Sagittarius, Jupiter and the Star Nunki

The Place of the Mighty Ones

by Steve Santini

August 2008



It seems that early September will bring some interesting signs. Most interesting is the close relationship of the fairly bright star Nunki in Sagittarius and the planet Jupiter. Jupiter in its 12-year circuit through the 12 constellations is now traveling in retrograde motion through Sagittarius. In this context it will perform a triple conjunction with the bright star Nunki. In regards to the manifestation of the saints this sign draws particular attention.

The arrow of Sagittarius, the archer, is pointed to the densest portion of the Milky Way. This dense area is the galactic center and was know by ancient observers as the golden gate of heaven. It was believed that this was the gate from which the gods descended to earth in the form of men. According to the ancient beliefs these gods came to punish those who did not believe and to gather together those who did believe.

Sagittarius comes through the ages to us from the first culture after the flood of Noah – that is the Sumerian culture. The name for the star Nunki also comes to us from the Sumerian culture. The first city of the Sumerians culture was Eridu which had as its patron celestial body this star Nunki. Later, in the 2nd millennium when the Akkadians ruled the Sumerian culture for about a century, the entire constellation of Sagittarius was known as Nunki. To these ancient cultures Nunki was, as translated, The Place of the Mighty Ones. This second magnitude star is located where Sagittarius’ right hand drawing the bow is touching the shaft of the arrow aimed at Scorpio. The stellar location of the star Nunki is several degrees below the ecliptic – the line on which the sun and, in general, the planets and the moon travel through the circuit of the zodiac.

In line with the arrow in the drawn bow of Sagittarius just beyond this dense section of the Milky Way is, as the arrow’s target, the bright star Antares in malevolent Scorpio

The planet Jupiter, symbolizing The King of Righteousness, is now traveling on the ecliptic in retrograde motion through the constellation of Sagittarius. In early September, on the 8th, Jupiter will complete its apparent backward motion beyond the star Nunki and then reverse into its forward motion. Then during Jupiter’s forward motion about midnight on September 9th as Jupiter sets in the dark skies over Jerusalem, the moon will occult the star Nunki. Eleven days later on September 20th, Jupiter’s forward motion will take it into its last conjunction with the star Nunki in what is known as a triple conjunction during a planet’s movements in a retrograde zone.

This year, on September 9th, a unique meteor outburst occurred in Perseus. In light of the demarcation of Perseus by unusual Comet Holmes in the fall of 2007 and the winter of 2008 this outburst in this celestial context could be considered symbolically significant. It was not until the annual Persid Meteor Shower was underway that Comet Holmes suddenly dropped from a bright comet into visual obscurity. Perseus like Sagittarius represents the saints and as the myth goes Perseus frees beautiful Andromeda. The stellar representation of the pair is of the saints freeing the bound church or, in other words, the faithful in Christ Jesus.

On the day before at sunrise on the 8th of September, Jupiter ceases its retrograde motion and moves in direct motion back through Sagittarius towards its last conjunction with Nunki on the 20th. On the corresponding Hebrew date the Parashat Ki Tavo of Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 is read. This section contains the blessing for Israel if they followed God’s instructions in the Promised Land and the curses that would befall them if they did not.

In the fall of 27AD in the time that Jesus proclaimed from Isaiah the acceptable year of the Lord, Jupiter was also, in one of its rare occurrences, in a quite similar retrograde motion moving over and conjuncting the second and third time with the star Nunki in the hand of Sagittarius. (Luke 4:17-19)

This year the month of September corresponds directly to the Hebrew month of Elul. September 1st is also the first day of Elul on the Hebrew lunar calendar. During this time in early September the planets Mars, Mercury and Venus will be clustered around the midriff of Virgo. Virgo is the zodiacal sign that represents the month of Elul. On September 1st, Rosh Codesh Elul, the crescent new moon, representing the feminine power of regeneration, will join these planets in Virgo’s midriff in the night sky over Jerusalem. "Elul" has been interpreted as an acronym, with its Hebrew letters "Aleph," "Lamed," "Vav," "Lamed" representing the words "Ani L'Dodi V'Dodi Li" (Song of Songs: 6,3). The words mean "I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine,"

Elul is also the 12th month of the Hebrew civil calendar. There were 12 Hebrew tribes and there were 12 apostles appointed by Jesus. Biblically, the number twelve represents administrational fulfillment.

This month of Elul was a month of repentance in preparation for the annual Day of Atonement on the eighth day of the following month of Tishrei – the first month of the royal or civil year.

Jewish tradition relates that Moses went up on the mountain of God for the third 40-day period on this first day of Elul and that he came down with the second set of tablets on the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur in Tishrei. On his descent Moses’ face shown so brightly that he put a veil upon his face so that the children of Israel could look upon him. This veil is to be lifted when all saints are transformed as Moses and Elijah once were on the Mount of transfiguration with Jesus. “But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.” (Apostle Paul, II Corinthians 3:7-9) A question to ask, in light of these verses and the plethora of celestial signs since 1996 when Jupiter was last in Sagittarius, is “Are these now current signs pointing more clearly towards the advent of the administration of righteousness?”



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