Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Hope vs. Hate: life in today’s Neptune-Pluto hall of mirrors

“The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.”
“A violently active, dominating, intrepid, brutal youth—that is what I am after. I want to see in its eyes the gleam of pride and independence, of prey. I will have no intellectual training. Knowledge is ruin to my young men.” [1]

These lines from Adolph Hitler’s writings are cited in an intriguing study, entitled The Invisible Player: Consciousness as the Soul of Economic, Social and Political Life, by former Science & Technology Specialist for the World Bank, Mario Kamenetzky.  Despite how thoroughly the media has sliced and diced everything about Hitler’s life and times, these lines are still shocking. They shock in the same way that much of Machiavelli’s thinking still shocks our sensibilities today: both men stated in a bald-faced manner what many in power (or aspiring to power) may privately think—and practice—but would rarely admit to.
As with Machiavelli—perhaps even egged on by Machiavelli’s ideas—Hitler clearly viewed humanity (specifically its youth) as a resource, a pool of energy, or tool for achieving his ideological aims. As those in many regimes have been, people targeted by Hitler were considered “expendable materiel”—essential to the “means” described by Machiavelli’s ruthless maxim, “the ends justifies the means.”
So, when Hitler said he was “after” a “violently active, dominating, intrepid, brutal youth,” it reflects the ways in which his Nazi party actively cultivated these traits in youth to achieve his own self-serving aims. A violent, but subservient underclass, schooled to hate and fear those unlike themselves, was as fundamental to Hitler’s fascist project and imperialist designs as weapons and oil were.
Recent news coming out of states where armed militia members waving Confederate and Nazi flags are trying to force governors to ignore public health in favor of a toxic vision of “freedom”—to infect those around them at will?—suggests that Hitler’s creed lives on in the current D.C. regime. In fact, the protests are quite openly doubling as Trump rallies, which is to be expected because they’re being paid for by conservative right-wing PACs and egged on by Trump’s Twitter feed. This transparent attempt to intimidate that we’re facing—now, at a time when we need support from D.C., not treachery—mirrors Hitler’s deeply pernicious use of mob violence—a toxic Neptune-Pluto dynamic to its core then and now.
Unfortunately, we can expect that these “protestors” will be the same thugs who show up at election precincts in the fall as self-styled election monitors. Even if no actual violence transpires, the top-level uses for their implied threats will, rest assured, be many.

A brave AZ nurse stands up against those protesting their state shutdown.   

Let’s be real here. Left to their own natural lights, 99.9% of children are not violent, subservient and hateful—those traits must be cultivated in them through a long, focused process that both distorts and denigrates their spirits. The jury’s still out on the essential “goodness” of humanity, but I feel certain we can assert that most obnoxious hatred of the sort Hitler valued is the product of “nurture,” not “nature.” Here’s where it gets interesting, however—those who have a vested interest in creating a violent, hateful culture know that they have to tap into “nature,” as well. Nature equips us with a primitive survival instinct—what the ancients would consider Hades’ (Pluto’s) turf in the stomping grounds of the human psyche, and what Kamenetzky calls the “archaic” level of human consciousness.
It is at this level that a creature in nature is either cast as predator or prey, meant to feast on others or to be feasted upon. At our best moments in history, humanity has adopted moral precepts and passed laws to protect the vulnerable, rather than surrendering them to those with predatory instincts; however, tapping into this primal, aggrieved, survival-driven level of collective consciousness was essential to Hitler’s goals. Even so, empire-building could not happen at this primal level alone.
As Kamenetzy explains it, this archaic level of consciousness also characterizes a distinct phase of human evolution—the primitive level at which humans are “at one” with cosmic consciousness: “There were no ideas of time and death. Life was a succession of ‘heres.’ This, I would argue, is the primitive Neptunian dimension of humanity’s collective psyche. Hominids did not entertain propositions of good and bad. There was perhaps a felt, though unexpressed, aesthetic, but there was no sense of ethics. Hominids could not decide how and when to follow their instinctive drives. They were guided by nature as trees are when shedding their leaves, or as birds are when undertaking their seasonal migration.”[2]

Nurses honoring their colleagues who died from lack of protective gear.
Kamenetzky points out that most cultures view this nature-bound stage of human evolution as our lost “paradise;”—quite apt when Neptune is factored into the picture. He also says that for humans, leaving paradise was a prerequisite to becoming fully conscious—aware of the delusions we often harbor, at least. “It was a paradise because we could not do otherwise than just be, hence avoiding the discontent and pain but also the joys of becoming. We left paradise not because we were being punished, but rather because we were blessed. Humans had to develop knowledge about the world and themselves, shaping themselves into conscious partners of the cosmic consciousness for the task of guiding the evolution of planet Earth, a tiny part of the awesome cosmic creation.”[3] 
In other words, we had to extract ourselves from the primal fear-driven haze of Pluto and Neptune and become fully-engaged with the Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus realm of life in earth-bound societies.
Because our physical beings are genetically bound to that instinctual primal level, we are still driven to varying degrees by the sensitive, watery “filter” of the Moon, which links us with Neptune-Pluto’s  compelling unconscious realm on both personal and collective levels, while shielding us somewhat from the overwhelming force of these heavies, as well. The ability to distinguish differences between our selves (Sun) and others was among the first conscious adventures of humanity. This rudimentary development is reflected in the evolution of the human brain: two of the most primitive areas (probably dating back to Hominid days)—the “reptilian” (survival-oriented) brain stem and the amygdala—are thought to be ruled by Pluto and/or the Moon
In nature, these brain structures provided (and still provide) exquisitely sensitive threat “antennae,” essential to survival. In Hitler’s manipulative hands, they provided a blank slate on which to etch his fear-based, irrational, compulsive agenda. As with Machiavelli’s ideas, Hitler’s techniques have been well-practiced since his own time, though few would openly admit it.

In 1938, the nation was on edge and open to manipulation.
As any objective follower of Trump’s Twitter feed knows, tapping into survival fears—whether truthfully, or through deception, distortion, innuendo and dissimulation—is the easiest way to whip the collective mind (his “base”) into a frenzy of “Us against Them.” That’s why Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” Halloween broadcast sparked a national panic among radio listeners in 1938 (see Chart #1 below); Neptune (Virgo) exactly conjoined the nation’s Sibly Neptune, opening the door for mass deception and impressionability, while Pluto (Leo) tightly opposed Moon (Aquarius) and Saturn (Aries) squared Chiron (in Moon-ruled Cancer), both aspects sparking existential fears and dread.

