The Passion Cup, Virgin Mother, Crucifiction, Santa Claus.
by C.C. Zain, Elbert Benjamine July 1920

Issued under the auspices of The Brotherhood of Light.
Serial No. 80. Course VII- J.
Box l525, Los Angeles, Calif. July 1920.
The Religion of The Stars.
Part X. The Passion Cup, Virgin Mother, Crucifiction, Santa Claus.
by C.C. Zain

With Leo, as with each zodiacal Sign, the spiritual idea of the sign as a whole is pictured by the constellation bearing the same name. But as all existence and each entity embraces a trinity, so each sign is divided into three decanates. Each decanate represents one of the three aspects of the spiritual idea associated with the sign. That phase denoted by each decanate is pictured by the constellates Decan belonging to it. The trinity of existence is Motion, Substance, and Intelligence-- which in man manifests as Spirit, Body and Soul. The three decanates of each sign are found to be like wise significant. Movable signs typify motion, or the more spiritual aspect. Fixed signs typify substance, or the physical aspect. Mutable signs represent the interaction between motion and substance, spirit and body, which expresses as intelligence, or soul. The three decanates of each sign have the sub-rulership of a Movable, a Fixed, and a Mutable sign of the same triplicity to which the sign itself belongs.( See frontispiece lesson #73). Thus the decanates express the idea by the sign in its spiritual, its physical and its mental aspect.

Aries, as determined experimentally, is the sign having particular rule over birth and life. Triangulum, of the movable decanate of Aries,therefore expresses the creative attributes of the lamb as applied to Spiritual life. Eridanus, of the fixed decanate of Aries, expresses the creative attribute of the Lamb as applied to substance and the rejuvenation of the body. Perseus, of the mutable decanate of the Ram, expresses. the creative attribute applied to mentality.

Taurus has bean found to be general ruler of personal property. Lepus, of the fixed decanate of the Bull, expresses Physical fecundity and material possessions. Orion, of the mutable decanate of the Bull, expresses mental fecundity and mental possessions. Auriga, of the movable decanate of the Bull, expresses spiritual fecundity moral treasures.

Gemini has been found experimentally to rule in a general way consciousness and brethren. Ursa Minor, of the mutable decanate of the Twins, expresses psychic consciousness and mental kinship. Canis Major, of the movable decanate of the Twins, expresses spiritual consciousness and spiritual kindred. Ursa Major, of the fixed decanate of the Twins, expresses objective consciousness and physical relationship.

Cancer has been found to rule in a general way the home and end of things. Canis Minor, of the movable decanate of the Crab, expresses the spiritual environment. Hydra, of the fixed decanate of the Crab, expresses the influence of physical environment and domestic life. Argo, of the mutable decanate of the Crab, expresses the mental environment and its influence.

The sign Leo, has been found to rule in a general way love-affairs and pleasures. Crater, of the fixed decanate of the Lion, expresses physical loves and pleasures. Centarus, of thu mutable decanate of the Lion, expresses mental ardor and mental enjoyment. Corvus, of the movable decanate of the Lion, expresses spiritual zeal, and spiritual loves and pleasures.

In like manner judge the decanates of the other signs, not as conveying some totally new conception, but as being the expression on one of the three planes of being, of the idea pictured by the zodiacal constellation.

Centaurus representing the Sagittarius decanate of Leo, is pictured in the sky as a horse's body with a man's head and upper parts. This starry centaur resembles Sagittarius, yet instead of being armed with a bow and arrow like the latter, he carries a single long spear in his right hand, and a shield on his left arm. Sagittarius faces forward in the zodiac; but Centaurus faces backward so that the back parts of the horse rise on the horizon first and the man part of the constellation, facing the earth as it ascends. As pictured on the ancient celestial sphere Centaurus has just impaled a Wolf, Lupus, on the point of his spear the latter seeming in the last throes of death's agony. Lupus, the Wolf belongs to the last decanate of Libra, from which the Sun passes into the sign of Death, Scorpio. The Summer Solstice, at the time of the Death of the world by deluge, passes from the decanate of Ophiuchus in Scorpio into the decanate of Lupus in Libra. Each year the Sun-God being crucified on the cross of Ecliptic and Equator at Libra is pierced by the spear of the soldier in the heart sign--John 19;34. "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water."

The Sun, king of Heaven and Savior of the World, each Fall crosses the Autumnal Equinox, or is crucified, the season being called Fall because the Sun appears to decline and the days become shorter than the nights, darkness having more power than light. For a time the King of the Jews is weighed in Libra's Scales, night and day being about equal, but at length Pilate, or Perseus, pronounces judgment against him; the sword of Perseus in Aries being inverted as it sets in the east just as the sun rises in the East, the sword thus inverted having the appearance of a cross.

Before the crucifiction, however, the Sun God after attaining kingship by entering into possession of its own kingdom in the royal sign Leo, must pass thru the three decanates of Leo and the three decanates of Virgo. The first Decan of Leo is Crater the Cup--"Then said Jesus unto Peter, put up thy sword into thy sheath; the cup which my father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" The second Decan of Leo is Centaurus the mounted Soldier--"Then the band and the captain and the officers of the Jews took Jesus and bound him". The third Decan of Leo is Corvus, the Raven. There is no other cock in the sky The Raven is tricky and deceitful, and as the Sun passes from the last of the decanate of Corvus it is then directly in opposition to the first of the decanate of Peter, or Cepheus, or Truthfulness (for Peter rests his understanding on the Pole Star Truth). When the Sun rises thus Peter disappears below the horizon in the West--"Peter then denied again and immediately the cock crew". The first Decan of Virgo is Bootes, who holds a whip aloft as if about to strike--"The Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him." The second Decan of Virgo is Hercules, whom mythology- states died from the effect of wearing the robe of the kingly Centaur Neseus. The third Decan of Virgo is Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, pictures in the sky as a crown of sharp spikes--"And the soldiers plated a crown of thorns, and put it on his head" and they put on him a purple robe." Jupiter, the planet ruling the Centaur decanate also rules the color Purple.

The crucifiction of the Sun God is represented to have taken place on Friday; for Friday is the day of Venus, and Venus rules Libra into which the Sun passes at its crucifiction. The two thieves between which the Savior is crucified are Summer and Winter who are both thieves of time. In Horary Astrology a thief is always represented by the 7th house which is naturally ruled by Libra where the Sun is crucified. One of the thieves of time repents not; for it represents the antagonistic winter half of the zodiac. The Summer half of the zodiac, or year dies on the cross with the Sun yet it looks forward to a more favorable time when the Sun shall again come into His own. "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee" Today shalt thou be with me in paradise". Paradise is a word of Persian origin and was applied to the garden or park connected with the residence of the king.

Leo is the true residence of the King of the zodiac, and Virgo, being the adjoining sign in which fruit and trees are pictured, and ruling harvest and orchards and also adjacent to the Cross of Libra, is fittingly called paradise. This day in paradise is the last day of Summer, the last day of the Sun in Virgo; for the next verse reads--" And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the Sun was darkened, and the vail of the temple was rent in the midst." The sixth zodiacal sign is Virgo, and after the Sun passes from Virgo, symbolically the 6nth hour, the darkness continues to increase upon the earth, and the nights become constantly longer, until the Sun passes from the ninth sign, or symbolical hour. When the Sun passes from the ninth sign into the tenth the days begin to lengthen. It could hardly mean that it was dark from 6 o�clock until 9 o'clock in the evening and then grew light; for at 9 P.M. it is night. "And the Sun was darkened, and the vail of the temple was rent in the midst", is obviously astrological, as history records no such earthquake, and as when the Sun is darkened each year by crossing the Equinox as it enters Libra from the sixth sign, it actually divides the zodiac into two equal sections-- the Winter from the Summer signs. This Equinoctial colure, or dividing wall is the vail of the temple of heaven. And when the Sun passes from the ninth sign to the tenth sign, after the ninth hour the Sun is on the Solstitial colure which actually divides the Equinoctial wall, or vail, into two equal sections. Thus the zodiac is divided into four equal sections or quadrants by the positions of the Sun at the end of the sixth and ninth signs. At "the end of the ninth sign, or symbolical hour, the Sun reaches its furthest Southern declination, its lowest and weakest point in the zodiac, the place of its tomb-- so we find in Luke after the ninth hour, or sign, where the temple is rent in the midst--"And then Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he gave up the ghost." The garments of the Sun are the zodiacal signs which clothe it, and they are divided at the end of the ninth sign by Solstice crossing Equinox into four equal portions or quadrants--"Then the soldiers when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part."

