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The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 444 Transcript: Jupiter-Uranus Conjunctions in History

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 444, titled:

Jupiter-Uranus Conjunctions in History

With Chris Brennan and Richard Tarnas

Episode originally released on April 21, 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 April 29th, 2024

Copyright © 2024 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. Joining me today is astrologer Richard Tarnas who’s going to be talking with me about Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions and what they’ve coincided with in history. So hey, Richard – thanks for joining me today.

RICHARD TARNAS: It’s a pleasure. It’s good to be coming back for… That first one that we did about three years ago was kind of a marathon, and it’s fun to go deeply into a subject such as we did then.

CB: Yeah. That was the capstone of my entire planets series when we did Pluto and it ended up being one of the episodes that I think has impacted people the most and it’s gotten like, a crazy amount of views over the past few years. So this weekend, there’s a Jupiter-Uranus alignment that’s taking place where there’s a conjunction happening in Taurus on April 20th. Today is Wednesday, April 17th, 2024 for those curious. And so I was researching this and wanting to do an episode on it, and I was rereading parts of your book, and then I realized who best to talk about that than one of the people who’s perhaps done the most to research what that’s coincided with in history, because that was a major component that you dedicated a few chapters to in Cosmos and Psyche, right?

RT: That’s right. There were four big outer planet alignments and cycles that I studied in detail. I mean, I discuss other ones as well, but the four that I discussed in detail included the Jupiter-Uranus cycle, which is really one of the – in some ways, it’s almost the most dazzling one, partly because it repeats itself more frequently on a 14-year cycle compared with say, the Uranus-Pluto cycle or the Uranus-Neptune or the Neptune-Pluto cycle, which is of course the longest amongst those particular outer planets. And so there’s something about the Jupiter-Uranus combination in history that seems to come through with a particular flashy brilliance, and because of its frequency in taking place every 14 years with the opposition halfway in between each seven years, it really provides a fantastic database for tracking carefully historical, cultural events, trends, phenomena that perfectly correlate with the meanings of Jupiter and Uranus as astrologers have come to recognize over the centuries. And particularly that kind of mutually enhancing quality that those two archetypes have because Jupiter expands whatever it touches and it elevates, it kind of brings – it’s almost a celebratory energy, that Jupiterian honoring whatever archetype it touches. And the fact that it’s touching the Uranus, which has so much to do with things that stand out in a brilliant way and that mark creative beginnings and sudden breakthroughs and exciting changes, various advances in all the different areas of human activity – it really provides just a fantastic set of historical data for tracking carefully not only the synchronicity or the synchronization of those alignments with cultural phenomena, but also it allows us to see what I call the multivalence, the range of meanings that Jupiter and Uranus each bring to that complex when they combine. And so it helps us see how light and shadow – yeah, the different meanings of Uranus – rebellious, creative, unpredictable, et cetera – how those get activated simultaneously whenever Jupiter touches it, particularly the conjunction and later we can look at the opposition, but the conjunctions are certainly quite dramatic.

CB: Yeah. So this conjunction only takes place every 14 years, and it lasts for about 14 months if you’re using a 15-degree orb that you use in Cosmos and Psyche, so that gives you a pretty on the one hand, somewhat narrow range in terms of looking at outer planet cycles to narrow in and see what types of events are taking place. And yeah, you demonstrated that it tends to coincide with major periods of scientific breakthroughs and advancements, periods of revolution and sometimes rebellion or upheaval to some extent, and that when the two planets come together, like you were saying, because they have somewhat complementary or synergistic energy, they seem to reinforce some of each other’s inclinations for things like the impulse for freedom, for example, which both of those planets share archetypally.

RT: Yes. And both have a kind of let’s call it a supportive energy that they bring to whatever other planet they come into alignment with and into archetypal interaction with. So for example, while Jupiter tends to activate and support whatever it’s touching in a more elevating, expansive, honoring way, magnifying it, bringing it success, et cetera – Uranus, whatever it touches, tends to activate in a kind of brilliant way. In a way that flashes forth out of the status quo. In a sense, Uranus is the very principle of what opposes the status quo, which is related to the Saturn archetype, the fact that you have, you know, Saturn likes to resist change and keep stability, keep security, keep the past in the present, keep the foundations solid, and Uranus is the very principle of change and restlessness with the current status quo. So that tendency when these two, both of which tend to positively support – sometimes problematically, I don’t wanna – that’s the one thing about the Jupiter-Uranus combination. It’s an exciting one; it tends to bring, you know, Ebertin, the German astrologer and cosmobiologist, he had this wonderful description of it. He said, “So many people when they have the Jupiter-Uranus transit say, “Thank the lord!” or “Thank god!” not because they know they had the transit, but because of the events that they went through. Like some sudden relief from a constraining situation or a sudden breakthrough that they weren’t expecting. And that sort of “thank god” or “thank the lord” transit as Ebertin called it is – it gives us a very sort of positive predisposition towards this alignment. But every single archetypal complex has its shadow. And in some ways, Jupiter-Uranus can be pretty tricky that way, because its shadow is so veiled below the surface of its glitter, so to speak.

CB: Yeah. Well, I found some keywords that you put together in a document that was titled, “Notes on Planetary Archetypes,” which is like, an unpublished reference guide, right?

RT: Yes, I… There’s a history behind that. I mean, Rob Hand and I talked maybe 40 years ago in the like, later ‘70s, I think, early ‘80s, we talked about doing a kind of update of The Combinations of Stellar Influences that Ebertin… You know, for many people, in Rob Hand’s, Charles Harvey’s, my generation of astrologers that – Combinations of Stellar Influences was a kind of bible for understanding the archetypal complexes. He didn’t use the word “archetypes,” which was a more Jungian and Platonic word term, but the essence, he’s very good at – this is Ebertin – very good at getting at the principles behind all the keywords that people tend to use when they talk about planets, but it really needed updating. A lot of the combinations have almost no positive quality because he had a pretty challenging biography, you know.

CB: He was writing it in World War II.

RT: Exactly. So it’s, there’s a lot of focus on the shadow. But more than that, there’s just, you know, we have a much richer sense of the archetypal principles that are particularly connected to the planets that we’ve done the most research on, which of course include the ones visible to the ancients out through Saturn – Sun and Moon, of course – but then the three planets that were discovered 18th, 19th, 20th century – Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Even though there’s more bodies being discovered in this last half-century, there’s a more or less universal consensus amongst practicing astrologers who use the outer planets out through Pluto about what their meanings are. Plus, we have tremendous amount of historical research for those planets. So what Rob and I wanted to do was to kind of update all those. We didn’t get to it, with our different projects and particularly because I ended up becoming a professor. And when you’re a professor, you have a lot of legitimate people who have legitimate claims on your time, and it was difficult to write all the books that I might have, but Cosmos and Psyche got out there. But after I finished that, I thought I still want to at least begin the, create a kind of skeletal foundation for a handbook of the planetary archetypes, and so that’s what that is.

CB: Sure.

RT: I make it freely available to people and I think the Archetypal Explorer website that one of my past students put together, Kyle Leimetter, that’s a very skillful use of both that material that I put into this skeleton guide to the archetypes and also he does it with great visuals that I think you actually may have access to those right there.

CB: Yeah. So I thought it would be good to read an excerpt from some of those significations that are given on Archetypal Explorer from that handbook you wrote, first for each of the planets individually, just to get a sense of their meaning, and then in combination with one another. So here first is the significations of Jupiter. Do you wanna do the honors?

RT: Sure. This would be especially for people who are listening to this as they’re walking or driving. So this is Jupiter. Expansion and magnitude. Fullness. Growth and progress. Elevation and ascendancy. Breadth and height. Success and good fortune. Honor and recognition. Abundance. Well-being. Happiness. Pride. Confidence. Also aggrandizement. Inflation and excess. Those shadow sides. Broadening horizons. Larger wholes. Greater understanding and meaning. Philosophy and concern with moral principle. Higher education. High culture. And then, of course, connected to the Greek god Zeus, king of Olympus. The Roman Jupiter. One could add the Babylonian Marduk and so forth. Every, or many, of the world’s mythologies, cultural mythological traditions have some Jupiterian figure. Even something like Ganesh in Indian pantheon really reflects that Jupiterian quality of good fortune and abundance.

CB: Right. So it’s this principle of growth and expansion on the one hand with Jupiter, and then Uranus is this different energy, and here’s your excerpt from Uranus.

RT: Sudden change. Sudden opening and awakening. Inventive and creative breakthrough. Brilliance. Breakthrough. Rebellion against constraights and the status quo. Freedom. Erraticness. Eccentricity. Instability. Unpredictability. Technological advance. Electricity. The impulse towards novelty and the new. The unexpected and disruptive. The creative rebel trickster energy that you find in so many mythologies. And then the Greek sky god Ouranos, which Uranus clearly is connected to with its strong impulse towards the heavens, towards the cosmos, towards space exploration, astronomy, astrology, et cetera. But it also seems to be deeply connected to the Prometheus archetype, which singularly carries that combination of Prometheus was a rebel against the old gods, he was a trickster, and in fact that was his main appellation that the poet Hesiod gave him. And then he’s also a creator. Not only in some myths the creator of human beings but in other myths creating the liberation of humanity that brought a kind of creation of humanity through Prometheus’s fire, which is a great symbol of what Uranus brings – that sudden flash of insight, the creative breakthrough, the inspiration. The fire of artistic inspiration or scientific insight, genius, et cetera. So anyway, so that’s – and the trickster and the creator, the rebel, that archetypal principle is carried in many different mythological traditions, but —

CB: Yeah.

RT: — special resonance with Prometheus.

CB: Yeah. In a recent episode with Demetra George on the origins of the planetary myths in astrology just a couple months ago, her and I talked about how the project to assign the names of certain Greek gods to the planets seems to have been a project that was carried out by members of Plato’s academy some time around 375 BCE. And they were partially doing an imitation to connect to the Greek gods with some of the earlier Mesopotamian gods, like connected Jupiter or Zeus to Marduk in the Mesopotamian tradition, but it was interesting that they had to make certain judgment calls like with the Greek god Ares. For Mars, they picked the god of war that matched one part of the Mesopotamian god Nergal, but it didn’t match certain other parts like that Nergal was a god of the underworld, which would have been a better match then for the god Hades, for example, as the god of the underworld. So it was interesting there and it made me think about what you were doing in the 1980s with your book about Uranus being associated with Prometheus and that sometimes while there are these synchronistic connections with the name that a planet is assigned being the name that’s kind of meant for it in some way, there’s still a history there or a precedence for like, corrections perhaps being made or adding other parts of the archetype based on what arises empirically.

RT: Yes. In fact, and that synchronistic way of coming to at least an initial understanding of a particular planetary meaning also evidences itself with Uranus’s connection to Prometheus because there was no period in human history that more celebrated the Prometheus myth, the archetype. Shelley is born, who wrote Prometheus Unbound, he was born very close to the time of the discovery of Uranus. 1781, of course, is like exactly halfway in between the American Revolution and the French Revolution’s beginnings. It is also at the height of the Enlightenment, the beginning of Romanticism, the celebration of the individual genius like Beethoven or Goethe. Also the sweeping away of the social political status quo across the world that happened within those two decades right after the discovery of Uranus. It’s as if the Prometheus archetype – Goethe wrote a poem about Prometheus as well, besides Shelley – but it’s as if the entire collective psyche got this awakening of the Promethean principle and the discovery of Uranus, which I think Uranus was chosen, finally, you know, they went through a series of name changes with that first planet, that modern period. So it’s as if that entire period surrounding the later 18th century discovery of Uranus by William Herschel represented this awakening of the principle that is connected to the planet Uranus.

The choice of the name Uranus came in a series of names that were nominated for it, because William Herschel who made the discovery, he wanted to call it Georgium Sidus, the star of George, which King George the 3rd was his patron sovereign in England. This didn’t go over really well with the French, who called the new body, called it Herschel. That’s where we get that H from in the glyph for Uranus.

But then the next step was finally Johann Elert Bode, the German astronomer, we know him from Bode’s Law, for example. He suggested the name Uranus, and the reason he suggested that was partly that it’s the god of the skies, and this planet, it expanded the solar system by – made it twice as big because Uranus is twice as far from the earth as Saturn is, or from the Sun. But the other reason is that Ouranos as a sky god in Greek myth was the father of Kronos, Saturn, who was the father of Jupiter, Zeus, who in turn was the father of Mars, Mercury, and Venus – Ares, Aphrodite, Hermes. So you could, this is the patriarchal, patrilineal tradition that was dominant in ancient Greek myth at the time the myths got kind of formulated in the form that we continue to refer to. But in addition, you know, patriarchy was highly dominant in the late 18th century. So it’s partly a patriarchal choice rather than one that was a reflection of the archetypal insight of the discoverers who were, after all, not astrologers at that point; they were astronomers living with a cosmology that no longer viewed the celestial bodies and the heavens as carrying profound archetypal meaning or anything like that. They were looking at it in a disenchanted way.

So the recognition that Prometheus was, in a way, a more comprehensive figure that, you know, comprehensively carries the meanings of the planet Uranus as we see it in birth charts and personal transits and progressions and world transits, I think what we just need to recognize that every cultural mythology and any name that a planet is given is going to reflect multiple factors. And the deeper archetypal meaning of a given planet is something that will need to be gradually intuited. And so it was Dane Rudhyar who first recognized that the discovery of each of these outer three planets – Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, which were the ones he was familiar with then writing in the 1960s – he recognized that each of these planetary discoveries coincided with a period in history, 10, 20, 30 years of each side of the discovery – sometimes he and others would talk about it really as representing the whole century, the 18th, 19th, 20th century, that each one of these centuries or these periods of the discovery coincided with an awakening of that particular planetary archetype. And the further we get into an understanding of these planetary archetypes, the richer it becomes. These are great gods and goddesses that are, so to speak, powerful archetypal transcendent essences and forces that are superordinate to any given specific cultural myth, because each culture is gonna represent an era in history and a particular cultural take that will give a particular inflection to the meaning of that planet, or of that myth in this case. Yet there seems to be, even though there are many, let’s say, mother archetypes, many mother mythic figures of the Great Mother that comes through in so many different cultures in their myths, but there’s one superordinate transcendent principle of the Great Mother – capital G, capital M – that seems to be informing all the different specific cultural inflections of that higher archetype. And so that’s why we always have to keep in mind that no culture is going to have a lock on the full meaning of any given powerful archetypal principle. The planets are there for the whole earth for all history, for all cultures, but just as astrology evolves, just as religion evolves, so also does our potential understanding of these archetypes evolve according to what culture we’re in, what era we’re in, and so forth.

CB: Sure. Although it raises another issue, which is the difference between or – I think the Prometheus point raises a point about the necessity sometimes of making adjustments to astrology based on what arises through empirical observations of, you know, what are these planetary movements actually correlated with, what events can we connect them with in history or culture or contemporary events or past events, and then letting that – the empiricism – dictate what meanings we ascribe to the planets. And that, you know, is gonna come up very strongly here in this episode when we start getting into events talking about what have Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions actually coincided with in history and then drawing conclusions as a result of those past alignments, as opposed to making assumptions just based on the myths or meanings, which themselves are often just an accumulation of collective understandings from the past that involved empirical observations as well.

RT: That’s very well put. I think it’s quite an important point to take in, because there can be a tendency as soon as a new body is discovered and the astronomers give a name to it, they may give a sort of holding place name to begin with and then another one is given official recognition by the Astronomical Union or whatever. And that tendency among astrologers to sometimes just take the name that’s been given and run with it and try to get all the meanings out of that planet can be misleading. And you know, we see it with Uranus. Remember that the myth of Ouranos is the myth of a god who resisted change, who didn’t want rebels, didn’t want rebelion, tried to stop his children from being born and so forth, and there was a… And so it was actually a combination of Prometheus and Zeus who overthrew – Prometheus helped Zeus overthrow – well, excuse me, Kronos overthrew Ouranos, and then Zeus overthrew Kronos with Prometheus’s help. But my point is that the Ouranos is a god that, while he covers a lot of the territory that we relate to the astrological Urnaus in terms of that connection with astronomy, astrology, the cosmic, the heavens, the impulse towards space, et cetera – it also as a myth is inadequate for our understanding of how Uranus comes through in our lives all the time and in history, namely as something that brings sudden breakthroughs and creative awakenings and rebellions against the old order and so forth. That is much better carried by Prometheus. I know some people, like James Hillman the archetypal psychologist, when he’d be talking about his chart or somebody else’s, instead of referring to Uranus, he would just call it Prometheus. He just had made the switch. And I see that every once in a while among others too, but I think it’s – the name Uranus has its tradition, it has its value, it has its appropriateness. And it’s in a sense perhaps somewhat appropriate that behind the scenes of Ouranos, there’s Prometheus with the unexpected larger range of meanings that that myth brings.

CB: Yeah. Maybe the conclusion is just it doesn’t have to be either/or but both. And I was actually surprised with Demetra to find that in the student of Plato, in the text the Epinomis, where the planets were first given Greek names of gods, he actually named the sphere of the fixed stars Ouranos. So there was a precedent where it set up that sequence of like, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, going back to the 4th century BCE. I don’t know if the later astronomers were aware of that at all – you know, probably not, but – yeah, so either, maybe it’s —

RT: Right.

CB: — both, rather than being one or the other.

