The God of Illumination

Divinatory Meaning

    Apollo -- Reversed
  • Being forced to do things that cause separation from your true self
  • Ignoring unwelcome truths
  • Fear of self-knowledge
  • Relying on the wisdom of others

When you draw Apollo in a reading:

Apollo represents a connection with your true self, and a desire for self-discovery. Ask yourself: What do I really need? Do I know the difference between my needs and my desires? When Apollo is upright, focus on what is most important to you, regardless of what others tell you to do. When Apollo is reversed, check to see if you might be ignoring parts of yourself that you don't want to acknowledge? Or could you be ignoring the good advice of others simply because they aren't telling you what you want to hear? Are you confusing intuition with wishful thinking.

Apollo is best known as the patron god of music and of healing. In seeming contradiction to this, he was also known as the Archer, and his arrows could bring plague as well as death (as they did to the Greeks during the Trojan War). Apollo is probably most famous for his temple at Delphi (which he seized from the priestesses of Gaia). There, his oracles sat on tripods and prophesied, after chewing cherry laurel leaves (which release cyanide, and can induce foaming at the mouth, altered states of consciousness, and other signs of "divine possession").

Apollo was strongly connected with the arts of divination: Homer claims that originally the art of divination belonged exclusively to Apollo, as he was the only god authorized to interpret Zeus' will. Apollo later taught Hermes the art of divination in exchange for the trickster's newly-invented pan pipes. He also taught his art to Cassandra, a Trojan woman, in the hopes that she would then allow him to seduce her. After she gained his knowledge, however, she spurned him, and he cursed her, saying that her prophecies would always be true but that no one would ever believe them. Apollo, with his knack for divination, symbolizes the ability to connect with the self on a very deep leel, and to correctly interpret the wisdom that arises from this connection.

In his Phoebus aspect, Apollo drove the chariot that pulled the sun across the sky. His symbol depicts the sun upon the earth, embodying the ideas of illumination, opportunity, warmth, vitality, and the inner contemplative light that one must use in discovering one's own true nature.

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