BET EMET MINISTRIES
Hebrew For "The House Of Truth"
Craig M. Lyons Ms.D., D.D., M.Div.
TRACING THE SUN THROUGH THE ZODIAC & CANCER...COULD THIS BE THE ORIGIN FOR THE "JESUS STORY" #8
CANCER & JESUS: JUNE 22 - JULY 22
We ended the last article looking at the correlations between the "Jesus Story" in the New Testament and the path of the Sun through the Zodiac, in particular the constellation Gemini as it parallels the depiction of the "Jesus Story" taken chronologically throughout the New Testaments' depiction of Jesus Christ. Now we continue to go more deeply. The association of Cancer with water dates back to the shadowy dawn of astrology. The image of the crab is Babylonian in origin. In Egypt, this sign was represented by two turtles, and sometimes as an obscure water creature, known as Allul. The later placement of the crab within the zodiac is related to a minor chapter in Greek mythology, within the Twelve Labors of Herakles. The first labor of Herakles' (Hercules to the Romans), had been to kill the Lion of Nemea, (See Leo). Next in line was the fearsome, many-headed Hydra, a great sea monster, living in the marshes of Lerna. Hera, the goddess who sent Herekles to these tasks, often encouraged his failure. During his battle with Hydra, Hera commanded a nearby crab to attack Herekles and draw his attention away. Without question, the little creature took a claw-hold of a conspicuous toe. This act cost the crab its life, for Hercules abruptly crushed him. Impressed by its loyalty and courage, Hera placed the crab's image in the night sky. The Hydra had been a favorite to Hera, and was equally honored by the goddess. Not far from Cancer in the sky, lies the vast, chaotic constellation named for the great beast. Cancer itself, is not a brilliant constellation. However, at its heart is a lovely star cluster, sometimes known in astronomy as the Beehive. The name derives from the appearance of a swarm of stars in a dance of activity.
We saw in the previous article that in ancient times that the Ancient astronomers and Priests noticed that in the northern hemisphere the Sun reached its most northerly point in the sky as it rose each year through the constellation Gemini on its way to the constellation Cancer. We saw that the Sun reaches this point about June 21st, and this day is known as the summer Solstice. On the summer Solstice, the Sun appears overhead at latitude 23.5o north on Earth. This latitude is called the Tropic of Cancer. It retains this name today even though because of a wobble of the Earth called precession, the Sun now lies in the neighboring constellation of Gemini at the summer Solstice.
But after the Sun reaches its zenith in the Heavens there is only one place to go and that is backwards as its retraces it path toward the soon coming Winter Solstice as darkness beings to slowly overtake the Sun on a daily basis. The Sun has crossed a major divide; darkness starts to increase. In June the Sun passes through Cancer (June 21- July 22). The starting date is June 21, the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year when the Sun is at its highest ascension. After this day the Sun goes go backwards, beginning it's descent southward, as the days get shorter and shorter and darkness once again begins its assault upon the light of the Sun.
ASTRONOMY AND CANCER
Appropriately the Ancients assigned a "crab" for the symbol or sign of the constellation Cancer. The reason is obvious once we understand this backward movement of the Sun at this time of the year. Shore-inhabiting and various names all signifying Crab, Crayfish or Lobster have been used for the constellation Cancer. A tortoise, scarab, and crab all move with an awkward, scuttling motion. This application possibly derives from the fact that the Sun's northward motion slows and appears hesitant for 3 days around the time of the Summer Solstice - before it begins to move backwards with a crablike movement southward again. For quite a while the Sun seemed to hesitate at its Solstice height before descending again to its lower Autumn and Winter heights; this hesitation in the movement of the Sun was likened to "death" as we say earlier in the story of Jonah. This hesitancy (Solstice...the Sun remain still for 3 days) can be seen in the peculiar movements of the living crab. Anyone who has watched a crab on the beach must have noticed its peculiar sideways walk, its sudden forward movements, and its occasional circles - as though it cannot make up its mind where to go. A crab walk in a zigzag path, sideways and backwards at the same time in a kind of a backsliding movement thus mimicking exactly what the Ancients saw in the movement and path of the Sun following the Summer Solstice. The idea that this dimmest part of the zodiac represents a crab might have to do with the fact that the Sun turned southward in its path and movement when it reached that part of the heavens and when the Sun reached its zenith in the sky at the Summer Solstice. An ancient writer tells us that Chaldeans associated this region with a crab because these creatures walk sideways, then backwards, like the Sun appears to move as it reaches the Summer Solstice and turns southward. Possibly related to this, ancient Egyptians called this part of the sky the Scarab, in reference to their concept that an invisible celestial scarab beetle which was believed to push the Sun across the Heavens. Cancer has usually been seen as a hard-shelled animal. We don't know how long Cancer has been called a crab, but it seems to have been a tortoise in both Babylonia and in early Egypt around 4000 BC. Two thousand years later it is identified in Egyptian records as a scarab beetle, Scarabaeus, an emblem of immortality.
When the fixed stars of Cancer marked the position of the Sun at the June Summer Solstice, and according to Chaldaean, Platonist and Mesopotamians philosophy, this key position in the Sky marked the gateway for the descent of souls into incarnation, the "Gate of Men" through which souls descended from heaven into human bodies. [Richard Hinchley Allen, Starnames, Their Lore and Meaning, 1889, a reference book on the history of the stars and constellations for astronomers, Dover Publications 1963, p. 107). It was held that the souls of men, when released from corporeity, ascended to heaven through the stars of Capricorn, whence it was called the "Gate of the Gods"; their road of descent, in order to be reborn was through the "Gate of Cancer". It is also interesting to note that somehow Cancer, then marking the northern gate of the Sun, became known to Chaldean and Platonist philosophers as the "Gate of Men," through which, they said, souls of people came down from heaven to enter human bodies. To the Ancient Japanese, who regarded the grouping as a "lump of souls," the Beehive Cluster, in Cancer, was a truly terrifying sight.
The least bright constellation of the Zodiac, the constellation Cancer marked for the Ancients the beginning of the Solstice of Summer (and so the Capricorn was the beginning of the Solstice of Winter) during the times of the creation of the Bible and this explains why such symbolism is reflected in the stories of the Bible; in particular for our study the "Jesus Story"! The zodiacal sign of Cancer (which the Sun enters on midsummers day) was, at one time represented by the Ancients as two donkeys feeding at a manger.
CANCER AND THE "JESUS STORY"
In keeping with our study of the evolving life of Jesus as depicted chronologically in the New Testament in parallel with the path of the Sun though the Zodiac. The more we study the more we continue to see more interesting "parallels" concerning the life of Jesus as depicted chronologically in the New Testament as taken from the path of the Sun (personified as Jesus) through the Zodiac. We now follow the Sun through the Zodiac as it travels from Gemini to Cancer.
We left off with Matthew chapter twelve in our prior study of the Sun moving through Gemini and we noticed that the stories of Jesus and his disciples going through the grain fields plucking heads of grain to eat which is presented as a problem which really is not in Judaism as well as the opposition to healing on the Sabbath which again according to Judaism was never a problem. Hostility toward him has already been manifested (Matthew 8:10; 9:3, 10-13, 34), but here it becomes more intense but this is to be expected as the Sun moves to the Summer Solstice for right on the other side "darkness" awaits to overtake the Sun and his power. We mentioned that such unhistorical narratives were but literary ploys to create this increasing "tension" between the opposing Cosmic forces of "light" vs "darkness". We have at its best here the battles with personified darkness depicted in the healings of the man with a withered hand on the sabbath as well as the healing of the blind and mute man (Matt. 12:9-22). This opposition to light in the allegory of Pharisee opposition can be summed up:
Matt 12:14 14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. (KJV)
Astronomically and allegorically speaking "darkness" lies in wait to apprehend the Sun and take it to its ultimate death as the Winter Solstice. Again is must be said that if one studies Judaism he is hard pressed to see that these accounts were actual stories in a historical setting; rather, one comes to see these as but "literalizations" of the constant struggle between "light and darkness".
Following the text in chronological sequence we should come to some form of "division" or "separation" since the Sun in its path is now dividing the Sky in half. Following the New Testament narrative we find as we expected the Jesus speaking of "division" at this point in the text in keeping with the path of the Sun.
Answer for yourself: What could this reference to "division" mean?
Matt 12:25-37 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
Answer for yourself: Jesus is talking about "dividing" a house. Did we not see in another article that Jesus had mentioned that in His Fathers's house is "many mansions" and that this referred to the 12 signs of the Zodiac?
As noted before, the year was divided into 12 equal parts, or months. And to each month was appointed a heavenly symbol or astrological "Sign." Each of the 12 monthly signs was called a "House" of the heavenly Zodiac.
John 14:2 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (KJV)
The signs of the zodiac have been called at times the "houses of the Sun," and also they are considered as the day or night "mansions" of the planets. Religiously minded astrologers, indeed, refer to the zodiacal signs as the "many mansions" in the Father's house, of which Jesus speaks in the Gospels.
Answer for yourself: Is it a coincidence that at this point in the path of the Sun, personified as Jesus, that we should expect to find something either in the sayings of Jesus or in his life having to do with "division" since the Sun just reached its apex of ascension and begins its southward trek back down the Sky? What we see is that at the Summer Solstice the increase of light and the victory over the foe of darkness has reached its maximum point and the Sun begins to travel backwards now as if dividing the Sky in half. Such is the division I speak. And this is exactly what we find.
The Summer Solstice falls at the precise moment when the Sun's power is at its zenith. It is the time of year when the noon Sun appears to be farthest north from the celestial equator. "Solstice" is Latin for "Sun stands still" (sol "Sun" and sistere "to stand"). Summer Solstice is so named because to the naked eye the Sun appears stationary in its northern and southern progression. The Sun is directly over the tropic of Cancer at the Summer Solstice. From the moment of Summer Solstice, the Sun immediately begins to wane. The journey into the harvest season has begun. Midsummer has been one of the important solar events throughout the evolution of humankind. It was an indicator that the year was about to begin waning, thus Winter would be again returning. Although not all the ancients were as precise in the calculations from an astronomical point, you can be sure that they were keenly aware of the sun's progression, and did most assuredly know when Solstice was upon them, as the Sun appeared to stand still in its northern progression.
But that is not all.
Answer for yourself: What should we expect to find at the Summer Solstice? The word Solstice comes from the Latin term "solstitium," which translates into English as "Sun standing still." As mentioned it is at the Summer Solstice that we should expect to see the Sun standing still for three days around Solstice, as the Sun rises and sets in nearly identical places before continuing its backward movement southward in the Sky on its way to the Winter Solstice and that is exactly what we see. We have seen in prior studies that the Ancients thought the Sun had died for 3 days at the Winter Solstice due to its cessation of movement in its path in the Heavens but now as well we see that in the teachings of Matthew we find the mention of this "3 day" period as well as connected to a teaching coming from Jesus.
Answer for yourself: Where do we find Jesus teachings this reference to this 3 days in the path of the Sun as correlated to the depiction of his life chronologically in the Gospels?
We find it in Matthew again in Jesus' teaching of Jonah being in the belly of the great fish for 3 days.
Matt 12:40 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (KJV)
Answer for yourself: Does this 3 day reference to Jonah at the Summer Solstice as mentioned by Jesus correspond astronomically to the 3 day reference to Jesus being in the tomb of earth for 3 days at the Winter Solstice? Yes.
Answer for yourself: What is the Astronomical link? There are periods of 3 days with both the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice when the Sun appears "to stand still" which was interpreted by the Ancients as "death" and this is applies both to Jonah, in the middle of the Gospel story as in the middle of the year, and to Jesus as well at the end of the Gospel or should I say at the end of the "Jesus Story" at the Winter Solstice. To any "thinking believer" it is hard to deny what we see here especially when we consider the unique timing in the gospels for these solar events to occur and the teachings the appear concerning Jesus as these times as well.
Answer for yourself? Why should we have expected to find Jesus teaching about Jonah (since he could not use his death for an example since he had not died yet)? Well you see Jonah appears to be dead for 3 days in the belly of the whale only to be presented alive after 3 days exactly as does the Sun at the Summer Solstice.
Answer for yourself: What do we see hidden in the story of Jonah in the belly of the fish for 3 days? We see that Jonah's message to the non-Jewish world was a message from God of "repentance" connected with "salvation".