A Greek Tragedy

There is something profoundly apocalyptic in tone when the cradle of Western culture experiences the first paroxysms of economic collapse; a short foray into the astrology of the national map of Greece is therefore potentially illuminating. This will not be an exhaustive study, however, the Cardinal transits which we are currently experiencing are fraught with tension which will have profound and long-lasting impacts upon individuals and nations alike, and certain conclusions may be drawn for Greece, and too for other nations.

The Greek nativity of 1822 (above) is based upon the most consensually accepted of the posited birth-times for the independent nation, and in my view, it is accurate, at least with the retrospective view of the effects of the transiting Cardinal points upon the map. Having said this, the Greek War of Independence lasted many years; the chart above represents the first upheavals of the independence movement, and there is a second map, some years subsequently in 1830 which pinpoints the official recognition of Greece as an independent state by other nations and I shall not include this also, although both appear to be especially vulnerable to the current transits. It might be said that they each represent different perspectives on the Greek nation. When all is said and done however the independence movement was born in the last months of 1821 and the early days of 1822, and that birth signalled the beginning of a process which was to ultimately result in an independent Greek nation-state.

So to the astrology of Greece itself and how that is impacted by the transitory situation. I cannot adequately underestimate what a devastating year Greece looks set to experience:

  • Mercury – Pluto and Neptune – Chiron are clearly vulnerable to the Cardinal transits at this time. There is a great deal of investigative energy here, trying to get to the bottom of causes, to see what peoples’ agendas are and there may well be a serious inquisition to try to work out who to blame. There isn’t much sympathy in the air either.
  • Pluto makes a series of deeply stressful contacts during the latter part of 2009 and well into 2010. The process began with Pluto conjunct Neptune (5 passes from March 09 until October 10). This of course represents a very powerful impetus to transform one’s world-view and fundamental life-philosophy. Greece is being asked to change its perspective and find something other than the base stuff to devote its energy to. Whilst this might sound like a terrifying imperative, it’s a lesson the entire world has to learn, so Greece is in the arguably enviable position of having to do it first. That’s probably a good thing in the long run. One effect of Pluto transits to Neptune is that Pluto’s transformative power operates on Neptune’s obfuscation of reality, and illusions are forcibly dissolved. In an individual nativity, you might say that under this influence it is time to wake up, stop living in cloud cuckoo land and start to get real about what is really important. Another effect is that the principles of idealism and depth are combined, so it is no longer possible to live for superficial values and beliefs and with Neptune configured, money is a decidedly unstable objective. Greece (and eventually the rest of the world) is being forced to wake up and realise that as a nation they have been participating in a mass delusion, life is not about money, but rather it ought to be lived for deeper and more spiritual reasons.
  • What you will immediately notice also is that Pluto makes a near instantaneous conjunction to Uranus, the first of three passes was formed on January 11th of this year and these will finish in November. Pluto conjunct Uranus foretells sudden disruptions, deep instability and a requirement for rather abrupt transformation. The general energy of this combination though is quite undisciplined, people will rebel against the restrictions that are imposed upon them and your average man or woman on the street in Greece will likely not take kindly to internationally or government imposed austerity measures. However it is handled though, this transit is a fast-track to a more mature and sustainable way of life.
  • On February 19th just gone, Pluto squared Neptune by Solar Arc. This is really a big hit of the Pluto – Neptune conjunction being experienced by mundane transit and it promises a very profound and not remotely easy change of perspective. The same theme of stripping away the illusory is intimated, but with the square it is quite distressing and brutal and with the Solar Arc it is absolutely writ large. It represents a rude awakening for Greece, and one that most Greeks probably have no desire to undergo.
  • On October 20th, four days after the final Pluto – Neptune contact by transit, Pluto squares Uranus by Solar Arc. Pluto square Uranus is profoundly revolutionary, so don’t be surprised if there is another Greek revolution at this time, the Greek people will quite possibly take to the streets to protest about their situation and they may well blame the govern ment that took them into the European single currency (and there’s more on blame to come).
  • On May 2nd Pluto squares the Greek Atlantis. There are a few ways of looking at this, but certainly, Atlantis is the civilisation that disappeared from the face of the earth, and this might describe quite succinctly the way the Greek people begin to feel at this time. There is also the potential that Greece might lose some measure of self-determination as this occurs, especially in financial and economic terms.
  • Pluto contacts the Uranus/Neptune halfsum by Solar Arc on June 20th. This portends being at the mercy of external conditions due to an inability to take a stand, the abandonment of resistance, great losses, calamities, catastrophes. Bear in mind that Pluto is mundanely transiting the Uranus – Neptune midpoint throughout 2010 as well. Pluto is simultaneously quincunxing the asteroid 140 Siwa throughout the year. In broad terms, mundane quincunxes signify periods of innate difficulty because problems do not have straightforward solutions. Aspects between Pluto and Siwa are powerfully destructive, and this aspect suggests that financial wipeout occurs because solutions cannot be made to fit.
  • Having said this, Pluto is quindecile radix Panacea on December 14th, by Solar Arc, so a solution becomes a matter of life and death at this time. Often, with this obsessive aspect and the nature of the combining energies, the cure is actually more drastic than the problem and the patient ends up dead as a result.

