Pisces – The Fish or Dolphins – February 19 to March 20

“Pisces – sign of compassion and empathy –
has great psychic depth
with deep-felt sensitivity.
She’s peaceful and loving, taking all the way they are.
She’s an artist and romantic,
a giving carer – outstanding by far.”
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

The age-old symbol of the Fish is well known even in modern times. It is associated with Jesus Christ and Christianity and represents good fortune when encountered in fairy tales. But where does it actually come from and why are fish linked to good luck?

A long time ago during the Stone Age there lived a group of people along the Danube river in the region of today’s Serbia. Archaeologists have named them the Lepinski Vir culture. These people lived by and from the river. It sustained them with its water and its constant supply of fish. To the Lepinski Vir people the river and its fish meant life. The Danube river was the Great Mother who fed and watered them. And to honour Her, they built statues along the river shore. [1]

Archaeologists have found many statues made from natural egg-shaped river boulders. They have great staring eyes and fat-lipped gaping mouths. They are the image of the Great Mother of the Lepinski Vir culture – they are the image of the Fish Goddess who brings life and sustenance to Her people.

Some of the statues are all fish, some are human-fish hybrids. One even has human breasts. Many of the statues have bird feet etched into the sides, connecting the life-giving Fish Goddess to Her death-bringing aspect, the Bird Goddess. Some statues also show labyrinths on the body, representing the winding waters beneath the earth, which are governed by the Snake Goddess.

These three aspects of the Great Goddess – fish, bird and snake – encompass the Wheel of Life.

The Fish Goddess is the Birth Giver, and like the embryo swims inside its mother’s womb so signifies the fish the beginning of life. The symbol of the fish is linked to birth and fertility. Its shape resembles the womb and, more clearly, the vulva. It is often drawn as two thin crescent moons facing each other, forming a pointed oval shape, sometimes with one of the points overlapping and crossing over to form a fish shape. This emblem is known even today as the Vesica Piscis. It clearly shows the link between the The Fish Goddess and the Moon. Like the Fish Goddess Herself it is linked to early spring, new shoots and baby animals.

Unlike the Fish Goddess, the Bird Goddess is the Bringer of Death. The people who lived along the Danube river left their dead outside, most likely on specially designed platforms, in order for their remains to be picked clean by birds to facilitate the person’s journey back to the Goddess. This custom prevails even today in parts of the world. The Bird Goddess is linked to the Upper Waters, the Sky. Long ago our foremothers and fathers understood the blue sky to be made of water, which would occasionally drip down in the form of rain. The bird to them was related to the fish, as both “swim” through water: the bird uses its wings to navigate the Upper Waters, while the fish uses its fins to “fly” through the Lower Waters.

The Snake Goddess and Her emblem the labyrinth is the Regeneratrix. She governs the waters beneath the earth that wind around like a serpent. The labyrinth represents the path to the Otherworld and the Mysteries of the Goddess. It symbolises the time of renewal and regeneration that takes place between death and rebirth.

With that in mind the egg-shaped statues with faces like fish, claws like birds and the meandering lines of the labyrinth depict the neverending cycle of death, regeneration and rebirth. These statues represent the Great Goddess in Her many guises:

– She is Mistress of the Upper and Lower Waters.
– She is Goddess of Heaven, Earth, Water and the Underground.
– She is Goddess of the Above and Below.
– She is Goddess of Fertility, Birth, Life, Death and Regeneration. She is Goddess of the Neverending Cycle of Life and Death. She is the Great Goddess of All Existence.

The Fish Goddess as the Bringer of Life and Fertility is truly the Bringer of Good Fortune, which, as said above, has remained with us in disguise within our fairy tales, where the fisherman who catches the lucky fish is rewarded with great riches. The same imagery is retained in the mystical Mermaid who lives at the bottom of the sea and has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a fish. She is the Virgin of the Sea, the Great Goddess again in disguise. We will find out a little bit more about mermaids further down.

The Goddess as Fish is not just limited to Central Europe. All over the world the Great Goddess is linked to the sea, to water and fish.

In China She is Kwan-yin. In India the Dark Goddess Kali is also known as “the fish-eyed one”. In Egypt it was a fish who swallowed Osiris’ phallus to symbolise regeneration. In West Africa She is Yemaya, Goddess of the light upper part of the ocean, and Olokun, Goddess of the dark bottom of the ocean. Both are usually depicted as mermaids.

Along the east Mediterranean the fish became the dolphin, which until about 2,000 years ago was a common sight in the region.

The Minoans on Crete have left behind some of the most beautiful dolphin frescos. They are bright and colourful and almost cartoon-like in their artistry. It is fascinating to think that they were drawn over 3,000 years ago! Unfortunately the Minoans didn’t leave many written records and those that have been discovered have not yet been deciphered. So we don’t know for sure what meaning the dolphins had to the Cretans, but based on Greek mythology we can assume that they were sacred to them as an emblem of the Goddess.

Over the waters in ancient pre-olympian Greece the Goddess Eurynome was said to have danced over the sea creating order from chaos. One of Her children was Themis, one of the original Titan Goddesses and later Goddess of Order. Themis was once known as a Fish Goddess. She was the Keeper of the Oracle of Delphi, the Navel of the World. This very fact gives away Her fish origins: In Greek “delphis” means dolphin, whereas the very same word spelled with a “y”, i.e. “delphys”, means womb. It clearly shows the connection between the fish symbol and the womb of the Goddess. (Note, obviously we now know that dolphins aren’t fish but mammals, but chances are that our foremothers and fathers saw them as fish plus they sure look like fish.) This connection to the womb also explains why Delphi was thought of as the Navel of the World. Themis as Fish Goddess, as Dolphin Goddess, was the original Mermaid in European mythology, a symbolism to be shared with later Aphrodite.

Aphrodite as we know Her today is a shadow of Her former and real self. She is so much more than just the Goddess of Love and Beauty!

Aphrodite is the Great Goddess of the Sea. She is the Queen of the Mermaids with Her fish tale and yonic comb that symbolises great riches and good fortune. Like all Fish and Sea Goddesses She is also Goddess of the Moon. This Moon connection is captured in the traditional long-handled hand mirror that Aphrodite as mermaid holds in Her hand. It represents the Moon and the reflectiveness of water. Aphrodite’s mirror would later be adopted by Roman Venus and become immortalised as the symbol for planet Venus as well as the sign for “female”.

The name Aphrodite is generally taken to mean “foam born” (aphro = foam, dite = born). However, according to The Amazon Nation “dite” with the meaning of born can’t be traced further back than Aphrodite Herself. The origin of Her name therefore lies somewhere else outside of Greece. In Chaldea, south eastern Mesopotamia, a Goddess similar to Artemis in nature was known as “Aphradah” which means “She Who Subdues Wrath” (aph = wrath, radah [f] = to subdue). It is likely that these are the origins of Aphrodite’s name.

Aphrodite was brought via the sea to the island of Cyprus (or Kypros) by Middle Eastern women, who established the matrifocal and matristic colony of Paphos there. Note how according to Greek myth Aphrodite’s birth place is said to be just off the coast of Paphos on Cyprus.

The Goddess Aphrodite was known all across the ancient Middle East by different names:

In Egypt She was Ay-Mari.
In Persia She was Anahita “The Immaculate One” and Esther “The Star”.
In Canaan She was Hadusah “Myrtle” for their star-shaped flowers. Still under the Greeks the myrtle was sacred to Aphrodite. In Her honour sometimes the clitoris was called myrtle berry. The Canaans also knew Her as Asherah and Astarte. She was Warrior, Mother, Queen of Heaven, Sea Goddess, Measurer of Time and Alotter of Fate. [2]
In Babylon She was Ishtar.
In Sumer, Her (as far as we know) earliest manifestation, She was Inanna.

According to Classical Greek mythology Aphrodite is said to have risen from the sea after Uranus’ testicles fell into the water thus fertilising Mother Sea. Aphrodite’s birth therefore represents the separation of heaven and earth, but here in this patriarchal version of the myth unlike Her alter ego Inanna She is no longer the Mother Goddess of Heaven and Earth, but is merely the daughter of a father.

According to a lesser known birth story Aphrodite’s origins lie in the Euphrates river in Mesopotamia, where an egg fell from the sky into the water. This is likely to refer to a meteorite, as many Goddesses were represented by them. This egg was then brought to shore by a fish, symbolising the Goddess as Sea, and was warmed by a dove, another vulva symbol, until She finally hatched. [2]

Aphrodite is a Sea Goddess. She has many sacred emblems, but the ocean and dolphins are particularly dear to Her. The Vesica Piscis is one of Her signs, showing Her again as Goddess of the Sea and the Moon.

One of Her early incarnations was Moira “The Strong One”, one of the Fates. Later this would be changed to Mari, the Sea, and attached to Her name as in Aphrodite-Mari. Mari was also a name of an ancient Sumerian town, revealing yet again Aphrodite’s Middle Eastern origins. The Virgin Mary, who has adopted many of Aphrodite’s emblems continues to be known as Stella Maris “Star of the Sea” and even the name Mary is reminiscent of Mari.

Like the ancient Stone Age Goddess, the net is sacred to Aphrodite. She wears it as a robe or over a skirt.

Fridays were Her special day, when people would eat fish to honour Her life-giving essence, hoping for lovemaking and fertility (cf. aphrodisiac). This rite would later be adopted by Christians minus the sexual aspect.

On Paphos the rites of Aphrodite were celebrated on the cusp of spring under the sign of Pisces. Again, this reveals Her connection to the ancient Neolithic Fish Goddess. Spring is the season Aphrodite is connected with. Interestingly, the ram with his spiral horns also belongs to Her (cf. in astrology both the sign of the Fish and that of the Ram are spring signs).

It is due to Aphrodite’s connection to the Neolithic Fish Goddess, the Great Giver and Sustainer of Life, that we can understand the origins of Aphrodite’s Hellenic denomination as Goddess of Love and Beauty. While She once was the embodiment of new birth and new life, of springtime and renewal, of basically the life-giving aspect of nature itself, as humanity moved further away from Mother Nature and natural law, this life-giving essence of Her would be reduced to meaning romantic love and sex only.

Unlike Aphrodite, Pisces, the sign of the Fish, retains its Great Goddess symbolism: it is the sign of the Primordial Watery Womb, the Great Goddess of the Sea, the Bringer of Life and Fertility, of Early Springtime, Pregnancy and (Re)birth. Due to the Precession of the Equinox the dates of the sign are likely to have been early February, probably falling on the Holy Day of Imbolc, the Festival of Purification and Cleansing, of Early Lambing and the First Signs of Spring [3].

Pisces’ Traits and Characteristics

Pisces is most certainly one of the most misrepresented signs of the zodiac. Traditional western astrology just doesn’t understand Pisces’ incredible gifts and discards a whole host of amazing people as basically “washed out, weak substance abusers”. This couldn’t be further from the truth and it’s high time the record were set straight!

First of all remember that Pisces, the sign of the Fish, is closely connected to the Goddess as Life Bringer and Nurturer. The fish to this day symbolises good fortune, which explains why the original Piscean ruler was Jupiter, the planet of luck, youthful exuberance and opportunities. Although modern astrology has transferred Piscean rulership to the much darker Neptune, it is vitally important to remember Jupiter’s original influence on Pisces to truly understand the motivations of this sign. So far from being victims and martyrs who sacrifice themselves for the good of others, Pisceans are actually good natured, happy people who choose (!) to share their kind-heartedness with those around.

The other important thing to remember when trying to understand Pisceans is their watery nature. Never ever underestimate the strength of water! It will never break, but always flows around obstacles, apparently making way for more solid objects. However, after a time even the hardest rock gets worn down by the strength and energy of flowing water. And it is this very strength through adaptability combined with their giving and compassionate nature that enables many Pisceans to do something most of us couldn’t cope with: taking care of the most unfortunate souls inside health and mental institutions. Most of us would break under the emotional strain of such an emotionally difficult task, and yet Pisceans are able to do this day in day out. Is it really so surprising that they occasionally need to withdraw to recharge their batteries? I think not. There is nothing “fragile” about a Piscean!

Overall Pisceans are happy, playful souls that enjoy living life to the full. They are kind and generous with a sensitive, sympathetic heart. But that is not what makes Pisceans so unique. The special gift that Pisceans have been bestowed upon is their almost uncanny empathy. They are so deeply intuitive and insightful they can make psychic connections with others and “see” things most of us are blind to. They can almost read other’s thoughts and are most certainly able to put themselves into anyone else’s shoes. As empaths who are gifted with great sensitivity they can’t avoid absorbing the emotions of others. Some say that by taking on the negative energies of other people, Pisceans are able to liberate them from their troubles. This can be quite overpowering and exhausting for the Piscean. Again, it is not surprising that at times they require solitude and / or choose to indulge in their imagination and fantasy in order to revitalise themselves. Besides, is imagination, fantasy and dreams such a bad thing? Once upon a time those blessed with such abilities were revered as wise women, priestesses, druids, shamans, bards and, of course, (even today) as artists and storytellers.

Pisceans are understanding and totally non-judgemental of others. They are all embracing and accepting of different kinds of people. Due to their open-mindedness Pisceans are often described as being somewhat elusive and difficult to pin down. This is only so, as they can see and understand all sides of a story. As far as Pisceans are concerned we are all one, we are all connected. Pisceans are possibly the most spiritual of all the signs.

Pisceans have a wonderful imagination, they are very much in tune with their unconscious, dreamy side. They are romantic, creative and poetic and make the most amazing artists and actresses / actors. Due to their perceptiveness and empathy they can mimic and mirror others easily.

Pisceans are exceptionally well equipped to cope with chaos. This might not sound like much, but most people get quite upset when things aren’t in their ordered places. It is this ability to take chaos in their stride that Pisceans are able to learn new things so easily.

Pisceans are quite unique individuals. They neither like rigid structures nor can they stand their personal freedom being hampered. They are quite independent and despite what traditional astrology would like you to believe are perfectly capable of self-control and self-direction.

Pisceans are warm and sensual people. They are charming and have a way with words.

One of Pisces’ traits that is often expressed in a negative way is their self-lessness, their devotion. They are neither ego-centric nor ego-driven, something that our society can’t comprehend (although this is changing) and those in the far East try to attain over many years of training.

Pisceans are persisting yet able to adapt to whatever life throws at them. They may need a recess, but will never stay down. Like water Pisceans are incredibly resilient  Yours is a sign to be proud of!

In summary Piscean women (and men) are:

– empathetic
– sensitive
– receptive
– psychic
– mediumistic
– spiritual
– almost able to read minds
– absorbing

– fluid
– flexible
– adaptive
– versatile
– with a love for change

– non-judgemental
– all embracing
– accepting
– sympathetic
– understanding
– with belief in wholeness and universality
– with belief that we’re all one and interconnected

– laid back
– easygoing

– benevolent
– humanitarian
– compassionate
– generous
– nurturing
– kind
– caring
– patient
– giving

– self-less
– modest
– not ego-centric
– not ego-driven

– devoted
– generating
– perserving yet adaptive

– curious
– seeking answers
– always learning

– peaceful

– dreamy
– visionary

– responsive

– introspective
– intuitive
– with great foresight
– with great emotional depth
– insightful
– with retentive memory

– subtle
– elusive
– difficult to pin down
– independent
– with dislike of structured situations

– non-conforming
– not able to “fit into square hole”
– original
– innovative

– exuberant
– playful
– idealistic
– resonant
– sociable
– with zest for life
– with love for pleasure
– with love for a good time
– with great sense of humour

– beautiful

– imaginative
– creative
– gifted with vivid and lively language skills
– expressive
– artistic
– poetic
– romantic
– able to mirror and mimic others

– sensual
– warm
– charming
– loving

– able to cope with chaos
– able to multi-task
– resilient
– self-controlled
– self- directing
– with personal integrity
– courageous

– drawn to the sea

Pisces is a mutable Water sign that is ruled by Olokun, Goddess of Dreams and the Dark Realms of the Unconscious. Pisces’ previous ruler was Artemis, the Maiden of the Silver Bow.

Pisces is associated with lavender, turquoise, sea greens and watery colours.

Within the body Pisces is linked to the feet.

Piscean qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Fish.

