An Age Old Mistake That Still Haunts Astrologers

©  Copyright Terry MacKinnell 2011, 2016 Under the Berne Convention

The ancient Greek astronomer-astrologer Hipparchus in the late 2nd century BC introduced the Vernal Point (VP) as the calibration technique for the astrological ages based on the VPs position amongst the zodiacal constellations.  The VP is the position of the Sun at the vernal equinox around 21st March each year. Hipparchus commenced the tradition of calibrating the astrological ages based on the location of the VP in one of the 12 zodiacal constellations.  This is a mathematical technique as it is not possible to actually see which constellation the Sun is ever located within as it is always daytime when the Sun is visible.

Sunrise in Baghdad, Iraq 20 March 2016
Sunrise in Baghdad, Iraq 20 March 2016

The above illustration shows the Sun rising at the vernal equinox on the 20th March 2016 in Baghdad, Iraq (in deference to the Sumerian and Mesopotamian astronomer-astrologers who defined the zodiacal constellations thousands of years ago).  The inclusion of the zodiacal constellation boundaries is for reference purposes. The constellation of Aquarius sits well above the horizon and the Sun is located in one arm of the constellation of Pisces.  The constellation boundaries are irrelevant for astrological purposes as they have been defined by modern pagan astronomers.  Furthermore there is no evidence the ancients had constellational borders.  The real estate style subdivision of the sky into constellation is a modern phenomenon.  Based on Hipparchus’ system, the above indicates the world is currently in the Age of Pisces.

The VP has been in the constellation of Pisces for two thousand years or more and remains in the constellation of Pisces.  This is why most astrologers claim we remain in the Age of Pisces.  Most research astrologers accept the zodiacal constellations as symbolic markers only for the 12 sidereal signs of exactly 30 degrees each.  The sidereal zodiac was invented by the ancient Greeks (or Babylonian astrologers) to tidy up the zodiacal constellations in their evolving practice of horoscopic astrology.

 A portrait of Hipparchus of Nicaea from "The School of Athens" by Raphael
A portrait of Hipparchus of Nicaea from “The School of Athens” by Raphael

Unfortunately for astrologers over the following period (equivalent to the length of an age), Hipparchus failed to realize that the old zodiacal constellations had a much older method of calibration. The older method of calibrating the zodiacal constellations is a visual technique. All old astronomical techniques were visual—mathematics took an insignificant role in ancient astronomy. Hipparchus did not use the ages old visual technique as he was obviously transfixed by the new mathematical techniques developed in his era.

I am much indebted to a paper by Rumen Kolev—Some Reflections about Babylonian Astrology.[1] In this paper, Kolev explains the five basic principles applied to ancient astronomy techniques in Babylon. In summary, three of these principles state the visible light directly received from a stellar object was of primary concern, as the ancients believed “God is Light.” In those days, the view of the heavens by the unaided eye was the only method of determining astronomical phenomena. The other two principles are that the two key times for astronomical observations are around Sunrise and Sunset.

In ancient times, the telescope was preceded by the line of the horizon and Neugebauer states that Babylonian astronomers were mainly concerned about astronomical phenomena on the horizon.[2] For example, a major Babylonian text dated 1400–1000 BCE supplies the heliacal rising dates of thirty-four stars and constellations according to their 360-day annual calendar.[3] In ancient Upper Egypt, the heliacal rising of the star Sirius marked the beginning of the year.[4]

The heliacal rising of a star or planet is its first appearance on the eastern horizon in the early morning sky just before the rays of the Sun obliterate the stars from the night sky. The term “heliacal rising” unfortunately has different interpretations.  The definition of the “true heliacal rising” is when a star or planet, etc., rises with the Sun but because the Sun is visible the planet or star cannot be seen.  This is the ‘mathematical’ system employed by Hipparchus as the position of the Sun in a constellation must be calculated.

The alternative to the “true helical rising” is the “visible heliacal rising” when a star or planet, etc., can be seen on the eastern horizon just before the approaching sunlight obliterates the star or planet from view.[5] My use of the term “heliacal rising” refers exclusively to the visible heliacal rising. In most ancient societies, the visible heliacal rising (or setting) of a stellar object was one of the most important calibration techniques applied to a stellar object.  The “true” heliacal rising technique is a ‘modern’ mathematical technique probably invented by Hipparchus.

The ancient Greek author Hesiod, a contemporary of Homer, mentions the heliacal risings of the star Arcturus and asterism, the Pleiades, as if the reader of his times clearly understood what he was talking about.[6] To many ancient people, the heliacal phenomena of stars and constellations were an integral part of their calendar. In practical terms, the heliacal rising of a body occurs about one hour before Sunrise, but this will vary with latitude, season, and the brightness of the bodies involved. Rumen Kolev also states the heliacal rising (or setting) of a stellar object must occur before the Sun rises (or after it sets)[7] which is another way of saying the “visible heliacal rising”.

Gavin White in his book Babylonian Star-Lore proposes the most relevant astronomical feature of ancient times (presumably other than the position of the Sun and Moon) were the stars on the eastern horizon just before dawn.[8] White goes further and claims that the first star maps were actually a calendar in the sky, with the equinoxes and solstices as the reference grid for the calendar.[9] In the earliest times of civilization, mankind referred to the stars in their heliacal mode with a specific focus upon the two annual equinoxes and solstices. Their New Year, commencing at the spring equinox, elevates this point above the autumn equinox and two solstices.

This ancient view of the cosmos is basically in agreement with my approach to the astrological ages based on precession. The modern approach to calibrating the ages using the Vernal Point developed by Hipparchus is incongruous to the original methods of observing the stars and constellations. This incongruity of using the position of the Sun at the vernal equinox as the calibrator for the astrological ages is put into context by Nicholas Campion, who states that in observational astronomy it makes no sense to place the Sun in a constellation or among stars, because whenever the Sun is visible the stars are not.[10] Observational astronomy was the astronomy of the ancients.

