Posts Tagged Zodiac

Astrology, Karma & Nidanas

Nidanas and the Zodiac

The twelve Nidanas are the karmic powers keeping man reincarnating on the Earth. This is an experiment where I test the thesis: “They are the powers of the Zodiac, but they are not following the same sequence around the Zodiac as the star signs.”

The twelve Nidanas consists of three groups, the first group of four is the Cardinal signs, the next group are the Mutable and the last group are the Fixed star signs. In the following tables and zodiac I have placed the Nidanas on the zodiac following these principles. The following paragraph is by Rudolf Steiner, the tables are extended by me and the figure is my design, and I had reformatted and added star signs.

Nidanas and the Signs

When man returns from Devachan, the astral, etheric and physical forces arrange themselves around him according to twelve forces of karma which in Indian esotericism are called Nidanas:

Nidanas Sign Keywords Comments from Wikipedia
Avidya ♈ Aries Non-knowledge, ignorance Not knowing suffering, not knowing the origination of suffering, not knowing the cessation of suffering, not knowing the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering: This is called ignorance.
Sanskara ♋ Cancer Organizing tendencies, desire These three are fabrications: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, mental fabrications. These are called fabrications.
Vijnana ♎ Libra Consciousness, understanding, intellectual knowledge These six are classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness.
Namarupa ♑ Capricorn Names and form, distinction between name and form (subject and object) Feeling, perception, intention, contact, and attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the body dependent on the four great elements: This is called form.
Shadayadana ♊ Gemini What the intellect makes of things The eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind are the six sense media.
Sparsha ♍ Virgo Contact with existence The coming together of the object, the sense medium and the consciousness of that sense medium is called contact.
Vedana ♐ Sagittarius Feeling, karmic results of feelings and sensations Feeling or sensations are of six forms: vision, hearing, olfactory sensation, gustatory sensation, tactile sensation, and intellectual sensation (thought).
Trishna ♓ Pisces Thirst for existense There are these six forms of cravings: cravings with respect to forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touch (massage, sex, pain), and ideas.
Upadana ♉ Taurus A sense of comfort in existence These four are clingings: sensual clinging, view clinging, practice clinging, and self clinging
Bhava ♌ Leo Birth, individual existense These three are becoming: sensual becoming, form becoming, formless becoming
Jati ♏ Scorpio The urge towards birth Birth is any coming-to-be or coming-forth. It refers not just to birth at the beginning of a lifetime, but to birth as new person, acquisition of a new status or position etc.
Jaramarana ♒ Aquarius What frees from earthly existence

In Indian esotericism twelve forces are differentiated which draw man down again into physical existence.

