View Full Version : Apollo

06-16-2010, 01:35 AM
I was just reading up on the mythology and etymology of Apollo this morning. God of light, as well as music, of course. There is much related to alchemy there.


The etymology of Apollo is uncertain. Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, Plato in Cratylus connects the name with ἀπόλυσις (apolysis), "redeem", with ἀπόλουσις (apolousis), "purification", and with ἁπλοῦν (aploun), "simple",[3] in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, Ἄπλουν, and finally with Ἀει-βάλλων (aeiballon), "ever-shooting".

Redemption, simplicity, purification, all ideas that have been connected with alchemy in various ways, and also ideas that have been associated with light: its simplicity, its symbolizing purity, and its redemptive properties. The two ideas of simplicity and purification are related: purity means simplifying by removing the superfluities.

Attributes and symbols - the lyre (seen in many alchemical manuscripts including ironically Splendor Solis), the plectrum and sword, the palm tree, which he was born under (like Fulcanelli's relating of the myth of Mary in childbirth). Animals: serpents, wolves, dolphins, ravens/crows, griffins, and more, all animals that are common themes in alchemical literature, are sacred to him.

His birth was on the island of Delos, a term used in alchemy also. The island was "newly created", not yet secured to the ocean floor. Hera had declared Leto, his mother, should not be allowed to give birth on terra firma. Artemis, the famous moon goddess, is said to have been born from her first, who then allowed Leto to cross the sea to Delos to give birth to Apollo. This is similar to the progression of the Stone from white to red.

Leto, in Dorian Greek Lato, her Latinized Roman name is Latona (who the alchemists said must be whitened). Her mother is said to be Phoebe: Wikipedia says Leto's mother "Phoebe" is precisely the "bright, purifying" epithet of the full moon. Leto's father Coeus is said to be the embodiment of the celestial axis/pole. Wolves are also a large part of the story of her journey to giving birth to Artemis/Apollo. This could give Michael Maier (et al)'s symbol of the ravenous wolf a different meaning.

Finally, it is said that Apollo killed the dragon Python, similar to the solar cat deity Maau, the story of George and the Dragon, Enki and Marduk, etc.

Theres other interesting connections, but that will do for now.