Every 20 years, Jupiter and Saturn conjoin in the heavens and mark the beginning of a new cultural, political, and economic era. These alignments have historically been described as “Grand Conjunctions” or “Royal Conjunctions.” World leaders elected as presidents or prime ministers during this cycle often have exact conjunctions between their nativities and the degrees of the planets or angles found in these once-every-two-decades mundane horoscopes. The Grand Conjunction of May 2000, the origin horoscope of our present cycle, is shown here cast for the United States:
The rising degree of the last Grand Conjunction conjoined President Barack Obama’s North Node, exact to 03′ of arc. The Midheaven ruler, Venus, is exactly conjunct Mr. Obama’s natal Moon, and the South Node is in the degree of his natal Saturn. A dignified Mercury is a sole and final classical dispositor.
The present economic era ushered in at the last Grand Conjunction started with the bursting of the dot.com technology bubble when the NASDAQ stock market crashed in the spring of 2000. That was followed by unsustainable real estate speculation that ultimately peaked at the progressed retrograde station of the U.S. Mars, ruler of the Sibly IC, in July 2006. Since then, a global economic crisis has brought about the Great Recession, commencing with the Jupiter–Pluto conjunction of December 2007.
At the opposition aspect within this 20-year cycle, world events reach their climax, and global change occurs on a large scale. The Grand Conjunction cycle begun in May 2000 reaches its three oppositions between May 2010 and March 2011. This period will mark the turning point of the current global economic crisis, and will also produce breakthroughs in international political stalemates. The first opposition occurs with Jupiter dignified and in the degree of Venus’s exaltation, 27° Pisces.
At the previous Grand Conjunction cycle’s oppositions (i.e., five oppositions occurred between September 1989 and May 1991), the world experienced many significant and historical events, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall; the freeing of Nelson Mandela from prison and the beginning of the end of apartheid in South Africa; the student democratic revolution in China, culminating in the Tiananmen Square killings; and the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, which lead to the first Gulf War. Can the mundane horoscope for the upcoming opposition of Jupiter and Saturn give us prescience into world events likely to occur over the next year? Yes, it can, and 27° of mutable signs are the key.
When casting the Jupiter–Saturn opposition for the Israeli capital, Jerusalem, Uranus conjoins the MC and the rising degree is 13° Cancer, the degree of the U.S. Sun. The lunar degree is conjunct the U.S. Sibly MC, and the Jerusalem IC is conjunct the Israeli progressed Mars.
Arguably, the one breakthrough that the world most needs at this time is for the seemingly intractable political stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians to become resolved through a two-state solution. This would involve the dismantling of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the return of Palestinian refugees, the division of Jerusalem, and the removal of the security fence that separates occupied areas in the West Bank, thus preventing a contiguous nation of Palestine.
In the horoscope for Israel, Jupiter (the planet of foreign relations) is at 27°38’ Sagittarius. The country’s progressed Uranus is at 27°56’ Gemini; together, these form an exact Mutable Grand Cross with the Jupiter–Saturn opposition. The classical sole and final dispositor, Mercury, in the Grand Conjunction horoscope from May 2000, was at 27° Gemini, symbolizing the two-state Israel–Palestine solution.
Can history repeat itself? In September 1989, at the first of five Jupiter–Saturn oppositions, 13,000 East German tourists escaped from Hungary to Austria. This led to a sequence of events over the next two months, starting with massive protest demonstrations in East Germany and culminating with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November. What historical parallel could one predict for 2010?
Last week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden traveled to the Middle East to meet with Israel and the Palestinians in an attempt to revive the stalled peace process. He and the United States were subsequently humiliated by Israel, who on the day of his arrival, made an announcement of 1,600 new housing units to be built in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.
Both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama have issued stern warnings to Israel, during the last few days, essentially giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an ultimatum and a list of demands with which the U.S. expects Israel to fully comply. The continuation of this sequence of events could lead to the destabilization of Israel’s internal politics, with its governing coalition likely to splinter over tensions between the hard-line right wing parties like Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas, and the Likud party of which Mr. Netanyahu is the leader. This political instability within Israel is clearly seen by Uranus conjoining the MC, when the Jupiter–Saturn opposition is cast for Jerusalem, as shown in the chart above.
This political instability might not be a bad thing if it comes to pass. The Middle East peace process has been stuck with no progress for so many years that one is left praying for a lightning strike from heaven to radically transform the landscape and produce a sudden and unexpected breakthrough. Is there any evidence that this can occur during the next year while the three Jupiter–Saturn oppositions form?
In 1967, during the Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab nations, the Israeli progressed Venus stationed retrograde. In December of 2010, this progressed Venus will finally station direct. One can see how it will have taken 43 years for solutions to be found regarding the occupied territories, the division of Jerusalem, the return of refugees, and all of the other difficult issues. One observes that the progressed direct station of the Israeli ruler, Venus, in 24° of Gemini is exactly conjoining the national Uranus. This means that sudden, chaotic, and unexpected events are coming.
Israel’s biggest worry is their ongoing threat from Iran. It is cause for concern that, in the Jupiter–Saturn opposition horoscope cast for Jerusalem, 29° Virgo is on the IC — the exact degree of Israel’s progressed Mars.  One could interpret this as violence in the homeland, should internal political instability degrade the cohesion of Israel’s military. The Haaretz newspaper in Israel has reported: “High-ranking officials in Washington believe that tightening the terms for a settlement construction freeze in the West Bank and the dismantling of outposts could lead to a deep rift within Israeli society, or even a mutiny within its military.” 
A possible unexpected outcome for Israel, radical as it may sound, would be a Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate moment: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” This time around, President Obama would say to Prime Minister Netanyahu, “Tear down this security fence!”
Global events that occurred during the last series of Jupiter–Saturn oppositions from 1989 to 1991 are compelling evidence that the next twelve months will bring significant change. Whether these changes will be for the good, or will be destructive, can be predicted by the condition of the opposing planets in the Grand Conjunction cycle. Jupiter, the Greater Benefic, is dignified and in the exaltation degree of the Lesser Benefic, i.e., Venus at 27° Pisces. Thus, Jupiter is stronger than Saturn, so the changes will be positive.
Astrologers can recall the hundreds of thousands of East Germans streaming into West Germany and celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall. If we cast the Jupiter–Saturn opposition of September 10, 1989 for Berlin, 9°49’ Aquarius rises. Remarkably, from Charubel for Aquarius 10°, we find:
A ruin consisting of the remains of an ancient massive wall, with an archway therein.
The Jupiter–Saturn 800-Year Great Historical Cycle & its 200-Year Elemental Subcycles
Conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn recur in the same element for about two centuries. (The Grand Conjunctions began to occur in earth signs in 1802.) A transitional conjunction (or two) takes place in the succeeding element just prior to the end of this 200-year elemental subcycle. (The 1980–81 Grand Conjunctions were in the air sign of Libra.) The last conjunction in this subcycle’s earth element occurred in 2000. (The last earth subcycle previously concluded in 1206.)
The Grand Conjunctions will now fall in the air element for the next two centuries, with the Jupiter–Saturn conjunction of December 21, 2020 taking place at 0°29’ Aquarius. It is no small coincidence that Barack Obama’s natal Jupiter is in that exact degree — it shows the astrologer how he became a channel for our hopes for a better future.
A sequence of historical development can be shown to correspond with the Grand Conjunctions cycling through the four elements every 800 years. When there are fire element conjunctions, the world experiences global exploration, conquest, and discovery, along with independence movements. These conjunctions recurred in the fire signs in 1603 and 1623, then from 1663 to 1782, and in 1821.
When Jupiter and Saturn conjoin in the earth element, societal infrastructure evolves globally and there is substantial wealth creation, along with extensive land settlement and territorial disputes. These conjunctions recurred in the earth signs in 1802, then from 1842 to 1961, and in 2000.
