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Slow Global Warming


by Gary Brand - written April 1, 2000,
published in the May 2000 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.  Since this chart was calculated for Washington, DC, it pertains to the country and the U.S. government.

Depiction of a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction Photos of Jupiter and Saturn superimposed to simulate their conjunction.  Jupiter is above Saturn because it had greater celestial latitude during their conjunction in 2000.  This depiction is not to scale, except for the relative sizes of the planets (they didn't appear this close together at the time of their conjunction).  Images are courtesy of NASA.

In this spectacular image, Jupiter is In this spectacular image, Jupiter is "eclipsed" by two of its moons, which seem to float above the giant planet.  Io on the left, is yellow in color because of sulfur compounds and seems to be suspended in front of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, while Europa (not as crisp an image as Io) crosses between the camera and Jupiter near the center of the photo.  Voyager 1 took this image on February 13, 1979.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
ay 2000 was astrologically unusual in several ways.  First, and probably foremost, is that the two largest planets in our solar system - Jupiter and Saturn - were conjunct on May 28 in Taurus.  The chart of that conjunction is on the left.

When two planets outside Earth's orbit are conjunct, they not only appear very close together in the sky but they make a close approach to each other in space.  If you have heard or read President Lincoln's famous Gettysburg address, you may have wondered how the term "score" was associated with a 20 year span of time (4 score = 80 years).  It is no coincidence that the two giant gas balls, Jupiter and Saturn, only make a close approach to each other in our sky every 7,253 days, just 51 days short of 20 years!  This dynamic duo are called the "great chronocrators" or time keepers because this 20 year cycle was one of the most easily timed astronomical periods known to humankind for three millennia before the discovery of Uranus.  Don't bother looking up chronocrator in any modern dictionary; but you will find it in any scholarly dictionary of the European Renaissance.

During the 20th century, Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions occurred on the first or second year of the even decades (1901, 1921, 1940-1941, 1961, 1981, 2000).  Jupiter moves faster than Saturn so the first 10 years after a conjunction, Jupiter is "in front of" or "leading" Saturn in their order in the zodiac.  Hence, the first decade after a conjunction is expansive, liberating, explorative, and adventurous like Jupiter.  The period 1900-09 was such a period with Teddy Roosevelt building the Panama Canal and setting huge tracts of land aside in National Parks.  The 1920's were also a period of expansion, exploration and wild speculation after WW I.  Although the 1940's were marked by WW II, this decade brought the world out of depression and resulted in a period of post-war prosperity.  It also spelled the end of colonialism.  The 1960's were years of turmoil but of great strides in civil rights legislation and womens' rights.  During the 1980's, the Berlin Wall fell and the communist Soviet Union collapsed.  So the first decade of the new millennium is a hopeful, Jupiter decade.

The second decade after a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is contractive, conservative, and fearful because Saturn "leads" Jupiter (Jupiter is slowly catching up with Saturn).  For example, in 1999 Jupiter was in Aries most of the year and Saturn was in Taurus.  Taurus is after Aries in the order of the signs so Saturn was "leading" Jupiter, as it was during the rest of the 1990's.  The Saturn decades included the 1930's with the Great Depression following the stock market crash and the Dust Bowl drought (a very contractive and fearful decade) and the 1950's with the "Cold War" and bomb shelters, another fearful time (but one of economic growth).  The 1970's brought most environmental protection legislation and the gasoline shortage while in the 1990's we witnessed a return to the past with a Republican dominated Congress which we haven't seen since the 1950's.

The brief period that these two giants are together (May and June) give us a wonderful view of the contrasts inherent in our corporeal existence.  We can be both fearful (Saturn) and hopeful (Jupiter) at the same time or optimistic (Jupiter) about some things but pessimistic (Saturn) about others.  Some areas of our lives can be expansive (Jupiter) while others are contractive (Saturn).  Mythologically, Jupiter vanquished his father Saturn, during the war between the Titans and the Olympians.  The period prior to this war was known as the "Golden Age" when Hesiod said humankind "lived like gods, free from worry," enjoying complete happiness and dining with the gods (F.G. (1968), p. 28).  When the Olympian gods seized power, Jupiter became a fickle ruler, subject to whims and rages.  These archetypes are still within us.  Saturn is our responsible nature that is fearful of being "overthrown" by our adventurous, carefree, fickle Jupiter archetype.  Saturn is that part of us satisfied with the status quo but our Jupiter archetype wants to throw out the oppressors in our lives.

Jupiter and Saturn are also squaring (90 degrees from) Uranus in May, though Saturn has been in this square for the last year. Jupiter square Uranus (May 20) is the bolt of lightning out of the blue sky, the totally unexpected turn of fortune for better or worse.  It heralds a restless yearning for adventure, excitement and freedom that could create chaos or major disturbances if these needs are thwarted or frustrated.  Seek constructive change, don't just react to pressures in a contrary manner.  The best laid plans will be disrupted so stay flexible.  Too much impulse or impatience will likely bring quick gains and losses.

Saturn square Uranus (May 13) is another mythological and archetypal conundrum.  In Greek mythology, Saturn was the youngest son of Uranus.  Until recent times, the youngest son often inherited nothing so he had nothing to lose by defying his father.  Saturn liberated his siblings by emasculating his father and assuming his station as ruler of heaven and earth.  The square between these two giant gas balls represents the test of long-term resistance to change (Saturn) pressured by irresistable need for change (Uranus).  Even though Y2K fears were unfounded, the pressures in the Earth itself and in our cultural constructs are still subject to change.  The old must give way to the new, sometimes painfully, sometimes awkwardly, but inevitably.  Difficulties in your outer world at this time are a reflection of internal conflicts.

Complicating all of this is the line-up of the Sun, Mercury and Venus in Taurus, acting as "triggers" to activate (May 7-18) the symbolic meanings of the Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus square.  The last time Jupiter, Saturn, Sun, Mercury and Venus all lined up in Taurus was May 1941 when World War II was raging in Europe.  On the night of May 10-11, 1941, the worst bombing of London occurred, resulting in 1700 fires and many deaths.  Uranus was also in Taurus at that time.  This time it is in Aquarius, a more progressive sign than Taurus and the world is not at war or on the brink of war.  But big changes followed this line-up in 1941 and big changes will follow this alignment.  People with several planets in the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) will have the most challenges and potential for growth and break-through this month.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

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