Mythic Monday: Astraea the Star Maiden

Salvatore Rosa 005

Astraea by Salvator Rosa [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Today is the Feast Day of the Star Maiden, Astraea. The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker traces the birth of Astraea to Libya. During the Phoenician era of the Libyan region, a cultural hub sprang up in the great city of Carthage. The apex of the energy featured Astraea, a winged goddess who holds the scales of justice in balance. Astraea later went on to influence the Greek and Roman eras. She loved humans and sought to teach them to express the important values of justice, fairness, and purity.

By faire Astræa, with great industrie,
Whilest here on earth she liued mortallie.
For till the world from his perfection fell
Into all filth and foule iniquitie,
Astræa here mongst earthly men did dwell,
And in the rules of iustice them instructed well.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

The ancient Greeks described five ages of man, starting with the Golden Age. Each subsequent age further deteriorated in morals and actions. Disgusted by the growing degeneration and evil of humans, one by one the gods left the earth. Astraea was the last of the immortals to depart, doing so during the Iron Age. She stayed here longer than the other gods because of her compassion and hope for the ultimate goodness of mankind. Finally, even she could no longer withstand the violence, brutality, and greed. With sadness, Astraea fled from earth and reclaimed her place among the stars.

Now when the world with sinne gan to abound,
Astraea loathing lenger here to space
Mongst wicked men, in whom no truth she found,
Return’d to heauen, whence she deriu’d her race;
Where she hath now an euerlasting place.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

As divine virgin she is affiliated with Virgo.

And is the Virgin, sixt in her degree,
And next her selfe her righteous ballance hanging bee.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

It is believed that when Astraea returns once more to earth, setting a golden shod foot onto the beloved verdant mantle of her former home, she shall usher in a new golden age of enlightenment for humankind.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

6 thoughts on “Mythic Monday: Astraea the Star Maiden

Comments make my day! Please dash off a line or two.