Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of August 10th - August 16th,  2001

Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Columns Archive

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   Aquarius is the sign of knowledge and information.
The US Flag

Whenever its energy is strong there's an effort to educate the populace, with an added interest in science, technology, and learning. When Uranus first passed through Aquarius from 1828 to 1836, Marietta, Oberlin, and Denison University were all founded in Ohio, Indiana opened Hanover College; Mississippi College, Gettysburg, St Louis, Haverford, Newark in Deleware and New York University were also begun. The American Institute of Instruction, the oldest educational association in the US was founded in Boston. It's purpose was "diffusion of useful knowledge in regard to education," in keeping with our Aquarian themes. The stream of knowledge which Aquarius conveys was being poured out all across the land.

USAEagle and Athena Owl

   Because the US natal Moon is in Aquarius, there is always a basic desire in this country to further education, to spread learning, and to reach for the stars. But whenever any of the planets additionally pass through this sign, this energy is stimulated to even greater levels, and we see a trend of activity. These educational themes, together with other Aquarian issues, received a further stimulus from Neptune's passage through it from 1834 to 1848. How and who was specifically affected was slightly altered by which planet was passing through the sign, but the basic Aquarian themes remained consistent throughout.

   Because the US natal Moon is in Aquarius, there is always a basing desire in this country to further education, to spread learning, and to reach for the stars. But whenever any of the planets additionally pass through this sign, this energy is stimulated to even greater levels, and we see a trend of activity. These educational themes, together with other Aquarian issues, received a further stimulus from Neptune's passage through it from 1834 to 1848. How and who was specifically affected was slightly altered by which planet was passing through the sign, but the basic Aquarian themes remained consistent throughout.

Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville

   European intellectuals, fascinated by democracy since it's beginning, wanted to see the experiment for themselves. The US began to attract educated men from the continent. One of the more thoughtful was Alexis de Tocqueville, a French liberal who visited in 1831 and 1832. In 1835, his classic work, Democracy in America was published in Belgium, and translated into English in 1838. Tocqueville had been impressed with the US and its attempt to have both liberty and equality. His book was the earliest important analysis of the American system of government. US history was being chronicled by scholars by editing papers and documents of the nation's first heroes.
Cyrus McCormick

Cyrus Hall McCormick

Jared Sparks wrote The Writings of George Washington in 12 volumes between 1834 and 1837. Guide books to the country started to appear. Aquarius believes getting the info out is very important, whether through pamphlets or universities.

   Related to education, inventiveness is also an Aquarian trait. American inventors come into their own at this time. Less hampered by tradition than European counterparts, and faced with a labor shortage and an almost limitless expanse of arable land, Americans were encouraged to invent labor-saving devices for farmers. Foremost among these was Cyrus McCormick, who demonstrated his reaper in 1831. It reshaped harvesting agriculture. Technology also led to the development of the clipper ship, the fastest merchant sailing vessel ever built until the development of steam. The first true clipper, the Ann McKim, was built in Baltimore in 1832. In 1835, a machine was developed to manufacture 60 horseshoes a minute by a Scottish immigrant. American know-how was starting to show the world that it could do what had not been done before, through the will of the people, for the good of the people, and from the minds of the people.

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