The idealists and visionaries, foolish enough to throw caution to the winds and express their ardor and faith in some supreme deed, have advanced mankind and have enriched the world.
–Emma Goldman, social activist (1869-1940)
The Cycles of Time
From a magickal as well as historical perspective, it is clear that Time does not move in a straight line, but in spiraling cycles. The minute hand of the clock goes around, but moves forward one hour in each turning. The days of the week come around again, but move forward through the months. The seasons turn through the great Wheel of the Year, and Spring always follows Winter—but the years roll forward down the centuries and aeons. All things appear to move through Time in cycles, but every cycle is part of a larger cycle, which also moving, and so nothing stays in the same place. The next larger cycles carry us forward one more loop for each turning.
On a cosmic level, those spiraling cycles continue… The Earth turns from day to night and the Moon circles around each month. But the Earth and the Moon are also circling the Sun through the seasons—along with all the other planets, moons, comets, etc. But all this doesn’t bring us around to the same place each year, because the Solar System is also spiraling around the galaxy, along with all the other star systems. And of course, the galaxy itself is also moving through the cosmos…and so it goes.
60-Year Renaissance Cycle
Every sixty years, with remarkable regularity over the past six centuries, there has occurred a cultural Renaissance in Western civilization. Each of these periods has seen a comparable flowering of the arts, poetry, music, literature, drama, culture, sciences, spirituality, social movements, and “utopian” communities. In particular, each cycle has also seen a return of the Goddess as archetypal Muse. Those who come of age in their teens and twenties during one cycle will be wise Elders/Wizards/Sages in their 70s and 80s next time around, responsible for mentoring of the next generation of young heroes—as in the stories.
Here are the dates for each of these Renaissances that I have mapped, with projections for the next couple:
Decade Popular Names
1480s The Italian Renaissance (Florentine Renaissance 1469-1537)
1540s The Reformation (1517-1542); The Age of Exploration
1600s The Golden Age; English Renaissance
(Elizabeth I’s reign 1558-1603; Shakespeare’s plays 1589-1613)
1660s The Scientific Revolution (Royal Society founded 1660)
1720s The Great Awakening (1727-1746)
1780s The Enlightenment; The Age of Reason
(American Revolution 1773-1794; French Revolution 1789-1799)
1840s The Transcendentalist Awakening (1822-1844)
1900s The Golden Dawn; fin de siècle (1886-1908)
1960s The New Age; Consciousness Revolution (1960-1974))
2020s The Awakening…
2080s The Diaspora…