Star Myths: Compiled by Michael D. Robbins.
The Fixed Stars
|1. SIRIUS||CANIS MAJOR|
|13. PROCYON||CANIS MINORIS|
|14. POLARIS||URSA MINORIS|
- FOMALHAUT PISCES AUSTRALIS
- SCHEAT PEGASI
- CASTOR GEMINI
- POLLUX GEMINI
- REGULUS LEONIS
- DENEBOLA LEONIS
- VEGA LYRAE
- DENEB CYGNUS
- ALTAIR AQUILA
- TOLIMAN (BUNGULA) CENTAURI
- HADAR (AGENA) CENTAURI
- ACHERNAR ERIDANUS
- CAPELLA (ALHAJOTH) AURIGAE (CHARIOTEER)
- ACRUX CRUCIS (THE SOUTHERN CROSS)
- PHECDA URSA MAJOR
- MERAK URSA MAJOR
- DUBHE URSA MAJOR
- MEGREZ URSA MAJOR
- ALIOTH URSA MAJOR
- MIZAR/ALCOR URSA MAJOR
- BENETNASH/ALKAID URSA MAJOR
- ALCYONE TAURUS
- MAIA TAURUS
- ELECTRA TAURUS
- MEROPE TAURUS
- TAYGETE TAURUS
- CALAEONO TAURUS
- STEROPE TAURUS
- ATLAS TAURUS
- PLEIONE TAURUS
BOOKS USED THROUGHOUT:-
- NTC’s Classical Dictionary
- Treatise on Cosmic Fire BAILEY
- Esoteric Astrology BAILEY
- Star Names – Their Lore & Meaning ALLEN
- Burnham’s Celestial Handbook Vol I, II & II
- The Fixed Stars & Constellations ROBSON
- The Stars & A New Way to see them REY
- Astronomer’s Stars MOORE
- Cambridge Atlas of Astronomy
- Fixed Stars & Their Interpretation EBERTIN & HOFFMANN
- Encyclopaedia Britannica
- 12. Mythology – Timeless Tales HAMILTON
- Colours of the Stars MALIN & MURDIN
- Fixed Stars & Constellations – Myths BERNHART
- Astronomy Made Simple DOUBLEDAY BOOKS
- Astrowatch MAYER
- Stargazing MOORE
- Popular Hindu Astronomy MUKHERJIS
- Labours of Hercules BAILEY
- Dictionary of the Sacred Language of all GASKELL
Scriptures & Myth
3 p635 Astrology in the Secret Doctrine
- Mythology relates to astronomical, theogonical and human struggles; to the adjustment of orbs and the supremacy of nations and tribes. The “struggle for existence” and the “survival of the fittest” reigned supreme from the moment that Kosmos manifested into being ….Hence:
- The incessant fights of Gods in all the Old Scriptures
- The war in Heaven of the ancient mythologies
(SD I 223)
- Behind this veil … of astrological symbols, there were the occult mysteries of anthropography and the primeval genesis of man. (SD I 250)
- Astrology existed before astronomy (SD III 325)
- Primitive astrology is as far above modern astrology as the Guides (the planets and the Zodiacal signs) are above the lamp posts. (SD III 341)
20 p9 In regard to the origin of myths, I venture to say that the prevalent uncertainties and absurdities of the generally accepted Mythical theory are enough to arouse some suspicion that the theory is not well-grounded. Let us then examine its essentials. In the first place it is assumed, without any evidence, that there is in man a special faculty of the human mind for the invention of myths and this “innate faculty of myth is indigenous and common to all men” (T.Vignoli Myth & Science, p3). This assertion, be it observed, is made in face of the fact that no person, living or dead, is known to have evidenced this faculty by producing a myth. Vignoli himself confesses, “it appears to me that the ultimate source whence myths really proceed has not been reached”(p13). The source of myth, then, being unknown, the Mythical theory is not founded on fact, but is purely speculative and unscientific.
p10 The apparently absurd stories of Gods and Goddesses, and the strange usages in popular religions do not strike one as being primarily products of judgment, but rather as denoting ideas presented to unreasoning minds for acceptance,credulous minds such as we observe among all religions and superstitious people. The mythologist assumes that myths arise from the exercise of reason in the minds of certain persons of a bygone age, which results in the invention of curious statements and stories: in short, that myths are intelligent productions of the self-conscious brain-mind of man. Now, as a matter of fact, there is no necessity whatever to assume that myths arise in this ordinary prosaic, thoughtful, imaginative way. Myths are extraordinary historical survivals, and it is surely reasonable to expect that they have originated in a manner also extraordinary.
p12 It is impossible to draw a line between sacred Myths and sacred Scriptures; they flow into each other, and they obviously have the same kind of origin. Yet scant notice is taken of the mythical theory by most religionists, just as it had nothing to do with their Scriptures. Nevertheless the theory they espouse is practically indistinguishable from the mythical theory, but with the added absurdity of a self-contradictory exposition of it. They affirm the Divine inspiration of their Scriptures, and at the same moment deny the necessary condition of inspiration, which is that the inspired writer is unaware of the theme on which he is writing, and therefore irresponsible for either the words or the meaning. They apparently assume that Scriptures are produced by an impossible co-ordination of two mental determinants, human and divine, with a nondescript result which could be attributed neither to man nor God.
On the question of symbolism, it is quite evident, from the structural resemblances we see in sacred Myths and Scriptures collected from all parts of the world, that the symbolism is one and universal, and therefore not of human origin. Thus unity, implying one Source for all sacred utterances, and the logical inference that the same symbols have the same meanings everywhere, has to be realised. When this highly important fact of symbolic unity is grasped, it completely sweeps away the possibility of the past existence of myth and scripture-making persons. No persons, however learned, could be credited with having knowledge of this obscure universal symbology so as to be able to compose true Myths or Scriptures.
Scriptures are merely extensions of myths; as the same symbology rules all sacred declarations. We are compelled by the facts before us to believe that all genuine Myths and Scriptures were produced in some way by persons in peculiar but not unnatural states of mind usually called inspired. In these states the will and brain-mind exercises no control over the means of speech or writing. The ancient Scriptures claim to be Divinely inspired, and it is highly reasonable to suppose that they were written down automatically. If they are examined freely and without prejudice, they show plainly, by the very large amount of absurdity and nonsense they contain, that they could not have been thoughtfully composed by either intelligent or unintelligent men. The allegation that the Sacred Books have proceeded from the intelligence of the writers of the books is a mere groundless assumption, for there is no evidence in history, or among living people, of any person composing and writing a sacred book.
Max Müller was probably, in his day, the greatest of all investigators of the world scriptures. He died disappointed of his life-work, as the following statements indicate:-
“I confess it has been for many years a problem to me, how the Sacred Books of the East should, by the side of so much that is fresh, natural, simple, beautiful and true, contain so much that is not only unmeaning, artificial and silly, but even hideous and repellant. This is a fact and must be accounted for in some way or other.”
“There will always remain in the Upanishads a vast amount of what we can only call meaningless jargon, and for the presence of which in these ancient mines of thought, I, for my part, feel quite unable to account.”SBE Vol I xii Vol XV xx
The nature of the Scriptures is not understood while they are regarded as of human origin and having no undermeanings. As a matter of fact, the Sacred writings bear no trace of human origin beyond the superficial presence of common ideas and language. Their varying contents, broadly considered, seldom relate to mundane experience, and purport to revelation of unseen potencies. We find described an unnatural condition of things in the past, present and for the future. Regarded as sincere expressions of thought, the sacred utterances are quite incongruous with all that is proved to be produced by the human mind.
p14 In the Scriptures, to make decipherment easier, there are certain spiritual ideas which are partly expressed on the surface and so can greatly help interpretation. These ideas have been embodied in the different religions of the world and constitute the active spirit of the religions, and are the source of their idealistic power over the mental and emotional nature of mankind.
In regard to the scheme of the symbolism, it will be found that in the sacred writings the activities which apparently are of the outer world of sense stand really for the activities of the inner world of thought. The apparent sense-world of consciousness symbolizes the real soul-world of humanity, in which we become aware of all the emotions, faculties and activities of the soul’s experience of life.
If in the country on a fine day, we stand fronting a pool of water, we may observe a prospect which beautifully pictures the higher and the lower things of the soul and the cosmos, as expressed in the Sacred Language of all Myths and Scriptures.
Sun-realm Light Celestial
Sky-realm Fire Spiritual
Air-realm Air Mental
Water-realm Water Astral
Earth-realm Earth Physical
These ideograms are universal symbols of the Five Planes of Existence, all in their proper order, that is, from the highest (most inward) to the lowest (most outward) states of existence. They are recognised in all the Sacred Books of the world, and this Dictionary cannot be understood without regard to them. Knowledge of the
Five Planes and their symbols makes it easy to at once make out the meanings of any other associated symbols. In the Sun-realm is the Sun, a symbol of God-manifest, or the Higher Self who passes through the whole Cycle of Divine Life (zodiac) in a series of twelve stages (year). In the Sky-realm are the higher emotions (bright clouds), and the transmuting Fire of Wisdom (the lightning) which purifies the human soul, life after life. In the Air-realm are the mental faculties (people) and lower emotions (animals), also instincts (plants), and aspirations (birds). In the Water-realm are reflected inversely the motives and things of the higher planes, and these bring delusion and error into the soul. In the Earth-realm are the outer conditions of mental activity (work) and progress (walking).
There is nothing mysterious in the original choice of particular symbols to express psychic ideas. The Divine choice was evidently restricted to just the various ordinary ideas which were to be found in the minds of the inspired writers; and the ideas selected were those which corresponded in some way to the psychic and spiritual ideas which the Divine Wisdom sought to express for the information of the human race. It was obviously impossible for the Holy Spirit in any other way to impart to a but slightly civilized humanity some of the deep truths of being which minds are slow to receive and comprehend.
Symbols taken from the ideas of everyday life, such as Seeds, Fields, Ploughing, Sowing, Cultivation, Fruits, Garden, Corn, Bread, etc. correspond in their higher meanings quite reasonably with their lower significations, and are easily understood; and they fit in perfectly with the ideograms of the Five Planes. Investigation will show that the Sacred Language is perfectly consistent in itself, and that it demonstrates the perfect consistency of each and all of the inspired Scriptures of the world.
p15 For the esoteric ideas there are many symbols in the Scriptures. This multiplicity is inevitable, in order to suit the discursive and figurative character of the narrations which contain the undermeanings. A few symbols have double meanings, ie higher and lower significances. The only cases I know are Fire, Water, Earth, Ocean, Serpent, Dragon, Darkness, Night, Riches, Garments; also in some degree Clouds, Black, Children, Marriage, Maya, Tongue, South, North, Demon, Stars and Sword. The rights meanings in particular cases of these symbols are easily found by consideration of the contexts. The reason for these double meanings follows from the universal fact of the duality of manifestation.
The deific names for the manifest God, or Higher Self, on the highest plane are very numerous. The deific names for the Wisdom principle on the spiritual plane are rather less numerous. The deific names for the higher mind principle appear to be no more than one in any religious system. The only ones I know are Thoth,
Hermes, Mercury, Nebo, Thor, Hanuman, Shinatsu, and Tumatauenga. The Higher Self is sometimes symbolized by certain animal names; as Ram, Bull, Lion, (white) Elephant, (white) Goat, and Fish. These represent centres of Divine activity in the stages of manifestation pictured in the zodiac. Time, Space, Justice, Evolution, Power have sometimes deific names; while Desire, Relativity, Limitation, Illusion, Ignorance have demonic ones. Gender when present in symbols is often a great aid to the elucidation of undermeanings; for the masculine gender relates to Spirit, Mind, Desire, or Time; while the feminine relates to Matter, Intuition, Emotion, or Space. Also it must be borne in mind that the Spiritual and Earth planes are feminine, and the three other planes masculine.
The land of the country of origin of a Scripture becomes in that Scripture a symbol of the mental plane of the soul, the arena on which the various soul qualities (people) develop and progress. The mental plane is the plane of conflict for the fighting and wars so much dealt within the sacred books. The principal river of a country then symbolizes the ray of the Divine Life which comes from above and brings life and truth to the mind and soul (eg Nile, Ganges, Jordan). The higher land stands for the higher mind, and the more remote and inaccessible districts for the higher planes of the soul. Foreigners or Gentiles represent little-developed qualities and adverse experiences invading the soul at times.
Some knowledge of the Divine Scheme of Existence, in combination with symbol meanings, is of great use in the elucidation of Scripture undermeanings. This knowledge has been in some degree known to the mystics of several religions, and is further revealed in the undermeanings. I venture to say that only by accepting the Sacred Language as a well-ascertained fact, and by learning of truths by means of it, can the present controversies over religions and their Scriptures be ended, and a consistent and deep Philosophy of Religion be reached.
8 Eg.p2 The light from Rigel now reaching our eyes began its journey toward us at the time of William the Conqueror. If some malevolent demon suddenly snatched Rigel out of the cosmos, it would not be until around the year AD 2890 that we would realize that anything untoward had happened to it.
Of course, there are many stars closer than Rigel, but all the stars (apart from the Sun) are light-years from us, so that once we look beyond our own particular part of the Universe our knowledge is bound to be very out of date. Only in the Solar System can we say that we are seeing things almost as they are ‘now’.
p3 The very word ‘planet’ comes from the Greek for ‘wanderer’ In fact, the differences between planets and stars are fundamental. The planets are members of the Sun’s family, and shine by reflected sunlight, whereas the stars are self-luminous.
p5 The apparent brightness of a star is given by its magnitude. The scale here works in the style of a golfer’s handicap, with the more brilliant performers having the lower values. Thus a star of magnitude 1 is brighter than a star of magnitude 2; 2 is brighter than 3, and so on down to 6, the faintest stars normally visible with the naked eye. Modern telescopes can go down to as much as magnitude 26. We also have a few stars which are above magnitude 1; Vega in Lyra (the Lyre) is about zero, while Sirius is -1.5. To complete the picture, the brightest planet, Venus, can reach magnitude -4.4, while the magnitude of the Sun is about -26.
