AEON reading for a new Aeon
Last night I briefly saw (between the clouds) the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. The herald of a new age. This inspired me to do a reading for the next 800 years — bold I know.
I recently chatted with a pair of Gnostic ministers on the TalkGnosis podcast. In that interview I not only mentioned Carl Jung’s use of Aeonology but also my view that the full impact of the Nag Hammadi texts have not yet have been fully felt. The revelations in these ancient texts, that were found in the desert in Egypt and from which the AEON cards were developed, are relatively recent in cultural terms, just a matter of 3–5 decades (first published in 70’s). Such a cache of ancient wisdom has only been seen once before in history. It was the discovery of the Corpus Hermeticum that were translated into latin in 1471 by the Medici court and landed “like a well aimed bomb” into the Italian renaissance and to quote the Gnostic Society Library :
“It also provided one of the most important weapons to another major rebellion of the age — the attempt to reestablish magic as a socially acceptable spiritual path in the Christian West”.
And so, we find ourselves in a similar position to those of medieval Europe. Great cultural shifts alongside the discovery of ancient texts that open doors to lost ways of thinking. 90 years after the translation of the Corpus Hermeticum there was the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in 1563 that was predicted by Copernicus and much discussed by scholars and philosophers. Similarly, Just 75 years after the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts, we too are seeing a rare conjunction that is gaining much attention and discussion of what might hopefully be the start of a new era.
If indeed our next era will be influenced by Nag Hammadi texts in the same way the Reformation and the Renaissance were influenced by the Corpus Hermeticum, it seems appropriate for me to attempt an AEON reading for this new era.
The AEON reading for the next Aeon
The first card in the reading is selected by the reader based on the question.
This was easy. The Great Conjunction inspired this reading and there is only one card in the AEON deck that describes a coming together of two entities in partnership — in union. This is the card of HENOSIS. Henosis is the power of unity. It reminds us that alone we are nothing but in union we are eternal. Like the Aeons, that are born in pairs, the natural state of the universe is not independent but interdependent. Connected and bound together in harmony.
The second position in the reading tells us the energy that is in play. This card is the card of SYNESIS which means understanding. The symbol in the middle of the card illustrates the complexity and multi-faceted nature of the the world. The inter-connectedness and interdependence as represented by the pentagon. The forward facing triangle represents the forward movement. The discovery of truths that have not yet been revealed. The energy at play for the next AEON is one of understanding, of learning some new fundamentals. Not just the science of our material world which in some ways is the simplest form of knowledge, but also the metaphysical and the relationship between the two. The next AEON will be an era of expanding knowledge and understanding of our world and how we conceive and perceive it. This next era might reveal how our obsession with science, with the measurement of the physical is insufficient to get full understanding. In the next era we might seek understanding of the less tangible and measurable variety. In some ways the past era has been a triumph of arrogance and ego, where we believe that what we know is greater than what we don’t…but of course that could never be the case. What is unknown will always dwarf the tiny sliver of what is known. As the study of psychedelics open our doors of perception and quantum physics open the doors reality, so our next era might have a little more humility and willingness to accept unconventional perspectives. This idea is at the heart of the ancient texts from Aeonology. A sense of fullness and wholeness comes from a deep appreciation of the complex, many facets of both perception and reality. That the meaning and understanding we strive for, that we seek in all of our explorations and experiments, cannot be found when we only search outside ourselves. It must equally come from within us. Know thyself… if we are to know anything.
The third position tells us specifically the actions we need to take. The thing we need to assert or push for. Well, what a lovely card to land in this position. AGAPE — love. Not just any love, for the ancients had many varieties of love. AGAPE is the love of loves. The highest form of love. The most divine, infinite and universal love. A love between self and others, a love between God and mankind and a love inclusive of all other loves. If we are to gain understanding in the world. If humanity is to move forward, then love is the missing element and all our actions need to be defined by love. AGAPE is the giving of self, the sacrifice of self in service of something bigger. We are leaving an era that is characterized by self interest, individuality and selfish action. This way of being is not only destroying our planet but it is also creating unprecedented division. The era we are leaving also seems to also be characterized by a relatively modern and often dangerous notion of belonging. “Belonging” is derived from the world for the ownership of things and also the ownership of identities. Belonging to a group, creating exclusivity of identity and putting ourselves in singular buckets that are over simplifications of both ourselves and others. This is not love, it is the spawning ground of its opposite — hate. We are all part of this universe and we are all in it together. If we are to survive beyond this moment, we have to find a more inclusive sense of togetherness. We must give of ourselves, not just of our belongings, or material acquisitions. When we talk about giving, we tend to think of charity, of doing good for others as an occasional act, a sideline, a moment of generosity, but that is not love. That’s charity. Love is always with us in our hearts and as such must always be practiced. It is the bold and courageous act of giving of yourself. To give of yourself you must know yourself. Know what you feel, know what makes you happy, know what you are capable of and know what you think, imagine, dream. Allowing yourself to love is to give yourself the chance to fulfill your true nature. And, as you find your true nature, you will find that it is ignited by the love your receive from others too. To give all you have. To risk all. To risk your independence for the promise of something greater this is AGAPE. Your loves will define you. Our loves will define us.
