c. 100,00 to 70, 000: Evidence of ritual burial suggests existence of cosmology amongst Neanderthals.
c. 35 to 30,000: Upper Palaeolithic period; Homo Sapiens - anatomically modern humans. Homo Sapiens enter Europe, displacing Neanderthals.
A number of constellations, or rather, man's awareness of them, can be dated back to this period. The Bear (Ursa Major) is known in northern Europe and north America and predates the colonisation of America. Legends of the Pleiades being seven sisters chased by Orion also occur in north America, Europe and Australia, and therefore predate the dispersal of Palaeolithic Homosapiens from the regions in which they evolved (i.e. Africa).
c. 30 to 20,000: Recording of notches representing the Moon's phases carved on animal bones.
c. 25,000: Earliest 'Venus' figurines; carved female forms, usually with highly abstract features. Assumed to be a representation of a/the Goddess
c. 14,000: Constellation of the Pleiades identified as the six dots painted above one of the bulls in the cave paintings at Lascaux, France, while other features represent the constellation of Taurus.
Pleiades shown in Lascaux cave painting
c. 10,000: Migration of humans from Siberia to Alaska.
c. 8500 - 7600: Solsticial post-holes at Stonehenge, England aligned to Sun and Moon rises and settings (see detailed section).
5000: Copper in the Middle East.
c. 4000: Solar aligned site at Nabta Playa, Egypt.
c. 3400: Beginning of the Egyptian Old Kingdom (see detailed section).
c. 3304 - 2625: Avebury, Europe's largest stone circle (see detailed section).
c. 3200: Newgrange, Ireland (see detailed section).
c. 3100: Construction of Stonehenge begins, taking almost two thousand years to complete in its final form.
c. 3100: Bank and ditch, 'Aubry holes'
c. 2600: Bluestones brought from Preseli Mountains in Wales
c. 2440 - 2100: Seventy four Sarsen stones from Marlborough downs.
Alignments to Summer and Winter Solstice, Moon risings and settings, the Nodal cycle or Metonic cycle, and the cross quarters of the Pagan wheel of the year.
c. 2795: Silbury Hill: Europe's largest mound begins construction.
c. 2615 - 2175: Egypt: Fourth Dynasty (2565 - 2440): the Pyramids at Gizeh, fifth and sixth Dynasties - the Pyramid Texts.
2360 - 2180: Empire of Akkad, founded by Sargon the Great (2360 - 2305) in Mesopotamia. The earliest surviving astrological omens come from this period.
2166: Birth of Abraham and the path to Judaism: the Patriarchs.
2137: Chinese astronomers record a solar eclipse
c. 2000: Hinduism - no specific founder.
c. 1551 / 1631: Venus tablet of Ammisaduqua, Mesopotamia.
c. 1600: Height of Minoan civilisation.
c. 1350: Atenism promulgated by Akhenaton in Egypt: considered by some scholars to be the world's first monotheist religion.
c. 1150: Evidence for Megalithic astrology: The Coligny calendar. Thought to date around the first century BCE, evidence suggests it may originate as early as 1150 BCE. It is a Lunar calendar engraved on bronze plates and discovered in 1897. The calendar was divided into sixteen columns, each of four months, pointing to a five year cycle of sixty-two lunar months, plus two intercalary months, part of a larger nineteen year cycle which is presumably the Metonic cycle: in which the phases of the Moon recur on the same day of the year after nineteen years.
The year of the Coligny calendar began at Samhain, the beginning of November, which was followed by four other quarter festivals: Imbolg, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Each unit of time possessed a quality. The year was divided into two halves: the dark half began at Samhain and the light half at Beltane. Months were also divided into light and dark halves, while it is self-evident that night and day would have mirrored the same dualistic structure.
the Coligny calendar
There is no doubt as to the calendar's function. Unlike modern calendars it was not concerned with the orderly arrangement of events, it was, rather, their success that was of importance. For the good of the community it was necessary that important acts, such as the planting of seed in spring, the bringing in of the herds in autumn, the inauguration of a ruler or the launch of a war, should take place on the most auspicious day possible.
By controlling the calendar and the secrets of time, the Druids: the priesthood of the Celtic peoples, therefore constituted the effective ruling class. They were also clearly astrologers, although there is no evidence in the calendar of interest in the planets. It was sufficient that their political cosmology be based on the movements of the Sun and Moon, a feature that links intimately to megalithic astronomy. They shared similar beliefs to other ancient cultures: the world was populated by invisible beings, from nature spirits to the creator deities, who controlled the natural world and had to be placated. To observe the correct order of the Sun and moon was, therefore, a religious obligation as well as a very necessary survival strategy.
c. 1000: King David: Biblical Judaism
c. 800: Homer
753: Founding of Rome.
c. 750: Hesiod in Greece.
c. 599: Jainism, Mahavira
c. 585: Prediction of eclipse by Thales.
c. 582 - 496: Pythagoras of Samos
c. 563 - 483. Buddhism: Siddh?rtha Gautama, Buddha (see detailed section).
c. 550: Taoism - Lao Tzu
Lao Zi's famous work, the Tao Te Ching, has been enormously influential in China. The book is a mystical treatise covering many areas of philosophy, from individual spirituality to techniques for governing societies. He believed in "Tao" (pinyin: D o), which translates as "The Way", and implies an unnameable inherent order or property of the universe. He believed in the concept of wu-wei, or "action through inaction". This does not mean that one should sit around and do nothing; but rather, that actions taken in accordance with Tao are easier and more productive than actively attempting to counter the Tao. Lao Zi believed that violence should be avoided when possible, and that military victory was an occasion to mourn the necessity of using force against another living thing, rather than an occasion for triumphant celebrations. Lao Zi also indicated that codified laws and rules result in society becoming more difficult to manage. Although Lao Zi does not have as deep an influence as Confucius does in China, he is still widely respected by the Chinese. Confucius and Lao Zi are the best known Chinese philosophers in the Western world.
c. 551: Confucius: is mostly seen by Chinese people as a great teacher, or a Master. He encouraged his disciples to think deeply by themselves and study relentlessly the world outside. In this of time of division, chaos and endless wars, he sought to restore the Mandate of Heaven that could unify the world (i.e. China) and give peace and prosperity to the people. He wanted rulers to be chosen regarding their merit, not their ascendant to be devoted to their people, not the opposite. He taught that the ruler should reach perfection for himself, thus spreading his virtues to the people, instead of imposing proper behaviours with laws and rules.
One of the deepest teachings of Confucius may have been the superiority of exemplarity over explicit rules. His ethics may be considered as one of the greatest virtue ethics. This indirect way of achieving a goal is used widely in his teachings, where allusions, tautology, innuendo are the common way he express himself.
c. 539: Persian conquest of Babylon.
c. 525: Persian conquest of Egypt: introduction of Babylonian astrology begins.
c. 500: Heraclitus: worlds of being and becoming.
c. 460: Hippocrates: origin of medical astrology.
c. 428 - 348: Plato (see detailed section).
410: First known individual birth chart.
387: Plato forms the academy in the grove of Academos near Athens, where students are taught philosophy, mathematics and gymnastics.
384 - 323: Aristotle (see detailed section). Argues for a spherical Earth using lunar eclipses and other observations
331: Alexander conquers Babylon: Hellenistic era.
311: Zeno: Stoicism
308: First known ephemeris (table of planetary positions).
310 - 230: Aristarchus of Samos. Greek astronomer, discoverer of Heliocentric system. Measured relative radi of the Sun and Moon and their relative distances from the Earth. The Earth rotates and orbits the Sun. NB. Knowledge of this claim survived and was influential on Copernicus.
280: Aristarchus uses the size of the Earth's shadow on the Moon to estimate that the Moon's radius is one-third that of the Earth
238: Pharaoh: Ptolomy II, founded the Library of Alexandria (detailed section).
c. 276 - 196: Eratosthenes of Alexandria. Measured the circumference of the Earth. His estimate was 23,100 miles. The correct measure is 24,900 miles.
c. 221: First known Egyptian Zodiac.
c. 200: Greek astrology gradually introduced in India and Rome.
150: Hipparchus uses parallax to determine that the distance to the Moon is roughly 380,000 km
c. 150: Hellenistic Judaism
134: Hipparchus discovers the precession of the equinoxes
c. 8: The sixth Medes tribe, which is also non Iranian, are the Magi. They were a priest class, carriers the ancient Mesopotamian religion deriving from the Sumerians. Their name also implies a link with the Sumerians who called their language "Emegir", which was eventually simplified to Magi. Contradictory to Christian tradition, they were one people of Mesopotamian origin and due to Persian persecution they also spread Central Asia. The Persians also developed their own form of Magian religion, with differed from that of the Huns or the Mesopotamians. By 1384 CE the word Magik is defined as, 'The art of influencing events and producing marvels,' from O.Fr. Magique. Another author of the time writes, 'One of the members of the learned and priestly class,' from O.Pers. Magush. Modern dictionaries define Magik as; the art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural. The practice of using charms, spells, or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or control events in nature. A mysterious quality of enchantment .
c. 7 - 4: Probable birth of Christ. According to Roman records, King Herod died in 4 BCE. This makes the star of Bethlehem become one of unlikely myth, rather than a historical account because he had been dead for four years at the time of Christ's birth. However, upon closer inspection a new possibility comes to light. The Magi, or wise men, placed upon the observation of the star such significant meaning that it motivated them to travel great distances. The attribution of meaning given to this celestial event is highly significant: the Magi were astrologers. Modern computers are able to plot celestial motion over thousands of years, making it possible to trace the star of Bethlehem. Astrologers mostly agree on 7 BCE being the year of the birth of Jesus, though there is some debate regarding the actual date and time. This particular year is considered significant due to the conjunction of Jupiter, the Messiah, and Saturn, the Jews, in the sign of Pisces, the sign of the then New Age.
4: First known astrological chart to use a 'horoscope' i.e. Ascendant.
c. 1st Century CE: Kabbalah (see detailed section).
36: Christianity formed after death of Jesus. From 36 to about 65 BCE is the period of oral tradition in Christianity. Between the time of Jesus and the first gospel (Mathew) is written, original Christians disperse throughout Judea and Samaria.
37: Paul of Tarsus is converted.
37-41: Gaius Caligula, emperor of Rome, declares himself God.
47: Julius Caesar destroys the Great Library at Alexandria by fire.
65 - 160: The period in which the Christian four gospels, Acts, Revelations and remaining epistles are written.
50 -100: Gnosticism.
c. 100: Liber Hermetis: Hermes Trismegistus. 'In the beginning was the word, and the word was God', Genesis. In the Greek Pantheon, the messenger of the word was the God Hermes. The collection of texts, some of which Zoller asserts has its origins in the esoteric traditions and magikal practices of ancient Egypt, came to be known in later centuries as forming a part of the Corpus Hermetica: the body of knowledge of the word, which is God.
c. 100 - 178: Claudius Ptolemy, encyclopaedist, wrote Tetrabiblos, Geography and a lost work on optics. His astronomical work, the Mathematike Syntaxis (System of Mathematics) better known under its Arabic influenced name Almagest (the greatest or majestic). The Almagest incorporated Plato's belief in perfect circular motion, the geocentric universe, concentric spheres, the epicycle-deferent system and Hipparchus' star measurements. Ptolemy achieved such status in the Arabic and medieval worlds that his version of astronomy became the standard model in both cultures until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
301: Armenia becomes the first country in the world to officially accept Christianity as a State religion.
303 - 311: Last persecution of Christians in Rome
313: Christianity legalised in Roman Empire by Constantine. Classical Pagan world now on the defensive: monotheism spreads its influence.
431: Roman Catholicism: The early Christian church came to be organized under five patriarchs: the bishops of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople and Rome.
529: Justinian, eastern emperor, closes Platonic and Aristotelian schools in Athens. Pagan scholars/astrologers move east to Persia.
600 - 700: Golden age of Irish Monasticism. Irish religious centres were set up in France and Germany. There was a diocese of the Celtic church in northern Spain and contacts with the (Coptic) church in Egypt.
610: Birth of Mohammed (see detailed section).
622: The Hijirah: flight of Mohammed from Mecca marks the official beginning of Islam.
625: Mohammed begins dictation of Qur'an (Koran) to his scribe
635 - 342: Rapid expansion of Islamic world. Muslim invasions of Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Afghanistan, Punjab, north Africa and Spain: east into China and west into France.
700 - 900: Golden age of Islam.
Since the burnings of the Pagan Libraries and closing of the Greek schools, the scholars of the Islamic world continued, preserved and added to, the philosophies and body of knowledge of the pre-Christianised era. It was not until around 1200 CE that the works of the Muslims fell into decline and the body of knowledge and wisdom passed back into Europe to be continued in the foundations of the Renaissance.
754 - 775: Caliph al-Mansur: foundation of Baghdad astrologically elected; the time and date was chosen, specifically, after careful consideration of the most auspicious astrological moment.
c. 787 - 886: Abu Ma'shar: Latin name, Albumazar, author of aproximately fifty books. Extended Mash'allah's work on astrological history. His Mais Introductorum was translated into Latin by Herman of Caririnthia in 1140. Extremely influential in medieval Europe.
c. 795 - 866: Al-Kindi: prolific writer. Extremely influential in the development of Islamic science. His twenty works included books on astrology. He is said to have interested Abu Ma'sha in astrology.
800: Viking expansion from Norway, Sweden and Denmark to the British Isles, northern France, Sicily, southern Italy, Constantinople, Russia and north America.
786 - 809: The Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid ordered a collection of original Greek manuscripts.
813 - 833: Caliph Al-Mamun sets up the House of Wisdom in Baghdad to translate Greek, Syrian, Persian and Sanskrit works into Arabic.
858 - 901: Al-Battani: After thirty years of observation he produced the al-Zij al-Sabi (Sabian tables).
900: Rabbinic Judaism
900: Beginning of contacts between Christian scholars and Islamic culture.
973 - 1048: Al-Biruni. Author of major astrological compendium, travelled in India and learned Sanskrit - critical of Indian astrology. His book on chronology is a major source for our knowledge of Indian and Persian calendars.
c. 980: Lupitus of Barcelona: first Latin translations of Arabic material.
980 - 1037: Ibn Sina: stated that all things needed a cause, God, and argued that all contingent beings must be sustained by necessary causes. This argument was extremely important in medieval Europe and was adopted by Thomas Aquinas. He argues that creation is emanation and that all celestial substances are kinds of intelligences.
1045: Moveable type printing by Bi Sheng in China.
1096: The first crusade. Beginning of Christian Europe's military reassertion against Islam.
1126 - 1198: Ibn Rushd: set out to counter Ibn Sina by rescuing Aristotle from neo-Platoism and arguing that individual substances are the primary existents. He asserted that there is one truth with many modes of access to it, and that a proposition may be false philosophically while also being true theologically.
1100 - 1200: European scholars rediscover classical learning in Arab texts. The twelfth century renaissance featured the adoption of Aristotelian philosophy and the development of the first universities.
1120: Adelard of Bath. Al-Khawarizmi's tables. Euclid.
1138: Tetrabiblos translated by Plato of Tivoli.
c. 1167: Beginnings of Oxford University.
1167: Gerard of Cremona translated Ptolemy, Almagest.
1182 - 1286: St. Francis of Assisi.
1206: Temujin proclaimed supreme ruler of the Mongols (Genghiz Khan means Very Mighty King).
1209: University of Cambridge.
1210/1223: Guido Bonatti. First well known professional astrologer.
1220 - 1292: Roger Bacon.
1227 - 1274: Thomas Aquinas.
1265 - 1321: Dante Alighieri: La divina commedia -The Divine Comedy, considered to be the culminating statement of medieval world view.
Late 13th C: the beginnings of capitalism in the Italian city states leads to the accumulation of wealth, allowing private patronage of the arts, and a wealthy class, leading to experiments with democracy.
1276 - 1337: Giotto: art and perspective.
1304 - 1374: Petrarch: humanism.
1320 - 1382: Nicole Oresme: first rational criticism of astrology.
1335: Mechanical clock: Milan.
c. 1340 - 1400: Geoffrey Chaucer. First author to write primarily in English. There are many references to astrology peppered throughout his work, revealing that to think along such lines was common in the culture of his time.
1348 - 1349: Black death in Europe. Up to a third of the population dies resulting in huge economic, cultural and social changes.
1401: The Witchcraft Act (see detailed section).
1407: Order of Rosicrucians: Master Kelpius, Johann Andrea
1411: University of St Andrews.
1433 - 1499: Marsilio Ficino: the music of the Spheres (see chapter nine).
1469 - 1538: Guru Nanak: founder of Sikhism
1469: First printed Almanac.
1473 - 1543: Nicholas Copernicus: De revolutionaibus, in which he asserted that the Sun was the centre of the solar system and that the Earth moved around it. This was revolutionary for its time and turned an entire world paradigm on its head. Copernicus studied the Trivium and Quadrivium at Jagiellonian University, Cracow in 1491. He later moved to Bologna and studied at Padua. The astronomy of the time was primarily theoretical rather than observational and drew on classical philosophy. He was exposed to horoscopic astrology and there are examples of charts cast by him. He would have encountered Hermetic teachings and the newly interpreted works of Plato.
From classical Greece to the time of the Renaissance, the art of learning was seen to comprise of seven stages. At Oxford, the Schoolmen or students would study each stage for one year, and then attain the award: Master of Arts.
The Seven Liberal Arts
Based on the types of studies that were pursued in the Classical world, the Seven Liberal Arts became codified in late antiquity by such writers as Varro and Martianus Capella. In medieval times, the Seven Liberal Arts offered a canonical way of depicting the realms of higher learning.
The Liberal Arts were divided into the Trivium, the three roads, and the Quadrivium, the four roads.
The Trivium consisted of:
The Quadrivium consisted of:
- Arithmetic: number in itself
- Geometry: number in space
- Music, Harmonics, or Tuning Theory: number in time
- Astral-logica, knowledge of the heavens or cosmos: astrology and astronomy: number in space and time.
The medieval Quadrivium thus followed the division of mathematics made by the Pythagoreans. Recently, mathematics has been defined as the study of patterns in space and time, which very much resembles the ancient Pythagorean understanding.
There were other important studies in medieval times. For example, philosophy was often envisioned as a metastudy that united all branches of knowledge. For this reason, Philosophia is depicted in the following illustration as nourishing the Seven Liberal Arts.
Philosophia Nourishing the Liberal Arts
1489: Hepataplus: first attack on astrology by Pico della Mirandola.
1492: First voyage of Columbus.
1494: Pico della Mirandola publishes Dispuationes.
Patrick Curry writes in The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science: 'In the late fifteenth century, a series of influential translations by Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) made available more re-discovered Greek texts, including much of Plato, Plotinus and Iamblichus and the Corpus Hermeticum.
These placed a renewed magical and/or mystical astrology at the heart of the Renaissance revival of neo-Platonism and hermeticism. Typically, it managed to evade Pico della Mirandola's powerful critique in his Disputationes (1494) by finding shelter elsewhere in the very set of ideas that had so inspired him (for example, occult sympathy and antipathy).
Not surprisingly, astrology remained controversial with the Christian Church. It survived the condemnations of St. Augustine and the early church fathers, who saw it as pagan (and in particular polytheistic) and a transgression of both human free will and divine omnipotence. Augustine didn't deny that astrologers could speak truthfully, only that when they did so it was with the help of, and in the service of, demons.
At both popular and elite levels, however, astrology in one form or another remained entrenched. It fell to St Thomas Aquinas in the late thirteenth century to arrange a compromise which secured for it a longlived and relatively secure, if limited, niche. His synthesis of Christian theology and Aristotelian natural philosophy permitted "natural astrology" to influence physical and collective phenomena but not - directly - human souls; the individual judgements (and in particular predictions) of "judicial astrology" were therefore illicit. Since Aquinas admitted that most people were in turn influenced by their bodies, however, there was a kind of tacit legitimation of astrology in practice.'
The growing adherence to follow scientia rather than philo-sophia (love of wisdom), or pay homage to both as Ficino sought to do, brought about a widening separation between Science and Philosophy, Spirituality and Magik, paving the way for the Enlightenment and our more secular age of modern reasoning and scientism.
Spirit: Anima, breath, life
Magik: The art of influencing, or forecasting, events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.
Now there were widening divisions:
'Astrology is best defined as the set of theories and practices interpreting the positions of the heavenly bodies in terms of human and terrestrial implications. (The former have variously been considered signs and, more controversially, causes.) The subject - and therefore its study - is riven with characteristics, often paradoxical, that constitute both its interest and its difficulty. One is that although inextricably entangled with what are now demarcated as science, magic, religion, politics, psychology and so on, it cannot be reduced to any of these.'
1503 - 1566: Nostradamus, famous Astrologer and visionary.
1517. Formal beginning of the reformation. Protestantism: Martin Luther, John Calvin. Protestantism linked to development of capitalism.
1527 - 1608: John Dee; Alchemist (see detailed section).
1533: Agrippa publishes De Occulta Philosopha.
1533: Isaak Luria, Jewish Kabbalist, born in Jerusalem
1535: Giambattista della Porta born in Naples. Author of Magia Naturalis (Natural Magic).
1542: Inquisition established in Rome.
1546 - 1601: Tycho Brahe, Danish Astronomer, the first to make measurement of planetary motions his guide instead of Ptolemaic theory. On the night of 11th November 1572, after working in his alchemical laboratory, he looked up and noticed a new star: a supernova, an exploding star. Tycho calculated that the star appeared beyond the Moon in the region which Aristotelian cosmology defined as changing and perfect, whereas it was believed that such a thing could only occur in the corruptible space between the Earth and the Moon. This had an impact on the world view of reality, equivalent to Einstein's theory of relativity: an old certainty had been destroyed and the door was now open to one of his pupils, Johannes Kepler, to complete the theory of planetary motion.
1548: Giordano Bruno, Italian philosopher born in Nola Italy.
1561 - 1626: Frances Bacon. The beginning of the scientific revolution: Introduced the preference for empiricism and induction over Aristotelian deductive logic. He advocated experimental method, which was in part, a viewpoint influenced by the craft of ceremonial magic. Bacon believed the point of knowledge is power, especially over nature.
Anthropocentric and misogynistic, Bacon's rhetoric was masculine and rapine: he advised 'true sons of knowledge' to 'penetrate further', in order to 'conquer and subdue Nature, with all her children, bind her to your service and make her your slave'. This would enable you to 'discover the secrets still locked inside nature's bosom'. Nature must be 'penetrated', 'pierced', 'vanquished', and 'put to the question'. The new science would 'extend the bounds of human empire, as far as God Almighty in his goodness shall permit'.
1564 - 1642: Galileo Galilei: Astronomer and astrologer who told Kepler he was philosophically in favour of Copernicanism and the Heliocentric solar system. Attacked Aristotelianism after the 1604 supernova. Using the newly invented telescope he was the first to observe and record the craters of the Moon, and the moons of Jupiter (thus, undermining Aristotle's sublunary/superlunary). He recorded Sun spots, the Sun's rotation and the phases of Venus. Promoted Copernican heliocentricism and was placed under house arrest by the Inquisition. Moreover, being a mathematician, Galileo advocated the idea that quantity is primary over quality. Thus, everything can be reduced to a quantity - the primary number. This gives momentum to the move away from qualities: feelings, visions, perceptions, intuitions, sensations etc. to quality: the single and correct, absolute, answer.
1571 - 1630: Johannes Kepler. Astrologer and follower of Pythagorean principles. Kepler's laws of planetary motion introduced new perspectives and accuracy to astrology as well as defining the place of the Earth in the heavens. Kepler described himself as 'a Lutheran astrologer: throwing away the nonsense and keeping the kernel'.
1564: Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica published.
1566: Michael Maier, physician, alchemist, and philosopher, born in Rensburg, Holstein (Germany). Physician to Emperor Rudolph II.
1581: Dee and Kelley start their mystical experiments.
1581 - 1656: James Ussher (also spelled Usher). Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625-1656. A prolific religious scholar, published a biblical chronology which dated the creation of the world as being the 28th October 4004 BCE.
1584: Bruno publishes Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast .
1595: Microscope: Zacharias Janssen.
1596 - 1650: Rene Descartes, father of the scientific method. 'The unification and illumination of the whole of knowledge by one and the same method: the method of reason'.
In 1610, the paradigm that the only pathway to truth is that of reason came to Descartes ... in a dream, the traditional way that the Gods speak to men. Descartes' ideas, along with Bacon before him, and Newton to come, formed the paradigm of scientific method which gave birth to modern science and the common secular theology of our present western world.
It was Descartes who declared, 'I think, therefore, I am'. The separation between objective and subjective, Spirit and mind, Soul and body, inner and outer, became complete with Descartes. He asserted that only the inner (man's) feelings and visions were connected with God, and so, therefore, the outer (animals and matter) are betes-machines without awareness or feelings. He hoped 'that those who have understood all that has been said in this treatise will, in future, see nothing whose cause they cannot easily understand, nor anything that gives them any cause to marvel'. 'There exist no occult (hidden) forces in stones or plants. There are no amazing and marvellous sympathies and antipathies, in fact there exists nothing in the whole of nature which cannot be explained in terms of purely corporeal causes totally devoid of mind and thought'. Descartes heralded the end of animism.
1600: Giordano Bruno burned at the stake in Rome.
1600: Wiliam Gilbert: English scientist who returned to the subject in De Magnete, and coined the modern Latin word electricus from ???????? (elektron), the Greek word for amber, which soon gave rise to the English words electric and electricity.
1602 - 1681: William Lilly, Astrologer; author of Christian Astrology and translator of Trithemius, born in Diseworth, county Leicester, England. Lilly became a prominent Astrologer of his time, and is still very influential with modern astrologers who follow The Tradition. During Lilly's lifetime astrology was a commonplace and ordinary feature in the culture of English life.
1608: Refracting telescope: Hans Lippershey.
1626 - 1697: John Aubrey: First survey of Stonehenge. Aubry concluded it was a Roman Sun temple.
1642 - 1727: Isaac Newton: Born in year of Galileo's death marking the end of the Renaissance and the dawn of a Newtonian world view. An alchemist and reported explorer of astrological concepts, he created calculus and explained Kepler's elliptical planetary orbits. He was responsible for the invention of the reflecting telescope, the corpuscular theory of light and the development of the principles of gravity and terrestrial and celestial motion.
The political impact of Newton's work, building on that of Kepler, was based on the same logic that if the entire universe is subject to a single set of natural laws, human society must be subject to the same laws. If, therefore, Kings and commoners are subject to the same laws then the elevation of one over the other is contrary to natural law. This line of reasoning was expressed in the Natural Rights philosophy on which the US constitution is based. The scientific revolution had begun in earnest. Newton is seen by some scholars as the first scientist and by others as the last of the magicians.
From now on western society would make its political decisions, scientific inventions and technological progressions from the perspective of a secular disenchantment that would begin to run out of steam towards the end of the twentieth century.
1650: Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism establishes the linage of the Dalai Lama.
1687 - 1763: William Stukely, English antiquarian. In 1724, Stukley claims Stonehenge was built by the Druids and aligned with the solstices. This encouraged the development of romantic views of pre-Roman culture, leading to the foundation of neo-Druids and romantic perspectives on Stonehenge and megalithic culture.
1700: Freemasonry- Albert Mackey, Albert Pike.
1701: Seed drill: Jethro Tull.
1705: Steam piston engine: Thomas Newcomen.
1709: Piano: Bartolomeo Cristofori.
1714: Mercury thermometer: Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit.
1734 - 1815: Franz Anton Mesmer born in Iznang, Swabia, Germany. Investigated animal magnetism and hypnosis (see final chapter).
1752: Lightning rod: Benjamin Franklin.
1762: Iron smelting process: Jared Eliot.
1767: Spinning Jenny: James Hargreaves.
1783: : Hot air balloon: Montgolfier brothers.
1793: Optical telegraph: Claude Chappe.
1798: Vaccination: Edward Jenner.
1798: Napoleon's army carried out excavations during its Egyptian campaign. The emperor took with him a force of 500 civilian scientists: specialists in fields such as biology, chemistry and languages, in order to carry out a full study of the ancient civilisation.
1799: French Captain Pierre-Fran Lois Bouchard (1772-1832) discovers the Rosetta Stone in the Egyptian port city of Rosetta (present-day Rashid) on July 15, 1799. The Rosetta Stone is an engraved dark granite stone (often incorrectly identified as "basalt") detailing on which provided modern researchers with translations of ancient text in Egyptian demotic script, Greek, and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Because Greek was well known, the stone was the key to deciphering the hieroglyphs.
1799: Seeding machine: Eliakim Spooner.
1800: Electric battery: Alessandro Volta.
1805: Refrigerator: Oliver Evans.
1809 - 1882: Charles Darwin. Revolutionary English naturalist who laid the foundation for both the modern theory of evolution and the principle of common descent by proposing natural selection as a mechanism. He published this proposal in the book The Origin of Species, which remains his most famous work.
1810 - 1875: Eliphas Levi, (Constant, Alphonse Louis), French occultist, born in Paris. He is said to be largely responsible for the revival of magic in the 19th century.
1811: Gun- Breechloader: Thornton.
1814: Steam Locomotive: George Stephenson.
1817: Kaleidoscope: David Brewster.
1822: J.M. Ashmand translates Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos : Latin to English.
1822: The Rosetta Stone translated by Jean-Fran Lois Champollion and Thomas Young. The discovery facilitated translation of other hieroglyphic texts.
1824: Raphael publishes the Manual of Astrology. Draws heavily on Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos. Probably used Ashmand's translation: both of these works offer a dedication to Sir Walter Scott.
1824: William Buckland (1784 - 1856), a British fossil hunter and clergyman, assigned the scientific species name Megalosaurus bucklandi and named the genus: Dinosaur. The first disnosaur to be discovered and recognised as such was an Iguanodon, though this was named and described later than Megalodon. Brings into doubt previously the calculated age of the Earth as being 28th October 4004 BCE.
1826: Photography: Joseph Nicephore Niepce.
1826: Internal combustion engine: Samuel Morey.
1827: Georg Ohm: Ohm's law of electricity.
1827: Friction match: John Walker.
1830: Mormonism - Joseph Smith.
1834: Electric motor: Thomas Davenport.
1835: Revolver: Samuel Colt.
1835: Morse code: Samuel Morse.
1838: Matthias Schleiden: all plants are made of cells.
1839: Vulcanization of rubber: Charles Goodyear.
1843: James Prescott Joule: Law of Conservation of energy (first law of thermodynamics).
1847: Birth of Annie Besant (née Wood), author and noted Theosophist.
1848: Spiritualism - Kate and Margaret Fox.
1854 - 1918: Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers born in London.
1856 - 1939: Sigmund Freud. Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a movement that popularized the theory that unconscious motives control much behaviour. Favoured free-association and dream analysis in developing what is now known as 'the talking cure.' These became the core elements of psychoanalysis (see final chapter).
1858: Undersea telegraph cable: Fredrick Newton Gisborne.
1859: Darwin publishes The Origin of Species, theory of evolution by natural selection.
1859: Oil drill: Edwin L. Drake.
1860: Birth of Alan Leo. 'Character is Destiny' (see detailed section under Theosophy).
1860s: Charles Piazzi Smyth, the Scotish Astronomer Royal, analysed the Great Pyramid in terms of its dimensions and location, establishing the template for all future arguments about its significance.
1865: Gregor Mendel: Mendel's laws of inheritance, basis for genetics.
1869: Dmitri Mendeleev: Periodic table.
1870: Jehovah's Witnesses- Charles Taze Russell.
1875: Theosophical Society - H.P. Blavatsky (see detailed section).
1875 - 1947: Aleister Crowley (Crowley, Edward Alexander). Influential occultist and Theosophist (see detailed section).
1875 - 1961: Carl Jung: originally a student of Freud, progressed to form his own model of Psychology. Synthesised Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Alchemy and Astrology with Freud's model of the unconscious (see final chapter).
1875: Automobile: Siegfried Marcus. 1876: Telephone: Alexander Graham Bell.
1877: Phonograph: Thomas Alva Edison.
1879: Christian Science: Mary Baker Eddy.
1893: Wireless communication: Nikola Tesla.
1895: Radio signals: Guglielmo Marconi.
1897: Birth of Dennis Wheatley. Author of esoteric thrillers promoting Pagan and Theosophistic paradigms and adviser on occult matters to Sir Winston Churchill during world war two. Historian who also wrote a white paper detailing most probable outcomes of the war for all nations concerned, and worked extensively in the deception planning office of intelligence.
1888: Kodak hand camera: George Eastman.
1889: Mathers publishes; Kabbalah Unveiled and Traité Elémentaire de Science.
1889: Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn established in London (see detailed section under Theosophy).
1890 - 1946: Dion Fortune (i.e. Violet Mary Firth): prolific and influential writer on Witchcraft and esoteric fiction (see detailed section).
1890: W.B. Yeats joins the Golden Dawn.
1898: Aleister Crowley joins the Golden Dawn.
1898: Mathers publishes The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage (Abramelin).
1899: Magnetic tape recorder: Valdemar Poulsen.
1900s: Norman Lockyer surveys Stonehenge and other megalithic sites, claims lunar and stellar alignments in addition to solar.
1900: Crowley expelled from the Golden Dawn.
1900: Rigid dirigible airship: Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin.
1902: Anthroposophical Society: Rudolf Steiner.
1905: Druids resume meeting at Stonehenge.
1910: Alfred Watkins publishes The Old Straight Track, first known work on Ley lines.
1912: Alfred Wegener: Continental drift.
1913: - Niels Bohr: Model of the atom.
1915: Albert Einstein: general theory of relativity. In November 1915, Einstein presented a series of lectures before the Prussian Academy of Sciences in which he described his theory of general relativity. The final lecture climaxed with his introduction of an equation that replaced Newton's law of gravity. This theory considered all observers to be equivalent, not only those moving at a uniform speed. In general relativity, gravity is no longer a force (as it was in Newton's law of gravity) but is a consequence of the curvature of space-time. The theory provided the foundation for the study of cosmology and gave scientists the tools for understanding many features of the universe that were not discovered until well after Einstein's death. General relativity becomes a method of perceiving all of physics.
The theory was derived with mathematical reasoning and rational analysis, not with experimentation or observation, leading scientists to skepticism. But his equations enabled predictions and tests to be made, and when it was tested by Arthur Eddington by measuring during a solar eclipse how much the light emanating from a star passing close to the sun was bent by the sun's gravity, the predictions from the theory were confirmed. On November 7, 1919, The Times reported the confirmation, and from there on, the theory cemented Einstein's fame, revolutionized physics, and "passed" more tests. (In fact, unlike many other scientific theories, general relativity has held true in every case so far.) There were, however, many who were still unconvinced in the scientific community. Their reason varied, ranging from those who disagreed with Einstein's interpretations of the experiments to those who simply thought that life without an absolute frame of reference was intolerable. In Einstein's view, many of them simply could not understand the mathematics involved. Einstein's public fame which followed the 1919 eclipse created resentment among this faction, which would last well into the 1930s.
Einstein's relationship with quantum physics was quite remarkable. He was the first, even before Max Planck, the discoverer of the quantum, to say that quantum theory was revolutionary. His idea of light quanta was a landmark break with the classical understanding of physics. In 1909, Einstein presented his first paper to a gathering of physicists and told them that they must find some way to understand both waves and particles together.
1922: Discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon. Famed because all of the artefacts were found complete and in tact; also famed because of the number of deaths that occurred to those connected with the find and excavation of the tomb. It is rumoured that a mummy from the tomb had been purchased by America from the British Museum and was shipped across to the USA - on a boat named the Titanic.
1924: Wolfgang Pauli: quantum Pauli exclusion principle. Quantum mechanics is a physical theory which, for very small objects such as atoms, produces results that are very different and much more accurate than those of classical mechanics. It is the underlying framework of many fields of physics and chemistry, including condensed matter physics, quantum chemistry, and particle physics. It is derived from a small set of basic principles, and predicts at least three types of phenomena that classical mechanics and classical electrodynamics cannot account for: quantization, wave-particle duality, and quantum entanglement. It also explains the behaviour of many physical systems that contradict classical mechanics, such as the existence of stable atoms and the fact that the total radiation emitted by a black body is finite.
The foundations of quantum mechanics were established during the first half of the 20th century by Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, Paul Dirac, Richard Feynman and others. Some fundamental aspects of the theory are still actively studied.
1926: Television Mechanical Scanner: John Logie Baird.
1927: Werner Heisenberg: uncertainty principle.
1927: Georges Lema tre: theory of the Big Bang.
1929: Edwin Hubble: Hubble's law of the expanding universe.
1930: First Sun Sign column appears in British newspaper.
1930: Black Muslims (Nation of Islam) -Wallace D. Fard.
1935: Self Realization Fellowship- Paramahansa Yogananda.
1954: Unification Church- Sun Myung Moon.
1944: Silva Mind Control - Jose Silva.
1945: Atomic Bomb (but note: chain reaction theory: 1933).
1947: Transistor: William Shockley, Walter Brattain, John Bardeen.
1948: George Orwell publishes 1984.
