Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of May 7th - May 13th,  2004

Chapter XIV

The Game of Love

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  We have been examining the seasonal order of the zodiac, examining the fundamental energies of the signs. Last week we focused on Aries, our leap into Spring, while this week it will be Taurus, the heart and center of the three Spring time signs.



  Spring is the season when nature's beauty is returning to the land. The Sun is climbing in the sky, the days are getting longer, and a loving warmth and light are coaxing the plants to yield their fragrant blossoms. It is a sensual time, when the colors, smells and fertility of the land are busily engaged in reestablishing the natural order, making the world new once again. The surge of Aries, expressed in the competition for survival, gives way to a more measured growth, slower and more patient, convinced of better days ahead.



Taurus is a fixed earth sign set in its ways. As people, they are practical and determined in their efforts and cannot be pushed, although they can be led through creature comforts. Ruled by Venus, the goddess of love, they enjoy the good life, of fine food and beautiful clothes, of perfumes and fragrances, of visual feasts and rhythmic music. These are the hedonists, par excellence. Fully committed to the material plane, they seek enjoyment in the realm of each of the five senses.

  In Chapter 14 (12 plus 2, we're working our way through the signs again) of Homer's Iliad, an astrological primer written for those seeking to learn the ways of heaven, examples are provided of heaven on earth.

  In order to divert the attention of Zeus from the battle and so aid the Greeks, Hera seeks Aphrodite's charms (the goddess of love, Venus to the Romans), to seduce the Storm Lord.

Degas- Combing Hair

Combing Hair -Degas

  "Her best plan,
she thought, was this: to scent and adorn herself
and visit Ida, hoping hot desire
might rise in him- desire to lie with her
and make love to her nakedness

  "She entered then
the chamber built for her by her own son,
Hephaistos, who had fitted door to doorpost
using a secret bolt no god could force.
These shining doors the goddess closed behind her,
and with ambrosia cleansed all stain away
from her delectable skin. Then with fine oil,
she smoothed herself, and this her scented oil...
cast fragrance over earth and heaven. Hera,
having anointed all her graceful body,
and having combed her hair, plaited it shining
in braids
from her immortal head. That done,
she chose a wondrous gown, worked by Athena
in downy linen with embroideries.
She caught this at her breast with golden pins
and girt it with a waistband, sewn all around
with a hundred tassels

  "Then she hung
mulberry-colored pendants in her earlobes,
and loveliness shone around her. A new headdress
white as the sun she took to veil her glory
and on her smooth feet tied her beautiful sandals.
Exquisite and adorned from head to foot,
she left her chamber."

  These are the powers, and realm, of the goddess of love. Indeed, Aphrodite gives her charms to Hera, your breast...

...she unfastened
from around her breast...

  'Now she unfastened from around her breast
a pieced brocaded girdle
. Her enchantments
came from this: allurement of the eyes,
hunger of longing, and the touch of lips
that steals all wisdom from the coolest men.
This she bestowed in Hera's hands and murmured:'
"Take this girdle, keep it in your breast.
Here are all suavities and charms of love
I do not think you will be ineffective
in what you plan."

  And as we shall see, the amorous plan in this chapter devoted to the power of love succeeds, as Zeus is smitten with desire for his wife. Indeed, he remembers the days of his youth...

Blue Hyacinth

Blue Hyacinth

  'He gazed at her, and as he gazed
veiled his mind like mist, as in those days
when they had first slipped from their parents' eyes
to bed
, to mingle by the hour in love.

  And as he does so, the very forces of nature, our spring time images representative of Taurus, reach up from the earth to form their bed.



  "At this he took his wife in his embrace,
and under them earth flowered delicate grass
and clover wet with dew; then crocuses
and solid beds of tender hyacinth

came crowding upward from the ground..."

  What a beautiful image, from a chapter devoted to the Spring time earth sign ruled by Venus!

  So says Taurus, our second sign of the zodiac.