3. Capricorn & Aquarius

The Heavens Declare: constellations as prophecy


1. Virgo & Libra
2. Scorpio & Sagittarius

3. Capricorn & Aquarius
4. Pisces & Aries

5. Taurus & Gemini
6. Cancer & Leo


Naphtali / Capricorn (Gen 49:21, 33:23)

The second "book" deals with the ef­fect of the First Coming — it is the Book of the Redeem­ed. Its first ‘cha­pter’ deals with the sign of the Goat: Capri­corn ("Goat", but also "atone­ment") or Gedi (H. "the kid" and "cut off"). The goat, of course, was the ani­mal of the sin-of­fer­ing (Lev 9:31, 10:16, 16:22; Is 53:5). This Goat is an­cient­ly shown as fall­en, with the body of a vigorous fish — as in Egypt, where it was named Hupenius ("place of the sacrifice or of the bearing" — referring respectively to the as­pect of the goat or the fish); in India, the sign contains both a goat and a fish. The two brightest stars are both in the horns: one is also called Gedi, and the other is Deneb Al Gedi ("the sacrifice cometh"). The next three bright­est stars are in the fish-tail; their names are unknown, but the sign con­tains stars with names meaning "the sac­rifice slain", "the slaying", and "the re­cord of the cutting off". Only six of the now 51 stars went to make up the initial design.

The pagan myth, or corruption, of the original meaning of this sign has not totally obscured the true theme. It was said that when Typhon sprang upon an assembly of the gods, Bac­chus was forced to find refuge in a river, as­sum­ing the un­likely form of a goat; where the water touched, the mutable god was trans­formed accord­ing­ly. We may interpret this absur­dity by real­izing that in response to the power and attack of evil, Jesus became the Sacrifice, immersed in the waters of death yet remaining alive. The tail of the fish is a sym­bol of life and of the blesséd. Thus we read of the multiply­ing of the loaves and fishes, and that (Jer 16:15,16) God “will send for fish­ers, and they shall fish them, and of (Ezek 47:1-9) “the very great multitude of fish, and of (Rev 13:1) the “fishers of men” from the sea of the world. The symbol of the fish used by modern Christians is simply a revival of the ancient acros­tic of the Greek word for "fish", ICHTHYS, stand­ing for Iesous Christos, Theou Hyios, Soter, or "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior". We may con­sider, then, Capricorn to be a meta­phor meaning that the end (tail) of the sacrifice (goat) is life (fish).

The first decan is Sham (H. "destroying") or Sagit­ta, the Ar­row. It appears out of nowhere, fly­ing at the heart of ‘Pegasus, meant to pierce the Returning King. It is the arrow of unmerited af­flic­tion, as of Job (6:4): “The arrows of the Almighty are within me. Con­sid­er Ps 38:2: “Thine ar­rows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. It is also God's wounding of Himself (Is 49:2): “He hath hid Me, and made Me a sharpened arrow; in His quiver hath He hid Me. (Note that an "arrow in a quiver" is a biblical symbol for one's child, cf. Ps 127:5.) Of the 18 or so visible stars in this sign, only four dim stars were seen by the first patriarchs.

The second decan is Aquila, the Eagle. It is always de­pict­ed with its head downward. The ancients believed that the eagle was so faithful that if needed, it would feed its young with its own blood; as for God, He reminds us that (Deut 32:11) as “an eagle stirreth up her nest, flutter­ing over her young, spreading abroad her wings, taking them, bearing them on her wings — so the Lord alone” lead Israel out of Bondage. The brightest of the Eagle star is in the neck, and named Al Tair (A. "the wounding"); next, in the throat, is Al Shain (A. "the bright", related to the Hebrew for "bloody" or "scar­let", cf. Josh 2:18); next, in the back, is Tarared ("torn"); fourth in bright­ness, the star in the lower wing is Alcair ("the pierc­ing"); final­ly, in the tail is Al Okal ("wounded in the heel"). The Eagle has 74 stars in the modern sky, of which a mere 7 or so are original.

The final decan of Capricorn is called Dalaph, "pouring out of water" (cf. Is 53:12, "He poured out His soul unto death"); in Ara­bic its several names mean "coming quickly" and "flow­­ing swift" (cf. Rev 22:20, "Surely I am coming quick­ly"). We would know the sign as Delphi­nus, the Dolphin, which is always depicted with its head raised in vib­rant life; consider how the dolphin leaps from the sea, a picture of resur­rec­tion from death — “All thy waves and thy bil­lows are gone over me” (Ps 42:7). The work started by the sacrifice of Capricorn is shown completed in the Dolphin. The benevolence of dolphins was well-known in the ancient world, so much so that the most famous oracle, that of beautiful Apollo, was called Delphi. A mere 5 of the Dolphin's 74 stars are original.

So, in this ‘chapter’ we have the sin-offering who par­takes of life (Capri­corn); we have the arrow of affliction (Sagitta), the royal soarer pierced in the heel (Aquila), and the poured-out, swiftly-com­ing, life-possess­ing One (Delphinus). The link between Naph­tali and Capricorn is not obvious but im­plied. The sacrifice of the Goat as sin-of­fering brings the exhilaration of the carefree but often hunted deer, and the arrows of afflic­tion become words of beauty (Gen 49:21); the wounded eagle is raised to greatest favor, and the pouring out of the waters results in the posses­sion of the land (Deut 33:23).

Ruben / Aquarius (Gen 49:3-4)

The second ‘chapter’ is Aquari­us, the Water-bearer, depicted as pour­ing out water into the mouth of a fish (the blessed). The Egyptians called the sign Hupei Tirion ("the place of him coming down"), rep­resented by a man with two urns, with the fish seeming to have emerged from one; the Hebrew name is Deli ("the wa­ter-urn" — cf. Num 24:7), which is consis­tent with some zodi­acs of the East, which represent only the urns. The chief star, in the right shoul­der, is Sa'ad al Melik ("the record of the out-pouring"). The next bright­est, in the oth­er shoul­der, is Saad al Sund ("who goeth and re­turned" or "the pourer out"); an­other star, in the right leg, is named Scheat (which also means "who goeth and return­eth"). The star of the urn is Mon (Egyptian for "an urn"). Con­sider the words of Jesus to the Sama­ri­tan wom­an (Jn 4). One-hun­dred and eight stars are now visible in Aquar­ius, but originally it had only about 11 or so.

Mythology associated the Water-bearer with Gany­mede, that most beautiful cup-bearer who was swept into heaven on eagle's wings. Even through the Classical perversions of the myth, we can distin­guish the truth. There are numerous biblical allu­sions to this office: “If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink” (Jn 7:37); “I will pour wa­ter upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed, and My bless­ing upon thy off­spring. . . .Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of Hosts (Is 44:3,4). In the days of Messiah, “My doctrine shall drop as the rain” (Deut 32:2), and there will be “a foun­tain to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusa­lem, for sin and for unclean­ness” (Zec 13:1).

The first decan is that fish of the urn, called Pisces Australis, the Southern Fish; the Egyptians called it Aar, "a stream". The pagans identi­fied this fish as Astarte, or Aphrodite, who transformed herself into a fish to illude Typhon; so must all people change, who would escape evil. This decan's brightest star, Fom al Haut (A. "mouth of the fish"), was impor­tant in antiqui­ty. It is this sign, with its moving of waters, which most strong­ly links Ruben ("behold, a son") to the sign of Aqua­rius (Gen 49:4). Six of the 23 stars are original.

In Egyptian records, the sign of the sec­ond decan is marked by the charac­ters pe and ka; in Hebrew, peka means "chief" and sus means "horse" and also "swiftly returning". We know it as Pegasus, the Winged Horse. How much more ratio­nal is this ety­mology, than that given by, say, Robert Graves, who has Pegasus meaning "of the wells"[1] — although the idea of a "gushing fountain" is not alien to the true message. In the neck by the wings, the brightest star is Markab (H. "re­turn­ing"). Next, in the shoulder, is Scheat (as in Aquari­us already, meaning "who goeth and return­eth"). At the tip of the wing is Al Genib (A. "who carries"). In the nostril is Enif (A. "the water" or "branch"), and finally, Matar (A. "who causes to overflow") is found in the near leg. Altogether there are 89 stars, but for­merly only 15.

The last decan of Aquarius is Cygnus, the Swan; it was called by the Egyp­tians Tes-ark ("this from afar"). This bird is not wounded as was the Eagle, but is in powerful flight; as a swan, however, it would soon be coming to earth, on land or water. In the heavens, the stars of this constellation describe a perfect cross. At the center of the sign is Deneb ("the judge", as in Capricorn), also called Adige ("fly­ing swiftly"); in the beak is Al Bireo, which in Arabic also means "flying swiftly". Just below the neck is Sadr (H. "who returns as in a circle") — the migra­tor. In the tail are Azel ("who goes and returns quickly") and Fafage ("glo­ri­ously shi­n­ing forth"); the sign also contains Arided, "He shall come down". The Swan has 81 apparent stars, only 19 of them bright enough to have been seen before the Flood.

The story of the Water-carrier speaks of giving the most necessary sub­stance of life to those in need — as fish need water. He comes down only to return, pouring out the water as a stream (Pisces Aus­tralis). We also find combined together the two clearest sym­bols of speed — wings and the horse — carry­ing Him who returns as from a far country to pour out abundance (Pega­sus); com­plementing this pro­vision, we find swift jus­tice, the judge coming from afar, making his circuit in glory (Cyg­nus).

[1].R. Graves, Vol. 2, p. 304.


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