5. Taurus & Gemini

The Heavens Declare: constellations as prophecy


1. Virgo & Libra
2. Scorpio & Sagittarius

3. Capricorn & Aquarius
4. Pisces & Aries

5. Taurus & Gemini
6. Cancer & Leo


Joseph / Taurus (Deut 33:16-17)

Last, we find the Book of the Second Com­ing, dealing with triumph and comple­tion. We find no more chains — these be­longed to the First Coming.

The first chapter of this book is known to us as Taurus, the Bull, always shown as charg­ing; it emanates from out of the Lamb of Aries, and is at the opposite end of the sky from Scorpio, so that Taurus rises as Scorpio sets. The Chal­dean name was Tor, similar to the Arabic Al Thaur. The common Hebrew name is Shur (from a root meaning "coming" and "ru­ling"), but another is Reem, from a root meaning "pre-emi­nence" — cf. Ps 92:10, “My horn shalt Thou exalt like the horn of a wild ox. The reem is, then, now identified as the extinct wild ox, of massive size, nimble, ferocious and utterly untameable; its great, spreading horns are taken as symbols for the two sons of Joseph (cf. Deut 33:17). The pagan Egyptians de­pic­ted this sign as a bull, and called it by two names: Apis ("the head" or "chief" — the "bull god"), and Isis ("the deliver­er", which title they also applied to Virgo). In mythology Taurus is the milk-white bull which carried Europa to Crete; once there, it ravaged the land until it was tamed by Hercules. As typology, this suggests Christ and his Bride, and his fury at iniquity, assuaged only after the King has come. In its fury we find that (Is 34:2‑8) “The indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies. He hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. The wild oxen shall come down, and the bullocks with the bulls, and their land shall be soaked with blood. For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.

The brightest stars are in the Bull's eye, called Al Debaran in Ara­maic, meaning "the leader", and at the point of the left horn is El Nath (A. "wound­ed", as in Aries). Other stars have names meaning "belonging to the judge", "foun­dation", "the abun­dance", and "rolled around". Part of the Bull, riding on its neck, is the cluster of seven stars known as the Pleiades (from the Greek, "the congrega­tion of the judge") — the Hebrew name is Kimah ("heap", cf. Job 9:9, Amos 5:8); these stars are called the Doves, and "sweet influences", and may be likened to the seven churches of the Apocalypse which should be salt and light to the world. The brightest star of the Pleiades is called in Syriac, Succoth ("booths"), and in Arabic, Al Cyone ("the cen­ter"). Obvious­ly, that which "turns around" on the "center" can be said to return, to Come Again. A cluster of stars on the Bull's face is called Hyades ("the congrega­tion"). Of the over 140 stars in this con­stel­la­tion, a mere 14 or so seem to have been original.

The first decan of the Bull is Orion ("the coming one", sharing the mean­ing with the Al­tar, Hercu­les, Boötes, and Arc­tu­rus). We have already seen that this hunter is mentioned in Job and Amos, where his name means "a strong one" or "hero". This is the most bril­liant of all the constella­tions, and can be seen every­where that mankind has settled. He is shown as a power­ful prince in victory, with raised club, holding the sev­ered head of a boar or lion (cf. Hercules), left foot stepping on the head of the serpent which is Lepus; he hunts to win his Bride. The hilt of his sheathed sword is in the form of a lamb. The Arabs called him by names meaning the Branch, Ruler, or Prince. In Egypt he was named Ha‑ga‑t ("this is he who triumphs"), and was repre­sented as a man coming forth to take pos­ses­sion of the three bright­est stars; beneath his feet is the hi­eroglyph oar, related to the Hebrew word for "light". Indeed, the ancient form of Orion was Oarion: "coming forth as light". In the Akkadian of most ancient Baby­lon, the sign's name was Ur-ana ("the light of heaven"). In myth, Orion was of un­matched strength, and could tread the sea without getting wet. His prowess evoked such jealousy that the scorpion struck him, which blow result­ed in the glori­fication of Orion. He was also cast into the night of blindness, but re­gained his sight in the morning sun.

