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Антична митология за планетите
« -: Септември 14, 2016, 07:35:27 pm »
Ancient Mythology


In ancient Mesopotamia the planets were seen as gods in their own right. The Babylonian name for Saturn was Sagush and the associated god was Ninurta. When the Tablets of Fate, which held the laws of the universe, were stolen by a dragon, it was Ninutra who rescued them and was henceforth placed in charge of fate and law. Sagush was therefore the star of law and order. This does not conflict with the role of Jupiter: order is not quite the same thing as justice. In the same myth, Ninurta is said to have imposed his rule upon the minerals, who had sided with the dragon, and allotted to them their natures and duties: some 3000 years later Lilly also recorded that Saturn rules mines and those who work with earth or stone. Since the dragon was a beast of the air, the myth may depict the imposition of divine order on the universe, both above and below the earth. Unfortunately, most of the tablets relating to the omens of Saturn have yet to be found, so we know less about his position in Mesopotamian astrology than that of the other planets.

 The Greeks equated Ninurta with their own Kronos. He was one of the Titans, the children of Gaia and Ouranos, Earth and Sky. Kronos seized power from his father after castrating him, because Ouranos had prevented Gaia from giving birth to her children. The explanation of the latter can probably be found in an Egyptian myth, which stated that the sky goddess Nut and the earth god Geb had refused to cease coupling: their forcible separation enabled the creation of our world. This is not just a question of making a space in which mankind could live, but of creating the differentiations which distinguish cosmos from chaos. The very word cosmos originally meant appropriate arrangement and good order, its use in the sense of the universe apparently having been introduced by Pythagoras. Thus Kronos made the initial separation of heaven and earth, male and female, just as the astrological Saturn creates order and makes distinctions.

 The name Kronos is not Greek, and the account of his deeds, like many Greek myths, came from Asia Minor. The Hurrians (mentioned in the Bible as the Horites) had a sky god Anu (perhaps the same as the Sumerian An) who was castrated and overthrown by his son, Kumarbi. He, being a barbarian, accomplished the deed with his teeth, only to find himself pregnant with the storm god in consequence. In the Greek version, Kronos also became pregnant, but by swallowing his own children as fast as they were born, having been warned that he would be dethroned by one them just as he had supplanted his own father. His wife, Rhea, somewhat distressed by the loss of the first five, substituted a stone for the next, the storm god Zeus, who was then raised in secret. After liberating his brothers and sisters, Zeus led their rebellion - as they had been reborn, he was now the eldest - and so became king of the gods. Perhaps understandably, after these alarming adventures, Kronos had few duties: he was chiefly a patron of agriculture. It was probably this which led him to be equated with the Etruscan god Satres, whom the Romans borrowed as Saturnus. The Greek harvest festival called the Cronia and the Roman midwinter Saturnalia both involved a relaxation of established order, with slaves free to mock their masters.


In the Jewish theosophy known as cabbalism, Saturn is the third sphere of divine activity, called Binah - Understanding or Intelligence.

This is the power which organises the creative forces and imposes form on the universe. It is thus the root of matter. It is also the female principle, for it is through conception and birth that we acquire material form.


The Hermit, 'Father Time' or the sombre figure of Death is often used to represent Saturn because of its influence over 'endings' and 'resolutions'In the greater arcana of the tarot cards, the magical order of the Golden Dawn assigned Saturn to the World. This was presumably because Saturn, as the most earthy planet, rules life on earth. But the card refers rather to the ideal world, or the world to come, and other suitable images can be found: the Hermit (originally called Time), symbolising wisdom and prudence; Fortune, since Saturn represents fate; the Emperor or the Pope, as secular and spiritual authorities; even Death or the Devil.

 Among the lesser arcana, Saturn is assigned to the threes on cabbalistic grounds. Since the restrictions of Saturn fall hardest on the element air, the three of swords is unfavourable and called Sorrow. With the other elements, Saturn consolidates their powers and so the three of coins (earth) is Material Works, the three of cups (water) is Abundance, and the three of wands (fire) is Established Strength.


In Mesopotamia, the planet Jupiter was known as Neberu and associated with the god Marduk. He was the patron god of Babylon, and considered equivalent to the older Sumerian god Enlil. The Assyrians in turn equated Enlil to their state god, Ashur. All were often just referred to as Lord, and this title is preserved in Biblical references to Baal or Bel. Enlil was described as the king of the gods, and hence associated with rulership and wisdom. Those with Jupiter rising or culminating often display an imperious nature, self-will, or at the least confidence in their own judgement. The wisdom of Jupiter is the practical wisdom of everyday affairs, not the philosophy which belongs to Mercury. Contemporary astrologers who associate the planet with ninth-house concerns are confusing Jupiter with Sagittarius and the ninth sign with the ninth house. There is no real evidence to associate Jupiter with the law; indeed, he is often prominent in the charts of criminals, who equate law to their own will.

The Greeks considered Marduk to be the same as Zeus, the king of their own gods. He was said to be the son of the Titans Cronos and Rhea: in that way the Hellenic invaders grafted their chief god onto the divine family of the indigenous Pelasgians. To this mixture they added ingredients from Asia: Marduk defeated a race of monsters, so Zeus made war on the Titans; the Hurrian sky god Teshub overthrew his father Kumarbi, so Zeus supplanted Cronos. When the three sons of Cronos - Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades - divided the world, Zeus took the sky, appropriately for the myrthologcal ruler of a planet with an airy nature.

 The most notable feature of Jupiter is the number of his mistresses and children. These relationships symbolise the heavens fertilising the earth, the various nymphs each having been the goddess of a particular area - diverse landscapes demand a multiplicity of goddesses, compared with the featureless sky. Jupiter often features in the charts of the promiscuous: e.g. squaring the Moon with Casanova and Louis XIV, configured with a fifth-house planet in the charts of Anais Nin and J.F. Kennedy. This, however, is not because he is a particularly sensual planet, but rather a manifestation of the Jovian inability to concede that enough is as good as a feast.

 Roman Jupiter was much the same as Zeus, and shared the same name: Jupiter was originally Deus Pater, corresponding to the Greek Zeus Pater and the Sanskrit Dyaus Pitar, all derived from a prehistoric dyeus pater 'bright father'. The Romans considered that the equivalent Germanic god was Thunor (the Norse Thor), since both Jupiter and he were associated with thunder: this is why Thursday (Old English:. Thunresdaeg) corresponds to the Italian giovedi (Latin: jovis dies). Actually, Thor was closer to Mars in his nature: it was Tiw (the Norse Tyr) whose name corresponded to Zeus, and who originally had the same functions.


In the Jewish cabbala, Jupiter is the fourth sphere, Mercy (Chesed). This forms the moral triad with Geburah (Mars) and Tiphereth (Sun). Here the benefic Jupiter and malefic Mars symbolise the constructive and destructive principles in the universe, which are transcended in the Sun. This contrast is reflected in the opposition between their exaltations (Cancer-Capricorn); according to Antiochus of Athens, this is because they are life and death, a comment which takes us back to Babylon where Jupiter (Marduk) was the creator and Mars (Nergal) was Lord of the Underworld. Chesed also lies on the pillar of creation between Chokmah (pure creative power) and Netzach (individualised images), representing archetypal ideas. This is reflected at a human level in Jupiter's rule of the eleventh house.


Tarot cards depicting JupiterIn the major arcana of the tarot, the Golden Dawn associated Jupiter with the Wheel of Fortune. This card is now used to symbolise luck, though it may originally have represented prudence - either meaning would be appropriate.

Other attributions are also possible, particularly the Emperor, the Pope and Justice.

 In the lesser arcana, Jupiter, planet of the fourth sphere, is given to the fours. Because Jupiter is a diurnal planet, the fire and air suits are favourable: the Four of Wands is called Perfected Work and the Four of Swords, Rest from Strife. The earth and water suits, however, manifest the less agreeable side of Jupiter: the Four of Coins is called Earthly Power, and sometimes indicates greed or arrogance; the Four of Cups is Blended Pleasure, where success has led to satiety or world-weariness.



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Re: Антична митология за планетите
« Отговор #1 -: Септември 14, 2016, 07:59:26 pm »

In ancient Mesopotamia, the planet Mars was known as Salbatanu and associated with the god Nergal. The attributes of Nergal combined those that we associate with Mars and Pluto today: he was lord of the underworld and also connected with such dangers as infectious disease, fire, and warfare.

