The Sacred Blueprint
by Nancy Privett, MA, EFTCert-I, BBSH
This article was originally published in the Summer 2001 edition of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing newsletter, In Touch.
What if you were told that you were about to undergo an initiatory ordeal that would require you to use every bit of your courage, wisdom and compassion? What if you were told that the initiatory experience would take many of your former beliefs about the way life works and stand them on their heads? What if you were told that you could emerge from this experience with a connection to an internal power source that would forever after change the way you lead your life?
Sound interesting, if a little unsettling? Here is something we need to pay attention to: We are living at a time, on the cusp of a new evolutionary cycle, when the prospect of both personal and planetary initiation is not only probable, but necessary. We are here on earth at the time of a momentous transformational shift of expansion of consciousness, and the question to ask ourselves is: “How can I make the most of what is happening?”
It helps to have some guidance and information about the new evolutionary cycle, popularly called the Aquarian Age, with which we have already begun to dance. Forecast as the Golden Age, the Age of Aquarius is a time when it has been promised that humanity will discover the secrets of the universe and uncover an internal power source beyond our wildest dreams. However, its coming has also long been associated with cataclysmic events and upheavals, a sign that we will be forced to become responsible administrators of this internal power or suffer disastrous consequences. The good news about all this is that we have a map for the process. The keys to understanding the universe’s blueprint of consciousness are the astrological ages.
Mirrors of Humanity: The Astrological Ages
The astrological ages are actually astronomical cycles of approximately 2,160 years, based on something called the precession of the equinoxes, discovered by Hipparchus in the fourth century BCE, and later explained by Galileo. Each age is a specific cycle of evolution of consciousness, with very distinct challenges and lessons. Because each age is associated with a sign of the zodiac, we can use astrology as a language to translate what the age is about and give us some direction and guidance about deciphering and working with the age’s tasks. By examining past astrological ages we find that when we translate the zodiacal sign associated with the age, and then look in the history books to see what was going on on earth at the time, the same vocabulary emerges. The two areas of astrology and history reflect each other and tell a story of unfolding opportunity for evolution of consciousness.
For example, here is some of the astrological translation for the sign of Taurus. It is associated with fertility, making things grow, agriculture, and structures of permanence. Its totem is the bull, it is an earth sign and a feminine sign with the archetype of the Love Goddess. During the Age of Taurus, from roughly 4000 BCE to 2000 BCE, what was happening on earth? Villages and cities were expanding into great civilizations, wealth was accrued, farming and raising cattle were the prominent occupations, fertility rites were common, as were goddess religions, and the very permanent structures of the pyramids and Stonehenge were built. The icon of the Taurean totem, the bull, was prolific during the age, appearing in myths, religious beliefs, architecture and household items. Religious beliefs many times paired the image of the bull with the image of the goddess.
But when the age shifted into Aries, around 2000 BCE, the icon of the bull became that of the Aries ram. Now we have Old Testament stories of the Hebrews smearing lamb’s blood on their doors to save their firstborns from being slaughtered, the sacrifice of Abraham’s son Isaac being replaced with the sacrifice of a ram, Moses on Mt. Sinai, angry at the worship of the golden calf, a throwback to the Taurean symbolism. Aries was an age of masculine fire and so the Age of Taurus priestesses were replaced by priests, now called shepherds. The myths were of Theseus, the bull-slayer, Jason rescuing the Golden Fleece, and rams’ horns decorated statues and temples. The energy of Aries is that of aggression, the ego in action, the desire to succeed and the ability to direct the will, and so this was the age of the great, if ruthless, military leaders, like Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Nebuchadnezzar.
