Considerations About the Start of the Age of Aquarius
What time is it really?
When or where in time are we? Are we at the beginning (how long is human
memory?) or are we nearing the end? (How far into the future can you see?) It
all depends on what you count, when you start counting and what tools you use
for measuring. In principle, the frequency of a Cesium-powered atomic clock, or
a pulsar, or a planetary movement, or a pendulum, or a crude chip in the rock to
mark the position of the sun and the moon at the horizon, are all tools that
measure time in a dimension of space.
Space, or better, its distance, is defined by time, because we define the meter by the amount of time that light needs to travel a certain distance. Defining time in space is an age-old human tradition, well-delivered by many myths. Confused yet? Don't be. Telling time the old-fashioned way is easier and cheaper than using clocks set to the period of decay of a Cesium atom, because all you have to do is look up.
In any linear or cyclical measurement of time, there must be orientation to some point, to begin a count, forwards or backwards: either
at a beginning, a
world creation event, whether of the universe itself or the founding of a great
city or regime; or at an end, like the end of a long calendrical period or a
fictitious end of the world. This is the true time frame of every historical
narrative, which fix their points on mythic events, like navigators take a
bearing on distant mountain peaks.
Early Christian chronology used mythical events like the creation of the world to begin time. For example, the fictitious beginning of the Anno Mundi count that is pegged to a biblical creation assumed to take place 5500 years
before the assumed appearance of Christ.
"I live here and now", you may say and you are right. But how can you define now? Time is fleeting and so is now. Or as the saying goes: Today is yesterday's tomorrow. And if you only have a now, you would have no past and no future, no history and no hopes.
So, who cares about the start of an Aquarian age?
Why should we have any interest in when it starts? Why not just avoid the question?
In any period of great changes, especially when there are dramatic events, the turn of centuries, and a millennium change, mankind asks the legitimate question of how to find orientation in the ages of the world.
The basics are easily apprehended by anyone having a brief familiarity with the night sky and Western civilization. The Austrian astronomer, Professor Hermann Haupt, examined the question of when the Age of Aquarius begins in an article published in 1992 by the Austrian Academy of Science: with the German title Der Beginn des Wassermannzeitalters, eine astronomische Frage? (The Start of the Aquarian Age, an Astronomical Question?) Haupt’s thoughtful study offers an opportunity to discuss this matter.
At the beginning, Haupt quotes the Lexikon der Astrologie (Becker, 1981) with its astrological view of history, in which each Platonic month, i.e. each world age, lasts 2150 years. He also quotes Rosenberg (1958), who said the age of Aries (2200 - 150 BCE) is related to the Old Testament; the age of Pisces (150 BCE - 1950 CE) is linked to the New Testament; and the age of Aquarius (1950 - 4000 CE) is linked to the Holy Spirit.
The Platonic Year is both a scientific finding and a mirror of myth. The existence of that year is marked out by the constellations. Thus both are expressions of human visions. Historical science tries to find by induction in numerous events the connection of cause and effect. The myth, however, starts from a view of the whole and tries to collect, order, and interpret singular events of life by deduction. Myth and history don't exclude each other; rather, they complement each other. As the yearly count shows, they need each other, because all recent historians use the AD count, which is based on completely mythical events.
Definitive for the Platonic ages or month is the duration, 25,800 years, in which the point of spring equinox moves along the constellations of the whole zodiac. If you divide the Platonic year by 12, the result is the often-told number of years of the world month (25800 / 12 = 2150). This value, however, is only an average. Because the constellations are different sizes, the shifting along the zodiac takes different amounts of time for each one.
Haupt clarifies, absolutely correctly, the reason the world ages cannot be the zodiacal signs, which are shifted during a Platonic month with the point of the spring equinox, due to the precession along all constellations on the ecliptic. The point of spring equinox never shifts through another sign, but is always at 0° of the sign Aries. This point, however, shifts slowly through one constellation after another.
Constellations are the fictitious characters that the fixed stars form in the human imagination and tradition, like the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia or Leo. According to a convention there are 88 constellations in the sky. 13 constellations along the ecliptic (the seeming path of the sun due to Earth's orbit) form the zodiacal constellations, which are: Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Capricorn. The 12 zodiacal signs divide the ecliptic into 12 equal parts, starting at the point of vernal equinox, at intersection of celestial equator and ecliptic with the sign Aries. In general, Ophiuchus, though part of the zodiac, is not a zodiacal sign, but is left out of the sign system. The remaining 12 signs have the same names as the 12 zodiacal constellations, originating from a time about 2300 years ago, when they were congruent due to precession. Usually, they are expressed by their astrological symbols:
Any further discussion is useless if the difference between constellations and zodiacal signs and the history of their origins is not well understood. We don't know when the constellations were formed, because this might have been many millennia ago, but we know about the designation of the signs.
Haupt briefly mentions the origins of the constellations, their definitions, and their borders. He states that the constellations originated with the lines linking the brightest stars, out of which human fantasy created characters, but which were formerly not separated by borders from the neighboring constellations. Some time ago, after long and intricate discussions, astronomers decided that defined borders for the constellations were necessary, and in 1928, at the Conference of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Leiden, the Netherlands, the borders of the constellations were decided, mostly as Delporte has computed. These boundaries lie along the hourly and parallel cycles of the equinox of 1875 (Delporte, 1930).
Based on the boundaries accepted by IAU in 1928, Haupt’s article investigates the start of the Age of Aquarius by calculating the entry of the spring equinox point over the parallel cycle
(d = - 4°) between the constellations Pisces and Aquarius. He writes:
“Though it cannot be expected that astrologers will follow the official boundaries of the constellations, there will be an attempt to calculate the entry of the spring equinox point into the constellation of Aquarius.”
