A State Funeral

Mr. Bush was a gentleman, but he was a politician, too, and therein lay the great tension of his life. “Politics isn’t a pure undertaking — not if you’re going to win, it’s not,” he once told me. “That’s the way politics is, unfortunately.”


Mr. Bush’s quote about the need to play dirty in order to gain political power has returned to the public view during his recent state funeral services of “pomp and pageantry.” We all need to pause and ponder on the implications of these words for the externalization of the Hierarchy.

I have been invited to address, at the forthcoming 2019 USR conference, the need to redeem the word “hierarchy,” hijacked from our current political discourse in Western democracies. I have accepted. In fact, it will be a continuation of my 2017 USR talk, summarized and expanded in this blog.

For the spiritual Hierarchy to externalize, as the Plan foresees, the Masters are making preparations to adapt to the physical environment of Humanity (EOH: ASHRAMIC ADJUSTMENT TO EXOTERIC LIVING, 682-701). This includes the field of politics and the need for “a fusion of those principles which govern a democracy and which also condition the hierarchical method.” (see full quote below).

Brexit is an instance of this challenge, as the defeat of Trumpism is for America and the defeat of the extreme political (Fascist)  right is for all Europe and for the entire world.

The Hierarchy must adapt, but Humanity must also evolve as well, if the externalization of the Hierarchy is to successfully unfold as planned, for Light and Love and Power to restore the Plan on Earth, and seal the door where evil dwells.  -JB

: The preparatory work of externalisation, therefore, falls into three phases or stages, as far as relation to mankind is concerned:

First. The present stage [August 1946] in which a few isolated disciples and initiates, scattered all over the world, are doing [Page 572] the important task of destruction, plus the enunciation of principles. They are preparing the way for the first organised body of disciples and initiates who—coming from certain Ashrams—will proceed with the next phase of the work.

Second. The stage of the first real externalisation upon a large and organised scale will succeed upon the above endeavours. These disciples and initiates will be the real Builders of the new world, of the new civilisation; they will assume leadership in most countries and take high office in all departments of human life. This they will do by the free choice of the people and by virtue of their advanced and proven merit. By this means, gradually the Hierarchy will take over the control upon the physical plane—subjectively as well as objectively—of the direction of human affairs. This direction will be in virtue of their known and approved capacity and will not involve the imposition of any hierarchical control or authority; it will simply signify the free recognition by free people of certain spiritual qualities and effective activities which they believe signify that these men are adequate to the demanded job, and whom they therefore choose as directing agents in the new and coming world. Freedom of choice under the authority of a spiritual livingness which demonstrates competency will be distinctive of the attitude of the general public. Men will be put into high office and into positions of power not because they are disciples or initiates, but because they are wise and intelligent servants of the public, with an internal awareness, a deeply religious and inclusive consciousness, and a well-trained mind with an obedient brain.

This stage of hierarchical appearance is dependent upon the effective service of the first group of isolated and hard-working disciples who are the senior members of the New Group of World Servers and who are today working among the sons of men. This second group will take over from them, and theirs will be the task of instituting a more unified preparation for the return of the Christ. The first group prepare humanity for the possibility; the second group [Page 573] definitely prepare for the return itself. They will build for a future which will arise out of the wreckage of the past, which wreckage they will remove; they will instill certain basic concepts anent right human relations into men’s minds. Their immediate group work, when they are coming into power and recognition, will consist of a sweetening and a clarification of the political situation and the presentation of those ideas which will eventually lead to a fusion of those principles which govern a democracy and which also condition the hierarchical method—which is somewhat different; this effort will produce a third political situation which will not be entirely dependent upon the choices of an unintelligent public or on the control which the hierarchical technique evidently involves. The mode of this new type of political guidance will later appear.


Groups of spiritually-minded financiers who are conscious members of an Ashram will take hold of the world economic situation and bring about great and needed changes. All these activities, built upon the preparatory work of the first group, are also preparatory in nature.

Third. The stage wherein Christ and the Masters of [Page 574] the Wisdom can make public appearance and begin to work publicly, openly and outwardly in the world of men. The time of Their coming will be dependent upon the success of the work undertaken by the first two groups; it is not possible for me to prophesy anent this matter. So many factors are involved: the earnest work of the two groups, the readiness and the willingness of mankind to learn, the rapidity with which the forces of restoration and of resurrection can rehabilitate the world, the responsiveness of advanced humanitarians and intelligentsia to the opportunity to rebuild, to recreate and to reorganise the factors which the new culture and the new civilisation will demand. Even the Hierarchy Itself, with all Its sources of information, does not know how long this will take, but They are ready to move at any time.

In the meantime, as the first group struggles with the immediate problem in the outer world, and the second group—still within the confines of the Hierarchy Itself—makes due interior preparation and applies to its chosen membership the needed training and the desired reorientation, the Christ and the Masters are occupied with the task of preparing for the restoration of the Mysteries.  ###




Brexit 2018

DN 81: London, the heart centre of the [U.K.] is ruled spiritually by Leo … and it is, therefore, the soul factor which links Great Britain to France and which should assist spiritually the Leo nature of the French Personality. …  It is the Leo aspect also which links London to Berlin, but it is Leo in its more self-assertive aspect and hence some of the difficulty and hence also the close and not to be evaded relationship between London-Paris-Berlin, a triangle of force which conditions Europe most potently.  It is between these three that the destiny of the race of men in the immediate future lies, and again the question arises:  Will the coming decisions [Page 82] be based upon the good of the whole or upon the good of a part of the whole?

TRIANGLES visualization
for an organic integration of the European Union


[Adapted from:  https://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/europe_map.htm]

From the center which we call the human race, we INVOKE the support of the spiritual Hierarchy to REVOKE Brexit, and EVOKE the Power of Light and Love from the Center where the Will of God is known. -JB

The New Group of World Servers unambiguously support the nonpartisan values we should live by, such as the principle of sharing and internationalism, regardless of any party supporting it. -JB

 The European Union:

 Bound by a common purpose,
regional and planetary in scope,
according to the Plan.

 Two of the five planetary inlets are in the European Union:

  • London for the British Commonwealth,
  • Geneva for continental Europe and Russia.

R&I 586:  … the New Group of World Servers.  All disciples and initiates in physical manifestation are at this time members of that group, which is the focal point of the present effort being made by the Hierarchy.  Through it spiritual energy from five of the Ashrams is flowing.  These five are:

  1. The Ashram of the Master K.H., particularly in regard to the work of education.
  2. The Ashram of the Master D.K. (myself), particularly in regard to aspirants for initiation.
  3. The Ashram of the Master R., particularly in regard to the reorganising and the reconstruction of Europe, from the point of view of economics. 
  4. The Ashram of the Master Morya, as He seeks to find, influence and direct the activities of workers in the political field throughout the planet.
  5. The Ashram of the Master Hilarion, as He supervises the discoveries (and the application of such discoveries) of the scientific movement in the world today.

You will note, therefore, the profound and widespread interest of this field of energy wherein ray energy is now active.

DINA II, 596: The Master R.—as the Lord of Civilisation—is also closely involved; He is also—and this is of major importance—Regent of Europe.

DINA II, 593: Master R. in whose hands lies the rehabilitation of Europe…

DINA II: The work of salvaging Europe, spiritually and psychologically, which is our main preoccupation, must go on. It [Page 499] must be entirely divorced from politics and partisanships, and I am asking all of you who are my pledged workers to move forward in this spiritual undertaking.


