A Repeated Saturn and Neptune Synodic Cycle
Could a repeat of a series of planetary signatures involving the Saturn and Neptune synodic cycle with a twist from Jupiter, indicate a historical repeat of events in the mundane world? In 2016, Saturn will transit in square to Neptune. In 2026, they will conjoin. These are the years of the last two quarter-phases of the Saturn and Neptune synodic cycle. This current cycle has similarities to the same synodic cycle that went from 527 CE to 555 CE, when a political and military drama played out in the same place in the world where conflicts rage today. Can we learn what to expect in the future by looking at this past time? Can we show a thread of history that weaves through several phases of the 4th harmonic conditions of the Saturn and Neptune synodic cycle and come to a conclusion? Can we predict geo-political outcomes based on past similar transits, conditions and results for the next ten years?
At least four conditions make these two times a unique match. First, when Saturn is opposite Neptune both in 537 (See chart 1) and 2006 (see chart 2), Jupiter makes a T-square with these planets in the same fixed quality signs for both times. Second, when Saturn is in waning square to Neptune in 546 (See chart 3) and 2016 (See chart 4), Jupiter completes a T-square in the same mutable signs for both charts. Third, in 555 (See chart 5) and again in 2026 (See chart 6), they both end up with Saturn conjunct Neptune very close to 0° Aries. Fourth, in each cycle between the waning square and the conjunction, there is a band of time during which Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are conjunct sequentially and collectively. These three planets were conjunct in March 550 (See chart 7), and will be conjunct again in March 2020 (See chart 8). This may be a notable point in time during both of these Saturn / Neptune cycles.
The differences for these two eras measured on a grand political scale of the rise and fall of empires are accounted for by the Uranus and Neptune synodic cycle. The theory was first explained by Charles Jayne in the March 1948 Dell Horoscope magazine.(1) The extension of the Byzantine Empire in 537 CE was marked by planet Uranus opposite Neptune which, in theory, dates a peak in a trend to build empires even with violent conquest. Today in contrast, Uranus separates from a conjunction with Neptune, which has been a time for destruction of empires and breakaway regions by insurgent violence. The Byzantine Empire was able to conquer the Mediterranean and reconquer Rome under positive influences of empire building. Currently, the opposite trend is in effect because Uranus is separating from the conjunction with Neptune, while also separating from a waxing square with Pluto.
The Saturn and Neptune synodic cycle is intimately involved with Jupiter during these two historical eras. Jupiter was not involved at the waxing Square, but it was involved in a T-square, at the opposition, and at the waning Square. Saturn conjoins Neptune at the end of the cycle, and involves the Aries Point, but not Jupiter.
For purposes of this study which uses a macrocosmic view of planetary dynamics, the time frames are stated in years to allow for a band of time during which any aspect is approaching, exact or separating. This band of time allows for events on the mental and emotional levels which are rarely noted in history to manifest as physical events. However, if we allow too long of a period of time, other planetary cycles seem to have greater influence, just as a larger wave has on a smaller wave. In theory, we might try to develop a hypothesis by looking at mundane history at the moment of time for these aspects, but for world events, I try to work within four degrees of orb for outer planet aspects. Sometimes multiple exact aspects occur in one year due to planetary regression. We can research to see the dates and history when Saturn is conjunct Neptune. We can see when Neptune or Saturn or both are at 0° Aries. We can check to see when Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune are in a mutable sign T-square. We can look into history for each of these conditions to see if there is any commonality. Ultimately, it is a combination of conditions that are recurring specifically in two periods of time.
The cycle of Neptune is longer than the others in our equation, and it sets the overriding conditions that change over 40 years according to the phase aspect with Saturn. I suggest that Neptune through history seems to carry aspirations for relief from suffering by a populace. The relief sought often is to throw off the oppressive rule of the local authorities. Conditions enable the expression of that desire or deny it, according to the aspect with Saturn. The entry of Neptune into Aries in the past has marked the beginning of a war, like the US Civil War.
