Gemini, the Twins
Lepus, the Hare or the Enemy
Canis Major, the Dog
Canis Minor, the Second Dog
THE HEAVENLY UNION
“And so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
-1 Thessalonians 4:17
These sweet and comforting words relate to a scene of things beyond the resurrection of the dead, and hence to something which is to be brought about during the progress of the judgment-period. After the Lord himself has come forth with the voice of a great trumpet, and the holy dead have been raised, and the living saints have been translated, and both classes have been caught up together to meet the Saviour in the air, then the word is, “So shall we ever be with the Lord.”
And the particular blessedness which we thus find set forth in the Scriptures we also find in the constellations, and more especially in that sign of the Zodiac which we now come to consider – Gemini, usually called The Twins.
THE SIGN OF GEMINI
We have here two youthful-looking and most beautiful figures peacefully sitting together, with their feet resting on the Milky Way. Their heads lean against each other in a loving attitude. The one holds a great club in his right hand, whilst his left is clasped around the body of his companion. The other holds a harp in one hand and a bow and arrow in the other. Both the club and the bow and arrow are in repose, the same as the figures which hold them. The club, unlifted, lies against the shoulder of the one, and the bow, unstrung, rests in the hand of the other. The picture looks like a readiness for warlike action, but at the same time like a joyful repose after a great victory already gained. We will presently see that it really means all that it seems, and that it significantly portrays what is set forth in the text and in many places in the Scriptures.
The Greeks and Romans considered these two figures the representatives of two youths, twin brothers, both sons of Jupiter, of very peculiar and extraordinary birth. They are said to have been with the Argonauts in the contest for the Golden Fleece, on which occasion they displayed unparalleled heroism – the one by achievements in arms and personal prowess, and the other in equestrian exercises. In the Grecian temples they were represented as mounted on white horses, armed with spears, riding side by side, crowned with the cap of the hunter tipped with a glittering star. The belief was, that they often appeared at the head of the armies, and led on the troops to battle and victory – the one mounted on a fiery steed, the other on foot, but both as invincible warriors. After their return from Colchis it is said that they cleared the Hellespont and the neighbouring seas from pirates and depredators, and hence were honoured as the particular friends and protectors of navigation. An intimation of this is given in the history of St. Paul, as the name of the vessel in which he sailed was that of these two figures. It is further said that flames of fire were betimes seen playing around their heads, and that when this occurred the tempest which was tossing the ocean ceased, and calm ensued. They were said to have been initiated into all the mysteries, and were invited guests at a great marriage at which a severe conflict occurred. They were indissolubly attached to each other, and Jupiter rewarded their mutual affection by transferring them together to heavenly immortality. The Greeks and Romans sacrificed white lambs upon their altars, and held them in very high regard. It was a common thing to take oaths by their names, as indicative of the utmost truth and verity.
Further accounts represent these two youths as kings, and as divine saviours and helpers of men, though mostly in the character of warrior-judges. They were supposed to preside over the public games, particularly where horses were concerned. War-songs and dances were supposed to have originated with them, and they had much to do in favouring and inspiring the bards and poets. When Menestheus was endeavouring to usurp the government of Attica, they interfered, and devastated the country around Athens until its gates opened to them and the Athenians submitted to them and rendered them sacred honours. They were distinguished in the Calydonian Hunt, and fought and slew Amycus, the gigantic son of the god of the sea, who challenged the Argonauts and had shown himself the enemy of Herakles.
They made invasive war to recover the portions of which they had been cunningly cheated, and succeeded in it, and gained much more in addition. In this conflict the authors of the murderous assaults upon them were stricken down and slain by the lightnings of Jupiter.
They were assigned great power over good fortune, and particularly over the winds and the waves of the sea.
Such are the mythic representations as they come through the Greeks and Romans. In some other showings, however, these two figures are not of one sex. In the Zodiac of Dendera the figure is that of a man walking hand in hand with a woman. The same are sometimes called Adam and Eve. But the male figure is not the literal first Adam, but the mystic second Adam, the same Seed of the woman who everywhere appears in these celestial frescoes. The figure in the Egyptian sphere has an appendage which signifies the Coming One – the Messiah-Prince.
And having identified the masculine figure, there can be no difficulty in identifying the accompanying female figure. The Lamb has a bride, a wife, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, and destined for an everlasting union with Him in glory and dominion. And this Eve, made out of His side in the deep sleep of death to which He submitted for the purpose, is none other than the Church, which here appears in celestial union with her sublime Lord. Even the word Gemini, in the original Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac, whence it has come, does not run so much on the idea of two brought forth at the same birth, as upon the idea of something completed, as of a year come to the full or as of a long betrothal brought to its consummation in perfected marriage. The old Coptic name of this sign, Pi Mahi, signifies the United, the Completely joined.
And when we closely examine the names still retained in this constellation, we find ample indication that these figures were meant to set forth Christ and His Church in that great marriage-union which is to be completed in the heavens during that very judgment-period to which these last four signs refer. In the left foot of the southern figure of Gemini shines a conspicuous star, named Al Henah, the Hurt, the Wounded.
This figure, then, must refer to Him whose heel was to be bruised. So the principal star in his head is called Pollux, the Ruler, the Judge, and sometimes Herakles, or Hercules, the mighty sufferer and toiler, who frees the world of all otherwise unmanageable powers of evil. In the centre of his body is another bright star, called Wasat, which means Set, Seated, or Put in place, as where it is said, “I am set on the throne of Israel,” “there are set thrones of judgment,” “the judgment was set,” “I am set in my ward;” which specially describes what is prophesied of Christ in connection with the completion of His marriage with His Church.
And, in perfect accord with these indications, this figure holds in his right hand the great club of power, as the One who bruises the Serpent’s head and breaks in pieces all antagonisms to His rule or to His people’s peace. The Egyptians called him Hor, or Horus, the Coming One, the son of light, the slayer of the serpent, the recoverer of the dominion. Horus is described in an extant Egyptian hymn as “the son of the sun,” “the mighty, the great avenger, the observer of justice,” “the golden hawk coming for the chastisement of all lands, the divinely beneficent, the Lord omnipotent;” which corresponds again with the descriptions of the Merodach of the ancient Babylonians, who is called the Rectifier, the great Restorer. It is the biblical description, almost literally, of the promised Redeemer of the world in connection with the judgment.
The variation as to the sex of the other figure, which is sometimes contemplated as a woman and sometimes as a masculine hero, corresponds also with the biblical representations of the Church. God calls Israel His son, and also His spouse, the wife of which He is the Husband, the one chosen out from among the maidens and wedded to himself.
The bride of the Lamb in the Apocalypse is at the same time described as “a man-child,” who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and to that end was “caught up unto God and to His throne.”
CHRIST’S UNION WITH HIS CHURCH
But the two figures in this sign, though in some sense distinct, are really one, as Christ and the Father are one, and as the man and his wife are one flesh. The union is such that one is in the other, and the two are so conjoined that one implies and embraces the other. There is no Christ apart from His Church, and there is no Church except in Christ. They are two, and yet they are one – He in them, and they in Him – so that what is His is theirs, and what is theirs is His. As He is the peculiar Son of God, they are peculiar sons of God in Him, and are joint-heirs with Him to all that He inherits. Again and again the Scriptures comprehend Him in the descriptions of the Church, and embrace them in the predictions concerning Him. Hence, in the truer and deeper meaning of the Psalms, He and His people speak the same words, pass through the same experiences, receive the same assurances, and rejoice in the same promises, hopes and honours. The king often disappears in the body politic, and the body politic still oftener disappears in the king.
And so it is in these two figures. They are no more twins than Christ and His church are twins, yet they are both the peculiar sons of God; whilst the birth of the one was virtually and really the birth of the other.
