During 1997/8, I became so obsessed with Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions that friends and students began to avoid me in the street (I jest, but only slightly!) The obsession resulted in a research study concerning that brilliant, disruptive, futuristic boldly-going planetary combination. Then 2010/11 came, bringing a new Jupiter/Uranus conjunction which resurrected my obsession, this time resulting in a whole blog devoted to commentary and research. All that research, I’m happy to say, is republished in electronic form and is available to download free from this site.
The obsession has calmed down, but this year’s Jupiter/Uranus opposition has seen me revisiting my extensive Jupiter/Uranus archive. Already this year, the UK’s Astrological Journal has re-published an interview I gave to the American Federation of Astrologers on the subject of Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions, then called “Jupiter, Uranus and the Purple People of Planet Zog”.
Part of the research involved taking a very long view of what that unique combination of planets which meets every fourteen years, described in “Mundane Astrology” as connected to the ‘growth and awakening of human consciousness’ , could tell us about the past, our present – and our possible future as a human community.
I used a wonderful researcher’s tool – Michelsen’s “Tables of Planetary Phenomena” – to explore the long historical pulse beat of that fascinating combination of planets. What I found blew me away, and continues to excite me when I reflect upon what it has revealed about where we have come from – and where we may be headed.
So – do join me in this series of posts in which I share my exploratory journey, propelled by Jupiter/Uranus’ extraordinary energies…
In sum, I took the period 500 BCE to 2500 CE, divided it up into 500 year chunks, and analysed the pattern of appearance and disappearance of Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions. I then attempted to correlate this pattern with a very broad historical timeline – taking three complementary ‘takes’ on the movement of those unique conjunctions. (All the tables can be found in ‘Jupiter Meets Uranus’ )
Take One: Jupiter/Uranus through the four elements: 500 BCE to 2500 CE
I first selected the conjunction’s traverse through the four elements, the basic platform on which any astrological analysis rests, whether one is preparing an individual horoscope or looking at a chunk of historical time.
The conjunction occurred only in earth and water signs during the period 500-76 BCE. What are we to make of this ?
The above period roughly covers the time of the huge conceptual shift which occurred as mythological consciousness gave way to a more rational, objective view of the world and our relationship with the Divine. The work of the great Greek philosophers, culminating in Plato, which emerged during this period, had a huge influence on the course of Western civilisation from that point on.
Symbolically, the movement of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions through the stabilising elements of earth and water could be read as significators for a time in history where the existing foundations of civilisation, and continuity of beliefs and the social order, were utterly disrupted at the most fundamental of levels.
75 BCE to 146 CE saw the conjunction going through a mixed transition period featuring all four elements, until the last conjunction in the earth element in 146 CE. This could be seen as the period where the struggle between the old order (earth and water) and the new (fire and air) was particularly potent, exemplified in the West by the battle between rising Christianity and the old Pagan beliefs of the dying matriarchal religions.
A much longer period from 160 to 588 CE saw the conjunction taking place only in fire and air signs. This can be envisaged as a time when, in Robert Hand’s vivid phrase
“ the past has minimum hold upon the present, but the present has a maximum hold on the future.”
It roughly covers the rise of the Roman Empire: its colonial expansion, bringing civilisation of an entirely new level of technical innovation and sophistication to large swathes of the known world, its Christianisation, and its fall in the fifth century CE.
A great leap forward….and….
The next time that the conjunctions take place only in fire and air is from 1500 to 1845 CE.
This period of history, set within the context of the mighty 500 year Neptune /Pluto cycle which began in 1398, is renowned for its optimism, creativity, faith in human progress, and huge scientific and technological leaps forward.
There was the rise of European colonialism beginning with the great sea voyages of discovery. As already mentioned, we had the Renaissance, Reformation, Agrarian and Industrial Revolutions, and American and French Revolutions all during this time.
Most significantly of all, in the eighteenth century we had the weave of the unfolding Scientific Revolution with the European Enlightenment, birthing a view of life more influenced by scientific materialism than religion for the first time in human history.
Since 1845, we have been in a mixed transition period again which will last until about 2045.
There is increasing realisation that the fire and air march forward into an exciting, rationally and scientifically based future has a hefty price tag attached to it. That is the literal survival of earth and water: the root of our being, the Earth itself. At the start of this new millennium, scientific progress rushes on ever faster. But disquiet increases, as evidence of the cost to our planet and our collective health becomes more and more compelling.
The struggle between the old order (earth and water) and the new (fire and air) is once again potent, and once again involves religious strife – this time between rising secular humanism and traditional religions. We are also seeing the rise of a virulent strain of terrorism using religion as its excuse for depradations and violence world-wide.
From around the middle of the 21st century we will once again be moving into a period where the Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions occur only in earth and water for 350 –400 years.
At this point, taking some perspective from the last time this occurred between 500-76 BCE, we may expect…’the existing foundations of civilisation, and continuity of beliefs and the social order…to be ‘utterly disrupted at the most fundamental of levels’. We might well be using our considerable technological expertise in the battle to save a polluted planet from extinction. Another possible manifestation is that Artificial Intelligence, already making great strides, creates huge disruption to what we consider it is to be human.
In the first example I gave, there was a move from an earth and water period, to a mixed element period, to a fire and air period. In the second example, there has been a move backward: from fire and air, to the mixed element period we now occupy, then earth and water still to come. Analysing the pulse beat of just one planetary combination over very long periods really does seem to provide a glimpse of where we have come from – and where we are headed.
In the next post, Take Two: the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aquarius, I make a strong case for the conjunction in Aquarius being “the one most powerfully connected to particularly radical and disruptive social, political and technological shifts”. Watch this space!
1200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017
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