Tag Archives: zodiac

Fae Friday: Surprising Secrets of Lamassu

Illustrerad Verldshistoria band I Ill 034

By Ernst Wallis et al (own scan) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Entrance to temple

By Frederick Charles Cooper (1817- ?) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Lamassu is a fascinating Assyrian deity that protects a kingdom, city, building, or home. Often it has the head of a human, the body of a lion, bull, or ox, 4 legs, and the wings of a bird. When viewed from the front in raised stone reliefs, the front may appear to be complete, but go around to the side and you see the full 3D effect. When they were placed at the entrance to a palace or city, they appeared as a pair of colossal protectors. A Lamassu is strong, supernatural, and amazing. I get the shivers from a Lamassu and here’s why.

The most famous is the Sphinx in Egypt.
Lammasu are also known as Shedu.
They are thought of as winged bulls and winged lions.
They first began to appear around 5,000 years ago.
The Epic of Gilgamesh features various Lamassu.

The Lamassu exemplifies:

  • The 4 cardinal directions east, south, west, and north
  • The 4 seasons spring, summer, fall, and winter
  • The 4 cardinal zodiac signs which currently are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn (long ago ages saw different starting points for the ecliptic or apparent path of the sun as it traveled the celestial sphere)
  • Each individual zodiacal / historical age (such as the Age of Aquarius), lasting 2,160 years (a result of the earth’s precessional rotation)
  • The totality of the zodiacal ages (all 12 from Capricorn to Sagittarius), meaning 2,160 X 12 = approximately 26,000 years, a period of time also called a Great Year. Anthropologist Robert Sepehr is one who has studied this.

In other words the Lamassu emerges from the depths of time and depicts the long tail of the earth. It tells the story of earth, including humans, all living creatures, survival, art, mathematics, spirituality, immanence, transcendence, and power. Not bad for a winged bull.

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

Mythic Monday: Libra by Flossie Benton Rogers

Sidney Hall - Urania's Mirror - Libra

Sidney Hall [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Libra is the only constellation in the zodiac that symbolizes an object rather than a person. Libra depicts the scales of Astraea, the goddess associated with Virgo in ancient Greece. In her hands is the opportunity for justice and fairness. In her realm individuals are tried on their own merit, by their deeds, thoughts, and actions. It is her job to maintain a certain detachment during the process, and yet her servant’s heart proved to be large. When all the other gods would leave earth, deserting erratic humanity in its infancy, Astraea vowed to stay until not one human remained. The scales represented by Libra are her conception of truth and justice. Modern astrologers consider Aphrodite or Venus to be the ruler of Libra.

The ancient Babylonians did not recognize Libra as a distinct constellation, viewing it as part of Scorpio. However, the Egyptians saw the scales as Chonsu, the divine child representing death and rebirth. Chonsu reminds me of our Baby New Year. When an individual died, the soul was weighed against the feather of Maat, divine justice. If the soul was slightly heavier than the feather, the soul went on to another cycle of reincarnation. If the scale tipped dramatically, however, weighed down by an individual’s evil, the soul was tossed to a demon to munch on. The scales were also used to measure the heart. The abbreviation of pound, lb, comes from the word libra.

In the zodiac Libra is the seventh sign of marriage, partnerships, and relationships. A more elegant, old fashioned term for scales is balance. It is fitting description for Libra, which seeks balance and harmony in all things and can be overwrought when situations are too far off kilter. Libra has a sparkling personality. They appreciate beauty and can usually find it, even in hidden places. Art, music, and poetry soothe their souls. They are romantic, charming, and innately beneficent. They know how to get things done but in a gracious way. They don’t manipulate. They have a talent for seeing both sides of any given situation. On the negative side, they have to watch out for indecision and an overly lackadaisical attitude at times.

What about it? Do you have any sparkling Libras in your life?

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Mythic Monday: Virgo the Virgin by Flossie Benton Rogers

HayOn the Wheel of the Year, we now approach the rejoicing of harvest time and the autumn equinox. The constellation on the horizon is Virgo, from the Latin word for virgin. Its image is that of a goddess holding a palm branch in her right hand and a sheaf or ear of wheat in her left. The Latin word in question also has the connotation of independence and self-sufficiency. The earth in its self-sufficiency supports and provides for us. The goddess associated with Virgo is seen as a caretaker for humankind.

The ancient Sumerians chose The Furrow as the name for the eastern part of the constellation Virgo. To them this section of the sky appeared as an ear of wheat or grain belonging to the snake goddess Nisaba, who ruled agriculture and the harvest. The bright star Spica in Virgo retains the connection, with its etymology from grain in Latin. Due to the star’s relationship with Nisaba and her gift of an abundant harvest, as well as its preeminence in the sky during harvest time, the constellation was associated with fertility. The Sumerians called the western section of Virgo the Frond of Erua and saw it as the goddess holding a palm frond. Thus, the goddess holds a palm branch in one hand and an ear of wheat in the other. Interestingly, Nisaba was also the goddess who gifted mankind with writing and architecture. She was the most learned of deities.

Nisaba’s counterpart in Egypt was the goddess Sheshat, mistress of libraries and secretary of heaven. She invented mathematics and was the goddess of fate. She measured the length of our lives with palm fronds.

