Globalisation and the Uranus-Neptune Conjunction
By André Barbault
A paper written for the 37th annual Congress of the Astrological Association of Great Britain on 30 September 2005.
When working on mundane astrology and taking a worldwide view of history, one aligns oneself on the consistency of repetitive astral returns—such as the Uranus-Neptune conjunctions of 1136, 1307, 1478, 1649 and 1821. One then notices that since the discovery of these two planets the history of Man on Earth has taken a new dimension, as evidenced by the metamorphosis of world society in the past two centuries and the radical transformation of everyday life that has taken place in the past few generations.
Planetary cycles remain the basis of a cyclic time in which from one conjunction to the other a return of the same occurs, which gives a sense of history as a continuous link of events stretching across time and space. It is upon the Uranus-Neptune conjunction in the first degrees of Sagittarius in 1479, through which Jupiter and Saturn also moved from 1485 to 1488, that the great explorers take over the oceans: Dias passes the Cape of Good Hope and Christopher Columbus is just about to land in America (1492). The globe as a whole is embraced by man, who starts travelling it: it is the beginning of the great expeditions that will lead Europe to the colonisation of the globe. We shall see the continuation of this movement when the same planets move through Sagittarius. In the same manner, when the following conjunction occurs in 1821 in the first degrees of Capricorn, an extraordinary industrial revolution takes place, giving birth to our modern society.
Starting in 1992-1993, the Uranus-Neptune conjunction is there again, still in Capricorn, which Saturn went through in 1988-1989, then Jupiter in 1997. This same society is still in its full renewal.
The basic manifestation of these configurations is the conjunction: a synod or meeting of stars, which forms a kind of cosmic egg. This cosmic egg recurs; it is a unity of celestial bodies the alignment of which is the true symbol of an end and a renewal in history, with a basic trend towards unification.
Of course, we could not miss this planetary gathering at the disappearance from 1989 to 1991 of the Soviet Empire, which had ruled the greatest surface of the globe for over 75 years; that is, when the bipolar world with two opposing camps becomes a one-polar world revolving round a unique leadership: the superpower of the USA. But the effect of the concentration, centralisation, and unification of these stellia of the four giant stars went much further and renewed the very foundations of our society, which is in the grip of an unprecedented globalisation, more today than ever.
We must look back to trace the genesis and growth of this globalisation, and to follow its path across history and how the immensity of our globe is becoming smaller, its space drawn closer and closer to us, fitting our human size, such as when today"s net surfer can be present anywhere, anytime and almost immediately at any point of the globe.
To understand the nature of this historical evolution, we must come back to the root of the configuration at the top of the solar system: that is the Neptune-Pluto conjunction. We are inheriting that of 1892, which occurred in the sign of Gemini. However, the preceding one, that of 1399, was also in this sign. Its pure symbolic effect was the entry of Western civilisation into the period of the Renaissance, and the advent of Gutenberg, the creator of printing, born under this conjunction. The first book, the Bible, came out of his press in 1456 while Jupiter was in Gemini trining Neptune in Libra and sextiling Pluto-Uranus in Leo, the Neptune-Pluto sextile being in its waxing phase. Thus the word started ruling the world, when only clerks used it before. The communication of knowledge through print became the true start of our culture.
Gemini, on a Mercury background, is then the archetypal signature of our society based on the values of this "mutable" sign (changing from one season to the next): it implies the fundamental notion of connection, contact, link, and at the same time, of communication, expression, dissemination, movement, circulation. That is reinforced by the correspondence of the zodiacal Man, which assigns to Gemini the bellows of the ribcage with the aerial breath-in, breath-out of the lungs, as well as the most flexible part of the body, the upper limbs, from the shoulders to the fingertips.
The past millennium of our civilisation is more than ever judged through the rhythm of a hustle and bustle of a life which speeds up continuously. Let"s consider the fact that from Alexander the Great to Napoleon, movement was provided only by animals, with a top speed of 20 kilometres per hour. Most people spent their whole life confined to their province without leaving it. However, we can observe that when the giant planets move through the Gemini-Sagittarius (the sign of the thighs) axis the human adventure of travel comes to life.
After Christopher Columbus, we find Uranus and Neptune side by side moving through Sagittarius from 1807 to 1820, when a new revolution in transportation occurs. Steam appears on the seas with the first steamships, and the locomotive is born to launch the era of railways.
With the Neptune-Pluto conjunction in Gemini, in 1892, Neptune moves through the sign from 1888 to 1901, while Uranus goes through Sagittarius from 1898 to 1904. Gutenberg is renewed, because the access to lecture is no longer the privilege of a minority with a vast culture. The spreading of teaching to all levels of society in western Europe gives birth to messenger services, to newspapers and publications, to postcards and to correspondence. The phonograph starts to carry sound and the telephone to carry voice. And then, on the roads, the first vehicles appear: first bicycles, and soon motorbikes. And, with Uranus in Sagittarius at the beginning of the century, a first broadcast by TSF crosses the Atlantic, opening the era of radio, the first automobiles appear, and air travel takes off.
