Isis Unveiled: chapter I (an axiom of hermetic philosophy)

“In order to demonstrate that the notions which the ancients entertained about dividing human history into cycles were not utterly devoid of a philosophical basis, we will close this chapter by introducing to the reader one of the oldest traditions of antiquity as to the evolution of our planet.

 
At the close of each “great year”, called by Aristotle – according to Censorinus – the greatest, and which consists of six sars (sarus) our planet is subjected to a thorough physical revolution.

 
The polar and equatorial climates gradually exchange places; the former moving slowly toward the Line, and the tropical zone, with its exuberant vegetation and swarming animal life, replacing the forbidding wastes of the icy poles.

 
This change of climate is necessarily attended by cataclysms, earthquakes, and other cosmical throes. As the beds of the ocean are displaced, at the end of every decimillennium and about one neros, a semi-universal deluge like the legendary Noachian flood is brought about.

 
This year was called the Heliacal by the Greeks; but no one outside the sanctuary knew anything certain either as to its duration or particulars. The winter of this year was called the Cataclysm or Deluge – the Summer, the Ecpyrosis.

 
The popular traditions taught that at these alternate seasons the world was in turn burned and deluged. This is what we learn at least from the Astronomical Fragments of Censorinus and Seneca.

 
So uncertain were the commentators about the length of this year, that none except Herodotus and Linus, who assigned to it, the former 10,800, and the latter 13,984, came near the truth.”

 
H. P. Blavatsky

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