The Twelve Foundation Stones and the Portals
The Zodiacs of Babylon and Egypt
The book of Jasher, appears to be much older that the book of Genesis. In fact, it has many of the stories of Genesis but in much greater detail. From that very interesting book, we learn the life story of a man named Enoch. He lived on a mountain with his many sons and people. It is recorded of this man that he was taken up to the highest
Heaven, where he was taught many things, including the meaning of the Signs of Heaven. He was instructed to write down what he had learned and to return to earth with it. He was to then teach his people all that he had learned. And so, it is said of him that he was the first man to learn
the Signs of the Zodiac and teach his fellow men the meanings associated with each Sign. After he had fulfilled his mission, he was again taken back to heaven and never seen again.
THE ZODIAC IN EGYPT
Certain scholars believe that the Egyptians learned their astrological wisdom from the Babylonians. This may well be, but I have reservations about this hypothesis. It is claimed that the Chaldeans were more concerned about the movements of the Planets than about the meaning of the Zodiac but I doubt it. I will agree that the Chaldeans were obsessed with Venus as were the Mayans. This is apparent from the study of the‘Venus Tables of Ammizaduga’ . They seem to have been aware of the fact that as Venus pursues her orbit, she appears to draw a perfect pentagram in the sky (this is because of Earth’s orbit).
They were also aware that it takes Jupiter one year to pass through each of the twelve Signs. We do know that the Egyptians used other constellations to explain the meaning of the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac. And it appears that they used the position of the stars in Orion to layout the seven great pyramids of Giza. The three largest pyramids match the exact shape and position the three stars in the belt of Orion. The Egyptian believed that Osiris and Isis came to Earth from a planet in Orion. They even taught that Osiris and Isis returned home to obtain the original seeds; wheat, barley and hops so the Egyptians could make beer!
MEANINGS OF THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC AND THE TWELVE LABORS OF HERCULES
In this article, I hope to cover some of the Esoteric meaning behind the Signs. The Ancients did not begin their Zodiac with the same Sign we do. The Jews begin their calendar with the month of their departure from Egypt. The Egyptians seem to have used Virgo as the beginning of their calendar. It is claimed that the Sphinx once faced due East and that
its face was that of a woman and not a man. Its body is that of a lion, so the lion represents the end of the Zodiac while the woman’s face represents the beginning. We do know that the Earth changed its axis three or four times, so that the Sun could have arisen in the West and set in the East. Since we began this study using Aries, let’s begin there again. But for a broader understanding of these shining Constellations, we need to look at the twelve labors of Hercules.
ARIES (April) Turysthens, the teacher of Hercules, assigned him twelve labors to perform within the space of a year. The labor of Hercules in this month was to capture the man-eating horse of Diomedes. This terrible creature had iron hoofs and iron wings and it could fly very swiftly. As we saw in the earlier part of this study, Aries represents life
and the Will to Be and Do. To me, the picture on Page 29 somewhat exemplifies the meaning of Aries. This would-be-Knight is shown in a strange chariot. It doesn’t even have harnesses and for horses, it has two sphinxes. The great Sphinx of Giza hasn't moved of its own volition, since it was carved. His chariot is actually a Cube, which symbolizes the work of Perfection. On his shoulders are two emblems of the Moon. Aries is the first Fire Sign.
TARSUS (May) Tarsus is an earth Sign. It is in this month that the Earth is graced with flowers in bloom. The labor assigned to Hercules for this month was to capture the Cretan Bull and ride him back across the sea like a horse. Hercules eventually found him by listening to him lowing in a cave.
When I think of caves, I am reminded of the hermit who retires to a cave to live a life of contemplation. We certainly do need to learn the art of contemplation and meditation but character is never perfected by living in isolation. When the Angel of the LORD found Elijah, hiding in a cave in Arabia, he asked him in so many words, “What are you doing here?”
The Buddhists revere the full moon in May because Gautama Buddha was born under a full moon in May, received Illumination under the full moon of May and died under a full moon in May.
GEMINI (June) The labor of Hercules in this month was to find a certain tree, guarded by a large serpent, in the land of the Hesperides (the west) and to pluck two golden apples from it. These two apples were used to free Prometheus from the chains which bound him to a rock and to lift the weight of the world from the shoulders of Atlas.
The word ‘Gemini means ‘twins’. The Greeks were fond of telling the story of Castor and Pollex - how Zeus placed both of them as Signs in the Heaven because of their love one for another. But this Sign is much older than Castor and Pollex, who fought in the Trojan War.
CANCER (July) Godfrey Higgins in his book ‘Anacalypsis’ tells us that there once existed in the ancient world a giant statue of Hercules with a set of gates on his shoulder. This gentleman also suggests that the stories of Samson in the Bible are a parallel to the Twelve labors of Hercules. He says that the name Hercules means ‘Prince of the Sun’ while Samson means ‘Little Sun’.
