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.
The Summer Triangle
© 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
Usable Knowledge, Technology, Strategy &
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.