Ourania Urania, Eldest of the Moirai (fate)

from blog Elder Mountain

Ourania Urania, Eldest of the Moirai (fate)

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As a woman with an Aquarian Sun, Venus and Chiron all conjunct (in the 3rd house), opposite my (9th house) Uranus who all make a tight T-Square to my North Node, Juniper and Neptune conjunction (in the 12th) – I have had both wicked and blessing fate drop from the Heavens and rise from the Underworld in my life’s journey. One day, I found a little relief in a  misunderstood Illumination in life, when an asteroid #30 called Urania, who is conjunct my Midheaven and two degrees away from my Pluto, conjunct my midheaven, all this has given me a very strong drive as an astrologer, a collective dream walker, a symbolist, sacred artist and teacher, to find the highest octaves of the feminine Uranus within Urania. If Uranus is the Thunder God (what the Chinese call the ‘sound’ of fire), certainly Urania is the Lightening Strike that hits us to the ground with Illumination and Divine Wisdom.  The Aquarian that I am, tells me that she is the water that flows in the Water Bearer’s cup holding.  I have taken some basic findings colliding them together for a collective understanding of where she began, what her various names have been, and where she has lived and gotten lost in the great desert of men. Here we go. . .

Urania is the philosophical Goddess who was demoted to Muse after Religions replaced her with the Virgin Mary, but I don’t really follow those rules anymore about the Goddess of who she is or was, I am far past the divinity of self enlightenment words, and see that who she was as the patron of both Astrology and Astronomy and the Constellations of Heaven is indeed the original Goddess of Celestial Wisdom. She possesses the gifts of Prophecy by reading the stars (Collective Prophecy). Her name derives from the Greek word for ‘Heavenly’. She is usually depicted with in a cloak embroidered with stars, staring at the Heavens. She is the Heavenly Goddess “without” a child in her arms, a more mature in ‘ages’ than Venus and independently associated with Aphrodite. Aphrodite Urania & Aphrodite Pandemos (Venus in Roman) is a double tradition of Aphrodite’s birth, suggested as a basic duality in her character or the existences of two separate goddesses:

UraniaUrania the Sky Goddess, Goddess of Heaven (Celestial Aphrodite) who sprung from the great divine and the Aphrodite called Pandemos (Aphrodite of All the People) or the personal Venus.  Aphrodite Urania has immense ties with the archaic animist and shaman traditions of the wind, rain, and lightening powers. Aphrodite Pandemos is more like the personal Venus we have today, who seems to have been a goddess who inspired beauty, art and peace or concord among the people and also the conflicts in relationship or a threesome in the ways that Libra operates when struggle arises, you, another and the balance of a third person, this is the way most astrologers note the trinity of Venus’ Libra archetype.

Dione (Demeter) was the Titan Goddess of the Oracle of Dodona in Thesprotia, mother of Aphrodite, and her name is simply the feminine form of Zeus (Dios). The three old Prophetesses of the Shrine, are known collectively as the Peleiades, where her priestesses and their names  “the Doves” are named after the sacred Bird of her daughter Aphrodite – who also posssessed a temple within the shrine. Dione was identified with both the Titanis Phoibe and Dione’s Titan Sisters were similarly Oracular:

Urania., Johann Joachim Kandler.18 c Rococo, Meissen. GermanyPhoibe possessed Delphi
Mnemosyne possessed Lebadeia
Themis possessed Delphi and Dodona

She governs over 4 Realms :

The Sky (Heaven) as Aphrodite Ourania (Urania);
The Sea (Creation) Aphrodite Pontia;
The Earth (Incarnation and Reincarnation) Aphrodite Porne;
The Underworld (Death, then Rebirth) Khthonic Aphrodite Androphonos (‘killer of men’)

Her mysteries through mythologies regarding the time between her birth and her arrival at Olympus are not extensive: the classical writers speak only of her love for the Sea-God Nerites and of her arrival at Rhodes, where she was prevented from stopping there by the sons of Poseidon and Amphitrite.Nereus was the eldest son of Pontus (Sea) and Gaia (Earth), a Titan who with Doris fathered the Nereids and Nerites, with whom Nereus lived in the Aegean Sea. In the Iliad the Old Man of the Sea is the father of Nereids, though Nereus is not directly named. He was never more manifestly the Old Man of the Sea than when he was described, like Proteus, as a shapeshifter with the power of prophecy, who would aid heroes such as Heracles who managed to catch him even as he changed shapes.

