Commentary on Manuscript by Linden Leisge
This first edition of course VII has many examples of Zodical symbolism that are not in the later edition. The sources of these symbols and their interpretation are well worth researching. Currently the editor is studing the History of Chinese astrology. Its ancient form is mostly concerning the Rulers and the court. My study shows a marked difference in symbolism as there is no Zodiac and the constellations are completely different. In Chinese astrology the planet Venus is masculine and Jupiter a feminine planet. The chief analogy of as above so below is the only tenet that seems to be the same as western Astrology.
Benjamine's interpretation of a woman with a gold cord as representing Gemini is one that needs research. Benjamine's use of the Moon being exalted in Taurus and being symbolised by the Babylonians by the cresent and two stars also seems difficult. As the Zodiac and the Greco-Egyptian fusion of the Zodiac were not part of the records of the Babylonians observations which were mostly Heilical risings and planetary motions. We have good evidence that the Greco-Egyptian fusion was from Ptolemy hundreds of years later. It seems difficult to see Gemini as Benjamine's correlation to universal symbolism in the two stars and moon. Given the time frame of more than 500 years before the appearance of the Greco-Egyptian Zodiac,as well as the artifacts and literature now existent from the Babylonians. There is the fact that the Goddess Ishtar(Moon) was the chief deity of Babylon during the Taurian age where the feminine was paramount and the two stars with the moon could be interperted as Ishtar ruling the stars marks this land would be more realistic. This may be why Benjamine abandoned them in later works because of seeing the difficulty of these judgements with the later study and experience he had.
Issued under the auspices of The Brotherhood of Light.
Box 1525, Los Angeles, Calif.
Serial No. 76. Course VII- F.
The Religion of The Stars.
Part VI. Peter, The Dog Star, David and Jonathan.
By C. C. Zain
At the festival of Raymi, held by the Incas of America at dawn on the day of the Summer Solstice, fire was kindled from the rays of the Sun by means of a mirror, and on this fire sacrifices were burnt. Burnt sacrifices were offered on the same day in Asia Minor, Persia, and India. This festival, as will be fully explained in lesson #78, is held in honor of the Tower of Babel, the Great Bear, and the confusion of tongues. Fire became the emblem of the Sun, the Sun being the source of all Life, Light and Love known upon earth, and as such the transmitter of the Father’s Will and the Savior of the world. In some parts, trees as the source of terrestrial fire, the mediators thru which the sacred energy made itself manifest, came to be venerated. This Tree-worship was practiced alike in Mexico, Rome and Gaul. Baptism of children accompanied by an offering of cakes was practiced in both ancient Mexico and Babylonia. Marriages were made but once a year in ancient Peru and Babylonia alike, at a public festival instituted for that purpose. The ancient Mexicans, like the Jews, worshiped toward the East, called the South the right hand and burned incense toward the four corners of the earth. The priests of both nations likewise ate the flesh of sacrifices. Sacrifices for atonement and incantations for those possessed of evil spirits were common to both nations. The Spanish conquerors reported there were 5,000 priests in the temples of Mexico. These priests wore long white robes and confessed and absolved sinners. Cloistered Monks and convents for female devotees were common. These facts are beyond the meaning of the word coincident.
That all existence embraces three inseparable factors which mutually imply each other has been shown in lesson #53. This Hermetic conception is that Motion, Substance and Intelligence are the interdependent attributes of all reality. Following this philosophical conception we find in the zodiac Aries the movable fire sign representing Motion and Taurus the fixed earth sign representing Substance. This implies that the third member of the universal trinity, the result of the interaction between spirit and matter, is represented by the third sign, Gemini. Intelligence is signified by Gemini a mutable air sign. Air is a medium for transmitting to earth the Sun’s warmth, as witnessed by the cold of high regions of rare atmosphere. Intelligence is necessary to transmit the energy of the fires within to the form it vivifies in a manner easily utilized.
The sign Gemini is represented among the constellations as the Twins, Castor and Pollux, locked in fraternal embrace, one holding bow and arrow and a lyre, and the other a club. Ursa Minor, the Lesser Bear, the tip of whose long and unbearlike tail is the Pole Star, is the constellated Decan depicting the first, or Gemini decanate of the sign. The second, or Libra decanate, is depicted by Canis Major, the Greater Dog, who, as a worthy astronomer remarks, sits up and watches his master, Orion, but with an eye out for Lepus, the Hare. The third, or Aquarius decanate is pictured by Ursa Major, the Greater Bear, who likewise has an abnormal tail for bruin, but who daily circles the pole in the direction he is facing; while his little namesake faces backward and is pulled round the axis of the earth in a contrary direction to that which he appears desirous of going. As Gemini is represented by Twins, so in the Decans of Gemini there are Two bears; and as the sign Gemini is represented by human figures, and the sign Aquarius by a human figure, while Libra is represented by a non-human figure, so the Gemini decanate and the Aquarius decanate are represented by the same species of animal, while the Libra decanate is pictured by one of a different species.
We must now revert briefly to the constellated Decans of Taurus. Plutarch tells us that “in the reproduction of species among the hords familiar to primitive man, the first produced in the vernal season are the lambs, then come the calves, and later the kids”. This is the order in which they appear in the zodiacal pictures, and it should be noted that kids anciently, even as in our own day, were sometimes used colloquially as a term for children. Auriga, the Capricorn Decan of Taurus, is pictured with a mother goat on his shoulder and two kids in his hand, indicating the impulse to protect others. In the hand next to Gemini he holds a bridle, indicating power to control thru mental effort. It is thru proximity to the mental sign Gemini that Auriga gains his controlling power; as it signified by having a species of twin form part of the constellation. In practical astrology, the Moon, whose Exaltation is in Taurus, rules Mental Capacity; while Mercury, ruling Mental Ability, has its home in Gemini. The two phases of mind, the Objective and Subjective, are twins born of the Soul’s capacity to receive and manifest the One Universal Intelligence. With this significance we find it depicted over and over on Babylonian monuments and boundary stones – the oldest recognized by modern science – and ever given a prominent position, as a Crescent lying on its back with two stars near it. Here we have a record dedicated to the real Hermes Trismegistus, the three times greatest god of mind; for whatever may have been the facts regarding persons called by that name, if worthy to bear the title, they but personified the influence of the Celestial Twins.
In Old English literature, taking the place of Sargon to the Babylonians, Moses to the Jews, and Jason to the Greeks, we find King Arthur. And here it should be mentioned that celestial heroes may be pictured in several different signs to represent the various exploits of the hero. Thus Jason obtaining the Golden Fleece is pictured by Perseus in the sign of the Ram, but Jason conquering the Brazen footed Bulls is pictured by Orion, and the Ship in which Jason set sail by Argo-Orion being in the sign of the Bull and Argo in the sign of the Sea Crab. These exploits symbolize the possibilities offered to man by the various signs as revealed by the influence of the Sun when passing thru them. The best informed authorities assert there never was a King Arthur. There may have been a noted chieftain who carried on successful war against the Saxons, was betrayed by a wife and a kinsman and fell in battle. His birth, like that of other heroes, is shrowded in mystery. It is related that when first he saw light of day three ladies appeared and prophesied his future greatness. As Arthur is identical with Orion, and the three bright stars in Orion’s belt are among the most conspicuous objects of the night sky, no doubt they are the three ladies. Arthur, like Orion, was killed thru subtlety – the foot being the symbol of understanding, and it was there Orion received his mortal wound. Again it is related that Arthur had three wives all named Gwenhwyvar – the three stars in his belt again.
Among the celebrated feats of King Arthur was the establishment of the Round Table. It seems that at one yuletide there was such jealousy as to which of the knights present were to sit near the head of the Table that a fight started – resembling the fight to be related later in which one of the Twins is slain – a great many being killed in the fight. King Arthur took vengeance on the man who started the fight by killing him and all his kin. And to avoid a repetition of the trouble he caused a cunning artisan to construct a revolving table at which all the knights could sit, and because of its circular form each could consider himself at the head. Some authorities state that but 12 knights could sit at this table, others giving a different version. But from the fact that cromlechs, which are circular rows of stone to represent the orbital motions of the heavenly bodies, are found in the region from which these traditions emanated, we can not doubt that the zodiac with its revolving heroes formed the original Round Table – for the artificer so built the Table that the seats in which the knights (constellated heroes) sat moved with the table.
Having identified Arthur and his Round Table we may be permitted to take another step backward in Celtic tradition; for Arthur has passed down from the Druids. Easter, the Moon, known to the Romans as Diana, was Ceridwen the goddess of various seeds of Druid Mythology. We quote from the Hanes Taliesin –
“Ceridwen entering just at this moment, and perceiving that her whole year’s labor was entirely lost, seized an oar, and struck the blind Morda upon his head, so that one of his eyes dropped upon his cheek."
"’Thou hast disfigured me wrongfully’, exclaimed Morda, ‘seeing I am innocent; thy loss has not been occasioned by any fault of mine.’"
"’True,’ replied Ceridwen; 'it was Gwion the Little who robbed me.’” “Having pronounced these words, she began to run in pursuit of him. Gwion perceiving her at a distance, transformed himself into a hare, and doubled his speed; but Ceridwen instantly becoming a greyhound bitch, turned him and chased him towards a river."
In this Druidic legend we find Ceridwen, like Orion, wielding a club, only the club happens to be an oar. Also we have the reference to the blindness, common to myths about Taurus, for seeds placed beneath the earth are not visible. It is the hare, however, the first Decan of Taurus, that really is to blame, and the next turn of events find the hare chased towards the rejuvenating river, Eridanus, by the hound belonging to the intellectual sign Gemini.
According to Greek Mythology, Castor and Pollux, representing the sign Gemini, were twin sons of a mortal mother by a deific father. They were educated at Pallena, and were among those who embarked with Jason on the celebrated expedition to recover the golden fleece. During this contest at Colchis they behaved with great courage. Pollux, the twin furthest along in the zodiac distinguished himself by feats of arms, personal prowess, and his ability as a pugilist. Castor, the twin pictured nearer the Charioteer, Auriga, gained renown thru his ability to handle horses. After their return from the Argonautic expedition they participated in the hunt of the Calydonian Boar, and waged a successful war against the pirates that sailed the Hellespont. From this latter circumstance they have been known thru the centuries as “the sailor’s stars” being looked upon as particularly friendly to navigation and as the protectors of sailors.
In experimental astrology it is found that the sign Gemini rules brethren, writing, studies and thought. As born of a mortal mother, the mind is dependent for experience and expression on the body. The deific father, Jove, represents the indwelling eternal Ego. They were necessary in the recovery of the golden fleece, for mentality is the great agent in attaining creative power. Gemini, as is experimentally demonstrable, rules the arms and hands – and as dexterity with arms, in boxing, and in handling horses depends in great measure upon the ability to use the hands and arms, they are represented with such skill. The Hellespont, so named from Helle’s fatal fall therein, is Eridanus; whose spiritual waters are purified by repelling all obnoxious mental invasion. The brotherly love, depicted by the Twins, and related in their legendary sacrifice, defeats the Calydonian Boar of Greed – the remnant of the old Taurian avarice. As ruling travel, skill and thought, Gemini is naturally the patron of all who make journeys.
Castor and Pollux were the original Damon and Pythias. They fell in love with the daughters of Leucippus, brother of Tyndarus, but these young ladies were already betrothed to the sons of Aphareus. The Twins decided to supplant their rivals, and a great battle occured like the one resulting in the establishment of King Arthur’s Round Table. The rivals were slain, but in the fight Castor was mortally wounded and died. Pollux was so tenderly attached to his brother that he did not care to survive him. Jove, desirous of immortalizing such great love, offered either to take him up to Heaven or to permit him to share his immortality with his brother, stipulating that but one at a time should be permitted to live, the other in the mean time being confined in dark Pluto’s realm. Pollux choose the latter course, and thus they alternately live and die each day, for as long as one is upon the earth the other is confined in the region below.
