Category Archives: Astrology

The Jupiter/Neptune Cycle and the Deconstruction of Truth in the United States 2009-2022

The current Jupiter/Neptune cycle began on 27 May 2009 at 03:55pm EDT set for Washington, D.C., the conjunction occurring at 26’29” Aquarius (Tropical). In principle, the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction refers to new statements of intent regarding the current expressions of both legal theory and practice and religious thought and practice (Jupiter) in the context of the institutionalized social and cultural values of the time (Neptune). In this sense, when applied to the United States, the conjunction has everything to do with ‘truth, justice and the American way’ and how those principles are nudged in new directions over time. 

In this American context, the conjunction always has something to do with the perception and treatment of certain groups in a very diverse society. In the sign of Aquarius, it was sure to bring awareness to the social, political and judicial currents in the society related to previously marginalized groups who were not yet fully integrated into mainstream social and political processes, as well as radical elements in the culture and society who were, for whatever reason, not fully enfranchised in the political and economic life of the nation, now with the potential for inclusion and/or political power. Two groups stand out in the American political landscape:  the LGBT community and those left behind by the technological revolution and the collapse of the heavy manufacturing sectors in the economy. Both of these groups found success in this cycle—the former through the Courts, most significantly with marriage equality, and the latter through politics, albeit radical populism. Other minority groups, including women, Hispanics, Native Americans and African-Americans, found themselves faced with overt institutional discrimination, and yet, at the same time, growing political influence through activism and political engagement to counter the social currents moving against them.

In looking at the chart for the conjunction, Libra is rising, with its ruler, Venus, conjunct Mars in Aries in the 7th House, sextile to Jupiter/Neptune. Mercury, ruler of the 9th in Gemini and the 12th in Virgo, is retrograde in Taurus squared to the conjunction. Since we are dealing with Jupiter and Neptune, the natural rulers of the 9th and 12th Houses, the placement and aspects to Mercury in this chart, although perhaps secondary in importance, are still critical in the outcome of the cycle.  Mercury Rx square Neptune all but promises difficulty in social and political communication, confusion, deceptions, lies, and subterfuge. Mercury square Jupiter with Neptune suggests an unfortunate, but heightened role of propaganda, misinformation and disinformation that colors the entire cycle from conjunction to opposition and back to conjunction.  Here is the chart for this last Jupiter/Neptune conjunction.

To place this conjunction in its historical context, in 2009 the world was at the beginning of the Great Recession, and, in the United States, both the previous Bush Administration and the new Obama Administration infused massive amounts of money into the economic system and bailed out financial institutions and important corporations in hopes of keeping the recession from sliding into a more serious second Great Depression. Although it took another three years, their strategy did work and the economy turned around in 2012 as Jupiter and Neptune were forming their First Quarter square. However, during that three year period, U.S. manufacturing went into decline, unemployment sky-rocketed, and areas of the country like the Great Lakes region in the Midwest, the South and Appalachia, that were already economically weak, suffered the brunt of the recession.

The people in those regions felt disregarded and abandoned, and rose up in political opposition to the Obama agenda. But the Jupiter/Neptune principle went much deeper than just the economic inequality that lay at the surface of American politics. Regions like Appalachia, the South and Midwest, that were culturally entrenched in pre-1965 Uranus/Pluto conjunction America with its fundamentalist Christianity, racial and ethnic segregation and white supremacy, and still not fully reconciled with the changes that had eroded their privilege to dominate the society after the Uranus/Pluto conjunction, tied their political wagons to the Tea Party movement and rode into the U.S. Congress in the mid-term elections of 2010 as new, more conservative, if not radical Republicans. (Forgive the American Old West metaphor!)

The Jupiter/Neptune First Quarter square occurred on 25 June 2012 at 3:53am EDT, Washington, D.C., less than twenty-four hours after the Uranus/Pluto First Quarter square occurred on 24 June 2012 at 05:12 am, EDT. We were experiencing two critical first quarter squares in two different synodic cycles of the outer planets at the same time. Although the economy was turning around, the U.S. was experiencing a serious political and cultural conflict with liberals and mainstream Republicans on one side and these new radical Republicans on the other, who later would identify themselves as the ‘Freedom Caucus.’ Obama went on to win re-election, which shocked these new Republicans. They believed they had the political upper hand, but apparently the country was not as supportive as they imagined. Obama would go on to win one argument with a national health care plan, but much of his socially progressive agenda was blocked by the new Republicans and he used ‘executive orders’ to put many items of his agenda in place. Of course, there was an immediate reaction from the new Republicans and accusations that Obama was by-passing the Constitutional role of Congress as the legislative body.

Additionally, radical right wing media outlets began gaining popularity among these ‘disenfranchised’ people in the Midwest, South and Appalachia. InfoWars, Breitbart and The Daily Caller all became more influential and began influencing the direction and agenda of the new Republicans in Congress.  InfoWars and Breitbart, specifically, had been spreading propaganda, right wing conspiracy theories, and misinformation that caught the attention and imagination of the new Republican base. Yet, this was foreseeable in the Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction chart with the square to Mercury Rx. But all of this comes down to the Jupiter/Neptune and Uranus/Pluto First Quarter squares.  Both charts have Gemini Rising, so they are very similar, the only difference being the Moon placements in Leo and Virgo.

In the Fall of 2013, things began polarizing in the U.S. Congress and they shut the government down, effective midnight on 1 October 2013. This was at the time that Jupiter and Neptune were 135 degrees apart (sessquare), opening the Gibbous Phase of the cycle. Typical for this planetary phase, it was at this point in time, that the Freedom Caucus and the new Republicans began successfully taking over the House of Representatives. The moderate Speaker of the House, John Boehner, began losing control and the radical Republicans were successful in pushing their agenda. This continued until September of 2015, when Jupiter and Neptune reached opposition, and John Boehner resigned leaving the House in the hands of the radicals. They had achieved their ultimate success—almost.

There was something else happening in the Fall of 2013 when Jupiter and Neptune were sessquared. The exact 135 degree aspect occurred on 28 September 2013, 10:37pm EDT, 21 Gemini was on the Ascendant.  An interesting astrological ‘co-incidence’ is that Trump’s natal Moon is at 21 Sagittarius, pulling him into the Jupiter/Neptune cycle at the time when the radical Right in Congress were gaining political traction and power over mainstream Republicans. And of course, he would eventually become their anointed Leader as a result. Donald J. Trump went to Moscow, Russia for the Miss Universe Pageant on the weekend of 9-10 November 2013, and that night two things happened. He and a couple of wealthy Russian oligarchs made a tentative deal to build a Trump tower in Moscow, and then the infamous events with prostitutes that were later alleged in the Steele Dossier.  This became important when Jupiter and Neptune reached opposition in 2015.

Fast forward to 2015. In early March 2015, Mercury was conjunct Neptune in Pisces about 8 degrees. According to U.S. intelligence, they intercepted communications at that time between Trump and contacts in Russia. It is still a secret as to what the intelligence community knows about those conversations.  On 20 March 2015 there was a partial eclipse at 29 Pisces, and within a few hours after the eclipse it was reported that Trump was intending to announce his candidacy for president sometime before summer.  Let’s look at that eclipse with the U.S. chart (1 July 1776, 07:08 pm LMT, Philadelphia).

