Drawing Down the Stars

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The inspiration for the Drawing Down the Stars (DDS) logo, or seal, came from this Agrippa’s image, with the pentagram, or star, showing the harmonic proportion of man’s body.   
Agrippa seems to have been influenced by the Pythagoreans’ understanding of the pentagram as Soundness, Wholeness, and Divine Blessing (read more here).
On the former website, Apollonios Sophistes assigns the corners of the pentagram to the five visible planets in a different order than Agrippa, following Ptolemy’s rationale.
Unaware of this excellent article at the time, I assigned the planets to the pentagram in a similar way, yet with some differences in positions and concepts.



Of the proportion, measure, and harmony of man's body,

from Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book II, Ch.XXVII, available at www.esotericarchives.com

The planetary symbols are not neatly drawn on the DDS logo, as it was drawn in one go with paint.net. At first I had planned to correct all the imperfections, but the more I looked at it the more I could infer interesting meanings to those imperfections, and in the end, it meant too much too be corrected (at least for now).  


In my drawing Mercury is linked to the head, not only for his role in abstract thinking and knowledge seeking, but also due to the role intended for this project, as Mercury is a ruler of the Art of Astrology and of the power of communication. Mercury is the only planetary symbol with horns; the Horned Mercury can be perceived as a glyph, or key, for the possibilities of knowledge to open the doors for an attunement with the Cosmos beyond ourselves. The horns are thinly drawn, as this attunement is subtle, invisible and, for most of us, difficult to achieve on a permanent condition.


Mercury is one of the triplicity rulers of Air, alongside the planets that are just below on this pentagramatic planetary scheme: Saturn and Jupiter. See here for astrological triplicities and rulers. The triplicity rulers seem to have been first recorded on Dorotheus of Sidon’s Carmen Astrologicum, a 1st century AD astrological text, translated into English by David Pingree (see here).
Saturn is the day ruler of the Airy triplicity; he is the ruler of Aquarius and is exalted in Libra, two Air signs. His usual symbol is a cross above a semicircle, a symbol that can be seen as a sickle or a scythe, a reminder of his roles in agricultural lore in Roman mythology and as a Grim Reaper. Saturn signifies, among other things, restrictions; He rules the Zodiac signs of winter Capricorn and Aquarius, where all above the earth seems to die. Saturn weight of Earthy Capricorn seems to be somewhat different in Aquarius or Libra, even if it is still cold as the northern winter wind.  

Saturn’s restrictive role is linked to the restrictions of the material world, the natural laws of decay that we have to endure while living in this earth. Saturn rules astrology and occult knowledge, the Airy knowledge that allows us to come to terms with the suffering and decay that is part of life. It is in this sense that Saturn is portrayed in the DDS symbol as less closed in itself than the common symbol, his heaviness portrayed on the upper part of the symbol, his harsh lessons of the burden of fate expanding our knowledge and understanding of the world and ourselves, ultimately rewarding the one who tried to learn those lessons with the gifts of responsibility and wisdom. 

 Jupiter is the other ruler of the Airy triplicity, but only as a participating ruler. He doesn’t rule or is exalted in any air sign, and is in detriment in Gemini. Jupiter’s natural expansion may not be as visible in Airy thoughts or concepts, but the knowledge of the laws of harmony and Divine Justice may lead to happiness and bliss. To the easy-flowing roundness of Jupiter’s common symbol was added a bit more of structure on the DDS seal, the sharp bend seen as a means of bending Jupiter’s natural expansion, which by default nature can lead to getting a bit lost in the overwhelming amount of knowledge that can be apprehended (as can happen Jupiter in Gemini, I speak by personal experience here ;). This sharp bending of Jupiter can help structuring and focussing the quest for knowledge that Air signifies.
The Sun, Jupiter and Saturn are the rulers of the Fiery triplicity. More on these later on.  


Venus, Mars and the Moon are the triplicity rulers of Watery and Earthy signs. On the DDS seal Mars signifies the right leg of initiative and drive, while Venus is gently caressing the inner side of the left thigh. The Moon is the celestial body closer to earth (which many have called the sublunary world), and it mediates the connections between the other celestial bodies and the earth. The drawing was intended to portrait the crescent and full moon, but it didn’t come out that well, I’m afraid. The sublunary world is said to be changeable, likely to decay and to be imperfect. The Moon reflects the light of the Sun, and can be seen the as the visible starting point when initiating the discovery of the correlations and reflections of the celestial bodies on our physical world.


Other musings can be contemplated on this DDS symbol, such as the malefic planets Mars and Saturn being on the left, and the benefics Venus and Jupiter on the right, with the Luminaries and the horned Mercury on the center. This can be linked to the three Pillars of Severity, Mercy and Mildness/ Middleness in the Cabalistic Tree of Life, with some meaningful conceptual adaptations. But those will be other wanderings…

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