Towards the end of the last century I made a study of astrology. I happened to be living in a place where I could get a good view of the night sky without too much light pollution and so I became interested in astronomy too, and the one fed into the other. Previously, I had a rough knowledge of astrological principles, enough to know there was certainly something in it, but never looked at the subject seriously. When I did and examined horoscopes of people I knew well, I discovered that a person's birth chart was an extremely accurate portrayal of that person's character. When you took all the different aspects of the chart into account, the signs the planets were in, the angular relationships between the planets and so on, you could build up a good description of that person although, as this was as much an art as a science, the symbolism in the chart still needed to be interpreted in context. Which is as it should be since human beings are not machines. It means that materialistic science will always have a problem with astrology (the sun sign nonsense in magazines doesn't help either), but it nicely illustrates the tension between freedom and destiny that marks human nature.
December 21st will see a very close conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn when the two large planets will appear to form a single 'star'. Astrologically, this conjunction, not infrequent in itself but rarely this close, is a curiosity because the principles behind these planets are exact opposites. Jupiter is the principle of expansion, of generosity and benevolence but potentially of excess as well. Saturn is the principle of contraction, old age, caution and fear, but also discipline and structure. Their coming together could be seen as each balancing the other and could be creative or not depending on how things work out plus, as always, other factors in the overall picture. Interestingly, this conjunction takes place right as the very beginning of Aquarius, Saturn being already there and Jupiter just about to move into that sign.
Here are some events that took place on previous occasions when this so-called 'Great Conjunction' occurred. This comes from the Daily Telegraph.
As listed, nothing of particular earth-shattering importance happened. Nuneaton granted market status? Excellent for local traders, I'm sure, but, on the scale of important world events, hardly significant.
However, there is something about those dates which is interesting. The first of course is around the time of Christ's birth and the fact that the conjunction this year is on the day of the winter solstice, which is possibly one reason for Christmas being when it is, is intriguing. But the second could be seen as the beginning of the High Middle Ages when the world of Christendom really began to mature and express itself in a myriad different ways. And 1623 is as good a date as any for the start of the modern era. The colonisation of America, the rise of science, these are what makes our world today what it is. Obviously, such enormous changes cannot be pinned down to a date but it is, at the least, interesting that previous Great Conjunctions have occurred at times of significant change.
This means, if it means anything, that nothing dramatic should be expected immediately but the Great Conjunction may signal the beginning of a new stage in human existence. It is one sign among many that point to the current times being out of the ordinary.