Virgo – the Harvest Queen of the Elusian Mysteries

Фрина_на_празднике_Посейдона_в_Элевзине_1889 spica

Virgo/Spica  – Spica (α Vir, α Virginis, Alpha Virginis, pronounced /ˈspaɪkə/) is the brightest star in the constellation Virgo.
virgo images (1)

Another early medieval name for her is linked to the first harvests of fruit {hence she is sometimes seen with a cornucopia}

Genrich_Ippolitovich_Semiradsky_-_Roma,_1889 elusinian mysteries

Spica is derived from the Latin word for ‘ear,’ referring to an ‘ear of wheat’ or grain. Hence her strong ties with agriculture and Harvest-time. Similar to Ceres, especially within Greece and Rome she was though admired as the beautiful Astraea; yet who was also the very personification of Justice. This links strongly with the psychopompic Persephone and Isis in Egypt. Alluringly, in ancient China, Spica, the star of Spring was known as – ‘The Horn.’

One of her many Arabic names is Azimech, the Solitary One, that may indicate her singular luminosity. Fomalhaut is however, the most solitary autumnal star. It is even possible this star inspired Hipparchus with the necessary data that enabled him to understand and plot the precession of the equinoxes. A Theban temple, dated c 3200 BC, dedicated to Menat (an early form of Hathor) suggests her worship is very ancient indeed.

images courtesy of wikicommons. text adapted from wiki


~ by meanderingsofthemuse on September 29, 2013.

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