|William Blake: Seven Spririts of God. Now he had some really funny ideas.|
But hey, that's evolution for you.
The real origins of astrology are lost in the mist of time. It all started in Babylon, probably, and at that time and place, people believed in many gods and goddesses, they were ruled by absolute monarchs and a caste of priests, the twin rivers Tigris and Euphrates brought life, and famine was real.
In classical times, Ptolemy gave us his Tetrabiblos, which became as unassailable for some astrologers as another book written during those years, the Bible, is for some Christians. Those texts were written when the Mediterranean was the centre of the world, emperors ruled, the gods were a quarrelling, capricious mafia-style family, and slavery was normal, and Christians were fed to lions.
|An Arab illustration of the cycle of the|
Moon and the signs of the Zodiac.
So each period has its own particular take on astrology, and the subject evolves through time, gaining and losing bits as it spirals from one era to the next. In the 20th century, astrology went all psychological – that was the century that started with Freud vs Jung, and ended with Ritilin.
Then there are the translations and mistranslations: most of the texts we inherited were in Greek, Latin or Arabic, and many have been translated from Greek to Latin to Arabic and then back again. It's Chinese whispers.
And then there's what has simply been lost – burned, mouldy, misplaced – that we can never know about, what falls out of fashion and what is taken up with fervour because it matches the spirit of the times. We've recently seen this with the hooha around the Mayan Calendar, which fitted in with the current end-of-times atmosphere.
|Looking for the feminine in astrology|
Night by Edward Hughes
Now as I explained here, this would mean that there are six goddesses and six gods in matching pairs, going some way to rebalancing the genders in astrology. And if you see which gods were assigned to which sign, you can see some signs are boosted – for example Neptune was assigned to Pisces – and some are given more balance – cool Capricorn is given warm Vesta, individualistic Aquarius gets Juno, the goddess of marriage and so on. The tutelary deities give us an idea of how to work with a sign.
But what happens if we match up these tutelary deities and the asteroids that carry the names of the missing goddesses – Ceres, Vesta, Juno and Pallas Athena. This marriage of classical theory and modern astronomy produces some intriguingly accurate and profound results.
And so astrology takes another turn on the spiral of evolution.
If you want to read more about the tutelary deities, here are my previous pieces. I haven't read about them anywhere other than in a footnote by the English astrologer CEO Carter or Manilius Astronomica itself. If you find any other references I'd love to hear about it.
A God For Every Sign
Valentine's Day, Aquarius and the Goddess of Marriage
Why Nigella Is A Modern Vestal Virgin
Pallas Athena and the God of War
The God of Cuckoldry Gives Advice On Marriage
Sagitarriana Goddess of the Hunt
And here is some of the original text.