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Category: Constellations (Page 1 of 2)

Taurus

Taurus, Taurus… stable, strong, and powerful, but with a complicated story. Taurus has been a strong symbol in almost all ancient civilizations, up to the Roman Empire. The ancient Greeks added a romantic twist to it… wait, it’s not what you think! Ok, it is in a way, I give up.

As in most cases, there are many myths behind this sign, and no one can really prove which one is the most accurate. I will present you with three different versions, with the one I think makes sense, at the very end.

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Aries

… and we move on with the signs, this time doing Aries! The story is long, but not complicated (too many Greek names people- my apologies in advance), and it features an evil stepmother that can put the ones from the medieval fairy tales to shame! Let’s get started, shall we?

So, once upon a time, in an area of Greece called Boeotia, the good King Athamas was married to a nymph called Nephele. They had two children, the twins Phrixus and Helle. The marriage wasn’t meant to last long, and Athamas divorced his wife for a woman named Ino. Let’s just say that Ino wasn’t so happy with her stepchildren and decided to take action. Of course, it’s not so easy to get rid of the King’s children so easily, so she came up with a cunning plan.

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Pisces

Ah, Pisces… I don’t know where you stand, but it is a love/hate thing for me. Truth be told, this is again one of those signs where, story-wise, there isn’t enough to be said.

So, once upon a time in ancient Greece, Gods and monsters alike were walking the earth. There was one in particular, the almighty Typhon, who would put horror writers and directors to shame. The descriptions vary slightly, as I guess the image of Typhon had been a fantasy battleground for the writers and painters of the time. Although they disagree on some things, like the number of his hands with the estimation being between 100 and 200, they agree on other things. He had one hundred snake heads, all venomous and spitting poison, he was so tall that he could “brush the stars”, his legs were spitting poison, his snake tails were spitting poison, his eyes and hair were spitting fire, and all this monstrosity, was stomping, hissing, and yelling.

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Aquarius

We have now reached the time of Aquarius – not the dawning of the age of Aquarius, that’s a different song. I’ve been dreading this sign, as its mythological origins are located in a dark part of ancient Greek mythology. Since there’s no way to go around this, let me face it head on.

So, thousands of years ago, in ancient Troy, a boy was born. His name was Ganymede, and he just so happened to be of exceptional beauty. Despite being the son of the King Tros, and therefore a prince, he had to do several tasks, even as a young boy. One of them was herding sheep. It was during one of those days that Zeus spotted him. Now, the problem with Zeus, was that he had no moral boundaries whatsoever. In this spirit, Ganymede’s young age, sadly wasn’t an issue.

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Capricorn

I never thought that writing the myth behind Capricorn, would turn out to be such a challenge. There are many explanations around, some of them go so back as to involve Cronus (or Chronos), the father of Zeus. Again, I see no other way, than to start with the rumors and work towards a logical conclusion, well as “logical” as a conclusion about mythology and astrology can be!

So, what do we have here? A goat, but not your ordinary goat. This one has a fish tail! It has even been recorded by the Babylonians as a “Goat-Fish”. Hold on to this particular tail, we are going on a deep dive.

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Sagittarius

So, I was talking on the phone with a dear friend of mine, and she complained that I have gone from writing once a week to writing once a month. I said no, and besides, if that was the case, you would only see the signs mythology posts back to back. I guess deep down I don’t want to prove my friends wrong, so here’s Sagittarius, almost directly after Scorpio.

Ah, Sagittarius… Powerful centaurs, bows and arrows, raw power. This is what comes directly to mind, right? Think again, and to make you feel better, I was in the same boat too. Truth be told, Sagittarius has complex origins, matching only those of Virgo. If someone had asked me on the street, I would have spontaneously replied “the centaur Chiron”. Then I realized that there already is a planet named Chiron, and there’s also the constellation of the Centaur. So, what the hell is going on? I’ll present you with all three possible explanations.

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Scorpio

Yes, yes, it’s Scorpio time, and we’re back to epic tales of mythical heroes and divine interventions! No worries, Zeus stays put this time…

So, once upon a time in ancient Greece, there was a mythical hunter, with gigantic proportions, called Orion. You might have already heard of the constellation and its famous “belt” or you might be Metallica fans! In some of the earliest works of Greek authors, like Homer and Hesiod, Orion is already mentioned as a constellation, and in the Odyssey, Odysseus meets with Orion’s shadow in Hades. What this tells us, is that his story is ancient, even for ancient Greeks!

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Libra

A month has passed, the Sun in well into the sign of Libra, and here I am, researching the mythology behind the constellation. Alas, and I apologize to all my Libra readers, there’s not much to write…

See, the problem is that Libra is the only inanimate sign. Throughout the ancient civilizations, it was considered to be either “the claws of Scorpio”, or “the scales of Justice”, held by Dike/Astraea (see the article on Virgo for more details).

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Virgo

The sun has already entered Virgo, and loyal (but kinda late) as I am to this section, I’ve been researching the myths surrounding it for quite some time now. One would think that such research shouldn’t take so much time, but trust me, this is one complicated constellation. Daring an astrology joke, this constellation is far more complicated than it would want to be.

Let’s start with the basics, and by that I always mean etymology! The word “virgin” is of course Latin, and although in our collective minds, it means a person who never had sexual relations, the original meaning is closer to someone being pure and “untouched”. Think about it. When you buy “virgin olive oil”, it doesn’t mean that your oil never made whoopie, it means that the olives used where “young” and pure.

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Leo

The sun has entered Leo, and as planned, I sat down to write the story of the constellation, but alas, and such a shame for such a glorious sign, the story isn’t that interesting…

The story is again about our friend Hercules and his twelve tasks, and from the looks of it, you will probably learn all of them by the time I finish the zodiac…

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