NOTES

[1] These could very well be the origins of the Celtic Mother Goddess Danu who is connected to the river Danube and is the Bringer of Good Luck and Fortune for Her children, the Tuatha de Danaan.

[2] See The Amazon Nation

[3] Part of Aphrodite’s rites in early spring was the cleansing of the Goddess in order to wash away the traces of winter and to renew and regenerate Her virginity (here likely to represent the youthfulness of early spring).

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Aquarius – The Water Pourer – January 20 to February 18

“Aquarius – sign of revolution and social change –
is an innovator and reformer
with talents of the broadest range.
She’s objective and free-thinking,
unconventional and unique in every way.
Her focus is towards people,
her aim for social justice : a reality to stay.”
– by Sivestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

At first it might seem strange to find that Aquarius, the sign of the Water Pourer, is an Air rather than a Water sign. In order to discover the reason why this is so and why it makes perfect sense, we need to look yet again way back to the Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age.

All through the ages our ancestors knew that all life on this planet originated in water. Water is the source of life, the Mother of all existence. Water represents birth, life and, of course, fertility. The Goddess as Mother Nature Herself is the Mistress of Water. It pours from Her dark earthly womb, it falls as nourishing rain from the sky like milk from a mother’s breasts.

The Goddess as Mistress of Water is Queen of the Upper and Lower Waters. Long ago our foremothers and fathers believed the blue sky like the blue sea to be made of water. These Upper Waters nourish life on Earth by pouring down in the form of rain. The Lower Waters are all water on Earth – the oceans, lakes, rivers as well as underground springs.

Aquarius, the Water Pourer, is linked to the Upper Waters or the Sky. When She pours the water from Her jugs rain falls on Earth. Essentially Aquarius symbolises the nourishing rain itself.

Why the jars?, you might ask. Like water itself, the cup or vessel is inherently linked to the Goddess. She gives birth over and over to new life. And like the amniotic fluid water nourishes Her children in all their guises and gushes forth from Her dark earthen womb.

Symbolically the vessel, cup, jar or vase represents the womb of the Goddess. It symbolises fertility, birth and life.

Like the Goddess women also give birth to new life and nourish their children from their bodies. They are inherently linked to the Goddess, nature and the sacred vessel that holds the water of life. In later legends the sacred vessel, the womb of  the Goddess, would become the Holy Grail, the quest for whose discovery essentially symbolises the return to the Mother.

During the Neolithic or New Stone Age jugs were often made in the shape of breasts with nipples instead of spouts. These clearly combined the womb-shaped vessel with the nourishing breasts of the Mother. Water was understood to be sacred and vital to life.

Interestingly, even today we still use funeral urns to bury the deceased. The urn, which also represents the womb of the Goddess, symbolises the return to Her body for regeneration and renewal.

The specific image of the Water Pourer in mythology can be traced to three places in particular: Egypt, Greece and Sumer.

While originally both water and the vessel were clearly linked solely to the Goddess, at some point during the Neolithic when through the development of farming the contribution of the male in reproduction became increasingly apparent, fresh water – especially in the drier regions of the Middle East and North Africa – would increasingly be represented by the Goddess’s son.

In ancient Egypt the god Hapi was the personification of the Nile flooding. Remaining images of Hapi show him as a hermaphrodite. He has the face and goaty beard of a man and the pendulous breasts and pregnant belly of a woman. Clearly at some point Hapi was the Great Goddess Herself, but as time moved on and the Egyptians became increasingly patriarchal, the inundation of the Nile came to be represented by a male god with a female body.

Hapi symbolises running water, his breasts and pregnant belly stand for the fertility the water brings. He is blue-green, often carries a tray with food and pours water from two large jugs or vases. The image of a male water pourer was readily adopted by the Greeks and Romans.

Across the desert in ancient Sumer the origins of Aquarius lie with the Goddess Gula, the Great One. She is described as a Goddess of Healing, but on closer inspection it becomes obvious that the healing that Gula gifts upon the Earth is that of the nourishing rain and fresh water floods that turn the dry land green again.

Ancient records describe Her as:

“Lady of Health”
“Great Healer”
“Great Healer of the Land”
“Great Healer of the Black-Headed One”
“Herb Grower”
“The Lady Who Makes the Broken Up Whole Again”
“The Lady Who Creates Life in the Land”

Gula is also said to have a violent side which She exhibits in the form of rain and thunderstorms:

“Queen Whose Temper, Like a Raging Storm, Makes Heaven Tremble and the Earth Quake”

Gula was linked to the Great Flood and is often depicted with dogs by Her side.

Later accounts describe Gula in the form of Mul Gula as being a male Water Pourer who is immortalised in the constellation of  Aquarius. However, essentially the male Mul Gula is the same image as Enki, the Sumerian Lord of Fresh Water, who is often depicted pouring water from two jugs. (See “Capricorn“).

In ancient pre-hellenic Greece the Goddess of Rain and Springtime was Hebe. She is the Maiden aspect of pre-Hellenic Hera. According to Patricia Managhan (see www.owlsdaughter.com) Hebe’s most ancient name was actually Ganymeda, a name that in its male form Ganymede would eventually be given to the handsome Trojan youth who would replace Her in later Olympian Greek mythology. In Rome Hebe was known as Juventa, the Goddess of Youth (cf. re-juvenate, juvenile).

Pre-hellenic Hebe is the Maiden Goddess of the Moon. She is Goddess of Springtime and Rain. She represents youth, new growth, new beginnings and new promise.

Far back in the earliest times Hebe simply symbolised the nourishing spring rain, the divine source of water that brings with it the return of fertility and the renewal of the land. Like the ancient palaeolithic and neolithic Goddess, Hebe is Mistress of the Upper Waters. As late as ancient Greece this is described pictorially as Hebe being the Divine Cupbearer who pours ambrosia, the nectar of immortal youth, from Her sacred vessel, the representation of Her womb and breasts. This magical nectar symbolises fertility. For us humans it comes in the form of the moon-blood with which She blesses her daughters, while for the land and the vegetation Hebe’s ambrosia takes the form of rain.

Like Hebe and the Great Stone Age Mother Goddess before Her, Aquarius is the Divine Source of Water, the Water of Life, the nourishing rain. By rights the Divine Water Pourer should really be in its female form “Aquaria” for it is She who is Mistress of the Upper Waters.

Aquarius’s Traits and Characteristics

True to their Airy nature Aquarians are mentally agile and broad-minded. Like their Gemini and Libran sisters they are objective and non-judgemental.

Aquarians are outgoing and outward-focused. They are social creatures that count many different types of people as their friends. Aquarians are very attractive with a natural quite electrifying magnetism. They are fiercely independent and won’t be told how to act or what to think by anybody. Aquarians are unique and self-reliant. They are in fact quite the trend-setters.

Aquarians have a vast array of interests. They can be found in almost all walks of life, provided it is within a mentally stimulating environment. Many Aquarians are attracted to subjects such as philosophy and politics, but can also be found in high tech laboratories and orgnisations such as NASA. Aquarians are forward-thinking and quite futuristic. They are very clever and have a scientific approach to life: they are logical, impartial and systematic.

Aquarians are private individuals who despite their outgoing persona are reserved when it comes to sharing their inner most feelings. That doesn’t mean, though, that they don’t have them! They are open and affectionate with their chosen loved ones.

Aquarians are essentially rebels. They are unconventional and unorthodox and are not afraid to rock the boat. They are opinionated and outspoken and are fiercely against inequalities, hierarchies and privileges for the few. Aquarians are not the sort of people that will just stand by and grumble over unfairnesses, but will actually get up and do something about them. It is thanks to exactly these Aquarian traits in our foremothers that in most parts of the world women today are able to vote and are no longer considered their father’s or husband’s chattel. It is also thanks to Aquarian personalities that racial segregation in the US was finally outlawed just over half a century ago.

Aquarians are very good with words. They are honest, truthful and authentic and make wonderful public speakers and writers.

One of the interesting things about Aquarians is their dual nature. On the one hand they are an Air sign that is versatile and broad thinking. It is their Airy nature that strives for change in order to bring about a betterment for humanity. On the other hand, though, Aquarians are a fixed sign, which is all about being steady and maintaining the status quo. This expresses itself in their natural reliability and conscientiousness. Aquarians, although always striving for change on the outside, have steady and reliable characters on the inside. This duality makes them fascinating and outstanding individuals.