 The Egyptian equivalent was considered by the Greeks to be Anhur. Originally the local god of Abydos, he became the manifestation of the strength of Ra. The imperialist Pharaohs of the New Kingdom worshipped him as a god of war; but he was equally popular with the common people, who called him the Saviour or the Good Warrior and invoked him as a protection against danger.

The Greek god Ares was said to be the son of Hera and Zeus, but his name is not Greek: he probably originated in Thrace. Homer showed that he considered Mars to be a foreigner by making him fight for the Trojans, along with other immigrant gods. Ares, as presented in Greek literature, is really too much a personification of war and lust to be a good image of the planet, but this may be because the authors came from the south and east of Greece, while his cult was best established in the north and west. At a deeper level, as a people too much given to warfare, the Greeks were probably right to distrust Ares: the forces of Mars are difficult to express, assertion easily becoming aggression, which is precisely why we call him a malefic. In Greek myth, Heracles would have been a better choice to represent Mars, but he was not originally a god, only a hero. Of course, even Heracles had problems with the Martian side of his nature: he had his outbursts of uncontrolled rage, as well as his more acceptable monster-slaying achievements.

The Roman Mars was rather similar to Anhur: a god who represented the better side of the planet. Some have called him a god of agriculture, claiming that his association with war could be explained as the Roman farmers appealing to their most-invoked deity before battle, but the agricultural role of Mars was to protect cattle and crops from diseases, bad weather, and evil influences. The rituals observed by the priests of Mars show that he corresponded to the Indian god Indra, a warriors' god who combated the forces of evil.

 The Romans considered the Germanic god Tiw (Norse: Tyr) to be the equivalent of their Mars, since he was invoked before battle; thus Tuesday (OE: Tiwesdæg) corresponds to the Italian Marted (Lat: Martis dies). Actually Tiw was so invoked in his capacity as the god of justice, and in name he corresponds to Zeus and Jupiter. The Norse equivalent of Mars was really Thor, but the Romans equated him to Jupiter for no better reason than his use of thunder-bolts: ancient mythographers were often far less informed than modern ones.


IIn the Jewish cabbala, Mars is the fifth sphere, Power (Gevurah); it is notable that the Pythagoreans called the number five Nemesis, a word related to retributive justice, an unconquerable enemy or vengeance. The sphere of Mars is also known as Fear (Pachad): that fear of God which is said to be the beginning of wisdom, because it comes from realising our own shortcomings. Gevurah forms the moral triad with Chesed (Jupiter) and Tiphereth (the Sun). Here the benefic Jupiter and malefic Mars symbolize the constructive and destructive principles which are both vital parts of the universe, and which are transcended in the Sun. This contrast between Mars and Jupiter is reflected in the opposition between their exaltations: according to Antiochus of Athens, this is because they are life and death, a comment which takes us back to Babylon where Marduk (Jupiter) was the creator and Nergal the Lord of the Underworld.


Tarot cards based on Mars In the major arcana of the tarot, the Golden Dawn assigned the Thunderbolt (or the Tower) to Mars. This shows the malefic aspect of the planet, a tower being struck down by lightning, and can indicate anything from change to ruin. The card Fortitude (or Strength) is also frequently linked to this planet; in divination it represents both sides of Mars:- courage and action, or anger and pride. The image of a woman holding the head of a lion, used in many packs, probably started as a long-haired Hercules strangling the Nemean lion; the alternative, a woman with a broken column, was most likely the equally long-haired Samson demolishing the temple of the Philistines. In the minor arcana, Mars is assigned on cabbalistic grounds to the fives. These are all unfortunate: Five of Wands, called Conflict; Five of Swords, Defeat; Five of Coins, Worry; Five of Cups, Disappointment.



CabbalaIn the Jewish cabbala, the Sun, centre of the solar system, is appropriately linked with the central divine sphere, Tiphereth or Beauty, through which all things are united and harmonised. This is number six, and in Pythagorean teaching that number was called Harmony.

Tiphereth is associated with harmony in man as well as in the cosmos, which is why the archangel of this sphere, Raphael, presides over healing. Christian cabbalists associated Tiphereth with the life of Christ, without knowing that the Babylonian symbol for the Sun was a cross.


The Sun in Tarot In the tarot, the Sun has its own card in the major arcana. Like the Moon he is shown with a face, indicating a living being, not merely a material object. This card signifies success and renewal. Many packs also show a child, showing rebirth or renewed innocence. It is the 19th card and by numerological analysis equates to number 1 (19= 1+9 = 10 = 1+0 = 1) making it a symbol of unity restored. In the minor arcana the Sun is associated with the sixes, all of which are favourable - the 6 of wands is victory; swords, earned success; coins, material success; and cups, joy.


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Re: Антична митология за планетите
« Отговор #2 -: Септември 14, 2016, 08:41:38 pm »

In ancient Mesopotamia, the Sumerians made a distinction between the planet Venus, known as Delebat, who was worshipped as a goddess in her own right, and the goddess Inana, of whom she was an aspect. Inana was variously said to be the daughter of the creator Anu, of his son Enlil, or of the Moon god Nanna. She was the most important of all the goddesses and was associated with both love and war. Unlike the Semitic lshtar, to whom she was later equated, Inana was not really a fertility goddess and never a mother figure, contrary to the claims of some writers. She was never depicted with a child and most traditions made no reference to her ever having born one.

Of her many lovers, Inana was particularly associated with the shepherd god Dumuzi. The story of her descent to the underworld describes how, as she descended, so her powers were stripped from her and she arrived at the mercy of his sister: Life must accept Death. The other gods negotiated her release, but only in exchange for another life, and that of Dumuzi was taken. One version of the myth says that Inana actually condemned him herself, having returned to her house to find him partying instead of mourning. The Semitic people made Tammuz, as they called him, a fertility god whose death marked the cutting-down of the corn. The Bible forbids the Jews to participate in his festival, but Tammuz is still retained as a month name in the Jewish calendar. The later form of the myth, in which Tammuz was killed in a hunting accident, was known to the Classical world as that of Venus and Adonis (Adon being the Semitic word translated as 'Lord' in the Bible), and immortalised for English readers by Shakespeare's poem.

The Egyptian equivalent of lshtar is Hathor, the goddess of love and fertility, often represented as a cow. Like most important Egyptian gods and goddesses, she had a solar connection: her name meant the 'house of Horus', the place of the sunrise. She had no connection with the planet Venus, but was identified with the star Sirius. The heliacal rising of Sirius generally coincided with the flooding of the Nile, which re-fertilised the soil of Egypt, so it was natural for the star to be associated with fertility, although its astrological nature is Martian. Hathor was the patron of women and their lives, and also of everything which brings joy: love, art, music, even beer. Like other similar goddesses, she has her connection with the underworld: in the Book of the Dead she is shown accompanying the soul to judgement and providing the deceased with food and drink. What better guarantee of life in the afterworld than the patronage of she who fosters it in the present existence?

The Greek equivalent of Inana was Aphrodite. Her name is not found in the inscriptions of Bronze Age Crete, suggesting that she was a later borrowing. Like the other foreign gods (Artemis, Apollo, and Ares) she was shown by Homer fighting for the Trojans, while the native gods such as Zeus, Hera, and Athene supported the Greeks. Tradition associated her with Cyprus, where Greeks and Semites lived side by side from an early date, and the name Aphrodite is probably a Greek corruption of the Phoenician form of lshtar, Astarte (the Biblical Ashtaroth). Aphrodite had a more limited role than her Semitic predecessor, since the Greeks had rather an excess of fertility goddesses and consequently tended to give them more specialised functions. The original Hellenic Hera, whose name refers to the seasons, became confined to the patronage of marriage; the two goddesses of Mycenean Greece, Demeter and Persephone, were assigned the crops; animals and childbirth fell to Artemis, from Asia Minor; only sexual love was left for the last arrival. In Cyprus she retained Ishtar's responsibility for agricultural fertility and even warfare.

The Roman Venus was simply one of the personifications of which they were so fond, in this case of desire. Although it may seem unlikely, the root ven is the same as the wi in 'wish'. In later times, Greek mythology (and, no doubt, astrology) filled out this abstraction with the riches of lshtar:

"Mother of Aenaeas, darling of gods and men, Venus our nurse, below the wheeling Stars of heaven you fill the ship-bearing Sea and fruitful lands with life."
(Lucretius, translated G. Grigson)

The Romans considered the Germanic equivalent of Venus to be the goddess Frig, the wife of Woden, which is why Friday (Old English Friged corresponds to the Italian Venerdi (Lat. veneris dies). Actually, they were confusing Frig with Freyja who was the goddess of love, but not even the Germans themselves could always tell the two apart.


