The Circle of the Mountain Fire

A Correllian study group for Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Age of Aquarius

Almost everyone has heard of the Age of Aquarius. We have heard it in our popular culture through song (“When the Moon is in the 7th House and Jupiter aligns with Mars …"). We have heard expressions of the liberality of the coming Age. We have seen spiritual works based upon the concept of the Age of Aquarius (The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, The Celestine Prophesy). In modern language, we often refer to the coming Age of Aquarius as the New Age. One way or another, most people in the Western industrialized nations have heard of the Age of Aquarius.

To better understand what all of this Age of Aquarius talk means, it may be beneficial to discuss [1] what an Age is and [2] how long does an age last?

According to the Correlian Tradition in Wicca, an Age is a period of time, approximately 1,600 years in length, that is organized around the characteristics of the signs of the zodiac. According to Eva S. Dowling, A. Ph. D., (the author or the person who channeled the words for The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ) an Age lasts approximately 2,100 years. Dowling likewise describes the Ages as revolving around the twelve signs of the zodiac. An age is a period of time that reflects certain of the broader characteristics of the zodiac sign that is the ruler of the time period when that Age takes place. Unlike the zodiac in the daily newspaper, however, the signs of the zodiac go backwards for the discussion of Ages. In other words, we are leaving the Age of Pisces (symbolized by the ideas of sacrifice and the symbol of the fish) and going backwards into the Age of Aquarius.

There are twelve signs in the zodiac. That much is consistent with what most people have learned through the newspaper. The signs are the same between the newspaper horoscopes and the signs in the Great Year, the natural progression of the twelve Ages. Roughly, every 2,000 years or so, there is a new Age. Each of the Ages is governed by one of the twelve signs and when we have gone through all twelves signs, we have completed the Great Year. Depending upon interpretation and Tradition, a Great Year lasts from 19,200 years to 25,200 years. It does seem that no one can agree on how long, exactly, an Age is or how long a Great Year is. Even astronomers cannot agree on how long an Age is or how long the Great Year is!

It is ironic that no one can agree on when an Age begins. An Age is determined by where the Sun is in the sky at the Spring Equinox. That seems fairly straight forward enough. Never the less, we are given a wide variety of approximate dates for when the Age of Aquarius is expected to begin.

Some schools of thought will tell you that we are already in the Age of Aquarius. Others will state that we are still in the Age of Pisces. The Sun’s position at the Spring Equinox appears to slip backwards through the zodiac. The slippage is referred to as the Sun precessing. Where the Sun’s position is at the Spring Equinox depends upon with whom you speak. Astronomers do not agree on the placement of the Sun.

Now, we do not have an exact date or time when the new Age of Aquarius will begin. However, just as in a natal astrological chart where you can feel the effects of a sign either just before entering that sign or immediately after leaving that sign, we are definitely starting to see some of the signs of the Age of Aquarius around us. Just look at all the books on the paranormal, on telepathy, and all of the books on various aspects of the self-help movement that are being published!

In astrology, one may refer to a Cusp, or a period of approximately three degrees either in the beginning or ending or a given sign. People who are born in a Cusp are expected to display traits of the sign that they were born into plus some of the traits of the sign immediately next to the one that they were born into. Each sign is approximately 30 degrees on a circle. In terms of the Ages, then, a Cusp may last approximately 160 (1,600 years as per the Correllian Tradition x 3 degrees) years to 210 (2,100 years as per Dowling x 3 degrees) years. During those years, it may be safely assumed that the people in those times will see some of the characteristics of two different Ages being in play. In other words, while we are poised at the edge of the Age of Pisces (the sign that we are currently leaving) and the Age of Aquarius (the sign that we are entering), we may see our culture show characteristics of both Ages. Allowing for a Cusp to take place at either end of an Age, it is safe to assume that roughly 1/5 of any given Age is in a Cusp period (30 degrees in an Age/(3 degrees at the beginning of an Age + 3 degrees at the end of an Age)).

Now, the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius are not the first two Ages that our world, since the advent of humans, has undergone. The Ages have been going on and will continue to go on.

The first Age that is relevant to the human experience, however, may have been the Age of Leo. Remember, Leo is a sign that has a certain flair and flamboyance. It is a Sun sign and a Fire sign. It is dramatic.

The Age of Leo would have taken place roughly around the end of the last ice age. The ice would have been retreating (as though chased by the fiery nature of Leo). From graves dating from this period in human history, we see some evidence of early ritual and religion, evidence of early pomp … a definite Leo characteristic.

At the same time, we see examples of early artwork, the paintings on cave walls, the statuary (such as the Venus of Willendorf) and sculptures. This appears to have been a period of creativity, as well as a time of survival. Some have said that some of the sculptures, such as the Venus of Willendorf, appear to have certain Aquarian tendencies or traits about them. Well, on the other end of the zodiac wheel from Leo is Aquarius. Leo and Aquarius form a polarity.

The next Age would have been the Age of Cancer. This would be a more feminine oriented Age, a more matrifocal time. This is the time when we see humans moving from being a wandering species to starting to settle down to the business of agriculture. We are starting to move away somewhat from the need for hunting (male dominated) for our survival to harvesting the fruits of the earth (with agriculture being considered a gift from the Goddess) for our food.

In the Age of Cancer, we see the first settlements (the home and hearth being domains of Cancer). We see the existence of the female fertility cults, dedicated to the fertility of the feminine. This is a period of time when the Goddess was dominant.

At the same time, cancer’s opposite, Capricorn, can be seen in the organization in settlements, in the codification of various cultures’ laws, and in the construction of buildings.

