We’re all familiar with the phenomenon of hearing a new word, discovering a new idea, seeing an icon and suddenly seeing it, hearing it everywhere.
Was it always out there and we didn’t notice? Or did our awareness of it create an attracting energy?
For most of us, empiricists as we are, it was always out there and we didn’t notice. Option two is more mystical and can lead to self-awareness but can also lead to self-absorption.
There is a third option that our mind takes when it has no out – coincidence.
Coincidence is a word in our lexicon, like déjà vu, that allows for itself without explanation. It’s like the “none of the above” option on a test or survey. It doesn’t provide an answer, but doesn’t accept the listed answers.
Why the ancient gods?
Recently while at a data visualization conference, Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke as one of the keynote speakers. While talking his trade, he noted how scientists in his field were logical so tended to describe things literally and logically such as (paraphrasing here because I can’t recall the exact example) calling a small, round-shaped galaxy “The Small Round-Shaped Galaxy.”
Yet later, while discussing an asteroid that may collide with the earth, we learned that scientists gave this asteroid a name – Apophis. To deGrasse’s credit, this asteroid was originally named, according to Wikipedia, 2004 MN4.
But the name changed to Apophis (also referred to in Egyptian mythology as Apep), an Egyptian god described in Ancient Egypt Online as:
…the ancient Egyptian spirit of evil, darkness and destruction who threatened to destroy the sun god Ra as he travelled though the underworld (or sky) at night. Originally Set and Mehen (the serpent headed man) were given the job of defending Ra and his solar barge. They would cut a hole in the belly of the snake to allow Ra to escape his clutches. If they failed, the world would be plunged into darkness. However, in later periods Apep was sometimes equated with Set who was after all a god of chaos. In this case a variety of major and minor gods and goddesses (including Isis, Neith, Serqet (Selket), Geb, Aker and the followers of Horus) protected Ra from this all consuming evil. The dead themselves (in the form of the god Shu) could also fight Apep to help maintain Ma´at (order).
The Astrophysicist Public Relations Department probably caught on to the fact that if you want the public to take seriously the threat of an earth-colliding asteroid, you do better with Egyptian gods of destruction than letters and numbers.
But why an Egyptian god? Why go back 5,000 years for an image?
We could have come closer in time and referenced a Greek or Roman god.
Astrologically, Pluto represents the destruction that precedes evolution. In mythology, Pluto rules the underworld. Possibly we rejected this choice since astronomers recently downgraded Pluto from planet-status.
It’s funny we diminished our own destroyer but picked up the Egyptian one on the way back from the incinerator.
Since a child, I’ve had a great interest in Egypt. When I heard of this asteroid named after an Egyptian god (not a closer-to-our times Greek or Roman god like Uranus, Neptune and Pluto all named in the 20th century), I wondered if I truly had an interest in Egypt or if I was simply aware of an Egyptian undercurrent in our culture.
When I arrived in Ohio’s capital city for college, I brought with me a deck of Tarot cards. I’d been exposed to them just a few weeks earlier by a Scorpio relative. I thought they were fun and interesting!
My experience with those cards and the unintended accuracy scared me for a number of years. Astrology replaced it (not intentionally), a discipline more analytical and left-brain and, therefore, safe.
My deck was the classic Rider-Waite deck and one of my first perceptions was that there was some medieval soul lurking in the depths of the freedom-seeking American. The images in this deck are medieval with kings, queens, knights, hanging martyrs, people falling from towers and magicians. People responded quite strongly to those images.
It took years to understand those images outside of the cultural and historical context, but back then I was amazed at our medieval fears.
These perceptions and many others accompanied my new life. Only later, when fully understanding astrology, did I understand that the very month I arrived in college, Uranus, the great awakener, was transiting my first house.
Astrology was also an interest brought from childhood but began flowering at this time. This is when a friend very casually asked if I’d ever cast a natal horoscope. What was that?
Uranus is sudden, electric – a bolt of lightening as it were. This is a known image and a very good one for the Uranus experience. But who, really, wants to be struck by lightening?
The excitement comes from a sudden understanding or connecting of the dots. A world opens, fresh, clear and vivid. The shock comes from the changing of perception, of ideas. With Uranus, the challenge is whether the awe can outweigh the shock. A well-functioning nervous system is essential for this experience.
What comes after Uranus, Neptune, is more scary because after the awareness comes the dissolving of old identity and beliefs. If this occurs while young, it’s easier because there is less to dissolve. At an older age, you’ve got lots more stuff in the closets, attic and basement and when dissolution arrives, it’s much more difficult to let go of all that stuff.
Interest or awareness?
Am I interested in Egypt or am I picking up on the underlying Egyptian energy in the environment? Are we technological creatures with ancient psyches?
If science is enlightenment and the way out of superstitious thinking, why does science continue to reference mythology of the most ancient kind?
To create concern about the total destruction of our planet, why do rational beings need ancient myths rather than simple facts?
The need for ancient myth seems to relate to the human need to see things visually in story form – when a Hollywood movie is made about Apophis destroying earth, when we go through the visual-feeling experience, only then will we worry.