Demeter the "Barley Mother"
& 4 Sept. ring-plane crossing

Demeter the "Barley Mother" & 4 Sept. ring-plane crossing

Barbara Noble Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:29 am

I
n Greek mythology Demeter is the Goddess of grain and fertility, nourisher of youth, the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death, and preserver of marriage and the sacred law.

In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter of around 7BC she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons".

At present we are in the process of Saturn's ring plane crossing. The Sun traversed Saturn's ring plane earlier this month on August 11, 2009 and will be followed by us here on Earth on September 4, 2009.

This marks the commencement of a new season in time, the start of a new 15 year cycle as relates to time (kronos) upon Earth. The transition is one from Saturn's golden underbelly to its northern hemisphere of clear blue skies.

During this crossing Saturn's rings will disappear from view. This is Saturn escaping from its bonds, shedding its garments as it joins with the Sun. This consummation with the Sun renders Saturn invisible from which it later emerges, naked as a new born babe, which then draws on its garments again as the rings slowly return to view. This shedding of the rings and concealment by the Sun is also reflective of the myth involving kronos (time) consuming his children for them to reappear at a later date.

This crossing leads in to 2012 when Saturn enters a region of its exaltation, Libra (sidereal), Venus crosses the Sun and it's anticipated there will be a peak in the sunspot cycle. There's a resonance here between the blue skies of Saturn's northern hemisphere and "blue hand" of the Mayan calendar - classically hands were attributed to the Moon, and Saturn was also attributed the colour blue, eg. sapphire, lapis lazuli.

Saturn is traversing the final degrees of Leo (sidereal) which is indicative of the crumbling foundations upon which some leaders presently stand - its akin to the breaking up of the ground readying it for the planting of new seed. New generation.

In sidereal, Saturn will transit into Virgo around September 9. According to modern constellation boundaries the transit into constellation Virgo occurs around September 2.

At the same time we have the volatile Mercury-Mars square in place whipping up storms of contention, flares, tempers snapping, questionable actions, expressions of rage, hot pursuits, gut reactions, inflammations. If driving please keep your wits about you. With Mercury in constellation Virgo it also flags energetic debates and new policies concerning public health care.

We're also likely to see developments between Korea and the USA.

On September 4 Earth crosses Saturn's ring-plane upon the full Moon in the "Water Pitcher" (constellation Aquarius), which marks an open confrontation with Saturn in the last degree of sidereal Leo. This is an earth-shaker. Also public opposition to governmental/authoritarian controls. Realizations and the planting of seeds that will materialize later.

It's a time for that which the Sun's concealed to begin being revealed.

The 'devil will be in working out the details' but first there will be some accounts to reconcile once the necessary information is to hand.

Barley, a grain sacred to Demeter, is granted the planetary attribution of Saturn by Nicholas Culpeper, reflecting a natural correlation between Saturn and the lunar cycles, eg. 29.5 years for a Saturn return; 29.5 days in a synodic month and the respective rulerships these two are granted over earth.

Demeter as "the bringer of seasons" references the position of earth starting with fixed star Spica in constellation Virgo from which the seasons were then judged - the seasonal year being a circle measured/judged against (& from within) the universal framework. A complex process involving the poles and planes of the galaxy, ecliptic and our planet, Earth.

Spica was a star from which the ancients would take measurements from for when the equinoctial crossings would occur, from which was then determined the start of the seasonal year in some cultures (others utilised solstitial crossings) along with the first month (new moon) of the year.

It was the star that provided Hipparchus with the data that enabled him to discover precession of the equinoxes, an example which Ptolemy followed in his Almagest. Nicolaus Copernicus also made many observations of Spica with his home-made triquetrum for his researches on precession.

The name Spica derives from Latin Spica Virginis "Virgo's ear of grain" with this alpha star in Virgo representing the barley harvest. In Hindu astronomy, Spica corresponds to the Nakshatra (lunar mansion) Chitra. The deity of Chitra is the "celestial architect", Mars is lord and it's attributed the pearl - pearl barley!

Here we also begin to see the counterbalancing qualities attributed the planets. For example, with the combined influence of Mars (lord) and Moon (nakshatra) in Chitra, stress emanating from or to this region can be indicative of inflammation welling up which the cooling properties that barley's attributed under the rulership of Saturn (per Culpeper) can help restore balance to.

The Sun passes a little more than 2 degrees north of Spica on October 16, the beginning of Aries midnight culmination, and the star's heliacal rising occurs about two weeks later. Every 8 years, Venus passes Spica around the time of the star's heliacal rising, as it will do this year when it passes about 3.5 degrees north of the star on November 3.

Demeter's Roman equivalent was Ceres and barley was a main staple for many cultures in ancient through to classical times before it was supplanted by wheat, and then potatoes in various parts of the world.

Barley is of the grass family.

Creatures of a ruminating nature consume grass which is a dimension reflected by the bovine imagery of ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor, Mistress of the West. Hathor's temples were located on the West Banks of Thebes and Luxor. A temple to Menat (an early Hathor) at Thebes was oriented with reference to Spica when it was constructed in 3200 BC .
The West falls under the dominion of the Moon and is a direction wherein Saturn finds its exaltation.


The month of Hathor was the third month of the Season of Akhet (Inundation) in Ancient Egypt where the Nile floods covered the land leaving black fertile soils. The lunar calendar of ancient Egypt commenced with the rise of Sirius (sidereal longitude approx. 20 degrees in constellation Gemini). The date of this rising changes according to the clime from where it's observed.

Sma (pronounced "SHE-ma") refers to Upper Egyptian barley and is also a symbol of Upper Egypt. Barley was a staple cereal in ancient Egypt for the making of bread and beer.

Pliny noted barley was a special food of gladiators known as the hordearii "barley-eaters".
However, by Roman times he said that wheat had replaced barley as a staple.

Barley was one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East, around the same time as einkorn and emmer wheat. The earliest evidence of wild barley comes from the Epipaleolithic at Ohalo II at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. The remains were dated to about 17,000 BCE. It has also been grown in the Korean Peninsula from c. 1,500-850 BCE.

Barley beer is thought to be the first drink developed by Neolithic humans and the grain was also later used as local currency (Moon & Mercury).

According to Deuteronomy 8:8, barley is one of the "Seven Species" of crops that characterize the fertility of the Promised Land of Canaan.

A religious importance associated with barley extended through into the Middle Ages in Europe, and saw barley's use in justice.

In ancient Greece, the ritual significance of barley possibly dates back to the earliest stages of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Demeter and her daughter Persephone were central figures in these Mysteries. The preparatory kykeon or mixed drink of the initiates, prepared from barley and herbs, was referred to in the Homeric hymn to Demeter.

Barley grains were used for measurement in England, there being 3 or 4 barleycorns to the inch and 4 or 5 poppy seeds to the barleycorn. The statute definition of an inch was 3 barleycorns, although by the 19th century this had been superseded by standard inch measures. This unit still persists in the shoe sizes used in Britain and the USA.

This relationship between Demeter (barley) and her daughter, Persephone (poppy) reflects the mercurial functions of logic - the rationale and that which is irrational - involving measures, standards and expectations in relation to generations. Poppies are often grown in succession to barley and wheat.

William Lilly attributes the poppy to the Moon which draws attention once more to the earlier correlation between Moon (poppy) and Saturn (barley - Culpeper).

Ovid informs us that it was poppies that Persephone was picking when kidnapped by Hades. The association of poppies also with Hypnos is perhaps suggestive of what can happen when we ruminate for too long on details, or temporal things, and lose sight of the bigger picture which helps put the details into context. Perhaps this is also captured with Ptolemy's sardonic wit:

Scrupulous accuracy about such a small amount is a sign of vain conceit rather than a love of truth. ~ Ptolemy, Almagest


In Islam the Prophet Muhammad prescribed barley for the seven diseases which included grief, high cholesterol levels, heart disease, treatment of cancer, effects of ageing, diabetes and hypertension.

Avicenna in his 11th century work "The Canon of Medicine" wrote of the healing effects of barley water.

In English folklore there is the tale of John Barleycorn corresponding to the various phases of barley cultivation.
And barley-meal, a wholemeal barley flour that's lighter than wheat-meal, is used for porridge in Scotland. In the Western Isles in the Scottish Highlands it's used locally to make bread, biscuits and bannock (the flour is also well suited for pancakes and muffins).

Benefits of Barley

The benefits of barley are significant as it:
  • contains all eight essential amino acids;
  • can regulate blood sugar for up to 10 hours
  • lowers glucose and insulin response
  • is beneficial for those with Diabetes Type II
  • has been shown to reduce cholesterol by 9%-15% after consuming daily for 6 weeks
  • reduces visceral fat by 10% when consumed daily for 12 weeks;
  • contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Folate (B9), Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc.
For research studies, please see - bglifebarley.com/research.html

Barbara Noble