Much has been written in astrological magazines concerning the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo (see the chart) in October, 1965 — a conjunction which was only short by six degrees when Uranus was stationary direct on May 13, 1964. This conjunction is opposed by Saturn in Pisces and squared by Jupiter in Gemini. Mars, moreover, is focusing its energy upon Uranus and Pluto while it goes back and forth through Virgo for an eight-month stay. Solar and lunar eclipses complicate matters, especially at the end of May, 1965. Much of 1966 is pervaded by the same kind of tense release of energy.
That some sort of "crisis" can be expected seems rather obvious; but far too much has been made of the negative possibilities inherent in such a planetary setup. The total implications of the situation, in all of the studies I have read concerning it, have not been analyzed and clearly presented; and it is my hope that by throwing more light upon this world situation, I shall reveal a picture more deeply significant and less wrapped in the dark veils of fearful anticipation. The tragedy we anticipate is assuredly given more strength for its manifestation. A "catharsis," or a new birth, is not tragedy. It is our opportunity to become more fully what we potentially are.
The first thing one must do is to relate the astrological events of the years 1965 and 1966 to those which took place at the last conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in 1850 and 1851 — a triple one involving the 30th and 29th degrees of Aries (June-September, 1850; March, 1851). But the only way really to see what was happening 114 years ago is to make charts for some of the focal moments of this period which prove to be so significantly related, astrologically speaking, to ours.
Making such a chart, for instance, for November 1, 1851, when the clearest picture is to be seen in the sky, one finds that the very planets which are stressed by cross-aspects in the 1965 picture are equally stressed — but in a different manner — in the 1851 picture. In both instances, only Neptune stands out as harmonizer and mediator between conflicting forces. In both, Saturn and Jupiter are involved and, at crucial times, Mars. Whereas today Saturn opposes the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, in 1851 Saturn added its power to these distant planets, forming a triple conjunction around 0° Taurus. While in 1965 Jupiter will square Saturn, in 1851 the two "social" planets formed an opposition.
In 1964-65, Mars makes an eight month stay in Virgo, crossing and recrossing Uranus and Pluto; but in 1851, Mars entered Leo on October 23 for a long stay, squaring the triple conjunction of Pluto (retrograde practically at 0° Taurus), Saturn, and Uranus. Mars returned to Cancer for a few weeks after being "stationary retrograde" at 13°56' Leo on December 15, 1851; it re-emerged into Leo in April, 1852, again making the same square aspects. When the Sun met the three large planets, still in early Taurus — on July 28, 1851 — there was a total eclipse of the Sun at 5° Leo, squaring Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto.
In December, 1964, and May-June, 1965, solar and lunar eclipses will also square the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, with Saturn in opposition to it.
Thus, we find that the basic inter-planetary relationships of the 1965 period were active in 1851 around the time of this last Uranus-Pluto conjunction, but with the other planets having changed their roles. The question, therefore, which confronts us is: What does this change of roles mean; and how can we interpret the fact that last century, fixed signs of the zodiac were stressed while now, the mutable signs are highlighted? Any answer forthcoming would be meaningless because merely abstract unless we become as clearly aware as possible of the significance of what took place in the world around 1851; and if nothing very crucial did happen then, why should we be so worried (as many people are) about what is likely to happen next year! There is no reason to believe that the opposition of Saturn to Uranus-Pluto will be more drastic than their triple conjunction; however, now we know of Pluto's existence, and a century ago we did not — people had just begun hearing about Neptune.
Whether one knows or does not know signifies a difference in awareness. Perhaps the whole issue turns upon such a problem of awareness, for actually, nothing too sensational or tragic occurred in 1851; but some absolutely basic trends began in the world of mankind of which we will now be compelled to be fully, irrevocably aware — by external events if we cannot be in other ways. We must realize what these trends mean, how they have radically changed our consciousness and collective mentality, and what we have to do to meet them and work with them constructively.
