Age of Aquarius : The Age of
Aquarius can mean the end of an era, (age of Pisces) and the beginning of
another. Many feel the Age of Aquarius heralds the coming of the "end
of times" as written in the Bible, others feel it is the dawning of
the "new world order". Whatever it means it is still mysterious,
and opinions differ widely in the Astrology community.
"The Age of Aquarius is one of 12 successive 2150-year periods, each
of which corresponds with one of the 12 signs of the
zodiac. In the same
manner in which individuals born at different times of the year are
thought to be dominated by different astrological
signs, astrologers also
tend to view different historical periods as being dominated by the
influence of particular signs. For the past several thousand years, Earth,
according to this view, has been passing through a period dominated by the
sign Pisces (the Age of Pisces). This succession of ages is based on a
phenomenon known as the precession of equinoxes.
Due to the precession of equinoxes, the spring equinox moves slowly
backward through the constellations of the Zodiac, so that approximately
every 2000 years the equinox begins taking place in an earlier
constellation. Thus, the spring equinox has been occurring in Pisces for
the past several thousand years and will begin to occur in the
constellation Aquarius in the near future. This is the background for
current speculations about the so-called Age of Aquarius. The phenomenon
of the precession of equinoxes also means that the spring equinox occurred
in the sign Aries during the Hellenistic period (the period of Ptolemy),
in Taurus several thousand years prior to the Hellenistic period, and so
forth backward through the zodiac.
Because of the space between different constellations, it is difficult
if not impossible to determine precisely when one age ends and another one
begins, although this has not prevented many practitioners of traditional
astrology as well as esoteric astrology from asserting that the Aquarian
Age has already begun. A popular date for the beginning of the Age of
Aquarius is the year 2000. If, however, the Age of Pisces began with the
ministry of Jesus (as many claim), and if each age is 2150 years in
duration, then we clearly have a long way to go before we pass into the
Age of Aquarius.
The contemporary notion of the Age of Aquarius, developed in occult and
theosophical circles in the last century, was mediated to the larger
society by the counterculture of the 1960s (as in the well-known song
"Age of Aquarius" that was featured in the rock musical Hair).
The metaphysical subculture that emerged as a successor to the
counterculture in the early to middle 1970s eventually dropped the
appellation Aquarian Age in favor of New Age. Most popular accounts of the
difference between the Piscean Age and the Aquarian Age emphasize the
negative traits of Pisces and the positive traits of Aquarius. Thus,
attention is called to the negative Piscean tendency to adopt an attitude
of blind faith, and to the positive Aquarian tendency to adopt a more
empirical attitude. The limits of this approach-which often ignores
positive Pisces traits as well as negative Aquarius
characteristics-should be clear.
A comprehensive critique of the Aquarian Age notion can be found in
Nicholas Campion's important treatment, "The Age of Aquarius: A
Modern Myth" (In "The Astrology of the Macrocosm" by Joan
McEvers pp. 195-231). Although this work is useful, contrary to Campion's
argument, the ancients did put forward a theory of successive astrological
ages based on the precession of equinoxes."