who gathered the wind,
hunting the Hare with the Ox
while swimming against
the incoming tide ~from a Troubadour poet
a year ago I wrote samten:
Drew the IV of Swords in Tarot -- I of little faith. But it tells me something about what I'm thinking, feeling, fearing, hoping. This card precisely: on the cross, balanced between forces. Or rather -- understanding that within the stillpoint perfect center, the forces balance themselves. Accomplish this miracle, achieve this peace, and it brings something good into our sphere. or so it says to me.
show details 6:44 AM (6 hours ago)
From: Wellesz, Emmy, An Islamic Book of Constellations, Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1965. (Bodlean Picture Book No. 13.)
4 0f Swords
April 21 to April 30
Pictured by the constellation LEPUS - A hare running timidly away.
Legend: The Isle of Lepus - multiplication of hares and their eventual destruction. Vid: Robson.
TAURUS — 1st Decanate. The masters of olden times in tracing symbolical pictures in the sky, to convey to later generations their conception of the influence of the various sections of the heavens, sometimes pictured the highest attainment and sometimes pictured the greatest obstacle to progress. In LEPUS — the Hare — they symbolized the thought that timidity is the greatest bar to advancement of those born under the first decanate of Taurus. Being the first decanate of the sign naturally ruling the house of money, there is often a tendency to devote too much energy to the acquisition of wealth. And as this decanate is particularly mediumistic, those born under it easily acquire magical powers. Hence the various traditions regarding it as a place of black magic. Yet its children become adepts at white magic just as easily if they but overcome the lust for material things. It is only when they are blinded by physical aims that the place of the soul’s exaltation becomes an adverse symbol. Those born here have great natural healing power and ability to crystallize conditions to their desires by the power of the imagination upon the astral light.
Ulysses S. Grant, whose fixity of purpose was his most remarkable trait, was born with his Individuality polarized in this decanate, the Sun being here. G. R. S. Mead, who edited The Theosophical Review and did an immense amount of laborious work to enlighten students, had his Mentality in this decanate, It being the place of the Moon in his chart. And Jerome Cardan, who became famous as a mathematician and astrologer, had this decanate Rising at his birth. It is the decanate of DETERMINATION.
The Good Luck of the Rabbit’s Foot.— Seeking to discern what the ancients had in mind when they traced the picture of a rabbit in the sky to represent the earthy decanate of the sign of material possessions brings instantly to thought the three outstanding attributes of the hare: fleetness, timidity, and rapidity of reproduction.
Fleetness, as indicated by wings on the feet of Mercury and Perseus, has to do with thought; and as the Moon exerts its strongest power in the Taurus-decanate of Taurus, we perceive the aptness of an association between this section of the zodiac, occupied by the Sun from April 21 to April 30, and the lunar orb, which in a birth-chart rules Mentality.
Easter is a modern adaptation of the old name of the Moon, which by the Chaldeans was called Ishtar, became Astarte to the classical nations, Easter to the Saxons, and finally was designated by the term now used for her chief annual festival. In this festival her greatest power, as signified by her exaltation in the beginning of Taurus, is celebrated as chief aid to the function of the Sun. Easter is the Sunday after the Full Moon after the Sun has passed into the summer half of the zodiac.
At this Full Moon, because the Sun is in Aries, where its creative energies are strangest, the Moon must be in Libra, the sign ruling both marriage and eggs. Eggs, consequently, form a persistent factor in that spring festival dedicated to the redemption of the world by united man and woman, even as it is deemed to be rescued from winter through the offices of the united Sun and Moon.
These eggs commonly are colored in various hues to signify diversity in the expected harvest, and they are hidden about, and must be hunted for, even as other seeds are placed in the Sun-warmed dark ground of the beginning of Taurus, where they germinate, and only later thrust green shoots through the surface into the kindly light of day.
Bunnies also are part of the ceremony: for although they do not lay eggs, as children are sometimes led to believe at Easter, they are unusually prolific, and stand symbol of the power of the earth to bring forth.
This decanate where Easter has her strongest power also is associated with the greatest tragedy mankind has ever known. Halloween commemorates the destruction of the world, the fire, the flood, and the sinking of Atlantis. The Sun at that time is in the death-decanate of the death-sign Scorpio, directly across the zodiac from this rabbit-decanate of Taurus. Thus when Ophiuchus, the man in death struggle with a serpent, who pictures the first-decanate of Scorpio, sets in the west, vanquished by the great destruction, Lepus, the hare, rises in the east, and is shown fleeing from the scene of catastrophe as fast as fleet legs will carry him.
Tradition holds that the time when such cataclysms occur may be timed by the position of the Pleiades, a group of stars behind the shoulder of the Bull, in relation to the precessional cycle. As the Bull faces eastward toward the earth as it rises, and as the whole rear half of it has been destroyed in the cataclysm, the Pleiades come up first, as Lepus pictures that section of the Sign Taurus first to rise. Noah quickly left behind his sinful companions when he entered the ark, Lot left Sodom in great haste: and legend says that the wise ones of Atlantis, warned by the position of the Pleiades, went from their doomed land at top speed.
In one of the oldest written accounts in existence, the Gilgamesh Epic of still more ancient Sumeria, the cuneiform tablets of which have been recovered from Assurbanipal’s famous library at Ninevah. it is related that after the hero conquers the mighty Bull which has caused seven years of sterility on the earth, that Ishtar places a curse upon him. But Gilgamesh evades the curse, tears the entrails from the Bull, dedicates its crescent horns to the Sun, and washes his hands in the Euphrates. which was the river Eridanus of the Sumerians.
