The first 4 signs of the zodiac originally and to this day, tell of the virgin birth of Messiah, the sin of man, and the ultimate triumph the dual-natured Savior would have. The next 4 tell the story of new life. Let's begin:
Capricorn, the goat
Capricorn is the picture of a goat slain, yet its hind legs are a fish tail. Its right front leg is folded back while its left leg is extended awkwardly, its head down in death. The goat of course represents sinful man while the fish represents life and alludes to the fish symbol to come, which speaks of those born of the Spirit. Though once dead, He lives!
The two brightest stars in Capricorn are Gedi and Dabih, meaning 'the cut-off', the 'sacrifice slain'. Other stars in the constellation are similar, meaning 'the slaying', and similar. The very name, Capricorn, is from the Latin meaning 'the atonement falling in death'.
We need to remind ourselves of history, that early Christians identified with the fish, in part because the risen Lord is recorded to have eaten fish on at least 2 occasions (Lk 24:42, John 21:13). The words Ichthys/pisces is a Greek acronym meaning 'Jesus Christ Son of God, Savior', the fish symbol an early secret 'password' between Christians.
The first decan of Capricorn is Sagitta the lone arrow. It is all by itself in the heavens, fired by an unknown hand. This is in agreement with Isaiah 53:10 that says it was the Father who made Him to be a sacrifice for sin, and He put Him to grief and sorrow to carry our sin. The Father fired the arrow, unseen, an action between Father and Son.
The second decan is Aquila the eagle. It is a picture of a dying eagle, showing Christ was not only the sacrificial goat, but the eagle flying represents heaven and royalty, showing it is a king 'goat' (Capricorn) that is dying. You may recall how in Exodus 19:4 the Lord told Israel: "I carried you out (of Egypt) on eagles' wings and brought you to myself." The main star is Altair or Al Tair (Arabic) which means 'the wounded'. The other 2 main stars mean 'the scarlet colored covered with blood' and 'the torn', and a 4th star name means 'wounded in the heel'.
The third decan is Delphinus the dolphin. It is a picture of a fish leaping out of the water, full of life. Because it is of Capricorn, it shows the fish tail of the sacrificial goat part of him will not stay dead - Delphinus shows resurrection and new life!
The summary of Capricorn: In Capricorn we have turned the corner from the first group of four, which are about His sacrifice and our sin. Now we see that in His death there comes life. Slain by the lone arrow from His Father, He was always dual-natured, always knowing He would rise as seen by the fish tail of the sacrificial goat. As Delphinus points us to the resurrection, let us look next at:
Aquarius, the Water Carrier
Aquarius is the picture of a man seated in heaven, and in his right arm is a large vessel pouring out water, which flows to Pisces the Southern Fish. You may remember your mythology where he is called Ganymede, the bright and happy One. The main star in Aquarius is Sa'ad al Melik, meaning 'Record of the outpouring'.
The first decan is Pisces Australius, the southern fish, to whom the pouring water comes. The symbolism of the risen Lord, now seated, (or the Father) pouring the water of the Spirit to the fish - believers.
Pegasus, the winged horse is the second decan of Aquarius. He is flying at full speed, and to the Greeks he was known as 'the Horse of the gushing fountain'. The word 'Pega means 'the chief' and the last part is 'fast horse', showing the Lord as the fast flying horse of the fountain of the Spirit. Is it any wonder The Revelation 19 reveals Jesus (and believers) will return flying through the air at Armageddon on white horse(s), to rescue Israel and prevent man from destroying himself.
The star names are Markab, 'the returning one', Scheat, 'he who goes and comes back', Enif, 'the branch', Al Genib, 'who carries', and Matar, 'one who causes a plentiful overflow'.
The third decan with Aquarius is Cygnus the swan. It is pretty easy to find in the night sky for it has 81 stars, including several double stars and the binary star Cygni. It is the picture of a swan in flight, though some see it as a swan dead or as having once been dead. The brightest star in Cygnus is Deneb, which means 'the Lord or Judge to come'. Other stars are Fafage, 'a glorious one', Sadr, 'who returns as a return trip', and Arided, 'He will come down'.
The summary of Aquarius: Aquarius moves the salvation story beyond death and resurrection to new life, coupled with the promise of His return. Clearly until then we have the water poured from above, the Holy Spirit, as an earnest (down payment) of our salvation. Ephesians 1:13-14
Pisces, the two fish
Pisces is a picture of two fish, one aligned with and following the path of the sun, the other veering off towards the North Pole. Both fish are tied together with the first decan, the Band or ribbon, which is tied around each fish's tail.
We could go in a couple directions understanding the two fish. We could look at Ephesians 2 and see the Jew and Gentile and how the Lord in His sacrifice has made one man of the two, which is my preferred understanding. We could also look at them as our dual nature, in our hearts wanting to follow the path of the sun (Son), but part of us wants to veer off out of bounds, as seen by the fish headed towards the north. I leave it to you.
The Band is the first decan, which is tied around the tails of the two fish, but also anchored to Cetus the sea monster (we will cover him later, but suffice for now to say he represents Satan and sinful man/nature of man). The Arabic name for ribbon is what we would call today a 'bridle', as in how one controls a horse. Star name Al Risha means 'a bridle, band, rope', used to control an animal.
I find it interesting the Ribbon is one continuous ribbon, and the the second decan is Cepheus the crowned King, who is holding the ribbon which is tied to the fish, in his right hand. He is a king seated on his throne, a scepter in his left hand. He is the one who watches over the two fish, and because He holds the Band in his hand, shows us He is in control. His foot by the way, sits on the Pole Star we call Polaris, or the North Star.
The North Star has been used by navigators for centuries because it is the one star that never moves. All the other stars revolve around it (look for a time lapse video of it if you'd like), so the fact that Cepheus the King has His foot on the pole star shows us that HE is the one we look to for direction and how to navigate our way through life.
On Cepheus' right shoulder is the brightest star in the constellation, Al Deramin, 'the quickly returning one'. In his belt is Al Phirk which means 'the redeemer'. In his left knee is the star 'the Shepherd'. The name 'Cepheus' means 'the royal branch', or simply, 'the king'. Again we see a reference to Virgo's son, the Branch.
The third decan of Pisces is Andromeda, the chained woman. She is seated but has her hands and feet each chained individually. The Pisces fish that is veering to the north is under the arm of Andromeda, showing the plight of man, chained by the world and sin yet also part of the living 'fish' in the Lord. If we understand that fish that veered from the path of the sun, we can consider it unbelieving Israel, chained and persecuted as it is held by Andromeda.
The star names in Andromeda mean, 'the persecuted', 'the broken-down', 'the afflicted', 'the weak'. In Greek mythology however she is known as the man-ruler, which again can mean Israel the first among nations because of their covenant with God. To the Egyptians Andromeda was not liked because fish symbolized dislike and hatred.
The summary of Pisces shows the plight of believers, and/or Jew and Gentile. Yet the King has made out of two, one. He is firmly in control. In Cepheus we see the promise of His return, for the next constellation reveals we will not always be chained by the world and sin.
Aries the Ram
Here we see a mature ram lying directly on and in perfect alignment with the path of the sun. The root of the name Aries means 'the Lordly one'. In Arabic he is called 'Al Hamal' which means 'the sheep', 'the gentle', 'the merciful'. The main stars are El Nath (El Natik) which mean 'the slain' or 'the wounded'. Above his head is a triangle, its main star there means 'the Head' or 'the uplifted one'.
The first decan of Aries is Cassiopeia, the enthroned woman. She is easy to spot because her stars make a large W in the night sky. The picture is of a woman seated on a throne, in opposition to Andromeda trapped on the earth and its failings, now in heaven enthroned. Her name means 'beautiful enthroned' or 'enthroned woman'.
It is interesting she has 4 stars which never set all night long throughout the whole yearly cycle. She oversees the darkness. Star names are Shedar, which means 'the freed'. Ruchbah and Dat Al Cursa which mean 'the enthroned' and 'the seated'. What is interesting is that Cepheus the enthroned King that we just looked at, holds the scepter in his left hand out to Cassiopeia. It reminds me of Esther receiving the favor of the extended scepter of the king.
One final note is that in mythology Cassiopeia is known as the mother of Andromeda. This agrees with Paul's statement in Galatians 4:26 that where he compares earthly Jerusalem with the heavenly Jerusalem: 'Jerusalem above is free, and the mother of us all.'
Cetus is the second decan of Aries. He is the sea monster, and the ribbon of Pisces is tied to the back of his neck. The main star in its neck is Mira, which means 'the rebel'. Another star is Menkar which means 'the chained enemy'. The star Diphda is the third main star, and means 'the overthrown'. I find it interesting he is tied to Pisces, which in my thinking means he is bound through the work of Jesus, and our authority to use that name to command him and his demons out and away from us. The Band or Ribbon is tied to his neck, where the reins of a horse rest, showing again how the Pisces has authority over Cetus the sea monster. But it also shows our nature bound to sin before we came to know Christ.
The third decan of Aries is Perseus the Breaker. Perseus is a warrior with a raised sword in his right hand, and under his left arm is the severed head of Medusa, the name Medusa means 'the one trodden under foot'. The star in the left foot of Perseus is Atik, 'he who breaks'. The middle star is Al Genib, 'the one who carries away', and Mirfak, 'who helps'.
Medusa, whose severed head Perseus holds, has as its main star Al Ghoul or Algol, meaning 'evil spirit'. The other star names are 'Rosh Satan' and Al Oneh, which means 'Satan's head' and 'the weakened and subdued'.
The summary of Aries shows the risen Lord, at rest with Cassiopeia the church at His side, looking at the defeated sea monster and holding the head of Satan under his arm - no longer a threat to anyone!
That concludes this second set of 4 constellations. As the first set of 4 show the person and nature of the Lord and the sin of man, the second set show His death and resurrection, return, and our future in heaven. The last set reveals His return and earthly kingdom and is SO exciting! Until then, blessings,
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