Astrological Choices - Age of Aquarius - When, Where, Why and How

"When the Moon is in the 7th house and Jupiter aligns with Mars..." the words from the song Aquarius about the coming of the Age of Aquarius performed by the singing group The Fifth Dimension grabbed our attention more than 20 years ago. While I love the song and frequently sing it at the top of my lungs, astrologically it doesn't say much, it is just fun. There is so much controversy about the Age of Aquarius and when it should begin that I thought a discussion was in order. What is an age? How is it produced? How long does it last? What is there about the changing of an age that grabs our attention so thoroughly?

We must go back to basics and start with the fact that astrology is a study of cycles, long term, short term, universal, multi-versal, cosmic, galactic, solar system, planet orbit, satellite or moon. Then add all the debris left over from the formation of our solar system such as dwarf planets, asteroids, comets and good old space dust. We certainly have a variety from which to choose. Some of the cycles are so huge and involve such enormous time concepts that it is beyond our comprehension. I will dispose of those cycles quickly so we can spend our time and thought on the more local and current activations. Think circle, big circle, with a whole bunch of slightly smaller circles contained within it and you will get my picture of the universe. Additionally there might be many universes, only one of which is ours. Whether they are in any way inter-related or on different wavelengths or dimensions is part of an ongoing discussion. Whatever the answer is, our universe is immense and it is growing at a rapid pace.

The current astronomical thought is that what we call the universe started with a big bang 13+ billion years ago and has been expanding ever since. What began as a singularity exploded out into multiplicity and everything is contained within this expanding bubble of activity. The matter is distributed irregularly so some parts of our universe are denser than others. As this bubble expands, the distances between the internal content also expands. Think big circle getting bigger, including everything contained within it on some level or in some manner. As the universe blasted out into the original void (space), pockets of activity developed and stellar nurseries spawned billions of stars ­- big ones, little ones, long-lived, short lived - with variety and number beyond imagination. Every time our scientists think they have a handle on it, it grows and reveals more of itself. Think huge! These pockets of possibility over billions of years of the universe's life developed into stars with planet entourages, galaxies, and all the amazing cosmic bodies. There is such variety that just cataloguing it is daunting to say nothing of identifying and explaining it all.

The galaxies are in constant motion and sometimes run into each other. One may cannibalize another, but constant motion and change is the norm, with amazing differences spawned as a result. Individuality is universal and conformity is man-made.

Locally our personal galaxy, the Milky Way, is a hybrid of merging galaxies and will eventually be swallowed up by the much larger Andromeda Galaxy (not anytime soon, don't be nervous). We are part of a local cluster of about 30 galaxies that rotate around a common center and I have no idea how long a cycle that would be, I only know that it is an incredibly long cycle. With the current political debate about immigration, I laughed when I read that our Sun and its entourage of planets and space junk is an immigrant into what we call our own galaxy absorbed from a prior galactic collision. Our galaxy spins around a common center that is thought to be a black hole. We exist on an outer spiral band about ¾ of the way out from the center of the galaxy. The individual galactic spin takes over 200 million years to complete, a huge circle that exists within the larger circle of the galactic cluster, again, circles within circles.

For our discussion our more personal and manageable circles come from within our solar system. Each planet has an orbit (circle) at a specific distance from the Sun and those planets also have small bodies in orbit around them. All the matter within this solar system is bound by the gravitational attraction of the Sun. It is all in continual motion and that motion is basically circular. Little circles within larger circles within.... you get the picture.

The particular circle that sets the "ages" of our discussion is measured from Earth's north pole. As Earth orbits our Sun, our north/south poles are tilted compared to our orbit. We are physically irregularly shaped (the water nicely covers up the uneven contours of the Earth. We are also orbited by a satellite (our Moon) that is ¼ our size and exerts a magnetic pull of its own. As we rotate and orbit, we wobble slightly on our axis like a spinning top. That wobble is measurable and traces out a circle in the sky that takes just under 26,000 years to complete (different sources provide different figures; the source I use was the first one I encountered many years ago, 25,858 years). The backdrop of that circle is the constellational zodiac of twelve signs. The rounded off version is 26,000 years divided by 12 signs or approximately 2,160 years per sign and is what is generally suggested for the length of a single age. There is a trick to the ages. The polar wobble moves backwards through the zodiac signs rather than the forward order we are used to, so the age signs move backward as well. This astronomical measure is called the Precession of the Equinox (the measuring principle). For the last couple of thousand years we have been in the Age of Pisces and we have already or are about to move into the Age of Aquarius.