The scale is not so casual as might be thought. A star of magnitude 1 is exactly a hundred times brighter than a star of magnitude 6. Generally speaking, proper names are used only for stars of the first magnitude, plus a few special cases such as Polaris and Mizar. To confuse things further, stars officially ranked of the first magnitude extend from the brightest of all, Sirius, down to Regulus in Leo, which is only +1.3.
p6 A German amateur astronomer named Bayer What he did was to take each constellation, and allot the stars in it Greek letters, beginning with the brightest star (Alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet) and working through to the last letter Omega. Inevitably there are many general departures from the general rule and, for example, in Sagittarius (the Archer) the two brightest stars are Epsilon and Sigma, with Alpha and Beta Sagittarii very much in the also-ran category, but it is at least a reasonable guide in most cases. John Flamsteed, the second Astronomer Royal, ignored Bayer’s system and numbered the stars in each constellation in order of position, so that the brilliant Rigel, Bayer’s Beta Orionis, is also Flamsteed’s 19 Orionis.
Another obvious fact is that the stars are not all of the same colour. Look at the two leaders of Orion, Rigel and Betelgeux, and you will see this at once, because while Rigel is pure white, Betelgeux is orange-red. Vega in Lyra (the Lyre) is steel-blue; Capella in Auriga (the Charioteer) is yellow, like our Sun, though it is much more luminous. These differences in colour indicate real differences in surface temperature. Blue heat is hotter than white heat, white hotter than yellow, yellow hotter than red, so that of the four stars I have given as examples Vega is the hottest and Betelgeux the coolest.
p39 Today we accept that most stars are included in six classes:
B: hot bluish-white stars: surface temperatures up to 80,000°C
A: white stars, up to 25,000°C
F: yellowish-white, up to 7500°C
G: yellow, up to 6000°C
K: orange, up to 5000°C
M: orange-red up to 3400°C
- Distance in Parsec 2.7
- Luminosity Class Main Sequence
- Spectral Type A1 White Dwarf
- Constellation Canis Majoris
3 p112 I would like also to emphasizeperhaps unnecessarilythat Sirius, the Great Bear and the Pleiades work through the medium of the twelve constellations, pouring their influences through nine of them in particular, but that these major constellations are not part of the zodiac with which we are concerned. They, with the seven solar systems of which ours is one, are the ten constellations connected with a still greater zodiac which is not conditioned by the numerical significance of the number twelve. Hence ten is regarded as the number of perfection.
p197 Scorpio is under the influence or inflowing energy of Sirius,. this is the great star of initiation because our hierarchy (an expression of the second aspect of divinity) is under the supervision or spiritual magnetic control of the Hierarchy of Sirius. These are the major controlling influences whereby the cosmic Christ works upon the Christ principle in the solar system, in the planet, in man and in the lower forms of life expression. It is esoterically called the “brilliant star of sensitivity”.
p300 The influences of Sirius, three in number, are focussed in Regulus, which is, as you know, a star of the first magnitude and which is frequently called “the Heart of the Lion.” There is more real occultism hidden in the names given to the various stars by astronomers down the ages than has yet been realised, and here you have a case in point.
p416 The energies coming from the sun, Sirius, are related to the love-wisdom aspect or to the attractive power of the solar Logos, to the soul of that Great Being. This cosmic soul energy s related to the Hierarchy. You have been told that the great White Lodge on Sirius finds its reflection and a mode of spiritual service and outlet in the great White Lodge of our planet, the Hierarchy.
p466 1.CancerCapricornSaturn (which are an expression of Sirian Probation. These energies focus and qualify the energy of the Great Lodge of the Most High in that distant Sun. They pour through the Hierarchy upon the mass of men and enable the unit in that mass to “isolate himself and turn his back upon the past and find his way on to that section of the Path wherein he learns to feel.“
p659 1.”Sirius was called the ‘dog Star. It was the star of Mercury, or Buddha, called the “great Instructor of mankind.” (SDII 391)
- The Sun, Sirius, is the source of the Logoic manas in the same sense that the Pleiades are connected with the evolution of mind in the seven Heavenly Men and Venus was responsible for the coming in of mind to the earth chain. (TCF 347)
- Sirius, the Pleiades and our Sun form a cosmic triangle. (TCF 375)
- Our solar system is negatively polarised as regards the sun Sirius, which influences our entire system psychically, via the three synthesizing schemes: Uranus, Neptune and Saturn. (TCF 378)
- Vibrations reach us from Sirius, via the cosmic mental plane. (TCF 553)
- The Lords of Karma on our system are under the rule of a greater Lord of Karma on Sirius. We are governed by the Sirian Lord of Karma. (TCF 570)
- The consciousness of the cosmic mental plane is the goal attainment of our solar Logos and the Sirian Logos is to our solar Logos what the human Ego (or soul) is the human personality. (TCF 592)
- Three constellations are connected with the fifth logoic principle in its threefold manifestations: Sirius, two of the Pleiades and a small constellation whose name must be intuitively ascertained. (TCF 699)
- Cosmic Avatars “ represent embodied forces from the following cosmic centres: Sirius, and that one of the seven stars of the Great Bear which is ensouled by the Prototype of the Lord of the third Ray, and our own cosmic centre.” (TCF 723)
- Only one Being (from Sirius) has visited our system and that was at the same time of individualisation.
- They only appear usually and normally at the initiation of a solar Logos (TCF 723)
4 p117 In early classical days it was simply Canis, representing Laelaps, the hound of Actaeon, or that of Diana’s nymph Procris, or the one given to Cephalus by Aurora and famed for the speed that so gratified Jove as to cause its transfer to the sky. But from the earliest times it also has been the Dog of Orion
5 Vol 1 p387 also called the “Dog Star” or the “Nile Star”. (or “Star of Isis” p391) This is the brightest of the fixed stars, the “leader of the host of heaven” Sirius is 9 times more brilliant than a standard first magnitude star.
p389 Sirius is a member of a moving group of stars often called the Ursa Major Stream, with members scattered all over the sky. This widely-dispersed stream shows very nearly the same space motion as the Ursa Major cluster, but is not definitely known if the association is real; among prominent members are Alpha Ophiuchi, Beta Aurigae, Delta Leonis, and Alpha Corona Borealis. Rather curiously, a similar “stream” may or may not be associated with the well known Hyades Cluster in Taurus; one of the presumed members is the 1st magnitude star Capella.
p390 The Arabic name “Al Shi’ra” resembles the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian names, and suggests a common origin from an older tongue, possibly Sanskrit, in which the name “Surya”, the Sun God, simply means “The Shining One”.
Plutarch calls the star “The Leader” In Chaldea the star was honored with such titles as “Kak-shisha”, the “Dog Star That Leads”, and “Du-shisha”, “The Director”.
and is referred to in many temple inscriptions where the star is called the “Divine Sepet” (or Sopet or Sothis) and is identified with the soul of Isis.
6 p34 Legend: This constellation is said to represent the dog set by Jupiter to guard Europa whom he had stolen and conveyed to Crete. According to other accounts, however, it was either Laelaps, the hound of Actaeon; that of Diana’s nymph Procris; that given by Aurora to Cephalus; or finally one of the dogs of Orion.
Influence: Ptolemy states that the stars of this constellation, with the exception of Sirius, are like Venus. It is said to give good qualities, charity and a faithful heart, but violent and dangerous passions. There is some danger from, or fear of, darkness and the night, and liability to dog bites, though the latter characteristic is probably to be associated more particularly with Sirius. Canis Major is connected by the Kabalists with the Hebrew letter Tzaddi and the 18th Tarot Trump “The Moon”.
p208 Notes. A binary star, brilliant white and yellow, situated in the mouth of the Greater Dog. From Seiros, Sparkling or Scorching, or according to some authors from the Egyptian god Osiris Among these people it was also Thoth and Sothis and formed the basis of the Sothic period of chronology. The Chinese knew it as Tseen Lang, the Heavenly Wolf. Influence. According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Jupiter and Mars: and, to Alvidas, of the Moon, Jupiter and Mars.
p233 See “Magical Seal”
8 p46 Most of the star names are Arabic (not Sirius) It comes from the Greek for “sparkling” or “scorching”
10 p38 “In the Neck of the Great Dog”, “the shinning one”, the “lustrous sparkling bright one” is the brightest star in the Northern hemisphere. In mythology and conjuring magic, it played an important role. There were Sirius sanctuaries in Egypt, Persia, Greece and in Rome. The old Germans called it “Lokis Brand” (=fire of Lokis). In its nature are Mars and Jupiter traits. From time immemorial it was the “Royal one”, but it is also known as violent.
13 p11 Observations of Star Spectra – Sir William Herschel
The light of Sirius consists of red, orange, yellow, green blue, purple and violet
14 p52 “I think we’ve found an enchanted forest,” said Actaeon.
Actaeon was out hunting with this dog, Laelaps. They had paused at the top of a high hill overlooking a lovely green valley filled with lush foliage and tall trees surrounded by high green hills. As Actaeon stood looking over the valley below, he caught sight of a clear winding stream of water fed from a picturesque little waterfall. Actaeon had unknowingly stumbled upon the valley said to be sacred to the goddess Artemis.
“Come, Laelaps, let’s go down to the stream and have a drink.” Laelaps was holding back. “Come on, Laelaps!” said Actaeon. “Follow me.” Actaeon began walking down hill.
Laelaps didn’t want Actaeon to go into the valley and when Actaeon went in by himself, Laelaps remained behind and howled. Actaeon, paying no attention, was soon far ahead walking toward the waterfall.
There was a pleasant feeling of peacefulness as he walked beneath the trees and through the underbrush.
Suddenly he came to a small clearing and there was the stream. What a surprise to find several nymphs in the water bathing. In their midst was Artemis, the goddess herself, completely nude. She was standing under the gently little waterfall showering. For a moment the nymphs didn’t see him and he was so taken by the beauty of Artemis that he stopped, frozen in his tracks.
The next moment they all saw him. The nymphs screamed and tried to cover Artemis. But Artemis merely pointed her finger at him and said, “This will teach you to stand there watching a goddess in her private shower.”
Immediately, Actaeon felt a strange sensation come over him. He shivered with cold and fear. Something had happened to him. His hands were gone, he was standing on four legs, his skin was covered with fur, and he felt antlers form on his head. He was changed into a deer. Laelaps was howling and coming toward him. Quickly he ran to get away.
“No! Laelaps, it’s me,” he tried to say. No sound came forth, Actaeon had lost his voice.
Laelaps was running after him, trying to say, “Master, Master, wait for Laelaps.” Poor Laelaps didn’t think he was chasing a deer, he was trying to catch up with his master.
But Actaeon was racing off into the forest as fast as he could go. He ran on and on. After a time he began tiring and breathing hard, still he ran on. Then he felt his heart beating. It was pounding. He could hardly breath
Laelaps came upon Actaeon, fallen on the ground, dead. He had run until his heart burst.
Artemis: Pure Spirit
Actaeon: The personality. While hunting (inwardly in meditation) one day, Actaeon became so perfectly attuned that he reached even beyond soul to glimpse pure spirit (Artemis unclothed). Even a momentary glimpse of such a powerful source of energy can be a great shock to the physical form. This may result in fright, injury, transformation or even possible death of the personality.
Laelaps: Laelaps is often called “the immortal hound of heaven”, the infallible pursuer who invariably catches its quarry. He might symbolically be considered the mind. As mind he doggedly pursues personality until it learns to work rightly with the mind.
The Stag: A symbol of the animal nature into which the personality may revert, after being shocked from too much spiritual light. It runs to escape from the doggedly pursuing (Laelaps) whose contact/energy is now too much for the over energized personality. The chase ends in the death of the physical form.
15 p244 Orion being the Hunter, it was natural to regard the Dogs as his property. Both the Big and the Little Dog follow closely on Orion’s heels in the sky.
There is a touching legend about Icarius and the faithfulness of his dog Mera. Mera stood by his master during his lifetime and after he was murdered. According to the legend, the gods rewarded Mera’s faithfulness by placing him among the stars, and he became “Canis Minor.”
18 p123 We have further seen that the Constellation Svan (Vedic – The Deer Hunter or the Hunter ) was also called Arjuna lit., the white one.
p124 Sirius The volume of Lubdhaka (Sirius) is supposed to be 500 times larger than that of the Solar orb. Lubdhaka is known to be about 26 times, and its faint companion about 9 times heavier than the Sun. It is 625,000 more distant from the Earth than the Sun, and its actual velocity is 32 miles per hour.
We have shown (vide, ante p36) that Lubdhaka, the brightest star of heaven, is described as the tooth of the heavenly Svan both in India and in Greece. The star is the tongue of the great dog in Western Asia.
Lubdhaka is also called Tishya, the ‘burning’ or the ‘bright one,’ and is said to be an archer
p126 The star Lubdhaka is connected by play of words (Lubdhaka means both the hunter and the jackal.) with Koshta, the jackal. Alluding to the fact of Lubdhaka (Sirius) following up the Boar (Orion) in his rise on the Eastern horizon in the autumn and winter, the Rig-Veda declares it a pun:
The fox steals up to the approaching lion, the jackal drives the wild boar from the brushwood. Prof. Griffith.
Svan-Siva( =the Constellation Canis Major) assumes the guise of Siva(=the feminine form of Siva), the she-jackal, in the Puranas; and as such she becomes the guide of Vasu-Deva carrying the new-born Sun-God Srikrishna in his arms to the vernal equinox near the Krittikas (the vernal equinox was near the Krittikas [Pleiades] about 2225 BC.) to begin the new year.
- Distance in Parsec 11
- Luminosity Class Red Giant
- Spectral Type K0
- Constellation Bootis
- Colour Yellow
Observations of Star Spectra – Sir William Herschel
p11 Arcturus contains more red and orange and less yellow in proportion to Sirius
4 p100 The Chinese called it Ta Kio, the Great Horn, four small stars near by being Kang Che, the Drought Lake; Edkins further writing of it:
Arcturus is the palace of the emperor. The two groups of three small stars on its right and left are called She ti, the Leaders, because they assign a fixed direction to the tail of the Bear, as it revolves, points out the twelve hours of the horizon.
The Arabs knew Arcturus as Al Simak al Ramih, sometimes translated the Leg of the Lance-bearer, and again, perhaps more correctly, the Loft Lance- Bearer.
6 p32 Legend: Bootes is said to be Arcas, whose mother Callisto was transformed into a bear (see Ursa Major) by Juno. While hunting, Arcas came upon his mother unawares in her form of a bear and pursued her into the temple of Jupiter, where he would have killed her and afterwards been killed himself by the priests. In order to prevent this, Jupiter, who had taken pity on them, took them both into heaven, where Bootes is still seen pursuing the Bear. According to another account Bootes is Icarius, who was killed by some shepherds he had made drunk with a flagon of wine given by Bacchus. In consideration of the grief of his daughter Erigone and their hound Maera, Jupiter placed her father in heaven as Bootes, together with herself as Virgo and the hound as Canis Major.
