This blog entry will certainly rile up some of my more zealous Christian friends but, please don't read this as an attack on religion but, an exploration on how Ageism and Theism go hand in hand. It wouldn't be the first time my writing or dry sense of humor got me in trouble. I was on an interview once and the name of my first organ teacher came up. I commented how I hated him, fully expecting someone on the interview committee to ask why. They moved on, thinking that I actually hated him. In truth, he was the best teach I ever had because he challenged me and made me work my lazy bumper off. I am still learning from his lessons 30 years later. I didn't get the job - I hate them . . . They didn't pay very well, anyway.
We are currently living in the time/space between the current Age of Pisces and the forthcoming Age: the Age of Aquarius. To understand an Age, we have to go back and look at both history and science.
There are twelve Ages which many of us know as the Zodiac Signs (one for each constellation of the zodiac). Each Age lasts approximately 2,160 years. All twelve Ages in succession are known as The Great year which lasts about 26,000 of our calendar years. The earth actually spins in a gyrating motion that changes very slowly the direction of the polar axis (think of a toy top that wobbles as it spins). The earth makes a full circle in the 26,000 years which is known as the Precession. Many astrologers call this the “Great Polar Cycle” which encompasses 25,868 years as the North Pole aligns successively to a series of stars or constellations (Zodiac Signs).
Those of you old enough to know what a phonographic record is, think of the precession as a single record album with 25,000 grooves. Every 2,000 grooves is a new song. The whole record is the precession and every song is an age, each flowing seamlessly into one another. Some Ages are thought to be a little longer or shorter than others but at this point I'm not sure if anyone knows for sure. Currently, for the next 300 years or so, we are in-between two Ages. The earliest recorded Age for man is the Age of Leo, so, let's start there.
The Age of Leo; Approximately 11000 B.C. - 8000 B.C.
Around this time the snow of the Ice Age begins to melt and the global climate begins to warm up. During this time humans began worshiping the Sun, the ruler of the fire sign, Leo; because obviously a god was melting all that ice. Culturally there were dozens of Sun-Gods at this time as the planet began to get warmer and wetter. This period was also known as the Stone Age.
The Age of Cancer; approximately 8000 B.C. – 6500 B.C.
From the fire sign of Leo to the water sign of Cancer there were floods! Where do you think all that ice went? Around 8000 B.C. is thought to be the time when the great floods that are mentioned in almost every major culture occurred. Sun-worship was replaced by Moon-worship as many cultures became aware of how the Moon affected the rising and falling of the water or tides. The sign Cancer was associated with the archetype of the Great Mother, which deals with the womb, bearing, birthing, nurturing, protecting, and domestic life. During this time animals began to be domesticated. The Great Mother was feared during this age and even today, we still fear her. We call her Mother Nature as she can be both life giving and relentlessly destructive in the form of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods or drought.
Around the end of this Age we domesticated many animals (in part, thanks to Noah who saved them from the flood), invented the wheel, weaving, working with metal and increased our survival skills and began to fear Mother Nature less and less as we were better able to protect ourselves from her wrath, giving birth to intellectualism.
The Age of Gemini, Approximately 6500 B.C. - 3750 B.C.
Humans begin writing and drawing and discover the god of Mercury or Hermes. In Greek mythology, these were the gods of communication. The world began to flourish with communication, language (babble) and knowledge. As languages developed, so did oral traditions. It is believed that though the first books of the Old Testament were not written down until around 1000 B.C. at the time of Solomon, the oral traditions of creation stories like The Garden of Eden were actually created during the Age of Gemini. Gemini also gave us the consciousness of duality: The Garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge containing the duality of Good and Evil, Life and Death, Adam and Eve - duality of sexes, choice and consequences, rational and irrational. In this Age, God and Nature were being separated and we became farming communities rather than nomads. We also began building places of worship.
The Age of Taurus; approximately 4000B.C-1800 B.C.
The symbol of Taurus is a lot of bull. Cities began to spring up. The sign of Taurus is associated with agriculture, money, banking, law, real estate and property and all matters dealing with ownership.
Mortal man wishing to preserve order created god-like figures dispensing cruel justice and we found ourselves worshiping a number of bull gods. Apis, who presided over the underworld. Ra, the Bull of Heaven; Osiris the Bull of Earth; Nut, the Sky Goddess with cow’s ears; Hathor the Cow Goddess, crowned with horns; Bulchis the Bull of Thebes; Poseidon, Bull of the Sea; Zeus, the Bull-ravisher of Europa who fled over the Taurus mountains; and,most notably, the Minotaur, which was the offspring of Poseidon’s white bull and Pasiphae, wife of King Minos on Crete.
The bull symbol (Golden Calf) was replaced in the next Age by Moses, the bull-slayer; and ushered in the Age of Aries and the Ram-God Yahweh.
The Age of Aries, Approximately 1800 B.C. - 360 AD
Humans began to consolidate their gods and monotheism was born. Aries is ruled by Mars, the God of war. During this Age, the Greeks gave us Homer, Hesiod, Achilles, Hercules, Jason (who sought the Golden Fleece!), Theseus (a bona-fide bull-slayer!), Mithras who is depicted in statues as plunging a dagger into a bull and, Odysseus. Also Alexander the Great who, inspired by Homer, conquered most of the known world during this Age.
Moses did much more than just blow a ram's horn and liberate his people from Egypt. In condemning the worship of the golden calf (Taurus), he symbolically declared a new age had begun. An age that needed something to guide humanity: The Ten Commandments.
The Age of Aries also brought us the great teachings of Lao Tzu, Confucius, Gautama Buddha, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, opening the door for the next Age to enter.
The Age of Pisces; approximately 360 A.D. – 2400 A.D
The symbol for Pisces is the fish and this Age brought us Jesus. Jesus Christ taught new laws to govern our development as human beings and at the heart of his teachings was the idea that we should seek to love each other, we should love our enemy, and turn the other cheek, he taught us that we were one (a Piscean theme) and our enemy is simply a mirror of ourselves. To hate someone else, then, is to hate yourself.
It is interesting that many fundamentalist Christians claim to be followers of Jesus–the great teacher of forgiveness and compassion, but find it more productive to judge, condemn, hate, and try to convert others. Christ taught that all one needed was the inner church (Soul). The Kingdom of Heaven is not over there, not up there, not under there but, in us and around us. If only we could open our eyes and see it. Maybe in the next Age we will.
The Pisces Age unleashed some the most devastating wars and conflict in the history of man such as witch hunts, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the never ending conflict between Muslims and Christians, nuclear bombs, world wars and so much more, all under the banner of Christianity. The world became a dangerous place, not because of those who did evil, but because of those who looked on and did nothing.
This is the age that when someone breaks a law, we lock them up in places where kindness is rare and considered weak. Wouldn’t it seem more reasonable to put law breakers in a place which cherishes kindness, reminds them of how important it is and affords them opportunities to develop and express it?
Toward the end of the Age of Pisces, we see social activism begin to take hold (especially during the 1960's). Concern for the planet and all living creatures, humanitarianism and the struggle for the healing of wounds and division. Death leading to rebirth, acceptance, tolerance and awakening are all part of the theme. All this is leading into the next Age.
The Age of Aquarius; approximately 2400 A.D. – 4600 A.D
There isn't much to say about this Age since it is not here yet, but, this Age will be the Age of Enlightenment and the symbol is the Water Bearer. I find it interesting that the planet is being plagued by dramatic weather changes, warming, flooding, polar melting, tsunamis, increased hurricanes, tornadoes and devastating super storms.
Humans strive to avoid struggle and pain. We spend so much energy trying to avoid negativity and trying to create positivity, even if it’s synthetic, that we miss the point that each of us is like the movie character Indiana Jones. At the moment we may awaken to being here at all, we may say, “What’s life about?" At that moment we are the heroes of this classic, timeless, spiritual adventure. We already know the movie is going to end, so the point is not to live forever, but it’s to be heroic and enlightened. Enlightenment is seeing what in our belief system is not working. But to perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away and expand our sense of now. We should strive to leave each person and each place a little better for our having been there. Simple.
This Age is supposed to bring the restoration of the Garden of Eden, the Golden Age of globalization where we all become citizens of the world. Maybe we will discover that there is only one religion: God. A Hindu who rejects Christ won’t find it. A Christian who rejects Buddha won’t find it. It is predicted that Aquarius is to be the Age of the Second Coming. Maybe, instead of a world leader, a master teacher, or a messiah, maybe, just maybe, in this coming Age of Enlightenment, we’ll discover that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
In the words of an ancient Sanskrit greeting and farewell, "I bow to the Divine within you."