News and Articles

Timeless Articles

These articles stand the test of time, as we humans know it.  Examples include how Shamanic Astrology came to be, what is Shamanic Astrology, understanding astrology as it relates to Earth history from an alternate perspective.

Astrology News

Information and announcements on all things Shamanic Astrology.  It can include special planetary alignments and other events not listed in the other categories below.

School News

This news concerns updated information about what the school is doing, including new events, teleclasses, products and fundraising efforts.

Daniel’s Articles

Articles Daniel Giamario has written over the years with some pre-dating the formation of the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School.

Articles on Venus, Mars and Mercury

As the title suggests, all the articles on Venus, Mars and Mercury can be found here.  In addition, some classes and/or teleclasses on these planets can be found here as well.

Articles on Sun and Moon Eclipses

Lunar and Solar Eclipse seasons are times of potent celestial energy and so they evoke creative spirit to witness, take in, write and study the patterns of remarkable events.  SAMS covers the eclipse seasons and over the years articles have been written on them, primarily by Daniel Giamario and Cayelin Castell.


Welcome Ceremonialist and Shamanic Practitioners

Our mission in this area is to support indigenous and earth-based traditions around the world. Invariably, most of these groups still emphasize ceremony and a living organic relationship with the As Above, So Below realities but they may no longer have direct knowledge or relationship with the night sky.

Ceremonialist benefit from the knowledge and experience of the night sky, synodic planetary cycles, and the Galactic Alignment all designed to further support these groups at this major Turning of the Ages. This includes working with stone circles, petroglyph sites, and taking journeys to sacred sites, cosmograms and heirophanies in the US and around the world.

Examples include the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, Central and South American Shamanic and Medicine Traditions, Celtic Shamanism, Ceremonial Magic, Priestess and Priest Circles, and Vision Quest Traditions.

Celebrate the Sacred Union Between Heaven and Earth
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Welcome Helpers, Healers and Counselors

We are glad you are here! Our mission is to assist all helping and healing professions with these life changing tools, including but not limited to: psychologists, counselors, coaches, naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, energy workers, massage therapists, etc.

The Shamanic Astrology Mystery School (SAMS) helps you expand your ability to effectively assist your clients. Knowledge of the archetypes and the life cycles is often life changing for you and your clients. Understanding the Life Map of those you are working with is a powerful tool allowing you to quickly zero in on places they may be stuck or over-identified. It also gives you clues on how to assist them in understanding their Life Intent/Purpose and how you can assist them in moving toward greater fulfillment in their life.

Knowledge of archetypal psychology and the Shamanic Timeline, is an extremely helpful navigational tool that also greatly assists organizations, schools, and individuals with an already established practice. In addition to individual and team support, SAMS offers effective presentations to the various organizations and schools of healing, counseling and coaching that already exist. Read More

What Constellation was the Sun In at Birth? Illuminating the 13th Sign Misunderstanding

by Cayelin K Castell

This article on the 13th sign created quite a stir a few years ago. So here is the short answer from the Shamanic Astrology perspective. Signs and Constellations are NOT the same.

Plus here is a YouTube mini-teaching on this issue with great visuals Read More

Events In-Person and Online

Shadow Dancing as Rock Art on the Sep Equinox 2012

Events Listing

This is a vertical listing of all in-person events that will be held by SAMS over this year and beyond.


Shamanic Astrology Handbook and Card Deck

See AudiosDVDs and recorded Teleclasses for more products

The Shamanic Astrology Handbook Revised and Expanded in 2014 is $42 including Domestic Priority Mail Shipping, and $60.95 for International Orders including International Shipping.

The New Cover for the Revised and Expanded version of the Handbook

This book is a journey through the 12 signs/archetypes, the planets, Moon and Sun as well as the centaur Chiron. Daniel and Cayelin pour into the cosmology of the Turning of the Ages, how to see astrology in a new light and bring attention to a non-judgmental form of interpreting one’s astrology chart.  This is the core resource for anyone wanting to see a truly unique view of astrology and how you can have awareness for your soul’s intent.

Here are some of the great endorsements we have received for the New Handbook.