The Twins, as rulers of the mind, represent the objective and subjective minds. When the objective mind is awake, the subjective mind is chained below the surface of personality. But when the objective mind sleeps, the subjective mind – which is the astral brain – takes charge of affairs and explores the universe. Thus each day, they alternately live and die.
The legend runs that during the Argonautic expedition a great storm arose and there was danger of the ship sinking, but that two flames of “St. Elmo’s Fire” being seen about the heads of Castor and Pollux the sea immediately subsided. These lights were sometimes known in honor of the Twins as “Ledean Lights”, and it is commonly believed by sailors that when only one of these lights appear there will be foul weather, but that when both appear the weather will be fair. It is related in the New Testament that while Jesus was asleep on a ship a great storm arose, which he quieted on waking. On landing he met two possessed of devils, who no doubt were quite as fierce as the pirates of the Hellespont. Jesus did not slay the Calydonian boar, but he immediately cast the devils out of these two men, and they entered a herd of swine and ran down into the sea. In both instances the evil beings that infested the region of the sea (the sign next to Gemini) were driven away, and the swine of greed perished. The ship of life left to the exclusive guidance of the astral brain – due to its being so readily influenced by suggestions arising from piratical or evil desires, so accustomed to respond to the swinish greed of the animal soul – runs into storms of passion and emotion. It is necessary to awaken the objective mind and exercise reason to subdue the tempest and put to flight the thoughts that prey upon the mind. It is fair weather for the soul when both lights are on duty, the objective mind and the subjective.
Taurus representing the planting and germination of seeds, Gemini is well represented by plants having pushed their way thru the earth into the air, and was symbolized in Egypt by two sprouted and growing plants, called Horus the Elder and Horus the Younger. As one passes from confinement into the open air thru a door, so the Eskimo know the constellation Gemini as the two door stones of an igloo – similar to the common emblem for Gemini. Due to the eyes on the feather of the peacock symbolizing consciousness, the Arabians know Gemini as the Two Peacocks. A Buddhist zodiac represents Gemini as a woman holding a golden cord – the cord being the offspring of Sun (gold) and Moon (the feminine). Gemini is known throughout India, however, as “the Aswins” or Horsemen. Among the Australian aborigines, it is known as “the Young Men”. The South African Bushmen call it the Young women, wives of the Eland. The Twins appear on the Peruvian star chart of Salcameyhua, one symbol for them being a Pile of Brick, for they are reputed to be the builders of the first city. By the name of Twins the constellation was known to the Assyrians, the Babylonians and to the natives of the Islands of the Southern Pacific.
Referring to Gemini, which rules the hands and arms, as well as mentality, Jacob in his blessing said – “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations”. The Twins were represented in the temples of Greece, armed with spears, riding side by side on white horses. Among the ancients it was said that Castor and Pollux frequently appeared at the head of their armies and led them to battle and victory. This thought, as well as the protection of the Twins over sea travel, has been immortalized by Macaulay in his “The Battle of the Lake Pegillius”.
It was a common custom among the Romans to place the effigies of Castor and Pollux in the prow of a vessel to protect it – and on such a vessel Paul was carried to Syracuse, as related in Acts; 28,11. The Twins were looked upon as the particular guardians of Rome, and as such were inscribed on Roman silver coin as two horsemen, the “Pence” of the good Samaritan being such a coin. It will be called to mind that the Twins Remus and Romulus (suckled by the Wolf, the Gemini decanate of Libra) built walls, and that afterwards Romulus founded Rome, even as the Peruvians held the Twins built the first city. Among the Romans, due to their respect for the Heavenly Twins it was customary to swear by them – the “By Gemini”, of the old Romans coming down to our times as the slang expression, “By Jiminy”. Greek mythology holds that Castor and Pollux were brothers of Helen, the cause of the famed Trojan war. In the Bible, as Simeon and Levi, they were the brethren of Dinah who precipitated the war against the Hivites, as related in Gen. 34. In both narratives it is the son of the ruler of the country that defiles the sister of the twins. Shechem, who carries off Dinah, is the son of Hamor. Paris, who elopes with Helen, is the son of Priam, king of Troy. In both stories there is great loss of life, and after the death of the wrongdoer the Sister is restored to her own household. In the Greek account Paris is killed with an arrow – an arrow being the weapon depicted as held by one of the Twins. In the Bible version, when Jacob heard of the thing that had befallen his Daughter – the Daughter in each of the stories being the Moon, sister ruler of the mental qualities – his sons were with his cattle in the field; meaning the influence of Taurus. When they returned from the field and heard the news the Twins planned vengeance. They persuaded the Hivites to be circumcised, and then slew them, spoiling their city and appropriating all their property, including their wives.
Circumcision is a rite symbolical of the Sun passing around the zodiacal circle, and is timely performed on the 8th day after birth, for each planet rules one day, and thru its own day is permitted to impress its influence upon the new born child – the small cycle of 7 days being taken as symbolical of the larger cycle of one year. But in the instance related the rite was untimely, resulting in the downfall and death of those upon whom performed. From Summer Solstice to Summer Solstice is one annual cycle of the Sun, this cycle ending and commencing when the Sun passes from Gemini to Cancer about the 22nd of June. After this circumcision, brought about by passing thru the hands of the Twins, the Sun begins to loose its vitality, the days beginning to shorten. It has reached its furthest northern declination, and for three days appears to move neither North or South, and then begins to fall towards the South. So we find Simeon and Levi waited until the third day before attacking Hamor and Shechem, and they took Dinah out of Sheckem’s house. Dinah is restored to her own home, because Cancer, into which any orb passes from Gemini, is the home sign of the Moon, as well as ruling the Home in experimental astrology. The soul of man, defiled by unclean desires is restored to its proper sphere of influence when the mind slays by proper thought all impure and obnoxious images.
Another version of Castor and Pollux is given in the Bible in the great love of Jonathan and David – “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul”. “And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle”. The bow is still pictured with the Twins, as well as the harp upon which David made sweet music to calm the spirit of Saul. Jonathan favored David, to the extent of assisting him to obtain the kingdom of his father, even as Pollux beseeches Jove to permit Castor to share his immortality. And like Simeon and Levi, David is required to slay many enemies on account of a woman- but in this case his wife. “Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men,and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full the tale to the king, that he might be of the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife”. Of the last Decan of Taurus, next to Gemini, it is related that David’s wife Michal warned David to escape(into the next sign) practicing deception with the goats pictured with Auriga – “And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goat’s hair for his bolster”. The bow and arrow held in the hand of Castor are put to good use by Jonathan in warning David to “Make speed, haste, stay not”, Gemini being the sign ruling travel.
A bear is the symbol of ruthless force and restless movement. The mind being the great force behind phenomena may in its unsympathetic coldness be represented by the bears of the icy North. Greek mythology relates that the two bears nursed Zeus on Mt. Ida and as a reward were placed among the stars. It is the experiences assimilated by the mind that nurtures the Divine Ego within. The Lesser Bear, like one of the Twins, stands for the subjective mind, and the Greater Bear represents the objective mind, or other Twin. Ovid relates that Jove taking the form of Diana, the Moon, debauches Calisto, whom Juno changes into a bear. Calisto’s son, Arcas, on a hunting expedition sees the bear and not recognizing it as his mother is about to slay her when they are both translated to the sky as the Lesser and Greater Bears. The debauchery here referred to is the physical aspect of the first Decan of Taurus. Isaiah 11.7 “And the cow and the bear shall feed”. Arcas the hunter is Orion, and then came the bears of the Decans of Gemini.