In the Jewish Cabbala, Venus is the seventh sphere: Victory or Netzach. This forms part of the lowest triad of spheres, together with Hôd (Mercury) and Yesôd (the Moon). Dion Fortune called this the astral triad, the domain of magic where the power of Netzach is shaped by Hôd and manifested in Yesôd. It could also be called the personal triad, for the balance between Venus and Mercury, artist and scientist, has to be achieved in the individual. This tension between the two planets is shown by the opposition between their exaltations, as Antiochus of Athens observed.

 Situated at the base of the pillar of action, Netzach manifests the creative power in emotion and instinct, and all human creativity, both sexual and imaginative The latter includes the arts, and also the god-forms of polytheism, created by man in his own image, yet nevertheless reflecting something of the nature of the universe. Both desire and imagination are to some extent superficial. The term glamour originally meant a magic illusion cast upon something, and the victory of Netzach involves triumphing over the glamour of its outer manifestations to reach that which they symbolise. An ancient text calls Netzach the Hidden Intelligence, "because its brilliant outpouring is received by those spiritual virtues which are seen, in the ecstasy of faith, only by the initiated".


Venus tarot cardsIn the tarot, Taurus and Libra are exemplified in the greater arcana by the Empress and Love respectively. The Empress signifies fertility, creativity, and passion; in modern decks she is usually depicted surrounded by a fertile countryside. The card Love (or the Lovers) is not often taken in this sense, due to a misinterpretation of the badly-drawn Marseilles card and its strange assignment to Gemini by the Golden Dawn, but the early cards all show a pair of lovers presided over by Cupid or Venus, One of the best modern designs is that of Aleister Crowley, who showed the couple as the King and Queen of Rosicrucian and alchemical symbolism.

 In the lesser arcana, Venus rules the sevens on cabbalistic grounds. None are completely favourable. The Seven of Wands is Courage, and even that is only needed in times of trouble. The others all emphasise the results of succumbing to glamour in the old sense of the word. The Seven of Swords is Unstable Effort, for the emotions produce no lasting results in the world of action. The Seven of Cups is Illusory Success, for love is blind, The Seven of Coins is Unfulfilled Success, for the emotions are not swayed by material considerations - "all for love and the world well lost" is the motto here.


In ancient Babylon, the planet Mercury was associated with the god Nabu, the divine scribe and god of wisdom. This demolishes the idea, so often repeated, that the planet was called Mercury because it is fast moving and so corresponds to the divine messenger, Hermes or Mercury. Nabu can hardly have been thought of as fast moving: scribes generally spent their day sitting still! The name Shihtu was appropriate in this respect, as it meant 'the leaper', no doubt referring to the planet's sudden, brief appearances. Unfortunately, no myths involving Nabu have survived. Since he must have pre-dated the invention of writing, his role as a god of wisdom must be older than that of scribe. Greek settlers in the East, after the conquests of Alexander, worshipped Nabu as Apollo, suggesting that he may also have been a god of poetry.

The Egyptian equivalent to Nabu was Tehuti, a name rendered by the Greeks as Thoth. He was one of the major gods of Egypt and personified the principle of reason. He was the scribe of the gods in heaven; the inventor of all the arts and sciences practised on earth; and the recorder of the deeds of men, whose evidence decided their fate in the underworld. The Egyptians summed up his powers by describing him as the "heart and tongue of Ra". In other words, Thoth represents divine reason and will, and the commands by which it is carried out: "The Lord by Wisdom hath founded the Earth", as Solomon put it. Thoth had no connection with the planet Mercury until the Greeks introduced astrology to Egypt: the Egyptians regarded the planet as belonging to the god Set, while Thoth presided over the Moon.

As a result of Thoth's position as a patron of knowledge, writers in Ptolemaic and Roman times attributed various books to 'Hermes Trismegistus', as they called him. These dealt with philosophy and religion (e.g., the Corpus Hermeticus and the Asclepius), astrology (e.g., the Liber Hermetis), and magic (numerous texts which have not been published, much less translated). The philosophical books were read and admired not only by pagans, but also by Church Fathers such as Lactantius. They were highly regarded in the Renascence, when they were considered to have preserved the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians and to predate both the Greek philosophers and the Bible; that is why Marsilio Ficino was asked to translate Hermes before Plato. Later scholars dismissed them, claiming that they were written at the end of the Roman Empire and contained no more than a mixture of Greek and Christian ideas. Modern scholars have largely abandoned this extreme view, and the discovery of the Asclepius in Coptic (the late form of the Egyptian language) has shown that they are indeed a legacy of Egyptian culture.

 The astrological hermetica cover the full range of the subject, but are particularly notable for their use of the decans (the equivalent in Egyptian astronomy to the Babylonian zodiac), and they may also be the source of much of the traditional teaching concerning the planetary parts. Astrological medicine, an Egyptian speciality, was also generally presented under the name of Hermes. In the Middle Ages, the Arabs passed off other works as hermetic. Many of these dealt with the lunar mansions, which the Arabs had obtained from India; no doubt these were felt to belong with the decans, both being equally exotic and associated with magic.

 The Greek may have translated Nabu and Tehuti as Hermes, but the original functions of Hermes seem to have heen rather different: fostering the fertility of cattle, aiding travellers, and guiding the soul after death. These roles also belonged to the Indian god Pusan, showing that the two are part of a common Indo-European heritage. Pusan means 'nourisher', so he was originally a fertility god. The connection with travelling may have come from an association with nomadic herdsmen, or from his patronage of the wedding procession; later he became associated with the last journey of all, into the next world. Certainly he had little in common with the astrological Mercury.

 Outside the rustic backwater of Arcadia, the connection of Hermes with fertility was only maintained by the use of his name for a phallic symbol erected in fields and public places. Otherwise he resigned the care of cattle to his son Pan, who was really the same god: the name is related to Pusan. Hermes' role as the messenger of the gods came later (it is not found in the Iliad), as an extension of his connection with travelling. Having become a messenger, it was natural that he should then become an orator. It was at that stage that astrologers took him as an equivalent for Nabu, though the Greeks usually identified Nabu with Apollo. Greek mythology as we have it developed during the Greek Dark Ages, between the fall of the Minoan civilisation and the rise of classical Hellenism. As Toynbee observed, the Greek gods were thus made in the image of barbarian man - a primitive who has been drawn into an encounter with a decadent civilisation and adopted the worst customs of both worlds. In consequence, the Olympians are a superhuman but disreputable warband: no place for an intellectual!

 The myths of Hermes seem to be of late origin. The most famous tells of his childhood. After his birth he astonished his mother by his precious and rapid growth - that phallic symbol again? His first achievement was to steal Apollo's cattle and lie about it. When his theft was finally exposed, he promptly invented the lyre and swapped it for the cattle, so creating both music and trade. To keep him on the straight and narrow for the future, he was appointed the messenger and herald of the gods. Apart from the interest in cattle, this is clearly the later image of Hermes. His antics are typical of trickster figures, like the American Coyote. This is not incompatible with his association with knowledge: the trickster is the other side of the sage; every shaman has to be something of a showman. At a deeper level, we may remember the stories of Adam and Faustus: the desire for knowledge can lead one to take a step too far.

 One might reasonably say that the god Hermes grew closer to the planet Mercury as time passed by. This is only to be expected, since the educated and sceptical Greeks of the Hellenistic period - eager for every new idea, as St Paul observed - would have found the new science of astrology much more exciting than the old myths. Those who try to shed light on astrology by means of myths need to remember that it is astrology which is the clearer and the more reliable. This is particularly true when one deals with Greek myths, which have been transmitted by poets rather than priests.

 The Latin name Mercury may be derived from the Latin word merx (goods, wares), but he was largely an imitation of Hermes and played a minor role in Roman religion. In fact, a better equivalent to the astrological Mercury would be Minerva, whose name comes from mens (mind). Mercury, as transplanted to Rome, preserved nothing of the old associations with fertility, so the Romans could equate him to the Germanic Woden (the Norse Odin), the god of poetry and magic: that is why Wednesday (Old English Wódnesdæg) corresponds to the French Mercredi (Latin Mercurii dies). Woden's attributes match those of the old Indian god Rudra, later known as Shiva: his association with magic, poetry, and warfare, even his wearing a hat and having an odd number of eyes - one for Woden, three for Rudra! Strangely enough, the Greek god who inherits most features of Rudra is Apollo, who was identified by his worshippers with Nabu: once again, the evolution of the pagan gods turns out to be complex and unexpected.

