The Zodiac Signs and the Twelve Tribes of Israel; also the Babylonian Zodiac
by Milky Way Maid
If you doubted that the ancient Jewish people were ever astrologers, then this will give you something to think about. The twelve signs of the zodiac can be correlated with the twelve tribes of Israel. Check out the following list as derived from lines in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 49.
Aries– Gad, ‘a troop shall press upon him; but he shall press upon their heel,’ is Aries the Ram. Aries, being the first sign of the zodiac, ‘presses upon their heel’ in the circular zodiac. Gad is described as “a warrior, chief of his army,” very apt for the sign ruled by warlike Mars.
Taurus– Issachar, ‘a gelded donkey lying down in the cattle pens’. Personally, I am not sure how a donkey equates to a bull. But both are beasts of burden.
Gemini– Simeon and Levi, ‘the brethren,’ are Gemini, the Twins. (Note: Others place them in Pisces, as the two fishes.)
Cancer– Benjamin, ‘ravening as a wolf, devouring his prey by morning, dividing the spoil at night,’ is Cancer the Crab. Cancer may viewed here as either food-oriented, acquisitive, or both.
Leo– Judah, ‘the lion’s whelp,’ is obviously Leo the Lion.
Virgo– Virgo is ‘veiled,’ and is correlated with Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, who is described in Genesis 30:21. This seems MUCH more logical than assigning a male personage to this sign.
Libra– Asher, ‘the weigher of bread,’ is Libra, the Scales or Balance.
Scorpio– Dan, ‘a serpent in the way,’ is Scorpio, who is variously pictured as a Scorpion, Snake, and Eagle. Llewellyn quotes Pike in regards to this sign: “Dan, bearing as his device a Scorpion, he compares to the Cerastes or horned Serpent, synonymous in astrological language with the vulture or pouncing eagle; and which bird was often substituted on the flag of Dan, in place of the venomous scorpion, on account of the terror which that reptile inspired, as the symbol of Typhon and his malign influences; wherefore the Eagle, as its paranatellon, that is, rising and setting at the same time with it, was naturally used in its stead.”
Sagittarius– Joseph, ‘whose bow abides in strength,’ is of course the sign of the archer Sagittarius.
Capricorn– Nephtali, ‘a hind let loose,’ is Capricorn the Goat.
Aquarius– Reuben, ‘boiling over with water,’ is Aquarius, who holds a vase or cup and pours out the waters of the New Age.
Pisces– Zebulon, ‘who shall dwell at the beach of the sea,’ is Pisces, the two Fishes. How many beachfront parks are named Zebulon? Oodles, that’s how many.
The Llewellyn website, among others, has an article on the subject at http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/472 Llewellyn lists various correlations, some of which are based in descriptions in Deuteronomy rather than Genesis. But I rather prefer the list I have copied out and given to you readers above. For one thing, it logically gives two persons for the Twins.
While I am at it I may as well tell you that the Babylonians had a list of 18 zodiac signs. Most of the 12 Greek constellations that make up the Zodiac that we know today, can be found in a Babylonian star-list from the 7th century, known as the MUL.APIN, but which is thought by scholars to have been compiled around 1000 BCE. The list consists of 17 or 18 ecliptic constellations through which the Moon was seen to pass. The Zodiacal constellations found in Greek astrology are among them, although six have different names. In The Origins of the Zodiac, Rupert Gleadow lists them as follows:
Zappu, meaning tuft of hair = Pleiades
Gud-an-na, meaning bull of heaven = Hyades
Sib-zi-an-na, meaning faithful shepherd of heaven = Orion
Sugi, meaning charioteer = Perseus
Gamlu, meaning scimitar = Auriga
Mas-tab-ba-gal-gal, meaning great twins = Gemini
Al-lul, meaning crab(?) = Praesepe
Ur-gu-la, meaning lion or lioness = Leo
Ab-sin, meaning furrow = Virgo
Zibanitu, meaning horn or scales = Libra
Gir-tab, meaning scorpion = Scorpio
Pa-bil-sag, meaning unknown = Sagittarius
Suhur-mas, meaning goat-fish = Capricorn
Gu-la, meaning giant(?) = Aquarius
Zibbati, meaning tails = Pisces
Sim-mah, meaning great swallow = southern fish
Anunitum, meaning a goddess = northern fish
Hunga or agru, meaning hireling = Aries
I might note that dividing the solar year by 18 signs gives roughly twenty days per sign. Gee, where have I seen a period of twenty days before? In the Mayan calendar system, which used a system of 20 days overlaid by another system of 13 in order to reconcile the solar and lunar years. Very interesting.