Frodo lives: ‘The return of the king’

In 1967 I walked the night through around two top-secret nuclear weapons buried not so deep in the heartland of Ohio’s vast corn belt. One day I noticed that someone had scrawled on the wall of a concrete bunker, "Frodo lives." Then it was everywhere. Frodo had become an overnight hero of an underground movement begun inadvertently by a mild-mannered Catholic professor of Middle English at Oxford who in 1937 published a charming book about hairy dwarves and little people. Frodo became in no time at all the avatar of rising Aquarius. The Hobbit, prelude to the journey of Frodo featuring his uncle Bilbo (like John Lennon and his son Sean, born on the same day), hits the big screen this coming year, on Dec. 14, 2012.

Any advocates of Aquarius not yet laughed out of the domain? Surely the date will strike a primal cord: 12/14/12, two days after the storied end of the world just ahead, December 12, 2012.

The century ahead is said to be the rising first of 20 centuries of Aquarius. Will it be different from the last century or last say, the last 500 years? It already is. It will be marked by a returning to earth of English imagination. Consider when my father was a boy what captured his imagination. Frank Reade Jr. and his airships and steam-powered robots, Buck Rogers, Captain Z-Ro, Flash Gordon on his mythic journey to the planets. Imagination was rising, as Walt Whitman had written in 1900, to Sirius, Jupiter and beyond. In the 1950s UFO visions shook the world and if you look closely they resembled the oculus architecture at the pitch of the arc of Byzantium cathedrals: “eyes of God,” very many hovering strangely over the Mormon lands.

But as Steve Jobs has said, virtually his last words, in fact, “The spaceship has landed.”

Today my kids are inspired and awakened since the 1990s by the earth shaman who preceded Newton and even Calvin, Harry Potter, returning America to its oldest English psychic ancestor. And Tolkien goes beyond to the “shadow of the past,” to Tom Bombadil, the earth spirit itself, here before river, trees, acorn and the first raindrop.

And look to the currency on TV today: “The River,” coming in February from Steven Spielberg, following the trend of “Lost,” all returning to earth myths but with the inherent mysteries we saws in planetary pop culture of the ’50s, found here again on earth. Even the popular “Survivor” series has a “returning” quality, as in the Eliot poem of returning where we know the place for the first time

Maybe that is our time again. It should be a good time because when the journey to Jupiter and beyond is finished, says Whitman, and we come home to ourselves, and “The true son of God shall come singing his songs." And that, with Tolkien, is the promise; the end of golem’s long shadow and “the return of the king.” And that is the promise of rising Aquarius.

Worth noting today on the last solstice before the fiery end. Or not. Maybe an end only to seeing and seeking things in the sky and a beginning again to find ourselves here on earth where we actually live.