1948: Long Playing Record: Peter Goldmark.
1950: Lafayette Ronald Hubbard publishes Dianetics: Scientology.
1951: Witchcraft laws in Britain repealed (see detailed section).
1953: Crick and Watson: helical structure of DNA, basis for molecular biology.
1954: Gerald Gardener publishes Witchcraft Today (see detailed section).
1954: First nuclear power reactor.
1954: Atherius Society (UFO's)- Dr. George King.
1957: Sputnik: first space satellite.
1958: Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research- Henry Kinley
1958: The integrated circuit: Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments, Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor
1960: Transcendental meditation: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
1961: First manned space flight. Cosmonaught Yuri Gagarin is the first man to look upon the Earth.
1961: Unitarian Universalism was officially formed.
1962: Communications satellites: Arthur C. Clarke.
1965: Gerald Hawkins publishes Stonehenge Decoded. Claims Stonehenge was an eclipse predictor.
1965: Assembly of Yahweh-Jacob Meyer.
1966: Fred Hoyle compares builders of Stonehenge to NASA Scientists, challenging the conventional archaeological idea of Neolithic people as savages.
1966: Church of Satan: Anton LaVey.
1967: Alexander Thom, The Stone Circles of Britain, claims megalithic sites are laid out according to exact geometry and contained precise solar, lunar and stellar alignments. Theory began in 1920s.
1968: Hare Krishna introduced to America - Swami Prabhupada.
1968: The term Archeoastronomy coined by Euan MacKie.
1969: Neil Armstrong is the first man to walk on the Moon.
1969: John Michel publishes The View Over Atlantis.
1970: Findhorn Community established; Peter and Eileen Caddy, David Spangler.
1970: Divine light Mission- Guru Maharaj Ji.
1974: Assemblies of Yahweh-Sam Suratt.
1977: The personal computer (dated from Commodore PET).
1977: John Addey publishes Harmonics.
1979: The cellular telephone (first commercially fielded version, NTT).
1983: The Centre for Psychological Astrology founded by Dr Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas.
1985: Geoffrey Cornelius lectures on William Lilly.
1988: Druids given permission to celebrate the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge for the last time, witnessed by 1000 participants, 15 members of the press, 8,000 hippies and new age travellers, 4,000 police and the author.
1989: The World Wide Web: Tim Berners-Lee.
1990's: Civil unrest in Britain increases as Pagan Radical Eco Warriors disrupt building projects in an attempt to halt de-forestation and preserve habitat. Vegetarianism and products free from animal testing become common place. Theosophical ideology, re-packaged as 'New Age', becomes socially acceptable: shops selling metaphysical and esoteric goods multiply rapidly, practitioners of complimentary medicines appear in every town and city. Wicca and Paganism are reported to be the fastest growing religions in Britain while new age products become a major growth industry causing the market to become saturated.
1993: Launch of Project Hindsight: Robert Hand, Robert Zoller.
1993: Peace initiative in Northern Ireland begins in earnest after 400 years of conflict between fractions of Christianity.
1993: Clive Ruggles coins the phrase Cultural Astronomy.
1996: Cloning of mammals: Ian Wilmut and others.
2000: Clive Ruggles is appointed UK's first Professor of Archeoastronomy at Leicester University.
2000: The success of a truth and reconciliation panel holding representatives from English Heritage, Eco Warriors and Travellers, the Police, Astrologers, Land Owners and the MOD, bears fruit as two thousand people attend the Solstice celebrations inside Stonehenge: attendance numbers will increase to 23,000 by the year 2002.
2001: Islamic fundamentalists destroy Buddhist statues in Afghanistan and launch attacks on America, killing thousands. Perceived by many as the natural result of global ideological incompatibility enhanced by the increasing ease of modern transportation and communication systems, monotheistic tribal rhetoric resounds throughout the collective: 'the right-ones' begin to kill 'the wrong-ones' with increasing intensity and ferocity.
2002: Astrology returns to British Academy at Bath, launched by the Sophia Project. Studies commence at the Sophia Centre in October.
2003: Babylon: Mesopotamian ancestral home of the original documentation of polytheistic omens of astral divination plays host to warfare between monotheist ideologies.
2003: New library inaugurated at Alexandria.
2003: Blue plaque commemorating the Elizabethan astrologer, William Lilly, is unveiled in London.
2004: Original Library at Alexandria discovered by archaeologists.
2004: First graduates to be awarded Master of Arts in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University College (see detailed section).
Wendy Stacy, James Brockbank, David Rowan, Bernard Eccles, Faye Cossar, Jane Amanda
The First Graduates:
Master of A. Cultural Astronomy and Astrology
i Cunlifee, 1992, pp 69,110
ii http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/m/m0025700.html. sourced 26.7.2005.
Patrick Curry, Oxford companion
iii Scientism: Unlike the use of the scientific method as only one mode of reaching knowledge, scientism claims that science alone can render truth about the world and reality. Scientism's single-minded adherence to only the empirical, or testable, makes it a strictly scientific worldview, in much the same way that a Protestant fundamentalism that rejects science can be seen as a strictly religious worldview. Scientism sees it necessary to do away with most, if not all, metaphysical, philosophical, and religious claims, as the truths they proclaim cannot be apprehended by the scientific method. In essence, scientism sees science as the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth. Sourced 16th October 2004, http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/sciism-body.html
iv Smyth, Charles Piazzi, Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, 1864.
v Fred Hoyle, Antiquity, 1966, Vol 40 pp. 262-79.