Then from 1945 to 1950 Uranus on its own moves through Gemini and the transistor is created. Before World War II, only well-off people had their own car. This time, a real motor flood makes its appearance throughout the world. US car production hits its record high, increasing eightfold from 1945 to 1950. Highways are built everywhere and this wave of vehicles gradually reaches the countries of western Europe. At that time, to have a car of one"s own was an aspiration, a major event in one"s life. In parallel, personal phones and tape recorders are used daily and television starts broadcasting images into the home. In the US, the production of TVs went from only 7000 in 1945 to 6 millions in 1952. To live in a Gemini way is not only to read, to write, to drive; it is also to be connected to all, to receive the world at home by means of sound and image.
Then from 1970 to 1988 the double transit of Sagittarius by Neptune and Uranus occurs. These are two decisive decades, which open the era of aviation to the public at large. How far is my first flight in an old crate in 1934!! And in our countries, we used to look up again and again at the "planes in the sky as if it was a tremendous event... According to official figures, world air traffic from 1969 to 1980—one single decade—increased almost fourfold, going from 350 to 1200 billion passenger kilometres, while air freight increased six fold. One must remember that, previously, great journeys used to make people dream because they were the privilege of wealthy people, and your parents or grand parents, when they chose to take the train to escape their daily life, hardly went to the closest beach. During these two decades, air travel became commonplace: everyone or almost everyone became used to it, whether in private or package tours, and to faraway places. In short, man has become a planetary person; a trip around the world is no longer an adventure beyond reach. The collective Neptune being in an air sign reinforces the technological progress of Uranus in the adventure of space. The first inhabited spaceships in their orbiting station make their appearance with Saliout in 1971 and Skylab in 1973.
The American and Russian vehicles rotate around earth in less time than one would need to drive through Paris when traffic is busy. It is the decade of space shuttles which come back on earth: Columbia, Challenger, Discoverer, Atlantis. It is the prefiguring of charter flight for future tourists of space. The masterpiece of the adventure of space is the epic of Voyager 2, launched from the top of the rocket Titan Centaur on 20 August 1977, which flew very close to Jupiter in July 1977, to Saturn in August 1981, to Uranus in January 1986 and to Neptune in August 1989. During these years the four giant planets crossed the sign of Sagittarius. That crossing of Sagittarius corresponded to an increase in telecommunication: telex, computer terminals, Minitel, CB. And so voices, texts, charts, images reach us from everywhere.
We can thus notice that, in a staged way, we are conquering the world, a world that more and more takes a human dimension. From Christopher Columbus to the New York/Paris Concorde, 9 months to cross the Atlantic became 3 hours 30 minutes. And each step forward brings populations of the globe closer to each other. Globalisation is already under way. Air travel has created new world tourism, through which very different people meet other very different people in international airports. Everyone shares common lifestyles while using the goods of others. And, if it is not air travel, then every day TV broadcasts images of what is being experienced elsewhere in the world, with children everywhere playing the same video games. In sum, an international ecological, economical, technological community, the interdependence of which connects us more and more each day to the fate of all. So we are all going to meet before long. In many different respects we are all of us living similar lives, enhanced by the computer revolution and its technologies of communication.
If the industrial revolution, which stimulated matter during the first half of the nineteenth century, is a matter for the Uranus-Neptune conjunction, the computer revolution, which stimulates the mind, can be associated with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965, which occurred in the Mercurial sign of Virgo. During the 1960s and 1970s, information technology re-engineered electrical appliances (the programmed washing machine, the microwave oven...), industrial equipment, goods facilities. At that time, computers on the market were enormous machines for the processing of general data or for industrial use, first for factories, then for offices. For French astrologers, 1968 is the year when the big computer "Astroflash" delivers personal birthcharts to the public at large in Paris on the Champs Elysées. The "micro processor", this "chip" which is about to miniaturise computing—this is the concern of Virgo transited by Uranus and Pluto—appears only in 1971 with a first microcomputer, like ours, dating from 1973. And in 1983, we astrologers are using only a pocket calculator to draw our charts, with a Casio for German astrologers, and a Sharp for us.
