• Search
  • Lost Password?
The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 432 Transcript: Pluto in Aquarius in History

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 432, titled:

Pluto in Aquarius in History

With Chris Brennan and Nick Dagan Best

Episode originally released on January 13, 2024


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: theastrologypodcast@gmail.com

Transcribed by Teresa “Peri” Lardo

Transcription released February 15th, 2024

Copyright © 2024 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, Nick Dagan Best is joining me, and we’re gonna be talking about Pluto in Aquarius in history. So hey Nick, thanks for joining me.

NICK DAGAN BEST: Hey Chris. Thanks for having me back.

CB: All right. We are back to do another blend of some history and some astrology. This is gonna be a great episode. So let me talk a little bit about the genesis and the premise of this episode, where this year the planet Pluto is moving into the zodiac sign of Aquarius, and it’s gonna stay there for the next 20 years all the way until 2044. So, many people are asking themselves what this era will be like over the course of the next two decades and what sort of changes and events might take place.

So one of the tools that astrologers have for predicting the future is going back and studying the past. And when I was preparing for the 2024 year ahead forecast episode last month, I went back and did some research on what previous Pluto in Aquarius periods have been like, and my goal in this episode is to share some of that extended research, especially because I couldn’t fit it all into that forecast episode. So I found a number of extremely interesting correlations between different Pluto in Aquarius periods and many echoes and repetitions, and we’ll show how a number of these themes are actually becoming relevant for us again today as we’re at the cusp of a new era. So yeah, studying the past in order to predict the future – that’s really one of the greatest keys to astrology, one of the greatest secrets in some sense, but it’s one that you and I have both really refined and developed in a number of different techniques.

NDB: Yeah, no, for sure. To my mind, it is the way to learn astrology is just to sort of test these different, you know, planetary cycles and how they line up against each other in different configurations and work the story out from there. This approach has taught me a lot more about astrology than any astrology book can hope to teach me.

CB: Yeah, because on the one hand, we do have, like symbolic interpretations of what something should mean symbolically based on its astronomical movement or appearance, but then this is where it’s really grounded in a sort of empiricism by sort of going back, looking at what happened the last time a placement occurred, what correlations happened with it, and then over an extended period of time looking for repetitions. Like, you really get a much more concrete sense of what the astrology is indicating and what the placement is indicating.

NDB: Yeah, that’s just it. And because there’s no end to the amount of work you can do, so if you really just do like you and I have done and spend a long time over many years studying astrology in this way… yeah, you come away with a much deeper knowledge of how astrology works than if you just learn from books and just gave readings to people you met. You know, this is a really important way to develop any kind of facility with astrology in my opinion.

CB: Yeah. Well, and that’s actually – that’s a good point, because that’s one of the issues with Pluto in Aquarius is that it has such a long orbital period of 248 years, of more than two centuries, that you can’t exactly just like, go and like, you know, study people you know’s birth charts to see like, what Pluto in Aquarius indicates of people around you, because it’s been more than two centuries since anyone was born with Pluto in Aquarius.

NDB: Yeah, last time Pluto was in Aquarius, people were wearing white powdered wigs, you know. It’s a long way away.

CB: I mean, I’m kind of up for bringing that back; I don’t know about you, but I —

NDB: Yeah —

CB: — wouldn’t be —

NDB: — I can see it working for you, pal, but…

CB: Yeah, exactly.

NDB: Yeah, I wouldn’t mind. They look pretty cool.

CB: Right.

NDB: They’ll look like Mozart, you know, whatever.

CB: Right. We’ll see what happens. But so yeah, so this is actually one of the areas in which you have to or you’re almost forced to go back and study history just because you can’t study like, contemporary famous nativities from the past century or something like that, which is, you know, or ones from even your lifetime, which is the more usual access point for many astrologers. So this is one area where you’re forced to study history. And yeah, so this episode is gonna be largely like, a collection of sort of my research and notes up to this point. This isn’t like a fully finished product, but I have found some very interesting threads, and I think it’s gonna create, it’s gonna set a nice foundation for future research with some of the things that I found that we’ll present today.

NDB: Yeah, I gotta say, you did an amazing job with, you know, shaping today’s episode, and I’ve already learned a lot just reading some of the notes. I mean, of course I study a lot of history with astrology, but you have a much greater facility with ancient history than I do. My forte is more, you know, modern history of the 18th century onward. So yeah, I’ve already learned a lot and your audience is in for a huge treat with everything you’ve put together today, and I’ll do my best to add, you know, interesting things there where I can, but this is a great learning experience all around.

CB: Awesome. Okay. So like we said, it takes more than two centuries for Pluto to return to Aquarius each time, and so what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go back and review 12 specific Pluto in Aquarius periods in the past, or 11 including the current one, which will be the 12th. So this takes us all the way back to about 700 BCE or 700 BC, however you wanna call it. And let me show a diagram really quickly that shows the periods we’re gonna be talking about. So this is a list of all Pluto in Aquarius periods when the first ingress of Pluto began, when Pluto first moved into Aquarius the year that it did, and then the year in which Pluto made its final departure from Aquarius in that era. So what we have here then over the past nearly 3,000 years is just 11 different periods up ‘til now, and then the current one in 2022 and 2023 will be the 12th period that we’ll cover towards the very end. Once we’ve finished going through history, we’ll sort of project that into the future to see, kind of anticipate some of the themes that are gonna come up for us today.

NDB: Yeah. Can’t wait.

CB: All right, cool. So last thing I wanted to mention here is in a little bit of preliminaries is that Pluto has a highly eccentric or elliptical orbit than the other planets, and as a result of that, it spends much more time in some signs of the zodiac and less time in others. So for example in the current cycles, it spends the most time in the signs of Taurus and Gemini, which is about 30, 31 years, whereas it spends the least amount of time in Libra and Scorpio, which is about 12 years. So Aquarius is kind of in the shorter to medium-sized side of the spectrum at 20 years in the current cycles, so that it’s either the longest of the short signs or it’s the shortest of the medium signs, if that makes sense.

NDB: And you have a really interesting tally of just how long each transit of Pluto through Aquarius has lasted, and it seems to be varying in length. Much older transits took about 25 years to go through the sign, and now it takes about 21, is that right? Yeah.

CB: Yeah. Here it is. So —

NDB: Right.

CB: The earliest one that we’re gonna talk about, which is like, 674 to 647 BCE, Pluto was in Aquarius for 27 years, but then we can see due to the eccentricity of its orbit, it counts downwards so that the next cycle it spent 26 years 200 years later, the next one it spent 25 years in Aquarius, then a few later it spent 24 years down to 22, and then eventually in the present one it’ll spend about 20, 21-ish years.

NDB: Right. I didn’t realize it varied like this. I mean, maybe I was sort of vaguely aware of it, but it’s really something. This diagram really sort of sparked a eureka moment in my mind, just realizing how much it has been shaving down over, you know, the centuries, millennia.

CB: Yeah.

NDB: So yeah, it would be interesting to study all the, you know, Pluto through all the signs and see how that variation is moving. Like, what signs are increasing in length and what signs are decreasing in length and where it’s all going. That’s something that’s really sort of beyond the scope of anything I’ve looked at, so that’s really interesting.

CB: Yeah, for sure. And here is a diagram that just shows – it’s like, most of the planetary orbits, they are ellipses but they’re a little bit more circular and a little bit more regular, whereas Pluto’s orbit is inclined and also highly elliptical. So that’s why you have some of that variation and that’s why it spends more time in certain signs and less time in others.

NDB: Yeah. I wonder about this diagram, though, because it seems to be indicating that Jupiter’s got a really weird ecliptical orbit, which I think is not the case, at least not as wild as that, but Mars does. Mars does have a sort of a more skewered ecliptical orbit – not quite and nothing like Pluto, of course, and all the other planets besides Pluto are, you know, right there on the ecliptic plane. But yeah —

CB: Yeah, I think it’s just —

NDB: — that being said, it’s still at least as far as Pluto goes, that’s a pretty accurate depiction of just how wildly different the orbit is relative to any of the other planets.

CB: Yeah. It’s just an approximation to give people an idea of why that might be happening and just the difference between, like, imagine a perfect geometrical circle that’s perfectly round versus imagine an oval. And so if Pluto is more of an oval compared to the perfect circles of the other planets, then in certain parts of the oval, of course, if you put the zodiac around that, then it’s gonna go through certain signs longer and through certain signs in a much shorter duration.

NDB: Yeah. We see something sort of similar with Mars on a much smaller scale, where it spends much more time in Leo and very little time in Aquarius, relatively, for much the same reason because its elliptical orbit is such that it appears to spend more time. There are more frequent retrogrades in Leo, and therefore it spends more time there.

CB: Right. For sure. Okay, so elliptical orbit, I think that’s good for the astronomy. There’s some great stuff on actually Astro-Seek where you can go and see on Astro-Seek.com like, there’s different graphs and charts that you can pull up where Peter, the programmer of Astro-Seek shows like, the periods or like, the duration of periods and the averages for different cycles. So that was kind of helpful when I was doing some of this research and I’d recommend checking that out. Other than that, so I wanted to transition first before we get into the history to first talk a little bit about the planet Pluto and then a little bit about the sign Aquarius to understand the astrological symbolism.

So for Pluto, I wanted to just read this quote from Richard Tarnas’s book Cosmos and Psyche, where he did a historical survey largely of outer planet alignments where he didn’t necessarily focus on the signs of the zodiac but instead he focused on aspects between outer planets in history, and this is sort of his summary of the basic keywords and principles of Pluto that he drew from that study. So he says:

“Pluto is associated with the principle of elemental power, depth, and intensity; with that which compels, empowers, and intensifies whatever it touches, sometimes to overwhelming and catastrophic extremes; with the primordial instincts, libidinal and aggressive, destructive and regenerative, volcanic and cathartic, eliminative, transformative, ever-evolving; with the biological processes of birth, sex, and death, the cycle of death and rebirth; with upheaval, breakdown, decay, and fertilization; violent purgatorial discharge of pent-up energies, purifying fire; situations of life-and-death extremes, power struggles, all that is titanic, potent, and massive. Pluto represents the underworld and underground in all senses: elemental, geological, instinctual, political, social, sexual, urban, criminal, mythological, demonic. It is the dark, mysterious, taboo, and often terrifying reality that lurks beneath the surface of things, beneath the ego, societal conventions, and the veneer of civilization, beneath the surface of the Earth, that is periodically unleashed with destructive and transformative force. Pluto impels, burns, consumes, transfigures, resurrects. In mythic and religious terms, it is associated with all myths of descent and transformation, and with all deities of destruction and regeneration, death and rebirth.”

So I wanted to read that because I think it’s a good summary of some of the themes associated with Pluto generally as a planet in astrology.

NDB: Yeah, no, it’s really good. I think the – yeah, I mean, Rick always does a great job; it’s a fantastic book. The one thing I would add to that, I think, is I think Pluto is also transportative. It doesn’t just transform you or, you know, whoever’s subject to its transits, but it tends to take someone from one world and take them to another. If they’re used to, you know, the boardrooms and the penthouse of highrises, then they find themselves in some alleyway or vice versa. You know, it transports us between social classes, sometimes literally geographically, but certainly the environment that we’re situated in. It transforms all of that.

CB: Yeah. Also, a friend of ours, the late astrologer Alan White, used to say that Pluto takes small things and makes them big or it takes big things and makes them small, and I think that’s a really good —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: — keyword and imagery especially here is that Pluto tends to take things to extremes and to magnify things. And to take something that’s like, a little thing, and then blow it up into a huge thing, and we’ll see that as a recurring theme as we go through the history.

NDB: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, just like it – shortly after its discovery, we started doing things with atoms and also transistors, I think, another very Plutonian invention. Talk about taking big things and making them small.

CB: Yeah, for sure. Okay, so that’s Pluto. And then with Aquarius – so Aquarius is an air sign, it’s fixed, masculine. Traditionally, it’s said to be ruled by the planet Saturn, and it’s also said to be a cold sign, which is opposite to the hot, fiery sign of Leo, using the original stoic approach to the elements. So I was trying to figure out how to summarize some things in Aquarius, and I actually did a whole series on the signs of the zodiac last year, and I did an episode on Aquarius with astrologers Aerin Fogel and Bear Ryver. And what I decided to do to try to condense down like, some of the insights of that episode is I used an AI program and asked it to summarize this like, three-hour episode that we did into some main points. So I wanted to share that with you today, because I think it’s kind of useful to contextualize what we’re about to talk about, as well as just like, fitting for our time period where this is like, some of the first – we’re some of the first astrologers that can do things like this, basically, like using AI to start summarizing and helping to accentuate our research. So this is what the AI came up with. It said:

“Aquarius, the 11th sign of the zodiac, is explored in this podcast episode. The hosts discuss the key qualities and characteristics of Aquarius, contrasting it with its predecessor, Capricorn. Aquarius is described as a fixed air sign, representing a shift from the material and concrete focus of Capricorn to a more interconnected and collective perspective. Aquarius is associated with the element of air, symbolizing communication, information, and social connections. It is ruled by Saturn, which brings a sense of discernment and objectivity to the sign.

“The hosts delve into the concept of time in relation to Aquarius, highlighting its forward-thinking nature and its ability to envision a better future. Aquarius is seen as a sign that pushes boundaries and challenges social conventions, often standing outside the norm (due to the opposition with Leo). It is associated with innovation and technology, as well as the desire to make the world a better place. However, the hosts also note the potential pitfalls of over-objectivity and detachment that can come with Aquarius, leading to a disconnect from human experience and a tendency to idealize the future.

“The podcast explores the role of Aquarius in communication and storytelling, emphasizing its ability to transmit ideas and narratives on a collective level. Aquarius is seen as a sign which seeks understanding and knowledge, often with a broad scope and a focus on the bigger picture. The hosts discuss the tension between the fixed and cold qualities of Aquarius, which can sometimes lead to a sense of dissociation or dehumanization. However, they also highlight the sign’s capacity for inclusivity and its desire to fight for the underdog, rooted in Saturn’s qualities of discernment and equity.

It is a sign that inspires us to look beyond the present, embrace innovation, and work towards a brighter future, but also reminds us of the importance of staying grounded in the present and connected to our fellow humans.”

I like that last bit, where it’s like the AI that’s talking about staying —

NDB: That’s what I’m thinking.

CB: Yeah.

NDB: Well done, AI!

CB: Yeah. He’s like, “Hello, fellow humans!” Like that meme with Steve Buscemi.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah. Well done.

CB: Yeah.

NDB: Yeah. It’s getting pretty eerie, that AI. That almost sounds like it was written by a person, a very articulate non-person, anyway.

CB: Yeah, well, it’s summarizing, you know, like, for our episode and some —

NDB: Right.

CB: — of the main themes, and those were some of the main themes. And that like, forward-looking component, it’s like, one of the things we focused on way the transition from Capricorn as an earth, Saturn-ruled sign that’s feminine and more almost backward looking and more, in some sense, almost like, conservative or focused on the past in that way, versus switching to Aquarius as a masculine air sign ruled by Saturn where the concept of time is still important, but then it becomes more forward-looking into the future in terms of the orientation towards time. And I think that’s a core thing for Aquarius that we’re gonna see come up a lot here in addition to other themes having to do with like, communication, information, and like, collectivization involving like, societies in general and things like that.

NDB: Yeah. I also think of – I mean, I tend to define the two Saturn-ruled signs relative to the signs they oppose. So Capricorn being the Saturnian sign that, you know, sees Cancer and the Moon, and it’s more sort of the absence of light on the Moon, whereas Aquarius is sort of contrary to the light of the Sun and, you know, the individual represented by Leo as opposed to the sort of the collective represented by the Moon and Cancer. So yeah, Aquarius is very much about the individual vis-à-vis the collective and that relationship in its most —

CB: Yeah.

NDB: — sort of bare bones, yeah.

CB: Yeah. And we expanded on that a lot about the opposition between Leo and Aquarius and Leo representing like, usually like, the status quo or that which is central or that which is popular, versus Aquarius being opposite to that and therefore being that which is like, outside of the status quo, which can sometimes mean like, that which is weird, that which looks avant-garde. But then the interesting like – what is it? Like, a dialectic? – between those two, which is that eventually Aquarius, even though it looks weird at first or because it’s outside of the status quo, eventually sometimes it sets a trend that’s new and forward-thinking that eventually comes, catches on, until eventually that becomes the status quo itself so that there’s this interlinking interplay between Aquarius and Leo.

NDB: Yeah. I’m remembering my old Aquarian astrology mentor, Axel Harvey, who kept his pencils in a freezer. If you know, if you’re close to Aquarians, they usually have some really unusual habit like that, but one that is totally rooted in logic. He kept his pencils in the freezer because it kept them sharp, and you know, I couldn’t argue with that.

CB: For sure.

NDB: That’s some classic Aquarius right there.

CB: Yeah, I’ll have to try that.

NDB: I don’t use pencil.

CB: Yeah, that’s the only downside. I’ll put my MacBook, my iPad pencil in the freezer and see if it works.

NDB: There you go. Yeah. Keep it sharp.

CB: All right, cool. Well, those are the preliminaries. Let’s jump into going through these periods and let’s talk about our first period of Pluto in Aquarius. So we’re gonna go all the way back over 2,000 years, almost 3,000 years, ago. The first period I want to touch on is Pluto in Aquarius period from 674 to 647 BCE. So I tried to look through history, and this is where things get a little dodgy in terms of like, very well-recorded history, especially slightly before this point, but the primary things that I saw or one of the things that immediately stood out to me as somebody who’s kind of like, a historian of astrology is that at this time period around the middle of the 7th century BCE, this was the high point of Mesopotamian state-supported astrology under the Neo-Assyrian kings Esarhaddon and Ashuerbanipal in Mesopotamia, which is roughly located in what is now modern-day Iraq. So this is a period when they had 10 different colleges of astrologers that were set up all around Mesopotamia who would watch the sky and send their reports to the king. And we actually have a bunch of records of their reports on cuneiform tablets from this time, and in fact, a huge chunk of most of what survives of our information about Mesopotamian astrology survives from this time due to these vast libraries that were compiled in this century, especially when Mesopotamian astrology was at its high point as being a state-supported endeavor. And one of the things that brought up for me is the reason why Mesopotamian astrology was a state-supported endeavor at that time, and it made me think of this book and the introduction to this book I had read a few years ago titled The Art of Divination in the Ancient Near East by Stefan M. Maul. And he has this paragraph, this introduction, I want to read it really quickly, where he says:

“Knowledge of the future promises not only security and stability reaching far beyond the present but also enormous advantages over those without access to such knowledge. The ability to glimpse what is still to come thus becomes, almost automatically, a highly desirable and jealously guarded quantity. It is an instrument of domination, granting enduring power to all those who have it at their disposal.”

So for him, the way he’s like, framing this as like, a book on divination in ancient Mesopotamia, he just opens it talking about astrology and other forms of divination being seen as almost like, an advanced technology that could be used to see the future, and so that’s why it became this high level, state-supported operation as well as sort of like a secret that was used to dictate and plan state affairs. And there’s something very important there, like the kernel of something very important that we’ll see come up as a recurring theme over and over again in future periods, which is governments and major entities and their attempts to control emerging technologies and to use those technologies in order to exercise power over the populace or over other countries and to use it to their advantage, basically.

NDB: Indeed. And speaking of artificial intelligence, it’d be nice to have AI translate all those old cuneiform tablets, because I understand we’ve only translated maybe 10, 20% of them, of what’s, you know, stored up in libraries, so. Yeah —

CB: You know —

NDB:  — gotta get AI on that.

CB: It’s funny that you mention that, because last night for the first time I tried this, because I didn’t think it would work, especially like, a year ago when ChatGPT and stuff like that first came out, these large language models, but last night for the first time I actually fed in some passages of Vettius Valens in ancient Greek, and I said, “Translate this from ancient Greek,” and it translated. It actually did really well, and I was actually kind of shook, I was kind of shocked at how well it did at translating these ancient Greek astrological passages, basically.

