The Message of the Stars Chapter 11 - Cancer
by Rabbi Ian K. Michaels
CANCER, THE CRAB
Cancer represents the completion of the Redeemer’s work in regard to His own. This is a picture of the people of YHWH possessed and held fast by Messiah. Kepha/Peter tells us we have been redeemed “to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled…reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of Elohim through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Kepha 1:4-5). Here is a revelation of the keeping power of Elohim and salvation in the heavens above. In the midst of Cancer is one of the brightest nebulous clusters in all of the heavens called Praesepe, meaning “The Multitude,” “The Offspring,” “The Innumerable Seed.” True born again believers are the heavenly multitude which is kept here by YHWH. One of the most obvious things about a crab is the two claws by which it grasps something and holds it firmly. So here we have a picture of the Remnant, which is being held as a possession of Messiah, taken to its heavenly home. Like the crab which lives in two elements – water and land – so believers live in two elements: the earth and also the heavens. Its many legs indicate multitudinous development, so the Body of Messiah has multiplied exceedingly.
The Egyptian’s name for this constellation is Klaria, meaning “The Folds,” “The Resting-Places.” The Syriac name is Sartano, which means “The One Who Holds,” and is a picture of Messiah who holds and keeps His own... The word Cancer is related to the Noetic word Khan, which means “The Traveler’s Resting Place ” and ker or cer, which means “Embraced,” “Encircled.” Thus Khan-Cer or Cancer, as the Romans used it, means “The Traveler’s Resting Place for the Encircled” or “The Embraced.” The star, Tegmine, in the tail of the crab means “The Sheltering” or “ Hiding Place .” Another star is called in Arabic Al Himerein, “The Kids” or “The Lambs.” Then there is Ma’alaph, meaning “Assembled Thousands.” It is a picture of the Savior’s possession held fast – the assembled thousands in the heavens above held by the Savior and the completion of His work.
URSA MINOR, THE LESSER SHEEPFOLD
On a planisphere, Ursa Minor is found near the center of the ecliptic and is called today The Little Bear. However, there is no bear in the planispheres of the Chaldeans, Persians, Egyptians or the Indians. The most ancient zodiacs picture both Ursa Minor and Ursa Major as sheepfolds. One of the brightest stars in Ursa Major is the star Dubheh, which means a “Herd of Animals” and is very similar to the Hebrew word Dowb, which means “Bear.” This is probably why the name of these signs changed over time. These were originally “The Lesser Fold” and “The Greater Fold,” the gathering together of the people of YHWH. The brightest star in Ursa Minor is at the end of his long tail and is called in Arabic Al-Ruccaba. We know it as Polaris or The Pole Star, the North Star – the star in the heavens upon which the entire heavens now seem to turn. In the precession of the equinoxes, we have seen how the stars have changed over the centuries.
If we go back 6,000 years when this was first set forth, the Pole Star was not Polaris, but, rather, it was the star Draconis, the main star in Draco, The Dragon. At that time, Satan had deceived Adam and Eve. He had brought them into the Fall, precipitated their destruction, and came to rule over the earth. The whole world was in the hands of the evil one. So it seemed that even as they looked up into the heavens, all of the heavens rotated around the Dragon. But, there has been a change that’s taken place, and as a result, the heavens now revolve around the star Polaris in the tail of Ursa Minor.
The Greeks called this star Cynosure which means “Dog’s Tail.” (No one knows how a dog’s tail ended up on a bear. Besides that, no bear ever had a tail so long). Regardless, this was the star upon which sailors looked to for direction. The word “Cynosure” has come to be a word in the English language which means anything upon which the attention of all the world is fixed. This is extremely interesting because here in this constellation is a picture of the Body of Messiah, which has become central in the drama of the ages. It matters not what men may call important because the real drama has to do with His-story of redemption for His people. What YHWH is really concerned with in this world is what is happening in and among His people. Increasingly, as the Body of believers grows, it is becoming more and more obvious, and more and more attention is being drawn to it. However, that attention is not always favorable, and people are not always happy with it. Those who are its enemies may gnash their teeth and rage, and yet it becomes increasingly a Cynosure – a center of attraction.
This is of course, even more thoroughly true of Y’shua our Messiah, the Head of the Body. He is the very center of all the ages. There was once a man by the name of H. G. Wells, who was a complete skeptic and not a believer. He was known to have remarked that though he was an historian, and wrote his great Outline of History, he found it strange that a skeptic like himself could not trace the history of this planet without realizing that more and more it came to focus on the lowly Y’shua of Nazareth, who is the Cynosure of the ages – the One to whom all eyes are increasingly turned in our world. The next brightest star in Ursa Minor is Kochab which means “Waiting Him Who Comes.” Another star is Alpherkadain (Arabic) which means “The Redeemed Assembly.” So, we see by the names of all of these stars that the message is clear. This “Lesser Sheepfold” is a picture of the gathering of Elohim’s people in the heavens.
URSA MAJOR, THE GREATER SHEEPFOLD
Probably one of the best know of all constellations is Ursa Major. We don’t know it as The Great Bear as the Greeks called it, but as The Big Dipper. Like Ursa Minor, Ursa Major is neither a dipper nor a bear. Rather, it is the greater sheepfold, as pictured in the most ancient planispheres or zodiacs of the various nations. Someone may ask why there are two sheepfolds and not just one and why there is a lesser fold and a greater. The answer is that the Israel of old – the smaller Body of YHWH’s people- are the lesser sheepfold, and the Israel of today - encompassing all tribes, and nations in the commonwealth – is the greater sheepfold. In Arabic, the name of this constellation is Al Naish, meaning “The Assembled Together.” The brightest star is Dubheh, a “Herd” or “Fold.” Another star is Merach, which in Hebrew means “The Flock,” or in Arabic, “Purchased.” Born again Believers are Messiah’s flock; they are also those whom He purchased with His own blood. Another bright star in Ursa Major is Pachda, meaning “Visited,” “Guarded,” or “Numbered.” We have been visited by Elohim incarnate, and we His people are His Guarded and Numbered ones. He has counted all His own and knows all of His elect. Their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Other stars in Ursa Major are El Alcola, “The Sheepfold”; Cab’d al Asad, “Multitude of the Assembled”; El Kaprah, “The Protected,” or in Hebrew, “The Redeemed” or “Ransomed.” A more familiar star, Callisto, again means “The Sheepfold.” So there is no doubt whatsoever that when you look at the names of the stars, they are a united and unfailing testimony. There are numerous other stars which have similar names in the two constellations of Ursa Minor and Ursa Major. Yet all point to the very same thing: this is the sheepfold containing the vast multitude of the numbered, guarded, protected and redeemed people of YHWH. This is the work of Messiah who has gathered together His lambs into that heavenly sheepfold – that place which He has prepared for them.
ARGO, THE SHIP
The third and final decan of Cancer is Argo. This is located outside of the ecliptic and presents the figure of a large ship. Argo means “The Ship.” Here we have a picture of the pilgrims safe at last in harbor. In this ship, the sails are rolled up. It is not a ship in the midst of a journey, but it is a ship which has completed its journey and is now at rest in a safe harbor at home. In Greek mythology, Jason, the Captain of the ship, with a great band of heroes for a crew known as the Argonauts, went out on a journey in search of the Golden Fleece (the fleece which came from Aries, The Lamb who had been made an atoning sacrifice). In this decan, our Messiah is depicted as Jason, the Captain of the well-fought fight. The ship is also Messiah wherein the Argonauts (His people) are brought safely home. Jason’s quest was to restore lost innocence and righteousness.. To do this, he had to travel to the city of Colchis, and there in a garden he found the Golden Fleece hanging upon a tree guarded by a serpent. Jason alone was able to destroy the serpent and recover the Golden Fleece (innocence and righteousness). The Argo and all of its heroes have endured the many trials, sufferings and dangers and now at last the ship has been brought safely home to a harbor of rest.
The word Argo comes from roots meaning “The Company of Travelers..” The bright star in Argo is Canopus, meaning “The Possession of Him Who Comes.” Another star, Sephina, means “The Multitude.” And the star named Tureis means “The Possession” – once again confirming that this is all about the possession of Messiah. There is an interesting thing about the ship of the Argonauts. On the prow is featured the head of a lion. On all ships, the head of whatever figure is facing forward, but on Argo this head is facing into the nave of the ship, looking down upon those who inhabited and sailed in that ship.
Messiah is of course, the great Lion of the tribe of Judah . He is the One who is protecting and watching over His own. So, in Argo, we have a picture of the ship of the people of YHWH, arriving home at last to their final harbor of rest. Having secured the Golden Fleece to cover its nakedness – produced by the slain Lamb which gave its life for their covering – now, at last, with sails rolled up; it is at peace and at ease in the harbor and haven above.
References: “The Gospel in the Stars” by Joseph A. Seiss and “The Real Meaning of the Zodiac” by Dr. James Kennedy, Ph.D..