Article: Uranus-Pluto Cycles in History - Palden Jenkins

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4. Uranus-Pluto cycles and the storms of history




We've already looked into Neptune-Pluto and Uranus-Neptune cycles. Here we examine the lightning-and-thunder effects of Uranus and Pluto.


Default human behaviour

Trouble is, we humans tend to avoid exploiting many of our big opportunities when they're offered. We drag our feet and resist change until our arms are twisted behind our backs and the pain excludes other alternatives. We're very accustomed to this behaviour. The outcome is that change-potential accumulates until the dam bursts – and then babies get thrown away with bathwaters. This happens particularly when Uranus and Pluto plant hidden mines and lob missiles at all regularity and stability. Blessings and cruelties unite in their hammer action, hitting masses of people, and conscripting those individuals who, by choice or mishap, are called to ride the wave of destiny or go through the mangle on everyone's behalf.

The Chinese and Russian revolutions of 1911 and 1917 rode on the back of the 1901-02 Uranus-Pluto and the 1906-10 Uranus-Neptune oppositions. The time-delay between energy and outcome, caused mainly by the conservatism of the Manchu and Romanov dynasties, did not stem the pressure for change. It gave change more time to build up into an unstoppable force. Had these dynasties chosen reform decades earlier, they might have fared much better in history – not to mention the people they ruled. The grief Russia and China have seen in the 20th Century could have been very different.

The adoption of default resistance-patterns makes the joined action of Uranus and Pluto a radical and overwhelming force in history – a structure-buster. Thunder (Pluto) and lightning (Uranus)! Frequently – though not always – these two planets can precipitate several leaps in one jump. Then it can take decades to assimilate the outcomes. Evidence can be found from most readers' own lifetimes, through looking at the global and social effects of the 1965-66 conjunction in Virgo – about which more later.


Radicalism and conservatism

Uranus and Pluto do not automatically signify forward change. They bend the bars and blow holes in the walls, leaving us to respond to the acute options presented. One sector of society might take one path, and another sector might take another. It's not always 'the people' who lead and the saturnine authorities which resist – 'revolution from above' happens too, as Mao Tsedong attempted in the 1960s Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Uranus and Pluto have their own characteristic styles of creating resistance and conservatism. They can push people up against their fears, exacerbating resistance to change by threatening insecurity or disaster. Uranus' resistances include the diversion of social energies. Two examples are the starting of the Napoleonic wars and of WW1, both of which captured nascent popular energies which became dangerous to the established order. Yet when one plays with such forces, they can backfire. Uranus can hijack new initiatives by forms of trickery too, as in the revolutions of 1848, when European bourgeoisies filched the restless energies of factory workers to strengthen their own power.

Pluto's resisting patterns include outright oppression and escalation of social control. Two relatively recent examples were the stamping out of protest and the illegalisation of LSD around 1968-70 or, worse, the Nazi takeover in Germany in 1933 (during a Uranus-Pluto square). Here, suppression of minorities disguised the subtle control and coercion of majorities. Another Plutonine example is the use of abject fear and destruction – a recent example being the use of defoliants and napalm in Vietnam in the late 1960s.

Genghiz Khan, master of medieval blitzkrieg, set the Mongols on the rampage around the 1201 Uranus-Pluto conjunction (in Cancer). By the square of 1236-39 they threatened Eurasia, and by the opposition of 1283-86 they ruled much of it. The zenith of the neo-Mongol terror-merchant Timurlenk, reputed for his piles of skulls, occurred later during the major configuration of the 1390s (mentioned in an earlier article), with Uranus and Pluto in opposition. Terror indeed.

There's a hidden twist and kick-back: these forces are, after all, uncontrollable. The energy of revolutions can often turn to chaos, leading to the re-creation in new form of what was destroyed: Louis XVI's execution in 1793 turned into the emperorship of Napoleon by 1799, and Czar Nicholas' death in 1917 lead to the rise of Stalin in 1924. The historical lesson here is that, if forces of change are blocked, they turn savage, leading to excess and consequent reaction, giving power to historical figures with the spunk to take advantage of a situation. Yet such power-holders usually embody something in the collective psyche which craves authoritarian control, even if demanding the opposite.

