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Fresco from Pompeii - Jupiter enthroned with M...

Fresco from Pompeii - Jupiter enthroned with Mars and Venus via Wikipedia


In classical Roman mythology Jupiter is the master deity, often depicted with flowing hair, beard, thunder and a thunderbolt.

He was worshipped by the Roman elite at his sacred temple on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.

Also known as Jovis, Jupiter was regarded as the upholder of justice who protected the state and its rulers. He also presided over the Roman games.

Jupiter is likely related to the Vedic Dyas Pitar and has probable origins as a sky and weather god. However, he clearly evolved into a bellicose deity, and is also seen, among his other attributes, as a god of war.

His Greek counterpart is Zeus. In Britain he was called Jove—hence the phrase by Jove! And mention of Jove appears quite often in Shakespeare.

At lovers’ perjuries,
They say Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully. ¹


Image Courtesy NASA


In astronomy, Jupiter is the 5th planet from the sun, with 16 natural satellites, taking 11.9 years to complete a full orbit that travels between the paths of Mars and Saturn.

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system with 63 natural satellites.


In the films 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel, 2010, Jupiter figures prominently as the location for a fictional hyperspace portal to the stars.



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Delta 7925H MESSENGER ignition

Image via Wikipedia

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun in our solar system.

Until recently, our knowledge of Mercury was based mostly on three flybys made by the American probe, Mariner 10¹ in 1974-75.

Another American probe, however, Messenger², did three flybys past the planet in 2008 and 2009, and is scheduled to leave the Sun’s orbit and enter Mercury’s in 2011:

One year from today, March 18, 2010 — starting at 12:45 a.m. UTC — MESSENGER will transition from orbiting the Sun to being the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury (Source: NASA).

The planet is believed to have a dense iron core. Mercury is also the name of an element, a silver-white metal and the only metal that takes liquid form at room temperature.

This unique quality of the element mercury attracted medieval alchemists.

In Roman mythology Mercury is the god of merchants and traders and also a swift messenger somewhat akin to the Greek Hermes. From it’s mythological meaning, Merriam-Websters Dictionary notes these psychological meanings:

2 having qualities of eloquence, ingenuity, or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury or to the influence of the planet Mercury
3 characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood <a mercurial temper>

For depth psychologists like C. G. Jung, Hermes’ well-known mythic role as a spiritual escort to the afterlife for the recently dead (called a psychopomp) is translated into meaning that he’s also a vitally symbolic bridge between the archetypes of the collective unconscious and consciousness.³

Search Think Free » Alchemy, Gemini, General Theory of Relativity, Virgo

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Mars with polar ice caps visible.

Mars with polar ice caps visible via Wikipedia

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun in our solar system.

Mars is the closest planet to Earth, hence Americans and Europeans plan to travel there for the first manned mission to another planet.

Mars has two moons, both less than 30 km in diameter, and a thin atmosphere. The temperature of the planet never exceeds 0˚C and it’s still unknown whether it hosts life as we know it.

Along these lines the entertainer David Bowie asks in song, “Is there Life on Mars?”

Due to its proximity to Earth, Mars has been prominent in much science fiction, especially in the 1950’s when the ‘red planet’ and its imaginary inhabitants tended to be viewed as something potentially hostile.

H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds (1898) has Martian invaders almost entirely wiping out humanity. The book was adapted to film in 1953 with amazingly advanced special effects for the time. Another version of the film appeared in 2005, directed by Steven Spielberg.

Photo: NASA (see more)

Mars Attacks! (1996) was a comedic (some might say crass) film that spoofed the genre of Hollywood films about ‘hostile aliens from Mars.’

More recently a slew of made for TV movies about missions to Mars have been made, of varying quality.

The planet Mars is named after the ancient Roman god of war, which scholars say developed out of an old Roman agricultural and nature god. The bellicose god Mars is second in rank only to Jupiter, another god and subsequently named planet.  The Roman Mars is often associated with the Greek Ares, although Ares is even more belligerent.

Search Think Free » Aries, Romulus and Remus, Scorpio

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