I told you in the Nugget I wrote two weeks ago that from all the uncountable zillions of stars, twelve constellations were chosen each with their three decans or associated constellations making up 48 constellations in all. This is not a modern selection process. These chosen groups of stars were selected by the people in ancient civilizations from long ago. We know them now as the signs of the Zodiac. In last week’s Nugget we looked at Louie Giglio’s video showing us how the stars sing, along with whales and all of nature. But as Louie Giglio asked, what might they be singing? Louie added Chris Tomlin’s song - How Great is Our God- to nature’s composition in order to give us a suggestion of what all of creation might be singing.
We are told by Scripture that the heavens declare the glory of God. Paul of Tarsus tells us in Romans 1:20 that we are without excuse for not knowing God or His heart. What if the heart of God is laid out in the stars for all to see? What if the stars show us the glory of God in yet another way, in order to leave us without excuse.
The Hebrew word Mazzaroth simply refers to the same concept to which the Greek term Zodiac refers. This collection of stars are selected from all the myriad of stars in the heavens on a pathway 15 degrees either side of the circular (elliptical actually) track across the heaven laid out by the movement of the earth as it revolves around the sun through a lunar year. The ancientsselected the star constellations associated with that pathway. We know them these days as the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Many of us believe they predict the path our lives will take in the year to come. We consult horoscopes daily to see what the day will hold for us. But what if these chosen stars had a different message for us?
Since it is a circular selection of stars where should we break into the circle? Horoscopes suggest we start with Aquarius (January 20thto February 18th). The dawning of the age of Aquarius and all that. But that doesn't quite cut it because to cover the year beginning January 1stwe have to go back to Capricorn.
· Aquarius (January 20 to February 18)
· Pisces (February 19 to March 20)
· Aries (March 21-April 19)
· Taurus (April 20-May 20)
· Gemini (May 21-June 20)
· Cancer (June 21-July 22)
· Leo (July 23-August 22)
· Virgo (August 23-September 22)
· Libra (September 23-October 22)
· Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
· Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
· Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
It’s all a bit messy isn’t it? Given the fact, it's a circle where do you start? Well, let’s allow the ancients to tell us. It is curious that the names for the signs and the associated constellations (decans) had the same meaning in many of the ancient languages of the world. Let’s follow the lead of the ancient world.
The constellations of the Mazzaroth are found in the Temple of Esneh in Egypt. Curiously the Sphinx is placed in the arrangement between Virgo the woman and Leo the lion. The Sphinx depicts a lion with the head of a woman. Is the positioning of the Sphinx in the Temple of Esneh meant to tell us something? The word Sphinx in Greek means “to bind closely together”. The Sphinx is a very familiar Egyptian symbol. From the evidence found in the Temple of Esneh, the Egyptian Zodiac began with the woman (Virgo) and finished with the lion (Leo).
From a Christian perspective and from the point of view of logic it would seem natural to start with the Virgin and conclude with the Conquering Lion of Judah. So that is what I intend to do.
In next week’s Nugget we will look at the Constellation of Virgo.