Zodiacal & Cosmological References in the Gospel of Judas

[I have renamed this blog Integral Yoga Studies and in late 2016 and early 2017 I will be moving many past articles from my Integral Yoga Studies website here and letting that site go. Patrizia's articles will be moved to Aeon Center of Cosmology's website

Zodiacal & Cosmological References in the Gospel of Judas
by Lori Tompkins
12 April 2006

Given the fact that Astrology has been considered, 'the Devil's work' by most Christians and considered at best a ridiculous superstition by much of the scientifically-attuned modern world, many will not care to put much time talking about the parts of Jesus's teaching that are based on cosmology. Yet any one who reads the Gospel of Judas with some knowledge of 'esoteric' cosmology is going to be able to see that Jesus was speaking in terms that describe the 12 Astrological Ages, the 12 signs of the zodiac, the 360-degree ecliptic path around the Earth, and the 25,920-year Precession of the Equinoxes.

Astrological Knowledge has been 'crucified' by both Religion and Science and what remains of the art today has atrophied from its original potency as a real and invaluable tool of communicating and receiving knowledge throughout the Ages, and as a real expression of the movement of a Divine Eternal Collectivity authored by an Divine Eternal Oneness or Unity.

Perhaps there is hope that our collectivity may shed some heavy baggage and be somewhat more enlightened after a serious look into one of the biggest plot twists in recorded history. Why did Jesus enact this truly MEMORABLE play, which he knew was destined to be the NEGATIVE seed or Imprint for an entire age to come, based on 12 disciples and a betrayal by one of them which led directly to his own crucifixion - the crucifixion of the SON or Child of God. And WHY did he compose the play to be a mirror reflection of the zodiac, with himself as the Son (Sun or center) surrounded by 12 disciples?

The divine joke of the emergence of this codex is that the Key to its value and power lie in a knowledge of the zodiac. So in some way it demands a redemption of astrology as an important part of the world puzzle, an important piece of scientific pursuits, and an important key for spiritual pursuits, and is ultimately the means by which the opposites of Science and Religion will find their common center and common ground.

Judas asks what good will come of this Divine SET UP:

"What good is it that I have received it? For you have set me apart for that generation."

Jesus answered and said, "You will become the thirteenth, and you will be cursed by the other generations — and you will come to rule over them. In the last days they will curse your ascent [47] to the holy [generation]."

So NOW we are alive to see what good will come of the SET UP. One astrological age later, we are living Judas 'Ascent'. And if anyone can make the connection, and if anyone cares to pay attention to these things, this implies we are living 'the last days' of which Jesus spoke. One must wonder ... 'the last days' of WHAT? One must hope it means the last days of a generation that has been the product of the 'crucified' Knowledge of our inherent Divinity.

A recovery of this Knowledge cannot exclude Knowledge of the Cosmos and the movements of the Earth in Time. A recovery of this Divine Knowledge must show the thread of Divinity (our true seed) traveling and growing in ALL manner and form, throughout ALL Time. And with this recovery, the zodiac reveals itself to be a Real Story, the story of Soul's long journey through obscurity, its eventual victory (redemption, re-birth) followed by some period of being fully realized on Earth (i.e. Golden Age). The zodiac reveals itself to be OUR story – our individual story and our collective story ... the ONE Story or the One Song ... the Uni-Verse that is us. (A story we are only about two-thirds of the way into according to PNB)

The generation of the last aeon, to which Jesus refers, lost the plot of that One Story, lost the plot in terms of recognizing the inherent Divinity of Matter and the process in Time by which that Divinity comes to fruition in Matter. Knowledge of the Zodiac, as a map of that macro-process, was destroyed. (see PNB's Map of the Manifestations)

Jesus told Judas the days of THAT profound ignorance was literally bound to end, bound to give way to a superior generation would not be subject to the same occluded vision. The superior generation would consist of a multitude of individuals who were destined to re-member and re-collect the plot of their Eternal Being.

