Winter Solstice Wishes

With the Sun’s Capricorn ingress nearly upon us, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all my friends, followers, and gentle readers of this web log a peaceful Winter Solstice, a Merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2021.

Winter Solstice, Gina Litherland

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,   
lists of vegetables, partial poems.   
Orange swirling flame of days,   
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   
only the things I didn’t do   
crackle after the blazing dies.

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Burning the Old Year” from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems (Portland, Oregon: Far Corner Books, 1995).

This year’s Winter Solstice coincides with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, also known as a Great Conjunction. To find out more about it, click on the link below. It will lead you to my blog post, which has been published in the November/December issue of Infinity Astrology Magazine. Readers of my web log can access it for free, here:

The Great Conjunction of 2020 and its Future Implications

Welcome to the Information Age – The Great Conjunction of 2020 and its Future Implications

On 21 December 2020, there will be a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn, which is also known as a Great Conjunction. A conjunction between these two slow moving planets is a relatively rare event in itself, but the 2020 event is even rarer, as will be explained shortly. 

Jupiter’s annual motion is about 30˚ and Saturn moves about 12˚ per year. Leaving a difference of approximately 18˚ per year, we can work out that Jupiter will perfect a conjunction with Saturn roughly every 20 years. This also means that each conjunction will take place 240˚, or eight signs, further along the zodiac. Were these figures to be exact, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions would always take place in one of the three signs of the same element. But this is not the case. The exact duration between two conjunctions is 19.8 years, which means that, over time, the place of conjunction moves backwards through each sign. And so, after about 200 years one cycle of conjunctions in the signs of one particular element comes to an end and another cycle of conjunctions in signs of the following element begins. This seems to be a long time to comprehend, but there is still another, larger cycle to be observed. After about 800 years the conjunctions have taken place in the signs of all four elements and another, new, 800 year cycle begins. 

Having established the general patterns of the Great Conjunction, with its 20, 200, and 800 year cycles, we can now begin to look at the finer details. The last Great Conjunction occurred in 2000 when Jupiter and Saturn were conjunct in Taurus. It was the last conjunction in an Earth sign, in a cycle that began back in 1802. Between 2020 and 2140 all Great Conjunctions will take place in Air signs, beginning with Aquarius. The sequence will be as follows:

21 December 2020 0 Aquarius 29

31 October 2040 17 Libra 55

7 April 2060 0 Gemini 46

15 March 2080 11 Aquarius 52

18 September 2100 25 Libra 32

16 July 2119 14 Gemini 51

14 January 2140 17 Aquarius 04

This will be followed by one Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in 7 Scorpio 58, on 21 December 2159. Thereafter, there will be another two Great Conjunctions in Gemini and Aquarius respectively, before a new cycle of conjunctions in Water signs will begin in 2219.

The chart below, cast for London, shows the 2020 Jupiter/Saturn conjunction:

This Great Conjunction is taking place in the first decanate of the fixed Air sign Aquarius, wherein Saturn, the greater malefic is domicile ruler. We can see that in the chart cast for London, Jupiter and Saturn are tightly conjunct the Descendant (and therefore also opposing the Ascendant). This angularity strongly indicates that the conjunction will be particularly potent for the United Kingdom. Another glance at the chart also shows that the lesser malefic, Mars, is prominently located in the 10th house, in Aries, the sign he has rulership over. In mundane astrology, the 10th house governs the monarch or president, the government and people in authority, as well as national trade. Mars governs the military, soldiers, war, terrorist attacks, and conflicts.

It is also of importance to realise that the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction will occur at the same time as the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn, commonly known as the Winter Solstice. Due to the Ascendant of the UK’s Aries ingress chart being in Virgo, the Capricorn ingress chart is also of vital interest and of great importance for the judgment of the the UK’s state of affairs during the last quarter of the solar year. Aquarius, the sign wherein the Great Conjunction will take place, and Capricorn, the other sign Saturn has rulership over, are opposing Cancer and Leo, which are the domiciles of the Moon and the Sun respectively. For this reason, it seems only natural to also look at the Solar eclipse that took place on 21 June 2020 and its effects. I have already discussed the possible effects of this eclipse for India and China, which tie in with problems related to the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction, in my blog post from 12 June 2020. The blog entry can be read HERE.

