A Funny Thing Happened in the 21st Century – Part 1


The astrological ages behave like mighty ocean waves. Each age-wave mimics each other age-wave, in shape, size and velocity, but the variation is in the archetypes associated with each wave.  Each wave brings a different set of archetypes with it.  The problem with astrological ages is that they are spaced around 2,150 years apart and very few people can contextualize a series of historical currents separated from each other by 2,150 years.

Dividing an age into three equal parts creates age-decans with each age-decan in the order of around 700 years may be slightly more palatable, but the time spans involved are still taxing for most people.  Sub-ages of around 179 years each may be a little more familiar to many people as most people have some kind of familiarity with the Renaissance followed by the Age of Maritime Exploration with the Scientific Age closely on its heel.  Next came the Industrial Revolution leading to the worldwide population explosion, followed by the Atomic Age and now we have the desultory period of post-modernism.  Sub-ages enter the realm of relative familiarity.

In the same way that ages can be divided into three decans, so can sub-ages.  It is my observation that the smaller sub-age decans of approximately 60 years is the most palatable way for most people to relate to history because 60 years approaches the average span of life.  The normal person will have personal experience of at least two sub-age decans over the course of their life, and the cultural remembrance of the sub-age decan experienced by their parents or grandparents is so strong, that a third sub-age becomes almost as real as the two that are directly experienced.  For Baby Boomers at least, they have direct experience of the Scorpio sub-age decan, the current Gemini sub-age decan, with handed down tales of the Pisces sub-age decan of their grandparents, supplemented with the movies of the 1930s we saw as kids on TV.  Younger generations may be too removed from the Pisces sub-age decan, but they should assimilate the arrival of the coming Aquarian sub-age decan in 2029!

These 60 years sub-ages are not only understandable by most people due to their direct experience, they also seem to dictate the geopolitical reality of the world that sits upon the collective expectations and reality of the world’s population.  The sub-ages provide a structure to analyze what can be expected to occur in the current 21st century.  The 21st century is mainly focused upon the Gemini sub-age decan (1970-2029) followed by the Aquarius sub-age decan (2029 – 2089).  These two sub-ages are the first two of three sub-ages of the Libra sub-age (1970-2148).  The funny thing is that the current 21st century will be ‘milder’ than last century and next century.

Before delving into the sub-age decans of the current 21st century (2001 to 2100) it is important to place the 21st century into context.  The 21st century sits between the 20th and 22nd centuries.  The 21st century is not only bookended by each of these two centuries but also dwarfed by each of them.  The 20th and 22nd centuries are far more powerful than the current 21st century.  This can be readily explained.

The 20th and 22nd centuries each have a sub-age cusp located within them whereas the 21st century lacks such an event.  The Scorpio sub-age came to an end in 1970, and the current Libra sub-age will truncate in 2148.  Each of these cusps can be viewed as the crest of their respective waves.  The wave associated with a sub-age is the third strongest of all the waves, and is only exceeded by the age-decans’ and age cusps’ waves. In a superficial analysis, the fact that the current 21st century has no wave of the size of a sub-age cusp may indicate that it is a ‘lessor’ century.  This may or may not be the case because approximately every second century lacks a sub-age cusp.  Since 1000 AD, the 12th, 14th, 16th and 19th centuries all lacked a sub-age cusp.  It is very possible that each of these centuries were subordinate to the centuries that did contain a sub-age cusp.  A superficial examination of all the centuries since 1000 AD in Wikipedia does qualitatively support this notion but even if true, it is probably a moot point.

So while our 21st century is bereft of a sub-age cusp, it sits directly under the path of the Scorpio sub-age overflow (1970-2148) which in essence is like a tsunami passing over a hapless world. Scorpio does not bring peace or security but disaster and regeneration.  Scorpio is not the sign of war, but it is the sign of terrorism and terrorists. It is the sign of underground criminal networks and disenchanted individuals willing to die for whatever cause.  It is the sign of vulnerability where despite statistical indications to the contrary, people feel that crime, death from war and violence and premature death is occurring more frequently. Scorpio is also the sign of debt, so instead of countries being rated on their gold reserves, they are rated on their debt level.  People use credit cards instead of cash.  The recent GFC was extremely painful for many who had borrowed heavily to fund their stock portfolios.

However, the great scourge associated with the Scorpio wave that peaked in 1970 and is now washing over the world is pollution. Some astrologers have a problem with pollution being associated with Scorpio, but in reality, pollution is the excrement of our modern enlightened society and associated economy.  Many people fear the advent of the Third World War, but the scourge of this century is not a world war but something that has the potential to be just as deadly.  Of course atomic bombs and nuclear power stations are ruled by Scorpio, and their proliferation since the arrival of the Scorpio sub-age decan overflow in 1970 plus some of the nuclear accidents that have occurred to date, strongly suggest that nuclear radiation contamination is also in the hand of cards now being played.  Fukishima again demonstrated our increasing vulnerability to nuclear accidents.

