Astrological Ages: Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]



Definition: [Ages] Frequently asked questions concerning astrological ages.

1:   Which Astrological Age are we in now?
We are in the Age of Pisces.
2:   When do we enter the Age of Aquarius?
The Age of Aquarius will begin in about the year 2600 AD.
3:   What's the definition of an Astrological Age?
An Astrological Age is the period of time during which the Vernal Equinox Point can be seen against the stars of a particular constellation.
4:  How many Astrological Ages are there?
Thirteen, because there are Thirteen Zodiac Constellations. The Zodiac Constellation Ophiuchus has to be included.
5:  How long does an Astrological Age last for?
This varies, because the amount of time taken for the Vernal Equinox Point to move through a particular constellation varies, being dependant on how long the constellation is. The Age of Pisces will last for about 2700 years. The Age of Aries was much shorter, lasting for about 1800 years.
6:  What causes the Ages to change?
The Movement of the Ages is caused by the Movement of the Vernal Equinox Point, otherwise known as the Precession of the Equinoxes.
7:   What causes the Precession of the Equinoxes?
The Movement of the Vernal Equinox Point is caused by the Precession of the Earth's Axis.
8:   What causes the Precession of the Earth's Axis?
The Precession of the Earth's Axis is caused by the gravity of the Sun and the Moon acting on the bulge which the Earth has at its equator. [In its turn, that bulge in the Earth is caused by the spinning of the Earth on its axis.]
9:  Why do some people think the New Age has started?
(a) Non-astrologers: have invented many other definitions to mark the start of a New Age, other than the astrological definition.
(b) Certain Astrologers: incorrectly use the Platonic Month concept to try to predict the start of the Age of Aquarius, where the Platonic Month is one-twelfth of a Great Year. Unfortunately this doesn't work, as Pisces is quite a big constellation, and the Vernal Equinox Point takes much longer than a Platonic Month to cross it..
10:  How ancient is the idea of the Age of Aquarius?
It's a surprising recent idea, coming from Gerald Massey's writings of the late nineteenth century. [See Searching for a New Age... for more on this.]
However, the ideas which underlie it are much older. Copernicus discovered the Precession of the Earth in the 16th century AD and Hipparchos the Movement of the Vernal Equinox Point in the 2nd century BC. Attempts to take the concepts back toPlato in the 5th century BC are, however, very wishful thinking. Attempts to take the concepts back several thousand years before that - as can be found in a number of modern 'the unexplained' books - are thought by modern scholars to be highly implausible. [See the Ancient Egyptians and Precession and the Ancient Babylonians and Precession for more on this.]
11:  What can we expect from the Age of Aquarius?
The famous psychoanalyst, Carl Gustav Jung, characterised the Age of Aquarius with the following words,

"Aquarius, will constellate the problem of the union of the opposites.  It will then no longer be possible to write off evil as the mere privation of good; it's real existence will have to be recognized.  This problem can be solved neither by philosophy,  nor by economics, nor by politics, but only by the individual human being, via his experience of the living spirit..."
C G Jung 1951 AD, Aion, Chapter IV, The Sign of the Fishes:
12:  What is the Vernal Equinox Point?
It is the place on the Ecliptic where the Celestial Sphere and the Ecliptic meet during Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
13:  Why is the Vernal Equinox Point thought to be important enough to control an Age?
In early astrology the constellation in which this point lay was considered the first constellation of the Zodiac, and hence the most important astrological station. Jung uses his 'synchronicity' concept to explain the connection between the Movement of the Vernal Equinox Point through Pisces, and events on Earth, and he bases the Ages concept on this 'synchronicity'. However, he never explicitly states why he thinks that the Vernal Equinox Point in particular should have this synchronicity, and not the two Solstices, nor the Autumn Equinox.
14:  Why is the Vernal Equinox Point in the northern hemisphere used?
It's an accident of history; the Northern Hemisphere was where astrology began.
15:  So what Astrological Age am I in if I live in the southern hemisphere?
In the Southern Hemisphere the Spring Equinox Point can be seen against the stars of the constellation of Virgo. In Jung's definition of the Astrological Age, he seems to have been thinking exclusively of the Northern Hemisphere Spring Equinox, the Vernal Equinox, so it's difficult to say what this means for the Southern Hemisphere.
16:  As it's the Age of Pisces, the Sun is in Pisces at the Spring Equinox [Northern Hemisphere], so why is the Sun in the sign of Aries on that date?
Conventional Western astrology uses the Tropical Zodiac to define the dates of the Signs, and not the Real Solar Zodiac. The real place of the Sun in the heavens isn't relevant to the Tropical Zodiac. In the Sidereal Zodiac of Vedic [Jyotish] Astrology used in India, the Sun is in Pisces at the Vernal Equinox.
17:  How can it make sense that the Real Solar Zodiac be used for the Ages but a different Zodiac be used in conventional astrology?
It can't. It's illogical to use the stars-based Zodiac [Real Solar Zodiac] to define the Ages, and a non-stars calendar based Zodiac [Tropical Zodiac] to define normal Western astrological signs. It makes no astrological sense to do both.
18:  Has anyone attempted to use a different solstice or Equinox on which to base an age?
Yes. There is a theory that the Maya Calendar ends on at a Winter Solstice [Northern hemisphere] - Galactic Equator conjunction in 2012 and that it was designed to do so. However, this conjunction actually occurred in 1997.
19:  Why do so many of the books in the 'unexplained' section of a bookshop feature Precession of the Equinoxes in some form?
Interesting question! My 'personal theory' on this is to be found at Publishing and Precession..., but I'm no psychoanalyst... :)

Astrological Ages:

1:   Astrological Ages: Frequently asked Questions [FAQ] 
7:   An Astrological Age [A Zodiac Age] 
8:   Age of Taurus 
9:  Age of Aries 
10:  Age of Pisces 
11:  Age of Aquarius 
12:  The New Age 
13:  'Platonic' Month 
14:  The Five Ages of Men 
15:  'Platonic' Year 
16:  Plato's Complete Year 
17:  Great Year 

© Dr Shepherd Simpson, Astrological Historian


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