Red Ice Membership

Bridge to the Core - Precession of the Equinoxes
2005 02 03

On Monday, February 21, Chiron takes its first step into Aquarius in our generation. Discovered in 1977, Chiron is a minor planet orbiting our Sun once every 51 years. It's one of those small, icy planets, with an orbit just beyond Saturn. Saturn takes about 29 years to go around the Sun.

Chiron was last in Aquarius between 1955 and 1961, and this placement shows up in the charts of a whole bunch of the late Baby Boomers. Chiron left Aquarius right around the time President Kennedy took office, and we had the first rather dramatic shift from the '50s to the '60s. This kind of phase is typical of how transits of slow-moving planets mark eras in history.

Since late 2001, Chiron has been in Capricorn. This transit has delivered a miniature historical age during which we're all looking into the dark halls of power with X-ray vision, watching it like a mildly fascinating television program we're not really involved with. But in these few years, we've seen it all—horrid sex scandals in the church, torture and abuse in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, all the lies that surround the war (such as Saddam's supposed tons of WMDs and alleged plans to conquer the world), Enron and numerous other huge corporate scandals, another stolen election, everything we learned about the last stolen election, and quite a lot that's come out about fore-knowledge of the September 11 attacks. It's been quite a newsy time in history, almost making the satellite TV bill seem worth it. You could sum the whole business up as Chiron in Capricorn.

Chiron, a planet whose theme I would summarize with the keywords "transformation through awareness," now makes a transition into the next sign in the cycle, Aquarius. The interesting thing about Chiron in Aquarius is that it takes us right up to 2011. The exit ramp from this six-year transit leads us promptly into the fabled moment in history known as 2012, a date that for a variety of reasons is understood to be a convergence point or unusually significant historical threshold. Chiron in Aquarius, which will change the ways we think of ourselves, one another, and our society—and will very likely come with some mass-scale activism and social consciousness—seems to be a bridge to 2012.

Chronogram readers who have been following this column for a while have had an overview of astrology leading through the "turn of the millennium." This transition is based on certain astrological factors that I reckon came between 1997, when Comet Hale-Bopp bopped us, and 2004, when Venus made its historic transit of the Sun on June 8. In between, there were several outer-planet sign changes (Uranus into Aquarius and then Pisces, the early years of Pluto in Sagittarius, and Neptune into Aquarius), two extremely intense solar eclipses (summer 1999 and summer 2001), the Saturn-Pluto opposition (associated with the September 11 attacks), and much else besides.

If you look at the astrology between now and 2012, you'll see a similar picture. In that time, we experience a concentration of outer-planet sign changes that will make what we've been through seem anemic. Right before 2012, Chiron enters Pisces, Uranus enters Aries, Neptune enters Pisces, and Pluto enters Capricorn. Then, on June 6, 2012, we have the second in the pair of Venus transits of the Sun, which draws a line directly from 2004 to 2012. Then, later that same month, we have one of the most powerful aspects in the book, Uranus square Pluto. This is the first Uranus-Pluto aspect since the history-bending, fire-breathing conjunction of 1965–67.

The picture between now and 2012 is a sequence of changes that increases in pace, concentration, and intensity as the next few years progress. And through that time, the one most consistent thing that defines the feeling and tone is Chiron in Aquarius.

But then, there is the Mayan calendar, which started the whole 2012 discussion. The ancient Mayans, whose civilization flourished in what is now Mexico from around 300 to 900 CE, had a method of time tracking that involved counting the days. They worked with cycles of days and could use these cycles to keep track of long periods of time—far longer than conventional astrology can. Their "great cycle" or baktun was 144,000 days, or about 396 years. There are a number of other shorter cycles that make up the "long count" or calendar. For example, a katun is 7,200 days, and a tun is 360 days.

On December 21, 2012, the Capricorn solstice, we reach the end of the 13th baktun. That is, we come to the conclusion of 13 cycles of 144,000 days, or 5,125 years—a great cycle of great cycles. This happens to be in the year of a Venus transit of the Sun, and the Mayans were obsessed with Venus. It happens to come at the crescendo of much other astrology. Yet what is very interesting about all this is that the 5,125 year cycle begins long before Mayan civilization had come into existence. So they backdated their cycle and timed the end of their 13th baktun to coincide with the Capricorn solstice of 2012.

Why is the 13th baktun so important? Why don't we just go on to the 14th baktun? The answer is that the Mayan system at its simplest is based on the number 13. So the whole meta-cycle of 13 "great cycles" turns over at this point, and it happens to be in 2012.

But why 2012? you may ask. They could have used any time as a start point and any time as an end point, since they were starting in the middle. The implication is that they were aware of a long cycle that we are not aware of today; they saw where they were in that cycle; and they timed the whole thing to coincide with it. One thing you can say about the Mayans is that they were not willy-nilly mathematicians. They knew what they were doing. There are a couple of theories running around as to just what that happened, and the one I've picked up on is explained by a guy named John M. Jenkens.

Every century or so, the first day of spring—that is, the vernal equinox—arrives a day earlier. This is because the world is wobbling as it spins; the wobble is so slow you can't see it unless you watch for a couple of thousand years. The whole cycle takes about 26,000 years, during which time the seasons go completely around the calendar once. This is called the precession of the equinoxes. The Mayans could see it, and apparently they were tracking the alignment of two points: the core of the Milky Way galaxy (where we live) and the winter solstice.

The Sun's position on the darkest day of the year, the Sun itself, and the galactic core, which contains a huge black hole, form a conjunction on December 21, 2012. This alignment is now so close we can feel it approaching. Note the events surrounding the most recent winter solstice, indicative of what a power point this is. We can also see why people are experiencing some catastrophobia associated with 2012, particularly given the impending issue of Earth changes.

There is a theory that the Mayans, whose own civilization fell amidst war and internal strife, were aware of a parallel, catastrophic time that would come much later in history—or they were warning us not to take the path they took. We get to make up our minds, and we will do so under the astrology of Chiron in Aquarius, which I view as a bridge to the core—the core being something of a mystery, but the bridge being "all for one, one for all." Because that's what it's gonna take.

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