16 Nov Origins of the Zodiac
We humans have always been enchanted by the stars.
Since the dawn of time, astronomer-priests have traced their paths through the heavens, and tried to understand their celestial dance. Which is exactly what astrology is: man’s search for meaning in the cosmos, and our struggle to find our place within it.
The twelve signs of the Zodiac, and Western astrology as we know it, can be traced directly back to the ancient Greeks. In fact the word zodiac comes a Greek phrase meaning “circle of animals.” The name of each sign – Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc. – are also in Greek, and can be traced back to ancient Greek legends.
But the symbols, and the stories behind them, are even older than that…
The Greeks adopted the system of astrology developed in ancient Babylon. By around 2800 B.C., the Babylonians had set forth much of the theory and practice of astrology which is still in use today.
They imagined the dome of the heavens as a great circle, divided into twelve houses through which the moon and sun traveled. The influence they assigned to those celestial houses still holds true, more than 4000 years later.
Have you ever wonder why we measure a circle as being 360°? Because the Babylonians used a hexadecimal number system, that’s why.
Interestingly, the Babylonians also inherited a great deal of their knowledge of the stars from the even older Sumerian civilization. Thousands of years before Babylon, the Sumerians had already identified the twelve signs of the Zodiac, which they called the MULA.PIN., or “The Shining Herd.”
The Shining Herd included such figures as the Heavenly Bull, the Twins, the Lion, the Archer, the Fishes, and the Lord of the Waters. Sound familiar?
The truth is that the origins of astrology stretch back well before recorded history. The astrological signs and symbols, their meanings, interpretations and associated legends, are a deep well of wisdom and knowledge, the result of countless ages of contemplation and study.
It is the record of humanity’s oldest teachings, our timeless truths, our spiritual inheritance.
It is a key that can open the doors to a deeper understanding of ourselves, our place in the universe, and the phases and cycles we pass through, over and over again, as we dance with the stars through the heavens.
We selected some of the beautiful artwork with zodiac symbols embedded, and we hope you like them: