“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.”
Canis Minor is the third decan belonging to Gemini. It was seen as “The lesser dog or wolf” by the ancients who knew the stars and called “Procyon,” its brightest star.
The Lesser Dog.
Though called “The lesser dog,” it is certainly not lesser in importance or function than Canis Major, merely smaller in size. It was pictured more like a sheep dog than a greyhound like its larger predecessor, and is a picture of our Redeemer. Apt description being that sheep dogs watch over and protect, well, SHEEP! That’s us, Church!
Again we see in these two dogs the dual nature of our Redeemer: First as the Ruling, soon-coming victorious Prince, but also as the loving, gentle Redeemer, the lover of our souls; the Burden Bearer.
He bought us with a great price and told us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Ancient Names For The Sign.
The ancient Hebrews knew this constellation as “Procyon,” the name of its primary star. It means, “Redeemer.” That is really the only name that has been passed down to us so presumably the Arabs knew it by that name as well.
Ancient Names Of The Stars.
Procyan, the brightest star, is located in the heart of the sign. As stars go, it is the 8th brightest star in order of magnitude in the heavens.
Astronomers have observed this particular star at length. They found that it is a bit unusual in that it has a hidden companion. It is actually comprised of two stars: Procyon A, what is known as a main sequence star, and Procyon B, a much smaller white dwarf. That speaks of a bigger, stronger, brighter Someone Who leads and protect a smaller, weaker someone else! 😉 The weaker even affects the movement of its much brighter companion just as Jesus is moved by the cries of His loved ones: US!
The Arabs called this star, “Al Shira or Al Shemeliya: The Prince or Chief of the Left hand,” corresponding to Castor. Remember Castor, the human side of Gemini? He seemed to be supported and protected by Pollux, his brother, as if he were the weaker one. Both are a picture of us, Church! 😀
There are two other stars with Arabic names that have come down to us, though their exact locations are not known. One is “Al Mirzam,” a name we learned when studying Canis Major. It means, “The Prince of Ruler.” The other star name is “Al Gomeyra,” which means “Him Who Completes or Perfects,” reminiscent of Psalm 138:8a – “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;”
Second in order of magnitude for this constellation is an Arabic named star, “Al Gomeisa: The Burdened, The loaded, Bearing for others.” Isn’t that just the most perfect description of our Lord Jesus?!
Last of all, let’s check with the oldest planisphere of Denderah. How did they see this sign?
The Egyptians saw this constellation as a human figure, head of a hawk, and a tail. To them, a tail indicated “This One comes.” The head of a hawk tells us that He is the natural enemy and destroyer of the enemy, the serpent. They called it, “Sebak,” which incredibly has a Hebrew root word: “Shebah,” which means “To make captive.” To the Egyptians this indicated he was the Conquering or Victorious One. Put it all together and you have “This One comes, conquering and victorious. AWESOME!
That’s our Jesus!!!
We are nearing the end of our journey through the Gospel in the Stars. Next we’ll study the 11th of the 12 major signs in Cancer: The Crab. You may follow the link below to continue this series: