by Dr. Michael Millett
In my connections with people and information coming my way, I have encountered more than one version of a map of a future North America with about half of the land mass being covered with water. There is an amazing amount of doom and gloom negativity about possible earth changes and tribulations going around New Age circles, not very much unlike the fundamentalist Christian vision of the Millennium. When I look at such maps, or read about books that have vast destruction as a part of some future cataclysm, I am struck by just how not “New Age” such thoughts are. Positive thinking is such an important part of the New Age Philosophy that you would think no one within the movement would offer up such negativity. Creative visualization is the art of envisioning events the way you hope they will result in order to help such a result take place. The last thing that we want to be doing is adding any more paranoia and negativity into a world already overflowing with both. At the same time, we know empirically that some things we humans do not like, and that cause us great tragedy, do happen. It would be foolish to deny the reality of ageing and the inevitability of death, or the regularity of catastrophes like hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.
We should always try to stay focused on the most positive possible outcome for all our activities, and at the same time try and grow from the difficult experiences we know we will encounter. This is the proper philosophy for individuals, and it is certainly the proper philosophy concerning our thoughts about humanity’s evolution and the fate of our lovely Earth. Creating a map that implies the deaths of tens of millions and the destruction of such a large part of the biosphere and so many ecosystems and species is just wrong spirited. We should think positively about our collective future, and back up such thinking with positive actions. We should put a positive spin on inevitable difficult events, prepare for them, then learn and grow as much from them as possible.
The likelihood of such mammoth earth changes seems to be very remote. If we look at recorded history we do not discover many such events. Even within the fossil record there is not much evidence for such vast earth changes being very likely, as such events take place with millions of years in between. The geological records in the Grand Canyon show that over a 1.7 billion year period seas covered the land there eighteen different times. That means that it is almost one hundred million years between such episodes.
Smaller changes do occur more frequently. There is the widespread somewhat mythological story of the Great Flood, and there is a fossil record, a layer of mud, of a great flood or perhaps series of floods having taken place in Mesopotamia – cause unknown. As so much of the human race passed through this region, this flood in Mesopotamia is the probable source of the story, and indeed such an event probably did take place. The fossil and geological record does not, however, record any large permanent earth change to have taken place from this event.
There was a period within recorded history when there were major earth changes. From seven thousand to about thirty-five hundred years ago the climate of the earth was very different. There were forests covering much of what is now the Sahara Desert. Northern Europe was much warmer and sunnier. There was a civilization flourishing in southern Scandinavia, England, Ireland, Western France and northern Germany. This civilization was the one responsible for the building of Stonehenge. Sometime between 1500 and 1300BC there were major earthquakes and some earth changes. These events were recorded by the Roman poet Ovid as well as Egyptian and Greek chroniclers.
A large area along the coast of Schleswig-Holstein, (coastal region of northern Germany right below modern Denmark) was completely destroyed by sixty-foot high tidal waves. What had been fertile land with rich cities was covered by the sea. Climatic changes happened within this period, perhaps due to the volcanic activity that was known to have taken place. First there was a prolonged drought where every major river in the Mediterranean region, the Danube, the Rhone, the Nile, for example, dried up. This was followed by cloudbursts everywhere on the edge of the Mediterranean, washing away most of the once rich but desiccated soil and flushing much of it into the sea. The countries of the area have never regained their former fertility. Libya became a desert. Northern Europe lost the fair climate that had helped spawn the golden era of the Bronze Age.
This prompted the great central European migration of the late Thirteenth Century BC. This was a north to south migration as opposed to the East to West migration so common to European history. It is very possible that some of them were the Sea People who fought the Egyptians and lost during the reign of Ramses III. They possessed superior ship building technology, probably due to having come from a culture that had lived on the Atlantic Ocean. Some went on to become the Philistines, and some went to Tyre and lent their superior shipbuilding ability to the Phoenicians, helping them to dominate Mediterranean trade for a while. It is probable that Hercules, who supposedly came from the north, where the people who became the Greeks were originally from, was a part of this migration.
Even within this period of tremendous change we do not have any changes near the scale that would cause large parts of America to be submerged rapidly. The only thing capable of that is the melting of the Antarctic ice cap and most of the world?s glaciers. This could occur rapidly if there were a sudden shift in the position of the crust of the Earth on its molten central mass. It is true that the physical position of the poles has shifted many times in our Earth’s history. It is possible to imagine scenarios where this could occur. Some have theorized that this could occur from the planet becoming sort of top heavy from the weight of the Ice at the poles, causing a shift.
Immanuel Velikovsky, in his controversial book Worlds in Collision suggests that a collision by a comet actually caused the earth the move backwards in it’s revolution for a short period as the crust was torn away from the molten central mass. This, according to Velilovsly’s theory, was what caused the Sun to go backwards in the sky and created the conditions that helped the Jews cross the Red Sea and escape the pursuing pharaoh, as reported in the bible.
It is true that every hundred million years or so some large object like a comet or asteroid does in fact collide with the Earth with enough force to create widespread catastrophe. The dust cloud created by such an event causes a condition like the “nuclear winter” we theorized would occur after a large-scale nuclear war. This is what happened to the dinosaurs. If a large celestial object struck the earth more edge on, and against the direction of rotation, this could conceivably cause the crust of the Earth to shift somewhat. This, however, is extremely unlikely, and the fact that nothing like a nuclear winter was reported to have happened after the Exodus is another reason to seriously doubt Velikovsky’s theory.