Philosopher or Postman?

Representation of Mercury If Hermes Trismegistus (or indeed Nabu) seems a more profound figure than the Mercury found in some modern astrological texts, this reflects a recent change. In Jeff Mayo's The Planets and Human Behaviour, Mercury is primarily associated with communication and adaptation to the environment; study and knowledge are assigned to Jupiter. William Lilly's 17th century text Christian Astrology presented a very different picture, connecting Mercury with learning, mysteries, and occult knowledge. In antiquity, Manilius, Valens, Antiochus, and Firmicus all associated Mercury with astrologers, philosophers, and writers.

 The change has largely come about as a result of the tendency of modern astrologers to blur the distinctions between planets, signs, and houses: Mercury tends to become no more than a reflection of Gemini, and of the third house (which does not even belong to him). The astronomers seem to have preserved a more balanced view of Mercury: the craters on its surface are named after writers, artists, and musicians. But to some extent the Greeks may have over-emphasised this aspect of Mercury. Although they produced two of the profoundest philosophers who ever lived, Plato and Plotinus, the Greeks were often superficial in a very Geminian way, valuing knowledge and intelligence at the expense of understanding and wisdom; Mercury at the expense of Jupiter.

According to the Picatrix, the great Arabic compendium of the occult sciences, successful students of magic generally have either Mercury or Jupiter as the strongest planet in their nativities. I do not have many charts of magicians to hand, but I notice that Mercury is the almuten of the charts of W.B.Yeats, Aleister Crowley, and A.O.Spare, while Israel Regardie had Jupiter.

 Another illustration of Mercury's connection with learning is the way in which the ideas of philosophers reflect its sign position in their nativities. For example, Mercury appears in Taurus in the charts of Hume, Husserl, Mill, Russell, and Wittgenstein, all noted for their interest in seeking the foundations of knowledge. Wittgenstein's last book was called On Certainty: just what a Taurean wants.


In the Jewish cabbala, Mercury is the eighth of the divine spheres: Glory, or Hôd in Hebrew. Its position at the base of the pillar of form indicates that in this sphere form is finally manifested as individual symbols, which makes Hôd the realm of the intellect. Just as Binah (associated with Saturn) at the top of the pillar imposes form at a cosmic level, so Hôd imposes form on human experience through the activity of the mind. This connection is reflected by the fact that Mercury and Saturn share the rule of the airy triplicity.

Hôd also forms part of the lowest triad of spheres - the astral or personal - together with Netzach (Venus) and Yesôd (the Moon). Netzach, at the base of the pillar of action, manifests the creative power of that pillar in emotion and instinct, balancing the intellect of Hôd. Yesôd is the field in which they both operate. The astral triad, particularly Hôd, is the realm of magic, which, like the words of Thoth, transforms the outer world by operating on the inner world which it manifests. The magician uses the power of Netzach to impose the forms of Hôd onto the substance of Yesôd.


In the greater arcana of the tarot, Mercury is always associated with the first trump, the Magus or Juggler - names which sum up the extremes of the planet, sage and trickster.

In the lesser arcana, Mercury (as the eighth cabbalistic sphere) rules the eights. The domiciles Gemini and Virgo explain why the air and earth suits are favourable: the Eight of Wands is called Swiftness, the Eight of Coins, Prudence. Because intellect opposes emotion - Venus is exalted in a detriment of Mercury - the Eight of Cups is unfavourable, and called Abandoned Success. As Mercury has no affinity with fire, the Eight of Swords is also unfavourable: Shortened Force or Interference: reflection impeding action.


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Re: Антична митология за планетите
« Отговор #3 -: Септември 19, 2016, 08:48:55 pm »

The Moon in Ancient Egypt

The moon has always played an important role in Egyptian religion, even through modern times, with it's  symbolisms related to the Islamic faith. During ancient times, it was never as important to the Egyptians as the sun, though the moon was considered by them to be the nightly replacement of the sun. Within all of the known  creation accounts, the Sun is always paramount. However, in the relationship between the Moon and the stars, the lunar god can be designated as "ruler of the stars".

However, unlike the solar Aten, it is uncertain that the disk of the moon was itself ever worshipped as a deity during the history of ancient Egypt. Rather, like animals, it was regarded as a symbol or manifestation of specific deities.

When depicted, the moon is most commonly represented as a combination of the full-moon disk with the crescent moon. Lunar gods were almost always shown with this symbol on their heads. At times, the full-moon disk could have a  wadjat eye (either the left or the right), or a lunar god depicted within it. The moon was, like the Sun, frequently shown traversing the sky in a boat. The most complete extant depiction of the entire lunar cycle is found inside the  pronaos of the  temple of Edfu.

The beginning of the lunar cycle was considered to be the new moon, and it ended with the moment of the full Moon. Therefore, the moon only became visible on the second day of the lunar month. The lunar cycle is represented either as a six day evolution up to the sixth day, or as a fifteen day evolution up to the ideal day of the full moon. The importance given to the sixth day is probably explained by the increasing intensity of moonlight at this stage of the cycle, though sometimes the seventh day is mentioned instead.

Interruptions in the usual lunar cycle were feared by the ancient Egyptians. A lunar eclipse was seen as a bad omen, evidenced from some  Late Period texts that describe the sky swallowing the moon. The lunar cycle was also though to influence daily life, and the Egyptians dedicated  stelae to it at  Deir el-Medina, as well as forming personal names with the moon element.

In time, the moon became a symbol of rejuvenation, and given it's cycle, this is understandable. Later texts in fact describes it as "the one that repeats its form". Sometimes lunar gods were depicted as youths, though the entire lunar cycle could be compared to the life cycle of a man. It could also represent the old man who becomes once more, a child. During the  New Kingdom, a pharaoh might be declared "young as the moon", and  Amenhotep III fully identifies himself with the moon in his temple at Soleb.

In funerary beliefs, the lunar cycle was an image of cyclical renewal. The feast of the sixth day was associated with the victory of  Osiris, and even though the moment of the full moon could have the same significance, the sixth day became particularly important in funerary rituals. In fact, by the time of the  Pyramid Texts, the deceased is already identified with the moon. During the  Middle Kingdom, funerary beliefs were especially concerned with the night sky, even though lunar associations were not common during that period. However, the  Coffin Texts from Deir el-Bersheh nevertheless accord an equal place in the afterworld to the lunar god Thoth, next to  Osiris and Re. During the  New Kingdom and later, the roll of the moon in the afterlife remains rare, but is found for instance in chapter 131 of the  Book of the Dead.

The moon also had other associations in ancient Egypt. For example, on account of the similarity in shape of the crescent moon and a bull's horns, it was compared to that that  important animal. Hence, lunar gods are frequently described with "sharp horns". During the  Greek period especially at  Edfu  and Karnak, the metaphor is developed by calling the crescent moon the "rutting bull", while the waning moon is an ox. Bulls in ancient Egypt were often seen as a symbol of fertility, and so the moon was "the rutting bull who inseminates the cows", but it was also said that "You unite with young women, you are an inseminating bull who fertilizes the girls", indicating a perceived relationship between female fertility and the moon.

These concepts of fertility extend to resources as well, and the ancient Egyptians understood that there was a relationship that existed between the Moon and the growth of plants and that sowing was best done at the time of a full moon. However, it was even thought that minerals in the desert came into being under the Moon's influence.

The moon and the sun were commonly referred to by the ancient Egyptians as "the two lights", and the weaker light of the Moon is compared to the evening Sun. Most frequently, the ancient Egyptians interpreted these two lights as the eyes of Re, or of the sky god Horus, whose left eye was the Moon and whose right eye was the sun. The left eye was weaker because it had been damaged, according to myth. This myth was elaborated upon in various  cult centers, giving rise to special forms of  Horus such as Khenty-Khety of  Letopolis and the later Hor-Merty of Horbeit (in the Delta).

In fact, this mythology became very extensive, with a number of variants. Four primary myths can be identified surrounding the divine eyes. They included the eyes of the sky god, the injured eye of  Horus, the solar eye and the distant goddess who is brought back. Variants of these myths were formed when elements form each were sometimes mixed and interchanged with the others.

