The Lost Cycle of Time - Walter Cruttenden

The Lost Cycle of Time - Part 1

Ancient cultures around the world spoke of a vast cycle of time with alternating Dark and Golden Ages; Plato called it the Great Year. Most of us were taught that this cycle was just a myth, a fairytale, if we were taught anything about it all. But according to Giorgio de Santillana, former professor of the history of science at MIT, many ancient cultures believed consciousness and history were not linear but cyclical, rising and falling over long periods of time. In their landmark work, Hamlet’s Mill, de Santillana and coauthor Hertha von Dechend, show that the myth and folklore of more than thirty ancient cultures speak of a cycle of time with long periods of enlightenment broken by dark ages of ignorance, indirectly driven by a known astronomical phenomena, the precession of the equinox. This is where it gets interesting.

We all know the two celestial motions that have a profound effect on life and consciousness. Diurnal motion, Earth’s rotation on its axis, causes humans to move from a waking state to a sleep state and back again every twenty-four hours. Our bodies have adapted to Earth’s rotation so well that it produces these regular changes in consciousness without our even thinking the process remarkable. Earth’s revolution around the sun —the second celestial motion, which Copernicus identified — has an equally significant effect, prompting trillions of life forms to spring out of the ground, to bloom, fruit, and then decay, while billions of other species hibernate, spawn, or migrate en masse. Our visible world literally springs to life, completely changes its color and stride, and then reverses with every waxing and waning of the second celestial motion.

The third celestial motion, the precession of the equinox, is less understood than the first two, but if we are to believe ancient cultures from around the world, its effect is equally transformative. What disguises the impact of this motion is its timescale. Like the mayfly, which lives but one day a year and knows nothing of the seasons, the human being has an average life span that comprises only one-360th of the roughly 24,000-year precessional cycle. And just as the mayfly born on an overcast, windless day has no idea that there is anything as splendid as sunshine or a breeze, so do we, born in an era of materialistic rationality, have little awareness of a golden age or higher states of consciousness – though that is the ancestral message.

As Giorgio and Hertha point out, the idea of a great cycle linked to the slow precession of the equinox was common to numerous cultures before the Christian era, but today we are taught nothing about it. Yet an increasing body of astronomical and archaeological evidence suggests the cycle may have a basis in fact. More importantly, understanding its ebb and flow and the character of each epoch provides insight into civilization’s direction. So far the Ancients are right on; consciousness does seem to be expanding since the depths of the dark ages, reflected as vast improvements throughout society. So what drives these changes and what can we expect in the future? Understanding the cause of precession is key.

Precession Observed

The observation of Earth’s three motions is quite simple. In the first, rotation, we see the sun rise in the east and set in the west every twenty-four hours. And if we were to look at the stars just once a day, we would see a similar pattern over a year: the stars rise in the east and set in the west. The twelve constellations of the zodiac — the ancient markers of time that lie along the ecliptic, the sun’s path — pass overhead at the rate of about one per month and return to the starting point of our celestial observation at the end of the year. And if we looked just once a year, say on the autumnal equinox, we would notice the stars move retrograde (opposite to the first two motions) at the rate of about one degree every seventy years. At this pace, the equinox falls on a different constellation approximately once every 2,000 years, taking about 24,000 years to complete its cycle through the twelve constellations. This is called the precession (the backward motion) of the equinox relative to the fixed stars.

Precession of Earth's rotational axis

Precession of Earth's rotational axis due to the tidal force raised on Earth by the gravity of the Moon and Sun (Source: Wikipedia).

The standard theory of precession says it is principally the Moon’s gravity acting upon the oblate Earth that must be the cause of Earth’s changing orientation to inertial space, a.k.a. “precession.” However, this theory was developed before astronomers learned the solar system could move and has now been found by the International Astronomical Union to be “inconsistent with dynamical theory.” Ancient oriental astronomy teaches that an equinox slowly moving or “precessing” through the zodiac’s twelve constellations is simply due to the motion of the sun curving through space around another star, which changes our viewpoint of the stars from Earth. At the Binary Research Institute, we have modeled a moving solar system and found it does indeed better produce the precession observable, while resolving a number of solar system anomalies. This strongly suggests the ancient explanation may be the most plausible, even though astronomers have not yet discovered a companion star to Earth’s Sun.

Beyond the technical considerations, a moving solar system appears to provide a logical reason why we might have a Great Year, to use Plato’s term, with alternating dark and golden ages. That is, if the solar system carrying the Earth actually moves in a huge orbit, subjecting Earth to the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum of another star or EM source along the way, and shaping the subtle electrical and magnetic fields through which we move, we could expect this to affect our magnetosphere, ionosphere, and very likely all life in a pattern commensurate with that orbit. Just as Earth’s smaller diurnal and annual motions produce the cycles of day and night and the seasons of the year (both due to Earth’s changing position in relation to the EM spectrum of the Sun), so might the larger celestial motion be expected to produce a cycle that affects life and consciousness on a grand scale.

Just recently NASA discovered (March 2014) that the earth’s rotation and motion through space rearranges the electrons in the radiation belt into a zebra pattern! This was entirely unexpected. It was always believed these particles were moving too swiftly to be affected by the earth’s motion.

A hypothesis for how consciousness might be affected by such a celestial cycle can be built on the work of Dr. Valerie Hunt, a former professor of physiology at UCLA. In a number of studies, she has found that changes in the ambient subtle electrical, EM and magnetic fields (which surround us all the time) can dramatically affect human cognition and performance. In short, consciousness appears to be affected by subtle fields of light, or as quantum physicist Dr. Amit Goswami might implies, “Consciousness prefers light.” Consistent with myth and folklore, the concept behind the Great Year or cyclical model of history is based on the Sun’s motion through space, subjecting Earth to waxing and waning stellar fields (all stars are huge generators of EM spectra) and resulting in the legendary rise and fall of the ages over great epochs of time.

Part 2 - A Historical Perspective

Part 3 - An Ancient Look at the Future


By Walter Cruttenden


Fascinating! Thanks for posting this!

I'm wondering if the "other star" the ancients talk about is, in fact, the black hole at the centre of our universe. After all, a black hole originates as a neutron star acquires infinite mass, thus punching a hole through space-time. Such is the gravitational effect of this that even light cannot escape its force. Hmmmm, perhaps that's it?

First of all, there is no black hole at the center of the universe, because the universe itself has no center. You may be confusing the term “universe” to mean “galaxy” perhaps?

Blackholes don’t originate as neutron stars. Neutron stars are remnants of core collapse arrested by the strong nuclear force. Objects that ended up as black holes started off with much larger mass than neutron stars. Once a neutron star forms, it is unlikely to acquire enough mass to progress the collapse further, as the vast majority of infalling matter is blasted off back in to space.

Neutron stars can’t acquire “infinite mass” as infinite mass does not exist. Black holes don’t have infinite mass – they have a finite mass compressed in to a singularity, resulting in infinite density.

If you are interested in this stuff, please read up on it. Little knowledge is dangerous.



I think your condescension is uncalled for. Regardless of whether Gavin was right or wrong, we are all allowed to have an opinion without being trolled. The fact that the rest of us mere mortals find space, science, and ancient origins fascinating, and wish to question what we learn should not make you think that you are better than anyone else.A little bigotry is a dangerous thing.

from WIKI

Ophiuchus is one of thirteen constellations that cross the ecliptic.[20] It has therefore been called the '13th sign of the zodiac'. However, this confuses sign with constellation.

The signs of the zodiac are a twelve-fold division of the ecliptic, so that each sign spans 30° of celestial longitude, approximately the distance the Sun travels in a month, and (in the Western tradition) are aligned with the seasons so that the March equinox falls on the boundary between Pisces and Aries.

Constellations, on the other hand, are unequal in size and are based on the positions of the stars. The constellations of the zodiac have only a loose association with the signs of the zodiac, and do not in general coincide with them. In Western astrology the constellation of Aquarius, for example, largely corresponds to the sign of Pisces. Similarly, the constellation of Ophiuchus occupies most of the sign of Sagittarius. The differences are due to the fact that the time of year that the sun passes through a particular zodiac constellation's position has slowly changed over the centuries from when the Greeks and Babylonians originally developed the Zodiac.[21][22] This phenomenon is due to the Earth's axial precession.

This is some of the very best that I have read on Ancient origins and for me a most interesting subject.

"the character of each epoch provides insight into civilizations direction"

Hello Walter, I wrote a short article some time ago on the changing of the epochs as it relates to the precession of the equinoxes and the direction which we are going, with specifics.

As opposed to being without etiquette and pasting it into this comment I would like it if you were to read it but I would need your address to send it to. I promise I wont bore you.

Most interesting indeed, I would love to hear more. Sorry for my belated response. Love and widom walter

Just read this and I have 3 comments:

1. The article states that the full precession cycle takes about 24,000 years. According to several sources I checked, it is in fact 26,000 years.

2. The article does not explain the exact mechanism by which precession (that is the change of 1 degree every 72 years of the direction of the Earth's axis) effects the intellectual and emotional development of mankind on Earth.

3. There are at least 2 other celestial motions the Earth goes through: The Apsidal Precession is the slight change in the axis of Earth's orbit around the sun. Our planet, along with the sun and all the other bodies in the Milky Way) also move due to Galactic Rotation (the Milky Way spins around itself). This is at the rate of 168 miles/second so that we complete one full turn around the center of our galaxy in 225 million years. If there were any "great cycles" this would be it..!

It is 26,000 something years and it does on the second thing because the stars are in a different spot in relation to the tilt of the earth so an ancient Zodiac would not be the same as a current one. When the stars are not in the same spot the reading of personality and qualities of a person won't be the same either. The reason it's a great cycle is because we are able to see it.

The 24,000 year precessional model accounts for the effects of gravity on angular momentum in an elliptical orbit around another star.

Edit: I probably should have elaborated.  The speed of precession changes; currently it’s accelerating.  Cruttenden’s model accounts for this much more accurately than the Newtonian model, which is still in a process of revision, and suggests a full precessional cycle of closer to 24,000 years.

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