A coat is a garment which is worn over other clothing, and as the constellations are worn over, or above, the signs, by the Cosmic man, they are well represented by a coat. Due to the constellations being unequally spaced, and woven in and out on either side of the zodiac, and not coinciding with the signs to which they correspond, but shifted about thru the precessional cycle; when the Sun on the Solstice exactly divides the zodiac into four portions, these seams do not correspond with natural divisions in the constellations. This condition is admirably described at the end of the above cited verse--"and also his coat; now the coat was without seam, woven from the top thruout". A coat woven from the top thruout and without seam is rather a peculiar coat, but the constellations above the zodiacal signs have exactly that appearance. The home sign of the Sun, Leo, is the sign ruling games of chance as well as love-affairs. The position of the constellations in relation to the signs are alotted from the period of the deluge. The deluge occurs each precessional cycle as the equinox passes the beginning of the sign Leo-�as we have explained in lesson #78. Therefore, for an allotment of the coat, or constellations, we are referred to the sign Leo, the gambling sign. "They said therefore, among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be. >br>
And here we would advise that the actual crucifiction of the Sun each Year on the Cross of Ecliptic and Equator does not constitute evidence against the crucifiction of a Jewish Reformer called Jesus. Many great souls have been crucified figuratively, if not literally, in an effort to save all man�kind. In fact, to make such a sacrifice is a necessity of each soul. Physical life being transitory, immortality depends upon building vehicles in which it is possible to function on higher planes after death. To bui1d such a spiritual body requires that moral demands receive more attention than physical desires. Morality insists that the individual be willing to sacrifice himself for the good of all, and in so doing become crucified on the cross of his inclinations. In spending his life in the service of society man gains Immortality, not alone for himself, but for all mankind.

Centaurus among some peoples is represented by an Unicorn, having the appearance of a horse without the man, the spear being replaced by a single long twisted horn projecting the middle of the horse's forehead. The Unicorn like the Lion, is a common emblem in heraldry; for both belong to the royal sign Leo. But wether pictured as a Centaur impaling the wolf of cruelty on his spear, or as a single horned unicorn, Centaurus represents the mental decanate of the passionate Lion, and as such signifies the physical passions of Crater have been turned into mental channels. Being the Sagittarius decanate, and Sagittarius being the sign of philosophy and religion and benevolent impulses often designated as the Higher Mind it indicates that the Divine Soul has overcome the Animal soul. Psal. 22; 22 "Save me from the lion's mouth, for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorn". The power of the Divine Soul or Higher Mind, to rescue man from his material inclinations; the power of the Sun's own sign to rescue it from Winter and cause it to return to its heavenly source in Leo is signified in Num. 23;22,God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were a strength of an unicorn".

The Unicorn is depicted in Mythology in a dual character, as very fierce and warlike, yet as being most tame and beneficent under certain circumstances. Material possessions are designated of course by Taurus, but the nobler impulses and the will to do right are designated by the Unicorn. These attributes are thus associated in the Bible. Isaiah 34.7 And the unicorn shall come down with him, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land be soak with blood and their dust made fat with fatness". Deut.33:17 "His glory is like the firstling of the bullock and his horns are like the horns of unicorns." Psal. 29:6 "He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn." The power of passion transformed into religious devotion is signified in Psal. 92: 10 "But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn; I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Job. in 39; 9-10 is asked if he understands how to transform his physical love into love for Divine wisdom and thus utilize the energy that would otherwise be disipated. "Will unicorn be willing to serve thee or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? Or will he harrow the valley after thee?

The Unicorn-- the Divine sentiment and feeling that it is more blessed to give than to receive-- is not to be conquered by force as is evidenced by the description of it given by a Norman Scholar of the Thirtieth Century-- The unicorn has but one horn in the middle of its forehead. It is the only animal that ventures to attack the elephant; and, so sharp is the nail of its foot that with one blow it rips up the belly of that most terrible of all beasts. The hunter can catch the unicorn only by placing a young virgin in the forests which it inhabits. No sooner does this marvelous animal descry the damsel than it runs toward her, lies down at her feet and so suffers itself to be taken by the hunters". The Elephant, because always moving, is used by the Hindoos as a symbol for mind, a common elephant represents the lower mind, and the white elephant the higher mind. Thus the understanding( nail of its foot) is so sharp that the Unicorn slays with on blow the dictates of the Objective mind, Material science, or the Great Bear. It is captured, or obtained, only by the Pure in Heart, such as is symbolized by the Virgin.

In Japan the Unicorn is called the Divine Sheep. Sin You, which like the Divine Soul judges the innocent and Sentences the gui1ty. The Chinese believe that Lin the Unicorn is yet to come in the form of an incomparable man, revealer of mysteries and lover of all mankind. This Unicorn is so holy and harmless that it will not even step on an insect. And thruout the Orient the Unicorn like Santa Claus in the Occident, appears when sages or avatars are born, being known as a most spiritual beast. Santa Claus is popularly pictured as a jovial, rotund bewhiskered old man Who on the anniversary of the night the Sun-God is born, comes out of cold and frozen North, sleigh-bells jingling, driving reindeer hitched to a sleigh load of presents. Santa is the Sagittarius decanate of the Sun's home sign, for the sun is born each year as it passes from Sagittarius. He does not enter the Home thru the door, but comes down the chimney and to the fireplace. There stockings are hung to receive the presents. The chief actor in this symbolical drama, recognized by his bright and shining countenance, is the Sun, the copious hair about the face symbolizing the virile strength, and in appearance resembling the rays emanating from the Sun on a cold winter morning. He comes to the home down the chimney, or tower of Babel, or Solstitial column or chimney; for at Christmas the Sun is in the opposite Solstitial point from where it was when it reached its highest elevation in Summer. To got to the Home sign, Cancer, the Sun must come to the opposite end of the solstitial column, for it is now at the beginning of Capricorn, the frozen winter sign. The Laplanders instead of recognizing a Wain or plough, in the constellation of the Great Bear of the North say it is a sleigh drawn by reindeer. The Great Bear of the last decanate of Gemini carries the Sun to the Home, Cancer, for it must pass thru this decanate just before reaching Cancer; but whether the bells with which the reindeer are adorned have any connection, with the ancient name of the Sun, Bel, who shall say?

When Santa Claus, the Sun born at Christmas, reaches the Home he abandons his sleigh and reindeer and comes sliding down the chimney; he does not stop at the chimney, which is the highest elevation adjoining the home, Cancer, but enters the fireplace, or fiery furnace, of the first decanate of the fiery sign Leo. And it is about this fireplace, or sign, that he finds the stockings hung. Sagittarius, which the Sun has just deserted on Christmas for icy Capricorn, is the sign ruling gifts, for its ruler is the benevolent and liberal, Jupiter. These gifts of Santa Claus are not given from hand to hand; for they are of the understanding, hence are symbolically placed in the stockings; for the feet symbolize understanding and Sagittarius rules the legs above the knees where the stockings reach.

The soul born into physical existence into the lowest state of external life at Capricorn gains experiences which it generously makes a present of to the Divine -nature thru the desires of the Higher Mind. The birth of the Sun at Christmas, the point where it again begins to increase in strength, like the beginning of the ascent thru evolution on the Part of the soul, is the promise of future reward. It is the promise that, the Sun will once more return to it's heavenly home in Leo, to its own fiery sign. It is the promise that the soul will again return to its spiritual home, laden with the presents of Understanding. It makes use of the Sleigh or Objective Mind, drawn by the reindeer, or physical senses, to carry it on its journey. But before presenting the treasures of garnered experience to the Ego, they are passed thru the purifying fire of Crater and placed in the devotional stockings of Centaurus whose single Horn of plenty was called Cornucopia. And what gifts of the gods can be more greatly appreciated than the Kingdom of Leo as denoted by the devotional love of Centaurus, for- "Seek ye ,first the kingdom of heaven within and all things shall be added, unto you"

The fabled horn of plenty, the single horn of the Unicorn, is not so popular as it was once; yet surely our orthodox Christians will find little evidence in the Bible to support Christmas Tree and the Jovial Santa Claus. Of Course, there are the Three Wise Men of the East who brought presents of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh to the new-born Savior. These presents brought by the three bright stars at Orion's' belt of the mental decanate of the sign of possessions represents mental treasures gathered on all three planes- Physical, Astral and Spiritual. The Tree, however, as we have elsewhere; noted, was once widely worshiped as the mediator thru which the Sun-God transmitted his life-giving energy to man. The Christmas Tree, Santa Claus, the legend of the Sleigh and Reindeer, the Stockings hung by the Fireplace, are not Christian institutions; no more so than eggs at Easter-- for Easter is the Moon, among the Druids called Ceridwen the goddess of many seeds. Yet the Christmas Tree and Santa Claus figure prominently each Christmas in the ceremonies of all the churches of Christendom; and Eggs still play a part in Church programs on Easter as if the custom were of biblical origin. The real Christmas Tree is pictured held in the hand of constellated Hercules; belonging to the Capricorn decanate of the Virgin sign; for at Christmas the Sun is born from Virgo rising above the Eastern Horizon and enters Capricorn. Thus it is that whatsoever important race traditions based upon the spiritual verities of The Religion of The Stars have failed to find their way into Sacred Books, nevertheless are perpetuated, and sooner or later are interblended with the accounts given in the accepted Sacred writings. what ever the Bible has lacked to make it a worthy astronomical document has been added from pagan sources, even as was the legend of the Holy Grail. Centaurus, Santa Claus, comes thru the sky to bring glad tidings to the earth, laden with presents to make the heart happy. He belongs to the sign of love and pleasure-- hence also the custom of kissing under the mistletoe at Yuletide--and represents the light of love shed in the home. One wonders in viewing the statement of our scientists that the nearest Sun in the Universe to our own is Alpha Centauri in the constellation Cantaurus, if the ancients recognized this fact, and portrayed the character of this closest neighbor Sun in the beaming countenance of Santa Claus.

The third, or Aries, decanate of 1eo is pictured by the constellation Corvus, the Raven. This Raven is pictured perched on the back of the water snake, Hydra, with wings somewhat raised and beak open as if making a meal from the serpent. This incompatibility between the emotional watery influence of Hydra in Cancer, and the spiritual love denoted by the Raven, is designated in the account of the flood.� And he sent forth a Raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth". Corvus, the true spiritual love, is violently opposed to the grosser physical emotions; yet uses them transformed as nourishment for the soul as related in I Kings 17. " And Ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening". After Elijah had been fed for a time by the Ravens he asked a woman to bring him a little water in a vessel that he might drink for the brook had dried up. He called upon the zodiacal sign next to the Raven--Virgo--for the water vessel shown in the sign opposite Leo, in Aquarius, ruling friendship. The sign Virgo is found experimentally to rule food and harvested. grain, so Elijah is represented as asking--"Bring me I pray thee a morsel of bread in thy hand.� And because of the woman's kindness there was a miraculous renewal of the meal and oil--"And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruise of oil fail". Thus does kindness perpetually provide food for the soul. Also this woman had a son, who died, and Elijah resurrected him from the dead. The Sun( Son) passing from Virgo( the woman) dies, the life goes from it, even as Elijah took the Son from the woman up into a loft-- or the opposing portion of the zodiacal edifice. But when the Sun passes thru three signs its life begins to return to it, the days commence to grow longer and thus Elijah is represented--"And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, 0 Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again"

The Raven as and of the Decans of Leo, is designated in Job 39;39�"Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? Who provideth for the Raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat". The physical desires and passions as symbolized by the Lions must have physical prey, but spiritual pleasures are provided from a different source. This is more plainly stated in Luke l2;23.--"The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedth them; how much better are ye than the fowls"? The Alaskan Indians also have traditions concerning the Raven that indicate him to be a bird symbolizing the transformation of physical experiences into spiritual food.

The Greek traditions are not so complimentary, but indicate the Raven's relation to the sign of love-affairs of a divine nature, but in this case ending unfortunately. Apollo, the Sun, was deeply in love with Coronis, and was jealous of her conduct. So he sent the Raven, which at that time was pure white, to watch her behavior. The Raven witnessing her criminal love for Ischy the Thessalian, reported the matter to Apollo. Apollo immediately slew Corona with an arrow for her unfaithfulness. But the Raven was changed to sooty black for its tale bearing. Another tradition relates that Apollo sent Corvus for a cup of water for a sacrifice. But the bird loitered in a fig tree until the fruit became ripe, and then returned with a serpent in its claws and the lie that the Serpent was the cause of its delay. As a punishment it was placed in the sky with the Cup but never permitted to drink. Spiritual love rests upon the foundation of the serpent of sexual attraction. Spiritual love can not be deceived, and all unfaithfulness thereto is discovered and immediately punished. Spiritual love is associated with sacrifice, and nourished by the water of affect ional kindness. The fig tree is an emblem of mental reproduction, producing its fruit without the ordinary methods of polinization, apparently being an example of Virgin fruitfulness. It thus corresponds to the first, or Virgo, decanate of the sign Virgo, which follows immediately after the decanate pictured by the Raven. This Virgo decanate is pictured by Bootes, who holds a grape vine or a fig branch in one hand and lashes the bear with a whip in the other. With the knowledge that the fig-tree symbolizes mental fruitfulness we may better understand the justice of the curse placed by the Savior on the barren fig�tree."And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing theron, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee hence�forth for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away". Mental barrenness is a great crime, for it leaves the soul unnourished. To permit the mind to bear no fruit is to wither and dry up the food of the soul. When Adam and Eve first gained knowledge thru the advice of the Serpent--"And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they both new that they were naked; and thee sewed fig Leaves together and made themselves aprons"-- They built physical bodies for themselves by the power of their minds. So, therefore, when we read in Greek mythology that the Savior, Apollo sent the Raven for a cup of water for a sacrifice, and it loitered in a fig tree, we realize that it loitered for a purpose, to gain a harvest of knowledge. And when it returns with a Serpent and a lie, we are reminded that Eve was tempted by a serpent and hid from the presence of the Lord, and was loth to admit that she was in the wrong. The Lord said unto the woman,--I will greatly multiply thy sorrows and thy conception",--and Apollo placed the Raven in the sky near a cup, but permitted him to drink not, and the Nazarine cursed the fig tree. In each case there is suffering, for often there is a violent antagonism between spiritual Love and. sensual emotions, the Raven and Hydra. Doubtless because spiritual love was a thwarting influence where: their common desires were concerned, the Romans looked upon the Raven as a bird of Ill-Omen.

The sign Virgo is pictured in the sky as a woman holding in her hand the branch of a tree. Virgo in experimental astrology is found to be the sign ruling food, the harvest, and labor. It is one of the two signs ruled by Mercury, the planet of mind, and has particular government over the faculties of discrimination and assimilation. Instead of the branch of a tree, in some ancient zodiacs the Virgin holds a babe, ears of corn, or in the case of the Egyptian Isis who is identical with Virgo, a crescent Moon. One the oldest and most universal traditions is the birth of a Savior from a Virgin mother. Many learned men including Roger Bacon, Albert Magnus, Stoffler, Selden and Kircher have quoted the Arabian Astronomer of old, Abulmazar, as recording--"In the first decan of the Virgin according to the oldest traditions of the Persians, the Chaldeans the Egyptians and of Hermes and Esculapius, is seen a young girl, who is called in the Persian language Seclenedos de Darzama, which in Arabic is Adrenedfa --that is to say, a chaste, pure, immaculate virgin-- beautiful in form, with a pleasing countenance, a modest look, with long hair, holding in her hand two ears of corn, seated on a throne, feeding and suckling a young child, whom some call Jesus, and whom in Greek we call Christ."

