May 29, 2020
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virgo-------------------The zodiacal correspondence for the 20thpath of the qabalistic Tree Of Life is Virgo. Its name is Latin for virgin, and its symbol is . Lying between Leo to the west and Libra to the east, it is the second largest constellation in the sky exceeded only by the much fainter Hydra. It can be easily found through its brightest star, Spica. With 26 known exoplanets orbiting around 20 stars in this constellation, Virgo has more confirmed exoplanets than any other constellation. The Greeks called the constellation Parthenos. She is usually identified as Dike, goddess of justice, who was daughter of Zeus and Themis; but she is also known as Astraeia, daughter of Astraeus (father of the stars) and Eos (goddess of the dawn). Virgo is depicted with wings, reminiscent of an angel, holding an ear of wheat in her left hand (the star Spica). Dike features as the impartial observer in a moral tale depicting mankind’s declining standards. It was a favourite tale of Greek and Roman mythologists, and its themes still sound familiar today. According to the Babylonian Mul.Apin, which dates between 1000 BC and 686 BC, this constellation was formerly known as “The Furrow,” representing the goddess Shala’s ear of grain or corn. One star in this constellation, Spica, retains this tradition as it is Latin for “ear of grain”, one of the major products of the Mesopotamian furrow. The constellation was also known as AB.SIN and absinnu. For this reason the constellation became associated with fertility. According to Gavin White the figure of Virgo corresponds to two Babylonian constellations – the ‘Furrow’ in the eastern sector of Virgo and the ‘Frond of Erua’ in the western sector. The Frond of Erua was depicted as a goddess holding a palm-frond – a motif that still occasionally appears in much later depictions of Virgo.[11]The Greeks and Romans associated Virgo with their goddess of wheat, Demeter-Ceres who is the mother of Proserpina-Persephone (also called Kore, meaning ‘maiden’). Persephone might have remained a virgin for ever had not her uncle, Hades, god of the Underworld, kidnapped her while she was out picking flowers one day at Henna in Sicily. Hades swept her aboard his chariot drawn by four black horses and galloped with her into his underground kingdom, where she became his reluctant queen. There are other goddesses who can claim identity with Virgo. Eratosthenes offers the additional suggestion that Virgo might be Atargatis, the Syrian fertility goddess, who was sometime depicted holding an ear of corn. But Atargatis is identified with the constellation Piscis Austrinus. Hyginus equates Virgo with Erigone, the daughter of Icarius, who hanged herself after the death of her father. In this story, Icarius became the constellation Boötes, which adjoins Virgo to the north, and Icarius’s dog Maera became the star Procyon (see Boötes and Canis Minor). Eratosthenes and Hyginus both name Tyche, the goddess of fortune, as another identification of Virgo; but Tyche was usually represented holding the horn of plenty (cornucopia) rather than an ear of grain. In the sky, the ear of corn is represented by the first-magnitude star Spica, Latin for ‘ear of grain’ (the name in Greek, Stachys, has the same meaning). Alternatively, she was sometimes identified as the virgin goddess Iustitia or Astraea, holding the scales of justice in her hand as the constellation Libra. In the middle Ages, Virgo was sometimes associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary.


[11]Gavin White (2008), Babylonian Star-lore. Solaria Pubs, page 115


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