74 Decoding the Date from the Big Esna Zodiac

Let us now consider two zodiacs from the ancient Egyptian city Esna. As we already mentioned in section 2.1, during the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt, "very ancient" Egyptian structures were discovered in Esna. Judging from the pictures published in the Napoleonic Album35, these buildings were in very bad shape — partially destroyed or seriously damaged. There were two zodiacs discovered there — one in a very big temple (we call it the Big Esna zodiac and use the symbol "EB" for it), and another (which we call the Small Esna zodiac and use the symbol "EM") in a significantly smaller temple.

There are many similarities between the zodiacs from Denderah and Esna — they are stone reliefs of significant sizes, and their astronomical symbolism is exactly the same. Moreover, Esna and Denderah are located not far from each other, on the opposite sides of the Valley of the Kings, near the big semicircle meander of the Nile river. The following interesting question arises: What are exactly the dates encoded in the Esna zodiacs and how they are related to the dates of the zodiacs from the Denderah temple?

When in 2001 we were conducting our first dating of the Big Esna zodiac, we did not have the actual photographs of the zodiac, and we had to trust its copy, which was made by the artists of the Napoleonic expedition. In June 2002, one of our authors — Gleb V. Nosovskiy, was invited to participate in an expedition to Esna, which was organized by the Russian television production crew of the series "Unknown Planet." During this trip, Nosovskiy had a rare opportunity to take multiple photographs of all the details of the Big Esna zodiac, in its present state. It turned out that the zodiac is very well preserved and there is no damage or missing parts. Some photographs were also taken by the official photograph of the expedition — Y.L. Maslev.

The photographs, which covered all the surface of the zodiac, showed that the accuracy of the Napoleonic drawing was very good. However, there were some discrepancies with the original. The differences between the original Big Esna zodiac and Napoleonic drawing, were already discussed in section 2.4 (see Figures 2.37 — 2.43). Most of the imprecisions of the Napoleonic drawing were located on the zodiac in the places obstructed by the columns inside the temple. Checking these details required taking many different viewing positions, which possibly could be the reason for those errors. Let us point out that our earlier obtained final result for the Big Esna zodiac: March 31 -April 3, 1394 A.D., fits even better the data that was retrieved from the actual photos of the Big Esna zodiac. In fact, some previously present ambiguities could be now easily clarified.

In this section, we conduct the dating process using the corrected drawing of the Big Esna zodiac, which is the modified Napoleonic drawing with the modifications that were made based on the actual photographs of the zodiac (see Figures 7.31 and 7.32). We begin our analysis with the Big Esna zodiac.

7.4.1 Constellations and "Constellation Brackets" on the Big Esna Zodiac

For the purpose of dating, we need a more detailed pictures of the Big Esna zodiac, than the one shown on Figure 2.16. On Figures 7.31 and 7.32, we present the enlarged fragments of the Big Esna zodiac. These pictures are the corrected Napoleonic drawings of the Big Esna zodiac.

As we have already noticed, sometimes the drawings of zodiacs may not be very accurate. Nevertheless, in spite of small differences that we found on the Round Denderah zodiac and the Big Esna zodiac, the general accuracy of the drawings published in the Napoleonic Album is sufficiently high for the purpose of the astronomical dating. In the case of the Big Esna zodiac these differences were negligible and did not affect the final solution.

We will describe the dating of the Big Esna zodiac according to the steps explained in section 6.7.

7.4.2 Planetary Figures in the Main Horoscope on the Big Esna Zodiac

Step 1. (See subsection 6.7.1.) Preliminary decoding of the main horoscope on the Big zodiac and compiling the color annotated zodiac.

By using the comparative tables (see sections 5.1) of the Egyptian astronomical symbols, we can identify all the symbols of constellations on the Big zodiac. They are represented by the same figures as on the Denderah zodiacs. However, the symbols of Gemini, Libra and Virgo, which are slightly different on the Big zodiac, require some additional explanations.

Gemini on the Big Esna zodiac is not represented, as it was on the both Denderah zodiacs, by two figures, but by three figures (see the color annotated Big Esna zodiac on Figure 7.33). The first figure is a man holding with his hands a long stick touching a small animal under his feet. He is followed by a male and female figures holding their hands crossed on their chests. Such a particular representation of Gemini is also present on the Small Esna zodiac. However, on the other Egyptian zodiacs, Gemini is shown in a different way. We will discuss it later.