A Century Ago: The Industrial Revolution
What were these trends? Essentially, they are those implied — economically, socially, politically, culturally, and psychologically — in what has been called the Industrial Revolution. One usually thinks of this revolution which has modified every aspect of human existence all over the globe as beginning in England in the late-eighteenth century. But what happened then, and the Napoleonic Wars which confused and partially shattered the whole fabric of Europe, constitute only a prelude — or, rather, the shocking realization that a centuries-old society and culture had to be radically reoriented. If it refused to accept this repolarization of all it stood for, it would inevitably be destroyed, at least insofar as its social-intellectual superstructures and its "way of life" were concerned. It was only during the 1840s that the Industrial Revolution was revealed to a few pioneer minds for what it actually was — just as it was only during the years from 1940 to 1950 that the Electronic Revolution which began potentially at the time of the Neptune-Pluto conjunction in 1892 (discovery of x-rays, radium, Planck's quantum theory, Einstein and his formula identifying matter with energy, etc.) became an incontrovertible fact with the release of atomic power through "fission," then through "fusion" (H-bomb).
The H-Bomb came just a century after the 1850-51 conjunction of Uranus and Pluto; the "Cold War," schizophrenically dividing humanity into two hostile camps, also started not much more than a century after the Communist Manifesto of 1848 which opened a new phase of man's history. In 1844, the Bahai Faith (in its first phase) proclaimed the end of the Islamic Era and established for the first time in history a solid "God-revealed" foundation of beliefs, doctrines, and law for a "World Order" stressing the unity of all men, not merely as an ideal, but as a fact and the basis of a new global society. A century later, we see the beginning of an answer of the Christian churches to this challenge to religious unification, especially by Pope John XXIII, the Council of the Vatican, and the dramatic gestures of Pope Paul VI.
It was because of the pressure of the Industrial Revolution in the making that England, France, and other European countries began the race for more and more colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. A century later, under the slowly forming new conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, we see colonialism in its death throes. The revolt of Third World people is the dominant fact of our day. World overpopulation and world hunger menace us with a total crisis just as drastic as, and indeed far more so than, the specter of a cold war becoming overheated to an explosive stage.
The racial struggle is here, in our midst, even in these wealthy, powerful, and seemingly secure United States. A group of black men preach, defiantly and proudly, the superiority of the Negro over the White, calling for the later's defeat by violence — even while the non-resistance ideal among the larger collectivity of the Black population inspires remarkable demonstrations of spiritual power. In 1850-51, the anti-slavery campaign was gaining momentum — 1850 being the year of the Henry Clay Compromise. In 1850, California became the 31st state and President Taylor died in office.
In 1851-52, the popularity and power of the French Emperor Napoleon III became consecrated by two coups d'etat; and a little over a century later, Charles de Gaulle assumed an almost dictatorial power over France, which under him has become truly "resurrected." After the 1848 California gold rush, an Australian gold rush came in 1851. On July 4, 1851, Cuba declared her independence from Spain — but the insurgents were soon defeated. This century, Castro is maintaining his power in the name of economic and social liberation from a near-colonial status; and the whole of South America is in ferment.
A century ago, Napoleon III placed a European on a shaky imperial throne in Mexico; and, as I am writing this, President de Gaulle is attempting to revive France's influence in South America! In January, 1952, the first South African Republic was formalized at the Sand River Convention — and when Uranus again meets Pluto in 1965, we can expect a racial explosion in the tragic land of apartheid. Soon after 1851, the Turko-Russian War and the Crimean expedition occurred (1853-54), starting the process of czarist defeats which led to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917; and at the same time, Commodore Perry (for commercial reasons) fatefully opened Japan to Western influences, while the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico gave the U.S. valuable lands — and it is practically along the Rio Grande that we developed the atom bomb (Los Alamos and Alamagordo).
Most likely, none of these events at the time seemed endowed with a crucial importance. Our world did not come to an end on November 1, 1851, at the time for which the obviously very strenuous astrological chart shown here is cast. But great astrological events do not usually parallel the greatest historical events. World War I did not start at the time of an extraordinary planetary configuration — certainly none more striking than those of relatively less fateful periods.
What we are dealing with, when these great cross configurations occur, are planetwide tensions affecting humanity as a whole; and these do not necessarily manifest at once in terms of events, but with the patterning of energies and mental attitudes below (or within) the realm of actual events. Events will, of course, take place; but to know of them ahead of time leads in most cases to confusion and fear — and we ought to face this fact instead of hiding behind screens of intellectual rationalization. What matters is to understand the tidal forces of the planetary (i.e., affecting the whole earth) and the all-human evolution; then to orient ourselves so as to ride on the crest of the wave instead of futilely trying to arrest the tide — which then must destroy us. What is there for us to understand as we compare the 1851 and the 1965-66 charts?
We should try to understand that we are facing man's greatest opportunity to reorient globally and to repolarize mentally his attitude to life, to society, and to this planet, earth, which should be his true home, superseding the many fragmented, localized, and particularized "homes" to which he still clings. Men had to cling to these limited sections of the earth's surface which they call their homeland, just as the child and the adolescent need to feel the relative security of their family setup — which, alas, today brings them often more insecurity and internecine struggles than security and peace required for a harmonious growth of personality. But now man is coming of age, and we should be ready — if not all of us, human beings, at least the leading "elite" — to accept, understand, and fulfill our planetary responsibility. Humanity, collectively speaking, is actually the conscious mind of this earth, our only true home.
The 1851 and 1965 Charts
I have already mentioned briefly the differences between the cross configurations of the 1851 and the 1965 solar system geo-centrically considered. We must now consider these configurations in greater detail. The basic change involves the three planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars — and the fact that mutable signs are now affected, whereas fixed signs were stressed in 1851-52.
Jupiter and Saturn originally represent the "social process" as it operates inside of fairly clearly defined boundaries. What is inside these boundaries is the homeland, the folk, the culture — considered essentially valuable and indeed "better" than any other society and civilization. To them, men are expected to give their allegiance unreservedly. What is outside the boundaries constitutes the foreign, the alien, the inherently dangerous factors which confront one (whether from near or far) and which must be kept at bay and resisted. I said "originally" because Jupiter and Saturn could manifest as non-exclusivistic, non-separative, and non-dogmatic forces; but so far in human history, as well as in the psychology of the average human being (even the educated and historically aware person), Jupiter and Saturn have nearly always operated within strictly limiting and morally glorified national, religious, and cultural frames of reference.
The fact that Jupiter and Saturn were in 1851 and are now intimately involved in the Uranus-Pluto conjunction obviously means that they are being subjected to the radically transforming power of these two distant planets. Uranus symbolizes quite accurately what was brought to bear upon our Western society in the 18th century — the so-called "Age of Enlightenment" or Revolutionary Era. Pluto is a remarkably accurate symbol of the "total" challenges and crises which we have witnessed collectively this century — and which the great majority of individuals have experienced in their personal lives as well.
The history of this century is unfolding under two great symbols: the symbol of the "Globe" and that of "Heat" — heat being the expression of intense molecular disorder and in its extreme aspect leading to the "ionization" of matter, which then exists in its "plasma" state — the newly revealed fourth state of matter (solid, liquid, and gaseous being the familiar states). Neptunian awareness leads to the realization of the "globe." Uranus was the light that made obsolete the old traditions of local cultures.
Today, as Uranus approaches Pluto, science has discovered a new form of light — the laser — light so concentrated and one-pointed that a tiny beam of it can pierce any metal and reach in a focused condition to the moon! An amazing symbol, indeed, and one which may perhaps explain new possibilities of events and communication within and beyond the earth field. Pluto acts upon Uranus, and light becomes radically transformed and concentrated. "Spiritual" light, too, could well become condensed and incarnated. Could this be the second coming of Christ or the new Avatar that so many people expect? Could not these condensed "lights" — physical and spiritual — act upon Jupiter and Saturn and upon the infinitely complex social processes these planets represent?
