Constellations & The Primordial Zodiac I


If you’ve ever been to a planetarium, the chances are the presenter took ten minutes or so to heap scorn on the ignorant ancients who must have been smoking and drinking powerful drugs in order to see things like goats or virgins in the night sky. This is usually intended as the first blow against the “completely unfounded” science of astrology. The intended knock out punch is the reference to the Precession of the Equinox which means those Sun Sign columns in the tabloids offer a contrived system that ignores precession.

The idea is very simple and easy to grasp.  The sign that was rising at the Vernal Equinox has moved back almost one whole sign since their alignment. This means that what are called Sun Sign Geminis are actually Taurus – except of course they are not. Our astrology is seasonal in its basis, just as it was for the ancients. The critics of the zodiac based on Precession are missing the point.  Nevertheless, this is lost on astronomers. For them, these things are conclusive proof that astrology and its adherents are delusional and primitive minded. The irony of being called “primitive minded” has not been missed; nevertheless who can blame them for their views in the absence of coherent apologetics?

Authentic astrologers would agree on pretty much all counts, but come to a very different conclusion. I’m not aware of a true astrologer who isn’t well aware of the phenomenon of the Precession. I would be the first to agree that the appearance of constellations has precious little, if anything, to do with their names. This is where things become really interesting and is the reason I chose the word “primordial” as part of the title advisedly.This is the first in an intended series of articles on this theme. This first part can be little more than a sketch. It serves as an introduction.

It has become all but impossible for many to view a clear a night sky with little or no light pollution. It cannot be overstated that this has changed us to a very large extent. It is now common to find people who cannot identify a single constellation or star. Anyone in or close to large city see almost no stars or perhaps none at all. The best viewing experience I’ve had was in a desert area of British Columbia, on a small mountain away from any artificial light and no Moon.  At first, the brilliance of countless stars are such that it is difficult to find constellations amongst them until the eyes get used to it. The simple connecting of dots yields little or nothing, In the Middle East, particularly under very arid conditions, it is said that one feels that one may reach out and touch the stars. They seemed very close indeed and quite obviously significant.

I would like to take some stars and constellations as examples, questioning the asterisms and looking to alternate, more ancient ways of relating to the heavens.

Antares is a bright orange star, It is among the clearest stars and easy to find if the skies are clear and you know where to look. It is in the centre of the neighbourhood of Scorpio and, with our preconceived conception of the Scorpion, we join the dots.

That’s how its supposed to work, but the image below showing Scorpius, probably as clearly as it can viewed almost anywhere, doesn’t particularly look like a Scorpion. It could just as easily be an angel, a rabbit, a buffalo or a river. Both photos are included here with the kind permission of David Malin.


© 2008 Akira Fujii/David Malin Images

Here is the same section of the sky with constellation lines drawn in. Drawing the ecliptic further helps to provide orientation.

Sco_2_www_cImage and text ©2008 Akira Fujii David Malin

© 2008 Akira Fujii/David Malin Images

Even with the lines drawn, it still takes a great deal of imagination to see the constellation as a scorpion rather than anything else.  Unfortunately for the scathing astronomer at the planetarium, that is simply not how the constellations came to be, The situation is of course compounded by the simple fact that different cultures give different names to the same asterisms. Strictly speaking, there are no constellations until we decide that a given asterism has boundaries and significance and visa versa –  One might say a constellation is a projection of an archetype.

Gavin White has produced three illuminating works on ancient Babylonian star lore that challenge later interpretations.. I have consulted Babylonian Star-Lore : an Illustrated Guide to the Star-Lore and Constellations of Ancient Babylonia (2008) and his The Queen of Heaven   I have also consulted The Heavenly Writing by Francesca Rochberg, The Epic of Gilgamesh (Gardner and Maier 1984 ed.)  Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth (Wolkstein & Kramer 1983  The Babylonians (HWH Saggs ] Cambridge UP) and The British Museum.

White tells us that: “In astrology the Scorpion’s armoured body segments and its array of weaponry predisposed it to become a creature symbolizing war and the martial prowess of the king. However a different meaning is attached to it in mythic texts such as the Gilgamesh Epic where Scorpion-men and women guard the sacred mountain through which the hero has traverse on his quest for immortality. The Scorpion-people are said to guard the sun at his rising and setting and because Gilgamesh is a favourite of the sun god they allow him to travel the subterranean path that the sun travels every night under the mountain.” (all references to Gavin White’s The Queen of Heaven  A New Interpretation of the Goddess in Ancient Near Eastern Art’ by Gavin White can be found on the publisher’s web site).

untitledThis detail is from a kudurru, or boundary stone, showing Gula with feathery crown attached to her conical headdress and a scorpion-man.

Gula with feathery crown attached to her conical headdress and a Scorpion-Man.

However, the form of the Scorpion People of the Sumerian and Babylonian constellation is utterly morphed. “The Scorpion People were powerful servants of the sun god Utu (Shamash). They had a human head, arms and torso but were bird-like below the waist (sometimes with human legs, sometimes bird) and a scorpion’s tail. The people of Mesopotamia invoked the Scorpion People as figures of powerful protection against evil and the forces of chaos. In The Epic of Gilgamesh the Scorpion couple, Scorpion Man and Scorpion Woman, guard the great Gate of the Mountain where the sun rises and are described as `terrifying.” (Gavin White – Queen of Heaven.)

There is a strong need  to understand the Babylonian view on its own terms, to the extent that that is possible. Williams writes: “In Babylonian mythology scorpion men were the children of Tiamat, the dragon mother of the universe.

