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All these facts have a deeper meaning that is relevant in interpreting the astrological Sun. For example, all planets circle around the sun; similarly is the astrological Sun the centre of the horoscope. Like the physical sun holds all planets in place through gravity and thereby creates the solar-system, so does the astrological Sun make sense of all different patterns by integrating them into an individual. Without the integral activity of gravity the pattern of the planets may simply do their thing without the individual having a grip on it. And if we take into account that all planets of our solar-system are essential solar (as they are all offsprings of the sun), the gravity of the sun, the physical activity of integrating all parts into a holistic system, represents a conscious effort to see that all is integrated, that 'all is one'. This famous spiritual maxim is an essential equation of singularity and totality. Even the word individual literally refers to an indivisible unit -to a conscious organism. The introduction of ‘shining loner in the centre’ refers to three of the main associations of the astrological Sun, pointing towards an individual flame of consciousness at the core of our human evolution. The mentioned trickery of light is also very important to understand in relation to what we perceive who we are, which becomes more obvious when we see that the astrological Sun is placed at the core of the Mind quarter –the second below the horizon- and knowing that the Greeks called Mercury, the God of communication and trade but also of liars and thieves, the trickster who represents the mind at large, including knowledge, which is a product of the past, we may start to have a look at the shining trickery between the ears; more about that later, but first more facts of the sunny Etymology.

Etymologically it is believed that the word ‘sun’ derived from the Indo-European root su and either formed in some Indo-Germanic tribes with ‘n’ into sun, sunna, sunne or sonne, or with ‘l’ into sol, sāule, sauil, or soul-e. The Latin group around solsole, sola, solus- literally stands for ‘single, unmarried, alone, solitary, one and only and exclusive’, and sollus for ‘whole, entire or all-inclusive.’ It indicates that singularity and totality are presented by one and the same core and thus we say that the astrological Sun represents an integral principle that involves conscious effort of creative imagination. In most Indo-Germanic languages the sun is feminine, in others masculine, indicating another integral principle: androgyny.
  • The ancient Greek noun λιος, meaning ‘sun’, is the etymological base of Helios, the all seeing great god of Rhodes. Helios was imagined as a handsome god crowned with the shining aureole of the sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In one Greek vase painting, Helios appears riding across the sea in the cup of the Delphic tripod, which appears to be a solar reference. The equivalent of Helios in Roman mythology was Sol, specifically Sol Invictus.

The basic idea of sun or sol, as indicated through the Latin word solus, alone, is not a long-faced loneliness. To be alone means you realise you are on your own, independent of your gender; you are free and responsible. Please note that ‘alone’ is a short way of saying that ‘all is one’. That means even though I am physically on my own, I don’t feel lonely or disconnected from the rest of existence, on the contrary, I am connected with everything from the inside out. This certainty to be connected with existence stems from the integral process that leads to the understanding that all is one, which must be done by the individual alone.

The long-faced meaning of alone becomes obvious when physical isolation is experienced emotionally or psychologically. Isolation then may be the so-called prize you have to pay for being true to yourself or not being true to yourself. Being true to yourself you may feel separate from all, from the mainstream, in particular from the mainstream of copy-cats. To be an individual can be a very lonely experience. No guarantee can be given that you are accepted for your individuality, for it includes the possibility to be different to all others; and that is usually noted with suspicions. But not being true to yourself you most definitely feel isolated from life and its joy, which can be and usually is an emotional nightmare.

However, the sun even though it is on its own doesn’t shine to get noticed, accepted or valued, appreciated or rewarded; it is not shining to please the crowd, neither planets nor people, even though the crowd may be nurtured, warmed and enlightened by it. This loner is completely independent, not needing any attention; always shining bright, even behind the darkest clouds. It simply shines, for that is the nature of active energy. If energy would be in a standstill, completely inactive, there would be simply darkness all around with no-one there to notice it.

The integral principle of the sun and its androgynous nature is obvious in another word that has sol as its basic meaning: consolidate; which means merge, combine, unite, join or fuse. It is an intrinsic process of life. To consolidate on a mental level may lead to solidarity.

Solidarity is a team spirit, a camaraderie with shared aims, as for example the famous “all for one and one for all” of the musketeers, which indicates harmony and unity through a conscious effort by many. And if we see it individually then solidarity is an inner story-line, the cohesion of all psychic qualities that sum up into the individual ‘I’.

Solidarity and consolidation refer to another word, solid, which simply means ‘free from empty space’. We may not regard the elemental essence of sol, the burning fire, as solid, but solidarity and consolidation end up to be solid.

Life may have a consoling effect or a desolate effect on us, it either raises our spirit or it depresses it. In short, the sol-energy simply shines or it seems that it doesn’t. This understanding may give us solace in our ignorance.

Few more words that derived from sol: solo, soluble, solution, solve, solifidian, soliloquy, solipsism, solicit, soldier, solemn. Having a clear overview of how all these words are connected is already a big step in being able to see the many different expressions of the astrological Sun in the horoscope.

The astrological symbol, a circle with a dot at its centre, which was firstly used in the Renaissance, might be a simplification of the Greek illustration of Apollo inside the zodiac. In the early days Apollo and Helios, the all-seeing sun, were two different deities. Through Roman influence Apollo took on the role of Helios to be the one who was driving his chariot across the sky. In that way the astrological Sun is understood to be the individual carrier of something indescribable, ineffable, and eternal. It symbolises a container for something, which lays at its very core, beyond mortal life -an eternal divinity within the limits of mortal flesh. The circle or circumference, the surrounding physical existence, is the vessel of divinity, the carrier of the divine spark within, in other words, the chariot with the immortal god Apollo or Helios driving it.

The dot might be also the simple illustration of the omphalosi or navel-stone, indicating the centre of the earth, where the light of the Sun incarnated on earth nearby Delphi.

Being placed in the core of the Mind-quarter, ruling the 5th house Leo, the dot is the result of a creative process of the mind, reasoning that there is a centre inside a circle. Geometry refers to it as the cross-point, indicating that through the skilful appliance of two diametrical lines -horizon andsoul  knowledge meridian- the knowledge of the centre is achieved. This invisible and immaterial centre, the cross-point, is supposed to indicate the essence of an individual as well as the core-essence of the whole of existence. We may know it or not, but there is a centre inside each circle, which represents the origin or core-essence of our existence. From a physical point of view, if we take the hot magma, the core of our earth, as a part of the sun, like stardust, or better, like a hot piece of coal fallen away from the main fire, then our origin is factually the sun. Obviously the Sun-symbol integrates many different angles of interpretation.

In a metaphysical sense, the dot refers to the divinity inside existence, which can be found in each single body. Yet this divine spark or immortal divinity, the dot inside the astrological symbol, actually refers to something beyond the fleeting existence and its fleeting mind, of which the astrological Sun is the core quality.

To understand the placement of the astrological Sun in the 2nd quarter, the Mind-quarter, we may need to know the meaning of all four quarters first. In short, the left and right half of the zodiac, the East and West are different like being and body are different, whereas the above and below the horizon are somewhat the same -one is in the light the other in the dark. Similarly consciousness and unconsciousness are essentially the same and so is body and mind. This is in concurrence with the Tabula Smaragdina, which is believed to be a descent from the Egyptian God Toth, who originally was a Moon God and later the God of scribes and astrologers, and ought to indicate that the ‘as above so below’ is one of the oldest astrological doctrines. On the left side we find above the Spirit and below the Soul, indicating consciousness and unconsciousness respectively; on the right side we find the body-mind-mechanism, with the Body obviously above and the Mind below in the dark.

To understand the relationship between the four quarters, between Spirit & Soul and Body & Mind, we have to go a bit deeper into the nitty-gritty stuff of metaphysics. With the birth of a body it begins for all of us, which somewhat suggests that the whole physical existence was born, and some say that it happened with a big bang. The astrological lens supports this idea by placing Mars, the bold initiator, in the first house of which its cusp, the ascendant, is marking the birth of the individual body, as well as of the whole existence. However we look at the origin of existence, via the ‘steady eddy theory’ or the ‘big bang theory’, or consider the religious idea of a creator, in all cases we find something eternal or immortal at the base. Either it is the origin itself that is eternal with the existence coming and going -and this origin might be called God, the creator- or the whole existence always has been and always will be. Modern science favours the Big Bang theory because of the found background-radiation that seems to indicate a beginning, a big bang. ‘Bang’, here we are; the whole universe –in a fraction of a second. If someday it simply implodes with a ‘puff’ no-one knows. However, because of the very convincing idea that there is eternity, astrology associates body & soul essentially as one and the same, yet places them diametrically opposed to illustrate the fundamental difference between everything and nothing, between existence and its origin. To understand how everything can originate from nothing it may help to see 'nought' as a great energy-potential that in a standstill does not manifest anything, and thus ‘nought’ is not a thing; it is nothing, yet it is not empty. Obviously, this original standstill or silence must have been first and thus is identified as the first quarter; the eternal Soul.

The whole existence, including all bodies, is of course based on order or orderly activity, for without it there would be Chaos but no Cosmos. This scientific and existential fact is reflected in the astrological circle where the whole existence, the 3rd quarter, is based on the 6th house of the Mind-quarter, associated to ‘orderly’ Virgo. This is probably the reason why in Greek mythology some say that Darkness was first, and out of Darkness sprang Chaos -in which we find Virgo’s order- for out of the union of Darkness and Chaos sprang Mother Earth, the existence. Chaos needed a still point at its centre to create earth. A whirling movement ordering around a black hole is the beginning of our existence. A circle and a black dot in its centre indicate the centre of Chaos, the stillness inside a whirlwind. The integral principle of the astrological Sun indicates that some ordering is needed. In other words, order leads to clarity! Without order reigns confusion. This sequence, Darkness, Chaos, Mother Earth, bases existence on the intelligence of something eternal, which at first appears to be chaotic.  Greek mythology reports that out of the union of Chaos and Mother Earth, out of the union of Body and Mind, sprang their first child, Uranus, placed at the core of the fourth quarter. Uranus symbols here the birth of humanity. That birth is usually known in religious circles as the ‘second birth’ and related to the mythological ‘twice born’ Dionysus, but from an astrological point of view it’s actually the third, following the first birth of a Body and the second birth of a Mind -with the Soul being the eternal is-ness that has never been born and never dies.

    I have to add that the birth of humanity is a totally individual affair and not a social one or a national one, for it can only happen in the individual. This sequence thus illustrates a transformation of an unconscious soul into a conscious spirit, which is the core aim of astrology, and the real quest of the astrological Sun. The birth of the body is naturally a given fact and in that body another birth happens, the birth of a mental identity. That mental identity wasn’t there at birth, obviously, and secondly it definitely belongs to the individual body, for it always wakes up in it and usually disappears when that body dies. Another fact seems to be that a body without a mind doesn’t know anything about the soul or its spirit. The diametrical opposition of the Body and Soul indicates that they have no common surface; the Mind in between thus becomes a kind of connective agent that enables them to communicate with each other. The identity of the mentality is secondary from both sides; from the body’s point of view above it, as well as from soul’s point of view next to it. The second quarter is of course for both one and the same, but depending on who or what is looking it appears to be different.

    For the soul it is the window to life; through this measuring tool the soul is enabled to perceive and receive life. For existence in general it appears to be an attention calling security tool, a kind of monitor that reflects on past measures to project future options. Existence rests on its work, in other words, the Mind supports the continuity of existence.

    This security process appears to be for all other life-forms unnoticed, as if not, probably not to disturb the inner peace and harmony between the ears. Thus the body-mind is just a mechanism without having a clue of the existence of soul or spirit. But in a human body that monitoring process of the mind is acoustically monitored through the development of language. Each word contains defined knowledge and the ability to comprehend the syntax of all these words led to the manifestation of an identity at the core of this cognitive process. Whatever is measured and cognised is related to that core, which is identified as ‘I’: I feel, I think, I sense, I believe. This ‘I’ seems to be the dot in the circle. But is it?

    This question of ‘who or what am I? is the beginning of the quest to the origin of light. This is what the Sun-symbol indicates, a journey from the periphery to the centre, to the Holy Grail or the fountain of youth, the inexhaustible source, whatever you call the dot in the centre. What is the origin of the whole existence including our sun and all other stars and galaxies? “Where do I come from?” Actually, “Where does this ‘I’ come from?” is a much better question to begin with. Am I a body that owns a mind or am I a mind that owns a body? From the body’s point of view the mind comes and goes depending on the condition of the body; in deep sleep there is no conscious identity, there is no-one, no identity, to notice to exist, even though the body does exist. From the mind’s point of view there is the idea of the possibility to exist even after the death of the body. It’s the idea of eternity, immortality or divinity, which is childishly illustrated as “Heaven” or the garden “Eden”.

    But observed from an astrological point of view I am detached from the I-identity that has been created through the sound of recorded knowledge, like the echo in the mountains. Thus I am free to observe the placement and function of the ‘I’ without being identified with it. I am not asking ‘who am I?’ but ‘what is this ‘I’?’ And the answer seems to be that the ‘I’, the core to which everything is related to, re-echo’s or resounds the original unity or oneness of the soul. As the Soul indicates oneness, so does the ‘I’ indicate one unique identity.

    The Sun-symbol indicates with the dot at its centre that there is a soul, that there is this divine source, indicated by Apollo or Helios, yet what this dot is referring to is not found in the mind. Placed at the centre of the Mind the Sun indicates that our identity, our sense of I, is actually the core of our confusion. As long as we perceive the soul through the mind what we perceive is only knowledge of the soul, or knowledge about the soul, but not the soul itself. The dot only points to the direction that it is found inside, which, from an astrological point of view, is below the horizon in the dark.

      From an astrological point of view, what is in the dark are the Soul and its Mind, the heart and the head of the four quarters. Combining feeling and thinking into one symbol, connecting the feminine Soul with the masculine Mind, refers again to the androgyny nature of the Sun. If the dot in the Sun-symbol indicates the Soul to be our authentic or original identity then that is the place to be, then the Soul is the authentic point of reference. The usual question would be ‘how can I be in there ?’ 'how can I be in the heart and not in the head?' or simply ‘how can I be it?’ How could you not be it? If the Soul is our innermost centre, any quest to find it would lead away from it. How could you find what you are? You only can be it. This is not just confusing semantics. This is a fundamental distinction between Being and Body, or Soul and Mind. However, without ever looking for it you may never know what you are.

