Return of Kings has taken an interest in Western civilization and looked into both history and spirituality, including Greco-Roman culture, which in spite of all its flaws and various (mis)interpretations, provides a rich source of inspiration for art, symbols and ethics. Although one may have a penchant for particular gods, such as Zeus or Hermes, there is no need to limit oneself to a single symbol or deity.
Another Greek god of particular relevance is Apollo, since he is linked to Apollonian “high culture” and as such opposed to the Dionysian “low culture” (hedonism). In this article I will give an overview of Apollo and how he has been depicted throughout history, as well as to explain how one can live a more “Apollonian life”.
Apollo in Western history
As Julius Evola notes in his book Ride The Tiger and Umberto Eco in On Beauty, the depictions of the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus as opposing elements are simplified, even wrong or misguided. For instance, scholars specialized in this topic emphasize that Apollo himself is related to opposing elements:
Apollo is linked with both healing and destruction, especially sudden death inflicted from a distance; he is associated, Ferguson suggests, with the sun “which both scorches and gives life.
In Fritz Graf’s book Apollo, he stresses that in Homer’s Iliad Apollo shoots arrows into the Greek camp and as a consequence Agamemnon has to give in. Obviously he is not a nice and calm deity, but a god of sudden death. However, that is but one aspect – he has more than one string to his bow:
Apollo is generally associated by ancient writers and artists with one of two stringed instruments, the lyre or the bow; the first generates harmony, the other deals death. The god is linked also with phenomena as varied and diverse as plague, ritual purification, the herding of sheep, ecstatic prophecy, constitutional law, colonization, and healing. Perhaps in no other case is it so difficult to express in concrete terms the range of an Olympian god’s concerns and activities.
Such a multifaceted god and symbol can be linked to (traditional) Western civilization almost in full. As Richardo Duchesne notes in his work The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, historically the West has been both constructive and destructive, built and shattered its surroundings (and sometimes colonized foreign lands).
Another key feature is that Apollo represents the sun, which is one of the essential elements of life, an idea which has pre-Classic origins. Perhaps this idea is a bit misguided, since very few worshipped Apollo as a sun god in the ancient past, but it is still something that one tends to associate with this deity. Furthermore he is the slayer of evil, like the snake Python, and as such a pro-cosmic symbol.
Moreover, like Hermes, Apollo is also depicted as an archaic player, and have had mythological liaisons with Cassandra, Coronis, Daphne, and Sibyl (which he didn’t meet on Tinder, I suppose) to name a few. Apollo also had an Olympian twin sister, Artemis, whom likewise has been worshiped at different locations in the ancient Mediterranean, Delphi in particular.
During later historical periods, especially 19th-century German scholarship, Apollo has been linked to the orderly and often illustrated as a graceful statue during both Renaissance and neo-Classical periods. In that regard, some of the old representations meet the newer ones, and as much as Apollo is a bit ambiguous one tends to associate him with law, order, healing, and the solid forms of beauty which are found in European art, architecture, literature, music, and to some extent in modern fashion.
How to live an Apollonian life
Concrete examples on how to integrate Apollonian ideals into your life are to read, write, lift weights, eat healthy, dress well, and encourage classic, beautiful art and architecture, while boycotting its opposites.
Even more concretely, spend considerable time in beautiful buildings, gardens, and other sites, like for example churches, castles, museums, and libraries. The pursuits that you partake in and the environments where you choose to spend time in will affect you, and in this case in a positive way.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast, continue with lunch, and after a day of work you go to the gym. Read a good book afterwards, like The Brothers Karamazov in the evening, and on the weekend you will visit some of the sites mentioned above, with or without company. Personally I also like to visit a pretty spa once in a while and almost feel like a Roman.
As I see it, Apollo is the ideal which one should strive for, but in order to get there we may have to use more of the trade and trickery that are linked to the god Hermes. Hopefully we do not have to shoot our enemies with arrows like Apollo did. Our culture already has enough of degenerate music, pop culture, ugliness, incompetence and retarded social media. True beauty must heal it and it starts with you as a person.
For more of William Adams’ material, check out his website Syncretic Politics.
Read More: Why The Greek God Hermes Is A Perfect Symbol For Neomasculinity
30 thoughts on “It’s Time To Bring Back The God Apollo To Our Lives”
“Even more concretely, spend considerable time in beautiful buildings, gardens, and other sites, like for example churches, castles, museums, and libraries. ”
We’re affected by the environment in ways that we don’t fully understand. When I lived in Ukraine, where the architecture is grotesque and dark, I started to FEEL more depressed and angry without being able to really understand why. If you consider that you’re connected to the environment around you, instead of being wholly separate from it, it makes sense to be surrounded by beauty to feel better.
How do you get your pic on here?
you pray to Apollo and it just happens
Interesting article, especially the critiquing the apollo/dionysus opposition. As I remember Paglia, following Nietzche (?) focuses on the the apollonian as the principle of order and rationality, exemplified in classical art & architecuture etc, which the (post-)modern world is rejecting – above all feminism with what she considers its complete incapacity to do anything other than to shit on the aesthetic.
Clearly its worth considering whether that’s an adequate view. It seems likely that for some Dionysus as the principle of chaos and disorder represents the satanic, or at least bachannalian, but its unclear to me whether the association is meaningful. Likewise some, including Christians associate Apollo with Satan, at least insofar as they can make an identification with Apollyon, the apocalyptic figure in the book of revelations. So, here you have both Dionysus and Apollo associated with Satan (sometimes Zeus is too, other times he’s Jehovah).
Maybe someone else can make head or tail of all this. The best thing I could find….no correction the first thing I found was the following meditation on Apollo’s identification with Apollyon and Satan and the hordes of beelzebub, although the frame of reference appears to be (evangelical?) christian: https://www.jesuswordsonly.com/books/379-apollyon-bible-study.html.
It’s worth having a look and yields insights like the following:
“In Roman mythology, Apollyon was “second only to Zeus, [and] he had the power of the sun as giver of light and life.” This was because the moon could block out / destroy the Sun’s light at will, proven by the lunar eclipses by the Moon of the Sun. (Encyclopedia of Religions (2006) at this link.)….In Greek culture, the God of the Sun was Helios. ”
Somebody help me out here: does that mean Apollo had the power of the sun only because he had the power of the moon to block out its light? Is he a moon god then?
If both Dionysus and Apollo have associated rather than diametrically opposite powers / functions with respect to the dark side of things then one might conjecture that to an extent Apollo as such reflects the containment of both principles, as two aspects of a process – both the chaos and the order, the former as a condition of the latter.
To be honest I would say either way Apollo has a bit too much baggage for us to take him to bosom so to speak
Apollo has nothing to do with Satan. He is a pro-cosmic figure and has no “baggage” . Everything is positive.
Pro-cosmic? Is that Hellenic for globalist cum intergalacticist?
I’m just saying I find it puzzling that someone who’s associated with the sun and the principle of order should also be associated by some, presumably Christians, with Satan, Lucifer or the anti-christ or something like that. Most obviously that might be just to do with the similarity of the term Apollo to Apollyon, or it might just reflect the slightly eccentric habit within christianity of labelling everything not explicitly christian as demonic or whatever by default. But there are clearly some who’ve thought fairly hard about it and don’t appear to be frothing at the mouth sorts yet still make the association. I’ve looked into the matter casually once or twice and still don’t have a satisfactory answer for the association.
The chaos / order principle might be of interest though. I went into an occult art gallery once and after deep interrogation someone admitted to worshipping Dionysus. Apollo is not Dionysus, but as you’ve indicated he is not merely his opposite. I’m just wondering if in the sense that he represents order, it’s in the sense of encompassing both principles to some extent insofar as for Apollo the disorder or chaos represents the pre-condition of the establishment of order, whereas with Dionsysus the orgiastic abandon represents an end in itself. The ancient greeks were a fascinating people but beneath the heights of classical civilisation there’s a dark core perhaps
Why misguided globalist references? The Christian god is pro-cosmic. Satan is anti-cosmic. The sun cannot be associated with the light of Lucifer or anything like that; that would be a misrepresentation. Of course you are free to make a interpretation like that if you want to, but that would be incongenial with history and how Apollo tend to be understood within Western tradition.
