AstroMythology, Stories in the Stars
“What is this marriage of the infinitely large and the infinitely small that we toss like a net over the stars? Is it an intuition of a Grand Design or only a projection of our dreams?” —Chet Raymo, from The Soul of the Night
Myths of the starry heavens are the dreams of our souls. Rather than a fanciful idea, a true myth contains universal meaning that touches the heart of our experience. Mythic archetypes are alive in the psyche; they change us and change with us as we evolve. Enlivened by individual experience, we keep them fresh by constantly reinventing them. The sparkling glory of the night sky stirs memories of our beginnings, endings and immortality.
The Ram, initiating fire, ruled by Mars
Emerging new from the ocean of universality, every Aries knows s/he is first a child of the gods, the First (and sometimes Only) Child, washed in newness, freshly energized to move forth into undiscovered vistas, “where no one has gone before.” The quest for his true self is the adventure of his lifetime. He seeks to fully live the wonder of being human, to clarify the divine impulse. There is an unmistakable flash, a warm glow, a twinkle in the eyes of even the gentlest of Arians. This light is a ray from the Cosmic Mind, the Logos, shining in his knowing glance.
Aries is the Original Hero–Jason sailing in search of the Golden Fleece; young Parsifal naively stumbling along the road to knighthood; Joan of Arc leading the French army to enthrone the righteous King; Hercules with the strength to meet the challenge of every task. “Follow me, warriors!” is the battle cry of these captains courageous. Even if no one else follows, they will carry on alone if they identify with the cause. Aries knows he must face the challenge, and he will often enough emerge victorious through the integrity of his convictions and the necessity to act upon them.
Enter Perseus, the Greek hero who cut off the head of Medusa and then freed Andromeda, chained to a rock as an offering to the sea monster. Can today’s hero find happiness with a wimpy princess draped over a rock passively awaiting her tragic fate? Of course not. The modern hero rewrites the script. Take It From the Top: he struggles mightily with the monster Medusa and emerges victorious, thanks to the aid of the crafty goddess, Athena, who loves heroes. After beheading the Medusa with a slice of his sword, Perseus flies off on Pegasus, the winged horse. He spies Andromeda, proudly standing on a rock in the middle of the sea. He bravely fights off the sea monster, while she holds the bag with the snaky head. (She holds the bag? oh, well.) He is overpowered. Andromeda herself subdues the monster, turning it to stone with the power of the Medusa head. She then revives Perseus with a healing ritual. He successfully fights off her other suitors, wins the hand of this gorgeous, gutsy babe, and together they approach the temple. Their union is blessed. They live happily ever after, of course.
Here is the modern Aries hero writing his own myth and acting from the chivalrous heart of the true romantic who, in these modern psychological times, has integrated his inner feminine soul light. Although typically rather macho about it, when Aries has incorporated the balancing qualities of his opposite sign, Libra, he can be strong and sure enough of himself to be in equal partnership.
The Bull, focused earth, ruled by Venus & Earth
Following the fire flash of Aries¹ divine inspiration that sows the seed, Taurus provides fertile ground for its endurance, sustenance and growth. The Taurus experience is intimately connected with Gaia, Goddess Earth. In esoteric lore, Taurus is ruled first by Venus and then by Earth, sensing her as a living being with the elements moving through her body in a natural system that sustains all of her children. Deliberate, sensual, at ease, Taurus tends the body first, making a home for the development of soul.
Like a wide, tall tree with deep tap roots, Taurus settles into the earth to establish a solid base for continuing fruitfulness. Such a Tree of Life is the Biblical centerpiece in the Garden of Eden. An older myth from Sumeria suggests a source of this tree and its purpose. The ancient civilization of Sumer flourished in the fertile crescent of the Mesopotamian valley during the Age of Taurus, roughly 2000-4000 BCE. Their holy literature, written on clay tablets dug up and translated only in this century, conveys their glory in sensual experience and the pracgmatic values guiding religion and government. The Sumerian genesis story begins with a separation of heaven and earth and a stormy encounter between the God of Wisdom and the exiled Goddess of the Kur, the Great Below. A huluppu tree, planted by the banks of the Euphrates River, was torn up by the wind and carried downstream.