“Aphrodite struck them with madness, her Father was Zues” from Evelyn B. Harrison she writes:

Hekate and the Moirai (The Night of Enitharmon's Joy), by William Blake, Tate Gallery“Pausanias who was a Greek traveler in the 2nd century CE, lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He saw in the sanctuary of Aphrodite in the Gardens near the Ilissos in Athens, an image of Aphrodite, that was square like a herm, with an inscription saying that “Aphrodite Ourania is the eldest of those called Moirai.” The Moirai (or Moirae) are the Goddesses of Fate who personify the inescapable destiny of human beings. Two statues of Aphrodite Ourania by Pheidias are recorded by Pausanias, one is made of gold and ivory in Elis’ and one is of Parian marble in Athens.

The attribution of that in Elis is more secure, since it is also mentioned by Plutarch as a work of Pheidias. The metallic beauty of the hair in the Naples herm and its resemblance to the hair of the Athena Parthenosas well as to that of an Amazon on her shield suggest a golden rather than a marble original. The Aphrodite Ourania of Elis had one foot on a tortoise. Pheidias was likely to have used it as a deeper symbol of the nature of Aphrodite Ourania. Settis has explored in an extensive monograph the meanings of Ourania as an epithet of Aphrodite and the appropriateness of the Tortoise as a symbol of such an Aphrodite. He concludes that in the time of Pheidias “Ourania” designate Aphrodite both as Goddess of the Heavens and as the Goddess born, according to the Hesiodic legend, from the Sea foam surrounding the severed member of Ouranos.

The three Moirai club Giants Agrios and Thoas to death

Aphrodite was depicted with a background of a dark stone, against which the golden figures of the divinities would have shone like stars. The dark color can have represented Sea and Sky alike. We know from Pausanias that Aphrodite is coming up out of the sea. This is the Hesiodic birth, Aphrodite is certainly Ourania, in the literal meaning of Heaven as well as in the manner of her birth. In attempting to visualize the Pheidian Aphrodite of Elis, scholars have generally started with a marble statue in Berlin, the so-called Brazza Aphrodite, whose raised left foo trequires such a support as the tortoise would have furnished. The style of the drapery of the Brazza Aphrodite suggests that it is an Attic creation of the late 5th century B.C., approximately contemporary with the friezes of the Erechtheion. A comparable pose of Aphrodite with the left knee raised is seen on two classical vases with Aphrodite and one with the Anodos of Persephone. These show the legs partly hidden. On a white-ground pyxis in Ancona, Aphrodite sets one foot on the ground line as if climbing out of a hole. On a red-figured hydria in Syracuse both of Aphrodite’s feet are below the ground line, although her left knee is raised.”

In my own personal Goddess work, along side my work as an Astrologer, a Healer and Dreamer, I see the Sky Goddess & Underworld Goddess as one Goddess of a more pre-historic understandings of woman before seperation of consciousness of the feminnine mysteries were divided into the Goddess of Night (Autumn and Winter) and her sister, the Goddess of Fire (Spring and Summer) in the Slavic and Balkan traditions. Early shamanic cultures of the grandmothers (later called goddess expressed all divination as animals, birds, oceanids, insects etc.) Later grew into a more human centered association with basic life and relationships after the 12th century, and the clues left are the objects and animals with the goddess herself in art, painting and even archeological objects. The pre-dawn (time) of the Goddess as both “Sun Goddess: Spring and Summer”; and “Underworld Goddess; as Autumn and Winter” is the same duality.

Plato, in the Symposium (Banquet), said: “Of the two goddesses, Aphrodite Urania is older, stronger, more intelligent and more universal.” The first inspires a relationship between the  “lover” and the “beloved,” and in an ascent of the objects of love, leads to the love of humanity, much like a buddha would be regarded in the future. The cult of Aphrodite in foreign lands, Herodotus, around the precinct live Phoenicians of Tyre, there is a place called the “Camp of the Tyrians.” In the precinct of Proteus, a temple called The Temple of the Stranger Aphrodite; Temple of Helen, daughter of Tyndarus, because it bears the name of the foreign Aphrodite: for no other of Aphrodite temple is called by that name.

UraniaOurania (Urania) is the Arabian: Al-Uzza

There are no men who respect pledges more than the Arabians and this is how they give them: a man stands between the two pledging parties, and with a sharp stone cuts the palms of their hands, near the thumb; then he takes a piece of wood from the cloak of each and smears with their blood on seven stones that lie between them, meanwhile calling on the Heavenly Aphrodite; After this is done, the one who has given his pledge commends the stranger (or his countryman if the other be one) to his friends, and his friends hold themselves bound to honor the pledge.

They believe in no other goddess except the Heavenly Aphrodite; the first women and men to establish her cultures, were the Assyrians, after the Assyrians the Paphians of Cyprus and the Phoenicians who live at Scallion in Palestine; the Phoenicians taught her worship to the people of Cythera. Among the Athenians the Cults were then established by Aegeus, who thought that he was childless and that his sisters had suffered their misfortune because of the wrath of Heavenly Aphrodite.  The statue still extant is of Parian marble and is the work of Pheidias.  One of the Athenian parishes is that of the Athmoneis, who say that Porphyrion, an earlier king than Actaeus, founded their sanctuary of the Heavenly One.  But the traditions current among the Parishes often differ altogether from those of the city.

“The Most Mighty” worshiped as uncut aniconic stones Al-Uzza, a Sky (Star) Goddess, associated with the planet Aphrodite (Venus) honored by the Koreishites (the tribe in which Mohammed had come from) as one of their highest Goddesses. She was reputed to accept human sacrifices, which in real terms, one made personal sacrifices (not human sacrifices). The Culture of Sheba in the south of Arabia, present-day Yemen also worshipped Al-Uzza and her sanctuary in a valley on the road from Mecca, was comprised of three Acacia Trees in which she was said to descend. Some scholars believe she may even have been the Goddess of Mecca itself.

Al-Uzza is a member of the Nabatean Zodiac and has been called from their writings as the Mistress of Heaven. She seems to have been the premier Goddess worshipped in their capital city of Petra, located in present-day Jordan. Petra was a major stop on the spice roads and was a very wealthy City under Al-Uzza. Tombs or temples are carved out of the living rock and the main way into the city is through a dramatic tunnel-like narrow gorge, nearly a mile long, that suddenly opens on to the city. Latin meaing of “Petra” is from the Greek word πέτρος (petros) meaning “Stone.”

When Theseus had united into one state the many Athenian parishes, he established the cultures of Aphrodite Pandemos (Common) and of Persuasion.  The old statues no longer existed in my time, but those I saw were the work of no inferior artists.  There is also a sanctuary of Earth, Nurse of Youth, and of Demeter Chloe (Green).  You can learn all about their names by conversing with the priests.

One of my apprentices had a visionary dream this week connecting Urania’s Sky and the Sky Goddess to Tamar, who is the Georgian (Balkan) Goddess who doesn’t really even exist in the respectful honoring traditions, even in poetry or song anymore. “In Georgian mythology, Tamar is the Georgian Sky Goddess who controls the weather, like some of the Slavic Goddesses. Tamar enslaved Dilis Varskvlavi, the Morning Star (currently known as Venus) who was master of Winter; whenever he escaped, snow began to fall, but annually she captured him and brought summer back to the lands. She was an eternal one who rode through the Air on a Serpent, saddled and bridled with gold.”

As I was looking for names associated with Urania’s Mirror again, Noctua” was one of the names on the list of association star constellation cards of Urania’s Mirror. These are a set of constellation cards. Urania’s Mirror (32 cards) consists of: “Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniae, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica.” I decided to look and see if there was an asteroid. There was… Noctua sits at 18 degrees Scorpio conjuncting my 18 degree Scorpio Ascendant.

