On the Cusp of the Age of Aquarius
of the astrological analyses of the September 11 attacks have focused
on the opposition between Saturn and Pluto that began in August 2001 and
finishes in May 2002. The darkest potential of these powerful planets
correspond closely to these dangerous times. In fact, challenging aspects between Saturn and Pluto often coincide with critical periods in history,
as described in Rick Levine's article The
New Global Perspective. The current crisis, however,
may also reflect an epochal shift described by a much larger astrological
event—the transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius.*
in the song from the musical Hair, the dawning of the Age
of Aquarius is presumed to be a time of enlightenment. Astrologers have
long talked about the Age of Aquarius as a period when each individual
is capable of spiritual awareness without the intercession of religious
authority. The Piscean Age of religious faith, with its traditional hierarchies,
is giving way to a time when each human being can have a direct line to
higher power, or God, if you like. Certainly,
the profusion of books, tapes and teachers of old and new spiritual paths
has made this kind of information available as never before. Meditation
techniques, yoga postures, Sufi dancing, shamanistic practices, rituals
and prayers from every tradition are more accessible than ever. The I
Ching, astrology and Kaballah have been served up with psychology and
physics in a stew of concepts and systems unlike any we have ever seen.
The way of the seeker is littered with signs pointing in every direction,
with each claiming to lead to enlightenment. This modern metaphysical
mish mash is a perfect expression of early stage Aquarian consciousness
when we are each free to follow our own path to spiritual fulfillment
without the need for priests, rabbis or mullahs. But before we reap the
benefits of the Aquarian Age, there is unfinished Pisces business to complete.
Only Way Versus Many Ways
of much of the Muslim world against the U.S. and the West has many obvious
causes. The ongoing suffering of Palestinians and Iraqis certainly tell
part of the story. American influence is seen as a continuation of earlier
colonialism, now in the form of Western oil interests and U.S. military
presence in Moslem countries. Beyond these issues lie the unhealed wounds
of the Crusades, which have marked Moslem-Christian relations for 1000
years. Yet, it would be inaccurate to characterize the current conflict
as one between two religions. While Christianity is still the dominant
religion of the West, ours has become a secular society in which the authority
of religion has largely been superceded by the laws of science and commerce.
lack a common spiritual doctrine leading, some believe, to a loss of morality.
Fundamentalists of all stripes agree that we are degenerating because
of the diminishing influence of religion. Our pluralistic society allows
each person to find his or her own spiritual path, or no spiritual path
at all. This is anathema to those who believe that there is only one true
path to God. The Aquarian notion of individual freedom is seen as an excuse
for irresponsible and wanton behavior. But instead of compassion and understanding,
religion condemns the non-believers to eternal damnation.
isn't with Pisces per se. The gifts of the Piscean Age have been the unification
of vast numbers of tribal groups around a set of spiritual ideals. However,
religious hierarchies evolved, leading to corruption of these core beliefs.
Killing in the name of a loving God is a contradiction that is generally
ignored when it comes to non-believers. In the name of one truth and absolute
certainty, personal responsibility and discernment are set aside. Individual
currents of thought and consciousness are all subsumed in the Piscean
sea of one truth. Therefore, the absolute certainty of religious zealots
is threatened by the cultural diversity of the emerging Aquarian Age.
A technology-driven era that encourages the free flow of information and
ideas is a natural enemy to those who seek to mold the world in their
too, has its shadow. Idealistic concepts expressed without compassion
become mere slogans. Technology has disconnected us from the land, overwhelming
nature and breaking our connection with its rhythms. The separation of
mind from body makes it easier for concepts to replace feelings. Technology
also creates an illusion of safety when, in fact, we are more dependent
upon one another than ever. In fact, we are just at the beginning of the
Aquarian Age and have not begun to understand how our technology is changing
us. We are no longer who we were, but have few ideas about what we are
Oily Part of the Story
It is no
accident that Pisces is associated with fossil fuels, such as oil. Until
we develop new energy sources to sustain us, we will be forced to meddle
in the affairs of other countries. If the promise of a clean environment
has been insufficient to motivate us to change our ways, the constant
threat of terrorist attacks should be. Among the higher attributes of
Aquarius is a global intelligence capable of seeing far and wide. The
current short-term perspective of American business and political leaders
is a barrier to using this intelligence. Perhaps we have become sheep
in the Pisces Age, relying on others to guide us to the Promised Land.
Creating a vision of the future is the responsibility of everyone in an
evolving Aquarian Age.
of stress, it's easy to become polarized and lay blame on one's enemies.
It is tempting to draw a line and say that "they" are on one
side and "we" are on the other. We can look at religious fundamentalists
as remnants of another age that must give way to our superior modernism.
Yet their desires and fears represent unintegrated aspects of ourselves.
We have our own veils of materialism that keep us from seeing the humanness
of one another. We have embraced the individualism of Aquarius without
its equally important sense of community.
We are on
the cusp of a new age, when the undigested elements of the past 2000 years
float to the surface and collide with the unformed shape of the future.
These are volatile and painful times marking the transition of death and
rebirth that characterize epochal change. Whether one wants to return
to the material comfort zone of the year 2000 or a spiritual comfort zone
of the year 1000, the likelihood of success is small.
may come from a synthesis of Piscean and Aquarian values. How can we make
a bridge from blind faith to reason that does not leave us without faith
or reason? It starts with consciousness, of course—isn't always that?
We have all the information we need to answer even the most complex questions,
but the truth exists neither in the head, the heart nor even the gut. It
circulates, Aquarius style, throughout the body, the mind, the family,
the workplace, the community and humanity as a whole. We can aerate the
suffocating forces of watery certainty and moisten the coldness of intellectual
calculation by recognizing that truth is an ongoing process of discovery,
rather than an object of religious or scientific faith. It's cultural
alchemy of our own making in which the outcome lies not in the hands of
some priest or devil, but directly within ourselves.
ages are a result of the wobble of the Earth's pole on its axis. This cycle of approximately 26,000 years gives rise to twelve
ages of about 2160 years each. The beginning of an age occurs when the
vernal equinox (Sun at zero degrees of Aries) enters a new constellation.
This precession of the equinoxes moves backward in the zodiac, thus the
shift from the twelfth sign Pisces into the eleventh sign Aquarius. Due
to conflicting interpretations on the boundaries of the constellations,
there is a wide range of dates given as the beginning of the Age of Aquarius,
from as early as the 1600's to as late as the 2400's. As with any slow
cycle, it's likely that the transition process can cover a good deal of
time, perhaps centuries.
For a discussion of this issue see Has
the Age of Aquarius Arrived? by Naomi Bennett.
of the Equinoxes for more astronomical information.
See an animation
of precession from NASA.