Using the usual formula of precession (Gliese, 1982) Haupt’s result is the year 2595.
Finally Haupt mentions some astrological data for the beginning of the Aquarian age and quotes their suggested years: 1950, 1997, 2154 (C.G. Jung) and 1950, 2158, 2469 (Rosenberg).
In his summary Haupt concludes:
“As briefly has been shown, the results and methods of astrology in many areas, such as concerning the Aquarian age, are controversial on their own and cannot be called scientific because of the many esoteric elements.”
Haupt’s reproach to astrologers, who are mostly ignorant of astronomy and star knowledge and are only interested in horoscopes and character or psychological astrology, is completely correct. But unfortunately, Haupt overlooks in his reckoning of the beginning of the Aquarian Age a fundamental base that evolved from a very old human tradition.
The Origin of the Zodiacal Signs
The idea of zodiacal signs arose first about 2700 years ago in Babylonian astronomy, which first divided the 360° of the ecliptic into 12 equal parts of 30° each and gave them the names of the constellations in the same part of the sky.
We can conclude that the origins of the 12 constellations came from the path of Jupiter, which needs about 12 years for each orbit. A Babylonian creation myth written on clay tablets gives us a hint:
1. He (Marduk) made the stations for the great gods;
2. The stars, their images, as the stars of the zodiac, he fixed.
3. He ordained the year, and into sections (mizrata) he divided it;
4. For the 12 months he fixed three stars.
5. After he had (…) the days of the year (…) images
6. He founded the station of Nibir to determine their bounds;
7. That none might err or go astray.
8. He set the station of Bel and Ea along with him.
Nibir was the special name of the planet Jupiter when on the meridian; Merodach (Marduk), as the deity of that planet, is represented as pacing out the bounds of the zodiacal signs by his movement during the course of the year. Jupiter needs about one year for each sign (30°). Because for about one-third of the year Jupiter appears retrograde, moving from East to West about 10°, Jupiter thus divides each sign into three equal parts. Thus the planet marks out any third part of a sign with one decan, resulting in 36 decans in the whole zodiac.
In the third line, mizrata, cognate with the Hebrew Mazzaroth, means the divisions or sections of the year, corresponding to the signs of the zodiac or the 12 months.
Please compare this with Job 38:31-33: “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth (the zodiac or the 12 signs) in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?
In this connection, the Arabic word Al manazil, i.e. the mansions or houses of the moon and the Hebrew Mazzaloth (2 Kings 23:5), where Josiah put down the idolatrous priests who burned incense unto Baal, to the sun and the moons, to the planets (omni militiae caeli) and the 12 signs (duodecim signis or Mazzaloth).
The beginning of the signs originally were not linked with the point of the spring equinox, as Kugler, van der Waerden, and Neugebauer showed, but were linked with remarkable, bright stars of the constellations.
A star catalogue of this time gives us a proof of this, because it gives the lengths of some stars in relation to the beginning of the signs (Sachs, 1952). As P. Huber shows, due to the star positions about 100 BCE, the point of spring equinox was 4°28’ +/- 20’ away from the beginning of the sign Aries in the Babylonian system (Huber, 1958).
The data of the lengths of these reference stars are:
|Babylonian name (Bayer letter)|| Degree of
|Loin of the lion (d Leonis)||20° Lion|
|Back foot of the lion (b Virginis)||1° Virgin|
|Root of the wheat ear’s stem (b Virginis)||16° Virgin|
|Bright star of the wheat ear (a Virginis)||28° Virgin|
|Southern scale (a Librae)||20° Scale|
|Northern Scale (b Librae)||25° Scale|
the Babylonian star catalogue, we can draw a star map with these stars and the
presumed Babylonian signs and cardinal points of about 150 BCE.
Please click to enlarge
Image: The positions of the borders of the Babylonian zodiacal signs Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo and Virgo at about 150 BCE.
Please click to enlarge
Image: The positions of the borders of the Babylonian zodiacal signs Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn at about 150 BCE.
Image: Position of point of vernal equinox and borders of the Babylonian zodiacal signs Aquarius, Pisces, Aries and Taurus at about 150 BCE.
This division and
positioning of the zodiac was used without change until the era of Seleukos.
According to the Roman
architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, who wrote
2000 years ago, in his Book IX de Architectura, the sun arrives at the
points of the equinoxes and solstices after 8° (which corresponds to 7° in our
way of counting, because Vitruvius used no zero) in Aries, Cancer; Libra, and
Capricorn. This value would give different
boundaries of the zodiacal signs than the Babylonians, but it shows also that in
former times the signs were not linked to the starting points of the equinoxes
and solstices. One reason that the start of the sign is 7° before the equinoxes
could be that Vitruvius owes his knowledge to Berossos and the Chaldeans, whom
he often quotes in his book.
Since Ptolemy, the
beginning of the signs, i.e. point of Aries, has been identified with the point
of the spring equinox at the intersection of ecliptic and equator.
Therefore, it is not
principally wrong if someone says the vernal point moves along the signs, so far
as it explicitly concerns
the Babylonian zodiacal sign system. It is doubtful that modern
astrologers and horoscope forecasters have this knowledge. Generally, they rely
on the recent ephemeredes for their calculations and predictions.
