Quest for the Age of Aquarius

Precession-Courtesy University of British Columbia

Precession-Courtesy University of British Columbia

Astrological ages occur due to a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes. One complete revolution of all twelve astrological signs is called a Great Year or Platonic Year. This takes about 25,920 years. Precession works in retrograde motion; so Pisces follows Aries, Aquarius follows Pisces which in turn is followed by Capricorn.

Would it were so simple : Nicholas deVore defines Astrological Ages in his Encylopedia of Astrology: “As anciently considered, a period of roughly 2150 years during which the point of the Spring Equinox recedes through one sign of the Zodiac of Constellations. Since the constellations have no precise boundaries, the points of beginning and ending are mere approximations.”

It should be noted that this concept has not been embraced universally by any means. Charles Carter wrote: “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” (Campion 1999) Neil Spencer is of the opinion that the idea of astrological ages is “fuzzy”, “speculative” and [the] least defined area of astrological lore.[ (Spencer 2000) Others have simply given up on the whole idea.

Regarding the date marking the Age of Aquarius, there is no consensus among astrologers. Astronomers have no definitive date either. I’ve seen dates as early as the 15th Century and as late as the middle of the third millennium. Rudolph Steiner believed that the Age of Aquarius wouldn’t arrive until 3573.

David Williams claims that the Age of Aquarius arrived around 1844, with the harbinger of the Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad (1819–1850), who founded Bábism. You can see how many will stake a claim on the beginning of the age based on a singular event.

There are a number of reasons for this confusion: the constellations are not the same size. The Precession of the Equinox is not perfectly constant. There are dozens of other reasons as well.

I proceed with the tentative assumption that the Great Ages do exist and might be known, among other things, by considering the nature of the age in relation to the unique and agreed upon traits of the sign.

The passage of Regulus into Virgo, joining the other Royal Stars of Persia in mutable signs (2012) is highly significant; but I’d be reluctant to take that as the single defining event without substantial corroborative evidence.

Ultimately we have to ask ourselves what we mean by the Piscean or the Aquarian Age. How are they most likely to manifest? How are they to be recognized?

I recently read an article by an astrologer who claimed that Aquarius will get rid of greed, selfishness, war and all kinds of blights. But what is particularly Piscean about this list? Another wrote “The more dominant core values of the Piscean Age of money, power and control must go to make room for the Aquarian Age values of love, unity, brotherhood and integrity.” Where do these attributes come from? Is the mere idea of the Age of Aquarius enough for us to deny everything we know about the signs?

Verttius Valens was less than charitable in his assessment of the sign :

Aquarius is the celestial sign which is masculine, solid, anthropomorphic, somewhat damp, single. It is mute, quite cold, free, upward-trending, feminizing, unchanging, base, with few offspring, the cause of troubles arising from athletic training, carrying burdens, or work in hard materials, an artisan, public. Men born under this sign are malicious, haters of their own families, incorrigible, self-willed, deceitful, tricky, concealing everything, misanthropic, godless, accusers, betrayers of reputations and the truth, envious, petty, occasionally generous (because of flow of water), uncontrollable. As a whole this sign is wet. (Anthologies Bk. 1 p. 5)

To be fair, he isn’t all that kind to Pisces either :

It’s the celestial sign which is feminine, moist, quite wet, bicorporeal, with many offspring, ossy, scaley, sinewy, humpbacked, leprous, two-formed, mute, motile, with rough skin, in conflict with itself because one Fish is northern, the other southern. It is moist, downward-trending, servile, changeable, with many offspring, bicorporeal, sociable/lewd, with some limbs missing, the cause of wandering, varied.Men born under this sign are unsteady, unreliable, changing from bad fortune to good, sexy, theivish, shameless, prolific, popular (Anthologies Bk. 1 p. 6).

Personally I find both descriptions ludicrous in thier hyperbole, but in essence there is much to reflect upon, once you get past the “humpbacked, leprous” stuff. I know many will want to say that he didn’t really mean it that way, but the same wouldn’t afford the same courtesy of a contemporary writer. In any case, if he doesn’t mean what he says, then what does he mean?

It is noteworthy that many cultures speak of a distant Golden Age, set far beyond the mists of time. Many predict a Golden Age in the future, often with no date to mark the ingress. In most cases, humanity has to make the right choices in order for it to occur.

Such is not the case with the “Dawning of the Age of Aquarius ” It’s portrayed as a more or less painless transition to Utopia. Can it be that all will be be sweetness and light because Saturn rules the Age ? The influence of a very popular but astrologically ignorant song,cannot be ignored!

The Moon is in the 7th House for two hours every day. Jupiter and Mars alignments occur often (See this calculation for 1900 -2500) It is not a rare event at all. In a lifetime of 80 years there would be 36 Jupiter / Mars conjunctions. Such is the power of popular culture if the timing is right: ‘ Perhaps this is a case of life imitating art; but it’s complete fiction. Perhaps its little more than a case of successful marketing.

Again It seems the only way we have of determining when the New Age begins or ends is by studying what happens and how people react to it. The 20th Century has often been referred to as the age of alienation and existential angst.

The 20th century was when sea power was replaced by air power. Revolutions were rife, toppling the Czar and the Emperor of China, both replaced by dictatorial Communism. Feudal Japan overwhelmed by the country best known for its cult of rugged individualism. The two world wars seem far more Aquarian than Piscean.

The acceleration of technology is unprecedented and few doubt its Aquarian nature. Is chemical warfare a Pisces thing or an Aquarian one? What about nuclear bombs?

Can anyone seriously deny that globalisation has a lot more to do with Saturnine Aquarius than Jupiterian Pisces, particularly when we consider the Aquarius / Leo axis.?

Most writers on the Age of Aquarius are very upbeat. The jargon is usually similar. Picses bad. Aquarius good. No more oppression. Love will guide the stars and so on.

I find myself agreeing with most of what Robert Zoller has said nn the subject. Please excuse the lengthy quote; but we don’t know how long webpages will be maintained and Zoller speaks with considerable authority. You can read the whole article @

During the Piscean Age, the benefic Jupiter ruled the angles. Jupiter ruled both Pisces on the 1st and Sagittarius on the 10th, and thus, while there was confusion of hierarchical religious institutions and political institutions and while this inevitably led to hypocrisy, the Age was nevertheless one in which truth and philosophy mattered to men. The Piscean Age will, as this Aquarian Age unfolds, be seen as a halcyon period of semi-respite from the essentially malefic and spiritually destructive nature of life. In the Aquarian Age, the malefics once again rule the angles and with them returns the natural severity of worldly life.

The Novus Ordo Saeculorum, the New Order of the Ages, will rule through the power of life and death (Scorpio, which is on the 10th), through behaviour modification, cloning, genetic engineering, mind control and the occult. Might makes right in this New Age. If the preceding Age produced metaphysical materialists, who duped the people through the opiate of religion, the New Age will produce materialist metaphysicians who will make the preceding political power elites look like inept apprentices.

In the Age of Aquarius, religion will be humanistic love of fairness and justice. While feeding the people with Libran platitudes, the Scorpionic rulers will work tirelessly toward the realization of their goal – absolute power over others, as Leo is seen in position on the 7th house. The will of the people will be towards freedom of expression (Aquarius), and they will be encouraged to do their own thing so that they keep their minds off what their rulers do.

Most of what Zoller mentions has already materialized. These trends have all accelerated enormously since 2000. The New Age is synonymous with the New World Order in many respects. The marketing of greed and unprecedented ecological destruction is somehow “serving our best interests.” So are genetically modified foods. The World Bank masquerades as as benevolent force in developing countries. Invariably the nations cannot repay the debt and the bank takes control of the resources. Theses are all globalist endeavours resulting in personal profits. Technology is touted as the saviour while a third of the world goes hungry.

