Monday, August 30, 2010

The Water-bearer Has Come

I missed the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Not in any metaphorical sense, but literally. By my calculations, which I’ll explain, the Age of Aquarius began on December 5, 2009 at 2:53am Pacific Standard Time.

Based on former calculations, I had thought for some years that the arrival occurred this year (2010), and hadn’t bothered to resolve it more precisely until last April. As it turned out, the new astrological age had already begun and I missed any chance of doing some sort of synchronous ritual. Oh well, I’m not sure how much I believe in astrology anyway. Nor can the calculations be considered absolutely certain. They are, however, good enough for me, especially as the timing lined up with massive transitional changes in my own life.

The problem with determining when one age ends and another begins depends, of course, upon the phenomenon of the Precession of the Equinoxes. I won’t bother to explain it except to say that because of precession, the constellations (sidereal zodiac) don’t line up with the division of the ecliptic into twelve thirty degree sections with the starting point being the position of the sun on the spring equinox (tropical zodiac).

The sidereal zodiac also divides into twelve equal portions, and the question becomes where it starts. Different reference points produce different sidereal zodiacs, and thus different results for age calculations. In keeping with my early training as a Golden Dawn style ceremonialist, I referenced Mathers through Regardie’s The Complete Golden Dawn Tradition. There is a page where Mathers explains an “initiated” version of astrology using a sidereal zodiac with the star Regulus marking zero degrees Leo. He also gave a table of adjustments to the tropical zodiac.

From there I used the excellent, but now primitive, free astrology program Astrolog. It does tropical and a sidereal zodiac of some sort. By definition, the Age of Aquarius begins when the separation between the tropical and sidereal zodiacs is 30 degrees. In order to calculate the separation for any time in Astrolog, one just subtracts the Sun’s position in sidereal mode from its position in tropical mode. But because Astrolog is not using Mathers’ zodiac, it gives the age shift as not occurring in our lifetimes. That’s no fun! I wanted to see when it happened with Mathers’ zodiac.

First, Mathers gave 100 years of sidereal corrections for the tropical zodiac. I confirmed this with Astrolog by calculating the sidereal-tropical separation for these years; the difference of 5 degrees 7 seconds stayed the same. Therefore Astrolog and Mathers were accounting for Precession accurately. And if 5deg7sec is added to the difference in sidereal-tropical zodiacs, the result should be the separation between Mathers’ sidereal zodiac and the tropical zodiac. Thus, with Regulus as 0deg Leo, the Age of Aquarius began December 5, 2009. Of course, I could be wrong, Mathers could be wrong, Astrolog could be wrong. It doesn’t really matter to me. Which is why, back around 2001 I didn’t bother to refine the calculations, just checking each year until it exceeded 30 degrees. I must have been using a test date before December 5th, just changing the year. So I missed the fact that the transition happened near the end of 2009, and thought it occurred in 2010.

For some reason, everyone I have mentioned this to says that they thought the Age of Aquarius started in the 1960’s, and then they usually begin reciting bits of the tune from Hair. This is unfortunate, as the new age beginning around us is not going to be one of peace and harmony. That would be nice, but Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, and accordingly this age will be about harsh limitations, struggle, labor, and death. Even without astrological considerations, this could be predicted from the evidence all around us. Resource depletion, particularly oil, will undo our industrial civilization within a few generations. Times are changing once again. Even the stars say so.

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