What age of astrology are we in?
A question I answered on Quora What age of astrology are we in?
I’d argue we are still in the Age of Pisces – but let me qualify that statement.
Precession of the Equinoxes
The first thing to say is that the “Ages” are real astronomical events.*
When astrology was becoming established in the form as we, in the West, know it today, some 2000 years ago, it drew on the twelve main constellations lying within the ecliptic belt.
The beginning of the constellation of Aries (First Point of Aries) was established as the starting point for the cycle. This is the point where the celestial equator meets the ecliptic – or in other words the Spring or Vernal Equinox.
All well and good back then… Well to be fair not quite as there were differences of opinion as to what star constituted the First Point of Aries. The star Alpha Arietis, at the eastern extreme of Aries, was eventually chosen as marking the spot.
Some time later, quite a long time actually, it was discovered that the spring equinox was no longer coinciding with the star Alpha Arietis but was indeed occurring a little earlier each year and had slipped backwards into the star constellation of Pisces.
This backward motion of the equinox against the background stars, is called the Precession of the Equinoxes, and is well known in astronomy and astrology.
It is caused by the Earth doing a bit of a wobble at the poles as it turns like a spinning top. It takes approx., 25k years to complete a full cycle.
Precession was arguably known to the Egyptians but, in a literal sense, we learnt about it through the Greek astronomer, Hipparchus (circa 130 BC) who is credited with discovering it. This knowledge was carried through to us by Claudius Ptolemy’s astronomical book, The Almagest (circa 100 AD).
The Age of Aquarius – a bit of a problem
When the spring equinox point, getting a little earlier each year against the background stars, moves from Pisces into the constellation of Aquarius we will have the beginning of the much spoken of “Age of Aquarius.”
Now in most astrology that we use today – the tropical zodiac – the signs begin from the spring equinox – wherever it occurs against the background stars. Apart from the Sun, there are no stars involved. The year is broken into 12 x 30 degree segments. With the star constellations such neat demarcations are not an option.
The constellations vary in size. For example, Virgo is the largest, followed by Aquarius then Leo. It depends upon what stars are included in a constellation and how far that constellation is from the next – the gap along the ecliptic between the two – in other words.
What is commonly agreed amongst astrologers is that the shift between the First Point of Aries and the star Alpha Arietis is as near as damn it 24 degrees – in the constellation of Pisces. And with it the guesstimate of the beginning of the Age of Aquarius varies from now (last week) to nearly 600 years from now – when the vernal equinox will properly occur in Aquarius, arguably in the year 2597 – see Aquarius (constellation) – Wikipedia for more on this.
But it has to be Meaningful
That said, the whole point about the Ages to astrologers is the “meaning” behind them. The Age of Pisces is often spoken of as manifesting through the sign of the fishes, links with the Christ and Christianity, and the growth of all main stream religions; an age of spiritual endeavour, devotion and self-sacrifice – particularly, it seems to me, the self-sacrifice and suppression of womenfolk. Any wonder we are out of balance.
The coming Age of Aquarius is anticipated to bring emancipation, independence, equality of the sexes, innovation and technology – such as robotics/AI/extending life and living healthier lifestyles on a healthy planet – to the front of our lives. At the same time there is a greater likelihood of space travel and colonising other parts of our solar system – plus meeting our neighbours from other parts of our galaxy. All good Aquarian stuff.
On that basis, how near do you think this Age of Aquarius is?
To me, right now, it is not 600 years away, more like a 100. I believe we are in a transition period and with it, all the hope and uncertainty that such an unsettling transition brings. We are in the gap between the two Ages. The old religions and dictators are increasingly under threat, and will I believe give way to a much more rounded, holistic and spiritual take on life.
In theory astrology will also find its feet within this new world order – people will begin to explore what it is actually about than relying on shallow media impressions.
And that’s another reason why I want the Age of Aquarius to start asap – I’m probably good for another ten years if I’m lucky. Hang on I don’t believe in luck. :0)
Food for thought…
*We can argue whether constellations are real or not later.