Background of the Zodiac

"Then Saklas said to his angels, ‘Let us create a human being after the likeness and after the image.' They fashioned Adam and his wife Eve, who is called, in the cloud, Zoe.[1] - The Gospel of Judas

The word 'Zodiac' is said to come from the Greek words zodiakos, zoe, zoon and zoad, respectively meaning "cycle", "life", "animal" and "path or way going by steps".[2] The god Zues is also connected to the etymology of 'Zodiac'. The following explaination of the zodiac is given on Wikipedia:

'The concept of the zodiac was originated by the Babylonians certainly before 2000 BC as a method of visualizing the passage of time. The zodiac worked as a symbolic calendar. It was divided into twelve parts as suggested by the appearance of 12 moons in a year. The signs are geometric divisions of the celestial sphere, each corresponding to one twelfth of a year.'

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet — a seer, author and cosmologist who represents the third stage of the integral and supramental yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother of Pondicherry — finds reference to the zodiac in the ancient Rig Veda (see section below) and suggests (upon large controversy) that the zodiac may have been 'exported' from India to the Babylonians.[3]

The zodiac was not only used to track the 365-day year, but also the 25,920-year 'Great' or 'Platonic' Year, known as the Precession of the Equinoxes. The Great Year, like the Earth year, was divided into 12 'months' - twelve 2160-year astrological ages. (2160 is the diameter of the moon in miles). The astrological "age" is also refered to as an 'aeon'.

Some of the mechanics of the zodiac are describe fairly well on Wikipedia: 'The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun traced out along the sky in the course of the year. More accurately, it is the intersection of the celestial sphere with the ecliptic plane, which is the geometric plane containing the mean orbit of the Earth around the Sun. ...there are 12 zodiacal constellations, all taking an equal share of the ecliptic. The entire ecliptic is measured as a 360 degree circle or 360 degrees of celestial longitude.[4] Each sign, therefore is comprised of 30 degrees of celestial longitude. Each degrees of the precession is equal to 72 Earth years, and each year is equal to 50 seconds of degrees of arc of celestial longitude'. One must remember that in the 24 hours of the Earth's day, the Earth travels or rotates the entire 360 degrees of the ecliptic, passing through all 12 signs. These numbers figure prominently into Jesus's message in quite a few places in the Gospel of Judas.

Selections From 'The Gospel of Judas' and Commentary:


'Adamas was in the first luminous cloud that no angel has ever seen among all those called ‘God.' He [49] […] that […] the image […] and after the likeness of [this] angel. He made the incorruptible [generation] of Seth appear […] the twelve […] the twentyfour […]. He made seventy-two luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance with the will of the Spirit. The seventy-two luminaries themselves made three hundred sixty luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance with the will of the Spirit, that their number should be five for each. The twelve aeons of the twelve luminaries constitute their father, with six heavens for each aeon, so that there are seventy-two heavens for the seventy-two luminaries, and for each [50] [of them five] firmaments, [for a total of] three hundred sixty [firmaments …]. They were given authority and a [great] host of angels [without number], for glory and adoration, [and after that also] virgin spirits, for glory and [adoration] of all the aeons and the heavens and their firmaments.

"The multitude of those immortals is called the cosmos ...'

Commentaries: If one abandon's Scientific and Religious antipathy towards the art of Astrology ('the Mother of all Sciences') and grants that the 'heavens and their 360 firmaments' is very likely referring to the 360 degrees of the Ecliptic (in the Heavenly Sphere), one's religious and/or world view begins to undergo a major transformation.

Heaven, in that view, becomes equated with the circle's number '360'.[5] In that 'code' 6 heavens would be 6 x 360 = 2160. So when Jesus writes that there are '6 heavens for each aeon', one can see by a quick multiplication of 6 x 360 = 2160, and his reference to 'the twelve Aeons' that he is PROBABLY referring to the twelve 2160-year Astrological Ages which comprise the Precession of the Equinox.

Given that each degree of the Precession is 72 years and each year is one 360 degree cycle or 'heaven' (360 degrees x 72 years = 25,920 years), we can see that '72 heavens for the 72 luminaries' can also be interpreted as a description of the mechanics of the precessional movement.