It is by no means happenstance when an advance occurs at the biggest planetary concentration of the century, the symbol of a significant renewal of society, when five great conjunctions concentrate in almost three years. In 1980 comes the creation of the first personal IBM computer, "Minitel", usable by anyone for personal or domestic ends. Then in 1983-1984, Apple starts marketing MacIntosh, while Microsoft creates Word and develops Windows. This is the time when computing for all starts. From then on ( under a low cyclic index, the lowest since centuries—we can assess the world stock of personal computers. We go from 10 millions in 1980 to 150 in 1990, and sales are still increasing.
This giant advance, under the triple conjunction of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in 1988/1989, will lead to the (if not one of the) extreme phenomenon of globalisation, with the birth of the Internet.
Admittedly, Internet has its past. First, it is a small experimental network used by a dozen institutes for research in the USA. After a long progression, one thousand computers are interconnected in 1984. And, in 1990 (France Telecom has just been born), there exists a world network, which is limited to civil research. Then in 1991, World Wide Web (Internet network) opens the network to all. In 1986 Internet surfers numbered but 2300, going from 16 millions in 1997, to 124 millions in 2000 when 9500 billion items of information are supposed to have been exchanged.
By electronic mail, everyone is instantaneously connected to the world, the screen giving an unlimited choice of exchanges, information, acquisitions, and experiences. Coming behind telephone, radio and TV, this great tool of communication allows us to be present anywhere in the world, from home or elsewhere, any time, simply by writing the handle of the other. In some way, it is the advent of a personal globalisation
If the Internet developed with the Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction, it becomes an historical event of globalisation when the conjunction of Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus occurs in 1997—the time of the incredible growth of cellular "phone sales. The computer rush is indeed stunning during the last years of the century, so much so that the number of Internet surfers is multiplied by four from 1997 to 2000. According to the estimates of OECD 2001, North America went from 46 to 168 computers per thousand inhabitants and OECD from 23 to 82. This is a decisive impetus; our globe is now covered with myriads of communication networks. The signature Gemini is coming back completing its goal: with a hyperlink. Because of the near instantaneity of the mail, in front of the computer keyboard, we have the world at the tips of our fingers. It is the triumph of the digital age, a peak in globalisation.
Another expression of the planetary trio of 1997 is the immediate social repercussion of the Internet phenomenon: the emergence of a new world civil society which is taken into consideration in the great international debates: as if from Uranus we were going to Neptune. Let"s consider the nature of this astral duo.
Uranus has a symbolic value of verticality, a place of uniqueness expressing itself in the individual by giving him his sense of identity. It represents a natural longing to spread one"s power in the world by one"s power of innovation, and since its astronomical discovery has contributed largely to the founding of modern civilisation.
Neptune has a symbolic value of horizontality, of breadth in an ecumenical sense. It expresses a frame of mind ready to inhabit the world or to be inhabited by it, by identification with a collective or universal cause, entering the service of one"s faith, an ideal, an ideology or a utopia.
Between both, from fire to water, from dry to humid, from tight to large, a ratio exists, from unity to multiplicity, from core to group, from single force to mass power, from density to vagueness, from stunning evidence to potentiality, to latent state, to virtuality.
It is not surprising that Uranus was discovered only a few years before the French Revolution of 1789 which proclaimed the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen" that instituted individual freedom. But the nature of the planet being to centralise power, it ended up in a monopoly, in a monolithic attitude close to fascist totalitarianism: "One Nation, one Reich, one "Fürher". In front of it, in the days of class struggle, Marxism brandished its Neptunian rallying cry "Workers of the world, unite!".
Today, the major Uranian fact of our society is the computer, which is becoming its ruler, whose destiny is to become the distinctive sign of the people of the Western countries. And it leads us to the unknown of tomorrow. Through its numerical models of various species, it offers us a new virtual field, a world of subtle realities, probably influenced by Aquarius that it just left. As for Neptune, its last identity card was given in a universal declaration of UNESCO on 2 November 2001 "Cultural diversity is for mankind as necessary as is biodiversity in the order of living".
Why this defensiveness? The concentrated force of Uranus" oneness standardises, while encroaching upon the surrounding space. Consider the desperate similarity of modern shopping areas in large cities around the world: what a lack of imagination! It is a power that dominates naturally as does, for instance, Hollywood, which can be seen on the screens of all countries. The products of the film industries of other countries that are in a Neptunian position around the Hollywood centre stand out with difficulty, in spite of assistance from their governments.
This brings us back to the triple Jupiter-Neptune-Uranus conjunction of 1997. That year, Uranus and Neptune expressed themselves in a new way on the very ground of globalisation: facilitating a general climate of protest against a kind of state control.
On the Uranus side, one can see established economic powers creating a neo-liberalism through their institutions: the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and even the G8. A nucleus of white-collar men mostly of the same colour, busy debating the great issues engendered by globalisation.
On the Neptune side, one can see the development of a loosely formed network of resistance, without a centre or a structure, but all around with its only common thread, the Internet, which has become its sword and its shield. These are paragovernmental agencies. This group of associations, a true loose galaxy that we can count by the hundred thousand, spreads out in the whole world, a swarm connected through the Internet, wanting to become a power that challenges established authorities, campaigning for the respect of the values of civilisation by men in positions of power because of money. "Man is not merchandise". This community voice takes the name of "altermondialism".
In 1997, there is a first confrontation between the OECD and a consumer protection group protesting against the power and influence of large corporations on the self-determination of countries. The publication of the debate on the Internet met with such support from the ONG (the para-governmental associations) that the OECD gave up its project. A movement takes shape, and demonstrations at the WTO meeting in Seattle in November 1999 with 50,000 representatives from 700 organisations, put an end to the designs of our leaders. This leads to the first International Social Forum, held in Porto Allegro, Brazil in January 2001 (under a conjunction of Sun and Neptune). Since then, this movement has organised various demonstrations to debate alternative scenarios that would respect the environment as well as the rights and values of man.
1997 is the year of the Protocol of Kyoto when, for the first time, the international community takes measures for the protection of the Earth"s climate. This same year is also a turning point for the genetics revolution with the cloning of a ewe, then the following year a calf. Furthermore, between 1996 and 1998, the area under cultivation of transgenic cultures increases tenfold, going from 2.8 to 30 million hectares, the starting point of an increase in agricultural transgenic products, a question largely discussed. We are not far from year 2000, which is going to be celebrated as the year of the genome, the international decoding of DNA having become an achieved prestigious aim.
To appreciate the significance of this triple conjunction of 1997, I allowed myself the indulgence of comparing it to the preceding one of 1830/1831, when Jupiter had moved on the Uranus-Neptune conjunction for the first time since 1821. It really was an historical turning point. Within the context of the European revolution of 1830, democratic society was making its appearance with liberal bourgeoisie taking power in France this same year, and an electoral reform being decided in England, and even in the USA, with the first election of a self-made man par excellence: General Jackson, the symbol of the democratisation of American politics. Furthermore, 1830 was considered the turning point of industrial revolution in this country of free enterprise.
In fact, this industrial revolution had an earlier beginning. It dates back to the imposing equilateral triangle of the 1770s connecting in the earth triplicity: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. It was an extraordinary harmonic configuration at the time of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, with their newly liberating ideas accompanying the progress of technology and the enthusiasm for science; in other words, nothing less than the beginning of man"s mastery over matter. But there is a delay between the publication of the Encyclopaedia of Diderot and the advent of a culture of machines. It is in fact during the three Jupiter-Uranus-Neptune conjunctions of 1817 and of 1830-31—and the important one of 1821—that this industrial revolution took shape.
With 1830, comes the launch of a new creative spirit and the application of new energies emanating from the human mind and overcoming the animal and human strength. The steam engine of James Watt—patented in 1781, the year of the discovery of Uranus—is adopted on an industrial scale and the predominance of the railway begins with the opening of the Manchester-Liverpool line. Since the middle of the 18th century, the world has been interested in electricity. But as yet it is only an after-dinner entertainment or a lab curiosity. And it is in 1831-1832 that with Faraday, Ampere and Pixii, electricity emerges as a leading force: it is a birth of the "fairy electricity" that will become the reigning queen, our modern society being fully and completely under the power of Electra! In the meantime, the earthy sign of Taurus has been transited by Uranus from 1851 to 1858, by Pluto from 1851 to 1884, and by Neptune from 1875 to 1888. It"s the era when man at last fully exploits the resources of the land by extracting from the depths of earth its energetic and mineral substances.
The world production of coal has already gone from 90 to 125 million tons during the single decade of 1850/1860. It reaches one thousand millions at the beginning of the following century. The turning point of 1850 is also the time of the gold rush, the world stock of this precious metal increasing by a half in about 15 years, while the giant race for oil starts in 1860.
With the coming into use of modern agricultural equipment, industrial agriculture is also starting. The production of corn in the USA doubles in a single decade, 1870/1879, while cattle breeding and farm production intensify. It is also the reign of property ownership and genetic inheritance. Money circulates as never before. The expansion of capitalism spreads out with the arrival, at mid-century, of banks and department stores: with an increase in construction, the beautiful city centres are taken over by great blocks of flats, by massive buildings with overwrought façades. In short, it is the triumph of materialism, of finance, of capital in position of power; in other words, of capitalism!
The transit of the slow-moving planets through Gemini and then Cancer brings in an era when world society is becoming less rudimentary and much more complex.
