In Dr. Juan’s lecture about Egyptian Astrology in Serafis, I was really amazed. I have never thought that Astrology as a science in itself would go beyond حظك اليوم and the normal zodiac.
The lecture started with a list of critics to Astrology and some replies. He discussed some astrological codes that were embedded in legends (like the Legend of Hercules which is related to the constellation, for more info check this and this), and the relation between astrology and natural magic, paintings like Primavera by Botticelli, the birth of Venus was also related to the concepts of astrology and elements of nature.
The Egyptian astrology has 2 main zodiacs: the circular zodiac and the vertical zodiac. The one we were discussing was the circular one portrayed in the Dendarah calendar, the other one was for predictions which is a totally different topic.
We have to understand that the ability of analyzing and synthizing or the ability to symbolize is one of the most important aspect of being a human. That’s why we hold on to our nation/the flag/ the football team,,, Putting this into consideration we can understand how seasons, age and the sun can be inter related. For example if we say summer/spring/autmn/winter – sun rise/midday/sun set/ night – child/youth/adult/elder , this analogy will definitely have some meaning even when age, seasons and the sun are obviously not directly related. the same goes for the Egyptian gods, they are not real personifications of god in our modern sense, but they are representations of certain concepts.
Another note, Egyptians considered the south as the upper and the north as the lower, meaning that they didn’t draw their maps with the delta on the top, they drew it at the bottom. I will try to draw it by hand and scan it, but for the time being the illustration goes something like this, a circle on the upper side (Fire, south, summer), the left side (air, east, spring), the lower side (water, north, winter) and the right side (earth, west, fall). The summer and the winter are called solstices (A solstice is either of the two events of the year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the equatorial plane), spring and fall are called Equinoxes (An equinox in astronomy is the event when the Sun can be observed to be directly above the equator. The event occurs twice a year, around March 20 and September 23). The solstice summer has the longest day, so summer is called the gate of men; the solstice winter has the longest night, so winter is called the gate of men. That’s why in all monuments you’ll find 2 black jackals: Wapawet for the south and Anpu for the north.
The four elements were also represented in the goddesses: Geb (the personification of the earth), Tefnt (goddess of water and fertility), Nut (goddess of the sky and all heavenly bodies) and Shu (dryness).
The same goes for the 4 directions of the space: Serket, Nephthys (concept representing the next life), Neith, Isis (concept representing the living world). That’s why you will see 4 goddesses standing by the the tents of embalmers, each one is symbolizing a certain direction. An example of the symbolized concepts of the goddesses: Nephthys is the counterpart of her sister Isis in her capacity as a protective goddess who symbolized the transitional death experience, just as Isis represented the transitional birth experience. These four goddesses are also related to the 4 sons of Horus which is a group of four gods in Egyptian religion, who were essentially the personifications of the four canopic jars, which accompanied mummified bodies. Since the heart was thought to embody the soul, it was left inside the body, and the brain was thought only to be the origin of mucus, so it was reduced to liquid, syphoned off, and discarded. This left the stomach (and small intestines), liver, (large) intestines, and lungs, each being stored in their own jar. The sons of Horus also became associated with the cardinal compass points, so that Hapi was the North (containing the lungs), Imsety the south (containing the liver), Duamutef the east (containing the stomach) and Qebehsenuef the west (containing the intestines).
As for the denderah calendar itself, it has so many details that I will talk about later on 🙂