T4: 1/20 location unknown

This image of the first disk in the T4 series, the Signs of the Zodiac, was sent to me by a kind contributor (thanks!).

T4 1

I imagine that this disk is probably sitting in a vast warehouse full of coded disks and rusting mileposts, waiting for its time in the sun (and rain).

This disk is a stylish rendition of a ram, the animal that represents Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. The origins of Aries the ram lie in Greek mythology – Aries was a flying and possibly also swimming ram, the offspring of a liaison between Poseidon and a sheep. Aries had golden hair, and was sent to rescue the twins Phrixos and Helle, who were about to be sacrificed. As they were flying away over the sea, Helle fell off (into what was later called the Hellespont) but Phrixos escaped. As a reward for this daring rescue mission, the poor ram was sacrificed — or “returned to the gods” as they might have explained it to him — and his fleece was hung up in a wood and guarded by a dragon. This was the Golden Fleece later sought by Jason and the Argonauts.

The symbol for Aries the constellation and zodiac sign (♈︎) is one of the more literal symbols in the zodiac, looking like a ram. Aquarius (♒️) and Taurus (♉️) are the others…

The prominent sun at the top of the disk and the profusion of stars are probably referring to the importance of Aries in astronomy. The First Point of Aries is the location of the vernal equinox, one of the two points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator crosses the ecliptic plane. In its year-long journey through the constellations, the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north at the First Point of Aries, which is considered to be the celestial “prime meridian” from which right ascensions are calculated, the equivalent of the Greenwich meridian on the celestial map. Confusingly, the First Point of Aries is no longer in the constellation of Aries, due to the changing positions during the 2000 years that have elapsed since Hipparchus used it.

The five pieces of text around the disk read as follows:

top left:

d i e / o u

top right:

s , b u t a

bottom right:

l l l i f e

bottom:

’ s n a t u

left:

r e i s t o

which suggests the following reading:

...s, but all life's nature is to die
ou..

something that Aries the Flying Ram found out the hard way.

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