Retirement ‘I know’
Retirement is a moment when there is no option but to let go and alter a way of life that has probably been impregnated for many years. It can be a disruptive change and, to those indoctrinated by tradition and need for security, both sudden and difficult.
Yet, to others it is full of anticipation, excitement and stimulation for, with the drudgery of work behind them, they can use the time to fulfil their hopes and wishes, and find the courage to do the things that they have always wanted to do.
Many people join clubs and societies during this phase, or take up new activities that they have never tried before. Either way, they find themselves free to go out and about, and enjoy a more social life. Some even start wearing extraordinary clothes that hitherto they wouldn’t have had the nerve to do, and behaving in a bizarre, eccentric fashion that seems highly peculiar, and sometimes embarrassing to those around them.
In fact there is often an abrupt change of personality, lack of concern for the more mundane ways of the world, and little regard for their own reputation. All of a sudden, the normal hazards of bringing up a family and carving a career for themselves have dropped away, and there is time now to look at things on a much wider perspective than personal irritations. They are no longer searching for their destiny for, good or bad, they have suddenly discovered that, after all the fights, worries and frustrations, they have actually been ‘living’ it all the time.
With this new attitude there is much more awareness and concern for the needs of humanity, as opposed to individuals, for there is still strength to make use of an ageing life, and a chance, perhaps, to leave something more spiritual behind for the next generation.
The planet that governs this sign is Uranus, and the element associated is Air. This combines the unusual, inventive, and magical qualities of the planet to the thinking process of these people, and they often seem to have a completely different attitude to life that others find difficult, if not impossible, to understand.
They are highly intuitive, complex, and detached thinkers, with idealistic and determined opinions, and yet strangely open to argument for they love to hear another’s views, although they rarely change their own. They can seem irritatingly ‘right’ in most things they say, and have been accused of being the ‘know alls’ of the zodiac but, in fairness, they do have flashes of extraordinary insight, and seem to know answers that have completely baffled others for ages. They are extremely logical and objective and, in real terms, the concept of winning or losing means little to them, but they do find great pleasure in active debate.
The symbol of Aquarius is the Water bearer, but we should remember that this is an Air not a Water Sign. The figure represents the unique human that we are, and the Spiritual person we also can be. It is the symbol of Enlightenment, and the Urn is the container of the Primal waters – the essence of life – carefully poured across the land to refresh and illuminate all souls on earth.
It is therefore not surprising that Aquarius has a deep concern for humanity. They are deeply focused and spiritual, looking at all things as part of a total existence. They are supreme idealists and champions of the underdog, with absolute belief in the equality of individuals and the possibility of an truly Utopian world. This colours every aspect of their lives, and can make them appear somewhat bizarre, and out of step, to those more traditional around them.
They have great energy and enthusiasm for a chosen ’cause’ in which they often become very involved yet, at the same time, they are capable of remaining detached from most difficult situations. They tend to look at things from a more objective viewpoint than other signs, and rarely feel they have ‘an axe to grind’ unless it is for the greater benefit of the whole. They value ‘truth’ above all things, even if it causes them deep distress, and it is for both these reasons that they are sometimes confronted with problems in closer relationships.
One of the sad realities of this sign is that it can seem too aloof and coolly detached from the normal traumas of life. It is not because they don’t feel, for they suffer the same depth of pain as anyone else, but – because their perception encompasses more than individual needs – they can often find themselves standing on the outside of everyday life, not realising that they are the aliens, not everyone else!
So all these things are the psychology of the true Aquarian personality. They have little interest in anything mundane, often delight in wearing peculiar clothes, and are mostly indifferent to what other people think of them.
There is an extraordinary sense of Spiritual Destiny and, as they are not really interested in recognition, they rarely conform to the rules of society, and prefer to rely on their own intuition. This attitude gives them immense freedom to follow their true nature, although they are deeply considerate, and would never do anything knowingly to damage another.
Strangely, Aquarian people are not afraid of responsibility. They spend their lives contending with an inner spiritual challenge that forces them to break away from unfulfilling conditions yet, somewhat perversely, they often proceed to take on other restrictive commitments.
However, they belong to the sign of Destiny, and their idea of freedom is not about running away, but an essential need to make their own choices, and to follow their own personal Star, wherever it leads them, and at whatever the cost. Those who cannot, or will not, be true to themselves, pay a far greater price than any other sign, for the earthly security they try to retain can eventually trap them in a self made prison of depression and despair.
The true Aquarian is very sociable and has many friends, although they are quite content with their own company and rarely suffer from loneliness. They search for colour and life beyond the normal working environment, and their fertile mind, like all the Air signs, needs constant stimulation and satisfaction.
Due to the originality and independence of the nature, they are best suited to running their own business, although they are good at teamwork, and are loyal, trustworthy employees, especially when working for a cause. They can be found in careers as technicians, astronauts, astronomers, inventors, scientists, astrologers, spiritual teachers, as well as in the media, and in areas dealing with human rights or, indeed, anything that has something unusual and different about it.
The element linked with this sign can be likened to the driving and concentrated force of the winter wind, alive with flakes of snow, and compelling in direction and dynamic in power.
Aquarius is born in the middle of winter, and this is probably the bleakest month of the year. It is the time of wind and ice, when the land breaks up its existing structure and suddenly takes on a strange, unusual shape under the brilliant mantle of snow. To an outsider’s view all may appear dead but, beneath this stark cold landscape, lies the magical truth that life still exists.
And so Aquarius reflects this in their nature for, beneath the cool and detached approach, there lies a warm inner ‘knowing’ that they have found the Star that was searched for in Sagittarius and , they realise now with blinding clarity, that by worrying about the future we may fail to see what is right in front of us all the time – our moment of destiny, and our part in the evolutionary cycle of eternal life.
This sign is the Voice of Intuition – the Light of truth that glows in our heart on a dark winter’s night. They are the Enlightened teachers of a coming age, and the upholders of the sanctity of human life.