4. Cultural Cycles and Climate Change – The 854 Year Cultural Cycle
The details of the 854 year cycle are now offered.
The basis for measurement of the location of the planets are the fixed star configurations in the sky. They make up the clockface. The path in which the planets move is called the zodiac. The 360 degree cycle is divided into 12 sections by most of the astrological systems, while the Indian system, Jyotisha, uses two planetary clockfaces, the 12-fold division plus a finer 27-fold division. The system of dividing the zodiac into 27 distinct fixed stars, called Nakshatra, is what enabled us to discover the 854 year cycle.
12 Fold Division of Star Constellations -Each of the 12 sections called a ‘sign of the zodiac’ represents one of the four basic elements Fire, Earth, Air or Water. These are their names and along with the elements they represent and their sequence:
Aries - Fire
Taurus - Earth
Gemini - Air
Cancer - Water
Leo - Fire
Virgo - Earth
Libra - Air
Scorpio - Water
Sagittarius - Fire
Capricorn - Earth
Aquarius - Air
Pisces - Water
The measuring instruments for the 854 year cycle are the conjunctions of the two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn. They are conjunct i.e. located in the same astrological sign as measured on the 12-fold clockface of the heavens, every 20 years. Conjunction is a planetary phenomenon that we observe for example, when there is a new moon, i.e. the sun and the moon line up in the same place as viewed from earth.
Let us use a specific example to describe the pattern of these conjunctions. The two planets come together every 20 years and for a period of around 200 years keep meeting in signs of the same element. The conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter in Fire signs began in 1723 and continued in Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) until 1921, when the first conjunction in an Earth sign occurred. Now it is important to note that there is a transition period where the conjunction locations shift back and forth between the two elements. For example, in 1940 the conjunction was in a Fire sign, then back to an Earth sign in 1960 and 1980, then the final Fire sign conjunction in 2000. From 2020 in this cycle the conjunctions will all be in Earth signs.
The most important points about the pattern of these conjunction are:
- Jupiter and Saturn are conjunct in the same point in the heavens, as measured by the 27 fold clockface, every 854 years. They then start a new cycle. Detailed charts of the planetary positions of these conjunctions from 3000BC to 2150 CE were prepared by Jan Willem Van Doorn and Geoffrey Pearce two eminent Vedic astrologers in order to confirm this pattern.
- The nature of the influence these planets have is somewhat dependent on the element in which the conjunctions occur.
Here is a summary of the key qualities of the four stages of an 854 year cycle based on the location of the conjunctions:
Air period - overcoming the inertia of the past, setting in motion through free movement new ideas to meet the need of the time, taking the initiative, a new vision.
- Water period – expansion, great fluidity of movement in spreading the message, gaining confidence, attaining a momentum that builds like the power of a rushing river.
Fire period – peak period of wealth and the full manifestation of the key elements of the cycle, great energy is manifest bringing success, but it continues and leads to excess. A false intellectual conviction that all is well manifests towards the end of the Fire period.
Earth period – is the consolidation of the key elements of the cycle, but also a growing rigidity and continual decay of the elements of that cycle. The elements needed for the initiation of the next cycle begin to manifest towards the end of the Earth period.
In our investigation of the various cultures we will relate the historical events to these four phases of a cycle.
Here is a diagram showing the four stages in the current cycle: