A closer look at the 1980 and 1981 Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions

jupiter-saturn conjunctions

Regarded as tremendously important throughout the history of Mundane Astrology, Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions are also known as ‘Great Conjunctions’ to Astrologers and Astronomers alike and are said to mark the beginnings of new cultural, political and economic eras1, occurring around every 20 years.

First, a brief word on 2020

The day of the Great Conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn on December 21st appeared quite a lot in the media, coming at a time when Astrology has been growing in popularity at an increasing rate, which really fits in with the symbology of these planets in Aquarius, as the sign of Aquarius with ruler Uranus tends to denote all of the occult science subjects, including Astrology. These conjunctions occur almost every 20 years, usually in clusters of three due to the retrograde motions of the planets yet this time, there is only one.

This month the conjunction was extra special because Jupiter and Saturn were only 6 minutes of arc away from one-another in declination. The last time they were so close in declination was back in 1623 when they were just 5 minutes of arc apart in declination! Conjunctions in 1981 and 2000 were closer to a full degree apart in declination.

The year 2020, just coming to pass, has been a hugely eventful and unprecedented time, of course not only in astrological terms but socially and politically speaking as well. We have not only had this year end with the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, but we have also had three Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions and a Saturn-Pluto conjunction at the start of the year, with the three planets sharing the last 10° of Capricorn throughout.

I have been reflecting on the conjunctions of this year quite a lot, but this article is really about some of the latest Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions that took place in 1980 and 1981. Because I feel a lot of the effects of this year’s conjunctions will likely spill over into 2021, when we will be able to see much of the aftermath of the pandemic and many of the following reactions and social movements, I would like to allow myself some time to observe those and further reflect.

A great example of how the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions mark the beginnings of new cultural, political and economic eras is in how the Solidarity Movement changed the history of politics in Poland during the time of the last conjunctions back in 1980 and 1981.

1980 and 1981

1981 was quite eventful, astrologically speaking, with the last of a set of ‘Great Conjunctions’ occurring on the 24th of July (Jupiter-Saturn-conjunctions that also occurred on the 31st December 1980 and the 4th March 1981).

‘Greater benefic’ Jupiter signifies progression towards justice and freedom, expanding group efforts and faith. It signifies agreements between countries and borders and when afflicted, international trade complications and religious suppression. ‘Greater malefic’ Saturn signifies state control, trade, security and frugality. It also suggests adversity and hardship when afflicted.

Solidarity, the first trade union in a Warsaw Pact country that wasn’t controlled by a communist party, was formed in late 1980,2 gaining 10,000,000 members in its first year. Most notably from the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, strikes initially led against rising food prices marked the beginning of the fall of communism, which later spread throughout Eastern Europe.

The Solidarity Movement was remarkably Jupitarian/ Saturnian, especially given that the communist regime in Poland was modelled on the Soviet Union and that international and state trading relations provided major contributing and limiting factors that caused tensions leading up to the strikes.3 Pope John Paul II also played an important role in the fall of communism in Poland, fervently advocating religion despite the government’s attempts to suppress it.

Concurrently, a Neptune-Pluto sextile graced the skies, so their energies supported reform and further assisted in the breaking of cultural barriers and accepted norms. Though the Neptune-Pluto sextile was not uncommon, Pluto and the Great Conjunction formed a stellium in Libra, so they congregated for that time. The movement was said to take effect with a relatively low number of fatalities and violent disputes, remaining true to the Libran nature of events.

Poland Chart

You can see in the mundane chart of Poland that the three Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions (occurring at 9°, 8°rx and then 5° of Libra) were moving over Poland’s Venus in Libra at this time, also trining the Moon of Poland’s chart and, with the Moon signifying the people of Poland and the chart’s Venus in domicile in Libra, here is perhaps another indication of how and why the movement happened as peacefully as it did. Another striking thing to consider is the fact that the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions squared the Jupiter-Saturn opposition of the chart of Poland, forming the apex of a T-square configuration, no doubt potentially helping to create the great deal of tension that came to the fore, with a double dose of significations from Jupiter and Saturn. We even have Poland’s Saturn-Neptune conjunction coming into play as well.

Neptune signifies communism, socialism, far-left politics, dishonesty, shortcomings and ships, docks and sea freight. It can also signify faith and religion, like Jupiter.

Pluto indicates powers of large groups and social transformation regarding issues to do with energies of the planets that touch it. Consequently, the Solidarity Movement also very aptly represents the Neptune-Pluto sextile of July 1981.

Margaret Thatcher was England’s Prime Minister and is the only female to have held office. Known as the ‘iron lady’, her economic policies were regarded brutal by many, yet although severe, they stabilized the economy long-term, if after the initial decline. However, she attempted to weaken trade unions and famously budgeted by cutting free milk for school children and privatising public sectors. She was very controversial, conjuring opposition within even her own party, which finally led to her resignation.

In many ways these events encompass political balancing acts with much zeal and perseverance, whether regarding economics, socio-politics, religion or personal rights and beliefs, which really lines up with the symbology of these planets in Libra. In both cases, major reforms were required due to tired politics that were stuck in place yet no longer relevant or helpful and both confidence and endurance were key in obtaining this.

Sadly, on 17/07/81 in Kansas City, Missouri, two concrete sky-bridges in the new Hyatt Regency Hotel’s lobby collapsed, killing 114 people and injuring 200.4

The disaster at the Hyatt was the deadliest structural collapse in American history, until the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11.5

Reportedly, the collapse resulted from a combination of miscommunication between the structural engineers and the constructors, plan flaws and neglect. Over-confidence was possibly an issue, leading to said neglect, as the constructors changed the design for greater simplicity and cost effectiveness before proceeding with the construction, apparently without official agreement (according to the structural engineers) and on-site inspections were reduced for cost. Neither company was then willing to claim responsibility!

This happened during the evening following6 a Full Moon in Capricorn, with ruler Saturn (conjunction Jupiter) squaring Mercury, which conjoined Jupiter and Venus of the USA. Neptune was in its first house in Sagittarius, tightly squaring the USA’s Neptune and sextiling Pluto, which formed the Apex of the Full Moon’s T-square.

Interestingly, the Saturn-Mercury square signifies enterprise, landowners, communication troubles and transport incidents, Jupiter signifies judicial proceedings, great misfortune and over-confidence when afflicted and Venus signifies social events, arts and leisure (they collapsed during a tea dance).

Pluto is the planet that uncovers obscured information, reconstructs and transforms, often resulting in long-term profound effects and through this, a great source of tension lay at the apex. Undoubtedly such a colossal blunder, receiving abundant press coverage, transformed the safety operations of future construction corporations for the better.

Bibliography available on request

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