(Inner: JU/SA Conjunction; Middle: Capricorn Ingress; Outer: June 2020 Solar Eclipse)

All of what has been said so far shows that the transition into what some may think of as the Age of Aquarius is not likely to be a smooth one. Aquarius has often been described as being representative of the archetypal innovative humanitarian. This may be so, but let us remind ourselves of the astrological basics which will heighten our understanding of what we may experience during the next 20 years and beyond. Taurus, the sign wherein the last Great Conjunction took place, is an Earth sign. Just like Virgo and Capricorn, the other two signs of the Earth triplicity, Taurus displays a particular focus on functionality and practical action. Solidity, pragmatism, and high levels of organisation are also typical for Earth signs. Aquarius, on the other hand, as an Air sign, displays high levels of fluidity and dynamic expression. Sociability, relentless communication, and intellectual curiosity are typical for Air signs. Furthermore, to highlight another division, Taurus is a feminine, nocturnal sign. Its core agendas are security and preservation of the status quo. Aquarius is one of the masculine, diurnal signs. Unlike the feminine, nocturnal signs, masculine, diurnal signs are expansive and naturally expressive. Their core agendas are those of action and movement. It may also be of interest to the reader what the 2nd century Hellenistic astrologer Vettius Valens has to say about Aquarius:

“Aquarius is the celestial sign which is masculine, solid, anthropomorphic, somewhat damp, single. It is mute, quite cold, free, upward-trending, feminizing, unchanging, base, with few offspring, the cause of troubles arising from athletic training, carrying burdens, or work in hard materials, an artisan, public. Men born under this sign are malicious, haters of their own families, incorrigible, self-willed, deceitful, tricky, concealing everything, misanthropic, godless, accusers, betrayers of reputations and the truth, envious, petty, occasionally generous (because of flow of water), uncontrollable. As a whole this sign is wet. By part it is as follows: the first parts are wet, the upper parts fiery, the lower worthless and useless.” (Vettius Valens, Anthologies, Book I)

Furthermore, both, Taurus and Aquarius are fixed signs. The 17th century astrologer William Ramesey writes in his Astrology Restored, that if Great Conjunctions occur “… in fixed signs, what they portend … is of continuance.” (p491)

To gain a better understanding about the nature of events that can be expected to be triggered by the upcoming Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, it may be of benefit to have another look at Ramesey’s Astrology Restored, wherein he writes:

“ … when these two highest planets are in conjunction in the fiery trigon … many commotions, wars, seditions, troubles, subversion of monarchies, kingdoms, states, alteration of laws, customs, privileges and rights, plagues, famine, desolation, anxiety and trouble, treason, treacheries, and the death of kings, nobles, princes, emperors and powers follow. So likewise when they are in conjunction in the first term of any trigon, … but not so forcible is their then effects, nor so terrible as the former, yet (though in a less degree) the forerunners and occasioners of grievous mutations and accidents, according to the nature of that planet which has most power of the two in the sign wherein they are joined; for if Saturn be stronger than Jupiter, it will be very terrible …in fiery, earthy and airy signs they cause draught and a scarcity of provisions, and barrenness of the ground, pestilence and famine. Also when these two first conjunctions are in any of the angles, … it denotes the arise of some new king or prophet … “ (p492, emphasis mine) 

From what we have read above, we can deduct the likelihood of major change to take place. In the long run the old, highly organised and well structured, but conservative and pragmatic forces symbolised by Saturn are likely to be replaced with new ideas based on humanitarian principles. In other words the old, established political, financial, and most likely also social structures all of us have grown up with and have learnt to accept to be taken for granted are likely to be replaced. This will not happen over night and also not without a lot of resistance though, as the prominence and strength of Saturn in the Great Conjunction charts testifies. 

New technology in its widest sense is probably to be found at the basis of some of these changes. A good example to think of is the continuing increase of (free) information available on-line. We are currently flooded with online information to the extent that one could get the impression we are entering a new era I am inclined to be the ‘Information Age’. For some people, this may be a great opportunity to enhance their level of education or make use of specialist resources. These have until recently only been available to academics who had to visit brick and mortar libraries or even had to travel to other countries to find the information they needed. But there are also downsides to this trend. These are, for example, the increase in distribution of unchecked, not peer-reviewed, or just downright false information, or the deliberate publication of what has become known as ‘fake news’. In short, unless a higher degree of responsibility, morality, or even the implementation of plain ethics will become mainstream and will be adhered to by the majority of people, these problems will stay with us.

Also, to give another example, there is already a noticeable shift in people’s working habits. The widespread availability of high speed broadband, together with the use of advanced conferencing tools, makes it possible to work from home for extended periods of time. Teaching children via online classes, rather than actually meetings them in classrooms everyday is also something that springs to mind. If continuing, this trend will eventually have an impact on a wide range of issues, like the reduction of air pollution due to reduced number of people travelling to and from work, less non-renewable resources used in office buildings, reduction of carbon footprint, and so forth. Hopefully this will solve some of the environmental issues we are currently facing.

There is also the possibility of new financial concepts being introduced. Universal Basic Income, springs to mind, which, in the spirit of Aquarius, could be a great stepping stone towards higher levels of social justice. Although already discussed by politicians, change seems to be still a long way away. This brings us back to the fact that Saturn is domicile ruler of Aquarius, telling us that the transition to Aquarian principles will not happen overnight and that we will have to deal with the rather harsh effects of the Great Conjunction first. 

This article was published in Infinity Astrological Magazine #34 Nov/Dec 2020

Astrological Tiles from William Morris Tile

This morning, a FedEx parcel, sent by Christine Norstrand, the owner of William Morris Tile, arrived at Stars and Stones Astrology HQ.

Christine, a capable astrologer herself, is the artist and creative mind behind William Morris Tile, located in Oregon. To see all the wonderful tiles she makes and sells, please have a look at her company’s website by clicking on the logo, below:

What is likely of most interest to the gentle readers of this web log, are the astrologically themed tiles Christine produces and sells. Before we have a look at the content of the box I received, I would like to say a few words about the level of attention and care Christine invests in her products and her customers. From the moment the parcel was posted in the US, up until the morning of its arrival in England today, I was kept informed about every step of the way. Delivery was quick and unproblematic, packaging was spot on and there was no damage to any of the tiles. Christine even went as far as to consider planetary influences, not sending the parcel until the danger of it getting “caught in the Mars Saturn square” had passed.

But let’s now have a look at the tiles themselves. I will begin with Luna and Venus, from Broeder Gheraerts.

The images are from: Wilhelmi Walteri de Zirixsee descriptio terre sancte. Broeder Gheraerts Naturkunde, Niederlande, 15 C.

Christine writes in a letter, accompanying the tiles, that “…] although they are not talismanic tiles, they were made when Luna and Venus were in Mutual Reception”. Considering that some of these tiles will end up as a backdrop on the chimney breast in our living room, this is reassuring to know.

Next, I show some of the tiles from the well known De Sphaera series:

Finally, the four tiles showing Morning Star, Evening Star, Venus and Luna of Edward Burns-Jones, a British artist and designer associated with the phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, who worked with William Morris on decorative arts. It is said that the originals were, until 2008, owned by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.

 All I can add is the fact that these photos do not do the quality of the product justice. These tiles are of the highest quality and need to be seen in reality to be fully appreciated.

Using Solar Revolutions/Returns and Profections in the Birth Chart – In my interview with Mychal A. Brian from Oraculos

Solar Returns and Profections have made quite the comeback in the 21st century! In this interview with Mychal A. Bryan, I am guiding the viewer through how we can use and apply these two traditional predictive techniques within our Astrology.

 

safe_image.php

The Tradition Journal & Library Reloaded

EfHpOwrXoAA3zOu

 

Edited between 2008 and 2010 The Tradition Journal was a publication entirely dedicated to Traditional Western Predictive Astrology. At the time there were no journals or publications specialised solely on Traditional Astrology, and The Tradition came to fill this gap. Later came the experimental project of The Tradition Library which published sources that were unavailable at the time.

Now, a decade after the last issue, The Tradition and its sister project, The Tradition Library are again available to students. Once more, as a decade ago, we seek to encourage the research and study of the Art, serving as a point of reference for those interested in the Tradition

Tradition-Library-logo

The Tradition Library. This project, active between 2009 and 2011, brought the work of the authors of the Western Predictive Tradition in the form of transcriptions of their texts (entire or in part), commentaries, historical birth data with original horoscopes where possible, and other materials. All  these texts are now available free of charge for the students of the Tradition.

To access The Tradition Journal and Tradition Library website, click the picture below:

Screenshot 2020-08-11 at 20.15.29

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse 5 July 2020

There will be a penumbral lunar eclipse on 5 July 2020. It will be visible from some parts of North America during moonrise, South and North America, the extreme part of Namaqua Land in South Africa and Western Africa (completely visible), and in southwestern Europe New Zealand, some parts of the Pacific Ocean, Central-, East Africa (except Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and a strip of North Eastern Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia) and some parts of North Africa and some parts of the Indian Ocean during moonset.

The Moon will start to enter Earth’s shadow at 03:07 UT and the maximum partial eclipse will occur at 04:30 UT. The entire eclipse will last for around two hours forty-five minutes, ending at 05:52 UT. The map below shows the visibility of the eclipse:

Visibility_Lunar_Eclipse_2020-07-05

The chart below, cast for London, shows the event:

Full Moon eclipse July 2020

Before we will discuss any possible effects on the individual, we have a look at the mundane astrological implications of this eclipse. To be able to do this, we need to establish where the eclipse is likely to have its greatest effect. For this purpose we need to look at the countries or cities falling under the rulership of Capricorn, the sign wherein the eclipse Moon resides during the event. We also have to take into consideration that the eclipse’s visibility will greatly enhance its effect.

The map above shows the paths of angularity for Sun (red) and Moon (black):

Screenshot 2020-06-28 at 10.21.15

Looking through traditional source material, we find that Albania, Austria (particularly Styria), Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, France (particularly Gaunt at Somme), Germany (particularly Brandenburg, Constance, Juliers, Saxony, and Thuringia), Greece, Iran (Ariana), Italy (particularly Toronta and Derthona), Lithuania, Macedonia, UK (particularly Orkney Islands and Oxford), are the locations traditionally thought to fall under the rulership of Capricorn.

