Characteristics of the Signs v Signs

Chart. v. Figure.

Chronocrators. Markers of Time. (1) To the ancients the longest orbits within the solar system were those of Jupiter, 12 years, and Saturn, 30 years. Thus the points at which Jupiter caught up with and passed Saturn marked the greatest supercycle with which they were able to deal. This phenomenon occurred every 20 years at an advance of about 243°. Therefore, for some 200 years or more (exactly 198 years, 265 days) these conjunctions would recur successively in a Sign of the same element. Thereby every 800 to 960 years it would return in Sagittarius, making the Grand Climactic conjunction which marked supreme epochs in the history of mankind. This conjunction made its reappearance in Sagittarius around the commencement of the Christian era, and again in the eighth and sixteenth centuries, bringing periods of great world-upheaval. For this reason Jupiter and Saturn are called the great chronocrators - a word which does not appear in Webster's Dictionary nor the Encyclopedia Britannica, but about which volumes have been written by astrological authorities.

The 20-year conjunctions are termed minims, or specialis; the 200-year cycle, media, or trigonalis - change of trigons; and the 800-year cycle, maxima, or climacteria. In the series there are ten conjunctions in Signs of the Fire-element, ten in Earth, and so on.

Tycho Brahe (in his Progymnasin, Bk. 1) said that all the odd-numbered climacteria: 1, 3, 5, etc., were auspicious, "ushering in signal favors of the Almighty to mankind." Both Kepler and Alsted said that the climacteria would "burn up and destroy the dregs and dirty-doings of Rome." The Star of Bethlehem is frequently presumed to have been a JupiterSaturn conjunction, possibly reinforced by Mars. The associating of this conjunction with the record of Joshua having commanded the Sun and Moon to stand still, and of Ahab's report that the Sun had retrograded 10°, is probably erroneous, for these more than likely had to do with readjustments of the calendar to correct the effect of precession, as was done in 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII ordered the suppression of ten days in order to restore the equinox to its rightful date.

It appears that Daniel utilized the climacteria as the basis of his "Seventy Weeks of Prophecy," wherein he connected the coming of the Messiah with the tribulations to be visited on the Jews (Daniel ix:25). As Daniel was a Chaldean student (Daniel ix:2), it is reasonable to assume that this period of frequent mention was derived by him from the famous Chaldean tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets. These tables are lost to us, but from many historical references we know the Chaldeans employed a Soli-lunar calendar, and so tabulated their dates that 490 lunar years were almost exactly contained in 475 solar years.

If 12 lunations made a lunar year, there would be 5,880 lunations in 490 lunar years. On the Biblical unit of a day for a year, 490 days are 70 weeks - Daniel's Seventy weeks. One-seventieth of the 5,880 lunations, is 84 lunations: about 7 lunar years, or 6 solar years and 9 months-the actual duration of each of Daniel's seventy weeks.

In the ancient Hebrew calendar 12 lunar months totalled 354.37 days - 11% days short of a solar year. In 8 years this discrepancy totalled about 3 solar months, which were added every 8 years. In 475 years there would be 59 such additions, of which the intercalated time aggregated 15 years. This, added to 475 solar years, equals 490 lunar years of the Hebrew calendar - to within an error of only 2 days. Thus it is seen that in this period the lunar and solar calendars coincided, making the cycle to which Daniel referred in his Seventy Weeks of Prophecy. (In 475 Julian years are 173495.0 days; in 475 true years, 173490.0 days; in 5875 lunations, 173492.2 days. Thus this ancient Chaldean cycle has a mean value almost exactly midway between that of a Julian year and a true year.)

Comparing this period to the progressive conjunctions of the great chronocrators, it is found that 24 conjunctions occur in 476.635 years, almost the period of 5,880 lunations in which the Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Saturn conjoin at a point advanced about 35 degrees in the Zodiac.

Daniel also mentions a cycle of 2,300 years, which offers confirmation of this inference, in that 116 conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn occur in a period of 2,303.8 years. Furthermore Daniel, at the beginning of his 70 weeks, recounts how in the fourth year of the eighty-third Olympiad (about 444 B.C.) Artaxerxes sent Nehemiah to restore Jerusalem. (It can be inferred that the book of Daniel was not written until some 280 years after this event, for in it Daniel calls to the Jews to hold out against the policies ofAntiochus Epiphanes - who flourished about 170 B.C.) We also find that a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction took place in 442 B.C.

(2) In another sense, the word chronocraters has been applied to the Rulers of the Seven Ages of Man (q.v.). Chronos. (1) The original supreme deity, superseded by Zeus. (2) In ancient texts, the planet Saturn (q.v.). Circle. The complete circle of the zodiac, or 360 degrees of 60 minutes each.

Circles of Position. Circles intersecting the horizon and meridian, and passing through a star: in terms of which to express the position of the star. Their use is not obsolete. However, Circles of Position were not so used by Ptolemy or Placidus, who measured the distance of every star by its semi-arc.

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