The fourth position tells us the truth that we will discover in this Aeon. If this card were in the upright position it would describe the mixing and creation of powerful combinations — powerful potions or combinations of things. But in reverse, this is negative power. Possibly explosive and damaging as different entities and elements are combined and have negative reactions. In the reverse position SYNCRASIS means that this next era will teach us the power of antagonistic forces. Action and reaction. Resistance and counter resistance. This card signifies that this will be anything but a smooth transition. We are going to see resistance from what has come before and we are going to see strong negative reactions to change. There are many here who have much to lose in change. Equally there may be others who see change as a way to further their own interests and capitalize on chaos and disruption.What’s interesting about antagonistic forces is that they often unleash revelation and deeper understanding. Like the protagonist in a story, the stronger and more complex the forces of opposition, the more fully realized the hero and story must become. This also applies to our inner conflicts too, because we are rarely so simple as to be one thing. The more we understand the tensions and inner conflicts within our own self, then the fuller we become as a whole. Jung might call this the shadow-self that is often hidden by our rationalizing-self who doesn’t like to acknowledge or accept negatives. So, there will be tensions, conflicts, even civil war — within nations, between nations and within ourselves as individuals, as groups, as citizens, as humanity. But these tensions must not only be held, but they must be accepted because our whole, true self will be revealed by them.
The fifth position tells us what we do not expect This is the SOTER card which means savior. In some instances, this means the coming of a new prophet, and in Christian texts, Jesus Christ is one of several prophets this card refers to. Given the theory that the planetary conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter was historically the star of Bethlehem in 7BC, it might be possible that a new prophet is on the way to provide relief from our current discomfort. The SOTER card is a card of transformation to a better place; to better and deeper understanding; to a more fulfilling existence. Redemption if you will. This rings true to me because we tend not to expect or truly believe that there is a better future ahead. What holds us back in most instances is our inability to imagine a better future reality. We all have dreams but they are just dreams. Futures are real and more often than not, new futures come with new unanticipated difficulties. When we look back it is very tempting to see what is familiar and comfortable and overlook the discomfort and suffering — better the devil you know. Moving forward is by definition uncertain and that uncertainty is scary. We are all scared, especially those with the least because they have learned that for them, change usually comes with even greater suffering. The benefits reserved for those who already have privilege and advantage. Similarly we’ve all experienced the situation where promised benefits never materialize, some loophole, complication or small print means the benefits aren’t as advertised. No wonder it’s the weak, the vulnerable and the powerless that are the most resistant to change. But this SOTER card tells us that all of this is incorrect. There is good for all of us ahead. There is a better place to aim for and there is a place where everyone can get the life they deserve. But to find it, we have to choose to leave the comfort of what we know and take on the burden of finding something better. This decision to seek something better is a burden in its own right, but it is not a burden unfairly put on us by others, it is a burden we chose for ourselves, which clearly distinguishes it from the unfortunate fates that deserve our fear.
The sixth position, brings this story to conclusion. What will the next Aeon bring? Well, that’s a powerful card. The card of leadership and power. The MONAD is the Ace of Aces, the most powerful card in the deck. The circle represents wholeness, and completeness. The everything finding its place. Harmony or unification. Maybe in the next 800 years we will finally see our world as a whole. Maybe we’ll see humanity as a whole, the planet as a whole. Nature and man in unison, not at odds with each other. Maybe we’ll see a whole planetary power where all the nations and all of the tribes and families come together to see the interdependence we share. What might that be? Have we ever seen it before? Maybe, but only in some indigenous tribes who understood the relation between man and nature. Maybe this is the vision of a singularity, where everything will be connected by technology and interdependent. Whether the technological vision of the singularity or the primitive vision of co-existence within nature, there is a common thought to both of those futures that tell us that our ultimate state, on we need to build, has to be never-ending. All inclusive. A state where forces and efforts are complementary and exist along side each other without compromise. Less a battle field or a finite game with winners and losers but more like a garden, an infinite game that is an environment where all can find their place and all can find their role and live their truth.