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MythAstrology: Exploring Planets & Pantheons Paperback – August 8, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (August 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738705160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738705163
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,387,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Raven Kaldera is a pagan priest, intersex transgender activist, parent,  astrologer, musician, homesteader, and the author of "Hermaphrodeities: The Transgender Spirituality Workbook" (XLibris Press). He is the founder and leader of the Pagan Kingdom of Asphodel, and the Asphodel  Pagan Choir. He has been a neo-pagan since the age of 14, when he was converted by a "fam-trad" teen on a date. Since then, he's been through half a dozen traditions, including Gardnerian, Dianic, and granola paganism, Umbanda, Heithnir, and the Peasant Tradition. He is currently happily married to artist and eco-experimentalist Bella Kaldera, and they have founded the Institute for Heritage Skills.

...'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.'

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Sun

Amon-ra

Sun in Aries In the ancient land of Khent-the Black Land as its occupants called it-the greatest of all gods was Ra, the burning sun. He ruled over all the land like a great father, dispensing wisdom and putting down rebellions. Ra was the creator, the first god of the people of Khent, which today we call Egypt. Before there were any others there was Ra, the all-seeing eye in the unremitting hot sky over a parched desert land. He was the First, just as the Aries Sun is the first, and always will be. In his legend we see the sun with early eyes, those of people who first looked up and saw divinity, the source of life. Aries is primal instinct, survival, and he is very good at it.

Ra, as the sun, spent half the day soaring in the air, inspecting his kingdom below. In the morning he and his boat rose out of a lotus flower, and at night he sank into the depths of the underworld, bringing light for its dead inhabitants. This daily voyage was not without peril, however; there was a great serpent, Apep, living in the Nile, who sought to swallow Ra's boat and had to be constantly fought off.

In the underworld there were other terrors, each attempting to devour his light. In some allegories, he is born as a little child each morning and ages to an old man each night.

We tend to think of Aries as a simple, straightforward sign, rather one-dimensional, without much depth. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. For one thing, Aries combines apparently contradictory archetypes within him: the Innocent Child of springtime and the Warrior of Mars. We will come to the Warrior in a moment, but first we should look at Ra the sun god who lives each day as if it were his whole life, present in the moment. This is one of the gifts of Aries consciousness, especially in the solar placement. Ra also needs to fight daily battles in order to survive and bring light to both worlds, and here we can view the quintessentially Arian trait of courage. This is the energy of the daily battle that one emerges from victorious every time, and awakes fresh to every morning, all demons defeated for the time being. It is part of the Aries fire, and it is sustained by innocence. He does not believe that he can lose or that each day may not be an event to be lived with wonder.

Ra had a secret box locked away, which was the source of his power. In it, as his unfortunate grandson once found, were two items: a poisonous snake and a magical lock of blue hair. The snake had a tendency to leap out and kill anything that opened the box, and the lock of hair could heal any wound, even that of the deadly snake. The two together can be read as both the Achilles heel of Aries-the anger that leaps out impulsively, not caring who its random targets might be-and its salvation, the lock of hair as blue as the wide sky. The sky, in Egyptian mythology, is the place of the crying hawk, Ra's symbol, and Horus's as well. The flying bird looks down on things from a distance, a quality the tempestuous Aries Sun needs to learn-using his head (from whence comes the lock of hair) rather than his leap-and-strike survival instinct.

However, Ra made a few errors. Among them was his rather strange attitude toward children and grandchildren. He drew from himself the first two children, Shu the god of the air and Tefnut the goddess of the dew, as if they were a mere experiment. When they proceeded to have opinions and desires that did not mirror his, he was rather surprised and annoyed. Shu and Tefnut mated and produced two more children, Geb and Nut, and this upset Ra so much that he ordered them permanently separated from each other, a task Shu performed. When they managed to thwart him and produce five children, however, he gave in and grudgingly accepted his new brood. Aries likes new things, but only new things that go along with his idea of how things should be, which seems like an impossible contradiction and in fact is one. In spite of this, he recovers quicker than many signs and does not hold grudges.

