The feeding of the 5,000 at the Sermon on the Mount – decoded

The subject of Christian mysticism is one that has always me fascinated me. Here is an extract from my latest book, Stories in the Summerlands, in which I decode the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand, and in which I find allegories for important astrological and alchemical processes.

Many of us learned at Sunday school the parable about Jesus feeding the multitudes at his sermon on the mount with just a handful of fishes and loaves.

But did you know that that it is a story that hides an important astrological-alchemical principle in its inner meaning, which goes back to the ancient myths of the mages of Alexandria?

To astrologers, Pisces is symbolised by two fishes, while Virgo, which is directly opposite Pisces across the other side of the zodiac, is represented by a grain of wheat. When the Sun is in a certain sign, the full Moon always falls in the opposite sign. So when the Sun is in Pisces, the full Moon falls in Virgo.

Therefore, this story about fishes and loaves is really about the Marriage of the Sun and the Moon, which is the culmination of the great alchemical work that produces the Child of the Philosopher or the Philosopher’s Stone.

pisces virgo

We can find further hidden meanings by combining both of the accounts of this feast that are found in Mark and Matthew, which are slightly different.

The feeding of the four thousand:

“And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude…”

Matthew 15.:37.

Four thousand probably relates to the four cardinal points of the zodiac – the Man, the Bull, the Lion and the Eagle.

  • The Man represents Aquarius and the festival of Imbolc;
  • The Bull represents Taurus and the festival of Beltane
  • The Lion represents Leo and the festival of Lughnasadh;
  • The Eagle represents Scorpio and the festival of Samhain.
The two crosses of the equinoxes and the solstices

We already learned in a previous chapter about the number four symbolising power and dominion in the magical rite surrounding the murder of Abbot Whiting by the men of King Henry VIII on Glastonbury Tor in Somerset.

Regarding the seven loaves:

“… and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.”

Mark 6:43

In other words, this sounds like an old creation myth:

Jesus the Sun god distributes the seven loaves or planetary rulers – Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, the Sun and the Moon – to the 12 basketfulls or signs of the zodiac.

The pre-Christian “Mistress of the Earth and Sea, multiplier of loaves and fishes” was Demeter, the daughter of Chronos or Old Father Time. And so the loaves might also refer to the grain that is harvested by the Grim Reaper.

The Grim Reaper

“Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.”

John 18.12-14,

The above quote comes from the scene in the gospels in which Jesus is on trial before the Sanhedrin, and it clearly represents the archetypal, mythological sacrifice of the scapegoat king.

Throughout ancient Mesopotomia during the Bronze Age, the symbol of the goatfish was always associated with the sign of Capricorn.

This Mystery ritual was well-known across the region thousands of years before the supposed birth of Christ.

The French writer Edouard Dujardin wrote:

“The god is anointed king and high priest. He is conducted in a procession, clothed in a mantle of purple, wearing a crown, and with a sceptre in his hand. He is adored, and then stripped of his insignia, next of his garments, and scourged … He is killed and the blood sprinkled on the heads of the faithful. Then he is affixed to the cross. The women lament the death of their god …”

… just as the three Marys do at Jesus’s crucifixion.

Capricorn is the zodiac sign of death and rebirth, reflecting the “death” of the Sun on the Winter Solstice and then it is “reborn” again three days later.

The year of Jesus’s nativity is given as 1 A.D. (Latin: anno domini or ‘the year of our Lord’). This date was contrived by a scribe in the employ of the Roman story machine named Dionysius Exiguus. Dionysius may or may not have been aware that his mythological namesake had also experienced a Christmas birth in a nativity story that could reach back as far as the Minoans.

Anyway, this 6th century monk decided to back-engineer the mish-mash story of Jesus’s life that had been concocted from Gnostic gospels hundreds of years before, in order to come up with the year in which the Christ was born in a little town called Bethlehem.

Bethlehem means “house of wheat” and so we are back again to Virgo and the Grim Reaper of the grain harvest, which would be entirely appropriate if the story of the nativity had not been about mere birth but rebirth, following the earlier mythological hero who is the scapegoat that “dies” and is “reborn” in the sign of Capricorn.

If you enjoyed this, or found it useful, please Subscribe to Shaman of Avalon to get an email every time I post a new article.


Read about the ancient Mystery Teachings to find out how they can inform your life today.


Learn about what shamanism is, what shamans do, and how you can receive training.

Sacred Sex

Discover another dimension to your love-making that is healing and spiritually transformative.

This was an extract from my book Stories in the Summerlands: A pilgrimage into Avalon, which is out now on Amazon in the UK, and here in the US.