How the Jupiter Saturn Synod Works
When one looks up into the sky at night–and for millennia astrologers did just that–one can easily see Jupiter, which shines at a maximum visual magnitude of-2.7, and Saturn, which shines at a maximum visual magnitude of +0.7 The average human eye is capable of seeing objects in the sky up to a magnitude of about +5.5. If you were able to see Jupiter and Saturn with their magnetic fields, each would look as large as the Full Moon.
These two planets have been observed for thousands of years. It takes Saturn about thirty years to orbit the Sun, Jupiter about twelve. Since Jupiter has the faster orbit, there are periods, when they both appear at the same degree of longitude in the sky This is the conjunction. This is the Jupiter/Saturn Synod. The time it takes for these two bodies to move from conjunction to conjunction is about twenty years.
This twenty-year cycle is perhaps the most important of all the shorter synodic cycles. It has a definite effect on the chart of every nation on the planet.
The most significant circumstances in the life of a nation, especially a democratic republic of free institutions and the rule of law, happens when those in power, at the time of the conjunction and often at the time of the opposition, pass that power on to a whole new group of people.
At this time, during the period of its new phase, or the full phase, a political party that may have been in power for years, or a group in government who followed a certain political philosophy, might simply go out of power, or be voted out of office.
If this synod conjuncts a planet of a nation’s chart, it will activate everything that planet rules for the next twenty years.
Let’s examine how this synod has worked in American history beginning with the most recent.
2001 – 2021
Jupiter 22° 6΄ Saturn 22°Taurus 23° 26΄ May 2000
Early June 2000, 23° and 24° Taurus
June 20 Jupiter at 27° Taurus | July 12 SA27° Taurus
This cycle will last to Dec 2020 with Jupiter/Saturn at 29° Capricorn thru 0° and1° Aquarius in Jan 2021
The year 2000 is an election year. Neither side has an incumbent running, which means the election can go either way. The nation is prosperous and at peace. Normally in conditions like this the party in power retains the presidency. However, it is the beginning of a new twenty year Jupiter/Saturn cycle. People are hungry for something new; the previous administration has been involved in numerous scandals, one of which a president has been impeached by Congress. An impeachment is a rare event in American history. Americans know this and are tired of all the sleaze; the election is very close, finally decided by a few votes in the state of Florida, with both sides crying foul, and the opposing party takes the presidency. The taint of scandal goes away. Voters breathe a sigh of relief.
This 27° Taurus synod begins as a trine to the Declaration (1776 chart) Pluto and a trine to the Constitutional Sun (1787 chart), implying among other things war and economic issues and perhaps a more conservative time.
Jupiter 1°II 14΄ Saturn 24°Taurus 5΄ Jan 20, 2001
A new president is sworn in.
9/11 happens on Sept 11, 2001: Jupiter is 11°Cancer 31΄; Saturn is 14° Gemini 44΄. That is the war. The economy does expand and is prosperous for many years, but some of that rests on an overvalued real estate bubble, and that bubble bursts in 2008. This causes a panic. The politicians in power don’t seem to be handling it too well. As in the Great Depression, everything they do seems to make it worse. The American people are dissatisfied and…
Ten years after the Jupiter/Saturn synod arrives the Jupiter Saturn Opposition = 28 March 2011: Saturn 14° Libra Jupiter at 14° Aries. This is a year when the people vote and they come out all year in large numbers to vote. Plus there is a: USA Saturn Return, another indication of deep change.
On election day all over the US, Saturn on Nov. 2 is at 11°40΄ of Libra, or 3°5΄ away from the conjunction to natal US Saturn, which becomes within 1° exact the 22nd of November; By Dec. 2, 2010 the conjunction has been made, and in early January new people begin to take control of elective offices in the land. The elections have been a tsunami for those in power, the elites. The elite have lost the House of Representatives. And they have lost their 3/5ths majority in the Senate, so in the Senate they can now be filibustered, meaning they have lost their absolute voting power majority in the Senate. The old elites have also lost a majority of governorships and legislatures around the USA. Government unions, an elite special interest faction, vow to fight any way they can to keep their powers; yet in state after state their power begins to slip away: the sovereign vote of the people can still destroy the power of special interests. The president’s approval rate remains in the low 40’s. Congress’ job approval rating at this time is the worst in poll taking history. Yet natural change is occurring everywhere.
When the 2012 elections are done and finished, I will add more here.
1981- 2001 JUSA 10° Libra in Jan. 20, 1981
Nov 1980 thru August, 1981 5° Libra thru 12° Libra back to 6° Libra
Also Saturn Return this year
Also Eris exactly opposed natal Saturn of USA | Saturn opposed Jupiter March 1991 Sa= 3°53΄ Auqarius| Jupiter 3°53΄ Leo Rx
The Influence of Ronald Reagan
It does seem strange that one of the most important, successful and change-effecting leaders in the world history of the late 20thcentury, a two term president of the USA, one who further believed in and employed astrologers for the timing of events, would not have an accurate confirmed birth time. But such seems to be the case. There are rectifications and dowsings and psychic probes that cover times from early in the morning then moving all through the day. Perhaps some day we will get a definitive time. At present we don’t have one. The chief problem seems to be that the birth certificate comes with the date of birth, but not the time.
Another problem is that the historian, Edmund Morris, chosen by the Reagan people to write his biography, their decision based on his one good book, turns out to be a mediocre to poor historian. He wrote one magnificent book, the first half of a biography of Teddy Roosevelt: It was magnetic and readable and hard to put down, but he was never to write another book on that level. His biography on Reagan is filled with fantasy and actual falsehoods, including, most likely, fictional sources as to Reagan’s time of birth; as history, it is terrible; as a story, it is even worse.
In AstroDatabank, the Rodden Rating is DD, awarded for conflicting, unverified times. After reading their reasons in “Sources”, I agree. You can read about it here
I have included several speculative charts. I am using a favorite one, which probably means that it is not correct, as favorite speculative charts, when the true time of birth is miraculously uncovered, often demonstrate. I am maintaining discipline and employing only what can be used here.
