All for One and One for All: The Trinity of Astronomy, Astrology, and Mythology
I was always interested in the mystery of space when I was younger. I used to dream about seeing myself in deep space. I remember how I used to stare at the Moon for long periods and tell the stars my secrets. The Sun, the Moon, and the planets were parts of a huge system that we dance with, and they had real meaning together. Like many children, I wanted to be an astronaut.
As I grew up, my love affair with the sky also grew. I was fascinated with its perfect order, the feeling of infinity, the endless cycles, and the energies that affect each other from above to below and below to above. I believed that if the simple flutter of a butterfly can change the world forever, this system must have a deeper meaning. I considered there might be a deeper bond between the skies and us, so I decided to study astrology.
I came to the door of the Zodiac and knocked on it. The door opened, followed by another one, and then yet another one. As I progressed, it became deeper. The deeper it became, the more meaning it gained. Everything became more mysterious as it grew deeper, and there were still many other doors to open. Meanwhile, the opportunity to write this article came along, so I wondered whether if I wrote down the things I’d learned, I could maybe digest them easily while sharing some of them with you. Two birds with one stone, so to speak.
I Travelled Back in Time to 15,000 BC…
Humanity has always pondered the same things! People stared at the sky and wondered about it back then as well, not that there were that many other things to do! After staring at the sky, the ancients observed the movements of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets. Understanding the characteristics and movements of the planets are the fundamentals of astrology. This was then followed by observing the planets’ influences on people, nature, and countries. Space, sky, celestial systems, and obscurity have always drawn attention throughout history. The first known studies started in 15,000 BC. There are also other documents written in cuneiform by the Sumerians around 3,000 BC. Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Mexico, Central America, and the Indus Valley were the main hotspots of astrological study.
Around 250 BC, Berossus, a priest from Babylon, moved to the Greek island of Kos to teach the Greeks about astrology and Babylonian culture. The Zodiac wheel was called the wheel of animals back then. From the studies of the Greek and Roman civilizations, astrology became widespread and reached its modern form. As astrology began to take shape in Greece, the Zodiac was ruled by the mythological gods and goddesses of Olympus rather than the planets, so astrology and mythology are closely related. The planets are all related to a specific mythological hero. When we examine mythology, we see how each hero carries the same characteristics as the planet it is related to, as well as the ruler of that planet. The astronomical features of the planets also match their astrological characteristics. In brief, mythology and astronomy help us to understand astrology better. This has always been an interesting relationship to me: the trinity of astronomy, astrology, and mythology. Let’s now look at the link between these three subjects.
The Sun and Apollo, the Son of Zeus
Apollo is one of the better-known gods, right? At least I think so. Apollo ruled the Sun, which he gave birth to. He was an active, lively, and talented healer who both gave and took life. He was the son of Zeus and the Goddess of Darkness. His genes proved he was both strong and destructive.
Although the Sun, which is the center of our solar system, is a star, it is called a planet in astrology, as is the Moon. It is identified as a sign, probably because of its vital importance. The Sun in a natal chart represents the spirit of the subject’s personality. The Sun is related to existence, vitality, creativity, self-expression, and the need for recognition. It is our unique and basic characteristic, our prerequisite life energy from the Sun!
*The Sun is the ruler of Leo.
The Moon and Artemis
Artemis is a goddess who carries silver arrows. You may have seen her statue. She was called Diana by the Romans. She is the protector of animals, children, and nature and the queen of the forests. In some references, she is said to be a virgin, but some refer to her as the symbol of prosperity and fertility. She has powerful emotions and a specific mystery.
It sounds like the Moon, doesn’t it? The Moon is a satellite, but in astrology, it is more important than the actual planets. We see the same side of the Moon all the time, because the time taken for the Moon to rotate on its axis matches the time it takes to orbit the Earth. This means the Moon never shows its other side to us. She is always mysterious. Symbolizing femininity, the Moon manifests itself in different forms each day, representing the cycles of women. The Moon represents our mysterious and inner dynamics, our basic instincts, and our emotional needs. The myths about full moons and werewolves must come from the link between the Moon’s influence and our darker sides.