Tiamat, the dragon mother of the universe

They were giants whose heads touched the sky. They possessed the head, arms, and torso of a man; but below the waist they had the tails of scorpions. Deadly warriors, they could fight either with their scorpion tails or their bows and arrows which never missed their targets. They were the sacred guardians of the sun god Shamash. In the morning they opened the gates of the Mountain of the East and Shamash ascended into the sky. At night they shut the gates of the Mountain of the West as Shamash descended into the underworld. Gilgamesh, the great Babylonian hero, was aided by a scorpion man in his quest for immortality.”  (Michael Williams.  Encyclopaedia Mythica)

The most easily recognized constellations in the Northern Hemisphere are the Circumpolar Ursa Minor and Ursa Major followed by Orion, mostly because of the several brilliant stars, including Betelgeuse, Rigel and Bellatrix. However none of these are part of the zodiac. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been highly significant in different cultures throughout history,

untitledEnki and the fishes  Fishes are often represented swimming up the flow of waters that descend from Enkis shoulders On the left the symbol of the sun

Enki and the fishes Fishes are swimming up the flow of waters that descend from Enkis shoulders On the left is the the symbol of the sun

The constellations have two primary points of reference. The first is particularly referring to the circumpolar stars. The second which has the most immediate importance is the temporal. This is a simple case of a season matching an asterism which is then circumscribed and named.  So for example, Aquarius the Water Bearer rose during the rainy season of late winter and early Spring. But Pisces is now in that temporal place, while Aquarius is rising in the cold but dry season. And how, we may well ask, does Pisces represent either late winter or early spring. What do fish have to do with the season? It takes an exceedingly vivid and guided imagination to translate the asterism to embody two fishes tied together and pulling in different directions for eternity. The same is true of most of the zodiacal asterisms.

Sumerian image, we see both mer-people and priests dressed in fish-skin capes at the sacred tree

Sumerian image, we see both mer-people and priests dressed in fish-skin capes at the sacred tree

However, when we look to Pisces as a temporal reference, the time of year of great floods, other significance can be found. Like Anunitum, the Fish symbolizes the season of flooding, which commences in the early spring. “Like other creatures of the Abyss, fish were thought to be symbols of wisdom and were accordingly held sacred to Enki, the god of creative intelligence, incantations and magic.” (QoH)  The cord is indicative of the two rivers flowing into the sea. This isn’t how Pisces is represented today and before the end of the epoch prior to 500 B.C. much, but by no means all, had already been lost.

 Seven Tablets of Creation.

The Kudurru – Seven Tablets of Creation. (left to right) Venus of the goddess Ishtar, lunar crescent of the moon-god Sin, and the solar disk of Shamash , the Sun god). The serpent is a Tiamat, ( Akkadian for “sea,”)

Of course some zodia are deceptively simple. They make sense due to the Season in the Northern Hemisphere; Leo is probably as good an example as any.  The Lion has been seen by cultures everywhere as the “king of the beasts” courageous and Solar – why not reign in the hottest and driest part of the year,

White tells us: “Lion (Leo) The Lion has two main strands of symbolism. Firstly as a seasonal star it represents the ferocious heat of summer – its radiant mane stands for the overbearing radiance of the summer sun. Secondly, as the sacred beast of the war goddess Inanna-Ishtar, the Lion represents victory and war. The bright star at its breast (our Regulus) is known as the King Star – here representing the favourite of the goddess to whom she grants victory.” (QoN)

Enki walks out of the water to the land, followed by the lion

Enki walks out of the water to the land, followed by the lion

Our knowledge of Ancient History is poor, but great progress has been made even in the last two decades. It has become increasingly apparent that our classical Greek and Roman archetypes are in most cases pale shadows of their original significance. To get to the heart of the zodiac, we need to go back at least as far as Babylon. Here we find a very different reality where the counterpart of Venus, for example, is the goddess of sexual love, fertility and warfare. The word “pretty” simply doesn’t apply to her. In fact, we have lost most of the archetypal origins of the zodiac and find ourselves trying to make sense of fragments of a powerful, illusive,  but clearly profound inheritance.

Winged gods - Sumer

Winged gods – Sumer

Into the Domain of Matter I



1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

In these lines we find a wisdom that informs us of the divine source and nature of Creation. The essence or spirit of this understanding was at one time almost universally understood. Some of the words varied of course. A Neo-Platonist, Greek or not, is more likely to refer to the logos as it is in the Greek original.  In some societies, God might have been referred to as Divine Spirit, Great Spirit or simply The Creator. In all cases we’re expressing the divine origin of creation. In the most simple terms that which is above gives form, life and meaning to that which is below. Indeed, ultimately above and below are the same. Meaning of origins informs us of the meaning of life and, indeed, the afterlife.

Dreamtime Sisters by Colleen Wallace Nungari - Australian Indigenous art

Dreamtime Sisters by Colleen Wallace Nungari – Australian Indigenous art

Allowing for what would be mostly semantics, the people of the Middle East, Europe, South Asia, South East Asia and the Far East would all be in agreement with this simple axiom. The indigenous people of the Americas would also recognize it and the earliest artistic remains from the Paleolithic period indicates that life was sacred and full of meaning for the earliest humans.

The idea that there is no more than a physical material realm, with no notion of the Spirit world, the Afterlife or Re-incarnation would have seemed not only very odd, but also disturbing. Life would have no higher purpose or meaning. Although the opening lines of the Gospel of John are of course written within the context of Christianity, shown by the simple fact that they were included in the New Testament, Nevertheless their significance is universal.


Marx in 1875

In our present age, the term sacred is not taken particularly seriously or is used as a marketing tool or simply patronised ; and the idea of inherent meaning is considered naive. The intellectual framework for the Aquarian Age came from a few sources in the 19th Century. Theses sources have created a new world order that have rendered this world all but unrecognizable to those who came before us. To understand the importance of the impact, I’ll take a short survey.

The works and influence of Karl Marx cannot be underestimated. When combined with what I call ‘fundamentalist’ evolutionary theory and a bit of help from Sigmund Freud, mankind is utterly redefined. Fortunately, we have the ability to dispel this Grand Delusion, using the same tools that constructed it the first place. A cornerstone of Marx’s ideology is the idea that societies are “conditioned” by the mode of production.

