Finally, Hercules stunned the beast with his club, and using his immense strength, strangled it to death. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Athena told Heracles to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.
Once dead, the Nemea lion was placed by Zeus between the signs of the zodiac. Most of the goddesses who were linked to Virgo were considered fertility goddesses, or goddesses of the harvest. This resonates with the view of Virgo being the caretaker of mankind through her fertility. The constellation Virgo is thought to be a woman holding an ear of corn, thus reinforcing the Harvest Mother mythology. In one well-known Greek myth, the goddess of Spring Persephone is kidnapped by the god of the Underworld Hades.
Upon discovering this, the young goddess's mother Demeter, being the goddess of the harvest, decides to ruin the harvest in her despair. Eventually the Spring goddess was allowed to return for six months a year to aid her mother in the harvest. This coincides with the constellation Virgo being visible for only the months of March through August. Astraea is perhaps the most interesting character involved in the Virgo myth, as she is a virgin representing justice, and was a caretaker of humanity.
After leaving Earth, she is said to have been "placed in the heavens", which is most likely why some mythologists believe her to be the constellation "Virgo" itself. Many mythologists suggest that she became the constellation Virgo and her scales of justice became the constellation Libra. Libra's symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice.
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Libra is the only zodiac constellation in the sky represented by an inanimate object. The other eleven signs are represented either as an animal or mythological characters throughout history. Libras are the children of Venus, and for this reason they are elegant, charming, they have good taste and they love beauty. They don't like routine and prefer an intellectually appealing argument rather than banal work. They are artistic but also rational, sensitive, but also timid and indecisive. But once they have chosen their goal, they have no further hesitations and show their hidden ambition.
They can be excellent philosophers, artists and diplomats. Their love for beauty and pleasure can lead them into a hedonistic existence, but they can also carry out a stylish and philanthropic lifestyle without falling in the frivolity of the mundane world. Because they are not attached to money and seek more intangible achievements, they are trust-worthy bankers or stock brokers. They have a community-oriented spirit and can easily get in the middle of a controversy to pacify the parties in the name of justice; for this reason they tend to be excellent mediators.
They reject the domination of the strong over the weak, and believe in the power of ideas over all. The meaning behind the zodiac sign Scorpio is based on the Greek myth of Orion, the son of Posiedon and Euriale, who after enraging the Goddess Artemis Goddess of Hunting is punished by the Gods. Legend has it that Artemis, having fallen in love with the handsome and gifted huntsman, invites him to join her in a hunt. In another version of the legend, he dares to boast of his hunting skills by arrogantly showing Artemis the hundreds of trophies of his kills.
In both versions of the story, the Gods decided to punish him — a scorpion is sent to do battle with him and eventually kills him with its poisonous sting. A staunch ally of the Gods, the scorpion in immortalized in a constellation. Orion is also transformed into a constellation by Artemis and is placed head to head with that of his arch enemy, so the two are forever locked in battle. The zodiac sign of Sagittarius refers to a constellation that comes from the culture of the Sumerians, later adopted by the Greeks and then by the Romans, who created a bit of confusion around its mythological origins.
According to some cuneiform inscriptions, the Sumerian god of war, Nergal, was represented as a hunter and an archer. For the Romans, the Archer was Chiron, the wise centaur, teacher of Jason, Achilles and other famous heroes, but the identification of Sagittarius with Chiron is inaccurate as he was originally associated with the Centaur stars. However, already during the Alexandrian and then Roman periods, some authors confused Chiron with Sagittarius.
In fact, the character who originally represented him in Greek mythology was the legendary Crotonic, son of the goat-god Pan and Eufeme, the nurse of the Muses. As the son of a hybrid goat, he was probably a satyr a human creature with ears, tail and hooves of a goat and a centaur. Crotus--a satyr who lived on Mount Helicon--was the inventor of the bow and arrow and often went hunting on horseback.
The muses asked Zeus to put him in heaven, and so there he was placed, in the act of demonstrating his archery abilities. Ancients had many legends about a strange goat, Capricorn. His figure is often connected to Zeus Jupiter in Roman mythology , head of gods. Babylonians believed that Capricorn was a Sea-Goat, a god named Ea, who brought learning and culture to the people of Mesopotamia. It was believed that Ea lived in the ocean and that he came out of the water every day to watch over the land and returned at night.
According to Greeks, Capricorn was associated with the demigod, Pan, who was a man from the waist up, and a goat from the waist down.
Zodiac Signs and Their Dates
He was the son of Hermes and a forest Nymph. He was raised by nymphs after his mother, disgusted by his appearance, abandoned him. Pan tended sheep and goats and was a talented musician. His libidinous nature also drove him to go after the nymphs who usually fled in panic at the sight of him.