When you analyze a natal chart of someone like President Reagan, the first thing you want to do is compare it to the core chart of America, the Declaration chart (July 4, 1776). This will begin to show you as an astro historian the kind of effect he had on the nation.
The first connection I notice is that partile trine of Jupiter in Scorpio to the USA Sun in Cancer (it is under 30΄ off of exact). So there is an element of belief and faith in the very heart of what the Founders were trying to create when they founded the Republic. President Reagan read and studied many books on the Constitution and the Declaration and about American history for years and years before he became president. When he entered office he knew generally what he wanted to do. His Jupiter trine to the US Sun was going to be highly beneficial for the USA. Scorpio is renewal and he was going to renew the founding principles embodied in the Declaration, and he would renew America’s faith in itself.
Another very close aspect was the opposition of his Mars at 4° Capricorn to the US 3° Cancer Venus and 5° Jupiter in Cancer. This conjunction in the natal US chart rules the governing elites: the bureaucrats in Washington, the lifetime politicians in Congress, special interest groups, etc. Reagan would be challenging them for his full two terms in office.
The third major structure is Reagan’s Pluto/Eris/Uranus. His Pluto and Uranus are exactly inconjunct; Eris is sextile Uranus and square Pluto: This is a very tight structure. Reagan’s Uranus at 26° 32΄ Capricorn conjuncts the US Pluto which is 27° Capricorn, which means the whole structure of Reagan’s Pluto/Eris/Uranus sits on the US Pluto. For purpose of our discussion here Pluto rules economics and war. Reagan was to have an enormous effect on America in both of these areas. Three of his planets impacted the US Pluto which means that he had an enormous effect on the Plutonian and Scorpionic functions of the US.
William Casey, Reagan’s DCI
How? After thirty years or so, historians are saying Ronald Reagan won the Cold War. Margaret Thatcher said he won it and not a shot was fired. A few shots were fired and some lives were lost but more or less she was right. Much of his success rested in his genius (Mercury conjunct Uranus in Capricorn) in choosing subordinates who would fight this war. His choice of CIA director, William Casey, if judged purely on effectiveness, on what was achieved, would mean he chose the best CIA director in American history. William Casey destroyed the Soviets in Afghanistan, and that was one of the actions that helped bring down the Soviet Union. Reagan destroyed Soviet reliance of oil incomes, thus limiting its fundings to conduct wars and revolutions around the planet. The histories of this are only now beginning to be written. Reagan helped destroy communism in the Soviet Union. Today there is no Soviet Union. This type of plutonian power was welded in conjunction with Eris, so the destruction was permanent and long term.
The economy. Reagan had spent many years studying what made a people prosperous and what made them poor. He had always been fascinated with economics: He majored in it in college. Later, especially when he was reading and studying while traveling across America by rail, as a spokesman for General Electric Co., he studied Adam Smith, Bastiat, Milton Friedman, many others. He studied and read and thought. Practically, he noted, in addition to committing millions of political murders, how poor the Soviets were, how communism and socialism generally created poverty.
By the time he entered his presidency, he knew, exactly what he wanted to do. He would dismantle those parts of government, the socialist parts, inspired by Keynesian philosophies, the progressive practices, the over-regulations that were choking the economy. He challenged the elites in the media, in academia, in the opposing party, and he won that argument with the American people. He changed the whole direction of government. His influence was so powerful that the next thirty years of America would be the most prosperous it had ever experienced.
Renewal. Ronald Reagan was first and foremost a very spiritual person. His mother, who brought him up, was deeply religious; in her own community she was a spiritual leader, a prophetess, a healer, and she instructed her son in Christian teachings, in prayer, in connecting to that higher power that we call God. All his life he was deeply religious. He often practiced silent prayer: It is said that practiced silent prayer in cabinet meetings at the White House, or even when riding his Arabian horse at his ranch in California. This president was a deeply religious as Abraham Lincoln. This is found all over his chart: first of course is the Sun square Jupiter, then the Mercury opposed Neptune (the silent prayer), also the Uranus Mercury sextile Eris.
Living in a secular age, he did not talk about his connection to a higher power, no very much anyway. Yet he believed as deeply as the Founders in that connection to a higher power, and he shared their values, especially as stated in the Declaration. “We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” The concepts, the “self evident truths” in the Declaration were placed, after years of careful thought, into the Constitution. The Constitution was explained by the Federalist Papers. It was a magnificent way of creating a “New Order of the Ages”, something never achieved in history on this level. All this was Reagan’s philosophy, his faith.
Much of this had been forgotten. In the 60’s and 70’s the Declaration and Constitution quit being taught in our schools. They were being forgotten. They were declared by progressives, even by President Wilson, to be out of date. “Things are more complicated now”, they reasoned. They said that it was time for highly educated bureaucrats to run things, and in order to be efficient, these bureaucrats needed to do away with separation of powers, even with representative government. Otherwise, you could not “get things done”. Of course we would need to hire more and more bureaucrats to do this, that is, we would always require more and more government.
When Reagan became president, he faced a government that was larger and more permanent than it had ever been in American history, except during the 2nd World War. It was a crippling influence. The economy was dying; foreign policy was in malaise. It was time for renewal.
He reversed a lot of it in his two terms, one reason for the extraordinary burst of prosperity that followed. More importantly, he brought back the original Founders ideas on how a free people can live in a republic. These ideas on human freedom and creativity actually go back thousands of years; these ideas are far more profound than the progressive, socialist, national socialist and communist fads that have occurred since the French Revolution. Part of his genius was that he made these ideas popular again.
Reagan won the argument over whether the ideas found in the Declaration and Federalist Papers were out of date. He began to turn American government completely around. He did it of course with his genius for communication about politics and history, his Mercury Uranus conjunction in Capricorn. No one could match him in winning the argument, ever. When his influence is assessed by philosophical historians centuries from now, that may be what they credit him with most, that after more two hundred years of history, when it was all beginning to be forgotten, he reopened the wells of truth and freedom. Reagan was always interested human freedom. That was his chief interest in the political realm. He is one of those who have brought more freedom to the planet than almost any other.
The fact that Eris is a part of this structure may mean that his influence on the economy and on economic thinking in general and on the philosophy of lasting human freedom in a republic will last for centuries.
Astrologically, here is how it worked:
On the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president, Jan 20, 1981, several major aspects were occurring in the US Chart.
- Saturn was within 5° of the US natal Saturn, and a few months later would be making the conjunction. America was entering its seventh Saturn Return. Saturn Returns are always transformative for a nation. Those in power often go out of power: Sometimes, like in the Battle of Chattanooga, where Grant defeated Bragg (and where America was entering its 3rd Saturn Return, November 23–25, 1863, the Saturn Return can occur in the middle of a violent war; other times, like in the USA in 1981, are more peaceful, but the re-structuring of institutions of power can happen.
- The planet Eris, at 14° Aries 07΄ was making an exact opposition to US natal Saturn (14° Libra 48΄). This was the first time in US history that had happened. All the influence and change happening now would be centuries long-lived. Whatever Eris touches is given a kind of immortality.
- Ronald Reagan was sworn in on a new twenty year Jupiter/Saturn synod (Jupiter 10° Libra, Saturn 09° Libra). This synod was conjunct the US Saturn, making it doubly effective. And, yes, the synod was opposed by the planet Eris, making its effect enormously long-lived. Everything would change, and it would stay changed for longer than anyone living would realize. America’s oldest president, who in many ways seemed very young, and appealed to the young, was sworn in as president.
What Does This Mean
So the synod of Jupiter/Saturn conjoined the natal USA Saturn. This meant that America was now also beginning a new Saturn cycle. Such beginnings are always a time of renewal. In historical astrology Saturn in the chart of a nation represents its standing in the world. The Eris opposition to that Saturn means its standing in the world will be connected with war. The type of war it will fight will be Erian rather than Arian. Erian war is just as forceful as Arian, but it is often fought covertly using every tool available. Reagan won the Cold War fighting with economics (destroying the Russian oil revenues while at the same time increasing US military expenditures) as well as covert war (destroying Russian dominance in Afghanistan by supplying shoulder fired ground-to-air missiles and other ordinance to the Afghan resistance).
The opposition of Eris to US Saturn meant that the next thirty years would see US power in the world supported by this type of war.
As part of the renewal, Reagan brought back the military power of the US, which had been in the doldrums since the withdrawal from Vietnam; he restored its confidence. Every battle he fought lost almost no lives, yet was a victory for America:
Grenada (25 October 1983): The massive invasion of Grenada wiped out the installation of a new dictatorship there. It slowed the expansion of Cuban/Soviet influence in Central America.
Afghanistan: Caused the defeat and withdrawal of Soviet armies.
Libyan bombing (April 15, 1986): Stopped terrorism in Europe, and inhibited Colonel Quadaffi from embarking on further terrorist adventures.
Support of the British against the Argentines in the Falklands War (2 April 1982 – 14 June 1982): Stopped the invasion of British Commonwealth island by an Argentine dictatorship that no one on that island wanted.
Fighting the Sandinista dictatorship in Nicaragua by supporting the Contras: Not as successful, but still slowed it down.
Initiating the Strategic Defense Initiative (March 23, 1983), which would cost so much that the Soviets were never going to be able to pay to keep up with the Americans.
Installing missiles in Western Europe (1982-83): This gave the Europeans security for the first time in years, and weakened the Soviets.
Giving covert support to the Israelis in bombing the nuclear reactor in Osirak, Iraq (June 7, 1981).
America would mostly win the wars it fought for the next thirty years. The synod conjunct America’s Saturn and opposed by Eris placed its stamp on the whole cycle, American expression of power, and on the presidency. Every president would be involved in a war. Even president Clinton, someone who did not want to be in any war, fought successfully in Kosovo and Bosnia.
1961-1981. This Jupiter/Saturn synod began at 230 Capricorn and moved to 28°Capricorn, and in March of 1961 was exactly conjunct the Pluto at 270 Capricorn of America’s 1776 chart. The dynamic impact point of Jupiter/Saturn that occurred on America’s Pluto placed its mark upon the next twenty years of American political life. Every president underwent some kind of Plutonian experience.
President Kennedy was elected at the beginning of this cycle (and, remember, Pluto is anti-parallel the natal Sun of the 1776 chart), after three years in office was assassinated, possibly in a conspiracy. The second president, Lyndon Johnson, was hounded out of office over the mis-handling of a foreign war (war is ruled by Pluto). President Nixon had to resign from office due to complications arising from a burglary scandal (burglary is ruled by Pluto), and also possibly from conspiracy. President Ford was humiliated in a presidential debate concerning his knowledge of foreign policy in particular and in general by his demeanor and clumsiness, and lost the election (Pluto can rule public humiliation). President Carter was humiliated by the events surrounding the Iranian hostage crisis (transiting Pluto was square his natal Sun), and also was accused of poorly handling the economy (Pluto is an economic planet) and of being afraid of the power of his presidency. In a somewhat humiliating defeat, he was voted out of office. Every issue and every event, during that twenty year period, was somehow Plutonian in nature.
In 1961, when Jupiter and Saturn were in their new phase, a whole new group of people came to power. President Kennedy entered office at the head of a party that had been out of power. He had a fresh political philosophy. So did Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. The Jupiter/Saturn influence dominated both political parties, and it molded their philosophies. In foreign policy, they were all more conservative than later presidents would be. Richard Nixon, the third president of this cycle, came from a different party, one that was supposed to have a different political philosophy. Yet if one examines President Nixon’s actions as chief-executive, as opposed to the propaganda of his political campaigns—the opening of China relations, the support of all the civil rights reforms, the push to have an astronaut walk on the Moon—the agenda of this president much more resembled that of Kennedy and Johnson and Carter and their political programs than it did Eisenhower’s or Truman’s or Roosevelt’s.
