Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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Every 19.76 years* (rounded off to 20 years), the world is treated to the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. That is scheduled to take place on the Winter Solstice this year. I am wondering if that timing might have more significance than usual. Let’s take a walk down memory lane, revisit history and see what the Jupiter / Saturn conjunction cycle might reveal to us by studying its historical pattern.

There is a peculiarity to the Jupiter / Saturn conjunction patterns. There are seven conjunctions in a row in a single astrological element (fire, earth, air, or water), followed by a single conjunction in a different element; then one more conjunction in the previous group element. That makes nine conjunctions total for one single pattern multiplied by 20 years between conjunctions, which equals an approximate 180-year cycle. The next seven element conjunctions in a row will be in the element of that previous differing element, again changing elements for the 8th, then back into the element group for one conjunction (total of 9 in a single cycle); repeat nine-cycle pattern, changing elements as described. Four (elements) complete cycles of approximately180 years each give an overall pattern of approximately 720 years, or 36 conjunctions. To be accurate, if you multiply 36 conjunctions by 19.76 years, the overall pattern is closer to 711 years*.

Always accessible to my research desk is Neil Michelsen’s Tables of Planetary Phenomena, a source that is pure gold to me. On page 91, entitled “Outer Planet Conjunctions – 500 (B.C.) to 2100 (A.D.)” are two columns listing those Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions by date, actual time and degree/minutes of conjunction. Some are single entries (single pass); some show two or three passes (3 = direct, retrograde, direct). Recognizing that I have a space/word limitation for this column, I can only cover some of those listed, and only highlights for those current enough to be part of our recent and current history. The Jupiter / Saturn conjunction effects in natal or personal charts is so broad-ranging that it would need a book to cover it adequately. I only have a column, so our U.S. Declaration of Independence (D of I) Virgo rising chart will show the collective activations to us as a country.

  • Overall: the governing element for the 1603-1782 conjunction grouping was fire. This was the age of exploration, opening or expansion of territory, lots of wars. The 1802 element was earth, and then back into fire for 1821. The next seven conjunctions beginning in 1842 were earth element.
  • When our nation was formed, there was not a handy Jupiter / Saturn conjunction for the patriots. There had been a conjunction on March 18, 1762 at 12:21 Aries while the colonists were very irritated with the Crown and its arbitrary rule that did not in any way serve them as citizens. Fire would be fiery! The sixth in a fire series probably added to the ferment of that time. As a country we didn’t even have a chart.
  • On November 5, 1782, we were still fighting our revolutionary war but the war did end in 1783. The conjunction was 28:07 Sagittarius about five degrees out of sign and opposed to our D of I Venus in early Cancer. That would suggest to me the previous fiery war was still burning, perhaps only as remnants.  Venus would illustrate the outrageous cost of that civil (yes, colonist against colonist) war. Remember it was the continental U.S. that was ravaged by war, not Britain. But the colonists had won that war against Britain, at that time the world’s greatest military power. It took a while to simmer down.
  • July 17, 1802, the conjunction changed elements into earth at 5:08 Virgo, widely conjunct the D of I Ascendant 11:46 Virgo but square D of I Uranus / Midheaven conjunction 8:52-54 Gemini. Earth emphasizes practical application, getting the work done, organization, building structure. Even though the war had ended in 1783, attacks and reprisals continued, including the British invasion of the nation’s capitol and subscription of captured U.S. citizens into maritime service.
  • On June 19, 1821, the conjunction backtracked into 24:39 Aries, re-igniting exploration, expanding our frontiers westward. That conjunction triggered the D of I Mercury / Pluto opposition – lots of maneuvering, manipulating, power and control issues involving communication.
  • The January 26, 1842 conjunction at 8:54 Capricorn initiated the seven-earth series. There was a peculiarity about this pattern cycle. Each time a president of the U.S. was elected in a “0” year (1840, 1860, 1960, etc.), that president died in office of natural causes or assassination. Two early incidents were a bit shaky time-wise but very close, the rest were solid and not in question. The pattern of seven in earth ended with the 1960 election and with the death of John F. Kennedy in his first term. Since I have written about this in my article about the deaths of the presidents in office, I won’t belabor the issue. (See article:  Presidents Who Died in Office – The Pattern.) It was later feared that Reagan would also be assassinated and his attacker came very close to success; however, the 1980-81 conjunction had switched to the air element. Reagan lived. George W. Bush was elected in 2000 and the conjunction had taken that backward step into earth again, but the pattern of seven had been broken. Attempts were made against him, but were not deadly. Many of our presidents have had threats and/or attempts. They do know this stepping into the office. Major courage!
  • For your record:

October 21, 1861  18:22 Virgo                                   April 18, 1881  1:36 Taurus
November 28, 1901  14:00 Capricorn                       September 10, 1921  26:36 Virgo
August 8, 1940  14:27 Taurus/October 20, 1940 12:28 Taurus /February 15, 1941  9:07 Taurus
February 19, 1961  25:12 Capricorn  (seven-cycle pattern ends)                 
December 31, 1980  9:30 Libra /March 4, 1981  8:06 Libra / July 24, 1981  4:56 Libra (air)
May 28, 2000  22:43 Taurus  

December 21, 2020  00:29 Aquarius  (seven-cycle pattern begins)

  • Briefly, 1861 to 1865 was our Civil War. The Jupiter /Saturn conjunction triggered our D of I Neptune 22:25 Virgo.
  • 1881 was the horrible Civil War aftermath period as our nation attempted to recover; closest connection square D of I North Node 6:35 Leo.
  • 1901 was aftermath of the Spanish-American War, opposition D of I Sun 13:01 Cancer.
  • 1921 was the roaring 20’s era, conjunction to D of I Neptune – crazy era, but work ethic and craftsmanship was strong.
  • 1940-41 was World War II, which began in Europe and we were eventually drawn into it, as well as the Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in the Pacific. The long, drawn out world war was in the most fixed of signs, Taurus, as a triple pass.
  • 1961 was the final in the earth series, triggering our D of I Mercury/Pluto opposition, and the assassination of JFK.
  • In 1980-81, the conjunction moved into air, triggering the D of I Venus / Jupiter and wide to Sun. Politics ran rampant, but Reagan was not assassinated.
  • 2000 was George W. Bush, and he also was not assassinated. The earth series had been broken. This one squared D of I Moon 22:37 Aquarius. This is the conjunction we are ending. Politics has run amok this cycle.

This new Jupiter / Saturn conjunction is upon us in about five weeks as I write this, and the emerging cycle pattern is air. The astronomy article* that prompted this article was brief but excellent for technical details. This conjunction will be tight, with separation at only 0.102 degrees. The last time the conjunction was really tight was July 16, 1623 at 8:36 Leo (fire, adventuring). I remembered that the Mayflower ship landed in New England in 1620. The previous air seven-conjunction cycle began in 1226 and ran through 1365. I looked through world history for this period and found the end of the rule of Genghis Khan, the death of St. Francis of Assisi and many years of medieval inquisitions (politics and religion). So what does the new cycle in air hold for us as a world and as a nation?

Just what we need, more political or religious machinations. Look at us world-wide. Many nations are in disarray, lots of talking, very little listening. Remember, we humans are built with one mouth and two ears. The metaphor is that we need to listen twice as much as we talk. Communication will be key for the next 180 years, not just the tiny twenty-year cycle. Negotiation, deténte, conciliation, meeting of minds. We are no longer a bunch of isolated countries serving the I-me formula. We are irrevocably becoming one world and need to create a society that can live together on this world as a family. The degree is 00:29 Aquarius. The beginning of the Brotherhood of Man is arriving on December 21st, 2020. Is this the “Dawning of the Age of Aquarius”?



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.