What is the Divine Feminine?

Download 148.16 Kb.
Size148.16 Kb.
1   2

Earth GoddessFrom our Stone Age ancestors, the Earth Goddess image is the most prevalent. The Earth was naturally seen as a mother figure, all across the world. The most ancient mythologies often start with the creation of the Earth mother goddess, and through her own creation comes the other deities. In Greek mythology, she is Gaia. Gaia created herself from the cosmic seas and then created her son and husband, Uranus, the sky. Modron is a Celtic Earth Mother, as is the great goddess Danu. Freya is the fertility goddess of the Norse, also embodying magic and love. Sif and Frigga are two other motherly goddesses of the Norse. Other primordial mothers, who embody not only the planet, but all life everywhere, Queens of Heaven as well as Earth, were often incorporated into other roles as mythologies changed, such as Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Isis and even Aphrodite. Some goddesses focuses solely on grain and sustenance, like the Greek Demeter or Native American corn goddess Seluth.

Sky God ­ The sky gods represent the intellect, clarity and precision of the culture, as we turned from Earth to sky, as well as the potential for cloudiness, stormy conflict and idealism. To humanity, the sky god is often painted with some fallibility. Uranus, Gaia’s consort, is castrated by his own son because of his harsh rule. His grandson, Jupiter, a god of storm and lightning, is alternately portrayed in myths as loving and wise, and chauvinistically unfair. Our perception of the divine changes as our culture changes. The gods themselves are simply reflecting our own consciousness back at us, as part of the path to connect with the divine. Other sky and storm gods include the Norse Thor and Celtic Tarranis.

Moon Goddess ­ The Moon evokes the feminine presence in many cultures, stimulating psychic ability, emotion and reflection. The Moon Goddesses often take form as a triplicy, expressing maiden, mother and crone through the cycle of the Moon. In Greek culture, the maiden is the huntress Artemis, known as Diana to the Greeks. She is the archer with silver arrows, maiden of the wild beast and patron to mothers and children. Selene represents the full Moon, pulling her chariot of the Moon across the sky and causing the darkness of the Moon when she visits her sleeping lover Endymion. Hecate, a triple goddess in her own right, represents the dark of the Moon and the crone. She is the mother of witches, and the guide of the crossroads in life. In Roman myth, they are Diana, Luna and Hecate respectively. Many goddesses across the world have moon associations, including Isis, Bast, Frigga, the Morgan, Arianrhod and Cerridwen.

Sun God ­ As the Moon evokes the feminine, the Sun usually evokes masculine deities of light, beauty and youth. Sun gods often give the gifts of healing, knowledge and inspiration. Apollo, brother of Artemis, is the Greek Sun god, pulling his chariot hitched to the Sun across the sky. Apollo may have been borrowed from the Celtic Bel, and originally have been a god of fire and light. Lugh, another Celtic god, embodies the Sun, grain and was many skilled, having talents and abilities in every area imaginable. Taliesin, son of Cerridwen, is a solar figure of illumination and patron of bards. Balder is the sacrificed god of light in Norse mythology, slain by an arrow of mistletoe. To the Egyptians, where the Sun is all encompassing, the Sun god Ra was credited by his followers as the sole creator of the world, and was the first ruler of the gods, later abdicated to his children.

Animal God
­ The Animal God is usually portrayed as the popular horned god of the witches, upon witch the image of the Devil was created by Christian institutions in an effort to discourage non-Christian worship. To the Greeks, the horned god is goat god Pan, god of music, sexuality and wildness. To the Celts, the stag god Cernunnos, or Herne, is the horned father, protector and hunter. In the wheel of the year story, the horned god often rules the year from Summer to Winter solstice.

Grain God
– The Grain God is associated with the waxing year and the Sun, and is often called the sacrificed god, as the many stories tell us of sacrificed kings and consorts. His sacrifice is symbolic, to ensure the fertility of the land and harvest, demonstrating with all cycles of life, there is death. Godfroms of the sacrificed god archetype include Tammuz, Dumuzi, Adonis, Dionysus, Bacchus, Osiris, Lugh and Balder. Even the form of Jesus Christ, celebrated in modern mythology, is a form of the sacrificed and resurrected god.

Underworld Deity ­ The Underworld Deity can be male, female or partnered as king and queen. Some cultures focused on one sex or the other as the deity of death. For the Greeks, Hades rules the lower world, but he eventually took a queen in the form of the maiden Kore, later named Persephone. Their Roman names are Pluto and Proserpine. Hecate, though a goddess of the underworld, was not considered the ruler. The Egyptian Osiris, after his second murder by his brother Set, was resurrected as lord of the underworld. The Norse focus on Hel, the goddess of Hel, decaying below the waist as a sign of her rulership over life and death. In ancient Sumer, the fearsome leach haired Ereskigal ruled the underworld while her sister Inanna ruled the Earth and heavens. The Celts have many gods and goddess of the underworld and death, including Pywll, Arawn, Dis Pater, Cernunnos, Morgan, Cerridwen and Rhiannon. In Celtic myth, it can be difficult to distinguish the otherworlds from the “real” world, so not all underworlds were lands of the dead.

Messenger/Magician ­ Deities that do not fall into the broad categories of light and dark, or as many aspects of the Goddess, are often androgynous in nature, and acts as intermediaries between the world. They are messengers gods, often associated with the archetype of Mercury, or Hermes. Not only do they travel where they want, but they are often inventors, patrons of humanities evolution, scribes and skilled magicians and healers. Hermes, Mercury, the Egyptian Thoth and Anubis, the Norse Wotan/Odin and Loki and Celtic wizard such as Math, Gwydion and the most famous Merlin.


The Mythological Archetypes of the Zodiac Cycle

by Semira & Vitaly Vetash

Archetype of Neptune (Pisces):


How was the world formed and what is its source? The mythologies of all cultures, as well as the Bible, considered primordial Chaos as the cradle of the Universe. Chaos represents the state of matter existing beyond conventional imagination, which conceals an inherent threat to the very existence of the world as we know it, and so becomes principally unfathomable. But each person internally harbors a representation of that initial state. This representation also exists in the world of the ancients: Chaos is traditionally depicted as a dark ABYSS filled with water. It is indeterminate, dense, and has no shape. Its substantial characteristic is the absence of free space, and this coincides with the modern representation of the Universe, expanding from a superdense point - out of 'emptiness'. The word 'chaos' means 'gaping emptiness'; `shunyata' in India has the same meaning: emptiness giving birth all the beings. In the mythology of ancient China, the primary watery chaos, a complete darkness reminescent of the mixed content of a hen's egg, was called Huntun, a conception that was transformed into a god possessing the features of primary indivisibility.