The reference to the '5 firmaments' of each of the '72 heavens' (360 degree cycles) is a bit less enigmatic when one remembers that 360 divided by 5 is 72.

Each degree of the circle in esoteric knowledge contains the whole 360. In the Vedic conception, this correspondence was understood as 'one Day = 1 Year' (360 + 5 days). The last phrase in the above selection, 'the cosmos is the name given for the 'multitude of immortals' resonates with this esoteric Knowledge/Gnosis. in that each of the many pieces of the whole are known by Jesus to replicate the Eternal or 'Immortal' Unity of the Whole Being.

One must begin to wonder, how else can the VALUE of these numbers and Jesus's teaching be seen if proper knowledge of the Precessional movement and cosmology is not taken into account? One wonders, to what degree, if any, those working on the translation, are aware of the 'esoteric' knowledge being conveyed in this gospel or codex?

'Twelve Aeons constitute the Father'?

In the Roman Mithraic religion 'Aeon' was known as the child of Kore (or Persephone the Daughter of God). Aeon was depicted as a winged lion man (depicting the signs Scorpio - as the Eagle, Leo, and Aquarius) wrapped by many coils of a snake (Time).[6]

If an Aeon – associated with a 2160-year astrological age was considered to be the CHILD of the Earth MOTHER Kore, then one can begin to fathom the term "FATHER" in the Gospel of Judas, in a refreshingly non-religious manner. In the phrase 'The twelve aeons of the twelve luminaries constitutes the Father', 'the Father' seems to be code for Master Cycle of the Precession of the Equinoxes, comprised of 12 Children or Aeons.

It is interesting in this light, to read in the very beginning of the Gospel of Judas that Jesus was said to appear to his 12 disciples as a 'child':

He began to speak with them about the mysteries beyond the world and what would take place at the end. Often he did not appear to his disciples as himself, but he was found among them as precisely a child.


'The multitude of those immortals is called the cosmos— that is, perdition—by the Father and the seventy-two luminaries who are with the Self-Generated and his seventytwo aeons.

In him the first human appeared with his incorruptible powers. And the aeon that appeared with his generation, the aeon in whom are the cloud of knowledge and the angel, is called [51] El. […] aeon […] after that […] said, ‘Let twelve angels come into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld].' And look, from the cloud there appeared an [angel] whose face flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled with blood. His name was Nebro, which means ‘rebel'; others call him Yaldabaoth. Another angel, Saklas, also came from the cloud. So Nebro created six angels—as well as Saklas—to be assistants, and these produced twelve angels in the heavens, with each one receiving a portion in the heavens.'

Commentaries: This section has many layers to be unfolded and I will only just begin to get into the riches of this passage. Jesus seems to be speaking of the inevitable event of the first human of the superior generation. The cloud of knowledge figures prominently in this event, as do the 12 angels (who come out of the cloud). Those 12 'angels', it is said, will over-rule the chaos of the last generation. The 'cloud of knowledge' can certainly be seen as the occulted knowledge of the zodiac.

'From that cloud appeared an angel whose face flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled by blood. His name was Nebro, which means 'rebel'; others call him Yaldaboath.'

Well this all sounds so mysterious and cryptic (clouded) but it is so very readable by the knowledge introduced by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, in the same decade which the Gospel of Judas was found and LOST in the black markets of Egypt. Nebro is simply 0 degrees Aries, the beginning of the zodiac – 0 degrees of the circle which is simultaneously the 360 degrees of the circle. Aries is a fire sign and it is a birth (hence the blood), Aries is associated with Mars, the young warrior-god.

What is astonishing about this passage is that it is possible that Jesus is referring to not only the basic yet somehow occult (clouded) knowledge of not only our zodiac, but also of our NUMBER system. One needs here to have the visual of PNB's Gnostic Circle to be able to appreciate this synthesis that Jesus may be referring to in these very few words. He says, 'Nebro' is also known as 'Yaldaboath.' Perhaps we know these 'People' by the names of ZERO and NINE. Perhaps we know this phenomenon by the Ourobourus (the esoteric icon of the snake biting its own tale). Perhaps we also know these 'People' by the names of 'Alpha' and 'Omega'. It is also possible that Jesus is just equating the Zero to its other name in the circle, Aries ... and that he is not making reference to the NINE. Still, the dual name of Nebro can be seen as an indication of an overlap of the zodiac and the number system.