Libra is represented on the Big zodiac by a symbol of a balance with two pans hung from bearings. This is also a symbol of Libra on the both Denderah zodiacs (see Figure 5.13). However, on the

Figure 7.30: A halftone picture of the Big Esna zodiac "EB," which was published in the Napoleonic Album. There are some differences between this picture and the original Big Esna zodiac. (Taken from [2], A. Vol. I, Pl. 79)

Figure 7.31: The enlarged fragments of the left half of the Big Esna zodiac.
Figure 7.32: The enlarged fragments of the right half of the Big Esna zodiac.

Big zodiac the balance is placed in a hand of a female figure (see Figure 7.31), which we do not consider to be a part of the Libra symbol. According to our understanding, this female belongs to the partial horoscope of the winter solstice, what is indicated by its location (see subsection 5.1.7 for more detailed explanation). This identification is also confirmed by the existence of the full solution for the Big zodiac, in which this figure indeed corresponds to Venus in the partial horoscope. We will discuss this issue later in this section.

This same can be said about the symbol of Virgo, which is also shown in a similar way as on the Denderah zodiacs — it is a figure of a woman holding a spike in her hand. In front of her, there is a lioness with a human face. These two figures are clearly separated, thus the lioness is not a part of the Virgo symbol, but it is most probably related to the partial horoscope of the autumn equinox on the Big zodiac. We should mention here that the arrangement of symbols of a lion and a woman could be at the first glance mistaken for the symbols of Virgo and Leo. On the Egyptian zodiacs, Leo is often shown with a woman standing on his tail, or holding it by hand (see subsection 5.1.5). However, this identification wouldn't be correct here. This symbol can not represent Leo, but something else. A little further on the zodiac, there is another figure of Leo, so the figure of lioness with a human head cannot represent the Egyptian symbol of Leo. By comparing this figure of lioness with other Egyptian representations of Leo, we find out that the usual size proportions are violated here. A figure of a woman representing the secondary Virgo (see subsection 5.1.5) is usually much smaller than the symbol of Leo. But here, the female figure is much bigger than the lion figure and it is also not touching it. In addition, this female figure is in fact the main Virgo symbol, so it cannot be considered as the secondary Virgo. On the other hand, the symbol of a lion or lioness with a human face clearly exhibits connection to a pull-out symbol — it is located above a snake (see section 5.6). As the figure of Virgo is not related to any pull-out symbol, the lioness figure is in fact separated from Virgo and should belong to a partial horoscope. This interpretation was indeed confirmed by the existence of the full solution for this decoding.

There are no other peculiarities among the zodiacal figures on the Big Esna zodiac. On Figure 7.33, we show the color annotated Big Esna zodiac with the figures representing zodiacal constellations marked in red. We refer to section 5.9 for the more detailed explanation on the colors used on the annotated zodiac.

Let us now discuss the planets in the main horoscope. In the case of the Big zodiac, the identification of the planets is not especially complicated. Almost all the planetary symbols in the main horoscope can be immediately recognized, some of them even at the first glance.

At once, we can recognize the figure of Saturn. It is located just behind Virgo at the left end of the zodiac (see Figures 7.31 and 7.32). Saturn is represented here exactly in the same way as on the Denderah zodiacs — a male traveler with a crescent on his head.

Next, we notice on the Big zodiac, that all the figures with planetary walking sticks are divided into five groups — exactly as the number of planets, except the Sun and Moon. In addition, in two of these groups there is only one figure holding a walking stick, while in each of the remaining two groups there are two figures holding sticks, one following another (look at the color annotated zodiac on Figure 7.33, where all these figures are marked in yellow). This information practically provides us with a key to decode the horoscope.

We are already aware of the ancient tradition of a "dual representation" of Mercury and Venus, i.e. the two inner-circle planets, which always appear, for an Earth-based observer, not far from the Sun. It looks as they hide behind it and then reappear on its other side, which means that they are visible only before the dawn or after the sunset only. Because of this reason, in the ancient astronomy they were considered to have double nature — morning and evening stars. All these issues were already discussed in section 5.4.

