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.