Heralded by the birth of Buddha and then Jesus of Nazareth, the Age of Pisces followed the Age of Aries. Pisces’ archetype is the Mystic, the one who seeks God, and its energies are associated with love, sensitivity, service, compassion, and martyrdom. Its totem, the fish, came to be the symbol of Christianity, one of the myriad great religions born of the age. Cathedrals, churches and mosques were built, rather than the war-related architecture of the Age of Aries, like the Colosseum or the Black Obelisk. Associated with the water element, New Testament stories contained many references to water – Jesus teaching from a boat, walking on the water, calming a storm at sea and the rite of baptism. Meditation, dreams, broader planes of perception – all are energies of the Age of Pisces, which just recently began its waning period. Of course, any age has its shadow energies, and those of Pisces included victimization, slavery, self-undoing, scandal, delusion, fanaticism and the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
Before we go on, let’s take a look at something significant. From one age to the next, humanity is asked to make quite large leaps in consciousness. Taurus’ planted, rooted feminine energy was met head-on by Aries’ masculine fire, aggression and urge for forward movement. If there is anything Aries can’t tolerate, it is passivity and
rootedness, both Taurean energies. Approximately two thousand years later, Aries’ aggressive, take charge, conquer-all energy was met by the Piscean urge to love, forgive and seek connection with a Higher Power. Pisces seemed to say, Forget the world of matter (in which Aries was immersed) and look to Spirit instead.
The transition between two ages is characteristically a turbulent, chaotic time during which the “intermingling” of very different energies takes place. Each age has an initiatory period of several hundred years before the main 2,160-year phase. There is also a waning phase which is several hundred years long. The waning phase and the initiatory phase of consecutive ages overlap. During this time the new lessons of expanding consciousness can be seen to want to supplant or negate what we have just been trying to learn. So we feel like we have just worked hard to learn how to plant the field; after much labor, the crop is finally coming in and we are smugly sure of exactly how to resow the field for the next crop. Then along comes the new age and tells us: “Rip up the field. We are going to try something brand new.”
This has the potential to set the stage for some major temper tantrums among humanity, as the energies of the two ages become polarized and see each other as the enemy. Some become entrenched in the waning age’s energy and launch a formidable campaign to stop the new age’s energy from coming in – a quite useless task. Others who are already moving with the energies of the new age can fall into the trap of seeing the old age as something bad to be eradicated.
And that brings us to the present, because right now we are in such a transitional time period, with the energies of the Piscean Age waning, and the incoming energies of the Aquarian Age beginning to get stronger. When we look at the history of the last century alone, we see it filled with turbulent, chaotic events that threaten to undo any spiritual lessons learned. In order to move forward gracefully, we need to find out as much as we can about the energy of the incoming age, and figure out how best to interlace it with the evolutionary cycle from which we are emerging. Although we are far from immersed in the main stage of the Aquarian Age, which will run past the year 4000, we have been feeling its effect from the middle of the nineteenth century.
Aquarius: The Golden Age of the World Community
Here is some translation for Aquarian energies already in play, already affecting us and growing stronger by the moment. We can correlate many of the energies with events that have already taken place, or are happening now.
The sign of Aquarius symbolizes the energy patterns of coexistence, the community, the collective situation of humanity, how people relate in groups, brotherhood and sisterhood, the greatest good for the greatest number of people, sharing material resources, humanitarianism and utopian ideals. It wants us to acknowledge the Oneness of life and demands a synergistic society where the needs of the individual and the needs of the group are reconciled. It is also associated with the energies of challenging tradition, exploring, liberating and inventing. The sign rules nuclear physics, astrology, space travel, high technology, democracies, and declarations of independence. Aquarius is tolerant, holistic, respects all faiths and asks us to live in the moment.
Its symbol is the Water Bearer, an androgynous being who pours water from an urn. On the physical plane, water represents a substance we need to live. Metaphorically, it can represent consciousness. Esoterically it represents the One Thing from which all other things arise. The glyph for Aquarius represents lines of energy -- x-rays, electricity, sound waves, light, holograms, lasers, the universal energy field, the human energy field and kundalini energy. In the physical body, Aquarius rules the rods and cones of our eyes, which enable us to see colors and are involved with the ability to see the invisible energy of auras.
Although Aquarius’ symbol is the Water Bearer, Aquarius is not a water sign like Pisces, but an air sign, and as such is associated with the mind – the higher intellect, intuition, innovative thinking, abstract concepts and the ability to focus our attention. As an air sign, Aquarius contains the characteristic of liking people and connecting with them simply for the pleasure of hearing their ideas and thoughts. In doing so, there is the ability to be detached emotionally, in order to gain greater objectivity with regard to the ideas being shared. The shadow side of this detachment is a coldness and isolation, a non-caring attitude, as only the ideas, rather than the humanity of the person, are valued.