Not surprisingly, in one of the pairs of double planetary symbols we can see a female figure. She is followed by a male figure with a lion head (see Figure 7.33). There is no other planetary female figure on the Big zodiac. Therefore, it has to be Venus. The procession representing Venus contains more figures. To the left of the mentioned pair of figures representing Venus, there is another female figure. It has lioness head (which indicates Venus) and is sitting on a chair and it is followed by a planetary figure with a lion head. It is identical to the already mentioned male figure in the pair representing Venus. We conclude that Venus procession on this zodiac contains six or, maybe, eight figures: female figure with a planetary walking stick, male figure with a planetary stick and lion head, acompanying it, two figures with bowls in their hands, then a female figure with lioness head, sitting on a chair, and one more male figure with a walking stick, identical to the second listed above figure. We've listed six figures, but two more figures with bowls, probably also belong to Venus procession.

Another pair of the double planetary symbols with walking sticks consists of two male figures with jackal or dog heads. We can presume that it is a symbol of Mercury. One of its "representatives" is sitting on a chair, but still holds a planetary walking stick in a hand, while the another follows him behind. The both figures are located at the left end of the zodiac (see Figure 7.33).

Moreover, between Mercury and, located on its left, the symbol of Aquarius, we can see the whole collection of attributes associated with a "double planet" such as Venus or Mercury, as well as other attributes that are distinct for Mercury only. Namely, 1) two male figures, looking almost like Mercury in similar pose and exactly the same heads; 2) two-headed animals; 3) two small identical animals facing each other; 4) a sitting on a chair female figure with arms spread apart and feather instead of head (a symbol of Mercury — see subsection 5.4.10). The last figure may also represent Venus (female planet) in the partial horoscope of spring equinox. Consequently, Mercury was in Aquarius or next to it.

The remaining two planetary figures of the main horoscope are less evident. The first — a man holding a planetary walking stick is located on the right of the Venus procession, at the very end of the zodiac. The second — the male figure with a disk over its head is standing on the right from Pisces.

Since all the planets of the main horoscope, except Jupiter and Mars, are already identified, these two figures represent Jupiter and Mars. We do not assume what planet is represented by each of these two figures, and consider the both variants as equally possible. However, we can reveal in advance that the male figure holding a whip over his shoulder is Mars, while the two other planetary figures — one with a lion head, and the second with a disc over its head, symbolize Jupiter.

Moreover, in contrast to the Denderah zodiacs, where considerable difficulties were encountered in the identification process of the Sun and Moon, the both "planets" — the Sun and Moon, are very precisely and unambiguously shown on the Big zodiac. On the whole zodiac, there are present only two disks — one between Aries and Pisces, and the other on the hips of Taurus. In addition, the one on Taurus is placed on a moon crescent, while the other one is represented by a simple circle, without a crescent. Therefore, the most likely Moon was in Taurus and the Sun in Aries. This variant is strongly supported by the final full solution.

In order to avoid a possible mistake, we've also analyzed all the possible, although less probable, variants of identification of the Sun and Moon on the Big zodiac. Namely, the variant with the disk on crescent in Taurus as the Sun at new moon, and the circle between Aries and Pisces as Full Moon. But, there was no solution found for this identification, so this decoding had to be rejected.

As a consequence we obtained the color annotated Big Esna zodiac, which is shown on Figure 7.33.

In this way, almost all the planets in the main horoscope could be definitely identified during the preliminary analysis. The only variants of decoding were related to possible Sun-Moon and MarsJupiter configurations. However, this uncertainty was quickly clarified already at the beginning of the astronomical computations. In fact, there were only ten preliminary solutions for the Big Esna zodiac among which only one complete solution was selected.

The resulting small number of preliminary solutions can be explained. Notice that all the planets-travelers in the main horoscope, except Saturn, are located between the symbols of Pisces and Aquarius. Moreover, the region between Pisces and Aquarius occupies almost a half of the zodiac, thus it is logical to expect that it contains almost all the planetary processions. Simply, on this date

encoded in the main horoscope on the Big zodiac, all the planets gathered around that particular location on the ecliptic.

From the astronomical dating point of view of, this type of situation is very fortunate. Actually, for this particular planetary configuration, we can carry on the computations without specific identification of all the planets, except Saturn. It is obvious that all these planets were either in Pisces or Aquarius.

The computations were done for all possible other variants of decodings, but among the obtained preliminary solutions there was no one that could be qualified as a complete solution. In this way, the existence of the unique final solution confirms that our identification of the planetary symbols is also unique. Moreover, all the symbols on the Big Esna zodiac match perfectly the corresponding symbols on the both Denderah zodiacs (see sections 5.1 and 5.4). In other words, there is no inconsistency in the identification of the astronomical symbols on the Esna and Denderah zodiacs. However, the Esna zodiacs possess particular features that are distinctive. Such particularities are visibly present on the Small Esna zodiac, which we will discuss in the next section.

In our further analysis of the Big Esna zodiac, we will implicitly refer to the color annotated zodiac on Figure 7.33 as well as to the enlarged pictures of the zodiac on Figures 7.31 and 7.32.

7.4.3 Main Horoscope and "Double" Planetary Symbols on the Big Esna Zodiac

The planetary symbols on the main horoscope on the Big zodiac were already discussed in detail in the previous subsection. Thus, we need only to describe their locations among the zodiacal constellations.

(1) Saturn — a male figure with a bull-head and a crescent on his head. It is located between Virgo and Libra.

Consequently, Saturn on the Big zodiac is either in Libra or Virgo, so the range of admissible positions of Saturn is Libra and Virgo.

As the best point for Saturn, we consider the middle of Virgo. We didn't choose it on the boundary between Libra and Virgo, because in Virgo there is another similar to Saturn figure — a sitting "double" of Saturn (on Figure 7.33 this figure is marked in green). It has also a crescent on his head and bull-face, except it is sitting without a walking stick.

Consequently, we chose as the best point for Saturn the middle of Virgo. However, in the final solution, the Saturn was located on the boundary between Virgo and Libra, corresponding exactly to the location of the "walking" figure of Saturn.

Let us point out the occurrence of the "sitting doubles" on the Big Esna zodiac. Such "doubles' can be found for almost all of the planets, except for the Sun and Moon. Mars has a "double" which is a sitting figure in front of it, Jupiter's "double" is the sitting figure in front of the Jupiter's figure, which is standing on the right from Pisces. On the color annotated Big zodiac, all these "doubles" are marked in green.

Since all the "doubles" are located in a proximity of the original figures, so it possible that they represent the planetary symbols in the partial horoscopes. In this case, all these figures, as they are located between Pisces and Aquarius, except the "double" of Saturn, would belong to the partial horoscope of the spring equinox. It is not difficult to notice that the spring equinox was close to the date of the main horoscope. Indeed, the Sun is shown in Aries, but the spring equinox point is located in Pisces, which is right next to Aries (see subsection 5.8.3). Consequently, it is indeed possible that all the "doubles" are the figures from the partial horoscopes, and their positions should be close to the locations of the planets in the main horoscope.

However, in this case the "doubles" can not give any additional information that would help to validate the preliminary solutions. It is clear that there is nothing new that couldn't be already deducted from the main horoscope. Moreover, there is not enough evidence to consider these figures as parts of the partial horoscope. It is also possible that they simply accompany the planetary symbols in the main horoscope.

Let us discuss the other planets of the main horoscope on the Big zodiac.

(2) Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Venus are shown, as we already discussed it in subsection 7.4.2, between Aquarius and Pisces. Consequently, the range of admissible positions of all these planets are Aquarius and Pisces. Moreover, as we already explained in the previous subsection, there are only two possible variants for the order of these planets on the ecliptic, from Aquarius to Pisces: Mercury—Mars—Venus—Jupiter or Mercury—Jupiter—Venus—Mars.

(3) Let us discuss now the Sun and Moon. The Sun is shown between Pisces and Aries, therefore, the range of its admissible positions is Pisces and Aries. The Moon is shown on the hips of Taurus. Thus, its location is most likely in Taurus or eventually in Aries, but it is also possible that the picture indicates the location of the Moon exactly in between Taurus and Aries. Consequently, the range of admissible positions of the Moon is Taurus and Aries.

Let us remind, that we have to consider another variant of decoding, in which the symbols of the Sun and Moon were switched (see the previous subsection). Let us mention that in the final solution, the Sun was located on the boundary between Aries and Taurus, while the Moon was in Taurus (see subsection 7.5.6).

7.4.4 Invisibility Attributes on the Big Esna Zodiac

On the Big Esna zodiac the visibility attributes of the planetary symbols are completely different from those used on the Denderah zodiacs. Let us recall that on the Denderah zodiacs, the visibility of a planet was indicated by a symbol of a star placed above the head of the figure representing the planet. When the planet was invisible, the star above the head was not present.

On the Big zodiac it is just opposite. The visibility of a planet was not indicated, while its invisibility was designated by a symbol of a disk replacing the head of a figure. From the astronomical point of view, this convention is understandable. Indeed, a planet becomes invisible when it disappears in the rays of the Sun — hides behind the Sun. That's why a disk — the symbol of the Sun, covers the head of such a figure.

All the planetary symbols are shown in the main horoscope as visible. However, some planets in the partial horoscope of the autumn equinox have the invisibility attributes. We will discuss this issue in the next subsection.

7.4.5 Partial Horoscopes on the Big Esna Zodiac

[A] Partial Horoscope of the Autumn Equinox in Virgo. In the region of this partial horoscope on the Big zodiac, we see the figures, which most likely indicate the planetary symbols in this horoscope, or the additional astronomical symbols that should be explained in the context of the final solution. These symbols are:

On the left from Virgo, we see a lioness with a human face and a disk on its head. As we already explained, this figure doesn't belong to the symbol of Virgo, therefore it is related to the partial horoscope, what is also confirmed by the fact that it is standing over the symbol of the autumn equinox — a two-headed snake (see subsection 5.8.1 for more information about the symbols of the autumn equinox). Hence, this symbol of lioness symbolizes Venus, which, on the Egyptian zodiacs, was often shown in this way (see subsection 5.4.8). There is also another female figure behind Virgo, which holds Libra in her hand. This figure also represents Venus, because it is the only female planet. However, this figure of Venus should belong to the partial horoscope of the winter solstice, whose region spreads on the right from Libra. Therfore, we should look for the other planets belonging to the partial horoscope of the autumn equinox in the region on the left from Virgo in the direction of Leo.

Preceding the lioness, there is the sitting "double" of Saturn. Since Saturn, which is a relatively slowly moving planet, was located in the main horoscope either in Virgo or Libra, it should also be located in the same area on the day of the autumn equinox.

Next, there are three figures. The first one has a disk instead of a head, which for this planet signifies the attribute of invisibility because of its proximity to the Sun. Two other figures represent visible planets. That means, we have here two visible and one invisible planet, all of them are male planets.

After that, following the bended body of the goddess Nut, we switch to the upper part of the horoscope and proceed in the opposite direction — from the left to right. Right in the beginning there is a pair of two male figures with lion heads holding their hands, which is a symbol of the autumn equinox (see subsections 5.8.1 and 5.8.3). This means that we are still in the region of the autumn equinox.

After that, there is the symbol of Leo with the secondary Virgo holding its tail. Above them, there is a representation of a warrior, holding above his head a large knife or a sword, ready to kill somebody, and a bowl and arrows. The most probably, this figure represents Mars or Saturn. Since it is shown above the secondary Virgo or Leo, this planet could be located either in Virgo or Leo. But we can not exclude the possibility that this figure could belong to the partial horoscope of the summer solstice. Indeed, it is located on the boundary between these two partial horoscopes.

At this location, there is the end of the area of the partial horoscope of the autumn equinox. The figure of a warrior is followed by the symbol of Cancer with the subsequent figures of the summer solstice partial horoscope (see subsection 5.8.4).

In this way, we have obtained the following description of the partial horoscope of the autumn equinox: Venus was in Virgo, possibly it wasn't visible (notice the symbol of a disk on the lioness' head). Moreover, in Virgo there were three other planets as well, one of them was invisible, while the remaining two were visible. Next, Mars or Saturn was located either in Virgo or in Leo. If it is not the case, then this planet should be located there on the summer solstice day.

[B] Partial Horoscope of the Winter Solstice in Sagittarius. The symbol of Sagittarius on the Big zodiac is again a carefully composed astronomical hieroglyph containing a minimal partial horoscope. It indicates the summer solstice point, but doesn't provide us with any additional information. A little further, there is a small male figure standing on Capricorn. It looks like a warrior wearing a helmet and holding a bow with arrows. Therefore, it is Mars, which was often associated with gods of war. Consequently, we can conclude that Mars was located in Capricorn on the winter solstice day.

Notice a cluster of snake symbols on the left from Sagittarius. These are the symbols particular for the summer solstice point (see subsection 5.8.2). A little further, there are two male figures with jackal heads. In this way could only be shown Mercury — a "double" male planet. With regard to the use of the jackal head for the Mercury symbol, we refer to section 5.4.

Finally, in front of Scorpio, there is a female figure holding the symbol of Libra in her hand. We have already discussed this symbol above, where we found out that this symbol represents Venus in the partial horoscope of the winter solstice, what means that on the day of the winter solstice Venus was in Libra.

In this way we have obtained the following partial horoscope of the winter solstice: Mars in Capricorn, Mercury in Sagittarius or Scorpio, Venus in Libra.

[C] Partial Horoscope of the Spring Equinox in Pisces. Like on the other Egyptian zodiac, this horoscope is not present on the Big Esna zodiac, what could be explain by the fact that the main date is close to the spring equinox date. However, it is also possible (see the previous sections) that this horoscope was indicated by the "doubles" of the planetary figures. But even if this was the case, we still don't get any additional information. The reason for this is that the partial horoscope would simply repeat the main horoscope, and, consequently, it would be satisfied automatically by every preliminary solution.

[D] Partial Horoscope of the Summer Solstice in Gemini. This partial horoscope on the Big

Esna zodiac is almost empty, except for the symbol of Gemini, which as usual, is represented as an astronomical hieroglyph. This symbol contains a minimal partial horoscope of the summer solstice, with Venus represented by the female figure and Mercury by the male figure (see subsection 5.8.4). On the left from Gemini, we can see a gathering of the summer solstice symbols (see subsection 5.8.4), which are located between Gemini and Cancer (see Figure 7.33). Here, there is only one symbol that eventually could symbolize a planet — a two-headed snake, which could indicate Mercury (see subsection 5.4.10). But it could possibly symbolize Venus as well, because it is also a "double planet."

In any case, we obtain that the partial horoscope of the summer solstice on the Big zodiac is minimal, consisting of Mercury and Venus only. In addition, one of these two planets, probably Mercury, was represented by the two-headed snake located in between of Gemini and Cancer.

Let us remind that there is also a possibility that the figure of a warrior representing Mars or Saturn, which is located above secondary Virgo and Leo, could also be related to the partial horoscope of the summer solstice.

7.4.6 Final Solution for the Big Esna Zodiac: March 31 — April 3, 1394 AD.

A complete solution for the Big Esna zodiac turned out to be unique. It is March 31 — April 3, 1394 AD.

The input data that we used for the computations done with the help of the program Horos, is included in Appendix 2.

On Figure 7.35, we present the final decoding of the Big Esna zodiac, for which the above solution was obtained. Moreover, it turned out that the planets in the main horoscope on the Big Esna zodiac were located as follows:

The Sun — the circle in Aries. During the days March 31 — April 3, 1394, indicated in the final solution, the Sun was crossing the boundary between Aries and Taurus and entering Taurus.

Figure 7.34: Planets in the proximity of the Sun on March The Moon — the circle with a cres-31 — April 3, 1394 A.D. The area under the horizon is cent on the back of Taurus. On the shaded. The dotted lines indicate the trajectory of the plan- days of our solution, the Moon was ets during these dates. moving in Aries and Taurus, but in

Aries it was invisible. Moreover, on April 3, 1394, the New Moon reappeared in Taurus, right in the star cluster of Pleiades. In the medieval astronomy the Pleiades were given special consideration because of their distinctive appearance on the night sky. According to the results obtained by using the program Turbo-Sky, the Moon was not visible on the sky from March 31 till the evening of April 3, when a tiny crescent of the New Moon appeared in the Pleiades inside the Taurus constellation (see Figure 7.34).


The dotted lines indicate the planetary motions during the period March 31 - April 3, 1394 AD

Reappearing Moon in Pleiades on Aoril 3. 13S4

Figure 7.35: The final variant of decoding for the main horoscope on the Big Esna zodiac, which resulted in a complete solution. We encircled the groups of figures related to the planetary symbols (marked in yellow) on the main horoscope.


Figure 7.35: The final variant of decoding for the main horoscope on the Big Esna zodiac, which resulted in a complete solution. We encircled the groups of figures related to the planetary symbols (marked in yellow) on the main horoscope.

On April 3, 1394 — the last day of the solution, the Moon reappeared in Taurus in a shape of a tiny crescent.

Let us now discuss the other planets in our solution.

Saturn in our solution was located exactly on the boundary between Virgo and Libra, which is the same location as the principal figure of Saturn on the main horoscope of the Big zodiac. Notice that the male figure of a traveler with a crescent on his head and holding a planetary walking stick, which represents Saturn, is placed precisely in between the symbols of Virgo and Libra (see Figure 7.33).

