Prospects for a Golden Age
The Meaning of the Great Planetary Cycles
by E. Alan Meece
Revised excerpts from the book Horoscope
for the New Millennium, published January 1997 by Llewellyn Publications,
and from an article published in the Scorpio/October 1986 issue of Welcome
to Planet Earth magazine, and reprinted there in the Aries/Taurus issue
What lies ahead for Humanity? With all the problems
we have, its hard to believe our future is bright. Inflation and
recession, environmental deterioration, diminishing resources, unrest
and oppression in developing countries, and apathy, loneliness and lack
of direction in developed ones all combine to severely cloud the horizon.
With the possible exception of President Clinton, about the only confidence
comes from the sentimental rugged individualists such as Reagan and Gingrich
who seek to return us to the good old days.
But theres another source of confidence, and it comes from astrology.
It may seem fantastic, but the signs in the heavens point to an extraordinary
renewal in the years just ahead. If we recall some recent trends, this
prospect doesnt seem so outlandish. It wasnt too long ago
that we heard about the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, and about the
revival of spirit among the new generation. We can still hear the echoes
of John Kennedys call to action and see the vision of Martin Luther
Kings dream. Before he and his dream were shot down in 1968, he
said we as a people "would get to the promised land." The promise
seems empty now, yet the planetary cycles support his prophecy. For what
we discover when we examine these cycles is compelling evidence that a
renaissance and a golden age is right around the corner.
Consider first the conjunction of Neptune and Pluto. The movements of
these furthermost planets represent the most fundamental changes in civilization.
These planets last came together only about 100 years ago, in 1891-92.
Every time Neptune and Pluto join together, a cataclysmic upheaval begins
which leads to a time of transition and uncertainty such as we live in
today. But about 100 years after the conjunction, a great renaissance
occurs that ushers in a new age. We are at that point now. It is now the
darkness before the dawn.
For evidence of this prospective new dawn, look at the historical record.
The Neptune-Pluto conjunction comes every 500 years (493 or 494, to be
exact). The previous conjunction to the one of our time occurred in 1399-1400.
At that time the Medieval society dominated by the Church and the feudal
order were disintegrating. Despair and prophecies of doom spread across
Europe, then still recuperating from the Great Plague, or "Black
Death." Powerful rulers struggled to unify their countries. One hundred
years later, the Renaissance that began in Florence Italy in 1400 reached
its climax, and the Middle Ages came to an end. Michaelangelo created
Humanitys greatest works of art, and Columbus opened up a whole
If we go back another 500 years to 905, we come to the turbulent age in
which that Medieval society was born. The Vikings brought destruction
and insecurity throughout Europe. The powerful and prosperous Tang dynasty
collapsed in China. Even as these catastrophes were happening, however,
new royal dynasties and reforms in the Church were laying the foundations
for the age of chivalry and great cathedrals. One hundred years after
905 the dreaded Vikings were becoming Europes new rulers. Art flourished
in the Ottonian Renaissance, and the new Sung dynasty gave birth to the
greatest of Chinas golden ages.
The fall of the Roman Empire corresponds to the Neptune-Pluto conjunction
of 411 AD. But while the Dark Ages engulfed the world, this didnt
prevent a great new civilization from emerging 100 years later at Byzantium!
As secular power collapsed in this period, people turned to religious
and artistic revival in both East and West. Meanwhile, the conjunction
showed its significance worldwide. The Mayan civilization of Guatemala
was entering its golden age simultaneously with that of Byzantium.
The conjunction of 83 BC ushered in the famous struggle of the Caesars,
as the Roman Republic became the Empire and conquered much of Europe.
Somewhat earlier China entered an imperial period similar to Romes.
One hundred years after 83 BC corresponds to Christs mission on
Earth, and to the golden age of Rome under Augustus and his successors.
In 577 BC the Neptune-Pluto conjunction was joined by Uranus, planet of
enlightenment. Soon afterward the Greek and Roman Republics and the Persian
Empire were born. After turmoil and uncertainty, Athens emerged to lead
Greece to its golden age one hundred years later. It was the greatest
age of enlightenment in all of history, when the great teachers emerged
that founded our religion and our science, including Socrates, Pythagoras,
Buddha, Lao Tze, Confucius, Mahavira, Zoroaster and great Hebrew prophets.
The Jews emerged from their Babylonian Captivity with their Holy Bible
written down for the first time, and their concept of "God"
was thereby transformed from a tribal deity into a universal, spiritual
Even before this, the same rhythm of change was followed in Egypt, the
Near East and China. From all this evidence, we have every right to believe
that our own time of transition and upheaval which began in the World
Wars will soon lead to a golden age. In fact, it has already started,
because it has been over 100 years since the last conjunction!
We will see great works of art and stupendous discoveries in science.
Movements of spiritual and cultural renewal will sweep the globe. World
unity will emerge (this phrase written in 1986) (is emerging, circa 1996),
bringing a peace surpassing the Pax Romana. Just as the Renaissance was
the revival of Greek ideals and culture, so our age will in some sense
see a new Rome and the return of Christ.
Summing up the pattern, then, we find:
577 BC: Greek, Roman Republics emerge; Buddha born
83 BC: Roman Empire emerges (dictatorship of Sulla)
411 AD: Fall of Rome to Alaric
905: Medieval culture begins (Cluny church reforms, new dynasties)
1399: Renaissance; Great Schism in Catholic Church
1892: Crisis leading to World Wars and the collapse of all aristocratic
One hundred years later are the periods of renaissance and renewal; the
c. 470 BC: Golden age of Greece; Buddhism begins
c. 20 AD: Golden Age of Rome; Christs mission
c. 520s: Golden age of Byzantium, Mayan golden age
c. 1000: Ottonian Renaissance, Sung golden age in China
c. 1500: High Renaissance, discovery of the New World
c. 1990s-2000s: The full flowering of todays movements in art, science
and spirituality, and increasing global unification (this last prediction
is already happening).
The astonishing conclusion seems clear: we are on the threshold of a golden
age of renewal. But this is just the beginning. The planets give further
testimony that not only are we entering one of the great periods of discovery
in history, but the greatest one of them all. This is revealed by an amazing
pattern involving the three outer planets which, to my knowledge, has
never been discussed by astrologers. For it is a demonstrable fact that
when Uranus, Neptune or Pluto are in the later or "higher" signs
of the zodiac centered around the Winter Solstice, Scorpio through Aquarius,
Humanity experiences its peaks of success and cultural achievement. For
confirmation, lets return once again to history.
The most significant cycle is that of Neptune. This is the planet most
directly linked to the collective mood, the "spirit of the times,"
and its power of inspiration really shines when transiting the expansive,
socially-conscious signs from Scorpio through Aquarius. For example, all
of the periods of renaissance and renewal mentioned above occurred when
Neptune was in these higher signs. The dates of these periods of renaissance
will be listed in a separate appendix later in this article.
But these renaissance periods were not the only golden ages. There were
periods which came after them centuries later when the creative momentum
of the new beginning reached its climax and consummation. Yet most of
these also took hold as Neptune made its tour of the higher signs. For
example, consider the mid-12th Century, the "Springtime of Europe."
This was the finest hour of Medieval Christendom when, inspired by the
Crusades and genuine devotion to religious ideals, the people worked together
to build the first Gothic Cathedrals. Peter Abelard and Hildegard von
Bingen were among the many inspired visionaries who flourished at that
Second, witness the period around 1300, often called the "proto-renaissance"
by cultural historians, which was the first flush of the dawn of humanism,
as enunciated by the Italian poet Petrarch. Giotto and the Siena school
anticipated renaissance art, while Dante summed up Medieval culture in
his Divine Comedy.
Next, there is the mid-17th Century, or High Baroque period, which saw
not only dazzling artistic achievements, such as Berninis works
at St. Peters and the paintings of Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer, but
the revolution in science climaxing in the new physics of Issac Newton.
Finally, consider the great age of romanticism and revolt in the early
19th Century. Neptune entered Scorpio in 1792, precisely as all the great
minds of the world were stirred by the march of the volunteers from Marseilles
who overthrew the monarchy in the French Revolution. And it left Aquarius
precisely as the dismal failure of the 1848 revolutions ended the romantic
dreams. Just consider the creative vitality of this era: all the great
romantic composers, including Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Chopin;
great literary figures like Balzac, Dickens, Goethe, Wordsworth, Byron
and Shelley; great discoveries like those in electricity and the new chemistry
of Lavoisier; great heroism and adventure in the age of the French Revolution
It is these periods of Neptune that restore our spirit and vitality, and
put us in contact with that creative intelligence which yields the discoveries
put to use in the more narrow, materialistic periods such as the late
19th Century and the 1920s through 1950s. The Romantic Age was the last
such creative period, and it ought to inspire us today to lift our vision.
For our time today is another "romantic" age of inspiration.
Today Neptune is already in Capricorn; it passed through Scorpio in the
1960s, when we awakened to the noble dreams mentioned at the beginning
of this article. Perhaps this is a sign we may still fulfill them as our
new golden age continues to unfold.
Second in importance to Neptune are the transits of Uranus. This inventive
planet was in the higher signs at the turn of the present century (1891-1919),
a period of tremendous creativity that saw the opening of all the creative
pathways we are still pursuing today. Einsteins relativity, Freuds
psychoanalysis and Picassos cubist painting are just some of the
startling developments which occurred, before the world wars shattered
what many believed was a glorious new dawn (recall Neptune and Pluto were
also making their conjunction early in this period). Uranus also transited
Scorpio through Aquarius during the early Enlightenment in the 1740s and
1750s and the early Elizabethan Age from 1556 through the 1580s.
