Oistos PragmaticsOistos in Greek, Sagitta to the Romans.

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Oistos: The errant arrow

Oistos (Οιστος) is the Greek word for arrow, and the ancients' name for the constellation known today as Sagitta, the Arrow.  This small constellation, clearly the shape of an arrow pointing away from Hercules beside Aquila, the Eagle, and flying more or less towards Cygnus, the Swan, can be seen in late summer in the Northern Hemisphere.  The ancient Persians, Hebrews, Arabs, Armenians, Greeks, and Romans all saw this group of stars as an arrow. The constellation is in the top margin of this page.  Move your mouse cursor over the word "Οιστος " to see the outline, or click on the Sagitta link to see an astrophotograph of the constellation.

Summer Triangle

The Summer Triangle
Starchart © Copyright 1997 by Bob Martino, Perkins Observatory.

Mythology: Some say it is the arrow shot by Hercules as he was hunting the Stymphalian birds, Aquila, Cygnus, and Lyra (now a lyre, but originally a vulture).  Other myths claim that Sagittarius, the Archer, shot the arrow - apparently without a known target.  Or is it the poison-tipped arrow shot by Hercules, which in a terrible accident wounded his wise and courageous tutor, Chiron (a.k.a. Sagittarius the Centaur)? According to Eratostenes it is the arrow Apollo used to kill the Cyclops that manufactured the thunderbolt of Zeus that struck his son Aesculapius to death.  Perhaps, as Hyginus claimed, it is the arrow shot by Hercules to kill the eagle (or vulture) that perpetually tormented Prometheus.  Caesar Germanicus thought it to be the arrow used by Eros to ignite the passion of Zeus for Ganymede; i.e., Cupid's Arrow, also the emblem of Diane and Apollo.

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Oistos Pragmatics
Usable Knowledge, Technology, Strategy & Process

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The point is that no one can say for certain whose arrow it is, who shot it, or identify its intended target.  The bronze-tipped arrows of the ancient Greeks were powerful weapons that flew straight and true, and were symbols of wisdom and truth.  These arrows, once shot from the bow, represent consequences that cannot be recalled or altered.  In many businesses today it is easy to find instances of product developments, standardized processes, or entire enterprises that are on a seemingly unalterable course, trapped by their own inertia, launched to execute a vague or obsolete strategy, flying toward a target that has changed or that has been moved by competitive events.

Oistos Pragmatics can help.  True, today's arrows are missiles that fly faster and with more force than ancient authors could have imagined; but unlike the armaments of old, they can change course in mid-flight.  Building on the strengths that exist in your current organization and environment, without reinventing the wheel or recapitalization, pragmatics can provide the insight to help execute mid-course corrections, and to show you how to adjust your stance so you can aim better in the first place.

To discuss your specific business opportunity and to learn how you can deliver usable knowledge, technology, strategy & process, contact Charley Arrowsmith.

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