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conjunction was called a marriage,' a disappearance

death,' a reappearance a 'resurrection'; and stories were invented to fit these words. The stars that have in one country given notice of certain events lose the meaning of their names when these are used elsewhere, as when a boat depicted near the stars that accompany an inundation becomes the ship Argo; or when, to represent the wind, the bird's wing is drawn; or those stars that mark a season are associated with the bird of passage, the insect, or the animal that appears at that time: such as these would soon lose their original signification...... In Egypt the ‘ Ram’was consecrated to Jupiter Ammon or Amen, who was represented with a ram's head and horns. The 'Bull' became the god Apis, who was worshipped under that similitude. The Twins' corresponded to Horus and Harpocrates, two sons of the god Osiris. The ‘Crab’ was consecrated to Anubis, or Mercury. The ‘ Lion' belonged to the summer sun Osiris; the Virgin' to Isis. The Balance and the Scorpion were included together under the name of Scorpion, which animal belongs to Typhon, as did all dangerous animals. The 'Archer' was the image of Hercules, for whom the Egyptians had great veneration. The 'Goat' was consecrated to Pan, or Mecedes. The Water-bearer' with the water-pot is found on many Egyptian monuments.'

The sun in his annual passage through the heavens was at his highest point on June 21st, and at his lowest on December 21st (the summer and winter “solstices”); he therefore crossed the equator twice a year-about March 22nd and September 22nd (the spring and autumn "equinoxes,” or points when day and night are equal). It must be borne in mind that, when the sun was in any particular sign, the sign opposite to it in the zodiac, and the constellations of that portion of the heavens, were visible from our earth at night. When the Bull or the Ram was the vernal equinoxial sign, the sun was said to be “in Taurus,” or “in Aries.”

The ancient zodiac was a changing one, owing to the “precession of the equinoxes," which means that the equinoxial points were continually moving forward, owing to the sun being behind time; so that, by the sun falling back


* J. F. Blake, Astronomical Myths.

slightly every year (one degree in seventy-one or seventytwo years), in 2,152 years a whole sign of thirty degrees had passed forward. But the modern zodiac is a fixed one, the sun being always in Pisces at the vernal equinox; consequently the signs no longer correspond with the constellations. The movement of these signs is important, for we shall find that, according as the vernal equinoxial sign changed, so did the representations of the sun-god change. About B.C. 4340 the equinoxial point coincided with the first degree of Taurus, when the Bull was the chief god ; and B.C. 2188, with Aries, when the Ram (in Egypt) or Lamb (in Persia) became the chief; and B.C. 36 up to 2114 of our era, with Pisces, which would be really the sign now had we not adopted a fixed zodiac.

The sun, under the names of various heroes, was worshipped in the different signs; and numerous legends grew up and around each sign, increasing and multiplying as ages rolled by, regarding his supposed struggles against the powers of darkness in the winter six months.

These were intimately mixed up with the stars and planets, and with the names and wonderful doings of local heroes in each country; but in all of them the original zodiacal ideas and legends are to be discovered. When he went down into darkness at the winter solstice he « descended into Hell,” where he remained “three days and nights,” then reappeared, or “rose again,” as a new-born sun, as the sign of the Virgin appeared in the heavens at midnight on the morning of December 25th, the birthday of all sun gods, and sons of immaculate virgins," and commences his passage and struggles against the powers of darknessserpents, devils, dragons, monsters of every description, Typhon, etc.-during the winter months, till he arrives victorious at the spring equinox.

The astronomer-priests had great power, and among them intrigues and seductions were common, the fruits of which were saddled upon the gods. “In the highest apartment of the Temple of Belus, in Babylon, a woman was kept for the 'private devotion of the priest whose turn it was to make astronomical observations. This was done under the pretence that the lady was visited once a year by the god Bel. History does not inform us in regard to Bel's progeny by these housekeepers. In all probability the

virgin votaries of Vesta were instituted for no other purpose than the private devotions of the priesthood. By such artful intrigues the Hindu virgin, Rohini, conceived, and brought forth a 'son of God, one of the Brahman trinity. A Chinese virgin, impregnated by a ray of the sun,' became the mother of the god Foe. Creusa, in all her virgin purity, was delivered of a 'son of God '; as was, also, the virgin mother of Somonocodom, of Siam, the god expected to save the universe. Jupiter gave birth to children from all parts of his body; Minerva (the goddess of wisdom) sprang from his head. To this day Egypt has consecrated the pregnancy of a virgin and the nativity of her son, whom they annually present in a cradle to the adoration of the people; and when King Ptolemy, 350 B.C., demanded of the priests the significance of this religious ceremony, they told him it was a mystery."* Mary, the Christian virgin, was consecrated to "the Lord”-i.e., to the priests—by the usual vow, and was brought up in the temple, which she did not leave till she was sixteen years of age. The priests said, and induced her to believe, that her conception was due to a ghost. The virgins devoted, or consecrated, to the temples lived there till they were thirty years of age, when they had their choice of remaining or leaving and marrying. These girls were an easy conquest for the priests, for, as representing the gods, or carrying out the commands of the gods, the word of the latter was never questioned.

The twelve signs are mentioned as being worshipped in the book of Kings. Joseph dreamed that the “sun, moon, and the other eleven stars” worshipped him. Reuben was Aquarius -—"as unstable as water." In Simeon and Levi, "the brethren,” we recognize the “Twins"; Judah is the “Lion”; Zebulun," that dwells at the haven of the sea,” represents the “ Fishes "; Issachar is the “

Bull,” or strong ass, crouching down between two burdens"; Dan, “the serpent by the way, the adder in the path,” represents the “Scorpion "; Gad, the leader of the flock, is the “Ram"; Asher (Priapus), “the weigher of bread," is the “Balance"; Naphtali, "the hind let loose," is the “Goat"; Joseph, whose bow abode in strength, is the “ Archer"; Benjamin, changing from morning to evening, is the “Crab ”; and

* J. F. Blake, Astronomical Myths.

Dinah, the only daughter, represents the “ Virgin.” We shall see later the connection between the Ram (the zodiacal sign Aries) and the Egyptian and Hebrew gods; and the evolution of the Mohammedan crescent from the horns of the Ram—the emblem placed on the heads of the Æloim or Ammonean gods, Moses, when he came down from Mount Sin-ai, appearing “horned” (rendered in the Bible as “his face shone ”). The Egyptian Moses was represented being initiated into the Æloim, or Aleim, by having the emblem (the crescent) placed on his head.




Life is the animating principle which pervades certain matter, which principle consists in the continuous adjustment of internal to external relations. “ All vital actions have for their final purpose the balancing of certain outer processes by certain inner processes.” While this balancing or adjustment of relations is, in the lower kinds of life, direct and simple—as the plant in the presence of light, heat, water, and carbonic acid-it becomes in animals, and especially in the higher orders, extremely complex. For, the requirements for the growth and repair of plants are everywhere present, but the materials for the growth and repair of animals are of a special kind, which have not only to be sought for, but, when found, have to be reduced to a fit state for assimilation, which necessitates locomotion, the senses, and an elaborate digestive apparatus.

Though the whole earth, including every particle of matter that it is made up of, is in constant motion (described as of an oscillatory and vibratory character), this is not life. Life is matter possessing the power to initiate motion from within, thus differing from non-living matter, or material formations, in which motion must be initiated from without. In the latter the inherent force is present, but not the power to put it into motion.

It is probable that living matter, in the first instance, was evolved from non-living matter ; but how we cannot tell. It was not until the earth had cooled down and contracted,

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