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The Age of Aquarius

The Age of Aquarius

In episode 101 Kenneth Miller joins me to talk about the concept of the Age of Aquarius, where it came from, what it means, and what some of the issues are surrounding it.

This is an episode that Kenneth and I have been wanting to do for a while now, and it ties in nicely with our previous discussion on the tropical and sidereal zodiacs.

Below you will find the show notes, followed by links to download or stream the recording of this episode of the podcast.

Episode Outline

  • We start with news and announcements at the top of the show, which is over by 4:50.
  • The theory of Astrological Ages.
    • Roughly 2000 year periods ruled by each of the zodiacal signs
    • The general idea is that we have been in Pisces for about 2000 years, and Aquarius is starting.
  • The idea became popular in the late 19th century
  • Became synonymous with New Age and New Age Movement.
  • The idea of astrological Ages wasn’t really used prior to the 19th century, even though precession has been known about since the time of Hipparchus.
  • It was appropriated and promoted by the Theosophical Society for religious purposes.
    • Said to be evidence of the dawn of a new age
    • Partially used to justify idealized future that they envisioned.
    • Problem is that the conceptualization of Aquarius changed in the process.
    • Positive ideas projected onto it that didn’t exist before.
    • Alan Leo, Marc Edmund Jones, and Dane Rudhyar were all Theosophists.
  • Based on the phenomenon known as precession.
    • Earth’s wobble causes equinoxes and solstices to move slowly against stars
    • Tropical and sidereal zodiacs slowly move out of alignment
    • 1 degree every 72 years or so.
    • Astrological Ages is based on vernal point moving through sidereal signs
    • Effectively means that sidereal signs are being ascribed western significations, even though most of the astrologers who use the technique are tropicalists.
  • There are problems with defining when one age ends and another begins.
    • Connected to the issue of where to start the sidereal zodiac.
    • The ayanamsha you use can vary by a few degrees. 1 degree = 72 years
    • With a normal sidereal zodiac it would start at a relatively certain time.
    • In the 1970s Hand suggested using the constellations and fixed stars.
      • Originally proposed by Jung
      • In this approach Pisces and Aquarius overlap a bit.
  • Further reading:


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 101 transcript

Listen to This Episode

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  • Hey Chris & Kenneth, love show, just to let you know I have a client born on the 6 Feb, 1962. And bring out the tissues, still very human, ‘Topical Affairs of Human’s’ are very present. And to add to this ABC astrology, the birth chart A rating has this ‘Alignment’ in the 11th Geo house. Oh just add to this Uranus was conjunct (Tropical Zodiac) Regulus 29 Leo.
    Kind regards

  • Thanks for this show, Chris and Kenneth. I liked your distinction between the techniques of Astrology from the religious ideas, theories, and philosophies that have been layered on to it. I appreciate that you and others are interested in deciphering out what is true/testable from the these layers. And if Valens is correct on the significations of Aquarius, then the Age of Aquarius can wait for centuries.

    On the Aquarius multiple conjunctions front:
    Axl Rose of Guns ‘n’ Roses was also born on Feb 6, 1962. I have had the non-pleasure of meeting the man a few times around LA before he got famous and once afterwards – other than being forcefully strange and a bit standoff-ish – he was not much different from many of the other rock guys who were always high and drunk.

    I have a great Aunt, who was born during the Feb. 1, 1914 conjunction of five planets in Aquarius, she was a lovely, quiet, funny, well-traveled, even keeled, and long lived woman (97!). She is also one of the few people in my extended family who was interested in and studied some Astrology, although she never told me this herself I learned it from another relation.

  • Thank you both for the good discussion. It occurs to me that much of the topic centered around how people have projected their religious ideas on to the topic of the ages and also focused on this coming idealized age that somehow relieves us of all suffering. This sounds to me like Pisces and Neptune writ large. So maybe what we are trying to describe as the possible Age of Aquarius is really currently mostly a Neptune fantasy or wishful thinking. The human species is a very violent and war like species that doesn’t seem to have gotten along in any of our history. I don’t see how anything points to a change is this in the future, so getting along in peaceful ways sounds like another Pisces/Neptune fantasy.
    If you look at history, change never happens on the global level first, except through possible climate disasters. Cultural changes happens on the individual level by individual people beginning to live differently so I agree with Kenneth in that the way to any better world is though our own choices and life actions. As the Taoists say “When you live in accord with the Tao, right things happen.” I have found this to be very true. It is a really good Pisces/Virgo partnership of taking things from the higher level and converting them into practical and realistic things on the physical plane.
    I like Rupert Sheldrake’s ideas of morfic fields. These are built up through repeated human action and hold energy very strongly. It takes a lot of repeated behavior changes for the energy to be released from the old field and then anchored in the new field. This is why it is so hard to break a habit and create a new one. So it then makes sense that any big cultural changes would take quite a bit of time to move from the idea stage into the actual people living it out stage. Kenneth talked about any age change coming in like a wave, or maybe even multiple in and out tides. It is important to remember that ideas have no budget. The minute you get into any manifestation there is a cost which is again why it is easy to dream of X but much harder to live X.

