The Heavens Declare: Astrological Ages and the Evolution of Consciousness

The Heavens Declare: Astrological Ages and the Evolution of Consciousness

By Alice O. Howell
Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 2006, 287 pages.

The astrological community has been enriched by the recent publication of several significant books. The Heaven’s Declare by Alice O. Howell is one of them. One of today's most respected astrologers, Howell continues to profoundly educate and nourish readers. Moreover, the depth and breadth of her accumulated wisdom is reflected in the humility and clarity of her carefully crafted prose.

The title of this revised and updated version of her publication of fifteen years ago seems so right. The Heaven's Declare (the glory God), from Psalm 19, is a clear call to recognize astrology's gift of a larger awareness through its uniting of religion and science, and its proof of "an unfolding evolution of consciousness that suggests a sacred purpose of awesome dimensions revealing itself in the immense mystery of the cosmos of creation."

The author has long worked the mixture of astrology, Jungian psychology, mythology, religion, linguistics, symbol systems, history, literature, and systems theory in the cauldron of her own psyche. Here, as in her earlier Jungian Symbolism in Astrology (Quest Books, 1987), she structures her chapters as letters to a friend, which accommodate a conversational style perfect for her enlightening integration of insights from this broad spectrum of subject areas.

Howell presents her material under two broad headings: the Astrological Signs and the Astrological Ages. The first half of the book studies the Astrological Signs and offers a combination of traditional as well as personal understandings of astrology's principle ingredients; specifically, "The Elements: Four Levels of Being." There are chapters about each element- -“Fire: Light, Life, Love"; "Water: Fluctuation, Femininity, Fruition"; "Air: Idea, Intelligence, Intellect"; and "Earth: Stuff, Structure, Stability." These are followed by a chapter on "The Houses'' and several rabies: the Planets, the Astrological Signs, the Natural Zodiac, and Fixed, Cardinal, and Mutable Signs. The explanations are always clear, always encouraging.

The second half of the book studies the Astrological Ages. In these chapters the author discusses the evolution of human consciousness with an analysis of the psychological evolution of our human family through history. Our human ancestors have experienced changing paradigms and shifts in awareness during each of these time segments which generally last approximately 2,200 years allowing for transitional interfaces. These ages and their associated collective consciousness ideas are as follows: the Age of Cancer (c. 8000-6500 BC)- Love and Fear; the Age of Gemini (c. 6500-3750 BC)-Consciousness and Choice; the Ageof Taurus (c. 4000-1800 BC)-Property and Resurrection; the Age of Aries (c. 1800-07 BC)-Ego and Justice; the Age of Pisces (c. 7 BC-1800 AD with interface to 2012 AD)-Faith and Reason; the Age of Aquarius (c. 1800-4000 AD)-Individual and Cosmos.

Alice Howell teaches us how she carefully looks and listens to the heavens and its declarations. These attentions have enabled her to conclude that there is "a cosmically ordered unfolding of meaning," and that, in the emerging age, each human being has an individual contribution to make to the unfolding of that collective meaning.

Simply put, this work is a gem. Now, when I am asked to recommend a book for someone to begin their study of astrology, The Heavens Declare, by Alice O. Howell, is the one I recommend.


May/June 2007