This is also the true meaning of Venus holding the mirror and the famous verse: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me, who is the fairest of them all?” This theme is also reflected in the Greek myth of ‘the judgement of Paris’, the ancient beauty contest. At the core of the 1st quarter, the Soul, we find Venus, Goddess of love and beauty. The mirror she is holding represents the Mind. The mind is a mirror; like the Moon is reflecting the sun-light that human mind reflects measurements, images and sounds of the distant past. This is probably the reason for calling the echo ‘ego’. Latin ‘ego’ simply means ‘I’ and is nowadays mostly used to refer to the identity of the Mind, indicating that the personal I is only an echo of the real. I use personal I instead of individual I because the word persona literally means mask, for thus it becomes more obvious that the identity of the mind is covering up the identity of the soul; like in the movie “Mask” it becomes your ‘second nature’, a very nasty and tricky one.  

Associating the ego of the Mind-quarter with 'echo' I have to add here that in Greek mythology, Echo was a mountain nymph who loved her own voice. Zeus loved consorting with beautiful nymphs and visited them on Earth often. Eventually, Zeus's wife, Hera, became suspicious, and came from Mt. Olympus in an attempt to catch Zeus with the nymphs. Zeus, the King of the Olympians, was known for his many love affairs. Sometimes the young and beautiful Nymph Echo would distract and amuse his wife Hera with long and entertaining stories, while Zeus took advantage of the moment to ravish the other mountain nymphs. When Hera discovered the trickery she punished the talkative Echo by taking away her voice, except in foolish repetition of another's shouted words. Thus, all Echo could do was repeat the voice of another.

Echo fell in love with a vain youth named Narcissus, who was the son of the blue Nymph Leirope of Thespia. The river god Cephisus had once encircled Leirope with the windings of his streams, and thus trapping her, had seduced the nymph. Concerned about the baby's welfare, Leirope went to consult the prophet Teiresias regarding her son's future. Teiresias told the nymph that Narcissus ‘would live to a ripe old age, as long as he never knew himself’. One day when Narcissus was out hunting stags, Echo stealthily followed the handsome youth through the woods, longing to address him but unable to speak first. When Narcissus finally heard footsteps and shouted "Who's there?", Echo answered "Who's there?" And so it went, until finally Echo showed herself and rushed to embrace the lovely youth. He pulled away from the nymph and vainly told her to leave him alone. Narcissus left Echo heartbroken, and she spent the rest of her life in lonely glens pining away for the love she never knew until only her voice remained. However, in other versions Echo cries until she is stone and an invisible Echo haunts the Earth.

Ovid's version of the tale states that a girl who had also fallen in love with Narcissus made a prayer to the gods, asking that Narcissus suffer from an unrequited lust just as he had done to others. The prayer was answered by the goddess Nemesis - (she who ruins the proud), makes him fall in love with his own reflection so he stares at him self in the river (as he thinks it is a beautiful person underwater) until he turn pale and eventually dies.

These mythological stories beautifully reflect the function of the human mind. If Venus holding the mirror gets confused with the image in the mirror, however beautiful it might be, it has no real substance and thus it will never be fulfilling but remain to be an empty feeling. As long as one’s reference-point of observation is the Mind is as if we are not really alive; we are rather in state of dreaming, in dreamland, which, while we are dreaming, looks as if it is real.

Indian mythology describes the four states of consciousness with deep sleep, which is the darkness of the Greeks, with dreaming, which is the realm of the Mind, thirdly with waking, which belongs to the realm of the Body and the fourth, Turya, indicates consciousness -the essence of the 4th quarter we call Spirit. Dreaming thus is associated with the nature or essence of the mind that belongs to unconscious nature. And in the state of dreaming the dream seems to be so real as if we were awake.

As the 2nd quarter owns the ability to create order inside of Chaos, having Virgo inside the Mind, so is the confusion with dreaming transformed by its intrinsic focus; the dot being the focal point of a lens. ‘Waking up’ simply means that the focus is shifting from the dreamland towards existence. There is, however, the option to consciously shift our reference-point from the head to the heart, which is illustrated in mythology as the rise of Venus out of the ocean. The Ocean is a symbol of the Soul, and Venus the transformed essence of Uranus the ‘awakener’. The rise of Venus is thus the awakening of one’s true origin.

    This groping in the dark to find one’s true identity is what makes us humans special, but rather than as a race it is an individual speciality, as only the individual can realise its unique being. Both special and unique can refer to something very different than the average, yet it’s nothing special to be unique, for it is characteristic to everyone, in fact for each single thing, as well as for the totality of existence. This is the connection to the special meaning of sol, alone; existence is unique, single, and from a holistic point of view it is alone -in the sense of all is one- call it oneness, wholeness or totality. To be one, to exist, is a unique experience for all of us. “No one is like me and no one ever has been or will be like me.” This profound experience of ‘myself’, of I-ness is individual but it can be as well cosmic. ‘All is one’ can become a cosmic experience of “I am that” or “I am all”. It may be simply self-aggrandizing, which then often is exhibited excessively if one does not have this sense of being special. Therefore ‘I am all there is, I am the most important thing’ is usually based on ‘I am nothing, I am the most trivial thing’; both ways indicate ‘it’s all about me’. The attention calling security mechanism usually calls out ‘attention please’, ‘attention please’, notice me, notice me, me, me...

    If the ‘I’ is the core of this confusing condition it would be healthy to ponder: “Am I authentic?” There is an ‘I’ inside audibly noticeable between the ears, but how did the dot get in there? Did I use geometry or did it happen? How did the noise get in there, and is it healthy? Other life-forms do not seem to have it. We are not born with an identity; it’s a slow process. The solar process indicates a gaining of an identity distinct to the rest of existence -which is actually quite the opposite from losing oneself in ecstasy; but then, if you have nothing to loose, you didn’t gain anything. This gaining happens usually by itself, in a sense that everyone talks into you, or, if you like, writes into your mind, which was an empty book at first, which then becomes your uniquely brewed personality. So, the question ‘am I authentic?’ refers to the distinction between an authentic-speaker and a mechanical-repeater; is it an authentic or an acting 'I'? The astrological Sun stands for the expression of one’s uniqueness, in other words, to speak up as an individual, but the question is who is talking? Or deeper: “Who is thinking?” Thinking and talking have the same source even though they are not always the same in expression. What we think is not always what we say -being an actor or not.

    And how could I decide to be authentic or not? What is authentic and what is just an echo, which is perceived as my ego? Who is the author of the thoughts crossing my mind and expressed by my lips? And if it is possible that I am not the author then I must be an observer who is observing the thought: “I am the author”. I maybe got so used to observe it that I don’t notice anymore that I am only observing it. And what about the sense of being I? What feels authentic? A false sense of uniqueness or I-ness could be for example the arrogant and pretentious egotism where one is full of oneself -hiding the dark feeling of emptiness or the lack of confidence. Hiding, because we usually know that empty feeling even though we don’t want to see it. But one might not even be aware of this tricky mental play, as depressed people are usually the last to know that they are depressed. Meaning, there must be a lot of Pinocchio’s living on this globe without even knowing it; in other words there are a lot of actors thinking to be original and authentic. To answer the primary question, if I am able to see the mechanism of the mind and know how to think, or how not to think, then I am not just a spectator of a parroting I. If I am not feeling authentic means: I am feeling separate and isolated from what I perceive my ego performs. It’s a very confusing situation, for it is actually the mind that thinks to feel separate. In this situation one is rather detached from feelings.