Practically every tribe and people in the world have traditions concerning a Hero born of a Virgin. In some of the traditions of the conception of Buddha the childless queen is impregnated by a divine being thru a touch of his thumb. This recalls medieval pictures in which the Virgin Mary is shown in the act of conceiving, the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove being Pictured as entering her ear. St. Augustine solemnly informs us--"God spake by the angel and the Virgin was impregnated thru the ear." In Sacred Books at the East, Vol. XIX translating the Nidana Katha, Buddha is related to have entered his mother's side in the form of a white elephant. Zoroaster is described in a Parsee work of the 9th. Century A.D. as born of a Virgin. Coatecue the serpent skirted, was the Virgin mother of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec Deity; and the Aztec Sun-God, Quetzalcoatl, was also Virgin born. Yehl, a divine hero of the Indians of British Columbia, N.A.; Heitsi-eibib, the divine ancestor of the African Hottentots; Fo-hi, founder of the Chinese Empire; and the Chinese emperor Yu; the Hindu Visvamitra as described in the Vishnu Purana; Tindoer Mato of the Malays; Conall Cernach of the Druids; Raja Rasalu of Indian Punjab; Michabo, the original Hiawatha of the Algonquins; Montezuma of the Pueblo, Mojave, and Apache Indians; Parvata, consort of the Hindu Siva; Aloaloalela of the Samoan Islanders; Kalevala of Finland whose mother was Ilmatar; and many other avatars and culture heroes we might mention are held to have been born of a Virgin. Even the Greek Perseus, now pictured in the constellations was miraculously conceived of Diana thru a shower of gold.

And is not the Earth mother of us all? She conceives thru being impregnated immaculately with the rays of the Sun. And when she brings forth the harvest of golden grain and luscious fruit she has become a Virgin Mother. The soul of man is born into external life thro the Holy Motherhood of the Earth, Isis, the Virgin Mary. Without this earth, or some other earth, what could the soul know of physical life? Each soul is a son of God sent to earth for the purpose of redeeming the world. It incarnates thru the various impersonal forms of life upon earth, until at last it is born a Self-Conscious Soul heir to the kingdom of heaven. It is wrong to think of the Earth as impure. The earth is immaculate, pure, chaste and modest. It is only we who become impure thru misunderstanding her. We fail to discriminate properly between her real charms and our own undeveloped perceptions. The soul of each person is a Son of God immaculately conceived by the earth. And when a soul show�s particular greatness as a teacher and reformer-- and to the extent his teachings have gained him a following-- there is the tendency to shroud his birth in mystery and substitute the old and true tradition of the birth of the Self-Conscious Soul.

Bootes, the Husband(man), and bear driver, depicts the Virgo decanate of Virgo. Belonging to the mental decanate he symbolizes the harvest of experience resulting from partaking of the tree of "good and evil" He scourges the Great Bear around the pole; drives the Objective mind to seek for Truth. He is called the Ploughman when the bear is taken for a Plough. In the Bible he is Joseph Husband of Mary, who was able to discriminate correctly and not judge her wrongfully. In one Greek tradition he is Bacchus, and in another Theseus. Theseus was imprisoned in the labyrinth to be devoured by the ferocious Minotaur which fed continually upon the choicest youths and maidens from among the Athenians. Theseus slew the Minotaur and by means of a clew of Thread furnished by his sweetheart, Ariadne(Virgo), he extricated himself from the difficult winding passages of the cave. This monster is Cetus belonging to the marriage decanate of Aquarius. This decanate has just completely set in the West as the first decanate of Virgo begins to rise. It represents sensuality and marriage discord, which Theseus slays, as did Perseus. But the laborinth in which none may find their way is a different feature of the story. It is the bewildering search for Truth, the struggle of the soul to find the light. Virgo, the sign of great discrimination, as Ariadne, aids him in this and furnishes him a clue. Thru her great and pure love for Theseus she assists him to find the way, even as a great and pure love has been the clue by which many another since has found the Light.

