Age of Aquarius

Time for a little geekiness about astrology, mythology, anthropology, and music. How can all of these be tied together? Through Aquarius, of course. It is amazing what you can learn when you play with an encyclopedia.

Most people are probably familiar with Aquarius through astrology. Aquarius is the eleventh sign of the zodiac and mythology. People born between January 21st and February 20th are considered to be born under the sign of Aquarius.

Aquarius, like many zodiac, has its roots in mythology. Aquarius is the cup bearer, a beautiful youth, Ganymede, kidnapped by Zeus to serve him. Ganymede rebels, dumping out the contents of the cup, causing flooding in the world. As punishment/reward, Zeus turns Ganymede into the constellation Aquarius.

What many people don’t know is that astrology¬† is linked to astronomy through the Great Year. The Great Year is the time it takes for the stars to be seen in the exact same location in the sky based upon the position of the earth’s axis. The extremely slow movement of the earth’s axis means the Great Year is 25,920-years and is measured in twelve astronomical ages, corresponding to the astrological zodiac. Each astronomical age is 2,160 years.¬† Think about how much change happens in the world during an astronomical age – volcanic mountains crumble and form, glaciers melt and reform, while species become extinct and new ones form (think viruses and bacteria the simplest forms of life). Then, there are the anthropological changes – ones that humans cause. We have extended the human life span from a few decades to almost a century with modern medicine, agriculture and sanitation. We created modern industry and the digital age. We created new elements in the lab, which are used for medicine and energy. All of this change has come at a price, some for entire human populations, others for our surroundings. We are learning what that cost is and how to minimize it, when possible. Many are trying to make the world a better place for all, not just a select few. Maybe this awareness is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius?

Age of Aquarius

The Age of Aquarius, which began on December 21, 2020, during the winter solstice, is believed to be an age of peace and harmony. Now, that may seem somewhat like a paradox given we were in the midst of a pandemic. How could that bring peace and harmony? Well, humans are very resilient. We have often made some of our greatest advancements in civilization, after great hardship. In the business world they refer to this as disruption. The disruption forces us out of our comfort zone to think and act differently to make progress. For example, the plague in the 14th century killed over 75 million people, which led to labor shortages. These labor shortages allowed people move to where the work was rather than be tied to the land. It decreased the power of the wealthy landowners on the laborers and improved labor conditions for many. Does that sound similar to our labor shortages now?

If you are not into mythology, astrology or anthropology, perhaps you are familiar with the song “Age of Aquarius” by The 5th Dimension. It is a song about peace and love from 1969.

Whether you like astrology, mythology, anthropology, or music, the Age of Aquarius holds different meaning. When I saw the new fabric collection “Aquarius” by Dear Stella, the Age of Aquarius is what popped into my head. The fabric includes images from astrology and astronomy, as well as mythology. Since astrology and astronomy are based upon the earth’s movement, why not link that to the pattern for Aquarius. The Trip Around the World pattern came to mind. So the Age of Aquarius quilt pattern is influenced by the Trip Around the World pattern and consists of small squares surrounding fussy cut Aquarius squares. The Age of Aquarius pattern is great for confident beginners as it utilizes strip piecing, while putting the quilt on point.

We hope you have fun with Age of Aquarius. We certainly did!

Happy Quilting!

Laureen

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