Aquarian Age III : The Myth of Ganymede

Antonio_Allegri (called Correggio) The Abduction of Ganymede

Antonio_Allegri (called Correggio) The Abduction of Ganymede

This is the third part of a series on the Age of Aquarius I began about a year ago. It is advisable to read parts I & II before reading this one. My main purpose is to bring about a questioning of the assumptions and expectations of the Age of Aquarius. This is a discussion the astrological community needs to have. Almost all I see on the subject could be mostly summed up the song by The Fifth Dimension. I’m not sure if it’s fear, laziness or a complete lack of interest that has cause this rather poignant dearth of discourse.

Aquarius is represented by Ganymedes, the Phrygian boy who was carried off by an eagle to Mount Olympus to become the cup-bearer of Zeus. The contents of the cup are not for common humanity, but for the gods. The myth was a model for the Greek social custom of paiderastía, the socially acceptable erotic relationship between a man and a youth. The Latin form of the name was Catamitus (and also “Ganymedes”), from which the English word “catamite” derives. See AMHER (2000), catamite, p. 291 Granted, Greek Mythology is not for the squeamish, but we are after all referring to a rape.

The pre – eminence of the aerial predator is also of interest, although the symbol is closely associated with Rome, the Eagle was a prominent symbol of the Nazis. The number of peaks and valleys of the Aquarian glyph has not been entirely consistent. There is generally two or three peaks and valleys. The SS officer lapel insignia invites comparison.

In a recent conversation, my friend Al Mackenzie mentioned that it had “occurred to [him] once that if you were to uncross the arms of a swastika and lay them parallel you would have the glyph for Aquarius..” The association of the Aquarian Age with what I have called “velvet fascism” has come up numerous times and is in that respect in agreement with Robert Zoller on the subject

Calligraphic glyph for Aquarius by Stefan Stenudd

Calligraphic glyph for Aquarius by Stefan Stenudd @

In the story of Ganymede the Water Bearer is a beautiful youth, abducted by Zeus in the form of an eagle for his own carnal pleasure. We can say that Ganymede was taken against his will to be the servant of the gods and of Zeus in particular. He serves as water bearers, but he also becomes the catomite of Zeus. The most salient of these facts are that Aquarius / Ganymede’ is by no means his own boss, Yet “New Age” sources will insist the ascent was to a higher state of consciousness ! I find this to be remarkably perverse.

The insistence that the Age of Aquarius must be an age of sweetness and light with technology in the best possible service of humanity is a position which is completely untenable, whether we examine the deeper meanings of the sign or simply observe how the last hundred years or so has manifested itself.  Again, I do not mention these things to dash all hopes 0r deride those who have sincere motives to seek justice and wisdom in an age where corporations increasingly affect the foreign and domestic policies of most of the world.  We should not be lulled into thinking that a new age will be the answer to all ills. It will depend on whose interests are addressed

Manilus relates that the “youthful Waterman, who from upturned pot pours forth his stream, likewise bestows skills which have affinity with himself: how to divine springs under the ground and conduct them above, to transform the flow of water so as to spray the very stars, to mock the sea with man-made shores at the bidding of luxury, to construct different types of artificial lakes and rivers,” and to support aloft for domestic use streams that come from afar. Beneath this sign there dwell a thousand crafts regulated by water. Why, water will even set in motion the face of heaven and the starry habitations, and will cause the skies to move in a novel rotation. ” (Astronomica, book 4, p.243.)

The nuances of mocking the “sea with man-made shores at the bidding of luxury” and ensuing lines could scarcely have been realized by Manilus. “Artificial” lakes and rivers already existed as reservoirs, aqueducts and irrigation during his time’ There is however the implication of technology gone awry or being used for very unnatural ends such as causing “the skies to move in a novel motion” I find an echo or Robert Zoller’s comments on the uses of technology in the Aquarian Age as being largely at the service of military interests and weapons that might very well include the manipulation of weather and even seismic events.  Environmental warfare is very much on the table in our New Age.

Returning to the emblematic Eagle, we are reminded of the ancient association of the Eagle with Scorpio. In Zoller’s schema, Scorpio has the nature of the overlords in the Aquarian Age. Aquarius is the servant or, as told in the mythology, a slave .Considering that the setting of Aquarius coincided with the inundation of the Nile in Leo seems like a mixed message to me. The necessary water arrives in abundance just, as it were, Aquarius retreats. The dryness of Saturn and the rigidity of Fixed Air, in opposition to the house of the Sun is an often puzzling mix.

Ganymede rolling a hoop and bearing aloft a cockerel - a love gift from Zeus (in pursuit, on obverse of vase). Attic red-figure crater, 500-490 BC; Louvre, Paris)

Ganymede rolling a hoop and bearing aloft a cockerel – a love gift from Zeus (in pursuit, on obverse of vase). Attic red-figure crater, 500-490 BC; Louvre, Paris)

11 thoughts on “Aquarian Age III : The Myth of Ganymede

  1. Congratulations for the scholar article, Peter!
    I agree with you that Aquarius is far from being an era of peace, justice and brotherhood. By the way, Aquarius is the eighth sign of the Thema Mundi!

