Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ophiuchus, the 13th Zodiac

By Jon Towers
Ophiuchus is a big constellation. Its name is from the Greek “Serpent Bearer” and is represented as a man wrestling or holding a giant snake.
It has been suggested that this constellation originally representing Nirah, A serpent god who is depicted with his upper half human and serpents for legs, much the way that Abracax is often depicted. To the ancient Greeks Ophiuchus was Apollo, later it is identified by the Romans as Asclepius who learned the secrets of keeping death at bay. Later in the myth Jupiter destroyed Asclepius with a lightning bolt, he did this to stop the knowledge of immortality to spread to all humans. Aratus describes Ophiuchus as trampling on Scorpio with is feet.  In the Renaissance it was symbolically linked to words spoken by YVH to the Serpent in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). John Milton used Ophiuchus in Paradise Lost, comparing Satan to a comet burning across the whole length of the constellation.

There is a lot of symbolism here in the way of why I feature the heck out of this constellation especially in the Gemini chapter. It is a fitting inclusion especially since we have a lot of weird stuff happening in the ancient sky anyways. Ultimately THE AGES story is the origin story of the character known as Cyrus the Dead Guy the ever living arch enemy of both the Dar al-harb and The Order of the Shining Hexagon.  The story YVH and Cain does a pretty good job of echoing the story of Jupiter and Asclepius, with only one or two minor tweaks. The way Aratus describes it both trampling on Scorpio (a scorpion, and a common symbol for the fictional radical Islamic terrorist group the Dar al-harb) and wrestling with a snake (a common symbol for the fictional sinister magic users The Order of the Shining Hexagon). It is also very appropriate for our Serpent to speak directly about the constellation since it is linked directly to God and the Serpent in The Garden of Eden.

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In the upcoming graphic novel Book Seven of the New Apocrypha, THE AGES features the constellation Ophiuchus because of all this great symbolism that fits the story so well.
Stigmata Studio is an indie comic studios that has been producing comics featuring the heroic Nonstandard Assembly and its quirky members for over  ten years. Our stories usually feature history, the occult, politics, myth, whiskey and violence with an edgy point of view. The Nonstandard is the name of the Stigmata Studios monthly newsletter, it is where we offer exclusive audio / art and comics content and sneak previews of upcoming projects, links to free "how to" content, funny cat picture and the occasional recipe.

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