Modern Mythology of the Precession of the Equinoxes

I’d like to alert PaleoBabble readers to Jason Colavito’s series on the modern myth of precession.  Here are the first and second posts.

For those to whom the term “precession” is new, as Jason notes, it is the idea that our lives are controlled by the mechanical movements of the stars caused by the wobble in the earth’s axis and, further, that history is propelled by this cycle, the proof of which is recorded in human myth and religion, as all of that “records” precessional movement via the cycling of the constellations.

Confused? Understandable. Here’s a better and more detailed explanation of the astronomical phenomenon of precession and the idea that it contributed to ancient religions.


15 thoughts on “Modern Mythology of the Precession of the Equinoxes

  1. Granted the stuff that Colavito is addressing from Hancock’s website is nonsense.

    But what if we make the distinction that the stars do not influence or control life on earth, but the stars might be used by God as indicators or signs of either what is coming or what is currently going on in human events?

    Do you think that precession or the precessional ages may be concepts relevant to Biblical prophecy and imagery?

    • I think that in biblical theology there are hints that the biblical writers (a) knew that the celestial objects (stars included) they saw were responsible for the progression of times and seasons, and so, history (and the Bible says that clearly in Genesis 1), and (b) since God was in charge of history, He might be communicating something about His plans through the celestial objects and their movement. Paul’s quotation of Psalm 19:4 in Romans 10:18 (note the context is about preaching the gospel and Gentile inclusion in the people of God) pretty much gives the stars a voice in declaring the coming of the messiah (and Psa 19:4 has a very interesting textual variant; the Masoretic Text reads “their line” = their path/trajectory [the ecliptic], whereas the Septuagint has “their voice”).

      The above doesn’t really point to precession, though, particularly if Rev 12:1-4 is the assemblage of heavenly signs Paul was thinking of. Those signs in terms of the historical event are not dependent on precession.

      • Do you think the Ox, Man, Eagle, Lion imagery of the Cherubim in the OT and the four living creatures in Revelation have any connection to some kind of celestial meaning as the four points of the zodiac etc?

        • yes; I blogged that a couple years ago with respect to Ezekiel 1 (see the “Wacky Bible Interpretation” archive on this site).

  2. Very interesting article, however I am skeptical humans are not just influenced above the seasons – Colovito’s does not convince me.

    Even in the link you provided, there is a link to Jung a great thinker of our time who wrote ” the transformations of the psyche” see Jung — — and the age Aquarius Jung even theorized that hippies and green movements were manifestation of humanity entering the new age– and with it the birth of a new religion.

    Although Colvito explain that theorists
    were wrong with their math; it does agree that The Mayan were accurate up to 1%. with calculating the Great Year with their Cosmic Calendar.

    According to Mayan descendants the date 0f 21/12/2012 does not
    represent the end of the world but a new cycles and most likely a new sky and with it a change in human consciousness..

    see more theorists:…6466.15832.0.16969.…0.0…1ac.1.TcecgyPGXVc

  3. Is precession not a fact? Does the Earth not have a measured movement of rotation and change in angle of orbit?

    Now, of course the debatable fact is what influence did it have on ancient society. I believe the sky was like the ancient TV, I mean what else did people have to do before… 19whatever.. So they watched the sky and at night there is a better show. Now, opposite of ancient alien believers, I think that people were just as capable of free thinking and could have noticed patterns and deduced an effect.

    Modern correlation: Some people can tell when a High Pressure system is coming in without the Weather Channel, they can feel it. So, who is to say that without all the extra stuff that we are being fed today, people may have been MORE aware of their surroundings.

    • precession happens; the issue of course is whether, when religions / ancient people connect what they do/build to celestial phenomena, they are marking precession OR *some other astronomical item / feature*. That a building or object has an astronomical relationship does not mean that relationship is about precession.

        • I looked it up on, then I tried to find information on the author, to little avail (things like credentials). I don’t care that someone makes a book – anyone can do that. I want to know his credentials, then I’ll care (or not). I’m guessing there’s some good stuff in there, but I look for field experts – is he an astronomer? a historian? a classicist? Being a freelance writer is an activity or vocation; it isn’t a credential.

          • He uses scholarly books like those by Eric Horuing, a scholar on Ancient Egyptian history, James P. Allen, a scholar of Ancient Egypt. He also uses scholarly sources to refute the bogus claims made in Zeitgeist about Religious beliefs.

            • I would expect so and hope so. Credentials help establish he’s using the material correctly (i.e., that he understands what he’s looking at). Anyone can use a library and quote passages out of books (people like Graham Hancock do it all the time and make incoherent points when doing so). I just need to know who he is. If he’s not willing to make that clear for his readers, that’s kind of dumb. It’s at least a disservice.

              • Albert Mcilhenny is a freelance writer and the author of the Christian apologist website He lives in with his wife Marilyn and his daughter Grace.

              • It says on the back that Albert is husband with a daughter named Grace. And that he’s a freelance writer.

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