Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of July 25th - July 31st,  2003

Chapter V

Think of a Lion

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  Athena has postulated that several of the key works of antiquity contained within them a code which was heaven sent. Written into the very fiber of both Homer's Iliad and the Old Testament are celestial design, pure and simple. The twelve signs of the zodiac form part of the moral, historical and spiritual structure of each of these cornerstones of literature.

Diomedes in the thick of the fighting

Diomedes in the midst of battle

  The equation we're working with is as follows: themes from the first sign of the zodiac, Aries, are to be found in the first book of the Bible and the first chapter of the Iliad. We are currently examining the fifth sign of the zodiac, Leo, and if our hypothesis is correct, this should correspond to Chapter V of the Iliad.

  While in the Bible Deuteronomy focuses on the majesty and power of the Lord and the authorship of Moses, the fifth book of the Iliad concentrates on the personal prowess of Diomedes, a lion in battle.

Fighting lions

Golden fighting lions


Now Diomedes hour for great action came.
Athena made him bold, and gave him ease
to tower amid Argives, to win glory,
and on his shield and helm she kindled fire
most like midsummer's purest flaming star
in heaven rising, bathed by the Ocean stream.
So fiery she made his head and shoulders
as she impelled him to the center where
the greatest number fought.

  Leo is a fire sign ruled by the Sun, and a roaring fire is being kindled for battle. The center is always the command point which Leos try to hold, whether it is the Sun at the center of our solar system, or the center of attention which as dramatist or clown this sign strives for. While some may contend that 'midsummer's purest flaming star' might be the Dog-star, I might offer that it is in fact the Sun which is being referenced, which rises to its greatest power while passing through the sign it rules, Leo, during the middle of the summer. Can any star vie with the Sun for power and supremacy as seen from the Earth? Does anyone not know about the fighting heart of the lion, a theme which appears so often in this epic poem? Homer continues later in chapter V:

Athena and Helios

Athena and Helios


At this, grey-eyed Athena
left him, and once more he made his way
into the line. If he had burned before
to fight with Trojans, now indeed blood-lust
three times as furious took hold of him.
Think of a lion that some shepherd wounds
but lightly as he leaps into a fold:
the man who roused his might cannot repel him
but dives into his shelter, while his flocks,
abandoned, are all driven wild; in heaps
huddled they are to lie, torn carcasses,
before the escaping lion at one bound
surmounts the palisade. So, lion-like,
Diomedes plunged on Trojans.

  Later in this same chapter Diomedes strives to take on Lord Apollo himself, his might and power daring to vie with even one of the gods of Olympus.

The Archer God Apollo

The Archer God


Diomedes, lord of the warcry, charged Aineias
though he knew well Apollo sustained him,
He feared not even the great god himself,
but meant to kill Aineias and take his armor.
Three times he made his killing thrust; three times
the Lord Apollo buffeted his shield,
throwing him back. Beside himself, again
he sprang, a fourth time, but the Archer God
raised a bloodcurdling cry:
"Look out! Give way!
Enough of this, this craze to vie with the gods!
Our kind, immortals of the open sky,
will never be like yours, earth-faring men."

  Leos are not shy. One of the powerful sub-themes which we haven't explored is that of 'courage' running through both Chapter V and in Deuteronomy. Of course, Apollo is the deity who represents the Sun in the Greek pantheon, and we find golden threads being woven into the fabric of this, the oldest work of western literature.