    That’s why it is very helpful to encouraged clients to put their feelings into some kind of imaginative shape through painting, writing, sculpture, or dance. You might connect this with the astrological key-word ‘creative expression’ but the idea behind it is to encourage the client to play. In the state of play we become children again. We enter a place full of wonder and imagination. As children we might get fully absorbed in it, which is the reason why we as children enter this place when we simply want to leave the ‘adult-world’ that is experienced as too difficult, too harsh, too painful or too insecure. But this is not really a conscious choice; it’s rather something very natural, for it is very easy for children to enter this realm. If there is no other place to feel safe then this is it. In the early stages of the gradual formation of the ego the mind is not yet stuck into fixed pattern and routine. In its early stages the mind, this connective agent between body and soul, what some call a transitional place, is still very connected with the Soul, which is very obvious in the astrological circle where the Soul and the Mind share a common surface, the meridian. As children this connection is still very obvious when we enter this fantastic wonder-world, the dream-land; a place where don’t feel any pain and a place in which we even cannot die. It’s a place of immortality simply because it reflects the eternal Soul; it is as if we were immortal.

    This connection between the heart and the mind is also reflected in language. The word mind derived from ‘minne’, love, which is still used in the word minnesingers, those loyal knights that were travelling from castle to castle singing a love-song, a declaration of love and loyalty towards their king. In a poetic way this is saying that the mind is a love-affair.

    If we have a connection with this inner reality we are not afraid of anything, not even of death. The fear of death is rather a fear of life or a fear to live life, which is synonymous with a lack of trust in life, and that prevents the child from playing. Connecting with this inner as-if world connects us with the heart, with our Soul and thus it is refreshing and healing by taking all our fears and worries away.

    But keep in mind that the mental realm is considered to separate oneself from feeling oneself. In other words, if we are busy in the mind is as if no one is at home, or as if the sun is not shining, we feel isolated from life. This again indicates the need to shift our place of reference. If we are stuck in the mind, if our view is based on the knowledge of the mind, if our reference-point is the mind then it is very likely that we are mentally detached from our feelings. Our true reference point is where we are truly at home and authentic, which is in our heart. Thus life is a love-affair.

    You may notice that it all depends on how we use the mind. If we use it and are not used by its fantastic abilies, tricked into a detached, isolated dream-world, in which life seems to pass by, then it becomes a fantastic tool. Fantasy is the ability to create some meaning in this chaos, a storyline. The word itself is very interesting too, deriving from Greek phantazein 'make visible', it also means materialise! Fantasy is supposed to be a mental apprehension, a delusive imagination or a baseless supposition, in short, a faculty of imagination. Fantasy is also linked to the 12th house Pisces, which is a transitional house between one’s independent and lonely existence in the society and the conscious merging with the totality (between the core house of the IV.Quarter and the first house of the I.Quarter); it is also linked with the ascendant, which indicates the sun-rise that makes everything visible.

    The mind with its focal Sun-quality is a connective agent and placed between emotional and physical reality, between Soul and Body. It is an attention-calling mechanism, -and purely physically speaking- a control-mechanism that keeps everything connected according to the cosmic principle of unity. It allows the single body to adapt and grow in an ever-changing environment, learning from all that’s available and recognised in totality. It specifically connects each single body with the experience of the specie –studies have shown that the experience of creating a tool or the unfolding of a skill in one mammal coincides timely with the experience of other mammals of the same specie, even if they are located on the opposite side of the globe. The exchange of psychic information is not limited by location or culture; each body has an instant connection through this connective agent to the Psyche, the 1st quarter, as long as the mind remains sensitive, which it doesn’t if it works like a treadmill.

Let me sum up everything into the key-words of the Sun, which we extracted so far from the physical facts, the etymology and symbolism and its placement in the four-coloured lens.

    First and foremost there is the ‘integral process’ of the connective agent, the Mind; then there is the aloneness, which is a singularity as well as an isolation; the divine spark within mortal flesh; focus, which is indicated by the dot or the combustion point inside the circle; this enlightening mental identity, which is the core of confusion the Greeks called Chaos; there is this creative imagination, which is needed to comprehend the spiritual maxim that ‘all is one’; and there is the ‘spiritual quest’ of the ‘personality’ to wake up from ‘dreaming’ to be ‘special or unique’ and simply be... but just throwing these words in without any context does not help at all, for -having the integral process in mind- without any real connective understanding one simply misses the point.

    Mythology of the Sun.


Now let’s have a look in the mythology. In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo is one of the most important and many-sided of the Olympian deities. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun; of truth and prophecy; archery; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts; and more.

    The etymology of Apollo is uncertain. Plato in Cratylus connects the name with πόλυσις ‘redeem’, with πόλουσις ‘purification’, and with πλον ‘simple’, and finally with ει-βάλλων ‘ever- shooting’. Hesychius connects the name Apollo with the Doric απελλα, ‘assembly’, which ought to indicate that he was the god of political life, and he also gives the explanation σηκος ‘fold’, which ought to indicate that Apollo is the god of flocks and herds. However, assembly and fold in their literal meaning illustrate an integral condition that either is deliberately assembled together or naturally unfolds itself without loosing its integrity.
    It is also possible that apellai derives from an old form of Apollo which can be equated with Appaliunas, an Anatolian god whose name possibly means ‘father lion’ or ‘father light’. The Greeks later associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb απολλυμι meaning ‘to destroy’.

It has also been suggested that Apollo comes from the Hurrian and Hittite divinity, Aplu, who was widely evoked during the ‘plague years’. Aplu is thought to be the son of Enlil and Ninlil’. Aplu's Babylonian name is thus Nergal, who was sometimes linked to Shamash, the Babylonian god of the sun. Enlil was the God of wind and breath, the astrological element air, which is represented by the 2nd quarter in which the Sun-symbol is placed at its core. Shamash was the common Akkadian name of the sun god and god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu. The name simply means ‘sun’. Nergal actually seems to be only in part a solar deity, a representative of a certain phase of the sun, the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction; high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. Nergal, portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, was also the deity who presides over the netherworld, and who stands at the head of the special pantheon assigned to the government of the dead, and an associate of the lion goddess Ereshkigal, the Greek Persephone.
Both in early and in late inscriptions Shamash is designated as the "offspring of Nannar"; i.e. of the moon-god. The moon-cult belongs to the nomadic and therefore earlier stage of civilization, whereas the sun-god rises to full importance only after the agricultural stage has been reached. The attribute most commonly associated with Shamash is justice. Just as the sun disperses darkness, Shamash brings wrong and injustice to light.

Apollo-Nergal-Aplu is the scorching sun, the 6ooo°C hot hydrogen bomb, the bringer of destruction and plagues. In the Late Bronze Age, between 1700 and1200 BC, Aplu, like the Homeric Apollo, was a god of plagues, and resembles the god Apollo Smintheus, the mouse killer who eliminates mice, a primary cause of disease. Here we have an apotropaic situation, where a god originally bringing the plague was invoked to end it. Apollo was merging over time with the Mycenaean healer-god Paieon. Paean, in Homer's Iliad, was the Greek healer of the wounded gods Ares and Hades. In other writers, the word becomes a mere epithet of Apollo in his capacity as a god of healing, but Paean was originally a separate deity. In Greek it is difficult to separate Paean or Paeon in the sense of ‘healer’ from Paean in the sense of ‘song’. Homer illustrated Paieon the god as well as the song both of apotropaic thanksgiving or triumph. Here we have the first indication of music being an art of healing. About the fourth century BC, the paean (song) became merely a formula of adulation; its object was either to implore protection against disease and misfortune, or to offer thanks after such protection had been rendered. It was in this way that Apollo had become recognised as the god of music. Apollo's role as the slayer of the Python led to his association with battle and victory; hence it became the Roman custom for a paean to be sung by an army on the march and before entering into battle, when a fleet left the harbour, and also after a victory had been won. Apollo's links with oracles again seem to be associated with wishing to know the outcome of an illness.

As god of colonization, Apollo gave oracular guidance on colonies, especially during the height of colonization, 750–550 BC. According to Greek tradition, he helped Cretan or Arcadian colonists found the city of Troy. In literary contexts, Apollo represents harmony, order, and reason -characteristics contrasted with those of Dionysus, god of wine, who represents ecstasy and disorder. The contrast between the roles of these gods is reflected in the adjectives Apollonian and Dionysian. However, the Greeks thought of the two qualities as complementary: the two gods are brothers, and when Apollo at winter left for Hyperborea, he would leave the Delphic oracle to Dionysus. This contrast appears to be shown on the two sides of the Borghese Vase.

Apollo is often associated with the Golden Mean. This is the Greek ideal of moderation and a virtue that opposes gluttony. In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. To the Greek mentality, it was an attribute of beauty. Socrates teaches that a man "must know how to choose the mean and avoid the extremes on either side, as far as possible".

The Roman worship of Apollo was adopted from the Greeks. As a quintessentially Greek god, Apollo had no direct Roman equivalent, although later Roman poets often referred to him as Phoebus. On the occasion of a pestilence in the 430s BC, Apollo's first temple at Rome was established in the Flaminian fields, replacing an older cult site there known as the "Apollinare". In the time of Augustus, who considered himself under the special protection of Apollo and was even said to be his son, his worship developed and he became one of the chief gods of Rome.

By placing Apollo inside the zodiac he symbolises something within us that is linked to immortality, the dot inside the circle, but he is not the sun-symbol itself. The astrological Sun-symbol does not just represent a deity like Venus or Mars; it rather represents the possibility of enlightenment –the realisation of being immortal inside mortal flesh, inside existence, inside the zodiac circle.

To become enlightened doesn’t seem to be an easy task if we consider Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha to be enlightened humans. Of course there have been many more not so well-known enlightened masters, of which amongst the better known are Socrates, Pythagoras, Meister Eckhart, Gurdjieff, J. Krishnamurti, Maharaj Maharshi, Kabir, Hafiz, Rumi, Meher Baba, and many more; but the list is very small if we consider 5000 years of human endeavour. Just to shine as an individual is already a struggle for most of us.

You may see the journey of the sun through the sky as a struggle: every day trying to get up to the top and yet finding itself every evening down again. The Sun indicates the human struggle through the Mind quarter, the struggle to go through this confusing realm of the mind, the struggle to learn to use this instrument between the ears. This is the struggle of enlightening one’s true identity, even though -from a cosmic point of view- there is no struggle at all to be what one is -like all other animals have no struggle to be what they are, they only struggle for survival. The confusion created by the mind only leads to a misconception or misidentification with the echoes of knowledge, which are created by the typical human ability to reflect on its mental process. This misconception of one’s true identity leads to all sorts of struggles: loneliness, depression, arrogance etc. One is not really living one’s own life; one is stuck in illusions created by the treadmill of the mind.

Interesting to note here would be also the etymological connection between special and mirror. The Latin word specialis derived from specere, seeing, looking, which is also the base for 'Spiegel', the German word for mirror. 'Mirror' is also based on a Latin root, mirare, meaning ‘look at’ but in pre-classical Latin it actually meant wonder. Naturally, mirare is also the base of ‘miracle’. So the Latin miracle to be able to see oneself in a mirror is connected with the solar sense of specialness, in other words, using the 2nd quarter, the mind mirror, enables one to see one’s true authentic identity: it's a miracle.

This is of course not the same when a monkey looks for the first time into a mirror. The monkey will immediately after it bumped into the mirror look behind it to find the other monkey until it finally realises that the reflection belongs to itself, that there is no other monkey. Self-realisation, knowing of oneself in a reflective sense, and enlightenment, being conscious, are very different in quality, although the process is the same. I am struggeling right now with this concept of struggle; I rather see it as a challenge –but that’s only my personl choice. Another way of looking at struggle is the creation of fire. To create a flame the strife or struggle of two sticks heating up against each other sparks a bundle of stroh with the help of a breath.

But let me pay more attention to Apollo’s struggle as an intrinsic elemnent of the Sun-symbol and its indicated journey through life. 'Attention' is by the way another key word. The implication is that solar consciousness is connected with the ability to be aware, to see, to pay attention, both inwardly and in the outer world. Attention is also closely related to focus: the dot of the sun-symbol is the focuspoint. Investigating the meaning of the Sun-symbol, naturally, the struggle to be onself has to be the focus. The struggle to be this divine dot is described with maturation and integration. Apollo presides over the process of maturation. He makes the fruits of the earth ripen; he is not the one who plants them, but without him, no seed would sprout and achieve its potential. The Sun not only enlightens, in the sense of revealing the potentials of a seed, it actually is involved in the process to bring a potential into flower and fruit; meaning: it actualises possibilities.

      Apollo was known as kouros, the divine youth or the guide of the youth. Apollo is portrayed in Greco-Roman art as manly and beautiful, but with the beauty of a youth that is always clean­shaven and with long hair, never strongly muscled like the figures of his father Zeus or Ares. And he is known as the god of the ephebe, which is the name for the youth between childhood and maturity, indicating that the Sun illustrates the struggle to maturity, which is probably also the reason why he presides over the rites and rituals by which young men and women celebrate their entry into adulthood.

      There is also a link between maturation and integration, the main quality of the astrological Sun. The struggle of the individual to integrate all fragments of psychic material into a strong ego-identity, into a coherent storyline, leads to maturity. The Sun-identity acts as a centre around which everything else orbits like our sun in the centre of the solar system. A beautiful illustration of this is the Mala, the rose-bead necklace of the spiritual disciples of an enlightened master in India. Placing isolated beads (usually 108) on the sunny string creates a coherent story. To have a coherent story means that all other qualities or planets in the astrological chart must find its conscious expression through the Sun.

      The Greek word for story is mythos, which is also the base of mythology, but -which is another etymological delicacy- it also means structure and plot, saying that the astrological Sun is plotting an individual life into a coherent story; but the question if this sunny string is authentic or a trickery of light remains. The Sun-identity is not just the string of a necklace; this string can be in fact the result, the sum total of all fragments pieced together. That means there is either someone at the centre who is the involuntary product of the storyline, which we may call the ego-personality, or there is someone who is the integrator, a mighty individual spirit. This I call the difference between the mechanical repeater and the authentic speaker, it’s the difference of carrying the Sun around in an unconscious body or being it. Being conscious allows us to take responsibility for how we deal with what is within us.

      Naturally we mature as individuals by taking on the responsibility of our autonomy (indicated by Capricorn, the 10th house ruled by Saturn, with which the Spirit begins). As the astrological Sun governs over the shaping of individual identity, it is the integral architect of our sense of self, and as the individual journey continues throughout life the shaping never ends. One could say ‘the struggle never ends’, yet it is the integral process that never ends. In that sense the mind is in a constant state of becoming, or, the other way around, in a constant state of unfolding. In other words, the mind is in a constant transitional condition, in a flux. But if we are identified with it we may never experience the never changing essence of an individual: self-love. As the word ‘individual’ is based on indivisible, -meaning, it is based on something that cannot be divided- the rise of Venus out of the ocean, the rise of never changing love, is an individual experience.

      Similarly to Body and Soul, the Spirit of an awakened soul, the Spirit of individuality, and the transitional Mind are diametrically opposed. The indivisible Spirit is illustrated by Apollo inside the zodiac, the dot inside the sun-symbol. Inside the constant changing is something that never changes.

      Like Venus as the core quality of the Soul owns Mars’ initiative and Mercury’s intelligence, the essential quality of the Mind, the Sun with Apollo at its core, owns Moony sensitivity and Mercury’s synthesising skill. That means the Mind uses an ordering principle to either integrate all fragments of the mind into an individual story, or to order the incoherent noise of the mind into a harmony -for example, into an individual song of love, as it seems to be a love affair of the mind to create clarity. Similarly, one of the major functions of the astrological Sun is as the ordering principle in the mind, which acts as a connective agent because it generates or restores inner cohesion, or it acts as a healing agent because it generates or restores inner harmony.

      This is naturally done through dreaming, an essential quality of the 2nd Mind-quarter. Dreaming is not only connected with the 2nd quarter, the mentality, it is as well a natural way of restoring harmony in the mind, which is the reason why Apollo is also linked with the healing art of dream-work. The ‘Activation-Solving theory of dreams’ for example suggests that the brain tries to synthesise the random burst of neural activity. This is probably simply nature's task to make sense of all options to be able to use them and thus to be able to support the harmony of existence and its continuity.

      With the astrological view that Mercury and the Moon are the two hands of Apollo it also become clear why Apollo is associated with healing, as health is the domain of Virgo, indicating health or a holistic view to be the top priority of the Mind quarter. Virgo primarily supports the harmony of existence, which is symbolised by Libra, the balance, at its base.

      THE MUSE

'Harmony' leads to Apollos' association to the Muses. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musagetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

The Muses (Ancient Greek α μο σαι, hai moũsai perhaps from the Proto-Indo- European root *men- ‘think’) in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature are the goddesses or spirits who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths. Originally said to be three in number, by the Classical times of the 400s BC, their number had grown and become set at nine goddesses who embody the arts and inspire the creation process with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music, and dance.

The Olympian myths set Apollo as their leader, Apollon Mousagetēs. Not only are the Muses explicitly used in modern English to refer to an inspiration, as when one cites one's own artistic muse, but they also are implicit in words and phrases such as ‘amuse’, ‘museum’ (changed from muselon, a place were the muses were worshipped), ‘music’, and ‘musing upon’.

According to Hesiod's Theogony (seventh century BC), they were daughters of Zeus, the second generation king of the gods, and the offspring of Mnemosyne, goddess of memory. For Alcman and Mimnermus, they were even more primordial, springing from the early deities, Uranus and Gaia. Gaia is Mother Earth, an early mother goddess who was worshipped at Delphi from prehistoric times, long before the site was rededicated to Apollo, possibly indicating a transfer to association with him after that time. Pausanias records a tradition of two generations of Muses; the first being daughters of Uranus and Gaia, the second of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Another, rarer genealogy is that they are daughters of Harmonia (the daughter of Aphrodite and Ares) which contradicts the myth in which they were dancing at the wedding of Harmonia and Cadmus.

Emblems of the Muses:

Calliope (epic poetry) carries a writing tablet; Clio (history) carries a scroll and books; Erato (lyrical poetry) is often seen with a lyre and a crown of roses; Euterpe (music) carries a flute, the aulos; Melpomene (tragedy) is often seen with a tragic mask; Polyhymnia (sacred poetry) often is seen with a pensive expression; Terpsichore (dance) is often seen dancing and carrying a lyre; Thalia (comedy) often is seen with a comic mask; and Urania (astronomy) carries a pair of compasses and the celestial globe.

Greek mousa is a common noun as well as a type of goddess: it literally means "song" or "poem". In Pindar, to "carry a mousa" is "to sing a song". The word probably is derived from the Indo-European root men-, which is also the source of Greek Mnemosyne, and English "mind", "mental" and "memory" (or alternatively from mont-, "mountain", due to their residence on Mount Helicon, which is less likely in meaning, but somewhat more likely to be associated linguistically).


      The Muses, therefore, were both the embodiments and sponsors of performed metrical speech: mousike, whence "music", was "the art of the Muses". In the archaic period, before the wide-spread availability of books (scrolls), this included nearly all of learning. The first Greek book on astronomy, by Thales, was set in dactylic hexameter, as were many works of pre-Socratic philosophy; both Plato and the Pythagoreans explicitly included philosophy as a sub-species of mousike Herodotus, whose primary medium of delivery was public recitation, named each one of the nine books of his Histories after a different Muse, invoked at the outset.For poet and "law-giver", Solon, the Muses were "the key to the good life"; since they brought both prosperity and friendship. In modern English usage, muse (non capitalized but deriving from the classical Muses) can refer in general to a person who inspires an artist, writer, or musician.


One of Apollo's most famous associations however is prophesy, which some say was a gift from his father Zeus. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, when it was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo after he slew the Python, a deity who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth. Delphi was revered throughout the Greek world as the site of the omphalos stone, the centre of the earth and the universe. Apollo’s sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four panhellenic games, precursors to the Modern Olympics. In the inner hestia ("hearth") of the Temple of Apollo, an eternal flame burned.

Supposedly carved into the temple were three phrases: γνωθι σεαυτόν (gnothi seauton,  ‘know thyself’) and μηδέν άγαν (meden agan, ‘nothing in excess’), and Εγγύα πάρα δ'ατη (eggua para d'atē, ‘make a pledge and mischief is nigh"), as well as a large letter E. Among other things epsilon signifies the number 5. Plutarch's essay on the meaning of the “E at Delphi" is the only literary source for the inscription. In ancient times, the origin of these phrases was attributed to one or more of the Seven Sages of Greece, though ancient as well as modern scholars have doubted the legitimacy of such ascriptions.

There are many stories of the origins of the Delphic Oracle. One late explanation, which is first related by the 1st century BC writer, Diodorus Siculus, tells of a goat herder called Kouretas, who noticed one day that one of his goats, who fell into a crack in the earth, was behaving strangely. On entering the chasm, he found himself filled with a divine presence and could see outside of the present into the past and the future. Excited by his discovery he shared it with nearby villagers. Many started visiting the site, until one of them was killed by the experience. From then, only young girls were allowed to approach the chasm and then in conditions regulated by a guild of priests and priestesses.

According to earlier myths, the office of the oracle was initially held by the goddesses Themis and Phoebe, and that the site was sacred first to Gaia. Subsequently it was held sacred to Poseidon, the "Earth-shaker" god of earthquakes, a later offspring of Gaia. During the Greek Dark Age, from the 11th to the 9th century BC, the arrival of a new god of prophecy saw the temple being seized by Apollo who expelled the twin guardian serpents of Gaia. Later myths stated that Phoebe or Themis had "given" the site to Apollo, rationalizing its seizure by priests of the new god, but presumably, having to retain the priestesses of the original oracle because of the long tradition. Apparently Poseidon was mollified by the gift of a new site in Troizen.

      The Pythia was the priestess presiding over the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. The Pythia was widely credited with giving prophecies inspired by Apollo, giving her a prominence unusual for a woman in male-dominated ancient Greece. The Delphic oracle was established in the 8th century BC. Its last recorded response was given in 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I ordered pagan temples to cease operation. During this period the Delphic Oracle was the most prestigious and authoritative oracle in the Greek world.

