THIS ARTICLE IS PART OF A NEW BOOK BY KARNI ZOR, SOON TO BE PUBLISHED,
ABOUT ANCIENT AND NEW ASTROLOGY
The astrological wheel is not really located in the position we were told by classical western astrologers, due to the gap between astrology on paper, which was fixed about 2000 years ago, and the true astrology, the one in the sky, the one we are trying to reconnect with…
The slow shift of the zodiac in the skies through the astrological ages does not only affect the dates of the signs, that are changing constantly (and this is why you dfind on my site new dates for the astrological signs), but also the character of the signs, which is changing slowly over the years (and hence the new names for the signs…)
This may seem unreasonable – that the actual signs are changing their character – but carefully looking we can see that the signs have gone through changes in the past and that now we are at a significant moment in history, in which the signs are going through yet another change.
In fact, in each astrological age the signs have different characters, according to the order of appearance in the sky of the zodiac starting in the moment of the vernal equinox at March 21st.
An astrological age lasts 2160 years. During such a vast period it seems that the character of each sign “has always been as it is”, but if we dig a little in history we will find that the zodiac we know is a mixture of different traditions from different periods of time, some of which had high connections of timeless truth and therefore are still relevant – and some that are not.
And so, for us to understand how come the character of the signs can change, let us take a look at the sign of Taurus.
The age of Taurus began about 6000 years ago. This means that on the day of the vernal equinox, March 21st 6000 years ago, at sunrise, Taurus was located at the place where the sun was rising, and thus was the first sign of the zodiac.
This was the time in which writing began with ‘A’, the first letter, depicting the first constellation seen in the skies at the spring equinox: Taurus. The letter A looks just like the constellation of Taurus looks in the skies, and resembles a bull’s head with its horn, but upside down. In Turkey temples to the bull god were built. In Phoenicia the main god, Adad, was depicted riding a bull. In Mesopotamia bull-gods were common, and also in Egypt. The bull-god was always a major god, masculine, strong and prominent. In this period the Vedic religion also began. We can still see the veneration of the cow in Hinduism today.
But 4000 years ago the
re was a significant changeover. Over thousands of years the astrological wheel drifted slowly, each 72 years dropping one degree backwards, so slowly as to be hardly perceptible in a single lifetime. Then on one morning on the 21st of March about 4000 years ago, the sun rose in the constellation of Aries.
Aries then became the influential first sign of the zodiac. This was the time of the arising of Judaism. The prosperity of herds and herding cultures and the image of the “good shepherd”, long before Christianity, with Hebbel, the three patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Moses, as told in the stories of the old testament. The ritual of sacrificing a lamb had its origins in the age of Aries, as did the use of a ram’s horn as part of the religious ritual of ‘Yom Kippur’.
As Aries became the “alpha” sign, Taurus made the transition from the masculine, powerful, leader number 1, to become the second sign of the Zodiac, slowly changing its nature to depict the qualities of the number 2.
4000 years ago the mythologies related to the bull and the cultures related to it went through a revolution. From a powerful leading god the bull was transformed into a tame castrated bullock, harnessed to carts for the purpose of plowing fields. At this time the milk industry began, and the masculine bull influenced by number 1 turned feminine under the influence of number 2. In Egypt the bull turned into the Goddess Hathor, with cow horns on her head and a very feminine, soft character. Elsewhere she became known as Aphrodite and Venus, feminine goddesses associated with the planet that rules Taurus.
Today when we think of Taurus we think of a sign ruled by Venus, we think of the home, domesticity, stability, family. In Taurus we find something soft that loves stability and security. But if we had asked someone who lived 6000 years ago to describe the character of Taurus, they would have given a completely different portrayal, a description we would probably relate to the current Aries: initiator, leader, energetic, masculine and ruled by the planet Mars.
This starts to explain why the names of the signs don’t always relate to what we would expect of that nature. For example, isn’t it strange that the pathfinding Aries character is represented by a gentle, innocent, newborn lamb?
Such anomalies point to another confusion. The names of the astrological signs are from the Egyptian and Mesopotamian period, the era when Taurus, the charging bull, was the first sign of the zodiac. But the characteristics of each sign are taken from a completely different time and place: from Greece in the age of Aries, when Aries was the first sign of the zodiac and Taurus was the second.
The description of the pure, white, soft lamb would actually fit with the transcendent number 12, the sign associated with endings and new birth. Aries was the last astrological sign in the zodiac at the time it was named.
We take astrology for granted, with its names and characteristics, with its aims and purposes, with its approach. But as we have seen, astrology has significantly shifted over the years and its potential has become separated from the way it is practised today, on many levels. One thing to realize when we want to find a new, updated, approach to astrology, is that the astrological wheel has not been updated for two thousand years. We have been working with a zodiac that mixes names and characters from two completely different periods of time, and both very ancient.
But before we get to know what all this means we need to add one further complication. We are approaching the astrological age of Aquarius, when Aquarius will be the first sign of the Zodiac, and then Aries will relate to the numerological meaning of the number three.
Children who are born during this period (and maybe some of the readers too) are already influenced by a completely different astrology from the one we are used to. We know that we are living in a time of massive change. Exploring how astrology itself is changing and evolving is another way to understand the significance of the times we are living in. It is a time in which we have the chance to reconsider everything around us that previously we took for granted. A time to check what we were told and what we assumed to be the case. A time to discover for ourselves what the facts are and the meaning of what we see.
It is a time to refresh and update astrology, to find out what is still valid for our times and the times we are moving into, and to bring up to date the understandings that were valid for an earlier era. We have the opportunity to reconnect to the high wisdom that once was, and to let go of the other things that may have “stuck” to astrology during the years.