PROLOGUE - 8
Astrology presents us with cycles clocked by the motion of the earth and the other planets of the solar system. The earth's daily revolution around its axis, and its annual orbital revolution around the sun are basic, yet too rapid to help us to structure the speed of the historical transformation of societies, cultures, nations, and also of slow changes in continents and climates. Other cycles are marked by the periods of revolution of the large planets around the sun, and by the "cycles of relationships" of these planets — that is, by the periods of years marked by their successive conjunctions. For instance, Jupiter and Saturn are conjunct every 20 years, and every three conjunctions meet in the same zodiacal sign; and this cycle, which was the basis of Chaldean and Hindu "mundane" astrology, has revealed its strange accuracy in the fact that, since the two planets met last century in "earth signs," all U.S. Presidents elected around the time of these 20-year apart Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions have died in office and only they.
Another most significant cycle is that established by successive conjunctions of Neptune and Pluto, some 492 years apart on an average; and the last of these conjunctions occurred in 1891-92 marking the initial phase of our Electronic Revolution (discovery of X-rays and radium, Quantum Theory, etc.). Among lesser cycles I might mention here also eclipse cycles (featured in Chaldean astrology), cycles clocked by the motions of Uranus and this planet's conjunctions with Saturn and Neptune, the 13-year cycle of the conjunctions of Jupiter and Neptune, etc. I shall discuss the most important of these cycles in the following chapters.
Then there is another type of cycle which has been greatly popularized of late and which is responsible for the widespread expectation of the so-called "Aquarian Age." This is the nearly 26,000 year long cycle of precession of the equinoxes, and I shall devote the major part of this book to it, for it poses some definite and very significant problems, yet it is the one which has caught the imagination of people sympathetic to astrology all over the world. There are also larger cycles which deal with changes in the orbit of the earth and other factors, but in the present state of our knowledge they are of no practical use. This applies even more to the revolution of the whole solar system around the Galaxy which apparently takes over 200 million years to be completed.
What I shall try to show is the manner in which the cycles which are now of significant value to mankind enable us to bring a sense of ordered structural development to the series of events recorded by history, and how the knowledge of these cycles can situate our present historical situation — helping us therefore both to understand in a deeper, somewhat "archetypal" sense the meaning and importance of the great turning points of mankind's past, and to orient ourselves toward more or less imminent and inevitable changes. As, I repeat, it has always been extremely difficult for most people (especially for privileged classes or groups in society) to accept the inevitability of such periodical upheavals, the knowledge that they are indeed structurally inevitable (as much as puberty is inevitable in the child's process of growth) and that the time is at hand may help many confused and frightened persons to willingly accept the revolutionary changes.
If such a knowing acceptance based on a conscious realization of the direction, meaning and value of the change is sufficiently spread through large enough sections of the population of the world, it is indeed possible that the inevitable transformation will be much smoother and less marked by wholesale violence and catastrophic events.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1969 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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