NDB: Yeah. So just imagine what it could do with all that, you know, all those texts in cuneiform. What could we learn about astrology that we haven’t learned yet?

CB: Yeah, for sure.

NDB: Yeah, because those people were at it for quite a while, even over the course of that transit of Pluto through Uranus in that brief 27-year period or whatever it was. There’s a lot that’s documented that we really could benefit from having translated for us.

CB: Yeah, and one of the things, actually, that started that I also wanted to note about this period that was a specific event and like, a discrete thing that may have coincided with Pluto going into Aquarius is that this scientific project that we know today that we refer to as the Astronomical Diaries started being recorded in Mesopotamia at this time, where Mesopotamian astrologers who were also skywatchers would go out every day and they would observe the sky and they would write down where the planets were and major astronomical events that could be seen in the sky. But they would also start noting other things that were happening in the world at the time. So they would note the height of the river at the time. They would note the prices of different commodities on the market, so they would note market prices. And they would also note other major social or political events that took place at that time. And what’s crazy about this is the oldest Astronomical Diary is dated to 652 BCE, which falls exactly in this Pluto in Aquarius period, but what’s crazy about it is that this research program persisted from that point for the next like, seven or eight centuries, with the latest Astronomical Diary that’s securely dated dates to about 61 BC, so almost like, 600, 700 years later. And so the scholars, when they talk about this, they always rave about it, the historians of science, because they say that this was probably the longest scientific research program that was ever conducted in like, world history, certainly in the West, because it lasted essentially unbroken for over 700 years. So David Pingree, for example, writes:

“That someone in the middle of the eighth century B.C. conceived of such a scientific program and obtained support for it is truly astonishing; that it was designed so well is incredible; and that it was faithfully carried out for at least 700 years is miraculous.”

So this is an example and this will be a reoccurring theme – it’s not just like, astrology being at its high point, Mesopotamian state-supported astrology at this time, but also the initiating of scientific research programs that change the world can sometimes happen during Pluto in Aquarius periods as well.

NDB: Indeed. That’s just amazing. I mean, imagine like, 700 years ago, you know, you’re in the year 1324, you know, imagine starting an ongoing scientific research project from that era in history until right now. It kind of boggles the mind.

CB: Right, exactly. And to have your – you know, because that was necessary, because you had to observe all those things in order to eventually – it was from programs like that they eventually were able to develop scientific models and they were able to develop accurate calculations for planetary recurrences to like, figure out how long it took for different planets to repeat their placements over a certain number of years or days or what have you, and then this eventually led to the development of like, astronomical models about the world, and then this eventually led to astronomical models about the cosmos and how the cosmos was structured and understanding that better. And that eventually led to, you know, so many subsequent scientific discoveries about things like gravity, you know, relativity, quantum mechanics, and everything else really goes back to this scientific program and the need to have accurate data of where the planets have been in the past in order to be able to predict where they will be in the future. And once you have that raw data, you can do so much with it, but they didn’t have that up until that time.

NDB: Yeah, no one gave them Solar Fire. But no, seriously, you know, we would have no astrology, not as we know it. Certainly no horoscopic astrology as we know it, yeah, without this foundation.

CB: Exactly. And it’s funny that you mentioned that, because that brings us to our next period, where we go from the 7th century BCE and we jump forward almost 300 years to the next Pluto in Aquarius period, which occurred between 430 to 404 BCE.

NDB: It seems like it was just [yesterday].

CB: Yeah, exactly. Just like 2023 like —

NDB: Right.

CB: — zipped by, like —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: Yeah. So this period, the primary thing that I wanted to mention about this period that’s actually really interesting is that this is the time period in which natal astrology seems to have been developed, because the oldest birth charts, the very first birth charts that ever existed, date to 410 BCE, which falls right in this period a little bit towards the end of it. And the oldest chart is actually dated specifically to April 29th, 410 BCE, and it has Pluto at 24 degrees of Aquarius. So here, for those watching the video version, is a picture of that chart with Pluto right there at 24 degrees of Aquarius. So what’s important about this is the context of part of what happened. So one, on the one hand, we have to realize that this is like, a new technology, that even though we’ve had this technology for over 2,000 years now, this idea of birth charts and natal astrology prior to this time this idea may not have existed. And, like in the in the previous Pluto period in the seventh century BCE, they were just doing mundane astrology where they were looking at the movements of the planets or eclipses or things like that, and then saying that it would apply to the the population as a whole, to like, cities and nations or sometimes to the king as the leader and the representative of nations, but they weren’t like, casting birth charts for people. So you go one full Pluto cycle, and all of a sudden, there’s this new technology emerges that has this really amazing premise and insight into the nature of the cosmos, which is the notion that the alignment of the cosmos at the moment that a person is born will tell you information about the nature and quality of their future and the life that they will eventually come to live, which is such a actually mind-blowing proposition, but at this point, this is like, a new, almost like, scientific discovery or premise that’s just in its very early stages here.

NDB: Yeah, no, it’s a huge leap, because yeah, in the previous Pluto cycle, they mainly would’ve been issuing omens, you know. This planet with this planet next to the Moon means there’s gonna be, you know, a drought or the crops won’t do well or the king’s gonna leave, or just sort of basic statements like that, whereas, like you’re saying, one full Pluto cycle later and we’re doing the astrology that we recognize today – horoscopic astrology. Astrology that really addresses the life of an individual person. So yeah, it’s quite a leap.

CB: Right. And you know, speaking of that but with the omen astrology, it’s like, we can understand why they originally start developing that premise, because as we saw in our eclipses in history episode that we did in October and November and December, you know, eclipses really do coincide with major changes and sometimes with the rise and fall of different leaders or kings or things like that. So we can see why they originally started paying attention to those, but here it had progressed by this point, you know, nearly 300 years later, and they have the basic concept of birth charts, but they don’t have the more advanced things that we use today like aspects or houses or anything like that. It was just the planet in the signs of the zodiac at this point, so it’s like the seeds of that later development that we’re familiar with today.

NDB: Right. Exactly.

CB: So one of the last things about this that’s important is why it happened, because part of what happened is there was a shift in terms of the rulers where the Persian Empire took over Mesopotamia, and there may have been a shift where during the previous Pluto cycle astrology may have been more of a state-funded activity because the rulers were like, using it to their advantage. But during this period, the Persian rulers may not have been putting as much emphasis on using astrology for imperial purposes and so there was some sort of almost like, democratization of astrology that took place where all of a sudden now the astrologers are casting charts for individual, for, you know, people – like, the birth of individuals so that you’re not just like, consulting with the king. The astrologers are now consulting with other people. So there’s some sort of shift and some sort of democratization of this advanced technology at this time where it’s not just restricted to royalties and the elites, but now there’s other people that are able to access this technology.

NDB: Yeah, that’s gonna be a real classic Pluto in Aquarius theme as we move forward. That’s a consistent pattern for sure.

CB: Yeah.

NDB: The democratization.

CB: The last thing is that in the fifth century BCE, the zodiac was standardized to be 12 signs of exactly 30 degrees each, and also they developed ephemerides. And these two technological developments were also part of the precursor that was necessary that led to natal astrology being developed. So there was this firming up of the technology, but also the convergence of several different technologies into creating something new, and that’s also a theme that we’re gonna see come up as well.

NDB: Yeah, and I bet they never had to deal with all these memes about, you know, 13th signs and what have you. A neat —

CB: Yeah.

NDB: — 12 like it should be.

CB: No Ophiuchus?

NDB: No – yeah, no Ophiuchus for…

CB: Right. I mean, we’ll probably find some skeptic cuneiform tablet from like, this time period that’s like, ranting about there being 13 signs and not 12. But we’ll have to – we’ll see if the AI can translate that.

NDB: Sure. I think there had been 10, actually, going that far back. I think it was – wasn’t it expanded to 12 from 10 at some point?

CB: I mean, it’s a whole —

NDB: I’m not sure —

CB:  — complicated —

NDB:  —when that happens. Yeah, okay —

CB: — discussion about —

NDB: — we don’t need to get —

CB: — there’s a lot of —

NDB: Yeah, all right.

CB:  — constellations, and then the zodiac becomes a division of the ecliptic, and then eventually division of the seasons and the solstices into 12. We’ll have to do an episode about that again because it’s coming up again as it does periodically every few years.

NDB: Yep. All right.

CB: All right. Let’s jump ahead to the next Pluto in Aquarius period, which again, we jump forward something like 250 years, and we come to the next Pluto in Aquarius period, which is a period from 185 to 160 BCE – so right in the middle of the second century BCE. So we’re still something like 200 years before, like, the Christian era, basically, at this point. And what’s interesting and immediately stood out to me at this point as a historian of astrology is this is actually roughly the period when Hellenistic astrology as a system is thought to have originated in Egypt somewhere around the middle of the second century BCE, especially with the compilations of Nechepso and Petosiris, as well as these other mysterious texts that were attributed to Hermes Trismegistus and Asclepius. So those early compilations, which created the foundation essentially of Western astrology, which is the four-fold system of planets, signs, houses, and aspects – that system basically comes together at this time drawing on earlier traditions but also innovating and creating something new through synthesizing those traditions at the same time. So this is super important here that we have, you know, the main distinction is like, the introduction of the notion of the Ascendant and the 12 houses at this time.

NDB: Right, right. So okay. So this is even more developed and I was jumping the gun a bit in terms of gonna – was it horoscopic astrology yet 250 years earlier, or was it just sort of reading birth charts in a more sort of crude way in 430 to 404?

CB: There’s the whole like, debate about that only just because it completely hinges on how you define the term “horoscope” —

NDB: Okay.

CB: — because the word has two different meanings, and if you define “horoscope” as just like, chart, as birth chart, then you could say yeah, they were doing birth charts in the Mesopotamian tradition by 410 BCE. But if you define “horoscope” using what the original Greek word meant, which is “Ascendant,” then they weren’t using the Ascendant and the things derived from the Ascendant like houses until this period around 150 BCE. So, you know, it completely just hinges on how you define horoscopic astrology. But —

NDB: Okay.

CB: — I could definitely say that just imagine the differences like, a chart where you just have the planets in the signs of the zodiac and you have no birth time —

NDB: Right.

CB: — or no concept of a birth time, which is the earlier Mesopotamian approach at 410 BCE, versus a chart 200 years later around 150 BCE where you have a birth time and you have the planets in the signs of the zodiac, but you also have the houses and the significations for the houses and how important those are in terms of indicating the different areas of life that the planets manifest.

NDB: Okay. Oh, that’s really interesting. So yeah, it’s amazing that it keeps popping up during the Pluto in Aquarius eras.

CB: Yeah, and —

NDB: These new innovations, as much as we can track them. It’s amazing that it keeps tracking.

CB: Right, for sure. And the origins are a little mysterious, but there’s definitely, it was probably happening in Alexandria, surrounding the Library of Alexandria, probably around the middle of this period. So those are some of the things when it comes to that, but at this point we start to see some other trends emerge which are important in history. One of them is a thread that we’re gonna follow through much of the subsequent Pluto in Aquarius periods, which is the invention of paper. And what’s interesting is that the earliest known extant paper fragment from China dates to approximately 179 to 141 BCE, which falls very nicely in this period. So this is from Wikipedia, but this is the actual, like, fragment of paper that survives from China that shows that this new technology, essentially, was developed or had been developed at least by some point around this period. So this is really important because paper, as we’ll get into in subsequent periods, is super important for a lot of intellectual activities, you know, eventually for like, writing books, for the creation of libraries, but also it can be applied to a number of other areas including like, commerce, because from paper you would get eventually like, paper money under one of the subsequent periods. And a number of —

NDB: Maps, I imagine. Like the paper you were just showing now looked like it might have been a map, and that’s gotta change, you know, navigation and what you can do with navigation if you can travel around with maps on paper.

CB: Yeah. And as well as other technologies that we’ll get into a very late one in the 1700s, but the important —

NDB: Yep.

CB: — point here is there were other things that were used for paper for a long time before this. Like, in Egypt, they had developed papyrus that they’d been using for centuries, which they’d used for centuries and in other instances in like, the Mediterranean, they would use the hides or the skins of dead animals to write —

NDB: Right.

CB: — which is parchment. But paper was a really important innovation and development that came out of China because paper could be produced much more cheaply and easily and in greater quantities. So the history of paper is actually really important and really interesting and crucial for a number of different reasons as we’ll see in the future, but this was potentially the origins of it around the time of this Pluto in Aquarius period here in the second century BCE.

NDB: Okay.

CB: So, also important around this time period is – because one of the themes that we’re gonna come back to over and over again is for some reason the Pluto in Aquarius periods often have to do with China. China keeps coming up super regularly, super frequently in very important ways during different Pluto in Aquarius periods, and this is something that just sort of developed organically as I was researching this. But one of the ones that’s important, where it already shows up in this period, is that Chinese contact with the Greek-speaking West is supposed to have occurred somewhere around 200 BCE, which is just a little bit before this period. But it may fall roughly within this period, and then what’s interesting is that the Silk Road was opened just after this period around 130 BCE. So I suspect what happened – and I don’t know enough about, and I don’t know if there’s enough documentation from what I was able to find but – I suspect that this Pluto in Aquarius period may have been really important in terms of increased connections and awareness between China in the East and other empires in the West.

NDB: Yeah, I mean, that’s everything I’ve understood. I’ve got some, you know, some books about the Silk Road, but I have yet to sort of really dig into them. I’m working my way back there in history. But it seems to go with logic that, you know, once that contact is maintained that this ages long tradition of trade opens up, you know, between the two ends of the extended Eurasian continent.

CB: Yeah. Well, and one of them that was really important is that the Chinese had developed silk, and a really advanced and high level form of silk, and this is something that started being traded very heavily with the West and especially with the Roman Empire. Especially by about like, 30 BCE forward, silk became this highly precious and traded commodity in Rome, which was interesting because it is around like, Pluto in Leo was around that period, the opposition point in the cycle, and silk is gonna become a really important recurring theme over and over again in the future, but that’s one of the reasons and that’s one of the things that was exchanged between China and the West was silk.

NDB: Hence the name of the road.

CB: Hence – yes. The name of the road.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: All right. So let’s move on to the next period where we’re gonna jump forward again about 250 years to the next period, which was between 60 and 85 CE. So this is in the period in the first century, the mid to late first century AD or CD, depending on how you wanna call it, is our next Pluto in Aquarius period. So I was looking at this period, and there was a few different things that happened. One of them is I found a quote when I was trying to research the Silk Road, and it said that, “Around 60 CE the West had become aware that silk was not grown on trees in China but it was actually spun by silkworms. The Chinese had purposely kept the origin of silk a secret and, once it was out, carefully guarded their silkworms and their process of harvesting silk.”

So this is from the website WorldHistory.org/SilkRoad. So I just think that’s – I was trying to trace this down, I was having trouble finding it, but I think that’s just very interesting if that’s roughly true that the Romans became aware because they thought it grew on trees or something or had a —

NDB: Right.

CB: — almost like, mythological understanding of it, but then they learned at this point that it was developed by worms and that the Chinese were attempting to keep, like, a monopoly on that. So those are things to keep in mind because that’s gonna come up again in the future about two Pluto cycles later.

NDB: Right, right.

CB: All right. So that’s important. Other ones that I noticed – this one wasn’t a major Pluto in Aquarius period, but I wanted to mention it because it ties in with our eclipses episode, which is the Great Fire in Rome took place on July 18th, 64 CE, where 70% of the city was burned and then later ended up being rebuilt. So I thought this really interesting, and I wanted to mention it to you, Nick, because there was actually a lunar eclipse just two days earlier before this event happened. And in the chart, the planet Mars was conjunct Neptune in Aries and squaring Uranus. And I thought this was really interesting that there was a Mars-Neptune conjunction because this fire is famous because there were suspicions that the emperor at the time of Rome, Nero, had started the fire so that he could clear the land and build his own extravagant palaces. And I thought that was really interesting and funny because you and I had just talked about another famous fire where there was also suspicions about who started it, which was in the 20th century the Reichstag fire, which also happened on an eclipse with Mars conjunct Neptune as we talked about in the eclipses episode. And the Reichstag fire in Germany was famously – there were suspicions about whether the Nazis started it as a sort of like, false flag, basically.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s especially interesting Nero being the suspect for the Great Fire of Rome. Nero, as it happens, was born with a triple conjunction of Sun, Pluto, and Mars in Sagittarius, all squared by Saturn in Virgo, and he was born four days after a lunar eclipse and 10 days before a solar eclipse. So there’s already like – his chart already has this very direct, Plutonian connection in the chart, and there’s a connection to eclipses already in his nativity. And four years after the Great Fire of Rome, he would take his own life in the year 68 CE, and when he took his life, there was also a Mars-Neptune conjunction in Aries just like there had been when the Great Fire of Rome was started.

CB: Oh wow. That’s —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: — really impressive.

NDB: Yeah, yeah yeah. There’s so many themes, I mean, you know, I’m not one to go ahead and accuse someone of arson, you know, 2,000 years after the fact, but Nero – j’accuse! I think the horoscope condemns him.

CB: Yeah, that’s perfect.

NDB: Yeah. Hopefully his people —

CB: Okay.

NDB: — don’t sue me.

CB: Okay.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: Yeah, I think you might be beyond the statute of limitations on that one.

NDB: For slandering, yeah, Roman emperors, let’s hope so.

CB: Right. So here’s the chart for that event, for the Great Fire of Rome. There’s the Mars-Neptune conjunction. The eclipse had just taken place like, the day earlier, and you see Pluto – or the Moon is like, there with Pluto and Jupiter. Anyway, so that was just a side thing; that wasn’t like, a major one, but that was just a little one that I thought was interesting I wanted to mention. Another major one or the other major one during this period was that the first Jewish-Roman War took place from 66 to 73 CE, which falls exactly within this Pluto in Aquarius period, where there was a Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire. And this ended up leading to the destruction of the second Jewish temple in 70 CE, which was like, a huge event in Jewish history because that’s what then led to the Jewish diaspora, which – so what happened, basically, is that the Romans imposed heavy taxes and were interfering in Jewish religious practices, which led to growing discontentment or resentment as well as sporadic revolts. And according to Wikipedia, it says:

“In 70 CE, at the height of the First Jewish-Roman War, the Second Temple was destroyed by the Roman army led by Titus during the siege of Jerusalem. The second destruction of the Temple was a cataclysmic and transformative point in Jewish history, and led to the development of Rabbinic Judaism as the primary form of religious practice among Jews worldwide.”

So this is really – go ahead.

NDB: Oh yeah, no, I was gonna say this was during a Uranus-Pluto conjunction, wasn’t it? Or at least they’re both in Aquarius around this time?

CB: Yeah, Uranus and Pluto were both in Aquarius, which gives this one an extra umph to it in the way that’s similar to like, the 1960s, for example, was like, a —

NDB: Right.

CB: — Uranus-Pluto conjunction during all of the like, unrest and the protests and all the things like that, or the Uranus-Pluto square that happened in like, 2010, 2011 during the Arab Spring.

NDB: Yeah, there’s often a connection between those differing, you know, angles, the conjunction and the square. Titus, the Roman emperor who destroyed the Temple, he was born in 39 CE. He had a natal square between Uranus in Virgo and Pluto in Sagittarius, so he’s born with the square of Uranus square Pluto, and then by the time he destroys the Temple, those two planets are virtually in a conjunction in Aquarius. So you can see that the sort of timeline going from the square to the conjunction – his birth to the destruction of the Temple just looking at those two planets and those two angles.

CB: Right. So this is really important, because like, the summary about the dispersal after that was that following the Temple’s destruction, the Jewish population of Judea faced persecution and displacement and then was spread out all over in different parts of the world. So I think that’s really interesting and important because that, you know, then leads into all subsequent Jewish history over the past 2,000 years, but one of the takeaways or the delineations that I took from that is sometimes Pluto in Aquarius can indicate cataclysmic events that cause an irreversible shift in intellectual and social trends, to the effect that – to the extent that, for example, it said that it led to the development of Rabbinic Judaism as well as just the displacement and then movement of different Jewish communities around the world at that point.

NDB: Yeah, that’s really well put, the way it just sort of totally reconfigures a whole perspective in society. I mean, massive, massive changes. Very common.

CB: Yeah. So and that’s one obviously that connects to some contemporary events, but it’s one more broadly speaking in terms of like, cataclysmic events that makes me a little nervous, because I sometimes think about like, what would happen if like, a solar flare, you know, came out of the Sun and just like, wiped out like, all of our technology or the internet at this time or something like that. Like, sometimes that – whether that’s something that can be a larger, not like, world-ending cataclysmic event, but in some instances either like a worldwide thing that happens or something that in some instances for example that impacts specific communities that is like a cataclysmic event that causes dispersement, basically.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, that really would throw a spanner in the works if a solar flare just suddenly shut down all our online information. You know, a lot of things would be undone, and probably most people would be completely lost.

CB: Yeah. It just made me think of like, what’s the equivalent of like, a cataclysmic event that could happen now, especially to the extent that we’re connecting like, Aquarius with technology and Pluto sometimes with like, the destruction of something. You know, it could be something like that. So that’s something to keep an eye open for or try to research or look into a little bit more.

NDB: Yeah. No matter what, Pluto in Aquarius makes – gives a kind of Isaac Asimov vibe to it, you know. Something sort of taking over, you know, like Tarnas’s quote earlier – power struggles, things of that nature, or indeed just a total, some kind of calamity like you’re suggesting that powerfully reconfigures the way society operates. In this case, it would be global society.

CB: Right. Yeah, exactly. All right. So that is that period. Let’s jump forward again about 250 years, and we get to the next Pluto in Aquarius period which happens in the early fourth century in the years between 305 and 329 CE.

All right. So the primary one that really jumped out to me for this Pluto in Aquarius period is right around this time. Right at the very beginning of this, Constantine became the emperor of the Roman Empire, the head of the Roman Empire, and he fought a civil war basically after his father died on July 25th, 306 CE. So literally just like, a year into this Pluto in Aquarius period, and his troops proclaimed him emperor. So Pluto was at zero degrees of Aquarius opposite the Sun at one Leo, and this was just two days before a solar eclipse in Leo that was opposite Pluto when he was proclaimed as emperor. I think this might have been one of the ones we talked about in the eclipse episode.

NDB: I believe so, yeah. Yeah.

CB: Okay. If not —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: — we overlooked that one, but that was a really good one. So the reason why Constantine becoming emperor is important is because what he would do once he got fully established about a decade later, and one of those was he issued the Edict of Milan, which permanently established religious toleration for Christianity within the Roman Empire in February of 313 CE. So this is right in the middle of this Pluto in Aquarius period, Constantine basically legalizes Christianity, which up to this point had been against the law and it had been something that was even persecuted in some earlier periods. Like, for example, actually I hadn’t thought of this earlier, but this is actually interesting – like, Nero, for example, is a Roman Empire who had famously was said to have persecuted Christians very extremely as like, a religious group.

NDB: Right, right. Yeah, the Edict of Milan is not so much a proclamation as a bunch of letters. I think what happens is Constantine meets up with Licinius, a sometime rival, and there’s a marriage happening between their two families, so they’re meeting to discuss matters of state and religion. And together they write out a letter that they send out to provincial governors sort of basically stating this, so it is kind of like, it’s – I mean, I’m not a scholar from this era, but it really is a sort of more popular kind of, you know, it’s not like, one emperor making a proclamation to, you know, to his immediate subjects, but this more sort of like, dispersed and, you know, at the ground level. Information sort of spread on the ground level involving letters to governors of these different territories. So it’s really interesting the way it even comes about relative to, you know, how these things were usually handled.

CB: Yeah. So and this one was important because we did mention this one in the eclipses episode where it happened near a lunar eclipse in Virgo just after Jupiter had ingressed into Aquarius where it would conjoin Pluto. So and that’s, you know, basically during the course of this century, the Empire very rapidly became a Christian empire; the Roman Empire became a Christian empire. But Constantine was the pivotal figure and turning point as the Roman Emperor who became Christian and then pushed for that. So that leads to – there was one other event that occurred with Constantine towards the end of the Pluto in Aquarius period, which is the First Council of Nicaea occurred in May of 325 CE. And this is when Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto were all in Aquarius. And it was interesting because this was the Jupiter return, actually, 12 years later of when he became emperor.

NDB: Right.

CB: So Jupiter was like, in Aquarius, and it came back to Aquarius during the First Council of Nicaea, so this was an ecumenical council. It was the first of many efforts to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing, you know, what was supposed to be all of the different Christian groups. So what this did is it established the orthodox beliefs but it also established which beliefs were to be rejected or were outside the bounds of Christian orthodoxy, such as Arianism, which was like a subgroup of Christians that had some beliefs that, like the mainstream like, wanted to reject. So Constantine himself was the one that convened the Council of Nicaea, and he was directly involved in some of the different things that occurred during the course of it. So this is very important in setting up; it’s not just that he was like, legalizing Christianity, but he also had a major impact in terms of standardizing the Christian church in like, what things were part of the religion versus what things were said – thought to be heretical.

NDB: Right. And I mean, just on top of that, just before the First Council of Nicaea, in November of 324, he founds a new city on the city of Byzantium, what will someday be called Constantinople and that will later be called Istanbul. But it’s – yeah, it’s just before that First Council of Nicaea that he first sort of founds – the city isn’t built, but it’s decided that that’s where it will be built, I think, right at that time.

CB: Nice. Good point.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah.

CB: And then also, this ties in with our previous themes about astrology, but one of the things that’s really interesting here and also immediately stood out about this to me, this Pluto in Aquarius period that lasts for 305 to 329, is that the intellectual attitudes towards astrology as well as the laws against astrology started to change rapidly after the legalization of Christianity during this period. And it started to basically turn against astrology, where astrology had been something that was permissible and was done in the open and was respected, because the mainstream approaches to Christianity that were established at this time were antagonistic against astrology because of its emphasis on fate especially, among other issues with it, but the issue of fate versus free will especially. Like, astrology very quickly during the course of this period and shortly after it started going on the outs in society intellectually at this time. So there was like, a sudden intellectual shift against astrology, and not long after this, it started being made illegal to practice.

NDB: Well, sure. I mean, no one’s soul needs saving if they were never responsible for their actions in the first place, if everything was fated, then, you know, no one can be saved because they were always destined to do whatever terrible thing they’re, you know, wind up doing. So yeah, there’s something about Pluto going into Aquarius certainly seems to have a lot to do with human awareness of astrology and its sort of attitude towards astrology. I think when we get to the Enlightenment in a few cycles, we’ll, you know, we’ll see that sort of that hostility to astrology resurface yet again. But yeah, they’re gonna – if this transit of Pluto through Aquarius means a challenge to astrology, they’re gonna have to pry it from my cold, dead hands; that’s all I got to say on the matter.

CB: Yeah. We’ll see. Yeah, so, I think that’s important because also it has to do with – so one of the themes we can draw from this with like, the rise of Christianity is like, changing intellectual trends.

NDB: Right.

CB: Like, thinking about like, an entire empire sort of like, having this shift towards Christianity, and sometimes within an individual life you would see a shift, because Firmicus Materus was alive during this period, and he like, writes an astrological text at one point but then just like, a decade or two later, suddenly writes a Christian polemical text attacking divination and attacking the different Pagan religions. So it’s like, in individual’s lives, like, people’s attitudes towards things started shifting very rapidly, and I think that’s one theme that we might take from this is that sometimes there can be rapid intellectual shifts that completely transform society. And if you think about the Roman Empire going from paganism to Christianity, that may be one model to understand some of those shifts —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: — but also then the rulers sometimes, you know, changing – being involved in setting what’s permissible versus what’s not and sometimes even trying to suppress certain either views or certain information that’s seen as like, not permissible for some reason.

NDB: Yeah. And you can really fathom just how quickly those changes happen because if they happen just over the course of a few years, I mean, it’s monumental. It’s, you know, beyond revolutionary how fast it all seems to happen in these past instances.

CB: Yeah. So those are some of the things to draw from this, that Pluto in Aquarius period. All right, let’s move onto our next period, where we’re gonna jump forward again 250 years to the years 550 through 574 CE, which is our next Pluto in Aquarius period. So the primary thing that I found, the primary story that I found was really fascinating about this period was right after this Pluto in Aquarius period started, the Byzantine emperor Justinian, who is like, essentially the Roman emperor in the East at this point, the head of the – what, you know, because as you said, that’s actually really good interesting point. In the previous cycle, you had noted that Constnatinople was founded by —

NDB: Yes.

CB: — Constantine during that previous period. Well, by this time, 250 years later, the Roman emperor Justinian was ruling from that city, Byzantium, which had become the center point of the Roman Empire by this point.

NDB: Right.

CB: So what’s interesting is right after this period begins, the emperor Justinian sends spies to steal silkworms from China sometime around 552 CE. So the backdrop to this is that, you know, silk was a major commodity. It was traded between the Roman Empire and China through Persia through the Silk Road where there were Persian intermediaries, and the issue at this point was that the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, was constantly frequently at war with the Persian Empire. So Justinian was trying to find ways around this to like, get rid of the middle man and be able to get silk directly from China but also in order to get the price lower, because it was like, one of the most extravagant and expensive commodities that existed, basically, for hundreds of years at that point. So what happened is that a couple of monks supposedly, according to the historian Procopius, approached Justinian and told him that they, through their contacts, that they could get silkworms and smuggle them out of China and bring them back to Rome. And he apparently approved this like, mission of like, state-level or industrial espionage, and they went and did it and somehow smuggled silkworms according to some of the legends they did it in like, their canes. They put them in like, their walking canes or something like that. I have no idea how they were able to keep these things alive for that entire journey, which is kind of miraculous, but somehow they were able to pull it off. And what happened is that once they brought the silkworms back to Rome, to the Roman Empire at least, a silk industry was set up in Byzantium, and the emperors then established a state-run monopoly on all silk production. So I thought this was really interesting because one of the keywords here was like, state-level industrial espionage where they’re trying to steal major technologies from each other and in some instances were successful in doing that. And then once they’ve done that, they set up their own monopoly and attempt their own – to exert control over that for the money and the advantage that it gives them.

NDB: Yeah, yeah. That’s really something, especially the way it connects to, you know, what we saw with the development of silk in the previous Pluto in Aquarius transit.

CB: Yeah. There’s something really important about it just because it was the most expensive commodity, but there’s some echoes of that today. And you know, obviously we’ll get to some of that, but just, you know, today we have parallels with like, microchips for example and the most advanced microchips are manufactured in Taiwan today. And now that’s become like, a subject of dispute between like, China and the United States. Or even AI – I was reading a report recently that there was like, a Chinese company that had somehow stolen or taken or been able to reverse engineer a lot of the AI from ChatGPT and from the OpenAI program so much so that the OpenAI company banned this Chinese company from accessing the program anymore. And so there’s a lot of like, state- and industrial-level espionage going on right now, and I think that’s gonna be a major theme in this coming Pluto in Aquarius period that echoes, you know, that one from the year 552.

NDB: Yeah, not to mention we did have a Chinese spy balloon fly over the continent not too long ago. I forget if that was during Pluto in Aquarius or not in 2023; there was a brief period when Pluto was in Aquarius. I don’t recall if the spy balloon coincided with that. But yeah, there’s all kinds of espionage going on. I mean, China’s known to have, you know, sort of deconstructed and reconstructed a number of, you know, for instance, Russian and American military technologies, you know, in an effort to recreate them. So they’re something that’s been going on for a while, but yeah, I think it’s all coming to a different level now.

CB: Yeah. Well, and it’s interesting in these earlier cases because we’ll get to another one soon, a technology like that, but it’s like, in the older instances we’re talking about a technology that the Chinese developed, like paper or, you know, silkworms, or later gunpowder, which we’ll get you next, that then either influences and is transmitted to the West or in this instance is like, stolen by the West. And so it’s interesting in some of these subsequent periods seeing different dynamics coming up again. And again, like, yeah, I’m just fascinated by that. So this is one I think is important and there are some things we can gain from it, but we’ll come back to that later.

NDB: Great. Yeah.

CB: All right. Let’s jump forward to our next period.

NDB: Woohoo!

CB: Here we go. So we jump forward about 250 years to the time frame between the years 795 and 819 CE to our next Pluto in Aquarius period. So what’s important about this period – there’s a few different things. So one of them that’s super important– actually that I’ll start with, is that paper is actually transmitted to the Islamic empire during this time, and the first paper shop – so paper first started being produced in Baghdad in the year 793 under the caliph Harun al-Rashid. So what happened then is that paper, which was originally developed in China and then transmitted to the Arabic and Islamic empire, then replaced very rapidly parchment, which then allowed for the proliferation of books and libraries. So for example, Wikipedia – there’s a quote it says, “The expansion of public and private libraries and illustrated books within Islamic lands was one of the notable outcomes of the drastic increase in the availability of paper.”

And also at this time, one of the similar things that occurs is that the House of Wisdom is probably founded in the late ninth or early– late eighth or early ninth century in Baghdad, and then there was this great flourishing of cultural wisdom and translations at the height of the Abbasid Caliphate. So during this time there was a transmission and translation where the House of Wisdom was a library but also a research institute and a translation project where they were translating very actively all of these different scientific and other texts into Arabic from other languages like Greek and Persian and Sanskrit and other things like that and creating these vast libraries and repositories of information, but then it caused also this great flourishing of like, science and culture and other things around this time. But it was interestingly tied in partially with this development of paper as well as just this Pluto in Aquarius period and this like, fostering of this intellectual climate but also of it being like, magnified at this time of like, taking something small and then just taking it to its utmost extreme into the height of this period of sort of celebrated intellectual activity.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it makes sense. I mean, you know, how paper can just, you know, revolutionize the transmission of information and education and other facets of culture.

CB: Yeah, exactly. So the other thing that was important during this period in another area in Europe is that Charlemagne was crowned as emperor in Rome by Pope Leo the III on December 25th, 800 CE, which was about five years into this Pluto in Aquarius period. So I found a quote. The quote says – I think it was a Wikipedia quote saying that, “Charlemagne succeeded in uniting the majority of Western and Central Europe, and he was the first recognized emperor to rule Western Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire approximately three centuries earlier.” He was the first Holy Roman Emperor, where it was combining both, you know, the political role of a king with also his being crowned by the Pope and the like, combining of these religious as well as political elements of rulership in Europe at this time during the Middle Ages. He also united much of Europe under his rule, and his rule laid the foundation for future European kingdoms and empires as well as cemented the Catholic church’s influence in Western Europe.  Let’s see. His close relationship with the papacy solidified the alliance between secular and religious authorities, and many historical houses of Europe trace their lineage back to him or at least claim that their lineage goes back to him. So I think that’s really important because it sets the foundation – it’s like a continuation some themes, like some of the Roman Empire stuff that we’re talking about earlier, but also some of the things involving Christianity and its growth and spread, but also setting up some of the what would become eventually some of the monarchies in Europe.

NDB: Yeah. And it is interesting that we’ve hopped like, from Pluto return to Pluto return, we’ve hopped from Constantine to Justinian to Charlemagne. You know, as if we were just like, sort of skipping across a little pond on top of rocks that, you know, with every successive Pluto return we get another one of these singularly, you know, influential and powerful leaders, you know, in the European area that, you know, really stand out amongst all the other, you know, people in the intervening, you know, centuries who, you know, whose names are not nearly as celebrated as the three I just mentioned. It’s interesting that they all sort of seem to enter the world stage during this Pluto in Aquarius period.

CB: Yeah. And then eventually, where this will eventually go is that in one of our latest Pluto in Aquarius periods that we’ll get into happens like, the French Revolution —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: — and we see like, the beginning of like, the end of monarchy in Europe basically.

NDB: Yeah, well, we see a guy who really wants to be Charlemagne who eventually puts an end to the Holy Roman Empire, although that particular thing will happen once Pluto goes into Pisces, but yeah. We’ll see some definite parallels between Charlemagne’s era and when we get to the French Revolution.

CB: Yeah. All right, the last thing about this period that I wanted to mention briefly is the first confirmed reference to gunpowder occurs in a Chinese text in the year 808 CE, and this is right in the middle of this Pluto in Aquarius period, and this is important because this would become a very important technology that’s gonna come up over and over again in subsequent Pluto in Aquarius periods. But as I was trying to trace the history, this is the first for sure confirmed reference to gunpowder in a Chinese text at this time with Pluto in Aquarius.

NDB: That’s interesting. For some reason, I would have thought it might have been older than that, but okay, that’s —

CB: Well, see, there’s a lot of earlier – that’s one of the issues, especially researching different things like paper or gunpowder is especially due to like, the language and stuff, sometimes there’s ambiguity about different things about something whether it’s actually referring to that thing or not, but definitely there were Chinese alchemists that had been working on it. And I had read something that originally it was like, referred to as like, fire medicine, and so different combinations were being tested and like, experimented with for centuries, I think, up to this point. And some of the previous Pluto in Aquarius periods are probably relevant in that —

NDB: Okay.

CB: — but this was the one where it was the first confirmed case, where it was like, for sure a reference to gunpowder by this point. So that’s why I noted it here instead of – and didn’t include some of the more like, murky, questionable periods.

NDB: Okay, fair enough. I’m on board.

CB: All right. So let’s jump forward then to our next period. All right, so we jump forward 250 years to the years 1041 through 1063 CE.

NDB: At last we’re in four-digit numbers! You know, I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable with the history now.

CB: Yeah. Now we’re getting into familiar territory only a thousand years —

NDB: Ago.

CB: — ago. Yeah. All right. So during this period, paper really starts spreading, and paper first begins being produced in Europe at this point in Muslim Spain. So the first recorded paper mill in the Iberian Peninsula in Spain basically was set up in 1056 AD. So this is, again with the evolution and like, spread of paper, now it starts getting into Europe, although primarily still in Muslim Europe in Spain at this time, having been set up way earlier in Baghdad during the previous Pluto in Aquarius period.

NDB: Right.

CB: Go ahead.

NDB: No, no, I was just saying “right.” Go ahead.

CB: Oh, okay. So yeah, there’s things we could say about that, but I’ll leave at that there in terms of that spread of paper. Now the other thing in this period is it’s – one of the things I wrote down is the earliest surviving chemical formula for gunpowder dates to 1044, where they started really working out the correct levels at this point where there was some issues with the percentages of the ingredients in terms of making it explosive and being able to use that in a controlled like, way or in a controlled setting. So what I wrote down here is from a source that in China,

“The imperial court took great interest in the progress of gunpowder developments and actively encouraged as well as disseminated military technology. Production of gunpowder and fire arrows heavily increased in the 11th century as the court centralized the production process, constructing large gunpowder production facilities, hiring artisans, carpenters, and tanners for the military production complex in the capital.”

And just after this period, yeah, they sent – in 1083, the imperial court sent 100,000 gunpowder arrows to one garrison and 250,000 to another. So – and this is also slightly after our time period, but – I found a reference saying that in 1076, so just like a decade after this period ends, China forbade the sale of saltpeter to foreigners, which was used to make gunpowder. So it’s not —

NDB: Can I just ask, did you have a typo when you said “in 1083 the imperial court sent 100,000 gunpowder arrows,” did you mean 1063 or 1083? Because 1063 would be in our window but 1083 isn’t.

CB: No, it is 1083, and I was just putting it down to give —

NDB: Okay.

CB: — the idea of how much things had developed in the like, the immediate aftermath of our Pluto in Aquarius period that like, this had become a major military technology by the end of that Pluto in Aquarius period. And that also the rulers of China were actively trying to restrict the technology so that it couldn’t be like, exported to foreigners by that time, which gives you an idea of what was happening during the Pluto in Aquarius period that was just a few years before that.

NDB: Sure, sure. Makes sense. Since they came and took the silkworms, now they’re coming for the gunpowder, so hide it. Yeah, I get it.

CB: Yeah. And maybe that was a good lesson that they learned at that time to be like, careful about that. But especially something like this because this is before guns, this is before cannons, but the like, explosive and fire potential of gunpowder was already recognized so they were integrating it into like, arrows and things like that to make them more deadly.

NDB: Right. Right.

CB: All right. So that’s where we’re at with that period. Let’s jump forward to the next one. All right. Our next period is the years 1286 through 1308 CE. So during this period, there were innovations and producing paper in Italy during this time period roughly, which improved the process from what the Europeans had inherited from some of the Arab paper makers. So this is the point where paper is really getting going in Europe, but they’re also looking into how they can improve it. So it’s like, they’ve taken or received this technology which started in China and then was transmitted to the Arabic speaking empire and then eventually was transported to Europe, and now the Europeans are starting to find ways in order to improve upon the production of paper as well as like, its composition in different and like, innovative ways. The most important thing that happened during this period, though, is – that’s actually the most solid one historically – is that guns seem to have fully come into use during this period in China, during this Pluto in Aquarius period. And this is one that lines up very closely with the Pluto ingress into Aquarius. So there’s debates about when exactly, but it definitely happened in the 13th century and from the 1280s onwards, guns basically became widely used. So the oldest unequivocal and well-dated gun is the Xanadu gun, which dates to 1298, which is less than a decade after this period started. There’s another hand cannon that’s dated to a decade earlier to 1288, which is just two years after the Pluto in Aquarius period started. Another note that I wrote is that according to the History of Yuan, in 1287 a group of soldiers equipped with hand cannons attacked a rebel prince camp and hand cannons were again used at the beginning of 1288. So this is really crucial, because basically we have the development of guns; we also have the development of cannons around this time probably as well, where they were for sure in use by 13 – like, the 1340s. So their development in Aquarius in the earlier period is possible, but for sure guns were in use by this time, and a cannon is essentially just a big gun.

NDB: Right. And, you know, this is probably in part inspired by the fact that this is the time that the Mongol hordes tearing around Asia and Europe and the Middle East everywhere, wreaking havoc and, you know, people trying to conjure weapons that’ll form a substantial defense against them.

CB: Yeah. Well, and so this one’s really important, because reading through some of the history of this was really striking to me because one of the things then that was written about this in the history was just like, the destructive power that was suddenly unleashed by this technology at this time, and how —

NDB: Right.

CB: — the depictions of what would happen in war with people’s like, body or like, faces getting just like, torn apart by these new weapons was something that was like, completely new and like, different in the world. And it took war – the technology of war – to a much different place, which starts changing like, strategies that are being used. It starts changing like, the composition of armies. It also starts changing like, the composition of like, power and, you know, who has this technology and who’s able to use it to their advantage versus who doesn’t.

NDB: Right, right. Is the plague happening around this point? or it’s maybe just a little bit later, isn’t it?

CB: I’m not sure the exact —

NDB: Okay.

CB: — dates on that.

NDB: Okay. Because I know there’s that famous story as the plague is breaking out. I think the Mongols are besieging a place in the Crimea, and they – that, you know, people are, they’ve brought the plague with them, and you know, they take some plague-ridden corpses and fire them at this fortress using a catapult, and I think that’s sort of right around the same time that people start using cannons and guns as that’s happening as well.

CB: Okay.

NDB: I might be accelerating the timeline on that, so forgive me if I am.

CB: Yeah —

NDB: It’s pretty close.

CB: Yeah, I can’t tell the dates on that. We’ll have to look that up. But so, with this one – guns, super important, and around this time, just slightly before this Pluto in Aquarius period, gunpowder itself starts becoming fully known in Europe. So in Europe, one of the earliest mentions of gunpowder appears in Roger Bacon’s work in 1267, and this is just two decades before this Pluto in Aquarius period. And then similarly in 280 the —

NDB: 1280.

CB: — first recipes – 1280. The first recipes for saltpeter are published in the West. So this is like, just before Pluto moves into Aquarius, you start seeing the publication of these recipes for gunpowder in Europe and Europe becoming like, fully aware of at first gunpowder but then eventually what gunpowder eventually leads to, which is the ability to use it for weapons.

NDB: Right.

CB: So, the Mongol Empire peaked around 1294 to 309 towards the end of this Pluto in Aquarius period, and guns were possibly passed to the Middle East and Europe due to the Mongols, although there’s a lot of ambiguity surrounding this, so it’s like, hard to nail it down.

NDB: Yeah, yeah.

CB: All right. So two other important things happened during this period. One of them that I found actually super interesting is that Marco Polo traveled the Silk Road from 1271 to 1295 during this Pluto in Aquarius period. And then the book about his travels to China and to the East, which was titled The Travels of Marco Polo, was published around the year 1300, which very nicely falls towards the end of this Pluto in Aquarius period that lasted from 1286 to 1308. So this is really important because this is like, as far as Europe is concerned, one of the first Europeans to like, travel all the way to the far most eastern provinces of China to spend some time there and then to come back and like, actually have a book published about his travels explaining the culture and the science and the society and everything that he experienced, which was a pretty big and pretty eye opening thing in the West.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, instantly making the world that much smaller by sort of, you know, making that route to a tangible, you know, place that people can identify through as literature. And yeah, and obviously those that, you know, that this is a peak time for the Silk Road in terms of the whole exchange that’s going on, you know, in the wake of the whole Mongol horde, you know, thing that’s been going on for a while and is still blowing up.

CB: Yeah. And one of the things I meant to mention is like, I don’t actually know why Aquarius keeps coming up over and over again for China, and if there’s like, some base like, birth chart somewhere in the distant history that has like, a bunch of placements in Aquarius that’s important, or if it’s something about – if it’s not China itself, per se, if it’s something just about the East and West like, interactions and that’s why Aquarius keep coming up, or if it has to do with just technology in general and like, what societies have more advanced technologies than the other, but I just keep seeing like, China coming up over and over again during these Pluto in Aquarius periods, especially in terms of its relationship and interactions with the West. And there’s something really important there that I wish I understood more, and I hope somebody else might be able to find the answer to or research further.

NDB: Yeah, I mean, I’ve got some really good books on Chinese history, but I mean, it’s dense and it just goes on centuries and centuries, so I’m working on that myself. But with China in mind, it just – to jump to the present for a moment, it’s worth mentioning that the Declaration of the People’s Republic of China on the first of October 1949 at 3:15 PM in Beijing had a three degree Aquarius Moon and something like a five or six degree Aquaruis rising, somewhere in that area. So even if we wanted to, you know, dispense with, you know, Chinese history prior to the PRC, we’re still dealing with a political entity that, astrologically speaking, has very very strong roots with regard to the sign Aquarius.

CB: What was the data on that again?

NDB: The first of October 1949, 3:15 PM in Beijing. This is when the People’s Republic of China is claimed by Mao Zedong upon the victory against the Kuomintang.

CB: Wait, with Aqaruius rising?

NDB: Aquarius rising, 3:15 PM.

CB: Wow, okay. Well, and if that’s true, and if that’s accurate, even if just the Moon was there, but also especially if the Ascendant was there —

NDB: It’s pretty documented. It’s filmed and everything, you know, it’s not a mysterious —

CB: Okay.

NDB: — event, yeah.

CB: Okay.

NDB: It pretty much happened there and then, yeah.

CB: Sure. Well, I was just gonna say, you know, if there’s Aquarius placements in this chart for like, the current —

NDB: Right.

CB: — entity of China and the Chinese government especially, then that – usually what happens is there’s echos where placements repeat over centuries. So there’s probably a lot of earlier charts for different governments in China and different Chinese empires that also had Aquarius placements as well, and that’s probably part of why we’re seeing this echo of China and Pluto in Aquarius.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, I’m very keen – I think like, when it comes to these ancient cultures that have been keeping their own calendars for millennia, be it China, Persia, you know, the Ethiopians of Aksum, if they’ve been keeping a calendar for centuries and millennia, then this is just gold to astrological research. And again, maybe AI comes in and helps us really break down thousands and thousands of years of Chinese history into some kind of like, discernible astrological study, because that’s kind of the motherload. I mean, I can’t think of anywhere on planet Earth where we have a time keeping tradition that goes back as far as theirs does, and therefore, you know, this is what we need for astrology. We wouldn’t be – I mean, even today’s exercise sort of bears this out, where, you know, we’re going into ancient history and we only have like, a few sketches here and there of what may have happened, but it’s a very different ballgame, I believe, when you start looking at Chinese history and going that far back.

CB: Yeah.

NDB: It’s much better documented.

CB: I’ve become a lot more interested in it lately, and actually, this will be another episode I’m planning to do soon, which is on comets in astrology, and the Chinese have some of the oldest and most consistent records of comets, which is really interesting and helpful sometimes when comparing those with Western records. And yeah, that’s gonna come up in that episode. That’ll be fun to talk about here soon.

NDB: Fantastic. Yeah.

CB: Okay, so Marco Polo, really important. The last thing I wanted to mention about this Pluto in Aquarius period from 1286 to 1308 is that around this time, Roger Bacon’s work started to establish the basis of the scientific method. And this may have been important and relevant around this time as setting up a foundation that would become relevant again in subsequent Pluto in Aquarius transits and periods, and the idea of like, science and like, what science is and eventually what the scientific method is itself.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah.

CB: All right. So —

NDB: Very interesting.

CB: Let’s jump forward then to the next period, which is 1532 through 1553 AD. So this —

NDB: A mere 500 years ago!

CB: A mere 500 years ago. We’re actually surprisingly getting close to the end of this, because this is only two Pluto eras before our own. But this is also the point where the closer and closer you get to the present, documented history starts becoming – like, history starts becoming documented much more, so it becomes much more easy from like, this period forward to do historical studies and to narrow down especially date ranges and things like that. So as a result of that, this period and the next one will have some of our most history points to talk about. But let’s jump into it.

So the first thing that I have on my list is the spread of the printing press where the printing press wasn’t invented during this period; it was invented and developed just before this period. But there was this huge, like, uptick in the amount of books being printed in Europe during this period where, by way of example, to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, in the year 1500, so right at the beginning of this century just before this Pluto in Aquarius period, there were only two million books that were printed in Europe around 1500 CE, but then all of a sudden by 1550 CE, so by the middle of that century and by roughly the end of this Pluto in Aquarius period, it had jumped from two million books to 20 million books were printed in Europe. And then eventually by the end of that century, by 1600 CE, around 115 million books were printed in Europe. So basically what happened is during the course of this century, which is centered on this like, Pluto on Aquarius period between 1532 and 1553, there was just this huge upsurge in the printing of books as a result of the printing press and how much that made it easier to print and publish books compared to prior to this time, when if you wanted to get a copy of a book, all books were written as like, handwritten manuscripts, so you literally had to like, hire a scribe who would copy the book or the manuscript by hand, which was a hugely, you know, time intensive and labor intensive process. Whereas all of a sudden, once they had developed this new technology of the printing press, it allowed them to print up, you know, hundreds of copies of the same book at a time, which just caused this explosion in the proliferation of information. So the primary keyword for this time is the spread of knowledge, and the increased availability of printed books and pamphlets facilitated the spread of knowledge and ideas, impacting everything from religious literature to scientific tracts and political pamphlets.

NDB: Yeah, talk about democratizing technology. I mean, that’s it, you know. And really interesting the way it tracks with the history of paper that we’ve been following all this time.

CB: Exactly. And that’s part of why, you know, I traced that history of paper up to this point because we can eventually see here – it’s like, we started to see that earlier with like, Baghdad and the House of Wisdom and beginning in that intellectual renaissance with this like, translation project and with them starting to build these huge libraries. But here all of a sudden, we’ve got the next evolution of that, which is like, the printing press and all of a sudden paper is being used on this massive scale to just print like, millions of copies of books, and that allowed different people suddenly to have even in their personal libraries just like, huge collections of books, which is, you know, a major difference and major turning point.

NDB: Yeah. As attested by the disaster area behind me.

CB: Of books and the – yeah.

NDB: Yes.

CB: And the nicely curated —

NDB: Nicely organized.

CB: — stack that I have behind me. All right. So other things in this period: a major one was Nicolaus Copernicus and the work of him as an astrologer – as an astronomer. So —

NDB: Ooh, Freudian slip.

CB: Yeah, exactly. I gotta keep my terms straight. So Copernicus published On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres in the year 1543, which was about a decade after this Pluto in Aquarius period started. And in this book, he argued that the Sun is the center of the solar system rather than the Earth. So this was a major, major moment and turning point in the history of science, which triggered the Copernican Revolution and also was a pioneering contribution in terms of the Scientific Revolution in general. So it’s often treated as this was the start of the Scientific Revolution, which would then go on for a couple of centuries after this. So, initially this was met – well, actually, first let’s dwell on that point. Like, this – you know, his discovery about the Sun as the center of the solar system was like, a shift, an epoch changing like, shift in like, intellectual understanding of the cosmos and our place in it that can’t really be underestimated.

NDB: Yeah absolutely. Without Copernicus, then you know, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, so forth, you know, they’re all standing on his shoulders with what they do, so yeah. This is really critical. And it’s monumental, you’re right, it’s absolutely epoch changing.

CB: So and initially, it was met with resistance, and his book was actually forbidden as a result of this. So he ended up publishing it just before his death partially due to some of these issues, and this is one of the other themes that really comes up very strongly during this Pluto in Aquarius period, which is that the Church starts trying to control books. So one of the quotes that I have is that “the first such list” in 1538 – so just like, six years into this Pluto in Aquarius period – “the Italian Index of Prohibited Books, was issued by the Senate of Milan.” And let’s see, so there’s like, a Wikipedia quote, it says that “the Papacy and other cities and states across Europe soon followed the practice where certain books could not be printed, read, or owned, and anyone caught doing so was, at least in theory, punished. Further measures included checking texts before they were published and the more careful issuing of licenses to publishers.”

So this was a period of institutionalized censorship, and another quote from the same article says that this “became a lasting reality of publishing” from the mid – from the middle of the 16th century “as rulers and authorities finally began to wake up to the influence of printed matter.”

NDB: “Fake news.”

CB: Yeah, well, it’s just – you know, because it starts influencing things and it starts influencing religious trends. So for example, the Protestant Reformation combined with the printing press led to sweeping political, social, and cultural and religious changes at this time, and the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century weakened the authority of the Catholic Church, creating a more open environment for scientific debate. So all of these things like, same trends and things were like swirling at this time, and one of the themes that really comes up strongly is just that the authorities attempting to control the flow of information and attempting to prohibit or suppress some information, and one of those things was Copernicus’s, you know, scientific discovery about the Sun being the center of the solar system.

NDB: Yeah, because it contradicted so much of the accepted wisdom that was dispensed by the Church at the time.

CB: Right. So Copernicus was added to their list of prohibited books. Another Italian author – his book was added to the list because of vulgarity, and the works of Niccolo Machiavelli were added to the list for his political cynicism. So it wasn’t just like, scientific works, but also works that were deemed like, inappropriate or that were deemed as like, politically like, not appropriate were also suppressed at this time.

NDB: Right. I was gonna mention earlier – I didn’t wanna bog us down, but – you know, Dante wrote The Inferno also during an earlier Pluto transit in Aquarius, and he was someone else who got into similar kind of trouble. It should have occurred to me to add him to the list. But yeah, he like, he ostensibly entered hell as it were in the year 1300, and then, you know, got into trouble with the pope and forces in Rome in 1301, you know, as he wrote about his, you know, entrance in hell, as it were, his inferno, that whole work. So yeah. That’s, you know, that’s someone else who ages before like a whole one or two – how many? – a whole Pluto return earlier had come under, you know, sort of similar censorship issues. And again for political reasons, so yeah, it would have been good to bring in Dante on that last one.

CB: Yeah, that’s actually, that’s super interesting.

NDB: Yeah, yeah.

CB: Because Bonatti also – like, Guido Bonatti, the astrologer who was active around that time around 1300 published his massive work of medieval astrology and it was super influential, and then Bonatti not too long later shows up in Dante’s Inferno where Dante places him in Hell for trying to predict the future.

NDB: Right, right. With his head buried in the ground and his behind – or what it is? No, the head turned around —

CB: His head’s turned around.

NDB: — head’s turned around, right right right.

CB: Yeah.

NDB: Yeah. Good times.

CB: Good times. So going back to this period. So the Church is trying to control books; there’s other major works – a major work on human anatomy was published in the same year as Copernicus, and this was huge because he did dissections, which they were like, for the first time in centuries, partially due to religious issues, you know, opening up the human body and finding out how it works. And this was challenging anatomical theories that had existed all the way since, like, the second century since the time of Galen, who was a medical practitioner that was hugely influential in the second century, and this provided a more accurate depiction of the human body. So there was like, major scientific advancements in like, biology and things like that at the same time.

NDB: That’s really interesting. This is something else I should have maybe added to the list, but I know that a whole Pluto return later in 1781 – either this very book or a book like it is approved by Japanese authorities for translation even though they’ve shut out all Western contact and interaction for a few hundred years by that point, but they allow this book or a book like it – a book on anatomy – to be translated into Japanese for medical students. For much the same reason, they are also unable to conduct, you know, autopsies or things of that nature, and this is seen as like, one of those like, the earliest crack in the breakdown of Japan’s seclusion from the outside world. So it’s interesting that this book would be a whole Pluto cycle prior to Japan finding that same information.

CB: Yeah, that’s really interesting. That’s the thing about all these periods is like, once you find a major thing that’s clearly tied in with Pluto in Aquarius in one period, you can pretty well like, start going back to previous ones and tracing it back, and you’ll often see the threads of that later development in earlier like, successive Pluto in Aquarius periods, and that was one of the things that’s come up very strongly in this, is like almost in many of these cases, I didn’t start from like, the most ancient times, but instead I like, picked up on a thread that was happening later once some of these things had become major developments, and then went back and studied the previous Pluto in Aquarius periods and found that they kept coming up during those previous periods that led into them as well. Yeah.

NDB: Right, right.

CB: Just as a matter of like, astrological research and how that sometimes works.

NDB: I mean, I gotta say, you’ve done an amazing job at connecting all these threads. It’s a monumental work right here that you’ve put together. So, well done.

CB: Yeah. Well, I’m hoping other people can pick up the ball and run with it, because I know there’s a lot that I’ve overlooked, and I know there’s a lot of other —

NDB: There always is, yeah.

CB: — other technologies and other things, but at least this gives a blueprint and some starting point for others to pick up the research and take it from there. So let’s finish some of these other little ones. So one of the major ones that happens during this period that’s separate is the Spanish conquest of the Incan Empire, where in November of 1532, the conquistadors captured the Inca Empire in Peru through deceit and brutality, basically, and this marked the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire leading to its eventual downfall and significant cultural destruction. So I wanted to mention this one because it had reminiscence or sort of like, an echo of that earlier like, the destruction of the second Jewish temple in the first century Pluto in Aquarius period, where sometimes you see like, the just like, decimation of an entire people or something like that being a relevant theme.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, it really continues. There’s the Spanish conquest of the Incan Empire, but there’s also the Coronado Pueblo conquistadors who march north and, you know, take over much of what we today call Mexico in 1540 in similar sort of brutal fashion, also during Pluto’s transit in Aquarius. And even my home land, Jacques Cartier sails to what will be called New France, discovers what will be called Quebec City and what will be called Montreal, you know, in the years when Pluto’s in Aquarius. This is between 1534 or 1535. Quebec City was called Stadacona; Montreal was called Hochelaga, a little village there. So yeah, there’s, you know, even in – I mean, this isn’t as much of a brutal thing yet as what the Spanish are doing with the Inca or, you know, up in modern day Mexico, but there’s a lot of this sort of initial early exploration, pre-Anglo settling of the American continent, or exploration of the American continent anyway – I don’t think it’s quite settled yet.

