to reach the swineherd’s place, that fine loyal man
who of all the household hands Odysseus ever had
cared the most for his master’s worldly goods.”
there in his farmstead” Our Earth sign makes its way through “a rugged path” (line 1)
and the loyal swineherd (an expression we will see often
throughout this chapter), constructed the walls of his enclosure out of “quarried blocks of stone (Fixed EARTH). (line 12) Material goods, referred to as worldly goods, are what EARTH signs hope for, what they find security in. And the loyal swineherd reflects on what might have been had Odysseus returned home.
He’d have treated me well, he would, with a house (Moon), (line 72)
a plot of land (EARTH), and a wife you’d gladly prize (Venus).
Goods (EARTH) that a kind lord will give a household hand
who labors for him, hard (Taurus), whose work the gods have sped,
just as they speed the work I labor at all day.
He’s a farmer!
Just as in chapter two we were introduced to the wealth of the estate as Telemachus took stores for the ship, so here we are reintroduced to the value of all Odysseus has. The swineherd continues to wax eloquent:
“Believe me, my masters’s wealth was vast! (line 111)
No other prince on earth (EARTH) could match his riches,
not on the loamy mainland or here at home in Ithaca-
no twenty men in the world (EARTH) could equal his great treasures!
Let me count them off for you. A dozen herds of cattle
back on the mainland, just as many head of sheep,
as many droves of pigs and goatflocks ranging free;
hired hands or his own herdsmen keep them grazing there.
Here in Ithaca, goatflocks, eleven in all, scatter
to graze on the island, out at the wild end,
and trusty goatherds watch their every move.
And each herdsman, day after day, it never ends . . .”
And once again-
Odysseus (line 363)
The king told me he’d hosted the man in style,
befriended him on his way home to native land,
and showed me all the treasure Odysseus had amassed.
Bronze and gold and plenty of hard wrought iron,
enough to last a man and ten generations of his heirs-
so great the wealth stored up for him in the king’s vault!
and the new moon rises into life- Odysseus will return!”
. . . and again, referring to the same evening . . .
“A foul night came on- the dark of the moon- and Zeus (line 519)
rained from dust to dawn and a sodden west wind raged.”
With a Venusian rulership, the heart, love and affection come into play over and over again.
it warmed Odysseus’ heart, (line 594)
Eumaeus cared so much for his absent master’s goods
And the reverse:
“. . . he’s dead and gone. Aye, leaving a broken heart (line 159)
for loved ones left behind, for me most of all . . .”
for working the land, the chores of households either,
the labor that raises crops of shining children. No,
it was always oarswept ships that thrilled my heart,
and wars, and the long polished spears and arrows,
dreadful gear that makes the next man cringe.
I loved them all- god planted that love inside me.
Each man delights in the work that suits him best.”
one thing he will give and another he’ll hold back,
whatever his pleasure. All things are in his power.”