Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Jan 14th - Jan 20th, 2005

The End of an Age

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      In looking at some of the acts of nature which we have been experiencing across the continents of late, both myself and others have been talking about these forces building at the end of the Age; but what precisely is an Age, anyway?

      The Ages are derived from simple astronomical motion. The Earth Sun relationship is a relative constant. If we mark the path of the Sun through the sky, it consistently 'ploughs the same furrow' year after year, and has for centuries. Naturally, the mathematical model prefers to use the Sun as the focus, and we believe that it is the Earth which is rotating around the Sun and not the other way around, but that's not the way we SEE it. We are not standing on the Sun looking out at the solar system. It would obviously require a little more than sun tan lotion to do so. We stand here on the Earth and observe these stellar motions from Terra Firma and in the sky over our heads. Sun and Earth

      Because of the gravitational pulls of the Sun and Moon on the Earth, we experience a slight wobble as we spin. This wobble causes the Earth's central belt, the equator, to 'slide' along the ecliptic. This is a slow motion, and requires a little short of twenty six thousand years to travel a full circuit of the heavens; so in the course of a single lifetime we do not notice much of a change. (On a personal note, this equation assumes constant motion over this entire period. The recent tsunami, just by itself, has effected the Earth's rotational period, shortening our day by some milliseconds. Twenty-six thousand years is a long time, and many variables may have entered in in the course of this time. Consider what one good sized hit from an asteroid might do to our rotational period, for instance.) This circuit was known to the ancients as the 'Great Year'. The Mayans divided this period up into five 'slices' of five thousand plus years, while the western tradition (ours) divided the same period up into 12 slices of a little over two thousand (2,152 to be exact) years each.

Augustus Caesar       In the west, this motion has been gauged by where the path of the ecliptic is cut by the equator, marking the first day of Spring. As a result, Spring seems to slip back through the constellations, from Gemini to Taurus to Aries to Pisces, and is getting ready to enter the segment of heaven known as Aquarius. Other than forming a gauge by which to measure the stars and planets, astronomers do not place much credence in the influence of this Precession of the Equinoxes, but astrologers consider it to be of great importance, marking major changes in the natural, political and social order. The predictions preceding the birth of a Messiah derived from the ending of the Age of Aries and the beginning of Pisces, the epoch through which we are about to emerge. The Mediterranean world was abuzz with oracles forecasting a complete turnover. Augustus Caesar was convinced that he was the conquering hero which these predictions had all forecast. In some ways, he was; as the Roman Empire has become the material base upon which western tradition has been founded. He was not to become, however, it's spiritual leader. This transition from Aries to Pisces was the end of the classical tradition, of heroes and the gods, and all the bloodshed and destruction which went along with it, as the Roman Republic collapsed into Civil War.

      At the end of the Age of Taurus lakes at the source of the Nile shrank rapidly, with some almost disappearing. Repeated famines are recorded from about 2250 to 1950 BC. Literary works allude to scarcity of drinking water, mass deaths, rotting corpses, suicide, cannibalism, widespread plunder and anarchy. With the fall of the Old Kingdom an epidemic of looting began with starving people trading tomb treasures for bread. Internal decay sets in during the long reign of Pepy II, the last major king of Dynasty VI. Egypt is torn asunder.

      Like two rivers coming together, there are now powerful forces at work reshaping the natural order, with tradition attempting to hold out against change (as it always does); but it is like attempting to sweep back the tide. The new dawn will not be denied. New Dawn

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