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|Saturn in Leo and the Grand Cross|
If astrological tradition is anything to go by, then Saturn has been going through a particularly difficult period in these years. Give it the limitations of Capricorn with plenty of hard work, self-discipline and obstacles to overcome, and Saturn is quite happy. Perhaps not actually happy, but at least not disgruntled. Put it in soft and vulnerable Cancer, and it behaves quite inappropriately. What can it do with all that need for security and belonging? Saturn is a bit stiff when it has to deal with all the mushy emotional stuff, but if you want a nice hedge, fence or wall, then Saturn will be pleased to oblige.
Perhaps that is why Israel has been so busy constructing their “fence” since their progressed new moon, which took place at 14 Cancer in September 2001 at the time of the terror attack on New York . Winding its way a little too far into Palestinian territory on the West Bank , this massive construction is a testimony to just how clumsy Saturn can be when in exile in Cancer. America , reeling from the grave wound inflicted on its financial heart, was hardly in a position to object, and feeble protests from EU countries were brushed off as anti-Semitism. Europe does not have a strong record for protecting Jews.
Walls do not last forever, but a good wall should last 29 years – if the Berlin Wall is anything to go by – so Palestinians can expect their trumpets to reduce the Israeli wall to dust around 2030. (Note 1)
The equivalent wall in America is the Homeland Security Act, which has effectively prevented many of the best young foreign brains from entering the United States and created the impression amongst those who have managed to enter the country – and added photos of their irises to the vast homeland security database – of a brave new world indeed. America is a Cancerian country, so security has been something of an issue post 9/11 and during the Saturn in Cancer period. It is not surprising then, that the electorate re-elected their Cancer president, George W Bush in 2004. He was the candidate smart enough to campaign on a platform of security.
On July 16th 2005 , Saturn moves on into Leo and the issue of security will fade from public awareness, to be replaced by concerns about leadership and problems regarding mass entertainment, child-rearing and celebrity affairs. Saturn was last in Leo from 1976 to 1978 when it made some very uncomfortable squares to a deadly Uranus in Scorpio. This was a “death of the future” period with black clad children and punks – who with their Mohican haircuts, and (just to make the message completely clear), metal chains and sharp objects piercing the skin – viciously parodied hippy dreamers. Johnny Rotten himself, of the very Uranus in Scorpio “Sex Pistols”, did manage to immortalize the heartfelt patriotism of the young with his unforgettable “God Save The Queen”. I guess that’s exactly how enthusiastic Saturn in Leo gets about royalty... no wonder it is in exile there.
Clearly the older generation from this period will have felt that a bit of discipline would have been quite a good thing for the young punks, and perhaps some of them will have thought wistfully about that golden age from 1946-1948 when Saturn combined with Pluto in Leo. That was a time when toilet training was all the rage, and young bottoms were placed on potties with the military discipline that was to be expected after 5 years of war.
If there is a sense that Saturn in Leo evokes resistance in children and the urge to tighten up in parents, then we can expect the Saturn ingress in 2005 to bring heavier demands on children as regards education and general behaviour. The perception that children are spoiled and being corrupted will lead to authoritarian attempts at repression. These attempts are doomed to fail – there is no Pluto conjunction to crush resistance now, just an opposition to Neptune to undermine Saturn.
It is the Neptune opposition that will dominate Saturn in Leo as regards children, gambling, life quality, celebrity scandals and anything else concerned with Leo. The Saturn/Neptune synod takes place every 35 years, and the last opposition was in 1972, when limits on oil led to a disastrous economic crash in the West. As Saturn enters Leo here in 2005 and a powerful grand cross is formed, preliminary conditions for later economic downturn are liable to be established. Looking at the graph for this period it can be seen that direct and retrograde Mars knits together Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune over a six month period activating the energy of the four fixed signs and producing a stagnant climate where energy gets inextricably mired.
An erstwhile celebrity in Britain is Tony Blair, who was born under the exact conjunction of Saturn and Neptune in 1953.
Saturn and Neptune are of course very strongly linked to social idealism, and there can be little doubt that Blair – with Ascendant ruler Mercury in Aries opposing the conjunction – passionately believes in applying socialist dreams to create a socialist utopia. With five powerful planets in the 12th house, he probably feels a religious conviction that he is a channel for change. Given that his Taurus sun is square Pluto, any convictions will tend to have a fanatical edge, and with Jupiter also in Taurus, his beliefs tend to be unshakeable. You never get Blair admitting he is wrong.
The Neptune transit to Blair’s Moon in Aquarius was the beginning of the dissolution of his celebrity status. With the vast majority of the British people vociferously against any involvement in Iraq , he supported Bush and declared war. Here the weakness of his Mercury opposition Saturn/Neptune came into the open, for this is an aspect noted for smokescreens and lies. People in Britain felt they had been lied to – and they were – and Tony Blair was revealed to be an ordinary politician very out of touch with his electorate. With transit Neptune moving on to square Blair’s Sun, he managed to win his third term as Prime Minister, but with a greatly reduced majority.
