The constellation and archetype of Aquarius has been heralded as the forthcoming Age No one can be sure exactly when the Age of Aquarius began, but we do know this: Pluto, planet of profound transformation, moves into Aquarius in 2023, and will stay there for almost 20 years. Its influence will compound all that Aquarius means: Focus on humanity, planet earth, revolution, transformation, upheaval, conflict and technological leaps undreamed of.
Aquarians have a reputation for being impractical visionaries, yet they tend to excel as inventors, often in science, medicine and technology, and to continue the Enki paradigm of making the Earth into a Garden in which Humanity can cultivate itself beginning with comfort, safety and health for the unique human body.
Aquarius remembers that while we carry the genes of the early humans within us, we take our Image from those who came from the Stars – out there. These memories convey a keen sense of destiny beckoning us toward the starry heavens. We feel them awaken in astrology, astronomy, NASA, science fiction, Star Trek, Star Wars, and in our longing hearts as we look upwards on a clear night.
The Aquarian Archetype reminds us collectively of our destiny as Humanity, beloved creation, beloved part of the Whole. We are not forever earthbound, but will become a song of Life on the solar winds. Just as ancient space travellers like Enki helped to carry out the Creator’s plan, so we too will carry ourselves, as the Seed Children, to other planets, other systems, other worlds.
Here I explore the Archetype of Aquarius, for if it is true that we have entered into the Age of Aquarius we have little choice but to live through its wild uncharted energies…We need also understand that this Age is not a gentle age of harmony despite our fondest hopes from the Sixties. Within Aquarius lie explosive, irreversible energies. There will be no going back, no stuffing of the genie back into the bottle.
And now, a new layer has been added: the Age of Aquarius is almost certainly about to enter a new phase when Pluto, the karmic and evolutionary planet par excellence, moves into Aquarius in 2023 and remains there through 2043. Pluto is a take-no-prisoners kind of planetary vibration/energy, corresponding to Scorpio and the number 8. It will stir up darker, violent, and conflict-laden features of archetype Aquarius that are often ignored in astrology and popular culture.
And if, as I note below, the Age of Aquarius was somehow hijacked, squandered, subverted, we need to ask “By whom?” We must find our way back, we who came here as the Baby Boomers, hopeful messengers of a New Age.
Twelve Nations of the Zodiac
It is likely that each of us cycles through the Signs of the ancient Zodiac, though the certainty and order of this cycle is not known. While here on Earth we meet members of The Twelve, each forming a mystical ‘nation’ with language and customs all its own. But each of the Twelve is also said to have its own Age – a period of approximately 2,160 years in which its influence affects not just individuals born under the Sign, but the entire collectivity of humanity on Earth. We cycle through all 12 SIgns and their Ages over a period of approximately 25,770 years.
In these times, we are in, or nearing, an Age of Aquarius. We have not seen this Age – this Sign and Archetype – on Earth for 23,600 years; we have little memory of the last time its energy flooded the planet. We do know that Aquarius is associated with radical, extreme, paradigm-smashing powers of transformation. It ushers in new beginnings regardless of resistance it meets. Individuals born under this Sign or having strong Aquarius elements in their birth chart, show up in path-breaking roles throughout history. In their private lives they often take the roads less-travelled, and often work best alone.
But how does Aquarius function collectively – as an Age which suffuse the entire planet and human race with its own kind of energy. What else do we know about this Archetype? To start with – are we actually in the Age of Aquarius now?
Dawning of the Age of Aquarius
Judging by a whole range of new and dramatic events, the Age of Aquarius began in the Sixties, with the explosion of the Baby Boomers into birth here on Planet Earth.
Who knew then what they heralded – that their seemingly crazed, drug-fuelled ramblings disguised a massive Wave of something new – call it a burst of cosmic energy – flowing into and through our bodies, minds, and cultures?
The energy was all Aquarius. The Baby Boomers were noted immediately for rejection of the authority and tradition of governments and religions. They were passionate about grass-roots connections, freedoms, and the safety and health of Earth itself. They challenged society in all areas of human rights.
They insisted that individuals could and should make their own rules and follow their own paths as conscience dictated. They were anti-war, and above all, accused their own governments of massive lies on all fronts. They laid the groundwork for organized, grass-roots conspiracy theories which have grown with each decade since the death of John Kennedy.
Their greatest legacy was the exploration of mind and shared consciousness which called forth not only the physical Web – the internet – but a new collective brain/nervous system – a noumenal planetary Mind. This was eloquently described in Marilyn Ferguson’s Aquarian Conspiracy.
Some of her findings have stood the test of time – in modern physics the idea of a vibration-based interconnected universe if commonplace. Some scientists even wonder aloud if the entire universe is actually a Mind? It is not unusual for ancient Hindu religious writings to spark new thinking about the structure and laws of the universe, opening up vast new paradigms in scientific thinking. It is now mainstream to assume that there is a body-mind continuum in the human being and this is revolutionizing medicine.
