The Zodiacon


1. Aries/Rat - 2. Taurus/Ox - 3. Gemini/Tiger

4. Cancer/Rabbit - 5. Leo/Dragon - 6. Virgo/Serpent

7. Libra/Horse - 8. Scorpio/Goat - 9. Sagittarius/Monkey

10. Capricorn/Rooster 11. Aquarius/Dog 12. Pisces/Boar


Since ancient antiquity, humanity has used twin sets of twelve star signs to designate movement along the ecliptic longitude. They are the twin zodiacs: one developed and used in the Far East and one that is believed to have been created in the ancient Near East. For clarity’s sake, the terms Eastern zodiac will be used when referring to the former, and the words Western zodiac will be employed when referring to the latter. Since both of these systems of twelve have been used by both sage and scholar as methods of divination and aesthetic contemplation, a combining of these two sets of star symbols could prove to be an experience both intellectually substantive and emotionally fulfilling. One of the simplest and most obvious ways to group these twin sets of twelve would be to pair the first symbol in the Eastern zodiac with the first symbol in the Western zodiac and then continue in this manner until the two final symbols are paired together. This method of pairing the twin sets of twelve would appear to be the most simple and logical, especially since the order of the symbols within each of the zodiacs has been exactly the same for at least three millennia.

Before the examination of the twin zodiacs begins, it would seem prudent to examine the very origins of the word zodiac so that a more certain aesthetic and logical foundation may be constructed upon which more contemplative musings may be attempted. There exist at least two possible etymological theories to explain the origins of the word zodiac. The original Greek term from which the English word is based is the word ζωδιακος (zodiakos) and is spelled with the Greek letters: Zeta, Omega, Delta, Iota, Alpha, Kappa, Omicron, and Sigma. The traditional etymological explanation is that the Greek term zodiakos is a combination of the word ζωδιον (zodion), which is a diminutive form of the word ζωον (zoon) that means “life,” “animal,” or “zoo,” and the term κυκλος (kyklos), which means “circle” or “cycle.” When this method of etymological reasoning is followed, the word zodiakos possesses a meaning of “circle (cycle) of little animals” or “circle of tiny living things.”

An alternative etymological theory that could be proposed for the term ζωδιακος (zodiakos) is a combining of the word ζωον (zoon) with the word διακω (diako), which means “to pursue” or “to run.” All of the letters are now present in the etymological structure – not just the some of the consonants. With this new etymological reasoning applied to the word zodiakos, it could now possess the meaning of “a race (in the sense of a competitive running event) of the animals” or “animal race,” which coincides perfectly with many of the ancient tales regarding the origin of the Eastern zodiac.

Regardless as what may or may not be the correct etymological origins of the word zodiac, the overall concept behind these twin sets of star symbols is the key sentence written on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes and one of the primary themes echoed throughout the various concepts expressed within the pages of this tome: as above, so below. This concept of the heavenly bodies possessing qualities that are similar to our biological bodies is an idea that is universally resonant with almost every individual in every culture around the globe. By giving the stars in the heavens the names of earthly life forms, the microcosmos of our biology is united with the macrocosmos of our cosmology.

The Eastern Zodiac

The first set of twelve signs that will be examined is the Eastern zodiac. It is a multi-dimensional system composed of three intertwining layers. The first, or outermost layer, is a twelve year cycle that is based on the orbit of Jupiter, which is known as the “year star” in the Eastern traditions and has an orbit of precisely 11.82 years. This macro-dimensional feature of the Eastern zodiac is also the most popular aspect of Oriental astrology and is often used as cultural garnishment on numerous products in numerous venues. In this outer layer of the Eastern zodiac, each animal is representative of one year in the orbit of Jupiter. This use of animals in the Eastern zodiac’s macro-dimensional layer is often referred to as the “outer animal” and is supposedly indicative of an individual’s social behavioral patterns. A person’s outer animal is determined by year of birth. Thus, the position of Jupiter along the ecliptic longitude would be the actual scientific factor brought into play when dealing with this outermost layer of the Eastern astrological system. This grouping of twelve animals is also commonly referred to as the “twelve earthly branches.” The order of the twelve animals is rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

There are two popular ancient folktales describing the origin of this ordering of animals. Both tales have numerous versions that are filled with many discrepancies in detail; however, there is a basic essence and structure that seems to permeate most of the renderings. In the first, the Jade Emperor (the ruler of heaven and earth) holds a banquet and asks the animals of the earth to visit him in heaven so that he might observe all of the various traits of each. The Jade Emperor was pleased with the animals and gave each one of them their place in the heavens. However, the rat misinformed the cat as to the actual time that the banquet was to be held, and the cat was late. Therefore, the rabbit was chosen instead.   

