Category: Adrian’s Articles 2005

The Fifties

Front line veterans of the 2nd World War had the conviction in the first month or two of fighting, that it was possible that other soldiers in their division might get killed, but they would not. After two months at the front, when they had seen their units get decimated, they realized that there was a reasonable chance that they might die. After four months at the front, they knew they would die… it was just a matter of time. This is a speeded up version of how we all feel. In the twenties and thirties we are convinced of our immortality, but not so in the forties. When we reach the fifties, we have no illusions. We will die, sooner or later. This realization affects different people in different ways, but we have to come to terms with our mortality.In the fifties, women may enjoy the arrival of their children’s children, but they will not have children themselves. Men in their fifties would have to be very naïve to think that their chances of scoring beautiful women were very high. It’s not a pretty sight seeing a 50 year old chatting up girls at a disco. Both men and women who have worked their way up the professional ladder live in nervous anticipation of being unceremoniously ejected by the younger upwardly mobile. Those who lose their jobs in the mid-fifties can find great difficulty getting employed again. Those who lose their spouses feel as if they have landed on the scrap heap far too early.Yet there are those for whom the fifties are their best years. Their professional credentials fully established, they gain highly paid positions and full respect. Relationships find new life as children fly the nest, and there is the economic freedom to indulge those things sacrificed for the family cause. Symptoms of male and female menopause wane, and new erotic pleasures can be found in non-performance related sex. There is the time to develop spiritual interests alongside professional concerns. Providing there is material security and good health, the fifties are fine.The early postwar generation of children are in their fifties today. This was a period with Pluto in Leo and Neptune in Libra… the generation that refuses to grow up. This was the first generation to be shaped by television, and they grew up in a world shaped by dreams and ideals of perfection. They are still searching for immortality and the perfect love. Tony Blair was born in 1953 with Saturn conjoining Neptune in Libra, Uranus in Cancer, Jupiter in Taurus, Chiron in Capricorn and the North Node in Aquarius – he turned 50 on May 6th 2003 just 2 months after the invasion of Iraq. In the following analysis of the fifties, these planetary positions will be used to gain detail on the significance of each year.

The age of 50 is crucial because it is in this year that most of us experience the Chiron return. As this minor planet is related strongly to teaching and healing, and is often an indicator of where there is a lifelong wound, the age of 50 will always be a time when issues connected with these things inevitably surface. This is also a year when Jupiter makes the waxing square to itself after the 4th return age 47. So:

– As you enter your fifties and commence a new decade, there is the realization that your character is now fully developed – you are who you are – it is now more a question of building on your talents, resources and achievements rather than proving yourself anew. You can be assessed by what you have achieved so far in life, and what there is to come is very much a bonus defined by your attitude and will. The challenge at this time is to find renewed hope and vision, yet it is a time when misjudgments tend to take place, either through lack of confidence or through being overly hopeful about the future. You tend to insist on following your own convictions without being sensitive to the opinions of others. (Jupiter) This is very much related to material values and beliefs which you have consolidated through the years, and which now have become guiding pillars of conviction. (Jupiter in Taurus in Blair’s horoscope). At the same time, there are deeper issues connected with your mortality, and your ability to pass on the body of wisdom you have acquired to those who follow after you. You are poignantly aware of areas in your inner life that need healing, or where there are flaws and weaknesses, for they will surely surface in your 50th year. (Chiron) For you this is profoundly connected with your professional position and ambition, and it is important for you to investigate just what you hope to achieve, and how these ambitions serve to allay inner pain. (Capricorn)

At the age of 51 the final square of Saturn takes place before the Saturn return age 59, and this is sure to be related to serious career restructuring. Fortunately Jupiter now moves to make the waxing trine to its birth position, providing every chance of growth:

– During your 51st year there are pressing professional issues that have to be addressed. This is a time when challenges pile up, both in connection with your relationship to authorities, and in terms of your goals and ambitions. You need to define exactly where you wish to apply yourself, and exactly what you want to achieve. As you are under pressure now, this is not easy, but with extra effort and determination you can carve out a position for yourself that can stand you in good stead for the next five years at least. (Saturn) This is very much connected with how you handle interpersonal relationships, for it is at this time that structural changes take place as far as alliances are concerned. (Libra) Fortunately, this is also a time when a further expansion of your influence is possible, if you adopt a positive and visionary attitude. Bearing in mind your achievements so far, you are justified in pursuing a confident and self-assured path. (Jupiter)

At Mercury returns to its birth position around the birthday both every 10th and every 13th year, the age of 52 is a Mercury year. For many people it will also be the year when Pluto trines its birth position, and as Pluto’s aspects to itself are so rare, then its effects are proportionately significant:

– Your 52nd year is a time when you breathe new life into communication and educational influences and are very active in networking with others. (Mercury) It is also a period of personal transformation that can see you both go into the depths and re-emerge newborn. It is at this time that buried emotional drives surface, and you can be quite unable to bury them again. These feelings fuel a deep-seated change that can lead you to rediscover sexual drives and psychological power. A new authenticity can come into your life based on releasing repressions and living life to the full. If there are features of your life you are tired of, now is the time to get rid of them. If there are bonds that drain you, then they need to change or go. There may be a power battle now, but it serves the useful purpose of evoking your survival instincts and bringing empowerment. (Pluto) This is connected with a deep unconscious drive to assert your ego, even if it means flirting with self-destructive impulses. (Leo)

The age of 53 is a year when many influences peak. Quite apart from the continued Pluto trine, both Neptune and Uranus trine themselves, whilst Saturn sextiles its natal position, and Jupiter opposes. But it is the outer planets that have the most profound effect:

– During your 53rd year you are very sensitive to the generational factors of your birth period, and there can be far-reaching changes that bring many opportunities if you are willing to embrace the future and let go of the past. You are still very much in a transformation period which has brought new life and empowerment. (Pluto) At the same time your visionary capacities now peak, and you are able to transcend your normal life structure and enter new realms of the imagination. There is a kind of global consciousness that pervades your being, and you are extremely sensitive to, and motivated by, the needs and sufferings of others. (Neptune) For you this is very much connected with a tendency to idealize the ability of mankind to relate in a positive way, and in your personal relationships to dream of an unreachable ideal. (Libra)  This is also a period that can bring travel to exotic lands or contact with exotic people. You are willing to take a risk to experience something new, and you want to be involved with people who get together with a shared vision. This is a wonderful time to experiment and innovate. (Uranus) This has a lot to do with an alternative vision that you have for the human family. (Cancer)

At the age of 54, the Neptune and Uranus trines will still be operative, and – equally significant – the progressed Moon returns to its birth position for the second time (the last time being age 27 and 4 months):

– During the course of your 54th year, you are still in a period of dynamic consciousness growth that sees you experimenting with your life on several fronts. You are open to any changes that bring renewal and excitement, and this can bring international travel and input from cultures very different from your own. This is the time to embrace new technology and surf the wave of change in society, rather than holding on to established tradition. At the same time there is a dawning spiritual sensitivity, and activities connected with nature, music or religion can bring inner enrichment. Furthermore this year is a time of emotional rebirth, and your feelings connected with home and family come strongly to the fore. Now is the time to confront latent emotional issues connected with bonding that can relate back to your childhood, so don’t be surprised if this a bit of an emotional roller-coaster year when you are concerned about creating security and a safe base.

Whilst the influence of Uranus and Neptune begin to fade as the age of 55 dawns, Jupiter will now make the incoming trine to its natal position, prior to the 5th Jupiter return at age 59. And during the course of this year, the Moon’s nodes return to their birth position for the 3rd time:

– Many things come together during the course of your 55th year, and if you have prepared the ground well, this can be a time of rapid growth and expansion. If you have listened to your visions and dreams over the last two years, and allowed yourself to be guided by your imagination and creativity, then you will now feel that the years ahead will be fulfilling and full of promise. Likewise, if you have been willing to move with the times and take a risk or two, then the future will hold no terrors for you. You can enjoy the fruits of increased awareness, and may feel a strong bond with humanity, ecology and nature itself. Now is the time to slip into overdrive whilst enjoying the fruits of past efforts. As the year draws to a close you have also to consider the general direction of your life. Are you associating with people who give a meaningful contribution to your life? Are you doing work which corresponds to your mission? (Node) For you this has a lot to do with finding the right balance between asserting your ego, and being receptive to the voice of the community… the latter being the most crucial in your case. (North Node in Aquarius)

At the age of 56, Venus returns to its birth position around the birthday, awakening themes of relationship and economy. The nodal return is still very relevant, and at the same time Jupiter will make a closing square putting the focus on expansion and issues of judgment:

– During your 56th year self-worth issues come to a head in relation to your love life and economy. If you are lucky in love, then more luck is due now. If you are looking for a relationship, then there is likely to be one, and if you are currently in a relationship, then this is a time to consolidate and cherish it, not least by cultivating the art of romance. As your aesthetic values become more important to you now, you may want to spend more money on life’s pleasures, and this brings your whole economic situation into focus. With your senses and desires so stimulated at this time, good judgment is required in the management of your economy. However you tend to be unresponsive to the advice of others, or too inclined to be guided by your personal convictions. Take care not to overreach yourself; seek the advice of experts. You need to be especially careful in matters connected with justice and the law. It is crucial at this time that you take stock of your life situation and make the adjustments necessary to work and relationships, so that they accord with your inner convictions of what your life is about.

There are no major planetary cycles at the age of 57, unless Jupiter’s final sextile before the conjunction is taken into consideration. However, the 3rd Saturn return is already looming on the horizon, and along with that the whole question of future life structure:

–  General trends during your 57th year bring some consolidation and calm, and a time when you can enjoy the fruits of your labors, especially in terms of your social life and friendships. However there is a growing awareness that the solutions which have served you so well during the course of the fifties will not last forever, and thoughts of how you would like the future to take shape begin to arise. As yet your main concerns are of how you maintain the professional momentum that you have achieved over the last few years, and there is the sense that hard-won achievements are getting washed away by the sands of time. Under these circumstances it is wise to develop your inner life and your creative or spiritual interests, for these will always be with you whether you have professional success or not.

At the age of 58 Saturn will return to its birth position for the second, and perhaps the last time. This is a major milestone at the age of 29 to 30, and it is no less of a milestone as the fifties draw to a close. This has traditionally been the time of retirement plans and preparations for old age:

– During the course of your 58th year there is the sense that life has come full circle. Ambition has served its purpose, and you can look back on a series of achievements that have crowned your professional life. Now, with the wisdom of years, you realize that there is little sense in driving upwards and onwards to satisfy ambitions… what would be the point? The question is: what can you take from your current professional status to work on and continue to develop? Or has the time come to bow out from the rat race, wind down, and maximize your life quality in the last phase of your life? You cannot build your future on the framework of the past… you can either build a new framework, if you have the willpower and energy, or allow the old one to dissolve. You still have the chance to define what is uniquely you. There is nothing to prove, but if you allow yourself to be guided by your ultimate life purpose, there can still be mountains to conquer in the years ahead.

Jupiter and Saturn have a planetary cycle that repeats every 20 years, so that as the fifties draw to a close they both simultaneous return to their birth positions, marking a definitive watershed in life:

– As you enter your 59th year you appreciate the significance of your age… on the threshold to the sixties, with the realization that your greatest achievements may well lie behind you, whilst the future both professionally, economically and in terms of relationships is dependant on the structures you have already created. Yet this very realization has a settling affect; you are too wise to struggle against the inevitable, and fully aware that any decisions you make now will have effects that can last the rest of your life. It is at this age that you really can plan how you would like your future to be, using your knowledge and experience of the society of which you are a part, to maximize the benefits that the future can bring, and minimize the limitations. Radical experimentation can be left to those who follow in your footsteps, but if your economy is strong, and your professional foundations firm, you can easily build further on what you have achieved.

If childhood is like the water that springs out from the mountainside, surging in rivulets to join the larger stream, and middle age the powerful flow of the river through the plains, then the sixties and beyond show the river estuary as it flows into the sea and merges with the ocean. The strong tones of individuality that characterize the early stages of the flow finally make way for a merging into the collective. Outwardly the individual during the later stage of life steps back and sees himself as part of something greater. Inwardly he or she may smile at earlier self-importance and ambition, knowing it is all over far too soon. The time comes to embrace universal values that are not dissolved by the passage of time. In modern times many will live to experience yet another Saturn round, with perhaps thirty full years to consolidate and digest their existence and this is a great opportunity to prepare for the most exciting transition of all – death and the after-death state.

Adrian Ross Duncan 20.11.2005


The Fourties

Men and women in their twenties or thirties do not really think they are going to die. They are aware that there are old people, and that at some point they disappear. Maybe they have even attended a funeral. But actually, this fate is not going to happen to them. There is so much to do, so much to achieve… death is a distant and vague prospect. Time stretches out into infinity, everything can still be achieved.This luxury is not available to those entering their forties. Time is finite. If there is a feeling that major goals have not been achieved, then time is becoming short. The doors are rapidly closing on women who have not yet had children. Bachelors are beginning to feel the emptiness of the bachelor life and wondering just how alone they might be as they get older. Those who have not found their mission in life feel mortality breathing down their neck. Blessed are they who made the necessary adjustments turning thirty at the Saturn Return, because for them entering the forties seems like rounding a corner at speed, whilst for those who did not the forties present daunting realities.Normally the second return of the Moon’s Nodes at the age of 37 has paved the way for soul-searching and a readjustment of life more in harmony with personal destiny. For most people, there has been professional success, and the establishment of a secure home and family. People’s minds turn to how they can enjoy the fruits, after they have sown all the seeds, and nurtured their growth. Nevertheless, for a large number of people, the early forties are a rude awakening, as the stressful aspects of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto kick in, culminating in the Saturn opposition. For those who have stressful aspects to the outer planets at birth, this is a time of radical change and transformation, which often brings stress and an urge to combat stress through medication, or through psychological and meditative techniques.

Most people in their early forties today have the rare and extreme Pluto/Uranus conjunction in their birth charts, and for them entering the forties is often characterized by a feeling of insecurity, especially concerned with their work, which may need restructuring. Many from this generation are obsessed with job security and constantly retraining and gaining new skills. They are acutely aware of how new technology or outsourcing to developing countries can suddenly rip away what they have worked so hard to build up. In the following section, I will use births in 1967 as a basis for analysis. Those born in 1967 would also have had Saturn in Pisces, the node in Taurus, Jupiter in Cancer and Neptune in Scorpio, a grand trine which might explain the musical and spiritual revolution that took place at that time. Kurt Cobain (Feb 20th 1967) who formed the appropriately named music group “Nirvana” was one of these – and unfortunately he did not make it into his forties. (He committed suicide at the age of thirty).

The birth positions of the outer planets have a strong influence on a person’s life as they complete the different stages of their cycles. During the 40th year, there are a whole series of predictable planetary influences. As Mercury returns to its exact birth position on the birthday every 20 years, 40 is a year when there is a considerable mental boost. Venus too returns to its birth position in its eight year cycle. For most people this is also a time when the Uranus opposition is starting, as is the Neptune square. And for people born in the last half of the 20th century, Pluto also makes a square at this time. A lot is going on, and the following could be said to a person turning 40:

– As you enter your forties and commence a new decade, you feel a sense of urgency about the future, and realize that a number of readjustments will be inevitable. This is a time when you review your mental skills – your education and communication – and take steps to optimize your intellectual capacity. (Mercury) There is extra focus on your comfort level – both economically and in relationships – and you will need to work harder on your weaknesses and capitalize on your strengths in these areas. (Venus) More importantly, there are a number of factors that seem beyond your control, that threaten to derail the train. This is why this is a good time to step back from more concrete goals and consider your overall mission in the second half of your life. How can you get out of the rut at work and innovate and change? (Pluto/Uranus in Virgo). How can you get more emotional depth and meaning into your intimate relationships? (Neptune in Scorpio). Opportunities for change and transformation should be welcomed rather than resisted.