Chart #1: War of the Worlds Radio broadcast, October 30, 1938, 8:00 pm ST, New York, NY. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.
As I wrote in a July 2, 2016 piece here, the purposes of Neptune and Pluto can be summed up quite simply: Chaos and dissolution engenders Creation; from Death comes Life. Neptune and Pluto are partners in this evolutionary process and their “breakdown-death-transformation-rebirth” routine performs a necessary service to our Species, writ large, but they do not deal kindly with individual needs and desires because that’s not their job. 
As it happens, when an entity’s chart features strong personal planet connections to these two (as we see in Chart #1), their impersonal collective energies can overwhelm the personalities, putting them in a slow-burning state of constant “fight or flight.” This probably explains why passages in which Neptune and Pluto are dominant leave broad swaths of humanity vulnerable to those who would manipulate their natural survival-focused instinct. Welles manipulated the American people to prove the power of radio; demagogues do so to enhance their own power. 
It’s up to us humans to respond to the pressures of Neptune and Pluto through the institutions and societies we create (the domains of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus)—unfortunately, the current administration has been working overtime destroying those institutions, so it’s up to those who are able to salvage what is essential and to reimagine, reform and rebuild those aspects of government that will need a rebirth. Needless to say, it’s also up to We the People to deal kindly with each other and to reinvent our socio-economic and rule-of-law institutions to reflect our better angels. Mustering the power to do all this will depend quite heavily on our conscious participation in the upcoming election, and our ability to think beyond whatever economic woes are dogging our steps at the time.
I can’t think of a better time to revisit FDR’s famous inaugural maxim during the depths of the 1930s Depression: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” A leader who can help us tap into the higher potentials of this Neptune-Pluto passage we’re facing will be essential going forward. 

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."--FDR, March 3, 1933
Conscious participation is essential because it takes maximum awareness and willingness to accept observable and verifiable facts to avoid sinking into primitive gut reactions—Pluto’s Scorpionic tendencies, deployed via our cardinal (action-oriented) lunar/Cancerian sensitivities.  There’s a time for such “fight or flight” reactions, of course, during true emergencies, but as accustomed as we are to sitting on the edge of our seats while watching gut-twisting thrillers, real life is almost always far less dramatic.
Even so, we’re being conditioned to leap to dire conclusions on the basis of someone else’s self-serving delusions, and an unfortunate number of Americans these days are embracing those delusions wholeheartedly (“the government is out to steal our freedom for the sake of a fake (?) crisis”) when those complaints are not just delusional, but dangerous. Not only is this delusional outrage being purposely manufactured and misdirected, it’s designed to unnecessarily complicate the dangers threatening our communities. Perhaps it’s time we wonder exactly why?
Those who remember the Bush Doctrine of “preemptive strike” will see how it captured Neptune-Pluto’s terror-producing dynamic perfectly. Perhaps an attempt to rationalize the irrational, Bush’s “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to national defense would have been laughed off the books before its ink was dry if it wasn’t for our reptilian brain’s inability to distinguish between real or imagined threats. Such discernment relies upon our more discriminating, conscious minds. Hence, the reason Hitler banned intellectual training: a well-developed intellect can call out irrational thinking and see through the manipulations of hateful ideologies. This should give us pause when we consider how chronically underfunded education has been in this nation for decades.

NYTimes reports on Trump's dismantling of U.S. diplomacy.
So long story short, while we’ve been busy focusing on our everyday lives, the U.S. government has been effectively dismantled and undermined, for both domestic and international purposes—sometimes quite openly and at times with less fanfare or simply by default. Trump has done his best to undermine Congress’s sole power of the purse, as well as its oversight authority, by simply refusing to cooperate if he risks being held accountable for anything. His recent series of Friday night firings of Inspectors General from various departments only adds to the devastation and shields Trump and those closest to him (especially Barr and Pompeo) from corruption investigations.
As we speak, the Supreme Court is due to decide whether Trump’s tax returns will finally be made available for oversight purposes, but it’s difficult to envision that happening at this juncture.
There’s so much more that could be said here, but long story short, Pluto—now just a few degrees from its exact return to Sibly Pluto and made even more unforgiving and relentless by its transiting partner, Saturn—has presided over the gutting of our federal government and the creation of an Executive branch that holds the lion’s share of power (even over the purse), but accepts none of the responsibility. So what now?
First, we have to realize that things may get worse before they get better—for one thing, despite some progress, the pandemic still has the U.S. and many other countries in a state of suspended animation—again, expressing a toxic blend of Saturn, Pluto and Neptune. Trump’s chart is, unfortunately, tightly-tied into these transiting energies, and in fact, his Gemini-Sagittarius positions are also tied into transiting Neptune’s half-return to Sibly Neptune. So yes, if by some cosmic wisdom that eludes us, the destruction of our government and financial institutions was the highest use of these transits, he has been the perfect catalyst for that destruction.
If the way Trump's own failings regarding the COVID crisis are colliding with this election year is any indication, he will be in a more vicious mood than ever during this election. From the New Yorker:
“Trump is running Facebook ads depicting Joe Biden as excessively sympathetic to China and cognitively diminished (“Joe Biden: Old and Out of It”). The President is above all trying to whip up a frenzy of paranoia about the Obama Administration’s supposed efforts to promulgate the theory that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. “Obamagate,” according to the President, is an affair “worse than Watergate.” The Justice Department, undermining the rule of law, has obediently asked that charges be dropped against Michael Flynn, the former national-security adviser, who admitted to lying to investigators about his contacts with Russia. In 2016, Trump’s rallying cry was “Lock her up!” Now the calls for prosecution are directed at Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”
So, toxic Neptune and Pluto, all the way. This article also compares Trump to Joseph McCarthy, of 1950s “Red scare McCarthyism” fame, and a key takeaway from that is that Trump, like McCarthy, excels in being able to provoke turmoil and confusion—destructive forces that threaten not just the coming election, but the nation at large.

We've been through periods of demogoguery before and it never ends well.
The big question being, of course: once Trump is done tearing down everything decent about this nation, who will catalyze our rebirth?
Because experts think it’s likely we will still be in the throes of the pandemic in November, with an even more severe spike in cases possible due to the combined impact of seasonal flu and the COVID-19 virus, it’s critical that we elect candidates who embody the highest expressions of the prevailing transits. In a nutshell, those expressions boil down to two key dynamics: Compassion & Cooperation. Evolutionary social scientist Peter Turchin puts this need into broad context in his study entitled Ultra Society. An extended excerpt is warranted here:
“The past is littered with corpses of failed states and empires. Historians and readers of history books alike are fascinated with why this or that empire collapsed. But a much harder question to answer is, how were huge empires possible in the first place?
The answer is that people had to invent arrangements that would allow them to cooperate with strangers. The better they got at cooperation, the better their chances of staying in the game. Even as small-scale societies were being weeded out by competition with larger-scale societies, less cooperative large-scale societies were succumbing to more cooperative ones. There was a lot of trial and error in this process, and there were many dead ends. But that is typical of evolution.
And the process is not finished. The large-scale societies we live in remain quite fragile. We typically take the functioning of the more successful ones for granted. But even in North America or Western Europe, cooperation can unravel quite suddenly.”[4]
For its part, The Atlantic just published an article by Tom Montague that reinforces Turchin’s warning about the “fragility” of our current world order. Entitled “The Pandemic’s Geopolitical Aftershocks Are Coming,” the article surveys a number of scenarios that world leaders and security experts have been discussing with varying degrees of dread and concern. The picture could be quite grim if nations reeling from collapsed oil prices like Russia and others choose aggression over cooperation and compassion. In recent years, Europe has already been overwhelmed by economic and environmental refugees making their way across the Mediterranean from the southern hemisphere; the fear is, things can get much, much worse if the coronavirus decimates developing countries in a second wave and world leaders don’t take a carefully coordinated, cooperative approach to the inevitable challenges.

Whether the WHO has handled the COVID crisis perfectly is irrelevant; we need its expertise!

