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Byron Shire
January 25, 2022

Astronomy & zodiac

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Peter Duke, Suffolk Park

Geographically, the naming of clusters of stars helped humans to navigate at night, and also locate an individual star in a certain part of the sky.

The twelve star clusters on the ecliptic, which is the path our sun appears to follow, are known as the zodiac. Zodiac is a Greek word, however, one of the earliest zodiacs is at Dendera, Egypt, recorded over 4,000 years ago. In Hebrew the zodiac is called Mazzaroth, which is mentioned in Job, the earliest book in the Bible.

Incredibly, in almost all cultures, the zodiac is the same (how on Earth did that happen?). Most of us know the signs; Sagittarius is the archer, Cancer the crab, Gemini the twins, etc. However, if you look at the night sky, it’s impossible to see these pictures by looking at each constellation (try and see).

So where did these pictures come from (note: this is not astrology but astronomy)? Did they come from a story? Each star has a name and a meaning (according to their brightness), forming a story. The pictures may have been mnemonics to help us remember.

Ancient cultures have created their own mythology, but the story of origin is the one underlying the zodiac (search and see). Someone suggested this story begins at Virgo (virgin), because the Sphinx has the head of a woman and points due east, and, that it ends with Leo, as the Sphinx has the body of a lion. Sphinx means ‘bind together’ or ‘squeeze’.

Maybe the stars aren’t about us, but someone awesome, kind, and infinite?


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