If Uranus and Neptune in the higher signs can stimulate such startling
advances all by themselves, just think how powerful both of them together
should be! This was the case at the height of many of the great periods
mentioned above. This double stimulation also occurs when Pluto and Neptune
move together through the higher signs (see appendix). It stands to reason
that the MORE planets are in higher signs, the HIGHER the level of human
culture attains. So if two planets are high, the signs are very propitious.
But imagine the significance of all three of the creative outer planets
in the highest signs of the zodiac. Surely, these must be the greatest
ages in human history.
Judge for yourself. The most recent such period was between 1491, when
Columbus was preparing his voyage of discovery, and 1501, when Michaelangelo
carved his statue of David and Leonardo da Vinci was working on the Mona
Lisa. What better example could you find! Here were our most celebrated
artistic triumphs, combined with the immense opportunity of the New World.
But lets not stop here. Looking back further we find the other most
celebrated period in history-- during the Golden Age of Greece, from 455
to 446 BC, when Pericles ruled Athens as the noble philosopher-king, when
the sculptor Phidias and the dramatist Sophocles worked, and when Socrates
first walked the streets beneath the Acropolis where the columns were
rising for the Parthenon. These two moments, when Uranus, Neptune and
Pluto skirted the heights of the zodiac for the longest periods so far
in recorded history, are the two undisputed, unsurpassed moments of triumph
for the creative spirit; the fairest days of the human adventure!
But theres more. All three planets were also high between 319-328
AD, when the foundations of Christian culture were laid, including the
first cathedral of St. Peters, and between 810-818 AD, when Charlesmagne
arose out of the Dark Ages to begin the cultural renewal which became
the cornerstone of Western European civilization, and when the Arabs attained
the glittering peak of their art, science and literature at Baghdad under
Harun-al-Rashid and Al-Mamun. All three planets were also high from 1305-1308
at the peak of Giottos and Dantes inspiration during the "proto-renaissance."
Such striking evidence for the significance of the outer planets in higher
signs is truly breathtaking. Now here comes the main message of this article.
For yes, you guessed it. Since Pluto entered Scorpio in 1984 (interestingly
perhaps, the year the MacIntosh was introduced), all three outer planets
are now in high signs for the first time since 1501. This situation will
last until Uranus leaves Aquarius in 2003, making it by far the longest
such period so far in recorded history!
The greatest Renaissance and Golden Age in history. What a different picture
astrology gives us of our time than the usual business-as-usual or doom
and gloom. If these indications are correct, there will be no collapse;
no Armageddon. We will not only survive; we will begin to fulfill those
precious dreams of the 1960s and embark on the full unfoldment of human
But we must be careful. The planets give us no guarantees. We must be
very clear on this point. The new Golden Age is not something which will
unfold all by itself; it is an opportunity, and it is up to us not to
let it slip. Indeed, so far we still have not fulfilled its promise, and
reactionary politics or the encroaching global warming and/or ice age
may bring it to an end before long. We should not look too longingly at
the year 2012, the much-heralded end of the Mayan Calendar, for as Neptune
leaves the higher signs that year ecological and refugee problems could
put a damper on our emerging renaissance. Even so, the 21st Century and
New Millennium offer an unparalleled opportunity to build a new world
free from the conflicts and terrors of the past.
Now is the time for us to unfold and share our potential, and support
others who are doing so. Theres never been a time when more of us
have had such easy access to the tools of creation and transformation.
If you have a statement to make, now is the time to make it. If you have
something inside to share, now is the time to share it. Painters, poets,
philosophers, musicians-- arise! The Renaissance of Today will be what
we make it. Whatever schemes you have been harboring for the advancement
of Humanity, or the celebration of our new Springtime of peace and renewal,
now is the time to act. We are here to participate and to share. If you
wait much longer to make your contribution, you may miss the best chance
in all of history. Within the cracks of the dying civilization all around
us, the new world is being born, emerging from the womb of Mother Earth.
Let us nurture it!
Those born under the four "higher" signs of Scorpio, Sagittarius,
Capricorn and Aquarius will have a special opportunity now to release
the creative love-energy within their hearts. Wherever these four signs
are in your chart, and whatever planets may be there, are the areas in
which you have the best chance to make your contribution to the unfolding
of this golden age. (Note also that Chiron, the newly-discovered small
planet or comet that travels around the Sun once in 50 years, is entering
Scorpio at the end of 1996.)
Ours shall be an age of discovery, of creativity, of increasing unification
and spiritual renewal; perhaps an extraordinary golden age exceeding our
wildest dreams. Already (since the first edition of this article appeared
in 1986) we have seen incredible events such as the end of the Berlin
Wall and the Soviet Union and the appearance of leaders such as Mikael
Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela. To enter such a golden age doesnt
mean an end to all bad news, nor will a renaissance happen automatically
without our efforts. But here are all the tools astrology needs to dispel
the cynicism, the worries, the fear and the despair. For if the "stars"
are right, the promised land awaits us. How incredible it may seem; yet
somehow, somewhere, the forces are gathering that will usher in the golden
moment of renewal; the dawning of the new age.
Appendix: transits of the outer planets in the Higher Signs, Scorpio through
Neptune (period of revolution around the Sun, 164 years)
1138-1193 Age of the first Gothic Cathedrals
1301-1356 Proto-renaissance in Italy; Dante and Giotto
1465-1520 High Renaissance and early Reformation; Age of discovery
1629-1684 High Baroque, scientific revolution; Age of Louis XIV
1792-1848 Age of romanticism and revolt
Uranus (period of revolution, 84 years)
1556-1584 Early Elizabethan Age; Spanish Golden Age; Mogul India of Akbar
1640-1668 Highest, most inspired period of the Baroque style
1724-1752 Early enlightenment; Bach and Handel; Rococo architecture
1807-1835 Height of Romanticism
1975-2003 Dawning of our New Age
Periods when all three outer planets were high:
455-446 BC, 319-328 AD, 810-818, 998, 1305-1308, 1491-1501, 1984-2003
Recent periods when two or more planets were high:
802-831 AD, 974-1029, 1053-1064, 1138-1166, 1244-1249
1301-1333 (Uranus, Neptune and/or Pluto) Proto-renaissance
1472-1520 (Neptune plus Uranus and/or Pluto) High Renaissance
1640-1668 (Uranus and Neptune) High Baroque
1737-1752 (Uranus and Pluto) Enlightenment
1792-1798 (Neptune and Pluto) French Revolution
1807-1835 (Uranus and Neptune) Romanticism
1975-2012 (Neptune plus Uranus and/or Pluto) Age of Aquarius dawns
Note that Pluto alone will continue its current trek of the high signs
until the 2040s.
For a more detailed look at how the movements and cycles of the outer
planets correspond to the high and low points of culture through the ages,
see the "Time Line" in my book Horoscope for the New Millennium.
MORE ON THE OUTER PLANET CYCLES
Unlike revelations based on 2000-year old texts, the cycles of Uranus,
Neptune and Pluto (planets discovered only in the last 200+ years) give
us today's prophetic insights. Astrologers call them "the modern
planets;" they are in fact a modern-day transcendental trinity. This
is confirmed by the fact that the length of their orbits are in a three-fold
relationship. Uranus revolves around the Sun once every 84 years, while
Neptune takes about twice as long at 165 years and Pluto takes three times
as long at 248 years. It is the only such pattern in the solar system.
Meanings of the outer planets:
Uranus: The maverick. Discovered in 1781, it represents revolution, invention,
liberty, progress, liberalism, independence, enlightenment, electricity,
magic, the unexpected, radical change, altruism, dictators, charisma.
Neptune: The mystic. Found in 1846, it represents spirituality, imagination,
the sea, union, dissolution, chaos, delusion, deception, scandal, dreams,
solvents, drugs, E.S.P., compassion, socialism, collectivism, nations,
peoples, hospitals, asylums. Rules Pisces.
Pluto: Lord of the Underworld. Discovered in 1930, it represents death,
rebirth, ecology, polarity, transformation, gangs, group power, power
structures, plutocracy, atomic energy, purges, investigations, plumbing
the depths. Rules Scorpio and Aries.
The astrological nature of the planets of the transcendental trinity are
reflected in the physical traits we are discovering about them. Uranus,
for example, is surrounded by brilliant white clouds that seem to radiate
light and energy from below them. Its axis is tilted by 98 degrees to
its orbit, symbolizing its independence and deviance from the norm. Like
Saturn (co-ruler of Aquarius) it has a faint set of rings. Neptune is
surrounded by deep, beautiful blue-green clouds that remind us of the
sea. It has a giant spot similar to Jupiter's, the other planet traditionally
linked to religion and the sign Pisces. Pluto's eccentric orbit gives
it the aspect of the one who probes deeply into the unknown to bring back
its secrets into the world. It too is titled on its axis, making it as
unconventional, radical and deviant as Uranus is. Plutos dual nature
(its Moon Charon is fully one quarter of its size) represents the mysterious
power of inter-relationship at the heart of life.
Planetary conjunctions are like new moons, and the cycles between conjunctions
are like the phases of the Moon. Thus, the Neptune-Pluto conjunction is
like a "new" Neptune in its cycle with Pluto, and the opposition
half-way through the cycle is like the "full" Neptune in the
cycle. The squares are 90 degrees angles, and are just like the first
and last quarter moon phases. The conjunctions and cycles of the three
outer planets are the most significant tools we have for understanding
our past and looking into our future, seen from the longer term.
