Reality Check on popular expectations for the March 22 ‘Ascension’

Judah Freed
2 min readMar 9, 2023

Excitement is mounting in the metaphysical New Age community about an expected March 22 “Ascension” into higher consciousness. As one working to unite spirituality and reason, as one advocating a world enlightenment, I’ve looked in this anticipated phenomenon of “Ascension” on March 22.

Astronomically and astrologically, Pluto enters the constellation Aquarius on that day. This transit is said to mark a gradual shift into Aquarian humanitarian values, not any dramatic “great turning” or tremendous upheaval, as some predict, nor any sort of sudden “rapture” that lifts us from the earth or disastrously disrupts our lives unless we are prepared.

What we are witnessing around March 22 expectations, I’m now convinced, is a lot of good people buying into a popular belief without a rational basis, mistaking opinions for facts. This is the old “bandwagon” effect in social psychology. Everybody wants to get on board and not be left behind. Our insecure need for acceptance is the shadow fear behind groupthink. We dread being outside the in-crowd.

Meanwhile, a few people are exploiting this popular surge of belief for their own profit, such as touting videos and classes and workshops to help us get ready. Some “Ascension” prophets are true believers, sincere drinkers of the Kool-aid. Some might have genuine transcendent insights. However, some ascension promoters are cynical saviors and predatory opportunists taking advantage of unwitting people facing our unknown scary future. Caveat emptor

The emotional and psychic energy surrounding March 22 Ascension reminds me of the cultural wave of beliefs about the end of the world in 2012, as in the disaster movie. Apocalyptic 2012 visions that never came true are now excused as a “misinterpretation” of the Mayan calendar. That 2012 surge of cultural irrationality was akin to the surge of superstation in Europe twelve centuries years ago around the advent of the year 1000 AD, as Norman Cohn recounted in his book, The Pursuit of the Millennium. The world did not end then, and it won’t end now.

Yet’s let’s suppose I’m mistaken, and March 22 reaaly will become a gigantic transformative Big Deal as some contend. In that case, then madly trying to rapidly raise one’s vibration at this late date is foolhardy. If we are already doing our personal growth work and spiritual awakening work, then were already on track to handle whatever comes our way.

At best, in my view, we can use this upcoming March 22 date as a catalyst for us to address our darkest shadow traits, clean up our “karma,” live more mindfully, and own our fears about the fate of life on earth. This daily effort will leave us in good stead come what may.

— Judah Freed
Making Global Sense

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Judah Freed

Author of MAKING GLOBAL SENSE: Grounded hope for democracy and the earth inspired by Thomas Paine's Common Sense.