What Exactly Is an Apocalypse?

Christ as center of the solar system, from Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, 1541.

Back when I had my blog, The Pisces Chronicles: Living in an Apocalyptic World, a couple of people commented on its dire subtitle. It seemed that an explanation was in order, and here is what I wrote:

“Apocalypse” has come to mean some sort of doomsday event that destroys the world. While I don’t discount that we’re in for rough sailing ahead, I’m using the word in its original sense, which means nothing more than something revealed – literally, something that has been uncovered.

The book of the Christian New Testament sometimes called the Apocalypse is more often referred to as the Book of Revelation, or the Revelation of Saint John. According to some interpretations, Revelations describes events at the end of the world, and therein lies the confusion. When we talk of “apocalyptic events,” we mean catastrophes such as Saint John described.

But “apocalypse” is just a synonym for “revelation.” When referring to a literary work, apocalypse or revelation indicates that the writing purports to come from heaven or some other divine source. Nowadays, we call it channeling. If you want to know more, Wikipedia has a fascinating article.

If you’ve read Revelations, you probably were left scratching your head, wondering what that guy was smoking. Like me, you might also have been puzzled about how anyone could take this writing as literal proof of anything. The language is all highly symbolic and subject to interpretation. John might not have been talking about the end of the world at all, and there’s certainly nothing to indicate that he had a particular date in mind. According to some biblical scholars, he was describing events in his own day.

What I find fascinating about Revelations is the possibility that John was describing cosmic forces, as well as astrological events around the time Jesus was born. As I wrote in a previous post, Jesus was born as the Age of Aries was ending and the Age of Pisces was beginning. Revelations mentions stars falling out of the sky. When the Age of Aries came to an end, the constellation Aries no longer was on the eastern horizon at dawn on the spring equinox. It’s now Pisces that we see. Since we don’t plant our crops and plan other activities according to the movements of the stars, we tend to pay less attention to these things. To ancient peoples, it was a very big deal. The stars may not literally have fallen out of the sky, but they did appear to shift. And they’re about to shift again as we enter the Age of Aquarius.

From an astrologer’s point of view, Revelations may be a metaphorical, highly symbolic description of cosmic events as Earth shifts from one great age to the next. Turbulence goes with the territory, and these turbulent events manifest on the physical plane. There’s also a lot of decay. The corruption we’re seeing in governments and societies throughout the world is the dying energy of Pisces.

John appears to have had some recognition that the birth of Jesus at the start of the new age and the formation of a new religion based on his teachings was a momentous event that would have far-reaching implications for centuries to come. And it did. There is no doubt in my mind that something equally as significant will happen as we enter the Age of Aquarius. Will it be the Second Coming? I don’t know, but it doesn’t sound like a bad thing. The first time around, Jesus was billed as a prince of peace coming to heal a war-torn land. Bring ‘im on! I’ve read various theories about the Second Coming, my favorite being that Christ will return not in the form of one person, but as higher consciousness in all of humanity.

When that happens, you can bet that there will be a whole lot of revelation going on. An Apocalypse of truly apocalyptic proportions!