The oracle is one of the best- documented religious institutions of the classical Greek world. The name 'Pythia' derived from Pytho, which in myth was the original name of Delphi. The Greeks derived this place-name from the verb pythein ("to rot"), used of the decomposition of the body of the monstrous serpent Python after she was slain by Apollo.

It is often said that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from a chasm in the rock, and that she spoke gibberish which priests reshaped into the enigmatic prophecies preserved in Greek literature.

Recent geological investigations have shown that real gas emission from a geologic chasm in the earth could have started the myth of the Delphic Oracle.

In the heyday of the oracle, the Pythia may have been a woman chosen from a prominent family, well educated in geography, politics, history, philosophy, and the arts. In later periods, however, uneducated peasant women were chosen for the role, which may explain why the poetic pentameter or hexameter prophecies of the early period, later were made only in prose. The archaeologist John Hale reports: “the Pythia was (on occasion) a noble [woman] of aristocratic family, sometimes a peasant, sometimes rich, sometimes poor, sometimes old, sometimes young, sometimes a very lettered and educated woman to whom somebody like the high priest and the philosopher Plutarch would dedicate essays, other times [one] who could not write her own name. So it seems to have been aptitude rather than any ascribed status that made these women eligible to be Pythias and speak for the God.”

Between 535 and 615 of the Oracles of Delphi are known to have survived since classical times, of which over half are said to be historically accurate (see the article Famous Oracular Statements from Delphi for some examples: There are two roads, most distant from each other: the one leading to the honorable house of freedom, the other the house of slavery, which mortals must shun. It is possible to travel the one through manliness and lovely accord; so lead your people to this path. The other they reach through hateful strife and cowardly destruction; so shun it most of all

 There have been many occasional attempts to find a scientific explanation for the Pythia's inspiration. However, most commonly, these refer to Plutarch's observation that her oracular powers appeared to be linked to vapors from the Castalian Spring that surrounded her, together with the observation that sessions of prophecy would either take place in, or be preceded by, a visit to an enclosed chamber at the base of the temple. For a long period, Plutarch had presided over the Delphic Oracle as a priest at the site. It has often been suggested that these vapors may have been hallucinogenic gases.

In 2001 evidence of the presence of ethylene, a potential hallucinogen, was found in the temple's local geology and nearby springs

It also has been shown recently that the temple of Delphi lies exactly on the intersection of two major fault lines, the north-south, Kerna fault and another east-west Delphic fault paralleling the shore of the Corinthian Gulf, and overlies a local geology of limestone with about 20% of its volume comprised of layers of bituminous tars rich in hydrocarbons. The Rift of the Gulf of Corinth is one of the most geologically active sites on Earth. Earth movements there impose immense strains on the earth at accompanying fault lines, heating the rocks and leading to the expulsion of the lighter gasses.

Plutarch reports that the temple was filled with a sweet smell when the deity was present: Only ethylene of all of the hydrocarbons has such an odor.



When Hera discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she banned Leto from giving birth on ‘terra firma’, or the mainland, or any island. In her wanderings, Leto found the newly created floating island of Delos, which was neither mainland nor a real island, and she gave birth there. The island was surrounded by swans. Afterwards, Zeus secured Delos to the bottom of the ocean. This island later became sacred to Apollo.

It is also stated that Hera kidnapped Ilithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labour. The other gods tricked Hera into letting her go by offering her a necklace, nine yards (8 m) long, of amber. Mythographers agree that Artemis was born first and then assisted with the birth of Apollo, or that Artemis was born one day before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia and that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth to Apollo. Apollo was born on the seventh day (βδομαγενης) of the month Thargelion —according to Delian tradition— or of the month Bysios— according to Delphian tradition. The seventh and twentieth, the days of the new and full moon, were ever afterwards held sacred to him.


Four days after his birth, Apollo killed the chthonic dragon Python, which lived in Delphi beside the Castalian Spring. This was the spring which emitted vapours that caused the oracle at Delphi to give her prophesies. Hera sent the serpent to hunt Leto to her death across the world. In order to protect his mother, Apollo begged Hephaestus for a bow and arrows. After receiving them, Apollo cornered Python in the sacred cave at Delphi. Apollo killed Python but had to be punished for it, since Python was a child of Gaia.
Hera then sent the giant Tityos to kill Leto. This time Apollo was aided by his sister Artemis in protecting their mother. During the battle Zeus finally relented his aid and hurled Tityos down to Tartarus. There he was pegged to the rock floor, covering an area of 9 acres (36,000 m2), where a pair of vultures feasted daily on his liver.


Statue of Asclepius with his symbol, the serpent-entwined staffAsklepios was the son of Apollo and Coronis. His mother was killed for being unfaithful to Apollo and was laid out on a funeral pyre to be consumed, but the unborn child was rescued from her womb. From this he received the name Asklepios "to cut open". Apollo carried the baby to the centaur Chiron who raised Asclepius and instructed him in the art of medicine. The most famous temple of Asclepius was at Epidaurus in north-eastern Peloponnese. Another famous healing temple was located on the island of Kos, where Hippocrates, the legendary "father of medicine", may have begun his career.
In honour of Asclepius, snakes were often used in healing rituals and non-venomous snakes were allowed to crawl on the floor in dormitories where the sick and injured slept. The original, ancient Hippocratic Oath begins with the invocation "I swear  by Apollo the Physician and by Asclepius and by Hygieia and Panacea and by all the gods ..." Scholars have written that this oath may not have been written by Hippocrates, but by or with others in his school, or followers of Pythagoras. 

Zeus killed Asclepius with a thunderbolt because he raised the dead (transgressing Themis by stealing Hades's subjects) and accepted gold for it. Other stories say that Asclepius was killed because after bringing people back from the dead, Hades thought that no more dead spirits would come to the underworld, so asked his brother to remove him. Apollo in revenge killed the Cyclops, who had fashioned the bolt for Zeus. Apollo would have been banished to Tartarus forever, but was instead sentenced to one year of hard labor as punishment, thanks to the intercession of his mother, Leto. During this time he served as shepherd for King Admetus of Pherae in Thessaly. Admetus treated Apollo well, and, in return, the god conferred great benefits on Admetus.
Apollo helped Admetus win Alcestis, the daughter of King Pelias and later convinced the Fates to let Admetus live past his time, if another took his place. But when it came time for Admetus to die, his parents, whom he had assumed would gladly die for him, refused to cooperate. Instead, Alcestis took his place, but Heracles managed to ‘persuade’ Thanatos, the god of death, to return her to the world of the living.


Apollo shot arrows infected with the plague into the Greek encampment during the Trojan War in retribution for Agamemnon's insult to Chryses, a priest of Apollo whose daughter Chryseis had been captured. He demanded her return, and the Achaeans complied, indirectly causing the anger of Achilles, which is the theme of the Iliad.
Apollo aided Paris in the killing of Achilles by guiding the arrow of his bow into Achilles' heel. One interpretation of his motive is that it was in revenge for Achilles' sacrilege in murdering Troilus, the god's own son by Hecuba, on the very altar of the god's own temple.


A queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion, Niobe boasted of her superiority to Leto because she had fourteen children (Niobids), seven male and seven female, while Leto had only two. Apollo killed her sons as they practiced athletics, with the last begging for his life, and Artemis her daughters. Apollo and Artemis used poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions of the myth, a number of the Niobids were spared (Chloris, usually). Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, either killed himself or was killed by Apollo after swearing revenge. A devastated Niobe fled to Mount Sipylos in Asia Minor and turned into stone as she wept. Her tears formed the river Achelous. Zeus had turned all the people of Thebes to stone and so no one buried the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the gods themselves entombed them.


In this story the beautiful river nymph, Daphne, was Apollo's first love. How this love for Daphne was said to come about is that Apollo, thought to be the second most powerful of the Olympian gods, had been making fun of the young god Eros (son of the goddess of love Aphrodite) and had been bragging about how very weak and puny little Eros was. Known to most of us by his Roman name Cupid, in this version of the story, the Greek god Eros was indeed the youngest of the Greek gods. Like the great god Apollo (god of rationality), that shot arrows of either insight or death, the god Eros also had two very different types of arrows (gold tipped and lead tipped) with which he pierced the hearts of mortals (and occasionally the gods).

Eros' gold tipped arrows evoked irrational desire and irresistible attraction, while his lead tipped arrows filled the mortal or god with irrational disgust and repulsion. To the mortal (or god) wounded in the heart with Eros' special arrows, it was a wounding of desire (gold) or disgust (lead) that suddenly, seemingly came from "out of the blue." The mortal (or god) struck was then destined (and under the compulsion) to live out this wounding of the heart, often behaving in irrational ways and committing mad, irrational acts of passion.

To show the powerful Greek god Apollo (god of rationality) a thing or two... the god Eros struck Apollo with one of his (Eros') gold tipped arrows, which means, the rational struck down by the irrational. When struck by the gold tipped arrow, Apollo immediately became inflamed with irrational desire and love for the lovely river nymph, Daphne. However, at the very same time, Eros struck the river nymph, Daphne, with one of his lead tipped arrows of disgust and repulsion. Thus... the more ardently Apollo pursued his one true love, Daphne – the more she (Daphne) became repulsed by Apollo. Apollo pursued Daphne relentlessly across the face of the earth, and he would not (could not) give up.
Finally – Daphne, exhausted and terrified, cried out to Mother Earth for help. Mother Earth then transformed the river nymph, Daphne, into a laurel tree. Apollo went away rejected and mournful.



In Greek mythology Hyakinthos is the tutelary deity of one of the principal Spartan festivals, the Hyacinthia, held every summer. The festival lasted three days, one day of mourning for the death of the divine hero and the last two celebrating his rebirth.
In the myth, Hyacinth was a beautiful youth loved by the god Apollo. The two took turns throwing the discus. Hyacinth ran to catch it to impress Apollo, was struck by the discus as it fell to the ground, and died.

Another myth adds that the wind god Zephyrus was actually responsible for the death of Hyacinth. The boy's beauty caused a feud between Zephyrus and Apollo. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the radiant archery god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo's discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth. When he died, Apollo didn't allow Hades to claim the boy; rather, he made a flower, the hyacinth, from his spilled blood. According to Ovid's account, the tears of Apollo stained the newly formed flower's petals with the sign of his grief.

The name of Hyacinthus is of pre-Hellenic origin. According to classical interpretations, his myth, where Apollo is a dorian god, is a classical metaphor of the death and rebirth of nature, much as in the myth of Adonis. It has likewise been suggested that Hyacinthus was a pre-Hellenic divinity supplanted by Apollo, to whom he remains associated in the epithet of Apollon Hyakinthios.


Another flower which should always remind us of Apollo is the sunflower. A story says that there once lived a girl named Clytie, and that each day, with eyes full of love for the fair sun god, she watched him journey across the sky: but Apollo, knowing nothing of her love, took no heed of her as he passed. Clytie watched for him day after day on a river bank, and her heart sank as each evening she saw his chariot dip down into the West. She would not leave the river bank, but stayed all through the cold night, anxiously waiting for the first flash of the sun's rays from the glowing East. At last the gods took pity on her, and changed her into a sunflower. Her green dress became green leaves, and her golden hair became yellow petals. Now was she happy indeed, for she knew that she could always see Apollo, and you will find that to this day the sunflower turns its head towards the sun as it moves across the sky.


Apollo also fell in love with Cassandra, daughter of Hecuba and Priam, and Troilus' half-sister. He promised Cassandra the gift of prophecy to seduce her, but she rejected him afterwards. Enraged, Apollo indeed gifted her with the ability to know the future, with a curse that she could only see the future tragedies and that no one would ever believe her.


Once Pan had the audacity to compare his music with that of Apollo, and to challenge Apollo, the god of the kithara, to a trial of skill. Tmolus, the mountain-god, was chosen to umpire. Pan blew on his pipes, and with his rustic melody gave great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower, Midas, who happened to be present. Then Apollo struck the strings of his lyre. Tmolus at once awarded the victory to Apollo, and all but Midas agreed with the judgment. He dissented, and questioned the justice of the award. Apollo would not suffer such a depraved pair of ears any longer, and caused them to become the ears of a donkey.


In Apollo's role as healer, his appellations included Akesios, Iatros, and Acestor meaning "healer". He was also called Alexicacus ("restrainer of evil") and Apotropaeus ("he who averts evil"), and was referred to by the Romans as Averruncus ("averter of evils"). As a plague god and defender against rats and locusts, Apollo was known as Smintheus ("mouse-catcher") and Parnopius ("grasshopper"). The Romans also called Apollo Culicarius ("driving away midges"). In his healing aspect, the Romans referred to Apollo as Medicus ("the Physician"), and a temple was dedicated to Apollo Medicus at Rome, probably next to the temple of Bellona. As a sun-god he was worshiped as Aegletes, the radiant god.
As a god of archery, Apollo was known as Aphetoros ("god of the bow") and Argurotoxos ("with the silver bow"). The Romans referred to Apollo as Articenens ("carrying the bow") as well. As a pastoral shepherd-god, Apollo was known as Nomios ("wandering"). As the protector of roads and homes he was Agyieus.
Apollo was also known as Archegetes ("director of the foundation"), who oversaw colonies. He was known as Klarios, from the Doric klaros ("allotment of land"), for his supervision over cities and colonies.

He was known as Delphinios ("Delphinian"), meaning "of the womb", in his association with Delphoi (Delphi). At Delphi, he was also known as Pythios ("Pythian"). An aitiology in the Homeric hymns connects the epitheton to dolphins. Kynthios, another common epithet, stemmed from his birth on Mt. Cynthus. He was also known as Lyceios or Lykegenes, which either meant "wolfish" or "of Lycia", Lycia being the place where some postulate that his cult originated.

Specifically as god of prophecy, Apollo was known as Loxias ("the obscure"). He was also known as Coelispex ("he who watches the heavens") to the Romans. Apollo was attributed the epithet Musagetes as the leader of the muses, and Nymphegetes as "nymph-leader".
Acesius was the epithet of Apollo worshipped in Elis, where he had a temple in the agora. This surname, which has the same meaning as akestor and alezikakos, characterized the god as the averter of evil. Acraephius or Acraephiaeus was his epithet worshipped in the Boeotian town of Acraephia, reputedly founded by his son, Acraepheus. Actiacus was his epithet in Actium, one of the principal places of his worship.

Sieghart Rohr 

      And please read this enlightening article on Apollon by Liz Greene

further articles from Sieghart:

Imagine you know nothing

A view from beyond the stars

My astrological overview

The astrological language

Responsibility, the ability to will


The hymn of love

The creation of humanity