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Chapter 6
Is There a Santa Claus?
When Samson Lost His
Strength
--Daniel had quite an adventure in a den of Lions and the Greek Hercules was
compelled to strangle such a beast, but at a still more ancient date heroic Samson tore
one quite in two, at the time when love first came into his life To picture that section
of the sky where the Sun holds forth in all his courage and all his strength from July
23 to August 23
each year, the section which in the natural chart of man relates to
offspring, to pleasures, to gambling, and to affairs of the heart, the ancients chose the
Icing of beasts, the dauntless lion.
Samson was one of those unfortunates to whom our sympathies go out, present in
every community and in every period of the world, who loved not wisely but too
well. He was a good chap, but always unfortunate in his love affairs.
His intentions, as a youth, were honorable and just. He met a young woman who
found favor in his sight, and being in love with her, sought in honor to make her his
wife. But his parents were opposed to such a match. This woman was of a different
faith, they wanted nothing to do with her, and so Samson's troubles began.
A Lion, related astrological to the house of pleasure, is a universal symbol of desire.
If the desire be spiritual the creature is represented in its beneficial sense, as when
Christ is termed a Lion of the tribe of Juda; but if the desire be gross, such as leads to
destruction, the beast is shown antagonistic, as when the devil is mentioned in the
Bible as a roaring Lion.
Thus when Samson in love with the girl, was met by a young lion which roared
against him, it is to be inferred, especially as his parents disapproved, that he was
beset by passions which raged within. But, as is set forth at considerable pains, his
life up to this time had been without blemish in thought or action, his mother being
carefully instructed even before his birth.
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The young Lion thus was easily conquered, and whatever his thoughts for the
moment may have been, they were quickly vanquished by those of a highly spiritual
kind. No type of nourishment is quite so high in its symbolical significance as honey
ruled by Venus, and made from the nectar of flowers. It thus represents a spiritual
food.
Genius in every age and clime has been inspired by love. As the love is exalted so
does genius soar to higher levels of expression. Love has creative power, therefore
Samson, having again talked with the girl of his choice and exalted by his adoration,
partook of spiritual nutriment, tuned in on energies which brought him spiritual
strength, as symbolized by the honey he found and ate, which the bees had made in
the carcass of the roaring lion he had slain.
The conversion of the roaring lion into honey with which he fed his soul, and which
also proved acceptable to his parents, is expressed by psychologists of the present
day as the sublimation of desire.
As already pointed out, in practical astrology the sign Leo is related alike to love
affairs, to gambling and to entertainment. Therefore it was quite in order, from a
symbolic point of view, that the culmination of Samson's first love affair in marriage
should be celebrated with a feast to which other young men were invited, and that
this, in turn, should lead to gambling.
The riddle proposed by Samson, on which the wager was laid as to its correct
solution, is the riddle with which every person is confronted, and on the solution of
which depends his life's reward. Samson knew the solution of the riddle; but as
events later transpired they show, like many another, that he did not always practice
what he knew.
With the thought in his mind of the lion he had slain, out of which he had obtained
honey, he said to those who came to his entertainment, "Out of the eater came forth
meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness."
In the sense of Samson's riddle only those who have can give to others; and those
who have the energy to benefit their associates must acquire it from some already
existing source when the vegetables from the garden are eaters; for they consume
water and minerals from the soil and carbon from the air. This is generally
recognized; but in the second part of his riddle Samson went beyond the
commonplace. Not the observation that only those of outstanding abilities are able to
be of much help in the progress of the world as such. But when he implied that
spirituality, as symbolized by the honey, depends upon strength, he sets forth a great
truth.
Moses made use of material wealth for spiritual purposes. But here is a teaching that
desires, even the roaring desires which Samson met on his visit to the Philistine
woman, can so be used. In fact, the implication is that desires such as are symbolized
by the lion are the source from which spiritual powers most readily can be derived.
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The Key-phrase of Leo is, I Will, and people born when the Sun is in this sign
commonly exhibit more than the average amount of that fixity of purpose which goes
by the name of will power. Yet power of will itself is dependent upon ability to keep
the desires focused on the objective to which once they were so strongly attracted that
a decision to follow some line of conduct toward their realization was made.
Therefore, the stronger the desires are which an individual has, the greater will be his
will power if he can keep them, instead of running wild, turned into some particular
channel of his choosing.
In order to accomplish this there must be the willingness, when occasion requires, to
face disagreeable situations. Such willingness is called courage. Courage is of
different kinds. Samson had the courage to meet physical peril of the most dangerous
sort; but not the courage to resist the pleading of a woman, even though it meant his
certain ruin.
For that sweetness which comes from the strong, which is the manifestation of
spiritual growth, the desires must not be diverted from their lofty aim through
wavering in the face of obstacles. To desist, to give in to another knowing such
yielding to be wrong, is moral cowardice. In spite of Samson's physical courage he
was a moral weakling; for when his newly acquired wife tormented him to tell her the
secret of his riddle, after a time he grew so weary of her complaining that he took the
line of least resistance and told her all.
She, telling those who sought to solve the riddle, caused him to lose his wager. And
although at some later date, linking the common rulership of love affairs and
gambling, some one coined an ameliorating phrase that to be unlucky at cards is to be
lucky in love, Samson's experience, like common observation, brings its complete
refutation. He lost not merely the gambling stake, but his wife as well.
One might think that one experience of this kind would have been enough for
Samson. Yet in our daily contacts of life such failure to profit by experience is a
matter of common observation. A certain weakness is so strong, as the birth-chart
reveals, that the individual makes the same blunder over and over again. It is one of
the functions of astrology to indicate how this can be avoided.
In Samson's later, and even more disastrous love affair, the source of his strength, the
cause of its loss, and how at last it was regained are set forth still more clearly. But
this clarity is present only when hair, which like honey is ruled by Venus, the planet
of love, is recognized as a common object used in universal symbolism.
When Delilah implored Samson to tell her the secret of his strength he tried by means
of subterfuge to throw her off the track. He told her that if he were bound with seven
green switches he would be unable to break them. So she bound him thus, and called
as if shouting to his enemies; but he broke the switches with the greatest ease.
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As she continued to nag him for his want of trust in her, later he said that if he were to
be bound with new ropes he would be unable to free himself. But when she trussed
him up with such strands, and called to his enemies who lay in readiness to capture
him, these also he broke like threads.
Then he told her that if she were to weave the seven locks on his head it would render
him helpless. Yet when she had done this, and fastened him by the hair to the loom,
and he awoke, he went away, carrying the pin of the weaving beam, with no more
difficulty than he had before.
Finally, however, the moral cowardice of the man caused him to yield to her
entreaties, and he told her all he knew; that his strength was in his hair. So she shaved
his head and his strength departed from him. She called his enemies. They put out his
eyes, placed him in fetters, and made him do the grinding in the prison house.
The seven locks of hair which she shaved from his head are of the same symbolic
significance as the honey taken from the lion's carcass; for both hair and honey are
ruled by the planet of love. But here, instead of acquiring spiritual energy through the
sublimation of his desires, he is represented as having lost the energies he already
possessed through moral cowardice.
The seven locks which were shaved from his head were symbols of great desires,
which, so long as present furnished the energy for tremendous undertakings. But
when, through lack of courage to resist that which deflected him from his purposeful
course of life, he permitted himself to be shorn of desire, in other words, when he
gave up to the importunities of life, his strength went from him.
Yet later, when his hair grew long again, symbolizing desires that could be converted
into will, and they had taken him into a house where his enemies were collected that
they might have fun with him, he pushed down the pillars, bringing their destruction
along with his own demise. The text thus follows: Any Accomplishment Truly
Worth While Requires the Exercise of Courage
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Fire and Brimstone Which
Came Out of the Sky
-- In form, the cup placed in the sky is similar to those vessels used in ancient times,
and in many regions of the earth today, for holding burning coals. This heat
producing quality is quite understandable in light of the constellation's use to picture
the fiery decanate of the fixed fire sign, the 10 degrees through which the Sun must
pass from July 23 to August 3, when commonly the days are hottest.
Therefore it represents the fiery furnace into which, as related in Daniel 3, Shadrach,
Mesach and Abednego were cast; the furnace which, for their special destruction,
had been heated seven times hotter than was the ordinary custom.
So hot was it, and so great was the haste of Nebuchadnezzar to have these men--who
fell not down in worship when all the people heard the sound of cornet, flute, sackbut,
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psaltry and all the other kinds of music which Leo rules--consumed in flames, that
those who threw them in perished of its heat. As the desires which Leo rules, when
their associates are bad, burn the flesh and sear the soul, so did the unregenerate
worshippers of lust perish by the fiery furnace.
But the three companions who refused to bow the knee to sensual pleasures, who still
earlier with Daniel had refused defiling food, had formed spiritual associations for
their desires. Thus when Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace where they had
been cast, instead of men who had been bound and thrown into the flames, as desire is
wont to bind and burn its own, he saw the three walking about unhurt, and with them
was a fourth, who appeared like the Son of God.
In very truth, it is that with which desire associates that determines its power to injure
or protect. If its associations are spiritual, as those of the three companions are
revealed to have been, it consumes and destroys as related in this story from the
Bible.
Still further back in Bible times, but not back so far as Noah, the cities of Sodom and
Gomorrah perished because of licentiousness. They were wiped out not by flood, but
by fire and brimstone from heaven. Yet even as Shadrach and his companions
escaped unharmed, so did Lot and his two daughters escape the holocaust of that
time.
This again recalls the universal tradition that the world at times is swept by floods and
at other times by fire. The period of such cataclysms, according to the stellar doctrine
of the past, is when the Vernal Equinox moves backward from the fixed fire of Leo
into the movable water of Cancer; or when it passes back from the fixed air of
Aquarius into the movable earth of Capricorn.
Either as to the time or the particulars of the two types of cataclysms we have nothing
more definite than tradition. But that some such cataclysms really did occur, wiping
out early civilizations, there is increasing and positive evidence to show.
At the time this is being written (1935) the latest such conclusive evidence is that
furnished by the explorations of F. A. Mitchell-Hedges in Central America. There he
has found thousands of relics-- which have been presented to the Museum of the
American Indian, New York, and to the British Museum, London--of a civilization
infinitely older than that of the Maya or of the Inca.
While a different culture from that of the Maya or the Inca, the similarities caused the
British Museum in an official statement to express the opinion that it is an ancient
culture from which the ancient forms of culture were differentiated over Central
America.
The director of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, New York,
wrote Mr. Mitchell-Hedges in part:
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"Your own observations, and the United States Government surveys in Nicaragua,
prove conclusively that at some remote period a tremendous earth movement of
cataclysmic force must have taken place in that part of the world . . . and your
excavations have actually unearthed the cultural artifices of a prehistoric people that
existed prior to the great earth movement . . . and your discoveries open up an entirely
new vista in regard to the ancient civilization of the American continent."
Mr. Mitchell-Hedges says his research has revealed that at some remote time a great
land area stretching eastward from Central America sank and was engulfed by the
sea, and that during this gigantic geological readjustment a portion of what had been
sea-bed was heaved upward to become land of considerable height within the area
now known as Central America.
Volcanic action of magnitude must have accompanied this cataclysmic change,
during which his evidence goes to show, a great and cultured race of men were
destroyed. A few, fleeing to the tops of mountains and upland, were able to survive
for a time on the newly made islands, where they left behind the imperishable objects
of their own handicraft, from which Mr. Mitchell-Hedges, with the support of the
two great museums mentioned, is endeavoring to reconstruct their life story.
As to the date at which this pre-Mayan civilization existed, he believes it flourished
not later than 15,000 B. C., and possibly that it dates back of 25,000 B. C.
It is not a legitimate function of tradition, even of stellar tradition, to set dates of
events in the past that should be left to the painstaking research of archaeologists. Yet
it may not be amiss to determine the date when, according to stellar tradition and the
pictured constellations, the last period of great cataclysms by fire took place. If Mr.
