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HOMER’s ODYSSEY- Ch. XVII, LEO II

Posted on July 27th, 2018 by Don Cerow

Leo is characterized by a lion, the King of the Beasts. It is a sign ruled by the Sun and deals with honesty, truth and nobility. As opposed to the home in Cancer, in Leo it is the palace that’s the place where you lay you head. The  central nervous system and heart are the parts of the body that equate. Having courage and a backbone come to the fore. Leo’s tell it like it is, right to the mark.

“I like to tell the truth and tell it straight.”                                   (line 15)

“so help me it’s the truth-“                                                                (line 250)

“I’ll tell her the whole truth, and nothing but”                              (line 625)

Many of these themes are emphasized through repetition in this chapter, but we will point out only a few. First, there’s a heightened sense of nobility that is strong. For instance, even when Odysseus is dressed in rags he is referred to as the King. Penelope is the Queen, Telemachus the prince. Then there are the princes who hang around the palace, wanting to court Penelope. Long ago, one’s looks were held in high regard as illustrated when Odysseus challenges Antinous:

“Give me a morsel, friend. You’re hardly the worst                    (line 458)
            Achaean here, it seems. The noblest one, in fact.
You look like a king to me!”

Games are often referenced in this chapter, reflecting the playfulness of felines.

“Ah if only- Father Zeus, Athena and lord Apollo-                         (line 141)
            that man who years ago in the games at Lesbos
rose to Philomelides’ challenge, wrestled him,
pinned him down with one tremendous throw
and the Argives roared with joy . . .
if only that Odysseus sported with those suitors”

And of course, the powers derived from the heart are plentiful.

“Words flew from her heart-“                                                            (line 40)

“And murder in their hearts.”                                                             (line 69)

“But you, you never had the heart-“                                                   (line 112)

“My young lords,
now you’ve played your games to your hearts’ content”               (line 189)

“then lifted up his hands and prayed his heart out”                         (line 262)

“My heart is steeled by now”                                                                  (line 310)

“and the heartless women tend him not at all.”                                  (line 352)

“and all his heart’s desires come to pass!”                                            (line 389)

“a god inspired bard whose singing warms the heart-“                    (line 424)

“to break your heart”                                                                                  (line 495)

“but lack the heart”                                                                                      (line 504)

“I must say what the heart inside me urges”                                         (line 518)

“So he charmed my heart”                                                                          (line 578)

            “and play their games, debauched to their hearts’ content.”             (line 591)

            “The spirit moves her now, heartsick as she is”                                     (line 616)

The chapter opens with “Here comes the Sun”:

“When young Dawn with her rose-red fingers shone once more”    (line 1)

and closes with,

“The day was over. Dusk was falling fast.”                                         (line 677)

Day is done, gone the Sun.

I love it.

So did Homer.



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