In summary Aquarian women (and men) are:

– humane
– ethical
– with social conscience

– social reformers
– with pure and impartial care for humanity
– revolutionary
– striving for social justice
– humanitarian
– reformers
– idealistic
– egalitarian
– fair
– with a dislike for hierarchy and privilege

– inventive
– experimental
– mentally creative
– able to make new connections between old givens
– looking at something with a fresh eye
– able to see the big picture
– able to see all sides to a story
– able to turn dreams into concrete ideas

– scientific
– systematic
– thorough

– unique
– original
– outstanding

– unconventional
– shaking up the norms
– rule-breaking
– often rebellious when young
– iconoclastic
– radical
– unorthodox

– authentic
– truthful
– honest
– principled
– sincere

– dependable
– conscientious

– firm
– resolute
– bold
– opinionated with strong likes and dislikes
– self-respecting
– strong-minded
– outspoken

– sympathetic towards outsiders

– broad-minded
– free-thinking
– versatile

– reserved
– private
– aloof
– self-reliant
– fiercely independent
– with enjoyment for solitude
– freedom-loving

– intellectual
– clever
– fast-thinking
– sharp-minded
– mentally agile
– curious

– thoughtful
– reasonable
– logical
– head over heart
– objective
– impartial
– observant
– detached
– rational
– making up their own minds based on facts

– with electrifying magnetism
– highly strung

– playful with words

– focused on social group
– in preference for social rather than personal relationships
– outgoing
– service-oriented
– co-operative
– friendly

– forward-thinking
– futuristic
– with love for technology
– progressive

Aquarius is a fixed Air sign that is ruled by Oya, the Wind of Change, the Goddess of Revolution.

Aquarius is associated with electric blue, turquoise and aquamarine.

Within the body Aquarius is linked to the the lower leg, especially the ankles, and the circulatory system.

Aquarian qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Water Pourer.

Capricorn – The Goat or Sea-Goat – December 22 to January 21

“Capricorn – sign of winter and continuity –
is hard-working and driven,
no matter what she chooses
her success is a given.
Sensitive, compassionate with heaps of discipline,
she’s an objective perfectionist,
her own fate she does spin.
Creating order from chaos is what she does do best,
With quiet wit and forward-thought,
she’s charming and rarely needs to rest.”
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

Modern images of Capricorn often depict it as a goat, but in ancient times the sign of Capricorn was represented by a goat-fish or sea-goat. This is a mythical creature that has the horned head and front legs of a goat and the tail of a fish. We will discover the origins of both images.

Our journey of discovery stars back in the Neolithic or New Stone Age about 12,000 to 5,000 years ago. It was a time of pivotal change: humanity had discovered the art and science of agriculture and farming. No longer were our ancestors dependent on food foraging and hunting. By planting seeds and domesticating animals such as goats, cows, pigs and sheep our foremothers and fathers were able to settle down in one place, grow villages and for the first time branch out into other more leisurely pursuits such as art and pottery. Through the growing of plants such as grains from seed our ancestors learned about the cycle of life. Their understanding of life and death for all of Mother Earth’s children allowed them to suffuse all of life with a deep sense of reverence and sacredness. From the magic of turning grains into bread to spinning wool into yarn and subsequently clothes every action was sacred to the Goddess, the Mother of Life and All Existence. Women who planted the first seeds, who tamed the first goat and cow and who turned soil into ceramic were priestesses of the Goddess. They were the Keepers of Her Sacred Mysteries.

According to archaeological findings the first animals to have been domesticated were goats. They supplied our foremothers and father with milk, meat, leather and all sorts of other useful materials. The domestication of animals was a huge blessing and believed to have come directly from the Mother. For that reason goats, cows and sows in particular have always been sacred to the Goddess in Her Many Guises. In fact She often assumes their shape, such as Germanic Frejya and Welsh Cerridwen as sows and Greek Hera and Egyptian Hathor as heifers.

Goats and cows who are linked to Mother Earth are also through their crescent-shaped horns sacred to the Moon Goddess. Our ancestors believed that it was the power of the Moon that taught women how to plant seeds, domesticate animals, bake bread, spin fibres, turn soil into pottery, use herbs for healing and much more.

The ancient Libyans in North Africa, a strong matristic and matrifocal people, knew the Moon Goddess as Anatha (cf. Neith in Egypt). Anatha like many Moon Goddesses has three aspects: She is Athena, the Maiden, Metis, the Mother and Medusa, the Crone.

The goat is sacred to Her in all Her aspects and Her ancient priestesses wore goat-skin aprons and magic goat-skin bags that contained a serpent and were protected by the serpent-like Gorgon mask. These aprons and bags were the original aegis which identified the wearer as being One of the Goddess’s Daughters, the Keepers of Her Mysteries. The snake symbolised wisdom and the purpose of the scary-looking Gorgon mask with its snake face and protruding tongue was to protect the Secrets of the Dark Moon from the uninitiated.

To this day Ethiopian girls still wear goat-skin aprons which are sometimes decorated with yonic cowie shells.

Although all of the three aspects of the Libyan Moon Goddess Anatha were later adopted by the Hellenic Greeks, Athena, Her Maiden aspect, was restyled as a daddy Zeus’s little girl and became a definite favourite with the by then patriarchal Greeks. (To find out more about Athena, Metis and Medusa, please check out my post: “Medusa – The Libyan Dark Moon Serpent Goddess“)

However, despite having had Her story severely twisted by the Hellenes Athena’s neolithic Moon Goddess roots have not been erased. She retains many of Her original attributes and amongst other things is accredited with having invented pottery, agriculture (esp. the plow) and, of course, the sciences, all of which were once part of the Sacred Mysteries taught to the Daughters of the Moon by the Goddess.

About 4,000 BCE some of the matrifocal Goddess-worshipping Libyans migrated north to Thrace and Crete. They took with them their Goddess and Her emblem, the sacred lunar horned goat.

On Crete, like the crescent-horned cow and bull, the goat was sacred to the Moon Goddess.

According to Rober Graves the Cretan or Minoan Triple Goddess was Amalthea, Io and Adrasteia.

Amalthea whose name means “tender” is the Maiden Goddess in the shape of a she-goat, while Io, the mothering aspect of Anatha, is depicted as a cow. Io was possibly once the same Goddess as the Mycenaean and later Classical Greek Hera, who was known as the “cow-eyed” Goddess. Both of them through their goat and cow epiphanies show close ties to Mother Earth. Adrasteia, the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess, is described as being winged. Her name means “the Inescapable One” and She would later become the Greek Goddess Nemesis.

Their mother is Melissa, the Minoan Bee Goddess. Later patriarchal accounts changed Melissa, the mother, to Melissus, the father.

The Minoan Triple Moon Goddess also appears in Classical Greek mythology which tells of the Titan Goddess Rhea giving Her baby son Zeus to Mother Earth in order to protect him from his father Cronus. Interestingly Cronus was known to the Romans as Saturn, the astrological ruler of Capricorn. According to myth Mother Earth took baby Zeus to Lyctos on Crete where She hid him in the cave of Dicte on the Aegean Hill. This is where Amalthea, Io and Adrasteia took care of him, although according to the Classical Greeks it wasn’t Io but Ida who was the third Goddess. By then the Hellenic Greeks had reduced the three aspects of the Minoan Moon Goddess to Nymphs, which were seen as minor nature deities. Zeus was said to have been suckled by Amalthea, the she-goat, and lavished with honey, a sacred food of the matrifocal Cretans.

Later Classical Greek mythology tells us Zeus would somehow obtain one of his foster mother Amalthea’s crescent-shaped horns (accounts vary on the how) and turn it into the famous Cornucopia, the Horn of Plenty, a symbol of abundance and nourishment. He also immortalised Her as Capricorn in the night sky.

In order to understand the imagery of the Goat-Fish or Sea-Goat we need to look to Bronze Age Mesopotamia.

