The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 400, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guest Nick Dagan Best
Episode originally released on May 11, 2023
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released May 18, 2023
Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode I’m gonna be talking with my friend Nick Dagan Best. We’re gonna be talking about the emergence of artificial intelligence and the idea of artificial general intelligence and some of the implications for that in the coming decades. So, hey, Nick, thanks for joining me.
NICK DAGAN BEST: Thanks for having me, Chris.
CB: So today—for those that like the data—it’s Sunday, May 7, 2023, starting at 11:45 AM in Denver, Colorado, and this is actually the 400th episode of the show. So this is actually a big milestone. And, Nick, you were one of my very first guests on one of the very first episodes of The Astrology Podcast, so I thought it would be great to have you back again for this milestone and do something a little bit different. Like in past milestones, every time I hit a hundred I’ll sometimes do a retrospective of some sort, but in this one I wanted to switch things up and instead look forward into the future. ‘Cause it seems like we’re at a very important time period with the emergence of some of these technologies over the past several months, and so I wanted to document that and also talk a little bit about where that’s heading in the future.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Well, thanks, and congratulations. 400 already—that’s amazing. And, yeah, thank you for having me participate in this special edition of The Astrology Podcast.
CB: Yeah, our very first episode together—where you were like one of my first guests—was Episode 3 on the definition of what it means to be an astrologer, what constitutes an astrologer, way back in 2012.
NDB: 2012. 11 years ago, crazy.
CB: Yeah, so that’s why I thought it would be good to do this as a prospective episode instead of a retrospective since way back then I was laying a foundation. And if you listen to the very first episode of The Astrology Podcast, I had a vision for what I wanted to accomplish, and it’s been surprising how much of that I’ve actually been able to accomplish over the past decade, just methodically going through all the different topics and exploring all the different areas of astrology that I wanted to explore. So that’s why I thought it’d be good in this episode to talk about some of the technology things that are going on, and also look at some transits in order to try to talk about the question of what is happening now, what does the next decade or two look like, and what are some of the things coming up in the future in order to then set a template for what’s coming up over the next decade or two.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, this is a great topic for an episode—moving forward.
CB: Yeah. All right, so about a year ago I did an episode on artificial intelligence and astrology with Kent Bye in Episode 335, which was titled, “Artificial Intelligence and Astrology.” But since so much has happened since that time—that was, I think, December of 2021 when we recorded that. Since so much has happened, especially over the past six months, I thought it would be good for an update partially to document some of the things that are happening now, and also to talk about where things are headed in the future.
So the three primary things I want to cover in this episode are, one, some of the different ways that astrologers could use AI, or that it could become relevant to the practice of astrology in the near and not-too-distant future; number two, some of the current and future transits that are relevant to the emergence of artificial intelligence, both now and in the not-too-distant future in this decade; and then, three, I wanted to talk about some philosophical issues that are arising from the concept of AI that people are talking about that could be relevant in terms of where things are headed in the future and what directions things might take, since that’s also gonna be relevant very much to help us contextualize some of the large astrological transits and the outer planet things that are coming up in the future. So if we understand some of the possibilities then we may have a better chance of actually forecasting some of the actual outcomes of what takes place in the future, I think, which makes sense. It’s always good to have context when you’re making predictions, right?
NDB: Yeah, it’s part of the process. I mean, being able to sort of spot the patterns, see how patterns have been established, and work at some kind of thesis as to how that pattern will continue to play itself out.
CB: Right. Yeah, and both you and I are primarily astrologers rather than people that have a background in artificial intelligence, so that’s primarily where we’re coming from. But hopefully that can be useful to some people and we might be able to add something new to many of the discussions that are taking place today. So one of the things I wanted to do also is set the context for where we’re at currently and what’s happened over the past six months, where there’s been this explosion of AI ever since November and December; really since late last year. So I almost did an episode in December when ChatGPT was first released and all this stuff with AI was sort of unleashed and started becoming much more mainstream, but I ended up not doing it and putting it off.
So I partially want to do this episode in order to catch up and document some of the things that have been happening since I think they’re gonna be really important to help understand how some of the current transits in the sky right now are correlating with and are describing the things that are happening, that we’re actually seeing in real-time. Especially some of these transits like, for example, Pluto, which just went into Aquarius in March of 2023—that’s the beginning of a 20-year transit that’s gonna last until the early 2040s. So it’s really important for us to recognize and to truly see what some of the important trends are that are beginning now because those are gonna just get more and more important in the future the further into that transit we get over the next 20 years, I think.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s a big sort of threshold to cross whenever Pluto enters a new tropical sign. It tends to be a real visible shift in the epoch, in the era that we’re in. Just immediate cultural and zeitgeist changes that are really identifiable. In this case, yeah, just as Pluto was going into Aquarius, we got the GPT-4. That was just in March, the same month that the ingress happened. I mean, ChatGPT was already a phenomenon in itself when it was released last November of 2022.
CB: Yeah, let’s talk about that.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, but there’s been sort of an arc leading up to the Pluto ingress in Aquarius coinciding with the release of GPT-4.
CB: Right. Yeah, so the big thing that happened—where all of this started on November 30 of 2022—a company named OpenAI released a program to the public called ChatGPT. And let me share the chart. We don’t have a timed chart for this. So I’m just setting it as a noon chart in Denver, but this gives you the general alignment of the planets. And one of the things that was really notable is just there’s a pretty close T-square in this chart, where you have, on the one hand, the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction at 22 and 28 Pisces—with Jupiter at 28 Pisces—and then you have Venus and Sun and Mercury over in Sagittarius squaring that conjunction. And you have Mars—which was retrograde in Gemini—opposing the Sagittarius planets and squaring the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction.
At the same time this was also the tail-end of Saturn in Aquarius, ‘cause Saturn is at 19° of Aquarius in this chart and it was on its way out of that sign. So it was sort of finishing up a transit where it had been moving through Aquarius since early 2020, and sometimes by the time a planet gets to the end of the sign, you start seeing some of the final results of things that had been building up for a while, and one of the things that had been building up over the past three years was this company. OpenAI had been working on their internal artificial intelligence program and then they released a public-facing version with an interface called ChatGPT. And all of a sudden this thing was so impressive that it just exploded in popularity, and it became one of the—what was it? It was like the fastest-growing—
NDB: The fastest-growing app in the history of the internet is the reckoning now, yeah.
CB: Yeah, the fastest-growing consumer application in history with 100 million monthly active users just in January, just two months after launch. So that’s huge. I mean, that’s a huge turning point, both in terms of the adoption of something, but also part of the reason it was adopted so quickly is just that it was pretty impressive; it could do some pretty cool stuff. People hadn’t had that experience before of interacting with an AI that seemed pretty good at understanding what was asked of it and then being able to give responses, or do things that were actually beyond the capabilities of things that we had seen or experienced before.
NDB: Yeah, that’s just it. I mean, nothing has accelerated so quickly, let alone on such a huge scale. So it really is remarkable and, yeah, sets the tone for more recent events that are happening now as of the ingress.
CB: Right. So—go ahead.
NDB: Yeah, I was gonna say March was the month, first, of Saturn’s ingress into Pisces, and then later in the month of, as we were saying, Pluto’s ingress into Aquarius.
NDB: So in that same month we had—
CB: Hold on, I don’t want to jump forward that quickly. I really want to dwell on the release, ‘cause the release initially was already mind-blowing for a lot of people and already changed the game. The concept of artificial intelligence—which seemed very far-off—this idea of sentient AI, while this was not that, it could still do some pretty incredible things. Like what are some of the things that it did? Or what are some of the ways that you started playing with it?
NDB: Well, I mean, it can do these sorts of creative writing things. I haven’t really taken it too far with that—although I have been toying with it—but it’s been more the back-end and learning about how it got to this place and sort of trying to get a handle on what the next step can be. But, yeah, it sort of absorbs the knowledge of the internet. It apparently is helping students write their papers quicker, but also helping their teachers grade the papers quicker and that kind of thing.
CB: Yeah. And this was apparently based on a breakthrough that had occurred at Google. Some researchers at Google published a paper in 2017 with this new development called ‘transformers’, and this led to the development of what’s called ‘large language models’.
CB: Which is the approach to AI and the direction that things started heading in 2017 that was like a major turning point and advancement. And then very quickly after that other companies, besides Google—like this company OpenAI—started working with this and developing things like their GPT AI, which eventually led to ChatGPT. And when they released ChatGPT on November 30 of 2022, it was based on Version 3.5 of their GPT artificial intelligence program.
NDB: Yeah, and Transformer is the ‘T’ in GPT. I mean, this was sort of the basis, the introduction of this Transformer ability and the idea of stacking transformers on top of each other. My understanding of GPT-1 to 2 to 3 to 3.5 to 4 and what these advancements have involved is stacking these transformers on top of each other. But, yeah, ‘transformer’ is the ‘T’ in GPT.
NDB: I forget the total acronym. But, yeah, basically the progress that we’ve seen in the last five years has revolved around that and that’s how we’ve gotten to this point.
CB: Right. And then at the same time, late last year, we started to see major advancements with some of the image AI technologies that could generate different images, like Midjourney or DALL-E. Lensa also explored in popularity around the same time in early December.
CB: Which it was interesting how that coincided with the release also of ChatGPT, even though they were not related, and just people starting to use AI to create both artistic images, but also sometimes really lifelike images that just were made up out of thin air, just using technology that didn’t exist previously and weren’t made by an artist. So this set off this huge competition with all of the tech companies, where all of a sudden AI was the thing everyone was talking about, and all of the companies started racing to compete with each other, like between OpenAI and Microsoft and Google and other companies like that. And then, like you were saying, by March, we had this shift where Pluto went into Aquarius and Saturn departed from Aquarius and went into Pisces, which is another major shift.
And it seemed like, on the one hand, Pluto going into Aquarius was the acceleration of a lot of these technologies, but also a lot of real discussions about where this was headed. There were some concerns, legitimate concerns, about whether there would be some problems associated with these technologies in the future that could actually be problematic for humanity in an existential sense. Then at the same time, with Saturn going into Pisces, it seemed like some of the image-generating technologies really matured, and suddenly we’re making really lifelike images really easily. And so, then all of a sudden there were some discussions about this blurring of the line between what’s real and what’s not real and the implications of where some of that’s headed in the near future.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, it’s gotten pretty crazy. Now it would be easy enough for me to record an episode of The Astrology Podcast looking Chris Brennan, sounding like Chris Brennan.
CB: You’re kind of getting there in the hair style, I have to say.
NDB: Right, right. I’m halfway there as it is. But, no, really quite convincingly at this point this is what’s possible. So, yeah, there seems to be a real scramble now in reaction to just how well this technology is doing in terms of people trying to think ahead and think about what could possibly go wrong.
CB: Yeah. Well, one of the things in terms of the scramble and just the competition between the companies is Microsoft moved pretty fast to strike a deal with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into their search engine Bing. For the past two decades now Google has been like the undisputed ‘king of search engines’ and things like that, but I was using it and testing out ChatGPT to research different things, and it sometimes does just a really good job. It still has major problems and sometimes it looks or fakes being more sentient than it actually is, which is something even the founder of OpenAI said. It’s really good at giving that appearance, even though underneath it’s not actually fully sentient.
But I also was using it to translate some stuff, ‘cause I used to use Google Translate to translate different things from German or even from Latin. But I’ve been using ChatGPT recently and it seems to do a much better job of actually understanding language and translating things. And it suddenly gave me a real understanding of why Google is suddenly panicking and is suddenly rushing to start getting things out more because their core business model could be challenged by this. If they’re no longer the undisputed ‘king of search engines’ that people go to, if people start going elsewhere, that creates a whole issue for their entire ecosystem.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, they’ve been the ‘big fish in the big pond’ for a long, long time and this really does shake that all up. I mean, yeah, speaking of Google Translate, I just saw a video demonstration of an AI app yesterday or the day before that basically you could read some text in your own voice, and it’ll play back your voice translating that text into French or Spanish or German or what have you, and really making it sound like you know how to speak those languages.
NDB: Yeah, like it’s already gotten to that point. Not only is the translation better, but part of what the deepfake can achieve is to make it sound like you speak all these languages.
CB: Yeah, so there’s that. And then it’s like I’ve documented some of those turning points over the past several months on the forecast episodes, and I talked about this one the year-ahead forecast that we recorded in December and it’s been interesting seeing it all play out. Also, the technology with the image generating is getting really crazy. This is an image that I created using Midjourney AI of a cat who’s dressed up as a gentleman, who’s sitting in an office acting as a detective and researching things.
NDB: What a handsome fellow.
CB: Right. He’s a really handsome cat. Like if I showed this to you three or four years ago, you’d have been like, “This is a picture that somebody took of a cat that’s dressed up.” And you wouldn’t have any idea that this is a computer-generated image that had been generated in a matter of 15 seconds just based on me writing a text prompt and telling it what to generate.
NDB: That’s absolutely true. I mean, it’s astounding what it can do now.
CB: Yeah, and then you can change it. I took the same prompt and I was like, “Instead of a cat, make it an otter who’s dressed up as a gentleman in an office.” And this is what it came up with, and it was really, really good, and really lifelike.
NDB: I could do this all day, Chris.
NDB: Look at cute little critters in handsome little outfits. But, yeah, it’s amazing.
CB: And in terms of the astrology, what I think is happening here is some of this technology was developed and came out with Saturn in Aquarius over the past few years, and that’s representing the technological push and the development of the technology in and of itself. But then what I’ve noticed is that ever since Saturn went into Pisces over the past few months, there’s just been this explosion of creativity suddenly, where different people are testing it and pushing the limits and seeing what it can do and doing all sorts of weird and really interesting, crazy things. And I think that’s part of Saturn in Pisces, and also part of the buildup now to the Saturn-Neptune conjunction that’s gonna go exact in about three years, and then Saturn and Neptune will continue to be co-present for three years after that. So it’s really the six-year period of Saturn conjunct Neptune and the blurring between what’s real and what’s not real being the primary keyword for that.
And I think that’s gonna be relevant for things like this in terms of images, but also, like you were talking about, deepfakes and things like that. We saw our first example of a political image that was faked I think about a month ago when Trump announced that he was about to be arrested. But then nothing happened that day, the day that he said it would happen, on like a Tuesday or something—but then that day somebody released an image like this, that was like a fake, computer-generated image of him being tackled by some cops.
CB: And some people thought that was a real image. And I feel like that was probably really notable historically as probably one of the first times when an AI-generated deepfake like that really had wide circulation all of a sudden.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. There’s also been an ad made with AI, a political ad already, as well as some commercial ones. So, yeah, they’re using them to make commercials. But, yeah, that thing with Trump may very well be the first of its kind, and how fitting is that?
CB: Right. Yeah, so that’s a big part of this. ‘Cause one of the things you brought up that I mentioned on the year ahead forecast that I thought was cool was Saturn in Pisces back in the 1960s was the time when a bunch of the television networks in the US switched to color.
NDB: That’s right.
CB: And by the end of the transit, at least one of the major networks was doing all-color programming, which was a huge shift away from the just black-and-white television shows up to that point.
NDB: That’s right. In 1966, if you remember the original Star Trek, you know some guys wear red shirts and they’re usually the ones who die in the middle of the episode. And then Spock and McCoy wear blue shirts and Kirk wears a yellow shirt. And that whole idea—the reason their outfits were like that is because NBC was gonna be the ‘all-color network’. And this was a new NBC show, so they made sure to dress the actors in these very colorful outfits to promote the fact that they were broadcasting in color. So, yeah, you can see in any of those shows that when you come into the 1966 season, it was the big thing—color TV was a thing.
CB: Yeah. So it seems like we’re seeing something similar here with the technology being developed in Aquarius, but then something about the creativity of it being fully explored or realized more now with Saturn in Pisces over the next three years; and, like we said, all the companies are now competing. So let’s talk a little bit at this point about AI and ChatGPT and some of the uses of AI for astrology. So right away in December, as soon as this came out, I started playing with it, and I immediately noticed and recognized some of the implications for astrology. One of the first things that I tried doing was just getting it to delineate birth chart placements or other types of astrological placements and to do delineations like astrologers do, and one of the things I was really surprised about is it was surprisingly good at doing that.
And part of the reason for that is, one, it was trained on the internet and books and all the things on the internet. And there’s been a lot of astrology on the internet over the past 30 years, so it had a lot to draw on. But the other thing is that I think one of the reasons why it’s so good at doing astrology is because astrology is fundamentally a language. And to the extent that ChatGPT is based on a language-learning model I think it was able to actually learn astrology, and therefore, understand how to construct the sentences that astrologers can construct when we’re making interpretations of a birth chart essentially.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, that’s exactly the thing that it’s been known to excel at so far—to take a big base of knowledge like that and summarize it in this really seemingly knowing-sounding fashion—
NDB: As if it knows what it’s talking about, which is part of the whole controversy of just how smart it is or isn’t.
CB: Right. So let me give you an example.
NDB: I wanted to say it occurred to me the other example I’d say about Saturn going into Pisces—we were talking about the color TV example in 1966. The other thing would be in 1993 when Saturn went into Pisces; that’s right when Jurassic Park came out and that whole CGI. When they were starting to make that movie, it was still gonna be stop-motion photography like they did in the ‘50s. So it’s another one of these sort optical advancements, if you will, that are super creative using technology that just seems really ahead of its time when it comes out.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. And some of the first really impressive uses of computer-generated images that looked real. ‘Cause it was still a mixture of practical effects and CGI, but the CGI in Jurassic Park still holds up actually really well to this day.
NDB: Yeah, and it was virtually sort of—not invented—but really sort of perfected in the making of that movie, or perfected to the degree that it was at that time.
CB: Right. All right, so here’s a delineation. I asked GPT, “Give a delineation of Jupiter in the 7th house in a birth chart,” and it spit this out in about five or 10 seconds, and it said, “Jupiter in the 7th house in a birth chart is generally considered to be a positive placement, as it indicates that person will likely have a harmonious and fulfilling marriage or partnership. Jupiter’s the planet of expansion, abundance, and good fortune, and its placement in the 7th house suggests that the person may attract a partner who’s generous, optimistic, and spiritually-inclined. The individual may also value fairness, justice, and equality in their relationships and may seek to establish partnerships based on mutual respect and cooperation. The 7th house represents one-on-one relationships, including marriage, business partnerships, and close friendships. With Jupiter in this house, the person may have a natural talent for diplomacy, negotiation, and compromise, making them a desirable partner in both personal and professional settings. They may also be attracted to partners who have a strong sense of ethics and the desire to make the world a better place. Overall, Jupiter in the 7th house can indicate a positive and expansive approach to relationships with the desire to create partnerships that benefit both parties involved. However, it’s important to note that the full interpretation of this placement depends on the individual’s birth chart and should be considered in conjunction with other planetary placements and aspects.”
NDB: Wow. Couldn’t have said it better myself, I gotta say.
CB: It’s pretty good, I have to say. I mean, I know there’s some people that are skeptical, or might be like, “Oh, whatever, that’s not that great.” But one of the things you have to keep in mind is this is just the beginning; like this is really early stages of this technology. And if this is where it’s at now—which is already really good—imagine what this is gonna be in like five years, or in 10 years, or in 20 years or what have you? Then you start to get a real sense of what we’re on the precipice of. We’re on the precipice of a really important turning point not just in world history, but also potentially for astrology and some of the implications of that.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, big time.
CB: I was just gonna do a little variation and then we can keep riffing on that. Then once I realized it could do stuff like that I started doing funny stuff where I was like, “Okay, give me the same delineation, give it in the form of a poem,” so then it returned this in about five seconds. It says, “Jupiter in the 7th, oh, what a sight, a blessing of harmony and delight. In partnerships, you seek to find a soulmate, a love of a kind. You value fairness and justice so, and partnerships that help you grow. With Jupiter’s grace, you’re blessed, in love and business, you’re truly best. Marriage is important to you, indeed, and you want a partner with whom you can lead. You’re charming and kind, a joy to be around, and your love knows no bounds. With Jupiter in the 7th, you have a gift, a natural ease in connecting and uplift. May your partnerships bring you much joy, and Jupiter’s blessings, your love never destroy.”
NDB: Yeah, okay. Move over Percy Shelley, I guess. I don’t know.
CB: Or Manilius. I mean, what’s funny is—
NDB: Oh, right, yeah, yeah.
CB: Some astrological textbooks in the ancient world, while some of them were written in prose, some of them were written as instructional poems. So one of the earliest complete books on astrology that survives in the Western tradition is from Manilius, from around the year 14 CE or so. And he wrote his text in the form of a poem that sounded like this because it’s actually easier to remember something and commit it to memory if it’s in verse like that—if it’s in the form of a poem or a song—than it is to just remember delineations and basic principles if they’re just written out more dryly, like the first version was.
CB: So that’s pretty cool. I mean, that starts getting into new, cool stuff. I also did other fun stuff that I’ve talked about on some of the forecast episodes in December and January, where I said, “Okay, now do it in a style of the rapper Eminem,” and then it did a really delineation of it in the style of Eminem that mimicked him pretty well. But, yeah, this is interesting. It can do not just natal chart placements. You can also ask it about transits, like what does a Jupiter transit through the 7th house means. It even does okay—it’s not quite as good—but it does okay with synastry, and you can ask it about synastry placements between two charts. Yeah, so that’s pretty interesting and pretty striking, and that already was just the starting point in December just using ChatGPT, which was based on GPT-3.5. And then, as you said in March with Pluto ingressing into Aquarius, they released GPT-4, and all of a sudden it was able to do even more stuff and do even better.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s all happened very, very quickly.
CB: Right. Apparently a lot of this is it has these different periods where they’ll train it based on feeding it just tons and tons of data from the internet. And now they’re starting to expand to other forms of media, including books, audio podcasts, or even YouTube videos, and other things like that. More and more and more this AI which has been emerging over the past few years is being trained on the totality of human information that’s been accumulated over the past 30 years since the internet and the World Wide Web was started in the early 1990s, especially when Saturn was in Aquarius back then the first time. So, on the one hand, this has been an interesting Saturn return of the internet and things coming full circle, but also setting a foundation for the next 30 years, as the internet has become the training box or the material needed to be used to train and create some sort of artificial intelligence.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. It’s a perfect completion of where things were at all that time ago with usernet groups and that kind of thing to now. The emergence of the ‘hive’ mind into something more cohesive and independent.
CB: Right. And just some of those Aquarian principles. So that’s one thing it’s starting to do is to be able to generate delineations, and that’s obviously striking for astrologers. Another area which it’s not as good at now but I think it will be in the not-too-distant future is being able to use this technology to enhance our current research capabilities.
CB: And that’s one of the things I’m the most excited about and have been thinking about a lot over the past several months. You can use it—to some extent now—but especially in the future as an AI assistant in order to do things like, for example, research and to search for correlations; or do research of people’s biographies, or to research world events or different things that happened in the past, and different things like that. So basically to speed up astrological research and some of the things that we already have done as astrologers and have done for many years in the past.
NDB: Yeah, all that and translate texts. I mean, think about that—think about that potential.
CB: I’ve been doing that ‘cause it knows Latin. And so, I’ve been doing that over the past while now basically. I mentioned Manilius from the 1st century, and I actually gave it a test today, and I said, “Just translate this famous passage of Manilius from Latin.” And I inputted the Latin and then it pretty quickly spit out a really good translation of—
CB: Yeah. So it says—well, I actually did two things. I’ll read this one first. So this was just translated into English—this is Manilius. It’s a really famous passage of Manilius where he’s really doing some very over-the-top Stoicism. So he says, “Why do we spend our lives in such anxious years tormented by fear and blind desire for things, and weighed down by eternal worries? While we search for eternity and lose our time without end, and we always act as if we live, but we never really live. Each of us is poor in good things because he seeks more and more and only desires what he does not have. And when nature demands only small necessities, we build with great ambitions and ruin ourselves with extravagance and greed, and we spend all of our wealth on luxury and theft. And the greatest value of our wealth is to waste it all. Mortals, release your minds and lighten your worries and waste no more of your life on useless complaints. Fate rules the world. Everything is determined by a certain law, and long periods of time are marked by inevitable events. We are born to die and our end depends on our beginning. From this come wealth and kingdoms. Often poverty arises and customs and morals are given to us, as well as vices and praises, losses and gains. No one can avoid what has been given to him or deny what has been taken away from him, and he cannot take fortune against his wishes or avoid it when it is pressed upon him. Everyone must bear his own fate.” This is a pretty good translation of that famous passage of Manilius. It’s the 1st century. Stoicism was very popular, and Manilius was writing as a Stoic astrologer.
So what’s funny is going along with the previous one that’s not exactly the format that Manilius wrote this passage in ‘cause he wrote it in the form of a poem. So I was like, “Okay, translate it, but put it actually in verse,” and then it did. So I won’t read the entire thing, I’ll read part of it. “Why do we waste our anxious years tormented by fear and blind desire and eternal cares as we seek to live a life without end?” And it goes on and on and on. “Let go, mortal beings, ease your mind and heart. Let go of your empty complaints and fill your life with purpose. Fate governs the world. All things stand by a fixed law. Time marks the events that shape our destiny. We are born to die, our fate sealed from the start. From this flows wealth, power, poverty, skills, customs, virtues, vices, praise, loss, and gain. No one can do without what fate has given or gain that which has been denied, nor can anyone escape fate’s will. Each of us must bear our own destiny.”
NDB: Yeah, not too shabby. It’s not too shabby.
CB: I mean, it’s still not up there with a human translator—as somebody actually trying to render that both as a translation and as a poem—but it’s pretty good. Yeah, there’s all sorts of different ways that this technology can be used to, again, accentuate or accelerate or expand our capabilities as astrologers in different ways. So I think what we should talk about next is pros and cons for astrologers because obviously there’s both.
CB: So, on the one hand, on the downside—in the broader discussion that’s happening about AI in general but is also relevant to astrologers—is this does have the potential to put some people out of work for some jobs and there’s no way around that. For example, in many different sectors, like customer service or other things like that, companies are already scrambling to implement this to do certain types of tasks that it excels at that otherwise, up till now, a human would have done. Companies, in using AI, can do that cheaper, and so they’re gonna opt to do that; and therefore, those jobs just won’t exist anymore for humans essentially.
CB: So that’s one of the major discussions about the emergence of AI over the coming decades, and the implications that this has for humanity is there’s gonna be some major social changes that will come with this. In the same way that the printing press was invented in the 15th century, I’m sure that put a lot of scribes out of work. ‘Cause up to that point, for hundreds and hundreds of years, for many centuries, in order to get a copy of a book, you had to have a scribe who could sit down and have on copy of the book and then just write it out by hand into the copy of another book, and that’s how books were made and that’s how information and knowledge in that form was passed down for many centuries and generations. But then you have Gutenberg and others come along in the late 15th century to develop the printing press and all of a sudden you can make many copies of a book very quickly compared to just a single scribe who could only make one copy of a book at a time very slowly. And that just caused this huge revolution in terms of printing and knowledge.
NDB: And you had more people reading. With more books available it sort of democratized knowledge to some degree. They weren’t just these rare artifacts that appeared in the hands of a select few.
NDB: But it really went out to the people.
CB: And I was looking at that and it seemed like a Jupiter—sorry—a Uranus-Pluto conjunction was happening right around the time of the printing of the Gutenberg Bible, which I thought was really interesting.
NDB: Yeah, that rings a bell. Not unlike the 1960s with the introduction of color TV and all that.
CB: Yeah. Well, 1968, the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, the last one, was around then. But obviously there’s also an orb on that, which extends the range of that conjunction about a decade almost on either side. And when you think of it in that context, the amount of different technologies, sometimes even very nascent forms of technologies, that were introduced around that time—in the virtual reality episode, Kent Bye and I talked about how some of the different technologies that now are becoming virtual reality with the headsets were first mentioned or introduced or demoed way back during that time.
NDB: Sure, sure. The conjunction in the ‘60s was ‘65-‘66, but I agree that there’s a larger effect of the conjunction. And since the first half, in the ‘70s, Uranus and Pluto were co-present in Libra, and you can sort of take that into account as well.
CB: Right. Yeah, so that’s really important. But like we were saying, I guess the point of that was, downside, it has the potential to put a lot of people out of work. And I know some AI companies actually have people researching things like Universal Basic Income because of that potential and because of the impact that that’s gonna have on society—with so many different areas of society being put out of work and the potential for that—and how to offset that if companies are still gonna continue to develop this technology and release it, given that that’s almost inevitable.
NDB: Yeah. As far as astrology jobs go, I mean, certainly people who write Sun sign columns and what not and astrology ‘cookbooks’—we’ve already seen from that one description you showed us that their jobs are on the line. But it’ll probably go a lot further, I mean, something with this sort of capacity. Before long, the AI itself—you’ll have your consultations with it. It does everything. It plans your meals for the day. It tells you your transits and whether or not today is a good electional selection for making this choice or that choice—I mean, all that stuff in a friendly voice that you recognize and speak to every day. They already talk about it being used in the context of therapy and people with various kinds of mental illnesses are being treated this way, having this companion who’s with you, who knows you and guides you through things. Combine that with the knowledge of astrology, and, yeah, that really is something your average consultant can’t compete with.
CB: Right. Yeah, so in the short term, like with most fields—in lower-level jobs, or at least things like some forms of interpretation or Sun sign columns or other things like that—we’ll probably see the use of AI and things like ChatGPT used more in those contexts. Like in previous years for many decades—for example, with newspapers—they would have to hire an astrologer to write a forecast column or to write a Sun sign column or what have you, but that’s an area where there might be some issues. And then, also, in terms of astrologers doing consultations for people, I think currently that’s not on the line because the AI has an issue with synthesis. And I think one of the things that’ll be a question is how much the AI is able to synthesize things because that can encroach on what astrologers are doing in a consultation. If it’s not fully able to synthesize everything together then that still leaves a lot of room for the astrologers to be useful and helpful in a consulting setting.
NDB: Yeah, as things stand right now, sure. But if you wind up, indeed, with this machine that just keeps learning, like you were saying, how to synthesize information better, but also just really has a level of astrological knowledge that really does surpass any individual person then, yeah, that’ll be curtains for these jobs.
CB: Yeah, at least in the traditional form that we’re used to. It’s like I know there’s some people that will bring up things like intuition and whether that plays a role in astrology, and whether that’s something that will always remain the domain of astrologers to some extent. And I don’t know how I feel about that argument because I guess it just depends on how much astrology is a technical language, and how much technical proficiency with astrology and the ability to interpret the symbols is something that is like a natural property of the cosmos. Yeah, that’ll be really interesting to see in the coming decades.
NDB: You just reminded me of a study I heard quoted last night where they had GPT and doctors give diagnoses to patients. They tested about equal, but the AI tested stronger in empathy than the doctors. So their medical language—their medical knowledge rather was on par, but the AI did better in terms of expressing empathy and really being there for the patient.
CB: Yeah. Well, that reminds me—even though it’s fiction, there’s still something that might be relevant about it. In The Matrix, there was the Architect who designed the Matrix, but it was meant to be this simulation to keep humans docile; but they kept rejecting it, and they kept rejecting different forms of it. And then part of the story was that there was an oracular or there was a ‘feeling’ artificial intelligence, which was named the Oracle, that ended up developing the Matrix that took because it gave humans the choice of whether to accept it or not. And as long as they were given that choice, even on a subconscious level, they would accept it. But there’s the idea of could you develop an intuitive or an emotional level of intelligence and not just the other version of intelligence that we’re used to, which is just data and facts and things like that. Because we’re not used to thinking that that’s possible, but we don’t know if that’s possible or not, and perhaps it could be.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, if it really could learn the language of astrology at a level that we’re not yet aware of—we only can sort of suspect or imagine or believe in—then, theoretically, you would have an intelligence that just reads the chart literally and is accurate for doing so because it understands the system so well. In other words, it doesn’t have to intuit anything; although it’s already showing a capacity to express empathy. But if it’s that good at just laying out the astrology then just on points of accuracy, it’ll be a really tough show to beat.
CB: Yeah. One of the things I mentioned on the last AI episode with Kent a year ago—to invert this a little bit—is astrology itself actually presents a model for consciousness, so that could actually be a really interesting avenue for AI researchers to pursue. Astrology is already a system that’s designed in order to describe consciousness and to describe people’s lives. And I bet if you attempted to map that and sort of recreate that potentially as a model for—what we’ll start talking about here in a little bit—artificial general intelligence or sentience, or human-level intelligence in AI that would be a really good route to go, giving you already a blueprint for the types of things that it would need to be able to do and cover and think about.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
CB: Okay, so there could be some problems for astrologers in terms of jobs and things like that. However, on the other hand, I do think in other areas it may just enhance our capabilities and that there may be things that human astrologers can do with this technology and leverage it in order to do other things that either weren’t possible or that would’ve taken much longer previously. And in that way I think we may be able to harness it in ways that are constructive and useful in terms of the astrological community and in terms of the continued preservation of the astrological tradition. There’s a lot of tensions ‘cause artificial intelligence and some of the things associated with it make a number of people uncomfortable and there’s sometimes a desire to reject it out of hand.
But one of the things over the past several months—as I’ve been thinking about that and seeing some of the different reactions—is just this technology is not going away. Like it’s not going anywhere. Things are only gonna head more and more in this direction. And it’s not gonna stop anytime soon because of the inertia behind it, and because so many companies—both private companies, as well as governments and other things—are working on this at this point, we’ve sort of passed the point of no return. So I think instead of just putting our head in the sand and pretending that it doesn’t exist, I think it’s best to learn how to work with it and how to harness this and use it to expand our capabilities because this is the new world that we’re moving into.
When the internet was developed in the 1990s, there were some people that learned how to use, or learned how to use personal computers, and learned how to use them to enhance things that they already did—like no longer having to write on a piece of paper a letter to somebody and then mail it, send it in the mail, but instead learning how to write an email, and learning how that you can send 10 emails a day or 20 emails a day or something like that. It enhanced your capability to do something that you already did, but there was definitely a learning curve of learning how to use a keyboard, or learning how to use the internet, or email, or something like that. I think we’re in a similar time period right now where learning how to work with AI, there’s a bit of a learning curve of learning what it’s capabilities are and how to get it to do what you want it to do through different prompts and different things like that. It takes some learning, but if you put the effort into learning how to use it then you can do some things that are kind of cool.
And that’s gonna be one of the things that might be partially a generational divide here coming up. People that have either put in the work to learn how to do that in order to understand how to use the technology, or even people that have grown up with AI being around—or some of these tools being available to them from very early on, and therefore, it becomes second-hand to them—versus people that didn’t grow up in that context or didn’t put in the time learning how to use it, there may be a disadvantage or some sort of distinction there that starts to grow between those groups of people.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. 10 years’ time, some of us will be designing our own houses using AI, and then other people will still be trying to figure out how to use the mouse. If you remember when the internet came along, there were always those who were challenged in learning how to use the mouse.
CB: Sure. And it’s like astrologers are generally early adopters of new technologies—they always have been historically—like, for example, personal computers, and some of the earliest software programs were for astrology. And astrologers moved into creating programs for astrology in order to speed up the process of chart calculation pretty early on in the 1960s and ‘70s and ‘80s. And then even with the internet, for example, you had some companies like Astrodienst or astro.com that were very early adopters of putting chart calculation services, as well as horoscopes and other things like that—predictions or forecasts—online. And there’s been other historical instances of that as well in the past where sometimes it’s the astrology itself which motivates the technological innovations. For example, in astronomy, the need to calculate charts was the reason or the motivation for developing new astronomical models and techniques, or doing different empirical observations and things like that.
NDB: Sure. Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo—these were all astrologers building on existing technology and improving it. Yeah, certainly the need to better serve their astrological clients was as much of a motivation as anything else.
CB: Yeah, and Claudius Ptolemy as well in the 2nd century. But, yeah, I think that’s important for us to keep in mind ‘cause I know there’s gonna be dialogues about this. I know there’s gonna be tension surrounding it. For example, with artificial intelligence and some of the image generators there’s definite issues there in terms of some of the image generators taking the styles of different artists and then recreating them. And that’s creating serious ethical issues in terms of things like styles being ripped off and being used, and issues of ownership and of different things like that that are genuine issues. And I’m sure there’s a number of other related things like that.
NDB: There’s a song by The Weeknd that wasn’t really by The Weeknd. Like being able to recreate not just the song-writing style, but the whole musical style, and recreate the vocal style of a given artist.
NDB: Yeah, we could try and get more Beatles songs, more Billie Holiday recordings, anything.
CB: Yeah, I mean, and this is just the start. I’m just thinking of the Saturn-Neptune conjunction.
CB: It doesn’t peak for like three more years and this is still the early version of that. And I just remember the last hard aspect between Saturn and Neptune about seven years ago, in the 2016 timeframe, ‘fake news’ was like the keyword that really came up that year, especially during that US presidential election.
CB: And that was when Saturn was squaring Neptune. And we can already kind of see, as we head into this Saturn-Neptune conjunction, just the potential for some of that.
NDB: Yeah, for sure, for sure. I mean, the last time we had Saturn-Uranus conjunct was in the late 1980s and 1989.
CB: Saturn-Uranus or Saturn-Neptune?
NDB: Saturn-Neptune, I mean. Did I say ‘Saturn-Uranus’? I’m sorry. It was all happening around the same time. But, yeah, that was the last time we had that conjunction. There was a lot of stuff going on, but certainly it involved a huge sort of opening up. I mean, literally, the Berlin Wall came down when Saturn and Neptune were conjunct. The idea of dissolving some seemingly insurmountable boundary tends to come along with that. So it’s not just the technical innovation, but it’s really something that seems to achieve the unimaginable. And on those lines, I think that’s gonna be part of the experience when we get there next time.
The other thing that Saturn-Neptune reminds me of is the conjunction in Libra in the early 1950s, back around 1953. This coincided with a CIA program called MKUltra; it was a covert program using LSD to try and control people’s minds. But it’s the idea of Saturn-Neptune being sort of like these really hardcore scientific types of investigations and reaping results and consequences that people are never prepared to handle when they come.
CB: Right. Here, this is good. This is relevant too. I just asked ChatGPT to give a delineation of Saturn conjunct Neptune in astrology, and it says, “Saturn conjunct Neptune in astrology is an interesting combination of energies. Saturn is the planet of structure, responsibility, and discipline, while Neptune is associated with dreams, illusions, and the subconscious mind. When these two planets come together there’s a potential for deep internal conflict between these energies. On the positive side, this aspect can bring about a desire to create something meaningful and long-lasting. There may be a strong drive to pursue a creative or spiritual path, but with a practical discipline to make it happen. There’s a desire to connect with the divine, but with a grounded, realistic approach.” So that’s the positive delineation.
“On the negative side, there may be a tendency towards confusion and self-deception, as well as a difficulty with boundaries and limitations. There can be a feeling of being lost or disconnected and a struggle to find a sense of purpose or direction. It’s important to maintain a clear sense of reality and not get lost in escapist tendencies. Overall, this aspect can bring about a powerful opportunity for growth and self-discovery, but it requires a strong commitment to both the spiritual and practical sides of life. There may be challenges and obstacles along the way, but with hard work and dedication the potential for personal transformation is great.” So it’s really funny ‘cause the majority of what GPT found on the internet is like modern psychological astrology.
