The penitent on this card is a nebulae formation that is the eye of Cepheus, the ancient King of nations, in the constellation that bears his name. As this figure is bent toward Pisces the Fish, the location of the Star of Bethlehem, off its back it carries the Southern Cross, Cygnus. Cygnus was known as Orpheus, a name that draws from "the snaking river bank" and is related to the great serpent, Oroborus. Orpheus, who "brought song from the darkness," was slain triumphantly by the Bacchantes - the orgiastic devotees of the 'wine-god' Dionysus. In this relationship, Oroborus, the eternal circle of life, inverts through expression of the ecstatic to become the Southern Cross. This image represents the penitent eye of the king, bearing burden [of the crucifix] toward the birth of Christ in the everlasting cycle of resurrection.
The image of the Penitent Eye was seen on the 19th of December 2003 by the Spitzer Space Telescope.
© New Alexandria 2003