The Myths of the Zodiac- Cancer the Crab

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The Myths of the Zodiac- Cancer the Crab

Post by swetha » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:12 pm

The side-moving crab is the one that attacked Heracles at the swamp of Lerna, when he was he fighting the dreaded, multi-headed and very poisonous Hydra. The crab moved up and pincered Heracles on his foot. Angrily, Heracles crushed the crab with his foot. Hera remembered how devoted the crab was and set it into the stars.

Of course, this crab had been sent by Hera to help in the effort to defeat Heracles , whose name means "glory of Hera". This sobriquet means to be hated by her more than anything else. It all begins with what one might call a kind of necessity. Ate, one of the Necessities, had the horrible habit of bringing all measures of evils to men and, for that matter, the gods. She is never noticed, because Ate treads with the lightest of feet. Zeus is boasting that Alcmene is about to be bear him a son (part of a womb with twins). Ate is there already. Zeus with immense paternal pride swears that the first-born would rule over the kingdom and all his neighbors. Ate has done her work well. In a moment, Hera alights on earth and makes sure that Eurystheus is born first, and Heracles ends up being his servant. Later, Zeus would get so angry at Ate that he hurled her off of Olympus onto the earth. She would land on that spot that would later be called Troy.

Heracles is the last great hero whose entire life is nothing more than being a plaything of the gods. He works under astral compulsion in a way that we in the modern way cannot understand. In the zodiac of his twelve labors, in all of his adventures, Heracles simply does what he has to do without understanding and without joy. He is stronger than all other men, but he is a man nevertheless, ignorant and wishing that he could stop. But Heracles is a different kind of man of force. Plutarch writes in his life of Theseus, "That age produced a sort of men, in force of hand, and swiftness of foot, and strength of body, excelling the ordinary rate and wholly in capable of fatigue; making use, however, of these gifts of nature to no good or profitable purpose for mankind, but rejoicing and priding themselves in insolence, and taking the benefit of their superior strength in the exercise of inhumanity and cruelty, and in seizing, forcing, and committing all manners of outrages upon everything that fell into their hands; all respect for others, all justice, they thought, all equity and humanity, though naturally lauded by common people, either out of want of courage to commit injuries or fear to receive them, yet no way concerned those who were strong enough to win for themselves." It is Heracles, along with Theseus, who is the first man to be heroic on behalf of others, but at the cost of having no real life of his own. Eventually, this constant heroism would drive him insane and to his death.

Among the stars of Cancer is a small grouping called the Asses, who appear on the back of the crab’s shell. Hera had driven the god Dionysos insane, not particularly odd perhaps for the god who is discovers the vine. He roamed Egypt and Syria in his madness. It is said that attempted to recover by going to Dodona to ask the oracle of Zeus what to do. As he came to a large swamp, he encountered two asses, captured them, and he rode them over the swamp without getting wet himself. Dionysos was then cured, and rewarded the asses by putting them in the heavens.

Hyginus also tells us that Dionysos gave one of the asses a human voice. Later this ass would be killed by Priapus, a son of Aphrodite by Hermes or Adonis, in an argument over the size of their penises. Priapus was a particularly ugly child and man with deformed limbs, and with a rather large male member. In pity for the dead ass, Dionysos put the ass in the skies with defiance. Wanting to show that he did so as a god, Dionysos placed the ass above the crab that Hera had put there.

Finally, Eratosthenes tells us that during that war between the Olympians and the Titanic giants, Dionysos, Hephaestus, and the Satyrs rode into battle on asses. Their braying and the confusion they caused made the giants flee. For these reasons, they were given a place in the heavens on the western side of the crab.

The ass was one of the most important symbols throughout history, not in ancient Greece and Rome, but in the Middle East among the Jews and others there, and even well into European history up through the Renaissance. In all likelihood, the asses were much more important than the crab; however, somehow that part of constellation has not carried forth into our time. The ass is both wisdom and stupidity; power and humility; demonic and beneficent; and it always has a lasciviousness, lubricity, and unmistakable phallic character. It is life and death (part of Hades is named after the ass). Moreover, it is a symbol of the turn of fate itself. Sadly, this wonderful creature no longer inhabits our imagination except when we call someone an ass or consider something asinine.

It is odd how modern astrologers have missed the obvious: The Cancer convergence of cardinal and water traits—stubbornness, the desire for life to be exciting, the willfulness, possessiveness, unhurriedness, the gifted insight, the unpredictability, and even its opportunism, calculation, and self-centeredness—have never belonged to a crab at all, but the Ass so associated with Dionysos.

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Post by CrabbyCancer » Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:23 am

interesting...very interesting
See Ya :)

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