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  • Writer's pictureianmooreplaysfiddle


Updated: Nov 15, 2020

A while ago I found someone's full concordance of all the words used in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. So that's an exhaustive catalog of where in the text and how many times every word gets used -- which is pretty intense. This wasn't a glossary mind you, so I'm gonna start busying myself with giving definitions for all the words I was unsure/ completely in the dark about.

"The survivors lay quietly in that cratered void and watched the whitehot stars go rifling down the dark. Or slept with their alien hearts beating in the sand like pilgrims exhausted upon the face of the planet Anareta, clutched to a namelessness wheeling in the night."

Anareta is one of my favorite words from Blood Meridian, its an old astrological term for a planet that signals ill-fortune in your horoscope -- the 'interficient' planet, the Destroyer, the ruler of the Eighth House, considered the House of Death.

Apparently the planets you looked to as beneficial and health-giving were the planets in your first house, and perhaps to either side of the eighth, so the seventh and ninth. The chief of these positive influencers was referred to as the Hyleg or Apheta, the Giver of Life.

the word Hyleg traces back to Middle Persian, hîlâk, meaning nativity. Apheta comes from greek, aphienai, to 'spring forth' (hienai ) + 'from' (apo-). Aphetic and hylegiac indicate life giving qualities.

Anareta -- from αναιῥιω -- gets used in ancient greek to mean murderer and assassin but I can find no further breakdown of its etymology. I love that in its original use, whatever planet occupied the 'anaretic degree,' the region of evil influence in your horoscope, was the Anareta, so different planets could assume the title of 'Destroyer' -- but in McCarthy's passage he posits the existence of a planet of pure danger and death, named Anareta.

#anareta #hyleg #apheta #bloodmeridian #mccarthy

If anyone wants to crack out on the concordance ~~ voilà! -->>

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