Star Myths—Second Half


Distance in Parsec                 7

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A2

Constellation                a Pisces Australis

Colour                           White

5  Vol 3 p1485 Fomalhaut is associated in Greek legend with the terrifying monster Typhon, who, it was believed, now lies imprisoned under the fuming mass of Mt. Etna in Sicily. In Syrian and Canaanite lands it was honored as the symbol of the sea god or fish-god Dagon, whose temple at Gaza (possibly the Biblical Azzah) was so dramatically destroyed by the Hebrew strongman Samson, as related in the 16th Chapter of the Book of Judges… Incidentally, the identification of Dagon as a sea god or fish-god has been questioned by Isaac Asimov; he suggests that the name does not derive from the Semitic dag (fish) but from dagan or "grain". If so, Dagon may have been an agricultural deity rather than a sea god. Schickard seems to be the originator of the relatively modern legend that Fomalhaut symbolizes the New Testament story of St. Peter and the coin found in the mouth of the fish. Fomalhaut was known to the star-wachers of ancient Persia as one of the four "Royal Stars" of Heaven, the others being Regulus, Aldebaran, and Antares.

6 p57 Legend: This constellation is said to commemorate the transformation of Venus into the shape of a fish on one occasion when bathing.

Influence: Ptolemy gives no separate influence and only describes Fomalhaut, but according to Bayer the constellation is of the nature of Saturn. It is said to have an influence similar to that of Pisces, but in addition, to augment the fortunes.

p165 Notes:  A reddish star in the mouth of the Southern Fish. From Fum al Hut, the Fish's Mouth. It was one of the four Royal Stars of Persia in 3000BC when as the Watcher of the South it marked the winter solstice.

Influence: According to Ptolemy, it is of the nature of Venus and Mercury; and, to Alvidas, of Jupiter in square to Saturn from Pisces and Sagittarius. It is said to be very fortunate and powerful and yet to cause malevolence of sublime scope and character, and change from a material to a spiritual form of expression.

14   p183  Pisces Australis has been called the "Southern Fish" because of its location, being found just south of Capricorn and Aquarius. In early mythology it was known as the parent of the two fishes that form the constellation Pisces. Being a single fish and the parent of the other two, it has no binding as do the Pisces pair.

Pisces Australis is shown in many pictorial maps of the constellations, from ancient to modern times, as a fish drinking the stream flowing from the constellation Aquarius, The Water Pourer. Thus, the father or parent fish of the Pisces pair is thought to be absorbing Aquarian wisdom.

As an archetypal symbol, Pisces Australis may be considered the Great Fish, the higher self, the begetter of the two fishes in Pisces. Considered together, the two constellations portray the triplicity of spirit, soul, body; or Father, Son and Holy Ghost.


Distance in Parsec                           50

Luminosity Class                            Supergiant

Spectral Type                         M2

Constellation                                   b Pegasi

Colour                                    Deep Yellow

p231 Pegasus was the famous winged horse who sprang from the blood that flowed from Medusa's neck when Perseus killed her. Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon at the time, so Pegasus had Poseidon as its father. The popular origin of the name is pege, 'spring of water', and the origins of at least two springs in Greece were attributed to a stamp on the ground of the horse's hoof, the most famous being the Hippocrene or 'horse spring' (hippos, 'horse' and crene, 'well', 'spring') on Mount Helicon. Hesiod, in his Theogony, gives the other well-known 'spring' connection when he says that Pegasus was 'so named from the pegai, the springs of the Ocean' (ie Oceanus). On the other hand the horse's name may be derived in some sense from pegnymi, 'to make firm', 'fix', 'build', this possible referring to the construction of a ship, in view of the name of his 'father'. Philologists point out, however, that the -asos  ending of the name (Pegasos)  shows that the real origin is pre-Greek.

 p321 Pegasus Mythologically he was the son of Neptune and Medusa, sprung by his father's command from the blood of the latter which dropped into the sea after his head had been severed by Perseus; and he was named either from (greek word), the Springs of the Ocean, the place of his birth, or from (greek word), Strong. He was snowy white in colour, and the favorite of the Muses, for he had caused to flow their fountain Pirene on Helicon,—or Hippocrene on the Acrocorinthus,—whence came one of the constellation titles, Fontis, Musarum Inventor. Longfellow prettily reproduced in modern dress this portion of the story, in his Pegasus in Pound, where "this wondrous winged steed with mane of gold," straying into a quiet country village, was put in pound; but, finding his quarters uncomfortable, made his escape, and He seems, however, to have come back to earth again, for he was subsequently caught by Bellerophon at the waters of his fountain, and ridden by him when he slew the Chimaera, helping in the latter's destruction.  By this time classical legend had given him wings, and Bellerophon sought by their aid to ascend to heaven; but Jupiter, incensed by his boldness, caused an insect to sting the steed, which threw his rider… Pegasus then rose alone to his permanent place among the stars, becoming the Thundering Horse of Jove that carried the divine lightning.

Ptolemy mentioned the wings as well recognised in his day; and this has continued till ours, for the sky figure is now known as the Winged Horse,—a recurrence to Etruscan, Euphratean, and Hittite ideas for the wings are clearly represented on a horse's figure on tablets, vases, etc of those countries, where this constellation may have been known in pre-classical times. Indeed, it is said to have been placed in the heavens by the early Aryans to represent Asva, the Sun.

The Greeks called the constellation simply (…), although Aratos added (…) "divine," and Eratosthenes alluded to it as (…), but distinctly asserted that it was without wings, and until after middle classical times it generally was so drawn, although loose plumes at the shoulders occasionally were added. The figure was considered incomplete, a possible reason for this being given under Aries.

p323 Jewish legends made it the mighty Nimrod's Horse; Caesius, one of those of Jeremiah iv,13, that "are swifter than eagles"; other pious people, the Ass on which Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem; but Julius Schiller exalted it into the Archangel Gabriel.

Bochart said that the word is a compound of the Phonecian Pag, or Pega, and Sus, the Bridled Horse, used for the figurehead on a ship, which would account for the constellation being shown with only the head and fore quarters; but others have considered it of Egyptian origin, from Pag, "to cease," and Sus, "a vessel," thus symbolizing the cessation of navigation at the change of the Nile flow. From this, Pegasus seems to have been regarded, in those countries at least, as the sky emblem of a ship.

5   Vol 3 p1368  Pegasus is, of course, the famed Flying Horse of greek mythology, one of the most curious, but also one of the loveliest concepts created by the ancient myth-makers of the Greek world.  In legend he was born from the book of the Medusa, when that monster had been slain by Perseus, and his name, it is thought, comes from the Greek (…) or "Pegae", the "Springs of the Ocean" at the place of his birth.  The word (…) or "strong" has also been suggested as a possible source of the name. After his creation, the Winged Horse made his first landing on the rocky heights above Corinth, where the blow of his hoof caused the famous spring of Peirene to gush forth; the spot was sacred to the Corinthians, and Pegasus was held in special reverence by the inhabitants of the city. A similar tradition credited Pegasus with having produced the Fount of Hippocrene on Mt. Helicon. 

p1369 Pegasus was tamed by Athena or Minerva according to Greek legend, and given to the Muses, in whose service he became the symbol of poetic inspiration; in another tradition he carried the thunder and lightning for Zeus. In another classic tale he became the steed of the Greek hero Bellerophon, Prince of Corinth, and slayer of the fearsome Chimaera, a most unlikely combination of lion, serpent and goat.  Bellerophon tamed the fabulous Flying Horse with the aid of Athena, after spending a night in prayer in her temple, and had many other fabulous adventures with the great horse. Eventually, however, Bellerophon became so bold as to attempt to fly to Olympus itself; the wiser Pegasus refused to attempt the flight and threw his rider to Earth. The tradition which connects Pegasus with the hero Perseus is of more modern origin, and is not supported by the ancient myths.

6   p206 Notes: An irregularly variable deep-yellow star situated on the left leg of Pegasus

Influence: According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars and Mercury; to Simmonite, of Saturn; to other authors, of Saturn and Mercury'; and, to Alvidas, of Neptune in square to Saturn or Mars. It causes extreme misfortune, murder, suicide, and drowning.

p56  Legend: Pegasus was born from the blood of Medusa after Perseus had cut off her head, and was afterwards tamed and ridden by Bellerophon. Being weary of earthly affairs Bellerophon attempted to fly to heaven but fell off, and Pegasus continued his course, entered heaven and took his place among the stars.

Influence: According to Ptolemy the bright stars are like Mars and Mercury. The constellation gives ambition, vanity, intuition, enthusiasm, caprice and bad judgement.

12  p134 Pegasus and Bellerophon

Two of the episodes in this story are taken from the earliest poets. Hesiod in the eighth or ninth century tells about the Chimaera, and Anteia's love and the sad end of Bellerophon are in the Iliad. The rest of the story is told first and best by Pindar in the first half of the fifth century.

In Ephyre, the city later called Corinth, Glaucus was king. He was the son of Sisyphus who in Hades must forever try to roll a stone uphill because he once betrayed a secret of Zeus. Glaucus, too, drew down on himself the displeasure of heaven. He was a great horseman and he fed his horses human flesh to make them fierce in battle. Such monstrous deeds always angered the gods and they served him as he had served others. He was thrown from his chariot and his horses tore him to pieces and devoured him.

In the city a bold and beautiful young man named Bellerophon was generally held to be his son. It was rumored, however, that Bellerophon had a mightier father, Poseidon himself, the Ruler of the Sea, and the youth's surpassing gifts of spirit and body made this account of his birth seem likely. Moreover his mother, Eurynome, although a mortal, had been taught by Athena until in wit and wisdom she was the peer of the gods.  It was only to be expected on all scores that Bellerophon should seem less mortal than divine. Great adventures would call to such a one as he and no peril would ever hold him back. And yet the deed for which he is best known needed no courage at all, no effort, even. Indeed, it proved that

                   What man would swear cannot be done,—

                   Must not be hoped for,—the great Power on high

                   Can give into his hand, in easy mastery

More than anything on earth Bellerophon wanted Pegasus, a marvellous horse which had sprung from the Gorgon's blood when Perseus killed her.

  He was a winged steed, unwearying of flight. Sweeping through air swift as a gale of wind.

Wonders attended him. The spring beloved of poets, Hippocrene, on Helicon, the Muses' mountain, had sprung up where his hoof had struck the earth. Who could catch and tame such a creature? Bellerophon suffered from hopeless longing.

The wise seer of Ephyre (Corinth), Polyidus, to whom he told his desperate desire, advised him to go to Athena's temple and sleep there. The gods often spoke to men in their dreams. So Bellerophon went to the holy place and when he was lying deep in slumber beside the altar he seemed to see the goddess standing before him some golden thing in her hand. She said to him, "Asleep?  Nay, wake, Here is what will charm the steed you covet." He sprang to his feet. No goddess was there, but a marvellous object lay in front of him, a bridle all of gold, such as never had been seen before.  Hopeful at last with it in his hand, he hurried out to the fields to find Pegasus. He caught sight of him,drinking from the far-famed spring of Corinth, Pirene; and he drew gently near. The horse looked at him tranquilly, neither  startled nor afraid, and suffered himself to be bridled without the least trouble. Athena's charm had worked. Bellerophon was master of the glorious creature.

In his full suit of bronze armor he leaped upon his back and put him through his paces, the horse seeming to delight in the sport as much as he himself. Now he was lord of the air, flying wherever he would, envied of all. As matters turned out, Pegasus was not only a joy, but a help in time of need as well, for hard trials lay before Bellerophon. 

In some way, we are not told how except that it was purely through accident, he killed his brother; and he went to Argos where the King, Proteus, purified him. There his trials began and his great deeds as well. Anteia, the wife of Proetus, fell in love with him, and when he turned from her and would have nothing to do with her, in her bitter anger she told her husband that his guest had wronged her and must die. Enraged though he was, Proteus would not kill him. Bellerophon had eaten at his table; he could not bring himself to use violence against him. However, he made a plan which seemed certain to have the same result. He asked the youth to take a letter to the King of Lycia in Asia and Bellerophon easily agreed. Long journeys meant nothing to him on Pegasus' back. The Lycian King received him with antique hospitality and entertained him splendidly for nine days before he asked to see the letter. Then he read that Proetus wanted the young man killed.

He did not care to do so, for the same reason that had made Proetus unwilling: Zeu's well-known hostility to those who broke the bond between host and guest. There could be no objection, however, to sending the stranger on an adventure, him and his winged horse. So he asked him to go and slay the Chimaera, feeling quite assured that he would never come back. The Chimaera was held to be unconquerable. She was a most singular portent, a lion in front, a serpent behind, a goat in between—

                   A fearful creature, great and swift of foot and strong,

                   Whose breath was flame unquenchable

But for Bellerophon riding Pegasus there was no need to come anywhere near the flaming monster. He soared up over her and shot her with this arrows at no risk to himself.

When he went back to Proteus, the latter had to think out other ways of disposing of him. He got him to go on an expedition, against the Solymi, mighty warriors; and then when Bellerophon had succeeded in conquering these, on another against the Amazons, where he did equally well. Finally Proteus was won over by his courage and his good fortune, too; he became friends with him and gave him his daughter to marry.

He lived happily thus for a long time; then he made the gods angry. His eager ambition along with his great success led him to think "thoughts too great for man," the thing of all others the gods objected to. He tried to ride Pegasus up to Olympus. He believed he could take his place there with the immortals. The horse was wiser. He wold not try the flight, and he threw his rider. Thereafter Bellerophon, hated the gods, wandered alone, devouring his own soul and avoiding the paths of men until he died.

Pegasus found shelter in the heavenly stalls of Olympus where the steeds of Zeus were cared for. Of them all he was foremost, as was proved by the extraordinary fact the poets report, that when Zeus wished to use his thunderbolt, it was Pegasus who brought the thunder and lightning to him.

14   p162 Pegasus - The Winged Horse

"Behold!  In my hand is a magic golden bridle," said Athene. "This golden bridle will enable you to approach Pegasus and become its master ..."

"She's gone!"  said Bellerophon. He came to with a start. He had fallen asleep while in meditation at the altar. He then noticed something lying beside him.

"The golden bridle," he whispered under his breath. "She left it for me. I wasn't dreaming, Athene was really here!"

Pegasus, the mere mention of that name brings visions of a powerful, white, winged steed gracefully soaring through the air. And gift of gifts, a striking of hoof upon hard dry rock and a fount of pure, cool water would gush forth. Nor were these ordinary waters. One sip from them was sufficient to inspire one to poetic outpourings. Pegasus created a famous fountain in  this way on Mount Helicon. It was known as the fountain of Hippocrene. The Muses, goddesses of the arts and sciences, loved to dance and sing around this fountain. When they became tired, they would refresh themselves in the fount's enchanted waters to make their skins glow with youthful charm.

Bellerophon, a lover of adventure, upon hearing the soaring tales told about Pegasus, wanted more than anything else to become its master. He continually visited Athene's Temple to worship and pay her homage, hoping thus to attract her aid.

After Athene left the bridle, Bellerophon always carryed it everywhere searching constantly for the sight of Pegasus. Then, one day he found the steed of his dreams drinking at one of its own fountains. Bellerophon held forth the golden bridle for Pegasus to see, and slowly approached. The golden bridle appeared to have an enchanting quality. Pegasus couldn't seem to keep from staring at it. This marvel of a steed even permitted Bellerophon to place the bridle on its head and then allowed him to climb upon its back without offering any resistance. Once mounted upon Pegasus his chest swelled with pride at being the master of so noble a creature.

After learning to control and work with Pegasus, Bellerophon was able to accomplish many mighty deeds. Pegasus instantly knew the intentions of Bellerophon and would fly to their destination. With Pegasus, Bellerophon was able to slay the fire breathing chimera, a beast with the head of a lion, body of a goat and tail of a serpent. Pegasus flew well out of reach of the fiery breath but within arrowshot of the chimera, while Bellerophon dispatched it by shooting arrows down its throat.

Together, they were able to conquer the fierce Solyme warriors and tame the mighty Amazons. In fact, when the warriors saw Bellerophon fly over them mounted on Pegasus, they all fell upon their faces and proclaimed him a mighty god.

The Amazons weren't so easily acceptant when Bellerophon and Pegasus flew above them. They threatened him with their spears if he flew too close. But Pegasus merely flew over to the Amazon leader while Bellerophon lifted her in the air. They then flew her to a nearby river and dropped her unceremoniously in the drink. The Amazons hailed Bellerophon as their new leader.

Such adoration when to Bellerophon's head. He thought himself worthy to fly to Olympus and sit beside the gods. But when he tried to get Pegasus to take him, Pegasus refused. Throwing him ingloriously to earth Pegasus flew to Olympus without him.

Zeus welcomed the winged steed, giving it to Eos, goddess of dawn. The two could often be seen together as they emerged from the ocean, carrying a torch to herald the approaching sun. Later, Zeus honored Pegasus by placing it among the stars.

Archetypal Meanings

Pegasus: Symbol of the illuminating (soaring) higher mind which can reach upward to contact pristine truths. The fountains created by Pegasus represent the gushing forth of clear, pure higher truth, that refreshes and inspires its recipients.

Bellerophon: The aspiring personality which is reaching for higher truths by learning to master the higher mind, Pegasus. That the personality can be susceptible to self deception as to its capabilities is symbolized by attempting to sit beside the gods in Olympus. Personality can show progress but progress is not in a continuous straight line. When Bellerophon overstepped his limits he was thrown back to earth (temporary regression).

Solymi Warriors: Emotional traits, such as angers, fears and the fighting, warring instincts. They also include such emotions as awe and reverence.

Amazons: Higher emotional attributes which rightly control the physical vehicle and oppose one's lower desire nature. But they also tend to oppose the higher aspiring mind and can become warlike, thus needing to be controlled in their turn.

Chimera: A beast with the head of a lion, body of goat, and tail of a serpent. Webster's dictionary defines chimera, "as an impossible or foolish fancy". Thus the chimera symbolizes the traits of an out of control, beastial imagination, which must be symbolically slain so that Bellerophon, as personality, can be in control.

Athene: She may symbolize the soul contacted by personality during meditation

The Golden Bridle: A symbol of harnessing the higher mind by personality. Gold, as a symbol of divinity, represents the channel of divine communication between soul, mind, brain (Athene, Pegasus, Bellerophon).

Eos:  Goddess of the dawn. As spiritual light, she rides pure aspiring mind (Pegasus). Neither as yet possess conscious awareness. The attribute awaits the full awakening of the human soul to unite with Eos and Pegasus. Pegasus will then become transformed into the Unicorn, representing intuition. The resultant will be the full conscious, intuitive soul (ourselves); a miniature shining sun.


Distance in Parsec                 14

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A2 & A0

Constellation                          a Gemini (double, spec. double - sextuple system)

Colour                           White


Distance in Parsec                 11

Luminosity Class                  Red Giant

Spectral Type               K0

Constellation                          b Gemini

Colour                           Yellow

1   p85  Castor and Pollux were, of course, the 'Heavenly Twins', known jointly as the Dioscuri. Castor was thus a son of Tyndareus, king of Sparta, and Leda, and a brother of Helen and Clytemnestra. His name traditionally means 'beaver', which in both Greek and Latin is castor.  But why? It may be an oblique reference to the story in which Nemesis changed into a beaver (or an otter) in order to pursue fish, with the roles then being reversed, this symbolizing the female in pursuit of the male (Nemesis after Zeus) and the converse of this. But this is a ritualistic interpretation, and does not bear directly on Castor, although it is true that in one version of this story he and his brother were the sons of Zeus. Perhaps we can derive his name from cosmeo, 'to arrange', 'adorn' (hence our 'cosmetic'), so that he is 'the adorner'. This would be to give the brothers' names symbolic meanings, so that Castor is the day, whose light 'adorns', and Pollus would be the night. Pursuing this idea, we can even see Castor and Pollux respectively as the sun and the moon, with Castor's name related to aster, 'star' - and Pollux, with his Greek name of Polydeuces, as really 'Polyleuces', that is, having 'much light' (polys, 'much' and leucos, 'light', 'bright')!  That was the theory proposed, somewhat over-ingeniously, by Thomas Keightley, who also resorted to his favorite caio, 'to burn' for a name that is also that of a star. The French philologist Emile Boisacq thought that, his own original explanation being that beavers secrete a pungent, oily substance used in medicine and perfumery, and Castor was a 'noted preserver of women'!  Be all this as it may, modern research into the origins of the Greek language simply suggests that his name means 'one who excels', with the Cas - element being that also found in Nausicaä, and this cas - root meaning 'excel'.  Perhaps we may leave him there.

