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Egyptian astrology

by Sarah Horrocks Published on 16 April 2008

Egyptian astrology dates from 3000 years BC. The Egyptians were more interested in what seemed fixed than with the planets. Here's our guide to Egyptian astrology and the 12 Egyptian zodiac signs.

The birth of Egyptian astrology
Foreseeing the date the Nile overflowed was important for the Egyptians. They noticed that the floods started when the fixed star of Sirius appeared on the eastern horizon at the same time as the sun (known as the ‘heliacal rising’ of Sirius). The overflowing of the Nile meant the flooding of the river banks and the fertilisation of the earth. This is why Egyptian astrology is based on agriculture, the cycle of the seasons and vegetation.

The position of the sun
The only star that really fascinated the Egyptians was the sun, because of its regular cycle. The great priests of Heliopolis, an ancient sacred city, taught that the sun god Re appeared in different positions according to the time of day, in parallel with the 4 ages of man. The morning sun was represented by a child, the midday sun by an adult or a falcon, the sunset by an old man and midnight by the corpse of Osiris in the underworld.

Although their astronomic, esoteric and artistic techniques were without a doubt highly developed, and their beliefs in the afterlife increased knowledge, the Egyptians were certainly a long way behind the people who succeeded them in Mesopotamia in terms of knowledge, and it was thanks to these people that they had access to such knowledge.

The year was divided into 12 months, each of which was then divided into 3 periods of 10 days. The ancestry of decan astrology is still used in contemporary popular astrology. Their oldest representation can be found in the grave of the 5th dynasty (around 2000 BC).

The 12 Egyptian zodiac signs are:

Osiris
: from 1st to10th March and from 27th November to 18th December
Isis: from 11 to 31st March, from 18th to 29th October and from 19th to 31st December
Thot: from 1st to 19th April and from 8th to 17th November
Anubis: from 9th to 27th May and from 29th June to 13th July
Seth: from 28th May to 18th June and from 28th September to 2nd October
Horus: from 20th April to 8th May and from 12th to 19th August
Sekhmet: from 29th July to 11th August and from 30th October to 7th November
Bastet: from 14th to 28th July, from 23rd to 27th September and from 3rd to 17th October
Geb: from 12th to 28th February and from 20th to 31st August
Nout: from 22nd to 31st January and from 8th to 22nd September
Amon Ra: from 8th to 21st January and from 1st to 11th February
Hapi: from 1st to 7th January, 19th to 28th June, 1st to 7th September and 18th to 26th November

by Sarah Horrocks

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