Astrology, Brexit and Global Healing

by Roy Gillett

© Roy Gillett – first published by The Astrological Journal, 2016 / The Astrological Association of Great Britain / 01.09.2016

If the three UK General Elections above occurred at times when the astro-cycles were ripe for unavoidable radical change, there could not have been worse astro-cycles than those of the months surrounding 23 June 2016 to hold a vote on an issue that marked a far more important constitutional change than any of them. The actual Bill that called the referendum was debated and received Royal Assent around the first exact Saturn in Sagittarius-Neptune in Pisces square on 26 November 2015. It called for a decision based on a simple majority of those voting. This may suit a by- or general election, whose result can be reversed in a few years. However, a constitutional change, designed to stand for at least a generation, usually requires a much more substantial majority; perhaps 60% of those voting, or 50% of all people registered to vote. The voting was to be on 23 June, five days after the second Saturn-Neptune exact retrograde square.  Jupiter in Virgo was three days from its reckless trine to Pluto that was rising in Capricorn.

EU Referendum

With the associated Grand Cross, the astro-cycles clearly indicated the nature of the campaign; one characterised by confusion, manipulation, fear (immigrants, especially Turks, if we remain; economic disaster if we leave), abandonment of reason, blame and intolerance. Far too many people would base their vote on prejudice or treat the process as a by-election to teach the establishment a lesson.

The outcome and the way it was received could hardly have been more like the nature of the transits. 51.9% to leave was held to be a sacrosanct democratic lifetime decision, although it represented just 37% of the registered voters and 33% of the adult population. Soon after the vote was announced, key leaders on both sides either resigned or withdrew, leaving others to sort out the future. As Jupiter exactly trined Pluto, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn was blamed and was largely abandoned by his parliamentary party, even though his own constituents had voted overwhelming to remain and most of his Labour MP critics’ voters had decided the other way. Was a more long-term malaise in Labour support the real reason?2

When Mars made a direct station on 29 June, Michael Gove withdrew his support from Boris Johnson (“Et tu Gove” was the front page headline of one national newspaper). The Conservative Party originally decided to announce their new leader on 9 September, the day before the third and final Saturn-Neptune square. It seemed that the entire period of that square was to be taken up with the preparation, decision, and then indecision concerning the Brexit vote.

Then came Theresa May enjoying her Jupiter return on 6 July 2016 (could it be near the MC in Virgo with late Scorpio rising?3). This Libran with strong Virgo planets was dominant enough to spare the nation a bruising contest, but her task ahead will be far from easy. In the coming few months, transiting Pluto trines her Jupiter, and Saturn retrogrades back towards her progressed Sun and Saturn, and then forward across her progressed Mercury.

Brexit, Europe and today’s world events in their historical context

UK/EU split

In the midst of this Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces time, as we struggle for survival out of the debris of the massive upheaval of the 2012-14 Uranus-Pluto squares, people all over the world are making massive, poorly-conceived decisions and performing the most ruthless actions for short-sighted and selfish reasons. We are in one of the most unreliable periods in human history, when it is vital to learn from the past. The list (see the ‘Saturn-Neptune 90-degree separations 1900 to 2030’ box at the end of this essay) shows how direly disturbing outcomes associated with Saturn-Neptune 90-degree separations can be.

The 2015-16 Saturn-Neptune square has been greatly empowered by its t-square to Jupiter in Virgo; all climaxing in a mutable Grand Cross through the late spring and summer, as inner planets transited Gemini.

Events for Britain and all over the world could well lead to terrible outcomes, for which our times will be remembered. Is it destined that we are doomed, or can astrological understanding guide us to doing something better with the future?

The Capricorn triple conjunction

With Saturn joining Pluto in Capricorn from December 2017 and connecting to the 1066 English and 1801 UK charts,4 which have their MC-IC axes reversed across Capricorn-Cancer, it would have been difficult for the UK to stay in Europe whatever the outcome. With the triple conjunction transiting across the EU’s Uranus-Neptune conjunction (2017-20),5 it too is due for radical change. So, should we have stayed and helped guide the transition? With less rush to decide, delaying the Referendum vote until the end of 2016 or spring 2017 would have enabled a less frenetic, more considered discussion of the idealism unpinning both sides of the argument.

Because it did not happen this way, the UK has to cope with the bad impression our unilateral decision may have created. Are the majority of British people motivated by self-interest, less concerned with the disadvantaged in the poor parts of Europe; only willing to help refugees if they stay a safe distance away, close to the borders of their country?

It is never too late to turn such impressions around. It could be argued that the EU is a club for the privileged that slowly allows in a few of the less well-off, but essentially operates at the expense of the under-privileged masses in the rest of the world. The astro-cycles since 2008 have been accompanied by so much destruction, suffering and confusion that an anarchy of blame and retribution screams out mindlessly on all sides all over the world. As the Saturn-Neptune square eases into the autumn, wherever we are in the world, negotiations that enable rather than defend selfish interests, that are inclusive without exposing vulnerability, that share rather than exploit, could go a long way towards easing tension. As boiling resentment and outrage cool, will we start preferring to solve our problems, to turn away from the constant desire for revenge that only makes them worse?


Brexit or not, here is what is important for the UK

by Malvin Artley

Why Brexit, why now? What was the real reason behind it?Neoliberalism was introduced into the mainstream, meaning primarily by governments of the US, UK and eventually the EU, starting in the latter half of the 1970s. It is a system that cuts taxes for the rich and corporations, cuts social services and governmental departments, induces austerity measures, moves production offshore for cheaper labor costs, minimizes regulations (another word for public protections), encourages competition and inequality and rewards the very successful while denigrating those who are not. It is neo-liberal ideology that has gutted trade unions and collective bargaining and is causing the collapse of infrastructure in nations like the US, UK and Italy, to name just a few. Common sense says that if taxes are cut and wealthier people and corporations are not paying their fair share, then there is a downward spiral and there will be little left to support infrastructure or entitlements. We would have to rely on the beneficence of the wealthy. The advocates of this system use the word ‘freedom’ as a catch-call, whereas for the average  person it tends to create debt slavery and a meaner society.

The people who came up with the Brexit scheme were a group of financiers and corporatists along with thinkers in shallow tanks centered in the heart of the City of London who have pushed the scheme since 2011. Most of these people were disaffected back-benchers who in reality were pushing a “far-right ideology designed to deliver a low-tax, small state, deregulated economy that will have a detrimental effect on the lives of the very UK citizens they coerced into believing they were voting Leave for reasons other than to negatively impact the NHS, public services, schools and the day-to-day lives of the vast majority of the people of the UK.” (see linked article). Enter David Cameron.

Cameron was PM starting in 2010 until he resigned after the Brexit vote. He is a member of the Conservatives, but was opposed to the Brexit idea, preferring instead to stay in the EU and work to change the regulations from within. This was just after the Lisbon Treaty of 2009, which allowed for freedom of movement between EU member states. From the Eurozone financial crisis of 2011, the Greek debt crisis of 2013 to the migrant crisis of 2015, he had his hands full with the conservatives and a conservative press that was constantly harping on the evils of the EU. To cut a long story short,Cameron called the Brexit vote, but he did so to calm divisions within his own party, not because he thought it was good for Britain. It was a play for domestic politics. Instead, what he got was the UK leaving the EU and his own fall from power. He simply wanted his own party to stop ‘banging on about the EU’.

The tipping point for the British public was the Lisbon Treaty, which allowed for freedom of movement in the EU, even to people from outside the EU. They also saw what happened to the Greeks in 2013. The migrant problem was especially driven home with an influx of Eastern Europeans and the migration crisis brought on by the war in Syria. This was used to great effect by the Leave campaign to sway public opinion. One of the big factors magnified in the Brexit vote by the Leave campaign was xenophobia, not about real issues. For the most part the British public was more concerned about the NHS and home-grown issues than they were about foreigners, but the campaign by the Leave group swung just enough voters by that meme to clinch the Brexit vote. Thus, when it came to the actual vote, it was won by a campaign of intense nationalism, wild untrue claims about both potential immigrants and finances, sloganeering about British exceptionalism and Tory claims about bringing back British sovereignty, when most of the British public had little idea what that term really meant. It should be noted here that neither Brexit nor Article 50 are binding, i.e., they can be rescinded by a vote of Parliament. There would be no need for another referendum should the British decide they wanted to stay.

