In Greek mythology, Phaethon was the son of Helios(the Sun god) and and a woman or nymph variously identified as Clymene. Taunted with illegitimacy, Phaethon appealed to his father, who swore to prove his paternity by giving him whatever he wanted. Phaethon asked to be allowed to drive the chariot of the sun through the heavens for a single day. Helios, bound by his oath, had to let him make the attempt.
Phaethon set out early one morning to drive the Sun’s chariot on its daily journey. As his father feared, Phaethon lost control of the chariot when the scorpion scared the horses. Plunging down, the Sun’s searing heat set Mother Earth on fire. She cried out to the gods for help. The king of the gods(Zeus) fired a thunderbolt and killed Phaethon to save Earth. Burning, he fell into the river Eridanus that extinguished the flames. Eridanus was a legendary river that had never been seen by human eyes; in the sky it is a faint constellation, still difficult, but not impossible, for human eyes to see. In the sky, Eridanus begins near Orion’s feet. Indirectly, the scorpion claimed another victim.
In her book “Mythology-Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes”, Edith Hamilton writes:
- “The chariot was swinging wildly to and fro; the pace was faster; he had lost control. Not he, but the horses were directing the course. That light weight in the car, those feeble hands clutching the reins, had told them their own driver was not there. They were the masters then. No one else could command them. They left the road and rushed where they chose, up and down, to the right, to the left. They nearly wrecked the chariot against the Scorpion; they brought up short and almost ran into the Crab. (This indicates the sun may have moved 180° in November when the sun is normally in Scorpius. Note how the sun is depicted to move 180° from Scorpius past the Crab to Eridanus. The ancients knew the sun did not pass through the constellations of the ecliptic each day, but each year. Then they knew the sun moved 180° on this exceptional day.) By this time the poor charioteer was half fainting with terror, and he let the reins fall.”
The story of Phaethon and his chariot ride is symbolic of the Sun’s yearly course through each zodiac sign and other constellations. The scorpions that scared the horses, are the sign of Scorpio. The river Eridanus is not a literal river on Earth, but a celestial alignment of stars. This celestial river puts out the fire that is set ablaze by Phaethon. This is ancient astrotheology. The “Fall” at Scorpio, is also when Jesus was befallen(betrayed), by Judas Iscariot…when he was kissed on the cheek.