Venus, Spica, and our speaking with the stars

The sculptured Dendera zodiac is a widely known Egyptian bas-relief from the ceiling of the  portico of a chapel dedicated to Osiris in the Hathor temple at Dendera, and is exhibited at the Louvre Museum, Paris since 1922.

The planet Venus moves close to the star Spica this week, where the star is held in the arms of Virgo, the maiden. What can it mean?

Let’s start with the Ancient Egyptians: In the temple complex at Dendera there was a bas relief zodiac carved in the ceiling and held aloft on four pillars, each of them women; and the constellation Virgo, the maiden, was shown standing upright (lower left quadrant in the image above, behind the Lion).

A few centuries later the Greeks were mapping the constellations, but now the pillars of the heaven were given to the male giant Atlas, and Virgo was no longer shown standing upright.

Reclining Virgo, from Johannes Hevelius’ Uranographia, 1687

After many more centuries passed, it was considered foolishness to think the starry world was populated by divine beings, so then it really didn’t matter whether Virgo was upright or not. But it’s just here that the mythologies and art forms of the ancients reveal their understanding that this time would come.

Former cultures experienced the motion of starry worlds as the speaking of their divine beings ~ and the Divine Feminine was shown upright in the sky. Gradually, this ability to hear the speaking of the stars faded ~ when this began to happen, then Virgo, the divine feminine, was shown lying down. Eventually, any notion of relationship between the human being and the divine in starry worlds was lost, so Virgo as a being didn’t matter.  This was prophesied by the ancients as the “silencing of the stars” ~ but this was not the final stage for them! It was also prophesied that eventually the pain of being separated from the star knowledge of the sacred feminine would become so intense that humanity would learn once

From Sky and Telescope Sky at a Glance, Venus meets Spica in the evening sky

again to speak with the stars!

This week, the planet Venus is will appear very close to the star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation

Virgo, and as the star of abundance, Spica offers the promise of bounty and fulfillment. Look for them both on Friday, August 331, 2018, and ask yourself, if you could speak with the stars, what would you have to say?

~Mary Stewart Adams

Star Lore Historian

You can hear my “Storyteller’s Night Sky” segment on Interlochen Public radio at this link.