So the world arose from Chaos and Life was born in the waters. Human perception doesn't separate these representations. The very appearance of both world and life is fundamentally incomprehensible. The associated myths introduce to us the image of the Great Mother-Sea, the world that was borne by her is depicted as alive. According to the principle:'as in the beginning, so at the end', the image of sea itself joins birth and death. Everything that appeared from the primary chaos will return to it, so the ocean is associated not only with killer storms and earthquakes brought on by changing of cosmic rhythms, but with the threat to existence itself. The Accadian great mother Tiamat ('sea') manifests herself as a monstrous hydra with seven heads, who was conquered by her descendent Marduk, who created the world from elements of her body. In this passive function chaos may be considered to be the material of creation.

Compared with vague Chaos, definite Cosmos represents a deviation from primary undifferentiated wholeness; the Sea gods resent this order and stand against it. The destructive role of the Sea gods makes them rebels, and forces their expulsion during periods of formation of new divine pantheons under the leadership of the God of Thunder. Thus the Semitic Yammu ('sea') struggles against Balu, the leader of the pantheon, for a return the primordial way of things under his omnipotence, so also does the Greek Neptune, but they are defeated.

Retired from their former power all throughout the Universe, the Sea gods occupy a peripheral position (Greek Oceanus, Egyptian Nun), that correlates with the idea of their wretchedness, weakness, victimization, the general depiction as the youngest member of the family (Neptune whose name means 'nephew'). The most characteristic example is the Indo-european myth about Trita (the 'third' brother, etymologically connected with Greek Triton) who was thrown into a well by his older brothers. Here the well is associated with primordial denseness and the absence of space and with the primary waters where the universal source of fertility is hidden. That reveals to us the sense of Pisces' sacrifice: Pisceans decline participation in manifested and ordered existence (cosmos), so as to remain intouch with something beyond Being, with the secret omnipotence of Chaos, to find in the very depths of existence the sources of eternity.

The composite images of the watery abyss and it's secrets, the mothering bosom of the sea from whence life arose, the destructive forces of chaos and self-sacrifice which establish the connection between life and eternity, all reflect an archetype of planet Neptune, which rules the sign of Pisces. Regarding the mythologema from the historical point of view, the representation of chaos or deluge correlates with the cataclysms that provoked glacial melting and other natural processes, which pushed the humanity out of former territories and created the impulse to develop the defensive powers of mind.

The arising of the rational, spiritual force in mankind still remains an enigma for us. There was a whole stage in the history of humanity, called by the Australian aborigines 'the time of dreams', when mind was asleep and saw the outer world through the haze of unconscious processes. Is reason hidden in the depths of the soul, or on the contrary, was there thought initially, which then decorated itself with a plentitude of feelings? - The depth of the soul is hidden by mystery; Neptune rules there, and for this planet all things are vague and relative. Within the archetype of Neptune there is no such differentiation between the mind and the soul which are united initially, being the same as life itself.

Archetype of Uranus (Aquarius):


Chaos gives birth to the Sky and the Earth. The duality of Pisces latently contains seeds of the next two signs: the lightest - Aquarius and the darkest - Capricorn, manifesting the primary contradictions between the ideal and the material. In Chaos a motion arises on the part of Uranus resulting in the emergence of atoms of Saturn. Centrifugal motion in the vacuum separates the light from the darkness.

Let us imagine the process as ancients did: everything which is light rises up - more correctly, spreads out - and the lightest thing is light, infinitely dispersed in space, created by motion. So the Chinese Sky Chian was formed. Somewhere beyond space, dark chaos remained, and the blue dome of the firmament became a concrete bariere protecting the light world from the invasion of the dark forces. It is the blue arc of gates leading to the unknown world, and it is the omniscient God of the Sky who possesses the keys to these gates. Such was the ancient image of Roman Janus, with one face turned toward this world, a world created by him, the second face turned toward another world. Originally he was the god of the firmament, then lost his dominance and merely became a keeper of all the arcs and gates.

The god of the Sky is a creator fulfilling the main act of creation: that is the separation of the earth and the sky. In contrast to his successors, he founds the world purely by means of thought, word or through his will, because as yet nothing else exists. An abstract creator, he forms the Universe as a whole, not worrying about the destiny of individual beings. As the cold blue sky of February, he is infinitely removed from humanity, commonly considered to be the substance of material creation; usually it is not he who has created them from clay or wood. Great Father of gods, he leaves determinate functions to his children and having fulfilled his role, retires. Humanity doesn't pay homage to the primary creator, having forgotten him, but somehow it is always implied that indeed it is the Sky that supports the World.

The primary god personifies the light of the sky. But he is also connected with the darkness divided from this light, with the wholeness of life and death of the primary waters, like Aquarius who pours two streams from a jug: the water of life and the water of death, providing constant transformation. He is above evil and good, in the ordinary sense of these words. The words 'deus' and 'devil' both emerges from the name of the Indoeuropean Dyaus, 'the clear sky', and the same root is found in the Russian words 'divny' (miraculous) and 'diky' (wild). The god of the Sky is anarchic and wild, wielding as his instrument the unceasing process of creation which is as spontaneous as thought. The myth concerning the Greek Uranus, who constantly gave birth to monsters, and unsatisfied with his creations, hid them in the bosom of the Earth, reflects the infinite process of arising and annihilation. Gaea the Earth, exhausted from the labours of birth, asked Kronos to castrate his father. That secured the separation of the Sky from the Earth and determined the beginning of stable existence.

The image formation of the god of the light Sky, historically correlates with the stage of great population migrations, which opened new horizons after the retreat of the glaciers. Peoples domesticated all territories fit for their uses, which become human in the proper sense of the word, illuminated with the light of thought. Isn't it miraculous, that the spark of God in human beings retreated only confronted by the eternal ices of Antarctica?

