Counter-Reformation

 

When a new Zodiac Age emerges, a new cycle begins, bringing new influences with it. The Age of Aries, the Age of Law, brought an expansion of empires with the necessary first codes of justice in known history: the Hammurabi code and the Ten Commandments. The Age of Pisces, the Age of Faith, brought forth global religions, such as Christianity and Buddhism, that were based on compassion and love and less on rules and rituals. And the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Reason, has brought the world globalization, connectedness, inventions, democracy, freedom, sharing, and environmental awareness.

Aquarius_et_Capricornus_-_Mercator

The transition between Pisces (right), Aquarius (center), and Capricorn (left) from the The Mercator Globes at Harvard Map Collection (created by Gerard Mercator, 1551).

To use Rodney Collin’s analogy, the evolution of ages is reminiscent to the growth of a child and the coming of age of a man. The Age of Taurus with the building of the first cities and its great monuments represents the growth of the flesh in a baby. The raging Age of Aries with the creation of the first armies and the expansion of empires represents the burst of energy and muscles during adolescence. The Age of Pisces represents a turning point in the life of man as well as in the life of humanity, when the heart realizes that there is something higher than itself. But it is still not in harmony with the flesh and the muscles, which still function on their own. This is why this Age of Faith was also an age of terrible strife, even though love was the foundation of Christ’s teaching at its beginning. The Age of Aquarius is analogous to a mature person whose heart and body work in harmony under the control of reason. It presents the possibility of harmony for humanity as well.

However, because the transition between any two consecutive ages includes an overlapping period between them, there is a period where their influences inevitably coexist. Many times these coexisting influences create chasm between the new and the old, between people who have adopted the emerging influences and the people who prefer the old ways. Reaction to the reforms is inevitable. Usually the reasons of the counter-reformists are safety, comfort, and conserving the status-quo. History is full of examples.

La_salle_dAkhenaton_(1356-1340_av_J.C.)_(Musée_du_Caire)_(2076972086)

Pharaoh Akhenaton, Eighteenth Dynasty.

One of the earliest ones we know of is that of king Akhenaton of the eighteenth dynasty of the New Kingdom in Egypt who abandoned the traditional Egyptian polytheism and introduced monotheism. The harsh resistance from the traditional Amun-Ra religion which pulled Egypt back into polytheism, drove Akhenaton’s attempts to failure, and after his death his newly built capital city was abandoned and the traditional practices were restored. Another famous example from antiquity is the Exodus story of the Israelites and the golden calf. In the Book of Exodus, the Israelites said, “Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” They missed the comfortable habits and rituals of their homes in Egypt even though they were slaves. To express their longing they created the golden calf idol, a symbol of the preceding Age of Taurus, that was worshipped in Egypt.

Constantine's_conversion

The Emblem of Christ Appearing to Constantine / Constantine’s conversion (Peter Paul Rubens, 1622)

Similarly, at the turn of the then new Age of Pisces, the old Jewish religion represented by the pharisees challenged Jesus at every step about religious laws like the Sabbath or fasting, demanding that he follow the outer form. But, in line with the new approach of the age, he always pointed them to the intent and the inner meaning of the rituals, by showing them that their own intent was wrong. Later on, his own prosecution was followed by a murderous oppression of his followers by the Roman Empire. It took almost three centuries for the world of that time to adopt the new religion at the time of Emperor Constantine.

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Trump signing the “Muslim Ban” in January of 2017

In the New Age of Aquarius, unfolding before of our eyes, there is already a very tangible reaction against the trends of the age. Globalization, connectedness, sharing, being conscious of the environment, even freedom, are suffering frequent blows. One of the most striking examples is the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency in 2016, based on campaign promises like building a wall with Mexico, stopping immigration to the US, withdrawing from global trade agreements, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Since the beginning of his term, his administration started acting on these promises with many policies overturned on legal immigration (family-based, DACA) the environment (reviving the coal industry, expanding of mining and oil drilling); handling illegal immigration; workers safety; birth control rights; LGBT rights and more. All of these have promoted division rather than connectedness, closure in place of openness, short-term business gains at the expense of long-term health and development of individuals.

Vote_Leave_poster,_Omagh

“Vote Leave” poster by Kenneth Allen, June 2016

Another great example of a separatist decision in reaction to a globalist trend is the Brexit vote in June 2016 for the UK to leave the European Union. The Brexit referendum was based on a naive prospect that the public would support that the UK stay in the union. The UK government did not anticipate the strong reaction that emerged, mainly from the older and less educated population, to protect certain sovereign powers, like control over immigration, from being dwindled by staying in the union. One more example of recent years and months is Russia and its attempts to sow confusion and division by interfering in elections of Western countries. The old ways of well-defined political blocks of influence are gone. Ideas and influences quickly cross borders to create new alliances and reform the old order, but some forces are still trying to prevent these global trends from occurring. Sometimes, these counter-reformists are using the tools of globalization developed in the New Age to increase their control and powers. Examples would be technological inventions and social media, which the counter-reformists utilize to extend the life of the old order by a little more.

However, at the end, the reactionaries will get swamped by the wave of influences from the New Age, and their attempts to pull back the New Age will die out. This will happen when the New Age gets closer to its cusp, between 2600 and 3500 AD. At some point after that, influences of yet a newer age, the Age of Capricorn, will kick in and new chasm may start during the overlap between Aquarius and Capricorn.

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World Coalition

President Barack Obama briefs European leaders following a multilateral meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009

President Barack Obama briefs European leaders following a multilateral meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009

The Age of Aquarius is the age of world coalitions. Our world has become a global village, which creates problems and instabilities greater than what one nation can cope with. From climate change and pandemic outbreaks to terrorist networks – our modern connectivity makes us more vulnerable to these threats. More than the actual immediate damage, the psychological effect on the entire world through the media and social networks is even larger. That is why the solution to these issues must be on a global scale and cannot be worked out by a single country.

The locations affected by the 2014 Ebola Outbreak as of mid-October (image by AmericanXplorer13).

The locations affected by the 2014 Ebola Outbreak as of mid-October (image by AmericanXplorer13).

Never before has the world been so connected. Air transportation is so prevalent and far-reaching, that a virus could be carried to the other side of the world within hours. The news about an outbreak travel even faster, and fear is carried with them to even larger populations. The 2014 Ebola outbreak started in Western Africa but leaped quickly to Europe and the US through health workers. At the time of the writing of these words, the epidemic has not spread to the general populations in Europe and the US. The world has been slow to react, but by now a group of nations is mobilizing people and funds to help fight the epidemic. Among these are the US, China, India, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Canada, Israel, Cuba, Turkey, and Brazil. Many of these countries are making these efforts in order to prevent the virus from getting into their own borders. Both the risk and its mitigation are stemmed from the same global environment that is coming with the Age of Aquarius.

Spread of the 1918 flu pandemic (image by Yug).

Spread of the 1918 flu pandemic (image by Yug).

One of the famous pandemics of our times is the AIDS/HIV which infected and killed tens of millions. However, there are tens of millions that still live with the HIV virus. It is an outbreak of another virus that occurred at the dawn of the 20th century that shows how globalization is a leading factor in the creation and spread of pandemics. The so-called Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 hit every continent on the planet, killing tens of millions of people. It is an example of an uncontrolled virus spreading due to a global driver, namely the mobilization of people and armies across the world during the last stages of World War I. Other factors of the civilization awakening to a global reality contributed to the spread of the deadly disease, including urbanization and better transportation combined with the still low level of aseptic techniques. For example, the most ill soldiers in the tranches of the war were sent back in crowded trains to crowded hospitals, which led to a second, much deadlier, wave of the pandemic. Interestingly enough, World War I is an example of one of the first world coalitions that was created to deal with other issues. But the very creation of this coalition brought about the unexpected global spread of the deadly virus. Globalization has its disadvantages…

U.S. jet fighters prepare to launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Sea to conduct strike missions against Islamic State targets, September 2014.

U.S. jet fighters prepare to launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Sea to conduct strike missions against Islamic State targets, September 2014.

Here is another example of an unintended consequence of an international intervention – the Islamic State, the radical group that is gaining grounds both in the physical landscapes of Syria and Iraq, but also in the hearts of other Muslims around the world. Following the 2003 invasion to Iraq and the deposition of Saddam Hussein, this vicious strain of Al-Qaeda in Iraq participated in insurgency against the invading coalition forces and evolved over the last decade to what it is today: an extremely fundamentalist group using all sorts of horrifically violent methods to either convert people to join them or destroy these people in the most unspeakable ways. Using social media, this group succeeds in recruiting Muslims that have Western citizenship to travel to Iraq and Syria and join their cause. It also succeeds in spreading a tremendous fear in growing circles of populations around them, starting with the Iraqi army, the neighboring countries, and across the world. Again, it was a world coalition of 40 countries (with four that had a leading role in the fighting on the ground), that came together in order to resolve one painful problem – Saddam Hussein – but creating a new problem, perhaps more complicated than the original one. Instability was created as part of the process of globalization, both political globalization – a great number of nations trying to discipline a rogue ruler, and economic globalization – the Western World trying to secure part of its oil resources. A new coalition is now at work to fight against the Islamic State.

Countries served by Peace Corps Volunteers as of 2009 (dark purple) and countries formerly served (light purple). Image is by Valio Vitanov (license CC-BY-SA 2.5).

Countries served by Peace Corps Volunteers as of 2009 (dark purple) and countries formerly served (light purple). Image is by Valio Vitanov (license CC-BY-SA 2.5).

At its height, in a few centuries, the Age of Aquarius world may be a unified healthy and peaceful world. But the way towards that end is still long, full of opposition, setbacks, resistance, and hostility from the old age powers of religion and nationalism. The way is still long and harrowing, but the wheels of the heavenly influence cannot be turned back.

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Planetary Consciousness

View of Owhyhee, one of the Sandwich Islands, also known as 'The Death of Cook' (John Cleveley the Younger ,1747–1786). James Cook was one of the greatest 18th century explorers.

View of Owhyhee, one of the Sandwich Islands, also known as ‘The Death of Cook’ (John Cleveley the Younger ,1747–1786). James Cook was one of the greatest 18th century explorers.

The transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius started about 500 years ago. One of the precursors of the upcoming globalization during that time was the voyages of exploration in the coming few centuries. During this period Europeans explored Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. This led to the rise of colonial empires and a to a remarkable exchange of plants, animals, foods, human populations, diseases and culture between the old and the new worlds. These European explorers made it possible to globally map the world, resulting in a new world-view and distant civilizations acknowledging each other.

A 1689 world map from Amsterdam.

A 1689 world map from Amsterdam.

What allowed this exploration on the one hand and what benefited from it on the other hand was the technological platform that got upgraded again and again over the last few centuries. For example, naval transportation created the need for better means of navigation, surveying and cartography, which in turn further improved the exploration capabilities. Still, by the beginning of the 20th century, there were some uncharted areas on our planet, white regions on the map. Some places in Antarctica, some of the highest mountains, and some of the deepest oceans never saw a human being. In the last century air transportation had the same effect on exploration that naval transportation had in the previous centuries. And space flight had the same effect in the last few decades. As means of transportation evolved, so did the means of communication – the mobility of information had to be improved along side.The_Blue_Marble The last century saw great advancements on that front – radio communication, cellular communication, the internet, image transmission, video transmission, and live communication. Within the last few decades, the entire Earth got mapped and started being continuously monitored at different wavelengths. Mankind has started mapping other planets within our solar system. The increasing probing of our own planet and of other planets in conjunction with ever improving communication capabilities kept and keeps transforming our world view. Ultimately, it led to a more holistic view of the planetary system. Mankind has realized the impact of our very species on planet Earth and that led to the emergence of the environmental movement.

A protest near the Washington Monument in early 2013 to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and support action on climate change (photo by Jmcdaid).

A protest near the Washington Monument in early 2013 to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and support action on climate change (photo by Jmcdaid).

This new view of the Earth as a living organism, combined with the technological platform that enabled that point of view in the first place is now allowing people and organizations to turn against the very same entities that drove the accelerated globalization of the last few decades – the profit driven states, industries, and corporations. The expansion of certain industries into global scale many times came at the expense of the environment. But the availability of information through the internet and through social networks like Facebook, allows people to get organized, to scrutinize and to criticize some of the practices in these industries. One recent example is the environmental protests opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline is supposed to allow the transport of 800,000 barrels a day of heavy crude from oil sands formations in Canada to Texas refineries, and will involve an oil extraction process that emits more greenhouse gases than other forms of production. This project moved into the political arena, as the environmental movement who backed up the election of President Obama is now using its political ties to urge his administration to reject the project.

Like with other issues that are in the public eye these days, the new thing is not whether these kind of decisions are right or wrong, good or bad. The new thing is that these subjects are even on the table. What allows this to occur is the new tone that is set by the influence of the Age of Aquarius. It brings not just the technological means that allow these events to unfold, but also, and mainly, the intellectual openness, the flexibility of mind, the inventive thinking, the humanitarian approach, and, the rebellious nature of this sign and age.

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