Next, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and Venus were gathered in Pisces, which again, is exactly the same location as it was indicated on the Big zodiac. Furthermore, they all appeared very close one to another — the maximal distance between them was not larger than 10o, while the distances between Venus, Mars and Mercury were barely 2o-3o. The configuration of these four planets, on the days specified in our solution, is shown on Figure 7.34.

In addition, before the dawn on March 31, 1394, Jupiter raised in Cairo, when the Sun was submerged 7o under the horizon (in Luxor it was 8o), and it was the brightness "star" at that time — its brightness was M = -1.5, which was the same as the brightness of Sirius. Consequently, Jupiter was visible before the dawn and since, on the days preceeding March 31, the submersion of the Sun under the horizon was smaller than 7o, this was the first day of its visibility36 (see subsection 6.7.3 for more information about the visibility of planets). On the last day of the solution — April 3, 1394, when Jupiter was rising, in Cairo the Sun was submerged 8.5o under the horizon and in Luxor 10o. That means, Jupiter was even better visible, but still for a short time only. Therefore, this could provide us an explanation for the appearance of the figure of Jupiter — a male planetary figure with a disk over his head. It is the last figure in the procession of Jupiter (see the color annotated Big zodiac on Figure 7.33 and Figure 7.35). The presence of the disk signifies the closeness of Jupiter to the Sun — it's like the Sun was "sitting" on Jupiter's "head" and that's exactly what is indicated by our solution.

In the solution, when moving away from the Sun, Jupiter was the first planet, then we encounter Venus, followed by Mars and next Mercury (see Figure 7.34).

Mars and Mercury on March 31 - April 3, 1394, were located almost at the same latitude, i.e. nearly at the same place on the ecliptic. In this case, on the zodiac, these two planets could be displayed in any order. The planets on the Big zodiac are shown in the following order: Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Mercury (see Figure 7.35).

On the days indicated by the solution, at the time Venus, Mars and Mercury were rising, the Sun was submerged behind the horizon at least 14o (SUH= 14o), what practically was a complete darkness. All these planets were well visible before the dawn during the days of our solution, as well as in earlier days.

Moreover, one week earlier than the dates indicated by the main horoscope, on March 25, 1394, all three planets — Venus, Mars and Mercury met at one point on the sky. At that moment the distance from Mercury to Mars, and from Mercury to Venus was only 3 minutes of latitude and the brightness of Venus was M = -3.5, the brightness of Mercury was M = +0.7, and of Mars was M = +1.3. With such large values of brightness, especially the brightness of Venus, and with such small distances separating these planets, they all appeared to an Earth based observer watching the sky by naked eye, as an unusually bright spot. Without doubt, it was an impressive astronomical event. The submersion of the Sun under the horizon at the moment of rising this "triple star" was about 14o, so it was still the night. On Figure 7.36, we show the configuration of the Sun, Mercury, Mars and Venus, that took place on March 25, 1394, before the dawn in Cairo. At that time the Sun was submerged 10o under the horizon.

Let us point out, that the Big Esna horoscope was compiled based on the planetary locations after the occurrence of this bright astronomical event. The first date of the solution coincide with the reappearance of Jupiter and the last one with the New Moon, that were subsequent to the merger of the three planets. It was exactly one week after the merger, on March 31 when Jupiter became visible, and on April 3, when the New Moon reappear again, which are exactly the dates of our solution.

Consequently, our solution perfectly agrees with the situation shown on the Big Esna zodiac.

In Table 7.11, we list the calculated positions of the planets during the days from March 31 till April 3, 1394 A.D., where the dates correspond to the Julian calendar (year/month/day). We have indicated the Julian day that was used in the astronomical computations37 (see section 6.4). The locations of the planets are specified by their longitudes in degrees on the J2000 ecliptic (in the first row) and in coordinates on the constellation scale (in the second row — see section 6.10). The names of constellations, in which a planet was located on the specified date, are placed in the third row.

The astronomical New Moon took place in the days from March 31 till April 2, 1394, i.e. during these days the Moon wasn't visible on the sky. Then, on April 3, the Moon reappeared in Taurus almost at the same location as Pleiades (according to the computations done using the program Turbo-Sky).

Figure 7.36: The close meeting of Mercury (M = +0.7), Mars (M = +1.3) and Venus (M = -3.6), before the dawn in the morning on March 25, 1394 A.D. in Cairo. (The computations were obtain using the program Turbo-Sky)

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The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.

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