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(II.) HISTORY - The Prestigious Planets

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Author Topic: (II.) HISTORY - The Prestigious Planets  (Read 622 times)
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« on: August 17, 2007, 02:09:46 pm »

When the tomb of Rameses II was excavated, it was found to contain two circles of gold marked in 360 degrees, and with symbols showing the rising and setting of stars. This suggests that he was interested in ascending degrees - the degree of the ecliptic rising over the eastern horizon at any particular time, an important matter in astrology. Rameses II - Ozymandias, the builder of the temple at Abu Simbel - reigned from about 1292-1225 BC; and the tomb of Rameses V contained papyri offering astrological hints for every hour of every month of the year.

There is evidence too that astrologers in the Egypt of thirteen hundred years before Christ knew about the four fixed signs of the zodiac (astrologers divide the signs into quadruplicities or qualities - cardinal, mutatable and fixed). In the sarcophagus of Seti I (c 1317 BC) the four jars containi the intestines were protected by four deities, represented with a human head (Mestha), a dog's head (Hapi), a jackal's head (Tuamutef) and a hawk's head (Qebhsennuf). These clearly represented the four fixed signs with Mestha as Aquarius, Hapi as Leo, Tuamutef as Taurus and Qebhsennuf as Scorpio. But this is not a sign that advanced astrology was practised: the four Suns of Horus were the gods of astronomical myths, with astrological associations.

A major contribution to the early history of astrology was, however, made by Egypt: the invention of the decans by the division of the circle of the ecliptic into thirty-six sections, three decans or sections of 10 degrees to each sign. The earliest sight we have of these is on a coffin lid of the Middle Kingdom, on which the sky is shown with the names of the decans in columns. The zodiac did not then exist: the decans were geared to the constellations, and it was not until the Hellenistic age that they were linked with the zodiac and became truly astrological in significance. It seems that they were contrived because of the Egyptian belief that every moment of time should have its presiding deity.
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