In the Dawn’s Early Light
The Occupy Movement expressed both in form and purpose the Age of Aquarius, a Season which comes around just once on Earth in the Great Year of 26,000 years. We are now Dreaming Aquarius, participating in the mystery of Creation, for while we are part of its manifestation, its descent into human history remains mysterious to us, gradual and Divine. What will the coming Age look like – who will we be when we get there?
We look for illumination to the Eleventh House in the Natural Zodiac, for this is the House of Aquarius, flanked by its great ruling planets, Saturn for the Laws of Karma and Creation In Matter, and Uranus for Revolution, Creativity and Inspiration.
Because it is concerned with the power and future potential of groups – their ideals and dreams for the Future – the essence of the Eleventh House is political. To this house we look for the coming of a Season when grass-roots humanity will exercise power as responsible majorities who know themselves as equal, free members of communities equal to each other, rather than as blind supporters or victims of ambitious parties and individuals posing as leaders.
The Birth of Friendship in the Age of Aquarius
In the Occupy Movements and on the Internet which birthed and sustains the new Aquarian bonds of equality, the classical ideal of Friendship is returning. Friendship has always been the Aquarian model for personal relationships and it is now emerging as a model for political relationships as well. Friendship in its highest form, in the classical sense, is the freely-formed bond between equals for the joy of affectionate companionship anchored in virtue, mutual admiration and independence.
High ideals indeed, and not always what we think of when we talk of friends and friendship. Yet it is a pillar of human association, a beacon of light well worth examining for it may help to guide us through the shallow, treacherous waters of modern life.
In this interesting essay, classical and other models of friendship are reviewed, and we may well conclude that Cicero has said it all, in his famous essay On Friendship. Cicero concludes that friendship should be characterized by spontaneous deep affection, but grounded too in virtue; friendship should aim to bring out the very best and highest in our natures. There are rules, Cicero tells us, that structure friendship so that it stands the test of life, rules like never asking a friend to do something immoral. Among other things, friendship should never be formed out of narrow personal needs but out of mutual interest in the world, and with a view to contributing, together, to a better world.
Friendship is the one radically free relationship we have (along with those we form with animals as pets) and thus rises above the unconscious, financial and sexual drives where karmic purpose so often lurks. This is not to say that compassion, personal devotion and unequal giving cannot be the basis for valuable and deeply meaningful relationships; these all offer pathways of spiritual growth. However, where Freedom has gone and mental, economic or social coercion enter, Friendship slips out the back door, and something else takes its place.
As we study the Eleventh House, we can see that the goals of the Occupy Movement are not personal power, but the transformation of the body politic as a whole. The goals are long-term – they will not be achieved overnight, and perhaps not even in our lifetimes, for each Age is a “Season” of just over 2,000 years. The goals are simple – to share the goods of the Earth with equity based on justice and compassion.
This means that the global 1% who now holds the wealth and power in their grip must give way to the 99% the Earth’s children who struggle each day for basic human security. And flowing from this, the Aquarian ideal will be to ensure that one’s own body politic, one’s nation, has right relations with other nations, and lends a helping hand to those peoples whose call for freedom is an echo of our own.
Aquarius, Higher Mind, and the Web of Friendship
An unexpected – but natural – gift of the Aquarian Age was that the Higher Mind dimensions of the Internet would bring strangers into expanding Circles of classical, Aquarian, friendship. It is not a coincidence that Friendis the most important word on Facebook, the largest social network humanity has ever seen.
In the tent cities of the Occupy Movement, as in Cairo and other centers of the new people’s politics, a friendship, in the classical sense of free association for a higher cause, emerged – if only for a little while – as the empowering political bond. People from every background cast their lot in with strangers, trusting one another enough to share emerging power, trusting each other’s sense of public virtue to trump venality and narrow personal gain. A lamp was lit then, the Lighthouse began to glow, and in time, these small Beginnings will grow around the world.
Uranus, ruler of Aquarius, is the higher octave of Mercury whose province is mind and communications. This means that Uranus blends Mercury’s rational thought and innate connectivity with bold, creative, revolutionary exchange at the speed of Light. This is when we reach Higher Mind. The Internet, which Uranus also rules, has made possible and now become our shared Higher Mind. This is a Conscious Mind but it has (like our individual Minds) its vast Neptunian Unconscious whose contents may spill over our boundaries and in which, if we are not careful, many of us may drown…
For now, though, from the Conscious Higher Mind of the Internet we have learned about association in ways new to humankind. These are free and endlessly creative associations which fit classical and Aquarian ideals of real friendship. For these are connections between like minds brightened by the light of ideals, friendships transferred to the streets around the world, where the circle of energy is completed, then flashed in an instant via Internet to the Circle, a waiting, watching, and caring world.
© Carol Leigh Rice 2011
Treatises on Friendship and Old Age (Cicero)