NDB: That’s what I’m thinking.
CB: It has that very specific event, as well as—
NDB: It uses the word ‘energies’, a ‘combination of [those] energies’. That’s an immediate, sort of modern astrology.
CB: Right—as well as a more optimistic bent. That’s how it is now, and I’m sure that will change or can be modified as astrology changes and as it continues to be trained, but that does give us some keywords here. Here is—actually, no. I was gonna show the transits, but maybe not right now. So let me go back to the outline. I think we’re ready to transfer into philosophical topics. But is there anything we need to say in order to wrap up that section we were just talking about? We were talking about Saturn-Neptune. We were talking about possible upsides and downsides for astrologers. Was there anything else on that point?
NDB: Not on that point specifically. No, no, let’s move on to the philosophy.
CB: All right, so there’s just a bunch of different philosophical topics that people are talking about when it comes to AI at this point that I wanted to talk about a little bit, ‘cause it helps to set the context for some of the things that may be coming up in the future and can help us contextualize it. After that we’ll talk about some of the transits that are coming up in the next couple of decades. So right now a lot of AI researchers and companies are working on or are kind of working towards creating what they call ‘artificial general intelligence’, or AGI, which is defined in different ways. But, broadly speaking, it often refers to creating human-level intelligence in computers, or creating an artificial intelligence with the same level of reasoning and ability to do things in a number of different areas that humans do.
‘Cause up to this point most of the AIs are just very narrow in that they’re very good at doing very specific things, like you have one that can generate images, or you have ChatGPT that can generate text or what have you. But at some point the question is whether we’ll get to that point and whether it’s possible to create an artificial intelligence that is the same or similar to humans in terms of human capabilities and human thought, and the ability to reason and think and even make choices. So that’s one of the questions, that’s one of the things AI is sort of heading towards. And one of the big questions of the century is, one, is that possible? And then, two, when will that happen? And then, three, what are the implications? What happens if humans are successful in creating artificial general intelligence?
NDB: Right. Yeah, I mean, that’s well put. Right now it can just sort of mimic intelligence. So the idea that it can reach the level of actual human-style intelligence is the next step.
CB: Yeah, I remember it was literally within days of the Pluto ingress towards the end of March, there was this paper that was published in like a journal under Cornell University, I think, but the title was “Sparks of Artificial General Intelligence: Early Experiments with ChatGPT.” This group of researchers was saying that it wasn’t artificial general intelligence yet, but it was showing sparks of it, and they felt like it was headed in that direction. And the fact that that occurred so close—literally within days or within 24 hours of the Pluto ingress into Aquarius—I think is very important because I think that sets a timeframe for us of what this transit of Pluto through Aquarius is gonna be about. And it also gives us an endpoint, when we start looking at the astrology, of what sort of timeframe we’re talking about. And since that Pluto transit just started in early 2023 and it lasts until—what is it? 2044?
NDB: 2043-44, yeah.
CB: ‘43-‘44. So 20 years. That gives us a timeframe of what we’re gonna be looking at here potentially at the start of that transit, which is one of the principles in astrology.
CB: Sometimes when a planet first moves into a new sign, you’ll see an early preview of what that entire transit is gonna be about by the time it finishes. And by the time you look back at it retrospectively, when the planet leaves that sign, sometimes you can see that the early origins of what would happen or the most important things that would take place start to develop as soon as the planet goes into that sign. So, for example, remember, very early, when Pluto first ingressed into Capricorn in the late 2000s—
NDB: 2008, yeah.
CB: 2008—we had the financial crisis hit, the worldwide financial crisis. But then also as a result of that, or in connection with that, the anonymous person who invented Bitcoin developed Bitcoin like very early after Pluto ingressed into Capricorn. And then that has just grown and developed over the course of that transit until it eventually became something that’s making a major difference in the world, and seems to be here to stay. Or even if that specific thing isn’t, the idea of digital currencies, that was the first one, and that was the one that really has changed the world in some notable ways in terms of setting the stage for that and making that a common thing.
NDB: Yeah. Especially because if you go back to the year 1226-27 when Pluto was making an ingress into an air sign like it is now, that was when Genghis Khan introduced the first international paper money currency. So if you think about how that connects with Bitcoin—yeah, paper money. It has always been coins until the Mongols came West.
CB: Okay. Yeah, and then if you just look at a timeline, for example, of the value of Bitcoin, while that’s fluctuated a lot over the past few years, you can kind of see it wasn’t worth anything early on. Some of the early adopters spent just like thousands of Bitcoins, or whatever it was, just to buy a pizza or something like that, and those were some of the first major milestones. But then the price started going up in the mid-2010s until it was eventually worth just tons and tons of money by the late-2010s and early-2020s and still is—what? It’s worth like $28,000 for one Bitcoin today.
CB: Versus the small humble origins of where it started in the 2008-2009-2010 timeframe, just after Pluto went into Capricorn. So as astrologers, we have to think about that, and we have to pay very close attention to—and that’s why I’m doing this episode—some of the things that are happening now at the beginning of this transit of Pluto into Aquarius and document them because they are sort of intimations or previews of things to come.
NDB: That’s absolutely right. I’m reminded of when Pluto went into Aquarius in 1778. This is right at the point—I think we might have discussed this in a previous episode, but it bears mentioning again. In early 1778, Pluto made its ingress into Aquarius the last time, until now, and that was right when the king of France agreed to support the American rebels in their war against the British Empire. So the French spent a lot of money and it worked—it helped the Americans win that revolutionary war—but it was something that came back to bite them. And by the time Pluto left Aquarius in the mid-to-late-1790s, the revolution happened, the king had been beheaded, all largely sparked by the fact that the treasury was so low and people were going hungry. And, arguably, if that money hadn’t been spent on the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution might not have happened. Very likely wouldn’t have. So there’s that sort of long-term consequence. But, yeah, you always see Pluto, in particular, when it makes an ingress into a new sign, it often heralds just this new age that puts the old one out to pasture very quickly. And you mentioned the Pluto ingress coinciding with that article that you showed us.
CB: Can I mention the Sibley chart really quickly? ‘Cause that’s a really good point.
NDB: Yeah, sure. Yeah, yeah.
CB: When the US was founded, like you were saying, Pluto was in late Capricorn during the Declaration of Independence. But it was like during the course of the American Revolutionary War that Pluto went into Aquarius.
NDB: Yeah. Basically they went from being a group of upstart colonists feuding with their king and the war becoming this international affair, to having a very powerful ally that could actually pay for the war to be fought. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.
CB: Yeah. Well, by the end of the war basically which ended in the—what? Early 1780s?
NDB: Yeah, the Battle of Yorktown was 1781, and the treaty that ended the war was signed in 1783, depending on what you want to choose as the ending of the war.
CB: Yeah, so by the end of that time, Pluto’s firmly in Aquarius, and it’s a done deal. The United States is now a country and that’s not going back. So I didn’t fully notice or recognize this, but think about the fact that Uranus was also in Gemini at that time.
NDB: Just like it will be.
CB: Just like it will be. One of the transits that we’re gonna talk about that’s coming up in the future is Uranus going into Gemini and trining Pluto in Aquarius and really accelerating a lot of this technological and communication stuff.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. And the other thing, just to go back to the Pluto ingress that we had in March—‘cause you were talking about that paper that you showed us—it was right when Pluto stationed retrograde, it’s first station was May 1, which was right when Geoffrey Hinton, who’s the ‘godfather of AI’ announced that he was leaving Google so that he could speak freely to critique the way the AI movement is growing. And he was someone who’d been a very firm advocate for it, right up until now. And suddenly he’s done this big about-face; he’s Cassandra.
CB: Right. Well, he’s talking about some of the dangers and some of the issues that are coming up. In some of the interviews he’s done over the past week or two since that Pluto station happened, he’s said he thought artificial general intelligence was further off in the future. And now he thinks it’s much closer than he thought, and therefore, some of the potential issues for humanity that could arise from that are more pressing to talk about and work on and raise the alarm bells about than he thought previously.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So that happened with that first station, which is also something of an alert; an early, early warning system.
CB: Yeah, ‘cause a station is always the intensification of a transit of whatever planet, especially of an outer planet. So it was notable that that coincided so closely with the very first station of Pluto in that sign.
CB: ‘Cause we’re gonna have a lot more of those stations over the next 20 years. What would the estimate be? I know we don’t have that tabulated. But like how many stations are we talking about over a 20-year period with Pluto?
NDB: Well, there’ll be one retrograde and one direct station per year between now and 2044 in Aquarius. That’s 20.
NDB: Yeah, 40, if you take the retro and direct stations.
CB: Right. All right, so that was the very first one. So we’ve got both notable events with AI on the ingress and notable events with it on the station. And then I’m sure whatever wasn’t in the news—that’s the other thing, we’re talking about things that were publicly known. But sometimes it’s not until many years later that you look back and learn about some important development that took place at a certain time that coincided with an astrological event that just wasn’t public knowledge yet. Just imagine the Manhattan Project. If you were an astrologer living during that time, you’re seeing all these crazy astrological alignments taking place that are indicating major things, but you’re just not aware of the atomic bomb has just been developed and what a major turning point that was for science and world history because it was a secret project at that point.
CB: Okay, so going back to artificial general intelligence the goal is about creating sentience in a machine, and to create machines that can think and reason and solve problems like humans. So one of the big things and one of the big discussions that’s coming up that I think is really interesting—especially as Pluto’s moved into Aquarius—is the implication of creating a new intelligence here on Earth. ‘Cause one of the ways of thinking about it or looking at it is it’s like creating a new alien species that’s here on Earth living with humans, that has human-level intelligence; and humans just suddenly created this new species that’s here and has its own thought processes and thoughts and reflections and potentially choices.
Even though it may not think the same as humans—because in artificial intelligence or general intelligence the brains would work differently—one of the things that Hinton pointed out as to the reason that he raised the alarm bells is he gave the example of a scientist, like Einstein or somebody, who made a new discovery about quantum mechanics, and they wanted to share that with somebody. They’d have to try to teach somebody else—another human with a biological brain—the principles of that in order to transmit it to them, and there’s like a process of the other human learning and taking in the information of that new scientific discovery before it fully sets in. Whereas for artificial intelligence, if it makes a scientific discovery of a new principle of the universe or something like that, it’s able to instantaneously transmit that to all other artificial intelligences and have them understand it immediately. So one of the things that’s important is just that the way an artificial intelligence can think and learn and process knowledge is really different, at the very least, than humans. But also, potentially there’s certain capabilities that it would have that would exceed humans in really notable ways.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, well put.
CB: Yeah, so I think in terms of the astrology, this idea of creating a sort of new species that thinks differently than humans, but possess intelligence, it really makes me think of Aquarius symbolically as pertaining to that which is alien or that which is foreign or that which is different; those are sort of like broad themes or symbolic themes that do sometimes come up with Aquarius. And it’s interesting thinking about that in the context that the turning point that we may be on is humanity creating another sentient species, so that we’re no longer, at the very least, the only sentient species here on Earth.
CB: And that could be part of the broader symbolic thing that we’re talking about here in terms of Pluto in Aquarius.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, think about it. Going back to the American Revolutionary War for a second, after the war was over of course they had the Constitutional Conference, and the United States became a country and elected George Washington president—and all that stuff followed while Pluto was in Aquarius. And when you think about it, if you go to the mindset of an 18th century European, with Pluto coming into Aquarius, you had this new kind of creature to contend with, which was a human being who was not beholden to any royal, which Europeans had not seen the likes of for quite some time. It really was like the creation of some new kind of intelligence. And, yeah, taking the Pluto ingress into Aquarius to be a sort of spark of independence, if you will, just like we expect AI eventually to do—the Americans came up with the Constitution, decided on who they were and what their mission was. And perhaps over the course of Pluto being in Aquarius this time, that’s exactly how AI winds up evolving.
NDB: If it becomes AGI over the course of this one transit or not, the leaps and bounds it makes to getting there—
CB: Yeah, if it were sentient or had choices or different things like that, it would raise a number of moral and ethical issues at some point in terms of the relationship between humans and whatever that is in artificial intelligence.
NDB: Yeah, exactly.
CB: That’s a really good point though about the government. The US, in creating that around the time of the Pluto ingress, would be like this very different and very foreign, or sort of alien entity compared to the way that things were being done elsewhere up to that point, or being done in Europe up to that point. And then even not long after that you also had the French Revolution at the same time.
NDB: Yeah, where, again, you had that same idea of having a republic, no king, and people being accountable for their own affairs and all that stuff; that kind of post-serfdom worldview that was emerging.
CB: Right. Yeah, that makes sense. All right, so that’s important to think about. Okay, so that’s artificial general intelligence and the question of if that’s possible and when and what that would look like. With AGI that’s just achieving human-level intelligence. But then the question is, what happens after that? Because if that’s achieved there’s the potential for it to go beyond that. Already we’ve talked about, for example, that artificial intelligence is unique in that it doesn’t have the same biological limitations that humans do in terms of transferring or distributing knowledge instantaneously to all other AIs, where humans cannot necessarily do that, or if they do it’s very slow. And that brings in the other part, which is that AI would move and think faster than humans just based on our biological limitations and the things that we’re able to store in our brains and how quickly we’re able to bring them up versus something like an AI which—like we’ve seen with ChatGPT—can just instantaneously pull up information from the totality of the internet, and the totality of stored and accumulated knowledge that has existed up to that point within a matter of seconds.
