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The Lost Zodiac

Orion - Jun 1 to 7 and Jun 17 to 27

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Your sign beyond the zodiac is Orion, the Golden Huntsman, with his glittering belt of stars. Loved by Artemis, the goddess of the crescent moon and by the goddess of the dawn, Orion was a giant so tall that he could wade across the deepest ocean with his head above the water. Orion was worshipped in Babylon as the god who created precious stones.

Everything about Orion is on the grand scale, and you need space and freedom - and contact with wild nature - to feel happy and fulfilled.

Truthful and direct, you can feel let down by less straightforward people, but your resilience and faith in life always help you to bounce back - and to gain a deeper understanding of the world.

Precious stone: Emerald and Opal

Plant: Martagon Lily (Lilium Martagon)

Your Guiding Star

June 1st to 7th

If you were born between these dates, your guiding star is Rigel, the Mariners' Star, a blue-white supergiant 57,000 times brighter than our sun. Early astrologers believed that it conferred splendour and honours upon those born under its influence.

June 17th to 27th

If you were born between these dates, your guiding star is Betelgeuse, a giant, red-topaz coloured star, which rises in the Autumn just as Antares, the red heart of the Scorpion which killed Orion, sets. A war-like star, Betelgeuse was believed to bring courage, wealth and honour. Betelgeuse is so enormous that it could contain the whole orbit of the earth around the sun.

The Legends behind your Star Sign

The Golden Huntsman

Orion, the heavenly Hunter, in his golden armour, club in hand and holding a trophy from the chase, shines on the celestial equator, through which runs his belt, the String of Pearls. At his feet are Lepus, the Hare, and the two Dog Stars, Sirius and Procyon.

The legendary Orion was not only the most beautiful man the world has ever known, but a giant so tall that he could wade through any sea with his head above the waters - when he was not hunting with his dogs through the wooded hills of ancient Greece.

He has a stormy reputation, and has long been feared by sailors, as the evening rising of his handsome head above the eastern ocean, which the myth describes, coincides, in the northern hemisphere, with the start of winter and bad weather.

Rising and Setting Stars

All the stories which describe the great Hunter's exploits echo the annual rising and setting of his stars. Like his stars, which wander endlessly across the heavens, Orion was destined for adventure. After his first wife was banished to the underworld for boasting that she was more beautiful than Hera, Queen of Heaven, Orion fell in love with a Greek princess. To win her hand, He rid Chios, the island from which she came, of all its savage beasts, but when her jealous father still refused to let them marry, he took his bride by force.

Sight Lost and Regained in the Light of Dawn

With the help of Dionysus, god of wine, the king of Chios blinded the great Huntsman while he lay asleep. Orion asked an oracle for guidance, which told him to travel east into the sunrise to regain his sight. When he finally arrived and stood blindly gazing at Aurora, the goddess of the dawn and the mother of the winds and of the morning star, she fell in love with him, and Orion, who had been blind all Summer - when his stars are not on view - could see the world once more.

Artemis the Huntress

His real soul mate, though, was not the dawn, but Artemis, the goddess of the crescent moon, of wild virgin nature and wide open spaces, who gave off a 'brilliant blaze' when she hunted with him through the mountains.

It was Artemis, however, who caused his death, although the stories about why, and how, all vary. Perhaps she shot him with an arrow, by mistake, while he was swimming, or maybe she was jealous of the Dawn? Perhaps Orion dared to touch her, and she summoned up a deadly scorpion which stung him? Certainly Orion fades as the Scorpion rises in the Summer sky each Spring.

But it was at Artemis' request that Orion was immortalised and placed amongst the stars. After his 'death', when his stars become invisible each Spring, he hunts on in the underworld, and is then placed on view above us in the heavens, with Sirius, the Dog Star, beside him, as the Scorpion sets. There, with his sight and life restored, he glitters in the evening sky throughout the Winter.

The Origin of Precious Jewels

In Babylon, the brilliant constellation of Orion was worshipped as the origin of all precious jewels. To the Jews, his stars were Nimrod, the 'Mighty Hunter before the Lord'.

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The Star Sign

Even in the world of myth, Orion towers above other men, and there is often something larger than life about those born under the sign of the Noble Huntsman, 'the tallest and most beautiful of men'. Their strength and energy seem unbounded, and, brimming over with enthusiasm and zest for life, they are forever on the go, looking for new lands to conquer and fresh peaks to climb.

Like Orion, they belong to the wide-open spaces - city life can make them claustrophobic, as they hate to feel penned in, by people, or by places, and when you meet them you have notice that they carry with them something of the fresh air of the mountains and the forests which are their natural homes.

Their philosophy is that life is there to be enjoyed, and there is nothing complicated about their vision of the world. Or not at first. Seeing things in terms of black and white, they have a passionate sense of right and wrong, and no one is more surprised and hurt - and angry - when they feel cheated or betrayed. They make the staunchest allies, and will rid the land of any number of wild beasts to keep their side of a bargain, but woe betide someone who lets them down.

Normally sunny and good-natured, when they encounter the deviousness of more complex signs they can be blinded, like Orion, by their hurt and rage, and must then set out on the long and often arduous journey back towards the light. Because they are so strong themselves, it can be hard for them to understand weakness in others, or to forgive those who fail to live up to their code of honour.

But, like Orion, it is their destiny to discover, and to accept that life and human nature, with all their imperfections, contain both light and shade, and to find compassion. Until they learn not to judge others by their own standards, or to expect others' goals and motives to be exactly like their own, they can feel trapped by resentment and anger, and feel lost and alone.

They themselves are usually readily forgiven their faults, for their good qualities far outweigh their defects, and nothing can keep them down for long. When they bounce back, and the sun comes out again, no one can resist the golden huntsman with his energy and love of life.

Many of their love affairs, however, tend to start while they are low, because their combination of good looks and vulnerability makes it easy to fall in love with them, as did the goddess of the dawn, whose love and admiration gave Orion back his sight.

And Orions often need encouragement, support - and admiration - to help them throw off their dark moods. But the legend demonstrates that, although Orion needs love affairs, in the end comradeship and adventure mean more to him than domesticity or passion. It also shows that there is a solitary part of him which remains both innocent and untamed. This is the aspect of Orion which belongs to Artemis, the virgin huntress, goddess of the crescent moon. Without it and without the contact with nature, pure and simple, which she represents, he would lose his strength and innocence, and his way in life.

Born under Orion

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Paul Gauguin, Robert Falcon Scott (of the Antarctic), Bjorn Borg, Johhny Weissmuller (Tarzan), Juan Fangio, Jack Dempsey, Marilyn Monroe, George Bryan 'Beau' Brummel, Isabella Rossellini, Jane Russell, H. Rider Haggard, Errol Flynn, Thomas Hardy, Helen Keller, St John of the Cross, Empress Josephine, Pearl S. Buck, Edward Elgar (composer of the Enigma Variations, of which one was 'Nimrod' the Great Hunter), King Henry VIII, George Mallory (the mountaineer), King George III, King George V, Nicolas Poussin (who painted Orion).

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Discovering the Twenty Two Lost Star Signs

As an astrologer, I sometimes looked for reasons for traits of character which did not seem to be explained exclusively by what the birth chart tells us. For me, the discovery of the importance of the stars and constellations lying beyond the zodiac band turned out to be the missing link.

They do not undermine conventional astrology, but to add a lost dimension to it.

The Earliest Astrologers and The Sacred, Living Sphere

We have grown so used to seeing the planets and the zodiac alone as powerful that it can come as a surprise to find that for the early practitioners of astrology, the whole celestial sphere, from pole to pole, was filled with starry gods and supernatural beings who influenced the life of man. For them, all the stars had power over our lives. They worshipped them, wove myths around them and built their temples in alignment with them.

For the ancient Greeks, therefore, who inherited this vision of a living sphere, and who gave many of the constellations the names and forms which they still have today, it seemed quite natural to believe that Orion and the Great Bear, Perseus, the glittering hero, and the Lyre of Orpheus, the legendary musician, among others, influenced our destiny, just like the narrow zodiac band of stars which forms the pathway of the sun and moon and planets, with which we are familiar.

These twenty two lost star signs reconnect us to the ancient vision of a sacred, living cosmos, and to the great celestial sphere around us.

Your Sign Beyond the Zodiac Linked to your Sun Sign

These star signs are the ancient constellations which lie to the North and South of the zodiac band of stars, and were used in conjunction with it.

The brightest and most powerful star, or constellation of stars, which falls nearest to the sun by longitude on your birthday is 'conjunct' your sun.

This constellation was considered to be your 'sign beyond the zodiac'.

Why Were They Forgotten?

So why did these important star signs, which embody so many of the great myths and symbols of our culture, vanish from the scene ?

