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Crux - the Southern Cross

The constellation Crux is the smallest in the sky and nests under/between the legs of the Centaurus constellation. Alpha Centauri (Rigil Kentaurus – original star-name) and Beta Centauri are very bright stars easy to spot and are often called the “pointers” to the Southern Cross. The Pointers as well as Crux itself can be used to navigate/search for the celestial south pole. (see picture further down).

Crux stands on the Galactic Equator as well as the Centaur… it looks as the Centaur is guarding Crux and its “jewel box”. Crux is sometimes also called the “Diamond”.

Southern Cross, Coffs Harbor by Barry M. Ion

Picture by  Barry M. Ion - Photographer and Filmmaker

Now that we know the “directing” or pointing attributes of this small constellation, we may also get a first idea of how important this Cross really is but there's more to it...

An interesting fact story about this constellation is also that its nowadays observable south of ca. 22° northern latitude on Earth. This wasn’t always the case – with the Earth cycles and precession of the Equinoxes the constellation “moved” slowly more and more south. In antiquity it was observable from much higher latitudes even from southern Europe – when it slowly disappeared from the observable night-sky, the people thought it was because of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The Southern Cross is also “depicted” in the Australian flag and some stars also in the Brazilian flag – so, it’s importance is acknowledged in obvious ways, even so its deeper meaning maybe not as obvious but more about that later…

In Ptolemy’s star catalogue the constellation and its stars are reported – but by his time it wasn’t observable from his location anymore. There are suggestions/ evidence that Ptolemy did use the works of Hipparchus (ca. 190 – 120 BC) for further study and integrated some of these learnings in his works. Hipparchus is credited to have actually observed and catalogued the stars by using trigonometry and with this “complained” that the positions commonly used were not correct, which lead to the discovery of the precession of the equinoxes. Hipparchus though had his understanding from the Babylonian Astronomy and did combine the Babylonian and the Greek traditions and sciences. This was a time, when Astronomy and Astrology were “one” science...

In those ancient star catalogues, the Crux constellation wasn’t thought as “separate” but as part of Centaurus.

The constellation Crux lays in the middle of the sign of Libra – just under the legs of the Virgin (Virgo constellation) and under the tail of Hydra (head in Cancer) and over the Argo Navis. The star Acrux (alpha) conjoins in ecliptical longitude the star Alphecca of the Northern Crown (Corona Borealis).

Astrologically the Southern Cross symbolizes the cardinality and purity of the soul, the “original” intent before we accumulated incarnational beliefs, limits etc.. The “soul wisdom” is hidden as the “jewel box” but symbolized by the Diamond… Crux is well protected and guided by the wise Centaur who teaches the “right” way of living the own path and with that freeing the own treasury… like “lifting” the jewels from the hidden space within to become the own “crown” of living life in awareness and equilibrium within...

The ”jewel box” star cluster through the telescope – photo by ESA

Crux jewel box NGC 4755 by ESO

Interesting to note is, that a few degrees earlier in Libra, there’s the Northnode of Chiron and conjoining Khambalia of Virgo and Gacrux (gamma Crucis) is Eris’ Southnode…. A little further into actual Libra at 22° Pluto’s Perihelion and at 24° and 25° the Northnodes of Mercury and Mars...

With this little exploration of the Southern Cross, we may also change our view of Eris and Pluto – Eris does appear as discord, discomfort, disruptions but in fact she only wants to “reveal” the jewels – the diamond” but for that we have to accept the teachings and that’s often really a little hard and truly challenging but it serves a much “higher” purpose – the “re-birth” of souls intent and wisdom, that will lead to powerful conscious life decisions and unfoldment, which leads us to open to the “outer worlds” through Pluto’s “portal"...

References and  credits:  

Nick Antony Fiorenza (lunar planer), Oxford Reference site and the “Journal for the history of Astronomy” and the Stargazers Club  and NARIT Journal and Constellation Guide  

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