From the above, it is noticeable that North America, South America, Africa and Spain are on the path of this lunar eclipse. This makes it possible that some eclipse related events may occur. Also, with the eclipsed Moon located close to the Ascendant in North America, it is likely that any eclipse related event will occur very soon after the actual date of the eclipse.

The Moon is placed in the second decanate of Capricorn, which is ruled by Mars. According to William Lilly’s Annus Tenebrosus, an eclipsed Moon in the second decanate of Capricorn indicates:

“uprores very frequent on the Souldiery, often incursions into neighbour-Countries, Captivities, Plunderings.”

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the Greater Malefic, which shows that things are likely to get problematic. Again we can look to William Lilly, who wrote about Saturn being eclipse ruler:

“He is generally the cause of corruptions by reason of cold, more properly he declares continued diseases in the bodyes of men, as wasting of the body, or a consumption which hath its originall from some reflux of Reume, her denotes Disturbance of radicall Humours, Fluxes, Quartane Agues, Banishments, Poverty, Miserie, Lamentation, vain fears, mortality of old men especially […]”

There are also some important conjunctions between the Lunar North Node and fixed stars Betelgeuse and Polaris, and the Lunar South Node and fixed stars Acumen and Eltanin, which will add to the scope of this eclipse:

The North Lunar Node is conjunct Betelgeuse, which is of the nature of Mars and Mercury, can be associated with injuries through fire or explosive substances.

The North Lunar Node is also conjunct Polaris, which has a reputation for loss and trouble or sickness.

The Lunar South Node is conjunct Acumen, in Scorpius, associated with danger to the eyes, especially in association with the Sun and Moon.

Finally, a conjunction between the Lunar South Node and Eltanin, in Draco, which can be a proneness to fluctuating and volatile conditions in life.

On a personal level, an eclipse usually affects only a small number of people. To establish the possibility of any effect to take place, the birth chart should be scrutinized for any of the following:

  • Moon is in or around 13* Capricorn
  • Moon is in or around 13* Cancer (opposition)
  • 13* Capricorn is culminating in the birth chart (conjunct Midheaven)
  • 13* Capricorn is ascending in the birth chart (conjunct Ascendant)

Should it be the case that one or even more of these factors apply, an in-depth reading of the birth chart may be necessary to find out if, how and to what extent the native could be affected.

 

Annular Solar Eclipse 21 June 2020

On 21 June, at 06:40UT, there will be an annular solar eclipse. The Sun and the Moon will be conjunct in 00*21′ Cancer.

The annular phase of this eclipse will be visible from parts of Africa including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia; south of Pakistan and northern India. It will also be visible in China. Regions seeing, at least, a partial eclipse will be South/East Europe, Much of Asia, Northern parts of Australia, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean.

SE2020Jun21A

The eclipse is a part of Saros cycle 137, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, containing 70 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on May 25, 1389. The 21 June 2020 solar eclipse was preceded by the solar eclipse of 10 June 2002 and will be followed by the solar eclipse of 2 July 2038.

The chart below, cast for London, shows the eclipse:solar eclipse 2020

Before we will discuss any possible effects on the individual, we have a look at the mundane astrological implications of this eclipse. To be able to do this, we need to establish where the eclipse is likely to have its greatest effect. For this purpose we need to look at the countries or cities falling under the rulership of Cancer, the sign wherein the eclipsed Sun resides during the event. We also have to take into consideration that the eclipse’s visibility will greatly enhance its effect.

Looking through traditional source material, we find that  Africa, Algiers, Amsterdam, Bithynia (Asia Minor), Burgundy, Cadiz, Carthage, Constantinople (Turkey), Genoa, Granada, Holland, Lubeck, Magdeburg (Germany), Milan (Italy), Pisa (Italy), Prussia, Scotland, Tunis, Venice, Wittenberg, York and Zealand are the locations traditionally thought to fall under the rulership of Cancer.

Below is a map, showing the eclipse’s lines of angularity (ASC and MC):

map eclipse 2020With the eclipse point close to the MC in India, China, Russia and Kazakhstan, we should take note that eclipse themed events could take place there in the next 6 months.

The chart below shows the eclipse cast for New Delhi. We note that eclipse chart Mars is on the DC, square the eclipse point on the Midheaven. This also means that the Lesser Malefic opposes the Ascendant, in Virgo. (N.B. Mercury, Lord of the Ascendant is also in Cancer, located in the 10th house). In mundane astrology, the first house signifies the general condition poverty/prosperity or illness/health of the country in question. There is also the link to the 10th house via retrograde Mercury – again, in mundane astrology the 10th house signifies national reputation, employment rate, etc.

ecliopse chart new delhi 2020

To get into more detail, the eclipse point is in the first Decanate of Cancer, which is ruled by Venus, therefore we have to look at her and the Moon as eclipse ruler. In mundane astrology, the Moon signifies the common people, but as well the matter these people are focusing on. Venus in mundane charts signifies social factors connected to marriage and children but also issues of peace and diplomatic resolutions.

Broadly speaking, eclipses in Cancer signify, according to William Lilly:

“… a rottenness or corruption in the fruit when its gathered, occasioning surfets, and sicknesses unto such as eat them, Sea fights, long and dangerous Navigations.”.

William Lilly also writes in his Annus Tenebrous, that a solar eclipse in the first Decanate of Cancer:

“… disturbs the ayr, and stirs up strange weather, and variety of it, inclines men to Arms, and to violate National Leagues, deceitfully under the species of Religion.”

We also have to add to the picture that Sun and Moon are conjunct fixed star Menkalinan, causing ruin, disgrace, and frequently violent death. [Robson, p175f]. Venus, who is co-ruler of the eclipse is conjunct Prima Hyadum, in Gemini, the leading star of the Hyades cluster in the constellation of Taurus, that brings sudden events, reversals, tears and sometimes violence. 

All in all it seems that this eclipse will add to the already volatile situation occurring world wide. People who are obvioiusly (and rightly) expecting strong leadership may feel disappointed, left confused and without clear guidance. This may also spill over into themes of a religious nature, whereby certain religious stock phrases or views may be used to peddle doubtful ideologies. The world economy will most likely see a continued downturn, with all its resulting negative effects for communities as well s individuals.

The angularity chart shows that the effects of this eclipse will be affecting us during at least the next six months, whereby Asia will be highlighted. All of this may be a prelude to the upcoming Great Conjunction (Saturn/Jupiter conjunction December 2020), which will take place in Aquarius. This conjunction highlights the mundane astrological shift of emphasis from Earth (Taurus) towards Air (Aquarius) which points towards Asia beginning to play much more of a dominant role.

divider

It is useful to know that the last time a solar eclipse occurred in Cancer was in June 2001. It may be of merit to expect and prepare for a repeat of some of the personal experiences that occurred back in 2001. Although an eclipse usually affects only a small number of people, it may be beneficial to try to remember if any problems occurred during this year. If so, but also to generally establish the possibility of any effect that could take place, the birth chart should be scrutinised for any of the following:

  • Sun or Moon are in or around 00* Cancer
  • Sun or Moon are in or around 00* Capricorn (opposition)
  • 00* Cancer is culminating in the birth chart (conjunct Midheaven)
  • 00* Cancer is ascending in the birth chart (conjunct Ascendant)

Should it be the case that one or even more of these factors apply, an in-depth reading of the birth chart may be necessary to find out if, how and to what extent the native could be affected.

NEW Expanded & Updated Annual Prediction Reading – available now!

Due to the recent publication of new traditional astrological source material, my most popular reading, the Annual Prediction, has been expanded and updated. The reading now draws on (new additions in red):

  • Fardars

According to this technique, each of the seven planets has a certain number of determinate years allocated; every planet disposes the native according to the appropriate fardar.

  • Profections, including Lord of the Year and Lord of the Orb

The Lord of the Orb is the lord of the planetary hour, delivering accurate information valid throughout the projected year.

  • Solar Revolution (expanded)

This is the core of the Annual Prediction reading. The chart for the solar revolution (i.e. the native’s birthday) of the upcoming solar year in question is cast and compared to the nativity.

  • Distributions and Primary Directions

These powerful techniques can help to focus on important triggers and also narrow down the likely timing of events.

  • Transits

Here we take an in-depth look at the transits of Saturn and Jupiter, which also helps to narrow down windows of occurrence.

 

For detailed information regarding each technique and more, click the link below and select Annual Prediction from the list:

 

img_1403

Appulse Lunar Eclipse 5 June 2020

There will be a partial lunar eclipse on 5 June 2020. Regions seeing, at least, some parts of the eclipse will be most of Europe, most of Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica.

The Moon will start to enter Earth’s shadow at 17:45UT and the maximum partial eclipse will occur at 19:25UT. The entire eclipse will last for about 3 hours 18 minutes, ending at 21:03UT. The map below shows the visibility of the eclipse:

The chart below, cast for London, shows the event:

Before we are going to discuss any possible effects on the individual, we should have a look at the mundane astrological implications of this eclipse. To be able to do this, we need to establish where the eclipse is likely to have its greatest effect. For this purpose we need to look at the countries or cities falling under the rulership of Sagittarius, the sign wherein the eclipse Moon resides during the event. We also have to take into consideration that the eclipse’s visibility will greatly enhance its effect.

Looking through traditional astrological source material, we find that Greece (and there particularly Attica), Arabia, France (particularly Avignon), Hungary (particularly Budapest), Germany (particularly Cologne, Meissen, Judenburg, Rottenburg, Stuttgart), Italy (particularly Colonia, Volterra), Yugoslavia (particularly Dalmatia, Modena), Croatia, Gascovia in the Basque region, Czechoslovakia (particularly Moravia), Sclavonia (around Bulgaria), and Spain (particularly Toledo) may be affected.