Both the Greeks and Romans associated the constellation Virgo with agriculture and fertility. The Greeks connected it with Demeter, daughter of Rhea and mother of Persephone, as well as with Astraea, the goddess of justice. This makes sense, with Libra, the scales of justice, in adjacent placement in the zodiac. The Romans associated Virgo with the goddess Ceres, from whom we get the word cereal. Both Demeter and Ceres are powerful mother goddesses. Harvest time is a cause of celebration the world over, and Virgo heralds the harvest—the reward for hard work well done and the assurance of plenty throughout the long winter months ahead.

The glyph for Virgo looks like the letter M with a swirl through one stem. The glyph represents a maiden. The swirl could be an ear of wheat, or some astrologers think the maiden has her legs crossed.

Those born under the sign Virgo understand human nature. They can see into the core of a situation, as well as recognize the true character of an individual. They are practical and not given to flights of fancy. Realism is their middle name. Sugar coating is a foreign concept. Virgos are discerning, have a strong sense of right versus wrong, and are careful of what they say and do. As perfectionists, they have to get things just right. They think things through and are detailed, methodical, and sensitive. Analytical and highly intelligent, Virgos possess the ability to form and keep positive relationships with others. A Virgo makes a good friend. They are responsible and sometimes overly so. No one can put pressure on herself like a Virgo. Virgos are famous for taking on too much.

My daughter-in-law is a Virgo, as is a good friend of mine. Both are to be treasured as much as the goddess holding the ear of wheat.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

 

 

 

Mythic Monday: Gemini the Twins

Gemini stems from a Latin root word meaning twins or twinning. The myth surrounding the zodiacal constellation Gemini centers on twin brothers Castor and Pollux. Two men impregnated their mother Leda, the human king of Sparta and Zeus, the king of the gods. This bestowed immortality on Zeus’ son Pollux, while his brother Castor retained a mortal identity. Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra were their sisters, and both brothers fought in the Trojan War to rescue Helen. They also sailed alongside Jason and the other Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece and gained fame for their strength and valor. Castor and Pollux provided protection and magical solace for sailors and horsemen. When Castor died, as humans do, Pollux pleaded with Zeus to grant the gift of immortality to his beloved brother. The twins shine eternally as bright stars in the constellation Gemini.

Leda and the Swan

Cesare da Sesto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Zeus’ conquest and impregnation of Leda retains its infamous savagery down through time. A notorious womanizer, Zeus often used his shape shifting ability to subdue whatever woman struck his fancy. He appeared to Leda in the form of a swan and mated with her. A startling and lovely poem by William Butler Yeats is entitled Leda and the Swan. An excerpt reads: “The great wings beating still above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed by the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill.”

Of Castor and Pollux, Shelley penned: “Ye wild-eyed Muses, sing the Twins of Jove, whom the fair-ankled Leda, mixed in love with mighty Saturn’s Heaven-obscuring child.”

The glyph for Gemini, two parallel lines, represents the valiant twins Castor and Pollux.

Typically, those born with sun in Gemini are facile thinkers and speakers. They enjoy discourse and intellectual pursuits. They are flexible, adaptable, eternally curious, sometimes moody, but never boring. One word that describes them very well is quick—quick footed as their patron god Mercury, quick tempered, and quick witted. Additionally, adhering to the precepts of ruling Mercury, the word mercurial is an accurate descriptor of those graced under Gemini.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romances

Mythic Monday: Taurus the Bull

Nebula in Taurus

By ESA/Hubble and NASA (http://spacetelescope/images/potw1008a/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the cave of Lascaux is a depiction considered by some scholars to represent the constellation Taurus. It is, of course, in the shape of a bull. The bull has been honored since ancient times for magnificent strength and fertility.

Taurus the Bull is an ancient and revered zodiac symbol. The ancient Sumerians worshiped a deity known as the Bull of Heaven. He was Gugalanna, the first husband of the Goddess Ereshkigal, the Goddess of the Realm of the Dead. In Egyptian mythology the bull deity Apis served as an intermediary between mankind and the great god Ptah. Apis’ conception had occurred by means of a ray from heaven. The bull also symbolized Osiris, consort of Isis. In Hellenic times in Egypt, the cult of the god Serapis gained prominence, with its core beliefs centering on the great bull.

In Greek mythology, Zeus disguised himself as a bull to pursue the delectable Europa, who played along the seashore. Initially appearing docile, he enticed her to like him and remain close. She felt delighted by him and even hung his neck with fragrant garlands. Seeing his advantage, he convinced her to ride on his back and took her across the sea to Crete, where he ravished her. She eventually lent her name to Europe. Their union resulted in a son named Minos, who introduced bull worship to the Minoans.

One of my favorite books is Mary Renault’s The Bull From the Sea, with its excellent and creative take on the Minoan bull games of Crete.

The vestige of the eminence of the bull remains today with bull fighting and the spectacular running of the bulls.

The glyph of Taurus is a bull’s head with horns.

Taurus is the second sign in the zodiac. It is a fixed earth sign denoting the characteristics of stability, loyalty, and dependability. Persons born with sun in Taurus or other key planetary position are known for being down to earth, stubborn, protective, and inclined to achieve prosperity. They like luxury and the finer things in life and will work hard for them. They enjoy physical activity and being out of doors. They are loyal and protective of family and friends. Emerald is their stone and green their color.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance