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Thread: Psychology and Cosmology - Jung on Precession

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    I've read the first six or seven pages of your paper, so far,
    Thanks, I appreciate your interest. Please note this essay has not benefitted from comments from anyone else and is solely my own work. It is aimed at several different audiences, including astronomers, but to be made more accessible needs subheadings and other editing. Thank you for bearing with me to read this preliminary version.
    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    and you keep mentioning Jung's scepticism regarding this idea, and your intention to support the idea with modern info that he may not have accessed.
    Yes, the ‘modern info’ is mainly my own research, over the last thirty years, into how ancient authors understood and used precession, including in the Bible.

    Jung’s idea that this Pisces symbolism in Christianity is all unconscious is an entry point to discussing this topic of psychology and cosmology. Contra Jung, I show that much of the Pisces symbolism is best explained as conscious and deliberate construction in ancient times, even though explicit records of it do not exist for a range of cultural reasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    One of the (major?) pieces to your argument for the astrological influence seems to be the appearance of pieces of the chi-rho symbol in the astronomical map of the ecliptic, celestial equator, and the line of stars in Pisces. Looking at the diagram at the wiki for Pisces, I see two prominent lines. But neither of them are the one you associate with the rho line, right, the "first fish"? Where does that line go? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisces_(constellation)
    Just to clarify, this is solely about zodiac cosmology, with no reliance on any astrological claims.

    As Jung explains in Aion, what he calls the “first fish” in Pisces is the line of stars orthogonal to the ecliptic. In the picture you linked, this line runs north from alpha to phi past M74. I have some maps in my essay on pages 3 and 5, also attached here, showing the position in 21 AD including with the similarity to the chi rho cross. The change in the current day wiki map since the BC/AD turning point is that the celestial equator, which now runs entirely to the south of Pisces, was then at the point between omicron and pi Pisces, where the first fish crosses the ecliptic. The equator has since moved due solely to precession.

    The connection of Pisces with the Chi Rho Cross appears to be that the early church, in defining Jesus Christ as representing a turning point in time, later formalised as the BC/AD dating system, wanted a symbol which would well illustrate the shape of the heavens at the time of Jesus. The Chi Rho cross does exactly this, while incorporating the first two letters of Christ. The Chi or X maps to what Plato and Dante discussed as great circles in the heavens, the colures of the celestial equator and the ecliptic. The Rho or P maps directly to the first fish of Pisces in the position it had at the year one (or most precisely, 21 AD). This symbol, the chi rho cross, including the alpha and omega letters usually included with it, is a precise and accurate map of the sky, at the start and end point of the ecliptic and equator, at the dawn of the Christian aeon.

    The lack of attestation of this astronomical observation is surprising, if in fact it is true. I am not aware of scholarly discussion of this hypothesis. However, I maintain it has an elegant and parsimonious fit with all available data, bringing strong explanatory power to analysis of Christian symbols and thought in relation to astronomy.

    No discussion about non-scientific aspects of this hypothesis is needed to see that it provides an interesting contribution to scholarship on the relation between psychology and cosmology.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #32
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    I don't see how you can separate the astronomy you mention without linking it to the various beliefs in astrology at the time of the early christians. If you pursue this historically surely that is central to your idea. Without a belief in the various astrological "signs" that were used to add significance to the new testament story, the astronomical observation just seems arcane for the time. For example the star of Bethlehem, whatever that was astronomically, was seen as astrological evidence for the next thousand plus years. If you try, like Jung, to plaster that over with some kind of unconscious effect or even genetic effect, it's ignoring the history of ideas.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    Thanks, I appreciate your interest. Please note this essay has not benefitted from comments from anyone else and is solely my own work. It is aimed at several different audiences, including astronomers, but to be made more accessible needs subheadings and other editing. Thank you for bearing with me to read this preliminary version. Yes, the ‘modern info’ is mainly my own research, over the last thirty years, into how ancient authors understood and used precession, including in the Bible.