The metamorphoses of history are so considerable from one era to the other that, while searching for our future in the past through the repeats of the same cycles, we have at our disposal only a calendar made of blank pages, because we jump from the steam engine to the computer, and this does not help us much. For example, in the special 21st-century issue of l"Astrologue no.92, 4th term 1990, I formulated my opinion about the configurations of the time thus: "We must now wait for the next conjunction of 1997—a prestigious year in perspective—for us to feel like we are coming out of the tunnel and to see the landscape of the new world standing out at its dawn. If 1983/1984 was to 1989 what a conception is to a birth, we can expect a second birth in 1997".
We can admit an obvious relation between the personal computer appearing in 1980/1984, the Internet which results from it in 1990/1991, and the consequent changes in our society since 1997. I had not thought of that kind of change, but about the last one I wrote:" We will see a true general revolution of minds which will renew all levels of society: scientific era and new technology, fresh artistic time...".
To come back to the comparison of the triple conjunction of 1830 and ours of 1988, we can admit that the first date is to the creation of electricity what the second is to one of its results, the Internet, which is a top in globalisation. Democracy put down its roots at the same configuration of the nineteenth century, so we can imagine that it could be emphasised a lot with the triple conjunction of the twentieth century. It is not yet obvious, but time hasn"t elapsed enough for us to be able to judge.
Anyway, we are at but the beginning of the new Uranus-Neptune cycle. On the synoptic table included here we can see its waxing phase, which will stay waxing during the greatest part of the new century. This spectacular graphic representation informs us that we are going through a major historical turn; to the point that the last few years could be more significant than we think they are, because time has not elapsed enough for us to judge. The Internet, which just arrived, is not an end but a beginning and we can"t see the forest for the tree.
And it is not merely a simple beginning of a great cycle. There is much more. Look at the chart drawn for 2000 and consider it as belonging to the twenty-first century.
Here, the five slow-moving planets are following each other on the same side of the chart, one behind the other in the same order as their respective speed, with Jupiter leading and Pluto at the end. We have here an exceptional waxing single phase of the ten major planetary cycles, this waxing phase going from the conjunction to the opposition.
This phenomenon is not common. It occurred in years 4 and 5 before Christ, which was the supposed birth of the Christ, and the last time it occurred was in 1489, when Christopher Columbus, Diaz and Vasco de Gama became the masters of oceans. Here again the evolutionary waxing phase of all cycles showed Gaia entering a new age of its history. There is, as well, an obvious analogy between these great navigators who took possession of the world and our actual web surfers who, in front of their web, also take possession of the world.
The graphic of the century shows that if during year 2000 the ten great cycles were all waxing, they became nine in the second part of 2001, then went down to 7 in 2003 and 6 in 2004. We need enough time to elapse to be able to make an historical judgement of this waxing plethora of year 2000.
This phenomenon reminds us of the chart of the Great Year, an assumption of a cosmological unity of a time that starts at a conjunction of all planets to end up at the complete return of all conjunctions. It"s the beginning of the sky, of the celestial prototype of an initial state of he world, since this single meeting of all stars of the solar system is its origin... the root of all rhythmical unities moving within the cosmos; in short the common starting point of all 45 cycles of the solar system.
This first configuration is not within our range, so we consider only the point where all planets are moving the closest to each other. These segments of the greatest planetary concentrations form the chart of a micro great year which recurs every 5 centuries, when the 5 slow moving planets meet again very close to each other, their cyclic index (the addition of their respective distances) going from a minimum which plays the part of a turning point from one unity to the other.
The following figure shows the scenario of the last micro great year, which in fact ended up with the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of our time.
This time is called by historians such as Arnold Toynbee, "The civilisation of Western Christianity". It was born in the triangle of the great conjunctions of 1399, 1456, 1479 and it is not surprising that this time was called "The Renaissance". At the other end of the line, the great changing of our society occurs within the quadrilateral which surrounds the last Neptune-Pluto conjunction of 1892. We can notice that our present Uranus-Neptune conjunction ends up this mini-great year. It is the turning point between an ending civilisation and a new one of five centuries which is beginning.
If we take time to consider a set of centuries to have a panoramic view of it, we discover that the situation is not unique. We find the same set of configurations in the same way as a mountain range which changes depending upon the point of observation. Like history itself, which is multidimensional, our view cuts across different operative fields.
One of these fields which best fit a secular cosmogram is the cyclic index. It gives an account of the angular distance of the solar system by the sum of the distances between planets, counted from 0° to 180°. When counting for a century, the ten cycles of the slow moving planets are the only ones taken into consideration.