One of them, Syrinx, begged gods to be turned into reed which Pan used to create the well-known Pan flute. At one time Pan himself was fleeing from the monster Typhon and tried but failed to turn himself into a fish.
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However, he supported Zeus in his battle with Typhon, and in thanks Zeus immortalized him by transforming him into a star constellation. Aquarius is often associated with Ganymede, a young and beautiful prince of Troy, with whom Zeus fell in love. Zeus disguised himself as an eagle and carried Ganymede to be the cup-carrier to the gods. Hera, wife of Zeus, was jealous of the young prince and treated him with contempt. Zeus, however, was not phased by the wrath of his wife and had Ganymede accompany him on his travels, bearing a golden cup.
Ganymede was a kind and compassionate young man and he took pity on the people of earth when he saw they were without water. He begged Zeus to allow him to help the people and eventually was granted permission. He sent down rain upon the earth and quenched the thirst of the people. He was deified as Aquarius, god of rain. Aquarius was considered positive by cultures which had lands plagued by drought, such as the Greeks and Egyptians.
In contrast, cultures prone to flooding, such as the Babylonians, looked at Aquarius in a negative way. The mythological relationship of Zeus and Ganymede is often compared to the real relationship between Emperor Hadrian and Antinous.
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In early Greco-Roman mythology, the story of the Pisces constellation follows the brutal defeat of the Titans at the hands of the Olympian Gods. After the power struggle, Gaia Mother Earth coupled with Tartarus in the lowest depths of the Underworld, and from this unexpected union was born Typhon. Typhon, as powerful as the Titans themselves, had one hundred dragon heads with flaming eyes and mouths filled with black tongues. Hesiod tells us that he was the most awful monster the world had ever seen. Gaia sent Typhon to destroy the gods on Mount Olympus as revenge for the death of the Titans.
Fortunately Pan, god of the shepherds, saw the monster coming and warned the other gods, giving them just enough time to transform themselves and go into hiding. Jupiter took the shape of a ram, Mercury an ibis, Apollo a crow, Diana a cat, and Bacchus transformed into a goat. These individuals are leaders who need mental stimulation to feel happy and fulfilled.
She was responsible for the cooking of bread and the preparation of family meals. Hestia was the first child of Kronos and Rhea, and she was also the goddess of the sacrificial flame and received a portion of every sacrifice to the gods. Taurus relates to Hestia in several ways: people born under this sign are caring, dedicated, patient, supportive, and loyal just like this goddess who is often depicted as a veiled woman holding a flowering branch.
Much like the goddess of heat and family life, Taureans exemplify what it means to be a good and caring friend. The third sign of the zodiac, Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury. Mercury is actually named after Hermes, the winged-helmeted messenger of the gods who moved quickly across the sky at the command of other gods. Hermes was the herald and the personal messenger of the powerful Zeus, but he was also the guide of the dead and he led souls down into the underworld.
Geminis are witty, intelligent, resourceful, charming, and versatile much like Hermes. On the flip side, they can also be two-faced, judgmental, and restless. They have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a very lively imagination which makes them one of the most creative zodiac signs. Cancer is often associated with one of the fiercest, most widely respected Olympian goddesses, Artemis. She was the goddess of Moon , the ruling planet of Cancer, but was also known as the goddess of hunting, wilderness, childbirth, virginity, and as a protectress of young girls.
In Greek mythology, Artemis was usually portrayed as a young maiden with a hunting bow and arrows. She was a virgin and afraid of men, that is why she used to live in the woods and only went for walks at night. Artemis is similar to people born under the sign of Cancer, who are also very modest, shy, extremely emotional individuals who love children and their home. Those born under this zodiac sign are kind, calm, maternal, compassionate, dedicated, rough and yet nurturing at the same time.
Leo is Zeus, the almighty; the strongest and most powerful Greek god. Zeus was the king of gods and the god of the sky, weather, destiny, fate, kingship, law, and order. Zeus was the youngest son of the Titans Kronos and Rhea. He married his sister, goddess of the sky Hera, and they had three children - Ares, Hebe, and Eileithyia.
Ancient ZODIAC Astrological Coins of Greeks and Romans
However, Zeus also had many affairs with various women, so he was also the father of many mortal heroes including Herakles, Helen of Troy, and Perseus. Zeus was always depicted as a regal, majestic and mature man with an athletic body, dark beard, wreath of olive-leaves and a lightning bolt in his hands. Zeus was a carefree and unpredictable god who loved to laugh out loud.
He was known as a wise, fair, and merciful god, but he was also easily angered.
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