If we can see that Nebro is Zero or Aries of the 360 degree circle, it is not difficult to see that Saklas is Libra. The Aries-Libra opposition forms the axis of the circle. Out of Nebro (0 degrees Aries) comes 6 'angels' and out of Saklas (0 degrees Libra) come six 'angels'. Once given a few clues, it is not at all difficult to see that Jesus is referring to the signs of the zodiac (6 + 6 = 12). In fact, once given these clues, it would take a strong will to be closed-minded to NOT see reference to the signs of the zodiac.


[Judas said], "Master, [why are you laughing at us]?" [Jesus] answered [and said], "I am not laughing [at you] but at the error of the stars, because these six stars wander about with these five combatants, and they all will be destroyed along with their creatures."

Commentaries: Upon extremely superficial glance, some will use this selection to further lash out at astrology. Yet we shall propose a more thorough look a what caused Jesus to laugh with apparent contention. What was he referring to as the 'error of the stars' and what could destroy 'the stars' and 'all their creatures'?

If one takes into account that in 234 BCE the Tropical Zodiac and the Sidereal Zodiac were in alignment [7], then one gets a better feel for the joke. After that point, the Sidereal Zodiac (the Constellation) began to slip backward with the Precessional movement, and would not return to that perfect alignment until 25,920 years later. Jesus perhaps knew what the effect of such slippage, considering the prevailing Ignorance of the times, would have on civilization. Perhaps he knew it would cause the apparent 'destruction' of the zodiac.

The Tropical Zodiac is determined by the Earth's journey around the sun, marked by the four corners of the equinoxes and solstices. The Sidereal Zodiac is fixed or determined by the constellations, which appear to slip backwards through the zodiac through the precession. They are both TRUE phenomenon. Those interested can study the subject of this division more on their own, but what will be suggested here is that Jesus, due to his knowledge of the precessional movement and the prevailing ignorance of the times, was aware of the 'slippage' of the Celestial Round and that it would only get more pronounced through the Age. What is suggested here is that he knew of the inevitable parting of the Two Zodiacs; and that he knew this parting would open up an apparent and dire GULF between the two systems which would contribute to the chaos of the Age. He knew that the generation represented by the 12 disciples (minus Judas) would not have the knowledge to recognize the Truth behind the "Dual" movements which would apparently destroy (negate) the animals of the Tropical Zodiac.

It may be helpful here to make reference to Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's current teachings on OUR civilization's error regarding the stars, specifically the regarding the two zodiac systems.

'Ms. Norelli-Bachelet holds that true Vedic Seers would not discard the Sayana [Tropical] zodiac and favor the Nirayana or Sidereal system to measure the Earth's entry into the signs of the zodiac or individual destinies of events or people. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet is firm in her position that, by using the Nirayana/Sidereal, 'post-Vedic' astrologers are 23 days late in their measurements of entry into the 12 signs of the zodiac. She teaches that zero degrees Capricorn should always correspond directly to the December Solstice (when the days are shortest and the light begins to increase, and when Earth is at its closest distance to the Sun), and that it is erroneous to celebrate Makar Sankranti (entrance into Capricorn) 23 days after the Winter Solstice as is commonly practiced in India.'

‘Astrology in India today,' according to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, ‘is no longer a repository of Knowledge. It is simply used as a predictive tool and nothing more ... it is impossible to locate the exact point in the constellations to designate as the Sidereal Zodiac's [zero degrees Aries] point. Hence there are dozens of different almanacs in India each offering a different Zero Point for these "corrections".'

There are groups in India who recognize this error and the DISASTER, and CHAOS, that comes with adherence to such an error, and are trying to bring about a reformation ('correction') of their cosmology and calendar system based on a REDEMPTION of the Tropical Zodiac.

The 360 and the 12 in the Rig Veda and the 'Recovery of the Lost Sun'

I will finish up this article by suggesting that Jesus's knowledge of cosmology and the zodiac preceded him by not only the Babylonians and the Mithraic cults, but also by the Vedic Seers (and by whoever they inherited or intuited the knowledge from). The ancient Rig Veda (considered by the most conservative standards to be over 3000 years old, and by others to be over 5000 years old) makes reference to the 360 and the 12 as did Jesus in the Gospel of Judas. The Rishis (Seers or Singers) of the Veda were concerned with the 360 degree, 12-part journey during which the 'Sun' would be 'Lost' during the 8th 'month' or part of the Jouney, and recovered in the 9th and 10th 'months' or parts of the Journey.

Twelve spokes, one wheel, navels three.
Who can comprehend this?
On it are placed together
three hundred and sixty like pegs.
They shake not in the least.
(Dirghatama, Rg Veda 1.164.48) 

The 'three hundred and sixty like [identical] pegs' which 'shake not in the least' sound more than a bit like the 360 firmaments described by Jesus. And the 12 spokes of the wheel, sound more than a bit like the zodiacal division of the ecliptic. The 'three-naveled' quality of the wheel is properly understood when one sees the 432,000 figure of the Hindu yugas (ages) as one third of the Precession of the Equinoxes, recorded in seconds of degrees of arc rather than in years. Three Yugas in this system constitute One Precession of the Equinoxes. The calculation is 3 x 432,000" = 1,296,000" = 360 degrees = 25,920 years = One Precession of the Equinoxes. [8] PNB's Map of the Manifestations shows a macro cycle of Three Precessional cycles (77,760 years).

We also find in the RigVeda (1.154), as found in the pre-biblical Mithraic iconography, zodiacal reference to the fixed or 'preserving' signs of the Zodiac and the fixed ages of the Precession of the Equinoxes. In the Rig Veda this takes the form of the 3 steps of Vishnu the Preserver (whose vehicle is the Eagle) who takes three different forms with each step: the Lion, the Bull and the Man. The Eagle, the Lion, the Bull, and the Man are the symbols of the four fixed (or Preserving) signs, Scorpio, Leo, Taurus, and Aquarius. The mention of these signs in backward order within the zodiac, suggests that Vishnu's famous Steps correspond a movement in time - the Precession of the Equinoxes, which moves 360 degrees backward through the zodiac in 25,920 years. Vishnu's Steps have been seen by PNB to be progression in time from the Age of Scorpio (the Eagle) to the Age of Leo, to the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aquarius. [9]
As for Vedic reference to the 'months' in relation to the recovery of the Sun within a 12 'month' journey, we can take a look at a few of Sri Aurobino's commentaries on the matter in 'The Secret of the Vedas'.

' ... we are met by the clear statement that it was only after they had sat for nine or for ten months that the lost light and the lost sun were recovered.' (p. 128)

'It is now perfectly clear that the achievement of the Angirases is the conquest of the Truth and the Immortality, that Swar [10] called also the great heaven, rhat dyau, is the plane of the Truth above the ordinary heaven and earth which can be no other than the ordinary mental and physical being; that the path of the great heaven, the path of the Truth created by the Angirases and followed by the hound Sarama is the path to the Immortality, (?); that the vision (ketu) of the Dawn, the Day won by the Angirases, is the vision proper to the Truth-consciousness; that the luminous cows of the Sun and Dawn wrested from the Panis are the illuminations of this truth-consciousness which help to form the thought of the Truth, (?), complete in the seven-headed thought of Ayasya; that the Night of the Veda is the obscured consciousness of the mortal being in which the Truth is subconscient, hidden in the cave of the hill; that the recovery of the lost sun lying in this darkness of Night is the recovery of the sun of Truth out of the darkened subconscient condition ...'

© Lori Tompkins 2006


1. PNB discusses Adam and Eve and the 'Genesis' tale in the Bible as an evolutionary parable depicting the stage in evolution when the animal/mammal man is given mental capacity, opening up a whole New realm and order on Earth. That transition, in PNB's work is marked by passage over the Libra Cardinal point of the Zodiac.

