Monday, September 15, 2014

The Age of Aquarius

When does the Age of Aquarius really begin? And exactly what is the Age of Aquarius anyway?   If you think of the Age of Aquarius as being part of the school of astronomy, you’re wrong.  Actually it’s an astrological age, which occurs because of the constant motion of the Earth known as the “precession of the equinoxes”, which, for example, causes the identity of the pole star to change over time. The cycle of precession lasts a really long time (25,800 years), and there are twelve (12) constellations or “signs” of the Zodiac. Hence, about every 2,150 years (25,800 ÷ 12), the sun’s position at the time of the March, or vernal, equinox moves in front of a new Zodiac constellation.   So the Age of Aquarius begins when the March equinox point moves out of the constellation of Pisces and into the constellation of Aquarius.   But when will that happen? Truth is there’s no conclusive proof. Yep, there are several interpretations, all with different answers to this often-asked query.

If you insist on an astronomical perspective, you’d have to accept the point of view of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) – which in the 20th century took it upon themselves to officially name and define all things astronomical; you see, they created official constellation boundaries way back in 1930 (all 12 of them). According to the IAU’s perspective, the beginning of the Age of Aquarius is based upon their own constellation boundaries, but New Age practitioners might or might not choose to agree with IAU’s computations.

According to a renowned Belgian astronomer and mathematical wizard who goes by “Jean Meeus”, who by the way does stand by IAU’s definitions, Earth’s sun at the March equinox passed from being in front of the constellation Aries and to being in front of the constellation Pisces in 68 B.C.  So looking ahead (again according to Jean Meeus), the March equinox will cross over into the constellation Aquarius in 2597 A.D.; so if your reading this in the 21st century, it’s not likely you’ll live to see the Age of Aquarius.

It gets even more completed because the constellations as defined by the IAU are different sizes. Astrologers on the other hand like to divide the Zodiac into twelve equal sections, more often than not.

Let’s just suppose you do equalize the size of the signs of the Zodiac, you still need to consider when the Age of Pisces started to be able to know when the Age of Aquarius begins because it is universally accepted that the Age of Pisces comes just before the Age of Aquarius. Unfortunately, there’s no firm consensus among astrologers as to when the Age of Pisces really began, either. Consequently there’s no set accord as to when the Age of Aquarius begins.

In The Book of World Horoscopes, English author Nicholas Campion, who is also a noted historian of astrology and cultural astronomy, suggests that approximated dates for entering the Age of Aquarius range from 1447 AD to 3597 AD. He also reviewed published material on the subject, from other astrological sources. He says that most writers assert that the Age of Aquarius arrived in the 20th century with 29 claims and the 24th century comes in second with 12 claims.

Then again, some astrologers are more specific, they say the Age of Aquarius actually began as recently as 2012. That’s because they believe the star “Regulus” located in the Leo constellation marked the ancient border between the constellations Leo and Cancer. Almost everyone knows that this star (being among the brightest in the night sky) moved to within 30 degrees of the September equinox point in 2012, meaning that Regulus left the sign Leo to enter the sign Virgo in that year.  To arrive at this conclusion you are presuming equal-sized constellations are and have always been the case; that assumption places the border of the constellations Pisces and Aquarius at 150 degrees west of Regulus on the March equinox of that year. So you can clearly see when using this formula, the Age of Aquarius began in 2012.

The Age of Aquarius in the U.S. is generally associated with free love and the hippies of the 1960’s and 1970’s. The arrival of the Aquarian age has historically been associated with peace, harmony, understanding, sympathy, free love and abounding trust.

That brings us to the 1967 (off Broadway) hit musical Hair, with its opening song  Aquarius, by a musical group called the 5th Dimension. You may remember the song opened with the lines:

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius

These days it’s hard to imagine how Hair affected the average person when it opened on Broadway in 1968. It ran for 1,750 performances on Broadway and 1,997 performances in London, with coinciding productions in cities across the United States and Europe; and too, don’t forget the accompanying recordings (the original Broadway cast recording sold three million copies).  Practically single-handedly during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, this Broadway musical brought the Aquarian Age concept into the forefront of popular culture. Click Here to view the musical video; it’s not the original, but it’s an excellent production.

In view of recent world events, it seems quite preposterous to suggest that the Age of Aquarius arrived in 2012, much less in 1967 when the Broadway musical Hair was the rage.  Just think ever so briefly of ISIS and the Vietnam War and you too will arrive at this unfortunate line of thought.

In any event, the lyrics of the song were based on the astrological belief that the world would soon be entering the “Age of Aquarius”, an age of love, light, and humanity. The exact circumstances for the change are “When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars.” It was presumed this change would occur near the end of the 20th century.

Sources . . .