The map above shows the paths of angularity for Sun (red) and Moon (black)

From the above, it is noticeable that Spain, France and Germany are not only falling under the rulership of Sagittarius, but that they are also on the path of this lunar eclipse. This makes it more likely that some eclipse related events may occur. Also, with the eclipsed Moon located close to the Ascendant, it is likely that any eclipse related event will occur very soon after the actual date of the eclipse.

According to Ptolemy, this eclipse, being in a four-footed, common, fire sign, close to the Ascendant, suggests an effect on four-footed dumb animals, humans, kings, but also crops, youth, and foundations. The Moon is placed in Sagittarius’ first decanate, which is also ruled by the Moon. According to William Lilly’s Annus Tenebrosus, an eclipsed Moon in the first decanate of Sagittarius indicates:

“Dieseases rage against and amongst Horses, Mules &c. The Seas troubled with Pyrats”

With Jupiter being eclipse ruler, we can also look to William Lilly, who wrote about Jupiter being eclipse ruler:

“When Jupiter alone has the chiefest Dominion in an Eclips, generally he products an increase of all things. […]

This is well and good but the problem, as far as I can see it, is that Jupiter is in his fall in Capricorn. This greatly debilitates him and also puts him under the rulership of Saturn, the Greater Malefic. Also, we notice that Jupiter is conjunct fixed star Terebellum. Robson writes in his Fixed Stars and Constellations about Terebellum that:

“It gives a fortune but with regret and disgrace, cunning, a mercenary nature and repulsiveness.”

There is also a tight square between both eclipse points and Mars, the Lesser Malefic. Furthermore Mars is in mixed reception with Jupiter, being his exaltation ruler in Pisces, in the 3rd house. Together with what has been said above, this could be interpreted in the way that matters are generally improving but also that care has to be taken not to get too overexcited.

In mundane astrology, the Moon signifies the common people, whereas the Sun, due to the eclipse being in opposition to the Moon, represents the Prime Minister and all people in authority. Mars, who signifies strikes, conflicts and opposition forces, is squaring both the eclipsed Moon and the Sun, which makes the resulting scenario self-explanatory.

On a personal level, an eclipse usually affects only a small number of people. To establish the possibility of any effect to take place, the birth chart should be scrutinized for any of the following:

  • Moon is in or around 15 Sagittarius
  • Moon is in or around 15 Gemini (opposition)
  • 15 Gemini is culminating in the birth chart (conjunct Midheaven)
  • 15 Gemini is ascending in the birth chart (conjunct Ascendant)

Should it be the case that one or even more of these factors apply, an in-depth reading of the birth chart may be necessary to find out if, how and to what extent the native could be affected.

On The Great Conjunction – The Development of an Idea

Great Conjunction 2020

With the next Great Conjunction looming ever closer, I am republishing an article first published in The Tradition Magazine, back in 2008.

 

On The Great Conjunction

Or 

The Development of an Idea

The idea of ever-repeating cycles and the concept of the eternal return must have fascinated mankind since the dawn of history. In the following article I want to shed light on one of these cycles, namely the conjunction between the two highest planets Jupiter and Saturn. I will try to show how the idea of the interpretation of a conjunction for the prediction of events on a mundane level developed through history. The conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn, or great conjunctions as they are called, are moving in a particular pattern across the Zodiac, forming an 800 year cycle that can be divided into sub-cycles. Let us have a closer look at this intriguing cycle which has fascinated astrologers for at least 1200 years.

Jupiter’s annual motion is about 30˚ and Saturn’s position moves about 12˚ per year. Leaving a difference of approximately 18˚ per year, Jupiter is conjunct Saturn every 20 years. After 20 years, the occurring conjunction will take place 240˚, or eight signs, further along the zodiac. Were these figures to be exact, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions would always take place in one of the three signs of the same element.

But this is not the case. The exact duration between two conjunctions is 19.8 years, which means that, over time, the place of conjunction moves backwards through each sign. Therefore after about 200 years one cycle of conjunctions in the signs of one particular element comes to an end and another cycle of conjunctions in signs of the following element begins. Again after about 800 years the conjunctions have taken place in the signs of all four elements and another, new, 800 year cycle begins.

Only when a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is placed opposite the Sun does the rare phenomenon of a triple conjunction take place. Saturn overtakes Jupiter, making the first conjunction; after that both planets become retrograde and Jupiter is overtaking Saturn again. After this, the second conjunction, both planets are turning direct again and are eventually forming the third conjunction. These triple conjunctions move slowly through the signs of the four elements and after approximately 970 years a new cycle begins. This cycle has, to my knowledge, not been investigated in modern times, and could lead to exciting new insights. 

