Archive for June 15th, 2011

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Climbing Olympus: Apollo

June 15, 2011

The Apollo 7 Crew ~ L–R: LM Pilot Walter Cunningham; CSM Pilot Donn Eisele; Commander Wally Schirra.

Image Credit: Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, Canberra, Australia

Apollo

Identity: Olympian God of light, healing, music and prophecy

Descriptive arcehtype: Beautiful, golden-haired male archer.

Nature: Extrovert.

Polarity emphasis: Anima

Symbols: Lyre. Bow and arrow. Dolphin. All divinatory aids.

The Greek Myth

Apollo, the Greek god of light, was the son of Leto by Zeus, and the twin brother of Artemis. When Hera heard of her husband’s indiscretion, she was so consumed with rage she decreed that Leto could only give birth at a place where the sun’s rays never penetrated. In order that this command should not  be disobeyed, Poseidon raised the waves like a dome over Ortygia, at the same time anchoring it in the depths of the sea with four pillars. After Apollo’s birth, which took place on the seventh day of the month of Bysios, around the beginning of Spring, the island’s name was changed to Delos, ‘the brilliant’, and the number 7 henceforth made sacred to Apollo.

Apollo 7 (October 11–22, 1968) was the first manned mission in the American Apollo space program, and the first manned US space flight after a cabin fire killed the crew of what was to have been the first manned mission, AS-204 (later renamed Apollo 1), during a launch pad test in 1967. It was a C type mission—an 11-day Earth-orbital mission, the first manned launch of the Saturn IB launch vehicle, and the first three-person US space mission.

Morning in Orbit, Apollo 7

Image Found: Oh the Places You’ll Go

Hera did everything she could to delay the birth by keeping Ilythia, goddess of childbirth, out of the way. So for nine days and nine nights Leto suffered atrociously. Finally Iris was sent from Olympus to fetch Ilythia for her and Leto was able to produce first Artemis, and then Apollo.

Even during his childhood Apollo’s exploits were many, and his infant encounter with the serpent Python re-echoes, earlier myths in which the slayers of monsters liberated the oppressed. But, above all else, Apollo was known for his oracle at Delphi, visited by people from all over the civilized world.

Apollo 7 was launched from Cape Kennedy, Fla., at 11:02:45 a.m., EST, on October 11, 1968 from launch complex 34 on top of a Saturn IB.

Image Credit: NASM

Apollo was the celestial archer whose arrows were infallible; he was god of musicians, the lyre being his special instrument; patron of prophecy, representative of all forms of art and beauty, divine physician, father of Asclepius and beloved brother of Artemis.

Although mainly connected with the arts, Apollo also patronized the sciences, without actually indulging in them himself. His famous retinue consisted of the nine Muses: Clio, muse of history; Euterpe, patroness of the flute; Thalia, patroness of comedy; Melpomene, muse of tragedy; Terpsichore, mistress of lyric poetry and the dance; Erato, muse of erotic poetry; Polyhymnia, originally muse of heroic hymns, but later designated muse of the mimic art; Urania, muse of astronomy, and Calliope, senior of the nine Muses who was honoured as mistress of heroic poetry and eloquence. These no doubt exemplify aspects of the god’s psychological economy, and it is interesting to observe the science of astronomy among what are mainly artistic pursuits, which would hint at the ability of this archetype to search beyond the immediate for its sources of information.

On May 9, 2003, an attempt to launch a spacecraft aimed to investigate an asteroid was attempted by the Japanese at the Kagoshima Space Center. The asteroid was feared and suspected to collide against the earth, and it was the mission of Mu Space Engineering Spacecraft C, or MUSES-C to investigate the possibility, and to bring back samples such as rocks.

Image Credit: Planet Facts

Apollo’s sacred number, 7, was of considerable significance to the Greek scholars of old, notably Pythagoras and Plato. The 7 squared (49) received particular emphasis and, in consequence, the ensuing number 50, was also assumed to possess a mystical quality. Not all the implications of the number 50 were esoteric, however, the famous Pythagorean triangle frequently referred to by Plato is a statement of its mathematical expression.

Sinai Peninsula taken by Apollo 7 astronaut

Apollo is credited with inspiring the famous maxims that were carved in the porch of his temple:

Measure in all things

Know thyself

To commit oneself is to court misfortune.

Worthwhile advice, it would appear, for all who come under this archetypal influence.

The Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand with Southern Cross in the background.

Photo by Fraser Gunn

Upright Meanings

Artistic and musical skills. Manly beauty. Intuition. Prophecy and all forms of divination. Bonhomie. Warm-heartedness. Natural healing. Charisma. Harmony. Wit. Aestheticism. Patronage of the sciences.

Reversed Meanings

Charlatanism. Ingratiation. Sarchasm. Misuse of the arts in any form. Eccentricity. Narcissism. Insecurity. Affectation.

Further Reading

Climate Change Alarmists Ignore Scientific Methods by Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 astronaut

~ text from Olympus: An experience in Self-Discovery, Murry Hope, 1991

'Red sky at night, shepherd's delight' ~ On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepherd became the first American in space when he took a 15 minute sub-orbital flight over the Pacific Ocean for 304 miles.

Image Credit: Saturdays Will Never Be the Same

“When reporters asked Shepard what he thought about as he sat atop the Redstone rocket, waiting for liftoff, he had replied, ‘The fact that every part of this ship was built by the low bidder.'”

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The Labyrinth & the Minor Tyrant

June 15, 2011

Bronze statuette excavated from a grave in the land formerly known as Colchis

The brazen bull, bronze bull, or Sicilian bull, was a torture and execution device designed in ancient Greece. Its inventor, metal worker Perillos of Athens, proposed it to Phalaris, the tyrant of Akragas, Sicily, as a new means of executing criminals.  The bull was made entirely of bronze, hollow, with a door in one side. The condemned were locked in the bull, and a fire was set under it, heating the metal until it became yellow-hot and causing the person inside to roast to death. [Read more]

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Full Cold Moon

June 15, 2011

Image Credit: Scrape TV: The World of your side

Admiring the homeless

John Falzon June 13, 2011 (transferred Eureka Street)

I remember some years ago learning a difficult but beautiful lesson about life. I was invited to attend a meeting of recovering drug addicts who were parents. They were working on a book together. This was a way of telling their stories.

I am a firm believer in the healing and transformative power of stories. Their stories certainly transformed me.

They described the ways in which they had taken drugs in front of their young children, and the pain they felt they had inflicted on their children and themselves. They told of how they went about making enough money to survive, to feed their children and support their habits. Some of the women described the difficulties of balancing work and family while working in the sex industry.

The words that have remained with me the most are those of a young Aboriginal woman, who described her experiences of homelessness and frequent incarceration based on racial discrimination. When, naively, I asked her what it was like to be locked up and whether at least she was able to sleep, she told me, quietly but firmly:

‘The cells are a sad place, brother. You don’t get to sleep in the cells.’

The lesson I learned was contained in the one word in the middle of this woman’s deeply poetic utterance: the word ‘brother’. She bestowed this title on me through no merit of my own. I did nothing to prove any kinship with her. Nor could I claim to know what her experiences were like.

When she called me brother she did something very powerful. She took me into the cells with her. She showed me how sad they were. Her life was no longer alien to mine. She belonged to the same world as me. I belonged to her world, a world where her sadness was the sadness of the world.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout, which takes place this Thursday 16 June, is all about trying to learn a little and share a little about the world of homelessness in a wealthy country. Whether we like it or not, we are all, in reality, part of that world.

The CEO Sleepout is not just about raising money. It’s about changing minds and hearts. It’s about changing negative attitudes to people doing it tough; people who are usually demonised but who, I believe, should be deeply respected and admired for their tenacity and inventiveness.

Our problem in Australia is not the ‘idleness of the poor’, as perniciously proposed by welfare-bashers of all political stripes. Our problem is inequality. This is a social question, not a behavioural one. We do irreparable harm when we turn it into a question of individual behavior, blaming people for their own poverty, as is so often the case with people who are homeless or in jail because of society’s failure to provide them with opportunities and nurture their talents.

People are enclosed by massive walls built around them on the basis of race, class, gender or disability. The same people are then condemned for lacking the ‘aspiration’ to scale these walls.

The CEO Sleepout is not about a group of privileged people explaining how to scale the walls. It is about a group of business and community leaders wanting to learn from the people who live in the guts of our greatest social problem. It’s about having the humility to listen to the people who can teach us what it is that needs to change in society. It is about committing ourselves to join in the long-haul project of tearing down the walls that we have built around people.

Australia stands near the bottom of the list of relative social expenditures in comparison with OECD countries. Professor Peter Saunders of the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW has been telling us for nearly a decade that it would take an expenditure of 2–3 per cent of GDP to lift all people out of poverty in Australia. In his words:

We can thus pay to remove all Australians from poverty if we want to: the fact that we don’t do so is a matter of choice, not affordability.

It is indefensible that in a country as prosperous as ours we still have, on conservative estimates, 105,000 people experiencing homelessness, nearly half of whom are under the age of 25.

It is indefensible that we continue to expect a single unemployed person to survive on $34 a day, a daily battle that is waged from below the poverty line.

The Federal Government’s homelessness strategy aims by 2020 to halve homelessness and to ensure that all rough sleepers are offered accommodation. The St Vincent de Paul Society is committed to assisting in the achievement of these concrete goals.

But we must, as a nation, address the massive shortfall in social housing in order to meet these targets. We must also comprehensively address the national crisis in mental health.

Our social spending relative to our wealth as a nation is the measure of our humanity. This is why we need to think of homelessness as a matter of justice rather than charity.

Lilla Watson and a group of Aboriginal activists in Queensland put it beautifully: ‘If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine then let us work together.’


John FalzonDr John Falzon is an advocate with a deep interest in philosophy, society, politics and poetry. He is the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council Chief Executive and a member of the Australian Social Inclusion Board. 

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Finger of Yikes!

June 15, 2011

Children of the Corn (1984)

Intriguing gnarly digit coming up this Full Moon: Medea in Cancer sextile Juno in Virgo quincunx Vesta in Aquarius ~ all at nineteensumthing degrees, which for the purposes of the special K-symbols comes in at 20.  Triple 222 for you numerology buffs……..or is that a Triple ZZZ  for snooze alarm?

Kozminsky Symbols

Medea 20º Cancer: A wounded Bedouin mounted on his horse in the desert.
Juno 20º Virgo: A great grey warship with her decks cleared ready for action.

Vesta 20º Aquarius: A quaint old chest standing in an old hall, a large key on the floor before it. Around are pieces of armour and old instruments of music. On the top of the chest is a dog asleep.

Oh….BTW…Jason is hiding behind Vesta at 19º Aquarius: Setting sun shining on a waterfall, giving it the appearance of golden water.

So…..do you know where your children are?