  1. Aries – The first of these forces is Avidja: ignorance.  Avidja is what draws us down again into physical existence for the simple reason that we shall only have fulfilled our mission on the Earth when we have extracted from it all possible knowledge.  On the other hand we have not fulfilled our mission as long as everything that we should learn from physical existence has not yet been extracted.
  2. Cancer – After Avidja what next draws us back is what the earth contains because we ourselves have made it, which therefore belongs to our Organisation.  When a mason, for instance, has worked on the building of a cathedral, this has become a part of himself.  There is a reciprocal attraction between them.  What has an organ-creating tendency for the original instigator, whether it be the work of Leonardo da Vinci or the smallest piece of work, forms an organ in the human being and this is the cause of his return.  All that the man has done, taken together, is called Sanskara or the organising tendency which builds up the human being.  This is the second thing which draws him back.
  3. Libra – Now comes the third.  Before the human being entered into any incarnation he knew nothing of an outer-world.  Self-awareness first began with the first incarnation; previously man had no consciousness of self.  He had first to perceive the outer objects on the physical plane before he could develop consciousness of self.  True as it is that what a man has done draws him back to the physical plane, so is it true that knowledge of things draws him back.  Consciousness is a new force which binds him to what is here.  This is the third element that draws him into a new earth-life.  This third force is called Vijnana = consciousness.
  4. Capricorn – Up to this point we have remained very intimately within the human soul.  As the fourth stage appears what comes towards the consciousness from outside, what was indeed already there without man, but what he had first to learn to know with his consciousness-this was present outside in his previous existence, but only disclosed itself after his consciousness opened to it. It is the separation between subject and object, or, as the Sanscrit writer says, the separation between name and form (Namarupa).  Through this man reached the outer object.  This is the fourth force that draws him back, for instance the memory of a being to which he has attached himself.
  5. Gemini – Next comes what we form as mental image in connection with an external object: for example, picturing a dog is merely making a mental image, which is however the essential thing for the painter.  It is what the intellect makes of a thing: Shadayadana.
  6. Virgo – Now there is a further descent into the earthly.  The mental picture leads us to what we call contact with existence: Sparsha.  Whoever depends on the object stands at the stage of Namarupa; whoever forms pictures stands at the stage of Shadayadana.  The one however who differentiates between the pleasing and the unpleasing will reach the point where he prefers the beautiful to the unbeautiful.  This is called contact with existence: Sparsha.
  7. Sagittarius – Somewhat different however from this contact with the outer-world is what at the same time stirs inwardly as feeling.  Now I myself come into action: I connect my feeling with one thing or another.  That is a new element.  Man becomes more involved.  It is called Vedana: Feeling.
  8. Pisces – Through Vedana something quite new again arises, that is, longing for existence.  The forces which draw man back into existence awaken more and more strongly within himself.  The higher forces compel all human beings to a greater or lesser degree; they are not individual.  Eventually however, quite personal forces appear which draw him back again into the earthly world.  That is the eighth force. Trishna = Thirst for existence.
  9. Taurus – Still more subjective than the thirst for existence is what is named Upadana: Comfort in existence.  With Upadana man has something in common with the animal, but he experiences it more spiritually and it is the task of man to spiritualise what is gross in this soul element.
  10. Leo – Then comes individual existence itself, the sum of all the earlier incarnations when he was already on the earth: Bhava = individual existence, the force of the totality of earlier incarnations.  Previous incarnations draw him down into existence.
  11. Scorpio – With this we have retraced the stages of the Nidanas up to individual birth.  The esotericist differentiates two further stages which go beyond the period of individual existence.  Here he differentiates a previous condition that gave the impetus towards birth, before man had ever been incarnated.  This is called Jata: what before birth gave the impetus to birth.
  12. Aquarius – The impetus towards birth is interconnected with a different impulse. It brings with it the germ of dissolution, the urge to extricate oneself from individual birth.  What interests us is that this earthly existence of ours falls again into decay and we are freed, able to become old and die (jaramarana).

These are the twelve Nidanas which work like strings, drawing us ever and again down into existence. (The meaning of Nidana is string, loop.)

There are three groups which belong together:

Consciousness Soul
Intellectual soul
Sentient Soul
Avidya Shadayadana Upadana
Sanskara Sparsha Bhava
Vijnana Vedana jati
Namarupa Trishna jaramarana

The soul has three members: the consciousness soul as the highest member, then the intellectual or mind soul and the sentient soul.  The first group of the Nidanas from Avidya to Namarupa is connected with the consciousness soul: the second group with the intellectual soul and the third, from Upadana to Jaramarana, with the sentient soul.
Vijnana is characteristic of the consciousness soul; Shadayadana of the intellectual soul and the last four are bound with the sentient soul.  These last four are present in both animal and man.


A person can affect his Karma to the degree in which he himself possesses Intuition; or he must receive it from the high initiates in the form of great moral laws.  Vijnana is the name used for the consciousness necessary for the overcoming of Karma.  And now let us think of a man living in the world, carrying out his actions and dying.  After his death something of him nevertheless remains here in this world which he has woven into it: Rupa, Vedana, Sanjna, Sanskara and Vijnana.  These five are the balance of his account: his personal destiny as Rupa; the destiny of the nation into which he is born, as Vedana; the actual fact of his birth on this earth as Sanjna. In addition, working with Sanskara, the desire nature, and Vijnana, the consciousness. These are the five Skandhas.
What a man gives out into the world remains as the five Skandhas in the world.  These are the foundation of his new existence.  They have progressively less effect when he has consciously developed something of the last two.  The more he has gained conscious power over Vijnana, the more does he gain the power of consciously incarnating in the physical body.  In their essential nature the Skandhas are identical with Karma.

  1. Rupa: Corporality, Actions. ♑
  2. Vedana: Feeling. ♐
  3. Sanjna: Perception. ♊
  4. Sanskara: Desire. ♋
  5. Vijnana: Consciousness necessary to the overcoming of Karma. ♎

The above was from Steiner: Foundation of Esoreticism Lecture XIV and following lectures. e-book.

Elements of the Wheel

The wheel is is driven by its hub of Three Poisons: craving or attachment, aversion or hatred, and delusion or ignorance, and by the byproduct of our actions that are motivated by these three, karma.

The segments between spokes are the different realms into which sentient beings take rebirth.

The realms relate to six distinct conditions.
In the two higher realms, they are Pride and Jealousy:

0. Devas or gods – Pride.
Long enjoyable lives full of pleasure and abundance, full of meaningless distractions.

1. Ahuras or titans – Jealousy.
Pleasure and abundance like the gods, but fighting among themselves and with the gods, caused by jealousy.

In the Realm, where it is easiest to attain Enlightenment, humans are afflicted with five disturbing emotions:

6. Manushyas or humans – Desire.
Humans suffer from hunger, thirst, heat, cold, separation from friends, being attacked by enemies, not getting what they want, and getting what they don’t want. Suffer also from general sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death.

The lower realms are associated with Ignorance, Desire and Anger:

3. Tiryakas or animals – Ignorance.
This is the animal realm where sentient beings from whales to insects are confined in fear and ignorance. Animals suffers by being attacked and eaten by other animals, and domesticated by being slaughtered.

5. Pretas or hungry ghosts – Greed.
Lives with constant hunger and thirst. When they reach the goal it either disappears or not what they expected. It’s the realm for those who, after death, are still so attached by desire to this world that they stay as ghosts.

4. Narakas or demons – Anger.
At the bottom is the hell realm showing both hot and cold forms of torment. The Sutra of Remembrance of the True Law describes 8 different hells but they are the product of our own mind.

In-between states are called bardo in Tibetan. This is also the locale of consciousness while it is not embodied, as in some dreaming.

In the following drawing animals and hungry ghosts have changed position.

There are different variations on the Wheel of Rebirth. In some there is a buddha figure in each segment; in others symbols are used to represent the dharma.

The 12 Links of Causality

On the outer edge or rim of the wheel are twelve images. They symbolically refer to the factors that interact to determine the consequences of activity or karma.

  1. ♈ – At top is a blind man with his stick representing spiritual blindness; this is the state of ignorance in which we can easily lose our way. Sometimes we do not even know there is a way.
  2. ♋ – Next is a potter at work on his own products. These are the deeds and actions we perform ~ the formations, preparations or samskaras. We are responsible for our own pots, not fate.
  3. ♎ – A monkey playing in a tree. It depicts ordinary attention or consciousness which shifts continuously in the undisciplined mind. Meditation seeks to calm the monkey in order to gain access to the nature of consciousness.
  4. ♑ – A boat with two people in it, Name and Form. These act together as the conditioned way in which we experience the world. The boat is the mind moving about on ‘reality’.
  5. ♊ – Next is a house with six openings: five shuttered windows and a closed door. These are the five senses plus a sixth which is the faculty of apperception by which we interpret the input of the senses. That is, the sixth sense is apperception, recognition at the sub-conscious level.
  6. ♍ – A man and a woman embracing demonstrates contact, the consequence of sensual perceptions.
  7. ♐ – A person who has been struck in the eye by an arrow. He is wounded by emotion, the subsequent feelings that can have a “fatal” effect. They create suffering.
  8. ♓ – A woman offering a drink to a man. It illustrates desire that has been stimulated by perceptions and emotions which leads us to drink more from the world of appearances.
  9. ♉ – A person picking the fruit of his tree. He receives the consequence he expects will be sweet.
  10. ♌ – A maiden about to cross the stream. In one version of the Wheel, there is one person beckoning another to go or to come back or a couple engaged in intercourse, a standing, leaping or reflective person..
  11. ♏- A woman giving birth. The new life is determined by the fruits of the old and is attracted to the parents accordingly, in order to be born.
  12. ♒ – One or two people carrying a burden burden. This is the body, a corpse wrapped up on its way to be disposed of. Other people suffer as they bear the burden of another’s death. Ending and starting a new round.

Through our own minds, we create the six realms of existence and move through them. We create the realms and moves through the endless cycle known as samsara.


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Creation of the Sun System and the Zodiac

The World Egg is the most universal symbol we have, and the Zodiac is the most developed form of it, but we find it  everywhere in all cultures, we just don’t recognize it as representing the world egg.

