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Were the Three Magi
Originally the Three Marys?

Updated Nov. 26, 2023

Three Wise Men 526 AD Photo by Nina Aldin Thune File:Magi_(1).jpg Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy: "The Three Wise Men" (named Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar). Detail from: "Mary and Child, surrounded by angels", mosaic of a Ravennate Italian-Byzantine workshop, completed within 526 AD by the so-called "Master of Sant'Apollinare". Photo by Nina Aldin Thune

In Christian astro mythology, the star Mintaka is regarded as the third of the three Magi on their way to Bethlehem. He is shown on the left in this mosaic from the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy, and dated to 526.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 133 Since Mintaka is one of the three stars of Orion's belt, it associates the other two wise men with the two other stars of the belt, Alnitak and Alnilam.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 135

This mosaic of "The Three Wise Men" (named Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar) appears in my book, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge because along with Sirius, Orion's Belt plays an important role in Dogon star knowledge.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 138

In the Dogon religion, the three stars of Orion's Belt that represent the three wise men in this image, were red giant stars. According to the alien Nummo, it was a red giant star located where Mintaka is located today that exploded as a supernova to form the Milky Way Galaxy. I believe that the white cloak the Mintaka wise man wears symbolizes the Milky Way Galaxy. His white cloak is dotted with stars and the leggings and cloaks and tunics of all three wise men are covered in stars.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 133

The three stars of Orion's Belt, which the Dogon believed were red giant stars at one time, were associated with the regeneration of the galaxy and the hope for humanity. Because large red giant stars expand and then explode to ultimately create new planets and stars, the Dogon viewed them as pregnant suns and female symbols. They represented divine mothers sacrificing themselves to give birth to new worlds.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 135

I believe that this was the original pagan interpertation of the stars of Orion's Belt since in Spain and Portugal, Orion's Belt is known as Las Tres Marías or as Três Marias, which stand for "The Three Marys" in Spanish and Portuguese respectively.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 135 In Christian astromythology, Bethlehem is identified with the star Sirius, which would associate Sirius with Christ, perceived by Christians as the hope for humanity.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 130

Orion ConstellationBy Rogelio Bernal Andreo - RBA_Orion_HeadToToes.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, The photograph appeared as the Astronomy Picture of the Day on October 23, 2010.

In this photo of the Orion Constellation, by Rogelio Bernal Andreo, we see the Belt of Orion showing Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. Above the Belt and top left is the red supergiant Betelgeuse, the bottom right is Rigel, and the red crescent is Barnard's Loop.

According to the Dogon, the problems that occured on Earth were a result of the loss of our second Sun, and that a red giant star would eventually restore order to our Solar System.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 252 To the Dogon this meant a return to androgyny and immortality.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 135

An important aspect of the Italian mosaic of the three "wise men" is that they are wearing red Phrygian caps, symbols of red giant stars. This same red cap was worn by the Dogon priest Akundyo, who was the priest of women dying in childbirth. Griaule described Akundyo as wearing a "red Phrygian cap that covered his ears, with a raised point like a uraeus on the bridge of the nose, in the fashion known as 'the wind blows.'"Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p.135

The blowing wind is associated with the gas and dust that is expelled from a red giant star as it begins to expand at the end of its life. It essentially dies to give birth to new worlds. The red cap Akundyo wore was a symbol of a red giant star as it was releasing its gas and dust.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p.135

Modern translations of the Gospel of Matthew determine that the word Magi, which is translated as "wise men", actually means astrologer or astronomer.Brown, Raymond Edward (1988). An Adult Christ at Christmas: Essays on the Three Biblical Christmas Stories, Liturgical Press, p. 11 ISBN 0-8028-3931-2; Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, Eerdmans (2000), p. 844. "The involvement of astrologers in the story of the birth of Jesus was problematic for the early Church, because they condemned astrology as demonic; a widely cited explanation was that of Tertullian, who suggested that astrology was allowed 'only until the time of the Gospel'."S. J. Tester, A History of Western Astrology, (Boydell & Brewer, 1987), page 111–112.

In the Dogon religion, the three stars were associated with three main mothers and key figures in the religion, who were also hermaphrodites. These mothers included the alien Nummo, the Mistress/Master of Speech, who was part human and part Nummo, and Lébé, who was considered the mother of humanity.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge pp. 14-15

Betelgeuse, mentioned above, is the nearest red supergiant star to Earth but whether this star will ultimately have any affect on our Solar System is unknown.

"In the fall of 2019, Betelgeuse started to drastically dip in brightness, outside of its typical brightening and fading cycle. Within months, the star had dimmed by about 60% in an event now known as the Great Dimming. This sudden dimming was so significant that some scientists wondered if Betelgeuse was entering a "pre-supernova" phase, which precludes a massive star’s explosive “death” in a supernova. Talk of a possible explosion sparked intrigue around the world as Betelgeuse would be the closest supernova to ever be observed and recorded by humans....By April of 2020, Betelgeuse had returned to its normal brightness." /news/237/what-is-betelgeuse -inside-the-strange-volatile -star/

Although Sirius is the brightest star to the human eye in Earth's sky, at near-infrared wavelengths, which are invisible to the human eye, Betelgeuse is the brightest star in the night sky. Is it possible that it, rather than Sirius, is the star being depicted on the mosaic of the three wise men as the star's red colour has been known since antiquity?

Betelgeuse with Bubble in 2009By ESO/L. Calçada -, CC BY 4.0,

This is an artist's rendering from ESO showing Betelgeuse with a gigantic bubble boiling on its surface. They show that the star has a vast plume of gas almost as large as our Solar System. The image was revealed using state-of-the-art techniques on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, allowing "two independent teams of astronomers to obtain the sharpest ever views of the supergiant star Betelgeuse..."

The significance of this image of Betelgeuse is that resembles a symbol used by the Rosicrusians (Rose Cross) and referred to by Robert Bryden F.S.A. (Scot) in his history on Rosslyn in Scotland. My research, in The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge, reveals that a rose was a symbol of a red giant star in the Middle Ages.

Symbol of the RosicruciansDorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 409

This Rosicrusian symbol is from an engraving printed in 1785 and 1788 at Altona near Hamburg, Germany by an unknown author, which included 36 plates of alchemical, theosophical and hermetic images and symbols. The founders of the Rosicrucian movement were associated with the Masonic Order of the Three Globes, 614708#La_Fama_Fraternitatis perhaps associating the three globes with the three stars, and the three Marys.

Bryden pointed out that a crucified rose also appears among the symbols of the heretic Albigensians of France, also known as Cathars. This associates the rose, or red giant star with Christ.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 409

Betelgeuse with Bubble in 2009By ESO/L. Calçada -, CC BY 4.0,

Another candidate for the Star of Bethlehem is the red giant Aldebaran in the Constellation Taurus located to the east of Orion's Belt. Between 420,000 and 210,000 years ago, Alderbaran was the brightest star in the night sky. I refer to it in The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge, as it is only 65 light years away and the mythology associated with the star may identify it as the Dogon star of regeneration.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p. 246

The Dogon believed that the star Sirius was the original twin to our Sun, which was cut from our Solar System due to unfortunate events that happened in space.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge pp. 130-135

Isis with Serpent TailEgypt, 2nd century A.D. Sculpture Terracotta Gift of Jerome F. Snyder (M.80.202.222) Egyptian Art Gallery LACMA: archive copy, Public Domain, index.php?curid=27295535

In Egyptian mythology, Sirius, was the bright star of the goddess Isis. Like Dogon descriptions of the alien Nummo, Isis is depicted in this 2nd century sculpture with a serpent tail. According to James Frazer, on July mornings Sirius "rises from the glassy waves of the eastern Mediterranean, a harbinger of halcyon weather to mariners, and was the true Stella Maris, "the Star of the Sea"."

Amongst the epithets by which Isis is designated in the inscriptions are "Creatress of green things," "Green goddess, whose green colour is like unto the greenness of the Earth... ." These references are important because they associate Isis with a red giant star and the creatrix of life in the universe.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p.136

Our Lady, Star
of the SeaBy ESA/Hubble, CC BY 4.0, index.php?curid=30512561 Image cropped and reduced

The Star of the Sea was also one of the names associated with the Virgin Mary. This statue from Sliema, Malta depicts the Virgin Mary as Our Lady Star of the Sea.By none - Sliema Malta, FAL,

Star About to Explode
By ESA/HubbleBy ESA/Hubble, CC BY 4.0, Image cropped and reduced

This picture of a red giant star, knicknamed SBW1, was originally twenty times more massive than our Sun and is now encircled by gas, which is the remains of its outer layers cast off during violent pulsations and winds. Floating at the centre of this new Hubble image, which resembles an eye, is the star about to go supernova. media/File:A_star_set_to_explode.jpg I believe that knowledge about these stars may have contributed to the phrase, the "eye of God".

Supernova SN 1987A
Credits: NASACredits: NASA

According to NASA, supernovas are the most massive explosions humans have ever witnessed. Prior to 1987, when the first modern supernova (SN 1987A) was detected in a neighbouring galaxy at only 160,000 light-years from Earth, astrophysicists knew very little about supernovas. The photo on the left is Supernova 1987A after the star exploded, and the picture on the right is the star before it exploded. /5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-a-supernova.html

How did the Dogon people know so much about red giants and supernovas in the 1930s? The Dogon's entire mythology was centered around red giant stars, knowledge which they said was taught to them by the alien Nummo.Dorey, The Rose: Dogon Star Knowledge p.14

For more information on the Dogon religion refer to my books, The Master (Mistress) of Speech, The Nummo, Day of the Fish and The Rose.


Shannon Dorey at

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