RT: Yeah. No, I think that’s good. In fact, all human knowledge progresses by this kind of combination or a kind of feedback loop between what we’re empirically recognizing and our intuitive understanding and starting principles and assumptions, et cetera, and theories. You constantly have to have the evidence, the empirical side, correcting, deepening, expanding the theory, but you cannot engage the mass of chaotic phenomena out there without some kind of an ordering structure to begin with just to start to – even though you’ll need to correct it and revise it endlessly, but – we need to have ways of highlighting what’s important, what we’re looking for, et cetera. So we really need both, and that’s great that you and Demetra talked about this point, because yeah, it seems to be… Some scholars think that Plato wrote the Epinomis; other people, other scholars, believe that it was a close student of his at the academy that wrote it very much in a Platonic spirit, but there’s, even though Plato was gesturing towards an astrological worldview in some of his earlier dialogues that we know he wrote, like the Laws for example, but – which the Epinomis comes right after – but the Epinomis is more explicitly astrological and seems to reflect a later cultural moment in terms of integrating the Babylonian, Mesopotamian astrological tradition and making those correlations with the names. I think that’s interesting what you brought up before about the Mars and the underworld connection – Ares – and the fact that Mars and Pluto have always had a kind of special kinship in certain ways. You’re familiar with, of course, the lower octave and higher octave idea of Mars and Pluto, Neptune as a higher octave of Venus, Uranus as a higher octave of Mercury, that used to be taught a lot. And there’s definite truth in that, although I think we might call Pluto the lower octave of Mars rather than —

CB: Sure.

RT: — the upper one, but —

CB: Yeah, for sure.

RT: — they’re really connected. And Scorpio, of course, used to be ruled by Mars. You know, many astrologers associate Pluto with Scorpio.

CB: Yeah, that’s one of the interesting connections. So with Prometheus, you went into this more, and people can find your book Prometheus the Awakener: An Essay on the Archetypal Meaning of the Planet Uranus. What year was that published again? I’m seeing conflicting things.

RT: Right. Well, that’s because I actually wrote it back in late ‘78, 1979, during my first Saturn return, and then James Hillman – let’s see, it was first published by the NCGR Journal in 1981 and then James Hillman published it in the spring journal of Jungian thought, Archetypal Psychology and Jungian Thought, in 1983, but then he wanted to publish it in a book form in the 1990s as a small book. And I think first a group in Oxford, England, published it in ‘95, I think, and then the next year, I think, is when Hillman’s Spring Publications brought it out.

CB: I’m seeing —

RT: It also been published, actually, in a lot of European journals back in the ‘80s.

CB: Okay. I was seeing dates of ‘93 and ‘98 for whatever reason, whatever versions those are.

RT: Yeah, that’s interesting. And maybe ‘93 would have been the Oxford one. ‘98 would have been, I think, a later edition of the Spring Publications by Hillman. Anyway —

CB: Okay.

RT: — you can see it had an evolving history.

CB: Cool. All right. So let’s – we’ve talked about Jupiter, we’ve talked about Uranus. Let’s talk about their combination together. And with this following in that tradition of Reinhold Ebertin and the cosmobiologists, you’ve sort of divided it into sort of positive or plus sign delineation and then a challenging one. So this is the positive set of significations.

RT: Yes. So here with this combination on the positive side – impulse for greater freedom and change. Experiencing sudden expansion of consciousness. Creative breakthroughs. Unexpected good fortune. Buoyantly energizing experiences. Intellectual or artistic brilliance. Suddenly broadened horizons. Unexpected happy openings. Peak experiences. Quantum leaps. Celebratory fireworks. Joyful wonder.

By the way, as we’re going through these, it’s helpful, I think, and this is true for any of our listeners or any students of astrology or teachers of astrology – when you’re looking at descriptions of a particular transit or natal aspect that’s in the astrological textbooks and cookbooks, always look at what keywords they’re using when you’re looking at the combination and see where is, in this case, where is Jupiter coming in and where is Uranus coming in? So when you have something like “suddenly broadened horizons,” well, the suddenly quality is coming from Uranus. It acts – it suddenly brings its manifestations. The broadening is the Jupiter. “Unexpected happy openings” – the unexpected is Uranus; the happy opening is, well, the happy is Jupiter. The opening has both a Jupiter and a Uranus quality. “Peak experiences” – you know, it’s that combination of Uranus brilliance and the Jupiter successful elevation or expansion. So to keep —

CB: Right, it’s the way the sentences are – it structures a sentence, the astrological combination of different archetypal significators forms a grammar that astrologers then attempt to articulate.

RT: That’s right. And a lot of times, it’s just unconscious. It goes into each – I mean, to the extent that the astrologer is accurate in describing what happens in particular aspects and transits and so forth, to that extent, it’s gonna carry the meaning of the archetype. But often, astrological books and articles are not written with a kind of constant focus on well, what’s the deep, underlying, superordinate archetype that’s informing what I’m saying? They’ve got their keywords there. They’ve got their characteristic examples, et cetera. But it’s very helpful for us to – in James Hillman’s terms, you want to see through the surface to the god, to the goddess, to the archetype that’s informing that particular result. So just to finish off here – astonishment. Wow – people often say “wow” at the time they’re going through a Jupiter-Uranus moment. Sudden happy release from constraint or peril. Successful rebellion against limits. Fortunate, sudden change. The happy trickster. Successful new beginnings. Exuberant freedom. See the exuberance comes from Jupiter; the freedom is Uranus. Scientific breakthroughs. Sudden cultural advances. The happy wanderer or adventurer. The impulse to travel and expand one’s world, to visit foreign lands and cultures. Prolific creativity. Rebirth. Sudden lightening of one’s burden. Feeling suddenly brighter and lighter. Boundless playfulness. The happy eternal child, the puer eternus in Latin or in the Jungian depth psychology tradition. And then —

CB: Right —

RT: — the negative, shall we look at that?

CB: Yeah. So those were – is that how you phrase it? Like, I was always curious what your phraseology is. Is it positive and negative, or…

RT: Yeah. If we can use the negative without… I often speak about it the way many astrologers talk about hard aspects and soft aspects, namely, you know… The thing about hard aspects – they tend to be harder, they tend to be more challenging. They do force us to come to terms with the energies involved. They tend to manifest in specific events and so forth that need to be dealt with. They create greater inner pressures to express themselves. But when a person has worked with a hard aspect in their natal chart or with an ongoing transit, and they really have worked on it, worked through it, integrated it, that hard aspect can become very much like a soft aspect, like a trine or a sextile, except with greater potency.

Hard aspects like the quadrature aspects, the conjunction, the opposition, and the two squares, those can really be integrated in such a way that eventually, they can become the strongest conspicuous positive qualities in a person whom we really admire. You study the charts of people who you really find admirable, and they often have hard aspects related between the two planets that are most connected to their admirable quality. And often, the most – the times in their lives which we look back on as the most admirable are often when they went through hard aspect transits that they worked through or they integrated. They found the inner resources and courage to assimilate and to face the shadow side of it and to turn that potent energy into a more life-enhancing form of expression. So what I’m describing here with the negative side of the Jupiter-Uranus alignments, which tends to be something that happens with hard aspects to begin with until they are more greatly assimilated.

But people who have soft aspects like the trine or the sextile, but particularly I think the trine, they can actually – there’s such an ease and flow between the two energies that they can actually become expressed in that person’s life in a problematic way. And Jupiter-Uranus, for all its wonderful gifts and sudden breakthroughs and rebirth, joy, and so forth, it also can be quite dangerous because it is so encouraging of almost like, “nothing can stop us now. It’s just blue skies ahead.” And that, there’s a tendency with the Jupiter-Uranus combination to not see any shadow.

CB: Sure.

RT: A great – you know, compared to Saturn-Pluto that can see shadow in many places. There’s a great thing that Mae West said once, and she’s born with a Jupiter-Uranus opposition, and she said, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful,” which perfectly describes – first of all, of course, she’s a Uranian trickster herself, but also very exuberant, Jupiterian – but in her embrace of excess, she is very much reflecting that Jupiter-Uranus like, too much of a good thing is like, too much Jupiter is wonderful. It’s a way of comically describing this tendency here.

CB: Yeah.

RT: So just to read the problematic side of Jupiter-Uranus, keeping in mind that this is not confined just to hard aspects. Soft aspects can go this way if they are not properly worked with, integrated, and in a sense have a healthy balance with the Saturn principle within you that can bring in wise and prudent limits and good sense of judiciousness.

So Jupiter-Uranus – sense of being unconstrained by all limits. Over the top. Going off the deep end. Excessive gambling optimism. Drive for excessive change and variety. Manic energy. Sudden excess of wealth or fame. Too much too fast. Unexpected major change or disruption. Superficial glitter and dazzle. Fool’s gold. Desire for instant success. Conflated drive for unfettered freedom beyond all responsibilities or limitations. Disastrously overconfident risk-taking. The myth of Icarus – Icarus, of course, being the young boy who flies too close to the Sun and melts his wings. And I once was at a conference on the island of Icaria in Greece in the Aegean Sea, and Icaria is named after Icarus, that myth, and they had out in the sea off the shore off the coastline there, they have a big kind of sculpture showing Icarus falling into the ocean.

