The great cosmic order of the Heavens

We have previously talked about the ancient cosmologies and how they bore a symbolic meaning. To be sure, we are not questioning here that men thought that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. But we submit that there were dimensions to the image of the Universe that Aristotle, Ptolemy and Dante coined, beyond the literal and physical dimension.

One very interesting thing to consider in this context are the constellations. Everyone knows what the constellations are: purported figures in the sky made out of groups of stars. Ptolemy catalogued 48 constellations and today there are 88 constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union. What many people don’t realize is that these groups of stars exist only in the eye of the beholder, if you will, from the Earth’s perspective. This is because the stars that seem to be “close”, aligned or side by side are in fact at very different proximities in relation to the Earth (sometimes even galaxies apart!). In other words, these stars are extremely distant from each other and don’t really have anything in common to each other, let alone belong to any “group”. But, and this is important, they “become” constellations through our perspective (that can’t tell whether those stars are at a distance of 1 or 10 from us, recognizing only their brightness) that sort of sees them in a plane, in two dimensions, not accounting for depth.

northern_constellations

So, given that, we could be led to think that constellations, namely the zodiac, are meaningless and useless. Well, we would be wrong. Zodiac constellations have been and continue to be of significance – and not only to horoscope readings. In fact, science still uses the constellations these days. Why? Because they map the sky and mark the course of the Earth across its orbit around the Sun.

The way this works is the following: the Earth’s Equator projected towards the Heaven creates the “zodiac belt”. The zodiac belt is divided in 12, each section named after the constellation that occupies it. So, during the course of Earth’s orbit, the Sun “rises” in a specific section or house of the zoodiac. That is the Sun sign in the horoscope.

There are many intricacies to this and consequences that result from this mechanics that we will not get into. For instance, there are reasons to believe that the zodiac was originally made of 10 signs; the Equator and the “zodiac belt” do not match exactly, because of something called the obliquity of the Earth’s pole (the Sun is “above” the North Pole but not in a straight line, because the axis of the Earth is “tilted”); this in turn accounts for the Equinoxes (when the two planes intersect), the Solstices, the seasons and something called the precession of the Equinoxes (a full rotation of the Earth’s axis, that takes 25,776 years).

outside_view_of_precession

We won’t go into these aspects because they go beyond the point here which is not to detail the exact mechanics of the solar system and the Heavens but to underscore the order that underlies the fabric of our universe and of our lives. One aditional aspect to consider in this extremely complex order is that the Sun is actually in an inner circle when compared to the starry Heavens, it is “between” the Earth and the stars beyond. Now for it to “rise” in a certain zoodiac house or section at dawn, considering that the skies also “rotate” during the night testifies of that order in ways beyond our understanding capabilities. It is one of those “coincidences” the Universe presents to us, ressonating the coincidence of the Sun being 400 times bigger than the Moon but being 400 times farther away from the Earth than the Moon, thus they appear to be the same size, to the point that they exactly overlap during eclipses.

So the point was to underscore this overwhelming cosmic order and also to enphasize how the universe as seen from the mind is not an illusion. Quite on contrary it penetrates the very principles and the makings of the structure of cosmos. The Universe as seen from the mind take us almost intuitively to where science arrives only after very thorough observations and calculations.

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observable_universe_with_measurements_011

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