Of all the epithets of Apollon this one is perhaps the one which is more cherished in my worship of him, Apollon born of light, Apollon the wolfish god. This is the vision of Apollon that I first loved, the wolf-king who shines like gold as white light ripples on his fur. When I was young I once had a dream that I was gowned in white and alone in the forest seeking. Beside me I had a silver wolf at one side, and a black wolf at the other. I was lost in the forest and then I saw a great wolf white as snow with eyes that burned with blue light that the very heart of a flame, or the sunlit sky, and when he sang the song peirced through me and drew me to him. And so when I discovered Apollon my first images of him that I painted were of a man with the golden head of a wolf, and at his side these two wolves of my dream, and light surrounded him as blue fire was contained within his gaze. And this was my first love of Apollon.
Lykeios is a powerful epithet of the god as it refers at once to the entirety of his nature as I see it. The wolf is a creature of twilight, that period of time which stands intermediate of night and day and all the lights of these two periods: sun, the moon and stars. The morning twilight is called the wolf’s light, or false dawn for a purpose, the sky lightens with no visible presence of the sun as the world begins its transition to day. The far reaching rays of the sun have lit the sky, but still visible are all the bright orbs of the night. And so this period contains all the light of Apollon, he who was born on Delos, the starry Titanide Asteria, who is honored at the first lunar light of the new month, and dispenses the solar rays of the sun. The wolf is also one of nature’s greatest singers being able to create among them a harmonic chord of such beauty that the sound is like a dancer shifting in sways steps through the air. And the wolf is a destroyer, which is aligned to the originating meaning of Apollon’s name, as destruction is a measure in returning balance and purification, as well as renewal and evolution forward. The wolf is also a social animal, caring for the members of its pack and each with loving patience tending to the young of the collective social group which is a great symbol for a god who loves humanity, especially the children whose images have been found in devotional images to him, and who pled with his father on our behalf in myth that all humanity not be destroyed.
The wolf is the light, the light is the wolf, and it is all at once Lykeios, the summation of the most primary nature of Apollon, he who is born of light. And though I have long lost the first painting of Apollon Lykeios, it having been swallowed up in the belly of Hurricane Katrina, I have another that hangs above my bed as a constant reminder of the power and affection of Apollon in our world.