Mitchell-Hedges is correct in his opinion that the cataclysm of which he finds the
remains happened over 15,000 years ago, this would take it back of the time of the
period of floods, back of the time when the Equinox passed from Leo into Cancer.
Therefore, we should look to the opposite point; to the time when the Vernal Equinox
passed from the fixed air of Aquarius into the movable earth of Capricorn.
Such a position not only indicates that whatever happens to the water it is the land
which moves first, but that when the Equinox thus crosses from fixed, air into
movable earth, and the Sun at the time of this Vernal Equinox goes down in the west
as if submerged, the Fiery Furnace, Crater, rises in the east, triumphant, and starts
pouring fire down upon the earth. And as timing this event, the Pleiades, which are
often called the doves, are then directly on the midheaven not at sunset, but at the
rising of the Sun.
According to the latest and most refined astronomical calculations, the complete
precessional cycle requires 25,868 years, instead of the round number, 25,920 years,
which the ancients more commonly employed. If, therefore, as both tradition and the
pictures in the stars hold forth, the period when stresses and strains are such as to
make fiery cataclysms probable relates to the passing of the Vernal Equinox from
Aquarius back into Capricorn, the dates are difficult to ascertain.
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Taking 1881 as the date of the Equinox passing from Pisces back into
Aquarius--that is, 30 degrees back from the place where in ancient times it had been
ascertained that the commencement of the circle of stars coincided with the
commencement of the circle of signs-- it must have passed into Capricorn just
eleven signs earlier, and will again reach such a point one sign later.
Eleven-twelfths of 25,868 gives 23,712 years before 1881, or 21,831 B. C. as the date
of the last such period of fiery cataclysms. And one-twelfth of 25,868 gives 2,156
years after 1881, or 4,037 AD as the next such period. On these dates, at least, at the
commencement of the astronomical year, as the Man goes down in the ocean Crater
comes up and so turns as if it were pouring fire and brimstone down upon the earth.
In the various stories from out of the past in which this fiery furnace figures many
who are subject to licentiousness perish, but others more pure in heart are saved. It is
not the zeal with which they live that causes the destruction of some; for neither Lot
nor Shadrach and his companions, were negative people; but their zeal was directed
constructively. It is not the finding of pleasure, but the seeking for pleasure in the
wrong things, that leads to dissolution.
Because action flows so spontaneously and without friction toward those things in
which pleasure is found the most successful way of defeating the pull of forbidden
desire is to cultivate a still keener pleasure in more beneficial things. When the
pleasure to be found in these is greater, the thoughts will turn in this direction, and the
forbidden impulses will die for want of nourishment.
The attitude toward nearly everything in life has been conditioned through the
experiences associated with it. To the extent the experiences with a certain type of
activity have been painful does thought of it bring distaste to the mind. To the extent
its associations have been pleasurable, do these become linked to it in the mind as an
inseparable part of it, exerting a distinct attraction.
Through following the methods indicated by an understanding of this principle it is
possible to cultivate a distinct liking for almost anything. There are always many
phases of a thing, which if sought for, can make it appear in a pleasurable light. Even
the thought of the advantage of having a will power strong enough to continue what
otherwise is a distinctly unpleasant activity, may, and often does, so strongly
associate the activity with thoughts of satisfaction that the activity in time becomes a
pleasure. In fact, it is only through the advantages that are associated with it that
people commonly learn to take pleasure in hard work.
People born while the Sun is in this first decanate of Leo commonly have a desire for,
and some ability in Rulership. The text derived from Crater is: To Learn to Like
Anything, Associate With It as Many Pleasurable Thoughts and Sensations As
Possible
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Why Santa Claus Comes
Down the Chimney
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--The very first glance at a chart picturing all 48 of the ancient constellations, such as
that illustrating Chapter 1, brings to the attention that two of the constellations,
quite far apart in the sky, portray the same mythological creatures. Part horse and part
man, the only difference between Centaurus, which pictures the Sagittarius-decanate
of Leo, where the Sun may be found from August 3 to August 13, and Sagittarius,
which pictures the sign where the Sun may be found from November 22 to December
22, is that Centaurus is armed with a shield and spear, while Sagittarius has a cloak
and uses bow and arrow.
