Every 2,160 years, we move into a new astrological ‘age’. For the last couple of millennia we’ve been in the Age of Pisces, but when does the Age of Aquarius begin? Has it already started? Or does it begin on 11 February this year? Here are my thoughts…
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Have the gods convened for the Age of Aquarius?
On 11 February 2021, six of the traditional planets and luminaries will line up in the sign of Aquarius: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. Is this a ‘council of gods’?
The constellation associated with the section of the ecliptic labelled ‘Aquarius’ is presented as the image of a young man pouring water from an urn. He is Ganymede, the cupbearer for the great god Zeus.
Aquarius, despite the name, is not one of the water element signs. Aquarius is a fixed air sign. However, in ancient times this section of the sky was described by the Greek poet Aratus (315–240 BCE) as ‘The Water’. Aquarius was seen as a governor among other constellations with watery connections – Pisces (Fishes); Capricorn (Sea-Goat); The Dolphin; The River; and the Southern Fish.
The Babylonians called Aquarius the ‘Seat of the Flowing Water’. They saw it as the source of the rain that provoked the Great Flood, recorded in Babylonian clay tablets as well as in the Hebrew Bible. Aquarius was the ‘God of Storms’. Perhaps the present pandemic is the equivalent world-changing ‘flood’ that can bring about a new vision for the future? Right now, we are all waiting for the rainbow of promise.
Not all doves and olive branches?
One of the traditional planets is out on a limb and that is Mars, classically described as a ‘malefic’ or ‘infortune’. Maybe Mars will prove to be like the thirteenth fairy excluded from the christening of the Sleeping Beauty, determined to get revenge. Certainly the aspect (relationship) between the conclave of planets in the fixed sign of Aquarius, and Mars in the fixed sign of Taurus is a square (a 90° angle), which in itself was described as having the ‘quality’ of Mars. Quarrelsome might be a good word. Aggressive is another… This quality is much, much more than just assertive.
Furthermore, Mars has recently been teaming up with the disruptive, revolutionary planet Uranus, also in the sign of Taurus. Not cosy. Aquarius is a sign that would encourage group participation in power, and Mars might just provide the strong arm needed for the group to remove a dictator. On the other hand, the sign of Taurus likes to maintain the status quo. Venus, from the comfort of the assembly room, can support Mars because she rules the sign of Taurus. Saturn, also firmly embedded with the gang of six, is the ruler of Aquarius, so convention and conformity are strengthened. It might well be that a group seeking change can make use of the Mars energy – while at the same time, the existing power structures, unwilling to let go easily, could also summon that intransigent, stubborn, determined Taurus quality. Looks like trouble ahead – we want change, versus you’re definitely not going to get any changes round here. And remember, when the establishment says no change, they’ve got state-sponsored weapons to call on.
We have been seeing signs of these challenges for a while now. Last year, when the planetary focus was mostly in the sign of Capricorn, there was a square aspect from Mars in his own sign of Aries. Right now, news is emerging that a military coup has overturned the democratically elected government in Myanmar (Burma) and imprisoned the rightful leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
She has previously spent years under house arrest and has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (Interesting side-note: in her birth chart, Mars is in the sign of Taurus). As you will recall, in January, a heavy-duty gang of Americans stormed the Capitol in Washington. There are constant people protests around the world – Russia and Hong Kong being notable examples today – where the ‘old guard’ is determined to keep control. But, as Dylan said all those years ago… ‘the old order is rapidly fading’. Will it be replaced by an order that is focussed on humanitarian ideals? That has always been the promise embedded in the archetype of the Age of Aquarius.
Can we really move into a new era of peace and love?
We can see an opportunity for a new approach while this cohort of traditional heavenly bodies is gathered in Aquarius. There are also are some fixed stars in the mix that are worth mentioning. The constellation of Aquarius hosts two bright lights at his shoulders: Sadalmelek on the right and Sadalsuud on the left. According to Bernadette Brady in Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, the ancient astrology guru Ptolemy suggested these shoulder stars carry energy similar to the planets Mercury and Saturn. However, Bernadette points out, their names in Arabic have very positive, lucky meanings. Sadal means ‘lucky’, and Melek can be translated as ‘king’, or ‘righteous one’. The equivalent in Hebrew is translated as ‘angel’, as in malachim. Sadalsuud indicates extra helpings of luck. I was especially interested to discover these star names because it set me to wondering whether the Archangel Sandalphon’s name might originally have been ‘Sadalphon’. I certainly associate Sandalphon with this energy – as bringer of good news or events.
Also, the fixed star Deneb Algedi, in the fishy tail of Capricorn, is linked with wisdom and integrity, and is close to the star Nashira, ‘Bringer of Good Tidings’. Because we have precession to take into account, Deneb Algedi is active in the sign of Aquarius and therefore a strong representative for justice. Bernadette describes a justice-oriented god trying to civilize his people. I’m grateful to another brilliant astrologer, Austin Coppock, for bringing Deneb Algedi’s presence in the Aquarian conclave to my attention, during a recent podcast with Chris Brennan.
By the way, I have a personal interest in Deneb Algedi, as this is my heliacal rising star. You can discover more about fixed stars at zyntara.com, where you can purchase a personal report based on StarLight, the unique software developed by Bernadette Brady and Darrelyn Gunzberg. (This is a genuine recommendation – there is no financial benefit for me.)
A council meeting that heralds big change?
It is a pity this charming image doesn’t include a goddess, but that’s the way it has been for generations. Even if we created substitutes with some cunning photomontage, and included Venus and the Moon, they would only be two among the seven usual divinities. Perhaps Mercury could have a transgender makeover?
To be more serious here, this is an important moment in time. The last time we had a significant line-up like this in Aquarius was in February 1972. You can check out February 1972 on Wikipedia and find a day-by-day description of major events. These include a state of emergency in the UK and a massive shutdown of British industry, although the British government also voted to join the European Community. There were blizzards in Iran and major US bombing raids in Vietnam. By this time, the musical Hair, which promoted the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius, had been running for a few years, but I was rather delighted to discover that, in February 1972, David Bowie presented his new persona, Ziggy Stardust. This androgynous character is very Aquarian in nature.
Bowie was born with Sun in Capricorn and Aquarius ascending – seems like all the celestial stars I’ve been considering in this article were present for his visionary musical career. Perhaps he was indeed a visitor from another dimension! I recommend you look out for the present day ‘stars’ rising in the arts, because so often the messages we need are offered, not by politicians or popular leaders, but by artists, musician, poets and storytellers, who are so naturally in tune with the invisible dimensions where the gods reside. Bob Dylan gets to be 80 this year, but his words are always worthy of attention:
The foes will rise with sleep still in their eyes… and like Goliath they’ll be conquered…
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