The young Venusian goddess, Inanna, plucked the tree from the river and planted it in her holy garden. This Tree of Life represented her coming queenship and womanhood. When she planted the tree in her garden, she was claiming ownership of her destiny and preparing to fully manifest her power and sexuality. Before the tree matured, however, a serpent made its home in the roots of the tree, a lion-headed bird nested with its young in the branches, and the dark maid, Lilith, took up residence in the trunk. Inanna was quite upset, but these creatures were there to teach her something about herself.
As a tree cannot grow without nourishment drawn through its roots deep in the subterranean darkness, so Taurus cannot grow to its greatest strength without tapping into the depth of its opposite sign, Scorpio. Seasonally, its ever-deepening roots dig down toward the core of Earth to drink underground waters purified by the internal, rock-melting heat and life-giving essence generated by the fearless, erotic Scorpio passion. The serpent, the bird and Lilith in the tree came from the dark goddess in the underworld, the source of the tree. They came to teach Inanna about her feminine power.
It takes the massive strength and practicality of Taurus to deal with the powerful energies tapped at these lower depths. Inanna called upon her strong, warrior brother, Gilgamesh , to chase the creatures from her tree. He then cut down the tree and fashioned her throne and her bed, manifesting her desires. The story was not over, however; later, when she hears the call from within, Inanna must go down the underworld herself to deepen and renew her power. In the meantime, hug a tree!
The Twins, interactive air, ruled by Mercury
Geminis are always looking for their twins, and in almost every culture, they find them–inside and outside themselves. Sometimes this twin has a shadow aspect. There are many stories of the light twin and the dark twin, like Cain and Abel, Jesus and Judas, Inanna and Ereshkigal. Or the mortal twin and the immortal twin, like Castor and Pollux, for whom the two bright stars of the constellation Gemini are named. These brothers had twin sisters as well, Clytemnestra is the mortal woman and Helen, the immortal goddess. “Double your pleasure, double your fun”?–or double trouble! The Trojan War was fought over Helen. When Castor was killed, grief-stricken Pollux agreed to take turns, day by day, one buried in the dark Underworld of the Dead, the other living in the glorious Heavens.
Another Greek twinship is that of Artemis and Apollo, children of Leto, the primordial night. This divine brother and sister are polarized as the Lights–Huntress of the Moon and golden God of the Sun that create our cyclic rhythm. The symbol for Gemini looks like two columns that create a gateway which opens into and beyond the world of duality. As we go through and resolve these opposites, a new level of paradox will emerge. Thus we keep learning, satisfying the curiosity of Gemini, who coined the phrase, “Variety is the spice of life.”
It is in search of his shadow that we first meet Peter Pan, a quintessential Gemini. Wendy is awakened by the sound of Peter crying, seeking his lost shadow. Off they fly to Neverland. The flight itself is quite an adventure, lots to see and they play games as they go. For Peter Pan, flying was a breeze. He could float in the air and fly off on a whim, totally in the moment. Writes Pan’s creator Sir James Barrie:
“He would come down laughing over something fearfully funny he had been saying to a star, but he had already forgotten what it was; or he would come up with mermaid scales still sticking to him, and yet not be able to say for certain what had been happening….”
Neverland was Peter¹s realm, where the real and the unreal interface. Peter, like Hermes in alchemy, is the catalytic agent for activity and change. And at the last, he faces his shadow in Captain Hook:
“Proud and insolent youth, ” said Hook, “prepare to meet thy doom.”
“Dark and sinister man, ” Peter answered, “have at thee.”
Peter triumphed, of course. You can have great adventures with Peter Pan, but you can’t grow up. He won’t have anything to do with it. Geminis do have difficulty settling down to the routines of “maturity” (says who?). It is the Gemini in each of us that keeps us young and curious about life. Tinkerbell, that naughty little pixie, is ever-present. Keep clapping. Maybe some fairy dust will sweep you off your feet and you’ll find you are flying.
