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A Greater Turn Of The Wheel
By Ivo Domínguez, Jr. • Panpipe©


From a religious perspective, the coming of the new millennium is pretty much a non-event for Neo-Pagans as it only a number marked from the official year of Christ’s birth. There are other major calendars, such as the Chinese calendar, that will not be marking a special number at this place in time. However, we are at a very special turning of a greater wheel of time. We are in the midst of the turning from one Astrological Age to the next, something that is a highly significant and a very slow process. The majority of Neo-Pagans are aware of and incorporate the cycles of nature into their magico-religious practice using the wheels within wheels of the day/night cycle, the moon phases, and the Wheel of the Year, but very few are aware of the larger Zodiacal cycles.

This brief essay hopes to give you enough information so that you can ponder just what it might mean to be moving from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. This might be useful information, because it is my estimation that we will be in that transition for several decades. Take time to look at the illustrations as some of the points are better understood as pictures than words.

Background Information

     The Astrological Ages (sometimes called Aeons) are actually the equivalent of Months in a larger pattern called the Great Year. Each Age is like the large scale version of moving from one Zodiacal Sign to another in the Small Year (standard solar year).ust as the flavor and the texture of the energy changes from Sign to Sign in the Small Year, so it is in the Great Year. An Astrological Sign in the Small Year we are all familiar with is a 30º arc, 1/12 of the orbit around the Sun. Signs are anchored to the Solar/Earth framework with Aries always being at the Spring Equinox. The Earth’s dance around the Sun consists of 12 steps that we call the Zodiac.

The changing of the Ages (Months in the Great Year) is caused by another of the earth’s motions: precession. As the Earth turns giving us day and night, it also wobbles very slowly. This slow wobble is like that which you may have observed in a top or a gyroscope. This wobble causes the Constellations to change their position relative to the Signs of the Solar Year. Skeptics often use this point as a jab to try to invalidate Astrology noting that the stars in the heavens at the Spring Equinox today are not Aries. Indeed they are not, but at the time that Astrology became a full-fledged esoteric science, they were useful markers in the heavens. A Constellation is a named pattern of stars that in human timeframes seems not to change much. They are used as navigation aids in trackless space. Unfortunately they are often confused with the Signs which as stated earlier are 1/12 of the orbit around the Sun. The Constellations won’t tell you your Sun Sign but they do tell you which Astrological Age you are in.The Constellation that is rising in the East at Dawn on the Spring Equinox marks the Sign of the Age

So why all the confusion and/or controversy about when we actually cross the line from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius? Ask yourself a seemingly simple question like “When is it sunset?” Is it the moment when the bottom of the Sun’s edge touches the horizon? Is it when it is half-way down? Or perhaps when the last sliver of Sun is visible? There is empty space between the Constellations. Are we in the Age of Aquarius when the empty space rising at Dawn on the Spring Equinox is closer to Aquarius than Pisces? Or do we wait until the first star in Aquarius rises to make it official? Regardless of what marker you use to decide this question it remains somewhat arbitrary. Changes in the flow and the flavor of energy and essence in Nature are not so simple and discrete. Consider the Small Year that you know so well.

When the Spring Equinox comes around it officially becomes Spring, but this official pronouncement does not ensure that the next day will be warm. What is true is that each day after that point has a higher probability of being more like Spring and less like Winter until finally there is no question about the season. Usually this transition takes a few weeks. An Astrological Age lasts roughly 2150 years so a transition period of several decades is about right. By the way, each Age, which is a Great Month can be divided into 3 Great Weeks. These Great Weeks are about 717 years each and indicate the sub-tone of the energies influencing that time period.

The date I am using for my official marker for this transition is December 21, 2012. On the Winter Solstice in 2012, the sun is aligned so that it conjuncts with the Galactic Core. In other words, the Sun which we revolve around will be pointing to the Galactic Core that it revolves around. In and of itself that should be intriguing, but it also marks the end of the Mayan Calendar. Precession, the engine of the Great year, brings the sun into this position every 25,800 years. Given that we are on the cusp between Ages, it is most significant especially given that is Pisces a dual nature , the Sign of endings, beginnings, and therefore of completion.

Everything that occurs in an Age from the most mundane to the most spiritual is affected by the energy and the essence of the Age. Compare the influence of an Age to a season in the Small Year. Certain flowers bloom only in the Summer, others only in the Fall. Oak trees drop their leaves but holly trees stay green. The Sign of an Age determines the energy weather of that time period. Certain ideas, forms of culture, religion, etc. are nourished while others go dormant or adapt in dramatic ways. Some aspects of life are like the Holly and change little, but even the Holly has a time for flowers and a time for berries. To understand the changes and to predict how things will fare it is necessary to understand the nature of the Zodiacal Signs.

Why Is This Important?

Many people who talk about the Age of Aquarius are looking at it through Pisces colored glasses! The end/transition of each Age is when the “Ruler” of the Age tries to get everything done that didn’t reach completion. When people talk about unity, transcendence, peace, love, etc. — those are Piscean values! To understand the Age of Aquarius ask yourself how the people you know who are Aquarians act. To get an even better understanding, imagine a couple one who is Aquarius and the other who is Leo. Manifestation always involves polarity. In every Age the Sign that is on the opposite side of the Zodiacal wheel shows how the primary influence comes to ground.The Polarity of themes represented by the Sign of an Age and its complement provide the information about:

    • Changes in the style and focus of culture, religion, and styles of magick.
    • As in individuals, much of the power of an Age is held in its shadow.


During the Age of Pisces it was Virgo. For example, Pisces is a sign of mysticism and sacrifice which we see in the religion of the Age, but we also had the development of science during this time (Virgo). The spiritual and psychological split between Spirit and Matter that became so powerful a paradigm in this age was a logical outcome of the tensions between Pisces and Virgo. The complement/shadow for the Age of Aquarius is Leo.

Aquarius is a Three-fold sign. It is the human, the vessel (urn, pitcher, chalice), and the astral that powers forth from the vessel. It is Fixed Air— ideas made solid and as such is the Sign of Civilization. Leo is the One whose focus is on the Many. Leo is Fixed Fire — passions and purposes made manifest through individual expression and achievement. In addition to the Four Elements, there are Three Modalities. The Three Modalities may be described in only a few words, but understanding them is a different matter all together. The Cardinal Modality is the outpouring of energy that is creation, coming into being, assertion, and passion. In its highest expression it is the divine will to create. The Fixed Modality is the stabilization of energy that is rest, completion, being, and preservation. In its highest expression it is the divine will to nurture. The Mutable Modality is the transformation of energy that is flexibility, change, death, and rebirth. In its highest expression it is the divine will to evolve.

It is the Sign of the Age that determines the Modality of the energy found at the Gates of the Four Directions that we open in rituals. If yourt path does not use the Four Directions, be aware that this change affects all forms of creating sacred space. The Modality of Aquarius is Fixed. The Modality of Pisces is Mutable. In many ways the Fixed Modality will allow for greater levels of manifestation and concrete results from ritual. Magick will be more powerful in outward/visible ways during the Age of Aquarius. Magick and religion will also be more technological (Aquarius) and more dramatic (Leo). During the the Cusp, the change from one Age to another, there are alternating periods of turbulence, extremes, and dead calm as the tide changes. Imagine the ocean a see all the swirls, whirlpools, and eddies that are visible as a tide comes in or out. This turbulence will cause a mixing of influences but day by day the Fixed Modality will become more predominant.

If you are not familiar with the characteristics of the 12 Signs of the Zodiac, pick up a book, a magazine, or go to a website and begin to add these important symbols to your magickal vocabulary. If you have some knowledge of Astrology, begin to meditate on how the qualities of Aquarius and Leo can be expanded to express at the level of culture, community, and religion. The goal at this time is to understand the lessons of the Age of Pisces/Virgo and bring the best forward in to the Age of Aquarius/Leo. Many of the troubles of any given Age are actually the left over baggage from the previous Age. If as Neo-Pagans, we choose to work with the cycles of Nature, I suggest that knowledge of this Greater Wheel at the time of its turning is essential. In the same way that you prepare for the changes brought on by the seasonal holidays, prepare for this time of change.

Snapshots Of
The Months Of The Great Year
Dates Listed Are Very Approximate

Age Of Aquarius (Leo Shadow)
(2000 CE - 4200 CE)

New Age, Pagan Revival, The New Tribalism, Cyberspace, Resolution Of The Atlantean Fall, ?

Age Of Pisces (Virgo Shadow)
(200 BCE - 2000 CE)

New Testament, Mass Culture, Analytical Science, Virgin Mother, Age Of Reason

Age Of Aries ( Libra Shadow)
(2400 BCE - 200 CE)
Age of Heroes, Ram & Bull Gods, Systems Of Law, Old Testament, Iron

Age Of Taurus (Scorpio Shadow)
(4600 BCE - 2400 BCE)

Higher Development Of Agriculture, Death Cults, Copper, Monument Building

Age Of Gemini (Leo Shadow)
(6800 BCE - 4600 BCE)
The Wheel And Written Language Become Common, Migration Of Peoples, Twin Deities, Twin Pillars Motif (B & J), Solar Perihelion At Fall Equinox.

Age Of Cancer (Capricorn Shadow)
(9000 BCE - 6800 BCE)
Moon & Mother Goddesses, Goat Foot God, Cave Culture, Tribal Culture, Return To Nature- Loss of Atlantean technologies, The Great Floods.

Age Of Leo (Aquarius Shadow)
(11,200 BCE - 9000 BCE)
Note: This is the flipside of where we are about to be. Atlantis Legends And Other Lost Races & Places, Stories Of High Science & High Magick, The Sphinx, Solar Perihelion At Summer Solstice

Previous Age Of Leo (Aquarius Shadow)
(37,000 BCE - 34,800 BCE *My Best Guess)
My Conjecture: This is the time period when humans began to encode cultural knowledge in art and material objects. Graphism and Representation begins