mardi 8 juillet 2008

Aquarius 7

Aquarius is an old constellation. This is the eleventh zodiacal sign and one which has always been connected with water. To the Babylonians it represented an overflowing urn, and they associated this with the heavy rains which fell in their eleventh month, whilst the Egyptians saw the constellation as Hapi, the god of the Nile. As the Water-Carrier he is carved in stones of the Babylonian Empire and probably is still older than that period. The Water Carrier is the cupbearer to the gods living atop Mount Olympus. He is usually portrayed as pouring water from his jar into the mouth of the Southern Fish, Pisces Austrinis.

Greek legend tells of Ganymede, an exceptionally handsome, young prince of Troy. He was the son of King Tros, after whom the city of Troy was named. He was spotted by Zeus, who immediately decided that he would make a perfect cupbearer. The story of Ganymede is rather horrifying if you bother to think about it; what it concerns is the abduction of a child from his parents. Ganymede was abducted one day while he was keeping watch over a herd of his father's sheep.

In one story, it was Eos, the Goddess of the Dawn, who abducted the boy. She had a passion for young men. Then Zeus noted the beauty of the boy and stole him away from Eos. In the more common version of the story, Zeus himself was taken with the beauty of the shepherd boy. Zeus, disguised as an eagle, swept up the youth and carried him to the home of the gods. In either case, once Ganymede arrived, he had to contend with the wrath of Hera, wife of Zeus. She was annoyed on two counts - firstly, that her husband should have such strong feelings for a mere boy and, secondly, that Ganymede was to occupy the favoured position previously held by her own daughter Hebe, goddess of youth.

However, Zeus was not to be thwarted and Ganymede, often riding on Aquila and always carrying the golden cup, accompanied the great god on his travels, impressing him with his kindness. This was made manifest when, realising how in need of water the people on earth were, he pleaded with Zeus to be allowed to help them and was given permission to send down rain. Eventually he was glorified as Aquarius, god of rain, and placed amongst the stars.

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