Definitions

Piscean

Astrological age

For the song, see Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In. For the album, see The Age of Aquarius (album).

An astrological age is a time period in astrology which is believed by some to parallel major changes in the Earth's inhabitants' development, particularly relating to culture, society and politics. There are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs in astrology. At the completion of one cycle of twelve astrological ages, the cycle repeats itself. Astrological ages occur because of a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes. One complete period of this precession is called a Great Year or Platonic Year of about 25,920 years.

There are two broad approaches about the effects upon the world due to the astrological ages. Some astrologers believe the changes upon Earth are caused and marked by the influences of the given astrological sign, associated with the Age, while other astrologers do not follow the causative model and believe it is a matter of synchronicity.

Many experts believe that the Age of Aquarius has arrived recently or will arrive in the near future. On the other hand, some believe that the Age of Aquarius arrived up to five centuries ago, or will not start until six centuries from now. Various ages are described below, such as the "Age of Aquarius".

Overview

There are four broad perspectives on the astrological ages:
1. Archeoastronomers are interested in the ages because some researchers believe that ancient civilizations often depicted cultural references to the ages. Archeoastronomers in general do not `believe' in astrology, but study the cultural traditions of societies that did refer extensively to astrology.
2. Astrologers are interested in the astrological ages due to their study of the zodiacal signs in horoscopic astrology.
3. The general public has become aware of the ages, or the Age of Aquarius at least, since it was publicised in the musical Hair. A number of unsubstantiated urban myths circulate about the astrological ages in various media.
4. Research astrologers that study and publish articles or books on the astrological ages tend to raise many more issues and controversial approaches to the ages compared to the average astrologer.

Contentious aspects of the astrological ages

Definitive details on the astrological ages are lacking and consequently most details and urban myths available about the astrological ages are contentious and disputed. The eminent 20th century British astrologer, Charles Carter, stated that

"It is probable that there is no branch of Astrology upon which more nonsense has been poured forth than the doctrine of the precession of the equinoxes'" (Precession of the equinoxes is the root astronomical cause of the astrological ages)
In 2000 Neil Spencer in his book "True as the Stars Above" expressed a similar opinion about the astrological ages. Spencer singles out the astrological ages as being "fuzzy", "speculative" and least defined area of astrological lore. Therefore a note of caution, claims about the astrological ages such as the Age of Aquarius should be taken with some scepticism, especially the urban myths widely propagated about the Age of Aquarius.

Ray Grasse states in "Signs of the Times - Unlocking the Symbolic Language of World Events" that "There is considerable dispute over the exact starting and ending times for the different Great Ages

Consensus approach to the astrological ages

Though so many issues are contentious or disputed, there are two aspects of the astrological ages that have virtually unanimous consensus. Firstly the astrological ages are linked to precession of the equinoxes. Secondly that due to the nature of the precession of the equinoxes, the progression of the ages proceeds in reverse direction through the zodiacal signs. Normally during the course of the astrological year, commencing around 21 March at the vernal equinox , the Sun moves through the zodiacal signs commencing with Aries, then Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and finally Pisces. After Pisces the Sun enters Aries and commences the cycle all over again. However, the astrological ages proceed in the reverse direction. Therefore after the Age of Pisces, the next age is the Age of Aquarius, followed by the Age of Capricorn, and so on.

There is a third aspect of the astrological ages that has very wide consensus amongst astrologers. Though astrologers cannot agree upon the year, century or millennium for the start of any age, they generally agree upon the core historical events associated with the recent Ages since the start of the Holocene Epoch. For example the Age of Leo with massive global warming that resulted in the deglaciation of Earth at the end of the last Ice Age, Age of Cancer with domestication and the Biblical Flood (most likely a by-product of rising sea level from deglaciation),the Age of Gemini is associated with the invention of writing, the Age of Taurus with Ancient Egypt and its massive pyramids, the Aries age with the Iron Age and the Age of Pisces with Christianity. Astrologers claim that each zodiacal sign has associated archetypes often referred to traditionally as rulerships. For example Gemini rules the hands, dexterity and communication and draws upon all these archetypes to produce the first written word in the Age of Gemini, specifically in Sumer (Mesopotamia).

Though almost total unanimity or wide consensus in the astrological community exists in the above three areas, everything else is contentious, disputed and a myriad array of alternative hypotheses, claims and approaches exists.

Are ages equal or of variable lengths based on the zodiacal constellations?

It is difficult to say which is the most popular method to divide the Great Year into twelve astrological ages. There are two popular methods. One method is to divided the Great Year into twelve astrological ages of approximately equal lengths of around 2160 years per age based on the vernal equinox moving through the sidereal zodiac. Another method is to significantly vary the duration of each astrological age based on the passage of the vernal equinox measured against the actual zodiacal constellations. Each of those twelve sections of the Great Year can be called either an astrological age, Precessional Age or a Great Month, the latter term more common in older texts.

One issue with the variable-length age method based on the zodiacal constellations is that many of these zodiacal constellations overlap. For example by 2700 the vernal point will have moved into the constellation of Aquarius, but due to the overlapping stars from the constellation of Pisces, the vernal point will also continue to point towards the constellation of Pisces. This overlap is a problem if this literal approach to the zodiacal constellations is adopted.

Based on the astronomical division of the irregular constellations the Austrian astronomer Professor Hermann Haupt examined the question of when the Age of Aquarius begins in an article published in 1992 by the Austrian Academy of Science: with the German title Der Beginn des Wassermannzeitalters, eine astronomische Frage? (The Start of the Aquarian Age, an Astronomical Question?, (see below The Age of Aquarius).

Age cusps - are they real or imagined?

Many astrologers consider the entrance into a new astrological age is not a single moment of time but a process commonly referred to as `the cusp' by which one age initiates its influences, in a slowly increasing way, before the end of the previous age. For example Ray Grasse states that an astrological age neither begins at an exact day or year. However there is no consensus on this point and there is no evidence of cusps in other branches of astrology except in the domain of urban myth. Basically those that follow the cusp approach believe that there is a merging of influence between each adjoining ages. Many astrologers believe that the world is currently on the cusp of the Pisces and Aquarian ages explaining why so many developments in the world today can be aligned to Pisces (i.e. continuing strong religious influences especially from Christianity) and Aquarius (traditional archetypes associated with Aquarius include electricity, computers, and democracy). A few astrologers consider the last ca. 10 degrees of a given age (ca. 720 years) as the time period during which the new age starts to make visible its influences, also called "orb of influence". In Nicholas Campion's The Book of World Horoscopes there are six pages listing researchers and their proposed dates for the start of the Age of Aquarius indicating that many researchers believe that each age commences at an exact date.

Robert Hand adds another point of view about cusps in that the stars of the constellation of Pisces overlap the stars of the constellation of Aquarius. Technically the vernal equinox enters the constellation of Aquarius in 2691 but does not leave the constellation of Pisces until 2817. Therefore between 2691 and 2817 the vernal equinox is pointing towards both the constellation of Pisces and the constellation of Aquarius. This approach has no affect upon those astrologers that utilize twelve equal sized ages based on the sidereal zodiac.

Other opinions on the astrological ages

Though many approaches to the ages are conflicting, many different schools of thought have an established momentum but are generally not upheld by the majority of astrologers.

Ages exactly 2,000 years each

Many astrologers find ages too erratic based on either the vernal point moving through the randomly sized zodiacal constellations or sidereal zodiac and instead round all astrological ages to exactly 2000 years each. In this approach the ages are usually neatly aligned so that the Aries age is found from 2000 BC to 1 AD, Pisces age 1 AD to 2000 AD, the Aquarian age 2000 AD - 4000 AD and so on. This approach is not consistent with the precession of the equinoxes. Based on precession of the equinoxes there is a one degree shift approximately every 72 years; therefore a 30 degree movement requires 2160 years to complete.

Binary ages involving the opposite sign

There is also an established school of thought that believe each age's influences is also complemented by the opposite sign to the sign ruling the astrological age. For example, the Age of Pisces (the Fish), vernal equinox, is complemented by its opposite astrological sign of Virgo (the Virgin); for this reason a few researchers refer to the Piscean age the "Age of Pisces-Virgo." Adopting this approach the Age of Aquarius would become the Age of Aquarius-Leo. (see The astrological ages based on Esoteric Christian and Gnostic Esoteric Teachings in the #New, alternative, and fringe theories section below). Ray Grasse also claims that each sign of the zodiac is part of a polarity involving the opposite sign.

Calculation aspects

The Earth, in addition to its diurnal (daily) rotation upon its axis, and annular rotation around the Sun, incurs a precessional motion involving a slow periodic shift of the axis itself: approximately one degree every 72 years. This motion, which is caused mostly by the Moon's gravity, gives rise to the precession of the equinoxes in which the Sun's position on the ecliptic at the time of the vernal equinox, measured against the background of fixed stars, gradually changes with time.

In graphical terms, the Earth behaves like a spinning top, and tops tend to wobble as they spin. The spin of the Earth is its daily (diurnal) rotation. The spinning Earth slowly wobbles over a period slightly less than 26,000 years. From our perspective on Earth, the stars are ever so slightly `moving' from West to East at the rate of one degree approximately every 72 years. One degree is about twice the diameter of the Sun or Moon as viewed from Earth. The easiest way to notice this slow movement of the stars is at any fixed time each year. The most common fixed time is at the vernal equinox around 21 March each year.

In astrology, an astrological age has usually been defined by the constellation or superimposed sidereal zodiac in which the Sun actually appears at the vernal equinox. This is the method that Hipparchus appears to have applied around 127 BCE when he calculated precession. Since each sign of the zodiac is composed of 30 degrees, each astrological age might be thought to last about 72 (years) × 30 (degrees) = about 2160 years. This means the Sun crosses the equator at the vernal equinox moving backwards against the fixed stars from one year to the next at the rate of one degree in seventy-two years, one constellation (on average) in about 2160 years, and the whole twelve signs in about 25,920 years, sometimes called a Platonic Year. However the length of the ages are decreasing with time as the rate of precession is increasing. Therefore no two ages are of equal length.