How would they act? Let us try to understand the language of the sky. Last century, Jupiter and Saturn were in opposition; Saturn was conjunct the Uranus-Pluto conjunction on the threshold of Taurus. The Saturn-Uranus-Pluto conjunction was the start of the vast historical process: the Saturnian patterns were to explode — explode in our Civil War, in a world-wide colonial rush, gold rush, power-politics rush, science-engineering rush. Facing these rushes, we see Jupiter: our "social sense," our sense of fellowship, our comfortable and comforting religious belief and practices. Men's social disarray and men's uprootedness (as families and tribal cultures, religious ideals began to crumble under economic and colonial pressures) compelled all minds to try to evaluate the issues, to discover solutions; and Mars in Leo was the fire — the leaders ambitions, the millionaires' lust for power and social show — the fire to fuse the past into the melting pot of races and cultures.
Neptune alone was the constructive factor — as it will be next year. In Pisces, it aroused a new religious sense — from the French philosopher Auguste Comte's elusive and ill-fated "Religion of Humanity" to the Bahai Faith, and including the atheistic yet assuredly "Messianic" world movement, Communism, Neptune also stirred compassion: humanitarian ideals, the training of nurses (and, later on, the Red Cross), the war against microbial diseases and epidemics, and the multifarious tidal sweep of Romanticism — with its emotional craving for the freedom to love outside of the disintegrating Saturn-Jupiter "tradition."
Today if we look at one of the most focused potential times of crisis, the solar eclipse of May 30, we see Mars conjunct Uranus and Pluto, opposed by Saturn and squared by a triple conjunction of the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter at the midpoint between Mercury and Venus! What can this mean? [The Viet Cong offensive began against the US base at Da Nang, South Vietnam, on 30 May 1964].
We no longer have to deal with Jupiter facing Saturn; now it is Saturn which faces the explosive Uranus-Pluto-Mars conjunction, while Jupiter (and the solar eclipse) squares Saturn, I feel that the issue is in the hands of the Jupiter, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus fivefold group. Let us not be hypnotized by the opposition of Saturn to Uranus-Pluto; it shows us only what has to be done. This is not fate; there is no compulsion in an opposition — while there can be, and usually is, compulsion and unconscious drive in a conjunction. This is what happened around 1851. Today, we do not have to experience a compulsion, but the conscious realization of a dramatic story to be brought to a significant consummation. It can be a constructive as well as a meaningful consummation. It has to be — or else!
The Constructive Factors
The conscious act and the significant vision and formulation are implied in the planets between 25° Taurus and 22° Gemini. They act as challengers; they precipitate action, and it could and should be a "redeeming" action. We have to redeem and regenerate the so tragic, indeed gory, past of our European-American civilization. Yes, American also, for the new America, since Christopher Columbus, arose from a background of torture, enslavement, deceit, and after the near extermination of this continent's inhabitants, as well as upon the search for religious freedom of our Puritan ancestors- — from whom we have also inherited an army of unpleasant ghosts and senseless "blue laws," besides many splendid virtues.
European astrologers to whom I talked last year while lecturing in several countries were almost unanimous in seeing America as the main field within which the 1965-66 challenges would be focused. They may be biased; it is hard to tell. But all events, as I am writing these pages before Spring 1964, point to America's (North and South) being one of the major fields in the planetwide confrontation of humanity with the ghosts of the so-called "Piscean Age." Africa and Asia will assuredly also be focal fields, but we are today in the position of taking a determining role on the world scene. Our responsibility is enormous — and, alas, so few of our citizens are aware of what is really at stake, partly because of our traditional isolationism and ego-centricity, partly because the "military mentality" and the tremendous grip of the military on our national economy have given to so many people a sense of futility and passive acceptance of "rule by specialists."
Neptune may be our savior, as it makes sextiles to Uranus and Pluto and a trine to Saturn. Neptune in Scorpio? What can this mean that would be constructive?