There is a specific measuring principle that indicates that the changing of the age will occur in the 24 to 2600s AD. I have a problem with this dating because the event markers for the Age of Aquarius are already in evidence. My explanation is that since there are no written instructions, the assumption that all the ages are equal may or may not be true. If each age is exactly 2160 years (or so) marker to marker then we are still in the Age of Pisces. If each age is not exactly equal as the constellations themselves are not equal, the beginning of this new age may already be upon us. I stand on the Age of Aquarius side of the debate. Why? As I mentioned earlier, evidence...

Uranus, which has been given primary influence over Aquarius, was identified in 1781, five years after the start of the USA Revolutionary War. That year also marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Uranus had been sighted prior to discovery but had not been specifically identified. Following that incredible period for individualism and independence came the USA Civil War, the industrial revolution, the era of invention with the steam engine, the automobile, the plane, the bombs and rockets, space flight and more. All of these are based in revolution, independence and invention and flirted with the new era cleaving the way into the future.

It is said that the "2nd coming of the Avatar" (spiritual leader) will occur when the "sign of man is in the heavens." Well we have certainly done that. We have left space debris scattered from here to out past the edges of our solar system. The space station recently had to decide whether or not to duck a piece of space junk.

The most amazing picture to me is that of the black sky of space with the white-suited astronaut hanging over the semi-arc of the earth below. Another profound image is the familiar picture of Astronaut Ed White tethered to a Gemini spacecraft in 1965. The "tether" he was testing is anchored like an umbilical chord as the first American man floated and turned in the vast expanse of space like an child in the womb of the universe. The sign of man is already in the heavens and it is inventive, innovative, revolutionary, independent and futuristic... all Uranus/Aquarius keywords. Keep in mind that Aquarius itself is called "the sign of man" and that is the symbolism that accompanies it astrologically.

Also, the changing of an age is not a single point in time. There are no fences between the signs in outer space. There is a falling off of one sign energy and the initiation of another - a blending or merging that takes about 144 years to complete. Why? Because it takes 72 years for our north pole pointer to complete a single degree. Since the change occurs between the last degree of an existing age and the first degree of the new age, that equals two degrees by my math, or 144 years of time, to end one age and begin the next.

Death of an age would not be any easier than ordinary death. Birth has never been considered easy and that would include the birth of an age. Birth and death are occurring simultaneously which happens at the end of one age and the beginning of its successor. This is traumatic. Look around you at our current experience. And you volunteered to be here at this time...brave you.

To my mind we have already left the Age of Pisces and have already entered the Age of Aquarius. We have moved from the age of believing (emotion not necessarily based in fact) to the age of knowing (intellectual, knowledge as our friend). To me Pisces is our immediate history, our heritage that we had 2000 or so years to learn, It includes our habits, our knowledge, our beliefs, our existing environmental patterning - all that we have been during the age. To me Aquarius is our now and our future. We must learn, know, explore, invent and move toward the future. The remnants of Pisces will kick and scream and try to keep us locked in the past because-the dying age will try to cling to life. The coming age is getting stronger and will hold dominance over human development for the next 2000+ years.

Perhaps you are one who believes that we are still in the Age of Pisces with its history steeped in the Age of Aries (always backwards through the zodiac). What would that be like? We would be driven by emotion, mystery, tremendous involvement in art forms and religious beliefs, the savior/victim mentality with domination or war as our heritage. Perhaps we might be on that pivotal moment of 144 years where we change from one age to another with all the mixed messages that come from change. What are the possibilities a time of simultaneous death/birth might offer? Where do you stand in this? Whether you "believe" (Pisces) or would prefer to "know" (Aquarius) it will happen with or without our conscious participation. The ages unfold in a pattern, a predictable cycle of energy more powerful than our understanding and it is not dependent on our individual beliefs. The development and the unfolding of the universe is right on schedule - the birth happens with or without our participation or belief. Where is your place in this unfolding cycle? The choice is yours.