First point of Aries alignment - the fiducial point

Approximately every 26,000 years the zodiacal constellations, the associated sidereal zodiac and the tropical zodiac used by western astrologers basically align. Technically this is when the tropical and sidereal "first point in Aries" (Aries 0°) coincided. This alignment is often called the fiducial point, and if the fiducial point could be found, fairly exact timeframes of all the astrological ages could be accurately determined (if the method used to determine the astrological ages is based on the equal-sized 30 degrees per age and do not correspond to the exact constellation configuration in the sky). However this fiducial point is difficult to determine because while there is no ambiguity about the tropical zodiac used by western astrologers, the same cannot be said of the sidereal zodiac used by Vedic astrologers. Vedic astrologers do not have unanimity on the exact location in space of their sidereal zodiac. This is due to the fact that the sidereal zodiac is superimposed upon the irregular zodiacal constellation, and there are no unambiguous boundaries of the zodiacal constellations. Modern day astronomers have defined boundaries, but this is a recent development by astronomers who are divorced from astrology, and cannot be assumed to be correct from the astrological perspective. While most astronomers and some astrologers agree that the fiducial point occurred in or around the 3rd to 5th centuries AD, there is no consensus on any exact date or tight timeframe within these three centuries. A number of dates are proposed by various astronomers and even wider timeframes by astrologers. (For an alternative approach to calibrating precession, see Alternative Approach to Calibrating Precession in New, alternative, and fringe theories section below).

As an example of a typical contemporary approach to precession, in Max Heindel's astrology writings, it is described that last time the starting-point of the sidereal zodiac agreed with the tropical zodiac occurred in 498. A year after these points were in exact agreement, the Sun crossed the equator about fifty seconds of space into the constellation Pisces. The year following it was one minute and forty seconds into Pisces, and so it has been creeping backwards ever since, until at the present time the Sun crosses the equator in about nine degrees in the constellation Pisces. Based on this approach, it will thus be about 600 years before it actually crosses the celestial equator in the constellation Aquarius. However this is only one of many approaches and so this must remain speculation at this point of time.

Past ages

The Age of Leo (The Leonian Age)

Symbol for Leo:

  • the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Leo;

Timeframes

  • Zodiacal 30 degrees:

*Common interpretation: ca. 10,500 BC to 8000 BC.
*Sacred Sites' interpretation: ca. 10,970 BC to 8810 BC:

  • Constellation boundary year: (not calculated).

Overview "The Golden Age"
Historical similarities The major event at this time was an ancient global warming to such a massive extent that it led to the deglaciation of what now constitutes much of the modern inhabitable world. The deglaciation ultimately caused a 300 feet (90 m) rise in the sea level. The sign Leo is a Fire sign and is traditionally ruled by the Sun in astrology, and it is entirely appropriate that in an Age ruled by the Sun, that the warmth of the Sun melted the glaciers that covered much of North America and Europe. Leo is also related to any kind of light source, and the carved stone oil lamp was invented during this time. (Oil lamps existed previously, but this type was the first proper continuously-burning lamp.)
Religious Similarities Some researchers believe that the Great Sphinx was constructed in the Age of Leo. (See #New, alternative, and fringe theories.)

The Age of Cancer (The Cancerian Age)

Symbol for Cancer:

The zodiacal signs:

  • the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Cancer;

Timeframes

  • Zodiacal 30 degrees:

*Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in ca. 8126 BC and ended in ca. 5970 BC (the orb of influence started in ca. 8846 BC)
*Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. 8600 BC and ended in ca. 6450 BC.

  • Constellation boundary year:

*Shephard Simpson interpretation:
Overview "The Age of the Great Mother." Cancer is ruled by the Moon, & is associated with the process of bearing, birthing, nurturing, & protecting.
Historical similarities The Neolithic Revolution, including the beginning of civilisation, with domestication of farm animals including pigs, goats & even bees. Some nomadic people settled down to living in permanent dwellings. For example, the city of Jericho, believed constructed during this age, was protected by a wall 12-17 ft (4 to 5 m) high & 5 ft (1.5 m) thick. (Cancer is always associated with 'protection' by utilizing an external barrier). There is also evidence of massive loss of coastal regions by the rising sea level following deglaciation of many areas on Earth. This loss of land caused the forced relocation of people to higher ground. Cancer's list of archetypes always include anything to do with the home (including houses, place of residence, migration).

Evidence of widespread use of boats including Noah's fabled Ark (maritime vessels of all types are ruled by Cancer).

Rise of pottery (a protective vessel conforming to one of Cancer's archetypes).

Religious similarities Widespread evidence of the mother goddess in the Near East (the `mother' archetype in all shapes and forms is always related to the sign Cancer).

The Age of Gemini (The Geminian Age)

Symbol for Gemini:

The zodiacal signs:

  • the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Gemini;

Timeframes

  • Zodiacal 30 degrees:

*Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in ca. 5970 BC and ended in ca. 3814 BC (the orb of influence started in ca. 6690 BC)
*Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. 6450 BC and ended in ca. 4300 BC.

  • Constellation boundary year: (not calculated).

