The Mythology of the Zodiac: The Fire Constellations (Free Wallpaper!)
Hello Astrology Answers family, and welcome to our month-long series: The Mythology of the Zodiac! This month, we’ll be exploring all of the Zodiac constellations’ stories and histories by elemental group.
These stories are the origins of western astrology, and familiarizing yourself with them will help you understand each of the 12 zodiac signs in greater depth. Today, we’ll focus on the Fire sign constellations: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
BONUS! Make sure to grab your free downloadable Fire Constellations Desktop Wallpaper at the end of this article!
Long ago, people spun these stories not only to make sense of the sky. Perhaps an understanding of Plato’s Theory of Forms, which states that ideas depict the most accurate reality, can help us understand where these myths came from. Indeed, perhaps there is something more to the Greek and Roman mythologies that most of western astrology is based upon.
The first sign in the zodiac is Aries. The symbol for Aries is a ram, which, in mythology, is the lamb’s fleece sought after by Jason and the Argonauts. Interestingly, the stars in this constellation are all similar to our Sun, and they have planets the size of Jupiter and other planets 10 times the size of earth!
Why do Aries people tend to have a temper, leadership skills, and that fiery quality to them? As the story goes, jealousy created deception and lies between King Athamus and his wives. His second wife, overcome with jealousy, made the King believe an oracle said he must sacrifice his son to keep his people from dying of starvation caused by a crop failure. The first wife’s prayers to stop the sacrifice were answered just in time by a golden-fleeced sheep sent by Zeus. While escorting the brother and sister born of the first wife to safety, the daughter unfortunately died. The ram was later sacrificed to Zeus and protected by a dragon that never sleeps.
Perhaps the dragon is the Fire energy that represents the protector of the Golden Fleece - a symbol of the answer to a prayer. Perhaps that fire in Aries that speaks its mind so easily and cares about the truth stems from the energy of those stars, planets, and stories that protect what is true and sacred. The story of Aries is that words should be used carefully, truthfully, and powerfully. We see that an Aries has no trouble using their tongue like a whip to get things down and to cut through deception or hidden agendas.
The Leo constellation’s symbol is a lion and links to the story of Hercules. The first trial Hercules was given was to slay a lion. When he did, he skinned the lion and wore it as armour. The lion was then honoured in the sky by either Zeus or Hara, depending on which version you’re reading. The lion was known to have an impenetrable hide and great strength, which gives Leos their confidence, regal disposition, and natural arrogance.
Leos are often fearless and have strong, direct, active, masculine energy. The lion in the myth was known for its ferocity, and Fire as an element is certainly ferocious. The Persians, Turks, Syrians, and Indians each called the constellation of Leo a name that translates to ‘lion’ in their respective languages.
The largest planet in our solar system is Jupiter. There is a cosmic body 8 times the size of Jupiter in orbit around the brightest star of the Leo constellation. Does this account for the extra fire energy in a Leo? Perhaps the influence of this mass imprinted a magnetic force upon individuals born of this sign? The Leo constellation is known to be one of the easiest constellations to spot, so it only makes sense that Leos themselves shine so brightly.
The archer is the symbol for Sagittarius, half man and half horse, known as a centaur. Those who have a Sagittarius Sun sign are known to be wise and have an evolved way of looking at life; mature, yet fun and adventurous. According to mythology, there was once a man who transformed into a centaur to get away from his jealous wife. Perhaps this is why Sagittarians often feel the itch to travel and get away a lot!
The intellect of Sagittarius, which is apparent in those who are born under this sign, is traced back to the myth as well. This centaur was also a tutor to Hercules, Jason, and Achilles. He was skilled in many areas, including archery. The legend of the arrow, however, is key in this story. The centaur was wounded with an arrow, yet his immortality meant he had to endure a painful existence. He offered to switch his mortality with Prometheus, who was being punished by the gods. The constellation was put in the sky to honour his sacrifice of immortality.
It’s interesting that Sagittarians will often give up a life of luxury to pursue higher ideals. They are known to become writers, professors, and philanthropists. It’s rare to meet a Sagittarius that doesn’t have these characteristics prominently in the way they live their life. The fire is the wildness that they have in their spirit to go against the grain of society and do what they feel is right for the greater good. They have a streak of independence marked by their actions.
The constellations were not just interpreted by the Greeks. There are similar interpretations in many different cultures. How did cultures that had no communication between each other derive such similar stories in the stars? How did these tales remain intact over centuries?
Stay tuned for next week when we’ll delve into the Water sign constellations! Until then, as promised, here’s your free Fire Constellation Desktop Wallpaper!
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