Early Witness of
linked to the change of the spring equinox constellation, is not just a
scientific finding that was made evident by Hipparchos, but is mirrored in many
myths of the dawning of gods, change
of cults, and past turns of the ages. The former spring equinox constellations
found their expressions in the symbols of four
Gemini, Age of the twins: Golden age, paradise, Romulus and
Remus, Cain and Abel, Castor
and Pollux (~ 8,000 years ago)
Taurus, Age of the bull: Apis, Taurus/Minotaurus, golden calf, Baal, Nandhi (~5,800 years ago)
Aries, Age of the ram: Amun, golden fleece, Moses (~3,500 years ago)
Pisces, Age of the fish: ICHTHYS, IHS, Vishnu born from a fish (~2000 years ago)
As many testimonials of
ancient astronomy show, the first morning visibility of a star or constellation,
i.e. the heliacal rising, was the most important observation used for temporal
As an example, the mulAPIN,
a Babylonian star catalogue, records the
heliacal rising of the most important 36 fixed stars, which were predecessors of
the 36 decans.
These 36 decans are found
on many Egyptian sarcophagi, such as the Cenotaph of Seti I, as well as
the famous zodiac of Dendera. The decans were situated south of the
ecliptic. Each star had 10 days assigned for use in timekeeping. Each three of
these decans were assigned to the constellation
that was first upon the horizon, rising
in the path of the sun. Out of this originated the divisions of the signs
of the zodiac (van der Waerden, 1965). The arbitrary point in this tradition of
stargazing was when the first visibility of a star or constellation occurred,
because this was the most important judgment for timekeeping and in former times
often was linked with destiny and fate.
This age-old tradition is
completely ignored by Haupt, who calculates the movement
of the spring equinox point across the arbitrary boundaries drawn
70 years ago between Pisces and Aquarius. This boundary also might have
been drawn 4° North along the recent heavenly equator, which would end any
discussion and the Aquarian Age would start right now, even by Haupt’s calculations.
Please click to enlarge
Image: Äquinox 2000 and borders of constellations between Pisces and Aquarius as designed by IAU in 1928 and suggested border 4° North anlong the equator (pointed)
How and with which methods
this start of the age could be estimated or ascertained also shows its dimension
in cultural history, which largely has been ignored. However, the change of an
age also focuses on religious aspects, which we might demonstrate with the star
of Bethlehem or believers looking forward to the return of the Lord at the
Therefore it is necessary
to take a different approach to this theme. In addition to the purely modern
astronomical view, we need calendrical,
archeoastronomical, and several other points of view, because this question can
be answered only by using an interdisciplinary approach.
If the start of any world
age, era, or epoch is considered from different points of view, the result is
not necessarily more accurate, but it may be more understandable and
Different Points of View
of When an Age Begins
If the start of any world
age, era, or epoch is considered from different points of view, different
arbitrators are required.
To decide when an age
begins looks like an unsolvable problem and may have to be decided by future
generations, the introduction of a new calendar, and many more
written articles. There are several points of view that could be useful
to consider in determining when the Aquarian Age starts:
1. Modern Astronomical
The new age begins when
the point of the northern spring equinox (NSE) enters the boundary of a new
constellation (currently Aquarius).
point of intersection on the ecliptic
(pathway of Sun) and heaven’s equator, the point of Aries or NSE, is
specific and can be defined easily and exactly by a formula that uses
average celestial movements.
The exact moment that the
sun enters the boundaries of the constellation Aquarius at the NSE
can be determined precisely very hardly, because the Earth, from which the sun is observed, does not move uniformly due to the gravitational pull of the moon. Earth moves not uniformly,
but faster or
slower in its orbit, depending on
whether the moon is waxing or waning. The difference of the year’s length
between the equinoxes can be 16 minutes. In 16 minutes, however, the sun travels
along the ecliptic about the same distance (0°.011)
as the vernal equinox shifts annually (0°.013). Therefore, the actual
entry of the sun’s center at vernal equinox into the next constellation may be
delayed for one year and also depends on the moon’s position. This is not
taken into account in the usual calculation of the precession, which is based on
the length of an average year. The sun’s entrance into the borders of the
constellation of Aquarius should be
watched like a referee watches the ball at a football game. A new question
arises: What is the specific moment
of the Sun’s entry into the new constellation? Are the conditions fulfilled if
the middle of the sun enters the border, or only the edge, or the whole disc?
This consideration alone causes problems, with a difference of about 37 years
for the beginning of the age. Briefly, due to the average movement of
precession, the vernal equinox needs 71.66 years to move 1°. Therefore it needs
about 37 years to move one-half degree, which is the diameter of the sun’s
disc. As shown, there can be calculated an average value of the entry over the
constellation boundaries, but this represent only the mean amount, because an
exact date would need new definitions and extremely exact measurements, which
results in absurdity.
Additionally, the results
of the 1928 IAU conference, which established
the borders of the constellations in the sky atlas, are the most
important criteria for this decision, which surely was not the intention of this
conference. No honest astronomer could have decided this question
conscientiously or would have agreed to this decision. But what court
could decide such a case?
The drawing of the
boundaries in 1928 would have some strange consequences if one used them, not
only in the future, but proleptic for the calculation of the beginnings of past
ages: At about 100 BCE, the spring equinox sun first
would have entered the constellation Pisces, but would have left it
briefly about 1600 CE, moving towards Cetus (whale) for some years, and then
returning into Pisces, where it would have stayed until about 2500 CE.
Please click to enlarge
Image: Boundaries between the constellations Pisces - Cetus at about 1600 CE.
Even more of a paradox is
the shift from Taurus into Aries, if one uses the recently adjusted boundaries
as the benchmark. Because of the boundaries, the spring equinox sun, after being
in Taurus since 4550 BC, would have entered Aries first around 2000 BC. The sun
would have exited Aries, moving toward Taurus, and then
would have re-entered Aries
in about 1800 BCE. The arbitrarily drawn zigzag boundaries may have been useful
for some astronomers, but they are illogical, similar to some of today’s
terrestrial political boundaries.
Please click to enlarge
Image: Boundaries between the IAU constellations Taurus - Aries at about 1500 BC
The next critical point
for these constellation boundaries is the southwestern area of Pisces, which
enters the lines between the Aquarian stars in some star maps. That problem
would have been avoided if the boundaries had been drawn more northerly. This
would cause an earlier start of the Aquarian Age, as calculated by Haupt’s
You don’t need to be a
great prophet to predict no eternal life for these boundaries, because due to
precession, they shift farther and farther away from the vertical position of
the heavenly equator of 1875.
2. Archeoastronomical or Ancient Astrological View:
In ancient times, there
were some main criteria for deciding the beginning of a new era or age:
A new constellation rising on the eastern horizon before sunrise on the morning of the NSE replaced in this position the former constellation, due to precession. Recently, Aquarius replaced Pisces, and the stars of Pisces are no longer visible in the dawn of NSE. Simultaneously, in the west, the opposite constellation has risen upon the horizon, which occurred 2000 years ago with Virgo and led to the use of terms like era from the observation of its main star Spica, the wheat ear (Greek: era). Now, in the west, the constellation of Leo has moved to the horizon of the spring equinox morning and has replaced Virgo.
Precession, however, is
a very slow movement; in 71.66 years the constellations shift only 1° in
relation to the point of spring
equinox. The occurrence of a new spring constellation in former times led
to increased observance and interpretation of celestial events. If a new
NSE constellation announced
the rosy dawn of the vernal equinox sun, it was time to expect a very salient
heavenly event, which could be interpreted as a portentous symbol of the
Please click to enlarge
Image: Recent Eastern horizon before dawn at day of spring equinox (about 30° Northern altitude)
This celestial event was
given by significant alignments of the planets that released the actual new age:
2 a) On the one hand there
might be a triple alignment of Jupiter and Saturn, seen in Greek mythology as a
struggle between the gods for supremacy
in the new constellation and age.
This occurred at the
Conjunction of the Arab people 571 CE; Star of Bethlehem 7 BC; Triple
Conjunction at the foundation of Persepolis 523 BC; Triple Conjunction in Aries
1536 BC (possible birth of Moses?); and the mythical race of Zeus and Chronos
that was mirrored by the race of King Oenomaus and Pelops,
the mythical base of the ancient Olympic games.
2 b) On the other hand, an
alignment of all naked-eye planets in a planetary bead string, called return of
the Great Year or Greatest Year by Aristotle, also caused the start of an age.
In the ancient worldview, people thought that because all the planets apparently
had started their cycles again, then time itself, which was seen as originated
by the celestial gods at creation, would start anew and everything would repeat
from the creation of the world:
This occurred at the Kali
Yuga 3102 BCE; Zhuanxu 1953 BCE; the alignment of May 2000 that Dionysius picked
and used for adjustment of AD; mythical Olympic symposium; and so on.
Because of precession, on
a recent morning of the spring equinox, no stars of the constellation Pisces
were visible. Aquarius had replaced Pisces as herald of the first day of
spring. Also, in the West the constellation of Leo rose
upon the horizon and increased the expectation for a new precessional
In the traditional view,
the year 2000 is a Greatest Year, because on 5th May, 2000, an alignment of all
classical planets took place.
There are clear and
remarkable clues that the adjustment of the current system of counting the
years since Christ’s incarnation intended that the end of the Piscean
Age would take place at the all-planet alignment in 2000. See: Website about
adjustment of AD and Turn
of Age 2
In antiquity, there were
several other celestial events that left unforgettable
impressions in human history and were
used for temporal orientation as a past event or future expectation.
It is recorded by Herodotus (I 74) that as early as 2500 years ago,
scientifically precalculated eclipses were decisive in ending wars:
"As the war was still unsettled after six years, this event took
place: during the battle, suddenly day became night. Thales of Milet predicted
this change of daylight to the Ionians."
Xenophanes considered the
prediction of Thales (Diogenes Laertios I 23), which brought for the prepared
Greek Ionians a decisive advantage against the Medeans. Modern computer programs
prove this eclipse took place on 28 May 585 BCE (van der Waerden, 1965).
The prescientific star
knowledge is mostly delivered by myths, and here we enter a broad area of
speculation and interpretation. That this myth represents the previous state of
science in a lost language is often arrogantly overlooked. We call the recent
mythology science, Anthony
Aveni says in his book, Dialog with the Stars.
Here we shall describe
some celestial events that are reported in myths and look like decisive causes
of temporal changes.
Eclipses of sun and moon could be seen as signs of change or end and comets announcing bad fortune accelerate the fall of the ruling paradigm.
E.g. a verse of Edda
A daughter bears the rays of Elves
before Fenris attacks her.
This girl shall ride,
then, when the regents are dying
along the path of the mother.
German archeoastronomer Ralf Koneckis showed that this is a pictorial
description of a solar eclipse, which he connects with one that took place on
New Years Day 865 CE (Koneckis,
An interpretation of the lines is:
The New Year starts at winter solstice
the eclipse takes place.
The new way of the counting the solar years shall be valid,
then, after the change takes place
to the previous one.
The attack of Fenris, who is seen
as the cause of the eclipse, introduces a new era, as Edda says in another
A new sun rises in the floods, now wolf threatens no longer the creation, because Widar, the silent son of Odin, has killed the Fenris wolf with a kick of his foot and took revenge for his father.
There is even an assumption that the base of the fairy tale Red Riding
Hood is a solar eclipse.
Also the Gospel tells of darkness that fell at the death of Jesus on the cross from the sixth until the ninth hour. This. like a lot of reports, is literally a religious vision, because at the time in question, no eclipse took place. In addition, a total eclipse cannot last three hours.
