John Townley Home
Contact Us Order
Home Astro*Reports Astro*News John Susan

Newsletter Number Six -- September 22, 2006

Scythe In The Sky

January 2007 sees the first rare Scythe pattern of the third millennium.

As many astrologers have already been quick to point out, this fall’s skies are highlighted by a T-cross of Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune, which gets filled out periodically into a grand cross by the Moon on 9/11, 10/9, and 11/6 (with Mercury retro), each time only two days after a grand fire trine, making those few days particularly tension-filled and anxiety-ridden autumn roller-coaster rides. The general stress is about trying to get new ideas and projects off the ground while facing blizzards of confusion, deceit, and other obstacles mainly thrown into the mix by those who’ve got trying to prevent those who haven’t got from getting theirs. If it weren’t so real, it would have all the Neptune qualities of a film noir thriller. Saturn plots to stay in power while the resistance gathers and his dubious allies begin to desert him in the fray.

But it doesn’t end there.  The post-holiday sequel sees Saturn abandoned in mid-winter, alone opposite the rest of the planets like a pack of angry dogs. If you think the establishment (whoever and wherever that may be) is having a hard time maintaining its defensibility now, just wait until Wolf and Snow Moons prowl the boreal skies of January and February.  By then Saturn appears as the handle-tip of a great celestial scythe, with all the other planets as its blade, slicing through the firmament and its reflections below, with Jupiter, Pluto, and Mars in Sagittarius at the penetrating edge. At full Moon on Groundhog Day, the pale lunar disk will shine next to a chilly, gray Saturn, but on each winter dark of the Moon, Saturn’s cold light will entirely rule the black night sky. 

This will be the penultimate such appearance of Saturn in general opposition to the outer planets and everything else, as mentioned earlier in Which Side Are You On?, and marks the beginning of the end of a world situation where establishment-dominated power is at odds with general progress. In 2008, however, Mars gives the sagging giant one last warlike boost before the overall sky withdraws into a bowl-like background for a few years. So, despite some fearsome appearances of change this coming year, there’s yet one last gasp of unbalanced struggle before any kind of general accord pulls into view.

Uranus Scythe of 1917 (l.) swept in Communist Revolution, and Jupiter Scythe of 1989 (rt.) swept it out.

This "Scythe" pattern of planets doesn’t appear in most astrologers’ lexicons along with more common bowl, bucket, and other Jones patterns, probably because it is quite rare, but  the label seems to describe both its celestial shape and its mundane effect. It really only occurs toward the end of the formation of a very tight bucket pattern, very close to a bundle with a handle, just as the effect of having one middle or outer planet opposing all the others is coming to fruition. After a long period of strain, it's when the top finally blows off the situation and everything changes. It only happened three times in the 20th Century, and it’s happening now, so it’s probably worth a look back to look for clues to what’s coming:

Uranus and Revolution

August 1917 saw the 20th Century’s first Scythe, with a Aquarian Uranus handle, its blade led by Jupiter, followed by Mars and Pluto. That month marked the swift German victory at Riga leading to the collapse of the provisional government in Russia which was then swiftly cut down by the Bolshevik Revolution in under three months. On the Western Front, America had just entered WWI, and the tide was about to turn there, too. All in all, war and revolution completely cut down and swept away the existing social and political order of all of Europe. The pattern repeated off and on until the relief of the Russian famine in 1921, with the revolution consolidated and the Treaty of Versailles in place.
The key factors:
revolution and war, overthrow of the establishment.

Saturn and Establishment 

The next Scythe focused around the solar eclipse of September 1968 at the same degree as this fall’s eclipse, 29 Virgo. This one featured a blade tipped by Mars, followed by Jupiter and Pluto, but with Aries Saturn as the handle. The months surrounding it saw a year of bloody street rioting and revolutionary movement across Europe, the Democratic Convention police riots in America, and the turning point of the Vietnamese War. Across the board it was all about an establishment that had gone too far and was forced into retreat in order to keep any kind of handle on things, so to speak. That pattern had a number of near-repeats until a final Gemini Saturn Scythe with Pluto and Uranus blade in December 1972 marked massive carpet-bombing of Hanoi, followed by immediate peace talks and a U.S. cut-and-run, accelerated by Watergate.
The key factors:
establishment retaining power through war and repression until it collapsed because of internal and external pressures.

Saturn Scythe of 1968 (l.) suppressed Vietnam boilover, but it all ran out after final blast in 1972 (r.)

Jupiter and Prosperity

The third Scythe of the 20th Century appeared in November 1989 right at the fall of the Berlin Wall. This one saw Mars and Pluto again at the point of the blade, but with a Cancerian Jupiter handle. It’s effect was, of course, totally different, and though its blade shared the inexorable Pluto-Mars quality of sweeping social structure away, the violence was considerably less and with Jupiter swinging the handle, the emphasis was more positive and brought a markedly new and different kind of prosperity, albeit shaky, to most of the regions it touched. If you’re going to have a celestial blade ringing the changes, Jupiter is certainly the one you want to have on the bellrope.
The key factors:
prosperity and social expansion sweeping away calcified governmental structures

Saturn Again

So what’s in store this winter from this rare repetition? It’s another Saturn establishment (emphasized by Leo) handle,  Mars and Pluto feature again in the blade, but  Jupiter is in the lead, as with the 1917 arrangement. If things are going to get cut down and swept away, perhaps it will be with a more generally beneficial long-term effect. It will again be, however, the establishment fighting for its life, so expect some desperate and dangerous behavior from high-ups before it is through, and no easy win for the good guys. This is especially the case, since Mars joins Saturn in 2008, as it did this last summer, highlighting war, before Saturn gets more safely tucked into the bowl of planetary progress. If events follows the 1968 template, we’ll again see intensified efforts in an ill-advised war that’s being lost, followed by a forced pull-out under the guise of victory. We’re set up for déjà vu all over again.
The key factors:
establishment retaining power through war and repression until it collapses because of internal and external pressures, once more, but with a stronger Jupiter twist? We shall see soon enough...

The next time it will happen after that: April 2060, a Uranus handle with a Pluto blade, incorporating the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 0 degrees Gemini...

-- John Townley 

Not a newsletter subscriber already?    Subscribe Free Here!

Let us know what you think! Write us:

And every day, keep in touch with our Astrology In The News section...please take a look!
-- Breaking news from around the globe, plus articles, reviews, it's all happening there, changes daily...

  Copyright © John Townley 2006. All rights reserved.
About Us | Astro*Reports | Readings | John | Susan | Books | Articles | Astro*News and Views | Astro*Links | Music