We know where our current president stands on working with the global community—even with organizations like the WHO whose expertise we desperately need during this pandemic.  Theatening to defund them fits his habits to a tee, giving him someone to blame for his own failings and giving him cover when he's called upon to cooperate or show compassion. Not likely to happen!
To my mind, here are the questions we might want to ask at this point: 1) is Trump’s divisiveness and staunch refusal to cooperate with anyone who doesn’t directly answer to him, making our society more or less fragile? And 2) Is a nation whose organizational and oversight capacities have been diminished so Trump can not be held accountable for anything more or less fragile?
Considering the pernicious way that public health is tightly intertwined with the economic and political health of American society these days, perhaps the most important question is, Who will repair the carnage Trump is leaving behind?
So, who will catalyze our rebirth, indeed? IMHO, the transits of Neptune and Pluto to the Sibly chart are calling forth the heroes we will need to turn this transformative corner. There may be no one knight in shining armor that swoops in to slay our many dragons, but many leaders have surfaced around the country during this pandemic, and they are proving that they have the mettle for the job. This has been especially true with the nation’s governors, like Andrew Cuomo in New York, Mike DeWine in Ohio, J. B. Pritzker in Illinois and yes, Gretchen Whitmer in my home state of Michigan.   

Gov. Whitmer has taken a strong, measured approach to re-opening Michigan.
I may be biased in her favor—indeed, I’m more and more impressed with her leadership every day as our state carefully re-opens, so let’s consider Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who also happens to be on Joe Biden’s short list for V.P. running mate. Three times a week she delivers a meticulously detailed update to Michiganders about the state’s progress in flattening the COVID curve. Her presentations are incredibly thorough, reflecting a determined, fact-based but sensitive response to the challenge, and she has been very wise in securing the cooperation of Michigan’s business leaders, medical experts and regional officials who all have a stake in the state’s successful recovery. 
All while having to endure Trump-inspired hate groups on the Capitol steps brandishing their weapons and hanging her in effigy because she had to impose upon their “freedom” of movement for the sake of Michigan’s overall health.
Thankfully, the vast majority of Michiganders polled to date appreciate her measured, authoritative Saturnian approach to the COVID threat. Her response is getting positive results in the face of great obstacles, and if candidate Joe Biden decided to name her as his VP pick, it is my opinion that we would all be in good hands if something were to happen to him. Happily, we have a timed birth chart for her to consider against Biden’s nativity—see Biwheel #1 below.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Joseph Biden, November 20, 1942, 8:30 a.m. War Time, Scranton, PA ; (outer wheel) Gretchen Whitmer, August 23, 1971, 8:51 p.m. ST, Lansing, MI. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.
Interchart Grand Square: Whitmer Sun-Mercury (Virgo) conjoin Biden No. Node (Virgo) and oppose Biden So. Node (Pisces); this axis squares Whitmer Saturn (Gemini) conjoined Biden Saturn/Uranus (midpoint, Gemini) opposite Whitmer Neptune (Sagittarius) conjoined Biden Venus (Scorpio). To my eye, this configuration says that Whitmer has what it takes to draw out the best in Biden’s character as a public servant. Whether that’s really the VP’s job or not is an open question, but if the VP’s role is to help Biden shine as president, I’d say that’s covered here, too, especially if we factor in Whitmer’s Venus-square-Jupiter (Leo-Scorpio) tying into Biden’s Chiron (Leo) square Sun-Venus (Scorpio). 

Whitmer has endorsed Biden and is on his "short list" for VP consideration.
She would want to make sure she doesn’t outshine the boss, with that Leo Venus of hers, yet unlike Trump, Biden doesn’t strike me as the type who is afraid of a strong woman who knows her mind and has the pragmatic skills to get things done (Sun-Mercury-square-Saturn). Maybe that’s the kind of partner he needs, in fact—he’s subject to a somewhat debilitating Neptune transit opposing his Virgo MC.
There could be potential friction in Whitmer’s Saturn conjunct Biden Saturn/Uranus midpoint, although I would expect this to be minimal, more a matter of style than over policy viewpoints, which should be pretty closely aligned. This basic harmony of viewpoints and leadership styles is reinforced by Whitmer’s Moon-Uranus conjunction (Libra) trine Biden Saturn (Gemini). It’s also interesting that Whitmer’s Moon conjoins Biden’s Neptune (Libra)—this suggests that they will share a level of empathy and emotional understanding, which could be helpful, even with their respective Moons falling inconjunct (Taurus-Libra). They may have different emotional styles that would require some adjustment, but both Moons are ruled by Venus, so hopefully the potential for harmony is there.
Whitmer Mars conjoins No. Node (Aquarius), squares Biden Mars (Scorpio), trines Biden Saturn (Gemini) and opposes Biden Pluto (Leo). Whitmer is no shrinking violet—Mars rules her Aries ASC, which falls trine Biden’s Sagittarius ASC. This perhaps reflects Biden’s more cerebral, yet passionate approach to politics, whereas Whitmer’s winning governor’s race slogan was “Fix the damn roads.” She’s clearly not backing down in the face of vicious protests and death threats over her executive orders regarding COVID-19, so people should not count her out when there’s a fight brewing. She may, in fact, be capable of dealing with Trump’s pugilistic style more straightforwardly than Biden chooses to. He’s reluctant to “bite” when Trump floats some outrageous lie or claim against him, which is as it should be—Biden needs to demonstrate that he can restore the dignity of the presidential office that Trump has basically trashed.

Whitmer will also be co-chairing Biden's campaign. 

A VP candidate isn’t nearly as constrained by such concerns, so Whitmer could feel free to share her horror stories about trying to deal with the Trump administration while shepherding Michigan through the pandemic. To her credit, she hasn’t made a big deal about this from the governor’s podium, but it’s obvious what she’s been going through. Trump has always referred to her as “that woman in Michigan;” it would be poetic justice to see her on Biden’s ticket. Maybe Trump will live to learn her name.

Final thoughts
Historical periods marked by the rise of demagogues of various stripes have much in common, astrologically and otherwise. Mundane astrologers studying such periods over the years have known to look for the “usual suspects” among the planets—the outer planets, most notably, with Mars and Venus often actively involved in triggering major events or trends. I would add that the Nodal axes of such toxic passages in human history are also key indicators of the trends and dynamics that materialize when the apt combination of characters and circumstances are present.

These dark times do not overtake societies overnight, but when they do invade the shores of our cultural and political consciousness, it’s often because they are riding a Pluto-infused Neptunian wave that has been unleashed upon those societies and has eroded their defensive safeguards. This erosion impacts societies on physical, economic, mental, moral and spiritual levels, producing great inequalities and instability, and inspiring the pernicious spread of polarized, “zero-sum” thinking whose basic premise serves the rise of tyrants like none other: if others gain, it must mean that we lose, so we must become ruthless about taking what we want and need from others).

Corruption and toxic individualism become virtues in a zero-sum society (I’m reminded of a recent Michigan quarantine protest sign that read “SELFISH AND PROUD”) and the rancid blend of Neptune and Pluto that makes these “virtues” seem not only normal but inevitable and human spawns a morbid fascination with death and destruction in our collective unconscious, where it rattles around like a roulette marble, seeking out the jackpot notch where stability and security, but above all, Power-writ-large reside.

While Nature is famously "red in tooth and claw," humans have a choice.

