Here is another paradox.
In order to solve that puzzle, we should say, the thing that matters is not the position of the stars, the thing that matters is time.
You can call time what you like.
It is quite indifferent whether you say the spring-point is zero degrees Aries or 28 Pisces; that is a convention; it is nevertheless the spring-point.
So you see, these old designations of time were not taken from the heavens, but given to the heavens.
Spring and winter, for example, were projected to the heavens.
Man has created the constellations.
So obviously the constellations were not intended by the creator of the world to be an astrological text-book to us.
In different systems of astrology the constellations are differently arranged.
On the calendar stone of Mexico, or the famous Denderah stone in Egypt, the constellations are grouped in a different way.
We are even in doubt about the “Great Bear” or the “Wagon”; the ancients called it the “Shoulder of the Heifer.”
There was a time when there were only four signs in the Zodiac.
The Romans had eleven.
Libra originated in the time of the Caesars; because it was invented so late, it is the only one that is an instrument.
They made the scales by cutting off the claws of the Scorpion.
All the other signs are mythological creatures, or human.
Man gives the names to the stars.
The lion does not look like a lion, but man called it that because the sun was really at its culmination in that devastating time of the year when the heat is insupportable and everything is dried up and
It is like a destroying power, so they said the sun was raging like a mad lion.
This is the way the signs go:
Five thousand years ago, 3000 B.C. when the sun was in winter, there were floods of rain. Aquarius walked about pouring his water out right and left.
Then the fish swam in the floods.
The little ram, the time of little shoots and buds.
The Bull, the great push of nature.
The fertility of man. One seldom does better than twins.
A drawback, the summer solstice.
The crab walking backward when the sun descends again.
After the first inkling of solstice it dawns on man …. that the sun will really be going, from the 22nd of July till the 21st of August, just when all is most glowing.
When man is roaring like a lion there is nothing better to tame him than a virgin.
She will cut the
hair of the lion and make it short, like Samson and
It is not nice, the whole symbolism is somewhat obscene.
But at that time of the year, the 15th of September in the Egyptian calendar, the left eye of the goddess is prepared to receive the god Ra, who is to walk into it.
The eye is a womb symbol.
The female element takes the lead.
The god enters the womb of darkness, Yang is under Yin. Woman is on top.
The balance after the virgin has done her job.
The fatal self-sacrifice of the sun.
The sun gets cornered by the virgin and when the forces are equal (Libra), the sun commits suicide, and then comes a clear descent into the mother.
There is a legend that when the scorpion is surrounded by fire it kills itself.
The death of the sun.
Death is a sort of river or gap.
There is a life beyond, but one is here on this bank of the river and cannot get there.
Then comes the legend of the centaur, a good archer, who with his bow can send an arrow across.
It is a means of communication.
The archer Sagittarius with the arrow of intuition foresees new birth out of the unconscious.
This is the advent season, when ghosts begin to walk again, when the unconscious begins to manifest itself.
The goat-fish. (This was the imperial sign on the coat-of-arms of Augustus Caesar.)
After the dead man contained in the sea, the next sign is this goatfish.
He is half fish and half goat, meaning that at first, as the fish, he is deep down in the sea, out of sight in the unconscious.
Then he rises to the surface and climbs to the highest peaks and valleys.
This is the sun, the promise of the new year, so some astrologers call the time after Christmas the “Promise of the Year.”
It is the time of the birth of Mithras, the birth of Christ, the birth of the new light, the whole hope of the coming year.
People born then have strong hearts.
They are ambitious, but they have to work hard to achieve their ends.
But the new year has to be generated.
The sun generates the year in Aquarius. Aquarius pours out the waters of fecundity.
He is also shown as a phallic god like Priapus.
After the generating water the Fishes come again, and so on around.
This is how the Zodiac came into existence.
It is really a seasonal cycle with particular qualities of climate-winter, spring, summer, autumn, qualified by the fantasies and metaphorical imagination of the human mind.
And so man has called the stars that are synchronous with the seasons by names expressing the qualities of each particular season.
The active principle is obviously the time and not at all the stars, they are merely incidental.
If, at the time when astrology came into conscious existence, other constellations had been in the heavens, we would have had different groups of stars but they would have been called a lion or a man carrying a water-jug just the same.
They are not at all like their names, even the most striking constellations.
It is a tremendous strain for the imagination. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 407-410