Hence, also, the names and qualities which appear in the one are at the same time construable with both, because they coexist in one another. They are Bridegroom and bride, but they are at the same time together the one Man-Child appointed to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Accordingly, the one is called Pollux and Herakles – the Ruler, the Judge, the Toiling Deliverer; and the other is called Castor and Apollo – the Coming Ruler or Judge, “born of the light,” who punishes and destroys the wicked and unrighteous, who brings help and wards off evil, who has the spirit of prophecy and sacred song, who protects and keeps the flocks, and who delights in the founding and establishment of cities, kingdoms, and settled rule and order among men. It is not the one by himself in either case, but the one in and with the other, conjoined and perfected in the same administration – Christ with the Church, and the Church with Christ, as the one all-ruling Man-Child under whom the whole earth shall be delivered from misrule and oppression, the eternal kingdom come, and the entire world enjoy its unending Sabbath.
At present this union of Christ with His Church, though real and the very life of Christianity, is mystic, hidden, and not yet fully revealed. The Church is yet intermixed and held down by earthiness and the power of mortality and death. All this needs to be stripped off and immortality put on, as has been accomplished in the case of Christ the Head, who is now already at the right hand of the Father. What has happened in His deliverance, triumph, and exaltation needs also to be wrought out in the case of His members, the Church. Our complete union with Him can only be when this mortal has put on immortality and death is swallowed up of life; which occurs when the sainted dead are raised, and they, together with those of His who are then still alive are caught up in incorruption to meet Him in the heavenly spaces. But what is as yet mystic and unrevealed is hereafter to be openly, formally, and most gloriously exhibited and shown in living and eternal fact.
THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB
Hence, in the Apocalyptic pictures of the ongoing judgment-period, after the Man-Child has been born into immortality, and is caught up to God, and has overcome the opposing Dragon and his angels by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and immediately before Christ and His people come forth riding on white horses for the overthrow of the Beast and his armies, we hear the voice of gladness and rejoicing, and the giving of glory to the All-Ruler, in that “the Marriage of the Lamb is come,” and the word of blessing goes forth upon all who are “called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19: 7-9)*.
Just what this marriage of the Lamb is, or what celestial formalities and demonstrations it embraces, no man is able definitely to tell.
We know, in general terms, that the Bridegroom is Christ, after He has taken to Him His great power and is about to proceed to the utter destruction of His enemies, and that the bride is the Church, the completed assembly of the elect, after they have all been gathered to their Lord in triumphant immortality.
We know also that it involves some formal and manifest ceremonial, by which He takes, acknowledges, and fully endows His glorified Church as thenceforward and for ever conjoined with himself in closest and inseparable unity, to move as He moves, to reign as He reigns, to judge and make war as He judges and makes war, and to be one with Him in all the possessions, administrations, joys, honours, and achievements which pertain to Him then and world without end. It is the formal and eternal perfecting of them in Him, and of Him in them, in a union as ineffable as it is unending.
And this is the precise thing alluded to in the text and pictorially given in the sign of Gemini. The very name, the attitudes of the figures, and the order of place occupied by this sign, as well as the star-names in it and all the mythic stories connected with it, combine to fix this as its truest and fullest meaning, as intended by the mind that framed it and gave out the original instructions concerning it. It is God’s sign in the heavens of the coming marriage and union of the Seed of the woman with His redeemed Church, precisely as the same is set forth in all His word as the hope and joy of His people, to be fulfilled at His revelation and coming.
