In 1969, I was a high school freshman. Middle school had bussed me from a known quantity – a neighborhood in which I thrived with friends I’d known since kindergarten – into flights of stairs and home rooms and tennis courts and football fields and oh, so many students! That original grammar school group was split into three and cast to the winds of destiny. And though high school brought me closer to the mountain foothills where I spent my childhood, once again school chums were cleaved into three groups; three different high schools.
Each time I changed academic institutions, the pond got bigger and bigger. A grammar school class of less than one hundred multiplied by ten in middle school; my middle school class exploded into a high school graduating class of twelve hundred. These were frightening changes to a sensitive kid, but I put on a brave face and kept moving forward. What else could I do? Being bookish, I embraced new arenas of learning. Being an observer of people, I was highly entertained.
Those high school days brought self expression to the fore: the drama cliques, the jocks and cheerleaders, the intellectual/nerds, the joiners/social climbers, the band and drill team groupies, the hippies, the Black Panther wannabes and more. Tumultuous times indeed, they were not without colorful expression and the passion befitting adolescents about to launch themselves into a frightening world replete with social and political unrest.
One of my fondest memories of that time emerges from the center of the school’s interior. Being in a year-round climate meant the quad’s lawn was always abuzz with activity. The hippie kids brought along guitars and beaded headbands; armpit hair, sandals, poetry and song. The Fifth Dimension’s Aquarius hit the top of the charts and my very corpuscles thrilled at its message: When the moon is in the seventh house; And Jupiter aligns with Mars; Then peace will guide the planets; And love will steer the stars …
It seemed all things were possible – that no act of civil disobedience would be executed without merit – we were headed into a new world where our generation would finally have the chance to impact the kinds of positive change we doubtlessly came to earth to embody.
Fast-forward forty years, and the giant clock hands ker-chunk into prayer hands position. Moving into the long-awaited New Age, we discover, to our great consternation, that instead of peaceful euphoria, we are faced with unparalleled atrocities (if only due to our burgeoning numbers, here on Planet Earth). Global warming and random acts of senseless violence pierce the airwaves like Morse code gone berserk. How could this possibly be the same Age foretold in those not-so-long-ago lyrics: Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding; No more falsehoods or derisions, golden living dreams of visions; Mystic crystal revelations, and the mind’s true liberations … Aquarius! A-quar-i-us?
In fact, Aquarius governs electricity, democracy, technology, computers, the Internet, flight, freedom, idealists, religion and innovative systems such as astrology. Aquarius itself is ruled by the planet Uranus; considered by most astrologers to be the planet of surprise and change. As with any condition on planet Earth, one observes a fair dose of polarity. For all the positive changes that have certainly been implemented in my lifetime, certain incomprehensible acts might seem to negate them. But it is not so simple, for the birthing of a child, of a solar system, of new ideas and concepts and awareness all require tremendous contraction and expansion before settling into the rhythm of existence.
Of course I’d like to believe that events in the recent past, no matter how horrific, will yet result in further awakening humanity; that the chaos perpetrated by a confused minority will result in a collective expansion of noble hearts; of kindness and compassion. I’m hoping that the threat of a planet rife with bizarre weather patterns and melting polar ice, not to mention the extinction of far too many species of flora and fauna, will embolden us to insist special interest groups step aside and let creative innovators help rebalance our planet to the extent that it is still possible. I expect that science coupled with humanitarianism holds the key – that golden key that finally ushers in the long-awaited gifts of the Aquarian Age.