The Religion of the Stars
The Great Bear, The Little Dog, The Hundred-Headed Hydra
by C.C. Zain, Elbert Benjamine April 1920

Issued under the auspices of The Brotherhood Of Light.
Serial No. 77. Course VII - G
BOX 1525, LOS ANGELES,CALIF. April 1920
The Religion of The Stars
Part VII. The Great Bear, The Little Dog, The Hundred-Headed Hydra
by: C.C. Zain

As a further illustration of the manner in which the subliminal Mind of man often picks facts, more or less distorted but facts all the same, out of clear atmosphere we recite the following-In his "Romance of Micromegas", published in 1752, Voltaire writes of an imaginary (?) planet circling around Sirius, immensely larger than the earth, the inhabitants of which were tall in proportion to its size and lived to a great age. Not until January 31, 1862 was Sirius actually discovered to be a Binary by Alan Graham Clark. As a matter of fact, Sirius has a diameter estimated at fifteen times that of our Sun, shedding forth more than twenty times as much light. It is not one star-but Two-the companion star being about ten seconds of arc distant, of a dull yellow color and having nearly half the mass of the larger star which at present is bluish white in color. The Twin stars revolve about a common center of gravity in a period of about 53 years, and with an orbit about twenty times as large as that of the earth about the Sun. This coincidence (mark the word) with Voltaire's description is not more wonderful than the fact that this is the nearest star visible in the northern latitudes, belonging to the marriage decanate of The Twins, and itself a Twin-Star. We cannot refrain from giving this conception in the words of the Finnish poet, Zakris Tupelos: - who speaking of them as lovers who have been separated a thousand years while building the Milky Way, at its completion: --

"Straight rushed into each other's arms,
And melted into one.
So they became the brightest star
In heaven's high arch that dwelt,
Great Sirius, the mighty Sun
Beneath Orion's belt."

We would hardly have the courage to say the Egyptians pictured Sirius as Anubis at one time having the head of a dog and at another giving him the head of a jackal because they recognized the star as binary; but they certainly did depict in this way the duality which is the most pronounced feature of the sign Gemini, of which the constellated Dog is a Decan. Among the pronounced qualities of the sign Gemini is its changeableness and versatility; and now comes an eminent astronomer, Dr. See, asserting that 1800 years ago Sirius was a Red star, but that now it is a White star with a bluish tinge, having actually changed its color. Included in his evidence is the fact that the Romans sacrificed red dogs to Sirius to save their fruit-which is quite interesting when we consider that the apples of Hesperides which Hercules holds are paranatellons, so that when the dog dies, or sets in the west, the fruit rises in the east. The death of the red dog saves the fruit; the real red dog being the carnal mind, for only red dogs are slain, the real fruit being that of experiences, which can only be utilized to advantage when the sensual desires subside. Adam, which means Red Earth, was expelled from the garden of Eden on account of this same fruit.

A further coincidence (?) in connection with this huge star which symbolizes both the madness caused by devotion to the passions that make one shun the affectional waters, and in its higher aspect serves as a symbol of faithfulness and protection. The Arabian name for Sirius is "Al-abur", a name given it according to the Persian astronomer Al-Sufi because it has passed across the Milky Way into the Southern region of the sky. Modern calculation has established the fact that Sirius does have a very large proper motion, and is thus, relative to us, one of the fleetest stars of the sky. It was actually on the opposite border of the Milky Way some 60,000 years ago, as the Arabians claim. The Arabian fable accounting for this movement is that Sirius and Procyon, the Lesser Dog, were sisters of Canopus. Canopus married the star Rigel, but after murdering her fled toward the South Pole fearing to face the anger of his sisters. Sirius, The Greater Dog, however followed him across the Milky Way. Canopus is the star next in brilliancy to Sirius, and like Sirius has a large proper motion. But while Sirius can be seen in all habitable parts of the globe, Canopus can not be seen from high northern latitudes. It lies in the keel of the Ship Ago, belonging to the third decanate of Cancer, and is so far south that as usually seen appears on the horizon. Rigel is one of the brighter first magnitude stars, being located in the raised left foot of constellated Orion, being the brightest star in that constellation. It is thus the understanding of Orion that is slain, just as King Arthur is overcome by the deceit of his wife, and Samson is delivered into the hands of the Philistines through the allurements and treachery of Delilah. In all these instances there has been but a physical attraction, and it has slain the nobler self. The Greater Dog, being the symbol of Fidelity and True Companionship pursues the culprit to punish him for his infidelity. It should not be lost sight of however, that there are two dogs in the sky, one belonging to the sign preceding the solstice, and one belonging to the sign after the solstice, or circumcision. The Lesser Dog is not so well thought of as is remarked in Phil.3:2 "Beware the dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision". The Eighteenth Major Arcanum of the Tarot, depicting the sign Cancer shows two dogs, one white and one black-these are the Greater and Lesser Dogs of the sky, and the name of the Arcanum is, the Moon, and is read as Deception. (Lesson No. 31).

