Once again we're taking a look at Cancer, the fourth sign of the zodiac. Athena says that the fourth book of the Iliad corresponds to this water sign which in turn rules food, feasting and drinking.
Astrologically speaking, this would not seem to be an easy set of metaphors to weave their way into the Iliad, an epic poem about male-oriented battle on the dusty plains before Troy. Cancer is a flush, liquid-filled cup or bowl. It is spray filled surf and describes the soft, tender, more feminine parts of the body, like the belly, breasts and nipples; not the armor encased furies of the hard hearted God of War. Nevertheless, let's examine Homer's images.
The book opens with Hebe serving the gods cups of gold filled with nectar as they watch and comment on the events before Troy. It is in this book that Zeus declares a divine requirement:
"My altar never lacked a feast at Troy
Food is used as an equation to battle in this book, as Agamemnon goads his captains into the conflict,
"Idomeneus, you are a man I prize
And in a later development, to different captains,
"You two should be
There is even a very strange image that Zeus uses to describe Hera's emotional sentiment:
"Could you breach the gates
Scattered throughout this book are references to nipples and belly, whether they measure where the bowstring is drawn to, or where the spear penetrates their flesh. Athena even gets to play Mom!
"...the way a mother
The water images are indeed lush.
"As down upon a shore of echoing surf
The pictures keep on flowing, fast and furious like a "snow-water torrent(s) risen and flowing down the mountain side," right in the middle of our battle. The leap is amazing in demonstrating how easily Homer applies his craft, using dissimilar themes, yet weaving them together both beautifully and seamlessly.