Dionysos & Apollo
Dionysos & Apollo

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Destiny of Death

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Prophet for the Rebirth of Dionysus

Nietzsche hoped, that through his work, Dionysus, the god of life's exuberance, would replace Jesus, the god of the heavenly other world, as the premier cultural standard for future millennia.
Lord Dionysus by oenochoe
Worshippers of Dionysus considered that the squeezing of the juice from the grape to make wine symbolized the soul leaving the body.
Dionysos at mystae.com
Plutarch, one Greece's most influential scribes for later generations, was also the priest of Delphi who first wrote of the divine tension between the two deities. Dionysos presided over the oracle for three winter months, beginning in November, with the rising of the Pleiades, while Apollo was away visiting the Nordic Hyperboreans. A  nighttime rite known as the "Dance of the Fiery Stars" was performed during these  three cold, dead winter months on the slopes of Parnassus.
"Men do not know how that which is drawn in different directions harmonises with itself. The harmonious structure of the world depends upon opposite tension like that of the bow and the lyre." Heraclitus (535 - 475 BC),
The Bible has come under fire for making woman the fall guy in man's cosmic drama. But in casting a male conspirator, the serpent, as God's enemy, Genesis hedges and does not take its misogyny far enough. The Bible defensively swerves from God's true opponent, chthonian nature. The serpent is not outside Eve but in her. She is the garden and the serpent.

Camille Paglia Sexual Personae

to the Transcendent

"In addition to transcendence experienced through ritual, a second transcendence of life is described as a spontaneous, ecstatic or visionary experience of mystery without the aid of ritual. Nietzsche's Noontide Vision is discussed as a classic example of this type of transformation: in the myth of Dionysus-Zagreus, who was dismembered and returned to life, the Deity appears in the noon hour, sacred to Pan; Nietzche's reaction is as though he had been present at a ritual. It is cautioned that these are more esthetic forms of experience, like dreams which have no lasting effect on the dreamer, and that they must be distinguished from those visions which involve permanent change in the individual."
CW v. 9.1: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (p. 118  Collected Works of C.G. Jung

naked Dionysus of a juvenile type holding a tyrsos, the traditional attribute of the god.
Statue of Dionysus, recovered from the bed of the Tiber River (Italy) during works on a pillar of the Garibaldi Bridge in 1885.  Bronze, lost wax fusion, height 158 cm. Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme,

The statue represents a naked Dionysus of a juvenile type, resting on the right leg, the left one being markedly flexed and resting on the forefoot, and the left arm holding a tyrsos, the traditional attribute of the god.

 "Apollo Belvedere"  Roman marble adaptation of a C4th BC Greek cult statue attributed to Leokhares h. 2.24 m (7 ft) Pio Clementino Museum, Vatican

"He is the very embodiment of the Hellenic spirit. Everything that marks off the Greek outlook from that of other peoples, and in particular from the barbarians who surrounded them; beauty of every sort, whether of art, music, poetry or youth, sanity and moderation; are all summed up in Apollo. W.K. Guthrie The Greeks and Their Gods

"Dionysic stirring arise either through the influence of those narcotic potions of which all primitive races speak in their hymns, or through the powerful approach of spring, which penetrates with joy the whole frame of nature. So stirred the individual forgets himself completely... for a brief moment we become ourselves, the primal Being, and we experience its insatiable hunger for existence. Now we see the struggle, the pain, the destruction of appearances, as necessary, because of the constant proliferation of forms pushing into life, because of the extravagant fecundity of the world will. We feel the furious prodding of this travail in the very moment in which we become one with the immense lust for life and are made aware of the eternity and indestructibility of that lust."
Friedrich Nietzsche in 1882.
Born October 15, 1844
Röcken, Saxony, Prussia
Died August 25, 1900
Weimar, Germany

Nietzsche was the son and grandson of Lutheran ministers

"We should be surprised that a matter that generally plays such an important part in the life of man [love] has hitherto been almost entirely disregarded by philosophers, and lies before us as raw and untreated material."

 and raised in a small German town with an early interest in  German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer(1788 -1860)

  Nietzsche's first book was published in 1872: The Birth of Tragedy, Out of the Spirit of Music (Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik) views  non-rational forces as residing at the foundation of all creativity and of reality itself, identified a strongly instinctual, wild, amoral, "Dionysian" energy within pre-Socratic Greek culture as an essentially creative and healthy force. Surveying the history of Western culture since the time of the Greeks, Nietzsche lamented over how this "Dionysian," creative energy had been submerged and weakened as it became overshadowed by the "Apollonian" forces of logical order and stiff sobriety. He concluded that European culture since the time of Socrates had remained one-sidedly Apollonian and relatively unhealthy.