The influences of Uranus and Pluto are not simple and clear-cut. During the Uranus-Pluto square of 1933-34, a pressing need to reactivate sagging economies after the worldwide crash of 1929 led in Germany to Hitler's rise (he was seen at first as a reformer and national saviour) and in USA to Roosevelt's New Deal (an enlightened move which actually gave background military-business interests an insidious leg-up). Similarly, in the mid-1960s conjunction, there was a mixed outpouring in pop music of both light ("All you need is love") and dark energies ("I am the god of hell-fire..."), bringing very confused archetypes into the public domain.


Chips and peaceniks

Let's look more deeply at the mid-1960s. The enormous breakthroughs occurring at this time were so enormous, rampant and fundamental that, even though there was much subsequent suppression of its fomenters, such breakthroughs crept indelibly into wider public consciousness during the subsequent decades. Their implications have still not been fully absorbed by society. Over time, the scale of suppression has actually helped the growth what has been suppressed: the repeated denial in recent decades of ecological, health, human rights and military issues by politicians, media, scientists and other authorities have led to the undermining of those very authorities' power in the public eye.

Let's take but two elements characteristic of the 1960s (and of the sign Virgo): the microchip and the social movements of protest and awakening. It took until the late-1970s, with the rise of the personal computer, for the effects of the microchip to impact on wider society. Today, at year 2000, the unfolding social implications of this key technological item are but young and incomplete, despite the proliferation of Internet, mobile phones and gizmos galore.

Society has used such technological gains to extend and reinforce its established patterns of business- and media-dominance and artificial amphetamine economics, established a century ago, yet the true social and global transformation arising from these technologies is yet to come. Advance waves of this transformation are symbolised in the nationalist-globalist tensions of our time, in enormous shifts in social values and in the erosion of traditional centralised institutions. More is to come. These technologies have not been suppressed, but co-opted for use in commercial-scientific-military applications, instead of their engagement in public awakening, welfare and change.

Flower Power was a catalyst of many emergent movements which had been lurking under the surface since the 1890s: spiritual and conceptual awakening, ecological awareness, the women's movement, minority and human rights, diet and lifestyle. These impulses erupted in the 1960s on a surprised world, yet they soon went underground, to emerge covertly later on, in little pervasive bits. By 1989 (the Uranus-Pluto semisquare) many of these principles were nominally accepted, or noted, by the world's mainstream. The full tidal power of the changes involved are yet to come. Yes, many women now have jobs and power, yet the integration of feminine values into society is much slower. Yes, consciousness-growth and lifestyle-change have crept in, yet only to the extent that they are kept comfortable and personal. Their wider social, civilisational implications are yet to dawn. But they're closer now than thirty years ago.

In the case of both of these deep historical threads, the likely integration-point is probably the coming Uranus-Pluto opposition of 2046-48, or even the conjunction of 2104. This statement might disappoint some new-agers who prefer transformative quick-fixes, yet the extent of change involved is so great and so deep that it takes such a length of time. History irritatingly transcends our own short life-spans! Planted trees take over a century to become a mature forest. Sure, we reached the Moon in 1968, yet the deeper assimilation of the implications of space travel are still far away – even if ETs landed tomorrow!

Uranus-Pluto conjunctions and oppositions might bring sudden and radical changes, like a cathartic diarrhoea, yet their full integration takes ages. Uranus-Pluto cycles certainly stir things up, yet Neptune-Pluto cycles act as a more fundamental engine of change. If we take the radical teachings on love spread by Jesus, born during the Uranus-Pluto opposition of 6 BC to AD1, we've so far taken two millennia, and we still haven't created Heaven on Earth! So much for quick Uranian action! Yet this man's essential teachings are not obsolete.