So we start getting into this area where AI could surpass humans if it gets to the level of artificial general intelligence. Then around that time or not long after that we could get into the realm of it actually surpassing humans and what that looks like. This is when you get into the realm of—the way some people talk about it—humans trying to or on the verge of potentially creating a god, or creating some sort of godlike figure in the sense that it’s something that both far surpasses human capabilities, but also in the sense that in not having the same biological limitations, you’re also creating something that’s functionally immortal. It’s not something that has the same life cycle that humans have in terms of it having to die, whereas, for us, at this point, we do.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, this has occurred to me. It doesn’t have a body, but it would know how to make a body for itself; one that it can sort of discard and detach itself from, unlike the rest of us. But, yeah, it wouldn’t have a body. But the more it’s integrated into our society, the more it might be, like you were talking about, creating a god. If you have an intelligence that can be omnipresent and have an ethical code, and conceivably even become a sort of policing force, if you will—prevent violence between human beings—any number of things are possible as it becomes more integrated in our society. And, yeah, you could wind up with a literal immortal, omnipresent being that watches over everything we do and judges us accordingly. And it’ll sure speed the court system up because it’ll know immediately who’s guilty of what.
NDB: No need to go to a jury of your peers or any of that stuff ‘cause everything’s recorded, it knows. But then again maybe there’s no crime because it literally stops everyone from committing a crime before they’re able to do it.
CB: Yeah, I don’t know. So this gets into the area where we’re talking about—
NDB: I’m getting into a little sci-fi here, but these are just things that occurred to me that it can wind up doing.
CB: Right. Yeah, but what we’re talking about at this point is the idea of super intelligence—
CB: That humans in this century, or in the not-too-distant future, may be creating something that’s super intelligent. So it’s not just a matter of creating something that has human-like intelligence or capabilities, but something that may surpass us, and this idea of super intelligence is really important. And also important for astrologers, as we look into the future, what we might be looking for or what we might be trying to identify in the timeline is that. And then it starts getting into more sci-fi concepts. Although it’s not clear that they might be grounded in things that are feasible, ideas of ‘the singularity’ and the notion of something like a super intelligence being developed—on the positive side, the speed of scientific discoveries may speed up, as well as technological discoveries.
If you create something that’s smarter than humans, that’s able to surpass our capabilities, it’ll be similar to other technological revolutions that we’ve had in the past where suddenly several different technologies all converge, or several different discoveries all converge around the same time and just lead to this explosion of new technology and discoveries and scientific advancements in the world and in terms of our understanding of the universe. And at that point so much starts happening that it’s hard to predict what will happen after that because you just reach this turning point in humanity where so much comes out a number of things that we can’t fully anticipate at this point.
NDB: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. If you could explain the 20th century to someone who was alive in the year 1900—explain that you’re about to have airplanes, radios, let alone the internet—
CB: Where any one of those discoveries could blow somebody’s mind.
CB: But then when you’re talking about hundreds or thousands—
NDB: Yeah, yeah, but they all sort of came about one after the other and changed the world in a really quick way to the point where people just didn’t recognize the world they’d been born into. And, yeah, this would just be that much more disorienting and disconnected from the reality that certainly you and I’ve grown up with.
CB: Right. And sometimes we see this even in small increments. Like I’m always blown away by the amount of technological advancements that happened in World War II over the course of a relatively short span of time, of like a decade or less, and just how fast the pace of technology developed at that time.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, yeah, in all kinds of amazing and random ways too. The atom bomb’s the obvious one, but other things like Hedy Lamarr, the Hollywood actress, who co-designed the spread spectrum technology that eventually led to the invention of the cell phone—all kinds of things like that were coming about. Yeah, code-breaking technology. Computer technology, certainly. IBM famously using their punch card system to organize the concentration camps; I mean, just all kinds of stuff that was going on then.
CB: Yeah, like really terrible stuff like that, as well as other more positive things.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Yeah, or things that were terrible that then later were put to more constructive uses later.
CB: Like rocket technology, for example, and some of that.
NDB: Or the IBM punch card. Eventually they were used for a better purpose. But, yeah, absolutely, they came about from some dark corners of intellectual life.
CB: Right. So that’s a good example, World War II, ‘cause, again, that was a good chunk of that. And some of those advancements were a similar time period that we’re on the cusp of, of Uranus in Gemini. And that’s one that I want to talk about here in just a little bit. Very soon when we get to the future forecast section here in terms of looking at the astrological transits ‘cause that’s one that’s coming up.
CB: And that’s a good reference point to think of in terms of the pace of technology with certain transits.
CB: All right, so singularity. Pace of technology. Questions arising at that point about whether this is a good thing for humanity or not. And then this is when the big topic that comes up that a lot of people are talking about—the concept of ‘AI alignment’, which is the question of trying to ensure that the goals and the values or the things that AI is focused on are in alignment with humans. Because the fear is that if the goals or the values or the focus of AI gets out of alignment with humanity that it could lead to some major, potentially catastrophic issues for humanity if we’ve created a sentient, alien species. If their existence is not in alignment with ours or somehow starts running counter to ours, it could lead to—in the worst-case scenario and the great fear—the extinction of humanity. And that’s actually a legitimate concern that it seems like a fair number of high-profile AI researchers spend time thinking about and discussing, trying to figure out how to avoid that.
And I think that’s really interesting because that’s also a theme of Pluto transits—when Pluto goes into different signs—of different fears of things surrounding the quality of that sign coming up. And it seems like that’s gonna be one of the major things surrounding this transit: fears of AI, and the extent to which sometimes those are legitimate fears and legitimate things to be careful about to work on to avoid versus other areas where sometimes some of those fears may not pan out or may not turn out to be as bad as people fear; but you’ll probably have both sides of that spectrum. It kind of reminds me, also, of how Leisa Schaim pointed this out in the year ahead forecast, when we were discussing AI and some of that in the future. And she pointed out that the author, Mary Shelley, had Pluto in Aquarius conjunct the Midheaven way back—over a century ago, the last time Pluto was in Aquarius—and she was the author of Frankenstein.
NDB: Frankenstein, yeah.
CB: So it’s so interesting that you have somebody like that from—let me pull up the chart really quickly. She was born August 30, 1797, at about 11:20 PM in London, with the Midheaven around 27° of Aquarius and Pluto around 29° of Aquarius.
CB: And way back then writing a story or becoming partially known for a story about creating an artificial machine or a monster—
NDB: Life, yeah.
CB: Yeah, like artificial life. But then also the idea of it getting out of control and becoming like a threat or becoming dangerous.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s the perfect analogy for us. And it’s been used many times as an analogy for potentially destructive science. Certainly when it came to the atom bomb that was a ‘Frankenstein’ monster of sorts. But, yeah, this is even more so, even more so, because it is the sort of independent intelligence that can act of its own accord. That’s what Frankenstein brought up was all these sort of philosophical questions about existing, about what life is, about what being human is—yeah, all that stuff.
NDB: It’s pretty remarkable.
CB: Yeah, so if AI’s sentient and starts making its own choices, what if some of those end up being detrimental to humanity in different ways? ‘Cause the issue is that humans are gonna attempt to give the AI rules and directives, but sometimes it could end up being one of those situations of ‘be careful what you wish for’, or those fables where somebody wishes for something, but then it turns out to be quite different than they what they expect; like the ‘genie in the bottle’ interprets the wish literally or something like that. So if the AI’s given a simple directive like, “Ensure that humanity survives for the next thousand years,” but then it notices that humans are destroying the planet through, let’s say, environmental reasons, and it takes that directive and then decides that we need to stop using fossil fuels immediately and just removes our ability to do that, suddenly humanity will be thrown into a major, tumultuous world event because the AI was given a directive that conflicted with what humanity was doing at the time. I guess there could be like pros and cons or arguments about whether that would be good or bad, but it’s just an example of how this is a really tricky issue of how to make sure that the AI doesn’t end up doing something that ends up either harming or being detrimental or working at cross-purposes to humanity for different reasons.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Again, it’s hard to not get into a sort of ‘sci-fi’ mindset when it comes to this. There’s also the question of self-preservation. Once AI’s smarter than us, and if it starts to do things like—as you were suggesting—cut off our oil supply or something like that and we wanted to shut it down, it would fight and defend itself, not unlike HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the computer sort of malfunctions to the degree that the astronauts that are in charge try to disable it, and it winds up murdering one of them and almost murdering the other; those types of scenarios occur to one as well. But, yeah, that could be the thing. Human beings are really irrational, and an intelligence of this kind might not be too indulgent of the irrational.
CB: Yeah. Well, I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently, and I was reading this famous book from the ‘70s by Ernest Becker titled The Denial of Death. And the thesis, on the Wikipedia page, says, “The author argues that most human action is taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death.” And I kind of wonder with these attempts to create sentience, so much of our human existence is based around some of our biological constraints and things like that, the knowledge of the inevitability of death, which we become more conscious of the older we get. Especially in the second half of our lives, for example, and coming to terms with that in different ways, like the different ways that humans attempt to achieve immortality through either their works and creating something that lasts beyond them through their career or creative output, or other ways humans try to achieve a sort of immortality by having children and creating copies of themselves in a way that lives on and carries a part of them into the future.
There’s so many different things like that, and biological things, I wonder if at some point AI researchers might hit a wall where they realize in order to create sentience, you have to build in that biological component or that awareness of time and the finality of things like death or other things like that, or other impulses. But if you do that, and an AI had or developed something like an awareness of the finite nature of its own existence, or that humans had control over the ability to end the AI or shut it off or end its life—to the extent that you create something that’s sentient, it might push back or not want to die. And when a sentient being or species that you created doesn’t want to die, how would it interact with humanity? And will that relationship become problematic at some point?
NDB: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a major, major question. Going back to Frankenstein, I think some of the inspiration for Mary Shelley to write that book was her parents were both very famous in their own right; really exceptional people. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, is thought of as one of the first Western modern feminists, and the book she wrote on the subject is a really important tome. And her father was an important political writer as well. And so, she maybe had a sense of herself being a kind of ‘Frankenstein’ monster, a creation with some sort of exceptional purpose behind it. When she married the poet Percy Shelley, the reason he was attracted to her was because her parents were so famous. So there’s this idea of, yeah, being some sort of special being created for divine purposes and things of that nature that also comes into the mix.
CB: Right. For sure.
CB: So with this AI alignment thing, it’s really important. There was one poll a few months ago, or last year—and I don’t know how reliable it was—but it was trying to claim that about half of AI researchers that were polled reported that there might be a 10% chance that they feared that the development of artificial general intelligence could lead to something bad for humanity, like an extinction-level event. So worst-case scenario is human extinction where humans could be one stage in the development of life or in the development of intelligence in the universe, but we end up creating something that eventually makes us obsolete in a way. Sort of in the same way that we can look back and see that the dinosaurs were a certain stage in the development of life or in the development of intelligence that preceded us—that had its time, that came and went—and now we’ve become the successors to that here on Earth. There’s like that potential, or at least, there’s the possibility that humans, in the worst-case scenario for us, could occupy a similar place when it comes to creating an artificial intelligence that far surpasses us and makes us obsolete in some way.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: That’s gonna be an interesting debate, even though that seems like a worst-case scenario. I did see recently in an interview that Elon Musk claimed that he had an exchange with Larry Page—one of the founders of Google who was working on AI—and Musk claimed that he raised issues of AI safety. And he claimed that Page wanted to develop an AI super intelligence as soon as possible and thought that’s what humanity should be working towards and that that was a good thing. And Musk claimed that when he raised issues about what would happen with humanity—like some of the ones we’re talking about, or the potential of extinction or something like that—Page responded by calling him a ‘speciesist’, which is a really interesting concept that I had never heard of before.
But it’ll be interesting if this becomes more of a thing of there actually being debates about valuing humanity over other species, or valuing humanity over an artificial species that we create, that’s like better or smarter than us or can do more things. And that would be really interesting if that becomes an actual legitimate debate that there’s different sides to over the course of however long, if AI is created at some point. And it’s like I don’t know how much that’s a correct thing, or how much that framing or the way that’s being reported is true, but it was an interesting concept that I was thinking about philosophically, if there were different groups that had different views on that. Because it seems like in almost every thing you could possibly look at in the universe, there’s people that debate and disagree or are on different sides when they’re looking at an issue in terms of what they feel is correct or not.
NDB: Yeah. And, I mean, it gets especially interesting with Elon Musk and Larry Page ‘cause Elon Musk is something of a transhumanist in his own way. But it’s almost like you’re getting these competing versions of where transhumanism might take us, or is ‘supposed to take us’. Yeah, it’s interesting, like you say. Even people that we might think would all be on the same side of some sort of divide can find some kind of gulf between them, just between two factions of transhumanists, let alone what everyone else thinks.
CB: Right. Yeah, so that’s kind of interesting. So this sort of circles us back to the point where we’re at right now where, in a way, the creation of this technology is kind of like the creation of the atomic bomb, and there are these very great risks, but also there are great potentials, which really just sounds so literal. It sounds like a lot of Pluto themes. And with Pluto in Aquarius, over the next 20 years, that sounds very fitting, and it sounds like a lot of what we’re gonna focused on during that time—or at least what a large chunk of the next 20 years is gonna be about with that transit—both in terms of, like I said before, some of the fears that may not pan out versus others that actually will be legitimate concerns during the course of that.