In this era America in its backing of currency went off the gold and silver standards: Johnson, the Democrat, removed the silver from coinage in 1967; and Nixon, the Republican, closed the gold window in 1971, taking the American dollar off the gold standard, forcing the currencies of the world to float. This action had a major drastic effect on the world economy. All these economic changes were Plutonian in nature. They followed from the synodic influence on the U.S Pluto.
1941-1961. In the previous JU/SA synod, we uncover two dynamic impact points. One moves roughly from 11 to 15 degrees of Taurus, and then again from 6 through 9 degrees of Taurus. Examining the 1776 chart, we note no conjunctions to its natal planets.
That dynamic impact point does make a sextile to the U.S. Sun (1776), and later, though not as strongly, to the U.S. Jupiter (1776). In that era, Roosevelt was president, and much of the civilized world was already at war. In 1940, the German Third Reich was the most powerful nation on the planet. By the November election of 1940, in which Roosevelt was re-elected for a third term, the Third Reich ruled of all Europe, parts of Russia, much of the Mediterranean and parts of North Africa. It seemed this totalitarian power was strong and getting stronger.
Like much of the world, America had been for years caught in the mire of an economic depression. Roosevelt had come into power some seven years previously, as a reformer, perceived almost as a savior. He had inherited a deep economic crisis, one that was crippling the nation. He tried many solutions, mostly involving more and more government bureaucracies, and none seemed to work very well, though they did alleviate suffering.
A case could be made that his political philosophy was “liberal”: His program for the American people was that government would take a much greater part in the private lives of its citizens than it had ever done before. New bureaucracies were created. Government jobs were given to the indigent. Securities markets and banks were for the first time regulated by government agencies. For a few years it looked as if the economy was going to be nationalized. However, the nation remained in depression.
Roosevelt, like many other presidents, including Hoover who preceded him, didn’t really understand how economics worked. And probably that is not why he was chosen by the powers of Providence.
In 1940, around the time of the third re-election of Franklin Roosevelt, a strange series of events happened: Many of the liberal, left-leaning people he had brought into government in 1933 were replaced by conservatives.
Roosevelt was concerned about the spread of the darkness of Nazism, was worried about the war in Europe. He saw long before many others that America would have to enter this war, or else the world would become something very different than it was. He had already been secretly supporting Churchill and others in their crusade against Hitler.
His work in the Second World War showed his genius for leadership; it was the stamp of his greatness. As much as any other single leader of this era, he destroyed the satanic princes of the Third Reich.
This was a leader who saw far into the future. He required a different kind of person who could help him fight this war. The people he drew to him were more conservative, more traditional and orthodox in their thinking. Some were army officers with names like Marshall and Eisenhower, some were heads of corporations, who could assist in the effort to produce the tanks and guns and ships and thousands of other items needed to prosecute a war.
The Jupiter/Saturn synod crossed Roosevelt’s natal Saturn (it was his second Saturn return), and then went on to touch his Neptune, making him one of the most powerful people in the world. Like everyone else, he had to align his exercise of power with the new synodic energies. With its Taurus emphasis, it brought to power many traditional, non-radical people. They ruled America and dominated the world for the next twenty years.
This synod’s sextile to the American Sun (1776) thrust America into a level of world power and authority it had never previously exercised. During this twenty-year period the president of the United States came to exercise a vast power all over the planet.
There were some years in this cycle when America was the only nation that possessed a nuclear capacity. During the years after World War II, many other nations were digging themselves out of the rubble of war. America had an intact and huge industrial capacity, which economically dominated the planet.
Truman came into power on the crescent phase of the synod (SA 4°CA; JU 20° VI). At the beginning of his term he had to make a quick decision on an extremely important matter—he had to choose whether or not to use an atomic bomb on Japan. He too shared in the awesome power of this synod.
Truman was just as much an anti-Communist conservative as any other political personage in America during this twenty year period. He was responsible for getting legislation passed in the Congress to assist Europe in its recovery. This was called the Marshall Plan. The monies from this aid enabled the fledgling democracies in Europe to inhibit the spread of communism. When North Korea invaded South Korea (June 25, 1950), Truman immediately responded by sending in American divisions. It was Truman who signed the National Security Act of 1947, which in addition to other acts created the Central Intelligence Agency.
Even the political Left in the late Forties and the Fifties was concerned with “fighting Communism”. During that twenty-year period in America very little radical, leftist or socialist thought or politics existed either in government, or in the universities or anywhere else in American culture. For a while anti-Communism became almost a religion. It reached its most fanatic point around the conjunction of Saturn/Neptune in the early Fifties.
Those in power, either in government or in the media or in the universities, promoted or espoused conservative ideas and philosophies of governance.
Eisenhower was sworn in as president when Jupiter and Saturn were 15 degrees past their opposition, in the full phase (Jan. 20, 1953, 12:32p.m., Washington). For a party in power the full phase can signify a time of falling apart, or it can be a flowering of what was begun at the conjunction. In the ascent-to-power chart of Eisenhower, Jupiter is placed in the same position that it synodically occupied in 1940, sextile the US Sun (1776). If I had been an astrologer living at this time, I would have forecast a rather successful term of rule, a “flowering” of his ability to handle power easily and gracefully, which he began learning about in the early 1940’s when he was called to Washington to work with General Marshal.
Eisenhower was to carry that power right up to the time that Saturn and Jupiter conjuncted again in 1961. At that time, new people, new parties, new organizations, new groups took on the direction of government.
By October of 1958, Jupiter and Saturn had entered the closing 450 (JU 5 0 SC; SA 200SG). America’s stability and total dominance of the world, militarily and economically, was beginning to erode. Eisenhower, who had hardly ever been criticized either by the media or by the congressional Democrats (in that era, they were known as the loyal opposition) began to receive disapproval and censure from these and many other sources.