Apollonian and Dionysian are terms used by Nietzsche in The Birth of Tragedy to designate the two central principles in Greek culture.  The Apollonian, which corresponds to Schopenhauer's principium individuationis ("principle of individuation"), is the basis of all analytic distinctions. Everything that is part of the unique individuality of man or thing is Apollonian in character; all types of form or structure are Apollonian, since form serves to define or individualize that which is formed; thus, sculpture is the most Apollonian of the arts, since it relies entirely on form for its effect.

...this time however I come as the victorious Dionysus, who will turn the world into a holiday...Not that I have much time..."
(from Nietzsche last "insane" letter to Cosima Wagner)

Rational thought is also Apollonian since it is structured and makes distinctions.

The Dionysian, which corresponds roughly to Schopenhauer's conception of Will, is directly opposed to the Apollonian. Drunkenness and madness are Dionysian because they break down a man's individual character; all forms of enthusiasm and ecstasy are Dionysian, for in such states man gives up his individuality and submerges himself in a greater whole: music is the most Dionysian of the arts, since it appeals directly to man's instinctive, chaotic emotions and not to his formally reasoning mind.

Nietzsche believed that both forces were present in Greek tragedy, and that the true tragedy could only be produced by the tension between them. He used the names Apollonian and Dionysian for the two forces because Apollo, as the sun-god, represents light, clarity, and form, whereas Dionysus, as the wine-god, represents drunkenness and ecstasy. Central to Nietzsche's philosophy is the idea of "life-affirmation," which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines which drain life's energies, however socially prevalent those views might be .

"The destiny of death by burning runs through the stories of Apollo and Dionysus like a scar. Semele is burned to death, and she is Dionysus's mother; Coronis and Asclepius are reduced to ashes, and they are Apollo's lover and son. The divine fire devours those venturing outside the human sphere, whether they be betraying a god, bringing a man back to life, or seeing a god bereft of the cloaking veil of epiphany. Beyond the limit laid down for what is acceptable, burns the fire. Apollo and Dionysus are often found along the edges of that borderline, on the divine side and the human; they provoke that back-and-forth in men, that desire to go beyond oneself, which we seem to cling to even more than to our humanity, even more than to life itself. And sometimes this dangerous game rebounds on the two gods who play it."
(Roberto Calasso. The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, pg 59)
The KITHARA, a plucked string instrument, came to be linked with Apollo, the god of the Sun and reason, while the AULOS, a loud double-reed instrument, came to be identified with Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstatic revelry. The most important of mythic musicians in ancient Greek culture was ORPHEUS, whose music had the power to cause inanimate objects to move and even influence the forces of Hades.


Nietzsche in 1887

As a means towards cultural rebirth,
Nietzsche advocates a resurrection and fuller release of Dionysian artistic energies -- those which he associated with primordial creativity, joy in existence and ultimate truth. This is clearly also the message of Carnaval and any festival celebrating nature's rebirth in Spring

"What is the heaviest thing, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.

"Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? To exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?

The Three Metamorphoses
by Nietzsche


"There are three temples close together [in Aigina], one of Apollon, one of Artemis, and a third of Dionysos." -Pausanias 2.30.1

[Apollo was the son of Zeus and the twin brother of Artemis whom the Romans Called Diana.]

For the Greeks of Dionysus and Apollo's day, maleness was the ideal The primary Greek values - self-control, order, clarity, rationality, civilization, struggle against nature, heroic glory, dominance in war were the values of manliness in ancient Greece. Pushed to the periphery, are mysterious sacred feminine, leaving nature's creative sparks to the dark and spinning edge of the world. All that is foreign, all that is feminine, all that is wild and unrestrained; all these are coalesced into an idea of Otherness that forms a dark sea of chaos into which one must strive continually not to fall.
Apollo teaches us distance, while Dionysos teaches us proximity, contact, intimacy with ourselves, nature, and others.
Ginette Paris
APOLLO  and the great age of Pisces have ruled for the last 2500 years
Apollo and Daphne: Daphne was Apollo's first love. It was not brought about by
accident, but by the malice of Cupid. Her father, the river god, transforms the nymph into a laurel tree to escape the passion of Apollo and fulfill her wish to be like Artemis.
BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo
1622-25(b. 1598, Napoli, d. 1680, Roma)Marble, height 243 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

 Pegasus (the winged horse)Download  Apollo were mutual associates of the muses.  Minerva caught and tamed Pegasus, and presented him to the 9 Muses.
In Roman, Renaissance and Neoclassical art, Muses depicted in sculptures or paintings are often distinguished by certain props or poses, as emblems. Euterpe (music) carries a flute; Calliope (epic poetry) carries a writing tablet; Clio (history) carries a scroll and books; Erato (lyric poetry) is often seen with a lyre and a crown of roses; Melpomene (tragedy) is often seen with a tragic mask; Polyhymnia (sacred poetry) is often seen with a pensive expression; Terpsichore (dancing) is often seen dancing and carrying a lyre; Thalia (comedy) is often seen with a comic mask; and Urania (astronomy) carries a staff pointed at a celestial globe.

In New Orleans, nine
streets are named after the Muses.

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