Nature and Astrology: As is so often the case, the occult viewpoint derives from careful, long-term observation of the natural world. In this case, the ancients observed that the vernal equinox (or Spring Equinox, or March Equinox), the day upon which day and night are of equal duration in the transition from winter to summer, was marked by a very slow movement of the background constellations into which the sun rises each morning.
To understand this, picture the constellations as a ring of star-pictures in the sky and imagine yourself standing in the centre. Now think of the sun rising into the sky each day into one of these constellations. It's that simple. Now imagine that over a very long period of time, hundreds of years at least, the circle of star-pictures appears to rotate, so that the Sun gradually rises first in one constellation and then transits to the next and so on. Dividing the sky into twelve constellations, each of thirty degrees, the sun takes just over two thousand years to travel across each constellation. Of course, the ancients had no idea of stellar distance, and so they accepted the apparent movement of the heavens as very real. We know now though, that this apparent movement is caused by the Earth 'wobbling' on its axis of rotation, with each circular 'wobble' taking some 25,800 years. We call the apparent motion of the constellations the Precession of the Equinoxes. This then is the root idea of the Age of Aquarius, the two thousand year period during which the Sun will rise in the constellation of Aquarius at each spring solstice. Aleister Crowley coined the expression The Equinox of the Gods, and purported that the global consciousness, indeed, the universal conciousness within which we exist is transformed as we transit each 2,000 year period. Crowley seems never to have specifically tied the Equinox of the Gods to the Astrological transition between star groupings; maybe he thought this too obvious, or possibly he dismissed the idea. We will examine the possibilities and form our own conclusions.
The Metaphysics and Empirical Evidence: Astrologists are of the opinion that the configuration of the sky determines and/or influences every event on Earth. The metaphysical basis for this seems a little thin, and so occultists in general rely on empirically generated evidence. Before we consider the character of Aquarius, we should then consider the evidence for the nature previous aeon, the Age of Pisces, the sign of The Fish. What myths, legends and attributes may we attach to that age? We are well aware that the sign of the fish is strongly associated with Christ, the Dying God. This figure is also represented by Odin and Osiris who also were slain and rose again (both figures long pre-dating Christ of course). All three are avatars of the Sun God who dies each night and rises in glory on the morn. More generally, Pisces is considered a sign of rebirth. So how do we identify Pisces with the patriarchal nature of the aeon gone by? One really has to go no further than to examine the suppression of the female principle by the major religions of the Piscean aeon- Christianity, Islam and (to some extent) Judaism. So we can definitely mark the Piscean age as patriarchal and collectivised; an age within which the female principle as well as the aspirations of individuals were suppressed in favor of the mass.
The new Aeon of Horus: The Age of Pisces is past and we now sit amid the earliest days of the Age of Aquarius. But is this Aquarian age synonymous with Crowley's new aeon? There's some dispute over this, as some astrologers aver that the Aquarian Age is still some three hundred years off, whilst others claim that the Piscean influence is so diminished that the growing power of Aquarius already dominates. To this writer, it seems unlikely that the synchronicity apparent in the precessional zodiacal movement and the revelation of the new scripture can be mere coincidence. And so we will consider the metaphysics of Aquarius and hold up what we know so far against Crowley's prophecies.
Catastrophe: In Magick, Aleister Crowley states that: "There is a Magical Operation of maximum importance: the Initiation of a New Aeon. When it becomes necessary to utter a Word, the whole Planet must be bathed in blood. Before man is ready to accept the Law of Thelema, the Great War must be fought. This Bloody Sacrifice is the critical point of the World-Ceremony of the Proclamation of Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child, as Lord of the Aeon". Crowley claims this excerpt was written in 1911, a mere three years prior to the outbreak of the 'war to end all wars'. Adding to this, we need to examine Crowley's comment on Liber Al: "...we suppress the individual in more and more ways. We think in terms of the herd. War no longer kills soldiers; it kills all indiscriminately. Every new measure of the most democratic and autocratic governments is communist in essence.......yet the world only moves by the light of genius. The herd will be destroyed in mass.......the strange modifications of the reproductive instinct with a tendency to become or epicene, the childlike confidence in progress combined with the nightmare fear of catastrophe... Does all of this sound familiar? Given that Crowley wrote his two main commentaries in 1911 and 1925, these ideas seem to comprise an altogether remarkable set of prophecies. And so the first stage of the new aeon is determined to be catastrophic in nature, washing away the collectivised mindset of the old aeon and its basis of sacrifice for the mass (a Christian idea rooted in the myths of the Dying God). Of the four primary tenets of Crowley's scripture, Every man and woman is a star strikes the strongest chord in our emerging social dispensation...
