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JEP 7/1 (1991)

SEARCHING FOR THE STAR IN THE EAST

[IMAGE] [IMAGE]

SEARCHING FOR THE STAR IN THE EAST
DURING THE WAR OF THE CALENDARS


PREFACE

To some extent, this investigation is meant to illuminate part of the material presented in JEP 4/2 concerning Sirius and Sirian System of 7 Suns which constitute the Origin of the 7 Rays, their Prototypes being found in the 7 Stars of Ursa Major, the 7 head centers of the One About Whom Naught May Be Said. Michael Robbins has suggested to me that there may be several LIVES designated by the name, the One About Whom Naught May Be Said (signifying ineffability rather than occultation). On the level of external system, or Fohat, perhaps Sirius, the Sirian System, and the ONE ABOVE THE LOGOS Who manifests through the Three Major Constellations (Ursa Major, Pleiades, Sirius) are 3.
However, it is my intent to be as concrete as I can in this essay and so a number of points bear reminding. Temple alignments to stars such as Sirius do not necessarily indicate intimate knowledge, communication, or cooperation with Sirian life and its expression, perhaps just a convenient, albeit elaborate, coincidence with the Nile floods and Greek sailing seasons. "Channeling," prayer, collective worship or meditation in these temples so aligned, undoubtedly reinforces cultural myths, societal conditioning, purposeful and purposeless varieties of "free association," and the resulting patchwork of thought form, rather than thought impulse, psychological aspiration, and living action, the former serving simply to justify and proliferate derivatives of the ordinary conditioned human social behaviors noted above. However, this observation intends only to point out the predominant effect on undeveloped human minds and hearts, and the lack of developed "mechanisms of response" — not to deny or negate the possibility of direct spiritual contact or experience. Certainly not to deny the inner rituals or disciplined observances of intelligent spiritual life and action — the sacrifice of the Spirit in service, rather than animals (including the human variety) in services, or circuses, for that matter. What Sirius signified in the mysteries guarded behind the ancient calendric systems at the core of all early religions is obscured even more by the nature of space and time.
It is true, though, that the most important world and human history, that of the soul and spirit, was seldom written down or given credence by tenured niche-filling authoritative censors found continuously active in most human institutions and societies throughout the ages. Nevertheless, the symbols of sublime realities are very frequently found in the insignia and escutcheons of the division of humanity which might be termed in descending order of consciousness as demi-god (asura), lower warrior caste (kshatriya), or even "predator elite" (corrupt bureaucracies?); not to deny these symbols' use by those who might be characterized incrementally as ego-invested, rational, illumined, or fully enlightened elites. Even with the Eastern psycho-spiritual wisdom enlightenment and the Western socio-political intellectual enlightenment, Humanity has been able to achieve only some of the potential and purpose of the past Piscean Age. The emphasis upon Service on the planet rather than strictly upon self-interest (as partially and perhaps ambiguously reflected in the increase of the human service/commmodity ratio economically), the emphasis on human and civil rights, the progressively inclusive nature of the evolution in civic, social and financial institutions sped on by the Virgoan industrial, technological, computer and telecommunication revolutions, have all been part of the glory of the Piscean Age. However, as with the poor, the predator elite will always be with us, until the evolution of reflective, reasoning consciousness keeps pace with gains in external structural restoration and formal civility in the "human" kingdom through knowledge; until, using the evolutionary social and psychological achievements of the past Age for waging peace, restoring planetary ecological health, along with a conscious utilization of our socio-political conflicts to enliven a more intelligent world-wide cooperation, Humanity will be seen to take its next most evident steps. This topic obviously demands more thorough treatment.
Secondly, I hope this essay clarifies the article in JEP 5/2 on the 3(4) axial coordinate systems of astronomy/astrology, particularly the 2 represented by the PISCES/VIRGO axis. Perhaps we can bring the concept and life of the Cosmic Christ (symbolized by the PISCES "Great Attractor" [Pisces-Cetus supercluster complex]) as well as His immediate purpose (EA 188-9) expressed by VIRGO (the Virgo Cloud of galaxies of which we are a member, headed toward the Cloud of Hydra-Centaurus) more down to Earth, through our immediate engagement with history, externally recorded, interpretively elaborated, or otherwise experienced.



1. THE PRECESSION AGES

Interestingly, while the Jewish religious calendar starts with the 7th month (LIBRA or SCORPIO), the Jewish secular or agricultural calendar starts with the first new moon after the vernal equinox (ARIES); the Babylonians (Iraqis) set their first new moon with the heliacal rising of the Pleiades (TAURUS); the Athenian Greeks set the first month, Hecatombeion, at the new moon around midsummer, just before summer solstice (GEMINI); and the Egyptian new year began during this period with the heliacal rising of Sirius on Julian 20 July (CANCER), that is, when Sirius is first visible rising before sunrise (daybreak), after emerging from the blinding solar disk. The Muslims set the first year of their Epoch from the Hegira, 16 July 622, starting this cycle at (CANCER) with the visible new moon (23° Cancer), but their lunar year is 354 days long and regresses every 32.5 years.
This sequence of calendars may help serve to elucidate the sequence of Precession Ages. Why was the advent of Pisces so critical? Because in the reverse motion of the precession cycle, its beginning at 0° Aries marked the end of an entire 25,000 year cycle and began another even greater Round of 250,000 years (which implies a ten-fold division). Incidentally, these four signs — Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer — are those which are occupied by Sirius and the Pleiades during the past 4,000 years, about which more below.

The previous 2200-year AGE OF ARIES found the Greeks sacrificing the oxen of Helios, the scapegoats of Dionysus and sheep to Zeus, whose temples were aligned to a Arietis; the popularity of the Heroic Cults, including the 7-fold planetary Ladder of Perseus, Hercules with his 12-fold solar labors, and the local hero Theseus of Athenian democracy; the Jewish dispensation of scapegoat purification through animal sacrifice and fulfillment of God's Law through a proliferation of human laws by means of the opposite sign Libra; the mnemonic Yoga Sutras of Patanjali for disciplining the permutations of the mental principle and leading to Union with God; the Turning of Three Wheels of Enlightenment for students of varying predispositions by Buddha; the Nondualist Atma doctrine of Shankara emphasizing "higher manasic" gnosis; and Pythagoras' God as Geometrician of Universal Law coming near its end.

The AGE OF TAURUS found the worship of the golden calf and Moloch; Isis/Sirius in the cow form of Hathor; the Vedic hymns to Hindu God-in-Attribute forms and the cowherds of sunrise; the advent and death of Krishna, surrounded by his cowherding maidens, presenting his teachings of seventeen-plus yogas during the Battle of Kurukshetra recorded by Vyasa in the Mahabharata; the late Mithraic mysteries with their icon, the tauroctony; the earlier Mithraism associated with solar fire in the Middle East and Asia Minor; the Bactrian fortress cities newly discovered in Turkmenistan by Victor Saryanidi of the USSR, with altars surrounded by fire pits and storage bowls still encrusted with ephedra-poppy sacramental wine, a mixture still found 1000 years later among the Zoroastrian fire devotees.

The AGE OF GEMINI was eminently depicted in the two pillars of Masonry, whose latter cousins were found in Solomon's Temple as Jachin and Boaz; perhaps the earliest Hermetic traditions start during this period; Thoth/ Hermes had a powerful influence on early dynastic periods, and is mentioned in the earliest Egyptian creation hymns as the 3rd Aspect of Atum, the tongue, or speech, coming after the 2nd Aspect of the heart.

The AGE OF CANCER may be depicted in the earliest Egyptian creation papyri where it is the Scarab (Cancer) which is carried in the Boat of the Sun (often used to denote current Ages in the precession cycle), held up from the watery abyss by the god Nu, and holding the solar disk up to the celestial goddess Nut. Mother Heaven, Father Earth arising from a watery abyss — the Great Flood of Noah? Within the constraints of modern historical "evidence," this might be construed as an elegant explanation of Herodotus' comment that the Egyptians had astronomical records in their underground libraries which recorded 3½ precession cycles. Instead of full precession cycles which would imply 85-90,000 years, perhaps subcycles from Cancer to Aries (c. 8,000 years) were intended. However, he stated explicitly that the Egyptian priests observed the same Star rising heliacally (heralding the Sun), setting at dawn on the opposite horizon for 3 cycles consecutively. The mystery remains.

Prior Ages are presented in reverse order by the calendars abovementioned — perhaps in order of antiquity of their cultures. There is a tendency to carry "new wine in old skins" during each generation, witness the strange historical pervasiveness of cow/bull worship. The Aries Age Greeks seem to have been the only people to have clearly observed the change in Age from TAURUS, based on alignment of their Temples to Zeus (a Arietis) — to ARIES. But a recent book on the origins of Mithraism seems to suggest otherwise.

Let us review the passing PISCEAN AGE in the West: Roman Empire; Holy Roman Empire; Knightly Orders; the rise of universities with Scholasticism; the rise of city-states with a Renaissance of philosophic and religious diversity; the rise of nation-states out of monarchism with the Enlightenment brought on by development of science and new social institutions; an age of socio-political revolutions with the Industrial Revolution; a League of Nations with World War I; a United Nations with World War II; a Cold War and Detente with superpower diplomacy; a Common Market and European Community with the rise of international economic and supranational security interest blocs reordering political priorities; and impending Green Evolution into intelligent unity arising out of the recognition of the value of a world made up of strengthening Common Interest Communities such as US-Canada trade agreements, the Pan American Union, South American Union, Scandinavian alliance, European Community, Arab League, Pan African Congress, a reordering of East European interests misrepresented in the past by Comecon, a Central Asian Islamic Awakening, China's slow self-rediscovery, India's Independence and emergence into the telecommunications age, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), new cooperative economic initiatives by Japan with the Philippines and Indonesia, telecommunications and world relief, the awakening of a "post-modern" imagination in cooperative programs between Japan and the US.
There is a lot to be hoped for if humanity's national, political, and business representatives don't lose their nerve, or decide to go for broke over a cheap substitute.

The AQUARIAN AGE has been characterized as one of Experience rather than Authority; the idea that "Hope and Faith are lost in Sight." Certainly we have the responsibility of omnipresence in world relations. I hesitate to use the word "inter-national" when the concept of nation-states is being submerged in a more inclusive and informed awareness of world interdependence through information and communication technology. The terms "supranational" and "transnational" have gained increased currency in recent scholarly and governmental discourse. Those who can be characterized as "group-conscious individuals" stand the greatest chance to succeed in a world populated by New Renaissance human beings, institutions, science and eventually religion — even though the possibility is ever-present that there may eventuate passing convulsive reactions among masses deprived of basic human rights physically, or obvious external enemies psychologically, which vacuum "en masse" may always be cynically manipulated by computerized pols serving limited self-serving ends, ill-thought-out coercions, or futile ideologic fashions.

Nevertheless, as Bailey pointed out early in the 20th century, science is as revelatory of God's life as is religion, echoing Blavatsky's 19th century battle cry, "There is no Religion Higher than Truth." For the Agni yogi, Maitreya's grand march into Infinity steadily reverberates in the heart of the unit, Humanity, and slowly but inevitably God's Plan emerges within new ranks of His entourage, radiating with joy throughout a planet Earth populated by admitted "prisoners of the planet" occupying seemingly isolated cells of consciousness and habitation, yet rediscovering each other as if for the first time.


SIRIUS AND THE GRAND TRIGON

SIRIUS

BC

7/1238 29 Taurus 0° orb
6/11788 Gemini7° orb
7/3846 Gemini5° orb
5/32413 Gemini 1° orbSun Mercury Venus Mars in Taurus
8/26526 Gemini14° orb



AD

6/47112 Gemini11° orb
5/53120 Gemini3° orb Sun Venus Mars in Taurus
8/5903 Cancer10° orb
8,9,11,4/1384-529,0,28,25 Gemini5° orb
7/14449 Cancer3° orb
5/150416 Cancer10° orb



2. SIRIUS IN GEMINI (c. 1224 BC - c. 971 AD)

Greece and Rome
To give an idea of the "mythology" associated with Sirius and the Grand Trigon during its 2200 year period in Gemini (1224 BC to 971 AD), there are 4 instances where Sirius conjuncted the Trigon while in GEMINI.
The first of these instances came close after the last conjunction in TAURUS, around the time of the Fall of Troy, mentioned above. There are rumors throughout the several epics of the Homeric tradition that both Pleiades and Sirius were implicated astronomically during the fall of the city. Indeed, Sirius was Achilles' star, found upon his shield, commissioned from Hephaistos (Vulcan) by his goddess mother, the sea-nymph Thetis. The close lives and deaths of Achilles and Patroklus, along with the gigantic "bonfire of the vanities" illuminating the funeral games at Patroklus' death closely parallel those of Alexander and Hephaisteion. Both sets occurred in association with this unusual cycle. The dual sibling theme in the Iliad is brought out intently in the stories of Achilles and Patroklus, the 2 brothers Agamemnon and Menelaus, as well as by the sisters Helen and Clytaemnestra. The latter were born with Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux) by Leda, wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta. Since Zeus came to Leda as a swan and ravished her, classical authors claim that Castor and Clytaemnestra were progeny of the earthly king, while Polydeuces and Helen were born of Zeus (See R. Graves, Greek Myths).
The first Gemini SIRIUS TRIGON occurred in June 1178 BC and fell within the reign of Rameses III who fought the "Peoples of the Sea," a Confederacy which included Greeks, Philistines, Sicilians and Sardinians. One of their major attacks took place close to 1182 BC, commemorated on a frieze at Medinet Habu. It may be that the raids of the Sea Peoples designated the separate Returns of fleets of the city-states joined in the Achaian Alliance against the Hittite Ilios (Troy), taking advantage of chaotic times to sack Hittite and Egyptian tribute states along the Eastern Mediterranean, when both Hittites and Egyptians were preoccupied with maintaining their collapsing empires (destruction of Hittite Boghaz Koy c. 1180; Rameses III and XXth Dynasty starting c. 1190). Though of questionable reliability, the Parian Marble notes 1187 as the first Greek settling of Ionia. It also dates the Fall of Troy at 5 June 1209. The librarian of Alexandria, Eratosthenes, dated its fall at 1184-83.

The Founding of Rome
The goddess Vesta was daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea (Earth). As protectress of Humanity, she guarded the sacred fire at Rome, kindled by the Sun, which was never allowed to go out, upon pain of death. This Fire symbolized the hearth at the center of the household, at the center of the planet itself, or of a Sun. The Palladium or sacred image of Pallas Athene, protectress of Troy, brought to Rome by Aeneas, was kept with the sacred fire at the circular Temple of the Vestal virgins in Rome. The Twins Romulus and Remus were born of Mars and Ilia, a vestal descended from Aeneas of Troy. Ilia was buried alive for breaking her vows after bearing them, and they were left on one of the seven hills to die, but were found and suckled by a she-wolf until rescued by a local shepherd. What more perfect symbol for the founding of Rome than dog-star (she-wolf) SIRIUS (Isis suckling Osiris), in GEMINI (Romulus and Remus), during the Age of ARIES (brought up to age by a sheep-herd)!
The fall of Troy occurred some time just after 1250 BC, an ancient example of the Trigon changing from Earth to Air, a triple conjunction in Libra occurring in 1-3-8/1257 BC (such as 1981 AD, ominously — remember RR, the male version of Evita Peron?). This coincides with the beginning of the 2200-year period when Sirius was found in both the constellation and sign of GEMINI (c. 1224 BC - 971 AD), as well as the interlude between Aeneas' arrival and Romulus' founding of Rome, continuing on to around 970-971 AD (using simple 10-yr. variance in motion calculations in tandem with conventional 30° borders between signs). Triple conjunctions of Jupiter-Saturn occur around 400 years apart, as an irregular pattern during the past 4,000 years (not at 800 year intervals as Arthur C. Clarke has asserted in one of his TV festivals of passionate scientistic skepticism — this is not even true for right ascension conjunctions!).

The Roman Gemini. The Roman representatives of the Gemini are depicted in sibling conflict which costs the life of Remus, while Romulus, as the agent of the lower self, definitely takes control over his warlike people; very unlike the Greek Dioscuri ("Sons of Zeus") who worked together on mutual terms of intelligent cooperation even though one was immortal, each spending half the year in the Underworld of Hades. Thus the 3 aspects of the Personality-Soul relation in Gemini are depicted in Greek and Roman myth (and history): 1) martial personality in control (EA 210); 2) personality and soul in mortal combat and eventual balance; 3) soul in the seat of power.
Romulus kills his brother over the Plans of the City and we see the lower personality, the true Son of Mars in charge of founding the city named after him, Rome (traditionally 753 BC). Later, as king, he is chopped into pieces in the Forum during a full eclipse at high noon (25 Cancer, 7/27/737 [?]) by his competitors in personality, the senators, who hide his body parts under their togas. When the Sun of daylight returns they explain to the gathered populace that he has ascended to heaven. Thereafter Romulus is given the divine name Quirinus and the festival of the Quirinalia (February 17th) is instituted. Rome was originally called Quirium by the Sabine tribes who inhabited it.

Eclipses. Looking to the traditional celebration date of April 21, 753 BC for the founding of Rome, there just happened to be three very small solar eclipses visible from Rome in the 3 years preceding the founding — two at the horizon rising, and the last setting (1/756 at 4 Aquarius, 7/755 at 14 Cancer, and 7/754 at 4 Cancer respectively).
Regarding the total eclipse at noon, we have three likely suspects:
a) 12/9/744, ending at 11 am Rome time at 69.5% totality at 10 Sagittarius;
b) 7/27/737, starting at 12:35 pm and achieving 44% totality at 1:57 pm at 25 Cancer close to Regulus; and
c) 5/15/733, at 59% totality 10:55 am at 16 Taurus.

A fourth at 85.5% totality on 5/6/724 occurred at 6:47 am (7 Taurus) and so must be ruled out, unless there is some mistake in legend or time. However, the May 724 eclipse occurred 29 years, or approx. one Saturn cycle later, Saturn at 10 Scorpio. Saturn was found at 28 Scorpio in April 753, with Venus and Jupiter at 15 and 8 Taurus respectively. Also, throughout April and May 753, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter moved in and out of conjunction in Aries where a Arietis was to be found; the same planets conjuncted in Libra through October 724. We may have to choose between a Saturnian or Lunar metaphor, unless Zeus' temple star was recognized and supervenes, heralding the coming Piscean Age by the esoteric ruler of Pisces, Jupiter.
What makes the 2nd of the 3 most convincing (737) is that it was at high noon in the same Saros series as the three from 756-754 at the horizons rising and setting. Certainly a compelling symbol in itself — the solar king must die at high noon, the lunar goddesses, their calendars and worship usually emphasizing the dramatic rising and setting points. The Uranian/chthonic, Zeus/Kronos, or Apollonian/Dionysian mysteries seem to be symbolized here in some sense.
The first Trigon in ARIES since 1417 BC occurred in February 741 at 0° Aries conjunction a Arietis in 4° orb, with Sun, Mercury and Venus in Aquarius. The Trigon of January 721 was in 11° Sagittarius, conjunct Vega by 5°.
In 753, curiously, from April 21 and continuing on for two months through June, Venus, Mars and Jupiter were conjunct in Aries as morning stars. In 737, Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars were conjunct from mid-November through January in Sagittarius and Capricorn.
After Romulus' death there was a year's interregnum before the legendary Numa Pompilius was elected King by the Senate. Cicero gives his reign as 39 years in length; Livy 43 years. The Books of Numa, half of them describing Roman religious ceremonial, the other half on Greek philosophy which were burnt, were discovered in 181 BC and are now generally considered forgeries. However, perhaps they were assembled by city priests for a 500th anniversary of the founding, in which case 500 + 181 + the 43 year reign of Livy would put us at 724 BC, the fourth solar eclipse. That the Britannica gives him a 32 year reign beginning in 715 illustrates the confusion on the topic.

Historical Parallels to the Founding Legends of Rome. Virgil (70-19 BC) was to witness a vivid parallel to the mythic drama of Romulus and the senators when Julius Caesar, just after reforming the calendar in 46 BC, was struck down (March 15, 44 BC) during the Roman Civil War by jealous elites, daggers hidden under their togas, in the Hall of Pompey. Ironically, the Liberalia, or lesser Festival of Dionysus, the dismemberer, fell on March 17th; the renewal of Vesta's fire having just occurred on March 1st. Caesar was the first Roman to be declared "divus" by the senators. At the commencement of the funeral games held to celebrate Caesar's deification, a comet appeared at sunset and shone for 7 days, which may have accounted for a sharp rise in the pride index among Roman emperors, which went before the great fall after Augustus.
With Sirius in Gemini, there were six major temples where the Roman Senate assembled: Castor and Pollux, Apollo, Concordia, Bellona (Goddess of War), Jupiter Statoris (the Establisher, Stayer of Flight), and Quirinus (Mars) — three to war and three to peace. It is curious that of all these, the Temple of Castor and Pollux drew the attention of Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius, all of whom restored it to renewed splendor (rebuilt and glorified to their idiosyncratic tastes might be a better characterization since their reigns were successive and restoration would not seem urgent). A better reason may be found in the Mithraic mysteries of the Roman state religion. (See "Taurus and Scorpio in the Mithraic Mysteries," below.)

Alexander and the Hellenic Period
The second Gemini SIRIUS TRIGON was in July 384 BC, just after the sack of Rome (390) by the Gauls, which saw Rome's rebuilding, the founding of Plato's Academy (388), his "Symposium" (387), and the birth of both Aristotle and Demosthenes (384). After 3000 years of continuity, the last native Egyptian dynasty (30th) began in 380 and ended shortly thereafter.
The third SIRIUS TRIGON event was in May 324 BC when Hephaisteion died, accompanied by an unprecedented funeral pyre and games. He was Alexander's closest friend and ally and they had been tutored together by Aristotle. Alexander died the next year (323), crowning his generals by default over all his conquered territories. The same year the new Egyptian Empire under Ptolemy Soter began, who founded the great library at Alexandria. Euclid came out with his famous "Elements" on geometry, while Aristotle had to flee Athens to avoid the same fate as Socrates. He died the next year (322) along with Demosthenes, who was seeking refuge from Athens and the conquering Macedonians at an island Temple to Poseidon (ruler of Gemini, according to Plato and his pupil Eudoxos), where he took poison rather than surrender.

Greece and Rome in Byzantium
These celestial events must have made some impact during the golden age of Hellenism, but Hellenic populations were to be treated to yet another historic irony during the 4th and last Sirius Gemini Trigon in May of 531 AD. After several attempts to poison him, St. Benedict Thaumaturgus relocates at Montecassino to found a single monastery there, traditionally in 529. It is around this time that he composes the famous Rule of his Order, emphasizing a sober stewardship, which solidified Western monasticism and which was first quoted by Justinian in one of his Laws (11/17/530). In 527 the great Byzantine Christian Emperor Justinian acceded to the throne, and in 529 busied himself by codifying all the laws of Byzantium (ruled by a truly Augean bureaucracy), again and again several editions over, all of which had to be re-enforced in succession. This adept at enforcing external mundane legalistic authority over that of the inward-reflecting rational self-directed soul, Justinian, along with his wife Theodora, were described by Procopius in his Historia Arcana (12) as "anthropodaemons" sent to destroy the works and race of humankind. Luckily in 531 the Nika Revolt began and by 532 it razed Constantinople, which allowed Justinian's better judgment to build St. Sophia in the same year — Wisdom triumphing over the ruins of inadequate, insufficient yet still pitifully unapplied Knowledge. It was in this Sirius Trigon year of 531 that we may imagine a nervous Justinian finally first applying St. Benedict's Rule, after delaying years after its composition at the encouragement of Pope St. Hormisdas (d. 523). The Scythian monk, Dionysius Exiguus, and a certain Brother Lawrence seem to have informed part of the historical backdrop during the period of the Rules composition (See Chapman).



3. SIRIUS IN CANCER (c. 971 AD - c. 3165 AD)

Holy Roman Empire
Sirius' entrance into Cancer c. 971 AD falls quite close to the founding of the Holy Roman Empire in 962 by Otto I the Great of Germany (ancient Gaul) who crowned himself "Emperor Augustus." This simply served to initiate a 40-year period of conflict between German and Roman nobility which involved murder, debauch, poisoning and cynical maneuvering among the decadent and scrambling "religious" elites. At the triple Trigon in ARIES 5 years later (967-8), his son Otto II was crowned.
Two Grand Trigons after these two, in May 1084, Rome was ruthlessly sacked by South Normans, Calabrians and Sicilians (TAURUS Trigon in February 1087). The Anti-Pope Clement was elected in 1080, carried into the city with the sack, Pope Gregory VII holding out in Hadrian's Mausoleum, Castel Sant' Angelo. At this point in chaos, Rome was a blasted no-man's-land, a bit better preserved than Beirut in the 1980s (triple LIBRA Trigon 1981). Ironically, the two factions faced each other off from Hadrian's Pantheon and Mausoleum, respectively. Gregory was briefly reinstated at St. Peter's in May 1087 but soon retired to his beloved library at Monte Cassino and died in September. But enough of the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until Napoleon abolished it in 1806, appropriately after another triple Trigon of purification and reorientation in VIRGO (1802) at the climax of Napoleon's rise and fall, the Napoleonic Wars (1796-1802; 1802-1813).

Islamic Civilization
An interesting parallel in contemporary sequential time frames should be noted here. The Andromeda "nebula" was first noted by Al Sufi in 963, to be rediscovered by Europeans in 1612. In 968 Cairo was founded on the year of the triple Trigon in ARIES, and Islamic sciences were flourishing with the founding (968) of Cordoba University in Spain, soon to reach their height under Caliph Hisham of the Omayyad Dynasty. During this period, of course, civilization as the Western tradition knows it was for the most part preserved by Islamic culture during the gross European interlude of the "Dark Ages," when the Europeans were working their way out of the Roman Empire through the Holy Roman Empire into a somewhat stabilized consciousness of Europe, about to flower in the Neo-Platonic Renaissances of the 3 SIRIAN GRAND TRIGONS of 1384, 1444, and 1504.
Work done during the time of the great Iberian universities encouraged later Neoplatonist, Lullist utopian philosophical communities who attempted to create forms of spiritual practice that might unite Judaism, Graeco-Roman planetary deity worship, Islam and Christianity. Unfortunately, there were not enough intelligent cooperators in this endeavor, given humanity's apparent addiction to the excitement of conflict with its doomed pleasures and rewards, habits of vain static comfort and co-dependency, and a thought process almost entirely dependent upon and stimulated by crisis. Not much has changed throughout the years.
Let us speak here of the principle of Harmony through Conflict among the Many Veiling Unity or the One, a theme particularly strong in the Egyptian schools of philosophy as well as the Islamic. From the point of view of the unit, Humanity — governed by the crisis habit and addicted to conflict for any degree of thoughtfulness — the principle of its Life, paradoxically, is Sensitivity to Contact and resultant coherence in mutually constructive Relationship. The Science of Right Human Relations has only just begun to have an impact through Human, Civil and Childrens' Rights movements, initiated by the Rosicrucians and Freemasons, among others (the Paris Lodge of the 18th and 19th centuries). These movements are beginning to rally a modicum of human responsibility to posterity, over and above the convenient rhetoric. The enunciation of the Four Freedoms by Roosevelt in the midst of World War II went some way to elucidate the sinuous razor-edged line between response-able free will and an assumption of spurious responsibility based on instinctive fear-driven reaction to sporadically recognized states of entrapment/imprisonment in nonreflective corners of wage-slave, market-pumping, modern societal conditioning.
Perhaps it could be said that after the Sack of Rome in 1084, mass Roman anger at the Southern Norman Anti-Pope factions who sacked the city was collectively psychologically displaced toward what seemed an easy target for gain in both pride and substance, as their overstimulated attention was "naturally" redirected into the first Crusade of 1096-99.

The Neoplatonic Renaissance
The tie-ins of this SIRIUS TRIGON cycle with the Aristotelian and Platonic Schools are truly intriguing. Platonic, Alexandrian, and many other classical Greek manuscripts were to prove safe in Byzantium until the Turks conquered the city in 1453. Fortunately, Cosimo di Medici and friends had been buying up all the Greek and Latin manuscripts they could get their hands on during the 1420s and 30s, so Cosimo could open the first great public library in Europe in 1437, and then pass on a good part of his own collection to the Platonic Academy being organized by Marsilio Ficino in 1462 (Pisces Trigon in 1464) with Cosimo's patronage (the two met in 1439). In Hungary, Matthias Corvinas was accumulating large manuscript libraries as well, which would be translated at his court and during the next several centuries by the many religious refugees from the cult wars of religion sweeping Europe. In the West at large, these Neoplatonic theosophical (hermetic humanist) ideas were the one central cause of the Renaissance which spread throughout Europe and which arose from the translation in Italy and Eastern Europe (into both Latin and the vernacular) of the classics brought by scholars fleeing Byzantium.
Figures associated with the 1st Cancer SIRIUS TRIGON in 1384 and 1385 broadly include Catherine of Siena, Thomas a Kempis, John Wyclif, Jan Hus, Hafiz, Chaucer and Nicholas of Cusa. After a century during which England, France and Italy had established major universities, Germany founded several within a few years of the Trigon.
On May 6, 1385, suspiciously timed to the 1st SIRIUS TRIGON, the studious Gian Galeazzo Visconti devised his ingenious coup over family plotters and began one of the first modern attepts to reunify northern and central Italy after Rome, albeit under force and subject to his duchies of Milan and Pisa.
The Great Schism in the Roman Catholic church began in 1378 after the Avignon Papacy, and occupied attention for 40 years. The University of Paris was consulted in 1384, which arranged a council in Pisa for 1409. As an aside, Pope John XXIII of the Vatican II Council in the 20th century was named after an earlier corrupt and very brief successor of the compromise candidate of the Pisa council, Alexander V (who died mysteriously at John XXIII's castle before reaching Rome), a modern attempt to expiate and erase the memory of an earlier knave. (However, see Baigent et al., p. 159.)

Hunyadi Janos (later Rakoczi) and the Draculas
The SIRIUS TRIGON of 1444 witnessed both death and rebirth in the conflict and cooperation of Christian and Islamic societies. In 1443-44, Hunyadi Janos led the "Long Campaign," a crusade against Murad II, returning to Buda in February 1444, after driving the Turks out of most of the Balkans. However, the Ottomans defeated the Christians at Varna on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria on November 10, 1444. Now Hunyadi was made Voivode or Governor of Transylvania, Count of Temes, modern Timisoara. He was later declared Voivode of all Hungary (1446-52). Early in his life he studied warfare with Francesco Sforza of Milan, Giangaleazzo's political successor, and the Bohemian Hussites, who developed the idea of cannon mounted on wagons. His greatest victory, at Belgrade on July 22, 1456, freed Hungary from Turkish dominion for 70 years.
Another famous family fought the Turks in Varna, the Draculas. The name Dracul came from the investiture of Dracul Senior with the Order of the Dragon of the Holy Roman Empire by Sigismond in Nuremberg, February, 1431. Sultan Murad soon lured young Vlad "Tepes" Dracul (Dracula) into a trap, who remained captive as a janissary page until 1448. In December of 1447 his father Dracul was murdered by Hunyadi's zealous henchmen. After the disaster at Varna, Vlad blamed Hunyadi Janos for the death of his father and brother, and they became lifelong enemies. In 1460, Dracula's version of St. Bartholomew's Day in Brasov claimed close to 30,000 victims on stakes. In the next year, 1461-2, although outnumbered 6 to 1, Dracula deliberately insulted Mohammed II, and the Wallacho-Turkish Campaign began, with Dracula impaling the entire Turkish citadel of Giurgin, leaving them to rot outside his capital Tirgoviste for 6 months until Mohammed II arrived, appalled. Where Dracula's scorched earth policy failed, the plague outbreak soon succeeded. In 1462 Hunyadi's son Matthias incarcerated the terrible Vlad (1462-1474), called by some a "premature nationalist." Nevertheless, undaunted, Vlad later married Matthias' sister.
Hunyadi's contemporary spiritual successors, rallying around the Hungarian minority priest in Transylvania, Father Tokes at his home in Timisoara, Rumania, under the November 1989 Jupiter-Saturn opposition in Cancer/Capricorn, freed Rumania from the Ceaucescu brood. The Hunyadi/Dracula - Father Tokes/Ceaucescu parallels are quite striking. The Tokes Mass and demonstration took place in Timisoara, Hunyadi's hereditary capital (See Florescu & McNally).
The Ceaucescus, ironically —or was it deliberately— fled to and were captured in Tirgoviste, Dracula's capital. They were finally executed in the "sanctuary" of Tirgoviste by the Rumanian people on Christmas Day 1989, as if to make sure they were exorcised for good. Wasn't it Hitler who recently reminded us of how close to the surface the "old gods" remain?
It must be remembered that during this same SIRIAN TRIGON of 1444, Cosimo de Medici was to found Europe's first public library, the Library of San Marco. Muhammad II, first Ottoman Sultan, established the Ottoman Empire in 1451 and with the capture of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman Turks brought about the end of Christian Byzantium, but with a new Ottoman efflorescence of classical Arabic culture. Cosimo's early collection of manuscripts was to be considerably augmented by classical Greek works making their way to Italy with the fleeing Greek population from the Fall of Byzantium in 1453. Classical works preserved and translated in the Iberian universities reached Italy and the Neoplatonic presses in a similar manner with the fleeing Jewish population from Spain in 1492.
The 2nd Cancer SIRIUS TRIGON conjunction of 1444, occurred four years after Gutenberg developed moveable type (brought to completion in 1454), allowing an early period of media flourishing just in time to disseminate the translated classical rediscoveries and bring in the Renaissance. I mention this special cycle only to evoke the echoes ringing down the best of the living past.

1504 Trigon. The Age of Discovery.

Sirius in Cancer during the Aquarian Age
Sirius again conjuncts the Trigon, by 4° orb, in both 2298 and 2358 AD, or 310-370 years from now.

Sirius enters LEO c. 3165 AD.



