The transit from one age into another is always a time of great crisis and the latest transit from Pisces into the Age of Aquarius is no exception. This period has witnessed the birth of a powerful age of technology. This crisis of change made possible the devastation of two world wars followed by the cold war and the fear of the atomic bomb that hung over us during the Cuba crisis in the 1960's, yet it is drawing the world together through the increasingly rapid means of communicate and this makes it possible for a single nation or a terrorist organisation to rapidly threaten peace and security anywhere on this, now boundless, planet.
The power and energy which mankind uses just to live in this technologically liberated world, can threaten the life of our planetary home. Most people in the first world live an international lifestyle, buying fuel, food, all sorts of consumer goods and holidays from all over the globe, yet most have yet to acknowledge that with a global lifestyle needs to come global responsibility. We may have become a global community but we have also yet to make satisfactory global provisions in terms of government, security, laws, economic equality and the safe management of the planets resources. The real threat of global warming, the need for international security, the need for multi-cultural and religious understanding demand that we all quickly learn to conduct our lives as mature international citizens and spiritually enlightened beings helping to make the right collective decisions if our families are to survive without a very serious global crises affecting everyone through the next couple of hundred years.
It is plain to see that we can no longer be just the consumers of the food and products that technology has made available to us and must now take responsibility for our personal contribution to the threat to our planet. It is important that the groundswell of those who clearly see and understand the problems and are truly globally aware in every nation, work to help set the conditions for a co-ordinated national and international response. We must quickly tame the monster of our own creation because the accelerating rate of technological development is such that in a hundred years the best that we have now will seem closer to the development of the wheel than the technology of the twenty second century. But we will have the capacity to handle this, Alice Bailey wrote in one of her books first published in the 1940's that the Age of Aquarius marks a climaxing point of a much longer period of human expression and that through the age the active development of the intelligence of Man will speedily assume real proportions.[The Destiny of the Nations, p. 137]
It is clear to see that it is not technology alone that creates or solves the global problems but rather the lack of engagement of all of us in the global potential of the tools that we use and the predominant, yet exclusive, culture. We can all be engaged in the problem solving at least at family and local level in order to contribute towards the stability of the future.
This transit into the Aquarian Age is of supreme importance to our solar system and it is already clear that its influence here on Earth, as foretold by the few, is rapidly gaining momentum with every passing decade. Because it is an air sign the influence of Aquarius is all pervasive and inter-penetrating, so it will stimulate change in all the kingdoms in nature. This is just what we are beginning to see at the moment through the pressure of the problem of air pollution and climate change. Some plants and animals can adapt to changing conditions as we have seen, but so many will require the preservation of their habitat if they are to be a part of the future world. In the U.K. we are seeing the populations of many common bird species decreasing in numbers at an alarming rate.
The keynotes of Aquarius reads like a set of instructions for the survival of mankind, they require man to transmute his service of himself into the service of humanity, transmute his superficial activity into a deep and active intention to work for the progress of the planetary life and to transform his self-conscious life into a sensitive humanitarian awareness. Its ideal requires that an individual become a universal Man, losing his personal identity in his concern for the good of the whole. He will need to become such a world server while preserving his individuality as a fully aware personality and when this is so he will be living as a son of God. This is just what the crisis we have created in today's world is likely to demand of us, that we become the sensitive humanitarian, concern for the welfare of the whole planet and working for the good of the whole. This will surely help to lead to the creation of the truly spiritual mankind.
The Age of Pisces, whose influence is now fading was concerning with the development of the individual, with self consciousness and the building of the link with the soul (seen as the two fishes connected by a thread), and with the emergence of soul quality, the all-pervasive wisdom leading to the full expression of the quality of universal love in Aquarius. We must fulfil the tests of each sign in order to be led to the portal of the doorway of the next sign and its tests and there face the next stage in the development of our consciousness.
It is clear to see that the technological advances of the age, although neutral in themselves, have facilitated much of the changes, both good and bad that have arisen for mankind in the past century, some of the greatest crises have occurred because people wanted freedom from restrictive regimes. Humanity has become more sensitive to ideas during this period and although it has sensed the possibilities of the freedom of globalisation, it has at first often applied the potential wrongly; certainly we saw this in the rise of Nazism that caused the Second World War. Communism was based on a worthy ideal but was hijacked by megalomaniac leaders and their bully boys, it was intended to strive for the good of the whole people but it failed because it did not include the needs of, or the care of, the individual in this equation. Since then we have seen the rise of many wayward ideologies that have been the cause of national or international conflict or there have been nations with expansive desires who have found some ideological excuse to break international law or some international agreement made at the United Nations, in order to extend their own power and influence. We cannot move forward as a world community by seeking to apply our own views to other people or nations. We must work together to find world governance that can work for all the nations while each can maintain their own national individuality. We will have to learn to accept the ideological differences of the nations without condemnation and we must learn to understand others traditions. Many of the problems have been because in the Piscean Age the energy of relationship constituted an imprisoning band, which held and confined this, must now be transmuted into a bond that holds all together subjectively with openness, freedom and truth. It is this transformation of attitudes that lies at the heart of the problem of international relations. It can only be resolved through international respect, a thorough understanding of the differences of traditions and faiths and compromise of our own viewpoint on how the world community should run in order to accommodate all viewpoints. In time those views will draw closer together as people realise that there are many routes that lead to just about the same personal aspirations as all others.
