Gerald Massey and the Sign of the Waterman
Definition: [Astrological Ages] Gerald Massey [1828 1907 AD] in his Lectures [published privately c1900 AD, but written over several decades prior to this], described many of the concepts we now associate with an Astrological Age [though the concept had yet to be given this name] some forty years before Jung first writes on the subject.
He describes the effect of Precession as moving the Vernal Equinox into the Sign of the Fishes, whereas it had previously been in the Sign of the Bull. He uses 2155 years for the length of what we would now call a 'Platonic' Month. He looks forward to a new Messiah, "when the Equinox enters the Sign of the Waterman about the end of this century", [which for him would be the end of the nineteenth century] i.e. the start of what we would now call the Age of Aquarius. In this latter respect he is very different from Jung's decidedly non-Messianic view of a New Age.
Aside from Massey's acceptance of the 'Platonic' Month fallacy to define an Astrological Age, his other oddity to modern eyes is his start date to what we would now call the Age of Pisces of 255 BC. This he seems to have calculated by taking 2155 years from 2410 BC - which he says is when the Vernal Equinox passed into Pisces, according to certain astronomers, notably Cassini. Modern calculations indicate that this is a century too early. See Movement of the Vernal Equinox Point for more on this. Massey seems to be the first of many authors on the subject of the New Age who place it's start a few years into the future. from their time.
Gerald Massey's Lectures: Gerald Massey's lectures were published privately in about 1900 AD. Excerpts concerning Precession are given below.
Gerald Massey, Lectures: The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ, page 6-7 , c 1900: The birthplace of the Egyptian Messiah at the Vernal Equinox was figured in Apt, or Apta, the corner; but Apta is also the name of the Crib and the Manger; hence the Child born in Apta, was said to be born in a manger; and this Apta as Crib or Manger is the hieroglyphic sign of the Solar birthplace. Hence the Egyptians exhibited the Babe in the Crib or Manger in the streets of Alexandria. The birthplace was indicated by the colure of the Equinox, as it passed from sign to sign. It was also pointed out by the Star in the East. When the birthplace was in the sign of the Bull, Orion was the Star that rose in the East to tell where the young Sun-God was re-born. Hence it is called the "Star of Horus." That was then the Star of the "Three Kings" who greeted the Babe; for the "Three Kings" is still a name of the three stars in Orion's Belt. Here we learn that the legend of the "Three Kings" is at least 6,000 years old.
In the course of Precession, about 255 B.C., the vernal birthplace passed into the sign of the Fishes, and the Messiah who had been represented for 2155 years by the Ram or Lamb, and previously for other 2155 years by the Apis Bull, was now imaged as the Fish, or the "Fish-man," called Ichthys in Greek. The original Fish-man--the An of Egypt, and the Oan of Chaldea--probably dates from the previous cycle of precession, or 26,000 years earlier; and about 255 B.C., the Messiah, as the Fish-man, was to come up once more as the Manifestor from the celestial waters. The coming Messiah is called Dag, the Fish, in the Talmud; and the Jews at one time connected his coming with some conjunction, or occurrence, in the sign of the Fishes! This shows the Jews were not only in possession of the astronomical allegory, but also of the tradition by which it could be interpreted. It was the Mythical and Kronian Messiah alone who was, or could be, the subject of prophecy that might be fulfilled--prophecy that was fulfilled as it is in the Book of Revelation--when the Equinox entered, the cross was re-erected, and the foundations of a new heaven were laid in the sign of the Ram, 2410 B.C.; and, again, when the Equinox entered the sign of the Fishes, 255 B.C. Prophecy that will be again fulfilled when the Equinox enters the sign of the Waterman about the end of this century, to which the Samaritans are still looking forward for the coming of their Messiah, who has not yet arrived for them. The Christians alone ate the oyster; the Jews and Samaritans only got an equal share of the empty shells! The uninstructed Jews, the idiotai, at one time thought the prophecy which was astronomical, and solely related to the cycles of time, was to have its fulfillment in human history. But they found out their error, and bequeathed it unexplained to the still more ignorant Christians. The same tradition of the Coming One is extant amongst the Millenarians and Adventists, as amongst the Moslems. It is the tradition of El-Mahdi, the prophet who is to come in the last days of the world to conquer all the world, and who was lately descending the Soudan with the old announcement the "Day of the Lord is at hand," which shows that the astronomical allegory has left some relics of the true tradition among the Arabs, who were at one time learned in astronomical lore.
The Messiah, as the Fish-man, is foreseen by Esdras ascending out of the sea as the "same whom God the highest hath kept a great season, which by his own self shall deliver the creature." The ancient Fish-man only came up out of the sea to converse with men and teach them in the daytime. "When the sun set," says Berosus, "it was the custom of this Being to plunge again into the sea, and abide all night in the deep." So the man foreseen by Esdras is only visible by day.
Modern scholarship, based on surviving Babylonian cuneiform tablets, completely contradicts most of the above, especially in that the origin of the twelve-sign Solar Zodiac is datable to later than 550 BC, not several thoousand years earlier. See Omen Astrology and the development of the Zodiac Wheels for more on this.
Gerald Massey, Lectures: The Hebrew and Other Creations - Fundamentally Explained, page 122 , c 1900: So it is with the Fall. Here, as before, the Genesis does not begin at the beginning. There was an earlier Fall than that of the Primal Pair. In this, the number of those who failed and fell was seven. We meet with these Seven in Egypt--(Eight with the Mother)--where they are called the "Children of Inertness," who were cast out from "Am-Smen," the Paradise of the Eight; also, in a Babylonian legend of creation, as the Seven Brethren, who were Seven Kings; like the Seven Kings in the Book of Revelation; and the Seven Non-Sentient Powers, who became the Seven Rebel Angels that made war in Heaven. The Seven Kronidæ, described as the Seven Watchers, who, in the beginning, were formed in the interior of heaven. The heaven, like a vault, they extended or hollowed out; that which was not visible they raised, and that which had no exit they opened; their work of creation being exactly identical with that of the Elohim in the Book of Genesis. These are the Seven elemental powers of space, who were continued as Seven timekeepers. It is said of them, "In watching was their office, but among the stars of heaven their watch they kept not," and their failure was the Fall. In the Book of Enoch the same Seven watchers in heaven are stars which transgressed the commandment of God before their time arrived, for they came not in their proper season, therefore was he offended with them, and bound them until the period of the consummation of their crimes, at the end of the secret, or great year of the world--i.e., the Period of Precession, when there was to be the restoration and re-beginning. The Seven deposed constellations are seen by Enoch, looking like Seven great blazing mountains overthrown--the Seven mountains in Revelation, on which the Scarlet Lady sits.
Gerald Massey, Lectures: In Reply to Professor A. H. Sayce, page 139 , c 1900: P.S.--By the by, is Professor Sayce equally certain that he is correct in his dates of precession? He gives the entrance of the vernal equinox into the signs of the Bull and Ram as being about the years, 4,700 and 2,500 B.C. I found that Cassini and other astronomers gave the figures 4,565 and 2,410 B.C. And from data kindly supplied to me by the present Astronomer Royal from independent calculations made at Greenwich, these were the dates, corroborated and confirmed.
Massey's Messianic View: At the end of Massey's life, in 1907, Massey's Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World was published. In this rather strange work, Massey places the Messiah legend not with the Hebrews but with an Egypt stretching 10 000 years back into the past. [He accepts Herodotus age for Egyptian history at face value - something now disproved by modern scholarship.] He starts with Leo at the Vernal Equinox and then follows the Messiah legend forward through what we would now call the Ages. This is what we would now call the Movement of the Ages but with a Messianic feel which is no longer present in the New Age reading of the Ages. Much of what Massey writes is regurgitated in certain modern books concerning Egypt and Precession, but with little credit given to Massey. Some excerpts of this long work are given below. [As we now know that the Solar Zodiac came to Egypt only after Alexander the Great's conquest in 332 BC - the Egyptians instead possessed their own astral system of 36 decans - Massey's work has, unfortunately, to be considered to be a long exercise in seeing patterns where none actually existed.]
Gerald Massey, Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, published 1907 AD, p 728: We have now to track the ever-coming child Iusa, Iusu or Jesus in the sphere of time as the son of Iusãas and of Atum, who was Ra in his first sovereignty; not merely in the round of the lesser year, but in the movement of precession as determined by the changing equinox or by the shifting position of the pole. As we have shown, the Zodiacal signs were set in heaven according to the seasons of the Egyptian year* and in the annual circuit of the sun. The birthplace of the Inundation and the Grapes was figured in or near the sign of Virgo or the Virgin, the mother of the child who brought the new life to the land in water as Ichthus the fish and in food as Horus on his papyrus. But Horus the traveller of eternity has to be tracked and followed in the movement of Precession. And thus the new beginning for the present quest is in the sign of Leo.
Massey may have thought he had shown this, but this has been comprehensively disproved by modern scholarship. The Solar Zodiac is Babylonian not Egyptian and is less than two and a half thousand years old.
Gerald Massey, Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, published 1907 AD, p 734: When Horus had fulfilled the period of 2,155 years with the Easter equinox in the sign of Aries, the birthplace passed into the sign of Pisces, where the ever-coming one, the Renewer as the eternal child who had been brought forth as a lion in Leo, a beetle in cancer, as one of the twins in the sign of the Gemini, as a calf in the sign of the bull, and as a lamb in the sign of the ram, was destined to manifest as the fish, born of a fish-mother, in the zodiacal sign of the fishes. The rebirth of Atum-Horus or Jesus as the fish of Iusãas and the bread of Nephthys was astronomically dated to occur and appointed to take place in Bethlehem of the Zodiac about the year 255 B.C., at the time [Page 735] when the Easter equinox entered the sign of Pisces, the house of corn and bread; the corn that was brought forth by the gestator Rannut in the eighth month of the Egyptian year, and was reaped in the month named from Parmuti the Corn-Mother; and the bread that was kneaded by Nephthys in the house of bread.
Horus, or Jesus, the fulfiller of time and law, the saviour who came by water, by blood and in the spirit, Horus the fish and the bread of life, was due according to precession in the sign of the fishes about the year 255 B.C. A new point of departure for the religion of Ichthus in Rome is indicated astronomically when Jesus or Horus was portrayed with the sign of the fish upon his head, and the crocodile beneath his feet (fig. p. 343). This would be about the year 255 B.C. (so-called). But the perverters of the Jesus-legend, in concocting the Christian history, had falsified the time in heaven that the Egyptians kept so sacredly on earth during the ages on ages through which they zealously sought to discern the true way to the infinite through every avenue of the finite, and to track the Eternal by following the footprints of the typical fulfiller through all the cycles and epicycles of renewing time.
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