Climbing Olympus: Apollo

June 15, 2011

The Apollo 7 Crew ~ L–R: LM Pilot Walter Cunningham; CSM Pilot Donn Eisele; Commander Wally Schirra.

Image Credit: Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, Canberra, Australia


Identity: Olympian God of light, healing, music and prophecy

Descriptive arcehtype: Beautiful, golden-haired male archer.

Nature: Extrovert.

Polarity emphasis: Anima

Symbols: Lyre. Bow and arrow. Dolphin. All divinatory aids.

The Greek Myth

Apollo, the Greek god of light, was the son of Leto by Zeus, and the twin brother of Artemis. When Hera heard of her husband’s indiscretion, she was so consumed with rage she decreed that Leto could only give birth at a place where the sun’s rays never penetrated. In order that this command should not  be disobeyed, Poseidon raised the waves like a dome over Ortygia, at the same time anchoring it in the depths of the sea with four pillars. After Apollo’s birth, which took place on the seventh day of the month of Bysios, around the beginning of Spring, the island’s name was changed to Delos, ‘the brilliant’, and the number 7 henceforth made sacred to Apollo.

Apollo 7 (October 11–22, 1968) was the first manned mission in the American Apollo space program, and the first manned US space flight after a cabin fire killed the crew of what was to have been the first manned mission, AS-204 (later renamed Apollo 1), during a launch pad test in 1967. It was a C type mission—an 11-day Earth-orbital mission, the first manned launch of the Saturn IB launch vehicle, and the first three-person US space mission.

Morning in Orbit, Apollo 7

Image Found: Oh the Places You’ll Go

Hera did everything she could to delay the birth by keeping Ilythia, goddess of childbirth, out of the way. So for nine days and nine nights Leto suffered atrociously. Finally Iris was sent from Olympus to fetch Ilythia for her and Leto was able to produce first Artemis, and then Apollo.

Even during his childhood Apollo’s exploits were many, and his infant encounter with the serpent Python re-echoes, earlier myths in which the slayers of monsters liberated the oppressed. But, above all else, Apollo was known for his oracle at Delphi, visited by people from all over the civilized world.

Apollo 7 was launched from Cape Kennedy, Fla., at 11:02:45 a.m., EST, on October 11, 1968 from launch complex 34 on top of a Saturn IB.

Image Credit: NASM

Apollo was the celestial archer whose arrows were infallible; he was god of musicians, the lyre being his special instrument; patron of prophecy, representative of all forms of art and beauty, divine physician, father of Asclepius and beloved brother of Artemis.

Although mainly connected with the arts, Apollo also patronized the sciences, without actually indulging in them himself. His famous retinue consisted of the nine Muses: Clio, muse of history; Euterpe, patroness of the flute; Thalia, patroness of comedy; Melpomene, muse of tragedy; Terpsichore, mistress of lyric poetry and the dance; Erato, muse of erotic poetry; Polyhymnia, originally muse of heroic hymns, but later designated muse of the mimic art; Urania, muse of astronomy, and Calliope, senior of the nine Muses who was honoured as mistress of heroic poetry and eloquence. These no doubt exemplify aspects of the god’s psychological economy, and it is interesting to observe the science of astronomy among what are mainly artistic pursuits, which would hint at the ability of this archetype to search beyond the immediate for its sources of information.

On May 9, 2003, an attempt to launch a spacecraft aimed to investigate an asteroid was attempted by the Japanese at the Kagoshima Space Center. The asteroid was feared and suspected to collide against the earth, and it was the mission of Mu Space Engineering Spacecraft C, or MUSES-C to investigate the possibility, and to bring back samples such as rocks.

Image Credit: Planet Facts

Apollo’s sacred number, 7, was of considerable significance to the Greek scholars of old, notably Pythagoras and Plato. The 7 squared (49) received particular emphasis and, in consequence, the ensuing number 50, was also assumed to possess a mystical quality. Not all the implications of the number 50 were esoteric, however, the famous Pythagorean triangle frequently referred to by Plato is a statement of its mathematical expression.

Sinai Peninsula taken by Apollo 7 astronaut

Apollo is credited with inspiring the famous maxims that were carved in the porch of his temple:

Measure in all things

Know thyself

To commit oneself is to court misfortune.

Worthwhile advice, it would appear, for all who come under this archetypal influence.

The Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand with Southern Cross in the background.

Photo by Fraser Gunn

Upright Meanings

Artistic and musical skills. Manly beauty. Intuition. Prophecy and all forms of divination. Bonhomie. Warm-heartedness. Natural healing. Charisma. Harmony. Wit. Aestheticism. Patronage of the sciences.

Reversed Meanings

Charlatanism. Ingratiation. Sarchasm. Misuse of the arts in any form. Eccentricity. Narcissism. Insecurity. Affectation.

Further Reading

Climate Change Alarmists Ignore Scientific Methods by Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 astronaut

~ text from Olympus: An experience in Self-Discovery, Murry Hope, 1991

'Red sky at night, shepherd's delight' ~ On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepherd became the first American in space when he took a 15 minute sub-orbital flight over the Pacific Ocean for 304 miles.

Image Credit: Saturdays Will Never Be the Same

“When reporters asked Shepard what he thought about as he sat atop the Redstone rocket, waiting for liftoff, he had replied, ‘The fact that every part of this ship was built by the low bidder.'”

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