The Religion of the Stars|
Ancient Monuments of Spiritual Astrology
by C.C. Zain, Elbert Benjamine December 1919
Issued under the auspices of the Brotherhood of Light.
Serial No. 72. Course VII.-B.
Box 1525, Los Angeles, Calif. December 1919.
The Religion of The Stars.
Part II. Ancient Monuments of Spiritual Astrology.
by C.C. Zain
In matters of worship there can be little doubt mankind has degenerated. A dominant portion of the human race worships a kindly Jewish Initiate and Reformer who lived some 1900 years ago. They know little about him--for the fabulous tales of his life are based upon astronomical phenomena, and are common to all nations of antiquity. More and more, intellectual man is turning to a worship even more degrading than the fond expectation that mere belief in the suffering; death and resurrection of a mythological character will be the means of atoning to Nature for all individual trespasses against society and the violation of immutable laws. They are turning to the worship of Gold. But be it that, or the worship of a stone idol, or a brazen calf, or any one of the kinds of worship recorded by history; each and every one is--like the adoration of the mystical Christ or the fabulous Krishna--the worship of a gross symbol instead of the vital spiritual truth it originally represented. Yet to whatever form of intellectual and spiritual absurdity mankind has fallen in its religious devotion, the fact stands out clear-chiseled, in monuments of stone that nature and vandals alike have been powerless to efface--that the original worship of mankind was a reverence for Nature's Laws, which were considered to be the manifestations of the Will of Deity.
It may be, in ages to come, when once again the polar axis of the earth has swung parallel to the plane of the Ecliptic and again swung back, and the glacial epoch of that distant day shall close--that our offspring, finding relics, shall look and wonder. It may be in that far time, finding characters of our written language where graven on stone, they will bow down to them in worship without understanding their import. The remnant of the Goddess of Liberty that now marks the harbor of New York may be accepted as a Deity--but that does not signify that we who formed the words and the statue deem them gods--but only that to us they have an inner meaning. The Goddess of Liberty is not merely a figure--it is a principle. Our words are not mere aggregations of marks--they convey ideas. And the monuments of the ancients, upon which inconceivable labor was expended, were not mere curious structures, nor were they idols to be blindly worshiped. They may have degenerated into this--but originally they were representations of ideas, of important principles, or Nature's Sacred Laws.
Like kittens, whose first days of life are spent in blindness; since the birth of the New Precessional Cycle--which started a little over 2000 years ago when the first point of the Sign Aries coincided with the first point of Constellated Aries--mankind has had its eyes closed to facts, feeding unquestioningly upon the skim milk of faith offered by its stepmother, the Church. The Equinox has now, since 1881, passed from Pisces, the sign of Self-Undoing, Imprisonment, Chronic Fear and Mental Obsession, known to astrologers as the sign of the house of Secret Enemies; into the Scientific, Intellectual, Humanitarian, Progressive sign, Aquarius, the sign of the house of Friends. The blind period following the birth of the present Great Solar Cycle Race of Humanity is past, and the Churches that fostered this blindness are crumbling, soon to be engulfed in the night of oblivion. But so long have we been accustomed to blindness that our sudden-opened eyes have not yet become accustomed to the brilliancy of the Sunlight of Truth--and dazzled by its glare, many of our scientific men fail to see what should be apparent.
The Races of other Great Solar Cycles, and of still others antedating them, have been born in blindness, yet also have had their eyes opened, even as we are opening ours. These races have taken advantage of thousands of years of undarkened vision to investigate the vital Truths of Nature, assisted by the traditions and monumental records left by preceding Cycles of mankind, dating even back to the golden Age, when a Spiritually enlightened Family came from other realms to colonize the earth and become the parents of more physical man.
Our scientific men, not less dogmatic than the Church, assume without investigation, that the two most important facts recorded universally by the ancients--the fact that the movements of the heavenly bodies produce a corresponding change in the life of man, and the fact that it is possible for mankind to communicate with the so-called dead--are not facts, but superstitions. They base their judgment upon the preconceived idea that the ancients were ignorant and superstitious and knew nothing about nature, and that it is preposterous to think that the positions of the planets have any influence upon the actions or character of man, and that as man moulders into dust, it is absurd to think the spirits of the dead return and talk to their loved ones on earth. But even as the scientists are so fond of advising the churchman, the Truth of a statement should be demonstrated experimentally--not determined by speculation alone.