Grand Conjunctions in the air element historically correspond with rapid social progress, significant intellectual development, and new concepts entering into human consciousness. These conjunctions recurred in the air signs in 1186, then from 1226 to 1345, and again in 1385 and in 1405.
Jupiter and Saturn conjoining in the water element has resulted in artistic flourishing, the formation of spiritual movements, and societal assimilation on a large scale. These conjunctions recurred in the water signs in 1365, then from 1425 to 1583, and in 1643. This period encompassed the Renaissance.
It is thought that the Jupiter–Saturn 800-year historical cycle commences with a Grand Conjunction taking place nearest to the Aries Point. For our historical era, this occurred in May 1702.
This mundane horoscope can be said to reveal the conditions of human development over an eight-century period of history. When casting the Aries Point Grand Conjunction for Washington, D.C., we find 22° Libra rising, which is the exaltation degree of Saturn. A tightly orbed Cardinal T-Cross is also found, consisting of an apex Venus in detriment in Aries and an exalted Mars in Capricorn opposed by Uranus. Could the global economic crisis precipitated by America’s real estate bust and its toxic mortgage assets have been predicted three centuries ago by consulting this horoscope? Yes, and here is why:
Libra 22, the rising degree, from Sepharial’s translation of La Volasfera:
A man asleep by the side of some money-bags.
“It denotes a person of little vigilance: much given to self-indulgence: wanting either in sense of duty, or in energy to fulfil it. The native will lose heavily on account of his carelessness, false sense of safety and want of caution. He will live much in the memory of the past and in dreams of the future, being the while oblivious to the demands of present duties. It is a degree of CARELESSNESS.”
The T-Cross with the apex Venus, squared by both Mars and Uranus, shows an eight-century era of history with periodic economic instability. The modern military-industrial complex — the present-day successor to European kings selling and exporting their armies as mercenaries to foreign countries to fight their wars — is infamous for its wartime profiteering and is symbolized by the exalted Mars.
A biblical metaphor also comes to mind with Venus in detriment and in the degree of the Sun’s exaltation:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24
This suggests that if the financial sector becomes too materialistic and greedy, a spiritual crisis inevitably ensues.
Remarkably, the U.S. progressed Venus is currently passing through 19° Aries, the degree of the apex Venus in the Cardinal T-Cross of the 1702 Aries Point Grand Conjunction (from September 19, 2009 until August 8, 2010). It can be predicted that this 11-month period will be the worst of the recession for the U.S., with an improvement in our national economy taking place in August 2010. Conditions should stabilize with employment levels improving by March 2011 when the third and final Jupiter–Saturn opposition occurs at 14° of Aries and Libra (which is also the U.S. Saturn return).
In order to understand the arc of history between 2000 and 2020, astrologers can contemplate the square of Taurus to Aquarius, signs in which the 2000 and 2020 Grand Conjunctions fall. This square is indicative of the redistribution of wealth and assets. In an article entitled “The Pluto in Leo Generation,” published in The Mountain Astrologer in March 1993, I wrote:
“The evolutionary impulse of the redistribution of wealth meets the entrenched establishments of banking and real estate. The ideals of service to the collective meet the possessive stinginess of what is mine and what is yours. Social and economic revolution, and the temporary personal hardships necessary to achieve the lasting goals of equality, meet the fear of change and the love of comfort, luxury and personal opulence. The cutting edge of technology meets the challenge to market it so it may be of practical service to humanity. What must be changed for the good of the collective meets the needs of the individual’s security and his predictable continuity in life.”
Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York State, recently was quoted in the New York Times: “What happened in the last decade was a massive redistribution of wealth to people who did not create value, but simply moved assets around.” 
The astrologer could not think of a more appropriate definition for the worst possible manifestation of a Taurus–Aquarius square. Let us hope that the second decade of this current Grand Conjunction cycle will produce a different kind of redistribution of wealth and resources in order to fashion a more humane and equitable society.
© 2010 Robert P. Blaschke
1. 29° Virgo is also the degree of Mr. Obama’s progressed Sun.