Elementary astronomy provides the reason why my rectification of the ages is half a sign in advance of the accepted norm amongst astrologers until now – it is because the commonly accepted ages based on the VP are half an age late! The VP is located at the Sun’s position on the vernal equinox (around 21 March each year). The heliacal zodiacal constellation is viewed approximately one hour before the Sun rises. As students, most of us are taught the Earth rotates on its own axis once per day, and all 360 degrees rise above the horizon in twenty-four hours. Therefore, in two hours, on average, thirty degrees (or one zodiacal sign) will rise up over the horizon.  In one hour, approximately, fifteen degrees of the ecliptic rises—this is equivalent to half a zodiacal sign. This is the source of the discrepancy between the ages as defined by Hipparchus and the ages based on the ancient visible heliacal method. The difference between the ancient techniques of the heliacal rising zodiacal constellation at the VE compared to the modern VP method is approximately fifteen degrees, half a sign/age or about 1,075 years.  In ancient times, the zodiacal constellations were meant to be read via their visible heliacal position when applied to the astrological ages. The error Hipparchus made in 127 BCE when he inadvertently used the VP in place of the visible heliacal method delayed his ages by approximately 1,075 years.

I am not the only researcher who acknowledges the heliacal rising of the zodiacal constellations at the spring equinox as the astronomical framework for the ages. The archeo-astronomer Sepp Rothwangl in Considerations About the Start of the Age of Aquarius[11] claims that, in ancient times, a new constellation rising on the eastern horizon before Sunrise on the morning of the Northern Hemisphere spring equinox was the main criterion for the start of a New Age. Rothwangl also states that such a change from Pisces to Aquarius has already occurred, thus indicating the arrival of the new Age of Aquarius.

Hipparchus suffered from a calibration error when he applied the VP method to precession and astronomers and astrologers have adhered to this erroneous VP calibration technique ever since.  If the ancient heliacal method is applied to the zodiacal signs, a very different time frame is provided compared to the Vernal Point method. For example, in 2016 at the vernal equinox, the Sun (VP) sits in the constellation of Pisces, though the constellation of Pisces cannot be seen. The Vernal Point will remain in the constellation of Pisces for many more centuries. However, if you are awake one hour before dawn, when the stars are still visible on the eastern horizon, the last stars seen rising up from the eastern horizon before the sky turns blue is the constellation of Aquarius.

One hour before sunrise 20 March 2016 in Baghdad, Iraq
One hour before sunrise 20 March 2016 in Baghdad, Iraq


The above illustration one hour before dawn on 20th March 2016 in Baghdad shows the constellation of Aquarius sitting just above the horizon with no stars visible in the constellation of Pisces.

Therefore, the constellation of Aquarius is currently the visible heliacal rising constellation. The constellation of Aquarius has been the visible heliacal rising constellation for centuries. The conundrum is that, based on the Vernal Point located in the constellation of Pisces, we are supposedly in the Age of Pisces and will remain so for many centuries while based on the visible heliacal rising of the constellation of Aquarius, we are in the Age of Aquarius and have been in the Age of Aquarius for centuries.  The latter assertion is substantiated by historians who claim the arrival of Modernity occurred about 500 years ago.[13]

It is one thing for an astrologer-astronomer from over 2,000 years ago to make a mistake, but to not correct this mistake at the first opportunity is another massive mistake by astrologers.

The Five Most Popular Posts for Further Investigation

The Age of Aquarius for Dummies

The Aquarian age did not begin in the 1960’s or ’70s

SCORPIO – the Sign of the Times …. Revisited – Part 1

Females, Women and Feminists in the Age of Aquarius

Generational Astrology – Introduction (Part 1)


Star illustrations courtesy of Stellarium software –

A portrait of Hipparchus – Wikipedia,


[1] Rumen Kolev, “Some Reflections about Babylonian Astrology,”

[2] The Exact Sciences In Antiquity, p. 98

[3] “MUL.APIN.” Wikipedia. Retrieved 02:15, 16 June 2008,

[4] Ronald A Wells, “Astronomy in Egypt,” Astronomy Before the Telescope, p. 34

[5] Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, p. 323

[6] Shining in the Ancient Sea, p. 41

[7] Rumen Kolev, “Some Reflections about Babylonian Astrology,”

[8] Babylonian Star-Lore, pp. 8–9

[9] Babylonian Star-Lore, p. 23

[10] The Dawn of Astrology, p. 81

[11] Sepp Rothwangl, “Considerations About the Start of the Age of Aquarius,” (Retrieved 3 April 2007)

[12] John H Rogers, “Origins of the ancient constellations: I. The Mesopotamian traditions,” Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 108, 1, 1998, p. 9

[13] Modernity. (2016, March 12), Wikipedia, Retrieved 08:27, March 14, 2016, from



The above is a modified extract from “The Dawning – Shedding New Light on the Astrological Ages

The Dawning by Terry MacKinnell

Join the Macro-Astrology group to keep on track with the evolving conversation on the astrological ages.  I post to many groups and sites but nearly all these posts are also published at the Macro-Astrology FaceBook group like a central depository:



Ebola, AIDS & the Black Death

The recent flare up of Ebola in West Africa is obviously a cause of concern based purely on the media attention given to it, especially in cases that are appearing in Western nations.  The general public is already feeling highly vulnerable with the ISIS threat in Syria and Iraq and with firm memories of the recent GFC.  Astrology can provide insights into many situations, like a relatively accurate ‘weather report’. In this case, I am using the Ebola epidemic to demonstrate the efficacy of macro-astrology.[1]  Can the 2014 Ebola epidemic be linked to any of the sub-periods of the Aquarius age in a meaningful way?

My methodology is to take a twofold approach. Firstly, what zodiacal sign or signs can be associated with previous major epidemics in general and secondly, what are the active signs present in the world during the current Ebola outbreak?  Finally, can a link be made between the two approaches?  Based on Rex E Bill’s “The Rulership Book”[2], epidemics are linked to Mars and Pluto with a possible association to Neptune and the 12th House.  In macro-astrology only zodiacal signs are employed, so converting planets and houses to signs, the associations pertaining to epidemics are primarily linked to Aries and Scorpio (Mars rules Aries and Pluto rules Scorpio) with a possible association to Pisces (Neptune rules Pisces and the 12th house related to Pisces – the 12th sign).  In addition, the Ebola virus is transmitted via bats that are carriers but do not get afflicted by the disease.  Bats are tentatively assigned to Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio.

The Aries-epidemic connection makes sense as Aries is commonly associated with the primary indicator of well-being and health.  Scorpio is the sign of death and commonly associated with sudden negative changes of fortune.  Pisces is the sign of ‘endings’ and general calamity and though Rex E Bill is unsure of the association of Pisces with epidemics, my own research strongly suggests a connection.  Pisces was in full calamity mode when the Black Death swept Europe in the mid-1300s. At least one quarter of Europe’s population is believed to have perished and some villages lost around 50% of their population in a matter of weeks.  This disaster occurred in a Pisces hotspot towards the end of the Pisces age in the Pisces sub-age (1253-1431) in the years 1346–53.[3]  This is Pisces at full strength and this calamity remains unparalleled in Europe to this day.  However the Pisces sub-age is the same period of time as the Aries sub-age overflow.  Therefore even elementary evaluation of the Black Death suggests a possible connection to both Aries and Pisces, supporting the research of Rex E Bills.  The years 1346–53 are also in the Scorpio-Cancer sub-age decan (c.1312-1371).  The big question is – was the Black Death associated with Cancer, Scorpio or both?

The years 1346-53 is a period of seven years – suggesting that the Black Death is also associated with a micro-age with the order of magnitude 15 years. The Black Death occurred totally within the Virgo-Leo micro-age (1342-1356) with Virgo noted as ‘the health sign’.  However the magnitude of the disaster of the Black Death affected Europe for well over a century, if not more. So this suggests the emphasis should remain with the sub-ages and sub-age decans.

Like airplane crashes, there are epidemics occurring all the time[4] but the most recent major epidemic since the Black Death was the 1918 flu pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920) commonly referred to as the Spanish flu.  It infected 500 million people across the world, and killed about 50 to 100 million people – 3% to 5% of the world’s population.[5]  This disaster occurred in another Pisces hotspot – the Pisces-Aquarius micro-age (1910-25) in the Pisces-Scorpio sub-age decan (1910-70) of the Scorpio sub-age (1791-1970).  The Pisces hotspot in 1910 is the strongest for Pisces in around 500 years and will not be partially matched again until around 2566, and even at that future date, it is unlikely Pisces will be as strong as it was in the period around 1910. The commonality between the 14th century Black Death and the Spanish flu of 1918 are the signs Pisces and Scorpio with the major emphasis on Pisces.

The one notable pandemic since 1918 is the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is believed to have killed up to 30 million people, mainly in Africa since the 1960’s.[6] The 1960’s was at the tail end of the Pisces-Scorpio age-decan (1851-1970) and very near the peak expression of Scorpio at the end of the Scorpio sub-age (1791-1970).  Cancer does make a minor appearance as the Scorpio sub-age ends with a Scorpio micro-age (1955-70) with the first decan the Cancer micro-age decan and overflow (1955-65).[7]  The AIDS epidemic however is not linked solely to the Scorpio micro-age (1955-70) but to the whole Scorpio sub-age overflow (1970-2148) and suggest that this epidemic has a long time to ferment.  However, it has come under relative control and is no longer perceived as a daunting disaster ready to befall the world.

Despite the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in 2014, it has a similarity to AIDS inasmuch it has been present since at least 1976 with various outbreaks between 1976 and 2014.  Therefore, similar to AIDS, Ebola can be linked with the fortunes of the Scorpio sub-age overflow (1970-2148).  There are two Scorpio hotspots in the 21st century, and the first one is the Scorpio micro-age decan and overflow (2005-December 2014).  The current Ebola outbreak has also occurred in a Scorpio mini-hotspot within the 10 year Scorpio major hotspot due to a Scorpio nano-age decan and overflow sitting within the Cancer nano-age (October 2013 – December 2014).  The Scorpio nano-age decan and overflow (February to December 2014)[8] is what I call the sting in the tail of the Scorpion.  This is where the current Ebola epidemic has appeared.  What does this tell us?

Firstly, in the previous major epidemics examined (the Black Death and Spanish flu), the two key signs were Scorpio and Pisces, with Cancer making a smaller appearance.  The 2014 Ebola epidemic is certainly stimulated by Scorpio, and Cancer makes a reasonable appearance near the 2014 peak of the Cancer micro-age and overflow (2000-2014-2029) but there is no concentrated Pisces in sight!  This suggests that the Ebola epidemic is a localized epidemic that will not create a (Pisces) apocalyptic scenario (that was reserved to the first half of the 20th century).  It should be noted that the source of the Ebola epidemic is due to people eating tainted bush meat (infected by bats) compounded by the less than desired hygienic standards and medical facilities of West Africa.  Therefore the loci of the epidemic will always be in Africa and the spread of the disease from person-to-person is a secondary feature of this epidemic.  Whilst hygienic measure may be below standard in Africa, it can be expected that the application of stringent hygienic standards in western nations will  therefore having greater control on the spread of the disease.

The big unknown in this situation is the role of Cancer.  If Cancer is a key ingredient in the astrological signature for this 2014 Ebola epidemic, then it could run at current elevated levels for an additional one-and-a-half year up to seven to 15 years. There is evidence that Cancer is involved.  One key feature of the world when it was under the influence of the major Cancer age-decan overflow (713-1433 AD) in the previous Pisces age was naturally the Middle Ages with knights in shining armor defending castles with moats.  These all have strong themes associated with Cancer.  The Ebola health care workers are the new knights, except this time they are wrapped in waterproof protective clothes in place of knights’ armor.

It is Scorpio with the assistance of Cancer that is driving the epidemic.  This suggests the current outbreak could be similar to AIDS and may affect the next seven to fifteen years if the Cancer micro-age overflow (2014-29) is the driving force. Ebola may be a nuisance for another one-and-a-half centuries and will flare up a number of times, especially whenever a Scorpio hotspot appears. The next Scorpio hotspot is not due until 2059-69, but Ebola outbreaks are not limited to Scorpio hotspots.  If Scorpio is the driving force the epidemic may only last a few more months but always  ready to break out a number of times after a dormant period over the next one-and-a-half centuries.

Note: also see Scorpios Parting Shots posted 21 Oct 2014 about other correlations to the Scorpio nano-age decan and overflow other than Ebola

Graphical Ephemerides:

Figure 1 – the first four subages of the Aquarian age
The first four sub-ages of the Age of Aquarius
Figure 2 – the first four micro-ages of the Scorpio subage
The first four micro-ages of the Scorpio sub-age overflow (Libra sub-age)

The decans of the Cancer micro-age:

Fig 4 Cancer MA MAD

book-img 3D 110315

The Dawning – purchase details available at:


[1] ‘Macro-astrology’ is, as the name suggest, ‘big-picture’ astrology based on the astrological ages such as the Age of Aquarius.

[2] Rex E Bills collated the associations used by astrologers with as many topics as possible without verifying the validity of these associations.  Nevertheless, his approach has proved to be relatively accurate.

[3] Black Death. (2014, September 24). In Wikipedia, Retrieved 03:05, October 14, 2014, from

[4] List of epidemics. (2014, October 13). In Wikipedia, Retrieved 03:23, October 14, 2014, from

[5] 1918 flu pandemic. (2014, October 13). In Wikipedia, Retrieved 03:27, October 14, 2014, from

[6] List of epidemics. (2014, October 13). In Wikipedia, Retrieved 03:23, October 14, 2014, from

[7] The Pisces micro-age decan and overflow within the Scorpio micro-age covers the period 1960-70.

[8] See

Waiting for Ages

Some years ago I watched a swords and sandal epic movie (produced in Italy with English sub-titles) about an old Grecian legend involving titans, monsters heroes etc.  The titans had just been released from some kind of very long captivity from a previous age.  One titan (in human form) was chatting with a barmaid and said “I have been waiting for ages to meet someone as beautiful as you”.  This innocuous story led me to consider how the astrological ages correspond with developments with the astrological ages.  Allegorically this could be likened to the astrological ages navel gazing.

The ‘modern’ approach to the astrological ages was kicked off by the Greek astronomer-astrologer Hipparchus in the late 2nd century BC when he irrefutably discovered the slow eastward shift of the stars due to the precession of the equinoxes.  This newly perceived perspective from around 127 BC (for the Greeks at least) allowed Hipparchus to conceptualize the astrological ages.  This occurred in the previous Scorpio sub-age (189 – 8 BC) – specifically extremely close to the first sub-age decan cusp around 129 BC, the Cancer sub-age decan cusp.

Jump forward to modern times, and the equivalent to 127 BC is 1853 AD (equivalent in the sense that both 1853 AD and 127 BC exist two years past their respective Cancer sub-age decan cusp).  There is also another way of relating specific periods between different ages.  Each age is approximately 2150 years.  Add 2150 years (an age) to 127 BCE and we arrive at 2024 AD.  At a minimum, we know that the period 1853 to 2012 (leading to 2024) has experienced a revolution in the acceptance, understanding or recognition of the astrological ages in modern times along with a massive resurgence of interest in astrology. 

In the 19th century Blavatsky, who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875, popularized the concept of a new age commencing in 1888 and some of her followers specifically addressed the Age of Aquarius.  This marks a new age for the astrological ages rising to a crescendo in the late 1960s when the musical Hair proudly proclaimed in its first song ‘this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius’.  References to the Age of Aquarius are now so ubiquitous, that on any day, about half a dozen references can be found in the media (especially in the USA), and particularly promoting the urban myth that the Age of Aquarius arrived in the 1960s and 70s.  In following the press and online articles, many commentators suggest that the Age of Aquarius lasted 10 or 20 years as the world seems to have moved away from the Age of Aquarius in recent decades.

Therefore in the two periods associated with highpoints for the astrological ages, both are associated with a Scorpio sub-age and both periods are about one age apart.  The next area of interest is another age before Hipparchus discovered precession.  Using both methods as applied above, 2150 years before 127 BC takes us back to 2277 BC based on an age with an average of 2150 years.  Two years past the Cancer sub-age decan cusp of the ancient Scorpio sub-age (2188 – 2006 BC) places us around the year 2125 BC.  Therefore the period 2277 to 2125 is the target period for an ancient highpoint related to the astrological ages.  For many people this is ridiculous because in academia, precession of the equinoxes was only discovered by Hipparchus around 127 BC.  How could anyone before this time know about astrological ages or precession of the equinoxes?

Though academia rejects ancient knowledge of precession of the equinoxes and the astrological ages before Hipparchus – mountains of circumstantial evidence suggests the contrary.  Most astrologers know that astrology is too subtle and sophisticated for academics to comprehend (they need an apple to fall on their head), so we will put aside their collective limitation and move back to very ancient times and see if ancient astronomers may have made advances in their understanding or knowledge of the astrological ages.  Surprisingly, the period 2277 to 2125 BC hits the nail right on the head.  A major restructuring of the zodiacal constellations occurred in the late third millennium BCE because over the thousands of years since the Mesopotamians had been observing the heavens, the constellations had shifted position due to precession of the equinoxes.[1]  It is believed this restructure of the constellations occurred in what is known as the Akkadian period (2390–2210 BC).  If the astronomers from this ancient time could perceive that the stars had shifted, did it occur to them that the stars would keep shifting into the future?  Did they relate astrological ages to these shifting stars? 

Though we cannot be certain of the knowledge-base of ancient astronomers, we can historically perceive the developments in ancient astronomy.  For thousands of years a cosmic religion had existed where the heavenly bodies were deified.  Sometime, not long before 2000 BCE in Mesopotamia, the astronomers commenced applying astrological concepts to the heavenly bodies.[2]  This very major development in astrology appears around our target period of 2277 to 2125 BC.  Another key development is that the stars and constellation, as defined in those ancient times, became ‘frozen’ until Hipparchus appeared around one age later.  As early as 1915 researchers noticed that the ancient Greeks inherited the Babylonian constellations, but the constellations they used were defined around 2084 BC (in the final florescence of the old Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia).[3]  Other researchers agree with this approach. 

Basically what we have is three highpoints associated with astrology (and astronomy) in general, including the astrological ages to a certain extent – all associated with a Scorpio sub-age.  Between these highpoints are large periods of time of erratic or reduced activity or understanding but with some highpoints, particularly when any period is associated with Aquarius.  For most of the 1st and 2nd millenniums BC, a lot of important astronomical/astrological knowledge or understanding appears to have been lost in the turbulence of those times, and people much information could only be hand down and possibly only partially understood.

There is a delusionary expectation that as the years unfold, everything improves.  This is not the case.  Shakespeare is still called the greatest poet the world has seen.  Michelangelo’s artwork is revered today.  Any original Impressionist painting is worth a fortune.  Picasso is undoubtedly the greatest surrealist or abstract painter the world has known.  Most of the best classical composers lived a number of centuries ago.  People will be listening to the music of the 1960s and 70s in awe for centuries.  The best novelists the world will appear around 2029 (minus 15 years or plus 60 years), and not to be overtaken for around another 700 years.

The reason for these spikes in accomplishment is that they all relate to peaks in ages and sub-ages.  For example, the power of Pisces at the time of Shakespeare will not be replicated for almost another 26,000 years.  The music of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and so on is associated with the Pisces-Aquarius age (1433- 3574) with a highpoint for Scorpio in 1970.  As Richard Tarnas points out in his music and astrology workshops, the music of the 1960s and 70s was the combination of the Uranian (Aquarian) electric medium combined with the sexual rock-and-roll beat of Pluto (Scorpio).

Therefore it can be expected that the current highpoint for astrology in general and specifically the astrological ages will not be constant in the coming millennia. It is therefore appropriate that such a major discovery of the true nature of the astrological ages is made during the current period when the astrology of our time resonates with major advances in astrology.  Even ten years ago, near the beginning of my major research into the astrological ages, I was aware of the need to produce a book at a time that was a suitable highpoint for astrology.  The whole Scorpio subage and overflow (1791-1970-2148) is a highpoint for astrology, but there are specific Scorpio hotspots within this multi-century period.  One such hotspot is the current Scorpio micro-age decan and overflow (2005-10-15) with the bell curve highpoint located 2007-12 (basically aligned to the GFC).  Ten years ago I thought this hotspot was located around 2020 and so I thought I had plenty of time to write my book.  This illusion was shattered in 2006 when I eventually fine-tune my rectification of the start of the Aquarian age to 1433 – about 10 years earlier than my previous estimate.  This advanced the current Scorpio hotspot from around 2020 to 2010.  I immediately felt the pressure to produce the book of the astrological ages and I commenced writing it in 2007, with it being published in 2011.

For those readers interested in the astrological ages we live in a magic period.  In hindsight it is easy to see why Hipparchus in the 2nd century BC got his calibration technique for measuring the astrological ages wrong.  This is why for over the last 2,000 years the astrological ages have been a mere toy and plaything for some astrologers, as it gave the hint of correlation but was basically useless as a predictive tool.  One of the big questions I have is: did the astronomer-astrologers of around 2100 BC perceive and understand the astrological ages?  Circumstantial evidence cannot provide a definitive answer but there is a good possibility the answer is yes.  Every time you look at a zodiacal constellation in the sky, you are looking at the forensic evidence left by the ancient astronomer-astrologers over 4,000 years ago.  These zodiacal constellations, in their heliacal rising mode of calibration, are exactly aligned to the astrological ages as defined with the Age of Aquarius arriving in 1433 AD.  Is this an accident or were the zodiacal constellations purposely defined to measure the astrological ages? Now this is a real mystery!  Will we have to wait another age to find out?

For details about my book THE DAWNING see

[1] Babylonian Star-Lore, p. 256–9

[2] The Great Year, p. 21

[3] Mythology of the Babylonian People, p. 322

When Will the USA Retreat from the World?

The dominance of the USA in world politics since the Second World War is clearly obvious. This coincides with a significant Pisces hotspot in the Pisces-Aquarian age (1433 – 3574) between 1910 and 1970 that strongly promoted the USA in the world due to the fact that the primary sign for the USA is Pisces. Recently chinks in America’s armor has all kinds of pundits and commentators predicting the USA’s fall from its exalted position – usually coinciding with the rising might of China. My soon to be released book on the astrological ages (see compares the astrological signatures of China and the USA and how these two nations will weather the 3rd millennium.  The USA wins hands down but China will most likely take the yin position to America’s yang for most of the current 3rd millennium.

The most dominant sign in the 3rd millennium is Pisces because the whole of the 3rd millennium sits in the Pisces-Aquarian age that commenced in 1443 AD – and Pisces is the dominant sign in the Pisces-Aquarian age (and is also the dominant sign for the USA).  Pisces is a dual-bodied signs so it promotes dualities and polarities. For most of the first decan (one-third) of the Pisces-Aquarian age this duality has mainly played out in Europe.

Firstly the Catholic nations versus the new Protestant nations, then the various opposing blocs in Europe exemplified in the Napoleonic Wars leading into the 20th century with Germany and its allies against the rest of Europe and played out in the two 20th century world wars. Finally the short-lived Cold War expanded the scope out from Europe to the rest of the world with communism and capitalism firmly fighting for dominance. Since the collapse of the communist USSR and the arrival of capitalism into communist China the capitalist-communist divide has all but dissolved. However Pisces demands – as a rule of thumb – an ongoing political and cultural polarity in the world.

The strength of these political polarities wax and wane – within the Pisces-Aquarian age – depending upon smaller cycles within the ages. My observation is that that prime factor that defines these waxing and waning of  political dualities sits with the sub-age decans.  Each astrological age of some 2150 years each has 12 sub-ages of 178-9 years each.  Each of these sub-ages have three decans of approximately 60 years each.  These 60 years sub-age decans appear to define the geo-political reality in the world.

For example the bi-polar signs of Gemini, Libra and Pisces enhance political dualities.  The recent Pisces sub-age decan overflow (1910 – 1970), apart from promoting the USA, basically defined the rise to power of communism and its inevitable clash with capitalism until communism basically left the field of battle when the USSR imploded in 1991.  The current Scorpio sub-age decan overflow (1970 – 2029) is a mono-sign and so does not enhance polarities.  The next sub-age decan overflow is the polar sign of Gemini (a dual-bodied sign) with its full effect expected from 2029 to 2089. The world is gearing up to this new geopolitical reality and since 2000 the world has entered into a period with increasing Gemini influence – a kind of preparatory period for the Gemini sub-age decan overflow.

I expect the Gemini sub-age decan overflow will see the polarity of the USA and Western culture on the one hand and China plus Asia on the other.  This does not insinuate that this polarity will involve any significant wars or conflicts as the world is astrologically in the process of departing the multi-thousand years Age of Warfare. How will the USA react to this slow but inexorable rise of China as its sparring partner on the world stage?

The clue is the relationship of Gemini to the major sign associated with the USA – which is the sign Pisces.  Gemini stimulates the astrological 4th house to the sign Pisces (Gemini is four signs past Gemini in the zodiac).  The 4th house stimulates introversion, domestic affairs and avoidance of sabre rattling over issues of status.  This is a recipe for the USA to retire from its dominant role in the world and return to its more traditional isolationist approach to world affairs. This in no way detracts from its status as the age-empire of our times – it just means that the age-empire retreats to its own shores and avoids costly and divisive overseas wars or political turmoil.

The following sub-age decan after the Gemini sub-age decan overflow (2029 – 89) is the Aquarian sub-age decan overflow (2089 – 2148).  Aquarius is not a dual-bodied sign so it implies that whatever is behind the China-USA duality that exists for most of the 21st century – that it will not extend into the 22nd century to any degree worth mentioning.  Aquarius is the second strongest sign in the USA’s astrological signature. This indicates that this Aquarian sub-age decan overflow (2089 – 2148) should be positive for the USA but though evidence is scant – it also suggests that the USA will remain introverted or non-interventionist.  The most dominant micro-age between the two world wars of the 20th century was the Aquarian micro-age overflow (1925 – 40) when the USA again retreated form the world after the First World War and tried to avoid international controversies – only to be rudely awaken in 1941 by the Japanese.  The sign Aquarius seems to make the USA orientate itself upon itself.

At the beginning of the 21st century – with the USA engaged in two military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan – it seems inconceivable that the USA will not continue to behave like John Wayne on the international stage – shooting first and asking questions later. The USA has (as of 2010) been in its interventionist side of its nature for 69 years (slightly longer than the length of a sub-age decan). The astrology suggests that this has a time fuse on it (similar to the rise and fall of communism), and the USA is now on the countdown to returning to its isolationist nature.

There are astrological clues that support America’s return to isolationism. While Gemini is strongest in its sub-age decan overflow (2029-89), the embryonic Gemini sub-age decan arrived in 1970 – just in time to turn public opinion away from the war in Viet Nam. The next increased in strength for Gemini occurred in 2000 which witnessed the unprecedented mass opposition to the US led war in Iraq (and Afghanistan) by many former close allies and supporters around the world. The main support came from America’s core Anglo-Saxon allies – the UK and Australia. Here we are witnessing the whittling down of international support for America’s international interventionism.

The next increase in strength for Gemini takes place in 2015 when the Gemini sub-age (2015 – 29) arrives.  From around this date onwards we should see further examples of America’s deteriorating interventionist international foreign policy.  The arrival of the Gemini sub-age decan overflow in 2029 is the coup-de-gras. The big question is – will the USA’s retreat to isolationism be positive or negative?

I have made a big deal about the USA’s bi-polar nature oscillating between being interventionist on the world stage and being isolationist but there is another polarity associated with Pisces that should also be associated with the USA. Pisces is the ‘serve or suffer’ sign. Astrology indicates that it is not so important if America is interventionist or isolationist but rather whether it is serving (the rest of the world) or suffering as a consequence of not doing ‘the right thing’.

If you examine the history of the USA you will notice many examples of the USA ‘serving’.  The USA selflessly served liberals in Europe when it came belatedly to their rescue in the two world wars.  The USA also enacted the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 which basically protected the rest of the Americas from interference from colonizing Europeans.  The USA also attempted to protect China from the same marauding Europeans in the 18th century.  Whenever the USA actually helps or serves it receives accolades.

When America follows its self-seeking policies or follows the demands of its industrial-military complex to engage in yet another conflict it is increasingly being jeered and even ostracized. America’s secret is not to focus upon the oscillation between isolationism and interventionism but to orientate itself to truly helping those nations, regions and people that need help.  Whenever America serves it reaps its benefits, whenever it follows its self-seeking policies (oil in Iraq) it suffers.  Once America suffers enough it will retreat back to isolationism – not realizing that the problem was not its intervention in the wider world, but its self-seeking intervention.

The USA is slowly on the path back to isolationism but this may seem far-fetched at this point of time. However there is a highly volatile micro-age that the USA must pass through between now and the arrival of the inward-looking Gemini sub-age decan overflow in 2029. The Cancer micro-age overflow (2015-29) indicates much conflict in the USA as historically whenever Cancer is strong there is much discord in the USA (due to Capricorn being the third sign on USA’s totem pole and Cancer is opposite Capricorn in nature).  For example, the last Cancer micro-age overflow coincided with the American Civil War.  The previous Cancer micro-age overflow (1687-1702) also witnessed much internal strife in the American colonies.

Prognostications upon the Cancer micro-age overflow (2015-29) must wait for another blog entry – but my instincts tell me that the USA of today will be very different to the USA of 2029. So while it seems incongruous that the USA of today will turn away from the wider world and mainly be concerned with its own affairs, after the tumult of the Cancer micro-age overflow (2015-29) is another story.

Preview to a new book on the astrological ages AVAILABLE NOW

For those readers of this blog that are interested in diving into the deep end of the astrological ages, my first book on the astrological ages will hopefully be published later in 2010.  It has been a writing project in progress for three years and it will provide a definitive explanation of the astrological ages, the mechanics of the astrological ages, and some important divisions of the astrological ages based on decanates (decans or one-third of an age).  Most of the content is devoted to the correlation of the astrological ages to historical developments over the last 12,000 years.

Some readers of this blog may not want to wait until later in 2010 for the book.  Therefore I have produced a pdf version of the first ten chapters of Part 1 of the book  (including the preface, two appendices, and glossary) for $US5 a copy and available at

The following is extracted from the beginning of Chapter 1 of the draft version of the new book:

The musical Hair proudly proclaimed in the late 1960s that ‘this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius’. Since then the Age of Aquarius has become part of our cultural milieu to the extent that most westerners have an opinion on the Age of Aquarius, including those who are against astrology. Occasionally when I express to someone that the Age of Aquarius arrived within a few years of 1433 AD, the response is usually one of amazement and sometimes hostility. The most common response is along the lines: “Isn’t the Age of Aquarius just starting around now or soon?”  This is because the ages, or more specifically the Age of Aquarius, have entered into the realm of contemporary mythology.  