-577-576

Ura CONJ Plu

Tau

-521-518

Ura OPPN Plu

Cap Can

-437

Ura CONJ Plu

Cap

-381-379

Ura OPPN Plu

Vir Pis

-323

Ura CONJ Plu

Tau

-264-261

Ura OPPN Plu

Aqu Leo

-182

Ura CONJ Plu

Aqu

-127

Ura OPPN Plu

Lib Ari

-69

Ura CONJ Plu

Gem

-6 – +1

Ura OPPN Plu

Pis Vir

+74

Ura CONJ Plu

Aqu

127-129

Ura OPPN Plu

Lib Ari

185-186

Ura CONJ Plu

Gem

256-262

Ura OPPN Plu

Ari/Lib Tau/Sco

328

Ura CONJ Plu

Aqu

381-382

Ura OPPN Plu

Lib Ari

439-440

Ura CONJ Plu

Gem

516-520

Ura OPPN Plu

Tau/Sco Gem/Sag

582-583

Ura CONJ Plu

Pis

634-636

Ura OPPN Plu

Sco Tau

693

Ura CONJ Plu

Can

773-776

Ura OPPN Plu

Gem Sag

836-837

Ura CONJ Plu

Pis

887-889

Ura OPPN Plu

Sco Tau

947

Ura CONJ Plu

Can

1029-1031

Ura OPPN Plu

Can Cap

1090

Ura CONJ Plu

Ari

1141-1142

Ura OPPN Plu

Sco Tau

1201

Ura CONJ Plu

Can

1283-1286

Ura OPPN Plu

Can Cap

1343-1344

Ura CONJ Plu

Ari

1394-1396

Ura OPPN Plu

Sco/Tau Sag/Gem

1455-1456

Ura CONJ Plu

Leo

1538-1540

Ura OPPN Plu

Leo Aqu

1597-1598

Ura CONJ Plu

Ari

1648-1649

Ura OPPN Plu

Sag Gem

1710

Ura CONJ Plu

Leo

1792-1794

Ura OPPN Plu

Leo Aqu

1850-1851

Ura CONJ Plu

Ari

1901-1902

Ura OPPN Plu

Sag Gem

1965-1966

Ura CONJ Plu

Vir

2046-2048

Ura OPPN Plu

Vir Pis

2104

Ura CONJ Plu

Tau

2154-2155

Ura OPPN Plu

Sag Gem

Uranus' and Pluto's cyclic antics

Uranus has a reasonably constant cycle of motion lasting 84-85 years, spending seven years in each zodiac sign. Pluto orbits eccentrically in 250ish years, spending anything from 12 to 35 years in a sign (fastest and closest to the Sun when in Scorpio, slowest and furthest when in Taurus). Uranus' cycle is roughly one-third of the duration of Pluto's, and there's an elastic twang to their inter-aspects which is elegantly irregular.

Their stretchy orbital antics make for a regular pattern of mutual conjunctions, alternately 111ish and 143ish years apart. The short interval takes place when Pluto moves slowly between Aquarius and Cancer, during which time Uranus easily outpaces Pluto. The long interval happens when Pluto moves fast (Leo to Capricorn), meaning that Uranus takes longer to catch up with Pluto.

Another interesting pattern emerges too. Successive conjunctions usually take place in two signs of the same element (with a little elasticity). Also, Uranus positions during oppositions alternate between one of the conjunction signs and the third sign of the element being featured. Examine the table to understand this.

There are exceptions, and the pattern of opposition positions is not exact. Air sign conjunctions and oppositions were dominant from the 200s BC to the 500s AD (the Roman and Han Chinese periods), water signs from the late 500s to the late 1200s (the Middle Ages), fire signs from the 1300s to 1900 (the early-Modern period), and we are now in a period of predominantly earth sign conjunctions and oppositions.


Classic quakes of Roman history

Here we shall pick out some instances of Uranus-Pluto conjunctions and oppositions, with reference to the fortunes of Rome. Now, it's easy to pluck out examples to reinforce one's point, and the details below might appear like a convenient biased selection. However, anyone who understands Roman history will verify that these stated events indeed are significant – though space prevents their full contextualisation here.

The conjunction of 323 BC (Taurus) brought the sudden death in Babylon, at age 33, of Alexander the Great – his startling Greek empire-building career collapsed. Greek influence continued, though the fall of Alexander's multinational imperial aspirations gave Rome a vacuum to fill.

The subsequent opposition in 264-261 (Aquarius-Leo) saw the first Punic War, a struggle between the Romans and Carthaginian Phoenicians for control of the Mediterranean, marking the rise of Rome as a great power.

During the next opposition (127 BC, Libra-Aries), Rome underwent attempted reform by the Gracchus brothers (reputedly pre-incarnations of the Kennedy brothers), later undermined and ended by vested interests. The Gracchi at least tried!

In the conjunction of 70-69 BC (Gemini) Rome became a military dictatorship, then to be consolidated into a empire around the opposition of 6 BC to AD1 by Octavian Augustus – one of those 'revolution from above' rulers mentioned earlier.

