This section is from the "Origin Of Architectural Design Or The Archaeology Of Astronomy" book, by Lee H. McCoy. Also see Amazon: Origin Of Architectural Design Or The Archaeology Of Astronomy.
We choose the celestial Sphinx for our first discussion, because in our opin-ion, that group among the stars oc-cupies a position of greatest value in the arrangement of the heavens, and apparently symbolizes the abode of Deity. The mythology and tradition of many of the earlier nations ascribe the abode of Deity to the polar regions not only of the earth, but also of the heavens. Yet since We Know It To Be A Scientific Fact that the celestial pole is constantly changing its position in the northern sky, and does not occupy the same group of stars long, we consider it reasonable to suppose that there must be a true north and south of the universe. This true north appears to be home to the region named above or that occupied by the celestial Sphinx. The polar groups as we know them at present, as a result, have but local value. The true north pole of the heavens appears to be the same as the Galaxy or the region of the Constellation Coma Berenices; the true south pole, the Zodiacal group Aquarius. The heavens appear to be divided into hemispheres by the great ring of the Galaxy. This theory agrees very well with Homer's conception of the universe; for his ocean stream was identical with the Galactic ring.
There are several celestial regions which would vie with each other as being the abode of Deity, namely:-the north polar region of the Galaxy, our present polar region and that occupied by the constellation Auriga; yet, in a summary of the whole, we believe the starry Sphinx to be the True North Or The Abode Of Deity.
The others have but a local value.
The celestial Sphinx is delineated in three groups, Leo, Virgo, and Coma Berenices. Coma Berenices marks the head of the figure; Leo the higher part of the body; Virgo the fore part. Due to the filmy appearance of the former group, it readily impresses the eye as the head and mane of a lion, while the general contour of the three groups, as a whole, readily resolves itself into the gigantic Sphinx-like figure, and it is not strange that the Egyptian saw it as such. There can be no reasonable doubt but that the Egyptian Sphinx had Its Origin In This Celestial Figure.
The figure forms a crown to the north pole of the Galaxy and is an object of wonderful interest to us as the symbol of the probable abode of Deity. If this region is really the true north, it is, perhaps, intimately connected with the scriptural statement, "Beautiful for situation is Mount Zion, on the sides of the North." (Psalms xlviii: 2).
That bird-like figure, which is a conspicuous object in the celestial Sphinx, apparently Deified By The Egyptian As The Goose, was undoubtedly symbolized in the scriptures as the eagle; while at the same time, the heads of the Lion, Man and Bull are also in evidence. The general appearance of the grouping impresses one as being with face to the east, gazing into the eternal depths of space as though in deep thought. Because of this appearance, it is not strange that the Egyptian, in making a concrete model, gave to it the character he did in the monument of the Sphinx.
Due to the fact that there appears to be another head super-imposed upon that of the celestial Sphinx, we consider it the source of the double-headed deities prevalent among the ancient nations. Upon a clear night such a Figure Is Not Difficult Of Detection, yet the form in which the early Egyptian saw it, a Sphinx-like being, is more in keeping with the general appearance of the grouping.
The north pole of the Galaxy is located in the small and interesting constellation Coma Berenices, and such fact is not without its significance when we locate therein the true center of the cosmos. This small group has been likened by many to a spider's web, and really presents such appearance to the naked eye.
The lower and fore part of this celestial Sphinx is outlined by a line of the brighter stars, while the paws occupy such position that The Brilliant Star Spica Is Located Either upon or between them. What is popularly known as the "Sickle of Leo" embraces the rear part of the body. This same "Sickle of Leo" is of course the Shepherd's Crook, which has been and now is quite common as a symbol or emblem of deity among ancient and modern nations. In fact, it is so common and well known that we need scarcely dwell further upon it. The Shepherd's Crook Was Invariably Associated With Deity And royalty by the Egyptians, as is shown by their wall-painted representations of it, and was a common object in connection with their statuary.
The "Sickle of Leo" was also the source of one form of their boat, for it much resembles the shape of the sickle. This form of it is also found as one of their hieroglyphics.
Midway of the Sphinx-like figure, with its head apparently raised above the back of the Lion, we see that object which has evidently originated much of the mythology regarding the part which a bird of different kinds Had To Play In The Creation Of the world, the Egyptian Goose, American Thunder Bird and various others. A long oval-shaped object which is outlined by the stars immediately back of what constitutes the forequarters of the large figure of the Sphinx would appear to be the body of the bird, while the wings and remainder of the figure are crudely outlined. The head appears as with the mouth open; and the general appearance of the object as a whole impresses one as of a bird, with mouth open, and wings raised as though in the act of rising from the earth. It is a well known habit of the goose that the gander loudly acclaims the female's laying her egg. What more appropriate symbolism of Creation than this. To the Egyptian then, this object among the stars would seem to have been noted as their deified form of the goose.