As the earthy decanate of Taurus may well be taken to represent the more physical section of the sign, so the rear of the Bull, which in rising comes first, is similar in its symbolic implications. It was the materialism and wickedness of the world that made necessary the flood from which Noah fled. It was the turning from God to abominations of the flesh that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And the use of mental powers and psychic forces to enslave the populace is said to have preceded the sinking of Atlantis.
All magic, now more commonly called mental demonstration, new thought, or metaphysical practice, is made possible through the activity of the mind. And this peculiar power resides in greatest measure in those born with the first decanate of Taurus dominant.
Such magic, such healing energy, and such force of mind, can be used in either of two directions. The voodoos of our South follow the example of Ishtar, and place a curse upon their enemies. But others more enlightened follow the example of Gilgamesh, and dedicate this crescent power, the horns of the Bull, to spiritual purposes, represented by the Sun.
That the self-seeking, materialistic, or destructive use of this lunar power must never be countenanced was portrayed by the ancients when they failed to picture other than the front portion of the Bull in the sky. Nor will the Jews, preserving the symbolic custom to this day, eat of a beef other than the portion pictured. To those of that orthodox faith the portion omitted from the stellar picture is unclean and may not be served as food; as they say, it a not Kosher.
As the Sun, in practical astrology rules the Individuality, and has its exaltation in the Eridanus decanate, and the Moon rules the Mentality, having its exaltation in the Lepus decanate, when the epic hero of Sumeria dedicated the crescent horn of the Bull to the Sun and washed his hands in the river, in pantomime he was consecrating his Mental powers to their highest, most spiritual, use. And these horns of the Bull, through various avenues have descended to us as a means by which the adverse effect of mental forces can be avoided.
How blind are those who can see no farther than the material plane; who prostitute their souls for the attainment of carnal desire, and whose minds turn only to wickedness and destruction. When Sodom and Gomorrah fell in flames the Bible relates: "And they Smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great; so that they wearied themselves to find the door."
This blindness of devoting the energies solely to the gross, with no thought for the finer experiences of life; and that even more terrible practice of using the psychic powers for the injury of others, is pictured by the star which blots out the eye of the rabbit in the sky. Blindness is also traditionally associated with the Pleiades, the cyclic pointers of cataclysmic destruction.
Ptolemy, compiler of ancient astronomical knowledge, says that when the Moon is with the Pleiades and afflicted by Mars in a chart of birth that the person will go blind. As a matter of astrological research, when the Moon is greatly afflicted by Mars, trouble with the eyes may be expected whether the Pleiades are involved or not. But in this manner has the tradition of loss of sight through evil mental practices come down to us.
And thus it is today, in all regions where prevails the belief in "evil eye," which is supposed to be a curse placed upon one person by another’s malignant look, that the attempt is made to ward it off by farming the sign of the Bull’s horns. This is done by closing the hand in such a manner that the first and little finger stand out to form a crescent, and then gouging in the direction of the person casting the spell as if to gouge out his eyes.
The rabbit in the sky is pictured fleeing in great haste from all such influences; and as he is moving directly away from the section of the zodiac where the cataclysmic struggle takes place, turning his back, on the scene of various iniquities, the legend persists to this day that, like those who fled from Atlantis before it sank, and like Lot who made his escape from Sodom, the rabbit gained safety. It thus acquires an implication of good fortune.
The foot of any Creature is the universal symbol of understanding of some kind: and the foot of the rabbit implies an understanding of those things for which the rabbit stands, that is, of mental practices devoted to injury, and how to escape their influence. The negro who carries a rabbit’s foot to prevent a "jinx" being placed upon him, and as a talisman of good luck in general, is merely perpetuating, by means of a symbolic ritual, an ancient truth of vast import.
It requires great determination not to look at, or think about, the thing which if permitted to do so would cause fear: and thus those born with the first decanate of Taurus dominant have, as the Key-word clearly indicates. The earthy decanate of the earth a own sign in particular needs to exercise the Determination which it so abundantly possesses to face away from the gross and sensual, and to escape the paralyzing effect of fear.
The hare, although fleet of foot, is a timorous creature that burrows in warrens beneath the ground, like those who, submerged in materialism, live in constant dread of death. Lot escaped from the hail of fire and brimstone, but his wife, unable to resist visualizing the thing which she feared, looked back, and became rooted to the spot. The salt, which ultimately she became, shows the crystallizing power of selfish inclinations.
When we positively desire a thing we flash the image of that which is sought upon the mental screen, and the thought-cells belonging to that department of life work with such energy as they possess to make that condition a reality. But when in fear the image is the opposite of that which we seek, these four-dimensional sparks of consciousness work just as hard to carry out the orders they thus receive, disastrous though the result may be. Even as the rabbit is blind, so fear blinds the eyes to the proper mental picture, accepted as a command by unconscious mind, to get wished-for results. Hence follows the text: One of Man’s Greatest Enemies is Fear.
The Rabbit is shown in Arcanum 22 of the Alchemical Tarot deck. The Rabbit, or Hare, is the name of a Constellation, LEPUS, in Taurus.
Where I think it is better placed than Pluto.
The March Hare in Alice in Wonderland…
A rabbit appears in the Triumph of Venus in the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara, and Venus rules Taurus.
Also the rabbit is associated, very profoundly in the mass unconscious, with Easter, and the fertility rites that this Christian Festival incorporated.