Abraxas is a mystical word of very ancient unexplained origin. The Egyptian astronomer Basilides found out that Abraxas means 365 in the Greek numeric alphabet. In the year 130 he founded his doctrine of the 365 spiritual realms, which is derived from oriental philosophy. The Basilidian sect was born, a branch of the Gnostics. They believe in a nameless, supreme being that unites God and devil. From itself it creates seven perfect eons. These are testimony to 365 spirits of decreasing perfection, into which space is divided like the year 365 days. The spirits embody abstract concepts of good and evil content. Lord of all spirits is Abraxas. The supreme being uses it to intervene in human destiny. His picture can be found on old amulets. The cock's head symbolizes the power over darkness, the serpentine abdomen represents infinity, the egg is the universe.
The sun is a gigantic nuclear reactor - its energy will not be exhausted for many millions of years. There are 9 planets and - between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter - many thousands of tiny planetoids circle around their enormous mass. Without solar radiation there would be no life on the Earth. During the course of a year, the earth orbits the sun in an elliptical orbit. The resulting change of seasons runs through the myths of all peoples as a struggle of light against the forces of darkness. This is also where the origins of the Nibelungen legend and the Germanic doctrine of the gods lie, in which Baldur fights against dark powers - in order to awaken new life through Freias redemption from the violence of the winter of the world. From the winter solstice celebration, Christmas was born in early Christian times. The sun god has been worshipped since time immemorial by all peoples: as Osiris with the Egyptians, Baal with the Phoenicians, Helios with the Greeks, Sol with the Romans.
The moon is the cause of ebb and flow: due to the attraction of its mass, the water level of the sea rises; a tidal wave accompanies its course around the Earth. Its surface is littered with holes of the Meteorites. From new moon it circles the earth in 29 ½ days. The phases of the moon (a - h) were calendar dimensions of many cultures and the cause of numerous myths of death and rebirth.
Like Isis in Egypt or Luna in Rome, Selene also has the gift of giving immortality in Greece. Pulled by two white cows, her silver carriage slowly travels over the night sky, untroubled by her siblings Eos, the Dawn, and Helios, the sun god. She loves Endymion, the beautiful king of Elis. He wanted to sleep forever without aging - Selene granted him his wish. At the end of each journey she visits her everlasting beautiful lover, who is trapped in a cave in the mountain Latmos in eternal sleep.
As a bright, shimmering band, the Milky Way - our galaxy - stretches across the starry sky. In the myths of ancient cultures, it is the street on which the souls of the unborn and the deceased walk. Only since the invention of telescopes, astrocameras and radio telescopes has the galaxy been a research object and the cause of various theories about the origin and shape of space. It consists of star clusters, planetary nebulae, dark and glowing gas clouds, spiral nebulae (which are nothing more than distant galaxies) and 200 billion of various fixed stars, of which our sun is a quite typical representative. The constellation Swan shows a constellation region that is light-years away. The galaxies tend to form groups. Our group covers a space of 3 billion light years and contains 18 galaxies. Our "neighboring street" in space is the Andromeda nebula.
Mercury is the smallest and fastest planet in our solar system. Its diameter is 5140 km and it circles the sun in only 88 days. From all planets it is closest to the sun and is therefore very difficult to observe - most likely when the sun is obscured by a cloud.
In Rome he was called Mercury, in Greece Hermes. His parents are Zeus and Maja. Born in the morning, at noon he invents the Lyra and steals the calf herd of his half-brother Apollon in the evening. As atonement Hermes gives him the Lyra - and is allowed to keep the calves. From Apollon he receives the magic wand and becomes messenger of the gods. On winged shoes he hurries through the world, brings sleep and dreams and guides the immortal souls of mortal men into the underworld. It protects business and commerce, the safety of roads, travelers - and sky explorers too.
Although Venus with a diameter of 12100 km is slightly smaller than the Earth and like the Moon has no light of its own, it is the brightest star in the sky - because it is closest to the Earth. It is the morning and evening star and can sometimes be seen in the daytime, which has caused superstitious fears in past centuries.
Under many names it plays a dazzling role in the ancient myths.
As Ischtar in the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic she and her temple servants are scorned for fornication.
As a Greek Aphrodite, she cheats on her limping husband Hephaistos with numerous divine and mortal lovers - her son Amor shoots love into the hearts of men with bow and arrow.
As Venus, she is the ancestral mother of the Roman people and enjoys a good reputation for the first time - which she finally loses in the German Tannhäuser saga: she lures innocent hikers into the Venusberg, who lead a dissipated life at her court and lose their soul over it.
With a diameter of 12757 km, our blue planet is a little bigger than Venus. Only 350 years ago it was by no means considered to be a planet, but rather the centre of the world, around which not only the Moon, but the whole sky revolves with all stars. Whether the earth is a disk or a sphere was the cause of bitter arguments. It is true that the Greek physicist Archimedes had already found proof of the spherical shape 2200 years ago. But since the Bible makes no mention of a spherical shape, the earth was declared flat by the Church. Only Columbus helped the old knowledge to new splendour: in 1493 he successfully returned from his first journey in the "wrong" direction, instead of falling down together with Ship and crew from the earth disk.
In the beginning there was nothing. From this came Gaia, the earth, and Eros, the love. Gaia alone begat Pontos, the sea, and Uranos, the sky. Moved by Eros, it connected with Uranos, gave birth to the Cyclopes and the Titans.
Mars is the second closest planet to Earth and with its diameter of 6800 km it is quite small. Two potato-shaped moons accompany him - Phobos and Deimos. For a long time, the Martian Channels have triggered speculation that the red planet was inhabited by intelligent life. Mariner photos show them as optical illusions.
Since the peasants had lost their acres to the big land, as legionaries they fought less for Rome than for the god of war, who could help them to find a new home by conquering colonies - so Mars was also highly regarded as the god of agriculture. Because of his raw, argumentative nature he was less appreciated in Greece - as Ares he is a lover of the beautiful Aphrodite, who gives him two sons, Phobos (gray) and Deimos (fear). Her husband Hephasistos catches her at a shepherd's hour, catches the naked couple in a cleverly forged net and displays it to the mockery of the gods.
While Venus, Earth and Mars are solid bodies, Jupiter consists of 80% hydrogen gas. Despite its enormous diameter of 143600 km, the gas giant rotates at an enormous speed. The fire-liquid core and the constant thunderstorm of its atmosphere let it shine multi-coloured from its own energy. The largest four of its 12 moons were discovered by Galileo in 1610.
With the division of the world Zeus becomes ruler of heaven. For the Romans, his name is Jupiter,"Heavenly Father". His principle is order, he rules Earth, gives rain, directs with lightning and sees everything, including the future, which he reveals through thunderstorms, bird's flight and dreams. With his jealous wife Hera he testifies Ares and Hephaistos. Without number are his divine and mortal lovers, whom he approaches in ever new transformations to witness gods and heroes. The victims of his desire are cruelly persecuted by Hera.
Saturn is the most distant of the five planets visible to the naked eye. Because of his ring, it was once thought to be a star with handles - today there are several rings consisting of particles of dust particles - up to fist size. In addition, ten moons were discovered between 1655 and 1966. With 120600 km it is hardly smaller than the Jupiter. Its gas mass is frozen to a solid body because of the large solar distance.
The Roman Saturn was called Kronos by the Greeks and is one of the twelve Titans. Kronos disempowered his father Uranos, who prophesied that a son would also dethrone him. So he devours all his children immediately after their birth. The youngest son Zeus saves his wife Rhea by a cunning - later Zeus forces the father to spit out the immortal siblings. In the now unleashed Titan fight Zeus. He shares world domination with his brothers. Kronos is transferred to Elysium, the islands of the blessed.
Despite its enormous diameter of 53400 km, Uranos is no longer visible to the naked eye and was not discovered until 1781 - after the invention of the telescope. He is also a sun-less, icy gas giant. The last of his five moons was traced in 1948 by the huge lenses of an observatory in the USA.
By itself Gaia had created Uranos, the sky. Moved by Eros, she joined him and gave birth to the one-eyed Cyclops - the inventors of the lightning bolts with which Zeus won the battle for world domination - and the Titans. The Cyclopes became too powerful for Uranos, so he threw them into the Tartaros. Full of anger Gaia complained to her son Kronos that, the youngest of the Titans, Uranos lay too often on her. She gave him the sickle with which Kronos emasculated the father. The blood drops gave rise to the giants. Urano's fertile masculinity fell foaming into the sea and caused Aphrodite to develop.
Neptune was discovered in 1846 on the basis of specific calculations. Since it is thirty times as far away from the Sun as Earth, there is eternal dawn on it. With 49000 km it is also a gas giant and is accompanied by the moons Triton and Nereide.
He was of little importance to the Romans as a Neptune, but by the seafaring Greeks he was revered and feared as Poseidon. After the Victory in the Titan fightZeus shares the world domination with the brothers: Together they rule Earth, the sky gets Zeus, Hades the underworld and Poseidon the sea. His crystal palace stands in the depths of the waves, which he shakes with his trident. His black horse-drawn carriage rushes across the sea, surrounded by the conch horn blowing Triton and the charming Nereiden, of which his wife Amphitrite is the most beautiful. In his easily inflameable anger he sinks ships or lets whole kingdoms of sea monsters devastated.
Pluto was discovered in 1930 as the ninth and last planet to date. With a diameter of 6400 km it is slightly larger than Mercury and of earth-like structure.
Is Hades, whose name was so much feared that one preferred to call him Pluto "the rich man". From Hermes and Charon the souls of the dead are led into his realm, in order to be expelled after the judgement of three judges in the Tartaros (Hell), the Asphodelos meadows (Fire) or the Elysium (Heaven). Only once does Pluto leave Hades: when he robs Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the goddess of fertility. Through the pomegranate seed, she becomes a slave to him. She spends six months alternately with him and six with her mother on the upper world. The seasons are created in a similar way as in Germanic doctrine of the gods. If the prince of hell is still a divine brother of Zeus in the Greeks, he becomes a renegade angel in Christianity, who leads men into a diabolical temptation.
At some point in space, the hydrogen atoms, which are scarce everywhere, contract into a thin, increasingly dense gas. Similar to the way in which water forms a whirlpool around the drain of a bathtub, rotation occurs in the hydrogen gas. Further atoms are attracted - under the pressure of their masses heat develops in the nucleus (1). The gas starts to burn, the atoms produce radiation and "ashes". This ash is the next heavier element in the series: helium. The pressure increases, the heat increases and millions of years of burning lighter elements become heavier - to the point of criticality. Only the biggest stars reach him. In a few hours they increase their luminosity to millions of times (2), and the astronomer believes to have discovered a "new" star: a Nova or even a Supernova. A few months later, a final explosion then blasts the debris into space: phosphorescent, radioactive slag (3).
Although a comet had indicated the birth of Christ, such celestial phenomena were long feared and regarded as forerunners of the end of the world. It was only after such meticulous records of them were found in ancient Chinese chronicles that their orbits could be recalculated, that many a comet could be recognized as a regular visitor from space. The comets are the "fast space cruisers" under the stars. Large planets have a peculiar attraction for them: For example, a "fleet" of 52 comets could be captured from Jupiter and diverted their wide arc through the furthest depths of space to a short-periodic solar orbit. The invisible comet only begins to become too light when it approaches the Sun: Its core consists of Meteorites and deep-frozen gases, which react highly explosive when they thaw in the solar heat. Flaked, glowing gas and rock fragments form the tail - if the Earth crosses it, there is a shooting star firework.
Who wouldn't have been surprised by the sudden lightening and hissing of a shooting star in the night sky? According to tradition, one can then very quickly wish for something... Shooting stars and meteors are the same: interstellar matter that floats in large quantities all over space. Such a particle usually weighs only a few grams, more rarely a few kilograms - very rarely even a piece of heavy metal can be found. On its orbit around the Sun the Earth whirls up some dust, so to speak. Due to the friction with our atmosphere, a stardust quickly starts to glow and evaporates in the shortest possible time. Sometimes there is also something left of him and falls down: called meteorite. This sample from outer space does not contain any elements known to us and is not even composed of rare metals or rocks. Never before has such a huge meteorite struck the Earth to create a crater. The Moon, on the other hand, does not protect an atmosphere littered with crater holes.
With the precision of a movement, Earth orbits the Sun. With the same precision, the Moon circles around the Earth. It happens rarely but regularly - can be calculated exactly in advance - that the Moon circles exactly between Earth and Sun, that its shadow does not fall into space as usual, but hits the Earth. The sun's rays collide with its rear side - it's a new moon - and break at its round shape, so that there is a big half-shade and a small round umbra shadow. Only an observer in the umbra experiences a total solar eclipse for minutes. Neither Earth nor Moon interrupt their course, which is why the shadow flits over the earth's surface quite quickly. Once the ancient Teutons believed that a Wolf would devour the Sun. Even today there are indigenous peoples who make a pagan noise to drive away the "sun-eating monster". Even the animals are afraid of the dark, eerie light.
In our latitudes, the Polarstern stands about halfway up the northern horizon and is a bright, but by no means the brightest star in the sky. Like Sun and most of the stars, it is a fixed star that produces its own light. It is of great importance for orientation in the sky. With the Sky Carriage he can be found and soon discovered as the star around which all others turn, while he seems to be the only one standing still. The reason for this is that it stands exactly in the extension of the earth's axis, as shown in the drawing. This axis between north and south pole does not stand perpendicular to the orbit of Earth but is inclined - like a huge gyro the Earth rotates around its axis. One rotation of a gyroscope lasts 26,000 years; the "Spring Point" - March 21st - runs through all 12 zodiac constellations. So this day stood before 7000 in Taurus, then ran through Aries, stands today in Pisces and moves on to Aquarius.
The Leo stands in the sky, the little one above the back of the great one.
Regulus (R) is considered the heart of the Great Leo. It is one of the brightest stars in the sky and is also called King's Star. In the fairy tales and fables of all peoples, the Leo is the king of the animals. According to Greek legend, it was the first task of the hero Heracles to kill the invulnerable Nemish lion - when his arrow slipped, he bravely entered the lion's den and strangled him in his arms. The Untier's head became his helmet, the fur his coat.
He has a sense of family and a warm-hearted disposition. His disposition is noble, his appearance is not free from a desire for prestige. He is very proud and whoever offends him will not remain unscathed. He likes to be in the centre of attention, he's communicative and cheerful. Its deepest interior, however, is surrounded by an impenetrable wall.
Cancer is a fairly inconspicuous constellation. According to Greek legend, he was close friends with Hydra and bravely helped her in the fight against Heracles, by nodding the hero several times in the heel - which Heracles found quite annoying.
In nature there are crayfish, crabs, knight crabs, the palm thief, who can fetch and open coconuts from the tree, lobsters and lobsters are among the many thousands of different species. The hermit crab spends its sensitive abdomen in the shells of porcelain snails or cockleshells and is constantly on the lookout for ever larger, well-fitting housings during the growing season.
He is domestic, sensitive, sometimes also hypersensitive. As a friend he is reliable and helpful, tender and faithful in love. He combines ingenuity with manual dexterity, is artistically talented and of great endurance.
The Gemini can't be missed in the sky. Pollux (P) is one of the brightest stars hardly less bright is the interesting multiple system of Kastor (K). One large and two small stars orbit with invisible companions, probably planets, a common center.
In the Greek legend of the Dioscury, the twins are the sons of Zeus and Leda, but only Pollux is immortal like his father. As Kastor falls in battle with the sharp-sighted Lynceus and the strong Idas, Pollux begs to Zeus, he also begs him to die because he loves the brother more than his life. Instead, Zeus to the brothers to share death and immortality with each other: Together they spend one day each in underworld and one day on Earth.
In his soul, high ideals fight with selfish impulses. Only at a more mature age does he find harmony. Mental agility and sociability make life easy.
This extensive constellation was called Taurus before most constellations had a name. His heart is the luminous Aldebaran (A), a so-called red giant of immense heat.
According to ancient Sumerian legend, the godfather Anu creates the celestial beast, who is supposed to protect Ishtar against their attackers.
In the Greek legend Zeus turns into a bull to kidnap the enchanting Europe. A son of this adventure is Minos. When he becomes king of Crete, he refuses to give thanksgiving to the gods. As a punishment, his wife gives birth to the Minotaur - a monster with a bull's head and a human body to which young girls and boys are sacrificed in the labyrinth.
He loves all his loved ones with pleasure, can separate from nothing and nobody, is tender, passionate, jealous - a tireless worker when the task tempts him - and bossy.
The Aries is an inconspicuous constellation. It has its great importance from the Aries period, in which 5000 years ago calendars and zodiacs were established. At that time, the spring point was marked by the ram. Even today, the celestial orientation of Aries time is still the basis of all astrological calculations.
After the Aries Phrixos and Helle had flown over the sea, it was transferred to heaven. From then on his golden fur hung in a holy tree and was guarded by dragon. Jason - with the help of the Argonauts and the sorceress Medea - managed to rob the golden fleece. So he passed the test of courage demanded of him and became king of Jolkas.
Courage, enthusiasm, determination and good team spirit make him a successful man. With a thirst for adventure and strong self-confidence, he is exciting in love - but also quite demanding.
The Pisces are not a small constellation, but they do not have a particularly bright or remarkable star. Since the vernal equinox has been in this sign for about 2000 years, we live - astrologically seen - in the age of fish.
In the biblical story of creation, Moses tells us how GOD commands the Water even before the creation of animals and humans to "excite themselves with living and weaving animals".
Already in 550 B. C. Greek philosophers develop the nowadays generally valid theory that all living beings have evolved from the Water.
He is cheerful and modest, loves to socialize and is a witty conversationalist. His penchant for dreams makes him receptive to art, but does not interfere with his sense of reality. In love he is tender and considerate. His silence makes him a trustworthy interlocutor.
The Aquarius climbs over the horizon on autumn evenings. Sadalsud (S) announces the rainy season and in Arab astrology means "happiest star in the world".
The Aquarius refers to the mystery of birth: in the water of the amniotic sac, the infant "floats" into the world. On New Year's Eve of the early Aries time the Sun entered the Aquarius and initiated the birth of the new year. The Frühlingspunkt will reach the Aquarius around the year 2100. Then the Age of Aquarius will begin, bringing peace, happiness and prosperity with it.
The mythology of all ancient folk tales enlivens seas, rivers and ponds with human-like water spirits. The cruel Nöck steals little children - the seductive mermaid draws beautiful youngsters into a wet grave.
A thirst for research and practical reason make him a cool observer. He always adapts his views and behaviour to the latest findings.
The Capricorn was only recently created from the goatfish of the Babylonian zodiac.
Greek mythology connects the constellation with Pan, the all-embracing concept of the oldest natural religions and goat-shaped shepherd god. He once followed Syrinx with relish - but the shy nymph turned into a reed. Pan cut himself out of it the shepherd's flute, on which from now on loving meadows played. Out of the darkness of long forgotten myths comes Aiga, with which he produced Aigipan, the goatfish. Diving out of the sea waves Aigipan blew terrifyingly on the conch horn, the enemies of Zeus put the enemies of titanium fight in panic and was moved to heaven as a constellation for thanks. But his horns and goats' feet live on in devil.
He fulfils tasks conscientiously and loves love and success. He is reluctant to make decisions, is musically - and stubborn.
In the constellation of the Sagittarius lies today the winter solstice, to which the ancient peoples of the north burned the winter and lovers jumped through the fire.
According to Greek tradition, the Sagittarius belongs to the mountain people of the Centaurs. Once upon a time, the King of the Lapiths invited the wild horses to his wedding. Since they were not accustomed to wine, they quickly got drunk and violently tried to rob the country's daughters. After a bloody struggle they were driven out by the Lapiths. Some of them retreated to the volcanic mountains of Magnesia. There they guarded one of the entrances to underworld and pursued the wicked with their arrows. The others settled under the guidance of the wise Chiron in the beautiful Arcadia.
He pursues tasks with determination, even higher ideals. He has a great sense of duty, he is ambitious, successful, superior - but can sometimes lose self-control
In the Scorpio there is one of the most magnificent stars in the sky, Antares (A), next to many bright stars. It is a double star: A hot sun circulates around a relatively cool, red giant.
In the ancient Sumerian Gilgamesh epic, the Scorpio guards guard the gate of Mount Maschu, to which the Sun enters and exits daily. When Gilgamesh asks for admission, the scorpion woman checks his innermost essence, then the scorpion man opens the gate and carefully describes to the hero the lonely way through the mountain interior - the night - to the sun god.
In the Greek Orion myth the mighty hunter boasts that he can kill all animals. When Orion also follows Pleiades, Gaia finally orders the scorpion to execute him.
In his work, he is reliable and of rational consequence - in his dear friend, faithful and selfless in marriage - he is a little too self-critical.
The constellation of the Libra in Arab astrology was called "Chelai" - scissors - and belonged to Scorpio, who according to Greek tradition had to execute the judgement of the gods.
In Roman mythology, the Libra is the emblem of Justitia, the goddess of justice. Legend has it that in the Iron Age it was the last of the Celestials to leave Earth, filled with crime, to settle in the sky as a luminous sign. Works of art from later times gave her the blindfold - above all to remind us not to judge people by their worldly prestige - but perhaps also to spare the goddess the sight of imperfect human justice.
In his job and love he is characterized by harmony, love of truth, a sure sense of judgement and adaptability. He rarely shows weaknesses in decision-making or prejudice.
Spica (S), the spike is the brightest star in the virgin and one of the brightest in the sky, which is why the constellation was originally called "spike".
When the oldest peoples settled down, farming was mainly in the hands of women. In many cases, the maternal law applied and the spike was the symbol of powerful fertility goddesses. They were served by chaste, men-despising priestesses immortalized in the myth of the warlike people of the beautiful Amazons, who feared love and hated men.
The Greeks traced the beginning of cereal cultivation back to Demeter and worshipped the goddess in the oldest secret cult of Greece - the eleusinian mysteries - following the grain harvest, a season in which the Sun was the sign of the virgin.
Reasonable and practical at work - shy and reserved in love - caring in marriage. Love nature, is a little too sober.
The Great Bear never sinks in the northern sky and is always good to see. Its brightest stars form the Sky Carriage, with which the can be found. It stands in the extension of the back car stars and forms the tail point of the Little Bear.
Kallisto was the lovely princess of Arcadia. Often and gladly she wandered through the native forests without knowing that Zeus observed her well. She grew up, got married, had a son - Arkas - and became more and more beautiful until finally Hera - Zeus? jealous wife - could no longer suppress her envy and the urgent desire to get her out of the world. She turned Kallisto into a shaggy bear. A few years later, Arkas almost shot his own mother in the hunt - but Zeus turned him into the Little Bear and moved both of them to heaven. Fiercely angry, Hera forbade the constellations from ever coming to the other side of heaven.
The romance of Helios with the beautiful Egyptian Klymene is Phaeton. He grew up fatherlessly and suffered greatly under the mockery of other children. As a young man he set out to visit his father. Far behind India he reached the Sun God's palace when he climbed into his golden chariot to embark on the daily journey to heaven. Phaeton asked the father to be allowed to drive the car only once. Helios, who had neglected him for so many years, retired with a heavy heart. Boldly Pheaton scurried away and immediately burned a large scratch in the sky, the Milky Way. Frightened, he directed in the other direction and set Africa on fire. Since then, the people there have been blackburned. Zeus hurled a lightning bolt and Phaeton crashed into Eridanus. The burnt-out celestial carriage came to a standstill at Great Bears. Hephaistos had to forge a new car for the sun god in his volcanic workshop.
The Cup is a smaller constellation in the southern sky. Cup and vine are symbols of the Dionysus.
The contradiction of the numerous Greek myths about his birth and his life suggest his origin from Far Eastern natural religions. He traveled with a strange entourage: Satyr was related to Pan, later on he was called Faun by the Romans; Silen had similarity to Centauren, and the maenad loved flowing oriental robes, as well as Dionysos. Women often joined the maenads to the sorrow of their husbands. At wild orgies in the mountains at night, they were furious, danced to the point of senselessness and tore animals to pieces, even people they thought were animals. Wine and religious delusion led to visions, expansion of consciousness - not infrequently to insanity, the "weapon of Dionysus". The Romans took over his cult, called him Bacchus and celebrated the dissipated Bacchanalia.
The Hydra is the longest constellation in the northern and southern starry sky.
The nine-headed snake lived with her boyfriend, the Cancer around Marsh of Lerna. Heracles drove them out of their camp with the burning arrow and hacked into their heads with the sword. But for every head he took off, two new heads grew back. The Cancer constantly nipped him in the foot. Then Heracles called his friend Jolaos to help him, who burned out the Hydra's necks with torches. Now no more heads could grow back. Only one of the heads was immortal, buried under a large stone. Then Heracles split the fuselage and plunged his arrows into the poisonous bile of the hydra. Many years later this became his own doom. When his young wife Deianeira was shamelessly harassed by Nessos, Heracles shot him with a poison dart. When dying Nessos the unsuspecting advised to use his blood as a love spell, which she did.
The Great Dog and the Small Dog stand east of Orion. Sirius (S) is the brightest star in the whole sky and one of our Sun. It is a double star surrounded by a white dwarf with superheavy matter.
The Great Dog is Lailaps. Zeus gave it to Europe when he left it. Lailaps had the wonderful gift that he couldn't escape. But he was hired for a vixen with the no less wonderful ability that she could never be caught. If Zeus hadn't intervened and moved the animals to the sky, they would have died painfully of exhaustion during their endless hunt.
The Small Dog is Cerberus, which guarded the entrance to Hades. He greeted entering souls wagging their tails - but when they tried to leave Hades, he ate them up.
With the old Teutons, dogs were regarded as "ghost-sighted", which could explain their sometimes incomprehensible barking.
Since time immemorial, this constellation has been called "Charioteer". However, since several Greek charioteers are disputing the fame of being immortalized in it, the honour is to be given to the ferryman, who has an important role in the oldest myths.
In ancient times, it was thought to be surrounded by a river, on the other side of which the underworld began.
In the Sumerian myth, the ferryman's name is Urschanabi. He takes the hero Gilgamesh, who is looking for eternal life, to the other side and back again - and even stabs him into that bay, where Gilgamesh plunges stones in weight and picks the herb from the seabed. Unfortunately, it is stolen from him shortly afterwards by snake.
In the Greek myth, his name is Charon. To him Hermes leads the souls of the deceased, which he translates against an obolos - which is why it was very important to give the deceased some small change into the grave.