Jupiter is still in the waxing Gibbous Phase to Neptune, Neptune squares Uranus at 8 Gemini, but the explosive planetary aspect is the tight Uranus-Pluto square exactly triggering the Moon-Saturn square in the U.S. chart, Pluto conjunct the U.S. Moon squaring Saturn, Uranus squaring the Moon and opposing Saturn. I was not using this ‘Powell Chart’ for the U.S. at the time, but had I been, I would have been extremely alarmed. We now know the history over the last four years since these transits occurred, and the divisive, disruptive, unsettling nature of them is hard to ignore. It was also at this time that Russia began organizing its cyber-attacks, campaign of disinformation and anti-Clinton propaganda using social media and the right wing media outlets that were mentioned earlier. Trump declared his candidacy on 16 June 2015 at 11:24am EDT in New York. The Ascendant was 7 Virgo. There was another partial eclipse on 13 September 2015 at 20 Virgo, and four days later, 17 September 2015 at 02:53am EDT, Jupiter reached opposition to Neptune at 7 Virgo/Pisces right on the Ascendant of the announcement that Trump was formally a candidate.  That fall and winter of 2015-2016, Trump and those key players in his campaign were actively engaged with Russians in furthering the Trump Tower deal. There were outside players involved as well—Rex Tillerson and the family of Betsy DeVos, both of whom ‘coincidently’ became cabinet members in the Trump Administration.

So, astrologically, we now see a clear connection between the Trump Campaign, Russia, and the Jupiter/Neptune opposition.  This relationship, and it’s clearly supported by the astrology, was meant to help Trump and disadvantage Clinton, according to the U.S. intelligence community findings.

During the campaign between September 2015 and May 2016, Trump kept the Trump tower deal a secret. He had to. It was a clear conflict of interest. Information did leak out, however, but nothing substantial enough to conclude anything definitive beyond speculation. Trump, though, denied having any financial or other connections to Russians.

In April of 2016, Neptune reached 10 Pisces, conjunct the I.C. of the U.S. Government (4 March 1789, 12:00am LMT). Trump appointed Paul Manafort to manage his campaign on 7 April 2016. Manafort, as we now know, was a paid agent and representative of the pro-Russian Ukrainian government, although he failed to report that status to the Federal Elections Commission. As such, he knew about the relationship between Trump and Russia. He indicated to his Russian connections that he could get them ‘inside’ the Trump Campaign. He volunteered to work for the campaign for free. He came on board, and then was promoted to Campaign Manager a couple months later. Other players in the campaign were then given assignments related to campaign fund raising and getting Russians to contribute. In some cases, they did this directly with smaller amounts of cash, but Russian oligarchs discovered they could go through the National Rifle Association, give them millions, and have them contribute to the campaign without raising any suspicions. In short, Neptune was conjunct the U.S. Government’s I.C., undermining the foundations of our democratic institutions and election laws.  Jupiter was at 14 Virgo still in opposition to Neptune, but directly opposing the Government’s Sun/Saturn conjunction at 13-14 Pisces, indicating the influence of a foreign power in opposition to the Government’s purpose and functions (Sun) and its institutional regulations and laws (Saturn).  In addition, transiting Saturn had joined the fray in mid-Sagittarius creating a t-square to the Jupiter/Neptune opposition causing even more damage to the rule of law, although the public was not yet aware of what was happening.

Then, as we all now know, Trump Jr., Manafort and others met with Russian intelligence people in Trump Tower in New York on 9 June 2016 at 4:00pm EDT, because they had promised to reveal ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton. Trump had just met with Putin in Hamburg, Germany, and as per his modus operandi, it was a private meeting, and no one knows what was discussed. He was flying back to the U.S. when the 9 June meeting took place. He did two things on that flight home:  He called the New York Times and told them Putin was not responsible for the alleged interference in the election, and he drafted a memo lying about the nature of the meeting in Trump Tower with Russian intelligence.

Of course, what followed was FBI Director Comey’s public announcement in July that the FBI found nothing illegal in the investigation into Clinton’s email server and usage.  It was at that point, though, that hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee were being released through DCLeaks in June and July, and then by Wikileaks on 22 July. The Russians were planning on hacking the Clinton Campaign as well. On 27 July 2016, with apparent pre-knowledge of what Wikileaks and Russia were about to do, Trump, now the official Republican candidate for president, at a campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia, requested that Russia  find the 30,000 missing emails from Clinton’s server.  He began his request with the words, ‘Russia, if you are listening…’  At the time, of course, no one understood what he was doing. But, within hours of Trump’s public request to Russia to hack Clinton’s campaign, the Russians did just that, capturing emails from Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, and then turned them over to Wikileaks, who published them beginning  7 October 2016. And as we also now know, Trump and his people had been in constant negotiation with Russians over the Moscow Tower deal into November of 2016, at the time of the election, but lied about it the entire time to hide the conflict of interest. The Jupiter opposition Neptune  t-square Saturn was in full force.

Trump won the election on 8 November 2016. Pluto had retrograded back to 15 Capricorn, conjunct the U.S. Moon and square Saturn in the Independence chart, where it was when he announced his candidacy and began his campaign. Uranus was at 21 Aries and triggered the Government chart’s Jupiter/Neptune square at 19 Cancer and 22 Libra in the time leading up the election, which should have sounded the alarm that something wasn’t right with the political campaign. But then American politicians don’t look at the astrology of the political process. However, even American astrologers couldn’t imagine there was something rotten in the process—the presidential election has always been understood to be a sacrosanct, incorruptible democratic institution. It was unimaginable to believe that transiting Uranus square Jupiter and opposing Neptune in the Government chart indicated any level of corruption. But the planetary transits don’t lie. When the results of the election were announced, there was a collective shock, revulsion and convulsion that shook the country and the world. Millions of people poured into the streets across the country and around the world in mass demonstrations against his presidency.

His inauguration on 20 January 2017 at 12:00pm EST had transiting Jupiter conjunct the Government’s Neptune quincunx Mercury, triggering the chart’s Jupiter in Cancer square Neptune in Libra, reinforcing the problems in this Jupiter/Neptune cycle and presenting the country with a level of dishonesty never before seen from a president. Neptune was conjunct the I.C., poised to transit the Sun/Saturn conjunction over the next two years.  There was an immediate corrosive influence of Neptune and the resulting deconstruction of the administrative state and the undermining of political and institutional norms. Adding insult to injury, transiting Mars/Saturn square had directly hit the U.S. Mercury the week before the inauguration, challenging the press and news media, revealing the Administration’s antipathy to honoring the truth and respecting the rights of the news media as a necessary part of the checks and balances in government.   Here are the transits to the Government’s chart at the time of Trump’s inauguration.

Through most of 2019 America will be faced with the Last Quarter Jupiter/Neptune square, that, because of retrograde patterns, repeats three times between January and September—a time of crisis in consciousness and awareness of everything that went right and everything that went wrong through the cycle from conjunction in 2009 until now, but especially since the opposition in 2015. The Last Quarter square is always the beginning of the end. It starts the last quarter of time in the cycle before the new phase begins in 2022. It is a time when it is necessary to evaluate, assess, and admit to what has gone wrong, and to maintain and improve on what has gone right. Objective truth and realism are now required above all things.

The right wing’s extreme, radical reaction to the Obama Administration in 2009 initially formed around the ‘Tea Party’ and the objection to the economic policies in combating the recession at the time of the conjunction. Then the conservative fundamentalist Christians and nationalists joined that movement within the Republican Party at the Jupiter/Neptune waxing semi-square and gained political traction at the First Quarter square, then succeeded in taking over Congress at the Gibbous sessquare.  Unfortunately for the Republicans, they tied themselves to Trump at the opposition, who, because of his financial wheeling and dealing with the Russians, promised them to end the economic sanctions for their transgressions in the Ukraine and elsewhere. In exchange, the Russians ‘donated’ heavily through illegal means to the Trump Campaign and created a massive propaganda and disinformation campaign aimed at the Democrats and Hillary Clinton using social media platforms and the extreme right-wing media outlets in order to help Trump gain the necessary traction in key states.  And the radical Republicans, both the voters and politicians, were willing to believe the lies and deceptions.

Much will be revealed and challenged during the Last Quarter phase over the next year and half, but especially during the period when the two planets are within orb of square.  These coming nine months between January and September will be decisive as Neptune and Jupiter go square, then retrograde, then come back to square, go retrograde, and come back to square again. The reaction of Americans to what is revealed this year under this square regarding Trump’s misadventures, misdeeds, conspiracy and conflicts of interest, will determine what happens when Jupiter reaches 45 degrees behind Neptune, opening the Balsamic phase in the cycle of the two planets in early January 2021.  Because the conjunction occurred squared to Mercury Rx in Fixed signs in 2009, the possibility of a trend to deconstruct the truth and promote mis- and disinformation, if not outright lies and propaganda, was there from the beginning. That the developing cycle hit the US Government chart in such a profound way at the square and sessquare, and then at the opposition it pulled Donald Trump into the cycle, I suppose it was also inevitable that, with the election of Donald Trump, Americans would be faced with the negative side of Jupiter/Neptune in the deconstruction of its institutions and objective truth (Neptune conjunct, Jupiter opposed and Saturn squared  the Government’s  I.C., Saturn and Sun), and an attack on the press and media as ‘enemies of the people’(transiting Mars conjunct and Saturn square the Government’s Mercury at the time of the inauguration), in an attempt to undermine the constitutional role of those estates, and thereby protect Trump’s inherent dishonesty, conflicts of interest and conspiracy with the Russians. 

If the wrongs that have been done are not appropriately dealt with, things will get even more difficult for Americans when the Balsamic phase opens in early January 2021 at the waning Jupiter semi-square Neptune. It will be at that point, with the last gasp of the cycle, that either chaos and disintegration occur and the future looks dark and up for grabs by the most undemocratic, truth-refuting elements in society, or the challenges will have been met, dealt with, and the country will begin to plan for a better future and new statements of intent regarding truth, justice and the American way, fully aware of the issues in the past that have led them to this point.  

There is a potential point of optimism with the Balsamic waning 45 degrees between Jupiter and Neptune, and that is, the next Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 0 Aquarius occurs just days before the Jupiter/Neptune waning semi-square is exact. Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions always reset the social, political and economic trends. All presidents in the U.S. are inaugurated with the Sun at 0 Aquarius, and, therefore, America will have this new twenty- year cycle of Jupiter/Saturn that will begin directly on the degree of the Sun for all future presidents between 2020 and 2040. I am optimistic these approaching transits will help reset America and the country can begin reconstructing objective truth and integrity in the American system. This experience will not end completely, though, until 2022 when the next Jupiter/Neptune conjunction occurs. Only then can America, and the world, say a heart-felt, collective goodbye and good-riddance to the years of Jupiter/Neptune chaos and political surrealism especially since the First Quarter square.  How these events have changed geopolitics and the world order will now have to be assessed by political scientists and historians.

The Jupiter-Saturn Effect in Social, Political and Economic Processes

By Gary Lorentzen

When discussing social, political and economic processes in worldly affairs, astrologers point to the synodic cycles of the planets Jupiter and Saturn as the most important cycles to observe, especially the beginning of a cycle when the two planets come together in a conjunction approximately every twenty years. In a social and political context, Jupiter represents the urge to expand civil rights and diversity within a society, while Saturn represents the social organization, traditions, structures and institutions that sustain a society. This often translates to liberal (Jupiter) and conservative (Saturn) political culture as well. When the two planets are in conjunction, there is always a new statement of intent for the short term (approximately the next 20 years) regarding who in the society is going to continue to have full participation and equal access, and to whom equal protection under the law and access to the established social institutions will be granted.  These conjunctions occur at a moment in time when societies, generally, have just gone through a difficult transition period as the cycle comes to a close in the last couple years just before the two planets come together again.

It is useful to use a lunation cycle model to examine any synodic cycle, which then yields eight periods of 45 degrees in the 360 degree cycle—the New phase from conjunction to 45 degrees, the Crescent phase from 45 to 90 degrees, the First Quarter phase from 90 to 135 degrees, the Gibbous phase from 135 degrees to opposition, the Full phase from 180 degrees back to 135 degrees (to the next conjunction), the Disseminating phase from 135 back to 90 degrees, the Last Quarter phase from 90 back to 45 degrees and the Balsamic phase from 45 degrees back to 0 at the next conjunction. Here is a graphic representation of the eight phases with the standard planetary aspects included.

New Phase
The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn marks a new phase of short term social, political and economic development. New ideas are brought forth (Jupiter) and put into effect in the social and political institutions (Saturn). Who makes these new statements of intent and politically institutionalizes them, depends on who ‘won’ the political argument during the closing phase (Balsamic) of the last cycle. The New phase encompasses 45 degrees of arc between the two planets and approximately two and half years of time.

Crescent Phase
When Jupiter reaches 45 degrees ahead of Saturn, the Crescent phase begins, and those in political power, as well as those people who now dominate the social narrative, will have to mobilize their energies and their ‘tribe’ or base to maintain what they’ve set in motion since the conjunction. If they maintain their momentum in the society then the next two and half years will be productive and their intentions effective.

First Quarter Phase
However, when Jupiter reaches 90 degrees ahead of Saturn, about five years after conjunction, the First Quarter phase begins, and there is always a backlash to the statements of intent made at the conjunction. It is a crisis in action for those who are in control of the social and political narrative. Their vision for the future is always severely tested because it is a time when any problems with their vision and agenda will become quite clear to everyone, and people will respond critically and push against what is not going well. The positive, viable statements of intent will survive the crisis, but the intentions that are not viable will have to be abandoned, which usually happens then when Jupiter reaches 120 degrees (trine) ahead of Saturn.  In economics, if there are problems that are not dealt with effectively at the beginning of the First Quarter phase, there will be a full-blown economic crisis at the Jupiter/Saturn trine that follows. Those in political power are forced into crisis management as the ‘ship of state’ begins to list.

Gibbous Phase
When Jupiter reaches 135 degrees ahead of Saturn, the Gibbous phase begins, and it marks a time when the efforts to resolve the problems and ‘right the ship of state’ take hold and, when effective, there is improvement in the economy and lessening of any political turmoil. However, if the measures taken violate or somehow run counter to the original statements of intent made at the conjunction, or they are ineffective in solving the crisis, then there will be heightened political tension over the next two and half years. Governments and economies can collapse. New political movements can form to oppose reform measures that have been undertaken since the Jupiter/Saturn trine.

Full Phase
Approximately ten years after the conjunction, when Jupiter and Saturn are 180 degrees apart, the Full phase begins. It is at this time that the positive, viable statements of social, political and economic intent made at the conjunction come to fruition, and those that were not viable are left to the dustbin of history. Those original statements of intent now become fully institutionalized and part of the fabric of society.  If there was an economic crisis during the First Quarter phase, then the Full phase marks a time when the crisis truly abates, if the measures taken beginning at the previous trine (120 degrees) and sessquare (135 degrees) were effective. If there are any issues still unresolved, but they deal with intentions that are still valid and reliable, then there will be some resistance to going any further with those intentions. Within civil societies, those who oppose these intentions will try legal means to remove them. In societies that have few if any democratic institutions or they are not well developed, or economic policies have been too expansive, the Jupiter/Saturn opposition often brings turmoil and governments and national economies can collapse.

Disseminating Phase
When Jupiter reaches 135 degrees behind Saturn, approximately 12-13 years after the conjunction, the Disseminating phase begins. This is the point in the cycle when the political powers mobilize their base and distribute or disseminate their vision and message throughout the body-politic in all areas of the society. Whatever successes were had at the opposition and whatever was made a fixture in the social and political fabric of the nation will now be ‘adopted’ by the whole of society and it is taken for granted that the original intentions and goals are an integral part of the social and political institutions. Those intentions that were legally challenged at the opposition will now either be rejected by the court/legal system or given legitimacy. Whatever previous social, political and/or cultural projects failed or were suppressed by the government causing failure at the opposition, the disseminating sessquare will bring forth objections, demonstrations, and resistance against leaders and governments. Depending on the national horoscope, it could lead to open rebellion or even civil war. And, since it is a ‘disseminating’ phase, in the case of such conflict, people will disperse and migrate for safety and security reasons.

Last Quarter Phase
As Jupiter squares Saturn again, 90 degrees behind Saturn, the Last Quarter phase begins. Once again the society experiences a crisis—this time a crisis in consciousness regarding the whole history of the cycle up to this point.  This two and half year period marks a time of looking back, reflecting on what has happened, and feeling the need for change.  The political opposition to the powers-that-be may gain traction in the body-politic and there is a strong push to make changes. Where there are large pockets of people who have been left behind in the cycle, they will rise up and challenge the status quo. If there is meaningful opposition, they may be successful at the Jupiter/Saturn sextile when Jupiter is 60 degrees behind Saturn.

Balsamic Phase
The last period, the Balsamic phase, begins when Jupiter is 45 degrees behind Saturn. This marks the last two and half year phase before the next conjunction. It is often a bit chaotic and confusing as the old statements of intent seem no longer functional and it becomes clear adjustments need to be made and a new set of goals, standards and intentions needs to be established for the future.  The cycle winds down and the old statements of intent and political successes begin unraveling.  It is often accompanied by extremes in political positions as the liberal Jupiterian and conservative Saturnian elements in the body-politic vie for the advantage and the privilege to set the new standards that will have to be made at the next conjunction.  And yet there is no real, solid vision of what is to come.

The Balsamic phase is often the most politically tumultuous period because the standards and values of the cycle are no longer wholly viable and reliable and a political struggle ensues between those who want to keep them and improve them and those who want to abandon them and start over at the next conjunction. The Saturnian conservative elements will seek to maintain what they value from the cycle whether it has worked or not, while the Jupiterian liberal response is to abandon what does not seem to work and expand or venture off into a new direction. These political currents run counter to each other and often polarize the people into ‘tribes’ of either Saturn or Jupiter, and it doesn’t matter what kind of political system the society has. Even in a parliamentary democracy with multiple political parties, the various parties will come together in their coalitions creating two general camps, one Jupiterian, the other Saturnian.  It should be a time of calm reflection when the political leadership wisely brings people together in order to come to some collective consensus on what to do next. Brainstorming, planning and compromise are the positive political behaviors associated with this phase of the Jupiter/Saturn cycle, which will always happen to some degree. However, politics is always a little dirty and, if it gets out of hand, a country could experience widespread agitation, polarization and political conflict.

The Elemental Pattern
These scenarios depend as well on the longer trend of these conjunctions occurring in specific signs and elements (fire, earth, air or water).  The conjunctions change elements approximately every two hundred years. In Western tropical astrology, this last elemental cycle started in the Earth signs in 1820-21. The mutation to Air will occur in 2020. When the conjunctions change elements it’s often called a ‘great mutation’.  It often happens toward the end of the elemental period that the second to the last conjunction will occur in the next element.  This also happened in this Earth period. The conjunction shifted to the early degrees of an Air sign (Libra) in 1981, however, the next ‘great mutation’ does not actually become a reality until 2020, since the 2000 conjunction, the last of the Earth conjunctions, once again occurred in the late degrees of Taurus.  As it was the last conjunction in Earth signs for centuries to come, it marked the end of the Earth elemental cycle and the 2020 conjunction will bring the beginning of a new Air cycle with the conjunction at about 1 degree of Aquarius.  For the next two hundred years the conjunction will continue to occur in Air signs.  It is probably important to think of these Jupiter/Saturn synodic cycles within this larger elemental pattern.  There are ten conjunctions within each elemental cycle and there is probably some important socio-political-economic progression or evolution associated with each elemental. There needs to be more research on this and more written to add to the body of work on the synodic cycle of these two planets.

The outline presented here is obviously described in very general terms and much depends on where the conjunction occurs in a national horoscope and, geographically, where in the world it falls on the one of the four angles, Midheaven, Ascendant, Nadir or Descendant. so it is important to provide an example to see how the synodic cycle has actually worked in history.  Since most readers are probably familiar with the history since the year 2000, let us examine the chart for the 2000 Jupiter/Saturn conjunction. Key to understanding the effects of the conjunction are the aspects to the conjunction from other planets.

Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction, May 2000
The last Jupiter/Saturn conjunction occurred on 28 May 2000 at 12:05pm EDT. This chart is set for Washington, D.C., but readers can relocate it to any location. It is of interest to note that relocating this chart to the Middle East puts Uranus on the IC (4th House cusp) in northeastern Africa (Tunisia, Libya and Egypt), and Pluto on the Ascendant in Iraq.  In 2003 Ba’athist Iraq was attacked by a coalition of countries led by the U.S., the country was destroyed and the dictator, Saddam Hussein, was captured and executed (very Pluto!).  In the winter of 2010-11, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya went into open, violent revolution (Uranus) against their political leadership.  But then in the tropical zodiac the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 22 Taurus 43 was squared by Uranus Rx at 20 Aquarius 49, promising a very disruptive, tumultuous, revolutionary twenty year period, complete with radical religious groups (Uranus square Jupiter), authoritarian leaders ousted by the people in open revolution (Uranus square Saturn), economic recession that started in the real estate mortgage banking system (Moon in the 8th semi-square Uranus and the MC), and a serious disruption in the existing geopolitical world order (Uranus square Jupiter/Saturn).

With the conjunction at the MC squared by Uranus Rx, in the United States there was an immediate political crisis when the presidential election in November of 2000 was virtually tied in the Electoral College with Al Gore receiving a very slight majority in the popular vote. The outcome of the election was decided in the Supreme Court and George W. Bush was declared the President even though he had not won the popular vote. The following September 11, 2001 radical Islamic zealots attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC., murdering nearly 3,000 people and injuring over 6,000. This became the defining moment for this Jupiter/Saturn cycle, ultimately leading to the protracted war in Iraq, the rise of ISIS, the problems in Syria, and the increasing threat of terrorism in the world. The conjunction squared to Uranus also promised economic disruption and world-wide political repercussions. As you read through the Jupiter/Saturn phases and their aspects over the last twenty years, keep in mind the basic principles regarding each phase as outlined above.

Jupiter/Saturn Phase Relationships-2000-2020
New Phase
The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn squared to Uranus brought important, new statements of intent in geopolitics regarding radical religious terrorism (Uranus square Jupiter), and in economics regarding an untethered free market (Uranus square Jupiter) with little institutional or governmental control (Uranus square Saturn). Unfortunately, the independent financial and economic institutions in the world didn’t police themselves very well and without much government oversight, they took the world economy to the brink of catastrophe under these planetary aspects.

