The Different Astrological Ages: A Description of World Ages in Astrological Terms
The term ‘Age‘ is used in history and mythology to describe a period of time marked by specific characteristics.
People talk, for instance, of the ‘Golden Age’, the ‘Stone Age’ and the ‘Middle Ages’. In astrological terms, this is the Age of Aquarius, but what does this actually mean?
Great Month: Approximately 2160 years
Great Year: Approximately 25,900 years
The Great Ages
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The Great Year has a cycle of about 25,868 years, during which time all the signs of the Zodiac take turns influencing the Earth and its inhabitants. The time the Earth spends under the influence of each sign is called a “Great Month.” The Earth moves through each sign slowly (about every 2,000 years) creating the opportunity for its influences to affect large numbers of people and geological occurrences.
This whole process is due to something called the “Procession of the Equinoxes. Due to a slight wobble in the Earth’s rotation, the constellation that the Earth appears to be passing in front of at the vernal equinox (around March 21), gradually changes, moving backward through the zodiac. That is why we are now in the age of Pisces, going into the age of Aquarius.
What is an Age and where does it come from?
There are different types of Ages so what is a World Age? In order to maintain its relative position in space, the Earth wobbles slightly on its axis. This action means that at the end of its annual orbit around the Sun, the Earth actually returns to a slightly different point in space. This is a very slow, backward-moving process.
It takes about 2,000 years for the world to travel through each sign. These periods of time are what astrologers call ‘World Ages’. Currently, the Earth is in the Age of Aquarius. These World Ages contain patterns of development which are in accord with man’s evolution. To illustrate this further, here’s a brief description of what has gone before:
What is all this emphasis about the Millennium, and the Aquarian Age? Just WHAT is it?
The Ages are a result of the astronomical phenomenon called the “procession of the equinoxes.” This procession is a backwards motion of the vernal equinox point. This vernal equinox point has moved back through the constellation of Pisces and is now in preparation for its backwards entrance into the constellation of Aquarius.
There is much speculation about when the exact date the “Age of Aquarius” will officially begin. The constellations have no precise boundaries. The dates of the Ages are approxiamate.
What marks an Age?
There are actually two astrological influences that mark an Age. The outer influence or the primary manifestation and the inner or secondary influence which provides a backdrop to the major theme being expressed. The combination of these two forces is what really marks an Age.
The influence of the astrological sign for each great month is also influenced by its opposite zodiac (six signs away) sign. This is known as “polarity.” For example, the influences at the closing of this age are Pisces and Virgo. When we enter the Aquarian age, Leo will also be a prominent influence.
Although this has been going on as long as there has been a zodiac and Earth, the earliest Great Month we have any real knowledge of is the age of Leo, around 10,000-8000 BC.
What Age are we moving into?
Just as the song above expresses, we are at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. So, the outer influence of this Age has to do with Aquarian principles. These principles include: freedom, brotherhood, humanity and revolution.
The inner or secondary influences have to do with the opposite sign Leo, the sign of the Lion. Leo characteristics are courage, optimism, will, love and peace.
This overall influence was dramatically depicted in the sixties by the so called “hippie” generation. The combination of Leo and Aquarian forces produced beautiful flower children that courageously wanted freedom, love and peace. This evolved into a humanistic urge to exert a revolutionary influence on society. These flower children tried to persuade governments to stand up and take notice of the spirit of brotherhood that was crying out against crimes of war to help bring freedom to all people. Leo’s keyword “I will” and the Aquarian keyword “I know” have catapulted us into the age of “The will to know.”
“You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world.” (Beatles 1962)
” Now I’ve been happy lately thinking about the good things to come and I believe it could be something good has begun. Oh I’ve been smiling lately dreaming about the world as one. And I believe it could be, someday its going to come. Cuz out on the edge of darkness there lies the peace train. Peace train save this country. Come take me home again. (Cat Stevens 1970)
Aquarian new age music combined with the youthful artistic influence of Leo, left its revolutionary influence upon our nations and governments. So what about the previous ages? Lets take a look.
Rockin’ Back through the Ages!
Each Age receives its name from the sign through which the sun passes year after year as it crosses the equator at the vernal equinox. During these periods or ages, religious worship takes the form of the astrological sign. From this point of view it is truly enlightening to look back over these ages. Here’s what I have gathered. In the following listing, it is easy to understand how the ages are greatly influenced by the vernal equinox sign and its opposite.
Age Of Leo/Aquarius (10,000-8000 BC):
Leo, ruled by the Sun itself was important to this age of humans. As the Ice Age ended, the Sun warmed the Earth, playing an important part in man’s evolution. The Sun represents life, creativity and survival. In their primitive, coming-into-being stage of development, creativity was the highlight of this age. Basic inventions and discoveries such as fire, the wheel, stone arrowheads and tools, beautiful and bold carvings and cave paintings all reflect the influences of Leo and its opposite sign of Aquarius.
Age Of Cancer/Capricorn (c. 9000 BC):
Cancer is the fourth sign, related to home and family. In this World Age, men began building homes in order to protect themselves and their families from the dangers of the world around them.
Here, humans emerged from caves and began forming more complex societies. They were less and less nomadic and started farming. This was first seen in China, Egypt, India and Mesopotamia.
Fertility cults and rites abounded and were characterized by round, female carvings with large breasts and stomachs. These “Venus fetishes” were used in many of the emerging cultures of the time, but especially from Turkey and Yugoslavia. This strongly showed the influence of Cancer, ruled by the Moon and representing fertility and motherhood, as well as the home. The spiritual practices shifted, during this period from worshipping the Sun, to worshipping the Moon.