2. Kennith Fleming, God's Voice in the Stars, Loizeaux Brothers (May 1981)

3. PNB on history of the zodiac: '[The] so called Western Zodiac....either originated in India thousands of years ago and was then transported beyond her borders in a westward direction, along with Sanskrit and other cultural expressions; or else, that India too inherited it from a now lost or submerged civilization, perhaps the one located in the Indian Ocean of which the Tamil Sangam literature speaks.' - 'Kashmir and the Convergence of Time, Space, and Destiny', PNB

PNB claims that certain Rig Veda verses (1.154) describing Three Steps of Vishnu in terms of the Lion, the Bull, and the Man (symbolism of the fixed signs of the zodiac: Leo, Taurus and Aquarius) are proof that the ancient Vedic civilization, or at least its sages, were aware of the precessional cycle and of the zodiac as a key to understanding large and small cycles of Time. (For Rig Veda 1.154 see Wikipedia: Trivikrama: Astrology in the Rig Veda)

4. The 360 degrees of the celestial sphere are divided further by 60 minutes, and those 60 minutes are divided further by 60 seconds. So the entire span of 360 degrees of celestial longitude figures as 360 x 60' x 60" = 1,296,000" of arc. To arrive at 50" of arc of Precessional movement per year, one divides 1,296,000" by 25,920 years. One third of the precession in seconds of degrees of arc of celestial longitude is 432,000". 432,000 is both the figure for the radius of the sun in miles and the kali yuga (PNB introduced this seeing in The Gnostic Circle which challenges modern vedic astrologers interpretation of the figure as 432,000 years or 432,000 divided by 360 = 1200 years.

5. 360 is the number of the circle (as is the number 9, see the Enneagram), and describes various cycles of time, including but not limited to, one day (360 degree rotation), one year (360 degree journey around the sun, and one Precession of the Equinoxes (360 degree rotation of the Equinoctial Axis against the backdrop of the Zodiac or Constellations. Via these whole cycles 360 has correspondence to the ONE and carries knowledge of a process of a Unity in motion.

6. The missing fixed sign Taurus is understandable when we realize that the Mithraic religion was initiated in the fixed-sign Age of Taurus which spanned approximately 4000-2000 BCE. We find a similar pattern in the Rig Veda's account of Vishnu. Vishnu's vahana or vehicle the Eagle, corresponding to the fixed sign Scorpio, is left out of the picture. If that is an indication of WHAT AGE the story was generated (as in the Mithraic iconography/mythology), that puts the story of Vishnu's Three Steps originating in the Age of Scorpio - exactly ONE HALF of a Precession (12,960 years) before the Age of Taurus. For those who think this is impossible due to conventional knowledge of history see the following links regarding submerged Indian cities that carbon date at least to 7,500 BCE: the BBC News & the Geological Society of India Journal.

'One of the central motifs of Mithraism is the 'tauroctony', the zodiacal/cosmological myth of sacrifice by Mithra of a sacred bull created by the supreme deity Ahura Mazda [meaning Divine Wisdom], which Mithra stabs to death in the cave, having been instructed to do so by a crow, sent from Ahura Mazda We see that our Passion Play, and Jesus's enactment of it is not so original, it copies the format of the Mithraic sacrifice of the Bull by Mitra (upon divine instructions).

7. PNB, The Gnosic Circle, Aeon Books.

8. ibid.

9. idib.

10. Swar is known in the Gospel of Judas as 'Barbelos'.

Related Articles:

'The Gospel of Judas', Surfaces after 1,700 Years - commentary
'The Gospel of Judas'  from the Perspective of Integral Yoga & the Supramental Cosmology
Judas, Scorpio and the Last Supper
The Ordeals of Scorpio

Authors Note: From my view, the Knowledge which Ms. Norelli-Bachelet introduces or restores in The Gnostic Circle and The Magical Carousel is crucial for those interested in astrology and cosmology as well as for those interested in understanding mythology and religious scriptures.


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