In regards to geopolitics and radical religious terrorism, at the time of the World Trade Center attack, Jupiter and Saturn were still within their New Phase, but Saturn was then opposed by Pluto, and Jupiter was with the North Node opposed by Mars conjunct the South Node—the violence and terrorism clearly indicated in those combinations. Considering that Jupiter and Saturn were still in a New Phase, the event would shape and inform the world situation for the entire cycle. The original Jupiter/Saturn square Uranus set up the radical threat to the established world order and 9/11 was the first event to make that clear. The world’s response would be felt and seen at the beginning of the next phase as it mobilized against the terrorism.

Another important issue that began with this conjunction in this New Phase was a dramatic push in Europe and the Americas to liberalize laws regarding LGBT people. Individual states in the U.S. offered ‘civil unions’ for same-sex couples, beginning with Vermont. The following year, 2001, civil unions were granted in more states, in Germany, in England, and anti-discrimination laws and ordinances were passed in many countries and states in North and South America. Additionally, there was a legal challenge in Canada against the definition of marriage being only between a man and a woman. That court case was eventually settled and the definition of marriage was expanded to include same-sex couples. It seems the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction square Uranus also set up a revolutionary change (Uranus) that challenged long-standing cultural and religious traditions and institutions (Jupiter/Saturn) regarding sexual minorities and the definition of marriage. This would become a dominant theme in Western countries throughout the cycle as LGBT activists created a new statement of intent regarding their status in society and the definition of marriage.

Crescent Phase
Jupiter reached 45 degrees ahead of Saturn in 2003, marking the beginning of the Crescent Phase, and, true to form, there was a military mobilization of many countries in a coalition that attacked Ba’athist Iraq and took out Saddam Hussein. However, Saturn was still opposed by Pluto, and Jupiter was then opposed by Neptune, so the mobilization effort, although militarily successful, created more confusion and instability (Neptune) and a terrible loss of life with now a stronger reaction from terrorist forces (Pluto).

Issues of national security consumed most Western nations, and in the U.S., a new law enforcement agency was formed, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It is responsible for investigating crimes involving human trafficking, weapons trafficking, art theft, document fraud, human rights violations, money laundering, etc. But it also has a bureau called ‘Enforcement and Removal Operations’, which hunts down undocumented people inside the U.S., arrests and deports them. It is probably the most criticized and controversial agency in the new Homeland Security Department.

But the Jupiter/Saturn semi-square is all about mobilizing and expanding (Jupiter) safety and security (Saturn), and sometimes the fear-based decisions (Saturn) become exaggerated and non-citizens can become scapegoats and targets (Jupiter). At the time ICE was founded, both Pluto and Mars opposed Saturn, and Neptune opposed Jupiter, indicating perhaps an overly aggressive, militant (Mars/Pluto) agency that runs more on a xenophobic ideology (Neptune opposing Jupiter) than anything else.

Regarding LGBT rights, as Jupiter semi-squared Saturn, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case Lawrence vs. Texas, that state laws criminalizing homosexuality and consensual sex between two adults of the same gender were not constitutional. Homosexuality was no longer a crime anywhere in the U.S. This court case and the decision opened the door for same-sex marriage and adoption. In Canada, the Supreme Court case expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples led to the first gay wedding in the province of Ontario. In Belgium, gay marriage also went into effect and throughout the West, LGBT activists were mobilizing their legal teams to challenge existing laws that discriminated or limited their access to society. Gay activists in Spain filed legal proceedings against the government regarding the definition of marriage, which would then lead to the legalization of gay marriage in 2005.

First Quarter Phase
Jupiter reached 90 degrees ahead of Saturn on 25 October 2006 opening the First Quarter phase. There didn’t seem to be any major developments in the world at the time, except for a couple of important economic warning signs. The New York Stock Exchange reached 12,000 for the first time in its history, and housing prices reached their peak in the U.S. market at the same time. Then a report was released at the end of the year showing more than 1.2 million home foreclosures in 2006, leading economists to warn that there was a ‘bubble’ in the housing market that could not be sustained and the home mortgage banking industry needed to make changes. They did not, which would eventually prove nearly fatal for the industry.

The only other event of note during this time was on 5 November 2006, Saddam Hussein, as the emblem of the Middle Eastern brutal ‘bad boy’, was tried, convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. He was executed at the end of the month.

Jupiter reached 120 degrees ahead of Saturn in 2008 releasing the energy that was blocked at the square. Neptune was still between 21-24 Aquarius continuing its square to the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 22 Taurus, the North Node entered Aquarius and moved across Neptune. Neptune has a ‘dissolving’ or ‘erosion’ effect, and when combined with the North Node and the release of blocked energy as Jupiter trined Saturn, the economic warnings that had been ignored and the stubbornness of the financial/banking industry in not making necessary changes at the square brought economic disaster. In 2008, the face of the global economy changed forever. Investment banks, the secondary credit market, and an unregulated
financial market disappeared. As the free market failed, the U.S. government bought a controlling share in banks and insurance companies. The central banks around the world propped up the financial system. In September of 2008, America came very close to total economic collapse. The stock markets started sliding in September and on 24 October 2008, the New York Stock Exchange collapsed losing in total nearly 46% of its previous value.

As might be expected, the movement to liberalize laws regarding LGBT gained momentum everywhere in the world, including Asia and Africa.  South Africa legalized gay marriages; Mexico, Czech Republic and Slovenia legalized same-sex civil unions; Scotland legalized adoption for same-sex couples. There was, however, the beginning of a backlash against this liberalization under this Jupiter/Saturn square. The first Gay Pride Parade was held in Moscow, but it was banned by the government and there were violent clashes in the streets between police, anti-gay mobs and the LGBT marchers. In the U.S., seven states banned gay marriage, although those laws would eventually be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gibbous Phase
Jupiter reached 135 degrees ahead of Saturn on 30 January 2009. Barack Obama had taken office as president of the United States on 20 January 2009. He continued the economic and financial policies of the Bush Administration to counter the economic recession, and then went even further with government spending to infuse money into critical businesses. These measures included billions of dollars in bail-out funds to support the automobile and banking industries.  There was an immediate reaction from conservatives who objected to government spending to bail out these large corporations that were deemed ‘too big to fail’. But government
central banks all over the world were doing the same, and there was evidence already at this Jupiter sessquare Saturn that measures were slowing down the economic free fall. There was a new optimism that government actions could stop what appeared might become a world-wide economic depression.

However, certain countries did not follow the U.S. lead in the crisis and in Iceland, for example, the economy and banking system completely collapsed which resulted in mass demonstrations that led to the collapse of the government.  In Greece, the economic crisis revealed under-reported debt and the government wasn’t able to make its interest payments on loans. This led to the collapse of the economy, the ‘Greek Depression’, and the repercussion that had on the economic stability of the European Union. In Uganda right at the time of the Jupiter/Saturn sessquare, a bill was introduced to allow the execution of LGBT. It was called the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill. It was eventually overturned by the Ugandan courts, but it marked a new level of resistance to the growing liberalization regarding sexual minorities. However, the momentum gained by LGBT activists around the world was not thwarted or hindered. Norway legalized gay marriage at the time of the sessquare. Iceland elected the first openly gay woman as Prime Minister, the first openly gay head of state in the modern world. Argentina and the Philippines ended the ban on gay men serving in the military and Japan legally recognized same-sex couples married in countries where it is legal. In the U.S. more states were added to the list of those legalizing gay marriage.

