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of the signs should be called the first, from whence that course should be measured; it being obviously immaterial which of the twelve should be thus conventionally considered as the first,
The sign established from time immemorial as the first, is Aries, the Ram: and whether the choice of it as such was altogether the effect of accident, or proceeded upon more solid reasons, it is not to be doubted that the true prototype of the Ram is to be found in the British Islands; and that of its head in particular, by which it is often simply designated, in Ireland.
Aries. In order to have the similitude between the sign Aries and its prototype (still keeping in view the idea of a supposed resemblance between certain distinct portions of the heavens and of the earth, as above stated) it is to be remembered that the figure of that sign is commonly represented as looking sideways or backwards, (vide the Zodiac* in the Frontispiece) and sometimes as lying down; and, if the map of the British Islands be examined sideways, that is, with the north at the left hand instead of being uppermost, as maps of the earth
* This zodiac is copied from that inserted in Spence's Polymetis, which was engraved from the reliefs on the globe, supported by the statue of Atlas in the Vatican at Rome.
are usually drawn, it will be seen that Ireland
has a strong likeness to the head of a ram, its face - looking southward, the brow at Wexford, nose at Cape Clear, and its horn winding round the province of Connaught up the river Shannon. If now the reader, having still the east side of the map uppermost,, will conceive the Ram's head (or Ireland) to be raised a little out of the plane of the map, the larger of the two British islands, together with the Hebrides, will be found to resemble the legs and body of the Ram, behind its head so looking sideways or backwards, and as it were lying down, in which last attitude it is in fact represented in the Egyptian zodiac presently mentioned; that is to say, the near hind-leg and thigh will extend from the coast of Norfolk to Cape Cornwall, and the off leg through South Wales; the tail will be formed by Kent and Sussex ; and (the body stretching to the North) the shoulders will be in the counties of Murray and Aberdeen in Scotland, the off fore-leg in the county of Sutherland and the near fore-leg in the Hebrides; the whole resembling figure 149, as drawn below: which the reader is requested to compare with the general aspect of any map of the British Islands.
Taurus. As the sun travels apparently from the east to the west, the groupe of stars which marks bis next position as a sign in the heavens, should of course correspond with a portion of the globe situate to the westward of that to which the sign of Aries has been referred. The second sign is Taurus, the Bulls which as seen in the zodiac in the frontispiece of this volume, may be considered as looking downwards rather than backwards (owing, I imagine, to an error in the original draftsman or engraver ;) but in the zodiac engraved among the plates that accompany Denon's Travels in Egypt (pl. 130) the Bull is drawn looking backwards, as clearly and plainly as the Ram in the first sign: and if the reader will turn the map of the globe upside down, or with the north downwards, and so view it backwards, he will perceive the resemblance of the forepart of a bull (as in the zodiac of the frontispiece) composed of the Atlantic Ocean, together with the great gulf of the West Indies and Baffin's Bay. The head of the Bull will be in the center of the Atlantic, with the face in the West Indian Gulf; the nose will be in the Gulf of Mexico; the eye, in the path of the sun, in the Tropic of Cancer; the left horn formed by South America, and the right by the continent of Africa ; while its two fore-legs extend into Hudson's and Baffin's Bay, and the body into the Icy Sea by way of Spitzbergen; resembling in its entirety, Fig 151.
In the Egyptian zodiac the Bull is drawn running at full speed, which may arise from the portion of the globe which this sign represents, being composed of water or the sea.
It may be here necessary, perhaps, to premise the following remarks: first, that this short treatise, being intended, as above mentioned, merely to give an explanation of a few symbols which are undoubtedly hieroglyphics, comprizes only an extract from a larger, which draws a comparison between the Vatican zodiac and the Egyptian zodiac (both above referred to), not solely in respect of the twelve signs, but of most of the other constellations included in them, and though for such a purpose, it would have been more in order to have put the Egyptian zodiac at the head of this volume, as being more decidedly hieroglyphic, rather than the Vatican zodiac, yet, from the former having some even of the twelve signs (not to speak here of other constellations) different from those in the modern zodiacs (those, for example, of Virgo and Aquarius), I have gone somewhat out of my course, and adopted the latter on the present occasion, since those differences from the Egyptian zodiac (while the other signs and constellations remain the same) do not make the symbols of the Vatican zodiac less hieroglyphic in their nature. Another observation which it is essential to make