The luminosity, universality and anarchy of the most ancient creators characterizes Uranus, the planet of thought and liberty, which appeals to the spirit of new development, makes the hidden manifest and sometimes becomes dangerous for people. And the destiny of humankind to become the owner of the Earth brings us to the next archetype.

Archetype of Saturn (Capricorn):


In the free space of the Sky the Earth is formed. ncessant unlimited motion within space has no aim and produces no direct result. But in a limited world it is possible to create something stable. The world of matter has a beginning and an end, and it is definitely conditioned by laws that keep it secure. These are the laws of time and fate, symbolized in astrology by the planet Saturn. One thinks about the world within the framework of time, which inexorably restricts our existence. Beyond these limits, we could not imagine something definite, and we would not be able to think at all.

As Chaos may be represented as a point, the spontaneous motion of light as a line flying into infinity, or as an unfurling spiral, throwing off the sparks of new worlds, so the appearance of the Universe and our Earth may be seen as a segment of the line, or as a piece of the spiral, defined by a determined cycle.

The limited world is associated with the Earth. Gods of the Earth and Time supersede the gods of the Sky, becoming creators of stable being and defining it's destiny. And the newly emerged material world is strictly subordinated to the predetermination which formed it and exists in perfect harmony with nature and itself. That is the Golden Age of the Earth, associated with Saturn.

Those who determinate destiny, as does Enki of Sumeria, often happen to have a mission of creating humanity. A man is understood in mythology as something undoubtedly material, so the substance used for making people is usually earth. The latin words 'homo' and 'humus' coincide not only in sound but in sense. Having lived out his life man himself returns to the earth, it being his mother.

Of course the god who personifies the universal principle of determination, in the creation of his Universe, didn't intend that evil and death come into the world. So the Iranian god of Time Zervan wanted to give birth to only the good son Ormazd, not his evil brother Ariman. But he gave birth to twins: such is the nature of the Time, that definiteness of life means also predestination to death. To glimpse the Sumerian goddess of fate Namtar meant certain death, and the gods of fate often are also gods of death. The sign of Capricorn is associated with the self-consciousness of the individual, and his concern about responsibility for the continuation of his genus is closely connected with his understanding of the existence of death. The earth containing burial places of the ancestors became the homeland.

So the archetype of earth, time and fate gods is associated with the end of migrations and the founding of a native homeland. A tribe holds a definite territory and native gods, protecting its own genus, such as Roman Vesta, the eldest daughter of Saturn, or Slavic Rod 'ancestor, genus', the ancient leader of the pantheon. Man tried to influence to the fates through prayers and offerings to his predecessors on the land. Recognizing that life is determined according to definite laws, and by the cycles of time, he tried to overcome his dependence upon nature, developing agriculture on his own lands. Also he tried to uphold the natural order and promote the earth's fertility through seasonal offerings. Agriculture promoted the development of the calendar, having made more perceptible the abstract notion of time.

The New Year's celebration, the traditional Roman carnival was originally connected with sacrifices to Saturn, the god of sowing. His name means 'sower', and it is related with the Russian words 'sytny'(fat, substantial) and 'sut'' (to exist). Formation of the Saturnian archetype reflects the period when humanity took it's existence into its' own hands. But even after the canonization of fate, humanity still could not influence the weather, so the old protectors of time and the native lands ceded their power to the god of thunder.

Archetype of Jupiter (Sagittarius):


The God of Thunder personifying the planet Jupiter takes on the image of the father of gods, the lighting shaker, and sometimes even borrows the name of the God of the Sky. So 'Zeus' is the transformation of the ancient 'Dyaus' and the name of Jupiter is also translated as 'father of the light'. Born after the ancient creators, he overcomes them by force, defeating chtonic monsters which were spontaneously created in the beginning of the ages and suppressing the wild rebellions of chaos.

Transcending time and influencing the fate of the world, he inherits the functions of his predecessors, repeating and fulfilling the process of creation and in so doing becomes the head of the pantheon of gods. And thus he founds a society of which he is king.

Babylonian Marduk proved his superiority over other gods and nature by ordering a star to disappear and appear again, He then became the protector of the gods and as the leader of the gods' army killed frightful Tiamat, thus Chaos could never pretend to its omnipotence over the Universe. The other gods in return built him the heavenly Babylon which of course reflected the human society of that time.

Historically, Jupiterian mythologema tooks humans beyond the context of native genus and extended the basis of society beyond the blood relationship to the level of a state built on a common ideology. It shows the next step in the development of human consciousness when such a unification, the Sagittarian unity of minds, became possible. This stage corresponds to the elaboration of religion and ritual: not only as personal magical manipulations appealing to the chtonic and elemental forces of Saturn and Uranus, but also as expressions of common thought and representations of natural law describing the universal order of Jupiter.

Usually the leader of the pantheon is the god of thunder. Mythological thought thus manifests the image of a king-priest who interacts with elemental forces and by appealing to the Sky is able to evoke the rain, which is necessary for a good crop. A picture of a thunderstorm always stoked people's imagination, so it became a symbol of the highest power. Only the strongest of gods could manage it. And the best of humans was elected to serve as the connection with the Heavens. Like Sagittarius, he directs the arrow of his mind which reaches the Firmament and brings him directs knowledge of Nature. He is able to influence natural conditions through the power of higher laws, so he excersises a power which acts above fate. Thus the image of the god of thunder was fused with the image of the omniscient god of the light Sky. Properly speaking the King of gods in his role as a king of people acts only as a translator of the higher will as it relates to the Earth. But as observed from the Earth the images may be read as the god of Thunder himself expressing the will of the Heavens.

The god of thunder's location between the Earth and the Sky associates him with high and rocky places, where lightning flashes often strike, and the Indoeuropean name of the god originates from the word 'perunt'(rock). Such is the name of Russian Perun or Indian Parjanya. We always associate the archetype of Jupiter with high elevations which widen the range of mental perception and help to order existence from above. The King of the gods coordinates the different dimensions of the world and distributes goods, happiness, riches and fame according to his fair laws.

Nevertheless he is not an primordial god, so his laws are temporary and his state from time to time must be transformed. The next archetype describes this transformation.