The Neptune-Pluto cycle (493 years long) is called the cycle of civilization.
It represents fundamental shifts and the rise and fall of empires, dynasties,
art styles and world views. When a conjunction happens, sensitivity is
greatly heightened. Basic transformations happen in all fields of human
activity whose full ramifications continue to unfold over the following
493 years. The opposition 246 years later represents a peak in civilization,
but a process of dissolution (and/or distribution) may set in afterwards.
Approximate dates of these Neptune-Pluto oppositions are 325 BC, 170 AD,
660 AD, 1150, 1645 and 2140.
The Uranus-Neptune cycle (171 years long) is called the cycle of culture,
and represents relations between peoples and cultures. When a conjunction
happens, artistic creativity is at a peak, and a great religious or political
revolution may occur. New empires or important treaties reshuffle the
world order, as old conflicts are resolved and new ones appear. Important
innovations and crucial international confrontations often come at the
opposition 85 years later.
The Uranus-Pluto cycle (on average, 127 years long) is called the cycle
of revolution. It represents the rise and development of a revolutionary
movement and its impact upon society. When a conjunction happens, the
powers in society are shaken to their roots. A new revolutionary movement
is unleashed that, although unsuccessful at first, influences all future
revolutions including many successful ones that come under other important
aspects to Uranus. Around the time of the opposition comes the peak of
the movement that lasts up to an entire generation.
See above for a listing of Neptune-Pluto conjunctions and corresponding
events over the last 2500 years. Below is further information about the
Uranus-Neptune and Uranus-Pluto cycles.
* 600-year religious cycle
date - aspect - sign - events
575 B.C. * conj. Taurus Birth of Buddha, Pythagoras; Lao Tzu, Confucius;
time of Thales, Solon, etc.
404 conj. Gemini End of Peloponnesian War; death of Socrates
232 conj. Gemini End of Ashoka's reign; start of Ch'in Empire
61 conj. Cancer First Roman triumvirate
25 A.D. * opposition Cancer-Capricorn Ministry and crucifixion of Jesus
111 conj. Cancer Victories and column of Trajan
282 conj. Leo Reforms of Diocletian
453 conj. Leo Defeat of Attila; Galla Placidia built
624 * conj. Virgo Founding of Islam; Tang Dynasty
794 conj. Virgo Charlesmagne founded Western Civilization
965 conj. Libra Ottonian Empire; Sung Dynasty
1136 conj. Libra beginning of Gothic culture
1222 * opposition Scorpio-Taurus St. Francis, St. Thomas Aquinas
1307 conj. Scorpio Philip the Fair, Papal controversy, Giotto
1479 conj. Scorpio High Renaissance began; Wars of Roses ended
1522 square -- Peasant revolt of German Reformation
1565 opposition Sag-Gemini height of religious wars
1650 conj. Sagittarius Louis XIV defeats Fronde; Great Rebellion; Treaty
of Westphalia; Baroque Art summit
1698 square -- Wars of Louis XIV
1737 opposition Sag-Gemini War of the Austrian Succession
1781 square -- American Revolution; Industrial Revolution
1821 * conj. Capricorn Concert of Europe; revolutions in Greece, Italy,
Spain, Latin America; Mormonism, etc.
1869 square -- Franco-Prussian War; Paris Commune
1908 opposition Cap-Cancer Bosnian Crisis leading to First World War;
modern art and music
1953-55 square -- Cold War; Mid-East Suez crisis; revolutions in Eastern
Europe, Cuba, etc.
1993 conj. Capricorn End of Cold War; New World Order; New Age/Green Renaissance?
Bosnian Crisis II
2037 square -- Crisis in the New World Order, probably involving Germany
2080 opposition Cap-Can. world tensions, war in Central Europe?
2126 square -- possible religious crusade or space war
2165 conj. Aquarius An Aquarian Age cultural summit
Remember, there is usually an orb or allowance of about 5 years on either
side, although the most important events are most likely in the exact
year of the aspect.
THE RELIGIOUS CYCLE
In a series of brilliant articles in The Encyclopedia of Astrology, Charles
Jayne revealed his research on the planetary cycles. Among his findings
was a 600-year cycle of the world's great religions. Every 600 years,
he said, a new religion is born; and at each of those times Uranus is
either aligned with or opposing Neptune. Here are the dates:
575 B.C. Births of Buddha and Pythagoras; careers of Lao-Tzu, Mahavira
and Confucius. Babylonian captivity of the Jews. Final Upanishads written.
25 A.D. (opposition) Mission and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
624 Flight of Mohammed from Mecca in 622 A.D.; the start of Islam.
1222 (opposition) Founding of Franciscan and Dominican Orders in Catholicism;
career of St. Thomas Aquinas; a peak in the Age of Faith.
1821 Births of the co-founders of the Bahai Faith; Joseph Smith's conversion
(Mormonism); birth of Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science, Unity, etc.),
births of Thoreau and Whitman (American Transcendentalism); founding of
the American Unitarian Association. It was also the time Marx and Engels
were born, suggesting this cycle represents socialism as a religion, while
the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1850 (see below) represents socialism
as a revolutionary movement. Its career as the former may thus long outlast
its history as the latter.
2420 (opposition) The next great religion is not due until then. It may
incorporate the essence of the Aquarian Age, as Christianity did for the
Piscean. It could be a new sect within an already-existing religion.
We can further speculate that the previous opposition of 1176 B.C. may
have coincided with Moses or Zoroaster, the conjunction of 1778 B.C with
Abraham, and the conjunction of 2980 with Krishna.
Virtually all revolutions in modern history correspond to the aspects
between Uranus and Pluto. The "semi-squares" mentioned below
are 45 degrees angles between Uranus and Pluto, and "sesqui-squares"
are 135 degree angles. A "sextile" is a 60-degree angle.
1711 (conjunction): freemasonry, rococo reaction, Voltaire, etc.
1730 (semi-square): no known correlation.
1759-60 (square): Seven Years War, which led to "enlightened despotism"
in Prussia (Frederick the Great).
1776 (sesqui-square): American Revolution; this aspect appears in the
1793 (opposition): height of the French Revolution.
1808 (sesqui-square): risings in Germany and Spain against Napoleon.
1820 (square): unrest in Britain and revolts in Spain, Italy, Greece and
1830 (sextile): revolutions in France, Belgium, Poland, etc. First British
Reform Bill and attendant disturbances (Uranus also in Aquarius).
1834 (semi-square): massive worker uprisings in France and England.
1850 (conjunction): revolutions in Europe in 1848-51; Taiping Rebellion
1863 (semi-square): great uprising in Poland against Russian rule.
1867-68 (sextile): series of government reorganizations in Europe and
the U.S., and overthrow of the Shoguns in Japan.
1876 (square): massive revolts against Turkish rule in the Balkans.
1889 (sesqui-square): strikes and farmer-labor unrest.
1901 (opposition): Boxer Rebellion, Philippine revolt, anti-imperialism,
Progressivism, Syndicalism, Bolshevism, etc.
1917 (sesqui-square): Russian Revolution creating the Soviet Union; Arab
revolts against the Turks, etc. (Uranus also in Aquarius).
1933 (square): Fascist revolution in Germany; New Deal.
1943 (sextile): during World War II.
1949 (semi-square): Communist revolution in China.
1966 (conjunction): Cultural Revolution in China, counter-culture, Black
Power, peace and ecology movements, etc.
1986 (semi-square): Philippine revolt against Marcos (used '60s-style
1996-97 (sextile): possible liberation movements in Latin America and
East or Central Asia; corporate crisis in America (Uranus in Aquarius);
(now it looks like Peru, Serbia and South Korea!).
2012-13 (next square): major revolts in the wake of economic/ecological
disasters and refugee problems; perhaps the time of the "crossover"
into the New Age according to the Mayan Calendar.
2032 (next sesqui-square): turbulent reorganizations and ethnic upheavals
will shake America, China, the Far East and/or nations ruled by the sign
Cancer (Saturn conjunct Uranus there).
2047 (next opposition): climax of the "Green Revolution."
THE THREE REVOLUTIONS
There have been 3 great cycles of revolution in modern times. The first
began with the conjunction in 1711 and reached its climax at the opposition
during the French Revolution. It was the revolution of liberty and free
enterprise. The second was a reaction to the first and began during the
next conjunction in the 1840s and 1850s. It climaxed during the next opposition
at the turn of the 20th century, at the height of the labor, socialist
and Marxist movements. It was the revolution of equality. The third began
in our own time during the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in the 1960s. Its
climax is due in the 2040s. It seeks to create a fraternity of all peoples
on a restored planet Earth, and to foster the creative and spiritual unfoldment
of the person.
Below is a chart of the Three Revolutions and their goals:
dominant in: ruling planet: emphasis: ideal:
lst Revolution 1711-1850 Uranus ideas, innovations liberty
2nd Revolution 1850-1966 Neptune productive forces equality
3rd revolution 1966-2103 Pluto/Chiron persons, spirituality fraternity
original form in the 1790s: core value: class: color(s):
political individual bourgeoisie red, white and blue
industrial collective proletariat red
romantic creative outcast groups green
government economics philosophy religion
democracy capitalist rationalist deist
communist socialist materialist atheist
cooperative, consensual ecological spiritualist new-age/neo-pagan
WHAT ABOUT THAT "AGE OF AQUARIUS?"