CB: Got it. Okay.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: And then one other is by this point when we’re getting into the 1500s, we start having more accurately timed, like, birth charts that survive, and I know you had one here with Tycho Brahe, who was born with —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: Pluto in Aquarius and Aquarius rising with Jupiter and Venus there as well.

NDB: Right.

CB: And not just his chart but also some of the contributions he made to astronomy that built on the work of Copernicus but also interestingly were very much about technology and like, using and developing and leveraging new technologies in order to make scientific and astronomical advancement.

NDB: Yeah, yeah. You know, so Brahe’s, you know, a really important recorder of information, and he’s gonna create the observational tables that for instance Kepler’s gonna use for all his work. Actually, Kepler kind of steals them in order to do that – or “borrows” them, shall we say. But yeah. Like, he’s a really important sort of scientific chronicler who bridges a gap between Copernicus and Kepler and Galileo. He had an island given to him, you know, so. Brahe, we do have his – you know, he’s Aquarius rising and he’s got three planets in Aquarius, including Pluto, and basically, like, he became so good at what he was doing, he was gonna move away to a foreign court. He was Danish, and the King of Denmark wanted so much to keep him in Denmark that he offered him up a whole island to create an observatory, which he did. And this is in 1576, and the day that King Frederick offered him this island, transiting Mercury was 18 degrees of Aquarius, which is exactly conjunct Brahe’s natal Venus and probably Ascendant within a couple of degrees, anyway. So it’s really interesting that – and then years later when he would meet Kepler, Mercury would once again be right there on his Ascendant. So yeah, sometimes it just takes, you know, little ol’ Mercury to trigger these major planets for big things to happen.

CB: Yeah. That’s amazing.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: So here’s his chart for the video viewers where you see his Ascendant around 16 Aquarius, his Jupiter at eight Aquarius, his Venus at 18 Aquarius and his Pluto at 20 Aquarius. And yeah, the use of technology – so some of the quotes I have like, he’s talked about all over different articles about the history of science and different history of astronomy. In the history of the Scientific Revolution article on Wikipedia, it has a quote that says, “The first modern science, in which practitioners were prepared to revise or reject long-held beliefs in the light of new evidence, was astronomy, and Tycho Brahe was the first modern astronomer.”

One of the things it says is, “Besides Tycho’s specific role in advancing astronomical knowledge, Tycho’s single-minded pursuit of ever-more-accurate measurements was enormously influential in creating a modern scientific culture in which theory and evidence were understood to be inseparably linked.”

So this is really crucial where there’s a shift towards like, in earlier periods, sometimes like, developing philosophical principles that then were used to dictate the scientific theories, and unfortunately like, one of the reflections I had that was really funny was even though like, recently like, I’ve seen some like, cultural discussions of people like Bill Maher and others who are like Western chauvinists who are like, exalting like, Greek philosophers and stuff like Plato and Aristotle and how advanced philosophy is in the west. One of the things I thought was really interesting about that when I was reflecting on this and what happened during the early scientific revolution with some of these astronomers like Copernicus and Tycho and Kepler is one of the things that they – why the scientific – the early astronomical revolution was important is that earlier philosophers, like Aristotle for example, would set up these conceptualizations or like – actually, let’s start with Plato. Plato said that the planets have to be perfectly circular orbits, and he said that partially due to like, this philosophical premise about like, perfect circles and things like that and idealized things in the heavens that have to be perfect. But in setting down that principle that was motivated by philosophical reasons, that actually ended up holding back science and astronomy in some ways for many centuries after that point, and it’s not until you get to these other authors during this period that you have people like Kepler, for example, who Kepler’s big insight was that the planets are not on perfectly circular orbits but instead the orbits of the planets are ellipses, like ovals, and that was a huge breakthrough because all of a sudden it meant you could calculate the movements of the planets more accurately because you weren’t being distracted by this false philosophical principle that you’re letting everything else dictate. And so there’s that or in other instances like, Aristotle had this philosophical principle that there’s no change in the heavens because it’s only down here on Earth where there can be physical change, and up in the planetary spheres, there cannot be like, change. And so as a result of that, when it came to the concept of comets, you know, there’s an issue there, because obviously comets are like, these astronomical things that are moving in our solar system that are other bodies that are changing. But so, partially due to his philosophical issue with that, he said that comets are just exhalations of the air that are coming from the earth and like, burning up in the atmosphere; so it’s just like, an atmospheric phenomenon, which is obviously false, but many people then followed Aristotle for centuries and centuries. And it wasn’t until like, you get to this period that all of a sudden you have people like Tycho Brahe and Kepler and others that observe like, supernovas and things like that that shows that there’s change happening out there, and then eventually some people discover that comets for example are, you know, sometimes periodic, like Halley’s Comet that comes around every 70 something years. So I just wanted to – I had this like, reflection about that that sometimes in the West, ironically, some of the things that is most highly vaunted about like, philosophical principles and philosophers actually held back scientific progress for centuries even though it also contributed in other ways.

NDB: Yeah. It’s a real sort of mishmash in that way, that it’s, you know, sort of partly the foot is on the gas and the other foot’s on the brakes, kind of. Yeah. And you know, Kepler first realizes the ellipse cycle of planets in studying Mars. So again, like, you know, the astrology work I do today, which really comes down to studying that same cycle – yeah, that comes from him, from these major, major breakthroughs that are finally punching holes in these sort of stale, old and incorrect ideas that, you know, came from otherwise brilliant thinkers and therefore were held as gospel but certainly were not.

CB: Yeah, and with Kepler, Kepler couldn’t have had those insights and couldn’t have made that discovery about the planets —

NDB: Right.

CB: — having elliptical motions if not for the foundation that Tycho Brahe laid as a result of the technological innovations and the focus on setting up these astronomical observatories in order to track and record as precisely as possible the movements of the planets in establishing a new scientific standard for the study of the movements of the planets, which then Kepler was able to build on subsequent to that. So that’s why this is important with Tycho having this emphasis on Aquarius and having Pluto in Aquarius is that he set up this new foundation and advances in technology, and his focus on technology was very much at the center of that.

NDB: Yeah. Absolutely.

CB: Yeah. All right. So the only other things I wanted to mention is in 1537 during this period, there was a scholar named Nicolo Tartaglia who was the first to apply mathematics to the investigation of the paths of cannonballs, and Wikipedia for example says this is known as ballistics. In his work that was published in 1537, and that his work was later partially validated and partially superseded by Galileo’s studies on falling bodies. So this is important because it was a weird instance where some of the earlier stuff with gunpowder that led to guns now comes up again, but now it starts influencing mathematics and developing things like ballistics and other things like that, and you’re getting a lot of like, the earlier technological developments during previous Pluto in Aquarius periods. Sometimes those technological developments can have unexpected outcomes that can influence like, science or mathematics or philosophy or other things like that in interesting and unexpected ways.

NDB: Yeah. Because this isn’t – Tartaglia isn’t just sort of using mathematics. In some ways, he’s doing physics in a really kind of crude way, wouldn’t you say? I mean, it’s, you know —

CB: Yeah.

NDB: — tracing the trajectory of cannonballs, you know, like, how to fire them further and all this – yeah, it’s very, very early physics in a way.

CB: Well, and that’s – I mean, I don’t know enough about this, so I was – I don’t wanna like, go out on a limb and I was gonna —

NDB: Sure.

CB: — hesitate to speculate, but yeah, you wonder, you know, seeing that if that’s like a precursor to like, later things, like, some of the work that Newton did with like —

NDB: Right.

CB: — gravity and things like that.

NDB: Right.

CB: And yeah. So if some of these different things are interlinked?

NDB: Yeah. I mean, again, I’m not a scholar in the study of history of physics, but it just strikes me, you know, reading what he was doing in studying the paths of cannonballs, that yeah, in some fashion it appears to me he’s doing physics. I’m happy to stand corrected if I’m interpreting that wrong, but I don’t think so.

CB: Yeah. All right. Let’s see. The only other two things were just that there were two major works on pyrotechnics that were published in this period. One, a German work, and another an Italian work, which just ties back into the earlier gunpowder thing, but I don’t know if it’s a major development otherwise that’s important here. So I think that kind of brings us to a close for this period, right?

NDB: I think so!

CB: Okay.

NDB: On to the powdered wigs.

CB: All right. So we jump forward to our last period before the present, the one that occurred only a mere 250 some odd years ago, 200, 250 years ago, which is the period between the year 1777 and 1798, when Pluto was in Aquarius the last time before the present. All right. So we’ve got a bunch of stuff that happened during this period. Really quickly, one of the big developments that happened very early on it is in 1781, William Herschel discovers the planet Uranus, which expands our knowledge of the solar system where all of a sudden it’s not just the seven visible planetary bodies, the five traditional planets plus the Sun and Moon, that had been known for thousands of years up to that point, but all of a sudden, this is the first time that our knowledge of the solar system expanded and we realized that there’s more planets out beyond the visible planets, which is a huge, huge discovery, both obviously in astronomy but also in astrology.

NDB: Yeah. And Herschel does this, I mean, the crucial point about this is he discovers a planet using a telescope. He works on lenses himself; he makes his own lenses, so he’s really an innovator, and it’s because of how sophisticated a telescope he builds for himself relative to the technology that he’s able – with the help of his sister Caroline, by the way, who was always a silent partner in this story. But together, they discover Uranus using this telescope, and yeah. I mean, this is a game-changer to put it mildly.

CB: Nice. Okay. So that’s huge. So major astronomy developments again happening, which have been consistent developments have happened during previous periods. Also during this period, we of course have the American Revolution, which is taking place between 1775 and 1783, where the 13 colonies declared independence from Great Britain, culminating with the birth of the United States of America. And one of the things that is interesting about this period to me, aside from part of the Revolutionary War taking place and like, the US overthrowing, you know, this other foreign government that was controlling it up to that point, but also we’re used to thinking of the US birth chart as having Pluto in Capricorn, because we usually use the Sibley chart, which is set for, you know, July 4th, 1776. But you know, it’s not until after the Revolutionary War that most of the government of the United States was actually set up in the system of three branches that’s supposed to have different checks and balances and all of that and eventually the ratification of the US Constitution that’s created during the early phases of Pluto in Aquarius, which is really interesting and important that there’s something about the way that they attempted to set up the democracy that has the stamp of Pluto in Aquarius.

NDB: Yeah. Pluto’s ingress into Aquarius in the middle of the Revolutionary War – what that demarcates is the beginning of France’s involvement in the war, which of course is really what helps the American colonists win above, you know, everything else is French money, French naval power. So that’s part of, you know, the Pluto – one thing I was gonna say earlier when we were talking about the description when you were reading Tarnas’s, you know, breakdown of Pluto – another thing I would’ve added to that is sort of David and Goliath type scenarios. You know, little guy fighting big powerful guy and little guy somehow triumphing over big powerful guy, which in a way you can – is, you know, analogous to the American Revolutionary War amongst others. So yeah. There’s something about that. And also, the thing is, like, Pluto’s transit through a sign – certainly Aquarius – is as long as we said, 20 plus year period during which a lot of things can happen. And what’s really interesting to me is if you think about France during this period, they begin Pluto in Aquarius by, you know, spending money on the American colonists, and by the time there’s a Uranus-Pluto opposition about 15 years later, the King’s getting his head guillotined in part because of all the money he spent on the American Revolutionary War some 15 years earlier. You know, that certainly contributes to it. You know, if France hadn’t been as broke as it was, maybe the Revolution wouldn’t have been as severe; maybe things wouldn’t have spilled out the way they did. So it’s an interesting thing to me is to sort of trace – and this is a great period to do it, where – like you said – where we have a lot more documented history. To just – if you think of that era of Pluto being an Aquarius and that it begins with Louie XVI supporting the colonists and it ends with basically Napoleon invading Egypt and the Revolution going global, then yeah, it’s a really interesting bookend in that regard. With regard to —

CB: Because the French Revolution is the other major, major thing that happens during this period besides the American Revolution?

NDB: Yeah, exactly. And then going back to the American Revolution, like you said, Pluto in Aquarius covers the second half of the Revolutionary War and then the years leading up to the constitution conference and the passing of a constitution and the election and re-election of George Washington as President. And it’s really interesting because Washington’s presidency ends after two terms toward the end of Pluto in Aquarius, and Washington of course had the Sun in very early Pisces, from zero or one degree Pisces, something like that. And so when he dies in 1799, it’s just as Pluto has made that ingress into Pisces, making, you know, Washington’s passing and the sort of the legacy he leaves does have this twinge of Pluto involved in it, I’d say.

CB: Yeah. I mean, that’s amazing also because, you know, he famously like, could have become king, and could have continued ruling the US or also could have gone for more terms, but he ended up giving it up – giving up power after two terms, and that set a precedent then in the United States that has been followed up to that point before it was eventually, like, put into law —

NDB: Right. And recently subverted, but that’s beside the point.

CB: Well, yeah. I mean, that’s one of the questions that is gonna come up in this current period is like, some of these things are being revisited and there’s gonna be a question of whether those conventions of like, democracy or term limits are gonna be continued and will survive this Pluto in Aquarius period if they’re gonna be revived, but for our sake, in the history part that’s really important that setting up the basis of many of those fundamental things that like, Americans take for granted about the government or about the leadership of the government was really put into place at this time and that includes presidential term limits, that includes checks and balances between the three —

NDB: Bill of Rights.

CB: Right.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: Are there any other – because that’s also, the last thing is just not having a monarchy. I think that’s the other thing about the American Revolution that’s important that’s also echoed in the French Revolution that’s like, starts happening during the same period is, you know, going back to Charlemagne and stuff, you have these hereditary monarchies in Europe of people that are in charge of the country because they were born into a family and into a bloodline that has been ruling other places for like, hundreds of years. But all of a sudden during this Pluto in Aquarius period, you have the overthrow of that, where people are no longer ruling and leading the countries as a result of hereditary monarchies, but instead as a result of like, for example like, democratic elections and things like that.

NDB: Yeah. You know, conversely, like, you have Napoleon, you know, who will sort of rise to power during Pluto in Aquarius and sort of seize power really fully when Pluto’s in Pisces. But when he’s on his deathbed 20 years after Washington dies, Napoleon opines that, you know, the French people really had only wanted him to be Washington, that they wanted him to gain all this power just so he could, you know, establish a kind of stability and then hand that power over, and that if he had done that, of course, his fate in history would have been much, much different than how it turned out. So that’s – you know, it’s interesting to sort of contrast, yeah, what happens with Washington next to what happens with Napoleon, and these two different variables or these two different outcomes that can occur depending on the actions of the central figure.

CB: Yeah, and I think that’s important. We need to expand on explain the French Revolution and other things like that —

NDB: Sure.

CB: — because I was focused on the American one, but it’s going back and forth.

NDB: Right.

CB: So, I think the US part of that is good, in terms of what we just explained there. There’s other things we could go into, but with the French Revolution, we have – for those that are not familiar with that period – like, the overthrow of the French monarchy and the ushering in of a period of radical political and social change that’s marked by like, the Reign of Terror. So what are some of the things that people need to know about that period that’s important?

NDB: Okay. Well, yeah, the —

CB: Before Napoleon?

NDB: Before Napoleon. I mean, basically, France is going broke. In 1789, the king – King Louis XVI has an advisor who’s, you know, advising him to cut this – impose this tax on the aristocracy or you know, do this measure, take this measure, and the king doesn’t wanna do it. He’s very reluctant to have any change. And he convenes the council of the estates. There’s three estates; there’s the aristocracy, the clergy, and then everyone else. And it hasn’t been convened in nearly 200 years, but they come together to sort of decide on the fate of France. And out of this emerges what today is called the National Assembly – essentially the French parliament. But then the king, you know, has people on his side who don’t want this to come out, so the military is trying to sort of gather some weapons to contain the crowds, and that’s when the storming of the Bastille happens, the citizens of Paris learn that, you know, military forces are gonna seize up all the weapons and maybe turn them on the people, and so the people wanna seize the arsenal that’s in this prison, this bastille prison. And that tends to be like, this very, you know, Tea Party-esque moment in the French Revolutionary mythos, if you will, where the people sort of rise up and take control of things. Things sort of spiral out of control eventually. At first, they want the king and queen a sort of constitutional monarch as opposed to being absolute, and at first the king and queen seem, at least on the surface, amenable to that, but then the king and queen try to escape France and they’re caught, and then they’re seen as traitors and the whole thing turns very dark. All the countries around France – Austria and the different sort of German states and Britain – all become very hostile to this revolution, and they’re very suspicious of it. And they’re threatening war and, you know, some of the —

CB: Right.

NDB: — you know, Brunswick and Austria are sending the armies in, and so yeah. The French revolutionaries getting more and more paranoid and more and more suspicious of traitors, and the factionalizing, you know, the – in politics today, we have the terms “left wing” and “right wing,” and this emerges right out of the French Revolution in the National Assembly, where you had sort of the more radical left-wing people – what we today call left-wing people – sitting on the left side of this, you know, room where they meet in, and then the more conservative folks on the right side. And that’s why we have a left wing and right wing; that’s why that terminology is in our vernacular. So that literal, that creation of those two factions that even today we can identify really easily emerge out of this environment. One thing leads to another, and the king is sentenced to death for treachery. He’s guillotined. Then the Great Terror has sprung up. People are so paranoid that people are denouncing each other and thousands – tens of thousands, I forgot the figure, but a whole lot of people wind up losing their lives in the guillotine because they’re accused, rightly or wrongly, of being enemies of the state. And things come to —

CB: The guillotine itself is actually really interesting —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: — for the French Revolution and where it becomes like, the most popular and well known, and it’s kind of like, an interesting symbol for this period of Pluto in Aquarius of literally like, a device or a technology for like, ending somebody’s life that’s used and is becoming really popularized during this period. I think that’s probably like, kind of an important like, symbol to some extent for Pluto in Aquarius, at least during this period.

NDB: Yeah, and ironically, you know, King Louis XVI even offered some suggestions on how to improve it. I think he suggested like, a tilted blade or something like that. But he actually like, you know, earlier when he was still king, before he was overthrown, had, yeah, made helpful suggestions to Joseph Guillotin who was, you know, inventing this machine. To this day, the Guillotin family is horrified about, you know, the machine being named after them 250 years later.

CB: Yeah, I just found a date. It says, “On the 10th of October 1789, physician Joseph-Ignace Guillotin proposed to the National Assembly that capital punishment should always take the form of decapitation by means of a simple mechanism.”

NDB: Yeah. And then he presents it to the king, I think, in January of 1790. Like two months later, he brings it to the king and demonstrates it. This is the thing is that, you know, first of all it’s kind of funny to us now, but the guillotine indeed, according to Guillotin, was supposed to be, you know, a humanistic, compassionate method of taking life, of executing someone. It was supposed to be, you know, humanitarian. And —

CB: Because it’s quick.

NDB: Right. Because it’s quick, but I mean, it’s also, you know, quite terrifying, especially when it’s done in front of mobs of, you know, hundreds or thousands of people who are braying for blood. Yeah. So it’s done very quick. I had another point to make, but yeah. Oh —

CB: So this period’s known as like, the —

NDB: — yes, Maximilien Robespierre – just…

CB: This period’s known as the Reign of Terror, right?

NDB: The Reign of Terror, going from 1793 to 17 – and then going into the Great Terror in 1794; they’re sort of, you know, consecutive periods. There’s the Terror and then it gets really intense when Danton, then Robespierre, are taken out. The execution of Robespierre ends the Great Terror. He’s one of the people who’s on the Committee for Public Safety, which is a 12-man little committee that basically runs the whole revolutionary effort, and they’re largely responsible at least for sentencing the people who get sent to the guillotine, if not outright denouncing them. Robespierre, who’s the most obvious sort of visible figure on the Committee for Public Safety, ironically enough, when he got involved in politics like four years earlier, he did so in order to campaign for the ending of the death penalty. He was a real anti-death penalty guy. And then a short four years of Pluto in Aquarius opposite Uranus in Leo, and the guy is, you know, on the committee that’s sending thousands of people to the guillotine. So that’s the atmosphere in this whole thing, and that’s the thing about the Pluto transit in Aquarius in the 18th century during this whole period. In the 1790s, I think from 1793-94, 1792-94, Uranus in Leo comes into opposition to Pluto in Aquarius, and so you get this really tense standoff between these two planets. And I think at some point even Saturn comes in to make a T-square to the two of them. And yeah, this exactly corresponds with the Terror and Great Terror periods when the French Revolution goes completely, you know, off the rails and, you know, leads to a lot of chaos and death and strife until Napoleon comes along and kind of helps straighten things out.

CB: Yeah. So, but the main thing is just there was like, a populist movement; it has the effect of like, overthrowing the monarchy and starting to create something that’s not a monarchy for the first time there. They also create like, the sort of like, a citizen’s almost like, bill of rights or something like that as well?

NDB: Yeah. The Declaration of the Rights of Man. Yeah. Which they do in the summer of 1789, and I think that in turn inspires the Bill of Rights, if I’m not mistaken. So yeah. You know, there’s these, you know, really grand ideas at first. I mean, when the Declaration of the Rights of Man is put forward in August of 1789, yeah, people like Robespierre and Saint-Just who a few years later will be, you know, calling for blood, there’s still, you know, a very idealistic and innocent part of this whole project. It’s amazing how the whole sort of paranoid thing takes hold so quickly and, you know, yeah. Makes people crazy, frankly.

CB: Right. And so people were being executed because they were suspected of being like, against the Revolution —

NDB: Exactly.

CB: — and so that was like, a lot of the energy surrounding that period. So then —

NDB: Yeah. And there was, there were armies, there were foreign armies at like, every border invading. So it wasn’t just a sort of a phantom fear, you know. There were grounds for all the paranoia, but still, it’s a hell of a situation.

CB: Right. And then also you had mentioned that earlier, but I meant to draw that point that like, meanwhile, all the actual other monarchies around Europe are like, watching this, and the kings and queens are like, horrified because they just saw the people like, rise up and then decapitate the king and queen of France, basically, and overthrow the monarchy. So all the other monarchies start like, really worrying about this, whether that could happen to them as well.

NDB: Exactly. Exactly. It was really, you know, the whole thing is that the rise of absolute monarchy, you know, which was how most of Europe was run – the French Revolution was just trying to sort of take that down a notch like the British had done, you know, during their Civil War and eventually the Glorious Revolution where there, you know, the British a century earlier had had their own tussle between, you know, Parliament and monarchy. And France in some way was just trying to recapture that. I mean, the American Revolution was also inspired by that.

CB: All right. So all of that’s happening with the French Revolution, but then later in that process and one of the things Austin and I talked about on the year ahead forecast – that there’s like, this last gasp of monarchy when Napoleon comes along and basically reinstitutes the monarchy right after the French Revolution and is initially successful in kind of undermining the democratic – like, using democracy in order to like, reinstill a monarchy, basically.

NDB: Yeah. You know, again, we go back to really understand Napoleon, we have to go back to Pltuo’s ingress into Aquarius in 1778 when nine-year-old Napoleon Bonaparte from Ajaccio, Corsica gets sent off to France to attend a military school. That journey really begins there with a Corsican kid who just gets sent off to a foreign country to attend, you know, school, and he doesn’t speak French; he’s gotta learn how to speak French. And because he has a facility with math, he winds up in the artillery corps, which is kind of exclusive and elite, and that serves him well. Once we get into the French Revolutionary War because of all the war paranoia, a number of French generals have been sent to the guillotine on suspicion of treason, so there’s quite a few job openings so to speak. And that period I was talking about in 1793, ‘94, that’s right at the period in 1793 when Uranus is conjunct Napoleon’s Leo Sun and Pluto in Aquarius is opposite his Leo Sun. It’s right at that point that Napoleon and his entire family find themselves basically refugees in France; they’ve been exiled from Corsica over some political turmoil there. And Napoleon has to re-enlist in the French army basically just to like, pay to survive, pay for his whole family to survive because no one’s employable other than him in the midst of the Great Terror going on. And so yeah, one military success leads to another and eventually he has his whole, you know, campaign in Italy and then Egypt and so on and so forth. But it really starts with – for him, it starts with the Pluto ingress into Aquarius coinciding with him being sent off to France for the first time, and then eventually that Pluto over the next 15 years reaches its opposition to his Sun, and that’s when he becomes a frenchman, you know. Again, you know, Pluto is transformative but it’s also transportative. It takes you from one world and puts you in another. And that whole thing about like, sort of making big things small and small things big, taking this little kid from Corsica and making him, you know, the most powerful emperor who’s lived in a thousand years.

CB: Right.

NDB: Yeah, really extraordinary.

CB: So, major takeaway with him, though, is like, they manipulated the democracy if I understand correctly in order to essentially like, put him in positions of power, and one of my takeaways was that part of the Pluto in Aquarius theme is like, tensions between democracy and autocracy, and that autocratic leaders attempting to establish control through the illusion of democracy, like holding elections but then controlling the results. To what extent is that – you know, how did he get himself like, into power aside from initially winning battles as like, somebody that was a commander and then being elevated, but then eventually there were some ways in which he finally became like, an autocrat.

NDB: Yeah. You can almost exactly demarcate Napoleon’s career as just a military figure to his life as a political and military figure by looking at the transit of Pluto through Aqaruius until the transit of Pluto in Pisces. When Pluto goes into Pisces in 1798, Napoleon goes to Egypt, a rather ill-fated campaign to become the new Alexander the Great and lead the French army to India doesn’t go as planned, although he does sort of facilitate the invention of Egyptology as a school of thought. The Rosetta Stone is discovered by scholars he brought there. But ultimately, that doesn’t really work, and he comes back from Egypt and immediately takes part in a military coup, essentially, overthrowing the directory, which was corrupt and ineffectual. And sort of the last result of revolutionary democracy, if you will, in France. And it’s when he seizes power in this coup, Pluto has fairly recently made its ingress into Pisces. So the process you’re talking about like, when he sort of goes back on the democratic principles, you know, exalted in the French Revolution, that’s in part because Pluto has now left Aquarius and it’s in Pisces and it’s a new ball game. While Pluto was in Aquarius, then these, you know, these principles were still, you know, held in high regard and thought to be worth preserving.

CB: Okay, got it. Yeah. Well, I guess part of the theme though is that sometimes there can still be back – while sometimes there’s major changes, and in this instance in the Pluto in Aquarius period like, moves towards democracy, there can still be steps back or the last gasps of autocratic or in this case, monarchical systems can still happen, so that it’s not like a completely clean break all the time.

NDB: Yeah, exactly. Simple as that. It’s, you know, I mean, things have to go on to that next stage anyway, you know. Napoleon says when he takes power, you know, “the Revolution is over and I am the revolution.” So.

CB: Nice.

NDB: That’s that. Yeah, I mean, eventually Pluto leaves Aquarius and goes into Pisces and we’re onto the next stage.

CB: Yeah. Okay. So I think that’s good for that. The other thing that happened during this period is the Haitian Revolution took place during Pluto in Aquarius, right?

NDB: Yeah. And this is related to the French Revolution, and even later on, you know, related to Napoleon. Napoleon eventually has, you know, one of the major leaders of the Revolution, Toussaint L’Ouverture, you know, had some sort of kidnapped, sent to prison where he dies in really miserable circumstances. But there is something, you know, really important there. In some ways, the Haitian Revolution is the most important of them all because it’s a nation of slaves against their, you know, enslavers. And it’s the first and only nation – excuse me – it’s the first and only nation founded by former slaves, or you know, formed in a slave uprising. And they’re acting on the principles of the, you know, they’ve heard about the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and so they’re acting on those principles when they have their uprising. And it’s – god, I’m really sorry. It’s interesting that Toussaint L’Ouverture has a major Pluto transit as he’s becoming the first non-white Governor-General of Saint-Domingue, which is, you know, the island today we call Haiti, or the country we call Haiti. So yeah, I think I put his data up here. Toussaint L’Ouverture was born the 20th of May 1743 at night in Haiti. And he becomes the first non-white Governor-General of Saint-Domingue on April 1st, 1797. Transiting Pluto in Aquarius is square his natal Sun at 29 Taurus and opposite his natal Saturn at 29 Leo. It’s a short-lived governorship, but it’s the beginning of, you know, like I said, he’ll be captured and taken back to France, but from then on, the country of Haiti is, you know, founded and on its way essentially.

CB: Okay. That’s amazing. Okay. So that’s really important that there’s different revolutions like, going on all over the place during this Pluto in Aquarius period. There’s also a bunch of major technological advancements and developments I noticed. In 1796, Edward Jenner develops the first smallpox vaccine, revolutionizing preventative medicine. Also in 1796, Alessandro Volta invents the first true battery, establishing sustained electrical currents. The Watt’s steam engine is developed in 1785, which is an improvement of the steam engine which ended up then spurring the Industrial Revolution, transforming manufacturing and driving economic growth. There’s also a textile industry boom, where innovations in textile production with inventions like this spinning jenny and the power loom significantly increased efficiency and output, and this is combined with in 1793, Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: And as a – go ahead.

NDB: Oh,just the cotton gin is – I mean, these are all important, obviously. These are all huge. The cotton gin is invented I think in South Carolina, and it really changes the face of American slavery because it really makes the cotton industry in the south a viable thing, but you’re gonna have to have far more slaves now to pick far more cotton because the cotton gin can process that much more. So it just, it intensifies everything, but it intensifies also the need to have slave labor to, you know, match this new level of industry that’s being created.

CB: Okay. So sometimes the like, negative repercussions of like, technological developments.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of these sort of – I mean, that’s a really extreme example of a lot of similar things that are happening because of the Industrial Revolution and how it’s changing labor and changing how people, you know, sustain their lives. But yeah, the cotton gin is particularly, you know, odious for this reason. I mean, you know, you had slavery obviously in America before that, but it was nothing like the, you know, the scenes we know of, you know, loads of people out in the cotton fields picking cotton under really inhumane circumstances. That doesn’t happen until the cotton gin is invented, that level of slavery in that number and in that severity.

CB: Yeah. Well, that was actually one of the themes that I saw that kept coming up with Pluto in Aquarius sometimes, which was like, either the unintended consequences of technological developments or sometimes people, like scientists inventing things for the sake of inventing things without thinking about the ethical implications. And this is something that came up first earlier with like, the development of gunpowder and guns and things like that, and those just being used as a mass weapon of war to cause, you know, huge amounts of destruction from something earlier that where people, like alchemists like, exploring different forms of medicine or thinking that they had developed a form of medicine or something like that. So that’s a theme that’s relevant here and then that’ll come up again later. And that’s also a theme in one of our last Pluto in Aquarius periods, things from this period that I’ll get to in just a minute.

NDB: Right.

CB: So there was also a period of urbanization and social change where rapid industrialization led to the growth of cities, population shifts, and the emergence of new social classes that was going on. And there was the major, major development with air flight, and this is one of the most fascinating ones to me, because it ties together some previous threads of not even just paper but also silk.

NDB: Right, right. Yep.

CB: So the Montgolfier brothers were paper manufacturers by trade, and this was like, a profession that instilled in them a deep understanding of materials and their properties. And —

NDB: It was a family business. So they had been raised in it. So, you know, it wasn’t like they just sort of discovered paper on their own; this was something that had been developing over generations in their family.

CB: Right. And so at one point they start seeing and developing an interest in lighter-than-air phenomenon in the 1770s when they noticed that heated air could rise and lift lightweight objects. So they start experimenting with different fabrics suspended over fires and watching as they inflated and rose. And one of the things that’s interesting about this to me is that they experimented with different materials like silk as well as paper and studied the effects of heat and the lifting capabilities and things like that before this eventually culminated in 1783 with their first successful hot air balloon flight.

NDB: Right. There were a few flights. The first flight, I think, they put a monkey, a duck, and a chicken in the basket just to be sure. Not unlike, you know, we’ve used to send monkeys and dogs in space before people go in space.

CB: That sounds like the setup for like, a joke.

NDB: It’s a great punchline, yeah.

CB: A monkey, a dog, and a chicken like, walk into a —

NDB: Right, right.

CB: — hot air balloon.

NDB: Right. And then they tested it with a person tethered and then a person untethered. I know Benjamin Franklin and possibly even Thomas Jefferson witnessed this, because this is the same time that they’re negotiating, you know, the Peace of Versailles that ends the Revolutionary War. They’re in Paris negotiating the end of the American Revolutionary War when the Montgolfier brothers are doing these demonstrations. Definitely Benjamin Franklin wrote about witnessing it, and I believe Jefferson did as well, but I’m less sort of certain of that. The other thing is the Montgolfier brothers, before deciding to use hot air, they had experimented with gas, with not helium but hydrogen. Possibly hydrogen or something else. I think hydrogen. They experimented with it but decided it wouldn’t work. But then there was another scientist named Jacques Charles who started developing alongside them, trying to develop a balloon with using gas instead of hot air. And he also had a successful demonstration in 1783 a little after the Montgolfier brothers. And it was Jacques Charles’ hydrogen balloon that was used in 1794 when Uranus is opposite Pluto – remember, Uranus is the god of the sky. It was a hydrogen balloon that was used by the French Revolutionary military for reconnaissance work in the Battle of Fleurus in June of 1794 just as the Great Terror is at its peak. The French military win this amazing battle that they don’t expect to win, and a hot air balloon, hydrogen-filled balloon is used with, you know, a pilot on board doing reconnaissance work for the military and it really works out nicely. And they use it in other subsequent battles in these wars as well. So yeah, and that’s peaking again in that Uranus-Pluto opposition that you get in 1794.

CB: Okay.

NDB: In the middle of it all. Yeah.

CB: Yeah. So this was huge and especially the Montgolfier brothers – their historic flight sent shockwaves across Europe, capturing the public imagination and sparking widespread fascination with the possibilities of air travel. And in terms of the legacy and impact, their invention had a profound impact on science, technology, and culture, and their hot air balloons opened up new dimensions of exploration, allowing scientists to study the atmosphere and gather data from previously inaccessible heights. So this is huge and it set the foundation basically for all the future like, aviation industry, and I think that’s gonna be a recurring theme when it comes back to this eventually is flight and things surrounding flight, where now we’re getting into the next era, which is like, space flight, basically. But there’s something about that that’s like, an important, probably reoccurring phenomenon, and it’s just weird how it tied in with their story, especially the thread of paper that had gone back centuries.

NDB: Definitely. Yeah. That was the thing that was so striking to me. And you’re right – silk after paper as well. It’s amazing the way that all comes together.

CB: Yeah. And that’s part of the theme that we’ll have to pay attention to with this period, which is it will involve tying together technologies and countries and other things that were important during previous Pluto in Aquarius periods and then combining those or recombining those in interesting and new ways that are appropriate for our own era and where we’re currently at in human history.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: So the last thing I wanted to mention about this Pluto in Aquarius period – and this is one actually originally that Leisa Schaim had found that she mentioned on the last year ahead forecast for 2023 that we recorded over a year ago – where she pointed out that the writer Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein was born with Pluto in Aquarius conjunct the Midheaven in her chart. And the actual like, story of Frankenstein and some of the metaphors underlying it are super tied in with Pluto in Aquarius, I think, in ways that I think are gonna be very illustrative. So —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: — let me —

NDB: It’s basically the first work of science fiction.

CB: Here’s her chart. And one of the things that’s interesting is once you start getting in the modern period again, you start having birth times for people, so that’s one of the things that’s really interesting about her life is the fact that we have a relatively solid birth time for her. So she was born with Cancer rising and the Midheaven at 27 degrees of Aqaruius and Pluto at 29 degrees of Aquarius. So Pluto in Aquarius directly conjunct the Midheaven, and she comes up with this idea for Frankenstein, and part of the core theme underlying it is the idea of a scientist who’s consumed with the idea of creating life itself. However, the result is not the perfect being that he envisioned, but instead a grotesque and hideous creature that is then ostracized by its creator and by society. So here’s… Ironically, I asked the AI, you know, which is ironic because like, some of these themes are coming up now, but I asked the AI to write a summary of Frankenstein and here’s some of the primary things that are important. So,

“Driven by the death of his mother and a fascination with life and death, the scientist abandons everything for his scientific studies, and he becomes consumed with the idea of creating life itself. So in a secluded laboratory, the scientist Victor stitches together body parts and animates the creature through an unspecified scientific process. Horrified by its appearance, he abandons it, leaving the creature alone and confused. Forced to fend for itself, the creature learns to read, speak, and understand human emotions through stolen books and observations. He longs for acceptance and companionship, but his monstrous appearance triggers fear and rejection wherever he goes. Unable to find acceptance, the creature seeks vengeance on Victor for abandoning him. The revenge spirals into tragedy, resulting in the deaths of Victor’s younger brother William and his adopted sister Justine. Guilt-ridden and grief-stricken, Victor attempts to atone by creating a female companion for the creature, hoping to quell his loneliness. However, horrified by the potential consequences, he destroys the second creature before it is complete. Enraged, the original creature vows revenge and disappears. The story culminates in the Arctic, where Victor, pursued by the vengeful creature, becomes consumed by his own creation, and both perish in a final confrontation, leaving a message of caution about the dangers of unchecked ambition and the consequences of playing with God.”

So this is really interesting, and some of the main novels that are explored – or some of the main themes that are explored in the novel are one, the dangers of scientific ambition, where Frankenstein’s story serves as a cautionary tale about the potential dangers of scientific progress when pursued without ethical considerations. And I think that’s a really core Pluto in Aquarius theme. Let’s see. Two, responsibility and accountability – Victor’s refusal to take responsibility for his creation forces him to confront the consequences of his actions, leading to his ultimate demise. And the finally, the last thing I wanted to mention here is just it’s interesting that Mary Shelley was born towards the end of Pluto in Aquarius and the end of the Scientific Revolution, and part of the focus here was on the ethical implications of scientific advancements as well as the potential dangers and responsibilities that come with pushing the boundaries of knowledge in the attempt to create artificial life. And I think some of the parallels there with today and now we’re starting to see, as we’re on the beginning of Pluto in Aquarius, the very cusp of like, the emergence of AI already at the beginning of this period – I think some of those parallels are hard to ignore.

NDB: Yeah, absolutely. Mary Shelley’s interesting. That Pluto on her Midheaven. You know, her mother basically died giving birth to her or shortly after giving birth to her. Both of Mary’s parents are very sort of notable writers, sort of legends in their own right. Her father’s William Godwin, who’s a famous sort of revolutionary political writer, and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft is, you know, one of history’s first feminist authors and writes a really important revolutionary text on women and women’s freedom. So she’s got this amazing kind of pedigree. And both her parents are – William Godwin was born the 3rd of March 1756 in England, Mary Wollstonecraft on the 27th of April in 1759, and both of them have natal Pluto in Sagittarius square Uranus in Pisces. And this is very interesting – Mary’s born with the Sun conjunct Uranus in Virgo on both of their Uranus half returns, and when she writes Frankenstein in 1816, you know, she’s married to Percy Shelley the poet. They’re also with Lord Byron, another famous poet. And this whole era in 1816 when she writes Frankenstein – basically in a sort of contest or a game along with the other writers while they’re all in Switzerland – that all occurs while Neptune in Sagittarius is squaring Pluto in Pisces, kind of in the same place where her parents had their natal Pluto-Uranus squares. So there’s a really kind of interesting generational transference between these, you know, older intellectuals – her parents – and Mary and her friends, you know, her circle of very talented poet friends.

