The Sons of Jacob and the Zodiac
It’s generally agreed that the twelve sons of Jacob has to do with the twelve signs of the zodiac, but there are many different views on how the sons, and the sons of Joseph who fathers two of the tribes, are distributed on the signs.
The table shows the result of my work, and below the table follows my reasons and references.
Contains the names of the signs, the old ruling planet, the mountain, and the mother of the son.
Family Tree of the Sons of Jacob
There are five mothers, the two wifes of Jacob, and their handmaids, and the wife of Joseph:
Leah gave birth to six sons and Dinah.
Rachel’s handmaid, Bilhah, gave birth to Dan and Naphtali.
Leah’s handmaid, Zilpah, gave birth to Gad and Asher.
Rachel gave birth to Joseph, and, near Bethlehem, Benjamin.
Asenath, the Egyptian wife of Joseph, gave birth to Manasseh and Ephraim.
Canaan – the territory of the Tribes of Israel
The tribes are split in two groups:
The tribes Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin were connected to Mount Gerizim, Mountain of Blessing, Deut 27:12.
The tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali were connected to Mount Ebal, Mountain of Cursing. Deut 27:13.
In astrology the Zodiac are split in four quadrants, with the initial four star signs as the centers of these, that is the Ox, Lion, Eagle, and Man. God places the twelve tribes in four groups, so my thesis is that these groups corresponds to the quadrants.
First quadrant, South:
With Reuben as Taurus, would pitch camp on the South, with Simeon and Gad. Second rank: Num2:16.
In the first quadrant, everything is seen from out of the ego.
Second quadrant, East:
Judah as Leo, would pitch camp on the East. With him would be the tribes of Issachar and Zebulun. First rank.
In the second quadrant, everything is seen from from the family or tribe..
Fourth quadrant, West:
Ephraim, son of Joseph, as Aquarius, would pitch on the West, with Manasseh, son of Joseph, and Benjamin. Third rank.
In the third quadant we have left the tribal and reached the national viewpoint.
Third quadrant, North:
Dan as Scorpio, would pitch on the North, with Asher and Naphtali. Fourth rank.
In the fourth quadrant we have left the national for the universal, for humanity.
Center: The Levites would be located in the center (middle) of the four camps and were NOT to be numbered. Num2:17,33.
First Quadrant – South
2. Reuben = bull
As we are around the year 2000 BCE. in the bull’s age, it will be natural to start with the bull’s sign.
Taurus represents fecundity of spring, the sign of Venus, where the moon, as a symbol of all nurturing substance, is elevated. He laid with his fathers wife and is connected with the field where he found the mandrakes.
3. Simeon and Levi = Gemini:
They are the twins, where Levi is separated from his brother and the Zodiac. In our intellectual arrogance we kills even love and its true fruits.
1. Gad = Aries:
Characterized as a warrior chief matching the ruling Mars of Aries.
Second Quadrant, East
5. Judah = Leo:
Leo-born are known for their pride and desire to control the situation themselves. In addition Leo have joy of children and has natural skills for teaching. It is the Sun sign, which also highlights the Lion’s desire for self-expression.
6. Zebulun = Virgo:
“God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons,” and “Zebulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea; a harbor for ships shall he be….”
Moses’ parting words to the two tribes were:
Rejoice, Zebulun, in your excursions, and Issachar in your tents.
From “A day in the life of a Jew“:
“Our sages explain: Zebulun and Issachar made a partnership between them. Zebulun dwelled at the seashore, and would go out in his ships to engage in trade and make a profit, and support Issachar, who sat and occupied himself with the study of Torah.
Issachar and Zebulun thus represent the other two major items on the Jew’s daily schedule. After climbing the four rungs of the heart to serve G-d in prayer, the Jew moves “from the synagogue to the study hall” to bind his mind to G-d through the study of the Torah, G-d’s communication of His wisdom and will to man. Following that, the Jew goes out into the world as a businessman or professional, to “know Him in all your ways” and do “all your deeds for the sake of Heaven.” “
Virgo is a ‘ministering principle’, people who often cares about others’ wellbeing and health. The word ‘gift’ is associated with the name and can hang with the Festival of Sukkoth in Israel, in the month of Tishri, the first month of the year after the New Year which begins in our September month. A thanksgiving for nature’s gifts: The star Spica in Virgo symbolizes the wheat ear in the left hand of Virgo.
Virgo is a practical sign, connected with going out in the world in contrast to the Torah study.
7. Issachar = Cancer:
“Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.'”
Cancer is a double sign, the two claws bearing two burdens, and cancer is a servant of the group.
In Cancer are the stars Aselli, or little asses, connected to the flag of Issachar, what Jacob compares to an ass.
Issachar and Zebulun could be changed!
Third Quadrant – North
8. Dan = Scorpio:
“Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.”
This description may well sound a bit harsh to our ears, but nevertheless demonstrates the fact that Scorpio-born people are able to distinguish between lies and truth. Also they are rarely deceptive. It may make others uneasy, why they choose to call scorpions for suspicious and distrustful of people. The area of sky is also characterized by constellations serpents (snake) and Ophiuchus (serpent bearer), where we find the star Unuka / hai (serpent heart or neck), which expresses ‘the face of God’ is said to be a strict judge, as by irradiation of the planets can ask the incarnate human spirit against the obligations to adhere to the truth.
Biting the horse heels could be the following Saggitarius.
9. Asher = Libra:
“Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.”
No other possibility in this setup. The fat bread may indicate the month after Virgo, the harvester.
10. Naphtali = Saggitarius
” …is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.”
Naphtali is represented by a gazelle or running stag, which sounds like Saggitarius.
Fourth Quadrant – West
This quadrant contains sons of Rachel, and sons of Joseph. It’s reasonable to expect Joseph’s sons to have reached longer than Benjamin, so he must be Capricorn.
11. Ephraim = Aquarius.
Ephraim is mentioned first of the three, so he should be Aquarious.
12. Manasseh = Pisces.
As Ephraim and Benjamin are placed, Manasseh can only be Pisces.
10. Benjamin = Capricorn:
“… shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil. “
The ruling planet is Saturn, and it was under great pains that Rachel gave birth to her son, followed by her death.
Benjamin was the first to be born in the holy land, the first in the fourth quadrant.
The above quotations are from Genesis.
The daughter Dinah was born after Zebulun and just before Joseph. A mystery in herself; it’s not the only place where a single woman is connected to a group of twelve (or seven of twelve.)
Pictures of star signs by Rudolf Steiner.
Paul Mahler Dam in “Skriften på himlen”. I had thought about researching this subject for a long time, but Paul’s book inspired me to start the project.
Various interpretations and sources:
The 12 Tribes of Israel.
A day in the life of a Jew. Contains many interesting interpretations around the Old Testament.