On December twenty first, the planets Jupiter and Saturn – which are literally greater than 400m miles aside – will seem to return collectively within the evening sky, forming what is known as a “Nice Conjunction”. That is one in a collection of conferences the planets make roughly each 20 years, on account of Jupiter’s orbit of lower than 12 years across the solar lining up with Saturn’s, which is 29.5 years lengthy. On the evening of the conjunction, the planets will appear as in the event that they’re separated by about one fifth of the diameter of the standard full moon, showing to the touch or kind a single sensible heavenly physique. Moreover its visible dazzle, this occasion has particular significance by an astrological lens: it marks the official shift from a 200 yr interval throughout which Jupiter and Saturn made conjunctions primarily in Earth indicators right into a 200 yr interval of conjunctions in Air indicators, marking the appearance of a brand new epoch in a bigger 800 yr macro-cycle.
Thinkers have used Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions to trace historical past for hundreds of years – Johannes Kepler’s early Seventeenth-century trigon diagrams are well-known ephemera from the start of our present macro-cycle. Jupiter and Saturn are the slowest and furthest away of the planets obtainable to the bare human eye, and performance because the brief arms of the astrological clock, sketching the broad strokes of an period. In astrological phrases, Jupiter signifies enlargement, development, and coherence – however also can result in cancerous hypertrophy. Saturn represents the alternative precept, of limitation, construction, and containment, typically thought of the merciless taskmaster of the zodiac. Collectively they’re like life and demise, warp and weft, and their conjunctions sign key moments within the formation of collective actuality.
Traditionally, Earth durations just like the one we’re about to exit deal with materialism, hierarchies, useful resource acquisition, territory management, and empire stabilization (see the late Roman empire, excessive center ages, and industrial capitalism). Air durations, against this, favor the renovation of hierarchies, decentralization, shifting orders, speedy translation, mass mobility, commerce networks, and rampant spirituality. Related historic examples embrace the rise and fall of Alexander the Nice’s empire resulting in the community of city-states within the Greek-speaking Hellenistic world (Air interval 383-185 BCE), the autumn of the Roman empire (Air interval 412-610 CE), the division of the Mongol empire after Ghengis Khan’s demise, and the Black plague’s destabilizing impact on feudalism in Europe (Air interval 1206-1405). Thematically, Air durations are inclined to foster data ages that target the mental, the immaterial, and the ideological – although not essentially in a peaceable method.
I’m a pattern forecaster. A part of my job is about zooming out and taking a look at big-picture information and developments as a way to analyze the current and mannequin key modifications to return. I’ve discovered that astrology, which tracks information from the movement of stars and planets and tries to extrapolate developments and which means from it, is a helpful, evocative mannequin for sample recognition. I’m not alone on this fascination: Astrology is completely booming amongst millennials and Gen-Z, led partly by a renaissance of scholarship across the topic during the last ten to fifteen years, which has restored a substantial amount of classical legitimacy and rigor to the admittedly woo-woo new age astrology of the Nineteen Sixties and 70s.
Speculating on the present transition, as a researcher and scholar of astrology, what sort of shifts do I anticipate would possibly observe? One is a transfer from key social conflicts over bodily territory to struggles within the psychological and ideological realms. Astrologers recommend the sport will likely be “up within the air” moderately than “all too dense”. Which means mass migration and decentralization of energy appear possible, in addition to radical technological development that can make a mockery of Internet 1.0, 2.0, and three.0. (Have you ever observed how a lot of the latest tech, reminiscent of Blockchain, has appeared to finish up being about finance or infrastructure, after an preliminary expansive frisson? That’s very Earth interval, and I consider we are able to count on it to alter.) The world broad internet itself is coming into its Saturn return, a interval historically considered as a troublesome however pivotal coming of age passage. As a pattern forecaster, I’ll be in search of developments associated to ideological battle, surveillance, decentralization, virtuality, exile, subculture, and the avant garde – in addition to shifts within the contours of empire, after all.
As well as, I’ll proceed to concentrate to the present astrological renaissance (whose stars embrace Chris Brennan, Leisa Scheim, Austin Coppock and Kelly Surtees at The Astrology Podcast; Chani Nicholas within the queer-pop-self-help sphere; and Maren Altman on TikTok, amongst numerous others) as its mixture of spirituality, unseen realms, classical analysis and digital distribution is an ideal match for an Air interval.
As on your personal expertise: don’t panic. Components are historically impartial, which implies going from a interval typified by one to a interval typified by one other doesn’t spell catastrophe. Epochal shifts are a part of life, although not everybody has the privilege of dwelling by one like this, since they solely occur each 200 years. Whereas I positively suggest conserving your eyes peeled for modifications, don’t count on all the things to replace unexpectedly – the Air interval could also be upon us, however sure heavenly revolutions are a gradual burn, certainly.