CB: Okay. One of the things I noticed that’s really important or I thought was really impressive is that we actually have the date for when she first came up with the idea for Frankenstein, and Saturn was actually around 23 degrees of Aquarius, and it had recently stationed. So Saturn in Aquarius basically had recently stationed near her Midheaven Pluto conjunction when she came up with this idea, basically.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

CB: Yeah. So I thought that was pretty cool. Okay. So Frankenstein – the idea of also like, creating an artificial life, having it backfire and other things – so I think that’s good for this period, and that’s pretty much it for that period right there. Is there anything else we had meant to mention?

NDB: No, I mean, I could go on about Mary Shelley. Shortly before she had the dream of Frankenstein, she had given birth to a child who died soon after, so I think —

CB: Yeah.

NDB: — some of that desire to, you know, the inspiration to write about resurrecting life or creating life in that way I think is also inspired by that.

CB: Yeah. No, I mean, she had with that Midheaven and Pluto conjunction in the 8th house, she had an incredibly – and other things, too, like Mars, is opposing Pluto in her chart, but she had a very incredibly difficult and tragic life in many ways where death was like, a really recurring theme for her —

NDB: Yeah.

CB: So her chart would make for an interesting study more broadly. But for sure, yeah.

NDB: Yeah. Right down to the fact that her mother died giving birth to her, you know. Like, it kind of starts there and just doesn’t stop, yeah. She sees, you know, her husband Percy Shelley die, a few of her kids, Byron of course goes wandering off to Greece and gets killed in the Greece uprising, so like yeah —

CB: Yeah.

NDB: — everyone she knows kind of meets a tragic end.

CB: Sure. But I think at least there’s something about what she described there, even though we’re talking about the 1800s at this point, there’s something eerily prescient about her writing that about creating artificial life in that time period that suddenly become eerily prescient for today as well and some of the underlying themes that came with it.

NDB: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Right at the same time that she is writing Frankenstein, Byron has just had a daughter born. You know, he’s not with the mother or anything, but a daughter of his is born, and this is Ada Byron, who goes on to be a really important mathematician who contributes to the future of computing and robotics. So I’ll just throw – there’s all kinds of like, really interesting dynamics to that whole story that spill over into contemporary science and art.

CB: Yeah. All right. Well, that brings us to the present and to the future. So we are now currently at the very beginning of the next Pluto in Aquarius period, and Pluto first dipped into Aquarius last year in 2023. It first moved into Aquarius in March, and it went in very briefly for a few months, and then Pluto retrograded back into Capricorn, and now later this month, Pluto’s about to enter Aquarius again. So I forgot to give the data for this – so we’re recording this on Monday, January 8th, 2024. We started at what? Like, 2:45 or something?

NDB: About that. Maybe 2:40, yeah.

CB: PM in Denver, Colorado. And later this month on January 20th, Pluto’s about to go back into Aquarius. It’s gonna retrograde back out this summer and go back into Capricorn, but then later this year in November of 2024, Pluto’s gonna move into Aquarius again and then it’s gonna stay there for the next 20 years all the way until 2044. So we’re looking at another Pluto in Aquarius period, so I’d like to spend this last section summarizing some of what we learned and some of the takeaways from some of the past ones, and then see if we can take from that and anticipate how some past trends from history are becoming or will become relevant again for us today over the next 20 years.

So things that I wrote down in notes of summaries: one, the utilization of technological advancements in order to have power and control. In addition to that, the power that technology, knowledge, and information has. So these are all themes that were present in many of our previous examples that I think are clearly becoming relevant again today, right?

NDB: Oh, yeah, no question about it.

CB: All right. Other than that, let’s see – so the another one that was important is vast repositories of information that are under the control of centralized authorities. How developments in technology can shape and transform society in different ways. So we saw that with paper; we saw that with gunpowder; we also saw that with things like, how the printing press and the increase of printing and books also affected things during the Reformation and started causing changes in like, religion and things like that.

NDB: Sure. Or inventions like the cotton gin creating, you know, slavery on a scale the world had not quite seen.

CB: Right. Another theme that kept coming up is technological transfer from foreign or relatively speaking like, alien cultures, which has a profound transformative impact on society, politics, and power. So for example, you know, a technology that’s already developed by another culture, like with the Chinese spending centuries developing gunpowder before Europeans inherited it around 1300, or even like, silk and silkworms and how that had been refined and developed in China for millennia before being eventually transmitted or stolen by the West. There’s also possibly something about the idea of what it means to be foreign or alien in general becoming relevant again, both in the sense of AI, the emergence of artificial intelligence and creating a new sentient species on Earth, which is essentially what – if people, if scientists are capable or are successful in creating artificial intelligence or artificial general intelligence, that’s what that would be is like, creating another sentient species on Earth – but even aside from that, maybe even alien life being found, even in microbial form, in other places in our solar system or perhaps beyond. Even the recognition of animals as being more sentient than humans often give them credit for as new AI technologies are developed to help us better understand how they communicate – there’s something about like, the idea of foreignness, of alienness, and alien technology and the exposure to that that seems like it’s a recurrent theme of Pluto in Aquarius, and it’s something I’m starting to see discussions about over the past year that are very suggestive, I think.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, that would be pretty wild if AI taught us how to communicate with dolphins and octopus and, you know, primates perhaps. And —

CB: Yeah.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, just, you know, there’s all kinds of things that are seeming science fiction but, you know, are probably on the verge of becoming real.

CB: Yeah. It’s something I’ve been thinking about recently, which is just like, in different places in the animal kingdom if you look at them collectively, it’s like animals have – reflect so much of the full range of human emotions in different ways, but humans don’t often focus on that or like, most humans don’t often fully think about the implications of that. But it would be interesting because one of the primary barriers is communication. But even if that’s not the main thing, you know, one of the things that’s happening this year is they’re launching a spaceship that’s gonna send a probe I think to Europa – one of Jupiter’s Moons that’s like, an icy ocean Moon – and then they’re gonna send a probe beneath the ice to see if there’s microbial life down there, and that’s supposed to land I think in 2030. But even something as simple as that, which is not really simple, but it’s not at the scale of like, discovering a whole alien civilization, but if we during the next 20 years discovered something as simple as finding that basic forms of life existed somewhere other than Earth, that would have a huge like, earth-shattering effect on our conceptualization of ourselves, of humanity, of our place in the universe and other things that would be similar to and sort of approaching what happened with Copernicus publishing, you know, his book and showing that we weren’t at the center of the solar system. Discovering a new form of life would be the modern equivalent of something tantamount to that because it would show that human life is not the center of the solar system or of the universe, but that there’s life elsewhere as well and it would sort of like, decentralize us and move us away from the center of the universe but instead show that we’re like, one of many that’s revolving around something larger.

NDB: Yeah. And talk about making small things big and big things small, you know. Finding microbial life like that would – yeah. It’d easily be as revolutionary as what Copernicus unleashed on the world, you know, three Pluto cycles ago.

CB: Sure.

NDB: You know, also – the sort of elephant in the room also is who knows? I mean, I don’t know what to make of it, but there has been far more sort of serious discussion of unidentified flying objects and what their origin might be, and that whole conversation has become – well, it’s certainly a lot more normalized. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s out there; there’s, you know, it’s being discussed in Congress, you know, before cameras and everything. So who knows what emerges out of that, if any answers, but that would easily fit the, you know, the sort of the list that we’ve compiled in terms of the kind of impact that this transit of Pluto in Aquarius could reflect in, you know, terms of changes in human consciousness.

CB: Yeah, for sure. And I don’t know about that either. Like, I don’t know whether to take some of that stuff seriously or not or if it’s legitimate or not, but certainly obviously like, having any other signs of, you know, actual intelligent life or like, civilizations out there besides our own would also have like, a huge impact on our world and on society.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: As well as science and a number of other things – religion. So that’s, you know, a possibility as well that we’ll have to see what happens.

NDB: Yeah. Absolutely.

CB: Other themes – one of the ones that was recurring obviously at this point is like the role of China, and China and technological transmissions is like, a major theme that kept coming up over and over again, and we’ve already mentioned how some of that, you know, it’s really notable to me that just in the past few decades, you know, China has risen to become a global superpower again. And it’s really notable that that’s happened and it’s come to this point like, right before Pluto goes into Aquarius, so that now a lot of the focus is on like, you know, the increasing tensions between like, world powers like the United States and China and whether there’ll be conflict and as well as like, tensions over technologies and things like that going back and forth between the two.

NDB: Yeah. I think you might have mentioned with Austin that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin both have Saturn-Neptune conjunctions in their natal charts. So when we get to 2025, yeah, you know, that’s the final ingress of Pluto into Aquarius, and it happens the same time as the Saturn-Neptune conjunction in Aries. So I do think of 2025, you know, when Uranus goes into Pluto good and proper for good and all those other transits are happening, we’ll definitely hit a new chapter in the history of China and the history of Russia. Saturn-Neptune has always been very promising for both. And yeah, you know, it’s in the nativity of both leaders, so, you know. And we talked already about the Pluto transit just in terms of the People’s Republic of China and how it was declared when the Ascendant was in Aquarius, the Moon was in Aquarius. So that Pluto transit could be, you know, certainly hitting the People’s Republic, you know, the political structure in China. You know.

CB: Sure.

NDB: Right in the middle of the chart, yeah.

CB: Yeah. And then of course you and I have done that episode previously – one of the major episodes in the history of the podcast about like, Uranus return of the United States, when Uranus goes —

NDB: Right.

CB: — through Gemini and how that’s coincided with – it’s only happened three times in the past, and the first time it was the American Revolutionary War, the second time was the Civil War, and the third time was World War II. So that’s one of the issues, you know, that’s concerning since Uranus is about to move back into Gemini in 2025 and is an additional cycle that’s like, a secondary overlay, which is – is the US gonna have another major conflict or another major war that’s on the level of those other three that have happened so far in its history when Urnaus has gone into Gemini? one of the, you know, and that’s gonna be happening at the same time of Pluto in Aquarius, and one of the things that’s actually interesting about that is just that Uranus in Gemini is gonna be trining Pluto —

NDB: Yes.

CB: — several times off and on increasingly close over the course of the next decade, and I think that’s really gonna accelerate a lot of the technological developments and a lot of the developments with communications and other things like that over the course of the next decade that were already indicated just by Pluto in Aquarius. That’s gonna be supercharged by Uranus going into Gemini.

NDB: Yeah, no, absolutely. And that’s a feature that, you know, we didn’t have quite in the same way, you know, the last few times that Uranus has been in Gemini. They were copresent. Like, during the Revolutionary War, Uranus was in Gemini while Pluto was in Aquarius, but the Pluto ingress came a little too late for there to be a trine in the air signs like that, and of course, before long Uranus zipped through Cancer, zipped into Leo and made an opposition to that Pluto. So that trine with Pluto from Uranus in Gemini is a feature that distinguishes it from past Uranus transits through Gemini and the wars that they’ve coincided with. And of course the big message when it comes to that transit of Uranus through Gemini and the United States being involved in these major conflicts is in all three instances, they led to the United States essentially becoming a new country in a way, certainly redefining itself in some really fundamental way. The Revolutionary War created the country. The Civil War centralized the country. And the Second World War and the Cold War turned this, you know, reluctant sort of protectionist nation, isolationist nation, into a global superpower, virtually against its will, virtually by circumstance. So yeah. There’s something about the country’s own transformation that coincides with Uranus in Gemini, except this time, like in the 1770s, it’s happening while Pluto’s in Aquarius, while the mood for sort of popular power – for people power – is reaching its zenith and the revolt against sort of authority or dictatorial power is, you know, at its most potent.

CB: Yeah. And one of the things about that with the US that’s actually really fascinating about the Uranus-Pluto trine is that the US has Uranus in the Sibley chart at eight degrees of Gemini, and that’s actually roughly where I think the exact trine will be going exact between Uranus and Pluto – starts going exact when Uranus gets around to eight degrees of Gemini and Pluto gets around to eight degrees of Aquarius. So that adds an interesting additional level of intensity that it’s gonna be happening at the most intense point in the Uranus return of the United States.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

CB: So that’s one thing. All right. Moving onto other summary points. So new technologies like paper allowing for an explosion of information and a diffusion of new ideas. So I think AI is probably gonna be playing this role in our time, although there may be additional things involving how information is transferred and proliferated and consumed in terms of innovations in the form factor of the role that paper played in previous times to whatever the equivalent to that is in our time. You know, something about that – something about the form factor and the way that information is accessed and is spread around being important to this time period.

NDB: Yeah. We can see that happening pretty easily.

CB: Yeah, but it’s gonna be taken to some new level, and it’s gonna have a completely transformative effect on our culture through that technological innovation, and we can for sure see some of that, like the cusp of some of that, but there’s some parts of where that’s gonna go that we probably – at least normal people that aren’t like, futurists – aren’t even anticipating or don’t realize, you know, is gonna – how that’s gonna change society soon and on all the different levels in which it will change things.

NDB: Yeah, exactly.

CB: All right. Other things —

NDB: I’ve been saying to people – sorry to interrupt. I’ve been saying to people that a hundred years from now, people will look back at 2025 as the beginning of the 21st century. Not unlike that we think of 1919 or 1920 being the beginning of the 20th century. You know, where it’s really like, a very visible demarcation in history where suddenly everything that preceded it seems, you know, like it belongs to another age, you know, even this period right now.

CB: That’s a good point in a number of different ways, although that makes me think of something I saw recently where somebody said that in terms of like, archives and research, there’s gonna be this demarcating line in history that starts with 2023, and it’s because everybody’s starting, in every field, is starting to use AI in order to augment research and do research with things but also in order to generate content of what’s being created in different fields. And as a result of that, there’s gonna be like, this sedimentary layer where you’re gonna have to like, there’s gonna be a fine line between things that were generated by AI or could have been and were influenced by that innovation versus things that were produced prior to that time that had to have been only produced by humans.

NDB: Right.

CB: It was an interesting thing to think about.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, imagine future wedding photos will be taken, you know, in some kind of AI-generated simulation. You know, wedding photos with, you know, the parents and the nieces and nephews and what have you, but you’re in front of – I don’t, you know, who knows what – a giant planet, some kind of futuristic, you know, backdrop, I mean, what have you. Yeah. It’s gonna change a lot of things, I mean, you know, culturally, as well as everything else.

CB: Yeah, for sure. All right. Other things – governments trying to control the flow of information. So governments and entities attempting to control or suppress the spread of information and ideas, although often failing eventually, although being successful for some periods of time. So these attempts to control the flow of information, for example in the past, coincided with the Church’s list of prohibited books. So there may be other instances where there’s like, institutionalized censorship attempts or attempts to suppress new discoveries or ideas with extreme methods that ultimately fail because the powerful insight that the idea or discovery has about the nature of the world. So thinking back to like, Copernicus’s discovery about the Sun being the center of the solar system and how that was suppressed initially but that eventually, you know, it couldn’t be suppressed forever because it actually was true, and it actually pointed to a property of nature that was real. Not to like, you know, center ourselves too much, but I think also of things like astrology and some of the questions we’ve talked about on forecast episodes lately about we’ve been in this period of like, a renaissance and a bump in the popularity of astrology over the past several years and whether we’ll go into a downturn or a period of suppression again at some point before too long. But if something like that happened, you know, it couldn’t last forever because of the fact that astrology does reveal an actual property of nature and that the validation of that is sort of like, inevitable despite both historical or any current or future attempts to suppress it.

NDB: That’s right. The truth is revolutionary. So I mean, that’s something I could imagine happening, unfortunately, but it makes it all the more important for us to do the work that we’re doing, you know, regardless of what sort of becomes us, because somewhere down the road, it’s work that can be, you know, developed by others once the smoke clears, so to speak, and it’s too vital, and indeed it’s absolutely a property of nature and therefore there’s truth there. There’s something to be learned and discovered, and it can only be suppressed for so long, so. Yeah. What we’re doing is really important, even if someone does, you know, sort of put the boot on us at some point, the work will live.

CB: Yeah. And what we’ve seen also is that sometimes things that are started or are done in previous cycles don’t come to full maturation until later ones. So, you know, it may be setting a foundation for certain things that aren’t fully discovered and put together or advanced to the next level until the next cycle, but it’s at least doing or creating something that ends up having a legacy that lives on and grows and evolves.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, and this instance, this time unlike the 1700s, we’re not gonna have Uranus opposite Pluto in Aquarius-Leo. We’re gonna have Pluto opposite Uranus in Pisces-Virgo. So it’s a very – it’s gonna be a very sort of different experience, and that’ll be the culmination, but that’ll come after we’ve gone through whatever Pluto in Aquarius has in store for us.

CB: Yeah, for sure. All right. Other themes – government and major entities attempting to steal technology through espionage. I already mentioned, you know, some of the things that are going on between different companies, like East and West, that are trying to steal AI technology between each other or other things like that. Another one tied in with that is governments and entities attempting to have a monopoly on technology and the power advantage and influence that technological monopolies give. We’ve seen that with gunpowder, guns, cannons, silkworms; in modern times, it’s focusing on things like computer chips, micro processors, artificial intelligence and other things like that, and that will, you know, perhaps be the central struggle in terms of technology over the next 20 years is that whoever controls and has a monopoly on those technologies ultimately could have just like, an immense amount of power in our world and could set the tone for other countries around the world at the same time.

All right. Old technologies being merged and refined to create new weapons of war – so how developments and technology can be used to kill other humans and advancements or innovations in new forms of death and destruction. So here I’m thinking about things like drones, robots, artificial intelligence, lasers, and cyber warfare, all of which may be taken to new and sort of extreme heights as we’re already seeing that happening with many of those, but I’m sure, you know, we’ll probably see some pretty terrible things in terms of that – those technologies reaching the height of their sort of like, full maturation over the course of the next 20 years.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, obviously drones are already a thing. You know, even just on Twitter, you know, these threads come up sometimes where, you know, you see drone footage of either they’re Ukrainian drones firing on Russian soldiers or Russian drones firing on Ukrainian soldiers. It’s taken the sort of experience of war into this whole new level. I mean, I remember, you know, 30 something years ago with the First Gulf War, it seemed miraculous that we were watching a war on TV on CNN. Or before that, the overthrow of the Panamanian dictator in ‘89, which happened on live TV – Noriega. No, not Noriega – he was Nicaragua. I forget the guy’s name, but the Panamanian dictator taken down on live TV, which was during also the last Saturn-Neptune conjunction, which is something else that sort of comes into the mix here when it comes to sort of like, the spreading of information and new ways of disseminating that. There’s this perfect storm in 2025 of all these things coming together, not just Uranus in Gemini, not just Pluto in Aquarius, but this Saturn-Neptune conjunction, which I think will coincide with like, a really, you know, heavy duty moment of clarity on the world stage. Some kind of everyone seeing things for the way they really are.

CB: I don’t know if “clarity” is the keyword I would use for a Saturn-Neptune conjunction.

NDB: It’s one I would use, but yeah, amidst all the subterfuge that’s going on, but there does tend to be, you know, revelations amidst.

CB: Okay.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: Yeah. And you know, with this, the current technology and stuff for warfare, there’s gonna be questions like, you know, one of the questions currently are things like, once artificial intelligence is developed and employed in the battlefield, can it be used? Can autonomous machines should they be given the okay to like, kill humans without any human oversight, for example, is gonna be like, one of the major questions and like, ethical implications over the course of the next 20 years in terms of how that is the answer to that question and how different governments, you know, employ those technologies.

NDB: Basically the Terminator, you know. I mean, that’s, you know, that kind of super soldier, minus the time travel, but yeah. That’s the kind of thing that seems to be developing.

