Aquarius Lessons - Wake-Up the Collective Heart

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #144 - February 12, 2008

This issue offers an in depth analysis of Aquarius and Uranus and how to shift your consciousness as we move toward the Aquarian Age. These ideas are going to be relevant for a looong time. :+)

Planetary Alignments
Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Every six months we experience both a solar and lunar eclipse. In short, eclipses signal change. It is time to re-evaluate our lives, reflect on our past and make decisions about our future. The Aquarius New Moon Solar Eclipse was February 6th. The Sun, Moon, Neptune, Mercury, Chiron, Vesta and the North Node were all in Aquarius.

The Virgo Lunar Eclipse will be February 20th. The Sun will be in Pisces and the Moon in Virgo, while Venus, Mercury, Chiron, Neptune and the North Node will still be in Aquarius. Since Mercury is retrograde January 7th through February 18th, it will spend double time in Aquarius - until March 14th.

This is a big dose of Aquarian energy. We will be confronted with shocks and surprises that cause us to transform at a deep level. We may find ourselves making profound decisions about how we wish to reorient our lives. After Mercury goes direct February 18th, Saturn will be the only planet retrograde until April 2nd, when Pluto goes retrograde. It is time to take action. Do what you need to do now.

From Personal to Group Consciousness

The last two signs of the Zodiac are ruled by outer transpersonal planets, Uranus and Neptune. Uranus, Aquarius and the eleventh house are about:

  1. group consciousness, and
  2. our personal relationship and interaction with the human collective of which we are a part.

Pisces, Neptune and the twelfth house symbolize transpersonal states of God consciousness. The dynamic of these two signs, planets and houses is very different from that of he first ten.

We are currently moving into the Aquarian Age. As we approach 2012, it is important to understand the dynamic of the Aquarian archetype. When we move into Uranian or Aquarian territory, ideally we make the transition from personal-ego consciousness to group consciousness.

Need to be Part of a Group

The Aquarius archetype has the need to feel a part of a larger human community. It is only by participating in a group that we identify with, that we find meaning, experience fulfillment, and fulfill our mission. As a member of the human collective, we seek to offer our special talents in service to the larger group of which we are a member.

Those with predominant (Sun, Moon, Rising or several planets) Uranian/Aquarian energies are especially drawn toward group involvement and social contribution. The Uranian/Aquarian impulse is motivated by group concerns, and often does not consider personal concerns important. We can feel lost and frustrated if our main concern is for human welfare, but we do not know personally what we can contribute. Our Aquarian need to help improve the human condition can be expressed, only if we have a skill or talent which we feel comfortable offering to the larger cause.

The natural tendency of the Aquarius impulse is to be sensitive to collective concerns. However:

  1. if we do not have a core group to relate to,
  2. if we are not yet sensitive to the higher expressions of collective consciousness, or
  3. if we live in a society where group consciousness has not evolved past the sheep mentality of mass consciousness,

we can feel alienated and even psychologically disturbed. At the extreme, alcoholic, drug and mental problems can result from not knowing how to use Aquarian energy, that has an intrinsic need to be part of a higher collective purpose.

The above points summarize the Aquarian challenge, and one we are dealing with as we make the transition to the Aquarian Age. We sometimes talk about the transition as though, once December 2012 comes, it will be complete, but such is certainly not the case. Attaining Aquarian consciousness requires serious mental, emotional, spiritual and physical work. It also requires our contributory participation in activities that further the goals of humanity.

Maintaining Our Identity within the Group

So what is involved in making our personal and collective transition to the Aquarian Age?

The Aquarian symbol is of a perfected human being, who serves to bring innovative ideas and universal consciousness to humanity. Aquarius is the messenger sent from heaven to assist humankind. The highest expression of Aquarius is a humble servant. Lower expressions of this energy include righteous fanatics, and rebels without a cause.

To acquire Aquarian consciousness, we must establish and maintain our own personal identity while, at the same time, we serve the highest evolutionary interests of the collective. Our first Aquarian lesson is thus, to learn how to not lose ourselves in the group. To operate effectively and independently in the larger group, we must be inner-directed. We must be able to decide, voluntarily, the extent and nature of our participation in furthering group goals.

If our personality is not solidly developed, we risk being swallowed up by, or of being a pawn of, mass consciousness. The development of our own free will is thus a requirement to not get lost in, and controlled by, the maddening crowd. Only when we are solidly integrated in our own sense of self, are we able to effectively participate in the development and evolution of the human collective.

Raising Individual Consciousness

The importance of raising the consciousness of each individual is absolutely critical to the effective operation of the Aquarian archetype. The group mind reflects the consciousness of the minds of the individuals of the group. (Scary!) Egotistical, selfish, need to be in control, and I am right behavior of individuals, keep the group at a low level. Individuals must move into higher states of conscious to positively participate in the evolution to a higher dynamic of the group mind. In other words, the positive or the dysfunctional unfoldment of the Aquarian Age is directly related to the quality and results of our personal inner work.

The Aquarian archetype wants to be free, but freedom is a state of mind, not a dogmatic, ideological, political statement. As the Aquarian impulse gets stronger on the Planet, we may become more aware of how those who still operate out of lower consciousness justify their righteous actions, and try to impose their beliefs upon others. It will become more and more obvious, that the cultivation of internal ethics is an absolute requirement, for the no rules society that Aquarius likes to advocate. Only when individuals are inner-directed by a higher sense of ethics that respects others beliefs, requests and boundaries, can the idealized Aquarian dream of a less legislated and regulated society work.

Outsider Isolated in the Crowd

Our inner Aquarius does not feel like we fit into the group, and the group doesn't always perceive Aquarius as one of the in-crowd. Aquarius is not particularity adept at superficial interactions, and not particularly interested in casual friendships. Aquarius often acts as an outsider, and seems to indulge in behaviors that do not conform to common standards. Our inner Aquarius can thus set us apart from the most common social groups - family, religion, employment, school - simply because we don't feel a bond of common interest.

Aquarius often conceals his/her sense of loneliness by attention-getting behavior. He/she also tries to call attention to him/herself by glamorizing his/her uniqueness.(1) He/she is both self-conscious and eager to demand attention. Aquarius longs to feel a sense of belonging, but we don't know where we belong. We want to feel like a valued individual within the group, but we can't identify the group. We isolate ourselves because we are afraid of being rejected.

Aquarius needs to learn how to relate to the larger group. But if we can't find a core group of like-minded souls to interact with, we often can't make the connection with the more impersonal collective. Simply engaging in social activities does not deliver us to meaningful participation. Buying into the ideas of a group which we don't really identify with, excludes our uniqueness and makes us miserable.

The Existential Challenge

Working together with others, who share the same vision and social acceptance, is important to Aquarius. Aquarius wants to belong, but without serious inner mind/heart work, Aquarius has no idea where he belongs. The unevolved Water Bearer:

  1. is often a loner,
  2. has an aloof demeanor, and
  3. seems to like to isolate himself.

This is because he is:

  1. lost in his wildly illusive mind,
  2. has not found his inner orientation, and
  3. has not opened his heart.

Although Aquarius longs to belong, there is something about who Aquarius is, and what he does, that often alienates the Water Bearer from normal social groups and interactions. The Aquarian dilemma cannot be solved simply by finding a friendly group to associate with. The deeper sharing which we crave can only be found:

  1. as we acquire a more profound understanding of the evolutionary purpose of society. (For example in relationship to the first chakra, the evolutionary purpose of society is not bigger houses and more money and things. Our first chakra goal is to move out of survival mode, to learn to support ourselves, AND to feel comfortable and connected to the Earth while we are here. Our goal is to feel more, not less, secure.)
  2. We have to experience within ourselves human values that transcend the most common social groupings that usually separate rather than unite us - religion, politics, nationality, gender and race.

The existential challenge for Aquarius is to realize that what our energy is seeking - a meaningful community to relate to, to be a part of and to serve - requires inner shifts that make it energetically possible to attract, and be able to meaningfully interact with, our soul group.

Connecting with Our Common Humanity

Our inner Aquarius is able to find our purpose and utilize our potential, only when we connect with the most common denominators of our shared humanity. This is not a theoretical expose of the qualities that we all wish to embody. It is a personal experience of (1) humility, (2) gratitude (3) compassion (4) kindness, and (5) oneness. It is within our own psyche that we become part of a global community, that knows no boundaries and espouses no ideology.

We are liberated from our isolation and aloneness only when:

  1. our mind expands to include the hopes of every human being, and
  2. our heart can feel the love that beats is everyone's heart.

Inner mistrust, defensiveness and isolation, only attract painful interpersonal experiences. Only when we can open our hearts to other human beings without:

  1. judgment,
  2. classification,
  3. desire to attract attention, or
  4. neediness

can we experience the inclusiveness that we so desire.

Our ability to commit to and participate in our global community is possible, only when the inclusiveness that we long for is internalized in our own psyche. Universal, collective and personal merge only in higher consciousness. Possibilities of unfolding into this consciousness are present everywhere in our daily lives. Aquarius is an elevated being, but he/she is also the common man and woman.

The Outer Planets Awaken the Unconscious

The outer planets - Uranus, Neptune and Pluto - represent energies that are not personal, but collective and universal. They are present in the human psyche as the collective unconscious or transpersonal consciousness. The psyche of humanity is unified though the common connection with these energies. Since these energies permeate the collective consciousness, both our personal crises and growth affect all of humanity.

The effects of these planetary archetypes often disrupt our emotional, mental and physical security and comfort. The goal is to bring to our attention something fundamental that must be changed. The outer planets represent unconscious urges of our soul toward wholeness, and a desire for expanded consciousness.(2) Instead of fighting our unconscious, we are invited to bring it into awareness. As we do so, we can experience the power and gifts that lie hidden inside us.

Our awakening process causes another kind of existential suffering. The greatest anguish of community-oriented Aquarius is isolation from fellow human beings. The paradox is that when we are unconscious we feel separate and alone. However, as we begin to achieve higher states of awareness, we find that we no longer fit in with the common unconscious folk, and suffer from another form of isolation. In elevating ourselves energetically, we initially feel like we are separating ourselves from the rest of humanity. The pain of this loneliness comes from the fact that we can never again return to our unconscious state.(3)

The above, however, is a temporary stage. The answer is keep going. The more we open our minds and hearts, we more we connect with and are comforted by the common threads shared by all humanity.

The Destroyers

Shiva is the destroyer in Hindu mythology. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto play the role of destroyers in astrological symbology. They disrupt the core of our limited ego structure, so that we can have a view of the larger reality of which we are a part.4

The outer planets destroy the veil that prevents us from experiencing a vaster, soulful sense of self and life. Their goal is to open our minds to a greater perspective of reality. Cosmic experiences are generally not easily accessible to human consciousness. The outer planets work on our unconscious to wake us up.

The more unable and unwilling we are to recognize the urges of our soul, and its collaboration with universal forces to deliver us to an awakened state, the more the effects of these energies appear as tragedies and senseless destruction. It is not bad luck, fate or a revengeful god, but our personal ignorance of the evolutionary drive of our soul that is the problem.

The Uranian Wake-Up Process

Uranus is not a slow acting planet. When Uranian energy impacts our lives, we are faced with sudden crises, often involving conflicts with authority, tradition and convention. The lightning speed of Uranus surprises and shocks us. Unexpected events shatter beliefs, values, relationships and situations that previously felt safe and secure. All of a sudden, what we counted on is no longer available, trustworthy or working in our favor.

We attract external events to wake us up:

  1. when we are unable to consciously perceive our need to change,
  2. when we cannot think and act to support our soul evolution, and
  3. when our mind is clogged with attachments that keep it from opening to higher awareness.

The accidental, chance and fateful events are attempts to free ourselves from situations, beliefs and relationships that no longer serve our soul's goals.


Becoming a functional adult requires being able to think independently for ourselves. The Aquarian archetype helps us evolve into higher states of maturity. Aquarian and Uranian energies cause us to perceive, or at least admit, and attempt to become conscious of the fact, that what we call synchronicity or chance is rooted in our own unconscious. Somehow, know it or not, it is our interaction with universal energies that causes things to happen in our lives.

Things may seem to happen totally out of the blue, but no matter how random things may seem, Uranus teaches us that our energy and thoughts strategically intercept with forces outside ourselves to make things happen.

The Aquarian Mind - Beyond the Limited Ego

Beyond the perimeter of our personal ego, we get in touch with universal energies that open our hearts and give us the experience of our oneness. If we are able to:

  1. maintain our individual identity,
  2. become a vessel to transmit universal energy, and
  3. humbly communicate universal truths,

we can move to a higher level of human functioning, and serve a higher collective purpose. We can embody the highest expressions of the Aquarian archetype, and build the foundation for an honorable Aquarian Age.

If we are unable to keep our sense of self separate from universal energies, we can lose touch with personal and earthly reality. This is a serious challenge for both Aquarius and Pisces, whose uninitiated minds are lost in some unidentified spaced-out zone. The unconscious Aquarian is (1) spaced out, (2) lost in the void and (3) aloof. To be functional, Aquarius must bring unconscious functions into consciousness. Aquarian consciousness must be cultivated.

It is definitely worth doing the work. The gifts of the inventive Aquarian mind include:

  1. the power of thought to affect matter,
  2. intuitive visions,
  3. receptivity to information and wisdom from the universal mind, and
  4. the capacity to work with ideas until they are manifested in physical reality.

The awakened Aquarian mind relates to our commonality through the universal mind, not to collective unconscious. It pulls in new, not old or conventional, ideas. Aquarian ideas have not been tested or proven. They offer innovative, revolutionary possibilities to old problems, that previously seemed to have no solution.

Isolation and Resolution of the Aquarian Dilemma

Immature Aquarius can feel powerless, in the face of the overwhelming power of the collective and mass consciousness. We can also feel threatened by impersonal economic, political and social structures. Yet at some level we also wish to experience a sense of belonging to our common humanity. It is this urge to belong and to connect that unconsciously forces us to end our isolation. Our heart longs to experience the common threads that unite all human beings. The collective heart lures us to enter the arena of humanity.

The secret shadow-impetus behind the one who must help others, is to relieve some of loneliness of consciousness.(5) A cure to our anguish can be found in serving our community. Our pain subsides only in service to humanity. When we work directly with others, we open our hearts. It is only in our heart, not in our mind, that we truly find the connection we desire with other human beings.

Individual and Group - Leo/Aquarius Polarity

The Aquarius-Leo polarity is about:

  1. the relationship of the individual to the group, and about
  2. what happens in our individual psyche when we interact with a larger group.(6)

Some people more eagerly, willingly and openly participate in their community. Some silently participate by doing their inner work and holding the space of love. Some are acutely aware of the impact of the whole on the individual, and how individuals in turn shape the whole. Others are not.

Leo and Aquarius ask "How does the individual interact with, integrate with and impact the group?" They realize that the group organism is defined, and held together, by the shared ideas, ideals and thoughts of its members. The goal of the Leo-Aquarius polarity is to support individuality in the context of the collective unit. The group works best when our individual creativity fruitfully contributes to the welfare of all.

Aquarius also knows that we feel isolated because we seek a connection deeper than superficial interactions. If we truly want to have a profound level of exchange with other human beings, we have to go inside ourselves and connect with our hearts. Leo teaches us that it is only in our heart that we find a true communion with other human beings. We have to integrate the Aquarian polarity, Leo, to become a true Aquarian.