Orion with the three belt stars is a magnificent winter constellation. Rigel (R) and Betelgeuse (B) are both supergiants of that rare,"mortal" size which can become a Supernova.
In the Greek myth, Orion is a son of Poseidon and lover of Eos. In the sporting competition, he gained the admiration of the hunting goddess Artemis. Ruthlessly, however, he not only pursues animals, but also the shy Pleiades, who are afraid of him, until at last Gaia the Scorpio orders his end. Thanks to Artemis? advocacy, he is transferred to an animal-rich place in the starry sky.
Orion is the Greek name of the powerful hunter Nimrod, great-grandson of Noah and ancestor of the African peoples, founder of the Assyrian Empire and builder of the Tower of Babel. In cuneiform script, the clay-panel libraries of Nineveh report on the cruel acts of his successors, but also on the culture of the subjugated people, of magic and astronomy.
The hare is a bright constellation between Orion and Great Dog. The honour of shining eternally in the sky is due less to his speeding than to his fabulous fertility.
A Hare plague is reported, which caused ecological difficulties on the small island of Leros near Karia - a part of today's Turkey. First, only one citizen brought a pregnant female hare from the mainland. The islanders liked the animal, they started to breed it. Soon, however, it reproduced so much that the crops were no longer sufficient to feed people and rabbits. The islanders asked Artemis for help in case of starvation. The goddess of hunting advised them to form a chain and drive the animals into the sea with sticks. Thousands of them drowned there. But they sent a rabbit to the sky. Thus Orion has a victim that reproduces faster than it can shoot - to warn all hunters to cherish, but not exterminate the animals.
In the constellation Perseus stands Algol (A), which in ancient times was called "Demon" because it blinks. Algol is a multiple system in which a dark star orbits a bright double star, hiding it from the earth every two days for 10 hours.
Zeus turned into golden rain to cheat on his wife with Danae. Hera found out anyway. Thus Perseus, Danaes son, did not have an easy but heroic life. Immediately after birth, he and his mother were taken to the sea in a crate. They were rescued, but as soon as he grew up, he had to fetch the head of Medusa - her sight turned every mortal man into stone. But the gods helped him: Hermes lent him wing shoes, magic sword and camouflage helmet - on the advice of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, he looked at Medusa only in the mirror of his shield, separated the snake-haired head from the fuselage unharmed and saved Andromedas life.
The Pleiades are a small open cluster of stars near the Taurus. Their stars bring the nebula of gas to light them up like ghosts. With the naked eye, six to eight stars can be distinguished, which is why they were also called eye examiners in the ancient times of the Seven Sisters.
Atlas was the giant who carried the sky on his shoulders. From Perseus he was later transformed into the Atlas Mountains to avoid feeling the oppressive load. The Meernymphe Plejone was the mother of his seven daughters Alkyone, Asterope, Elektra, Kelaino, Maja, Merope and Taygeta. Orion saw her once on a river bank when they bathed and sang with their mother, half hidden by morning mist veils. He broke lusts through the bushes, but they fled scared. For seven years they ran away from him, who tirelessly pursued them all over Africa, until Zeus brought the exhausted to safety in the starry sky. There he still follows them at a safe distance.
The Star River Eridanus stretches far beyond the southern and the northern sky. It is the mirror image of all the great rivers of the earth, because also in it many springs unite to a shimmering band, which ends after numerous loops and sweeps in a wide estuary.
Legend has it that Phaeton was flung out of Zeus with a flash of lightning from Sky Carriage, after he set the Earth in flames in his youthful carelessness. Like a burning torch he fell into the Eridanus and drowned miserably after his careless journey. His half-sisters, the Heliades, left the palace of the sun god and lined the river bank. They wept so ceaselessly for Phaeton that their tears turned into amber and they turned into poplars themselves. Zeus but angrily let go of all rivers to delete the burning Earth. This is how the Flood came into being in the Greek myth.
Kassiopeia was the wife of Cepheus, who was king in Ethiopia many years ago. Her only child was Andromeda, a beautiful daughter who loved her dearly. In fact Andromeda was of such charm that the happy mother once proudly proclaimed that she was even more beautiful than the Nereids. This would have stayed stuck in her throat, because the Nereids were the sister-in-law of Poseidon, the feared god of the sea. Of course, he heard the pronouncement and was very angry about it. He sent his most gruesome sea monster and demanded that Andromeda be sacrificed to him, otherwise he would have the kingdom devastated. The desperate mother of the state had to bow to him. (The history of the wonderful rescue).
The triangle of the south consists of bright stars and can only be seen in the southern starry sky.
It is reminiscent of the great scholars of antiquity. Without the aid of technology, almost without instruments, they came through observation, reflection and exchange of ideas to a wealth of essential findings, which have not lost their validity to this day and are the foundations of science and research.
At first they called themselves "wise men". Pythagoras, who was no less wise than his predecessors, was the first to humbly call himself "friend of wisdom": philosopher. At that time, this profession was much more versatile than it is today. The philosophers explored all branches of science and spirit. Among other things, they did mathematics, which at that time was as much as astronomy and astrology combined. They investigated the triangle and found that its many-sided relationships, such as the size of the angles or the length of the sides, are interdependent.
With an inconsiderate exclamation, the queen Cassiopeia aroused the wrath of the sea god. That some mortal virgin was more beautiful than his sister-in-law, the Nereids, he could not and did not want to go unpunished. So he ordered a huge whale fish to first of all unsettle the coasts of the kingdom, knock over fishing boats and destroy harbours. Afterwards the animal should swim to a certain rock and eat a princess chained there.
The whale fish did as he was told. But when he came to the rock he was unlucky that besides Princess Andromeda a certain Perseus was waiting for him. He pulled something out of a bag that was curiously curling. In anticipation of his favourite dish, the multi-armed squid, the whale looked at it greedily - and was quickly transformed by the snake-haired head of Medusa into a rocky island. Poseidon but put his obedient animal under the stars.
Kepheus was the king of Ethiopia a long time ago, a man who had a hard time with his old age. One day a delegation of fishermen came to him, complaining about a huge Whale, which destroyed property and human life on the coasts. The helpless king set off on the arduous journey to Delphi to question the famous oracle. He hurried back and told his wife Cassiopeia of Poseidons monstrous demand. But the welfare of the land was first - the royal parents had to chain their only child to a rock and leave it to its horrible fate. I guess no one closed their eyes that night. When at an impossible time an unknown man burst into the royal bedroom and around the hand of the princess Andromeda stopped, the parents promised him everything if he would only save her, which he did. He didn't even want the kingdom.
