The post that put this idea stuck in my head is only vaguely related to what I just wrote about Apollon’s seasonal role but the quotes from it really stuck in there. In this post here by Sannion, he offers a couple of quotes that really struck me hard in the gut. Quotes that played off where my mind has been going in regards to Apollon as herder and a season god (which is all interconnected anyway) and how that plays out in his relationship with Dionysos (which I only touched on in my last post but really it would take a book to talk about ALL of it).
“The Phrygians also call him Goatherd (aipolos), not because he feeds goats, as the psychical people call them, but because he is ever turning (aeipolos) and circulating and impressing the whole universe with turning motion. For to turn (polein) is to circulate and alter matters. That is why the two centers of the heaven are called poles.”
Granted Aeipolos is typically in reference to Pan, but it is entirely descriptive of Apollon not only as a herdsman but also as the grandson of Koios, the heavenly pole. Not to mention the origins of the Crane Dance of Delos that was also quoted. It would be reasonable though that both gods would be related to this spinning dance, the spinning of time and seasons. Of the heavens about the axis, and its reflection at the navel of the world which is Apollon’s (but where too Pan dwells) that we know as Delphi. Or as quoted from Sannion’s quote:
” For their doctrine concerning the womb is also the tenet of Orpheus; and the idea of the navel, which is harmony, is to be found with the same symbolism attached to it in the Bacchanalian orgies of Orpheus.”
Of course it stands to reason that these two gods are so connected as Plato, in Cratylus, derides both of their names to be of similar part. Calling Pan as Aipolon, for aei polon, and Apollon from ama polon, we have the two gods of the year, one which instigates all movement perpetually, the progenitor Pan, and one who moves all things together harmonically.
Therefore we have, Pan and Apollon, by their natures as gods of the passage of time of seasons spinning, and we have Dionysos (or Zeus if you want to go Arkadian or perhaps Samothrakian) rotating between them.
It is a three way spinning party!