The Cost of Freedom in the Age of Aquarius

The Great Conjunction will happen in air signs from now on, so it is interesting to revisit the concept of the Age of Aquarius. Because it doesn't look like what we had imagined. Aquarius cannot hand us a utopia on a platter, but he knows we have it in us to make one.

"Freedom stretches only as far as the limits of our consciousness." (C. Jung).


Astrologers did see 2020 coming, years in advance. The rarest of alignments of the planets, including Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter reminded us of how small and fragile we are. If you are reading this, congratulations - you made it through one of the roughest years in memory. And the story isn’t over until the end of January 2021. After that starts the very messy clean up. We all know that nothing will ever be the same again, nor should it. Sure, eventually we will be able to hug and travel again. But this time, hopefully with a new found understanding, responsibility, sense of purpose and depth. And hope!


The Winter Solstice, December 21, 2020, has one more tale of 2020 to tell. This day will bring tremendous changes, mostly for the better. Planetary energy will shift from the dreary heaviness to a bit lighter, and slowly we will start feeling hopeful again. Slowly but surely, we will start to feel more optimistic, and able to see our way to the future again. However, in the sign of Aquarius, Jupiter will still be in a Saturn ruled sign. This means that there is a lot of work to be done and that things will not improve immediately. But, let's face it, there is hardly anywhere to go but up from 2020. Essentially, 2021 is about cleaning up 2020. What we used to call "normal" will return only 2022. And, with the help of Uranus and Jupiter, there will be sudden flashes of brilliance, hope and innovation. Not to mention shock waves and continued conflict.


Jupiter, the planet of good luck and abundance, has been held hostage by Saturn (symbolizing restrictions), and Pluto (symbolizing power and destruction), all of 2020. In addition, Jupiter was in his fall in the sign of Capricorn, meaning, that he was not able to bring abundant goodness to us in the way he would have liked. But by December 21, 2020, he will have finally moved out of the sign of Capricorn and moved into Aquarius. On this day, he will have also moved past Saturn (pessimism), who will no longer be able to restrict Jupiter's (optimism) influence as much. We will start to feel hopeful again!


The meeting of Jupiter and Saturn, the Great Conjunction as it is called, will start a new 20-year and a new 200-year cycle on December 21, 2020. They have been meeting every 20 years in earth signs, but from now on, they will meet in air signs for the next 200 years. We can entertain the idea that we are in some sense unceremoniously truly moving to the Age of Aquarius (astrologers don't agree when this age actually starts or has even started because there are various methods of calculating of an astrological age). Very famous astrologers have recently written opposite views on the subject. Perhaps while we keep calculating, god laughs.


But with so much air and Aquarian energy, it is at least interesting to revisit the concept of the Age of Aquarius and our past expectations of it at this time. It may not be what we imagined, yet there is no underestimating this moment. It is important that we visualize the best case scenarios for our individual lives, as well as plant the seed of hope of solving the most urgent problems of humanity. It is very auspicious that this is happening on the Winter solstice, the day when light returns and days grow longer from here on. Traditional astrology explains many astrological phenomenon in regards to our relationship to light. The fact that we symbolically start the Jupiter-Saturn journey on the day when the light of the sun returns, is a very good sign for us, and for humanity. Not to mention that we would have to go back to year 1226, to see such a close alignment between Jupiter and Saturn, visible in the night sky. Presumably this alignment was also in the sky over 2000 years ago, appearing as the Star of Bethlehem. Again, it is the closeness and visibility of the conjunction that is symbolically a remarkably good sign.

But, if we consider all this Aquarian energy, it does not quite look like the harmony, peace, love and understanding we had imagined? Looking at especially the past four years, it appears that the opposite of peace and love is in fact true. But, Aquarius never actually promised us a utopia. Certainly not quickly, without any effort. He does promise idealism, humanity, individualism, hard work and long term planning. For example technology, which is often associated with Aquarius, is no longer something we are only imagining, but it is now part of our everyday lives. We now actually carry around small computers. And we now communicate with people around the world as if they were in the same room. We work remotely and can even buy food remotely. Interestingly, the year 2020 perfectly positioned us to this place - as if we are only now ready to start the Aquarian revolution. It is interesting to play with the idea that perhaps the Age of Aquarius sneaked up on us...?


Truly, we are moving from concentrating on MATTER (earth signs) to THOUGHTS (air signs). Instead of interacting directly with the earth in a very literal way like planting crops, or storing physical money, we are accumulating wealth that is abstract and seen mostly in numbers only. Innovative thinking and networks are the new "capital". Due to the tools of technology Aquarius has delivered to us, we are able to work remotely, and moving out of concentrated, heavily populated areas and disburse into suburbs and the country side. We will also move from a mass consciousness into more unique, individualized and small, specialized group thinking that ideally, will bring innovations unlike we have ever seen before. The ultimate quest of Aquarius is to bring enlightenment to humanity, but not by merging (as during the age of Pisces) but by individualizing. You are your own religion.


But, Saturn in Aquarius is complicated. Aquarius is by far the most mysterious of the zodiac signs. According to Greek mythology, he is a human that was elevated by Zeus into the heavenly realms, not quite as an equal, but as a cupbarer for the gods. He knows much and can pick up information as if pulling it out of thin air. Suddenly, Aquarius "just knows". In this way, he is more than a mere mortal, yet as a servant of the gods. He is contrarian - he wants to enlighten humanity, yet he is aligned with the authority, with the gods that don't really care about change, because they know that time is cyclical.


Idealistic Aquarius nevertheless carries with him an inherent warning: information is power. Who ever controls the flow of information, controls thinking. The role of Saturn in Aquarius indicates that communication will be challenged in some way and will need our undivided attention. Information wars. Multinational companies will continue to influence the choices of millions of people. And whoever influences our thoughts, owns us. The danger is that in Aquarius' attempt to bring enlightenment, he eventually becomes the new, oppressive order himself. Even the most rebellious group will eventually form their own rules. So truly, it is up to each individual to see through the various manipulations, thoroughly research the source of our information, and choose our physical and mental consumption habits wisely. The hero's journey to become enlightened by individualizing is ultimately a lonely task.


2021 will see interaction between Saturn and Uranus. Here, Saturn represents the old structures and Uranus the new. The interplay of the old and the new will continue its dance in various ways on individual and societal levels. Individuals, groups, and institutions who represent the old ways of thinking will rigorously defend their position. But Uranus, representing new, completely revolutionary ways of thinking will send such shock waves that he won't be able to be ignored. It will be challenging to decide what to keep and what to throw out. We will all want freedom in many different ways, at any cost. Individuals and groups will continue to defy all old customs. Traditions and beliefs will be questioned in numerous ways. We will want to break the chains of old thinking, challenge the old stories we have been telling ourselves individually and collectively.


But the cost of this freedom may be much higher than we realize. Rebellion without an actual, deeply thought out cause, will not last. On the other hand, some, long awaited, deep changes whose time has come, will change society for good. But other, selfishly motivated rebellions will only bring chaos. Saturn will ask, for example: what is a government for? Is it a social contract to help and protect us, or do we choose the wild, wild west where everybody is on their own? What are traditions? Do we have them for a reason, to bring us closer, or are they nothing but meaningl