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"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape
finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. " --- Marcus Aurelius


2020: The Start of the of Greatest
Change Since 710

July 12, 710: Saturn and Pluto were exactly conjunct, with Ceres just over 3 degrees away, with Sun less than six degrees away on one side and Jupiter just over 7 degrees away on the other side, with all but Jupiter in "Cardinal" sign Cancer.

January 12, 2020: Saturn Pluto exactly conjunct, with Ceres just 0.2 degrees away, the Sun less than one degree away, while Jupiter will be less than 13.5 degrees away, with all in the "Cardinal" sign Capricorn. That exact conjunction of Saturn and Pluto is within less than 5 degrees of USA's Pluto. Oh my!


       In 710, in the so-called Dark Ages, what is now Spain was essentially the Visigothic Kingdom, with its religious, cultural and royal political center in Toledo, Castile. In or around 710, Visigoth king Wittiza who had only ruled for seven or eight years, died. Often then a Visigoth king was knocked off like some pre-Mafia-era Don, although Wittiza’s cause of death, natural or otherwise, is unknown. Self-promoting Duke Roderic, the Toledo insiders’ choice, became the new king. Kings there and then were supposed to be approved by the majority of the Iberian Peninsula’s Visigoth nobles. However, those outside of Toledo were excluded from influence in 710 and 711. This was the 8th century equivalent of living “outside the beltway” in “fly over” states. Further, the non-regional Visigoth conquerors were only about 1% of the population. Then as now, the 1 % can rule the 99%, until things change. Astrology tells us when change is due.
     Meanwhile in July 710 (the same month and year of the big conjunction!), Tarif and 500 successfully raided the southernmost shore of the Visigothic Kingdom, which is also the southernmost point of Europe, just 7.7 nautical miles across the strait of Gibraltar (Gibraltar: “the rock of Tariq”). They received hospitality from some Christians there, then returned home with plunder, captives and the lay of the land for the big invasion of April 30, 711. The Sabian Symbol for Saturn and Pluto in the 7/12/710 chart is about the introduction of some new outsider to one’s own group. (Note: Saturn and Pluto were conjunct within less than 5.5 degrees on 4/30/711).

The following year, 711, Roderic led a large army of thousands south, including previously ignored nobles and their troops, expecting to handily expel the thousands of invaders lead by Tariq. Roderic led his own portion of the army into battle (7/19/711, Pluto and Saturn less than eleven degrees apart), expecting backup, which did not come. He died in battle. The kingdom then had no king. What should have been an easy victory was not only a defeat, but also the beginning of the rapid fall of the whole kingdom. Divided, they fell. Tariq easily took Toledo in 711 or 712. The ethnically diverse Muslims called their new fertile land “al-Andalus” (“…. Andalusia with fields full of rain….”)… It lasted almost eight centuries until 1492, the year when those invaded became invaders of another land.
Noting the approximate estimates of major change, from the time of the 7/12/710 conjunction, in 30 months at the most, the entire religious cultural and political nature of a major civilization had changed, perhaps in only about one year!


     Islam spread rapidly from the Middle East, across northern Africa. Compared to much of the Middle East and much of North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula was far more fertile and far less arid. Ceres in mythology is the Goddess who blesses the growth of food crops. Ceres in fertile Water sign Cancer, “summertime, and the livin’ is easy”, would be a great boon to the prosperity of this new religious/cultural/political institution.
     Pluto, “the Lord Who Taketh Away” involved in the conjunction tells us that those who did govern (Saturn) will lose what they had. The excluded nobles let the king die, not knowing that the kingdom would die with him. Similarly, for years, particularly since 681, the Visigoths in Toledo made multiple laws that discriminated against the Jews. When the invasion came, those Jews understandably were not motivated to fight for the Visigoths. In fact, there was significant collaboration of those Jews with the so-called “Moors” of Mauritania. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” (presumably).


