Astrology and the System

by Adrian Duncan on February 19, 2014 in Articles with No comments

At a time when there is an economic crisis in the world, it does not seem to be a very good idea to have aspirations to be an astrologer. Mother and father are not going to jump for joy, and your government is not going to support you. Your school will not welcome your questions on the subject, your university will not provide any courses, your employer will not appreciate your skills. You may have discovered the magical correlation between human behavior and the cosmos, you may embrace a holistic view, you may value the spiritual riches that come from being receptive to transcendental influences. But this is not going to get you a job.

And since the recent emphasis on Capricorn, which began when Saturn, Uranus and Neptune transited this sign from 1989 to 1997, it is all about jobs. International standards that facilitated comparison of educational performance worldwide made a new metric for comparison for governments, based on concrete skills that were measurable. Governments responded by demanding measurable results in schools, and there has been a slow transition from education as a process of personal development to a process of career training. Today educational systems are like factories, which churn out suitably qualified students in quotas for specific jobs. (Note 1.) Corporations work closely with governments to satisfy their needs for employees, and the educational system is tailored accordingly.

Clearly the passage of Pluto through Capricorn has coincided with a crisis in systems and structures that have formed the backbone of society, particularly in business, banking and government. With the current Uranus/Pluto constellation, governments are using all their power to combat anarchic forces, which threaten to destroy the fabric of society. The extraordinarily high unemployment rates amongst youth in Europe – 57% in Spain, 58% in Greece, 41% in Italy, 36% in Portugal – are an example. How are these young people spending their time? Making revolution?

Digitalization has also enabled governments to keep tabs on the movements and communications of people to an unheard of extent… just as imagined by George Orwell, who in his book “1984” described television screens, which worked both ways. The screen – and the government – could also see you, just like today. The revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden about the USA’s global surveillance systems are another example of the individual (Uranus in Aries) against the state. In today’s digital world, no transaction is unrecorded or forgotten, no movement unseen, no journey private. Nobody can opt out.

With digitalization comes the streamlining of super-efficient systems. The UPS man delivering your parcel, which you digitally sign, is tracked by the minute, with no time for doing anything outside his schedule. In the office, restaurant and factory, employee management systems rob workers of their social life, and they are trained to compete with each other, blindly opting in to computerized surveillance of their working lives. With a newfound ability to observe every business transaction in a cashless society, tax authorities track every movement of the small business entrepreneur, removing the small rewards that enabled them to survive. The result of this dehumanization is an epidemic of stress.

The forces of capitalism will always dehumanize people in the interests of efficiency. When production became mechanized, workers were put on the assembly line and their bodies were enslaved. Now, in the digital world, their minds are enslaved. When society sidelines human qualities like empathy, sharing, meaningfulness and belonging, then mental and emotional health suffers.

To combat unemployment and economic crisis, governments are embracing a new set of values, based on providing work for people in a competitive world. Now young people are trained, rather than educated, and sluiced in to a job market that is in a constant state of transformation. No longer are young people encouraged to have a year or two free from the educational system to see the world and learn about life. They are rewarded for staying in the system; they become a part of the system, and are at the mercy of the system. Like the 25 million unemployed people in the European Union who despite their training cannot find work. They may as well have studied astrology – at least it would be giving their lives some meaning.


But really, we are at the end of an era. This is not just a crisis; this is the end of a historical age. The focus on the material world, and the extraction of resources from the earth is nearly at an end. The competitive society has reached a point of implosion. The political remedies for economic crisis will not succeed. Something completely different is on the way, and it will be a friendlier world for astrology, and an unfriendly world for the superrich 1% who have profited from the extremes of the competitive society.

Historical change does not happen overnight, and there are many forces creating this transition, which is the transition from material resources to mental resources – knowledge. This is the transition from Earth to Air. Today, the air is filled with waves, when a little over 100 years ago, the only human-generated waves going through the air was through speech, music and Nature. Carried on these invisible waves are billions of conversations, radiation, radio and TV signals, traveling through walls and our bodies. In the future even the keys to matter will be transmitted through air and printed on 3D printers. Even DNA and life itself. Welcome to the Age of Aquarius.

We are currently in an era based on the enjoyment, refinement and capitalization of the material world as characterized by Earth signs, and this can be related to the series of conjunctions between Saturn and Jupiter, which for periods of approximately 200 years fall in each astrological element in turn, a phenomenon known as a Great Mutation. The last conjunction cycle in Air signs ended in 1404. This was followed by a cycle in Water from 1424 to 1643, which corresponds to a period when religion was in a state of transition and dominated every aspect of society. The next Mutation was in Fire starting coincidentally in 1663 – three years before the Great Fire of London. This fire was predicted in 1653 by William Lilly, no doubt partly because he knew that the next conjunction would be in Fire signs.

