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Chapter 102 - Mathael explains the names of the first three signs of the zodiac.
102,1. (Mathael:) “The discoverers of the zodiac were obviously the native residents of Egypt, who for one reached a much higher age than we do, secondly had always a most pure sky and could observe the stars much more easily and constantly than we with our often thickly clouded sky, and thirdly most people slept the whole hot day through. Only in the evenings did they go out into the open and completed their work in the cool of night. There they had constantly the constellations in sight, soon noticed the unchangeable figures and gave them names which corresponded with some natural event occurring at a particular time or with a duty of the land.
102,2. Multiple observance of the zodiac led the watchers soon to the belief that the zodiac is a great circle, which is divided into twelve almost equal parts. In each of these parts there is an individual constellation.
102,3. Even the peoples of antiquity considered the stars of this Earth to be further away than the sun and the moon and therefore they let the sun along with the moon move on a path inside the great zodiac.
102,4. But the zodiac also moved in a way that the sun, which rounds the Earth every day, stopped in another sign after thirty days due to the great movement of the zodiac. But that the moon always came into another sign every couple of days, they explained from its slower daily course around the Earth, by which it never comes to the same place at the same time like the sun – therefore they often called the moon the “tardy star”.
102,5. But there were some wise men who claimed exactly the opposite of the moon; yet the teaching of the tardyness of the moon prevailed.
102,6. You see, that’s how the zodiac was created, and now you should also soon learn how the twelve constellations got their peculiar names!
102,7. In the season of the shortest days, which especially in Egypt is always accompanied by rain, (and with this easy to remember time of thirty days one always let a new year begin) according to the calculations of the elders the sun was situated exactly under the constellation that is known to us as Aquarius; therefore the constellation was first given the form of a shepherd when he comes with his water bucket to the trough created to give the domestic animals something to drink and pours the whole bucket into the drinking trough. The elders called such a person the water sprite (Uodan) and secondly they named the constellation thus and thirdly also this time. Later the vain fantasy of people soon made a god out of this good image and gave him divine honor, because it was seen to revive the withered nature – See, most blessed Helena, thus the familiar first constellation received its name and the first thirty days of rain. Let’s go to the second sign that is called Pisces!”
102,8. When Mathael began to explain this second sign, Simon Judas said to the other disciples, “Mathael’s explanations are becoming very informative, we should listen to them more closely!”
102,9. I say, “Go there and listen; for Mathael is one of the top chroniclers of this age!”
102,10. At this all the disciples pressed towards Mathael, which at the beginning made Mathael a little embarrassed; but Simon Judas said to him, “Dear friend, just carry on! For we only came closer to you to learn something very useful from you!”
102,11. Mathael says, very modestly, “For you, my dear very wise friends my wisdom must be a little weak; for you are already older disciples of the Lord, and I have hardly been with you for sixteen hours!”
102,12. Simon Judas says, “Do not let that confuse you; for you have already passed tests through which we have been placed somewhat in the background. But everything comes like this from the Lord. What he often gives one person in a year, He can give to another person in a day. Therefore just continue with your explanation of the zodiac!”
102,13. Mathael says, “With your great patience and under your likewise great care I will immediately continue; and so listen to me further, you most blessed daughter of the Pontus!
102,14. After thirty days the heavy rain in Egypt usually comes to an end, and in the heavy swollen Nile there are always a great quantity of fish to be found, as well as in the side streams, which have to be caught at this time, of which a great part is eaten immediately, an even greater part is salted and fried in the air which at this time blows very strongly in Egypt and is stored for the whole year.
102,15. This action with the fish is ordered in the mentioned land by nature and must be handled before the Nile sinks too much and the many significant side streams dry up, whereby a great mass of fish must rot and thereby poison the air with the most evil smells.
102,16. What is still tradition today in Egypt was a necessity for the oldest wise inhabitants of this blessed great land. But since such time was used for fishing by the inhabitants of this land right from the beginning and the sun came to stop at the start of this fishing season in a new constellation, this constellation was called the sign of the fish (pisces) and the time was also called thus, and it was named Ribar, also Ribuze.
102,17. But since the people at this time were very easily suffered from fever, partly because of the enjoyment of very fatty fish, and partly as a consequence of the air full with many impure smells, this time was later called the fevertime, and the vain fantasies of the people made from this time soon a goddess and showed her for the prevention of this stomach sickness another type of divine reverence – Now you have the whole natural and true story of the naming of the second zodiac sign, and so we progress to the third!
102,18. This sign is called Aries. After the fishing period the original inhabitants turned their worries to the sheep. The males became active and it was time to shear the sheep, their wool was taken from them. This whole task lasted a good thirty days. Naturally in the meantime one had some other daily tasks, but the previously mentioned was the main job for this time described and because the sun came to stop again under another sign, this sign was called the ram (Aries).
102,19. Later on as one has the most storms in this period, where everything was in battle, one element against another and the heat against the cold or rather the coolness of this land, this period was dedicated to battle, for whose occurrence the human fantasy soon saw a picture which was soon given a divine honor and made it into another main god in the later times of war. If we split up the name ‘Mars’ and we get the original ‘mar iza’, also ‘Maor’iza’. What does that mean? Nothing else but: warm the sea.
102,20. In the abovementioned two signs the sea cools down, which the coastal inhabitants must have noticed well; but throught the greater strength of the sun, through the battle of the warm air from the south with the cold northern air, then through the volcanoes that usually awoke in this period and the veins under the sea the sea became warmer and warmer. And because this was seen as a consequence of the storms occurring in this period, the expression ‘maor izat’ means as much as ‘to fight’, and this period was, as shown, represented in images as a harnished fighter who was later made into a god – There you have the third sign of the sky now, and you can easily see what is behind the your god of war, Mars.”
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