1. Virgo & Libra

The Heavens Declare: constellations as prophecy


1. Virgo & Libra
2. Scorpio & Sagittarius

3. Capricorn & Aquarius
4. Pisces & Aries

5. Taurus & Gemini
6. Cancer & Leo


Zebulun / Virgo (Gen 49:13, Deut 33:18)

The first ‘chap­ter’ of the first ‘book’ of the Mazzaroth is what we would call Virgo. The famous prophecy of Gen 3:15, of the Seed of the woman, is a direct and explicit reference to the vir­gin birth. The phrase is used only once, be­cause women do not have "seed" — only men do (‘sperm’ means ‘seed’). This prophecy is affirmed by Isaiah (7:14): “Be­hold, a vir­gin shall con­ceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman­u­el”, "God with us". Isaiah (9:6) recog­nizes this child as the true Ruler of the world: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the gov­ern­ment shall be upon His shoul­der” — and He is "Mighty God", ruling over an eternal king­dom. Pa­ganism dimly re­membered the virgin birth variously, as with Krish­na; indeed, a cen­tury before the birth of Christ, “an altar was found in Gaul with this inscrip­tion: 'To the virgin who is to bring forth.'[1]

The sign is called Bethulah, "a virgin" in Hebrew (and "a branch" in Ara­bic; in Latin, virgo is ‘vir­gin’ and virga is ‘branch’). In Ara­bic, the sign is call­ed Sunbul, "an ear of grain". Thus, the woman holds a branch in her right hand, and ears of wheat in her left; she is usually de­pict­ed as reclin­ing or fallen. The pagans cor­rupted this sign as Isis, called Aspolia ("ears of corn" or "the seed" — spol being the equiv­alent of "spore" and "sperm"), or as Ceres, the corn goddess, wor­shipped with a baby at her breast. The Greeks as­sociat­ed this sign with virginal and wise Athena — which is an oblique and probably coinci­den­tal acknowledgement of true proph­e­cy in that while under the care of Mary, Jesus (Lk 2:40) "grew in wis­dom". Be­fore the Flood, Vir­go con­tain­ed only 17 visible stars; now it has 110.

The major star of Virgo is in the left hand, con­tained among the grains of wheat, and is called Spica, "ear of wheat"; it is Tsemech in Hebrew (H.) — one of many Hebrew words meaning "branch". But this "branch" is used in only four con­texts in the Old Testa­ment, always in ref­erence to the Mes­siah. In Jer 23:5‑6 (repeated in 33:15) the Branch is King (the theme of Matthew), in Zech 3:8 the Branch is Servant (the theme of Mark), in Zech 6:12 the Branch is Man (the theme of Luke), and in Is 4:2 the Branch is Jehovah (the theme of John). Other names associated with Virgo are al Azal and Subilon, meaning "branch" or "ear of wheat". The second brightest star is in the left shoulder, called Zavija­veh, "the glo­ri­ously beautiful" (cf. Is 4:2). The star named Al Mureddin, in the right arm, means "who shall come down" (cf. Ps 72:8); it is called Vindemia­trix in Arama­ic, mean­ing "the Coming Son". If we connect the names of these stars by bright­ness, in the context of the constel­lation, we get a story some­thing like: "Through the virgin, the Branch, gloriously beauti­ful, shall descend."

The first of Virgo's three decans (associ­ated con­stella­tions) is Coma, from Comah, "the desired" (cf. Ps 63:1, Hag 2:7). The pagans corrupted this constel­la­tion by making it rep­resent a wig ‘coma’ meaning "hair", hence "comet". But its ancient image is a seated young woman (a vir­gin according to the Persian name) nursing a male child. The Egyptian name from Dendera of this decan was Shesnu, "the Desired Son". Albumazar, an Arabian astronomer of the ninth century, says the woman is “nourishing an infant boy [with] a Hebrew name, by some nations called IHESU, with the significa­tion IEZA, which in Greek is called CHRISTOS.[2] When the con­stel­la­tion was com­posed, it had only 10 dim stars; now it has 43.

The second decan of Virgo is Centaurus the centaur - that double natured being anciently were often represented not exclu­sively as part horse, but alterna­tively as part goat,[3] the animal of the sin-offering. The Hebrew name is Bezeh ("the despised" — cf. Is 53:3, "He is despised and rejected of men"). The sign surrounds the four bright stars of the Southern Cross, which together are the lowest but one of the constellations (lowest is Ara the altar or pyre). Centaurus is shown thrusting a fatal lance into the decan, Victima, which we will consider shortly. The pagan Greeks named this centaur (and others) Cheiron, "the pierced", or "who pierces". Myths represent him as a teacher who voluntarily laid down his life, pierced by an envenomed dart of Hercules as he sought the Erymanthean boar; the arrow struck Cheiron in the leg and caused excruciating pain, but because he was divine he could die only after he had transferred his immortali­ty to Prometheus, that type of Adam.[4] The similari­ty of this myth to the Passion is too obvious to need explanation. The brightest of these stars (in the fore­most-hoof) varies in bright­ness, and was also called Cheiron, and also Toliman ("the past and the future" — consider Rev 1:8: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending . . . which is, and which was, and which is to come — the Al­mighty” (cf. also Rev 21:6, 22:13); this star was also known as Asmeath ("sin-offer­ing", cf. Is 53:10), as well as Pholas, from the Hebrew root meaning "media­tion". Thus we have, in the same object, God Almighty and a mediator who acts as a sin-offer­ing. The decan origi­nal­ly had 18 stars, but now it has 35.