The 12 Ages, of which the Aquarian is one, are 12 divisions of a 25,000-year
long motion of our Earth called the Precession of the Equinoxes. This
motion is only one of three basic Earth cycles; the three most important
cycles in astrology. The first cycle is the year, in which the Sun appears
to move through a belt of constellations called The Zodiac. Aquarius is
one of these constellations. The second cycle is the day, caused by the
Earth turning on its axis every 24 hours, making the Sun appear to rise
and set. But the Earth also gradually wobbles backwards as its turns,
as if it were a spinning top. This is the third cycle, also called the
great year. This "great wobble" causes the North Pole to point
to different stars at different times. By the year 2100 it will point
exactly at Polaris, the star which we know today as "the north star."
But about 13000 years ago it pointed toward Vega, the brightest star in
today's Summer skies. It takes an average of 25,920 years for the Earth
to complete one "wobble;" so about 26,000 years from today the
North Pole will again point to Polaris.
The seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) happen because the Earth's
axis and poles are tilted by 23 degrees. During the Summer (in the Northern
hemisphere) the pole is tilted toward the Sun, so the days are longer.
During the Winter it tilts away from the Sun, so the days are shorter.
When the pole is exactly half way between, so that the Earth's orbit is
aligned with the Equator, the days and nights are equal. This is called
the Equinox. But the equinox gradually shifts backwards as the North Pole
wobbles. 2100 years ago, the Sun entered the constellation Aries at the
beginning of Spring, the "vernal equinox." (around March 21
of every year). But today the Zodiac has shifted one/twelfth of the way
backwards (almost 30 degrees), so now the Sun is in the constellation
Pisces at the beginning of Spring. Soon it will be in Aquarius. This is
called the Precession of the Equinoxes.
It is a curious irony that the reason most often cited by skeptics that
astrology is "false" is also the basis for the most famous prophecy
ever made by astrologers. Many skeptics (though not all) claim that astrologers
don't even know that the constellations have shifted, and are therefore
using a Zodiac that is off by 30 degrees! After all, they say, astrologers
still maintain that the Sun enters the sign "Aries" at the beginning
of Spring! And yet astrologers also say that "this is the dawning
of the Age of Aquarius." Why? Because the constellations have shifted
backwards, and the vernal equinox will soon move from Pisces into Aquarius.
If astrologers didn't know about this backward shift, why would they use
it to make their most famous prediction?
What many skeptics (and even some astrologers) don't understand is that
astrology really has little to do with stars, and that the Zodiac is not
a belt of constellations at all. For as we've seen, astrology is a study
of cycles and their relationship to our lives. The 360-degree circle of
the Zodiac is the path of the Earth as it travels around the Sun, and
it is divided into 12 signs of 30 degrees each. The signs have the same
names as the constellations, but they are not the same. The signs get
their meaning from their place on the yearly cycle of the Earth, not from
the shape of the stars in the sky.
The signs are the most accepted way of interpreting the meaning of the
yearly cycle. But as we saw, every cycle must have a beginning point.
For the Zodiac, this is the vernal equinox; the start of Spring in the
northern hemisphere. It is the moment each year (around March 21) when
the Sun enters Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac. Most astrologers today
use the Zodiac of signs; they are called tropical astrologers (of which
this author is one). Astronomers also use the zodiac of signs, not constellations,
to locate stars on the "celestial sphere." But some astrologers
continue to use the Zodiac of constellations, although in fact they place
little or no emphasis on them; they are called sidereal astrologers. Some
astrologers (including tropical ones) also see great significance in particular
stars, and where they are in the sky.
Yes... but wait a minute; something doesn't quite fit here. If most astrologers
don't even use stars or constellations at all, why is the "Aquarian
Age dawning" if the vernal equinox will soon point to the constellation
Aquarius? This can't be right. Constellations are just distant stars arbitrarily
grouped together and given mythical meanings by humans. They are just
a convenient way to locate stars, like street names on a map. Why should
the constellation Aquarius have any "influence," just because
it's lined up with the Sun at vernal equinox time?
Knowing these facts, some astrologers today debunk the Age of Aquarius
as just an enchanting fiction. But I don't think it can be dismissed so
easily, because the precession of the equinoxes and the polar wobble are
based on an actual motion of the Earth. This cycle is just as real as
the year itself is. And such a long cycle could help us a great deal in
interpreting human history from the long view. So the study of cycles
can and should include a study of the Aquarian Age and the whole cycle
of astrological "ages." But as we've said, all cycles must have
a beginning, and the trouble with the precession cycle is that nobody
is sure just where it begins. If we rule out constellations as questionable
reference points, what do we use?
One possibility is the close numerical link between the length of ages
and the length of the Uranus-Neptune cycle, such that each age always
begins during a Uranus-Neptune conjunction or opposition. This connection
may explain why the "ages" are so related to religion, since
Uranus-Neptune rules religious cycles. These links are too complicated
to discuss here; there are some further details in my book.
In any case, history shows that the "ages" have tremendous significance.