CB: All right. So let’s see. Other preliminary things before we jump into talking about some events. So you use a 15 degree orb where the alignment remains operative, and that was your sort of like, guiding line through Cosmos and Psyche which gives approximately like, a 14-month period for each Jupiter-Uranus alignment, although you describe it pretty clearly in the book that it’s kind of like a wave that peaks around the time of the exact conjunction, but that there’s a period of building up and coming down from that in a sense. Is that the way you’d describe it, or how would you —

RT: Yes.

CB: — describe that?

RT: That’s good. I mean, basically, I should say that when I started the research, I was more finding, recognizing like, more like a 10-degree orb for the big conjunctions and oppositions in world history, in world transits, the mundane cyclical alignments. I started closer to 10 degrees because empirically that seemed pretty obvious from the historical record, but as I kept working with it systematically, it was quite clear that it really is more like 15 degrees. Which, you know, when we look out at the Full Moon each month, the Full Moon, there’s two nights when it appears to be full, and those two nights are like, encompass the 15 degrees before and 15 degrees after exact alignment. And when it’s gotten past 15 degrees, you can start to see that it’s no longer a perfect globe. So it was more the data that obliged me to expand the orb; I didn’t start with it. In addition, and particularly with Jupiter and Uranus, you can just, I could track things month by month. I went through so many different biographies, history books, chronologies and so forth, and you could track month by month when the breakthroughs happen, the beginning of the new creative phenomenon, et cetera. And it was quite clear that there was this kind of bell curve.

The only thing I would, I’ve come to recognize even more clear – well, I do mention this in Cosmos and Psyche in a couple places, but I wanna emphasize it now. And that is the fact that unlike personal transios where there is a kind of, you know, ascent or cresting up to exactitude and then once that planet moves past exact and starts moving several degrees past, there is a distinct lessening of the intensity and frequency of the synchronistic events and experiences. But when you’re looking at world transits, it seems to, there’s a way in which as it reaches exact, more and more individuals as well as cultural streams and projects and communities and groups have initiated Jupiter-Uranus kinds of things, or Uranus-Pluto kinds of things. Saturn-Pluto, whatever it happens to be. And so those things have come into, you know, clear manifestation by exactitude, but they keep unfolding after exact so that, you know, you have like the space program during the ‘60s. Yes, it was really cooking in the mid-60s when Uranus and Pluto were conjoined; of course it was opposite Saturn, the Uranus-Pluto conjunction was opposite Saturn during those mid-60s when it was exact. But then the Moon landing and in many ways the climax of that whole tremendous Plutonic empowerment of the Promethean impulse to break the bounds of gravity, reach the Moon, technological breakthrough, unprecedented, et cetera, that happened in 1969 after exact. And in many ways, we could see that what we call the ‘60s, as many historians say, really went into the early ‘70s, which is exactly coincident with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction reaching the 15-degree mark afterwards. And in fact, that was the last time we had – 1972, the last time Uranus and Pluto were within that orb – that was the last time that there was a Moon landing with human beings and manned landing on the Moon was in ‘72.