A Nobel Peace prize was given to a killer of children via that most Aquarian of weapons, the killer drone and, to quote Zoller, “rule through the power of life and death (Scorpio, which is on the 10th)”. There are few things more impersonal than unmanned stealth weapons controlled by a secret agency from across the world. They are so *impersonal* that they kill ten times as many men, women and children as the intended target. None of this seems piscean to me I don’t see peace and understanding heading the list at this point, but our survival will depend on it.

We are in an age of religious wars. Neither secularism nor fundamentalism will budge. The world is on fire with this conflict, with no easy end in sight. They’re ultimately incompatible and it’s easy to see this as a final conflict between the ages of Pisces and Aquarius.

Alternatively, one might argue that the religious element in not much more than a pretext for the complete control of people and global resources by the greatest plutocracy the world has even seen. This brings us back to the Leo / Aquarian axis once again.

Ultimately we have to look at the thorny question of cusps. I’m not big on them myself. But even if you were to apply even a very modest orb, it’s fair to say the age probably started around the beginning of the 20 th Century.

I don’t entirely concur with Zoller’s dystopian vision for the Age of Aquarius; but his observations have enormous merit. I believe our technology and globalization are a double edged sword. Just as the invention of the crossbow meant that a peasant could unhorse a knight, powerful computers and other technologies make it harder for tyrants to hide and easier for us to communicate with each other, albeit in a far less intimate manner.

Some afterthoughts


In 1927 the British philosopher Bertrand Russell delivered as a lecture and then published Why I Am Not a Christian. It was shocking at the time and no doubt still shocks many people. It was supposed to. However it’s listed in the New York Public Library’s list of the most influential books of the 20th century. It isn’t just atheism. It’s a militant atheism. Richard Dawkins et al have become very aggressive, even confrontational, referring to religion, or anything else that’s non quantifiable material as a particularly pernicous virus or mental illness. Anything not material, such as prayer or any form of divination is forbidden.

As noted the Russian and Chinese revolutions were also militantly atheist. This spread though much of the world. It’s really very Aquarian A fixed air sign ruled by Saturn wail expect and desire uniformity of thought and the individual ultimately sacrificed for the collective. This is the essence of globalism. Secularism has become a religion itself: we are asked to accept on blind faith that which is often patently absurd.
Having considered all these things as relating to Saturn, I think a good estimate for the beginning of the Age of Aquarius would be around 1901 and not later than 1918. That is a Superior Conjunction (of Jupiter and Saturn) in Capricorn late 1901. 1918 is another date to consider.

I have no desire to spread negativity. It’s the opposite. By recognizing what we’ re facing we have some choices. If we remain in the illusion that all is sweetness and light, as much of the New Age Movement ironically claims, we are most likely to get blindsidedman-head-in-sand

Part of the confusion, in fact almost all of it, lies with the false connection of Aquarius with Uranus. It’s touted as the revolutionary planet. If we seriously consider the attributes of Uranus, we find a blend of qualities that previously belonged primarily to Mars and Mercury but this has been almost completely ignored. Many of the attributes that actually belong to Aquarius have been pushed aside and something altogether different put in its place and given the same name.