    Jung’s idea that this Pisces symbolism in Christianity is all unconscious is an entry point to discussing this topic of psychology and cosmology. Contra Jung, I show that much of the Pisces symbolism is best explained as conscious and deliberate construction in ancient times, even though explicit records of it do not exist for a range of cultural reasons.
    Just to clarify, this is solely about zodiac cosmology, with no reliance on any astrological claims.

    As Jung explains in Aion, what he calls the “first fish” in Pisces is the line of stars orthogonal to the ecliptic. In the picture you linked, this line runs north from alpha to phi past M74. I have some maps in my essay on pages 3 and 5, also attached here, showing the position in 21 AD including with the similarity to the chi rho cross. The change in the current day wiki map since the BC/AD turning point is that the celestial equator, which now runs entirely to the south of Pisces, was then at the point between omicron and pi Pisces, where the first fish crosses the ecliptic. The equator has since moved due solely to precession.

    The connection of Pisces with the Chi Rho Cross appears to be that the early church, in defining Jesus Christ as representing a turning point in time, later formalised as the BC/AD dating system, wanted a symbol which would well illustrate the shape of the heavens at the time of Jesus. The Chi Rho cross does exactly this, while incorporating the first two letters of Christ. The Chi or X maps to what Plato and Dante discussed as great circles in the heavens, the colures of the celestial equator and the ecliptic. The Rho or P maps directly to the first fish of Pisces in the position it had at the year one (or most precisely, 21 AD). This symbol, the chi rho cross, including the alpha and omega letters usually included with it, is a precise and accurate map of the sky, at the start and end point of the ecliptic and equator, at the dawn of the Christian aeon.

    The lack of attestation of this astronomical observation is surprising, if in fact it is true. I am not aware of scholarly discussion of this hypothesis. However, I maintain it has an elegant and parsimonious fit with all available data, bringing strong explanatory power to analysis of Christian symbols and thought in relation to astronomy.

    No discussion about non-scientific aspects of this hypothesis is needed to see that it provides an interesting contribution to scholarship on the relation between psychology and cosmology.
    My bold. Perhaps you are in the wrong forum. Perhaps you should be pursuing this in a university setting. One of my cousins, who has a similar passion for some similarly overlooked historical and artistic tidbits in medieval France, immersed herself in it at the University of Southern California, made some trips to France to get up close and personal with the topics, and earned a Ph.D. in medieval history.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    And yet, axial precession is recognised as a key driver of ice ages.
    And that is where you go wrong, Robert Tulip. Axial precession is recognized as one of the many possible factors that drive ices ages. Read Causes of ice ages
    • Changes in Earth's atmosphere
    • Position of the continents
    • Fluctuations in ocean currents
    • Uplift of the Tibetan plateau and surrounding mountain areas above the snowline
    • Variations in Earth's orbit (Milankovitch cycles)
      This has axial precession as one component.
    • Variations in the Sun's energy output
    • Volcanism

    That we do not find a 26,000 year cycle is evidence that axial precession is a minor driver.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    Thanks Reality Check, that raises a key question in orbital cycles. Indeed, as you say, the orbital climate cycles do not include a 26,000 year period. And yet, axial precession is recognised as a key driver of ice ages. The reason for that is that the relation between the axial precession period of 25771 years and earth’s long term climate cycles is produced by the axial precession of the solstice and equinoxes around the orbital axis, between the points of perihelion closest to the sun and aphelion furthest from the sun, known as the major apsidal axis. The reason this cycle has a shorter period, around 21,000 years, is that the ellipse of earth’s orbit is itself rotating against the fixed stars, with a period of 113,000 years. So by the time the spin wobble of axial precession has completed one cycle around the ellipse axis, the perihelion has advanced by about a fifth of an orbit, so the perihelion-solstice cycle combining apsidal and axial motion is shorter than the 26,000 year spin wobble period. But this does not change the fact that axial precession is the driver of this main climate function of glaciation.

