The 20th century British astrologer Charles Carter stated that. In Neil Spencer in his book True as the Stars Above expressed a similar opinion about the astrological ages. Spencer singles out the astrological ages as being "fuzzy", "speculative", and the least-defined area of astrological lore. Ray Grasse states in Signs of the Times - Unlocking the Symbolic Language of World Events that "there is considerable dispute over the exact starting and ending times for the different Great Ages. Though so many issues are contentious or disputed, there are two aspects of the astrological ages that have virtually unanimous consensus—firstly, the claimed link of the astrological ages to the axial precession of the Earth and commonly referred to as precession of the equinoxes ;  secondly, that, due to the nature of the precession of the equinoxes, the progression of the ages proceeds in reverse direction through the zodiacal signs.
Astrologers use many ways to divide the Great Year into twelve astrological ages.
There are two popular methods. One method is to divide the Great Year into twelve astrological ages of approximately equal lengths of around years per age based on the vernal equinox moving through the sidereal zodiac.
The method based on the zodiacal constellations has a flaw in that the stars of many constellations overlap. For example, by the vernal point will have moved into Aquarius, but due to overlap the vernal point will also point to Pisces. Many astrologers consider the entrance into a new astrological age a gradual transition called a "cusp". For example, Ray Grasse states that an astrological age does not begin at an exact day or year. Consequently, the beginning of any age cannot be defined to a single year or a decade but blend its influences with the previous age for a period of time until the new age can stand in its own right.
Many astrologers believe that the world is transitioning from the Pisces and Aquarian Ages  , which is claimed to explain that developments in the world today can be aligned to Pisces i. A few astrologers consider the last c. In Nicholas Campion 's The Book of World Horoscopes there are six pages listing researchers and their proposed dates for the start of the Age of Aquarius indicating that many researchers believe that each age commences at an exact date.
Albert Amao Ph. As one degree is approximately 72 years, Amao has a transition period between ages of years. Many astrologers find ages too erratic based on either the vernal point moving through the randomly sized zodiacal constellations or sidereal zodiac and, instead, round all astrological ages to exactly years each. Based on precession of the equinoxes, there is a one-degree shift approximately every 72 years, so a degree movement requires years to complete. An established school of thought that an age is also influenced by the sign opposite to the one of the astrological age.
Referring back to the precession of the Equinoxes, as the Sun crosses one constellation in the Northern Hemisphere's spring Equinox March 21 , it will cross the opposite sign in the spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere September For instance, the Age of Pisces is complemented by its opposite astrological sign of Virgo the Virgin ; so a few refer to the Piscean age as the 'Age of Pisces-Virgo'. Ray Grasse also claims that each sign of the zodiac is involving with the opposite sign.
William Sullivan in The Secret of the Incas claims there is a direct connection between the history of the Inca Empire and precession of the equinoxes. The great demarcation point in the history of the astrological ages is around BC when the Greek astronomer-astrologer Hipparchus from observation discovered that the great immovable sphere of fixed stars was not fixed but slowly moving eastwards due to what is now known as precession of the equinoxes.
It is possible that some other astronomers before Hipparchus had also noticed the phenomenon, but it is Hipparchus who is credited with this discovery. This discovery by Hipparchus is not entirely unexpected as Hipparchus is considered to have been the greatest observational astronomer in his time and up until Tycho Brahe in the 16th century AD. What is highly contentious in modern times is the claim by many that observation of the effects of precession of the equinoxes was known well before the time of Hipparchus and his contemporaries in Greece or even Mesopotamia.
It was an attempt to marry science and mythology that had become separated by the ancient Greeks. Santillana and von Dechend believed that the old mythological stories handed down from antiquity were not random fictitious tales but were accurate depictions of celestial cosmology clothed in tales to aid their oral transmission. The chaos, monsters, and violence in ancient myths are representative of the forces that shape each age.
They believed that ancient myths are the remains of preliterate astronomy that became lost with the rise of the Greco-Roman civilization. Santillana and von Dechend state that ancient myths have no historical basis but a cosmological one based on a primitive form of astrology. They recognized the importance of the heliacally rising constellation as markers for the astrological ages and claimed that knowledge of this phenomenon had been known for thousands of years previously. They claim that to understand ancient thinking it is necessary to understand astrology, not the modern sun-sign or horoscopic astrology, but the astrology of ancient times which was the lingua franca of ancient times.
They go further and state that our knowledge of the dawn of astrology and its relationship to ancient myths and star names is limited, and only extends back to about BC, which was during the Renaissance of Sumerian Culture; we are not able, they say, to examine older material on the subject. In Hamlet's Mill it is claimed that the ancient Greeks knew of three successive destructions that correlate to three ages, and that since the beginning of history the vernal point has moved through Taurus, Aries, and Pisces.