And such scientific men of the present day--and the number is rapidly increasing--as are investigating Spirit Communion experimentally and with an open mind, are almost unanimous in concluding that intelligent intercourse with the so-called dead is a demonstrated fact. And thousands of keen students, who are experimentally investigating astrology, are quite as unanimous in asserting that the positions and movements of the planets do correspond to characteristics and events in the life of man, even as recorded by the ancients. It has been but a few years since, that anyone confessing to a belief in Spiritualism was considered an ignoramus and no scientific man would belittle himself by taking notice of such claims, certainly not enough to carry out a line of experimental investigation. And the scientific men of the future will wonder why they were so stupid as to permit prejudice to cause them to neglect investigating astrology--which is as thoroughly an experimental and exact science as chemistry, botany, or physics.
We can not expect the scientists who collect the data about ancient megalithic monuments, or who excavate beneath them in search of relics, yet are totally ignorant of the first principles of astrology, and who know nothing whatever of Universal Symbolism, and who are convinced the ancients knew nothing worth while, to be able to interpret either the meaning of the monuments or the records--both being astro-symbolical representations of facts which moderns fail to recognize.
That astronomy and astrology did not originate in any of the ancient centers of civilization where we find them in the most remote times as well developed sciences there can be no room for doubt. Yet these ancient centers of civilization made observations that they might corroborate the evidence and find its application to their specific times, even as we now compile Ephemerides and erect maps for the same purpose. The Chinese claim to have recorded observations for 8,000 years B.C., recording a series of eclipses in 2169 B.C., yet the oldest Chinese remains shows them acquainted, not only with both a Solar and Lunar Calendar, but also with the arts of civilized life. Herodotus declares that the Egyptians had recorded observations for 11,340 years, and had seen the course of the Sun change four times--meaning four Great Solar Cycles of 25,920 years each--and also had records of a time when the Ecliptic was perpendicular to the Equator--which at the present rate of decrease would have taken place about 480,000 years ago, about the time the Trinal Man, the man with least brain capacity yet discovered, lived, as estimated by scientists. If scientists have determined the age of the remains of this man correctly--astrology points to the terrible climatic conditions that caused that race to degenerate to little more than a beast.
In King Sargon's Library the Babylonians had recorded in 1,700 B.C., so archaeologists say, the observations of Bel. This work is in 70 parts, or books, each composed of numerous small earthen tablets having impressed upon them in cuneiform characters, certain records. It is equally certain that both astronomy and written language were brought to Babylonia by the Akkadians, who already possessed the civilized arts and sciences, including medicine. The earliest inhabitants of Peru, and of Mexico were acquainted with astronomy, and their temples are evidence of an astronomical Religion, as well as showing them to be acquainted with cycles that only an immense period of recorded observations would enable them to demonstrate experimentally.
Nor is it a coincident that the Pleiades are known by the natives of every land in the world, even to the islands of the Pacific, as having an identical significance; or that the constellation of the great bear was known to the Iroquois Indians as Okouairi, their name for Bear, and to the Greeks as Arctos Megale, which means Great Bear. These and a thousand other facts demonstrate that astronomy was known to all nations of antiquity; being derived, even as was the religion associated with it, from a pre-existing and higher civilization. Afterwards the peoples of the globe, being for a time unable to communicate with each other, each retained the most significant facts in their traditions, but interwove them with local history, and with the traits and characteristics common to them.
Richard Hinckley Allan, acknowledged scholar and authority on origins, says--"Probably every nation on earth has had a Solar Zodiac in some form, generally one of animals. Even in Rhodesia, the aboriginal Mashona Land of South Africa, there has recently been found a stone tablet 38 inches in diameter, with the circle of the zodiacal signs on the edge; and the early Mandean tradition makes its figures children of their creative spirits Ur and Ruba." The same author reports the use of the Lunar Zodiac also, in ancient Arabia, China, India, Khiva, Bokhara, Egypt and Persia. And as we have use for a third ancient zodiacal division we quote him further--"Other divisions of the sky, somewhat analogous to these, were the DECANS of the Chaldeans, Egyptians, and Greeks, belts of stars extending round the heavens, the risings of which followed each other by ten days or so', but of much greater extent north and south than the Lunar Mansions, and 36 in number instead of 28.
But, the casual reader will ask, why is it that we of the present time have so little of the wisdom possessed by our ancestors of even a few thousand years ago? It may be plausible to state that in times before great cataclysms destroyed continents and swept away whole civilizations, there was knowledge now lost, but we are here discussing almost historical times. How is it then, that the great learning possessed by various peoples since the last great Flood, is not even known to have had an existence by the multitude today?
The answer is a history of religious fraud and bigoted fanaticism. The Brotherhood of Light holds that any scientific, philosophical, religious, or social doctrine or institution that fears thoro analysis and complete investigation, acknowledges its own weakness and error. Where there is a refusal to permit all the facts to be known, such refusal constitutes evidence of deliberate fraud.
When the Brahmins gained the supremacy in India they destroyed the literature of Hindustan, except that which supported their doctrines. Some 332 years B.C. Alexander the Great founded the Alexandrian Library and spent vast sums of money collecting volumes from all parts of the world. Those that could not be purchased his agents were instructed to copy and forward the copies to Alexandria. In the time of Caesar there were 700,000 volumes of all times and languages. In A.D. 296 Diocletian, actuated by religious fanaticism, burned all the Esoteric works of the Egyptians. Thus perished priceless volumes on astrology, magic and alchemy. There were some 300,000 volumes, or rolls, at Constantinople; and these were destroyed in the interest of Christianity by Leo Isaurus. And what was left of the Alexandrian Library by the early Christians was finished by Mohammed, every record and trace of learning being obliterated in so far as possible. The Romans destroyed the records of Carthage and Spain. The Gauls in turn destroyed the Annals of Rome. Even works of art were not exempt--and we find under the Byzantine, edicts issued by Lee and Saurian for the destruction of all Statuary and every image of the Past; because they interfered with the spread of Catholicism.
The Arabians carried some of the wisdom of Egypt into the inaccessible desert and secreted it. Some remains there to this day. Some found its way into Europe, being the first scientific works there studied. About 1500 A.D. Cardinal Ximenes had burned all the Arabic MS to be found in Spain--the then center of culture for Europe. The Moslems overran the East, and destroyed every book and record from Benares to Bactria and Syria. After America was discovered Torquemada at Salmanca and the Spanish Priests in Central America, Mexico and Peru, put for every effort to destroy all historical evidence. For over 2000 years there has been an uninterrupted war on Occult Science--every succeeding generation vieing with the preceding one in destroying all records of the Ancient Wisdom. The Priesthood of the various faiths, having ample power and facilities, penetrated every land, and spared no pains to discover and destroy every scrap of evidence that might prove disconcerting. The result is--that with the exception of a few Secret Schools perpetuated in spite of Theocratic menace--the only evidence to be found today of the ideas held by the ancients are those recorded by structures of such colossal size that more modern peoples have found it impossible to destroy them.
The Sun, the source of all warmth, energy and power known upon earth, is a Universal Symbol of Creative Energy. It is the center of the Solar System, as the ancients well know. As all Life, Light and Love known upon the earth comes from the Sun, the Solar Father is the most comprehensive symbol of the Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Director of the Universe. It is a much better symbol of Deity than a Man on a Cross. The ancients know there was a still greater center about which our Universe is moving, and had located its relative position, but this Great Spiritual Sun is not visible to mortal eyes. The visible Sun was, and is, the best possible symbol of Deity--for all proceeds from Him and all depends upon his continued Bounty. In man the ancients discovered a fountain from which emanated creative energy. Initiative, Intellectual force, Vitality and Love, are fed by man's creative virility. There is no life, intelligence or action in the universe that is not the off spring of polarity, or Sex. It is the One Universal Law of manifestation. Upright towers and obelisks, as emblems of creative power, were erected as symbols also of the Sun--source of universal creative power. They were at once Phallic and Solar.
Megaliths are huge stone structures erected by pre-historic races. They are found in all parts of the world, their number being beyond calculation, there being 2,582 in France, about the same number in Brittany, about 2000 in the Orkney Islands, 2129 in a single district in India, etc. Menhirs are single huge stones placed upright, the obelisk being a finished example. They are numerous in Egypt, Assyria, Peru, Mexico, and Brittany. They were erected as symbols of the Sun, the vertical position symbolizing the direction from which the Sun's hottest rays fall upon the earth. They are of phallic import only in so far as the Sun is a Universal Phallic emblem. The May-Pole dance is derived directly from the sacred dances about the Menhirs. It is a remnant of Sun-Worship. The Menhir represents the Sun. Ma is the root of the word matter in all languages. From this root is derived the words meaning matrix and mother. The month of Ma(y) is the one in which the Sun, having crossed the Vernal Equinox and gained renewed virile energy in the sign of the Ram, enters the first Earth, or matrix, sign, Taurus. Taurus is the exaltation of the Moon, or Mother, even as Aries is the exaltation of the Sun, or Father. Taurus is the sign in which the Solar Father fructifies the earth with his warm rays, that she may bring forth. When the Sun is in Taurus plowing and planting is done.
