The Aquarius-Leo Age - 1
At the beginning of Part Two I explained that the cycle of the precession of the equinoxes — the Great Sidereal Year — which lasts nearly 26,000 years and which we divide astrologically into twelve Ages is produced by the gradual retrograde displacement of the equinoctial axis, a displacement which becomes apparent when the position of the Sun at the time of the spring equinox is referred to some theoretically "fixed" star or group of zodiacal stars (i. e. constellations). The Sun does not enter the constellation Pisces or Aquarius in any particular century or year. It "enters" such a constellation every year; but it does so on a slowly but constantly changing day of the year. Each 72 years the Sun reaches the location in our sky of any particular prominent star near the ecliptic one day earlier — which is another way of saying that the celestial longitude of that star increases by one degree every 72 years.
What "moves backward" with reference to the circle of our zodiacal constellations is the equinoctial axis. We must think of the two equinoxes as forming an axis, just as we must think of the Ascendant and Descendant of a birth-chart as the two ends (East and West) of the natal horizon. It is the equinoctial axis and not simply the vernal equinox which changes its position with reference to the stars. Thus, if one is to make any sense out of this motion, one must consider the displacement of two points, the spring and fall equinoxes, which are always in exact opposition. If the spring equinox is in Pisces, then the fall equinox must be in Virgo; and therefore to speak of the Piscean Age is to see only one side of the world-picture. We should always speak of the Pisces-Virgo Age. If I have not done so until now it is so as not to make the picture more complex. What is ahead of us this century is therefore not the Aquarian Age but the Aquarius-Leo Age.
In order to understand what this equinoctial dualism really means, let us consider afresh what the equinoctial axis represents. It is, as was stated earlier, the line of intersection of two basic astronomical planes: the plane of the earth's equator and that of the ecliptic (i. e. the plane of our planet's orbit around the sun). These two planes form an angle of about 23º05'. The plane of the equator refers essentially to the rotation of our globe around its axis; thus to the day-and-night cycle during which man experiences various levels of consciousness, from deep sleep to full waking consciousness. The ecliptic, on the other hand, refers to the year cycle, to the change of seasons. It deals with the constantly altered relationship between the earth's surface and the sun, source of the energies that operate within the biosphere and make life possible.
The day cycle sees an individual man's horizon being constantly altered. It symbolizes the many aspects of the consciousness and of the activity of a particular person; while the year cycle refers to seasonal changes which alter the rhythm of life itself all over the planet, and of course more specifically in regions not close to the equator. Thus one can consider the two equinoxes — born of the relationship between the two planes and cycles — as symbols of the way in which individual man is related to the rhythm of universal life which has its fountainhead in the sun; or the way in which the consciousness of man is related to the cyclically changing activities of life in a planetary sense.
This relationship of a particular type of man to the universal flow of life-energies on this earth is the root-factor in any culture or civilization. A culture refers to the response of a particular group of men (tribe, race, nation) to the basic conditions existing at any time and in any particular locality within the biosphere (i. e. on the earth-surface).
A "response" implies an activity to which one more or less consciously and deliberately reacts. One has to deal therefore with two factors, which can be symbolized as a "descent" of energy, and a responsive "ascent" of human consciousness and activity — using of course the terms, descent and ascent in a symbolical sense. Thus, in astrology, the spring equinox refers to the descent of solar energy — i. e. to the incorporation of creative, formative spirit — while the fall equinox represents man's ascending toward an ever more effective and expanding consciousness of the meaning of universal life, according to the path traced, as it were, by the descent or incorporation of spirit (or Logos).
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1969 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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