Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Aquarius

Aquarius is the Zodiac sign for those born between January 20 and February 18. The symbol for Aquarius is a boy who bears a vase full of water.

The model for Aquarius is Ganymede – a beautiful Trojan prince. According to Greek mythology, one day the gods were having a feast when Hebe the cup-bearer (pouring nectar for the gods) twisted her ankle. Zeus looked all around but could not find someone worthy of replacing Hebe. The other gods introduced fine young maidens to Zeus but he was not interested.

While this was happening, Apollo went down to Troy for an errand, when he saw Prince Ganymede in the castle. He was struck by his beauty and immediately reported back to Zeus. Zeus, curious as to how beautiful this boy was, went down to Troy to see for himself. He too was taken aback by Ganymede’s beauty and he decided right there to appoint him as the cup-bearer. So Zeus transformed into a giant eagle and snatched Ganymede away. Thus, Ganymede became the cup-bearer against his will. The Trojan prince was despaired by how he would not see his family again and would cry every night. Seeing this, Zeus felt remorse and visited the king of Troy to offer an explanation and also presented golden grapes and mythical horses in exchange. Also, he allowed the prince to visit his family one last time. Afterwards, Ganymede was made immortal and became the official cup-bearer of Olympus. Zeus also made him into a constellation to honour his services.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

image

0
Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Pisces

Pisces is the Zodiac sign for those born between February 19 and March 20. The symbol for Pisces is two fish connected by a ribbon.

The model for Pisces is Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and her son Eros. One day, the two were attending a banquet of the gods, having a good time. Suddenly, the banquet was interrupted by a monster named Typhon. Typhon was a terrifying monster 150km wide, with a hundred dragon heads, a hundred mouths through which he breathed fire and had limbs of snakes. He was a composite of various beasts such as oxens and lions, had a black tongue and had eloquent speech rivalling certain gods. When he appeared, the gods were frightened and all transformed into different animals to escape. Aphrodite and Eros jumped into the river, turned into a pair of fish and escaped. It is said that they tied a ribbon to their waists so that they would not lose each other in the stream.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

0
Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Aries

Aries is the Zodiac sign for those born between March 21 and April 20. The symbol for Aries is a golden ram.

The model for Aries is a golden ram that rescued Phrixus and his sister Helle. The two were the children of King Athamas of Boeotia and Nephele, goddess of clouds. Athamas had divorced Nephele and married another woman named Ino, who spited the two children and plotted to rid them for good. When the season for planting seeds came, she gave farmers roasted seeds. These seeds of course did not grow and it led to a famine. The people were afraid of starving and sent messengers to an oracle. Ino bribed these messengers to tell the people that they needed to sacrifice Phrixus and Helle. But before they were killed, the two were rescued by a flying golden ram sent by their mother, Nephele. The ram flew across the ocean to take them to a safer place, but unfortunately Helle fell off and drowned. Phrixus survived the journey and he ended up in Colchis, where he met with King Aeetes who offered him hospitality and even his daughter’s hand in marriage. Phrixus sacrificed the ram in honour of the gods for saving his life and gifted the king with the golden fleece of the ram in gratitude. Zeus was so moved by this tragic tale and the ram’s sacrifice to save the children that he gave it the greatest honour of becoming a constellation in the heavens.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

0
Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Taurus

Taurus is the Zodiac sign for those born between April 21 and May 20. The symbol for Taurus is a giant ox.

The model for Taurus is none other than the king of gods, Zeus. Zeus often came down to the human world for fun, but one day he set his eyes on a beautiful princess by the name of Europa. Europa often played on the farm with the herd of cows. Zeus fell head over heels for her and plotted how he could profess his love to her (alternatively, rape her). He decided to transform into an ox and hid among the herd. Europa was drawn to this magnificent, white ox that could even sing. She was fascinated by it, caressing it and even riding on its back. At that moment, Zeus dashed for the sea and jumped in with Europa on his back. He swam across oceans until they reached the island of Crete. There, he transformed back to his usual form and told her how he was madly in love with her. She accepted his love and the two lived happily on Crete. To honour her, Zeus named the land across the ocean they crossed Europe, thus naming the continent that we know so well.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

0
Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Gemini

Gemini is the Zodiac sign for those born between May 21 and June 21. The symbol for Gemini is a pair of twin boys.

The model for Gemini is the twin sons of the Spartan queen, Leda – Pollux and Castor. The two, despite being twins, have different fathers, with a peculiar back-story. Zeus was in love with the beautiful queen Leda, so he transformed into a swan to seduce her. They made love, making Leda pregnant with Zeus’ son. However, she also slept with her husband the same night, leading to her being pregnant with another son. Thus, Pollux was born an immortal demigod with the blood of Zeus, while Castor was born a mere human. Despite this, the two had exceptional brotherly love for each other and would do everything together. Pollux possessed great physical strength, while Castor possessed great ingenuity. But one day, Castor died from a fight, causing great despair for Pollux. No matter how hard he tried, he could not kill himself due to his immortality. He cried out to Zeus: “If I cannot be with my brother, then I do not want to be immortal”. Zeus, taking pity on the two and admiring their love for each other, offered to halve Pollux’s immortality and share it with Castor. This is how they became a bright constellation in the night sky, side-by-side.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

0
Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Cancer

Cancer is the Zodiac sign for those born between June 22 and July 22. The symbol for Cancer is a large crab.

