Athena's Web Weekly Column
Week of March 20th - March 26th, 2009
Riding the Tide
The Vernal Equinox occurred at 7:43 AM, Friday, March 20th. Together with the Autumnal Equinox, this is when life stands in balance between heaven and earth. Only on these two days does the Sun ride the celestial equator from sunrise to sunset.
Naturally, there is great power, and even some magic in these moments. Spring is like an artesian well first breaking the surface of the ground, a notion captured in the astronomical symbol, Aries. The initiation of any of the twelve signs of the zodiac captures a groundswell at the moment of their birth, much like the growth rate of a sprouting seed, kitten, foal or young infant. Zero, one, two and three degrees of a sign demonstrate a surge of the life force, but it is most powerful as the inception actually happens, at the ingress.
During the Spring (Vernal Equinox) alignment, the power of light and life is increasing, growing stronger day by day. There is a fusion between heaven and earth, and indeed, astrologically speaking, there is a powerful discharge of energy that may be 'caught' at this time.
Long ago in Sumerian times during the Age of Taurus, the fertility goddess Venus was at the helm, and procreation was seen as divine. It was held as sacred. Being fruitful and going out and multiplying was, in contemporary terms, close to the heart of the Divine. Those involved in administrative circles were eager to 'grow' the population.
There was a ceremony known as the Hieros Gamos, The Sacred Marriage, that continued into Greek times. Although not explicitly stated, it was meant to coincide with the equinoxes, for it was when heaven and earth coupled, astronomically speaking. The populace were simply reflecting the divine in their own image.
"Inanna called for the bed.
The King and the High Priestess were the participants because they were 'father and mother' of the country. They were the representatives of the god and goddess on Earth. Witnessed by the local populace, this act was meant to 'inspire' the nation. Any divine act that originates in heaven was meant to be reflected here on the Earth, and these were the conduits through whom the energy was channeled.
Like the divine rites associated with death and entombment in Egypt, as the years rolled by these prerogatives were extended from the Pharaoh, and then to the royal court, and finally to the local populace, or at least to those whom could afford it.
As time marched on, a new rulership rose to celestial heights and took command, as the Age of Aries pushed aside these agricultural values. Different cultures interpreted the changes in different ways. Venus was no longer the ruler, Mars was. In Greek circles the core of these earlier rituals continued, except that the ox (Taurus), Moon and 'gods' were personified in more anthropomorphic form, in the guises of Zeus and Hera, or later as Jupiter and Juno. The participants became these characters AT THE APPROPRIATE TIMES (at the equinoxes, reflecting the heavenly motion). But in Judaic circles the pendulum began to swing the other way as what had once been seen as sacred now was perceived as acts of perversion. Often these ancient rites took place on the hills, as the celebrants sought to coordinate their festivities by checking the celestial timing. This custom is to be found mentioned in many places throughout the Hebrew Bible. Here is but one example from the Book of Jeremiah (3:2),
'Lift your eyes to the bare heights and look!
"How she has made her way up every high hill and to every green tree and played the whore there."
Of course part of the condemnation was that Yahweh (the Judaic God Christianity has interpreted as Jehovah) had been jilted by his people, left for the earlier procreative rites. Having acquired the people's love and devotion, He is left for these obviously more interesting and entertaining rituals.
Furthermore, the rabbinical interpretation felt that these ancient rites were outdated, and no longer reflected God's will on Earth.
Which was right and which was wrong? Well, if a reflection of Heaven's will is indeed the key, we are no longer in the Age of Taurus or in the Age of Aries. We're at the end of Pisces and headed into Aquarius.
It's going to be a whole new ball game.
Is procreation sacred, or is it a sin? At different times it has been regarded in different ways.
It's time to march to the beat of a different drummer.