Archetype of Pluto (Scorpio):


It happens that not the entire world falls under the rulership of the King of gods. As there was always a rivalry between the true law and the forces of power and money, so there exists a god of the bowels of the Earth, a sovereign of innumerable treasures, who is independent from the King of gods. The planet Pluto, symbolized by the image of the eternal Enemy, embodies evil and death, that seeks to destroy the external world order of Jupiter which personifies the principles of good. The name Pluto means 'rich, full' and so the chief of the under world is always rich because he has acquired all things that have disappeared from the surface of the Earth. As the gifts of the heavens and the fruits of work on the earth are diminished day by day, the governor of Death becomes richer and richer.

The existence of the ruler of the subterranean world is justified through his function of keeping hidden in the bowels of the Earth, far from the sight of humans (or even gods!), a reserve potency, a force which nourishes not only the vegetable kingdom but all beings as well. All that is alive needs his energy. And as the potency of nature is passive, the god of Thunder, in irrigating the Earth and awakening her hidden fertility, manifests the new sprout of life by stimulating stored up banks of energy. For life to progress, the god of the Interior, like a Scorpion stinging itself with it's own tail, brings out the extreme energies of war and illness, destroying everything that doesn't meet the test and so is destined to be ruined. It falls to the leader of gods to renew life on the surface of the Earth.

The interaction between these two sovereigns is depicted in the central Indoeuropean myth as a struggle for herds of cows stolen away by the subterranean god and hidden by him in the rocky lowlands. He can manifest himself in the image of a viper from the depths (Indian Vritra or Indoeuropean Budh). The god of Thunder then defeats the viper in a battle of thunderstorms, and the herds of cows return as flocks of clouds which provide fertilizing rain. The process of the natural circle continues on infinitely, as does the struggle of evil and good.

One finds the historical analog of this battle in the real struggle between agriculturally based peoples and the herders and nomads. In this period one's own people personified everything good, and the alien everything evil. 'Goods' means 'richness'. The roots of these abstract notions were at first very simple, but then the representation of evil became more complicated and formed the picture of the alien world as a socialized image of chaos, or hell. The subterranean world is associated with an exit to the abyss: the primary waters which nourish inexhaustible sources of terrible power over the all the living.

The typical peaceful image of the land of the dead is the Greek Elysium, plains that serve as the pasture where the souls of the deads graze. 'Soul' is 'anima' in Latin and everything alive may best be personified by an animal. The richness of another world was usually associated with herds that embody multiplying riches. The herder himself could display his animal's attributes, for example horns and hoofs, showing his close relationship to his wards. In the features of the shepherd god one can easily discern the typical depiction of the Devil.

The word Elysium comes from the root 'wel' which signified the main opponent of the leader of gods (the word 'wealth' is also derived from this root). It also relates to the Russian god of herds, richness and lowlands Veles, and the Baltic Velnias, who struggled with the Thunder god Percunas and then was transformed into a Devil.

Nevertheless the plutonic thirst to own and store any energy does not destroy the Universe. That is meant to decay, dies, manifesting a well established harmony, symbolized in astrology by the next sign: Libra.

Archetype of Vulcan and Chiron (Libra):


The planet Vulcan symbolizes the balance of the Universe. This is usually represented by a Smith god who calms the struggle among the world's opposing forces, reconstructing the Universe each instant with his own hammer and hands, not unlike the Indian Tvashtar ('creator, master'). He forges the weapons that help the chief god to defeat his subterranean Enemy and to dispense with this annoying struggle.

The image of the Smith god is associated with the cultural mastering of fire and with the epoch of smelting metal. Vulcan (the root of the name 'wel' symbolizing the Enemy of the Thunder god) is a personification of subterranean fire, ever awful and uncontrolable, which then submits to a master. Vulcan is a hypothetical planet, and thus the associeted archetype of cultural development has probably not yet manifested its concrete signification in the world, which may happen if the planet is discovered. Sometimes this planet is considered to be the center of gravity of the Solar system, projecting the idea of a perfect balance.

When destructive underground forces of the most intractable and dangerous element come to serve the needs of construction, it becomes clear that mankind is ready to overcome it's inner passions and begin civilized existence. The peace treaties between the tribes concerning the borders of their territories put a halt to incessant fights. That the border is sacred is illustrated by the legend of Rome's founder Romulus who killed his brother Remus for stepping over a line drawn on the ground.

A treaty is the highest form of social interaction, and in the civilized state a certain god appeared whose duty it was to secure human agreements and to punish transgressors. This type of god is personified by the Roman Quirin, identified with Romulus and the justification of his legendary act. The Iranian Mithra, having been born with a trowel in his hand and personifying the Law of the Universe, regulates the observance of treaties with a thousand eyes and ears. The Indian Mitra also protects and considers wedlock as a treaty, transforming personal human relations into a higher social realm. Mithra's name etymologically means 'peaceful, grateful, friendly'. Divine Smiths are also peacemakers: connected with celestial and subterranean fields, they act as mediators between them.

Creating palaces for gods from their golden fire, like Greek Haephestus, and protecting arts and crafts, the divine Smith forges the artificial order of human civilization, dividing it from the wild custom of disorganized nature. As the creator of the Sky defended the Universe from incursions of Chaos by creating the dome of the Firmament, the master of culture artificially forms his world, where no threats are imposed on humanity. His acts of creation are always concrete and purposeful.

However myths often emphasize the artificiality of the world, divided from elemental influences: so when the Finnish divine Smith Ilmariinen fashions the Sun and the Moon with his own hands, they aren't able to shine. Often a polar pair of creator gods appears such as the Finnish Ilmariinen and Vaeinaemoeinen or Indian Varuna and Mitra, representing natural and cultural models of order. Contemporary western civilization is an example of the regulated world of Mithra, in contradistinction the more anarchistic nature of the East which is represented by Varuna.

One can associate with the archetype of Libra certain lower gods, sometimes taking on animal form, but benevolent to humans and assisting them, much in the way that the Smith becomes an assistant to the leader of the pantheon. The most famous such being is the Greek centaur Chiron, the teacher of Aesculapus, Orpheus and Hercules. According to the one of the legends he bestowed upon Hercules his immortality. It is interesting that the asteroid Chiron, reflecting the sympathy and sweetness of Libra, was discovered by the astronomer Charles Koval, whose surname is translated as 'smith'.

