City Slickers

Photo above: City Slickers III. Wind River area, Wyoming. Son Matt, Brother Dave, Son John Paul, Me J.P.

Small Talk

SMALL TALK: View the story of the air rifle that doubled the size of the United States. Fantastic bit of 2nd Amendment history re: Lewis and Clark.

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Spot Gold

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius

Modern life is dictated by the clock. Up in the morning, kids off to school, out on the job--appointments, meetings, deadlines, eat, sleep and start all over. Pretty hectic. Not enough time in the day. I’m late, hurry, speed up; run Forrest, run. It wasn’t that long ago that our lives were dictated by a kinder, gentler, rhythm. In fact, for the most of human history, time passed in sync with the grand celestial dance of Earth, Moon, and Sun. The clock is a late invention, and just records the time intervals established by nature’s dance.

Up in the morning
Out on the job
Work like the devil for my pay
But that lucky old Sun
With nothin’ to do
But roll around Heaven all day.

(Beasley Smith and Haven Gillespie)

We used to live in a different world. We marked the passage of time with the light and the darkness; the equinox and the solstice; and the yearly pivot about the Sun, while the Moon roughly measured the months. We planted in the Spring, harvested in the Fall. We retired shortly after dark, and were up with the Sun. We measured our lifetimes by the number of orbits about our star. We marveled at the grand march of constellations across the night sky. In many ways, it was a kinder, gentler existence.

We tend to forget that our notion of time has been dictated by the movements of celestial bodies. And even when we do, we limit our concept the the movements within our solar system--the yearly cycle is about as far as we take it. However, ancient societies found an even larger cycle in the night skies, one that takes around 24,000 years to complete. With a little patience, you can discover it also. It is called “The precession of the equinox.” You are all familiar with the Zodiac, that collection of constellations that march across the night sky in the same plane as our own Sun. Every year, the Zodiac backs up about 1/60th of a degree. This is why it takes 24,000 years to complete the full 360 degrees.

What this means in a practical sense is that at the time of Christ, some 2000 years ago, if you looked into the eastern sky on the spring equinox just before the sun came up, you would see Pisces on the horizon. If you looked today, Pisces would be receding and Aquarius would be rising. Thus, “This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, Aquarius, A-quar-ri-us.” (Name the group that made that song the number one hit in the 60‘s)

 The ancient Hindu, Babylonian, Egyptian, and perhaps even the Mayan were acutely aware of the cycle and imparted huge significance to the phenomena  in as much as it marked rising and descending ages of mankind. Supposedly, by their measurements, we are in an ascending age of man at the present. Lets hope so. Finally, though, a bit of astronomy to explain the movement.

The accepted scientific view as to what causes the backward movements of the Zodiac is that the Earth, spinning like a giant top, has a slow “wobble” that takes 24000 years to complete, thus the slight backwards movement is caused by a small change in the orientation of the Earth as it “wobbles”. This explanation his highly technical and subject to criticism due to some pretty obvious holes in the theory. And, it does not pass the “Occum’s Razor” test--it is so complex that there probably is a simpler explanation.

If our Sun was in a binary relationship with another star, and the two circled each other about a common point of gravity in an elliptical orbit, as binary stars do, then that motion would account for the precession as the Sun curved through space. About 80% of all stars are in a binary relationship with other stars, so the idea isn’t that far-fetched.  In the next installment of this blog, I’ll lay out the case for a possible candidate--and one that fits the ancient myths.



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