Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of June 3rd - June 9th,  2011

Sign Language

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Noah boarding the animals

Lion King to Noah:"What's with the Ram?
You said only two per species..."

  In learning to read the symbolism of mythic authors, there is a refrain that repeats with a regularity that evades most legends. The story tells of a massive flood, one so large it covered the entire Earth and its population. According to Genesis it rained for forty days and forty nights, but the floodwaters rose for a total of one hundred and fifty days before they actually crested, then took another one hundred and fifty days to recede. Apollodorus and Ovid tell similar tales in the Greek and Roman traditions, but the hilltops were only covered for nine days in their version.

  Maybe they had higher hills.

  The 19th century discovery of the library of Ashurbanipal excited the academic community to a new pitch as we learn in the preface of "The Babylonian Genesis" by Alexander Heidel.

  "The excavations which during the last one hundred years or more have been carried on in Egypt, Palestine, Babylonia, Assyria, and other lands of the ancient Orient have opened up vistas of history that were undreamed of before the archeologist with his spade appeared upon the scene..."

The Babylonian Genesis

In the beginning...

  "...Again and again the annals of the Assyrian monarchs confirm, elucidate, or supplement the Hebrew chronicles of Judah and Israel, while the creation and flood stories of the Babylonians as well as the Code of Hammurabi abound in striking parallels to the corresponding portions of the Old Testament."

  Literary reinforcement is the name of the game for Hebrew, Greek and Babylonian cultures where the flood is concerned.

  Even the Maya had a similar story on this side of the Atlantic. Their last 'Age' ended in 3114 BC with a great flood that covered the entire Earth.

  Over and over again down through the years, I combed the stars for some legendary evidence or folktale of a star or constellation that might be tied to the great flood, to no avail. Yet with so many cultures specific about similar events it seemed too strong a clue to ignore. There must be something along the precessional path somewhere.

  Having been schooled in traditional astrology, I tend to be more interested in the motions of the planets, signs and constellations of our solar system, certainly more that the black holes and distant galaxies which tend to spin the astronomers' pinwheels. And then I turned on the software option that allowed for deep space sky activity.

  In cascaded the Milky Way!

  The Milky Way is a great river that runs through deep space, and it cuts half the zodiac through the lower torsos of Gemini, the Twins, together with the upper half of Taurus, the horns of the Bull. Here was the 'flood star' that I had been looking for. It wasn't a single event or entity! It was an extended period of time!

  It was both an Egyptian myth and Homer that provided the missing clues. First, the Egyptian myth.

  Reflecting Heaven on Earth during the Age of Gemini, The Tale of Two Brothers speaks of the metamorphosis of life from Gemini into Taurus. At the start of the story, the Two Brothers cohabitate well enough together, tending to the daily chores of 6th millennia BC life until jealousy rears her head and they are torn apart by the intrigues of the older brother's wife. Following the row and a great chase, 'a vast gulf of waters' comes between and separates them. The younger brother dies, is re-born as a bull, dies and is re-born as a bull, dies, and is re-born as a bull. It's a perfect synopsis of how the agricultural year yields its essence, is extinguished, and returns again the following spring; vigorous, replenished, excited and new.

The Biblical Flood in Heavenly terms

The Milky Way

  Over and over again. Year after year.

  The New Age has dawned, and the 'Bull of Life' is happily yielding up his annual produce just as Mother Nature does for us every year.

  After the initial chase, the two brothers stand on opposite banks of the river conversing with each other. Though they seem to verbally reconcile, there is no going back. Time marches on, and with it comes a new celestial story.

  But if legend instructs us correctly, the Milky Way is the River of Souls along which the dead travel as they return to the headwaters. Looked at from the bank of life, we don't like what we see as we gaze into these dark waters, as their reflections are only those of times gone by, of people departed. This is a time of turbulence, and turmoil. Civilization grinds to a halt as people downshift into a survival mode for an extended period of time. This is the reason the younger brother cuts off his phallus and throws it into the river as they stand on opposite banks. The creative juices of Time are lost to the currents of the river during these difficult periods. There may have been a singular event crystallized in the form of a flood which occurred during this period, but it would have not been necessarily limited to that.

  As it turns out, there was a great flood that may have changed the weather patterns over a huge portion of the eastern Mediterranean at the start of just this period. Sometime around 7500 years ago (approximately 5500 BC) a huge wall of earth collapsed, allowing the Mediterranean to flood the much lower lying Black Sea. The volume of water has changed over the years, but even so, the impact on the local and surrounding indigenous populations must have been devastating.


The River of the Dead?

  It was Homer who first led me to these shores.

  While working my way through Homer's Iliad I had long ago realized it was an astrological primer, offering the ABC's of pagan philosophy. The first chapter of Homer is Aries, the second chapter is Taurus, the third Gemini, and so on. It's beautifully laid out and can be found, in it's entirety under the Greek mythology section of the WEB. Chapter one yielded FIRE images, chapter two earth images, etc. But when I arrived at the chapter on Sagittarius, I kept running into WATER and river images rather than the FIRE images I was looking for. The sequence had evolved beautifully until this point; chapters one through twelve representing Aries through Pisces, and then Chapter 13 started over with Aries and repeats the cycle a second time. Why he repeats it twice, I'm not sure, but he does.

  In chapter 21, the river on the plain in front of Troy actually rises up to battle Achilleus because the latter is killing so many Trojans youths and throwing their bodies into the river. The river is engorged with the dead, filled with rage and seeks to halt Achilleus's murderous wrath.

Sagittarius and the Milky Way

The constellation Sagittarius
and the Milky Way

   The Milky Way cuts the circle of animals (the Zodiac) in two places. We have been studing the section between Taurus and Gemini, but it extends across heaven and also cuts the Zodiac between the constellations Scorpio and Sagittarius.

  It is the River of Death.

  Now mind you, the geologists, historians and archaeologists look across this vast sweep of time and they see no river, no water and no flood, and they certainly don't see how it extends over the whole world.

  But for all the priests in all the traditions that looked to the stars to determine their future, this river, and the destruction that it caused through this period of time, is left in the mythic record for all that have eyes to see. Because these constellations wheel eternally overhead, they 'cover the entire Earth.' The Greek and Latin poets use this epitaph often when refering to the constellations of heaven.

  There was an extended period of social flooding, and its timetable covered the entire Earth as the Vernal Equinox passed through the stars from mid-Gemini to mid-Taurus. It is as the Vernal Equinox passes through the Hyades, the 'V' in the head of the Bull, that the historical record begins to pick up during the dynastic period (see star map, above). Pre-dynastic period, not much historical evidence. Dynastic period, a sharp increase in both archaeological and historical evidence.

  Mythological and astrologically, we are just now coming to the end of a water period, the end of the Age of Pisces. The populace has been used and abused during this epoch, and we are seeing the tail-end (so to speak) of this 'season' of history. We are still in the early stages of its end, but the cracks in the pillars are becoming increasingly obvious.

  Moral principle has been washed out of our social fabric for thousands of years, the very same themes that were on point when God brought on the flood the last time.

  The Vernal Equinox moving through the Age of Pisces (407 BC until now), or the Vernal Equinox moving through the 'Age of the' Milky Way (circa 5500 - 3114 BC).

  We all look to heaven for answers. And we use a kind of 'sign language' to communicate with the divine.

  Zodiac signs.


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