Age Of Gemini/Sagittarius (6000-4000 BC):
Gemini is ruled by Mercury, god of the intellect, communication, and mobility. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, god of gods, religion, large and dramatic changes, truth and knowledge. Here is when writing developed.
In this World Age, men travelled further afield to trade their wares. Travel and communication became an important feature of human interaction.
The written word is probably the first sweeping invention to change global society on a grand scale. Starting with rough symbolilc icons on pottery, writing was quickly refined into the complex cuneiform and the pictogram Heiroglyphics of China and Egypt.
Religion also became more formalized and the first groups of humans came together in a formal setting to learn and acquire knowledge.
This is the beginning of the university system. It is also in this age that we see the first widespread use of the wheel which enabled humans to communicate and commune with others at greater and greater distances.
Age Of Taurus/Scorpio (4000-2000 BC):
Taurus is an Earth sign, representing nature and the need for security. During the Age of Taurus, man began to work the soil, respecting and worshipping the start of each new season. The Egyptians built a vast agricultural empire and ancient man began to settle into communities. The Taurean appreciation of luxury can balso be seen in the temples and pyramids of ancient Egypt.
In this age, humans become grounded. Taurus, the Bull constellation is ruled by the planet Venus and is concerned with physical comfort, beauty, music, and solidarity. Scorpio, ruled by Pluto is fascinated by death, rebirth, secrets, and intensity. During this time, worship of the sacred Apis Bull was a widespread cult.
The temples of the time were both massive and solid and light, graceful, and airy, an effect that has a dizzying effect on the visitor even today. Scorpio came into play with the Egyptians (and other well-known cultures such as Crete and Mesopotamia) and their preoccupation with death. Their massive tombs and elaborate mummification rites reflect Scorpio’s influence.
Even in the Judeo/Christian cults, the story of Moses coming down the mountain to see the followers worshiping a golden calf tells the story of a changing from the age of Taurus into the next age of Aries, symbolized by the Ram.
Age Of Aries/Libra (2000 BC-100 AD):
Aries is ruled by Mars, the God of War, and as man developed a sense of individuality, a sense of ‘belonging’ to a tribe or nation, he felt the need to protect his particular empire through violence and war.
As mentioned above, Moses symbolizes the change from the age of Taurus, into the age of Aries. Mars and Venus both rule this age. Mars whose Arian urge is for conquest and war, was oddly combined with Venus’ Libran need for peace and balance. During this time the archetecture changed from the massive stone temples and mud brick palaces to the delicate elegance of Greek temples, homes and public buildings.
Ram worship abounded and war was everywhere. Conquest after conquest, humans tested their ability to expand and rule. The wandering warlike tribes of Israel are a good example. They were as bloodthirsty as they were religious and their daily temple sacrifices of goats and sheep had a river of blood streaming down a gutter day and night. Violence was typically depicted in art, especially in Greek pottery.
And yet, this was the time when balance and equalibrian was also sought after. Wars and conquests made way for more equality in government, human rights, and a voting senate. Archetecture and literature had a symmetry and elegant beauty that can be found in every culture of the day.
Age Of Pisces/Virgo (100 -2000 AD):
In the last 2,000 years, the Age of Pisces, man became aware of a more spiritual level of existence. This Age also coincided with the birth of Jesus and the rising tide of religious activity which was to sweep the world.
In religion, Jesus is the figure that most represents the moving from Aries into Pisces. The symbol of Christians was and is the fish, which also symbolizes Pisces. Jesus, referred to as the lamb of God, is also associated with “fishers of men.” Fish were scrateched as secret signs of the walls of the catacomb meeting places near Rome, Italy.
The Pisces polarity of Virgo, the Virgin is aptly represented in the mhythology of the Virgin Mary, and through the central theme of Christianity which is peace, love, humility, and charity. Pisces is a sign of spirituality, inner exploration, and emotions.
During this time the birth of psychiatry, psychology, non-traditional spritiual practices, and the joining of the Eastern and Western spiritual thought have taken place. Virgo dissects, questions, finds out how things work, makes things smaller and more efficient. The rise in technology speaks for itself here. A computer that would once have taken up acres of room to operate even at the most basic level, can now be put on a chip so small it cannot be seen without great magnification.
And now, the world is entering the Age of Aquarius. To find out what this means, astrologically, go here: Age of Aquarius.
Age Of Aquarius/Leo (2000 – 4000 AD):
So near the new millenium that we can taste it, the “New Age” is already showing its influence in space travel, a greater concern for the human rights in the world, a desire to disarm and practice what we preach about global peace, and an increasing dependence on technology and science. The keyword for Aquarius is “humanity,” and hopefully, the age of Aquarius will bring more and more global unity and concern for the human race as a whole, aside from nationalistic greed and avarice.
Leo can temper Aquarius’ tendency to leap before looking, and to keep creativity flowing. Aquarius cares about humanity but sometimes neglects those close at hand, Leo can bring concern and caring to those near and dear.
The Great Months of the Great Year are also influenced by many smaller planetary cycles. And the whole process forms a complex web of effects that form a symphony of trends, changes, and evolution. As we grow more and aware and spiritually mature, we use these cycles and influences for higher and higher purposes. I am hopeful that there will be, one day, a real Golden Age.