A popular topic during the holiday season is the Nativity. Some might not realize that a synonym of nativity is horoscope. Those who are aware of this may have heard the view that the birth of Jesus Christ brought about the Age of Pisces, an era of love and peace. For interfaith ministers in the Universal Life Church, this can be an interesting way to link together different systems of belief and find new meaning.
Ages begin with a societal permeation of the good traits associated with the sign that represents it, and end with the decay into the negative traits. The sign of Pisces is characterized by a focus inward; on emotions such as compassion and loyalty. The Age of Pisces was marked by the rise of faiths such as Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. These new religions placed emphasis on a sharp distinction between good and evil, and one's faith became a very personal endeavor, growing from within instead from outside factors.
Jesus' message was to a culture dominated by the Romans and Greeks, who understood the world in terms of the astrological calendar. The Romans had spread their empire in the Age of Aries, which according to horoscopes is a sign of war. In response to the failings of that era, there was a yearning for peace, compassion, and oneness. The Age of Pisces began in the first century AD, which coincides with the traditional birth date of Jesus. His relationship with the Age is highlighted by the fish, the symbol for that zodiac. Two of Jesus' apostles, John and Peter, were fishermen by trade and the Ichthus, or fish, was used to identify followers of Christ.
For Jesus' ministry to take on a deeper meaning for the people of his day, the connection between Christ and the new era had to be established. Stories of the compassionate Christ feeding thousands with fish and bread, walking on water, baptizing followers in a river, and calling simple fishermen to be "fishers of men" all alluded to Pisces.
To be ordained through the Universal Life Church means that you will encounter varying beliefs. Much like the early church, which found a way to connect their ministry and message to the changing world of the ancient Mediterranean, a person's faith evolves with the changing of the times. True to the astrological meaning of the Age of Pisces, faith must come from within, after deep debate and meditation amongst one's self over issues like good, evil and existence. Perhaps the meaning of the Age of Pisces as an era of peace will not be lost in the modern world.