Daniel Pinchbeck: Is this the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius?

Cultural Intelligence, Earth Intelligence
Daniel Pinchbeck

Is this the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius?!

Astrological conjunctions and epochal shifts

I am speaking and leading workshops at this event in Coba, Mexico. There is still time to join us (capped at 66 attendees due to Covid restrictions). Use the code ‘ 2020portal ‘ to get 10% off the ticket price.


Phi Beta Iota: We are encouraging him to offer live streaming. Recommended.

In 2006 I published a book that I still consider to be my best work — my magnum opus if you like: 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. My quest was to discover the meaning of the prophecies we have received from many indigenous cultures and ancient civilizations around the world about this time. I focused on the end of the 5,125 year Long Count of the Mayan Calendar on December 21, 2012. Although I never said in my work that anything would occur exactly at or around that date, I was often lumped in with those who had made such predictions.

These days, I believe it is becoming ever-more apparent that we are entering a different reality, materially as well as psychically. Over the last years, I had the opportunity to speak with a Mayan elder Day Keeper as well as a Nahuatl lineage holder. They both said that, according to their traditional knowledge, 2012 – 2021 was a time of transition between one epoch to the next. For the Nahuatl or Aztecs, this transition is known as a movement from the Fifth Sun, a “Sun of Light,” to the Sixth Sun, a “Sun of Darkness.” This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it poses new difficulties, and opportunities.

A Cenote near Coba. Cenotes were considered sacred by the Maya. They are the dwelling place of nature spirits called Aluxes in the Mayan language, or Duendes in Spanish. We will be visiting them as part of the retreat.

For the Aztecs, during a Sun of Light, humanity focuses on rational thought, materialism — on traditionally masculine values of clarity, day-lit consciousness. As we move into a Sun of Darkness, humanity’s focus inevitably changes to the realm of the Psyche, the intuitive feminine, the dream-world. Our experience of reality, in itself, becomes increasingly like a waking dream — or, if we haven’t done the inner work needed to handle this intensification of psychic energies, like a turbulent nightmare. Sergio Magana is an author who has explored this in depth.

I find this vision of the movement into a Sun of Darkness to be incredibly resonant with everything we are experiencing right now. This includes the loss of faith in our governing institutions, the murky uncertainty surrounding the virus and the vaccine, the sense that our entire civilization is teetering on the brink of collapsing or transforming into something radically different.

I am not an expert on astrology. My favorite book on the subject is Richard Tarnas’ Cosmos and Psyche. Tarnas explores how all of of human history has been structured by the movements of the outer planets: Saturn, Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus. I found his book very convincing. It is interesting that three of those planets were only discovered in the modern era, yet retrospectively seem to have always been casting their influence on human affairs.

Over the next few weeks, we are passing through a series of astrological events that seem quite portentous, for anyone who finds any meaning in astrology and prophecies. There is a Solar Eclipse on December 14, followed by an exact conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on December 21st, the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice was the most important annual event for the classical Maya. According to John Major Jenkins and other scholars, the choice of December 21, 2012, to end the Long Count was due to an astronomical alignment visible from the Mayan regions on that date: The passing of the Sun (First Father) through the Dark Rift at the center of the Milky Way (the Cosmic Mother).

I find myself scouring the Internet for anything that can convincingly answer the question of what all of this means, and coming up a bit disappointed. If you have a good source, please message me. The conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter seems to reflect the two sides of authority — in particular, patriarchal authority, in its controlling and limiting Saturnine aspect, and the expansive, judicious expression of Jupiter. Apparently the conjunctions of these two planets over the last two hundred years was always in earth signs. It now moves into air signs, starting with Aquarius.

Astrologically, there does seem good reason to think we are finally entering the Age of Aquarius – whatever that means exactly. My favorite quote about the Age of Aquarius comes from Yogi Bhaijan, the guru who brought kundalini yoga to the West (recently accused, like so many fallen gurus, of systemic sexual abuse). In the story I heard, Yogi Bhaijan was pestered by his disciples to tell them what would be the true meaning of the Age of Aquarius. He finally answered: “No more bullshit.”

The technical genius that has gone into the new Coronavirus vaccines — described in depth in this New York Times article — represents the farthest extension of one line of humanity’s inquiry. Materialist scientists approach organic life as a set of mechanical processes, where we can intervene down to the molecular and even sub-molecular level. So far, our efforts to reduce nature to an input-output machine has led to short-term material success for some, but devastating consequences for the long-term stability of our ecosystems, threatening our imminent survival as a species.

Nearly every technological advance has unintended consequences that require more complex, intricate technologies to fix or address them, if they can be addressed. For instance, plastics seemed like an amazing idea in the 1920s but now they pollute every ecosystem and concentrate in animal tissue where they cause cancers and hormonal havoc. The Internet and Smart Phones are amazing in some ways but seem to have disrupted our capacity for sustained concentration and caused a tragic loss of emotional and psychological depth (read some handwritten letters from the 19th Century and you will see what I mean).

Obviously, our technical capacity to extract fossil fuels has led to a global ecological emergency. And yet, most people seem to be fully trusting that an experimental vaccine unlike anything we have seen before, released without any animal testing, is going to allow everything to return to normal? I only hope we are not reenacting the plot of I Am Legend.

My sense is that we are not going to be returning to our previously severely abnormal state of “normal.” We will either go forward into something new and better, or we will experience further social and ecological deterioration, and eventual dissolution. As I wrote back in 2012, we can best understand this time as a planetary initiation — as well as an initiation for each of us, individually:

“The planetary emergency requires us to become conscious of what we are doing and to take responsibility for the fate of the earth. We will need to shift our belief systems and behavior patterns in order to serve the community of planetary life. Art has a new role in our changing world. Art can provide a model for recreating our society on humane, egalitarian, and regenerative principles. Art is an infinite game where there are no winners or losers. Your enjoyment of a painting or song doesn’t take away from my enjoyment – if anything, it enhances it. A society based on creative expression is the opposite of a Zero Sum game.

Two thoughts from an Imaginal Cell

“Civilization, in the very real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants. This alone promotes real happiness and true contentment.” –Gandhi

In a state of Enlightened Anarchy, “each person will become his own ruler. He will conduct himself in a such a way that his behavior will not hamper the well being of his neighbors. In an ideal state there will be no political institutions and therefore no political power.” –Gandhi

We face the inevitable collapse of our current civilization. Rather than a traumatic meltdown, we can intelligently redesign our current social systems to rapidly advance global civilization toward the ideal state of enlightened anarchy — the rule of all by all. We can instill a new ethos of participation, self-sufficiency, and cooperation in the global multitude. However our time to accomplish this goal is limited.

The first thing that we need to do is think about it.”


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