Influence: According to Ptolemy the influence of the constellation is like that of Mercury and Saturn, though the star Arcturus is like Mars and Jupiter. It is said to give prosperity from work, strong desires, a tendency to excess, and fondness for rural pursuits, together with some liking for occultism. The Kabbalists associate it with the Hebrew letter Teth and the 9th Tarot Trump “The Hermit”.
p139 Notes: A golden-yellow star situated on the left knee of Bootes. From Arktouros, the Bear Guard. Also called Arctophilax, the Bear Watcher; and Alchameth, Azimech, and other variants of Al Simak, the Lofty One. According to Bullinger Arcturus means He Cometh, and was called Smat, One who rules and Bau, the Coming One, by the Egyptians.
Influence: According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter, but Alvidas substitutes Venus and Mercury conjoined It gives riches, honors, high renown, self-determination and prosperity by navigation and voyages.
See p 233 for Magic Seal
10 p63 “Bear leader-guardian”, meaning observer of the “Great Bear”, or The Saucepan” or “Big Dipper” respectively. Main star of constellation Bootis (=driver of oxen), has a Jupiter-Mars nature, and a reputation of achieving “justice through power”.
14 p49 Bootes, the Bear Watcher (Pursuer of The Bear)
Man and bear, both saw each other at the same time.
“What a powerful animal, “thought Arcas, the man. “It has a strange attractive beauty about it. But it looks threatening.”
“That’s my son!” exclaimed the bear. For the bear was Callisto, transformed from her human figure by Hera. “My son!”
Callisto began to run to Arcas. But the only sound that she could produce was a thunderous growl. Arcas was alarmed, not knowing it was his mother. He raised his spear in defense.
Arcas was the son of Zeus and Callisto. He had been raised by Chiron, the wise Centaur, teacher of the children of the gods. Chiron had taught Arcas to become an expert hunter. Now as an adult, he was pursuing his craft and had come upon Callisto. Arcas always wondered what had become of his mother. How was he to know that Hera had angrily changed her into a bear because of her affair with Zeus?
Fortunately, Zeus was watching Callisto and Arcas. He saved both mother and son by transferring them to the heavens, to become known as Bootes and The Great Bear constellations. Now, as Bootes in the starry heavens, Arcas continues his hunt for the bear-er of spiritual Truth.
Callisto: A spiritually advanced human who, after contacting the monad (Zeus) has become the bear-er of spiritual truth.
Arcas: As Bootes he is known as “The Bear Hunter”. He represents the part of self that hunts for the bear-ers of higher Truth. When he finds such a bear-er it is beyond his conscious ability to recognize it. Nor does he recognize that his own mother is the bear-er of the very truth he is looking for.
His sighting of the bear represents the glimpsing of only a tiny portion of the truth. Even so, this contact is sufficient to raise him to great spiritual heights (symbolized by being placed among the stars). This serves to send him searching for more and higher Truths.
Zeus/Hera The Father/Mother, monad/spirit. The anger of Hera directed towards Callisto is really spiritual energy which turns into heat as it contacts lower energy bodies. The lower must learn to bear it (until assimilated).
Chiron The teacher/guru. The type of hunting taught by the teacher is spiritual hunting, done inwardly in meditation.
5 Vol 1 p 302 Arcturus, “The Guardian of the Bear”.
The colour of Arcturus is usually described as a golden yellow or “topaz”: Smyth called it reddish yellow.
In ancient times it was known as the “Watcher” or the “Guardian”; the Arabs knew it under two names which may be translated “the Lance-bearer” and “the Keeper of Heaven”. It is sometimes called “Job’s Star” from the reference to it in the Book of Job, although the reference now appears to be a mis-translation, and probably refers to the Great Bear or Big Dipper instead.
18 p47 In Greek myth, Bootes was called a friend of Dionysos and the father of Erigone. Ikarius, alias Bootes, having introduced wine in the country, was killed by some shepherds who fancied they were poisoned. Erigone, conducted to his grave by his faithful dog Maira, hanged herself, and the three were translated to heaven as the three stars Bootes, Virgin and Procyon.
The myth indicates the close connection between Kanya (Virgo) and Bootes.
Distance in Parsec 80
Luminosity Class Main sequence
Spectral Type B2
3 p470 But behind this influence and pressing through into manifestation is the force of Virgo (the mother or custodian of the Christ-consciousness) which shatters eventually the synthesis and the lower unity already produced by the Leo energy; it stimulates the soul within the form as well as the soul within each atom in the form, because the genius and uniqueness of Virgo is that it produces the form as well as stimulates the life within that form and, therefore, nourishes and energises two lives simultaneously. It is a powerful dual energy, a potent expression of the anima mundi or the soul of the world. It was the recognition of this which made the ancient astrologers merge Virgo-Leo into one sign Then as the dualism of the human spirit (spirit-matter) became a fact in the consciousness of man, the sign was divided into two signs and the war of the pairs of opposites became a “war with purpose” and is, incidentally, reaching its climax today. (EA 470)
p251 The sign Virgo is one of the most significant in the zodiac for its symbology concerns the whole goal of the evolutionary process which is to shield, nurture and finally reveal the hidden spiritual reality. This every form veils, but the human form is equipped and fitted to manifest it in a manner different to any other expression of divinity and so make tangible and objective that for which the whole creative process was intended. Gemini and Virgo are closely related but Gemini represents the pairs of oppositessoul and bodyas two separate entities whereas in Virgo, they are blended and of great and supreme importance to each other; the mother protects the germ of the Christ life; matter guards, cherishes and nurtures the hidden soul. The keynote which embodies the truth as to the mission of Virgo most accurately is “Christ in you, the hope and glory.” There is no clearer or more adequate definition of this sign than that; I would have you bear it in mind throughout our discussion upon this sixth sign of the zodiac (or the seventh if one is not considering the reversed wheel).
I would, however, point out that four of the names whereby the Virgin is called are familiar to all of us, and tell us much as whole concerning the form nature of which the Virgin is the symbol. The word Virgo itself is a descendant of and a corruption of an ancient Atlantean root name which was applied to the mother principle in those far off times. This Virgin was the founder of the matriarchate which then dominated civilization and to which various myths and legends bear evidence and which have come down to us concerning Lilith, the last of the Virgin Goddesses of Atlantean times; the same thought is also to be found in the traditionary accounts of the ancient Amazons whose queen Hercules defeated, wresting from her what he sought. This is an allegory, teaching the emergence of the spiritual man from the control of matter. Three of these goddesses are Eve, Isis and Mary.
They are of peculiar and significant importance where our civilization is concerned for they embody in themselves the symbology of the entire form nature, which, when integrated and functioning as a whole person, we call the personality. This personality (as far as humanity is concerned) the developed and qualified expression of the third aspect of divinity, that of God the Holy Spirit, the active intelligent and nurturing principle of the universe. Eve is the symbol of the mental nature, and of the mind of man attracted by the lure of knowledge, to be gained through the experience of incarnation. Eve, therefore, took the apple of knowledge from the serpent of matter and started the long human undertaking of experiment, experience and expression which was initiatedfrom the mental anglein our Aryan times.
Isis stands for this same expression down on to the emotional or astral plane. Eve has no child in her arms; the germ of the Christ life is as yet too small to make its presence felt; the involutionary process is yet too close; but in Isis the midway point is reached; the quickening of that which is desire (the Desire of all nations, as it is called in the Bible) has taken place and Isis consequently stands in the ancient zodiacs for fertility, for motherhood and as the guardian of the child. Mary carries the process down to the plane or place of incarnation, the physical plane, and there gives birth to the Christ child. In these three Virgins and these three Mothers of he Christ, you have the history of the formation and the function of the three aspects of the personality through which the Christ must find expression. The sign Virgo itself stands for a synthesis of these three feminine aspectsEve, Isis and Mary. She is the Virgin Mother, providing that which is needed for the mental, emotional and physical expression of the hidden but ever present divinity.
Virgo is, therefore, the cosmic mother because she represents cosmically the negative pole to positive spirit; she is the receptive agent where the Father aspect is concerned. In a previous solar system, this matter aspect was the supreme controlling factor just as in this solar system it is the soul or the Christ principle which his of paramount importance. Virgo is, from certain angles, quite the oldest of all the signs, which is a statement I am quite unable to prove to you. In that first system, the faint symptoms (if I may use such a word) of the duality which is a proven fact in this system are to be found, and this truth is preserved for us in the words that “the Holy Spirit overshadowed the Virgin Mary.” The life of the third divine aspect played then upon the ocean of quiescent matter and prepared that substance (over untold aeons) for its work in this solar system. It is in this system that the Christ Child, the expression of the divine consciousness and the result of the relationship of Father-Spirit and Mother-Matter, must be brought to the birth.
p256 This is the sixth sign and of it the six-pointed star is the ancient symbol, portraying as it does the process of involution, and also that of evolution, carried to the point of balance, expressed for us in the relationship of Virgo to Libra. You will note, if you consult the dictionary, that astronomically Virgo is regarded as occupying the place in the heavens where Libra is to be found. This is all part of the great illusion which astrology finds hard to grasp. There is a constant moving and shifting in space; the precession of the equinoxes is both a fact and an illusion.
p260 Virgo symbolizes depths, darkness, quiet, warmth; it is the valley of deep experience wherein secrets are discovered and eventually “brought to light”; it is the place of slow, gently and yet powerful crises and periodic developments which take place in he dark and yet which lead to light. It is the “blinded stage” which is found in Masonic rituals and which ever precedes the gift of the light. Virgo stands for the “womb of time” wherein God’s plan (the mystery and the secret of the ages) is slowly matured and with pain and discomfort and through struggle and conflictbrought into manifestation at the end of the appointed time.
p679 References in The Secret Doctrine:
“One of the most esoteric cycles is based upon certain conjunctions and respective positions of Virgo and the Pleiades.” (II p454)
“Virgo is inseparable from Leo and the Pleiades and the Hyades”.
4 p460 Thus she was known in the Attic dialect as ( ), the Maiden, representing Persephone, the Roman Proserpina, daughter of Demeter, the Roman Ceres When regarded as Proserpina, she was being abducted by Pluto in his Chariot, the stars of adjacent Libra; and the constellation also was Demeter herself, the Ceres spicifera dea, changed by astrologers to Arista, Harvest, of which Ceres was goddess. Caesius had it Arista Puellae, that would seem more correct as Aristae Puella, the Maiden of the Harvest.
p 462 In Egypt Virgo was drawn on the zodiacs of Denderah and Thebes, much disproportioned and without wings, holding an object and said to be a distaff marked by the stars of Coma Bernices; while Eratosthenes and Avienus identified her with Isis, the thousand-named goddess, with the wheat ears in her hand that she afterwards dropped to form the Milky Way, or clasping in her arms the young Horus, the infant Southern sun-god, the last of the divine kings. This very ancient figuring reappeared in the Middle Ages as the Virgin Mary with the child Jesus, Shakespeare alluding to it in Titus Andronicus as the Good Boy in Virgo’s lap; and Albertus Magnus, of our 13th century, asserted that the Saviour’s horoscope lay here. It has been said that her initials, MV, are the symbol of the sign (Virgo)
p464 In astrology this constellation and Gemini were the House of Mercury, Macrobius saying that the Planet was created here; the association being plainly shown by the caduceus of that god, the herald’s trumpet entwined with serpents, instead of the palm branch, often represented in her left hand. But usually, and far more appropriately, Virgo’s stars have been given over to the care of Ceres, her namesake, the long-time goddess of the harvest.
5 Vol 3 p2065 The Arabian name, Al Simak al A’zal, seems to mean “The Unarmed One” and appears in a variety of forms in medieval writings The Sogdian name Shaghar seems to honor the star as “The Point” of the constellation.
In Greek and Roman tradition the Virgin was usually identified with the goddess Astraea, the personification of Justice, daughter of Zeus and Themis, and the last of the deities to abandon the Earth at the end of the Golden Age. In another legend she is Persephone, daughter of the goddess of the harvest, Ceres, and consequently associated with agricultural matters. In many parts of the classical world she is the Wheat-Bearing Maiden or the Daughter of the Harvest
In Egypt she was the goddess Isis, the Divine Wife and Mother, and her star was honored as the Lute Bearer. Prof. Lockyer thought that at least one of the temples at Akhenaton’s royal city, now known as Tell el Amarna, was oriented to the setting of Spica. If so, it may be that this most individualistic and enigmatic of the Pharaohs, often considered as the “first monotheist in history”, was actually paying tribute to his own “Divine Wife”, the exotically lovely Nefertiti. In other lands too, Virgo was associated with a great “Mother Goddess”; in Assyria she was the Wife of Bel, in Babylonian lands she was Ishtar, Queen of the Stars, and in India she was identified with Kanya, the Maiden, and mother of Krishna. Medieval Christians saw her as the Madonna, or as Ruth of the Fields; in Roman times the goddess Pax with her olive branch was seen here, as was the serene Concordia and the mysterious Tyche or Fortuna. To some writers of classical times, the proximity of Virgo to the Lion suggested an identification with the mother-goddess Cybele, in her lion-drawn carriage; she was also honored as Diana, Minerva, Athena, and occasionally as Urania, Muse of astronomy.
6 p211 Notes: A brilliant flushed white binary star in the Wheat Ear of Virgo. Frequently called Arista.
Influence According to Ptolemy it is of the Nature of Venus and Mars, and, to Alvidas, of Venus, Jupiter and Mercury. It gives success, renown, riches, a sweet disposition, love of art and science, unscrupulousness, unfruitfulness and injustice to innocence.
6 See p233 for Magic seal
10 p61 Situated in “The Wheat Sheaf” of constellation Virgo. It has, on account of its size and nearness to the ecliptic, some importance. Spica has a Venus-Mars nature. To Spica are ascribed honors and fame. Spica is of marked good influence for scientists, writers, artist-painters, sculptors and musicians.
14 p229 Virgo, The Virgin (Persephone)
Virgo is often pictured as a maiden holding an ear of wheat in her left hand and carrying a stalk of corn in her right – Spica found in the ear of wheat.
One bright sunny day, Persephone called all her maiden friends together.
“Let’s have a picnic in the flower meadow,” she suggested.