One of Aquaurius’ ruling planets is Uranus, the planet of genius and intuition, symbolized by a lightning bolt. (Not surprisingly, a lightning bolt is the scar on the forehead of the widely popular fictional character, Harry Potter.) The vibration of Uranus is very high, and it moves forward rapidly, provoking sudden change and new awarenesses as it stirs and awakens our higher consciousness. Uranus does not tolerate structures which need to be revitalized; its electrical energies destroy old structures in order to make room for new concepts and ideas. Uranus’ energy is unpredictable and has to do with experimentation, revolution and defying authorities. It is aligned with truth and a respect for freedom. Its shadow side manifests as extremism and willfulness. Aquarius’ other ruling planet is conservative Saturn, which represents discipline and accepting responsibilities, radiating the qualities of patience and reliability, the ability to organize and set boundaries. Its shadow side manifests as rigidity, coldness and repression.
The archetypes of Aquarius are several: the Liberator, the Inventor, the Common Man/Woman and the Magician. Its shadow archetypes are the Autocrat, the Mad Scientist, and the Evil Sorcerer. I am sure that we could assign a news headline from the last century to each one of these models.
Challenges of the New Evolutionary Cycle
How do we incorporate the new energies into our lives, while at the same time we carry forward the pearls from the old age? Let us look at some aspects of Aquarius that will help us prepare ourselves to “go with the wave” of the incoming Aquarian energy, as the undertow of Pisces still pulls at our feet.
Science is a good place to start because people “believe in” science; there is no need to make a leap of faith to do so. The science of the Aquarian Age is modern physics; the science of the Piscean Age is Newtonian physics, and with this model alone, we can begin to teach how the concepts of “how life works” will be upended. Newtonian physics is a mechanistic model, which explains the universe by breaking it down into component parts, much like a machine. In it, everything is composed of building blocks of matter, there is a cause for every event, and an effect that follows the cause. It is a comforting paradigm, in that the entire universe can be taken apart, analyzed and described.
But in the early 1900’s scientists began to see things that did not fit the Newtonian model. The basic characteristics which the new scientific theories ascribed to the universe were attributes of unity, interconnectedness and change. Interestingly, these characteristics are also descriptives applied to the universe from the viewpoint of ancient wisdom and spiritual philosophies. What had previously been two opposing factions – science and spirituality – now moved into not only compatibility, but what seemed to be twinship. Just read Fritjof Capra’s 1970’s classic The Tao of Physics, to see how we cannot distinguish between the statements of the mystics and the statements of the modern physicists. It seems that the universal laws of ancient wisdom continue to be “discovered” in the laboratories of modern physics. Holography, Bohm’s implicate order, Sheldrake’s morphic resonance – all describe a universe that is a dynamic Whole of interconnected and interrelated phenomena. The bottom line: We are all in this together, and everything we do, think or say has an effect on everyone else.
One of the paradigm shifts that emerges from modern physics is “life as energy” (rather than “life as matter”), so in the new evolutionary cycle, energy literacy will be of utmost importance. The nature of energy, the properties of energy, our relationship with energy, as well as understanding energy anatomy and the human energy field, comprise a basic primer humanity will need to negotiate the new age. One of the characteristics of the Aquarian ruling planet Uranus is that it forces us to see the discrepancies between superficial outward presentations and the truth or essence of something. It is possible to read energy fields to distinguish the same thing, and not only that, but also to work through the energy field to transform the negative configurations in order to allow the essence to be the constellating factor. Although we do not at this time have the sophisticated technology that gives us a clear visual of the energy field, it is inevitable that it will come about during the age, making the whole field of energy healing an essential factor in a “new medicine” based on a holistic model.
One of the consequences of learning to understand life in terms of energy is that we see deeper meaning in events that we might normally read superficially. By looking for and exploring the energetic configurations that are blocking the Essential Flow of an event or experience, we are led to unveiling and translating spiritual guidance. This is the art of symbolic interpretation, of finding spiritual directives all around us, when we extract wisdom and clarity from whatever touches our lives. It will be our challenge to interpret events in this way, to translate events in a way that can put us in touch with the Divine guidance encoded within the event, and at the same time, bring some solace. Because we are in the interface period between two evolutionary cycles, initiations will come fast and furiously. We need to understand these times of what seem to be merely crisis and bad luck from a broader perspective. Seeing initiation as an opening, a spiritual breakthrough, from which we can emerge stronger than when we went in -- more whole, more compassionate, more wise – helps us get through times of pain and chaos. The way we define our own initiatory experiences will be essential for our own stability during a time when change may seem to be coming too quickly.
An Important Lesson from the Piscean Age
If there is one thing we absolutely must bring forward with us from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius, it is what we were supposed to have learned from Pisces about the power of the heart. For the past two thousand years, we have been urged to explore the alchemical energies of love, compassion and forgiveness. One of the mandates of the Aquarian Age is to create a world community. If we neglect to put heart into the relationships and communities we create, the result will be the disaster that encompasses much of the world today. Without the warm Piscean heart energy, the emphasis on Aquarian reason and ideas can spawn cold, emotionless concepts, inventions and theories which are detached from the passions of life and leave the “human” out of “humanitarian”. All the facets of learning how to open the heart need to be reviewed and practiced, over and over, including the fact that having an open heart does not ever mean that we relinquish our boundaries. The radiating heart energies create a force field around us that not only protects us and makes us spiritual warriors, but elicits from us the quality of invincible strength. In addition, the heart energy also contains the magic that turns things to gold, that makes treasure out of baser elements. The true dangers for ourselves, individually, and as a planet, lie not in the tests and trials that we will face, but if we become unconscious and keep our hearts closed as we go through the challenges.
There will be no substitute for the initatory trials set before us and our ability to pass our initiatory tests will depend on the strength of our hearts. I can think of no better story to illustrate this than the one from the 1999 winter issue of Spirituality & Health, told by the Dalai Lama about a friend of his who had spent almost twenty years in Chinese labor camps. His friend said that during the time he was imprisoned, he had sometimes faced real danger. When the Dalai Lama asked him what kind of danger, he replied, “The danger of losing compassion for the Chinese.”
Understanding what this statement really means is a challenge. How do we have compassion for our enemies, and what exactly does that look like? It may seem an impossible task, and also a stupid one. Outwardly, it may seem like it urges us to give up our boundaries, or not protect ourselves, or agree to something not only uncomfortable but unforgivable. However, there is a deeper level of intention in the Dalai Lama story that is new territory for most of us. It is a level of intention to keep the heart open, which is the only way to access the invincible strength that lies at the heart’s core, and be able to stand in a place of that strength, creating that impermeable force field around us as we meet our challenges and determine our course of action.
The Aquarian Magician
One of the promises of the Aquarian Age is that during it we will discover our internal power, a force so magnificent that full access to it right now would literally blow our physiological circuits. Our internal power allows us to consciously and deliberately create our life. On a larger scale, when used in accordance with universal law, it will facilitate the creation of the Aquarian ideal of the perfect global community. However, as we well know, power can be misused, and if we are not responsible managers of this tremendous internal dynamic, there will be terrible consequences. We have the choice to be the archetypal Aquarian Magician, or the shadow archetype, the Evil Sorcerer. The one thing that distinguishes the Magician and the Evil Sorcerer is the connection to or disconnection from the heart energies. So once again, we find that it is essential that we practice the conscious and heart-connected use of the creative process. In this interconnected universe, how we hold and manage our own energy, how we live our lives, can have the most healing and wondrous effect on the entire world.
The new cycle of expanding consciousness will require our utmost focus, and will demand that we give up every belief we hold that is shallow, ignorant, empty, uninformed, superficial or devoid of Divine Force. The consequences, if we do not, will be severe. There is no way to avoid the oncoming journey of awakening. We are not going to be asked to give our permission to allow the surging forward of change and evolution. The new age will dawn with or without our voluntary support. However, humanity’s continuing, organic and relentless evolution is the wonder of the universe. As the waves of celebratory energies begin to engulf us, we learn to master the art of riding the waves, and pass on our mastery to others. In doing so, we fulfill our potential as human beings.