ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The New Zodiac explained

Updated on February 11, 2011

The roots of our zodiac can be found in the temple of Dendara

The Dendara zodiac consists of three rings, one of which contains the symbols that are close to our zodiacal symbols.
The Dendara zodiac consists of three rings, one of which contains the symbols that are close to our zodiacal symbols.

The zodiac we know today has a long history.

The zodiac (zoa and zoon in the Greek) is a band of constellations depicting imaginary animals, people and composite beings through which the sun, moon and planets move on an annual basis. The zodiac has it origins in ancient societies based on their observations of nature which was then superimposed upon star patterns in the sky. The western zodiac with which we are familiar has its origins in ancient Egypt and Babylon and finally through Greece. We can trace it back to the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt. The Greeks adopted their zodiac from the Egyptians and this is where we get most of our current zodiac symbolism from. Though there are some differences between the Egyptian and the modern zodiac that we use but most of it is the same. What we know of the Egyptian zodiac comes from the temple at Dendera. In that temple one will find a map of the zodiac on the ceiling that has three rings. The inner ring has the zodiac that has come down to us. The middle and outer rings depict important deities to the Egyptians that governed various times of the year. The zodiac we know is divided typically into 12, 27, 28 or 36 signs depending if one uses a month (moon period, sidereal) or the nightly transit of the moon in the Hindu or Chinese system or a ten day cycle. The divisions are equal among the signs, though the constellations themselves are not equal in their astronomical definitions. The months of the zodiac were first charted by observing the events of the year. These were superimposed upon a band of stars that the sun, moon and planets were seen to move through. Other constellations also held significance, particularly the North Star and the two Dippers. Some societies used all 48 main constellations in their system. Other societies, like the Aztecs, Inca and Maya also had zodiacs and these differed from what we are familiar with, owing to different seasonal cycles and reference animals.

As our familiar zodiac, comprising Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces has it roots in ancient Egypt, we can appreciate the meaning of each sign in that context. The Egyptians developed much of our current zodiac as they were obsessive sky watchers. The Egyptian zodiac differs from ours only in two sign regards and with the precessional difference in time. Instead of Cancer the crab, they used the sacred Scarab. Instead of the Capricorn sea-goat, they used the crocodile. They needed to know when the Nile would inundate the land and start the new annual cycle. They timed their year with the helical rising of Sirius, which can be sighted by lining it up with the three stars in Orion's (Osirus') belt. The rising of Sirius just before sunrise marked the beginning of their new cycle. Its rising signaled the oncoming flood. The flood was timed with the water-bearer; our Aquarius. Aquarius would allow the fish to swim over formerly dry land and provide a catch for the Egyptians. Pisces marked the time of fishing as a result and this was done before the waters had left the land. By the time Aries was inhabited by the sun, the first sowing was well under way.

In Egypt, Aries, the ram represented the time of the birth of new lambs. Taurus, the sacred Apis bull marked the month of the equinox for that eon. The bull was sacred and worshiped as a god. The sacred Apis bull was mummified and deified at death. The Apis bull of the heavens was the origin of our letter A. If you look in the skies toward Alderbaren (the Bull's eye) you can make out a large V formation lying on its side. The best times to observe Taurus these days is during the late fall and early winter months close to midnight. Taurus is situated between Orion and the Pleiades. The original A was written on its side emulating the sky born Apis bull's horns.

Following the Bull was the twins and the Scarab. The sacred Scarab beetle represented rebirth, born again concepts and reincarnation. The Scarab was seen collecting dung, out of which the new generation was born.

Following the Scarab was the Lion, which was both feared and hunted. The lion became the symbol of royalty and power. The constellation Leo held another important star; Regulus, one of the brightest stars in the heavens like Sirius and Alderbarren. Directly north of Leo is the Big Dipper and the marker stars pointing the way to the North Star, important in Egyptian cosmogony as the descending shaft of the Great pyramid lines up to the north star. In the last 4,150 years, this occurred twice; at 2141 BCE and 2004 AD when the pole star lined up directly. Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the North Star changes its location and different stars take that place over the zodiacal year, which is 25,827 years long according to the Egyptians. Once, long ago, the North Star was Alpha Draconis. In 2004, Polaris exactly lined up to the descending shaft and could be seen from the bottom.

