Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of December 5th - December 11th,  2003

The Centaur's Quiver

Columns Archive


  The Sun has recently entered the sign Sagittarius, and we're now focusing on the rhythms of this time of the year. Over the last few months, we have been following the passage of the Sun through the signs of the zodiac, and postulated that at least two of the works of antiquity were well aware of the celestial order and incorporated their patterns into the body of their creations. The Greeks wove this tapestry into Homer's Iliad, while the Christians did the same with the Bible. Whoever codified the Books of the Bible into the order currently used by the Church (which is different from the sequence found in the Judaic version of the 'Old Testament') they seem to have organized them with the correct celestial themes in their appropriate literary niches. This week we are examining the Sagittarian philosophical component, to see what, if any, correlations might have been artistically worked into the lessons and images authored by this sign of the centaur.

Morning rain

Morning rain

  Sagittarius and Samuel. Samuel I & II were originally one book. They correspond to our 9th sign of the zodiac, Sagittarius. Sag is ruled by Jupiter, the mythological pantheon chief and sky god. Think of him as Sky King. Sag's symbol is the centaur, shooting his arrow heavenward. Those who draw up charts use a small arrow to symbolically represent the sign Sagittarius. In the 16 books which we are examining, from Genesis to Ezra and Nehemiah, there are 22 references to arrows according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Ten of them are in Samuel. That's more than any book and as we would expect if this secret symbolism were being woven into the threads of Sagittarius. This heavenly segment deals with religion, philosophy and higher education. People who interpret the divine will come under the influence of Jupiter, such as priests and prophets. Samuel's a prophet, the founder of a school of prophets and the first in a regular succession of prophets. In the pages of Samuel are to be found Philistine priests and diviners, the prophet Gad, the 85 dead priests of Nad and even a necromancer. Both priests and the ark of the covenant are constantly used to discern the will of God. Even Saul, the first king appointed by Samuel, goes into ecstasy and begins prophesying with the prophets prompting the proverb, "Is Saul one of the prophets, too?" (Love those Hebrew sayings!)

A centaur running wild

A centaur running wild...

  Both Jupiter and Sag rule prophets, whether they embody the 'true religion' or somebody else's perception of philosophical 'truth'. The Lord thunders causing the Philistines to panic and flee, and later thunders to confirm Samuel's words. Jupiter as 'Sky King' is the Lord of Thunder and Lightning. In Gemini (our 3rd sign and book), the tribe of Levi was appointed as priests of the Lord. Now in Sag, the sign opposite Gemini, communication with the divine again becomes a central theme. In the closing comments of Samuel two of our Sag symbols beautifully interweave into a single image:

  "God thundered from heaven, the Most High made his voice heard; he let his arrows fly and scattered them, launched the lightnings and routed them."

  For those who overcome these qualities of excess and exuberance, the quieter, more spiritual side of the centaur shines through, 'evolving' into its more compassionate and wiser human component. Mythologically, this was illustrated by Chiron, the King of the Centaurs, teacher of many of antiquities' heroes. He was the mentor in the use of herbs, dream healings, astrology and the martial arts.

  Saul is struck down by an arrow, while David is symbolically and literally warned by an arrow. Now I understand that the aim of this comparative analysis may still be a little foreign to you, but I think most folks will be beginning to get the point.