3   p677 1. "Castor and Pollux, the bright Gemini, were born from Leda's egg." (SD I392)

2. "The legend of Castor and Pollus is concerned with the mortal half of the man, the personality, and the immortal part, the ego or spiritual individual. The personality has nothing in itself to survive and the other half which becomes immortal in its individuality by reason of its fifth principle being called to life by the informing Gods, thus connecting the Monad with this Earth. This is Pollux, while Castor represents the personal, mortal man an animal of not even a superior kind, when unlinked from the divine Individuality." (SDII.130)

                   a. Castor owes his immortality to Pollux.

                   b. Pollux sacrifices himself to Castor." (SDII. 130.)

p54 The Sun was in Gemini when this Approach was consumated by the founding of the Hierarchy upon the Earth. This is one of the great secrets which the Masonic Rituals typify, for the symbol of the sign, Gemini, is the  source of the concept of the two pillars, so familiar to Masons.

p494 1.Gemini—expresses the relation of the pairs of opposites as they swing the man into activity and evoke his mental perception. With the aid of the ruling planets (Mercury and Venus) the mind begins to function and when the esoteric planet comes into expression and transmitting potency "the Messenger and the Angel exchange their understanding". (Venus and the divine Manasaputras are closely connected AAB).p494

SD I p366 Diodorus Siculus states that Osiris was born from an Egg, like Brahma.  From Leda's Egg Apollo and Latona were born, as also Castor and Pollux—the bright Gemini. …

SD II p121  …It is found in the several variants of the allegory of Leda and her two sons Castor and Pollux, which variants have each a special meaning. Thus in Book XI. of the Odyssey, Leda is spoken of as the spouse of Tyndarus, who gave birth by her husband "to two sons of valiant heart" — Castor and Pollux. Jupiter endows them with a marvellous gift and privilege. They are semi-immortal; they live and die, each in turn, and every alternate day; (greek word). As the Tyndarid "to two sons of valiant heart" — Castor and Pollux. Jupiter endows them with a marvellous gift and privilege. They are semi-immortal; they live and die, each in turn, and every alternate day; (greek word). As the Tyndaridae, the twin brothers are an astronomical symbol, and stand for Day and Night; their two wives, Poeve and Hilasira, the daughters of Apollo or the Sun, personifying the Dawn and the Twilight. Again, in the allegory where Zeus is shown as the father of the two heroes—born from the egg to which Leda gives birth—the myth is entirely theogonical … Castor and Pollux are in it no longer the Dioscuri (of Apollodorus III. 10,7); but become the highly significant symbol of the dual man, the Mortal and the Immortal. Not only this, but as will now be seen, they are also the symbol of the Third Race and its transformation from the animal man into a god-man with only an animal body.

Pindar shows Leda uniting herself in the same night to her husband and also to the father of the gods—Zeus. Thus Castor is the son of the Mortal, Pollux the progeny of the Immortal  In the allegory made up for the occasion, it is said that  in a riot of vengeance against the Apherides  Pollux kills Lynceus—"of all mortals he whose sight is the most penetrating"—but Castor is wounded by Idas, "he who sees and knows." Zeus puts and end to the fight by hurling his thunderbolt and killing the last two combatants. Pollux finds his brother dying. In his despair he calls upon Zeus to slay him also. "Thou cans't not die altogether," answers the masters of the gods; "thou are of a divine race." But he gives him the choice: Pollux will either remain immortal, living eternally in Olympus; or, if he would share his brother's fate in all things, he must pass half his existence underground, and the other half in the golden heavenly abodes. This semi-immortality, which is also to be shared by Castor, is accepted by Pollux. And thus the twin brothers live alternately, one during the day, and the other during the night.

Is this a poetical fiction only? An allegory, of those "solar myth" interpretations, higher than which no modern Orientalist seems able to soar? Indeed, it is much more. Here we have an allusion to the "Egg-born." Third Race; the first half of which is mortal, ie., unconscious in its personality, and having nothing within itself to survive; (The Monad is impersonal and a god per se, albeit unconscious on this plane. For, divorced from its third (often called fifth) principle, Manas, which is the horizontal line of the first manifested triangle or trinity, it can have no consciousness or perception of things on this earthly plane. "This highest sees through the eyes of this lowest" in the manifested world; Purusha (Spirit) remains blind without the help of Prakrit (matter) in the material spheres; and so does Atma-Buddhi without Manas.) and the latter half of which becomes immortal in its individuality, by reason of its fifth principle being called to life by the informing gods, and thus connecting the Monad with this Earth. This is Pollux; while Castor represents the personal, mortal man, an animal of not even a superior kind, when unlinked from the divine individuality. "Twins" truly; yet divorced by death forever, unless Pollux, moved by the voice of twinship, bestows on his less favoured mortal brother a share of his own divine nature, thus associating him with his own immortality.

4   p225  In classical days the constellation was often symbolized by two stars over a ship; and having been appointed by Jove as guardians of Rome, they naturally appeared on all the early silver coinage of the republic from about 269BC generally figured as two young men on horseback, with oval caps, surmounted by stars, showing the halves of the egg-shell from which they issued at birth.

p229  This sign's symbol II, has generally been considered the Etrusco-Roman numeral, but Seyffert thinks it a copy of the Spartans' emblem of their Twin Gods carried with them into battle. 

p230 Castor, Ovid's Eques. the Horseman of the Twins, and the mortal one as being the son of Tyndarus, is the well-known name for this star, current for centuries; but in later Greed days it was (…) and Apollo with the astronomer's even through Flamsteed's time.

It will be remembered that till toward the Christian era this name for the god of day was the title of the planet Mercury when morning star, its rapid orbital movement and nearness to the sun preventing its earlier identification with the evening star, which was designated, a now, after the god of thieves and darkness.

6  p154  Castor - Notes:  A binary star, bright white and pale white, situated on the head of the Northern Twin. It represents Castor, the mortal one of the twins, famous for his skill in taming and managing horses. Sometimes called Apollo, and symbolically named "A Ruler yet to Come."

Influence:  According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mercury; to Wilson, Simmonite and Pearce, of Mars, Venus and Saturn; and, to Alvidas, of the Moon, Mars and Uranus. It gives distinction, a keen intellect, success in law and publishing, many travels, fondness for horses, sudden fame and honor but often followed by loss of fortune and disgrace, sickness, trouble and great affliction.

p185  Pollux - Notes : An orange star situated on the head of the Southern Twin. It represents Pollux, son of Jupiter and Leda, the immortal one of the twins, famous for his skill in boxing. Sometimes called Hercules, and symbolically named a Heartless Judge.

Influence:  According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars; and to Alvidas, of the Moon, Mars and Uranus. It gives a subtle, crafty, spirited, brave, audacious, cruel and rash nature, a love of boxing, dignified malevolence, and is connected with poisons.

p45 Legend:  The constellation represents Castor and Pollux, the twin sons of Leda and Jupiter. It has also been suggested that it may represent Apollo and Hercules.

Influence:  Ptolemy makes the following observations: "The stars in the feet of Gemini have an influence similar to that of Mercury, and moderately to that of Venus. The bright stars in the thighs are like Saturn." It is said to cause trouble and disgrace, sickness, loss of fortune, affliction and danger to the knees. By the Kabalists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Qoph and the 19th Tarot Trump "The Sun".

12  p41 …Besides these gods of the earth there was a very famous and very popular pair of brothers, CASTOR and POLLUX (Polydeuces), who in most of the accounts were said to live half of their time on earth and half in heaven.

They were the sons of LEDA, and are usually represented as being gods, the special protectors of sailors,


          Saviours of swift-going ships when the storm winds rage

          Over the ruthless sea

They were also powerful to save in battle. They were especially honored in Rome, where they were worshipped as


          The great Twin Brethren to whom all Dorians pray

But the accounts of them are contradictory. Sometimes Pollux alone is held to be divine, and Castor a mortal who won a kind of half-and-half immortality merely because of his brother's love.

LEDA was the wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta, and the usual story is that she bore two mortal children to him, Castor and Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wife; and to Zeus, who visited her in the form of a swan, two others who were immortal, Pollux and Helen, the heroine of Troy.  Nevertheless, both brothers, Castor and Pollux, were often called "sons of Zeus", indeed, the Greek name they are best known by, the Dioscouri, means "the striplings of Zeus" On the other hand, they were also called "sons of Tyndareus," the Tyndaridae.

They are always represented as living just before the Trojan War, at the same time as Theseus and Jason and Atlanta. They took part in the Calydonian boar-hunt; they went on the Quest of the Golden Fleece; and they rescued Helen when Theseus carried her off. But in all the stories they play an unimportant part except in the account of Castor's death, when Pollux proved his brotherly devotion.

The two went, we are not told why, to the land of some cattle owners, Idas and Lynceus. There, Pindar says, Idas, made angry in some way about his oxen, stabbed and killed Castor  Other writers say the cause of the display was the two daughters of the king of the country, Leucippus. Pollux stabbed Lynceus, and Zeus struck Idas with his thunderbolt. But Castor was dead and Pollux was inconsolable. He prayed to die also, and Zeus in pity allowed him to share his life with his brother, to live:


                   Half of the time beneath the earth and half

                   Within the golden homes of heaven

According to this version the two were never separated again. One day they dwelt in Hades, the next in Olympus, always together.

The late Greek writer Lucian gives another version, in which their dwelling places are heaven and earth, and when Pollux goes to one, Castor goes to the other, so that they are never with each other. In Lucian's little satire, Apollo asks Hermes: "I say, why do we never see Castor and Pollux at the same time?"

"Well," Hermes replies, "they are so fond of each other that when fate decreed one of them must die and only one be immortal, they decided to share immortality between them."

"Not very wise, Hermes. What proper employment can they engage in, that way?  I foretell the future; Aesculapius cures diseases; you are a good messenger—but these two— are they to idle away their whole time?"

"No, surely. They're in Poseidon's service. Their business is to save any ship in distress."

"Ah, now you say something. I'm delighted they're in such a good business."

Two stars were supposed to be theirs: the Gemini, the Twins.

They were always represented as riding splendid snow-white horses, but Homer distinguishes Castor above Pollux for horsemanship  He calls the two

          Castor, tamer of horses, Polydeuces, good as a boxer

14   p212 In the illustration one twin usually holds a spear, the other a stringed instrument. The twins represent the higher and lower self. The lower self is more apt to settle things by force while the higher self prefers diplomatic methods.

The stars located in the heads of the two figures carry the names of the twins. Castor, the mortal twin and Pollux, the immortal twin.

It all began when Castor and Pollux abducted and married the daughters of Leucippus, to whom Idas and Lynceus were betrothed. Actually, Idas and Lynceus weren't in love with the Leucippus daughters, but to avenge the insult they kidnapped Helen, sister of the Dioscuri twins. Helen was just a young child at the time, so they placed her in the care of a matronly friend. Castor and Pollux were the famous Dioscuri twins associated with Gemini. Although born of the same mother, Castor's father was King Tyndareus while the father of Pollux was Zeus. Castor, was therefore, born a mortal but Pollux was immortal. The twins grew up together and came to love each other dearly.

Idas and Lynceus were another set of twins and cousins of the Dioscuri. The two sets of twins seemed to constantly get into arguments and fights.

Things settled down between them when they all joined the crew of the Argo on the famous expedition to retrieve the Golden Fleece. They were able to work harmoniously together all through that long adventure.

The real trouble started when they joined together after the Argo expedition to round up some stray cattle.

"Whew!  That was a harder job than I expected," exclaimed Castor. "But we managed to round up a large herd. Let's divide them up and go home, I need some sleep."

"I've got a great idea," said Idas. He went over to the cattle, selected an animal, slaughtered and quartered it. He then built a fire and started roasting the quarters on spits.

"Now each one of us has a quarter of beef," Idas continued. "The first two of us to finish eating their quarters of meat will get one half of the herd."

As soon as he finished saying this he grabbed a quarter and with immense bites, quickly wolfed it down. Lynceus had meantime grabbed another quarter. As soon as Idas finished his own portion he joined Lynceus to polish off the second quarter of meat, before the Dioscuri twins had even thought the meat was roasted enough to eat. Idas and Lynceus then proceeded to march off with all the cattle, leaving Castor and Pollux standing mouths agape at what had occurred.

"They don't really think we'll let them get away with all the cattle, do they?"  said Castor angrily.

"Calm down, Castor," said Pollux. "Let's have something to eat while we plan our next move carefully."

When Idas and Lynceus were off on a trip a few days later, the Dioscuri found their opportunity. They took all the cattle to their own home.  Idas Lynceus came after the cattle. They were looking for a fight and so were the Dioscuri. Castor and Lynceus were killed in the melee, Idas hurt Pollux but couldn't kill him. Zeus, at that point, killed Idas with a thunderbolt.

Pollux was so grieved over the death of his brother that he asked Zeus to take away  his life.

"I would prefer to be with Castor in Hades," he told Zeus.

"That is not such a good idea, son," said Zeus. "But I can offer you a compromise. I'll grant Castor immortality. You can live one day on earth and the next day in Olympus. Castor will also. But he will always be in Olympus when you are on earth and vice versa.

Pollux accepted in order to gain immortality for Castor. They used their time while on earth as servers. They became widely known for the aid they gave to sailors caught in a storm. For their good deeds, Zeus placed them in the heavens as the Gemini Twins. They could now remain together forever.

Archetypal Meanings

Lynceus:  A symbol of the physical life. (The two sets of twins represent four parts of a personality:  physical, emotional, lower mind and higher mind.) The physical form or life, tends to follow the guidance of the emotions, having no will of its own.

Idas:  A symbol of the emotional life.

Castor:  The mortal twin representing the lower mind of the personality. As the personality begins to focus through mind rather than emotions, the mental life will begin to control the emotions. The emotional life backed by the physical, tends to offer a good deal of resistance to being overshadowed, symbolized by the quarrels between the two sets of twins in the myth.

Pollux:  The immortal twin represents higher mind. The deaths of all but the higher mind can symbolize integration of physical, emotional and lower mental forms.  Higher mind will now be in control

Castor and Pollux Alternating between Earth and Olympus. A symbol of duality. They work together in love and harmony, but not until they are translated together to the stars are they truly synthesized.

19   p64  Gemini - The Field of Labour

Gemini has in it two stars, called by the Greeks, Castor and Pollux, or the Twins. These personify two major groups of stars, the Seven Pleiades, and the Seven Stars of the Great Bear, which are the two constellations, in the north, around which our universe seems to revolve. One star represents each constellation. From the standpoint of esotericism, the great mystery of God incarnate in matter, and the crucifixion of the cosmic Christ upon the cross of matter, is tied up with the relationship (presumed from  most ancient times to exist) between the stars of the Pleiades and those of the Great Bear. These two groups of stars represent God, the macrocosm, whilst in Gemini, Castor and Pollux were regarded as symbols of man, the microcosm. They were also called Apollo and Hercules: Apollo, meaning the Ruler, the Sun God; and Hercules, "the one who comes to labour". They represent, therefore, two aspects of man's nature, the soul and the personality, the spiritual man and the human being through which that spiritual entity is functioning: Christ incarnate in matter, God working through form.

Castor was regarded as mortal and Pollux as immortal. It is an interesting astronomical fact that the star, Castor, is waning in brilliancy and has not the light that it had several hundred years ago; whilst Pollux, the immortal brother, is waxing in brightness and eclipsing his brother, so reminding one of the words of John the Baptist, spoken as he looked at the Christ, "He must increase, but I must decrease". (St John III 30) Thus we have a most significant constellation, because it holds always before the eyes of man the thought of the increasing potency of the spiritual life and the decreasing power of the personal self. The story of man's growth to maturity and the history of the soul's gradually increasing control are told for us in the constellation Gemini.

In the ancient zodiac of Denderah, this sign is called "the place of Him who cometh", and the thought of an emerging spiritual Being is held before us.  It is represented by two figures, the one male, the other female; one,  the positive, spirit aspect, and the other, the negative, matter aspect. The Coptic and the Hebrew names signify "united', and this is the status of Hercules, the aspirant. He is soul and body unified. This was the problem to be wrestled with in the sign Gemini. The at-one-ment of the lower with the higher self, of the mortal and the immortal aspects, is the objective. It was this problem that created the devious and prolonged search that Hercules undertook, for he was at length attentive to the voice of Nereus, the higher self, but sometimes under the illusions and glamour of the lower self.

The duality which is emphasized in Gemini runs through a large number of the mythological stories. We meet the same brothers again in Romulus and Remus, for instance, and in Cain and Abel, one brother dying and the other living. We meet the astrological symbol for Gemini in the two pillars of Masonry, and many believe that the Masonic tradition could, if we had the power to do so, be traced back to that period, ante-dating the Taurian age, when the sun was in Gemini, and to that great cycle in which the Lemurian race, the first strictly human race, came into being; where the mind aspect began to emerge; and the duality of mankind became a fact in nature

The Lemurian race was the third race; and this labour that Hercules symbolically undertook, is the third labour. The search upon which he was engaged was for the soul, and this has ever been the unrecognized search of the human being until the time comes when he knows himself to be Hercules and starts to concentrate upon the search for the golden apples of instruction and wisdom. So we have in the Masonic tradition the search of the human family typified, the search for light, the search for unity, the search for divinity. And so the two pillars, Boaz and Jachin, stand as the emblems of that duality.

In China, Castor and Pollux are spoken of as the two "gods of the door", showing the tremendous power that the god of matter can assume, and also the potency of divinity.

The Three Symbolic Constellations:

The three constellations to be found in connection with the sign are Lepus, the Hare, canis Major and Canis Minor, and in their interrelation and in their association with Hercules, the aspirant, the whole story of the human being is again most strikingly portrayed. In Canis Major we find Sirius, the Dog Star, called in many old books "the leader of the entire heavenly host", for it is ten or twelve times brighter than any other stars of the first magnitude. Sirius has always been associated with great heat, hence we have the phrase of the "dog days" in the middle of the summer, when the heat is supposed to be the greatest. From the standpoint of the occultist, Sirius is of profound significance. "Our God is a consuming fire", and Sirius is the symbol of the universal soul as well as of the individual soul. It is therefore, esoterically considered, the star of initiation. In the language of symbology we are told, there comes a moment when a star blazes forth before the initiate, signifying his realisation of his identity with the universal soul, and this he suddenly glimpses through the medium of his own soul, his own star.

Canis Major is the immortal Hound of Heaven, that chases forever the lesser Dog, the underdog, the man in physical incarnation. …

In the zodiac of Denderah, this star is called Apes, the head. We are told (in the appendix p 1518 of the Companion Bible) that the brightest star in Canis Major is Sirius, the Prince, called in Persian, the Chieftain. There are three other stars in the same constellation: one is called "the announcer, another the "shining one," and the third, "the glorious", all of the phrases emphasizing the magnificence of Canis Major and, esoterically, the wonder and the glory of the higher self.

In Canis Minor, the "underdog, the same writing tells us that the name of the  brightest star signifies, "redeemer", that the next brightest is "the burden bearer" or "the one who bears for others". We have, therefore, in the significance of these two names a portrayal of Hercules, as he works out his own salvation and as he bears the great burden of Atlas and learns the meaning of service.

Lepus, the Hare, associated with these two constellations, contains a star of the most intense crimson colour, almost like a drop of blood. Red is ever the symbol of desire for material things. In the zodiac of Denderah, the name given is Bashtibeki, which means "falling confounded". Aratus, writing about 250 B.C., speaks of Lepus as being "chased eternally", and it is interesting to note that the Hebrew names of some of the stars found in this constellation signify "the enemy of the Coming One", which is the meaning of the name of the brightest star, Arneb; whilst three other stars have names meaning "the mad", the bound", "the deceiver". All these words are characteristics of the lower self chased eternally by the higher self; the human soul pursued by the Hound of Heaven.

As we look at the starry heavens at night and locate Sirius, the Dog Star, the story of our past, present and future is dramatically pictured.  We have the story of our past in Lepus, the Hare, fleet of foot, deceived, ad, bound to the wheel of life, identified with the matter aspect, and ever the enemy of "The Coming Prince". In Canis Minor, we have the story of the aspirant, of our present  lot. Dwelling within us is the inner ruler, the hidden divinity, the redeemer. We go forth conquering and to conquer, but we have to do it as the burdened disciple, bearing for others and serving.  In Canis Major we have portrayed our future and a consummation, glorious beyond all present realisation. Were all religions and all scriptures of the world to be lost, and were there nothing left to us except the starry heavens, the story of the zodiac and the significance of the names of the various stars found in the different constellations, we should be able to retrace the history of man, recover the knowledge of our goal and learn the mode of its achievement.


Distance in Parscec                21

Luminosity Class                  Dwarf

Spectral Type               B7

Constellation                          a Leonis

Colour                           White Yellow

4  p253 On Ninevite cylinders Leo is depicted as in fatal conflict with a bull, typifying the victory of light over darkness; and in Euphratean astronomy it was additionally known as Gisbar-namru-sa-pan, variously translated, but by Bertin as the Shining Disc which precedes Bel; the latter being our Ursa Major, or in some way intimately connected therewith.

Regulus was so called by Copernicus, not after the celebrated consul of the 1st Punic war, as Burritt and others have asserted, but as a diminutive of the earlier Rex, …

p256 So, too, it was the leader of the Four Royal Stars of the ancient Persian monarchy, the Four Guardians of Heaven. Dupuis, referring to this Persian character, said the the four stars marked the cardinal points, assigning Hastorang, as he termed it, to the North; Venant to the South; Tascheter to the East; and Satevis to the West; but did not identify these titles with the individual stars. Flammarion does so, however, with Fomalhaut, Regulus, and Aldeberan for the first three respectively, so that we may consider Satevis as Antares. This same scheme appeared in India, although the authorities are not agreed as to these assignments and identifications; but, as the right ascensions are about six hours apart, they everywhere probably were used to mark the early equinoctial and solstital coloures, four great circles in the sky, or generally the four quarters of the heavens. At the time that these probably were first thought of, Regulus lay very near to the summer solstice, and so indicated the solstitial coloure.

 Vol 2  p1057  The name Regulus is the diminutive form of the Latin Rex, or "king". According to RH Allen the star was known in Arabia as Malikiyy, "the Kingly One", while in ancient Greece it was "The Star of the King".  Pliny calls in Regia or "The Royal One"; in ancient Babylonia it was Sharru or "The King"; to even more ancient Akkadians of Mesopotamia it represented Amil-gal-ur, a legendary "King of the Celestial Sphere" who ruled before the Great Flood. The Hindu title Magha signifies the "Mighty" or the "Great One" while the Persian name Miyan seems to mean "The Central One" or "The Star of the Centre". The Latin Cor Leonis is the equivalent of the later Arabian Al Kalb al Asad, "The Heart of the Royal Lion". …The modern name Regulus, given by Copernicus, seems to have no certain connection with the famous Roman general Regulus, whose heroism so inspired the Romans during the first of the three great struggles with carthage.…

As the brightest star in Leo, Regulus has been almost universally associated in ancient cultures with the concept of royalty and kingly power.… The origin of the zodiacal lion is somewhat obscure though the Greeks identified it as the famous Nemaean Lion who is said to have originated in the Moon, and whose conquest by Hercules constituted one of the Twelve Labors. To the Egyptians, however, Leo was the House of the Sun,

Medieval Christians regarded Leo as a symbol of the Lion's Den of the Book of Daniel; to earlier Hebrews the Lion was the traditional tribal sign of Judah, based on the text of the 49th chapter of Genesis.

6   p48 Legend: this constellation represents the Nemean Lion, originally the Moon, that was slain by Hercules.

Influence: Ptolemy makes the following observations:  Of the stars in Leo, two in the head are like Saturn and partly like Mars. The three in the neck are like Saturn, and in some degree like Mercury …Those in the loins … Saturn and Venus: those in the thighs resemble Venus, and in some degree, Mercury."  It is said that the stars in the neck, back and wing all bring trouble, disgrace and sickness affecting the part of the body ruled by the sign, especially if they happen to be in conjunction with the Moon.  By the Kabalists Leo is associated with the Hebrew letter Kaph and the 11th Tarot Trump "Strength."

6   p194 A triple star, flushed white and ultramarine, situated on the body of the Lion. From Regulus, a Little King, and often called Cor Leonis, the Lion's Heart, and symbolically the Crushing Foot. It was one of the four Royal Stars of the Persians in 3,000BC when, as Watcher of the North, it marked the summer solstice.

Influence:  According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter, but most later authorities liken it to Mars only, while Alvidas states that it is similar to the Sun in good aspect to Uranus  It gives violence, destructiveness, military honor of short duration, with ultimate failure, imprisonment, violent death, success, high and lofty ideals and strength of spirit, and makes its natives magnanimous, grandly liberal, generous, ambitious, fond of power, desirous of command, high-spirited and independent.

See page 233 for magical seal

10   p 51 the "Little King in the Heart of the Lion", called the Royal Star it may convey royal properties, noble mind, frankness, courage. The importance of this fixed star is accentuated by the nearness to the ecliptic.  Its effect is in the best sense that of Jupiter and Mars.

14   p224 Leo, Hercules and the Lion

Regulus located at the heart of the Lion

A large, savage lion was running amuck in the area of Nemea. It was killing and eating any living thing it could find. After a while it grew so bold that it even came into the village, terrorizing all the inhabitants.  Hercules was sent to slay that lion as one of his twelve labours.

Arriving at Nemea, Hercules sought to get information from the village inhabitants as to the lion's whereabouts. No one would open their doors. They were too frightened.

"It's of no use to carry a spear or use arrows," they shouted through the doors. "The hide of that lion is so tough your weapons can't penetrate it."

"Where can I find him," Hercules shouted back, undaunted by their fears.



"We never know," were the answers.

Hercules began to look for lion tracks around the village..   Then he looked for tracks in the forest.  Then he looked in a nearby mountain.


The lion had sighted Hercules and rushed towards him. Hercules shot an arrow. It hit the lion squarely between the eyes but merely bounced off. Throwing aside his bow and quivers he waited to meet the lion with his club. The lion leaped. Hercules stepped aside and struck the lion a telling blow on the shoulder. Picking itself up off the ground, the lion ran away. It had no intention of getting hit again by such a deadly blow.  Hercules followed the lion's tracks up the mountain side. They led to a cave.

"This cave is too narrow to use my club," thought Hercules. "I shall have to strangle the lion with my bare arms." Into the cave he plunged, only to find it empty. The cave had two entrances. As Hercules left the cave by the rear exit, he heard the lion return to the cave through the front opening.

"I'll fix that lion," thought Hercules as he rolled a huge boulder across the rear exit.

"Now Mister Nemean Lion," said Hercules as he prepared to enter the one remaining cave opening, "only one of us will leave this cave alive."  In he went, walking like a Sumi Wrestler preparing to grapple his foe.


The lion charged.  Hercules grabbed the lion by the mane. Then encircling its neck with his muscular arms he choked the huge animal until it was dead.

Hoisting the carcass onto his shoulders, he carried it back to the village. The inhabitants could once more feel safe to leave their homes.

Archetypal Meanings:

The Nemean Lion: A lion often symbolizes a self-centered egotistical personality. In this case the personality has allowed its powerful emotions to run wild and uncontrolled.

Hercules:  He symbolizes both the hero and the conscious self. It is his task to subdue the personality and end its wild uncontrolled, selfish life style.  By blocking the cave opening he symbolizes blocking the display of uncontrolled emotions.  Putting aside his club to face the lion bare handed represents coming to grips with the personality.

19   p103  Leo - The Field of Labour

The sign of Leo is one of the four arms of the fixed cross in the heavens, the cross on which the Cosmic Christ and the individual Christ are ever crucified. Perhaps the word "crucified" would have a true significance if we substituted for it the word "sacrificed", for in the unfoldment of the Christ consciousness in the form, stage by stage, various aspects of the divine nature are seen as being sacrificed.

In Taurus, the symbol of creative force expressing itself through desire, we see the lower aspect of the divine creative force, sexual desire, transmuted into, or sacrificed to, its higher aspect. It had to be raised up into heaven.

In Leo, we see cosmic mind working out in the individual as the lower reasoning mind, and this lower aspect has likewise to be sacrificed and the little mind of man must be subordinated to the universal mind. In Scorpio, which is the third arm of the fixed cross, we find cosmic love or cosmic attraction. There it is shown in its lower aspect, and this we call the great Illusion; and in Scorpio we see the aspirant upon the cross, sacrificing illusion to reality. In Aquarius, we have the light of the universal consciousness irradiating the human being and bringing about the sacrifice of the individual life and its merging in the universal whole. This is the true crucifixion: the sacrifice of the reflection to the reality, of the lower aspect to the higher, and of the individual unit to the great sum total. It was these characteristics that the Christ so marvelously demonstrated.  He showed himself as the Creator. He showed himself as functioning under the influence of the illuminated mind; he personified in himself the love of God, and he announced himself as the Light of the World. The problem before Hercules, therefore, was the problem of the sign; the crucifixion of the lower self and the conquering of individual self-assertion.

Originally the zodiac consisted only of ten constellations and, at some date practically unknown, the two constellations, Leo and Virgo, were one symbol. Perhaps the mystery of the sphinx is connected with this, for in the sphinx we have the lion with a woman's head, Leo with Virgo, the symbol of the lion or the kingly soul, and its relation to the matter or Mother aspect. It may, therefore, signify the two polarities, masculine and feminine, positive and negative.

In this constellation is the exceedingly bright star, which is one of the four royal stars of the heavens. It is called Regulus, the Ruler the Lawgiver, holding in its significance the thought that man can now be a law unto himself, for he has that within him which is the king or the ruler  Hidden in the constellation is also a vivid group of stars, called "the sickle". To the ancient initiates, who saw all the external constellations as personifications of forces and as symbols of an unfolding drama vaster than even they could understand, the constellation conveyed three major thoughts: first, that man was the ruler, the king. God incarnate, an individual son of God; second, the man was governed by law, the law of nature, the law that he makes for himself, and the spiritual law to which he will eventually subordinate himself; third, that the work of an individual is to apply the sickle and to cut out, or cut down, that which hinders the application of the spiritual law and so hinders the flowering forth of the soul.

The constellation Leo has in it ninety-five stars, two of them of the first magnitude. Its Egyptian name, we are told, meant "a pouring out", the Nile giving its fullest irrigation at that season. This has also an interesting esoteric significance for, according to the teaching of the Ageless Wisdom, the human family came into existence through what is technically called "the third outpouring", which was the term given to the coming of a great tide of souls into the animal bodies and, therefore, the formation of the human family composed of individual units.

Another technical term for this third outpouring is "individualisation", becoming an individual with self-awareness,  thus linking it up with the great happenings in the sign, Leo. The ninety-five stars in this constellation also have numerical significance for we have there 9 x 10 = 5.  Nine is the number of initiation, ten is the number of human perfection, five is the number of man, and thus in this grouping of stars we have story of man, of the personality, the initiate and his ultimate spiritual achievement.

The Three Symbolic Constellations

There is an immense constellation called Hydra, the serpent, associated with the sing Leo. We find also Crater, the cup, and Corvus,  the raven. All three sum up in their significance the problem of the man who is seeking initiation. They picture to him distinctly and clearly the work that he has to do. As Leo, the king, the soul, starts upon his work, he realizes that he has the cup of suffering and of experience to drink, the serpent of illusion to overcome, and the bird of prey to eliminate Hydra, the serpent, in the ancient pictures is portrayed as a female serpent. It covers more than a hundred degrees and lies beneath the three constellations, Cancer, Leo and Virgo.

In Scorpio, this serpent of matter or of illusion, with which the soul has identified itself for so long, is finally overcome. It has in it sixty stars, and again we come in touch with a significant number, for six is the number of mind, of the creative work of the universal Mind, and of the six days of creation. In the sixth sign, Virgo, we have the completed form. We are told in the Book of Revelations that the mark of the Beast is 666, and Hydra, the serpent, lies under three constellations and its number 6 is, therefore, three times potent. Ten is the number of completion. Six expresses, therefore, the limitations of the body nature working through form and the utilization of the personality; it symbolizes God in nature, whether cosmically or individually. Hydra, the serpent, represents the matter aspect, as it veils and hides the soul.

The Crater, or the cup, has in it thirteen stars of ordinary magnitude and about ninety small stars, though some books of astronomy say three brilliant stars and ninety small. So we have again the number of matter, or form-taking, and the number of what is called "apostasy", and of the "turning of the back", as Judas Iscariot did, upon the soul or Christ aspect. This cup forms really part of the body of the Hydra, for the stars at the foot of the cup form the body of the Serpent and both constellations claim them. It is the cup that every human being has to drink, full of that which he has distilled out of his experience in matter. It is the cup of obligation in certain of the ancient Masonic rituals, and symbolizes the drinking of that which we have ourselves brewed. In other words, the same truth can be expressed in the words of the Christian Bible, "As a man soweth, so shall he also reap."

Then we have, thirdly, Corvus, the raven, that stands upon Hydra, the serpent, and pecks at it. It has nine stars, again the number of initiation. The Old Testament started with a raven, the New Testament starts with a dove. Experience starts with the bird of matter and ends with the bird of spirit. It is interesting to note that in Aquarius, the consummating sign to Leo, we find Cygnus, the swan, the symbol of the bird of spirit. In The Voice of the Silence  we read: "And then thou cans't repose between the wings of the great bird. Aye, sweet to rest between the wings of that which is not born, nor dies, but is the Aum throughout eternal ages". And in a footnote HPB, referring to the bird or swan, quotes: "Says the Rig-Veda…The syllable A is considered to be the bird Hamsa's right wing, U its left, and its tail…"                                                     (The Chakras by CW Leadbeater)

In the zodiac of Denderah, Leo and the three attendant constellations are pictured as forming one great sign, for the lion is seen treading on the serpent. Corvus, the raven, is perched upon the lion's shoulder, while below is a plumed female figure (again, the symbol of matter) holding out two cups, for there is every the cup which symbolizes the cup of experience, the cup of penalty. The cup is the cup which is offered to the initiate, to which Christ referred in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he pleaded that the cup be taken away from him, but which he ended by drinking.

So Hercules, the aspirant, expressing himself in Leo, visions the great battle that lies ahead of him, knows that his past must work out to fulfillment in the future, knows that before he can climb the mountain in Capricorn he must slay the Hydra, and knows that he must no longer be the raven, but must manifest as Aquila, the eagle of Scorpio, and as Cygnus, the swan, in Aquarius. This he must begin to do in Leo, by demonstrating the power to dare, by facing the terrific struggle that lies ahead of him in the next three signs and by the slaying of the lion of  his own nature (king of beasts) alone and unaided, and so earn the power to overcome the Hydra, in Scorpio.


Distance in Parsec                 13

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A4

Constellation                          b Leonis

Colour                           White

5   Vol 2 p1061 "The Lion's Tail", from the Arabic Al Dhanab al Asad.  Other names are Dafirah and Serpha, apparently from Al Sarfah, the "The Changer" or "Governor of the Weather".  According to RH Allen the Chinese identified it, with several small neighbor stars as Wu Ti Tso, the "Seat of the Five Emperors".  

6   p160 Notes A blue star in the Lion's tail.  From Al Dhanab al Asad, the Tail of the Lion, or, according to Bullinger, the Hudge, or Lord who Cometh.  Influence  According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Saturn and Venus; to Wilson and Pearce, of Saturn, Venus and Mercury; to Simmonite, of Uranus, and, to Alvidas, of Mercury, Uranus and Mars. It gives swift judgment, despair, regrets, public disgrace, misfortune from the elements of nature, and happiness turned to anger, and makes its natives noble, daring, self-controlled, generous and busy with other people's affairs.


Distance in Parsec                 8

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A0

Constellation                          a Lyrae

Colour                           White (13 p11 Alpha Lyrae (Vega) contains much yellow,                                     green, blue and purple)

4  p280 Lyra, the Lyre or Harp anciently represented the fabled instrument invented by Hermes and given to his half-brother Apollo, who in turn transferred it to his son Orpheus, the musician of the Argonauts,…

Ovid mentioned its seven strings as equalling the number of the Pleiades; Longfellow confirming this number in his Occultation of Orion:

Still it has been shown with but six, and a vacant space for the seventh, which Spence, in the Polymetis, referred to the Lost Pleiad.

p282   The association of Lyra's stars with a bird perhaps originated from a conception of the figure current for millenniums in ancient India,—that of an Eagle or Vulture

p283 Its common title two centuries ago was Aquila cadens, or Vultur cadens, the Swooping Vulture, popularly translated the Falling Grype, and figured with upturned head bearing a lyre in its beak. Bartsch's map has the outline of a lyre on the front of an eagle or vulture.

p284 Lyra is on the western edge of the Milky Way, next to Hercules, with the neck of Cygnus on the east, and contains 48 stars according to Argelander, 69 according to Heis  Its location is noted as one of the various regions of concentration of stars with banded spectra, Secchi's 3rd type, showing a stage of development probably in advance of that of our sun.

p285 Sayce identifies Wega, in Babylonian astronomy, with Dilgan, the Messenger of Light, a name also applied to other stars; and Brown writes of it:

          At one time Vega was the Pole-star in Akkadian Tir-anna ("Life of Heaven"),

          and in Assyrian Dayan-same ("Judge of Heaven"), as having the highest seat


The Chinese included it with Epislon  and Zeta in their Chih Neu, the Spinning Damsel, or the Weaving Sister, at one end of the Magpies' Bridge over the Milky Way,—Aquila, their Cow Herdsman, being at the other; but the story, although a popular one not only in China, but also in Korea and Japan, is told with many variations, parts of Cygnus sometimes being introduced.

5  Vol 2 p1137 Vega, sometimes WEGA, the "Falling Eagle" or the "Harp Star" The fifth brightest star in the sky, modern photometric measurements to be slightly fainter than Arcturus. Vega is the brightest of the three stars forming the large "Summer Triangle" consisting of Vega, Deneb, and Altair.

The name is derived from the Arabic Al Nasr al Waki, "The Swooping Eagle"; the alternate forms of Waghi, Vagieh, and Veka also appear on Medieval charts, where the star and its constellation are depicted as an eagle, vulture, or falcon, often shown bearing a harp or lyre in its beak or talons. The Babylonian Dilan, the "Messenger of Light", may be reference to Vega. Pliny's title, usually translated "The Harp Star", is a reference to the legendary 7-stringed lyre of Hermes, later the property of Orpheus, but associated also with a veritable galaxy of gods and heroes including Apollo, Mercury, King Arthur, the Biblical David, and the Greek poet Arion.p1138 Vega plays a prominent part in one of the few star-legends which have come down to us from ancient China, the appealing tale of the "Herd-Boy and the Weaving-Girl". The origin of the story is unknown, though it is mentioned in Shih Ching or "Book of Songs", the ancient anthology  of poetry of the Chou Dynasty of the 6th century BC; the Shih Ching was regarded as a classic in the days of Kung-fu-tze (Confucious) who, according to some scholars, may have had a part in compiling and editing it. This was one of the great classics, incidentally, whose destruction was ordered by the megalomaniac emperor Shih Huang Ti who hoped to be immortalized as the builder of the Great Wall, but who is remembered instead by Chinese scholars as "He who burned the books".

Vega, in the legend is the "Weaving-Girl", while the "Herd-Boy" is Altair and the two stars on either side.  The young lovers, lost in "amorous dalliance", neglected their duties to Heaven, and are now eternally separated by the Celestial River, the impassable barrier of the Milky Way.  In China, however, there was always compassion. Once a year, on the seventh night of the seventh moon, the lovers are allowed to meet, when a bridge of birds temporarily spans the River of Stars.

p1141 From its sharp blue-white glitter, it has often been called by popular writers "The Arc-light of the Sky"; to the author of this book the colour has always seemed distinctly bluer than Sirius. 

p1142 Vega was the Pole Star some 12,000 years ago and will occupy the position again about the year 12,000 AD.

It is toward a spot in the general direction of Vega that the Sun—and the entire Solar System—moves in the depths of space at a velocity of 12 miles per second. This position is known as the "Apex of the Sun's Way", or simply the "Solar Apex". Some idea of the vastness of space may be gained from the fact that it would take the Sun over 450,000 years to reach Vega at this speed, even if it were moving directly toward it.

 p233 See magical seal

p984  a Lyrae  Abhijit Victorious  Symbol, Triangle or Three-cornered nut.  Under its influence the Gods vanquished the Asuras.  It is an asterism belonging to the Vaisya caste and is used only in horary astrology.

p50 Lyra The Lyre Legend:  Mercury found  the body of a tortoise cast up by the Nile, and discovered that by striking the sinews after the flesh was consumed a musical note was obtained. He made a lyre of similar shape, having three strings, and gave it to Orpheus, the son of Calliope, who by its music enchanted the beasts, birds and rocks. After Orpheus was slain by the Thracian women, Jupiter placed the lyre in heaven at the request of Apollo and the Muses. This constellation was often Vultur Cadens, or the Falling Grype by the ancients.

Influence:  According to Ptolemy Lyra is like Venus and Mercury. It is said to give an harmonious, poetical and developed nature, fond of music and apt in science and art, but inclined to theft. By the Kabalists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Daleth and the 4th Tarot Trump "The Emperor."

8   p58 Its magnitude is 0.03 so that it is surpassed by only four stars: Sirius, Canopus, Alpha Centauri and (just) by Arcturus.  It is steely blue in colour, and is the only really brilliant star which is genuinely worthy to be called blue rather than bluish-white).

10   p75 Arabic for "The Falling Eagle", principal star in constellation Lyra; is the brightest fixed star of the Northern sky and has a Venus nature with a blend of Neptune and Mercury. The Babylonians called Vega the "Star of the Queen of Life:. 

14    p138  Lyre, the Harp of Orpheus

Some older sky drawings pictured an eagle carrying the harp. The more common figure shown for the Lyre is a harp standing by itself as shown above. The Lyre is found in the sky between Cygnus to its east and Hercules to the west.

Alpha= Wega, a star so prominent that it has been called the Harp Star

He could still the forests, tame the wild beasts, enchant humans. Even the gods could not resist the magic sounds of his music. How could anyone possess such musical powers. A look at his lineage may make it more understandable.

Orpheus was the son of one of the Muses. All of the Muses were exceptionally gifted in singing and playing the lyre. Some say his father was Apollo, the God of music, the lyre his instrument Others say his father was a Thracian prince. The people of Thrace were the most naturally musical people of all Greece. Either way it should come as no surprise that Orpheus became a master of the lyre and song.

Orpheus, as a young man, joined the crew of the Argo on its quest for the Golden Fleece. His use of rythmic music would keep the men pulling untiringly at their oars for hours.

The Argo had to pass by the enchanted island of the Sirens. These were the same Sirens whose singing drove Odysseus out of his mind with desire.  As soon as the crew of the Argo heard the bewitching singing of the Sirens they turned the ship toward the island as though a magnet were pulling them.

"Come to us," sang the Sirens. "We will teach you of love and perfect happiness. We will satisfy all of your desires."

But Orpheus knew the Sirens would only lead them to be shipwrecked.  Grabbing his lyre he began to play and sing. So moving and powerful was his music that even the Sirens stopped their singing to listen.

Orpheus sang to them of adventure, of sailing to the land where the Sun itself resides. He sang of their quest for the Golden Fleece and of its magic properties. He also sang of the deceptive nature of Sirens and how they lure sailors to their death. The crew turned the boat away from the island, the Argo was saved.

After the Argo returned from its voyage, Orpheus met Eurydice, fell in love and married her. They weren't married very long before Eurydice was bitten by a poisonous snake and died. Orpheus was inconsolable. He loved his wife so dearly that he resolved to travel down to the dark kingdom of Hades. He intended to so enchant Pluto and Persephone  with his music that they would permit Euridice to return to the surface of Earth with him.

He managed to find the tunnel leading to the domain of Hades. Into it he fearlessly plunged. The tunnel led to an underground river where Charon was ferrying souls of the dead to the opposite bank. Charon refused to allow Orpheus into his boat.

"I only ferry the dead, not the living," Charon said. Orpheus began to play his lyre and all resistance vanished. Charon rowed him across the river. On the opposite bank he found Cerberus, the three headed dog, ready to dispute his further passage. The music from his lyre easily put Cerberus to sleep.

As Orpheus proceeded down the pathway he played his enchanting melodies. All the restless and unhappy souls ceased their toil and moanings to be at peace, as they listened to the soothing sounds of the music. Sisyphus sat down on the rock he had been pushing up hill endlessly. Tantalus forgot about his thirst and Ixion's wheel stopped spinning. Finally Orpheus reached the throne room where Pluto and Persephine held court.

"To enter Hades is relatively easy," Pluto told him, "but to find the way out is most difficult."

Continually strumming his lyre, Orpheus now began singing to the king and queen of the underworld. He sang of his lovely wife Eurydice, how good and kind she was. He sang of his loss when she was taken from him while still in her youthful years. In song he asked that Pluto and Persephine grant Eurydice the opportunity to live on the surface of the earth for the few remaining years of a normal life span.

The music was so spellbinding that Persephine was in tears and even Pluto had to wipe his eyes occasionally. When the music paused, Pluto spoke.

"Your wish shall be granted," he said "Eurydice will be allowed to return with you. But there is a condition attached to it. As you return to the earth's surface you are not to look back to see if she is following you. One glance back to see her and she will be whisked back to  Hades".

Eurydice was brought to Orpheus and he proceeded to walk to the surface without looking back, playing his lyre as he went. Just as he exited the cave into the freeing light he turned around to embrace Eurydice. Alas, Eurydice hadn't quite come out of the darkness of the cave yet. She just had time to cry out a goodbye and disappeared back in the depths of Hades. Orpheus was not allowed to re-enter the cave and had to go on without his lovely Eurydice.

To smooth his unhappiness at the loss, Orpheus began to work with Dionysus, promoting the Dionysian Mystery Festivals.* Later, Orpheus switched his loyalty to Apollo and created the Orphic Mysteries.** Dionysus sent his Maenads to slay Orpheus for leaving his teachings. The Maenads, in a frenzy of screaming, broke through the spell of his music to tear Orpheus to pieces. They threw his head into the Hebrus river, where it kept right on singing as it floated away. In memory of this great musician, Zeus placed his lyre among the stars.

Archetypal Meanings:

The Lyre:  An archetypal symbol of the power of sound to inspire and uplift all forms toward the light.

The Sirens: Symbols of desires and glamors which tend to lead one astray (shipwreck).

Eurydice: The mortal personality. It has not learned, as yet, to sustain itself in the light, the plane where the soul resides. When soul/personality infusion takes place, the personality will then be free to move out of the cave of darkness (the underworld) into the light of divinity.

Orpheus: The immortal self, the soul, which can inspire and enchant by awakening the divine nature in all things. Orpheus descending to Hades would symbolize the soul descending to earth for an incarnation. As the soul, he  must only look toward the light (remain detached) in order to help uplift others. To look back toward the personality, still walking in darkness, is to become attached to the form and doesn't allow the form/personality to consciously develop its own awareness.

Persephine:  Goddess of death/rebirth

Haydes:  The underworld, what we today call Hell. This myth might possibly be showing us that Hell is right here, in the physical form. Just look around to see and hear the residence moaning and groaning. Most are doing those futile things the myth symbolically speaks of. They do it over and over again, condemned by themselves. The surface of Earth where Orpheus hopes to bring Eurydice, would then symbolize planes higher than the physical.

Pluto: Lord of the underworld, also known as Hades. The bringer of death to old forms. Death allows the inner spiritual essence to be reborn in more suitable new forms so that further progress can be made.

*The Dionysian Mystery Festivals were a means for uplifting humanity.  The Dionysian festivals taught that even simple people could experience joy as did the gods. Wine was used as a means to uplift so as to experience higher states of being. That many abused wine as a sacrament by becoming drunk was not too different than in modern times when psychedelics were introduced to awaken humanity to the reality of higher states of being. Many have also abused this modern sacrament, but within time, and in all cases, the needed experience for humanity will be learned.

**The Orphic Mysteries introduced the concept that humanity as well as the gods could one day become immortal, by learning to live in the light.  This was too advanced a teaching for all but a very few in that early period. The tearing to pieces of Orpheus symbolized the destruction of the Orphic Mysteries.  His head continuing to sing and enchant, symbolized the teachings continued in a less form-al way (more concealed).


Distance in Parsec                 286

Luminosity Class                  Supergiant

Spectral Type               A2

Constellation                          a Cygnus

Colour                           White

4  p192 When the Romans adopted the title that we now have, our constellation became the mythical swan identified with Cycnus, the son of Mars, or of the Ligurian Sthenelus; or the brother of Phaethon, transformed at the river Padus and transported to the sky. Associated, too, with Leda, the friend of Jupiter and mother of Castor, Pollux, and Helena, it was classed among the Argonautic constellation …

p195 While interesting in many respects, it is especially so in possessing an unusual number of deeply colored stars, Birmingham writing of this:

A space of the heavens including the Milky Way, between Aquila, Lyra and Cygnus, seems so peculiarly favored by red and orange stars that it might not inaptly be called the Red Region, or the Red Region of Cygnus.

7   p159 Deneb Adige Notes A brilliant white star in the tail of the Swan.  From Al Dhanab al Dajajah, the Hen's Tail.

Influence:It is of the nature of Venus and Mercury, and gives an ingenious nature and a clever intellect that is quick at learning.

14   p108 The myth of Cygnus is a continuation of the story of Phaethon. Zeus struck Phaethon dead with a thunderbolt for allowing the Sun Chariot to get out of control. His body was thrown out of the chariot and fell into the Eridanus River.

"My dear, dear friend," cried Cygnus. "Why did you insist on trying to drive the Sun Chariot?  Now you are dead. I must recover your body."

Cygnus, a very faithful friend, had made his way to the Eridanus River in order to recover Phaethon's remains. He began diving down to the river bottom looking here and there but to no avail.

"The river is so wide and long, it's like looking for a needle in a hay stack," he complained.

But Cygnus refused to give up the search. Weeks passed and still he remained beside the river, continually diving down to the river bottom to look for Phaethon's body. Finally, Apollo took pity. He rewarded Cygnus for his persistence by turning him into a swan and placing him in the heavens as the constellation Cygnus.

Another tale of Cygnus involved Orpheus, a son of Apollo, who was known for his enchanting music. After Orpheus lost his beloved Eurydice, he became a teacher of the Dionysian Mysteries. He later left the Dionysian Mysteries in order to promote the teachings of Apollo under the name of the Orphic Mysteries. Dionysus sent his Maenads in a frenzy after Orpheus. When the Dionysian Maenads found him they tore his body to pieces.

Apollo transformed Orpheus into a swan and Zeus placed him among the stars beside his Lyre for the good words which he had done.

Archetypal Meanings:

Cygnus:   A swan. An archetypal symbol of immortality, since swans were said to always fly with the sun - the light. The name Cygnus in mythology implied that swans convoyed a royal soul to the Northern Paradise, the land of the happy people, called the Hyperboreans. Apollo, as the god of the sun, was said to make his annual trip there in convoy with the swans each year when they fly north to their breeding grounds. At that time the swans utter two trumpet like notes as they go. This can be thought of as their "swan song".

Phaethons Friend: As Cygnus, he might be considered the immortal part of self that has become too attached to the earthly form.

Orpheus: A symbol of the immortal self, the soul, as was Phaethon's close friend.

Phaethon: Symbol of the aspiring, inexperienced, youthful personality that won't listen but must experience personally. Soaring into heaven (uncontrolled meditative flight) he wasn't able to manage the intense energies contacted.


Distance in Parsec                 5

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A5

Constellation                          a Aquilae

Colour                           White

4  p56 Dupuis fancifully thought that its name was given when it was near the summer solstice, and that the bird of highest flight was chosen to express the greatest elevation of the sun; and he asserted that the famous three Stymphalian Birds of mythology were represented by Aquila, Cygnus, and Vulture cadens, our Lyra, still located together in the sky; the argument being that these are all paranatellons of Sagittarius, which is the fifth in the line of zodiacal constellations beginning with Leo, the Nemean lion, the object of Hercules' first labor, while the slaying of the birds was the fifth. Appropriately enough, like so much other stellar material, these creatures came from Arabia, migrating thence either to the Insula Martis, or to Lake Stymphalis, where Hercules encountered them.

p58 The Korean version, with more detail, turns the Cowherd into a Prince, and the Spinster into his Bridge, both banished to different parts of the sky by the irate father-in-law, but with the privilege of an annual meeting if they can cross the River. This they accomplish through the friendly aid of the good-natured magpies, who congregate from all parts of the kingdom, during the 7th moon, and on its 7th night form the fluttering bridge across which the couple meet, lovers still, although unmarried. When the day is over they return for another year to their respective places of exile, and the bridge breaks up; the birds scattering to their various homes with bare heads, the feathers having been worn off by the trampling feet of the Prince and his retinue. But as all this happens during the birds' moulting-time, the bare heads are not to be wondered at; no, as it is the rainy season, the attendant showers which, if occurring in the morning, the story-tellers attribute to the tears of the couple in the joy of meeting; or if in the evening, to those of sorrow at parting. Should a magpie anywhere be found loitering around home at this time, it is pursued by the children with well-merited ill-treatment for its selfish indifference to its duty.

6  p135  Notes:  A pale yellow star in the neck of the Eagle. From Al Tair, the Eagle, or according to Bullinger, the Wounding. Sometimes called "The Bird of Jove".

Influence:  Opinions are divided as the exact nature of this star. Ptolemy gives Mars and Jupiter, Wilson, Saturn and Mercury; Simmonite, Uranus; and Alvidas, Uranus and Mercury in sextile to the Sun. It confers a bold, confident, valiant, unyielding, ambitious and liberal nature, great and sudden but ephemeral wealth, and a position of command, makes its natives guilty of bloodshed, and gives danger from reptiles.

p29 Aquila The Eagle

Legend:  Originally called Vulture Volans or the Flying Grype, Aquila represents the Eagle, thought to be Jupiter himself, that carried Ganymedes to heaven.

Influence:  According to Ptolemy the influence of Aquila is similar to that of Mars and Jupiter. It is said to give great imagination, strong passions, indomitable will, a dominating character, influence over others, clairvoyance, a keen penetrating mind and ability for chemical research.  It has always been associated with the sign Scorpio, and by the Kabalists with the Hebrew letter Vau and the 6th Tarot Trump "The Lovers."

14   p17 Aquila, The Eagle

Zeus, the supreme god of the Greeks, was lying helpless, unable to move.  Typhon had captured him, pulled out his tendons and hidden them. The gods and the giants were at war!

Typhon, one of the giants, was so tall that his head reached to the stars, while his wings hid the light of the sun. He had 100 arms, 50 heads and serpentine-like legs. The noise from so many heads was absolutely terrifying and scared all the gods. In their haste to escape his detection they each assumed an animal, bird or fish form and fled. Even Zeus fled in the form of an eagle. But he soon had second thoughts.

"If I am to be the leader of the gods," he told himself, "I must confront and defeat Typhon."

However, Zeus became bewildered by all the frightening noises and 100 arms so that Typhon easily captured him.

Hermes in the form of a crow kept watch over Typhon from a safe distance. When he was certain that the monsterous giant had left the area, Hermes assumed his own form and proceeded to search for Zeus' tendons.  He finally found them locked in a trunk and began replacing them. Zeus could feel his control returning.

"Now it's my turn," said Zeus, very angry after having been so ill treated. "Aquila!" he called  "Aquila! Ah, there you are, my faithful eagle."

Aquila, ever ready to obey the call of his master had immediately appeared.

"Aquila, quickly," said Zeus, "Go to Vulcan and bring back some thunderbolts.  Hurry, I must have them before Typhon returns."

Away flew Aquila on his mission. When Vulcan saw Aquila fly into his workshop he instantly knew what the intelligent eagle had come for.

"Here are two thunderbolts, Aquila," said Vulcan. "I don't think you can carry any more at one time safely. Hurry back to your master." Away flew Aquila, carrying the thunderbolts in his claws.

"Thank you, Aquila," said Zeus as he accepted the thunderbolts. "You're just in time, I can see Typhon returning."

When Typhon came within range, Zeus fired a Thunderbolt at him knocking the huge giant unconscious. Typhon's massive form fell to earth with such force that it caused an earthquake. Zeus then threw Typhon down to Tartarus, in the bowels of the earth. There he lies bound under Mt. Aetna, a prisoner to this day. When Mt  Aetna erupts, Typhon is said to be boiling with rage causing the lava to flow.

Aquila, in mythology, was the eagle messenger for Zeus. Besides carrying thunderbolts he also played an important role in the myth of Ganymede.

"Aquila, my trustworthy messenger," Zeus said one morning. "I have been watching a young man down below, on Earth. See him over there? He is a most beautiful human. Go to him, Aquila, and bring him to Olympus."

It was Ganymede to whom Zeus was referring. Although Ganymede was but a mortal, he was a young man of such beauty and grace that Aquila was sent to carry him to Olympus. There Ganymede became an immortal cup bearer serving ambrosia and nectar, the food of the gods.

                   "Jove for the prince of bird decreed,

                   And carrier of this thunder, too,  the

                   Bird whom golden Ganymede too well for

                   Trust agent knew."


Archetypal meanings:

Aquila:  The eagle messenger of Zeus. He acts as an intermediary between spirit and matter. His attributes are: powerful wings (the ability to soar to great heights), lofty flight (imagination), keen vision (clarity of insight), and the ability to speed directly to his quarry, (the personality). Carrying the thunderbolts can indicate great power of mind and speech when communicating messages from higher sources.

Ganymede: The personality, which has become so beautiful (beauty of spirit) that the higher self, Aquila, is sent to carry him to heaven, symbolizing initiation and immortality. Thereafter the uplifted personality becomes a server of the gods.

Zeus: Archetypal great father, spirit, monad. Spirit (Zeus) and matter (Typhon) at first are in conflict. Matter resists the very much higher energy level of spirit. The two cannot harmonize. When spirit tries to descend to earth it loses its tendons - inability to function on earth.

Zeus' Tendons:  Symbols for the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna (channels in the etheric body), the means by which Zeus, the Father or monad, can communicate or control the physical vehicle. These lines of communication can be disrupted when the energies of the monad first contact the forces of earth, Typhon. Zeus is thus temporarily disconnected from his vehicle.  It requires and intermediary, Hermes, to restore the connection.