“Yes, yes, let’s do,” were the delighted replies. in short order picnic baskets were prepared and they all trooped merrily to the flower meadow.
“I am going back to pick some flowers to make a colorful picnic table display before we eat,” said Persephone. Most of the maidens followed suit.
Suddenly, without any warning, the ground beneath them began to tremble.
“Earthquake!” the maidens shouted.
A huge fissure suddenly opened very close to where Persephone stood. Out of the fissure came a tall, dark man riding a chariot pulled by three coal black horses. Leaning from his chariot he grabbed Persephone, turned the horses around and down into the fissure they flew, horses, chariot and all.
“Help!” Persephone cried. “Save me father Zeus.” But to no avail. The fissure sealed up and all was quiet again.
“I think what was Pluto.”
“He abducted Persephone.”
The maidens, shocked and trembling, had gathered together for comfort and were discussing the scene they had just witnessed.
Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest and agriculture Her father was Zeus. She had called to him for help, but unbeknownst to her or mother Demeter, Zeus had agreed to the abduction beforehand. Pluto had seen the beautiful Persephone and asked Zeus to allow him to take her to be his wife.
Demeter sensed something had happened to her daughter and began searching for her. When she couldn’t find any trace of her on earth she went to Helios, the sun god who sees all.
“Persephone was abducted by Pluto,” helios told her. “Zeus agreed to it.”
Demeter was so incensed at the callous treatment of her daughter, that she fled Olympus. Coming to earth she vowed not to return to Olympus without
Persephone. She also refused to allow any crops to thrive on Earth while Persephone was retained in Hades.
All life on earth would have perished if Zeus hadn’t intervened. He sent all the Olympian gods and goddesses to her one at a time to entice her back.
“Absolutely no!” she told each of them when they came to see her. “Not until Persephone is by my side will I return to Olympus.”
Zeus then knew greater steps would be required. He sent for Hermes.
“Tell Pluto he will have to release Persephone,” Zeus told him.
When Pluto heard the message, he said to Persephone, “I’m concerned about you, dear. You haven’t eaten anything all the time you have been here. I’m going to send you back to earth’s surface with Hermes but eat this pomegranate first, for sustenance.”
Persephone was so elated to be returned to the surface of the earth that she quickly ate a few of the seeds. Pluto slyly knew the pomegranate seeds she ate would cause her to return to him.
Back to the surface of earth went Persephone with Hermes.
“Here is you daughter,” said Hermes to Demeter. “We can now return to Olympus. There will be a huge celebration to honor you back.”
Demeter – wise mother – inspected her daughter and noticed some seed fragments on Persephone’s lips.
“Did you eat anything while you were with Pluto?”
“Only a few pomegranate seeds.”
“That means you will have to return to him,” Demeter sadly told her daughter “I can’t go back to Olympus under these circumstances,” she said to Hermes. Hermes quickly flew to Zeus.
Returning with another message, he said. “Zeus will arrange a compromise. Persephone will only have to spend one third of each year with Pluto The rest of the year she can remain with you, above the earth. However, you must permit the crops to grow again.”
Demeter agreed, but with one stipulation.
“During the period when Persephone is below the earth, the ground shall remain fallow until she returns to the surface.”
“Come, let us return to Olympus,” Demeter said to Persephone with a smile. We shall enjoy our time together in the company of the gods.” Hermes then escorted Persephone and Demeter to the festivities awaiting them.
The story of Persephone introduces the cycles of life. Just as the plants must have four seasons, so too must humans. They are birth, growth, maturity and rest. In one version of the myth, Persephone actually tells her mother, “Pluto is my husband I belong as much with him as I do with you. Therefore, I must spend time below with him,.and time above with you.”
This myth teaches, as do the Eleusinian Mysteries, that death is not to be feared. (Hades is the kingdom of the dead.) It should be looked upon as a natural process of life, no more fearful than going to sleep every night. It’s purpose is to nurture the experiences gained in the light portion of the cycle. The next rebirth in the light (upon earth) will then take place in a vehicle more suited to the needs of the new cycle of experience.
Demeter: The goddess of corn, the harvest and all vegetation. She represents the nurturer of light, rebirth and sustenance.
Persephone: The symbol of death and rebirth Every winter she goes down to the land of the dead and in the spring returns to light and life upon the earth’s surface to bring with her a rebirthing of flowering plants and verdure. She thus teaches that death isn’t an ending but a time of quiet nurturing preparation for renewal.
Pluto: The lord of the underworld and darkness. He helps bring the realisation that quietude, nurturing and meditation are a necessary part of the cycles of life.
Virgo: Esoterically, Virgo has always represented the sign of nurturing the Christ like self within each of us. It is the nurturing process that develops our active experiences into a source of eventual wisdom.
20 p 120 Virgo – Seizing the Girdle of Hippolyte – The Constellations and Stars
The three constellations in close proximity to that of Virgo are: Coma Bernice, the mother of the form only; the Centaur, the man riding upon a horse or the horse with a man’s head and torso, representing the human being, for man is an animal plus a god. This is the lowest of the constellations and it is notable that Hercules, though he had passed through five Gates, failed at the sixth Gate, and had to begin again at the bottom, and make reparation for his lack of love and understanding. It often happens to advanced disciples. The third constellation holding promise of the future is Bootes, ‘the one who is coming”, the savior in Pisces who frees humanity from subservience to the form.
Virgo itself is a cup-shaped constellation with three main stars outlining it, the cup of communion, of which the Christ said “Drink ye all of it”; in its highest meaning of the Holy Grail. The brightest star is Spica, which means “the ear of corn.” Christ was born in Bethlehem, which means “the house of bread”. We say, “Give us this day our daily bread”, manna, bread from heaven, or the bread and wine of the communion. Ever this symbology of bread runs through the Old and New Testaments, and today our great economic problem still remains to furnish bread a symbol of food, to a hungry world: bread for the body and bread for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. All this as part of the nurturing function of
the mother of the world, who nourishes the form and also the Christ-consciousness latent in the form.
Distance in Parsec 21
Luminosity Class Red Giant
Spectral Type K5
Colour Deep Yellow
3 p370 We now arrive at the lst of the twelve signs which we have been considering and the last of those which affect humanity. It is also the second sign whichafter the reorientation proceeding discipleshipproduces changes and opportunity for the disciple. We come also to the sign which is called “the sign of the major life incentive,” because Taurus is the symbol of desire in all its phases. Whether the subjective man is impelled by desire, or the disciple is driven forth upon the path of return by the urge of aspiration, or whether the initiate is controlled by the will to cooperate with the Plan, he is, nevertheless, being responsive to the most potent manifestation of a little known and understood aspect of divinity, to which we give the inadequate name of the Will of God.
Will, power, desire, aspiration, ambition, motive, purpose, impulse, incentive, plan all these are words which attempt to express one of the major underlying attributes and fundamental causes (man scarcely knows which) of manifestation, of the evolutionary processes and of the will-to-be or the will-to-live. The great triplicity of desireaspirationdirection (will) are only three words which endeavour to describe the progress and bias of man the personality, man the soul, and man the channel for spirit or life. All three point inadequately to the cause of the threefold expression which underlies all events, all progress and all happenings in time and space.
p376 The entire secret of divine purpose and planning is hidden in this sign, owing fundamentally to the relation of the Pleiades to the constellation, the Great Bear, and to our solar system. This constitutes one of the most important triangles in our entire cosmic series of relationships and this importance is also enhanced by the fact that the “eye of the Bull” is the eye of revelation The underlying goal of the evolutionary process”the onward rush of the bull of God,” as it is esoterically calledreveals steadily and without cessation the stupendous and sublime plan of Deity. This is the subject which light reveals.
p678 References in the Secret Doctrine
- “All the Sun-Gods have been mystically connected with the constellation Taurus and were called the First.” (I 720)
- Taurus is regarded as the central group of the Milky Way.
NOTE: The Pleiades as the central group of the Bull and Alcyone, one of the 7 Pleiades, is supposed to be the star around which our universe revolves.
19 p47 Significance of the Constellations – Taurus
The three constellations connected with this sign are Orion, Eridanus, Auriga; and the nature of the work in Taurus is beautifully foretold by the three pictures in the heavens which they present to us. The ancient name of Orion was “the three Kings”, because of the three beautiful stars found in Orion’s Belt. The Three Kings represent the three divine aspects of Will, Love and Intelligence, and Orion, therefore, symbolizes the spirit. The name Orion literally means “the breaking forth of light.”
Again and again, as we circle around the zodiac, we shall find appearing what might be called “the spiritual prototype” of Hercules; Perseus, the Coming Prince, who slew the Medusa, symbol of the great illusion. He is found in Aries; Orion, whose name means “light”, is found in Taurus; in Scorpio, Hercules himself, triumphant and victorious appears. Then we have Sagittarius, the Archer on the Horse, going straight for his goal, and in Pisces we find the King. The more closely we study this heavenly picture book, the more we realize that ever before us is held the symbol of our divinity, the symbol of the soul in incarnation, and the story of matter, as it receives purification and glorification through the laborious work of the soul.
The second constellation connected with this sign is an immense river. It is called Eridanus, or the “River of the Judge”, and is a symbol of the river of life, carrying souls into incarnation, where they learn the meaning of the words, “as a man sows, so shall he reap”, and where they undertake the stupendous task of working out their own salvation..Just as Orion symbolizes the spirit aspect, so Eridanus concerns itself with the form-taking aspect and holds before us the thought of incarnation; whilst the third constellation, Auriga, is the charioteer, leading forth to new lands and so symbolizing the soul.
5 Vol 2 p1807 Aldebaran has been from remote times considered the Eye of the Bull in the constellation, and has been honored with a variety of names and titles. The ancient Roman name Palilicium commemorates the Palilia or Feast of Pales, the special deity of Roman shepherds; this celebration also marked the traditional date of the founding of Rome, on April 21, 753BC. Ptolemy refers to it under a name which has been translated “The Torch -bearer”; in Babylonian lands it was I-ku-u or “The Leading Star of Stars”; an even more ancient Akkadian title, Gis-da, has been translated “The Furrow of Heaven”. The Persian name Paha and he Sogdian title Baharu both seem to mean “The Follower”. Aben Ezra, in the 12th Century, identified Aldebaran with the Biblical Kimah, and the familiar reference to “Arcturus and his sons” in the Book of Job is thought by some modern scholars to actually refer to Aldebaran.
The Hindu title Rohini, the “Red One” or “The Red Deer” was applied both to Aldebaran and the entire constellation. It was near the banks of the Rohini River in Nepal, incidentally, where the famed Lumbrini Gardens once existed, the traditional birthplace of the Buddha, at the “time of the May Full Moon”, probably 563 BC. Modern scholars, however do not seem to know whether the Rohini River was named in honor of Aldebaran or the constellation Taurus, or if the name in this case simply means “The Red Stream”.According to the English missionary Joseph Edkins, Aldebaran was known to the Hindus as Sataves, which is said to mean “The Leader of the Western Stars”.
Aldebaran was one of the four “Royal Stars” of old Persia, the other three being Antares, Regulus, and Fomalhaut.
6 p119 Notes A pale rose star marking the Bull’s South or Left Eye. Its name is from Al Dabaran,. the Follower.
Influence: Accordingly to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars, but Alvidas states that it is similar to Mercury, Mars and Jupiter conjoined. It gives honor, intelligence, eloquence, steadfastness, integrity, popularity, courage, ferocity, a tendency to sedition, a responsible position, public honors and gain of power and wealth through others, but its benefits seldom prove lasting and there is also danger of violence and sickness.
10 p30 The “right eye of the Bull”, called Lampaurus by Ptolemy, the beacon, Royal fixed star of Mars nature, called Aldebaran by the Arabs, meaning “the one who follows the Pleiades”.
13 p11 Aldeberan contains much orange and very little yellow
14 p207 Taurus, The Bull (Rape of Europa)
Princess Europa met her companions on the wild flower meadow as usual. This meadow was located beside the sea. They loved to come here every day, weather permitting. At this time of the year all the wold flowers were out in full colour. They could hear the sound of the waves gently splashing on the beach and smell the fresh sea air while at the same time gather in the sight of the colorful flowers. The maidens went running here and there picking colorful bouquets to bring home.
Suddenly Europa noticed that there was a white bull quietly standing in the meadow. There was something very unusual about it. Far from appearing menacing, it seemed gently and appealing. Europa was strangely drawn to approach it, although she did so cautiously. Reaching the animal she gently patted it on the shoulder. The bull patiently allowed her to pet him.
“You’re such a beautiful creature”, she told the bull. You ought to have a garland of flowers to wear on your head.”
Europa then fashioned a garland of flowers. The bull not only lowered its head for the garland to be placed more easily, it even kneeled down beside her.
“What fun it might be to climb upon its broad back,” thought Europa. “I’m sure such a gentle creature wouldn’t mind.” And up on its back she climbed, calling to her friends as she did so.
“Look everybody. Come join me.”
As soon as she called out, the bull jumped and ran into the water carrying Europa with him. It happened so fast she didn’t have time to jump off.
“Help!” she called, “the bull is going to drown me.”
“Fear not, beautiful Europa. “The bull was talking to her. “I am Zeus, the greatest of gods. I am carrying you safely to the island of Crete where you shall become the queen and mother of my children.”
As the bull spoke it was swimming across the sea. The waters all around it remained calm while everywhere else there were waves and white caps. If Europa hadn’t been so alarmed she could have enjoyed a marvellous spectacle. Tritans, dolphins and sea nymphs appeared, swimming in circles around them blowing conch shells, playing pipes and singing all the while.
“Look,” said the bull as he swam. “There is Poseidon and Amphitrite in their chariot pulled by huge sea horses.” Europa stopped crying. Clinging to the bull’s horns she watched the marvellous show taking place in her honor.
Amphitrite and Poseidon were riding in a special bejewelled chariot. It was gaily decorated for the occasion. Amphitrite waved to Europa as they sped by and Poseidon saluted. The dolphins were doing great leaps in synchronized groups. The Tritons began riding the dolphins and doing gymnastic stunts at the same time Throughout all this the nymphs were singing in beautiful harmonies.
What a spectacular show!
When they landed in Crete, the island where Zeus was raised, Europa was treated by its inhabitants as a queen, just as Zeus had promised. Furthermore, she was the most fortunate of all Zeus’ amours. Hera didn’t harass or punish her as she had done to all the others.
