Mars retrograde may be over, but it isn’t really finished until Mars has exited the “retrograde patch,” that span of 0-to-19 degrees of Fixed signs he’s been in for the last 2 months. So themes of anger management, self-assertion and the need to be a hero will pervade the atmosphere through May 17 and I’m continuing my thread about the virtues of a hero as told through classical Greek and Roman mythology. Today’s heroic virtue is alliance—that connection that people develop when they’ve gone through battles together. The best example I can think of is the myth of a pair of brothers called Castor and Pollux.
Legends of Castor & Pollux: “I’ve Got Your Back, Brother”
Castor and Pollux were identical twin brothers, born of a single egg after their mother Leda had an encounter with Jupiter in the form of a swan. Yep. Classical mythology is full of this kind of stuff—it’s best not to take it too literally. Castor took after mom and was mortal while Pollux took after dad and was immortal. The boys grew up together and did everything together, despite the huge rift between them—that Castor was always destined for death while Pollux was going to live forever.
The Twins engaged in battle side by side on many occasions, including the Trojan War, which was fought over their stunning sister Helen. During one battle Castor was slain and fell right next to his brother. Castor’s soul was carried away to the underworld, as inevitably happens to all mortals. Pollux was inconsolable and begged their father Jupiter to take his immortality, so that he might join his twin in the underworld. Jupiter relented and placed the two devoted brothers among the stars as the constellation Gemini.
Heroic Virtue #4: Alliance
We joke about male bonding, but there is a special connection formed between warriors who hold each others’ lives in their hands. It is a bond that can last a lifetime and does not lessen with the passage of time. It is not a sexual bond, nor a familial one, but a bond of brotherhood or sisterhood forged between two who are not related. It is a bond of shared experience and stress.
But to gain a brother, you must be a brother. If you can be an ally and you can win an ally to your side, you are rich indeed. Without alliance, you must fight your life’s battles alone.
What Mars is Asking of You
What does it mean to have someone’s back?
Do you have a comrade-at-arms that you can absolutely depend on?
Whose back have you got? Who can depend on you?
Next: Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot
Articles in this thread:
Mars Retrograde: The Hero’s Journey
Hercules, Hero of Strength
Achilles, Hero of Courage
Resourceful, Clever Odysseus
There’s Still Time To Be A Hero
Castor & Pollux: Brotherhood in the Trenches
Alexander the Great & the Gordian Knot
Orpheus: Going The Distance For Love