February 10th Full Moon in Leo, Lunar Eclipse
February 26th New Moon in Aquarius, Solar Eclipse, Moon conjunct Neptune, Mars conjunct Uranus
Jupiter retrogrades on the 6th in Virgo
In cards from omens . . . 11:11, sprouting garlic peeled, pasted, planted, marinaded, transforming butternut soup into daal, fiery miscommunication, muddy breezy warm alchemy . . . 3 Disks, Mars in Capricorn
Hasta is in the constellation of Corvus. Corvus, the Crow, is a small but distinctive keystone-shaped constellation positioned directly to the South of Virgo. For the telescopic user, its most interesting feature is probably the double-star named Algorab. In Vedic Astrology the five stars of Corvus are the five fingers of the “hand of Purusha.” Hasta is symbolized by the human hand and it’s unique dexterity and power to manifest vision into reality.
Situated in sidereal Virgo and true to its ruler, Mercury; Hasta gives skill, craft, witty speech and humor. Mercury is the magician and the trickster. He has the ability to create illusion and sell it. He also can grant the clarity to see through that illusion.
Clarity is the highest manifestation of the nakshatra of Hasta who is ruled by the deity Savitur, the rising sun. It is the sun that awakens us and inspires us to do action each day. Agni, the fire of the intellect, shines from the sun and fuels the quest for truth and knowledge. The sun is the most predictable and regular of all the heavenly bodies. Never retrograde, its movement marks the hours, days, and seasons in remarkable stability. It is this stability that creates the dharmic container that allows life to flourish on this planet.
The Gayatri mantra is useful for Hasta nakshatra.
bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt
We meditate on
the effulgent glory of
the radiant sun;
may he inspire our intelligence.
Apollo gave a feast to Jupiter and requiring water sent the raven with a cup (Crater) to fetch some. On his way the raven noticed a fig tree, and, resting there until the figs became ripe, feasted himself upon them until, remembering his errand and fearing the anger of Apollo, he picked up a snake (Hydra) and on his return gave as an excuse that the hydra had prevented him from filling the cup by having kept the spring from flowing, this being the cause of the delay. The god was not deceived by the lie and ordained in punishment that the raven should never drink so long as figs were not ripe. Apollo placed the raven (Corvus), cup (Crater) and snake (Hydra) in the heavens as a memorial, where the Water-snake guards the water from the everlastingly thirsty Raven. Corvus now sits within sight of the Cup of water, but he can never drink.
Corvus is from Latin corvus, Greek korax, related to Swedish korp, Old High German hraban, Old Norse hrafn. The words Corvus and Raven comes from the Indo-European root *ker-2 ‘Echoic root, base of various derivatives indicating loud noises or birds’. Derivatives: ring2 (from Old English hringan, to resound, clink), retch (from Old English hraecan, to clear the throat, relating to the deep guttural croak of the raven), raven1 (from Old English hraefn, raven, from Germanic *hrabnaz, raven), corbel, corbina, cormorant (literally, raven of the sea), corvine, Corvus, coracoid (korakias, chough), screech (from Old Norse skraekja, to shreik, from Germanic *skrekjan). [Pokorny 1. ker- 567. Watkins] The names Ingram (from Teutonic angil, ‘angel’, and hram, hramn, is a collateral form of hraban, ‘raven’), Bertram (from beraht, ‘bright’, and hram, hramn, raven). Klein supplies the Indian word kos, ‘the distance within which a man’s shout can be heard’. A corbel is a likely place for a crow to perch, a bracket projecting from the face of a wall and generally used to support a cornice or arch. Ravens are found at the top of the highest peaks.
In Norse mythology, the omniscient god Odin had a pair of ravens, Hugin (mind) and Munin (memory). They flew around the world every day to learn of the day’s news and then returned to Odin. They sat on each of the god Odin’s shoulders , and informed him of everything that happens in the world. There are examples from Germany, India, Siberia, Iceland, and elsewhere where people are advantaged by speaking with these birds or eavesdropping on the conversation of ravens.
“The raven gets its name, corvus or corax, from the sound it makes in its throat, because it utters a croak”.
There are scientific studies on ravens and wolves associating in foraging strategy. In the book Mind of the Raven, biologist Bernd Heinrich says ravens and wolves (Lupus) work in tandem: they rely on wolves to kill, and to open carcasses (which might be one of the reasons why wolves are described as ravenous). Ravens have been reported to alert wolves to potential food sources and to danger. The Inuit believe ravens help them hunt caribou, polar bears and seals by dipping their wings in the right direction.
The name Bran, from Welsh Brân, from brân, raven, refers to gigantic Celtic god and ruler of Britain. After he was mortally wounded in battle his head was buried in London where it served as a protection against invaders. Some believe the still-current practice of keeping ravens at the Tower of London is associated with this story of Bran. Bran is an archetypal British Celtic hero, and it has been surmised that he is the root of the character known as the Fisher King from Arthurian romance; Bron or Bran the Blessed. The raven brought the cup (Crater, also representing the Holy Grail) to Apollo. “Boron also says that it was the Rich Fisher, named Bron, who was the brother-in-law of Joseph of Arimathea, and that it was he who brought the Grail to Britain”. Hebrew Corban means a gift or votive offering for the god, also the name given to the Treasury of the Temple at Jerusalem. Corbenic (also Carbonek and Corbin) is the name of the castle of the Holy Grail in the Lancelot-Grail cycle and Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. It is the domain of the Fisher King and the birth-place of Sir Galahad.
