Charles François Dupuis-The Astrological Events At The Heart Of The Myth Of Jason And The Argonauts
For the explanation of the Sphere of Jason and the Argonauts, see below appendix I.
Today’s sharing from the Blue House of HYGEIA is an excerpt from Charles François Dupuis’ ‘Origin of All Cults’, Volume II-part II-Chapter V- ‘The astrological events at the heart of the myth of Jason and the Argonauts’. Paris 1794. Our working translation from the original French.
‘The fable of Jason, conqueror of the golden fleeced Ram, or the sign, which by its Heliac rise, was announcing the arrival of the Sun in the sign of Taurus at the equinox, is as famous in the ancient mythology, than the fiction of the twelve works of the Sun, under the name of Hercules, and those of his travels under the name of Bacchus. It is again a solar poem that belongs to another people, composed by other priests, whose divinity was the Sun. It seems to belong to the people of Thrace, like the poem of Bacchus was belonging to those of Boeotia (central Greece, capital Thebes). Every nation had their temples, their priests and their poets, that did not want to copy each other in their sacred fiction.
In the explanation we gave of the poem written about Hercules, we had already observed, that this god, or if we want, this hero’s whole story is explained by astronomical events, and we found him again joining the expedition of the argonauts. It is again in the sky that we are ought to follow the protagonists of this story, because one of their most distinguished participants has his adventures mirrored where his image has been placed, alike Jason, leader of the expedition, alike the ship Argo that the Argonauts will sail, alike the conquered Ram, or the Dragon and the Bull that were safe-keeping it, alike the Dioscuri or Gemini and Cepheus, who plays a major role in this allegorical story. Finally, the images of the sky and the characters of the poem have so many corresponding features between them that Isaac Newton thought he could draw from it one his arguments, so to prove that the sphere (see above image) was composed after the expedition whose participants were placed in the heavens, so much their inter-relationships were numerous. We will not deny these correspondences, but we will draw an exactly opposite argument and what we can actually say is this:
“Thus, the poem of the Argonauts was based on the sphere, because most of the constellations are in it and play there a part.”
Newton’s conclusion only had strength if he was certain that the Argonaut’s expedition was not a fiction of the same nature as the other mythological fables, like, for instance, the story of Hercules, of Osiris and Isis, of Bacchus, all which can be explained by astronomical events. Would it have been a true story, alike Alexander the Great’s conquest of Asia, or of Gaul by Cesar, but, the reality of the argonauts’ expedition is far less obvious, failing to be backed-up by historical facts necessary for such a chronological epic. The expedition of the Argonauts has all of the marvelous features of the story of Bacchus ‘expedition and the works of Hercules. It was blended in the same allegorical stories within the same mythological deposit. It had the same character; and this character is not ambiguous after all we uncovered about the solar poems, and after our explanation of the marvelous stories of Hercules, of Osiris and Isis, of Theseus; and especially Hercules, whose adventures are often intertwined with Jason’s, and particularly his journey to Colchis with him, who will conquer the famous Ram. We saw that he boards the ship Argo with this hero, and that he delivers from a sea monster a maiden let to be sacrificed. We did observe that, in fact, while the sun is journeying the sign of Aries which the ship Argo is rising together, and Andromeda, daughter of Cepheus, is exposed to a sea monster; we did, consequently, project these constellations under the sign they are the paranatellons of. Here is the position of the sky that is given to us for the period of this conquest. It is the crossing of the Sun in Aries, the last of the signs when Taurus was the first, and first, when Taurus was second and the equinox point was retrograded towards Aries, who became then the origin of the Zodiac and the leaders of the other signs.
Such is the position of the sky, we must acknowledge when the poet sings Jason and his conquest of the famous Ram, whose emission of the solar rays is announcing Spring. This said, let’s examine now which constellations, in the morning and during the evening, mark this important season, and we will be in the right position to compare the set scenes in the sky with the events of the poem.
We find during the evening, on the oriental side, the ship Argo, that has accomplished its rising, and which is journeying the sky, immediately followed by Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer, named Jason. Close to him, we find Chiron or the centaur who raised Jason, and above him his lyre and preceded by the celestial Hercules, one of the heroes of the poem. At sun set, we find ourselves close to the sea of Gemini or Dioscuri, who will soon enter in the solar fires and by their heliac setting will herald spring, or the arrival of the Sun in the Taurus sign.
In the morning it is the release of the stars of Aries, that will announce the day with the Pleaides, Perseus, Medusa, and the coachman, preceding his chariot, while at sunset, Jason and his serpent will descend in the waters, following the celestial Virgin. Jason, or the serpent-bearer, Ophiuchus, placed at sunset, makes Medusa rise, Aries-the-golden-fleece-Ram’s closest constellation, seeming to entrust it with a precious deposit, upon which she rests and brings upon the horizon.’
The explanation of the Title Sphere:
‘About the Argonaut Poem
The conquest of the golden fleece, or the works of the Argonauts, are of the same nature than those of Hercules and Theseus. They are astronomical journeys and conquest. The author of the most ancient poem of the ‘Argonautica’, ascribed to Orpheus, invoke at the beginning the Sun God: ‘Inspire me, divine Phoebus, I will sing your might.’ Here is a solar poem, alike those of Hercules, Theseus, and of Bacchus. The sun after having journeyed the first zodiacal signs, starting with Taurus, achieves the conquest of the golden fleece of Phryxus’ Ram, the celestial Ram, Aries. This brilliant conquest marks the spring equinox, beginning of the year, or of the astronomical world according to the mythologists. We can see in this planisphere of the sky, the position of the sky in the evening and in the morning, the day of the spring equinox, two thousand and five hundred years B.C., with the main paranatellons of that period. This is the canvas of the three poems dedicated to the golden fleece, composed by Orpheus, Apollonius of Rhodes. Valerius Flaccus, and so-called historical traditions Diodorus Siculus gathered about this fabulous event, so famous during classical antiquity.
Portrait of Charles François Dupuis