For the past several years I've been invited to join two other astrologers to present to the Astrological Society of Austin what we expect to happen in the coming year. While predicting details is typically risky and what earns astrologers bad reputations as fortune tellers, the general climate is relatively easy to discern. For 2016 I predicted, in a nutshell, that it would be a year full of reversals, changes, surprises and transformational change, that nothing would transpire as expected, specifically for the USA. I don't think I'd get too many arguments that such didn't occur. 

So what's coming in 2017? A lot.

This is likely to be a very interesting year during which numerous themes are playing part in an intricate, ongoing cycle. Each sign, planet and house has a specific meaning. Planets interact with each other astrologically as they orbit the Sun, especially the slow-moving ones, e.g. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris. These planets are known as "Great Chronocrators" or rulers of the ages, and are considered of great importance in shaping the course of history. Their combinations emphasize certain themes. For example, the Jupiter - Saturn cycle relates to the manifestation of beliefs, the Jupiter - Uranus cycle relates to breaking free and sudden change, and the Jupiter - Pluto cycle has been associated with the rise of international terrorism, but also applies to any bid for power and control, regardless of the methods employed to achieve it.

The Jupiter - Saturn Cycle

Looking closer at this combination explains why their interaction is associated with the manifestation of beliefs. Jupiter relates to common values and belief systems. It represents law, ensuring justice, and lawful control of the population's behavior. It also includes religion and common beliefs as well as our socialization through universities, publishing, philosophy, and philanthropy. A nation's sense of well-being relates to Jupiter as well as prosperity, wealth and banking. Jupiter, in general, represents the expansive principle of growth.

Saturn, on the other hand, represents those institutions which distinguish order from chaos. It tends to be restrictive and thus determines the amount of freedom a society permits or denies itself. It includes its legal system, permanent civil service, as well as conservative and restraining bodies. It embodies repressive and controlling forces in a State, e.g. police, and reflects a nation's attitude toward law and order, hierarchies, taboos and old practices. It also includes reactionary forces and fear that resists change. In its simplest form, it governs authority and tradition. Saturn, in general, represents restrictions, boundaries, tradition and organization.

So what happens when these somewhat diametric influences combine?

Typically, it relates to the interaction between the perception of ideas, potentialities and possibilities as they manifest in the material world. It includes the development and evolution of social structures as well as the sense of corporate national identity.

There are two ways these planets can get together. It can be interaction between a transiting planet, i.e. its real-time position in space, and the birth chart of an individual or nation, or it can be two transiting planets. When it's the former, the effect is on the individual or nation; when the latter, its effect is global.

Currently, a new Jupiter - Saturn cycle is beginning for the USA. The "birth chart" I use is one called the Sibley Chart, which considers the USA's birth date to be 4 July 1776. There are other charts as well, such as the Paris Treaty chart, when the USA officially became an independent country, but I've had considerable success using this one. I see the Sibley Chart as representing the will of the people, that somewhat renegade spirit of independence that opposes oppression. Furthermore, in my experience, the Universe wants us to have these cosmic insights and is pretty liberal with revealing its intent with a variety of sources.

This new Jupiter - Saturn cycle began for the USA on 19 November 2016, less than two weeks after the last election. The tone of this aspect included more than these two planets, it also included all the others and how they were interacting, thus defining the energy surrounding that event. You might compare it to the band or orchestra accompanying two people singing a duet. The singers and their song remain the same, but its flavor is greatly affected by whether it's the London Symphony or a garage band backing them up.

Explaining the astrological impact would be like recounting a musical score, note by note, which is not only too complicated to explain to non-astrologers, which most of my readers are, but would make your eyes glaze over, anyway, so I'll jump to the bottom line: Chaos! It indicated resistance to abrupt change, unrest, a new era for religion and belief systems, as well as changes related to immigrants, minorities and factions of all descriptions. This, however, is a bit of a false start. Due to Jupiter's retrograde motion, this conjunction will occur two more times before it settles in for the long haul.

The next hit, when Jupiter is retrograde, occurs 7 May 2017. This chart implies that the opinion of protesters, particularly immigrants, factions, and minorities, will go largely unheeded. Change represents crisis to some but, in spite of friction, the populace will be mostly supportive. Discussions, negotiations and policy changes will be implemented about which everyone will not be happy much less agree. Retrograde Jupiter generally relates to ethics issues, which also includes the rule of law while Saturn relates to regulations. But this aspect is temporary, the time during which these discussions will take place and some implemented, but not all of them will be permanent.

The final contact on 12 July 2017 indicates changes of direction that survive to that point and are still in progress. They may be too idealistic or unrealistic. Manifesting all of them into reality is not likely. Resistance to transformational change from the opposition party will continue and there will be some restructuring based on protests and diverse opinions. Nonetheless, the national mood for the most part will remain supportive and receptive, even though an aggressive, transformational change of direction will leave some comforts behind. Not everyone will be happy. This will be the prevailing influence for the coming three years.

Mark these dates and see what develops and how it applies to the Jupiter - Saturn principle of how beliefs are manifested.

Meanwhile Jupiter and Saturn in their real-time locations in our solar system, which influences the world at large, are in a position known as a waning sextile. This is an aspect that indicates opportunity and an exchange of ideas and ways to structure them. The sextile will not perfect immediately, even though it's coming into range, because Jupiter, as noted above, is stationing retrograde 6 February, delaying its exactitude. The cosmic dance is interrupted even further when Saturn, likewise, goes retrograde, the aspect finally occurring 27 August, making that another date to watch regarding the ongoing earthly drama taking place regarding how humans express their beliefs and build them into a social structure.

Part II: Jupiter - Uranus: Breaking free & sudden change

Part III: Jupiter - Pluto: Pursuit of Power & Control by Force

Asteroids in Astrology

What are Planetary Transits?

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