    For more information see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apsida...g-term_climate

    An excellent book explaining the physics is by Muller and MacDonald, Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes: Data, spectral analysis and mechanisms. The problem I recall from reading this book is that they explain the wave spectrum has peaks at 19K and 23K, and I don’t quite get how the combination of axial and apsidal movement produces these periods.
    My bold. My preferred choice of words would be to say that the precession cycle is one of the drivers, and not necessarily the strongest one. A novice reading this might interpret it as saying the precession is the one and only driver when it is not. A third term which you did not mention is the variation in the orbital eccentricity, which varies from near zero to about three times the current value. This variation is irregular, which is not surprising considering the chaotic nature of this multibody perturbation problem. When the eccentricity is at a minimum, the effect of the precession would be minimal, while the 41,000 year obliquity variation would continue to cause large variations in summertime solar insolation in the polar regions. When the eccentricity is large, then the precession and obliquity effects could alternately reinforce and cancel in a way that could get interesting, and if they catch some major ocean currents at a tipping point all hell could break loose.

    In any case, I think this topic of the ice ages is an inappropriate digression from discussion of the possible relation between knowledge of the precession and Jung's ideas. Likewise with your mention of the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune triple conjunction pattern, which was unobservable in ancient times.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    Thanks, I appreciate your interest. Please note this essay has not benefitted from comments from anyone else and is solely my own work. It is aimed at several different audiences, including astronomers, but to be made more accessible needs subheadings and other editing. Thank you for bearing with me to read this preliminary version. Yes, the ‘modern info’ is mainly my own research, over the last thirty years, into how ancient authors understood and used precession, including in the Bible.

    Jung’s idea that this Pisces symbolism in Christianity is all unconscious is an entry point to discussing this topic of psychology and cosmology. Contra Jung, I show that much of the Pisces symbolism is best explained as conscious and deliberate construction in ancient times, even though explicit records of it do not exist for a range of cultural reasons.
    I find this stuff fascinating, but I remain skeptical. It's to easy to see shapes in the sky!
    Quote Originally Posted by grapes
    One of the (major?) pieces to your argument for the astrological influence seems to be the appearance of pieces of the chi-rho symbol in the astronomical map of the ecliptic, celestial equator, and the line of stars in Pisces. Looking at the diagram at the wiki for Pisces, I see two prominent lines. But neither of them are the one you associate with the rho line, right, the "first fish"? Where does that line go? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisces_(constellation)
    Just to clarify, this is solely about zodiac cosmology, with no reliance on any astrological claims.

    As Jung explains in Aion, what he calls the “first fish” in Pisces is the line of stars orthogonal to the ecliptic. In the picture you linked, this line runs north from alpha to phi past M74. I have some maps in my essay on pages 3 and 5, also attached here, showing the position in 21 AD including with the similarity to the chi rho cross. The change in the current day wiki map since the BC/AD turning point is that the celestial equator, which now runs entirely to the south of Pisces, was then at the point between omicron and pi Pisces, where the first fish crosses the ecliptic. The equator has since moved due solely to precession.

    The connection of Pisces with the Chi Rho Cross appears to be that the early church, in defining Jesus Christ as representing a turning point in time, later formalised as the BC/AD dating system, wanted a symbol which would well illustrate the shape of the heavens at the time of Jesus. The Chi Rho cross does exactly this, while incorporating the first two letters of Christ. The Chi or X maps to what Plato and Dante discussed as great circles in the heavens, the colures of the celestial equator and the ecliptic. The Rho or P maps directly to the first fish of Pisces in the position it had at the year one (or most precisely, 21 AD). This symbol, the chi rho cross, including the alpha and omega letters usually included with it, is a precise and accurate map of the sky, at the start and end point of the ecliptic and equator, at the dawn of the Christian aeon.

