America's Place in the Cosmic Process - 2
The exact year during which this Aquarian Age will begin cannot be calculated merely by astronomical means for the simple reason that no one knows where the boundaries between the constellations Pisces. and Aquarius are, or should be, located. As far as we know, the shapes of the constellations are entirely man-made. They have varied through the Ages and differed in every human culture. They are symbolical representations and, significant as they undoubtedly are, they are presumably as much a matter of convention as, let us say, the designs on the twenty-two Tarot cards. Nevertheless, they seem to be the legacy of a very ancient tradition and, broadly speaking, they may well refer to the specific character of certain regions of galactic space through which our entire solar system is moving while revolving around the distant center of the galaxy.
Whatever they may actually be, these twelve zodiacal constellations provide us with a frame of reference by means of which we are able to outline and give meaning to the structural patterns of development of man's civilization. Especially by taking into consideration the traditional character and subdivisions of these constellations — as defined in our Western tradition since the Egypto-Chaldean, or at least the Greek, period — we can attribute most significant meanings and values to the main epochs in the unfoldment of our Western civilization; and we are able to throw much light upon what is taking place at the present time.
Unfortunately, astrologers and religious teachers in India and Europe do not agree on the time at which these twelve precessional Ages begin. Each one finds historical events which to him "prove" the validity of the date selected as the beginning of the Piscean Age and the Aquarian Age. It is a difficult problem to solve and I have discussed it at length in my book The Astrological Timing of the Transition to the New Age. I can only say here that, after many years of study and historical analysis, I am convinced that one of these great 25,900-year long cycles began around 100 B.C., and that the first of its twelve-fold sections, usually identified by astrologers as the Piscean Age, will end around 2060 A.D. If we accept the validity of the ancient Hindu system of cyclic analysis according to which the last and first tenth part of any cycle constitutes a period of transition between one cycle and the succeeding one, we have to assume that we entered the period of transition ending the Piscean Age between, roughly, 1844 and 1848. The planet Neptune was discovered in 1846 and that year can be conveniently taken as the beginning of the last tenth of the Age. I call this period of about 216 years the seed-period of an Age, for it is during it that the "seed" of the old dying plant of civilization is theoretically released; it will "germinate" during the first 216 years of the following Age, i.e., approximately from 2060 to 2276 — the germinal period of the Aquarian Age.
The germinal period of the Piscean Age now coming to its conclusion lasted from approximately 100 B.C. to 160 A.D. (the reign of the wise Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius). The "seed period" of the Arian Age began around 316 B.C. Alexander the Great had died in 323 B.C. after conquering Persia and the Near East, and invading part of Northern India. He also founded the city of Alexandria, which was to play a capital role during both the seed period of his Age and the germinal period of the Piscean Age.
We can parallel basic events occurring at nearly the same time in relation to their own Ages, a point which on a strictly historical basis Arnold Toynbee has stressed in A Study of History. Such a parallelism does not refer to events in their outer and factual character, nor to the personalities of the historical men and women related to such events, but only to structural similarities between the overall development of the civilization of the two epochs being considered. In that sense we can say that Alexander, in relation to the seed period of the Arian Age which followed upon his death, corresponds to Napoleon I, and before him the entire revolutionary period starting in France in 1789. Napoleon died in 1821, and since 1846 we have been in the seed-period of the Piscean Age. In the same sense, the two World Wars we have experienced correspond to the Punic Wars that established Rome's predominance in the Mediterranean world and were followed by acute internal crises in the seat of the new power. As we are now operating at a global level, these crises can be related to the struggle between the "Free World" and the Communist nations. Today, world events are replacing Mediterranean happenings; but it is possible that because of modem technology and the speed of communications, the historical process may be accelerated.
We can divide the 216 years of our present, seed period (1846 to 2062 A.D.) into three 72-year subperiods, each corresponding to one degree of the precessional cycle. The first period ended during World War I with the Russian debacle and the Bolshevik Revolution. The second period will end in 1990, and we shall see in the last chapter of this book how significant we can expect the years before and after 1990 to be.
If we subtract 72 from 1846 we come to the year 1774; but if we had taken the year 1848 as the starting point of the seed-period of our Piscean Age (the year of the Communist Manifesto), we would have reached backward to 1776, the year of the Declaration of Independence
One of the most significant validations of my suggested date for the start of the Piscean Age is the fact that according to normal astrological practice, this Age can be divided into three periods of ten degrees of precession (decanates): from about 100 B.C. to 622 A.D. (the official beginning of Islam, the Hegira), from 622 to 1342, and from 1342 to 2062. During the first "decanate" period the power of Rome, which had unified the Mediterranean world by military coercion and efficient administration, was challenged by the spirit of Christianity. During the second period Christianity had to fight for survival in Europe against Islam. During the third period, Christianity has been challenged by the modern spirit of individualistic humanism, by materialistic science, and now by the power of a depersonalizing technology and totalitarianism. These three Acts of the Piscean drama in Europe define, I believe, the destiny and the almost dialectical evolution of Christendom.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1974 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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