*Shephard Simpson interpretation: (none).
Overview "The Age of Communication, Trade and the Twins"
Historical similarities During this age writing developed, and trade started to accelerate. This corresponds to the symbols the Gemini constellation represents. The constellation can be seen as two people holding hands (thought to be twins), believed by some to be symbolic for trade and communication of peoples. Regardless of the lore associated with the constellation of Gemini, both writing (including literature, newspapers, journals, magazines and works of fiction) and trade (including merchants) are traditional archetypes belonging to the sign of Gemini.
The wheel, although having been used earlier as potter's wheels, was used for the first time for transportation purposes around the 5th millennium BC. Most forms of local transportation (horse and cart, bicycles, suburban trains, trams, cars, motorcycles, walking, roads, freeways etc) are archetypes associated with the sign of Gemini.
Religious similarities Multiple gods, such as the pantheon of gods in Ancient Greek literature, are believed to have appeared in this Gemini age probably in Sumer (Mesopotamia). (Gemini not only is associated with the archetype of `twins' and `duality' but also 'multiplicity')

The Age of Taurus (The Taurean Age)

Symbol for Taurus:

The zodiacal signs:

  • the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Taurus;

Timeframes

  • Zodiacal 30 degrees:

*Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in ca. 3814 BC and ended in ca. 1658 BC (the orb of influence started in ca. 4534 BC)
*Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. 4300 BC and ended in ca. 2150 BC.

  • Constellation boundary year:

* Shephard Simpson interpretation: began ca. 4525 BC to ca. 1875 BC

Overview "The Age of Earth, Agriculture and the Bull"

Historical similarities Bull worshiping cults began to form in Assyria, Egypt, and Crete which relates to Taurus symbolizing the bull. Main article: Bull (mythology)

This age is notable for the building of the pyramids, during the Old Kingdom of Egypt and the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. They personify structure, solidity, stability and attempts at eternity, keywords of Taurus. The completed Great Pyramid of Khufu, clad in smooth pure white limestone, must have been a sight of dazzling beauty in the sunlight. Beauty is another keyword of Taurus.

Taurus is associated with the metal copper, and bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) was for the first time smelted and worked into bronze swords during the early phase of this era.

Papyrus was invented during this time, enabling improved writing techniques. It could be manufactured into very long strips that could be rolled (but not yet folded) into scrolls or rolls for efficient storage and handling. (The Taurus glyph invokes the image of the partially-unrolled scroll).

Traits of Taurus such as 'stubbornness' and 'strength' but at the same time 'sensuality' may be attributed to civilizations such as Ancient Egypt's.

Religious similarities

The Age of Aries (The Arian Age)

Symbol for Aries:

The zodiacal signs:

  • the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Aries;

Timeframes

  • Zodiacal 30 degrees:

*Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in ca. 1658 BC and ended in ca. AD 498
*Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. 2150 BCE and ended in ca. AD 1.

  • Constellation boundary year:

* Shephard Simpson interpretation: began ca. 1875 BC to ca. 100 BC

Overview "The Age of War, Fire and the Ram"
Historical similarities Aries represents a Fire symbol as well as bold actions, a lot of these behaviors can be seen during any age. However, the themes emphasised during this age relate to courage, initiative, war & adventure. Nations during this age such as the expanding empires of China, Persia, Greece and Rome, are often cited as examples of the archetypes of Aries in action. Also the Aries constellation shows a ram running. This could correspond with the sacrifice of Abraham's Ram. While the number of names containing the sound of the ram during this period is noted: Ra (Sun God), Ram, Rama, Brahman, Abram, Abraham, Amon Ra, and Ramesses I. The battering ram was employed by the Assyrians, Greeks and Romans with great success during this time. (The symbol of Mars, the planetary ruler of Aries, evokes this interpretation.)

Aries is associated with the metal iron, and iron ore was for the first time smelted and worked into iron swords in Anatolia during the early phase of this era, replacing the heavier, softer-metalled, duller-edged bronze swords of the previous Taurus Age.

Traits of Aries such as 'initiative' may suggest the explosion of originality in the development of social aspects, sciences and arts in regions such as Ancient Greece but at the same time traits such as 'Impulsivity' may be attributed to the various Wars of the time.

Religious similarities The Age of Aries ushered in efforts to replace polytheism with monotheism. The earliest known attempt was by the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, who, in about 1350 BC, decreed the Sun God Aten to be the supreme deity, apparently in reaction to his earlier lack of inclusion in religious rites by his family. After his death, however, power reverted to the original polytheistic priests, who re-established the old religion. Speculation (including that of Freud) has it that later, during the reign of Ramesses II, Moses was influenced by rumour of Akhenaten's revolutionary idea, and grasped the idea of a single supreme God, Who especially favoured His people, as an inspirational mechanism that best suited his people held in bondage. The symbol of Aries can be seen as representing the power of multiple gods streaming down into a single god-head.

Moses (born circa 16th–13th Century BC; 7 Adar 2368 - 7 Adar 2488 in the Hebrew calendar), an early Biblical Hebrew religious leader, lawgiver, prophet, and military leader, condemns his own people upon finding them worshiping a 'golden calf' (a symbol of the previous Age of Taurus and of the worship of the bull deity) after coming down Mount Sinai. These events may have occurred during the Age of Aries (see also Dating the Exodus overview).
See also:

The Age of Pisces (The Piscean Age)

Symbol of Pisces: The zodiacal signs:

  • the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Pisces;

The Age of Pisces is technically the current age and astronomers and some astrologers believe it will remain so for approximately another 600 years. At that time, the vernal equinox point will no longer be facing Pisces, but moved into the constellation of Aquarius, thus beginning the Age of Aquarius. However there are many astrologers who believe that the Age of Aquarius has already arrived or will arrive soon.