The cynical acceptance that death and destruction are the “way of the world”—that we inhabit a “dog-eat-dog world” and that only the “fit” deserve to survive, much less thrive—is not inborn in humanity, although the more precarious and threatening one’s life experiences are, the more one is likely to embrace such a Plutonian outlook. As we’ve seen, there’s a physiological basis for this phenomenon: the unfortunate disconnect between the more recently-evolved, “frontal lobe” parts of our brain that enable us to live reasonably and cooperatively in this world, and our “fight or flight”-driven, anxiety-producing primitive Plutonian amygdalas.

Those who become fixated on their inner Plutos to the detriment of their rational, higher-thinking capabilities (ruled by Jupiter and Uranus) can feel fully justified in their aggressive “Us v. Them” thinking and actions. Even the most heinous violence will be characterized as self-defense for those who adopt such tribal mindsets.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen throughout history how this vicious mindset can also be cultivated in public consciousness by those who stand to benefit from it. In mundane astrology we look to the approximately 492-year Neptune-Pluto cycle for developments on this level, so it’s not surprising that Adolph Hitler’s 1889 nativity featured a Neptune-Pluto conjunction that was a mere two years from its 1891 cycle point in early Gemini. Clearly, his character—and the turmoil marking the early 20th century—expressed the darkest potential of this “civilization-building” cycle, and his influence has unfortunately endured far beyond his actual lifetime. Would those na├»ve young men waving Nazi flags on Michigan’s Capitol steps really want to carry such a mad man’s banner if they weren’t deluded and egged on by toxic rhetoric spewed online and in Trump’s manipulative Twitter feed?

Unfortunately, this particular Neptune-Pluto cycle will endure long past our natural life times, but it’s up to us to choose whether to build our societies around its lighter or darker expressions. As compelling and seductive as the “dark side” may be on the big screen and in the wrestling rings, we’ve been there through blood, tears and tyranny, and we know that it denigrates human societies, reducing them into chaos and despair.

It seems to me that through Pluto’s return to our Sibly Pluto and Neptune’s half return to its Sibly position, we’re being given a cosmic signal that it’s long past time to transcend our long karmic “dance” with the most primitive, fearful and hateful players among us­—who would revel in our destruction as an intact democracy—and finally, to wholeheartedly surrender to our better angels.   

Perhaps Lincoln left unfinished business?

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2020. All rights reserved. 


[1] Mario Kamenetzky, The Invisible Player: Consciousness as the Soul of Economic, Social, and Political Life, Park Street Press, Rochester NY, 1999, p. 63.
[2] Ibid, p. 19.
[3] Ibid,, p. 20-21.
[4]Peter Turchin, Ultra Society: How 10,000 years of war mde humans the greatest cooperators on Earth, Beresta Books, Chaplin, CT, 2016, p. 40.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

A blast of fresh Cosmic air: the new Jupiter-Saturn cycle launches in Aquarius

“Radical common sense reflects the growing realization that individual good sense is not enough—that society itself must make sense or decline. Radical common sense is a spirit. It respects the past, it pays attention to the present, and therefore it can imagine a more workable future.”—Marilyn Ferguson, Aquarius Now

“The Time hath found us.”—Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Brilliant humanist and thinker Marilyn Ferguson has long associated Aquarius with the higher potential for human societies to live more consciously and to accomplish a paradigm shift, a much-needed awakening she first described in her breakthrough study entitled The Aquarian Conspiracy, that would help us face and reverse the societal mess we’ve created by mindlessly following priorities that not only work against our own wellbeing, but destroy our only planetary home in the process. As the passage noted above suggests, she’s continued promoting this theme in her work, often distilling her message and the imperative she sees into one potent phrase, “radical common sense.”[1]
Ferguson’s use of astrology in her work seems limited to the symbolic value of the sign  “Aquarius” in her titles—she was undoubtedly influenced by the 1960s-70s pop-culture phenomenon of the “Age of Aquarius” and could identify with its aspirational nature. Whether the planetary Age of Aquarius has begun, or if not, when it will begin is endlessly controversial, however the 60s-70s version held it out as a period during which a radically improved version of life on this earth and beyond would be possible—a life that’s more humane, egalitarian, peaceful, enlightened and technologically connected (in a “space age” kind of way). 

This vision was undoubtedly at least partial inspiration for Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek series, 2001: Space Odyssey, and other sci-fi films of that era. 

Following the events of our time, especially the woefully inadequate way in which the COVID pandemic has been handled from on high, reminds us that, as Ferguson says, that “society itself must make sense or decline.” The signs of decline are real in this nation, unfortunately—not a matter of opinion: Thousands of would-be immigrants are being held with no regard for health or safety in detention facilities around the nation; millions of men and women who weren’t legally sentenced to death for their crimes are being housed in criminally unsafe prison facilities around the nation; multiple institutions and cabinet departments within our government are now headed by Trump donors and cronies, rather than experts in the relevant disciplines, and those experts who remain in key institutions like Health & Human Services, the CDC and the FDA are in constant fear that their commitment to warning the administration about the pandemic or their stubborn insistence on facts will ruffle Trump’s feathers and mean the end of their jobs. 

Cronyism means the end of competence in government.

Lying, corrupt dealing and ignoring the facts is a matter of survival in the Trump administration—as AG William Barr’s move to dismiss the iron-clad case against Trump buddy Michael Flynn confirmed once again yesterday. Over and over again we’ve seen that those who toe the just or ethical line risk dismissal. And this is only the tip of a corruption iceberg that many in Congressional oversight know is there—they just haven’t been able to make the allegations stick because Trump has also destroyed our constitutional system of checks and balances and (witness Barr’s actions) made holding him accountable nearly impossible. 

Despite that, Trump is, indeed, an impeached president who should have been removed from office, but because his party has been likewise corrupted into unapologetic cronyism and protecting rather than holding him accountable (as is their constitutional duty), we are at his mercy for at least the remainder of this year. 

Despite Trump’s obsessive “happy talk” to the contrary, our vulnerability as a society is hard to overstate right at the moment. The pandemic—what CNN recently termed a “hinge event that will change everything”—is forcing us to reconsider national security from a whole different perspective than usual. A quick excerpt explains:

“America's economy has shed more than 30 million jobs. Indeed, the coronavirus crisis is shaping up to be a "hinge event" in American history, like the Great Depression or 9/11.

It is reshaping the world, politically, socially and economically and it is also revealing major structural weaknesses in American society and undermining already fraying trust in the capacity of the US government to respond effectively to core security challenges… How many of us realized, at the start of this year -- only four months ago -- that entire industries would be brought to their knees, that unemployment would reach levels not seen in more than 80 years. Who knew that the most basic social activities -- going to work, attending school, visiting friends and family -- could be so utterly upended?

Trouble is, Trump’s current rush to re-open the economy and send people back to work isn’t going to restore the nation’s structural integrity, and if it causes another wave of misery and more prolonged shut-downs, trust in government to solve our challenges will plummet even further. Will forcing meat-packing companies back to work keep us safe from the virus? If benefits are withheld from workers who refuse to work in dangerous circumstances, people may not trust what comes out of those plants, and rightly so.

Will people want to buy meat that's processed like this?

Yet, turning over dollars and striking “deals” that force others to follow his lead is the only solution Trump seems to know for anything, and those tactics simply aren’t suited for today’s challenges. 

Even with all this dismal reality bearing down at the moment, however, the Jupiter-Saturn cycle launching in air-sign Aquarius at the end of this year may offer hope for a turn towards that “radical common sense” Ferguson feels is so essential, so that cycle will be the focus of this post going forward. We’ll consider a few basic facts and principles pertaining to this cycle and will then consider how its dynamics tend to be reflected in the course of events. 

Finally, we’ll consider the actual December 21, 2020 chart for the new cycle and what its potential might be for the coming election season in regards to Biden. Leaders reflect their times—will Biden reflect the coming Jupiter-Saturn times in Aquarius?     

The basics

Jupiter rules the environment of ideas, philosophies and ideologies that inform tangible society-building/maintaining policies and infrastructures (Saturn), and together these two contribute to the management of resources and citizen behavior (via the rule of law).  The long Earth synod coming to a close this year—this cycle tends to repeat itself over a long stretch of time in the same element before finally moving on to the next element—has heavily focused on the material aspects of life in society (as Bill Clinton once famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid”), and has resulted in entrenched social systems that determine who is allowed to prosper and who is not. 

It’s no wonder that America’s reputation is built around being the “Land of Opportunity” with streets “paved with gold”—a reputation that’s being sorely tested during this final year of the synod. 

Before we consider a couple key cycles in greater depth, let’s consider some basic Jupiter and Saturn dynamics and how those seem to operate in the realms of life addressed by mundane astrology. 

Basic principles 

·         Approx. 20-yr. cycle – interestingly, the new cycles often land in U.S. election years (was this by our Founding Fathers’ design?). This more or less round number makes it easy to approximate when the high-points (quarter squares) will happen in a cycle – i.e., approx. every 5 years. 

·         Saturn and Jupiter transit at an approximate 1:2.5 ratio of speed. Jupiter completes one orbit in 11.86 years (approx. 12 years), about one sign per year. Jupiter has had deep resonance in the cycles of human life forever – the Babylonian 12/60 number system basically encompassed its orbital rhythm and embedded its energies in Western calendars and archetypal culture. Because of its massive, visible presence in the Cosmos, Jupiter and the Sun were considered by many ancients to be co-rulers of this Solar system (ie., with the stature of Zeus in Mt. Olympus). We do well to recall that Zeus and Chronos (Saturn) had an adversarial relationship, and their planetary namesakes often do, as well, although like all good adversaries, they are capable of producing some very constructive joint efforts.  

·         Saturn completes one sign in. 2.46 years, or one full orbit in 29.46 years (easier to think of as 30 yrs.). Jupiter thus sows the seeds of ideas more rapidly than the manifesting energies of Saturn can deliver a finished product. Film production is a great example here—writers develop ideas and scripts for projects long before one single frame of film is produced, yet as so often happens, film themes tend to resonate with society when they do finally reach completion. A couple examples that were both released during the 1961 Capricorn Jupiter-Saturn cycle:

o   2001: A Space Odyssey; (Kubrick, 5-12-1968). Ura-0-Plu Virgo; Jup-90-Nep (Leo-Sco). This film obviously played off the ambitious national achievement of the U.S. Moon shot program that was planned for 1969 (the film came out in 1968), but there were larger social and even spiritual themes (Jupiter-Neptune) at play, such as Humanity’s evolution, fear of the coming computer age, civil unrest and tyranny (the nation was exploding with unrest that year, with a still-new Uranus-Pluto cycle), the Vietnam War, etc.  

o   The Graduate.  (Nichols, Dec. 21, 1967). Sexual revolution themes and the desperation of young people trying to find meaning and love in the materialistic “Plastics” Establishment their parents’ generation expected them to perpetuate.  In this case, Ura-0-Plu formed the rebellious backdrop for the frustrating Jup-150-Sat energies captured in the film release chart and the narrative. 

Realms of influence for Jupiter-Saturn

Jupiter & Saturn represent two flip sides of basically every area under their planetary purview. One expands, the other contracts. One spends, the other saves and conserves. One speculates, the other analyzes and plans.
This contrarian relationship is especially relevant here when it comes to the Law and government - Jupiter leans toward the abstract, intellectual principles underlying the Law, especially as it promotes the freedom to ________ (fill in the blank). 

Saturn promotes the more institutional, accountability-focused dimension of the Law and of the social contract that underpins it.  One man’s freedom ends where the next man’s begins—in other words, freedom and responsibility are inseparable dimensions of life in civilized society, and they capture the Jupiter-Saturn relationship in a nutshell. 

This cycle then, operates at the heart of the hotly-contested, never-ending debate about the role of government in civil society. The fundamental question is, what do people and their governments owe each other? The answer tends to be reducible to a dialogue between these two perspectives, approximating the Jupiter-Saturn polarity, which can be seen as the two poles of a spectrum of systems of government that stretches from:


Several system types fall in between these two extremes, obviously, but one constant issue seems to be at stake in almost all of them:  the role government should play in regards to business and the economy. If a society’s purpose is to provide a supportive environment for enterprise and innovation while also satisfying human needs that require large-scale infrastructure (like roads and bridges) or institutions like a health care system, schools and universities, a balance needs to be struck between enabling business growth (Jupiter) and requiring businesses to share their largesse through regulations and taxation (Saturn, with some help from Pluto). 

The amount of political influence businesses are allowed to have is another perennial political issue that always seems to show up in candidate platforms, but the Supreme Court weighed in to allow almost unlimited influence in 2010, with its Citizens United decision. So as it stands now, corporations wield enormous influence over our elections, edging our system closer and closer to the “Tyranny” side of the spectrum.  

The perennial debates on these issues tend to also question who should most enjoy the fruits of economic growth and prosperity.  Should prosperity “trickle down” or “lift all boats?” We’ve tried both approaches several times in our history and Jupiter-Saturn dynamics always fall at the heart of these issues. 

Here’s where we see the connection between the Jupiter-Saturn cycle and our value systems as a nation. Saturn is dignified in Venus-ruled Libra, which speaks to the values that are embedded in the rules and regulations it promotes. Who deserves to enjoy prosperity? Despite Libra’s reputation for fairness, our national value system clearly isn’t particularly balanced or even-handed. It’s more reflected in our Capricorn Sibly 2nd house, and has always placed systemic obstacles in the way of minority communities and others who weren’t quite “born to the manor.” Capricorn (ruled by Saturn) is happy to name winners and losers, which explains why our “Liberty and equality for all” founding mantra has often fallen short.  

Practical applications

So Jupiter and Saturn have quite practical applications, which extend even to the physical dynamics that play out in the realm of politics and national affairs, and to the way we think about the political world we inhabit. Jupiter likes to speed the flow of anything fluid, including capital (it co-rules Pisces with Neptune), while Saturn tends to slow down or channel such circulation to some purpose (as with a dam).. These speed dynamics impact how the business of government is accomplished, not to mention the flows of national finances. 

As we’re realizing quite concretely in these times, our consumerist economy is decidedly dependent (and not always in a healthy way) upon an unleashed, confident Jupiterian public that’s not afraid to spend, spend, spend, even exceeding its means. On the other hand, a Saturnian public that opts to save and invest for the future rather than spend beyond its means today is a “problem” for this type of economy. 