fair enough about globalist. That was a riff on cosmic
Actually I think conversations about identities / principles are useful. I don’t believe in Satan. I am trying to understand the principles behind historic associations of one mythic figure with another; in this case why, despite the association of Apollo with the sun and with the principle of order, he has also been associated with darker forces, albeit typically by those external to his sway, and perhaps dispositionally hostile. I agree that Satan is anti-cosmic insofar as he is a principle of negation. Apollo is not obviously such a principle, although he does seem to have a double-edged nature, including as an occasional destroyer
Re. the non-identification of the sun with the light of lucifer I agree, although from an occult POV there is always the question of ‘which sun’? Although most associations with Apollo seem positive the Apollyon association, obviously, is not. Perhaps it has no basis – it’s difficult to pronounce on the issue. There is one reference in the wiki ‘talk’ page – granted, very obscure – to Apollyon as the name of the “destroyer unleashed at the Tribulation”. The author goes on to say “the pit was an allusian to a ritual which involved digging into the Earth to uncover the fallen Sun, which Apollo is supposed to represent”.
So the question arises as to whether the ancients (variously or uniformly) saw him as linked to the sun or as something else more complex. I am not pushing the latter interpretation. I have always learned positive associations with Apollo, but there appear to be some dissenters and I am interested in where they are coming from. Apollo does appear to be fairly important amongst occultists. Some even say Trump’s gold fetish reflects sun worship – apparently he has a painting of Apollo at Trump Tower
Gods / figures like Apollo are not necessarily a single thing, with a single meaning: they are complexes of meanings and associations, some coherent, some conflicting, and people draw on the symbolic power they can as such wield. You are clearly aware of that potential as you treat Apollo as a potential resource that might be usefully adopted. It doesn’t hurt to consider ALL the baggage such symbols may have. Apollo is a complex figure, and may mean different things for ancient greeks, occultists, christians etc.
Yes, he is complex as I wrote, and different meanings and interpretations are the case throughout history and in different contexts. However, the interesting thing is to differentiate between higher and lower culture.
Apollo is often seen as a Hyperborean god, but he has had “Chtonic” progenies so there is a connection there. The fact the he kills his enemies is not a sign of something chaotic. Rather the opposite: he aims for to stabilize order. Every higher god does that.
He seems to attract a lot of interest both amongst neo-pagans and occultists, and certainly it seems he isn’t that easily contained within any simplistic binaries or schemas. Probably the best accounts of these issues I can find are in the following, which treat of the inadequacies of simplistic viewpoints while being quite frank about darker associations, for instance:
“he was at one point associated with Luciferos who, though a light bearing god, has no association with the kind of solar light and was rather associated with the morning star, perhaps inspired by Apollon’s epithet Phosophoros. That Lucifer/Phosphoros was connected with the evening star and philosophical statements stated that the evening and morning star were the same it may allude to how the Hellenes and in turn the Romans perceived part of the relationship with the sun, as the star followed before the dawn and after the sunset in the twilight hours which are particular to Apollon Lykeios. That is to say that a recognition of this period between night and day, during the twilight hours, in which the planet Venus shines the most brilliantly. Whether or not either the Hellenes or Romans believed Phosphoros or Luciferos to be directly Apollon or Apollo is debatable, but the concept of the light as being in a related dance with the sun but not being the sun seems to be a common expression in both cases. However, it is possible that at least with the Romans they may have taken a more direct association between the morning/evening star and Apollon, if we consider Diana whom they conflated with Artemis and to whom they attached all of the latter’s myths and symbols. Not only was Diana called Lucifera, but also the philosopher Cicero attributes a particular manifestation of Diana as moving through the heavens as a wandering star”
Note his sister Artemis / Diana is particularly beloved of occultists & even witches I think.
The other article is also quite informative about the inadequacy of the binary apollonian / dionysian schema amongst other things
I think the connection is a tenuous one at best.
Lucifer is the Light Bringer, the Morning Star.
So some people probably linked the two.
They might just as easily have linked the Titan Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to man…
Remember most people aren’t that smart, and the “latest fad” was a big thing then, too, especially backed by a nascent/rising Church, which was a POLITICAL organization. 😉
People are people…
We need fewer of them.
that’s a nice spa
It’s Hearst Castle. I hope that you Americans go there.
I think there’s a Patty Hurst castle in UK. I’m nearer to that
The patriarchal Arab savages have double digit IQ. That tells you that the matriarchal/patriarchal sexual order supercedes intelligence in determining the ability to build civilization. An intelligent white woman in a matriarchal society reaches a bottom where they live in squalor without wisdom or technology. Whereas whites with strict patriarchy rise and rise. They get thir cake and eat it too. BITCH RULE cuts it all down like rock paper scissors. Therefore we must keep patriarchy UTFIRST. Under matriarchal pussywhippery, the culture’s bloodline eventually breeds out masculinity and becomes dead as far as it’s proclivity for levity – or it’s ability to rise above living in stick huts with break even replacement survival rates and cannibalism to boot. Jews are a hair away from being rendered pathologic dependents on parasitism.
EVERYONE knows that is the wild bitch mother in the animal kingdom that eats her young. THE ROCK BOTTOM for matriarchal living was reached long ago in the aboriginal Pacific Island cultures where they live structures built of sticks cemented together with rammed shit technology. My eyes would bleed if I ever watched a documentary of their courtship and mating practices. I wish I could post images so comments would read like a Time Life piece.
The noted matriarchal hut dwellers we see today appear branch negroid haplogroup, with the B group originating in the Arabian peninsula surprisingly over 65 k years ago. The U Aryan group then appears later in Iran and the C Paupa aboriginal group appears in SE Asia 50k+ years ago. The strictly matriarchal negroid appearing cultures of Pacifica appear to be remnants of a fallen people, believed to be leftovers of ‘Lemuria’ the continent THAT SANK. Some smaller siberian Asiatic tribes have complete matriarchal customs, copycats of the aboriginals. They too reproduce little and cannot grasp technology or real architecture. They shun and eventually kill the architect, the pinnacle of male attribute and thus they live as borderline dumb animals.
PATRIARCHY raises man up to the abosolute limits of his genetic capabilities. This holds true of all thoroughbred races of man.
You cover a lot her, even if I like your trains of thought.
It would be interesting if you wrote pieces on the different aspects you touch here. Maybe even ROK could use it?
But this was a bit too much with not enough words. Good tyhough.
No one actually believed in the Gods. They were like Super Heroes or popular sci-fi is is now. Soap opera stories to tell and trade.
Well, some actually did. To bring back Apollo as a positive symbol for higher culture is what this is mainly about.
There is one true God. He is the Creator of all things. He alone is to be worshipped. All other “gods” are as nothing compared to Him.
Moreover, we are all separated from Him and condemned because of our corruption.
Yet, God has made One Way for man to be reconciled with Him. The One Way is a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, fully God and fully Man.
Do not worship idols, but serve the Son of God with joy and gladness.
Hillary Clinton is going to jail. Hillary Clinton is going to jail
Ok but can you comprehend that Apollo has a symbolic value from a cultural perspective? This is not so much about worshipping a Greek god as it is as about differentiating lower from higher culture.
Prove he’s real.
Appollo was a boy raping pedofaggot. Nice try skuntfuck.
Apollo was a boy raping pedofaggot. Nice try skuntfuck.
I do see the point of your article. There is real value in distinguishing between noble and degenerate culture.
At the same time, there is One real God, and ultimate Patriarch. He is the God of the Bible, and is incomparably great.
How do you know he’s real though?
The classics in general need to be inculcated in us all, especially today’s youth. I’m convinced the lack of them in today’s education is one of the key reasons why everything has gone off the rails.
Easily in the top 10% for the Anglosphere. WB. There, I said it.
Nietzche said it was best to lean towards the Dionsysius as Christianity, being a religion for the weak, emasculated people with its worship of Apollonian ideals.