Well, as I pointed out in a previous issue, Cancer is a Water Sign and it signifies the growth in maturity that one can only attain through his interaction with the significant people in his life. The symbol for Cancer is a Crab.
LEO (August) I find it interesting that in the mystery religion known as Mithraism, one of the degrees of Initiation was called the Lion and it involved the use of honey.
Hercules' labor for this month was to kill the Nemean Lion and cloth himself with its skin, without tearing it! On one occasion, Jesus “saw a man carrying a ram (lamb) on his shoulders and he asked the disciples, Why is that man carrying that lamb around? They said to him, Because he intends to kill it and eat it. Jesus said to them, While it lives, he will not eat it, but only after he kills it and makes a corpse of it will he do so. They answered him, He cannot do otherwise. Jesus then said, You, look for a place with in Repose for yourselves, otherwise you will become a corpse and be eaten. Blessed is the lion which become a man by being eaten by man, but woe to the man, whom the lion eats and the lion becomes man.”3
Another time Jesus said, “Blessed is the person who finds the interpretation of this thought concerning his eyes, ‘He did not kill nor was he killed, but he came forth victorious.”4 Leo is a Fire Sign and speaks of transition.
LIBRA (October) The Scales is an Air Sign. The labor of Hercules in this month was to capture the wild boar of Erymanthus. He eventually chased him up to the top of high, snow covered mountain peak and there captured him. The lesson here is to learn balance in all things.
SCORPIO (November) Although the Scorpion lives in the desert, this is a Water Sign. The Constellation called the Scorpion occupies a large area in the night sky but right above it is an even larger group of stars called ‘Serpent handler’. It is a man wrestling with a large Serpent in order to keep it from touching the ground.
The labor of Hercules in this month was to kill the nine-headed serpent by holding him off the ground. The problem with this snake is that when he would cut off a head, another one would appear. When it did die, it was transmuted into an Eagle, which can be seen directly above Sagittarius. Scorpio shows us death in the Desert; Sagittarius shows us death in the Valley while Capricorn shows us death in the Ocean.
SAGITTARIUS (December) One of the most beautiful Constellations of the night sky is that of Sagittarius. I once painted a mural of him with real lights to show the stars. His cape is the Milky Way. The arrow about to be launched from his bow is aimed directly at the bright red star in Scorpion.
The race of Centaurs was well known for its rabble rousing and debauchery. The Centaurs were half horse and half man. Most of them only thought of drinking, wincing, gambling and other low-life activities. But there was one among them, known as Chiron, who overcame his lower instincts and rose to become a famous teacher. One of his
students was Jason, the Argonaut. Chiron had once lived in a cave with Zeus, because they were brothers. Poseidon was given the wide Ocean as his domain. Zeus was given all the lands of the West to govern and Hades was given the realm of the lower worlds to govern. Chiron became a great teacher. His claim to fame in the 20th Century, is that a recently discovered asteroid has been named after him!
The labor of Hercules in this month was to kill the man eating birds of Stymphalos. These strange birds could drop sharp quills on men, thereby killing them. But before Hercules could discover their lurking place, he needed something to drown out their chatter and drive them out into the open. So, Minerva gave him a set of cymbals to drive them
into the open. This speaks to us clearly of stilling the Mind with its constant chatter, becoming centered and learning control. Sagittarius is the final Fire Sign. As I pointed out in a preceding writing, one must endure three kinds of fire and survive before the Son of God is manifested.
CAPRICORN (January) This is an Earth Sign. It is in this month that the Sun passes below the Winter Solstice. Hercules’ labor in this month was to descend into Hades and bring back Cerberus to the land of the living. It is reported that Hercules died between the two giant rocks at the Strait of Gibraltar. Samson died between two center columns in the temple of Dagon by pulling the place down around him, thus destroying three thousand people and helping to liberate his people.6
AQUARIUS (February) Aquarius, is an Air Sign. It’s symbol in the Sky is a man pouring water from two pitchers. The water from one flows down into the mouth of a large fish beneath his feet, while the water from the second pitcher flows upward and we see a dolphin leaping in it
The labor of Hercules in this month was to clean out the Aegean stables. This chore was complicated by the fact that over a period of thirty years, there had been thirty-thousand oxen living in it and therefore this amounted to an impossible job. But Hercules was able to cleanse the stables by diverting a river through it.
To impart some of the important truths that need to be purveyed here, we will need to borrow two glyphs from the Tarot Cards. One is called the Star while the other is called Temperance. Look carefully at the water flowing upward in Temperance.
With Love, I remain your friend, Jeffrey Brackeen