Virgo represented the first harvest of Egypt and thus was represented by a Virgin, Isis and a sheaf of wheat. Following this was Libra, the scales for measuring out the wheat, the oil and the wine. The scorpion and/or serpent represented a threat that emerged as the year progressed. Both the Scorpion and Serpent were viewed as sacred. Scorpio was also seen as the Hawk and this is marked in the skies just south of Scorpio in the sign of Aquila; the Eagle. Scorpio hosts another important marker star, Antares, which is one of the brightest stars.

Sagittarius was the time of the hunt and took the form of a half man, half horse (Centaur from the Greek) as we see it today. The Nile was reaching its low point and hunting became easier. There were many reasons for the hunt and it was usually not for eating. Many animals, like falcons and ibises were destined to become mummified and buried with important individuals or by themselves. Thus for Egypt, the hunt was important. The falcon or hawk represented Horus, one of the most important gods of Egyptian belief. The ibis represented wisdom and higher learning and in its god form was depicted in hieroglyphics as a scribe. Thus it is interesting to note today that Sagittarius rules religion, beliefs, higher learning , wisdom and philosophy.

Capricorn the crocodile represented a serious threat just before the inundation. In the dry part of the year, as water born food was scarce, crocodiles invaded the land and went after people and livestock that tended to live near the banks of the Nile for reasons of agriculture, water and fishing.

Societies that base their astrology on the moon, divide the zodiac into 27 or 28 equal lunar mansions. Both the Hindus and Chinese have a 12 sign zodiac as well, but favor the lunar approach, structuring their calendars and years on the moon. Their astrological prognostications are also heavily weighted on the moon. The Muslims decided to use the lunar calendar as well.

Due to something called the precession of the equinoxes, the actual constellations and the zodiac periods given for astrology are different by some 24 to 25 degrees today (epoch 2010 AD). Thus, when we talk about the first day of Aries on March 21st, we are actually looking at the constellation of Pisces and at the spring equinox, it is about five to six degrees of Pisces. In a few hundred years, the spring equinox will be located at 30 degrees of Aquarius. Even astronomers, who refer to the heavens, mark Aries as the zero point of the zodiac, just as tropical astrologers do.

Astrology is a long standing and fascinating science


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • syzygyastro profile imageAUTHOR

      William J. Prest 

      8 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      We have since found the Higgs boson, that particle that interacts with all others to generate what we call mass. Without that, everything would as ghosts, passing through each other. What that means is that the cosmos would remain in chaos. With the Higgs boson, we can now account for all forces in the cosmos that generate mass and all its consequences.

    • profile image

      Anirudh Kumar Satsangi 

      8 years ago

      Among the ancient Greeks Socrates, Pythagoras and Plato made reincarnation an integral part of their teachings. According to Dr. Granville Dharmawardena of Colombo University reincarnation may be defined as the re-embodiment of an immaterial part of a person after a short or a long interval after death, in a new body whence it proceeds to lead a new life in the new body more or less unconscious of its past existences, but containing within itself the “essence” of the results of its past lives, which experience goes to make up its new character or personality.

      In the seventeenth century Rene Descartes divided everything in the universe into two realms as “Res Extensa” (matter) and “Res Cogitans” (mind). Gathering knowledge within the realm of Res Extensa was called Science and the phenomenon of reincarnation got pushed into the other realm Res Cogitans which was not considered suitable for scientific probing. Science developed in the framework of Res Estensa is known as “Classical Science”. Classical science had tremendous material achievements because it helped all round growth of technology which brought about prosperity to mankind. The air of frame work of Classical Science was blown out by Henry Becquerel in 1896 by the discovery of Radioactivity. The discovery of Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein in early 20th Century gave it further blow. The advent of Quantum Theory and the Uncertainty Principle did the rest. It is significant to note that Einstein’s discovery fall entirely within the frame work of Res Cogitans as it did not involve any experiments or measurements. Gravitation Force Theory of Newton is also an example of such observation and intuition work involving no experiments and measurements.

      Modern Science enhanced man’s knowledge surpassing the restrictions imposed by the five senses and took us to hidden areas of nature and profound changes had been introduced in procedures of science. Our ability to understand everything by way of perceptible mental pictures is reduced and it became necessary to imagine models with components which behaved in ways that had no counterparts at all in the world familiar to us. In most cases mechanisms involved in these models not only are imperceptible but also consist of elements that operate in ways never known in the world that we actually experience through sensory inputs.