The directions to the chart of the UK (1 Jan 1801 at midnight, London) on the day of the vote show the directed Vertex and Pluto both aspecting Neptune (governing plebiscites), showing the dubious nature of the vote. Transiting Mars was two minutes away from a square to the natal Saturn, and retrograde at that, a harbinger of bad decision-making coupled with over-confidence and even hubris. Transiting Venus was square the Kingdom’s horizon, showing the split nature of the vote and just behind the MC in the 9th house, showing the possibility of foreign influence in the vote, which there was,from the US (and here) and from Russian oligarchs living in London. And, transiting Pluto, itself retrograde, had just passed its square the natal Vertex axis, bringing up all the subconscious elements that were manipulated in the lead-up to the vote. We should add that the Vertex in the UK chart is conjunct the north node in the 7th house, representing the public in general as a partnership, along with enemies of the state, litigation and conflicts. But perhaps the most revealing direction was that of Neptune to the Pluto/Ascendant midpoint, from the 9th house (again, foreign influence): “The experiencing of a most awkward and unfortunate situation”, as well as “the misfortune to suffer the ill effects of…malicious and deceitful people in one’s environment”.[i] The chart (bigger) is below:

I have heard many people say that the Brexit vote was the ‘will of the people’, in the same vein that Trump’s election was. Neither outcome reflected a decisive will of the populace. Instead, what we had was confusion, protest votes and manipulation on both sides of the Atlantic. They were typical referendums on hot-topic issues, in other words. It is emotions that win referendums, not truth in most cases. Where does that leave us, then? There is debate ongoing in Parliament, with a vote due on the 11th of December. Accompanying that, there is a powerful astrological influence we want to consider here, which began to affect the UK in September.

The particular astrological direction that points to the problems that beset British politics today, and thus the health and well-being of the populace, is of Pluto with its hard aspects, including the semisquare and sesquisquare, to the horizon of any chart. As it happens, Pluto has just entered with a degree of orb approaching its conjunction with the Ascendant of the United Kingdom, the latter being the current political structure under which the UK operates. Pluto entered that one degree of orb, which is the usual orb allowed for a solar arc, around the middle of September this year. I have personal experience with that solar arc, having gone through it some years ago. And I can tell you it is not an easy experience. But when the dust settles, it leaves one on a new course in life. It has been called a ‘major life milestone’ among the solar arcs. There are several such, but we’ll limit our view to this particular one  here.

The solar arc of Pluto to the horizon can refer to many things, but in particular it can relate to relationship breakups, particularly ones where a person is duped or manipulated somehow (Pluto), possible legal troubles, identity crises, deep inner searching and the like (horizon). Perhaps the idea is clear enough. Now, before we get too far into this and jump to the conclusion that this somehow marks the split of the UK from the EU – it may or may not – this does mark the public upheaval we are seeing, the facts from under the covers coming to light, the influence of big money showing through and deep inner questioning about  the place of Britain in the world, Pluto themes one and all. Other than breakups, that solar arc can also simply mean a profound inner searching. Pluto governs the subconscious, the underworld, hidden agendas, subterfuge, the mass subconscious and also regeneration, new growth (as in pruning a plant, for example) and in general, getting rid of the ‘dead wood’. I have heard many people say that there is plenty of dead wood in politics to cut away.


Thank you for this review and summary of causes for Brexit. A hard core of racist xenophobic nationalism mingled with neoliberal corporate interests are two major factors to explain both Trumpism and Brexit. What seems to be missing in the UK is the apocalyptic ideology of the Evangelical fascism, as Chris Hedges calls it. On the astrological analysis, I suggest you also review the Saturn-Neptune synodic cycle, as it relates both to the UK and the rise and fall of the USSR. Great job. -JB


IDEOLOGY STRUGGLES (Saturn/Neptune) 1989 – 2026

(36 year cycle)

The present Saturn/Neptune cycle started very recently in March 1989 and reached its Quarter stage  (+90 degrees) in June 1998. The Halfway stage occurred in August 2006 and the Three quarter stage ( +270 degrees) will occur in November 2015. (The next cycle will commence in 2026).

