The Esna Zodiac & Sphinx marking the zodiac start

The Zodiac is a circular projection of constellations.  How does one mark the beginning of a circle?  But the Temple at Esna, near Luxor Egypt, displays the Zodiac linearly.  The Esna Zodiac shows us how the ancients marked the start and the end of the Zodiac. Below is the Esna Zodiac, showing the Zodiac constellations moving in a procession from right to left in the lower level with the procession on the upper level cycling from left-to-right behind, following the U-turn arrows. 

Linear Zodiac on the Portico of the Temple at Esna. Zodiac Constellations are circled in red. The Sphinx (circled in green) heads the Zodiac procession. Virgo starts the procession and Leo is last.

The Sphinx heads the procession of constellations.  Sphinx means ‘to bind together’ and is a woman’s head joined to a lion’s body.  Directly following the sphinx comes Virgo, the first constellation in the zodiac procession.  The zodiac constellations then follow Virgo in standard sequence with the last constellation, at the upper left, being Leo.  The Esna Zodiac shows where the zodiac began (Virgo) and where it ended (Leo).

Array of Sphinxes – Woman’s head on Lion’s body, the first & last in the Zodiac

We can read the Ancient Zodiac Story beginning with Virgo and ending with Leo.

Leo in the Ancient Zodiac

In today’s horoscope if you are born between July 24 and August 23 you are a Leo, Latin for lion.  In this modern astrology horoscope reading of the ancient zodiac, you follow the horoscope advice for Leo to find love, good luck, health, and gain insight on your personality.

But how did the ancients read Leo? What did it mean to them?

Be Warned! Answering this will open up your horoscope in unexpected ways – embarking you on a different journey then you intended when just checking your horoscope sign…

Astrology of the Leo Constellation

Here is a picture of the star constellation that forms Leo.  Can you see anything resembling a lion in the stars?

Photo of Leo star constellation. Can you see a lion?

Even if we connect the stars in Leo with lines it is still hard to ‘see’ a lion.

Leo Constellation with stars joined by lines and named

Here is a National Geographic poster of the zodiac, showing Leo in the Northern Hemisphere. 

National Geographic star chart with Leo circled

How did people first come up with a Lion from this? But Leo goes back as far as we know in human history.

As with all the other zodiac constellations, the image of Leo is not obvious from the constellation itself. It is not innate within the star constellation. Rather, the idea of the striking scorpion came first. The first astrologers then overlaid this idea onto the stars to be a recurring sign.


What did it mean to the ancients?

Leo in the Zodiac

Here are some common astrology images of Leo.

Leo in the Stars
Leo ready to pounce

Consider the zodiac in the Dendera Temple of Egypt with Leo circled in red.

Leo in the Ancient Dendera Zodiac of Egypt

Leo in the Ancient Story

We saw in Virgo that the Quran and Bible/Kitab states that Allah made the constellations. He gave them for guidance before written revelation. Adam and his sons taught them to their children to instruct them of His Plan.

Leo concludes the story.  So even if you are ‘not’ a Leo in the modern horoscope sense, the ancient astrological story of Leo is worth knowing.

Original meaning of Leo

In the Taurat, Hazrat Jacob (Yaqub) gave this prophecy of the tribe of Judah

You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
    you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
    like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
    and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

Genesis 49:9-10

Jacob declared that a ruler will come, a ‘he’ pictured as a lion. His rule would include ‘the nations’ and he would come from the tribe of Judah of Israel. Isa al Masih came from the tribe of Judah and was anointed the Masih. But in that coming he did not pick up the ruler’s scepter. He is saving that for his next coming when he will come like a Lion to rule. This is what Leo pictured from the earliest times.

The Victorious Lion

Looking to this coming, the writings describe the Lion as the only one worthy to open the sacred scroll.

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Revelation 5: 1-5

The Lion triumphed over his enemy at his first coming and so now is able to open seals that usher in the End. We see this in the ancient Zodiac by noting Leo over his enemy Hydra the Serpent.

Lion Leo trampling the Serpent at Ancient Dendera
Leo pouncing on Hydra in Medieval Painting
Sketch of Constellations. Leo is going to seize the head of the Serpent

The Conclusion of the Zodiac Story

The intent of the Lion’s struggle with the Serpent was not simply to defeat him, but to rule. The writings picture the rule of the Lion with these words.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Revelation 21:1-7

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelation 21:22-27

In this vision we see the fulfillment and completion of the Zodiac. We see the bride and her husband; God and his children – the double-sided picture image in Gemini. We see the river of water – promised in Aquarius. The old order of death – pictured by the bands around Pisces – is no more. The Lamb dwells there – pictured in Aries, and the resurrected people – pictured with Cancer – live with Him. The scales of Libra now balance since ‘nothing impure will ever enter’. We see the Kings of all the nations there as well, ruling under the authority of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Masih – beginning as the seed of Virgo, and at the End revealed as the Lion.

