Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of August 26th - September 1st,  2011


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Ovid's Metamorphoses


  When Ovid put quill to parchment, he chose the title of his epic work well; Metamorphoses. The dictionary says that the word comes from the Greek and was used during the 1530s to represent a "change of form or shape, especially by witchcraft," from the Greek "metamorphosis" "a transforming," from meta- "change" + morphe "form." In other words, to change form or transform. Metamorphoses is the plural form of the word.

  Life is change. Summer gives way to Winter, just as Spring gives way to Fall. We are forever weaving together a multi-colored fabric of Time, dancing with the Seasons as the Seasons dance with us.

  These are regular patterns. As a rule, most folks prefer consistency and familiarity. Change is a function that invites uncertainty, in unfamiliar and unpredictable patterns. People tend to be more comfortable with the known than the unknown.

  While examining our Time Line of the Ages, it is easy to follow the motifs of a new Age, because they are repetitious and regular. As the Spring time passage (the Vernal Equinox) moved through the constellation of the Bull, incarnations of Bovine ranging from Apis to Mnewer to Hathor were all drawn from the same celestial herd. Since the 'Great Cow' (or Bull if you prefer, gender is less important here than species) was seen as the Divine Essence from about 4300 to 1600 BC, we find this image played and replayed, honoring Life as the essence of a Divine Bovine.

  But when an old archetype starts to wind down, a new vibratory pattern begins to emerge. Like a new administration coming in with its new cabinet, some policies are maintained (such as themes of sensuality and fertility through both Taurus and Aries), while others are over-ridden. An example would be moving from an agricultural, pastoral, pro-feminine collective to a world mastery, pro-masculine, martial motif (Taurus to Aries again).



  Occasionally we witness this sort of metamorphosis as the Vernal Equinox slips from one tradition to another, from one celestial image to another. For instance, in the Tale of Two Brothers (a tale originating during the Age of Gemini), two brothers work together on the farm and harmonize well in their daily routines until a misunderstanding divides them and the younger brother dies, reincarnates as a Bull, dies, reincarnates as a Bull, and dies yet again. But each death leaves some agricultural gift in its wake. This is Nature's rhythmic cycle, giving birth and resting, and then giving birth again, each year.

  The metamorphosis in this myth is from the younger sibling (Gemini) into that of a Bull (Taurus). The older brother is left on the far side of a great widening gulf, here represented by the Milky Way, the River of Heaven.

Nut above Geb below

A tradition of women on top

  They are describing astronomical motion in pictoral terms.

  Another example is that of the Egyptian Earth God Geb. He is often depicted as lying on the ground, with his back leg rising to the knee, and then dropping to the foot. This raised knee is meant to represent the Earth's mountains. This is obviously a representation of the Age of Taurus, which has traditionally been known as an Earth Sign.

  It is clear among the academics that 'originally' this Earth Sign Geb was known as the 'Great Cackler,' the Goose. Geb is generally identified as a Goose hieroglyphically, or with a Goose on top of his head. It is the same as using the owl to identify Athena in Greek mythology. This Goose identification remembers the hierarchy of heaven was lead by the constellation Gemini, an AIR sign, symbolized by our avian siblings.


Originally a Goose (Gemini),
later an Earth God (Taurus)

  Mythology, like Egyptian hieroglyphics, Sumerian cuneiform and Chinese characters, derives from a pictorial, rather than a phonetic source. Mythology was the collective repository into which cultural history was preserved and information passed to succeeding generations. Their were not taken lightly. Great ceremony could attend the coming and going of the Gods. For vast periods the rhythm of this seasonal archetype was consistent and familiar. But when the collective imagination had to celestially describe the shift from one vibratory pattern and its image to another, the resulting story line could appear a little awkward, the plot somewhat forced.

  Unless of course you've been alerted to the key that unlocks the inner wisdom of its tale. This was all part of the secret teachings of the mystery schools. It's easy. Time morphs from one image to the next, like a Michael Jackson video. But the underlying trick is this.

  You need the map.


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