Full Phase
Jupiter and Saturn reached opposition on 22-23 May 2010 opening the Full Phase in the cycle. In spite of evidence that government policies to counter the Great Recession were succeeding, there was a strong conservative backlash to the amount of public funds being spent on the crisis. In the U.S., the Tea Party was organizing and gaining political traction as the mid-term elections in November approached. In Europe, the E.U. set demands on Greece that amounted to an ‘austerity program’, if they were to stay within the Euro Zone. In Iceland, a new government was formed that reformed the banking system, arrested the former leaders of these financial institutions and put the country back on a reasonable economic track that would eventually succeed. The economic experts came to the consensus that the Great Recession was now ending, and the governmental interference in the free market was successful in averting a major depression.

In the Middle East, what began with Jupiter/Saturn conjunction squared Uranus, the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and then war in Iraq in 2003, now reached its fruition and completion, and the U.S. announced its intentions to pull ground troops out of Iraq. Within a month after the Jupiter/Saturn opposition, elections were held in Baghdad and their tentative sovereignty as a new nation began.

LGBT rights in the United States were further extended at the Jupiter/Saturn opposition with the end of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, allowing LGBT to serve openly in the U.S. military. Argentina, Iceland, Portugal and Tasmania legalized same-sex marriage as well. The original statement of intent at the conjunction to expand civil rights for sexual minorities reached a peak of activism and legal success in the world during the opposition.

Disseminating Phase
Jupiter reached 135 degrees behind Saturn on 20 July 2012 at 10:00pm in Washington D.C. opening the Disseminating Phase. On that very evening near Denver, Colorado, there was a mass-shooting in a movie theater, and, although there had a been a few mass-shootings before, there would be from this time on an ever increasing number of mass-shootings in the United States reaching epidemic proportions over the next six years. In the chart for the Disseminating phase, Mars was opposed to Uranus (sudden outburst of violence), squared to Pluto (mass violence), and trined to Jupiter (inflationary, expanding violence).

Another interesting event occurred ten days later in India. Mercury was retrograde, and relocating the Disseminating phase chart to Agra, India, Mercury Rx and the Moon were rising just above the horizon in the 12th House. Ten days later, Mercury still retrograde and Mars still opposing Uranus and squaring Pluto, the electrical grid failed and there was a massive power outage through most of northern and northeastern India. They managed to bring back the grid, but it failed again the next day, 31 July, starting at 01:02pm in the area around Agra. Twenty-two of India’s twenty-eight states were without power, affecting more than 600 million people—the largest power outage in human history.

The aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings became concentrated in Syria in 2012. By mid-June of 2012, just as Jupiter and Saturn were approaching sessquare, the United Nations officially declared Syria to be in ‘civil war’. Beginning in late July and early August, just at the time of the exact sessquare aspect, the conflict began to escalate, moving into the two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo. This created a wave of millions of refugees that has continued through the Jupiter/Saturn cycle since then.

LGBT rights were once again expanded in the U.S. in the Disseminating phase when the Courts ruled the federal ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ was unconstitutional. It did not legalize same-sex marriages at the federal level, but it paved the way for the Obergefell case in 2015 that would. On the other hand, resistance to this kind of social liberalization occurred as well. Russia passed a law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’, which effectively bars anyone from speaking publicly about homosexuality. And some countries in Africa strengthened their anti-gay laws as well.

Last Quarter Phase
Jupiter reached 90 degrees behind Saturn on 3 August 2015 opening the Last Quarter phase in the cycle. The civil war in Syria became even bloodier and more destructive; the refugee problem in Europe began to reach crisis proportions creating political turmoil, and out of the turmoil grew a right-wing political movement in France, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Austria that opposed Middle Eastern and African immigrants and refugees.

Likewise, in the U.S., increasing economic problems, corruption and out-of-control violence in Central America, brought a wave of refugees to the border. The U.S. system for taking in those seeking asylum was overwhelmed, forcing refugees to try to cross the border illegally. This led to a policy called ‘catch and release’, where families were detained briefly, given a date to appear in court, then released. As in Europe, the situation created a wave of right-wing anti-immigrant sentiment. Donald Trump, then as a candidate for President, used that to his advantage, promised to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico, to severely curtail both legal immigration and asylum, and to reform the immigration policy to include a ban on all Muslims. Trump’s success was a clear signal that the U.S. was making a sharp turn to the right politically, which created immediate and massive protests. The courts refused to allow the Muslim ban, but a limited version of it, banning Muslims from certain countries and immigrants from Venezuela, was implemented. In Turkey, there was also a swing to the right as President Erdogan began dismantling the liberal, progressive State, limiting freedom of the press and the extension of civil rights, especially to gay people. However, in the U.S., the Supreme Court ruled that the states could not ban same-sex marriages, which made gay marriage legal throughout the country. Ireland, Cyprus, Chile and Slovenia were also added to the list of countries legalizing marriage equality.

True to the nature of the Last Quarter phase and Jupiter in a waning square to Saturn, there was a world-wide crisis of consciousness regarding the largest migration of people since World War II, the ensuing issues of human and civil rights, and how to proceed now that the global war on terror seemed to be achieving some level of success.

Balsamic Phase
Jupiter reached 45 degrees behind Saturn forming a waning semi-square and opening the last, Balsamic phase of the cycle on 22 December 2017. This phase is one of the most difficult periods of time in the whole cycle as the statements of intent that occurred about eighteen years earlier now have to be re-visited, reflected upon and decisions have to be made as to which intentions will be used as a basis for the next cycle. In economic terms, the intentions in 2000 to further globalization and reduce trade barriers between countries are now being severely tested. The United States under the Trump administration has decided open trade has hurt the U.S. and trade barriers are once again being raised in the form of tariffs.

The European Union’s currency and trade policies that came into effect at the end of the last Balsamic phase of Jupiter and Saturn, just before the new conjunction, are now being criticized and attacked by the United States.  China and the U.S. developed bi-lateral trade agreements in 1999-2000 at the time of the last Jupiter/Saturn conjunction and China was admitted to the World Trade Organization in 2001 shortly after the conjunction. As can be expected, now that Jupiter and Saturn are again in Balsamic phase, the trade relationship between the U.S. and China is also strained.  The U.S. is moving towards economic nationalism and a certain degree of isolation from its trading partners, as it applies tariffs to foreign products sold in the U.S. These tariffs are meant as both punishment for ‘abusing the U.S.’ and to protect American manufacturing and labor. However, the E.U., Canada, Mexico and China are responding with their own tariffs on American manufactured and agricultural products. This ‘trade war’ could do serious damage to the world economy. It is still recovering from the Great Recession and the pressures created by these trade barriers could create serious problems at the next conjunction in 2020.

It is also evident in this last phase that the U.S. is attempting to re-align the geopolitical relationships that have been in place throughout the cycle–thus, Trump’s courtship of Russia and North Korea and his increasing criticism of both traditional partners and allies like South Korea, Japan, Canada, Mexico and European countries, as well as new trading partners like China and the E.U. The political situation in the United States has become volatile and chaotic since Trump’s election and the Republican Party has allegedly become the Trump Party, abandoning traditional, conservative Republican economic, trade and geopolitical policies in order to ‘follow and appease’ Trump.  The on-going investigations into his actions during the campaign have yet to be completed. The results of the investigations will create turmoil no matter what the outcome of the investigations is.

Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction 2020
This new Trump Party lost ground in the U.S. mid-term elections in 2018 allowing the Democrats to re-gain the majority in the House of Representatives. This sets up a major political battle within the government between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch as the behavior and actions of President Trump will be politically and legally scrutinized. Who wins this battle will be made clear in the outcome of the next general election in 2020.

A month after the 2020 elections, the next conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on 21 December 2020, with its Mars rising in Aries exactly squared to Pluto in the 10th House in Washington DC, will most likely lead to extreme social, political, economic and military turmoil and conflict, both domestically and internationally.

Mars as ruler of the chart exactly squared to a 10th House Pluto promises extreme power struggles centered on the executive branch of government and presidential leadership. Trump’s authoritarianism is likely to intensify. If the Democratic Party succeeds in 2018 and 2020, there will still be extreme chaos and conflict within the United States and a serious power struggle that will challenge if not threaten the American system and its democratic institutions. 

Key areas of the world will be strongly affected. The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction along with Pluto falls near the Descendent in Europe squared to Mars at the Midheaven (MC). It is not out of the question that war could erupt in Eastern Europe if Russia once again tries to expand as it did with the annexation of Crimea in 2014. In Asia, and specifically in China, the conjunction, including Pluto, falls at the Nadir (IC) squaring Mars at the Descendent. This could bring natural disasters and disease that take the lives of thousands of people. 2020 through 2022 promises to be a very dangerous time for the world as we experience the next New Phase of these two planets.  The last two and half years in this last Balsamic phase of the cycle will prove critical to what happens at the next conjunction.  But we are, as yet, still lacking the vision to see clearly what is coming. We sense the chaos and conflict, but in this final phase of the cycle the future still looks very opaque and foggy. The overriding challenge of the Balsamic phase is to develop a collective vision for the future as the old structures of the last 20 years are gradually replaced by new intentions, new relationships and a new order. This next conjunction will start an entirely new elemental cycle in Air signs (in Western tropical astrology), and the conjunction at 1 Aquarius promises a disruptive, revolutionary set of social, political and economic intentions for the world, and especially for the West. But there will be extreme power struggles and massive resistance to those intentions based on the 2020 chart.

The Great American Eclipse 2017

Today marks the beginning of ‘eclipse season’ as the New Moon occurs today in early Leo. This will be followed by the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in mid-Leo on August 7th, and then the total Solar Eclipse in late Leo on August 21st, whose path dissects the U.S. from Oregon moving southeast across the Midwest to South Carolina.

There have been two previous total Solar Eclipses in the last century at the same degree of the tropical zodiac at 28-29 Leo: Aug 21, 1914 and Aug 22, 1979. There have been other partial and annular eclipses at the same degree in 1906, 1933, 1952, 1971 and 1998, but I’m going to focus here on the total eclipses. The 1914 eclipse path went through Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The 1979 eclipse path went through the SW Washington, NW Oregon, northern Idaho, Montana, the northeast corner of North Dakota into central and NE Canada to Greenland.

It’s beyond the scope of this blog to examine the charts for all the countries and states directly within the paths of these total eclipses. To make it reasonable and digestible to the reader, I will focus on the U.S. Government’s chart to see the impact the eclipses had and will have this August on the administrative state, i.e. the government. (The U.S. Constitution and therefore the government went into legal effect on March 4, 1789 at midnight. I’ll be referencing the chart for that moment in time.)

The chart for the US Government/Constitution has 27 Scorpio Rising with its ruler, Mars, at 28 Aquarius. All of the eclipses at 28-29 Leo, whether partial, annular or total over the last century or so have stood in direct opposition to that Mars and square the Ascendant, which forces the government into action to deal with emerging crises. In 1914, it was World War I and the Spanish Influenza epidemic. In 1933 it was countering the rise of totalitarian dictatorships in Europe and Japanese Imperialism as well as taking governmental action against the Great Depression. In 1952, it was the growing nuclear threat from the USSR, the agitation to end the Korean War, which forced the newly elected Eisenhower to go himself to Korea and he ended the war shortly thereafter, and the reactionary political environment in the US called the McCarthy Era. In 1971, it was the oil embargo as a result of US support for Israel. In 1979, the eclipse marked the demise of the Carter Administration over its handling of the Iranian Revolution and embassy crisis in Tehran, which forced the government to take military action that failed. It’s also noteworthy, that the 1979 eclipse path through the Pacific Northwest also brought Mt. St. Helens to life which then erupted nine months later and spread layers of ash all along the eclipse path! In 1998, it affected President Clinton, himself, with the Monica Lewinsky scandal and his resulting impeachment. But Al Qaeda also bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania the day before the eclipse, forcing the US to launch attacks against their bases. In all of these examples, the US Government was forced into action as the eclipse opposed its Mars.

This coming total eclipse will once again oppose the Government’s Mars and square the Ascendant. However, as always, it isn’t just about the degree of the eclipse itself, but also the angles and the other outer planets in relation to the Government chart. At the time of this year’s eclipse, transiting Neptune will be at 13 Pisces conjunct the Government’s Saturn/Sun, Pluto opposes its Jupiter, Saturn squares its Mercury, Uranus sextiles its Mars, and the eclipse Ascendant opposes its Moon. These planetary combinations are rather alarming, but as usual we are aware of unfolding events that will reach crisis stage due to the eclipse.

Transiting Neptune conjunct Saturn, for example, has been hovering there since early January when we first heard the words from the Trump Administration, ‘the deconstruction of the administrative state’. Since just before the election transiting Pluto has been opposing Jupiter, and we’ve been hearing about the subterfuge and efforts of a foreign government to wield influence in the election and the possible involvement of the Trump team in that effort. Transiting Saturn squaring Mercury, ruler of the 10th House/Midheaven (leaders, executive branch, etc), has revealed the limitation, ineffectiveness and resistance to the new President. All of these transits are still in effect at the time of the August 21st eclipse, so we can expect increasing tension and mounting crisis as we approach that date. The eclipse itself often indicates a ‘watershed moment’ in ongoing crises, the resolution of which occurs in the months thereafter.

The following charts are the Secondary Progressed planets for the Government with the Solar Eclipse on the outside, and the US Government chart itself with the eclipse planets on the outside.

As you can see in the Secondary Progressed chart, the Government will have a progressed New Moon two days before the eclipse. Total Solar Eclipses literally ‘cast a shadow/shade’ on a chart. That this shadow should also occur at the same time as a progressed ‘darkening of the Moon’, indicates to me that the Government must in some fundamental way ‘start over’ with new statements of intent. With transiting Uranus conjunct the progressed Midheaven and opposing this progressed New Moon, events related to the Executive Branch will be shocking and upsetting. But I think on some level, since Uranus has been opposing the progressed Sun for a number of months now, the foreshadowing for this eclipse event has been more than evident. We can expect more of the same in the Trump Administration as we’ve experienced him over the last six months, but it will reach critical stage as a result of the eclipse. He will continue to attempt to disrupt and disturb the federal bureaucracy. The actions of the President over the next month will determine the depth of this growing crisis. With Uranus in Aries on the progressed Midheaven, I fully expect rash, erratic, unprecedented actions that bring serious, unsettling consequences for the government.