*The Moon is the ruler of Cancer.
Mercury and the Naughty Son Hermes
The fast-moving planet nearest to the Sun is ruled by the fastest God, Hermes son of Zeus. He is symbolized by a talented and tricky young man who flies with the aid of wings on his sandals. The Romans called him Mercury. He carries information between the Gods and between the Gods and men. Although Hermes may be disturbing due to his sudden movements, everyone likes him because of his intelligence and talkativeness.
To understand the mental structure of a subject, we should observe Mercury in the natal chart. Mercury relates to communication, rationality, speaking and writing, curiosity and seeking knowledge, and having contact with others. The rapidness of Hermes also represents the human mind and the flow of thoughts.
*Mercury is the ruler of Gemini and Virgo.
Venus and the Beautiful Aphrodite
Who could rule this beautiful planet? Aphrodite—the goddess of love, light, beauty, and sexuality—rules it of course. She is a pearl born out of an oyster in Cyprus who turned out to be exceptionally beautiful when she came ashore. She brought beauty and prosperity to the whole world then. She has always been the most influential guest of the gods because of her beauty and sweet talk. She brought love, joy, and happiness to her admirers but sorrow and pain to those who refused to admire her.
Venus is the second-closest planet to the Sun. She rotates slowly in the opposite direction to the other planets. It takes 243 Earth days for her to revolve completely, yet her tour around the Sun takes only 224 Earth days. This means a year is shorter than a day on Venus! This brightly shining and surprising planet represents our need to relate with others and our tendency to share. It represents the things that please us. Tastes, values, pleasures, relationships, money, love, and beauty are the themes of Venus.
*Venus is the ruler of Taurus and Libra.
Mars and Ares, the God of War
The red planet Mars is the planet of Ares, the God of War. Its color gives the impression of war, but it actually stems from the density of the iron and steel in the planet and dormant volcanoes. The god Ares was the representative of war who was always defeated by intelligence. After his intercourse with Aphrodite, he had two sons: Phobos (fear) and Deimos (terror). He also had a daughter named Harmonia.
As the planet of war represents our power to defend ourselves in battle, it is related to our basic instincts. It symbolizes our need to survive and our sexual and spiritual power and endurance. Taking action, initiative, and leadership and being assertive and decisive are only possible with the help of Mars. It is our proactive side.
Isn’t it interesting how scientists named Mar’s satellites after the son of Ares?
*Mars is the ruler of Aries and Scorpio.
Jupiter and the King of the Gods, Zeus
Here is the greatest and mightiest of the gods, Zeus. He is the God of the largest planet in our solar system. He was benevolent, hospitable, generous, lovely and respectful to the poor, a believer in justice, and the founder and guardian of order. He was also responsible for the harmony in the sky, the order on the ground, and the wisdom of everything.
Jupiter is so large that its strong gravitational force protects the Earth from incoming celestial bodies by drawing them toward itself, so Jupiter is a great benefit for the Earth. In astrology, Jupiter is said to be the great benefic and the indicator of luck, prosperity, and wealth. In a natal chart, the placement of Jupiter shows how the subject will find luck, security, and ease, as well as what is guaranteed during life. Philosophies, religions, beliefs, justice, and laws are also related to this planet. Here is the mighty God Zeus, a perfect match for Jupiter!
*Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius and Pisces.
Saturn and the Father of Zeus, Cronos
Cronos, the god of time, was the father of the mighty god Zeus and the son of Uranus, whom he castrated out of ambition. He also devoured his own children so he could dominate everything alone. Only Zeus was spared this fate, and he later exiled his father. Cronos became more moderate over time and was shown mercy. He began awarding prizes to people but swiftly took them back if they did not deserve them.
This god is not a pleasant at all, and neither is Saturn, the slowest planet and one of the coldest. The ancient astrologers named Saturn as the great malefic because they believed this planet also symbolizes death. The same opinion still prevails, but modern astrologers believe it to be related with many important issues other than death. It is, in fact, the main frame of the chart because Saturn rules the main tests of our lives and shows us how we will mature. This is where we take life seriously. Responsibilities, restrictions, and respect for others’ limits are all related to Saturn. It also rules the cycles of our lives.
Its mythology may tell us how things are destroyed by time. The story of Cronos, his desire for supremacy, the obligation of deserving the prizes, and the punishment of those who were undeserving closely match the symbolism of Saturn.
*Saturn is the ruler of Aquarius and Capricorn.
Uranus, the God of the Sky
Uranus was a father castrated by his son Cronos. Although he had a dramatic end, he was a mighty god. He was an immortal god who ruled everything. He was also the god of astrology and astronomy. His most interesting attribute was that he had no physical body like the other gods. He was rebellious, stubborn, and naughty. Because he was jealous of his children, he imprisoned them in the underworld, but Cronos castrated him and saved the other children.
Uranus, the only planet named after a Greek rather than Roman god, is a shocking planet. Before its discovery, our solar system was believed to have seven planets, so its discovery shocked everyone. Eight years after its discovery in 1781 by William Hershel, the French revolution took place. The shock continues, and this is what Uranus conveys in astrology. It represents the end of existing systems and the passage from darkness to light. After the discovery of Uranus, many scientific discoveries and revolutions occurred, and the winds of enlightenment and freedom began to spread. So, Uranus is a planet that frees us and helps us break the rules. It represents individual power.
*Uranus is not a ruler of any houses, but it is related to Aquarius.
Neptune and the Ruler of the Waters, Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the seas and rivers, as well as everything living in them. He held a trident in one hand, and with this trident, he conjured storms and huge waves that could destroy everything on Earth. This god of the sea naturally lived in the depths of the ocean and rode a carriage drawn by dolphins and seahorses. Although he cannot be seen in the water, he is there with all his power. This is just like foggy Neptune, maybe because of Poseidon!
Neptune, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, was first discovered in 1795 by Lanlande, but he believed it to be a star. It was later rediscovered in 1846. In astrology, Neptune is related to transcendence. It brings confusion and a lack of concentration in mundane matters. It is the point where the subject goes to extremes and wants to get rid of his possessions. All addictions are related to Neptune for example. When Neptune was discovered, romanticism became a trend in the arts, many developments in psychoanalysis took place, and narcosis was used in medical operations. Spiritualism, hypnosis, mystic organizations, and social consciousness showed radical development.
* Neptune is not a ruler of a certain house, but it is associated with Pisces.
Pluto and the Unloved God Hades
Hades was the god of the underworld, and he is the god of the furthest, smallest, and coldest planet. Humans and gods alike shun him. He rules the dead and lives in the underworld with his wife. When people die, the old ferryman Charon carries the dead to Hades’ underworld.
Pluto, which has a single satellite, was discovered before the atomic bomb of World War II. His satellite is named Charon after the old ferryman. Charon is a huge satellite that resembles a planet itself. In astrology, Pluto is associated with the atomic bomb. Pluto claims, “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” It represents transformation, purification, and the need for leaving the old through suffering. Themes like death, reincarnation, the underworld, sexuality, the atomic bomb, organized crime, terrorism, and darkness are related to Pluto. It answers questions like “Where can I find the real meaning of life?”, “What field of life will transform me through challenges and pressures?”, and “How can I preserve my strength and transform my life?”
* Pluto is not a ruler of any particular house, but it is associated with Scorpio.
And so goes the story! Astrology is a long path, and the more you walk it, the more you wonder what will come next. There’s no end to it. I could go on some more, but I think that’s enough for now.