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Cetus, Hydra

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  • Diana K. Rosenberg
    Re: Cetus and Hydra, here are excerpts from my book: Cetus was a monster of the deep summoned up by Neptune to ravage the seacoast because Queen Cassiopeia
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2006
      Cetus, Hydra

      Re: Cetus and Hydra, here are excerpts from my book:

      Cetus was a monster of the deep summoned up by Neptune to ravage the seacoast because Queen Cassiopeia (consort of King Cepheus) had offended the sea-god with her boast that she was fairer than his sea nymphs. Terrified, Cassiopeia appealed to Jupiter, who ruled that her daughter Andromeda must be sacrificed to appease Neptune's wrath (it is interesting that the innocent daughter, rather than the arrogant mother, is to be sacrificed!). Andromeda was chained to a rock by the shore at Joppa (present-day Tel-Aviv-Jaffa) to await the devouring monster (the rest of the myth is in Chapter 2, under Perseus). Poet Aratus, (ca. 300 BCE), working from the now-lost Phaenomena of the astronomer Eudoxus (ca. 400 BCE), called Cetus a mighty terror, hateful monster, leviathan of the sky; astrologer-poet Manilius (ca. 10 CE) sang of a massive, avenging beast of huge undulating scaly coils and enormous gaping jaws, “drenching its winged assailant (Perseus) with a blood-stained deluge...when a hostile sea in all its strength burst upon every shore, the land was shipwrecked in the flood, and what had been a king's domain was now an ocean..." (at the 2004 Winter Solstice 5 days before the hideous earthquake-engendered tsunami that devastated the shorelines of 12 countries and killed nearly 300,000 people, Cetus culminated at the epicenter, and the Antivertex, NNode and Moon aligned with its stars; 8 months later when hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the NNode and Mars were aligned with Cetus' stars). Manilius assigned all who worked the sea and slaughtered its creatures under its aegis: “this monster enlists its sons in an onslaught on the deep and a butchery of scaly creatures, ensnaring the deep with nets; the fish are torn into pieces, and fill large vats; moreover, such men evaporate the sea, commuting it to life-giving salt and render a source of health.” Astronomer-astrologer Ptolemy (2nd century CE) flatly declared that all of Cetus’ stars were Saturnian, and as one of the constellations in the form of swimming things, he has it influencing “creatures of the sea and the sailing of fleets.” Today whales and other large sea creatures are fascinating mammals that many nations try to study, help and protect, but Cetus was, originally, a figure that was evil, ugly, and dangerous.

      Note: he is usually represented at ANY whale event, harsh or not. For instance, under

      Deneb Kaitos   Beta Ceti in Monster’s tail      2AR35   -20 47  -17 59  0 44    2.04    K0 III
       Diphda (from Arab Al Difdi Al Thani “The 2nd Frog;” Alpha Piscis Austrini was “The 1st Frog”)

      I have: As for Cetus' reputation for shipwreck and drowning, this was Venus of 18th-century sailor-poet William Falconer who wrote “The Shipwreck” after surviving one and later died in another (Venus ruled his 8th), Saturn of Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick,” about a monstrous white whale. The Sun is here every March 25, the annual National Day of Protest Against Whaling; the 1822 Aries Ingress Sun-Pluto cnj was here when the first (aquatic) dinosaur bones were discovered in Sussex; Mars stationed at these stars in 1988 when a group of whales trapped in the ice at Point Barrow, Alaska were freed by icebreakers.

      The Hydra lived in a swamp by a lake and grove of plane trees in the holy district of Lerna, near Argos, to which murderers would come for purification (hence a Greek proverb: "A Lerna of Evils"). This sacred district was being terrorized by the Hydra, described as having a "prodigious dog-like body and 8 or 9 snaky heads, one of them immortal;" it was so venomous that just its breath, or the odor of its tracks, could kill. The goddess Athena led Hercules to the Hydra's lair; on her advice, he forced the monster to emerge by attacking it with flaming arrows, then held his breath to catch hold of it. The monster twined itself around him, and as he severed each head, 2 or 3 grew in its place.  Hercules called to his friend Iolaus for help. Iolaus set fire to one corner of the grove, and with blazing branches seared the roots of the Hydra's heads as they were severed, preventing new heads from growing. With a golden falchion (scythe) Hercules severed the one immortal head (which was partly gold) and buried it, still hissing, under a heavy rock; he then disemboweled the corpse and dipped his arrows into the gall, making them fatally poisonous. This has been called the 2nd  Labor of Hercules, but there is and was great disagreement over the order of the 12 Labors. Greek coins usually depicted the Hydra with 7 heads, but the earliest Greco-Roman constellation pictures that we have, from the Roman Farnese Globe of the 2nd-century CE (thought to be a copy of a 3rd-century BCE Greek globe belonging to Hipparchus), show Hydra as a serpent with a single head, and that is how it has been depicted since.

      I have found the front (head) of Hydra is often represented at events of environmental contamination - the "poison" of the creature.

      Love, Diana

      Website: http://pw1.netcom.com/~ye-stars/

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