These bears of the North also typify the two actions of the mind. Dissociation, the breaking up into small factors, is represented by the little bear, illustrated by the ice of the North tearing asunder, the glaciers breaking into the sea as icebergs and the grinding floes crunching their contents to bits. It is the involutionary process that precedes evolution. The big bear resembles association of mental factors, the synthesis of the material into an organic whole – even as small flakes of snow falling on the mountains of the North gradually coalesce to become the mighty glacier whose strength to change the formation of the earth’s surface seems limitless. The larger bear faces the direction he travels and symbolizes evolution. The little bear turned in the opposite direction symbolizes involution – and as involution precedes evolution, so we find the little bear first. Also, as the subjective mind, or astral brain, precedes the objective, the Greater Bear comes later in the constellated scheme of the ancients.
The Pole Star, constituting the tip of the Lesser Bear’s tail, is honored throughout the world. Ursa Minor is recognized by some American Indians as a Bear, by some as a Dipper. Here is one of their legends concerning it – “A hunting party of Indians lost their way and being in doubt which way to proceed they prayed to the gods to direct them homeward. During their deliberations a little child appeared in their midst and proclaimed himself to be the spirit of the Pole Star and their guide. Following her they reached home in safety, and thereafter called the Pole Star ‘the star which never moves’. When the hunters died they were carried up into heaven, and we can see them in the stars of the Little Dipper following the Pole Star faithfully every clear night.
The Pole Star was known to the Mayas of Yucatan as the North Star, and strangely enough to the Arabs at a time when it is currently taught they believed the earth flat and stationary, as “The Hole Bearing the Earth’s Axle”. To the Greeks the Pole Star was known as Mount Olympus, where dwelt the gods, Jove, king of the gods being represented by Cepheus, who is pictured with his foot placed on the Pole Star, or Mount Olympus. In astrology Jupiter, or Jove, is the co-ruler of Pisces, the first decanate of which is pictured by Cepheus. Juno, the wife of Jove, of course is Queen Cassiopea, of the third decanate of Pisces. We see, therefore, the relation in the sky between Jove and the Bear, for the king of gods rests his foot on the end of Bruin’s tail.
Cephas means rock, and Cepheus of same derivation has his foot placed upon the one immovable point in the heavens, the Pole Star. This Pole Star is Mount Meru to the Buddhists and Mount Zion to the Hebrews. As Mount Olympus we can understand why it is related by the Romans that it is so high no bird can fly to its top and no clouds can collect at its summit. Being the one star that apparently has no motion from day to day and from year to year it must be identical with the “rock of ages” mentioned in the Bible – “For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore, for thy name’s sake, lead me and guide me”. “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I’. The Pole Star has been the guide of people in all parts of the earth. “They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but standeth fast forever.” It is easy to demonstrate the apparent stationary position of the Pole Star, but the Bible implies it is also something to be recovered – “Zion shall be redeemed with judgement, and her converts with righteousness”. To add to the seeming confusion Zion is repeatedly called a City – it is the Holy City of God. On Mount Olympus was the City where dwelt the Greek gods, and it will be recalled that in various lands Gemini is associated with the building of cities; and further that the Pole Star constitutes a part of the constellation Ursa Minor, the first Decan of Gemini. In Math. 7. is related a parable in which a man built his house upon this Rock, belonging to the first decanate of Gemini, and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew, and yet the house remained firm. But a foolish man built his house upon the sands of the sea sign Cancer, and when the storms came the house fell with a crash. Math. 17.18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven."
As Peter means rock, he must be identical with king Cepheus in the sky, also with the Greek Jove; and the real rock upon which the church is to be established is the immovable Pole Star. As the Lesser Bear, containing the Pole Star, pictures the first decanate of Gemini, and the Sun in Gemini is approaching the Summer Solstice after crossing which it will fall toward the south and winter, this is the gate referred to, and winter the darkness of hell. Cepheus is not pictured with keys in his hand, but a scepter, and wearing a crown surmounted by seven little globes. The law by which these keys are to be applied is plainly stated – “as above so below, as below so above” – that which is loosed on earth so in heaven, that which is bound on earth likewise in heaven; the old Hermetic Law of Correspondences. But we have yet to discover the inner significance of the rock upon which the great church should be built, which is higher than cult or creed, which is imperishable, which as Zion has been lost but must be recovered, and which should constitute the guide of the human soul.