  • Hi Chris, wonderful discussion..about the Harmonic Convergence..as far as I know/remember, it was the idea/inspiration/discovery of Jose Arguelles who was not an astrologer…I believe this was a very key day in his unique calendar system..


  • Just a really quick note–the song Aquarius is not by the 5th Dimension–it was written for the musical Hair (1967) and released as a single a couple years later by the group the 5th Dimension. Hair moved to Broadway the year and month I was born (which I just now looked up–I had no idea!), but I didn’t find out about it until college via the movie. But I had never heard of the 5th Dimension until recently–in the past few years it seems like I always hear people attribute the song to them. The versions from either the movie or the Broadway cast are both superior to that of the 5th Dimension! 🙂 Thanks for a really interesting discussion!

  • With respect…..You are Badly Mistaken…about the antiquity of the Precession. It was not discovered by Hipparchus. The first Boundary was marked as Noah’s Flood in 2306 BC which was 2160 years before Hipparchus in 146 B.C. and this mean’s 2160 years later it occurred again in 2012 (If you calculate properly).

      • You sound skeptical. I know Mr. Campion has a very different view and I know you went through the Kepler school but…. how can Shirley Maclean and Helena and so many astrologers be that wrong about the New Age? Or is it the part that they were the rightest about? I ask you plainly, have you ever heard of the Chinese Supreme Calendar of the Origin..Would you like a source for this information…it’s a Precessional Calendar that the Chinese used before Christ….and I can also show you source after source of how the ‘Vernal Equinox aligned with the Pleiades in Taurus and how this was viewed as the Age turning in 2306 B.C. If you doubt me I will send you a file that documents it all and then you can correct me if I am wrong.

        If we both agree that good scholarship means flexibility when confronted with concrete criticism….I will read any criticism of my research you write just as openly as you read mine..

        • I’ve met dozens of astrologers who are convinced that they have found the true date for the start of the Age of Aquarius, and for some reason they are all just about as confident in their findings as you are, although not typically as combative.

          • Well, if I seem to be too combative…then apologies (I have no intent to injure)…I was hoping for the ‘image’ of’ fencing or challenging instead (To sharpen your sword or or mine)… but please allow me to graciously end..proving I can indeed relent…perhaps if you would be so kind as to allow just one final question… in ancient times the stars were consulted and patterns were promoted. If there is a deeper pattern (The Precession) beneath the simple observable pattern, then is the understanding of it not the holy grail of all Astrology?

  • Hi Chris, Kenneth,
    I listened with interest to your talk on the Age of Aquarius and it gave rise to some thoughts of my own. There is – it is true – an amalgamation of theories surrounding both the date of the start of this Age and the theoretical framework to support it. The coupling of Plato’s idea of the Great Year – with the cycle of equinocitial precession being just one example. When I look more closely at Plato’s cosmology however, I feel we must not forget that there is something beyond the realm of the fixed stars, an eighth sphere, where we encounter the realm of the divine. One of the challenges I think we face as members of secular, modern largely non-religious society, is to make room for and sense of the involvement of anything resembling a higher spiritual power, engaging with – let alone guiding us: the concept of intuitive revelation is hard for us to bear.

    Personally, I am always struck by the potency and power of Blavatsky’s teachings, the way in which her ideas – as seeds – spread like wild fire. Who was it who said ‘there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come’ ? Personally, I am less concerned with defining the right framework to intellectually support the idea of the Aquariuan Age – and more concerned with the potency of the stories that themselves define the template: some of your own stories made really fascinating listening. When I think of Aquarius, I think of Ganymede, cup-bearer of the gods. In his urn – to quote John Frawley ‘he carries the only sweet water in the zodiac, the sweet water of reason’. The waves being the symbol of the sign – but now – through the emergence of Uranus – often thought of as air waves – air being the medium that allows us to communicate with each other – we cannot talk through earth or under water. In recent decades, speeded up by the arrival of the internet, English has emerged as a global language -the ‘ lingua franca’ of the world if you like. I think too, that Saturn’s rulership of Aquarius – differs from Saturn’s rulership of Capricorn. When we speak of the Golden Age – we imagine a better world – one where pain and suffering are no more – and men and hopefully women – live as Gods. Here we find the birth place of all later Utopian thinking.
    Keep up the good work Chris. Always an intellectually stimulating listen.
    With kind regards, Liz Hathway, MA (Cultural Astronomy & Astrology) DFastrolS, QHA

  • I just listened to this in February 2018 and I just wanted to mention that it is NOT accurate to say that the Hindu Yuga cycles say we are currently in ‘Kali (darkest age) yuga’.’ This is a common misconception due to the fact that the correct knowledge was lost sometime during the actual Kali Yuga dark age (701 BC – 1699 AD with the darkest period of 499 AD coinciding with the burning of the library of Alexandria). According to Sri Yukteswar ( ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’s’ author Paramahansa Yoganda’s Guru), we are NOT in Kali Yuga, we are in fact in dwapura yuga and he explains the miscalculation in the hindu calendar. For more information on the accurate dates coinciding with the Hindu Yuga cycle, please check out this link. https://www.vedanet.com/secrets-of-the-yugas-or-world-ages/