Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Oct 28th - Nov 3rd, 2005

Scorpio 201

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  We are now into our first full week of the Sun's passage into the sign Scorpio. This eighth sign of the zodiac is one of the few that can claim a number of mythical symbols which fly under its banner. Last week we took a look at the scorpion, the creature from which the name is obviously drawn. Scorpions literally glow under ultra violet light. Talk about charisma!

Two-tailed UV Scorpion

Two-tailed UV Scorpion

  Another manifestation of the Scorpionic vibration is the serpent. Both the scorpion and the serpent share in the venom at their command, as do a number of other constellations. Ophiuchus, the Hydra, Cetus, Draco and the star Algol (depicted as Medusa with serpents for hair), are among the noxious entourage of heaven. Each of these are capable of manifesting 'poisoned' personalities, planting seeds of discord motivated by the baser human emotions, such as jealousy, revenge, envy and hatred. They can be drawn to addictions such as drink and drugs, and may suffer from asphyxiating conditions or poisoning, sometimes leading to death.

Uraeus on Pharaoh's Crown

Uraeus (Cobra) on Pharaoh's Crown

      In Egypt, the cobra was the serpent used to depict the constellation Draco, and was worn initially in the crown, and after the Middle Kingdom in the diadem of the pharaohs and many of the gods of Egypt. Osiris, Hathor, and Horus are all usually illustrated with the coiled serpent, sometimes framed against a huge solar disk. In the Book of the Dead, this serpent appears in various guises, whether winged, rearing up and standing on legs, spitting fire or even armed with a knife.

  The King Cobra (Cobras have excellent eyesight, and can see up to 100 meters away. When the King Cobra becomes frightened or agitated, ribs in the neck flatten out, expanding the folds of skin, creating a long, narrow hood, as depicted by the Uraeus on the crowns of the pharaohs. Their job, according to the Egyptians, was to protect the royal family from their enemies and to escort them to the Underworld.) is the world's longest and most intelligent poisonous serpent. It is both an excellent swimmer and tree climber. It may rise up to a third of its length, and can even move forward in such a position, with a loud, intimidating hiss which some have compared to a dog's growl. They will sometimes rise up simply to get a better look at things. Although it is an active hunter, it feeds almost exclusively on other snakes. They are not considered to be aggressive, although they will strike if startled or disturbed and are testy during the mating season. They can deliver up to 12 ounces of venom in a single bite. This venom is so powerful elephants have died within three hours of having been bitten.

King Cobra

King Cobra

  The King Cobra can live up to twenty years, and may actually live longer in captivity than in the wild. They don't reach sexual maturity until five or six years of age. The mating season begins in January, and cobras will stay with their mate through the season. They entwine together, and will stay that way for hours. The female lays anywhere from 20 to 50 eggs, and will defend the nest with great ferocity. She will coil above or near the eggs. It takes three months for the eggs to hatch. After hatching, the young will stay with the mother for two weeks, and then take off on their own.

  Cobras have excellent eyesight, and can see up to 100 meters away. When the King Cobra becomes frightened or agitated, ribs in the neck flatten out, expanding the folds of skin, creating a long, narrow hood, as depicted by the Uraeus on the crowns of the pharaohs. Their job, according to the Egyptians, was to protect the royal family from their enemies and to escort them to the Underworld.

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