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The Aquarian Age Is Here: An Aquarian Manifesto

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Dateline: Chicago, Earth, Feb. 2, 2013
Sun in mid-Aquarius
Moon in Scorpio
On this, the second day of February, 2013, as the Sun reaches the halfway point in its annual travels through the sign of Aquarius, let light and hope abide in humanity. Despite outward appearances to the contrary, the promised Golden Age is near.
Aquarius's glyph, or written symbol, has two wavy horizontal lines that suggest its connection with electricity and lightning. The image here is electric or cobalt blue, a color linked with this sign. Image
Aquarius's glyph, or written symbol, has two wavy horizontal lines that suggest its connection with electricity and lightning. The image here is electric or cobalt blue, a color linked with this sign. Image
(Image by Anne Nordhaus-Bike)
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Aquarius's glyph, or written symbol, has two wavy horizontal lines that suggest its connection with electricity and lightning. The image here is electric or cobalt blue, a color linked with this sign. Image by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
For it has been ordained that, after many trials and long and slow development, humanity would enter a time of rapid change and profound evolution on all planes. This tumultuous period indeed arrived, and in recent years its effects grew in number and intensity. Throughout this era, spiritual seeds planted centuries ago, and even eons ago, have found fertile soil and germinated. In human hearts across our globe, a great flowering has begun and now is ready to manifest on the material plane.
Today, the time so many have imagined and planned for is at hand. For humanity stands ready to complete its shift from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age. In living the highest and noblest expression of Aquarian energies, we will enjoy the great Awakening that will create a new Golden Age of peace, wisdom, and true harmony.
Our Current Circumstances
For about 2,000 years, humanity has been evolving through the Piscean Age. Symbolized by two fish bound together yet facing opposite directions, Pisces is a water sign ruled by Neptune (and by Jupiter, in the days before astronomers became aware of Neptune). This era gave us opportunities to focus on and develop Pisces's themes of compassion, imagination, intuition, and spirituality. It also assisted us in recognizing and overcoming this sign's less constructive expressions via addiction, deceit, illusion, escapism, martyrdom, and misuse of psychic or spiritual gifts.

Pisces, watercolor on torn pink handmade paper. Image  by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
During the Pisces Age, humanity grew more sensitive, allowing people to develop awareness of others and to assist those who suffer. This sensitivity also has helped humanity become more receptive to the vast invisible realm of the inner self, including psychic and mystical experiences and personal encounters with Divinity. As a result, many people have become aware of our inherent unity: all humanity is one being, all creation is one great work, and all the universe is a vast and diverse one-ness in the heart of Divinity.
Despite these accomplishments, much remains to be done:

Alchemical symbol for earth, the element associated with the material plane. Image  by Anne Nordhaus-Bike

On the material plane, we have reached a state of extreme imbalance. Nature, in particular, endures tremendous stress and exploitation. Also, the large systems created to operate our economy, oversee education resources, and provide health services no longer work well and tend toward a materialistic view that ignores or devalues human dignity, spirituality, and the greater good. Many people lack basics such as adequate food and clean water, which prevents their full participation in creating our future and denies humanity the benefit of their personal gifts and unique genius. Human bodies reflect all these stresses through diminished vitality and a host of stress-related ills.
We can do better.

Alchemical symbol for water, the element associated with the emotional plane. Image  by Anne Nordhaus-Bike

On the emotional plane, we continue to see serious imbalance. Fear and anger dominate many people's emotions, causing stress, harming health, and damaging relationships. Manipulating others to induce negative feelings such as guilt and shame as well as fear and anger has given those with ulterior motives a powerful tool for controlling people or pressuring them to consume goods and use services they do not need. Pervasive negativity has made it difficult for humanity to cultivate happiness and aspire to constructive emotions. As a result, humanity has hardly begun to tap its potential for using emotions to promote health on all planes, inspire and uplift others, and create harmony among all people and with Nature.
We can do better.

Alchemical symbol for air, the element associated with the intellectual plane. Image  by Anne Nordhaus-Bike

On the intellectual plane, we have made great progress in some areas, yet we still see inequity and imbalance. Our information age puts tools, knowledge, and opportunity in the hands of all with access to technology, yet we lack universal literacy, and barriers still prevent many from obtaining an education or benefiting from new technology. Poor communication skills keep many from expressing their needs effectively or maintaining healthy relationships. Too often, those adept at communication misuse their gifts for personal gain, to deceive or control others, or to advance agendas contrary to the greater good.  Many people allow their minds to dwell on trivial matters or on negative, destructive thoughts; besides perpetuating a negative mental climate, this situation prevents people from using their mental faculties constructively. As a result, humanity has yet to fulfill its potential for using thought to promote spiritual values and imagine a beautiful and harmonious future.
We can do better.    

Alchemical symbol for fire, the element associated with the spiritual plane. Image  by Anne Nordhaus-Bike

On the spiritual plane, we remain largely ignorant of our potential. Given humanity's often materialistic perspective, some people still deny the existence of an invisible realm beyond what we perceive with our senses. Others, however, have caught glimpses of this vast world through psychic experiences such as clairvoyance, helpful messages obtained while dreaming, or lofty emotions felt during prayer or in times of trial. Also, information previously unavailable to all but a few initiates or religious leaders, including the mysteries of kabbalah and astrology, have become accessible to all sincere seekers. Nevertheless, spiritual values remain poorly developed, and spiritual ideals too often are spoken but not practiced.
We can do better.
We must do better, for the future depends upon it.
Enter the Golden Age of Aquarius
With each great age, we are called to greater achievement and higher service. At this moment in human striving, the nature of our work may be found in astrology's symbol for Aquarius, the Water Bearer, which presents a human figure holding a large vessel from which water flows:

Aquarius, watercolor on hand torn paper, Â by Anne Nordhaus-Bike

.  The figure is androgynous, indicating the original spiritual unity of female and male energy. In this age, humanity must come to value all people, regardless of gender. On an individual level, we need to balance the receptive, nurturing energies (often called "feminine," although they occur in both genders) with the active, assertive energies (often called "masculine," although they, too, occur in both genders).
.  The water represents wisdom, which flows freely and impersonally to benefit all creation. We must learn to express our unique gifts generously and in a universal spirit to benefit all and help uplift humanity.
.  Despite this water imagery, Aquarius is an air sign; its ruling planet, Uranus, is named for Ouranos, the ancient Greek sky god. This imagery gives us Aquarius's association with electricity--just as an electrical storm can bring lightning flashes in a darkened sky, we may experience Aquarius's power as sudden flashes of  brilliance. We must harness this power to awaken ourselves fully on all planes and use the insights we receive to improve ourselves and to serve others and the greater good.
Aquarius carries associations with several other themes that can help us choose creative ways to express its idealistic, airy energy:
.  Idealism, especially our fondest hopes, dreams, and wishes
.  Inspiration, creativity, and genius
.  Kindness and friendship
.  The self's uniqueness, independence, and need for freedom
.  Humanitarianism, groups, and the realization that all of us are sisters and brothers, part of humanity's great "siblinghood"
.  The planet Uranus, whose tipped rotational axis causes it to spin on its side, to experience life "sideways,"  which corresponds to Aquarians' tendency to look at the world in unique ways, to march to the beat of their own drummers, and to embrace difference and even strangeness in others
.  Technology, especially computers and the internet
Cultivate Balance and Harmony to Manifest Our Golden Age

Lightning Heart II, watercolor on paper. This painting symbolizes the balance achieved through harmonious union of Leo (the heart) with Aquarius (the lightning). Image  by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
Because of its powerful electrical nature, Aquarius's energy can feel erratic, unexpected, even jarring. Without proper grounding, it can quickly feel overwhelming. To work with it effectively, we need to cultivate balance and live as much as possible in a state of harmony. For tips on living in harmony on all four planes -- physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual -- see the article "What does it mean to be living in harmony?." 
Also, Aquarius's airy nature gives this sign a mental focus and great detachment, allowing it to conceive brilliant plans and to embrace the future without getting stuck emotionally in outworn methods. Taken to excess, this tendency can bring emotional coldness and an inhumane disregard for others. We can prevent this possibility by balancing Aquarius's intellect with the warm, heartfelt energy of its opposite sign, Leo. For ideas on how to blend these signs harmoniously to balance your head and your heart, see:
. The article "Valentine's Day: Opening to universal love
. The article Aquarius: Awakening your heart
. The heart-related paintings in our Valentine's Day section

Layered Heart, watercolor on paper, Â by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
Finally, when out of balance, Aquarius energy may insist on individual freedom at all costs or go to the opposite extreme by enforcing group conformity to its version of utopia. Again, balance holds the key to avoiding either of these: in our Golden Age, we must embrace both individual genius and personal needs as well as group cooperation and impersonal or societal needs. Ideally, we can blend these energies by valuing all individuals; creating a loving, tolerant society enabling people to express their uniqueness; and embracing a culture that welcomes individual genius to help uplift all humanity.
Welcome to the Aquarian Age
Despite the imbalances in our current circumstances, humanity has many reasons to feel hopeful. Whatever challenges we face, we have Aquarius's potential for genius to enable us to overcome them.

Alchemical symbols for the four elements. Image  by Anne Nordhaus-Bike

The as yet untapped power of our emotions, minds, and souls can help us create a Golden Age for humanity that provides:
.  Abundance on the physical plane so that all have what they need to live comfortably and joyfully so they may contribute their best to our world.
.  Happiness on the emotional plane so all may feel hopeful and able to meet life's tests and trials and assist the greater good by embracing peaceful, constructive emotions.
.  Serenity on the intellectual plane so all may focus their minds on worthy thoughts, use their mental powers to make constructive choices, and maintain the spirit of loving tolerance for others.
.  Wisdom on the spiritual plane so all may know their oneness with creation, their abiding connection with Divinity, and their absolute beauty and truth.
At this powerful time in humanity's development, initiate yourself into the Aquarian Age, right now, by consciously embracing its beauty and promise. Pass through the gateway, and dedicate yourself to Aquarian ideals.
We have 2,000 years in Aquarius to build on our work in Pisces and to prepare for the next age in Capricorn. What shall we do? What would you like to manifest? Tap your dearest hopes, dreams, and wishes, and make your plans to make them real.
Please begin now, for humanity needs you.
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Award-winning artist Anne Nordhaus-Bike paints colorful, calming watercolors inspired by nature. Anne's art has appeared in numerous solo and group shows as well as many arts programs, presentations, and performances. Her work has been (more...)

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