A lunar eclipse that took place at the time of King Herod the Great
reveals as false testimony the
Christian yearly count or the Gospel: The date of Herod’s death can be
reconstructed quite precisely because of a lunar eclipse. In the last months of
the sick king, Jewish fanatics, led by the Pharisee Matthias, damaged the golden
eagle at the gate of temple. The zealots atoned for their audacity by being
burned at the stake on a night when a lunar eclipse occurred, which must be the
one of 15-16 Sept. 5 BCE. Soon after this, Herod died, and his funeral took
place shortly before Passover (Pesach) 4 BCE. Because the Gospel
of Matthew deals with the report of the magis, one of the stories must be
untrue: the Gospel or the yearly
count (which begins at the supposed incarnation of Christ).
Another story of a lunar eclipse is the fairy tale of the race of
Hare and Hedgehog. The Hedgehog
wins the race after the 73rd run, when blood gushed out of the
moon/hare’s neck and he dropped dead.
Presumably, this myth expresses in Nordic cultures the shift of lunar
calendars to solar calendars in a pictorial way.
Comets also play an important role in
starlore, and they have had massive effects on the
history of Earth, as recent examples show: Comet Shoemaker-Levi 9 had a
collision with planet Jupiter on 16th – 22nd July 1994. On 30th June 1908
there was an impact by a celestial
body in the Siberian Tunguska area. Presumably this was not a comet, but a
meteorite. The 100m diameter body exploded
about 6 – 8 km in the air above Earth and damaged the surrounding area
for 30 km, knocking down and
burning all trees in the unsettled wilderness area.
Comets also left their trace in the arts: The famous Renaissance painter
Giotto about 1300 CE painted the impressive fresco of Christ’s birth in the
Scovegni chapel of Padova, Italy. There he depicted the star of Bethlehem
as a comet, because Giotto himself had seen Halley’s comet as it came
near the Earth on one of its 74-year
orbits. This representation was copied until recent times and led to incorrect
imaginations of the event that is at the base of the star of the magis.
Even in early astrology we find reports of comets. After the death of
Caesar, a comet appeared that people called “sidum Julium” (star of Caesar),
viewing it as positive
proof that the emperor had been accepted as one of the globe ruling
stars. Therefore, in Shakespeare's play,
Julius Caesar, Caesar’s
wife, Calpurnia, says: When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The
heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
The recent occurrence of a very bright comet gives us an interesting
On the night of 6 April 1997, the 1001th night before the year 2000, the
comet Hale Bopp appeared, and Allen Ginsberg, died. He was the poet and
prophet of the beat generation, which eventually found its expression in the
hippie and peace movements.
Ginsberg’s most important poem, Howl, starts:
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,
starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,...
Let us not forget that because of Comet Hale Bopp several members of
end-of-the-world sects committed suicide, presumably assuming they would avoid a
more horrible end.
History is delivered by
story telling, therefore literature has a great influence.
An epoch (from Greek: epoch, stop for a moment) in modern astronomy is a point in time or precise date for planetary or stellar positions, such as in a 2000 ephemeredes, where 2000 represents the epoch.
In literature and art, an
epoch is expressed by the cultural feeling of the people at a time when some
very remarkable event took place that was impressed deeply in their minds and
was expressed in music, art, or other cultural ways.
In the epos (myths, fairy tales, religion)
people remember their myths by celebrating religious feasts or holidays
(“holy days”) and counting time
from an event (such as a jubilee). In the past, these myths were expressed by
the Old and New Testaments, Greek tales of the gods and goddesses,
Northern fairy stories, Hindu and Buddhist
legends, and uncountable treasures of the human arts of storytelling and
the Christian symbol ICHTHYS was linked to the Northern Spring Equinox,
once observed on 25 March. Today, the feast of incarnation (annunciation of St.
Mary), is celebrated at the former day of vernal equinox, 25th March, which was
NSE in the Julian calendar 2000 years ago. Even older sources based on the
Persian myth of Shanameh, describe the hero’s birth as being
celebrated at Nauroz (new day). The traditional Persian calendar still
celebrates the day of vernal equinox, of which the myth says: “Don’t slumber
any longer! Throw off sweet sleep
and think on the times that are coming, because from now on all is changing.
There will be new feast days and
new customs will replace the old ones, because tonight is born Shah Kai Chosrau!”
At his coronation,
Shah Kai Chosrau said: “The whole world is my empire. Mine is
everything, from the fishes to the
head of the bull!” These words clearly express what he means, because between
Taurus and Pisces is nothing less than Aries and its age.
Also the Jewish feast
Passover (Pesach) reminds us of the precessional shift from Taurus to Aries,
when during the exodus the Israelite tribes sacrificed to the golden calf.
Because Moses destroyed the tablets of the 10 commandments as a result,
he is often being depicted in artworks with horns of a ram.
Some modern examples or a
newly risen culture are:
Arts: stage production Hair with its song “Aquarius,” Rocky Horror Picture Show film with the song “Time Warp.”
Science: moon landing, internet, cloning, atomic power.
Politics: peace movement, generation X, terror, holocaust and ethnic cleansing.
4. Etymological View:
The term “age” contains the question of the age
of the world. At the end of antiquity, dubious
religious-based chronologies existed that were founded on biblical cosmologies,
from which was created the
Bible-based Anno Mundi (age of the world from creation) chronology.
In general, one could say
a new age leads to a new calendar and starts a new era with a new way of
4 a) The term
"Calendar" comes from Kalendae, the first day of the month solemnly
announced by Roman priests, whose chief was the pontifex (builder of a bridge),
a title borrowed by the pope from the pagan Romans. The calendar became the
mightiest instrument to synchronize, socialize, and give time orientation to
people, but also to rule and manipulate them.