Transiting Mars as ruler of the progressed Aries Midheaven is at 20 Leo in the eclipse chart squared to the Mercury/North Node conjunction in Scorpio in the progressed chart. The actions of the President will be intensely scrutinized by a media that he will continue to attack. If the media and Trump have a difficult relationship now, the eclipse will intensify the animosity. Transiting Jupiter square Pluto sextile to the progressed Mercury/N. Node conjunction will bring even deeper legal scrutiny of Trump and his administration. And that transiting Mars is in a 3+ degree opposition to Pluto in the 7th, so we can expect very serious power struggles between the president and the legal and congressional investigation teams delving into his campaign’s behavior and his finances. I suspect it will turn into open ‘warfare’.

In the final analysis, given that the Solar Eclipse falls right on Trump’s natal Ascendant/Mars conjunction, with transiting Saturn exactly conjunct his natal Full Moon eclipse in Sagittarius in his 5th, and the eclipse’s rather stunning impact on the chart of the US Government, I suspect he will act impetuously and unwisely in open defiance of the ‘administrative state’s’ resistance to his policies and its investigations of his behavior and financial history. If Trump and his supporters ever really believed he could actually ‘change Washington’ in the way he promised by ‘deconstructing the administrative state’, and apparently by hook or by crook, the eclipse will reveal just how valid or invalid those intentions are.

A perennial question regarding eclipses is the length of time of their influence. I personally don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule here, but subsequent planetary aspects to the eclipse degree are important, and from what I’ve seen, there isn’t necessarily an astrological statute of limitation. The summer of 2018 has a repeat of the Leo eclipse this time at 18 Leo (exactly opposing the government’s Pluto at 18 Aquarius) with 13 Leo Rising (at Washington D.C.) and Uranus Rx on the MC. We may not see a substantial expression of this summer’s 2017 Leo eclipse until then. This 2017 eclipse begins the crisis and sets the terms, but transits to the eclipse chart and the government chart over the next year will bring to light for the public exactly what is at stake. The eclipse on August 11, 2018 exactly opposing the government’s Pluto should prove very damaging to the Trump administration, but the damage can be traced back to this summer’s eclipse at 28 Leo.

Foreword to the Queer Astrology Conference Journal

It has been a year now since the first Queer Astrology Conference took place in San Francisco and it is perhaps time to reflect on what happened there, how it came to be and where it will lead us into the future. There was an initial gathering of interested astrologers last spring in San Francisco, whose discussions and idea-sharing led to the planning of the summer conference. There was surprise expressed by many that there had not been a Queer Astrology Conference before 2013. After all, academic studies in Queer theory and Feminist theory have been part of mainstream intellectual efforts for more than thirty years now, and gays and feminists long ago found a kinship with astrology and astrological studies. So, why was there this cultural lag within the astrological community that has taken so long to bring Queerness and Feminism into mainstream astrological inquiry and criticism, at least to the degree that there could be a Queer Astrology Conference in 2013?

A thorough answer to that question is probably more complicated than what can be outlined in a foreword to these transcripts of last year’s Queer Astrology Conference. There probably needs to be a serious academic study of the history of feminists, gay people and their contributions to the field of astrology. However, there are rather common-sense suggestions for possible answers to the question based on the remembrances and insights of those older astrologers who began moving astrology in a new, humanistic direction in the late 1960s and 1970s, and who knew very well most of the gay and queer astrologers of the period. To that end, my conversations with Donna Cunningham, Alan Oken, Diana Stone, and Erin Sullivan helped me remember some of the queer and feminist astrologers who shaped the study and discipline of astrological practice. They reminded me that the struggle for civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights of that period opened up the previous astrological community to hippies, a new generation of intellectual and well-educated astrologers, Blacks, young Feminists and Gay men. This new generation of astrologers began integrating their life-experiences and their education into astrological practice, and as a result, new astrological theories and ideas began influencing the world of astrology. New concepts like Marc Robertson’s ‘Cosmopsychology’ and Michael Meyer’s ‘Humanistic Astrology’, the influence of classical mythology and archetypes presented by Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung in re-interpreting planets and their roles in human behavior, as well as the continued work in depth psychology originally introduced by Dane Rudhyar in the 1930s (‘The Astrology of Personality’) and promoted and further developed by Liz Green, Howard Sasportas, et al, all served to bring a new astrological culture and a new body of literature into being. Part of this period of innovation included a large number of gay men and women who proved to be a driving force behind this new humanistic approach to astrology.

In spite of the queer and feminist influence in the new humanistic approaches, being openly gay was still problematic in astrological circles in the 1970s and 1980s. In spite of the very nature of astrology, most students and practitioners were not that open to knowing who was queer, much less having open discussions about it. Initially, all of the queer astrologers stayed quite closeted. This was reflected in the society at large, but when the AIDS epidemic began, it decimated the ranks of our gay astrologers. No fewer than fifteen gay professionals died during the epidemic and the initial impetus for a Queer Astrology died with them. Millions died across the country and queer people began to get angry at the lack of response and the general prejudice and ignorance. It became necessary to act up and act out—and that meant change the culture to accept ‘coming out’ as a part of the queer experience. This also began to happen in the astrological community. Gay astrologers began outing themselves, because it was clear that silence meant death. Open discussion, recognition and honest discourse were the goals for those of us who were still alive. Although things began changing in the country and around the world, within astrological circles coming out didn’t seem to make much of an impact. In the final analysis, we had simply lost too many of our most important queer astrologers to AIDS and there just weren’t enough voices left to bring the message home.

That does not change the fact that many gay men were behind the humanistic and psychological approaches to astrological interpretation and they were, in fact, the first phases of what we would now call the ‘queering’ of astrology. However, once we lost so many of our great astrologers in the ’80s-90s, we also lost the momentum in developing a body of openly queer literature, theory and criticism. Without their presence, inspiration and charisma, queerness in astrology simply languished. The global astrological community simply did not evolve any further in its understanding of queer people and their lives. Interpretations of the birth chart most often reflected the archaic, pathological view of queer sexuality as inverted, perverted, confused or simply willful rebellion. Astrologers were still telling people that their sexual identity could be found in the birth chart. Both gay astrologers and gay clientele were still being alienated by those so-called experts who had such answers for them. In fact, many astrologers still believe and maintain that they can find ‘homosexuality’ in the birth chart. This fact alone makes it clear that the process of queering astrology is not complete—we still have hard work ahead of us. However, there is now a new generation of astrologers that has been influenced by Queer and Feminist theory, and they are part of a larger cultural shift that includes and integrates queer and gay people into our mainstream, everyday life. They are open-minded, filled with empathy and new life and intellectual experiences that are beginning to change astrological attitudes, culture and practice, just as my generation did back in the 1970s. They have made it a goal in this postmodern world to deconstruct astrological interpretation and practice and renovate it with queer and feminist theory and criticism. They have begun anew where the older generations’ queer and gay astrologers and their efforts left off.

The Queer Astrology Conference of 2013 was a first step in bringing these new efforts into focus. Their influence is beginning to be felt at mainstream conferences where even the older generation has begun talking about sexuality and relationships in a new light that is colored somewhat queerly. So, I applaud and encourage their efforts here to continue the work that was begun decades ago, work that was influenced by queer and feminist theory, but that unfortunately was left incomplete after the tragic impact of AIDS in our astrological community. The challenge is to develop a new body of astrological literature that will reflect what has happened here and now, as well as fulfill the dream of the previous generation of queer astrologers. This current movement to queer astrology, to organize conferences, and to create a new mode of interpretation must result in the publication of these ideas in our collective body of astrological work. This book is clearly a first effort in creating our future and an excellent start in educating our colleagues as to the nature of the vision.
Gary Lorentzen