Dates for Neptune in Pisces to Aries:
• 374 to 389 The Roman empire was divided in 364 CE, into western and eastern halves. The western half centered in Rome and was divided among various European tribes after the old Roman Empire imploded from civil wars. The eastern half, the Byzantine Empire was centered in Constantinople.(2)
• 538 to 552 Justinian I ruled the Byzantine Empire.
• 701 to 716 Neptune entered Aries: the Battle of Tours saved Europe for Christians from the Arabs.
• 865 to 880
• 1029 to 1043
• 1192 to 1207
• 1356 to 1371
• 1520 to 1534 Martin Luther in 1521, and Copernicus in 1530.
• 1684 to 1698
• 1847 to 1862 Unable to resolve the question of slavery, and one day before Neptune entered Aries, US Civil War began with the bombardment of Ft. Sumter by the Confederacy. The Taiping Rebellion began in 1851 and continued to 1864 with 20 million dead.
• 2011 to 2026 Civil wars in the near East and Africa, Islamic wars.
The beginning of the Saturn-Neptune cycle put Neptune in Aquarius during its first and second phases, meaning the waxing square and opposition aspects. The first phase was in 527, and the repeat in current era was in 1998. Excellent historical documentation (3) notes that in 527, Justinian I ascended the throne in Constantinople at the head of the Byzantine Empire, the eastern half of the old Roman Empire. Today, Constantinople is called Istanbul, Turkey. One of Justinian’s first great projects was to collect, organize and consolidate all the laws which had been promulgated over the past centuries, as well as promote General Belisarius (4) who was the military genius driving the re-conquest of the old Roman empire. Byzantium faced danger to the north from the Huns along the Ukraine, and danger on the southeast from the Persians, but unrest inside their borders kept the Persians busy. In China in 526, the Wei rule of North China had military revolts and nomad attacks. In India, the Gupta Emperor drove the Huns out of India by 528.
Less than nine years later, in 536 and then in 2006, the 2nd quarter synodic phase marked by Saturn opposite Neptune continued the conditions which were put into motion at the first quarter phase. The chart shows that Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune formed a T-square in Fixed Signs.
• Starting in 535 CE, the General Belisarius started to reconquer the old Roman Empire. During the second quarter phase, he took the shores of Africa from the Vandals to use the food it supplied.
• In 537 Belisarius ends the siege of Rome by the Goths and drives them away.
• 536 in China, the Wei dynasty split.
• 536-7, the Huns took Armenia, and split it into four parts and freed captured Armenians.
Another match for both eras is in the third quarter phase of the synodic cycle, with Saturn square Neptune, in a T-square with Jupiter, and all three in mutable signs. Events show connections between 536 and 546, which are the sequential dates of the quarter phases in the synodic cycle. General Belisarius and soldiers of the Byzantine Empire won possession of Rome from the Goths in 546. This extension of the “Pax Romana” around the Mediterranean was enabled by the conquering of Africa ten years earlier when Saturn was opposite Neptune in fixed signs at the previous quarter phase. The Byzantine Empire reunited both Western and Eastern Roman empires under this mutable T-square.
I found it was almost 1500 years since the last occurrence of this planetary signature. There were instances in 418, 456, 545 and 546, but none until 2016.
• In 455, Rome was sacked by the Vandals while this kind of T-square was forming.
In 546, Persia, known today as Iran, started a war.
• In 546, The Turks allied with the Western Wei of China.
In another match for both eras, between the Saturn and Neptune waning square and the conjunction, there is a triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, which happened in 549-551 (see chart number 7), and will repeat in 2020 (see chart 8.) This set of conjunctions takes over a year to form, complete and separate. They are built upon the synodic cycle of Saturn and Pluto, and the trend which began with their opposition in 531 and ended with their conjunction in 549. During this time, wars were fought for conquest by the Byzantine Empire around the Mediterranean and continued until they completed the retaking of Rome. In 536, during this Saturn/Pluto war cycle, Saturn was conjunct Uranus, with both of them opposite Neptune. The astrological difference between the eras is in sign and orb. In 550, the conjunction was in Aquarius with a 10 degree orb between the planets, while in 2020 the conjunction will be in Capricorn with a four degree orb. Perhaps a review of world history can give some idea of how similar conditions and conflicts may resolve in the future.
Here is the unfolding timeline date list:
528, Saturn square Neptune.
536, Saturn was conjunct with Uranus, both were opposite Neptune, and Jupiter completed a T-square.
546, Saturn was square Neptune and Jupiter completed a T-square.
549, Saturn was conjunct with Pluto in Capricorn square to Uranus.
550-551, Jupiter was conjunct with Pluto and then Saturn.
555, Saturn conjunct Neptune in Aries.
• In 550 Rome fell to the Goths, out of the hands of the Byzantine Empire. General Belisarius lost his job. Another General with reinforcements completed the taking of Rome for Byzantium.
• The war between Persia and Byzantium, which started in 546, lasted to 551, when they made a peace that lasted 50 years.
• In India, the Gupta Empire, which ruled all through the last empire cycle, ended with the reign of Vishnu Gupta 542-550.
• 550, China was in the end of a 300-year period of disunity and regional governments in the 6th century.
• 550 the Khmer state were set up independent from China.
• About 550 the Bavarians, coming from Bohemia, establish the Duchy of Bavaria.
• Nomads from Central Asia founded a royal dynasty in India.
• Seceding from the crumbling Hun Empire, a Hindu kingdom arose in Afghanistan.
• In 550, The Turkic Aver people started to migrate west. Even after General Belisarius completed the conquest of northern Africa, there were small revolts until around 550
The conjunction is the last phase of the Saturn-Neptune synodic cycle. I agree with Charles Jayne’s theory that for mundane concerns, the conjunction is the end of a synodic cycle and not the beginning, which belongs to an aspect after the conjunction. Yet, Saturn entering Aries seems to provide some kind of crystallized start such as Hitler’s annexation of Austria to start WW II, and a demand for freedom rights, such as the Spanish Civil War with a strong repressive authoritarian consequence. Neptune entering Aries seems to have some new establishment of a church, such as the Church of England (5), and also possibly a state or nation with a different idea or condition, such as the Confederacy during the US Civil War. When Saturn is conjunct Neptune there seems to be a refreshing of dreams for relief from suffering, due to a strong authoritarian trend in government. For example, one kind of Neptunian idealism for government is called communism. Fascists, who are authoritarian, dislike communism. Stalin was an authoritarian dictator, who used communism for his own ends, and he killed off hundreds of thousands of Communists to do so.
These charts show Saturn conjunct Neptune close to 0° Aries Saturn was at 0° of Aries about 17 times from 1500 to 2100.
• In 1525 the German Peasants’ War was savagely repressed.
• In 1613 China had a financial crisis and a social breakdown.
• In 1672, the Polish– Ottoman war began with the loss of the Ukraine.
• In 1790 the start of the Haitian Revolution and the end of slavery there.
• In 1819 Spain ceded property to the United States. The Missouri compromise allowed slavery to spread in the USA. Simon bolivar won the presidency in Bolivia.
• In 1820 the Monroe doctrine was expounded as manifest destiny. Egypt expanded its borders.
• In 1878 Russia declared war against the Ottoman Empire. For the British, there was the second Anglo-Afghan war, and the Anglo-Zulu war.
• In 1937 the Spanish Civil War started, Stalinist Russia killed 680,000 people in the “Great Purge”, and the Nanking massacre occurred in China.
• In 1938 Germany annexed Austria.
• In 1967 the Greek military stage a coup.
Saturn was conjunct Neptune about 14 times between 1500 and 2100.
• In 1523 the German Peasant’s War was repressed.
• In 1524 the Ottoman suppressed an Egyptian revolt.
• In 1593 the Ottomans and Christians started a conflict known as the “Long War”.
• In 1629 Charles I dissolved the English parliament. Cardinal Richelieu was the power in France. Sweden entered a 30 year war.
• In 1738 the Persians took India. The Ottomans took the Crimea.
• In 1773 the Boston Tea Party could be said to be a celebration of Saturn conjunct Neptune.
• In 1846 the US Mexican war. The Oregon territory. Neptune observed for the first time.
• In 1882 the British occupy Egypt.
• In 1917 the US declared war on Germany. The Bolshevik Russian revolution. In WW I, 10,000 Germans were killed it just one explosion.
• In 1952 Egypt revolted against the English rule.
• In 1952 the Berlin wall started.
• In 1989 the Tiananmen Square massacre happened in China. Communist rule and the iron curtain ended in Europe.
• In 2026, what will happen?
• Neptune at 0° Aries from 1500 CE to 2100 CE.
• In 1533, the Church of England started.
• In 1697, the end of a nine year war, after the Battle of Zenta where 30,000 Ottoman soldiers were killed.
• In 1861, the Confederacy of the United States. The Civil War started with the bombing of Fort Sumter on April 12 one day before Neptune was exact at 0° of Aries.
• In 1861 Czar Alexander the second abolished serfdom in Russia.
• In 2026, what will happen?
With the astrological similarities and history laid out, can we draw any conclusions? Are there any perceptible convergences?
Are there any true historical parallels? We can see today that the same places in the world are in violent turmoil as were at war back then. Are these forces place specific, or can we infer that similar conditions apply elsewhere? And will any resolutions follow the patterns of the past?
I suggest the geopolitical trends and dynamics started in 527, came of age in 536, acted out in 546, and came to a convergence in 550, if not 555. If there is a parallel from history to today, then geopolitical trends that began in 1998 and came of age in 2006, will act out in 2016, and come to a conclusion in 2020, if not 2026. The players currently on the scene are likely to continue to play their roles in the current drama for the next four years. These players are likely to resolve their conflicts after some more violence before signing a peace treaty around 2020. For the Byzantine Empire, that was the time for the conquest of Rome in the west, and a peace treaty with Persia in the east.
There are many similarities between then and today. Turkey is in the center surrounded by war. The Huns that threatened from the north of the old Byzantine Empire are replaced by the Russians grabbing Crimea and threatening war in the Ukraine north of current day Turkey. To the east, the Persians were a danger to old Byzantium, and today there is insurgency and civil war to the east and south in Iraq, Syria and Iran, which today poses a nuclear danger to the world. The Mediterranean countries along the African coast are in turmoil with dictators, revolts and civil wars, just as they were under the Vandals in 530s and 540s.
A time line of developments in the current Saturn/Neptune synodic cycle:
1998, Al Qaeda starts by bombing US Embassy.
1998, Pakistan and India have nuclear bombs.
1999, the Euro started as a currency.
2006, Iran announced it had enriched uranium, a step to get a nuclear bomb.
2006, North Korea explodes its first nuclear bomb.
2016, Euro crisis?
2016, Persia may sign a treaty to limit nuclear development?
2016, North Korea may threaten war?
2016, More insurgency, refugees, treachery and war around Africa and the Middle-East?
2020, A grand finale of fighting and war, with the insurgents driven from the field?
2021, A comprehensive, lasting peace treaty?
2026, End of old leadership and old empires. Idealistic dreams of governance may be very regressive and cruel in practice.
There are a couple of scenarios which might play out depending if Turkey as a country can become an intermediary power broker, a peaceful crossroads of culture and civilizations around the Mediterranean and Middle-East. For a while Turkey was becoming a democracy with respect for individual freedom rights. Lately, the government has become more authoritarian with a religious bias. I suggest the best balance for peace and prosperity might be for Turkey to side with the Western world, democracy and NATO in establishing a regional peace around the Mediterranean. This policy would be in keeping with the successful policy followed by Justinian I way back when. Also, it would enable internal and decentralized development of democratic government in the region as called for by the “Arab Spring”, a signature of Uranus in Aries conjunct Jupiter. I suggest that a positive dynamic must deal with establishing a new inclusive form of government and passing power to a new administration without violence and destruction, while still retaining the loyalty of the people, because the alternatives are authoritarian, dictatorial regimes, or totalitarian religious regimes.
If history were to repeat itself, then Iran might continue its belligerent behavior for the next five years, even as the western powers strive to pacify the Mediterranean and North Africa. Small scale revolts and insurgencies supported by them are likely to continue throughout the area until 2020. Italy and Europe might continue to endure waves of migrant refugees until a peace is made. Any dreams of creating an earthly empire by invasion are unlikely to succeed within this time of the Uranus/Neptune synodic cycle. Idealistic dreams for government become unsustainable in the means to the end with Saturn’s influence on Neptune.
While Iran might limit its nuclear ambitions, North Korea’s are still unrestrained, and Pakistan might have internal security problems. Russia recently threatened to use nuclear weapons. There is a possibility of a nuclear incident as Saturn approaches conjunction with Pluto in 2020, which would make everyone realize the need for a peace treaty. Rogue nuclear nations and international gun gangs are likely to increase in activity from 2016 until they are mopped up by 2020. Even as some areas are pacified, the fires of conflict might reignite in the embers of their ruined societies. Historically, the Ukraine seems to be a caught in a struggle during these aspects.
For a final match of the two eras, the last act in this planetary drama has Saturn conjunct Neptune in 555 at 6° Aries, and conjunct again in 2026 at 0° Aries. I find no major historical significance in the year 555 for that era, given that so much had happened around 550, when Neptune was approaching the Aries Point. For the repeat, 2026 features Saturn and Neptune at 0° Aries. My sense of the astrological signature is that it could mean the start of some popular desire for relief from suffering and oppression, if not also idealistic freedom. Also, Saturn indicates a ruthless, reactionary regressive suppression as government maintains its rule. The old, failed and leaderless policies and dreams become a focus and grist for new leaders willing to fight.
I invite any readers to use their own knowledge of history, present day events and astrology to fill in more detail and understand better how dynamic transiting astrological changes relate to the mundane world. Some aspects in some years have no relevant research data that I can find, yet. While each country has its own horoscope, a fixed moment in time, and it has a dynamic existence as it plays its part in its time on the stage of life, and all countries and people respond to transits, each in their own way, a more distant perspective sees the flow of historical trends that spans centuries.
1. Charles Jayne (1911-1985) was an exceptional astrologer who wrote many books, started many organizations, and who published in the March 1948 Dell Horoscope Magazine, an article that explained the astrological timing of the rise and fall of civilizations over hundreds of years based on the synodic cycles of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
2. References to events of history during and since the Roman Empire come from several reference books and web sources. Among them are:
a. Smithsonian Timelines of History, published by DK Publishing, 2001
b. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Rome by Nigel Rogers, published by Hermes House 2007, pp242-249.
c. Historyorb.com, Wikipedia.com, and Infoplease.com are reference websites.
3. The life of Justinian I was documented by a contemporary historian of Justinian’s age, Procopius of Caesarea, whose complete works were translated by H. B. Dewing for the Loeb Classical Library series (7 vols., 1914-1940). Also, there are many other well-written source books and studies.
4. Chamber’s Biographical Dictionary, published by W&R Chambers, London, 1920. General Belisarius made Justinian’s empire happen.
5. A Shortened History of England by GM Trevelyan, published by Penguin Books, 1942. King Henry VIII established the Church of England to have power and jurisdiction in England instead of the Catholic Church.
Daniel M. H. Gordon was born December 1, 1947 in Tacoma, Washington. He has studied and practice astrology for over 47 years. He operated the Order of Maitreyans in New Orleans for four years. Then he earned certification as a professional astrologer from the International College of Astrology, while he graduated from Tulane University in 1976 with a degree in accounting and computers. He moved to Portland, Oregon, and helped start the Oregon Astrology Association. He worked as a professional salesman for a decade in a variety of industries, and then as a technician and engineer at Intel. His efforts are now as a research astrologer.
His website is www.xstarian.com.