On the inner Petosiris zodiac (see Figure 8.22), the locations of Mars (annotated with the letter E), Mercury (annotated with D) and one more planet (annotated with the letter C) are shown clearly and conclusively. By elimination, the planet C can only be Saturn or Jupiter. Mars holding a spear is shown in Aries or in Pisces. Two-faced Mercury is located in Aries or in Pisces, and the third (not yet identified) planet C is in Cancer or Leo (see Figure 8.22).
There remaining planets — the Sun, Venus and the third planet annotated with the letter A (see Figure 8.22) are shown inside the small circle in the center of the zodiac. Depending on a chosen variant of decoding, the planet A is either Jupiter or Saturn. Let us recall that we call this small circle the Central Circle of the zodiac (P2). It is clear that a special consideration was given to the location of these three planets inside the Central Circle. They occupy the central position inside the zodiac. In addition they are encircled by a thick line which separates them from the other planets in the zodiac.
Finally, Moon is shown in the upper sector of the equinoctial break (it is annotated by the letter F). Notice that the crescent, on which the bust of Moon is standing, is slightly overlapping with the thick oval line surrounding the Central Circle. Possibly, it could mean (but not necessarily) that Moon was close to the Sun and two other planets inside the Central Circle.
In this way, the planetary configuration of the Sun, the planet A (Jupiter or Saturn), and the most probably Moon on the zodiac (P2), clearly depends on the meaning of the Central Circle assumed by the artist-astronomer, who designed this zodiac (see Figure 8.29). There are two possible interpretations of the Central Circle.
1. The Central Circle could simply signify that enclosed inside it planets were not far one from another. In this case the corresponding configuration of these planets should be exactly like it is portrayed on the zodiac (P2). Let us point out that independently of our interpretation of the Central Circle, it is clear that the planet denoted on Figure 8.29 by the letter A (the bust on the left from the boy representing the Sun), was not far from the Sun and Venus, i.e. it was in the proximity of the spring equinox point. This planet could not be in the proximity of Libra or Scorpio, in spite of the fact that on the zodiac (P2) they are shown as the closest to the planet A constellations. Indeed, if the actual location of the planet A was among the constellations shown in the left half of the zodiac (i.e. Libra, Scorpio, etc.), then it would also be on the opposite side of the ecliptic from the Sun and Venus. In such a case, enclosing this planet inside the Central Circle, together with the Sun and Venus, would not make any sense. Moreover, since the other planets shown on the right half of the zodiac were placed outside the Central Circle, it would be appropriate to expect that a planet located near Libra or Scorpio should be portrayed in a similar way. However, this is
not the case on the Petosiris zodiac (P2). It is clear that the author of the zodiac (P2) ostensibly separated this planet from the constellation figures on the left and put it inside the oval-circle shown in the center of the zodiac, side by side with the Sun and Venus. Since Mercury is shown in Aries or Taurus, it is not astronomically possible that this planetary configuration would be close to any of the constellations in the left half of the zodiac (see Figures 8.22 and 8.29). We should remember that the Sun and Venus always appear not too far from Mercury, which is on the Petosiris zodiac (P2) shown exactly on the opposite from Libra and Scorpio side of the ecliptic.
With such interpretation of the meaning of the Central Circle, we should also admit arbitrary order of Venus and Mars on the ecliptic. Although Venus is shown on the zodiac (P2) closer to the Sun than Mars, all these figures are related to the same location on the ecliptic with respect to the zodiacal constellations. Notice that on the zodiac (P2), Venus is located slightly lower than Mars (but still this difference is negligible), what could eventually be considered as an indication that Venus was more distant from the Sun. In addition, the inclusion of Venus inside the Central Circle could be dictated by the fact that it is much brighter than Mars (see Figure 8.29). For these reasons we gave the same consideration to all solutions regardless of the order of Venus and Mars.
2. The second possible interpretation: the Central Circle indicates a distinguished group of three planets (the Sun, Venus and one more planet), for which their positions on the ecliptic are indicated by the location of the circle. Since the Central Circle is shown on the zodiac P2 inside the Equinoctial Break, the astronomical explanation of its meaning could be as follows:
The group of three planets, which included the Sun and Venus, was located in a proximity of one of the two equinox points. It was closer to that equinox point than any other planet. As we have explained earlier, this equinox point could only be the spring equinox. Otherwise we would get a contradiction with the location of Mercury. These planets are encircled by an oval in order to separate them from the constellation symbols. With this interpretation of the zodiac (P2), the order of Venus and Mars, contrary to the previous one, is well determined. Venus, together with the whole Central Circle, was closer to Aquarius and further from Taurus than Mars (see Figure 8.29).
We will refer to the first possible interpretation of the zodiac (P2) as the Dispersed Central Circle, and we will call the second one as the Clustered Central Circle. In this way we have obtained two essentially different decodings of the main horoscope on the zodiac (P2).
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