What might the cycle mean ?

We have given the generic meaning of this cycle as ‘The Implementation or restriction of collective ideals’ – in other words ‘converting ideals into practice’ or ‘preventing ideals from becoming reality’. Whereas the Neptune/Pluto cycle signifies how collective idealism in the form of religion, philosophy and long term societal goals becomes completely transformed and whereas the Uranus/Neptune cycle signifies how innovative intellectual, technological or aesthetic ideas get taken up as ideals, the Saturn/Neptune cycle deals with how ideals which have been created, written about, voiced, discussed or debated start getting actually adopted or put into practice – or are prevented from that happening.

In the Saturn/Uranus cycle we looked at how a new mindset sweeps away the Status Quo, in this cycle we look at how ideals become the Status Quo. Here we shall be looking at the conjunction for clear indications that new societal ideals make their first start to becoming accepted as the norm. Throughout history this conjunction would not so much coincide therefore with the beginning of restructuring, overthrow and later dissolution of the established order but with the early manifestation, the struggle to get adopted and the widespread acceptance of new ideals or ideologies.


In this chapter we shall demonstrate the precise synchronicity between the Saturn/Neptune cycle  and the birth, growth difficulties, peak of influence, terminal crisis and death of Communism as a global ideology. At the 1846 Saturn/Neptune conjunction the Communist Manifesto was published. At the 1989 Saturn/Neptune conjunction the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR crumbled. Sceptics may be justified in seeing this as a coincidence. But as we shall see when the 1882 and 1917 conjunctions, which came in between. fit the pattern, the cycle begins to gain considerable credibility. Historians need to check out this extraordinary 143 year long match between communism and this cycle. See separate webpage titled ‘Communism’.



Saturn-Neptune cycle: the actualization of a dream.

This synod occurs every 36 years on an averaged out basis because of Saturn’s high orbital eccentricity. It will always have as its focus the need to make real an inner vision. A theme of oneness always reverberates through this cycle.


The last conjunction of Saturn and Neptune occurred in a three-passage series (due to Saturn’s retrograde motion) March 3, 1989 through November 13, 1989 at 10-12º Capricorn. The next conjunction will take place in a single passage on February 20, 2026, at 0º Aries. That will be a very significant one because it takes place at the beginning of the tropical zodiac, or the same degree of the Sun as it begins the season of spring every year. The last time Saturn and Neptune were conjunct in early Aries was in 555 AD.

  • March – November 1989 (conjunction, start of first phase)
  • June 1998 – April 1999 (waxing square, start of second phase)
  • August 2006 – June 2007 (opposition, start of third phase)
  • November 2015 – September 2016 (waning square, start of fourth and last phase)
  • February 2026 (conjunction, end of old cycle, start of new cycle)



Each of these phases, or hard aspects, is important. When the new cycle begins at the conjunction, it sets into a motion certain themes (political, social, economic) that will likely be highlighted at each of the following four phases. Not only are the themes similar, but the same regions of the world are often highlighted on the world stage. For example, in 1989, the fall of Russian Communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union occurred. Over 300 million new consumers were freed to participate in the free world market economy. Russia lost its status as a world superpower, but its citizens, and the citizens of its satellites in the Soviet Union, were released (and exposed) to many of the freedoms of the rest of the western world.

In 1998-99, under the first quarter square of Saturn/Neptune (first phase), Vladimir Putin became the new Prime Minister of Russia. By the end of 1999, he assumed the role of President upon the resignation of Boris Yeltsin. A new era was now being birthed.

The opposition of Saturn and Neptune unfolded in 2006-2007. This was a time of increasing dissent by those who protested against Putin’s new policies.  In September 2007, Putin dissolved the government in order to have a “free hand in the run up to the parliamentary elections.”2 He was barred from running for a third presidential term in 2008, but this maneuver allowed him to retain great powers before the new president took office.