The model for Cancer is a crab who served Hera. This story is closely tied to that of Hercules’ twelve labours. Hercules, being the son of Zeus and a human woman, was hated intensely by Hera, the wife of Zeus. Thus, she made him made, causing him to kill his family and being punished by having to undergo twelve near-impossible challenges. One of these was killing the nine-headed monster, the Hydra. Hercules had already accomplished the first task so easily that Hera wanted to distract him. She sent a crab down to the human world and commanded it to attack Hercules. The crab crawled all the way to the battle scene and ferociously bit his toe. But Hercules simply kicked the crab, causing it to get crushed and killed instantly. Hera felt sorry for the crab and sent its body into the heavens where it became a constellation. This is quite possibly the saddest death in all of Greek mythology.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

0
Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Leo

Leo is the Zodiac sign for those born between July 23 and August 22. The symbol for Leo is a ferocious lion.

The model for Leo is the Nemean Lion, killed by Hercules during one of his twelve labours. The Nemean Lion was a frightening beast with claws sharper than any sword and able to cut through any armour, with a golden hide that could not be pierced by any weapon. With its ultimate offence and defence, no warrior could defeat the Lion and it continued to wreak havoc in Nemea. As stated in the legend of Cancer, Hercules had to complete twelve challenges for his sins, the Hydra being the second. The first labour was to kill the Nemean Lion. Not knowing that the Lion had invincible leather, Hercules shot many arrows at it with no effect. The Lion laughed at his vain attempt and pounced, ready to shred him with his claws. Hercules understood that arrows and swords were no use, so he pulled out his club and smashed the Lion’s head with full force. The Lion was completely stunned by the impact and Hercules took this opportunity to strangle it with his bare hands. After a few minutes, the Lion collapsed and Hercules came out as the victor. He tried to take the hide by cutting it with his knife, but the knife did not even make a scratch. After thinking about it, he took the claws of the Lion and found that this could cut through the hide. With the golden hide, Hercules made the toughest armour that would protect him from much harm in the future. The corpse of the Lion was lifted to the heavens and turned into a constellation.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

0
Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Virgo

Virgo is the Zodiac sign for those born between August 23 and September 22. The symbol for Virgo is a beautiful, young maiden.

The model for Virgo is Astraea, the goddess of justice. When the world was created, both humans and gods co-existed on Earth, living a peaceful, carefree life. This was known as the “Gold Age”. But as time passed, humanity became smarter and more cunning. Furthermore, when the four seasons started, people had to work and this made them fight with each other sometimes. The gods, disgusted by humanity’s behaviour, all left to Mount Olympus. Only Astraea, who loved the people too much, stayed on Earth. This was known as the “Silver Age”. However, not long after that the “Copper Age” set in and people started to lie to each other, steal from each other and even kill each other. Astraea was disappointed and distraught, so she ascended to the heavens and became a constellation.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

image

0
Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Libra

Libra is the Zodiac sign for those born between September 23 and October 21. The symbol for Libra is a pair of large, golden scales.

The model for Libra is the Scales of Justice used by Astraea, the goddess of justice. She would use these scales to compare the arguments of the defendant and the plaintiff in a trial to decide who was right. Interestingly, the concept of using scales in a trial can be found in other cultures such as Egyptian mythology. Anubis, the god of death, would take a person’s heart out when they died, put it on scales and compare the weight against the Feather of Truth. If the heart was lighter, the person’s soul would be sent to heaven; if it was heavier, he would be sent to hell. Astraea’s scales also became a constellation when she ascended to the heavens.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

0
Posted in History & Literature

Zodiac: Scorpio

Scorpio is the Zodiac sign for those born between October 22 and November 21. The symbol for Scorpio is a gigantic scorpion.

The model for Scorpio is the scorpion that killed Orion. Orion was a great hunter. He always boasted that there was not a single animal that he could not kill and would kill every beast he saw in the forest. Many gods and goddesses were not pleased with his narcissism, but among them Artemis, the goddess of hunting, particularly disliked him. She was worried that he would kill every animal on Earth, threatening the ecosystem. So she summoned a giant scorpion and commanded it to kill him. The scorpion proceeded to swiftly sneak up to Orion and stung him with a deadly poison, killing him instantly. Thus, the great hunter Orion fell shamefully. Both Orion and the scorpion were lifted into the heavens and became constellation. This is why when the Scorpio constellation rises in the night sky, the Orion constellation hurriedly falls to the west, scared that he might be attacked once more.

(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)

0