With the coming grand cross in fixed signs, Britain and Blair are likely to bear the brunt of the economic difficulties on their way. Saturn in Leo will station in opposition to Blair’s Moon at 11.30 Aquarius in November 2005, and his unpopularity is liable to peak at this time. Bearing in mind that 1801 Britain has Mars at 11.46 Taurus in the 8th – in exact square to Blair’s Moon – an implacable resistance is likely. Noting that transit Mars returns to this position in August and November 2005, and January 2006, there will be enormous focus on the deception that occurred when Neptune squared Mars and Britain went to war, and on any economic corruption or scandal that may have resulted. The retrograde Mars suggests withdrawal of troops.
Quite apart from that, the coming grand cross will trigger 1801 Britain’s grand cross involving Saturn at 23 Leo, Neptune at 18 Scorpio, Venus at 16 Aquarius and Mars. This rare constellation will have a profound effect on British political life. The pressure on Blair from 2005 to 2006 will be huge, and his survival is probably at stake. The subsequent pressure on Britain in 2006 and 2007 from the continued Neptune/Saturn opposition, which peaks in June 2007, will create a continued economic downturn and acute discomfort for New Labour.
One of the basic points of the grand cross is Jupiter. When transiting Scorpio it brings knowledge of secrets, and in political terms economic power play and corruption. Jupiter squares Saturn in December, dwells in square to Neptune in the winter of 2006, then squares Saturn twice more in June and October 2006 just as Saturn moves up to oppose Neptune. This is an extremely powerful aspect pattern, and the summer of 2006 is obviously the most dangerous period for Blair. This will also herald economic power battles in the world’s largest economies. Economic cartels will be revealed to have corrupt methods, and Saturn in Leo will reflect political attempts to limit the economic corruption of previously respected leaders.
It is very likely that falling oil production – reflecting the Saturn/Neptune opposition – will trigger an economic crisis in this period. It seems that the activation of the UK chart means that Britain has a central role, and is also profoundly affected by the economic pressures. There are no indications that Britain will give way under pressure – so in relation to the European Union, the lack of flexibility that manifests at this time will severely undermine EU structure. As far as the EU is concerned generally, there will be huge disillusion about further expansion – but when Jupiter later moves into Sagittarius, moves to include Turkey will probably go ahead.
Apart from Britain , another country with significant planets in fixed signs – and a country very sensitive to the Saturn/Neptune cycle – is Russia . The 1917 Revolution chart (Note 2) has a Sun/Mercury in Scorpio in T square to Saturn in Leo opposing Uranus in Aquarius, so the Saturn return here is likely to pile the pressure on Putin too. The 1991 “Flag Up” horoscope has a Venus/Pluto conjunction in Scorpio, so this too is affected by the Saturn/Neptune opposition. Putin has seemed to live a charmed life until now, but he will be in trouble from 2005 to 2007, with special focus on economic scandals. His persecution of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky of the Yukos oil company may come back to haunt him, or he may go on to dismantle the empires of other oligarchs. Still, unrest in Russia is likely to undermine his position.
It is likely that any revered leader or high-profile individual will be vulnerable during the Saturn transit of Leo. Public scepticism will put people off hero-worship, and questions will be asked about what well-known people are doing in their private lives, and how they are using the vast sums of money at their disposal. Pop stars, football players and other stars would be advised to keep a low profile. The likelihood of celebrity sexual scandals is high, as Jupiter in Scorpio focuses on secrets, sexuality and corruption. Public disillusion will reach new heights.
As Jupiter makes the contact with Neptune , bubbles will be inflated and rise to huge heights. The last Jupiter/Pluto square took place as Dot Com company lastminute.com went public, and the crash that followed – devastating thousands of technology companies – happened as Jupiter went on to conjoin Saturn in Taurus. The latest bubble has been the property boom, which is the result of many factors – not least globalisation and the easy transfer of money across borders. Those who have cashed in their equity and partied over the last few years will be experiencing sizeable hangovers. The lesson of Saturn in Leo is clear – the party is over.
Adrian Ross Duncan 15.06.2005
Adrian Ross Duncan was editor of the Astrological Journal from 1998 to 2001, and author of Doing Time on Planet Earth and the recent Astrology: Transformation ad Empowerment. His articles, software and other astrological offerings can be seen at www.worldofwisdom.co.uk
1. Construction was started the Berlin Wall on August 13th 1961 , and demolition started on November 10th 1989 .
2. Russian Revolution. 8 Nov 1917 2.12 St. Petersburg (AS 14.20 VI).
3. Russia - Flag up. 25.12.1991 20.45 Moscow (AS 25.16 LE)
Data from Book of World Horoscopes.
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