by David Warner Mathisen
No 6 (Dec 2021)
Our days are
defined by the turning of the earth, our weeks and months by the
cycle of the moon, while the seasons of the year are caused by the
relationship between the earth and the sun.
Despite a condescending denial of this ancient association in recent decades by proponents of "modern science" - who argue that there is no way heavenly bodies such as the moon impact biological functions in women or men - recently published findings from a long-term study over fifteen years revealed that the moon does indeed impact that monthly cycle.
(See "Women temporarily synchronize their menstrual cycles with the
luminance and gravimetric cycles of the Moon,"
This is an esoteric system stretching around the globe and forming the foundation for myths from every inhabited continent and island, including the myths of the cultures of the Americas, Africa, Australia, the islands of the Pacific, as well as ancient India, China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Japan, and Greece.
system forms the foundation for the Norse myths and for the stories
contained in the scriptures of
the Bible, from Genesis all the way
to the Revelation of John.
They are part of an esoteric language in
which different parts of the cycle are understood to represent
specific aspects of our experience in this incarnate life and thus
convey powerful truths for our understanding and benefit.
This is a cycle unfamiliar to most people and rarely taught in formal schooling or mentioned in anything we see on television or in the movies.
proceeds at such a slow pace that even an entire human lifetime of
carefully observing the heavens will barely reveal its subtle
Many centuries passed before astronomers could narrow down estimates of the rate of the motion of precession with any degree of accuracy.
If we spend any amount of time looking at the stars at night, we will soon observe that the position of the constellations slowly changes as we go throughout the year.
Date and time box show
that at one hour before midnight, on 1st November,
all the stars of Orion
have now risen in the east and are above the horizon.
FIGURE 2 (right):
As we move through the year,
the stars rise a few minutes earlier each night.
Thus, they are farther along their journey from the east to the west
at the same time on successive nights.
Here we see that by the 21st of November,
the stars of Orion have moved much higher
by the same hour shown above: one
hour before midnight.
However, as we continue through the year, the stars of the constellation Orion will rise just a little bit earlier each night (about four minutes earlier per night, at the latitude where I live), such that in just a few weeks the entire form of Orion will be above the eastern horizon two hours before midnight, and thus even higher in the sky later on (see Figure 2).
In a few months, the constellation will be
high in the sky nearing its zenith.
Orion dominates the night sky during November through April (the winter months for the northern hemisphere), but as the year goes on and the stars of Orion continue rising earlier and earlier each night, the constellation will be farther and farther along its journey from east to west as the sun goes down, until at last we will observe that at nightfall, when the stars start to become visible, the familiar form of Orion is all the way over at the western horizon.
As the year progresses even further, into the end of May and the
beginning of June, Orion will already be below the western horizon
when night falls and the stars appear.
Of course, to measure this phenomenon precisely, we need to stand in exactly the same spot from one year to the next. In fact, we have to rest our chin (or our telescope) in exactly the same location.
If we do, we should find that the star in
question is in its expected position when we get back to the exact
same point in our annual cycle.
We cannot simply use an ordinary calendar and pick the exact same calendar date (such as November 1st) and assume that we are back to the same point relative to the sun.
As we know, the calendar "slips" around a little bit from one year to the next due to the fact that our earth's daily turning does not match up evenly with our annual cycle.
The earth turns on its axis 365 times and a
little bit more each year, which means that we have to come up with
corrections such as the concept of the "leap year" to keep the
calendar from slipping to the point that January 1st falls in the
summertime instead of the wintertime (for the northern hemisphere)
due to that little extra bit of turning each year.
We can see if that star is in the same
place that it was the prior winter solstice (keeping in mind that we
will need to take our measurement at the exact same time and with
our chin or our telescope in the exact same place as when we
measured that star's location the year before).
That is what we, in fact, do find because when we get back to the exact same point in relation to the sun, we should be able to look up into the sky at exactly midnight (for example) and trust that the scene in the heavens is the same it was when we crossed midnight at this exact same point in the annual cycle the year before.
Position of the stars of Orion
midnight on December solstice, 2021.
Compare this to the position of the same stars 72 years later,
shown in Figure 4: the "delaying" action of precession
will "hold the stars back" ever so slightly after 72 years,
but only by a single degree of arc.
FIGURE 4 (right):
Position of the stars of Orion
midnight on December solstice, 2093.
The gears of precession grind very slowly,
but after 72 years, the stars have been "held back"
by one degree of arc.
Observe, for example, the position of
the star Betelgeuse, at Orion's shoulder
just below the upraised arm:
it has being "delayed" by about one degree
over 72 years on the December solstice.
It is so subtle that we will not be able to measure it very easily with standard equipment unless we take the same measurements every year for a very long time.
Over the course of many years, the
expected star will keep returning to its expected spot on the
expected day, but if we measure its position each year for many
decades (keeping careful records each year, of course), we will
begin to see it "struggling" to make it to its appointed spot in the
heavens - as if some force is very slowly "delaying" that star or "holding it back" from one year to the next.
