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Which constellation is Athena?

 
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cvv99



Joined: 20 Jun 2011
Posts: 6

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: Which constellation is Athena? Reply with quote

It is just a question out of curiosity as most greek gods can be found in astrology.
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PFN



Joined: 28 Dec 2008
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Location: Ouro Preto, Brasil

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if this would be correct or can help you at all, but I tend to associate certain signs with some of the greek Gods and their principles.

Athena in my humble opinion fits Libra, after all, Athena is about knowledge and balance. But Libra also fits Persephone and Hades, since Hades is a God of the world below and Persephone is Venus imprisoned, bringing perfection to the lower world. Also, Libra follows Virgo, and Virgo was a a sign of harvest, as was both the Goddess Demeter and also Hestia. Hestia's cult had a ritual where a never ending fire was always lit inside the houses, and was one among the many feminine domains, in this case, on summer.

In the same vein, I attribute Gemini to Janus, Capricorn to Chronus, Taurus to Aphrodite, the most sensual sign of Venus and the Moon, and lover of both Ares (Mars) and Hephaisto (Sun) in Aries. I also tend to make a distinction between the heavenly signs and the cthonic ones, as Pisces is the domain of Zeus as a mortal man, married to Demeter (Virgo) and Sagittarius is godly Zeus married to Hera (although Hera can be argued to link to Cancer, not Gemini).

Scorpio I link to Artemis, after all, the so called hunter's moon occurs when she crosses this sign.

Those are some of the relations I remember to have come to.
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astrojin



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
Posts: 447

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

From Manilius in his Astronomica:

Quote:
Pallas (Minerva) watches over the Woolbearer (Aries);
Cytherea (Venus) over Taurus;
Phoebus (Apollo) the shapely Gemini;
You, Cyllenius (Mercury), over Cancer;
and Jupiter, you yourself rule Leo with the Mother of the Gods;
Virgo who bears ears of grain belongs to Ceres;
and the forged scales to Vulcan;
quarrelsome Scorpio clings to Mars;
Diana cherishes the hunting man part horse (Sagittarius);
and Vesta the contracted stars of Capricorn;
opposite Jupiter is Aquarius, the star of Juno;
and Neptune acknowledges his own Pisces in the upper air


Pallas = Pallas Athena.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Athena actually shows up as a constellation.

The history of the constellations is fascinating and very complex, but the zodiac was pretty well established by (and borrowed from) the Babylonians, and Athena was not one of their deities. Her warrior aspects have some mythological and etymological parallels and probably origins with the Syrian/Phoenician goddess Anat, the eastern Mediterranean goddess Astarte/Ishtar, and she may have "evolved" from the older Sumerian goddess Inanna.

It gets complicated because in ancient times different goddesses shared attributes and myths, suggesting perhaps an underlying myth that became more regionalized in different places; different goddesses who assimilated to one another; or perhaps a combination of both.

For example, Astarte was a warrior goddess like Athena (with her shield and spear) but was identified with the planet Venus.

And just to confuse Venus, she, too, had quite a varied set of myths that indicate she was not always the Roman love goddess!

Manilius gave tutelary deities to the different constellations, but I don't think it means that the constellations were thereby seen as representations of the deities.

Athena has some affinities with Virgo, as the patron of crafts and handiwork. But we wouldn't think of Virgo as particularly warlike-- which is probably the attribute fixed upon by Manilius with his association with Aries.
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PFN



Joined: 28 Dec 2008
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Location: Ouro Preto, Brasil

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find Manilius relating Athena to Aries a very good fit, because she was also a Goddess of spring.

But all in all, the myths and the value each God carried varied a lot both from region to region (cultural) as from time to time. One example would be the Solar myth, that held in it both the titan Helios, preceding Zeus, and Apollo, Zeus's son. And then, Hestia, the older and youngest of Chronos children would become Ceres, if I'm not mistaken, in the roman culture, but they are not quite the same deity.

As astrological concepts were constructed these variations would show in both fronts (astrology and myths) due to their constant dialogue, and the fixation with the number 12 may have some part on it, as there were the 12 olympians concept at a time, it being impossible not relate to the 12 signs.

What is amusing is that a substantial part of it all retains consistence (and it should be so) as older Goddess such as Hestia, Demeter, Ceres, had virtues linked to more modern icons, such as the Virgin Mary, for example. A study putting these western Gods and their symbolic essence to analysis against the eastern culture and their own could produce very interesting results, I believe.
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margherita



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
I don't think Athena actually shows up as a constellation.



