To read Parts One,Two, Three and Four of the Big Picture series, click on links below:
One day a few months ago, I happened to return to Michelsen’s “Tables of Planetary Phenomena” to indulge my curiosity regarding the historical pulse beat of Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions in Aries and Pisces. I had been reflecting on the contradiction inherent in the conjunction’s first pass at 0 degrees Aries, a point of huge power and surging cardinal force, followed by its slide backwards into the deeply mysterious, diffuse Piscean tides. Aries, the dynamic beginning of the cycle of life: Pisces, the ending – great dissolver of all earthly action back into the great Universal, the Void, the Quantum Vacuum, God, Allah, Krishna, the Goddess, the Divine……what does this contradiction mean, in essence?
Our world, as ever, has been vividly reflecting this prevailing planetary symbolism, as illustrated by just three Big Picture examples – from sea, scientific exploration and social upheaval:
Undersea disruption has been a major feature of this period, producing the world’s worst oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, a few weeks before the 0 degrees Aries first meeting of Jupiter/Uranus on 8 June that year. This caused huge damage both to the marine environment and to the local economy until the spill was finally capped on 19 September 2010, and the conjunction’s retrograde meeting at 29 degrees Pisces.
So has the success of the incredible power of the CERN Large Hadron Collider in beginning to collect data which delves into the mysteries of eg dark matter. To quote the populist UK scientist Brian Cox:“ The LHC is operating in a space where our understanding of physics breaks down……we don’t know where mass comes from, and we don’t know about dark matter. There are lots of theories that predict what it should be and that LHC is designed to find out.” (UK Sunday Times, 27.2.11)
There also seems to have been a rise in aggressively militant atheism, which requires its shadow opposite of equally angry and destructive religious fundamentalism to keep both poles energised. There is a sense that religiosity, a sense of the numinous, is still as alive in the human soul and the human community as it has always been. The problem is that old forms seem to be raging and dying as they dissolve in the tide of rising secularism and scientism. What is to take their place?
With those thoughts in mind I delved once more into the vast range of data in Michelsen’s “Tables of Planetary Phenomena” (a book no research-minded astrologer should be without!). What I found backed up the general picture of the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction’s behaviour viewed first through the lens of the four elements, then the sign of Aquarius: a pattern of rise and fall, initiatory energy for several hundred years followed by dissolution, all against an overall backwards motion.
Looking at the period from 76 CE to 2010 CE, roughly two millennia, a definite picture emerges. The conjunction retrogrades from 29 degrees Aries to 0 degrees Aries between 76 CE and 588 CE, roughly spanning the time of the Roman Empire.
By the end of this period, Europe had begun its long dissolution into barbarism and darkness, symbolised by the conjunction retrograding from the end of Pisces to its very last appearance at 1 degree Pisces in 1334 CE. 29 degrees Aries had re-appeared around eighty years before in 1264 CE, representing the beginning of Europe’s climb out of the Dark Ages toward the Renaissance at the end of the 13th century, when wisdom carefully preserved by Muslim culture during the times of darkness began to seep into a Europe exhausted and depleted in the aftermath of the Crusades which lasted from 1095-1291.
That long and bloody period of religiously-fuelled savagery occurred during the latter part of the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction’s long sojourn in Pisces.
The next journey of the conjunction through Aries, begun in 1264 CE, completed in June 2010. This spans the rise and dominance of European and American imperialism. But, as the conjunction begins its long period of dissolution into Pisces which will last several hundred years (Michelson only takes us to 2093 and the 24 degrees Pisces conjunction!) we are seeing the decline of European and American power, as economic dominance shifts to the east.
We are also seeing the rise of the shadow side of our rational and secular age: worldwide, organised terrorist activity running on the politics of hatred and division, fuelled by economic disadvantage – and fundamentalist religious belief. As Bob Dylan pointed out in one of his great sixties songs “God on our side”: that ancient human habit of annexing God (or whatever name under which the Divine appears throughout the cultures of the world) to justify appalling cruelty and destructive inhumanity, is still alive and well in the psyche of our species.
Summarising the patterns:
TO BE CONTINUED
850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
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