    The lack of attestation of this astronomical observation is surprising, if in fact it is true. I am not aware of scholarly discussion of this hypothesis. However, I maintain it has an elegant and parsimonious fit with all available data, bringing strong explanatory power to analysis of Christian symbols and thought in relation to astronomy.

    No discussion about non-scientific aspects of this hypothesis is needed to see that it provides an interesting contribution to scholarship on the relation between psychology and cosmology.
    I don't think it's real, and that's why you don't/won't find attestation in the history/discussion. In order to make the match between the configuration of the three principle lines (shown in your second illustration at 21AD), you had to strongly compress the image in the x-direction, along the celestial equator, to get your first illustration. The compression changes the angle between the "first fish" line and the ecliptic from perpendicular to more like the chi-rho. Compression along the celestial equator is the most natural way to do any compression, but why compress it? The only reason you compress it is to make your argument stronger, but from my point of view it seems to weaken your argument by making it artificial. And the argument is not too strong in the first place--the celestial equator has to cross the ecliptic somewhere (twice!), and there are enough stars that there is bound to be some line that crosses there, or near there.

    Did the crossing near Pisces encourage the fish metaphor? among astrologers, or among the populace? Maybe...but it's weak.

  7. #37
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    Another nitpick, which some of us might take as much ado about a trifle, but Robert is using the word "cosmology" unconventionally for a line of thought I would call astrology. I think of cosmology as referring to study of the origin, evolution and properties of the universe as a whole. What I see here is the act of divining signs and omens in the visual sky.

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    My nitpick . So far I have seen modern maps of the Pisces constellation. But Jung is talking about the early church (maybe ~200AD). We really need maps from before that era so that we can be sure about what stars they could see to assign the Chi-Rho symbol.
    In the modern map, there are enough stars to mark out a backwards, elongated rho. And we can grab any 4 random stars to make a chi at its base. But we could probably do that almost anywhere in the sky.

    A plausible explanation is that the fish and Chi-Rho symbols came first. The fish symbol was then associated with the Pisces constellation. Then they mapped the Chi-Rho symbol into the stars in the constellation rather than elsewhere.

  9. #39
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    The Egyptians, before that era were fascinated by Sirius, the dog star, the brightest star, why the dog star? who knows? The naming of the constellations is ancient, we don't really know how ancient. Babylonian perhaps or earlier. Some are easy to see, Taurus has a symmetry that is easy to see as a head of a bull, the others in the ecliptic need a lot of imagination. There is no doubt, surely , that in those days there was literally no distinction between astronomy and astrology. The night sky was full of wonders to behold and it is easy to see why early peoples looked for any correlation with the seasons with events, with disasters and the fate of kings, The greek and Roman civilisations were chock full of myths and astrology, and it was reinterpreted by early christianity. But all that was common knowledge at the time with no need to invoke the subconscious.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I don't see how you can separate the astronomy you mention without linking it to the various beliefs in astrology at the time of the early christians. If you pursue this historically surely that is central to your idea. Without a belief in the various astrological "signs" that were used to add significance to the new testament story, the astronomical observation just seems arcane for the time. For example the star of Bethlehem, whatever that was astronomically, was seen as astrological evidence for the next thousand plus years. If you try, like Jung, to plaster that over with some kind of unconscious effect or even genetic effect, it's ignoring the history of ideas.
    The core questions I am addressing are about scientific causality, examining the links between the cosmology available to ancient astronomers and cultural and psychological data. You are correct that ancient beliefs involve a lot of astrology. However, my interest is to explore what could be understood by visual astronomy alone, without imputing any occult causes. That is why I am avoiding the discussion of astrology as a distraction to the core questions.