The popular May Queen represents the Earth, the Greek goddess Maia, united to the Sun, or May Pole, about which the people dance in pantomime of the movements of the other planets--and in joy at the promised fruitfulness of the Earth. May Pole ceremonies are now practiced in Europe and America, and were anciently known in Persia, India, and Egypt, as records prove. As to its ancient practice in America, we need seek no records; for it is still performed by the aborigines of Yucatan as handed down from the Mayas. The dance as there conducted is held now at the vernal equinox, but is essentially the same as elsewhere conducted in May. Observers have recorded that the dance is intended to represent, as closely as possible, the course of the planets about the Sun. As held at the vernal equinox it is more in honor of the Sun, than of the Moon and Earth. The only modern innovation seems to be the introduction of a flag on which is the image of a man and woman bowed in worship before the Sun. The flag is placed on the pole and unfurled after the dancers have thrice wended their way around it. In Ireland it is the custom to wear a white shirt to the May Pole dance, and the Mayas wear white during the ceremony. The white is to symbolize the purity of the Solar union with the Earthy Mother--and conveyed to the people the thought that the holy act which should result in motherhood should be entered upon in purity, as a solemn and sacred rite.
As associated with the Ma(y) festival, we must now explain the origin of sacrifices, and how a pure conception degenerated into barbarous customs. There are no people now living upon the globe who do not believe in Spirit Communion, unless they have had their natural senses blunted by artificial parrot-taught education. Ancestor worship, by no means confined to China, originated in the idea that the departed head of the household still takes an interest in the affairs of his children after his death. It was thought that the departed head of the household, or head of the clan, could, and under certain conditions would, return and give advice to his successor; and that by virtue of greater experience, and occupying a less restricted plane of life, such council would be of a superior nature. It was found that the more ethereal essences of food proved an additional source of nourishment to returning spirits, and might be absorbed by them to give them more physical force than they otherwise could easily manifest. On all occasions, therefore, in which the aid of departed relatives or other spirit entities, were desired, it became the custom to place food at their disposal. And as it was the more ethereal particles of the food that furnished them strength, it became the custom often to burn the food, so as to liberate the essences as much as possible. Incense is used for the same purposes by priests of the various cults today--the often without knowing what they are about. As people of refinement delight in flowers, and people of gross tastes love carnage and gross foods--so spirit entities of cultured taste are attracted to fruit and flowers--and can draw a certain amount of energy from them to help in building up physical manifestations; or for communication. Vicious Elementals delight in the odor of fresh blood; and some are even depraved enough to joy in the blood of slain victims, and gain strength from it as it flows from the victim writhing in the agony of death. Such was the Jewish Jehovah of the time of Moses--for only a cruel monster would crave the death of innocent victims, either men or animals, and delight in the odor of their burnt carcasses, or in the fresh blood sprinkled upon the altar.
At the Spring festival, anciently dedicated to the Sun's renewed energies fructifying the earth, preparing her to bring forth the harvest, which should sustain man thru the ensuing winter, the offering was rightly that of flowers. The Solar Father, crossing the Equator from the South, brought the children of the earth a gift of renewed verdure and blossom; and it was but fitting that they should show their appreciation by a ceremony--and to perpetuate the thought of this gift, they formed the custom of leaving baskets of flowers on each other's door steps--at night, to signify that the gift of the Sun, the germinating warmth, is deposited in the dark but fertile soil of earth. This custom prevails today, in various modifications thruout the world. The children of America look forward with keen delight to the time of hanging May-Baskets.