Corvus is the Latin name for both the raven and the crow and these two birds are usually paired together in mythology. From the same family, their obvious intelligence and ingenuity, as well as their distinctive caw, has given them a widespread association with trickery, storytelling, the relaying of messages, and the serving of self-interest. But the colour of their plumage has also drawn a universal connection with malevolence, sinister forces, and ominous warnings. The stars of Corvus share this reputation and the classical myths that relate to the constellation speak of mistrust, shameful motives, insincerity, glorification in the misfortune of others, and the bearing of bad news.
In view of its prophetic reputation, the Raven was said to be the sacred bird and messenger of Apollo, (the Roman god of prophecy), who cast favour upon it after the Sungod triumphantly assumed its shape during a contest of the gods. Manilius, even in referring to this nobler myth, implies an element of deception where he writes:
“Corvus, winner of spoils and a name, aided in combat by a bird which hides beneath a birds exterior the godhead of Phoebus”.
Most universal crow-myths speak of the bird being originally white or silver, and cursed black on account of its dark deeds. Such is the case in the myth of Apollo and the Raven, for as the 1st century poet Ovid narrates:
“The bird was once of a silvery hue, with such snowy feathers it could rival any dove.”
According to his tale, Corvus was tasked with keeping a watchful eye over Apollo’s pregnant wife Coronis, and spied her with a lover:
“the bird of Phoebus detected her in wrongdoing and, a pitiless informer, determined to reveal her guilt”.
In a fit of fury and despair Apollo killed his wife. The unborn child was rescued and raised as Aesculapius (aka Ophiuchus) under the care of the centaur Cheiron. This did not spare Apollo’s hated of the bird who was the bearer of such a malicious report. He cursed it to the darkness of hell for taking pleasure in informing him of his wife’s betrayal, as eloquently expressed by the 19th century American poet, J. C. Saxe:
Then he turned upon the Raven,
“Wanton babbler! see thy fate!
Messenger of mine no longer,
Go to Hades with thy prate!
Weary Pluto with thy tattle!
Hither, monster, come not back;
And – to match thy disposition –
Henceforth be thy plumage black”
In Ovid’s account, the Raven had been advised against revealing his sorry piece of news by a crow who had suffered a similar fate after spying on the daughters of his master. “The punishment I suffered may serve as a warning … not to court danger by telling tales”. But the warning was ignored and – lest we should miss its significance – repeated upon the raven.
The most notable star of Corvus is Algorab, which simply means ‘The Crow’ in Arabic. This is a double star, located on the wing of the figure, variable in brilliance (from 2.94 + 8.4) and notable for its contrasting colours of purple and yellow.
Although Algorab is accorded the greatest astrological note, it is often superceded in brilliance by the 3rd magnitude stars Al-Janah (the wing), and Kraz (the claw). The location of the latter augments its symbolic connection to wilful destructiveness.
Alchiba (the beak), was once the brightest star of the constellation and is thus noted as the alpha star, but it is now much less brilliant than it was.
Corvus and its neighbour Crater are contained within a loop of Hydra the water snake and lie towards the south of Leo and Virgo. The top of Corvus lies to the west of the bright star Spica.
The Sun crosses Al Janah around 3rd October, Alchiba around 5th October, Algorab around 6th October, and Kraz around 10th October each year.
Lady Madonna, a White Angel, up in the trees on the hill looking out in the sunshine, protecting and warding, a wooden figurehead, tree spirit.
Ship figureheads, sometimes called Neptune’s wooden angels, are ornately carved wooden sculptures attached to the front of a ship, gracing the prow.
A figurehead identified the ship and helped non-literate people know the ship’s name. In its day, a ship without a figurehead was akin to a ship without a sail. Figureheads were believed to embody the spirit of a ship and were originally thought to placate the gods of the sea and ensure a safe voyage of the sailors.
The Phoenician horse, which symbolized speed, was one of the earliest uses of a wooden statue attached to a maritime vessel. Egyptians painted eyes and carved holy birds on the prow of their ships. The Greek boar’s head was used to represented acute vision and ferocity. The Roman centurion portrayed valor in battle. Norse dragons and snakes characterized fierceness. All other manner of creatures were used as sentinels on ships throughout Northern Europe.
Figurehead function in lore:
A sail in a ship without a figurehead was considered highly dangerous.
Sailors believed that a ship needed to find its own way, and could only do this if it had eyes.
A figurehead was thought to be the embodiment of the ship’s soul.
To ward off evil spirits as the ship bounded through the ocean.
To protect the crew and passengers from traveling maladies.
A bare-breasted woman figurehead was thought to calm an angry sea by enticing it with its beauty.
If a figurehead was painted black it was considered bad luck.
In Germany, Belgium, and Holland, it was believed that fairy type spirits dwelt in the figureheads.
Some sailors believed that if a vessel went down without a figurehead it condemned the sailor’s soul to haunt the sea for all eternity.