Signs of the Zodiac: A Reference Guide to Historical, Mythological, and Cultural Associations

Signs of the Zodiac: A Reference Guide to Historical, Mythological, and Cultural Associations

Signs of the Zodiac: A Reference Guide to Historical, Mythological, and Cultural Associations

Signs of the Zodiac: A Reference Guide to Historical, Mythological, and Cultural Associations

Synopsis

"Providing not only conceptual analysis of the major sun signs, but also timelines and charts to aid the student's understanding of the Zodiac, this volume provides much needed historical background which relates the Zodiac to art, philosophy, science, and religion; to major personalities, and to historical material such as the Bible". Joe Hester

Director of Gifted Programs Catawba County School District

Newton, North Carolina

"I am tremendously impressed with the prodigious amount of research [Snodgrass] undertook in this much-needed objective examination of the zodiac all the way from ancient times up to Nancy Reagan....[The author] presented these facts in a highly readable format... her easy style made it a most agreeable experience....[This] examination of each of the 12 signs in historical, artistic, literary, sociological, and religious perspective was nothing short of astonishing....[A]nyone working in the areas of the history of ancient (and modern) divination would find this extraordinary work immensely helpful". Robert E. Bell

author of Women as Classical Mythology

"Mary Ellen Snodgrass has an extraordinary range and grasp in this work, moving easily among classical references in astronomy, astrology, mythology, art, literature, science, and history. Her discussion of zodiacal lore around the world is extensive and learned, but remains accessible enough for the serious student; and her profiles of the 12 signs go immeasurably beyond the cliches. Throughout the book, Snodgrass maintains a scholarly distance with both insight and wit". Michael Spooner

Director, Utah State University Press)

A unique reference guide to the influence of the 12 zodiacal signs onhistory, mythology, religion, psychology, literature and language, art, advertising, and commercial products.

Excerpt

The star-flecked sky has intrigued, baffled, and delighted humankind for as long as there have been eyes to see and minds to contemplate the heavens. Early nomads set their itineraries over sand and ridge to the shift of stars above the azimuth. To specify segments of the far-flung celestial map, these wandering people resorted to naming star patterns, much as children point out camels and bears and dragons in the clouds. With definite names for segments of their star maps, they could trade information, question fellow travelers, and ennoble the guideposts that brought them safely to their destinations.

When the nomads settled down to become farmers, they continued the practice of calibrating their daily lives and seasonal work by familiar, dependable astral timepieces. Seafarers and surveyors also drew on star positions as way markers. Worldwide, navigators felt confident in leaving port when they were certain of the moon, Polaris, Venus, and Orion, the most familiar heavenly signposts. In Thomas Hood’s words:

The stars are with the voyager,
Wherever he may sail,
The moon is constant to her time,
The sun will never fail.
But follow round the world
The green earth and the sea …

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