Screen shot 2015-11-04 at 11.00.44 PMGoddess Astghik – Armenia 

In the earliest prehistoric period Astghig, commonlyy referred to as Asya, Astghik, or Astlik, (Armenian: Աստղիկ) had been worshiped as the Armenian Goddess Deity of Fertility (Creation which actually means Creator), later the sky light had been considered her personification making her a Sky Goddess.  In later heathen periods, she became the Goddess of love and demoted to the maiden beauty. In hr, er Astghig Creator aspect, she was origin of the Wind and Water Diety of Storms, Lightening and Springs.  The Vartavar Festival devoted to Astghik that had once been celebrated in mid July but was transformed into the Christian holiday of the Transfiguration of Christ, and is still celebrated by the Armenians. As in pre-Christian times, on the day of this feast, the people release Doves and sprinkle Water on each other with wishes of health and good luck.

She is creator of heaven and earth and the supreme goddess who birthed Aramazd, a father god (the sun being worshiped as his personification) and Anahit that had been worshiped as Great Lady and Mother Deity in more modern times as a Moon Being – worshiped as her personification, she forms the astral trinity in the pantheon of Armenianheathen deities. In the period of Hellenistic influence, Astghik became similar to the Greek Aphrodite which again connects her to Urania and the Mesopotamian Ishtar.

Her name is the diminutive of Armenian աստղ astġ, meaning “Star”, which through Proto-Indo-European *hstḗr is cognate to Sanskrit stṛ, Avestan Star, Pahlavi Star, Persian sitara´, Pashto storai, Latin and Italianstella and astro, French astre, Spanish astro, German stern, English Star. Her principal seat was in Ashtishat (Taron), located to the North from Mush, where her chamber and Temple were. Other temples and places of worship of Astghik had been located in various towns and villages, such as the mountain of Palaty (to the South-West from Lake Van, in Artamet.  The unique monuments of prehistoric Armenia, “višap” vishaps (Arm. višap ‘Serpent, Dragon’) or “Dragon Stones”, spread in many provinces of historical Armenia – Gegharkunik, Aragatsotn, Javakhk, Tayk, etc., and are another manifestation of her worship.

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Ishtar – Babylon

Nina or Ishara was a water deity identified at an early date with the constellation Scorpio. The ideogram for Nina was also pronounced tt-ha, but the form s-ha-na probably arose by adding an Heaven to Esha, deities who had been identified with Stars. Nina is too strong to be rejected, and if Nana be a corruption of Nina the evidence is conclusive. The Sumerians pronounced her name as Nin-a, Lady of  Waters, which survived as Nana, and Esha, Goddess of the Fish house, i. e. thejsea ; after the identification with Scorpio she became Iskana, Heavenly Goddess of the fish, a word which survived as Ishara.

The original Nin-an-na are the variants of Innina, Ninina, Tnnana, Enm m, and simply Nin, Ninanna, Innini, her identification with Aphrodite (Venus.) is similar. Ishtar arose a tendency to regard these names as connoting two deities. In fact a considerable portion of the pantheon was derived by erecting a new name into a separate deity. Prehistoric periods probably had these four names for the sister of Tammuz, viz. Gestin-anjaa, barra, Nina, and Innini. We have seen how Nina and Esharra became severed from this cult. At a time almost prehistoric the Semites. Jnvaded Mesopotamia, bringing with them the Cult of Byblus.

Detail from a painting by Marcantonio Franceschini depicting Urania, ca. 1700Goddess Ceres – Roman

She said, and forth she fared, trailing a cloud behind her, and passed to her Dragons, then soared aloft in her winged chariott. She left behind bold Sunium, and the snug harbour of Piraeus, and the coast that lies on the right hand. From there she came to the Aegean, where she beheld all the Cyclades; she skimmed the wild Ionian and the Icarian Sea; and passing through the cities of Asia she made for the long Hellespont, and pursued aloft a roving course, this way and that.For now she looked down on the incense-gathering Arabs, and now on the Indians: beneath her lay on one side Libya, on the other side Meroe, and the parched land. Now she visited the western Rivers, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Po, and thee, Tiber, future parent of a mighty water. Whither do I stray? ‘Twere endless to tell of the lands over which she wandered.

No spot in the world did Ceres leave un-visited. She wandered also in her Sky, and accosted the Constellations that lie next to the cold Pole (Star) and never dipped in the ocean wave. “Ye Parrhasian Stars, reveal to a wretched mother her daughter Persephone; for ye can know all things, since never do ye plunge under the Waters of the Sea.” So she spoke, and Helice answered her thus: “Night is blameless. Ask of the Sun concerning the ravished Maiden: far and wide he sees the things that are done by day.” Appealed to, the Sun said, “To spare thee vain trouble, she whom thou seekest is wedded to Jove’s brother and rules the third realm.” (Jove is Juniper, the Roman Zues.)

After long moaning to herself she thus addressed the Thunderer, and in her face there were deep lines of sorrow: “If thou dost remember by whom I got Persephone, she ought to have half of thy care. By wandering round the world I have learned naught but the knowledge of the wrong: the ravisher enjoys the reward of his crime. But neither did Persephone deserve a robber husband, nor was it meet that in this fashion we should find a son-in-law. What worse wrong could I have suffered if Gyges had been victorious and I his captive, than now I have sustained while thou art sceptered of heaven? But let him escape unpunished; I’ll put up with it nor ask for vengeance; only let him restore her and repair his former deeds by new.” Jupiter soothed her, and on the plea of love excused the deed.

“He is not a son-in-law,” said he, “to put us to shame: I myself am not a white more noble: my royalty is in the Sky, another owns the Waters, and another void of chaos. But if happly thy mind is set immutably, and thou art resolved to break the bonds of wedlock, once contracted, come let us try to do so, if only she has kept her fast; if not, she will be the wife of her infernal spouse.” The Herald God received his orders and assumed his wings: he flew to Tartarus and returning sooner than he was looked for brought tidings sure of what he had seen. “The ravished Maiden,” said he, “did break her fast on three grains enclosed in the tough rind of a pomegranate.”

Her rueful parent grieved no less than if her daughter had just been reft from her, and it was long before she was herself again, and hardly then. And thus she spoke: “For me, too, heaven is no home; order that I too be admitted to the Taenarian vale.” And she would have done so, if Jupiter had not promised that Persephone should be in heaven for twice three months. Then at last Ceres recovered her looks and her spirits, and set wreaths of corn ears on her hair; and the laggard fields yielded plenteous harvest, and the threshing-floor could hardly hold the high-piled sheaves. White is Ceres’ proper colour; put on white robes at Ceres’ festival; now no one wears dun-coloured wool.

UraniaLouvreMa475Fulgora – Roman Goddess of Lightning

Her names means in Latin “Lightning,” “Flashing,” or “Brightness.” There is not much in the source material on Her. The only mention of Fulgora by name that I could find in classical texts was in Saint Augustine’s City of God, where he quotes the Roman rhetorician (orator) Seneca, from a work presumably lost to us. Augustine, who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries of the common era, was a North African Pagan (a Berber from Algeria, to be precise) who later converted to Christianity (after saying goodbye to his companion of thirteen years, a concubine he calls simply “The One”). He wrote the book mentioned above, whose full title is The City of God Against the Pagans, then in vogue, that the downfall of the Roman Empire was attributable to the rise of the Church; much the same charge has been levelled in modern times (for example in the question, What made the Dark Ages dark? 

The answer to which is: Christianity, with its condemnation of the learning of the ancients) and I can’t help but think the ancient Pagans had a point. Augustine quotes Seneca, who lived a good four centuries earlier, right around the time of the BC/BCE switch. I’ve no idea why the idea that some Goddesses were unmarried in the mythology should be so shocking, nor can I account for Seneca’s sarcasm, but apparently considersbPopulonia, Fulgora, and Rumina not of marriagable material. Oddly enough, both Populonia and Rumina are considered aspects of Juno, who are especially concerned with fertility and motherhood; perhaps he is objecting to the idea of unmarried mothers, I don’t know. Though given that grouping I find myself wondering, probably without reason, if Fulgora likewise might have something to do with Juno; Juno was, after all, one of the special class of Deities Who had the ability to throw thunderbolts.

The lack of mention of Fulgora, or evidence of temples or rituals to Her is a little surprising, given the Roman interest in the phenomenon of lightning, which they considered an especially important portent. Perhaps She is simply lightning personified (though the noun fulgura itself is neutral, not feminine). The Roman fascination with lightning was inherited from the Etruscans, who had books devoted to the practice of haruspicy, or divining the will of the Gods, said to have been invented by Tarkhies (Latin Tages), the Etruscan God of Wisdom who was born from the Earth.

