The Dawning: Aquarius

2012-1

I’ve been counting down since 2005.

I’m not kidding.

I wanted an upheaval of everyday life. No more tall buildings. No more pollution. No more government, money, or capitalism. If it takes a pandemic, a pole shift, a giant volcanic eruption or a galactic alignment, so be it. Just so long as something about this world changes.

There have been so many apocalyptic theories made over the last five or ten years that I don’t dare make a prediction. I don’t believe one will be more likely to occur than the other. In fact, at great reluctance, I’ve resigned myself to the possibility that absolutely nothing could happen.

But hasn’t there been enough evidence in our planet’s history to point to our inevitable demise? Dinosaurs roamed the earth for 160 million years, and a meteor wiped them out. Ice ages and global meltdowns are a part of Earth’s natural climate regulation. Our magnetic poles have shifted several times before, there’s talk of volcanic activity under Yellowstone, and our tectonic plates are moving at rates faster than any scientist has seen before.

As humans, we’re equally as responsible. We’ve depleted the ozone layer by pumping our atmosphere full of greenhouse gases. We’ve contributed to the acceleration of climate change. We’re harvesting nuclear weapons; we’re drilling and spilling our oil. Our economies (which include monetary systems, politics, educational institutions, and businesses both big and small) are so fucked that they’re beyond repair. Our values are off, our health is down, and our waistlines are larger than ever. It’s pretty clear that if we don’t straighten ourselves out, we’re on a sure path to extinction, quite possibly within our lifetime.

If the world doesn’t end next week.

Doomsday conspiracies aside, the most significant change taking place is a shift in our ages. Years ago, when ancient civilizations were at large (and by respect, not so ancient), they mapped the skies and found that the earth rotates on an axis, and wobbles as it revolves around the sun. Consequently, on the morning of the Spring Equinox, roughly every 2,150 years, the sun will rise in a different constellation of the zodiac. This is known as the Precession of the Equinox. The constellation in which the sun rises determines what “age” we’re in. Today, and for the last two thousand years or so, we’ve been in the Age of Pisces, but we’re soon moving out of it, and into the Age of Aquarius.

But what does that mean, exactly?

I don’t really know. But examining patterns derived from past ages might give us a clue. Zodiac

  • Christianity arose during the age of Pisces, which is symbolized by two fish. Throughout the New Testament, there are numerous references to “two fish,” including a verse in Matthew where Jesus feeds 5,000 men with a couple of loaves of bread and two fish.
  • Jesus was aware of the Precession of the Equinox, and in Luke 22:10, he tells his followers what’s coming next. He says, “Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.” This water bearer he is referring to is none other than Aquarius.
  • Jesus also reveals, in Matthew, just how long he plans to be with us; “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
  • Judaism was the world’s prominent religion during the Age of Aries. One might notice that to bring in a Jewish New Year, Jews blow a ram’s horn.
  • Also in Judaism, after Moses frees the Hebrews from Egypt, he climbs Mt. Sinai to retrieve the Ten Commandments from God. When he returns with the tablets, he find his people worshiping a golden bull. Moses is livid, and most contemporary Jews believe he was upset to see them worshiping a false idol. But that isn’t entirely true. They were in the Age of Aries, and the bull represented the Age of Taurus, which they were no longer in.
  • In texts that pre-date the Bible, bulls, oxen, and cattle are considered sacred animals. Even in modern day Hinduism, they are considered sacred.
  • Today, with the rise of science and technology, people are beginning to relinquish their beliefs in God. But something new is cropping up in it’s place. Maybe, as we usher in the Age of Aquarius, we’ll discover new truths and let go of our out-dated deities.

If you’re really interested in the ages and their religious ramifications, I would recommend watching this.

In 2005, when I began my countdown to the end of the world, I looked up the definition of apocalypse in the dictionary. Among numerous meanings that implied destruction and devastation, one interpretation stood alone.

Apocalypse (noun)
4. Any revelation or prophecy

It’s possible we misunderstood the Mayans. They prophesied the end of one thing, and the beginning of something new. Astronomically, they were talking about the Precession, but spiritually, they could have been talking about something entirely different. In shedding the old age, the Age of Pisces, we’re expected to shed our old beliefs. What comes next is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

But I know one thing. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the apocalypse. For seven years, I’ve been watching documentaries, reading articles, and discussing with peers what December 21st, 2012 might bring. Obsessed is a good word for it. I’ve been anxious to finally see what happens. As a creative individual, I’ve spent a great amount of time imagining what could be, playing out scenarios in my head just for fun. There’s much room for possibility! But I’m also a logical individual, and for as many apocalyptic theories as I’ve come across, there are just as many facts disputing them. The world, as it turns out, might not end.

There’s only one more week left to go. That’s another 189 hours before we arrive at the date that almost every prophecy points to. Life will go on, or it won’t. What happens will happen.

At this point, we can only wait and see.

*******

Some cool videos you might be interested in:
Zeitgeist on Religion
Shift of the Ages
A Mayan Explanation
2012 & Beyond

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Thoughts from a Jewish Atheist

Lately, I’ve been feeling very connected to my Jewish heritage. Which is odd, because I can’t say I’ve ever felt this way before.

I was raised in a Jewish household and attended a Jewish day school for most of my childhood. My education came complete with a Bat Mitzvah and an all-expenses paid trip to Israel.

But even then, in the Promised Land, I didn’t feel this connection. It is imperative, now, before you read any further, that you understand that my connection has very little to do with faith.

You see, I am Jewish, but I am also an atheist. I do not believe in God. I battled for years with my faith and finally settled on the unwavering decision that an all-powerful creator just isn’t for me. I’m much happier without Him.

So how is it, then, that I can feel Jewish? What could Judaism possibly hold for me if God has no place in it?

First, I’m in love with the tradition. I couldn’t care less about the meanings behind them, but I’ve come to cherish the bond I feel with my fellow Jews when we carry out a tradition. Judah Macabee who? Just pass me the matchbook – Chanukah is here and it’s time to light the candles. At B’nai Mitzvahs, I love dancing the Hora and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fully intend to dance it at my own wedding. And please don’t get me started on my Nana’s brisket and Matzo ball soup. It’s to die for!

When I am with a fellow Jew, I recognize the common thread between us. We share similar milestones and hold the same values. We believe the same thing – or at least we’re supposed to. But the amazing thing about the Jewish religion is that it’s okay to wrestle with your faith. I’ve struggled with mine and came to my own decisions, and my comrade has struggled with his/hers and came to another decision. And that is completely okay. We’re both still Jewish!

Lastly, I’m not fishing for pity points here, but let’s talk about the Holocaust. I was born to a Jewish woman and I was Bat Mitzvah-ed. If I had been a Jew in Europe during World War II, I’d be in serious trouble, despite how little “faith” I possess. How can I not feel the loss of six million lives at the hand of one sadistic bastard? And it was all because of our heritage – our family tree.

Which bring me back to point. I have no Jewish faith. What I have is a Jewish heritage. We have a rich history, regardless of how “far back” you choose to believe.

My feelings of connectivity also stems from working my third season at the same school I attended as a child. Suddenly, Shabbat is back in life, even if it is only when I bring my students to in-school temple services. I’m saying prayers before and after meals again, and I interact with our rabbis on a daily basis. I’m busy fulfilling one of Judaism’s most highly regarded philosophies: L’dor v’ dor. From generation to generation. Regardless of how much or little I believe, it’s a beautiful thing.

(Dipping briefly into current events, I had my own personal reaction to the recent attacks at the Gaza Strip. This past summer, I felt a deep sense of pride when Olympic gymnast, Aly Raisman performed her floor routine to Hava Nagila.)

I don’t keep kosher. I refuse to fast on Yom Kippur, and I could honestly give three shits about marrying inside the religion. But I do want my children to have Jewish names. I will want them to understand why they are being forced to sit through a three-hour temple service. We can celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas, as long as they understand the differences between them and why they are significant.

God doesn’t exist for me. I’ve redefined Judaism to suit my own needs. This weekend, when I shake Aly Raisman’s hand, I’ll thank her for choosing Hava Nagila. In March, when I bid my students, my school, and my community goodbye, I’ll recognize what I am leaving behind. This winter, as I light the Chanukah candles with my friends and family, I’ll cherish the connection I feel with them. And next year, when I light my candles alone, I’ll still be Jewish.

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