The beautiful princess had bravely bowed to the oracle and was ready to die for the good of the people. Alone in the dark night she lost courage. She thought of her poor mother and started to sob. That heard Perseus, who just flew with wing shoes high above her, glad about his victory, the dangerous trophy in his hand. He came down and found the enchanting Andromeda, who was helplessly chained to the rock and awaited her certain death. Both were love at first sight. Perseus comfortingly pressed her hand to hold it a few minutes later in the palace of her parents - not without getting a bag that concealed the head of Medusa from the eyes of her loved ones. At dawn he held it in front of the monster's nose, which turned into stone as expected. After the wedding Perseus founded their own kingdom, in which many children got into and were very happy.
Pegasus was the winged steed of antiquity, always at the service of the nine Muses of the arts. Four muses inspired literature with him, two theater, one song and one dance with him - and one promoted astronomy.
As a guest at the court of Tyrins he gave a basket to the royalty. Angry, she demanded his death. Her husband, however, did not want to violate the right of hospitality and sent Bellerophontes with his sealed death sentence to King Jobates in Lycia. Jobates didn't open the letter until the ninth day - and then he didn't want to kill the loved one either. Instead, he asked him to free his country from the fire-breathing chimera. After a strange dream, Bellerophontes woke up on Pegasus? back. He shot the beast in high flight and became very famous. But this rose to his head and he steered the winged horse to heaven. Angrily Zeus sent a brake that pricked Pegasus. He bucked and dropped Bellerophontes, who fell hard to the ground.
The constellation Swan assumes the center of our Galaxy. Deneb (D) is one of the brightest stars in the sky, despite its immense distance. From Deneb to Earth a ray of light takes 930 years. The fastest aircraft would have to travel 300 million years for this route.
In the Greek myth Zeus turned into a swan to seduce Leda, of which his god's wife is once again not supposed to notice anything. The bathing Leda is happy about the confidence of the beautiful animal and can be caressed. Then she gives birth to two shining eggs. For some the twins, for others the beautiful Helena, around which the Trojan war breaks out.
Lohengrin comes from the British myth of the Holy Grail. A swan pulls his own swan and no one is allowed to ask about the whereabouts of his journey. The folk tales of all countries enchant brothers in swans, redeemed by silent sisters.
The Dolphin is a small, very beautiful constellation, and not too far from Lyra.
Arion lived around 700 BC at the court of Corinth and was the most famous songwriter of his time. They were reluctant to let him travel to Sicily for a singing contest. There he sang himself precious prizes and embarked again for his journey home. But his treasures did not leave the captain alone. On the high seas he decided to throw Arion overboard and granted him one last wish. Arion took his Lyra and played a melancholy farewell song. He used it to lure a flock of dolphins. When the captain stumbled upon the artist from the Rehling, they took him on their backs, fished the Lyra out of the waves, and carried him all the way across the sea to Corinth, while Arion sang and played for them. A little later his ship landed there as well. The captain was executed. The gods immortalized Arion on the dolphin's back in the sky.
In mythology and heraldry the eagle is of great importance. In the Nordic legend it is a symbol of Odin, the wisest of the Aesir and father of mankind. He sits at the top of the ashes of Yggdrasil and is all on earth. As a symbol of earthly power, Ptolemy I appointed him as the heraldic animal of Egypt. The Roman emperors and commanders adorned themselves with eagle standards. He also appeared to Napoleon as a worthy symbol of his power. In the sky the eagle is a small, very bright constellation with Atair (A), one of the brightest stars of all. Atair is the eagle of Zeus.
Prometheus was a nephew of Zeus and created humans from clay. When he stole it for their sake Fire from the hearth of the gods, Zeus chained him to a rock for punishment. Every day the eagle came and fed on the liver, which grew back at night to the subhereditary. He hung there for 30,000 years until Heracles shot the eagle and freed Prometheus from his torture.
Wega (W) in the Lyre is the brightest star of the northern sky and will take the place of Polar Star in 12,000 years due to the gyroscopic motion of the earth's axis. The lyra is a stringed instrument and was as popular in antiquity as the guitar is today.
Orpheus was able to tame wild animals with his lyre-play, even stones and trees followed him if he wanted to. He was one of the Argonauts - through his game he fell asleep ever tired dragon, who watched over the golden fleece. After this trip Orpheus married Euridike, who was all too soon bitten by a poisonous snake deadly. Orpheus entered the underworld and enchanted Hades and Persephone with his moving game. They allowed Euridike to follow him, but he was not allowed to look around until they were on Earth. Since he could not hear her step, he suddenly doubted whether she was still behind him. He looked around - and her shadow disappeared forever in the darkness.
The constellation of the Dragon hugely crouches over the Polar Star and reflects the numerous dragon monsters of mythology, whose task is always to guard gold treasures or audible virgins.
In the Greek legend, a dragon guards the golden apples of the Hesperides and is killed by Heracles - another dragon guards the golden fleece.
In Confucius, the dragon is a symbol of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In ancient China, the national coat of arms is considered lucky.
With the earth-destroying dragon worm Dahaka, ancient Persia connects a special dragon cult.
In Nordic mythology he spans the whole earth as a midgard snake.
The task of the heroes is to destroy dragons. Besides the gold treasure, the dragonslayer also receives secret gifts: The pleasure of the dragon's heart brings animal language to life. Coating with dragon's blood makes it invulnerable (as Siegfried in the Nibelungenlied says). But also church saints such as St. George have overcome dragons.
M 13 in the constellation of Hercules is the most beautiful globular cluster of the northern sky. It is one of the 18 galaxies of our local system and consists of countless "red giants", the oldest of all stars.
Alkmene believed to be embraced by her husband Amphitrion, into whom Zeus had turned to cheat on his wife Hera. Heracles, the child of this fling, has been haunted by Hera's enmity for life. Immediately after his birth, she put two snake in his cradle, which he crushed easily. He grew to enormous physical strength. Twelve heroic deeds were assigned to him, in the course of which he was victorious in countless other adventures. After a glorious life he died from the poison of Hydra. His deification was taken over by the Romans. They merged with him with their marriage god Hercules. In astrology he was equated with his twelve deeds on the way of Sun through the zodiac.
The contiguous constellations Serpent and Ophiuchus (dashed line) are listed individually in astronomy.
Classical mythology connects both constellations with the Greek Asklepios, which the Romans call Aesculap. He enjoys worship similar to God; his landmark is the serpent staff. The famous physician is considered the son of Apollo - the god of youth, healing and divination and head of the muses. As a disciple of the wise Chiron Äskulap learns the art of healing so perfectly that his skill becomes immeasurably useful to mankind, but becomes his own doom. He's presumptuous enough to bring a dead man back to life. Zeus punishes the miracle worker with a deadly lightning bolt - Apoll puts him under the stars.
In the Sumerian myth the serpent steals the man's weed - it sheds its skin to eternal youth and immortality, while man must accept death.
The characteristic constellation of the Northern Crown is also called "Diadem der Ariadne".
Behind the back of the king of Athens, Poseidon seduced the wise Aithra. She gave birth to Theseus, who was brought up by the wise Chiron, and who accomplished many heroic deeds before he mingled among the victims Athens had to send to Crete for Minotaurus. From the amphitrites, who, unlike Hera, did not add anything to her husband's side leaps, he received a bright golden tiara. In Crete, Theseus won the love of Ariadne, the beautiful sister of the monster. She gave him good advice and the ball of thread. In the labyrinth the tiara lit up in front of him. Theseus put the Minotaurus and killed him - and found with the thread the exit again. He kidnapped Ariadne and gave her the tiara for her wedding. When she got pregnant, he left her. Dionysos after them and threw the tiara into the starry sky.
The Crow is a small constellation near the Cup on the southern starry sky.
In the Sumerian Flood Report, Dove, swallow and raven are successively sent out by the ark to find land. Swallow and Dove come back, not until the crow is absent, Utnapischtim also releases the oth
After the biblical deluge, Noah lets the crow fly back and forth until the waters have fallen, only then does he send the Dove which returns with the olive branch.
In Germanic mythology, the crows Hugin and Munin sit on Odin's shoulders, fly out every day to explore time and are a symbol of Odin's omniscience.
In Greece, the crow is considered a wise, prophetic bird and is sacred to the Apollo. But because he denigrates his mistress, Apollo transforms his original white plumage into black and places it in the starry sky as a warning to malicious chatterers.
The Wolf is a constellation of the southern sky.
According to Greek tradition, the king Lycaon of Arcadia is immortalized in it.
When Zeus, in the guise of a wanderer, went to the Earth to test the rumours of the corruption of people on the spot, he was also a guest at Lykaon. He wanted to put God to the test and gave him the meat of a child in a stew. Enormously disgusted Zeus turned the king into a wolf.
In Rome, the wolf was holy to the war god Mars, and a wolf nursed his sons Romulus and Remus, the twin founders of Rome.
In Nordic mythology, the fenrir wolf Sun and Moon tries to eat - the explanation of the eclipses - what he will finally succeed on the day of the end of the world.
The superstition of the werewolf was widespread among all peoples: people who turn into wolves at night and join the pack of wolves crying.
The constellation Phoenix stands on the southern sky and has only been known since the 17th century.
The Phoenix is the legendary sacred bird of the Egyptians. It has purple and golden plumage and burns every 500 years in its nest made of spices. Rejuvenated, it emerges from the fire, traps its ashes in myrrh and carries them to Heliopolis.
There is still a pillar of the famous sun temple, which was considered the source of all wisdom in the Old World.
Phoenix means "golden skin". The Phoenicians received their name from their reddish-brown skin colour. This important trading people paid homage to a natural faith. Many of his myths came from the lost religions of the East. In the phoenix, Melkart lives on, the annual god of the Phoenicians, who like Abraxas unites the charitable and perishable powers of heaven. Melkart burns himself in the summer heat to resurrect to new life in spring.
The constellation of the Dove received its name only in 1679. The planets do not only move around the Sun - our whole solar system moves through space at a cruising speed of 20km/sec, with the dove in its back and the constellation Hercules as its destination. In the dove floats a dark cloud of stardust, which was traversed by our solar system a long time ago - the ice age could have arisen.
The carrier pigeon has been known to all peoples of the Near and Far East for thousands of years, although it is still not completely clear which sensory organs gave it its ability to orientate itself.
In Greece it was the Venus holy and symbol of marital love and harmony. There was a regular pigeon post in Rome. The crusaders brought the carrier pigeons to Central Europe. Quickly and secretly they delivered messages. As a "dove", it was useful for the stock exchange.
The constellation of Argo spans a large part of the southern sky and has been divided into three parts by modern astronomy: Keel, Compass and Sails.
Jason had the Argo built, the most advanced ship the Old World had ever seen, and gathered the most powerful heroes around him, below Heracles, Castor and Pollux and Orpheus. Then they moved out, robbing the golden fleece. On the journey the Argonauts passed numerous adventures. In the magic land of Colchis, Jason had to plough with fire-breathing bulls, sow dragon teeth, sprout from warriors clashing with weapons, and overcome the tireless Dragon, who guarded the golden fleece on the holy tree. He overcame all dangers with the Argonauts and the help of the sorceress Medea, who loved him immortal. He returned with the fleece and Medea after a dangerous return journey, but both brought him no luck and later the planks of the Argo crushed him.
The Southern Cross is the decoration of tropical nights. Its four bright stars are surrounded by the shimmer of the Milky Way. Like the Polar Star on the northern sky, the cross is orientation in the southern sky, because its long beam aims exactly at the south pole.
Crucifixion was common in all countries of antiquity. The victims, however, were only tethered. Above the ecclesiastical meaning of the cross, it is easily overlooked that it is represented as a pictorial symbol and a combination of words in the everyday world more often than any other symbol. There are cross keys, crossbars, sacrum, crossbones, cross orders, crucifixes, crucifixes, crossword puzzles, the Red Cross, the Axis cross and the cross-leaf in the deck of cards. Anyone who has not learned to write paints "his cross" and makes "three crosses" when something unpleasant is over. Nowadays, crossing roads is often a confusing place. The path of life also sometimes leads to a crossroads and thus to a decision for a certain direction.
The constellation Centaur is close to the Cross of the South. The centaurs of Greek mythology were unruly roughnecks, half human, half horse. After the combat with the Lapithen some of them settled in Arcadia under the leadership of Chiron. There the wine was their doom. They got aroused by his scent and wanted to steal it from the peaceful Pholos, of all people, when Heracles was his guest. A bloody brawl arose and Heracles met again and died of should take revenge on him.
Chiron was the wisest scholar of his time, famous for healing and sculpture. The most important heroes emerged from his disciples. He was the only one of the centaurs who was immortal. So he suffered horrible torments when Heracles? poison dart accidentally hit him in that fight. He would have loved to have died, but only his transfer to the stars could redeem him.
During its annual solar orbit, the Earth rotates around its axis once a day like a gyroscope. The Earth sees the sky from all sides, sometimes from above, sometimes from below. Also the stars do not stop and are sometimes closer, sometimes further away. Behind the Sun is also during the day the dark depth of space. Their bright light fades over another, very specific constellation every month, until it is again before the first one after twelve. Then a year has passed. This constellation road is called ecliptic or zodiac because most of the twelve constellations bear animal names.
They have been known for more than 5,000 years - as long as the inquiring gaze into the sky has been trying to grasp the infinite time that can be as little stopped as Earth, Sun, Moon and stars.
In mythology, the "rolling" zodiac has become a wheel of fortune that turns constantly from good to less good - bad to better times. And human hope always gives it a new meaning.
