Fans of the 1968 musical Hair (or the movie 40-Year-Old Virgin) might recognize the phrase "this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius." As it turns out, this Aquarian age is more than just a groovy quip to add to the ~celestial vibe~ of a Flower Power-era musical number.
The Age of Aquarius is one of 12 astrological ages, defined by journalist and astrologer Neil Spencer as "a time period in astrology theology which astrologers claim parallels major changes in the development of Earth’s inhabitants, particularly relating to culture, society, and politics."
Astrological ages span thousands of years, stretching back to the dawn of humanity itself. This has naturally led to measurement deviations over time, causing disagreements among astrologers over the "true" astrological age in which we currently find ourselves.
So, are we in the Age of Aquarius or not? We did a deep astrological dive to discover the basics of the Aquarian Age and what that means for individuals, societies, and the globe—here’s what we found.
Each astrological age is "ruled" by a single sign of the Western zodiac. The age’s ruler is determined by precession, a naturally occurring phenomenon discovered by Greek astronomer Hipparchus. The Earth slightly wobbles on its axis, "shifting" the stars' position from Earth’s perspective.
The zodiac constellations lie along the plane of the ecliptic, or apparent path of the sun. During an equinox (either vernal or autumnal), the Sun's center is exactly above the Equator. An astrological age is defined by the zodiac constellation directly behind the Sun at the time of the vernal equinox.
Although this seems pretty straightforward, the record of the stars' positions and subsequent astrological ages have been modified and tweaked throughout the thousands of years it’s been studied.
Zodiac constellations' boundaries were officially set by the International Astronomical Union in 1930. According to the IAU boundaries, the vernal equinox will pass through the constellation Aquarius in 2597.
This differs slightly from astrological positions determined by ancient astrologers. We on the ground are forced to make our own opinions about whether the IAU created a more accurate reading of the stars or if they presumptuously overrode the work of astronomers who came before them.
Furthermore, the sheer span of an astrological age makes it difficult to determine when the first one actually began. Some sources point to the Age of Cancer beginning around 8000 to 6000 BC, but with no records for verification, this remains an educated guess.
According to astrologer Ray Grasse, “an age doesn’t begin on a single day or year, but unfolds gradually over many years or even centuries, exerting its influence in pronounced waves like the incoming tide.” Nicholas Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes backs this ambiguity up, suggesting the dates for entering an Aquarian Age could range from 1447 AD to 3597 AD.
We definitely fall into Campion’s time frame, but so do William Shakespeare, Mozart, and Jimi Hendrix, so it’s a little all over the place. One of the strongest indicators of significant Aquarian influence is the Great Conjunction, or the Christmas Star, of December 2020.
The Great Conjunction saw Jupiter, the greater benefic, and Saturn, the greater malefic, meeting in Aquarius. Jupiter is associated with higher learning, luck, and good fortune. Saturn rules karma, responsibility, and structure.
These two powerhouse planets, combined with Aquarius' rebellious, eccentric, and forward-thinking energy, indicated a major shift toward Aquarian values. "This great conjunction will spark the beginning of many new advancements in technology, medicine, and ideas. We’ll also see a spotlight on more humanitarian issues," explains writer and astrologer Aaya Samadhi.
Six celestial bodies (Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter, the Sun, and the new moon) entered into Aquarius this February, creating a uniquely crowded stellium, or crown of stars, explains noted astrologer Susan Miller.
Adama Sesay, astrologer and creator of Lilith astrology, explains the shift further: "For eons, the power has rested in traditional, oppressive hierarchical structures, and their beliefs dictate our reality. In the Age of Aquarius, the power is turning over to the individual."
The North Node is believed to indicate the direction toward which the soul (both individually and collectively) is growing. The North Node is in Gemini this year, which forms a harmonious trine aspect to the sign of Aquarius, further emphasizing air sign qualities and values.
Finally, there will be three total Mercury retrogrades this year, all of which occur in air signs. We recently left the first Mercury retrograde in Aquarius (January 30th to February 20th). May 29th to June 22nd will usher in retrograde in Gemini, and from September 27th to October 17th, Libra will rule the retrograde roost.
Air signs, we hear you loud and clear.
Aquarian energy will affect Aquarius and non-Aquarius signs alike. Evaluating one’s natal chart helps better predict the areas of life most affected by this Aquarian hub of activity.
Zooming out from natal charts, Aquarian energy more broadly affects interpersonal communication, collaboration, and logical thinking. We’ve seen these innovative, communicative shifts take the form of Zoom calls, increased social media use, working from home, and an emphasis on humanitarian and scientifically-based education.
To best roll with the Aquarian flow and harness its energy, we suggest prioritizing communication. Keep up with friends, even if it’s a quick text or funny meme, and seek opportunities to engage with the community. Be prepared for changes to the status quo, both technologically and socially, for the sake of creating a better future. (Aquarians are notorious for being good-hearted rebels with a cause.)
On a grander scale, humanity has already witnessed waves of Aquarian influence over the last several decades. Scientific discovery, advanced technology, and streamlined modes of communication have all contributed to an unprecedentedly rapid intellectual evolution in the last 100 years.
Miller suggests the first recent wave of the Age of Aquarius began in the fall of 1957, which marked the start of the space race with the launch of Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2. Since then, we’ve continued to make major advancements in the aerospace field.
Humanity has effectively dominated airspace with radio frequencies, television broadcasts, online information superhighways, and the tallest buildings ever built, further indicating a profound impact of air’s elemental energy and influence.
Areas of conflict or strife can be determined by evaluating squares within celestial bodies' positions. Squares refer to a 90-degree angle between two bodies. Where there are squares, there are tensions as the two energies face each other head-on.
Remember that this current wave of Aquarian influence was welcomed by conjunction involving Saturn, the greater malefic, a term derived from ancient Greek texts where two planets (Saturn and Mars) were referred to as “bad-doers.”
Saturn will stand square to astrological heavy-hitter Uranus three times this year. Uranus' flair for sudden bursts of change or innovation and Saturn’s rule over responsibility and karmic change all mix with Aquarian’s forward-thinking, humanitarian ideals. This complicated cocktail results in great economic, financial, or social shifts.
We’ve already seen these financial shifts take the form of the great GameStop stock debacle in January of this year. As the country works to recover from the massive economic blow dealt by COVID-19, we’re likely to see more disruptions up and down the board moving forward.
Astrology can be used to better navigate day-to-day life and understand yourself, those around you, and the world, but it shouldn’t be used as an end-all-be-all for making important decisions.
Staying curious, challenging antiquated social structures, loving your fellow humans (both the ones you know and the ones you don’t), and educating yourself voraciously will have you floating on the buoyant air currents of the Age of Aquarius in no time.