            Astronomical Ceres and Pluto, invisible without a good telescope, were unknown to 8th century astrologers. However, the astro-mythological story certainly makes sense in historical hindsight. The “discovery” of Ceres, 1/1/1801, and of Pluto, 2/18/1930 (when Pluto was in Cancer), not only added new dimensions to astrology, in the last ninety years their combined presence reminds an astro-mythological us that they are two of the three main characters in an archetypal story of seasonal feast and famine. During the warmer months when crops grow and are harvested, Ceres is happy because Her beloved daughter, Persephone, is with Her. When winter comes, Persephone is with Pluto in the Underworld (below the surface of the Earth). Sad Ceres’ crops then do not grow and are not available for the taking from field, garden or orchard.
      An aside for astrologers: in the early1990’s, I made a case that Pluto’s Moon, Charon, was misnamed. That body is about 2/3 Pluto’s size, and they move together, always facing one another, like a dancing (or struggling?) couple, Pluto and Persephone. Persephone in the Underworld is Queen, Judge of Souls. Were you to entertain that possible perspective, then Persephone is also a part of the grand conjunctions of 710 and 2020, but those two stories, centuries apart, are quite different, as will be explained momentarily.
      Saturn in Cancer found governments and managers dealing with relatively abundant resources. Saturn in Capricorn, though, means governments and managers must manage significantly less. An amphibious invasion isn’t likely this time, more likely changed relationships between governments. NATO’s demise is not out of the question. 2019 Chinese – Russian business, the Russian – German pipeline, movements away from the U.S. dollar as reserve currency, and who knows what else, could become even more real.
      The Sabian Symbol image for Saturn and Pluto for 1/12/2020 involves two awards for bravery. It is indeed brave for any nation(s) to risk any actions not desired by the up-until-now nuclear and economic superpower.
      710 began as Tarif’s war; 2020 finds the world in Trump’s tariffs war. Tarif won the art of the steal then; art of the steal tariffs are likely to lose now.


       In 710, astro-mythologically it was as if Pluto surrendered Persephone back to Her Mother: His loss was Cere’s gain in the abundant fertile, summertime sign of Cancer. In 2020, the story is just the opposite. The conjunction occurs in the wintertime sign of Capricorn. So a major religious/cultural/political change is occurring analogous to harsh cold (literal and/or figurative) of winter. Worse, the discovery of Pluto coincided with the invention of deadly Plutonium, so the grim possibility of Nuclear Winter could become an issue as well with Pluto in the first Zodiacal sign of winter.
      In 710/711 the majority of people in the Visigothic Kingdom had no real say in their governance, as is the case for the non-wealthy majority of 2020 USA. As in 710/711, even the small minorities of those in power are again at odds with each other. (Think of the Democrat and Republican elites in relation to one another since Trump became president.) The divided people of the USA are as unlikely to come together against some new challenge, as was the case in 710/711.
      Saturn in Capricorn finds governments and managers dealing with relatively limited resources. Will across-the-spectrum management of scant resources take place --- Socialism, or will those in positions of Capitalistic corporate and/or governmental power oversees a regime of severe austerity, particularly hard on the elderly, with decisions made by those obscenely wealthy few who are elderly themselves?
      For anyone skeptical of this perspective, know that the Trump administration, with little real resistance from corporate-dominated Democrats, legally plans in 2020 to conditionally limit (Saturn) the SNAP (“food stamps’) program. Approximately 1 in 5 people, including children, are already “food insecure” (hungry) in the U.S. Most of those on the SNAP program are white and rural or small town, where jobs are few. Unable to find work, they may be cut off from groceries (“grow-Ceres”). Assuming that he and the Republican Senate retain power, there is a strong, unwise mean intent to destroy Social Security and Medicare. Add to that the “ageism” of layoffs, hiring discrimination, under-employment/part-time only employment, especially of the elderly we get hard times with no New Deal (at least so far).

      Note that one by one, the members of the “baby boomer” generation will already have felt, or soon will feel, the stress corresponding astrologically with the difficult transits of Saturn and Pluto. Alarmists years back screamed that “death panels” would be part of “Obama Care.” However, unless starvation prevention is not legislated at some level(s) of government, the ad hoc death panels might well actually become the mostly millionaires (many septuagenarians) of the Congress, Democrats and Republicans, the Senate, the White House and “Wall Street’s billionaires --- their hard-hearted puppeteers.


         Decades ago, an astrologer writing under a pseudonym for THE WASHINGTON POST (pre-Bezos) made a strong case for the U.S. Democratic Party as “ruled by” the planet Saturn. The rationale was that their logo was a beast of burden (a donkey) and at the time Democrats were the party of labor. Saturn: do what is required and you will get rewarded accordingly. Even though the Dems since Bill Clinton have long thrown hard-working laborers under the Wall Street express bus, their continued association with the donkey logo connects them to Saturn.
      That said, the starvation or prevention of starvation depends primarily on who and what policies that the hierarchy of the Democratic Party choses. The voters’ choice and possibly the nations’ salvation would be Bernie Sanders and his allies. Ex-Republican Elizabeth (“I like capitalism”) Warren would be a theoretical compromise possibility. Other potentially helpful individuals, including Marianne Williamson, are more important as conscience than probable candidates. Note that government and politics happen at state and local levels government too. The issues are the same: management and regulation of limited resources. Similarly, every employer, large and small, will either exploit workers or else act responsibly to their laborers and the interest of society at large.
       Of course, the significant 2020 conjunction is relevant for all nations and all levels of government worldwide. As a U.S. citizen living in the U.S., and with the U.S. (at least for now) the biggest deal, worldwide, I’m emphasizing that story here at this time. In passing, just know that while at least half a million are homeless in the U.S., homelessness is also dramatically on the rise throughout Europe and Australia. Some 300,000, including children, are homeless in Birmingham, UK. (See Banksy.) Some U.S. cities have laws against feeding the poor and/or rummaging through trashcans while looking for food. Some homeless people have been attacked and even killed simply for being homeless.

