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.
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