The reading of this index is easy. When the solar system dilates in the expansion of a set of waxing cycles (from 0° to 180°), the line goes up and it corresponds to an expansion, a development, an achievement of world society. When it retracts with the waning cycles (from 180° to 0°), the line goes down and world society regresses in the grip of its problems. The minimum index, at the lowest point of the curve, corresponding to the conjunctions, is all at the same time the trough of a wave, a final point of crisis and an inversion of current, a contraction before it rises again. In the same way, the maximum index, with the curve at its peak, according to the quality of the configuration of the moment (oppositions or harmonics), has a value of peak, of summit, of expansion, or of limit from which the line goes down which leads to a new crisis. The ups and downs of this curve reflect a phenomenon of expansion and contraction corresponding to the dilatation retraction of the planetary field that matches the dilatation contraction of the ocean and its tides.
By comparing this diagram to history, one soon notices that dramatic points of history match exactly the troughs of the curve. But we can better appreciate the consistency of the correlation between waxing and waning phases to the periods of construction and destruction throughout history.
Thus, while forgetting the first trough of 1906 (which corresponded to a climate of great social conflict, the start of the European division of Triple Entente against Triple Alliance, which would lead to war), we notice first the trough from 1911 to 1918 which starts with the first Balkan war to the peace of WW1, which corresponds to the lowest point of the curve. With the points of the curve becoming higher from 1919 to 1927, there is rebuilding following WW1. A new low on the curve from 1928 to 1933 heralds the great economic crisis between 1929 and 1933. The big low from 1936 to 1945 starts from the first attacks of Hitler, with new wars (Ethiopia, Spain, Manchuria) at the end of WW2, this low corresponding also to the lowest point of the curve. A new rebuilding follows the war with the new rise of the curve from 1945 to 1950.
Again a trough starts in 1950 with the war of Korea, the climax of the cold war, followed by the war of Algeria, the lowest point corresponding to the tragedy of the Soviet intervention in Hungary and the missed French-British expedition of Suez. While the highest high of the curve in the century occurs from 1956 to 1964, the growth and expansion of the sixties are euphoric; the trough of 1965 goes with the American military intervention in Vietnam and the lowest point in 1968 corresponds to the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, and the rebellion of world youth. A new trough in 1975 corresponds, in the autumn 1974, to the new great economic crisis of the century, with the return of the cold war. The extreme trough of 1982/1983 is not only the climax of the crisis: a widespread recession with 31 million people out of work in the West, a tension because of European missiles, all against a background of depression, delinquency, drugs and terrorism. It"s also the appearance of AIDS, which is still destructive. With the rising of the index from November 1982 to July 1990, we find both a return to the economic expansion and also reconciliation between East and West, ending the cold war. The peak of 1990 is very close to the fall of the Berlin Wall—a peak in history—which liberated eastern Europe, and to and Gulf War as well as the negative consequences of the disappearance of the Eastern bloc. To finish it, the low point of 1997 corresponds to the Asian economic crisis, while the index is reaching a peak as we are entering the new century.
Another correlation reinforces this first result. This cyclic index can of course be treated in a complementary way. Besides the variation of the index in itself, we also have to take into consideration its trends over time; I mean its rhythmic pulsation, the tempo of its own movement. Thus the cyclic index of 1 January 1900 is 1066°, the one of 1 January 1901 is 1069, and the one of 1 January 1902 is 1044°. This means that there is a difference of 3° more in 1901 and 25° less the following year. It is interesting to question oneself about this variation of the cycle during the century.
At once, we observe a low in 1914, when WW1 starts. During the year, the index goes from 1001° to 911°, a loss of 90°. Another burst occurs in 1927 with a loss of 27°: the economic expansion of the time becomes stormy and prefigures the great crash of 1929. The century record is reached in 1940, the index going from 828° to 685°, an enormous loss of 143°, while 1939 has its own record with a loss of 124°. It is the start of WW2. Then, in 1952 (loss of 150°), the time of Korean War is extremely critical with the atomic madness at the core of the cold war. Then 1966/1967: the Chinese Cultural Revolution follows, with student rebellions in 25 countries in 1968. Then again, in 1978/1980, the big oil crisis pushes the world into an economic crisis, with an imbalance generated by what is happening in Afghanistan, Poland, Iraq and Iran.
The last loss corresponds to the Gulf War. Thus we can see clearly that the intensity of the fall of the index corresponds to acceleration or trigger of crisis. This is in contrast with the highest of the index (maximum growth) for 1959/1962, the champion years for prosperity and economic expansion. We shall notice that the very last years of the century show a peak in the acceleration of the index, which goes hand in hand with a cyclic index surging under the pressure of 9 to 10 waxing cycles, to the point that it reaches a top on 1 January 2003. A high of 572° (508°-1080°) from 1 January 2003, with a record growth of 124° in 2000. This symbolises an imposing beginning for the vital state of the world, a new departure for Gaïa towards a new adventure, a brilliant kick-off of the march of history with a full suite of potentialities. It"s still too soon for us to assess the long-term effects of the present astrological situation.