    Jung recognised this context of astral speculation, and opened his Foreword to Aion by saying “The theme of this work is the idea of the Aeon…, to throw light on the change of psychic situation within the ‘Christian aeon.’ Christian tradition from the outset is … saturated with Persian and Jewish ideas about the beginning and end of time … Probably most of the historical speculations about time … were influenced… by astrological ideas. It is therefore only natural that my reflections should gravitate mainly round the symbol of the Fishes, for the Pisces aeon is the synchronistic concomitant of two thousand years of Christian development… We are justified in speaking of a ‘Christian aeon' which, it was presupposed, would find its end with the Second Coming. It seems as if this expectation coincides with the astrological conception of the "Platonic month" of the Fishes.”

    In setting out his goals here Jung gives no credence to astrological claims, even while noting they influenced Christian tradition from the outset. The idea that the star group of Pisces represents two fishes is connected to astrology, but that link is for Jung, and for my interest here, only a basis for empirical analysis of the relation between psychology and cosmology. My interest is to show how the ancient visual cosmology of precession of the equinoxes as the encompassing structure of time provided the conceptual framework that underpinned subsequent evolving Christian beliefs about time, even though the original stellar framework was largely forgotten. My claims such as that the Chi Rho Cross was originally a star map depicting the alpha and omega point in the sky at the time of Christ support this hypothesis of a lost ancient astronomy, as part of the collapse of the Roman Empire.

    There is good reason to indicate this hypothesis about observation of precession is reasonable. The settlement of Christian dogma at the Council of Nicaea included a requirement not to challenge orthodoxy. The suggestion of an astronomical template is more aligned to Gnostic ways of thought than to the orthodox creed, explaining why there was such strong pressure for any such material to be suppressed, denied, ignored, misread, lost, destroyed and forgotten.

    Reconstructing the fragments of ancient cosmology faces numerous hurdles of ignorance, prejudice and uncertainty, and yet careful analysis, such as Jung points toward in Aion, can enable scientific explanation of how observation of precession of the equinoxes contributed to the structural framework for ancient thought about time.

  11. #41
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    I am not against the ideas but it just seems a huge effort to wrench the subconscious effects of star patterns into the overt environment of astrological belief at that time. Today we see the subconscious developing from the interior workings of the brain body model which excludes any kind of star pattern but includes the heart, gut, pain and so on. The conscious model adds the gamut of ideas from peers, religions, teachers, so that is where we would expect symbology to reside. Using Jung's idea would presumably place the adoption of the christian cross to the southern hemisphere! Orthodoxy can be seen in the adoption of the previous greek idea of the trinity as a mythic concept while the problems with astrology arose directly from the free will/ original sin concept which was not, as far as I know, any part of early christianity. The theory of astrology at that time was of predestiny and that was directly opposed to the developing idea of free will. These issues explain the central role of astrology early on and the rejection by the churches in modern times. All that is separate from the relatively recent scientific rejection of astrology on the basis of failure to work as a predictive model. I think Jung was seeing what he saw as synchronicity and that was confirmation bias for his knowledge of astrology while his Kantian upbringing forced him to try to be scientific.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    Axial precession is recognized as one of the many possible factors that drive ices ages. Read Causes of ice ages
    …That we do not find a 26,000 year cycle is evidence that axial precession is a minor driver.
    Axial precession is a major driver of ice ages over human time frames, as seen in the ice age pattern over the last 420,000 years shown at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...insolation.jpg

    This graph shows the correlations between calculated insolation and Oxygen-18, CH4, temperature and CO2 from Antarctic ice core data. The insolation data at the bottom of the chart shows a fairly regular c.25,000 year wave function. As theory predicts, peaks in temperature, CO2, CH4 and 18O lag the peaks in insolation. The insolation peaks are mainly a combination of axial precession, apsidal precession and obliquity, with eccentricity operating on a slower cycle. When the orbit is rounder obliquity has a relatively greater role.

