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Newsletter Number Seven -- October 29, 2007

The Penultimate Year

Jupiter In Sagittarius...

As Jupiter makes its yearly sign change -- into Sagittarius this November 23rd -- you’re likely to hear lots of upbeat astrological predictions about its effect for several reasons. First, it’s the ultimate upbeat planet, so its expansive go-for-broke quality transfers from one sign to another and everyone feels the buoyant shift. Second, it’s moving into its own sign, Sagittarius, which by rights should bring out the best in the celestial giant.  Theoretically, it should be a year of leaps forward, finally getting into natural gear, Jupiter abundance coming into its own. The question is: will it? And the answer may lie in whether that’s what happened before.

So when was Jupiter in Sagittarius during, say, the last century? Let’s step back:

1900, 1912, 1924, 1935-36, 1947-48, 1959-60, 1971, 1983, 1995

A brief glance at just those dates alone does seem to show leaps forward with the world changing accordingly, but not really until the following year, when Jupiter reaches Capricorn. In fact, they tend more to be roiling pause points before things finally complete changes in process. That’s not so illogical. You would expect anything passing through a mutable sign to have the effect of, well, mutability. The whole meaning of that is not change itself, but the shift toward it – not ultimate developments, but penultimate ones. So, it may not be surprising that Jupiter in Sagittarius has often marked a final pause, a year of hanging on the edge before pitching forward into a new dispensation, a hesitation before the final lunge into the next step forward, good or bad, which comes when Jupiter subsequently goes cardinal. There’s almost a feeling of helplessness, like you can see it coming but can’t really do much to stop it.

Accompanying this there also is another theme which is very typical of Jupiter and Sagittarius, and that’s declarative bluster. It’s a time when history is on the march but hasn’t quite reached its objectives so there are a lot of declarations of independence and intent before those intentions turn into final moves.

1912, for instance, during the Balkan wars that fueled the spiral into World War I, watched everyone declare independence from everyone else, with surges of battle raging around the issues, borders, and alliances.

1936 saw another period of declarations of rulership over China (by Japan) and Europe (by Germany, Italy, and Spain), followed by full-scale invasions later.

1947-48 saw declarations of nationhood from Israel, India, and Communist China, with full-scale wars following closely behind.

1960 was the year of independence for the larger portion of African colonial states, followed by internecine strife.

1971 was the beginning of the end in the Vietnamese and Cambodian conflicts, leading to genocide and a new political order.

1983 began the current state of terror politics in the Middle East and the beginning of perestroika, declarations leading again to new borders and new tactics in the following stages.

Not every transit has been earth-shaking, but there seems to be a common thread – one in which the truth as some particular lot sees it is loudly declared and subsequently acted upon.

Of course, much depends on the general aspects surrounding the transit. The hardest have been where Saturn and the outer planets are harshly tied to the transit. That was especially the case in 1936 (Jupiter square the opposition of Saturn and Neptune, just as we are experiencing now) and 1947 (the opposition to Uranus, with the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in background trine). Easier times like 1900 (Boxer Rebellion, Boer War), 1924 (remarkably quiet, critical events in facism and racism brewing) and 1995 (also deceptively quiet, but with big political shifts in the wind) saw much declaration but not as all-consuming immediate results.

1936 Berlin Olympics saw Jupiter in lengthy T-cross with Saturn opp. Neptune (left). 2007 again sees Saturn opp. Neptune, but Jupiter this time afflicted by Uranus (right, at Mars-Uranus conjunction).

What does it all mean for Jupiter in Sagittarius this time around? Jupiter kicks in with a conjunction with Mars and then moves up to hang into a lingering square with Uranus including the often-prophetic Mars/Uranus conjunction April 29th. (See the June editorial in our 2005 archive for more on that). It finishes the year on a conjunction with Pluto December 10th just before both turn the Capricorn corner in opposition to retrograde Mars. A spring trine with Saturn and a Halloween sextile with Neptune is the best it gets from the slower planets and with the inner planets it is the standard mix, the most favorable of which may be a wide grand fire trine with Mars and Saturn in June. Its most notable function may be as the leading point of the scythe blade of the mid-winter skies, with Mars and Pluto close behind.

So, it looks like another big, restless dose of out-of-control declarations that leave us all wondering what, if anything, is to be done about what is just about to happen if everybody actually does what they say they’re going to. It’s hard upon a period of huge institutional and political deceptions both internationally and domestically (our current fixed Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune T-cross), similar to the 1936 visit when Axis propaganda declarations obfuscated what was obvious to many: a world about to come apart at the seams. While the athletes peacefully competed in Berlin, the machines of war were already in motion around the world, and the “good guys” were paralyzed by propaganda, confounded by confusion and indecision.

If there’s anything good to say about the comparison, it is that the current T-square will have just finished and not remain in operation as it was in 1936, although the Saturn-Neptune opposition part still remains until well into summer. What Pluto will portend with its subsequent change of sign with Jupiter is another story, the telling beginning of the “final days” of Saturn in opposition to just about everything. That will not be good for business as usual or historical authority…

Although most astrology tends to be individual-centered, we have said almost nothing to suggest what this might mean to you or yours personally, and we will leave that to others. Spiritual realizations, inner growth, new projects and directions will all happen in everyone’s world as Jupiter passes through its own sign again, but it will likely be tied most directly to what is going on in the rest of the world at large. Reality too often trumps possibility, and this will be a year in which we watch just that playing itself out on a field we will not have much control over. Scurrying for a safe seat as the weather closes in will become the first thing on anyone’s mind, so get good at it. Not all will suffer, but everyone will be ultimately affected by this penultimate year, inside as well as out. Expect the external to instruct the internal as rising winds clear the fog and the spectacle begins to involve the audience. Personally, we’re looking for some tickets for the bleachers…

-- John and Susan Townley 

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