When wild nature is not dangerous for the society of humans, animals become man's allies instead of his enemies. However the taming of wild animals, which signifies the submission not only of the political but also of the economic order to the human sphere, is traditionally associeted with the next sign: Virgo.
Archetype of Ceres and Proserpine (Virgo):


If the archetype of Libra regulates social relations, the archetype of Virgo consolidates the principles of economy and farming, closely connected with natural order of things. Iron tools and the invention of the plough secures the blossoming of agriculture and manifests an image of nourishing Mother-Earth, symbolizing abundance and fertility. So the Greek Demeter ('mother-earth'), goddess of the fertile Earth controls the sequence of crop cycles, insures the gathering of the harvest and it's wise use into the next spring. She is accompanied by gods of the changing seasons, that maintain the cyclic order of nature which serves as the foundation of the agricultural process. Dying and rising vegetation gods occupy the main positions between the seasonal cycles.

A seed must be buried in order grow, so first it must die. Each year the Mother-Earth Ceres sacrifices her daughter Proserpine ('proserpo' means 'grow up'), taken as a bride to the underworld by the subterranean sovereign. He allows his wife to visit her mother for half of the year, during which the earth become fertile and is covered with green. The other half of year Mother-Earth remains barren grieving for her daughter. The Egyptian mother figure Renenuteth (Thermutis in Greek) and her son Neperi ('seed') form a similary pair. It was usually said about Neperi that only after he died did he begin living.

The death and resurrection of Proserpine maintains the natural order as she properly fulfills the universal law of seasonal change in her own being. The executive power symbolized by the archetype of Virgo must be fair and accurate to insure life processes. And thus she is also associated with justice and purity, helping her husband to judge the souls of the dead. Gods belonging to this archetype display a righteousness exemplified by their self-sacrifice in the name of duty, and expressed by their virginity (which corresponds the name of the constellation, and to an alternate name for Proserpine, Core, which means 'girl'). The Indian Sita ('furrow') is also a goddess of this type: she was born of the earth in a furrow and pleaded with her mother Earth to take her back into the soil when a charge of unfaithfulness had been leveled at her.

Gods of the agricultural cycle, such as Nisaba of Sumeria whose name means 'seed', also manifest the skill of writing that helps to register the harvest. An economy suggests the hierarchical distribution of duties, so one can associate with the archetype the historical delineation of castes seen as the consolidation of economic principles of the division of labour. In the economic system the domesticated animal occupies a place junior to that of humans. An interesting image of an animal executing his duty is Russian Semargl, the winged dog who protects crops.

Solar archetype (Leo):


One can find a regularity in the images within a succession of signs of any element. The subterranean god is connected with the invisible sources of existence of Chaos, reflecting the potency of the water element. The divine Smith continues with the work of creation of the Sky god, and thus represents the air element. The sign of Virgo develops the notion of the abundant earth, as stated by Capricorn. Thusly, within the signs of fire element, Solar god, being a generous dispenser of benefit, borrows the functions of the Thunder god, the head of the pantheon.

The Sun moves across the Sky like a great wheel, which becomes his universal symbol. It appears in myths primarily as an eye of the omniscient god of the clear Sky, closely related to him through the notion of light, spreading infinitely and embracing all the Universe. The wheel also begins to symbolize celestial universality. The Solar god spends his days on the surface of the Earth, surveying his domain and dispensing gifts, and descends to the underground world at night, where he illuminates the dead and struggles with the forces of darkness, much as the solar god Ra of Egypt fought with the viper Apope each night. The daily path of the Sun manifests a unity of the celestial, terrestrial and subterranean. Solar image combines the highest justice of the archetype of Vulcan with the concrete life processes of Virgo. Like a wheel that touches the earth at one extremity and the sky at another, it personifies the wholeness and integrity of being.

There were even particular gods of the solar disk, such as Aton of Egypt, Koloksay ('wheel-tsar') of the Scythes or Khors of the Slavs. Like the Indian Savitar and the Greek Helios, Solar gods travel across the sky in chariots, pulled by horses that also become a symbol of the Sun. A historical invention of a wheel as well as use of wheeled carts is also associated with this archetype. The new speed of chariots permitted the control of wide expanses, which allowed the unification of separate reagions and the formation of empires, in whose light the smaller states faded. The idea of unified power is associated with the Sun: the Egyptian pharaoh Ehnaton even began to see in the solar disk an autocratic god. But his idea of monotheism was not disseminated: this idea was manifested only at the end of mythological development and is associated with the archetype of Mars and Aries, the third sign of fire element.

Great emperors were named after the Sun, but in the divine pantheon the place of main god was already occupied. So the Solar god, sending heat and benefit to the Earth with his hands the Sun rays, only succeded in rivaling the Thunder god, bringer of the fertilizing rains. The light of the Sun was so commonplace that it never stimulated the human imagination as did the thunderstorm, and humanity only gradually perceived the significance of solar energy. In distinction to the Thunder god who translates the higher forces of celestial fire, the Solar god personifies an inner power of his own. Leo, the king of beasts with the yellow mane, is associated with him as well as with the idea of personal force.

The Sun protects heroes and is himself in rivalry with the King of society, thus the Chinese Yan-di struggles with the god of Thunder Huang-di. But sometimes a cloud covers the Sun and the Solar god is defeated: because mere personal force and independence of action, even if strong cannot stand against an opposing global and social order, which is destined to maintain the eternal traditions. Understanding the transmission of traditions and reproduction of being is the subject of the next archetype.

Lunar archetype (Cancer):


The lunar gods continue the theme of birth and death, characteristic to the water element. The Moon is represented as a partner of the Sun, and in myths they are often depicted as brother and sister, or husband and wife. At night the Moon replaces the Sun in the sky, and during the day in the underground world. According the Indoeuropean tradition, the constant Sun was correlated with the feminine image and the changeable Moon with the masculine one: there were myths wherein the Moon proved unfaithful to the Sun, having fallen in love with the Morning Star (Venus). But in the patriarchal schema, the dim light of the Moon associates it with weakness, and so makes it an ideal of femininity. In this way, according a myth of the American Indians, the Creator, at the end of his work, transformed the most handsome man into the Sun, and the most beautiful woman into the Moon.