The brightest star is in the right shoulder: Betel­geuse ("the coming of the branch"). Next is the right foot, Rigel, "the foot that crushes", then in the left shoulder, Bellatrix ("quickly coming" or "swiftly de­stroy­ing"). The bright­est belt star is Al Nitak ("the wound­ed One"), and another belt star is Mintaka ("divid­ing" as a sacri­fice — cf. Lev 8:2); this belt was iden­tified as "the three kings", and also as "Jacob's Rod" (cf. Is 11:1). In the leg, Saiph ("bruised") is the very word used in Gen 3:15. Several stars share names which mean "strong", "coming", and "prince", and others mean "who breaks", "tread­ing on", and "the branch". Twenty-four of its 78 stars are origi­nal.

The next decan is Erida­nus, the long "riv­er of the Judge", shown as pouring out from Rigel, "the crushing foot" of Orion, east through the limbs of the mon­ster Cetus, then west and south into the pit of space. Daniel (7:10) tells us that when the Judgment is set, a “fiery stream issued and came from before” the Ancient of Days; in Ps 97:3 we read that “A fire goeth before Him, and burn­eth up His adversaries round about. Isaiah (30:27‑33) says, “Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire: and His breath as an overflowing stream. Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is pre­pared: He hath made it deep and large, the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. Indeed, even Greek myth indi­cates that this is a river of fire, since it was here that impet­uous Phaeton fell, to be con­sumed by its flames. In Egypt it was called Peh-ta-t, "the mouth of the river", which is where we find the bright­est star, Archer­nar ("the after part of the riv­er"). At the source of the ‘riv­er, just above Rigel, is the star Cursa ("bent down"), and next in brightness is Zourac (A. "flow­ing"), at the ri­ver's second bend. Other stars are Pheat ("mouth") and Ozha ("the go­ing forth"). Of the 84 stars of Eridanus, only 9 are original. Notice the similari­ty between the lad Phaeton, the river Peh-ta-t, and the star Pheat. No­tice the light of the Judge, in Orion, and the fire of the Judge, in Eridanus; this is the observa­tion of Hab 3:5, “His bright­ness was as the light . . . and burning coals went forth at His feet.

The third decan of Taurus had the ancient image of a shep­herd — seated on the Milky Way, grasping bands, threads or reins in his right hand, and holding a she-goat on his left shoulder and two tender kids in his lap with his left hand. This image is presented bibli­cally in Isaiah (40:10,11): “Behold, the Lord will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for Him: behold, his reward is with Him and His work before Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that give suck. The Egyp­tian name was Trun ("scep­ter" or "pow­er"), and the image was of a man holding a scepter topped with the head of a lamb and with a cross at the bottom. The well-known Egyptian circle-topped cross, the ankh, was cor­rup­ted into a symbol of life for only the Pharaoh and his slaves; its origi­nal meaning was life for the brothers (by adop­tion — Rom 8, Gal 4) of Messiah the King. Thus the scepter is the cross, and also the crook of this, the Good and Chief Shepherd (Jn 10:11, 1P 5:4). It is now called Auriga (L. — "the Chari­oteer; in Greek, Haeniochos), presumably after the "reins"; since we find only goats, rather than horses or chariot, this latter name is obvi­ous­ly a late inter­pretation of the forgotten truth: the semitic root means "Shepherd". For what purpose are these "reins" suited? When a shepherd had in his care a lamb which would constantly stray, he would break its legs and carry it bound across his neck, where it would grow so used to his voice that it would never wander again. This is the meaning of the words of Jesus (Jn 10:4): The Good Shepherd “goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

The pre-emi­nent star is Capella (Latin) or Alioth (Hebrew), meaning "she-goat" and located at her heart. In the Shepherd's right arm is Menkalinon (Chaldean for "band" or "string of goats"); Maaz, another star, has a name of the same meaning, "a flock of goats". To help identify the Shepherd, for those who have not noticed a pattern yet, we find in the right foot the star El Nath, meaning "the wounded" here as in Aries; and yet another star, Aiyuk, also means "woun­ded". Of the 66 stars seen in the modern sign, only 12 were visible to the first patriarchs.