An elaboration of the simple Menhir is the Round Tower. These towers are found thruout the entire world. They are everywhere similar in character in construction, being built of stone, usually with a single entrance some distance above the ground. There are some 150 of these Round Towers in Ireland. They are from 8 to 15 feet in diameter and from 70 to 130 feet high with the single opening about 20 feet from the ground. Ireland was the nearest European land to Atlantis, and in an ancient Sanskrit writing is called Hyrania, Island of Sun Worship. Their chief god in Sanskrit times was Baal, or Bel, god of the Sun, from whom Belfast was named. One of these round towers, so ancient that science can but speculate as to the period when built, is found in Rhode Island, U.S.A., one in Marcos Valley in Southwestern Colorado, and one in Yucatan. On the island of Moosa, in the Shetland group, is a round tower 41 feet high, with an inside diameter of 20 feet, and a stone stairway to the top, which as usual is open. Many of these stone towers are found in England, one in the Isle of Man, three in Scotland, and others in Corsica. They are also found thruout the East, and it is said the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy, is one of the same construction as the round towers of Sicily, Algeria, Sardinia, Arabia and India.
These round towers served as monuments erected to the Sun, their circular form and general construction serving to elaborate the symbolism of the creative powers of the Sun. They also had another purpose, which scientific men would have discerned if not so nose bound by the conviction that all learning is modern. These towers were observatories, in which such instruments as the ancients possessed for astronomical observations were kept and used. From the bottom of such a tube stars on the zenith may be seen in daylight. There were also dials, and cords extending from a central pole, by which the ancients made observations and recorded celestial phenomena. The fact that the Druids, who were the oldest inhabitants of Ireland in historical times, were astrologers of no mean ability proves their knowledge of observational astronomy. Caesar tells us the Druids taught many things about the form and dimensions of the earth, the size and arrangement of the different parts of the heavens, and the various motions of the stars. Plutarch records that the Druids claimed the Moon to be furrowed by several Mediterranean Seas, and Hocataeus states the Druids taught that the Moon was a great body like the earth upon which were mountains. These ideas were foreign to the opinions of the Greeks and Romans who recorded them as the absurd beliefs of the ignorant Druids.
There is another form of ancient stone monument scarcely less universal than the round towers. These are conical, or dome shaped, towers. Thousands of these Truddhi and Specchie occur in Italy, thousands in Sardinia, and many in other countries. There are 150 in the Island of Minorca. These Talagoti, as they are there called, are circular cones, one of which is 33 feet high. In the Balearic Isles there are Seven, called Nanetas, in the form of an over-turned boat, the walls as still standing being 45 feet high. The general construction is a dome with but a single entrance so small and close to the ground one must crawl on his belly to enter. The walls, often 16 to 20 feet thick shut light from the interior, and the ventilation is insufficient to have permitted them to be used as dwellings. In front of many of them are cromlechs--a circle of surrounding stones--on which are sometimes sculptured the breasts of woman. These domes were dedicated to the Moon. They were monuments to the feminine, receptive principle in Nature. And in these darkened domes, shut from all sound of the outside world, the devotee held communion with the inhabitants of the next world--the conditions being perfect for etherealizations and materializations.
A third form of ancient stone monument consists of two or more upright stones supporting a single large flat stone slab. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains, from Russia to the Pacific Ocean, from Siberia to Hindustan, in Peru, in Japan, and in Patagenia--everywhere we see these huge Dolmens. 6,000 dolmens have been examined in Algeria alone. One of these is a table of stone 75 feet long, 26 feet wide and 9 1/2 feet thick, resting 39 feet from the ground on its stone supporting pillars. One near Dorchester consists of 9 upright stones supporting a stone table more than 27 feet in circumference and 2 1/2 feet thick. How a people not possessing cantilever cranes could raise such huge slabs of stone and place them on the tops of upright pillars, modern scientists fail to tell us.
The vast majority of these dolmens are identical in shape with the 5th Hebrew letter, and there can be no doubt that the Hebrew letter, He, was derived from the form of the dolmens. A table is a plane, and as a Universal symbol must represent a plane. As a table, the flat slab is always supported above the earth, and can only signify a plane above the earth. As the supports obviously form a doorway, and as a doorway implies passing from one place to another, the dolmen cry aloud the conviction of those who erected them, that there is a plane of life above the earth, into which in due course of time man enters. The dolmen is the offspring of the round-tower and the dome. The ground-tower is the Spiritual principle. The dome is the earthly matrix in which the immaculate conception takes place as is celebrated in the May-Pole dance when the Sun is in Taurus--the Tau-Cross and Bull-Cake being its special symbol. The Dolmen is the Gate, the heavenly Virgin, or sign Virgo, thru which birth into a higher realm takes place. The Hebrew letter He, of identical form, being the symbol of inspiration and the feminine as found in words except as a final letter--and as a final it symbolizes the ultimate product. In the sacred name of Deity in Hebrew it occurs twice--first as the Virgin Mother, and finally as the resurrected Son. The product of the supporting pillars, or Solar force, penetrating the negative earth upon which they rest, brings forth a life that finally passes from earth to a higher plane as signified by the supported slab.
