(BEING CONTINUED FROM 18/04/14)
Considering the strong possibility that the origin of our alphabet is correlated with the
constellations of the zodiac (see “On the Origins of the Alphabet,” Sino-Platonic Papers 196,
December 2009), it is interesting that I first learned the alphabet by having to raise my head and
look up. That is, I had to turn around in my chair in kindergarten and look up to a spot just
beneath the ceiling on the back wall of the classroom. For there on a wide strip of white paper
that ran from one side of the room to the other was written the upper and lower case letters of the
alphabet. It was there that I first saw the letter “A” and then “B,” etc., in their proper sequence
and upper/lower case forms. I now find it quite fascinating that I first learned the alphabet in the
same manner that the inventors of the alphabet in Egypt almost 4000 years ago had originally
intended — by looking up and reading what was above me.
I’m quite sure that my having to look up to learn the alphabet had no conscious (or subconscious) bearing on my later discovery that the letters of the Phoenician alphabet were correlated in couplets with the constellations of the zodiac. Rather, it was quite by accident that I chanced upon this remarkable discovery. That is, while researching another topic and looking at
a vertical column of Phoenician letters in Andrew Robinson’s The Story of Writing, I happened to
notice that the first two letters, the first couplet, looked remarkably like a bull. That is, aleph,
which I knew was literally translated as a “bull’s head,” seemed to naturally join with the next
letter, beth, which not only had the general shape of a body, but also a tail (see Figure 2).
It was then just a simple step to realize that aleph and beth resembled the constellation
Taurus (a small leap considering that I was working with Egyptian material, a great deal of
which revolved around Egyptian astro-theology). I can remember being very excited by this
discovery, and I quickly put those first six letters together as seen in Figure 2 to form three
sequential constellations of the zodiac: Taurus, Aries, and Pisces. I immediately showed my
discovery to my father (who had a great interest in both fonts and astronomy), and I distinctly
remember his being pleasantly surprised by what I had found and then saying, “That’s great, now
solve the rest.” And so I did, with the fruits of that labor seen in my “On the Origins of the
Alphabet” (Sino-Platonic Papers 196).
However, although the couplets established a solid basis for the alphabet/zodiac
connection, some of the couplets in that paper didn’t quite match up with the zodiacs popularly
known at that time. Thus, I’m happy to report that I recently came across several old zodiacs that
I didn’t know about when I published that first paper. What I found particularly exciting about
two of these is that they do not show the typical or traditional fish symbols associated with
Pisces, but rather, a long-tailed shaped symbol of Pisces that is exactly as my first paper
predicted, based on the shape of the Phoenician, Hebrew, and Ugaritic letters. Also, a couple of
the signs for Sagittarius in these newly seen zodiacs look remarkably like their respective letter
couplets. Furthermore, and more interestingly, I also discovered a very strong connection
between the zodiac’s astrological symbols and the Phoenician letters/couplets. And, lastly, one of
the Pisces signs from one of the zodiacs I recently found, coupled with a new shape for Gemini,
shows an even stronger correlation to the mathematical constant pi to which my first paper
In the Corneto and Rapallo zodiacs that I recently chanced upon, instead of showing Pisces as a
fish, these two particular zodiacs show Pisces with a long tail/spear aspect exactly as I depict the
couplet of he and waw (See Figures 3 and 4).
In Figure 3, the form of Pisces not only resembles the Phoenician letters he and waw, but
more interestingly, it has a stronger resemblance to modern Hebrew letters, which were derived
from Phoenician by way of Aramaic. In Figure 5b, note the exact correlation of the linear part of
Pisces to the Hebrew letter Waw. The resemblance is striking, and I always felt that it was just a
matter of time before someone uncovered a zodiac that depicted Pisces exactly in this manner
(Based on this new evidence, plus evidence that I will discuss shortly, I’ve updated the
figures/charts shown in my first paper, SSP 196. Please see Figures 5a, 5b, and 5c).
This unique shape of Pisces in the Corneto zodiac also mirrors exactly the form that the
ancient Mesopotamians and Egytians used for Pisces. See Figure 6.
The discovery of the particular form of Pisces seen in the Corneto Zodiac now lends
credence to the idea that both the Mesopotamian Cylinder Seal and the Senemut celestial
diagram, seen above in Figure 6, represent zodiac signs (as discussed in SSP 196). So, clearly,
there is another form for Pisces, other than the traditional fish. But more importantly, this other,
rarer form provided the blueprint for the Phoenician letter couplets of He and Waw.
Another important feature of the Coreneto zodiac is the form of Sagittarius. Note that it
not only depicts an arrow, but also a curved bow, which differs from the normal archer/halfhuman/
half-horse centaur figure as seen in the Dendera Zodiac and later zodiacs. This focus on
just the bow/arrow is exactly what the Phoenician couplet of Qoph/Resh indicates. Furthermore,
this bow forms half of a circle and resembles quite nicely not only the modern Hebrew “Q” (Qoph), but also the earlier Hieratic uniconsonant “Q” (as seen in Figure 3, SSP 196). Two other zodiacs that I recently chanced upon also show Sagittarius as a single arrow/bow. See Figure 7.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Brian R. Pellar