So in the sign of Taurus we have the swift Return of the Prince who had been wounded. We also find the mighty hero of light coming forth in judgment (Orion), the fiery river of judg­ment which he pours forth (Erida­nus), and the Good Shepherd tending his flock ("Auri­ga"): judgment, punishment, and reward.

Benjamin / Gemini (Gen 49:27)

All the images of the second sign of the Book of the Second Com­ing have suffered a large degree of Classical corruption. The major constellation is Gemini, the Twins, commonly shown as sitting to­gether, feet resting on the Milky Way. The Hebrew name is Thaumim, meaning "united" (cf. Ex 26:24 — "coupled" or "twin­ned"). This is also the meaning of the Coptic Pi-Mahi: "the united", as in brother­hood. The Egyp­tians retained some of the truth, calling the sign Claus­trum Hor ("the place of Him who cometh"), revealed as two fig­ures approach­ing hand in hand, male and female, which we take as the Lord united with his Bride; to this image is at­tached the hieroglyph meaning "the Coming One". The pagan Romans corrup­ted the original mean­ing entire­­ly, and called them Cas­tor and Pollux (patrons of naviga­tion) — al­though these, shadows of Christ, were said to still storms; the figures have some­times been identi­fied with Adam and Eve (the Second Adam and his Bride), or some­times shown as two goats or kids.

Greeks called these two Apollo and Her­cules. Accordingly, the major star, in the head of the figure on the right, is called Apollo, which (aside from mythological associ­ations) signi­fies "de­stroy­er", "judge" or "ruler" (he is also called Castor). His knee contains a star called Mebsu­ta, "treading under foot". He holds a harp and an un­strung bow, signi­fying repose and a task completed. The second star in bright­ness, in the head of the left figure, is Hercu­les, "who comes to labor or suffer" (also labeled as Pollux, "ruler" or "judge", and by the Egyptians, Hor, or Horus, the Child); in his left foot is Al Henah ("hurt" or "af­flict­ed"). In his right hand he is repre­sented as holding some­times a palm branch, or some­times a club in a relaxed posi­tion. With his left arm he embraces his twin. At the shared hip of each is the star Waset, "set". Others stars have names mean­ing "the palm branch", "the spread­ing branch" and the "seed" or "branch". Altoge­ther, there are 85 stars in Gemini, only 12 of them original.

In this picture, then, we have a disturb­ing presen­tation of the two natures of Jesus Christ: Lord and Servant, Judge and Victim, God and Man. I say ‘disturb­ing’ because now the two natures are United — “And the Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14) — and to see them sep­arated smacks of blasphemy to the Chris­tian. But this sign was a prophecy of what was to come: the union had not yet happened, and so we cannot say that the representa­tion of the two natures of Christ was impertinent, any more than we can say that it diminishes our human nature to recognize that we each were once sperm and egg.

Beneath the foot of Orion, the Coming One, is the first decan of Gemini, pictured by the Persians as a serpent; to the Egyptians it was Bashti-beki ("confound­ed-failing") — de­picted as a bird (cf. Mt 13:4,19) tearing at a serpent. The Arabs called it Arnebeth, "the Hare", but also "Enemy of the Com­ing"; evidently confused by the homonym, the Romans knew this sign only by the name we have today: Lepus, the Hare. At the heart shines the eponymous star, Arnebo ("the ene­my of Him that cometh"); oth­er stars are Nibal ("the mad"), Rakis ("the chained"), and Sugia ("the deceiver"). There are 19 stars in the mod­ern sign, 10 of which shone dimly in the ancient firma­ment.