Marx presents us with a world in which any belief in anything other than capital and class struggle is considered foolish. Religion is the “opiate of the people” but he is referring to any form of belief that seeks or allegedly finds a higher purpose. The dogma of Marx is rooted in an intransigent materialism. More than that, its adherents claim it to be the only possible reality for sane adults. What could be more Saturnine?

Das Kapital was also a call to revolution, for its own kind of New World Order. Essentially, it was a critical analysis of political economy, meant to show the economic patterns underscoring the capitalist mode of production. A history has shown, the revolution was very good for bankers

The workers of the world needed to rise up against their overlords in order to establish a workers Utopia. Of course this rallying cry has a gaping flaw.  Marx thought the Revolution would begin in England because there he saw the possibilities of Industrial organization He also felt the English would have a small amount of education. The Russian peasantry on the other hand was a dark horse. The shear size of Russia was daunting and an almost entirely illiterate, agricultural population would make ‘working as one” a problem.

Nevertheless, the Revolution really broke in Russia with the agency of the Bolsheviks. The Czar and his family were slaughtered. No time was wasted in securing the Revolution via an iron fist and death squads. Atheism was the State ‘religion’ and no other faith was permitted. Churches were desecrated, some used for the distribution of pornography. All that had been sacred had to be desecrated and degraded. The state went to extraordinary lengths to do this.

Totalitarian societies demand secular gods

Totalitarian societies demand secular gods

Before too long, the USSR had developed the Gulag camps and all intellectuals were suspect and many arrested, only to ‘disappear”. So now we have the ultimate Totalitarian state. Under the Czar, an absolute monarch, the population were subservient to him, but intelligence and spirituality, including the powerful Russian Orthodox Church were accepted as a part of the realm.

The illegalization of all religion and war on artists and intellectuals has been the case in all twentieth century Totalitarian regimes. Marxism then spread from the largest country in the world to China, by far the largest population. The same policies of state atheism and fear of intellectuals were as pronounced in China as in Russia. Upon the invasion of Tibet, Mao Tse Tung told the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, that “religion is poison.” Mao had no doubts of the source of his philosophy: “The force at the core leading our cause forward is the Chinese Communist Party. The theoretical basis guiding our thinking is Marxism-Leninism. [Opening address at the First Session of the First National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China] (September 15, 1954).

If there has to be a ‘greatest tragedy’ it is the immediate usurpation of any “power of the people” by twisted and psychotic megalomaniacs who made absolute monarchy look fairly decent.  What drives them is an empty dogma that promises a perfect material world if all competing ideologies can be destroyed. Yet what would one reasonably expect of a political system based, more than anything else, on economic theory and some platitudes thrown in for good measure. The leaders help themselves, leaving workers in navy blue pajamas that looked more like prison garb – and were absolutely mandatory – leaving them looking like, and with all the rights, of prisoners.

The worst crime would be to think you were of divine origin and that creation had meaning far beyond the constricts and inanity of a pretend religion based on the illusion of equality. Such ideas are dangerous in a state where the only value is a materialist dogma that keeps the workers poor while enriching the corrupt power brokers at the top.

Of course all of these qualities can be fairly attributed to Aquarius and Saturn. The fixed ideologue who cannot change his mind no matter what, soon becomes a despot. An idea is worth a revolution, but always on Saturn’s terms.

The glyph of Saturn gives us a dominant Cross of Matter over the Crescent of Spirit. The shadow of Communism is Plutocratic Capitalism, often simply referred to as Corporatism. In either case, when all is said and done, the core value is in money and power for its own sake. It glorifies money and wealth to the exclusion of all else.

Playing into this, is the poorly understood Theory of Natural Selection – usually referred to simply as Evolutionary Theory. Some of the most vocal proponents of this theory, like Richard Dawkins, remind me of religious fundamentalists because they appear to believe they have the whole and only truth when it comes to our origins.

Dawkins is well known for his book, appropriately titled “The God Delusion.” I’m personally interested in all branches of science and am familiar enough with true scientific principals to know when I smell a rat. That is not to say that Dawkins and his ilk are without knowledge but they are without first principles and a rigorous scientific method that is capable of questioning itself. which I find very odd.

We live in a culture where a scientist can talk about the origins of life without being able to define what life is or provide us with any scientifically proven way in which life came from inanimate and unconscious matter. I should have thought that would interest an inquiring mind. Moreover, if we dare to invoke the beliefs and cosmologies that we lived with for tens of thousands of years, we are ridiculed.

The fact that scientists don’t know what life is, is strange enough, and in fact precludes any absolute certainty of what is truly happening in the process of so-called evolution. The OED defines scientific naturalism as “The philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.”

The most glaring fly in the ointments is that one is committed to denying any spiritual dimension in creation. If one were say a ‘soft core’ naturalist, you might pay lip service to spiritual ways of “seeing into the life of things,” as Wordsworth put it. However any such ‘knowledge’ would have no place in this Brave New World – just gimme the facts, ma’am ! I also wonder if some degree of cognitive dissonance is necessary in order to permit the validity of pure mathematics, a symbolic language describing things nobody has yet seen.

Dawkins was asked “can you give a single example of a genetic mutation that results in an increase in information to the genetic evolutionary process” ? There was an uncomfortably long silence and no answer was given.  The interview was posted to YouTube and Dawkins himself tells us the video was not in any way manipulated. I do not wish to discredit Dawkins unduly, but when you decide to go through life with an unremitting smirk of condescension, while  strutting and pontificating through a megaphone, you are bound to attract attention and it won’t all be positive.

