The Decans of Aquarius

In Aquarius Season, Introducing the Decans

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This year we entered the zodiac territory of Aquarius on 20 January 2022. The zodiac sign of Aquarius is named after the constellation of Aquarius, The Water Bearer. Although it is an air sign, this water is airborne, just as the clouds carry water. To the ancient Mesopotamians this time of year, the season of Aquarius was ‘the curse of rain’ and meant the risk of potentially devastating floods.

The constellation of Aquarius, Wiki Public Domain

Although it is an air sign, this water is airborne, just as the clouds carry water. To the ancient Mesopotamians this time of year, the season of Aquarius was ‘the curse of rain’ and meant the risk of potentially devastating floods.

Many of the world’s great flood myths (of which there are many) are thought to come from the real life story of Aquarius, from Sumeria and Gilgamesh, to ancient Greece, Deucalion, and the Old Testament and Noah’s Ark.

Now, Aquarius stands also for Space exploration and travel.

Planetary aspects: Saturn and Uranus

Aquarius is a fixed air sign. Its traditional ruler is the same as Capricorn; Saturn, stern planet of self-reliance, self-discipline, duty, responsibility, conservation, patience, limitations and restrictions. Not all astrologers accept modern planetary rulers but for those who do work with them, the modern ruler, Uranus, planet of innovation and rebellion, is Saturn’s opposite,  reflecting an essential polarity or apparent contradiction in these natives; at the same time conservative and fixed in their habits, and somewhat quirky or even eccentric in presentation, communication or behaviour.

The Aquarius Archetype

All the zodiac signs represent archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; with differences of temperature, hours of daylight, maternal diet during pregnancy and so on, with potentially different effects on the baby’s physical makeup and constitution.

The major arcana Tarot card for Aquarius is The Star, standing for individualism, Humanity, Hope, Inspiration and recovery from sickness or despair. Aquarius is communicative, humanitarian, progressive, fraternal, optimistic and idealistic. The shadow side? Every sign has one. Aquarius can be a crusading zealot, self-righteous, selfish or mulishly obstinate. Aquarius likes to dispense good advice, and indeed, they can be very shrewd and give excellent advice, but they can be notably resistant to receiving it themselves.

“The good news is that she is one of the nicest people in the universe. The bad news is, that’s because she always does exactly what she pleases. An Aquarius female is rebellious, headstrong, and contrary. She can be selfishly independent and exasperating, especially when she is running through the house screaming, “freedom!”
― Hazel Dixon-Cooper, Born on a Rotten Day: Illuminating and Coping with the Dark Side of the Zodiac

Aquarius

Card Meanings: A lone star, independence, a vision, inspiration, healing, Hope, recovery, intellect, the collective, technology

The archetypes of Aquarius: The Teacher, The Reformer, The Revolutionary, The Truth- teller/Preacher, The Exile, The Scientist.

The court card of Aquarius is the King of Swords, although in a reading the Queen of Swords may also be used to represent an Aquarius native, whether male or female.

The appearance is often good. Aquarius signs tend to have rather long straight bodies and dainty features (such as ears, noses, and mouths). The posture can tend to be droopy though if they don’t pay attention to it.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meanings: a mature man of knowledge and authority, a ruler, adviser, judge, military leader, lawyer, doctor, surgeon, scientist, teacher, technician, engineer, IT expert, diagnosis, authority, law, medicine, logic, impartiality, metrics, statistics, cool, remote, observant,

As one of the fixed signs Aquarius is resistant to change, although people with the sign of Aquarius prominent in their horoscopes are famously quick to learn new things and to adopt new ideas.

“Lots of people like rainbows. Children make wishes on them, artists paint them, dreamers chase them, but the Aquarian is ahead of everybody. He lives on one. What’s more, he’s taken it apart and examined it, piece by piece, color by color, and he still believes in it. It isn’t easy to believe in something after you know what it’s really like, but the Aquarian is essentially a realist, even though his address is tomorrow, with a wild-blue-yonder zip code.”
― Linda Goodman, Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs

But of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Aquarius personality. You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or in astrology.  There are many other factors in play, your rising sign, your Moon sign; the planets in your houses, your decan and the degree of the actual day you were born.

If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Aquarius, perhaps you are a second or third decan Aquarius, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Aquarius.

What do we mean by the decans?

The idea of the decans comes from the ancient Egyptians c 2100 BC, and was later adopted by the Greeks.

The Zodiac is a belt of sky we see from earth, tracking the path of the sun across the sky over the course of the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt shares this same pathway. The paths of the Moon and visible planets can be tracked within the belt of the zodiac.

The Greeks divided this belt into twelve sections, using twelve for ease of arithmetic, and named them after twelve constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Aquarius and Pisces.

Each of these zodiac sign represents a 30 degree section of this belt which can then be sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, each of about ten days in length with slight variations. This gives us the ‘decans,’ from the Latin meaning ‘ten’.

They have been nicknamed ‘the thirty-six faces of astrology,’ adding more human faces to the portrait gallery, breaking down the story of the zodiac signs into further chapters.

First Decan Aquarius

Aquarius-Aquarius

Dates: 20 Jan -29 Jan (approx.)

Planetary rulers: Saturn-Uranus

Tarot card: Five of Swords

From The Gilded Tarot. Illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Card meanings:  Victory, defeat, ruthlessness, a pyrrhic victory, not worth winning, chagrin, humiliation, resentment

These are complex individuals, containing an innate contradiction. On the one hand ruled by Saturn, they are serious, intelligent, hard- working, responsible and conservative by nature, obstinate even. On the other, they are co- ruled by Uranus the innovator and rebel, and this might mean they are a rebel either with or without a cause.

They are well meaning, likely to sign up to good causes, keen to contribute, and kindly unless they feel emotionally challenged when they are easily wounded, and their recovery may be very slow. They have courage but bouncing back from disappointment is not their forte. They are kindly and affectionate but partners may complain of their detachment.

They strive for excellence and often achieve it, whatever their field of work. They are suited to academic life, with a logical, or scientific but visionary turn of mind and a talent for abstract thinking and for research and analysis. 

They can also be a lot of fun, but while they readily grasp complex and abstract concepts, their emotional intelligence is sometimes in conflict with their intellect, resulting in misunderstandings with loved ones.

Famous first decan Aquarius subjects:  Mozart, Lewis Carroll, Ellen Degeneres, Nicholas Sarkozy, Oprah Winfrey

Second Decan

Aquarius-Gemini

Dates:  30 Jan -8 Feb (approx.)

Planetary rulers: Saturn and Mercury

Tarot card: Six of Swords

From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Illustrator Ciro Marchetti

Card Meanings: convalescence, mourning, recovery, progress, relocating, a voyage over water, distance learning

This is one of my personal favourite cards. She captains her own boat, steering a course towards the rising sun.

The second decan of Aquarius is ruled by Mercury, planet of communications, the ruler of Gemini. These natives have the gift of the gab. They are charming, and socially in demand, but while they are generally very pleasant, they are in some ways rather aloof, cool in temperament, not deeply interested in the feelings of others.  They are creatively talented but rational with it, analytical in their approach, more interested in ideas, technicalities and activities than in comfort. This does not mean they don’t have deep feelings. They certainly do, and when they are upset they can lose their cool big time and turn very quarrelsome indeed, even vengeful. They are however, eminently civilized and humane in their general outlook unless they are encountered when they are off balance; much concerned with big issues affecting humanity on the highest levels.

Famous Second Decan Aquarius subjects: Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Rosa Parks, Bob Marley, Boris Yeltsin, Ronald Reagan, Ashton Kutcher, Michael Sheen,

Third Decan Aquarius

Aquarius- Libra

Dates:  February 9-February 18

Planetary ruler: Venus

Tarot card– Seven of Swords

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Card Meanings:  Diplomacy, tact, damage limitation, investigation, surveillance, theft, fraud, a stalker, sabotage

The third decan is generally appealing and attractive, and generally somewhat more easy-going than Aquarians born in the other decans. The personality is charming yet mysterious, affable yet elusive with an acute sense of humour which they use to defuse and manage challenging situations. They can be something of a court jester, but with many a serious thing spoken in jest.  These quirky, sharp but friendly Aquarians are like shooting stars, nice to have around, and they are easy to approach but may be less easy to understand.   

Famous Decan 3 Aquarius subjects: Galileo, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Paris Hilton, Mia Farrow, Sheryl Crowe.

The Cusps of Aquarius

Capricorn-Aquarius: January 17-23

These earliest Aquarius natives are hardworking idealists, born on the Cusp of Mystery and Imagination. They are determined, creative, entertaining, idealistic, witty, observant and empathetic. They have a lot of drive combined with creative gifts, and make kind and generous friends, but they can be so self-reliant that they close themselves off from other people, including those who love them, who may sometimes feel shut out.

Aquarius-Pisces: February 15-21

These Aquarians, born on the Aquarius-Pisces cusp are kindly, playful and creative but ultimately sensible. They feel the world on their shoulders- which is both a blessing and a curse. They feel the influence of both planets; rebellious and innovative Uranus and the deep, dreamy bottomless seas of Neptune. The mind is powerful, likewise the visions of these highly original people, often described as “offbeat” or “eccentric”. Don’t underestimate them. They are probably psychic but also sharp, intellectually.

Many Happy Returns, Aquarius!  

2022 is looking like a productive year for you in general, with a focus on co-operation and collaboration. Neptune is doing big stuff this year, especially in April/May. You will be making a big effort, but you really can make a lot of progress this year, and quite possibly achieve a significant new breakthrough, creatively, professionally and financially.

Browse the archives, you’ll find more stories of Aquarius.

Until next time 🙂

Psychic Skies; Mercury, Mars and the Moon this month

Mercury goes retrograde 27 September until it goes direct again 18 October for the last time in 2021. So what does this mean?

A Mercury retrograde is a regular event, no big deal, happening three or four times a year, and lasting about three weeks but with effects felt for up to two weeks ahead of the retrograde and up to two weeks after it.

Astronomically. a retrograde simply means that the planet in question seems to be moving on a backward trajectory, as seen from earth, due to differing speeds of orbit. It is merely an optical illusion. Mercury briefly overtaking Earth in its orbit round the sun

We have more Mercury retrogrades than any other. Mercury is the smallest planet, closest to the Sun with the shortest, fastest orbit round the sun, only 87.97 days. Let’s call it 88 days

Astrologically, any retrograde signifies a shift in the “tide in the affairs of men”- a new prevailing wind. The nature of it, how it manifests in real life depends on the planet in question.

Fast moving Mercury is the symbolic ruler of intellectual activities, trade and communications. So what’s the fuss? When it goes retrograde, and for a few days before and after this retrograde, during the so-called shadow, what can we expect?

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Public Domain via Wiki

Maybe nothing at all. Not every retrograde is the same. It could simply mean business as usual. But likewise, we could find ourselves noticing an unmistakable cluster of gremlins-things going wrong noticeably more than usual:-

-We have delays

-We mislay things

-We have personal misunderstandings, crossed wires

-We have travel problems

-The car needs attention or even breaks down

-Appliances malfunction.

-Deliveries go astray

-We have IT glitches

You get the picture.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

It may turn out to be a total non-story, or just the odd bit of nuisance rather than any drama. But if you catch yourself saying things like, ‘I don’t believe this!’, and ‘oh no, not again’, or howling in utter exasperation, ‘what the f*** is this happening NOW?’ -then you know what and who to blame.

Mercury, facilitating mischief until around 18 October or even early November.

Astrologer’s advice for optimal working in this abstract(?) celestial weather.

They will tell you that a Mercury retrograde is optimal for reflection, reviewing, research and extra meticulous planning, but not for initiating or making major purchases and acquisitions, particularly if these are electronic items. Double-check important paperwork. No. Triple-check it. Do read the small print.

But as mentioned before, not every Mercury retrograde is the same. This one is in Libra, affecting relationships, alliances and partnerships in particular, and what’s more, energetic Mars invaded peaceable Libra 14 September.

Mars, planet of fire, action and potentially war. Mars gets things done. This can be just what’s needed, or it can be combustible.

This will be why I have drawn the fiery Page of Wands. Fireworks. Trade salvos for now. Growlings and mutterings in respect of a new deal between Australia, UK and the US, and the loss to France of a major submarine contract. China does not like it of course, having banned Australian coal imports in retaliation for the Australian call for an independent investigation into the origins of the Covid pandemic in Wuhan. But China’s coal alternatives are coming with their own costs.

Things are only hotting up in the Indian Ocean, and also the Straits of Hormuz.

From The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

We say peaceable Libra. Well, that depends. This is the sign of marriage and domestic partnerships, as well as wider global partnerships of all kinds. Libra is outwardly suave, savvy, debonair even, and charming. It may seem peaceful, ruled by Venus, Mars’ opposite number.

But it is contractual in dealings. It may be the zodiac sign of diplomacy, but in the real world, especially geo-politics, this diplomacy or compromise is generally liable to mean “either you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours”, or the “iron fist in a velvet glove”. Either way. soft, it isn’t.

Also to note, the autumn equinox 22 September as we enter the zodiac sign territory Libra, sign of the scales, day and night in balance. Uranus in Taurus (upheaval of tradition) goes head to head with Saturn in Aquarius (Fundamentalism, group-think collectives)

Extinction Rebellion could be viewed as an example of a collective ruled by Saturn in Aquarius. The Taliban too. Ugh. But hang on on a minute. Am I seriously making a comparison here? What could they possibly have in common?

What is in common is their motivation and their characterizing Saturn in Aquarius spirit. It is about the exercise of control by an non elected group, justified in the name of some holy grail- however that is to be defined.

It is a fundamentalist way of doing things. Secular or religious. In the end, it makes little difference. Fundamentalism says the ends always justify the means. It is this way, their way, the only right way – the way of the righteous. They are the self-declared sole arbiters of truth.

Saturn in Aquarius is always right. It is righteous. It is their way or the highway. Except that right now in the UK, with Insulate Britain blocking motorways, it is a question of them having their way but NO highway either for ‘the others’.

Extinction Rebellion, Public Domain

Meanwhile steadfast Taurus won’t be bullied, doesn’t budge, but Uranus sets it off at a charge, or turns it topsy-turvy. Saturn when in cool, remote, cerebral Aquarius won’t flow, won’t adjust, but sets like ice while preaching whatever is its own form of gospel. What does this bode for public order round this time? We’ll soon see.

Warning: Unpopular opinion: I have sympathy with certain of the aims of Extinction Rebellion, as with its objections to the risks of fracking on the marshy Fylde in Lancashire for instance. But there is an elephant in the room Extinction Rebellion won’t acknowledge, the poison chalice, the kiss of death to honesty; what we can do about global overpopulation and the inevitable resulting environmental pressure on landscapes and resources this inevitably creates.

Will they go ‘there’? Utter one peep? No way! Anymore than they would dare to block roads in China.

Our best efforts to reduce our footprint will be too little to mitigate the mess we can’t help making, so long as we are so many. But what is to be done? China tried but the experiment had to be abandoned. It was simply too dreadful; tragic, socially and economically damaging.

We may just possibly mine the Moon some day, or Mars, but we shall find no other home. We need Gaia. Who does not need us at all. Unless, yes, to get rid of us as she has done many times before with countless other species. How many species went extinct before we were even here? The likes of a thousand Extinction Rebellion won’t prevent it, if it’s going to happen, and to paraphrase Dr Malcolm in Jurassic Park, sooner or later, ‘Life finds a way’.

Meanwhile, what can we do but tread lightly where we can.

Photo by Ben Mack on Pexels.com

The Full Moon this month is the Harvest Moon in Pisces on 21 September. Deep of feeling. Fathomless. Beware of accidents and scammers. Muggers. Keep your wits about you. Il Matrimonio had a dodgy encounter only this morning 21 Sept) but pre-empted and saw it off, if that’s where the guy was heading.

Harvest Moon by Samuel Palmer, 1833

The Age of Pisces

The Age of Pisces is the age of the rise of Monotheism, two thousand years ago, and we are still in the Age of Pisces. We are not in the Age of Aquarius yet, and what it represents – technology and collectivism (ugh)

But when we are, give it another 2 millennia and we shall return to a new Age of Capricorn, and that would be a very different beast again.

Read here for more about the so-called ‘Ages’ of Aquarius and Pisces.

No, we are just having a little taster. But a Pisces Moon, now, there is a moon to dream on. Or pray upon.

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

This month’s New Moon in Pisces, 20 September is actually considered a happy, lucky Moon in astrology, occurring an hour after Mercury is trine the big beast, optimistic, expansive Jupiter. Around this time, if one was inclined to take notice of such things, would perhaps be September’s most promising window for going for a new job or signing a contract, and doing anything really, thumbing our noses at any small beer Mercury retrograde stuff.

Mercury, or Hermes as he was to the Greeks, is very big beer, actually. Tiny planet. Big beer supernatural entity. Not only is he the messenger of the gods, arbiter of trade and travel, he is a psycho pomp, who escorts the souls of the newly dead to the banks of the river Acheron, or Styx if you prefer, to wait for the crossing with Charon the Ferryman to the Resting Isles- the Isle of the Dead.

Here he is, winged helmet, caduceus, looking distinctly mischievous, and Puckish, rather elf-like- perhaps even a touch of Loki, Norse lord of misrule.

Quicksilver.

Painting by Hendrick Goltzius, 1558-1617, Public Domain

Libra is about the rule of reason, fairness, keeping a cool head, not losing our balance. Libra suggests, if Mercury retrograde does rub us up the wrong way, or Mars gets uppity and rattles the cage, we take a deep breath, count to ten, walk away, zoom out the lens, keep our powder dry. It isn’t personal, even when it feels personal.

You can always get them later, if you really must. The devil is in the detail.

Till next time 🙂

Aquarius: Stories of Mankind, Rain and Flood, Space and Spirit

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

Most of us know our zodiac or sun sign, but what does it look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it? This month it’s the turn of Aquarius again, the rain-maker of the Zodiac; the cloud bearer, and therefore an Air sign despite the ‘aqua’ in its name…

‘It never rains but it pours.’

As we enter Aquarius again in 2022, poised right on the cusp today, 19 January, I look back at the flooding that was on the news here in the UK in 2021; Storm Christophe.

I had mentioned this possibility among other things including the trouble that followed the US Presidential Inauguration, in a piece written for Ask Astrology 27 December 2020, though this was hardly any great psychic hit for this time of year, though some years are definitely worse than others.

Aquarius is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, named after the constellation of Aquarius, recorded by the Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy in the 2nd Century AD. 

Today, 19 January 2022, the greatest storms have been in the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Question Time. The PM could go, of course, but the signs are, he won’t yet awhile. For all the thunder and fury, this die is not cast. Why not? Bigger storms heading our way in 2022.

Common Associations

Dates: Vary but typically January 19February 18

ElementAir

Quality: Fixed (meaning a sign that corresponds with the height of a given season) Ruling planetsSaturn the Taskmaster (originally) AND Uranus the Eccentric Upheaver.

Body: The circulatory system, shins, and ankles.

Birthstone: Amethyst

Tarot Card: The Star (Hope, Vision, Recovery, Equilibrium, Bridging, Searching, Exploration, Technology, Space Exploration)

Minor Arcana cards: the 5, 6 and 7 of Swords.

From The Gilded tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The figure is unclothed because The Star (Truth) has nothing to hide.

Astronomy

From the Earth’s perspective, the Sun actually passes in front of the constellation of Aquarius from February 17th to March 11th, a month later than the dates associated with its zodiac sign.

However, zodiac constellations are not to be confused with zodiac signs. The dates did used to coincide, but Western (Tropical) astrology is a fixed arithmetic system dating back to more ancient calendar systems.

The dates of the zodiac signs and the constellations after which they were named have separated over time due to the ‘wobble’ of the Earth – an effect known as precession.

Astronomers who deride astrology on these grounds are not taking into account the basis and history of western (Tropical) astrology as a mathematical, not an astronomical model of the heavens.

Aquarius the Water-Carrier is one of the oldest identified constellations of the Zodiac (the area of the sky as seen from Earth through which the sun, moon and planets all pass, occasionally or regularly)

Aquarius is the tenth largest constellation, a big though faint constellation in the southern hemisphere, and its appearance is almost universally associated culturally and historically with sky, clouds, water and therefore rain.

Aquarius lies in the dark region of the sky called The Sea, containing other ‘watery’ constellations; Pisces (the fish), Eridanus (the river), Cetus (the whale), Capricornus (the Sea-goat), Delphinus (the Dolphin), and Hydra (the Water serpent).

Via Wiki

Helped out here by those added lines, we see the pitcher, pouring out water.

The brightest stars in Aquarius are two yellow super-giants, several times more massive than the Sun; Alpha Aquarii (Sadalmelik) and Beta Aquarii (Sadalsuud) 537 light-years distant.

Sadalsuud is the brightest star in Aquarius, with a mass six times that of the Sun. It’s 2,200 times more luminous than the Sun and its name comes from the Arabic phrase sa’d al-suud, meaning the “luck of lucks.”

Other deep-sky objects include the Aquarius Dwarf Galaxy and the quirkily named Atoms for Peace Galaxy.

Aquarius also contains the Saturn Nebula and the Helix Nebula, the remnants of dying stars, and these are the closest planetary nebulae to Earth, 400 light-years away.

The Saturn Nebula
The Helix Nebula

(Talk about The Eye of Sauron)

Aquarius is home to at least 3 meteor showers. The Eta Aquariids, 5th and 6th of May, are the strongest with up to 35 meteors per hour coming from materials shed by Comet Halley as it travels through the solar system. The less active Delta Aquariids peak twice: on the 29th of July and again on the 6th of August. The weakest is the Iota Aquariids, peaking August 6th each year. 

The constellation of Aquarius is large but faint, complicated and not easy to spot, though it can be seen from almost anywhere on Earth. The best time to see is 9-10 PM in October but you will need a dark sky to pick it out.

History and Mythology

Throughout the whole of human history, arguably the number one danger to Man has been the threat of flood, knocking spots in terms of the sheer scale of threat off even the Biblical Horsemen of the Apocalypse; War, Famine, Pestilence and Death.

Aquarius overhead meant winter rain was coming to the lands of Mesop0tomia, and this meant the waters of life itself- aqua vitae -but it wasn’t all good news.

The water carrier, the cloud, can also be an agent of death, destruction, flood and disease, and the oldest flood stories underpinning the zodiac story of Aquarius arose in the Middle East. The story of Noah’s flood came much later.

For the Sumerians, Aquarius was a frightening figure. He held the vessel from which a great flood flowed from the heavens onto the earth to ravage the entire planet, while the Babylonians called Aquarius’ appearance in the night sky ‘the curse of rain’.

Aquarius to the Babylonians was the god Ea, or GU.LA , ‘The Great One’ in the Babylonian star catalogues, often shown holding an overflowing vase. During the Early Bronze Age, the appearance of Aquarius or the ‘Way of Ea’, corresponded to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice, when the Babylonians regularly experienced destructive levels of flooding.

In Ancient Egypt, their own version of Aquarius, the god Hapi, God of The Nile, was associated with the annual flood of the Nile when Hapi put his jar into the river, and this marked the beginning of spring, replenishing their farming soil. But their flooding season was June.

Greek mythology describes three floods, the flood of  Ogyges, the flood of Deucalion, and the flood of Dardanus. The Ogygian Deluge, they said ended the  Silver Age, and the flood of Deucalion ended the First Bronze Age, ‘parting the mountains of Thessaly’. 

The ancient Greeks naturally feared fire, and the ever present threat of earthquakes ‘convulsions’ and recorded events where fire and water they happened together (tsunamis, and we have of course, just witnessed the Tongan tsunami, 15 January following an undersea volcanic eruption, just days ahead of Aquarius.)

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

The Greeks said that Aquarius caused a great flood which inundated the Earth during the Bronze Age, of which only Deucalion, son of Prometheus and his wife Pyrrha survived by variously climbing in a chest and toughing it out, or building a great boat stocked with provisions, just as later in the Old Testament, Noah built his Ark.

Ancient Greeks avoided living near lakes and rivers, it’s thought, for hygiene reasons as well as protection from floods. There are apparently, impressive remains of hydraulic anti-flooding works; dams, walls, and channels in cities and other settlements in the Minoan era, and the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. 

Another very different Greek legend, associated Aquarius with the beautiful Trojan prince, Ganymede, carried off by that arch-sexual predator Zeus (Did Zeus ever give it a rest?) This time, he disguised himself as an eagle, and Ganymede, like it or not, became his lover and protégé, and the cup-bearer of the Gods.

Public Domain, Ganymede

The ‘Age of Aquarius’

Is it here? What does it mean? What might it portend? There has been a lot of discussion about this, and much excitement surrounding the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius that occurred 21 December 2020.

The Age of Aquarius has become synonymous with a mythical new Golden age of Mankind, but when was it? Or when will it begin? There is no consensus and no definite answer.

In astrological terms, an age lasts roughly 2200 years and is identified by the name of the constellation in which the Sun appears in on the first day of spring (the vernal equinox). To know when the age of Aquarius begins, we would need to agree the start date for the previous/present Age of Pisces- but astronomy and astrology don’t agree, even among themselves.

Some, but not all astrologers say the Age of Aquarius is already here, that it began in 2012. To arrive at this, they are using the star Regulus, the heart of the Lion in the constellation of Leo as the marker of the ancient border between the constellations Leo and Cancer.

Regulus moved to within 30 degrees of the September equinox point in 2012, Working with the arithmetical model of constellations as calculated by Ptolemy in the second century AD, this places the border of the constellations Pisces and Aquarius at 150 degrees west of Regulus, or at the March equinox point. By this reckoning, the Age of Aquarius started in 2012.

Alternatively, according to the Belgian astronomer and mathematician, Jean Meeus, the sun at the March equinox passed from being in front of the constellation Aries to being in front of the constellation Pisces in 68 B.C.

This would mean that the March equinox will cross over into the constellation Aquarius in 2597 but once again, these are the astronomical, not astrological dates.

The Age of Aquarius denotes or predicts on the one hand the space age, the age of super-technology, and on the other, the age of the human collective, The Brotherhood of Man as opposed to the age of the One, and the individual as in the current Age of Pisces which is associated with the rise of the monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Space Technology 2021

Saturn and Jupiter conjunct in sci-fi Aquarius on 21 December 2020 prefigured hi-tech space adventures to come during 2021.

Mars was having visitors -us.  Oh yes. Put the kettle on, Mars peeps. And we don’t suppose you’ve got any biccies? Sarnies? Cake? No? OK, OK, well, we know we weren’t invited, but you could have just…you know.

Well, never mind. For a month or so, Earth and Mars lined up in a way that made it viable to land a probe. Miss that window, and it would have meant waiting two years for the next opportunity.

The United Arab Emirates, China and the United States all launched in July 2020, all three due to arrive starting with NASA’a mission, scheduled to land Thursday 18 February 2021.

NASA landed its rover, Perseverance in the Jezero crater, an ancient river delta.

The NASA Rover via Wikimedia Commons

 China and the United Arab Emirates sent their own exploration missions to Mars…all due to arrive February 2021.

China sent the Tianwen-1 Rover. After sending a rover to the far side of the moon, this mission was called Tianwen-1, meaning ‘quest for heavenly truth,’ and aimed to be the first Mars mission to drop a landing platform, deploy a rover, and send a spacecraft into the planet’s orbit all at once. The rover has been equipped with a radar system that can detect underground pockets of water and will help China prepare for its own mission to return a sample from Mars to Earth in the 2030s.

The UAE sent The Hope Orbiter, the Arab world’s first mission to another planet, to study the Martian atmosphere.

Russia was planning to send a mission to Mars, as was The European Space Agency, but the Covid pandemic demanded a postponement.

The European Space Agency likewise had to delay the first flight of its new Ariane 6 launcher which was rescheduled to launch during the second half of 2021, and has since had to be rescheduled again for the second quarter of 2022.  

NASA is also working to return to the Moon – robotically. The Artemis Project is using commercial delivery services to send science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon twice per year, with the first such flight currently scheduled for a flight in 2024.

The Moon in The Space Age

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

Yes, it is exciting. But one feels conflicted. The Moon is a goddess, sacred, mysterious. Humanity needs its ancient mysteries for its happiness, health and sanity. It needs the siren lure of the ever inaccessible.

This need cannot be explained away nor measured except by an entire history of story-telling, which says we need stories, that we are hard-wired for this need, and that the effects of what we might call sacrilege of the natural world, will only become known by its despoiling, negation or denial.

We need a hill, a star, a shore and a moon to dream on. Free of our footprints.

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Let’s hope therefore, that humanity is successful in these explorations, but not too successful, for the sake of its ultimate sanity, which is not a co-factor of reason or science, but the immeasurable spirit, which is the divine spark for which there can be no calculation, no formula, no equation.

We need to beware hubris and behave with respect. If only for our own happiness. Hence, NASA’s Artemis Accords.

Will this be enough? here is a partial list of the artificial objects already now up there on the Moon.

The Artemis Accords

With numerous countries and private sector players conducting missions and operations in cislunar space, it’s critical to establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space.

Via the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, heralding in a new era for space exploration and utilization.

While NASA is leading the Artemis program, international partnerships will play a key role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon while preparing to conduct a historic human mission to Mars.

The Artemis Accords will describe a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.

UPDATE

Eight countries had signed up at the time of posting this blog last January 2021: The United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates and the US . Other countries had not done so as yet for a variety of reasons, these including Russia, Germany, France and India.

Israel is apparently set to sign the Artemis Accords next week, 23 January 2022, and if they do so they will become the fifteenth signatory.

 “Mexico was the previous most recent signatory to the pact in December. Thirteen other countries that have embraced the Artemis Accords are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

READ HERE

The Moon Agreement of 1979 was an attempt to to prevent commercial exploitation of outer-space resources, but only a few states have ratified it – these have not included the US, China and Russia.

Read more HERE

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

As previously mentioned, in 2024, Artemis III will mark humanity’s return to the surface of the Moon – landing astronauts on the lunar South Pole, the next man and the first ever woman.

Meanwhile OSIRISREx is currently on a NASA asteroid-study and sample-return mission. The mission’s primary goal has been to obtain a sample of at least 60 g (2.1 oz) from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.

It is due to land back on Earth in 2023 with its samples.

Bennu is carbonaceous and large enough to be potentially hazardous to Earth. (It won’t hit)

Russia was planning to return to the Moon in 2021, the first moon mission since 1976Russia’s Roscosmos space agency aims to launch its robotic Luna-25 moon landing craft in October 2021, and had drafted a deal with the U.S. space tourism company Space Adventures to fly the first two commercial two passengers to the International Space Station in 2021. NASA says it is not interested in private spaceflight, but 2021 saw the first tourists on board the ISS

Russia plans to launch a new space station of its own in 2025

So. The Age of Aquarius, what will it bring whenever it arrives? What is to be expected?

What is the story of humanity and what does that tell us? It took over 2 million years of human  history for the world’s population to reach 1 billion, and only another 200 years to reach 7 billion though it is slowing now.

‘The world population growth rate declined from 2.2% per year 50 years ago to 1.05% per year’. See SOURCE

Earth will be our only home. If alien visitors, ‘The Greys’ are here, they are travelling either way back in time, or way forward. Yes, the cosmos is unimaginably huge, but if they are here, are they us, either what we will become far, far in the future, or that we once were, back in the days of the ‘gods?’

Could they be from Mars, but not Mars as we see it now, but a far, far future Mars? If so, they are still us, in far future exile, and perhaps Mars will be greener by them, red and brown and green and blue. But ‘the words of the prophets’ are not only written on the subway walls.

“We’ll all miss her so”.

Astrology; the Aquarius Personality/ Archetype

Aquarius is a Fixed, Masculine Air Sign. The Tarot court card to watch for here is The King of Swords though the Queen may also represent an Aquarius born subject.

Of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Aquarius personality, and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote, but of course it is not and never could be the whole story.

The archetypal persona, male or female, is keenly observant, very sharp, clever, firm, fair, analytical logical, legalistic, brave, amusing and charming. They are often musically gifted, numerate, and very often work in teaching, or in Law, or music, medicine or dentistry in technical, forensic or surgical consultant roles. This is someone who uses logic and reason to cut through confusion. But they need plenty of personal space and fresh air, and if emotionally challenged, they are more likely to administer advice or medicine than take it themselves. They can be quietly ruthless.

Aquarius is ruled by two planets, Saturn, known to the ancients, planet of duty and conformity, but also Uranus, ‘discovered’ 1781, designated the planet of upheaval and rebellion, and therefore, as you might imagine, this is a sign potentially containing acute paradoxes.

There is on the one hand the authoritarian Aquarian, prone to dogma, and the freewheeling Aquarian archetype. Either way, Aquarius is radically independent in their thinking, often for good, but not always. Even a rebellion may become just another kind of dogma.

Aquarius is generally kindly, humane, refined, civilized and honourable in dealings. They set great store on friendship and loyalty, and need to belong and be of service, just as their symbol is the water-bearer or cup-bearer, a person pouring water for another.

This symbol can be interpreted to imply a destiny to serve others, but by the same token Aquarius may carry water to ‘cleanse’ the world of ‘errant’ thinking. Taken to extremes, Aquarius therefore represents a communal potential for fundamentalism.

 Aquarius excels at cerebral thinking, dealing in abstracts, but does not necessarily see the the individual in front of them. Where they make a false step it may be because they trust to their cerebral processes at the expense of their instinct.

Aquarius may be moody, prone to bouts of depression, or they may sparkle with the brilliance of diamonds, when their chart is warmed by the  courage warmth, honour and charisma of their opposite sign, their alter ego, or possibly their nemesis…the zodiac counterpart contained within Aquarius – Leo.

Famous Aquarius subjects

Galileo Galilei

Abraham Lincoln, Ferdinand Magellan. Galileo Galilei, Thomas Edison. Charles Darwin. Frederick Douglass, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Virginia Woolf, John Travolta, Oprah Winfrey, Shakira

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Till next time 🙂

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