While during the early Neolithic era the Goddess reigned supreme, during the later New Stone Age She would be depicted as giving birth to a male child. During the Neolithic this child never grew up, but merely symbolised Her ability to give birth to something different to Herself from within Herself. During the Bronze Age in Mesopotamia (about 5,000 years ago) this male child eventually grew up and became the Goddess’s son-lover-consort. While the Goddess represents Mother Nature, who will always exist and forever remain constant, Her son-consort symbolises the transient aspect of life with its cyclical nature of birth, growth, maturity, decay, death and rebirth.

While the Goddess is depicted as the female animal such as the cow, the goat and the sow, Her son-consort is represented by the bull, the billy-goat and the boar.

In ancient Sumer the Goddess Nammu (Babylonian Tiamat) was the primordial sea that gave birth to all existence. As the Sumerians believed that the sky was made of water (the Upper Waters) Nammu as the primordial sea presumably represents the dark universe. Two of Her children are Ninhursag and Enki.

Ninhursag, also known as Ninmah, Ki, Uriash Damkina “Lady of That which is Below” and Damgalnunna “Big Lady of the Waters”, is Mother Earth. She is the “Mother of All Living”, a title that would later be adopted by Eve of Hebrew mythology.

Ninhursag is depicted wearing a horned headdress, identifying Her as also being a Moon Goddess, a tiered skirt, bow cases slung over Her shoulder with sometimes a mace in Her hand and a lion cub on a leash.

Ninhursag, the Earth, is the Great Mother, the Creatrix of Life. Every year She joins with Enki, Her brother and consort, in the fertility rite of the Hieros Gamos, the Sacred Marriage.

Enki, a very ancient god, represents the fresh water that fertilises the Earth. In the Mesopotamian region which is essentially a large desert it is only through the fresh water from the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates that plant life and thus animal life can thrive. And it is quite magical how the water from the rivers turns the brown soil green and creates an oasis amidst the dry arid region of the Middle East.

Enki, the “Lord of the Earth”, was known to the Babylonians as Ea, the “Lord of Fresh Water”. In Sumer and Babylon “a” or “ab” meant both “fresh water” and “semen” reminding us of how Enki as the rivers Tigris and Euphrates fertilises Ninhursag, the Earth, to bring forth new life.

Enki is often depicted as a billy goat with a fish tail. It is this very imagary that is the origin of Capricorn as Goat-Fish or Sea Goat. While the goat half represents his connection to Mother Earth, his fish half connects him to his mother Nammu, the primordial Goddess of the Sea, and identifies him as a god of fresh water in his own right. Through the element of water he is clearly linked to the Moon Goddess. Enki has also been linked to the double-helix snake, the Caduceus of Healing, which symbolises the wisdom of the dark moon.

Enki is described as a god of crafts, mischief (cf. the Greek goat god Pan), water, creation, intelligence and magic (due to the magical transformation of dry earth to lush vegetation by fresh water).

Capricorn’s Traits and Characteristics

Capricorns are the most charming introverts of the zodiac with a quiet wit and dignity. They are sensitive to the needs of others and make great project leaders. They are hard-working and expect only the best from themselves and their team. They have wonderful organisational skills and instinctively know when to control and when to let be.

Capricorns are multi-talented. No matter what they put their minds to they will naturally become the best at it. Capricorns are equally drawn to the arts as to the sciences. They can be found anywhere from directing plays in theatres, building, say, a new community centre to researching new medicines or inventing new technologies.

Capricorns are driven and ambitious and wish to leave their mark on society, which given their dedication and self-discipline is more than likely.

Capricorns are highly creative in the sense that they can actually make their ideas a reality. And ideas they have many! Capricorns will rarely be bored and can always come up with a new plan for a new project. They thrive on structure and are highly driven to create order from chaos.

One of the main themes that crops up time and time again in Capricorns’ lives is longevity and continuity. Their character is steadfast and perservering no matter what difficulties they may encounter. They are drawn to traditions and are the natural Keepers of the Old Wisdom.

Like all the Earth signs Capricorns are sensual and loyal and make wonderful friends, partners and friends. They are tolerate and non-judgemental.

In summary Capricorn women (and men) are:

– thoughtful
– serious
– introverted
– private
– subtle
– cool headed
– calm
– assessing
– careful
– deliberate
– patient

– acutely sensitive to the needs of others
– considerate
– at times self-sacrificing
– focused on society

– truth-seeking

– deeply mystic
– protectresses of old wisdom

– self-disciplined
– hard-working
– making the effort
– achievers
– perfectionists
– dedicated
– efficient
– professional

– seeing projects through to the end
– perserving
– steadfast
– loyal
– enduring
– reliable
– responsible especially towards the group

– grounded
– objective

– long-term focused
– forward planning
– thriving on structure
– with great organisational skills

– highly creative
– turn ideas into reality
– self-generating (never get bored)
– resourceful

– optimistic

– courteous
– charming
– with quiet wit
– dignified
– classy
– beautiful
– compassionate

– sensual

– tolerant
– non-judgemental

– ambitious
– driven
– leaving their mark

– talented in anything they put their minds to
– seeking to create order from chaos

– strong willed
– strong minded
– brave
– hardy
– able to exercise authority
– perfect project leaders (know when to control and when to step back)
– not scared of power

– with love of the land

Capricorn is a cardinal Earth sign that is ruled by Mother Holle, the Crone or Old Grandmother Time.

Capricorn is associated with earthy colours, browns, greens and the colour of winter, white.

Within the body Capricorn is linked to the the knees, skin, joints and the skeleton.

Capricorn qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Sea-Goat.

Sagittarius – The Centauride Archeress – November 22 to December 21

“Sagittarius – sign of freedom and adventure –
is open and friendly
with lots of go and energy.
She loves to travel
and be out and about.
Loyal and honest,
she speaks her mind out loud.
The eternal optimist
she’s inspirational and passionate.
With a gentle heart, a perceptive mind,
she’s intuitive and knowing,
idealistic and kind.”
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

The Goddess-roots of Sagittarius are not so much symbolic as historic.

The word Sagittarius comes from the Latin “sagitta, -ae” which means “arrow” in English. “Sagittarius” is quite literally “the archer”. Presumably the archeress would have been “sagittaria”.

Nobody knows for sure what the etymological origins of “sagitta” are, but it is being speculated that the Latin word for arrow was adopted from the pre-Roman inhabitants of the Meditarranean region. In her book “God Herself – Feminine Roots of Astrology” Geraldine Thorsten suggests that the Latin word “sagitta” comes from the Greek “scythia” meaning “shooter, archer”. It was generally used to refer to a group of nomad archers who lived in Asia Minor just north east of Greece. The were known as the Scythians. The Greek word “scythia” comes from the proto-Indo-European root “skeud-” which means “to shoot, to throw”. Interestingly, the ancient Persions called the nomad archers of that region “Sakae” which sounds very much related to the Latin “sagitta”.

In other words, the origins of the Sign of Sagittarius, the half human half horse archer, lie in the stepps of Asia Minor encompassing the region from today’s Bulgaria all the way to modern Iran.

Although clearly Indo-European the Scythians are believed to have been matrilineal with a clan set-up similar to that of the ancient Celts. In fact some archeologists and anthropologists believe that the two groups may have been the same people or at least mingled freely with each other while the Celts dwelled in south east Europe.

The Scythians were a nomadic warrior race where men and women fought alongside each other. They travelled on horseback and were known to have been exceptional archers. Hence their name “Scynthians”, the Archers. In some regions as many as 20% of the warrior graves unearthed contain female remains in full armoury. It is likely that these women warriors on horseback are the origin of the Greek legend of the Amazons.

According to the Classical Greeks the Amazons were a women warrior race who lived in the Thracian mountains. We don’t know for sure who they were and where they came from.

Some scholars believe that the Thracian Amazons were descendants of the North African or Libyan Amazons and that it was they who brought their Goddess Artemis with them via Phoenicia. Medusa and Athena are also originally from Libya, which supports this theory, as does the interesting fact that today’s North African Berbers who are traditionally matrilineal still call themselves “Amazigh”, the free people.

