When Does the Age of Aquarius Begin?

by Sarah Varcas on 22/06/2012

 Image © Brian Varcas

When Does the Age of Aquarius Begin?

by Sarah Varcas


People often ask me when the Age of Aquarius actually begins. It’s an interesting question and one which (in my humble opinion) does not have a definitive answer. It does, however, deserve some enquiry, because I’m certain that we’re now in the final birthing phase of the new age, and the more conscious we can be at this time, the better able we are to contribute to the shift of the ages in a positive way.


We all know the song ‘This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius’, from the musical Hair, first performed in 1968. The astrology in it leaves a lot to be desired (!) but there is some truth in the title. In the sixties, Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, formed a conjunction with Pluto, ruler of Scorpio. When two planets meet together in this way, they signal the beginning of a new cycle of development. Because Uranus and Pluto are both outer planets, meaning they are very distant from the earth, they move very slowly and their effects occur across significant periods of time. Of course, the sixties saw enormous social change and the birth of whole systems of thought and behaviour which transformed many societies around the globe But this was, indeed, just the beginning.


On 24th June 2012, Uranus and Pluto form their first exact square to each other. In basic terms, this signals the first manifestation of their joint effort to bring about the new age. When two planets form a square aspect, they irritate each other, but it’s an irritation that enables them to eventually create something they could not otherwise create alone. This is the time when we must all get to grips with the consequences of entering a new age and decide what part we have to play in how it all plays out in the long run. The Peace Movement of the 60’s, the age of sexual liberation following the introduction of the contraceptive pill, the rise of feminism, these were all born of the initial conjunction, but now we live with the consequences of these changes, some of which are far from what was envisaged at the time. It seems we’re often living in a world polarised between extremes, trying to find a way forward without really having learned from the past. This first square between Uranus and Pluto is our opportunity to learn, and then find a different way.


The initial conjunction occurred in the sign of Virgo, an earth sign that values truth, seeks perfection and promotes healing. The sign of an initial conjunction gives us a flavour of how the energies of the new cycle will manifest. Interestingly, the fixed star Regulus entered Virgo at the end of 2011, a highly auspicious event given it had spent over 2,100 years in Leo! Regulus is a star associated with the ‘Lion’s Heart’. It symbolises courage, steadfastness, leadership, aspiration and high ideals. Moving into Virgo it brings these qualities to the Virgo world of healing, truth, service and humility. We are all being encouraged now to seek service (Virgo) rather than power (Leo). To recognise that whilst we are all unique, we are also all dependent upon each other, and upon the cosmos, for our survival and fulfilment. We all have a part to play, but the part we play needs now to be in the interests of the greater good, not just in the interests of the personal egoic self. This is the essence of the Age of Aquarius, and Regulus brought these issues to the forefront at the end of 2011. This, to my mind, was the beginning of the final birthing stages of the new age.


Now that Uranus and Pluto are forming their first exact square, the cosmic labour pains are getting stronger. We’re seeing global economics in turmoil. We’re seeing natural disasters and changing weather patterns all over the globe. We’re seeing uprisings in countries where the people have been oppressed and abused and cannot, will not, take it anymore. And we’re seeing more and more people who can no longer live their boxed-in lives, striving daily to pay the bills and just scrape by. More and more people want out of the old way and are seeking new understandings and deeper, more meaningful experiences in their every day lives. Uranus square Pluto tells us that these changes are possible, and the heavens support us in seeking them, but we have to be prepared to take the risks inherent in living life a different way and stepping outside of the norm to do it. If we will not take these risks willingly, we’ll have to face them anyway, but not according to our own timetable and not in the wake of our own planning. They will come upon us when the time’s right for others, or when the universe moves to rebalance itself once again, and we’ll be forced to shift and change whether we like it or not. Far better, in fact, to admit to where we know change is needed and begin to lay the groundwork!


Uranus and Pluto will be squaring each other until 2015, so we have a few years now to get to grips with what this new age will mean for us. In response to the question that initially inspired this post, I would say that come the end of this square, we will well and truly be in the Age of Aquarius. The time between now and then is effectively the final stages of delivery. We may find ourselves with a foot in both camps from time to time, hankering for the security and familiarity of what used to be, but excited about the potential and possibilities ahead of us. It will be an unpredictable, exciting and at times treacherous period, but by the end we will all have passed through into the Age of Aquarius, and what we make of it from thereon in is, as always, up to us.


suzanne January 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Sarah you are doing a great job for the astrological community!

Suzanne, Ottawa, On Canada

SarahVarcas January 22, 2013 at 11:02 am

Thank you Suzanne! I have to say, the astrological community has done a great job for me over the years too! :-) Sarah x

Rab Wilkie July 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Glad to see someone else has noticed Regulus into Virgo — very close to 11:11:11
(11 Nov 2011) according to my calculations
using SkyMap. How did you find out, Sarah?

This seems an important markpoint insofar as Regulus is the last bright zodiacal star by precession to shift into the next sign.. and is the alpha star of constellation Leo, opposite Aquarius.