And as the Sun is an unfailing source of life energy, the Moon, which dies away and disappears, from the sky is connected with death and nonexistence. Its faded glow seems ephemeral and does not leave any hope for the continuation of being. But suddenly it appears again, begins growing and is restored, generating in the human mind the idea of illusion and at the same time the immortality of life. All over the world lunar myth is connected with the idea of immortality, that coincides with the astrological definition of the Moon as Psyche which is considered to be imperishable.

The full Moon dying and giving birth to the small Crescent was associated also with the idea of motherhood, securing the continuation of life. The notion of a taste of immortality, associated with the Moon, (for example, the Indian Soma which personifies simultaneously the Moon and the drink of immortal gods), goes back to mother's milk. Through mother's milk and fairy tales a human inherits traditional knowledge transmitted from generation to generation. The Moon preserves the integrity of being imparted by the Sun through the memory of knowledge of the past. Regarding the phases of the Moon, which became the raw material for the calculation of time, the act of fixing the present allowed humanity to memorize it's history based on the experience of the past. Then epics and legends arose, and were disseminated in the form of fairy tales which helped every new inhabitant of the Earth to orient himself in the world and recognize his destiny as a part of human history.

The Moon archetype is associated with the epoch during which for the first time mankind looks backward upon his path, evaluating his journey, and this links us back to the notion of Time that was considered in the mythologema of Capricorn. As was seen in the examples of the Sky and the Sun, associated through the idea of light expanding, signs which stand opposite to each other are bound by a single idea. For Pisces and Virgo it is the idea of self-sacrifice for the sake of regeneration, for Aquarius and Leo it is the idea of wholeness, and the planets of Time - the Moon and Saturn, which wield the most significant influence on human psyche, make conservative Cancer and Capricorn the keepers of the world's destiny.

Archetype of Mercury (Gemini):


The power of humanity based on the experiences of the past, and overcoming conservative traditions, is the archetype manifested by Gemini. It is the archetype of the hero who transcends taboos and the most sacred interdictions, and of the twins who committed original sin against the divine order and disturbed the schema of the unconscious soul's natural immortality, which brought about human life and death.

The pair of identical humans evoked a superstitious fear of the ancients: they thought of the bearing of twins as something supernatural. As a compromise between the ordinary and the wondrous, one of twins was often considered to be born of his human father and the other of a god, mythologically speaking, one mortal twin, the other immortal, as we see in the case of Castor and Pollux in the constellation of Gemini. Furthermore the duality of life and death was represented in the first pair of humans - or likewise in the first pair of gods who descended from the established realm of the Heavens to the deserted Earth so as to arrange and populate it, compare the Japanese Izanaki ('first man') and Izanami ('first woman').

Two brother-twins, also considered sometimes to be hermaphrodites, create the duality of the world (day and night, good and evil, man and woman etc.). Then one of the twins has to die in order to consolidate the ownership of the land by the created race of people; he becomes the king of the dead. Similarly, brother and sister commit ritual incest, necessary for the production of offspring, and in the process they become conscious not only of the phenomenon of birth, but also of death, which indicates a separate and independent human destiny existing within the world of immortal nature and gods. The Biblical story of Adam and Eve originated from this type of myths.

The idea of this archetype refers us to the opposite sign of Sagittarius which had broken the traditions of Genus, the natural order of Saturn, for a more progressive one of his own, and separated humanity from the animal world. But if Gemini presupposes the destruction of man's primary links with nature, then Sagittarius initiates the observance of religion as a reconstruction of these links to the primary order.

Taking center stage in myths, the human creates the world with all necessary and useful things. Like the Chinese Fu-Xi, he states the traditions and rituals, invents tools and writing, and transmits this inheritance to his descendants, after having inhabited the land and having fulfilled his mission according to the previous lunar archetype. In the typical image of a cultural hero the third sign of the air element completes the idea of creation, which takes on concrete form.

The transgressing of interdiction was originally a method of self-affirmation for the ancients, and hence appeared a god-deceiver, a fraud and a thief, called in mythological terminology a trickster. The mental activity of humans is under his rulership; he is a god of calculation, writing and language. Human mind itself appeared initially as a kind of malice. The newly born Greek Hermes stole away the cows of Apollo, and in spite of the Solar god's omniscience, Apollo could not obtain a truthful confession from the diaper wrapped deceiver who made up endless stories by way of excuse.

A god of communication and writing serves as a mediator between gods and humans; he serves as a messager of the chief god and accompanies the souls of the dead to the underground world, as Hermes or the Egyptian Thoth. As the Roman Mercury or the Phoenician Melkarth, he is the patron of interaction and protects the activities of exchange and trade. He is very inventive in the creation of his tricks and transgresses the most sacred interdictions; as the German Loki, who made fools of the gods and once in fun broke a peace treaty between gods and giants. All these factors permit us to consider the image of the god-trickster, as well as that of the ancestors-twins, as the most ancient self-portraits of humankind.

The archetype of the planet Mercury refers to the historical stage of invention of writing which permitted the fixing of myths and history. That lead to the arising of science as a separate cultural area, and signals the beginning of the intellectualisation of the world. Mercurian curiosity promoted wide contacts between peoples, through newly developed sea-going fleets and trade. In the period of European civilization it manifests as the age of city-states.

Archetype of Venus (Taurus):


At first the evolution of mankind was shaped through a refutation of the natural and wild world in favour of a civilization based on culture, whose borders would guarantee the future of humanity. With the development of agriculture this aim was achieved, and one can see it in the archetypes of Libra and Virgo. Then the process of self-realization began and after the development of mind that the archetype of Mercury demonstrates, humanity aspired to widen it's borders, again encompassing natural sources. The last two archetypes of the Zodiac work out the notions of the two fundamental principles of nature, the feminine and the masculine, stated by the image of Gemini. These archetypes appeared relatively late; as the goddesses of the Taurean and the gods of the Arien archetypes gradually win honourable places in the pantheon.

