The Zodiac Signs in Archaic Symbols, Myth and in Ornaments of National Towels

UDC 130.2

Yevhen Prychepii
Doctor of Philosophical Sciences,
Professor, Institute for Cultural Research,
National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv

Abstract. The zodiac zone is a narrow strip of the star sky, in which seven classical planets (from Mercury up to Saturn), including the Sun an d the Moon, carry out their cycles. In formation of 13 signs of the Zodiac that appeared in archaic symbolics, the main role belonged to the Sun and the Moon.

At the first stage an annual cycle of the Sun was divided into a 28-dayʼs cycle of the Moon, therefore 13 signs were formed. (364:28=13). Later, it is probable already in Babylon, when the circle has been accepted as 360 degrees, the star zone has been divided into 12 signs on the zodiac (on 30 degrees to each sign).

For understanding of archaic designations of the Zodiac signs, the important role is given to division of 13 (12) signs between two group of sevens gods — planets. This division is caused by two factors: 1) 13 (12) the Zodiac signs should be correlated with a pantheon of ancient people which consisted of seven gods (i.e. to share between gods); 2) annual cycle of the Sun divided into summer and winter year half-cycles, that as assumed the signs division into summer and winter ones.

As 13 (12) does not divide into 7, one or two gods (planet) were considered as shared for two groups of sevens gods (6+1+6 or 5+2+5). This division of signs into two symmetric groups of gods — planets is noticed on artifacts of Trypillia (fig. 1, 2, 3) and pre-Columbian America (fig. 4–7).

So there were appeared two classes of gods that embodied summer and winter half-cycles of the Sun. In the author’s opinion in the mythology of the Indo-Europeans, they are presented by Titans and Olympians (Greece), the Asuras and Gods (India), the Vanir and Aesir (Scandinavia). The Zodiac signs take a specific place in archaic symbolics.

They belong to the star sky in the structure of Space. At Space simulation on the Body of the Goddess they are symbolized by her plaits or subjects that are placed on her head. In national towels two sevens of the Zodiac signs are presented by two ends of towels in which ornaments the seven of gods — planets are noticed. In the form given to a towel, in its semantic meaning of “road”, its links with the Zodiac zone is noticeable. The author gives the examples (fig. 14–19) from which follows, that the Zodiac signs were presented also at ornaments.

Keywords: the Zodiac signs, seven gods — planets, a symbol of two suns, twins in mythology, titans and Olympians (Greece), the Asuras and Gods (India), semantics of an embroidered towel.


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