I’ve been planning several blog posts for some time but haven’t got round to either starting or finishing any of them. I promise to do better in the future! I’ve been bullying Matthew into blogging and then realised I haven’t done any for a while and should probably practice what I preach a bit more. Then I can bully with a clear conscience…
I want to write a few posts around the prevalence of Gemini in the charts of performers and especially musicians. My plan was to start off talking about the myth of Gemini. Then I realised it might be worth taking a post to talk about solar myths for those who might be unfamiliar with the idea. The use of mythology in the chart can really enrich and deepen our understanding of astrology and I’d refer anyone who is interested in finding out more to the work of Liz Greene. Her exploration of the use of myth, folk and fairy tales in the chart is second to none.
My aim is really to look at the myths as they relate to the Sun signs, but I wanted to give an example that myth or stories can be used for any part of the birth chart as a way of exploring the meaning more deeply. For example, a Venus Pluto aspect could use the myths involving Hera for illustration. Venus Pluto aspects seek intense, passionate relationships and can be possessive, expecting monogamy and commitment. These aspects are extremely sensitive to issues of trust and betrayal, so in their worst expression can be vengeful, obsessive and possessive. The challenge is to learn trust and find constructive ways of expressing this intensity. Hera was the wife of Zeus, which let’s face it, can’t have been an easy job! Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all his children from his various infatuations. Most of the myths involving Hera revolve around her attempts to exact revenge against her husband’s lovers, his offspring and various mortals who crossed her. These myths give a platform for exploring a relationship pattern which can be difficult to deal with, especially when younger.
The solar myth relates to the sign we find the Sun in. For those of you who say, ‘I’m a Capricorn (insert appropriate sign here), so what does that mean?’ Well, first of, you’re not! You happen to have been born with your natal Sun in Capricorn, this doesn’t make you a Capricorn. The Sun is important, of course it is, but that sign doesn’t make up our entire personality – you know you’re more complex than that! In actual fact, you may never master this element of your chart because the Sun isn’t static or something we are born knowing how to do. It’s a journey. A hero quest all of our very own, which we can work at and develop throughout our time here on earth (at least in this incarnation!). This is a story which will unfold throughout our lifetime, always with a new vision or goal to move towards.
I use the term hero quest here as this relates to the work of Joseph Campbell, an American scholar who developed the term monomyth, or hero’s journey. His book ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’ describes this pattern. Campbell aimed to show the similarities between Eastern and Western religions through their story telling. Whilst the story develops over time for a local audience, he used the pattern of the hero’s journey to demonstrate the similarities and overlap, positing that we are all telling the same story, which is of great spiritual importance. Wikipedia has a nice explanation of the different steps in the journey here. There are a couple of crucial elements to the journey which are especially relevant to astrology. The hero nearly always has a divine parent, usually Father but it can be Mother. This gives him one foot in each world – human and divine. We all want to be special and believe there is something unique in us, different from everyone else but sometimes it’s tricky to find. The hero grows up not knowing his true identity and the outcome of his journey will always involve him finding out who he really is.
So, the myth of our Sun sign gives us some indication of our own hero’s journey and the trials we will face. When we’re young, we don’t know how to do our Sun sign – like the hero, we don’t know who we really are. We learn some elements from our Father or father figure, who could be Mother or someone else entirely. Often they teach us how to do the bad bits – this isn’t a comment on parenting, simply the subjective nature of the natal chart. The world might see a great parent but the teenager with raging hormones sees a tyrant and despot. After our Saturn return it’s easier to take ownership of this part of the chart and move forward in our journey. Obviously, any planet aspecting the Sun will have a say on the progress of our journey, for example Sun Saturn makes the journey hard going with lots of blocks, but I’ll looks at this more in later posts.
My plan is to explore some of these ideas further in later posts, starting with the myth of Gemini.