4 b) The term
"era" comes from the Greek word "era" (wheat ear). The star
Spica in ancient Greek also had the name “era.” Era/Spica is the wheat ear,
which the virgin in the constellation Virgo holds in her hand. With Era/Spica, the
Greek astronomer Hipparchos and later Ptolemy measured the precession of Earth's
axis and estimated its value at 100 years each 1°.
The Roman/Latin name of Spica/era was "arista." From "born in the new era" or "born in the constellation Virgo" (which had risen because of wobble at the western sky on the NSE) came the word "aristocratic" that expressed the zeitgeist of the new age 2000 years ago. Aristocracy, virgin birth, and finally, the dogma of immaculate conception were expressions of that worldview. German words like "Ehre" (honor, from hour, Horus) derive from this!
4 c) The Greek word for
Pisces, the new eastern NSE constellation, ICHTHYS, became the new
religious symbol and paradigm and is still found as the abbreviation IHS
in many churches.
In Christian belief, the Old Testament (with many links to Aries) was valid until the appearance of Jesus, and at that time it was replaced by the New Testament.
4 d) New Age is derived
from aging (becoming older) and Latin ago (acting). Thus it describes a
new way of behavior as well. In the New Age, according to this worldview, the
former (old) paradigm is no longer
valid and new rules are pursued. The Age of Aquarius, the
Waterbearer, is an expression of the time
when this constellation announces the morning of the spring equinox.
5. Political View:
A new age and its calendar
can be brought about by political power, as it was during the French revolution
or in Islam. Whether this will take place in the age of Aquarius, time will
show. For the Gregorian calendar, politics could become a problem, because
suggestions for a new calendar are
being made continually. Atheists and believers of other religions might not
accept a Christian religious
calendar in which the yearly count is defined incorrectly.
6. Calendrical View:
Based on the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the Piscean age has come to its end, due to the adjustment of its yearly count that predicated the Greatest Year at the end of the world, or at least the end of the age, in 2000, when there was an alignment of all naked-eye visible planets. This happened because the year 1 AD was defined by the precession value of 66.6 y/1°.
Due to the leap rule of the Gregorian calendar, the
point of spring equinox will shift, similar to
the Julian calendar, away from the Nicean date of 21 March,
which was proclaimed by the papal
bull “inter gravissimas” at the Gregorian calendar reform. Therefore this
reform would need to
be updated and changed, but this is impossible for the Catholic Church, because
the bull says explicitly that: “that
the same order of intermittent bissextile intercalations …will be preserved in
perpetuity” (Gregory XIII, 1581).
A new age will come to be if a new way of counting time is invented and put into use. Many new ways of counting time have been invented, and their creators are eagerly waiting to introduce them. The countdown to 2000 must be seen as a new calendar, worldwide in use, but one that ended 1-1-2000.
The common practice of
dropping the millennium digit and writing the date as 1 Jan. 02
can be seen as slowly
leaving the former time orientation, because a new starting point, a new epoch,
has been created, though the calendar itself is still the same.
7. Common Astrological View of History:
The incorrect astrological
view, which views the entry of the vernal point
into a new zodiacal sign as arbitrary, is the result of
inaccurate reasoning. As
mentioned in the introduction, the vernal equinox remains forever at 0° in the sign
Aries and therefore can never enter into another sign. It would be correct
to say that the Aquarian age starts when the point of vernal equinox has moved
from its position in, let us say 150 BCE, to that position where in 150 BCE the
sign Aquarius ended at the boundaries of the sign Pisces.
It is curious that a large
number of astrologers dated the start of the Piscean age at 150 BC. According to
the assumption that the zodiac is divided into 12 equal parts of each 30° and
according to the modern value of precession 71.66 y/1° one age would last 2150
years, and the Piscean Age would have ended in 2000.
this calculation is done correctly, and
made in relation to the constellation and not the signs, there is a new
question: Is the assumption
correct that due to the entry into a new constellation, the status of the
world or of human conditions will change?
Isn’t it actually the opposite? Religious literature uses rare celestial events to give their writings more value and weight, e.g., the report of the magis in the Gospel of Matthew concerning the star of Bethlehem.
In the history of
astrology and chronology the alignments of Jupiter and Saturn always received
special attention. Because Saturn takes about 29.5 years for one orbit and
Jupiter almost 12 years, both planets meet on average every 19.84 years to form
an alignment that is eight signs away from their previous one. After three
conjunction (after approximately 59 1/2 years) it recurs at almost the same
place on the ecliptic, forming with the zodiacal positions of the other a
triangle, called the Grand Trine. Each third conjunction, or edge of the Grand
Trine, is shifted approx. 7° 16' after 59.5 years, which results in the Grand
Trine moving through a whole zodiacal sign after 238 or 258 years.
This shift of the Grand
Trine was observed and calculated precisely
in ancient and medieval time. For example, in the 6th century,
Aryabhata indicates there were 18,138 conjunctions during a 360,000-year period
(360,000: 18138 = 19.8478). Similar values are found in the Babylonian planet
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions take place 12 or 13 times in the same three constellations, called a trinity or element. From the design formed by the movements of the Grand Trine, the whole zodiac is divided into four different elements , each having three signs:
Fire Trinity: Aries,
Sagittarius, Leo: ARI, SAG, LEO
Earth Trinity: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo: TAU, CAP, VIR
Air Trinity: Gemini, Aquarius, Libra: GEM, AQU, LIB
Water Trinity: Cancer, Pisces, Scorpion: CAN, PIS, SCO
In Greek and Arabic astronomy the shift of the Grand Trine into a new trinity was seen as being responsible for changing of the times. Even Kepler regarded it as important and also as the star of Bethlehem.