About 1200 years ago astrologers discovered that Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions can be used to predict mundane events like natural catastrophes, wars or other remarkable changes in human history. The philosopher Plato was one of the early writers to mention a cyclical return of planetary patterns. He wrote in his Timaeus about the Great Year, a period of time after which the planets would return to their original positions.(1) He talked as well about the “dance of the stars” and their oppositions and conjunctions which would cause panic and fear of times to come.(2) But it was not until the 8th century that the astrologer Masha’allah specifically wrote about the great conjunction . Masha’allah was born c.740 AD in Basra. David Pingree says that:

“one strongly suspects that it [his astrology] is based on the peculiar doctrines of Harran, to which al-Kindi and Abu Ma’shar were also attracted. In fact, Masha’allah’s works are often echoed in Abu Mashar’s.” (3)

Today Harran is a ruin located in Turkey’s desert land close to the Syrian border. During the early middle ages it became home to a sect that did not have anything to do with the beliefs of Christianity or Islam. The teachings its inhabitants followed were drawn exclusively from Platonic and Hermetic traditions. Nowadays scholars believe that Harran became the refuge of the Neo-Platonist academy of Athens.

It is said that Masha’allah wrote at least twenty-eight books on astrology and in his On the Roots of Revolutions he writes about conjunctions.(4) He distinguishes between three main conjunctions: the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction which he calls the greater conjunction; the one between Mars and Saturn, called the middle conjunction; the one between Jupiter and Mars, the lesser conjunction. He states that if Jupiter is stronger than Saturn, it will signify good, but if Saturn rules, it will signify detriment. He then goes into more detail, writing that if the conjunction takes place in a fire or an air sign, dryness, sterility of the earth and severity of the cold will follow. If the conjunction takes place in an earth sign it stands for the destruction of seeds and famine. In watery signs it will indicate excessive rain and pestilence. If the conjunction is near an angle or even better near the MC it signifies the appearance of a king or prophet from the direction of that sign.

Another astrologer, al-Kindi, a native of Baghdad, was born c.801 AD and is generally known as the first Arab philosopher. He was mainly influenced by Plato and Aristotle but drew as well on Proclus, the Stoics and the Corpus Hermeticum.(5)

He was the teacher of Abu Ma’shar, who would become one of the most famous astrologers of his time. Abu Ma’shar was born in or near Balkh in Khurasan in 787. After a quarrel with al-Kindi, he realized that it would be necessary to study mathematics, that is, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy and astrology, in order to understand philosophical arguments. From that point on he devoted his time to the study of the philosophical and historical justifications of astrology and drew upon sources like Dorotheus, Valens, Ptolemy and the books of the Harranians.(6) His work includes an astrological interpretation of history which was of Zoroastrian origin and had reached him through the works of Masha’allah, al-Tabari and al-Kindi.(7)

After Masha’allah and al-Kindi had successfully laid the foundations of this great idea, Abu Ma’shar was the first astrologer to fully develop and formulate the theory of a correlation between the great conjunctions and the occurrence of historic events. In contrast to Masha’allah, Abu Ma’shar distinguishes between three Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, namely a great, a greater and a greatest one. A great conjunction occurs every 20 years in a sign of one elemental triplicity. These conjunctions can indicate the elevation of kings and the rise of prophets. After 240 years, when the conjunction takes place in another element for the first time, a greater conjunction occurs. This indicates reference to a sect and to its change in certain regions. After about 960 years the conjunctions have moved through all four elements and a new cycle begins. The first conjunction of the new cycle in Aries is called the greatest one. It has reference to changes in empires and kingdoms, floods and earthquakes.

We can see here that Abu Ma’shar states that the length of one great cycle would be 960 years. This is of course technically wrong, but until the middle ages astrologers used this figure as a basis for their calculations. From the 12th century onwards Abu Ma’shar’s teachings had a decisive influence on the West. His work The great introduction to the science of astrology was translated twice into Latin by John of Seville and by Hermann of Carinthia. De magnis conjunctionibus, translated by John of Seville in the 12th century, was published in 1489 in Augsburg and in 1515 in Venice. The English philosopher Roger Bacon took on Abu Ma’shar’s teachings concerning the conjunctions and published them more or less unchanged in his famous work Opus Majus in 1267 in Latin.

In the 15th and 16th centuries the teachings about the great conjunction had already become common knowledge amongst astrologers. The ‘conjunctionists’, as the people who followed this idea were commonly known, were engaged in heated debates with their opponents. The point of discussion expressed by astrologers through the concept of the great conjunction was a central one. The stars were causes and not signs and all events, even major ones like the birth of Christ, were determined by the stars.

This was of course a great problem for the followers of the humanist movement that was flourishing at the time. The humanists argued that if the astrologers’ theories were correct, any attempts by mankind to cause some change, or even have free will, would fail and were therefore unnecessary.     

Apart from these very philosophical questions, there was another, more mundane problem that concerned the conjunctionists in the years before 1583. Many European astrologers believed that with the last great conjunction in a Water sign, the great cycle had come to an end and terrible things were to follow.

In 1564 in Bohemia the astrologer Cyprian Leowitz published a title called De Conjunctionis magnis insignioribus superiorum planetarum, Solis defectionibus, & Cometis, in quarta Monarchia, cum eorundem effectum historica expositione.

Tycho de Brahe, who had already made allowances for the precession of the equinoxes and adjusted the length of the great cycle to 800 years, added to Leowitz’ recognition and so his work became well known to English readers. In De Conjunctionis Leowitz stresses that great changes are to be expected as the fiery trigon is imminent. New worlds would follow; violent changes were to be expected. 

Sheltco á Geveren wrote Of the ende of this world, and the second coming of Christ in 1577, quoting Leowitz’s work:

“… for this great conjunction is of all the last, which shall happen  in the ende of the waterie Trigon, and watry Trigon shall perish, and be turned into fire. … but because about the end of waterie Trigon this Monarchie shall begin, it is likely, that the same also in the end of the same Trigon shall have an end, sith the sonne of God himselfe Iesus Christ our Lorde even in the ende of waterie Trigon tooke upon him the nature of man.” (8)

Another astrologer, Richard Harvey, wrote in his Astrological Discourse upon the great and notable Conjunction published in early 1583, that

“… it is the last conjunction that ever shal happen in the end of waterie Trigone, … we are most likely to have a new world, by some sodaine, violent & wonderful strange alteration …” (9)

He was giving details of what was likely to happen, namely extraordinary winds, floods, cold weather, unusual troubles, envy, hatred, contention, strife, violent oppression, poverty and hunger, persecution of ecclesiastical persons, ruin to many great men, dearth, shipwrecks and burnings. It would all be crowned by the final dissolution of the world and the second coming of the son of man. (10)

When William Lilly wrote his England’s Propheticall Merline in 1644, he dealt retrospectively with the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of 1603, which was of course a greatest one, being located in Sagittarius, renewing the great cycle. He wrote:

“All men know that in this year1603. James the sixth, came to be King of England.: Could a more memorable thing bee in this world, then for a Scottish King to become Monarch of the English, … Was not this in effect a new Monarchy, yea, and a great one to be King of England, Scotland and Ireland?

… And had we not in 1603. a great plague in London, and during his raigne, many years of great scarcity?” (11)

 In Propheticall Merline Lilly writes extensively about the conjunctions. He explains the mathematics, the terminology and the history and creates a textbook for astrologers of future generations.

On January 1st, 1981 the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn took place in Libra. This may be seen as a greater conjunction, leading us into a 200 year cycle of great conjunctions in Air signs.

I want to end this article with a quote from Lilly’s Propheticall Merline, where he writes about the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the Air triplicity:

“If the first convention of Saturn and Jupiter be in Libra, Divines then living, handle matters with great profundity and learning, and their works remain famous to succeeding Ages: Divinity is now handled like Divinity, saving that sometimes they strain too high a point. Magick is earnestly sought after, which this foolish age condemns. … Under this Conjunction so beginning, great actions are done in the world. The Merchant thriving by Sea and by Land. If a Monarchy, an Heresie, or Order of Friers, or a Common-wealth begin now, it endures very long.” (12)

After a short return into an Earth sign in the year 2000, the next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction will take place in 00˚ 29’ Aquarius on the 21st of December 2020.

——————————–

Endnotes:

(1) Plato: Timaeus, 39-d. Some sources state that Plato mentioned that the length of one Great Year would be between 10,000 and 36,000 years and that, after the return of all the planets to their original position, a catastrophe would occur. Thomas Taylor denies both points. For a full discussion see: Taylor, Thomas: Proclus’ Commentary on the Timaeus of Plato, The Prometheus Trust, 1998, p.805ff, and Cornford, F. M.: Plato’s Cosmology, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1948, p.116f.

(2) Plato: Timaeus, 40-c. See as well comments in Taylor (p.855, 860) and Cornford (p.135f).

(3) Pingree, David: Masha’allah, in Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 9, Detroit 2008, p.159-162.

(4) Dykes, Benjamin (trans.): On the Roots of Revolutions in Works of Sahl and Masha’allah, Cazimi Press, Minnesota, 2008, p.306ff.

(5) Jolivet, J. and Rashed, R.: al-Kindi in Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol.15, Detroit 2008, p.261-267.

 (6) Pingree, David: Abu Ma’shar in Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol.1, Detroit 2008, p.33.

(7) ibid. p.34

(8) Geveren, Sheltco á: Of the ende of this world, London 1577, fol. 19.

(9) Harvey, Richard: An Astrological Discourse upon the great and notable Conjunction of the two superior Planets Saturne & Jupiter, which shall happen the 28. day of April, 1583, London 1583, p.38f

(10) ibid. p.8,16f 

(11) Lilly, William: England’s Propheticall Merline, London 1644, p.24

(12) ibid. p.62f

© 2008 Peter Stockinger