Taurus, the third sign of the earth element, demonstrates that the mankind is firmly established in the creative process and achieves prosperity, abundance and well-being on the Earth, when it begins to understand humanity as a part of nature. The human's integration with nature is tied to the feminine force, which is closer to natural sources. The essence of the human being is identical to that of the Cosmos. And so the astral cult of the celestial body of the star Venus was widespread all over the world, incorporating worship of her image of the goddess of love. The word 'aster' ('star') was itself borrowed by the most of European languages, originating from the Babylonian name for Venus, Ishtar, which means simply 'goddess'.

The Goddess of the Morning and Evening Star was often associated with the inimitable beauty of the dawn, symbolizing the power of the reproductive forces in nature which the archetype of Taurus manifests. In Mesopotamia these existed the image of two dawns, represented by the bulls, Hurri ('morning') and Serri ('evening') which express this basic idea. And the Greek Eos, the Indian Ushas and the Roman Aurora become the most typical personifications of love.

The goddesses of sexual love personifying blossoming and the abundance of nature are very ancient. So Aphrodite Urania, said to be born from sea foam and blood of the God of Heavens, is older than Zeus and coeval to the titans. But then her place was transformed, making her the daughter of Zeus, as the goddess of love and beauty must be eternally young. Her link with the Sea, similar to relationships shared by other beautiful female goddesses with the primary waters, points to the prototypical potency of fertility. Similarly, the Indian Laxmi ('happiness, beauty') was also born of the ocean, and the name of Ardvisura-Anahit of the Avesta means 'powerful source of eternal waters'.

The names of love goddesses often express force. Typically associated with the stars accompanying the Sun in the morning and in the evening, they were considered as the main goddesses of the pantheon. So the name of the Egyptian Isis means 'throne', the Semitic Uzza means 'omnipotent' and the Sumerian Inanna -- 'sovereign'. In ancient times the goddess of fertility and sexual love, cruel and rough, use this initial force to possess the world, gods and humans. She was both seductress and warrior. The arrows of Eros have not always been missles of love, they are the rudiments of true weapons. As an attribute of Ishtar these weapons were dangerous, and the goddess of war and love, battling for her rights and sovereignty engaged even with the most powerful god, the god of Thunder.

But times changed, and the goddess of love, ever young and as self-renewing as life, became graceful and benevolent. The names of the Roman Venus and Bona Dea mean 'kindness, grace'. In a civilized world that had overcome the passions and forced them to serve the needs of happiness and prosperity, it is beauty and charity, conjugal fidelity and motherly selflessness that embody the essence of the star goddesses. Having won her place and affirmed her position among the gods, the most powerful goddess, in force equal to the Chief of gods, calms her rage when she is recognized as his wife and entrusted with the protection of the establishment of wedlock. Thus arises the notion of love and family in the modern sense as an expression of the initial natural harmony in the framework of human society.

One may be astonished by the transformation of the image of the Star goddess Isis with the infant Horus, which became the prototype for the Blessed Virgin (this shows an example of the astrological exaltation of mother Moon in the sign of Taurus).

The fully realized archetype of the Star goddess coincides with the developmental stage involving emotional penetration into the nature of the world and the resultent cultural blossoming. Art, previously subjugated to the Jupiterian religious ritual, have by now attained an independent place in culture, much as the goddess of love secured her own significance in the Universe. The art of Venus, closely associated with natural sources, as it loses its very artificiality, is differentiated from the more rational mastery of Vulcan. The feminine principle of being manifests itself as a natural life deified.

Archetype of Mars (Aries):


The appreciation of emotional nature doesn't interfere with the framework of Jupiterian social law, as the goddess of love and beauty comes to an alliance agreement with the chief of the pantheon. But a new leader, a fierce and furious commander of the gods during the time of battle, embodying emotional force together merged with the wisdom of human mind, pretends to supersede him. The archetype of Mars is associated with the idea of going beyond the established society in search of new forces and means.

The gods of the forests and of the wild beasts as well as warriors and shepherds correlate with this archetype. A shepherd lives most of the time in wild nature, outside of society, he is personally responsible for his herd and has to defend it from alien invasions and in every type of unexpected and dangerous situation. He is isolated and so has to develop his own natural capacities. Outside the niceties of civilization he must overcome obstuctions by himself, and this is the foundation for his natural wisdom which he then brings back into society. That is why an image of the shepherd coincides with the one of defender and commander.

Roman Mars himself was originally a god of wild nature and the herds, with a wolf as his symbol. Boys offered up to him were banished beyond the borders of the settlement, and this made them closer to nature, and required the development of strength and audacity. In honor of Mars they were called mammertians.

The function of the shepherd and the association of War god with death liken the mythologema of Mars to that of Pluto, and originally they were the same archetype. The god-warrior was a destroyer and he not only successfully defended his herds and property but confiscated that of others. However this new type of invincible god has aquired the new quality of wisdom. Like the thunder gods they are patrons of just wars, struggle with evil, and awake natural fertility. The mastering of magic associated with the War gods, which characterizes the Greek Athena, is originally a Plutonian feature, but here it no longer serves the forces of destruction and death, instead reflecting a deep understanding of nature and the capacity to control natural forces and direct them to medical purposes. And so was formed a new mythological image of the ideal commander who borrows forces from nature but uses his mind as the tool of civilization. It is an image of a leader who is moral, as the Iranian Vishtasp or Hiawatha of the American Indians.

The unification of lands worshipping different gods became possible under the banner of such an ideal god. It was Mars that facilitated the unity of the Roman lands. And Egypt owed it's unity to Amun, whose symbol was a ram, displayed his shepherd's functions, and was originally identified with the War god Montu. His final identification with Solar god Ra, one may associate with the astrological exaltation of the Sun in Aries, as Aries reflects integral function of the Sun. It is Amon-Ra, personifying universal wisdom, who was depicted in the heavenly constellation of Aries.

Sometimes a wise young commander succeeded in superseding the old short-sighted chief of gods, to himself become leader and point to a new path of the world's development, as did the German Odin. This is but one step away from monotheism.

The idea of a god who attains leadership not only through force, but through his own ideal personal qualities, correlates with the affirmation of the individual's independence in society and the right to pursue one's own way of existence. The notion of inner law and the achievment of progress joins Aries with the opposite sign of Libra. The archetype of Aries lays the foundation for the establishment of spirit as the inner human god. The more recent religions such as Christianity and Islam borrowed to a considerable extent the images associated with this archetype.

