Over the many years that I’ve studied astrology I’ve learned that life is an endless blending of cycles and waves of experience. Each day and every moment is a microcosm of the larger cycles that envelop the world. If you want to understand where we are collectively and where we’re going, take a look at the interactions between the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and some recent discoveries. They won’t fail to give you at least a weather forecast understanding. I don’t think that astrology can concretely predict the future, but it can provide a rough archetypal sketch that can be incredibly useful in discerning upcoming trends.
We are currently reaching the end of the Uranus/Pluto square, the second peak of a cycle that began with the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in the mid to late 1960’s. What happened then reached a crisis point from roughly 2012-2015. If we use a broader, ten-degree orb, the entire Uranus/Pluto square epoch encompasses the years 2007-2020. Richard Tarnas, a true authority on this topic, calls the peaks of the Uranus/Pluto cycle, “Epochs of Revolution”. As we saw throughout the 60’s, this period carried on the implementation of many progressive issues in the political arena.
Two obvious highlights here in the United States: the first African American president and the national legalization of same-sex marriage. If we look back at the 60’s, the fight for civil rights for gays and blacks were at the forefront of the progressive movements at the time. These topics have gained considerable legitimacy and momentum during this period. The recent election (of 2016) is also a profound reflection of the “revolutionary spirit” of this cycle. Presidential candidates such as Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton all carried themes of breaking through the boundaries of tradition and creating upheaval in the status quo.
Looking ahead, we see this process slowly diminishing and giving way to a drastic shift in the archetypal narrative in the next few years. The two major cycles to look out for are the upcoming Jupiter/Uranus opposition and the Saturn/Pluto conjunction. In particular, the Saturn/Pluto conjunction will likely correlate with a significant backlash against the liberal regime of President Barack Obama. While many people expected Hillary Clinton to become the first female President of the United States, Donald Trump gained victory, and because of that, there will be a definite shift of power to conservative republicans.
The Uranus/Pluto cycle is a developmental process. The major breakthroughs that have happened during the square are stepping stones in a larger process that will fully peak at the opposition phase in the mid to late 2040’s. It’s possible, for instance, that the vision and movement catalyzed by Bernie Sanders, of creating a more democratic, socialist leaning American society will be more within reach at that time. We will also realize the full consequences of technologies that have developed throughout this cycle including the reality of mass surveillance revealed to the world by Edward Snowden (a major revolutionary figure of this period).
It’s important to realize that what follows is only a rough sketch of significant, upcoming cycles. Every moment in history is unique because we must consider all cycles involved. To do that in an article would be impossible; to do so in a book would be exhausting. Also, as an evolutionary astrologer, I feel that human will and consciousness can elevate an archetypal complex to a higher level of expression. While it’s certainly much harder when we’re dealing with masses of people, it’s still possible that people can change, and that outcomes may not be so dire as they might initially suggest at first glance.
*The time frames listed represent the entirety of a particular era using 10 or 15 degree orbs between the planets involved. The exact contacts listed are not meant to predict anything on those dates, but are simply the peaks of the cycles discussed. Often, the symbolism of a particular era becomes more evident at the latter phase of the time band.
The Jupiter/Uranus/Eris Opposition
Oct. 2016-Sept. 2018
Dec 26, 2016
Mar 2, 2016
Sept 27, 2017
If you want to plan a creative breakthrough or revolution, do it under the peaks of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle. The last conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus occurred in the years 2010/2011 alongside the building Pluto/Uranus square. There was a lot more going on than just these two planets, but they definitely correlated with an amplification of this collective, revolutionary impulse. We saw uprisings all across the globe, including the Arab Spring uprisings throughout the Middle East and Occupy Wall Street in the U.S.
The opposition phase of this cycle, which will hit its peak in late Dec 2016 through September 2017, will be the climax of what began around the 2010 time period. What might it look like? People across the world will be increasingly upset with oppression and restriction. Jupiter combined with Uranus wants to expand to new heights and horizons. Many visionaries, artists, and scientific geniuses will make breakthroughs in their fields delivering to us entirely new perceptions of reality and glimpses of what’s possible. But don’t expect to receive these gifts just now. New discoveries and creative works often take place during the cycle and reach the public at later phases.
What you will see is another intense wave of civil unrest and resistance to oppressive conditions in the form of marches, protests, and demonstrations across the world. There will be a collective mood that embraces a sense that new things are possible and infinite frontiers are within reach. Here in the United States, we’re likely to witness the empowerment of revolution and a sense that the status quo is actually changing. In some ways it might, but we must also realize that this archetypal current is easily co-opted by those in power to steer the masses in favor of their own agenda.
Eris conjunct Uranus is a bit of a mystery since Eris is a recent discovery and we don’t know much about her yet. I do think that Eris, the trickster goddess of chaos and discord, will correlate with the release of unconscious forces within the collective psyche that will be frightening and difficult to fully comprehend. Her conjunction with Uranus is likely the beginning of a new revolutionary movement within the collective psyche that we will understand more fully in hindsight. I feel that Eris may be pointing to the limits of cultural imprinting, seeking to liberate and give voice to deeply repressed, primal impulses which exist in the collective unconscious, as many Trans-Neptunian objects symbolize. The next significant stage of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle, the conjunction, will peak on April 20, 2024. Expect the birth of another wave of revolution then.
Jan 2018-Dec 2021
Jan 12, 2020
Imagine the breakout of disease, the threat of atomic warfare, terrorism, fascism, intense economic contraction, or apocalyptic doom. You now have a good sense of the Saturn/Pluto cycle. That doesn’t mean all these things will actually happen, but their threatening presence often looms within the atmosphere under significant stages of this cycle. The conjunction and opposition phases often correlate with the rise of highly conservative regimes and the confrontation with their dark side. The last opposition took place from July 2001 through June 2002. You might note that Sept.11 fits right in that time band which paved the way for the invasion of Iraq. The last square between Saturn and Pluto occurred from late 2008 through 2010 and coincided with the Global Financial Crises.
Major historical contacts between Saturn and Pluto are what astrologer/historian Richard Tarnas calls “Cycles of Crisis and Contraction.” If you want to understand the full history of this cycle fleshed out, read Tarnas’ book, Cosmos and Psyche. In it, we find correlations of this cycle with the rise and development of international terrorism, fascism, economic downturn, outbreaks of war and disease, and a lot of other unsettling things. This cycle, in particular, will occur in Capricorn and will touch the U.S. Pluto during its Pluto return. Pluto takes approximately 248 years to orbit the Sun. This is the first Pluto return since the birth of the United States. It will be a critical period where we must confront the shadow of America, and deeply reassess our true destiny as a nation.
It all looks rather ominous, but we’ve made it through plenty of other cycles and I’m sure we’ll make it through this one too. While this is likely to be an extremely challenging phase, especially here in the U.S., I’m hopeful that it will also bring to our awareness the need for more accountability, integrity, and ethics within our political structures. I’m hoping that along with the rise of the darker, shadowy elements of this nation there will be a systemic transformation of the establishment. This period has the potential to wake a lot of people up to dimensions of reality that have been deeply repressed, but that might only happen after incredible restrictions and challenges are placed on us for a period of time.
If you’re hoping for a progressive government in the years ahead, I wouldn’t count on it. It may be another eight years before we see more liberal or progressive leaning politicians take the lead again. There is an element of fear and austerity within this cycle, so if you feel you should prepare for that, I’d suggest doing so. I’m not predicting anything specific, but historically, these are highly uncertain and difficult periods especially for the economy.
I have an in-depth article on the Saturn/Pluto conjunction here.
Mar 2024-Apr 2027
Feb 20, 2026
Saturn and Neptune symbolize two very different ends of a spectrum. Saturn represents concrete form and worldly manifestation, while Neptune symbolizes the transcendence of the world and the dissolving of boundaries. Imagine that Neptune symbolizes faith, belief, hope, and spiritual yearning, while Saturn symbolizes skepticism, cynicism, rationality, and an aspiration for orderly structure. When these two planets combine, they often correlate with historical periods that pit the rational against the irrational. Such has been the case during the most recent Saturn/Neptune square which peaked from 2015 through 2016 and made its last contact just two months before the 2016 U.S. election. The peaks of the Saturn/Neptune cycle can correlate with periods tainted by the sense of extreme divide and polarity between opposite points of view.
It can generate a sharp contrast between things like religion and science or Democrat and Republican. Saturn can impose a sense of limitation on Neptune, correlating with a collective mood of immense disappointment, loss of faith, or despair. Saturn/Neptune cycles can also correlate with the death and breakdown of a dream or ideal. Such was the case with the recent election; the incredible ideological divide within both parties such as Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump versus the rest of the Republican establishment.
Neptune can have a dissolving effect on the very structures we rely upon. With Saturn square Neptune we witnessed the breakdown of the two-party system, a loss of faith in the democratic process, and a collective sense of hopelessness with the American Dream. Past cycles have also coincided with ending of wars (such as both World Wars, the Cold War, and Vietnam), correlating with a collective mood of exhaustion, sorrow, and mourning. However, there is also an opportunity during these times to build bridges between both worlds, between the faith-based and evidence-based. The Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader who truly exemplifies the high end of this ideal was born under an opposition of Saturn and Neptune.
While these periods often correlate with periods of prodigious uncertainty, confusion, and collective disillusionment, they also help to provide awareness of certain blind-spots within our political, economic, spiritual, and scientific establishments. They are opportunities to reach beyond the boundaries which divide us to ultimately reveal the underlying commonality between us all. During these cycles, it’s important to distance yourself from any extreme view or party. The truth is likely between the dividing poles. This upcoming conjunction in 2026 occurs on the Aries Point, the first degree of the tropical sign of Aries. This cycle is likely to be incredibly significant for the entire world. Aries, the sign of the warrior will give this Saturn/Neptune alignment a thrust of power that has the potential to shake up the globe.
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