On any day usually over ten new references to the Age of Aquarius are found somewhere on the web, and each week a number of newspaper articles from around the world will reference it.[1] They commonly assume that the start of the Aquarian age coincided with the 1960s and 70s rebellious youth, hippies and appearance of the counter culture, alternative culture or New Age movement. The second assumption in these newspaper articles (but particularly noticeable in New Age, psychic or mystical websites) is that the Aquarian age will usher in some kind of utopia, higher consciousness or superior age. Many concepts are associated with the Age of Aquarius and they fascinate idealists and dreamers. Unfortunately, the information that is broadcast throughout western media and books accounts for less than one percent of the true reality of the astrological ages. The Age of Aquarius sparks idealistic concepts and interpretations without any recourse to research, substantiation or any supporting evidence. Some astrologers show greater knowledge and expertise on the subject but they also fail to agree on the concrete details of the astrological ages.

What is the Age of Aquarius and what is its meaning?  What came before it?   How long does it last?  When exactly does the Age of Aquarius start and how long is its dawn?  Is there any connection between the ages and the common astrological sun-signs?  For example, will someone born with Aquarius strong in their horoscope handle the new Aquarian age better than people without this Aquarius?  Despite the acceptance of the Age of Aquarius into our cultural heritage, very little is known about it by the general public. Even astrologers don’t fare much better. It is commonly expressed that the Age of Aquarius will usher in a new age of peace and harmony. This statement assumes that the age that Aquarius will replace was negative or somehow lower in standard than Aquarius. The age before the Aquarian age is the Pisces age. Is the zodiacal sign Pisces bad and Aquarius good? Not in modern astrology but traditional or earlier forms of astrology did assign positiveness and negativity to different signs and planets.

Each zodiacal sign is a collection of positive and negative archetypes, and some signs are more positive or negative than others. As a new age replaces an older age, a new set of positive and negative archetypes replaces the old set of positive and negative archetypes – possibly with a mildly different ratio of positiveness to negativity. Nevertheless, there is a cultural expectation that a new and bright dawning of the Aquarian age is going to bring to the world an utopia without wars, greed and corruption. And that small communities will live an organic existence in this mythical semi-medieval paradise, at one with the environment and cosmic forces. The Aquarian age is expected to be far more positive than the former Pisces age, but this implies that Aquarians in society would demonstrate greater achievements or positivism in their lives compared to Pisces people. To my knowledge, this has never been the case. Many people in western society expect that a soon to arrive new Aquarian age will correct all the ills and problems of the world. Culture is not rational and people tend to cling to their cultural values like a security blanket. Acknowledging that the Aquarian age arrived over 500 years ago undermines that cultural expectation and suggests that the utopia associated with the Aquarian age is a fantasy. This hard reality is fiercely resisted.

The situation is little better among astrologers who also fall to the cultural expectation of an Aquarian age utopia. Very few astrologers research or study the ages and, among those that do, there is very little agreement about the ages and the Age of Aquarius specifically. The purpose of this book is to answer the unanswered questions of the ages to anyone who is interested based on research stretching over two decades. The astrological ages are truly fascinating as a new reference point for history and current world developments and ultimately may appeal more to historians than astrologers.

The material in this book is controversial to many astrologers due to its radical and innovative approach to the ages. For over two thousands years, astrologers have followed the lead of an Ancient Greek astronomer, Hipparchus (c.160-125 BC) as the initial authority on the ages. This situation has parallels in the scientific world. Until the Renaissance, Ancient Greek and Roman scientists such as Aristotle, Galen and Ptolemy were the accepted authorities in their fields. Once European scientists from the Renaissance onwards started testing their theories, they discovered that experiments failed to confirm many of their claims. The introduction of empirical experiments from the Renaissance onwards resulted in the modern scientific revolution. The position Hipparchus took in relation to the ages has not undergone the same thorough testing until now. This major oversight by astrologers in the field of the ages has prolonged a significant error Hipparchus unwittingly made. This is not an implied criticism of astrologers, as astrologers have not had the benefit of government funded research, unlike their distant cousins in academia over the last 500 years. Without funding, astrological research based on the continuation of an antiquated approach to the astrological ages is understandable.

This book focuses upon three critical areas involving the ages. Firstly, the correlation between periods of time based on the ages and the corresponding historical events based mainly upon traditional history.  Secondly, the accurate assignment of dates for the cusp of the ages to within only a few years margin of error. Therefore, when I state that the Age of Aquarius arrived in 1433 AD, the error range is 1431-1433 (i.e. two years). In contrast, there is a huge variation of thousands of years for the possible start of each age among astrologers. For example, Nicholas Campion produced a list of expected dates for the arrival of the Aquarian age that is over six pages long and ranges from 1447 (a slightly inaccurate date that I supplied some years ago) to 3621 AD.[2]  Thirdly, the emphasis will be taken away from the ages as homogenous periods and much attention will be placed on historical developments within ages that apply to only portions or specific parts of ages. Ages are approximately 2,150 to 2,160 years long and are not a constant figure. At this point of the cycle of ages at least, each age is slightly shorter in length compared to the previous age.


[1] Information provided by Google Alerts for the period 12 – 19 Nov 2007

[2] The Book of World Horoscopes, Pgs 489-495

The Aquarian Age Rocks!

© Terry MacKinnell 2008 All Rights Reserved

Recently I had the pleasure of attending Richard Tarnas’ workshop The Harmony of the Spheres.  What was so special about this workshop is that Richard was able to demonstrate how music related to specific planetary energies.  For example the whining electric guitar is Uranus (the planet Uranus is the ‘ruler’ of Aquarius).  Venus (ruler of Libra) produces a totally different sound, rich in melody and harmony.  Neptune (Pisces) introduces serenity.  Richard provided many examples including the Big Brother and the Holding Company (Uranus/Aquarian) electric guitar lead in to Janis Joplin’s deep and intense (Scorpio) singing.