The Russians had initiated the Space Age by lofting into space a two-hundred-pound satellite, the Sputnik (October 4, 1957). This achievement caused consternation and fear in America. The problem of segregation of the races, a holdover from what was begun in the American Civil War, was entering mass consciousness. Eisenhower was not really concerned with either space exploration or racial segregation. These issues were to be addressed in the upcoming JU/SA cycle. People began to criticize him for this.
Eisenhower began to seem inept to the American people. The media came up with the term “missile gap”: It was felt that America was vulnerable to a missile attack, that maybe the Soviet Union was “ahead” of America. Historically, this has been proven to be very, very untrue. While the Russians were able to construct a prototype rocket that would place a satellite in orbit, they simply lacked the technology to built rockets that would carry nuclear devices to American cities, or an astronaut to the Moon.
Eisenhower had been using spy planes for several years to determine just how powerful the Russians really were. In 1960, one of these U-2 planes was shot down by a Soviet missile, and the pilot taken captive. Eisenhower was made to look incompetent. A summit meeting was scheduled between the USA and the Soviets. It was canceled, and things looked even worse.
However, the intelligence flights that Eisenhower had authorized over Russia gave him this knowledge: While the Russians were boasting of great military strength, in truth, their strategic military force was extremely weak. The president knew the Soviet Union could be destroyed as a nation in literally twenty-four hours by America’s invincible bomber force.
This knowledge and power helped the next president, John Kennedy, stand up to the Russian Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, and made Khrushchev back away from a confrontation during the Cuban Missile Crisis three years later.
It was believed and felt and talked about in the media, and by Eisenhower’s opposition, that he was getting old. At the time he was one of the oldest U.S. presidents in American history, true to his Saturn archetype. It was said that he was inept, that he should retire, and that “it was time to get the country moving again.” People felt the winds of a new Jupiter/Saturn cycle approaching. Out with the old, in with the new.
Had Eisenhower served for four more years (which was now not allowed by a new Constitutional amendment), perhaps America would not have gotten involved in Vietnam. I believe that no one else could have kept America out of that conflict.
The energies were changing. It was time for a new group of people to take power; they had to be given their chance. They had to make their mistakes, gather experience. This is how republics nourish themselves. In the cycle that spanned 1961 to 1981, a man walked on the Moon, the balance of power changed on the planet (Nixon’s treaties with China), and a racial balance was achieved in America that confirmed all the gains made in the previous hundred years and finally began to heal all the wounds opened by the civil war.
1921-1941. Here we see a completely different influence upon the American political process. The dynamic impact point of this synod occurred at 230, 24°, 25°& 26° of Virgo, in July, Aug. and Sept. of 1921.
In this example let us use both U.S. charts—the 1776 and the 1787. In the 1787 chart, the synod conjuncts its natal Sun. The synod also exactly inconjuncts the Saturn of that chart, and exactly squares its Jupiter. In the Declaration chart there is a conjunction of its Neptune, and a trine of its Pluto, off by one degree.
The conjunction of Saturn to the Sun of a nation’s chart would almost be enough to allow the astro-historian to forecast that the structure of power of the chief-executive of that nation would somehow change. With the synod, one can easily assume that the leader, his party, and all those around him who share the power, will go out of office, or assume power, or somehow that the nature of their power will be changed. This synod conjuncted the Sun of the Constitution chart.
That is of course what happened. The president who went out of office was Woodrow Wilson. He had a stroke, he was so ineffective that his wife and an assistant ran the country for the last year of his office. The Democratic candidate who replaced him was easily defeated by the Republican, Warren Harding, a newspaperman and senator from Ohio who ran for office on a platform of “peace and prosperity”. The American people were tired of war and of Woodrow Wilson; they wished to pursue their own careers, to get on with their lives. Warren in his short time in office brought back that prosperity
This JU/SA period covers The Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the birth of America as a world power, though it would only take its place as a power in the following cycle.
In astro-history, the eighth house in the chart of a nation will reveal its finances, the state of its resources, its banks, its corporations, its brokerage houses, anything to do with shared assets, wealth, capital, property. Most of the Founding Fathers were themselves businessmen and capitalists. The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights written into the Constitution was designed to protect private property.
The position of the Sun, and Venus and Mercury in this chart has to do with risk, investment and hopefully a return of some kind. That is its economic meaning.
A synodic conjunction on this point implies that these financial matters will all somehow be rearranged.
The pursuit of prosperity is a major theme in American culture. It is a partial meaning of the phrase, written by Thomas Jefferson, “the pursuit of happiness”. This phrase, which is a part of the Declaration of Independence, still a legal document, is a legal right given to every individual in America. Each person has the freedom to develop creative ideas and make them work in the world. Each person in America has the right to pursue knowledge and wisdom.
In the Twenties in America people were occupied with the application of this kind of practical philosophy. They elected a conservative Republican, who preached the benefits of peace and prosperity.
Like any other human condition, a general prosperity can generate social problems: It can lead to a pride that blocks all expressions of the creative force. This financial hubris, expressed as a financial bubble, may be why the Great Depression was activated. With Saturn, either alone or in a synod, affecting the 8th house or Pluto of a chart, anything that is inflated will come crashing down.
The Jupiter/Saturn synod, moving through the Declaration chart, was exactly trine Pluto, and it was conjunct Neptune. Synods apply reality checks to whatever energies they touch.
The trine of Pluto to Pluto (1776) brought many years of prosperity to America. American presidents did not fare so well. Harding died in office in 1923 (Pluto was crossing the U.S. Sun). It seems that he was broken-hearted over the Tea Pot Dome scandal, which had to do with the sale of oil rights. At the same time, the American economy was experiencing a burst of mega-growth. When he died (Aug. 2, 1923), America was having a Saturn return (its fifth), and Jupiter was 25° ahead of Saturn.
Calvin Coolidge succeeded Harding, when Pluto was conjunct Coolidge’s natal Sun. In 1924, he was easily re-elected on the same moderately conservative platform of prosperity and peace. As a somewhat prophetic and sensitive president, feeling the economy heading into a major economic collapse, he chose not to run in 1928. Here is one description of those years:
After nine years of Republican rule, prosperity seemed like a permanent condition rather than the upswing of an economic cycle. America was the spoiled child of history, with the greatest privileged class the world had ever seen. The number of shares on the New York Stock Exchange grew from 25 million in 1923 to 1,125 million in 1928. Every clerk and every postman knew what a margin account was. John Jacob Rascob wrote an article inLadies Home Journal entitled, “Everybody Ought To Be Rich”.
But after the crash, the value of stocks was down by 50 percent and those depreciated stocks were the collateral for bank loans. The borrowers couldn’t pay and the banks couldn’t collect and the depositors withdrew their money. [from Ted Morgan, FDR, A Biography (new York: Simon and Schuster, 1985) P. 317]
Herbert Hoover ran a political campaign espousing the same creed of economic security.
Everyone was to have two cars, and a “chicken in every pot”. Less than seven months into his first term as president, the New York Stock Exchange experienced a complete deflation in its prices. The Wall Street Crash occurred on October 24, 1929. By Dec. 1st the value of securities had dropped by twenty-six billion dollars (1929 dollars).
When the crash occurred, Saturn was at 25° Sagittarius, and Jupiter was at 16° Gemini, about 9° away from the opposition, which became exact in August of 1930 at 6° Cancer/Capricorn, conjunct (1776) America’s Jupiter; later, the dynamic impact point of this opposition would also occur on America’s Sun (1776).
This opposition represented the “falling apart” of a whole political philosophy of prosperity. It was the end of an era of speculation based on the belief in something for nothing.
In this whole JU/SA cycle there occurred a major change in what party, what group of people had the power and managed affairs of state.
When the economy collapsed, when the value of currency deflated, when the unemployment figures reached a quarter of the work force, drastic solutions were called for—and yet nothing happened. President Hoover, a brilliant and successful engineer, was a hands-on man. He tried everything: Many new government programs. Nothing worked at all. Matters worsened.
By the time of the next presidential election (Nov. 8, 1932), JU/SA had been in its full phase for a little over two years (JU: 18° VI; SA: 29° CP). This Full phase placed its seal upon America’s entire political process: The Republican party would become the minority party for many decades. The power that it held from the beginning of American Civil War “fell apart” during the opposition phase.
The economic needs of the nation were such that its financial institutions had to be rearranged. The American people were thrown into circumstances of scarcity and hunger, and it was incumbent upon the government to show compassion and mercy.
President Roosevelt Ascent-to-Power chart. Click for larger.
If we examine Roosevelt’s ascent-to-power chart, dated from the time he was sworn in as President, we note some interesting patterns. Mars and Jupiter and Neptune are in their strongest aspects—the astronomic opposition, when the Earth and the Sun and these planets in their orbits line up in a straight line (see diagram). To have Mars and Jupiter and Neptune lined up in the sky together on the line of the nodes with the Earth between and the Sun on the other side is one of the most powerful political charts in American history. It is perhaps just what was needed to break the political and economic crisis and stagnation that threatened the nation in this era. This cluster of planets located in Pisces is roughly conjunct the Sun/Venus/Mercury of the Constitution chart, and the ascent Jupiter is within four degrees of a conjunction to the Declaration chart’s Neptune. All these placements indicate enormous activity—the Mars influence betokens a change of political and economic philosophy; the Jupiter influence, a change of Americas’ laws. Overshadowing all, in the Neptune/nodal axis influence, we find an enormous compassion for suffering.
At JU/SA opposition, if a crisis of political philosophy exists, and if the skill to carry out the ideas born at the JU/SA conjunction is lost, and if those in power are not able to meet the demands of the predicament, then their authority will collapse, and new group of people, often a new party, will come into power.
In a democratic republic this principle of metamorphosis works more fluidly; in a highly controlled dictatorship, this process may require the effect of a stronger influence, like an outer planet synod, although sometimes the single Plutonian influence suffices.
1901-1921. William McKinley was sworn in for his second term as President on March 4, 1901, when Saturn was at 14° Capricorn and Jupiter was at 8° Capricorn. The dynamic impact point of this synod reached 13 0 Capricorn in November of 1901. On September the 6th of that year, while standing in a reception line at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo N.Y., McKinley was shot by an anarchist. He died on Sept. 14, and Theodore Roosevelt, at age 42, the youngest so far, was sworn in as President.
Thus began a Jupiter/Saturn synod that ushered in a new century. This synod opposed the Sun of the US chart (1776). Every president of this cycle was involved in an active challenge from the outside, often from foreign nations. Sometimes the president was actively doing the challenging himself. Theodore Roosevelt, or TR, as we will call him so as not to confuse him with Franklin Roosevelt, confronted the business interests and corporations, which by the turn of the century had grown extremely powerful. They had complete control of the legislative process, partly through bribery, partly thru belief of the elected representatives, both on a national and state level.
TR was responsible for getting the Sherman Anti-Trust laws passed, and he made sure that they were enforced.
He dissolved Northern Securities Co. and others for violating anti-trust laws; intervened in a coal strike on behalf of the public; obtained the Elkins law forbidding rebates to corporations in 1903; the Hepburn law regulating railroad rates in 1906; the Pure Food and Drugs Act, 1906; the Reclamation Act and employers liability laws.[“Theodore Roosevelt”, World Almanac, 1984 (New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, 1984) p.257]
As were all the presidents who served during this cycle, TR was a confrontational president. His administration attacked the power of large corporations, and to a large extent broke it. He reasserted the power of government over the factions of business and other special interests. The presidents that followed continued this process.
TR desired to send the Navy on a round-the-world trip, as a show of force to other nations. Congress refused to pay for the journey. As a reply, Roosevelt said, “I will send it around the world, let Congress bring it back.” TR was always confronting his Congress.
In 1905, the President won the Nobel Peace Prize for arranging a treaty between Japan and Russia. America began to be seen in the world as a peace-keeper; she began to take her place in the world as a power. It was during this twenty-year cycle that America tipped the balance of power against Germany in the First World War, and in doing so, began to determine the destiny of the world historical order for the 20th Century and beyond.
