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THE JUPITER-SATURN CYCLE - PART 1

by Gary Brand - written April 13, 2010,
published in the May 2010 edition of Echo* newspaper
Chart of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on May 28, 2000 The chart of the exact Jupiter conjunction with Saturn on May 28, 2000 at 12:05 PM, in Washington, DC.  This conjunction began the current Jupiter-Saturn cycle that is culminating now with their opposition.  This chart is calculated for the exact moment that the two giant planets were at the same degree and minute of celestial longitude (in the zodiac).  Not only is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on the Midheaven (the beginning of the 10th house), but Venus, the Sun, Mars and Mercury are also in the 10th house, which represents the president and his administration.  In addition, Pluto opposes Venus, Sun and Mars, indicating that this Jupiter-Saturn cycle will bring a dramatic shift in the presidency and this together with the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on the Midheaven, means the government and the people (the 1st house is ruled by the Sun) will be very polarized and divided.  This and the other charts on this page were calculated for Washington, DC, so they pertain to the country and the U.S. government.

Chart of the Jupiter opposition to Saturn on May 23, 2010 The chart of the Jupiter opposition to Saturn on May 23, 2010 at 1:38 AM in Washington, DC.  This is the first of three such oppositions but it is the only one of the three in Virgo and Pisces.  Note the inclusion of Uranus in the opposition (it is conjunct Jupiter and opposite Saturn).  Thus, the meaning of the Saturn-Uranus opposition also applies and promises to make the months of May - August very difficult.  In addition, there is a T-square in early cardinal signs that consists of Pluto conjunct Ceres opposite Venus all square the Moon.  If these planets were all in the same quadriplicity (if they were all in mutable or all in cardinal signs), this would be a very powerful grand cross.  However, in traditional astrology, aspects across sign boundaries do not count.  With Venus opposite Pluto in this chart, we can expect a big financial upheaval.

Chart of the 2000 Jupiter conjunction Saturn with their opposition on May 23, 2010 The chart of the exact Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on May 28, 2000 with their opposition (the 1st of three) on May 23, 2010 overlaid on it.  Note that this opposition (as well as the other two) are in the 2nd and 8th houses of this chart.  Since the chart of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is cast for Washington, DC, it represents the U.S. government over the course of its 20-year span.  The 2nd house pertains to the wealth of the nation and Saturn in this house does not bode well for the financial system (this is virtually the same chart for New York, the financial center).  Jupiter in the 8th house of borrowing would normally be a positive indicator but Uranus is in that house too so there will be surprises and changes in the funding of the U.S. debt.

Chart of the Jupiter opposition to Saturn on August 16, 2010 The chart of the exact Jupiter opposition to Saturn (the 2nd of three) on August 16, 2010 at 4:45 PM in Washington, DC.  Note that the opposition is almost exactly square Pluto so this summer will be a time of upheaval and dramatic change.  Since Pluto is in the first house of the public in this chart, the people will be demanding change.  Saturn and Mars are conjunct Venus (which is said to be "besieged" by these two malefic planets) and Pluto is square Venus so this summer will be characterized by financial upheaval and chaos.
Jupiter and Saturn are the two largest and most massive planets in our solar system.  They also represent two of the most significant characters or archetypes in Greek mythology.  They were the most remote and the most superior planets (via the positions of their orbits) known to the ancients.  Therefore, the cycle of their movement relative to one another through the zodiac (called a synodic cycle) was the most important of all such cycles in ancient times.  Since the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, there are now much longer synodic cycles between these planets and between them and Saturn.  This article is the first in a series that explains what the Jupiter-Saturn cycle is and the meaning of the halfway marker of the cycle, the Jupiter-Saturn opposition.

The Jupiter-Saturn cycle is the period of time and astrological aspects between these planets, beginning with a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction (when they are in the same degree of the zodiac and appear close together in the sky) and lasting until their next conjunction.  Jupiter moves faster than Saturn so, after their conjunction, Jupiter traverses all twelve signs and eight more before it catches up with slower moving Saturn an average of 20 years later.  This 20 year length of time has a special name – a score.  Successive Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions – from one to the next – advance in the zodiac an average of 243 degrees or 8 signs (with a range of as little as 223 degrees – only seven signs – to as much as 258 degrees).  Unfortunately, Nicholas deVore incorrectly states that these conjunctions advance 123 degrees or only 4 signs, an obvious error but probably not a typo (N.D., p. 75 (1980)).  As a result of their advancement of eight signs, Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions typically continue in the same triplicity (or element) for an average of almost 200 (198.6) years before shifting to the next triplicity.  The transition from one triplicity or trigon to the next is called the Trigonalis (Id., p. 76).

For the last 200 years (since 1802), Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions have been in earth signs.  At the end of this 200-year period, there is a transitional phase when Jupiter conjoins Saturn in the new triplicity and then in the old triplicity before their conjunctions continue in the new triplicity for the next 7-9 cycles.  We are in one of these transitional phases now, because the 1981 Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions (sometimes there are three conjunctions in the same sign in less than a year instead of one) were the first in an air sign in almost 600 years, and the conjunction in the year 2000 was the last in an earth sign for the next 600 years.  This last conjunction in an earth sign would have been labeled “preposterous” and “irregular” by Renaissance astrologers Richard Edlin and William Lilly (these links are to the title of the book they each wrote about Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions), because (1) it is an interruption of the conjunctions in the new triplicity – the air signs, (2) the earth triplicity (which is cold and dry by nature) is contrary in nature to the air triplicity (which is warm and moist by nature), (3) the air signs square the earth signs (Gemini squares Virgo, Libra squares Capricorn, and Aquarius squares Taurus), and (4) the advance of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction from 1981 to 2000 was only 223 degrees in the zodiac, which is less than seven signs, and this is why the conjunction in the year 2000 fell in Taurus instead of Gemini (an air sign).  During the 200 years ahead, Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions will be in air signs.  The entire cycle of Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions through all four triplicities (fire, earth, air, water) transpires in 40 conjunctions, it averages almost 800 years (794.4 years according to N.D., p. 84 (1980)), and it is called the second order Jupiter-Saturn recurrence cycle (because the conjunctions return to almost the same degree of the same sign).  Their first order recurrence cycle, when they return to the same sign, occurs in three conjunctions and is almost 60 years in length.

In the first half (ten years) of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle, Jupiter leads or is ahead of Saturn in the zodiac because it moves faster.  The current cycle began with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on May 28, 2000 in the sign of Taurus (see the top chart on the left) and continues until the next conjunction on December 21, 2020 in Aquarius.  The first half of this current cycle was from the conjunction in 2000 to 2010.  Stephen Arroyo describes the first ten years as “...more intense, and there is a sort of winding up, leading to the peak of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition... people tend more to initiate, project, experiment, and many rapid changes happen, as well as most of the biggest crises,” and the crises of the 20th century usually occurred toward the end of this half (L.G. & S.A., pp. 4-5 (1984)).  During the second decade of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle, Saturn leads or is ahead of Jupiter in the zodiac and Arroyo says this period seems “...to be a winding down of the intensity, pace, and overall direction [of the first 10 years]....  During the second ten years, people often seem to be exhausted, needing a period of reflection and assimilation since the pace of change [in the first half] has been too rapid to sustain” (Id.).  Economically, culturally, and sociologically, the first ten years are like Jupiter in nature:  expansive, optimistic, speculative, excessive, unbridled, and characterized by inflated expectations, opportunism, and abundance.  Conversely, the second ten years are more like Saturn:  contractive, pessimistic, cautious, exiguous, constricted, and characterized by deflated expectations, missed opportunities, and austerity.

The demarcation point between the first and second halves of the 20-year Jupiter-Saturn cycle is their opposition, which occurs at the mid-point.  Because the Jupiter-Saturn opposition of the current cycle is from late April – May, from late July – early September 2010, and again in March and April 2011, we are now at the peak or culmination of the current cycle and the nature of Saturn will dominate the coming decade (2011-2020).  Their opposition is the archetypal representation of polarity – Jupiter is the big “upper,” enthusiastic and fortunate, while Saturn is the opposite – the big “downer,” indifferent and unfortunate.  We will see these polarities play out in our lives and in the world but how we deal with and integrate these very divergent influences is a measure of how much we have spiritually advanced (Jupiter) or retreated (Saturn) in our growth as individual souls.

In Greek mythology, Cronus (Saturn) was the father of Zeus (Jupiter) so their opposition in the sky symbolizes the polarity between fathers and their offspring, between authorities and subjugates, between oppressors and rebels.  The mythological Saturn suppressed (consumed) his children, who represented his creative expressions, because he was afraid (a Saturn trait) of being supplanted by them (which is exactly what happened – he was replaced by his three sons:  Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto).  Other manifestations of this opposition – expansion and happiness (Jupiter) tend to be offset by responsibilities and fears (Saturn) or by giving up something (Saturn); feeling pulled in two, or more, very opposite directions; wanting career (Saturn) growth or movement (Jupiter); major decisions (Jupiter) and relationships (opposition) are difficult (Saturn); freedom and opportunities (Jupiter) vying against caution and dependability (Saturn); financial problems (Saturn) stemming from overextended credit (Jupiter); setbacks (Saturn) can become blessings (Jupiter); overreaching (Jupiter) may be followed by shortfalls (Saturn); it’s time to cut back (Saturn), not expand (Jupiter).  The components of your life affected by the opposition are reflective of the houses in which it occurs.  The next article in this series will be published in the fall because the next few months are so full of other aspects between the slowest five planets that I must devote the articles I write to those influences.
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See the related article "Jupiter-Saturn Conjunctions and the Allignment of 2000."

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.

Printable version (without graphics)
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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