History as a Means of Rectification
It is of course the subject of much speculation and controversy as to when the Age of Pisces began, when it ends and when the next Age of Aquarius begins. Rudhyar speculated that the precessional shift into Pisces occurred sometime late in the 2nd century B.C.E. and that we are now in the first degree of Pisces as of 1990. The actual shift into Aquarius would then occur around the year 2,062. Other astrologers have theorized that Aquarius has already begun–witness the technological developments, flight, computers, etc., not to mention the New Age movement and the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the 1962 stellium in Aquarius, etc., etc. A romanticist by nature, I would like to believe that. As an historian and astrologer I am certain we are still in the Age of Pisces.
Rudhyar’s calculations and speculations are intriguing, but do not hold up under historical or astrological scrutiny. His methodology consisted of a degree-by-degree (Sabian Symbol) analysis of historical trends. This assumes an ever-changing cultural scenario every seventy-two years. Given the evidence, one can not argue that there are major shifts in socio-political trends every seventy-two years, and at least in modern history, as Rudhyar pointed out, the years 1774, 1846, 1918 and 1990 clearly prove the point. The problem arises in assigning these seventy-two year periods degree-symbolism. How can one be sure that 1990 marks the shift into the last degree of Pisces? Truly, the only litmus test is to compare the symbolism and the symbol’s interpretation to the previous period and its history. The answer lies in the actual course of events and the characteristics of the time. Then there is the assurance of correct dating, if the beginning of the age is determined. Again, the only way to make that determination is by examining the time itself for its unfolding story. Let’s take a closer look at the period near the birth of Christ, assuming that, as the spiritual messenger of the new age, like his predecessors, He appeared near the beginning of the age.
There is something quite profound in the timing of the demise of the Roman Republic, the destruction of Alexandria, the collapse of Cleopatra’s Egypt and the crowning of Octavian as Supreme Emperor (Augustus Caesar) of a new, boundless empire stripped of its democratic traditions. In comparing the Republic with the Empire, what one finds is the indisputable difference between a social order based on the egalitarianism of the Aries/Libra model, complete with varying levels of democracy and representative government, and the universal service to a Supreme Divine Emperor required under a Pisces/Virgo model. The latter demanded blind faith and obedience to the Emperor as a god. This was the primary objection of the Jews at the eastern edge of the new Roman Empire. Such a notion of a Divine Emperor violated their sensibilities for the One Universal God and the long held belief from Genesis, that Man was imperfect and sinful. The new Empire was very quickly seen as the personification of evil.
The opening years of the new Empire and, I believe, the new Age of Pisces, brought a strange ‘honeymoon’ atmosphere to the known world, except for the problem of the Jews. It was called Pax Romana, Roman Peace, and it seemed the whole world was One and in harmony under the patronage of a string of divine augustan emperors. During that time the Empire expanded to include most of the known world and allowed all inside its borders to become citizens of Rome. However, the Empire expanded beyond reasonable limits and its new citizenry didn’t always relish the idea of being “Roman.” Rome found itself so huge, unmanageable and unwieldy, it inevitably broke apart, then was led by a series of lunatics, madmen, perverts and religious zealots (typically a Piscean period of decline, wouldn’t you agree?). When the Empire finally collapsed for good, it was brought down by Christianized Germans (so-called Barbarians) and eventually replaced by another very Piscean institution, the Christian Church, which was the only structure left viable enough at the time to fill the need for social organization.
The Astrological Eras in the Age of Pisces
The evidence suggests that the collapse of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Empire mark the precessional shift from Aries to Pisces. That would place the event during the year 27-26 B.C.E. Using that date as a starting point, then applying the duoadenary division of the age to create 180 year periods, the entire history of the Age of Pisces unfolds in astrologically defined time. It’s important to keep in mind, that, although each of the twelve historical periods takes on the qualities of the signs Aries through Pisces, each does so within the overall context of the Age of Pisces. This may answer the question whether we are in the Aquarian Age. I don’t believe we are. I believe what we are experiencing are the effects of the Aquarian era in this Age of Pisces. The following table of historical periods will help clarify the issue. Notice how the astrological symbolism fits the important developments of the time.
ARIES ERA: 26 BCE-154 The Inspiration–The Roman Empire and The Birth of Christ
- End of republican Rome, beginning of the Empire
- Rome aggressively colonizes Mediterranean region and Western Europe
- Resistance in the furthest reaches of the Empire–especially from the Jews
- Development of Christianity as the new religious consciousness that would shape the next two millennia.
- Two forms of Christianity compete: Orthodoxy and Gnosticism
TAURUS ERA: 154-334 The Consolidation–The rise of Catholic Orthodoxy
- Gnosticism is forced underground and declared heresy
- Persecution of orthodox Christians
- Armenia becomes the first Christian state
- Rome converts to Christianity under Constantine at the end of the era
- Council of Nicaea–Christian dogma established, selected texts form the Bible
- Transubstantiation becomes the central idea of communion (the Body of Christ is ingested in the communion bread and has spiritual significance–perfect symbolism for Taurus/Pisces!)
GEMINI ERA: 334-514 The Dissemination–The Great Migration and Fall of Rome
- Huns push Goths into Central Europe, forcing Germanic tribes to flee, moving deeper into Roman territory.
- Rome expands north to England
- Franks and Teutons become Christian
- All paganism banned in the Empire
- Conflict between Germans and Romans leads to the invasion and takeover of Rome
- Bible translated from Aramaic and Greek into Latin and Gothic (German), allowing the Christian message to be spread throughout the Roman world.
CANCER ERA: 514-694 The New Foundation–European Dark Ages/Arab Golden Age
- Collapse of the Celts in northern and central Europe
- Collapse of the Roman socio-political structure leaving Europe in the “dark.”
- Koran written–rise of the Arab culture and Islam with its Crescent Moon symbol
- Arabs take Constantinople and Persia and begin conquering N. Africa and Iberia
- The Roman Catholic Church begins to fill the political vacuum left from the collapse of the Roman Empire, laying the foundations for a new Europe
LEO ERA: 694-874 The New European Monarchy–Charlemagne and the First Reich
- Germanic Franks defeat Arab invaders from Iberia
- Viking expeditions and conquest
- Karl the Great (Charlemagne) is crowned King by the Pope, establishing the theocratic monarchy and the unification of Western Europe
- Under Karl the Great art, education and political organization return to Europe
- The first political capital of Europe established at Aachen, Germany
- Karl sets the stage for the development of the First Holy Roman Empire of the Germanic Peoples. (Das Erste Heilige Romische Reich des Deutschen Volkes)
VIRGO ERA: 874-1054 The Pure, Religious State–Theocracy and Church Clericism
- Revival of academic learning in church schools, primarily for the priesthood
- 1st puritan movement: Cluniac Reforms and Priest Asceticism
- Celibacy mandated for the Priesthood
- Cathedral building with masonry begins
- The first labor unions: guilds and freemasons
- Centuries old conflict within church hierarchy leads to the establishment of Eastern Orthodoxy with its spiritual center in Constantinople.
- Cults of the Virgin Mary as the Feminine Ideal
LIBRA ERA: 1054-1244 The Creative Balance–Feudalism and the Romantic Society
- French-German romantic and Arthurian epic poetry
- Publication of Parzival, Tristan and Isold, Lay of the Niebelung
- Knights-in-shining-armor, chivalry, jousting tournaments, crusades, the first popular ballads (troubadors and minnesingers), love poetry
- Mini-Renaissance in northern Europe
- Growth of European cities as cultural centers
- Decline of Arab influence
- The Great Holy Wars–The Crusade
SCORPIO ERA: 1244-1414 Decadence and Memento Mori–Thoughts of Death
- Christian flagellants first appear
- Collapse of feudalism and increasing social disorder
- Decline of the orders of knights
- Bubonic plague and the cults of death
- Widespread taxation revolts and anti-government activism
- The Hundred Years’ War and the destruction of central Europe
- The Inquisition
SAGITTARIUS ERA: 1414-1594 The New Optimism–Renaissance and World Exploration
- Renaissance Humanism/Italy as the center of culture and education
- Neo-platonism and the Florentine School under Ficino
- Resurgence of Astrology as a popular science
- Rediscovery of the classical Greek and Latin texts
- Printing Press/new era of book publishing
- Exploration of the unknown world/Spain becomes dominant European country
- Protestant Reformation/Lutheranism/Calvinism
- Baroque art forms, ballet and the beginning of Elizabethan Literature, theater and Opera
CAPRICORN ERA: 1594-1774 The Rational Government–Age of Reason and Enlightenment
- Development of scientific methodology
- Louis XIV and Divine Right Monarchy–L’etat c’est moi–I Am the State.
- The Enlightenment–new empiricism and rationalism in philosophy and science
- England’s Glorious Revolution–government as a rational, social contract
- Rise of Britain as the first modern Super State.
- Colonialism, mercantilism and developing capitalism
- Continuing inquisition, counter-reformation, burning of witches.
- Thirty Years’ War and the destruction of central Europe
- New puritan movement and extreme religious conservatism
AQUARIUS ERA: 1774-1954 The Revolutionary Impulse–Democracy vs Totalitarianism
- American, French, Latin American, Russian and Asian Revolutions
- Napoleon–1st totalitarian “Leader” and other charismatic tyrants
- Industrial Revolution and the rise of Industrial and State Capitalism
- Federalism, Marxism and National Socialism
- Social Realism, Progressivism, Labor Unions
- End of Slavery
- Total world wars
- Technological Revolution–airplanes, automobiles, electronics, etc.
- Uranium and the development of the atomic bomb
- Polarization of the world East and West
PISCES ERA: 1954-2134 The Postmodern World–Internets and world wide webs
- Space exploration and miniaturization in technology
- Disintegration of old political, social and religious structures
- Environment vs Business and the problem of pollution, energy, etc.
- Spiritual crisis and the problem of drugs and addictions
- Civil and Human Rights vs the morality and puritanism of the last 2,000 years
- Ecumenicism and cross-cultural influences
- Alternative social and artistic movements: beat, hippie, punk, rock, etc.
- A growing alienation from traditional social consciousness
- Reunification and reintegration of all structures that belong together
- Splitting the hydrogen atom–hydrogen bomb
- Integrated, internetted, and webbed electronic communication/info systems
The above periodicity is startling to me in its astro-logic. There may be many who disagree with my conclusions and I welcome any further suggestions, work, research and study in the area of astrological periodicity. But I find the above material almost convincing.