Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published by the Sophia Centre Press in partnership with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, Faculty of Humanitiies and the Performing Arts, at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David

We are currently seeking submissions for future volumes of Culture and Cosmos.

Volume 15-1

The Shock of the New: The Origin of the Age of Aquarius and the 2012 Phenomenon

Nicholas Campion


The recent attention paid to the prophecy that December 2012 was to be a pivotal moment in world history has renewed interest in the relationship between astronomy and apocalyptic ideas. This paper examines the background to the ‘2012 Phenomenon’ by exploring the origins of the idea of the Age of Aquarius. It concludes that the Age is best understood as a means of objectifying the prediction of a future golden age by reference to measurable astronomical certainties. In line with the revolutionary traditions of western millenarianism, the Aquarian Age is counter-cultural and opposed to political and religious authorities.

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