Bears have Plantagrade feet, making them extremely large-footed, and symbolic of great understanding. The Lesser Bear, like one of the Twins, represents the Subliminal Mind, or astral brain. Within this subjective consciousness lies a power inherent to recognize Truth. The one unchangeable, immovable attribute in the universe is Truth; and thus Truth is symbolized by the immovable Pole Star. And as a star by virtue of its light symbolizes consciousness, the Pole Star represents a Consciousness of Truth, The City of Zion, The Holy City, is a spiritual habitation built upon the understanding of natural law, or Truth. Birds can not fly to the top of Olympus, because even thoughts can not attain complete Truth. No clouds collect upon the summit of Olympus because the Truth is not cloudy when perceived. Truth is the Rock higher than any religion, and is redeemed with judgement, and her converts practice righteousness. A home built upon Truth will not fail, but one built upon the sands of sentimentality will succumb to emotional storms. Peter, or Cepheus, has his foot – his understanding – resting on the Pole Star Truth. He therefore understands the Law of Correspondences wherein that which is in heaven has a strict correspondence on earth. Hell can not prevail against Truth. In the Indian Legend, after prayer, a little child appeared to them as the spirit of the Pole Star – and as a little child in innocent purity one enters into the subjective states where Truth is apprehended internally without the need of external evidence. Following this internal perception of Truth the warriors reached home in safety, as will others who follow the Christ-Consciousness of Truth within.
The second decanate of Gemini, the Libra of marriage decanate, is pictured in the sky by Canis Major, the Greater Dog. When it is remembered that nothing is swifter than thought, and that Gemini in experimental astrology has been found to rule thought and travel, the Greek Legend about this dog becomes clear. The dog was given to Cephalus by Aurora, and was raced against other animal except the fox, and even held its own with him. As a reward he was placed among the stars. It is also called one of the hounds of Orion, is known in India as “the Deerslayer” and to Scandinavian mythology as the dog of Sigurd. This constellation has been found engraved on an ivory disc at the site of ancient Troy, and figures on an ancient Etruscan mirror. In combination with the two bears it is represented in mythology as the three-headed dog, Cerberus, who guarded the entrance to Hades – the entrance to hades, the hottest months of summer and Sun’s failure being the summer solstice.
A dog is notable among animals for having the rudiments of altruism developed, and a sense of God. He not only guards and protects but if need be will sacrifice his life for his human companion. He looks upon his Master as one to be worshiped, and sometimes will pine and die when separated from him. He is the emblem of Fidelity, Vigilance and Sagacity. The constellation Canis Major is particularly noted for the star that blazes in the open jaws of the dog. This star, the dazzling Sirius, also called the Dog Star, is the brightest star of the whole heavens. From this star dog-days are named. Dog-days are the close, sultry days of summer, a period extending thru July and August, beginning when the Sun rises simultaneously with the Dog-Star. During this period canine madness is supposed to be unusually prevalent. It is said a mad-dog shuns water, hence the disease is called hydrophobia. At least this is true of the Greater Dog of the sky, for he has his back turned to the watery sign Cancer. And singularly enough the dog-star corresponds to that part of the heavens in which the Sun soon will reach its farthest station North (and for this reason the bears representing the other decanates of the same sign are found among the farthest constellations North) and hence sheds the maximum amount of sunshine upon the most populous hemisphere of the earth where we reside, even as the Dog-Star is the most splendid of all stars. The Sun, also, after it crosses the solstice into the watery sign Cancer, apparently begins to wane in brilliancy, the water seeming inimical to its life, even as it is supposed to be inimical to the afflicted dog.
Sirius is the Star that led the wise men from the East to the site of the blessed nativity. Certainly only the brightest star in heaven would portend such a wonderful event. And for ages prior to the time now allotted to that event, Sirius had been the star that gave warning of the coming of a Savior. Those most conspicuous stars, the three bright stars that form the belt of Orion, popularly known as the three kings, are the wise men from the East; for they rise on Christmas evening in the East and ascend to the Mid-heavens, being on the Celestial Equator. Almost directly in line with these three brilliant and most conspicuous stars, yet still to the East of them, is Sirius – “for we have seen his star in the East, and come to worship him”. At the present time Sirius rises on Christmas evening about seven o’clock, taking five hours and three minutes to reach the meridian. Thus now it stands directly overhead at midnight of Christmas Eve. This has not always been the case; but for many thousands of years Sirius, toward which Orion the “three eastern kings” constantly point has been the most conspicuous object in the heavens on Christmas night, and is always directly above when the constellation Sagittarius is directly below, and just before the manger of the constellated goat reaches the lowest point in its circle.
Among the Egyptians the Dog-Star, Sirius, was the announcer of a Savior. For sustenance, the Egyptians depended upon the crops made possible by the silt deposits which renewed their lands each year thru the flooding of the Nile. This flooding of the Nile was to them an actual Savior, for without it they would starve. This annual overflow was always preceeded by an Etesian wind – an annual periodic wind somewhat similar to a trade wind. This wind, blowing from the North drove the mists and clouds to the South and concentrated them over the country in which the Nile has its source, precipitating them as rain and causing the Nile to overflow. At the time of year that Sirius rose in the morning – the star in the east – this annual flood was imminent. Hence the Egyptians watched the star closely to be able to know when to move their household effects to higher ground to avoid the inundation. Thus Sirius always gave warning to each family of the approach of the overflow. Like a faithful dog it warned of danger, and at the same time announced the coming of the Savior, the Nile, being baptized in whose name meant new life to the people, and everlasting life to the land.
Certain authorities assert that the Egyptian words Osiris and Sirius were derived from a common root. However that may be, Sirius is the brightest star in the sky even as Osiris was at one time the chief Egyptian deity. Other Egyptian names for Sirius were Thoth, the god of mind and writing, and Hathor, “the barker”. Here we have clear references to the rulership of Gemini, the sign to which Sirius belongs, over writing, thinking and speaking. Lockyear reports seven (the number of chief stars in the Great Bear) Egyptian temples so situated that the beams from Sirius in rising or setting penetrated to the inner altar, the holy of holies. At Dendirah it was called “Her Majesty of Denderah”.
According to Virgil the first terrific objects which the neophyte undergoing initiation in the Eleusinian mysteries sees when the priests conduct him toward the mysterious river, are in the form of bitches. In an ancient sculptured representation of the Eleusinian Cave, Ceres is attended by a dog, and the aspirant in the form of a child is led to the cave by another dog. Plutarch relates that Isis was assisted by certain dogs in the discovery of Anubis, the child of Osiris, whom the mother had exposed in dread of the anger of Typhon. This child, adopted by Isis, became her faithful companion and guard. He was called Anubis because he had the same vigilance for the cause of the gods that a dog has for his human master. Anubis is represented as a human figure with the head of a dog or fox (or of same significance a jackal), recalling the race between the hound and fox – the fox representing the other of the dual aspects of the Greater Dog. Anubis identical with Canis Major, is the conductor of the departed, even as we are conducted by our thoughts to our proper sphere beyond the grave. The fox headed Anubis is the more cunning aspect of the mind, while the dog headed form typifies fidelity and devotion as well as sagacity.
Canis Major, the second Decan of Gemini, corresponds to the sign of Libra, or marriage, decanate. He unites the two decanates corresponding to the Subliminal Mind and the Objective Mind, the Decans, Greater Bear and Lesser Bear. These two factors of the mind acting in cooperation give warning of the approach of danger, announce the presence of the Savior within, is that which the Neophyte must first observe in Initiation, guards the gates of Hades, assists Nature to develop the true child of God – and finally, after death pilots the departing soul to better realms.