After serving essentially two terms, TR decided not to run for office again, and was followed by another Republican, William Howard Taft. Taft, because of his philosophy and the way he governed, was soon opposed by TR and others in the Republican Party. In the election of 1912 (Nov. 8, 1912), Saturn was at 20 Gemini and Jupiter was 180Sagittarius. The synod had just a few months previously entered its full phase. Both Republicans totaled more popular votes than the Democratic candidate, but the Democrat won the most electoral votes. On March 4th, 1913, Woodrow Wilson became the next president, and finished out the JU/SA cycle.
It can often happen at the full phase that one party, one faction, one interest will go out of office, and another will come to power. It happened in the Thirties, and it happened in 1912. During this cycle, the power of the presidency continued to grow. Wilson in his early years completely dominated his Congress. During his term, the Federal Reserve, a government institution that oversees the banks, was born. Government began to exert greater power over the economy than it ever had before. His was an activist government.
President Wilson was America’s first progressive president. He appointed Bryan his Secretary of State. Wilson believed the Constitution was out of date, that it should be replaced with more enlightened laws. Government bureaucracies ruled by “disinterested” bureaucrats could get things done a lot quicker and easier than the messy legislative process as ordered by separation of powers and representative government. He was the first true socialist president in American history. America was now being introduced to the ideas of socialism that were born in the Uranus/Neptune synod. Every civilization on the planet, free and not so free, would have in its own way to come to terms with this new religion.
America entered the First World War (April 6, 1917). President Wilson completely abandoned any isolationist tendencies. He joined in the war against Germany and later took on a prominent role in peacemaking. Wilson was a guiding influence in the formation of the League of Nations, his idea of the beginning of a one world government bureaucracy. It would be opposed by his Senate, and never ratified in America.
During the JU/SA synod that lasted from 1901 to 1921, America’s role in the world grew larger and larger. In this cycle not only did a president arrange a peace treaty between two waning nations, but another president was forced into a war he didn’t want to fight. Once forced, America fought quite well.
Under Teddy Roosevelt, America introduced itself as a world power, under Taft, it became recognized as an economic force, and under Wilson it became a powerful defender of human freedoms. The synod entered its balsamic phase (JU 15° LE; SA 6° VI) in Oct. 1919. A breakdown of the energies of this synod occurred; its original thrust was interiorized.
At this time Wilson attempted to bring the U.S. into the League of Nations, and met resistance from Congress. He then suffered a stroke (Sept. 26, 1919) that left him incapacitated for the remainder of his term. This allowed the U.S. Senate to reject the Treaty of Versailles (Nov. 19, 1919), effectively killing the League of Nations.
America became once more “isolationist”, pursuing its own private ends, and disregarding as long as it could the events taking place around it in the world.
Not until the cycle that began in 1940 did America return to the problems of the world. By that time the problems were critical and dangerous, threatening to destroy human civilization.
As this twenty-year synod completed itself, presidents who were its major actors, either participated in different activities, or left the stage of history entirely. Of the three presidents who dominated this cycle, Theodore Roosevelt died in 1919, followed by Wilson, who remained an invalid in quiet retreat till his death in 1924. In 1921, Taft was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court—a position he craved more than the office of Chief Executive—where he served with distinction till his death in 1930.
1881-1901. The JU/SA synod of 1881, which moved from 27° Aries to 3° Taurus, made a sextile to America’s Venus/Jupiter and a square to its Pluto (1776). This cycle contained the NE/PL synod that occurred on America’s Uranus (1776) in the 1890′s.
In this period, America experienced an Industrial Revolution. The rapid expansion of its production capacity and its foreign export began to make America a wealthy and prosperous land. With this prosperity came problems. A new class of industrialists had established itself, partly by destroying the old elite, the Southern plantation aristocracy. This new elite had gathered to itself too much power. They would “buy and sell” politicians. Votes could be manipulated; special interests could get their way, regardless of what was good for the whole.
In a society whose members can vote freely for the representatives who form their government, a certain balance must be maintained. This is a balance between the private and the public sectors, where each constitutes a kind of faction. The private sector includes groups and organizations like corporations or small businesses or universities or even political parties out of office. If the private sector is so powerful that it can control the major decisions of government through bribery, graft or intimidation, then government loses its function of representing the interest of the whole. The result can be a descent into oligarchy, the rule of the few, a general stagnation of the nation’s economy, and if this condition lasts long enough, a living death of the general culture. This situation exists in many nations on the planet today.
On the other side of the balance, government dominates everything, and no private sector exists. When the bureaucrats and politicians own it all, make all the decisions, again, the civilization stagnates and decays. This condition is quite common today. To have a dynamic creative society, private and public need to stay in balance.
In 1881, a whole new class of Americans emerged–inventors, railroad magnates, industrialists and plutocrats, like J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. They had created some of the largest fortunes in the world. The riches that they were using to buy politicians wielded an enormous influence, weakening government to the point that the balance of the private and public sectors was lost.
By 1881, the heroes of the Civil War, the Founding Fathers, the distinguished members of the Senate and House who served the nation so well in the early part of the nineteenth century had all become mythical figures. Lincoln had been dead for fifteen years, and General Grant, knowing that he had cancer of the throat and desirous of supporting his family, was beginning to write his Memoirs; he would be dead within three years. Sherman was becoming a querulous old man. America as a constitutional nation, a democratic republic, was preparing to enter its second century.
This cycle saw the end of the Indian Wars; railroads connected the East and West coasts; telephone and wireless communication was developed. This Jupiter/Saturn cycle was also the beginning of a Neptune/Pluto epoch. It marked America’s entry into a new age during which the world for the next five hundred years it was possible would be dominated by American ideas and inventions and styles and political philosophy.