The rulers of Aquarius are those same rays that influenced the beginning of man's progress on Earth and they return now that we are nearing its end, each of them are more potent at such times as these. The first of these is the seventh ray; this seeks to bring the pairs of opposites spirit and matter, together as a functioning whole. It does this because it is able focus the energy of the will of the One Life into objective manifestation through 'the will to be and to know' simultaneously on many planes. Remember that it is the spiritual objective of the human kingdom to raise matter in order that it can be combined with spirit. Next is the second ray that enables the expression of the soul or the expression of the spiritual consciousness through the human personality. This enables divine love and wisdom to combine through the fusion of the human heart and mind in order that they may manifest on Earth, this is the subjective purpose of manifestation. All these things are made possible by the fourth ray that reveals through our struggle and conflict just how we should serve our fellow man in order that we may achieve the final harmony that will take humanity into that new and wonderful stage of life and of being. The essential expression of intelligence in humanity is that of the third ray, this has enabled man to evolve through a constant adaptation to his changing circumstances and to constantly develop new ways of being. It is this quality of intelligence that enables him to combine all the energies of these rays and is the key to the resolution of his problems.
It is important to remember that the One Life manifests on all the planes as one organism of innumerable related parts. The driving force of life and consciousness that expressing through the seven rays is stepped down through a number of planets and they also add their own intuitive qualities. For instance, Uranus stimulates our innately spontaneous activity that enables both our physical and spiritual evolutionary development. Jupiter is said to give man the inherent tendency to mix and to unite with others and it is this that will enable our eventual synthesis. It creates the great transformation of human consciousness from intellectual perception into intuitive knowledge, but it is the Moon that creates the right conditions for this to happen. Esoteric astrology is concerned with those energies that pervaded all the planes and the whole solar system and the impact that they have upon humanity and the planet. These impacts initially affect man through the physical, astral and mental planes but as he develops spiritually and becomes one consciously with the soul he becomes magnetic in new ways and with an increased rate of vibration that attracts increasingly higher energies that emanate from the more dynamic planes.
It is in Aquarius that the significance of the cycles of consciousness needs to be understood. Of necessity, spiritual growth requires both the valley and the mountain top experiences, both the spiritual heights where the new spiritual landscape is seen and the quieter times when the meaning of these experiences need to be absorbed, creating in one an inevitable crisis of change where old viewpoints of consciousness need to be given up and replaced by the new more inclusive view. This will inevitably bring times of depression and self-depreciation but also exaltation and the feeling of spiritual power that soul control brings.
As man is ready to face the challenges of Aquarius he is able to take desire and his impulse to experience all that may be possible for a human and allow it to be transmuted into soul light. Thus he awakens to the light of substance and is able to tread the path of return in clear consciousness. He is now able see through the qualities of Aquarius the intended beauty of the group life, he recognises his individual responsibility to the group and devotes his life to the service of humanity. Through the resolution of this crisis of consciousness the personality now stands in the light of the soul, the light of the personality has been obscured by the light of the subjective Sun, influencing the soul. For this reason it is said that the power of the Sun (the physical Sun) is lessened in Aquarius.
Is it a coincidence that the physical Sun is being obscured by man-made pollution at this time? I think not, for the solution to this problem lies in the united effort of the whole of humanity. It demands that we work together as a group of beings with a shared problem, with every individual making an effort, with nations agreeing to and complying with an international policy on the reduction of greenhouse gases.
We have imagined that the great goal of our time is personality liberation and freedom. We are beginning to realise that this is unworkable. The freedom of Aquarius is the liberation of the soul of mankind in spite of man's intent upon the fulfilment of his personality purpose. The soul of man must manifest its true nature. Finally, during the last third of the Aquarian Age, Venus will be in ascension and will stimulate the union of the heart and mind and will usher in the era of love-wisdom and of global brotherly relationship. You may remember that the keynote of Aquarius is, "Water of life am I, poured forth for thirsty men".