What I found so interesting is that the 1970’s marked the highpoint of the Scorpio energy within the Aquarian age (the Scorpio sub-age of Aquarius to be technically correct).   Scorpio introduces the rhythmic sexual intensity of rock-and-roll and Aquarius contributes the electric guitar.  This fusion of Scorpio with Aquarius that was at a highpoint in the 1960’s and 70s defined the rock and counterculture revolution of the time.  This is the time that urban myths refer to as the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, and some people actually think these two decades were the Age of Aquarius, not realizing that ages last some 2150 years.

There is one very good reason why people mistake the 60s and 70s for the start of the Aquarian age.  Certainly these two decades were exciting, revolutionary and confrontational to mainstream society.  Some archetypes are associated with only one sign, but many archetypes are associated with two or more signs.  For example airplanes are associated with both Aquarius (flight) and Sagittarius (long distanced travel).  Revolution is associated with both Aquarius and Scorpio.  It is easy to see that when Scorpio arrived at its high energy point in the 60s and 70s (at the end of the Scorpio sub-age) that is located within the Aquarian age, revolution was the winning archetype.

This revolution was not limited to music.  There was also the Sexual Revolution (sex is ruled by Scorpio).  Unfortunately there were also a lot of assassinations (President Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King etc) as Scorpio rules death.  In addition Scorpio also rules excrement, and the excrement of the world is pollution.  Ever since Scorpio attained its height in the 60s and 70s, the effects from the scourge of pollution, that has been silently and relentlessly contaminating the atmosphere, oceans and soil, can no longer be ignored.   Scorpio also rules evolution and metamorphosis – and right on cue arrived born-again Christians.

The list of Scorpio archetypes is much greater than I have mentioned above (i.e. atomic bombs, nuclear energy and minimalism are also associated with Scorpio) but you should recognize the general drift. The impact of the strong influence from Scorpio upon the world within the Aquarian age should extend to the middle of the 21st century.  So while the world waits with expectation for the Aquarian age (that actually arrived many centuries ago) the real issue at our neck of the woods in the unfolding of world history is actually Scorpio.

The good and bad news related to Scorpio is that the world is again heading for another Scorpio hotspot, releasing once again much of the stored up revolutionary fervor of the 60s and 70s.  This little Scorpio hotspot in the new episode will only have about a five years moment of glory between 2009 or 2010 and 2015 but nevertheless we should see the first serious crack in the conservative wall that politicians have created since the 60s and 70s.

On the music level, it should start some serious rock-and-roll again.  This Scorpio hotspot is resonating with the energy of the Scorpio sub-age.  Whatever Scorpio does, it must do in harmony with Aquarius, as the age over rules a sub-age in authority.  A key archetype of Aquarius is excitement.  When hippies dreamed of the paradisiacal Age of Aquarius expecting love, cosmic harmony and a lift in consciousness little did they realize that these attributes have nothing to do with Aquarius – but a lot to do with Libra (love) and Pisces (dreams, paradise, cosmic harmony). Aquarius is technology, electricity, flight, freedom, democracy, fascism, dictators, mental illness (thus the need for anti-depressants) and especially excitement.  It is always exciting in the Age of Aquarius.

You can feel the excitement of the Age of Aquarius when it arrived many centuries ago.  Leonardo da Vinci was so excited about his scientific speculations that he wrote with both hands simultaneously.  Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler made astonishing discoveries in astronomy – dispelling the notion of a flat earth for example. The printing press was invented and people became stimulated by a rush of new ideas and concepts – all very exciting and many historians believe this explosion of new ideas promoted the rise of democracy.  Michelangelo stunned the world with his art.  Sailors discovered the Americas and untold number of countries, islands and cultures as they intrepidly explored the far reaches of the world.  Scientist discovered logic and set in train the modern Scientific Revolution.  Democracy reared its head in the USA and went forth and multiplied.  Charles Darwin unlocked the secret of evolution.  Computers were invented, the internet developed.  The world has never seen previously this level of excitement (to our knowledge) – why, because Aquarius is synonymous with excitement.

We live in exciting times, not perfect times.  There is nothing in the traditional associations of Aquarius that suggest that the Aquarian age is the Age of Perfection or the Age of Love. The urban myths of the Aquarian age are a fantasy – there is no Garden of Eden in the Aquarian age – it is the Age of Excitement.  Unfortunately the followers of Hitler were incredibly excited by his promise of a thousand years of Nazi domination in the Third Reich.

Why do tyrants and dictators come under the wing of Aquarius, the sign of democracy?  Tyrants and dictators are so inspired or excited by their own absolutely true insights that they have no qualms about forcing these on the less realized.  Aquarius rules mental stimulation.  Dictators like Hitler were mentally stimulated.  The German people even said they were `electrified’ by Hitler’s speeches (electricity is also ruled by Aquarius).  Charles Manson is another classic example on the wrong side of Aquarius – all signs have their dark side!.

While the urban myths of the Aquarian age perceive a paradise, it cannot be based upon the astrological ages as there is no perfect sign in astrology.  The closest thing to perfection is the sign Virgo, but even here it is a two-edged sword.  The archetypes of purity, virginity and perfection align themselves to Virgo, but if you don’t measure up to Virgo’s high standards you will be severely criticized – compassion is thin on the ground near Virgo.  If being hen-pecked is your idea of perfection then you should have delayed your birth until the Age of Virgo.

Perfection, the Garden of Eden, everyone behaving like mahatmas, universal love and so on will not arrive in the Age of Aquarius, and if they did the situation would be short-lived.  Why?  Because other strong archetypes associated with Aquarius are inconsistency – and sudden and unexpected changes.  The Aquarian lightening flash of inspiration brings excitement, but can suddenly and unexpectantly pull the rug out from under you before you know it!  Aquarius works both ways.

Therefore in the Aquarian age, take whatever excitement you can, as there is no guarantee it will last.  If it is not some dictator or conservative politician it will be some religious figure or fanatical group that will do their best to dampen the excitement.  Notice recently the Pope wants to add another seven sins to the list.  Obviously things are getting far too exciting!  Notice that it is still not a sin to get drunk but the new sins comes down heavy on other intoxicants.  While many people will behave like some kind of school principal and try to force you to recant your exciting lifestyle, remember that this is the Age of Aquarius and the Aquarian age rocks!  This is the time to thumb your noses at authority – a little Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix or John Lennon may remind you of this Aquarian reality with a strong Scorpio flavor.