Darwin fist talked about varieties of pidgins. He is perfectly aware that he is talking about domesticated birds. In other words they have been bred to improve their usefulness. Nobody would think twice about that fact that one dog looks like an Alsatian while another looks like a Great Pyrenees. But clearly this has precious little to do with evolution, The intellectual agenda of contemporary evolutionary theory appears to be summed up by Dawkins himself:

“Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life…life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA…life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” (Scheff, Liam. 2007. The Dawkins Delusion. Salvo, 2:94.)’

From inanimate sludge, we are told, a one cell creature arrives on the scene. Given enough time, that first mysterious spark of life will not only explain the existence of all species. alive or extinct, but also the differences within species. However, it has no meaning and any values we put on it are our own. From a traditional point of view, this is a kind of poverty of Spirit – connection with life itself is somehow skewed.

Darwin was in fact reluctant to apply his theory to human beings, which indicates some sort of crack in the theory as understood by the majority of modern biologists. Could it be that evolutionary theory is predicated on a philosophical commitment to to naturalism first and foremost which can only accept evidence that supports the “naturalist” bias, filtering out any evidence or questions that might shake the chosen philosophical bent? What is meant by “naturalism” is the dogmatic belief that only a material reality, as experienced by the senses can be true.

We know that given enough time a species can change dramatically, But how would we trace the connections between a cat and an elephant without resorting to speculation.

Considering too the theory of the Big Bang in astrophysics, the physicist is confronted with what aught to be a serious dilemma – how can we be sure if we don’t know what preceded the Big Bang.  The current Dalai Lama has said that’s he’s fine with the Big Bang as long as their is an infinite number of them, because there is no beginning.

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Finally, let’s take a look at Freud. His best know achievements are the discovery of the unconscious, which is a bitter oxymoron indeed. He is also famous for dividing the psyche into Ego, Id and Superego. This is pseudo science at its finest. The problem with speculating on what is and isn’t conscious is that he had no scientific way to measure this. In fact, he couldn’t give a scientific definition of the origin of consciousness.

The fact that Freud found no way to prove his theories but it didn’t matter because it was lapped up by people who either thirsted for an explanation for their unhappiness or rather liked the idea of having this new psycho language. Freud also believed that not only can a cigar sometimes be just a cigar, but that ultimately all out motivations, fears etc. were sexual – hence the Oedipus and Electra Complexes among others. This last point is where Jung broke with Freud:

“In November 1912, Jung and Freud met in Munich for a meeting among prominent colleagues to discuss psychoanalytical journals. At a talk about a new psychoanalytic essay on Amenhotep IV, Jung expressed his views on how it related to actual conflicts in the psychoanalytic movement. While Jung spoke, Freud suddenly fainted and Jung carried him to a couch” (see Jones, Ernest, ed. Lionel Trilling and Steven Marcus. The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, 1963.) Jung’s idea of a collective unconscious was deeply upsetting to him for reasons we can only speculate upon.

The language of Freud has entered our languages and still influences the way we think about the human mind. There can be no sacred connection to a creator or other creatures for that matter, when the mind is driven by unconscious forces that mostly have to do with sex and violence. I make a clear distinction between the subconscious and the unconscious mind.

Forgive me if I given anyone short shrift, but again I’m painting with a large brush t show how all of these highly influential theories and materialist and dis-empower human beings. They are forms of slavery in the guise of messiahs. Marxism militantly tried to destroy person and public spiritual and religious life. We all other values are snuffed, then money fills the vacuum. Even science becomes devoted to wealth at the top.

The claim that there cannot be any Creator, nor can we in any meaningful way possess divinity and that Science will answer all our needs and questions is ultimately empty.  It is vain. According to modern science we are made of stardust but cannot originate in or return to a higher place.


Freud with his eternal cigar

Freudian Psychoanalysis was the beginning of an entire industry, but the single most pernicious element in Freudianism is that humans are driven by completely unconscious desire, fears and motivations. The alienation inherent in this idea is horrendous. The psychiatrist is the new priest, Yet is has been reported for several decades that almost nobody gets any better, even after up to thirty years of therapy. If you cannot change the Unconscious, then how could therapy work. After twenty years of analysis, Dudley Moore said “six more months and I go to Lourdes.”

When you look at all this materialist dogma we realize that esteemed scientists and economists have hoodwinked us They have become modern orthodoxy with no room for a deep spiritual connection They have worked exceedingly well, but as I mentioned, any construct can be dismantled with the tools by which it was built. Seeing through the Aquarian promise of an earthly Utopia is the first step to being free of it.

The problem is that these seriously flawed ideologies are still with us. Modern so-called democracies are looking for ways to achieve total control with the help of advanced technocrats.  Naomi Wolf asked that this be spread far and wide.  According to  her source, Scott Wells who has looked over the new 1198 page immigration Bill:

“The Bill gives the Secretary of Homeland Security unlimited power to imprison anyone without charge or trial. She will have total and complete authority over the United States with the power to ignore the US Supreme Court, the US Secretary of State, the US Attorney General, the Secretary of Defence, etc. and rule by decree in any matter anywhere in the United States. Jurisdiction is removed from the US Supreme Court to even decide the Constitutionality of this Act. In short; the Act turns the United States into a tyrannical dictatorship ruled by an unelected bureaucrat.”  The velvet part of this particular act of Fascism is that the Bill is promoted as a wonderful thing. And how many will take the time to read nigh on 1200 pages?

At the top of the page, we have William Blake’s “The Ancient of Days.” This was the frontispiece to Europe: A Prophecy. The Ancient of Days is referred to as Urizen, one of the dozens of characters invented by Blake the visionary. Blake’s system is both eccentric and highly complex. After all, this is the man who wrote “I must create my own system or be enslaved by someone else’s.”

Plate b3 From There is No Natural Religion, a series of philosophical aphorisms by William Blake, written in 1788.