4. THE MYSTERY SCHOOLS AND RELIGIONS

Egyptian Sekhmet — The Lion and the Bull
There is reason to believe that Zurvan is a syncretized version of Sekhmet, the Egyptian lion-headed goddess with uraeus centered in the Sun-disk behind her head. She was identical with the hippopotamus-crocodile or Taurt-Isis form of Hathor at Denderah, and with the cow form of Hathor at Thebes across the Nile, the city of her consort Bull, Amen-Ra. For at least a 1000-year period, Egyptian immortality consisted in securing a place on Amen-Ra's Boat of a Million Years, and imbibing his rays as sustenance on the journey. In the depictions of Sekhet-Aaru, the Egyptian Blessed Fields, are found regions that contain boats with a flight of 7 Steps, which regions are labeled "the great company of the gods," or "the place of the spirits." There is certainly a resonance between these two astronomical and mythic symbol iconographies, through the Isis-Osiris relation to Semele/Persephone-Dionysos, to the Mithraic tauroctony, which sublimated to a certain extent the Zagreus aspect of Dionysos. [Dionysos arrived in a boat and with Mithra guarded 7 initiatory steps or degrees.] Both temples to Hathor were dedicated to the circumpolar stars, and aligned to Gamma Draconis.
In one Egyptian text it is said that Her Majesty (Mut, Mother of the Gods) came to settle at the Theban lake "in her form of Sekhmet" at the time of the creation. Indeed, the greatest number of Sekhmet statues were found associated with this temple, attached to that of Amen, the Bull. Sekhmet represents the ferocious aspect of the Sun (the mild Eye of the Sun was the cat Bast). According to Sir Norman Lockyer (The Dawn of Astronomy, MIT Press 1964), the Gamma Draconis form of Isis was replaced by the Sirius form of Isis in nearby temples associated with these great centers around 3000 BC. It might be suggested that the change took place closer to acknowledged periods of construction, say, at 4067 BC when Sirius entered Taurus; at 2495 BC when the Pleiades entered Aries; or at 1224 BC when Sirius entered Gemini. Obviously some closer work needs to be done.
The Temple of Mut first became a major cult site during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut (1490-1469 BC), "Pharaoh's Daughter," who mentions in a stela inscription of 1477 BC: "And when I came as King, my Uraeus spat fire against my enemies. And when I allowed the abominations of the gods to depart, the earth swallowed their footsteps. This was the directive of the Primeval Father, Nun (primordial Waters), who came one day unexpectedly." On the other side of the tsunami, after one of Thera's eruptions, Moses had parted the waters which swallowed up Pharaoh's chariots and troops. Advertising and PR were alive and well in the 2nd millennium BC.
It should be said that Amen-Ra of the state religion supporting the concept of divine king, and most of the strictly solar cults were found in the later dynasties, emphasizing the Bull depictions of deity. Sekhmet is of the earlier dynasties and predynastic periods associated with Nun. Yet both female consorts as Hathor, in her Sekhmet or Taurt form are associated with Set, the mysterious god of "darkness" and the circumpolar constellations. Hence Taurt, the "Wife of Set" for Draco, which is perpetually circumpolar (particularly close from 4000-7000 BC during the GEMINI and CANCER Ages); the Thigh, the "Thigh of Set" for Ursa Major, circumpolar through the period from c. 4000 to 1 BC for the TAURUS and ARIES Ages; the Jackal, the "Jackal of Set" for Ursa Minor, which came in with Ursa Major as circumpolar constellations around 2000 BC for the ARIES, and particularly for the PISCES Age.
Looking further back to the LEO Age, in c. 8800 BC when Regulus marked the Spring Equinox, we find HERCULES closest to the Pole. Perhaps with more excavation and analysis, it can be said that the revival of Sekhmet with Queen Hatshepsut in the ARIES Age was a stimulus or even contemporary with the rise of the Herakles hero cult elsewhere, both of which derived from a very much earlier period in the Age of LEO.
Reiterating, both Temples of Hathor were aligned to Gamma Draconis or Taurt, the Hippopotamus goddess of childbirth, which might help explain her Age of CANCER reign, and Egypt's only reigning queen's special interest in her revival. This alignment seems to have been carried to Greece by Cadmus, who tradition tells us raised his armies from Dragon's teeth, and introduced Phoenician and Egyptian worship. This is emphasized by a major temple at Boeotian (Gr.) Thebes which seems to have been dedicated around 1300 BC, by alignment to Gamma Draconis. Curiously, it was the Theban prince Pentheus who resisted the Thracian mysteries of Dionysus from the north, whose fate is told in Euripides' The Bacchae.

The Herakles Hero Cult Among the Mystery Religions
Herakles was already a dead hero in the Homeric epics (7th-9th centuries BC). Pindar asserts the cult of the Twelve Olympians was established by Herakles. Thucydides and Herodotus both mention altars to the Twelve at Athens (6th cent.) and at Olympia. The Twelve may have safeguarded the Ionian Dodecapolis (12 cities of Asia Minor) in the 7th century. Plato and his protegι Eudoxos assigned each to a sign of the zodiac (Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hermes, Athena, Hephaistos, Hestia).
Dionysos was later to replace Hestia at the hearth of Greek culture (see W.K.C. Guthrie, The Greeks and Their Gods). Later, Alexander was to build an altar to the 12 at his easternmost march into India, around the time of the Sirian Trigon of May 324 BC in GEMINI, with Sun, Venus and Mars in TAURUS. Dionysos was born of the lightning-ravaged Princess Semele of Thebes, and brought to term in his father Zeus' thigh with Mercury as midwife. By the 5th century, Thebes, the city of Herakles, was considered the seat of Dionysos in Greece and his Maenads were sent on orders from Delphi to found shrines throughout the rest of the Greek world. Of course, if he was not welcomed by any city, the women would be the first to go mad and they would all have their way.
The Montanist "heresy" within the Christian church of the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD is considered by some a late appearance of Dionysos, since Montanus chose to ordain women as priests, bishops and elders, driving them to prophesy and the patriarchal church to madness. Tertullian wrote his Apology for Christianity in 197 AD (Sagittarius Trigon 193 AD) and turned to Montanism soon after Septimius Severus (d. 211) (Virgo Trigon 213 AD).

Phanes and the Orphic Mysteries
Phanes, the Orphic/Pythagorean precursor of Mithraic Zurvan, took the Homeric emphasis on the twins and Dioscuroi as Zeus/Dionysos, the celestial and terrestrial spheres (however construed). This is clarified in a Hellenistic relief from Modena of Phanes, his right hand pointing Zeus' fiery thunderbolt at the Twins in the zodiacal ring which surrounds him. He points lightning at the Dionysos twin Castor, since the other, Polydeuces, carries Apollo's harp, and in a sense is identified himself with Apollo/Helios. Apollo's shrine at Delphi was dedicated to the prophecies of Zeus, conveyed through his Pythia, while Dionysos was allowed to range through the mountain and forest "hunting grounds" between Thebes and Mt. Parnassos. Phanes' Mystery Axis staff points to the edge of Pisces bordering Aries, close to where a Arietis would be found, indicating the entrance into a New Age. The staff is grounded in the middle of Scorpio — all 3 signs (Gemini, Aries, Scorpio) appropriate symbols for the Orphic mystery emphasis on Phanes-Protogonos (Light-Primeval Generation) and Olympian Zeus/Cretan Zagreus as Eros/Dionysos before the sacred marriage of Eros and Psyche. This mystical marriage recalls DK's remark that the union of the soul (Psyche) with the body (Eros) through desire is in actuality the first sexual act. Of course all the above are expressive of the ancient Kabirian Mysteries of Samothrace, where the Dioskuroi are represented as Dionysos and Eros, where Hermes was established in his erect state, and the Kabirian Dactyls (Dioskuroi), or 10 fingers of 2 hands — the inferior and superior conjunctions of the Venus heliocosm, ruling the 8 year cycle of 10 Sun-Venus conjunctions.
In the Orphic Mysteries it was revealed that Apollo and Helios were identical, in Ouranian form as the Olympic cult of the tireless god Apollo/Helios, or in Chthonic Earth form as the heroic cult of Herakles, whose 12 Labors are the symbol of all those who choose to cleanse the human world of its monsters and illusions. In fact, Herakles was worshipped at two kinds of cult sites, one for the immortal Olympian and the other for the hero of the Earth, glory of Hera (She of the 4 year cycle of 50 lunations). But he was the only hero to be worshipped as an immortal, until the Mithraic degeneration into animal sacrifice once again.
Orpheus, and the ascetic "Orphic life," with its religious sacraments focused on universal mysteries, can be thought of as the immediate precursor to Christ, for the fact that Orpheus, like Christ who superceded him, wished to bring an end to what Jane Harrison characterizes thusly:
On the altar of his Unknown God through all the ages man pathetically offers the holocaust of his reason. (Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, 505)
In his screenplay for Orphee, produced in 1949 after he had left the French Resistance movement, Cocteau wrote (through Maria Casares playing the character of Orphee's Death):

Some suppose He (God, the Universal Mystery) thinks of us;
Some that He thinks us;
Others that He dreams us — a bad dream!

Yet as an initiate in the Hermetic Mysteries, Cocteau was hinting at the Silent Watcher, Sanat Kumara, Melchizedek, the Eternal Ancient of Days which Phanes especially represents.

Mithraic Zurvan, the Long Body of the Solar System
From our geocentric and 5-sensory human point of view, we cannot see the solar atom in its true nature, only through exercise of our mind's eye. As for the galactic atom, all we can perceive of it is a squashed accretion disk, similar to conventional representations of the solar system. We do not immediately perceive either in living stretched-out motion except over time.
The dynamic nature of both can be most easily visualized as the "Long Body of the Solar System" (or galaxy) posited by Rodney Collin in his Theory of Celestial Influence. While the Sun is carried spirally round the galaxy as the galaxy is moving "North" in tandem with Andromeda, the Sun also moves "North" in relation to whatever set of local stars or clusters within the galaxy you choose to compare its motion with. This is the Solar Apex. Allowing this, one visualizes 250 years of the Sun's motion in a straight line north (1 orbit or circle/spiral of Pluto moving northward with the Sun towards Hercules/Vega), surrounded by the increasingly tight spring-like spirals of the inner planets, through the increasingly dilated spiral orbits of the outer planets. Within this "organism" one may visualize both globes and heliocosms (geometric star-like conjunction patterns of planets with earth and sun) periodically aligning with and triggering off their own and each other's planetary nodal axis points.
As mentioned before, heliocosms represent the spiral-cyclic aspect of planetary motion, not the rotary-orbital motion of the globes themselves, nor the forward-spirallic motion of the slow circuit of planetary nodes as the Sun travels north through space toward the Solar Apex in HERCULES/(Capricorn)/ SAGITTARIUS, along with our Milky Way galaxy toward (Aries)/PISCES/PERSEUS in its dual rotation with ANDROMEDA, our twin galaxy.
There is reason to believe that the Mithraic Mysteries were greater than once imagined. The "Long Body of the Solar System" is easily seen in the Mithraic deity Zurvan, the Lion-headed Cosmocrator (Ruler of the Universe), with 2 or 4 wings (Forward/upward motion) and a serpent of 3-6 coils (planetary spiral-cyclic orbits) wrapped round its torso, with the Serpent's head peering out over the Lion's like a uraeus (cobra third eye). Zurvan holds 2 Keys to the celestial and terrestrial axes, as well as a long staff in some instances, the greater Mystery Axis (the shifting precession axis) of which he is the expression. He stands on a Globe crossed with the ecliptic and celestial equator, and has Thunderbolt, Gorgon, or Lion head at his heart. (This interpretation is allowable now, thanks to the work of David Ulansey, of which more below.) He has been called Saturn or Time because only 6 planetary coils encircle his body, as the 7th or outermost coil is represented by the serpent's head as uraeus. However, he was preferred by Orphics in the similar form of the god Phanes to represent the innermost coil of the Sun, or Tower of Fire, in their heliocentric Pythagorean system.

The Perseus Myth and Mithra.
In a book entitled The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries (Oxford 1989), David Ulansey argues persuasively the identification of Mithra not only with the Sun and Zurvan, or Saturn (the ancient Babylonian "Judge"), Cosmocrator and Master of the precession cycle, but also with the Perseus cult, particularly that of Tarsus.
At the center of the cult's iconography, found preserved throughout a great number of mithraic sanctuaries was the tauroctony, or slaying of the Bull of the preceding Taurian Age. This constellation must be considered with 2 other arms of the Fixed Cross (Leo and Scorpio) which Zurvan represents (perhaps Aquarius in his entirety). On either side were the Cauti and Cautopati torchbearers, one pointing up and the other down, symbolizing the equinoxes. The constellations on the celestial equator, rather than the ecliptic, were shown in the order of Dog (Canis Minor), Snake (Hydra), Cup (Crater), Crow (Corvus) and Scorpion (Scorpio), from spring equinox to fall. An intermediate trend in iconography is found in the pervasive images of the Lion battling the Bull, which may find part of its explanation in the paragraphs on Sekhmet above. During almost any Age, when Taurus sets (dies), Leo is ruling on the Midheaven.
Perseus slaying the Bull of the Taurian Age around the 7 BC triple Pisces Trigon when the spring equinox point was conjunct a Arietis may explain its popularity with educated Roman Patricians, given the recurrence of Zeus' temple star throughout major Roman historical turning points; and with the Roman military, through its pomp and sacrificial banquets. Mithraism also appealed to mundane hierarchies with its ladder of 7 graded initiations, for some, very like the bureaucracies of military or civil service. On this Ladder of the 7 planetary spheres, the initiates purified their soul's vehicles from the planetary correspondences to human impurities, emerging as spiritualized monads in the radiant light of the eternal Sun. This helps illumine the ancients' recognition of the interaction of Saturn's outermost "sphere" with that of the Sun. It is also suggestive of the fact that Saturn corresponds to the Solar permanent atom, ruling the 102,000 year Milankovitch cycle of 4 precession cycles. This ladder (to the Sun) is reminiscent of the Egyptian celestial boats with 7-stepped staircases mentioned above. Mithraism lasted about 400 years until Christianity banned it and built churches over the Mithraic temples, taking the part of the reformer Orpheus and continuing the work of Jesus the Nazarene in driving out animal sacrifice from places of worship.
The Mithraic Mysteries are generally considered to have entered Rome through the 3 Mithridatic Wars (88-66 BC) with the Cilician Pirates of Tarsus, from the 86 BC Cancer Trigon to the 66 BC Pisces Trigon, and to have flourished through the Fire and Earth Trigon periods:
AD
134Sagittarius Trigon
Antoninus Pius encouraged interest in Eastern cults through the Virgo Trigon of 154;
173Aries Trigon
In 177 the Celsus/Origen controversy pro and con Mithraism raged on;
193Sagittarius Trigon
In 195 Commodus became a Mithraic initiate and drew in the Roman aristocracy, demanding the title Hercules Romanus, as well as Sol Invictus;
233Aries Trigon
Alexander Severus brought eastern troops into Germany from 222-235, introducing Mithraism to the Gauls;
253Capricorn Trigon
Valerianus (253-260) fought off the Allemani and resurgent Persian Zoroastrians during the Earth Trigon;
273Virgo Trigon
Aurelian founded in 273 the public cult of Sol Invictus, after being responsible for burning down the Library at Alexandria;
312Capricorn Trigon
In 307 at Carnuntum, Diocletian decreed Mithra Patron of the Empire;
332-3Libra Trigon
Julian the Apostate revived the Mysteries during his ascent and introduced them to Constantinople as soon as he reached the throne (361) (Jupiter-Saturn Opposition at 4,9,3/362-3; 27° Pisces/Virgo, 5°, 14° Aries/Libra);
352Aries Trigon
During 361 the Patriarch George of Alexandria precipitated a riot by attempting to build a church on the ruins of a mithraeum and was martyred on Christmas Eve 361, the eve of Mithra's birth at the winter solstice — hence Christmas itself literally was built over Mithra as well as the familiar Saturnalia solstice;
372Capricorn Trigon
At this Earth Trigon the first executions of mystery school initiates took place (371), encouraging Christian mobs who slaughtered suspects in the mithraic sanctuaries; Christians close Eleusinian Mysteries (380) (Jupiter-Saturn Opposition 12/381, 19° Scorpio/Taurus);
394Libra Trigon
By 394 Theodosius (d. 396) had eradicated Mithraic worship, the Trigon moving into AIR.

Taurus and Scorpio in the Mithraic Mysteries. Taurus-Scorpio is always associated iconographically as a triad of Mithra with Cautes and Cautopates, their respective torches pointing upward and downward, representing Taurus spring equinox and Scorpio fall equinox. These are associated by some as day and night hemispheres; by others as hemispheres divided by the equinoxes; or as terrestrial and celestial spheres veiling Dionysos and Zeus respectively. In this sense they were understood as the Dioscuroi, and the Kabirian Dactyls of the Samothracian Mysteries. They are sons of Zeus as was Dionysos. In the Orphic tradition they are the Bull-Serpent (Zagreus-Sabazios), and can be interpreted (JEP 4/2) in ascending significance as:
1. the Taurus/Scorpio equinox period (4000-2000 BC) conquered by an Aries Age Perseus-Mithra slaying the Taurus Age Bull at the Pleiades (daughters of Atlas associated with Saturn) with the sword from a Arietis of Zeus;
2. the fixing of the entire precession cycle at the Pleiades as "our [solar system's] own central conditioning star" (EA 111);
3. the Taurus/Scorpio axis of the Sirian System of 7 Suns (the 7 solar systems) which has been the axis since 380 AD (Taurus)/134 BC (Scorpio), and will be until 2548 AD (Gemini)/2007 AD (Sagittarius);
4. the Taurus/Scorpio axis of Aldebaran/Antares substituting for the Orion Association/Scorpio-Centaurus Association borders of our Gould Belt/Local System subgalaxy in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way.
The dates above are based on modern 30° boundaries of the zodiacal signs, as well as upon the presently hypothesized members of the Sirian System of 7 suns (JEP 4/2). However, 134 BC, based on a Ophiuchus (Sirian star), is very near the date of the Stoic Posidonius of Tarsus' birth (c. 135), as well as the year of Hipparchos' (c. 190-126 BC) discovery of the precession cycle in 128 BC (1° Pisces Trigon in 126 BC), both implicated in the origins of western Mithraism.

Andromeda's Family. I had wondered for a long time the place of Perseus as one of the heroic cults — Hercules being associated with Lion and Sun; Orpheus with the interaction between Apollo and Dionysos, Zeus/Kronos, Uranian/Chthonic cults (See Jane Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, NY: Meridian, 1960). The theme of Perseus' marriage to Andromeda ("ruler of men"), daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, all constellations found along what I have called the Perseus/Cassiopeia Train of Cluster Systems (JEP 4/2, 49) seemed intriguing, and I wondered if these facts were not recognized and mythologized in some way by antiquity. Astronomically, the Perseus clusters are associated with ARIES and those of Andromeda's parents, Cepheus and Cassiopeia, with PISCES. Appropriate enough. Or was it merely the emergence of a collective unconscious mass psychic presentiment, easily dismissed per se by unreflective land-shark-like heuristico-stochastic maneuverers among even less reflective evidence-hoarding, number-crunching rodentine lemmings?
Were the ancients aware of our galaxy's dual rotation with the ANDROMEDA galaxy toward the constellation PERSEUS when they framed the myth of her rescue by Perseus on condition of her parents' consent to their marriage? Did they know that our Milky Way galaxy will merge with the Andromeda galaxy around 4 billion years from now?
Our galaxy is rotating edge-on toward PERSEUS [7 (Gemini) 35] and this position would have coincided with the spring equinox in 1095 BC (calculating only precession motion without other variables). This means from c. 1094 BC to c. 1335 AD the direction would be in the constellation ARIES, the sign of the previous Age toward which the Greek Temples to Zeus were aligned. In fact, the equinox would have been conjunct a Arietis at 4° Aries in 741 BC, which happened to conjunct an Aries Grand Trigon that year in 0° Aries. The Venus heliocosm that year in early April was at c. 7° Aries, a rare long-cycle occurrence.
This date is 12 years, or a Jupiter cycle, from the traditional founding of Rome in 753 BC; 35 years or 3 Jupiter cycles from the first Olympiad in 776 BC; close to the start of the earliest intensive Greek settlement of Italy (750-600 BC), south from Cumae and Bay of Naples, called Magna Graecia. This is very close to the time range for the founding of Cumae, famous for its Cumaean Sibyl and for the Oracle of the Dead and Temple to Persephone. A Trigon later (721) the Ten Lost Tribes were deported from Palestine by Sargon II.



5. CLAIMANTS TO MESSIAHHOOD

At the turn of the precessional Wheel from Aries to Pisces, claimants to messiahhood included Alexander (336 BC), Ptolemy Soter (322 BC), Ptolemy Epiphanus (205 BC), Julius Caesar (42 BC), Caesar Augustus (27 BC), and Elagabalus, "God from on High" (218 AD).
We should not neglect one of the most interesting of these claimants, Antiochus Epiphanes (ruled 175-164), who was responsible for Jerusalem's "Abomination of Desolation" — first plundering the Temple (169), then setting up an image and altar to Zeus, Friend of Strangers (167), and finally sacrificing upon it 10 days later with dionysiac revelling under a Venus-Mars conjunction — all of which inspired the Maccabean Revolt (166 on) and helped institute the Festival of Hannukah or the purification of the Altar exactly 3 years after its sacrificial desecration (164) with the sacrifice of the harvest first fruits. This reminds us of Christ's cleansing the Temple of animal sacrifice. The Scorpio Trigon occurred in September 165, conjunct Mars by 9° orb.
In 169 BC, just a Jupiter cycle after the senatorial decree "De Bacchanalibus," Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164) sacked the Temple and murdered and tortured many citizens of Jerusalem. On October 14, 5:40 PM, Neptune, Venus and Mars as evening stars were conjunct at 8° Scorpio, 20° above the setting Sun at the 1° Gemini Jewish new moon of Sukkoth.
In 167, Antiochus returned to plunder and murder again. On 15th Chislev (1 Macc 1.54) or December 6, he "erected a desolating sacrilege upon the altar," burnt incense throughout the city and burnt all the sacred books he could lay hands on. It was a full Moon rising in Gemini on the horizon, the Sun having set with Mars and Venus in Capricorn as evening stars. Mercury conjunct Neptune in Scorpio were square Pluto on the MC.
On 25 Chislev (I Macc 1.59) or December 16, the eve of the Country Dionysia of that year (City Dionysia in late January), Antiochus offered a burnt sacrifice on the altar and tortured or killed those who would not participate in the debauched rites (2 Macc 6.ff). Mars and Venus in Capricorn were still evening stars about to disappear in the next week, a Scorpio Moon and Neptune conjuncted Saturn in Libra, while Uranus was at MC when the evening festivities began. A particularly deranged celebration must have been contemplated for some time, given Venus and Mars' near-conjunction dance as evening stars for almost 4 months, starting in the heat of late August, and arriving with the full Moon on 5-6 December. Orgiastic rites must have proven irresistible to those so predisposed. The Romans defiled their own God in this case by calling Him Zeus, "Friend of Strangers," given their treatment of the locals.
In 164, exactly 3 years later on 25 Chislev (1 Macc 4.52), the first Hannukah was celebrated for 8 days to purify the altar, a tradition which continues to this day. This was a year after Scorpio Trigon of 165 conjunct Mars and Neptune, both square Venus in Leo and Pluto in Aquarius. Moon, Uranus and a Arietis (Zeus' temple star) were all conjunct, ironically for the Romans.
Parallel to all this was the Revolt of the Maccabees, which took place during the "Abomination of Desolation" of the defilement of the Temple in 167. An old priest Mattathias was the first to resist, slaying a Syrian who ordered him to celebrate. He fled with his 5 sons into the hills, but died the next year (166), while his sons kept up the revolt. Judas Maccabaeus retook Jerusalem in 164 and removed the statue of Zeus and cleared the Temple. While the Temple rededication was being celebrated as the first Hannukah, Antiochus was ordered to collect taxes in the East, but upon hearing of the news, died on his way back.
Note that the Venus-Mars conjunctions occurred on all the significant years of this episode: 10/13/169 in 8° Scorpio; 9/9/167 in 27° Libra; 6/27/166 in 4° Gemini; and 5/15/164 in 18° Taurus — a SCORPIO through TAURUS cycle, again...

While Rome was proud of suppressing human sacrifice among the Celtic Gauls and Britons; the Israelites of repressing it in the surrounding warring tribes and within their own ranks, "golden calf" incidents breaking out from time to time; the Christians futilely dreamt of suppressing animal sacrifice altogether, though it must be said that all three groups had their small vegetarian schools, particularly among sects considered "heretical."
Since we have started the topic of Scorpio Trigons, perhaps a closer examination will reveal somewhat the psychosocial "dyscrasias" predisposing to the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic struggles with rivers of blood which are so much a part of biblical and historical lore, not to mention the 2000-year Christian emphasis on the bloody crucifixion, distracting Humanity's attention from the spiritual fountain of Christ's Resurrection and His living depiction of the first 5 initiations (See AAB's From Bethlehem to Calvary).
One of the purposes of the Aquarian Age is to bring about the mastery of Martial and Saturnian forces by Venus, the Earth's Ray II soul of Love-Wisdom, the intelligent cooperation of the mind's grasp of the infinite Unknown and the heart's wonder at the fathomless mystery of universal phenomena and life. As Socrates might have said, without a Question there is no Revelation.

(See APPENDIX: JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM, AND THE GRAND TRIGON IN SCORPIO.)


6. THE PISCEAN ADVENT
Jews, Romans, and Christians During the War of the Calendars


Times Roman
It was 12 BC when Halley's comet stretched across the sky. Augustus, not yet secure enough to declare himself Emperor, had just returned to Rome after 4 years spent securing Gaul. This year his brother Drusus drove the Sicambri out of Gaul and a relative named Nero (an earlier one) ingratiated himself by attacking Pannonia (north Yugoslavia), which Tiberius conquered later in the same year. Lepidus, from a family which perpetrated several attempts on Augustus' life, died as Pontifex Maximus, with the result that Augustus assumed virtual totality of power under this title (lit. "bridge builder" — head civil engineer and master of the religious calendars).

Baiae
Life in Rome was pleasant, but the Summer Court in decadent Baiae had an even greater appeal to this crowd. Baiae was a famed spa above Naples and Vesuvius where a most ancient Temple to the Underworld and Oracle of the Dead were located (see Paget), the 300 yard long subterranean entrance passage aligned to heliacal sunset at summer solstice (June 21). Here is where Ulysses consulted his mother, and Aeneas his father for guidance. The scores of burial tablet inscriptions in Magna Graecia (S. Italy) bear witness to its importance, describing the two wells at its entrance — one of forgetfulness and the other of clear cold memory. "I am a child of Earth and of Starry Heaven, but my race is that of Heaven alone..." "As a kid I have fallen into milk..." Souls in Pythagorean Orphism were considered to ascend to heaven in Capricorn and fall back into rebirth in Cancer, milk represented by the Milky Way (see, e.g., Porphyry, The Cave of the Nymphs).
Worship here during Augustus' time was to Apollo, since the Orphic translation from Dionysos to Apollo, or Earth-centered to Sun-centered religion was complete. Cyclopean walls of the Apollonian shrine that cover the entrance to the ancient Oracle date to around 5th or 6th century BC, and are themselves covered by Augustan and later, Neronian brickwork. A tunnel climbs above this maze of overlays to open into a 20-foot shaft under the Temple of the Dioscuri, or Gemini, in whose constellation Sirius was then to be found. Zagreus or the horrific aspect of Dionysus from Crete was the son of Zeus and Persephone, his brother Hades' wife. Orpheus' mission to reform the rites of Dionysus, in his dual identification as Zagreus-Dionysus/Apollo, described his fate at the hands of the Maenads/Muses.

Precursors to the Christian Advent
The Temple of the Dioscuri as well as the more ancient Oracle and Temple of Hades and Persephone were once major centers of the Orphic Cult which Virgil promoted through the Aeneid, which cult many consider the most credible contemporary precursor to the Christian advent, with its parallel themes of immortality, death and resurrection. To illustrate the messianic ideas pervasive during the period, Virgil's 4th Eclogue is apt: "Now the Virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn returns, now a new progeny is sent down from heaven..." While at the Advent of the Piscean Age, Pisces is seen fully at Sunrise on the spring equinox, it is Virgo which is seen all night, Rising at Sunset, and could be said to command as Mistress the precessional night sky for the next 2000 years. For while one star is seen all day, billions are seen through the night. Here one recalls a similar symbolic perspective present in the character of "Queen of the Night" in Mozart's masonic opera The Magic Flute, whose daughter was taken as ward by Sarastro, Hierophant among a band of Solar initiates in the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris. The star Spica was most prominent at the Assumption (see below), conjunct the new (Dark) Moon ("Queen of the Night"), and resonates with Virgil's prophecy. The spike of wheat or rather three ears of wheat (Artemis trigeminis, -tricephalos) are found either at the tail or at the sword-wound at the neck of the Bull in the Mithraic tauroctony.

Back at Baiae
Meanwhile, Caesar Augustus had the Sanctuary to Hades and Persephone bricked up (shades of Pentheus or Antigone, anyone?) and Drusus built a summer villa for his wife Antonia, where she kept a pool of black moray eels with golden earrings for their gills, hatched under mysterious rites to the constellation Draco (Taurt-Isis in Egypt), and ready at any moment to be consulted on matters of grave import. Antonia, sister to the future Emperor Tiberius under whom Christ was crucified, was mother to Germanicus, Livilla, and the Emperor Claudius, grandmother to Caligula through Germanicus, and great-grandmother to Nero, who later appropriated her villa. In those days, she was noted for her great virtue, chastity, and almost unheard of fidelity (at least in Baiae) to her husband, Drusus. Interesting family. I keep wondering if Augustus' suppression of the dionysiac Solar/Pluto cults had anything to do with the trouble with his relatives that helped sweep the Roman Empire so quickly into decay and effete tumescence.

Palestine
Most astronomer/astrologers start searching for the birth of Christ between 7 BC, around when Emperor Augustus called for a new census, and the death of Herod in early 4 BC of a disease generally considered to be cancerous. Since the notorious Herod sought and killed all children under the age of 2 years, according to biblical lore, it may be assumed that this tends to indicate the period 7-5 BC. He may have been hedging his bets by reaching back a year before the then suspected date of birth, to make sure he eradicated his competition. But he might have attempted the Slaughter of the Innocents just before his death, in 4 BC, since even at that late time he had herded all the distinguished Jews of Judaea into the stadium of Jericho, planning to put them to death until Salome and her husband intervened at the last moments of his agonized death. His rationale may have involved a vicious ego's demoniac need for mourners, even if not his own.
Many suggestions have been made attempting to explain the Star in the East mentioned by the physician Luke (ch. 2). Astronomically, the conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn in 7 BC have been suggested, along with a nova mentioned in the Chinese annals for 6 BC and a comet in March and April of 5 BC. This latter was visible for 70 days in the Chinese constellation of Chih Neu, the "Weaving Sister," the brightest star of which was Vega, the Babylonian "Messenger of Light," Assyrian "Judge of Heaven," Egyptian "Maat," and the Hindu "Victorious" under which the gods had conquered the asuras.
Triple conjunctions of the Trigon generally occur at 400 year intervals, the 19th-20th centuries having been blessed with 4: 1802 Virgo; 1821-2 Aries; 1940-1 Taurus; and 1981 Libra. The original Greek of Luke employs the word "stratia" (light, small star, host [modern Gr.] army), rather than "astera" (star), which seems to emphasize light over star. The "plethas stratias ouranou" is similar to the "stratia tou ouranou" of Acts 7.42, the account of Stephen the first martyr, which passage (referring to Amos 5.25) is used pejoratively to argue Jewish star and idol worship as traditional and decadent. Amos, however, celebrates Orion and the Pleiades at 5.8 as God's creations, while Stephen is stoned for asserting that "God does not dwell in houses made by hands," arguing that it was wrong for Solomon to build the Temple at all. Perhaps Jesus' parable of the Vintner in Mark 12 refers to Stephen the 1st martyr as well as to himself — "the very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner" as the first of a long line of Christian martyrs. Christ spoke this, perhaps as a multileveled symbol of group consciousness, while being interrogated by chief priests, scribes and elders, surrounded by a multitude which served to discourage the reactionaries from arresting him with perhaps a similar stoning in mind. This identification of Stephen with the cornerstone and Christ is a beautiful image of a living church built of living beings in mystical union in service of humanity — the Mystical Body of the Christ and the Communion of Saints.
However, to modern churchianity the call for a church not "made by hands" might sound like a battle cry for something akin to Islamic or Red Guard fundamentalist iconoclasm. It might seem blasphemous, since in the modern rites of most sects, religious buildings are indispensible for service of the coffee sacrament. Tongue in cheek, this reflects the modern trend of secular service (cf. Dostoevsky's prophecy, "The Grand Inquisitor" chapter in The Brothers Karamazov), which demonstrates a primary achievement of the Piscean Age — bread to the masses, even if it is used as a tool for policies of "low-intensity conflict." Nevertheless, using "astera" might have gotten Luke into real hot water.
To add to the confusion, the gods cited by Stephen before his death are Moloch the Babylonian-Phoenician lunar Bull-King of Ammon demanding child sacrifice, and the star of the god Rephan (Remphan, Chiun), or Saturn. Stephen seems to hint provocatively at Jewish lunar and ancestor worship of the human Abraham as an atavistic clan cult, witness — Abraham, "Father on High," (Babylonian Moon god of Ur, Abu-ramu); Sarah and Milkah, (Babyl. Sarratu and Milkatu, queen and princess titles of Moon goddess Istur); his father Terah (Babyl. Terakhu, gazelle totem of the Moon). It is needless to mention cyclic parallels of Moon and Saturn to astrologers.
Amos, on the other hand, mentioned worship of King Kaiwan (Babyl. Kaainu, Kiyun, Kivan; Gr. kiun ["pillar"]) or Saturn, and Assyrian Sakkuth (close to Sukkoth, the Jewish reaping festival), from the Semitic "saqu," or Pole Star. Both suggest the tent, or tabernacle pillar/church spire/tent pole emphasized in Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religion.
There seems to be some pathetically human, but typical, subliminal self-hatred and confused aggression on all sides. Here we come back to a higher theme of seeking God within, immanent as well as transcendant, the message of Christ and Buddha, as well as of the esoteric branches of high mysticism hounded and persecuted in all religions (Sufis and Bahai in Iran, most recently).
This "neo-pseudo-conservatism" (read "practiced reactionism") of the period seems curious, howbeit historically typical, since Josephus states the fact that the Temple of Solomon was oriented to the sun, after the fashion of Egyptian temples, particularly that of Isis at the Pyramids. Sir Norman Lockyer makes the point that these temples were open to the east and closed completely to the west, and that the First Temple was oriented towards the equinoxes, making it possible for Josephus to say that although the sun could stream into the Holy of Holies twice a year, Hebrew tradition allowed the High Priest to enter once only, at springtime Passover, facing the multitudes with their backs to the sun, dazzling their eyes with the reflected light from sardonyxes on his shoulders and his 12-stoned breastplate. According to Josephus, this phenomenon ceased 200 years before his time (c. 170 BC), close to the reconsecration of the altar and temple by the later Judaic Babylonian-influenced Maccabees, after removal of the statue to Zeus, Friend of Strangers.
Alignments of temples to stars remain so aligned for around 200-300 years, those to the sun for at least as many thousand. Therefore, the introduction of the lunar calendar borrowed from Babylon into poorly-recalled Jewish religious temple rites, not misalignment, is the more likely cause for discontinuance of the solar ritual. Whereas the earlier or religious Jewish new year started on the 7th month with the Festival of Trumpets and included the Day of Atonement, and Sukkoth, the Festival of Tabernacles during fall harvest, the more recent secular or agricultural new year started with the first new moon after the vernal equinox, and both made equinoctial alignment a doubtful memory. While later emphasis on Passover (vernal equinox full moon) vaguely realigned the calendar to Aries near the end of the Aries Age, yet the lunar traditions from Babylon were still adhered to.
What a confusion of calendars — lunar, solar and sidereal. Just as the early Israelite tribalists under Solomon had to ask Hiram of Tyre with his master masons and carpenters to build a temple for them, after a millennium had passed it is easy to see how the "orthodox" had completely lost their way in their own traditions, admittedly borrowed from the Chaldean Ur of Abraham, Phoenicia (Lebanon), and Egypt, while the more fanatical sought satisfaction in scapegoats and persecution. The type of cyclopean stonework under the Temple at Jerusalem is only found at other Phoenician/Lebanese sites in the area, such as Tyre and Baalbek/Heliopolis. The massiveness of Phoenician foundation stones was not duplicated even by the Egyptians. Yet the Egyptian Sothic calendar reconciled sidereal, solar and lunar cycles and was the world's most sophisticated calendar until the 19th century.



