When I was a boy my dad and I would sometimes step outside at night and he would describe for me the constellations, their names, shapes, and how they move in the seasons as the earth moves through space. The Big and Little Dippers, Cassiopeia easily found by the W of her stars, Orion and his belt of 3 stars, and so on.
I became fascinated. He bought me a telescope and I would spend hours looking at the moon and planets. And then I grew up. Dad left the family, the telescope associated with our time together became a depressing reminder of happier times, and life moved on. I moved on.
Once I became a Christian I became curious how the wise men could tell a king had been born in Israel by looking at the stars. I wondered why the Lord referred to the zodiac when talking with Job, as if He and Job knew they meant something related to salvation.
I wondered why references were continually made of the stars, like Genesis 15 when the Lord took Abram into space ("brought him forth abroad" in the KJV means 'took him into the sky or space') and tells him to count the stars because that is how many his offspring will be. I wondered why prophecy about Israel included "A star will arise out of Jacob" (Num 24:17) and why The Revelation 12 talks of 1/3 of the stars rebelling and being cast down to the earth after their rebellion against God.
I reasoned that since God created all things, the stars must have a purpose, they must SAY something. They must reflect a message, for Genesis 1:14 says, "Let them be for signs, seasons, days, and years." There had to be a true astronomy that recognized the signs in the stars while also studying the science of the universe.
But it was years before I ran across the 1882 research done by Lutheran minister Joseph Seiss, who wrote the book 'The Gospel in the Stars'. Nearly everything written in modern times about the original signs God gave man for the zodiac is based on his research and ancient scholars before him, even to the Middle Ages.
Knowing that fallen man perverts every gift of God, it should be no surprise there are people who think the seasons of the constellations guide a person's life, rather than looking to the Creator of those stars who guides a person's life. But just because there is the counterfeit does not mean we should shy away from the true. Indeed, the presence of the counterfeit proves the existence of the true whether we are talking about counterfeit money, a work of art copied by a forger, or the zodiac. God said the stars are for signs, so let us begin:
The 12 signs of the zodiac
The main signs are 12, and each of the 12 have 3 accompanying smaller constellations called 'decans' (deck-uns). These 3 decans further explain the meaning of the main constellation. The signs come into their respective seasons according to the invisible path of the sun across the sky, called the 'ecliptic'. As the constellations cross the invisible line of the sun's path, they come into that season, thus through a year all 12 signs have had their season.
The gospel message in the zodiac is divided into 3 groups consisting of 4 constellations each. The first group of 4 have to do with the nature of Messiah, sin, and the enemy. The 2nd group has to do with new life, the church, and God's Spirit poured out. And the last group with the return of the King and believers secure in heaven with Him. These, plus each one's decans as an overview, with details to follow over the next 3 weeks:
The first group: Messiah, sin, the enemy
Virgo the virgin. The 3 decans are Coma, the infant birthed by the virgin, Centaurus the dual natured one, and Arcturus or Bootes, the Great Shepherd and harvester, holding a rod and a sickle.
Libra, the scales. The scales are downward tilting, meaning they are not balanced in man's favor. The 3 decans of Libra are the Cross, seen in the Southern Hemisphere (The Southern Cross), Lupus the victim of the dual natured Centaur, pierced to death. And Corona the Crown, called the Northern Crown, complimenting the southern cross.
Scorpio the scorpion. The decans are the Serpent, Ophiuchus, who wrestles with the Serpent and his bitten on the heel while with his other foot he crushes the head of the Scorpion. And Hercules, wounded in the heel.
Sagittarius, the dual natured archer who's bow and arrow are pointed directly at the heart of Scorpio. The decans are Lyra, an eagle holding a lyre/harp, Ara the altar turned upside down, and Draco the dragon, upside down and writhing in pain.
The 2nd group; New life, resurrection, the church
Capricorn, the dual natured one slain. Part goat, part fish. It's decans are Sagitta, the arrow fired by an unknown hand which killed Capricorn, Aquila the eagle pierced and falling, and Delphinus the dolphin, full of life jumping out of the sea in new life.
Aquarius, the picture of a seated man pouring from a large vessel a stream of water of life. Its decans are the Southern Fish, which is drinking in the water from above, Pegasus the white horse, very alive, with wings quickly flying to bring life and good news, and Cygnus the swan, flying quickly, whose stars make the sign of the cross.
Pisces, the 2 fish, one headed toward the North Pole the other along the path of the sun. The 2 fish are held together by one of its decans, The decans are The Band, a single ribbon tying the 2 fish together. Cepheus the crowned king, seated, scepter in one hand and the ribbons in the other. And Andromeda, a woman in chains with one of its stars named 'persecution'.
Aries, the ram lying peacefully watching over everything. It's decans are Cassiopeia, a woman on a throne. Cetus the sea monster who has the band/ribbons of The Band tied to its neck, under the control of Pisces. And the last is Perseus, a strong man with a sword in his right hand, with winged feet carrying away the head of a monster that has snakes coming out of its severed head.
The 3rd group, the return of the King
Taurus the bull, with the 7 stars of the Pleiades on his shoulder, horns down, charging forth. His 3 decans are: Orion, the glorious prince, a sword sheathed to his side, his foot on the head of the serpent (or the hare). Eridanus, the river of judgement. And Auriga, the shepherd, carrying a mother goat with 2 little goats in his left arm, with a band or reins in his right.
Gemini, originally not twins, but husband and wife. It's 3 decans are Lepus the Hare, in some nations it is a snake, under the foot of Orion. The others are the 2 dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor, originally wolves, killers of the hare.
Cancer, the crab in modern usage. Seen as one who molts in growth throughout its life, also seen as a being at rest, at peace, a star name means 'the gathering' or 'the gathered'. Much more on this later from its ancient symbol and meaning. It's 3 decans are what we call the Big Dipper and Little Dipper, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Originally a sheep-fold, corrals for sheep not bears, one big and one little, always associated with Arcturus the Shepherd and keeper of the flock. Argo the ship, showing movement and travel for those on board...so much more to this!
Leo, the pouncing lion. (The lion of the tribe of Judah) Its 3 decans are Hydra, the snake fleeing, underfoot of both the Lion and Cancer the crab. Crater, the bowl of wrath which is resting on the Serpent. Corvus the Raven or Crow, which is seen on the back of the Serpent picking at it as a bird eats a snake.
We can imagine Adam, Seth, and Enoch in their respective times walking with the Lord as He laid out for them the signs in the sky, prophesying of the salvation to come and the final judgement of the enemy. I've sketched out just enough to hint at the full story, but it is the star names that truly define the meanings of each of the constellations.
Those star names assigned so long ago, have to a large extent remained unchanged through the centuries, though the Greeks in particular perverted many of the signs. But the star names remain largely unchanged. When we examine the ancient Arabic and Egyptian/Middle East star names the story of salvation truly unfolds.
I'm writing this in a way that can be easily printed out and studied over in a group or individually, more information than inspiration, for I think the information itself provides the inspiration! We will cover the stars names of the first 4 next week, and you will be amazed! Until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org