Plate b3 From There is No Natural Religion, a series of philosophical aphorisms by William Blake, written in 1788.

Urizen is a play on words and means ‘horizon.’ Blake was a Cockney so it can also be ‘you eyes on.” In the first instance we are given the limitation implied by horizon – the limit of vision. In the second instance, Blake has said elsewhere that we should see through and not *with* the eyes. Essentially he means spiritual vision. The bearded Ancient of Days is measuring the deeps. He is prescribing existence. This is at the hear of Blake’s system: For Blake the monster was the loss of Spiritual Vision. Blake was also very clear on the fact there “is no Natural religions, by which he means one that must involve more than the limitations of the senses.

Hanging in the Balance


I think that by now the vision of an Aquarian Utopia populated by highly evolved, spiritualized beings devoted solely to the perfection of humanity has very little currency outside the lunatic fringe. At least I wish that were the case. The fact is, the idea has been marketed very successfully. If you can get a population to believe such things, they are very easy to control.

The illusion of progress makes real progress all but impossible to achieve. If you don’t realize there is a problem, there is no motivation to solve it. There are of course highly evolved and spiritualized beings here on Earth. There always has been. Humanity didn’t need to wait for Saturn.

This is likely to be the last article in a series regarding the nature of the Aquarian Age. The series of articles have been in large part a response to Robert Zoller whose views are notably dystopian.  I’m accepting Zoller on his own terms and methodology for this project. Although I’ve added many of my own thoughts, I find myself in general agreement with Zoller.

When we are talking about an Age, we paint with a very broad brush. This makes most astrologers understandably uneasy (or it ought to) but this is the right tool for the occasion. However, we do need to be careful of using the correct terms. For example, the word “fascist” have become so overworked that it’s oftentimes used in ways that are cliche and not helpful at all.

When the courtyard attendant asks someone not to smoke within nine meters of the door, he might be called a Nazi in an absurd attempt to link the enforcement of rules designed to protect asthmatics and non smokers to Nazi atrocities during the Third Reich.  This sort of trivial use or misuse of the term makes it a bit more difficult to recognize when we see the real thing.


Chart showing the angles to which Zoller is referring

Zoller suggests that “In the Age of Aquarius, religion will be humanistic love of fairness and justice. While feeding the people with Libran platitudes, the Scorpionic rulers will work tirelessly toward the realization of their goal – absolute power over others, as Leo is seen in position on the 7th house.” (The Use of Archetypes in Prediction .)

In this we can find either hope or despair. Venus is nicely placed in the Ninth House which informs the Tenth. Libra, however, is the Fall of the Sun. Venus will tickle the ear, but lack authenticity that comes with a stronger sense of self.  But the placement itself is benign, even if misguided. Optimism is a wonderful thing but that doesn’t mean the pessimist has nothing to be concerned about.

There are no goose stepping soldiers in Montreal, London, Berlin or Manhattan, but the police forces in many Western countries have become increasingly militarized, to the point that someone from a previous era wouldn’t recognize them as police at all.  The right to even peaceful protest has been greatly diminished. The implications that what used to be called citizens are now the *enemy.* The term used most often to refer to the population is “consumers.” They are guilty if the powers that be say that they are.

Again, the implication is that this world is in the hands of a small, but inestimably rich plutocracy. According to Oxfam less than 1% of people in the world have more than half of the wealth (The Guardian).

Even these figures distort the reality because the Plutocracy is a tiny fraction of that 1%. It has become virtually common knowledge that this wealth contributes in no small way to foreign and domestic policies in all of the most powerful countries. It’s called lobbying but in many cases it’s rewarding what is demanded and implied threats of consequences if the donor fails to get what he or she want. .

The International Monetary Fund which we are lead to believe is a benevolent institution devoted to the development of the third countries sound very humanitarian. However the IMF loans amounts the country cannot afford to pay back as the interest compounds. The recipient then has to offer its resources in lieu of payment. This keeps the third world in thrall while making the *humanitarian* bankers richer than ever.  There is nothing new about greed and injustice; but packaging these things as benign acts of altruism and humanitarianism soars to a new level of cynicism, which is decidedly Saturnine.


Somalia – Famine, war and corruption – only one case of a failing state resulting in massive refugee populations.

I also concur with Zoller: “As the Aquarian dream of humanistic science and universal brotherhood is a vision of the world to come in Pisces, and realized in Aquarius, so too, the Aquarian avant-garde will look forward to an Aquarian Golden Age on the one hand, while the Aquarian technocrats will look for a world corporation to fossilize society into a rigid caste system run technologically.” The Use of Archetypes in Prediction

The key problem is that the proponents of an Aquarian Golden Age are blinded by unfounded optimism. Ironically perhaps, if they were more realistic they would see that the agenda of the Aquarian technocrats must be curbed, not just for a better world, but for our survival as a species.

The Aquarian technocrats require powerful militaries and endless wars which are justified as necessary for the security of the nation. For “our own good” we give up freedom and human rights,

With Mars on the MC the Scorpionic “overlords” will have no scruples about using whatever force they deem necessary to put down the perceived enemies of complete global domination. In the spirit of Aquarian egalitarianism, a one world government sounds like a good idea. Just as George Orwell wrote in 1948, the world is divided into larger and larger sections, such as East Asian (“we have always been at war with East Asia”). Those not complying with the agenda are called terrorists – Orwell showed how the masses can be convinced that lies are true and visa versa.

1Aquarius - Delv - Kova by al-Sufi 'Book of Fixed Stars'1

Aquarius – From al-Sufi ‘Book of Fixed Stars’

Neither will their domestic critics be spared. This is all out fascism, largely concealed by the velvet glove. Wars are no longer fought for the nation state in the West, They are fought mostly to further the interests of corporations and to make the very wealthy even wealthier.

