View Full Version : The Esoteric Meaning of the Argo Navis Constellation

2019-May-25, 01:15 PM
The constellations by Ptolemy and other astronomers were placed in the sky with great planning and meaning. Ptolemy's Almagest was the leading referenced star catalog for 1500 yrs until the 16th -18th century when astronomers began adding new constellations. Johannes Hevelius, a Polish astronomer from Gdansk, used older constellations and placed new ones in a way to highlight hidden aspects of the constellations. The Argo Navis constellation was one of these constellations.


Reality Check
2019-May-27, 02:48 AM
Constellations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation) are imaginative but useful groupings of stars that are different for different cultures. We use mostly Greek constellations and if someone says that a star is on Orion's belt we have a good idea where to look in the sky. Argo Navis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_Navis) was (past tense) a constellation

Argo Navis (the Ship Argo), or simply Argo, was a large constellation in the southern sky that has since been divided into the three constellations of Carina, Puppis and Vela. The genitive was "Argus Navis", abbreviated "Arg". Flamsteed and other early modern astronomers called the constellation just Navis (the Ship), genitive "Navis", abbreviated "Nav".
Nothing really hidden or esoteric about the Argo Navis constellation - a ship shape could be drawn using the stars, so people drew the shape of a ship and identified it with various myths. The Greeks identified this constellation as the Egyptian "Boat of Osiris". Greek astronomers applied their own myth of Argos and the Golden Fleece. The dominance of Greek astronomy ensured that this mythic identification stuck as least in the Western world. Elsewhere

The Māori had several names for what was the constellation Argo, including Te Waka-o-Tamarereti (the canoe of Tamarereti[16]), Te Kohi-a-Autahi (an expression meaning "cold of autumn settling down on land and water"[17]), and Te Kohi.[18]

In Vedic astronomy, Indian observers also saw Argo Navis as "the Boat."[19]

This is the Argo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo). No mythical ship can be the first ship ever built, not the Argos, not the one built by the mystical Danaus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danaus). The history of ships (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship#Prehistory_and_antiquity) places the first wooden hulled boats as originating with the Egyptians around 3000BC. At this time the proto-Greeks were arriving in Greece (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeks#Origins).

2019-May-27, 03:12 AM
Yes, the constellation has been split into three or four different constellations in the 1700s. I disagree with you about the meaning of the constellations. There is great meaning and planning to their placement. There is a reason the bow of the Argo Navis rises at the same location as the sun on the winter solstice. The winter solstice is the birth of the sun god. Osiris is associated with the rising of the sun. Ancient astronomers were incredibly brilliant. They could've placed any animal or object anywhere in the stars, yet they chose certain constellations to be placed in special locations in the sky to accent the myth associated with that hero, animal, or object. The constellations were planned very carefully by astronomers. There is no doubt we use them today as markers for the locations of supernova, comets, and other celestial events and objects. That wasn't the reason Ptolemy cataloged the ancient constellations in the Almagest.

2019-May-31, 01:44 AM
The linked paper asserts that Egypt experienced wet weather and flooding of the Nile twice a year, at the equinoxes. Since when? I cannot find references to anything but annual flooding during summer and early autumn, with the river receding from then until the following summer. That, along with the assertion that many researchers think the pyramids were built about 10,000 BC, make me skeptical about taking the paper seriously.

2019-Jun-01, 01:23 PM
Let me back off from being skeptical about taking the overall paper seriously. I should have realized that the author could be a reliable authority on the primary topics of mythology and how it is rendered in the sky, and still make a couple of technical blunders. The mentioning of possible recognition of precession and the dating of the pyramids is a digression from the topic of Argo, and I will discuss it in a new thread in the Astronomy page.


2019-Jun-03, 12:58 PM
The author of the paper mentioned Stellarium and its rendering of the ship with its bow to the west, so it appears to be sailing normally in its diurnal east-to-west motion. Out of curiosity I turned on my copy and experimented with backdating it to 2500 BC and setting the latitude for Cairo and vicinity. Sure enough, the ship is on an even keel at culmination. At the present time it appears to be sinking.

Reality Check
2019-Jun-03, 09:42 PM
Yes, the constellation has been split into three or four different constellations in the 1700s. I disagree with you about the meaning of the constellations......
That is the obvious fact that consolidations are made-up groups of stars on which different cultures assign different meanings. General knowledge is not esoteric (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/esoteric).

What you see in the stars today does not mean that cultures 100O's of years ago saw that. The stars are not constant. As Hornblower points out, the orientation of the modern boat alters when backdated to Egypt at 2500 BC. The stars in the modern boat bow may not have risen at the winter solstice. If they did they may have been ordinary stars that the Egyptians and Greeks ignored.

Also, the stars included in the constellation may have not been the same. Argo Navis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_Navis) is the Greek constellation. It is possible that the Egyptians drew the "Boat of Osiris" the other way around. Or that is was a boat with no obvious bow or stern. It may be that the connection from the Greek constellation to the "Boat of Osiris" is only the name. The Greeks knew about Osiris and his rites that included The boat he was transported in, the "Neshmet" bark, had to be defended against his enemies (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osiris#Worship). So they assumed there had to be a matching constellation.

The constellation that we know Osiris to be associated with is the Orion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation)#Ancient_Near_East) constellation (the god Sah who was linked to Osiris). That is the only association mentioned in the Osiris (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osiris) article.

Robert Tulip
2019-Jun-11, 06:23 AM
Re mention here of the constellation Argo Navis, here is a thread I started on this ten years ago.