Poetry: Hymn to Spica

at 23° Libra 50′

Spica is a bright star in the constellation of Virgo, but its position on the ecliptic corresponds to a position at almost 24° Libra. It’s been associated with good harvests for more than a thousand years. A few days ago, the Sun was conjunct the star, and I had a chance to recite (again) this poem from several years ago, honoring it.

Spica glyph in appropriate colors
O brilliant, O Bird-like Radiant Blue,
Fortunate one who sends honor and wealth,
may this happy hour my strength renew,
with increase of riches and blessed health!
Each four days your double-stars are whirling—
Forces you rain down like emerald waves—
or sagacious glamour from your twirling!
Like Venus and Mars, your power engraves
gentle discipline on attentive hearts.
Sweet Spica, send dignities I can bear,
spout wealth upon me when I use my arts!
Then I shall spread your name, as I shall share
all that you give me with generous hand, 
for thus good harvests make prosperous land.

Spica is a twin star, a fact that wasn’t really known until powerful telescopes could be focused on it. The apparent changes in its brightness are dependent on whether one star is behind the other, or whether they’re alongside one another in their orbital dance. Historically, Spica has been been associated in image magic from Picatrix and other sources, with pictures of figures that are human-bodied but with bird-like heads, and it’s often called a blue star though sometimes emerald, hence the use of these terms in the poem. People born with this star in a prominent place are said to be funny and wise and often capable of earning both wealth and fame from their advice.

The glyph, indicating that Spica is one of the Behenian Stars, is ancient. The modern design of the glyph is by astrologer Hugh Tran.

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