the Origin Story of the Zodiac
The single most asked question I receive in comments when I speak about the zodiac is, “Where did the Zodiac come from?” Let’s see if we can wade through the weeds together and arrive at an answer.1
The Accadian Zodiac & Calendar
If we read modern sources regarding the origins of the zodiac we are told that the Chaldeans-Babylonians were the inspiration for the later Egyptian and Hellenistic zodiacs. If we consult older sources, they point instead to a mysterious people called the Accadians.
History has gone to a lot of trouble to scrub these people, but older sources document that the Accadians were the authors of the first calendar and zodiac that we are aware of.
We know from the Epping and Strassmaier tablets as a matter of fact, that the months and the constellations of the Zodiac did in the second century, B.C., correspond with each other in order and sequence as above suggested (my note: they list the months of the Accadian & later Babylonia calendars), and if further research should establish the fact that they so corresponded in Sargon's time, then as we find Nisan (Bar zig-gar)throughout all these ages holding the place of "first month," and marking "the beginning of the year," it will necessarily follow that the Accadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian calendars dealt with a sidereal and not a tropical year. (Ancient Calendars & Constellations)
Our oldest zodiac and calendars are sidereal, not tropical.
If this is the case, then how did the tropical or western zodiac come into existence? And when did this change take place? Why did we abandon sidereal in favor of tropical?
Our Current Zodiac
The zodiac we use today is comprised of 12 signs beginning with 0° Aries. Each of the 12 signs is 30° , forming a 360° circle that is circumsected by the ecliptic. Everything begins with Aries, the bringer of life in the spring. East is up on the wheel above.
The Tropical or Western Zodiac
The zodiac is divided into the 4 seasons and the signs are slotted into the seasons created by the Sun’s declination (high in the sky during summer, low on the horizon in the winter). This system focuses on the seasonal location of the Sun and is no longer linked to the constellations bearing the names of the signs at all. Each sign has been disconnected from the constellation and plugged into a static calendar of seasonal dates.
We can say this with absolute certainty because the Sun does not rise on March 21 in Aries or with a declination of 0° as they say it did in “ancient times”. We need to determine the year the Sun rose in Aries on the vernal equinox to see where it all begins.
The equinox is officially defined by the Sun's more regular ecliptic longitude rather than by its declination. The instants of the equinoxes are currently defined to be when the apparent geocentric longitude of the Sun is 0° and 180°. (Astronomical Almanac, US Naval Observatory)
We will use the official definition of the vernal equinox with the Sun at 0° longitude.
I’ve gone back to the beginning of the age of Aries astronomically using our current models of the sky and the date they provide of March 21. The sunrise on March 21 battles back and forth for decades between Taurus and Aries with the Sun rising alternately in the two signs each year. The final shift occurs in 4200 BC (-4199 = 4200 BC due to year 0).
The Sun rose in Aries on March 21 consistently beginning in 4200 BC. The longitude of the Sun is 327° 40’ 14”. This isn’t even close to 0° longitude, which is required for this to be the vernal equinox. Ok, so when was the vernal equinox in 4200 BC?
The Spring equinox took place on April 23rd in 4200 BC, at the beginning of the sign of Taurus.
Let’s see what happens if we jump forward 1000 years to 3200 BC.
The equinox moves 7 days back to April 16th in 3200 BC and the Sun is still in Taurus. The year 2200 BC moves another week, occurring on April 9, still in Taurus.
When did the Sun rise in Aries on the Vernal Equinox?
Aries didn’t become LORD of the Vernal Equinox until April 6, 1864 BC.
By the 8th century BC Aries’ spring equinox was March 29th or another 7 days earlier in 1000 years time.
The tug of war for the Vernal Equinox began between Aries and Pisces ended with Pisces taking over on March 23, 67 BC.
Aries’ rule was only 1793 years, and he wasn’t Lord of Spring on March 21st.
The Vernal Equinox didn’t take place on March 21st until the year 112 AD, and the Sun was in Pisces. The 21st of March remained the first day of Spring until 331 AD, when March 20th took over.
The Changing of the Equinoxes
Based on what we learned earlier, we know that there should be a 7 day change for every 1000 years. Using this we can predict that the equinox in the year 1000 AD will occur on March 15, 6 days earlier than year 112 AD above.
Astro charts list March 15 as the vernal equinox in 1000 AD and the heavens agree.
By the year 1582 the equinox was March 11th, still firmly in the sign of Pisces. This drift in the equinox of 7 days in a 1000 years suddenly became unacceptable after millennia of human history. We are told that this made the calendars wrong and it required fixing them.
Pope Gregory issued a papal bull (hello, Taurus) that removed 10 days from the calendar, moving the Catholic world from the Julian to Gregorian calendar in the year 1582. The Anglican nations (UK, US, AU, CA, etc) didn’t make the shift until the year 1752, continuing to observe the Julian calendar for 170 additional years. Astronomy charts are typically synced to the 1752 date change and astronomical software, such as Stellarium are synced to the 1582 date.
They removed 10 (1582 shift)-11 days (1782 shift) from the calendar, forcing the equinox to return to March 20/21, where it will remain in perpetuity for the convenience of the Church.
This drift is an integral part of the story of mankind, as the Sun traverses the ages so too do we. It didn't disturb the zodiac of the ancients in the least as the months rotated with the sky, giving each sign its “day in the Sun.” The calendar was synced to both the Sun and Moon, balanced in complete harmony with the Earth.
The official story tells us that the calendar “wasn’t accurate”, because of this drift. It interfered with the feast days of the Church and this transgression from 0° Aries on March 21 had to be corrected, but we know this isn’t true. The precession of the equinoxes continues to happen whether our locked-to-Aries calendar acknowledges this or not. Nature does not lie, but men do.
Why was it so important that the natural order of time be irrevocably severed?
For that we need to do a deep dive on the sign of Aries. We’ll talk again soon.
I do not consider myself an “astrologist.” I am an alchemist, geomancer and a university trained historic anthropologist who discovered that there is an inextricable link to the heavens in every subject I research. We cannot escape the stars and heavenly host if we wish to understand anything about history, the Earth and humanity….including ourselves as eternal beings.