  2. Thank you Clelia. I doubt that I’m making myself popular with this series, but I have received valuable feedback. I hope to get this discussion going with the larger astrological community. What has been accepted as fact about the Age is based on little more than wishful thinking. I wanted to discuss the Thema Mundi in Part IV

  3. I agree with your critique on what has been said about the Age of Aquarius; sometimes I wonder if Astrology is just a tool of hope and optimism for some.

    Yet, I don’t agree at all with the conception of astrological age. Even if a burning bush appears out of the blue and tell me its God and explain to me that we are just past Age of Pisces and entering Aquarius I wouldn’t believe.

    Take the Age of Pisces, everyone says it is all about Christ, love and humanity. Yet, outside the Christendom circles I bet people wouldn’t agree to that, neither find evidence of anything Piscean. Oh, unless the astrologer is a radical Christian and argue that his God is better than the others. What an explanation, eh!

    The velvet fascism is eternal I think, and I’m not defending Aquarius or its supposed age.

    I have no complaints about any author that describes Aquarius AC with Scorpio MC as a fearful combination (such as the one you quoted), on the contrary, I’m totally in favor. That makes me look totally badass.

    I think it is an over construction to describe the course of cultural histories into a single sign and call it an “age”. They don’t fit.

    As far as I know there’s no evidence of a link between the precession of equinoxes to a single sign, so this assignment is arbitrary or just a matter of interpretation, please correct me if I am wrong. The main problem is that many of these interpretations are based on shallow sociological and anthropological notions from the common sense.

    Anyway, apologies for my grumpiness on the subject, and best regards from the Saturn Appreciation Society.


    • It’s precisely because the subject is so confused and often disingenuous, Yet astrologers and new age *thinkers* constantly refer to the age as if everything about it is understood and of course far better than what is referred to as the ‘dark age’ of Pisces. I think there needs to be discussion which is why I initiated the series last year. I don’t agree with the notion that velvet fascism is eternal. Also, in all fairness, it isn’t just associations with Christ that have used ti define the age

      • The Saturn Appreciation Society is pretty new, so you can watch us grow.
        On a sidenote, Venus and Jupiter are overrated. Nobody wants romance, spirituality, sex, drugs or rock’n’roll anymore.
        Kids nowadays don’t want peace, love and heroine, they want to stay home watching TV, and the heroes of the day are the Iron Man and the Starks of Winterfell. “Winter is coming!”, “All men must die”. So Saturnian!!
        Women nowadays don’t dream of freedom anymore, they just read Fifth Shades of Grey silently on their Kindles, fantasizing being disciplined by shackles and whips.
        And men had never to fight so hard for their rights regarding family, and being a responsible father has never been so hard. Good old times when men would just have their lifetime Peter Pan syndromes.
        Food for thought. And sorry to get offtopic, but I had to defend the Society.

  4. Pingback: The Aeon of Ganymede | anthonyhowelljournal

    • This is an intriguing question. If the dog were pointing to an association with Sirius (the dog star) it would be pointing to the zodiacal opposition between Aquarius and Leo, Halcyon and the Dog Days of Summer when Sirus rises with the Sun. See my article on Sirius @ However, this cannot be a strict metaphor because when the myth was written down, the Nights or Lights of Isis were directly associated with the late degrees of Cancer and the ensuing blistering month of August. The possible reference to Sirus is well worth consideration, particularly the imagery speaks to you. However, there is insufficient internal evidence to claim that this was ib fact the intent of the artist.

      Moreover, the figure of a dog is by no means a constant one in artistic representations of the myth and it’s entirely plausible that the dog represents the mortal and familial reality from which Ganymede is abducted It also reminds me of the Fool card in the Tarot, with the dog biting the ankles of a traveller about to jump off a cliff. The Fool is a card of great potential accompanied by an innocence that has not prepared for the Fool for a ‘fall. Ganymede is abducted by Zeus, unexpectedly and without consent.

      In his Metamorphoses, Ovid has Orpheus sing these words: “The king of the gods once burned with love for Phrygian Ganymede, and to win him Jupiter chose to be something other than he was. Yet he did not deign to transform himself into any other bird, then that eagle, that could carry his lightning bolts. Straightaway, he beat the air with deceitful wings and stole the Trojan boy, who still handles the mixing cups, and against Juno’s will pours out Jove’s nectar.” Bk X:143-219:

      So, eventually, Zeus decides to ‘honour’ Ganymede after his servitude to metamorphose him from a personal cup-bearer, into an immortal with essentially the same functions as the constellation of Aquarius, wherein he turns to pour the content of the water vessel onto the Earth.

      To answer your question as to what role Sirius might play in the unfolding of the Age of Aquarius, I cannot say that it does in and of itself, but the symbolism is indeed rich.

      • Thank you so much for this learned response. Ganymede may have been out hunting and his own hound may have been sad to seem him go – which also attaches Ganymede to the earth he has been wrested from. Certainly it works wonderfully in the construction of the Correggio painting. The artist often employed time simultaneities – in his Leda and the Swan, for instance, where the pair is seen at all stages of existence. So the hound reminds us of Ganymede’s former existence.

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