Contributed by James Hirlehey
There is evidence for the practice of Astrology as far back as 3,000 BC in Mesopotamia. From here the practice was exported to Greece, and later adopted by the Romans and used throughout their empire. The Greek version of Astrology is the foundation of the system used in the West today. It used the paradigm of the Greek mythology in order to describe the aspects of the different astrological signs.
Which Greek myth is associated with your sign and what characteristics might you share?
Aries – Ares, God of War
Ares was the Greek god of war, son of Zeus and Hera and brother to Athena. The Greeks used Ares and Athena to represent the two sides of war: Athena strategy and discipline, Ares chaos and destruction. Ares was thought as spontaneous and daring, but also impatient and blood thirsty, often leaving pain and destruction in his wake.
Are you bold and impulsive, often acting without thinking of the consequences of your actions on others?
Taurus – Cerus the Bull
According to the myth there was a mighty bull named Cerus that caused havoc and destruction around some villages. Cerus allowed his emotions to decide how he behaved, which left him uncontrollable. One day Cerus met Persephone, goddess of Spring and the Underworld, who was able to communicate with him and taught Cerus how to calm his emotions and use his strength for good.
Do you have strong emotions that you find difficult to control?
Gemini – Castor and Pollux
Castor and Pollux are the famous twins of Greek myth. While the twins had the same mother, Leda, they had different fathers, Castor’s father being the kind of Sparta, and Pollux’s Zeus, king of the gods. Both heroic figures, they had many adventures together, but eventually they came up against a foe they could not defeat, and while Pollux survived since as the son of Zeus he was immortal, Castor died. Devastated by the loss of his twin Pollux asked Zeus to kill him, but instead Zeus made Castor immortal so that they could continue their adventures together.
Are bravery and loyalty some of the qualities you hold in high esteem?
Cancer – Crios, Guardian of the Sea Nymphs
Crios was a giant crab responsible for guarding the sea nymphs in Poseidon’s kingdom. He was large and strong, and blessed by Poseidon with the gift of immortality. When Poseidon went into hiding because of Typhoid’s attack on the Olympians, he asked Crios to look after his daughters as well. But Crios did his job too well and Poseidon’s daughters became restless with their lack of freedom and escaped. Unable to abandon his other charges he asked a giant squid for help locating the daughters – the Squid located them, but then ate them. The Squid lied to Crios and said that he could not find the daughters, but Crios knew immediately that he was lying, and a battle ensued. Crios won, but was severely crippled, a pain he had to live for forever as an immortal.
Are you protective to a fault and can you spot a liar?
Leo – The Nemean Lion of Hercules
As one of his 12 trials Hercules was charged with bringing the skin of the Nemean Lion to King Eurystheus. The lion was large and strong with an impenetrable pelt, and it took Hercules many attempts to slay the Lion, eventually killing it by clubbing it on the head and then strangling it. He still needed to remove the pelt, which again took many attempts because the pelt was impenetrable. Hercules eventually realised that the only way to remove the pelt was with the Lion’s own claws.
Are you thick skinned, and is the person in your life that hurts you the most you?
Virgo – Persephone, Goddess of the Harvest and the Underworld
When the goddess Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld, her mother was so sad that she deliberately caused the harvest to fail. As a consequence, Persephone was allowed to return to the Earth for six months each year to help her mother with the harvest – from March to August, the same months that her constellation is visible. Persephone has two distinct sides, she is both nurturing, bringing the harvest to fruition, but also has a more serious side as queen of the underworld. It was thought that this serious side helped Persephone to nurture, as by being contained and self-sufficient, she was fulfilled within herself, which allowed her to nurture others.
Are you individualistic and self-sufficient, but still nurturing and caring?
Libra – Astraea, Star Goddess
Astraea was known as a virgin goddess of justice that served as a caretaker of humanity, hence the scales of justice found within Libra. Astraea is also known as the last immortal and is said to have lived among humans before eventually leaving because she was disgusted by humanity’s wickedness and brutality. As such Astraea represented both the light of justice and the darkness of chaos.
Can you keep the light and darkness within yourself in balance and not give in to the chaos around you?
Scorpio – Scorpio, Slayer of Orion
According to myth Orion, son of Poseidon, was a great hunter, but also extremely boastful, in a way that irritated the other gods. Apollo and Gaia got so annoyed that they made a giant scorpion called Scorpio that would hunt the hunter. Hearing about this plan Orion fled, but Scorpio pursued him relentlessly and eventually killed Orion.
Do you tenaciously pursue your goals?
Sagittarius – Crotus the Musical Satyr
Son of Eupheme and Pan, Crotus lived with the muses on Mount Helicon. He had the legs and horns of a goat and the torso and head of a human and was a skilled hunter and musician. He is credited with inventing both the bow and applause as a means of showing appreciation. Crotus was devoted to the art of the muses.
Art you a creative person who also knows how to show gratitude?
Capricorn – Pricus the Sea Goat
Pricus was the father of all sea goats, which have the head of a goat and the tail of a fish and are extremely intelligent and can think and speak. He was created by Kronus, god of time, and is both immortal and had the ability to control time. The children of Pricus were drawn to the land and would crawl onto shore where they would eventually lose their fish tales as well as the ability to think and speak. This upset Pricus, who continually turned back time in an attempt to convince his children not to venture onto land, only to fail each time. Eventually he despaired and asked Kronus to grant him death rather than live without his children. Instead Kronus placed him in the stars where he could continue to watch over his children.
Are you always trying to control the world around you?
Aquarius – Ganymede, Consort of Zeus
Ganymede was regarded as the most handsome young man in Troy. A shepherd, one day he was tending his sheep and Zeus saw the young man and thought him so attractive that he decided to take him as his lover (a normal practice at the time). Taking the form of an eagle Zeus snatched Ganymede and took him to Mount Olympus where he becomes the god’s lover and cup bearer, essentially Zeus’ slave. Unhappy with the situation Ganymede decides to pour out all the ambrosia, wine and water of the gods, causing immense storms and a great flood on Earth. Initially angry, Zeus soon realised that this was a result of his treatment of Ganymede and made him immortal as the constellation Aquarius.
Do you often react without considering the consequences of your actions?
Pisces – Pisces, Aphrodite’s fish guides
The monster Typhon threatens the Greek gods on Mount Olympus, causing them to abandon their home. As Typhon approaches their home, Aphrodite and her son Eros decide that they needed to escape. At this time they meet two fish, so the two gods turn themselves into fish and followed the other two fish to safety.
Are you a generous person who often counsels others?
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