The Crab, initiating water, ruled by Moon
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.” A Cancer Moon Child doesn’t wonder. She knows. She dreams with the tides. From memory as ancient as the sea, as fresh as a mountain stream, as personal as the close comfort of the womb–is born the Moon Child. Matrix and Mother is Cancer, the creative waters that give birth to all forms of life. The original Pandora was such a Mother of Life. Her name means “all-giver.” The Milky Way is said to be formed from milk overflowing from the breast of the mother of the gods.
In northern climes, the gateway of Cancer is the Summer Solstice, the longest day, highest light of the year, where the richness of nature starts to turn inward again toward night and the dream-world. Deep in their hearts, in silver reveries, Moon Children remember dreams of childhood and before, lives before this life, potentials not yet conceived.
Once upon a time forever, the Hindu god Vishnu reclines on the coiled body of a serpent floating on the Sea of Milk. Lakshmi, Lady of the Lotus, lovely, cream ivory goddess of joy and abundance, rubs his feet. Her touch brings dreams–of a great , calm lake where time rests still, the mirror of the water perfectly reflecting the sky. From the silent darkness of the lake’s deep bed emerges a slender green stem. The bud of this lotus opens in surrender to the warm light of the Sun. This flower is the goddess herself. From its center, the creator god, Brahma, appears. His four heads, like the phases of the Moon–new, waxing half, full, waning half–watch worlds manifest in the four cardinal directions.
As the dreaming Vishnu breathes out in a long sigh, these worlds come to life. He projects himself into his own dreams in a variety of forms–a boar, lion, turtle, fish and even blue-skinned Krishna–to protect the worlds from repeated dangers. Cancers are care-givers and defenders of the human family who actively respond to perceived need. Sensitive to inner and outer currents, they need a home base, like a turtle, a protective shell where they withdraw into safety. Like oysters, they carefully hold and nurture their shining pearls of wisdom.
When Vishnu breathes in, the worlds dissolve back into the cosmic sea. The lotus closes in upon itself. Lady Lakshmi sits in meditation. She brings her two hands together in front of her, one curved over the other, with the two long fingers lightly joined in the gesture called, “Increase.” After a timeless moment…she smiles… and begins again to rub the feet of her Lord. Another world is being conceived. In Dreamtime….
“All the world’s a stage,” wrote William Shakespeare. Sun-born Leos agree. Just as the Sun is the center of the solar system, they enter the stage of life as the heroes and heroines of their own life dramas. Every Leo girl is the princess; every Leo boy the knight in shining armor. They feel their royal blood; the Sun shines through them.
The life path for Leo is to express their generous spirit from the warm and true center of their hearts. They may be shy and self-conscious about doing this at first. Like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, they need to develop the self-confidence to acknowledge and express their native endowment of courage, creativity and dynamic leadership. Defending his friends, the Cowardly Lion finds the courage that he has had all along. He doesn’t need a wizard to give it to him. It is love and friendship that will bring out the best in the loyal Leo. Every sign needs its opposite sign to grow to its full potential. Aquarian qualities of friendship and concern for the larger whole help Leos transform their center of awareness from the self to the Self. The Sun is, after all, one star among all the others in the galaxy.
Taming the lion is a Leo theme that appears in the philosophical science of alchemy, in which spiritual lead is turned to gold. A wild, green lion, with wide-open jaw and paws outstretched, is seen devouring the Sun, as passionate desires and the drive for power may consume the light of spiritual consciousness. Leo must learn about the function of the ego–as a lens to focus the higher Self, not as an end in itself. The mask of self-identity is removed to reveal the pure essence of Being.
The greedy lion’s paws are cut off, frustrating his wild, selfish desires. This process is difficult and painful for the lion! Leos have a hard time accepting limitations. They may sulk (no one else can sulk like a Leo!) or let depression get the best of them. Yet if they can allow the inner burning to purify their hearts to a renewed level of Self-awareness, their passion is transformed into a powerful, creative force that gives light to the world, as the nuclear fusion within the Sun’s core produces rays of life-giving energy. The Sun dips into the darkness before it reappears fresh each day. The enlightened lion, like Aslan in the C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, guards the gate to the inner sanctum, honoring the individual expression of spirit in every other Self.