For most people, the age of 41 is when the Uranus opposition is at its peak, and Pluto and Neptune are still powerful in the first square aspect to the birth position. Furthermore, with Jupiter now opposing itself and the node also squaring its natal position, the changes that commenced at 40 are still in full swing:

– During your 41st year you are still in the middle of a number of unfinished processes that require a review of the direction of your life. On the one hand powerful material forces give the opportunity for growth and expansion, whilst on the other you are required to expand your spiritual life. (Jupiter) Crucial experiences with people and groups that you have been involved with force you to revalue who you want to be with in the next phase of your life. (Node) An expansion of your horizons now can bring long journeys of exploration, and they can bring separation from people and circumstances that you feel have been restricting you. These changes can be accompanied by a spiritual and psychological crisis, that despite upheaval bring catharsis and renewal. If you have anything unique you feel you can offer the world, this is the time to go for it.

By the time we reach 42, the Uranus opposition and Neptune and Pluto squares are finally wearing off, but now Saturn is moving up to make its second opposition, which will grown stronger during the following year:

– As you enter your 42nd year, things are beginning to fall into place after a fairly radical transformation, which has seen you take risks and make what is for you some revolutionary changes. You have confronted many inner demons in this process, and gained psychological insight. (Pluto) You have weighed up the pros and cons of freedom versus commitment. (Uranus). Much has changed in your working environment. (Virgo) There have been times of confusion and helplessness, but somehow life is richer and has more meaningful, and intimacy is more rewarding. (Neptune in Scorpio). You have gained a higher degree of independence, and as you have done so, the focus now moves onto the important relationships in your life. This is the time to set limits, and to maintain your individuality, whilst considering just how much responsibility you are ready to take on.

The age of 43 is the year when the Saturn opposition is just beginning to kick in, whilst both Jupiter and the Node trine their natal position, and these influences tend to be stabilizing factors after an unsettled few years, so:

– Your 43rd year is a time when you are aware that major challenges are looming in the future, particularly in relation to authorities and partnership. Whilst this is a time when you feel that relationships bring limitations, this is also a time when you are willing to rise to the challenge and accept more responsibility. This is a year when you learn to create order out of chaos by making sure that all the details in your life function efficiently. (Saturn/Pisces) With confidence rising as the year progresses, you have a vision about how you would like the year ahead to develop, and you can achieve the goals you set yourself through hard work, good luck, and through help from people who support you on your path. (Saturn/Jupiter/Node)

By the age of 44, the Saturn opposition is all-dominant, whilst Jupiter, making the closing square to its natal position, increases tensions connected with growth and consolidation…

– Your 44th year is characterized by a strong awareness of the limitations imposed by both your personal and professional relationships. You meet resistance to your plans, and this leads you to consider making structural adjustments in your goals. There can be changes in your career, and serious re-evaluations of your emotional commitments. Setbacks are liable to occur, and a patient attitude is essential to overcome the challenges that arise. You need in particular to work on a fatalistic tendency to give up and allow things to dissolve – a kind of existential lethargy. (Saturn/Pisces). This is a year when you gain considerable insight, but can make hasty judgments. This can affect decisions connected with home and family. (Jupiter in Cancer).

The age of 45 is a something of a hiatus in the mid-forties, reflecting as it does the period of consolidation after the hectic years of the early forties and the final Saturn opposition to itself. However, once every 15 years, Mars comes very close to its birth position on the birthday, so it is an industrious time…

– After the many changes in the early forties, and the successful resolution of challenges in professional and personal partnerships last year, you are now in a position to consolidate the structures that have been established, and build upon them. There is a realization that you have a duty to give back to society as well as receive, and you may feel you have the surplus energy to do something for the community. This is a year when your energy peaks, and – as you now have a clear idea what goals you want to achieve – there can be considerable achievement. With this new forcefulness and maturity the way is paved for promotion and success.

At the age of 46 the Moons Nodes exchange positions, just as they did at the age of 27. According to Indian tradition the nodes are rather nervous about each other’s presence, so it is not a comfortable time, existentially speaking. The age of 46 is not the early forties anymore, but the approaching fifties…

– During your 46th year there is a growing sense that professional ambition and family security is not necessarily the answer to all your needs. There is also the matter of your personal destiny, and questions arise now as to whether the path you are treading conforms to your inner evolutionary needs. The time has long gone when you could afford to chop and change as regards work and partnership, you need to focus on what has meaning for you as an evolving soul. Generally speaking, this mean being honest about who you want to spend time with and be influenced by, and this year you may wish to move away from some people, and towards others who are more in tune with your spiritual needs. (Nodes) Specifically for you this is connected with establishing stability where there has been chaos, and finding inner peace where there has been soul-searching and confusion. (Node in Taurus)

The age of 47 tends to be a year of growth and confidence because Jupiter returns for the fourth time to its birth position…

– During your 47th year you experience a surge of personal confidence and a renewed vision of just what you are aiming for in life. Insight and understanding come easily to you, and you are drawn to deeper study and an urge to widen your horizons through travel. Your opinions and convictions become more pronounced, and you are not prepare to allow intellectual and spiritual authorities to browbeat you. Whilst you are willing to receive instruction from the truly wise, you have no time for self-appointed gurus. Enjoying life is a question of attitude, and this year your natural optimism ensures that you attract good fortune and success. (Jupiter) You receive a particular boost in your family life, and you can expect happy family events and perhaps a move or enlargement of your living space. (Cancer)

At the age of 48, with the fifties rapidly approaching the major planetary influence is the return of Venus to its original position on the birthday…

– The age of 48 is a key year for your relationships and economic security. This is a time when your love life is a key issue, and your basic needs and tastes come strongly to the fore. There are increasing demands on existing relationships that they be meaningful and authentic, rather than a soft cushion to sleep on. There is a need for more intimacy, and a re-examination of the role of sexuality in the relationship. New relationships can be formed that are based on higher values than the material. On the economic front new sources of income can be found, and new investments made.

The age of 49 gently rounds off the roller coaster forties, with a supportive Saturn moving in to trine its natal position, whilst Jupiter makes its first sextile after the 4th return…

– Your 49th year is a year of achievement, growth and consolidation during which you build on established foundations and generally feel comfortable with the path you have carved out for yourself. There is a sense that you have been accepted by society and have an important role to play, and the need to prove yourself makes way for a sense of satisfaction as regards your achievements during the forties. (Saturn) You have a profound understanding of the trials and tribulations that people go through during their lives, and you have learned to see your own struggles in this universal light. (Pisces) With a strong personal foundation, you are able to start a new phase of personal expansion and already this year you will reap the economical and social benefits of the efforts you have put in.

There are those who say that life begins at forty – but they may just be trying to cheer us up. Yet the forties are probably the very best years for success in all areas of life. For most people there is an assured income, a loving partner, children who are beginning to get independent… all the ingredients for happiness. But rounding fifty is another matter altogether. Women have reached menopause, and men have their own struggles with potency. For all women and most men there will be no new children. It’s getting too late for gaining new qualifications. Youth has certainly gone. Nevertheless, some of the greatest successes have been made after the age of fifty. This is the age of most presidents and prime ministers, and huge economic empires are created by older men and women. Most people in the west have both the freedom and the finances to pursue their dreams, and with the increased life span in the 21st century it some people are starting to get away with saying: Life begins at fifty.

Adrian Ross Duncan 20.10.2005


The Thirties

During the twenties it can seem that anything is possible. The energy is there, there is naivety in abundance… the path is paved to be Master of the Universe. There are finance geniuses, football stars, successful models, rock idols – possibilities that are there simply because of youth. If these successes are not to be like a comet illuminating the sky just for a short period, there has to be a dramatic readjustment by the age of thirty. It can be marriage and children, or divorce and independence, or a career reorientation – the crucible of the Saturn return and the first sextile of Pluto to its birth position at the age of 29 demands soul-searching and change. Many “personal” motivations during the twenties lie in the conditioning of parents and society, and the unconscious reaction to them.It is possible to ignore the signals as the age of 30 approaches – lack of motivation at work, lack of love at home, lack of desire to get up in the morning – and struggle on. Much has been built up, must it be sacrificed? But life is too short for compromise. Burn out during the thirties, and a sizeable life crisis around 40 is the price. And it is far more difficult to start anew at 40 than it is at 30.In the last article on the twenties, I pointed out that it is in fact possible to outline an individual’s life in quite some detail if you know the person’s age. Also, if you know the year of birth you can be even more specific through an understanding of the position of the outer planets at birth. Many people in their thirties today were born with Uranus and Pluto on the move from Virgo to Libra, and the relationships of people in their early thirties, when both planets are in Libra, are deeply affected by the gender transformations that took place in the seventies.

Supermodel Helena Christensen (25 th Dec 1968) and actress Rene Zellweger (26 th April 1969), who have Uranus in Libra, but Pluto still in Virgo, are classic examples. They come from a generation who find it a real challenge to make a commitment to a relationship. Helena Christensen changed her lifestyle around the age of thirty, and gave birth to her son, Mingus. However, when asked if she had married the father, her response was:

“Nej, vi var aldrig gift… når vi gik fra hinanden var det mere noget med at sige goddag til hinanden langsomt. Vi var nødt til at gå fra hinanden for at blive venner. Nogle mennesker er bare bedre som venner, ikke?”

“No we were never married… when we left each other it was more like just saying hello to each other slowly. We had to leave each other to be friends. Some people are better as friends, aren’t they?”

Rene Zellweger’s role as Bridget Jones is also a classic example of the plight of the singles culture that seems to have resulted from the influences of the outer planets in Libra. In 1969 Saturn and the Node were in Aries, Jupiter in Libra, and Neptune still in Scorpio (just).

The age of thirty is characterized by the ongoing transition engendered by the Saturn return. The pieces are just beginning to fall into place after a period of transition. Every 15 years Mars returns close to its birth position on the birthday, so 30 is also a year when Mars is strong and ready for battle. Therefore it would be possible to say of a person born in the very late sixties or early seventies entering their 30 th year:

– As you enter your thirties and a new decade, it is important to harness the lessons you have learned from the twenties, whilst letting go of the parental and social conditioning that could lead you along a path that is not uniquely yours. During the course of this year, you will lay the foundation stones for a new life structure on which you can build your life, especially professionally, during the course of the next 10 years. For you this is partly connected with overcoming any fear of taking an initiative, and any resentment that there are blockages on your path (Saturn in Aries). It is now you need to apply all your energy and willpower into achieving what you really want for yourself – not what others want for you. By mobilizing your resources for battle, setting your sights, and investing all your energy, you embark on the first steps towards creating your own unique and independent future.

After the struggles of the previous three years, much resistance has been swept aside, and with Jupiter trining its natal position age 31, there is a good chance of a smooth run. Helena Christensen had her child at this time. For our hypothetical client…

– At the age of 31 you can slip into overdrive as you begin to reap the benefit of the changes that have been so much a part of your life for the past two or three years. The basic structure is in place for you to expand your influence and harvest some initial results. There may be a hint of overconfidence, but your potential for good fortune is strong, and an optimistic attitude attracts success. For you the greatest bonuses can come in connection with your personal relationships, and there will be an expansion not only in your social life, but also perhaps in connection with a deeply significant romantic bond. (Jupiter in Libra)

32 can be a magical year – especially if Venus and Mars are strong in the chart, because the birth relationship between Venus and Mars will repeat themselves. Jupiter squares its natal position at this time, so this is a year when there is a tendency to do things against one’s better judgement too…

– During the course of your 32 nd year you have the need to realize your relationship potential. It is important that your romantic needs are met at this time, and that you feel valued in your relationships. Feelings and passion need to be integrated – love and Eros go hand in hand, and you want fulfilment on all levels. If you are unattached, then this is a year when your attraction peaks, and potential partners come your way. If you are in a relationship, it needs to be satisfying; otherwise your eye may stray. As this is not a year characterized by the best judgement, or wise ethical choices, you may be tempted to allow yourself to be guided by your passions, though this may not necessarily be a bad thing in the long term.

At the age of 33, Saturn makes its first sextile after the return, and the Nodes make a square to the birth position. This is also a year when Mercury returns to its birth position at the birthday so…

– As you enter your 33 rd year, you are in a positive development phase of your life, and the new structures you established as you entered your thirties are beginning to show their potential. (Saturn) Confronting fears of going it alone, you have been able to take personal initiatives and establish your independence on the career front. (Aries) This is a year in which you are filled with curiosity and there is much to learn. You may wish to attend courses, study and travel. (Mercury) Questions arise during the course of the year as regards the direction in which your destiny lies. You encounter people, or get involved with groups, who may not be aligned with your mission in life, but who nevertheless inspire you to consider an adjustment in direction. (Node) A crucial question for you is whether to pursue independence or whether to make compromises for a relationship, and finding a balance is not easy at this time. The ideal is to avoid dependence on others, so that you can give your strength to a relationship. (Aries/Libra)

During the 34 th year, the Saturn sextile is still effective, whilst Uranus is quincunx its birth position, which is its last aspect to itself before the coming opposition…

– As you enter your 34 th year you are building strongly on firm foundations, and making concrete progress on your path, acquiring useful communication and educational skills and building a solid network. (Saturn) Your initiatives are beginning to pay off, and there is a sense that what you are building now will stand you in good stead for the future. A sense of restlessness may also inspire you to make some adjustments at this time; on the one hand you don’t want to rock the boat, whilst on the other you would like to distinguish yourself from the norm. Your unique choices as regards relationship come to the fore at this time, and you may be chafing at the bit if you feel there are too many restrictions. At work you seek out a personal niche.

The 35 th year brings the third return of Jupiter to its birth position…

– This is a year when you gain deep insight and expand your understanding of your role in the world. This gives rise to strong views about your life situation, and some concerns about what is right, what is wrong, and whether justice is being done. During this year you propagate your views and express your latent wisdom with confidence and optimism. (Jupiter) The principle of fairness is particularly important in terms of relationships, and you do your best to ensure that balance is attained according to the enlightened principles that are so important to you. Your capacity for success is at its highest right now, and if you catch the wave, you can expect a surge of progress and good fortune. If you do not have a relationship, then good fortune can smile on you. If you do, then it can move to a higher level. (Libra)

At the age of 36, Saturn now makes a square to its birth position, and this is a time to review past progress and plan the future…

– During the course of your 36 th year you encounter a number of challenges, particularly in your professional life. The progress you have made over the last seven years is up for review, and structural adjustments are called for. Pressing demands on your time force you to improve your organization and planning. There are times when it may seem too much, but hard work and effort put in now will help you attain goals set earlier. (Saturn) You may feel that the burden rests on your shoulders alone, but this may be your personal choice and the price of maintaining your independence. By mobilizing your determination and fighting spirit, you overcome the obstacles the year presents. (Aries)

The Saturn square will often drag on into the 37 th year, but the main feature of the year is the second return of the Node to its birth position at the age of 37 and four months. These cycles are immensely significant, because the Nodes relate to eclipse cycles and have the capacity to occult the Sun and Moon, suggesting a cosmic consciousness factor superior to the forces of personality…

– During the course of your 37 th year you are rounding the corner in terms of overcoming challenges and realizing professional goals, after putting considerable effort and determination. Success is within grasp, but what does success mean for you, and are the goals you are striving to achieve in accordance with your higher mission in life? Equally important: are the people you are associated with, your friends and partners, conducive to a happy future? This is the year to say goodbye to those who are no longer relevant to your spiritual growth, and welcome new people who are… both in your personal and in your professional life. (Node) For you this is concerned with any dependency situation, and this is the year when you make choices that emphasize your independence. (Aries/Libra)

After the somewhat disjointing effect of the nodal return, 38 is a year when the waxing Jupiter square brings exhilarating change, warming up for the next two years, when the Uranus opposition will make its presence felt, as well as Neptune’s square to itself, and, for those born in the late 20 th century, the Pluto square.

– As you enter your 38 th year there is a sense of exotic promise. New experiences are awaiting on the horizon, but you may not know what they are to be as yet. After a period of effort and measured growth, the urge is now to pull out all the stops and expand your horizons. It may seem as if your local environment cannot supply the inspiration that you need, in which case you may start investigating possibilities farther afield. There is a growing sense that meaning is more important than achievement, and therefore a need to expand on the new circle of acquaintances you acquired last year to attain personal growth and consciousness change.

