.
Another feature of Apollo’s myth is his love affairs, tragically unrequited. This may well reflect the fate of true love among the ancients, an advanced notion even in our own day in many cultures. The Sun is the planet of the heart and love is not wrongly associated with this pulsing centre.In Christianity the essence of the teaching is God is Love and we should ‘love our neighbour as ourselves.’(Mt.22. 39 ) Love affairs may involve a more magnetic attraction than we associate with the ‘love thy neighbour’ love of God but the one does not exclude the other. In relationships, possibly neither can survive alive without the other. Love affairs and all the fun of the fair are vital parts of the Sun’s spirit in astrology, most notably in the Fifth House.(Key to the Houses) As the Sun is always the Creator, his House is the creative zone in the zodiac ― and what has more creative potential than these affairs of the heart ?
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