The association of Cancer with water dates back to the dawn of astrology. The image of the crab is Babylonian in origin. In Egypt, this sign was represented by two turtles. The later placement of the crab within the zodiac is related to a minor chapter in Greek mythology. Cancer, the giant crab named Carcinus, plays a minor role in the Twelve Labors of Hercules.
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Hercules wanted to kill the many-headed Hydra, a great sea monster, living in the marshes of Lerna. Hera, the goddess who sent Hercules to these tasks, also hated him and often encouraged his failure. During his battle with Hydra, Hera commanded a nearby crab to attack Hercules and draw his attention away. Without question, the little creature took a claw-hold of a conspicuous toe. This act cost the crab its life, for Hercules kicked it so hard that it was sent to the sky. By other accounts when the crab grabbed onto the hero's toe, barely breaking the rhythm of his great battle with Hydra, Hercules crushed it with his foot.
Impressed by its loyalty and courage, Hera placed the crab's image in the night sky. But, none of its stars were bright because the crab had failed to accomplish its given task. Some scholars have suggested that Cancer was a late add-on to the myth of Hercules to make the Twelve Labors correspond to the twelve signs of the Zodiac.
The Nemean lion was a vicious monster who lived in a cave in Nemea. The Lion is usually considered to have been the offspring of Typhon or Orthrus and Echidna. It is also said to have fallen from the moon as the offspring of Zeus and Selene. His fangs and claws were as hard as iron. He was sent to Nemea to terrorize the city with his roaring. People and flocks were attacked and killed by the Lion. While searching for the lion, Hercules fetched some arrows to use against it, not knowing that its golden fur was impenetrable.
He found and shot the lion. He discovered the fur's property when the arrow bounced harmlessly off the creature's thigh. Finally, Hercules stunned the beast with his club, and using his immense strength, strangled it to death. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed.
Athena told Heracles to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt. Once dead, the Nemea lion was placed by Zeus between the signs of the zodiac. Most of the goddesses who were linked to Virgo were considered fertility goddesses, or goddesses of the harvest.
This resonates with the view of Virgo being the caretaker of mankind through her fertility. The constellation Virgo is thought to be a woman holding an ear of corn, thus reinforcing the Harvest Mother mythology. In one well-known Greek myth, the goddess of Spring Persephone is kidnapped by the god of the Underworld Hades. Upon discovering this, the young goddess's mother Demeter, being the goddess of the harvest, decides to ruin the harvest in her despair. Eventually the Spring goddess was allowed to return for six months a year to aid her mother in the harvest.
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This coincides with the constellation Virgo being visible for only the months of March through August. Astraea is perhaps the most interesting character involved in the Virgo myth, as she is a virgin representing justice, and was a caretaker of humanity. After leaving Earth, she is said to have been "placed in the heavens", which is most likely why some mythologists believe her to be the constellation "Virgo" itself.
Many mythologists suggest that she became the constellation Virgo and her scales of justice became the constellation Libra. Libra's symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice. Libra is the only zodiac constellation in the sky represented by an inanimate object.
The other eleven signs are represented either as an animal or mythological characters throughout history. Libras are the children of Venus, and for this reason they are elegant, charming, they have good taste and they love beauty. They don't like routine and prefer an intellectually appealing argument rather than banal work. They are artistic but also rational, sensitive, but also timid and indecisive.
But once they have chosen their goal, they have no further hesitations and show their hidden ambition. They can be excellent philosophers, artists and diplomats. Their love for beauty and pleasure can lead them into a hedonistic existence, but they can also carry out a stylish and philanthropic lifestyle without falling in the frivolity of the mundane world.
For instance, David means 'hero, commander, prince. So it should not surprise us when we find that the original names of the stars had meanings.
Finding the original meanings is not always easy, and can take a lot of time and research, going back into different languages, root words, etc. But for enough of the stars it is possible, and when this is done, something quite remarkable emerges. The following is an exploration of this subject, astronomically, historically, and biblically. It is NOT astrology and we totally repudiate the concept of astrology as it is known today. Today, astrology says a man can tell something about himself from the stars.