Thus, then, we find the true Castor and Pollux, the peculiar sons of God, whose bravery secures the prize of the Golden Fleece, who share in the same trials, sufferings, labours, triumphs, and glories, and with whom is the holy wisdom, the prophetic inspiration, the leadership of armies that fight for human rights and liberty, the patronage of holy heroism and sacred song, the upholding of truth and righteousness, the only salvation for oppressed and afflicted man. These are the true kings, ordained to rule all nations with a rod of iron, to chastise and destroy the rebellious and incorrigible, to hunt out and punish wickedness unto the ends of the earth, and to be revealed in flaming fire as warrior-judges on white horses, to put down usurpers, fight the gigantic son of the god of this world, hurl the dread Antichrist and his hordes to sudden perdition, revenge the blood of martyrs on those who shed it, apportion law and destiny to the earthly peoples, and sit and reign in immortal regency over all the after generations.
And what we thus find in the sign is further signified in the accompanying Decans.
“Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure” –
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
-Revelation 19: 7-9
The first of these, as given in our planispheres, is Lepus, the figure of a gigantic hare. In the Arabic it is called Arnebeth, which means the Hare, but also has the signification of Enemy of the Coming. In the Persian and Egyptian Zodiacs the figure is a serpent, trodden under Orion’s foot, with this further addition in the Egyptian, that the serpent is also caught in the claws of a seeming hawk. It is also called Bashti-Beki, the Offender confounded. The mythic account of this hare is, that it is one of the animals which Orion most delighted in hunting, and hence was placed near him in the stars. In the picture Orion is in the act of crushing this hare with his great foot. And the names of the stars which it includes – Nibal, Rakis, and Sugia – mean the Mad, the Caught, the Deceiver.
From these indications it is sufficiently manifest that this constellation was meant to show and record the nearing end of the Enemy, and the close proximity of his utter overthrow when once the heavenly marriage is celebrated.
And this is precisely the showing made in the Scriptures, particularly in the Apocalypse.
The lifting of the Church into its destined union with Christ in glory is a stunning blow to the whole empire of darkness, and the sure herald of its utter dissolution then speedily to follow. No sooner is it announced that “the marriage of the Lamb is come” than the heaven opens, and He who is called Faithful and True rides forth upon the white horse, in righteousness to judge and make war, and all the armies of heaven follow Him on white horses, and the Beast and the False Prophet are taken, and the kings of the earth and their armies are slain with the sword of this invincible host (Rev. 19: 6-21).
The second Decan confirms and sustains the same presentation. This is the great Dog, anciently the Wolf, the special hunter and devourer of the hare. In the Dendera Zodiac the figure is the Eagle or Hawk, the particular enemy of the Serpent, having on his head a double mark of crownings with power and majesty, and standing on the top of a great mace as the triumphant royal Breaker and Bruiser of the powers of evil.
The principal star in this constellation is the most brilliant and fiery in all the heavens.
“All others he excels; no fairer light
Ascends the skies, none sets so clear and bright.”
But it is associated with burning heat, pestilence, and disaster to the earth and the children of men. Homer sung of it as a star
“Whose burning breath
Taints the red air with fevers, plagues, and death.”
Virgil speaks of blighted fields, a smitten earth, and suffering beasts, because this star
“With pestilential heat infects the sky.”
This star is called Sirius, from Sir or Seir, which means Prince, Guardian, the Victorious.
Taken in connection with the name of the figure in the Egyptian sphere, as often given, we have Naz-Seir or Nazir; and we know who it was that was to be called Naz-seir-ene.
Naz-Seir means the Sent Prince. So the Rod promised to come forth from the stem or stump of Jesse is called Netzer in the Hebrew Bible, there translated the Branch, the princely Scion, who should “smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and slay the wicked with the breath of His lips.” Not, then, only because Christ spent His earlier years at an obscure little village by the name of Nazareth, but above all, because He was the Sent Prince, the Messiah, the Branch, at once the Netzer of Isaiah and the Naz-Seir of these equally prophetic constellations.
From the earliest ages of Christianity till now interpreters and defenders of the Scriptures have been at a loss to explain by what prophet or in what sacred prophecy it was said, as claimed by the Apostle, that Christ should be called a Nazarene; but here, from a most unexpected quarter, we find the nearest and most literal foreshowing of that very name, given in place as a designation of the Seed of the woman, and describing Him as the Sent Prince, the lordly Eagle, the appointed tearer in pieces and extirpator of the whole serpent brood. And in this Naz-Seir, or Naz-Sirius, we are to see Him of whom Matthew said, “He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called NAZ-SEIR-ENE” (Matt. 2:23).
In accord with this, the second star of this constellation is called Mirzam, the Ruler, the third, Muliphen, the Leader, the Chieftain; the fourth, Wesen, Shining, Illustrious, Scarlet; the fifth, Adhara, the Glorious; and another, Al Habor, the Mighty. It would verily seem as if we were selecting a list of scriptural expressions concerning our Redeemer when we thus give the sense of these astronomic names.
Their meaning is most truly significant when understood of Christ, but they are worse than absurd if we are to understand them of an Egyptian dog. Nor will these showings interpret at all except as applied to the scene, subject, and period of which Gemini, as I have explained, is the central sign.
THE SUBLIME PRINCE
A magnificent picture of the Sun is that which the Psalmist gives, where he represents him as a bridegroom, glowing under his wedding-canopy, exulting like a mighty man to run his race, and going forth from one horizon to the other with a power of heat and brightness from which nothing can hide. But what is thus said of the natural Sun is still more thrillingly true of the Sun of Righteousness in the case before us. He is the Bridegroom, for “the marriage of the Lamb is come.” He stands under the wedding-canopy, the Illustrious, the Glorious, ready for revelation in the brightness of His appearing, and exulting to go forth in all His invincible energy to search and try the earth from end to end, revealing everything, testing everything, and bringing burning, death, and destruction to whatever is found lifting itself against Him as “the King of kings and Lord of lords.”
In this attitude and in these relations He is the Hunter and Destroyer of the Hare, the true Naz-Seir-ene, the Appointed Prince, the lordly Eagle, the Destroyer of the Serpent.
Here especially He is the mighty, the glorious, the Prince of the right hand, as the Arabic has it, the Chief leading His hosts to effective victory. Here heat and burning and plague and death attend upon His going forth, and men are smitten and scorched; as it is written: “Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets, and their tongues shall consume away in their mouth” (Zech. 14: 12); “for the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day” (Isa. 2: 12-17); “And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations; and He shall rule them with a rod of iron; and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God” (Rev. 19: 15).
It is the same picture of the same identical scene described by Isaiah (63), where it is asked, “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?” To which He answers: “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” And where the further inquiry is put: “Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat?” And the further answer is: “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come….And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.” Here is the true Pollux, the real Sirius, the mighty Chieftain, the Wolf or Eagle coming upon the enemy, the glorious Hero of salvation, arrayed in brightness and scarlet, and triumphing in the greatness of His strength.
All the features in the sign thus harmoniously weave into one consistent and magnificent showing, which is the same in the stars as in the written prophecies.
THE COMPANION OF SIRIUS
But when the glorious Sun of Righteousness thus comes forth is His majesty from under the wedding-canopy, “clothed with a vesture dipped in blood,” riding upon the white horse, and sending out His mighty sword to smite the nations and hurl the Beasts and their followers to perdition, He comes not alone. The armies of the heaven follow Him on white horses, wearing the clean linen of saintly righteousness. He is the Head, the Leader, the Chief, but behind Him are His elect myriads, warrior-judges like himself. He is married now, and His bride is with her Husband. “To execute vengeance upon the nations and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all the saints” (Ps. 149: 7-9).
And to bring out this feature there is added a third Decan of Gemini – the second Dog or Wolf. It differs from the first only in being smaller and feebler, and following a little behind the first; for the saints by this time are all like unto their Lord, and follow Him whithersoever He goeth. Princeliness is in them also, though the Arabic astronomy designates them as the Prince of the left hand, as it calls Him the Prince of the right hand.
In the Egyptian Zodiac this constellation has a human figure with the Eagle’s head; hence a sign of humanity exalted to power and authority against the Serpent-seed. It is called Sebak – that is, Conquering, Victorious.
The name of the principal star, a very bright star of the first magnitude – and from that star the name of the constellation itself on our planispheres – is Procyon, which, in its Noetic elements, is associated in meaning with redemption, and may mean Redeemed, or Redeeming, or both, and well describes the body of the glorified saints. The term Al Mirzam occurs here also, as in the second Decan, and ascribes rulership to what is here symbolized, the same as to the Head Prince going before; just as Christ has promised to His faithful people that they shall share His throne and sovereignty and “reign with Him for ever and ever.” The second star in this constellation bears the name of Al Gomeiza, which in signification also refers to redemption, and seems to include particularly the previous history of the saints, as, like their Lord, once burdened, loaded down, enduring for the sake of others.
The myths touching this Dog are varied. Some say he represents the Egyptian god Anubis, which was the god that took charge of the dying and carried them to judgment. Others say it refers to Diana and her hunting and destroying of wild beasts. Some say he is the dog of Icarus, who revealed the place where the murderers of his master had hid the body of their victim, and thus was the occasion of various sad and disturbing calamities. And still other accounts represent this Dog as one of the hounds of Actæon, which in madness devoured their master after Diana had turned him into a stag. Actæon was a trained and cunning hunter who was impertinent toward Artemis, the goddess of purity and justice, and had command over sufferings, plagues, and death. He boasted himself against her, and even appropriated to himself and associates what was sacred to her. Hence these judgments came upon him and made an end to him.
These stories agree in nothing except in the recognition of some good agency or heavenly power at work to bring the erring to account, and to give trouble and death to the proud, the offending, and the intractable.
But in this they all accord with the character and office which the Scriptures ascribe to the glorified Church in connection with what follows immediately on the marriage of the Lamb. They help to strengthen the chain of evidence identifying Procyon as the starry symbol of those heavenly armies which come forth along with the King of kings and Lord of lords to the battle of the great day of God Almighty, to make an end of misrule and usurpation on earth, and clear it of all the wild beasts which have been devastating it for these many ages.
SUMMARY ON GEMINI
Thus, then, the records in the stars combine with the records in the Book to picture to us a most sublime destiny for the congregation of believers. They are betrothed to Christ even now, and love Him, and oft have sweet and blessed communion with Him; but it is only through veils and intervening ordinances, by faith and not by sight. The time is coming when these veils shall be removed, and God’s people shall meet Him face to face, and see the King in His beauty, and be joined with Him in all the intimacies of love, fellowship, and oneness, being made co-partners with Him in all He has and is and does, yea, the loved and loving participants in all His glory, throne, and immortal administrations. They shall not only “stand in the judgment,” but they shall be lifted when it comes, “caught up to meet the Lord in the air,” to be with Him as no other beings are with Him, even as His bride and wife. And when His power goes forth to plague the wicked world, avenge the blood of the martyrs, overwhelm the great Beast and his armies, rid the world of all the wild beasts of usurpation and unrighteousness which have infested it so long, and reduce the refractory nations and peoples to just and rightful authority by the force of an iron sceptre to which all must bow or be dashed to pieces, they shall be one with Him in the terrific manifestations and be co-administrants of that irresistible almightiness. They in Him, and He in them, shall be the Castor and Pollux of the world to come, supremely blessed in each other, and making blessed, putting glad songs where tears and groans have moaned their miserere, and settling everything into the order, peace, and permanence of that divine kingdom when all shall be “on earth as it is in heaven.”
O glorious outcome for these toils and fears and trials and misgivings in faith’s weary pilgrimage! Death gone! Mortality swallowed up of life! Union with the King complete! Vicissitude, peradventure, doubt, and disability clean swept away for ever! The throne, the dominion, and the glory secure! What a blessedness is this! Who shall sing it as it merits?
“Blest seats! Through rude and stormy scenes
I onward press to you.”