Aquarius: Light the Cosmic Fire

You’ve heard it forever. “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” Even so, understanding what that means is a lot harder than recalling the words to a song.

Partly this is because of our location in time. We’re in the dawning. This very minute we’re in the midst of one of the great shifts of human history—a shift of ages, foretold for millenia.

Astrology tells us that beginnings are charged with potency. They can also be confusing. Much is not yet clear in the dawning light. Wherever you have Aquarius in your birth chart, that’s true about your life.

In ways we’re just beginning to realize, there’s been a cloud surrounding Aquarius for millennia. Only now is it beginning to lift. There is a lot we’re about to learn.  You could say that the dawning of the Age of Aquarius one of the great “cosmic reveals” of all time.  Everyone alive has a ticket to watch the curtain going up. It’s happening already, all around us–and within us.

In many ways, the sign of Aquarius is a horizon of discovery. If you’re an Aquarius Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, or have a cluster of planets there, your life is ground zero for the biggest cosmic action in over 2,000 years. Even if none of those descriptors are true of your birth chart, you’ve got Aquarius somewhere in the mandala. Somewhere in your life—and in everyone’s–the big reveal is already underway.

Before we explore what that might involve, let’s look at some of the things we don’t know about Aquarius.

Water Sign or Air Sign?

The first area of identity confusion is the fact that although Aquarius is the sign of fixed air, it was long considered to be a water sign. In our Deep Memory this sign is associated with water. Ancient astronomers knew the part of the heavens where it’s located as “the Sea,” emptying into the mouth of one of the two fish of Pisces.  Myths from many parts of the world attribute the cause of rain to the Sun’s location in a certain part of the sky.

What difference does it make?  Knowing where we’re headed helps us to make choices between one way and another, when it’s not clear which is best.  Understanding where the power lies helps us to align ourselves with it.  As we head for the Age of Aquarius, are we leading with water–our intuition and emotions? Or with air–our reason and our mind?

Who’s Running the Show?

Another matter of dispute is whether the rightful ruler of Aquarius is Saturn or Uranus. Saturn, known to the ancients both the Lord of Karma and  the Angel of the Present, is the ancient ruler of Aquarius.  Uranus wasn’t even discovered until the 18th century.

Many astrologer still consider Saturn to be co-ruler of Aquarius. It’s true that, like Aquarius, Saturn is concerned with the big picture of social groups and organizations. Unlike the egalitarian energy of Aquarius, Saturn is also very hierarchical and decidedly lacking in the free spirit that characterizes the sign.

Since the planet Uranus was discovered,he has increasingly been regarded as the true ruler of Aquarius. As the Cosmic Liberator, Uranus has the brilliant and awakened mind–intuitive, electric, innovative–that typifies the sign that’s often said to love humanity, but not individual people.

More recently, a thoughtful case has been made for Prometheus as the rightful ruler of Aquarius. Prometheus nobly embodies the Aquarian traits of humanitarian dedication. He’s the immortal who championed humanity when Zeus was ready to throw in the towel on us and start over. Still other astrologers argue that Ganymede, cupbearer to the ancient gods, is best suited for rulership of this sign of our shared future.

No wonder we don’t really know where we are headed!

What’s In a Name?

One of the great powers in the world is the power of naming. It’s the power to know, to cause, jand to create.  When we don’t know the names of the energies that are pulsing through our lives, we can feel them–but we can’t be fully conscious of them.  That’s one of the prime reasons for knowing your astrological birth chart.

Take Saturn, Uranus, and Jupiter.  Saturn, the ancient ruler of astrology, is the energy of discipline, effort, and achievement.  Uranus, the modern ruler, is the nonlinear, quantum energy of awakening. In the geneology of the Deep Time, Saturn stands between Uranus and Jupiter, the expansive, inclusive, energy of grace.

The world we live in grew out of the world that Jupiter made. Centuries ago, it disappeared from our conscious awareness, but it’s very much alive just beneath the surface. Buried a little further in the Deep Time is Saturn’s world.  Still deeper lies the world of Uranus–and he’s waking up now. In the process, he’s igniting a whole new cycle in human consciousness.

It’s a world where the ruler overthrew his father, who had in his time overthrown his father as well.  In many ways our world is built on a war between fathers and sons.  As we can see in several recent campaigns for the American presidency, that war is still going on.  (And before that, of course, was the overthrow by the Masculine of the Feminine energies who brought the world into being.)

Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius, was Uranus’ son and Jupiter’s father. He came to power by castrating him. The memory of Uranus in his full, primordial power is the most deeply buried memory of the Deep Time. 

This is not just a story. This is a map through the psyche of Western culture.  If we’re going to reclaim our cosmic birthright as individuals who contain the Universe, we need to understand how we’ve been cut off from our deepest nature.

Uranus and the Origin of the World

Our Deep Memory knows Uranus as a child of Chaos, the primordial sky being. Only now is he beginning to emerge into our consciousness with the wild creative power of Chaos clinging to him like steam.

That steam belongs to the Deep Time, and the creation of the world.  Back then, Uranus was the cosmic lover of Gaia, the primordial earth being She was a child of Chaos herself.  Together these two conceived a new generation of beings–the energetic patterns that created our world and still live within it.

The Ruler of Our Ancient Future: Uranus, Child of Primal Chaos

But there’s another side to Aquarius, which stirs our deepest memories of the primordial being who mated with Gaia. Uranus the sky god carries a wild and potent energy that is deeply connected to the Universe beyond our solar system. He is quantum, nonlinear, completely out of the box and utterly unpredictable.

Deeply erotic, creatively gifted, he leaves a trail of life-changing encounters behind him wherever he goes. He rules lightning, which descends to earth from the sky. His lightning energy is so powerful that it heats the air to 54,000 degrees Farenheit, creating the shock wave we hear as thunder.

Quirky and eccentric, Uranus’ fundamental function is to awaken us to our true identity as inhabitants of the cosmos. To this astrologer, Uranus seems to most completely embody the direct connection with Source energy required to propel us to the next stage in our cosmic journey.

Want to tune into the awakening power of Uranus, in our world and in your life?

  • Remember that his color is purple and surround yourself with it.  His flower is the violet, his stone is the amethyst.
  • To release the electrifying cosmic power in the following places in your chart:
  • The House with Aquarius on the cusp describes the part  of your life where you will be humanitarian, philanthropic, pathbreaking, and ahead of your time. Feed it by finding kindred spirits and activities there.
  • The 11th House of your chart, which rules friends, group activities, mentors, and and guiding ideals and goals–this is Aquarius’ natural domain. It also describes the ways you are different and unique.
  •  The house where Uranus is located will be an area of your life where you can make quantum leaps. This is where you hear the call of the future, in ways that are exciting, nonlinear, disruptive, and erotic.
  • Planets in Aquarius will be inventive, far-seeing , intellectual, humanitarian, and naturally future-oriented. Famous Aquarius Suns include Galileo, Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, Colette, Thomas Edison, Virginia Woolf, William Butler Yeats, and Bob Marley.