The second minor constella­tion is known now after the ir­rele­vant Latin, Canis Major, the Dog; the Persians more accu­rately called it Zeeb, the Wolf, linking it to the tearing wolf which is the tribe of Benja­min, as char­ac­terized in Gen 49:27 (per­haps the similar­ity between the very sound of "Benja­min" and "Gem­ini" is also relevant); Benjamin ("son of the right hand") was originally named Benoni ("son of my sorrow"), as Gemini contains both the Ruler (Who sitteth at the right hand of God the Father) and the Suffering Servant, the Man of Sorrow. Plu­tarch translat­ed its name as "lead­er", and its Arabic name means "coming swiftly". Fittingly, as the Wolf it is pur­suing the Hare. But more evocative­ly, the Egyptians called this con­stella­tion Apes ("the head"), rep­resent­ed as a hawk (that enemy of the ser­pent which is Lepus); it was also called naz in Egyp­tian, meaning "coming swift­ly down"). This Hawk stood upon a crush­ing mace, and bore on its head either a double crown or the curious picture of a mortar and pestle . . . to crush the head of the serpent.

The head of this hunter — whether Hawk or Wolf — holds the most brilliant star in the sky, Sirius ("the Dog Star", and also "prince", "guardian" or "victori­ous", from seir, cf. Is 9:6). Whether or not intended by the authors of these names and images, the names taken together — Naz and Seir, "the Swiftly Descending Prince" — yield in Hebrew Netzer, "the Branch", whom we know as the Nazarene. That this is not totally coincidental may be inferred from the fact that Matthew (2:23) cites a prophecy totally unknown from the Bible: Jesus “dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the pro­phets, 'He shall be called Nazarene.' Where was this prophecy pre­served? Perhaps as a reference to the "Branch", but also perhaps in the constella­tion under consideration. Be that as it may, the Akkadian language of Old Babylon called Sirius Kasista, the Leader; and the Persian name, more ancient than "wolf", was Tistrya, "the chieftain of the East"; it was likely also the star called Al Shira Al Jemeniya ("the prince on the right hand" — again, note the sound of "Jemeni"). This brightest of stars was always associated with killing heat. Thus, Virgil conjures visions of plagued animals, desolate fields and blasted earth when Sirius “with pestilential heat infects the sky, and Homer sang that its “burning breath taints the red air with fevers, plagues, and death.[1] When we remember that God will next judge the earth with fire, this association is explained. Second in brightness is Mirzam ("the ruler"), in the front left foot, then Multiphen ("the leader"). Next brightest is Wesen ("the shining" or "scarlet"), in the torso, and then, in the right hind foot is Adhara ("the glori­ous"), and again, Al Habor ("the mighty"). Of the 64 stars, only 12 were known before the Flood.

The final decan of Gemini is the twin of Canis Major — that is, Canis Minor, "the Lesser Dog". By the pagan Egyp­tians it was called Sebak ("con­quer­ing"), shown as a human with a tail and the head of a hawk. This minor version of its major counterpart contains the star Al Shemeliya (A. "the prince of the left hand"), comple­menting Sirius, which we just saw was the "prince of the right hand". The myths of this sign are confused: it was called Anubus, the hawk-headed Egyptian guide of the dead; Diana, the huntress of wild beasts; and the hound of impertinent Actæon, whom it devoured. If a link may be found between these myths, it is in the demand for justice. At the center of the con­stellation is the brightest star, Procyon, meaning "redemp­tion" — probably the same star as Al Shemeliya. In the neck, the next star was called Al Gomeisa (A. "bearing for others"), and unidentified stars were called "the prince" and "who completes". Only 3 of the 14 stars were original.

So, in Gemini, just as we have the double nature of Jesus Christ repre­sent­ed in the prin­cipal con­stellation, we find a double image of the evil one in the raven and serpent of the first decan ("Lepus"), only to return to the double nature of Christ, in the Con­queror ("Canis Major") and the Redeemer ("Ca­nis Mi­nor") of the last two decans.

[1].Quoted in Seiss, p. 116.


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