The Maiden, interactive earth, ruled by Mercury & Chiron
The gateway from Leo to Virgo is guarded by the Sphinx, smiling like the Mona Lisa. Virgo, the maiden goddess, offers the gentling, discerning touch that guides the raw, desert-hot, lion power of Leo. Thoughtful and discriminating, Virgos analyze the factors of their world and work with a quiet humility combined with technical expertise to make things better. The earthiness of Virgo is as real and solid as placing one well-booted foot after another on the mountain trail, yet Virgo’s response to this material world is delicate as a bride’s veil, careful as the filtering membranes through which nutrients pass into the bloodstream from the intestinal labyrinth.
By no means do all Virgos live up to their reputation as the fastidious, spic-and-span housekeepers of the zodiac, but they all develop special categories in their lives that are well-ordered, precise and perfected. A primary task is to determine personal and social priorities where their particular skills can be of most service.
In the love story of Eros and Psyche, the beautiful mortal maiden must pass through a series of trials set by Venus to prove her worthiness to be reunited with her divine soul-mate. The first task is to sort a mountainous mound of seeds into proper piles according to kind. An army of ants appears to help Psyche with this enormous job. It is the instinctive, earthy wisdom of Virgo that sorts and recognizes the subtlety in matter and prepares the form to receive spirit. This is the motivation behind their drive for perfection, yet they must learn to appreciate the natural beauty of imperfection.
As we draw toward the end of the Age of Pisces, the Christian myth holds potentially renewed meaning for us. Virgo is the polarity of Pisces. The figure of the Virgin Mary is Our Lady of Compassion, who gives birth to the divine child. Her modern message, as given in mystic visitations, is that of urgent necessity for renewed purity of heart, a return to living a spiritual life in each moment, a timely request to serve our Earth in need. This is the service of the Grail, the holy vessel.
Mary Magdalene, lover of the Lord, also embodies an essential aspect of Virgo. The constellation of Virgo is the Virgin Goddess, meaning “whole unto Herself. “The modern psycho-religious split between body and spirit has polarized the goddess into mother and whore. When the wholeness of the Goddess is restored through healing this split, she can reveal her purity through all facets of manifestation, embodying spirit. The sacredness of sexuality as a sacrament of love is an inherent experience of the body as a temple of the spirit. Through this precious rite, as through all daily activities in harmony with nature and honoring Earth, Virgo tends the sacred flame and offers her holy service.
The Scales, initiating air, ruled by Venus
According to Egyptian mythology, the first stop in the afterlife is a meeting with Maat, the Goddess of Wisdom, who holds a set of scales. On one side, she places the Feather of Truth; on the other side, the heart of the deceased is laid and weighed against the feather. If the scales balance, the soul is led into the inner chamber to meet the resurrected Osiris and be reborn. If the scales tip, the soul is devoured by a waiting beast. Perhaps she weighs our hearts from time to time in life as well.
Libra is the sign of the scales. Those born in this sign are seeking balance in their lives. They are sensitive to both sides of any situation and learn to fairly judge in the truth. It is in the realm of personal relationship that Librans feel the scales tip most easily. They must weigh the give-and-take in relationships against that Feather of Truth within their own hearts. The outgoing, cardinal quality of Libra reaches out and listens to the other. From their love of harmony and desire to please, they will easily accommodate, and sometimes over-accommodate, themselves to the wishes of others. Then the scales begin to wobble and tip. Those nice, Venusian qualities of Libra may go off-balance from a built-up inner anger. With the complementary energy of their opposite sign, Aries, they can learn to assert their own points of view and make more satisfying decisions in their lives.
Corona Borealis is a constellation in the Libra sector of the sky. This lovely circle of stars has been imagined by the American Plains tribes as a circle of dancing star maidens. The famous hunter, White Falcon, comes across a mysterious phenomenon–a circle of grass is outlined in a field with no way in or out (crop circles?). He waits till night, when there appears a cluster of sparkling stars descending from the heavens. Twelve beautiful maidens step out of a shimmering basket and dance around the circle to the music of a silver star bell, their feet lightly touching the ground. The hunter approaches them, but they flee. Entranced by their beauty, he waits for them the next night and shape shifts into a rabbit. Still he is not quick enough to catch them. The third night he takes the form of a mouse and creeps us close to the youngest maiden during the dance. When they stop, he resumes his human form and holds her. Treating her with great respect, he convinces her to marry him. They live together for a while and have a child. Her place in the circle of stars is left empty, as we see it today. However, as a star maiden she cannot remain forever on Earth. One night her people come for her and she returns to her sky home. The star people see her sadness and reunite her with her husband ad son as white falcons who belong to neither Earth nor sky but live between two worlds.
Librans often feels caught between worlds. The Middle Path, finding a smooth way between extremes, is the Libran ideal, sometimes as wide as a razor’s edge. Once they find that delicate balance, they can walk that fine line with grace and beauty.
The Scorpion, focused water, ruled by Mars & Pluto
Still waters run deep. Like the frozen water of an iceberg, Scorpio reveals only a hint of its depth above the surface. Below the apparently solid world of matter, subatomic particles are whirling in a huge invisible dimension of dark matter, moving in and out of the material realm where fields of energy cross and hold for an instant of time. Scorpio is this Underworld, ruled by the dread lord of death, Pluto. Only in 1930 did we discover this remote planet of our solar system, ever mysterious. With Charon, its moon, almost half its size, it could a double planet. Pluto and Charon whirl around each other in space like two enraptured waltzers gazing into each other¹s eyes, the same face fixed on the other, their mutual center of gravity between them. Astronomers now want to declassify it as a planet and call it the largest of the Kuiper belt ice balls. Call it by any word, Pluto is potent.
The Scorpionic underworld can erupt in our lives as a terrifying and devastating power, like that of a volcano or a nuclear bomb–or even falling in love. In the Greek myth, Hades (Pluto) abducted the maiden Persephone to become his Queen of the Shadowlands. In the end this plunge or inner journey revealed the true depth and power of her being. As we delve into our own depths, by choice or necessity, to investigate the deep desires that motivate our lives, we plunge into Pluto¹s realm. Artistic herald of this century, Picasso, a Scorpio, expresses that chthonic energy in his work, the raw, transmutative power of the underworld realm.
In the Haitian Voudoun, a Plutonian figure is Ghede, venerated as wise beyond all others, guardian of the gateway through which the dead travel and from which life emerges. Greatest of the divine healers, he is the final appeal against death. His dance is the dance of copulation, of fertility. He is worshipped around a cross mounted on a grave, combining the horizontal axis of physical manifestation and the vertical pole of metaphysical resurrection. Ghede is the beginning and the end.
Shiva is the Hindu Pluto. To a deep drumbeat, he, too, dances in ecstatic trance the dance of creation, all the rhythms of life, culminating in the end of the world, where everything dissolves into the invincible cosmic source. He dances in the Hindu burning ghats with the fury of vengeance to dispel negativity and grind the body into ash. All that remains is the heart of the soul, surrendered to his ultimate love. Shiva¹s divine consort is Kali. Dark-skinned, with blood dripping from her mouth, she brandishes a sword to cut away all that is no longer life giving and vital. Like the Black Madonnas of Christian tradition, she grants miraculous healings that come through her stark power.
Love is the primal source, Scorpios ultimately learn, as they live out the old saying, “Love brings up everything it is not,” and purge all selfish desires. During their night sea journey, the dark night of the soul, they meet within themselves all the dragons of resistance that guard the treasure, the pearls of great price hidden deep in underwater caves. With subtle discernment gained after many battles, they surrender to a power greater than themselves and are gloriously reborn like the Phoenix from their own ashes.
The Archer, interactive fire, ruled by Jupiter
Swift as an arrow in mind and/or body, Sagittarians revel in freedom of motion. Fresh air, open road, and expanding horizons give this enthusiastic sign room to roam the world with long, galloping strides. Sagittarius is kin to the large-hearted bear who went over the mountain to see what she could see. Another mountain? Onward!
Dull routine is stifling to these adventurers, who re-imagine the mundane in a larger, mythic dimension, translating the symbolic meaning of daily life. As they reinterpret the world, they enlighten social vision with futuristic perspectives. “Wisdom is so large and truth so manifold!” exclaimed Sagittarian poet Emily Dickinson. “The only news I know is bulletins all day from Immortality.”