Now if we move along, we see that transiting Uranus is conjunct natal Pluto on October 11th! I see that without a shadow of a doubt, Greece will undergo enormous upheaval and probable outright financial collapse in October of this year; of course it might hang in there, fighting for its economic life into December, but then the game will be up. Here, without going into too much tiring work for me are the crucial connections in October:

01/10: Pallas cnj Sisyphus by SA – Interminable accounting, working out who is to pay.
01/10: Saturn sq Diana by Tr: Harsh rules are imposed to limit evasiveness.
04/10: Saturn sq Icarus by Tr: Attempts to escape from harsh measures.
04/10: Chiron qx Minerva: The pain of accounting! Legal sanctions are imposed.
05/10: Neptune pll Venus by Tr: The economy is all at sea!
05/10: Uranus sq Mercury: Heated discussions, arguments in the open, sudden dissent.
06/10: Uranus = Moon/Mars: sudden anger, loss of control, open fighting.
07/10: Sun qx Node by SP: A falling out between govt & people, overthrow of authority.
08/10: Uranus = Mercury/Pluto: fanaticism, breakdown of society.
11/10: Uranus cnj Pluto by Tr: revolution! Upheaval! Major collapse and change!
11/10: Moon = Saturn/Pluto by pll: the tragic destiny of the people.
13/10: Saturn = Jupiter/Pluto: Inability to progress, difficulties.
14/10: Saturn = Mercury/Jupiter: the breaking off of negotiations, talks collapse.
14/10: Neptune = Saturn/Pluto by SA: Falsehood, lies & fraud are rife, confusion reigns.
16/10: Pluto cnj Neptune by Tr: a necessity to change perspective, transformation.
20/10: Pluto sq Uranus by SA: major upheavals and disruptions, a change in govt?
23/10: Saturn sq Sun by Tr: the hard work begins in building a new society.

Does this sound incredible? Fantastic? We shall see. Good luck to the Greek people of course!

I am currently working very hard on several projects, writing an ebook (on Orcus) and completing nativities as usual as well as making time for charitable work. I have in mind a few more articles but of course, they are time-consuming and require much research. If you have enjoyed this article then please consider making a small donation so that I can carry on with writing more.

The Power of the Witness

Today I would like to focus on an issue highlighted by several comments and questions that I have received on this journal and by email.  Here are two example questions which illustrate the broad principle I should like to expand upon:

Jacque asks in response to Advanced Vulcanology: aspects of Pluto: “I have Sun trine Pluto, Mars trine Pluto and Mercury trine Pluto.  Ppl find me intense, angry, stubborn.  I can also be obsessive, compulsive about certain things n ppl.

My question is: when you speak about transformation, what do you mean?  How do we transform these energies to help us in our lives and relationships instead of it deteriorating into power struggles and people we love leaving us because they cannot handle our demands, which are draining to them.  Please answer.  This has turned into a great issue for me and I am having a crisis bcoz someone very important to me has left me and I did not even know that the relationship was draining them to that extent .”

In a similar vein, Rachel asks: “I want my Chirotic Awakening now! Is there any way to spur this awakening along, or to call it forth or something?

While both these questions are motivated by differing struggles, life conditions, and indeed, planets, there is no question that they deal with the issue of personal transformation and while the process operates in a different manner for each, the objective is precisely the same. I have dealt with these themes in the past, and two articles spring immediately to mind, in the case of Chiron please refer to The Chirotic Awakening and for Pluto try Pluto and the Personal Planets Revisited, both of these intimate some of the qualities of the specific transits of these profound bodies.

If we raise our perspective just slightly, we can apprehend a phenomenon known as the Observer or Witness. This is an awareness that is beyond our subjective perception of life and circumstance. Now, people will argue that objectivity is impossible, and there are countless treatises in psychology texts and journals which would support such a conclusion, however, objectivity is really only mindfulness, which is a quality of awareness which can be actively cultivated through meditation. It is at the heart of the Buddha’s assertion that “meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance.” If you sit quietly, and this is but a moment’s work, and place your awareness slightly above you and to the right, you will perceive yourself objectively. It is a rather sublime trick and it takes practise, this resulting presence is called the Observer or the Witness. It is a very peaceful practise which promotes objectivity – albeit in small phases – but which eventually transmutes into mindfulness, that being a habit of self-possession (as distinct from formality, which is to mindfulness as pride is to confidence). It is mindfulness which is the greatest tool at our disposal in the ongoing struggle to transmute our astrology into a valuable, edifying  journey, rather than a static imperative.

Pluto is himself the arbiter of this new superpower of humankind, and – if I may quote myself – we owe him a debt of gratitude in this respect: “We do not wake up to the complex and far-distant archetypes easily. I see how completely Pluto has made his presence felt in human life of course, but it was not always so. The Wall Street crash of 1929 (financial wipeout) heralded his arrival, and the creation of an atomic bomb followed quickly, but it has taken a great deal of development to realise the transformative potential of Hades. What is truly wonderful is the understanding that with Pluto’s discovery our very beings were invested with a transformative potential! Previously, our astrology was fixed, now we are all waking up to the power to transform! Such a great gift was not even available to our great-grandparents, they were more or less cursed by the stars (or blessed of course), but now, if we are prepared to take the journey into the underworld (which is the monomyth as described by Joseph Campbell), then we can emerge, like Theseus from the labyrinth, one step nearer to our soul’s objective: Solar self-fulfilment. What a profound gift, and that too is Pluto of course: a gift beyond wealth!

Plutonic transformations are incredibly painful and difficult, but I have seen them occur in those people around me too often to deny their feasibility. I do not discount the probability that the immediacy of astrological insight, applied with a healer’s incentive (and occasionally more bluntly) has pushed people and situations to the point of catharsis, triggering remarkable immolations and Phoenix-like rebirths of the spirit. Sad to say, very much more often I have seen Plutonic processes run unchecked into destructive power-struggles, control contests and various forms of bullying, manipulation and outright malice; so these are not matters to take lightly, however, the process is a necessary facet of the new human paradigm, so we must embrace the risk (feel the fear and do it anyway), because otherwise we will not grow in wisdom, strength or character, and most importantly, we will not understand how to love.

There is nothing more tragic in my view than seeing a person in their 60′s who does not understand how to love. I would not curse anyone with that crushing burden of spirit, but the world is populated with these lost souls, shuffling blithely to physical oblivion, but already long dead in their hearts.

So what to do?

Attend to your own journey, because you cannot force change on anyone else and to attempt to do so is to misuse your power, and misused power has implications for the heart in particular. Unlovingness always manifests in the heart. I was born with a hole in my heart, I had to be resuscitated three times as a baby, the priest was called to give the last rites and that tallies with the experience of my own journey, I have had to learn how to love, and to one extent or another, we all have that challenge to face. You cannot force anyone else to change, but you can change yourself, especially with the path marked out by astrology, and that transformation will push those around you to catharsis, without coercion.

Each major transit, progression, direction represents an opportunity to transmute your soul. This perspective is crucial, it is no good feeling hard done by, or blaming: these are childish reactions to our own imperatives: nobody made your life but you, it was mapped in tenor at least the moment you took your first breath, so where is the blame? If somebody deserts you it is because it is what your soul required, not proof of their innate wrongness. If somebody steals from you then it is marked in both your destinies, thief and victim of theft: by all means pursue justice, but not vengeance. Ask the Witness for the appropriate response and you will find your way.

Now, each planet has its modus operandi. If you can familiarise yourself with the sense impression of each then you will be gifted with a remarkable diagnostic tool; broadly – and I could write vast tracts on each of the following, so be generous with your impressions – the outer planets operate on the personal planets in the following ways:

Uranus: A sense of brittleness, rationalising, justifying, being cold, unemotional, abrupt, making hasty, sudden or contrary decisions. Distancing is a common Uranian tactic, becoming remote, feeling alien, misunderstood, separate, outcast, unwanted, these are the sense impressions that arise when Uranus is operating on your personal placements.

Neptune: The Sea-King always evokes a sense of yearning, either positive – which manifests as a dreamy reverie, or negative – which usually entails disappointment. Wishing things were different, feeling defeated, wanting to curl up, go to sleep, wishing yourself dead, in any way at all wanting to escape, disappear, avoid reality, all these are hallmarks of Neptune’s passing. Being confused, evasive, hard to pin down, feeling victimised, wanting to give up or surrender, becoming exhausted with it all, not understanding others’ motives and actually not wanting to believe that they could be so hard, incompassionate and controlling, these are all Neptunian responses to conflict and struggle.

Pluto: The great leveler, He seems to make our strongest convictions into his playthings and he dares us to up the ante time and again, until one day we discover that we pushed too far and lost it all. Pluto evokes feelings of grainy, filmy discomfort. His influence is always slightly unwholesome, as though something pornographic has entered your aura and tainted the situation. Nobody emerges from a Plutonic situation feeling clean or refreshed: indeed, whatever is the diametric opposite of refreshing and cleansing is Plutonic pressure. If you can learn to feel that sensation then you have a very precise warning klaxon o give you advance notice of lose-lose situations. What do you do when a Plutonic confrontation is on the cards? You disengage, get out, create distance, as much as possible, because Pluto can only wreak havoc in a power struggle and refusing to fight is the best way to fulfil the dual objectives of not fighting back and not getting steamrollered at the same time. Be like a guerilla army, become evasive, Neptune is Hades’ brother, and equally mighty. The sea absorbs, it cannot be held or contained, it is not rigid; you cannot smash it. Plutonic people in overdrive are ten a penny just now, so evade, fence them off. Do you know that when a mortal was struck by Zeus’ thunderbolts they could not be buried amid the general population, they had to be buried apart, fenced off, and nothing would grow there! (There’s an Anunaki theory if ever you heard one). The same approach should be taken with Plutonic people and situations – especially at this time: fence them off! Do not engage! Once you learn this method the situations and people are easy to spot. Covert manipulation and aggression are the advance guard, (here is a fabulous book for spotting and calling out the Plutonians in your life incidentally) and normally they will project Pluto, accusing you of being a control freak, all as a cover for their own deep-seated control needs, but be careful, are you quite sure you’re not trying to control the situation? Invoke the witness and see what’s really going on.