      Modern science tied up the two realms, Res Extensa and Res Cogitans and made us to understand that they are not independent and cannot be completely studied independently. Within the establishment of modern science some of the aspects of nature that did not strictly adhere to the realm of Res Extensa, which were therefore earlier condemned as unbecoming of scientists to talk about have become respectable. Reincarnation falls into this category

      Reincarnation is a very old belief and a large fraction of the world population believes it. For example Rene Descartes’ statement “What I have said is sufficient to show clearly enough that the extinction of the mind does not follow from the corruption of the body and also to give men the hope of another life after death” in 1641 confirms his belief in reincarnation. About 20 percent of those in the Western World whose religions shun reincarnation nevertheless believe it. According to opinion polls this percentage is rising.

      Lisa Miller, Religion Editor of Newsweek says that Americans are becoming more Hindus. According to 2008 Harris Poll 24% of Americans say they believe in reincarnation

      Steven J Rosen writes in The Reincarnation Controversy, Uncovering the Truth in World Religions (New Age Books) that belief in reincarnation allows us to see ourselves as architects of our own future. Rosen raises certain queries,‘ what is it that reincarnates from one body to another? Is it the soul? the mind? the intellect? To understand this we should suggest answer to these questions. We all know that there are four fundamental forces in the universe viz., gravitation force, electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force. I have written a paper entitled ‘Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator’ and presented it at the 1st International Conference on Revival of Traditional Yoga held in Lonavla Yoga Institute, Lonavla in January 2006. In this paper I have defined soul (individual consciousness), mind and body. According to this every point of action of Gravitational Force Field is individual consciousness or soul, electromagnetic force as the force of mind and weak and strong nuclear force as the gross material force which constitute physical frame of body.

      Consciousness is All Intelligent and pervades everywhere. Although all other remaining three forces are also intelligent but they are subordinate to Gravitational Force. THIS DESCRIPTION WILL HELP TO UNDERSTAND ‘WHAT IS IT THAT REINCARNATES FROM ONE BODY TO ANOTHER.

      According to Buddhism this is not the supreme atman or soul that ties one life to another, instead it talks about past lives as evolvement of consciousness, emergence of a new personality from the same stream of consciousness.

      Contrary to popular belief, reincarnation is not an exclusively Eastern notion but that has flourished in cultures around the world. It is still an integral part of some sects of the Jewish tradition; Kabbalistic Jewish wisdom tradition has reincarnation ideas embedded in it one way or another. Reincarnation is mentioned in numerous places throughout the classical texts of Jewish mysticism. “As long as a person is unsuccessful in his purpose in this world, the Holy One, blessed be He, uproots him and replants him over and over again”. (Zohar I 186b)

      Gnostic and Early Christians also believed in reincarnation; only later on church removed all such texts and blended those heretics. History records that early Emperor Justinian in 545 A.D. was able to apply the full power of Rome and his authority to stop the belief in reincarnation. However, the Bible contain no condemnation of the principle of reincarnation, and in fact, when Christ was asked when Elijah would return, He answered that Elijah had returned, referring to John the Baptist. At one place it is also mentioned, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3).

      Sakina Yusuf Khan writes in an article A Night Of Forgiveness published in The Speaking Tree: “It (Shab-e-Barat) is also a festival associated with the dead. It is believed that the souls of the dead are set free on this night to visit their relatives.” What this indicates? This is a belief in reincarnation, of course in subtle body. The Koran says, “And you were dead, and He brought you back to life. And He shall cause you to die, and shall bring you back to life, and in the end shall gather you onto Himself.” Among the followers of Islam, the Sufis especially believe that death is no loss, for the immortal soul continually pass through different bodies.

      Unaccomplished activities of past lives are also one of the causes for reincarnation. Some of us reincarnate to complete the unfinished tasks of previous birth. This is evident from my own story of reincarnation:

      “My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state of mine. This was sort of REVELATION.

      HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith.

      Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ (Agam Geet yeh gawan chahoon tumhri mauj nihara, mauj hoi to satguru soami karoon supanth vichara) but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.”

      I am one the chief expounder and supporter of Gravitation Force Theory of God. This is most scien

    • profile image

      Anirudh Kumar Satsangi 

      11 years ago

      Good description.

    • syzygyastro profile imageAUTHOR

      William J. Prest 

      11 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Conditions of ego are dissolved at death, just as it takes am early learning in childhood to build a new one for the current life. Mush of what is done in life is not worth remembering. It is important to learn the main lessons for spiritual advancement. One does carry forward abilities from one life to another, so these are easy to relearn. To return to this wheel of incarnation is to fulfill one's karma yoga.

    • profile image

      Anirudh Kumar Satsangi 

      11 years ago

      I know about my previous birth. My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state.

      HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab.

      Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)