Astronomical-Astrological Ages

Hipparches, a Helenic Rhodes astronomer-astrologer living circa 160-127 bce, discovered the precession of the equinoxes. The sun's springtime dawn position moves westward more than one percent a century. Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the zodiac belt appears to slide eastward, pulling along all the stars on the celestial canopy.

Therefore, the vernal equinox seemed to precess westward in the sky through the zodiac. This precession is about only 1/70 degree per year.

During Babylonian times (3000 bce), the sun rose in the constellation of Taurus on the date of the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring, when day and night are equal. This was the Age of Taurus. The Babylonians referred to the constellation of Taurus as "the Bull in Front." Taurus appeared at the beginning of the Babylonian year when the sun rose in that constellation on the Vernal Equinox.

In 1800 bce, the Vernal Equinox had slowly precessed far enough west to enter the constellation of Aries. This marked the beginning of the Age of Aries. The Roman system of astronomy-astrology was adapted from the Greeks in the Age of Aries. Originally, the Roman year began in March, during which the sun, on the Vernal Equinox, rose in the sign of Aries. In the year 1 ce, the Vernal Equinox had precessed westward enough for the sun to rise in the constellation of Pisces. This marked the beginning of the Age of Pisces, which we are still in.

We will not actually enter the Age of Aquarius until 2700 ce, approximately 700 more years.

Perhaps by then, humans will have migrated en mass from our mother planet to colonize other planets orbiting other yellow stars. Or perhaps by then we, humans, will have worked our species' problems out on the homeworld.

--Copyright Myth Woodling, Spring 2006

Source: Michael Zeilik, Astronomy: The Evolving Universe, 1976

Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy
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