The Axis of Destiny in the Stars of Auriga

The constellation Auriga is known as the charioteer, and it mounts to the highest place in the sky these nights, bearing its brightest star Capella to the zenith, the northern-most 1st magnitude star in our sky.

The imaginary chariot that Auriga travels in has two wheels representing heaven and Earth, and they are joined together by an axis sometimes referred to as the “line of destiny.”

In astrology, this line of destiny refers to the Moon’s Nodes, which are two points in space that stand opposite one another, and which mark the crossing points of the Moon’s orbital plane with the orbital plane of the Earth. In medieval texts, the North Node was referred to as the dragon’s head, while the South Node was its tail. Following the path of destiny through one’s life, from the South Node to the North Node, could be imagined as the struggle or battle with this dragon.

And that’s just what happens in the fairy tale of The Frog and the Lion Fairy, which starts innocently enough with all the best elements of once upon a time, including an embattled king and his queen, who is sent to safety in a fortified castle on the outskirts of a forest, but eventually she gets so bored she breaks the bonds of security and wanders into the woods. The queen orders a little low carriage to be built, something like a chariot that’s just big enough to hold one person. This is the clue that destiny is about to play its hand in the life of the young queen, and the story unfolds with intense imagery and rhythm from here.

It’s a terrific tale for this stage of winter, when we’ve crossed the halfway point in the season but need a healthy dose of perseverance while we await the spring.

And note that if you find yourself trying to bide your time by wondering at mysteries of destiny, which is like riding the chariot through the sky, entrust yourself to the unnamed star that marks the head of Auriga, known in Hindu tradition as the Lord of Created Beings.

The constellation Auriga in Greek mythology is related to the crippled offspring of Hephaestus, who builds him the chariot for traveling across the sky. Get more of the tale here.

You can hear the audio of this week’s radio segment at Interlochen Public Radio.

And you can follow this link for the fairy tale of the Frog and the Lion Fairy, from Andrew Lang’s Orange Fairy Book.

Happy waning winter!