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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.