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Re: VMs: Re: Traditional Astrology and the Flat Earth
If you wanted to go as far as South America or China,
the whole calendar is entirely different and of course
so is the Zodiac.
But Western astrology as a whole puts the signs in
order pretty consistently.
In the VMs, here are a few observations of things
"inconsistent" with Western astrological convention:
--The Zodiac starts with Pisces
--Aries does not resemble a sheep, but rather a goat;
"dew claws" define the difference
--There are two Tauruses, and two Aries
--The Gemini Twins are a male/female couple
--Cancer is represented by two (not one, which is
conventional) lobsters, instead of a crab.
--Leo is a little peculiar looking, but recognizable
as a lion, so we will let him pass.
--Virgo looks fairly conventional.
--Libra is represented by a device which shows cups or
ladles instead of platforms for weighing objects.
--The symbol that describes Scorpio really bothers me.
This looks like a cat. Someone who can draw a
detailed lobster, twice! drew a scorpion that looks
like a mammal.
--Sagittarius is not a proper centaur; he's a homo
sapiens. His bow is a crossbow, as Rene has observed.
The other two signs are missing, and I am not
altogether convinced that the author did not intend
this (despite the stub, pagination, etc.). This is
interesting because if it is the author himself who
assembled these pages in this order, he deliberately
emphasized the similarity of his "zodiac" to the
So there are things about the astrology section that
suggest to me that the author wanted to give the
impression of describing traditional astrology, but at
the same time, he broke so many conventions that I
feel he is revealing that all is not as it seems.
This is consistent with the theme of misdirection
which runs so strongly through the illustrations of
The first time I got a good look at the VMs Zodiac
symbols, I wanted to throw up. They were close enough
a match to the "real thing" that I felt I knew what to
anticipate. Yet looking at them in more detail became
more and more disturbing. I had a sense of horror and
shock. I don't think I would have gotten the same
impression from looking at Zodiac symbols which were
altogether novel to me, such as those from another
Those who haven't looked at hundreds of Zodiac symbols
probably would never have had the reaction I did, so I
think the untrained eye would probably pass right over
those depictions of the "signs" of the Zodiac without
a second thought.
I believe the "Zodiac" drawings are actually
depictions of other constellations, not Zodiac
constellations. Why? All the better to hide the
astrology of the VMs, I presume. Or at least I did at
I have actually had a bit of a brainstorm about it in
the past week or so, but I need to do more research to
see if my theory is worth really talking about. I
still believe there is hidden astrology in the VMs,
but now I think it may have a specific purpose other
than, or in addition to, secrecy. I'm waiting for
material to come through inter-library loan before I
can expound this suggestion in more detail.
Thanks for contributing your interesting posts!
--- Dan Gibson/CanBooks <dangibson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Do we have a clear understanding of the Zodiacs in
> the VMS? I don't
> understand anything about Zodiacs, but I was
> fascinated to discover that the
> Nabataeans had a very different Zodiac than the
> Romans/Greeks. From my
> research I have learned that the Roman version
> followed the traditional
> order known today. Beginning at the top and going
> counter-clockwise: (1)
> Aries, (2) Taurus, (3) Gemini, (4) Cancer, (5) Leo,
> and (6) Virgo. Then
> there is a break at the bottom after which the
> succession resumes with (7)
> Libra, (8) Scorpio, (9) Sagittarius, (10) Capricorn,
> (11) Aquarius, and
> finally (12) Pisces. Is this correct?
> The Nabataean zodiac was different. The zodiac found
> at Khirbet Tannur
> begins counter-clockwise with (1) Aries, (2) Taurus,
> (3) Gemini, (4) Cancer,
> (5) Leo, and (6) Virgo. Then there is a break by the
> nikés head. So far,
> this is like the Roman version. Following the
> traditional order, one would
> expect (7) Libra to be next in the counter-clockwise
> progression. But this
> is not so! This space is occupied by (12) Pisces!
> Instead, the Nabataean
> Libra appears at the top, beside Aries. This begins
> a clockwise progression
> around the zodiacal circle's opposite (left) side;
> beginning clockwise from
> (7) Libra at the top, the progression follows in
> order from (7) to (12) to
> end at the left side of the niké caryatid's head.
> I would assume that this is because the Nabataean
> calendar centered around
> two very important religious events celebrating
> their dead relatives (who
> were thought to be the stars in the heavens).
> Were there other zodiacs in other places? Can the
> pictures in the VMS lead
> us to understand more of what geographical area the
> VMS is describing. I am
> assuming that the writer would be writing a book
> about some far-off lands
> and ideas, rather than recording what everyone knew
> at home.
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"I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing, than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance."
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