Regulus also figured prominently in ancient Mexican (Mayan & Aztec) systems
when many centuries ago it passed directly overhead.

But the key to calculating the precessional
shift of ages, at least according to the Western astrological system, would have to be based on the Galactic Nodes on the Ecliptic. This gives 1998 as the year of ingress — according to NASA scientists & Jan Meuss, a Euro mathematician.

This calculation requires some explanation, but the more one looks into it, the more sense it makes.

The most useful concept for starters, I find,
is that all our astrological frames of reference are based on ‘nodes’ of one sort
or another. Usually on the Ecliptic.

The Tropical Zodiac is based on the points of intersection (nodes) of the Ecliptic & Equatorial circles.

Houses are usually based on the intersection of Ecliptic & Horizon circles.

The Draconic Zodiac uses lunar nodes on
the Ecliptic.

The only astroframes that have not followed this template have been
Sidereal Zodiacs.. hence confusion
about timing new Ages. SZs have been based on the locations of certain bright stars, not on any kind of node.

There are very good reasons why nodes
of intersecting circles are crucial.. but that’s another story.

Anyway, the only Sidereal Zodiac worth its salt — now at least — must be based on the Ascending or North Node of the galaxy where it cuts the Ecliptic. (In 1998 — and for many years before & after — that’s Zero Capricorn, Tropically, and the Winter Solstice point; which is therefore exactly zero degrees in the Sidereal Archer

Much to figure & contemplate here!


SarahVarcas July 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Hi Rab. Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, Regulus went into Virgo around the second week of November 2011. That seems to be the general consensus. I’ve had my eye on it for a while as the Virgo link with the initial Uranus/Pluto conjunction has always struck me as significant. I take your point about the Nodes on the ecliptic, but I think there’s more to the advent of an age than just the shifting of actual locatable points, and much of it relates to how well the universe as a whole, including living beings within it, can resonate with the shift. And shifting resonance can take time. I’m fairly certain the Uranus/Pluto square is part of the ‘processing’ we need to undergo for the Age of Aquarius to be fully birthed. The notion of it all being done and dusted in 1998 doesn’t feel right to me, whatever NASA may think ;-)

Rab Wilkie August 1, 2012 at 8:49 am

Ooo.. I see that I should have Googled this
topic long ago. There’s actually a fair bit on it! And a spread of calculated dates 2011-12. (I’ll go for 29 Mar 2012 since I find Meuss & 50.29″/yr for precession
most reliable — as Lynn Koiner’s blog has

Anyway, I agree that Ura/Plu plays a
significant role in the transition, e/g from
the time of the 1967-8 conjunction.

And that ‘birthing’ is a process.. with
several stages.. while opinions vary
about the exact horoscopic time of birth,
of individuals as well as the collective.

There’s probably another parallel to draw
with the precise timing of mutual planetary
aspects or natal transits. How important is
precision in these cases?

The time of individual responses varies, but at least there’s an agreed moment for

SarahVarcas August 1, 2012 at 10:25 am

Indeed. That’s a good analogy to draw Rab. Thanks. And March 2012 feels far more in the ball park than 1998. I’m guessing the turn of an age can take a generation or two at least to really ‘bed in’ and make itself fully felt. And using your analogy of planetary transits, it’s often the time leading up to first exact angle that’s really stressful prior to the energies finding their mode of working with each other during the course of the actual transit. So a transit actually begins before it begins lol :-) Same with the turn of an age I guess.

Just thinking aloud….Thanks for being there to think aloud to Rab :-)

Sara Foley June 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Hi Sarah,

Wonderful post, thank you. It is something to ponder, the first conjunction between Uranus and Pluto in the sign of virgo, setting the flavour for what was to come. Maybe this idea that women could do it all, have it all, the superwoman complex comes from that. Interesting to see how all those big changes in our society keep unfolding.

SarahVarcas June 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

Yes, the whole super-woman model is certainly part of it Sara, and I think these days we’re also seeing a very hyper-sexualised society that’s also part of the ‘fall out’ from the original conjunction. And now we’re needing to find new ways to integrate these aspects of the human experience in a more balanced way. Like you say….so interesting to see how these big changes keep unfolding…..

Margaret Hunt June 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Great post Sarah, thank you very much.
A very good answer to a question many have been asking.

SarahVarcas June 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Thanks Margaret :-)

Bob June 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Great post, Sarah. Many thanks. Just curious, from your perspective, how the changing of Ages, Aquarius in particular, relates to the precession cycle. Is it that they are causally linked, but the precise transition from one Age to another is determined by planetary factors.Or???

SarahVarcas June 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hello Bob! Good to see you here. Yes, the shift of ages is related to precession of the equinoxes, however, in terms of how we experience the shift re. timing etc., planetary cycles play a very important part. They are the way-markers, in a sense, which enable us to navigate the changes day by day, and to locate ourselves within the process of change. Considering the cycles of, for example, the ruling planet of the in-coming age, assists us in knowing whereabouts we are in the birthing process of that age.

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