Some will argue that there have always been wars and tyrants to send good people to fight them. However, the level and scope of what have become endless wars since the Age began, with the dominance shifting from Naval Power to Air Power, is truly unprecedented. To a very real way we have the technology  to have wars that don’t end but become their own reason for being.

Predator drones are controlled from the other side of the world with impunity; but the target is people who are often unarmed ,with no chance of self defense They are destroyed without warning.. Arbitrary extrajudicial executions, carried out at the press of a button from CIA locations in California or Virginia, require no transparency or accountability. They operations are secret and above and beyond even international law.

The current President of the United States has insisted on his right to kill anyone, anywhere in the world, including the US, simply on the basis of alleged suspicion, This comes from a Democratic President with a Peace Prize. There is no trial and often no specific charge at all, All youths 16 or older can be considered enemy combatants. Almost 200 children have been killed by drones in Pakistan and Yemen alone on his watch. This mechanical, high tech form of slaughtering people is particularly ghoulish. The victims are often innocent and remain anonymous in our media. The globalism so commonly espoused in the Western world is often blind to who it kills, except of course for those who ordered the strike.

The astrological Saturn, by Hans Sebald Behamd 1539

The astrological Saturn, by Hans Sebald Behamd 1539

Many scientists, political commenters, environmentalists and others now consider nuclear war the most likely existential threat to the human race and thousands of other species, even if the exchange were limited to India and Pakistan. A nuclear winter would ensue and it would be difficult to imagine a more Saturnine fate. Rapid climate change, accelerated by the burning of fossil fuel is a threat as well. An accidental or deliberate leak of biological agents having the affect of a rapidly spreading plague of pandemic proportions is often cited as close to the top of the list of doomsday scenarios. These are created, exacerbated or potentially ameliorated by human beings.

Optimists are becoming less numerous regarding outlooks for the future. As Zoller stated, the two malefics on the angles lacks the optimism and idealism of a Piscean Jupiter. Steven Hawking, one of our most brilliant and  best loved physicists, has said many times that the only chance of human survival is for us to leave this planet. We have the technology to do real harm to the environment on an epic scale. In the meantime, famine, so often a result of war is obscenely commonplace considering the tools we have at our disposal,

Just as Libra in the Ninth is good at whispering sweet nothings into the ears of the rich and powerful, so it is an opportunity for renewed moral balance of a spiritual nature. Libra is after all the Exaltation of Saturn and the higher impulse is for true justice. We live in very dangerous times, If we can invoke the positive collective qualifies, we have an opportunity to take back what is ours. The real enemy is stealthy and the fist looks so much nicer in a velvet glove. Certainly denying or trivializing our powers of destruction will yield nothing but more of the same.

Saturn is the Reaper and what we reap is what we sow.  Saturn is all about consequences and revealing limitations, often in very challenging ways. It’s said that the path of good intentions leads to Hell. When humanism becomes a rallying cry for the availability of every human whim, it becomes something very different. The most poignant irony is that humanism, always attributed to Aquarius, spells the end of truly human life.

Clearly, this is no longer seen in an entirely negative light. For some, it’s the only solution. Why not have a humanoid that’s “Forever Twenty One” to do all the work and be able to function in the most extreme conditions, should they occur. Japan would prefer robots to immigrants in a rapidly aging society. And of course, the humanoid has perfect manners and can teach Japanese in Viet Nam.

The Aquarius / Leo axis has brought a culture of conspicuous consumption, unparalleled technological innovation, the rewarding of selfishness and celebrity for its own sake (one can now be famous for being famous) as well as opportunities to defeat the most miserable illnesses, illiteracy and some forms of inequality. The scales offer us a choice and until we make that choice we will be ever hanging in the balance waiting for “Godot” the Aquarian messiah or the end of everything that matters.

The Bull of Heaven I

In the below scene we have an adoration of the rising sun between two sycamore trees, which is also represented as a white bull-calf between the trees.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent, even among previous skeptics, that religions and whole societies have oriented themselves in accordance with the heavens in ways we are are only now discovering. Astrological interpretation lies at the heart of our ancient civilizations’ telling us where we came from and where we are going. The integrity of these traditions is extraordinary. This begins a series of articles in which I will examine the history mythology and astronomy underlying the culture of our forbears, from paleolithic cave paintings to the current era.

To begin, we will concentrate on the Sumerian civilization in general and the goddess Inanna in particular to better explain the significance of the constellation and it’s relationship to the Sumerian “Venus” the ruler of Taurus. The Sumerians and indeed modern Iraqis are wonderful storytellers and have left us the earliest epic poem, describing in amazing detail their cosmological beliefs and observations.. The shouldn’t merely be considered a lesson in history, because the core beliefs and values are just as relevant today. In fact we need to recover what has been lost. We are like a man sitting on a trunk full of unimaginable treasure but without the key to open it

Various species of wild bulls were found throughout Europe, the Near East, Central Asia, North Africa and bull Sumer. In fact the progenitors of the cow had pastured on the plains and grasslands of central Mesopotamia since ancient times.  Of course, there is huge gulf between wild animals and their domestication.  The Age of Taurus saw the beginnings of agriculture on a hitherto unknown scale by harnessing the power of the bull.

Isis - Lunar horns with Solar disk

Isis – Lunar horns with Solar disk

The wild bull was a massive creature, standing over 180 cm at the shoulder. Whenever reference in writings or visual art, the bull was venerated as an embodiment of supernatural strength, virility and ferocity, The constellation Taurus was rising at the Vernal Equinox approximately 4300 BC and 2150 BC. King Gilgamesh is thought to have reigned at some time between 2800 and 2500 BC. This falls within the Age of Taurus, the bull of heaven.

The significance of the Bull if Heaven is enormous and existed in multiple layers of meaning, across an extraordinary number of cultures and reaches back at least as far in time as the Paleolithic period. Taurus is a large and prominent constellation in the northern hemisphere’s winter sky.  It is one of the oldest described constellations, dating back to at least the Early Bronze Age when it marked the location of the Sun during the spring equinox.

