In the Ram the Ancient Masons discerned the primitive fighting instinct, the desire for leadership, the headstrong aggressiveness, the fiery temper, and the impetuosity, that they observed in people born when Aries is the ruling sign. These people are ambitious, intrepid, despotic, often quarrelsome, pugnacious, and passionate. Yet in their work of construction or destruction they are noted for creative power and original thought, always using their brains in all they do. The Ram also is combative, and uses its head in offensive work. Thus the Ram, typical of the influence of Aries, which rules the head of man, was given first place in the arch of Solomon's Temple. To denote the Ram in writing they used a conventional form of the face of a sheep surmounted by its curling horns.
Origin of the Taurus Symbol
Those born under the influence of the sign Taurus are careful, plodding, and self-reliant. They are quiet and thoughtful, patiently awaiting for plans to mature. Remarkable for endurance, industry, and application, they sometimes become sullen and reserved. They are virile, with strong procreative instincts, are slow to anger, yet when once aroused are furious and violent; are warm friends and relentless foes. The sages of old noted similar qualities in the Bull, a similarity that can be observed also today, and they chose the Bull to occupy second place among the starry constellations in the sky. The Bull is remarkable for the strength of his neck, and the sign Taurus is found to rule the neck and throat of man. The Bull was denoted in writing by the conventionalized face of a bull with the two horns readily recognized.
Origin of the Gemini Symbol
Duality is the most marked characteristic of those born under the third division of the zodiac. They have both intuition and reason well developed, are fond of all kinds of knowledge, are restless, changeable, energetic, enterprising, and good teachers. They are dexterous and quickly acquire skill with their hands, often following more than one occupation at the same time. Their chief difficulty is to concentrate their energies long enough in one channel to make it a great success. This marked duality led the ancients to picture the sign Gemini in the sky as the Twins, Castor and Pollux. Gemini rules the hands and arms in the body of man, and to express the Twins quickly in writing two perpendicular marks were used.
Origin of the Cancer Symbol
People born under the sign Cancer are tenacious, sensitive to their surroundings, retiring, timid, and desirous of carrying out their own ideas in their own way. They are mediumistic, possess good reflective powers, and are true conservers of force. In these things they are like the crab, and further, when the sun in its annual journey enters this first of the watery signs it starts back toward the south from the north, suggesting the backward method of locomotion common to the crab. So the Crab, influenced by the tides and the moon as are Cancer people by their moods, was selected to represent the sign Cancer. Water is the mother and nourisher that carries food to the united sperm and germ enabling them to grow. The sign Cancer also rules the home and family, the sperm and germ moving toward union well showing the foundation of domestic ties. Cancer rules the breasts and stomach of man. And to represent this chief of the domestic signs quickly in writing, the Wise Ones used the claws of the crab as emblems of the two cells moving toward each other.
Origin of the Leo Symbol
Those born under the sign Leo are marked for their courage, for the strength of the physical constitution, and for recuperative power. They are honest, fearless, magnanimous, generous to their friends, impulsive, passionate, faithful, sympathetic, and ambitious. They are lovers of their offspring and will defend them regardless of cost; are majestic, proud, and become natural rulers of others. Their ideas are usually on a large scale, seldom stooping to pettiness or meanness. These qualities were also discerned in the lion, therefore, the Masons of Old traced a lion in the sky to mark the fifth division of the zodiac. Leo, ruler of the heart in man, is the sign ruled by the sun, which is typical of creative power. And because the deadly cobra has the power of raising itself and expanding its hood in fancied resemblance to the procreative organ, it was, and is, venerated in many countries of the world as sacred to the sun. Therefore, to represent the sign briefly, in writing, the cobra, much conventionalized, was used.
Origin of the Virgo Symbol
Virgo people are thoughtful, serious, contemplative, modest, ingenious, careful, cautious, and industrious. They often become scholars and scientists, repositories of information, with the ability to assimilate experience in such a way as to yield a rich harvest of knowledge. They are thus always ready to suggest improvements in existing methods. To the Ancient Masons, the human body is the womb of the universe, from which after its period of gestation, through the travail of death, the son of God is born into the spiritual world. Death to them was but the freeing of the soul from the restricting envelope of matter, a passing from darkness into light. This is the mystery of the immaculate conception: Man, as the uterus of Isis, is impregnated with the Holy Spirit, to develop within himself Christ Consciousness. When this mystical atonement is made he can truly say: "I and the Father are One." In the sky this thought is depicted as a gleaning maid, immaculate and pure. She holds in her hands two ears of wheat, typifying the harvest of love and wisdom which constitutes the mission of the soul gestating in human form. This harvest well expresses the discriminative function of the bowels, that part of the human anatomy ruled by Virgo, and also the discriminative powers of Virgo people. It was expressed hieroglyphically by a sheaf of wheat.
Origin of the Libra Symbol
Those who are ruled by the sign Libra are lovers of peace and harmony, are amiable, even tempered, affectionate, sympathetic, and inclined toward marriage. They are fond of art, refined pleasures, and amusements, dislike unclean work intensely, have a deep love of justice, and feel the need of a companion to share their lot in life. For a moment they are easily carried away by their emotions, but quickly regain their balance. This mental equilibrium, and the instinct for justice, was pictured in the sky by the Scales. Libra rules the veins, the internal sexual organs, and the reproductive fluids in man. It is the sign of marriage, and was represented in writing briefly by the union of a feminine, or crooked, line, with a masculine, or straight, line.
Origin of the Scorpio Symbol
Those born under the sign Scorpio have strong sexual desires and possess an inexhaustible fund of ideas. They are thoughtful, contemplative, ingenious, scientific; and where others are concerned can be cold, calculating, unsympathetic, deceitful, and cruel. Suspicious, determined, secretive, energetic, shrewd, they possess fine mechanical ability, and often have a strong life-giving magnetism that enables them to become successful healers as well as good surgeons. The intensity of the sexual nature, the subtlety, cruelty, fighting instincts, and underhanded methods by which they attack opponents, suggested to the minds of the Ancient Masons the Scorpion, whose chief weapon of offense is the least suspected part of his anatomy, at the end of his tail. Scorpio rules the external sexual organs in the anatomy of man. Like Virgo people, those ruled by Scorpio are harvesters of knowledge, but unlike Virgo people, whose sheaf of wheat is closed at the bottom to indicate conservation, the sheaf denoting Scorpio is left open at the bottom to indicate wasteful expenditure of precious energy. And to indicate the retaliating pangs of remorse for such loss, as well as to suggest the Scorpion, in denoting the sign briefly in writing the sheaf of wheat was provided with a scorpion's tail.
Origin of the Sagittarius Symbol
The Centaur, half animal and half man, was chosen by the Sages of Old to picture in the sky the sign Sagittarius. It well represents the dual nature of those born under this sign; for their animal propensities are strong, yet they are also well supplied with the higher, nobler, more generous impulses. The body and legs of a horse indicate restlessness, physical activity, and migratory tendencies; while the upper and human part indicates conservatism, self control, and executive ability. They are free, energetic, ambitious of worldly position, are loyal, patriotic, and charitable to others. Their love of hunting and all outdoor sports is shown by the full drawn bow, which also expresses retribution; for Sagittarius people are quick to fight for the rights of others. They are prompt and decisive in action, can command others, are frank and candid, and when they speak their remarks go straight to the mark like an arrow to the bull's eye. Sagittarius rules the thighs, which are the seat of man's locomotion. To write the sign quickly, the arrow from the archer's bow was used.
Origin of the Capricorn Symbol
Those born under the sign Capricorn are quiet, thoughtful, reserved, serious, economical, prudent, cautious, good reasoners, decidedly practical, and ambitious of wealth and position. They are born diplomats, and quick to see and use the weaknesses of others for their own advantage. Thus as a goat ascends a mountain, taking advantage of every possible foothold, so these people climb to their ambitions by grasping every possible opportunity, great or small, to advance themselves. Suppliantly they bow to the reigning authority, seeking by sundry and devious ways to gain the good will of others, that they may partake in power, much as the goat must bend his knees and devise many a clever method to crop the foliage among the precipitous rocks of his upland pastures. These people are patient and persistent, and by concentrated effort and skillful maneuvering butt their way through, or climb their way around, all but insurmountable obstacles. In the body of man Capricorn rules the knees. It is pictured in the sky as the Goat. And to write it quickly a twisted devious line was used, twisted to suggest the spiraled horns of the goat, but in its pattern a still better representation of the circuitous path by which goats and people reach the heights of material ambition.
Origin of the Aquarius Symbol
The chief characteristics of those born under the sign Aquarius are the predominance of humanitarian instincts and the desire for a scientific verification of all theories. This intellectual trend is represented by the Man of the zodiac, while the sympathies and emotions that bind him to his fellowman are pictured by water flowing from the urn. It is the baptismal urn, the water representing the pure emotions that prompt man to reform and lead a new life. These people are kind, amiable, witty, fond of refinement and society, and are keen students of human nature. As Leo is symbolized hieroglyphically by one serpent, Aquarius, where Reason and Intuition balance, where man and woman have learned the significance of sex, have partaken of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, was anciently symbolized by two serpents moving in opposite directions. Aquarius rules the legs of man. It is written briefly as two wavy lines, a conventionalized form for the two serpents, and also suggesting the water that flows from the Waterbearer's urn.
Origin of the Pisces Symbol
Pisces people are amiable, very sympathetic, kind, neat, and particular, yet are often timid and lacking in self-confidence. They are greatly influenced by their environment, are restless, emotional, highly imaginative, and capable of high intellectual development. In their ideals they are Utopian. They long for universal brotherhood, for the highest expression of love, and for peace on earth good will to men. Sensitive, mediumistic, capable of psychic lucidity, romantic and lovers of mystery, they are apt to become too negative and dreamy to practice their ideals. They take an interest in psychic investigation, have a strong desire for the ideal in marriage, and when this ideal is not realized become restless and discontented. Pisces rules the feet of man. Fish, due to their reproductive ability, are ancient symbols of sex, and water is the symbol of the emotions. To represent the ideal love and marriage for which Pisces people long--that union referred to in the Bible as the tree of life and in the Kabala as the Holy Shekinah, or perfect way of nuptials--the Ancient Masons placed in the sky two fish and united them by a cord of love. To write the sign quickly they used two crescents, symbolizing two souls, likewise united by a connecting line.