In another similar tale, the Jade Emperor held a race in order to decide the order and placement of the animals in the heavenly zodiac. This is the tale that fits the alternate etymology and definition of the word zodiac that was asserted in previous paragraphs. The animals were required to cross a river in order to finish the race. However, some versions of the ancient folktale involve numerous other aspects, as far as the overall length and breadth of the contest are concerned.

The ox (water buffalo) was the first to cross; however, the rat rode upon its back and finished first. Some versions of the tale have the cat and the rat riding on the back of the ox with the rat pushing the cat into the river while some versions are similar to the first tale with the rat not informing the cat about when the race was to be held; the ox finished in second place. The tiger placed third thanks to its powerful strength while the rabbit jumped from stone to stone in order to cross the mighty river. The rabbit fell into the river but grabbed a floating log and was washed ashore thanks to the assistance of the dragon, who would have finished the race sooner but instead chose to assist the rabbit and thus received fifth place. The horse finished sixth, but the snake was wrapped around the horse’s hoof and startled the beast when they came ashore, so the snake was given sixth place, and the horse took seventh. The goat, monkey, and rooster took eighth, ninth, and tenth places, respectively because the rooster spotted a raft and the three animals crossed the river together. The goat and monkey cleared some weeds and finally pulled the raft ashore. The dog, who was one of the best swimmers in the group, decided to take a bath in the river as he was crossing and finished in eleventh place; the pig was lazy and finished last.

In almost all versions of the tale, the primary notion of interest is the friendship of the rat and the cat, the rat’s deceit of the cat, and the cat losing its place in the zodiac. According to the majority of the folktales, this trickery of the rat is the main reason why the cat and the rat are now mortal enemies. There are, however, many other explanations as to how the events of the various narratives occurred. Some of the tales also replace the Jade Emperor with either the Buddha or a dragon. It is also interesting to note that the cat is given the place of the rabbit in the zodiac used by the Vietnamese traditions.

In addition to the twelve animals and their mythological connection to the twelve year orbital cycle of Jupiter, another factor is brought into play when considering the astrological classification of an individual. This additional factor is based on an elongation of the twelve year cycle into a sixty year macro-cycle that incorporates a classification of the five Eastern elements into ten parts by assigning yang and yin properties to each element. These ten parts are commonly referred to as the “ten heavenly stems.” Therefore, the overall sexagenarian cycle contains pairings of five repetitions of the twelve earthly branches and six repetitions of the ten heavenly stems.

Oriental star chart

When examining the overall design of this Oriental astrological system, it is interesting to note that it bears a striking similarity to the five to two orbital resonance that exists between Jupiter and Saturn. First, and most obvious, if one were to divide the six repetitions of the ten heavenly stems in half, then a most definite five to two ratio emerges between the two determining factors of the sexagenarian cycle with the five repetitions of the twelve earthly branches being representative of the five orbits of Jupiter (which they are) and the six repetitions of the ten heavenly stems being representative of the two orbits of Saturn. This division of the six repetitions of the ten heavenly stems into two parts naturally occurs in the cycle’s design when it is separated into its yang and yin elements. Thus, it would appear as though the natural orbital resonance of five to two that exists between Jupiter and Saturn in the heavenly music of the spheres also exists in the basic design pattern of the Eastern astrological system.

The next level of the Oriental zodiac is the use of the twelve animals as divisions of the agricultural calendar, which only has a one day variance with the traditional Gregorian calendar of the west. Each animal is assigned to two solar terms, which are each composed of two week segments. Thus, every animal has its own month, more or less. However, while the order of the animals remains intact, the tiger is given the role as the first animal in the cycle, while the rat and ox assume the last two positions. This use of the twelve animal symbols in Oriental astrology is known as the individual’s “inner animal” and is determined by the day and month of the individual’s birth. This particular dimension of the Eastern zodiac runs parallel with the design and scope of the more linear Western zodiac. Both systems are based on the ecliptic longitudinal position of the Earth as it revolves around the sun.

The innermost dimension of the Oriental zodiac utilizes the twelve animals in relation to the twenty-four hour rotation of the Earth. Each animal is assigned two hours of the day. This use of the twelve animal symbols is commonly referred to as the individual’s “secret animal” and is determined by a person’s hour of birth. The two hours of the rat begin at eleven in the evening, which is also the same time that the two hours given to the pig come to an end.