Timeframes

  • Zodiacal 30 degrees:

*Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in AD 498 (year understood as marking the "first point of Aries" alignment, Aries 0º, and the subsequent entrance in Pisces) and ends in ca. AD 2654 (the orb of influence started in ca. 222/220s BC).
Note: in this case, Aries 0°Coincides with the Fall of Rome and subsequent "chaos" which gave origin to the Middle Ages (late 5th century); the orb of influence (10th degree of Aries) coincides with the pre-Second Punic War times (218-202 BC) and the earliest period that some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were written (200s; within the 72 years of the 10th degree).
*Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. AD 1 and ends in ca. AD 2150.

  • Constellation boundary year:

* Shephard Simpson interpretation: began ca. 100/90 BC and ends ca. AD 2680.

Overview

"The Age of Monotheism, Spirituality, and the Fish"

Popular culture references

"Age of Pisces" is also a song by 26 from his album "The Messiah," but is more a critique of the New Age Movement and the song "Aquarius" than a discussion of the Age of Pisces in general.

Historical similarities

The Age of Pisces is characterized by the rise of many religions such as Christianity, Islam and Buddhism due to "spiritual" nature of Pisces and its ability to go beyond the boundaries of the physical world. The Age of Pisces is mainly marked by the continuous research of mankind about the truth hidden behind what's perceived by five senses. The New Age movement "celebrating" The Age of Aquarius is claimed by some to be a characteristic of The Age of Pisces.

Traits of Pisces such as being "gentle" and artistically able but at the same time "impractical" may hint to the dominance of European empires on the world.

Religious similarities

Pisces has, as its symbol, two fishes swimming in opposite directions, connected by a line joining each of their mouths. (The symbol shown above is the stylized short-hand version of that image). This can be interpreted as each member of the Christian community being both fisher and fish within Christian responsibility, while attending to diverse activities - a complete reversal of the previous self-centred "me-first" approach of the previous Arian Age.

Jesus was reported, in Matthew 4:19, as saying to two fishermen brothers, (Simon called Peter, and Andrew) on the shore of Lake Galilee, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" - a tradition that the Christian Church has continued even to today. These two fishermen parallel the two fish in the symbol of Pisces. In the Book of Luke when Jesus is asked by Peter and John "where wilt thou that we prepare?" concerning the place of dining for the last supper, Jesus says to follow a man "bearing a pitcher of water" into the house he enters. A man bearing a pitcher of water symbolizes the coming of the Age of Aquarius and is known as "the water bearer". In Astrology, the Age of Aquarius comes directly after the Age of Pisces.

(KJV - Luke 22:8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. Luke 22:9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? Luke 22:10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.)

There are several biblical references between Jesus and fish. Also, the acronym for Jesus Christ, God, Son, Saviour in Greek is the Greek word for fish, Ichthys.

Orthodox Christianity does not recognize the ages defined by astrology, nor the significance attributed to them by believers in astrology. The Jewish Kabbalah does, however, contain ancient references to astrological tradition.

The Age of Aquarius (The Aquarian age)

Symbol for Aquarius:

The zodiacal signs:

  • the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Aquarius;

Timeframes In 1928, at the Conference of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Leiden, the Netherlands, the edges of the 88 official constellations became defined in astronomical terms. The edge established between Pisces and Aquarius locates the beginning of the Aquarian Age around the year 2600.

The Austrian astronomer, Professor Hermann Haupt, examined the question of when the Age of Aquarius begins in an article published in 1992 by the Austrian Academy of Science: with the German title Der Beginn des Wassermannzeitalters, eine astronomische Frage? (The Start of the Aquarian Age, an Astronomical Question?). Based on the boundaries accepted by IAU in 1928, Haupt's article investigates the start of the Age of Aquarius by calculating the entry of the spring equinox point over the parallel cycle (d = - 4°) between the constellations Pisces and Aquarius and reaches, using the usual formula of precession (Gliese, 1982), the year 2595. However Haupt concludes:

"Though it cannot be expected that astrologers will follow the official boundaries of the constellations, there will be an attempt to calculate the entry of the spring equinox point into the constellation of Aquarius." ...

"As briefly has been shown, the results and methods of astrology in many areas, such as concerning the Aquarian age, are controversial on their own and cannot be called scientific because of the many esoteric elements.

  • Zodiacal 30 degrees:

*Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: begins in ca. AD 2654 (the orb of influence started in ca. 1934/1930s).
*Elsa M. Glover interpretation: ca. AD 2638.
*Neil Mann interpretation: begins AD 2150.
*Dane Rudhyar was one of the most important astrologers of the 20th century. His many influential books helped reconcile astrology with modern psychology and free it from the deterministic trappings of the past. According to his interpretation, the Age of Aquarius will begin in AD 2062.
* Nicholas Campion in "The Book of World Horoscopes" indicates that he has collected over 90 dates provided by researchers for the start of the Age of Aquarius and these dates have a range of over 2,000 years commencing in the 15th century AD. The range of dates for the possible start of the Aquarian age range from 1447 to 3621.