Sirius us the brightest star among those Decans that picture the portion of the Zodiac in which the Sunlight is increasing. It corresponds to the decanate of spiritual marriage in the sign Gemini, to a partnership entirely superior to the mere physical and of a constructive nature; for the Dog chases the ignoble Hare-type of fleeting pleasures-and typifies a time when the Sun is gaining in power. Canopus is the brightest star among those Decans that picture the portion zodiac in which the Sunlight wanes and the Sun flees Southward, even as Canopus is reputed to have done. Canopus typifies jealousy, cruelty, infidelity and the destructive results of domestic discord. It belongs to the third Decanate of Cancer, the Home sign, which relates to the Flood. The Flood is said to have been brought on by licentiousness and wickedness, and Canopus being in the keel of the ark is completely submerged in the emotional sea.

The third, or Aquarius, fixed or physical, decanate of Gemini is pictured in the sky by Ursa Major, the Greater Bear. There is but a single star cluster in the heavens more widely known than the Big Bear. It is the Pleiades, chiefly a group of seven stars in the shoulder of the Bull, about which we will have considerable to say later. Ursa Major is called by the Iroquois "Okousiri", their name for bear. The Algonquins point it out as the Bear and the Hunters. The Finns call it "Otawa", their name for bear. Homer relates that the bear keeps a careful watch from his arctic den upon the hunter, Orion, for fear of sudden attack. This Greek legend is not so meaningless as it appears when we consider that Orion typifies the soul laboring for mastery over the animal nature and physical limitations, and is represented at times as successful and at other times as falling victim to the subtle wiles of the deceiving impressions. The Greater Bear representing Reason and the Objective Mind watches the struggle intently from the lair of cold intellect, ever ready to repel invasion of its logical conclusions. The Greater Bear was also known to Homer as the Wain, or wagon. In England it is commonly known at this day as "Charles' Wain", or the "Plough", the latter term being not uncommon in other places far distant. To the Druids it was known as "Arthur's Wain". Smyth, an authority on derivations, goes so far as to state that Arthur's Wain is from the Welsh "Arth" meaning a bear, and we are left to infer that Arthur of The Round Table derived his name from the Great Bear of the North who ever circles around the frozen pole. Bearing in mind that Arthur of the Druids is identical with Orion and other heroes who struggled like the Sun in Taurus for a supremacy over physical nature, thus typifying the human soul in its battle for Mastership, and we instantly perceive the relationship to the Bear; for the latter symbolizing the Objective Mind is actually the Wain, or wagon, which carries the soul around and around in its search for the Pole Star, Truth. Sir Walter Scott was familiar with the Great Bear as Arthur's Wain, for he says; -

"Arthur's slow wain his course doth roll
In utter darkness round the pole."

This verse, like many poetic utterances, contains more tha(n)t the author knew. The Big Bear does not touch the Pole Star, Truth, but laboriously circles around it at a distance, even as Intellect alone is incapable of grasping truth, groping about it in the frozen darkness of materialistic conceptions, The Little Bear, representing the Subliminal Mind, circles about Truth also, but at one point at least touches the Pole Star. It never entirely relinquishes Truth, and at all times approaches it more closely than the Great Bear ever does. This is true to life; for even today Race Intuition, while wandering about the true center of reality, nevertheless on the whole is nearer Truth than mere intellectual science. The fantasies of the Mystic, the extravagant notions of religious devotees, the superstitions of the unlearned-all at some point touch the real Truth concerning the Soul more closely than the Opinion of Materialistic Scientists.

