66 A MANUAL OF ASTROLOGY.
Independent of other. Astrological symbols, thesè tweltjf&ghs answer to the twelve months in the year ; some have indeed imagined thatthe figures under which they are represented» are descriptive of the different seasons, according to the path of the greater luminary ; thus the first sign Aries, " denotç»**l4|fP that about the time when Sol enters into that part of the ecliptic the lambs begin to follow the sheep : that on the sun's approach to the second asterism, Taurus, the cows usually bring forth their young. Thé third sign, now Gemini, was in former times represented by two kids, and signified the time of the goats bringing forth their young, which are usually two at a birth \ while the former, the sheep and the cow, commonly produce*; •only one. The fourth sign, Cancer, denoting the crab, an ani-mal that goes sideways and backwards, was placed at the* northern Solstice, where the sun begins to return back again from the north to the southward ; this answers to the time of obr longest days, after which the day gradually decreases, as the sun has left his greatest northern declination. The fifth sign Leo> denoting the lion, a furious animal, was thought to represent the heat and fury of the tropical sun, when he enters this sign. The *
succeeding sign, the sixth in order, Virgo, the maid, received the *
sun at the time of the ripening corn, and the approaching har- s vest ; and in former times, the sign was expressed by a maid at-tired as a female reaper, with an ear of corn in her hand. The ancients gave to the next sign, both Libra and Scorpio, two of the twelve divisions of the zodiac ; as autumn, which aiftrds fruits in great abundance, affords the means and causes of diseases : and the succeeding time, being in general the most unhealthy of the year, was expressed by this venomous animal, here, spreading out his long claws into one sign, as if threatening mischief, and in the other, brandishing his tail to denote the completion of it.' The next sign, Sagittarius, denotéd the fall of the'leaf, and the season for ancient hunting) for which reason, the stars which marked this constellation, were represented by a huntsman, with his arrows and his club, the wëa- ^ pons of destruction for the large creatures he pursued. The 4ly reasons of the wild goat's being chosen to mark (the sign ty Capricorn) the southern solstice, when the sun has attained ^
his greatest southern declination, and begins again to moutit northward, lengthening the days, is obvious enough;the character of that animal being, that it is mostly climbing, and ascending some mountain as it browses: There yet remains two signs of the zodiac to be accounted for, with regard to their origin, viz. Aquarius and Pisces.—As to the former, it is to be considered, that the winter is a wet and uncomfortable season; this therefore was shown by Aquarius, the figure of a man pouring out water from an urn. The last of the zodiacal constellations, Pisces, was represented by a couple of fishes tied together, that had been caught; the lesson was, " The severe season is over; your fiocks do not yield their store; but the seas and rivers are open, and there you may take fish in abundance."
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