MythAstrology - Raven Kaldera
In ancient times, priests, poets, and astrologers studied the movements of the planets to understand the cycles of life. Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune-the planets themselves are named after gods and goddesses of civilizations past. MythAstrology - Exploring Planets and Pantheons by Raven Kaldera is a groundbreaking guide to understanding the archetypal expression of planetary energies through each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. Accessible to those new to Astrology, having your birth chart is all that is needed to explore this fascinating book.
Archetypes are patterns that humans live out on a daily basis. Like grooves in a record, we unconsciously play out these themes. This is why myth, fairy tale, and cinema are so compelling: we recognize the familiar patterns of personal, relational, and universal dramas. Perhaps you are used to playing the Warrior. Or, maybe archetypes like Wounded Child, Teacher, Detective, or Clown are a part of your own personal patterns. Many archetypal patterns "dance" with one another: Knight with Damsel, Victim with Bully, Child with Mother, and so on. Archetypal themes even play out on the political, social, and religious stage.

Astrology is a discipline that attempts to explain some of these universal archetypal patterns. In MythAstrology, the author goes a step further by correlating myths from diverse mythologies (including Celtic, Hindu, Yoruban, Japanese, and Sumerian) with each planet/sign combinations. For example, if you have Uranus (the Sacred Trickster) in Libra, you may wonder why you've always felt like an outsider...an outcast. Eris, the Greek goddess of Chaos and Strife, knew what it was like to be an outsider. She wasn't invited to the wedding between Thetis and Peleus, but she made an "appearance", nonetheless. Throwing a golden apple titled "for the fairest" among the goddesses, Eris sat back, smiling cynically, as the childish bickering and immaturity among the goddesses proved that they were not as independent or powerful as they claimed to be. In Libra, the apple cart that Eris tends to upset is that of love and justice.

Or perhaps you have Mercury in Scorpio. Like the Irish triple goddess The Morrigan, you are a keen mental detective who knows how humans tick, what pushes their buttons, and how to make them change. Using your tongue like a scalpel, you have a vitriolic command of language when you desire to wound. But The Morrigan isn't entirely negative; Kaldera writes:

"A Mercury in Scorpio has the gift of slicing through the glitter and fluff, through layers of illusion and self-defense, to the naked and often ugly truth below. Morrigan's raves perch on their shoulders, croaking warnings into their ears. Hear them. They are the measure of our own desperation."

Is your Moon in Aquarius? You'll discover the myth of the Moon Man Mwuetsi, a tale told among the Wahungwe Makoni tribe in Africa which explains Mwuetsi's emotional detachment and yearning to belong to a tribe-- at the expense of those near and dear to him, as well as his own life.

This book is 436 pages, and includes an Appendix of both sign and planet archetypes. For each, six or seven archetypes are listed. For example, Virgo is correlated with:

The Servant
The Monk/Nun
The Martyr
The Analyst
The Critic/Perfectionist
The Worker

Jupiter is associated with:

The Generous Gift-Giver
The One Who Thinks Big
The Impulsive One
"Have I Got A Deal For You"
The Keeper Of Luck
The Christmas Present (a la Scrooge)

Looking through each list, one or two archetypes from each group are likely to stand out to you; this would indicate how a particular planet or sign usually expresses itself in your life.

For those more familiar with astrology, you can use the planet/sign combinations to find planets that aspect each other. Let's say your Venus is in Leo but is also conjunct Pluto; you may want to read about Venus in Scorpio for added depth of understanding. Also, you may find the myths helpful if you're undergoing a transit. For example, if Uranus is transiting your Moon, reading Moon in Aquarius might help you understand the combination of lunar and Uranian energies. Astrologers can use these myths to explain a client's placements through storytelling-utilizing a more shamanistic and intuitive path of analysis.

As one who loves to explore archetypal patterns, I became quickly engrossed in MythAstrology. I went through all of my planet/sign placements and read the corresponding myths. More insightful than the typical astrological profile, and more elucidating than most personality systems, I was taken aback at the accuracy of this book. To see myself nakedly described was uncomfortable, but at the same time, it was encouraging. As the masters of our own personal mythology, we can always choose to embrace the gifts of our archetypal patterns, as well as release those that no longer serve us. As the author says:

"Whether you're a deist or simply looking at archetypes as ways of being human, you'll find that the myths in this book can start to become real for you, if only in that you'll start seeing them in people all around you. You'll start to see the actions of the people you know in terms of the stories that they are living, and see your own life that way as well. And once you see them, you'll find that you've given yourself more choices about what paths you want to be on, and which you feel you're done with. It's how the right stories can change anyone's world."

I highly recommend this fresh work by Raven Kaldera; MythAstrology is one of the best books about archetypes (not to mention mythology and astrology) that I've had the joy of reading. This one's a real keeper for my reference shelf!

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