Existentialists & Freedom of Choice – The Great Aquarian Myth

There isn’t an immediately obvious connection between Aquarius and existentialism, but please – hear me out.

Ruled by the opposing forces of Saturn (status quo) and Uranus (breaking new ground), Aquarians are  faced with impossible choices like those highlighted in the myth of Prometheus.

Prometheus was an altruistic demigod with the gift of foresight.  Seeing primitive man unable to keep warm or cook his meat, Prometheus  had a choice;  either (1) accept the great god Zeus’ refusal to share holy fire with mankind or (2) take action against the status quo.  He ‘chose’ the second.   For his efforts, he was chained to a cliff where an eagle picked out his liver anew.

According to Richard Tarnas, the archetypal complex of Saturn-Uranus  expresses itself through polarities. [1] Never are these tensions more manifest than when Saturn and Uranus are involved.

Thus it’s not surprising then that Saturn-Uranus can result with the phenomena of ‘choice angst’, which was dubbed by Maureen Dowd (herself born with Saturn square Uranus) in her 2009 New York Times article “Blue is the New Black”, as “the modern disease”.

According to Dowd, too much freedom of choice is inherently stressful. Existentialists would agree. Understandably then, given the tensions between Saturn and Uranus, it’s on the horizon of the Age of Aquarius that choice angst is on the rise.  Further, because Aquarius’s role is naturally that of an unappreciated visionary, then like the existentialist (who emphasizes freedom of choice and personal responsibility in a hostile world), Aquarius feels the odd man out.

Even worse.  Although both existentialists and Aquarius (Prometheus) seemingly have choices in reality they don’t.

This is because in order to be true to his nature and purpose, (and to do otherwise is for existentialists the ultimate bad faith) Aquarius must shatter the status quo (Saturn) and break new ground Uranus).   In other words, Uranus always wins out where Saturn is involved.

It is for this reason that I suggest that real freedom of choice in the Age of Aquarius is the great Aquarian Myth.


[1] World Transits 2000-2020 – An Overview, Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, Autumn 2010. – According to Tarnas, this Aquarian interplay between Saturn and Uranus is exactly what we’re experiencing with the current polarization of American politics; conservative, reactionary parties, such as the Tea Party movement, define themselves as the force of freedom and rebellion, with a generally right-wing anti-progressive ideology (Saturn) yet consciously adopting the methods characterisation of radical protest movements and demonstrations (Uranus).  Saturn is in opposition to Uranus from 2007-2012.

Indeed, Tarnas suggests that the name ‘Tea Party’ itself reflects the interplay of Saturn and Uranus, a symbol of America’s own beginnings when the country’s eighteenth-century founding fathers (Saturn) also called for liberty and rebellion (Uranus).  Remember that Uranus (the modern ruler of Aquarius) was first discovered in 1781 at the time of the French and American revolutions.  Until that time, the astrological ruler of Aquarius was Saturn alone.


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