Artemis/Diana is the Divine Huntress–the crescent Moon her bow, bright sharp stars the points of light she aims into the heart of the galaxy and beyond. From Earth, the center of the galaxy is seen through Sagittarius. Her domain is the mountain wilderness, where she runs freely through the forest or schusses down the ski slopes. Independent and self-possessed, she aspires toward the heights, as the upright evergreen, nature’s pledge of faith through the long white winters of the north country. Ahead of the crowd, she is hard to catch, wary of relationships that would domesticate her, morally indignant at violations into her natural, righteous realm. Sagittarians need the as above/so below inspiration and ground of nature to fuel the horsepower of their body/mind Selves.
Diana, Mountain Eve
Spruce Mountain, the peak of inspiration, Centered erect from its rising rounded slopes, The breast of a vital woman. To the south her head arches back, one arm curved Around the valley of her neck, Filled with quivering arrows of pine and fir. She bristles with them, a great, brown bear Couching, alert, she watches her solar twin Sail toward the Pacific, Shafts of colored cloud streaming winds Through the trees of her hair. In his darkness she will rise, Calling on the crescent Moon, Hung in the horns of a majestic Elk. The northward descent climbs down a ribbed ledge, Bounds across a rippling field of belly. A pelvic angle slopes between sleek ridges Of rose hip and thigh. One knee bends into a hill. The other lays out more smoothly, A child’s hike, to the foothills and plains. There she steps early into the morning stream, Wakening to the fresh, swift waters. Winter’s dawn banks an altared light that shines toward eternity.
The Sea Goat, initiating earth, ruled by Saturn
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound–it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Capricorn! It’s serious business to consider gravity-defying Superman as a Capricorn, who has the ability to turn a lump of coal into a diamond by squeezing it with his bare hand. Through Saturnian patience and the right amount of pressure, raw substance is transformed. Such alchemy is not magic, knows Capricorn. It’s a combination of basic science and skillful means, lots of experience, and time!
The key accomplishments of self-mastery, self-discipline and self-control give Capricorn the ability to work within the initial limits set by its ruler, Saturn, and accomplish the full scope of its task. Capricorn traverses the depths as well as the heights. In the ancient Sumerian myth, when the goddess Inanna is trapped in the Underworld, it was Enki, god of wisdom, land and waters, pictured like the goat-fish of Capricorn, who was able to save her. He took some bits of clay from underneath his fingernails (he had been sculpting mountains, no doubt) and fashioned two little critters who buzzed down unseen through the gateways to the lower world. They fearlessly approached and consoled the raging underworld goddess so that she would free Inanna. The basic, pragmatic approach of Capricorn’s earthiness can often calm emotional turmoil and effectively move a stagnant situation into new gear.
Vishnu is a Hindu god who demonstrates Capricorn’s creative mastery of matter and organization. He entered his own dreams of creation, taking on many animal and human forms to save the world. Once he was a turtle who dove to the bottom of the ocean, where he placed himself underneath the world mountain as a stabilizing foundation. At the same time, he sat on top of the mountain, overseeing the operation. Capricorns often feel the weight of the world, yet, like a sure-footed mountain goat, step by step they attain the summit.
Superman, Enki, Vishnu–great Capricornian masters all, whose success rests on their ability to respect and incorporate the authority of Gaia, Earth Mother, and work with her basic forms and capacity for simplicity, organization and creative generativity.
The Water Bearer, focused air, ruled by Uranus and Saturn
Crystalline snowflakes glitter in the frozen, azure air. The pale-faced Sun opens a momentary eye, then sets the snooze alarm for spring. Cygnus, the Celestial Swan, glides across the Milky Way skies just north of Aquarius, bearing pearls of wisdom from the Lake of Eternity. In her wake run rivers of star cloud, streaming out in parallel, serpentine streams, winding together then flowing apart to convey timeless Mysteries ever present. In the heart of the galaxy, the Star Goddess opens wider the portals of the New Age. She dips her jug in the Milky Way and pours forth upon Earth the “cold, clear light of reason,” the detached essence of unconditional love. Myriad stars vibrate electrically as she tunes the cosmic synthesizer and sings a melody which roughly translates as, “Up above the world so high, like diamond in the sky.”
