Friday, 14 January 2011

rope-charmer or snake oil

Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and all the other visionaries knew about the progression of the celestial sphere through the heavens, cycling season by season, and epoch by epoch. The constellations, originally serviceable as an aid to navigation and the herald the changing of the seasons and were both derivatives and forerunners of the calendar, more meaningful than just a fixed count of days, familiar in zodiacal circles and a sort of birthmark and personality-avatar were set out at least three-thousand years ago, as known in the West. A group of astronomers are advocating a significant realignment of the Signs: this shift of the fimbriation from one constellation to the next recognizes the wobble and imperfections (again, made by calendars that are a count of days, where a day is a count of hours, ad absurdum) of the Earth's transit is a departure of the classical division, the sphere of the heavens, having 360 degrees, parsed into twelve equal thirty degree houses.
There are not thirteen months now, but Scorpio--in a bit of an unfair turn of events--has been nearly edged out, in favour of the now more prominent Ophiuchus, the snake-handler and identified with the Father of Medicine, Aesculapius. None of this is new or novel, and there have always been purists and different schools of astrology. Incidentally, mythological, it is the Scorpion that crouches at the foot of Orion, as he embarks on his Great Hunt. While sporting with the other safari gods, Orion threatened to hunt down every last animal on Earth, but Mother Nature (Gaia) sent the Scorpion to sting Orion and stop the violence. According to some versions of the legend, it was Aesculapius (Ophiucus) who was able to heal Orion, though the party was called off. I guess that is why all these figures were banished to the night skies to chase each other forever. It seems especially unfair, though, considering Scorpios' ruling planet, Pluto, was demoted not too long ago.