Chiron: Here the major sensations are all about a lack of confidence, insecurity, sensitivity and defensiveness. Chiron’s sign placement is much more pertinent than it is for the outer planets as a rule; so in Pisces, victimisation is a theme, Aries, feeling insignificant and unworthy and  so forth. The sign and house of Chiron is very much the area of life that we don’t want to take a stand over, so we might evade the confrontation (Pisces), or come out heavy, all guns blazing so that our opponent simply thinks it isn’t worth it, or conversely being a complete doormat (Aries). Ultimately, Chiron operates in this exact way, making us so uncomfortable with a given situation or theme that we do almost anything to avoid dealing with it. The situation here is complicated for many by the ongoing oppositions between Uranus and Chiron through much of the latter part of the 20th Century. The oscillation between the Uranian and Chirotic manifestations of distress can be quite debilitating, which gives rise to a tendency to rationalise your pain, to distance yourself from it but to experience sudden and abrupt woundings, and equally unheralded healing insights. For those born in the late 1960′s with all the outer planets in a complicated and interconnected matrix (Uranus conjunct Pluto, opposition Chiron, trine Neptune, sextile Ur/Pl) the situation becomes highly charged, any planet in the mix being activated invokes all the others, especially by major transit.

These sensations and experiential modes are therefore our teachers and if we can listen to them we gradually begin to develop a measure of self-awareness which in turn, gives us a certain power of transcendence. We subtly rise above our astrology which results in greater self-possession, poise and calm.

This then is the key to transformation. To become aware of ourselves and to learn to hold our compulsive, unmanaged and unmoderated innate behaviours in check whilst at the same time to learn to recognise those behaviours in others so that we can minimise the damage that they do to us, gently, using whatever non-aggressive paradigm suits the archetypal drivers of the situation. If we are confronted with Uranus’ aloofness in another, be open, be immediate, try not to be upset by the distance and the coldness, it’s nothing personal, just self-protection. If Neptune is at play, be precise. Don’t let the situation run amok, but rather try to focus on each point or bone of contention and thrash it out (but gently) so that confusion is not allowed to hold sway. Uranus is a great antidote to Neptune! If Pluto prevails, look to Neptune: don’t make yourself an easy target and the best way to achieve that with Pluto is in trying to counter-control. Instead, make yourself scarce, a missing puppet cannot have its strings pulled! If you cannot escape from the confrontation, your best recourse is to simply weather the storm, the less said the better. The Plutonic fires cannot rage without adequate fuel. If Chiron is involved, then (and this is difficult) take it. Don’t fight back, don’t resist, the nub lies in our sensitivity to wounding not in anyone else’s power to wound us. Does that make sense? Their power over us is a phantom if we do not give it dignity with our sensitivity, shame or fear.

And of course, it cannot be the work of a day. Transformation is the work of a lifetime, and it all begins with the Witness.

Jupiter meets Saturn, is the glass half-full or half-empty?

When the big boys of the solar system get together, it can be a real contest.

Angela asks: “I have a Saturn/Jupiter Conjunction in the 5th house. Can you shed any light on this remarkable pairing – valid information is scarce at best!

The conjunction of Jupiter with Saturn occurs every 20 years and is in consideration not dissimlar to the conjunction of Venus with Mars, albeit writ large; while the manifestated effects are entirely different, the discomfort of blending opposed archetypes is common. It is a conjunction therefore containing the spirit of opposition at its core, and balancing is key, but this balancing act is not nearly so problematic as with Venus and Mars. These planets meet up in 200 year elemental cycles and 1980-81 saw the shift from earth to air (although the conjunction moved back into earth in 2000). Strictly speaking, neither Jupiter nor Saturn can be considered personal planets; so their combination is not always easy to apprehend subjectively, the effects are more pronounced when the conjunction is itself aspected by a personal planet. This is extremely important, a peregrine island (i.e. a Ptolemaically unaspected conjunction) of Jupiter – Saturn would be an experientially obscure impetus and you might be largely oblivious to its effects without the – dubious – benefit of major transits or directions.

This article deals most directly with the conjunction between the two, but indeed, all aspects are valid for consideration; bearing in mind that easy aspects tend to favour lower-friction exchanges, not easier ones!

