As Joseph Augustus Seiss explains in his seminal work, The Gospel in the Stars, the twelve signs of the Solar Zodiac are divided into three groups with each group having a specific focus. The group of Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries focuses on the fruit of Jesus’s redemption, namely the Church, which Seiss clarifies is, “the body of people spiritually born to Him through faith, and made partakers of the benefits of His redemptive administrations.”
The sixth sign of God’s Zodiac, Aquarius, represents Jesus Christ, the “water of life,” and the Comforter he sent to guide believers, the Holy Spirit (John 16). Latin, for “the water pourer,” Aquarius is depicted by a man whose shoulders are marked by the stars: Sadalmelik (R) meaning. “the record of pouring out,” and Sadalsuud (L) meaning, “He who pours out.” His right knee is marked by the star, Skat, meaning, “He who goes and returns.”
What mythology has dubbed Ganymedes, the bright, glorified and chosen cup-bearer of the father of the gods, is none other than the pagan version of the sacred. The Greeks and Romans believed Aquarius represented Aphrodite and Venus, both embodying a moon-goddess.
In truth, the water bearer is the one who pours out living water to refresh his people. (Numbers 24:7, 1 Cor. 10:4). Jesus said whoever drank the water He offered would never thirst. His water “shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14). Water is not only living, but it gives everlasting life.
From his urn, Jesus poured out the “exhaustless reservoir of all the fulness of renewing, comforting, and sanctifying power” of the Holy Spirit. It is no coincidence that water– repeatedly used as a symbol in the Bible as purifying, is also represented by a constellation that represents “the life-giving purity and regenerating power of divine grace and salvation.” (Isa. 32:1,2; 33:21).
Wherever fresh water is poured, Seiss writes, “sinking strength recovers, dying life rekindles, perishing Nature revives, a thousand delights are awakened, and everything rejoices and sings with new-begotten life.”
Aquarius (January 19–February 18) exhibits the fulfillment of prophecy in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (Isa. 44:3, Joel 2:28). The Holy Spirit, Seiss writes, is:
the glorified Pourer-forth from heaven of the blessed waters of life and salvation … of whom the picture in the sign was the prophecy and foreshowing. The Holy Ghost was in the world from the beginning, but here was the promise of a new and enlarged grant and endowment, to lift, nourish, and distinguish Christian believers.”
Below Aquarius is his first Decan, The Southern Fish (Puds Australis). The fresh water continuously flowing from the water pourer’s urn flows into the open-mouthed fish. The fish represents new believers who accept Jesus’s invitation: “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.”
In this way, the majestic stars point to heavenly, living water that renews, transforms, and regenerates the church.
Above Aquarius, is his second Decan, Pegasus, who symbolizes the one who will return swiftly; the divine messenger who brings joy (Isa. 64:5). Although Pegasus is widely known by Greek mythology, biblical prophecy predates it. God’s messenger Pegasus, moved with heavenly speed, reported the affairs of men, and shook the nations “to restore liberty, peace, and blessing to God’s people.” Seiss points out that Pegasus is derived from the Noetic dialect, Pega, Peka, or Pacha, meaning “the chief;” and sus, “swiftly coming or returning.”
A large four-starred square is the trademark of Pegasus. Its stars, and their meanings, are:
- Markab (base of wing near body) — “the returning;”
- Scheat (top of left leg) — “he who goeth and returnith;”
- Enif (base of ear) — “the branch;”
- Al Genib (tip of wing, feathers)– “who carries;”
- Homan (top of wing) — “the waters;”
- Matar (body) — “who causeth the plenteous overflow.”
Glad tidings were carried on wings of the Spirit of God symbolized by flying horses who spread the message of grace and salvation to the ends of the earth.
Above Pegasus’s hoof, is Cygnus, a flying Swan comprised of 81 stars. Cygnus, meaning “circling and returning” in both Latin and Greek, is the Decan that points to the return of the Redeemer.
The swan, a majestic bird of the waters is considered in most countries as an emblem of purity, dignity, and grace. On its body, stars form a cross, positioned from its head to tail and from wingtip to wingtip. Its brightest star is called by two names that share the same meaning: Deneb, “The Lord Comes,” and Arided, “He shall come down.”
Even more significant is that astronomers consider Cygnus “an intermediate link between planetary worlds.” Seiss explains that its 81 stars consist of:
one of the first or second magnitude, six of the third, and twelve of the fourth; and some of these never set. It embraces at least five double stars and one quadruple. The binary star (61 Cygni) is the most remarkable known in the heavens. It is one of the nearest to our system of the fixed stars. It consists of two connected stars, which besides their revolution about each other, have a common progressive and uniform motion toward some determinate region, and moving thousands of times faster than the swiftest body known to our system.”
Not only is there beauty depicted in this constellation but also the complexity of the galaxy that has left astronomers starstruck for centuries. Cygni presents a tutorial in the orbiting of stars, how stars are gravitationally bound to each other, and variance of the strength and brightness of starlight.
The Greek and Roman myths cannot account for the swan, but the gospel does. Seiss remarks that Aquarius is the “beautiful picture of the most precious Gospel truths.” The stars reveal:
… the heavenly waters of life and salvation; their source in the beautiful Seed of the woman, slain indeed, but risen again and lifted up in everlasting glory; of the voluminous plenteousness in which they flow down into all our dry and thirsty world; of the new creation and joyous life they bring to those who drink them; of the swift heralding and bearing of the glad provision to all people; and of the graceful holding forth of the cross to the nations over which, on outspread wings the Lord of these waters circles, in His meek loveliness ever calling, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.”
This is the fourth in a 13-part series, “The Original Christian Zodiac.”