That is nonsense. In fact, it may go beyond nonsense and into demonic. Their original purpose, as we will see and which is also stated in the Bible was to tell us something about God and His plan for the world. Star Names. The constellations themselves have been known from antiquity. Their identities have remained basically unchanged, although a few of the ancient large constellations have been divided up by modern astronomers into smaller constellations.
But for many, the identities remain. For those who do not think there is any reference to the stars in the picture of the bull on the left, please note the series of dots above his back. These are the Pleiades. The dots under the eye of the bull are the Hyades, and the four dots to the left of the bull's nose are the stars in Orion's belt.
The is actually no avoiding this identification. The book of Job is the earliest completed book of the Old Testament, written about B. In Job , the Pleiades and Orion are both mentioned by name. LA "The Lion" Leo. SAG Sagittarius. Mesopotamian tablets dating about B. Dating about B. Babylonian and Chaldean tablets dating from - B. Discoveries dating material from years ago indicate a knowledge of the zodiac in Arabia.
Today, because the astronomical names are now fixed by convention, it is very difficult to find some original names and meanings. Some appear to be lost for good. Star and constellation names were fixed in a process lasting from to So to find some of the meanings, if they are to be found, we must search back into the sixteenth century and before. In , Bayer started the process of standardization by designating stars in the various constellations by letters of the Greek alphabet instead of by names.
When he ran out of Greek letters, he started using Roman letters. This process has been followed ever since. In Flamsteed published his catalogue of stars. In it the fainter ones were designated by number if no Greek or Roman letter had been given previously. In , Bode published star maps with boundaries for each constellation. This was the first time these boundaries had been designated. It was at this time certain star names were assigned and considered to be standardized.
These names were chosen from various languages Babylonian, Hebrew, Chaldean, Greek, Roman, and Arab and others according to what they felt was appropriate, or in most common use, at the time. Most of the names chosen retained either the original meaning, or close to it, in the language chosen. Some, however, did not. In the process was completed when the IAU standardized the constellation boundaries and names.
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We do have some cross-checks on the more ancient names, however. As early as A. His accurate description of the position of each constellation and star he mentioned make it easier to trace today. We can even go back a little further. Hipparchus, in B. C also noted some of the stars and their names. In , Jamison noted some of these ancient names in his Celestial Atlas. Some of the confusion also started early, however. In B. In this poem he incorporated a number of mythological elements which have even come over into our time.
The word is used this way in Deuteronomy to describe our strength or security from the Lord. They are pronounced almost the same way and in some concordances the words are consecutive. However, they have vastly different meanings. Because of this linguistic mix-up, we now have the Greater and Lesser Bear instead of the Greater and Lesser flocks or folds. Poste and J. Lamb, so many of the mythologies involved in these names persist.
Today, thanks to the internet, we have access to some of the dictionaries of some various ancient languages. Thus, we can go back in time much more accurately than has been done before in tracing the earliest names and meanings of a number of the stars and constellations. Aside from cold and warmth, new flowers and harvest, the time of year is also seen by which constellations are where in the sky as seen from earth in its orbit around the sun.
In Sanscrit the word is sodi. The specific twelve constellations we recognize today as the zodiac is referred to as the Mazzaroth in Hebrew. We find this word used in Job , which means the word was in use extraordinarily early, as Job is probably the earliest completed book of the Bible. In Job , Job says God formed the constellation figures. If Psalm 19 is correct, then we should be able to find something about this in other cultures as well. It is so exact it cannot be an accident. On tomb ceilings in Karnak the zodiac is depicted.
This is also true at Dendera on the tomb ceilings there. In both places are pictures of the sphinx, placed at the end of the constellation Virgo and the beginning of Leo, with the head looking to Virgo and the tail in Leo. This was evidently important. The tomb ceilings tell us to start at Virgo. Some associated star groups and constellations will be discussed along with each of the zodiac constellations. The alpha star is listed above as Spica its Roman name. Hebrew name: Zerah. The star Gamma has the name Porrima which was the Roman goddess of childbirth.