Scorpio has been made senselessly negative and often dreadful in the eyes of the astrology-reading public; and this confuses the issue today. The reason for this blacklisting of Scorpio, "the accursed sign," is that it represents the gate to a communion in depth of human beings — a communion which has no regard for any cultural-ethical taboos because it deals with the very roots of what I called "man's common humanity." In Scorpio, life has returned to the roots; it is autumn. There life is met in its magic essence, which is hell and ecstasy at once — beyond the ethical dualism of the supposedly Western civilization.
Scorpio does not refer to sex as a procreative function. It sees sex activity as a door to the possibility of human communion, as a way to becoming truly "human," not merely a member of a particular race, family, class, nation, culture. Scorpio is sex as a freeing of personality and perhaps a builder of personality — though it can just as well act as destroyer. It has to do with the desire for a progeny only insofar as, for most people, it is in the process of giving birth to a child that they may experience something of "life" beyond their ego-centricity. But progeny there is only a means to an end; and when this happens, the child usually suffers. There are other ways to root feeling of human communion than making a child; but this area is the "forbidden land" of religions and morality. Nevertheless, humanity is now in that land; we must face that fact.
Unfortunately, the way men and women behave in this area of activity is in most cases so senseless as to justify the tag of "forbidden." Yet it cannot be forbidden any longer. It may be our only way out, psychologically — the redeeming way — if we can understand its meaning positively instead of rushing to and from empty experience to repetitions of automatic gestures because we go there as a form of protest and defiance or out of sheer boredom.
The key to the situation is, however, in my opinion, Gemini. The eclipses of December 4 and 19, 1964, in Sagittarius and Sagittarius-Gemini, should presumably ring the bell for some "Last Supper." Then humanity may meet "Christ" in all-human communion, or, more likely, be betrayed by its intellectuals and its self-styled leaders. In either case, we must face man's past; and this means primarily Western man's past — the past of this tense, tragic, over-intellectualized, emotionally frustrated, and self-tortured civilization which is ours . . . for better or for worse. [On 3 December, 1964, police arrested 824 students at the University of California at Berkeley. One day, 4 January, after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive 10,000 person strong sit-in as part of the Free Speech Movement. It was the largest mass arrest in US history. On 10 December 1964 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize during ceremonies in Oslo, Norway.]
It can be "for better." We have all the means; we have the Gemini mind in all its glory. We can pit it against our Puritan ghosts, our sins of slavery, our extermination of Native Americans north and south of the Caribbean, our semi-colonial greed. We can do it here, for we are not as strait-jacketed in tradition as Europeans have been and still are partially, though they are beginning to breathe more freely. It need not be tragic; yet it obviously can be — and the very earth within which we truly and realistically "move, live, and have our being" may become quite angry at the individual's mental stupidity or viciousness and produce organically induced crises or even psychotic episodes.
A psychotic episode can be replaced by a "conversion," and I am not referring to a traditional religious conversion — but to a turning of the whole person toward a new state of human existence.
Humanity is living through a "critical state" (in the physicist's sense of the phrase) between the solid and the liquid states of matter — thus the emphasis in our day on all that is fluid, dynamic, unceasingly in a condition of change. This explains our recent attraction for Buddhism and its symbol of "the river of life" never for one moment stopping or identical to itself, and particularly for the approach to existence called in Japan Zen — a challenging, paradoxical, irrational approach.
I said a while back that Jupiter and Saturn, though originally referring to all social processes contained within the rigid boundaries of tribal or nationalistic cultures, could become transformed. Now is our chance to effectuate such a transformation. We can undo the incredible knots which our ancestors tied around men's souls and minds around 1851 and after. We can let
The Victorian Era go down the waves and "proud Albion" integrate herself with the Europe she bitterly fought and deceived for centuries, "dividing in order to conquer." She might at least find herself ready next year, which she obviously was not in 1963. We can begin to rebuild the world; but that would mean rebuilding our nation, once the ghosts of the Civil War and slavery are absorbed and neutralized.
It can be a wonderful time, for nearly everything can be created anew — if we dare, if we have faith. The 1965-66 solar system demands of humanity faith — a new kind of faith — faith in humanity, faith in the earth, faith in tomorrow. There is very little time left before the bell tolls. But it can be done.