The first president in this cycle, James A. Garfield, had been a Republican Congressman, serving in both the House and the Senate for almost eighteen years. His record as Congressman was not very distinguished because of his connection with the Credit Mobilier scandal, and his acceptance of a fee in the DeGolyer paving contract case. After a deadlock in the Republican convention, he was nominated for president on the 36th ballot. He handily defeated the Democratic candidate, Winfield Scott Hancock, a general at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Some five months after he was sworn in as president, on July 2, 1881 (JU 12°TA; SA 070TA), he was shot by a disaffected patronage seeker, and after lingering for a while, he died on Sept. 19, 1881 (JU 26 ° TA; SA 12 o TA).
He was succeeded by Chester Arthur, another politician accused of political corruption and graft. This president surprised everybody–he fought corruption by prosecuting his former associates. He also backed civil service reform (civil service was a form of patronage corruption at that time) and generally refused to have anything to do with the political machine which had originally nurtured his career.
Not having the support of any of those machine politicians who backed him in the 1880 elections, he was voted out of office in 1884. In the 1884 elections the notion of “reform” was again in the air.
The Democratic nominee, Grover Cleveland, ran on a reform ticket and won. Most of his presidential work was involved in restoring balance between public and private sectors.
He was followed in office by Benjamin Harrison, a Republican who also ran on a reform ticket. Harrison also failed to satisfy machine politicians in his party, and he served for only one term.
On March 4, 1893, Grover Cleveland was again sworn in as President (SA 12`LI, JU 25°AR), again showing how, on the opposition of Jupiter and Saturn, during their Full phase, control of elected office can pass from one party to another.
In the 1896 election, Grover Cleveland chose not to run for office. William Jennings Bryan, the candidate of the Democrats, was for his day considered radical and liberal and not conservative at all (recall, the JU/SA occurred in Taurus, a conservative sign). Bryan was the nation’s first well known progressive. The nation chose an ethical but conservative Republican, William McKinley, who closed out the JU/SA cycle.
To sum up, this cycle was a relatively quiet time of prosperous growth; a major struggle took place between reform and machine politics, which every president had to address. The one war that occurred at this time, the Spanish American War, was a small war, in terms of material expended and casualties, not at all comparable to the American Civil War or World War I.
1861-1881. This synod’s dynamic impact point, when it became exact, occurred Aug., Sept., Oct., and Nov. of ’61 at 10° through 23° of Virgo, and again in Apr., May and June of 1862, at 160, 17° and 180 of Virgo.
In our analysis we note that at 130 Virgo it was aspecting the Sun of the Declaration chart by a sextile, suggesting a change of party, a change of president. When the dynamic impact point reached 220, it conjoined the Neptune of this chart, suggesting an exercise of power that has to do with Neptunian issues like helplessness, the desire to assist helpless people like slaves, and the struggle to maintain the union of the states (union and oneness are ruled by Neptune). When this synod touched the Sun and Venus and Mercury of the Constitutional chart, it produced a major change in the way that the laws and exercise of power in America are structured. This occurs in the 8th house of the Constitutional chart, suggesting all those situations that the 8th house in a historical chart would rule–war and civil war, anarchy, conspiracy and assassination of the ruler (Sun is the Chief Executive), revolution, a kind of death and rebirth of the nation, issues to do with bondage. Above all, when a Jupiter/Saturn synod rests on the 8th house Sun of a nation, one can expect a major crisis in that nation’s affairs. This synod was square the Jupiter of the Constitutional chart, indicating changes in the laws of America. This synod was inconjunct the Saturn/Pluto of this chart, indicating change in the legislative branch of government.
1861 marked probably the greatest crisis point that has occurred so far in American history. As with any other major crisis in a nation’s history, the astro-historian can uncover numerous indications pointing to that event. For example, when Franklin Roosevelt was sworn in as president in 1941, there were numerous indications that America would go to war, including a partile Pluto opposition to the ascent-to-power chart Sun that was occurring on the day he was sworn in. To understand the meaning of what is transpiring at any point in history the astro-historian must always examine the strongest aspect.
In April 1861, the United States entered the Civil War. It is possible to come up with many interpretations of what happened, yet the determinant, activating historical factor of this war was the Jupiter/Saturn synod. All the other influences fit in around the energy created by this synod. For example, one could use Lincoln’s ascent-to-power chart or the firing-on-Fort Sumpter chart (April 12, 1861) which is the official beginning of the War; or perhaps the astro-historian could use the day the first Confederate State, South Carolina, succeeded (Dec. 20, 1860). The aspect that dominated this whole process was the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction that conjoined the Constitutional Sun.
In the first years of the war, battles did not go so well for the Union: The First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861) was fought ten miles from Washington D.C., and the Union was routed. This was followed in August of 1862 by the Second Battle of Bull Run, where it happened all over again. There were many other losses by the Union. Later, the Union began winning all its battles. A major battle was fought on November 25, 1863. Called Missionary Ridge, it was fought in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the war’s Western Theater. The Battle of Missionary Ridge was the real defeat of the Confederate Army. Its army continued to exist, and it was a year and 5 months before the war would finally end, but this battle tipped the scales permanently in favor of the Union.
At this battle Saturn and Jupiter had moved in the sky from their new phase to close to the first thirty degree aspect, where often what was begun at the new takes on the firmness of reality. On November 25, 1863, Saturn was at 14° LI 45′, and Jupiter was at 130 SC 04′. It was conjunct Mars, which was at 14° SC 47′, so JU was almost at that thirty degree aspect. This thirty degree aspect is placed on America’s natal Saturn, with transiting Saturn conjunct America’s natal Saturn (1776). The Union was having its third Saturn return on the day of the battle.
When Grant accepted Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, April 9, 1865, Saturn was at 270 Libra and Jupiter was at 28° Sagittarius, making a precise sextile.
The war was over; in less than a week Lincoln was assassinated. He was followed by a succession of mediocre presidents, the choices of an all powerful Republican party that dominated national and local politics for the remainder of that twenty-year cycle.
America continued to open economically, the political influence of slavery and slave owners was totally destroyed, and America was able to get on with growing into the twentieth and twenty first century.