During the last year of the thirties, there are many changes in the air which are keenly felt because of the impending Uranus opposition. Nevertheless, with both Saturn and Jupiter trine their birth positions, this can be a year of unprecedented growth and consolidation of everything that has been achieved in the preceding nine years. As 39 is also a year when Mercury returns to its birth position for the solar return, it’s a busy year…

– Your 39 th year is the culmination of the choices you made as the thirties began, and a time to harvest the results of all the efforts you have made. It is at this time when you both establish and advance your position in society, and maximize your influence and success. You are eager to gain more knowledge, and to spread the word about what you know. Whenever a peak is reached, then it also heralds the time for a new start, but at the same time it is important to enjoy the results of your labours and realize the assets you have built up. (Saturn/Jupiter) With your foundations firmly established, you may feel that you have the resources to take a few risks and experiment with your life. On the one hand you may want to see the world, and experience exotic cultures, whilst on the other you would like to manifest a more radical side of your nature. (Uranus) This can be connected with your interest in experimental forms of relationships that combine freedom and intimacy.

During the last years of the thirties a person will normally have established a life framework that serves well for the future, both spiritually and economically. But for those who perhaps compromised too much as they entered the thirties, and allowed the demands of society to have more say than their own personal needs, the price is paid during the period from 40 to 44 as the Uranus opposition, and Pluto and Neptune squares force readjustments that culminate in the Saturn opposition. For some this will be a period of soul-searching and inner upheaval, whist for those firmly established on their path, these influences bring turbo-charged growth and a sense of personal fulfilment. More of that in the next article.

Adrian Ross Duncan September 19 th 2005


The Twenties

Many things in a person’s life are predictable without knowing anything about the person apart from the age. Certain developments are inevitable simply because of astrological, or indeed astronomical, factors that will always occur at specific ages. The age of 32 will always be a romantic and fruitful year for example – it is at this age that Mars and Venus simultaneously return to their birth positions. These natural cycles can be correlated to the birth chart too, so if Venus or Mars are strong at birth, through for example having a Libra Ascendant, then the likelihood of romance is increased. Likewise, all astrologers are aware of the Saturn cycle, which at the approximate age of 29 completes one orbit of the Sun and returns to its natal position. (Note 1) This is an extraordinarily significant coming of age, bringing profound structural adjustments, yet it seems to be completely unknown to the general public.There are of course also predictable biological, psychological or cultural changes at certain ages, particularly when young – such as learning to speak in the second year, going to school, entering puberty etc. – just as certain decades have particular associations, limitations and opportunities. Only some things are possible as a teenager for example… it is a time for parties and dancing, but not generally for pursuing a career, having children or buying property. In the twenties, which is the subject of this article, there is the energy, naivety and blind courage of youth, yet achievement is elusive and energy often squandered. The convictions and burning idealism of the twenties often spring from unconscious reaction to the expectations of parents and society, and have yet to be tempered by the cool hand of the Saturn return. It is during the twenties that natural talents are developed, and invaluable experience in personal relationships gathered. People learn from their mistakes.At the age of 20, there are a whole range of significant astrological factors, and one of the most interesting is the Mercury factor. Indian astrologers have long been aware of the curious relation between Mercury and the Sun, which results in Mercury returning almost exactly to its birth position at the age of 13 and the age of 20. This happens at any age that is even a combination of these numbers, such as 33 or 39. The solar return for these years will therefore strongly accentuate mental skills. It is also at the age of 19 to 20 that Uranus makes its first square to its birth position. Furthermore Saturn makes its first waning trine to its birth position, and Jupiter begins the waning square prior to the second Jupiter return at 23.

Whilst all these influences will happen to everyone, the birth position by sign and house, as well as the condition of the planet, will give a very unique character to the development. Even if we just know the year of birth, then we can be more specific, and in this article I have taken as an example someone born in 1946, like George W Bush, Al Gore or Bill Clinton, who have North Node in Gemini, Pluto in Leo, Neptune in Libra, Uranus in Gemini, Saturn in Leo, and Jupiter in Libra. Bearing these things in mind, the following can be said of the 20th year.

– As you enter your 20th year you continue the trend from the previous year in which you assert exactly what it is about you that makes you unique. The urge to differentiate yourself from the norm is strong. (Uranus) This is connected to developing radically different ideas, particularly as regards your further education. You are prepared to travel more or commute if it means you can have more freedom and excitement. You are caught up in the zeitgeist of revolutionary ideas. (Gemini). At 20, developing your skills and mental talents is paramount. (Mercury) This is a year in which you are absorbed by justice and issues of right and wrong, although there is a tendency to be subjective in your own judgment and a little bit too categorical. (Jupiter). Nevertheless you strive to be fair minded, and to familiarize yourself with the views of others, and gain insight into the subtle ways of diplomacy in the process. (Libra). Despite the early revolutionary tendencies of the year, you are fully aware of the responsibilities weighing on you as you enter adult life, and you work hard to create a framework for growth into your twenties. (Saturn).

So much for 20. The age of 21 is a rite of passage in the West… the gateway to adult life and all its travails. The individuation process marked by the nodal return at 18 and the Uranus square at 19 to 20 has taken place, and a basic individual template has been established. Astrologically, the Jupiter square continues, and the Moon’s node makes a sextile to itself. The following conclusions can be drawn for our hypothetical 1946 client…

– The age of 21 sees you poised on the threshold of adult life after a radical process of change during which you have asserted your unique individual qualities and to a certain extent tuned in to the essential aspect of your fate that gives your life purpose. Now is the time to consider how you can use your natural resources and childhood inheritance to define the direction you want your life to take so that it will have meaning for you. You will meet people and get involved with groups who guide you on this path. (Node) You have a natural philosophical view and are good at seeing the bigger picture, and you need wide horizons and plenty of freedom. Nevertheless the secret to happiness and success also lies in networking with others and acquiring educational skills. (Gemini) This is a year when you tend to assert your opinions strongly, sometimes for no other purpose than airing your views. You exercise your intellectual muscle, but you are not always right. (Jupiter)

At 22 the main astrological factor is the waning square of Saturn to its birth position…

– During your 22nd year you experience the first major challenges and at times setbacks in establishing your professional credentials. How you tackle obstacles now will determine future success. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and this year is all about perseverance and self-discipline. Your attitude to authorities at this time is crucial… very much depends on how you experienced parental discipline as a child. By making an effort now and over the next two years, you build the framework for your future career. (Saturn) It is at this time that you successfully work on the insecurity you have about asserting your own leadership – and you are willing to take your share of the limelight, albeit reluctantly. (Leo).

At 23 there are two very important influences: Jupiter returns to its birth position, and the nodes make a square to the birth position…

– After the struggles and challenges of the previous year, your 23rd year brings welcome expansion and renewed optimism. Everyone needs the dream of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to inspire them, and it is now that you begin to harvest some of the rewards for all the hard work you have done. (Jupiter) Benefits come now particularly because of your people skills. You gain allies and friends because they appreciate your innate fairness, and it is at this time that you realize how much more can be achieved when people work together rather than alone. You can meet a true partner this year. (Libra) In addition, this is a year when you may want to make adjustments in your purpose or inner life mission. Some of the social groups you are involved with may have values that run at counter purpose to your own, yet you can gain valuable experience from relating to people with different values. (Node)

Every 8 years Venus returns almost exactly to the same position as it was at birth, so the solar return for the year strongly activates the qualities of Venus in the birth horoscope. Therefore 24 is a Venus year. This is also the year when Saturn makes the closing sextile to its birth position prior to the Saturn return. And finally the nodes trine their birth position.

– The age of 24 is a time when matters of the heart become very important for you, and the desire to define and express your aesthetics and personal taste is strong. The focus is on how you relate and express your love, and on how your values harmonize with those close to you. Furthermore you wish to acquire material objects now that reflect your values, so efforts are centered on earning money and living a more comfortable life. (Venus) You can generally expect smooth progress during the course of the year, as the plans you have set into motion for your career create firm economic and social foundations on which you can build. It is now that you can earn yourself respect. (Saturn) At the same time you associate yourself with people who share some of your goals, and who can help you reach them. It is not so much a question of what you know as who you know. (Node)

At the age of 25, Uranus makes its first trine to itself, and this also stretches into the following year…

– During the course of your 25th year there are a number of developments that take you by surprise, and you learn that you can take nothing for granted. Life is an unpredictable affair. When change comes out of the blue, it also brings opportunity, so now is the time to find out just how prepared you are to take a few risks. If you are in a rut, you make a move to get out of it. Long-distance travel is favored, as well as meetings with exotic cultures, untraditional people and unconventional subjects. Make a move to distinguish yourself from the crowd. This is an excellent year to familiarize yourself with new technology and network with exciting groups.