Athena WAS a constellations, one of the so called barbaric sphere.

Teucer in Rhetorius: "And it (Aries) as 3 decans and the following stars rise with the first decan: <athena and the Tail of Cetus...."

Albumasar in the Great Introduction, Tr. VI- parallel text to Teucer- (I translated the whole chapter on paranatellonta: http://heavenastrolabe.net/albumasar_stars/

"According Persians there arises with the first decan (of Aries) a woman whose name is daughter of Brightness "

The translator (Herman) calls Athena with her most common appellative , bright eyes.

margherita
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Location: Canada

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Margherita! I learned something.

If is easy to forget that asterisms played a big role in the cultural astronomy of the past.

So.... I looked up Aries in Richard H. Allen, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning. I found that the Romans also associated Aries with the myth of Phrixus and Helle: the siblings who fled on the back of a ram from an angry step-mom. Apparently the ram had to swim for part of the journey, and Helle fell off. This part of the sea became known as the Hellespont. Manilius refers to this legend in 5:33.

Interestingly, Manilius also often refers to Aries as having a "golden fleece", which would seem to extend the allusion to the myth of Phrixus, as he apparently skinned the ram, its fleece turned to gold, and the Argonauts under Jason subsequently went after it.

I tried to look up the Babylonian take on the constellations in Gavin White's book, Babylonian Star Lore. He indicates a warrior goddess ("The Bow") situated behind and somewhat lower in the sky than Orion. She was sometimes depicted holding an archer's bow. In modern terms, this constellation would look to be about the position of Canis Major and Canis Minor. In terms of Babylonian mythology, the Sumerian goddess Inanna (Akkadian Ishtar) would definitely fill the bill! Which is White's take on this constellation.

Then the Babylonians had a separate small constellation called "the arrow" [of "The Bow"), for which the brightest star was Sirius.

Of course, the Egyptian goddess Isis was also associated with Canis Major in the form of the star Sirius; and both Isis and Inanna were also associated with Venus. Unfortunately ancient mythology and star-lore is full of these overlapping assignments.

But it looks to me that the area around Canis Major and Minor indicate some precursors for the goddess who morphed into the eastern Mediterannean Anat, Astarte, possibly the Jewish Ashtorot, and the Greek Athena.

The similarities between some these names is striking, as well. (Athena-Anat.) Athena loses the bow and arrow, but gains a helmet, spear, and shield.

Of course, there's always Pallas, the late-breaking asteroid!
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margherita



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Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very famous Renaissance fresco depicting Aries from a set of frescoes showing signs and their paranatellonta.

In the upper band we find the tutelary God of the month - here Athena - listed in Manilius Astronomica II,439 (Astrojinn gave the quote in a previous post); the central band are the 3 decans with the images taken by Albumasar description of paranatellonta, the lower band depicts scenes of court life.



Enjoy,
margherita
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Phil



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
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Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iím no classical scholar but I remember a few things from school (too long ago!). I believe Athena empanelled the first jury, freeing Orestes and ending the curse of the House of Atreus. She also patronized Odysseus, whose mode of attack was famously more mental than the warriors preceding him. He used reason and ďstratagemĒ, rather than brute force, throughout the Odyssey. Of course the ultimate example of this was his devising the Trojan Horse (which Athena helped build). And at one point didnít Athena, guiding the hand of a mortal Greek in the battle at Troy, actually cause Ares to be stabbed, leading him to retreat to Olympus to whine to (and be spurned by) Zeus? It seems reasonable to imagine Libra has been infused with some Athenian qualities.
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delaforge



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
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Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Which constellation is Athena? Reply with quote

I've just come across this thread. I've read through it quickly, so may have missed something, but I couldn't see reference to Athena's qualities as a warrior and a weaver (sheep's wool) nor to her birth from Zeus's head. The symbolism pointing to Aries is so strong, I don't think I need to explain it further.

When the ancients made their allocations of the twelve Olympian deities to the signs of the zodiac they did so after great thought and consideration of gods and goddesses still worshiped at the time, meaning they felt a closer affinity to the deities than we do today.

While Athena is allocated to Aries by the ancients, several people posting favor Libra as the sign for that goddess. The ancients allocated Hephaestus, the smith god, to Libra. The scales are the only man-made object in the zodiac, so once again the ancients appear to have known what they were talking about.

Regards,
Melissa
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Gem



Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Manilius' Astronomica

Why Mercury is associated with Cancer?
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delaforge



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
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Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:22 pm    Post subject: Which constellation is Athena? Reply with quote

I hope I haven't made a rod for my own back and will now be expected to explain all the other attributions that don't seem to add up when viewed through the lens of the modern mind!

But before I get into the reasons why Mercury is allocated to Cancer in what might be called the Olympian zodiac -

My apologies to Waybread, who did indeed mention Athena's warlike characteristics in a post.

Now back to the Olympian zodiac. The sharp-eyed observer will have noticed that Zeus (Jupiter) rules Leo rather than the Sun. That is because, of the Olympian deities, Apollo is not Helios (Latin, Sol). Furthermore Helios is not an Olympian deity. Of the Twelve Olympians, it is Zeus who is assigned Leo as he is 'king of the gods'.

This gives the clue that the Olympian deities are not to be equated exactly with the planetary deities. I prefer the names of the Olympian deities in Greek as that distinguishes them from the Latin named planetary deities - so Zeus, not Jupiter, Hermes rather than Mercury, and so on.

The answers to why the Twelve Olympians are distributed around the zodiac as they are will be found in the myths associated with the deity in question and in deeper waters of mythology. Athena was famous in the ancient world as a weaver and spinner (in fact, as she remained unmated, she is the original spinster). Feeling herself insulted by Arachne, herself a weaver of note, Athena turned her rival into a spider! It is no accident that Manilius mentions the ram's wool in relation to Aries. "Pallas (Athene) rules the woolly ram."

But to Hermes as ruler of Cancer, while Apollo is allotted Mercury-ruled Gemini as his sign. One reason Hermes is associated with Cancer is obscured by the fact that Cancer means Crab. Ancient zodiacs didn't always display the symbolic animals we are used to them having today. Cancer could be represented by a tortoise. And the tortoise was a symbolic animal of Hermes' because, according to myth, he created the first lyre from the shell of a tortoise. He then gave the lyre to Apollo, who presented him in return with the caduceus and some sheep that had originally belonged to Helios, the god of the Sun. There is a significant exchange going on here. Those who wish to investigate further (and not everyone will desire to do as we have moved from astrological lore to the more rarefied arena of religion and the part played in religion by myth) are directed to Practical Greek Magic by Murry Hope (Aquarian Press, 1985), pp. 38/9.

Apollo (who I again remind readers is not Helios, the sun god), having accepted the lyre from Hermes, becomes lord of Mercury's 'male' sign, Gemini (his 'female' sign being allotted to Demeter). Hermes, by accepting the caduceus, the staff carried by a herald in ancient Greece, assumes a role of messenger that has much in common with the Moon's role in traditional astrology as transmitter of the influences of the planets to Earth. (Remember, there is no Moon-goddess among the Twelve Olympians.) And so another reason arises for Hermes to be associated with the sign we know as Cancer.

The thinking is symbolical. To get to grips with it one must understand the Twelve Olympians as they are represented in their myths, the animals they are associated with, the accoutrements they bear, the inventions they made, etc. all of which then needs to be applied symbolically to the task of understanding why these deities are distributed as they were around the zodiac by the ancient authors.

Regards,
Melissa
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might also mention that both Manilius and Valens assign tutelary deities to signs of the zodiac. These do not seem to be rulers/domiciles in our current sense. For example, Valens (I: 2) says that Gemini is "the house [i.e., sign] of Mercury" but also that "The gods Apollo, Hercules, Vulcan, Juno, and Saturn are associated with it." The gods of Capricorn are "Venus, the moon, Ceres, and Mercury."
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Phil



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
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Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iíve done a little digging and found this link

http://cura.free.fr/decem/10kengil.html

to an article by Ken Gillman. I donít vouch for its accuracy, but itís very interesting and precisely addresses the issues introduced above. To me, Mr. Gillmanís humble tone, especially at the end, and the fact that he raises and leaves open many interesting questions, distinguish his thinking.

It seems to me that some of the concepts, archetypes, mythemes, or Platonic forms that are associated with various ancient Gods donít neatly fit into individual signs or constellations. That is what makes this subject interesting.
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Gem



Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil

Thanks for the link Thumbs up

Very interesting ariticle
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