Exegesis Volume 08 Issue #015

In This Issue:

From: L:Smerillo
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V8 #14

Exegesis Digest Sun, 10 Aug 2003

Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2003 20:19:45 +0200
From: L:Smerillo
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V8 #14

 > >Peter Nielsen:

 > >Using your words, I don't see how an "essence" can be an "approximation".
 > >Maybe the proposition below will provide a bit more focus.

 > >The transit of the sun has long been equated with the journey of spirit
 > >through matter.

This is a recent approximation of, or perhaps an extrapolation from, a vaguely Platonic or another even more dualistic philosophical system, thus the 'long' is also a vague approximation by a long shot, but not what we call close in horseshoes.

More validity might be attached to the statement that the journey of the sun through the apparent sky has long been equated with the cycle of plant growth and decay.

 > >Hence, the allegorical or intuitive meaning of zodiacal
 > >signs undoubtedly predates predictive astrology .

This does not follow at all [Quite aside from the logical and evidentiary gap thinly masked by 'undoubtedly']. Before the invention of the zodiac (c. 600 BCE) *and* the much later discovery that the path of the sun along the self-defining eliptic was the same approximate course as that of the Moon upon various measurement coordinates (= zodiac stars), the "intutiive meaning" of the zodiac signs did not, could not, exist.

Time (-when) marked by the rising or setting of certain stars was a measure of the time to do things (plant, prune, harvest, sit around a fire in a cave/hut while it was cold and wet outside). Lunar measure for this was useless. Thus any putative twelve based measurement system was useless until it was tied down to the seasonal year by the complications of the soli-lunar calendar. This was done in a time previous to the invention of the zodiac, and preserved in calendars upon which zodiac signs where later overlaid.

 > >This import has been conveyed through various belief systems. For example, the early Christian's
 > >began this cycle with the virgin birth (Virgo) and ended with resurrection
 > >(Leo).

The history of astronomy and astrology is exquisitely ante temporum to the rise of christianities: one wonders why you bother to even mention a system of allegories which are used to explain this mystery cult in terms foreign to its origins.

There are NO christian feasts celebrating the birthd of the Messiah during the solar passage in Virgo, and NO christian feasts celebrating the resurrection during the solar passage in Leo, nor were there ever. Hence your "cycle" is a fancy.

The feast of the resurrection was firstly celebrated on the day after the Sabbath, which in the first century was 'the day of the Sun'. This mere coincidence played into a number of allegorical interpretations of solar imagery in the Hebraic tradition, as well as into the Hellenistic word pun upon *anatol * (rise) and *anateilein* (resurrect, rise).

The use of 12 for whatever, antedates christianities by several centuries it is one of the base numbers of the Babylonian mathematical system, which was widely used in the ANE and certainly by the Cannanite peoples who were deported to Mesopotamia by the Assyrians in the 6th century BCE, whence they began to use it much more. Twelve is an important cypher in Babylonian mythology.

You seem to have your christian theology slightly backward, the birth narratives and beliefs (virginal birth etc) are a theological reflection of and upon the resurrection, this is the beginning point, not the birth.

The resurrection was always celebrated as a Paschal feast, which is at the spring equinox (aries); the later birth celebrations were tied to the normal cycle of gestation and thus to a time nine months before this, that is, the winter solstice (capricornus) (6 January in the some calendars before the Julian reform, 25 December afterwards). The celebration of the Nativity is not attested until the 3rd century, and the date for this varies in the East (6 January) and the Western provinces (25 December).

 > >The life of Jesus, or solar hero, was imparted through arcani
 > >disciplini as the spiritual awakening latent in every man/woman.

1. 'solar hero' smacks of a sloppy soup of Joseph Cambellised ilk.

2. 'arcani disciplini' [sic] may indicate that some form of gnostic belief be the basis of these musings. These, whilst important and interesting historically for the development of certain ideas, however but in no way are evidence for the prime or original intent or conception of the Christos cult, as they post-date that. One has no idea to what you refer nor why.

3. This statement seems to be a personal belief system which has intruded upon the domain of Clio, as such it can be left to dwell in Wittensteinian silence.

 > >These correlations are also apparent in the "labors of the months",

This is all solar-year time keeping, the original 12-based system for the months is not solar, but obviously lunar. Again the artefacts to which you allude, are late extrapolations and based on the complications of the soli-lunar calendar systems.

 > >stations of
 > >the cross, and copious pictorial symbolism taken direct from zodiacal lore
 > >which adorns cathedrals and manuscripts. The labors of Hercules, and other
 > >historical systems of twelve, have been similarly interpreted, although

 > >Virgo is not always the point of inception.

The which fact, for your theory to hold *must* be explained, or, more cogently, taken as another basis for the rejection of your theory.


Dott. Lorenzo Smerillo Research Lector Late Antiquity Biblioteca Nazionale Protocenobio Sublacense (ROMA)


End of exegesis Digest V8 #15

[Exegesis Top][Table of Contents][Prior Issue][Next Issue]

Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996-2003 their respective authors.