7. CELESTIAL EVENTS SURROUNDING THE LIFE OF CHRIST

In this solar light, let us see a sidereal light. The preeminent Star in the East for this region so influenced by Egypt and Phoenicia was Sirius, during the period from at least 3000 BC, when countless temples in Egypt, the Near East, Asia Minor, Greece and Rome were erected to celebrate the heliacal rising of stars at solstices and equinoxes. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, certainly draws attention to itself (Cynosura). Its position during Christ's lifetime was at 16° Gemini. In scanning the period most likely for Christ's birth, it is useful to use lunations on the Mutable Cross, which illuminate the Grand Trigons of 7 BC (in PISCES) as well as Sirius (in GEMINI).
At this point it is useful to make some observations on the relevance of the Mutable Cross to both exoteric and esoteric astrologers. For the exoteric astrologer, the tendency is to regard the cadent signs as least effective in terms of demonstrable effect, activity or force. Gauquelin's work on the statistical impact of cadent houses has somewhat altered this attitude. However, it remains to be researched whether the direct association of cadent signs with cadent houses (i.e., signs identified with houses) is not just an artifact of recent astrological practice. Since many astrologers, let alone most people in general, have such a low regard for "mental polarization" (said to be characteristic of cadent houses/signs), it is not remarkable to discover a distinct lack of appreciation for intellectual evolution as it creates and recasts civilizations, particularly since without actual historical study or hard experience appreciation of this evolution otherwise requires a very broad attention span, indeed.
To go on a tangent, the Virgoan computer revolution at the end of the Piscean Age, as it is embedded in a renaissance of technological paradigms including, e.g., fiber optics, holography and superconductivity, has given fresh insight into the nature of the mind, its capacity and powers, as well as its continued relevance in spite of being besieged and surrounded by automata and their by-products — all this again in spite of the financial neglect of basic literacy and simple public education, not to mention lack of financial encouragement of social and intellectual public fora by modern states. It is even suggested that funds for education be cut back since education is creating socioeconomic expectations out of line with the realities of present unemployment — an unemployment which is due to a peculiarly resistant type of American and European bureaucratic social planning one would expect more from hard-line social planners of the presently defunct communist states, one might remark. Nevertheless, this attitude parallels the rise of a new mandarin order (or perhaps proletariat) of Expert/Professionalists, from whom we may expect to be treated to the typical mix of hope-inspiring progressivism and nonconstructive self-referencing and perpetuating "nugatory intrigue and vapid pedantry." (See Page Smith and Derber) Enough said.
For the esoteric astrologer, all 4 mutable signs are ruled on the orthodox level by Mercury and Jupiter. Virgo's rulers are Mercury, ruling the lower concrete mind, followed by the Moon veiling Vulcan, symbolizing the furnace of experience purifying and reconstructing the substance of the mind so that the critical nature is transmuted into intelligent compassion and discrimination. As Jupiter enters on hierarchical levels, the fusion and eventual conscious identification with the universal mind in spirit and with humanity in service and love of the Plan, begins to bring about a flourishing of the spirit in substance and events.

Getting back to our investigation, what is the relevance of distinctions at this point in time among lunar, solar and sidereal calendars and attitudes? Distinctions brought out by:
1) the unusual lunations of the period;
2) the emphasis on the Mutable Cross of signs which at the turn of the precession cycle corresponded directly to constellations;
3) the emphasis on Sirius, the Pleiades, a Arietis and Spica sidereally.

THE BIRTH
Let's look at the heavens for the period of the Grand Trigon (Jupiter-Saturn) conjunctions along with the full moons in mutable signs to get a picture of the sequence of visible celestial events (see top of chart page). The Grand Trigon of May 29 is close to the full moon of June 12; that of October 3 to the full moon of September 8; that of December 4 quite close to the full moon of December 7. All Trigon conjunctions are by longitude on the ecliptic in Mutable signs (/constellations) except Oct. 3rd. Yet the single conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn by right ascension (on the celestial equator) on September 30 was Mutable. Five full moons are included, cast on the Virgo/Pisces axis from March, 7 BC to March, 6 BC so as to provide visual and temporal perspective. This axis is utilized since the conjunction became invisible either because of conjunction with the sun (Pisces), or less noticeable by virtue of rising later and later in the evening (the year from Sagittarius to Pisces). From January, 6 BC, it was definitely a Star in the West. Of course, this was still noticeable and of use to late night travelers through the desert (e.g., it took around six months to travel from India, less from Petra, Egypt, Ethiopia or Yemen).
The lunations of March of 7 BC as well as those in March of 6 BC were close to the Trigons, which themselves had nearby planets for dramatic effect. As the Trigon moved forward the duration of a year through Pisces, lunations in 7 BC presented Trigon and planets as Morning Stars, while those of 6 BC displayed the Trigon and associates as Evening Stars. As a Morning Star in the East for 7 BC, it would have been moving or leading West; as an Evening Star in the West, it would have appeared as a Star in the East during night travel in the desert, but it still would have been leading West with its diurnal motion. It would only have been leading travelers East (from the Mediterranean Sea, Europe, the Balkans or Egypt) if considered sidereally by astronomer/astrologers, in the context of the yearly cycle. It probably makes as much sense that the Three Kings came from East as from West, since most countries in both directions were devoted to star-associated worship.
It seems most probable that Christ would have been born a Pisces for several reasons. Shepherds watching their flocks by night do so only when ewes are giving birth and the lambs need protection from predatory creatures. An astonishing Evening Star conjunction of Trigon, Mars and Moon occurred on Feb. 20th, all within 6° orb. At sunset on Feb. 27, the Moon was close to the Midheaven and 4° from Sirius, having conjuncted the Mediterranean Star in the East at noon the same day. The full moon March 5th of 6 BC would have been the last spectacular Trigon conjunct Mars as Evening Star, before being swallowed by the Sun and emerging with a greater separation, Jupiter just barely visible, for the April 3rd, 6 BC Passover full moon. There is a chance that the 70-man Sanhedrin had delayed Passover to May 3rd if the first fruits were not ripe. After all, that included lambs for the ritual animal sacrifices held in the Temple at Jerusalem. Before Christ drove out the money exchangers, he drove out the sacrificial animals — his whole purpose was to introduce spiritual sacrifice over blood sacrifice, and a Trigon conjunct Mars and Moon seems a most apt Sign, even if he were born nearer the full moon on March 5th with the Moon missing from the stellium. On that date it was conjunct Pluto, the Equator and Ascendant at 6 PM in Bethlehem. Throughout the next 3 lunations, Mars and Moon were prominent as setting asterisms.

A Note on Heliocosms. Very briefly, heliocosms are the conjunctions of the 5 inner planets (Mercury to Saturn) with the Sun, forming an esoteric Triangle with Earth. One cycle of conjunctions of each of these 5 planets through the zodiac is placed on another rung of the chart wheel, and only conjunctions with traditional planets, or globes, are used for interpretation. Geocosms are the conjunctions of any two planets with the Earth, and the full cycle through the zodiac is used in the same way as described above. It is assumed that they correspond with AAB's esoteric rulers of each sign, and are used to gauge Soul (solar pitri) or causal influences on the personality. In this context, nodes would correspond with the hierarchical ruler of the Spirit, Monad or the principle of Guidance for the Soul on the Path.

Cosmic Points, Nodes and Heliocosms. Looking at the positions derived from mean planetary nodal motion and the more exact heliocosmic positions are the main reasons I have chosen the particular date of March 4th at around 6 PM in Bethlehem. The sun has just set and the stellium of Jupiter-Mars-Saturn is bright in the sky, Jupiter and Mars only 9 min. apart by longitude. The near-full Moon has risen and Pluto is 1° from the Ascendant; the East Point 4° away.
From the cosmic perspective, Sirius and the stars of Orion are overhead, the stars from which emanations arrive which stimulate the head and heart centers, respectively, of disciples. Sirius, the brilliant Star of Sensitivity and keynote of our planet Earth's purpose — magnetic response — is surrounded by the convergence points of our local clusters' motions. The 3 most important of these convergence points — Scorpio-Centaurus and Orion, delimiting our Gould Plane subgalaxy and the 7/9 local clusters; and the Pleiades, our central Sun — converge around b Columba, also the veil of the location at which Sirius' orbit is closest to our Sun (in 60,000 AD). Columba, the Dove of Peace, associated with Sirius, the Prince of Peace, and the Christ in this way is very suggestive of the goal and purpose of cosmic, solar, and planetary manasic evolution. Just above, the Orion convergence falls close to Lepus the Hare, called by Aratus "the eternally pursued," and one can easily imagine the youthful Hunter pursuing the principle of Attraction in the worlds of evolution. The Heart impulses of the youth Orion, emanating from the infinitely creative Orion Nebula and focused through the ancient red giant star Betelgeuse (opposite the red giant Antares), pursuing the procreative Hare in the direction out and away from our galaxy, suggests the influences of Sirius "pulling away" from form, the "outward" inclusiveness of the pervasive RAY II nature of the Sun, the heart center within the system of 7 Suns, as well as the 2nd Ray soul of our Earth, cultivating magnetic responsiveness and evolution through the pursuit of Love, Beauty, and the inclusive Reason of the Dove of Peace.
In Christ's chart, b Columba is found 2 minutes away from the North Node of Venus, all within 3° orb of a and b Lepus, Betelgeuse, b Aurigae (Sirian star), and 5° from the North Node of Uranus. At 6 pm, with Sun-Uranus opposite Moon-Pluto-Earth on the horizon, they are found in the 9th house of multidimensional consciousness, with the Sirius alignments in Gemini ruling from the 10th House through the Virgo/Pisces horizon, the Triangle of signs for the Second Ray.

Venus Heliocosms. The 5-armed Venus heliocosm acts like a Temple Gate to Sirius, a Arietis, and Antares, 3 of the 7 stars to which Greek temples were aligned. The Trigon of 14 AD is conjunct another of these stars, Gamma Draconis. More astonishing for esoteric astrologers, the inferior and superior Venus Heliocosms both at 19 Gemini are 3° from Sirius, 1° from Jupiter's north node, and 4° from Pluto's north node. Jupiter and Pluto are the esoteric planetary rulers of Pisces and reemphasize the placement of the Sun. Conjunct Sirius, they are also members of the triangle Sirius-Pisces-Uranus(Jupiter) associated with the planetary Hierarchy (421, 427), recalling that the Sun in Pisces is conjunct Uranus by 5° in this chart. Interpreting this, we must remember the association of Jupiter with Uranus during the 5th initiation, and of Sirius and Gemini's association (349) with Venus in bringing the Lords of Flame from Venus, Kumaras who originally brought human individualization through the causal body and established the Hierarchy on Earth (355), an expression of the Heart of the Sun (351).
Another arm of the Venus heliocosm aligns the Trigon of 94 AD with b Leonis, e Ursa Major and the globe of the Moon at 26° Leo. The last arm of the Venus heliocosm, both conjunctions at 29° Capricorn, in turn exactly conjunct Venus herself.

