The Religion of the Stars
Slain Gods, The Eucharist, Scapegoats, Dragon and Altar.
by C.C. Zain, Elbert Benjamine August 1920


Issued under the auspices of The Brotherhood of Light.
Serial No. 81. Course VII-K.
Box 1525, Los Angeles, Calif. August 1920.
The Religion of The stars.
Part XI, Slain Gods, the Eucharist, Scape goats, Dragon and Altar.
by C.C. Zain

The sign Libra is pictured among the constellations as the Balance, or the Scales. It is the only one of the twelve zodiacal signs pictured by an in animate object. In ancient India, however, it is figured as a man bending on one knee and holding a pair of scales. The early Hebrews regarded Libra as a Scale-beam, as did the Egyptians, and thus it appears on the Denderah planisphere. Such a beam was used by the Egyptians in the measuring of the water in the Nile. The latter being symbolized by the Watersnake, Hydra, whose coming was announced by the star of the East, Sirius. The Chinese represented it by a Dragon, their national emblem, and later by a balance. And it is interesting to note in connecting with both the river-meter of the Egyptians and the Chinese Dragon; that the first Decan of Libra is pictured by a Serpent, called Eve in the East, and the second Decan is Draco, the Dragon. Libra is identical with a Mayan constellation to which there was a temple, and a priest whose special mission was to minister justice and foretell the future by consulting the dead. Libra, in experimental astrology, is found to rule both marriage and open enemies; even as the scale beam unites the two pans, and as when weights are placed in them there is antagonism between them. To represent the completeness of fusion in marriage the Greeks omitted the constellation Libra so that the Virgin and Sex sign Scorpio joined, and in some other zodiacs of early date Virgo-Libra-Scorpio, were considered by a single constellation; showing that the Virgin and the Scorpion thru marriage had become as one, leaving a zodiac of 10 constellations; the numerical cycle. As marriage, or Libra, measures the emotions and affections, and as the beam measured the water of the Nile, so also the ancients Peruvians had a ceremony of Libra in connection with the union of waters. This constituted of a purification by bathing at the juncture of two streams.

As Libra is that point in the zodiac where Winter and Summer are married, and where there is a struggle between night and day as to which shall be stronger-- that nights finally becoming longer and slaying the Sun, we may expect to find traditions of a Slain God in every land. And such is the case. In fact, the gods and heroes of Folk-lore thruout the world are usually slain by enemies. And so imbued with this idea were many ancients races thruout the world that their kings, who posed as direct descendants of deity, were not permitted to meet death in the ordinary way, but were slain by their subjects when they had reach or passed their prime-- or in some cases when they had ruled a prescribed number of years. Traditions of a Dying God are universal--tho often associated with a Vegetation Deity, who, like the grass and crops is slain annually in the Fall, to be resurrected again the next Spring. Yet behind the death and resurrection of Vegetation is that of the Sun, which causes the vegetation thus to be slain and to again come to life from the tomb of winter.

Hercules went to the infernal region and returned again to earth. He was betrayed, and sacrificed himself voluntarily, and placing himself on an altar fire ascended up into heaven. Samson, shorn of his strength is delivered into the hands of his enemies, and like the sun in the Fall was blinded, but he finally triumphed over his enemies by pulling down that portion of the zodiacal temple occupied by his enemies(the winter signs) by means of the two pillars, the same pillars erected by Hercules, The Solstitial And Equinoctual colures-- for the Sun Actually erects these pillars; they being dependent on the Sun for their existence.

Tertulian records that in the Egyptian Mysteries Osiris was believed to have been buried and came to life again. Apollonius was commonly held by his followers to have descended to Hades and then returned to earth. Orpheus, likewise, descended into the infernal regions and returned to life. The Mithraic mysteries, long before the time of Jesus, represented the Lord Mithra, Mediator and Savior, being slain, buried in a Rock Tomb, and resurrected from the grave. It is recorded that the sacrament of bread and water, or bread and wine, and the marking on the forehead with a mystic mark was a common part of these ceremonies. The Roman conquerors in early Christian times left little or no evidence of their knowledge or esteem of Christianity. But they left much to show their esteem and veneration for Mithra, whose rites , were always performed in a Cave. Thus as a single instance, there has been found a Mithraic Cave at Housesteads, Northumberland, which contains sculptures of Mithra--worship and an inscription--"To the God, best and greatest, invincible Mithra, Lord of Ages". Firmicus informs us that the devil left nothing undone to discountenance Christianity, recording that in Phrygia the people had fixed the image of a young man to a tree in worship of the Mother of Gods, and in one of their rites consecrated a tree at midnight by slaying a lamb at its foot. Among the early Christians a lamb was sacrificed at the Pascal Mysteries and its blood was received in a Cup.

The rising Sun or risen Son was hailed with joy by various ancient peoples, among them the Jewish Essenes to which order Jesus is supposed to have belonged. And to these various peoples Sunday was known as the Lord's day long before the time of Jesus, and the Eucharist was an established rite centuries before the time clamed for the period of the Last Supper. The communion of bread and wine, typifying the harvest and wine making the sign Virgo, from which the sun passes to the sacrificial cross of Libra, was employed in the mysteries of Dionysos, Sun God and Wine God. The festival of Bacchus reeked of wine and blood and torn flesh--in fact the wine was particularly sacred to Virgo, the Woman of the skies, as emblematical not alone of Spirit or the cup of desire of Leo, but as typifying Woman's Creative periods. The Cup of Mithra is represented on ancient monuments with a serpent drinking from it; even as the cup Crater, the Holy Grail, rest on the back of the serpent, Hydra. In the old Persian cults it was customary to mix the sacrificed flesh with bread and bake as a round cake--round to represent the disc of the Sun even as the unleavened bread now should be baked round--called Vyazda, and this was eaten as a sacrament. Among the Mithraists there was a weekly sacrament of bread and wine, or bread and water. But the custom dates far back of Mithraic times.

In the Brahmanic Upavasath, a fast day is given previous to the sacrament of the Soma. It occurred four times each lunar month-- being the Lunar feast held on the evening before the Moon-day(Monday), which made it fall on Sunday evening. The sacrament is mentioned also in the time of Abraham, Gen.14:18 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of the most high God". Wine and Soma, the fermented juice of fruit or plant have been regarded because of their exhilarating effect on those partaking of them, as symbols of Spirit and creative energy; in fact, are collectively called spirits. Soma was used instead of wine in Vedic times. In the Rigveda it is called Soma and in the Zendavesta, Hoama; being different forms of the same word, derived from a root meaning "to beget" which is hu in Zend and su in Sanscrit. In the Rigveda Soma is the begetter of the gods, and in the zendavesta the last libation to the god of Time made before prayers is to Hoama. But whenever and wherever found, this libation taken in remembrance of the Lord, but represents the Cup, Crater, belonging to the Sun's own decanate of the Sun's own sign; the cup of creative energy, of passion of enthusiasm--conjoined to the transmuting powers of woman's creative attributes, the water of emotion transmuted to the wine of life in the admixture of their creative magnetisms, as exemplified more fully by the Bacchic Frenzies. The sacramental bread, wherever partaken of, represents the Husbandman, Bootes, belonging to the Mercury sign, Virgo; typifying the mental harvest. These two signs, Leo and Virgo, are the last two the Sun passes thru before the crucifixion. Leo, the sign ruling pleasure and love, is well symbolized by Soma or Wine which is drunk by Bacchus in Virgo; and Virgo the sign of food and assimilation is represented more fully by the bread. And anticipating the resurrection; is not spirit and creative energy, or Love(the wine) and Wisdom(bread) that which alone it is possible to carry beyond the tomb?

Not only are there traditions of a slain God in every land, but it was a universal custom in ancient times for the sins of a whole people to be laid upon a scapegoat which was sacrificed in public for the benefit of all. Records show that such scapegoats were common among the American Indians, among the Mayas of Yucatan, in Queensland, India, Russia, Esthonia, Spain etc. In many localities the scapegoat that shouldered the sins of the people and was slain was a human being. The sacrifice of human scapegoats in ancient Rome, Greece and Africa are recorded, and it was a yearly custom in Siam, Japan and Sumatria. The Jesuit Acosta describes the prevalence of this custom among the Aztecs of Mexico. he says they took a captive such as they thought good, and before they sacrificed him they gave him the name of the deity to whom he should be sacrificed. They worshiped and fed him for a year, permitting him to do whatsoever he pleased, and when the feast came and he was fat they killed him and ate him as a solemn sacrifice.

Among Eastern peoples it was a common custom to dress someone up as a king in robes and place a crown on his head and mock him, calling him Old King Saturn. Saturn is exalted in Libra, where the Sun is crucified, and he is king of the Winter half of the zodiac; and the crown is the last Decan of Virgo from which the Sun passes to Saturn's domain. Among the old Babylonians this mock king who was called King Sacaea was really slain in sacrifice. It is thus described by Dio Chrysotom-- "They take one of the prisoners condemned to death and seat him upon the king's throne, and give him the king's raiment, and let him lord it and drink and run riot and use the king's concubines during these days and no man prevents him from doing just what he likes. But afterwards they strip and scourge and crucify him."

In Rome in latter days the King Saturn who was yearly sacrificed for the good of the world was merely a stage monarch; but even at that time in the outlying provinces the ceremony was carried out in all its original austerity. There is an authentic record in connection with the annals of Christian Martyrdom in which such a human sacrifice was involved, the original MS. record still being extant. The Roman soldiers were camped upon the banks of the Danube--"Thirty days before the feast the soldiers chose by lot a handsome youth, whom they dressed in royal robes and hailed as the representative of the good king Saturn. Surrounded by a brilliant escort, he paraded the streets, with full authority to use a abuse his power, until on the 30th day, he was compelled to kill himself on the altar of Saturn whom he personified. In the year 303 the lot fell upon the Christian soldier Dasius, who refused to play the part in which he would have to stain himself with debauchery immediately before death. He was beheaded at Divrostolum of Friday, Nov 20."

The two most sacred observances of the Jews, ancient and modern, are Rosh-ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur, which celebrate the crucifixion of the Sun on the cross of Libra. Rosh-ha-shanah is held the 1st day of Tishri, or Libra; and Yom Kippur is held on the 10th of Tishri, or Libra. They date back to Levit. 24;24-27 " Speak unto the children of Israel, Saying, in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, and holy convocation." " Ye shall do not servile work therein; but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord". "And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement; it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord."

The Jewish Encyclopedia says of Rosh-ha-Shanah; which is the day the Sun enters the sign of the Scales--"Rosh-ha-Shanah is the most important judgment day, on which all the inhabitants of the world pass for judgment before the Creator as sheep pass for examination before the shepherd. Three books of accounts are opened on Rosh-ha-shanah wherein the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of the intermediate class are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed, and are sealed 'to live'. Psal.LXIX 28".This judgment is held on the day the Sun enters the spiritual decanate of Libra, pictured by the Serpent. When the Sun passes to the second, or physical decanate pictured by the Dragon, we have the most sacred of all the Jewish observances. Kippurim, or Kippur, means-"atonement, the setting at one or reconciliation of two estranged parties". And this is the physical decanate of the sign of War and Marriage. In the ancient ceremonies, at Yom Kippur two goats were contributed by the people. One as a sin offering for the Lord was Slain, and the other as a scapegoat was released into the wilderness. The New Testament fulfills these traditional requirements--"For of necessity he must release on unto them at the feast. And they cried all at once, saying Away with this man, and release unto us Barabas". Barabas was released as the scapegoat and Jesus was sacrificed as the sin offering. The Jewish custom after sacrificing one goat and sprinkling its blood on the altar, is to bring the live goat forward and as stated by the Jews themselves--" the high priest laid his hand upon the head and confessed 'all the iniquities of the Israelites and all their transgressions, even all their sins' which were thus placed upon the goat's head. Laden with sin the animal was sent away into the wilderness. In every sacrifice there is the idea of substitution; the victim takes the place of the human sinner. The laying of the hands upon the victim's head is an ordinary rite by which the substitution and the transfer of sins are affected. The sprinkling of blood is essential to all sin offerings. By dipping his finger in the victim's blood and applying it to a sacred object like an altar, the priest reestablishes the union between the people that he represents and Deity." There are two animals of a single species offered at Yom Kippur because it is a sacrifice to the marriage sign; and the objects offered are goats because these animals are ruled by Saturn, whose exaltation, or Strongest power, is in Libra. Rosh-ha-shanah is celebrated two days because it represents marriage as well as judgment. It is the time when Summer and Winter wed.

Serpens belongs to the first or spiritual decanate of Libra. It is the real serpent of the sky, the tempting serpent of the garden of Eden--for it is next to the garden sign, Virgo, who also pictures Eve. It is the symbol of Generation in the first of the Marriage sign. Of the other serpentine constellations one is a Dragon and the other a Watersnake. Serpens is the fiery serpent that bit the children of Israel, it is the viper that bit St. Paul on the island of Melita, and the serpent mentioned in Math--"be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves". Only thru generation, only thru death and rebirth in higher forms, is wisdom possible. The children of Israel were healed by the brazen serpent, representing right knowledge of generation, and Paul was uninjured by the viper because of his spirituality. The serpent is mentioned with the dove because the dove is the bird of the Pleiades in the sign ruled by Venus, and the serpent is in Libra, the other Venusian sign. Aaron's staff became a serpent, as likewise did the rods of the Egyptians magicians, but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods, because Aaron had more power, had generated greater energy with which to vitalize his thoughts.

Among the pictured constellations Serpens passes between the legs of Ophiuchus, who is represented as wrestling with this vibratory force, even as night and day, winter and summer, wrestle for supremacy when the Sun passes into the decanate pictured by Serpens. In Greek mythology this is the serpent that attacked and strangeled Laocoon, the priest of Neptune, at the siege of Troy for treating the wooden horse(Sagittarius, or the Higher Mind) irreverently. The close association between the sign Libra and Scorpio, found in experimental astrology to rule the internal and external sexual organs, respectively, is represented by Ophiuchus, who holds the Serpent being the first decan of Scorpio, and Serpens itself being the first Decan of Libra.

The second decan of Libra represents the physical aspect of marriage and the descent of the Soul into matter. It is pictured by the Dragon, Draco. In experimental astrology there are symbols called the Dragon's Head and the Dragon's Tail. The ancients paid more attention to them than do modern astrologers. They represent points on the ecliptic where the Moon crosses it, and where alone for this reason eclipses are possible. They represent for the Moon what the first of Aries and the first of Libra do for the Sun-- Aries and Libra being where the Sun crosses the Celestial Equator. Thus Aries, the youthful Lamb, corresponds in the Solar cycle to the Dragon's Head, and Libra to the Dragon's Tail. We believe in experimental astrology the Dragon's Head and Tail have more to do with commencing and terminating affairs than with Fortune and Misfortune directly; tho it is currently taught otherwise. The Dragon of Libra appears in traditions of most races as a symbol of Evil, Death and Extinction, and in the Chinese zodiac was actually placed within the constellation of Libra. In the other zodiacs it belongs to Libra, but its body is in the North winding first about the pole of the Ecliptic and then about the pole of the Equator, speaking in eloquent language of the motion of the pole of the Equator about the pole of the Ecliptic, which is produced by the precessional cycle.

Hercules is pictured with one foot crushing the Dragon's head, and the means by which he gains the power to crush this dark force of evil is represented by his kneeling posture, symbolizing obedience to the Law. In India, Krishna, one of the most revered Gods is often pictured as standing with one foot on a serpent's head, and holding it up by the tail, and there are legends about his vanquishing the Dragon in a fierce battle. This is the deadly Python slain by Apollo, and the original of the story of St. George and the Dragon. In Yucatan there are representations of a feathered serpent, and both the serpents of Libra are mentioned in Isaiah 14.29"Rejoice not thou, whole Palastina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent". It is referred to in Job--" By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent." Psalms 91.13 " Thou shalt tread upon the Lion and the adder, the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under foot." Rev.20.2 "And he laid hold on the Dragon, that old Serpent which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years."

This Dragon whose winding folds enclose the pole of the earth and the pole of the zodiac was anciently, and is now, used to symbolize the Cycle of Necessity of the Soul. Its relation to the poles indicates the precessional and other cycles that give the varying conditions on earth that make the progression of the soul possible. In some countries it was thought that when there was an eclipse the Sun or Moon was being swallowed by this Dragon. This Dragon is the physical environment which swallowed up the Soul, even as Winter swallows up the light of the Sun. To slay the Dragon is to overcome physical limitations, to be judged and found among those who are sealed 'to live' and make that perfect Atonement which is commemorated by Yom Kippur-- the day the Sun enters the decanate of Libra pictured by Draco. This Dragon in connection with Hercules of the spiritual decanate of Virgo, proclaims the doctrine that Man is an Offspring from Deity, conceived immaculately by Mother Earth, for the purpose of garnering a full harvest of Love and Wisdom. The Dragon indicates by its two large twists, one the reverse of the other, the Soul's involutionary descent from Celestial realms into those material, and its evolution thru various forms up to man. The six small loops indicate the six states of life passed thru before reaching that of man (see lesson #3). The state of manhood is indicated by St. George or Hercules or Krishna who triumphs over the Dragon, as the human soul is called upon to vanquish all obstacles and complete the Cycle of its perfection. Bearing in mind that air is the symbol of aspiration, the old Babylonian tradition concerning Draco becomes no less eloquent of the means used than the posture of Hercules. It relates that--"the monster was finally overcome by a great wind, which was driven with such force into his open jaws that it split him in two."

At Yom Kippur when the Sun enters the decanate pictured by Draco there is total abstinence from food and one goat is slain and one turned loose in the wilderness. Perhaps, however, we should mention another Babylonian tradition in which it is related that the might god Marduk fought and killed the Dragon Tiamat. In the Rigveda of India the story is related that the great Dragon Vrtra obstructed the waters so they could not flow, until the strong and valiant god Indra slew the monster with his bolt and then the pent up springs gushed in rivers to the sea. Returning to the goats of Yom Kippur-- the one turned loose in the wilderness represents the human soul entering the wilderness of material conditions to gain experience. The goat slain for the sins of the people represent the human soul sacrificing the animal nature and passing to the spiritual realm from the material. The third decanate of Libra, the mental decanate, pictured by Lupus, the Wolf, carries the symbolism still further. Lupus pictures the decanate directly opposite to that in Aries pictured by Perseus. Lupus is the celebrated wolf called Feuris in Scandinavian mythology, who joins with the serpent in introducing evil into the universe. In Greek mythology, the king of the gods, Jove sent his Son, Arcas(who in another tradition was changed into the Lesser Bear) to inspect the kingdom of Lycaon. Lycaon killed Arcas (of the mental decanate of Gemini) and cooked him and served him up at a banquet of the gods, much as the Aztecs killed and ate annually a human sacrifice to the gods. This great crime brought the age of gold to an end, and Lycaon was changed into the Wolf, Lupus. The age of Gold is the Spiritual existence of the soul before incarnating in matter, being identical with the Garden of Eden, and also symbolizing a time on earth when men were more spiritual than physical.

Jason, after conquering the bulls, was required to sow the teeth of a serpent from which armed men are produced, and then was required to lull the Dragon to sleep before recovering the Golden Fleece. The Wolf has the same significance as the armed men. It is the warlike spirit of ruthlessness that man must overcome. Belonging to the last decanate of Libra, the decanate next to the Mars sign Scorpio, the wolf partakes of the cruelty of that sign. Another Greek tradition exemplifies this spirit of survival at the expense of others, the spirit of selfish aggression that must be slain by the soul, even as Cadmus slays the wolf of the sky. The companions of Cadmus while bringing water from the fountain of Mars(Eridanus) are devoured by the Dragon that guards it. Draco is the opposite decanate to Eridanus, and rises as the latter sets, devoured by the horizon. Cadmus, like Hercules and St. George and Krishna, slays the Dragon. Then he sows it's teeth which produce armed men, the wolf or armed men being produced from or rising immediately after the Dragon. These men fight among themselves until all are killed but five, who then assist Cadmus to build the Holy City of Thebes. The armed men and the wolf typify the survival of the strongest-- which is the law of life among lower forms of life than man. This struggle for survival and progress produced by the Cyclic Dragon results in their being left five-- which are not men, but the physical senses of man, the number 5 being emblem of the resultant intellectual supremacy, the mental City of Thebes which is built with their aid. Thebes is Gemini.

The eighth zodiacal sign is Scorpio ruling the house of death, and being the sign of Sex. It is pictured among the constellations as a huge Scorpion with its sting poised to strike the foot of Ophiuchus, the Serpent-bearer. With his other foot Ophiuchus grinds the head of the Scorpion into the dust--"It shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.� This is the Scorpion that brought the death of Orion, and that stung the horses of Phaeton. It was called by the Akkadians "the Stinger" and referring to Ara the Altar which belongs to the mental decanate of the sign--"the Place where one Bows Down". The persians, Arabs and Turks recognize it as a Scorpion. It is clearly indicated on the zodiac of Dendirah, and was known to the ancient Mayas of Yucatan as "the sign of the Death god". The scorpion is the symbol of the destructive aspect of sex. It is mentioned together with the serpents of Libra and the Pole Star, or Rock of Truth, by which the waters of regeneration are obtained, in Deut. 8-15"Who led thee thru that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drouth; where there was not water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint."

Antares in Scorpio is one of the four Royal Stars of Persia, and was known on the Euphrates as "the Lord of the Seed". In Luke 11:10 we have reference to Libra and Scorpio--"If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?" In central Asia Scorpio was known as -"the grave Digger of Caravans". It is found in experimental astrology to rule death, even as the Sun crucified on Libra dies while passing thru Scorpio. After the Sun enters Scorpio it must pass thru 5 signs before released from the winter signs, taking five months, as related in Rev. 9" And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth; and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. " " And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months; and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man."

Ohpiuchus is identical with Laocoon, strangled by the serpent at the siege of Troy for irreverent treatment of the wooden horse. Laocoon represents those who ignore the Higher Mind, ruled by the horse sign, and succumb to their desires for gratification of their physical sexual desires. The overcoming of Serpens by Ophiuchus is also related in Greek mythology. Experimental astrology demonstrates that Scorpio rules medicines, and that Scorpio people become the greatest of all healers. Aesculapius was the first physician, and is identical with Ophiuchus. he was educated by Chiron, the Centaur,(Sagittarius ruling the higher mind) and accompanied the Argonautic expedition. He afterwards became so skillful in his practice that he restored the dead to life, even as Jesus is said to have done. The worship of serpents was always associated with Aesculapius, and the cock was also sacred to him This cock represents the Raven on the other serpent, Hydra, and one of the last acts of Socrates was to offer a cock as sacrifice to Aesculapius. The creative energy symbolized by the serpent is the great healing force in nature, and it is with this serpent that Jacob wrestled until blessed by the angel.

As the Summer Solstice is at the commencement of the decanate pictured by Ophiuchus at the period of the Deluge, and as the Sun is in the Decan at the time of year in which the cataclysm takes place, Ophiuchus represents the struggles of the earth with disruptive energies at that time, and the struggle of man to escape death. It thus may be taken to represent Noah, and as a matter of fact the Sea Serpent, Hydra, extends all the way from Cancer to Scorpio, joining the watery signs, The Ark from which Noah escaped from the flood is pictured by Argo; the catastrophe is shown by Crater; the creatures in the ark with Noah by Centaurus representing both man and beast; the Raven comes next; and the Dove is the Pleiades at the opposite Solstice from Noah, or Ophiuchus. Afterward Noah became a husbandman, pictured by Bootes, and drank wine and was uncovered in his tent, for the sunshine is yet greater than the darkness while the Sun is in Virgo. Shem and Japhet moved backwards to cover his nakedness because the Sun at this season of the year is moving back toward the South. Virgo is the sign of Servants, and the last sign in which the Sun is uncovered by being on the light side of the Equator. So in cursing Canaan Noah said-"a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren". After Noah, or Ophiuchus, emerges from the Ark he builds an Altar, which is pictured by Ara, the mental decanate of Scorpio, next to Ophiuchus. The next decanate to the one of the Altar belongs to the Southern Crown, denoting the blessing of Noah by the Lord-as well as the blessing the angel bestowed on Jacob for overcoming--and then comes the Bow of Promise. This is the Bow of the Archer Sagittarius, which is aimed directly at the heart of the deceitful Scorpion. It indicates the promise of the Higher Mind to control the Scorpion and not permit further floods of desire to beset and overpower the soul. The bow is sacred in many lands. Colonel Roosevelt relates that on his trip to the great Natural Arch in Arizona that the Indians who acted as guides for the party held it in such veneration that they would not pass under it. They performed a long tedious and laborious climb to be able to go around it, rather than to desecrate it by passing thru. Other people hold the bow as an emblem of luck, and so much desire to pass under it that they nail a horseshoe over the door, this bow being the understanding of the horse Sagittarius, or Higher Mind.

The second, or mental decanate of Scorpio is pictured by the Altar, Ara. The smoke ascending from this Altar, and referred to in Rev. 9 as the smoke from the bottomless pit-- meaning the pit of winter-- from which the locusts were to come and torment" those men which have not the seal of God in their forehead", as if they were Scorpions, is the milky way, for Ara is in the milky way which appears as a cloud of smoke ascending from the Altar. The next decan to Ara is the Southern Crown, and the next sign is Sagittarius the armed horseman. Rev. 9.7"And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men'. The crown, Corona Australis, touches Sagittarius who has the face of a man, and looks toward the Altar. "And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground". Abel cultivates his intellectual and moral faculties, while Cain sought material possessions. Able sacrificed his creative energy in service of the Lord, but Cain tried to buy his way into heaven with the products of the earth. Cain, representing the Animal Soul, slew his brother Abel, representing the Divine Soul. Cain's attitude is as well expressed today as of yore--"Am I my brother's keeper?" The altar about which the dispute arose regarding the merits of different sacrifices is yet to be seen as the constellation depicting the middle Decan of the sign of Death. This is the Altar of Noah, of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses; and the traditions of all lands and all peoples. The story of the priest of Baal and Elijah as related in 1 Kings 18. is but another version of the Cain and Abel tradition.

The Twelve stones with which Elijah constructed the Altar represent the Truths conveyed by each of the 12 signs. The four barrels of water which were filled three times and poured over the altar represent the affections, or emotions, associated with the 12 signs. If we assume that the Southern Crown might be referred to as a throne, the Rev. 8:3 alludes to it as well as to the Altar, for Altar is the constellation next before the Crown. "and another angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne." In whatever land the tradition of the altar appears and sacrifices offered on an altar are common to every land, the underlying meaning is the same. Man should sacrifice his animal nature upon the altar of devotion to the welfare of society. He should struggle, even as Ophiuchus struggles, to over come his baser instincts and lower sexual tendencies, and offer his creative energies on the altar of his highest endeavors.

This last decanate of Scorpio, the spiritual decanate, is pictured by a wreath of victory, known as the Southern Crown--Corona Australis. It symbolizes the reward of those who triumph over their love natures by offering themselves on the Altar of sacrifice to the welfare of all. The Northern Crown is the crown of spikes-- of laborious afflictions. The Southern Crown, adjacent to the sign of Higher Mind, is the crown of attainment; symbol of the Great Work accomplished. It was the custom among Greeks and Romans to place such a crown of Laurel upon the brow of the one who surpassed in art or poetry. Sagittarius rules philosophy and religion, and this crown is adjacent to the priestly sign. Ex.29:6 "And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon: the mitre." This is the crown of righteousness mentioned in Tim.4:8 "Hence forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness". It is the crown of glory mentioned in 1 Peter 5:4"And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." The Southern Crown belongs to the sign of death. Each decanate takes 10 days for the Sun to pass thru, and therefore the tribulations of any one decanate may be represented by the 10 days. Rev.2:10 "Fear none of these things which thou shall suffer; behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of Life."

The ninth sign of the zodiac is pictured by a Centaur who faces the Scorpion with full drawn bow as if ready to instantly punish any treachery upon the part of the latter. Sagittarius rules long journeys, philosophy, religion, and public expression of thought. Because it governs the more benevolent impulses it is said to rule the Higher Mind, as distinct from the lower mind, or scientific phase, which is ruled by the opposite sign, Gemini. Most of the Centaurs were considered to be rather a bad lot; for the sign is half human and half animal, and in the old traditions the animal impulses usually gained the supremacy. This is true today of people born under Sagittarius. They are dual, and there is a strong religious learning; but too often this is overpowered by love of pleasure, and we find the Sporting people largely made up of such Sagittarians.

The constellation Sagittarius is clearly depicted on ancient Babylonian monuments and on the ancient zodiacs of Egypt and India. Of all the Centaurs of Greek Mythology, Chiron is the most notable, and clearly represents the Sagittarian qualities. he is represented as a great teacher, being the instructor of the great heroes such as Jason, Medeus, Hercules, Aesculapius and Achilles. He is very different from the animal Centaurs, pictured Centaurus, representing unrestrained passion, denoted by the middle decanate of Leo. One of these, Eurytion, being invited to the marriage of Pirithous became intoxicated with wine and attempted to offer violence to the bride. The other centaurs followed his example and as a result a great fight ensued in which many of them were killed.

This exemplifies the dual nature of the sign--the animal and the divine tendencies. Chiron represents the higher qualities, and offers himself as a substitute to die for Prometheus. Prometheus in the great desire to serve mankind stole the divine fire from heaven, and thus thru his efforts man came into the possession of fire. But certain of the gods resented his giving so great a blessing to man, and as a measure of punishment sentenced him to undergo a perpetual living torment. He was chained to a rock(for all are chained to the Truth of Natural Laws until freed thru understanding them) and each day his liver was devoured by a vulture, and each night it was again renewed. Finally the gods consented to permit Prometheus to be freed and ascend up to heaven if someone could be found who would take his place and die for him.

The Vulture of envy and jealousy consumed the liver of Prometheus until Chiron, the Unselfish impulses, offered to assist him. Thru the great sacrifice of Chiron, Prometheus was released. Andromeda, the middle decan of Pisces, the other sign over which Jupiter rules somewhat, pictures Prometheus bound to the rock. Andromeda pictures the spiritual decanate of Pisces and symbolizes the spiritual devotion and love which really calls down the heavenly fire. Pisces is the exaltation, or greatest power of the planet Venus, which traditionally, and according to the findings of experimental astrology, presides over the affections.