Another school of thought is that the Amazons weren’t just women warriors, but were in fact the original Goddess-worshipping tribes who were forced out of their home territory into the moutainous regions of Thrace by the invading Hellenic Greeks. They defended themselves and their way of life fiercely with their excellent archery and horseriding skills. Although these Goddess-worshipping natives would have consisted of women and men, it is possible that either bands of priestesses took up arms against the invadors or the Greeks felt so shocked by fighting women on horseback that they passed on only the tales of the women warriors. [1]

A third theory is that the Amazons known to the Greeks were actually the Celts who once resided in Thrace (today’s Bulgaria). Also as said above it is possible that the Scythians and Celts were the same people. They certainly lived peacefully alongside each other and likely shared their ways of life if not intermarried. Celtic women like Boudicca have always been strong and fearless warriors. Celts also have a strong connection to horses. The Goddess of the Celts often manifests as a horse such as Gaulish Epona and Welch Riannon. Once the inhabitants of Britain became christianised the Goddess as mare who once brought with Her insight and prophesy became associated with bad dreams or “night-mares”.

Whatever the true origins of the Amazon warrior maidens, we can savely say that there’s generally no smoke without fire, and based on the vast tales and images of these fierce women archers on horseback recorded by the Greeks I think it’s fair to conclude that the Amazons are more than just a figment of someone’s imagination.

And it is these Amazon archeresses on horseback who form the basis for the Centaur or rather the female Centauride, the half woman half horse creature of Greek mythology.

Imagine never having seen a rider on a horse before and then encountering for the first time a human, in this case a woman, on bare horseback moving as one with the animal. You would think it was some mythical half woman, half horse creature. And this is exactly what the original imagery for Sagittarius was: a creature with an upper body of a woman and a lower body of a stallion.

The fusion of woman and stallion represents the perfect unity of human female wisdom and intuition with the stallion’s exquisite virility, power and strength. The woman rider unites with, channels and directs the wild freedom-loving and adventurous nature of the stallion. This symbiotic fusion captures the essence of Sagittarius perfectly and much better than the centaur, half man half mare, into which the patriarchal Greeks eventually turned the original woman-stallion hybrid.

The centaur whose upper body is that of a man and whose lower body that of a mare captures patriarchal thinking since the classical times perfectly. It symbolises the dominance over and control of female attributed intuition, represented by the mare, by the conscious rational male mind, here represented by the man. It also supports the notion of male dominance over woman. The principles behind this philosophy are typically Hellenic and it’s obvious the Romans gladly adopted this imagery into their own zodiac. Unfortunately for them, however, it simply doesn’t fit with the nature of Sagittarius.

The sign of Sagittarius is all about freedom, adventure, social justice, trust and of course equality. It’s certainly NOT about control and dominance. Although any horse – male or female – would have been suitable to represent the lower half, the stallion fits the picture just a little better, as mares are generally more docile and less likely to roam as widely as stallions do. Wild horses live in herds. A group of mares with their offspring will live together, graze together and look out for each other throughout their lives. They are lead by the alpha female or lead mare and allow a stallion to hang around the periphery of the herd to mate with and to help protect them from any dangers. The majority of stallions do not live with herds of mares, but roam the stepps in groups of males in the hope of finding mares to breed with. This “wanderlust” fits Sagittarius much better than the behaviour of mares who tend to just graze and take it easy.

As far as the sex of the rider is concerned, according to Greek philosophy a male rider implies a sharp intellect, rationality and logic that are used in order to control the intuitive wise animal nature of the horse. Again, this imagery doesn’t fit at all with what we know of Sagittarius who is very much a creature of intuition, sensitivity and responsiveness. Sagittarians refuse to be controlled and will not control others.

The image of the Centauride, the woman-stallion, on the other hand, captures perfectly the essence of Sagittarius: she uses her intuition and inner wisdom to become one with the wild and virile stallion, to guide him and lead him to pastures new. Together and with equal importance they form a unit, a companionable team, whose joining results in a being whose sum is bigger than its parts.

Sagittarius’ Traits and Characteristics

Sagittarians are freedom-loving and adventurous. They love sports, the outdoors and enjoy travelling. Sagittarians are active, energetic people with a positive and optimistic mindset. They are idealistic and inspirational to those around.

Sagittarians are forward-thinking and pro-active. They strongly believe in honour, equality and social justice and can often be found fighting for social change and a better life for all.

Sagittarians are loyal and trusted friends. They prefer long-term relationships to brief flings, but will not under any circumstances allow to be controlled or dominated by their partner or anybody else. They are faithful and loyal and expect to be trusted not to stray. To Sagittarians independence and personal freedom are paramount.

Sagittarians are youthful and fun-loving. Their mannerism is informal and friendly. Sagittarians are outgoing and social people. They are easy going, open-minded and generous.

Sagittarians are deeply intuitive and sensitive to those around. They have a natural inner wisdom that allows them to see beyond face value. They are often very spiritual.

In summary Sagittarian women (and men) are:

– optimistic
– positive
– forward-thinking
– goal-oriented
– determined
– idealistic
– inspirational
– inventive
– exciting
– charismatic
– influential

– active
– sporty
– ardorous
– physical
– energetic
– fast
– swift
– vigorous
– continuously moving
– always on the go
– able to multi-task
– eager

– responsive
– sensitive
– spiritual
– guiding
– intuitive
– wise
– able to sense beyond face value
– able to see the big picture
– shrewed

– adventurous
– very independent
– freedom-loving
– lovers of travel
– explorative
– nomadic
– outdoorsy
– lovers of vast spaces
– courageous
– experimental

– seeking change

– open
– outgoing
– social
– receptive
– soft hearted
– friendly

– animal lovers

– great believers in equality, trust, freedom and comradeship
– fighters for social justice
– fair
– open-minded
– tolerant
– flexible
– versatile
– broad

– candid
– frank
– honest

– noble
– loyal
– trusting
– sincere
– attached to loved ones
– generous
– expansive
– forgiving

– comic
– fun-loving
– informal
– youthful

– mimics
– linguistic
– articulate

Sagittarius is a mutable Fire sign that is ruled by Artemis, the Maiden of the Silver Bow.

Sagittarius is associated with purple, the colour of wisdom, and green, the colour of the outdoors.

Within the body Sagittarius is linked to the the hips and thighs.

Sagittarian qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Centauride Archeress.

NOTE

[1] This is most likely also the origin of Vampires who are said to live in the Caspian and Transylvanian mountains: I believe their story is based on the Goddess-worshipping people of that region who were forced out of their homes into the mountains and then had exaggerated and twisted tales spun about them by the Christian community.

Scorpio – The Scorpion – October 24 to November 21

“Scorpio – sign of darkness and transformation –
is deep, intense and secretive.
With insight and compassion
those who’ve lost a loved one great comfort she will give.
Independent and proud
she’s strong of will and mind.
Drawn to life’s mysteries
the answers she will find.”
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

The sign of Scorpio has three emblems – the scorpion, the eagle and the snake. Most people will tell you that the eagle represents Scorpio’s higher self, while the snake symbolises its lower or base self.

This is, however, not their true meaning. In order to discover the real symbolism behind the images of the eagle and the snake we have to start by looking way back in the Paleolithic era (12,000 years ago +).

In Paleolithic Europe the Bird Goddess represented the manifestation of the invisible world. It was She who laid the Cosmic Egg from which all space and time was born. Later imagery shows the encirclement of the Egg by a snake holding its tail in its mouth.

During the Neolithic or New Stone Age (about 10,000 to 5,500 BCE) the world was seen as consisting of three regions: the Upper Waters (or Sky), the Earth and the Lower Waters (Underground).

At this time the Goddess was often depicted as the Bird and Snake Goddess – She was part bird and part snake. The Bird Goddess is Mistress of the Upper Waters, while the Snake Goddess is Mistress of the Lower Waters. She is the Creatrix, She is the Mother who grants us life through Her life-sustaining waters. Like the milk from a mother’s breasts life-giving rain nourishes us from above (Upper Waters). Like the waters from a mother’s womb Her underground springs, wells and streams bring forth the life-sustaining liquid from below (Lower Waters).

The Bird and Snake Goddess is the Vessel that holds the Waters of Life and the vase or drinking vessel used within a home symbolises Her womb from which the water flows. During the Neolithic vases and jugs were often moulded in the shape of Her with bird and snake features.

Birds were associated with both the Upper and Lower Waters. They “swim” through air and “fly” through water. If you take a step back you can see the resemblance between the flying movement of a bird’s wings and the swimming motion of a fish’s fins.

