A resume of what the conjunction can mean and its fated associations.
Jupiter—expansive, idealistic, high-minded, a soaring energy —is usually described by astrologers in glowingly positive terms. It brightens, keeps optimism high, boosts confidence, smooths rough edges and produces pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. The downside is a tendency to impracticality, or paradoxically to narrow-mindedness when its lofty philosophy moves into self-righteousness. Mythologically connected to Zeus, the supreme deity (who fathered myriad children — many of them illegitimate, to the intense aggravation of his wife, Hera), it is an energy that brings Olympian aspirations. The thunderbolt and the eagle were Zeus’s symbols, although Jupiter as ruler of Sagittarius is also connected with Chiron, the centaur, the wise but wounded healer, philosopher, teacher, who helps others but cannot cure himself.
The Jupiter–Saturn mix is an interface of opposites. Idealism versus materialism; high-flying boundless ambition versus melancholy awareness of the inevitable limitations of life; the urge for immortality versus the Grim Reaper at the core of the human condition. The birth of a new messiah for the culture, or an upsurge of optimism, are usually seen as the outcome of Jupiter–Saturn conjunctions, which occur every 20 years and whose influence spans about 12 months. Saturn’s ability to give structure and apply self-discipline has the capacity to ground Jupiter’s soaring vision, but the balance is difficult to strike. Disappointment can follow the heady new beginnings, as Jupiter’s tendency to attempt too much too soon crash-lands. The combination of energies is symbolized by the myth of Icarus, who ignored his father’s advice and flew too close to the Sun, which melted his wax wings and caused him to plummet to earth and die.
Jupiter–Saturn can, then, tell a cautionary tale about the dangers of inflated ambition. This has uncanny resonances in the assassinations or untimely deaths of American presidents and other major figures, such as Princess Diana and John Lennon, and even Queen Victoria’s consort Prince Albert, who were raised to mythical status only to be cut short in their prime.
Cultural icons – and death
The zeitgeist, or spirit of the age, is often carried by a few personalities, whose lives seem marked out in some special way by destiny. Messiahs in their own sphere, they bear the hopes of their era, often reflected in these conjunctions. The most influential pop group of all time, the Beatles, was centred on John Lennon, a Liverpudlian Catholic born in 1940 with Jupiter–Saturn in Taurus; Lennon became the unlikely hero of a generation, with his wit and his songs of peace and protest. The Beatles’ debut occurred on the 1960 Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Capricorn, and Lennon’s shocking death on the Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Libra in 1980. He was a legend, dead by the age of 40, and whose life was seemingly fated by these paradoxical conjunctions to rise high only to short-circuit.
Similarly, Diana, Princess of Wales was born in 1961 on a waning Jupiter–Saturn conjunction in Capricorn and Aquarius, and was married in 1980 during the exact Jupiter–Saturn conjunction — fittingly in the relationship sign of Libra — in a fairy-tale wedding watched by 700 million TV viewers around the globe. Tragically, high hopes disintegrated through the unhappy and increasingly scandal-prone years that followed, ending in her sudden death in a Paris car crash in 1997.
The attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II also occurred in 1981 on the Jupiter Saturn Libra conjunction.
Queen Victoria’s much-loved consort Prince Albert died at the early age of 42 from either typhoid or cancer, on the Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Virgo sending his widow into seclusion for years. Victoria herself died during the Jupiter–Saturn conjunction in Capricorn in 1901, after a long and successful reign.
Jupiter–Saturn has a special relevance to the United States and American history. One of the key dates after the Declaration of 1776, when hostilities with the British came to an end and American independence was formally recognized in 1783, fell during the Saturn–Jupiter conjunction in Capricorn.
More tragically, nearly every American president in the past 200 years who has been inaugurated on a Jupiter–Saturn conjunction has either been assassinated or survived an assassination attempt or else has died while in office. Thomas Jefferson, James Munroe, George W Bush are the exceptions to this rule.
J. F. Kennedy, elected in the hope of a new ‘Camelot’ in 1960, with Jupiter–Saturn in Capricorn, was dramatically shot in 1963 in Dallas. Ronald Reagan was inaugurated under Jupiter–Saturn in Libra and survived serious injuries sustained in an assassination attempt in 1981.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was voted in for an unprecedented four terms, the second of which, in 1940, fell during Jupiter–Saturn in Taurus. He died in office three months after his fourth inauguration in 1945, aged 63.
Warren Harding elected in 1920 on Jupiter–Saturn in Taurus, and died suddenly aged of 58 in 1923.
William McKinley, voted to a second term of office in 1900 under Jupiter–Saturn in Capricorn, survived less than a year of his second term, being shot by an anarchist on 19 September and dying eight days later; he was 58 years old.
James Garfield, elected with Jupiter–Saturn in Taurus in 1880 was shot by a deranged admirer of his critics in the July of his inauguration year, dying two months later from the wounds, aged 50. He was succeeded by Chester Arthur, whose health suffered badly under the strain of office.
Most famously of all Abraham Lincoln, elected for his first term of office on the Jupiter–Saturn conjunction of 1860 in Virgo, was shot by an actor in April 1865, months after his second inauguration; he was 56.
Elected in 1841 on the run-up to the conjunction in Capricorn, William Henry Harrison caught pneumonia at his inauguration and died a month later.
Intriguingly Thomas Jefferson, born in 1763 and one of only two presidents to survive a Jupiter–Saturn election, has the conjunction in his birth chart in Leo and Virgo. Roosevelt, who was born in 1882 and who survived through to his fourth term, also has a Saturn–Jupiter conjunction in Taurus in his chart.
George W. Bush, elected on the Jupiter Saturn conjunction of 2000, faced a dangerous presidency, with the terrorist attacks of 11 September, 2001, setting off a war against global terrorism.
Legend has it that the Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Pisces of 7CE was the Star of Bethlehem which led the three wise men to the birth of Christ.
From: The Astrological History of the World. Marjorie Orr.
Thanks to Hugh for: The cycle of Jupiter Saturn Great Conjunctions is now moving to Air signs for a couple of centuries. The last time that happened was in the 13th Century. A foretaste of the new heavenly cycle was the 1980s and 1990s which was when the first of the new Conjunctions occurred in Libra.
Without wishing to put a damper on the event it should be noted that the previous cycle in the Middle Ages was not a time of particularly great joy as it coincided with the Mongol Invasions, the Great Famines in Europe of the early 14th century, the Black Death, the 100 years war, the Peasants Revolt and the Jacquerie.
An even older Air cycle of Great Conjunctions in the 5th and 6th Centuries was pretty traumatic too seeing the fall of the western Roman Empire, the Great Justinian Plague and the decline of the world of late Antiquity. One thing common to both those cycles was disease and population collapse.
Hard to believe given what happened in the 20th century but demographers are convinced that the human world population fertility is already well past its peak and that increasing life expectancy is basically now all that is keeping growth going. The fact that COVID has now started to dent even that trend suggests we may be about to see the same again over the coming centuries. Vettius Valens gives as one of the characteristics of Aquarius as “few offspring”.