Hesiod in Works and Days refers to five successive ages. As early as , modern researchers were examining evidence for knowledge of precession of the equinoxes and astrological ages before Hipparchus. Drummond expounds on his hypothesis that a greater part of the Hebrew Scriptures are merely allegorical writings that hide the true content. Furthermore, the Orientalists were mainly concerned with astronomy and most of their ancient myths are really disguised astronomical records. Drummond makes his case that at the time of Abraham , the Amorites first recorded the shift from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries as represented by the year commencing with the Ram Aries rather than the bull Taurus.
The Book of Joshua indicates that by the time of Moses the equinoxes had already shifted from Taurus to Aries , as Moses had ordained that the civil year should commence with the month of Nisan Aries rather than the month of Taurus. The feast of the Passover is probably a celebration of the Age of Aries with the Paschal Lamb representative of Aries, traditionally associated with the symbol of the ram or sheep. Drummond also hypothesizes that most number references in ancient texts were coded to hide their real value by multiples of 1, For example, in the Old Testament Joshua commanded 30, men, and he slew 12, inhabitants of the city of Ai.
The historian Berosus stated the Babylonians commenced astronomical observations 49, years 7 x 7 x before Alexander the Great. The problem of understanding the exact nature of ancient astrology is that it was only partly documented, leaving the question of the extent of their undocumented astrological knowledge. Michael Baigent in From the Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia suggests that there is evidence that there was probably an older or parallel oral tradition of astrology at the time of publication of Enuma Anu Enlil  believed published over the period — BC.
The ancient Mesopotamians believed that history repeated itself after a massive cycle of many years. In the early post- Hipparchus period, two schools of thought developed about the slow shift of the fixed sphere of stars as discovered by Hipparchus. One school believed that at 1 degree shift per years, the sphere of fixed stars would return to its starting point after 36, years.
The trepidation school believed that the fixed stars first moved one way, then moved the other way - similar to a giant pendulum. It was believed that the 'swinging' stars first moved 8 degrees one direction, then reversed this 8 degrees travelling the other direction. In the 5th century AD, the Greek Neoplatonist philosopher Proclus mentions that both theories were being discussed.
The Indians around the 5th century AD preferred the trepidation theory but because they had observed the movement of the fixed stars by 25 degrees since ancient times since around BC , they considered that trepidation swung back and forth around 27 degrees. The significant early exponent of the 'circular 36,' years method was Ptolemy and, due to the status placed upon Ptolemy by later scholars, the Christian and Muslim astronomers of the Middle Ages accepted the Great Year of 36, years rather than trepidation.
However some scholars gave credence to both theories based on the addition of another sphere which is represented in the Alfonsine tables produced by the Toledo School of Translators in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Alfonsine tables computed the positions of the sun, moon, and planets relative to the fixed stars. The Italian astronomer Cecco d'Ascoli , professor of astrology at the University of Bologna in the early 14th century, continued to have faith in trepidation but believed it swung 10 degrees in either direction.
Copernicus refers to trepidation in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium published in Though the one degree per hundred years calculated for precession of the equinoxes as defined by Hipparchus and promulgated by Ptolemy was too slow, another rate of precession that was too fast also gained popularity in the 1st millennium AD. By the fourth century AD, Theon of Alexandria  assumed a changing rate trepidation of one degree per 66 years.
The tables of the Shah Zij-i Shah  originate in the sixth century, but are unfortunately lost, but many later Arabic and Persian astronomers and astrologers refer to them and also use this value. There exists evidence that the modern calendar developed by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century AD commencing with the birth of Jesus Christ at AD 1 was influenced by precession of the equinoxes and astrological ages. Dionysius' desire to replace Diocletian years Diocletian persecuted Christians with a calendar based on the incarnation of Christ was to prevent people from believing the imminent end of the world.
At the time it was believed that the Resurrection and end of the world would occur years after the birth of Jesus.
The current Anno Mundi calendar theoretically commenced with the creation of the world based on information in the Old Testament. It was believed that based on the Anno Mundi calendar Jesus was born in the year or years after the world was created with the year of the Anno Mundi calendar marking the end of the world.
Anno Mundi approximately AD was thus equated with the resurrection of Christ and the end of the world. He was heavily influenced by ancient cosmology, in particular the doctrine of the Great Year that places a strong emphasis on planetary conjunctions. This doctrine says that when all the planets were in conjunction that this cosmic event would mark the end of the world. Dionysius accurately calculated that this conjunction would occur in May AD Dionysius then applied another astronomical timing mechanism based on precession of the equinoxes.
Though incorrect, some oriental astronomers at the time believed that the precessional cycle was 24, years which included twelve astrological ages of 2, years each. Dionysius believed that if the planetary alignment marked the end of an age i. He therefore deducted 2, years from the May conjunction to produce AD 1  for the incarnation of Christ. The 15th century Italian Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola published a massive attack on astrological predictions, but he did not object to all of astrology and he commented on the position of the vernal point in his day.
Pico was aware of the effects of precession of the equinoxes and knew that the first point of Aries no longer existed in the constellation of Aries. Pico not only knew that the vernal point had shifted back into Pisces , he stated that in his time, the vernal point zero degrees tropical Aries was located at 2 degrees sidereal Pisces. This suggests that by whatever method of calculation he was employing, Pico expected the vernal point to shift into sidereal Aquarius age years later as a one degree shift takes 72 years. The Earth, in addition to its diurnal daily rotation upon its axis and annual rotation around the Sun, incurs a precessional motion involving a slow periodic shift of the axis itself: approximately one degree every 72 years.
This motion, which is caused mostly by the Moon's gravity , gives rise to the precession of the equinoxes in which the Sun's position on the ecliptic at the time of the vernal equinox, measured against the background of fixed stars, gradually changes with time. In graphical terms, the Earth behaves like a spinning top, and tops tend to wobble as they spin. The spin of the Earth is its daily diurnal rotation. The spinning Earth slowly wobbles over a period slightly less than 26, years. From our perspective on Earth, the stars are ever so slightly 'moving' from west to east at the rate of one degree approximately every 72 years.
One degree is about twice the diameter of the Sun or Moon as viewed from Earth. The easiest way to notice this slow movement of the stars is at any fixed time each year. The most common fixed time is at the vernal equinox around 21 March each year. In astrology, an astrological age has usually been defined by the constellation or superimposed sidereal zodiac in which the Sun actually appears at the vernal equinox.
This is the method that Hipparchus appears to have applied around BC when he calculated precession. This means the Sun crosses the equator at the vernal equinox moving backwards against the fixed stars from one year to the next at the rate of one degree in seventy-two years, one constellation on average in about years, and the whole twelve signs in about 25, years, sometimes called a Platonic Year.
However the length of the ages are decreasing with time as the rate of precession is increasing. Therefore, no two ages are of equal length. Approximately every 26, years the zodiacal constellations, the associated sidereal zodiac , and the tropical zodiac used by western astrologers basically align. This alignment is often called the fiducial point and, if the fiducial point could be found, fairly exact timeframes of all the astrological ages could be accurately determined if the method used to determine the astrological ages is based on the equal-sized 30 degrees per age and do not correspond to the exact constellation configuration in the sky.
However this fiducial point is difficult to determine because while there is no ambiguity about the tropical zodiac used by western astrologers, the same cannot be said of the sidereal zodiac used by Vedic astrologers. Vedic astrologers do not have unanimity on the exact location in space of their sidereal zodiac. This is because the sidereal zodiac is superimposed upon the irregular zodiacal constellation, and there are no unambiguous boundaries of the zodiacal constellations.
Modern day astronomers have defined boundaries, but this is a recent development by astronomers who are divorced from astrology, and cannot be assumed to be correct from the astrological perspective. While most astronomers and some astrologers agree that the fiducial point occurred in or around the 3rd to 5th centuries AD, there is no consensus on any exact date or tight timeframe within these three centuries. A number of dates are proposed by various astronomers and even wider timeframes by astrologers.
For an alternative approach to calibrating precession, see Alternative approach to calibrating precession in New, alternative, and fringe theories section below. As an example of a mystic contemporary approach to precession, in Max Heindel 's astrology writings,  it is described, that last time the starting-point of the sidereal zodiac agreed with the tropical zodiac occurred in AD A year after these points were in exact agreement, the Sun crossed the equator about fifty seconds of space into the constellation Pisces.
The year following it was one minute and forty seconds into Pisces, and so it has been creeping backwards ever since, until at the present time the Sun crosses the equator in about nine degrees in the constellation Pisces. Based on this approach, it will thus be about years before it actually crosses the celestial equator in the constellation Aquarius. However this is only one of many approaches and so this must remain speculation at this point of time. Symbol for Leo :.
When the March equinox used to occur in Leo. The major event in this age was deglaciation of what now constitutes much of the modern habitable world.
The planets today shows you where the planets are now as a live display - a free online orrery. This page also describes the basic principles of astrology. The Astrologer. Today's Planets. October 8th, Where do the planets lie right now? Check Today's Planets for current signs and degrees, and get a list of.
The deglaciation ultimately caused a foot 90 m rise in the sea level. The sign Leo is a Fire sign and is mythically ruled by the Sun in astrology. Symbol for Cancer :. When the March equinox used to occur in Cancer ;. In astrologic mythology this age marks the beginning of civilization, with domestication of farm animals and nomadic people settling down to living in permanent dwellings.
Widespread evidence of the mother goddess in the Near East the 'mother' archetype in all shapes and forms is always related to the sign Cancer. Symbol for Gemini :. When the March equinox used to occur in Gemini ;. During this mythological age writing developed, [ dubious — discuss ] and trade started to accelerate.
The constellation can be seen as two people holding hands thought to be twins , believed by some [ who? Feeling run down at the end of the day? Harness some of this naturally occurring vitality in brainstorming sessions. Bring on the breakthroughs!
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