“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is a fine mantra for baby Aquarians. They fly into life, touching lightly and living as much in the rarefied ethers as they do on Earth. Diamond was such an Aquarian boy in the book, At the Back of the North Wind. At night, the North Wind let loose her long hair and carried him for journeys through the skies. With such wisdom so young, a genius of Love, he created magic around him.
Like a rainbow shimmering in the mist of a waterfall, Aquarius radiates a multi-dimensional knowledge that is all-inclusive and seeks to communicate the transpersonally good, the true and the beautiful. With a swift mind’s eye that sees through to the essential Idea, Aquarians carry universal wisdom as the waters of life to share with the family of humanity. Remember Prometheus, who stole the fire of the gods to bring down to humankind? This rebellious Titan defiantly crashed down through the clouds, with the wrathful lightning bolts of Zeus thundering after him. Aquarians are challenged to understand and then break free from personal and cultural narrowness. If caught in the sticky web of ego, their clear detachment can become strung-out, ultra-cool, and freeze feelings, like the Medusa head. They need the personal warmth of their Leo polarity to thaw that icy stare.
Pegasus, the winged horse, is seen as the Grand Rectangle of stars found in the Aquarius sector of the sky. Pegasus could fly only after the snaky head of Medusa was cut off. Born from her blood and the waters of Neptune, Pegasus carries us to the heights of vision and bears the electrical thunderbolts, unexpected flashes of cosmic insight from the Awakener. Out of our dreams and into the skies on wings of freedom, we glide on the North Wind above the deep waters below, enjoying a clear, detached view of our lifescapes and breathing in the fresh Aquarian air.
The Fish, interactive water, ruled by Neptune
Far out in the sea, where the water is clear as turquoise glass, you can dream your way deep down to the realm of Poseidon, God of the Oceans. Here the Piscean mer-people are quite at home swimming along the currents. Here, in her underwater garden, planted with a coral weeping willow and ruby iridescent sea anemones, lives “The Little Sea-Maid,” immortalized by Hans Christian Andersen in his Fairy Tales and Wonder Stories.
She is a quiet, thoughtful child, gentle and melancholic, who sings with the sweetest voice. She loves to hear stories about the world above the sea. At fifteen, she is finally allowed to go there. The setting sun makes the clouds glow like roses streaked with gold; the stars gleam bright and beautiful in this higher world. On a ship, fireworks celebrate the birthday of a young prince with shining black eyes. A sudden storm arises and changes the party to tragedy. As the ship sinks, the sea-maid pulls the prince to shore. She retreats back into the waves as a young girl approaches. The sea-maid goes down home, but cannot forget the handsome prince. Humans have immortal souls, her grandmother tells her, unlike mer-people who live 300 years and then turn into sea foam. Oh, how she wanted an eternal soul! But this could only be if a man were to love her and marry her as soul mates.
How can she find a way? She dares to swim through the black whirlpool marsh to seek out the sea-witch in her cottage of bleached bones. Yes, she could give the sea-princess legs to become human, but every step would pierce like sharp knives. And if the prince should marry another, her heart would break and she would turn into sea foam at sunrise. And her price, cackled the witch, was the lovely, pure voice of the princess. Ready to make any sacrifice, the little mermaid pays the price–her tongue is cut out. Drinking the potion where the palace steps meet the sea, she swoons from the pain, but when she awakes, the prince is there. He is charmed by her beauty and grace, but he is to marry the princess that he believes saved his life. She suffers that she is speechless to convey the truth.
All night she gazes eastward, awaiting her death at the first morning light. Her sisters appear with a dagger from the sea-witch. If she kills the prince, she will finish out her mer-life. But she cannot. She plunges into the sea, ready to give up her life and her hopes for immortality rather than betray her love. Yet, as the sun rises, she is still alive! Along the sunbeams come angels of the air that lift her into the sky. As one of them, she can earn an immortality through doing good deeds. Her longing for human love is not fulfilled, but her desire for an eternal soul, for which she has suffered and endured much pain, has raised her to heaven.
Oh, Bright Star, you shine so near and yet so far. How few know who you are. Fewer still try to reach you. Even fewer become you. –Hanuman Women’s Choir