As for the poles shifting due to a build-up of ice, the reports from the Ice Station Zebra project for 1998 suggests that global warming is seriously depleting the ice at the poles, not adding more. The researchers had to travel across a hundred miles more water than earlier to get to the ice shelf in the Arctic, and when they measured the ice’s thickness they found it to be seven feet thick, not ten as before. In the Antarctic, there is serious concern that the ice shelf there is shrinking rapidly as well, and huge chunks of it may break off drastically reducing its size. An iceberg larger than the state of Delaware recently broke off the ice shelf.
If anyone wants to argue about the reality of global warming, as a lot of establishment scientists were doing just a year ago, their case has become very difficult to make. The results are in. Nineteen nighty-nine has set a record for warm temperatures, the warmest in over six hundred years. The Earth warmed up a full one-third of a degree last year! There is a vast planetary change underway with unknown but serious consequences, and it is our power plants, bulldozers, chainsaws, automobiles and SUVs that are creating it.
We can expect an increase in the frequency of unusual weather as global warming picks up speed. The agreement reached in Kyoto by the international summit will at best slow, not stop or reverse the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. We will have more one hundred and five hundred year floods and storms, perhaps even the storm of the millennium before it is all over. Glaciers are melting and retreating all over the planet. If global warming melts the West Antarctic ice sheet it will raise ocean levels 20 feet and eliminate much of Florida, New York City, and many of the major capital cities of the world. America may indeed end up looking like some of the post Earth Changes maps available in new age stores, but the changes will come over decades, and the maps could be drawn simply by raising the sea level.
It is possible that some major earth change could occur at the next millennium, but going strictly from the historic and scientific record, the likelihood is very slim, as such momentous changes occur in the frequency of something like five to ten thousand years. And even then, the scale of the changes depicted by some maps and “channelled sources” are extremely unlikely. Some are rather irrational if geology is considered. We do know, however, that there are some very serious earthquakes scientifically predicted for some of the world’s most populated cities, and never before in our history has there been such potential for far reaching changes to be brought about by even one well placed earthquake.
What Astrology Suggests
In studying Astrology from a historical perspective, we discover that the major events and changes to the World and humanity as a whole are related to the movement of the slower moving planets. Alignments of many of the faster moving planets take place with great frequency. The planets Venus and Mercury, being within our Earth’s orbit and closer to the Sun, never stray more than a sign or two from the position of the Sun, and thus these three are conjunct quite often. Mars has an orbit of a little less than two years and also conjuncts with the Sun, Mercury and Venus regularly. Jupiter has an orbit around the Sun of almost twelve years, thus conjunctions it forms to a stellium, a group of planets all in conjunction, are rarer. Saturn, with its orbit of almost thirty years, is even less likely to be involved in a major alignment.
The other planets, Uranus with an 84 year orbit, Neptune, with its 165 year orbit and Pluto, with its 248 year orbit, will obviously form conjunctions to each other rather infrequently. Each year all the inner planets will conjunct each of the outer planets at least once when they pass through the area of the zodiac containing the slower moving planet, so conjunctions and other aspects from faster planets to slower planets happen a lot. Major aspects where several of the slower planets are involved are much rarer. For example, the conjunction of Neptune and Pluto, the slowest planets, takes place about every five hundred years! This is a very powerful cycle in human history.
In the Sixth Century BC, there was the rarest of all triple conjunctions – Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. This was followed by a very powerful century for the development of humanity politically, philosophically and spiritually. This was the century of the Buddha, Pythagoras, Lao-tze, and Confucius, and the earliest stirrings of democracy in Greece. This triple conjunction of the three slowest moving planets occurs extremely rarely, the cycle being thousands of years in length. Neptune and Pluto, the two slowest moving planets, conjunct each other about every 482 years, and this conjunction has corresponded with many great events in human history and the evolution of humanity as a whole.
The next time after the grand triple conjunction that Neptune and Pluto conjuncted was 82BC and corresponded to the beginning of the rise of Rome as the dominant world power in the west. The next conjunction occurred in 410AD, and corresponds well with the dissolution of the Roman Empire. The last conjunction of Neptune and Pluto occurred between 1879 and 1897, and saw the first use of wireless communications and the discovery of radioactivity. The automobile also came along about this time. The conjunction was in Gemini, and our travel and communications will never be the same. Also, many of the leaders during World War Two were born with this aspect. Pluto conjunct Neptune in Gemini is one explanation for the hypnotic and magnetic power Adolph Hitler possessed as a speaker. It has not been long since the last conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, as it occurred during 1965 and 1966. We are all aware of the powerful revolutionary changes taking place during this period. This conjunction, occurring about every 127 years, has also played a major role in the evolution of humanity. For instance, in the past this conjunction has brought the First Crusade with the 1090 conjunction, the black death with the 1344 conjunction, the Gutenberg Bible in 1456, the age of reason in 1710, so you can see that this combination has brought both difficulty and positive advancements.
A conjunction is the beginning of a cycle. When the planets form a waxing square, (a ninety degree aspect bringing difficulty and challenges) an opposition, (a 180 degree aspect where the planets are across the zodiac from each other) and the waning square, the impulse brought in by the conjunction go through adjustment and crisis. It is at these times that we will either successfully integrate the energy of the conjunction involved or miss the opportunity and have the potential thwarted or distorted in some way. A good example of this is the opposition of Uranus and Pluto following the 1710 Age of Reason conjunction. The opposition came in 1792 and brought the French Revolution and the subsequent reign of terror. We could not call this a perfect expression and integration of the Age of Reason, yet there were many positive elements and advancements with the French Revolution.
For a deeper look at the astrology of the evolution of Humanity, I highly recommend Horoscope for the New Millennium, by E. Alan Meece. This fabulous book delves deeply into the great cycles in Astrology and their relationship to social, cultural scientific and spiritual evolution.