Typhon:  Archetypal symbol of uncontrolled elemental earth forces and kundalini power residing within the human physical form. Tartarus, where he is imprisoned, is found in the bowels of the physical body.

Vulcan:  That part of the archetypal soul residing in densest form. He is known as the forger. He is the part of the self that works to forge the earthly portions, physical, emotional and mental, with the divine.

Hermes:  The portion of the soul which acts as intermediary. He helps relate spirit with matter.

Thunderbolts:  The power of spirit as it contacts earth.

TOLIMAN (Rigil Kentaurus)

Distance in Parsec                 1.32

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               G4

Constellation                          a Centauri

Colour                           Yellowish Orange

3   p175

…This earlier sign of the Centaur stood for the evolution and the development of the human soul, with its objectives, its selfishness, its identification with form, its desire and its aspirations.…  The definite goal of the Centaur, which is the satisfaction of desire and animal incentives, becomes in the later stages the goal of initiation, which meets with satisfaction in Capricorn, after the preliminary work has been done in Sagittarius. The keynote of the Centaur is ambition.

4  p148 … This, too, was the special designation of the classical Pholos, son of Silenus and Melia, and the hospitable one of the family, who died in consequence of exercising this virtue toward Hercules. Apollodrus tells us that the latter's gratitude caused this centaur's transformation to the sky as our constellation, with the fitting designation, (greek word), Well-disposed.

Eratosthenes asserted that the stellar figure represented (greek word), a title that, in its transcribed times, and is seen in astronomical works even to Ideler's day. This has appropriately been translated the Handy One, a rendering that well agrees with this Centaur's reputation. He was the son of Chronos and the ocean nymph Philyra, who was changed after his birth into a Linden tree, whence Philyrides occasionally was applied to the constellation; although a variant story made him Phililyrides, the son of Phililyra, the Lyre-loving, from whom he inherited his skill in music. He was imagined as of mild and noble look, very different from the threatening aspect of the centaur Sagittarius; and Saint Clement of Alexandria wrote of him that he first led mortals to righteousness … As the wisest and most just of his generally lawless race he was beloved by Apollo and Diana, and from their teaching became proficient in botany and music, astronomy, divination, and medicine, and instructor of the most noted heroes in Grecian legend.

…The story of Pholos is repeated for Chiron; that, being accidentally wounded by one of the poisoned arrows of this pupil Hercules, the Centaur renounced his immortality on earth in favour of the Titan Prometheus, and was raised to the sky by Jove. 

…Prometheus evidently inherited Chiron;'s astronomical attainments, as well as his immortality, for Aeschylus, who thought him the founder of civilization and "full of the most devoted love for the human race,"…

p152 Bailey's edition of Ulug Beg's catalogue gives this as Rigil Kentaurus, from Al Rijl al Kentaurus, the Centaur's Foot; describing it as on the toe of the right front hoof, and Bayer so illustrated it.

6   p36 Legend:  This constellation probably represents Pholos, son of Silenus and Melia, who was accidentally wounded in the foot by one of Hercules' poisoned arrows. 

According to some accounts it is Chiron, but he is more correctly associated with Sagittarius.

Influence  According to Ptolemy the stars in the human part of the figure are of the nature of Venus and Mercury, and the bright stars in the horse's part of Venus and Jupiter.  It is said to give hard-heartedness, inclination to vengeance, love of arms, strong passions and an energetic nature.  It may also be connected with poison.

p148 Notes A binary star, white and yellowish, on the forefoot of the Centaur.  According to Bullinger it bore the ancient name Toliman, meaning the Heretofore and Hereafter.

Influence:  According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Venus and Jupiter; and to Alvidas of Mars with the Moon and Uranus in Scorpio.  It gives beneficence, friends, refinement and a position of honor

14   p73  Although there has been some confusion it is now generally agreed that the Centaur in this constellation is Phollus and Chiron is represented in the constellation Sagittarius,

"Hail! Hercules," greeted Pholus

"Hail!  Friend Pholus,"  Hercules answered

"What brings you to these parts, Hercules?"

"I'm hunting the Erymanthian Boar and have been tracking him around these hills all day.  It certainly does make a hunter hot and thirsty."

"Well, I'm just the Centaur who can remedy that," said Pholus. "I have some nice cool wine we can refresh ourselves with."

Hercules was performing one of his 12 great Labors which was to capture the Erymanthian Boar.  While chasing the boar around Erymanthus mountain he had come upon his friend Pholus, the Centaur. Pholus was one of the few mentally developed Centaurs well known for his generosity and hospitality. When he invited Hercules to stop at his house for some wine he also invited Chiron, a mutual friend, to join them. Chiron was the wise Centaur and teacher of the children of the gods.

But the wine cask from which they drank did not belong to Pholus alone. It belonged to all the Centaur family. It was a group owned cask of wine that was not supposed to be opened unless the whole group shared it. The three friends proceeded to drink from the cask without regard for this. In their merry making other Centaurs discovered them and began discussing the situation.

"What is going on here?"

"They have opened our wine cask."

"Without consulting our Centaur family."

"We'll call the whole Centaur family together," they decided. "We need to teach them a lesson."

"Come join us, my friends," said Chiron when he spotted the Centaurs standing off to one side.

"Hercules was hot and thirsty so I invited him to cool off," said Pholus.

But the Centaurs were not placated. Their anger increased as other Centaurs joined the group.  Before long they began to fight with Hercules. Hercules grabbing his club beat off the Centaurs, but while caught up in the heat of battle he accidentally wounded his two friends severely. Pholus was wounded fatally and died. Chiron, an immortal, was left in such chronic pain that he preferred death rather than to live in agony.

Archetypal Meanings:

Pholus: The lower mind, friendly but too easily ruled by feelings over thought. (Lower mind is still connected to the animal nature symbolized by the Centaur form). Therefore, the old animal form must die to be replaced by a more suitable one.

The Wine and Cask: A symbol of spirit synthesized with matter. To partake of it with understanding and reverence can inspire wisdom and spiritual truth, which Hercules thirsts for.  But to over indulge can intoxicate the lower nature even though it brings joy and satisfaction to the higher.

Centaurs: They may symbolize emotional attributes of an individual which are not integrated. The fight with Hercules represents internal dissentions between the emotions and mind or personality. Although the unevolved Centaurs are not ready to drink the wine of wisdom, they tend to fear the progress of those that do drink. This is not without some reason, for the aspirant tends to make blunders, as did Hercules, before true wisdom is attained.

Hercules: The aspiring personality, symbolized by his climbing the mountain to capture the Erymanthian Boar, the wild animal nature. Although the personality may commit an occasional blunder, Hercules always tries to make amends for his mistakes. He does not merely castigate himself but tries to learn from them.

Chiron: An immortal Centaur who was so intelligent that he became the teacher of the children of the gods. As such he represents the higher mind attempting to integrate with the lower nature, the Centaur form. Higher mind recognizes the lack of integration between the emotions, lower mind and personality. It is so pained by this that it prefers to withdraw. It then takes its position in the heavens as The Constellation Sagittarius where it points the way for the lower self to follow.


Distance in Parsec                 120

Luminosity Class                  Supergiant

Spectral Type               B1

Constellation                b Centauri

Colour                           Bluish

4   p154 The Chinese call Beta Mah Fuh, the Horse's Belly

This and alpha are the Southern Pointers, ie towards the Southern Cross, often regarded as the Cynosure of the southern hemisphere.

5   Vol 1 p553 Hadar is one of the "Orion type" stars of high temperature and great luminosity.

6   p117 Notes on the right foreleg of the Centaur

Influence:  According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Venus and Jupiter, but Alvidas suggests an influence similar to that of Mars conjunction Mercury.  It gives position, friendship, refinement, morality, health and honor.


Distance in Parsec                 39

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               B5

Constellation                          a Eridani

Colour                           White

4   p216 This allusion to the Nile recalls the ancient wide-spread belief that it and the Euphrates were but different portions of the same stream; and Brown, in his monograph The Eridanus, argues that we should identify the Euphrates with the sky figure  He finds his reasons in the fact that both are frequently alluded to, from very early days to the classical age, as the River, the Euphrates originally being Pura or Purat, the Water, as the Nile was, and even now is, Ioma or Iauma, the Sea; that they resemble each other as long and winding streams with two great branches; that each is connected with a Paradise—Eden and Heaven; that the adjoining constellation seems to be Euphratean in origin; and that each is in some way associated with the Nile, and each with the overthrow of the sun god.

6    p 44 Legend: Eridanus represents the river Padus or Po into which Phaeton fell when slain by Jupiter for having set the world on fire by misguiding the chariot of his father Phoebus.

Influence:  According to Ptolemy all stars with the exception of Achernar are like Saturn. Eridanus gives a love of knowledge and science, much travel and many changes, a position of authority, but danger of accidents, especially at sea and of drowning.

p116 A white star situated at the north of the River.  rom Al Ahir al Nahr, the End of the River.

Influence: In his notes on the stars in Eridanus Ptolemy says "the last bright one is of the same influence as Jupiter." It is symbolized as the Cherub and Sword and gives success in public office, beneficence, and religion.

14   p117 The constellation Eridanus sits in a section of the sky called "the sea" because of all the watery constellations and water figures located in that region, such as Pisces, Cetus, Crater, Hydra and more.

"Haven't you always told me that Helios, the sun, is my father?" Phaethon asked his mother one day.  "My friends only laugh at me when I tell them this. They don't believe me."

"But it's true, my son," said Clymene, Phaethon's mother. "Helios is indeed your father."

"Then how can I get proof to show my friends that it is so?"

"When you are old enough you can make the long journey to whereby your father resides," responded Clymene.  "Let him give you proof to satisfy your needs."

As soon as Phaethon became old enough to leave home he bid his mother goodbye and set out for his fathers' dwelling, which was located at the end of the earth. It took a long time, requiring great persistence and much endurance but Phaethon finally managed to reach the palace where Helios resided.

The palace was a gleaming, brilliant building, all white and radiant in the dark of night. It was so brilliant that it hurt his eyes to look at it. But the lad persisted in making his way inside as soon as his eyes had somewhat adjusted to the light.

Inside the great hall, seated upon a splendid golden throne, sat Helios. The light radiating from him was so intense that Phaethon had to turn his face away. Helios saw Phaethon enter the hall and recognized him as his son. In order to allow Phaethon to approach he dimmed the intensity of his light.

"Hello Phaethon, my son," greeted Helios. "What brought you here? This is not a place for mortals. They cannot endure the intense light, you know."

"I came to find out if it is true," Phaethon said "Mother has always insisted that you are my father."

"Your mother, Clymene, told you correctly, son," responded Helios in a very gently, fatherly manner.  "I am your father."

If you are truly my father," said Phaethon, "would you grant your son one favor?"

"Ask, and it shall be granted," said Helios.  "May the Stix bear witness."

"It has always been my dream to drive your Sun Chariot across the sky for just one day, just like you do every day."

"My son," pleaded Helios," ask for anything but that. You are not strong enough to master the horses that pull my chariot. They are great fiery steeds, with tremendous strength and energy. They will run away with you. No mortal can guide the Sun Chariot. Not even the gods can, not even the great Zeus himself. How can you expect to do so without having a terrible disaster befall you?"

But Phaethon remained insistent. "I came all this way to see if I could get an opportunity to drive your chariot," he said. "That is the one thing I really want to do."

"With great sadness, I must comply with your desire, son," said Helios. "I have sworn on the River Stix, the most solemn oath possible for a god to make. I must grant your desire."

"Since you are determined to drive the Sun Chariot," continued Helios, "and the time is close for making the daily sojourn in the sky, I must give you instructions for making the trip. The names of my four horses are Blaze, Bright, Fire and Flame. They are very spirited animals and will require more focussed strength than you can possibly muster to keep them under control.

"The first part of your journey will begin with an extremely steep ascent. The horses will be working so hard to make this grade that they will be of no trouble to you. But you will have all you can do to hang on so as not to fall out of the chariot. As the grade becomes less steep, the horses will begin to act more energetic. Don't  above all, ever use the whip. They are spirited enough. Rather that you keep the reins tight enough to not let them get off course. Follow the tracks in the sky that I have made during my daily sojourns.

All the while Helios was talking, Phaethon was in a reverie, picturing himself riding through the skies. "What a great adventure this will be," he thought. He hardly heard anything his father said.

Meanwhile the caretakers of the horses had yoked and bridled the steeds to the chariot. They were now standing ready to fling open the gates.  The time had come for Phaethon to be on his way. Helios applied some special ungent to Phaethon so that he could withstand the intense light. Then he placed his crown of sunlight on Phaethon's head. Phaethon jumped into the Sun Chariot, grabbed the reins, the gates were open wide and off he went.

The horses began the slow laborious climb of the steep ascent. The going was almost straight up. As Phaethon hung on to the car he looked about him full of excitement. The earth was falling away beneath him and the heavens were coming closer.

"How breathtaking this is," he thought. "My father was unduly worried. Everything will be just fine."

Now the way was becoming less steep. The horses were gaining their breath back and soon were starting to pull the car faster. Phaethon tried to hold them steady but the horses hardly paid attention.

Suddenly they veered off course. Phaethon tried to get them to turn back but they didn't respond. Then it happened!

The horses pulled the chariot too close to the Scorpio in the Sky. When it felt the sun's burning heat it reached a claw towards them and ... Snap!

The claw missed them but it caused the horses to shy. Away they ran flinging the chariot from side to side as they went. Phaethon could do nothing but hang on and dropped the reins in the excitement. Then the horses ran too close to the Serpent in the sky. When it started to get burned it his-s-s-s-ed at them and threatened to strike. This caused the horses to veer towards the earth.

They came so close to earth that they melted all the snow capped mountain tops. Then they set a forest on fire, scorched some valleys and the smaller rivers began to boil. Mother Earth looked up in distress and called to Zeus.

"Help!" she called. "Do something! Save me from destruction!"

Zeus, upon hearing Mother Earth calling, looked down from Olympus to see "what on Earth was happening". He found the world belching smoke and flames. Seeing the source of the problem he reached for a thunderbolt and struck Phaethon, knocking him out of the chariot. Phaethon fell into the Eridanus River dead. The terrorized horses lit out for home as fast as they could go.

Zeus placed the Eridanus river in the heavens to commemorate the event.

Archetypal Meanings:

Rivers: They can be looked at as archetypal symbols of the evolution of the soul. From their separative minute beginnings as streams, to their gradual deepening in life's experiences as they join forces with other streams, they eventually become one with the great ocean of all life. Phaethon falling into the Eridanus might symbolize the return of the life essence to its source after the form is dead.

Phaethon: The youthful personality, more ruled by emotions than by reason. Such a personality may lose control of its steeds (physical, etheric, emotional and mental vehicles) by attempting to climb to spiritual heights, too quickly.

Helios The Father:  The symbol of the spirit/monad. Before one can make contact safely with the monad, one must be soul infused and free from all desires.

The Sun Chariot: As a vehicle of light it can represent the soul form or housing, controlled by helios, the spirit/monad  The Father knew that personality cannot control the soul form until it is not only soul infused but also unified with the monad, the Father. But he allows personality the opportunity to learn from experience.

18   p73 The stars in this constellation form the figure of a river with a human skull on its bank. We have called the stellar river Yami, the great daughter of the Sun-God. The heavenly Yami is supposed to take its rise from the celestial Brahma-Putra ie. a portion of the Milky Way adjoining Brahma Mandala, the Constellation Auriga, and to fall to it again.

The star 1 of Yami is called Achernar in the West. We have translated the name of the star Achernar (Sem. Akhir-al-Nahr  = end of the river).

The stars …of the constellation Yami …are in the shape of a human head. The stellar Head,' we believe, represents the head of Paethon (the shining one), cut off by Zeus on the banks of the Eridanus.

Visva-rupa, literally 'the most beautiful in the world' the Indian analogue of the Greek Paethon, was subdued by Indra and killed by Trita (Heavenly Light); and we have accordingly 'the Stellar Head,' Vipra Munda.


Distance in Parsec                 14

Luminosity Class                  Red(?) Giant

Spectral Type               G5

Constellation                          a Aurigae

Colour                           Yellow

4   p86 Amalthea came from the name of the Cretan goat, the nurse of Jupiter and mother of the Haedi, which she put aside to accommodate her foster-child… But, according to an earlier version, the nurse was the nymph Amalthea, who, with her sister Melissa, fed the infant god with goat's milk and honey on Mount Ida, the nymph Aige being sometimes substituted for one or both of the foregoing; or Adrasta, with her sister Ida, all daughters of the Cretan king Melisseus. Others said that the star represented the  Goat's horn broken off in play by the infant Jove and transferred to the heavens as Cornucopiae, the Horn of Plenty, a title recalled by the modern Lithuanian Food-Bearer.

p87 The early Arabs called it Al Rakib, the Driver; for, lying far to the north, it was prominent in the evening sky before other stars became visible, and so apparently watching over them; and the synonymous Al Hadi of the Pleiades, as, on the parallel of Arabia, it rose with that cluster. Wetzstein, the biblical critic often quoted by Delitzsch, explains this last term as "the singer riding before the procession, who cheers the camels by the sound of hadwa, and thereby urges them on," the Pleaides here being regarded as a troop of camels. An early Arab poet alluded to this Hadi as overseer of the Meisir game, sitting behind the players, the other stars.

p88 In India it also was sacred as Brahma Ridaya, the Heart of Brahma; and Hewitt considers Capella, or Arcturus, the Aryaman, or Airyaman, of the Rig Veda.

6   p151  Notes: A white star situated on the body of the Goat in the arms of Auriga. The name means honor of the nurse who reared Jupiter upon the milk of the goat.

Influence:  According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars and Mercury; and, to Alvidas, of Mercury and the Moon. It gives honor, wealth, eminence, renown, a public position of trust and eminent friends, and makes its natives careful, timorous, inquisitive, very fond of knowledge and particularly of novelties.

p31 Legend: - Auriga represents Erichthonius, son of Vulcan and King of Athens, who was the first to devise a chariot, drawn by four horses, which  he used in order to conceal his greatly deformed feet. = The goat and kids depicted in the constellation figure commemorate the goat upon whose milk Jupiter was reared, together with her offspring.

Influence:  According to Ptolemy the bright stars are like Mars and Mercury. The constellation is said to give self-confidence, interest in social and educational problems, and happiness, but danger of great vicissitudes. The native is fond of country life and may be a teacher or have the upbringing of young people. By the Kabalists Auriga is associated with the Hebrew letter Samech and the 15th Tarot Trump "The Devil".

14   p42 Auriga, The Charioteer

Athene brought a beautiful gold inlaid chest to Pandrosos, Aglauros and Herse, the daughters of Cecrops.

"Guard this chest carefully, but under no circumstances you may open it." Athene told them. But hardly had she disappeared when ...

"Do let's open the chest," said Aglauros.

"But Athene specifically said not to," said Pandrosos.

"I can't bear to not have a tiny peek inside," said Herse.

"If we just take a teensy peek and quickly close the lid again," suggested Aglauros, "it will certainly do no harm and no one will ever know."

They agreed, just a teensy quick peek. So they gathered round the chest and just barely cracked it open so that enough light would expose the contents ...

With a frightened shriek Aglauros began running away as fast as she could. She so frightened Pandrosos and Herse that they began to scream and run after Aglauros. The three sisters ran screaming to the top of the Acropolis and leaped to their death. Athene had driven them mad for disobeying her.

What the sisters had seen in the chest, was an infant babe with serpent coils all around its body and neck. That babe was Erichthonius. His legs were serpent like, although his head and body were human.