Kepler’s drawing of the Grand Trine
The division into the four
elements goes back in principle to the ancient Greeks. Anaxagoras and Democritus
tried to deduce time and cosmos from the elements Fire and Water and Earth and
Air, which was regarded by Plato’s pupils as chaotic and heretic. For this
idea the two were threatened with loss of property and death.
Considering the recent
conjuctions, we see that the shift of the Grand Trine from one Earth to Air
trinity coincides remarkably with the turn of the millennium:
Is this really remarkable
A change in conditions after entering into a new age could result from a greater consciousness of human activities, similar to a company that prepares a balance sheet at the end of the year and changes its strategy accordingly.
A critical review, such as that of Haupt, made on a basis of astrological history, is justified, but at the same time must be questioned: What is the base that recent history uses to date events and what is the foundation of this calendar? It appears that the adjustment of the Gregorian calendar, as well as the Julian Days, is based on pure astrology and magic symbols.
Whoever rejects an astrological view of history consequently must also reject the Gregorian calendar, otherwise he would date his history on a foundation of astrology.
8. Modern Astrological View:
The Aquarian Age Network has made an interesting attempt to introduce the Age of Aquarius with its Aquarian Age Declaration, which states:
While acknowledging the
zero point of the zodiac to be defined as the point where the true galactic
equator crosses the ecliptic between Taurus and Gemini, and recognizing the
J2000 galactic equator defined by the galactic north pole of 12h 51.4m, 27° 8'
to be representative of the B1950 definition of the galactic coordinate system,
by virtue of Sagittarius A* being recognized as the dynamical center of the
galaxy with the true galactic equator passing through Sagittarius A*, and by
virtue of the sun being at 90° 00' 32" past the point of the crossing of
the J2000 galactic equator and the ecliptic at the spring equinox of 20 March
2000, 0735 GMT, we declare the Age of Aquarius to have unequivocally arrived.
Pax Aetatis Aquarii vobiscum!
Expressed in simpler
terms, this declaration tells us that the point of the spring equinox (once
located between the constellations Gemini and Taurus on the galactic equator)
already has moved more than 90° from this point, which is exactly opposite the
center of our galaxy, where there is supposed
to be a black hole. The 90° relates to the average lengths of three
constellations, each about 30°, and therefore the constellation Aquarius enters
the spring equinox dawn, and the new age arrives.
The remarkable new point
of this declaration is that it is
oriented at the opposite of the center of Milky Way, the white band that runs
along the constellations Gemini and Taurus. The Milky Way stretches out farther
along the Northern celestial dome at Cassiopeia and Cygnus (Swan) and crosses
the ecliptic again near the galactic center
between Scorpio and Sagittarius towards the southern celestial
hemisphere. Using the position of the Milky Way for temporal orientation also
has a long tradition. We need to remember here that the Milky Way represents the
home of dead souls in many global myths.
The constellation Taurus
announced the day of spring equinox about 6000 years ago
and was the symbol of the earliest European and Middle Eastern cultures.
At the beginning of the Minoan
culture, the equinoctial sun was located at a cross-point of two celestial
paths: the intersection of the Milky Way with the ecliptic, the path of the sun,
and the planets.
9. Astrochronological Basis of Historical Data:
In former times, it was a
frequent custom to relate important political events to the positions of
celestial bodies. This led to
the use of horoscopes, which in modern times have often proved to be important
resources for dating historical events.
This view expresses the
human wish to find identity within the framework of time measured by celestial
events. The celestial motions can be used directly
for temporal dating without using any calendar. The position of the
planets at a certain moment never repeats exactly, but only similarly and only
within some rather broad tolerances. Every planetary position at a defined
moment is a unique event. Expressed another
way: In any random moment of time, the planets arrive at a certain unique
position, never to be duplicated.
In connection with this,
Franz Boll made a remarkably sensible statement:
Mankind measures time using the stars. Lay people, whose knowledge is based on belief, rather than science, say: "The course of the stars determines time," and from this, religious people derive the saying that "Heaven guides everything on Earth." (Boll, 1903).
If you look at these
words, you may notice immediately the error of easily led religious people. They
are not allowed to form independent, alternate conclusions and therefore hold
erroneous expectations and worldviews.
Here must be mentioned all
the imaginable possibilities for faking history. The
suggestion by German historian Heribert Illig that there are
300 phantom years of medieval time must be addressed (Illig, 1997).
This thesis, however,
can be contradicted by the witness of the celestial movements, of which
there are enough exact and redundant ancient reports to calculate backwards
the temporal courses by using modern computer programs.
The opportunity provided
by astrochronological dating of history is hardly used at all, but could
contribute to the enrichment of human timekeeping.
Summary and Conclusion:
The beginning of the
Aquarian age, due to precession, depends on the one hand on the bounds of the constellations
and on the other hand on the approach to it. If the horizon of NSE and the
unaided eye establish the boundary between the pictorial characters of the
Waterbearer and the Fish, then the
new age begins. If you take as decisive the boundaries of the constellations, as
drawn in 1928 by IAU, the beginning will be in about 600 years.
In 2000, an anciently
defined, remarkable point in time was reached, which, in the ancient worldview
and due to the adjustment of the Christian yearly count, can be seen as the turn
of the age.
Although the alignment of
May 2000 marks the end of the Piscean age, according to the yearly count of the
Christian Era, it need not mark the beginning of the Aquarian age. The yearly
count of the Julian and Gregorian calendars was based on the false premise that
the constant of precession was 66.6y/1°. The
alignment of May 2000 does not fulfill the ancient condition of taking place in
the recent new equinox constellation, but most of the planets were located in
the constellation of Aries.
Hertha von Dechend writes
about this in the general sense that a new age was valid as introduced if a
triple Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn took place in a new spring
equinox constellation (Santillana and Dechend, 1969).