    Axial precession is the primary orbital driver of this c25K pattern of insolation because the peaks generally occur around when the June solstice is at perihelion, which is mainly about axial precession. The precession of the apsides only contributes to slightly shorten the period of the glacial cycle driven by the 26,000 year axial precession, with obliquity producing the variations from smoothness of the wave function.

    The causal theory is quite simple, that when the northern summer solstice is at perihelion, more ice melts than freezes each year, causing glacial retreat, while when northern summer solstice is at aphelion, more ice freezes than melts, causing glacial advance. The most recent peaks are at about -10K, -35K, -58K, -82K, -105K years before present, well illustrating the major role of axial precession.

    Other factors causing ice ages are much more irregular or slow. The perihelion solstice pattern driven by axial precession is the primary reason the sea has gone up and down and the ice has advanced and retreated over the 80KY since humans left Africa, and therefore provides the main orbital framework in which human history can be analysed at the encompassing scale of paleontology.

    My reason for placing Jung’s discussion of precession in this astronomical context is to put the relation between precession and life into a long term astronomical framework. The insolation wave function has been a main stable climate cycle driver for the planet, probably since life began four billion years ago. Such a long time of stable cycles gives grounds to conjecture that the regular succession of warmer and cooler aeons could have produced genetic adaptations.

    The precessional “seasons” https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...nd_seasons.svg show that “fall” was from about 6000 years ago until the perihelion passed the winter solstice, which Jean Meeus says https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...n-and-Solstice was in 1246 AD.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    Axial precession is a major driver of ice ages over human time frames, as seen in the ice age pattern over the last 420,000 years shown at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...insolation.jpg

    This graph shows the correlations between calculated insolation and Oxygen-18, CH4, temperature and CO2 from Antarctic ice core data. The insolation data at the bottom of the chart shows a fairly regular c.25,000 year wave function. As theory predicts, peaks in temperature, CO2, CH4 and 18O lag the peaks in insolation. The insolation peaks are mainly a combination of axial precession, apsidal precession and obliquity, with eccentricity operating on a slower cycle. When the orbit is rounder obliquity has a relatively greater role.

    Axial precession is the primary orbital driver of this c25K pattern of insolation because the peaks generally occur around when the June solstice is at perihelion, which is mainly about axial precession. The precession of the apsides only contributes to slightly shorten the period of the glacial cycle driven by the 26,000 year axial precession, with obliquity producing the variations from smoothness of the wave function.

    The causal theory is quite simple, that when the northern summer solstice is at perihelion, more ice melts than freezes each year, causing glacial retreat, while when northern summer solstice is at aphelion, more ice freezes than melts, causing glacial advance. The most recent peaks are at about -10K, -35K, -58K, -82K, -105K years before present, well illustrating the major role of axial precession.

    Other factors causing ice ages are much more irregular or slow. The perihelion solstice pattern driven by axial precession is the primary reason the sea has gone up and down and the ice has advanced and retreated over the 80KY since humans left Africa, and therefore provides the main orbital framework in which human history can be analysed at the encompassing scale of paleontology.

    My reason for placing Jung’s discussion of precession in this astronomical context is to put the relation between precession and life into a long term astronomical framework. The insolation wave function has been a main stable climate cycle driver for the planet, probably since life began four billion years ago. Such a long time of stable cycles gives grounds to conjecture that the regular succession of warmer and cooler aeons could have produced genetic adaptations.

    The precessional “seasons” https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...nd_seasons.svg show that “fall” was from about 6000 years ago until the perihelion passed the winter solstice, which Jean Meeus says https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...n-and-Solstice was in 1246 AD.
    There is perhaps more to ice ages namely triggers, mostly impacts and volcanoes. You could equally claim that ancient observers noticed impacts and associated them with sky events. It does look as though there was a population pinch point for example during the last ice age, possibly due to an impact recently associated with the Younger drias cold period about 12000 years ago. I think it might be more likely there was a folk memory of that and that might have had astrological ideas linked to it. It seems to me just as likely as some epigenetic trait. The survivors of the last ice age just were lucky enough to live in the right places. They were fully modern human so capable of sophisticated oral memories of the hard times. Not subconscious memories, normal myths and legends and stories.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    My bold. Perhaps you are in the wrong forum. Perhaps you should be pursuing this in a university setting. One of my cousins, who has a similar passion for some similarly overlooked historical and artistic tidbits in medieval France, immersed herself in it at the University of Southern California, made some trips to France to get up close and personal with the topics, and earned a Ph.D. in medieval history.
    Thanks Hornblower, but the nature of this material is very interdisciplinary, as is Jung’s Aion itself, and so does not fall neatly into any university subject. I appreciate the responses so far on this thread just in relation to the astronomy, which have prompted me to expand in reply in areas that are less clear to readers.

    My interest in the history of astronomy includes researching how people actually thought in the past, such as with what I have rather provocatively termed ‘visual cosmology’, what actually happened to cause older knowledge to be lost, and also how orbital astronomy actually influences life on earth.

    The influence of precession on both climate and culture is not widely understood, or even widely or well studied, and yet there are grounds to consider it an encompassing framework. I am not aware of any university setting which would welcome this type of research.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    the precession cycle is one of the drivers, and not necessarily the strongest one.
    In saying that ‘axial precession is the driver of this main climate function of glaciation’ , I was referring to the specific discussion in that paragraph about whether there is a 26,000 year period in orbital climate cycles, not to the broader topic of all glacial factors. Sorry for the ambiguity. However, in considering the 80KY since humans left Africa, precession was arguably the strongest driver of climate cycles until the emergence of anthropogenic factors at the dawn of the Holocene.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    … orbital eccentricity varies from near zero to about three times the current value. This variation is irregular, which is not surprising considering the chaotic nature of this multibody perturbation problem. When the eccentricity is at a minimum, the effect of the precession would be minimal, while the 41,000 year obliquity variation would continue to cause large variations in summertime solar insolation in the polar regions. When the eccentricity is large, then the precession and obliquity effects could alternately reinforce and cancel in a way that could get interesting, and if they catch some major ocean currents at a tipping point all hell could break loose.
    Thanks for pointing all that out Hornblower. Indeed, as you note there are fragile ocean currents such as the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) which I think was implicated in the disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow, with the idea that a geologically sudden anthropogenic change in polar currents could stall the sinking of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic, sending the global climate into disarray. If the sudden collapse of the vast glacial lake over much of North America caused the Younger Dryas, that was a good example of your phrase ‘all hell could break loose’.

    It would be interesting to know the estimated share between obliquity and precession as climate drivers over millions of years. As you point out, obliquity only dominates when eccentricity is near zero and the orbit is almost circular, which would only be a small proportion of the total time, leaving precession as the major long term stable orbital factor at the ten thousand year scale, even while ellipticity could have bigger effects, but only over the scale of hundreds of thousands of years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post

    In any case, I think this topic of the ice ages is an inappropriate digression from discussion of the possible relation between knowledge of the precession and Jung's ideas.
    Not really. Aion raises the topic of the deep structure of terrestrial time, and how such a postulated structure may have unconscious impacts on human psychology. We know that the day and year have unconscious impacts, for example with seasonal affective disorder affecting an estimated ten per cent of Alaskans in winter, and with diurnal blood pressure variation a basic anatomical cycle.

    Jung postulates that precession has an unconscious impact on psychology, meaning the impact is not just from knowledge. He is not only speaking of “knowledge” of the precession, but also opening the possibility of unknown effects, analogous to the way diurnal blood pressure change is not conscious. I am describing the effect of precession on climate in order to put this possible impact on psychology into a physical context, to describe the hypothesis that the regular long term “seasons” of precession may have an unconscious effect analogous to the day and year.