Not everything is dark and gloomy with Scorpio, after all, sex is a strong Scorpio archetype. The Sexual Revolution unleashed in the 1960s and 70s aligned to the peak of the Scorpio wave has fundamentally changed western society and continues to ripple out to the rest of the world. The arrival of legalized gay marriage in some regions of the western world demonstrates that the Scorpio wave of sexual liberation is showing no signs of faltering.  Even Muslim countries like Malaysia have recently allowed their gays to come out of the closet while more backward nations have strengthened their anti-homosexuality laws – but the focus remains on Scorpio.

Is Scorpio a doom-laden gloomy sign compared to most other signs? This is a matter of perspective.  Certainly a key attribute of Scorpio is its death-rebirth nature.  On the one hand this breeds born-again Christians (and seemingly born-again Muslims) but on a more significant perspective, it indicates a time of renewal following a breakdown.  Is the world breaking down?  Is it renewing?

I recently had the fortunate experience of attending the 2014 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Bali.  This was not the first time I had attended one of these festivals in Bali, but it was the first for a few years.  It is a great place to feel which direction the wind is blowing.  The almost unanimous consensus by the writers, intellectual s and attendees was that the direction the world is heading is wrong.  Specifically the economic paradigm introduced or forced upon the rest of the world by powerful western nations (since the arrival of the Pisces age overflow in the 15th century) benefits the minority rich at the expense of the vast majority of the world population.  The accumulation of wealth by a few is disproportionate to the number of extremely poor people in the world.  Furthermore, the environmental degradation of the world is a direct consequence of this unquenchable quest for wealth by those who basically are already wealthy in relative terms.

In contrast to chasing wealth, many people at the festival expressed the need to find value from non-materialistic aspects in life.  This was probably best expressed by Keibo Oiwa from Japan who is a cultural anthropologist, film-maker, environmental activist, public speaker and the author of over 50 books.  His slogan for the future was the need to be ‘slower, smaller and simpler’. He received much applause.  Thus we are seeing the dawn of a new perspective on the modern world, one not focused upon wealth and power but upon quality and happiness.  No one was calling for the destruction of capitalism but the sentiment was that capitalism will have to be house-trained.

Keibo Oiwa is not alone, and ever since the 1960s and 70s there has been a small but growing number of people attempting to live an alternative lifestyle or opting out of the money-centric world of extreme capitalism that we now find ourselves in.  Is the shopping mall a sign of progress?  One Balinese teacher complained how her youthful students were totally focused upon what we would call junk-food, because in their eyes, cool people overseas ate rubbish at McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the like – anyone with a white skin was considered cool.  It seems that humans are like chimpanzees that want to mimic each other.

This alternative urge towards house-trained capitalism and quality of life over wealth will be a growing phenomenon of the current 21st century but for a while, this new movement will be dwarfed by terrorism, epidemics, failed states, criminal gangs, tyrannical leaders and megalomaniac states but this does not mean a rebirth is not in progress.  According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point”, it only takes about 20% of the population to move towards a new idea, trend, or social behavior which then crosses a threshold and spreads like wildfire.  Already in Australia, about 10% on average of the voting population vote Green in every election.  How many decades until this figure is 20%?

The work is certainly cut out for the world in the 21st century, but any examination of the two centuries that sandwich the 21st century suggests that while change is imminent, due to the Scorpio wave passing over the whole of this century, the level of destruction or chaos that will be experienced in the 21st century is limited. The destructive influence on both the 20th and 21st centuries are much greater compared to the 21st century.  We have already passed through the 20th century, and survived, and the inherent problems in the 21st century should not be as great, despite contemporary society’s pessimism.  A funny thing about the present 21st century is that it should be ‘milder’ on humanity compared to the previous 20th century.

Relevant time periods:

Scorpio sub-age and overflow (1791-1970-2148)

Libra sub-age and overflow (1970-2148-2327)

  • Gemini sub-age decan (1970-2029)
  • Aquarius sub-age decan (2028-2089)
Figure 5 – the subage decans of the Libra subage
The sub-age decans of the Libra sub-age

Notes

All ages and sub-periods behave like a wave in the shape of a bell curve.  When any period commences, it is at its weakest point, and steadily build in strength to its apogee at the end of its period.  It then breaks like a wave and washes over the following period like a wave in what is called its ‘overflow’.  Research indicates that the sign associated with any period appears stronger in the overflow period.  For example the Scorpio sub-age was 1791 to  1970 but Scorpio will appear to diversify much further in its overflow period compared to its period proper. A funny thing about the present 21st century is that it should be ‘milder’ on humanity compared to the previous 20th century.

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