Nowadays haruspices are mostly remembered for predicting the future by the shape of sheep’s entrails (especially the liver); but reading lightning was another of their specialities, and the Etruscan books concerning the art were called the Libri fulgurales, or “books about lightning-omens.” In a more official capacity, the augurs, a college of priests concerned with making sure the state was doing things in line with the will of the Gods, also read the signs, including lightning.

As an omen, lightning was considered an auspicia oblativa, an unsought auspice, meaning one out of the blue and not officially requested through ritual. Lightning and thunder were of a class of omens called ex caelo (“from the heavens”) and were the most important type; and if an augur officially reported thunder or lightning, the comitia (officially assemblies) were not to be held.
The three Moirai (fates)

Lightning was recognized as several different types, which affected the interpretation of the sign: there were for example types considered “punishing”, “ominous,” “decisive,” or “boastful.” Pliny the Elder, who lived in the first century CE (and who died in the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius) says in his Natural History that according to the Etruscans there are nine Gods who have the ability to send lightning, but eleven types of lightning, since Jupiter throws three kinds. (Though he also says that the Romans only recognize two Gods who sent lightning: Jupiter in the daytime, and Summanus or Pluto at night.) We know of at least seven Gods who were thought to throw thunderbolts: Jupiter, Juno, Mulcibar/Vulcan, Minerva, Mars, Saturn, and Summanus/Pluto (though besides Pliny I haven’t found anything linking Summanus and Pluto, so perhaps they are to be considered separately).

In the Etruscan system the sky was divided into four parts, with four smaller subdivisions; lightning seen in the eastern part of the sky was considered lucky or favorable, while that from the northwest quadrant was thought especially terrible and unfortunate. Pliny also says that only lightning that comes without thunder or noise is properly a sign from the Gods. He then makes the astonishing statement that lightning could be conjured from the sky by humans, if the proper rituals were observed; and that he knew of groves and altars set aside for that purpose.

A place that had been struck by lightning was called a bidental, and was considered sacred to Jupiter. It was marked off and made separate, neither to be walked on nor even looked at, and a two-year-old sheep was traditionally sacrificed. A bidental was often given an altar, and a structure called a puteal, or “well-head” (which was usually used for just that, wells or springs) was used to cover the spot. The name is a little mysterious, though: it is derived from bidens “two teeth” and may refer to either the young sheep sacrificed, or to the forked appearance of lightning.

All this Roman fascination with lightning—what it might mean as message from the Gods, and the proper respect and rituals around places it has struck—makes it all the more odd that we have just a single mention of Fulgora. That Fulgora protected Her devotees from lightning is a not unreasonable supposition based on Her name. The practice of burying stone axes thought to represent thunderbolts at Roman sites has been taken as an attempt to prevent lightning strikes. It would make sense that Fulgora had a part in these practices, or was invoked in the sacrifices at a bidental, but we don’t really know.

Roman occupation of Spain's statue of Urania. It was sculpted nearly 200 years after the Dama de ElcheAthene Noctua (Greek counterpart to the Night Skies of Ourania) 

 In the mythology of ancient Greece, Athene was so impressed by the great eyes and solemn appearance of the Owl that, having banished the mischievous crow, she honored the night bird by making her the favorite. Athene’s bird is the Owl, (Athene noctua). This Owl is protected and inhabited the Acropolis in great numbers. It is believed that a Magical “inner light” gave Owls their Night Vision. As the symbol of Athene, the Owl is her protector. If an Owl flew over it means success in battle or victory over any issue.

The word “Noctua” in Latin literally means ‘Night Bird.’ Nocturnalis, from Nocturnus meaning ‘Of the Night,’ from Nox and Noct meaning ‘Night.’ In Constellation Astrology the head of an obsolete modern constellation, Turdus Solitarius, encroaches onto one of the scales of Libra, the one with the alpha star, Zuben Algenubi. Turdus Solitarius, the solitary Thrush was a constellation that was never widely recognized and was replaced by other birds, including Noctua, the Owl and the Hermit Bird (Night Bird). The constellation was located on the end of the tail of Hydra the Water-Snake, just below Libra. Its stars have been incorporated back into Hydra. Manilius says the Scales represent ‘Balancing Night with Day’.

The words ostrich and thrush comes from the same root, ostrich avis + Late Latin struthio, Greek strousthos, turdus and thrush from Greek strousthos. The Egyptian goddess Maat uses her ostrich feather to measure the weight of the soul (karma), in which a person’s soul lies in one and the ostrich feather of the Goddess Maat in the other. In earlier times, Libra is represented not by a balance, but as the Claws of a Scorpion, Scorpius. At first Scorpio’s claws were the scales. The Zuben- prefix in the names of the stars of Libra is from the Arabic word for ‘Claw’. The Romans created the constellation, Chelae, ‘Claws’, a common Roman title for Libra, but as Ian Ridpath (Star Tales) explains the idea of a balance in this area did not originate with the Romans, it is the Sumerians who knew this area as ZIB-BA AN-NA, the Balance of Heaven, 2000 years bce, where the Arabs got the name Zuben. Hence it seems that the Romans revived a constellation that existed before Greek times.

Noctua is the only caelregio with two separated parts with the smaller part being Serpens Cauda, which is one of the two parts of the constellation Serpens. The two parts of Noctua are separated by Tarandus while the two parts of Serpens are separated by Ophiuchus the Serpent-Holder.

More from Andonis KatanosTarandus

Tarandus is named after the Latin word for “Reindeer.” This caelregio can also be called Rangifer since it also means Reindeer in Latin. It is imagined that Reindeer, although winter creature, does share a relationship with Eagle (Aquila). Reindeer wears the shield for protection as worn by Athena, especially from arrows of (Sagitta). In Greek mythology, the Little Owl is messenger of Athene, not Hermes or Mercury, for she is the  Goddess of Wisdom and Nature, where the animals and avian are closer associated with Goddess Cultures. In later years, the Romans appropriated the Owl as a companion for their Goddess of Wisdom, Minerva as they spread the stories once associated with Athene and were retold in the name of Minerva.

The name of the owl in some countries are derived from Minerva, for example is Minervanpöllö in Finland & Minervauggla in Sweden. Noctula and Nottola, which the Italians give to bats, because they appear at night, as the owl. Italian influences: And like the owl… I am like a pelican of the wilderness, I am like an owl of the desert.” Aretino continues: ” ma si come un nottola – (i.e. bat); “owl” in Italian is ” civetta.” Dante uses the word ” vespertiglio ” (which also means bat). In Teutonic myth, its stated as Klag-Mutter – Owl, Woodwife, Owl-Mother, Witch, 1643.

Persephone – Greek

I sing of thee, Night Queen, fervent lover of the darkest lord;Iron Queen, unbending ruler of the dead; Bright Queen, removed from a mother’s shadow; Winter Queen, ethereal, smoke-born maiden; Infernal Queen, keeper of the natural balance; Motherly Queen, defender of the dying and forsaken; Summer Queen, bringer of life and fertile love; Young Queen,champion of the lovelorn; Vengeful Queen, mistress of the fair Eumenides; Lovely Queen, bringer of moonlit magic; Shadow Queen, savior of the broken;C hild Queen, keeper of the earthly fruits; Patient Queen, unmovable in justice and honor; Ghastly Queen, lady of the shades of the dead; Eternal Queen, existing in the shadow-world; Persephone,bringer of light to dusky dark.

Various Sources: Noctura from thaliatook.com, Evelyn B. Harrison, Wiki (major revisions of Wiki); Tammuz and Ishtar : a monograph upon Babylonian religion and theology containing extensive extracts from the Tammuz liturgies and all of the Arbela oracles”; mirrorpalace.wordpress.com; Compilation and revisions by Phoenix and additions by Burnt Stone. 

Images and Paintings: Drawing of Aphrodite Urania by Ed Kwong, Urania in Blue, detail from a painting by Marcantonio Franceschini depicting Urania, ca. 1700, Headless Urania by Andonis Katanos, Roman occupation of Spain’s statue of Urania. It was sculpted nearly 200 years after the Dama de Elche, Hekate and the Moirai – The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy by William Blake at the Tate Gallery, The three Moirai club the two Giants Agrios and Thoas to death, Urania., Johann Joachim Kandler.18 c Rococo, Meissen. Germany