The Bull: The zodiacal bull of Taurus is a symbol of creative force. It is also connected with light and illumination.
Europa: The symbol of a highly developed personality. The beauty that attracted Zeus was her spiritual aura. The spectacular staged for her might be thought of as an initiation ceremony.
Zeus: A symbol of the divine self
15 p38 The beautiful constellation of Taurus is well known because the Pleiades form part of it. The Pleiades are a sub-group of seven stars arranged in a form of a tiny dipper. According to legend, the Pleiades, the seven daughters of the powerful Atlas, were pursued by Orion, the Hunter, and were changed into doves to escape him.
16 p119 Aldebaran, translated from the Arabic, means “the Pleiades’ follower.” This is because when the galactic cluster M45 is observed rising above the eastern horizon, not far from the Zodiac sunrise position, Aldebaran follows close behind within one hour in right ascension.
Distance in Parsec 130
Luminosity Class Supergiant
Spectral Type M1
3 p197 Scorpio is under the influence or inflowing energy of Sirius. This is the great star of initiation because our Hierarchy (an expression of the second aspect of divinity) is under the supervision or spiritual magnetic control of the Hierarchy of Sirius. These are the major controlling influences whereby the cosmic Christ works upon the Christ principle in the solar system, in the planet, in man and in the lower forms of life expression. It is esoterically called the “brilliant star of sensitivity.”
p639 5. The signs of the zodiac: Each a double sign in ancient astrological magicnamely: it was Taurus-Eve; and Scorpio was Mars-Lupa, or Mars with the female wolf So as these signs were opposites of each other, yet met in the centre they are connected SD III 154)
4 p361 Scorpio, or Scorpius, the Scorpion was the reputed slayer of the Giant, exalted to the skies and now rising from the horizon as Orion, still in fear of the Scorpion, sinks below it, although the latter itself was in danger
Classical authors saw in it the monster that caused the disastrous runaway of the steeds of Phoebus Apollo when in the inexperienced hands of Phaethon.
For some centuries before the Christian era it was the largest of the zodiac figures, forming with the … its Claws, the prosectae chelae of Cicero, now our Libra,-a double constellation – and this figuring has been adduced as the strongest proof of Scorpio’s great antiquity, from the belief that only six constellations made up the earliest zodiac, of which this extended sign was one.
In early China it was an important part of the figure of the mighty but genial Azure Dragon of the East and of spring, in later days the residence of the heavenly Blue Emperor; but in the time of Confucious it was Ta Who, the Great Fire, a primeval name for its star Antares; and Shing Kung, a Divine Temple, was applied to the stars of the tail. As a member of the early zodiac it was the Hare, for which, in the 16th century, was substituted, from Jesuit teaching, Tien He, the Celestial Scorpion.
Sir William Drummond asserted that in the zodiac which the patriach Abraham knew it was an Eagle; and some commentators have located here the biblical Chambers of the South, Scorpio being directly opposite the Pleiades on the sphere, both thought to be mentioned in the same passage of the Book of Job with two other opposed constellations, the Bear and Orion; but the original usually is considered a reference to the southern heavens in general.
5 Vol 3 1655 In Greek and Roman tradition the constellation represents the Scorpion whose sting caused the death of Orion; in another legend it appears as the monster which frightened the horses of Phaeton when that bold youth attempted to drive the Chariot of the Sun.
p1656 RH Allen states that other Babylonian titles for Scorpius were Bilu-sha-ziri, “The Lord of the Seed”; Lugal Tudda, the “King of Lightning” or the “Lusty King”,
and Kakkab Bir, “The Vermillion Star”, the last name referring more specifically to Antares itself. In a very ancient Egyptian legend we are told that Horus, son of Osiris, was once slain by a scorpion’s sting, but was restored to life by his mother Isis, with the aid of certain magical formulae supplied by Thoth, god of wisdom, science, literature, and astronomy. From this legend grew the custom of protecting buildings, homes, and temples from h attaches of evil spirits by the presence of engraved tablets or stelae called “Cippi of Horus”.
p1659 In ancient China, however, the constellation was not seen as a scorpion; it was the major portion of the large and regal figure of the Azure Dragon or Dragon of the East while Antares itself was titled “The Fire Star”. In some oriental charts the region of Antares – and the bright stars nearby – is labelled Ming T’ang, the “Hall of Light” or the “Emperor’s Council-Hall”. The term Fang, a celestial hall or “room ” was applied to the pattern formed by Beta,,Delta, Pi, and Rho, which we now identify as the Scorpion’s head.
6 p136 Notes A binary star , fiery red and emerald green, situated on the body of the Scorpion. From Anti Ares, similar to, or the rival of Mars. It was one of the four Royal stars of Persia in 3000 BC when as the Watcher of the West it marked the Autumnal Equinox.. Sometimes called Shiloh and Cor Scorpio, the Scorpion’s Heart.
Influence: According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter. Alvidas gives Jupiter sextile Venus, but this is unlikely considering the decidedly martial and malefic nature of the star. It causes malevolence, destructiveness, liberality, broad-mindedness, evil presages and danger of fatality, and makes its natives rash, ravenous, headstrong and destructive to themselves by their own obstinancy.
See page 233 for Magical Seal
14 p239 Scorpio, The Scorpion
The constellation Scorpio is represented by the figure of a giant scorpion. This is the same scorpion that was sent by Apollo to attack Orion. It was such a huge monster that neither a spear nor arrows could pierce its armor. Orion jumped into the sea to escape it.
Apollo placed the scorpion in the heavens as a constellation, as a reward for attacking Orion. Orion was also placed in the heavens after Artemis accidently shot him with an arrow. He was placed in such a position that he dominates the skies with his huge stature for many months, until the Scorpion begins to rise in the
East. At that time, Orion slowly begins to sink below the horizon in the West. He is seemingly vanquished by the Scorpion. But every year Orion rises once again in the skies, reborn.
In another myth, Phaethon found himself in a great deal of trouble when he met the Scorpion in the sky.
Phaethon climbed into his father’s sun chariot. He had received permission, although his father, Helios, had warned him that the vehicle would be too difficult to manage. Phaethon paid no attention to the warning. The horses began the steep climb up to the heavens. The climb at the beginning was so steep that the horses were kept busy pulling and climbing. As their progress upward began to level off, both Phaethon and the horses could relax a little.
Phethon began to enjoy the ride as he looked about him. He was now inclose proximity to all the heavenly animals. Over there he could see the Great Bear, and there was the Crab, the Bull, the Ram and
“Look out!” he hollered, as he tried to steer the horses from coming so close to the Scorpion.
“SNAP!” The Scorpion’s claws tried to attack the horses. The horses reared back in fright and took off. They were running across the sky completely out of control.
Phaethon: A symbol of the young aspirant who has not learned to control desire and consequently loses control of his vehicle. To travel safely to spiritual heights one must be able to control their vehicle – the integrated personality.
Orion: The highly developed, dominating personality. When things don’t go his way he may “lose his cool” – become emotional – symbolized by jumping into the sea to escape the scorpion.
The Scorpion: The symbol for the constellation Scorpio, it symbolizes the sting of death, but also stands for rebirth and regeneration. This is shown by the symbolic death of Orion when he falls below the horizon as the Scorpion rises, then returns to the northern skies, reborn the following year.
16 p73 Its Arabic name, Schaula, (Scorpion) actually means “sting”. In other cultures too, Scorpius has long been included as one of the major constellations. Thus it was called Tsing Lung, the “azure dragon,” in one of the four great divisions of the Chinese Zodiac.
17 p77 Its name means “the Rival of Mars”- the Greek name for Mars was Ares
19 p153 Destroying Lernaean Hydra – The Constellations and the Stars
Taurus, which is the opposite of Scorpio, is the sign of desire expressed predominantly on the physical plane as sex. At the heart of Scorpio we find Antares, one of the four royal stars, a red star. Red is the colour of desire and this is the reddest star in the heavens; it symbolizes red of desire that underlies every manifestation of divine life.
In Gemini, in the gathering of the golden apples, Hercules also wrestled with Antares. Here again in Scorpio we are up against the red star. Why? Because the problem of humanity in this great solar system of ours is that of the attraction between the opposites (meaning desire). Always there is duality, that which is desired and the one who desires. Aquila, the eagle, is interchangeable with Scorpio. The eagle has much to do with the United States and the arrow of Sagittarius, the next sign, is also dominant in the seal of the United States. Aquila the eagle, is the bird out of time and space and as Hercules struggles with the hydra he looks up, sees the eagle, and is reminded that he has come forth into incarnation and will fly back from whence he came.
There are three constellations connected with this sign which are tremendously interesting. First, there is Serpens, the serpent of illusion, the serpent we meet in Genesis, which deluded Eve. The second one is Ophiuchus, the man who wrestles with the serpent. The ancient zodiac portrays the serpent in the hands of this man. He seizes it with both hands and treads on its heart, which is the red star of desire. As he does this, he looks towards the constellation that we saw in Libra, the crown. So we have personality, symbolized by Ophiuchus, struggling with the serpent of illusion, with the crown held before him, towards which he aspires.
The third constellation is called Hercules and portrays the aspirant looking not at the crown but at the eagle, Aquila. Personality looks at the crown but says “I am having such a difficult time, my environment is against me, my home conditions are difficult but I will get a crown some day.” Hercules the disciple, is not concerned about the crown, he is looking at the eagle, the spirit aspect. He is occupied with that marvellous symbol of light emerging, which makes all victory possible.
Keep your eye on the eagle, call down fire, do not look at the ground, be centered in divinity.
Distance in Parsec 400
Luminosity Class Giant
Spectral Type B8
1 p223 Orion was the great hunter. There are two main ‘contenders’ for his name and its origin. One is ouros, ‘mountain’ (the Ionic Greek form of oros), the other, bizarre though it may seem, is ouron, ‘urine’. The ‘mountain’ origin could well be suitable for someone born in Boeotia, as Orion was – indeed it is a name that could apply to anyone from almost anywhere in Greece, which is a largely mountainous country. The ‘urine’ origin is inevitably, much more specific. The story was that Hyrieus, a Boeotian king who had no children, was advised by Zeus that if he wished for a child he should urinate on a bullhide. He did so, and Hermes and Poseidon buried it. Nine months later, a boy was born from the hide. This was Orion. To support this account behind his name, Orion’s name often featured in the form of Urion. Yet a third explanation has been offered for the name, which derives it from orion, ‘to be stirred’, ‘excite’, with reference to his role as a hunter, or to the storms that he raised. The constellation of Orion was so named long ago, and certainly in Homer’s time.
4 p313 In the Norsemen’s astronomy Rigel marked one of the great toes of Orwandil, the other toe having been broken off by the god Thor when frost bitten, and thrown to the northern sky, where it became the little Alcor of the Great Bear.
5 Vol 2 p1281 In contrast to Hercules, who has a very definite personality and is credited with a detailed series of exploits, Orion seems to us a vague and shadowy figure. In Greek Myth he was simply a great and powerful hunter, a son of Neptune, and possibly of a somewhat boastful disposition, as he is said to have claimed dominion over every living creature. Homer refers to him as the tallest and most beautiful of men. He had come to love the divine huntress Diana, but was unintentionally slain by an arrow from her bow, at the instigation of her brother Apollo. In another version of the story, Orion was killed by the sting of the deadly scorpion sent by Juno to punish him for his arrogant pride, nevertheless he was honored by a place in the heavens, and the fatal scorpion was placed in the exact opposite part of the sky so that it could never threaten him again. Orion is the giant who is said to have pursued the Pleiades, particularly Merope, and was consequently blinded by the angry Oenopion, King of Chios. On the advice of Vulcan, however, Orion climbed to the top of a great mountain on or near the isle of Lemnos, where, as he faced the rising sun, his sight was restored.
p1286 Orion, under the name of Sahu, was one of the most important sky figures of the ancient Egyptians, and was regarded as the soul or incarnation of the great god of the afterworld, Osiris. On wall reliefs at the Temple of Denderah, he is shown journeying through the heavens in his celestial boat, followed by Sothis (Sirius)
who is identified as the Soul of Isis, and is shown as a kneeling cow with a star between her horns.
References to Orion occur also in the famous Book of the Coming Forth by Day, or the Book of the Dead, which dates back to the very earliest period of Egyptian history. In a late version, the Papyrus of Ani, which is at least 3000 years old, the text promises the scribe Ani that he shall enter the heavenly regions, and become one with Orion. WM Flinders Petrie, in his contribution to that monumental archeological compendium Wonders of the Past, refers to Orion (or Sahu) as “a star of god of the myth-strewn firmament”
6 p197 Notes: A double bluish white star situated on the left foot of Orion. From Rijl, the Foot.
Influence: According to Ptolemy and Lily it is of the nature of Jupiter and Saturn, but later authors consider it favorable and similar to Jupiter and Mars. Alvidas likens it to Mercury, Mars and Jupiter. It gives benevolence, honor, riches, happiness, glory, renown and inventive or mechanical ability.
p55 Orion The Giant or Hunter
Legend: The giant Orion was created out of an ox-hide by the Gods, Jupiter, Neptune and Mercury, at the request of Hureus who had entertained them. He was blinded by Cenopion and Bacchus for his treatment of the former’s daughter, but recovered his sight by exposing his eyes to the rising sun. In consequence of his boast that he could slay any beast bred upon the earth the scoprion (SCORPIO) was brought forth and Orion died from its sting.
Influence: According to Ptolemy the bright stars with the exception of Betelgeuse and Bellatrix are like Jupiter and Saturn. It is said to give a strong and dignified nature, self-confidence, inconstancy, arrogance, violence, impiety, prosperity in trade and particularly by voyages or abroad, but danger of treachery and poison. By the Kabbalists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Aleph and the 1st Tarot Trump “The Juggler.”
12 p297 Orion He was a young man of gigantic stature and great beauty, and a mighty hunter. He fell in love with the daughter of the King of Chios, and for love of her he cleared the island of wild beasts. The spoils of the chase he brought always home to his beloved, whose name is sometimes said to be Aero, sometimes Merope. Her father, Oenopion, agreed to give her to Orion, but he kept putting the marriage off. One day when Orion was drunk he insulted the maiden, and Oenopion appealed to Dionysus to punish him. The god threw him into a deep sleep and Oenopion blinded him. An oracle told him, however, that he would be able to see again if he went to the east and let the rays of the rising sun fall on his eyes. He went as far east as Lemnos and there he recovered his sight. Instantly he started back to Chios to take vengeance on the king, but he had fled and Orion could not find him. He went on to Crete, and lived there as Artemis’ huntsman. Nevertheless in the end the goddess killed him. Some say that Dawn, also called Aurora, loved him and that Artemis in jealous anger shot him. Others say that he made Apollo angry and that the god, by a trick, got his sister to slay him. After his death he was placed in heaven as a constellation, which shows him with a girdle, sword, club and lion’s skin.