Every man and Woman is a Star: This line from Liber Al vel Legis, asserts that in this new aeon, every human being is on his/her own trajectory and essentially establishes the latest aeon as that of the individual. Could it be that just as the developing world is throwing off the shackles of tyranny, so too the citizens of the west will free themselves from the corruption of mob rule called democracy? Certainly, the technological empowerment of gifted individuals permits them to work where they will and circumvent the theft of their income by the elected representatives of the mob. Facilitating this, access to information has never, despite continuing government efforts to curtail it, been so unrestricted, further empowering individuals. But where governments cannot restrict access, they poison the pool with lies and propaganda, behaving just as they always have, but this time we clearly see the death throws of a dying beast resisting the inevitable dawn of lib. On the other hand, as Crowley both observed and prophesied, the mass of the people have sunk to the nadir of moral degeneracy and expect 'government' to provide for living standards above those to which, in many instances, their abilities and efforts entitle them; this is called socialism. And yet, socialism is dying, as evidenced by the fact that the distribution of its largesse has contributed strongly to the economic demise of the west which has been living on borrowed money for decades. The same may be said of American democracy, by which means the government has been empowered to bomb its enemies into American bankruptcy. How amusing to see the capitalist west go cap in hand to communist China for its financial salvation. Remember these words well - we are at the point of collapse of big government. The injection of staggering amounts of money into failing industries is not an attempt to save jobs so much as it is an attempt to save democracy - and it will fail. I suspect that the Chinese know this. What follows will be a dark age of the world during which the herd instincts of the mass will surely cause its final demise as the Law of Horus takes hold. But are these observations in accordance with the characteristics of Aqauarius as we understand them?
The Characteristics of Aquarius: Strange to say, Aquarius is, in the achemical sense, an Air Sign. Now in alchemy, Air is the result of the conjunction of Fire and Water (Crowley - The Book of Thoth). The two preceding aeons were Pisces (Water) and Aries (Fire): so far so good - the attribution at least complies with the concept of the birth of the current aeon being the issue of the previous two, of the conjoining of Osiris and Isis. Let us turn then to the Tarot significance of the archetype of Air as represented by the Ace of Swords: On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the Aces sit on the Sephirah (Emanation) Keter, which represents the tremendous, explosive but sustained force of eternity breaking forth into our universe. Keter precedes the framework of Natural Law (Binah) entering the universe and is thus without conscience, reference or restriction - it merely is. Of course, as time proceeds, the archetype degenerates from the ideal to a force bounded by law, and then to a finite energy that is absorbed by the universe and spent. For those with some Qabalah, Crowley's Book of Thoth enlarges further on this process. Further reinforcing this idea of Air as the primal force driving the new aeon is the fact that Air is attributed to Mercury and is thus the Word of the Logos (Crowley - The Book of Thoth). But Air also indicates great intellectual vigor and thus division, as the standard bearers of new ideas discard the dross of the past and move forwards into the future, leaving behind the maxims and constraints of yesteryear. Given the fact that most people are not given to thought as a consequence of the general 'dumbing down' of the population we have witnessed these past thirty years, it would seem that a minority of individuals will shine like stars whilst the mob perishes in the vomit of its own communistic ignorance and sloth.
Conclusion: The new aeon is upon us as witnessed by war, economic catastrophe and the ever more discordant wailing of the mob. This is no new aeon of 'peace and understanding', but rather an age in which those of intellectual and physical vigor will cast off the shackles imposed by the collective. The pendulum of time has overreached its trajectory in the direction of domination of the masses. Just as capital now leaves any country in micro-seconds if it dislikes the political regime, so too will individuals. At long last we will discard the lies of race and nation, of politics and religion. Truly, individuals will shine in this new aeon as they cast aside their masks and reveal their true glory. As Aiwass beseeched us: Trample down the heathen; be upon them o warrior...Mercy be off: damn them who pity!
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