“.…You say you got money, you better be sure, Hard Times will drive you from door to door….” --- Skip James’ Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues (1931)


      The exact conjunction of Saturn and Pluto occurs on Jeff Bezos’ birthday, January 12th. Bezos is likely the richest man in the world. Will the capitalist system, every government in the world and Bezos himself increase the misery and suffering of others, or will Bezos by choice, or legal/financial coercion, “do the right thing”? As of 2019, Bezos seemed fixated on space travel, implying that when this planet is no longer livable, Obama’s buddy Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Bezos intend to simply leave humanity behind, moving on to other planets to exploit and devastate. Fools that they are, they know not that Ceres doesn’t feed well in captivity. Beautiful Earth and Her Beautiful Daughter are all that She loves and blesses.

            This dead grunge rocker reference is not mentioned as a trivial tangent. The awkward pain of this story and song seem related to the painful mess that is Lithium-Bolivia now, and the U.S.A. and world veering toward January 2020. Artists/writers/lyricists may speak of fiction, perhaps of the era of specific creation, but perhaps also as prophetically relevant far into the future, even thirty years on. Cobain's fictional character's emotions and random thoughts shared include dubious religious belief, denial, pain and sadness, ambivalent accountability, alienation, apathy to the point of not caring if death is eminent. Call it existential angst.

ISLAM’S Rise Then, What Rises Now?

      At the last Saturn - Pluto - Ceres conjunct, Islam was the new reality that rose in the “Western World.” Starting in 2020, what will the new reality be? Will the US military hold to it’s ten year plan of “2020: Full Spectrum Dominance: land, sea, air, space and cyberspace”? Will Bezos (and his ilk) rule a world of unprecedented hunger, poverty and misery? Will, instead, governments and other social organizations regulate excess in order to maintain any civilization and population? Will, perhaps, some “dark horse” win, surprising the modern world as Islam surprised “Christian” Europe? Might such a “dark horse” be, perhaps, China? Might the American colonizing empire become a colony itself? Might the USA that had cornered seemingly every economic market, become Uncle Sam sitting on his dismal corner of the world holding a shabby sign: “Will work for food”?

Cycles Within Cycles

       Pluto’s Returns for the U.S. are less than three years away. Some readers know that I’ve researched the Pluto cycle to be the approximate length of an empire (see Sir John Glubb’s THE FATE OF EMPIRES). The final dark phase 28 for the USA began with Trump’s inauguration; Phase 28 is the phase of “The Fool.” Before then, Saturn conjuncts the USA Pluto three times in 2020: Feb. 23rd, August 4th and finally November 30, 2020.
Historically, the last conjunction of transiting Saturn to U.S.’ Pluto was (within 2 degrees of a Total Solar Eclipse): U.S.-Iraq Gulf War Jan. 1991; also: the revelation that Panamanian dictator Noriega was paid a total of $ 320,000; his U.S. frozen assets were released to him. At the previous conjunction 12/11/1961: U.S. officially began war in Vietnam; in Israel, Adolf Eichmann was convicted.

The convergence of the USA’s transits and this rare multiple conjunction clearly tell us that business as usual is increasingly becoming a probable absurdity. My prayer now is this: May the powers that be do the right thing. May tragedy be adverted. Blessed Be (and Blessed Bees).

Wishing you Happy 3 Astrologers’ Day, January 6,

Dale (O’Brien)

NOTE: The homeless issue is likely even worse than the statistics indicate:

LINK: "Trumpian Attacks on Homelessness and California Are Utter and
Total Poppycock" by Pat LaMarche

NOTE: Homelessness is not due to a lack of available places for the homeless:

LINK: Cartoon for December 30, 2019: We Are choosing to Make Hundreds of
Thousands of Americans Live Outside by Ted Rall






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