After the Age of Cancer comes the Age of Gemini. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, that swift footed God. At the time, the wheel was either invented or just started to be more widely used, thus improving transportation. There is the development of an emphasis on communication, travel, and communications networks. These developments meant that you could run a larger amount of territory more efficiently and profitably. This is the time of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley civilizations. This is the development of the cradle of civilization.

Sagittarius played a role, too, at this time. Here, we find the invention of the library. Here, we have the first evidence of organized religion. We have the first centers of higher learning. Sagittarius added to the desire already extant under Gemini to travel longer distances.

The next Age was the Age of Taurus. The achievements of the Age of Gemini become settled and solidified. It becomes more steadfast and stable, definite Taurus traits. We have here strong bull and cow symbolism. Think of the Golden Calf in the Book of Exodus. Think of Mithras worship at this time. The bull and cow symbolism is strong in Egypt and in Crete at this time.

The architecture at this time is beautiful, but very solid. It is very sensible in its construction and built to last.

Scorpio’s influence is felt at this time, as well. Due to Scorpio’s love of mystery, we see the Egyptian religion with its emphasis on death and the glorification of the dead. We develop the Egyptian Book of the Dead to explain that mysterious journey. Scorpio pushes us to learn how to live forever by preserving our bodies as mummies.

After the human race has learned how to settle down, farm, and act civilized, we come to a more aggressive period of time, the Age of Aries. This is the Age of Empires. The Egyptians, the Hebrews, the Greeks, the Etruscans, the Carthaginians, the Romans all making war on their neighbors to expand their own spheres of power and influence. We have moved from peaceful Taurus to warrior Aries. This is the time of war, conflict, and conquest.

We also develop a strong ram and lamb symbolism. Look at the Hebrew sacrifices of the lamb to appease their God. Look at the carvings of the ram’s head on ships and staffs to symbolize power. The Old Testament is replete with ram and lamb symbolism.

This is also a time of great architectural and artistic beauty in Greece. This beauty, however, is typical of the sign of Libra and her love for beauty and comfort. Libra is the polarity of Aries on the wheel of the zodiac.

Libra contributed another concept to the Age of Aries. In Greece, we see the beginnings of democracy, another Libran attitude.

Aries is very idealistic, but it is also sure that it is right. Now, we develop the war of ideas where cultures strive to dominate other cultures and submerge these conquered cultures under their own ideas and culture.

The next Age that came was the Age of Pisces. Pisces was a respite from the energy of the Age of Aries. It brought about completely different cultural focuses.

The Age of Pisces saw the rise of Jesus of Nazareth and of Christianity. Jesus, coming in the Cusp that was still influenced by Aries (haven been born in the Roman Empire), was and still is called the Lamb of God, a definite Aries symbol. More in keeping with the Piscean Age, however, we also develop the symbolism of the fish. Christianity adopted the fish as their symbols, with Peter being the Fisher of Men, and the early Christian using the fish as a symbol at their secret meeting places. Even now, notice all of the cars on the roads that use the Christian fish to identify their owners as followers of the Christian spiritual path.

The Age of Pisces toned down some of the temperament of the Aries aggressiveness. Here, we develop the religious and philosophical ideas of the need for compassion and charity. We develop the idea of self-sacrifice more clearly. Jesus demonstrates the good in being willing to sacrifice one’s own life for the betterment of the group.

Virgo also has an influence at this time. A definite symbol of Virgo is the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Here, we have the Virgin giving birth to the one who was to teach the concept of sacrifice. Purity, chastity, and sacrifice all come into play at this time.

Another aspect of the Virgo world view is the traditional view of the Christian faith in regards to the body. The past had seen the workings of the temple prostitutes where sex was able to be a form of worship and magic. The Virgo influenced Christian view saw extreme body modesty, especially regarding sexual matters.

Additionally, Virgo tends to emphasize the need for order and perfection. The Christian religion, at the same time, emphasizes the need to be perfect. The Book of Ephesians 4: 13 in the Christian New Testament instructs us of the time that,


[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.


Finally, we are coming to the Age of Aquarius. This is to be a time of harmony and of brotherhood/sisterhood. In the Age of Aquarius, we will see the development of the concept of service to society. Some of the influences that are already seen include the emphasis on science and technology, space exploration and travel. One thing that certain conservative groups have protested over that is a definite trait influenced by Aquarius is the idea of a New World Order where the nations of the world are expected to interact with each other for a greater good. The concept of a more world government rather than a regional government would fit nicely in with the theme of Aquarius.

Now the negative images of world government and big corporations and institutions running the world are a common image presented by some who oppose the very idea of the Age of Aquarius. These images are misleading, however, in that such institutions are more in the realm of Pisces (as exemplified by the various religious institutions which have dominated to world for centuries).

Just as Aquarius played a part in the Age of Leo, as Aquarius and Leo are opposite each other on the zodiac, expect Leo individuality to play a part in the institution of world order and structure. We may develop a new world order and a world government in this Age, but Leo will ensure that the individual is a critical consideration instead of just another statistic.

Leo will continue to present us with the rebel. We will not just be automatons in a technological, Aquarius inspired world. Leo will allow each of us to bring our own unique and individual talents to the discussion and to the governing of the world.

With Aquarius being concerned with matters of the mind and Leo being concerned with individuality, I expect to see world leaders that are in their positions of power because of the ideas that they have and the respect for the good of the community and of the individual. I fully well expect that we start to see the demise of partisan government simply because such partisanship is simply an extension of the dying institutionalized way of running the world.

Perhaps we shall even see society begin to value diversity!