Age of Aquarius



Definition: [Astrological Ages] The period of time during which the Vernal Equinox Point is to be seen, from Earth, against the stars of the constellation of Aquarius. [See Astrological Age for more details.]

The Most Important Question: When Does it Dawn? The answer: in approximately 2600 AD when the Vernal Equinox Point reaches the border between the constellations of Pisces and Aquarius.

This date marks the start of the next Astrological Age, according to the definition of visionary psychologist Carl Gustav Jung the populariser of the concept of the Age of Aquarius. But it's only the correct date if the modern constellation boundary between Pisces and Aquarius marks the correct dividing line between the two constellations.

This date is disputed, with many different opinions as to the beginning of a New Age.

Why is it disputed? There are two main reasons:

(1) People invent their own definition of why a New Age should begin. They are, of course, free to so so, but Jung gave a very clear definition of when the next Astrological Age will begin: it starts when the Vernal Equinox Point moves into the constellation of Aquarius.

(2) People dispute where the constellation of Aquarius begins in the night sky. They ask, does it actually begin at the modern constellation boundary?

vernal equinox point 2600 AD


How to understand the Star Map The Sun is in yellow in the center of the map. The white line is the Celestial Equator; the red line is the Ecliptic. The Constellation borders are shown in green; the lines representing the Constellation's figure are shown in white; Constellation names are shown in yellow. Individual stars are coloured white and their names are shown in red. Planets are marked by their astrological symbols.

Click on the star map to see a larger version.

Where in the Heavens Does the Constellation of Aquarius Begin? Concerning the Dawn of the Age of Aquarius, Jung himself noted that, "this date is very indefinite" because "the delimitation of the constellations is known to be somewhat arbitrary." [C G Jung Aion Chapter IV, The Sign of the Fishes, Footnote 84, 1951 AD ].

On the star map shown above, the nice straight line marking the start of Aquarius looks anything but arbitrary. However, that border was properly established only in1928, at the Conference of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Leiden, the Netherlands. Hence, we skeptical astrologers quite rightly ask, is this where the Babylonians and Greeks, who originated our constellations, would have seen the Pisces-Aquarius border? Might they have seen it at a different place in the heavens? In which case 2600 AD would be the very much the wrong date.

Where in the Heavens Did the Master Astrologers of the Greeks say that the Constellation of Aquarius Begins? You might think we could never answer this question; that the information has been lost in the mists of time. But amazingly we can.

We still possess, loving preserved down the many centuries, copies of Al Magest Star Catalog of the most famous astrologer of us all, Claudius Ptolemy [c 130 - 170 AD]. It was the catalogue of the Greek astrologers, and was thought to be based on the even older star catalogue of the almost as famous astrologer Hipparchos [c 190 - 120 BC] [who probably based his in turn on the works of the star gazers of the Babylonians, though the evidence for this is now lost to us, along with Hipparchos' star catalog.]

Shown right are the constellation stars of the Greeks. I've color coded them so it can be seen which belong to the constellations of Pisces, the Fishes, Aquarius the Water Carrier and Cetus, the Whale. It shows that there has been almost no change in the way we see these constellations since the time of Ptolemy. Presumably those astronomers back in 1928 even used Ptolemy's stars themsleves to set up the modern boundary.

The result: the Pisces-Aquarius constellation boundary of the Ancients crossed the Ecliptic at just about where the modern one does today. So: the Age of Aquarius does begin in approximately 2600 AD.

the pisces-aquarius constelltion border drwan from ptolemy's almagest


The Pisces-Aquarius Constellation Border Drawn from the Stars of Al Magest Star Catalogue [Claudius Ptolemy, c 150 AD] [Based on Hipparchos star catalogue of c 150 BC] The only difference between modern star catalogues and that of the Classical Greeks is the three bottom-left stars shown for Aquarius, which have now been given to Cetus. All the rest of the stars today are still allocated to the constellations as Ptolemy described them nineteen centuries ago.

This means that it's possible to draw on a star map an approximate location for where the Greeks astrologers would have placed the Pisces-Aquarius constellation border. This is the undulating blue line on the map. At the point where it crosses the Ecliptic, it is in almost exactly the same place as on a modern star map. Giving the dawn of the Age of Aquarius as approximately 2600 AD. [The horizontal line in the centre of the map is the Ecliptic.]

And Finally...

Have a look at this! This is a star map of the Vernal Equinox Point for 2680 AD. The Sun is at the Vernal Equinox Point as required, but in conjunction with it are Neptune, the modern planetary ruler of Pisces, and Uranus, the modern planetary ruler of Aquarius. In other words in the year 2680 AD the planetary ruler of the sign of the old Age, Pisces, and that of the sign of the New Age, Aquarius, are in conjunction with the Sun, in Aquarius, on the very day of the Spring Equinox!

Well... what more can I say! *

How to understand the Star Map The Sun is in yellow in the center of the map. Neptune, shown in dark blue, is in the almost identical location. Obscured by Neptune, shown in light blue is the position of Uranus.

Click on the star map to see a larger version.

*OK, OK. Sorry! If you read the proper definition of an Astrological Age, you'll now I'm cheating and that the Age of Aquarius has already begun about 80 years before this [c 2600 AD]. But please forgive me, I am an astrologer and, wow, it's a pretty amazing, rare, conjunction to see!

vernal equinox point 2680 AD, with the uranus and neptune conjunction

An Astrological Age...

1:   Astrological Ages: Frequently asked Questions [FAQ] 
3:   An Astrological Age... [A Zodiac Age] 
3a:   Age of Taurus 
3b:  Age of Aries 
3c:  Age of Pisces 
3d:  Age of Aquarius 
3e:  A New Age 

© Dr Shepherd Simpson, Astrological Historian


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