Jupiter pushes to remove barriers to spending, for “day trader” speculation and the unfettered global circulation of capital, while Saturn counsels self-discipline, sound long-term investing that might follow a few prudent rules, and frugality. At some point between these two extremes, there’s a balance between reckless short-term spending and responsible long-term planning. 

In terms of national mindsets, Saturn promotes structured, linear thinking, while Jupiter promotes abstract, integrative, “cerebral” type thinking. For Saturn, details matter; Saturnian thinkers want to examine data and facts to analyze the success of a program, for instance. Whereas for Jupiter, the philosophical or ideological “big picture” is what matters; the Jupiterian thinker is more likely to look for a memorable “motto” or “metaphor” such as “Make America Great Again” to pursue a desired goal, and the details are for some underlings to worry about. 

We need to celebrate both types of mindsets!

There’s a place and time for both types of mental processing, and being able to mix it up is best, but there are toxic extremes in both types of thinking as well. This issue may seem to be more personal than societal, however societies (or segments of society) do express mindsets at any given time, a phenomenon that seems clearly related to the Jupiter-Saturn cycle in force and the ways in which these two interact with the other outer planets. A dominant Saturn can lead to rut-bound, overly-linear and bureaucratic thinking, in which the leader (or agency or official) misses the forest for the trees, and dominant or excessive Jupiterian thinking can move beyond optimistic expansiveness into a type of Piscean magical thinking that smacks of Neptunian fantasy and denial). 

Such magical thinking (“the virus will just disappear one day”…”I have a hunch that this time will be different”) can be deployed as an avoidance tactic, or it can be a sign of some kind of addictive disorder. Ideally, of course, societies would make the best use of all these thinking styles to promote and cultivate creative, innovative thinking that is expansive, technically brilliant and grounded in facts. 

Recent trends in the U.S. look to the “private sector” for such innovation, with government’s role being to support the efforts of business and to basically get out of the way. In fact, if we’re to ever solve many-faceted problems like climate change, we have a serious need for some brilliant public/private partnerships, arrangements that would reflect a very constructive balance of Jupiter and Saturn dynamics.   

America was "born" under a fiery Jupiter-Saturn cycle.

The Jupiter-Saturn cycle in U.S. history

Before we go any further, let’s consider the list of Jupiter-Saturn cycles that we’ve experienced during American history, beginning with the one that was in force when the nation was “born” in 1776.  [See Table 1 in files]

Table 1. Jupiter-Saturn cycles in American history (set for Washington, DC–Earth synod (1762-2020)
Prog Sib Sun
Prog Sib Moon

19 Can
26 Tau
8 Leo
7 Aq
26 Leo
17 Lib
16 Vir
27 Can
5 Lib
13 Ar
1+ Taurus
24 Lib
22 Sag
15 Sco
1 Lib
5 Sag
27 Gem
24 Sag
26 Aq
15 Cap
26 Sco
5 Aq
25 Leo
25 Aq
12 Tau
16 Pis
2 Aq
Color key: Orange = Fire cycles; Green = Earth cycles; Blue = Air cycles
Notice the cycles above are color-coded according to the element they fell in: before the Earth synod that is soon ending, there was the Fire synod, with centuries of Jupiter-Saturn cycles launching in either Aries, Leo or Sagittarius. As our history attests, the U.S. was “born” in a storm of fiery revolutionary ferment and it gained its intellectual and ideological footing as a democracy (codified in the Constitution the founders hammered out over years of debate)  under the final Fire cycles of that synod.
Also highlighted in Table 1 are the cycles that have been “anomalous” in terms of element—meaning out of series. The 1802 cycle (coded “green”) disrupted the Fire series with the pragmatic earthiness of Virgo. These things happen, although rarely—the next anomalous cycle had to wait for 1980 when Jupiter and Saturn met up in air sign Libra, portending the element shift we are about to see happen for the long-term at the end of this year. 

It’s worth noting here that anomalous cycles tend to be fairly eventful and their tone often deviates from the norm in some purposeful way. In 1802, our founders had to get down to the practical realities of nation-building, which included a serious focus on acquiring territory (earth). In fact, 1803 was the year that Thomas Jefferson negotiated the massive Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon’s France, acquiring something on the order of 530 million acres of territory, including the critical Mississippi River port of New Orleans for the new young nation. 

Reagan fired striking Air Traffic Controllers to weaken their union in 1981.

Fast forward that 1980 anomalous cycle that launched in early Libra, and a free market crusader with a cheerful airy personality (Aquarius Sun-Reagan) came into office and began the wholesale transformation of our post-WWII economic system—a switch many felt was welcome, but which also marked the beginning of tremendous wealth inequality and the weakening of American labor. We’re still feeling the impact of this very eventful cycle.
Other cycles that tend to stand out are those in which the waxing and waning numbers are heavily out of balance, one way or another – although the one cycle in this list where the numbers are in perfect balance (1901) was pretty eventful for different reasons. President McKinley was assassinated in 1901 and T. Roosevelt came into office – quite a different kind of leader who shifted the prevailing balance of power at that time towards the Executive and away from Congress (this was a Capricorn cycle that launched opposite Sibly Sun (leader) and squared Sibly Saturn (Congress). The assassination happened while Uranus opposed Pluto in mutable signs, as well, so that dramatic milestone probably superseded the tendency towards waxing/waning equilibrium.
Even though every Jupiter-Saturn cycle since 1762 has played some part in building this nation, it stands to reason that the cycles during which our major military and social unrest milestones have transpired would also stand out. To examine how this has happened, we will consider an important historical example ahead in more depth. 

Notice that I’ve added Progressed Sibly Sun and Moon information with each cycle in Table 1, for the sake of keeping track of how the nation’s evolution responded to the outer planetary dynamics of the time. We’ll keep this information in mind when we consider the two historical cycles below—it can reveal interesting dynamics that we might otherwise miss. 

Finally, the signs and elements of the various cycles are obviously important, but sometimes the modes seem even more significant. Cardinal cycles tend to be action-oriented and aggressive; Mutable cycles tend to be unstable and given to change, which is often especially true with the economy and/or hostilities between us and others; Fixed cycles tend to stabilize or cement whatever the situation is. None of this works in a vacuum, however: the Jupiter-Saturn cycle works in concert with the other cycles and these interactions contribute greatly to how the cycles manifest in policies, events and so on.

The 1840's were a critical period for forging the American identity.

Cycle examples

In January, 1842, Jupiter and Saturn conjoined at 8°+Capricorn, (Chart #1, below), and the chart for that meeting is as dramatic as the times were in forming the American identity. Benjamin Harrison had died the first month he was in office in 1841, leaving vehement states’-rights defender John Tyler as president until 1845. The tension between states’ rights and federal authority over issues like slavery was gradually becoming a major conflict between northern “free” states and southern “slave” states whose economies—this was a Capricorn cycle, after all—depended heavily on slave labor. All of this was complicated at the time by the Mexican-American War (1846-48) from which the U.S. acquired several territories whose future as free or slave states was then thrown up for grabs. 

