812 Partial Horoscopes and Supplementary Scenes on the Athribis Zodiacs

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On the Athribis zodiacs, the symbols of the partial horoscopes are located in a sequence of figures surrounding the zodiacs. The only exceptions are the supplementary scenes of the Full Paschal Moon. On the color annotated Athribis zodiacs (see Figure 8.3 and 8.4) this fringe of figures surrounding the zodiacs is marked in lightblue. The symbolism of these figures was already discussed in Chapter 5.

In principle, this encircling arrangement of figures is composed mainly of the equinox and solstice symbols. On the Upper zodiac, in its right upper corner, over the symbol of Gemini, there is a figure with four faces holding a planetary walking stick. On the other Egyptian zodiacs, similar figures with four heads were used in connection to the solstice and equinox points, but not as planetary symbols in the partial horoscopes (see section 5.8). Nevertheless, there is one partial horoscope with planetary figures. It is the partial horoscope of the summer solstice on the Lower zodiac. This partial horoscope was already discussed in subsection 5.8.3, so we only recall its contents (see Figure 5.60).

This partial horoscope contains five figure of birds with human faces, which clearly symbolize the planets Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Let us recall that planets on the Athribis zodiacs are almost always shown as birds. The Sun is shown here as a figure of a man with a raised hand. This is a standard representation of the Sun on the Egyptian zodiacs in the summer solstice partial horoscopes (see section 5.8). There is no symbol of the Moon in this partial horoscope. On the Egyptian zodiacs the Moon was usually shown as a crescent or a disc, and it is clear that there is no such symbol here.

Notice that two of the birds-planets are placed on the left side of the Sun (represented by the figure of a man with a raised hand) and three other birds-planets are on its right side. The two birds on the left are accompanied by hieroglyphic inscriptions. H. Brugsch translated them as Meri-Gor and Ab-Ne-Mani.3 In addition, the bird on the far left has female face, so it is probably Venus. The whole partial horoscope of the summer solstice on the Lower zodiac is arranged in such a way that it is facing Gemini, so it is exactly like it should be on the Egyptian zodiacs (see section 5.8). Let us recall that the Sun on the summer solstice day was in Gemini.

In this way, on the day of the summer solstice Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars should be located in Gemini, or around it. Moreover, two of these planets (one of them Venus — represented by the bird with female face) are shown over the head of the Sun. That position indicates that these two planets were located in the morning visibility side of the Sun. Three remaining planets were on the other side of the Sun (under its feet), i.e. in the evening visibility side. Let us recall that the planets, which we can observe before or at the dawn, appear to be ahead of the Sun, while those planets that are visible after the dusk seem to follow the "steps" of the Sun.

In summary, according to the partial horoscope of the summer solstice on the Lower zodiac, on that day Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, were located in the proximity of the Sun, which at that time was in Gemini. Two planets were "above the head" of the Sun, i.e. in its morning visibility side. Among these two planets, the one that was more distant from the Sun, was Venus. Three other planets were in the evening visibility side of the Sun.

There are no other partial horoscopes on the Athribis zodiacs. There are only typical symbols of the solstices and equinoxes surrounding the zodiacs, which of course are not useful for the astronomical dating. However, there is another detail that can provide us with some additional information. It is a "meeting" scene, where two figures are shown holding hands on the top of a lion. It is located near the left bottom corner of the Upper zodiac. The lion has a human head. It is possible, it's a female head, so it could be a lioness. The two figures on the lion's back are of male gender. One of them is two-faced — possibly it represents Mercury. We have discussed it earlier, that on the Egyptian zodiacs, Mercury is very often shown as a male figure with two faces. On the other hand, a lion or lioness symbolized Venus in the constellation of Leo (or close to it). Therefore, in our opinion this whole scene probably symbolizes a meeting of Mercury and another male planet in in Leo. Moreover, Venus at that time was also in Leo. Certainly, our interpretation of this symbol on the Upper zodiac should not be considered as unique or conclusive. It is possible that other explanations could also be presented. In any case, the final solutions for the Athribis zodiacs will clarify the meaning of this scene and provide us with the needed explanation. Notice that the presence of the two-faced figure in this meeting scene, is already sufficient to determine that it is dedicated to a certain planetary configuration involving Mercury and the constellation of Leo.

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