Birds lay eggs and so the Goddess as Bird once laid the Cosmic Egg. She is the primordial Creatrix.

The Snake is also linked to water. With its quick and fluid shape and movement it symbolises the dymnaic power of the waters beyond, beneath and around the Earth.

As said above the Cosmic Egg is often depicted encircled by a snake that holds its tail in its mouth, thus creating a circle. This image is known as Uroborus, which represents the primordial waters that encircle the Earth. It symbolises the cyclical nature of existence with no beginning and no end.

In many cultures, especially the ancient Middle East, the primordial Creatrix wasn’t a Bird but a Serpent such as Babylonian Tiamat.

The Serpent who lives in holes and dark cracks is linked to the dark underground womb of the Goddess. It symbolises death, regeneration and renewal. The reason for this connection is twofold. Firstly, snakes shed their skin and are thus seemingly continuously reborn. Secondly, every year they hibernate for months on end only to be “reborn” anew every spring. To anyone who’s encountered hibernating reptiles, they really do seem to virtually “die” in the autumn and miraculously reemerge in perfect health after months without food and water.

Snakes are sacred to the Goddess and the Dark Moon. They come and go from Her realm bringing with them Her wisdom. With exception of the Hebrew myth of Genesis the Serpent has always been linked to healing, magic and prophesy. In many cultures to this day snakes are revered and respected. In China the serpent has become a dragon, a positive and fortunate symbol.

Due to the snake’s connection to the Goddess and Her mysteries ancient priestesses used snake masks to frighten away the uninitiated. Medusa’s Gorgon Mask was just that – a mask worn by Her priestesses, the Guardians and Protectresses of the Magic and Wisdom of the Dark Moon.

So, as you see, Scorpio’s connection to the eagle and the snake have actually been inherited from the ancient Bird and Snake Goddess – the Primordial Creatrix – Mistress of the Upper and Lower Waters – Goddess of the Moon – Goddess of Life, Death and Renewal.

The image of the scorpion has been inherited from the ancient Egyptians, where scorpions were feared and revered. North African scorpions are exceedingly dangeous and demand respect.

Selket (Selqet, Serket or Serqet) is the ancient Egyptian Goddess of scorpions, magic, medicine and the dead. She is depicted as a beautiful woman with a scorpion on Her headdress. Her colour is black, the colour of the dark womb of the Goddess as well a the fertile silt deposited by the Nile during its annual floods.

Selket is a Goddess of Life and Death. She is linked to both death and birth. Together with Isis, Nephthys and Neith She was one of the four Guardians of the canopic jars that contained the vital organs needed for the afterlife. She is Protectress of the Dead.

Selket is also the Goddess of Childbirth and Nursing. In order to protect Isis and Horus She sent out seven scorpions.

Selket is linked to snakes. She is Goddess of all venomous creatures and Protectress from poisonous stings and bites. All thoughout the ages poisonous animals have been linked to magic and prophesy.

Her name means both “She Who Tightens the Throat” and “She who Causes to Breathe”. Another of Her titles refer to Her role as Guardian of the Dead: She is “Lady of the Beautiful [embalming] Tent”.

All three images – the bird, the snake and the scorpion – are closely connected to the Goddess, especially in Her aspect as the Dark Mother: She who receives us back into Her Dark Womb to restore and regenerate us and to birth us again in renewed form. She is the Goddess of Transformation, the Goddess of Endings and New Beginnings.

Scorpio’s Traits and Characteristics

Scorpios are intense people who thanks to their watery nature have great depth of emotions. They are private people who are proud and fiercely independent. Scorpios have an iron will and refuse to be dominated at all costs. They are passionate and loyal. Scorpios are intuitive and empathetic. Sharp and observant, they can read both people and situations very well.

Throughout Scorpio’s life run three main themes: secrets, death and sex.

Scorpios are private and secretive by nature. They like to keep their “true” selves to themselves and don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves. They are inherenly drawn to all things secret and hidden. Scorpios are famous for their ability to uncover all sorts of mysteries. They are relentless and tenacious and won’t give up until they’ve got to the bottom of something. Being secretive themselves they may or may not share their findings. Scorpios are often attracted to esoteric and occult subjects, but also make great detectives and psychologists.

Death is another recurrent theme in Scorpio’s life. Rather than shying away from the subject many have a deep attraction to it and an understanding often far beyond their years. Being insightful, understanding and compassionate Scorpios make excellent therapists and grief councillors.

Scorpios are very sexual beings who form deep emotional attachments to their chosen mate. They are possessive and passionate and prefer long-term relationships to short flings.

In summary Scorpion women (and men) are:

– proud
– independent (will not be dominated or controlled)
– dignified
– strong willed
– strong minded (psychologically & emotionally)
– principled
– self-critical
– courageous
– unflinching

– passionate
– intense
– magnetic
– sexual
– poweful
– mysterious
– with great stamina

– secretive
– private
– deep
– introverted
– with cool and subtle intellect
– self-controlled

– wise
– intuitive
– insightful
– observant
– sharp
– investigative
– penetrating

– transforming

– enduring
– loyal
– tenacious
– possessive
– committed

– affectionate
– emotional
– empathetic
– compassionate

– if injured can have quite a sting

– drawn to “death”
– drawn to mysteries
– drawn to taboo subjects

Scorpio is a fixed Water sign that is ruled by Medusa, the Dark Goddess of Transformation, Queen of the Shadow Self. It is co-ruled by Pele, Goddess of Drive, Passion and Courage.

Scorpio is associated with red, the colour of life and menstrual blood, and black, the colour of magic, mystery, death, transformation and regeneration.

Within the body Scorpio is linked to the reproductive organs – genitals – and the excretory organs – bladder and rectum.

Scorpio qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Scorpion.

Libra – The Scales – September 23 to October 23

“Libra – sign of harvest and karma’s balance –
is a bridge builder and a diplomat.
She’s charming and graceful,
artistic and refined.
She’s warm and personal
with a quick and active mind.
Seeing all sides to a story
she strives for peace and harmony.
With elegance and style
she’s inventive and adventurous
and never fails to smile.”
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

The sign of Libra didn’t exist in the ancient Mesopotamian zodiac. Instead it was part of Scorpio. Modern western astrology inherited the sign of the Scales from the ancient Egyptians, although the original sign wasn’t quite what it is today.

The Egyptian glyph which the Romans interpreted to represent the scales actually depict “the sun rising over the hilltop”. In other words the sign known to us as Libra originally signified the Ascendant or Rising Sign.

The constellation known to us as the Scales first appears on the eastern horizon when the Sun is in Aries. In ancient Egypt, about 3,000 to 5,000 years ago, this took place in early March, which was the beginning of the harvest or dry season “Shemu”. The first month of Shemu was dedicated to the child god Chonsu (or Khonsu, Khons) and was known as Pa-en-khons or Pashons. Chonsu was “The Traveller of the Night Sky”. He was the new moon that was first seen in the west when the constellation of Libra was rising on the eastern horizon. Chansu represented the vegetation and the harvest.

When the Romans saw the Egyptian glyph that depicted the sun rising on the horizon they interpreted it to symbolise the scales that were used for weighing the harvest. With the month of Pashons being the first month of the harvest season, their mistake was understandable. As in Europe the harvest takes place in late summer, the Romans placed the sign of Libra in September after the sign of the Goddess (Virgo) and before the sign of the Otherworld (Scorpio). In western astrology the Sun enters Libra at the autumn equinox when night and day are balanced and equally as long.

Apart from the obvious weighing of the harvest and the balance of night and day the Romans also gave the Scales a third meaning, that of weighing the souls of the dead before entering the Underworld.

The Romans and the ancient Greeks were great believers in Law and Justice. These concepts and that of personal responsibility and karma were also adopted from the ancient Egyptians. Maat is the Goddess of Wisdom, Time and Fate. She wears an ostrich feather on Her head and carries scales in Her left (heart) hand and an ankh – the symbol of eternal life – in Her right hand. She weighs each heart against the ostrich feather to restore the balance and equilibrium of the universe. Maat often replaces Saturn in feminist astrology, which is very apt, as Saturn is co-ruler over Libra.