On Earth itself, our collective, even planetary, consciousness has expoded with the phenomenon of social media. Where the internet provided a physical pathway for shared information, social media has added a layer of intimacy and passion in linked, real-time emotions, beliefs, love, hate, shock and awe.
All of this is pure Aquarius – radical, revolutionary, transformative. What we did not know in the 20th Century was that all this is a two-edged sword. We had no idea that the Internet was like the great stone monolith dropped from on high among humans as in the opening scenes of Space 2001. The new tools gave us confidence and power; they also opened a Pandora’s box of social breakdown and the remaking of human and planetary history.
The Age of Aquarius was assumed to be benign, golden even. Yet we have seen it darken, hooking huge segments of populations on racist and apocalyptic theories of End Times, with isolation, exile, even extermination of those who are “Other”. But there is also good evidence that governments (and organized religions) do lie, manipulate, terrorize, exploit and cover up at all costs. No one believes one bullet or one man killed J. F. Kennedy, just as no one doubts that dirty deeds are done dirt cheap by agents of governments we are not supposed to know exist.
Just as the apes in Space 2001 turned their new tools to killing each other, masses now gorge on political hate, porn, food, fear-mongering, brutality and sadism. All this is purveyed to them through the Great Obelisk which seemed to arrive as a gift – the internet and social media that were supposed to expand our narrow consciousness into a shared sense of humanity and a wide-open destiny.
How did our dreams of Shangri-la lead us to the Hotel California of modern culture? (I have written more about this “hijacking of the New Age” in another post).
How much too do we need to recognize that there are frightening dimensions to the transformations of Aquarius. Revolutions in thought and society are disruptive and often turn violent. Grass-roots can meet local group conflict as well as cooperation. We will need to rethink the Archetype of Aquarius if we are, as we suspect, living through an Age which will last 2,000 years more at least.
The Archetype Aquarius is recognized all over the world’s cultures. To understand Aquarius, we must understand what we mean by Archetype.
Sun Sign as Archetype
I have written extensively about the Archetype energies shaping the human psyche in another post. I’ll just recap briefly here:
Each Sun Sign represents a major Archetype or cosmic pattern – a flowing, dynamic field of energy which enfolds, shapes and interacts with a given person, two people, or group of persons – even nations – in a given time. An Archetype is an emanation of God – one of the Energy Patterns/Stories in the Creator’s Mind. Hence we refer to the archetypes as gods and goddesses. They are mysteries which we honor, and whose force we acknowledge and respect.
Archetypes encompass Past, Present and Future. They also contain their own opposites, which in a way, helps us to work through their main “lesson” – the moral of the story. Each has a strength, and each its weakness or Achilles heel. Like the great tales from mythology, we connect, as the Hero of the story, with qualities within us – the Dark and the Light – of which we had been completely unaware. As we come to know these mysteries of the Self, our story unfolds outward, to join with, and to become part of, the World we create with others.
The Water Bearer – symbol of Aquarius – hints at a heavenly or esoteric essence, which Aquarius alone brings to humanity. The Waters are associated with life-giving water for the planet Earth – and this may lie in the original “gods” who taught irrigation to early human beings on the planet (see Enki, below). The Waters are also said to be symbolic of the waters of spiritual life – Aquarius symbolized baptism in some faiths, including Christianity.
Ancient teachings hint that the Waters are actually a kind of force field or energy field, better understood through physics than through the earth sciences and the waters of our oceans and the rains.
The Waters of Aquarius certainly appear to be connected with Neptune, but this may be less to do with the seas on earth, and more to do with a kind of Cosmic Sea. There are a great many Sumerian tablets whose writings contain a rich mythology, which, as Zecharia Sitchin has suggested, may actually be history, and not legend.
Beginning with The Twelfth Planet, Sitchin lays out what the tablets say about the gods/astronauts who came to the Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago. Astrology – in terms of the 12 signs of the Zodiac, and the celestial and earth timing used by the astronauts, played a vital role in the visits of these “gods” and their role in creating humanity along with establishing rich gardens of civilization across the face of the earth.
In a fascinating description of how our solar system was created, the “gods” describe in detail the original act of conception between a solitary pair of planets floating in a rich sea of Waters which became the Petrie Dish for the creation, in pairs, of each of the major planets in our solar system. Following a somewhat violent event, Uranus wound up on its side, and Pluto moved to the outer reaches of our solar system. Sumerian Records say that it was Neptune’s odd, magnetic, hypnotic energy field whose task it is to hold the other planets in their orbits.
Interestingly, Sumerian records also show that these early visiting gods – and the Sumerian civilization they nurtured – knew about all the planets in our solar system, including Uranus, so this is not a modern addition at all. Uranus was rediscovered in 1781 and now co-rules Aquarius with Saturn.
The gods associated Aquarius with perhaps the most remarkable of all their fellow astronauts, a Spock-like male called Enki.
Enki * Ancient Origins of the Aquarius Archetype:
Enki was the science officer – as well as co-leader of the expedition – to earth. He appears to have been the creator, teacher and guardian of humanity.
Much of this was done in defiance of his brother Enlil, who stood slightly higher than Enki in their co-rulership. So Enki is very similar to Prometheus, another Aquarius prototype, who stole Fire from the Gods to give to Mankind.
Enki, and those he seems to sent forth across the world as civilization builders, gave to early humanity the practical plans and blueprints for civilization, such as the science of irrigation. Nearly all cultures record the arrival of these emissaries. Enki is said to have defended Humanity from his brother gods, when they were disappointed with our moral weaknesses, specifically, the obsession with sex and food.
Enki is shown in the ancient records to have found a way to give detailed plans for the Ark to Noah before the Flood arrived. It appears that the conservation of all species on board the Ark was through genetic conservation which would be well-known to Enki. Noah’s story was later, along with the somewhat garbled tale of creation in the Garden of Eden, lifted from Sumerian records to form the early books of the Bib
Ancient Sumerian records suggest that Enki was associated most with the sign of Aquarius, though he came to Earth during Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces cycles in succession. Indeed, from what we can see in the ancient tablets,
Enki’s ancient, primary association with Aquarius is his love of humanity and this love was specifically translated into practical transformative innovations and teachings on which humanity could survive and thrive. Medicine, science, gardening of the planet, and technology became the hallmarks of Aquarius, for they were the hallmarks of Enki who was, among many things, a specialist in genetics, a field only now emerging, in the Age of Aquarius.
The ancient tablets from Sumer state that it was Enki, with the help of a Mother Goddess who was also a specialist in this area, who physically created humanity.
They did this by blending the DNA of one of the young gods with that of early Man – a “primitive” found already evolving on earth. Enki loved humanity as a father, in that sense, and continued to nurture and develop all civilization, as he was the keeper of the great technological keys for agriculture, irrigation, and much more.
As participants in the Enki archetype, Aquarians do feel an immense sense of connectedness and indeed, responsibility for, the fate of humanity. Humanitarian issues like refugees, feeding the hungry, freedom of movement, speech, thought and association are all concerns to which the Aquarian, and the Aquarius part of each person’s birth chart, will resonate.
The formation of international bodies such as the War Crimes Tribunal and the United Nations is a direction for humanity which Aquarians will tend to welcome. Where many see a fearful New World Order in these world bodies, Aquarians see freedom from the tyranny of secretive families, closed-off clans and villages, nations behind barbed wire, and so on.
As we shall see, Aquarians promote not only freedom and grassroots revolution (Uranus), but order, security and justice (Saturn) through democratic governments and world courts too.
Saturn and Uranus – Chakra Wheels of Aquarius
We come to understand the sign and archetypal energy of Aquarius through the story of Enki – science-oriented, rebellious, freedom-defending archetype of Enki – Bringer of Gifts to Humanity.
There are other forces at work in Aquarius, windows through which we can see and understand this complex sign. There are the two huge planets that rule Aquarius – Uranus, The Great Awakener and Saturn, Father of Time and Lord of Karma. The Aquarian – and the coming Age of Aquarius – can only be fully understood as a force for change when we understand these two planets and how they work together.
Aquarius is noted for sudden, shocking awakenings in physical, material, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of life. These awakenings arise from the influence of Uranus, the modern ruling planet of Aquarius. Less well known however, is that the dramatic changes wrought by Uranus energy are always followed by a period of equally intense shaping, revising, disciplining, teaching, and even chastening by Saturn, the other, ancient ruler of Aquarius.
It is as if the Master Potter, having smashed an old mould, takes new material within us and sets about shaping us further upon the Wheel. Saturn is known in both East and West Astrology as the Lord of Karma, and accounts for many features of the Aquarian nature that are seldom mentioned in Sun-Sign Astrology.
So in the world of the Aquarian – and in the Age of Aquarius – Uranus brings revolution, but Saturn goes back, retraces the steps as to why the revolution was needed, examines the science and philosophy involved, and works out new Laws to contain and direct the new architecture rising on the ruins that Uranus has left behind.
It is hard to imagine where we got the idea that The Aquarian Age was going to be so suddenly harmonious. We already see and feel around us the immense political, climatic and spiritual upheavals across this planet. Any one of these may reach a level of instability which will threaten the survival of this world…
Whether Earth will survive or must die and be reborn, as worlds often are, is beyond our knowledge now.
However, when the Uranus forces – bombs, revolutions, earthquakes, electrical storms, chaos among grass-roots groups, flames of conspiracy and unrest leaping across the internet – are finished, expect the other shoe to drop – the Saturnian elements of order, stability and rebuilding. Will Saturn bring justice and harmony, beginning with Truth and Reconciliation across the globe, or will we face tyranny, for which Saturn has always been famous?
We have been given the Question, and it will be up to us, and the coming generations, to answer.
© Carol Leigh Rice 2022
Further Reading: Gods, Goddesses, and Archetypes * Dramas, DNA, and Human Personality