Also driving events of the time was the fortune-frenzied westward expansion of the nation—the 1848-49 California Gold Rush and its aftermath for Native Americans who were being more aggressively displaced from their lands than ever. All this intensity and militarism was being stoked by the waning end of one Uranus-Pluto cycle in Aries and the beginning of the next one, in the final degree of Aries, in June 1850

The launch of this Aries cycle ushered in a last-ditch effort to negotiate a legislative deal between free and slave states—the so-called Compromise of 1850, a package of 5 major bills that historians credit with delaying the onset of the Civil War. A raucous mixture of Fire and Earth energy, this cycle seems to have stoked the flames of resentment over what the South perceived as unfair economic disparities and unequal congressional representation with the more populous, industrial North.  From Wikipedia:

“Under the compromise, Texas surrendered its claims to present-day New Mexico and other states in return for federal assumption of Texas's public debt. California was admitted as a free state, while the remaining portions of the Mexican Cession were organized into New Mexico Territory and Utah Territory. Under the concept of popular sovereignty, the people of each territory would decide whether or not slavery would be permitted. The compromise also included a more stringent Fugitive Slave Law and banned the slave trade in Washington, D.C. The issue of slavery in the territories would be re-opened by the Kansas–Nebraska Act, but many historians argue that the Compromise of 1850 played a major role in postponing the American Civil War.”
Clearly, a nation-building cycle like Jupiter-Saturn should stand out during times like the ones described above. Let’s see what that looks like in Chart #1

Chart #1.  Jupiter-Saturn cycle, 1842, January 25, 1842, 9:42:09 p.m. LMT, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

We discussed earlier the importance of how many waxing and waning outer planetary cycles there are in any given chart, and this chart is dramatic in that regard, with one waxing cycle (Uranus-Neptune) and nine waning cycles (all the Jupiter- and Saturn- related cycles, plus Uranus-Pluto and Neptune-Pluto). These numbers suggest a critical turning point, and with Jupiter-Saturn conjoining in the 4th house (set for Washington, D.C.), it appears some kind of “endtimes” is anticipated. This exceptional situation is reinforced by the fact that the chart “skeleton” (ASC-DSC; IC-MC) is hung on the “Zero”-point cardinal axes (Libra-Aries; Capricorn-Cancer). 

Venus rules this Libra chart from its position conjunct the No. Node (Capricorn)—the aggressive pursuit of the land-and mineral-related wealth of this fabulously rich new nation basically defined this cycle. 

Saturn’s influence weighs heavily, disposing Capricorn placements, which significantly for the masses of westward migrants, are opposed by Cancer points pertaining to the “People” (Moon-conjunct-Chiron). Between battling the elements, hunger, dangerous terrain and defensive Indian tribes, a lot of the pioneers—and Native Americans—of that day never made it. 

For its part, Jupiter co-rules the potentially volatile Uranus and Mars placements in Pisces—made more volatile and unstable by the mutual reception between Uranus and Neptune (Pisces-Aquarius).  A particularly telling signal that this cycle would see the outbreak of violence is found in the Mars/Pluto midpoint (2+Aries) falling conjunct the Aries DSC and widely square Jupiter-Saturn. 

Considering the importance of his role during the Civil War, it’s interesting to note that Abraham Lincoln was elected towards the end of this cycle in 1860, and that his election immediately sparked a backlash in the South and its secession from the Union, which then led to the outbreak of hostilities in April, 1861.

Abraham Lincoln visiting a Civil War encampment.

Leaders reflect their Jupiter-Saturn times
We don’t often think about them in these terms, but I would argue here that the leaders in any given decade tend to reflect something about the Jupiter-Saturn cycle in force at the time, as well as some of the major dynamics in these cycle charts. We’ll examine how this worked in regards to Lincoln and how it might work with Biden, if he’s elected in the fall. This is something that needs more confirmation through research, but since a president is at least somewhat known by their policies, it makes sense that there’s some resonance between this planetary duo in any given cycle and the presidents in charge during those times. 

Of course, we would expect to find more resonance during periods with significant historical milestones and particularly influential leaders, so with that in mind, let’s begin with the 1842 cycle we considered above and Lincoln (Biwheel #1 below). 

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Natal, Abraham Lincoln, February 12,, 1809, 6:54 a.m. (AA, bio) LMT, Hodgenville, KY; (outer wheel) Jupiter-Saturn cycle, 1842, January 25, 1842, 9:42:09 p.m. LMT, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

1842 Jupiter-Saturn sextiles Lincoln No. Node (Scorpio) and Mercury (Pisces) and squares Lincoln Venus (Aries). In terms of his fitness for the nation-building agenda of Jupiter-Saturn, Lincoln was remarkably attuned to the times. Even so, his Venus trines his Saturn-Neptune conjunction (Sagittarius)—if “fortune” was shining on him, it was a mixed blessing. 

This Sagittarius conjunction squares his 1st house Mercury-Ceres-Pluto conjunction (Pisces), reflecting his seriously depressive nature and experiences of great loss. This was borne out by not only the constant experience of loss associated with the war, but the personal loss of a dear son in childhood that put both Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd in a prolonged state of tragic grief. 

1842 No. Node conjoins Lincoln Moon (Capricorn), which opposes 1842 Moon-Chiron-So. Node conjunction (Cancer). These aspects reflect Lincoln’s emotional fitness for his rise during this Capricorn cycle and they also reflect how intense the sorrow and wounds experienced by Lincoln were, who of course, was assassinated for his troubles as soon as the Civil War ended. He dared to push the limits of the social norms of the times, especially by liberating the slaves and basically abolishing the plantation-based way of life in the South with the 13th Amendment. We can see his potential for pushing such limits in the way transiting Eris conjoined his Aquarius Sun here, which was widely conjunct his Pallas (Aquarius) and trine Mars (Libra).  

Lincoln rose to the challenges of his time with dignity and empathy.

It’s worth noting here that at the time of the 1842 cycle launch, the Sibly Sun had progressed to 16°+Virgo, opposite Lincoln’s Ceres-Pluto-Juno (Pisces) in his 7th house. He was caught up in battle on both personal and public levels (Neptune disposes his Pisces points from his 10th), and it was probably difficult for him to know whom to trust. Sibly Progressed Moon fell conjunct the 1842 Moon-Chiron-So. Node conjunction noted above in Cancer, reflecting the hardship and trauma being experienced by the American people during this period. Lincoln’s Moon suggests that he was quite “tuned in” to that hardship—likely the source of the sensitive, uplifting sentiments he expressed in his Gettysburg Address. Short on words, but profound and deeply insightful.   

Of course, we could also examine Lincoln’s chart against the 1861 Jupiter-Saturn cycle, which launched at 18°+Virgo and—as we might expect with the Civil War—it played out as a very unstable, mutable period. In fact, that cycle point squared Lincoln’s Jupiter (Pisces), and with Jupiter disposing his Sagittarius Saturn, Neptune and MC, we can see that his chart continued to be tightly interwoven with the times.  

Notice that the Sibly Sun progresses one degree per year, meaning that in many of the cases detailed above, it’s progressed into a new sign before the beginning of the next new cycle. As alluded to earlier, this speaks to how the nation’s perspective evolves along with these cycles, altering our discourse in subtle, but very real ways.  For instance, the progressed Sun sign switched from Aquarius to Pisces in 2004, as G.W. Bush won over John Kerry by relying on some controversial tactics, such as a group of so-called “veterans” spreading Neptunian misinformation about Kerry’s military career. 