The image at the top of the page shows the Sun rising in the East,  in the constellation Taurus, represented by the white calf.  The Bull became leader of the signs, rising with the Sun at the Spring Equinox, from approximately 4300 to 1580 BC, Taurus came to symbolize the bull in the mythologies of Ancient Babylon,untitled33222 Egypt, India, Minos, and Greece. The “sacred cows” and bovine deities became virtually ubiquitous.

The essential significance of the Bull is found not only in the Torah via the Golden Calf and other references but in the Hebrew language itself. It is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, almost certainly adopted from the Phoenicians and gives us the word alphabet when combined with the second letter of the Greek alphabet, Beta.

Aleph means Ox. In literal terms, of course, this would refer to a castrated bull, but the deeper significance is the harnessing of a very powerful energy which can then be used in a directed way. With the domestication of bulls and cows, agricultural tasks, hitherto all but impossible, such as plowing the soil, creating a new agricultural society, massively increasing the ability to produce food for burgeoning populations. . It was a pivotal moment in the history of civilizations.

What is above isuntitledt below. Those familiar with the Tarot will know that The Fool card is Aleph. The portrayal differs from one deck to another, but the core images are virtually universal. The Fool is the beginning and also zero. He is perfect potentiality, goaded by a dog (presumably representing animal natural ) What he is carrying over his shoulder is metaphorically phallic and seminal – what we call potency. It will remain as potentiality until the energy finds the ways and means to be realized.

The Sumerians had an advanced civilization with a fully developed stellar religion, complete with an astrological pantheon of twelve gods in Sumerian Religion, archetypal figures that would be adopted by many other cultures, usually under a fairly thin disguise. There were five creator gods and under theses deities were the seven gods who “decree the fates.” These were An, Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag, Nanna, Utu, and Inanna. All the gods have essentially human form,

Inanna is of primary interest to us here. She is Queen of Heaven, the universal Venus, but in her original guise as Inanna the goddess of love and war is complex and multifaceted. She embodies distinctly ambitious, conniving, and heartless tendencies as well as fertility and sexual love. She is courageous, often has a very bad temper. She isn’t idealized anymore than is Aphrodite/ r_thema_mundi (1)

Her attributes take into account the phases o Venus, among these are oriental and occidental She is also the goddess of the Underworld. Like all planets Venus has phases and hers are particularly interesting. At the superior conjunction, Venus is on the far side of the Sun, with the Sun standing exactly between the Earth and Venus. This was seen as her descent in to the underworld, from which she was resurrected as the Morning Star. This is rich with significance, First of all, Venus is the ruler of Taurus. Moreover, Taurus is the nocturnal expression of Venus. Libra is the exaltation of Saturn. In the fourth house, this becomes the journey to the underworld where Inanna soul is ‘weighed.’ The horns of the bull seen in the constellation itself, relation to the exaltation of the Moon in Taurus

There are two stories which are immediately germane to the nature of Venus and Taurus.

In a fit of blind rage, and in tears, she appeals to her grandfather to avenge Gilgamesh because he had insulted her by resisting her attempted seduction. Hell hath no fury like a goddess scorned . Inanna,’s anger and desire for vengeance only increased and she demands Anu to give her Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven, to have revenge on Gilgamesh. She threatens that if she isn’t given what she wants, she will wreak such havoc on Earth as well as the Underwold, the doors of which she will break and open, creating massive confusion among people and the denizens of the Underworld,

eight pointed star of Inanna - Venus

eight pointed star of Inanna – Venus

She gets her way and unleashes Gugalanna who becomes an epic version of the bull in a china shop. The Bull is subsequently slain by Gligamesh Unwilling to die, the bull ascended to the stars to claim the constellation Taurus. This might seem a great contradiction, but many ancient cultures believed that at least some of its population would become stars. This is also the beginning of another connected theme : Inanna’s descent into the Underworld.

Her clothing is removed as she enters the underworld, This is a ritual in which she is symbolically stripped of all her powers and is turned into a corpse.  Enlil and Nanna will not help, claiming that she brought this fate upon herself – suggesting she wanted to usurp her sister’s power.  However, Enki agrees to bring her back to life, sending Kurgarru and Kalaturru to revive her with nourishment and the water of life.

Inanna is in fact resuscitated but she is to leave a sacrificial substitute in her place. It is not a difficult decision. Her husband Dumuzi is chosen because he hadn’t mourned her absence as much as he ought to have, In an interestingly Venusian detail, she rejects the idea of her hairdresser taking his place.

The descent into the Underworld is referring to the period of Venus being invisible – below. When she reappears she does so as the Morning star she Lucifer, the Bringer of Light. She is therefore ahead of the Sun and the cycle will repeat itself.

ishtar inanna  - queen of the night

ishtar inanna – queen of the night

As I have mentioned elsewhere, the Venus cycle corresponds to the gestation period and underscores her role as bringer of life.n Babylonian tradition she was a “star” in a trinity with the Moon and Sun. She was at one time personified as the Great Goddess who gave birth to the Sun, and at other times known as Lucifer, the light.

The image of Inanna on the right was believed for some time to be of Lilith, said to be the first wife of Adam. She does share some attributes, such as the nocturnal birds and animals with her. She is also winged, associating her with the heavens. Like Lilith she has no interest in the advice of men, for the most part

The deities associated with Venus in the Ancient Near East were proactive initiators, often very warlike ones. for they brought in the day, awakening solar vitality. One thinks not only of Inanna, but of Bodica and other warrior queens When she rises before the Sun. As the gentle and loving Evening Star, known as Zib, Hesperus and Shalem among other names was said to speak the Word of Peace nightly to the Sun, giving the Hebrew and Arabic word for peace, shalom and salaam. As Evening Star, Venus returns to the lunar world of nurturance and fecundity. Rivers & Gillespie make some fascinating comments on this is in Knot of Time  pp. 79-82


The eight pointed star of Venus, the Moon and Solar disk with its four axes and four intercalated solar rays,

The Bull of Heaven II


I make no pretense of being an expert in Egyptology, but there are some fundamental elements of that culture which allow us to see Taurus in a different way, in part by the relationship of the Bull of Heaven to Osiris

The region of the heavens occupied by the constellation Taurus is home to several powerful fixed stars from Algol (above left) the Pleiades, the Hyades and Aldebaran, the red eye of the bull – Watcher of the East and one of the Royal Stars of Persia. Babylonian astrologers would also be very interested in the stars associated with the horns – unsurprisingly they tend to be of the nature of Mars.  However, as an entity we can see the essential nature of Taurus is Lunar and Venusian.

The cultural interpretation of a constellation surely says something about the culture itself. The ravaging bull in eternal conflict with Orion the Hunter is a very good case in point. It takes more than simple imagination to see Orion as a brutal hunter wielding a spiked club at Taurus and to see Taurus as a determined wild bull bent on Orion’s destruction. Orion is just as often portrayed as an archer, aiming at the Bull’s eye! This is a rather violent view. Of course nothing is wrong just because it’s violent, but in this case we have what I believe is a far more convincing and satisfying interpretation.

Stele dedicated to Apis-Louvre

Stele dedicated to Apis-Louvre

Looking once again at the image at the top of part I, the white calf rising with the Sun is Apis. He is the Ka of Osiris:

“In ancient Egyptian religion, with the ba and the akh, a principal aspect of the soul of a human being or of a god. The exact significance of the ka remains a matter of controversy, chiefly for lack of an Egyptian definition; the usual translation, “double,” is incorrect. Written by a hieroglyph of uplifted arms, it seemed originally to have designated the protecting divine spirit of a person. The ka survived the death of the body and could reside in a picture or statue of a person”  Britannica

The Egyptian hieroglyph for the Venus cycle from Morning to Evening Star in the shape of a perfect pentagram as viewed from Earth.

The Egyptian hieroglyph for the Venus cycle from Morning to Evening Star in the shape of a perfect pentagram as viewed from Earth.

When we change the name and perception from Orion to Osiris, the idea of the god Osiris, the consort of Isis, charging to deal a deathly blow to his own life force is as silly as it’s poignant. In Egypt as in so many ancient cultures, the motif of bull’s horns with solar disks are all but universal. We find them shown even in the depiction of pre-Islamic Arabian deities.

wweeeeIn the sky map to the left,Sirius, the brightest star in the sky from our viewpoint, follows Osiris closely and is associated with Isis. The rising of Sirius signaled the inundation of Egyptian farm land by the Nile.  The association doesn’t end there, though. The Egyptians considered the Milk Way to be the “real Nile” just as many Hindus consider the Milk Way as the “true Ganges.” as even so called inanimate objects have soul in the Egyptian view, the relationship of Earth to the Heavens was divine and inexorable. We could say that they mirrored each other. Other articles related to Sirius

Egyptian religion wasn’t particular dogmatic and did in fact differ from one time and region to another to some extent. However, the primacy of Isis as the Queen of Heaven and of life itself, her brother Osiris the Lord or King of the dead, thier son Horus, god the Sun, Sky and Kingship, was widely understood.

Gwen Parker: tells us that when an Apis bull died “the body was embalmed and entombed with the great ceremony that would be afforded royalty. A Memphis temple housing large alabaster slabs was the place in which the bulls were embalmed.

Osiris holding crook and flail

Osiris holding crook and flail

After preparation of the body and internal organs, the crouching bull was intricately bandaged, artificial eyes were inserted, its horns and face were either gilded or covered with a gold leaf mask, and it was covered with a shroud. The Apis mummy was carried to the Serapeum (a catacomb preceded by an avenue of sphinxes), amid the formalities due a deity, for burial in a massive stone sarcophagus weighing over 60 tons. A papyrus from the 26th Dynasty explains the technique used to embalm an Apis bull.”Hathor-and-IsisHathor (Red Disk & Horns) and Isis

Wearing the crown. with the Royal insignia of the flail and crook on his hands, Osiris looks more like a shepherd king than a hunter. His best known epithets are “eternally good” or “eternally incorruptible” and his relationship with the Bull of Heaven is both essential and  benign, and offers profound insight to the nature of the Bull.

Isis and Hathor share various feminine qualities, with Hathor being more of a Luna deity and Isis being the Queen and Guardian of the path of the planets.

It’s easy to mistake one for the other, particular if Isis is not shown with wings. At the end of the day, we still have the Moon exalted in Taurus and Venus Isis ruling both Libra and Taurus. The Ankh carried by Isis is a slightly modified glyph for Venus, with the circle of Spirit and Cross of Matter. The cross differs from the modern glyph only slightly. The cross is further up towards the centre of the whole symbol, suggesting a greater level of relationship with Spirit perhaps.

Isis offering-Key of Life Ankh to her son Horus

Isis offering-Key of Life Ankh to her son Horus

We now know that the Bull of Heaven held a very important position in both Sumerian and Egyptian culture, possessing mystical qualities. Taurus, the Moon and Venus are all feminine and I cannot help but wonder how this came to be seen as something to be clubbed or shot.  I might suggest this has something to do with the denial of the Divine Feminine. Even Paleolithic paintings of Orion, crafted by hunter gathers do not associate him with a hunter. He is a Shaman. See the Stars of Orion. 

The extraordinary astronomical knowledge and skill of these ancients is staggering. Mapping the Venus Pentagram alone shows uncommon skill and all these things should give us pause when interpreting Venus or the Bull of Heaven.