The most conspicuous and well known stars of the Great Bear are the two which form the front edge of bowl of "The Dipper". They are known as "pointers" because they are almost in line with the Pole Star. And this designates the capacity of the Objective Mind. It can not grasp Truth inherently, but by its analytical methods and comparison of experiences it can point the way to the Truth. It can exercise a critical function, and point to the fact that the Little Bear, the Inner States of Consciousness does actually contact Truth. In Job 38, the Lord answers Job out of a whirlwind. As Gemini is both an Airy and Talking sign, we are safe in concluding he spoke of Gemini. "Cans't thou bind the sweet influence of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Cans't thou bring forth Mazaroth in his seasons? Or cans't thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Cans't thou set dominion thereof in the earth?" In a much revised version instead of "Cans't thou guide Arcturus with his sons"? it is translated "Cans't thou guide the Bear with her train?" This latter translation would be the same as asking Job if he could control his thoughts. But as the familiar version speaks of Arcturus, and Arcturus as one of the most brilliant stars in the sky and the prominent star in Bootes, really has a relation to the Bear, we are not astronomically concerned as to which of the two translations is the correct one.

In order to discern the significance of this scriptural quotation it is very necessary to know something of the traditions concerning these starry groups that were prevalent at the time the questions were set down. As speaking from the whirlwind, or Gemini, the Lord (which may always be rendered Law) inquires of Job if he had given serious study (Gemini being the study sign and naturally ruling the house in a horoscope devoted to science) to certain natural phenomena. No group of stars in the sky is more widely recognized than the Pleads, so the question concerning them naturally comes first. The Pleads is a group of stars in the shoulder of the Taurus Bull. There are six stars plainly visible to the average eye. Many persons can see seven stars, and those with very keen eyesight can see nine stars or even more; and of course a good glass will bring many otherwise invisible stars into view. The seven stars more easily seen are called the Seven Sisters. The other two of the nine to be seen with the naked eye are Atlas and Pleione, their father and mother. Atlas was one of the Titans who made war upon deity, and being conquered was condemned to bear forever the Dome of heaven upon his head and hands. These Titans were a race of giants who piled up mountains to the lofty stars in an attempt to dethrone deity; but Jove buried them beneath the mountains-and their blood gave rise to a race of ruthless men. These Titans were identical with the race that erected the Tower of Babel, as will be explained later, and typify those who place sole reliance upon the objective mind and Reason. The Titans is but another designation for he stars of the Giant Bear. And the blood, or spirit, of those dominated by cold reason alone gives rise to ruthlessness. Between the Pleiades and the Great Bear there is a mythical relation, the Pleiades often being called the "Little Dipper", although the Lesser Bear is more properly designated by that name.

The Pleiades while strolling through a forest attracted the attention of Orion, who pursued them on account of their great beauty. As they fled, they prayed to Jupiter for protection and he changed them into Doves and placed them in the sky-and they are even now commonly known as the Doves. Man's forms are molded through the attractions acquired by experience. Man's seven-fold constitution as it exists today has been modified by experience, and each may be considered a daughter of the Objective Mind, or Atlas-as well the Seven Sates of Consciousness which are developed through experience, and may be likened to the seven stars of the Little Dipper. To retain the seven-fold constitution is that which Orion, the struggling soul, seeks to accomplish while on earth. It is love that binds together man's septenary constitution, as it binds all things, and doves owing their mildness and demonstrations of affection are universal symbols of Love. The names of the Pleiad sisters, which are the names of the stars today, were; - Alcyone, Electra, Mia, Mere, Taygeta, Asterope, (Sterope) and Celaeno. These sisters all married immortal gods, save one, and she had a disgraceful affair with a mortal lover and in her shame her light died out so that now mythology asserts there are but six of the Pleiades. The story of the "Lost Pleiad" is as old as traditional knowledge and is practically universal, with slight variations. Thus in one legend it is identified with Electra because upon the burning of Troy she veiled her face in order not to behold the destruction of that city, which had been founded by her son. In the Bible it is identical with Lot's wife, who was changed to a pillar of salt for looking back upon the evil cities Sodom and Gomorrah which were being destroyed by fire. The Lost Pleiad according to the Greeks is identical with the naked eye star Alcor in the Greater Bear. They relate that in shame and disgrace she had wandered away from her sisters and became lost in the cold region of the North.

