The Structure of the Piscean Age - 1
The division of a whole cycle into twelve phases seems to be as basic as the division of a circumference into twelve equal arcs of thirty degrees. To the Greek philosopher the whole universe appeared as a dodecahedron inscribed within a sphere. The number 12 is divisible into 4 and 3, and these numbers have always been given an archetypal and magical significance. Four is the number symbolizing concrete existence; the cube or perfect stone is the foundation of material life in most ancient mythologies. In astrology, the cross of horizon and meridian establishes the basic structure of the birth-chart. There are four seasons, four points of the compass, etc. Three refers to the realm of Ideas, or archetypes; and almost every culture has thought of the Divine under three aspects. In logic, or in the dialectic process of transformation of all existential wholes, one studies the sequence of thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
In the preceding pages, I spoke of the significant way in which the Phase One of the present Great Sidereal Year — to which I shall still refer as the Piscean Age for convenience's sake — can be divided into three periods of about 720 years. The first period witnesses the confrontation of the new spirit of Christ-Love with the administrative order of the Caesars; the second period refers to the crucial challenges to Christendom posed by a conquering new religion, Islam, and by the Arabic and Mogol peoples — a profoundly significant challenge, if we consider the unitarian character of the Islamic Faith and its origins, and also the somewhat more obscure historical meaning of the expansion of Mogols and Turks living in what geopoliticians have called the "heartland" of the earth. The third period is filled with the progressive development of the modern spirit of humanism, intellectualism and individualism which produced modern science and our technological and materialistic society. This is the confrontation which is now disintegrating the very foundations of our Christian civilization. Whether a new and transformed Christianity will emerge as the inspiration of the coming Aquarian Age, or a totally new spiritual Impulse will play this role, this indeed is perhaps the most basic question-mark of our present time. The answer should be forthcoming within the next decades; and it may have been given — but such an answer may not be evident until late next century, just as it certainly was not evident in the first or second century AD that Christianity would dominate the culture of Europe for two millennia.
If now, instead of dividing the 2160 years of the Piscean Age into three periods, we are using a binary system of measurement, we will see at once that the years marking the end of the tenth century AD become the dividing line. This, of course, is also most significant because it is during this tenth century that we find at work the forces which built the great Images which developed during the Gothic period of the Universal Catholic Order, and which indeed are still basic in our Western culture. It is for this reason that Oswald Spengler (in his famous book The Decline of the West) considered the tenth century as the beginning of the European culture proper. The Romanesque style began to unfold, and the myths and folklore of centuries to come took form before the great crisis of the year 1000, when the end of the world was expected. When the world did not end, a feverish phase of expansion began in Europe, which apparently was paralleled by similar movements on other continents (cf. Les Metamorphoses de L'Humanitie, Editions Plante, 1965).
The first half of a cycle can always be considered the "descent into matter" of the regenerative spiritual Impulse which was released at the beginning of the cycle. The second half refers to the "ascent of consciousness" through significant forms. These forms are first what Spengler called the Prime Symbols of a culture-whole, then characteristic institutions and specific art-forms and language-patterns. To me there is little doubt that the end of the tenth century AD (around 983) stands out as the basic turning between what could also be called the involutionary and the evolutionary phases of the Piscean cycle.
If we divide the two halves of the Piscean cycle into two we obtain such dates as 443 AD which marks practically the end of the Roman Empire, and the march of Germanic peoples over the new lands they were to occupy; also the middle of the sixteenth century — the Elizabethean Age, the Reformation, the Renaissance. The mid-fifth century is the turning point within the "involutionary" phase of the Piscean cycle (the conquest of space by the new "materials"); the mid-sixteenth century is the turning point in the — evolution of European culture.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1969 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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