By far, the predominant myth concerning the moon relates its cycle to the battle between  Horus and Seth. In this famous battle over the inheritance of  Osiris, Seth steals the eye of Horus and divides it into six parts, thus damaging it. Thoth later restores it "with his fingers", or by spitting on it. Within the temple at  Kom-Ombo (scene 950), a series of medical instruments is depicted being used in the healing of the eye by the god Horoeris. This restored eye is called wedjat beginning in the  New Kingdom, but the myth is actually much older and can be found in Spell 335 of the  Coffin Texts. Onuris, Thoth, or Osiris as moon returns the complete eye to Horus. Thoth may also be said to catch the lunar eye in a net, acting together with the god  Shu.

"Filling the Wedjat eye", "entering into the left eye", or "joining the left eye" also means restoring the eye. This act, which was performed by Thoth together with a specific group of fourteen gods, was performed on the sixth lunar day. During the Greco-Roman period, temple reliefs form the region between  Dendera and  Esna indicate that the group of gods who restored the eye were the Ennead of Hermopolis. Together with Thoth, these gods represented the fifteen days leading up to the full moon, and again the days of the waning moon. As representing the latter, they are said to exit from the eye. At  Edfu and Philae, the gods Tanenent and Iunit of the Hermopolitan Ennead are replaced by Hekes and Hepuy.

A symbolic variant of this theme occurs in the temples at  Edfu and  Dendera, where a staircase with fourteen steps supports the fourteen gods of the waxing moon. At Edfu, Dendera and Ismant el-Kharab (Dakhleh Oaisis) there exist a list of a different group of thirty, mostly male, deities associated with the days of the lunar month. In these legends at Ismant el-Kharab, the first fifteen gods are said to fill the wedjat eye with a fraction each day, after which the moon's reduction is recorded up to the twenty-fourth day, when the intensity of the moonlight has all but disappeared.

There were, of course, other important myths. Because of the identification of the moon with the god  Horus, the birth of Horus (or Harsiese) was celebrated on the second lunar day in the ancient Egyptian month of Pharmuthi. Therefore, at  Edfu where it is stated that "When he completes the half month, he assumes control of the sky rejuvenated", the full moon could be equated with the adult Horus. At the moment of the full moon, Horus was declared "true of voice" and "joyful", because of his victory over Seth in the divine tribunal of Heliopolis. Based on this theme, the lunar cycle was linked to the renewal of royal powers at Karnak.

The opposition of the Sun and Moon in the sky on the fifteenth or sixteenth day of the month was the most important moment of the lunar cycle. This is evidenced by inscriptions at  temples in  Edfu,  Dendera and Karnak. This moment in time was known as "the uniting of the two bulls", and was described in the  New Kingdom Osireion at Abydos. A ritual in later temples was celebrated with the offering of two mirrors, symbolizing the two lights at this precise moment. The moment symbolized the rejuvenation of the sun god Amun-Re at Thebes, and also in the Dakhleh Oaisis, when his son and successor, the moon god Khonsu, received his heritage of cosmic rule.

Another important lunar god was  Osiris, who may have only become identified with the moon as of the  New Kingdom. The murder of the god Osiris and his resurrection were recognized in the lunar cycle, and the body of Osiris was equated with the moon. In this myth, Osiris' body was cut into fourteen parts by Seth, where were later reassembled and restored to life. Here also, the number of parts of Osiris' body were equated with the days of the waning or waxing moon.

In other areas of Egypt, the entire life cycle of  Osiris were related to the lunar cycle, with the god's conception on the first day and his birth on the second lunar day. At Karnak, the temple of Pet was actually dedicated to this event. Osiris' murder and subsequent dismemberment were associated with the period following the full moon. Hence, the second day of the month saw the reassembly of the god's parts and his "entering into the moon" on the sixth day. The rejuvenation and the defeat of the god's enemies occurred on the day of the full moon, when Osiris was declared victorious in the tribunal, and when  Horus was awarded with his heritage.

The name of the lunar god Khonsu relates to the verb which means "moving in various directions". This characterizes the lunar orbit, and particularly in the earliest references, Khonsu is given an aggressive nature. Later Theban sources tell how Khonsu traveled every day from the east (his temple at Karnak) to the west (the temple of Djeme), in order to revitalize his deceased father, Amun. Specifically, it is the Theban theology that describes the moon god as the son of the sun god.

There were a few other gods with specific links to the moon, including  Min and the Greek form of Isis. Goddesses were usually only associated with the moon when they were identified with the eye of Re, as were  Tefnut and Hathor. The annual journey from  Dendera to  Edfu by the Hathor cult statue was timed in accordance with the phases of the moon.


Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, The Wilkinson, Richard H. 2003 Thames & Hudson
Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, A Hart, George 1986 Routledge
Egyptian Religion Morenz, Siegfried 1973 Cornell University Press
Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt Armour, Robert A. 1986 American University in Cairo Press
Gods of the Egyptians, The (Studies in Egyptian Mythology) Budge, E. A. Wallis 1969 Dover Publications, Inc.



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Re: Антична митология за планетите
« Отговор #4 -: Октомври 08, 2016, 09:28:39 am »

Notable stars in Aries: Epoch 2000

Longitude    Name         Nature                   Mag.      Position                 Lat.     Dec.
03 Ta. 11    Mesartim     Mars / Saturn        4.8         Left horn               7N      19N
03 Ta. 58    Sharatan     Mars / Saturn        2.7         Left horn               8N      21N
07 Ta. 40    Hamal         Mars / Saturn        2.2         Main star in head   10N    23N
20 Ta. 51    Botein         Mars                     4.5         Flank of hind leg    2N      20N

 The myth of Aries tells how the hero Phrixus was fleeing from his stepmother Mo on the back of a ram with his sister Helle. During the journey Helle fell into the sea (which was afterwards called Hellespont) but Phrixus escaped and later sacrificed the ram in tribute to Jupiter. He hung its fleece in the grove of Ares where it turned to gold, later to be pursued by Jason.

 The golden fleece had the power to restore life to the dead, an allusion to the creativity that is restored to the earth upon the Sun's return to the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere (now fixed to denote the first point of Aries but at the time of Astrology's development falling within this constellation). Creative energy is invested into the symbolism of this star-group but too much of it can lead to violence, intemperance and 'blood-rush'.

 Ptolemy recorded the stars in the tail of Aries as like Venus, those in the hind foot like Mars, those in the mouth like Mercury (with a moderate degree of Saturn) and those in the head like Mars and Saturn.[1]
The brightest are in the head and the main star, Hamal (meaning 'Head of the Sheep') marks the forehead. This is a 2nd magnitude star, yellow in colour, which was worshipped by the Greeks at the festival of Jupiter Ammon, where they celebrated the return of the Sun to Aries with the slaughter of rams.[2] Its influence is generally unfortunate and it is associated with violence, danger, and head injuries.[3]

 The second star of importance,  Sharatan, is situated on the left horn. This is a pearly white star, of 3rd magnitude, which is often considered in partnership with its 5th magnitude companion a little lower down the horn - Mesarthim - the two being known to the Persians as 'the Protecting Pair', or 'the Butters'.[4] Its name derives from Al Sharatain 'the Two Signals'. As suggested by the image of a ram's horn and its Mars/Saturn nature, its influence is a violent one.

 Ptolemy claimed that the stars in the forward and hinder parts of Aries may denote abnormal sexual behaviour when Venus is with them, afflicted by Saturn and the Moon.[5] This would include Hamal, Sharatan, Mesartim and a 4th star of astrological note: Botein, which lies on the flank of the hind leg near the tail. There is some confusion regarding its inclusion in Ptolemy's listing because the name Botein derives from an Arabic term Butain, meaning 'belly', although on most star maps it marks the tail of the reclining Ram.

The best time to view Aries is in the autumn months 

The Sun crosses Sharatan around April 24th / Hamal around April 28th. 
Hamal and Sharatan can be located immediately to the west of the Pleiades on the same line of declination. 


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« Отговор #5 -: Октомври 08, 2016, 09:34:26 am »

Notable stars in Taurus: Epoch 2000

Longitude          Name                  Nature                   Mag.           Position                                Lat.    Dec.
29 Ta. 59          Alcyone                Moon / Jupiter        2.87           Pleiades (Shoulder of Bull)     4N     24N
05 Ge. 48          Prima Hyadum      Saturn / Mercury    3                Hyades Forehead of Bull        06S   16N
08 Ge. 28          N. Bull's Eye         Saturn / Mercury    3                Northern Eye of Bull              03S   19N
09 Ge. 47          Aldebaran             Mars                     0.85            Southern Eye of Bull             05S   17N
22 Ge. 34          El Nath                 Mars                     1.65            Tip of Northern Horn             05N   29N
24 Ge. 47          Al Hecka               Mars                     3                Tip of Southern Horn             02S   21N

 Taurus is one of the oldest constellations, particularly noted in ancient astronomy because it marked the vernal equinox between 4000- 1700BC. In Greek myth the creature immortalizes the form taken by Jupiter in his seduction of Europa. Encouraged by the tameness of the bull she mounted it as it mingled with a herd on the sea-shore, whereupon it swam into the sea and bore her away to Crete. Some authorities claim that this is why only the foreparts of the bull are depicted in the constellation figure, the hind quarters supposedly hidden by waves; other authors claim that the lack of hind limbs indicates that at one time the constellation was much larger and occupied the space now taken by Aries.

 Taurus is well documented in Babylonian astrology, the Mesopotamians being the first to call this part of the sky Gud.Anna., 'Bull of Heaven'. According to their myth, the creature was created on the orders of Ishtar (Venus) to destroy the legendary hero Gilgamesh who had insultingly spurned her advances and remarked that she all too quickly tired of her objects of desire. Gilgaimesh triumphed over the Bull, which was then placed in the heavens, but for his sacrilege the gods declared that the life of his best friend, Enkidu, should be taken as a forfeit.

 It is notable how frequently a strong feminine figure is integral to the myth of the bull, not only in Greece and Mesopotamia, but also in Egypt where Taurus became the sky representative of Isis. Manilius, writing in the first century AD, described Taurus as dives puellis 'rich in maidens', although he was referring to the seven Pleiades and seven Hyades, all daughters of Atlas, collectively known as the Atlanteads, which are celebrated within its form.[1] In his description of the characteristics given to the natives of this constellation he speaks about their beauty and 'peaceful lives'; their gifts being 'not gifts of glory, but the fruits of the earth', a fruitfulness derived from the constellation's role in heralding the renewal of the agricultural year:

When it carries the sun's orb upon its horns, it bids battle with the soil begin and rouses the fallow land to its former cultivation, itself leading the work, for it neither pauses in the furrows nor relaxes its breast in the dust... Its sons have a love of unsung excellence; their hearts and bodies derive strength from a massiveness that is slow to move, whilst in their faces dwells the boy-god Love.[2]

 Despite the peaceful gentility given to the constellation as a whole, many of the stars and clusters within the group are notable for an influence that is fierce, ambitious and violent. The Pleiades is a nebulous cluster of stars, all contained within one degree of longitude, located on the shoulder of the Bull. In myth they eternalise the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, daughter of Oceanus - Maia, Taygete, Electra, Alcyone, Asterope, Kelaino and Merope. Alcyone, a 3rd magnitude greenish-yellow star is the brightest, and generally taken as a reference point for the group.

 According to one version of the myth, the Seven Sisters committed suicide through grief at their father's everlasting task of having to support the world on his shoulders, his punishment for fighting with the Titans against the gods of Mount Olympus. Another claims they were the attendants of Artemis who were pursued by the giant hunter Orion. They were rescued by the gods who changed them into doves and after death placed them in the heavens a little away from the gaze of Orion.

 The Pleiades are among the first stars positively identified in astronomical literature, with references as early as the 3rd millennium BC when Alcyone would have marked the vernal equinox - thus, the title 'the Great Year of the Pleiades' is used to describe the cycle of precession which takes about 25,850 years to complete. The origin of the term Pleiades is not purely explained by the name of the mythological mother; many consider that it derives from the Greek term 'to sail' since the heliacal rising of the group in May coincided with the new season of navigation for the Greeks, and the stars were believed to have a strong influence upon the waters, being known as 'the sailor's stars'. Others consider it originates from the term meaning 'full', 'many' or 'plural' and a derivative Arabic name Al Thurayya, meaning 'Abundance', was argued by Al-Biruni to refer to both their appearance and to the effect that their attendant rain had upon the crops.

 The Pleiades are also one of the most noted objects in the sky, with reference to their 'sweet' influence frequently found in ancient literature and poems. Astrologically, however, despite being described as having a nature like the Moon and Jupiter, they have also accumulated an unfortunate reputation for immorality and disorder, as well as the tradition for blindness and injuries to the eyes that is common to all nebulous clusters.[3] Modern authors Ebertin and Hoffman remark upon an inclination to homosexuality and violent death,[4] whilst Vivian Robson concluded that their influence was 'distinctly evil'. [5] Manilius is the most ancient author to which this blighted reputation can be traced, in a passage that speaks first of an innocuous striving for physical perfection and feminine graces, but rapidly deteriorates towards perverted sexuality:

...the Bull brings forth in his sixth degree the Pleiades, sisters who vie with each other's radiance. Beneath their influence devotees of Bacchus and Venus are born into the kindly light, and people whose insouciance[6] runs free at feasts and banquets and who will strive to provoke sweet mirth with biting wit. They will always take pains over personal adornment and an elegant appearance: they will set their locks in waves of curls or confine their tresses with bands, building them into a thick topknot, and they will transform the appearance of the head by adding hair to it: they will smooth their hairy limbs with the porous pumice, loathing their manhood and craving for sleekness of arm. They adopt feminine dress, footwear donned not for wear but for show, and an affected effeminate gait. They are ashamed of their sex; in their hearts dwells a senseless passion for display, and they boast of their malady, which they call a virtue. To give their love is never enough, they want their love to be seen. [7]

 Five centuries later, the roman astrologer Firmicus Maternus, clearly inspired by Manilius, enlarged his general drift but developed it towards the negative:

Those who are born when these [the Pleiades] are rising are always involved in luxury and lust. They are always drenched in perfumes, given to too much wine drinking, impudent in speech, so that in banquets and lovemaking they attack their companions with sarcastic wit. They are addicted to crimes of passion and are the kind who raise laughter by their biting tongues. They will always be well groomed and well dressed. They twist their hair in ringlets and often present a fictitious appearance by using another's hair. They soften their whole body with various cosmetics; pull out their body hair and wear clothes in the likeness of women; they walk softly on their tiptoes. But the desire for flattery torments them; they seek it so constantly that they think that from flattery they attain virtue and good fortune. They will always be in love, or pretend that they are, and it pains them that they were born men. If a malefic planet is in this place they will be struck by sudden blindness. [8]

 Firmicus adds that when setting, the Pleiades warn of death from shipwreck if afflicted, or otherwise, death results from sexual diseases or overindulgence at banquets or drinking parties. Thus the group was characterised with a flavour for the immoral, leading 17th century astrologer William Lilly to write of its effect upon the manners:

The Pleiades inclines the native to be wanton, ambitious, turbulent. [9]

 Of the direction of the ascendant to the group Lilly also writes:

This afflicts the native's body with red choler and choleric humours, with wounds in the face, or hurt in the sight of his left eye, restraint of liberty, banishment, or an obscuring of himself for a time, wounds or hurts in his arms. I have observed this direction offends the native's eyes with choleric humours or sharp distillations, that the native passionately affects women, gets them with child, is prone to whoredoms and unclean lusts, and loses his reputation thereby. That he is suddenly engaged in quarrels, bound to answer his follies at the sessions; usually, if the capacity of the man suffer it, and at the time the ascendant or Sun come to the opposition of the lord of the 10th or Mars, the native dies by the sentence of the judge. [10]

 Various aphorisms throughout Lilly's section on nativities point to the asterism being the cause of violent death when prominently positioned and afflicted. 'To be slain in a tumult' is a risk to be wary of when Mars is with the Pleiades and Saturn with Cor Leonis,[11] whilst the direction of the midheaven to the Pleiades:

.... violently thrusts the native into troublesome, pernicious and dangerous businesses, wranglings and controversies occasioned by women. It occasions sudden and unexpected quarrels and rash actions, sometimes murders or stabs, imprisonment, &c. It doth also portend in some genitures sudden preferment, but an unlucky end thereof. This is to be understood, where the radix of the nativity is unfortunate. [12]

 The final comment should be firmly borne in mind, since it seems reasonable to expect that the problems arising from and associated with women, or the troublesome effeminate traits, are only be expected when the cluster is unfortunately profiled. Like most powerful stars, Alcyone can promote as rapidly as it can destroy, particularly under beneficial conditions and wise direction.