"The Lost Pleiad" corresponds to the earth-bound soul; for bear in mind the Pleiades are in the constellation Taurus, and thus have a significance regarding earthly possessions. The fading of this Pleiad has much the same meaning as the fables of blindness in connection with the Bull, and indicates how this lost condition, or blindness, was brought about-through love of earthly things. We are bound to the things to the things we love, whether they be money or physical pleasures or higher things. The lost Pleiad because of her love of physical possessions wandered to the constellation of cold intellect, where she remains earth-bound through her admiration of it, unable to find her way back to her sisters in the higher region of the ecliptic. Thus the soul remains bound to earth after death if it can not relinquish the thought and desire for earthly things. Lot's wife was turned to salt; she was unable to progress because she turned back to look upon the experiences of the past and longed for them. They kept her stationary; she was lost to he companions who would not look back. Some people at this day can not talk of occult science without being impelled to relate the wonderful experiences they went through in some of the numerous human incarnations they think they can remember. Their minds dwell constantly on the past. They review over and over their experiences. When one reaches a point in this physical life in which he lives in memory of the past rather than in the enthusiasm of the present, that person's usefulness is about at an end. We say such a one is getting old and childish. He no longer advances because his mind is directed back to the past. To keep young and usefully alive it is necessary to think of the present and have enthusiasm for it. To imagine the future is to create it in so far as the mental image is conformable to natural law and in proportion as the energies are directed to the image. To dwell continually on past incarnations is to turn to salt and stagnate. To persistently imagine a return to human incarnation after death will not produce human incarnation unless that be within the province of natural law; but it certainly will bind the soul to earth, and if it can not reincarnate, will keep the soul earth-bound for a period depending upon the intensity of the desire.

When Job is asked if he can bind the sweet influence of the Pleiades he is asked if he can through love bind together his seven-fold constitution in harmonious manner so that it will function properly. In so far as each individual is concerned the "Lost Pleiad" is the Ego, which because of the soul's attachment to earthly things and the dependence upon Reason alone, can but dimly manifest itself through the human organism. It is lost as it is occasionally glimpsed through the Objective Mind, the Big Bear. And now, after explaining that the Pleiades belonging to Taurus relate to the binding influence of Love, for Taurus in experimental astrology is found to be the fixed sign relating to the affections-we must consider another coincidence (?). Stellar photography has revealed much concerning the stars that could not be determined without its aid. Some quite remarkable photographs of the Pleiades have been taken in recent years. Alluding to them Miss Clerke says-"The most curious of these was the threading together of the stars by filmy processes. In one case seven aligned stars appeared strung on a nebulous filament like beads on a rosary. Evidentially, someone at or before the time of the writing of Job made an extraordinary good guess.

The next reference in Job is to the bands of Orion. Constellated Orion is pictured with metal bands around his arms to symbolize the fetters placed upon the struggling soul by physical conditions. Job is asked if he can loose his bands. Samson, before being shorn of his strength, succeeded in breaking the withers with which Delilah bound him; but when he permitted her physical attractions to overcome his discretion he was led away in chains.

"Cans't thou bring forth Mazaroth in his seasons?". Mazaroth is simply the name by which the Jews designated the Zodiac, the apparent movement of the Sun through which actually produces the seasons. The query not only asks if Job understands the cause of the Seasons, but implies the query if he understands the influence of the zodiacal positions so as to be able to choose the proper time or season for any particular enterprise. He is asked if he understands astrology in its relation to human life, by which certain positions in the zodiac tend to bring about events in the life of people, and can take advantage of that knowledge to overcome evil indications and produce events of his own choosing.

"Or cans't thou guide Arcturus and his sons?". Arcturus is the chief star in the constellation Bootes. By referring to frontispiece on lesson No. 73, it will be found that Bootes is the first Decan of Virgo, belonging to the Virgo decanate of the sign of the Virgin Mary. Bootes is Joseph the husband of Mary, the Mother of the Savior. Bootes follows the Great Bear. He is pictured as a man holding in his left hand a grapevine, and in his uplifted right hand a whip. The name Bootes means Ploughman, though it is sometimes translated as Husbandman. Bootes was referred to by the Greeks as the "Bear Driver" because he seemed to be driving the Great Bear in front of him round, and round the Pole. Joseph, the husband of Mary was a just and generous man and did not put her away from him when he found she had immaculately conceived.

