Fish Out Of Water:
The Evolutionary Leap Into Aquarius

by Maureen B. Roberts, Ph.D.

The age of Aquarius is indeed dawning. The celestial water-bearer is about to pour out onto our parched Earth a new vision of our human potential and our place in the Cosmos. Uranus, as planetary co-ruler of Aquarius, personifies sky, stars, the Heavens, a breaking free of mind and spirit from the Piscean bondage to the blurring undersea realm of the Neptunian unconscious.

Briefly, in astrology different "ages" correspond to different signs of the Zodiac, running backwards from Pisces to Aries. Based on the precession of the equinoxes, each age lasts for roughly 2000 years and the complete cycle, known as the "Great Year," spans 25,000 years. The Piscean Age began around the time of Christ and lasts until approximately 200 A.D. when we transit through the Pisces/Aquarius cusp into Aquarius.

From a holistic psychological perspective, we can view the entire Zodiacal cycle as a paradigm of the collective unconscious, the two forming a mirroring synchronicity of macrocosm (Cosmos) and microcosm (the human psyche). Broadly speaking, the ages are dominated by the qualities of their ruling archetype and by the character of their ruling planet(s). The Piscean Age, ruled by Neptune and symbolized by the twin fish swimming in opposite directions, has accordingly been dominated by dualistic thinking in the form of an endless array of irreconcilable polarities. Key dualisms such as God/human, good/evil/spirit/matter, inner/outer, male/female, science/religion, reinforced in Western culture by Christian dogma, gave rise to hierarchical thinking which inevitably privileged one pole of the duality at the expense of the other. Hence the Medieval model of an ascending ladder or chain of command reaching back to God is a feature of Piscean vertical thinking, which remains attracted by the desirability of escaping the earthly realm into the spiritual beyond.

Meanwhile, reluctantly confined to the physical plane, the "shepherd versus flock" hierarchy translated into the blind belief and obedience of dependent followers, unquestioning faith and the idea of an authoritarian God "out there"; into seeing spirit/above as superior to matter/below, male as superior to female ("matter" comes from L. "mater" meaning "mother") and good as supreme over evil. In Piscean mode, homogeneous flocks and shoal-like tendencies prevail; masses rely on spiritual or political leaders, and the individual is repressed by Church and State.

The Aquarian age, in contrast, symbolized by a celestial human wielding the pitcher of divine water, not only privileges the individual as divine but is dominated by the less mystical, more focused, incisive and pragmatic planets, Saturn and Uranus. Saturn presides over penetrating critical scrutiny, science, discipline and methodical questioning rather than blind belief. Co-ruler Uranus is the revolutionary magician who stands for independence, humanitarianism, scientific inventiveness and futuristic ideas. An intriguing duo!

But most importantly, the shift into Aquarius will profoundly affect the way we relate to and understand "God," for we ceaselessly make and remake God in our image. Two astrological ages ago, before the Divine descended to become the Piscean God in human form, God reflected the egotistical, childish and warlike age of Aries, Zeus and the Old Testament. Now the God-image, formerly polarized as male/spiritual, is being subsumed by the Aquarian vision of complementarity, the latter implying that each pole of a duality is in reality one end of a holistic continuum rather than a separate opposite. Hence, as a reflection of the human divine Self, the Aquarian God-image as matter, female and human can be understood as one pole of the continuous "light spectrum" of the collective unconscious, which merges into spirit, male and divine at the other end. Similarly, science and mysticism, formerly at dualistic odds with each other, are now being seen increasingly as two faces of the same holistic coin. If light is the privileged metaphor of mystical holism, in physics, too, light's wave-particle complementarity subverts at the most basic level of existence the former dualism of energy and matter.

In the realm of religion, the old metaphysical dualism of good versus evil is superseded in Aquarian thought by the psychological complementarity of "light" and "dark;" hence a key ingredient in moving on to a more mature level of awareness and God-like responsibility is that the shadow side of life must no longer be denied, repressed, hated or projected elsewhere (e.g., onto "evil forces" or other people and races) but must be dealt with first and foremost within ourselves. All this implies that as a divine humanity we can no longer appeal to outside deities, gurus or messiahs to conveniently hand us doctrines or religions to believe in, for belief can only ever be a substitute for the direct knowledge and experience which can only come from within - from openness to and trust in the inner Self as experientially indistinguishable from God. In part this means recognizing the close proximity, if not identity, of what was dark or hidden in human nature with what contains the seeds of the divine.

When God descends from an unreachable throne on high to a place within our individual hearts, so we as individuals become all powerful - and we soberly need to be reminded that we can use that power either to heal, create and understand - or to destroy. The choice is ours. One thing is certain: we are entering the first age in history in which the ball has stopped in our court in the sense that we can never again hand it back to a cosmic saviour or scrapegoat. We are now the forgers of our own destiny as we create and watch unfold the continuing evolution of consciousness and Cosmos.

On, then, to grounded details: given that the key words for Aquarian thinking will be holism and relatedness, what kinds of changes will take place in our day-to-day transactions and interactions? In follow-up discussions and in the context of some of Jung's ideas, we could perhaps explore some anticipated future changes in how we relate to ourselves, to one another, to our world, to the Cosmos - and to the God we are once again remaking in our image.

c.1998 Maureen B. Roberts

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