Shadow of Darkness, Dawning of Light

Excerpt from Shadow of Darkness, Dawning of Light: The Awakening of Human Consciousness in the 21st Century and Beyond, by Paul Tice.

Chapter Ten

Spiritual struggle seems likely to be the most crucial episode in the next chapter of the history of mankind.  —Arnold Toynbee. The time for an unavoidable change may, in fact, be coming. If we know where to look, there are signs; so let us look at an even bigger and more interesting picture. When we examine the historical pattern of astrological ages, we see that changes are now on the horizon and that something larger than what we normally can conceive of is unfolding. Although what I present is not scientifically solid, the correlations and coincidences are so intriguing that they must be brought out.

The development of astrology predates the Bible, dating to Babylonia and the Chaldeans at least as far back as 1600 BCE, but probably earlier. It is an offshoot of astronomy, which predates all written history and shows evidence of being practiced as early as 15,000 BCE. Instead of clocks or calendars, we used the sky to tell time, predict the seasons, determine when to plant and harvest, and could even foretell eclipses. Entire mythologies sprang up with each great culture, based on the constellations, and were used to teach lessons of wisdom to the people.

When people ask us today what sign we are, it corresponds to twelve separate astrological parts of the year in which we were born, each similar to months in length—for example, Pisces, Gemini, Taurus, or Capricorn. A professional astrologer who does charts will show you a circle with the entire canopy of stars in the sky, broken up into the twelve separate “houses” in a 360 degree astrological map. Your horoscope is cast based on a personal reading from this chart, determined largely in part from your time and place of birth in conjunction with the location of the planets and their expected influence at the time.

From a cosmic level, rather than a personal one, our sun moves through the entire galaxy, through twelve different areas of the sky, astrologically speaking, and it takes about 2160 years for us to move through each of these twelve cycles, separately. It is called the precession of the equinoxes. Western minds credit this discovery to the Greek philosopher Hipparchus in 128 BCE, but most ancient cultures preceding this date still knew about it. They just lacked the ability to accurately measure it, which is what Hipparchus did. The idea originated in ancient Chaldea, and then spread in ancient times to Egypt, where it was clearly understood, and into the holy land. Some scholars present convincing evidence that the precession was accurately known and measured in Egypt long before Hipparchus. These scholars include Sir Norman Lockyer, Maspero, Schwaller de Lubicz, Carl Jung, Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, and Giorgio de Santinilla, former professor of the history and philosophy of science at MIT and author of Hamlet’s Mill, among others. The main point, however, is that these ages do occur and this fact alone cannot be disputed. The lengthy astrological ages that we pass through on earth take the same names as the twelve astrological signs and houses that we acknowledge within a yearly basis. The completion of all twelve cycles composes a “great year” of 25,920 years. Please note that each 2160 year age is a rough estimate. Astrology is not an exact science, as each constellation we pass through varies in size, and God did not draw distinct borders around each one. Different astrologers have differing dates for past ages, sometimes varying within two to three hundred years of each other. They are still fairly close to each other and it must be remembered that we enter into these new ages gradually.

After we finish one age, we move into a new sign. And right now, at the time of this writing, the sign that we are in is Pisces. It is the sign of the fish and, of course, the fish is the universal symbol for Christianity, which has been the dominating religion of this age. Upon looking back in my extensive research and examining each major religion or philosophy that existed in the world at the time of each corresponding astrological sign that we were in, I found a match. After coming to what I thought was a new and exciting conclusion in this respect, I found a section in the great Manly P. Hall’s work The Secret Teachings of All Ages, where he said, “During these periods or ages, religious worship takes the form of the appropriate celestial sign—that which the sun is said to assume as a personality in the same manner that a spirit assumes a body. These twelve signs are the jewel of his breastplate and his light shines forth from them, one after the other…. Thus the sun in its path controls whatever form of worship man offers to the Supreme Deity.”
For example, the age of Taurus, the bull, was from about 4220 BCE to about 2160 BCE. Virtually every ancient religion during this time was affiliated with the bull, either as a sacrificial offering to the gods or by being the main object of worship. In Crete, there were sacred bull dances and the legend of the minotaur was born. In India, Parjanya was the bull god of the Vedas but when things transitioned into the age of Aries, a ram figure began to displace him and the populace became divided. Civil war was the result. In fact, the sun gods of most religions were depicted with the head or horns of a bull, but after passing into Aries they were all replaced with ram-headed ones. In Egypt the main solar deity during this time was considered to assume the body of a bull, known as Apis. In Egypt, as in Assyria and elsewhere, the cult of the bull was followed by the cult of the ram and both usage of symbols corresponded with the ages of Taurus and Aries, respectively.

