International School of the Golden Rosycross
When does the age of Aquarius begin?
The Age of Aquarius is regarded as a spiritual turning point – for society, but particularly for every individual. There is much speculation about the beginning of the Aquarius era. Has it already begun, is it yet to come, or is mankind already in the middle of Aquarius?
Nothing is as it was. The people, society and the consciousness of mankind today is changing rapidly. Norms and values dissolve, hierarchies and authoritarian structures break down, the illusion is unmasked, and subtle realities are perceived more and more consciously. Since the beginning of the 20th Century, especially since the late 1960s, this process has increased. Esoterism attributes these momentous changes to the constellation of Aquarius which sends spiritual impulses to mankind.
When does the time of spiritual change begin?
People who are susceptible to atmospheric impressions feel that a period of spiritual change has come. But if we investigate when the Age of Aquarius actually begins or has begun, remarkable differences become obvious. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) dates the beginning to in the year 2601. Astrology declares the year 2375 the beginning of the Aquarian Age. The Anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and the spiritual leader of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, Jan van Rijckenborgh (1896-1968), come to different conclusions. While Steiner calls 3574 the year of Aquarius, van Rijckenborgh indicates the year 1908 as the relevant date. That makes a difference of 1666 years. What is right?
Astronomical and Astrological Answers
The different accounts have their origin in the different foundations of the beginning of the Aquarian Age. The IAU has an astronomical foundation. Its calculations are based on the the projection of the physical constellations on the ecliptic. The ecliptic means the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun, the imaginary boundary of which forms a large circle, the celestial equator. The terrestrial equator is positioned at an angle of 23.5 degrees inclined to the ecliptic. The projection of the twelve signs of the zodiac therefore cover different segments of the ecliptic. Astrologers, on the other hand, proceed from the theory that the celestial equator has to be divided into twelve equal segments of 30 degrees each, the astrological zodiac.
Both approaches disagree about the extent of the signs of the zodiac, and thus in their calculations come to different results about the beginning of the Aquarius era.
The Perspective of Astrosophy
Again, Rudolf Steiner and Jan van Rijckenborgh show a completely diverse approach to the the Aquarian Age. Although both in principle have an astrosophic perspective on the facts, their dates differ by 1666 years. To solve this mystery, one must not view the sky, but reflect upon man.
When does a person begin to exist? With conception? With the first movement in the womb? At the moment of physical birth? Or has the person really arrived in the world when he is a member of society as an adult? The answer depends also on the the perspective of the observer. Jan van Rijckenborgh and Rudolf Steiner are distinguished by the point of view from which they look at the Aquarius era.
To illustrate this, it is important to remember that the Aquarian impulse is an influence from the cosmos. Man responds to it in three ways: With his mind, soul and body. Everything that moves a person begins in his mind. The Aquarian impulse expressed itself in the collective mind of humanity first as an idea. This idea remains abstract in the beginning, without emotional or physical energy. At this stage man only thinks, speaks and writes about the new idea.
Some people are pioneers and respond immediately to new impulses, while others recognize them later; they are more inclined towards the old ideas. If an a new idea with the times becomes strong enough, then it reveals itself on the soul level. Man adopts the idea as his own, he animates it and fills it with life. Thus, it gains momentum. The idea will gradually become the determining factor in man’s life. And then step three follows: Man acts. He uses his dynamic will and begins to realize the idea with full awareness. He converts the spiritual impulse into action. Until, at a later time, a new impulse radiates from the cosmos, and all old ideas and structures whirl in disorder again.