“I highly recommend The Shamanic Astrology Handbook as this form of Astrology is a gift to humanity and to the planet. This approach to my individual chart provided me with transformational insights that have changed my life.” ~ Christiane Northrup, MD, best-selling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

“Shamanic Astrology is a revolutionary educational system utilizing the astrological wisdom of the ages as a tool in ones path toward self-realization. I feel that the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School Co-Founders Daniel Giamario and Cayelin Castell are the two top shamanic astrologers in the world and this Handbook is a great resource for these invaluable teachings.” ~Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD, author of Conscious Eating and Spiritual Nutrition

Shamanic Astrology ranks right up there with my other favorite insight tool, Past Life Therapy. ~ Norm Shealy, MD, author of Medical Intuition and Energy Medicine

“Daniel Giamario’s Shamanic Astrology Handbook helped me, and my husband Tomas, clearly see the archetypal energies that WE came to embody. We have a deeper, more profound understanding and respect for each other and for the way we can bring our unique gifts to the world. I highly recommend this book to explore the unique contributions of Shamanic Astrology.” ~Joan Heartfield, PhD, author of Romancing The Beloved

The Shamanic Astrology Handbook is revolutionary. This unique, compassionate and liberating insight has helped to lift the art and science of astrology beyond tired patriarchal empire-laden concepts, to the high feminine principles of compassionate and receptive contemplation, regard, nurturing and celebration of all the possible places on the wheel of life. Truly an astrology for the Turning of the Ages. Beware! This book may change your life.” ~Hal Bahr, Certified Professional Astrologer ISAR C.A.P.

The Shamanic Astrology Handbook has been a favorite companion since the mid-1990’s. Dog-eared and highly treasured, this book has both enlightened my personal journey and provided a rich source of wisdom that I often access in my work with clients. With its non-judgmental approach to the stars, this book is a foundational tool for my own transformational journey. I’m extremely grateful for this work, and highly recommend it. ~Shaeri Richards, author of the award winning book, “Dancing with your Dragon: The Art of Loving your Unlovable Self.”

Order here:

Includes Domestic Priority Mail Shipping
Includes International Priority Mail Shipping

An eBook version of the Shamanic Astrology Handbook was released in March, 2014!  Go to Amazon to pick up your copy here! 

Shamanic Astrology Divination Card Deck (OUT OF STOCK)

The deck has 64 cards: 12 mystery schools, 12 houses, 24 gods and goddesses, 10 planetary initiations, and 6 wild cards. Included with the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdeck is a booklet that describes the use of the deck, layouts, and other ideas for using the cards, along with a detailed description of the meaning of each card.

Purpose of the Deck

The deck can be used for personal and group divination. Additionally it can serve as a teaching of the Shamanic Astrology paradigm. Shamanic Astrology practitioners can also use the deck to illustrate key points in consultations and talks. A further value of the deck is that each card is an evocative work of art, in and of itself, the result of merging a powerful teaching with a world-class artist.

Getting the Deck

CURRENTLY, THIS PRODUCT IS NOW OUT OF STOCK – We are in the process of creating a NEW package for the card deck including a hardcover book with additional material.  We appreciate your patience in this matter.

However, we do have a score of card decks available with damage to the box cover.  If you are still interested in obtaining it, please
email our Managing Director, Erik Roth at for more details on how you can obtain one or more. Thank you.



A Shamanic Look at the Turning of the Ages

Author’s note: The original form of this article appeared in the second edition of the, The Shamanic Astrology Handbook, co-written by Cayelin K Castell*. The essence of this information, developed in the late 1980s, has been a regular part of my classes and workshops for years. For me, the original spark igniting this investigation came from a wonderful essay written by Robert Hand in Essays On Astrology (and elsewhere) concerning the movement of the solstice and equinox points into new constellations. Hand’s essay was inspired by C. G. Jung’s treatment of the same subject in his book, The Aeon. Read More

The Difference Between Signs and Constellations

And Why Both are Important
by Cayelin K Castell

And we now have a New YouTube mini-teaching (15 minutes) on this issue with great visuals that explains this even more!

Signs and constellations are not the same thing. The confusion occurs because a time long ago when people forgot they were different they named the constellations and the signs the same names. However, they are not the same as the signs describe the seasons or months of the year and are measured from the Solstice and Equinox points. The zodiacal constellations are the back drop the signs or seasons move through and are found along the ecliptic or the path the planets track through the sky. The signs, or seasons of the year are slowly moving through all the constellations, precessing one degree every 72 years. Approximately every 26,000 years every sign will move through every constellation along the ecliptic. It is this movement of the signs, or seasons, through the constellations that is the mechanism of how myth and symbol change over time.

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2021 End of Year Letter from Our President

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Beginner’s Corner with Sheridan – New Venus Cycle in Capricorn part 2

Started January 14

Let’s continue our exploration into this important cycle that began a few days ago.

Part 1 is available HERE.

Venus started her new 584-day (or 19 month) cycle on January 14. The cycle begins when Venus rises in the Morning Sky, ahead of the Sunrise. This is the heliacal rise of Venus.  Depending upon your latitude and horizon line, you may see Venus sooner or later than the 14th. She is a beautiful sight to see whenever you get the opportunity!

Venus is the third brightest object in the sky (after the Sun and Moon). Every culture has followed her movements and created stories to go with her motions through the sky. Venus will stay in the morning sky, ahead of the sunrise, until September 14, 2022 – exactly eight months. At that time, she will fade into the horizon and become hidden within the Sun’s bright light. Ancient people said this was the time that Venus went into the Underworld for the transmutation of death into rebirth.

Moon/Venus Conjunction and the Chakras

Each month the waning crescent Moon will get close to (conjunct) the Morning Star Venus. These conjunctions signify Venus moving through a chakra gate on her descent into the Underworld. You can use each month to move through your own chakras.

The first chakra gate, the Moon/Venus conjunction, occurs on January 29 and is the crown chakra. Focus for this month on releasing blockages or biases that prevent the fullest expression of your crown chakra and your connection to the Divine.

There are many ways to do this. A simple Google search will give you more options than you have time to do. I’ll share what I do to kick off your imagination, sans the Google search. I start by getting up early to see the Moon and Venus conjoin with my eyes. It feels so beautiful to be a part of this alignment.

I feel it in my body and know I am honoring a long-forgotten ritual. I’ll speak to Venus and the Moon and share my intentions for this month. Something along the lines of, “Please guide me and help me to clear my connection to Spirit” will do. You may want to focus on addressing any misperceptions you picked up in childhood around God/Goddess that twist your communion. Anything focused on your crown chakra is the idea.

I add an object or picture to my altar that reminds me, on a regular basis, to keep cleansing my crown chakra. I like to wear amethyst. You might want to wear violet clothing, put up violet post it notes with your intention, do crown chakra toning or frequency meditations (there’s an abundance on YouTube). Let your imagination go wild!

All that matters is your unique communion with Venus, Moon and this chakra.

Next month, on February 27, Venus will continue her descent into the Underworld by moving through the third-eye chakra gate. What needs clearing for you to perceive fully? Or, conversely, is anything distorted in your perceptions? Start again, with going out to see Venus and the crescent Moon in the morning sky, ahead of the sunrise.

Share with them your intentions for clearing your third-eye chakra, over the coming month. Throw on some indigo tops, add a reminder to your altar, put up some notes to bring your attention to your brow chakra throughout the month. An image of an Indian woman with a bindi would help me remember.

Following Venus, like your ancestors did, is a powerful way to commune with the Sky and yourself. It inspires a journey to reclaim your connection to the Earth and Sky. Ceremonially participating with the cycles of the cosmos encourages a return to your ancestral roots, to the knowledge still present in your DNA that you are a part of the greater whole around and within you.

Following the Venus cycle is a powerful way to begin or deepen this voyage back into wholeness. Get up early. Find Venus in the Morning Sky. Talk to her. Share your secret longings for yourself with her. Consciously travel through your chakras with her, month after month, focusing on one at a time and letting go of one thing that distorts each chakra within you. By the time you reach the Underworld in September you will be a changed human.

Seeing these Moon/Venus conjunctions will fill you with awe and reverence. You’ll feel the power of your ancestors coursing through your blood and bones. It will be a remembering in your entire being of a time when you were profoundly connected to the universe around you. It will bring tears to your eyes, as you start the journey home again.

We all benefit from your guiding light when you begin to remember who you truly are. Welcome back!

Diving Deeper

If you feel inspired to learn more about Venus’ synodic cycle, as taught by Shamanic Astrology’s founder Daniel Giamario, check out the Synodic Cycles: Living Wisdom of the Inner Planets online class here. The Venus and Mars information is based on the research Daniel did back in the 1990’s, click here to read that article.

If you are interested in participating in an online Ceremonial Journey with Venus, I am co-teaching with Cayelin Castell beginning January 23 click here for more information and to register.

Sheridan Semple


Finding My Rising Star

As Mars passes by Antares, Heart of the Scorpion
By Awen Labow

There is a special sight to behold in the morning sky right now: two red stars, but only one is a star; the other is Mars. This sky spectacle is quite stunning, but moreover, holds special significance for me as it is also serving as a potent reminder of how the magic of the night sky works and how my own journey into the world of Shamanic Astrology began.

As with many of us, I was first exposed to astrology through the horoscopes in the newspaper. Being born in the last week of October, all I knew was that “I am a Scorpio”, and if I was to ever read or pay any heed to an astrology column, it was the Scorpio piece that I focused on – usually finding a rather tenuous resonance, if any.

Being a “Scorpio,” and a lover of the night sky, I naturally learned the constellation of the Scorpion with its red star, Antares, and how to spot them whenever they appeared. I would often point this constellation out to others saying “there’s Scorpio! That’s my constellation!” as, indeed, at that time I understood it to be.

It wasn’t until many years later that my love for astronomy and my curiosity about astrology were finally fused. I now recognize that the tipping point for me was a simple, yet profound experience I had in the winter of 2018. Bundled up from the cold, and staring into the crisp early morning sky, I saw this bright planet passing right by the heart of the Scorpion. I felt a surge in my own heart, and I said to myself: “How could this NOT mean something!” I went inside to do some research, and it was not long after that I was signed for my first online course to learn Shamanic Astrology.

But I’m not a Scorpio!

This is of course one of the first lessons that we learn in Shamanic Astrology – that we are NOT our Sun sign, and also that signs and constellations are NOT the same thing. This also meant that, in answer to my question, a planet moving through the Scorpion constellation was not moving through the sign of Scorpio, and therefore, based on the knowledge I had at that time, had nothing to do with me!

I considered it just another case of simply being dazzled by a night sky spectacle, and left it at that, grateful nonetheless that somehow this experience was enough to start my astrological studies. It was only much later, after taking a live SAMS Night Sky and Cosmology Course that I realized, the true potency of the Mars – Antares conjunction that I witnessed. As I would come to discover, this event was actually very much connected to my chart, and in an even more powerful way.

As we learn in Shamanic Astrology, the reason the Sun sign is given less emphasis is due to the fact that the Sun is in the same sign for an entire month, and therefore that sign, or mystery school, is not a particularly unique feature on an individual’s chart.

The most unique points, on the other hand, are the four angles of the chart, which change signs roughly every two hours. As such, the Rising Sign, or Ascendant, can be seen as our overall life intent, our purpose, or the whole reason we are here anyway! And how do you see your Rising Sign in the sky? By learning your Rising Star! As I would come to learn, my rising star is none other than Antares, “the heart of the Scorpion,” albeit in the SIGN of Sagittarius.

Just as it was when I had my astrological awakening in 2018, Mars (in Sagittarius) is now making its way through the Scorpion constellation and will be continuing to spend time with Antares for the next few days. This is encouraging me to wake up early to view the pre-dawn sky and get to know the region of the sky that was rising at the moment of my birth. As Mars continues to activate this part of the sky, and therefore this part of my chart, I can’t help but wonder what the next leg of this incredible journey has in store!

Learning the night sky has become an important guiding force along my own life path. If you would like to learn more about how to find your own rising star, SAMS now offers an online version of the Cosmology and Night Sky Course. You can find more details and register HERE. I hope you will all take the opportunity to rise early and see Mars moving through the Scorpion for yourself this month, and see if there is any magic awaiting you as well!

2021 End of Year Letter

A Shamanic Look at the Turning of the Ages – Revised

A Shamanic Look at the Turning of the Ages

by Daniel Giamario, article edited by Cayelin K Castell, and revised by Giamario in January 2022.

Author’s note: The original form of this article appeared in the second edition of the The Shamanic Astrology Handbook, edited by Cayelin K Castell*. The essence of this information, developed in the late 1980s, has been a regular part of my classes and workshops for years. For me, the original spark igniting this investigation came from a wonderful essay written by Robert Hand in Essays On Astrology (and elsewhere) concerning the movement of the solstice and equinox points into new constellations. Hand’s essay was inspired by C. G. Jung’s treatment of the same subject in his book, The Aion.

Over the years, my experiential and ceremonial work with the night sky, as well as teaching the night sky to others, crystallized the workability of these ideas. In those days, over thirty years ago, very few in the astrological community were interested in this subject. The only other person I knew of, who was aware of the solstice galactic alignments, was constellational astrologer Raymond Mardyks, whose fine work can be accessed as an example of other directions this same data can lead to.

In the late 1980’s, I began corresponding with European master astronomer Jean Meuss, via a recommendation from astronomer-publisher Guy Ottewell, concerning the precisely calculated dates of entry, into different constellations, of the solstices and equinox coordinates. I sent a communication to Meuss in 1991 asking him to calculate the exact date of the winter (December) solstice alignment with the intersection of the galactic plane and the plane of the solar system. He responded with May, 1998. I have been sharing this date in my talks and workshops ever since. Jean Meuss references the May, 1998 date in his book Mathematical Astronomy Morsels.

Now, in 2022, the greater part of the Astrological community still largely ignores the perspectives offered here.  There are significant exceptions, however, such as Gemini Brett and Linea Van Horn.  Also, with few exceptions these observations are ignored by most astronomers.  I have found that ceremonially oriented persons, often with indigenous backgrounds, can more easily understand it.  As the Turning of the Ages continues to accelerate, many more people, from many different backgrounds, will surely become aware of this larger calendric frame of reference. I suspect this awareness and understanding has occurred at other times in history, then was forgotten for a time, and remembered again.

In any case, these insights are not necessarily original or new.  What is offered here is not dogma, but rather is intended to inspire speculation and imagination. This body of knowledge is, however, a organically growing foundational element of our school and the Shamanic Astrology Paradigm ™.  The clues are all in the sky. All we need do is look and be open.  

  The topic of the Turning of the Ages will now be gaining greater emphasis in our school.  I felt it appropriate to go back here to an updated version of the article that started it all.

My latest research was recently presented at the Turning of the Ages seminar presented December 29th, 2021, which you can see here:2021 December Solstice Presentation.  A similar presentation takes place January 14th for the Tucson Astrologers Guild—LINK HERE.

Also included here is a new glossary of terms used in this article and forthcoming articles.

Where Solstice and Equinox points are currently, graphic by Cayelin Castell

The Turning of the Ages going beyond the Age of Aquarius
At the end of the millennium, whilst entering the year 2000, there was, and continues to be, much speculation about the so-called “end times.” Catastrophes, apocalypses, various end points of cultural calendars, as well as world renewal and oncoming Golden Ages are common themes. In an astrological context this is often referred to as the beginning of the “Aquarian Age”.

Since the late 1890’s, literally scores of scenarios have been developed claiming conclusive dating for the beginning of this Aquarian Age.(*2) The question of when the Aquarian Age actually begins is a highly interesting field of inquiry, and worthy of several entire books.  Included as part of this topic is the general misunderstanding that the “Age of Aquarius”, generally referring to the sign of Aquarius and its usual meaning, actually should refer to the constellation of the Water-Bearer, with a really different image and meaning. We have many videos and articles, over the years, on this subject.  However, I prefer to now investigate a larger context, raising questions and issues that should render the timing of the “Aquarian Age” moot.  I believe experiential shamanic methodology demonstrates that humanity is within the time-frame of the end and beginning of an entire 26,000 year cycle (and 1997-1998 was the center point).

The Tilt and the Wobble
The longest cycle in the natural world that can be apprehended by the human senses, in a single lifetime, is the 26,000 year cycle marked by the precession of the equinoxes and solstices.(*3) This phenomenon is caused by the interaction of the twenty-three-and-a-half degree tilt of the Earth’s axis (creating the seasons) and the wobble of the Earth’s axis (causing entirely different stars to mark “North” over the 26,000 year cycle, among other things). The interaction of the tilt and wobble of the Earth’s axis causes the solstice and equinox points to move backwards or precess one degree every seventy-two years through the zodiac.

Astrological Ages
There is a huge amount of literature concerning the so-called astrological ages, their connection synchronistically to history, and their remarkable relationship to esoteric and occult mystery schools.  Personally, I consider that the western scientific view (also held by some astrologers) contending that the precession of the equinoxes and solstices was unknown before Hipparchus is pretentious and oblivious to the obvious.  It is on par with the belief that no culture, prior to the age of western science, had any awareness of the eighteen to nineteen year Lunar Standstill Cycles.

Within the last ten years, scores of ancient sites, throughout the world, are now known to have as their basis in the extremes of the Moon’s orbit.(*4) This defied the previously held notion that these people couldn’t possibly have known about the 19 year cycle of the Moon. The next Lunar Standstill season has already begun, and peaks in 2024-2025.

Even if no one knew about the precession of the equinoxes and solstices prior to 300 BC, it still serves as a valid basis for the investigation at hand, a shamanic investigation of The Turning of the Ages.

The Platonic Year or 26,000 Great Year
The Neo-Platonists compared an entire 26,000 year cycle to one year, and referred to it as a “Platonic Year” or the “Great Year”.  This analogy is extremely useful.  Just as one year has twelve months and four seasons, a Platonic Year also has twelve months and four seasons.  However, one month in a Platonic Year is 2160 years long and each season is 6480 years long.  These figures are arrived at using simple math, but where do we start the Platonic Year or the 26,000 year cycle?  What establishes the boundaries for beginning and ending the Platonic Year?

This is identical to the problem of where to begin a circle.  In this case the circle can be represented with the plane of the solar system, or the ecliptic, marked by the constellations of the zodiac as a background.  The best way to begin a circle is to cut through the circle from the outside.  For example, Aries, 0 Aries, is the first sign of the zodiac (or circle), because conventionally it is the first thirty degrees following the March equinox.  Therefore it is the March equinox that cuts the circle of the zodiac to begin a standard solar year.

However, where do we begin marking the beginning and ending of the entire 26,000 year cycle?  Is there something else we can use to begin the circle relative to an entire Platonic year?  If so, this issue of where to begin and end the greater cycle could be resolved.  This also means that the smaller issue of where to begin and end one of the Platonic months (i.e. Aquarius) becomes considerably less significant.

A Shamanic Approach to the Night Sky
A mytho-shamanistic approach to astrology involves the direct observation of the night sky, connecting with natural phenomena using the human senses.  It is not based on an abstract, complicated computer-generated solution to a problem.  In the night sky, there is one very clear and even dramatic phenomenon that cuts the circle of the zodiac – the plane of the Milky Way!