When Ra grew old and weak, his subjects began to mutter against him. This is the worst fear of Aries the Child, who hates the idea of old age and lack of control. Ra decided to teach his rebellious subjects a lesson and sent Sekhmet after them, but she ate so many of them that he had to resort to getting her drunk in order to stop the extinction of his entire kingdom. This shows that even when Aries' anger seems like a good idea at the time, it often gets out of hand and has repercussions that the enthusiastic Aries never seems to guess at beforehand. Isis also took advantage of his old age, playing the feminine Venus-ruled Libra Moon to his masculine Mars-ruled Aries Sun and charming the words of power out of him. Once she had them in hand, she nullified his power and took it for herself,...(Continues)


More About the Author

Raven Kaldera is a Northern-Tradition Pagan shaman, herbalist, astrologer, transgendered intersexual activist, homesteader, and founding member of the First Kingdom Church of Asphodel. He is also a teacher of BDSM spirituality, and an educator and presenter on many topics. He has written (or co-authored) all the books here and continues to add to the pile.

Raven's "hub" website, with links to all his other specific websites, is here:

http://www.ravenkaldera.org

and his shamanism website is here:

http://www.northernshamanism.org

'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds!

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Very enjoyable, educational and UNIQUE.
P. Sarno
MythAstrology by Raven Kaldera is a groundbreaking guide to understanding the archetypal expression of planetary energies through each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac.
Janet Boyer
Besides this, the stories are easy to read.
M. Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis Vega on November 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
I absolutely adore this book. It has become one of my all time favorites for research and pure pleasure. As an astrologer with a consuming interest in mythology, I am in awe of the author's depth of knowledge of both subjects. However, it's not just Kaldera's impeccable scholarship and amazing astrological insight that draws me back to his wonderful book again and again. More than anything, it's the fascinating and eminently readable tales of gods and goddesses from various cultures and diverse pantheons. I must confess that each time I reread a portion of MythAstrology (which is really quite often) I can't help but wish that I had written it. Highly Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Miller on May 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
The accuracy and creativity of this book blows me away. When you consider that the planets themselves are gods, you realize what an awesome task it is to comb a pantheon of hundreds of gods from vastly different cultures, and pick the deity which channels its energy through each of the planetary gods in the twelve zodiac signs. To make the right discrimination 120 times (twelve signs x 10 planetary gods) is a phenomenal undertaking - the author's statement in the introduction that the gods helped him to do it seems wholly credible.

Hands down, this is my favorite book by Kaldera. It avoids some of the flawed perspective I've encountered in some of his other work. Its an asset to any astrologer, regardless of religious affiliation. It is also the first time I have seen a serious contribution to astrology by a neo-pagan thinker. Other neopagan authors have touched on various topics in astrology, but I can't think of anything this comprehensive until now.

I am pagan and self-taught in astrology, with an avid interest in both western and Vedic astrology, and my experience has been that the pagan and astrology subcultures do not mix and mesh well, largely because serious astrologers have a tendency to look down on the lower level of scholarship from many pagan authors. On its own, this book may start to alter this perception, bringing neopaganism more firmly into mainstream astrological thought.

Besides this, the stories are easy to read. Although one may find themselves re-reading, absorbing deeper levels of meaning over two or three perusals. This book belongs on the home bookshelf of books that are constantly refered to. It may also disappear off that shelf rather quickly if one is not careful. Encourage your friends to get their own copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Hart on April 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
I scored this book from my local library while searching for books to supplement my understanding of astrology. Being a geek of both mythological studies and comparative world religion, this book was right up my alley. However, I have since lent it to several friends who were either already students of astrology or curious but uninformed, but not geeks of the aforementioned subjects. All of them were quite pleased with the book. Something about the author's way of relating each planetary placement to a specific mythological figure and their tale makes the particulars of astrology easily accessible for any party interested enough to bother doing their chart and then reading up on it in this book. In my studies to date, I have found this book to be one of my best resources and no other book has given me as in depth of an understanding of the pertinence of planetary positions. I would recommend this to anyone looking to further their own knowledge of astrology, mythology or even just some self absorbed individual like myself who just loves reading about them.
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