Nothing could be plainer than the symbolism of those huge structures that even religious fanaticism has been powerless to destroy. And as evidence of the correctness of the interpretation we submit the facts recorded by history that the Druids, who still worshiped at the shrine of these Dolmens, held to the belief that the soul first incarnated in the mineral realm and subsequently evolved up thru the various forms of life to the estate of man, and thence passed to higher spheres of existence in spiritual worlds, where they lost neither personality, remembrance, nor friends. They believed that in the spiritual plane of life they would continue in the occupations followed here. This gave rise to the custom of burying what belonged to the living with the dead, and it was a common custom to give letters into the hands of the dying to be delivered to friends who had passed before. So convinced were they of the continuation of life after death, that history records the custom of lending money, to be paid back in the future world.
Space forbids the mention of the Tau, and other forms of ancient monuments, except a few words about the cromlechs. These are circular or elliptical rows of stone, or mounds of earth. They are found in Europe, Asia and Africa. There are several in Peru, and some in the desert plains of Australia from 10 to 1,000 feet in diameter. They symbolize, and sometimes record, the orbital motion of the stellar bodies, and signify in religion the conviction of those who erected them that the Spirit of Man, like the circle, is without beginning and without end--that man comes from the Infinite, and to the Infinite again returns.
It may easily be demonstrated by anyone that the signs of the zodiac were not named fortuitously. Any person born when the sign of the Ram rises, or when the Sun is in that sign will possess inherently the characteristics of aggressiveness, fearlessness and virility that mark the Ram. People ruled by the sign of the Lion are courageous, commanding, royal, majestic and ambitious. People ruled by the sign of the Twins are dual. Those ruled by the Horse are high-spirited and love to travel. The characteristic of the symbol as it is pictured in the sky is the most pronounced quality of the person born under that sign to which the pictured constellation corresponds. And it being proven that the 12 constellations of the zodiac are significant of specific influences that correspond to them, it is logical to assume that as the same people also placed the ultra-zodiacal constellations in the sky, these too must have had some profound significance to them, and likewise to us, when we discover the key to their meaning.
At the present time there are some 117 constellations in the heavens. But only 48 of these constellations are known to be of ancient origin, the others having been placed in the celestial sphere since the Christian Era, mostly during the seventeenth and eighteenth Centuries A.D. The Grecian Celestial Sphere, obtained by the Greeks in their Initiations in Egypt and Chaldea, was used by Hipparchus. This sphere, as well as his catalogue of celestial bodies, was destroyed by religious fanatics, and is now entirely lost. Claudius Ptolemy, who collected and compiled the astrological knowledge of the ancients, described this Celestial Sphere, and gave a catalogue of the stars after Hipparchus. Ptolmey in the 7th. and 8th. Book of his Syntax gives the 12 zodiacal constellations together with 21 Northern and 15 Southern constellations, made up of 1028-catalogued stars. Ptolemy made his stellar observations between the years 127 and 151 of the present Era, and to him we owe all our knowledge of astronomy and astrology as practiced in Egypt and Chaldea, in so far as handed down to us in the form of books. Ptolmey's books are the foundation upon which modern astrology rests; for nearly all his rules for erecting and judging a birth-chart have been found correct when applied at the present time. In Ptolmey's charts a catalogue of the heavens the ancient figures were largely preserved. However in his 7th. book he writes--"we employ not the same Figures of the Constellations that those before us did, as neither did they of those before them, but frequently made Use of others that more truly represent the Forms for which they were drawn."