However, such a triple alignment in the new Easter vernal equinox constellation,
Aquarius, never occurs in the whole third millennium! Between December 2655 CE
and June 2656 CE, there is a triple conjunction in the western new spring
constellation, Leo. It is followed 20 years later by a sensational close
conjunction of all planets (including Uranus
and Neptune), exactly on the vernal equinox in 2675, when the sun surely will be
inside the boundaries of the constellation Aquarius, as defined in 1928.
This event is so rare that
it is not now calculable when or if a conjunction of all classical planets
within a span of only 22° will ever be repeated on the NSE.
As an anchor for a new way
of calendrical timekeeping, this orientation for timekeeping seems to take
account of the ancient view as well as modern
Time reckoning - however it is carried on - until or from this moment increases redundancy and security of human timekeeping and creates a fixed point in time that is not loaded with religious symbolism and is politically neutral.
The implementation of a
new calendar will be a long political process entailing difficult discussions.
Some arguments for the creation and implement of a new way of
end of the Age of Pisces, since Dionysis Exiguus’ incarnation count aimed
to coincide at the millennium with a Greatest Year (conjunction of all
naked-eye planets) based on the assumed constant of precession 66.6y/1°.
- The shifting of the
vernal equinox from 21st March to 19th March due to the Gregorian leap year
rule. The vernal equinox will take place on 19th March 21 times in the 21st
- The economic need for
a calendar with uniform years.
- The function of
Aquarius as the heliacal spring equinox constellation, which has displaced
Pisces as the spring-announcing constellation.
- The recent orientation
of the northern Earth axis towards Phoenice (a
UMi), the top of the tail of the little bear, which has provided a bright
polaris exactly on the celestial pole since
about 5500 years after Thuban (a Draconis).
loss of worth and credibility in traditional religions and man’s search
for new values and orientation.
For the beginning of a new
worldwide calendar, we might focus on NSE in 673 years, the next remarkable
planetary alignment (20-3-2675 CE). The countdown to that date could introduce
the discussion and acceptance of a new way of timekeeping (Countdown to
Equinoctial Planets, CEP). Starting calendrical discussion and changing our
orientation toward the future is one of the heralds of a new age.
The 675 years following
2000 could be seen as a time of transition. The recent calendrical year
begins on 1st Jan. when the sun is close to the winter
solstice and is located at the constellation Ophiuchus. This is the 13th
constellation, which also belongs to the ecliptic and depicts and is dedicated
to the Greek/Roman god of healing Asklepios or Aesculapius. The Roman poet Ovid
wrote 2000 years ago about the son of Apollo and Koronis, Aesculapius, who was
educated by the wise Centaur Chiron in the art of healing:
He holds a knobby staff in his left hand, runs his right hand through his long, flowing beard and says with honorable sense the following words: “Don’t be afraid! I will come out of my picture. Just look at this snake that winds and loops around my staff and remember it so you will recognize it again! I will change myself into it, but I will be larger and more impressive as it is usual for an celestial.”
Please click to got to Linda Hall Library
Image: Constellation snakebearer (Ophiuchus)
All recent new years take place close to winter
solstice, when in the morning of this day Ophiuchus stands there, where the rosy
dawn indicates the rise of sun in eastern horizon. All recent calendrical
new years are introduced by the snakebearer, therefore actually we have
an age of the snakebearer due to the adjustment of the calendar.
Otherwise if the new years would begin at NSE, Aquarius
would announce the new year’s day, as the Greek myth of Eos (rosy dawn) and
Tithonos (young day) is expressing it, or as the Latin names of the months still
With the hope that I have contributed to clarifying
the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, of which the song “Aquarius” from the musical, Hair, tells:
Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
Sympathy and trust abounding
Rising fiery constellation
Travelling our starry courses
Guided by the cosmic forces
Oh, care for us; Aquarius
Aquarian Age Network:
http://www.aquarian-age.net/declaration.html. 21-3- 2000
Becker, U.: Lexikon der Astrologie. Freiburg,
Delporte, E.: Delimination
Scientifique des Constellations, Tables et Cartes, IAU, Cambridge University
Precession tables. In Landolt-Börnstein VI, Vol.2c.No 126.96.36.199; Springer,
Gregory XIII, Pope: Inter
Gravissimas. 1581. Internet Version by Rodolphe Audette and Bill Spencer,
November 1999 http://www.bluewaterarts.com/calendar/InterGravissimas.htm
Haupt, Hermann: Der Begin des Wassermannzeitalters, eine astronomische
Frage. Anzeiger der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, math.-
naturw. Klasse 129, 75-78. 1992.
Huber, Peter: Über den Nullpunkt der Babylonischen Ekliptik. Centaurus,
vol.5, no. 3-4 pp. 192-208. 1958
Illig, Heribert: Das erfundene Mittelalter. 1997
Rosenberg, A.: Durchbruch zur Zukunft. München, 1985.
Sachs, A.: Journal of
Cuneiform Studies 6, 16, 1952
Santillana, Giorgio de and
Hertha von Dechend: Die Mühle des Hamlet. Ein Essay über
Mythos und das Gerüst der Zeit. Wien
Shakespeare, William: Julius Caesar. (Act II, Scene 2)
Van der Waerden, B.: Die Anfänge der Astronomie. Erwachende Wissenschaft.
Bd. 2. Groningen, 1965.
History of the Zodiac. Arch. f. Orientf. 16
The English translation and helpful ideas of this article is owed, with heartful thanks, to Ms. Joan Griffith and Jake Bowman.
Please join the discussion of this matters at CALENdeRsign group at Yahoo.
Edited CEP 245830 (26-Feb-2002)