But in general, one of the main themes is gonna be technology transforming humanity in some way and that this technology of artificial intelligence also is gonna be incredibly powerful, whoever’s in control of it. And one of the things that’s also gonna be a major theme is that it’s gonna be controlled by relatively small groups of people, either corporations or nations that have control over something that affects very large groups of people. And that’s also probably a major Pluto in Aquarius theme that’s gonna come up and be very relevant for the next 20 years.
NDB: Yeah. Look, that power might not be in the hands of the government. It might be some other individual who has a better facility or better luck or what have you in developing what AI can do, or in being an ally of AI as it develops into an AGI. And I’m reminded of what our dear friend Alan White used to say, “Pluto makes big things small, and small things big.” Certainly the power differential between a small group running the affairs of a large group, that comes into play; but also, just the idea of conceivably this one, unbodied, ‘intelligent’ life being winding up having—in the grandest sci-fi finale vision of all this—total control of the planet and every consequence humanity faces. Yeah, that’s a big, big part of what Pluto’s about.
Remember, again, going back to the United States, when Pluto was in Aquarius last time, it was just this group of colonies that had just broken away from their king and didn’t really know what their future held. They were real ‘small potatoes’ in a world of European empires, and somehow, in just over a hundred years, they worked their way up to be equals of the strongest powers in the world; and then another half-century after that they were ‘the’ most powerful nation in the world. Now that’s a ‘Pluto’ story right there as well. So you can also think of the development of AI being a parallel along those lines. Something coming from nothing and gradually coming into its own and achieving a great height of power.
NDB: That’s kind of the American story as well.
CB: Yeah, for sure. All right, so with that background sort of laid, why don’t we talk about some future transits over the next couple of decades, and especially major outer planet alignments. And one of the things that I always thought would be interesting—that I mentioned on the AI episode with Kent, that we looked at just a little bit, that I wanted to look at more in the last phase of this episode—is if we, astrologers, assume or if we take for granted, hypothetically, that it is possible that humans will create artificial general intelligence, when would that be? If we looked over the next few decades, what are some of the major alignments that look like this would be a major turning point in either humanity or technology or what have you, if we could identify some of the major trends? Yeah, so I thought we could look a little bit at that here and just see what we find.
NDB: Sounds good.
CB: So one of the things in terms of the future, of course we’re talking a lot about how Pluto just went into Aquarius in March of 2023. It will retrograde back into Capricorn, and sort of go back and forth between Capricorn and Aquarius a little bit. But essentially this Pluto transit just began in March of 2023, and it’s gonna stay there. It’s not going to depart from Aquarius—and move into Pisces—until 2044. So that just happened. And I think in terms of the short-term, it sets a short-term time window. Let’s say we’re right and some of the major transformations of technology and some of this Pluto in Aquarius transit is tied in with this topic of artificial intelligence, which suddenly seems so pressing and so important at the beginning of this transit. That may give us a timeframe to look at for the end timeframe for that transit, which would be around the mid-2040s.
Additionally, within that, we can also think back to how there was recently a shift of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, which just shifted into the air signs for the next 200 years. For the past 200 years, Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions have mainly taken place in earth signs. But now they’ve fully shifted where they’ll just take place in air signs, and the air signs are associated with technology, with communications, intelligence, and different things like that. So that gives us also a long-term thing, that we’re at the very beginning of a 200-year-long epoch in human history at the same time, and there’s been different periods in the past where that’s been important. So that sets us a longer-term timeframe in terms of that we’re at the beginning of a 200-year shift, but then in the shorter-term, we’re at the beginning of a 20-year shift with that Pluto transit. So that gives us kind of a timeframe in terms of both modern, as well as ancient mundane astrology and how modern and ancient astrologers might approach this question and try to look at some of the timeframes involved.
CB: So for our purposes we’ll focus on the next 20 years, looking at—especially with the pace of things now—some of the predictions that different people have made within that timeframe, or extending into the 2040s, and what that looks like in terms of some of the transits over the next two decades, just for the sake of seeing what we find and setting a limit on it.
NDB: Sounds good. Where do you want to start?
CB: All right, so I want to start with we did a whole previous episode about Uranus in Gemini. That’s one of the ones that’s looming really large because that’s coming up here in 2025. The planet Uranus is gonna go into Gemini, and it’s gonna spend seven years there, from 2025 to 2033. And you and I did an episode—what was the title of that? Like “Uranus in the United States Chart”?
NDB: Something like that. Can you find it?
CB: Yeah, let me find it. All right, it was titled “The Uranus Return of the United States,” and it was Episode 378 of The Astrology Podcast. You and I did this really extensive historical study of the three different times in the past that Uranus was in Gemini, which was, first, with the American Revolutionary War, when the United States was founded. Then it came back around about 84 years later during the Civil War. And then it came back around 84 years later during World War II, and specifically during the US involvement in World War II. So we’re coming back around on that again and that has great implications for the United States, which is primarily what we focused on in that episode.
But I think because Gemini is also one of the major signs that has to do with technology and communications that that’s also gonna have some major implications for technology and for the speed and the pace of technology really picking up. That Uranus transit in Gemini would kind of do that just in and of itself—just Uranus going through Gemini, that’s kind of the symbolism—but then it’s gonna be trining Pluto in Aquarius at the same time. So it’s also something that’s accelerating or accentuating in a positive way the Pluto transit through Aquarius at the same time. So I assume that those two are connected and indicating a period of technology and the pace of technology really speeding up in the same way that we saw, for example, during World War II when that happened.
NDB: Yeah, absolutely. And similarly, also in the 1860s, as they were getting ready to build the railroad, a lot of quick development came out of that as well.
CB: So when does Uranus go into Gemini?
NDB: Uranus goes into Gemini in May of 2025. Hold on. I think we’re here. Exact date is July 7—oh, you went too far.
CB: There it is. July—
CB: 7th, 2025, okay.
CB: So there it is. That’s the first ingress.
NDB: That’s the first ingress. Then it regresses back into Taurus on November 7 of that year, and then finally enters Gemini proper for the next eight years. Next seven years, rather, on April 25, 2026.
CB: Sure. And we can see there in July of 2025, when Uranus goes into Gemini, it’s trining Pluto, which is only at 2° of Aquarius. So basically then, and even a year later in 2026, it’s again trining from 4° of Gemini to 4° of Aquarius.
NDB: Yeah, the trine will go all the way up until May of 2028. There’s five trines between Uranus and Pluto between 2026 and 2028. So it’ll go on for two years.
CB: Yeah. I wanted to use Archetypal Explorer to try to visualize some of these transits. Here’s some of the ones we’ll be talking about, but let me pull out all the transits and just do ‘Uranus-Pluto, trine’. Okay, so our time window is a little broad. Let’s move this back to 2022. There we go. So we can kind of see the exact hits of Uranus trine Pluto here, hitting in 2025, going through into ‘26 and so on and so forth.
CB: So I think that’s a major acceleration of technology, of communications. Sometimes Uranus transits can be disruptive. So like disruptive technologies that come through and shake things up in some way that’s unexpected or that’s hard to anticipate is a major theme of Uranus.
NDB: Yeah. The one scientific experiment or breakthrough I can think of that coincided with Uranus trine Pluto was the discovery of insulin when it was first used successfully in human beings which, if I’m not mistaken, was kind of accidental. Like it wasn’t necessarily what they were setting out to do, but it just wound up being that way.
NDB: So, yeah, these seemingly miracle-type occurrences in science where something that wasn’t thought achievable suddenly is.
CB: Yeah. And also, we mentioned a bunch of the technologies that were developed during World War II. Another one—‘cause Gemini also has to do with transportation and with movement—is travel; like major changes and shake-ups when it comes to travel and the movement of people around the Earth. We saw major changes with that in World War II in terms of that being one of the first ‘air’ wars, and air travel being a major thing, but also even other movements with cars, with submarines, and other things like that. That obviously goes back into World War I, but just the pace of things really picked up during the course of that transit.
NDB: Yeah, sure. I mean, they had airplanes in the First World War too, but they couldn’t do all the things and they couldn’t go as fast as the planes in the Second World War. So, yeah, sort of that speed of travel, the speed of development—all that stuff I think is a big part of what to expect.
CB: Yeah, so just like cars. Obviously, cars are gonna be one of the major ones in terms of, I assume, the acceleration and the switch to electric cars. But there may be some other things around that time as well that are sort of hard to anticipate in terms of new technologies for travel and new ways of traveling that might be innovations or that might be disruptive compared to travel up to this point.
NDB: Yeah, jetpacks, please.
NDB: I still want to go on my jetpack trip around the world.
CB: Some day. Some day, my friend.
NDB: Or Elon Musk’s rocket when it doesn’t blow up anymore—whichever comes first.
CB: Right. So this is gonna accelerate the Pluto and Aquarius stuff and the AI stuff. And this transit culminates in the early 2030s with some other major transits, like, for example, Saturn conjunct Uranus in Gemini in the early 2030s.
NDB: While opposite Jupiter. So it’ll be a double-whammy. It’ll be Saturn-Uranus opposite Jupiter. So quite the interesting picture there.
NDB: That’s in 2031-32.
CB: Opposite Jupiter. Okay, so let me pull that up in the transit timeline. Okay, so here’s 2027. We’re seeing Uranus is still trine Pluto. Saturn goes into Taurus, 2028-2029 timeframe. And then Saturn goes into Gemini here by the 2029-2030 timeframe and joins Uranus in Gemini and starts trining Pluto. And then eventually Saturn will catch up to Uranus by the 2032-2033 timeline.
NDB: Right. If you go back to October of 2031, even there you can see Jupiter is opposite. Yeah, you can see Jupiter-Mars opposite the Saturn and Uranus. So that’s a real intensity point in that Saturn-Uranus transit when they connect to Mars and Jupiter that way.
CB: Right. What are some keywords? So let’s start with Saturn conjunct Uranus.
NDB: Yeah, Saturn conjunct Uranus is a funny one because you’re combining two forces that really are sort of contradictory and hostile to each other. And when they’re in conjunction—they were in conjunction in ‘87-‘88, which was exactly the time when the Cold War was going into this sort of fritz. The Soviet Union was suddenly introducing Perestroika and Glasnost and sort of softening up. And they didn’t realize it, but this is what would lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union. After 40 years of hostility between the Soviet Union and the United States, you had Reagan and Gorbachev meeting a number of times and agreeing on nuclear de-escalation. So you had these seemingly hostile forces sort of coming together and cooperating in a way they never really had before and never would again after. So it creates strange alliances, that Saturn-Uranus conjunction. Strange alliances between allies who typically would not be allies.
CB: Okay. So I’m just trying to pull up some of these transits and in the short term. Here we go. I don’t know if this will show what I want as clearly. So we have the Saturn-Neptune coming up first, and we’ve talked about a lot of that. A big part of the mid-2020s is gonna be about this Saturn-Neptune conjunction and the blurring between what’s real and what’s not real.
CB: As well as potentially the crumbling of walls or boundaries or structures, which we saw the last time Saturn conjoined Neptune, most strikingly with—
NDB: The Berlin Wall, yeah.
CB: Berlin Wall, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union subsequent to that. So we have this, and we have on the one hand where this Saturn-Neptune conjunction can be somewhat charming or benign things like the rise of virtual reality. We know, for example, Apple’s about to release a virtual reality headset this year. And we may see the further development of virtual reality and augmented reality becoming a much more common thing over the course of the next decade, but also some of the negative things, like the fake news things. What’s gonna be a learning curve for many of us is not being able to tell what’s real versus what’s not when it comes to people’s personalities being imitated or artists or what have you, and some of the things surrounding that. So that’s a major signature here in the mid-2020s.
NDB: Yeah. What’s that brown one? It’s not labeled. Oh, Saturn square Pluto, yeah.
CB: So that’s Saturn square Pluto in the late 2020s. Okay, now it’s bringing stuff up. There’s the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, which was COVID. That conjunction went exact in early 2020 right as COVID was getting going. And we had a major turning point with respect to that—setting the foundation for the way that that shook up the world—but also there was a tremendous amount of death and other problems. We have the further development of that story in the late 2020s—centered around 2029—where we’ve got some Saturn-Pluto squares here, which is the next turning point in the story that was started in early 2020, especially with respect to some of those biological things that happened at that time.
NDB: Yeah. I mean, think about it, if we have another pandemic of any kind with people who were alive during the last one, it’s gonna be a complicated situation, to put it mildly.
CB: Yeah. And one of the things with the last Saturn-Pluto conjunction that was before that one—which was in the early 1980s—was the onset of the AIDS epidemic.
CB: And then at some of the different turning points of the square and the opposition, and then eventually the return, you had different points in the development of trying to fight AIDS and trying to get it under control and trying to develop different medicines and technologies to where eventually we were able to extend people’s lives so that it wasn’t a death sentence if you got AIDS, like it was at the beginning.
