I’m old enough to have a clear memory of the international situation in the early 1980s. The Cold War was going strong, and many people were afraid of nuclear annihilation – I think that’s why every autumn there were huge CND rallies in London. I also remember the news stories from Poland about Lech Walesa and Solidarity, though no-one I talked to seriously believed that Communism was under threat. Most of Europe was divided into two ideological camps, that was the way it was and that was the way it was always going to be. Yet six or seven years later Communism in Europe was dead.
At the time I knew nothing about astrology, and I therefore didn’t understand the devastating power of the twenty-year Jupiter-Saturn cycle. It’s a cycle that starts with a conjunction between these two planets. Jupiter goes faster than Saturn, and after ten years they’re opposite each other. Ten years later there’s another conjunction, and as one cycle ends a new one begins.
Roughly speaking, conjunctions are about union, oppositions are about breaking up. That doesn’t mean that conjunctions always create unions, and oppositions always create splits – one has to use one’s judgement, to analyse the wider, astrological picture.
There was a Jupiter-Saturn opposition on September 10 1989, on November 14 1989 and on July 13 1990. The reason there were three contacts is because of retrograde motion, but I won’t go into the technical details of this phenomenon.
In the Autumn of 1989 Communism in Europe was teetering, but the symbolic end was on November 9 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down.
Fast forward a decade, or more precisely to May 28 2000, and there was a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn. The conjunctions tend to be more subtle than the oppositions, but they often initiate periods where things get closer, where boundaries become more fluid.
In the years following the 2000 conjunction, European unity was very much on the agenda. The Euro was introduced on January 1 2002 and on May 1 2004 the European Union expanded, to include countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Baltic states. In 2007 Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU. In 2008 the Schengen Agreement was extended to large parts of Eastern Europe and as a result border posts across the region were torn up.
All very nice, and today the European dream seems in tact. Even the economic problems affecting the United States and Britain seem a million miles away. The Poles and the Slovaks, for example, seem to believe that they’re insulated from the storm, that the phenomenal economic growth of their countries will continue unabated.
Yet we’re now moving towards the Jupiter-Saturn opposition. The energy that was seeded at the time of the 2000 conjunction will go into crisis. Economic contradictions will make themselves felt, political differences will roar into life.
There’s probably no immediate need to panic. In 2008 Jupiter and Saturn make a harmonious aspect, and in the calm before the storm it’ll be business as usual. The new Europe can keep enjoying itself, proudly waving its star-spangled blue flags. However it’s as well to remember the words from Richard Wilhelm’s translation (Penguin, 1989) of the I Ching:
ABUNDANCE has success.
The king attains abundance.
Be not sad.
Be like the sun at midday.
It’s now the moment of abundance, the high watermark of European unity. Remember the moment, like you remember the sun at midday – in spite of the sun’s brightness, it’s now on the decline, as it moves towards dusk.
Late 2008 and 2009 sees an opposition aspect between Saturn and Uranus. This is a destabilising influence, and I suspect its emphasis will be political rather than economic. In the East European context, we may see the resurgence of nationalistic tensions that have been buried by a decade or more of economic prosperity. For example, a lot of Hungarians believe that great chunks of Slovakia and Romania should be incorporated into a greater Hungary – particularly as these two countries have large Hungarian minorities.
The Jupiter-Saturn opposition finally hits home in 2010 – it’s exact on May 23 2010, August 16 2010 and March 28 2011. The Indian summer will be over, governments and central banks will be running out of options. At this stage the global economy will be a complete mess, and I suspect that Eastern Europe will be hit particularly hard.
Although I’m not convinced that we’ll see a repeat of the Great Depression of the early 1930s, it’s worth noting that on October 29 1929, the day of the famous Wall Street Crash, Jupiter and Saturn were only twelve degrees short of the opposition, which finally become exact on July 27 1930.
In the European context, one has to understand that the Jupiter-Saturn opposition will be about reality – the idealism of the conjunction will be gone, and selfishness will rule. Each European country will act selfishly, and the problems of Eastern Europe will, I think, be a large contributing factor to the break up of the EU.
The break up is unlikely to happen on the dot in 2010 or 2011- it’ll take a few years. And it might not be total – perhaps smaller groups will emerge. But whatever happens, the dream of European unity will be in tatters.
One can also take a smaller scale view. If a country is already showing signs of a split, then it’s likely that the Jupiter-Saturn opposition will be the final straw. One can think of Belgium, that’s going to have real difficulty surviving the next decade as a unified country. Then there’s the Ukraine, where the eastern, Russian-speaking part is almost certainly going to break away. And nearer to home there’s Scotland. Independence is already being talked about, and the opposition is only two years away!
The impact of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on Britain could be immense, and one wonders how David Cameron, the Conservative leader, will deal with it. Although he has a weak horoscope, at least until the early Summer of 2011, it’s in much better shape than that of Gordon Brown. So if Gordon Brown is still Labour Prime Minister at the time of the next election Cameron should have no difficulty beating him – not that you have to be an astrologer to say that! Yet in this scenario, Cameron is going to run into problems almost immediately, and he’ll need all his political skill to survive in office until May 2011.
The August 16 2010 Jupiter-Saturn opposition has a direct impact on Cameron’s horoscope, and I’m thinking that the old Conservative problem, of Europe, is going to raise its head. Though this time round, the Eurosceptics are going to hold most of the cards, and some kind of break from Europe might be his only option. But has he got what it takes to deal with the situation? Whatever he decides, the Jupiter-Saturn opposition needs to be handled with a tough approach, and Cameron’s neither Churchill nor Thatcher. Or even Tony Blair!
Interestingly, since the Second World War, the energy of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition seems to favour the Conservatives. On October 15 1951 there was a Jupiter-Saturn opposition, and ten days later Clement Attlee’s Labour government was defeated, and Winston Churchill got a second term as Prime Minister. On March 8 1970 there was another Jupiter-Saturn opposition, and just over three months later the Labour government of Harold Wilson was thrown out of office, Edward Heath becoming Conservative Prime Minister. Twenty years later, at the time of the 1989 and 1990 opposition, the Conservatives were in power, and were apparently very unpopular. Yet they survived the astrological turmoil, winning the 1992 election.
This provides further evidence that the Conservatives will win the next election, particularly if it’s in 2010. However they would do well to remember Edward Heath, whose government lost power in 1974. David Cameron might have a very different personality to Edward Heath, but he could suffer a similar and probably much quicker political fate.