14 p154 Orion, the Mighty Hunter
“One task after another. Will there never be an end to them? I refuse to continue on this way!” Orion shouted. Orion was alone, drinking heavily.
“I’ll show him!” he shouted out angrily and off he went to Merope’s room where he drunkenly took her by force. Then staggering to his own room he fell asleep. When Oenopion, Merope’s father, discovered what Orion had done he found where Orion was sleeping and blinded him for the misdeed.
This all came about after Orion fell in love with Merope. Wanting to get married, Orion asked Merope’s father to give his consent. “First prove that you will be worthy of Merope,” answered Oenopion. “Clear my forest of the wild beasts that are killing my cattle.” Orion completed the task. Instead of giving consent to the marriage, Oenopion came up with another task to be done.
“My water well is beginning to run dry. See if you can find another one for me.” When Orion completed the second task, “before I consent to your marrying my daughter,” said Oenopion, “show me that you can turn my forest land into grazing area.”
And now Orion was blind.
Orion, said to be a man of great beauty, was so tall he could walk on the bottom of the seas while keeping his head above water. He was a mighty hunter, being expert with spear or bow and arrow. But Orion was blind.
“I will find a way to regain my sight!” cried Orion. With great determination he went to an oracle for help, and was told”
“Travel to the East,
Go only one direction,
You must see the Light
of Helios. Make connection!”
Orion immediately set out to the East to regain his sight. No hardship, no difficulty he encountered, could turn him from his goal. “Come what may,” he said, ” I will reach the land of Helios, the Sun, and have my sight restored.”
Always travelling Eastward, he finally managed to reach the land where the Sun resides. There he met Eos, goddess of dawn and sister of Helios. She fell in love with Orion and had her brother restore his sight.
After spending some time with Eos, Orion left her to seek Oenopion for revenge. However, shortly after leaving the land of Helios he met Artemis, the huntress. She persuaded him to forget revenge for the love of hunting together. Orion agreed, boasting, “I will rid the whole world of wild beasts and monsters.”
Because of his boastfulness, sexual promiscuity and especially because a mortal shouldn’t cavort with the gods, Apollo sent a giant scorpion to attack Orion. When Orion found he couldn’t pierce the armor of the scorpion with his spear or arrows, he swam out to sea to escape.
Apollo then went to Artemis and provokingly said to her, “If you’re as good a markswoman as is said, see that blob out on the water? Show me that you can hit it with one of your arrows.” Artemis shot and struck the blob right on. Of course the blob was Orion. When Artemis found that she had slain Orion, she had him placed in the heavens as a great constellation.
Orion, now in the starry heavens, can be seen dominating the skies with his mighty stature for many months. He battles the Taurian Bull of desire with this club while standing with one foot in the waters of the Eridanus, the river of life and its experiences. But he is vanquished each year by the Scorpion, the symbol of sex. As celestial Scorpio begins to rise in the East, Orion begins to slowly sink in the West.
Orion The highly developed, self willed personality. His great beauty is beauty of spirit. His tall stature refers to the spiritual heights he has attained. Walking on the bottom of the sea with his head above the water symbolizes feet on the physical ground, head in the spiritual air, while remaining aloof from the water, emotions (a potential not always used successfully). Spiritual heights are achieved through determination that will not accept defeat. In order to reach those heights, emotional desires must be overcome and the personality aligned with the soul.
No task, no obstacle is too great. Even the loss of his sight (spiritual sight or in-sight), lost when desire is allowed to rule, can be regained by increased determination to regain insight. Ridding the world of wild beasts and monsters refers to one’s inner world which must be purified.
Oenopion: The archetypal father. He tests personality for purity and readiness to unite with anima.
Merope: The anima. Orion failed the test of purity of emotions. Desire, not love ruled, and he fell (spiritually blinded).
Helios: The sun, spiritual light
Eos: The goddess of dawn She can symbolize the spiritual reawakening of Orion, when he spent time with her. Leaving her for revenge symbolizes a fall from the heights he had regained. (No path is straight, but consists of many ups and downs).
Artemis: A moon goddess, who nurtures the subjective nature. She symbolizes a second spiritual reawakening of Orion. She is also the Huntress of the Heavens. She hunts and slays the wild beasts and animal forms (uncontrolled emotional and physical forms). Thus, she is the slayer of the lower self. The slaying of Orion can be considered a symbol of initiation, in which the physical form was removed in order to place the perfected self in the heavens.
The Scorpion: A symbol of the sting of death, but also of regeneration. This is shown by the constellation Orion falling in the West as the Scorpion rises in the East. But the following year Orion will be found rising in the heavens once more, reborn.
18 p100 ‘Brown traces the name Orion to the Akkadian Ur-ana, “the Light of Heaven,” a poetical and a most natural title for the brightest of all the stellar groups. He further thinks that the name was given, because the constellation was taken as a stellar re-duplication of the great Light of Heaven, the Sun (Maunder).
p33 It is interesting to find that Orion met with a fate very similar to that of his Indian brother Kalapurusha. Orion fell in love with Merope, one of the stars in the Pleiades. At the instigation of her father, who had been much exasperated at his treatment of the maiden, Bacchus deprived him of his sight. After his death, Orion was placed among the stars.
Distance in Parsec 200
Luminosity Class Supergiant
Spectral Type M2
Colour Yellowish Red
5 p 1289 The sanskrit name, Bahu, simply means “The Arm”
The star has also found a place in the modern mythology of HP Lovecraft, for in the tales of his Cthulhu Mythos, Betelguese is the home of the “Elder Gods”, the infinitely wise beings of cosmic power who once dwelt on Earth, ages before the coming of Man.
6 p 147 Notes An irregularly variable orange star situated on the right shoulder of Orion. From Ibt al Jauzah the Armpit of the Central One or Giant, but meaning according to Bullinger the Coming of the Branch.
Influence According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars and Mercury and to Alvidas, of Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter in good aspect. It gives martial honor, preferment and wealth.
14 p 11 Alpha Orionis contains the same colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and violet) but the red is more intense, and the orange and yellow are less copious in proportion than they are in Sirius.
Distance in Parsec 100
Luminosity Class Supergiant
Spectral Type B2
4 p 313 Bellatrix, the Female Warrior, the Amazon Star, is from the translation, rather freely made in the Alfonsine tables, of its Arabic title, Al Najid, the Conqueror. Kazwini had this last, but Ulug Beg said Al Murzim al Najid, the Roaring Conqueror, or according to Hyde, the Conquering Lion heralding his presence by his roar, as if this star were announcing the immediate rising of the still more brilliant Rigel, or of the whole constellation.
In Amazon River myth Bellatrix is a Young Boy in a Canoe with an old man, the star Betelgeuse, chasing the Peixie Boi, a dark spot in the sky near Orion.
In Astrology it was the natal star of all destined to great civil or military honors, and rendered all women born under its influence lucky and loquacious; or, as old Thomas Hood said, “women born under this constellation shall have mighty tongues.”
6 p145 Notes: A slightly variable pale – yellow star on the left shoulder of Orion. The name means the Female Warrior, but according to Bullinger it signifies Quickly Coming or Swiftly Destroying.
Influence: According to Ptolemy it is like Mars and Mercury, and, to Alvidas, Mercury and Mars in good aspect. It gives great civil or military honor but danger of sudden dishonor, renown, wealth, eminent friends and liability to accidents causing blindness and ruin. If prominent in a woman’s map it makes her loquacious and shrewish and gives a high-pitched, hard and sharp voice.
Distance in Parsec 400
Spectral Type 09
6 p 177 Notes A variable double star, brilliant white and pale violet situated in Orion’s belt. From Al Mintakah, the Belt, or Dividing.
Influence According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Saturn and Mercury and to Alvidas, of Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter. It gives good fortune.
Distance in Parsec 400
Spectral Type B0
5 Vol 2 p1302 “A Belt of Pearls” The central star in the Belt of Orion
6 p 128 Notes A bright white star occupying the central position in Orion’s Belt. From Al Nitham, the String of Pearls.
Influence: According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Jupiter and Saturn; and to Alvidas of Mercury and Saturn. It gives fleeting public honors
Distance in Parsec 400
Spectral Type B0
5 Vol 2 p1305 from Al Nitak, “The Girdle” The eastern star of the three forming the “Belt of Orion”.
Distance in Parsec 400
Spectral Type B0
4 p 317 Al Tizini designated this as Nair al Saif the Bright One in the Sword, but it is practically unnamed with us,
In China it was Fa, a Middle-man, and intermediate stars being included under this name; but Edkins translates the word “Punishment,” and gives another title for it,Tui, or Jui, the Sharp Edge, analogy to the Arabian Saif and perhaps taken from it.
Distance in Parsec 3.5
Luminosity Class Main Sequence
Spectral Type F5
Constellation Canis Minoris
Colour Yellowish White
5 Vol 1 p449 The name Procyon has been in use since the days of ancient Greece, and is the equivalent of the Latin word “Antecanis” or “Before the Dog”, an allusion to the fact that Procyon rises immediately preceding Sirius, and thus heralds the appearance of the Great Dog Star. In Arabian records it appears as “Al Shi’ra al Shamiyyah” and Riccioli designated at is “Siair Siami”; both names might be translated as “The Northern Sirius”. Babylonian records designate it as “Kakkab Paldars”, the “Star of the Crossing of the Water Dog”, while in China it was “Nan Ho”, or the “Southern River”.
6 p191 Notes a binary yellowish white and yellow star situated on the body of the Lesser Dog. From Prokuon, before the Dog, in allusion to its rising before Sirius.
Influence: According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mercury and Mars; to Simmonite, of Venus and Mars, which is probably a misprint’ and to Alvidas of the Moon, Jupiter and Uranus. It gives activity, violence, sudden and violent malevolence, sudden preferment by exertion, elevation ending in disaster, danger of dog bites and hydrophobia, and makes its natives petulant, saucy, giddy, weak natured, timid, unfortunate, proud, easily angered, careless and violent.
p 35 Legend: Canis Minor represents Maera, the hound of Icarius, who drowned himself on account of his grief at the death of his master. According to another account it was Helen’s dog who was lost in the Euripus.
Influence: Ptolemy gives no information as to the influence of the constellation itself, but merely describes that of its chief star, Procyon. By other authors, however, it is said to cause frivolity and either love of dogs
or danger of dog-bites. It is noteworthy that the ideas of water and drowning seem to be universally associated with the constellation, for in addition to the Greek ideas embodied in the legends its Euphratean name, was the Water Dog, and its Chinese equivalent Nan Ho, the Southern River, certain of the stars being called Shwuy Wei, a Place of Water. Together with Canis Major this constellation is associated by the Kabbalists with the Hebrew letter Tzaddi and the 18th Tarot Trump “The Moon.”
10 p 43 In the “Neck of the Small Dog”, the “Dog in the front”, the “Preceding Dog”, has a Mars/Mercury nature, and therefore makes people hasty, jealous, pig-headed; but later it also confers will power and ability to put thoughts and plans into action. According to tradition, there is also a tendency to hot temper and impudence. Rise and success are found with it, but fall from high position later is indicated. Procyon gives drive and a good sharp mind.
13 p 11 Procyon contains all the colours but proportionally more blue and purple than Sirius
14 p58 Like Canis Major, the single star, Procyon, was known before canis Minor was formed. The new constellation was then called the lessor dog that rises before its companion dog because it would appear in the heavens slightly before Canis Major made its appearance.
Icarius was cautiously walking up a lighted golden pathway. It appeared as though the path was winding its way up into the clouds.
“I’m coming, Maera, I’m coming,” said Icarius. Maera, his dog, was up ahead constantly running towards Icarius and then running up ahead again. All the while Maera kept up an excited barking as if anticipating something about to happen.
Following the pathway upward, both man and dog presently found themselves in the centre of a golden arena filled with spectators. All the seated onlookers wore white robes and had green wreaths on their heads.
A priest holding a thyrsus (a staff tipped with a pine cone and sometimes twined with ivy and vine branches THP) in his hand was standing at an altar in the centre of the arena.
“We have been expecting you,” said the priest. “I am Dionysus. Maera helped bring you here to be initiated into the rites of the grape vine.” Dionysus placed a wreath made from a grape vine upon the head of Icarius.
“Drink,” said the Initiator, handing a glass of wine to Icarius. When Icarius finished drinking, the thyrsus was touched to his forehead. Immediately, he had a vision showing how wine was to be used as a sacrament. Icarius was then led to each of the four corners or stations in the arena. Meanwhile the spectators took up slow deep rythmic chant. The rythm was so powerful and compelling that ….each…. step…. each…. movement…. had….to…. fall in…. line…. with it. It had the effect of printing the whole ceremony indelibly into his memory.
Each of the four stations represented one of the four yearly seasons. The first station represented the winter solstice. As Icarius reached that station he could see an altar which had the word, BIRTH written on it. A priest was standing beside the altar dressed in an earth-brown colored robe.
“At this station,” said the priest speaking to Icarius in the slow emphatic rythm produced by the changing spectators,” you are to learn how to plant the grape vine.” The chanting now brought visions and understanding of how to plant “seeds” rightly.
Icarius was then guided to the second station representing the spring equinox. Upon its altar he could see the word, VITALIZE. The priest standing beside it was dressed in a flaming saffron robe.
“At this station,” said the priest to Icarius, “you will learn how to care for the growing vines.”
The rythmic chanting was now impressing upon him the method for developing and nurturing the forms he had planted.
When Icarius was brought to the third station, he saw that this station symbolized the summer solstice. Its altar contained the word, FERTILIZE. The priest at this altar was dressed in a sea green robe.
“At this station,” said the priest, “you will learn how to bring the grapes to fruition.” When Icarius had learned the lesson of maturing the forms he was growing, he moved on to the final station.
At this station he found the altar contained the word, TRANSFORMATION. The priest was dressed in a robe of ethereal blue.
This station represents the fall equinox,” said the priest. “Here you will learn the method of transforming the harvest of grapes into wine.” The chanting now impressed him with the method for releasing the forms he had produced.
“Remember,” cautioned Dionysus,” wine is to be used only as a sacrament.”
Icarius awakened to find he had fallen asleep while at meditative prayer in a temple. Lying beside him he found some fresh grape vines ready for planting. Maera was smelling them and then looking at Icarius.
“Maera,” said Icarius, “we’re going to teach the shepherds how to grow grapes and make wine for sacramental use.” Maera wagged his tail in agreement.
Icarius and Maera went out to teach grapevine culture to the shepherds. But as soon as the shepherds produced the wine they began drinking the beverage. Being inexperienced, the shepherds soon became very drunk.
“Icarius is trying to cast a spell upon us,” they told each other.
“Let’s get him before he gets us.” Collecting in a drunken mob, they found Icarius in his garden and killed him. At the time Maera was out walking in the forest with Erigone, daughter of Icarius. Maera knew instantly that something was wrong. He pulled at Erigone’s skirts until she turned back to the house. When they reached the garden, Maera led her to the dead form of Icarius. Erigone was so shocked she hanged herself.
Icarius: An advanced personality that is beginning to communicate with spirit/monad. This creates need for a new more refined form. Hence, death of the old. (Death is symbolic and may indicate death of old ways or death of the physical body.)
Shepherds: They may represent the emotional faculties. Caring for the flocks can symbolize caring for the physical body, its muscles, nerves, organs cells, etc.
Erigone: The refined mental faculties which cannot exist in the physical world after the physical body is destroyed.
Maera: The symbol of instinct. In star lore, as the representation of the “Lesser Dog Star”, Maera is known as the herald, the “Announcer of the Coming One”.
Dionysus: The great Initiator, monad, spirit, the Christ.
Wine: As an archetypal symbol it is the life of spirit synthesized with substance.
When we perform an act of creativity, let us recall sacramental
wine, as an inspiration to treat our creativity with reverence. For we are in effect synthesizing spirit with matter.
18 Procyon (Sarama) p143
As the two Vasus, the two stars represent the twins Asvinau as Pratyusha and Pravasha, the Day and Night.
“Sarama” in the Veda is spoken of as a doga swift dog running along the skythat was supposed to find out the cows that had been carried off by the Panis and hid in a cave.
It will not be out of place here to observe that the Greek philosopher Platon calls the fixed stars ‘divine and eternal animals’.
These theories may be well connected with the naming of the constellations after animals, both in the East and in the West.
Distance in Parsec 143
Luminosity Class Main Sequence
Spectral Type F8
Constellation Ursa Minoris
Colour Pale Yellow /White
3 p 195 Aries is, as might be expected, closely connected with the Great Bear but peculiarly so with one of the stars called The Pointers; these point to the Pole star which is at this time a major “star of direction.” Direction, will, purpose and plan ar all connected with the solar Logos and with his evolutionary undertakings in connection with the many lives manifesting in the vehicle of expression which we call the solar system.
1.The Pointer furthest from the Pole Star in the constellation of the Great Bear. This is, esoterically speaking, a great reservoir or focal point for divine energy, carrying out God’s purpose. The Pointer nearest to the Pole Star is expressive of a lower aspect of the will, whichin speaking of humanitywe call self-will.
p196 Esoterically speaking, the Pole Star is regarded as the “star of re-orientation” whereby the art of “refacing and recovering that which is lost” is developed. This eventually brings a man back to his originating source. It might, therefore, be correctly inferred that this Pointer and the energy emanating from it guides humanity upon the involutionary path, and is constantly active in its influence upon the man who is still upon the Mutable Cross. Then the energy of the Pointer furthest from the Pole Star begins to make its presence felt and a sense of right direction or guidance is registered by the disciple upon the Path, and such guidance (when followed) leads man nearer to the Hierarchy.
It is here that the divine necessity of achieving alignment is portrayed for us in the symbolism of the sky and when it has been achieved then there is a direct inflow of divine energy and man is linked up in a new and creative manner to sources of divine supply. Astrologers will do well (in connection with the horoscopes of disciples and particularly of initiates) to consider the two Pointers and the Pole Star. They are mysteriously connected with the three aspects of incarnated manSpirit, soul and body. More than this it is not permitted to me to convey to you. I may, however, give to you another hint. These three stars are embodiments of the three aspects of divine will. It is the three aspects of all expressions of divinity in manifestation which underlie the Science of Triangles.
Another triangle of energy also appears: Aries, Leo and Polaris, and they are double connected through the medium of the Pointers.
4 p448 Singularly coincident with the foregoing (Greek Word) was the title that the distant Gaels gave to these stars, – Drag-blod, the Fire Tail.
Very recently, however, Brown has suggested that he word is not Helenic in origin, but Euphratean, and , in confirmation of this, mentions a constellation title from that valley, transcribed by Sayce as An-ta-sur-ra, the Upper Sphere. Brown reads this An-nas-sur-ra, High in Rising, certainly very appropriate to Ursa Minor, and he compares it with ( ), or, the initial consonant being omitted, Unosoura.
Ursa Minor was not mentioned by Homer or Hesiod, for, according to Strabo, it was not admitted among the constellations of the Greeks until about 600 BC when Thales, inspired by its use in Phoenicia, his probable birthplace, suggested it to the Greek mariners in place of its greater neighbor, which till then had been their sailing guide. Thales is reported to have formed it by utilizing the ancient wings of Draco, perceiving that the seven chief components somewhat resembled the well-known Wain, but reversed with respect to each other.
p450 Plutarch said that with the Phoenicians it was Doube or Dobher (?), similar to the Arabian title, but defined by Flammarion as the “Speaking Constellation,”better, I think, the “Guiding One,” indicating to their sailors the course to steer at sea.
The early Danes and Icelanders knew it as the Smaller Chariot, or Throne of Thor and their descendants still call it Litli Vagn, the Little Wagon, as also, but very differently, Fiosakonur a lopti, the Milkmaids of the Sky. But the Finns, apparently alone among the northern nations of Europe in this conception, have Vaha Otawa, the Little Bear.
p453 Phoenice was the early Greek name, borrowed from its constellation, for this “lovely northern light” and the “most practically useful star in the heavens”; but for many centuries it has been Stella Polaris, the Pole-star, or simply Polaris,
p454 In none of the foregoing cases does a single star seem to be mentioned as a guide in navigation; but as knowledge in this art increased, our a took the place of its constellation as Stella Maris, a title that Saint Jerome, in his Onomasticon, applied to the Virgin Mary; there, however, with no marine, or stellar, connection. But a star, being always a symbol of sanctity, was peculiarly so of the holiest of women, so that this title of the chief star of heaven was adopted as one interpretation of her Jewish name Miriam.
5 Vol 3 p2010 Polaris was the Cynosura of the Latins, a name in common use in Europe some two centuries ago, but, according to RH Allen “this was one of the ancients’ titles for the whole of Ursa Minor, and never, by them, limited to the lucida”. For many centuries Polaris has been the Lodestar or Steering Star of navigators, the Pivot Star of seamen and the Latin Navigatoria of voyagers. Anglo-saxon tribes a thousand years ago, called it the Scip-Steorra, or “Ship Star”; an earlier Greek name, Phoenice, is said to have originated from the legend that the wise man Thales learned of its use in navigation by the Phoenicians; hence the name Ursae Phoenicia for the constellation. Arabian astronomers knew the star as Al Kaukab al Shamaliyy, the “Star of the North”, but RH Allen suggests that it may have been Beta Ursae Minoris which had the name in ancient times, when the actual Pole was about equally distant from both stars. The Arabian name is evidently the source of the Alrucaba of the Alfonsine Tables, and Bayer’s title Alruccabah. Another name in use in Moslem lands was Al Kiblah, referring to a concept of determination of true compass points so that the traveller might know the accurate direction to Mecca. The name Al Kutb al Shamaliyy has been translated “The Northern Axis” or the “Northern Spindle”.
p2015 Polaris, in legends found virtually throughout all of Asia, holds a position of great importance, as the star is regarded as the spire or pinnacle of the cosmic Mountain of the World or “Axis of the Universe”, the fabled Mt. Meru or Sumeru of Hindu and Buddhist lore. On the summit of Meru, “84,000 leagues above the Earth”, the sky god Indra has his heavenly palace; in various myths we find Surya, Vishnu, and other deities dwelling on Meru as on the Greek Olympus. Virtually all of the great temples of India are symbolic representations of the cosmic mountain;
p2021 In the texts of ancient China, the concept of the “cosmic mountain” appears under the name T’ai Chi, variously translated as “The Axis of the Universe”, “The Center”, “The Ridgepole”, the “Great Root”, the “Wheel of the Universe”, “The Pole Star”, or “The Wheel of Life”. In early Buddhist thought the endlessly turning heavens visibly express the concept of the Wheel of the Law. To Taoist sages the cosmic axis symbolizes the absolute, the infinite intelligence of the Universe, the indefinable Tao, the “Way of Nature”. In the opening sentence of the great Buddhist scripture called the Dhammapada, often attributed to Buddha himself, the turning wheel appears as a metaphorical symbol of the inviolable principle of universal karma:
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought …It is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts….If a man thinks or acts with with an evil thought, pain will follow him as surely as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage….”
In the popular mythology of China, the North Pole of the sky was the home of Huan-T’ien Shang-Ti, the “Supreme Lord of the Dark Heavens”, or the “Supreme Prince of the North Pole”. Great accuracy is claimed for the traditional representations of this deity, as they are all based upon a famous painting made by the Sung Dynasty artist-emperor Hui -tsung, after the God had honored him with a personal visit in 1118 AD.
6 p65 Legend: According to some accounts this constellation represents Arcas, son of Callisto and Jupiter. Other writers state that it is meant to represent Cynosura, one of the Nymphs of Crete who reared the infant Jupiter; the other, Helice, being Ursa Major.
Influence: According to Ptolemy the bright stars are like Saturn and in some degree like Venus. It is said to give indifference and improvidence of spirit, and lead to many troubles. By the Kaballists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Tau and the 21st Tarot Trump “The Universe.”
p184 Notes: A double star, topaz yellow and pale white, situated in the tail of the Lesser Bear, and marking the celestial pole. Also called Al Rukkabah, the Riders; Cynosura, the Dog’s Tail’ and Stella Polaris; the Pole Star.
Influence: Of the nature of Saturn and Venus. It causes much sickness, trouble, loss of fortune, disgrace and great affliction, and may give legacies and inheritances attended by much evil. The Arabs were of the opinion that the contemplation of Polaris cured opthalmia.
See page 233 for Magic Seal.
14 p198 While Ursa Major, with its bright stars has been accepted as the bear constellation well back into ancient times, Ursa Minor is of much more recent vintage. Thales is said to have formed it out of the wings of Draco, the Dragon, around 600 BC. Because of its relatively recent formation, it is lacking a mythological story. There has been some attempt to name it Arcturos, After Arcas, son of Callisto but that name and story had already been given to the constellation Bootes.
The pole star, Polaris, is the most important star in the constellation Ursa Minor. It can be found at the tip of the tail of The Little Bear. Polaris is known as the star of direction, for not only do mariners and astronomers use it to get their bear-rings, it is also the star from which spiritual direction must be sought. Esoterically, it is called the star of reorientation.
The Bear: A bear is a huge, powerful animal. The two Bear constellations relate to power and right direction in its use. Also the word bear, connotes many things, such as: to support, to sustain the burden of, to withstand, to endure: as, to bear expenses, to bear one-self well, to bear the pain.
Distance in Parsec 111
Luminosity Class Supergiant
Spectral Type F0
Colour Yellowish White
4 p65 Mythology insisted that it was built by Glaucus, or by Argos, for Jason, leader of the fifty Argonauts, whose number equaled that of the oars of the ship, aided by Pallas Athene, who herself set in the prow a piece from the speaking oak of Dodona; the Argo being “thus endowed with the power of warning and guiding the chieftains who form its crew.” She carried the famous expedition from Iolchis in Thessaly to Aea in Colchis in search of the golden fleece, and when the voyage was over Athene placed the boat in the sky.
p66 Egyptian story said that it was the ark that bore Isis and Osiris over the Deluge; while the Hindus though that it performed the same office for their equivalent Isi and Iswara. And their prehistoric tradition made it the ship Argha for their wandering sun, steered by Agastya, the star Canopus. In this Sanskrit argha we perhaps may see our title; but Lindsay derives Argo from arek, a Semitic word, used by the Phoenicians, signifying “long”, this vessel having been the first large one launched.
Sir Isaac Newton devoted much attention to the famous craft, fixing the date of its building about 936BC, forty-two years after King Solomon.
In Hewitt’s Essays we find a reference to “the four stars which marked the four quarters of the heavens in the Zendavest, the four Loka-palas, or nourishers of the world,” of the Hindus; and that author claims these for Sirius in the east, the seven stars of the Greater Bear in the north, Corvus in the west, and Argo in the south. He gives the latter’s title as Sata Vaesa, the One Hundred Creators; all these imagined as forming a great cross in the sky.
p71 The Hindus called it Agastya, one of their Rishis, or inspired sages, and helmsman of their Argha,a son of Varuna, the goddess of the waters; and Sanskrit literature has many allusions to its heliacal rising in connection with certain religious ceremonies. In the Avesta it is mentioned as “pushing the waters forward”governing the tides(?) In early German astronomical books it was the Schif-stern, or Ship-star. With Achernar and Fomalhaut, corresponding stars in Eridanus and Piscis Australis, it made up the Tre Facelle of Dante’s Purgatorio, symbolizing Faith, Hope, and Charity.
6 p150 Notes: A white star in one of the oars of the ship Argo. Named in honor of Canopus, the chief pilot of the fleet of Menelaus, who was killed in Egypt by the bite of a serpent on his return from the destruction of Troy.
Influence: According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Saturn and Jupiter; and to Alvidas, of the Moon and Mars. It gives piety, conservatism, a wide and comprehensive knowledge, voyages and educational work and changes evil to good.
7 p60 The Ship, a large majestic group is formed by four constellations: Keel (Carina), Stern (Puppis), Sail (Vela) and Compass (Pyxis). Originally they were considered as onethe Ship Argo on which, according to Greek myth, Jason and the Argonauts sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece.
10 p39 Canopus Alpha in “the Boat Argo”
was given this name, because the ancient ones thought they saw a ship in this particular part of the heavens, and they believed it to be a wise step to relate it to their patron Canopus, the old Egyptian god, who was the patron of skippers and voyagers. Combined in Canopus are powers ascribed to Jupiter and to Saturn.
