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Damocles was a courtier of King Dionysius II of Syracuse, Sicily. Damocles was fond of flattering his master, often opining on how fortunate the king was, as absolute master of his realm, surrounded by pomp, magnificence and riches. The king offered to switch places with Damocles so that he could experience the joys of power firsthand. Damocles eagerly agreed, dazzled at the prospect, but upon ascending the throne found that the king had caused a huge sword to be suspended above it, hanging by a single hair of a horse’s mane. Thus he impressed upon Damocles that with power and glory comes constant danger and fear. Our term “the sword of Damocles”, meaning an unexpected peril, derives from this tale.

Astrologically, Damocles represents the doom hanging unseen overhead, situations which can only be fully understood by the persons involved in them, and the consequences of getting what we wish for.

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

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