The Aquarian Bird’s Eye View

The alchemical year is now in its Aquarian phase and this Sunday, we will be diving into the Aquarius perspective for on our monthly Alchemical Journey workshop. Having climbed to the summit of the mountain in Capricorn and entered the consciousness of the initiate, made our declaration of commitment and taken our stand in the world, it is now time to come down the mountain and share it with others.  From its lofty elevation, looking toward humanity from a high place of understanding, Aquarius is able to see life as an interconnected web, a network of relatedness, the unity in diversity. In this way Aquarius is like an eagle, flying high above the world, able to see the bigger picture and offer that up as wisdom. Katharine Maltwood identified this sign as an eagle in The Glastonbury Zodiac, rather than the more familiar water-bearer and the symbolism certainly seems to fit the sign.  This is a freehand drawing of hers, depicting the Aquarius figure. Note the chalice well marked on, and Glastonbury Tor, which is the beak of the bird.

Anthony and myself have walked the Aquarius figure with Alchemical Journey groups on three previous occasions, and it takes in many of Glastonbury’s most prominent sights, including Glastonbury Tor (the beak), the Red and White Springs, the so-called Gog & Magog oak trees, and St Edmund’s Hill (which is one of the bird’s wings).  A remarkable thing happened at the top of the Tor on one of the walks.  Anthony was addressing the question of why Aquarius was represented by a bird, rather than a human figure, and at that moment a hawk flew close to us and turned and looked directly at us.  It was a remarkable moment of synchronicity and the timing of it seemed to confirm the “rightness” of the bird symbolism.

So perhaps what that hawk was reminding us of was the way that Aquarius gives us that bird’s eye view.  Aquarius is unique among astrological perspectives in having the ability to rise above the human condition and to some extent detach itself from the unpredictable contingencies of human emotions.  Aquarius must stand apart from the human experience, and at times, fly close the wind in order to appreciate the web which connects the nodes of our unique identities together into a seamless dance.

Aquarius challenges us to hold the tension between our uniqueness and our similarity to those with whom we share the web and it challenges us to express whatever it is that makes us stand out in the world.  In Capricorn we stood up and accepted the mantle of responsibility.  Now, in Aquarius, we stand out from the crowd and express our difference, and through that, realise the unique difference that we each make in the world. This is the sign of the future and we will be journeying into the future in our imaginations, as together we co-create a coherent vision of what is to come as we prepare to enter the Aquarian Age.

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