Shift of Approach/Paradigm

A common theme of political ideologies is the relationship between individuals and the collective. Political ideologies often see either the individual or the collective as the most important factor. Either the idealistic individualist is pitted against the repressive system, or the righteous system represses the disrespectful individualist. Aquarius teaches us, that the fight over whether the ultimate authority should be vested in the individual or the group, can only be resolved when individuals connect not through ideology, but in the heart, to work toward common goals. Aquarius works toward the personal awakening that makes this level of integration and participation possible.

How do we resolve our collective problems and conflicts? The Aquarian archetype teaches us, that to solve problems we have to expand our perspective, so we can see another more inclusive solution. Our consciousness is raised to a new level where we perceive collectively and universally, not just personally. Uranus shakes up our consciousness, so we can shift our view of reality, and then work together to evolve collectively. Aquarius specializes in creating these profound paradigm shifts of the mind and heart.

Transitions to a Heart Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.

Transitions to a Heart-Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D., is a rich and unique compilation of the core teachings and Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations of Yogi Bhajan.

The new Second Edition, revised and updated,is ready to welcome a whole new generation of students to this life-changing technology. It offers powerful and effective techniques to both teacher and student, to empower your lower chakras and open your heart to unconditional love.

Contains literally dozens of meditations to access heart and soul consciousness.

Kundalini Yoga - How to Become a Functional Aquarian

Aquarius is the third and final air sign. Gemini, the first air sign, introduces us to the duality dynamics of the rational mind, which dances between the negative/protective mind and positive/expansive mind. Libra introduces us to the neutral mind, showing us the way out of the confines and conflicts of duality. Aquarius links us up with the collective and universal minds.

The Aquarian mind is out there. Until Aquarius becomes conscious, it is lost. It tries to guard itself against the intrusion of the collective unconscious by being a rebel, but externally directed rebellion does not bring universal connection or inner peace.

To cultivate Aquarian consciousness, we have three main tasks:

(1) Mind

Open the third eye and crown chakra, and awaken the personal mind to the higher universal mind. Practice paying attention to the expanded dynamics of your mind. Tune into and focus your listening on the higher messages that you receive in your mind. Pay attention to the expansiveness of your mind. Then, be sure to contain and infuse this awareness in your body.

(2) Heart

Expand your mind space to include the heart. Meditate on your heart until you actually open your heart to yourself, and feel compassion, non-judgment and a heart connection with yourself, with others, with the Planet and with the Universe.

(3) Body

Exercise every day and feel the life force in your body. Keep connecting with your body until you experience it as a vessel for the flow of Divine Energy.

You can practice the above with any Kundalini Yoga kriya. There are several sets in Transitions to a Heart-Centered World that are especially powerful in creating the internal changes that facilitate this expansion in consciousness. One is Cleansing the Lymph Glands on pages 88-89. Another is Heart of Gold on page 81.

The critical thing is that we must practice becoming conscious. Take a minute or two between each exercise, and at least 5 minutes at the end of your practice, to consciously connect with and integrate mind, heart and body. Kundalini Yoga and Meditation activates and awakens possibilities. Only consciously paying attention permanently shifts our consciousness. Schedule in time, and commit to paying attention and cultivating awareness. You will be delightfully pleased with your progress, and you will be participating in the positive unfoldment of the Aquarian Age. Sat Nam!

References and Footnotes

Aquarius Solar Eclipse, Austin, Stephanie, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #137, Feb/March 2008, p. 103-4.

Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology, Behari, Bepin, Lotus Press, 2003.

Myths and Symbols of Vedic Astrology, Behari, Bepin, Sagar Publications, 2003.

Astrology and Spiritual Awakening, Bogart, Gregory C., Dawn Mountain Press, Berkeley, 1994.

The Astrology of Fate, Greene, Liz, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 1984.

The Outer planets and Their Cycles, Green, Liz, CRCS Publications, 1983.

Saturn - A New Look at an Old Devil, Greene, Liz, Samuel Weiser, 1976.

1. Greene, Saturn, p. 68
2. Greene, Fate, p. 126.
3. Greene, Fate, 255.
4. Greene, Saturn, p. 126.
5. Greene, Fate, p. 255.
6. Greene, Saturn, p. 132.


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