The Great Year is the term that some ancient civilizations use to describe the slow precession of the equinox through the twelve houses of the ancient zodiac, a period that takes about 24,000 years. Although different cultures refer to this cycle by different names, including the Platonic year, Perfect year, Yuga cycle, Ages of Man or just the equinoctial cycle, one thing is clear: It was known to virtually every ancient culture throughout the globe. In their epic work, Hamlet’s Mill, Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend document the great year tale and highlight it as the number one topic is woven into myths and folklore around the ancient world.
Why were our ancestors so fascinated by this subject that they memorized stories that were passed down for thousands of years and built megalithic structures on every continent to monitor this movement? We think it is because the tales are true! That is, as the Sun curves through space carrying the Earth with it, our bodies and our planet move to a region where they are affected by different cosmic forces that indirectly result in the rise and fall of civilization. As man’s consciousness expands and contracts and the cycle plays out, just like a solar year with its seasons, it results in great ages of enlightenment and dark ages of misery. Indeed, the archaeological record shows a broad decline of ancient civilizations beginning about 5,000 years ago, a long, world-wide dark age and then finally a rise in consciousness with the Renaissance continuing to the present day. Were the tales and myths and stone henges really just for amusement and farming? Or is Hamlet’s Mill correct: folklore is the scientific language of ancient times, and the Ancients were foreshadowing a dark age to come and trying desperately to preserve knowledge in their pyramids, megaliths, and temples so carefully and mathematically aligned with the heavens.
This is the story of the Great Year and the new scientific evidence that supports it. Recent solar system studies seem to indicate that precession is indeed caused by a curving motion of our sun through space. While not yet widely accepted, if true, it is a startling finding confirming the wisdom of the ancients.