Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of November 14th - November 20th,  2003

A Time to Die

Columns Archive



  Our seasonal solar clock continues to tick away time as we move through Scorpio, the eighth sign of the zodiac. Some of the keywords associated with Scorpio are sex and death, but it also relates to collective resources and what is owed to others. This includes credit, loans, taxes and inheritance. Since Scorpio is a fixed water sign, deep seated emotions and emotional attachments are among the themes that we would imagine would be illustrated.



  If our hypothesis about the opening books of the Bible correlating to the seasonal order of the zodiac is correct, then the eighth book of the Bible, Ruth, should correlate to the eighth sign of the zodiac, Scorpio. Here we can study what the Judaic culture thought about these notions, using this book to illustrate proper Scorpionic conduct.

  This is one of the easiest books in the Bible to see the associations between these two systems. The entire story line is molded by death. A Jewish family, a couple and their two children, moves to Moab to live in the country. First the husband dies as a result of a famine, and then, sometime later, the two children die, leaving behind their foreign born wives and mother. This short book then simply defines how Judaic custom helps to keep the family's inheritance from being lost. In spite of the death of her husband, one of the two foreign wives swears utter devotion to the mother, Naomi, in spite of the death of her husband. This loyalty and devotion beyond the gates of death is one of the most notable and valued lessons of this book of four chapters. Death becomes the foundation stone of the entire work, as witnessed by the oath that Ruth swears to Naomi:

  "wherever you go, I will go,
wherever you live, I will live.
Your people shall be my people,
and your God, my God.
Wherever you die, I will die
and there I will be buried.
May Yahweh do this thing to me
and more also,
if even death should come between us!"

Ruth 1:16-17

Death Rider

Death Rider

  After these initial opening acts are played out, of the move to Moab and of the loss of the family, Naomi returns to her native land, as she puts it, empty.

  "Filled full I departed,
Yahweh (God) brings me back empty."

Ruth 1:21

  Much of the rest of the book concerns the return home and the resources (food) which the poor are allowed to 'glean' from the fields, going through after the harvesters have, collecting what was left over. Through ancient Judaic law, provisions were made in which, if all the heirs of a family died, it was appropriate for the dead man's closest male relative to claim and marry the widow, and to sire children in order that their possessions not be lost, either to the family or the culture. In contemporary terms, we call this the inheritance.

  The Book of Ruth is a working textbook of what to do and how to act, in the event of the loss of the male lineage. It is a manual which simply shows how their customs deal with the Scorpionic themes of death.