June 1, 2023 | by Daniel Giamario |
New Insights and A Preview of The Revised and Updated
Course 02 – Tracking Transits: Seasons & Cycles
Some years ago I introduced a new feature into the core curriculum of what is now the Turning of the Ages Mystery School – TOTAMS. It was termed the “Shamanic Timeline of Our Lives”. This innovation has consistently been a foundational element of my personal practice, as well as a cornerstone of the school’s Course 02, now called “Tracking Transits: Seasons and Cycles”.
Ever since, I have received numerous inquiries as to how this innovation came about. I am happy to share more about that now.
Over a decade ago, I became aware of, and then read a book called “The Fourth Turning: an American Prophecy, What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny” by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Despite the book having virtually no astrological content, it made a huge impression on me and was the primary inspiration for creating the timeline material.
It introduced to me the concept of the saeculum.
What Is A Saeculum?
Wikipedia states: “Originally it meant the time from the moment that something happened (for example the founding of a city) until the point in time that all people who had lived at the first moment had died. At that point a new saeculum would start. According to legend the gods had allotted a certain number of saecula to every people or civilization; the Etruscans for example, had been given ten saecula.”
Apparently, the concept originated with the Etruscans, an enigmatic and exotic matrilineal civilization on the Italian peninsula, completely unrelated to other Italic peoples. This civilization has an unknown origin (some say it came from Lydia in present-day Turkey), and has a written alphabet that defies translation. Their concept, later incorporated by the Romans as the saeculum, may go back to the 9th century BCE. This was later seen as synonymous to a century. But what actually is a saeculum?
A saeculum can mean a long human life, as well as a natural century. Its etymology is obscure and has included:
Senectus – old age; Sero – to plant; Sequor – to follow; Seh – to sow; and Sh:ey – to bind, knit, or connect, thus linking generations over time.
Thus, a saeculum can be thought of as the potential lifetime of a person or the potential renewal of a population.
According to Strauss and Howe, the oldest elder was about 90 years old at any given time. In other writings the span of 80-100 years is used. Myth tells us that the inauguration of a city or state was the beginning of a saeculum, and when all had died who were present at the founding, a new saeculum would commence.
Next, we must consider the concept of a generation.
What is a Generation?
A generation can have two meanings. 1) It can be all people born and living at about the same time regarded collectively: think of Millennials, Baby Boomers, the Pluto Generations etc. OR 2) The average period during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children themselves.
Throughout history, the suggested length of a generation varied, depending on cultural and historical considerations. For example, in hunter/gatherer times and among some aboriginal people, this can be as short as 13-15 years. Sometimes it was rendered as being as long as about 30 years, in line with the first Saturn return. In our current times, “adulthood” has been usually defined as age 21, which is closely related to an important Saturn square.
The Archetypal Human Lifespan and Four Seasons of Life
I have taken all the above insights into account in creating the Timeline of Our Lives, which can be seen as the most important initiatory processes happening to everyone at approximately the same age in their lives.
Over the last 60 years, I have encountered a number of ideas concerning the archetypal length of a human life. For example, Dane Rudhyar at one point suggested 84 years, inspired by the cycle of Uranus. In India, the imagery of the four Ashrama of life is being used: student, householder, seeker, and renunciate. Sometimes these were related to three Saturn returns. I have experimented with these and other concepts. These days I have settled on the age of 88, the third Saturn return, which is the only true synodic return, when Saturn returns on the actual birthdate.
I also was inspired by the work of Strauss and Howe, based on their saeculum understanding, that within one saeculum, FOUR generations turn over, each with different characteristics. These details can be found in the book The Fourth Turning. It includes deep research into the main turning points in U.S. and European history. I used those insights to discern that in each archetypally rendered human lifespan, there are FOUR seasons of life, like the seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. With all the previous work done on understanding the intent of different planetary initiation processes, a map of the seasons of life, including the junction points between seasons began to emerge.
This is a brief summary. Click here to see the complete detailed Timeline.
TOTAMS is offering a free Solstice Seminar on this subject, happening June 20, 2023, at 5:00pm PDT. You can register here (recording provided for all who sign up).
A final remark
Since utilizing this approach, in every session that I offer, whether a first-time or an update, I start with the Timeline.
I have discovered no more effective foundation for understanding where a person is in their life, what it means, and how to navigate their life phase. Coupled with the TOTAMS signature ThreeWorldsApproach, the Timeline provides an essential guide for actualizing our life purpose. Few things can be considered more important than this at this Great Turning of The Ages.