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Apollo

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Apollo and the Chariot of the Sun, 19th century German chromolithographic trade card advertising Liebig Beef Extact (Estratto di Carne), artist unknown

Apollo is the Greek god of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the Sun and light, and poetry. As a protector and nurturer of children, he educated his own children in healing and the mystic arts. He is also a patron of sailors, saving many ships from storms at sea, including Jason's ship, the Argo. He is a half brother of the goddess Athena and a sibling to many of the other Olympian gods, as well as to Helen of Troy. His children are even more numerous, and include Heracles, Asclepius, Hector, and Eurydice. So popular was this Greek deity, that he also became a Roman god as well.

Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, who was either Zeus' wife previous to Hera, or one of his mistresses. Hera was naturally indignant and tried to prevent the birth by decreeing that Leto would be unable to give birth on solid ground, so he was born on the floating island of Delos, which hand formerly been a goddess — Leto's own sister Asteria. Hera kidnapped Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor; but the other gods bribed Hera with a nine-yard-long necklace of amber in exchange for Eileithyia's freedom. Hera also sent the gigantic snake Python to kill Leto; in revenge, Apollo killed Python while still a child. Leto was unable to nurse Apollo when he was born, so Themis, goddess of divine law, fed him on ambrosia, the food of the gods. Upon tasting it, Apollo declared that he would master archery and the lyre, and interpret Zeus' will to mankind. After Apollo's birth, Delos ceased to float and became fixed to the sea floor like other islands. It is sacred to Apollo and was one of the major centers of his worship. Among many heroic feats, Apollo later helped Poseidon build the walls of Troy, and fought for the city during the Trojan War. Later, he won musical contests with Pan and a satyr named Marsyas.

Apollo is often represented as a handsome man with lush, curly hair, dressed in a flowing toga, playing a lyre or holding a bow and arrow. He is also shown driving his sun-chariot through the sky. His sacred animals are the wolf, the raven, and the dolphin, and he kept a herd of red cattle. Hoodoo psychic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who petition the Greek deities within the Pagan and Neo-Pagan traditions on behalf of clients may work with Apollo when there are pending spiritual and magical issues regarding safety or victory in war, the health, education and welfare of children, artistic success, or mastery of divination and other mystic arts.

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