I am of the opinion that the relationship between the Olympians, wherein it can be broken down into segments of close relationships between very specific deities (such as for instance Apollon and his twin Artemis) that the Olympians altogether interact and are working together in ways that we may never really expect or understand. Therefore wherein it is more often that I may think of Apollon in connection with say Zeus, Athena or Artemis among the Olympians, I also must acknowledge Apollon’s roles in cooperation with the others too even if they are a little less evident on the surface.
That said one of the more interesting of Apollon’s relationships that I enjoy considering is that between him and Aphrodite. Over the years I have developed a great deal of respect and fondness for Aphrodite whereas in my youth I had considerable apathy towards her (not really disrespectful but not giving two figs about her either) that changed as I matured and especially after some misadventures indirectly involving Aphrodite that gave me a healthy respect for her at the beginning of my relationship with her. Still, it took me a long time to really see how closely Apollon’s and Aphrodite’s domains touch and where they overlap. And of course after I saw it I wanted to smack myself for not seeing it earlier.
Aphrodite in her nature rules over beauty, and beauty in and of itself is a harmonious arrangement to create perfection (or as near to it as we humans can get, but I think Aphrodite herself represents the true perfection beyond what we can even understand that makes her uniquely the most beautiful of goddesses). Even the name of her daughter by Ares, Harmony, clearly indicates how much a part of this attribute is imbued in the identity of Aphrodite so much so that she can take the raw energies of a god such as Ares and by her union with him she can create perfection by drawing him into a harmonious relationship with her which gives Aphrodite such a reputation as perhaps the only deity to be able to so greatly influence Ares as far as I see. In such the beauty in which she has such influence is one of harmonizing which creates the most beautiful of forms by which we can honestly call her Aphrodite Morpho, the goddess of many forms as she is imbuing beauty everywhere.
How then does this relate to Apollon? Well we know from Plato’s Cratylus and Proklus’ commentary on this text that much in Apollon’s identity refers to him as a god of harmony. Perhaps not so much as a god who creates harmony, even as he is not the god who created the lyre or flutes that he bargained from Hermes, but rather as the god which perfectly utilizes these tools from other gods. This is perhaps one of the beautiful things about the Olympians, and how evident it is that they are working off of each other and cooperatively with each other is in how much of what they do is specifically tied to what another god does. And so Aphrodite is truly the mother of harmony and harmonical principles, but Apollon is the one who most beautifully uses these principles to wrought change as the seasons move around to his tune and he is successively able to gather together all the Muses into a unified train of arts. Such harmonic principles aids him too as a healer in which he restores the balance of the body, and as a destroyer of evil. Therefore it is not unusual that Apollon would have told Theseus to make Aphrodite his guide, for even as the labyrinth (the wind road) can be said to be his in some manner, the way belongs equally with Aphrodite whose strikes the harmonious accord necessary for navigating the labyrinth and to emerge heroic. This harmonizing is of course represented as the love between Ariadne and Theseus for she helped him to succeed (and the Labyrinth has been called Ariadne’s Dancingfloor) but its greater representation must be alluded when Aphrodite’s statue is dedicated to Apollon at Delos. Perhaps this is because of Apollon’s oracle, but is more likely to represent that the heroic triumph and the transofrmation that the labyrinth brings (being under the domain of Apollon in part) is a gift from Apollon, with the necessary aid of Aphrodite. For without the beautiful harmony there is no progress. Without Aphrodite’s harmony, the beauty of the arts over which Apollon reigns would fall flat and lifeless. Therefore the relationship of Apollon and Aphrodite is one that imbues beauty to the soul, and is of significant assistance to the artist.