Oh Alice! (The Age of Aquarius)

December 26, 2013
Reading time: 4 minutes


Sing along…

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius,
The age of Aquarius!

Kabbalists teach that the 12 months of the year are the ultimate system for personal transformation, each one giving us an opportunity to grow and transform our natures and we are all subject to the energy of this month, whether we were born under the sign or not. Aquarians are known to be allergic to any sort of limitation. They come across as big picture people, with an artistic flair and a brilliant mind to match. Since they are extremely aware of their originality, their ego is… well, legendary. Their small talk is always about big things: events, causes, movements. They are out to change the world or at least put their stamp on it. Provoking people, challenging the status quo, they attract and seem to thrive on uncomfortable situations. 

Perhaps there is no better example of an Aquarian than Alice Roosevelt. A self proclaimed hedonist, Alice was among the first women to smoke in public and drive an automobile, she was also the oldest child of President Theodore Roosevelt. When President Roosevelt forbade Alice to smoke under his roof, Alice (naturally) climbed to the top of the White House to smoke on the roof. (Tell an Aquarian not to do something, and they will race to do it.) She was known to carry Emily Spinach (her pet garter snake) in her handbag. In true Aquarian fashion, Alice was credited with the popularization of this saying, “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.”

Alice was known for her frequent, unannounced interruptions in the Oval Office. Once President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to toss her out the window and when asked if he could better control his daughter, he replied, “I can be President of the United States, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both.”

Loving the limelight, she used her sharp tongue to garner attention (often at the expense of others). She suggested that Franklin Roosevelt was “one-third mush and two-thirds Eleanor.” Also, in true Aquarian fashion, she was no stranger to drama, and while she had many admirers, she made quite a few enemies including an ongoing and public quarrel with Eleanor Roosevelt, among others. She was not immune to the Aquarian bent toward scandalous behavior, her only daughter Paulina was the product of an affair with a married Senator. It’s not that I’m so taken by Alice Roosevelt, but when I first read about her I immediately thought, “She must be an Aquarian!” She may have lacked subtlety, but I found her refreshing because she was free in a way that I wish I could be more often, free to explore, and free to be. In my life I have to be very mindful of keeping my desires in balance with everyone else’s. Sometimes that requires me to put myself at the bottom of the list and address everyone else’s needs first. And while nothing gives me more pleasure in life than helping others, channeling a little of the Aquarian energy to be a bit more like Alice might allow me to find myself on a healthier middle ground.

Flouting rules and testing boundaries is a theme for many Aquarians, and that is no accident. The unique energy of this month is, in a word, freedom.

Merriam-Webster defines freedom as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. Let’s face it, freedom means different things to different people. If you ask a thousand people what freedom means to them, you’ll probably get a thousand different responses.  For some, freedom means having the resources to meet their financial needs, for others freedom is a cure for a physical ailment, or from a political tyrant or a cancer cell. Could it mean all these different things? The core of all these ‘freedoms’ seems to be the desire to extricate ourselves from a particular situation we find ourselves in. This is not true freedom. True freedom must mean the same thing to everyone because if not, we are accessing only parts of freedom.

It is usually the case that we want to be free from difficult situations that we face in our lives. At the time that we are mired in our troubles, the only thing we can think about is a time in the future when we will be free of them, only learning later (if at all) that those situations were actually great blessings and enabled us to grow to a new level of consciousness.

The work of this month is to understand the true essence of freedom, to not view the aspects of what our individual freedom means. If freedom does not mean the same thing to me as it does to my neighbor, then I am only thinking about pieces of freedom, not true and lasting freedom, which is the absence of all chaos, not just my personal chaos. People think that freedom is about getting out of a bad situation. It’s not. Freedom is life without chaos. Bad situations are just manifestations of chaos.

This is a challenge for Aquarians in particular. They are very adept at grasping the bigger picture and crusading for world peace or clean water or saving endangered species, but often they get so caught up in the concept of their causes that they neglect their relationships with people.  We are all prone to focus only on our personal chaos, the quest for my freedom, rather than being mindful of all the chaos in the world. This is our ego working, which seeks to keep us apart from others. True spirituality and true freedom means being one with humanity, not separate or apart.  

True freedom is freedom from our ego. This month be mindful to not let your ego run the show. Care for others around you and focus less on your personal chaos. One of Aquarians’ best traits is how genuinely entertaining they are. However, endeavor to make sure that the entertainment does not come at the expense of others. Also, step out of the limelight and make room for others to shine. The ego loves to be the center of attention and does not like to be ignored, so when you find yourself being reactive to perceived slights or what may feel like a lack of recognition, practice smiling. Sometimes a smile is the greatest spiritual technology.

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