This sounds like nothing unique today, but through a combination of a Progressed Sibly Sun in Pisces tracking pretty closely with Neptune’s transit through its home sign of Pisces, we’ve perhaps become accustomed to Neptune’s distortions and “alternative facts.” In 2004 the public’s willingness to accept blatant misinformation was a relatively new phenomenon that was on the rise. 

The rise of social media in the wake of the 2009 Jupiter-Neptune conjunction in technology-oriented Aquarius was likely a factor, as well, because social media helped the doubts sowed by the “Swiftboaters” to stick. This use of conspiracy-thinking and misinformation gathered steam during the Obama years, enabling the Tea Party and Alt-right media to flourish and gain considerable political clout via Breitbart, the Drudge Report and many others, all of which helped pave the way for the Trump candidacy.

Perhaps the last half of the Sibly Sun’s Pisces progression can be put to better use – accompanying the final years of Neptune’s Pisces transit, it could help us to become a more compassionate, empathetic nation, which is sorely needed right now. Importantly, now that the progressed Sibly Moon has crossed over into Aquarius, we’re starting to see more respect for Science and fact-based information—not a moment too soon! 

Joseph Biden - will he reflect Jupiter-Saturn 2020?

Fast forward to December, 2020

Continuing our exploration into the ways in which our national leaders tend to reflect the Jupiter-Saturn cycles under which they lead, Biwheel #2 below sets Joe Biden’s nativity against the Jupiter-Saturn cycle chart for December 21, 2020. 

Let’s begin.

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Joseeph Biden, November 20, 1942, 8:30 a.m. War Time, Scranton, PA; (outer wheel) Jupiter-Saturn Cycle 2020, December 21, 2020, 12:08:17 pm ST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node,

Interchart Kite: 2020 Jupiter-Saturn (Aquarius) trines Biden Neptune (Libra) and Biden Uranus-Saturn conjunction (Gemini); this grand trine is intersected by 2020 Jupiter-Saturn opposite Biden Jupiter/Pluto (midpoint, 1°+ Leo). The trines to Biden’s Saturn are wide, but I would say they’re allowable under the circumstances. This is an incredible array of cheerful, communicative air energy shot through with surprisingly strong “core power” that Biden is capable of wielding in the highest office. He’s proven in the past to be an effective politician (before “politician” became a dirty word), and this 9th house Pluto probably has had something to do with that, especially since he’s specialized somewhat in defense and foreign affairs. It also hasn’t hurt that his chart is ruled by a dignified Cancer Jupiter that falls trine his Sun-Venus conjunction (Scorpio).  

If we stretch the orb a bit, his Jupiter also trines his Sagittarius ASC—he’s bigger than life when he’s unhampered and at his best. 

If Saturn alone was opposing this midpoint of Biden’s, it could delay his rise to power and favor those who are trying their best to destroy his reputation and political viability. Here we have both Jupiter and Saturn opposing, however, so he should have more opportunity to face the attacks, recoup and strengthen his position. In combination with the grand trine—which amazingly encompasses all of his other outer planets, this configuration feels more positive than not for him being able to express his highest potential in the collective realm. 

That said, he finds himself in a very difficult position right now, when it comes to campaigning and warding off what look like disinformation attacks, designed to undermine his candidacy and credibility. We can see all this being reflected in 2020 Neptune (Pisces) opposite Biden MC (Virgo)—a current transit that will persist for a very long time (counting orbs), even after the election. Neptune rules pandemics, mis- and dis-information and forces that undermine one’s vitality, so it’s an obvious connection, however there’s a deeper danger here for a would-be president: that all this Neptune arrayed against him will sap his enthusiasm and drive for the challenges ahead and will tempt him to simply give up. IMHO, he doesn’t deserve to see his laudable career ended that way. 
The bullying Biden’s likely to experience next year (assuming he’s elected) can be seen in the 2020 Mars-Eris (Aries) square his Jupiter (Cancer) and in the inconjuncts with his Sun-Venus conjunction (Scorpio). There could be a lighter side to these aspects, of course, and the 2020 Pluto opposition (Capricorn) to his Jupiter may strengthen his hold on power for the road ahead—we need to hope that he surrounds himself with strong, capable people who run interference for him with some of the more mean-spirited character attacks. 

Biden is unafraid to show his empathy and humanity.

2020 Jupiter-Saturn also falls inconjunct Biden No. Node (Virgo), suggesting that he will need to make some serious adjustments if he wants to be a good “fit” for this new level of public service. This won’t be because Biden’s a beginner at all this—he has far more experience in the White House and with foreign leaders than Trump does—but it could be a signal that Biden will have to work at embracing a policy agenda that the Aquarius cycle will support. Not only will he have a host of alliances to repair, the sorry remains of a wrecked federal government to put back together and the confidence of a pandemic-wracked nation to restore; he’ll have all the technological imperatives of a full-blown climate change crisis to deal with. He has some very big shoes to fill—something like an FDR for the 21st century, and he’s pushing 80!

Interchart Grand Trine: 2020 Moon/Neptune (midpoint, Pisces) trines Biden Jupiter (Cancer) and Biden Mercury (Scorpio). This suggests that Biden will be able to tune into the mood, opinions and needs of the public (2020 Moon) and will be able to communicate and respond in ways that resonate.  The trines between 2020 Moon and his Jupiter (Cancer) and Sun-Venus conjunction (Scorpio) suggest that the public will need him to project compassionate, yet strength-based idealism and “sky’s the limit” kind of optimism in his leadership style, yet we will need him to ground everything he does in facts and expertise. He will be sorely “tried” in the fires of this election, but people will respond if he can come out a stronger leader on the other side. 

It’s difficult to say if the 2020 Uranus (Taurus) conjunction to his Moon-Part-of-Fortune (Taurus) will be simply disruptive, or perhaps disruptive in a surprising, life-changing way—as in a fortuitous turn-of-events around election time. Uranus disposes the Aquarius cycle and squares its launch point here, reinforcing the importance of being on the more progressive side of technology and climate change-related issues. Since Uranus is going to be positioned around the same early degrees in Taurus between now and then, this also points to the importance of his campaign building a digital presence that rivals Trump’s. Those who get all their political news from Facebook need a fresh new presence whose sole aim isn’t to enrage and divide people. 

That said, there are more than a few challenges that will confront Biden before the election—including the “Death Star” of negative ads that Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale is promising will begin “firing” soon. We all know what happened to the “Death Star”—curious choice for a campaign metaphor!

Biden's VP pick needs to reflect 2020 Jupiter-Saturn times, too!

Final thoughts

As we’ve seen, there’s a lot more to the Jupiter-Saturn cycle than meets the eye, and I suspect there will be more to say about the upcoming cycle as the time grows near. For now, it’s hard to overstate the importance of this cycle for the crisis we are living through with COVID and its many debilitating side effects.  It helps to remember, I think, that we are not just approaching a new cycle in December; we’re approaching a whole new Air synod that will last for about 140 years.

Looks to me like it’s time for some “radical common sense!” 

Be well, be safe! 

May we all catch a breath of fresh air!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2020. All rights reserved. 

[1]Marilyn Ferguson, Aquarius Now: Radical Common Sense and Reclaiming our Personal Sovereignty, Weiser Books, Boston, MA, 2005.