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Long ago a seed was planted – Starlight

Posted on December 7th, 2012 by Don Cerow

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Starlight

Long ago a seed was planted. It simply said that Star Knowledge could be found in both Homer and the Bible. Armed with youthful enthusiasm and ample curiosity, we set out on our quest.

Job listening to his wife

Of course there are obvious Biblical references. Job mentions particular constellations as having been the craft of the hand of the Lord.

“The sun, at his command, forbears to rise
and on the stars he set a seal.
He and no other stretched out the skies,
and trampled the Sea’s tall waves.
The Bear, Orion, too, are of his making,
the Pleiades and the Mansions of the South.”

-Job 9, 7-9

These last are the Lunar Mansions, the different ‘stellar way-stations’ the Moon would stop and ‘rest in’ as she made her monthly journey through the southern skies. In India, they are used to this day. Shepherds would clock the hours of a watch by the rotation of the stars.

Cultures change, but in most of them an astrological interest may be found. In general, everyone wants to successfully probe their own future.

During the period of the French Revolution citizen Dupuis, in three bulky volumes “On the Origin of all Forms of Worship” (1794), developed the idea that the primary source of religion was the spectacle of celestial phenomena and the ascertainment of their correspondence with earthly events, and he undertook to show that the myths of all peoples and all times were nothing but a set of astronomical combinations. . .

Wisdom concealed within literary epics was apparently not a new notion. Could Judaism have been acquainted with star lore? Both Moses and Daniel were raised and trained in the astronomical arts of their overseers, the Egyptians and Babylonians.

We later learned that the same was true in the works of Homer as we uncovered in a chapter by chapter investigation that has aged well. This past week two Muses whispered in my ear, while listening to a painting by Simon Vouet’s Muses.

Urania and Calliope- Simon Vouet

Resting beside a temple to Apollo, the god of creativity, two muses personify aspects of human knowledge. Urania, the muse of astronomy, wears a diadem of stars and leans against a celestial globe. The patroness of epic poetry and history, Calliope is crowned with gold and holds a volume of Homer’s Odyssey. Winged infants or putti carry trophies of achievement – Apollo’s laurel wreaths.

Love those putti.

But there is an additional augment that is being overlooked. Homer’s works are astrological primers. Urania, the Muse of the Heavenly Stars (Astrology) has incorporated her wisdom into the works of Homer, suggestively laying her hand on Calliope’s shoulder. Calliope looks to Urania for her cue- but Urania looks back directly at us, seeking to make the connection, eye to eye.

They sit in the Temple of Apollo, sacred ground for truth and honesty.

The wisdom of the stars is incorporated into arguably one of the greatest works of literature, ever.

After living in Rome for an extended period of time, Vouet brought back to France with him an deeper appreciation of the myths and the classics and silently communicated it’s message to us.

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