Friday, August 24, 2007

Apollo God of Magic, Shamanism, Poetry, Oracles...

No update for over a month! Shame on me, shame on me! It's not that I have been so filled up with work that I can't find time to update, in fact I have no work at all and that has caused me to slowly but steadily descend into... laziness, I guess. I have been doing just regular worship activities (daily devotions, monthly ritual to Apollo and Asklepios and a few small devotions here and there) and have been searching about Zeus on my new books. I have also written a review for Ancient Greek Religion by J.D. Mikalson for Amazon, which you can find here.

I am now reading Greek Divination A Study of its Methods and Principles by W.R. Halliday. So far I have seen ltos of Principles and few Methods but it still makes me think. Evidence I have come up with in that Apollo is a God of Medicine-Men, Shamans, Magicians and the likes (without much detail):
  • The most obvious is that he is God of oracles;
  • He often possesses and chases people, just like magical/divine/mana power;
  • He requires purity and it is widely known that purity is also required to perform magical, healing and divining actions;
  • He killed the serpent Python and goes through a series of tests, purifications and evolutions, just like shamans have to, like magicians do and like oracles were portrayed doing (the first that comes to mind is Tiresias);
  • He is Hekatos, the far darter and the one who strikes from afar, an epithet often found in magicians who strike their enemies from afar;
  • He has a magic wand, the laurel, which comes ready with a mythical story of its acquisition;
  • He is God of music and poetry which have probably originated in magical incantations and are still a part of many rituals;
  • Inscriptions regarding magic and oracles most often feature him and also his brother Hermes;
  • He has a very dark side and a light side, just like the magical powers (mana) can be used for good and bad alike.
I'm sure I will come up with a lot more and probably I will eventually have enough material to write a small essay.

It is good that the book makes me think about this, but I wish it had more practices...

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