God of Music, Art & Oracles
Hera (Goddess of Marriage & Monogamy) found out that Zeus (God of Sky & Thunder) was having an affair with Leto and that she became pregnant with his twins. She was panic-stricken for there had been prophecies that a “new order” was coming. Hera decided the children of Zeus that came from other women, would cement that new order. And so for that reason she hunted Leto and when she couldn’t find her she banned her from giving birth on any land, island or place under the sun. The island of Delos took pity on Leto and allowed her to have her children, first Artemis (Goddess of the Hunt & Moon) and then with Artemis’s help Apollo.
Apollo had many talents and so was the god of many things music, art, oracles, an archer, healing, medicine, plague and disease, light and truth. One of his important duties is to bring forth the sun across the sky
Leader of the Muses and their choir. Apollo’s most prized possession was his lyre. Hermes (Messenger of the Gods & Mortals & Guide to the Underworld), was also a child of Zeus. He was born to Maia and mere days after his birth he climbed from his bed and flew to the place where Apollo’s cattle grazed. He stole a few and went to a cave in the forest. There he found a tortoise and used it’s shell and the intestines of a butchered cow to make the first lyre, then went back to his bed angelic in sleep. Apollo was furious and went to Maia to complain. She looked in his bed and saw Hermes sound asleep. They argued and Zeus intervened, since he has seen young Hermes transgression. As the argument resumed and Hermes began to play the instrument. Apollo stopped and listened and fell in love with the sound and lyre, he forgave Hermes and became master of his lyre
As a healer, he served the gods and mortals alike. Mortals would ask for health and healing by praying to the god Apollo. In the same vein Apollo could also bring about plague, disease and dysentery, usually shot from one of his arrows. Mortals would pray and sacrifice to encourage him to stop. He also killed the sons of Niobe, for the mother’s loose tongue that she was a better and more fertile mother than Metis. The daughters were all killed by Apollo’s sister and Niobe went to Mount Sipylos, wept so much as to create the Achelous River, then turned to stone.
His biggest claim to fame was the slaying of the chthonic dragon Python. Hera, mindful of the prophecies, that the illegitimate children of Zeus could replace her own, she set Python to kill Apollo’s mother. The serpent lived beside the Castalian Spring, which gave off vapors that created the prophecies from the oracles of Delphi. Apollo learned of Hera’s scheme and went to Hephaestus (God of Fire & Metallurgy), for a bow and arrows, in which to kill Python. Later he would face punishment for the crime, as the serpent was the offspring of Gaia (Mother Earth), even though Apollo was only four days old.
Apollo had many, lovers both male and female. He was shot by Cupid’s bow for teasing the little imp and then shot the nymph, Daphne with a dark arrow, causing her to be repulsed by Apollo. He began to chase her causing her to pray to the River God, Peneus, who also happened to be her father. He turned her into a laurel tree, forever implanting its sacredness to Apollo.
Hyacynth was a beautiful Spartan prince with whom Apollo fell in love with, a group were throwing discus, when another jealous male lover threw his and hit the prince in his head causing him to bleed profusely and die. Apollo turned his blood into flowers and named them for his lover.
Apollo had a son, Troileus, by a king’s wife named, Hecuba. He predicted that the city of Troy could not be defeated so long as his son age to twenty-five years. He would not succeed and die by Achilles hand. During the Trojan war he shot infected arrows into the camps of the Greeks. He later gave aid to Paris in the killing of Achilles by guiding his arrow into the warriors heel, for killing the son of the god.
His holy tree is the laurel
His sacred animal the dolphin, python and raven
His symbols are his lyre, laurel wreath, bow and arrows. The laurel wreath became the crown of victory at the Olympic Games.
His day of the week in Sunday (sun’s day); the 7th and 20th days of the month are sacred to him
He was portrayed as long hair of soft curls, beardless and handsome, more gentle with elegant features, athletic
The Temple of Apollo is in Delphi, Greece, one of his cult sites. The other is Delos.