The Orphic Egg

See also this album: The World Egg and the Zodiac

We can find the history of the zodiac in the four heavenly beasts, Eagle, Lion, Ox and Man; they were the first members of the Zodiac, first later came the Cardinal signs, and later again the mutable, they came when man began developing these qualities, just as the outher planets first became visible when they became influential.

Amma created the egg, what became our sun system, not the whole universe. Within his egg, Amma began spinning around, forming the po seed. The po is the smallest invisible seed at the center.

Amma then placed seven ‘words’ [Planets] in the po, which began to vibrate strongly within the seed. The spiraling vibrations caused four clavicles to grow forth from the po.

These were the four heavenly beasts, the fixed star signs. These four powers were the main factors in developing the sentient soul, Eros of Plato, or Tamas of Hinduism.

These four Androgyne beings split into four male and four female, so we now had the cardinal and fixed star signs. The cardinal powers were necessary for developing the intellectual soul, or Logos of Plato, or Rajas of Hinduism.

The Dogon call these beings the Nommo Anagonno, ‘The Word (Nommo) that Became Fish-Man’ (Anagonno). The male and females got a son, and the mutable star signs was created. The mutable signs were necessary for developing the conscious soul, Thumos of Plato, or Sattva of Hinduism.

The Nommo entered the world through the place on the sky where Sirius is placed. They were the teachers of mankind, the Angels. They are also associated with the moon.

This Zodiac are fields going from the circumference around the sun system into the system, not just radiation, and not from the large universe, this is called the Tropical Zodiac.

Tropical Zodiac

The Egg, the Zodiac are spiraling through the universe so it’s changing position in relation to the stars, but the fields are constant in relation to the Sun system, to the vernal equinox:

Sun-system passing through the universe

It can also be seen in this fashion:

Sun system through the universe

Man is created in the likeness of God, here in embryonic form, folding itself out from the circular form:

Man Embryonic form

We are not a copy of the whole universe, we are a copy of our own sun system, not including far sun systems.

Auric form of man:

The Auric Egg

Lucifer gives visions. One has to break through them, otherwise one doesn’t break through the shell that’s around every man and covers the real spiritual world. Visions and voices are around us like the shell around a chick. One might see an angel in a vision and when one presses through the vision the angel will change into a snake, Lucifer’s symbol, for at the Temptation he appeared as a snake. Or one might see the colour blue in one’s meditation — if one breaks through it the blue can become red, and then it turns out that we saw our own passions. As a result of his temptation by Lucifer man doesn’t have everything that the Gods have; he received knowledge, but not life. Thereby everything that we know and perceive is permeated by Lucifer and Ahriman. … An ordinary man is like the chick that would consider its shell to be the real world. If the chick could see, it would see the egg’s contents as if it were the whole world. Likewise we see our eggshell or aura spread out around us as the blue dome of the heavens. If we break through our shell the sun and moon become darkened, the stars fall down onto the earth and the spiritual world spreads out in its place.

A man lives in his eggshell — his aura. The Elohim gave us our aura, and through the fall into sin it has become like a shell around us, and we’re in it like a chick in an egg. The stars in the heavens are our boundary and we must break through it with our soul force, just as a chick must break out of its shell through its own power. Then we get into a new world, just as a chick has a new world before it when it has crept out of the egg. And since men all have the same eggshell around them an astronomy could arise that lets the heavenly bodies move along the celestial dome. The egg shell is the Ex Deo nascimur. To break through it and to bring something with us into the spiritual world we must bring what penetrates the shell from the outer spiritual world and that’s common to all; and that’s the Christ. That’s why we say: In Christo morimur and hope that when we’ve broken through the shell we will be awakened again: Per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus. Esoteric Lessons Part III

Formed as the world egg:


Wael Al-Mahdi have made an analysis of the fight between Mittras and the bull, which have it’s like in the Gilgamesh epic. Today we have our mental focus in the Ego, the Intellectual soul or left brain hemisphere, but then our mental focus was in what we today call our subconsciousness, the Sentient soul or Limbic brain. This fight describes the change of focus from the sentient soul to our current ego, but it’s an ongoing fight between our ego and the subconsciousness, or rather it’s a fight between our superconsciousness and subconscioussness and the battleground is the ego. Wael Al-Mahdi writes that Mithras is the devine ego, but I see him as the ego, the lower I, where I see his father, the mighty Sol Invictus, as the higher I.

