Virgo 17: A volcano in eruption

T h e w o r d v o lc ano d e s c e n d s f r o m t h e I t a li a n vu l ca n o " b u r n i n g m o u n t a i n " , i t se l f f r o m t h e L a t i n

Vu l c a n u s m e a n i n g " V u l c a n , " R o m a n
g o d o f f i r e , a ls o " f i r e , f l a me s , volcano.”1 T h e w o r d e ru pt i on d e s c e n d s f r o m t h e I n d o - E u r op e a n ( IE ) r o o t r eu p- , t o sn a t c h. I t s p a r o n y m s i n c l u d e re a ve , b e rea ve , ro ve r ( a p i r a t e o r p i r a t e v e s s e l ) , rob , rob b e ry, ro b e , ru b l e, u s u rp, ro u t , di s rup t,

a b ru p t, c o rru pt , a n d e ru p t .
TH EMES : T h e i n t e g r a t i n g t he m e he r e c o n c e r n s US U RPA TI ON . A s i n d i c a t e d a b o v e , t he v e r b u s u rp i s on e o f t h e p a r o n y m s of e ru pt i on . D e f i n i t i on s o f u s u rp i n cl u d e “ t o s e i z e a n d h o l d ( a p o si t i on , o f f i ce , p o w e r, e t c . ) b y f o r c e o r w i t h o u t l e g a l ri g h t ” 2 a n d “ t o s e i z e , t a k e o v e r , o r a p p r op r i a t e ( l a n d , a t h r o n e , e t c) w i t ho u t a u t h o r i t y ” 3 a n d “ t o se i z e a n d h o l d ( a s o f f i c e , p la c e , o r p o w e r s) i n p o s s e s si o n b y f o r c e o r w i t h o u t right.”4

Vu l c a n i s on e o f t he p a r on y m s o f vo lca no . I n m y t h o l o g y h e w a s t h e
Roman God of fire and metalworking and the son of Jupiter, the king of t h e g o d s , a n d J un o , t h e p r i n ci p a l g o d d e s s o r q ue e n o f t h e g o d s . D e sp i t e h i s n ob l e l i n e a g e , V u l c a n ’ s w a s r e j e ct e d b y h i s m ot h e r a n d d e p r i v e d o f his birthright:
As the son of Jupiter, the king of the gods, and Juno, the queen of the gods, Vulcan should have be en quite handsome, but, baby Vulcan was small and ugly with a red, bawling face. Juno was so horrified that she hurled the tiny bab y off the top of Mount Olympus. Vulcan fell down for a day and a night, landing in the
1 2 3 4 http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=volcano http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=usurp&ia=luna http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=usurp&ia =ced http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=usurp&ia=mwlaw Starling Hunter © 2011 1

sea. Unfortunately, one of his legs b roke as he hit the water, and never developed properly. From the surface, Vulcan sunk like a pebble to the cool blue depths where the sea-nymph, Thetis, found him and took him to her underwater grotto, and raised him as her own son. 5

Despite the rejection by his mother Vulcan not only adapted to his new surroundings, he thrived there:
Vulcan had a happy childhood with dolphins as his playmates and pearls as his toys. Late in his childhood, he found the remains of a fisherman's fire on the beach and became fascinated with an unextinguished coal, still red -hot and glowing. Vulcan carefully shut this precious coal in a clamshell and took it back to his underwater grotto and made a fire with it. On the first day after, Vulcan stared at this fire for hours on end. On the second day, he discovered that when he made the fire hotter with bellows, certain stones sweated iron, silver or gold. On the third day he beat the cooled metal into shapes: bracelets, chains, swords and shields. Vulcan made pearl -handled knives and spoons for his foster mother, he made a silver chariot for himself, and bridles so that seahorses could transport him quickly.

Eventually the mother that spurned Vulcan came to learn of his formidable talents:
Later, Thetis left her underwater grotto to attend a dinner party on Mount Olympus wearing a beautiful necklace of silver and sapphires, which Vulcan had made for her. Juno admired the necklace and asked as to where she could get one. Thetis became flustered causing Juno to become suspicious and, at last, the queen god discovered the truth: the baby she had once rejected had grown into a talented blacksmith. Juno was furious and demanded that Vulcan return home, a demand that he refused. However he did send Juno a beautifully constructed chair (th rone) made of silver and gold, inlaid with mother -of-pearl. Juno was delighted with this gift but, as soon as she sat in it her weight triggered hidden springs and metal bands sprung forth to hold her fast. The more she shrieked and struggled the more firmly the mechanical throne gripped her; the chair was a cleverly designed trap. For three days Juno sat fuming, still trapped in Vulcan's chair, she couldn't sleep, she couldn't stretch, she couldn't eat. It was Jupiter who finally saved the day, he promised that if Vulcan released Juno he would give him a wife, Venus the goddess of love and beauty. 6

T h u s , a s i n d i ca t e d i n t he p a r a g r a p h j us t a b o v e , Vu l ca n c on s t r u c t e d a t h r o n e f o r t he q ue e n m o t he r t h a t r e j e c t e d h i m. A s a p ri n c e a n d h e i r he

u s u rp e d t h e t h r o n e b y s e i zi n g a n d h o ld i n g t h e Q u e e n a n d f o r c i n g a
c o n c e s si o n f r o m hi s f a t h e r t h e Ki n g .

5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/vulcan_(mythology) 6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/vulcan_(mythology) Starling Hunter © 2011 2