Looking back, it’s interesting to think of myself as a young woman learning in a time of transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age. According to Yogi Bhajan, the man known for brining Kundalini Yoga to the West, 11/11/91 marked the beginning of the last part of the Piscean age and on 11/11/11 the Age of Aquarius officially began. So, welcome all to the Age of Aquarius! This change of course, entails a significant paradigm shift that is supposed to affect our attitudes, consciousness and all of our relationships. The beginning of the Aquarian age, like the end of the Mayan calendar and other overlapping prophesies of change, tends to inspire our apocalyptic imagination. We may anticipate a breaking of our world. I tend to imagine the pressure of the Aquarian transition like an event horizon of a black hole: a movement through extreme gravity that feels crushing and inescapable. However, recently I’ve been struck by how the seeds of this new age, have been blossoming in my own experience and in the world around me.
According to my Kundalini teachers, the attitude of the Piscean age can be summed up as, “I believe.” The attitude of the Aquarian Age is, “I know.”
As a child I desperately wanted to believe enough. My evangelical Christian upbringing taught me that all I needed to do was believe that as God, Jesus Christ died for me and saved me from my sins. If I did this, then I could go to heaven with my family. Plus, Jesus would take me with him when he came back—that is, I wouldn’t have to go to hell or suffer the trials and tribulations of the apocalypse… this last part really stuck with me.
I thought I believed. I wanted to believe. I did “all the right things,” to somehow prove or provoke the kind of unquestioning belief I thought was necessary to be a “real” Christian. But, the fact of the matter was I doubted. As a little child (and I’ll admit, into my teens) I was sometimes struck with a sudden and horrifying fear that my family had been raptured and Jesus had left me behind. I would literally panic until I found someone; but I’d also hide this fear because I didn’t want anyone to think that I didn’t believe enough.
I now know this extreme fear of god and His (sic) wrath was a part of my abusive relationship to what I thought was god. I also know that our doubts can lead us towards renewed life. I know that it is not my beliefs that make me valuable: wholeness is inherent in our connection to “a larger creative existence.” We express this wholeness and our value, “with each committed action.”[i]
“In the Aquarian age there are no secrets!”[ii] Whereas, in the Piscean age knowledge needed to be found, was hidden and guarded by hierarchy.
It’s no surprise to discover that Aquarius traditionally rules technology. The sheer volume of information available today literally, at our fingertips is amazing. We can communicate across oceans and find out information about almost anything in a matter of minuets. Of course, not all of this information is exactly reliable. It’s actually sometimes quite difficult to determine what’s “real” in our overlapping and diverse virtual worlds. But in questioning what’s “real,” what’s relational and what “ends” certain information serves, we unpack our priorities.
I love writing for this blog. I love engaging with other feminists who comment on it because we are constantly engaging our priorities, challenging them, testing them and celebrating the practical successes they can create.
The very ability to communicate in such open and diverse ways challenges hierarchies of information and learning. On the other hand, this ability also mirrors the complexity of interrelationship. The question of how to use knowledge and information, then, becomes an issue of discernment.
The Aquarian age insists that knowledge is not enough; we must also be wise. “Learning is not enough. We must also learn how to learn.” “Intellect is not enough. We need a new relationship to intuition, emotion and intellect.”[iii]
Did anyone else hate the song, “The Age of Aquarius” from the musical Hair growing up? I kind of hated that song; I thought it was obnoxious. I also resisted the psychedelic, “flower-power” vibe that went with it all— but not because I hated really the hippie image. In fact, a lot of me liked that image: I thought it was very cool. I resisted this image because in my childhood and then adolescent understanding I was too fat, too Christian and too “goody two shoes” to ever be that kind of person. My hair would never reach my butt, as my mother’s had. My stocky Swedish frame would never allow me ‘wispy’ willow tree fluidity and freedom. I felt more like a squat oak: my large branches constantly trying to prevent my friends and my siblings from doing things that might hurt.
I still “believe” that I don’t look like a “hippie.” I also don’t look like what I thought a yoga teacher was supposed to look like. I didn’t believe I looked like a professor. But the fact is I am a teacher and a yogi, not a stereotype. I am excited for the Aquarian age, like those singers, and I am not so afraid to be hurt.
I am an oak tree who is free now, howbeit, in a different way than a willow!
So, welcome to the Age of Aquarius! Thank you to my friends, family and colleagues for taking the risk to trust your instincts and reconnect intellect to soul and body in this new age. Not only are we becoming “bigger,” as in more connected and more of we are; but also creating a joyfully contagious and lively power… a power, I feel harkens to Yogi Bhajan’s call for us “to be God.”[iv]
[i] Kaur Khalsa, Guru Raj, ed. The Aquarian Teacher: KRI International Teacher Training in Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan, Level 1. 2007. Pg. 4
[ii] Pg. 4
[iv] Pg. 8
Sara Frykenberg, Ph.D.: Graduate of the women studies in religion program at Claremont Graduate University, Sara’s research considers the way in which process feminist theo/alogies reveal a kind transitory violence present in the liminal space between abusive paradigms and new non-abusive creations: a counter-necessary violence. In addition to her feminist, theo/alogical and pedagogical pursuits, Sara is also an avid fan of science fiction and fantasy literature, and a level one Kundalini yoga teacher.