The age of 26 is a Mercury year – this planet returns to its birth position in the solar return – and it is also a year when Neptune makes its first major aspect to its birth position. (Sextile). Furthermore the Uranus trine is still continuing and Jupiter makes a waxing square after the 2nd Jupiter return…

– At the age of 26 you become aware of the need to improve your communication or education skills to facilitate professional progress and smooth the course of your relationships. You are full of ideas and you want to spread them. (Mercury) You learn that life is not just about material gain and security, it also has to be meaningful, if you want to wake up every day with a smile on your face. Inspiration needs to come from somewhere, whether it is from spiritual beliefs, creative expression or through some kind of sacrifice for the greater good. Without inspiration, dissatisfaction spreads its foggy cloak, so nurture your dreams and ideals. ( Neptune ) It is in your personal relationships that you feel the strongest need for meaning and satisfaction, but they are strangely elusive. Only when you have a shared vision that transcends everyday relationship needs can you feel true contentment. (Libra) Still, you are open to change and ready to be guided by your ideals, so you can expect a strong expansion during the course of the year, and you will become more influential. You are guided by powerful personal convictions, and gain perspective over your future. (Jupiter)

The most significant astrological factor at the age of 27 is the return of the progressed Moon to its birth position at 27 years and four months. The Moon’s nodes also reverse position at this time, the Neptune sextile is still in operation, and Jupiter makes the outgoing trine to itself.

– At the age of 27 you feel a deep connection to your soul, and – perhaps for the first time – there is a sense of emotional maturity, a circle completed. With emotional currents running so deep, you are naturally confronted with the ghosts of the past… your emotional inheritance. This awakens your own paternal/maternal drives as the urge to care for a family in your own unique way makes itself felt. You do what you can this year to create a secure environment, a cozy home, and a contented family. (Moon) It is during the course of this year that you get a sense of your destiny, and to a certain extent you are torn between the pull of the past and your family inheritance, and the pull of the future. (Node) Nevertheless, a buoyant optimism gives you the belief that the future will be good for you, and you are ready to broadcast your convictions to the world and widen your horizons. (Jupiter)

At 28 Pluto, which takes 246 years to orbit the Sun, makes its first sextile to itself. (Note 3), and this will continue into the next year and the Saturn return…

– During the course of your 28th year, there is the sense that you have achieved a lot, been through a lot, yet the answers are not to be found in these achievements and experiences. It is difficult to hold on to the structures you have created, and you are not even sure you want to. You may ask yourself just how much you have been conditioned to go along the path you have taken, and you may feel that some of the steam has gone out of the machine. A positive transformation is called for at this time, and it is wise to take a hard look at what it is in your life you are tired of, and eliminate it. This can be quite an exhausting psychological process, and there is a tendency to go to emotional extremes. (Pluto) You are confronted with your deepest insecurities about yourself as an individual, and discover just how much you mask these insecurities by being overly powerful, or overly charming. The more psychological insight you gain now, the more effectively you can harness your power to create positive change. (Leo)

The Saturn return at 29 is a memorable event for everyone. As Jupiter and Saturn have a 20 year cycle, where they repeat their birth positions, at 30 Jupiter is also in opposition to itself…

– The age of 29 is a time when much of what you have achieved comes up for revision. Life has come full circle, lessons have been learned, experiences harvested. The big question now is – how much of your achievement was geared to satisfying the demands of parents and society, however unconsciously, and how much is an expression of who you are as a unique individual? You have a unique perspective on your life now, and you can gain an insight and understanding that will enable you stake out a future for yourself. The fulfillment that you have worked so hard for in your twenties may still be eluding you, and if this is the case, now is the time to define what you want to achieve in your life, and not what other people want you to achieve. What you decide now is crucial, and will form the framework for your thirties. Life is too short to spend even one more year going on a path that does not satisfy you. (Saturn) You need to overcome insecurity about leadership and creativity, and take on the mantle of a role model. Choices based on lack of self-confidence lead to a dead end, so take your position center stage and let the light shine on you. (Leo)

Don’t be afraid to radical transform your life, whatever changes now realigns you with your fate, and brings the best conditions for future growth. (Pluto)

Every year in a person’s life will be thus characterized by predictable planetary configurations. The birth horoscope will personalize these influences and make them unique for the individual, but the basic template for human development is there and shared by everyone alive. A little knowledge about the position of the outer planets during the birth year enables the astrologer to be more detailed. Obviously transits and progressions in the personal horoscope are going to be far more personal and specific, but still it is curious just how much human development can be predicted with very little information.

Adrian Ross Duncan. 12th August 2005

Note 1. There can be slight variations depending on where a planet is in its direct and retrograde cycle.

Note 2. Thanks to Vedic astrologer Finn Wandhal for drawing this to my attention

Note 3. Pluto has an irregular orbit. Whilst these years work of the most of the 20th century, Pluto will take longer to make its aspects later on in the 21st century.


A Future with Pluto

Nobody has ever suggested that it was the job of Pluto to make people feel comfortable. That is not the general idea. When it was discovered as a pinpoint of light on a photographic plate on February 18th 1930 , the world was in upheaval – financially because of the Wall Street crash, and politically because of the rise of fascism in Europe . Scientifically, early work on splitting the atom led to the development of the atomic bomb, ultimately threatening the survival of humanity. Psychologically, demons that had been conveniently projected onto the devil and all his non-Christian works were unearthed within our own psychology as a part of our nature. And they were on the loose.The principle of Pluto is that something infinitely small can have an effect out of all proportion to its size. In this sense Pluto is connected with miniaturisation. Computers that once filled whole buildings in the 1960’s are handheld today. As material objects get halved in size, then halved again, their price also proportionately decreases, making treasures fit for kings available to everyman. As we peer deep into matter, or into deep space, we come to the roots of being, and the roots of time. The Big Bang was the creation of everything from nothing. The energy of Pluto is always locked, and appears blocked, and a special key is needed to release its transformative effect – an effect that increases exponentially once released.

Pluto is connected with plastic, just as Neptune is connected with oil, from which most plastic comes. Slowly but surely plastic is replacing natural products and creating an indestructible, non-biodegradable world. The plastic, cling-film interface between our senses and reality alienates and disconnects us from the organic world. This plastic world is clean, but dead, and it makes us uncomfortable. It will not always be like this – a time will come when plastic will be precious. It will save the world’s forests by replacing trees, and save the world’s animals by insulating and nourishing our bodies.

When people cease to work as slaves, it will be the robots of Pluto that will have taken over. Wherever today a man ceaselessly repeats an inhuman task, a robot will uncomplainingly toil, leaving humans in the promised land of Aquarius to indulge the sensual feast. This plastic playground is almost here; remove the plastic, the automation and the robots, and civilisation would cease to exist as we know it.

But we are full of anxiety, and the very factor that will ultimately deliver us from anxiety is, in this period of history, its cause. As Pluto moves through the signs, from Cancer at its discovery in 1930 to Sagittarius as the new millennium begins, it removes the comfort zone that humanity took for granted in connection with each sign, and when Pluto leaves that sign, something has been changed forever.

The Pluto in Cancer period, from 1913 (just prior to World War 1) to 1939 (as World War 2 started) brought the upheaval of hierarchies and families, as a great levelling factor transformed society. Men in Europe were slaughtered in their millions in the initial phase of this transit, elevating the role of women and preparing the ground for the beginning of political equality. Similarly the privileged classes lost much of their influence – no more so of course than in Russia , where they were eradicated.

Pluto in Leo from 1939 to 1957/8 brought the rise of the superpower, based on the destructive power of the bomb. Schoolchildren practised hiding under their desks, as the spectre of intercontinental ballistic missiles brought the possibility of destruction to each individual on earth. On the other hand this was the time when colonial powers lost their power, as individual countries asserted their right to be independent. The Pluto in Leo generation is obsessed with youth and self-indulgence. This first generation to grow up under the shadow of the bomb was the first to confront the fact that humanity really could be destroyed, that Armageddon could be a reality, and therefore they seized life with all their power.

Pluto in Virgo from 1957 to 1971/2 brought the transformation of work, medicine, agriculture and the service industry. With the introduction of the first computerised robots, employees performing nightmarish tasks in heavy industry were released (into traumatic unemployment) and service industries began their rise. Farms became automated, pigs and chickens became production units, so we could have egg and bacon every day. The Pill enabled women to gain control over their biology – sex was on the rise, but, for the first time, birth rates started falling. Pluto has its own medical solution to the so-called population explosion.

For those to whom marriage was sacred, Pluto had a very special surprise when in transited Libra from 1971 to 1983/4. Aesthetics and femininity were transformed, as bras were burned, and equal rights insisted on. Roles were reversed as men renounced masculinity, and women demonstrated that they could manage very well without the opposite sex. Men loved men, and women loved women – leaving the Pluto in Libra children to ponder about love and relationships… and to create the single culture of today. This was the era of MAD – mutually assured destruction – the nuclear balance of power between the Soviet Union and USA .

After so much sexual experimentation, Pluto in Scorpio from 1983 to 1995 brought the spectre of AIDS. Now even the most natural act in the world could result in death. Back in its home sign, Pluto focussed paranoia on sex itself, and this led to a drastic change in sexual habits, not least in a new openness amongst governments regarding sexual health. Condoms were everywhere. Economically this was the time of the yuppie, of junk bonds and how to get rich by screwing others – happy times for Reaganites and Thatcherites. Banks crashed, then merged to create huge financial entities.

Pluto in Sagittarius from 1995 to 2008 has of course evoked the spectre of international terror and religious fundamentalism. As a mutable sign Sagittarius creates polarity, and today we have the idea of a war of civilizations. The root cause of terror is probably injustice, which Pluto in Sagittarius seeks to redress by its own methods, but the terror of Muslim extremists is also about fighting the Great Satan of America, and the sexual flagrancy and material indulgence of the West… a last-ditch attempt to save an outdated worldview.

Governments invest enormous resources into avoiding the consequences of terror. In Switzerland today, no new houses can be build without a nuclear fallout shelter. (There is no need to worry about humanity being eliminated by an all-out nuclear war… the Swiss will survive.) Likewise, a general political reaction to international terror today is control and surveillance.

Which brings us to Pluto’s coming transit of Capricorn from January 2008 to 2024. (Those Pluto transits are getting longer – as a result of its eccentric orbit Pluto actually only spends 12 years in Scorpio whilst it will be 33 years in Taurus.) Most English people are pleased to note that the bombers responsible for the London bombings on July 7th, 2005 were conveniently identified on CCTV. Indeed the average English person’s movements outside their houses can be tracked from morning to night in Britain, which has the highest proportion of outdoor cameras anywhere in the world. Cameras which can zoom and be moved remotely; cameras which can see night and day. Iris scanning has been implemented at airports, so in the years to come it will be an instantaneous process to identity all international travellers. To identify you and me.

Pluto in Capricorn is a 16 year period where government consolidates autocratic power in the name of security. The fuel that will give governments a mandate to do this is anxiety and terror. This is why the long and drawn-out Uranus in Aries square to Pluto from 2011 to 2115 is so potentially dangerous. People who value their independence will rebel against this surveillance and control.

The signature of Pluto in Capricorn has already been designed, and it can be seen in the construction of the Shanghai World Financial Centre, which coincidentally is to be 492 meters in height. (A Neptune/Pluto conjunction takes place every 492 years.) Looking at a picture of the tower, it almost appears as a modern Pluto symbol, with a circle cradled into a curved V form rising up through its 95 storeys. The circle at its top is a hole – not I am sure designed for airliners to fly through, but to relieve wind pressure.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2008, as Pluto enters Capricorn, giving an intimation of the enormous power big business will wield during this transit. During this time small groups of super-powerful people will wield enormous influence, and much of this will take place secretly. Democracy will be too dangerous to leave to the people. States are liable to assume a more dictatorial rule, partly because of fear of losing control to terrorists, or maybe just to democrats.

This building may also be a symbol of a shift of economic power from West to East – the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York clearing the path for the coming tallest building in the world, the Shanghai World Financial Centre. The exporting of jobs overseas in the Pluto in Sagittarius era has empowered Asia, and there may be little the outdated institutions of Europe and America can do about this. Pluto in Capricorn will initiate a painful transformation of Western business structures. Business will move east, and power concentrated in an international elite who owe allegiance to no one nation. Many Western countries have significant political and economic entities that started on New Year’s day with the Sun at 9 Capricorn, so there can be little doubt that the period 2012 – 2014 will be a period of crisis and transformation because of the Pluto/Uranus square around this degree.

Of course America itself was born with Pluto at 27 degrees Capricorn, and it has managed to maintain a reasonable democracy since 1771, though this is perhaps more due to its exalted Saturn in Libra. Certainly there are Americans that feel that power is concentrated in the hands of a secretive elite, and the mass of conspiracy theories spawned in America about anything from the assassination of Kennedy to the “demolition” of the World Trade Centre” is a testimony to the Mercury/Pluto opposition in the US chart. Pluto in Capricorn in USA’s 2nd house shows the power of corporate might and finance, and it is an open question today during George W Bush’s government just how much power big business has on the Republican machine.

When Pluto transits a sign it leaves a swathe of destruction, but what is destroyed has often outlived its relevance. Big business elites will not survive the Pluto transit, but will in turn be transformed. The invasive hand of government will not be allowed to stifle individuals, or to reduce those who do not have the privilege of power to slaves in the hierarchy. By the time Pluto enters Aquarius – in 2023 – humanitarian concerns will sweep away autocracy. The price of fanatical ambition will have been too high. The doctrine of the survival of the fittest – or of the most highly qualified – will give way to a violent levelling process.

It is at this time that the Saturn/Jupiter cycle enters air signs for a period of 200 years, and the scourge of materialism will be replaced by lofty social values. The harnessing of light will transform industry, and the burning of fossil fuels will be a quaint and nostalgic tradition. Pluto in Aquarius will transform the power of thought. Keyboards will cease to exist, implanted probably, and screens will be everywhere in a festival of light. The dictatorship of the corporation will give way to the dictatorship of group consciousness; you will be free to do anything, just as long as you don’t try to give up your membership. When Pluto comes into Pisces in 2043, we’ll surely be in need of the resurrection.

Adrian Ross Duncan 18.07.2005


Saturn in Leo and the Grand Cross

If astrological tradition is anything to go by, then Saturn has been going through a particularly difficult period in these years. Give it the limitations of Capricorn with plenty of hard work, self-discipline and obstacles to overcome, and Saturn is quite happy. Perhaps not actually happy, but at least not disgruntled. Put it in soft and vulnerable Cancer, and it behaves quite inappropriately. What can it do with all that need for security and belonging? Saturn is a bit stiff when it has to deal with all the mushy emotional stuff, but if you want a nice hedge, fence or wall, then Saturn will be pleased to oblige.Perhaps that is why Israel has been so busy constructing their “fence” since their progressed new moon, which took place at 14 Cancer in September 2001 at the time of the terror attack on New York . Winding its way a little too far into Palestinian territory on the West Bank , this massive construction is a testimony to just how clumsy Saturn can be when in exile in Cancer. America , reeling from the grave wound inflicted on its financial heart, was hardly in a position to object, and feeble protests from EU countries were brushed off as anti-Semitism. Europe does not have a strong record for protecting Jews.

Walls do not last forever, but a good wall should last 29 years – if the Berlin Wall is anything to go by – so Palestinians can expect their trumpets to reduce the Israeli wall to dust around 2030. (Note 1)

The equivalent wall in America is the Homeland Security Act, which has effectively prevented many of the best young foreign brains from entering the United States and created the impression amongst those who have managed to enter the country – and added photos of their irises to the vast homeland security database – of a brave new world indeed. America is a Cancerian country, so security has been something of an issue post 9/11 and during the Saturn in Cancer period. It is not surprising then, that the electorate re-elected their Cancer president, George W Bush in 2004. He was the candidate smart enough to campaign on a platform of security.

On July 16th 2005 , Saturn moves on into Leo and the issue of security will fade from public awareness, to be replaced by concerns about leadership and problems regarding mass entertainment, child-rearing and celebrity affairs. Saturn was last in Leo from 1976 to 1978 when it made some very uncomfortable squares to a deadly Uranus in Scorpio. This was a “death of the future” period with black clad children and punks – who with their Mohican haircuts, and (just to make the message completely clear), metal chains and sharp objects piercing the skin – viciously parodied hippy dreamers. Johnny Rotten himself, of the very Uranus in Scorpio “Sex Pistols”, did manage to immortalize the heartfelt patriotism of the young with his unforgettable “God Save The Queen”. I guess that’s exactly how enthusiastic Saturn in Leo gets about royalty… no wonder it is in exile there.

Clearly the older generation from this period will have felt that a bit of discipline would have been quite a good thing for the young punks, and perhaps some of them will have thought wistfully about that golden age from 1946-1948 when Saturn combined with Pluto in Leo. That was a time when toilet training was all the rage, and young bottoms were placed on potties with the military discipline that was to be expected after 5 years of war.

If there is a sense that Saturn in Leo evokes resistance in children and the urge to tighten up in parents, then we can expect the Saturn ingress in 2005 to bring heavier demands on children as regards education and general behaviour. The perception that children are spoiled and being corrupted will lead to authoritarian attempts at repression. These attempts are doomed to fail – there is no Pluto conjunction to crush resistance now, just an opposition to Neptune to undermine Saturn.

It is the Neptune opposition that will dominate Saturn in Leo as regards children, gambling, life quality, celebrity scandals and anything else concerned with Leo. The Saturn/Neptune synod takes place every 35 years, and the last opposition was in 1972, when limits on oil led to a disastrous economic crash in the West. As Saturn enters Leo here in 2005 and a powerful grand cross is formed, preliminary conditions for later economic downturn are liable to be established. Looking at the graph for this period it can be seen that direct and retrograde Mars knits together Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune over a six month period activating the energy of the four fixed signs and producing a stagnant climate where energy gets inextricably mired.

An erstwhile celebrity in Britain is Tony Blair, who was born under the exact conjunction of Saturn and Neptune in 1953.

See chart : Tony Blair 6.05.1953 6.10 BST Edinburgh (AS 4.50 GE)

Saturn and Neptune are of course very strongly linked to social idealism, and there can be little doubt that Blair – with Ascendant ruler Mercury in Aries opposing the conjunction – passionately believes in applying socialist dreams to create a socialist utopia. With five powerful planets in the 12th house, he probably feels a religious conviction that he is a channel for change. Given that his Taurus sun is square Pluto, any convictions will tend to have a fanatical edge, and with Jupiter also in Taurus, his beliefs tend to be unshakeable. You never get Blair admitting he is wrong.

The Neptune transit to Blair’s Moon in Aquarius was the beginning of the dissolution of his celebrity status. With the vast majority of the British people vociferously against any involvement in Iraq , he supported Bush and declared war. Here the weakness of his Mercury opposition Saturn/Neptune came into the open, for this is an aspect noted for smokescreens and lies. People in Britain felt they had been lied to – and they were – and Tony Blair was revealed to be an ordinary politician very out of touch with his electorate. With transit Neptune moving on to square Blair’s Sun, he managed to win his third term as Prime Minister, but with a greatly reduced majority.

See chart : United Kingdom 1 Jan 1801 0.00 LMT London (AS 7.10 LI)

With the coming grand cross in fixed signs, Britain and Blair are likely to bear the brunt of the economic difficulties on their way. Saturn in Leo will station in opposition to Blair’s Moon at 11.30 Aquarius in November 2005, and his unpopularity is liable to peak at this time. Bearing in mind that 1801 Britain has Mars at 11.46 Taurus in the 8th – in exact square to Blair’s Moon – an implacable resistance is likely. Noting that transit Mars returns to this position in August and November 2005, and January 2006, there will be enormous focus on the deception that occurred when Neptune squared Mars and Britain went to war, and on any economic corruption or scandal that may have resulted. The retrograde Mars suggests withdrawal of troops.

Quite apart from that, the coming grand cross will trigger 1801 Britain’s grand cross involving Saturn at 23 Leo, Neptune at 18 Scorpio, Venus at 16 Aquarius and Mars. This rare constellation will have a profound effect on British political life. The pressure on Blair from 2005 to 2006 will be huge, and his survival is probably at stake. The subsequent pressure on Britain in 2006 and 2007 from the continued Neptune/Saturn opposition, which peaks in June 2007, will create a continued economic downturn and acute discomfort for New Labour.

One of the basic points of the grand cross is Jupiter. When transiting Scorpio it brings knowledge of secrets, and in political terms economic power play and corruption. Jupiter squares Saturn in December, dwells in square to Neptune in the winter of 2006, then squares Saturn twice more in June and October 2006 just as Saturn moves up to oppose Neptune. This is an extremely powerful aspect pattern, and the summer of 2006 is obviously the most dangerous period for Blair. This will also herald economic power battles in the world’s largest economies. Economic cartels will be revealed to have corrupt methods, and Saturn in Leo will reflect political attempts to limit the economic corruption of previously respected leaders.

It is very likely that falling oil production – reflecting the Saturn/Neptune opposition – will trigger an economic crisis in this period. It seems that the activation of the UK chart means that Britain has a central role, and is also profoundly affected by the economic pressures. There are no indications that Britain will give way under pressure – so in relation to the European Union, the lack of flexibility that manifests at this time will severely undermine EU structure. As far as the EU is concerned generally, there will be huge disillusion about further expansion – but when Jupiter later moves into Sagittarius, moves to include Turkey will probably go ahead.

Apart from Britain , another country with significant planets in fixed signs – and a country very sensitive to the Saturn/Neptune cycle – is Russia . The 1917 Revolution chart (Note 2) has a Sun/Mercury in Scorpio in T square to Saturn in Leo opposing Uranus in Aquarius, so the Saturn return here is likely to pile the pressure on Putin too. The 1991 “Flag Up” horoscope has a Venus/Pluto conjunction in Scorpio, so this too is affected by the Saturn/Neptune opposition. Putin has seemed to live a charmed life until now, but he will be in trouble from 2005 to 2007, with special focus on economic scandals. His persecution of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky of the Yukos oil company may come back to haunt him, or he may go on to dismantle the empires of other oligarchs. Still, unrest in Russia is likely to undermine his position.

It is likely that any revered leader or high-profile individual will be vulnerable during the Saturn transit of Leo. Public scepticism will put people off hero-worship, and questions will be asked about what well-known people are doing in their private lives, and how they are using the vast sums of money at their disposal. Pop stars, football players and other stars would be advised to keep a low profile. The likelihood of celebrity sexual scandals is high, as Jupiter in Scorpio focuses on secrets, sexuality and corruption. Public disillusion will reach new heights.

As Jupiter makes the contact with Neptune , bubbles will be inflated and rise to huge heights. The last Jupiter/Pluto square took place as Dot Com company went public, and the crash that followed – devastating thousands of technology companies – happened as Jupiter went on to conjoin Saturn in Taurus. The latest bubble has been the property boom, which is the result of many factors – not least globalisation and the easy transfer of money across borders. Those who have cashed in their equity and partied over the last few years will be experiencing sizeable hangovers. The lesson of Saturn in Leo is clear – the party is over.

Adrian Ross Duncan 15.06.2005

Adrian Ross Duncan was editor of the Astrological Journal from 1998 to 2001, and author of Doing Time on Planet Earth and the recent Astrology: Transformation ad Empowerment. His articles, software and other astrological offerings can be seen at

1. Construction was started the Berlin Wall on August 13th 1961 , and demolition started on November 10th 1989 .

2. Russian Revolution. 8 Nov 1917 2.12 St. Petersburg (AS 14.20 VI).

3. Russia – Flag up. 25.12.1991 20.45 Moscow (AS 25.16 LE)

Data from Book of World Horoscopes.