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[t93] Passing of Ages

From: "Rikb" 
Subject: RE: [t93] Re: Passing of Ages (was on a more...)
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 04:51:56 -0400


> I am an astrological amateur, so please enlighten my ignorance
> (anyone):  what exact celestial conjunction is this particuarly
> favored one coming up in 2166?  I know there is a very interesting
> Sun-Venus one coming up in 2004, but this is on the planetary level I
> guess.

     Apologies in advance if you find my explanation confusing. You've been
warned :-)

     It's really quite a difficult quesiton, but the general principle is
that a new astrological age begins when the Vernal Point (where the sun
crosses the Celestial Equator on the first day of Spring in the Northern
Hemisphere) crosses into a new sidereal sign of the zodiac (the signs based
on the stars rather than the signs based on the Vernal Point itself.)
Basically, there are two zodiacs -- one based on the Vernal Point, which
slowly moves relative to the star signs, and one based on the relatively
fixed stars. We usually use the former (referred to as the tropical zodiac)
in the West, and the latter (the sidereal zodiac) is used almost everywhere
else in the world, notably India. When the two zodiacs line up or coincide,
voila, a new astrological age has begun.
     The problem comes in when we try to determine where 0 degrees of the
sidereal zodiac should be. There is no bright star marking the beginning of
this zodiac. This is one reason that Western astrologers took to using the
Vernal Point as the start of their zodiac -- the Vernal Point can be very
precisely located, so we always know just where our zodiac begins, or where
zero degrees Aries is. Indian astrologers have to calculate the beginning of
their zodiac using some slowly changing distance from the Vernal Point
called the "ayanamsha" or "ayanamsa." This distance is calculated in various
ways -- by making assumptions about when the sidereal and tropical zodiacs
were last precisely aligned, by relating it to various stars, etc. There's
disagreement about that. Fortunately, there are some good historical sources
for figuring out where that point should be -- Babylonian astrological
records, and Greek and Indian writings. Unfortunately, they don't all agree.
     The two most likely candidates for the historically accurate ayanamsha
are what are called Fagan/Bradley ayanamsha and the Hipparchos ayanamsha.
Fagan and Bradley used old Babylonian records, along with astrological
interpretations, to determine that the Babylonian sidereal zero degrees
Aries was 24?02'31.36" from the Vernal Point on 1 Jan. 1950 (the value today
is 24 degrees, 45 minutes, and 49 seconds). Using this value, and
calculating using the Swiss Ephemeris, the Vernal Point will move out of
Pisces and into Aquarius in about 2375 C.E. That's only about 375 years from
now -- start planning that barbecue! :-)
     My personal favorite, because it finds confirmation both in old Greek
sources and Indian ones, is the Hipparchos ayanamsha. Hipparchos was a Greek
astrologer/astronomer who wrote down a definition for the sidereal zero
Aries point that places it in relation to the star Zeta Piscium. The modern
astrologer Raymond Mercier calculated this ayanamsha as -9?20' for 27 June
128 B.C.E. (the value today is 20 degrees, 0 minutes, 57 seconds) This value
agrees closely with some of the Indian sources, such as the Surya Siddanta
and the Arya Siddanta. This value places the last coincidence between the
zodiacs around 560 CE. It just so happens that in 556 CE, the astronomers of
Persia gathered together to revise and correct their astronomical tables,
and it's been suggested that they did so because of the alignment of the two
zodiacs -- this being considered a good time to make sure their data was
correct. I really like that idea, so I think it's true. :-) In any case, the
Age of Aquarius doesn't begin until about 2715 by this definition!
     One other definition -- which seems to have been used as one of
convenience rather than for its precise accuracy -- is that the star Spica,
in Virgo, was placed at zero degrees Libra by ancient astrologers. This is
used as the basis for what's called the "Lahiri Ayanamsha" by Indian
astrologers (value today is 23 degrees, 52 minutes, 49 seconds), and it's
probably the most commonly used figure in that part of the world. Using this
definition, the Age of Aquarius would begin somwhere around 2440.
     Any way you slice it, we've got a way to go here...for some, this would
beg the question of whether "Aeonic succession" is a matter of astrological
import at all. Crowley seems a bit ambivalent about it to me. There are a
couple places where he ties the Aeon of Horus to the Age of Aquarius -- but
in light of the above, this seems hard to swallow. Of course, it kind of
fucks up the idea that the birth of Jesus was the start of the Aeon of
Osiris too. On the other hand, you could see this as being an indication
that we've got at least a good 375 years to get our shit together in terms
of establishing the Aeon, the announcement of which just came a bit early.
The way things are looking, though, I think the human race will be lucky to
last that long.

93 93/93

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