From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter One
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"Temple of Esneh"
This file created on 5/21/98:

    The following statement and image can be found at "" a site presented by Revival Centres International Wellington.
   "In the Temple of Esneh, a relief depicting the signs of the Zodiac showed the first sign as the Virgin, and the last as the Lion."

relief from the Temple of Esneh

   The relief image above was enlarged for better viewing, as it claims to be in the portico of the Temple of Esneh in Egypt, which is a great sky-painting on the ceiling which shows the whole picture of the zodiac with all its constellations.
   Of interest to me is the Five Stars in the Virgo relief which leads to the Six Stars in the Leo relief.
   As seen above between the figures of Virgo, The Virgin, and Leo, The Lion, there is carved the figure of the sphinx with the head of a woman and the body of a lion. The womanís face is looking at Leo and the lionís tail is pointing at Virgo, leading to the assumption that we begin with the virgin and end with Leo.
   That same sphinx is found in the same place in a number of other great paintings of the Mazzaroth (or the constellations of the zodiac), in other parts of the Near East, going back as much as 4,000 years.
   Virgoís sign is the emphasis upon her fertility (her motherhood), because she holds in her right hand a branch (a staff, caduceus, or the scales of Libra; also a title applied to the Messiah as the offspring of David), and in her left hand some sheaves of corn, or seeds of wheat (ear of grain, spike of wheat (Spica)).

Zodiac of Temple of Esneh    The image to the left which is a section of the image below can be found at
regarding the Temple of Esneh, by Camillio Trevisan in his Figure 1, from Description de l'Egypte, vol. I, pl. 79, Esna, "Zodiaque sculpte' au plafond du portique."  You can faintly see the Lion, Sphinx and Virgo figures which are not in the same sequence as represented above, but instead seen in the vertical position.  It seems awkward to claim that the Sphinx is facing toward the Lion which is above it.
   The entire image shown below, has two vertical red lines to define the location of the section with the Leo and Virgo images:

                  |   Leo   |
Zodiac of Temple of EsnehZodiac of Temple of Esneh
                  |  Virgo  |
Here is an enlarged view of the Left Side
Zodiac of Temple of Esneh
... and the view of the right side
Zodiac of Temple of Esneh

   The following statement can be found at "" regarding the Temple of Esneh, Temple of Denderah and subject of Mazzaroth.

   "In the middle of the 19th century a scholar of the ancient classics and the history of language was struck by Psalm 147:4 which says that God calls the stars by their names. This scholar, Frances Rolleston, spent most of the rest of her life studying the root meanings of the names of the stars in many ancient languages. Though most of the names of the stars were lost, some 100 or so were preserved in either Hebrew or Arabic. These continue to be used by astronomers today, though the meanings are unknown to them.
   Frances Rolleston published her findings in 1863 in a book entitled, appropriately enough, Mazzaroth. Several other writers also took up the theme and popularized her work.
   What she learned can help us be more sure of the reality of the 'rest of the story,' the kingdom of heaven -- where it is and what it will be like

Walking the circle written in the sky

   Twelve signs forming a circle.

   How can we know where to begin?

   "Through the "procession of the Equinoxes" the sun gradually shifts its position a little each year, till in about every 2,000 years it begins the year in a different sign. This was foreseen by the ancient Egyptians; and it was also foreseen that succeeding generations would not know when and where the sun had begun its course, and where the teaching of this heavenly book commenced, and where we were to open its first page. And so the Sphinx was invented as a memorial guide to the heavens. It had the head of a woman and the body and tail of a lion, to tell us where to start and stop. The word "Sphinx" is from the Greek "sphingo," to join -- because it binds together the story's two ends, making this circle of the heavens."

   "Confirmation of this is found in one of the oldest zodiacs, dating back to approximately the year 2000 B.C. This is the zodiac of Dendereh. It was discovered by scholars in the ceiling of the portico of the temple of Esneh in Egypt. In this zodiac there is placed between the signs of Virgo and Leo a picture of the Sphinx."

"That, then, solves the "riddle" of the Sphinx."

Seen below is the Temple of Esneh as it is found on the
"Egyptian Post Card Page" at

Temple of Esneh in Egypt

Return to the Virgo Star Chart and Esneh or
go to the Zodiac of Denderah or
exit to the Table of Contents - Chapter One