On Cycles

History doesn’t repeat, but it often rhymes.


As we know, this is a peculiar time to be alive. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find myself thinking things like “This must’ve been what it was like to live through the Black Death” or “…the Spanish Flu.” There’s a group of pagans, bloggers and otherwise, who have sensed for years the coming of dark times and Otherworldly beings. One suggests the latter at least is a cycle.

It’s as good a time as any to talk about cycles, I think.

According to the Llewellyn 2020 Sabbats Almanac, under the Cosmic Sway section for Ostara:

A new thirty-two year cycle started on January 12, 2020, with Saturn conjunct Pluto. Jupiter joins the fray on December 21, 2020. The Great Conjunction, as it is named, is associated with huge shakeups, politically and planetarily, literally and metaphorically. Nine US presidents have been killed, died of illness, or experienced an assassination attempt during a Great Conjunction. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are also more common. The Great conjunction is all about destruction. To add more misery, the weather predictions for the winter this year are heavy snows brought on by a strong La Niña depression off the coast of Central and South Americas. The time for preparation is in the spring and summer. Prepare for a lack of food, water, and electricity during the winter months. Sow heavily in the garden this year, and sow often, taking advantage of the planting days. Can and dry and pickle and ferment; save all of the food if possible in case of a long, difficult winter. Stock up on firewood if that is an option, otherwise prepare for long power outages and lack of heat. Water is always the most important emergency provision, so store water, as well as gasoline for a generator. Don’t forget blankets, candles, and matches.

pg. 132

The Almanac was released in late 2019, before the coronavirus outbreak, during which many are already experiencing some of the things listed above (namely food shortages), and plenty not listed (shortages of things like cleaning supplies and toilet paper). If this winter is as bad as all that, then we should expect plenty of hoarding behavior then, as well.

I don’t understand astrology very well, I’ll be the first to admit, so I had to google “Saturn conjunct Pluto” to work out what that means. The most I’m able to parse out from the vague word salad of astrology-speak is that something big has begun either earlier this year or late last year, and will persist for quite a while. It would be easy to say that astrology predicted the coronavirus, but I won’t, because I’m probably wrong.

But this isn’t about coronavirus, at least, not entirely.

There’s something else at work here, and I think I’m finally beginning to see it (took me a while, eh?).

This brings me to the real reason for all this pondering.

Search “otherworld” on John Beckett’s blog (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett) and you will find posts about the glowing green bird and his theory that the Otherworld’s “proximity” (for want of a better word) to our world waxes and wanes throughout truly epic scales of time. I’m sure that’s possible, as everything else in nature works in cycles, from the movements of the planets down to a day, a year on Earth.

And speaking of Earth, I bring you Milankovitch Cycles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles). These are a collection of long-range cycles the Earth goes through and what that means for the climate. For example, eccentricity (how close or far the Earth’s orbit is from “circular”) is, at last Wikipedia update, .017 and decreasing. This means seasonal changes are getting milder*. Axial tilt also changes, and is currently at 23.44 degrees. (I seriously hope you don’t need me to tell you how this affects Earth’s climate.)

*I will not be taking comments from people who want to use this to day humans didn’t affect the climate at all ever and therefore should let it work itself out.

Eccentricity runs on a roughly 100,000 year cycle that we seem to be roughly in the middle of. Axial tilt was max 8700 years ago and will be at its minimum 9800 years from now. We can speculate that “the time of gods walking among men” and other such things ended at roughly the dawn of human civilization (more or less, and accounting for regional variations), which was maybe sometime between these last two end points.

Now, cycles move independently of one another and sometimes line up with other cycles in interesting combinations. For example, the eccentricity cycle is an order of magnitude longer than the axial tilt cycle. Mercury retrograde happens at least once a year (and boy do I hear about it). The Saturn Return is roughly once every 30 years. Sometimes, statistically, two or more of these happen at the same time.

Now let’s return to our Saturn conjunct Pluto. It happened to occur in the earliest days of the outbreak, and also in the midst of the Otherworldly changes going on. AND ALSO, for an election year. And, for Yule this year we get the Great Conjunction (just what I always wanted!), which may or may not be a portent of doom. So, that will just so happen to occur following the results of the November election, and hopefully once we’ve got this outbreak under control. And we will probably still be in the middle of whatever the Otherworld is doing.

I’m not the greatest at suspecting the Otherworld is doing much of anything. But, people whose work I respect have noticed, so I feel fairly confident taking them at their word.

3 thoughts on “On Cycles

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