At the conjunction of 74 AD, Rome's army was seriously tied up with serious revolts by the British and the Jews – and the Jews revolted again on the following opposition. At the conjunction of 185-186 the Scots and Britons again revolted, and Rome also nearly fell in an orgy of crime, corruption, plague and civil war.


On the opposition of 256-261 the Persians seriously beat the Romans, capturing the emperor and forcing him onto his knees, and France and Britain became virtually autonomous. Following the 328 conjunction, Constantine moved the capital to Constantinople, since Rome was turning in on itself.

Around the opposition of 381-382 the Visigoths stormed parts of the empire, causing panic and retreat, then later sacking Rome itself on the waning square of 409-410.

From this quick, cursory review of Roman events, it can be seen that Uranus-Pluto turning-points bring a variety of symptoms and mechanisms of change. They signify unexpected wobbles, at times drastically affecting the course of history. One fine example was the ending of Roman republican democracy (such as it was) around 70 BC, leading to the later foundation of the empire – and to Rome's transformation from a brick-built to a marble city.

Another example was the founding of Constantinople around 330, leading to a Roman rebirth in Byzantine form. To end this tale, Byzantium eventually fell to the Turks, a millennium later in 1453, two years before a Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Leo.


Inspiration and perspiration

There's a close connection between genius and Uranus-Pluto energy-blips. Virtually every conjunction and opposition coughs up remarkable advances in culture, invention or instigation. The hitch is that, once the excitement is over, longterm reality strikes again.

The 1901-02 opposition in Sagittarius-Gemini brought us Quantum Theory, Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams", radio, public electrical systems and flight, and the effects of these have been unfolding ever since – with a mixture of enlightening and polluting effects.

A previous opposition in the same signs in 774-76 saved civilisation in Europe (during the Carolingian Renaissance and in the Cordoba Caliphate, Spain). Unbeknownst to Charlemagne, the foundations of the European Union of 1200 years later were laid at this time. Such prescient developments do happen when transpersonal forces work their magic.

This spotlights one characteristic of genius – it anticipates and caters for possibilities unknown at the time. Little did Alcuin the Monk, Charlemagne's scholarly mentor, know that Belgium would later become central in Europe, and little were the Wright brothers to suspect that aviation-driven package holidays would impact so much on Sri Lanka.

The wringing action on the public unconscious of Uranus and Pluto squeezes out images and initiatives which speak to history: in but one Uranus-Pluto hemicycle a paper-and-wood biplane became a lunar landing module, and Freudianism became a sexual revolution. Things move a long way fast, yet much intervenes in between.

At present, many prophecy buffs look toward the year 2012 as a time of drastic change. Though end-of-the-world type anticipations might turn out to be exaggerated, there nevertheless is a Uranus-Pluto square from 2012-15. At a square, new impulses arising from a conjunction are put to the test – there is a manifestation crisis.

The astrologically-logical likelihood for 2012 is that the paradigm-shift issues of the 1960s will be forced by circumstance to deliver their goods: ecological ideas, women's power and techno-globalism, to name but three bundles of issues, will probably have to handle an emergency. War, institutions and boundaries (Aries-Capricorn) are predictable front-runners for likely trouble. Knowing how things are nowadays, this aspect is likely actually to bring a hailstorm of major issues.

But the choices now are fundamental. We need to realise, for example, that war no longer resolves conflicts as once it did. This is now a pragmatic issue, not solely a moral one or the domain of lettuce-eating pacifists. In the twelve years up to this aspect, we possess the choice to make major proactive forward-steps, or to continue delaying and avoiding such challenges as long as possible.

As in 1930, on the previous square, when economic and social crisis demanded drastic action, so around 2012 we tread perilous paths along which the choices we make might have enormous and rapid outcomes. Ten years after 1930 the world was at war. What will the world be like in the decade following 2012?

Since Planet Earth is a world of variety, a variety of things will undoubtedly happen. There will no doubt be both horrors and deeply moving breakthroughs, and (especially for reincarnate Mayans!) it could be the end and beginning of a new age – of some sort! However, this is a square, concerning concrete issues, and the Uranus-Pluto cycle began back in the 1960s. Perhaps the new age began back then, without our realising it, and perhaps, with visionary and bloody stuff included, the full variety is already showing itself.

NEXT: The Next Seventy Years
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The Historical Ephemeris © Copyright Palden Jenkins 1993-99


The Historical Ephemeris
by Palden Jenkins
Astro-historical tables for 2,500 years

 
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