Arcturus the chief star in Bootes is called the "Guardian of the Bear" and to the Arabs was known as the "Keeper of Heaven". It is one of the very largest stars in the universe, it's mass being several hundred times that of our Sun. It has the most rapid motion of any of the brighter stars, travelling at the rate of 89 miles per second, and is known to astronomers as one of the "runaway stars". Another "runaway star", which with one exception is the swiftest star in the sky, is located in the Great Bear, or Plough, which Bootes guides. It travels at the rate of 200 miles per second, a speed which according to Simon Newcomer, is so great that it is uncontrollable by the entire Sidereal Universe. Booties, containing runaway stars Arcturus, belongs to the mental decanate of the mental sign Virgo, while the Great Bear, whose seven bright stars are the seven translated Rishas, or gods of the Hindus, belongs to the physical decanate of the other mental sign, Gemini. Either as a plough being guided, or as a Bear being driven, we find the Objective Mind being directed by the fine discrimination of Virgo. The Plough well represents the Objective Mind turning over earthly earthly experiences, and Bootes discrimination quite unsullied by physical desires. The sons of Arcturus are the seven principal stars of the Plough. Job is asked if he can guide his mental actions with the purity of purpose, the justice, and the absence of desire, that later characterized the treatment of the Virgin mother by her husband. And when we are told that the entire system of stars in the universe is not powerful enough to guide and control even one of these "runaway stars" we see the significance of the question. For thought is so swift and its influence so great that it may be overcome and annul even the influence of the stars, but to do so it must be directed, even as Bootes guides his plough.

"knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Cans't thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?" There is nothing mystical or abstruse about this question. It is perfectly plain and natural to any astrological student. Job is merely asked if he understands that things are foreshadowed by the positions of the planets in the heavens; and if he understands what things upon the earth each sign and planet has dominion over.

We must now turn our attention to the sign Cancer, corresponding to the pictured constellation of the Crab. When the Sun reaches Cancer, it is at its farthest North declination, and consequently starts backward toward the South. This backward movement is common to the Crab, which unlike any other creatures, does not move directly forward, but with a sidelong or backward motion. According to the Greek legend, Cancer is a gigantic Sea Crab which came to the assistance of the Water Snake, Hydra, when the latter was attacked by Hercules. To kill Hydra was one of the seven labors of Hercules. Hercules belongs to the spiritual decanate of Virgo, the Capricorn decanate-Virgo ruling the house of labor and Capricorn ruling the house of business and enterprise, as determined by experimental astrology. Hercules as a constellation is the middle Decan of Virgo, but representing the spiritual decanate of the sign of Labor, the 12 labors of Hercules really designate he spiritual work accomplished by the sun while passing through the twelve signs.

While Hercules was battling with Hydra in the Lernaean marshes the Crab attacked him by seizing his foot. The foot is the universal symbol of understanding because it supports the body even as the understanding supports the individual. Hercules, belonging to a mental sign-Virgo being the other sign ruled by Mercury-not only typifies the work of the Sun upon the earth, but the work of the mind in producing spiritual results. Cancer is a watery sign-hence the Lernaean marshes-and is decidedly emotional. People born under this sign act more from their feelings and moods than from analytical reasoning. When the Sun enters Cancer its strength is for the first time attacked, the days commencing to shorten. Likewise it passes from the other mental sign, Gemini, into an emotional sign, which from the intellectual, or Virgo, point of view hampers the Understanding.

The Chaldeans called Cancer the "Gate of Men", and had a tradition that this was the region of the stars through which, when human beings were born Their souls descended from heaven to earth to animate their bodies. We have already noted biblical and other traditions in which the Summer Solstice, or beginning of Cancer, is called the gate of Hell. It is also the gate to which Cepheus, or Peter, holds the keys, the dividing line between the superior and inferior regions, the point where the Sun reverses its north and south motion. Cancer is the home sign of the Moon, and in experimental astrology is known to be the Mother sign, even as water is the mother of life. The Chaldeans, and other ancients who understood the Religion Of The Stars, did not believe as do our materialists, that the soul has its beginning at the moment of birth. They held that the soul having evolved through lower forms of life existed in the astral realm, and was attracted to the parents at the moment of their union; placing great stress upon the part played by the mental aspirations (Gemini) and the emotions (cancer) as determining the quality of the soul that is attracted. As all men enter physical life through the mother, and the Mother is signified by the sign Cancer, Cancer may well be called the "Gate of Men".

