The Dendera zodiac
The Dendera zodiac is a bas-relief ceiling from the temple of Hathor in Dendera, Egypt. Based on the position of the stars, paleoastronomers have determined that it dates from 30 BC–30 AD, during the Late Period of ancient Egypt. Both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sky iconography are elegantly combined in the composition.
The central disc represents the celestial realm which include Ursa Major, the great bear, and Tauret, the pregnant hippo-lion goddess. Another ring of figures outside of these circumpolar star groups depict Greco-Roman astrological signs such as the Ram, Lion, Bull, and Scorpion. Around the rim of the sky disc, Decans or ‘hour stars’ used to track time appear above the horizon at dawn. Outside of the sky disc, four pairs of falcon-headed gods and four priestesses from the Temple of Isis are shown holding the heavens above the earth.
The relief, which John H. Rogers characterised as “the only complete map that we have of an ancient sky”, has been conjectured to represent the basis on which later astronomy systems were based. The Dendera zodiac is on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and has lost its original painted decoration. Ken Bakeman has researched and meticulously redrawn the design, adding color in keeping with the vision of the original Egyptian artists.
4 x 3
Astrology has used the concept of classical elements from antiquity up until the present. In Western astrology and Indian astrology four elements are used, namely Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Along with Scorpio and Pisces, Cancer forms the Water Trigon. The Water Trigon is one of four elemental trigons, fire, earth, air, and water. When a trigon is influential, it affects changes on earth.
Fire: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius
Earth: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn
Air: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius
Water: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces
3 x 4
Cardinal signs (also called by older astrologers a moveable sign) are associated with being active, self-motivated, insightful and ambitious. Observable of ills and issues in their environment, they have keen qualties in great leadership and initiating change. They can, on the other hand, be bossy, inconsiderate and domineering, as they feel their way is the best for everyone to follow.
The word “cardinal” originates from the Latin word for “hinge,” since they each mark the turning point of a temperate season. They were called moveable by traditional astrologers because, as Bonatti says, the “air” changes when the Sun enters each of these signs, bringing a change of season.
Sometimes the word cardinal is confused with the word angular. Angular signs are those signs which are located on the astrological angles of any given natal chart. Angular houses may be cardinal, fixed or mutable, depending on the birth time of the chart, but only Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn are cardinal signs. Their starts are related to equinoxes and solstices.
The four cardinal signs of the Zodiac are Aries (the Sun’s passage through which begins the spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere), Cancer (which begins the summer in the northern hemisphere, and winter in the southern hemisphere), Libra (which begins the autumn in the northern hemisphere, and spring in the southern hemisphere), and Capricorn (which begins the winter in the northern hemisphere, and summer in the southern hemisphere).
Mutable signs are associated with adaptability, flexibility and sympathy. These signs mediate change and change their modes of expression frequently in order to meet this end, and they are often described as being diplomatic and assisting others through transitions. On the other hand, because of their dualistic behaviour, they can often be inconsistent, uncommitted and come off as unreliable.
Mutable signs often signify the ends of seasons but in possibly expected years. Just as the effect done from the 13-sign theory effect adopted from sidereal astrology, it might often signify both ends and starts of seasons with cardinal signs might possibly pass one of the places of the fixed sign’s signification also in future decades.
The four mutable signs of the Zodiac are Gemini (marks the end of spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere), Virgo (marks the end of summer in the northern hemisphere, and winter in the southern hemisphere), Sagittarius (which marks the end of autumn in the northern hemisphere, and spring in the southern hemisphere), and Pisces (which marks the end of winter in the northern hemisphere, and summer in the southern hemisphere).
Fixed signs are associated with stabilization, determination, depth and persistence. On the other hand, they are also inflexible, rigid, stubborn, opinionated and single-minded. These traits are often paired with the need to be considered “right”.
The four fixed signs of the Zodiac are Taurus (spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere), Leo (summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere), Scorpio (autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere), and Aquarius (winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere).