Welcome to the beginning of our series of explorations and discussions of the mystical paradigm shift that we call the “Age of Aquarius.” Throughout this set of articles we will examine different aspects of this spiritual phenomenon, in an attempt to get a wider perspective on the direction of future events, and the challenges humanity will face in making the transition to our new reality. In this first installment, we will look at the Age of Aquarius as an astronomical theory, the physical manifestation that underlies the flow of subtle energy.
One of the foundations of astrological lore is the circle of the zodiac, a division of the starry sky, visible from the Earth, into 12 sections, each containing a representative constellation of stars that we can identify it with. We know these “signs” of the zodiac as Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, in that order. As the Earth rotates around its axis and orbits the Sun, different sections of the zodiac are visible from different parts of the Earth. Many mystical effects are attributed to the energetic influence of these signs, which we will discuss at greater length in future articles.
The concept of astrological ages is based on the continuous movement of both the Earth and the stars that are visible from our planet. As the Earth goes about its wobbly rotations, the positions of the stars, from our point of view, changes over time. In recorded history, this was first observed in 127 BCE by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus, who found that, over a period of many years, the zodiac sign that is visible at the vernal equinox changed in a consistent manner. This effect, called the precession of equinoxes, occurs very slowly. While the normal movement of the zodiac occurs within the space of one year, the precession of equinoxes requires over 2000 years to go full circle through all of the signs. In addition, the precession of equinoxes moves in the opposite direction, starting with Pisces and completing at Aries.
The theory that has emerged from this grand movement of the stars over thousands of years, the astrological ages, presents the idea that the precession of equinoxes represents a continuous flow of cosmic energy that affects all life on Earth in very specific ways. Although it is based on astronomical observations, there is nothing scientific in this theory. These cosmic vibrations that are emitted by the stars are of the nature of consciousness itself, and therefore resistant to calculations and measurements. The effects are most easily felt through mystical perceptions, as they have been developed through spiritual practices from cultures all around the Earth.
Attempting to find an exact date (like December 21st, 2012, for example) for the changeover from one age to the next is a contentious subject and generally not worthwhile. Many astrologers subscribe to the idea of a wave transition, which states that the changes between one age and the next take place over a period of time, perhaps as long as a few centuries before we leave the influence of one age and enter fully into the vibration of the next. This transition time is referred to as a “cusp," and it is generally believed that we are in one of these cusps today.
In very general terms, we can say that previous age of Leo (“the Golden Age”) occurred from 10,000 to 8,000 BCE, the age of Cancer (“the Age of the Great Mother”) from 8,000 to 6,000 BCE, the age of Gemini (“the Age of Trade”) from 6,000 to 4,000 BCE, the age of Taurus (“the Age of Agriculture”) from 4,000 to 2,000 BCE, the age of Aries (“the Age of War”) from 2,000 BCE to 0 CE, and the age of Pisces (“the Age of Monotheism”) is just ending, having occurred from 0 to 2,000 CE. Which brings us finally to today, when we are moving into the age of Aquarius (which some call “the Age of Freedom”), which will be the major influence for the next 2,000 years.
In next month’s article, we shall examine the nature of the previous age of Pisces, to see where we are coming from.