These Forms for which the figures of the Constellations were drawn are the Religious ideas handed down from the Spiritual Adepts of the Golden Age. That Ptolmey spoke the truth is certain, for as a single instance, the ancient Chinese zodiac commenced with the Rat, instead of the Ram, and proceeded in the direction of the Precession of the Equinoxes instead of the direction of planetary motion. Yet we find today that the figures of the constellations as given by Ptolmey as nearly symbolize the ideas they were meant to convey as it is possible to make them; for we have never heard of any modern astrologer who thought he could invent a design more nearly depicting the influence of any one of the 12 signs of the zodiac than those placed in the heavens by Ptolmey; which are certainly superior to those of China or any other known ancient or modern zodiac. A few of the rules for calculating directions were not made entirely plain by Ptolmey, who leaned strongly to the Egyptian Method, which was further developed by Placidus de Titus, a monk of later times. The author holds that the Chaldean method known as "The Hermetic System of Directing" is superior to the more Kabbalistic method of the Egyptians. But however this may be, the fact remains unshaken that the description of the influence upon life by each planet and zodiacal sign, his rules for erecting and judging charts, his one hundred aphorisms, methods for judging mundane events etc. as handed down by Ptolmey can be completely relied upon to this day. From this completeness of astrological knowledge we may safely infer that Ptolmey had access to information not generally accessible even in his day. His Celestial Sphere and astrological knowledge was not that of the populace, it was that of Initiations--and we have Ptolmey's own statement that it was for the purpose of handling the wisdom of the ancients down to posterity. From these facts we feel fully justified in placing the utmost trust in Ptolmey's figures to truly--"represent the Forms for which they are drawn."
The constellations are not used in practical astrology. A constellation does not occupy the same space in the heavens that the sign bearing the same name does, nor is it of the same size. The signs of the zodiac are equally spaced, occupying 30 degrees each along the Ecliptic. Some of the constellations bearing the same names as the signs are much larger and some much smaller than 30 degrees. Every 25,920 years the signs of the zodiac are overlaid by the constellations of the same names, but are never identical in space with them, for they are not the same Size. Nevertheless, a fact that may easily be proved experimentally, if we start with the first constellation, Aries, and the first sign, Aries, and count around the zodiac in the regular order it will be found that the constellation corresponding to the sign of the same name will always depict the exact influence the sign has upon human life. Further than this, it will be shown later, that each constellation has a well-defined Spiritual significance, being the pictures also of Religious ideas, which finding their way into the Sacred Books, constitutes the Real Truth, behind every religion on the earth today.
The signs of the Zodiac corresponding to the zodiacal constellations are used by all astrologers of the present day. Ptolmey also included 36 other ancient constellations in his celestial sphere. It is highly improbable he should have taken so great pains to depict 98 constellations that were of no great import to mankind. Yet in so far as the author is aware, no attempt has hitherto been made to explain the significance of these ultra-zodiacal constellations. As the 12 zodiacal constellations picture the influence exerted by the 12 corresponding zodiacal signs correctly, one might expect the 36 ultra-zodiacal constellations to depict accurately some division of the zodiac into 36 parts. To have already quoted an astronomical authority stating that the ancients divided the zodiac into Decans, or constellations ultra-zodiacal that follow each other in rising every 10 days or so.
Practically all astrologers of the present day follow the ancient Chaldean system of dividing the zodiacal signs each into 3 decanates of ten degrees each, whose rising follows each other at the same time of day, every ten days or so. The first decanate of any sign bears the full influence of the sign. The second decanate of a sign has a sub-influence of the next sign in the same triplicity. The third decanate has a sub-influence corresponding to the remaining sign of the same triplicity. Thus the first 10 degrees of Aries is of the full Mars-Aries type. The second decanate, or 10 degrees, of Aries has a sub-influence of Sun-Leo, the Sun's exaltation being experimentally determined as 19 degrees Aries. The third ten degrees of Aries has a sub-influence of Jupiter-Sagittarius. This Decanate division of the zodiac is recognized by all advanced astrologers--but up to the present time they have all neglected to associate the Decanates with the pictures ultra-zodiacal constellations, or Decans, which the ancients obviously did.
As zodiacal constellations and signs are neither the same size nor occupy the same space, we need not expect the constellated Decans to be the same size nor occupy the same space as the zodiacal decanates. They should, however, starting with the first decanate of the zodiac, and the first constellated Decan, and proceeding around the heavens in the proper order of their rising, be found to correspond with each other. The second Decan should represent by its pictured form the precise influence of the second decanate of the zodiac, the third Decan the third decanate, and so on. That this is a fact we have amply demonstrated experimentally. The application of these facts to Natal Astrology will be amply explained in Course X. The application of Spiritual Astrology, as the foundation of all Religious ideas of past and present will be explained in those lessons. A diagram giving the exact correspondence between each constellated Decan and zodiacal decanate will be found on frontispiece of "The Religion of the Stars", Part III.