This identity of the pictured forms at once suggests that the ancients who placed these
pictures in the sky to convey information in terms of universal symbolism, desired
that these two sections of the heavens be closely linked in the teaching they wished to
give. It certainly is not coincidence that one larger and one smaller section of the
zodiac should be represented by similar creatures; or that those chosen should
indicate the human qualities carried by a horse. Rather, especially as the huntsman
and the spearman face as if each were traveling toward the place of the other, it
signifies that there is a movement of the same type of influence from one station in
the zodiac to the other.
We are bound to infer, therefore, that the teaching signified, and the traditional story
left to give more detail, includes a movement, a carrying from one place to another
else why the horses' legs?-- and that its comprehension requires several stations in
the zodiac, the two most important being those pictured by the roving horsemen.
If we follow the simplest and most obvious method, which is that always employed
by those who traced these doctrines in the sky, it will lead us to commence with
Sagittarius because it pictures 30 degrees, and is therefore more important than
Centaurus which pictures only 10 degrees of space. We may be sure, however, that a
child or children will play a part in the story, because the smaller influence relates to
the middle-decanate of Leo, which has natural rule of children.
Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, and the Sagittarius decanate of Leo, also having
Jupiterian rule, are known to relate to gifts. Astrologers say that what Jupiter brings
comes freely as the result of good-will rather than through work as is the case with
Saturn.
Hence it is that immediately after the Sun leaves the Sagittarius sign in winter is the
time when gifts are made. Christmas is not on the day when the Sun reaches its
farthest declination south, which is the day when it crosses from the manger of the
horse to the manger of the goat, because for three days it remains at this lowest, most
southern, point before starting back to bring new life and light into the world.
Giving it three days grace after December 22 insures that on Christmas day the Sun
will be moving northward in declination and that the days will have started to get
longer. They will thus continue to lengthen until June 22, when the Sun reaches the
topmost point of the home sign, Cancer.
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The topmost part of a home is commonly the chimney. Therefore the Sun, in coming
to the home from the place where Jupiter brings his gifts on the line dividing
Sagittarius and Capricorn in winter, must touch it first at the highest spot, the
chimney. And to reach it, he of course comes through the air.
In vain you will search the Bible for mention of Christmas tree or Santa Claus; yet
that they are linked traditionally with the Centaur picturing the middle-decanate of
the section of the heavens relating to children seems certain; for on that day when
they are prominent it is said a child was born. Born in a stable underground as the Sun
yet represents; for it has reached its lowest point when between the horse and goat,
from which time it starts to gain new strength.
Santa Claus, like the horsemen in the sky, one of which relates to the time of winter's
cold and the other to the heat of summer, portrays two seasons of the year. His garb is
chiefly red; for as representing the constellated Centaur is he not next the fiery
furnace, Crater, where the heat glows fiercest? Yet also, to denote the snow of winter,
the trimming of the garb is spotless white.
The gifts he brings at Christmas time are tokens of still greater gifts to come, they are
the promise that abundance will follow after the time of winter dearth when the heat
from the Sun will have had time to ripen crops again. Still ahead, even though the
days have started in their lengthening, is a period of privation and cold. Stored
supplies may become exhausted, giving rise to dark despair; yet even at the entrance
of this period does he give promise of better days to come.
In his jovial manner and rotund figure he expresses the Jupiterian quality of
Sagittarius, from which the Sun has just moved at Christmas. This is the sign of
religion. And even as Santa Claus brings promise of material gifts; so religion brings
an equal cheer and promise of spiritual blessings after the hard dark days of earth are
done. Yes, the days are darkest about Christmas time. They are like those other days
when hope so fades that nothing seems worth while. Therefore is it fitting that there
should be joyous news of a happy future life.
Santa, however, not merely represents Jupiter's winter sign, but also a decanate of
Leo, sign ruled by the Sun. And anyone who has viewed the radiant rising Sun on a
cold and frosty morning will remember the resemblance to Santa's red circle of a
face.
Yet the youngsters of the land, whose special joy he is, would not recognize the
rotund fellow if divested of his whiskers. They are an essential part of his makeup
because at Christmas time the Sun has just moved into Capricorn, and chin whiskers
are the especial adornment of a goat.
Horses customarily draw sleighs, therefore Sagittarius and Centaurus well could
qualify; but as still more significant of the cold bleak winter days, reindeer are now
used to take their place. They are more accustomed to ice and snow.
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Before this sleigh--which coming from Sagittarius, the Jupiterian sign of
abundance, is filled with good things to overflowing--can get to the fireplace,
Crater, it must land on top the house at Cancer. And thus really does the Sun. For after
touching the highest point it reaches, which is where it enters the home-sign Cancer,
it immediately starts descending, as if going down the chimney, until it passes into
the decanate pictured by Crater.
It does not tarry in this fireplace, or hottest decanate of the zodiac, however, but at
once moves into the decanate pictured by Centaurus, the other horseman of the sky.
The feet, it is true, are ruled by Pisces. But ask any small boy or girl--such as is ruled
by the Leo section of the sky--if it is enough to hang up the mere feet of stockings on
Christmas evening. If I remember rightly, there is usually a hunt for stockings that are
long and ample, such as come well up on to the thighs. And it is the legs thus covered
by the longer hosiery that Sagittarius rules, and of which its decanate in Leo also must
partake.
The horseman of Leo is not the gift, but the one who brings it; for it is the Sun at this
time of year that ripens the grain in the field and the fruit on the trees. The gifts which
the traveler from the north thus brings, while related to the children of Leo, are
pictured in the next sign to it, in the harvest sign, Virgo. It is really the Virgin Mother,
not Santa Claus, from whom the gifts more directly come.
The lady of the sky holds a palm frond in one hand and heads of wheat in the other;
while Hercules, who pictures the middle decanate of the Virgo sign, holds in his hand
the branch of a tree adorned with fruit.
The fruit thus shown is the fulfillment of the promise made at the time when the
nights were longest, just as the Sun turned back from its farthest distance away. This
promise was not made by using a tree when it was filled with fruit; because such are
hard to find at Christmas time. It was made by using a tree symbolic of perpetual life,
by using an evergreen tree. The fruit to come, when ripened through the heat of the
Sun in Leo, was represented by presents on that tree. And it was spangled with stars
and bedecked with lights as a token that the Sun, thus moving through the firmament,
was on the way to dissipate the winter's darkness.
At this Yuletide time of year, still further to connect the passing of the Sun from
Sagittarius to the Centaurus decanate of Leo, the sign of love affairs and pleasure, it is
the custom to hang mistletoe with the privilege of kissing whomsoever passes under
it.
The mistletoe, like the Christmas tree, is of evergreen foliage, and thus symbolically
promises everlasting life. But because it grows above the earth, apparently too pure
and holy to touch the physical soil, it came to have a special spiritual significance. Its
berry fruit, formed without polluting contact with the loam of earth, came to be
looked upon as derived from an immaculate conception.
Kissing under the mistletoe even in times not remote was a solemn and binding
ceremony. It was the token of a chaste affection and the promise of marriage. More
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than that, it was the promise that out of the love then expressed should develop a new
and more spiritual type of life.
Such a life of spiritual endeavor, as Santa Claus and Centaurus clearly teach, is
dependent upon what is done for others. It is the effort to give, rather than the effort to
take, which promises a spiritual harvest.
After all, in the realms of the future, after we shall have passed from this mundane
sphere, the physical objects men set their hearts upon will have less value than the
tinsel and gilded baubles with which they decorate the Christmas tree.
Those born while the Sun is in the Reformation decanate of Leo are often more
energetic to bring beneficial changes. The text is: It Is More Blessed To Give Than
to Receive, and to Receive In Full Measure We Must First Give of That Which
We Already Have
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Why the Crow Turned
Black
--One needs to know something of the habits and characters of crows and ravens to
discern what the ancients must have had in mind when they placed one of these noisy,
thieving, carrion-eating birds in the sky. Corvus is the name yet employed by
naturalists to distinguish the genus embracing both birds, which are so closely allied
that they are distinguished in the field chiefly through the noise they make. A raven
has a coarse and croaking voice, while a crow vocalizes in a loud and raucous caw.
One who is familiar with the ways of crows and ravens could be sure that they would
never be used as universal symbols of any commendable trait or habit. Their one
claim to admiration is their unparalleled ability to look out for themselves.
Because they are destructive to crops, pulling the new sprouts of grain from the
ground, and because in the cattle country of the West they do not wait for a crippled
creature to die, but pick out its eyes and help themselves to its flesh as soon as they
find it defenseless, relentless war has been waged against them by man. Yet so
cunning are they that, with every hand raised against them, they are now more
numerous than ever.
Before going further into the habits of crows, it should be explained that people born
while the Sun is in the Corvus decanate of Leo, from August 13 to August 23, are no
more apt than other people to partake of the undesirable crow-like qualities. It is true
that they have great Ambition, and as a rule are exceptionally able to take care of
themselves. But it is only the occasional individual who permits this Ambition so to
dominate him that he comes to have no regard for the feelings and rights of others,
and uses them unscrupulously to realize his aims.
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Yet it was the function of the constellated pictures not merely to reveal those things
which should be done, if one were to live the most satisfactory type of life, but also to
point out the dangers along the way. And one of these dangers, to which many people
are subject, and to which those born while the Sun is in the last decanate of Leo are
particularly exposed, is portrayed by the character of the raven or crow.
When Noah, in the ark, badly wanted information, because the raven is so keen an
observer he sent one forth to get it. It saw the condition, but instead of reporting back
to Noah it flew to and fro. It took good care not to perish, but neither did it return to the
ark, and to find out what he wanted to know, Noah had to send out a dove.
Even the feeding of Elijah was characteristic of the propensities of the bird. As
related in First Kings, 17, there was great drought in the land, so that everyone was
hard pressed both for food and water. Elijah had established a hiding place from his
enemies by the brook Cherith; "And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the
morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook."
Where the ravens found the flesh is open to discussion; but bread already baked does
not grow on bushes, even in the promised land. The only way they could have
obtained the bread was to steal it. And as they are noted for such pilfering the
inference is that they grabbed it when its owner was not watching, or at least without
the owner's consent. Thus while Elijah benefited, someone else in this land of food
shortage was deprived. Yet no blame can be attached to Elijah; for there was nothing
to indicate he knew to whom the food rightfully belonged, or where to return it.
As the constellation shows this racketeering bird, he has alighted on the back of the
water serpent, Hydra, and is in the act of tearing a piece of the living flesh from it, as
in the cattle country of the West he works on stricken sheep.
Hydra is the longest of the constellations. It pictures the middle decanate of the sign
of the home, Cancer; but also embraces in its length all four of the constellations
relating to the different kinds of companionship; that is, companionship in the home,
companionship in love affairs, companionship with employees, and companionship
in partnership and marriage. We may be sure, therefore, that the characteristic which
the ancients sought to portray by Corvus is one which quite commonly and quite
painfully attacks and destroys these human associations.
Perhaps to get a clearer insight of this matter it will be well to turn to the Greeks.
According to their account, Apollo, the Sun, was deeply in love with Coronis and
was jealous of her conduct. This jealousy developed into a desire to spy upon her; and
as most fitted to do such unethical gum shoe work, especially where love affairs are
concerned, he selected a raven, which in that day was still of purest white.
Those who surreptitiously pry into the conduct of their associates seldom learn
anything complimentary to themselves. It was almost a foregone conclusion,
therefore, that the scandal mongering raven would find something unsavory to tell.
Although he partakes of other and forbidden food, chiefly he is a carrion eater. The
more rotten the repast the better he likes it. So, true to his nature he came back to
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Apollo with gossip aplenty. His loudly wagging tongue took gross delight in relating,
with spicy embellishments, all the details of a love affair between Corona and Ischys
the Thessalian.
It might have happened today, with all their pictures in the tabloids, so true to
common observation was the outcome. The malicious carrying of tales, the prying of
inquisitive noses into what are no concern of theirs, all too often wrecks the budding
of some fine affection; or, as in this case, brings grief and tragedy where peace and
happiness should have laid their heads. Apollo, enraged at the reports of his
sweetheart's infidelity, shot her through the heart.
The crow, of course, had nothing to gain but his own malicious satisfaction. Nor
commonly is there any benefit to those who exaggerate the misconduct of others. It is
a pity, therefore, that as the poet has suggested, the whole scandalmonger crew can
not be painted red or blue, that all might know them; for something similar happened
to the crow, and ever since. that day he has been compelled to wear a cloak of black.
Because gossip which relates the amatory experiences of others is so common, as
witnessed by the yellow news sheets, as well as by neighborhood propensities, more
people should be informed as to its origin. Freudian literature makes it plain that
those who find a suitable outlet for their own creative energies are never given to
such gossip. They are very little interested in the love escapades of others because
their own love natures have been completely satisfied.
In thinking about any experience there is a certain thought participation in it. In
telling about the conduct of another, whether that conduct be commendable or the
reverse, not only the one who does the telling, but also the one who listens,
vicariously takes some part in the experience. Were this not true the movies would
languish for want of patronage.
People go to the movies, and read fiction, chiefly to gain experiences vicariously for
which they inwardly yearn, but which their lives are too narrow to permit. That which
constitutes the strongest longing in their unconscious minds, is that which they enjoy
most on the screen.
The office clerk whose most gallant act during working hours is to make entries in a
book, inwardly longs for adventure. He is denied action and excitement in his life,
and he goes to the movies to get them. He identifies himself with the dashing hero,
delights in his valorous exploits, takes part in the downfall of the villain, and glories
in the justification of those misunderstood. He goes home with a certain sense of
satisfaction because a repression has been released.
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The shopgirl whose life is devoted to pleasing customers over the counter, and who
inwardly longs for romance, thrills with vicarious joy when the handsome hero on
the screen, after surmounting terrific obstacles and facing dangerous hazards, at
length triumphant, clasps the fair heroine to his manly breast. Nor should she be
censured. To love and be loved is an imperative command of nature. Nothing is finer
than honest love. And the shopgirl, identifying herself with the heroine, is able thus
to realize in some measure a longing which is both beautiful and natural.
But the scandalmonger deals not with honest affection and in heroic and
commendable actions. His tales are about illicit love. In telling and in hearing about,
the morbid affairs of others, he takes part in them vicariously. Although he does not
recognize this, and is the first to deny it, his unconscious mind identifies himself with
the transgressor. Just as the office clerk finds some relief for his honest desire for
adventure; just as the shopgirl is able somewhat to satisfy her honest desire for
romance and glamour; so the gossip, through tale bearing and tale listening is able to
satisfy his desire for illicit, licentious, and ignoble conduct.
As a crow or raven feeds largely on putrid flesh, so those who revel in relating the
unseemly conduct of others feed their souls on rotten food. Their desire to discuss the
vileness of others can only be interpreted as a desire on the part of their unconscious
minds to do these same things, if they but possessed the courage.
To the extent an individual talks about and thinks about that which is rotten, is this an
expression of rottenness within himself. Those who are clean have a desire to keep
away from filth. They do not revel in the sinfulness of others. Furthermore just as the
clerk who identifies himself with the hero, cultivates within himself a delight in
valiant and honorable action; and just as the shopgirl who identifies herself with the
sweet and admirable heroine, cultivates within herself pleasure in womanly conduct
of the same high standard; so does the scandalmonger cultivate within himself an
increasing relish for moral carrion.
Repressed desires, even though unrecognized objectively, can not be kept from
finding some expression for their energy. And as the raven became black because he
carried a black story, so that which is thought about adds its thought-images to the
soul. The text thus follows: Man Tends To Become That Which He Most Talks
About and Most Thinks About
.