The third phase, known as the waxing square, now occurs in 2015-2016. After years of economic and political decline since 1989, Russia is again back on the world stage (under Putin’s leadership), once again asserting itself as a world super power and expanding its range of political influence in many of the same regions it controlled prior to 1989 – and more. Thus, it is easy to make the forecast that in 2016, Russia’s expansion and status as a world super power will likely continue. However, the fourth and final phase of this Saturn/Neptune cycle also begins now and will last through 2026.

The last phase of any cycle is usually the period where all the advances of the first three phases – and especially the first phase – are re-examined and determined to be obsolete. They are no longer practical or useful. They are torn down, as new models for a new future are being conceived. Any remnants of the first phase are pushed aside as no longer relevant, and anyone who still supports them is considered “behind the times.”

The progressive reforms undertaken by Russia in 1989, at the time of the conjunction of Saturn and Neptune, fit this category. They are no longer relevant to Russia. Any reminder of them during the next 9-10 years – and efforts to return to the conditions of 1989-1998 – are likely to fail. Yet there is another new model that is being built and not yet finished, not until 2026. The Russia one sees today is not the Russia of 1989-1998. It will also not be the Russia that will be in force in 10 years. We may see a Russia that is stronger and more powerful as a world super power than ever before. It is possible that in the next ten years, Russia will become the world’s dominant super power. Or, we may see a Russia that once again disintegrates, loses everything it has built (perhaps due to economic mismanagement), and is forced to start anew, just as happened in 1917 (Bolshevik Revolution), 1952-53 (death of Stalin), and 1988-1989 (breakup of the Soviet Union), which were the last three times that Saturn and Neptune conjoined.



Life to Live and Dreams to Dream: The Saturn–Neptune Cycle in Movies and History

by Shawn Nygaard

© Shawn Nygaard – first published by The Mountain Astrologer in 2016 / 04.02.2016

The Saturn–Neptune Conjunction of 1989: What We Stay Alive For

Our current Saturn–Neptune cycle began in March 1989 with the two planets conjunct at 12° Capricorn. On June 2, 1989, the movie Dead Poets Society was released, a movie that captures the essence of the Saturn–Neptune conjunction with poetic precision.

As a teacher, John Keating is not only introducing his students to the class syllabus, he’s also evoking the entire period of Western history known as the Romantic Era, which spans from roughly the late 18th century through a majority of the 19th century and includes Neptune’s discovery in 1846. In the same way that Uranus was discovered in 1781 amidst the scientific revolution and the Age of Reason, and symbolically represent the qualities of revolution and a brilliant scientific mind, it was within an atmosphere infused with Romanticism that the passionate heart of Neptune was discovered. What, then, is Romanticism?

The Romantic Era emerged in part as a reaction to the hyper-analytical and rational mind of the Age of Reason. Yet, it also emerged as a natural next step. After the Industrial, French, and American Revolutions rearranged the order of the external world for many, the Romantic Era continued that revolution internally, focusing on the interior life of the individual. As the external governing forces fell, an internal governing force emerged: the imagination. Most significantly, the Romantic Era “gave privilege to the imagination as a faculty higher and more inclusive than reason.”4 By making imagination a priority, the Romantics were recognizing the a priori nature of imagination — that it’s there first. As van Gogh expressed it, “I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.”5

See, Romanticism has less to do with the kind and quality of books found in the romance section of a modern bookstore and everything to do with the kind of imagination Romantic poet William Blake was describing when he wrote: “To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour.”6 This is the Neptunian imagination that coursed through the Romantic Era. Said poet John Keats, “My imagination is a monastery, and I am its monk.”7 Keats’s description of Saturn that begins his epic poem Hyperion is a far cry from the standard astrological description:

Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve’s one star,
Sat gray-hair’d Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung about his head
Like cloud on cloud.

Romanticism places high value on intensity and depth of emotional feeling, on Beauty, and on experiences that find their expression largely in the arts, from literature and drama to music, painting, and poetry. As a matter of fact, sales of poetry far exceeded prose during the Romantic Era, and culture thrived.


N.B.: I was born during the Saturn conjunct Neptune of 1951-1953. -JB