    A mythological correlation between precession and culture is seen between the precessional “fall” or autumn (see link in my last post) and the period that Judeo-Christian tradition understands as the fall from grace. Another mythological correlation with precession is the Indian cosmology of the Yuga, as the structure of time in a cycle between golden and iron ages. The allegedly ancient Laws of Manu support an idea of this Yuga cycle lasting 24,000 years, quite close to the actual climate cycle of glaciation driven by precession. I cite this as another piece of the puzzle to indicate how impact of precession could affect human culture and psychology.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Likewise with your mention of the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune triple conjunction pattern, which was unobservable in ancient times.
    The overall solar system wave function, I have argued, is driven by the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune triple conjunction pattern reflected in the distance of the sun from the solar system barycentre. An effect on the human psyche of this large wave would necessarily be entirely unconscious and unknown if it even existed.

    My reason to mention it is that the stable JSN wave function of the solar system barycentre at 178.9 years is one twelfth of the zodiac age period of 2148 years, giving reason to describe the zodiac age as a resonant function, one twelfth of the earth’s spin wobble period and twelve times the total wave function of the solar system, reinforced by the fact that the JSN conjunction point advances by close to 30° each time, making a full circle each zodiac age, most precisely with the Saturn-Neptune cycle.

    However, given that the climate cycle of precession is shorter than the axial wobble period due to the slow rotation of the apsides, there are only about ten zodiac ages in each precessional climate cycle rather than twelve. I acknowledge that such an actual resonance with effect on psychology or biology is dubious and lacks empirical support, but mention it as a part of the overall jigsaw puzzle of the orbital structure of time. Earth is nested within the temporal frame of the solar system, for which I argue the JSN triple conjunction pattern provides the main integrating wave function.
    Last edited by Robert Tulip; 2017-May-21 at 07:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    Axial precession is a major driver of ice ages over human time frames, ...
    Insolation is not an automatic ice age. It is one of the several possible drivers of ice ages. Read about ice ages
    Causes of ice ages
    The causes of ice ages are not fully understood for either the large-scale ice age periods or the smaller ebb and flow of glacial–interglacial periods within an ice age. The consensus is that several factors are important: atmospheric composition, such as the concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane (the specific levels of the previously mentioned gases are now able to be seen with the new ice core samples from EPICA Dome C in Antarctica over the past 800,000 years) changes in the earth's orbit around the Sun known as Milankovitch cycles, the motion of tectonic plates resulting in changes in the relative location and amount of continental and oceanic crust on the earth's surface, which affect wind and ocean currents, variations in solar output, the orbital dynamics of the Earth–Moon system, the impact of relatively large meteorites and volcanism including eruptions of supervolcanoes.
    Read the science and see there is no 26,000 year cycle in ice ages. The dominant cycle has been 100,000 years over the last 1 million years and 41,000 years previously to ~5 million years: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:F...ate_Change.svg
    There are gaps with no known major glaciations - totally debunking your claim: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:G..._annotated.jpg

    ETA: Ice core data over the last 400,000 years show a dominant 100,000 year cycle : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:V...Petit_data.svg

    If you want to talk about human scales or human history then we need look at the last glacial period which is not an ice age even when popularly called the "Ice Age".
    Last edited by Reality Check; 2017-May-21 at 09:40 PM.

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    Snip...........
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip
    It would be interesting to know the estimated share between obliquity and precession as climate drivers over millions of years. As you point out, obliquity only dominates when eccentricity is near zero and the orbit is almost circular, which would only be a small proportion of the total time, leaving precession as the major long term stable orbital factor at the ten thousand year scale, even while ellipticity could have bigger effects, but only over the scale of hundreds of thousands of years.
    ..........Snip
    My bold. I did not assert that obliquity dominates only at near zero eccentricity. For all we know, the obliquity may be the stronger driver over a wide range. Can you demonstrate, in appropriate mathematical detail, a quantitative analysis of the thermodynamics of this topic?

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