CB: Yeah. So some of those questions are gonna become real, like not science fiction, but like actual things that we’re talking about and are being debated in terms of the ethical implications, which then leads me into the next one, which is the experience of scientists creating something through a love of science, but then having their creation used to destroy things. So similar to – we’ve talked about, you know, gunpowder and things like that in the past, but also sort of similar to Leisa’s example with Frankenstein and some of the things that are raised in that story as like, an allegory, but the ethical implications of scientific advancements as well as the potential dangers and responsibilities that come with pushing the boundaries of knowledge. And a related theme that kept coming up was doing dangerous or risky things in the name of science and out of a love for wisdom, which is kind of an Aquarius thing and kind of a Pluto thing, where Aquarius can be doing something just out of curiosity or out of a love of science to see if it works without necessarily thinking about the implications. So I mentioned guns, but even like, hot air balloons to some extent and the riskiness of like, sending a human up into the air to see if it works and having it be successful, but then some of the things that sometimes come out of that – you think about that like, culminating eventually not too long after with like, World War II and other successive wars where airplanes become like, a major source of death and destruction.

NDB: Yeah, I mean, we were talking about the first hot air balloon, you know, manned flight in September of 1783, and it was less than two years later, June of 1785, that the first person was killed in a hot air balloon accident, so. You know, even before it found its military application. So yeah, right off the bat,you know, some of these technologies do, you know, take victims with them.

CB: Yeah. For sure. All right. Another major theme of Pluto in Aquarius was the development of the scientific method and experimentation as a major theme throughout, and I think there’s gonna be something about that in terms of it seemed like there were some successive developments in the development of like, what the scientific method was and how it should be carried out that were refined in some of these periods, and I’ll be curious if there are some major advancements when it comes to that as well.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: Another major theme was tensions between democracy and autocracy, and a theme that’s starting to emerge that’s relevant to the present but also came up in the past was like, autocratic leaders attempting to establish control through the illusion of democracy, holding elections but then controlling the results, and I know that’s an issue that’s happening like, this year for example – there’s like, a record number of different democratic votes that are supposed to take place, but in some places where there’s autocratic rulers in charge, those, you know, supposedly democratic elections are not necessarily going to be actually, you know, fair and free elections. So that’s gonna be – as well as just the tendency that we’ve seen in the past few years, it’s a little bit startling, of autocratic rulers coming into prominence in different countries and some of the democratic processes being eroded or being removed entirely. It’s a little startling seeing that, and I wonder if that’s also part of the Pluto in Aquarius sort of era that we’re moving into is an era where that’s more prominent, and if we’ll see things that are similar to like, the last Pluto in Aquarius period where there was this tension and this dragging back and forth between the forces of democracy and autocracy that at times turned like, violent.

NDB: Yeah, and also quite sort of another term I would introduce into this is “class struggle,” which wasn’t as big in the American Revolution where it really was just one specific social economic class that was doing the rebelling, or that at least that the rebelling was serving. But in the French Revolution, it really did become a kind of class war. You remember I was talking about the three estates – the aristocracy, the clergy, and the people. Well, that third estate – you know, it was common up until fairly recently to refer to the developing world as “the third world,” and that third world idea comes from the idea of the third estate – the people in the French Revolution, the masses, the ones who ultimately did rise up and sent a lot of aristocrats and generals to the guillotine. So there is an element, I think, of class struggle that comes with Pluto in Aquarius because it really is about the sort of the masses; it really is about the third estate, or if you will, the third world.

CB: Yeah, that makes sense. And sometimes the masses rising up and at other times, the attempt of the elites to like, suppress the masses from rising up.

NDB: Well, yeah. The revolution, the counter-revolution, you know, the Terror, and then the White Terror, so on and so forth. The French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, they had these same sort of forces. A civil war winds up being fought between these two factions or several factions and different factions will win out at different stages of the struggle, if you will.

CB: So another major theme is cataclysmic events that cause an irreversible shift in intellectual and social trends. So that was the one where the major example was the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and we talked about a little bit in terms of what some modern scenarios could be that would be similar to that. You know, we just had covid a few years ago and seeing that sometimes these very like, ancient, primordial disaster-type scenarios that we kind of think that we’re immune to as modern societies that are things of the past, finding out that things like that can still happen and become very relevant and can, you know, have this huge impact on the world collectively and all these different levels – I think that was a big eye opener that, you know, major things like that can still happen, so it might be a good idea to think about some of that as scenarios for what a Pluto in Aquarius type situation could look like.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, the, you know, covid broke out with the, you know, stellium in Capricorn of Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, and then Mars coming along as well in Capricorn in short order – that was, you know, those were the transits that introduced covid to the, you know, the masses. And so with Pluto going into Aqaurius, yeah, very easily could be, you know, something of that nature. I think if covid taught us one thing, it’s that we’re woefully unprepared for anything more serious than covid to hit us, you know. I mean, that was bad enough.

CB: Yeah, for sure.

NDB: If it were any more serious, it would be devastating.

CB: For sure. Yeah. And Pluto going through an air sign could be relevant there, since that was very relevant with Saturn going through Aqaruius and this like, airborne disease or like, pathogen or airborne – yeah, just thing that was taking place. So that’s relevant. Moving on – flight seemed to have been a significant theme, especially with the last one with the first human flight taking place during the last Pluto in Aquarius period. So during this one, themes like space flight, the commercialization of space flight, and having that become more and more increasingly common – like, obviously we’re already there and we’re already heading in that direction, but also even like, local air flight potentially becoming more common as well. I saw some things that are supposed to happen this year that I thought were very interesting about like, planes that can be flown locally – or not planes, but —

NDB: Drones. There are drones you can fly. You can – like, it’s a giant drone that you sit in and you can fly and you don’t need a pilot’s license. But you could conceivably fly it, you know, to the grocery store or to your girlfriend’s house across town or what have you.

CB: Right.

NDB: Yeah, it’s basically a giant drone that you fly, and they seem to be coming into the market.

CB: Yeah, there’s something major about that, that combined with not just Pluto in Aquarius but also Uranus going into Gemini soon, which is also like a transportation-type sign, really you know seems to point in that direction.

NDB: Sure. Yeah.

CB: Other themes – one that’s coming up recently that may be relevant from history but seems important is like, tensions with globalization, where being in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world but at the same time we can see countries pulling back from this recently and trying to bring production of some things back home. Because in the 1990s, there were a lot of different trade agreements set up internationally where part of the belief in like, the West, like in the United States, was that if trade was set up with places like China and some of the production was, like, outsourced to China, that it would open up and make things more democratic in different countries where democracy wasn’t as common. But then it turned out that that didn’t really happen, and now, especially after covid, some countries saw the problem with having their supply chains dependent on this whole easily flowing like, international order, so now a number of countries are bringing the production of certain things back to their own countries. Like, for example, the United States is building a – what is it? A processor plant in Arizona for microchips, basically. And there’s other countries that are doing similar things, so I’m wondering if that’s part of what we’re seeing with Pluto going into Aquarius is maybe some of those challenges to the more globalized like, interconnected world order, even though up until very recently, it seemed like, inevitable that we’re moving towards a more, you know, fully integrated and interconnected world.

NDB: Yeah, I mean, even before covid, every president since H. W. Bush has been moving the United States further and further away from this global vision, actually. It has gradually been receding, and you know, I dare say if it weren’t for the Israel and Ukrainian conflicts, you know, it would’ve receded all the more, but you know, those things have kept the United States a little more, you know, a little more involved in foreign affairs than I think they otherwise would be. But yeah, the trend right now seems to be, you know, largely towards deglobalization or at least through, you know, sort of weaning off the global influence of the United States, you know, on both parties. The United States no longer having the same interest. A lot of that global order was being kept in place because of the Cold War, you know. It was really a security measure. The United States used its naval fleet to patrol the oceans, keeping trade safe for everyone, and in return, everyone kind of agreed not to go communist, and you know, that worked for a good long while, but the United States is no longer sort of invested in patrolling the seas like that. And even if they wanted to at this point, they can’t. They’ve changed their naval fleet. So that era is largely over already, you know.

CB: I mean, maybe part of what we’re seeing then is something that gets talked about sometimes, which I feel like is sort of propaganda purposes, but maybe symbolically there’s a way that makes sense here – the notion of us moving towards a multi-polar world where there’s like, other major superpowers rather than just like, one super power of the United States that controls or everything revolves around, just because symbolically like, Aquarius is a much more social sign where things are distributed more evenly, and Pluto represents power. So maybe part of Pluto in Aquarius is a greater distribution of power, and maybe that’s really the core ultimately symbolically of what we saw with, like, the French Revolution or the American Revolution was a distributing of power more evenly rather than having it just be in the hands of like, a singular individual.

NDB: Yeah, that would make sense. And that, you know, that’s easily the way that the Pltuo in Aquarius transit could manifest. But at the same time, a lot of the other global superpowers, you know, may not just have what it takes to, you know, survive the century, really. You know, China and Russia have really dismal demographic structures that, you know, will be hard to maintain, and so, you know, if not them, tomorrow’s global superpowers could easily be, you know, I don’t know, Vietnam or Argentina or Turkey or Brazil. You know, not necessarily Russia or China. It could go in a lot of different directions by the time this transit is over.

CB: Sure. Yeah. So we’ll see. So one of the other last few notes I wrote was we’ve come as far as we have as a species partially through socializing and the power of the exchange of information among different people in different places, and how that mutual exchange and back and forth over the centuries has driven progress and technological and scientific breakthroughs. If we were more isolated than that, transmission and those breakthroughs would not have happened. This is where the Aquarius theme comes in as a social air sign, and I think there’s something really important about that that we’ll both, you know, maybe see a contraction of that but also an expansion of it in some ways. Like, what happens when we become even more hyper interconnected through the internet and through other means like that. You know, can our progress scientifically at least or another areas like that expand even faster?

NDB: Yeah.

CB: All right. As well as just being an insight about the nature of technology and why humans have done as well as a species because of our social nature, which comes partially from Aquarius as a symbol. All right. Pluto is gonna oppose the Pluto in Leo generation, and the Pluto in Leo generation were born – like, the Baby Boomers in the 1940s and early ‘50s, that generation is still very much in power in different, you know, parts of the world, and so here with Pluto in Aquarius obviously over the next 20 years between now and 2040 will hit the point where natives with Pluto in Leo will be almost a century old. So we will probably see the last, the dying off of that generation essentially, but also the dying off of that power that they still hold or maintain over various structures and levels of society. So that’s something to pay attention to. And the last point that I have, which isn’t a great conclusion point, but one of the observations I made that I mentioned on the forecast is just that in the chess world, the chess AI developed strategies that humans had never done before —

NDB: Right.

CB: — which caused human chess masters in turn to try to learn what they could from the innovations of the machines. So perhaps part of this era is humans learning from machines. So this may be an incredibly crucial point, because the greatest benefit of meeting an extraterrestrial civilization – especially one that’s smarter than humans – would be the potential to learn from them. So maybe they think about or they perceive the universe in a way that’s different than we do, and therefore they’re able to see things that we have not or cannot. Perhaps the same is true for an artificial or an alien intelligence if or when we ever meet them. You know, creating AI – AI can do things and it can think about and perceive parts of the world differently than humans can, and some of the way that it perceives the world or perceives information or data may be useful to humans and we may be able to gain insights from that that we can’t anticipate.

NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it boggles the mind. But for sure.

CB: Yeah. All right. Well, that was actually my main – my last like, summary point that I got from some of this research. Are there any other major points or things that you take from it or take from what we’ve learned from going through the history of Pluto in Aquarius or themes from the past that are obviously relevant to now or things that we can therefore like, anticipate or anything about the future?

NDB: No, apart from what we’ve already covered; I think we did a nice job. Anything I had to say, I’ve said over the course of the episode. I guess, yeah, just to remind everyone that what does distinguish this Pluto in Aquarius transit is this long trine to Uranus in Gemini that it’s gonna have that some of the past ones did not. And yeah. That changes the kind of experience it’ll be.

CB: Yeah. I think that’s a really important point, and here is a diagram actually from Archetypal Explorer that I used on the forecast which kind of shows that. But the Uranus-Pluto trine that’s forming right now and will start going exact over the next several years but really has its greatest intensity in the period – largely the period that Uranus is in Gemini between 2025 and the early 2030s.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah. Although, you know, right from the get go, you know, they’re pretty close, even in 2025, right? I mean.

CB: Oh yeah. Well, right now, this year in 2024, they’re gonna get about two degrees from each other, so —

NDB: Right. Exactly. Yeah.

CB: We’re already in a period where things are gonna start moving very quickly, like, very fast, especially with some of the technological stuff, but also with the other Pluto in Aquarius themes that we’ve talked about and that have come up during the course of this episode.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: So you know, “may you live in interesting times.” I think – was that like, a Chinese proverb? I think actually —

NDB: That is – yeah. That is a Chinese proverb. It is fitting. There’s another line that I love. Around 1972, somebody asked Zhou Enlai, who was one of the Chinese leaders – like, aside from Mao – they asked him what the effects of the French Revolution would be, and he said, “Too soon to tell.” Now, the truth is he thought they were talking about the recent uprising in Paris four years earlier in 1968, but a lot of people took that remark to mean he was talking about like, the French Revolution in the 1700s, and that it was “too soon to tell” what the effect of that French Revolution would be. And even though there was a sort of mistake in communication that created that thought, I love that idea that – as with the French Revolution, the American Revolution – it may be too soon to tell to know what like, the ultimate effect of these social experiments. And whatever unfolds over these next 20 years may sort of bring those answers a lot closer to home after being out in the wilderness for so long. So yeah, definitely may we live in interesting times; we definitely do. We definitely do.

CB: Yeah. I think we’re definitely gonna see the very highs of – heights of technological process as well as the lows of technological process and the transformative effect that it has on society and culture and religion and politics and everything else. You know, as a person with heavy Aquarius placements, I am primarily excited about that, because I tend to be more of a tech person. And I sort of marvel sometimes at just the ways that technology can be used in ways that are interesting to do things that you couldn’t do otherwise or to augment human abilities that may be, you know, allow you or enable you to do things that you couldn’t do otherwise, and I’m excited to see some of that while also having trepidation about some of the downsides. But I think it should be a really interesting 20 years, and I’m excited to see where it goes and excited to study it as an astrologer and continue documenting what’s happening in real time as we see this new era in human history start to emerge, as we have been recently, because we can really feel that we’re right on the cusp of a very important turning point. And I think it will be at the very least interesting to watch and to witness that together as astrologers.

NDB: Yeah. Amen.

CB: All right. Well. I think that’s it for this episode then, Nick. Thanks a lot for joining me for this today and thanks for helping me to get some of this research out. So this was like, you know, not super polished thing in presentation primarily just because I had done all this research for the forecast, for the year ahead forecast, couldn’t obviously mention all of this in the year ahead forecast, because Austin would have murdered me. And I think I already, you know, crammed enough in or a little bit too much more in than he was comfortable or than I should have, but this gave me the ability to get some of this other research out there, and I’m hoping that other people can pick up some of the threads that we found and then follow them to discover other things that we overlooked or hadn’t seen, and I’m sure there’s much more to be found that will help us to understand and contextualize the current era of history that we’re moving into now. So I look forward to – I hope some people will like, leave comments on the YouTube video for this episode if they find other things, and let us know if you find other discoveries, and I look forward to seeing some of that future research.

NDB: Yeah, it’ll be interesting. You know, hopefully we’re both still around 20 years from now when Pluto’s going into Pisces and you know, we can go back and watch this episode and have a laugh or maybe be impressed. Or maybe be embarrassed – who knows? But yeah. Hopefully we make it.

CB: Yeah, well, at the very least, hopefully there’s like, an AI representation of myself that’s like, entertained by how things went 20 years ago and can appreciate it even if I am not around in my current physical form. But speaking of current physical forms, like, what are you up to? What are you working on, and what do you have going on?

NDB: Yeah. Well, I’m finally releasing more files from my research database, so they can be found at the shop section of my website, NickDaganBestAstrologer.com, so. Yeah, if you enjoyed what I was offering on Chris’s site a few months ago, there’s a lot more. There’s files on Russian history, French history, there’s a whole file of deaths. There’s another whole file of marriages. And I’m gonna be putting a bunch of biographical ones up over the next few months as well as I polish them off. So yeah, I’ve been working hard on this, and I hope my fellow researchers out there will make good use of them. And besides that, as always, I’m doing astrology consultations seven days a week. I’m available for booking at NickDaganBestAstrologer.com under the consultations tab, and yeah, if you’re looking for an astrologer for all your astrology needs, your electionals, your rectifications, your general chart readings, your burning questions, whatever have you, I’m available and look forward to hearing from all your viewers.

CB: Cool. And what’s your website again?

NDB: NickDaganBestAstrologer.com.

CB: Awesome. I’ll put a link to that in the description below this episode on YouTube or on the podcast website for this episode. As for myself, my main things are if you wanna study astrology with me and how to read birth charts and what my approach to astrology is, I teach a course on ancient astrology, on Hellenistic astrology, through my website and through my course site at TheAstrologySchool.com. And otherwise, if you wanna support this work and support this research that I’m doing, I have an amazing group of patrons that support The Astrology Podcast through my page on patreon.com and give me the ability to do these extended excursions where I go through and do all this historical research and then present it to people for free. So if you’d like to support that work and in exchange get access to bonus content like early access to new episodes, then go to Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast to sign up and support me through Patreon. Otherwise —

NDB: I forgot! I forgot! The Astrology Livestream – Patrick Watson and I also have a new YouTube channel, so YouTube.com/TheAstrologyLivestream. Every Sunday, Patrick and I are doing sort of more organized livestreams than we were doing in 2023. We just did a four-hour episode on the astrology of Napoleon’s life. Before that, we did a really excellent forecast episode on 2024. We have a lot of really exciting things coming up, so yeah, check us out on our YouTube channel, The Astrology Livestream on YouTube, and we also have a Patreon – that’s what reminded me, Chris mentioning his Patreon. So yeah – come check that out as well. Sorry I forgot to mention that earlier. And we have a website – TheAstrologyLivestream.com.

CB: Cool. Well I definitely encourage people to join and to watch that curiously titled and well titled TheAstrologyLivestream.com —

NDB: It’s Watson’s fault, man! I wanted a different name.

CB: Okay. No, it’s a good name. I think the keyword is really good, and I think it’s good, and I give you permission – you have my blessings.

NDB: Thank you, thank you.

CB: All right. Well, I think that’s it. Thanks a lot for joining me for this episode, Nick.

NDB: Thank you! Thank you as always, Chris.

CB: All right. And thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast and we’ll see you again next time.

If you appreciate the work I’m doing here on the podcast and you’d like to find a way to support it, then consider becoming a patron through my page on Patreon.com. In exchange, you’ll get access to some great subscriber benefits, including early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the forecast each month, our monthly Auspicious Elections Podcast, which is only available to patrons, a whole exclusive podcast series called The Casual Astrology Podcast, or you can even get your name listed in the credits. You can find out more information at Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.

A shout out to our sponsor for this episode, which is the CHANI App, the number one astrology app for self-discovery, mindfulness, and healing. You can download it on the Apple App Store or on Google Play, or for more information, visit app.chani.com.

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 shout out to the patrons on our Producers tier, including patrons Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Jeanne Marie Kaplan, and Melissa DeLano.

If you’re looking for a reliable astrologer to get an astrological consultation with, then we have a new list of astrologers on the podcast website that we recommend for readings. Most of the astrologers specialize in birth chart readings, although some also offer synastry, rectification, electional astrology, horary questions and more. Find out more information at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/Consultations.

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.

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 a hundred 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 in 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. And the Northwest Astrological Conference, which is happening both in person and online May 23-27, 2024. You can find out more information at norwac.net.