The Earth era started in 1842 and last conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter was in the year 2000 in Taurus, which coincided with the dot-com crash, the following boom, and the economic crisis triggered by Pluto’s entry into Capricorn in 2008. This Earth era is the era of the industrial age, characterized by a huge increase in prosperity and comfort, and a corresponding ecological disaster through the plundering of the resources of the earth and consequent pollution. Capitalism has been the preponderant political system in this epoch… it has been with us so long, it is difficult to imagine it not being there. Scientific materialism has been the preponderant worldview, based on what can be measured and proven. What is not provable has faded in significance, and this included most spiritual and esoteric interests.

In 1980 there was a “maverick” conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Libra – a kind of forewarning of the coming Great Mutation in Air, which begins in 2020 and ends in 2220. Right now society has a foot in both camps – Earth and Air. Both Uranus and Neptune transited Aquarius from the mid-nineties, with Neptune finally leaving Aquarius in 2012, and there is ample evidence of the influence of Aquarius and the transition to an Air society in this period. Clearly this is the time of the advent of the mobile phone, the Internet and a wired or wireless society, where each individual is plugged in to the World Wide Web – that’s Aquarius.

What is happening now is a breakdown of a world system that worked well enough from 1842 up until now, but which can no longer handle a new borderless world which unites people globally according to shared interests, rather than nationally according to interests dictated from the top down. The byproduct of the materialism of the Earth epoch is climate change and pollution, which is the legacy we are leaving our children. But, in the new age of Air, pollution through material particles and gasses will be eliminated and the ceaseless mining of the earth will diminish.

The Great Mutation in Air takes place on December 21st 2020 at 18.22 GMT with Jupiter conjoining Saturn at 0.29 Aquarius at the winter solstice. Later, on March 23rd, 2023 Pluto will enter Aquarius. With the transit of Pluto through Aquarius the last vestiges of the scientific materialism and political elitism will be eliminated. There will no longer be a miniscule minority disposing of the majority of the world’s resources. (Note 2) People will take power into their own hands. There will be revolution, just as there was when Pluto last moved from Capricorn to Aquarius at the time of the American war of independence (1776) and the French revolution (1789).

The important thing about the transition from an Earth epoch to an Air epoch is the change in consciousness that takes place, and the subversion of established systems. This is not a magical process that comes from somewhere in outer space, it is a natural consequence of the technologies that we are using, which change the way we use our minds. A simple example could be the use of Twitter to unite and organize dissidents and protesters. Information is distributed instantaneously amongst ordinary people – much faster than it is through political hierarchies. Or something like Wikipedia, which is the result of the best thinking amongst people worldwide, who are uniquely knowledgeable about a specific subject, and supply their knowledge for free. Or the phenomenal success of social tools like Facebook, which attain a high worth without actually having appreciable capital or revenue initially. In the knowledge society, which is replacing industrial society, you do not have to accumulate knowledge; you just have to know how to search for it or how to find people who will share it.

I do not know what the economic model will be for this new age, nor what political structures will survive, nor what borders will stand. Future generations will see a world without combustion and without fumes. Water will be in short supply, but energy will not. The major areas of conflict with focus on the airwaves, not land. Light as communication and weapon will predominate. Voting will be instantaneous and constant, just like public opinion polls today. Governments will stand or fall on “likes”. Educational systems will be anarchic and free, with an emphasis on innovation and social science. Men and women will be equal but will get on better in groups than just together. Status symbols will be anti-social; riches will not be flaunted. Society will be egalitarian. Relationships and sharing will be everything.

And in this new world, science and astrology, as well as other arts, will approach each other, as discoveries about the subtle workings of the brain, and of its mysterious interaction with the outer world, will open up a realization of the correlation between the universe and the individual, and the knowledge that the smallest thing in the universe is subject to the same process as the largest. Studying this correlation, and learning the rules which apply both above and below, will seem right. Then you can get a job as an astrologer.


Adrian Ross Duncan
February 18th 2014.

1. The French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard writes for example about how knowledge has changed form in post-industrial society, and how digitalization favors the spread of standardized knowledge rather than subtle forms of knowledge.

2. If you think the plutocrats of the USA are extreme, it is actually much worse in Russia, where 35% of Russia’s riches is in the hands of 110 people (Information from Credit Suisse report.)


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