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HOMER’s ODYSSEY, Ch. XVI- CANCER II

Posted on July 12th, 2018 by Don Cerow

                    HOME SWEET HOME 

Cancer is a sign represented by the Moon, the body closest to the Earth. It is a Cardinal WATER sign that rules the feminine, yin, body, and soul. It’s the emotional connections that we share with our closest family and friends. It is our home, sleep and dreams; breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is the tears that we cry when our emotions are tugged at. It is also all thing nautical, such as ships and sailors.

This is the second round of the twelve signs of the zodiac. Chapter 12 represented Pisces, while Chapter 13 started over with Aries. We’re now up to Chapter 16, 12 + 4, or Cancer, the fourth sign of the zodiac.

By line 20 Cancer and the Moon has everyone in tears.

“Straight to the prince he rushed
and kissed his face, and kissed his shinning eyes,
both hands, as the tears rolled down his cheeks.

As a father, brimming with love, welcomes home
his darling only son in a warm embrace . . .”

covering him with kisses, yes,
like one escaped from death. Eumaeus wept and sobbed,
his words flew from the heart: “You’re home, Telemachus . . !”

By line 40 it is Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, who is in tears.

“Surely,”
the foreman of men responded, “she’s still waiting
there in your halls, poor woman, suffering so,
her life an endless hardship . . .
wasting away the nights, weeping away the days.”

Here we see two lunar themes wrapped together in the night and crying through the day.

This chapter emphasizes the home of Odysseus and homecoming of Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. The references to home, I’m home, my father’s journey home, the house, household, your own house, in my own house, cut down in my own house, through the noble house, etc. go on and on. Food and eating also put in a strong appearance

We won’t go through all the examples, mainly of home, food and everything else to be found illustrating lunar archetypes in this chapter, save for one final underscore, and those are the final lines of Homer’s craft for this chapter.

“And now,
with the roasting done, the meal set out, they ate well
and no one’s hunger lacked a proper share of supper.
When they’d put aside desire for food and drink,
they remembered bed and took the gift of sleep.”

(Cue Ringo’s “And now it’s time to say ‘Good Night'” from the White Album.)



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