The third and final decan of Vir­go is Arcturus, meaning "He cometh" (cf. Job 9:9): a striding man carry­ing a shepherd's crook (or a spear) in his right hand and a sickle in his left; Arcturus has his back to Arktos,[5] the Greater-Fold (Ursa Major), standing as protec­tor against the advance of the Serpent — sickle raised to lop off its head. That Jesus is the Shepherd of the saved is too well known to mention, but consider Rev 14:15,16, de­scribing Christ who reaps with a sick­le. Anoth­er name was Arctophylax, "the guardian of the greater flock" (Ursa Ma­jor, as we will see; cf. Jn 10:16). The Egyp­tians called him Smat ("one who rules"), and also Bau ("the coming one"). We know him by the Greek name of Boötes (de­rived from H. bo, "the coming", rather than the word for "plow"). The pri­mary star, Arcturus — in the left knee — gave its name to the entire constellation. The next brightest star — in the sickle — is called Nekkar ("the pierced", cf. Zech 12:10), and also Merga ("who bruis­es"). In the right hip is Mirac ("coming forth like an arrow"), also called Mizar ("the preserver, guard­ing"). Lower, in the left calf, we find Muph­ride ("who sepa­rates"). Fi­nally, in the crook is Al Katu­rops ("the branch, treading under foot"). Thus we have the Coming One, the protecting Guardian with staff and sickle — Shepherd of the larger flock — pierced yet bruis­ing, coming swift as an arrow, to pre­serve his own, and sepa­rate out the rest, treading them under foot. These are the very images Jesus uses of Him­self, in Mt 24 & 25. It former­ly had 18, and now has 54 stars.

In Virgo, then, we have the vir­gin-mother through whom the beautiful Branch descends, and we have the De­sired child (Co­ma), the Despised dual-natured God who is a sin-offer­ing (Chei­ron), and the swift Shepherd and King who co­mes in judgment (Arcturus). A link between the tribe of Zebu­lun ("dwelling") and the sign of Virgo is in the "going out" of Deut 33:18, which is the "coming" of Arcturus; He went out from the Father, dwelt among us, and will return. An even more symbolic link is found in compar­ing the "haven of the sea" (Gen 49:13) with the womb (haven) of Mary (whose name de­rives from another word for "sea")


Levi / Libra (Deut 33:10)

The second ‘chapter’ in the Book of the First Com­ing, is Libra, the Scales. (Because of the close association with the claws of Scorpio, the bowls of the Scales have sometimes been called Chelae, "the Claws.") Libra devel­ops the theme of the sacrificial death which leads to the glory of heaven. The sign's semitic name is Mozanaim (H. "the scales"), or Al Zuibena (A. "redemp­tion"); the Cop­tic name is Lambadia ("sta­tion of pro­pitia­tion"; in Arabic, lam means "graciousness", and badia means "branch"); the Greek name is Zugos, "yoke" or "cross-beam". It is represent­ed by the well-known image of the bal­ances, one side lower than the other. The Per­sian image in­cludes a human figure which holds in one hand the scales, and in the other a lamb, as the thing to be weighed. The most ancient image, howev­er, is of a circle. In Baby­lon, this sign was Bir ("light"), and also shared the name of the seventh month, Tulku ("the sacred al­tar" — the month of Tishri in He­brew); it is upon an al­tar that true value is mea­sured. The obvious link be­tween the tribe of Levi and this con­stel­la­tion is through the altar (Deut 33:10). This sign in the ante­diluvian sky had 11 visi­ble stars, com­pared to the 51 of today.

The foremost star is in the outer scale, and called Zuben al Genubi ("the price which is deficient"). Ps 49:7-8 gives the image: “None of them can by any means redeem his bro­ther, nor give to God a ransom for him — for the redemp­tion of their souls is costly . . .” Ps 62:9 states of men of all stations of life, that if “they are weighed in the balances, they are alto­gether lighter than vapor. Even the most powerful of men, Belshaz­zar, Emperor of Baby­lon, was (Dn 5:27) “weighed in the bal­ances, and found want­ing. The scale is light, because nei­ther wealth nor character can meet the price. The next bright­est star is grasped by the claw of Scor­pio, in the in­ner, lower scale — Zuben al Chemali ("the price which cov­ers"): “for You were slain, and have redeemed us” (Rev 5:9); the Hebrew denot­ed this star with the ancient cross-shaped letter Tau, last of the alphabet, signify­ing a comple­tion; yet another name is al Gubi ("heaped up"). The third brightest star is Zuben Akrabi ("the price of con­flict"). We see that the valued price, the one deemed to be sufficient, is the one claimed by the Adversary.

The first decan of Libra is the South­ern Cross, by far the brightest constel­lation of the Southern Hemi­sphere. Its Hebrew name, appropri­ate­ly, was Adom ("cut­ting off", cf. Dn 9:26, where Messiah is cut off); this name is justi­fied by the fact, as we just saw, that the cross-shaped Tau "cuts off" the Hebrew alpha­bet. The ancient Dendera zodiac of Egypt de­picted this sign as a lion panting with thirst as a cup is held out to him; beneath his feet is the hiero­glyph for "pouring water". Indeed, at the cross, the Lion of Judah uttered the words, “I thirst” (Jn 19:28) as He was “poured out like water” (Ps 22:14). The name of this Egyp­tian image was Sera ("victory"); the Persian name for the Cross was Arbedi, having the sense of "covering". As a tacit vali­da­tion of these ideas, we discover that all of the five visible stars of the Cross were visi­ble in the ancient sky.

Obviously the ancients knew the Southern Cross, which was report­edly once visible at latitude 40°N, and by the time of the Crucifixion had sunk so low that only its highest star could be seen in Jerusalem. Ptolemy did not record this sign, because in his day it had already permanently sunk below the horizon, but many other non-Christian traditions remember the Cross.[6] The few obscure stars left in its place were glori­fied as the "South­ern Crown", which is barely discernable and has no associ­ated venerable myth; this latter sign was simply an ad hoc invention to fulfill the ancient and authoritative number of decans.

The fact that the Cross is now below the horizon of the Northern Hemi­sphere has caused schol­ars to assume that the zodiac was formu­lated over 5000 years ago. While we agree that the constel­lations are of greatest antiquity, we dismiss the conven­tion­al reason­ing, which is based on the uniformi­tarian belief that all things continue as they al­ways have. In fact, the rotation of Earth has been catastro­phically dis­rupted — as we know from the Bible, with its account of the long day of Joshua, and the back­wards move­ment of the sun in Heze­kiah's day. All con­clu­sions regarding chronolo­gy which depend on astronomical calcu­lations are, then, rendered invalid. I address these matters in depth in Most Ancient Days and The Days of Brass and Iron.

The second decan is Asedah (H. "to be slain"), Victima in Latin, Thera ("a beast") in Greek — its im­age is of an animal (by modern convention, a wolf), fall­ing down dead, slain by the benevolent Centaur, Cheiron. The Egyptian image is of a naked child hold­ing a finger to his lips; the name is Sura, "a lamb". This very image is found in Is 53:7: “He opened not his mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shear­ers is silent, so He opened not his mouth. The stripped child is the mythological Harpocrates, victim of justice, god of silence and acquiescence; sometimes this character is shown with a goat's horn, either on his head or as the bountiful cornucopia. Notice that it is the Centaur, a type of dual-natured Jesus Christ, which slays the sacrificial Victim, another type of Christ: and Jesus said (Jn 10:15-), “I lay down my life for the sheep . . . . No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. He (Heb 9:11) “offered Himself without spot to God”. In the pre-Flood heav­ens, 9 of the now over 22 dim stars were seen.

The final decan of Libra is Coro­na, or Atarah (H. "a royal crown"); in Arabic it is Al Iclil (in this case meaning "jewel" or "ornament"). The Greeks associate this crown with Ariadne, who died because of her great love — either pierced by Artemis, or laying down her own life — only to be reward­ed with a crown after death. From below, the Serpent almost reaches the Crown, illustrating the danger to the Church of Philadelphia (Rev 3:11): “Hold fast to what thou hast, that no one take thy crown. The chief star of the Crown is Al Phecca, "the shin­ing". Of the 7 stars by which it was once known, six were faint; in the modern sky it has 21 stars.

And so we conclude our examination of the sacred altar, the place of pro­pitiation and redemp­tion — of the scales which find one price de­ficient but another, the price of con­flict, heaped high (Libra). We find the Lion on the cross (Southern Cross), the child as victim (Victima), and the glorious crown of reward (Corona).

[1].Seiss, p. 28.

[2].From a Latin translation in the Bri­tish Muse­um, quoted by Bullin­ger, pp. 34-35.

[3].Graves, Vol. 2, p. 116.

[4].See Graves, Vol. 2, p. 113.

[5].According to Seiss, p. 32, Arctos isa word which in its Oriental elements connects with the idea of enclosure, the ascend­ing, the happy, the going up upon the moun­tains.

[6].See Seiss, p. 171.


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