In the second century AD the great astronomer, Ptolemy, tried to simplify astrology by excluding the constellations to the North and South of the zodiac band. However, even he could not deny their astrological significance, and described the influence of their individual stars. In 'L'Astrologie Grecque' (1899), Bouche-Leclerq, the leading authority on the history of astrology, quotes Ptolemy as saying that he will 'leave to one side as impracticable the ancient method, which took account of all, or nearly all, the stars'.

But 'the exclusion of the constellations beyond the zodiac is so artificial that it could not be maintained, even by Ptolemy ... all stellar mythology cries out against the privileged position of the zodiac'. Adds Bouche-Leclerq.

The Age of Aquarius, ruled by Uranus, the Personification of the Starry Sphere

They are also highly relevant to the times we live in.

Thanks to the moving equinoxes, we are now entering the new Aquarian Age, which will be ruled by Uranus, the planet named after the ancient Greek sky god who personifies the starry sphere and is the ruler of Aquarius.

To look beyond the zodiac, and beyond the 'village' of our solar system, as astronomers are now doing, towards deep space - the domain of Uranus - is, symbolically, in keeping with the coming age. One of astrology's most important tenets is that the discovery of a new planet heralds an important shift in human consciousness. The discovery of Pluto, in 1930, for instance, which was named after the Roman god of the underworld, and which rules the depths of the unconscious mind, coincided with the rise to popularity of psychoanalysis. The reintroduction of these 'Uranian' signs beyond the zodiac, therefore, and our renewed awareness, when we find our personal star sign in the sky, of our links with the galaxies of stars around us, can be seen to coincide with our entry into the Aquarian Age.

Our Myth and Personal Quest

From my research as an astrologer, it is remarkable how accurate, and how literal, these ancient star signs can be.

Born under the sign of Andromeda, the princess chained to a rock as a sacrifice for her country, for instance, are Houdini, Queen Elizabeth II and Sylvia Pankhurst, the leader of the suffragettes who fought for the emancipation of women.

These ancient signs are rich, dynamic symbols, and can describe the myths behind our lives and the 'Journey of the Soul of Man'. Perseus, for example, by cutting off the gorgon's head, conquers and comes to terms with neglected instinct and emotion, which the gorgon represents. The winged horse of inspiration, Pegasus, learns to distinguish between truth and illusion, in the form of the Chimaera. Andromeda, the chained princess, discovers freedom, and the Swan its human form. Ophiuchus wrestles with the Serpent and transforms its poison into medicine. For the River of Night, which wells up from paradise, life is a journey back towards the sea, where all separate sense of self is lost, and Orpheus overcomes the sovereigns of the underworld with the music of his lyre.

Each one has its own personal quest and compliments our birth chart and our Sun sign.

The Roman Astrologer, Manilius

I knew of the importance many astrologers give to the fixed stars, but my first real encounter with the actual signs beyond the zodiac took place over twenty years ago, when I read the 'Astronomica' of Manilius, the great Roman astrologer and astronomer. Much of the 5th book of his 'Astronomica' is dedicated to their meaning: 'The child of the Lyre will sing beguiling songs at the banquet, his voice adding mellowness to the wine and holding the night in thrall...and, left to himself, he will ever burst into song which can charm no ears but his own...When the Dog Star rises over the rim of the sea...it will fashion unbridled spirits and impetuous hearts...the child of the Crown will cultivate a garden budding with bright flowers, and slopes grey with olives...his heart is set upon elegance, fashion, and the art of adornment, upon gracious living and the pleasures of the hour...', and so on, at great length, for all the extra-zodiacal signs.

What Modern Psychology Has to Add

Beautiful as his descriptions are, our understanding of the myths, and of what they can tell us about the soul of man, has changed and grown, of course, since Roman times. What, I wondered, could modern psychology tell us abut the meaning of these age-old stories set amongst the stars, and so about ourselves ?

With the help of psychology, which I had studied for many years, and of the modern school of astrology, which uses myth and symbol to give the zodiac and the planets a new and deeper dimension, I began to see what it could mean to be born under these ancient signs. I then applied this to famous people, both alive and dead, and to my family, friends and clients.

The results were startling. And, as I continued, an image slowly grew and crystallised of the kind of person each one represented, and of the life-issues they were most concerned with. As with the zodiac signs, each one had its own preoccupations, its own problems and its own outlook on the world.

But the rediscovered signs are different as they tell us more about where our life is leading and describe our inner quest.

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