  • Constellation boundary year:

* Shephard Simpson interpretation: begins in ca. AD 2680.
* Hermann Haupt interpretation begins in ca. AD 2595 the letter w also plays a role in this.

Overview "The Age of Freedom, Technology (especially electricity), and the Water Bearer"
There is an expectation that the Aquarian age will usher in a period of group consciousness. Marcia Moore and Mark Douglas claim that the lighting up of the earth artificially by electricity is a sign of the Age of Aquarius. Furthermore they see the appearance of dictators, self expression and the rising influence of the entertainment industry are linked to the Aquarian age by its opposite sign Leo.

Popular culture In popular culture, the expression "Age of Aquarius" usually refers to the heyday of the hippie and New Age movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

This New Age phenomenon is seen by some astrologers to be marked by the conjunction of the planet Uranus, ruler of the sign Aquarius, and the coming age, with Pluto, ruler of the masses, bringing radical change, in the 1960s. However, as the song relates, it is only considered by astrologers as the "dawning" or "cusp" of the Age, with the full strength of the Age not occurring until some time in the future.

The 1967 successful musical Hair, with its opening song "Aquarius" and the memorable line "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius," brought the Aquarian Age concept to the attention of a huge worldwide audience.

Historical Similarity: Current/Projected

Traits of Aquarius such as being 'humanitarian' but at the same time 'unemotional' may indicate to the emergence of active intergovernmental organisations and global solidarity movements.

The sub-periods of ages

Many research astrologers believe that the astrological ages can be divided into smaller sections along the lines of `wheels within wheels’. The most common method is to divide each astrological ages into twelve sub-periods. There are two common ways of undertaking this process and two ways of applying these sub-periods. Furthermore some astrologers divide the ages in different ways. For example Lcdr David Williams employs a decanate sub-division whereby each age is divided into three equal sections. Robert Hand developed another approach entirely whereby the conjunction of the moving vernal point with specific stars within the zodiacal constellations provides an extra flavour to the corresponding historical events based on the nature of the star involved. However Robert Hand believes that the moving Capricorn solstice point (around 20 December) near the modern New Year provides greater correlation to historical events compared to the vernal equinox. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet used a variety of sub-periods including decans, but Patrizia advocated that the nine-fold division of each sign was the most powerful and influential sub-division. The nine-fold division (termed 'navamsa') of the zodiacal signs is also the most popular sign sub-division system emloyed by Vedic astrologers. Vedic astrologers also apply their nakshatra star asterisms in place of the twelve zodiacal constellations. There are 27 nakshatras of 13 degrees 20 minutes each, thus the average length of a 'nakshatra' age is 960 years.

Aries to Pisces sub-periods

The most popular method of sub-dividing astrological ages is to divide each age equally into twelve sub-periods with the first sub-period Aries, followed by Taurus, Gemini and so on until the last sub-division, Pisces. Charles Carter was an early advocate of this approach. Technically this approach is based on the twelfth harmonic of the zodiacal signs.

Dwadasamsa sub-periods

The alternative approach is to apply a method commonly used in Vedic astrology but with long antecedents also in western astrology. This method also divides each astrological age into twelve sub-periods but the first sub-period for each sign is the same as the sign itself, then with the following sub-periods in natural order. For example the twelve dwadasamsa of Aquarius are Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus and so on until the last dwadasamsa – Capricorn. Technically this approach is based on attributes of both the twelfth and thirteenth harmonics of the zodiacal signs and can be considered to be halfway between the 12th and 13th harmonics.

Sub-period direction (forward or retrograde?)

There are two ways of applying the above sub-periods to the astrological ages.

  • Natural Order - The most common way is to arrange the sub-periods so that they go forward in the natural order. Therefore if the Aries to Pisces method is adopted for example in the Aquarian age, the first sub-period is Aries, followed by Taurus, Gemini and so on until the last sub-division – Pisces. This is the approach made by Charles Carter. If the dwadasamsa sub-period is adopted they also progress in the natural order of the signs. For example the twelve dwadasamsa of Aquarius are Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus and so on until the last dwadasamsa – Capricorn.
  • Geometric Order (Retrograde) - The other approach is to arrange the sub-periods geometrically and reverse the direction of the sub-periods in line with the retrograde order of the astrological ages. For example if applying the Aries to Pisces method, the first sub-period of any astrological age is Pisces, followed by Aquarius, Capricorn and so on until the last sub-period – Aries. Charles Carter indicated there was some merit to this approach. If applying the dwadasamsa sub-period system geometrically for example the first sub-period in the Aquarian age is Capricorn, followed by Sagittarius, Scorpio and so on until the last sub-period – Aquarius. This approach is adopted by Terry MacKinnell, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet and Lcdr David Williams applied his [decans] (threefold division) geometrically thus supporting this approach.

New, alternative, and fringe theories

Due to the lack of consensus of almost all aspects of the astrological ages, except for the astrological ages relationship to precession of the equinoxes and the retrograde order of the astrological ages, there are more alternative, esoteric, innovative, fringe and newly expressed ideas about the astrological ages probably than any other branch of astrology. For this reason, most ideas and theories of the astrological ages appear in this section if they have not established credibility in the wider astrological community or amongst archeoastronomers.

The inclusion of any theory, approach or concept of the astrological ages in this section in no way indicates or suggests that they are incorrect or wrong (partially of fully), but they have not yet received widespread acceptance. In addition, the inclusion of any fringe approach in this section does not grant the approach any validity by their inclusion in this topic.

Ages based on Esoteric Christian and Gnostic Esoteric teachings

The Age of Leo-Aquarius marks the end of the Atlantean Epoch. The Atlanteans are said to have inhabited the basins covered by a dense, drenching fog (i.e. what is currently know as the Atlantic oceanic basin) which condensed into rain and flooded the basis of the Earth (recorded in all major cultures as the myth of the Great Flood).
The Age of Cancer-Capricorn marks the beginning of the Aryan Epoch. The Aryans are said to have been driven by the flood from the mists, which had enveloped Atlantis and condensed into rain, to the hilltops [the goat climbs the mountains] where they are now living. For the first time having a clear atmosphere in which the Rainbow, at the beginning of a new Epoch, marks a New Covenant made with the pioneers.
This Age also relates to mankind's recapitulation of the early third of the Atlantean period (a period which was intensely watery as the whole earth was covered by a dense, drenching fog. The Niebelung, or "Children of the Mist," lived then in the basins of the Earth).
The Age of Gemini-Sagittarius relates to the infant humanity recapitulation of the middle third of the Atlantean period (at that time the atmosphere had already cleared to a considerable extent, and the faculties of the spirit had become more focused in its physical instrument).
The Age of Taurus-Scorpio relates to mankind's recapitulation of the late third of the Atlantean period.
The Age of Aquarius-Leo According to the Esoteric Christian-Gnostic tradition, Essenian and later Rosicrucian, the proximity and entrance in the Age of Aquarius - occurring after the present Age of Pisces (or age ruled by the "Sword") - will bring to the majority of human beings the discovery, true living and real knowledge of the inner and deeper Christian teachings which the Christ spoke of in Matthew 13:11 and Luke 8:10. This age is regarded as an intermediary preparation toward the Christ in the etheric plane, the New Galilee: the "new heavens and a new earth" to come in a future not identified time. For Rosicrucians, in the Aquarian age at hand, it is expected a great spiritual Teacher will come ("is coming"), through the school (working as herald of this age), in order "to give the Christian Religion impetus in a new direction".

Mark 14:13 (also Luke 22:10) states "And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.". The disciples do so and follow him to the place where Jesus was to hold the Last Supper. Therefore, this could be interpreted as meaning that Jesus (who represents the age of Pisces) will "die" when the "man bearing a pitcher of water" appears, an apparent allusion to the coming age of Aquarius.

Similar views

The Lakota, a Native American people, also describe that a great spiritual Teacher, called White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman, is coming with the purpose to unite the material and spiritual worlds. Their legend mentions that in a far past, possibly in the beginning of the Age of Aries, a Teacher had come to initiate them into the "Pipe Ceremony"; the same story mentions that this Teacher is returning again due to specific signs related to their tradition, among them the fact that white buffalo calves are born again.

The Hopi, a Native American people, also describe that a great spiritual Teacher, known as the 'Elder Brother' or 'True White Brother', is coming as the "Rising Sun" to reunite the world's two streams separated in a far past (to rejoin the "stone tablets"). The Hopi have a complex and comprehensive view of the history and evolution of mankind, derived from oral tradition, and tend also to see history and evolution as cyclical (although this process is also conceived as a spiral process into higher stages of unfoldment). The True White Brother is expected to come after the two great wars, in order to inaugurate the future age: the "Day of Purification". The symbolism described to be related to this event is as following: "this third event will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command, setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of the Sun.

Alternative Approach to Calibrating Precession

Terry MacKinnell has developed an alternative approach to calibrating precession of the equinoxes for the purposes of determining the Astrological Age. His major point of departure from the traditional modern approach is how he applies the vernal equinox to the zodiacal constellations. Instead of referring to the position of the Sun at the vernal equinox (a ‘modern’ mathematical technique developed by the Greeks in the late 1st millennium BCE), he refers to the heliacal rising constellation on the day of the vernal equinox. This approach is based on the ancient approach to astronomical observations (the same ancient period that also saw the invention of the zodiacal constellations) prior to the development of mathematical astronomy by the ancient Greeks in the 1st millennium BCE. All ancient astronomical observations were based on visual techniques . Of all the key techniques used in ancient times, the most common in Babylon (most likely the source of astrology) and most other ancient cultures were based on phenomena that occurred close to the eastern or western horizons . MacKinnell claims that it is incongruent to use a ‘modern’ mathematical approach to the much older constellations that were first described well before these mathematical approaches were invented.

The heliacal rising constellation at the vernal equinox is based on the last zodiacal constellation rising above the Eastern Horizon just before dawn and before the light of the approaching Sun obliterates the stars on the eastern horizon. Currently at the vernal equinox the constellation of Aquarius has been the heliacal rising constellation for some centuries. The stars disappear about one hour before dawn depending upon magnitude, latitude and date. This one hour represents approximately 15 degrees difference compared to the contemporary method based on the position of the Sun amongst the zodiacal constellations. Each age is composed of 30 degrees. Therefore 15 degrees represents about half an age.