 The other remarkable cluster in Taurus is the Hyades, referred to as one of the most beautiful objects in the sky and frequently mentioned by classical authors on account of its beauty and reputation for bringing rain. In Greek mythology they were the half-sisters of the Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas and Aethra, who were entrusted with the care of the infant Bacchus. The tears they shed at the death of their brother Hyas moved the gods to place them among the stars in recognition of their sympathy and sorrow.

 The name Hyades is derived from a Greek term meaning 'rain' because of the wet season that accompanied their rising and setting in May and November respectively. The helical rising of the group unaccompanied by rain, was taken to foretell a barren year and they also had a reputation for causing storms. Pliny referred to the group as 'violent and troublesome... causing storms and tempests on land and sea' whilst Ptolemy mentions them as harbingers of fire, thunder and lightning.[13] The disturbance they brought meteorologically appears to underpin their astrological reputation for characterising upset, violence and sorrow. Manilius wrote of their rising:

Those born at this time take no pleasure in tranquility and set no store by a life of inaction; rather they yearn for crowds and mobs and civil disorders. Sedition and uproar delight them.... they welcome fights which break the peace and provide sustenance for fears.[14]

 The chief star, Aldebaran is the 1st magnitude star referred to by Ptolemy as 'the Torch' on account of its bright, rose-coloured luminance. It is positioned on the southern or left eye of the Bull and is known by early authors as 'the Bright Eye of the Bull', 'Bull's Eye', Occulus Taurii; or by some Cor Taurii - the Heart of Taurus, referring not to its position but its prominency. The name is derived from the Arabic Al Dabaran, the Follower, ie., of the Pleiades. Ptolemy noted this star to have an influence of the nature of Mars and this is certainly evident in the description Lilly gives in describing its effect upon the manners, where he states that it will show the native:

... to be fierce, full of courage, to delight in military affairs, unquiet, seditious; but the Moon in conjunction with it imports a good fellow, especially in the ascendant; but if the Lord of the ascendant be with the Moon in conjunction with that fixed star, he proves a murderer; the more probable if he be a masculine planet and the Sun unfortunate. Usually Saturn with Oculus Taurii produces great afflictions, and shows a strange mind and very wicked. [15]

 Of the direction of the Sun to Aldebaran Lilly writes:

It shows the native occupied in military matters, to frame many warlike instruments, to devise many strategems, and that he shall be endangered by the deceit of his enemies, and in some peril of his life, but let him beware he fall not into their hands. [16]

 Ascending or culminating with the Sun or Moon, Aldebaran 'opens the way to much honour for himself by his violence and fierceness, but with much difficulties and many casualties'. Other references to the star afflicted refer to the possibility of violent death and, like the Pleiades, the Hyades also have a reputation for abnormal sexual inclinations.

 Aldebaran formed one of the Four Royal Stars of Persia - the Watcher of the East. As such, there is the capacity for great promotion, preferment and an accumulation of wealth and power, but as in the case of Antares, there is a great responsibility attached to the honours that it brings, and if these are abused, the fall from grace will be just as rapid as the rise.

Prima Hyadum is another notable star in the Hyades group. Its nature is likened to Saturn and Mercury and, well placed, the star is said to give tactfulness and fairness, but afflicted it indicates sorrow and tears, sudden unfortunate events and violent swings of fortune.

El Nath is a double star, brilliant white and pale grey, situated on the tip of the northern horn. The name derives from Al Natih, the Butting One, and the nature, according to Ptolemy, is like the influence of Mars. Nonetheless, El Nath enjoys a more favourable reputation than many of the stars in Taurus and is renown for giving fortune, favour and eminence, accompanied by a sharp wit. It carries some danger of quarrels, enmity, and 'many small losses' but overall its influence is a beneficial one and when harnessed, can propel and promote effectively.

 By comparison, Al Hecka, on the southern horn, is far more malevolent and is reputed to be associated with violence, suspicions, deceit and selfishness. It is an unfavourable star for health, and especially for the lungs. [17] Afflicted it indicates domestic problems, separations, sexual abnormalities and uncontrolled passions and tempers.

The best time to view Taurus is in the late autumn months. 

The Sun crosses Alcyone around June 21st / Prima Hyadum around June 28th / Aldebaran around July 2nd / El Nath around July 15th / Al Hecka around July 19th. 
Taurus is located north west of the prominent constellation, Orion. Aldebaran can be found as the central point in the V-shape that marks the head and horns of the Bull. 


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« Отговор #6 -: Октомври 08, 2016, 09:42:27 am »

Notable stars in Gemini: Epoch 2000

Longitude                       Name                             Nature                     Mag.            Position                               Lat.      Dec.
03 Cn. 26                       Tejat                              Mercury/ Venus        2.88             Left foot of Northern Twin     01S      22N
05 Cn. 18                       Dirah                              Mercury/ Venus        3                 Left foot of Northern Twin     01S      23N
09 Cn. 06                       Al Hena                          Mercury/ Venus        1.93             Left foot of Southern Twin     07S      16N
18 Cn. 31                       Wasat                            Saturn                     3                  Right arm of Northern Twin   00S      22N
20 Cn. 15                       Castor                            Mercury                   1.58             Head of Northern Twin          10N      32N
23 Cn. 13                       Pollux                             Mars                       1.14             Head of Southern Twin          07N      28N

Gemini, the most northernly constellation of the zodiac, is dominated by the two bright stars that represent the heads of the Twins. The ancient Babylonians referred to the constellation as Mastabba Galgal, the 'Great Twins', and commemorated within it the mythical friendship of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, who fought against the gods in twelve adventures. Little is known of the Egyptian interest in the constellation (they referred to it simply as the 'Two Stars'), yet we know that the Greek Hero Hercules evolved from Egyptian origins and we can assume that their traditions lingered in the Greek recognition of the two stars as Hercules and Apollo - the tale of Hercules, of course, being closely associated with the labours of Gilgamesh.

It was the Romans who referred to the stars as Castor and Pollux; the names by which they are known today. In myth they are the twin Sons of Leda, born in an egg after Jupiter seduced her disguised as a swan. The seduction took place on the night of her wedding to the King of Sparta. Thus the twins were spawned by different fathers: Castor by a king, and Pollux by a god. Both were great warriors but Castor was renown for his skill in horsemanship (his name has been translated as 'horseman') and his talent for the arts, music and sciences, whilst Pollux was blessed with immortality, powerful strength and ferocity.

 Their place in the heavens was secured when Castor was killed and Pollux, grief stricken, declared that he wanted to join his brother in Hades. Zeus took pity on the brothers and allowed both to experience the worlds of Hades and Olympus, provided they shared their immortality by living alternating lives between heaven and earth.

 The quest for divine immortality is a main thread of all the ancient myths associated with this constellation. The myth of Gilgamesh is told through twelve adventures and is considered to be a reflection of the solar journey. In the first six he becomes ever stronger and appears invincible but in the seventh he experiences the death of his friend, personal illness, and becomes increasingly concerned for his mortality. In his search for immortality and to demand that his friend be resurrected to life, he travels to the Mountain of the sunset on the western horizon and passes through its portals guarded by Scorpion-men, into the region of darkness which takes him twenty four hours to cross. Ultimately he is denied immortality, the mythological significance being that the sun-god can never become immortal and must perish at sunset, sojourn in the underworld and repeat the cycle again at sunrise. The ongoing battle of vitality and decay is part of the dualism that is the key to understanding the symbolic essence of Gemini. It is emphasized in ancient Euphratean representation of the Twins, where they are frequently depicted as the Sun and Moon, one rising as the other sets. [1] In a strange parallel to the Roman myth, Pollux has experienced an increase in luminosity and become a 1st magnitude star, the brightest of the two, whilst Castor, which held this honour until three centuries ago, has undergone a reversion of brilliance, and is now almost 2nd magnitude.