Astrology has divided the zodiac into houses since ancient times. Through the connection of opposing signs, the houses of the planets were created, which were thought to be gods at that time. Originally, Sun, Moon and five planets were counted: Merkur, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn Therefore, they could not be assigned a specific place in the architecture of the circle. So they were placed according to rank, whereby the Sun made the beginning.
She came to the King of the animals to the lion house.
Now the Sun is in the same constellation again every year, but the planets have their own movements in the sky. Their position among each other and towards the constellations - that is, within the zodiac - is never the same in any one second of eternity. The calculation of the horoscope is the mathematical "flash light picture" of a unique constellation. In which constellation the Sun is located at birth results in the personal zodiac sign. What matters is which planets are currently wandering through his house.
From the transverse struts of planetary houses the idea of a celestial ladder - not only a ranking of the planets according to their distance to Sun - was already formed among the oldest cultural peoples, but also a connection between heaven and Earth. A ladder on which man could work his way up step by step through a good, godly life, beneath him the dark abyss of his earthly existence, above him the Sun and the light of God.
Then the idea developed that a man's earthly struggle was synonymous with his position on the Jacob's Ladder - a concept against which Jesus Christ also fought with all his energy and which culminated in the vision of the Last Judgement in the comforting sentence:"The last shall be the first".
The tree is a symbol for a connection between heaven and Earth. His rooting in the soil and turning to light make him at the same time a symbol of human life. Therefore, the tree plays a significant role in the mysticism of all peoples.
The Sumerians report of the chaluppa tree. In its roots the snake, the evil Lilith in the trunk and the petrel in the top dwells. Because the goddess Ishtar wants to make a bed and a throne on it, Gilgamesh drives out the spirits and falls the tree. In return, he gets a tree drum with which he robs the inhabitants of Uruk of their sleep.
In the story of the creation of the Bible, the snake seduces Adam and Eve to eat the apple from the tree of knowledge - this is followed by the expulsion from Paradise, so that they cannot also eat from the tree of life and become immortal.
The world ash Yggdrasil of Nordic mythology spans the whole world. Under her the norns spin the strings of fate and the gods judge there.
The philosophers of the Old World saw in the four elements the corners of the world from which all being is born. Fire is the first, highest element and embodies purity and purification.
In Greece, Hestia was the virgin goddess of the hearth fire and provided domestic peace and happiness.
In Rome, she was called Vesta and her strict virgin servants, the Vestal sisters were only allowed to ignite the fire of sacrifice in the pure light of Sun. She only needed a few temples, for every hearth was holy to her.
The peoples of all the earth knew the worship of fire, from which came forth the oldest and most dreadful gods such as Ptah in Egypt or Moloch in Canaan. Renovations of religions turned the fire gods into limping demons and cast them out of heaven - like Loki in Nordic mythology or Lucifer in Christianity - but there is still something left in the highest God from when he speaks of flames or shows himself in flames.
Water is the second of the four classical elements.
Thales of Miletus - one of the seven sages of antiquity - described it in 600 BC as the only true element from which all other bodies emerge. Thus he came surprisingly close to today's teaching that all elements are produced from hydrogen. But it was not until the 18th century, however, that water was discovered as a result of the combustion of hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms. The word atom also comes from Greek and means "smallest, indivisible unit". Today we know that an atom also consists of even smaller building blocks - electrons, neutrons, protons - and knows well over 100 elements, although the discovery of new atomic building blocks and elements is still far from reaching the end.
The cycle of water is the basis of all life, it evaporates in the sunlight, floats as cloud over the sky and falls as a fertile rain again on the Earth. No living being can exist without water.
Air is the third of the classical elements. It is as necessary for life as Water. It surrounds the Earth as a protective atmosphere. Without them the Earth would be no less than Meteorite craters is covered like the Moon.
Air consists of gaseous matter, essentially oxygen and nitrogen. Their atoms and molecules expand in the heat of the sun and contract again in the nightly cold. This results in air currents that swirl through the rotation of the Earth and the various properties of its surface. Apart from the large wind currents, there are typical smaller winds on every spot of Earth - and every mythology has its own wind gods.
The Greek legend tells of King Aeolian, to whom Zeus transferred the supervision of the winds. He kept her imprisoned in a grotto on his island of Aiolia and released her at the behest of the gods. He could even lock them up in hoses and give away seafarers if the gods allowed it.
Earth is the fourth element of classical antiquity. In contrast to Air it is solid, in contrast to Water it is dry and in contrast to Fire it is cold.
However, on closer inspection of all properties it can be seen that the elements Fire, Water, Air and earth cannot be delimited, but rather merge into each other. Thus, metal can be evaporated until it is as thin and transparent as air. The Water becomes solid by freezing like the earth. The oxyhydrogen gas, in which hydrogen gas and oxygen gas burn to Water "burn", even reveals the primordial opposite of Fire and Water as a unit.
With Water of rain, FireSun and Air to breathe the earth becomes fertile, produces plants and animals. As a powerful goddess of fear, she is revered in the oldest secret services. The mysticism of all peoples makes them conquer the powers of darkness again and again, supported by the gods of light in eternal alternation of the seasons between summer and winter, becoming and decaying.
The manifold shapes of the clouds have repeatedly inspired people's fantasies. In the mythologies of all peoples, the vital necessity of rain produced rain gods and rain makers. Also the multifaceted Zeus embodies with thunder and lightning a weather goddess.
The Greek legend tells of Nephele, the cloud, and Athamas, the wind. Together they had two children, Phrixos, the rushing rain, and Helle, the living light. But Athamas fell in love with Ino, the white Nebemgöttin and left his wife. Then Nephele rose up to the sky and sent the land a terrible dryness. Ino, who was jealous of the children, persuaded Athamas to sacrifice Phrixos so that there would be rain again. Quickly Nephele sent a golden Aries from whose back the siblings escaped. On the way, Helle crashed and drowned in the strait that has since been called Hellespont. Phrixos reached the magic land of Colchis, sacrificed the ram and hung his golden fleece in a holy tree.
When the Sun shines through the rain, its light refracts into a multicoloured radiant rainbow, a light appearance of enchanting fascination, often accompanied by the coloured echo of one or more secondary rainbows.
In mythology, the sunlight that fights its way through the waning rain is the symbol of hope and good news of the gods, which announces the end of hard times.
The Greek goddess of the rainbow is Iris. The virgin, winged goddess messenger hurries from one end of the world to the other like a storm wind, penetrating even into the depths of the sea. It is close to the messenger of the gods Hermes, whose magic wand she sometimes leads. Their messages usually come from Zeus and Hera. It also has the peaceful gift of reconciling quarrelsome parties.
In folk tales, the end of the rainbow stands in a golden bowl - whoever finds it can never become poor again.