Let us now take a look at the symbolism of the Mithraic mysteries and try to make some sense of them. Mithras himself, in the manner of all epoch-making developments of the unconscious, appears suddenly and unexpectedly, from a rock. Here Mithras takes on the role of the divine ego – the ego of the average man transfigured and lifted up by energy from the unconscious harnessed through myth and ritual. In this Mithras is strong, solid, rocklike. The divine ego and the everyday ego (the one that worries about food, shelter, money etc) are not identical; the divine ego, despite its disctinctness but in keeping with unconscious manifestations, is foreign, in this instance, of exotic Persian origin. To symbolize freedom from the unconscious as enemy, and also the actual emancipation of freedman Mithraists, Mithras dons a Phrygian cap, the so-called liberty cap. With the rise of Mithras, miracles are performed, as he strikes a solid rock with the thunder of consciousness and live-giving water spouts from the rock. Here the dead and inanimate can produce life, just as a psychological impasse can give rise to a new lease on life; the Qur’an states of God, “He brings the living out of the dead, and the dead of the living.”

The central and most striking image of Mithraism is the tauroctony – the slaying of the bull. This supreme act of defiance, even hybris, is depicted on subterranean murals in Mithraea from Britain to Rome to Syria. The bull in his power and animal intransigence is the unconscious as enemy. He is the personification, or rather theriomorphization, of all the alien powers that ailed the forward looking man of action. He is the heaviness of the heart at dawn, he is the tightness of the chest before a dangerous act. He gives rise to the autonomous moods of self-doubt and self-loathing. He is boredom, lack of meaning, existential ennui. He represents every social disappointment, lack of control, failure to follow custom, and most dangerously, lack of adaptation. The evil father, father as a depressant, is in the bull – as is the evil friend, the devil, who both attacks the ego and forces to do evil. Every worthless feeling of the ego is projected onto him – and he is indeed a fitting target of projection. In short, he is the great No to life. He is the enemy within that must be vanquished if the conscious ego is to grow.

In contrast to conciliation myths, in which the ego tries to make peace with the unconscious, here the ego strikes with its readiest weapon – its will. After a long chase and a difficult haul to the womb-cave where a transformation can occur, Mithras’ right hand performs the unspeakable act of stabbing the bull’s neck. The cave serves a dual purpose are both regenerative womb and the unconscious cosmos which parallels the real cosmos. But there is respect in Mithras – out of respect, he pulls the animal back by the nostrils, never by the horn. Mithras’ face is serene, almost sublime – divinely devoid of emotion, Zen in his imperturbability – looking up towards his father, the mighty Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun, as if saying, “Behold my most brazen act, father. Soon we are to become equals” Mithras is steadfast, unflinching – he takes full responsibility for his act, he never hesitates or backs down. As a result of Mithras’ challenging of the evil-animal father archetype, Father Sun emerges in a more human guise but with his divinity still intact.

In some reliefs the sacred bull bleeds wheat or grapes, symbolizing the paradox of the ability of the unconscious, even at is most evil, to heal after it harms. The killing of the bull is not a real-world death but an unconscious event that breathes life into a new psychological energy and outlook. But Mithras, this self-overcoming hero, is not alone in his daring act. Like all good heroes he has his sidekicks, the torchbearers, Cautes with his torch pointing up and Cautopates with his torch pointing down. They are his awareness of opposites, his ability to make distinctions, to discern opposites, and in their astral aspect symbolize his heavenly outlook. There is his dog too, lapping up the bull’s blood – his discipline, self-control, honed intellect, and the vital ability of self-obedience. On the scene is a serpent of wisdom and shrewdness, also drinking the life giving blood, for no quantum is wasted here. A sneaky scorpion sucks the ‘vim’ out of the bull’s genitals, literally ‘breaking his balls’ – energy that can be better utilized by the conscious hero Mithras. Mithraism and the Unconscious as Enemy

More on the Tropical vs. Sidereal Zodiac(Bruce Scofield):

We all know that this astrological system (Vedic) uses one or another version of the sidereal zodiac, the slight differences between them being measured by what is called the ayanamsha, the gap between the tropical and sidereal zodiac.

The twelve sidereal-based zodiacal signs (rasis) used in this system are not particularly important overall, and they serve more as a background reference plane for planets than as a matrix for personality distinctions.

The houses are important, however, but house boundaries between planets will remain roughly constant in a timed birth chart no matter which zodiac is employed. After reading a number of texts on the subject it became apparent to me that Hindu astrology was a tradition that was not concerned with extracting psychological insights from birth charts, it was more event-oriented.


In my opinion, Rudhyar remains the most important astrologer of the 20th century. He had something intelligent to say on just about every issue in astrology, including the sidereal-tropical problem.

Rudhyar wrote that the sidereal zodiac, the zodiac of constellations, was a product of the myth-making faculty of the human psyche. These constellations, groupings of stars, are a remnant of an earlier age that saw the rise of agriculture, but they are not relevant to modern life.

He felt it was unfortunate that both zodiacs use the same names for their 12-fold division of the yearly circle, and he regarded the tropical zodiac as being the proper framework on which to assess the evolution of mankind.

Tropical Zodiac


The Sun orbiting the Earth equator defining signs of the Zodiac. 

Distance to the Stars of the Signs

The star signs are purely symbolic, giving name to the star signs because they were at the particular part of the zodiac when the twelve 30° degrees parts of the ecliptic was named.

The stars in the signs are nowhere near each other, they may even not exist anymore, they are placed long from each other in the far past of the universe.

Distances to the Stars of Gemini

History of Tropical Zodiac

The classical zodiac was introduced in the neo-Babylonian period (ca. 7th to 6th century BC). At the time, the precession of the equinoxes had not been discovered. Classical Hellenistic astrology consequently developed without consideration of the effects of precession.

The discovery of the precession of the equinoxes is attributed to Hipparchus, a Greek astronomer active in the later Hellenistic period (ca. 130 BCE).

Ptolemy, writing some 250 years after Hipparchus, was thus aware of the effects of precession. He opted for a definition of the zodiac based on the point of vernal equinox, i.e. the tropical system.

While Ptolemy noted that Ophiuchus is in contact with the ecliptic, he was aware that the twelve signs were just conventional names for 30 degrees segments (especially since the Aries sign had ceased to be in contact with the Aries constellation already in his time). Wikipedia

He connected the thirty degree segments to the time of year, with the traditional names given.

Ophiuchus or Scorpio by Christian Borup

The Zodiac with the old rulers:


It is as a round table with twelve seats, with the King and Queen sitting together as Leo and Cancer for Sun and Moon, with the ten other seats taken by the knights.  From The Sons of Jacob and the Zodiac.


Po Tolo (Sirius B) the oldest of stars, it’s name means ‘deep beginning’. The Dogon consider Po Tolo the reservoir and source of all things in this realm, and the germ of creation for our Solar System. It ejected it’s essence out into creation, and the particles of it’s essence was ‘infinitely small’.


Reconciliation of the Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs. Part III.

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Chakana – The Incan Cross

Chakana, the Incan Cross, are equivalent to the Yin-Yang symbol and the Zodiac. Through a central axis a shaman journeyed in trance to the lower plane or Underworld and the higher levels inhabited by the superior gods. The snake, puma, and condor are totemic representatives of the three levels. (Axis Mundi)

From Wikipedia:

The stepped cross is made up of an equal-armed cross indicating the cardinal points of the compass and a superimposed square.

The square represents the other two levels of existence. The three levels of existence are Hana Pacha (the upper world inhabited by the superior gods), Kay Pacha, (the world of our everyday existence) and Ucu or Urin Pacha (the underworld inhabited by spirits of the dead, the ancestors, their overlords and various deities having close contact to the Earth plane). The hole through the center of the cross is the Axis by means of which the shaman transits the cosmic vault to the other levels.

The cross has 12 points and legend has it that these points represent the following sayings, affirmations and life points: I live, I work, I love, The underworld, The current world, The upper world, The cougar, The Eagle, The snake, Don’t Lie, Don’t Cheat, Don’t Steal.

The four flat sides represent the elements Water Air Earth Fire

North is air, south is water, east is fire and west is earth. The top arm is held in the East with the fire. The centre is the 5th element, the force of love emanating from the void.

The three rectangles could represent the physical world, the ether world, and the astral world, with each side representing one of the four elements in each world.

The three worlds are known all over the world:

  • with Uku Pacha as the lower Chthonic underworld, with the snake as symbol, the Fixed modality of astrology, Tamas of the Gunas,
  • the middle world, Kay Pacha, in which we live, have the puma as symbol, the Mutable modality of astrology, Sattva of the Gunas,
  • and the higher world Hanan Pacha with the condor as symbol, the Cardinal modality of astrology, Rajas of the Gunas.

These three animals Snake, Puma and Condor are equivalent to Ox, Lion and Eagle as we know from the European and Asian continent.


I have written more about these relations in Serpents of the Kundalini Fire, especially in connection to the Gunas, the Chakras, and the Kaballah Tree of Life.

From Oder of Incari:

The top section is the Hanag Pacha which is the upper world (super conscious) and the animal symbol for the upper world is the condor. It holds, within the steps, the principles of the tradition. They are Yachay, Llankay and Munay.

Yachay means knowledge in its basic expression, but its higher expression is wisdom. It is knowledge, which has been integrated through experience and is externalized as wisdom. We must live what we know and master it in our daily lives. Llankay (pronounced ylang kai) Llankay relates to work, labour and productivity. It is to work in an honest way and to be honest in your work. It is to work for the betterment and greater good of yourself and your family, your community and humanity (your greater family). Munay is a word that simply means love and is the principle present in all others. It is not simply the love between a man and a woman, a mother and a child, although these interactions can contain the infinite expressions of Munay. It is the expression of unconditional love. It contains a deep- seated compassion for all livings things and their suffering.

From A Dictionary of Symbols By Juan Eduardo Cirlot

Chthonian Demons
Various beings mentioned in mythologies come under this heading, such as the Greek harpies and Erinyes, the Hindu Rakshasas, the Arabic djinns, the Germanic elves and Valkyries, etc.

Chthonian Snake Goddess

In Aztec mythology, Cihuacoatl  (”snake woman”; also Cihuacóatl, Chihucoatl, Ciucoatl) was a motherhood and fertility goddess, haunting crossroads at night to take children. She also helped Quetzalcoatl create humanity by grinding the bones of our ancestors and mixing the result with Quetzalcoatl’s blood to form the clay from which humanity were molded. Here the soul (Quetzalcoatl’s blood) is born into the physical (the bones), giving the body of man (the clay) with the Ego.

Cihuacoatl – Snake Woman

The Naga Kanya (Cobra Women) are a race of fairy-like demigods born of the Nāga, which are water deities. They have the form of beautiful maidens, but usually maidens only from the waist up, while from the waist down they are serpents.

Nāga kanya – Hindu Snake Woman

The Japanese have Nure-onna (“wet woman”), here in an illustration from the Edo Period, by Sawaki Suushi.

Nure-onna – Snake Woman

The snake loa (spirit) are known in Benin and Haiti, she is the companion of the most popular god, Damballah-Wedo, also a serpent:

Aida Wedo – Haiti

From Pink Tentacle:

“Nure-onna is typically seen at the water’s edge, washing her long, flowing hair. In some stories, she carries a small child, which she uses to attract potential victims. When a well-intentioned person offers to hold the baby for Nure-onna, the child attached itself to the victim’s hands and grows heavy, making it nearly impossible to flee. In some stories, Nure-onna uses her long, powerful tongue to suck all the blood from her victim’s body.”

In Ancient Myth Steiner writes about the Greek Mysteries:

The Greeks revered in the Mysteries other Gods as well as the celestial Gods, namely, the Chthonic Gods. And of one who was initiated in the Mysteries one could say with truth: he learns to know the upper and the lower Gods, the Upper and the Lower Gods. The upper Gods were those of the Zeus-circle; but they only have rulership over what is spread out before the senses, and what the intellect can understand. The human being is more than this. Man is rooted with his being in the kingdom of the lower Gods, in the kingdom of the Chthonic Gods.

This Chthonic world consists of twelve elemental groups of beings, which are the real foundation of the visible physical world, and all kinds of magical systems around the Earth try to influence the physical world through these beings. Don Juan talk about the flyers, inorganic beings, in Castanedas books, the Gnostics talk about the Archons, alien predators, the wise Greek healer Daskalos talks bout the Elementals, and Jung talks about the Shadow.

See “Gnostic Parallels in the Writings of Carlos Castaneda” which are good and the best contribution on that web-address. I have collected some texts on Elementals building on the Christian view of Daskalos here.

Steiner writes in “The East in the Light of the West” about the cosmogony of Pherecydes:

In most remarkable words, Pherecydes spoke of the holy primordial triad, of Zeus, Kronos and Chthon, principles fundamental to the earth, having come over from pre-terrestrial ages; he also speaks of a further evolution. But in ancient times men did not clothe matters of this kind in such dry, crude concepts as they do today, they drew vivid pictures of what they saw and recognised in spiritual realms. Pherecydes said: ‘Chthon becomes Gea (today called earth), because of the gift of Zeus whereby she came to be covered as with a garment.’ This is a wonderful description of that evolution which I have just outlined in a few short words. The earth was alone; outside it were the sun and the moon, the spiritual kingdoms of Zeus and of Kronos. The sun from without began to work upon the earth and to fructify it in its then chaotic state; or, in the language of the old Greek sage, Zeus fructified Chthon. The beneficent influences of the kingdom of Zeus were sent down to the physical earth in the warmth and light of the sun. This was the gift made by Zeus to the earth. The earth covered herself with the garment of plant and animal forms, and with the forms of physical men. Chthon becomes Gea; therefore, because of the gift of Zeus the earth covers herself with a garment.

In Relation to Astrology

In  “Astrology, Psychology, and The Four Elements” writes Stephen Arroyo  about Zodiacal Signs as Energy Patterns:

The four elements of astrology (fire, earth, air, and water) are the basic building blocks of all material structures and organic wholes. Each element represents a basic kind of energy and consciousness that operates within each of us. Just as modern physics has shown that energy is matter, these four elements interweave and combine to form all matter. When the spark of life leaves a human body at death, the four elements all dissociate and return to their primal state. It is only life itself, manifesting in an organized, living whole, that holds together the four elements. All four are in every person, although each person is consciously more attuned to some types of energy than others. Each of the four elements manifests in three vibrational modalities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. Hence, when we combine the four elements with the three modalities, we have twelve primary patterns of energy which are called the zodiacal signs.

Rahu and Ketu

From Rahu and Ketu in Hindu Mythology:

“According to mythological tales Rahu is the head of the dragon. Head as we know contain the brain and controls the functioning of the entire body. This suggests that Rahu is the controlling and active node. Ketu rules of the body, sends feelings and sensations to the brain. To analyse those sensations and take action if necessary is within the jurisdiction of Rahu. More precisely Ketu has the power of transforming the events into experience which turn into wisdom.”

Rahu and KetuRahu and Ketu

The head is the Luciferic and the tail is the Ahrimanic, where Rahu relates to Dharma, and Ketu to Karma.


Wikipedia have a good reference article on the symbolism of serpents:

Wikipedia – Serpent(symbolism)

I look at the snake in European mythology in The Snake and the Heel in Mythos which build on Steiner’s lectures.

More on Incan religion in

Andean Mysticism and Healing the Plane(pdf) by Oakley E. Gordon, Ph.D.

North and South Node in AstrologyRahu and Ketu

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The Sons of Jacob and the Zodiac

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 homepage Meaning Life Center contains many interesting interpretations on the Old Testament, and especially A day in the life of a Jew is interesting in this connection.

The table shows the result of my work, and below the table follows my reasons and references.

Fixed Mutable Cardinal
Air Ephraim, Man

Aquarius ♒

Gemini ♊
☿, Leah, Gerizim

Libra ♎
♀, Zilpah, Ebal
Fire Judah, Lion

Leo ♌
☉, Leah, Gerizim

Sagittarius ♐
♃, Bilhah, Ebal

Aries ♈
♂, Zilpah, Ebal
Water Dan, Eagle

Scorpio ♏
♂, Bilhah, Ebal

Pisces ♓
♃, Asenath

Cancer ♋
☾, Leah, Gerizim
Earth Reuben, Ox

Taurus ♉
♀, Leah

Virgo ♍
☿, Leah, Ebal

Capricorn ♑
♄, Rackel, Gerizim

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

The Mothers

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

Chart of Canaan with the Tribes of Israel

The Mountains

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.

Four Quadrants

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.

Zodiac with Old RulersZodiac with the tribes of Israel.

First Quadrant – South

2. Reuben = bull

Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power. “

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:

“… Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations…I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”

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:

“… a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.’. His mother Leah exclaims: “What happiness”, as she has given birth to Gad, whose name is a pun on the term ‘happiness’.”

Characterized as a warrior chief matching the ruling Mars of Aries.

Jacob blessing his sons

Second Quadrant, East

5. Judah = Leo:

“Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. … Judah is a lion’s whelp … The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

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.)

Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh


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.

The Symbology of Twelve Signs.

The Divine Civilization of New Jerusalem.

A day in the life of a Jew. Contains many interesting interpretations around the Old Testament.

Planetary symbols

Planet Signs

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