The Hostages of the Zodiac Story

A question remains. Why did the Lion not simply destroy Shaytan the serpent at the very beginning? Why go through all the Zodiac chapters? When Isa al Masih faced his adversary Scorpio he marked that hour with

Now is the hour for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

John 12:31

The prince of this world, Shaytan, was using us as human shields. When confronted with a powerful military force terrorists will often take cover behind civilians. This creates a dilemma for the police in that they might kill the civilians while they take out the terrorists. When Shaytan succeeded in tempting Adam and Eve he created a human shield for himself. Shaytan knew that The Creator is absolutely just and if he punished sin then, to be righteous in his judgment, he must judge all sin. If God destroyed Shaytan, then Shaytan (which means The Accuser) could simply accuse us of our own wrongdoing, requiring our judgment along with him.

To look at it in another way, our disobedience brought us into Shaytan’s legal control. If Allah destroyed him then He would have to destroy us also because we also were caught up in Shaytan’s disobedience.

The Need for Rescue before Judgment

So we needed rescuing from Shaytan’s demand that any judgment on him must also come upon us. We needed ransoming from our sin. The Injil explains it like this:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Ephesians 2:1-3


In his sacrifice pictured in Capricorn Isa al Masih took that wrath upon himself. He paid the ransom so we could go free.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesian 2: 4-9

Allah never intended the Judgment of Hell for people. He prepared it for Shaytan. But if He judges the devil (Iblis) for his rebellion then He must do the same for those not ransomed.

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:41

Our Way of Escape now Made

This is why Isa al Masih achieved a great victory at the cross. He freed us from the legal right that Shaytan had over us. He can now strike Shaytan without having to also strike us. But we must choose to take this escape from Shaytan’s dominion. Leo is currently holding back from striking the serpent so that people can escape from that Judgment.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

This is why we find ourselves today still waiting for the final strike against Shaytan, pictured in Sagittarius, and still waiting for the final Judgment, pictured in Taurus. But the writings warn us.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

2 Peter 3: 10

The Leo Horoscope in the Ancient Writings

Horoscope comes from the Greek ‘Horo’ (hour) and means the marking (skopus) of special hours or times.   The Writings mark the Leo hour (horo) in the following way.

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour (horo) has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Romans 13:11

This declares that we are like people sleeping in a building that is burning up. We need to wake up! This is the hour (horo) to wake up because Leo is coming. The roaring Lion will strike and destroy Shaytan and all still in his legal dominion.

Your Leo Horoscope Reading

You can apply the Leo Horoscope reading in this way

Leo tells you that yes, there are scoffers who, scoff and following their own evil desires. They say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that God has and will judge and then everything in this world will be destroyed.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of person ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise you need to look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

So then since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation for you and those around you. Since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.

The Ancient Zodiac Story began with Virgo. To go deeper into Leo see

Cancer in the Ancient Zodiac

Cancer commonly depicts as a crab and comes from the Latin word for crab. In today’s horoscope if you are born between June 22 and July 23 you are a Cancer.  In this modern astrology horoscope reading of the ancient zodiac, you follow the horoscope advice for Cancer to find love, good luck, health, and get insight on your personality.

But how did the Ancients read Cancer from the beginning? What did it mean to them?

Be Warned! Answering this will open up your horoscope in unexpected ways – embarking you on a different journey then you intended when just checking your horoscope sign…

Astrology of the Cancer Constellation

Here is a picture of the Cancer star constellation.  Can you see anything resembling a crab in the stars?

Photo of Cancer star constellation. Can you see a crab?

If we connect the stars in Cancer with lines it is still hard to ‘see’ a crab.  It looks like an upside-down Y.

Cancer Constellation with stars joined by lines

Here is a photo of National Geographic poster of the zodiac, showing Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere. 

National Geographic star chart with Cancer circled

How did people first come up with a crab from this? But Cancer goes back as far as we know in human history.

As with the other zodiac constellations, the image of Cancer is not obvious from the constellation itself. It is not innate within the star constellation. Rather, the idea of the crab came first. The first astrologers then overlaid this idea onto the stars to be a recurring sign.

Why? What did it mean to the ancients?

Cancer in Zodiac

Here are some common astrology images of Cancer

Cancer Astrology image with a Crab
Cancer Zodiac Image with crayfish, not crab and Cancer 69 symbol

Here is the zodiac in the Dendera Temple of Egypt, more than 2000 years old, with the image of cancer circled in red.

Ancient Egyptian Zodiac of Dendera with Cancer circled

Though the sketch labels the image ‘crab’ it actually looks like a beetle. The Egyptian records of about 4000 years ago describes Cancer as a Scarabaeus (Scarab) beetle, the sacred symbol of immortality.

In ancient Egypt the scarab symbolized rebirth or regeneration. The Egyptians often depicted their god Khepri, the rising sun, as a scarab beetle or as a scarab beetle-headed man.

Khepri, an ancient Egyptian God represented with the head of a beetle.[1] Based on New Kingdom tomb paintings

Cancer in the Ancient Story

We saw in Virgo that the Quran and Bible/Kitab states that Allah made the constellations. He gave them for guidance until written revelation. Thus Adam and his sons taught them to their children to instruct them of His Plan. Virgo began the story and foretold the coming Seed of the Virgin.

Cancer furthers the story.  Even if you are not a Cancer in the modern horoscope sense, the astrological story of Cancer is worth knowing.

Original meaning of Cancer

The ancient Egyptians are much closer in time to when the Zodiac was first drawn up, so the scarab beetle, rather than the crab of the modern astrological horoscope, is key to understand the ancient zodiac meaning of Cancer. Egyptologist Sir Wallace Budge says this about Khepera and the scarab beetle of the Ancient Egyptians

KHEPERA was an old primeval god, and the type of matter which contains within itself the germ of life which is about to spring into a new existence; thus he represented the dead body from which the spiritual body was about to rise. He is depicted in the form of a man having a beetle for a head and this insect became his emblem because it was supposed to be self-begotten and self-produced.

Sir W. A. Budge. Egyptian Religion p 99

Scarab Beetle: Ancient symbol of resurrection

The scarab beetle goes through several life stages before it finally transforms into the adult beetle. After hatching from eggs, the scarabs become worm-like larvae called grubs. As grubs they spend their existence living in the ground, feeding on decomposing matter such as dung, fungi, roots or rotten meat.

After crawling as a grub, it then cocoons itself into a chrysalis. In this state all activity ceases. It no longer intakes food. It closes all senses. All functions of life shut down and the scarab hibernates inside the cocoon. Here the grub undergoes metamorphosis, with its body dissolving and then re-assembling. At the appointed time the adult scarab emerges from the cocoon. Its adult beetle form does not resemble the worm-like body that could only crawl in the ground. Now the beetle bursts forth, fly and soar at will in the air and sunshine.

The ancient Egyptians venerated the scarab beetle because it symbolized the promised resurrection.

Cancer … like the Scarab Beetle

Cancer declares that our lives follow a similar pattern. Now we live on the earth, slaves of toil and suffering, full of darkness and doubt – mere knots of incapacities and troubles like the earth-born and dirt-fed grubs, though bearing in us the seed and beginnings of eventual glory.

Then our earthly life terminates in death and passes into the mummy-like condition in which our inner person sleeps in death, with our body waiting for the resurrection call to burst out of the graves. This was the ancient meaning and symbol of Cancer – the resurrection of the body triggered when the Redeemer Calls.

Cancer: Resurrected Life

As the scarab bursts from its hibernation so will the dead awake.

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

Daniel 12:2-3

This will happen when the Masih – Christ – calls for us to follow in the path of his resurrection.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

1 Corinthians 15 20-28

Cancer: Depicting the novel essence of the Resurrection Body

As the adult scarab is of a different essence, with features and capabilities unimaginable by extrapolating from the worm-like grub from which it arose, so our resurrection body will be of a different essence than our bodies today.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Philippians 3:20-21

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

1 Corinthians 15: 35-49

The Cancer Metamorphosis: At His Return

It is at His return when this will happen.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

The Cancer Horoscope from the Writings

Horoscope comes from the Greek ‘Horo’ (hour) and means the marking (skopus) of special hours or times.  The Prophet Isa al Masih marked the Cancer hour (horo) in the following way

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, an hour (horo) is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

John 5:24-26

There is a specific hour when the One who spoke the world into existence will speak again. Those who hear will rise from the dead. Cancer was the symbol of this coming hour of resurrection read by the ancients from the stars.

Your Cancer Horoscope reading

You and I can apply the Cancer horoscope today in the following way.

Cancer tells you to continually look forward to the horo of your resurrection. Some say the resurrection will not come but do not be fooled. If you live only for eating and drinking in the here and now so you can have a good time then you will have been fooled. If you gain the whole world and pack it full of lovers, pleasures and excitement and you lose your soul what will you gain? Therefore stand firm. Let nothing move you. Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

In the unseen is a great crowd of the asleep waiting along with you for the Voice to Call them. Throw off everything that hinders you from visualizing the unseen and throw off the sin that so easily entangles. Then run with perseverance the race marked out for you, fixing your eyes on The Living Lamb, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Deeper into Cancer & through the Zodiac Story

The Sign of Cancer originally did not guide decisions for health, love and prosperity.  Rather Cancer signified from the stars that the Redeemer would complete his redemption in the resurrection.

To start the Ancient Zodiac Story at its beginning see Virgo. The Zodiac Story concludes with Leo. To go deeper into Cancer see