The second, or Capricorn. decanate of Virgo is pictured. in the sky by Hercules. Hercules is represented as a huge man, clothed in a lion skin, on one knee-- for Capricorn rules the knees--and one foot resting upon the head of Draco, the Dragon. He has bow and arrows, holds in one hand the three headed dog Cerberus and the Apples of Hesperides, and with the other wields his immense Club. The birth Hercules was attended by miraculous events, and while but an infant he fearlessly grasped and strangled the two serpents belonging to the decanates of Libra which were sent by Juno. (Cassiopea pictured in the opposite and antagonistic sign) to devour him. He performed many wonderful exploits, but the most notable were his 12 labors. To free himself of certain self-imposed obligations he undertook to perform 12 labors-- which of course as Hercules belongs to the sign of labor and of mind represents the soul's efforts to free itself from the limitations of the 12 signs. The last two of these 12 labors were to obtain the golden Apples Of Hesperides, which, was guarded by the Dragon, and finally to bring up to earth the three-headed Dog, Cerberus, the guardian in the infernal regions. The Dragon guarding the Apples of Experience is Draco, symbolizing the cycle of Necessity, Involution and Evolution, the tempting Serpent and the cause of the Fall of Adam and Eve. The three-Headed Dog guarding the gate of Hades where heat is greatest, are the three animals of the decanates of Gemini which guard the approach to the Solstice of Cancer. Hercules grasps all three, and thus mentally solves the problems of all three planes - The soul of man labors thus to bring to earth the conclusions of the Subjective Mind, the Objective Mind, and the spiritual conceptions resulting from their cooperation. Heaven and Hell are not localities, but states at consciousness which these mental factors guard. To bring them to earth is to make man master of Heaven and Hell.

The life of Hercules and the life of the biblical Samson have many parallels, and they are but different versions of the same ancient tradition. Hercules was finally overcome thru his enemies using his wife, even as Delilah was instrumental in the downfall of Samson. The wife of Hercules gave him a tunic Which unknown to him and to her contained the poison of Hydra( domestic inharmony); for it had been worn by the Centaur Nessus when Hercules slew him with a poisoned arrow for offering insult to his wife. She gave it to Hercules thinking it would recall him from unlawful love. Hercules, like Samson brought about his own physical dissolution. Finding no cure for the poison that ate at his vitals he built, an altar pyre and had the faggots lighted as he lay down upon it. Thus was the mortal part consumed, and the immortal part carried up to heaven; even as the spiritual works of man at his death carry his soul aloft to higher realms.

Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown-pictures the Taurus, or reward, decanate of Virgo. It is a crown of 12 spikes, representing the trials of faithful service thru the 12 signs, and the triumphant harvest. It exemplifies the saying that the laborer is worthy of his hire, and indicates the reward of effort. The Crown is located immediately in front of the head of the Serpent of the first decanate of Libra. Bacchus, the god of wine, is represented by the Husbandman, Bootes. Bacchus married Ariadne, or Virgo, and loved her tenderly, and gave her this crown of stars for her faithfulness. Jesus, in turning the water into wine at the wedding feast but played the part usually assigned to Bacchus, or Bootes. The sign next to that where Bootes holds forth is the Marriage sign. Jesus said unto his mother Virgo--"Woman what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come", referring to the adjoining cross of Libra. Virgo is the 6th sign--"And there were set six water pots of stone", and in these the water was changed into wine. Virgo rules wine and the harvest.

The next act after transforming the water into wine was to make a scourge of small cords and drive the money Changers from the temple, even as pictured Bootes holds such a scourge in his hand. Corona Borealis is the crown of Virgo, and adjoins Libra as mentioned in Rev.12;1. "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed in the the sun, and the Moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."