 Another myth tells how Castor and Pollux sailed on the Argo and by their strength and ingenuity saved the lives of their fellow mariners during a terrifying storm. Classical sailors were particularly taken by these stars and prayed to them for protection at sea during storms. Writing in the first century AD, Pliny tells how the sight of the Twins shining together brought comfort to sailors and foretold a prosperous voyage. But one visible without sight of its companion is unlucky: "they drown those ships on which they light, and threaten shipwrack, yea, and they set them on fire...."[2]

 The stars were also reputed to offer protection from the phenomenon known today as 'St. Elmo's Fire' - a weird and wonderful celestial light which sailors looked upon as "dreadfull, cursed, and threatening". Pliny reported that "men assigne this mightie power to Castor and Pollux, and invocate them at sea, no lesse than gods". Many ships sought the beneficial patronage of Gemini by using Castor and Pollux as their figurehead. A passage in the Bible tells how Saint Paul travelled on such a vessel, [3] and the constellation was often symbolised by the picture of two stars over a ship, a state of guardianship which Horace referred to in his Odes:

So Leda's twins, bright-shining at their beck
 Oft have delivered stricken barks from wreck.

 Besides their benevolence to sailors, the Twins were also protectors and inspirers of all soldiers and military men. Legend claims that they appear at the head of armies, inciting men forward as they march into battle. But they were also great lovers of art, science, love and beauty. According to Manilius the Twins lived a life of ease and unfading youth spent in the arms of love. They have great affinity with music and study and such is their genius that they outstrip the flight of the stars in their ability to predict the movement of heaven.[4]

 Castor's skill with horses is said to be shared by those born under the influence of the star. Generally, Pollux was renown for strength and ferocity, while Castor excelled in the muses, wisdom, prophecy, logic and artful negotiation. Pollux, a fiery red star, was listed by Ptolemy as having a nature like Mars; Castor, a bright white star, like Mercury. Astrologically, Pollux denotes a spirited nature and encourages violence, rashness and a love of sport; Castor promotes the intellect and endows success in study. Both stars are considered beneficial, but they can promote sickness, great upset and trouble when afflicted.

 Of the remaining stars in Gemini, Ptolemy claimed that those in the feet are of the nature of Mercury with a moderate influence of Venus, and those in the thighs like Saturn. Al Hena, the third brightest star of the constellation, is a brilliant white star located in the left foot of Castor. The name has been translated by various authors as a reference to a wound or affliction, with Vivian Robson relating it to "the wound in the tendon of Achilles". [5] The Arabic term is loosely translated to mean a brand or burnt-in mark and it is surprising that more has not been made of its symbolic association with a point of sensitivity and affliction, (admittedly Robson attributes a liability to accidents affecting the feet). Generally, Al Hena's influence is reputed to bestow eminence in art, literature, science and persuasive diplomacy.

Tejat and Dirah are both located in the left foot of Pollux, so traditionally share the Mercurial/Venus nature. Tejat, or Tejat Prior ('forward foot'), appears to reflect the martian qualities of Pollux however, in its reputation for relaying "violence, pride, over-confidence and shamelessness".[6] Dirah, also known as Tejat Posterior ('latter foot'), repeats a similar martian theme. Robson claims that it is symbolically called "the Abused or Beaten One", while suggesting that its influence offers "force, energy, power and protection". [7]

Wasat, whose name means 'Middle', is a white and purple star located on the right arm of Castor. It is listed by most authors as having a nature like Saturn because of its proximity to the thigh. Robson says of Wasat: "It gives violence, malevolence, destructiveness as a first principle, and is connected with chemicals, poisons and gas".[8] More recently, Dr Eric Morse has observed an influence more in keeping with the communicative and intellectual grace associated with the Castor myth: "Because of the Saturnine quality of this star, it gives a heaviness and tendency to pessimism. Apart from that however, Al Wasat does show up a quality of being able to speak with clear authority when others are waffling and prominence in public affairs or management is often the result". [9]

The best time to view Gemini is December. Look out for the Geminid meteor shower which appears every year in mid-December. 

The Sun crosses Tejat around June 25th / Dirah around June 28th / Al Hena around July 2nd / Wasat around July 11th / Castor around July 13th / Pollux around July 16th. 
The twin stars of Gemini are easily identifiable to the northeast of Orion. 


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Re: Антична митология за планетите
« Отговор #7 -: Октомври 08, 2016, 09:56:12 am »

Notable stars in Cancer: Epoch 2000

Longitude    Name              Nature                Mag.       Position                        Lat.   Dec.
07 Le. 20    Praesepe          Mars/Moon          5            Breast of Crab              01N   20N
07 Le. 32    North Asellus    Mars/Sun            4            Body of Crab                03N   21N
08 Le. 43    South Asellus    Mars/Sun            4            Body of Crab                00N   18N
13 Le. 38    Acubens           Saturn/Mercury   4             Southern Claw of Crab  05S   12N

 The figure of the Crab originated in Babylon, where its ancient name was Al Lul or Bulag, 'the Wicked One', an early reference to a lasting reputation that its stars are of an unfortunate nature. In Greek myth, the story of the Crab is not a tale of heroic glory, but rather a celebration of loyalty, persistence and determination. Classical legend claims its place in the heavens was secured when it bit Hercules's toes during his contest with the Hydra, (whose constellation lies below), and in so doing sacrificed its life. Juno was so impressed by the creature's loyalty and refusal to submit before death that she set it among the stars.

 There seems to have been a universal association between this constellation and hard shelled animals, frequently with lobsters, crayfish and shore inhabiting creatures. It has also been recognised as a Tortoise by the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks, while later Egyptians knew it as a Scarab Beetle, a sacred emblem of immortality - an idea which also infiltrated the Greek world and appears in medieval astrology as late as the 12th century.

This 'shore inhabiting' theme, when viewed as a symbol of the emergence of life from the ocean (physically) or primeval depths (philosophically), bears an interesting reflection upon ancient Chaldean and Platonist philosophy. As the sign of the Sun's greatest elevation, Cancer was considered nearest to the highest point of heaven - thus the constellation was recognised as 'the Gate of Men' through which souls descended to Earth from heaven. [1] The opposite constellation, Capricorn, represented the 'Gate of the Gods', where souls of the departed ascended back to heaven. This ties neatly with Hermetic Philosophy, which regards the sphere of the Moon, the planetary ruler of Cancer, as the final realm in which incarnating souls acquire shape and form in birth. Similarly, the sphere of Saturn, the planetary ruler of Capricorn, is seen as the final realm in which ascending souls free themselves from earthly trappings upon death. Whether this parallel in symbolism is coincidental or designed is open to question.

 Cancer is a constellation with few stars, none brighter than 4th magnitude. It was known as the 'dark sign', its most distinguishing feature being a great cloud-like cluster of stars in the breast of the Crab known as Praesepe, ('a multitude'), though usually termed 'the Beehive' today. This is regarded as a dark, feminine area and like all nebulous clusters its influence is associated with weakness, blindness and sickness, especially when the luminaries or malefics fall upon them. Ptolemy notes the influence of Praesepe as like Mars and the Moon but adds that the two stars on either side, which are more distinct, are like Mars and the Sun. These are the North and South Aselli, The Asses, representing the asses ridden by Vulcan and Bacchus whose braying terrified the Titans. Praesepe is sometimes depicted as their manger. Robson states that the Asses can show a charitable nature and caring responsibility, but with a danger of violent death, serious accidents and burns. Lilly noted a great danger of accidents, burns, violent death, afflicted eyesight and lawsuits when the Sun was directed to these stars.[2]

 Pliny used this group of stars as an indicator of wet weather, saying that when Praesepe is not visible in a clear sky, there is the likelihood of a violent storm to come. Rain was expected from the South if North Asellus was concealed, and from the North if South Asellus was concealed. [3] Ptolemy also added that the stars in the claws of the Crab are like Saturn and Mercury. These include Acubens, the Alpha star of Cancer whose name comes from the Arabic Al Zubanah, 'the Claws'.

Acubens, (also known as Sertan or Sartan meaning 'crab'), is a double star on the southern claw, white and red in its appearance. Robson states that it gives "malevolence and poison" and makes its natives "liars and criminals".[4] Dr Eric Morse, in his Living Stars appears to draw from the classical myth when he writes of this star:

One significance of Acubens is the enforced use of applied intelligence when finding oneself in combat at someone else's behest. But a generally more positive quality to read from Acubens is that of a sharp intellect and ease of coming to grips with problems, for which one might earn public renown. But, again there is the note of doing this under pressure of others demanding 'from behind'.

The best time to view Cancer is in late January and early February. The star cluster Praesepe appears as a beautiful object when viewed with binoculars. 

The Sun crosses Praesepe and the Aselli around July 30th - August 1st each year. It crosses Acubens around August 6th.