It seems that this name has been substituted for an earlier name, and, indeed, some old star maps show this star Gamma as being called Al Tzemech instead of it being an alternative name for Alpha. In a general sense, the Virgin was a representation of Israel. In Isaiah 7, the prophet tells Ahaz to ask a sign from God either from the depths the ocean , or from the height above the heavens or stars.
There is also a second application for Alpha star in Virgo. Some old star maps give this name to the alpha star in Virgo, but others to the gamma star. That is the beginning of the Gospel story.
Scorpio In The Bible
A Decan is a lesser constellation that is associated with one of the Zodiac figures. To the ancients, the constellation Coma was connected with Virgo. We can go further. The ancient Sumerian name for this constellation was HE. GAL- a-a. HE means "good," GAL means "great" and the a-a ending means "son. The ancient Akkadian name for this constellation was kakkab nushi.
Ka means "house;", nu means "king" or "lord;" and shi is "horn," "offspring" or "power. This is all the more interesting since he was a Muslim. Nevertheless, this is NOT what is found on modern maps. Ptolemy Euergetes embarked on the 3rd Syrian or Laodicean War, and left Berenice as head of government while he was away. She vowed to consecrate her magnificent hair to Aphrodite if he returned safely. However, shortly after, the hair was stolen, and Conon, the court astronomer in Alexandria BC comforted Berenice by indicating that Jupiter had taken it and made it the constellation Coma Berenices!
It may be that the deception was deliberate in this case. One may be excused for thinking that Conon was, at the very least, covering for the theft. Callimachus, who was the Historian of the Alexandrian Library at the time, made sure that this event was recorded that way on their star maps. So it is through these actions that we have a corrupted name today. The original name of this constellation in the Akkadian language was Tul-Ku , meaning a sacred mound, or an altar. The altar became synonymous with the idea of scales, where souls were weighed.
The name for these particular scales was Zibanitu , or Zuben-itu. The possible reference to Armageddon can be drawn due to the fact that Scorpius, the scorpion is the next constellation in the zodiac. In Revelation , we find the Antichrist calls down fire from heaven in the sight of men. This is similar to what Elijah did in the 8th century B.
When he did this, Elijah was able to turn a remnant of the people back to the living god. Revelation tells us the Antichrist will do the same to cause most people to worship him. His evil rule is brought to an end at the Battle of Armageddon. The price of the conflict, however, is also on the Cross, where the payment was made for our sins, and spiritual evil was thus conquered. But the Price that Covers is the atonement made by Messiah for all humanity, who paid the price by His conflict against evil and shed His blood to blot out our sins.
Associated with Libra is the constellation Centaurus, with the Southern Cross at its feet, or base. The two bright stars on the lower left of the photo above are Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri. They "point" the way to the southern cross, shown as "Crux" in the photograph below. The Southern Cross is in the middle of the photograph above. A Centaur is either a two-natured person, or a combination of a man and horse as a unit of war. The name of this constellation in Sumerian was EN.
Travelers used the skies as a compass, following the stars to know where to go. And many people used the skies as a source of mystical direction, too. But who first looked up at the sky to make sense of what was happening down on the ground and why their fellow humans were behaving in certain ways?
Exactly who came up with this way of thinking and when is unclear, but historians and astronomers do know a bit about how it got so popular today. The stars are just one of the many things in the natural world that human beings have turned to for answers over the years. That was taken over by the idea of divination, where you can actually look at things in nature and study them carefully, such as tea-leaf reading. Odenwald points out that in societies where people in the lower classes had less control over their lives, divination could seem pointless. The Sumarians and Babylonians, by around the middle of the second millennium BC, appeared to have had many divination practices — they looked at spots on the liver and the entrails of animals, for example — and their idea that watching planets and stars was a way to keep track of where gods were in the sky can be traced to The Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa.
Imagine a straight line drawn from Earth through the Sun and out into space way beyond our solar system where the stars are. Then, picture Earth following its orbit around the Sun.