The Kali Yuga, the symbol of the sacred spiral and the World Serpent.
Modern scientists tell us that time in linear. Paganism teaches that time is cyclic. The truth is that both are correct - in a way. Time is linear in that we head forward in time, time travels in one direction. We witness time as the passing of 'future' into 'past'. We also witness the cyclic rhythm of time. Every year we end the cycle at winter, but we know that spring will return and the cycle will start again. However this is not history repeating itself, rather just the pattern of the yearly cycle repeating. The symbol of the spiral is a far better representation of time - as the spiral is both linear (the spiral is a single line) and cyclic (as it rotates around itself).
The Spiral is rooted in the proto Indo-European word *sper-ya- with the prefix 'sper' meaning to twist or turn. This is the same root as our words for respire, spirit and inspire.
When I first viewed the spiral as a symbol for life, it had then occurred to me that the spiral must rotate - just like the sacred swastika. The spiral would grow and expand, just as the universe must expand and rotate around a central point. But recently I was thinking, and the idea occurred to me (whilst posting an article on the Wehrbauer blog) that the spiral rotates in two directions. In one direction at a personal level - we are born and wyrd has laid down a path for you. Thus you start at the middle of the spiral and you travel outwards along this road until you meet your end. Every time you complete a 'lap' you're older and wiser, and you will no doubt witness history repeating as you start to run parallel with previous cycles. However when I was writing the Wehrbauer article the symbol of the Ouroboros (the World Serpent) eating its own tail reminded me of the spiral. And the more the serpent devours itself, the smaller the spiral gets. So we can use the spiral to explain the World Cycles - the Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga. The Satya Yuga is the longest of the cycle, lasting four stages, the Treta Yuga lasts three, the Dwapar Yuga two and the last and most deprived cycle lasts one cycle. This is the Kali Yuga and is the degenerate cycle we live in now. The closer we get towards the centre of the spiral, the faster the rotation, hence the length of time of each Yuga quickens - until we reach the centre.
At some time soon we will reach the centre of the spiral and we will be reaching the end of this journey. But at the same time our most moral of enemies - symbolised by the Midgard Serpent will also be meeting their end, as they destroy themselves through their own selfish greed, so much so that they devour themselves.
At the end of this journey, we start over - this time a higher race. The Yuga's are the Aryan-Hindu terms for these cycles. We also know them as an axe age, a sword age, a wind age and an wolf age - the central point of the spiral being the Ragnarok - the final Twilight. Other names include the Golden Age, followed by the Silver age, Bronze age and finally the Iron age. Serrano described this last era of the Iron age as the 'Lead age' which was the worst of the worst. But this last age is like that of the blacksmiths smelting pot. Out of all the destruction and fire pure gold flows and a new Golden Age will start.