Like multi-colored cloaks our legendary characters are putting on different personalities to illustrate in this chapter how Aquarians act and where their strengths and weaknesses lie. If Saturn is the ancient ruler of Aquarius (it is), then Saturnian issues will tend to do well here. If the Sun is in its detriment here (it is), then the power of the Sun is diminished. The warmth and seasonal light of our favorite star is not very strong in February. This translates to components of our personality, such that Penelope in this chapter is repeatedly characterized as being hard hearted (detriment).
“Strange woman! So hard- the gods of Olympus (line 185)
made you harder than any other woman in the world.”
Of course the gods of Olympus are the planets in their orbits. This persona is not limited to a single reference.
“Oh Mother,” Telemachus reproached her, (line 111)
“cruel mother, you with your hard heart!
after bearing twenty years of brutal struggle- (line 118)
your heart was always harder than a rock!
And it often is a difficult passage for people of an Aquarian vibration,“twenty years of brutal struggle,” with extended lengths of time worked into the mix, of age and aging. This is both the Sun in its detriment and Saturn’s influence.
“I’d have her bundled back to her room in pain. (line 25)
It’s only your old gray head that spares you that!”
And at last my own death will steal upon me . . . (line 323)
a gentle, painless death, far from the sea it comes
to take me down, borne down with the years in ripe old age
“And so,” Penelope said in her great wisdom, (line 326)
“if the gods will really grant a happier old age
there’s hope that we’ll escape our trails at last.”
” . . . in her great wisdom . . .” The real strength of Aquarius lies in its wisdom. It is a sign of knowledge and information that is learned over the course of time as an acquired craft. On the high side, they’re brilliant. On the flip side they can be a half-wit, or crazy. Their wiring is frayed.
“Dear old nurse,” wary Penelope replied, (line 11) “the gods have made you mad. They have that power,
putting lunacy into the clearest head around
or setting a half-wit on the path to sense.
They’ve unhinged you, and you were once so sane.
For instance there’s the master craftsman, who knows how to construct a house properly or approach any action strategically. This is an acquired skill.
“Look to it all yourself, now father,” his son (line 139)
deferred at once. “You are the best on earth,
they say, when it comes to mapping tactics.
No one, no mortal man, can touch you there.
To which Odysseus replies,
“Then here’s our plan,” (line 145)
the master of tactics said. “I think it’s best.”
There we’ll see (line 157)
what winning strategy Zeus will hand us then.”
We’ll see what winning strategy the sky will hand us then. This is astrology at work. The keywords of Aquarius are, “I know.”
I know, I built it myself- no one else . . . (line 213)
There was a branching olive-tree inside our court,
grown to its full prime, the bole like a column, thickset.
Around it I built my bedroom, finished off the walls
with good tight stonework, roofed it over soundly
and added doors, hung well and snugly wedged.
Then I looped the leafy crown of the olive,
clean cutting the stump bare from roots up,
planing it round with a bronze smoothing adze-
I had the skill- I shaped it plumb to the line to make
my bedpost, bored the holes it needed with an auger.
Working from there I built my bed, start to finish,
I gave it ivory inlays, gold and silver fittings
wove the straps across it, oxhide gleaming red.
There’s our secret sign. I tell you, our life story!
Does the bed, my lady, still stand planted firm?-
I don’t know- or has someone chopped away
that olive-trunk and hauled our bedstead off?” (line 229)
Of course the master blueprint, stratagem, or outline that needs to be read is the maze of the stars and planets themselves. This is Athena’s specialty.
Athena had not thought of one more thing. (line 275)
She held back the night, and night lingered long
at the western edge of the earth, while in the east
she reined in Dawn of the golden throne at Ocean’s banks,
commanding her not to yoke the windswift team
that brings men light,
Blaze and Aurora, the young colts that race the Morning on.
to the deathless gods who rule the vaulting skies, (line 319)
to all the gods in order.
And later . . .
Athena, her eyes afire, had fresh plans. (line 388)
Once she thought he’d had his heart’s content
of love and sleep at his wife’s side, straightaway
she roused young Dawn from Ocean’s banks to her golden throne,
to bring men light and roused Odysseus too
Aquarius is one of the few signs of the zodiac that have, contained within it, what are considered to be beneficial stars, stars that lead to both mirth and joy, our hopes and dreams (aspirations). For instance, the brightest star in the constellation Aquarius is Sadalmelik, a name which translates from the Arabic as the Lucky One of the King, literally Al Sa’d al Malik. Beta Aquarium, Al Sa’d al Su’ud or Sadalsuud translates as the Luckiest of the Lucky while gamma Aquarium, the third brightest star, is named Sadalsuud, from Al Sa’d al Su’ud, liberally translated as the Luckiest of the Lucky, etc.
It is in this, the 23rd chapter of 24 that Penelope can finally tune into her joy, the return of Odysseus.
“Penelope- child- wake up and see for yourself, (line 5)
with your own eyes, all you dreamed of, all your days!
He’s here- Odysseus- he’s come home, at long last!
Penelope’s heart burst into joy, she leapt from bed (line 34)
her eyes streaming tears, she hugged the old nurse (Saturn)
and cried out with an eager, winging word.
“Please, dear one, give me the whole story.
If he’s really home again, just as you tell me
you two can embark, loving hearts, along the road to joy (line 58)
Look, your dreams, put off so long, come true at last-
you’ve conquered my heart, my hard heart, at last!” (line 258)
The more she spoke, the more a deep desire for tears (line 259)
welled up inside his breast- he wept as he held his wife
he loved, the soul of loyalty, in his arms at last.
Joy, warm as the joy that shipwrecked sailors feel
when they catch sight of land-
their bodies crusted with salt but buoyed up with joy (line 267)
Odysseus, the old master of stories, answered. (line 300)
“Why again, why force me to tell you all?
Well, tell I shall. I’ll hide nothing now.
But little joy it will bring you, I’m afraid,
as little joy for me.
But the royal couple, once they’d reveled in all (line 342)
the longed-for joys of love, reveled in each other’s stories
And on that note, we’ll bring this chapter to a close with . . .
Joy to the world.