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Established 16/3/2000
Old Irish Zodiac Constellations

MoonEcliptic star groups in the Irish languageMoon

Symbol

Zodiac name

Old Irish name

Meaning

Aries

Aries

Réithe

Ram

Taurus

Taurus

Tarbh

Bull

Gemini

Gemini

Castor & Pollucs

Castor & Pollux (The Twins)

Cancer

Cancer

Portán

Crab

Leo

Leo

Hound

Virgo

Virgo

Óigbhean

Young Woman

Libra

Libra

Scálai

Scales

Scorpio

Scorpio

Scorpion

Scorpion

Sagittarius

Sagittarius

Laoch Caithte Saighead

Hero of the thrown arrows

Capricorn

Capricorn

Pocán

The Goat

Aquarius

Aquarius

An tUisceadóir

Water Carrier

Pisces

Pisces

Dá Iasc

Two fishes

This old Irish zodiac was obviously heavily influenced by Greco-Latin ideals, and translated straight into Irish, although it is interesting that Leo is called 'Cú', The Hound, and not Leon, the Lion. There is some evidence to suggest constellation groupings like the bull constellation were perceived in ancient Ireland. Other constellations which were recognised as groupings include Orion (which was known in various forms, most notably Nuadu of the Silver Hand) and Cassiopeia and the Northern Crown. Cygnus, The Swan, was probably recognised as a constellation too. The Milky Way was known as 'The Way of the White Cow, and has led Mythical Ireland to believe the ancient 'river goddess' Boann (illuminated cow) was in fact meant to be the Moon, and that Newgrange, which is known in Irish as Brú na Bóinne, is not just a construct designed to capture Winter Solstice sunrise, but also Full Moon rise at certain times of the lunar cycle. Brú na Bóinne could mean 'womb of the moon'.

WEB LINKS:

Early Irish Astrology - An Historical Argument: Interesting article by Peter Berresford Ellis. Note references to Milky Way, Bealach na Bo Finne.


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All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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