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Horoscopes at Qumran

… and his thighs are long and slender, and the toes of his feet are slender and long. And he is in the second position. His spirit has six (parts) in the house of light and three in the pit of darkness. And this is the sign in which he was born: the foot of Taurus. He will be poor. And his animal is the bull.

… his eyes are of a color between black and stripy. His beard is … and frizzy. The sound of his voice is simple. His teeth are sharp and well aligned. He is neither tall nor short, and like that from his birth. Then the fingers of his hands are slender and long. His thighs are smooth and the soles of his feet … are even. His spirit has eight (parts) [in the hose of light] in second position, and one [in the house of darkness …

In the fourth cave of Qumran – the acronym is 4Q186 – some texts have been found, unfortunately very fragmentary, which contain horoscopes. They don’t look like the horoscopes that many of us read in newspapers every day, because their characteristics are different. However, even the Essenes believed that, at the time of birth, the physiognomy of man was conditioned by the position of the stars. The purpose of these refined and sophisticated ruminations was to determine the physiognomy of the future Messiah. 

A peculiar characteristic is that – depending on the time of the year in which a man was born and the zodiacal sign that characterized him – each person contained in himself more light or darkness. In the first fragmentary text I have reported this is evident. Who was born in the sign of Taurus – from April 20 to May 20 according to the astrologers of today, has six parts of light and three of darkness. This means that it will be a positive, bright and good person. But, as you know, hardly a good person will also be rich. The text says that this person will be poor.

The second text speaks instead of an even better person, because he was born with eight parts of light and only one of darkness. Unfortunately, in the second text, you can not read the sign to which it belongs, perhaps Gemini or Cancer.

It is impossible to say what was the way in which the Essenes of Qumran succeeded in establishing the human physiognomy on the basis of what is today called the astral theme, namely the position of the stars at the time of birth. Whether or not you believe in horoscopes, the fact that they were present in Qumran and that they had very different characteristics from our – more or less controversial – horoscopes, reflects an ancient wisdom in which man was not only an individual, but part of a cosmos that influenced his life.

Simone Venturini


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