14 p25 The Argo and Jason
Can you imagine someone gaining admission to see a king wearing only one shoe Well, this man did And why would a king even want to see such an unlikely person?
The one shoed man was Jason. He lost one shoe while carrying a huge old lady across a swollen river. The shoe got stuck in the muddy river bottom. Jason hadn’t known it but the old lady he was helping across the river was Hera, wife of Zeus and queen of the gods. She had come to test Jason, to see if he was worthy of her protection And test him she did, for half way across the river Jason felt her getting heavier and heavier. Even a strong young man like Jason began wondering if he was going to make it to the other side, but he did. Then as he looked back towards the spot in the river where his show came off, Hera disappeared.
“She sure was a strange old lady”, he thought. “She must have been a goddess in disguise.”
The king who was willing to see the one-shoed man was Pelias of Iolcos. He had been told by an Oracle that his kingdom would be taken away from him by someone wearing only one shoe. From that time on Pelias had wearily been on the lookout for such a man.
“Bring him here. I want to see him,” Pelias ordered his guards, when they reported that a strangely shod man was at the gates.
When Jason was brought before the king, Pelias questioned, “Why did you come here, young man?
“I came to claim my right to rule Iolcos,” said Jason. “As the son of Aeson, I am the rightful heir to the throne.” Pelias paled. Years earlier, Pelias had seized the throne from his brother, Aeson.
“You are very brave to stand before me with such a request,” said the King. “However, I am an old man now, and am willing to turn the kingdom over to you. But you can bring the Golden Fleece back to Iolcos where it belongs, I will feel assured that you are capable. The Golden Fleece is now in the hands of king AEetes of Colchis.”
By sending Aeson’s son on a perilous journey, Pelias hoped to be rid of his nephew forever. Jason on the other hand, was delighted to undertake what appeared as an exciting adventure.
He immediately commissioned a great vessel, the Argo, to be built for the journey.
At the same time he called for volunteers to sail with him on an expedition for the glory of Greece. All the great heroes responded including Hercules, Castor and Pollux, Achilles, Aesculapius, Orpheus and others. The heroes assembled and sailed as soon as the Argo was completed. Their sails were set for Colchis, their goal, the Golden Fleece.
As their first night at sea approached, the voyagers beached the Argo on the island of Lemnos. They found the island inhabited only by women. These women had banded together one night and killed all their men. They did this after the men brought concubines to the island and pushed their wives aside.
These same women were so hospitable to the Argonauts that the heros spent a year living on the island. Finally, Jason called them all together one day.
“It’s time to resume our quest for the Golden Fleece,” he told them. They all agreed, although with some reluctance, since they had been treated so royally.
Embarking for Colchis the next morning all went well until nightfall when they halted at an unknown landing site. While searching for drinking water Hercules lost his armor bearer, Hylas. They thought some water nymphs may have enchanted him and dragged him under the water. But Hercules refused to leave off searching for Hylas the next day. Finally the Argonauts had to sail without either of them.
When they stopped the next night on an island, they found it occupied by Phineus, a prophet with unerring insight. But the poor old man was starving to death. Zeus, displeased with his prophecy had sent the Harpies, huge birds with human heads, to plague him. Whenever Phineus tried to eat, the Harpies would swoop down, snatch up his food and leave a loathsome stench behind.
The Argonauts chased the beasts away with their swords allowing Phineus to have his first undisturbed meal in a long while. Phineus was so pleased that he predicted the remainder of their journey, to help them on their way.
“A very dangerous peril lies ahead of you,” Phineus told them. “In order to reach Colchis you will have to sail between the clashing rocks of the Symplegades.
“The Symplegades are huge rocks that continually open to form a channel, then suddenly slam shut. If you hope to pass through safely, you must first send a dove flying between the rocks. If the dove flies through safely it is a symbol that the gods will favour you to pass through safely.
“The next peril will come from an island of Amazons. Those women warriors will challenge you to do battle. If you accept their challenge many of the crew will be lost, sail on Do not stop anywhere until you reach Colchis.”
Early the next morning the Argonauts thanked Phineus for his advice and continued on their journey to Colchis. When they reached the Symplegades, the rocks looked so huge and perilous that they halted to take a vote on whether or not to attempt to pass through. All agreed that they had come too far to turn back.
“Then get to your oars,” said Jason, “While I release this dove to fly between the rocks the next time they open up.”
“Ka-boom!” Went the rocks as they slammed shut. Everyone shuddered at the awesome sound. As soon as they opened again Jason released the dove All watched, hardly daring to breath as it flew between the rocks.
“Ka-bam!” The rocks slammed shut again.
“I don’t see the dove.” cried someone.
“There it is on the other side!” shouted Jason.
“Go! Go! Go!” He began chanting in rythm as soon as the rocks started to open again while everyone pulled on their oars as hard as they could.
“Boom! Crack!” The ship shuddered under the blow.
It caught the end of our ship…only the rudder is smashed,” one of the crew reported.
“We can stop to repair it on the beach,” said another crew member. In not too long a time the rudder was replaced and the Argo resumed its voyage.
Meanwhile, Hera had been keeping an eye on the Argo. She had been interested in protecting it ever since her encounter with Jason on the swollen river. Perceiving that the Argonauts might be in too great a peril without some help, Hera called upon Aphrodite and her son Cupid. She asked if Cupid would be willing to shoot an arrow at Medea, King AEete’s daughter, to make her fall in love with Jason. Medea was a magician and could give Jason the help he would need to overcome otherwise impossible obstacles. Cupid agreed to the plan and sped on his way to Colchis.
The Argonauts, following the advice of Phineus, had safely arrived at Colchis. After hauling the Argo onto the beach, they set out together for the palace of King AEetes. Their plan was to ask the king if he would give them the Golden Fleece in exchange for whatever service he might wish them to perform.
When they reached the palace and were granted an audience with AEetes, Medea, his daughter, was present. Also present, but unseen, was cupid. He shot his arrow straight into Medea’s heart and she immediately fell in love with Jason.
AEetes, after listening to the proposal of the Argonauts, replied, “To obtain a prize like the golden Fleece, you will have to prove yourselves worthy of undergoing certain tests and trials. This is no ordinary gift you are requesting.
“The first test which one of your group must complete will be to capture and yoke two of my bulls who have feet of bronze and flaming breath. The second test is to use the bulls to plow furrows in the earth and sow the furrows with dragons’ teeth, which I will give you. After you water the furrows the third test will come. Armed warriors will spring forth from the planted dragons teeth. They will attack you. You must not only repulse their attack but kill all of them.”
Jason, although shaken by the thought of such a test, said, “Since I was responsible for this expedition, I will have to be the one to face the trials.”
“Tomorrow then, you shall be put to the test,” and the interview was over.
That night while the Argonauts were on their ship, gloomily viewing tomorrow’s outlook, Medea appeared. She had secretly stolen out of the palace to visit Jason and help. Her heart was bursting with love for him. Jason in return thought she was the most beautiful damsel he had ever seen. When he heard that Medea could cast a protective spell around him to keep him from harm in the trials he was overjoyed.
“But,” said Medea, “I will help on only one condition You must take me back to Greece with you and promise we will be married.”
“I promise,” said Jason.
“Then listen carefully,” continued Medea “My spell will protect you from the fiery bulls. When the men rise out of the soil and rush to attack you, take this special stone to throw into their midst. It will cause them to stop attacking you and to begin fighting among themselves. Just let them slay each other.”
Jason embraced and kissed Medea after which she returned to her quarters in the palace. She was pleased with Jason’s response to her but also upset that she was rebelling against her husband.
The next day Jason took his place in the arena where the trials were to be held. As the bulls came rushing out on the field, flames shooting from their nostrils, Jason felt his body begin to tremble with fright. But only for a moment, for he immediately felt the strength of Medea’s spell enter him.
Losing all fear he quickly overpowered the bulls, yoked them, ploughed, sowed the teeth, and watered the furrows. Even though he knew what was about to happen, the sight of fully grown warriors completely armed, growing up out of the soil was quite unnerving.
As soon as they rushed to attack him, Jason tossed the special stone into their midst. It worked! They immediately began fighting each other. Waiting until the warriors had mostly slain each other he then moved in and cut down whoever still remained standing. The tests were passed and accomplished.
That night the Argo crew was rejoicing on their ship when Medea once more put in an appearance.
“My father, the king, is planning to capture all of you tomorrow and put you to death,” she told them. “We must go NOW to the sacred grove where the dragon guards the Golden Fleece. I will put it to sleep with a spell while you take the fleece. Meanwhile the crew should prepare to sail as soon as we return.”
All agreed to her plan and as soon as Jason and Medea returned with the Golden Fleece they quickly put out to sea. But by that time the king had learned of their exploits. He immediately sent out a fleet of boats to head off the escaping Argo.
One ship, commanded by Absyrtus, brother of Medea, was far ahead of the rest of the king’s fleet and blocked the safe passage of the Argo But when Absyrtus jumped aboard the Argo, Jason cut him to pieces and Medea threw the pieces in the water. The king gave the order to halt the chase in order to collect all the parts of Absyrtus, allowing the Argo to escape.
The passage homeward was less perilous than the way to Colchis. Hera had sealed the Symplegades shut. This caused the water to flow quietly around the rocks. The prayers and blessings of Medea helped to keep the crew safe each time they would stop for the night.
Finally they reached their homeland, Greece, to find that King Pelias had killed Jason’s father and mother. Jason with the aid of Medea in turn killed Pelias. Because of this, Jason and Medea were not permitted to succeed to the throne but were exiled to become wanderers.
The Argo: The ship used by Jason for his voyage can represent his physical vehicle. The voyage with its tests and trials would represent the opportunities and learning experiences of an aspirant upon the spiritual path. Colchis, the Argo destination was the land where Helios, the Sun, was said to reside and therefore symbolizes a high spiritual plane, ie the plane of spiritual light. Jason’s arrival in Colchis would indicate a conscious awareness of reaching this spiritual plane, but in order to remain in such a high state further tests and trials have to be passed.
Lemnos: The island on which the Argonauts spent one year with the women. It could be looked upon as a time when emotional satisfactions were being attended to. Lemnos could represent a period of diversion or postponement from the spiritual quest.
The Golden Fleece: A symbol similar to the Holy Grail. Its radiance can represent the radiance of spiritual truth.
Jason: As archetypal hero and personality he shows the possibilities an individual can achieve in a lifetime. He may also symbolize the conscious self.
King Pelias: A symbol of the strong lower mind which often rules the personality and is reluctant to give up its control.
The Argonauts: The crew of the Argo can represent various attributes and talents of the personality, such as strength, courage, artistic ability, healing powers, etc.
Medea: As the magician she can represent the higher self or soul of Jason, who loves its counterpart. Their return to Greece with the Golden Fleece would be the attempt to bring their spiritual attainment to earth. This produces a new set of tests and trials requiring further spiritual development, symbolized by Jason and Medea becoming wanderers.
Phineus: A symbol of the mystical or psychic part of self which can awaken, producing the ability to foresee events. This awakening often brings with it the tendency to be indiscriminate in what is perceived and overly greedy in its use ie wanting to foresee “all” (not wanting to think or act without prophecy). This lack of using the mind and over-stimulation of too much astral energy often opens one to an attack by the harpies.
Harpies: Undisciplined, unregulated astral/psychic desire energy ie, astral prophecy (as opposed to use of the intuition). When unable to assimilate the constant flood of astral energy the mind can become cut off from life’s flow – unfed (Phineus starving). It takes mental discipline, symbolized by the Argonauts dispersing the Harpies with their swords to overcome this state of disgrace (the stench left by the Harpies).
Symplegades: The clashing rocks can symbolize lack of integration between mind and emotions. The resulting lack of harmony must be overcome before one can proceed safely to higher spiritual realms. The dove symbolizes the achievement of integration resulting in peace. Hera can then seal the rocks together symbolizing an end to mental, emotional discord.
Hylas: An attribute of the self that is easily glamorized by astral phenomena, symbolized by his being dragged under water by nymphs. Therefore, he must be left behind.
Hercules: A symbol of self will, as opposed to God’s will. This is shown by Hercules’ un-WILL-ingness to let go of an old thoughtform, Hylas. (Hercules had yet to begin his twelve labors, in which he evolved from the self-willed aspirant to the fully soul-controlled disciple). Self-will and astral glamours must be discarded before the aspirant can proceed.
The Fire Breathing Bulls: Symbols of uncontrolled desire energy. Yoking the bulls symbolizes the yoking of desire and putting its energy to controlled use.
The Armed Warriors: Hostile lower forces (springing from the earth); mental, emotional and physical energies coming from within the self. At first their hostility is directed toward the personality. A strong personality, by detachment from such hostility deflects it, throws a stone into their midst. They then expend their force upon each other until the weakened force is done away with, symbolically killed off by the personality.
King AEetes: As the son of Helios he can represent the Presiding One of the plane Jason had reached. Trying to kill Jason and the Argonauts might represent the attempt to sever the physical body. This is often done so that entities having reached new spiritual heights can prepare a more adequate form in a new incarnation to better meet their future needs. When Jason and Medea resisted they were actually performing a service and making a great sacrifice. It is always a sacrifice to come down from a higher energy level of existence to a lower one. By bringing the new level of spiritual energy attained by Jason and Medea back to the earth plus the radiant energy of the Golden Fleece, they would be helping to raise and purify the energy level on earth.
Pelius killing Jason’s parents might represent mind slaying old, past thought forms. Jason and Medea slaying Pelius can represent symbolically slaying lower mind. (Mind actually is transformed, it no longer leads but becomes the worker for the soul-infused self.)
Absyrtus: A symbol of the ties that bind one being to any particular plane. The cutting into pieces of Absyrtus can represent the cutting of those ties so that Medea and Jason can be free to descend to the material plane with the radiant fleece. The gathering of the pieces of Absyrtus’ body symbolizes the gathering together of an old shattered form prior to its renewal as a new, more appropriate, form. (Nothing can ever be done away with, only the form changes.)
18 p132 Two two Pole-stars, may, therefore, be said to press down the two Poles of the Earth’s axis.
As the star Canopus was the South Pole-star about B.C. 12,000, it was called Agastya (Aga means a Mount, a tree or the sea; and the root word Sti means to ‘press down.’