Jacob beheld a vision-"And he dreamed, and, behold, a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold; the angels of God ascending and descending on it". Then follows a description of the increase and spread of his family, for Cancer in experimental astrology rules the home. Finally-"this is none other but the house of God, and this is the date of Heaven". Then he set up a pillar of stone, just as Hercules sets up stone pillars, this pillar being the solstitial column or colure. It will be noted that the angels are ascending and descending, rather than first descending, as one would expect. It is thus described because the Sun ascends, getting higher an higher, until the solstitial pillar is reached, and then descending. This tradition also has the significance of depicting Evolution and Involution, as well as the ascent of the soul through the Gate of Death, to be again attracted and descend through the Gate of Men at Cancer, to be born in a higher form of life on earth.

The first Decan of Cancer is Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog. This little dog is not nearly so important in mythology as the Greater Dog. It is identical with the favorite dog of Helen that was lost in the Eripus. Helen, as elsewhere noted, representing the Moon, is allied with Cancer, which is the home to which she is restored. The loss of her dog would signify the loss of fidelity, and the commencement of the Sun's loss, or waning power. According to another legend this is one of the fifty dogs of Actaeon that devoured their master. Diana (the Moon) was bathing with her nymphs in the vale of Gargaphia, where Actaeon accidentally discovered her. To prevent his betraying her she transformed him into a stag, and his own dogs store him asunder. The key to the meaning of this tragedy is to be found in the biblical account of king Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Elijah, or Auriga, the Master of Wisdom, is present throughout this account as prophet of their end. Horses and chariots being prominent in the deaths that take place. When the king died-"And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood". When his immoral wife Jezebel, was slain-"and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses, and he trod her under foot". The wall is the solstitial colure between Gemini and Cancer, and the horses those of which the faithful heavenly twins are reputed to rise-horses on account of their speed and use being universal symbols of mind. "this is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite", saying "In the portion of Jesrel shall the dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel."

The dog that devours, the Lesser Dog of Cancer, symbolizes unfaithfulness to domestic ties, and wickedness resulting there from. The 18th Major Arcanum of the Tarot (see Lesson No. 31) which corresponds to Cancer pictures two dogs, and the card is read as Deception; for one of the dogs represents a lying spirit. Astrologers have learned that Cancer is the most mediumistic sign in the zodiac. Those born under it readily become trance mediums. Jezebel, who was killed because of her wickedness, was a deceiver and Ahab was sent a lying spirit. 1 Kings 22:22. "And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also; go forth and do so". It would seem strange that Deity should encourage a lying spirit; but if we translate Lord s Law the matter is quite plain; for one who has been companion of a woman like Jezebel would not be likely to attract any but lying spirits, and those that would lea him astray, if he placed his trust in irresponsible mediumship.

The chief star o the Little Dog is the bright star Procyon, so called because in rising it precedes the Greater Dog Sirius, and so apparently heralds the approach of the brightest star in heaven. Though it belongs to the first decan of Cancer it nevertheless ruses just before Sirius; much as John the Baptist preceded his Savior. Sirius belongs to the middle Decan of Gemini, and this apparent anomaly is due to its great latitude. At this present time the latitude of Sirius has reached Cancer 13 degrees, and the Longitude of Procyon is nearly 25 degrees Cancer; yet due to the latitude of Sirius being 35 degrees South, and Procyon only 16 degrees South, Procyon is visible to people in the Northern Hemisphere a little before Sirius, and this was true 1000 years ago when they were in the sign Gemini, for in spite of the constant change in Longitude they remain the same distance apart. To the ancients Procyon was chiefly noted as the announcer of the Brightest star of Heaven, even as John the Baptist was so noted - "Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee". The water in which John baptized is the watery sign Cancer to which Procyon belongs by Decan. And true to the fable concerning the Sun's rays being cut off at the solstice of Cancer; symbolizing in human life the soul turning from fidelity to domestic infidelity and promiscuity, John is beheaded through the influence of a wicked woman.

The Twin Star. Sirius, being the most brilliant of all stars and belonging to the marriage decan of Gemini, symbolizes the greatest possible spiritual height attainable; representing true soul-mates working in harmonious cooperation. This cooperation is represented as pertaining to the intellectual and spiritual plane, for it pictures the spiritual decanate of the first mental sign. In the bible it is symbolized y the faithfulness of the other Mary to Jesus. Procyon, like John the Baptist, heralds the approach of the Master, and even the grosser aspects of domesticity herald the possibility of the spiritual affection. This grosser aspect is recorded in the New Testament in the account of Mary Magdalene (who as obsessed is represented by Andromeda in Pisces) out of whom went seven devils. When she had washed the feet of Jesus with tears and wiped them with hairs of her head, and anointed his feet with ointment, it is said-"Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much". This signifies that through much suffering she had come to an understanding (feet washed with tears, and Pisces where she is fully pictured ruling both feet and disappointments) of the true love and the value of truthfulness and fidelity.

Cancer corresponds to the house in any chart ruling the Home, and the various Decans of Cancer and the legends concerning them will be found primarily to concern itself with some phase of domestic life. The second Decan. Corresponding to the physical decanate, corresponding to the physical decanate, is Hydra, the huge Sea Serpent. Greek mythology relates that this was a dreadful monster which infested the marshes of Lerna. This serpent had a hundred heads, and as soon as one was cut off two immediately grew in its place. The carious pyramids of the world, erected chiefly as monuments to the Sun, correspond to the last decanate of Gemini where the Sun reaches its greatest elevation, and thus also to the Giant Bear, as will be explained more fully, later. Around these pyramidal temples in many places, though not the Egyptian Pyramids, is a spiral or Serpentine roadway leading to the top. These pyramidal temples representing the Summer Solstice where the Sun passes from Gemini to Cancer, were and are intended to serve as links between heaven and earth, much as are the minarets of Mohammedan mosques at this day.

Babylon really means "gate of the god" and has nothing to do with confusion, but the Hebrews changed the word balbal which means to confound, for Babel, probably intentionally; as there is a vital esoteric truth behind the story of the confusion of tongues at the building of the Tower of Babel. Tradition informs us that the Temple of Bel had a hundred gates. There were a hundred gates to the Holy City of Thebes, in Egypt. The Breton peasants still retain a veneration for Meriadek, which was also a Babylonian name for Bel, and have a tradition of a wonderful hundred-gated cathedral erected to Is (Ishtar). We may be sure, therefore, that the serpent Hydra on the downward side of the gate between heaven and hell, is not given a hundred heads without good cause/ As a matter of fact, these towers, or temples, erected for the Summer Solstice, relate to the Great Solar Cycle of 25,920 years. The Polar Day, in which the earth gradually turns completely over polarwise, the Solstitial Gate moving from the Equator to the Pole and completely on around to the Equator, the opposite pole and back to the Equator, was recorded by Egyptians, Chaldeans and Hindus. According to these records, and also according to the time taken according to modern calculations if the Solstice changes its declination constantly at the present observed rate, one Polar Day requires just 100 Great Solar Cycles. As it is the Declination of the Sun at the Solstices that cause the Seasons, and as the amount of Declination determines the severity of the Seasons, regulating largely the climatic conditions on earth; it will be seen that this serpentine path of the Solstitial point determines the conditions of home life to the people of the world at large.

To slay Hydra was the second labor of Hercules. He accomplished the task easily when he procured a suitable companion. Iolaus, who as soon as Hercules clubbed off a head seared it over with a hot iron, thus preventing another from growing. Thus are the inharmonies of domestic life conquered by discriminating spiritual work, as represented by Hercules; but each impure desire and licentious thought must be seared over by the image of the true soul companion.

The final head of Hydra, which is reputed to be immortal, was buried by Hercules under a rock. The immortal head of the domestic Hydra is the undying desire for the true soul-mate. This desire can not be slain, and Hercules does not attempt its annihilation. He carefully buries it under the "rock of ages", and it is thus preserved under the immutable rock, the Pole Star, Truth.

The principal star in the constellation is Alfred, which is the heart of Hydra, and means "solitary one". To this single great desire for domestic experience, the Twins, Castor and Pollux, point. They are directly in line, and to the north of it. The third Decan of Cancer, Argo, the Argonautic Ship, and the Ark of Noah, will be treated in the next lessons, together with a full account of cyclic cataclysms.