He was the offspring of Gaea, Mother Earth and Hephaestus, god of the forge. When Gaea gave birth to Erichthonius she asked Athene to raise him to adulthood. Athene put Erichthonius in a chest and placed the three sisters in charge of it. After the three sisters had failed to obey her, Athene took personal charge of Erichthonius, lovingly raising him herself. It was said that he was housed in her breast plate or shield which was called the Aegis.

When Erichthonius reached adulthood he became a legendary ruler of Athens. Because walking was difficult for him he invented the chariot drawn by four horses. As a kind understanding king, Athens prospered under his rule. For this reason Zeus later placed him among the stars as Auriga The Charioteer.

The constellation Auriga was identified as a Charioteer far back in history long before the Greek Myths.  In most cases the chariot was omitted leaving the driver holding the reins in one hand while a goat with two kids were held in the free arm. This is the same figure we see in our skies today,


                             "Near the bent Bull, a Seat the Driver claims,

                             Whose skill conferr'd his Honor and his Names.

                             His Art great Jove admir'd when he first drove

                             His rattling Carr, and fix't the Youth above."


Archetypal Meanings:

Athene: The archetypal oversoul or solar angel watching over and nurturing the infant form until it becomes adult enough to care for itself. The infant is customarily entrusted to the three sisters to be raised. But Erichthonius was too experienced (an older soul) to be handled by lower forces. Hence, the Oversoul undertook the task.

The Three Sisters: Herse, Aglauros and Pandrosos are the physical, emotional and mental forces or vehicles. They are responsible for control of the physical form/vehicle until the soul is ready to take charge. The strong spiritual radiation contacted by the sisters when they opened the box was so overpowering that it frightened them to death. (A symbolic death signifying that the higher self has taken charge.)

Ericthonius:  The soul infused personality who can rightly direct his vehicles, the four horses. His deformed feet or serpentine legs represent spiritual powers and wisdom brought to earth, which he uses in co-ordination with the Chariot (physical vehicle).

The Four Horses: The new etheric, emotional, mental and personality vehicles. They replace the old form, the three sisters.  Horses symbolize that the vehicles are now controlled by Erichthonius.

The Chariot:  The physical vehicle for the soul while on earth.

Gaea:  Mother Earth, who contributes physical form to the child

Hephaestus: Also known as Vulcan  He represents the Spiritual Father, who upon his forge hammers and moulds spiritual life and form together.

The Goat and Kids:  A part of the constellation, The Charioteer. They are held in the charioteer's arm, demonstrating that Auriga is a protector of the less evolved.


Distance in Parsec                 80

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               B1

Constellation                          a Crucis

Colour                           White

p 411 Influence: Crux is said to give perseverance, but many burdens, trials and responsibilities, together with much suffering and many hardships.

p116 Acrux Notes  the brightest star in the Southern Cross. It is triple.

Influence: Acrux is of the nature of Jupiter. It gives religious beneficence, ceremonial, justice, magic and mystery, and is frequently prominent in the horoscopes of astrologers and occultists.

18   p185 Trisanku Mandala The constellation Crux was invented by Royer in 1679 AD. In India or rather to the Hindus the constellation as known from long before. The Sun as the upholder of Truth (Sk. Ritam) or the Law of the Universe, is called Satya-dharma and Ritavan in the Vedas, and Satyavrata and Satyavan in the Puranas.  He was not born to enter the heavens, but was destined to be born and die in the Antariksha or the mid-region between earth and heavens.

The Sun-God has three Padas lit. stations, one at the rising hill, one at mid-heaven and the third at the setting hill.

These three stations are naturally regarded as the Sun's three posts or pegs (Sk. Sanku) ie resting places.

From this fact the solar hero came to be represented as King Trisanky or the 'three-stationed'.

Then again the Sun goes up to (1) the Northern Solstice in the Deva-bhaga, but cannot rise higher and he has to retrace his steps southwards and crossing (2) the Equinox he goes down to (3) the Southern Solstice in the Asurabhaga, but no further.

This astronomical phenomenon gave rise to the Pauranik story of King Satyvrata, surnamed Trisanku (a). King Satyavrata, says Valmiki, was the son of King Prithu of the Solar race. He committed three sins which turned in Sankus, and he could not therefore enter the heavens.

From his three Sankus, the king came to be known as Trisanku, and he asked his family priest Brahmarshi Vasishtha to perform a yajna for his translation to heaven. Vasishtha refused to officiate in the yajna of a king guilty of three sins. The king went over to Rishi Visvamitra, who commenced the yajna, but the gods did not accept the offerings. Visvamitra made a gift of his own righteousness to the king and advised him to go to heaven. The King began to ascend to the heavens  On his nearing "the vernal equinox" (= the gate of heaven) below the star Agni about B.C. 4250, Indra ordered him to go down and the king began to fall headlong earthwards, calling upon his priest newly elected, to protect him. This enraged the Rishi who enjoined him to say, and created another heaven in the south for the king's residence with a counter set of Dhruvas (Pole-stars), Saptarshis (the seven Rishis), and other constellations, Nakshatras and stars, and was about to create a second Indra to reign over the heaven created by himself, when a concordant was effected between the antagonistic parties.

The Asurabhaga or the Southern Heaven with its constellations, Nakshatras, stars and circle of Dhrwa-taras created by Visvamitra the Pauranik brother of the Avestic Angra Mainyu (a) was recognised as part of heaven itself, and Trisanku was allowed to say there as a Deva in his falling posture (b) with the Maharishi Vasishtha (c) below him. Orion with its three belt-stars, represents King Trisanku with his three sins entering heaven, half of his body being above and half below the celestial Equator.…

And the holy sage Ramanuja Svami (A.D. 1128) explains the passage, observing that the constellation lies in the South with the star Vasishtha, the priest of the solar race, in it.


3    p269 Here again, in relation to our solar system, do we find another great triangle of energies, of which the focal points on our Earth are the seven Spirits before the Throne. With this triangle we shall later deal; I simply  want to to refer to it here:

1.       The seven Spirits responsive to the seven sacred planets.  They are:

          a.  Expressions of divine life upon the Earth.

          b.  Focal points for the Lords of the seven rays.

          c.  Rulers of the seven planes of consciousness and manifestation.

          d.  Representatives because responsive to

2.       The seven Rishis of the Great Bear Who are:

          a.  Expressions of the life of the One About whom Naught May Be Said.

          b.  The positive focal points for the seven major cosmic energies.

          c.  Rulers of the seven Creative Hierarchies.

          d.  Related as positive poles to

3.       The seven Sisters or the seven Pleiades who:

          a.  Are the expressions of the dualism of manifestation in their relation to the

               seven Rishis.

          b.  Provide the negative pole to the positive aspect of the seven Rishis.

          c.  Fuse with the positive energies of the Great Bear and, unitedly, work through

               seven of the zodiacal signs.

3   p415-417

Lying behind all the many interlocking triangles in our solar system and conditioning them to a very large extent (though today more potentially than expressively) are three energies coming from three major constellations. They are the emanations from the Great Bear, from the Pleiades and from Sirius.  It might be pointed out that:

1. The energies coming from the Great Bear are related to the will or purpose of the solar Logos and are to this great being what he monad is to man. This is a deep mystery and one which even the highest initiate cannot yet grasp.  Its seven-fold unified energies pass through Shamballa.

2. The energies coming from the sun, Sirius, are related to the love-wisdom aspect or to the attractive power of the solar Logos, to the soul of that Great Being. This cosmic soul energy is related to the Hierarchy.  you have been told that the great White Lodge on Sirius finds its reflection and a mode of spiritual service and outlet in the great White Lodge of our planet, the Hierarchy.

3. The energies coming from the Pleiades, an aggregation of seven energies, are connected with active intelligence aspect of logoic expression, and influence the form side of all manifestation.  They focus primarily through Humanity.  …


From these three cosmic planes (embracing the sacred personality of the Logoi, solar and planetary) come the united energies of the three constellations which control and energies our solar system: The Great Bear, the Pleiades and Sirius; these work through the medium of the seven rays and these in turn express themselves through the twelve constellations which form the great zodiacal wheel. The Lords or ruling Powers of these twelve sources of light and life "step down" the potency of these three major energies so that our solar Logos can absorb them; they "tune out" those aspects of these three Potencies which are not suited to our systemic life at this point in the evolutionary process, just as the Hierarchy upon our little planet tunes out or steps down the energies from Shamballa. These three major energies in a mysterious manner express themselves through the seven rays just as  all triplicities subdivide into septenates, yet preserve their identity. These seven energies, emanating from the major three and transmitted via the twelve constellations, are embodied in the seven sacred planets and are represented on our Earth by the seven Spirits before the throne of God (the symbol of synthesis). This tremendous inter-relation is embodied in one great process of Transmission. Reception. Absorption. Relation and Living Activity. The method is one of Invocation and Evocation. In these two sentences, you have one of the most important clues to the whole evolutionary process; the key to the mystery of time and space, and the solution of all problems. But the factor which is of major importance is that the whole matter is an expression of focussed Will.


p655 - References in the Secret Doctrine and A Treatise on Cosmic Fire

1. "The seven Rishis are the Regents of the seven stars of the Great Bear, and, therefore, of the same nature as the Angels of the Planets or the seven great planetary Spirits." (SD ii 332)

2. "It is the seven Rishis who mark the time and the duration of events in our septenary life cycle.  They are as mysterious as their supposed wives, the Pleiades." (SD ii 579)

3. "The first 'seven stars' are not planetary. They are the leading stars of seven constellations which turn around with the Great Bear …"(SDiii 195)

4. "In Egypt, the Great Bear was the constellation … called the Mother of the Revolutions, and the Dragon with seven heads was assigned to Saturn, who was called the Dragon of Life." (SD iii195)

5. "In the Book of Enoch, the Great Bear is called Leviathan." (SD iii195)

(Websters Encyclopedic Dictionary, a Library of Knowledge - Leviathan: [Hebrew a term which etymologically seems to mean a long jointed monster.]  An aquatic animal described in the book of Job, ch xli; a fabulous sea monster of immense size.  )

(Websters Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language

1. Bible. a sea monster, possibly  the crocodile. 


3. anything of immense size and power, as a huge, ocean going ship )


6. "Our solar system with the Pleiades and one of the stars of the Great Bear form a cosmic triangle or an aggregation of three centres in the Body of the One about Whom Naught may be Said… The seven stars of the Great Bear correspond to the seven head centres of this Great Entity." (Cosmic Fire, 182)

7. "Vibrations (energies) come to our solar system from the seven Rishis of the Great Bear and primarily from those two who are the Prototypes of the seventh and fifth Rays or planetary Logoi." (Cosmic Fire 553)

8. "Cosmic Avatars 'represent embodied force from Sirius, and from that one of the seven stars of the Great Bear which is ensouled by the Prototype of the Lord of the third major Ray, the third planetary Logos." (Cosmic Fire 723)

9. "Cosmic evil from the standpoint of our planet consists in the relation between that spiritual, intelligent Unit or Rishi of the Superior Constellation—the informing Life of the one of the seven stars of the Great Bear and our planetary prototype and one of the forces of the Pleiades … In this relation, at present lacking perfect adjustment lies hid the mystery of cosmic evil. … When the heavenly triangle is duly equilabrated and the force circulates freely through one of the stars of the Great Bear, the Pleiad involved  and the planetary scheme concerned, then cosmic evil will be negated and a relative perfection achieved.  (Cosmic Fire, 990)

10. "Great waves of energy sweep cyclically through the entire solar system from the seven stars of the Great Bear. The strength of these vibrations depends upon the closeness of the connection and the accuracy of the alignment between any particular Heavenly Man and His Prototype." (CF 1052)

4   p422  "The legend of Kallisto, the beloved of Zeus and mother of Arkas, has nothing to do with the original meaning of the stars. On the contrary, Kallisto was supposed to have been changed into the Arktos or Greater Bear because she was the mother of Arkas, that is to say, of the Arcadian or bear race, and her name, or that of her son, reminded the Greeks of their long established name of the northern constellation.

The long tail of the Bear, a queer appendage to a comparatively tailless animal, is thus accounted for by old Thomas Hood in his didactic style:


I marvel why (seeing she hath the forme of a beare) her tail should be so long.


Imagine that Jupiter, fearing to come too night unto her teeth, layde holde on her tayle, and thereby drewe her up into the heaven; so that shee of herself being very weightie, and the distance from the earth to the heavens very great, there was great likelihood that her taile must strech.  Other reason know I none.

p424 The Century Dictionary  has a theory as to the origin of the idea of a Bear for these seven stars, doubtless from its editor, Professor Whitney, that seems plausible,—at all events, scholarly. It is that their Sanskrit designation, Riksha, signifies, in two different genders, "a Bear," and "a Star," "Bright", or "to shine,"—hence a title, the Seven Shiners,—so that it would appear to have come, by some confusion of sound, of the two words among a people not familiar with the animal. Later on Riksha was confounded with the word Rishi, and so connected with the Seven Sages, or Poets, of India; afterwards with the Seven Wise Men of Greece, the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, the Seven Champions of Christendom, etc; while the Seven Stars of early authors, as often used for Ursa Major as for Pleiades, certainly is much more appropriate to the Ursine figure than to the Taurine. 

p425 A group of seven stars is often shown on the cylinders fro Babylonia, Lajard's Culte de Mithra giving many instances of this, although the reference may have been to the Pleiades; while it is Sayce's suggestion that perhaps "the god seven," so frequently mentioned in the inscriptions, is connected with Ursa Major.

6  p65 Legend: Callisto, daughter of Lycaon, king of Arcadia, of whom Jupiter was enamoured, became a follower of Diana on account of her love of hunting. Jupiter sought Callisto by assuming the form of Diana, and Juno who discovered the intrigue turned Callisto into a bear.  Angry that the bear was placed in heaven, Juno requested her brother Neptune never to let those stars set within his kingdom, and for this reason they are always above the horizon in Europe. To account for the length of the bear's tail, it is said that Jupiter, fearing her teeth, lifted her by the tail, which became stretched because of her weight and the distance from earth to heaven.

Influence:  According to Ptolemy, Ursa Major is like Mars. It is said to give a quiet prudent, suspicious, mistrustful, self-controlled, patient nature, but an uneasy spirit and great anger and revengefulness when roused. By the Kabalists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Zain and the 7th Tarot Trump "The Chariot."

14   p192  "Are you aware that I demand absolute faithfullness, purity and virginity of my followers?"

"Yes, Artemis, responded Callisto. "I promise to follow your rules, obey your commands and faithfully serve as needed."

Artemis, satisfied with the responses, accepted Callisto as one of her attendant nymphs. Callisto soon became a favorite of the goddess, ever ready to please. When Artemis hunted the wild beasts by the light of the moon, or gathered the fruit of the forests by the golden light of the sun, Callisto was always to be found in close attendance.

One day Zeus spied Callisto cavorting in the woods with Artemis and her other nymphs.

"Callisto is the most beautiful nymph I have seen in a long whole," he said. "I shall keep an eye on her."

A little while later Zeus decided it was time to make an approach. Knowing how devoted Callisto was to Artemis, Zeus disguised himself as Artemis and appeared before Callisto. Thinking he was Artemis, Callisto accepted his embraces. By the time she realised it was Zeus, it was too late. Zeus mated with her, consequently she became pregnant.

"You are with child." Artemis knew immediately of the change which had taken place in Callisto. "You are no longer one of my nymphs," she told Callisto.

Dismissed as an Artemis nymph Callisto didn't know what to do. It was difficult to have to make her own decisions. She had given all thought and attention to Artemis for so long. But these thoughts were soon left behind her, she had a child on the way to think about.

After Callisto gave birth to a son, she felt that her experience with Zeus was worthwhile after all. "Now that I have Arcas, my son, I can see a whole new phase of life opening up for me," she thought.

Meanwhile, high in Olympus, Hera was watching Callisto.

"I'll teach that woman to consort with my husband," she said and suddenly appeared before Callisto.

"I allow no one to make love with Zeus and come away free," declared Hera in thundering tones. With that she made some magical gestures, intoned some powerful sounds and disappeared.

Callisto was so shocked by the experience, that she fell into a deep sleep. Upon awakening she felt strange.

"Help!" she cried out. Her arms and legs had become furry, ending in huge paws, and her body was all ... "Oh no! I've turned into a bear."

Yes, Hera had turned Callisto into a bear so that her feminine charms would no longer entice Zeus.  Callisto was now forced to roam the forests alone, running from hunters when she had previously been the hunter.

One day, Callisto accidentally came upon a hunter. "That's my son, Arcas!" she exclaimed. "He's grown up." But all the sound that Arcas heard was ..."G-r-r-r-o-w-l."

She rushed to Arcas, wanting to hold him in her arms. But Arcas didn't see his mother, he only saw a bear attacking. Up went his spear to defend himself.

Fortunately, Zeus was aware of what was happening and placed both Callisto and Arcas in the heavens as the constellations Ursa Major and Bootes, to keep them from harming each other.

Archetypal Meanings:

Artemis: The huntress, the part of self ever hunting for the pure, spiritual essence within. Once this essence is contacted, the Artemis archetype has played out its role (sends Callisto away). Artemis represents a dual symbol, she also hunts for and slays the wild beasts (unrefined animal attributes) to make way for more refined ones.

Callisto: The unawakened virgin spirit or the unconscious mystical devotee. She can represent the part of self that is divine but knows it not. Becoming conscious of her spiritual essence is symbolized by mating with Zeus, the spiritual Father/monad.

Callisto as Bear:  The transformation undergone from unconscious mystic to conscious recognition of one's spiritual essence. The sudden contact with monadic power (Zeus/Hera) can be a great shock to the physical body/brain/emotions/lower mind. This is what the conscious self must "bear", until this immense new energy can be assimilated.

Zeus/Hera:  Archetypal Father/Mother or monad. Conscious contact with this spiritual essence makes one responsible as bear-er of Gods will, according to the degree of conscious awakening that has taken place. Being forced to wander in the forests (of people) alone, symbolizes the aloneness experienced by the disciple who has no one to share understandings with because so very few can understand what has been experienced.

Arcas  Callisto's offspring:  Callisto, having become the divine self, the soul, Arcas might represent the incarnated personality.

18   p160 (Note Great Bear is called "Saptarshi) - the constellation of the seven sages

p161 The seven solar rays, says the Rishi Yaska, are the Sapta Rishayah.  Each of them "had a local habitation and a name" and the seven shining stars of the northern sky represent them. They were deified and collectively called Pitarah, the Fathers. The Brahma Siddhanta edited by Rishi Sakala, gives the positions occupied by each of the seven Rishis and Arundhati (Alcor ). We have accordingly designated the 8 stars as described above.  They are the seven Gods (rays) born of Aditi (Boundless Infinitude )

And Aditi placed them in heaven and cast away Martanda, the Sun.

In the Avesta, the seven Rishis re-appear as the seven Amesha spentas,  one of whom-Ahura-Mazda  afterwards became the leader, and Mithra (the Sun), the Light of Heaven, was associated with them as a chief god.

As Mazdaism struggled on towards unity, Ahura-mazda became the supreme creator, and other six gods became his subjects and creatures.

But Mithra Ahura, invoked as an indivisible unity, reminds one that the creator was formerly a brother to his creatures" (Darmesteter).

They are the sages with thousand eyes, and born of fervour, and living in fervour, they protect the Sun.

"And in recognition of their patronage, the setting Sun lowers is flag at their rising and looks up to them with a reverential bow."

"Like a dark steed adorned with pearl, the Fathers decorated heaven with constellations;

They set the light in day and in night the Darkness."

                                                                                                Prof. Griffith

                   They created the five elements

                   They form one body

                   As a constellation they form a collective body

                   And the seven stars are known as the 'Chitra Sikhandi'.

                   They had one wife-Arundhati, 'the Evening'.