Throughout the ancient world and even for us today the concepts of Justice such as democracy, freedom and equality have always been female. To this day Lady Justice stands in front of courtrooms, while her sister Libertas, the Goddess of Freedom, continues to hold the torch as the famous Statue of Liberty.

Justice is female because she IS the Goddess. She is all and everything, and Her law, that of nature, cannot be broken and must be obeyed by every living creature. She is the restorer and maintainer of order and harmony. She is wisdom. She is karma. And Libra is Her sign.

Libra’s Characteristics and Traits

Librans are beautiful people, very refined and incredibly artistic. They are charming, graceful, elegant and sophisticated in everything they do. They abhor vulgarity and rudeness and will try their utmost to restore peace and harmony. Librans love all things beautiful.

True to their Airy nature Librans are real people’s people who thrive within a team or partnership. They have incredible verbal skills and a real flair for presentation. For that reason they make excellent advertising and marketing executives who with natural style and eloquence are highly attractive and can be very persuasive.

Librans are natural diplomats who can see all sides of every story. They are objective and able to empathise with all parties involved. Due to their courteous nature and sense of delicacy, they are natural peacemakers.

Librans are often concerned with social justice and often dedicate their lives to bringing about change and betterment for their communities.

Due to their cardinal nature Librans are driven and active people with a sense of adventure.

Librans are strong willed with a youthful, joyous disposition.

In summary Libran women (and men) are:

– refined
– elegant
– sophisticated
– charming
– graceful
– courteous

– highly critical
– curious
– observant
– quick-thinking
– with an active mind

– artistic
– lovers of beauty
– inventive
– with fresh ideas

– sensitive
– diplomatic
– harmonising
– balancing
– seeking change
– objective
– able to see all sides
– about social justice / equality
– co-operative
– adjusting
– willing to compromise
– peace-loving

– with great verbal skills
– with a flair for presentation
– persuasive

– team players
– about partnership (i.e. without hierarchy)

– strong willed
– driven
– active
– ambitious
– youthful
– with a love for life
– adventurous
– with a zest for experience

– warm
– personal

Libra is a cardinal Air sign that is ruled by Inanna, Goddess of Love, Beauty and Harmony. It is co-ruled by Mother Holle, the Crone of Time and Fate.

Libra is associated with pink, blue-green and any colour combination that is stylish.

Within the body Libra is linked to the loins, the kidneys, the adrenals and the lower back.

Libran qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Scales.

Virgo – The Goddess – August 23 to September 22

“Virgo – the sign of the Goddess Herself –
has a mind that’s sharp and clear.
She’s independent and self-reliant,
a valued friend amongst her peer.
She’s objective and observant,
a perfectionist, discerning and refined.
She’s broad-minded and exclusive,
she’s generous and kind.
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

Virgo is the sign of the Great Cosmic Mother, the Goddess Herself.

The Virgo imagery is that of a young maiden to represent the Goddess as Virgin, but not in the Christian meaning of chaste and intact. The Goddess is the Universe, She is everything and all. She is Mother Nature who brought forth all of life, all order and harmony. The Goddess is a virgin under the original meaning that She gave birth to all existence by Herself, from within Herself, out of Herself.

The Great Mother Goddess as the Universe, as Mother Nature, creates life without another. She is Virgin. That is the original meaning behind the word. It it with that original meaning in mind that we can understand why Goddesses such as (the pre-patriarchal) Artemis were called Virgin Goddess. She was once upon a time seen as the Great Mother Herself.

As time went on, the meaning of the title Virgin was elaborated on. In ancient Greece, for instance, a virgin or “parthenos” was once a woman who was bound to no man. She was free and independent and not necessarily someone who’d never had sexual intercourse. Before patriarchy made pre-marital sexuality for women a taboo, Virgins were merely young women before pregnancy and motherhood. Throughout the ancient world virgins were the Priestesses of the Goddess, their main focus in life not being motherhood but rather the search for truth and knowledge.

As human consciousness evolved so did the imagery of the Goddess. Especially in ancient Greece in Her manifestation as the Moon She was represented no longer as one Goddess, but was portrayed as a Triple Goddess – the Maiden as the Goddess of the waxing crescent, the Mother as the Goddess of the full moon and the Crone as the Goddess of the waning crescent and dark moon.

The Virgin or Maiden Goddess symbolises birth, growth, freedom and youthful exuberance. (To find out more about the Moon and her three phases, please check out my post “Moon Magic and the Triple Goddess“)

So the first connection of the Maiden imagery of Virgo is the Goddess Herself – first as the Creatrix of all existence from within and out of Herself and second as the Maiden Moon Goddess who is free and unbound and symbolises new beginnings. As that the image of the Virgin also represents the Virgin Priestess who dedicates her life to the Goddess and Her teachings. (cf. the Tarot card “The High Priestess” or “Popess”)

The second connection of the Virgo imagery is linked to the timing of the sign. When western astrology was first written down by the ancient Mesopotamians the Sun was in Taurus and not Aries at the time of the spring equinox. So Virgo, the sign of the Goddess, fell not at the end of August, but rather at the beginning of the month when the first crops had ripened. Lammas on August 1st or 2nd to this day celebrates the harvest of the first crops, the grain or corn harvest.

So Virgo also represents the Corn Goddess, such as Demeter in Greece and Ceres in Rome. She symbolises abundance and Earth’s fruits. She is Mother Earth Herself who feeds and nourishes us from Her own body.

Interestingly, the sign of the Goddess is preceded by the sign of the Lioness. In the ancient world two lionesses (later lions) were often depicted flanking gates and thrones in their sacred role of Protectresses and Guardians of the Mysteries. With that in mind it probably is no accident that Leo precedes Virgo.

Virgo’s Characteristics and Traits

Virgo is one of those signs that get a lot of bad press. They’re often portrayed as boring, geekish and frigid. Nothing could be further from the truth! These erroneous and pretty slanderous descriptions are obviously based on the false belief that Virgo, the Virgin, is a chaste, prim and proper little lady who only does as she’s told. Well, let me tell you the truth…

When you hear Virgo don’t think of some Puritan maiden who’s prim and stiff and wouldn’t like sex if Adonis himself came begging for it.  Instead, visualise the Maiden Goddess of the Moon, a young woman who is strong, independent and free-thinking. Although wisdom is generally associated with the Crone aspect of the Moon, the Virgin Priestesses of the ancient world were the keepers of knowledge. They were not celibate but selective and every year participated in the celebration of the Sacred Marriage. The image of the Virgin Priestess captures the essence of Virgo very well.

Virgos are exceedingly clever, sharp, observant, analytical and free thinking. They are professionals who seek perfection and wish to create order and harmony from chaos. Virgos are mentally exceedingly agile and broad minded. They’re objective and tolerant of other’s life choices.

Virgos are great team players and are valued by those around them for their sensitivity and gentleness.

They are independent and self-reliant with a great sense of judgement. Virgos make excellent healers.

As is to be expected from an Earth sign Virgos are very much at home in their bodies. Their sharp Mercurian minds live in perfect harmony with their earthy sensuality. Virgos don’t just reside in their heads, but are generally dextrous and highly skilled at physical tasks.

In summary Virgo women (and men) are:

– clever
– intellectual
– sharp-minded
– rational
– objective
– analytical
– learned
– mentally agile

– professional
– with great judgement

– discerning
– acute
– researching
– comparative
– observant

– kind
– refined
– gentle
– shy
– peaceful
– seeking harmony
– sensitive

– great with people
– team players
– generous
– egalitarian

– responsive
– flexible
– broad-minded
– tolerant

– with high expectations
– exclusive
– perfectionists
– self-correcting
– achievers

– health conscious
– healers

– independent
– self-sufficient
– self-reliant
– uninhibited
– courageous

– practical
– responsible
– tenacious
– disciplined
– conscientious

– creative
– imaginative

– at home in their bodies
– sensual
– “marriage” of mind and body
– dextrous
– skilled

Virgo is a mutable Earth sign that is ruled by Freyja, the Goddess of Communication, Travel and the Power of the Mind.

It is associated with purple – the colour of wisdom – and earthy colours.

Within the body Virgo is linked to the intestines.

Virgo qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Goddess.

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