P. James Clark

6 comments on “Quest for the Age of Aquarius

  1. Darrell says:

    Yes, a fascinating subject of course.. And, also as a long time student& observer of Dane Rudhyar’s Sabian Symbol’s, I naturally turn to the symbols for the Ascendant at my location at the time of my finishing reading all this, as a ‘sign’ of what all this article is about, ie. the Quest for the Meaning of the Age of Aquarius that we are all moving deeper & deeper into.. And, so with the Ascendant also interestingly closely aligned with the fixed star Spica, moving between 24 & 25 degrees of Aquarius, beginning at *24degAqu.. A MAN, HAVING OVERCOME HIS PASSIONS TEACHES DEEP WISDOM IN TERMS OF HIS EXPERIENCE.. The constructive use to which difficult past experiences can be put as examples for those who are still striving to overcome their passions.. a never to be forgotten hint: it is the responsibility of anyone who has taken one step ahead in his or her evolution to help others to take this step. This is true education. The keyword is COMMUNICABILITY.. While also moving towards the next degree.. at *25degAqu.. A BUTTERFLY WITH THE RIGHT WING MORE PERFECTLY FORMED.. The capacity to develop the rational & fully Conscious aspect of the mind ahead of normal development.. This last symbol concludes this sixty-fifth sequence, which began with “A Disappointed Woman…” The five-fold set deals with the management of human energies at the emotional level; here management means overcoming – this, on the basis of negative or Ego challenging experiences.. the results of a TRANSMUTATION OF EMOTIONAL ENERGIES….

    **NB: Sabian Symbols From Dane Rudhyar’s book ‘An Astrologial Mandala: The Cycle of Transformation & It’s 360 Symbolic Phases’..

  2. Darrell says:

    And, yes in response to my previous comments, I then later realise that my previous comment was in “error” as the fixed star Spica is currently at around 24 degrees of Libra, & not Aquarius. However, in fact the Libra Ascendant was conjunct the fixed Star Spica when I finished reading this article, I just happened to look up the symbols for 24-25 Aquarius, instead of Libra. However, I am also reminded that this too may simply be just a “Divine Mistake”.. And, these symbols I noted are still relevent. And, also likewise for these same degrees of Libra, that I intended to look at originally. While it is ineresting to note the “Butterfly” symbol appears twice around these same degrees. And so, begining at *24degLib, A BUTTERFLY WITH A THIRD WING ON ITS LEFT SIDE.. The ability to develop, for inner strengthening, new modes of response to basic life situations.. What is implied here is that the contact with the revivifying Life-force, Libra 21, “A Sunday Crowd Enjoying the Beach,” can result in appearance of a new faculty, the use of which may not as yet be consciously evaluated. Indeed it is the establishment of such a contact which constitutes a technique for ORIGINAL MUTATION.. While also moving towards the next degree at *25degLib, THE SIGHT OF AN AUTUMN LEAF BRINGS TO A PILGRIM THE SUDDEN REALISATION OF THE MYSTERY OF LIFE & DEATH.. The ability to discover in every experience a transcendent or Cosmic meaning.. It is a state of CLAIR-SEEING, or “seeing through.” This world is illusion, only to the individual who cannot see through its phenomena & fails to apprehend the reality these phenomena reveal even as they conceal it…

  3. I Anu to receive your daily newsletters as to know what you do. I am of interest.

  4. theburningheart says:

    I pretty much agree with you when it come not to let loose the fact the Aquarius age represents just the good stuff. To begin with I find dubious the Theosophical idea of a Historical evolution of the consciousness of the planet, and therefore of Man as a representative of that consciousness, that is unavoidable due to the simple fact Man posses a conscience far more developed if not always for good, unlike the rest of our fellow living creatures.

    And that it is precisely my point consciousnesses it’s an individual characteristic, not necessarily equally developed from individual to individual, rendering the idea of an equal development of it somewhat difficult giving the fact of our multicultural differences, so complex, and so large.

    However despite the miseries of Globalization, maybe one day an enlightened education for every children on Earth will be possible in a near, or a far future, who knows, but it is a fact as our old father of philosophers Plato show us; education it’s the key to an enlightened conscience, and the more the better, men are evil not because they are wise, but out of ignorance, Hannah Arendt was beleaguered, and attacked by her finding out evildoers banality, ignorance, and mediocrity, which pretty much sums it up.

    The Age of Aquarius so far had a disappointing beginning, too banal! let’s hope the next 2000 years may improve, we will keep studying the heavenly wheel of Athor the Stars, and work silently towards our goal.

    You may be interested on reading my by no means complete post on the Axial Precession::

    Thank you for your most enjoyable post! :-)

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