may throw the dice; their minds as cold as ice . . ."
The Winner Takes It All, ABBA
priests fixed the spring equinox in Aries four thousand years ago,
and the Astrology we have inherited in the West is a legacy by way
of Greece. In more ancient times the skies were interpreted on behalf
of the collective with the king representing the destiny of the
realm. Since the time of the Greeks horoscopes have been cast for
individuals, assessing talents, gifts and pitfalls portended in
The Greeks made
the sky personal by giving the gods almost human natures and foibles,
peopling the heavens with a host of heroes, animals and monsters
who enacted cyclical morality plays. While Egyptian gods seem more
purely archetypal, the Greek gods inflict the slings and arrows
of outrageous fortune as archetypal energies interact in finite
and vulnerable ways with far-reaching consequences. The gods are
often jealous, but they can also be kind.
Dynasties of Divine Beings
In her classic
work on mythology (Mythology), Elizabeth Hamilton remarked,
"The Greeks did not believe that the gods created the universe.
It was the other way about: the universe created the gods." Before
there were gods Heaven and Earth had been formed and were the first
parents. The Titans were their children, and the Olympian gods were
Ancient Greek cosmogony
viewed the world as having passed through several ages from Creation
in the dim mists of antiquity. The tradition belonging to the legendary
poet Orpheus described the concept of Time as emerging first, seeming
to exist from the beginning. Out of Time came Chaos, an infinite
space which contained Night, Mist and Aether. At Time's command
Mist spun in the empty space, forming an egg. (This is hauntingly
familiar to the Qabalistic description of the origin of the Tree
of Life as "the beginning of the whirlings.") The being Phanes (Light),
mated with Night, creating Heaven and Earth. Some sources say the
egg split, with Eros (Love) emerging from the center, and Heaven
(Uranus) and Earth (Gaia) being formed from two haves of the egg
- Elder Gods
The Titans were
"Lords" or "Kings" and as such the first divine race. Rhea was the
earth goddess, daughter of Uranus and Gaia, and sister-wife to Cronus,
with whom she bore Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus.
These children of the Titans became known as Olympians because of
their heavenly dwelling place.
was the son of Uranus (heaven) and Gaia (earth). This eldest Titan
castrated his father and threw the phallus into the sea, resulting
in the birth of Aphrodite (Venus). Having rendered his father impotent,
Cronus liberated his Titan siblings and is said to have ruled over
a Golden Age.
Since Time devours
all, not to be outdone by his own sky father, Cronus (Saturn and
Time) swallowed every one of his children as they were born. Rhea
tricked him into swallowing a swaddled stone instead of Zeus, the
youngest, and then she helped Zeus trick him into vomiting up the
rest of the godlings. So Cronus too was dethroned, and the Olympian
The Hindu Yugas
were named from an ancient Indian game of chance and implied, that
at some level, existence itself is a crap shoot. Similar to the
Hindu Yugas, the earliest Greek age was also golden, descending
into a time of strife and conflict. The first and Golden age was
ruled by Cronus in a time when even humans were immortal. Zeus introduced
the Silver age, instituting the Seasons (Horae) along with work
and labor. Another invention of Zeus was the Bronze age which was
characterized by war and violence. The so-called Heroic age, peopled
by demigods, was filled with derring do and fabulous exploits. The
Iron age, like the Hindu Kali Yuga, and sounding much like modern
times, reeked with crime, suffering and toil.
Olympus, home of
the gods Olympus was said to include the "heavens" the sea, and
the underworld. The entrance was described as a great gate of clouds
kept by the Seasons, Horae in Greek. Mount Olympus was a heavenly
dwelling place, a twelve-roomed mansion in the skies, which was
home to twelve Olympian gods and their consorts. Olympus corresponds
to the Norse Valhalla. Zeus was declared supreme over all the Olympians,
claiming the upper world of the heavens for himself, bestowing the
sea and rivers to Poseidon, and relegating the lower world to Hades.
use the term Celestial Sphere to denote the heavens. The skies have
a "watery" section, an underworld inhabited by stellar water snakes
and other mythical creatures, as well as the vault of heaven where
the circumpolar stars rotate around the pole.
is a scholarly work and a daunting piece of research, accumulating
myths from around the world, demonstrating similarities of theme
and imagery, and showing how knowledge of the stars was encoded
into stories. The authors (Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von
Dechend), demonstrated repeatedly that myth was never intended to
be fiction or fable, but rather to serve as a clever mnemonic device,
enabling people to recall and transmit complex astronomical information
through stories. In other words, using sky lore as the mechanism,
and the night sky as the canvas, myth became a brilliant device,
an astronomical allegory, for teaching and transmitting sky lore
over vast periods of time.
"The word myth
derives from the Greek mythos and means 'spoken word'." The root
word is the Indo-Germanic Mu. In German the word "mutter" means
mother. In earlier times myth was the language, the "spoken word,"
and provided the mechanism for communicating knowledge. In ancient
times people watched the skies and told their stories like we watch
the evening news. Myths were a way to describe what occurred in
the sky, so constellations were drawn, or dots connected between
the stars to form pictures, facilitating stellar stories. In the
Native American lore of the Wasco Indians Coyote drew the star pictures.
As the "age of reason" expanded, and eclipsed older ways of knowing,
this priceless legacy was unintentionally secreted.
Myth functions on
more than one level. Myth as metaphor teaches truths about our spiritual
selves through the archetype of the hero's journey. Myth as sky
lore was a mechanism to teach technical information about the stars
in an manner that was easy to remember. Star pictures and characters
made the yearly sky a familiar landscape.
The mythical earth
is conceived as a flat plane intersected by the "frame" of the equinoxes
and solstices, the cardinal points of the year. This is why the
earth is often said to be quadrangular. The intersections are the
four corners, the four directions, and the four winds. The four
corners, or zodiacal constellations rising heliacally (before the
Sun) at both the equinoxes and solstices form parts of the frame
and determine the ' earth.' This frame is one of time and is not
to be confused with the physical globe which is the planet.
states that " . . every world age has its own 'earth.' It is for
this reason that 'ends of the world' are said to take place. A new
'earth' arises, when another set of zodiacal constellations brought
in by the Precession determines the year points." The zodiacal constellation
which rises before the sun at the equinoxes and solstices constitutes
the frame of the current age. The conceptual image might be seen
as a platter surrounded by two wire hoops, intersecting the platter
at ninety degree angles. Time can be thus seen as circular and its
frame as a sphere where the seasons intersect the circle of the
The magic of
What we call science
today has established a technical language of its own and maintains
stewardship over knowledge which in the past was available to everyone
through the magic of myth. The authors of Hamlet's Mill observed
that "Magic material withstands change, just because of its resistance
to the erosion of common sense." Rather than integrating and synthesizing
"modern" knowledge with traditional ways of knowing, we have discarded
earlier truths as primitive or invalid.
The familiar planets
of our solar system bear names which have come down to us from Greek
and Roman myth. It's a testimony to the power of naming that the
manner in which planets are interpreted in modern Astrology still
carries the archetypal significance bestowed on their heavenly counterparts
thousands of years ago.
The planets orbit
(except Pluto) the Sun in a flat plane of space roughly fourteen
degrees of arc thick. From our perspective on Earth the Sun appears
to move through the sky on an annual trek. The apparent path of
the Sun is called the Ecliptic. This area of space is divided into
twelve by the constellations of the zodiac. This twelve-roomed mansion
where the sky gods interact is likely to be Mount Olympus.
Forces of Nature
There were twelve
Olympians; six males and six females. The Olympians correspond in
part to the planets of our solar system and to the archetypes of
Astrology. There are some exceptions. Uranus and Cronus (Saturn)
were Titans who fathered and grand fathered their Olympian offspring.
Hades (Pluto) was a member of the group by lineage, but did not
reside in Olympus, rather ruling his underworld domain. The mythical
stories showed how the archetypal pantheon of energies combined
in love and war.
-- Return of Feminine Divinity
The gods and goddesses
were energies which manifested in both genders. For example Iris,
goddess of the rainbow, was the feminine messenger of the gods,
but she doesn't get equal billing with Hermes (Mercury), her male
twin. It wasn't until Greek (or Roman) law was established in Egypt
that the feminine lost its equal status. In a fascinating manner,
several of the female Olympians are staging a comeback, returning
to mythic power in the form of asteroids.
On the first day
of January of 1801 Astronomer Guiseppe Piazzi discovered what he
thought was a new comet. The object was named Ceres and was to be
the first of thousands of asteroid discoveries. This tiny planet,
fortuitously named Ceres, orbits in what we now call the asteroid
belt, was. The next three in sequence, Pallas (Athena), Vesta and
Juno, were discovered in the next few years.
thousand asteroids have been discovered so far which are categorized
by their spectra (light signatures) and position in the solar system.
Only the four largest are being added to the horoscope in interpretation.
Getting in touch with your feminine side Mythologically Ceres (Demeter)
is a grain and fertility goddessthe and represents the great Earth
Mother in both her nurturing and withholding aspects. Pallas Athene
(Minerva) is the archetypal daughter and goddess of wisdom who sprang
from the head of her father Zeus. Vesta (Hestia) hold the archetype
of virgin and sister, symbolizing femininity complete within herself.
Juno (Hera), represents the sacred marriage, and indicates the balanced
union of the feminine and masculine principles.
representing four aspects of the feminine experience, round out
the missing spaces in the halls of Olympus. Increasingly these asteroids
are used by modern astrologers to enrich interpretation and insight.
If the correct birth time is know the asteroid goddesses can be
place in the birth chart for expanded understanding.