                   They are the seven bright sparks of fire

                   They are the seven Pea-hens

                   They are the seven pea-cocks

p165 Cf When Rhea was about to give birth to Zeus, she retired to Kretan-Lyktos and hid the infant in a cave where young Zeus (=Lat. Jupiter=SK Dyauspitar) was nurtured by two bears, viz. the Great Bear and the Little Bear.

Cf. "Aige" (the star Brahma-hridaya) "was assisted in nurturing Zeus by her sister Helike (the twister=the Rishis), (Hyginus). Aige was changed into the Goat star Aiz, Helike into the Bear which twists around the Pole."

                                                                                      R. Brown I. 221

p166 Brahma  and the Rishis  guard the Pole-star and twist around him in token thereof

Cf The tails of the Bears guard 'the Atlantean Pole (Euripides).

The Rishis worshipped Skanda (Def: Literally Skandha means 'aggregate' or bundle'.  Philosophically the Skandhas are the groups of manifested attributes of character, such as bodily form, sensations, perceptions, and physical, mental and moral tendencies, which together form the finite parts of any being. The Skandhas therefore create those causal vibrations which attract the Reincarnating Ego back to Earth-life; and as the Ego returns from the higher worlds it gathers up its Skandhas or 'impulse seeds' and they are awakened once more into activity and build the new personality of the Reincarnating Ego. 20  p38 Sanskrit Keys to the Wisdom Religion - Judith Tyberg  )

Cf "The Bear keeps a watch on Orion."

The stellar Pea-cock represents one of the phases of Indra-Satakratu, king of the Heavens.

We read in the Rv.X109 4. that the Saptarshis are the 'Gods of old", and they are called the "Fathers" in Rv X 131 6. They live in Yama's home, where they rejoice in his company and in fact Yama, the divine judge is their regent.

The dead go to them and they punish men for their sins, as councillors of king Yama. Cf "It" (the Great Bear), says Brown, "was particularly connected with Mul-il, Lord of the Under-world and Night-World, and in this respect was called Wul-mo-sarru (the Lord-of-the-voice-of-the-firmament). In W.A. I. II. XLVIII, 56, Margidda itself is described as "Lord of the Ghost-World" (Ar. Belu-Zakki-mati), which practically makes it a nocturnal manifestation of Mul-il."

As to the female aspect of the constellation, Brown says:

"Kallisto the mother of Arkas is turned into a Bear and then made into the stars called the Great Bear. Kallisto is only Artemis Kalliste, the Semetic Reine Mere. The beautiful (Kalliste) Phoenician goddess is at once Virgin and mother. Kallisto-Kalliste, the beautiful mother goddess is like Rhea connected with the Bear and also with the Semetic East; and Ursa Major = Kallisto (the beautiful constellation).

The same idea of Ursa Matronalis and the same connection between the Bear and the Semetic goddess, appears in the well-known ritual of Artemis Braunonia. The Bear then is the nurturing fostering creature remarkable in itself."

The reader knows that below the nurturing fostering bear, lies the stellar Lion, and above her the snake Takshaka (Draco). And the great divine foster-mother Jagat-Dhatri lit., the Nurse of the Universe, sits in her serene majesty upon a Lion, with a snake upon her left shoulder, called the Nagopavita lit. the sacred thread made of a serpent.

It is a great mistake to suppose that such an incongruous symbolism can be the result of any free-thinking.

p168 (b) The star 17 of Saptarshi (zeta Ursa Majoris), a double star and a binary system with a period of 60 years, situated just over Phalguni  alias Arjuni Nakhatra, represents the famous Chakra, literally the wheel, through which the Lakshya the target, the Fish's eye, had to be shot. The hero of the Mahabharata had to pierce this target as a price set down by Drupada lit. the world tree, for the marriage of his daughter Draupadi.

The reader knows how Sandhya, lit. the evening, the daughter of Brahma and the sister of Saptarshis, had to abandon her body, the exquisite charms of which, had captivated her father and brothers; and how she afterwards assumed a new form under the title of Arundhati, lit. the evening and married Vasishtha.

In consideration of the legendary tales handed down to us from the archaic period, it is very necessary to bear in mind the simple astronomical facts which underlie them.

The Pole-star is the lord of the starry host and he is also the lord of the evening. Brahma as the presiding deity of Abhijit, the earliest known Pole-star, was necessarily the lover of the evening. When Vasishtha, one of the seven sages occupied the Polar throne, she had to become his consort.

The seven sages, the creators of the world as the progenitors of all living beings, are called the Fathers; while their father Brahma is titled Pitamaha the grandfather.


Distance in Parsec                 23.6

Luminosity Class                  Red Giant

Spectral Type               K0

Constellation                          a Ursa Majoris

Colour                           Yellow

One of the two pointers

4   p437 The Chinese know it as Tien Choo, Heaven's Pivot, …


Distance in Parsec                 23.6

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A1

Constellation                          b  Ursa Majoris

Colour                           White

2nd of the two pointers

5   Vol 3  p1951 from the Arabian Al Marakk, the "Loin of the Bear"; the star was known to the Greeks as Helice or Helike, from the city of Callisto in Arcadia. RH Allen states that it appears as a celestial sphere or Armillary sphere in Chinese charts, with the title Tien Seuen; the Hindu name Pulaha honored  one of the legendary sages or rishis. 

10   p49 This star has a Mars nature. … Is credited with increasing the power of the native to get on in life.


Distance in Parsec                 24.39

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A0

Constellation                          g Ursa Majoris

Colour                           Topaz - Yellow

10   p53 Corresponds to Mars, with added touch of Uranus and Neptune. 

MEGREZ (Kaffa)

Distance in Parsec                 23.6

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A3

Constellation                          d Ursa Majoris

Colour                           Pale Yellow

4   p439 In China it was Kwan and Tien Kuen, Heavenly Authority. With the Hindus it may be been Atri, one of their Seven Rishis, and the Vishnu-Dharma said that it ruled the other stars of the Bear.


Distance in Parsec                 23.81

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A0

Constellation                          e Ursa Majoris

Colour                           Brilliant White


Distance in Parsec                 23.81

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A2

Constellation                          z Ursa Majoris

Colour                           Brilliant White

10   p 54 - it is Mars-like and of a destructive kind


Distance in Parsec                 26.32

Luminosity Class                  Main Sequence

Spectral Type               A1

Constellation                          80 Ursa Majoris

Colour                           Pale Emerald

4   p1955 The name itself, according to Admiral Smyth, is supposed to have been derived from Al Jaun or Al-jat, a "courser" or "rider" though the name Suha, "The Lost One" or "The Forgotten One" was also in popular use among the Arabians. The two stars now form the pair often called "The Horse and Rider"… The Arabian writer Al Firuzabadi, in the 14th Century, however, refers to it as Al Sadak, "The Test", or "The Riddle"…

p445 This little fellow was also familiarly termed Suha [the Forgotten, Lost, or Neglected One, because noticeably only by a sharp eye]…"people tested their eyesight by this star."

p446 Although the statement has been made that Alcor was not known to the Greeks, there is an old story that it was the Lost Pleiad Electra, which had wandered here from her companions and became (greek word), the Fox,…

…In Lower Germany, Dumke; and in Holstein, Hans Dumken, Hans the Thumbin,—the legend being that Hans, a wagoner, having given the Saviour a lift when weary, was offered the kingdom of heaven for a reward; but as he said that he would rather drive from east to west through all eternity, his wish was granted, and here he sits on the highest of the horses of his heavenly team.

10   p55 (Arabic for "black horse) … Mizar portends a Mars nature … It is thought of as being connected with fires of catastrophic extend and mass calamities. (In personal charts, artistic emanations can also be attributed to Mizar.  Mozart had Mizar conjunct ASC. )


Distance in Parsec                 50

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B3

Constellation                          h Ursa Majoris

Colour                           Brilliant White

5   Vol 3 p1956 … The Governor of the Daughters of the Bier,  sometimes rendered "The Leader of the Daughters of the Mourners".… The Chinese Yao Kwang, according to RH Allen, is translated "A Revolving Light".

10   p57 The last star in the Great Bear, meaning "hired mourners". If the influence of Benetnash is exercised, an influence of a Mars-Uranus-Saturn nature is present. Experience has shown that many human lives are to be mourned.


1   p38 Alcyone is a name shared by more than one character. The best known is probably the Alcyone who was the daughter of Aeolus, king of Thessaly, and Enarete (or maybe Aegiale). She was the wife of Ceyx, and the two were so happy that they presumptuously called themselves 'Zeus' and 'Hera', for which sacrilege they were turned into birds - Ceys into a gannet and Alcyone into a king fisher, for which the Greek is alcyone (compare the English word 'halcyon'). According to another story, however, Ceyx was drowned at sea while going in search of an oracle, and Alcyone, overcome by grief, later found his body washed up on the seashore.  Taking pity on them, the gods turned both of them into kingfishers.  Kingfishers nest every winter, and to enable them to do this Aeolus, commander of the winds, sends calm weather; sailors called such weather the 'halcyon days'— hence the English expression. However, the 'kingfisher' explanation is not the only one for the name. Also proposed have been 'sea-dog', from hals, 'sea' and cyon, 'dog', 'bitch' and (predictably) 'strength', 'might', from alce, perhaps in the meaning 'defence'  Another well-known Alcyone was the daughter of Atlas and Pleoine, and the name was also one of the by-names of Cleopatra, the daughter of Idas and Marpessa and the wife of Meleager.

p67 Asterope, often called Sterope, was the daughter of Atlas and Pleione, and so one of the Pleiades.  She was the mother of Oenomaus by Ares (or according to another account, his wife).  Her name means 'star-face', from aster  'star' and ops, 'face'—or alternatively 'starry eyes', since ops also means 'eye'.  A 'star' name is of course very fitting for one of the Pleiades.

p122 Electra was the name of three women: the daughter of Atlas and Pleione, the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, and (probably the best known) the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra who is the heroine of two well-known tragedies, respectively by Sophocles and Euripides. Her name conjures up 'electric', of course, but this is merely coincidental (although etymologically justified), since it really means 'amber' (electron) or, possibly, the word of which this is a derivative, 'the beaming sun' (elector).  Exactly why this famous name should have the meaning it does is something of a mystery. We know that the Greeks valued amber highly, but the precise link with any of the Electras mentioned here is not clear. Perhaps the name is purely a 'bright and shining' propitious one. Stesichorus, a lyric poet of the fifth century BC, suggests—perhaps not all that seriously—another derivation. He takes the Doric form of Electra's name, Alectra, and makes it mean 'unmarried', from a-, 'not' and lectra, 'bed', that is, someone who is 'unbedded'. But he may have been echoing with another poet, Xanthus, had said two centuries earlier, when he pointed out that Agememnon's daughter was originally called Laodice but had her name changed by the Argives as for a long time she was not married.

p69 Atlas was a Titan, the son of Iapetus and Clymene, who changed into the mountain of the same name, where he was still what he had traditionally been before - a giant who supported the sky. So his name is perhaps based on tlao 'to endure', 'bear', with the initial a-simply for euphony or as an intensive ('very').  Atlas is thus 'he who bears', 'he who endures'.  His name came to be used for the book of maps that we now call an atlas because sixteenth century collections of maps included a drawing of Atlas holding up the sky.

p203 Merope was a popular name, being that of: one of the Pleiades and the wife of Sisyphus; a daughter of Oenopion; the wife of Polybus and foster-mother of Oedipus; the daughter of Cypselus and wife of Cresphontes; the daughter of Pandareus. The name literally means 'sharing the voice', fro meiromai, 'to share', and ops, 'voice'. This usually meant 'endowed with speech' and therefore 'human', 'mortal' (as distinct from a god ), although it could simply mean 'eloquent'.  For the first Merope mentioned here, the name can be best seen as meaning 'human', since the lady in question married the mortal Sisyphus, and was indeed the only one of the Pleiades to have an affair with a mortal.

p253 Pleione was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, as the mother of the seven daughters known as the Pleiades.  Her name can mean any of the root words proposed for the Pleiades, so that she can be a 'sailor', a 'dove', a 'full one' or a 'turner'. All of these are suitable in their way.  From the astronomical point of view it is worth pointing out that when the telescope had been invented, and the Pleiades were found to number far more than seven, the names of Pleione and her husband Atlas were assigned to two more stars in the cluster. This was thanks to the observations made in the seventeenth century by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Riccoli, and he it was who added the names of mother and father to those of their offspring.

p192 Maia was prominent as two characters, one Greek, the other Roman. The Greek Maia was the eldest of the Pleiades (the daughters of Atlas and Pleione) who was the mother of Hermes by Zeus. The Roman Maia was an obscure goddess who have her name, it is generally believed, to the month of May. The Greek Maia's name has a meaning which ranges from 'mother' and 'dame' to 'nurse' and 'midwife'.

p284 Taygete was one of the Pleiades, so was a daughter of Atlas and Pleione. After Zeus had seduced her (an attempt by Artemis to turn her into a doe having failed), she bore Lacedaemon. Her name has no obvious Greek derivation, and although 'properly' it should be spelt Taugete, the first half of the name does not appear to be derived from tauros,  'bull'.  Robert Graves inventively boils it down from a word tanygenuetos, 'long-cheeked', from tanyo, 'to stretch' and geneus, 'both jaws', 'cheek'. This presumably could be a complimentary epithet, as 'cow-eyed' was. (There were similar words for physical characteristics, such as tanyetheiros, 'long-haired' and tanypous, 'long-legged'.)

p252  Pleiades means 'daughters of Pleione', and was the collective name for the seven sisters born to Atlas and this daughter of Oceanus. The seven daughters were: Maia (Mother of Hermes by Zeus), Electra (mother of Dardanus and Iasoin by Zeus), Taygete (mother of Lacedaemon by Zeus), Celaeno (mother of Lycus by Poseidon), Alcyone (mother of Hyrieus, Hypernor and Aethusa by Poseidon), Sterope (mother of Oenomaus by Ares) and Merope (who bore Glaucus to Sisyphus, the only mortal husband of the seven).  These seven names are today the names of the seven stars visible to the naked eye in the star cluster called the Pleiades.  (Many people can make out only six stars of the seven, and extra keen sight is needed to be able to spot the seventh, Sterope. (See her name in this repsect.)  There are two rival derivations for the name. The first takes it from peleia, 'pigeon', 'dove', so that the seven are a flock of pigeons.  Zeus, it seems, set the seven sisters in the sky as seven pigeons to save them from the lust of Orion. (This story overlooks the fact that Orion went too, and today the constellation that bears his name can still be seen 'chasing' the Pleiades across the sky!)  A variant of this, with no reference to pigeons, is that the sisters were so distressed at the death of the Hyades, who according to one story were also the daughters of Atlas and Pleoine, and they killed themselves.  Zeus therefore transformed them into stars. The second theory derives their name from pleo, 'to sail'.  This is because the seven stars 'rise' in the spring which marked the start of the sailing season for the ancient Greeks. Other explanations for the name say that it comes form the phrase to pleion, and so means 'the full ones', since the stars are visible at a time, when the earth is 'full' of crops, or that the origin is in to polein, 'the turners' (poleo, 'to go about' or pelo, 'to be in motion', as English 'pole'), since they 'turn' in the sky or in time. There is also the completely unimaginitive explanation, of course, that the seven get their name from their mother!

3   p111  … Ponder on this and remember also that our Sun is travelling through space (carrying our solar system along in its sphere of influence) around our own central and ocnditioning star which it has been rightly presumed exists in the constellation Taurus, the Bull, being found in the Pleiades. At the same time it appears, from the standpoint of our planet, to be passing through the twelve signs of the zodiac; this is a symbol macrocosmically considered, of the dramatic centralised point of view of the individual human being, the microcosm.

p194 The four signs—Aries, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius—are related to the following stars which are not numbered in the twelve signs of the zodiac; they constitute another field of relationships:

Aries to one of the two stars, found in the constellation, the Great Bear, which are called the two Pointers

Leo to Polaris, the Pole Star, found in the Little bear

Scorpio to Sirius, the Dog Star

Aquarius to Alcyone, one of the seven Pleiades

p200 Aquarius relates humanity to the Pleiades and therefore to Taurus in an unusual manner.  They key to this relation is to be found in the word desire, leading, through the transmutative processes of life experience, to aspiration and finally the relinquishing of desire in Scorpio. Aquarius, Alcyone and Humanity constitute a most interesting triangle of force.  Alcyone is one of the seven Pleiades and is called the "star of the Individual" and sometimes the "star of intelligence."  It was potently active during the previous solar system wherein the Third Person of the Trinity was peculiarly omnipotent and active, just as today the cosmic Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, is peculiarly active in this solar system.  The energies coming from Alcyone impregnated the substance of the universe with the quality of mind. As a consequence of this most ancient activity, the same force was present at the time of individualisation in this solar system, for it is in this system, and primarily upon our planet, the Earth, that major results of that early activity have made themselves felt. Two of our planets, the Earth (non-sacred) and Uranus (sacred), are directly the product of this third ray activity. This is of great importance to remember. I would also ask you to link this thought with the teaching that through the divine centre of intelligent activity which we call humanity, the fourth kingdom in nature will eventually act as the mediating principle to all the three lower kingdoms.

p201 …You have, therefore, the following line of force to study:

1. Alcyone—in the Pleiades, the mothers of the seven aspects of form life and the "wives of the seven Rishis of the Great Bear." They are connected with the Mother aspect which nurtures the infant Christ.

2. Aquarius—the World Server, the transmitter of energy which evokes magnetic response

3. Jupiter and Uranus—planets of beneficent consummation. The second ray of love and the seventh ray which fuses spirit and matter "to the ultimate glory" of the solar Logos are in the fullest eventual cooperation.

4. Humanity—the focal point for all these energies and the divine distributor of them to individual man and later to the lower three kingdoms in nature.

p376 The entire secret of divine purpose and planning is hidden in this sign (Taurus ), owing fundamentally to the relation of the Pleiades to the constellation, the Great Bear, and to our solar system.  This constitutes one of the most important triangles in our entire cosmic series of relationships and this importance is also enhanced by the fact  that the "eye of the Bull" is the eye of revelation. The underlying goal of the evolutionary process—"the onward rush of the Bull of God," as it is esoterically called—reveals steadily and without cessation the stupendous and sublime plan of Deity. This is the subject which light reveals.

There is at this time, owing to the influx of the Shamballa force, the establishing of a peculiar relation or alignment between the constellation, Taurus (with its own specific alignment with the Pleiades and Great Bear) the planet, Pluto, and our Earth. This produces much of the present world difficulty and one which the modern astrologer would do well to consider. It constitutes a major cosmic triangle at this time, conditioning much that is now happening.