Here is the cosmogram of the twenty-first century with its rhythmic index
We shall not make a predictive analysis of these diagrams. But we can still notice that the three super cycles of the Uranus-Neptune-Pluto trio are at the same time in a waxing single phase during the first half of the twenty-first century, and this should promise the advent of a new humanity. We can also add that the waxing phase of Uranus-Neptune from the conjunction of 1993 to the opposition of 2080 inspires us to consider the preceding cycles. The reign of Spanish Europe of Hapsburg occurs during the cycle of 1479/1650, going from the merger of Castille and Aragon, creating the Spanish unity (1479), to the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). The reorganisation of the world order during the following cycle of 1650/1821 is to the benefit of France, which is dominant during the waxing phase (1650/1735), then on the waning phase it is dislodged by England which, in turn, will become dominant on the waxing phase of the next cycle from 1821 to its opposition which occurred at the end of WW1. Then America takes over, reigning supreme since the last conjunction of 1992, and possibly maintaining its hegemony during the waxing phase of the new cycle. But it could be called into question at the opposition of 2080, which constitutes an ultra-critical turning point.
But let"s come back to the understanding of our history. So far, I have studied the synod under its brilliant and creative angle, considering the conjunction as a birth, a renewal of a cycle. The full time of globalisation taking place now is perceived as a delivery of civilisation of great significance. It is the trend that we can observe from a semi-millennium to the next one, near the markers of the micro great years: the birth of Christianity, the Renaissance, and the Middle Ages (this one lasted for two units of a micro great year and is a disputable case). But the synod is a double-face Janus: in its end is also its beginning. Its shadow side is that it can as well be the end of a cycle, the death of what was there going hand-in-hand with the start of what is new.
Since the Uranus-Neptune-Pluto triple conjunction of minus 574, which corresponds to the significant historical event of the genesis of our civilisation, we have: the birth of our Judaeo- Christian era, the advent of religions, and the birth of Greek rationalism. The worst calamities that man suffered have coincided with the strongest planetary concentrations. Besides, the ancients used to consider doriphories as ends of world. In fact, at the turning point of 449/450 of a micro-great year, when the five slow-moving planets were gathered on an arc of 70°, we find the collapse of the Roman Empire. During the second millennium, the two narrowest differences between planets occur first in 1347 (a concentration of 70°) when the famous black plague takes one third of the European population in about 20 months, then in 1446 (a concentration of 80°) when the civil war of Constantinople sounds the knell of the Western Empire. As for the marker of the micro-great year of 1485 (a concentration of 73°), the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of 1479 forms the generation of Copernicus and Luther; it reminds us that the sailors of Christopher Columbus brought syphilis to Europe when the following great planetary concentration occurred.
A goat grazes where it is tied. When we explore an unknown space we learn very gradually of all its parts, and the idea that we have of it changes with new perspectives. In my research, I have paid personally for these mistakes. This resulted in particular in an excessively dramatised forecast for the conjuncture of 1982 when the cyclic index was very low. Of course we did not have a WW3: I had feared it at the beginning, then I had put aside its danger. Nevertheless the danger was real, with the threat of a confrontation of European missiles in 1983. We must accept that our knowledge is revisable due to the limits imposed by an incomplete interpretation. With the benefit of hindsight, my pessimism had its raison d"être, because we did experience a great recession.
In a text of issue no.28 of L"Astrologue (fourth term 1974), while studying the cyclic index of the twentieth century, and while comparing its low to the ones of the two world wars, I wrote this: "1981/1984 may be the third black spot of the century when death triumphs over life, whichever the aspects under which it will act" Then I added "But nothing allows the interpreter to specify that it must necessarily be a third repetition of an international warlike fact. Other dangers are conceivable: a great famine, an ecological crisis...". And somewhere else, while seeking what could occur in reference to the past, I came very close to the central point of the target, without believing it, because at that time medical authorities were convinced that the era of pandemic was gone. "For lack of epidemic or Barbarian invasion...". And at the beginning of the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 1981/1982, AIDS appeared, its sexual impact being given by the sign of Scorpio, through which these planets were moving, and by Pluto, which was about to enter Scorpio. It was the same as when the concentration of conjunctions occurred in 1485, when syphilis decimated Europe. This "black spot" still goes on at an annual rate of 5 million contaminations, with a number evaluated at 45 million victims in 2004.
For lack also of "Barbarian invasion"... Because I had also noticed at the same planetary concentrations, the disappearance of civilisations under external invasion, such as Rome, Byzantium, and Latin America (here, the Barbarians were Europeans). There is of course nothing barbarous in the fact that some impoverished and starving populations take refuge in our prosperous Western countries. Human solidarity must prevail to the benefit of all. But their arrival can, in the long run, be felt as an invasion by people who don"t understand that their assimilation is imperative. When we recall the end of the micro-great year of the civilisation of Western Christianity, we must accept this unprecedented immigration as a mixing of multiethnic populations, which is also a matter of globalisation.
If, on the inside, Europe laboriously globalises itself, being accused of Eurocentrism, while on the outside full of Euro-pessimism, it will experience its limited importance more and more as other world populations become dominant. One of the dominant phenomena of these past decades is the significant resurgence of Islam. This could be explained by the Hegira, the birth of Islamic religion in 622, having appeared with a triple conjunction of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in 625 in the middle of Virgo, and that same triple conjunction having appeared again in 1988/1989, even being in trine to the one of 625. This concerns a huge population of about 2 billion individuals on a vast surface of the globe.
Fear spreads over any minority, which explains why a tension between wealth and poverty, between power and humiliation creates danger. This obvious source of an Islamic fundamentalism for which we are also responsible with our disorder, our excesses and our egoism, can find a solution in a globalisation of solidarity. Terrorism was born from it. Except for an occasional situation like the attack of Sarajevo in 1914, this terrorism is a wound which has invaded our society since the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the mid sixties (in Virgo, violence is fragmented) and has grown into the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001. The signature of Pluto for terrorism is obvious, and we knew it when it was opposed successively by Jupiter and Saturn. As does the high tide, this terrorist fever has to recede.
But the list is not finished of a series of situations which end in giving the general feeling of a climate of the end of a civilisation. In the feeling of chaos that we experience, there is a big threat that weighs on the environment. It is the ecological danger of a terrestrial site that could be polluted, or the fear that a paranoid head of state uses the atomic bomb. This in addition to the spread of corruption, the development of an underground economy of narco-dollars, prostitution, drugs, delinquency, trash art, the going back to what is wild and primitive, in just the same way as an abominable diplodocus dinosaur has become a toy for children. Naturally this picture of darkness goes hand-in-hand with a moral climate of mourning: mankind, having already lost its aura, loses its nature and humanity in a spiritual desert, with the failure of ideologies, intellectual nihilism, and lost spirits.
We understand that in such a cauldron, it can be difficult to catch a glimpse of the other side of the present synod, which is itself heralding the beginning of a new humanity, of a civilisation better than ours and more radiant than the one we are leaving. At the highest point of the cyclic index of 2003, in spite of our miseries, our present years are shaping it without our being able to see its form or its impact because not enough time has passed since this birth. But man, the son of Earth and Sky, is like a sleepwalker who follows his line of universe. Nobody is infallible. Nevertheless, in this case, more than ever I claim that the application of the mysteries of the royal art of astrology is the prediction for the whole of humanity, and this type of astrology in the long run is the highest application of the presence of Urania.
I can"t leave you without confessing my deep and full conviction that this great conjunction concerns astrology. Because the last years of the twentieth century have also brought us new developments (and what developments! For instance, in the population of France 6.5 millions of marriages took place between 1976 and 1997 while 15 million births occurred between 1977 and 1997. Didier Castille used these statistics to reveal the highest correlation between the Suns of each partner, using the Sun only (the star never having been used before in statistical reports) and a Sun doubly implied in the very basis of human condition, the sexual union and the birthing, marriage and generation. Could we collect a more prestigious stele of Urania?
We have here, at last, the cornerstone of the astrological fact, its more obvious central fact. At the simple level of the individual exchange, you can from now on, to anyone who is doubtful of astrology, surprise him by inviting him to compare his birth date to the ones in his family. As for the general scale of the public opinion or for the judgement of culture, if not of the verdict of science, we are moving towards recognition of astrology. Will we wait for the next evolutionary Uranus-Neptune sextile of 2025/2030, this aspect being to the conjunction what birth is to conception? The seed is nevertheless already sown. And, say, what would globalisation be without astrology?
Le destin de l"Europe (The destiny of Europe).
Destin de l"O.N.U. (The destiny of UNO).
Bilan des cycles planétaires (report on planetary cycles).
Les interférences cycliques (cyclic interferences).
L"évolution du processus cyclique (The evolution of the cyclic process).
André Barbault began his study of astrology at the age of fourteen, since when his researches have never stopped. The leading French astrologer for decades, he introduced psychoanalysis into astrology. Mundane astrology has been and continues to be his first love and he is most widely known for his work with the outer planets Cyclic Index and for the mundane theory he started developing just after World War 2.
An internationally respected lecturer, prominent editor for thirty-five years of L'Astrologue, a quarterly magazine for which more than 250 authors have written, and guiding light of several astrological organisations, he has written over forty books on astrology. He recently opened a website [andrebarbault.com] at which many unpublished texts are available