For some of us who identified whole-heartedly with the ideas of the late 1960s, this year’s Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius is particularly evocative. It’s a celebration of our entry into the wonderful world of astrology.
And it was the sign Aquarius that held open the door.
Forty years later, the hippie theme song “The Age of Aquarius” from the musical “Hair” carries a connotation of either retro-charm or eye-rolling corniness, depending on your point of view. But hearing it for the first time was a different experience.
Even those of us who had been conditioned from childhood to scorn astrology received the message from that song that something magical and powerful was afoot. We sensed this from the mind-expanding lyrics and music, sung — with a healthy dose of triumphalism, as I recall — by taboo-breaking performers who mirrored back to us the defiance of youth and freedom. “The Age of Aquarius” was a clarion call at an explosive moment in cultural history. It was announcing a brand new worldview, one that was way bigger than my intellectual mind had been schooled to understand.
Many of us who were thereby introduced to astrology have since studied the theoretical underpinnings of the epochal threshold the song was announcing. We see it now as a reference to the end of the long, troubled era that humanity is leaving behind — an era of terrible mistakes and fantastic accomplishments — and a set of hints about the era about to begin.
It’s harder than it should be, perhaps, to remember that the phrase New Age — before it became a label for bookstore shelvers and a code phrase for fuzzy thinking — had a fresh and genuine meaning. To millions of people in the ’70s and ’80s it was associated with an inspired way of seeing the world. Even just imagining the existence of an Age of Aquarius was a mind-blowing act. Suddenly astrology was about something much more meaningful than Sun signs.
The Super Conjunction of 2009 is a subplot of this over-arching theme. It is nudging our understanding beyond the pop-astrology character traits of Aquarius into the deeper realm of the sign’s essential meaning.
In a nutshell: Aquarius is the sign of human beings working together.
And because their job is to intensify whatever else is going on, this summer’s Eclipses are strengthening the double-barreled Aquarius teaching upon us. We are being called upon to choose our allegiances (Aquarius) mindfully.
It isn’t hard to see which groups are resisting the New Age paradigm and which are embracing it. On a global level, a regional level or an intimately personal level, we can recognize people who are clearly buzzing with the new vision and others who are not. These last couple of weeks of the Eclipse cycle are a good time to ask ourselves whether a particular person or group fits the New Age template or whether they are stuck in the Old.
In these critical times, these are critical distinctions.
It is often tricky to know how to respond to people who defend the old paradigm. I believe the best bet is to not to give unconsciousness any energy at all. When you see denial in friends, colleagues, and family, first consider whether it would be helpful to suggest a new way of looking at things; and if you decide it would, do so as gracefully as you can. But if taking the initiative doesn’t seem to be indicated, best to step back entirely and hand the job over to the cosmos. Hold the person in your thoughts and send the energy of the Age of Aquarius their way.
How do we know who is in tune and who isn’t? We will be led to our teachers (I mean the word in the broadest sense) by our intuition. Different schools of thought have different names for what the secular West calls intuition for lack of a better word. We could also call it knowing [as opposed to knowledge]. In its non-sentimental usage, the word “heart” means the same thing.
This part of the psyche is more fully hooked into cosmic purpose than our head is, and can act as a divining rod to point us towards like-minded associates (Aquarius). Such associations constitute our ticket into the New Age.
They allow every one of us to connect with everybody else in a massive six-degrees-of-separation round table, each doing his or her part to open up this sorry world to the light. Let the sunshine in!