591 Paschal Moon

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Let us look at the symbolic scene, shown of Figure 5.75, at the bottom of the Athribis zodiacs (see Figure 5.74). In view of the already decoded symbolism on the Egyptian zodiacs, the meaning of this scene is not difficult to understand. We read it from the right to left, as it is indicated by the direction of the procession.

At the right end of this procession, we see a familiar symbol of the spring equinox, which is the sequence of the snakes with upright fore bodies (see subsection 5.8.3). Next to the left, there is a boat carrying a disk with a narrow crescent. Two human attendants stand on its both sides facing it. This is a symbol of the first new moon, which was "born" after the spring equinox. In fourteen days it will become the full moon, which is symbolized by a disk on the next boat (see Figure 5.76). This time there is no crescent marked on the disk, but only a bird, which symbolizes the Sun. It is astronomically correct picture indicating that the whole enlightened by the Sun hemisphere of the Moon was visible. In this way, what is represented on this picture is the first full moon after the spring equinox, which is the paschal full-moon. Notice that the boats on this picture were not used for artistic reasons only, but they are the pull-out symbols with a definite astronomical connotation. They signalize that the planetary figures placed on them are not connected to the main horoscope (time pull-out) and possibly they do not refer to the nearby constellations (space pull-out).

The same symbol of paschal full moon, in a form of a disk with a bird inside, is also shown on each of the Athribis zodiacs, in the both cases in Libra (see Figure 2.20). Is it just accidental that on the both zodiacs, referring to different years, the paschal full moon occurred in Libra? But, this was not a coincidence.

Figure 5.76: A representation of the paschal moon on the

Athribis zodiacs As a matter of fact during the last two thousand years the paschal full-moon always occurred in Libra or near it. In order to explain it, first we find the Sun position on this day, which is a relatively easy task. As we already know, that at the spring equinox the Sun was located in Pisces, and the full moon occurs after fifteen days from the beginning of the new moon cycle. For the paschal full moon, in half of the cases, its new moon appeared within two weeks after the spring equinox, and in the other half, within two weeks before it. That means that the paschal full moon always occurs form one to thirty days after the spring equinox. That means that during the last two thousand years the Sun could only be located around Aries (in most cases inside Aries).

Consequently, the position of the paschal full moon should be in Libra or nearby in a neighboring constellation. Indeed, at the time of full moon, the Moon is on the side of the Earth opposite to the Sun, i.e. for an observer on the Earth, it is on the side of the ecliptic opposite to the Sun.

Figure 5.75: A representation of the paschal moon procession on the Athribis zodiacs

Figure 5.75: A representation of the paschal moon procession on the Athribis zodiacs

Figure 5.76: A representation of the paschal moon on the

Athribis zodiacs As a matter of fact during the last two thousand years the paschal full-moon always occurred in Libra or near it. In order to explain it, first we find the Sun position on this day, which is a relatively easy task. As we already know, that at the spring equinox the Sun was located in Pisces, and the full moon occurs after fifteen days from the beginning of the new moon cycle. For the paschal full moon, in half of the cases, its new moon appeared within two weeks after the spring equinox, and in the other half, within two weeks before it. That means that the paschal full moon always occurs form one to thirty days after the spring equinox. That means that during the last two thousand years the Sun could only be located around Aries (in most cases inside Aries).

Figure 5.77: Representation in Libra of the paschal moon and Moon in the main horoscope on the Long Denderah zodiac.

It was already noticed by Morozov, that on the Egyptian zodiacs there is often a disk shown in Libra. Now, we can explain it as a representation of the paschal full moon50. Sometimes, in exceptional cases, this disk could denote the Moon in the main horoscope, but only when its date was exactly the date of the paschal full moon. Such an example is the Round Denderah zodiac (see Chapter 7). On the other hand, on the Long Denderah zodiac there are two moon disks shown in Libra — one for the main horoscope (which means that the Moon was in Libra on the main date) and another one to denote the paschal moon. It is interesting, but not surprising, that in the case when there was a full moon in Libra in the main horoscope, which was not paschal, the

Egyptian artist placed two different circles in Libra (see Figure 5.77).

Another, even more intriguing, example of the paschal moon representation we find on the Small Esna zodiac (see Figure 5.78). Notice that under the Aries and Pisces constellation there are two human figures with crescents and disks over their heads. Both of them are placed on pull-out symbols. One of them is a familiar symbol of a new moon, which is the sitting child with a hand near its mouth (a baby sucking a finger?). The second figure is standing with a planetary walking stick in its hand. That means we are again dealing here with a representation of two subsequent moon phases: the new moon

Figure 5.78: Representation of the paschal moon and the seven and the fu^ moon. day resurrection associated with fifteen days (full) moon.

The usage of the pull-out symbols made it possible that these two stages of the Moon are shown together (notice that the new and full moons appear on the opposite sides of the ecliptic). Two stars over the child symbol of the new moon could indicate that its age is two days, and indeed the new moon appears exactly two days later after its disappearance. But the most interesting symbols, related to this paschal moon representation, are located in the extension of this scene under Taurus. The sequence of these figures is interrupted by a male figure from the main horoscope holding a walking stick. Behind it, there is a big boat (a pull-out symbol) with a scene symbolizing the resurrection of Osiris accompanied by seven stars and a circle made of fifteen stars. Inside the boat there is a sarcophagus with a dead body and the symbol of two eyes above it, which indicates that this body belong to Osiris who is going to be resurrected51.

We present on Figure 5.79 an Egyptian painting illustrating the resurrection of Osiris. Notice the presence of two eyes, similar to those on the Small Esna zodiac (see Figure 5.78). The difference

Figure 5.78: Representation of the paschal moon and the seven and the fu^ moon. day resurrection associated with fifteen days (full) moon.

The usage of the pull-out symbols made it possible that these two stages of the Moon are shown together (notice that the new and full moons appear on the opposite sides of the ecliptic). Two stars over the child symbol of the new moon could indicate that its age is two days, and indeed the new moon appears exactly two days later after its disappearance. But the most interesting symbols, related to this paschal moon representation, are located in the extension of this scene under Taurus. The sequence of these figures is interrupted by a male figure from the main horoscope holding a walking stick. Behind it, there is a big boat (a pull-out symbol) with a scene symbolizing the resurrection of Osiris accompanied by seven stars and a circle made of fifteen stars. Inside the boat there is a sarcophagus with a dead body and the symbol of two eyes above it, which indicates that this body belong to Osiris who is going to be resurrected51.

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