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The Labors of Hercules - The Path of the Soul through the Zodiac
Now we are passing into the sign Aquarius, the water carrier, though we have not yet entered fully into that sign, a process that will take approximately a further two hundred years. We are informed by the astronomers that we began to transit into that sign about two hundred years ago, and it is discernible how, since then, Aquarius, the water carrier, has begun to make his presence felt in the development of sanitation and the prolific use of water. But Aquarius is an air sign and the skies are full of aircraft. Even, therefore, in its exoteric forms, the influence of the signs is surely substantiated and there is a real foundation for the claim of the esotericist that each new sign brings to the earth distinctive energies, new concepts and new opportunities.

It can also be shown that these astrological factors have set their mark upon our Christian tradition and upon our Church usage. It is interesting to note in this connection that on Christmas Eve, the brightest of the fixed stars, Sirius, is seen to the left of the meridian line somewhat to the south. Two thousand years ago, owing to the precession of the equinoxes, it stood on the meridian line. This is the Star in the East. At the same time, the constellation Virgo, the Virgin, became visible in the east, and it is interesting to note the coincidence that Spica, the brightest star in that constellation, means "an ear of wheat" and Bethlehem, the town in which Christ was born, means "the house of bread". When this arrangement cyclically comes about in the heavens, the great historic Sons of God make their appearance for the uplift of humanity and the saving of the world. It is also said that the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter created a brilliant, arresting appearance. [221]

One other instance of the effect of the constellations upon our Christian faith might be given. Two festivals are kept in the Roman Catholic and the Anglican Churches, called the Assumption of the Virgin, celebrated on August 15th, and the Birth of the Virgin on September 8th. Each year the sun enters the sign Virgo around August 15th and the stars of which it is composed are lost sight of in the glory of the sun's rays. At the time of the ancient picturing of the Zodiac, August 15th would see the actual disappearance of the cluster Virgo, but now the time is not exact, though the Church perpetuates the original date. On or about September 8th the constellation can be seen from our planet slowly emerging from out of the rays of the sun and reappearing. This we speak of as the birth of the Virgin.

Two other indications can be given to show how widely and deeply the Zodiac has affected our religious beliefs. One will be seen as we study the significance of the Twelve Sons of Jacob and the pronouncements made by their father, and the other emerges as we study the origin of the Cross.

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