Thus, there is an outer, middle, and inner dimension to the overall complexion of the Oriental zodiac’s design and scope. This three-layered complexity makes the Eastern system quite a bit more thorough and allows for more specific aesthetic contemplations that contain far more astronomical configurations within their essence. This additional complexity is even further enlarged when one factors the addition of the five elements into the overall equation.

The Eastern conceptualization of elements is somewhat different from that of the West. In the Eastern elemental paradigm, the order of the five elements is wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. However, these five elements are not representative of the basic states of matter and energy like the four elements of the Western elemental paradigm. Instead, they are the five most prominent changes of reality that occur within the natural ecosystems inhabited by the human species. Many scholars claim that the actual character for the word element is more accurately translated as something similar to “change” or a “state of change.”

These five phases of elemental change are incorporated into the design spectrum of the Eastern zodiac in two different ways. First, each animal sign has its own particular “fixed element.” That is, each animal has a permanent elemental designation assigned to it. They are as follows: tiger, rabbit, and dragon are wood; snake, horse, and goat are fire; monkey, rooster, and dog are metal; pig, rat, and ox are water. The ordering of the fixed elements begins with the tiger, which is the first animal of the zodiac’s annual cycle that consists of the inner animals. The other use of the five Eastern elemental dimensions is in the sexagenarian cycle of the outer animals where each of the five elements is assigned alternating yang and yin attributes and then paired with an outer animal of the zodiac. The last sexagenarian cycle began in 1924 with Yang wood rat and ended in 1984 with Yin water pig.    

It is interesting to note that the element of earth is absent from the ordering of the fixed elements with the inner animals of the annual zodiac cycle. This omission is supposedly due to positioning of earth as the central element of balance in the ordering of the five elements, and therefore its traits are available to all of the animals. Another interesting omission from the elements of the Orient is the element of air. While this element is the most highly favored element in the Western paradigm, as represented by the suit of spades (the ace of spades in particular) generally considered to be the most popular of the elemental suits in the Minor Arcana, it is curiously absent from the Eastern elemental order. This could very well be due to the role of Eastern civilization as the Yin aspect of humanity’s global consciousness, and thus, the overemphasis on elemental traits associated with Yin qualities and the lack of emphasis on the Yang qualities. Of the five Eastern elements, earth and metal would both be considered to be part of the Western system’ s earth elemental dimension, and wood would be considered to be at the intersection of earth and water. Since water is also a Yin element in the Western paradigm, the Eastern elemental paradigm would contain four Yin elements with the only Yang element being fire. This could definitely be viewed by some as an overemphasis on the Yin as it is understood by the Western elemental paradigm.

However, since the concept of elements in the Orient is based on the states of change and not the basic composition of matter and energy, it might be prudent to develop other alternative theories about the omission of the air element in Eastern philosophy. One of the more easily concocted rationalizations for the air element’s lack of inclusion in the Eastern dimensional paradigm would be that since air is a state of change that so thoroughly saturates humanity’s existence, it would be pointless to include it. It would be so overused that it would naturally dominate the pantheon and cause the other five states of change to be relegated to the realm of the unimportant inferiority. Since the vast importance of air over the other elements is acknowledged in the Western elemental paradigm that focuses on states of being and not states of change, it would seem rather logical for the Eastern paradigm to deal with this philosophical issue in such a way so as to preserve the integrity of its own unique approach. Thus, the Eastern system would see no need to incorporate the element of air into its system of the five states of change, since it is assumed that air always permeates all of the states and therefore does not need to be analyzed in the same manner as the other five states because of its sheer universality.

There is also a Yin and Yang aspect to the Eastern zodiac that is expressed in two different manners in the overall design of the Oriental system. The first is the designation of each of the elements in the ten heavenly branches as having either a Yang quality or a Yin quality. This facet of the Eastern astrological system has already been presented and discussed in the previous paragraphs. The other use of the yin/yang aspect is connected to the four trines that separate the twelve animals into four groups of three. The first four animals (beginning with the rat) are the first members of each of the four trines, the second set of four animals are the second members of each of the four trines, and the third set of four animals are the last members of each of the four trines. The first and third trines are Yang, while the second and fourth trines are Yin. A more simplistic way of viewing this division of the twelve animals into their permanent or “fixed” states of Yang/Yin designation is that the odd numbered animals (rat, tiger, dragon, horse, monkey, dog) are Yang, and the even numbered animals (ox, rabbit, snake, goat, rooster, pig) are Yin.

The Western Zodiac

The other set of twelve signs that will be examined is the Western zodiac. It is the system used in the Western and Indian cultures for measuring movement along the ecliptic by dividing it into twelve equal sections. The version used in India is more commonly known as the Jyotish or sidereal zodiac and employs a fixed starting point for the zero point on the ecliptic that aligns with the constellation Aries. It is this version that this text will focus upon because it allows for direct correlations to be drawn between the two systems since the twelve symbols align naturally with the constellations. The Jyotish system is also used by some astrologers in the West; however, the tropical zodiac is the system that is by far the most popular in Western culture and places zero point in alignment with the vernal equinox of the Northern hemisphere. Thus, the actual position of Aries in the tropical zodiac lies near the beginning of the portion of the ecliptic that is associated with Pisces. So if a switch to the tropical zodiac is desired when analyzing or contemplating upon any portion of this text, then all that would need to be done in order to accomplish this shift would be to move the Jyotish symbols backwards by twenty-five degrees along the ecliptic.

The Western zodiac is fundamentally the same as the annual cycle of the Eastern zodiac that employs the circle of “inner animals” and is likewise based on the day and month of birth for the individual or event in question. The twelve signs used in the Western zodiac are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. They are often depicted as symbols and/or pictures in a circle and are listed in their proper order either clockwise or counter-clockwise. The four cardinal points of direction are often placed in various positions in conjunction with the twelve ecliptic coordinates.

Unlike its Eastern counterpart, the Western system utilizes a method of grouping its symbols in three groups of four each. This system is called “the three qualities.” This system assigns the traits of cardinal, fixed, and mutable to four symbols apiece. The cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn; the fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius; the mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. The logic behind these groupings is that the cardinal signs occur near the beginning of each season and are therefore more conducive to change than the others while the fixed signs occur at the middle of each season; therefore, they are more permanently entrenched in many of their qualities. Finally, the mutable signs lie at the end of each season when the change to the next season begins to occur; thus, these signs are more conducive to change.     

However, the four elements of the Western alchemy are also incorporated into the Western zodiac in a manner similar to the Eastern tradition. While the Eastern tradition places its elemental designations in groupings of adjacent symbols, the Western elemental placement system known as the triplicities places its four elemental qualities in the same manner as the four trines of the Eastern system. Thus, the fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius; the earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn; the air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius; the water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

In addition to this elemental placement of the signs, the odd numbered signs of fire and air are also thought of as having positive (Apollonian, diurnal, male) characteristics in exactly the same way as the odd numbered Yang signs of the first and third trines of the Eastern zodiac. Likewise, the even-numbered signs of water and earth are also thought of as possessing negative (Dionysian, nocturnal, feminine) attributes in precisely the same manner as the even-numbered Yin signs of the second and fourth trines of the Oriental zodiac. This exact alignment of the yin and yang of the twin zodiacs would seem to indicate that these two traditions are merely parallel manifestations of the same essential ideals. It is very likely that there was a good deal of interaction between practitioners of both systems over the millennia.

Zodiac by Alphonse Mucha (1896)

Position of Terra

With most expressions of astrology, the positions of the various heavenly bodies in the heavens at a certain date are taken into consideration for the basic speculation that will be performed. While this type of logic is valid and useful to a certain extent, it misses the most important point of all: the position of the subject herself/himself. The actual position of Terra itself in the heavens is the most important information that is needed when determining any type of speculative deduction or posing any type of metaphysical quandary about any astrological aspect of existence. However, Terra is the only heavenly body of the solar system that is not included in a standard astrological chart. What this means is that astrology as it is currently practiced is focusing on matters that are only somewhat relevant while completely ignoring the most important data point of all.

It is because of this great travesty of logic that astrology has fallen into disrepute over the last few centuries and is now barely considered to be a valid pseudoscience at all. This assertion is reinforced when it is realized that astrology is even ridiculed by many dilettantes of the occult world. Its detailed minutia was once studied with diligent fervor by a high percentage of intellectuals. Also, when one considers the fact that Pluto was actually considered to be a planet and used to make calculations alongside the massive energies of Jupiter and Saturn is another example of the fallacy and lack of scientific logic present in this system that is now the realm of idiots, pranksters, and charlatans.

