Earth

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The earth from space[1]
  • Symbol: A23_064.gif

Astronomy

The Earth is the closest planet to the Sun after Mercury and Venus. Its diameter at the equator is 12'756 kilometres, and the average distance to the Sun is 149,6 million kilometres. It has an orbital period of 365 days, 5 hours and 49 minutes, and requires 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds for one axial rotation.

Mythology

Greek and Roman Mother Earth goddesses diverged somewhat. Although the Romans adopted the primal Greek earth goddess Gaia, they continued to worship their own goddess Tellus or Tellus Mater. Tellus particularly symbolized land for cultivation and the earth as the resting place of the dead.

Tellus, the Roman earth goddess, shown with Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome

Gaia, the Greek earth goddess, was the first deity to emerge out of the primordial chaos. Gaia represented the reproductive potential of the earth. She brought forth Uranus, the starry sky; the sea, and the mountains. She united with Uranus and bore, among others, Cyclops, three hundred-armed giants as well as the Titans, including Kronos (Latin: Saturn) and Rhea. Because Uranus rejected most of his children and feared that they would overthrow him, he kept them imprisoned in the depths of the earth. This deeply hurt Gaia who gave Kronos a sickle with which to castrate Uranus and free herself.

Gaia tended to take sides when the gods disputed amongst themselves and often took up an opposing position to Zeus who was king of the gods.

Interpretation

The earth as a separate planet has little astrological significance because it is the position of the observer in astrology's usual geocentric world view. The earth is represented in the geocentric chart by the ascendant and descendant axis, which show the points of the rising and setting sun on the horizon. The Imum Coeli shows the lowest point of the sun's passage "under" the earth.

The heliocentric model, seldom used in astrology, does put the sun as the observer's position, and consequently a heliocentric horoscope shows the earth as a separate planet. However, its position is always 180 degrees opposite the sun's position in the geocentric chart.

Because astrologers seldom treat the earth as a planet in the usual sense, it has no rulerships, dignities, or affiliations. Some astrologers consider the earth to be a good match with Taurus, based on its affinity with this fixed earth sign.

See also

Weblinks

Bibliography

  • Bell, Robert E., 1991. Women of Classical Mythology: A Biographical Dictionary, Oxford University Press

Notes and References

  1. "The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula