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Friday, December 9, 2016

Ancient Myths Associated with the Constellations Leo and Virgo

The twelve Zodiac signs are some of the oldest star patterns recognised by man and many myths exist behind their origins.

Leo and Mythology

The Egyptians believed the world was created at a time when the Sun rose in Leo near the star Denebola. On the ceiling in the Temple of Esneh in Egypt there is a sky painting which shows the whole of the zodiac with its constellations. Between the figures of Virgo, the Virgin and Leo, the Lion, there is carved the figure of the sphinx with the head of a woman and body of a lion.

The woman’s face is pointing towards Virgo, her lion’s tail is pointing to Leo.

Nemean Lion, Mythology and Astrology

In Greek and Roman mythology, Leo is associated with Nemean the lion which was terrorizing the people of Nemes in ancient Greece. The first of Hercule’12 labours was to slay the Nemean lion,

Hercules strangled the lion in his den and skinned it, using the hide as his armour for the remaining 11 tasks. Hera, his mother, was so angry at his success that she raised the soul of the Lion high into the sky where today, it can be seen as the constellation of Leo.

In Judges 14 of the Old Testament, one of Samson’s miracles through God was to kill a lion with no implement and a feast was made of the honey from the lion’s carcase. The biblical story of how Daniel was cast into the lion’s den is also well-known. Also, in a dream, Daniel spoke of four great beasts coming out of the sea, the first of which was like a lion with eagle’s wings. The lion was made to stand on his feet as a man and was given a man’s heart.

Virgo and Mythology

Virgo is one of the few signs not represented by an animal. In Roman mythology Vesta was the Goddess of Light whose role it was to watch over the fire of the household hearth. The Vestal Virgins were treated with the utmost of respect, but if their chastity was ever violated they were punished by being buried alive.

Goddess Astraea, Astrology and Mythology

In Greek mythology Vesta was called Hestia. Also from Greek mythology comes the naming of the constellation Virgo. The Goddess Astraea is the Goddess of Justice; she represents the natural order including birth, change, abundance and death. She once lived on earth in the golden age and taught of the nature of the seasons.

Astraea was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Astraea inherited from her mother the duty of asserting justice. She was the last of the immortals to leave the earth when the Golden Age finished through a period of lawlessness and crime. She then took up her place in the Zodiac, in the constellation of Virgo.


Kennedy, D James “The Real Meaning of the Zodiac” Coral Ridge Ministries (1989)

Labels: Ancient Myths Associated with the Constellations Leo and Virgo

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