However, despite the vast amounts of idiocy and illogic that have been heaped upon this speculative branch of the cosmological realms, there does exist some basic rational logic underneath all of the irrational speculation and assertions made by those seeking to exploit others in order to gain privilege. This rational logic would be that the actual position of Terra itself along the ecliptic would be of utmost importance and would be far more important than the positions of any of the other heavenly bodies of the solar system. This is because the position of Terra is also the position of subject who is inquiring about whatever notion that is being formulated or asserted. For instance, if the Earth is closest to the constellations found on the ecliptic longitude of 120 degrees, then it would make logical and rational sense that the energy from these stars found near this longitude would play a role in determining the outcome of the actions while Terra is in this particular position–at least more than any of the energies from any of the other stars that are not anywhere near this portion of the ecliptic longitude.

Having pointed out the primary error plaguing this belittled pseudoscience, it would now be prudent to realize that the solution for this problem is quite easy to realize. It would also be prudent to note that the basic tools now used by most astrologers would not only retain their efficiency but also be vastly improved by only a few small adjustments to the majority of the systems that are currently in place right now. Therefore, the following pages of this tome that describe each thirty degree position of the ecliptic longitude and unite both of the zodiac symbols of the Eastern and Western systems will also include the adjustments necessary to turn an idiotic pseudoscience into a far more pragmatic method of making far more worthy speculations that might have a true bearing on actual reality and not merely be the pseudo-intellectual play toys of an overactive imagination with little or no grounding in actual physical science.

The most important adjustment would be calculating the position of Terra itself along the ecliptic for the time of the event for which the speculation is to be made. This calculation can be done with the current tools used in astrology right now. All that needs to be done is reverse the position of Sol by 180 degrees. That is all. Thus, the position of Terra can easily be calculated by any of the tools that are currently used by modern astrologers. Thus, the most important data point of all can be easily gleaned and immediately employed by anybody seeking to add scientific validity and rational logic to their astrological speculations without needing any new astronomical tools for calculations.

Also, it should be realized that although the position of Terra is the most important data point in any astrological speculation, the positions of the other heavenly bodies–especially the planets visible to the naked eye–are still relevant to a certain degree and can still be factored into the overall equation as well. This assertion is especially true of Jupiter and to a lesser extent, Saturn. That is why these two planets play such an integral part in the astrological speculations of the Orient. In fact, the actual radio frequencies emanating from Jupiter that are detectable on Earth are greater than the radio frequencies that are emitted from the sun when Jupiter's moon Io is exposed to Terra. This empirical scientific data supports the overall theory that the literal cosmic energies from the heavenly bodies do make an impact on the actions that occur on the surface of Terra.

Zygote Formation

All of that having been said, there is still one vital flaw that needs to be addressed. This is a critical issue that needs to be raised with the natal charts that are often created to determine the personality and overall essence of an individual. These charts are based on the date of birth. While the date of birth is an important event in the life of an individual, it is pale in comparison to the most important event of an individual's lifetime. This event is not birth. It is the exact time and date of zygote formation. Period. There is no more important time for an individual than this exact moment. The exact location of Terra along the ecliptic at the precise moment of conception is the primary factor to be considered when a true “birth chart” of an individual is to be created.

However, in a manner similar to the first problem addressed in the earlier paragraphs of this section, the solution to this problem is quite easy. Obviously, all that would need to be done is subtract approximately nine months from the time of birth and factor in all relevant issues  (such as Cesarean section, premature birth, or late delivery) that would logically apply, and an approximate time of conception can easily be calculated. Also, the date of birth would still be a factor in calculating a natal chart and might contain relevant data and would not need to be completely discarded. In fact, with the primary speculation centered around the position of Terra along the ecliptic at the moment of conception, all of the other data points that are typically found in the average natal chart created by most modern astrologers would now have more actual scientific validity now that they have this most relevant data as a true foundation based on scientific logic.

The other data points of the typical astrological chart can now supplement this foundational information in a complimentary manner. In fact, the data points of which house a planet is in at the time of birth now rightfully adds new whimsical fancies and notions that were not possible when these lesser data points had to provide the basic core of a chart's readings. With the primary foundation built upon the true soil of Mother Earth's position within the realms of the Heavenly Father at the exact moment of conception, all of the other speculations of the typical natal chart can now dance far more playfully on this solid ground composed of truth and logical reason.

Therefore, all of the material in the upcoming sections of this tome can be thought of as a substantial upgrade based on rational scientific logic created to enhance and further validate astrology as it is now practiced.



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Copyright 2014 by Lee Fitzsimmons