Using MacKinnell’s approach, the Astrological Ages arrive about half an age earlier compared to the common contemporary approach to calibrating precession based on ‘modern’ mathematical techniques. Therefore Terry MacKinnell has the Aquarian age arriving in the 15th century CE while most astrologers have the Age of Aquarius arriving in the 27th century, almost 700 years in the future.

Orb of influence

The entrance into a new astrological age is not considered to be a single moment of time but a process by which one age initiates its influences, in a slowly increasing way, before the end of the previous age. Due to this reason, some astrologers consider the last ca. 10 degrees of a given age (ca. 720 years) as the time period during which the new age starts to make visible its influences, also called "orb of influence". The orb of influence should not be confused with the "decanate", although they often describe the same section of zodiac. The orb is the distance from any point or planetary aspect in the zodiac through which the influence operates, similar to a margin of error or uncertainty. A decanate is a band of any sign of the zodiac, which is overlaid by the influence of the next sequential sign of the same element. For example, the 1st decanate of Libra (0 to 10 degrees) is Libra overlaying Libra, the 2nd decanate of Libra is Aquarius overlaying Libra, and the 3rd decanate of Libra is Gemini overlaying Libra. The decanate process shows how each sign grows gradually towards a more progressed expression along its 30 degree length, whereas the orb involves, in this case, the gradual fading from one sign into the next sign.

The orb of influence (10 to 0 degrees of Pisces) coincides with the discovery of Pluto, technological advancements including nuclear fission, the invention of radar, the invention of SSB and FM in radio transmission, the first television broadcasts with a modern level of definition (1936), computers and other digital equipment (binary high and low levels) and the Internet.

Ages are believed by some to affect mankind. For Aquarius (also called "the Water bearer"), it is reported we have already been feeling influences - titled orb of influence (the last ten degrees backwards of the Age of Pisces) - in the accelerated individual, social, cultural, scientific and technological development and globalization through the 20th century. This view is consistent with the popular notion of the New Age movement that regards current times as the "dawning of the Aquarian Age".

Aquarius and the Great Floods

Greek mythology knows three floods. Among them, the Ogygian ("primeval", "primal", "earliest dawn") flood covered the whole world and was so devastating that the country remained without kings until the reign of Cecrops. Plato in his Laws, Book III, estimates that this flood occurred 10,000 years before his time. Also in Timaeus (22) and in Critias (111-112) he describes the "great deluge of all" during the 10th millennium BC. In addition, the texts report that "many great deluges have taken place during the nine thousand years" since Athens and Atlantis were preeminent. The theory of the flood in the Aegean Basin, proposed that a great flood occurred towards the end of the Pleistocene. This flood coincides with the end of the last ice age, estimated approximately 10,000 years ago, when the sea level has risen as much as 130 metres. The map on the right shows how the region would look 12,000 years ago, when the sea level would be 100 meters lower than today. The geological findings support the hypothesis that the Ogygian Deluge may well be based on a real event.

Was the Great Sphinx constructed in the Age of Leo?

According to the Orion Correlation Theory the Great Sphinx stood as a guardian of the Giza Plateau, where it faced the rising sun. It was the focus of solar worship in the Old Kingdom, centered in the adjoining temples built around the time of its probable construction. Its animal form, the lion, has long been a symbol associated with the sun in ancient Near Eastern civilizations. Images depicting the Egyptian king in the form of a lion smiting his enemies appear as far back as the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt. During the New Kingdom, the Sphinx became more specifically associated with the god Hor-em-akhet (Greek Harmachis) or Horus at the Horizon, which represented the Pharaoh in his role as the Shesep ankh of Atum (living image of Atum). A temple was built to the northeast of the Sphinx by King Amenhotep II, nearly a thousand years after its construction, dedicated to the cult of Horemakhet.

The Great Flood is a common feature of the world's cultural heritage and may indicate an association with the Aquarius (the Water Bearer) counterpart of this Age.

The Sphinx is believed by archaeologists to be 4,500 years old, but shows unmistakable signs of weathering by heavy rains and floods that have not been experienced in that part of the eastern Sahara for more than 12,000 years. This further corroborates the theory of the Sphinx's construction date during the time of Leo.

Popular culture

  • The movie Aquarian Age, released in Japan in 2008. Directed by Hidetaka Tahara and starring Dori Sakurada, Rakuto Tochihara, Takuya Uehara, Keita Kimura, Toshikiyo Fujii, Nao Nagasawa, Go Ayano and Masami Horiuchi. This movie is based on the Japan's most popular domestic trading card game, the characters from the female-oriented Juvenile Orion spinoff. The story focuses on several high school boys who discover that they inherited latent genetic traits from among other things, wings that sprout out of their backs. They soon find themselves caught in a millennia-old war, with each representing one of several different factions.
  • Aquarian Age (アクエリアンエイジ, Akuerian Eiji?) is a Japanese collectible trading card game similar to Magic: The Gathering. It is marketed and produced by Broccoli, which produces games and Anime-related goods.

See also

References

External links

Astrological ages

Age of Aquarius

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