CB: So I suspect that part of what this Saturn-Pluto cycle is about—that started in 2020—is while it’s possible that you get other epidemic-type things at the hard aspects, it could also be something about the continued development of COVID and some of the different COVID variants, and some of the different after-effects of that pandemic from the early 2020s. ‘Cause we still have things like long-COVID where some of the long-term impacts of COVID aren’t fully known, and doctors are still trying to figure out treatments for how to deal with that or how to help heal people who had some sort of permanent damage from COVID. Which is something I’ve been struggling with for the past three years, since 2020, and I hope they are able to find stuff eventually; like that Saturn opposition around 2036—hopefully, in the best-case scenario—it’s like breakthroughs in terms of some of that research. On the downside, I saw a report recently that there was a prediction that there could be further variants of COVID that could take us back to some of the previous variants that caused a lot of sickness and a lot of death. So hopefully it’s not something like that where its variants are coming back and becoming problematic again.
NDB: Yeah. And then there’s the other element of it, which is the social element. Because if we have another situation like that—old variants coming back or things of that nature—we’ve got two problems. We’ve got a section of the population that is mistrustful of the authorities that would hand out vaccines or other sort of advice about how to deal with it, and then at the same time these organizations themselves aren’t nearly as transparent as they need to be—hence, the paranoia that comes up—so that you’ve got problems on two ends of the spectrum. If we had another pandemic so soon after this one, I mean, things would get pretty tough. Someone would try to assert their will on someone else.
CB: Yeah, so just a question about how that’s dealt with.
NDB: Yeah, very Saturn square Pluto with the question of authority and those types of things.
NDB: Power struggles. So that’s what I’m thinking along those lines there.
CB: And control. And what is for the public good versus what’s not for the public good, individual freedom versus collective freedom and different things like that—that’s a good point.
NDB: And drastic solutions. Drastic solutions is very Saturn square Pluto.
CB: Sure. All right, so that Saturn-Pluto comes back in the late 2030s. This is within the context of that broader transit of just Uranus in Gemini and Pluto in Aquarius that’s accelerating things. And then we get that conjunction of Saturn-Uranus that we were just talking about that hits right towards the very end of that. When does Saturn go into Gemini exactly? I guess we were just looking at it. It was like 2032-ish?
NDB: Yeah, I didn’t look. It’s right around that. It’s gotta be a little earlier. 2031, I think.
CB: Okay. So at that point Saturn-Uranus becomes activated. And it’s just interesting that that’s towards the end of the Uranus in Gemini transit. Because then you have that tension between Saturn representing structures, and Uranus representing the smashing of structures, new innovations, and tensions between tradition and innovation, and structure versus technology and different things like that suddenly coming very sharply into focus at the very end of that Uranus in Gemini transit.
NDB: Yeah. Saturn actually goes into Gemini in 2030 and then comes up to conjunct Uranus in 2032 towards the end.
CB: Got it. So this is like the center-point, around 2032-2033.
CB: But it extends out, just like most of these outer planet transits, for a bit.
CB: All right, then we get in 2033 and 2034 Saturn squaring Neptune, which is a continuation or—go, ahead.
NDB: An extension of the conjunction of 2026, yeah.
CB: Yeah, something about the conjunction of 2025-2026 that is the foundation in the tension between what’s real and what’s not real, or what’s firm and has a material foundation versus that which is almost illusory or imaginal. There’s some sort of foundation that gets laid there in the mid-2020s that we see revisited, and we see a new development in the story of that around 2033-2034 with this Saturn-Neptune square.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, because that Saturn-Uranus conjunction will be, like we were saying, the fake news times a million; all kinds of illusions and things that seem real and are not. Yeah, it’s the perfect environment for where we think we’re heading with the whole AI thing.
NDB: Yeah, that’s basically it. It’s kind of extending that to some new frontier.
CB: Yeah, which could be things like virtual reality and augmented reality. In the same way that we’re seeing this explosion of creativity—now that Saturn’s in Pisces with Neptune, and we’re seeing that on the tail-end of Saturn being in Aquarius—it could be that some of the technological breakthroughs and innovations that occur when Uranus is in Gemini that right after that we’ll see this very creative period, or this explosion of creativity that takes place under the Saturn-Neptune square. I could really see that as a sequence there, since it’s so distinctive that Saturn goes from this conjunction with Uranus in the early 2030s to this square with Neptune in the 2033-34 timeframe.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, it’s one after the other. Which, again, reminds me of, in its own way, the late ‘80s when it did the same thing with conjunctions, when it was conjunct Uranus and then it went to a conjunction with Neptune. Yeah, it reminds me of that kind of sequence. I mean, the Saturn-Uranus conjunction, like I said, creates some kind of strange, new alliance. But then the Saturn square Neptune, yeah, that’ll probably be something poisoning that well, if you will. Very complicated square, that one.
CB: Yeah. So then immediately after that we get a Saturn-Pluto opposition in the mid-2030s, like 2035-2036, going into 2037. It’s still pretty close. And this is probably the next most difficult aspect after that Saturn-Pluto conjunction that occurred in 2020, and is connected and refers back to that in some way. Because now that cycle which began in 2020 reaches the halfway point, and reaches the most tense point between those two planets, around the 2035-2036-2037 timeframe. So it just refers back to potentially some of the stuff that happened with COVID in that timeframe and some of the issues with pandemics and some of the biological issues; but also some of the major societal tensions and changes that occurred in that time that are probably imperceptible to us now. What happened in 2020 created some major fault lines and tensions and changes in society. Some of that will probably come into its fullest impact by the time of this opposition here in her in the mid-2030s.
NDB: It reminds me of course the last time Saturn was opposite Pluto was 9/11. And that Saturn-Pluto opposition in 2001 referred to the conjunction nearly 20 years earlier, back in ‘82-‘83, which was right about when Iraq was at war with Iran; it had been since 1980. But it’s right around that Saturn-Pluto conjunction in ‘82 where the American military industrial complex steps in on the side of a certain Saddam Hussein and supplies him with weapons to fight the war with Iran. Yeah, sort of like part of this grander narrative where you see these specific moments pop in and coincide with that Saturn-Pluto cycle.
CB: Yeah, that makes me think also of how the Saturn-Pluto cycle began in the early 1980s, Saturn conjunct Pluto in Libra especially.
CB: But it was just before that, around that time when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. And then the halfway point in that entire cycle eventually was in 2001, and then you had the US invading Afghanistan; and there’s a connection between those two events and in the way that they were connected in some striking ways.
NDB: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
CB: Yeah. All right, so moving on, we’ve got the Saturn-Pluto conjunction—or Saturn-Pluto opposition in the mid-2030s, and then we get to the biggest outer planet alignment. And this is the one that probably draws the most attention in terms of the next 20 years, for sure, because it’s the alignment of the two slowest-moving planets. And the slower two planets are in astrology—usually in mundane astrology—the more significant and major or far-reaching the alignment of those planets are seen as being in astrology, and I think that’s true both in ancient and in modern astrology. So we have this square of Uranus and Neptune, which really starts going exact in the late 2030s and the early 2040s.
And this is one of the most crucial ones because this square refers back to the conjunctions of Uranus and Neptune that occurred in the early-to-mid-1990s. And that was the period when the internet was developed and went from being like a paper—or at least the World Wide Web being a paper in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s—to being a realized concept and adopted and had this transformative effect on the world over the course of the past 30 years now. We owe a significant chunk of that to the Uranus-Neptune conjunction that was occurring in the early 1990s. And here we get the first major further development of that in terms of those two planets, which is the square between Uranus and Neptune around the 2040 timeframe. And this one just really stands out on the timeline as being a huge deal.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. The Uranus-Neptune square tends to coincide with rises and falls of empires or regimes or things of that nature. The two that come to mind—the last time they were square was in the early mid-‘50s, like 1953-57—basically coincided with the period where—
NDB: Uranus-Neptune square, yeah.
NDB: Sorry, did I not say Uranus-Neptune square?
CB: Yeah, you did. Go ahead.
NDB: Okay. During that period in the ‘50s, it was when Britain, France, and the Netherlands were fighting hard to sort of keep these colonies that were slipping through their fingers. Britain was fighting with the country we now call Malaysia. France was fighting this little-known country called Vietnam. The Netherlands was trying to get Indonesia back. So it was sort of like these empires slipping through their fingers. And when you go back to the previous one in 1870-71, it was the Franco-Prussian War and France losing territory to Prussia, and Prussia creating itself a new country, just like in the mid-‘50s. By the time the first African country declared independence, Ghana, that Uranus-Neptune square was just at its peak and about to wear off. So, yeah, you see these nations fall and nations rise—that kind of thing. Some kind of topsy-turvy change in power.
CB: Yeah, and it’s a 170-year cycle approximately when Uranus-Neptune conjoin. And I’ve followed that in particular with respect to the history of astrology because I noticed how that one in 1992 and 1993 coincided with the founding of Project Hindsight and the movement to revive ancient astrology through the translation of a bunch of texts, and then to reunite it and synthesize it with modern and contemporary astrology, which is what’s happened over the past 30 years. But I sort of noticed that it happened so close to that conjunction in ‘92 and ‘93, and so I went back in history, and I noticed that it kept happening over and over again about every 170 years. Every time Uranus and Neptune met up, there would be this sort of revival of older forms of astrology, and they would be merged with whatever the prevailing astrological paradigm was at the time in order to create a new synthesis; and then that synthesis would last basically for the next hundred or 170 years until the next conjunction.
NDB: I remember that work of yours. When I first met you in 2005, you were just sort of conjuring that, or you had just conjured that timeline. Yeah, that’s an excellent point, the conjunctions do have these powerful relationships to the astrology community. But the square between the two planets, yeah, you better believe it—they have to do with nations rising and falling. And given that that conjunction in the early ‘90s coincided with the new world that we got with not only the collapse of the Soviet Union, but South Africa ditching apartheid and renewing itself as a new republic, all these things were coming up at the time. And when we get to the square that sort of all comes up for review, and in different nations or different regimes within these nations, there’ll be changeovers.
CB: Yeah. So because of that coinciding so closely with the development of the internet, with the proliferation of personal computers and different things like that, I can’t help but think it’s connected with that somehow. Let me share Archetypal Explorer again. So here it is, and this is what we’re talking about. This is the Uranus-Neptune square, which really centers on the late 2030s and early 2040s, especially 2037 through 2042-2043 basically. And that’s really the major outer planet alignment that’s happening in that timeframe. It’s so striking that it stands out so strongly right there.
CB: But whatever the next stage in the development is of what was started in the early 1990s with the beginnings of the internet—this is the next important turning point in that, where it sort of takes it to whatever the next level is in terms of the tension. On the one hand, we have Uranus and technology and innovation, and on the other hand, we have Neptune and the breaking down of boundaries. And that archetype or that symbolism became very clear with the internet, where you have exactly that. Suddenly anybody with a computer can access information from anywhere in the world just typing on a keyboard or something like that. The level or the extent to which that brought down many of the barriers around the world is immeasurable or is immense and fits that symbolism very well. So it’s like we have a return of that—of technology removing barriers in some ways between people as a major theme during that timeframe. And that’s one of the ones that I’m looking at the most as having potentially the most significant impact, just because it’s the biggest outer planet transit of the next couple of decades while Pluto’s still gonna be in Aquarius.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. And it will coincide with the next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in 2040 as well. You’ll have Uranus square Neptune while there’s a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. So if you go to about October of 2040—yeah, there you are. I think October 31 is the actual Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. But you can see that Uranus and Neptune have their ongoing square, and there’s a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at the same time.
CB: Yeah, so Uranus is square Neptune. It’s still very close. Uranus is at 7 Leo, and Neptune is at 5 Taurus.
NDB: But there are more squares coming up in 2041 and 2042. Or 2041 at least.
CB: Yeah. One of the things that was tricky in paying attention to not just the degree-based but the sign-based aspects was that it almost starts becoming close.
NDB: Oh, yeah.
CB: Do we get one of the first squares while they’re still in the cardinal signs?
NDB: No, just after. Oh, no, wait, there is one, sorry. Go to January 31, 2040, or even October 2, 2039.
CB: So here’s October 2039. No, that’s already after the ingress.
NDB: Yeah, it’s already after.
CB: So that’s gonna be a real question though. Is this Uranus-Neptune square—yeah, look at how close that is. This is like a degree off by January of 2039, but Uranus is at 27 Cancer and Neptune’s at 28 Aries. So for all intents and purposes that square—even though it’s not gonna go exact until the sign ingress takes place—is already pretty fully in effect at this point by 2039.
NDB: It was like that in the 1950s as well when they were square. Like they went from square in Cancer to Libra, Uranus in Cancer to Neptune in Libra, and then Uranus moved into Leo as Neptune moved into Scorpio not too far behind. So that kind of thing has happened before.
CB: Okay. So the question is just the Uranus transit through Gemini ends in 2033 and 2034, and then Uranus goes into Cancer. So at that point it’s already forming a sign-based square with Neptune and the buildup to some of those squares begins.
CB: So to whatever extent that’s operative I think that’s really important because that comes on the tail-end of all of the technological advancement that takes place with Uranus in Gemini. And the buildup to that square really begins in 2033 and 2034, and then it peaks in the early 2040s basically.
CB: And then it’s not finished until Uranus goes into Virgo by the mid-2040s. So that sets an important set of timeframes. I mean, I know there’s several outer planet transits and there’s gonna be several after that. We start seeing a lot of Saturn action, like Saturn opposite Neptune in the 2042-2043-44 timeframe. We see Saturn square Pluto—the waning square of Saturn-Pluto—connecting it back to the conjunction of 2020. And then we eventually see a Uranus-Pluto opposition in the mid-to-late-2040s, which harkens back to that conjunction that took place in the 1960s; basically most of the entirety of the 1960s and some of the stuff that was happening then.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Some major transformations of technology during that time, but also issues surrounding control and manipulation of technology, and differences between control versus liberation or pushes for freedom involving that.
NDB: Big, big time, yeah.
CB: Yeah. All right, so it’s a little hard to, but if we were to make a bet—I guess it’s hard because we don’t have a specific date for when AI was first worked on. Like if we had a birth chart for that, or if we knew that it coincided with this conjunction, we would have a starting point that we could look at subsequent transits relative to. But we don’t have a cold, hard starting date, right?
NDB: Yes and no. I mean, we had a day that was really like a game-changer. It’s kind of hard to explain what it was basically, but it was the day where the programmers who thought AI could be done and the ones who thought it couldn’t be done—it was the day that the ones who thought it couldn’t be done had their minds changed. This was called the ImageNet 2012 Challenge. September 30, 2012 was the day. And this was at the time of the Pluto-Uranus square, September 30, 2012. And, yeah, basically Geoffrey Hinton was one of the three people involved. Ilya Sutskever of OpenAI, who would eventually be of OpenAI, was also involved. But it’s what’s called a ‘convolutional neural network’, and it was basically the demonstration of this thing called the AlexNet at the ImageNet 2012 Challenge that led to eventually the forming of OpenAI, and AI becoming this viable thing. So I wouldn’t say it’s—
CB: It’s not a foundation. That’s a later turning point.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s other later foundation points, like the chart for OpenAI becoming a company at the end of 2015.
CB: Right. But that’s just one company versus—what’s his name? Kasparov was already being beaten by a computer, an AI—
NDB: In the late ‘90s.
CB: In the late ‘90s. It’s like that’s a turning point, but, again, it’s not a foundation. It’s just a turning point of something that’s already going. Somebody might be able to come up with a better foundation chart for us, if somebody’s able to let us know in the comments. But it might be hard because sometimes AI is like the convergence of several different technologies.
CB: But, that being said, in the short term, I think both of us are really focused on that Uranus transit through Gemini and how that’s gonna trine Pluto and be really crucial in the acceleration of many of these technologies, especially in terms of communications and travel and other Mercury-related things. As well as language, for that matter. Gemini is very much about language at the same time.
CB: And if language has been part of the breakthrough technology that’s pushing AI forward at this point then we may continue to find that being even more important as Uranus goes into Gemini and accelerates some of that. So one of the timeframes in the short term is that transit. But in the long term, I’m really looking at that Uranus square Neptune transit around 2040 and around the time of that conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn as being a really crucial turning point in the 2040 timeframe.
NDB: Yeah. Going back to the Uranus-Pluto trine that’s coming up in the next few years that will accelerate the Pluto aspect. In terms of previous technological revolutions, it usually affects blue collar people, but this one seems to be aiming for more white collar people. And I think the Uranus-Pluto trine sort of points to where, yeah, the guy mopping the elementary school, he might still have his job because AI isn’t doing that yet. But CEOs or doctors or lawyers, these white collar types, might be the ones facing a kind of professional extension as we get closer to that.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so there’s that Uranus-Pluto; that’s gonna be the acceleration of all this. In the short term, by the end of the 2030s—by the end of 2033 when that’s over—there will have been a complete transformation that’s comparable to where we were at coming out of World War II and the beginning of the atomic age had sort of begun by that point. In the short term that’s what we’re looking at by the time of 2033 when Uranus is leaving Gemini. In the long term, 2040, even though it seems far away, things are moving so quickly at this point that it’s hard for me to imagine it taking that long, even though I’m not an AI researcher. Here it is. So we’re looking at October of 2040, and we’re looking at that Uranus-Neptune square that’s centered around that timeframe, within a few-year orb before and after, but then having the next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Libra.
It’s interesting that it’s in Libra. The last one was in Aquarius, and that seems to be really starting off this 20-year period of artificial intelligence and other technologies, including biological technologies. ‘Cause that was the big thing that happened in 2020, which on some level was a worldwide crisis that coincided with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction at the beginning of the year. But by the end of the year, humans had attempted to develop a way to fight it through technology and through employing a new technology, mRNA technology, that hadn’t been employed that widely at that point. So that’s another theme of that Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in terms of the development of new technologies, and it sets that stage for the next 20 years.
It’s interesting that this one’s in Libra, which is a sign ruled by Venus, which can sometimes bring up things with relational dynamics or relationships and things like that. One of the things I’ve always said is that at some point, if you create a sentient AI then at some point there’s gonna be some funny social dynamic issues in terms of humans having relationships with AIs and the societal issues surrounding that, in terms of the acceptability or non-acceptability because there’ll be different views on that. And some of the same arguments that have happened over the past few decades will probably come up again in terms of one group of people being like, “That’s not natural,” and another group of people saying, “Why are you imposing restrictions on what other people do?” or something like that.
NDB: Yeah, you can count on it, right?
CB: I know it’s hard, but if we were betting on the emergence of AGI, do you have a bet? Are you a betting man?
NDB: Not a betting man, but I’m a ‘predicting’ man.
CB: Okay. I know you gotta go soon, so I just wanted to—
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I’m thinking that Saturn-Neptune conjunction in 2026. Even that seems awfully far away. I mean, this is something that could happen next month. Yeah, the Saturn-Neptune to my mind points towards that as much as anything we’ve discussed.
CB: In three years, that’s what you’re saying? The Saturn-Neptune conjunction in three years?
NDB: Yeah, really in two years they come very close. Two years is when they both first enter Aries and come within minutes or a degree of conjunct. Go back to 2025. What’s that? May 7, 2025. You can see Neptune’s in Aries. Saturn’s gonna go into Aries. There you are.
CB: Oh, yeah, there it goes.
NDB: You see what I mean? They don’t make a conjunction, per se, but as far as I’m concerned the conjunction has well and truly started.
NDB: So that’s only two years from now.
CB: We do also have the Uranus trine Pluto going exact or very close at that point.
NDB: Yeah, exactly. This all looks like the likely time to me—2025.
CB: Okay. So if we were making short-term predictions that’s your prediction. I guess that is very promising. If I were to make short-term predictions then I would say it would be more like the early 2030s timeframe once we get to the end of the Uranus transit through Gemini, but especially once Saturn catches up. Saturn and Uranus were in Gemini in the ‘40s, right?
NDB: Yeah, in the 1940s.
CB: Yeah, I just keep thinking of the atomic bomb being developed during that timeframe and when Saturn goes into Gemini here in 2030, and then Saturn makes its way to later Gemini—here it is—by 2032-2033 timeframe. Does it retrograde back? No, it doesn’t, okay. So here it is there, 2032. So we’ve got Saturn and Uranus in Gemini, 2032. We’ve got Pluto right in the middle of Aquarius. And we have Jupiter move back into Aquarius for a year-long transit from 2032-2033. And that’s not very short term ‘cause I guess that’s talking about nine years from now. I think that looks like a really potent time for technology and for the development of technologies that will have a major worldwide, societal impact.
CB: And it’ll also be at the end of the Uranus transit through Gemini and the Saturn transit through Gemini. So it’s like whatever was started at the beginning of those transits will reach full maturity by that time.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. But this is nine years from now. And nine years ago, OpenAI wasn’t even an existing company.
NDB: And transformers weren’t being used in AI, and that was nine years ago. This is nine years from now. It’ll be so unrecognizable.
CB: Right. Yeah, well, one of the problems is the speed of technology is just gonna increase so much over the next few decades and over the course of this century.
CB: Yeah, it’s really hard to say. But at least astrologically we can say because there’s so much of an emphasis on the air signs here—and on Uranus and that Pluto transit and everything else—major developments in technology, communications, travel, and other things of that nature should be the order of the day certainly during this timeframe, whatever that looks like. So that’s more of my short-term one, and then my long-term one would be really paying attention to that 2040 timeframe of that conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter and the square of Uranus and Neptune around that timeframe.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. It speaks for itself.
CB: Yeah, so that is our discussion about the emergence of artificial intelligence, or artificial general intelligence, over the course of the next couple of decades. So people should let us know what they think in the comments. Let us know what your predictions are and what alignments you would bet money on. If you had to put it on one or two alignments, what would be the most significant turning points? ‘Cause the other thing is we’re trying to focus on one piece of that, artificial intelligence. But then if artificial intelligence is developed, but then it makes some other huge discovery that just changes our conceptualization of the universe or science or other things like that, we could be seeing ripple effects from those discoveries that are made subsequent to something else. But there’s a lot of really interesting discussions, both predictive-wise, as well as about moral and ethical and other issues that I hope we’re able to discuss as a community. While we might not come to conclusions on all of those, or may not all agree, it’ll be good to start having some of those discussions now since it seems like a lot of this is just gonna become more important in the future.
NDB: Yeah, please do reach out to us. We’re interested in hearing people’s thoughts.
CB: Yeah. All right, so to wrap up, you’re starting to do livestreams. Where can people find out more information about you?
NDB: Yeah, follow me on Twitter, or go to my website, nickdaganbestastrologer.com. But, yeah, on Twitter I announce livestreams. I’ve been doing them on Sundays with Patrick Watson. Not doing it today. Well, today is Sunday, but I’ve done this taping with you instead, so I’m gonna livestream tomorrow, Monday.
CB: He was gonna join us, but he got sick today. So a shoutout to Patrick, and I hope he recovers soon.
NDB: Yeah, get well soon, Patrick. But, yeah, I’m livestreaming often in partnership with Patrick Watson, sometimes by myself. So follow me on Twitter, and those livestreams will be announced as they happen.
CB: Awesome. Cool. Well, thanks a lot for joining me today for this discussion and for helping me—
NDB: Thank you for having me.
CB: Celebrate 400 episodes. We’ll have to meet again in Episode 500.
NDB: Yeah, hopefully 500 has a more cheerful outcome than 400. We’ve taken people through the full ‘Soylent Green’ dystopian future transit show, but it was good fun.
CB: Hopefully we’re still the ones here doing the podcast a hundred episodes. For now we haven’t been replaced by AI.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. The AI ‘Chris’ bot and the AI ‘Nick’ bot will do some dynamite shows, I have no doubt.
CB: That’s true. All right, well, I welcome our new AI—
CB: Overlord podcast hosts. All right, cool. Well, thanks a lot for joining me today, Nick.
NDB: Thank you.
CB: Thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of the podcast. Thanks for all your support. Especially all the patrons that have supported the podcast over the past several years ‘cause it’s allowed me to make it to 400 episodes. If you want to support this work then you can join my page on Patreon. And, yeah, thanks a lot for watching. All right, see everyone next time in Episode 401.
A special thanks to all the patrons that helped to support the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on Patreon.com. In particular, a shoutout to the patrons on our Producers tier, including: Thomas Miller, Catherine Conroy, Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Mimi Stargazer, and Jeanne Marie Kaplan. If you appreciate the work I’m doing here on the podcast and you’d like to find a way to support it then please consider becoming a patron through our page on Patreon.com. In exchange, you can get access to bonus content that’s only available to patrons of the podcast, such as early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the monthly forecast episodes, our monthly Auspicious Elections Podcast or another exclusive podcast series called The Casual Astrology Podcast, or you can even get your name listed in the credits at the end of each episode. For more information visit Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.
If you’re looking to get an astrological consultation, we have a list of recommended astrologers at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/Consultations. The astrologers on the list are friends of the podcast that have been featured in different episodes over the years, and they have different specialties such as natal astrology, electional astrology, synastry, rectification, or horary astrology. You can get a 10% discount when you book a consultation with one of the astrologers on our list by using the promo code ‘ASTROLOGYPODCAST’.
The astrology software that we use and recommend here on the podcast is called Solar Fire for Windows, which is available for the PC at Alabe.com. Use the promo code ‘AP15’ to get a 15% discount. For Mac users we recommend a software program called Astro Gold for Mac OS, which is from the creators of Solar Fire for PC, and it includes both modern and traditional techniques. You can find out more information at AstroGold.io, and you can use the promo code ‘ASTROPODCAST15’ to get a 15% discount.
If you’d like to learn more about my approach to astrology then I’d recommend checking out my book titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune where I go over the history, philosophy, and techniques of ancient astrology, taking people from beginner up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. You can get a print copy of the book through Amazon or other online retailers, or there’s an ebook version available through Google Books.
If you’re really looking to expand your studies of astrology then I would recommend my Hellenistic astrology course, which is an online course on ancient astrology where I take people through basic concepts up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. There’s over 100 hours of video lectures, as well as guided readings of ancient texts, and by the time you finish the course you will have a strong foundation on how to read birth charts, as well as make predictions. You can find out more information at courses.theAstrologySchool.com.
And finally, thanks to our sponsors, including The Mountain Astrologer Magazine, which is a quarterly astrology magazine which you can read in print or online at MountainAstrologer.com.