As this website develops I’m going to be talking a lot about Jupiter and Saturn. Until the discovery of Uranus at the end of the Eighteenth Century they were seen as being the two furthest planets from the Sun. The ancients described them as the rulers of time, and they move very slowly. The Sun takes a year to move through the twelve signs, Jupiter takes twelve years, Saturn nearly thirty years.
Every twenty years Jupiter and Saturn make a conjunction, when they occupy the same area of the Zodiac. This is a new beginning, at the level of culture, politics and economics. And also every twenty years, they make an opposition, when they occupy opposite sides of the Zodiac.
Since 1960 the conjunctions have take place in 1961, in 1980/81, and in the year 2000.
The oppositions were in 1969/70/71 and 1989/90/91. And looking ahead, in 2010/11.
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in 1961 represented a new beginning. John F Kennedy had just been inaugurated US president, and as the decade unfolded we had an atmosphere of freedom and hope, at least in Western Europe and North America. Then, on December 30 1969, as the 1960s drew to a close, Jupiter and Saturn formed an opposition. There were further oppositions, in 1970 and 1971, because of these planets’ retrograde motion – I won’t bore you with the astronomical details! Everything that had been built up through the 1960s went into crisis, and as the 1970s progressed we saw economic stagnation, the oil crisis, and the rise of terrorist organisations, such as the Baader-Meinhof Gang in West Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy. Perhaps in the 1960s people thought they could change the world through positive thinking, but in the 1970s violence was more compelling.
Jupiter and Saturn carried on with their cycle, and in 1980 and 1981 there was another conjunction, another new beginning. Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, the triumph of market economics. Also the belief by Ronald Reagan and his circle that the Cold War could be won – which culminated in the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
However the Jupiter-Saturn oppositions that took place from 1989 through to 1991 weren’t just about the break-up of the Soviet Union. There was a short, sharp recession, and in the UK property prices started to plummet. So what started ten years earlier was unwinding. For example Margaret Thatcher, who became British Prime Minister in 1979, just before the conjunction, lost office in 1990, as the opposition began to bite.
In May 2000 it was time for another conjunction, and a new cycle was upon us. UK property prices, having started to recover since 1995, began their big rise. It was also the beginning of an economic environment that was characterised by low interest rates, and the world soon became awash with cheap credit. From a European point of view, the conjunction was a unifying factor. On January 1 2002 the Euro was adopted by a number of European countries, and from 2004 to 2007 the European Union was massively enlarged.
We’re now approaching the next Jupiter-Saturn opposition, which will occur three times, over the course of 2010 and 2011. It’s major, and the events that have taken place since 2000 will have to stand up to scrutiny. And yet this is the great enigma. If you read the newspapers, you’d come to the conclusion that the opposition has arrived early. There’s already talk of global recession, not to mention the sub-prime crisis, and we’re hearing that US unemployment is starting to rise. Well, it’s certainly true that something’s started, but despite the doom and gloom I’m not convinced that this is the big one. The Jupiter-Saturn opposition is over two years away, and there’s still time for a short-term recovery. Besides, I think few people have grasped what kind of events might take place in the wake of the coming opposition. If I said, I don’t think anyone would believe me. Certainly no-one in Bratislava, with its minimal unemployment and it’s apparently unstoppable construction boom. More about that later.