Sirian System Stars. Looking at the Sirian System stars (hypothesized in JEP 4/2): b Aurigae is found conjunct between the north nodes of Venus and Uranus; Sirius in Gemini conjunct Venus heliocosms and Jupiter and Pluto north nodes; Procyon conjunct Pluto's north node; d Leonis conjunct the Trigon of 34 AD, the year after the Crucifixion and close to 2 Ursa Major stars, g and d; a Corona Borealis is conjunct Neptune, a Venus heliocosm, a Saturn-Mars geocosm and a Mars heliocosm; a Ophiuchus is conjunct a Venus heliocosm and is 1° conjunct one of the 3 birth Trigons at 23 Scorpio.

At the end of Jesus' life, the next Jewish new Moon after the Crucifixion was conjunct the Pleiades on April 18th, 33 AD, the Moon moving into conjunction with Jupiter-Mars on the 21st and Saturn on the 23rd-24th. The presence of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Moon setting, seems to be a sort of signature for the major events in Christ's life, if these are indeed the relevant dates. The Passover times, and the hours mentioned in the New Testament are brought out dramatically in this ensemble of charts and those coming up. Throughout this aforementioned period the Sun was again conjunct Uranus, the Awakener.

CONCEPTION
If Christ were born at this time (c. 4 March, 6 BC), he would have been conceived in June, 7 BC. The full moon chart of June 12 shows the Sun conjunct Sirius with a half degree orb, with a 1° orb Trigon 10° from MC at 12° Pisces, the exact degree of the 5th March, 6 BC full moon conjunct Pluto.

ASSUMPTION
September 24th was the Jewish (sliver of Moon at sunset) new moon beginning the sixth month (Luke 1.26), when the angel Gabriel came to announce Christ's birth. On the new moon (9/23, 11:12pm), Sirius was found rising at midnight, half an hour after an exact new moon (28 Virgo 14) conjunct the star Spica (c. 29 Virgo 52), found in the loins of the Virgin — some say at the spike of grain. The full moon (10/8) in the middle of the 6th month was conjunct a Arietis exactly to the degree. Mary would have been three months pregnant, which might account for Matthew's slightly anxious explanation (Matt. 1.18-25), after a long genealogy linking Jesus to King David. Luke the physician was more matter of fact about all this, as well as being more impressed with phenomena in the heavens, Christ's rightful birthplace.

BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
In June, since Sirius was conjunct the Sun, it was invisible. It only became visibly dramatic 6 months later, conjunct the full moon December 7th at sunset, when the Sun opposite Moon on the horizon formed a Grand Cross in Mutable, with the Pisces Trigon at zenith and Pluto in Virgo at nadir within 7° orb. It was near this time that Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist, when Mary left after spending three months with them (Luke 1.36,56).
Sirius rising, then setting with the Moon, square Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus and Pluto seems appropriate for baptism by the spirit, substituting water for blood, which enraged the status quo predator elite, who thrived on the dispensation of bread with bloody circuses; appropriate also, given his glorious and terrible fate at the lunatic Herod's hands, traditionally goaded to it by Salome.

CRUCIFIXION
In the generally accepted account of Christ's crucifixion set at a Passover lunar eclipse just before a dinner of sacrificed lambs on April 3rd, 33 AD (Humphreys & Waddington, Nature 306, 22/29 Dec. '83), the Sun is found conjunct a Arietis, Zeus' temple star, square Saturn in Cancer, with Jupiter and Mars making a ruddy pair in Gemini. Venus (with Mercury) was conjunct Christ's natal Saturn, and Uranus was at 17° Leo, the degree for next year's Grand Trigon in 34 AD. During the Age of Aries at least 7 temples to Zeus were founded in Greece oriented toward this star, from 1580 to 360 BC. None are found so aligned in the solar-dominated temples of Egypt. The recurrence of a Arietis in these charts and events in Christ's life, standing up to the confrontation and challenge of the Babylonian sojourn's Moloch and Rephan, Moon and Saturn, by the early Christians, seem to echo the Greek myth of Zeus superceding his father Kronos, Apollo/Orpheus reforming Dionysus. This indeed may eventually have exerted a fascination and appeal for the new religion, through promotion by observant astrologers among the Greek and Hellenized populations upon the Gentiles at large. To have found this star prominent at the First Hannukah, rather than at the installation of a statue to Zeus in the Temple, is an intriguing irony (though it must be admitted we do not have the exact time of installation).
This idea of religious supercession is particularly reinforced by the sudden introduction and broad popularity of the astronomical Mithraic Mysteries held in the mithraic caves which, according to most scholars, began to spread in the 1st century AD, along with the new and quite often "underground" religion of Christianity.
Another fact to note is the last station of Mars in Christ's life, just before the crucifixion — from July 32 to January 33, in both the sign and constellation of ARIES, the Lamb of God. This additional demonstration of displacement of TAURUS by ARIES in itself almost seems enough to explain the central image of the tauroctony, or bull-slaying, found in all the mithraic underground cult sites. It is also important to note, in many iconographic occasions, the spike of wheat growing out of the Bull's tail. If this truly represents Spica, then the Assumption new moon of the 6th month of 7 BC (9/23) conjunct Spica, followed by a full moon (10/8) conjunct a Arietis may corroborate in a way hard to have been anticipated, the timing of the introduction of the Mithraic Mysteries, with their graded initiations, into the Roman Empire. It also gives one good reason for the commemoration of the Assumption these past 2000 years.
If Christ had a ministry of 5 years instead of 3, just as his life seems to have had 39 years instead of c. 30 according to common tradition, then we find the immediately previous Mars station from January-August of 28 AD in SCORPIO. What better two signs, ruled by Mars versus Mercury, to signify His theme of Death and Resurrection, of Peace and the Sword? Esoterically, these are the two signs which rule the crises through which the Soul passes in its lower and higher phases/interludes — worldly conflict resolution for the Personality, spiritual crisis orienteering for the Soul.
As if to reemphasize the significance of this fact, the 5 arms of the Venus heliocosm (from 10-11 BC) were Aries, Gemini, Leo, Scorpio, Capricorn (emphasis mine) — the same combination we have had in the late 20th century since 1986-87 (USR! 1987 conjunct Regulus 0° orb), and which continues to 2026 (change to Libra) / 2037 (change to Pisces). One of the Venus heliocosms in Christ's March, 6 BC birthchart was conjunct a Arietis (the 2 in the Scorpio arm conjunct Antares), and of course it is found exactly conjunct the rising Sun on daybreak of the Resurrection.

The Grand Trigon and the Nature of "Armageddon"
Tangentially, I think it reasonable to say the Trigon represents the status quo cycle of 20 years, while Uranus (conjunct Christ's hypothesized Sun) along with its nodal cycle describe the creative work of the progressives in this world. Saturn rules by instinctive law and external, exclusive or territorial enforcement upon the animal kingdom (humans included). Uranus governs with an internalized, intelligently self-socialized and autonomous code of ethics based on harmlessness and love, intuitively modulated in service, and energized by a sense of broad and inclusive humanitarian purpose (at its best). It remains to be seen when both mass herd consciousness and personal self-consciousness will be superceded by a highly individualized group consciousness. The inevitable conflicts between these three major divisions of humanity are what delineate the perpetual state of affairs termed "Armageddon" throughout the millennia. Of course, "Armageddon," or the battle of good versus evil, light versus darkness, seemingly looms forward into humanity's miniscule attention span at some times more than at others. Since the sins of spiritual students tend to be those of omission rather than the opposite, vigilance, harmlessness and action tend to be the antidotes. In waging Peace, it is said that recognition of spiritual contacts, assumption of responsibility and intelligent cooperation are the crucial factors.

RESURRECTION
Given Humphrey's and Waddington's generally accepted Crucifixion date, the Resurrection would fall 3 days later, early Monday morning (John 20; Mark 16; Luke 24; Matthew 28). At 6 AM the Sun by degree is exactly conjunct a Arietis, 1° from the East Point, with 16° Aries Rising.
Heliocentric Mercury in Capricorn is at the MC, and helio Venus in Libra is setting, close to the Moon. Saturn fills out the Grand Cross in Cardinal with helio Mars 8° away, both in Cancer.
Geocentric Mercury and Venus are conjunct in Pisces, conjunct by 2° and 1° respectively the Triple Trigon in Pisces of 7 BC, the only Trigon in the Resurrection chart from the cycle of 3 past.
Heliocosms. Mars heliocosms are conjunct the Sun, Moon, Neptune, and Uranus. Venus heliocosms conjunct the Moon, Mars, and Uranus. Only 1 Jupiter heliocosm is conjunct the Moon, but 2 are conjunct both geo and helio Mercury by 3° and 2° respectively. Interestingly enough, Sirius is conjunct Jupiter by 2° orb, which is exactly opposite Pluto in Sagittarius. The heliocosmic clusters around Moon, Uranus and Mars would seem to suggest a change of form, or the influx of high spiritual force to the lower form vehicles — in the 2nd, 5th, and 7th houses, given the Sun Rising.
Nodes. The nodes do not seem to be active in this chart except around heliocentric Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. However, they show up dramatically in the chart for Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended as flame on the heads of the Apostles.
The transit position of the next Leo Trigon of 34 AD is conjunct Uranus, delta Leonis (Sirian star) 0° orb, with Venus and Mars heliocosms found there. This Trigon was peculiar in that Mercury, Venus and Mars were all Retrograde (in Libra, Scorpio and Gemini respectively).

PENTECOST
Finally, on the first Pentecost, 49 days after the Passover feast, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn were evening stars. At 9 AM (Acts 2.14-21), the rising Sun was conjunct Venus' north node and 4° from that of Uranus.
In fact, these very 4 planetary evening stars plus the Sun were conjunct planetary nodes within 0-1° orb — Sun/Venus node; Mercury/Jupiter node; Jupiter/Pluto node; Mars/Saturn node; Saturn/Neptune node — a true baptism of fire.
The Ascendant was 2° from both Pointers in the Great Bear (EA 197), Venus, the Soul of Earth, was 1° from MC exactly conjunct a Arietis, with the Moon 5° from Uranus on the future Trigon point and on the 2nd house cusp moving into the 1st, a great placement for inauguration of new values, through the ministries upon which they were about to embark.

EPILOGUE
There was only one other lunar eclipse found rising at Jerusalem around the time of Christ's ministry, on 1/31, 36 AD, the last year of Pilate's office and life, and it was total. Eusebius states Pilate committed suicide upon the accession of Caligula, worn out by his many misfortunes as middleman to the tyrannical superpowers of the day. It might not be out of order to imagine the rising lunar eclipse, similar to that seen in 33 AD, causing him the most intense soul searching and remorse, as well as dashed hopes, at a time when Caligula was on the rise and suspected by many to be plotting Tiberius Caesar's untimely end (which he actually accomplished next year on March 16, 37 AD, the day after the Ides).





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Source:     A.A. Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. 1925, 1962 ed., 1982 pr.   NY: Lucis Trust.
                  Cited with permission of Lucis Publishing Co., NY — http://www.lucistrust.org/en/publications_store
Source:     H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Centennial facsimile ed.   Los Angeles.   Theosophical University Press, 1988.
Source:   The Agni Yoga Books, published by the Agni Yoga Society, Inc. (http://www.agniyoga.org/)



© Peter Kubaska 1991. Loaded to Webpage on Thanksgiving, 11/26/98.