Part 2 of 3. Back in the 1960’s, western culture was enamored with hair.  There were plenty of beehives and bouffants, but to be more specific I’m referring to the musical “Hair”:

“Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair.”

From the same musical came the anthem “Aquarius” with its visionary imaginings of the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius.”  Hints of the dawning of a new age took hold.  It’s true—this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.  We are living it.  But the dawning of one Age is also the twilight of another, just as sunrise in one part of our planet is sunset in another.  Now we are sitting, uneasily, in the twilight time between Ages, and it seems our long, beautiful hair has become... tangled.  Tangled in the twilight, tangled between the outgoing Age of Pisces and the incoming Age of Aquarius.

What does this mean?  What does the tangle look like?  To start, let’s look at the symbolism of Twilight itself.

Twilight is a fascinating time, when the sun dips just below the horizon.  The day’s light has just set, the evening’s darkness has begun to rise, and for a short while day and night live together in the same space.  (A charming depiction of this is the recent Pixar short “Day & Night”.)  No longer is it only day, not yet is it only night.  Most cultures view this time of day with trepidation, fear and uncertainty.  The light is disappearing, and who knows what the darkness holds?  Will the light ever return again?  The imagination can have a field day.  Mythology shows that Twilight is the dangerous time when Vampires emerge from their coffins and roam the world in search of pristine and pure Virgins (often with long, beautiful hair) on whom to feed.  The Virgin is the symbol of integrity.  Her purity intact, the “unmarried” Virgin has not yet become tangled in the world, has not yet been penetrated.  She is herself; she is one. 

“One” is actually the perfect entry point to look at the tangle of our times, between Pisces and Aquarius.  Part of the Virgin’s job is to allow things in, but to keep herself pure all the same.  This requires skills of discernment and differentiation, to let the "right" one in.  When Glinda descended in her bubble in Oz, the first thing she asked Dorothy was, “Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?”  It’s good to know the difference between things right from the start.

Both Pisces and Aquarius connect to "unity" and “one”, although from opposite perspectives.  They both agree that “we are all one,” but Pisces compassionately asks, “Aren’t we all the same, really?” while Aquarius answers, as in the U2 song, “We’re one, but we’re not the same.”

Pisces asks, “Did you get a haircut?”  Aquarius answers, “Actually, I got them all cut.”  What Pisces sees and experiences in gestalt and mystery, Aquarius sees in HD—high definition—clarity.  1 hour versus 3,600 seconds.  Pisces’ lack of boundaries opens it up to the whole ocean, while Aquarius is every drop of rain of the rainy season over which is resides.

In the world we’ve seen how the massive Piscean energies that swallowed humanity in large gulps of Christianity over the last 2,000 years, and then digested them into different bits called Catholics, Protestants, Episcopalians, Baptists, Lutherans, etc., is the same dynamic that took a once-unified group of people called “gays” and divided them up into gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals, queers, and many, many more.  There’s a lot of in-fighting that leads to divisiveness, but division is not really the problem; it’s the solution.  “Divided” in the sense of “different”; differentiation (Aquarius) rather than diffusion (Pisces).  We are all united whether we are united in that or not.  It's time to split hairs.  Just as in the model of the United States,  where each individual state unites as one country, so too must we unite as different and unique individuals, each a unique part of the whole “one” of humanity.  This is why one of Aquarius’ key traits is the humanitarian.

So we’re back at one.  Not that we ever left it.  If you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of talk about “the one” in these last couple of decades.  Mom and pop shops have been increasingly replaced with massive “one”-stops;  Neo in “The Matrix” had to accept that he was, in fact, “the one”; "Lord of the Rings" featured "the one" ring to rule them all; and all Elton John ever needed, as he sang, was “the one”.  While new agers joyfully squeal, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”, California has frequent wonderings of when “the big one” will hit.  Dating websites inspire you to find “the one” who completes you, while a recent movie says to let “the right one” in.  And, of course, all along the Christian religion has its hopes pinned on the return of the One, the Savior, the original Redeemer who is famous for dying, for sacrificing his self, and whose followers have molded themselves into that same shape ever since.

See, ultimately with Pisces the self is sacrificed—martyred—for the good of the whole, or at the very least the self is watered down, particularly by the word “selfish” (i.e., "Don't be selfish!").  With Aquarius, the self is not sacrificed at all.  With Aquarius, the self is celebrated, although not with celebrity.  All selves are celebrated.  But currently we are still tangled up.  We see “flash mobs” of unified individual behavior generated consciously (Aquarius), but acted out with the anonymity of a school of fish (Pisces).  We see people celebrating diversity mostly with mirror-people who are just like them.  Mash-ups (as in “Glee”) may be more truly Aquarian in nature, as two individual songs with their own identities merge and somehow manage to keep their identity within the whole.  Unity without anonymity.

The trouble these days is that the sacrificed self is everywhere (not least as a terrorist), paired with its equally strong opposite:  the narcissist.  They appear together, the two identical fishes swimming in opposite directions, always connected.  How do we let the right one in?  Is there a right one?  How do we know?  The result is nothing short of a fish fry, with people flip-flopping toward burnout at increasingly rapid rates.  Self-sacrifice doesn’t seem to be the solution; neither does vain narcissism.  And so we see the Vampire archetype emerge in the Twilight time, with its sacrificial victims, and we see the anemic walking dead, the consummate victims of a profound energy crisis.

What to do?

Fortunately, the stars offer this opportunity for us to look at this issue with some clarity while the Sun is in Aquarius, as well as the recent pileup of planets in the sign.

Part 3 will look at the upcoming pileup of planets in the sign of Aries, and how that fits into these dynamics.

Posted on February 9, 2011 and filed under archetypes, astrology, popular culture, symbolism.