Due to that very slow delay, after 72 years the star will be delayed by a whole degree on the appointed day and time from the place that you measured it at the exact same place and time, 72 years before. Indeed, this delay holds back all of the stars.
It is as if the
entire fabric of the heavens is held back ever so slightly over
decades so that Orion is one degree lower 72 years from now on the
night of (let's say) the December solstice than Orion will be this
year on the December solstice at the same hour - and so will the
stars of Taurus, and the Pleiades, and all the rest of them.
For the ancients to even
perceive the motion of precession would require meticulous
record-keeping for more than one human lifetime - not to mention a
system for ensuring that all the observers rested their chins in
precisely the same spot when taking annual measurements.
After thousands of years, this "delaying action" will have a real impact.
Precession appears to "hold back" the night sky
by one degree every 72 years due to a 23.5° wobble
of Earth's axis as shown here.
One cycle of the wobble takes approximately
which is 12 x 2,160 years.
We know there are 360 degrees in a complete circle, so if the motion of precession delays the background of stars by one degree every 72 years, we can determine how many years it takes to delay the constellation expected to be just ahead of the sun on the morning of the March equinox (or even the constellation in which the sun is located on the March equinox, although we obviously can't see the stars once the sun clears the horizon) due to the action of precession.
Another way of seeing the action of precession.
Earth in its orbit around the sun causes the sun to appear
on the celestial sphere moving along the ecliptic (red),
which is tilted 23.5° with respect to the celestial equator (blue-white).
Over very large spans of time,
different zodiac constellations appear behind the sun
as it rises at the March equinox.
Image credit: Wikipedia/Tau'olunga
The background constellations along this ecliptic plane are known as the zodiac constellations.
Although the constellations are not all exactly the same size, if there are 12 zodiac constellations and 360 degrees in a full circle, then we can calculate that each constellation in the zodiac should occupy a space of that circle totaling 30 degrees (since 360 degrees in a circle, divided by 12 zodiac constellations, gives us 30 degrees per zodiac constellation).
Thus, if precession "holds back" the night sky by
one degree every 72 years, then it would take 2,160 years for this
motion of precession to delay the sky so much that the expected
zodiac sign above the eastern horizon on the morning of the March
equinox is "held down" completely below the horizon, such that the
preceding zodiac constellation would be above the horizon instead.
In other words, the sun will have "precessed" into the preceding constellation of the zodiac due to the inexorable motion of precession.
An "Age" is a precessional Age and is generally identified with the constellation in which the sun rises on the March equinox during that entire Age.
The Age of Taurus
eventually gave way (due to the delaying motion of precession) to
the Age of Aries (Aries being the zodiac constellation that precedes
Taurus across the sky), and after another 2,160 years or so, the Age
of Aries in turn gave way to the Age of Pisces, which is now giving
way to the Age of Aquarius.
For example, in the usurpation of the throne
of the rightful ruler by a jealous brother, as in the story of
Osiris and his usurping brother Set, in the mythology of ancient
One "world" is (figuratively speaking) destroyed and replaced with a new one.
arrangement of the Age of Taurus, for example, was replaced by the
arrangement of the Age of Aries, in which the sun rose in the new
sign on the March equinox and also in the new sign on the other
important stations of the annual cycle, including the June solstice,
September equinox and December solstice.
For example, they
point out that the ancient philosopher Plutarch tells us quite
specifically that in the myths of ancient Egypt, the rightful king
Osiris is killed by his jealous brother Set along with seventy-two
declare that Valhalla has 540 doors, through each of which will
march eight hundred warriors on the day and that they must go to
battle with the Wolf on the last day, for a total of 432,000
warriors (which, of course, relates to the precessional number of 72
and to the 2,160 years of a precessional Age, in that 432 is double
216 and six times 72).
Moreover, in the intervening years since
Hamlet's Mill was
published, I found abundant evidence to support their theory in that
the imagery in these apocalyptic battles and cataclysms (whether we
are talking about the scenes described in the Book of Revelation or
in the descriptions of Ragnarokk, or in other apocalyptic battles
from other mythologies, such as the great Battle of Kurukshetra in
the Mahabharata of ancient India) can be shown to correspond to
specific constellations - proving beyond any doubt that these "End
of the World" scenes are celestial metaphor.
That can be debated, although
it stands to reason that if the cycle of the moon has an impact on
the time of month that a woman can conceive a new life, then the
other cycles up to the slow and inexorable turning of the cycle of
precession can have an impact on our lives.
The "displacing" motion of precession (by which one constellation's place is "usurped" by another) relates to themes of displacement in our own life, including the theme of alienation, which I have found to be a central theme in the myths - alienation, indeed, from our own Self, which some pioneering modern psychologists connect to psychological trauma.
The myths appear to have a dominant central theme about alienation from our Self and the path towards recovery.
that should interest all of us, very deeply.