An Astrological Map of 2500 Years of Western History

Here's a thumbnail sketch of the long term astrological time cycles for the last twenty five hundred years of Western history. This was written as a casual note to a friend, but I have put it up as there is nothing else available which covers this material in such an encapsulated form. I should mention that I am indebted to both Rick Tarnas, and Eric Meece, for the background for this, but that I have recapitulated it from first principle using Solar Fire to print graphical ephemerides. Although Rick has touched on fragments of this material in various lectures which I have been privileged to attend, most of his energy is going into his next book which will lay all of this out in detail. However, I have yet to hear of him actually presenting an overview of the very long term Neptune-Pluto cycle publically. In the case of Eric, he has laid out a good overview of the whole picture in his book Horoscope for a New Millennium, (and more recent info in a short article on this site) but in the book he tends to go off into an emphasis on the outer planets in the tropical signs, which I feel may detract from the clarity one may achieve by focusing purely on the relationships between the planets themselves.

The three outermost planets are all invisible to the naked eye, and have orbital periods roughly double each other: Uranus (84 yrs), Neptune (~160 yrs), and Pluto (~320 yrs with a highly eccentric orbit). The big cycle is Neptune-Pluto, which conjoin each other every 490+ yrs, but usually without Uranus. The astrological time map is fractal in the sense that you can always zoom in for more detail by adding planets with faster orbits, i.e. Saturn and Jupiter, etc. A conjunction of Uranus with either Neptune or Pluto represents a ten to fifteen year archetypal phenomena, while Neptune and Pluto together represent an even bigger nodal period.

The only time all three were conjoined in recorded history was in 575BCE, the Axial Age: Buddha, Lao Tsu, Confucius, Pythagoras and the Presocratics, possibly Zoroaster, and the Babylonian exile when the Old Testament was written down. Incidentally, I noticed that this was also the time of the first recorded predictive astronomy in Chaldea (and I wonder if the Hebrews brought the math which made that possible back to Babylon with them from Egypt?)

The next N-P opposition is 325BCE, with Uranus (and Saturn and Jupiter) conjoining Pluto, all lined up opposite Neptune. Alexander and Aristotle both die within a year or two of this date! This is the height of Greece, and the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic Greek world.

The next N+P conjunction is 85BCE, the time of Julius Caesar, and the first illustration of a phenomenon we will see again and again. About a hundred years (maybe 120 yrs or a quarter cycle, i.e. perhaps the anti-node of the half cycle?) after the conjunction we see the crest of the bow wave of what will characterize the new period. In this case, Jesus is born as Uranus opposes Pluto, and teaches and dies as Uranus opposes Neptune, both for the first time after the big N+P conjunction.

The next opposition of N-P coincides with the reign Marcus Aurelius at the height of Rome. The next N+P conjunction is in 411AD, within one year of the date given by the history books for the fall of Rome, in 410BCE, when it is burned.

We will skip the dark ages in Europe. There are correlation's with the founding of Islam, and with the rise of Byzantium, and the time of the consolodation of Catholicism in Europe roughly correlates with the N+P conjunction in 905AD, but by and large little of note happens in Europe during this long period.

The next big news in the West is 1399AD when N+P are conjoined, with Uranus tightly opposite. This is the half way point of a 4000 year cycle and correlates with the beginning of the Italian Renaissance.

Incidentally, the weekend I worked all this out for the first time, my friend Tom came up and said that they had just found an Egyptian "Stonehenge" in southern Egypt which was 7000 yrs old. I said, "Probably 6500 yrs." Sure enough, when we checked the website it said 6000-6500 yrs old. I had already been aware of 4500BCE from my own astronomical astrology studies, as that was also the time when the axis of the equinoxes (which move by precession) lined up with the direction vector of the center of the galaxy (but that is way outside of even conventional astrology).

The Renaissance was carried on the one hundred year wave coming off the N+P conjunction of 1399.

The next N-P opposition is 1650 when Descartes publishes and Newton is born (the analog of the height of Greece).

The next N+P conjunction is about 1892 when, within a five year period, virtually every modern invention which will shape the 20th century is invented. Uranus goes opposite Pluto, and then Neptune, in the first few years of the 20th century as relativity, and quantum, come in.

Finally, Uranus exactly conjoins Pluto in 1966, joined by Jupiter in 1968-69 with the Moon landing, and general social revolution. Uranus first comes in to conjoin Neptune in 1989 joined by Saturn and Jupiter opposite, all exactly aligned within two days of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The U+N conjunction is exact in 1993, marked by the rise of the internet, and Jupiter joins the conjunction in 1997.

So, the 60's and the 90's are in some sense analogous to the birth and teachings of Jesus, and the whole thirty year period at the end of the 20th century is also analogous to the rise of Classical Greece, Classical Rome, and the late Italian Renaissance. Hence the claim about 1997, and this period in general, that not since the Renaissance has there been such a harmonious astrological opportunity - though you probably wouldn't have known it then either had you been living through it.

Of course the really tough metaphysical problem is how to reconcile the basically cyclical astrological model of time with the logarithmic reality of time in which we find ourselves embedded at this moment of history.