Vernal Equinox, precession of the equinoxes, great year
In order to uncover some of the mysteries that are shrouded in our mythological and religious symbols, including the Great Sphinx, we must look beyond our Earth year to a much longer cycle of our planet. We call this greater cycle, or one wobble of the Earth, the Platonic year in honor of the Greek philosopher Plato — whose ideas concerning the realities of the physical and metaphysical planes are still cherished by many of us who are seeking the wisdom of the ages.
I am going to introduce this cycle in the simplest way possible, as we only need a general knowledge of it to comprehend the wisdom this book intends to impart. The combined gravitational effects of the sun, moon, and planets on the Earth’s equatorial bulge cause the Earth’s axis to sway clockwise in a slow circle, like the motion of a spinning top.
It takes 25,800 years for the Earth’s axis to complete one wobble, sway, or clockwise circle. We call this 25,800-year cycle of our planet the Platonic year. It is also referred to as the precession of the equinoxes or the great year in a comprehensive dictionary. The great year is one of the longest cycles that are well known to our astronomers.
The sun’s plane, which is also called the ecliptic, crosses the equator each year on March 21, the day of the Vernal Equinox. At the exact location where the sun’s plane crosses the equator, the sun would be directly above the equator at high noon, and there would be no shadow cast by a perpendicular stick protruding from level ground at the equator.
In the cycle of the great year, the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator a little west from where it crossed the year before. This is known as the precession of the equinoxes. The sun, on a vernal or fall equinox, takes about 25,800 years to go all the way around the celestial equator or Zodiac and cross at the same point again.
When we take an imaginary line off the Earth’s North Pole axis and extend it into the heavens, we find that the line points at a star that we call Polaris, our “North Pole” star. The cycle of the Platonic year causes the line off the North Pole to scribe a circle in the heavens approximately 25,800 years long.
Polaris will reach the point at which it comes closest to aligning with the North Pole axis of our Earth in the year A.D. 2095. In two thousand years, because of the effects of the Platonic year, there will be no pole star, as there was no pole star two thousand years ago.
The next North Pole star after Polaris will be Al Deramin around the year A.D. 7500; later, Deneb will hold that position. Thirteen thousand years from now, the bright star Vega will be the North Pole star again, as it was the North Pole star nearly thirteen thousand years ago.
As the precession continues, Alpha Draconis, which is also known as the Dragon Star or Thuban, becomes the next North Pole star after Vega around the year A.D. 21600.
Alpha Draconis aligns closer to the North Pole axis of our Earth than all of the other pole stars in a Platonic year. It is also the only pole star in a great year to be in the exact position to shine down the Descending Passage of the Great Pyramid of Giza, because the Descending Passage is in true alignment with the North Pole axis of our planet.
In his book The Great Pyramid Decoded, E. Raymond Capt says, “the most precise alignment of the Dragon Star and the Great Pyramid occurred on the Vernal Equinox of the year 2141 B.C.”
The imaginary line off the North Pole axis of the Earth moves away from Alpha Draconis as it continues to scribe its 25,800-year circle in the heavens. Around the year A.D. 27900, our North Pole axis will once again point at Polaris, where it is at this time in history.
We are going to continue learning about the Platonic year so that we can expose the secrets of the Giza Sphinx and many other ancient symbols in due time. In the meantime, don't let my planting of seeds, that need time to mature, bog you down. Just keep on moving. The overall message of this book is much simpler than the medium being used to deliver it to you.
The twelve constellations of the Zodiac, that were painstakingly researched by the Greek, Hindu, Persian, Egyptian, Chaldean, Hebrew, and Chinese astronomers, create an imaginary belt in the heavens. The Zodiacal circle formed by these constellations is close to being aligned with our celestial equator. When the sun’s plane crosses the equator on the first day of spring, we could ask ourselves which of the twelve constellations is out behind our brilliant sun.
At this time in history the sun appears, to an observer on Earth, to be located between Pisces and Aquarius on the first day of spring.
The Platonic cycle causes a slow backwards movement of the sun’s apparent position in the Zodiac when viewed on successive Vernal Equinoxes. We refer to this slow-backwards movement as the precession of the equinoxes.
The sun’s apparent position moves a little bit west in a constellation when observed on the same day each year; it takes an equinox sun approximately 2,150 years to transit one of the twelve constellations on its 25,800-year jaunt around the Zodiac.
At this point in history, the Vernal-Equinox sun is just entering Aquarius on the first day of spring. This is the scientific explanation for what we call the dawning of the Age of Aquarius or a new age.
If we were to check the sun’s position in the Zodiac on successive Vernal Equinoxes, we would see that it will take approximately 2,150 years for the spring sun to travel through the constellation of Aquarius on its way to Capricorn. If we were to live for 25,800 years, or one great year, we would witness twelve new ages.
In the long view of things, the Earth has been at this place in the astronomical calendar thousands of times before, as each Platonic year spirals onward.
Consider the twelve star constellations of the Zodiac the same way we think about the twelve months in the annual cycle of our planet. The Earth year consists of twelve months of about thirty days in each month. In the Platonic year, there are twelve ages of nearly 2,150 years in each age.
The name of an age is taken from the name of the constellation that the Vernal-Equinox sun or the spring equinoctial point is traversing. When used correctly, the Zodiac is the master calendar or the face of a clock for the Platonic year.
Because there is no line in the heavens between the star constellations of the Zodiac, we find all the different shamans on the planet quoting us a different time for the start of our impending new age. Most people who are “into” this esoteric knowledge point to the year A.D. 2000, plus or minus 40 years, as the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
Since such a gradual shift of ages is transpiring and there is no precise date for this event, we will have to be satisfied with just welcoming you to the dawning of a new age.
The astronomical ruins around the Earth prove that the ancient shamans knew a lot more than we usually give them credit for. They understood not only the Platonic year but some subtle variations in its slow-working celestial mechanism
For example, many of these observatories, including Stonehenge on England’s Salisbury Plain, accurately record the 18.6-year cycle of the moon. This cycle causes every eclipse of the sun to repeat itself at a different place on the earth every 18.6 years. It also creates an 18.6-year wave or nodding in the precessional movement called nutation.
Should we try to trace the sun’s vernal-crossing point as it moves a bit west each year on the equator itself, we would not discern any even pattern in its movement because of the nutational cycle. However, when we observe the position of the sun in the Zodiac on successive Vernal Equinoxes, the westerly movement will appear “steady” as each year passes, because the stars and sun are too far away to be affected by the cycle of the moon.
Our ancient ancestors not only understood the patterns of the Platonic year but they also incorporated the reckoning of that long cycle in the designs of their great monuments. We shall explore some of these markers, including the Great Sphinx, as we progress through the chapters of this book.
Now that we have been exposed to Plato’s year with its twelve ages, let us create an imaginary time machine that we may use to view some of our previous ages. Climb aboard, set the “year” knob for “slow reverse”, push the “travel” button on the main control panel, and hold onto your head — we’re out of here.