Completing it's development, the mythological cycle creates a full circle of archetypical notions. It is unified urge to activity on the part of the fire element -- Greek Eros, Indian Agni -- that gives birth to new life in the sleeping abyss of Chaos.

That is the picture of development of mythological representations as a whole. Certainly we have mentioned only a few of the images, and the short space of an article does not permit a fully detailed analysis of mundane mythology proving the consistency of the overall picture. At the end of the article is given a summary table including more mythological characters. It also does not embrace all the manifestations and particular qualities of the archetypes, but could help to orientate one to the appreciation of the mythologycal elements.

Astrological archetypes were formed over period of time, and one can identify separate layers and particularities of perceptions of the world according to geographicallocation. But even a cursory glance towards the vivid richness of mythologies' characters shows that there is more the typical, then the occasional in it. And it permits astrology to rely on the most ancient experience of the human being's appreciation of the world.

sign, planet

historical stage

mythological archetype

PISCES: Neptune

epoch of cataclysms, awakening of consciousness

primary Chaos, Sea gods, Great Mother


migrations, assimilation of new lands

god of the Light Sky, Great Father


finding the native land, family organization, arising of agriculture

gods of the Earth, Time and Fate


social organization, forming of religion

god of Thunder, Chief of pantheon


development of cattle breeding, struggle of farmers and nomads

god of subterrane an world, cattle and richness

LIBRA: Vulcan (Chiron)

definition of state boundaries, smelting of metal, creating of civilizations

god of agreement, divine Smith

VIRGO: Proserpine (Ceres)

agricultural development, taming animals, demarcation of casts

Mother-Earth,dying and resurrecting gods of vegetation

LEO: Sun

invention of wheels and chariots, foundation of empires

Solar god, god of disk of Sun


development of epos, conceiving traditions

gods of the Moon and motherhood

GEMINI: Mercury

invention of writing, development of trade and science, towns-states

messenger of gods, god of writing, trickster, cultural heros


penetration to nature, cultural blossoming, wedlock establishment

goddess of love and fertility, Star of Venus


affirmation of personal rights over a tradition, coming to monotheism

gods of war and wisdom, shepherd, leader and pastor

God Archetypes of the Celtic Deities

Although there were hundreds of gods, each god had a general purpose. This is why the Celtic Deities were separated into different archetypes. Each archetype filled a certain purpose for the Celts and each was vital to the world of the Celts. There were eight god archetypes and they all fell within the type of the Inter-Tribal Land Divinities.

The Little God was most recognized during late in the Iron Age and was one of the central figures within the Celtic Deities. The god was called “Lugus” or “Lugh.” Lugus is a fighter and a master of everything that is vital to society. He is mostly worshipped and central to the early harvest. The mythical aspect of this god is that he is small in stature however, he is always successful against his opponents because he has the ability to outwit them.

The Protector God is known as Nuadha Airgetlamh. This god controls the boundaries of the world and fights them with drastic force. He uses a sword to fight and is known for always being accompanied by a dog. Although he is famous for killing in defense of his nation, he is also seen as a healer because death and birth are so closely intertwined. This is why many of his shrines are healing shrines.

The Sky God, called “Taranis” controls the weather and is responsible for rain. It’s said that when it thunders, it is Taranis rolling his wheel the length of the sky. He is most often thought to be in the mountainous area and is also a helper of the Little God.

The Lord of the Hunt, also called God of Antlers, is a channel between Tribe and Land and also a channel between this world and the Otherworld. Through him, objects can be passed between worlds and treasured resources can be taken from Nature. He is often seen with The Little God but only because they are so similar. The “Good Striker” is usually seen as an older man and carries a mallet that can either give life or give death. He often works with the goddess of the river within his region.

The Divine Child is usually thought of as a young character who is full of energy and growth. His end is at the beginning of every dark half of the year. He married the Flower Maiden and it was this event in his life that seemed to mark the climax of his growth. The Divine Twins were often associated with horses, good luck, and protecting people while they were travelling. One twin was always viewed as being pure while the other always had many defects.

Lastly, the God of Light was seen as a healer. The God of Light was particularly talented in healing vision problems. He was also thought to be closely related to dreams and prophecies.

Goddess Archetypes within the Celtic Deities

Although the gods of the Celtic Deities had many different archetypes, the same is not true for the goddesses. The goddesses only had three archetypes, compared to the eight that the gods had. The goddesses worked with the gods to provide energy and they are also seen as land-goddesses of particular regions. The goddesses were very important within the Celtic Deities because the Celts knew that without the female goddesses, life would not survive. Although the goddesses had little impact on political matters, as the gods did, the gods knew that without the goddesses, there would be no life.

The Sovereignty Goddess was often called Epona and she was closely associated with a horse. This was because the Celts knew that horses played a vital role in their victory at war and so, the Sovereignty Goddess was usually shown on a horse or as a horse herself. Most goddesses can fit within the type of a Sovereignty Goddess or a Land Goddess but she will have different traits that are needed for her region and her situation. A Sovereignty Goddess would be able to lead the minds of rulers with respect to the area. However, this goddess is much different than the Virgin Mother who seems to be able to do the same thing. The Virgin Mother however, can do so on a much larger scale.

The Triple Mother was considered to be one of the most revered Celtic Deities because this goddess represented fertility. She was also very symbolic of agriculture. She is considered to be a nurturer and protector throughout her entire life and the three elements represent the three elements of life. These elements are youth, maturity, and old age. She is often represented as three ears of corn, different fruit, different animals, among a number of other things.

The Goddess of War was a warrior and was comprised of three elements. Those elements are destruction, sexuality, and prophecy. This is also the goddess that is most closely associated with the Sovereignty Goddess. She may appear in many different forms including animals or as a crone or a mother. When she appears as a mother, she is thought to represent the life cycle as being life, death, and rebirth. Because they are comprised of three different elements, these three elements need to be completely in line before any prosperity can come from the Goddess of War.

Download 148.16 Kb.

Share with your friends:
1   2

The database is protected by copyright ©ininet.org 2020
send message

    Main page