Tonight the Milky Way is high in the sky. The ancients called it the Highway to Heaven.
The Milky Way is our name for the milky looking bank of stars which form the spiral galaxy in which our solar system resides. The Milky Way completely encircles us, like the path of the Sun in the Zodiac, but at a much higher angle. It crosses the path of the Sun at the center of the Galaxy, on the border of Sagittarius (The Archer) and Ophiuchus (The Serpent Held), and at the outermost point in the galaxy at the border of Gemini (The United) and Taurus (The Bull).
God’s grace is the theme of the Highway to Heaven. Beginning at its most southerly point in Centaurus (The Despised One), we are reminded of God’s promise to send the Seed of Woman, Virgo (The Virgin), given in the Garden of Eden. Thus, Virgo, the first sign of the Zodiac, also marks the beginning of the Highway to Heaven. And, like the Zodiac, the Highway generally moves sequentially through the Zodiac from that point.
Crux, the Cross of Libra, comes next as the instrument of God’s grace makes its first appearance. Following Crux comes Scorpio (The Scorpion), Ophiuchus (The Serpent Held), Sagittarius (The Archer), Aquila (The Eagle) from Capricorn (The Goat), and Cygnus, the Northern Cross, from Aquarius (The Water Pourer),marking Christ’s victory over sin at his first coming. The most northern point on the Highway, Cepheus (The Crowned King) in Pisces (The Fish), pictures Christ enthroned in Heaven as he has been since he ascended from the Mount of Olives in 30 A.D.
The promise of his return to the Mount of Olives comes into focus as the Highway turns south, or back to earth. It moves through Perseus (The Breaker) and Cassiopeia (The Enthroned Woman) in Aries (The Ram), Auriga (The Shepherd) in Taurus (The Bull) and Taurus itself as Christ’s return is pictured. Gemini (The United) and Orion (Coming Forth as Light) in Taurus picture Christ’s rule in the millennium. Finally, the Highway ends at Argo (The Ship) in Cancer, (The Holding Place), as the New Jerusalem comes to earth and we are home at last.
Constellations from all of the signs of the Zodiac are contained in the Highway to Heaven with the notable exception of any of the constellations associated with Leo (The Lion). The absence of any Leo constellations is explained by the fact that Leo is actually a picture of God’s judgment, commonly known as Hell (See our Blog of 8/6/14 “Hell in the Heavens”). The Highway to Heaven does not include a detour to Hell.
The Milky Way sits high in the Southern sky, with its center almost due South of the Zenith in the early evening. It stretches from Scorpio, on the South Western Horizon, to Perseus on the North Eastern horizon. It is best viewed away from the light pollution of the cities, but a pair of binoculars is indispensible to see the many amazing details of the Milky Way.
So catch a ride on the Highway to Heaven tonight.