Graphic created by Cayelin Castell

The plane of our galaxy cuts the zodiac/ecliptic belt at about a sixty-six degree angle in the region of the zodiacal constellations of the Archer and Scorpion (aka Sagittarius and Scorpius).  The Milky Way intersects the zodiac near the center of the galaxy in an extremely rich and thick field of stars.  Looking out towards deep space in the opposite direction, another intersection takes place in the vacinity of the constellations of the Twins and the Bull (aka Gemini and Taurus) where the Milky Way is barely noticeable.  The phenomenon of precession does not change these intersection points.  The Milky Way’s fixed star relationship to the zodiacal constellations creates a visible framework far grander, and much longer lasting than even the 26,000 year precessional cycle.

Where Does the Circle (Cycle) Begin?

Graphic by Cayelin Castell

We have now established what intersects the circle, thus establishing a wider context, however, a timer is still required to determine the end and the beginning of the 26,000 year cycle.  The majority of the world’s cultures have chosen the solstice or equinox points within a solar year to determine the beginning of a new year.

The only exceptions to this are locations on the planet, that are closer to the equator, where the seasons are similar, and not much difference is noticed between solstice time and equinox time.

These cultures, such as the Hawaiian and Egyptian, chose the rising of a star or constellation (i.e. the Pleiades or the star Sirius), and then calibrate the event with a new Moon to mark a new solar year.  Most cultures, however, have chosen either the March equinox, December solstice, September equinox, or occasionally the June solstice as the new year’s starting point. For example, our modern western secular calendar, beginning January 1, originally began near the December solstice.  Meanwhile, both astrologers and astronomers today begin their coordinate and calendric systems with the March *(Vernal) equinox.

The solstice and equinox points can also be used as the timer for the wider 26,000 year framework.  These points can be used to determine the astrological age, or Platonic Month, the Platonic Season, as well as the Platonic Year, as they precess at approximately one degree every seventy-two years.

It’s the arrival of the solstice and equinox points at the intersection of the plane of Milky Way and zodiac that clearly determine the Platonic Seasons, which occur about every 6480 years.  But what Platonic Season determines the end and beginning point of the entire Platonic Year?  How do we determine the more important intersection points?  Of the four seasonal points, is it the solstices or equinoxes points that may have precedence?

Galactic Center
The intersection between the Sagittarius/Scorpius constellations is visually impressive, and is also the area of the “Galactic Center.”(*5)  If the Sun is central to the solar system, galactic center is like the central Sun that all the stars of the galaxy circuit around about every 250,000 years.  When the equinox or solstice points are aligned with this intersection, the Sun rises at galactic center on certain dates – occurring about every 6480 years marking a change of Platonic Seasons.  It’s happening now, and using one degree equals 72 years, we suggest the zone of 1962-2034 as a great Turning of the Ages.

Why 1998 was so Significant

The Solar Gates Equinoxes and Solstices

According to the calculations of Astronomer Jean Meuss,(*6) famous for calculating stellar occultations and so many other things, the December Solstice coordinate exactly reached the intersection of the plane of the Milky Way with the zodiacal plane in May of 1998.  This is the only time in the 26,000 year precessional cycle that the December Solstice (Winter Solstice in North America) is exactly aligned with this cross.

The Sumerian/Babylonian civilizations chose a spring equinox calendar and modern astrologers and astronomers still use it.  There are two possible reasons for this choice.  For one thing, around 4000 BC, the equinoxes were in alignment with the Milky Way/Zodiac intersection where the Solstices are now located.  This was one whole Platonic season ago – about 6500 years ago. This cosmic frame of reference had an equinox priority then.

Secondly, during the third millennium BC, the March equinox formed precise alignments with the royal star Aldebaran and then with the Pleiades.  The rising Sun at the March equinox was conjunct the Pleiades during the very same years that the Sun rose at the June solstice with the royal star Regulus.  Recent research has suggested that the famous Mayan Long Count was backdated to begin with the heliacal rise of the Pleiades at the March equinox.  It is easy to imagine this was quite impressive and worthy of creating a new calendar!  So, at that time, the Sun rising near Galactic Center was also at the September equinox, and that was overshadowed by the dramatic celestial events occurring in the constellations of the Twins and the Bull (a.k.a. Gemini and Taurus).

Many cultures have considered the December solstice to be the time of greatest density, the deepest descent of spirit into matter, the longest night, and then the return, or rebirth, of the Sun.  It is the esoteric turning of the year.  The December solstice, not coincidentally, was chosen by the current world culture (through its secular calendar) to be the most important of the four calendar turning points, to mark the turning of a solar year.

We can imagine then that the December solstice has higher calendric priority (in this case, more than the equinoxes) for marking the end and beginning of an entire Platonic (Great) year, because of the primacy the shamanic and traditional cultures give to the December Solstice.  However, this can and should create a great stimulating debate on this issue.

Is it the Turning of the Great Year or a Seasonal Shift?
At the very least, we know humanity is at a seasonal shift.  If now isn’t the end and beginning of the Platonic year, then at the very least, it is the “mirror image” of what happened 12,500-13,000 years ago, when the December solstice was at the galactic edge.  This marked the time when the vernal (March) equinox was entering the constellation of the Lion (represented by the Sphinx of Giza), facing due east as silent witness to those historical events).  Today, the great sphinx is witness to the March equinox Sun rising with the constellation of the Water-bearer, (not the sign of Aquarius).

In my travels to Peru, Bolivia, and Scotland, I have had impressive direct experiences of numerous ancient monuments built to capture the precise rising and/or setting of the December Solstice Sun.  It is as if these monuments were built with this time in mind. For only now, (and the mirror image time 12,500-13,000 years ago) can the rising and setting Sun be experienced at the solstice, Milky Way, and zodiacal intersection, that is one of the two crosses.

I propose that all shamanically and experientially oriented individuals prepare for participating in conscious ceremony and festivals, especially during the December  solstices from 1962 to 2034(*7) celebrating the end and beginning of a galactic great “year”.  The rising or setting Sun at the December solstice is a marvelous opportunity to receive a transmission of galactic intelligence directly from galactic center, for dreaming and co-creating the next great age.  This cross is known by many as the Golden Gate.  The arrow of the Archer, the stinger of the Scorpion, and the thyrsus/spear of the centaur constellation all point to this gate.  It’s an exit point, a place of composting, of dissolution and of ascension.  At the same time, at the June Solstice is the other cross, known often as the Silver Gate, seen as an entrance point, as souls enter at the Galactic Edge.

Glossary of Terms:

AEON (or Eon):  Possibly the most appropriate term for this inquiry as it was used by Jung in his late writings (the book “Aion”) and this “god” having major astrological implications.  It refers to the zeitgeist of an astrological “age”.  Dane Rudhyar refers to “Eonic” consciousness in this context.  The etymology comes from notions of age, a vital force, or a long period of time.  Check out “Age” further down.  Aeon or Eon has often been used synonymously to refer to any particular span of time.  Significantly,  it is always less than the age of the manifest Universe itself.

EPOCH:  Has a fixed suggested starting point in time, with some world changing event.  Its etymology suggests a point marking the start of a new period of time.  This is like BCE,  AD, or BC, with reference often to a suggested birth of Christ.

ERA:  This refers to what follows the beginning of an Epoch, such as the “Christian era”.  Refer back to Epoch.

AGE:  This is like Era, but more general, not necessarily needing a fixed starting point.  It is often seen with expressions like “Victorian Age” or “Tudor Age”.  Of course, this is quite connected to the commonly used expressions in astrology like the “Age of Aquarius”.  As I have written and shared about so often, there are scores and scores of suggested starting dates (epoch) for this age.  Our school and this presentation can hopefully resolve this issue.

GREAT YEAR:   A Great Year is one entire precessional cycle, or 12 ages as one year….sometimes it’s called “The 26,000 year year. Each astrological age is one of 12 months in a year.

Other Important Words Often Used:

SAGA:  This is a long story, usually from oral tradition.  Our school uses this with reference to the long interactions of Venus, Mercury, and Mars, and various “stories” that can be applied to their dance.

SAECULUM:  An ancient Etruscan concept, later incorporated by the Romans, and others.  Originally it was meant to refer to the oldest living elder at any given time, usually seen as about 90 years.  Later on it was used to sometimes mean 100 years or a century, or almost any somewhat long period of time.  It was also used to refer to the fact that four entire generations would turn over within one saeculum.  This understanding is expounded in the essential book: “The Fourth Turning”.  It also has greatly contributed to our school’s understanding and teachings regarding the shamanic timeline cycles, and four seasons of life.

MAYAN LONG COUNT:  5,125 years.  Said to begin in 3114 BCE, but that is controversial.  The long count was said to end Dec.21st, 2012, and that also is controversial.  Recent research suggests that the Mayans backdated this start date (an epoch) to the year that the Pleiades conjoined the Vernal Equinox.  Five of these Long Counts nearly equal the current accepted length of a precessional cycle.  See the Last entries.

KALPA:  This is a concept from the Indian sub-continent that usually describes the very largest views of creation and dissolution.  As with the Yuga understandings following, it can refer to really long time frames, or somewhat shorter time-frames.  There are many competing opinions.  Some current teachers believe that we are now at the end and beginning of an entire Kalpa.

YUGA:  This is a concept from the Indian sub-continent, and can be applied to really long periods of time, or as recent research and scholarship has established, can be synchronized with the precessional cycle.  Like the Kalpa, there are many competing opinions.  This is discussed in these presentations.

FOUR SUNS or FIVE SUNS:  Within the Mayan,  Aztec, and Incan world views, they perceive either five or four Suns.  This refers to four or five different periods of creation and destruction, and then a complete rebirth.  I favor the five sun approach, as it so elegantly corresponds with the recent Yuga scholarship, as well as the precessional cycle.  This is discussed in these presentations.

THE PRECESSIONAL CYCLE:  Currently calculated as 25, 920 years (or sometimes 25,772 or 25,800), this is the great cycle produced by the wobble of the Earth, in space; that creates the phenomenon of different North stars, over time, as well as the creation of new “ages”.  This is also the most important astronomical factor that illustrates how every constellation will align with every astrological “sign”, over the course of 26, 000 years.  There is an emerging view that this precessional cycle is not constant, and can vary over time.  Sri Yukteswar, in the late 1800’s, based on the research at that time, believed the cycle to be 24,000 years.  Hipparchus, the alleged “discoverer” of precession once thought it oscillated back and forth in a much shorter time, and then later, 30,000 years was suggested.

GALACTIC ALIGNMENT:  Proposed by Raymond Mardyks in the 1980’s and popularized by the books of John Major Jenkins, this refers to the truly significant alignment of the solstices and equinoxes with the intersection of the plane of the galaxy and the plane of the solar system.  This can occur 4 times in a 26, 000 year precessional cycle. The very first presaging of this was in the book “Hamlet’s Mill”, from 1969.

THE TURNING OF THE AGES:  Originated from Daniel Giamario in the 1980’s, this is another term somewhat similar to the Galactic Alignment.  Our school suggests a time period from 1962-2034, as the current Turning of the Ages, when the December Solstice Sun is located at the intersection of the Galactic plane and the plane of the Solar System.  Giamario consulted Jean Meuss in the 1990’s to have him calculate the exact date of the intersection, which was  determined to be May, 1998.

COSMIC YEAR: 225-250 million years; the amount of time for our solar system to go around the Galactic Center



*1. The Shamanic Astrology Handbook by Daniel Giamario with Cayelin K Castell

*2. Some of the more interesting proposals are:

  • 1962 AD The great conjunction of planets in Aquarius
  • 2012 AD The movement of the star Regulus into the sign of Virgo (from Dane Rudhyar)
  • 2376 AD Vernal Equinox enters the constellation of Aquarius as defined by the sidereal zodiac of Fagan and Bradley

If we use the tropical zodiac to create twelve equal ages, then each age is about 2160 years long. If we date the beginning of the Piscean age at approximately 100 BC, then the current time is very near the entry into the next constellation of Aquarius. If we use the constellational boundaries of Ptolemy, the vernal equinox will not reach Aquarius until after 2600 AD.

*3. Various numbers of years have been given for this cycle. The number of years is probably not entirely stable and may oscillate a bit over time. Dane Rudhyar uses 25,868 years because that is used in Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine. Charles Jayne uses 25,694 years. Most popular literature currently uses 25,920 years. My personal favorite exact figure is 25,800 years used by many astronomers such as Guy Ottewell. To simplify, I use the rounded figure of 26,000 years for the cycle.

*4. Chimey Rock, Colorado, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, Callanish, Scotland and many others

*5. The precise location of Galactic Center, currently at about 27 degrees Sagittarius, lies below the ecliptic and thus below and to the right of the intersection of the Milky Way and zodiacal constellations. But it’s pretty close.

*6. From a personal correspondence

*7. These could be the exact ceremonial timings, but note that the greater festival is at least a 72 year window lasting from 1962 to 2034.

Suggested Bibliography for Research on The Turning Of The Ages:

  • Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha Von Deschend, Boston: Gambit 1969
  • The Myth of Replacement : Stars, Gods, And Order In The Universe by Thomas Worthen, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1991
  • Astrological Essays or Essays on Astrology by Robert Hand
  • The essay which is a commentary on Jung’s book The Aion, concerning the movement of the vernal equinox through the stars of Pisces.
  • Astrological Timing by Dane Rudyar
  • The Origin of the Zodiac by Cyril Fagen
  • The Astronomical Companion and The Astronomical Calendar by Guy Ottewell, Astronomical Workshop, Furman University, Greenville, S.C. 29613
  • The History of the Zodiac (pamphlet), Astro Communication Services
  • The Glorious Constellations, History and Mythology, Giuseppe Maria Sesti, Harry N Abrams, Inc. New York, 1987

The Shamanic Astrology Handbook Info and Order