One of the intriguing technical insights into the aspect is determining which planet is stronger. This is much easier to ascertain with Venus and Mars, the nature of that particular conjunction – being personal – is more readily apparent; Mars tends to coarsen Venus and unless the sign of the conjunction is very sympathetic to Venus, thus primarily Libra, but to a lesser extent Pisces and Taurus, then Venus does rather tend to lose out. Venusian qualities are under-represented therefore and there tends to be an Arian self-interest and pushiness in the character that results. With Jupiter – Saturn, the last 200 year cycle has tended to favour Saturn. As a profitable aside, the decade after the conjunction occurs during Jupiter’s waxing phase and the decade before, Saturn’s, a phenomenon which lends some slight advantage over the waning body, but even this pattern has not served to give especial weight to Jupiter during the earth-air transition. The previous century or so has evinced this pattern:

1901 – Nov 28th, 13°59′ Capricorn, Saturn’s domicile (Walt Disney)
1921 – Sep 10th, 26°35′ Virgo, Jupiter’s fall, (Gene Roddenberry)
1940 - Aug 8th, 14°27′ Virgo (1st pass of 3) Jupiter’s fall, (Bruce Lee, John Lennon, Paddy Ashdown)
1961 - Feb 19th, 25°12′ Capricorn ,Saturn’s domicile, (Billy Ray Cyrus, Heather Locklear)
1980 - Dec 31st, 09°29′ Libra (1st pass of 3) Saturn’s exaltation, (Lleyton Hewitt, Zara Philips)
2000 - May 28th, 22°43 Taurus (ruled by Venus, thus within Saturn’s exaltation, also term, face)
2020 - Dec 21st, 00°29′ Aquarius, Saturn’s domicile (trad.)

Every conjunction over the last two centuries therefore (by my reckoning) gives distinct favour to Saturn. Perhaps this is one reason why the combination is considered a “pillar of the community” style of aspect: it provokes a tendency to seek respectability, to be considered reliable and usually gives some measure of civic stardom, since both planets lend themselves to community endeavours rather than purely personal concerns. House positions would be important as well in this matter of weighting; if in the 9th, or the 12th, then Jupiter would be strengthened, if in the 10th or 7th, Saturn would gain more power, but in most cases, Saturn would be given greater emphasis, so he would lead while Jupiter would follow. Caution and responsibility would therefore, over time, win out.

There are, naturally, a great many ‘broad’ effects of the combination because these are not especially precise instruments; I personally find Charles Carter’s remarks very useful (modified in our apprehension particularly for the astrological Zeitgeist) :

It must be considered potentially gloomy, for it occurs sometimes in maps of suicide, especially if it falls in Virgo. It distinctly favours a hard life, with privation, struggle or danger. The native essays difficult though sometimes glorious feats and may acquire fame through performances of great arduousness, either mental, physical or spiritual. It is distinctly a sign of great possibilities to be realised by hard work.”

This judgment makes a great deal of sense. For a start the combination will give the early life a distinct degree of hardship because faith and optimism are curtailed by Saturn’s hard opinions; it is an archetypal struggle between optimism and pessimism that must be balanced by life-experience; a sense of tempering (or temperance) therefore comes naturally to the consideration of the pair as a requirement for realising benefit. Clearly improvement (Jupiter) must be attained through industry (Saturn), and these considerations form the basis for Carter’s insights. For this reason I would say that Jupiter – Saturn contacts have an enormous number of potential manifestations but these are very much dependent upon age and also upon contacts to personal planets and the tenor of the nativity as whole, because neither are personal planets. They cannot therefore be directly expressed.

Other than improvement through hard-work, there can be a tendency to swing, ofttimes rather wildly, between extremes of optimism and pessimism, which at worst will manifest as inflated pessimism (Jupiter operating on Saturn) and this is a tendency that with age might be transmuted through awareness into a brand of cautious optimism, being able to carefully reach one’s goals and targets in life (Saturn operating on Jupiter).

So you can perhaps see that the Jupiter – Saturn contact is not so much a state as a process; as all the best astrology ought to be. Fundamentally it is a test of faith and belief in the bounty of the Universe and this is – in my experience – astonishingly pertinent to the combination, regardless of aspect. Earlier in life there is a feeling that the world is not safe, not giving and plentiful, but with experience comes an adjustment of expectations, a sobering down occurs, Saturn begins to do his slow, relentless work on Jupiter’s excessive optimism and gradually perspective dawns. One realises that provided one takes a responsible and sensible course, great benefits are possible.

The pessimism and gloominess inferred by Carter is also quite easy to decipher. Saturn is moralising and ‘proper’ in the extreme and Jupiter tends to exaggerate these qualities, many people with the contact strong actually struggle under the weight of their own strict moral codes, they feel weighed down by their own sense of justice and self-imposed standards. An inflated Saturn cannot be much fun and one might be considered, or even consider oneself, to be something of a wet blanket, forever putting the brakes on the more relaxed predilections of others in the environment. Jupiter exaggerates Saturn’s sense of responsibility, so this aspect makes the mother who is continually providing cautionary curbs on the childrens’ enthusiasms: “put your coat on or you’ll catch cold,” or “don’t climb on that wall, you’ll fall off and break your neck!”

Looked at in this way, it is easy to see how natives with this combination can ofte end up being pillars of their community. Quite apart from the sense of civic (Jupiter) responsibility (Saturn), Jupiter once again expands the Saturnine 10th house tenets of respectability, achievement and social standing. It also tends to increase ones conservatism, or it makes at best, a serious and committed liberal!

Getting the best out of the blend can take time, experience and a measure of good-standing

As can perhaps be deduced, Saturn needs time to temper his working materials, so it is a combination that takes patience to really kick into gear and begin paying dividends, perhaps because it takes experience to master the sense of fine judgment and timing that the aspect implies. In the dichotomy between risk and caution, there is an early difficulty with taking chances where caution is called for and with opting to play it safe when a gamble would create opportunities; this challenge is always at the heart of Jupiter – Saturn contacts and personal planets connecting with the pairing will often give a sense of how this tends to manifest. If Venus conjoins in some way, then both money and love are areas of immense early difficulty (or at least concern); the native will often tend to stick when they should twist and as a result struggle to learn good lessons. The next time that love (or an investment opportunity) comes their way they will remember the hard lesson from before and be cautious and thus lose an opportunity for happiness or profit or alternately take a wild chance (with an exclamation of “what the hell!”) on a bad bet and find themselves subsequently crushed. It takes a long time for these natives to learn how to judge each case on its own terms and this is because Jupiter overly-inflates the value of Saturn’s experience. If Mars is configured, it takes great experience before the native understands when and how to assert, and it can be a long and painful road to tread for anyone with Mars connected to this pairing, quite apart from the enervation of swinging between periods of high-energy and enthusiasm and general exhaustion and pessimism. Both Mars and Mercury with Jupiter/Saturn tends to speak too plainly when circumspection is called for, and keep its counsel when free discourse would be appreciated, until experience can be brought to bear.

Crucially though, the effects are much easier to isolate when any personal planet is configured, either by aspect or through a halfsum picture. Mars = Jupiter/Saturn will evince the aformementioned effect with regard to energy and assertion, as will Mars squaring Jupiter conjunct Saturn (which is in itself a halfsum picture as well when in tight orb of course).

On the whole though, this aspect is a good teacher, so long as neither archetype is allowed to gain the upper hand, and with time, age and (often bitter) experience, there can be a real power of application and industry applied to worthy goals with subsequent achievement. The highest realisation of the combination is the enlightened judge, the judicious optimist and having faith in one’s responsible, considered nature and ability to keep improving is key to manifesting the best potentials of the combination.

Perhaps Saint Francis of Assisi coined best the mantra for those with aspects between these distant bodies:

“Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Amen to that.