The Earth takes more than 25,000 years to travel retrograde (moving across the zodiac in the opposite direction) through the twelve constellations. It therefore moves from one sign of the zodiac to the next over a period of around 2,000 years. These 2,000 year periods are known as an ages.
Man has inhabited the Earth for around 10,000 years and History can be evaluated from the angle of the constellations it has travelled through until the present time. The dates mentioned are only approximate as the constellations are of a different size and run into one another. The transition from one sign to the next therefore does not take place on a specific date, but over a period of several decades.
When the Earth travels through a constellation, the characteristics of this sign would seem to be very apparent, but equally evident is the influence of the polar sign (the sign immediately opposite across the zodiac),which always complements and balances the forces in evidence. To illustrate this point, here are a few observations on the different ages traversed by Humanity over the last 10,000 years.
From 10,000 to 8,000 BC : the Age of Leo
Leo symbolises warmth, determination and artistic creativity, but also tyranny, pride and self-importance. On a human level, we can see the warmth of the Sun in the global warming and the end of the last Ice Age, which enabled Man to survive and advance his development. His determination and combative spirit were necessary for him to be able to live as such a fragile being in so hostile an environment. On an artistic level, this is the period when the first cave paintings appeared.
The polar sign of Aquarius brought the ingenuity and inventiveness of the first Stone Age tools.
From 8,000 to 6,000 BC : the Age of Cancer
Cancer symbolises motherhood, hearth and home, and protection, but also anxiety and over-dramatising.
On a human level, this is the era when Man became more settled and acquired the notion of home-life, building the first houses. The Moon, symbol of motherhood and linked to the sign of Cancer, is represented in primitive art, in the statuettes representing the mother-goddess, fertility and motherhood. This is the era of the first fishermen, probably related to studying the phases of the Moon and the tides. This is also the era when the first animals were domesticated.
The polar sign of Capricorn signalled the beginning of a real domestic structure with organised agriculture and fishing.
From 6,000 to 4,000 BC : the Age of Gemini
The polar sign of Sagittarius inspired the first explorers, who looked beyond the horizon and set out across the oceans.
From 4, 000 to 2,000 BC : the Age of Taurus
Taurus symbolises stability, Nature, steadfastness, an appreciation of beauty and luxury, but also sloth, lack of mobility, intransigence and resentment. On a human level, the influence of Venus is represented by the great Egyptian dynasties of the era. Vast temples, built to last for eternity, very refined tastes, the cult of the Apis bull, never-ending dynasties and a perfect knowledge of astral movements, as reflected in the intensive agriculture along the banks of the Nile. This was also the era of the invention of the wheel and the immense ease and comfort brought to everyday life.
The polar sign of Scorpio inspired the cult of the dead, mummification and existential questions connected with the after-life.
From 2,000 BC to year 0 : the Age of Aries
Aries symbolises combative spirit, the human physique and action, but also aggression, impatience and self-centredness. On a human level, Greece was at the height of its culture with its Mars references, in the warlike spirit of the great conquests, love of the human physique in the classic sculptures, as well as the interest in sport in the first Olympic Games. This was also the beginning of iron manufacture (in analogy with Aries)
The polar sign of Libra inspired the first democratic government in Greece, along with balance and harmony in architecture.
From the year 0 to 2,000 AD : the Age of Pisces
Pisces symbolises love, charity and sacrifice, but also confusion, error and dishonesty. On a human level, the values of Neptune inspired the beginning of Christianity (the first sign of the secret rallying of Christians was in the shape of a fish!). There was a great mix of cultures and immense efforts were made by whole communities to try to assuage human suffering. This year saw the birth of the United Nations, but at the same time, many people were blinded by nebulous religions and philosophies, which brought chaos.
The polar sign of Virgo is very much reflected in the Puritanism which developed over the centuries, and the desire for control which became increasingly apparent.
From 2,000 to 4,000 AD: the Age of Aquarius
Aquarius symbolises humanism, independence and radical change, but also rebellion, mishaps and disruption. Humanity is at the dawn of a new era. Many wonder about the beginning of this New Age. This is a taxing question. The transition from one age to the next can last more than a century, but the signs are very visible: the explosion of new technologies, classically associated with Uranus, not to mention space travel and impressive discoveries in the realm of science
The humane qualities of Aquarius also find their echo in the high number of humanitarian associations.
But what will be the effect of the polar sign of Leo? This an authoritarian sign, but also one which is very generous and creative. Maybe we could conceive the possibility of a benevolent and humanistic global government?