Structuralism and the Plant Kingdom

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Frodsham (Chester), Cheshire, United Kingdom
Interests: Philosophy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Buddhism, Psychosynthesis, Hypnotherapy and R.E.B.T.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Ponder-Land: The Myth of Hercules

Lanthanides and The Labours of Hercules - a metaphor for the spritual path.

Each sign, above, has its opposite complimentary sign, this also holds for the remedies of the left and right side of the Lanthanide series. The left side are building the foundations of a solid power base whilst the right side are delving into the subconscious mind.

The first line of the commentary below is derived from Alice Bailey's interpretation, the second is from Jan's. The sequence is presented in order of the Zodiac rather than the Lanthanides. In "The greek Myths", Robert Graves pionts out that the sequence of Labours does not correspond to the signs.

Aires - The Wild Mares (Terbium::Stage 11)
As the new disciple Hercules is set the task of capturing wild horses, symbols of intellectual activity. Hercules has to begin to gain mental control and to learn the potency of thoughts.
He tends the Mares and maintains them, the theme of Stage 11, staying in control; (Autonomy and Self-control. Maintaining Power. Charm).

Taurus - the Cretan Bull (Gadolinium::Stage 10)
Hercules deals with the potent world of desire which leads to an understanding of attraction and its transmutation into aspiration.
The Minotaur symbolises base instincts which Hercules learns to balance in Stage 10; (Autonomy and Power in harmony and balance. Confidence).
Gemini - Golden Apples of the Hesperides (Erbium::Stage 14)
Hercules searches without discouragement and learns perseverance. This test underlines the fact that we must become a living illustration of our spiritual vision.
Atlas holds the world for Hercules, in Stage 14 he is powerless on his own; (Autonomy and Power are only internal without any real influence anymore).
Cancer - the Capture of the Doe (Promethium::Stage 7)
The doe that Hercules sought is sacred to Artemis, symbolising form life, and to Diana, and also to Apollo, the sun god. Here the different aspects of consciousness instinct and intellect are transmuted into intuition.
The Hind is elusive so Hercules relies on cooperation to move forward (typical of Stage 7); (Sharing Autonomy and exerting Power. Compassion).
Leo - the Nemean Lion (Cerium::Stage 4)
In Leo, the human being becomes aware of himself as an individual. So we have two lions pictured – Hercules, symbolising the lion of the Self or soul, and the Nemean lion, the dominant personality of the lower self.
The Lion skin suggests a need for invunerablity or even dissociation (the cocoon); (Desire for Autonomy. Fear of the Shadow. Powerless).
Virgo - the Girdle of Hippolyte (Dysprosium::Stage 12)
Virgo is known as the Goddess of Virtue or of Vice, and both these qualities are evoked here. Hercules fares badly for, despite obtaining the girdle of unity, his lack of love and understanding leads him to kill Hippolyte for what she freely offers.
Hera tricked Hercules, so he thought Hippolyte had betrayed him. A theme of lost perspective; (He must stay in control of his Autonomy. Power is defensive).
Libra - the Erymanthian Boar (Neodymium::Stage 6)
The scales of balance are the symbol of Libra, indicating that the spiritual path is not trodden through extremes but by the middle way, as taught by Buddha. Hercules makes amends for his earlier mistake by skilfully capturing, rather than killing the wild boar.
Hercules goes in powerfully (Stage 6), but shows some hesitancy or restraint (Stage 5); (Proving his Autonomy and Power. Discovery and invention).
Scorpio - the Lernean Hydra (Praseodynium::Stage 5)
The Hydra depicts the serpent of desire. In Scorpio, Hercules demonstrates to himself that he can rise above matter and stand in spiritual being.
The task seems insurmountable in stage 5; (Trying to be Autonomus and giving up. Unstable. Power easily overwhelmed).
Saggitarius - the Stymphalian Birds (Samarium::Stage 8)
Hercules, triumphant and freed from illusion in Scorpio, recognised his emotional nature. The three birds represent wrong thought and speech which he restrained through the control of thought.
He perseveres despite being wounded by the Birds - the struggle of Stage 8; (Fighting for Autonomy and showing his Power under pressure. Opposition).
Capricorn - Cerberus (Thulium:: Stage 15)
Capricorn represents the emergence of the one-pointed consciousness and the defeat of the king of beasts, the personality, leading to the triumph of selflessness and illumination. He takes on the universal perspective of the Bodhisattva.
Hercules has to enter the darkness of the underworld and looses control; (Autonomy and Power are overthrown. Its like being annihilated).
Aquarius - the Augean Stables (Europium::Stage 9)
Hercules sounds the keynote of the world server of the Aquarian Age. The pollution that Hercules is asked to clear up is selfish and materialistic desires.
He learns to moderate his strategies with cleverness and wisdom in this Stage; (Autonomy and Power are there, but still a little doubt. Perfection).
Pisces - the Red Cattle (Holmium::Stage 13)
Hercules takes his place as a World Saviour, uplifting of the whole of humanity. None of this can be accomplished, without the aid of Helios, the soul’s essential radiance.
He glimpses the darkness of underworld and has to keep fixing his mistakes;(Autonomy and Power could be overthrown. Cynical).

It's worth noting that the Astrological sequence considered from the perspective of the houses recapitulates the Stages, since the houses represent the outer expression of our life force ...

1stAriesHouse of SelfMars. Physical appearance, traits. Ego. Beginnings and initiatives.
2ndTaurusHouse of ValueVenus. Material and immaterial things. Belongings. Self-Worth.
3rdGeminiHouse of Comm'sMercury. Lower education. Siblings. Neighborhood matters. Local travel.
4thCancerHouse of HomeMoon. Ancestry, roots. Early environment. Mother. Cyclic end of matters.
5thLeoHouse of PleasureSun. Leisure. Love affairs and sex. Creative self-expression.
6thVirgoHouse of HealthMercury. Chiron. Routine tasks and duties. Skills or training. Jobs.
7thLibraH. of PartnershipsVenus. Close relationships. Marriage and business partners. .
8thScorpioHouse of SexMars. Pluto. Cycles of Deaths And Rebirth. Deep relationships. Transformation.
9thSagittariusH. of PhilosophyJupiter. Travel. Culture. Higher education. Experience through expansion.
10thCapricornHouse of StatusSaturn. Status. Government. Authority. Father figure.Public impression.
11thAquariusHouse of FriendshipsSaturn. Uranus. Acquaintances. Higher associations. Hopes and wishes.
12thPiscesH. of Self-UndoingJupiter. Neptune. Mysticism. Seclusion. Unconscious. Unknown enemies.

Excerpts from "In the Tracks of Hercules" by kind permission of The Lucis Trust:

In her book The Labours of Hercules Alice Bailey presents a unique astrological perspective on the myth by linking each labour to one of the signs of the Zodiac. She traces Hercules' story as he begins to come under the influence of his solar ruler, and not just of his planetary or personality ruler - this is the real inner battle between the lower and higher forces of our nature.

See Also: Esoteric Astology.


  1. Who is Hercules?This is a question that i might want to solve by everybody here in the community so that I could fully understood the metaphor of spiritual path.

  2. Google "Labours of Hercules"

  3. Futher use of these remedies is suggesting that the emphasis is more on self-realisation and self-actualisation, than on spirituality per sec.