Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Jun 27th - Jul 3rd,  2003

...by clans and families...

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Owl Moon

When the Moon holds sway...

  "Take a census of the whole community of Israel's sons, by clans and families..." -Numbers 1:2

  Let's review some of the themes from last week's Astro 101 section on Cancer. The Moon is our home, and this notion absorbs our bodies, house we live in, mothers, families, clans, tribes, towns, states, countries, and planet of our origin. At various levels, each one of these is our home. Symbolized by the Crab, Cancers' like to take their homes with them whenever possible. The Moon's metal is silver, from silver cups and bowls brimming with things to drink, to plates heaped high with good things to eat. These notions of water and bodies also come together in another creation close to Cancer, and that's bathing. This water sign loves to become one with waves.

The Encampment

The Encampment

  This fourth sign of the zodiac equates to the fourth book of the Bible, Numbers. In this book, the author of the Bible worked into the thread of his tapestry intentional symbolic references which reflect the light of the silvery Moon. The themes which we went over last week touched upon some of the essence of this sign and its general flavor. We established how one's home could be different things to different people. Today, we might think of our home as the style of house that we live in, such as a ranch, split level or colonial. But to the people in the Bible, none of these would have been relevant. They would have thought of individual homes as tents, and their collective home as the encampment. If we begin to examine Numbers and look for these 'domestic' themes, we find them in abundance. One of the ways in which these books of the Bible incorporated these clues was by repitition. For the book in question, celesital themes are woven in, and then repeated over and over again. For instance, if we expound upon the notion of home in its various forms, and can come up with clans and families, head of his family, ancestral clans, kinship, tribes, tents, pitching their tents, pitching camp, breaking camp, encamped, etc. By the time we reach Numbers 2:34, wherein this general and repeated sentiment is stated and underscored, we have seen the Cancerian theme quite often.

  "This was how they pitched camp, grouped by standards. this was how they broke camp, each in his own clan, every man with his own family."

The Wilderness

The Wilderness

  Given the celestial clues, these statements become repetitive, almost redundant, but they are used to underscore a point. How often have we seen it? By Numbers 2:34 these images have been invoked 63 times. By Numbers 5:4 they have been called upon another 34 times. Indeed, it would seem that Cancerians do enjoy taking their homes with them, just like the shell of the crab! The opening chapters of this book establish the rules for how to set up camp, with all the tribes arranged around the Tent of Meeting to protect it, who takes care of what, which things have to be dismantled (and later reassembled), and how to break camp, and which tribes set out first, second, third and so on.

  Twelve silver bowls, and twelve silver sprinkling bowls are the first things to be offered up to Yahweh. The Levites purify themselves by washing their bodies and their clothes, the Passover is to be held on the evening of the Full Moon, and we're still only up to the 9th out of 36 chapters!






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