at the roots

The orphic hymn to Apollon says this:

“You gaze upon all the ethereal vastness,

And upon the rich earth you look through the twilight.

In the quiet darkness of a night lit with stars

You see earth’s roots below, and you hold the bounds of the whole world.”

Apollon is the light within all things, even the darkest night, he is light pericing it, and light penetrates into all. There is no space that light cannot penitrate, and in the darkest recesses you will find him still, the void of space, in the cavern beneath the earth. He can gaze upon the roots of all things because he is there in those recesses. In a specific worship of the god he is beneath the orchard grove, he is the god at the roots of the trees, as much as he the light caressing. He sustains and guards the whole of the tree, not just the leaves and the branches that are upraised to the sky. As the serpent is beneath the ground in small caverns where it rests, so to is it associated with the fiery powers of the sun. So Apollon has slain Python, and the serpent is his own, his connection to the earth and to the heavens both. The ever-youthful snake who sheds its skin and rebirths itself annually. And too he is associated with Pan, a cavernous oracular god, the orphic hymns directs him in association with Pan specifically in the spring months. Perhaps this is not so strange when we consider his association with Marysas.

“And your mode is Doric for spring’s lovely and blooming season.

Wherefore mortals call you lord, and Pan,

The two-horned God who sends the whistling winds.”

Apollon reaches to all the points of the earth and within. His light purifying, renewing, destroying. Pan is perhaps his most literal earthly connection during the growing season when the light nourishes and sustains all growing things and brings them into fruitation, and the season by which many species drop their young where there is plenty to nourish them, protected by Apollon’s sister Artemis. pan is seemingly so contrary to the beautiful god Apollon, but there is unmistakenly that association. Pan whose cave lurks above Delphi. Dionysos is the seed beneath the earth, he is beneath the bark of the living tree, and Apollon encompasses all about him, and they dwell together.


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