The age of Aries was from about 2160 BCE to about 1 BCE, which was represented astrologically by the ram. In Egypt, we find the priest-kings of the Middle Kingdom to be followers of Amon, the ram-headed god. This was also the age of the Hebrew religion. During the early transitional phase from Taurus, however, the bull was still worshipped by the Hebrews. Before being phased out and replaced by the ram for the remainder of the age, bull shrines existed in Bethel, Gilgal, Schechem and Shiloh. The well-known Old Testament event involving the worship of the golden calf was a reversion back into the old ways of Taurus that was not tolerated, and brought great wrath down upon the people. Abraham was a key Hebrew figure in this age and his original name was Abram—coincidentally containing the English word “ram” within it. It is believed that he lived sometime around 2000 BCE, when Aries was dawning. In a key Biblical moment, Abraham sacrificed a ram instead of his son, Isaac (see Genesis 22:13). A young ram is of course a lamb and lambs were held sacred during this time, often sacrificed, along with sheep and goats, on the altars. The observance of Passover was instituted during this time, when lamb’s blood was painted on the doors of Israelites to protect them from a plague. Judaism itself is symbolized by the ram’s horn and its’ priests were referred to as shepherds, whose job it was to tend their “sheep.”

The age of Pisces came next and began at about the time of Jesus. In Luke 2:8-17 we find the shepherds abandoning their “sheep” in favor of their new savior. We were crossing over from the age of Aries—being partially still in it, but coming into Pisces—so Jesus held aspects of both ages. In his early life, at the end of the age of Aries, he was called “the lamb of God.” After he was baptised, he was always associated with fish. Today we are nearing the end of the age of Pisces, represented throughout by the fish, astrologically, which remains the symbol or sign for Christianity. This symbol is seen everywhere in this respect—for example, Christians commonly put a small metal version on the backs of their cars. The pope is supposed to be the Earth’s representative for Jesus until his return. When worn, the pope’s headdress or mitre looks exactly like the head of a fish when viewed sideways instead of at the normal perpendicular angle. In Luke 2:12, an angel tells the shepherds that their sign for the new Messiah would be a baby lying wrapped in a manger, and soon after, in Luke 2:35, Simeon tells mother Mary that, “This child is destined to be a sign which men reject.” (italics mine) That sign, astrologically, was of course Pisces, the fish. With Jesus representing it at a time of transitioning ages he was, in fact, rejected by the authorities to the point of crucifixion.

In the Jewish Talmud, the coming Messiah is called Dag, meaning “the fish.” It was, and is, the sign for divinity. Jesus was referred to as “the fisher of men,” and the symbolic Greek name for Christ was Ichthus, meaning “the fish.” He fed the multitudes with two fish, and many Christians to this day eat fish on Friday. In the Second Century, Clement urged fish to be engraved upon the seals of Christians so they would not be mistaken for pagans, and during the first four centuries of Christianity Jesus was referred to as “the big fish,” while Christians were called Pisiculi, or “the little fishes.” Symbols of Jesus as a fish rather than a man were common—both in household objects and in artistic depictions found on the walls of the Roman catacombs. When it was dangerous to be a Christian and two people met, one would draw a curved line in the sand and the other, if a Christian, would draw the other, forming a fish, letting them know they could trust each other.

Lastly, Jesus himself said he would always be with us, but only until the end of the age.
…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matt. 28:20, Revised Standard Version)

This has been translated in various ways, including “to the end of the world” and “until the end of time,” but it has been shown that “the close of the age” is the most accurate rendering of the original wording. The main word in question comes from the original Greek word, “Aeon,” which is most accurately translated as “age” in Strong’s Bible Concordance or in any good dictionary. The Revised Standard Version of the Bible had, as its mission, to start again with new knowledge and translate everything from scratch as accurately as possible. In its Preface it states, “The King James Version of the New Testament was based upon a Greek text that was marred by mistakes, continuing the accumulated errors of fourteen centuries of manuscript copying…. We now possess many more ancient manuscripts of the New Testament, and are far better equipped to seek to recover the original wording of the Greek text.” Which they did. The implications of an accurately translated Matthew 28:20 (above) along with the intentional expunging of other clear astrological references in the Bible, make it no surprise that its original wording had been changed.

Today, the religion of Christianity seems to have weakened and continues to do so as we move closer to the end of this age. All dominant religions have experienced the same fate in relation to the length of a normal age, giving them an expected lifespan of about 2160 years.  The point is that we are at this time beginning to move into something new. That is where we get the term the New Age Movement. To those who remain steadfast in their religious beliefs, this term is used in a derogatory sense, due to the threat of extinction that it brings. Many who place their entire identities with their faith find the idea of a New Age intolerable. Yet, as shown, this is part of a pattern, and this New Age is becoming stronger and more evident as we move closer to the year 2160. Some respected astrologers or researchers expect the arrival of the new Aquarian Age to occur sooner. For example, 2060 is considered the more accurate date by noted astrologers Dane Rudyhar and Robert Hand, separately, as well as by Sir Isaac Newton. Carl Gustov Jung placed its official arrival from between 1997 and 2000.

The appearance of each new age is a gradual event, however. We will not wake up one day and suddenly find the New Age of Aquarius to be here. Its arrival, as with any such age, is moved into gradually. For example, back in the 1960’s there was the popular song, “This is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” This may well have been the case, representing an initial dawning or glimmer, as opposed to a more obvious presence that will be more evident later.

Today, the entire New Age Movement has grown and is made up, in general, of very perceptive and spiritual people. Many hold opposing viewpoints to standard Christian religion and many other contemporary, modern faiths. They pose a threat to the fundamentalist Christian structure. Christianity feels a clear threat from the possibility of being replaced by something different. Many search the Bible for evidence or clues that could support their continued existence. One event that would clearly insure Christianity’s survival would be the return of Jesus Christ; but after more than two thousand years of waiting it seems he is rather late. Despite these larger astrological patterns or ages, numerous places in the Bible warn against astrology and astrologers because it is supposedly evil.

Church fathers and leaders have consistently blamed astrology on “demons” over the years, and modern Christians have been trumpeting their warnings more often because time is growing short. A new age will be upon us soon. Every single time these astrological ages have ended, a new form of religion has stepped in. A number of reputable scholars have pointed out the fact that all of the prophecies that were made regarding the return of Jesus actually happened within the first hundred years after his death. Yet we have continued, for approximately 2000 years, to wait for his return. When will we fully get it? When does it finally sink in that he’s not coming back, at least not in the physical form that everyone is expecting? This is like waiting for a bus. You go to the bus station, sit down and wait for the bus. How long do you wait before it finally dawns on you that it’s not coming? Are you going to sit there in the terminal and wait for six years for a bus and not find a way to still go about your business and continue your life? In this case we are talking about your spiritual life, which grows stagnant when nothing happens.

He who waits for God fails to understand that he possesses Him.  —Andre Gide
Jesus remains a symbolic figure and the fact is not disputed that he has shown great value to many people on a spiritual level. I would never say that Christianity has had no value, but its time is running out. It has been part of a natural cycle that is ending. It is time that new symbols come in and refresh the world in a New Age. It’s always happened in the past, and it’s going to continue to happen in the future. We may not know the reason for it, but our religious and cultural patterns have continued to coincide, at least in a general way, with the successive signs in the precession of the equinoxes. There’s a far bigger picture at work here that goes beyond our limited view. We need to step aside from our jingoistic, dogmatic, egotistical, pea-brained point-of-view and look at the bigger picture.

The New Age that’s coming is the age of Aquarius and its symbol is the man with the water pitcher. Its main element or focus of symbolic power is referred to as “the waters of eternal life,” coming from the water pitcher that is poured. Well-known researcher Jordan Maxwell points out an interesting astrological passage which comes from the Bible. (Despite the Bible’s warnings against astrology, there are a great number of Biblical passages that use it.) In Luke 22:7 through 22:10, the disciples asked Jesus where they should go to prepare a meal for Passover so that they may eat. And Jesus said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him into the house which he enters.”
This is definitely symbolic. They are preparing for a “Passover” (from one age to the next) and the man with the water pitcher is the symbol for the next age—of Aquarius. It is absolutely not a literal statement because at the time of Jesus, men did not carry water. It was strictly women’s work. About this man, Jesus says, “Follow him into the house which he enters.” And that is of course the next astrological house, Aquarius, where they will be nourished. This same story can also be found in Mark 14:13. In both cases Jesus tells them that once they pass into that house, they will be shown a large upper room, furnished and prepared, there made ready for us. Notice it says that it is an upper room, meaning it is the next one above us as we continue on through this astrological sequence.

This passage points to the future, where we may find nourishment following an age that does not claim to offer an ultimate answer, but serves more as a stepping stone. Jesus was not saying “follow me.” He said to follow the man with the water pitcher. For those who insist on clinging to a fading age and its religion, it might be a good idea to heed these words of Jesus, as far as spiritual growth goes, and to follow the man with the water pitcher so that we do not miss the bus completely.

What can we expect in this New Age based on the Aquarian symbolism? When Jesus was baptised and became “awakened,” he was baptised in water. The water is considered by some to be symbolic for eternal life or of mortality. I, however, consider the waters to represent a powerful spiritual rebirth. It represents an awakening for humanity.

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