This Shamballa force is that which "fans or intensifies the light by the removal of obstructions and proceeds from far distant places, pouring through the eye of illumination into those spheres of influence upon the sorrowful planet, the Earth, impelling the Bull upon its onward rush."  So speaks the Old Commentary.  The import of this is that the energy of will—newly released by Sanat Kumara upon our planet—emanates, via the head centre of the planetary Logos, from the Great Bear; it is stepped down in vibration via one of the Pleiades (hence its influence upon humanity) and so enters into the solar system.  It is there absorbed by that major centre of our planetary life to which we give the name, Shamballa. 

p466 2. Gemini—Sagittarius—Mercury (which are an expression of the Pleiades) enable the Probationary Disciple to pass on to the Path of Accepted Discipleship.  He is then becoming increasingly intuitive and entirely one-pointed whilst the nature of the pairs of opposites is clearer to him.  The relation of the Mother-aspect (as embodied in the Pleiades) and of the Christ-child, hidden within the form of the personality, is realised and the inner, spiritual man institutes the process of initial identification with the spiritual entity on its own plane; the little self begins to react consciously and with increasing frequency to the higher Self.  The man "presses forward on that Path wherein he learns to see".

p504 The Logos of sacred planet  transcends the knowledges, reactions and responses which are purely those of the solar system, is conscious of or vitally responsive to the life of Sirius and is beginning to respond consciously to the vibratory influences of the Pleiades.  You need here to bear in mind in this connection that the Pleiades—though they are regarded as embodying the matter aspect in manifestation—are   in reality and literally the expression of that Principle of Life which we call vitality, prana in its various stages or degrees, ether or substance.

p657-659 References in the Secret Doctrine

1. "The Pleiades are the supposed wives of the seven Rishis of the Great bear. They are also the nurses of the God of War, Mars, the commander of the celestial armies.(SD IIp579)

2. "The Pleiades are the central group of the system of sidereal astronomy.

          a.T hey are found in the neck of the Bull, the constellation Taurus

          b. They are therefore in the Milky Way

          c. They are thus considered (Alcyone, in particular) as the central point around which our universe of fixed stars revolves."(II 582)

3. "The number of seven is closely connected with the occult significance of the Pleiades, the six present and the 7th hidden." (II 654)

4. "The Pleiades were at one time the Atlantides and connected with Atlantis and its seven races." (II 811)

5. "One of the most esoteric cycles is based upon certain conjunctions and respective positions of Virgo and the Pleiades." (II 454)

6. "The Pleiades are to the solar system the source of electrical energy and, just as our sun is the embodiment of the heart or love aspect of the Logos (Who is Himself the heart of the One about Whom Naught may be said), so the Pleiades are the feminine opposite of Brahma."  (The third aspect. P 156)

7."Our solar system, with the Pleiades and one of the stars of the Great Bear, form a cosmic triangle or an aggregation of centres in the body of the One about Whom Naught may be Said." (182)

8. "Two other systems, when allied with our solar system and the Pleiades make a lower quarternary." (182)

9. "The sun, Sirius, is the source of the Logoic mind (manas) in the same sense that the Pleiades are connected with the evolution of mind in the seven Heavenly Men and Venus was responsible for the coming of mind to the Earth." (347)

10. "Sirius, the Pleiades and our Sun form a cosmic triangle." (375)

11. "The Pleiades are negatively polarised to our seven schemes." (377)

12. "Our seven planetary Logoi are transmitters, via Their seven schemes to the seven stars of the Pleiades." (378)

13. "Three constellations are connected with the fifth logoic principle in its threefold manifestation: Sirius, two of the Pleiades and a small constellation whose name must be intuitively ascertained." (699)

14. "Three great waves of energy sweep cyclically through the entire solar system from .... the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades, from that one in particular who is occultly termed "the wife" of the planetary Logos whose scheme will eventually receive the seeds of life from our planet which is not considered a sacred planet."... (p1052)

15. "Cosmic evil ... consists in the relation between that spiritual intelligent unit or "Rishi of the Superior Constellation," as He is called (Who is the informing Life of one of the seven stars of the Great Bear) and our planetary Prototype and one of the forces of the Pleiades ... The Seven Sisters are occultly called the "seven wives" of the Rishis ..."(p990)

SD I 549 Meanwhile it is they, the Seven Rishis, who mark the time and the duration of events in our septenary life cycle. They are as mysterious as their supposed wives, the Pleiades, of whom only one—she who hides—has proven virtuous. The Pleiades (Krittika) are the nurses of Karttikeya, the God of War (Mars of the Western Pagans), who is called the Commander of the celestial armies—or rather of the Siddhas (translated Yogis in heaven, and holy sages on the earth)—"Siddha-sena," which would make Karttikeya identical with Michael, the "leader of the celestial hosts" and, like himself, a virgin Kumara. (The more so since he is the reputed slayer of Tripurasura and the Titan Taraka.  Michael is the conqueror of the dragon, and Indra and Karttikeya are often made identical.)  Verily he is the "Guha," the mysterious one, as much so as are the Saptarshis and the Krittika (seven Rishis and the Pleiades), for the interpretation of all these combined, reveal to the adept the greatest mysteries of occult nature .

4   p392 The Pleiades seem to be among the first stars mentioned in astronomical literature, appearing in Chinese annals of 2357 BC, Alcyone, the lucida, then being near the vernal equinox, although now 24 deg north of the celestial equator; and in the Hindu lunar zodiac as the 1st nakshatra, Krittika, Karteek, or  Kartiguey, the General of the Celestial Armies, probably long before 1730 BC, when precession carried the equinoctial point into Aries. Al Biruni, to this early position of the equinox in the Pleiades, which he found noticed "in some books of Hermes," wrote:

          The Krittikas were the six nurses of Skanda, the infant god of war, represented by the planet Mars, literally  motherless, who took to himself six heads for his better nourishment, and his nurses' name in Karttikeya, Son of the Krittikas.

          These Hermetic Books were the sacred canon of Egypt, in forty-two volumes, treating of religion and the arts and sciences, their authorship being ascribed to the god Thoth, whom the Greeks knew as Hermes Trismegistos, Thrice Great Hermes.

The Hindus pictured these stars as a Flame typical of Agni, the god of fire and regent of asterism, and it may have been in allusion to this figuring that the western Hindus held in the Pleiad month Kartik (October-November) their great star-festival Dibali, the Feast of Lamps, which gave origin to the present Feast of Lanterns in Japan.

p399 They were a marked object on the Nile, at one time probably called Cha or Chow, and supposed to represent the goddess Nit or Neith, the Shuttle, one of the principal divinities of Lower Egypt, identified by the Greeks with Athene, the Roman Minerva.  Hewitt gives another title from that country, Athur-ai, the Stars Athyr (Hathor), very similar to the Arabic word for them; and Professor Charles Piazzi Smyth suggests that the seven chambers for the Great Pyramid commemorate these seven stars.

p399A common figure for these stars, everywhere popular for many centuries is that of a Hen with her Chickens,—another instance of the constant association of the Pleiades with flocking birds, and here especially appropriate from their compact grouping.  Aben Ragel and other Hebrew writers thus mentioned them, sometimes with the Coop that held them,—the Massa Galinae of the Middle Ages; these also appearing in Arabic folk-lore, and still current among the English peasantry.

p401 In classic lore the Pleiades were the heavenly group chosen with the sun  by Jove to manifest his power in favour of Atreus by causing them to move from east to west.

p403 Alcyone represents in the sky the Atlantid nymph who became the mother of Hyrieys by Poseidon; but, though now the Light of the Pleiades, its mythological original was by no means considered the most beautiful.

p404 In India it was the junction star of the nakshatras Krittika and Rohini, and individually Amba, the Mother; while Hewitt says that in earlier Hindu literature it was Arundhati, wedded to Vahishtha, the chief of the Seven sages, as her sisters were to the six other Rishis of Ursa Major; and that every newly married couple worshipped them on first entering their future home before they worshipped the pole-star.  He thinks this is a symbol of the prehistoric union of the northern and southern tribes of India.

p405 Maia - she was the first-born and most beautiful of the sisters, and some have said that her star was the most luminous of the group…

p406 Electra, although for at least two or three centuries the title of a clearly visible star, has been regarded as the Lost Pleiad, from the legend that she withdrew her

light in sorrow at witnessing the destruction of Ilium, which was founded by her son Dardanos …

p406 Merope often is considered the lost Pleiad, because, having married a mortal, the craft Sisyphus, she hid her face in shame when she thought of her sisters' alliances with the gods, and realised that she had thrown herself away. She seems, however, to have recovered her equanimity, being now much brighter than some of the others. The name itself signifies "Mortal."

p407 Taygete, or Taygeta, a name famous in Spartan story for the mother of Lacedaemon by Zeus, was mentioned by Ovid and Vergil as another representative of this stellar family…

5 Vol 3 p1866 According to RH Allen, one mention of the Pleiades in Chinese annuals appears to refer to an observation made in 2357 BC; in the ancient Hindu Lunar Zodiac the group was apparently the central feature of the 1st nakshatra called Krittika, the General of the Celestial Armies.  The cluster appears on some Hindu charts as the Flame of Agni, and was apparently an object of veneration during the star-festival of Dibali, the "Feast of Lamps", celebrated in the "Pleiad-Month" of Kartik (October-November) each year.  W.T. Olcott in his Field Book of the Skies calls attention to the interesting fact that the Pleiades are associated  with such festivals as Halloween, All Saint's Day, and other memorial services to the dead traditionally held in many lands and ages in October and November. The date of their midnight culmination was observed with solemn ceremony in countries as widely separated in space and time as Pre-Columbian Mexico and ancient Persia. Olcott suggests that "these universal memorial services commemorate a great cataclysm that occurred in ancient times, causing a great loss of life ..." The legendary sinking of the mythical Atlantis, we might speculate, is possibly the catastrophe in question although, for geological reasons, it is no longer possible to accept Plato's story literally.

p1869…The identification with doves is probably derived from the Greek myth of the Seven Doves who carried ambrosia to the infant Zeus; in another legend we are told of the Seven sisters who were placed in the heavens that they might forget their grief over the fate of their father Atlas, condemned to support the sky upon his shoulders. …The System of the Stars (1907) excellently summarizes the reverence with which the Pleiades have been honored in all ages:

5 Vol3p1869This is the immemorial group of the Pleiades, famous in legend, and instructive, above all others, to exact inquirers - the meeting place in the skies of mythology and science.  The vivid and picturesque aspect of these stars riveted, from the earliest ages, the attention of mankind; a peculiar sacredness attached to them, and their concern with human destinies was believed to be intimate and direct.  Out of the dim reveries about them of untutored races, issued their association with the seven beneficent sky-spirits of the Vedas and the Zendavesta, and the location among them of the centre of the universe and the abode of the Deity, of which the tradition is still preserved by the Barbers and Dyaks.

p1872 Alcyone, the brightest star of the Pleiades, has been honored with a variety of titles.  The Arabians called it Al Wasat, the "Central One", and Al Nair, the "Bright One"; other names have been translated The Light of the Pleiades and the Leading One of the Pleiades. The Hindu name was Amba, the Mother, but JF Hewitt relates that an earlier name was Arunddhati, identified as the wife of the Chief of the Seven Sages, worshipped particularly by newly-married couples. 

One of the oldest traditions concerning the cluster is the persistent myth of a Lost Pleiad. The Greeks identified her as Electra, who is said to have veiled her face in grief at the burning of Troy; another version casts Merope in the role, as she reputedly hid her face in shame at having married a mortal, the King of Corinth, while all her sisters had been wedded to gods. Calaeno is another possible candidate, as she is reported to have been struck by a thunderbolt. Aratus refers to the tradition of the "Lost Pleiad" when he writes:

                   "Their number seven, though the myths oft say,

                   An poets feign, that one has passed away ..."


This tradition, however, is not confined to the Greek world; the story of a lost Pleiad appears also in Japanese lore, and in the legends of Australian aborigines, natives of the Gold Coast of Africa, and head hunters of Borneo. If the legend has its origin in astronomical fact, the star Pleione is the most likely suspect; it has a peculiar shell spectrum, and is known to be variable by at least half a magnitude.

p1880 A remarkable fact about the cluster is that the entire star-swarm is enveloped in a faint diffuse nebulosity of vast extent (Tennyson's "silver braid") which appears to shine by reflected light. This cosmic cloud is elusive visually, but shows much peculiar detail on long-exposure photographs. The spectrum of this nebulosity is identical to the spectra of the involved stars,…The light is apparently star-light, reflected from dust and perhaps large solid particles.

The brightest portion of this nebulosity envelopes the star Merope, and extends about 20' to the south; it was first noticed by Prof. W. Tempel …  He described it as resembling a faint stain of fog, like the effect of "a breath on a mirror".

In January 1984 a 4-hour exposure of the Pleiades was obtained by HG Wilson  …"As a result a very fine picture was obtained of the nebula involving nearly the whole group of bright stars and exhibiting marvelous details of structure resembling those of the great nebula of Orion .......

6  p181 Legend: The Pleiades or Atlantides were the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, six of whom are described as visible, and one a invisible or "lost." They were the virgin companions of Diana, and were translated into heaven in order to escape the importunities of Orion, or according to another account because of their grief at the fate of their father, Atlas, who was condemned to support the weight of the heavens on his head and hands.

The names of the sisters, and the catalogue numbers of the stars representing them are as follows:— Alcyone (eta), Maia (20), Electra (17), Merope (23), Taygete (19), Calaeno (16), and Sterope (21 and 22), and to these have been added the parents, Atlas (27) and Pleione (28).

The missing or lost Pleiad has been said to be Merope, who alone married a mortal, Sisyphus, and hid her face in shame at being the only one not married to a god, but other accounts substitute either Electra, who withdrew her light in sorrow at the destruction of Ilium, which was founded by her son Dardanos; or Celaeno, which Theon the Younger said was struck by  lightning.

Influence: According to Ptolemy they are of the nature of the Moon and Mars; and, to Alvidas, of Mars, Moon and Sun in opposition. They are said to make natives wanton, ambitious, turbulent, optimistic and peaceful; to give many journeys and voyages, success in agriculture and through active intelligence; and to cause blindness, disgrace and violent death.  Their influence is distinctly evil and there is no astrological warrant for the oft-quoted passage in Job (xxxviii 31) "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades ...?"  which is probably a mistranslation.

p233See Magic seal

p119  Legend: Alcyone represents the Pleiad, daughter of Atlas and Pleione, who became the mother of Hyrieus by Neptune.

Notes: A greenish yellow star and brightest of the Pleiades, situated on the shoulder of the Bull. From early times it has been thought to be the central round which the universe revolves, and was Al Wasat, the Central One, of the Arabs, and Temennu, the Foundation Stone, of the Babylonians, but this ideas has been abandoned by astronomers. Alcyone marked the beginning of the 4th ecliptic constellation of the Babylonians, and as Amba, the Mother, formed the junction star between the Hindu nakshatras Krittika and Rohini. It is frequently called the Hen.

10  p26 The "Plejades" in Greek means "the pigeons".

12   p297 They were the daughters of Atlas, seven in number. Their names were Electra, Maia, Taygete, Alcyone, Merope, Celaeno, Sterope. Orion pursued them but they fled before him and he could never seize any of them. Still he continued to follow them until Zeus, pitying them, placed them in the heavens as stars.  But it was said that even there Orion continued his pursuit, always unsuccessful, yet persistent.  While they lived on earth one of them, Maia was the mother of Hemes.  Another, Electra, was the mother of Dardanus, the founder of the Trojan race.  Although it is agreed that there were seven of them, only six stars are clearly visible. They seventh is invisible except to those who have specially keen sight.

14   p207 Taurus, The Bull (Rape of Europa)

Princess Europa met her companions on the wild flower meadow as usual. This meadow was located beside the sea. They loved to come here every day, weather permitting. At this time of the year all the wold flowers were out in full colour. They could hear the sound of the waves gently splashing on the beach and smell the fresh sea air while at the same time gather in the sight of the colorful flowers. The maidens went running here and there picking colorful bouquets to bring home.

Suddenly Europa noticed that there was a white bull quietly standing in the meadow. There was something very unusual about it. Far from appearing menacing, it seemed gentle and appealing. Europa was strangely drawn to approach it, although she did so cautiously.  Reaching the animal she gently patted it on the shoulder.  The bull patiently allowed her to pet him.

"You're such a beautiful creature", she told the bull. You ought to have a garland of flowers to wear on your head."

Europa then fashioned a garland of flowers. The bull not only lowered its head for the garland to be placed more easily, it even kneeled down beside her.

"What fun it might be to climb upon its broad back," thought Europa.  I'm sure such a gentle creature wouldn't mind."  And up on its back she climbed, calling to her friends as she did so.

"Look everybody.  Come join me."

As soon as she called out, the bull jumped and ran into the water carrying Europa with him. It happened so fast she didn't have time to jump off.

"Help!" she called, "the bull is going to drown me."

"Fear not, beautiful Europa."  The bull was talking to her. "I am Zeus, the greatest of gods.  I am carrying you safely to the island of Crete where you shall become the queen and mother of my children."

As the bull spoke it was swimming across the sea. The waters all around it remained calm while everywhere else there were waves and white caps. If Europa hadn't been so alarmed she could have enjoyed a marvellous spectacle. Tritans, dolphins and sea nymphs appeared, swimming in circles around them blowing conch shells, playing pipes and singing all the while.

"Look," said the bull as we swam. "There is Poseidon and Amphitrite in their chariot pulled by huge sea horses." Europa stopped crying. Clinging to the bull's horns she watched the marvellous show taking place in her honor.

Amphitrite and Poseidon were riding in a special bejewelled chariot. It was gaily decorated for the occasion. Amphitrite waved to Europa as they sped by and Poseidon saluted. The dolphins were doing great leaps in synchronized groups. The Tritons began riding the dolphins and doing gymnastic stunts at the same time. Throughout all this the nymphs were singing in beautiful harmonies.

What a spectacular show!

When they landed in Crete, the island where Zeus was raised, Europa was treated by its inhabitants as a queen, just as Zeus had promised. Furthermore, she was the most fortunate of all Zeus' amours. Hera didn't harass or punish her as she had done to all the others.

Archetypal meanings

The Bull:  The zodiacal bull of Taurus is a symbol of creative force.  It is also connected with light and illumination.

Europa:  The symbol of a highly developed personality The beauty that attracted Zeus was her spiritual aura. The spectacular staged for her might be thought of as an initiation ceremony.

Zeus:  A symbol of the divine self

19   p47 The three constellations connected with this sign are Orion, Eridanus, Auriga; and the nature of the work in Taurus is beautifully foretold by the three pictures in the heavens which they present to us.  They ancient name of Orion was "the three Kings", because of the three beautiful stars found in Orion's Belt. The Three Kings represent the three divine aspects of Will, Love and Intelligence, and Orion, therefore, symbolizes the spirit. The name Orion literally means "the breaking for of light."

Again and again, as we circle around the zodiac, shall we find appearing what might be called "the spiritual prototype" of Hercules; Perseus, the Coming Prince, who slew the Medusa, symbol of the great illusion.  He is found in Aries; Orion, show name means "light", is found in Taurus; in Scorpio, Hercules himself, triumphant and victorious, appears.  Then we have Sagittarius, the Archer on the Horse, going straight for his goal, and in Pisces we find the King.  The more closely we study this heavenly picture book, the more we realize that ever before us is held the symbol of our divinity, the symbol of the soul in incarnation, and the story of matter, as it receives purification and glorification through the laborious work of the soul.

The second constellation connected with this sign is an immense river of stars, which streams forth from under the feet of Orion. It is called Eridanus, or the "River of the Judge", and is a symbol of the river of life, carrying souls into incarnation, where they learn the meaning of the words, "as a man sows, shall he reap", and where they undertake the stupendous task of working out their own salvation.  Just as Orion symbolizes the spirit aspect, so Eridanus concerns itself with the form-taking aspect and holds before us the thought of incarnation; whilst the third constellation, Auriga, is the charioteer, leading forth to new lands and so symbolizing the soul.


Distance in Parsec                 142.9

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B7

Constellation                          Taurus

Colour                           Silvery White


Distance in Parsec                 62.5

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B5

Constellation                          Taurus

Colour                           Blue


Distance in Parsec                 90.91

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B7

Constellation                          Taurus

Colour                           Lucid White

MAIA (20)

Distance in Parsec                 76.92

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B9

Constellation                          Taurus

Colour                           Blue


Distance in Parsec                 142.9

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B9

Constellation                          Taurus

Colour                           Blue

MEROPE  (23)

Distance in Parsec                 90.91

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B5

Constellation                          Taurus

Colour                           Silvery White


Distance in Parsec                 125

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B7

Constellation                          h Taurus

Colour                           Greenish Yellow

ATLAS  (27)

Distance in Parsec                 90.91

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B9

Constellation                          Taurus

Colour                           Intense White


Distance in Parsec                 166.7

Luminosity Class                  Giant

Spectral Type               B8

Constellation                          Taurus

Colour                           White