Let us review some general evidence showing how past ages have corresponded
to the precession cycle as astrologers describe it. In doing this, I refer
to an idea put forward by philosopher-astrologer Dane Rudhyar. He points
out that each 2100-plus year Age can be divided in two parts; the first
half will have the traits of the constellation at the vernal equinox,
but the second half will have the sub-traits of the opposite constellation
at the autumn equinox. These traits are at their peak about half-way through
each sub-age. So here is how the cycle has shaped up throughout recorded
history, using approximate dates:
2100-3200 will be the Age of Aquarius proper, meaning an age of knowledge,
independent thought and demands for freedom and progress. The role of
the individual and the organization will be coordinated into a humanitarian
whole. Religion and spirituality will be based on knowledge and experience
instead of belief. From 3200 to 4200 the Age will be under a sub-influence
of Leo, the opposite sign of Aquarius; therefore the creative powers of
the romantic individual will re-assert themselves.
1100-2100 was the second half of the Age of Pisces, under the sub-influence
of Virgo. Therefore this now-ending age was one of science, intellectual
analysis, and service to one's superiors; all traits of Virgo. Certainly
the ever-increasing power of scientific and rational thought and the growing
power of the secular state and bureaucracy in this period could reflect
the Virgo "influence."
0 to 1100 was the Age of Pisces proper, meaning an age of faith and religion,
of dissolution and breakdown of structures, of devotion and compassion,
and of escape into the other world. This is a perfect fit for Christianity
(whose symbol was the fish) and similar religions worldwide that dominated
the period. Some philosophers say that the denial of life and spirit and
the assault on nature that took hold under Virgo were based on the escapist
attempt to divorce spirit from the world that happened under Pisces.
1000 B.C.- 0 was the second half of the Age of Aries, under the sub-influence
of Libra. This was the classical age of ancient Greece, an era when Libran
values like the "golden mean" and beauty were worshipped. Even
in India the Buddha taught "the Middle Way." It was an age of
intellectual accomplishments and of political inventions (also Libra fortes),
demonstrated by Athenian democracy and the Roman Republic.
2100 B.C.- 1000 B.C. was the Age of Aries proper, meaning an age of aggression
and enterprise. The Aryan (Arian) invaders swarmed over and conquered
the old world, and most civilizations of the age (such as the first Assyrian
Empire, the New Kingdom of Egypt, the Trojans, the Mycenaeans, etc.) were
dominated by warriors. Not long before the Age of Aries began, Sargon
I created the world's first war-based Empire in Mesopotamia. The symbol
of the Ram appears in the Ram's Horn so important to the Hebrews, whose
missionary, aggressive religion began in this period. Since Aries is ruled
by Mars, masculine, patriarchal values replaced the feminine values that
flourished under the Venus-ruled Taurean Age which preceded it. Some aggressive
Aries traits also continued into the second half of this age, even though
it was sub-ruled by Libra.
3100 B.C.- 2100 B.C. was the second half of the Age of Taurus, under the
sub-rulership of Scorpio. The earliest civilizations rose to greatness
in this period. Scorpio is the sign of death and rebirth, and the Egyptians
created the world's greatest funeral monuments and history's most remarkable
death cult in this period. Their greatest symbols were the Scarab and
the Hawk, similar to the Scorpion and the Eagle. Scorpio is an appropriate
constellation for this time of great creative transformation and occult
wisdom in which astronomy and astrology were developed.
4200 B.C.- 3100 B.C. was the Age of Taurus proper. The Taurean traits
seemed to display themselves most clearly in the second half of the Age
during its sub-rulership of Scorpio, perhaps because written historical
records do not begin until then. But certainly the pyramids, stone circles
and other great monuments of this entire age reflected the Taurean talent
for building and architecture, and revealed the desire for structure and
security that gave rise to civilization in this period. It was also an
age of fertility worship, a Taurean trait; and it is said that The Bull
was held sacred everywhere during this time (though perhaps also long
before and afterward).
This evidence is impressive; and other researchers have amassed even more
facts. No doubt there are many things in history that don't fit the long
Age in which they occurred; for example, the Lion symbols in the sculptures
of Mycenae and Assyria were made during the Age of Aries, not Leo. But
generally the sign of each 2100-year Age (and each 1000-year Sub-age)
fits each period better than any other sign does.
Dont forget to join the global meditation on January 23, 1997 at
12:35 PM, Eastern Standard Time. Even more importantly, carry that spirit
through the next 10 years when we have the best chance to create the greatest
golden age ever. Keep the spirit alive!
E. Alan Meece is author of Horoscope for the New Millennium
and The Horoscope of Humanity,
and host of Mystic Music and Mystic Musings on KKUP-FM in Cupertino/Santa
You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the web site for his radio show (with many interesting links)
Copyright 1996 by E. Alan Meece (Eric A. Meece);
all rights reserved.