Apollo was one of the Greeks’ foremost deities. The golden-haired favorite son of Zeus, he epitomized the Hellenic male ideal and was the god of many things: the Sun, archery, music and dance, shepherds and children. In his most archaic aspect, he was an oracular god of healing. As Paean Apollo, an epithet meaning “physician” or “healer,” he had the power to bring plagues with his invisible arrows of disease, as well as cure people of sickness. His main cult center was at Delphi, Greece, where according to myth, he slew the primordial serpent Python and took over its oracle. The priestess of Apollo (also known as the Pythia, sibyl or the Delphic oracle) would prophesy from within the inner sanctum of the shrine, seated atop a tripod poised over a chasm. She would communicate in a trance-like state, possibly owing to either the vapors under the rock or an entheogenic substance such as laurel leaf. As a mouthpiece of the god, her words carried great power. On the wall of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi were inscribed 147 maxims, one of which was “Know Thyself.”
His symbols are the lyre, laurel wreath, bow and arrow, wolf, dolphin, swan, raven and python.
The story of the Sun King/Solar hero conquering a chthonic serpent/dragon is a common one throughout mythology, and encapsulates the transitioning of a civilization from worship of earth mother to sky father, and the resulting ideological shift in the collective conscious. Apollo is one of many examples of our Western preference for the archetypal masculine. While this has had far-reaching and often negative consequences throughout history (IMO), there is still much about the Apollonian to be valued.
Apollo reminds us of the healing power of light; the importance of science, music and the intellect; and the mathematical nature of the universe.
Currently, asteroid Apollo is exactly conjunct Venus at 12 degrees Taurus, and the Sun is at 26 degrees Pisces.