THE ZODIAC OF DENDERAH

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Known as one of the oldest sacred places in Egypt, the first Temple of Hathor at Denderah was built during the Old Kingdom, during the reign of Khufu (2589–2566 BC). The present Temple of Hathor was built in the first century AD by Ptolemies. When Denon first discovered the Temple of Hathor at Denderah in January 1799, he happened into a little stone chapel on the roof, where he found a large circular planisphere, or zodiac. Vivant Denon published the first drawing of the Zodiac in his ‘Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Égypte’. (Paris, 1802). The Zodiac was part of the ceiling of one of the chapels where the resurrection of Osiris was commemorated, on the roof of the great Temple of Hathor. Here, a disc, held up by four women assisted by falcon-headed spirits, represents the vault of heaven. The Dendera Zodiac is one of the most important surviving documents of antiquity. 1822, Claude Lelorrain used explosives to remove the Zodiac, the original Denderah Zodiac is now in The Louvre, France. The zodiac is a planisphere of the stars on a plane projection, showing the 12 constellations of the zodiacal band forming 36 decans of ten days each, and the planets. These decans are groups of first-magnitude stars. These were used in the ancient Egyptian calendar, which was based on lunar cycles of around 30 days and on the heliacal rising of the star Sothis (Sirius). The Dendera Zodiac depicts Twelve zodiacs and the planets; Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon, Sirius, Orion, the three known constellations of the north; Draco, Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, and the axis of the temple.

What is the Precession of the Equinoxes? The World Ages measured in the Zodiac provide the ultimate key of understanding to the evolutionary learning cycles of humanity. In Ancient Egypt, the day was divided into 24 hours, 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Each hour had a name specifying its force or influence. The months were of two kinds, lunar, 29 days and 30 days. 5 days were consecrated to Osiris, Isis, Horus, Seth and Nephtys. The Sothic Year is 365 1/4 days. The Sothic Year is linked with Sirius and the return to the heliacal rising of Sirius. This is the fixed year or ‘year of God’. The heliacal rising of Sirius can be used to track all celestial movements. 1460 years completes the Sothic cycle. The helical rising of Sirius takes place one day earlier each degree of latitude from North to South. This is a sliding gauge of time. The Ancient Egyptians had exceptional astronomical knowledge and the helical rising of Sirius celebrated the Festival of New Year. The pharaonic Sothic cycle of 1460 years records and predicts the summer solstice advancing 11.5 days in relation to the rising of Sirius. The Solstice gains 11 days per Sothic cycle and the return of the star loses 9 days. The vernal point is displaced by 20 days in 1460 days. The Precession of the Equinoxes is a cycle of 25920 years. The vernal point travels through the twelve constellations. Each twelve months is 2160 years and 3 decans of 720 years. We have also seen these measurements repeated in the great Pyramid- also known as the ‘House of God’.

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