So and you see this over and over again that, with world transits, same with this Jupiter-Uranus conjunction we’re right in the middle of right now and reaches exact in a week, that’s a lot of things are being set in motion now that will keep manifesting and in many ways get more visible to the public as time passes. And so we can watch this waveform, in a sense, continuing to have its impact well after exact alignment and even after the orb of 15 degrees has been reached. You see it with feminism, for example. Yes, it clearly emerges with a tremendous potency all through the 1960s, starting by the way with Betty Friedan’s – under, she wrote and finished The Feminine Mystique, which kind of helped initiate the feminist movement in the ‘60s. That was completed in ‘62 right when Rachel Carson was beginning the ecological movement at that time. Hardly anybody knew that each of those were coming through at that time. That’s why I emphasize it’s like, hidden births, but it gets more and more powerful until by the time you get to 1968, ‘69 when Jupiter comes into the triple conjunction with Uranus-Pluto, Jupiter was opposite Uranus and Pluto back in ‘62. But in ‘68 and ‘69, they’re in a tight triple conjunction, and that’s when radical feminism comes into being as well as the great space landing, breakthroughs, and many other cultural manifestations, Woodstock, music reaching a kind of peak of creativity and so forth. But feminism keeps unfolding, stronger and strong – it keeps unfolding after that time. Yes, it’s initiated then, but it doesn’t just – because my main point is that these alignments don’t just turn on and off like a lightswitch. It’s much more of a waveform with a tremendous amount of continuity. And then whatever archetypal waveform is coming into the culture at a given time, it’s not coming into a blank slate. It’s coming into an ongoing historical continuum that this new energy will stimulate, modify, bring to new expression and so forth in whatever is the appropriate archetypal way, manner, that reflects those planets. But it’s always working with the raw material that’s already there. And so that’s why I like to think of these big, cyclical alignments like the conjunction and the opposition of the outer planets as there’s a constant sort of spiralic, just as the Sun is moving, our star is moving, through the galaxy and the planets are revolving around the Sun as it’s moving through the galaxy, those planets are creating spirals. And in many ways, these cyclical alignments aren’t just circular, they’re also spiralic because they’re building on what happened before and it’s further down the road and so you can track real progressive advances of a particular archetypal impulse as it’s coming through in the culture when you relate what’s going on in this conjunction with what happened under the preceding conjunctions and oppositions and so forth going back in history. These are like pulses. They’re pulses of archetypal energy that come through in cultural waveforms that inform the collective psyche, possess the collective psyche in certain ways, but always in complex combination with other planetary cycles that are going on and in combination and in a synthesis with what the raw material is in the historical ground that it’s now coming in and is transforming. Hope that’s clear, but I’m trying to convey this larger almost metaphysics of what we’re seeing here.

CB: Yeah, I was looking for a graphic, because in the documentary Changing of the Gods that came out a few years ago they had a great animation of that, of the solar system where we always picture it as the planets revolving around the Sun but then showing that our solar system is also moving forward in space, which turns it into more of a spiral rather than something that’s just two-dimensional.

RT: That’s right. I had actually urged the filmmakers to create that, include that graphic because – it’s a animation – because it so well conveys just what we’re talking about here archetypally, not just astronomically, but also historically and archetypally. And it helps lead to the kind of final point that I made in episode one of Changing of the Gods, which I kind of summarized by saying these great cycles, these great conjunctions and cyclical alignments seem to me – and you can see it in Cosmos and Psyche in the narrative as it unfolds – there is an arch of the moral universe. It moves, it’s long, it moves slowly, although with quantum leaps at Jupiter-Uranus moments and other Uranian inflections, but it is overall, there is a movement whereby every new alignment of that cycle will build on what happened before, and that’s where we come in in terms of bringing our courage and imagination and insight into, and greater level of consciousness generally, into our expression of any given planetary archetypal complex that’s coming in such as this Jupiter-Uranus conjunction. Because then, we can help bring about that… We have to play a role in the movement of the arc of the moral universe moving towards justice, towards the good. But it’s not automatic. We’re playing a co-creative, participatory role in it, and there can definitely be backsliding and regressions of all kinds.

CB: Right. Here’s a screenshot from Changing of the Gods and from that animation they had with the planets —

RT: Yeah.

CB: — going around the Sun and moving forward also in time at the same time.

RT: Very good.

CB: All right. So and then finally, to go back to the discussion about orbs, here’s a screenshot from Archetypal Explorer that just shows the current alignments of Jupiter and Uranus set on a graph with a 15 degree range and just showing you the ebb and flow of those two planets getting closer and then moving apart, but how it creates a sort of wave or like a continuum rather than just a singular event.

RT: That’s right. Yeah. And this is an unusual conjunction that we’re in right now. As you can see where that black vertical line is, we’re very close to the peak, which it will reach next week. But there was, it first came within 15 degree orb last summer, and you saw it but it never got closer than seven, eight degrees from exact, but it came through. You could see it. Very often there’s a kind of excitement that builds around a particular cultural activity or event during a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, and we saw that back last summer when, for example, Barbie came out and Oppenheimer at the same time. You know, tremendous amount of excitement and celebration, even the way Barbie was filmed, it has this kind of light, brilliant colors and, you know, highly creative, highly defiant of patriarchy and representing the Jupiter-Uranus energy in so many ways. But that unusual excitement bringing people back into the theaters, as the film industry was thrilled about, but unlike many Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions where it’s more of a long gradual coming to exact and then moving away from exact, this one didn’t get all the way even within like, five degrees before it started going retrograde again. And then it comes in stronger when it comes exact as it’s doing right now.

But this is another important point, though, is once a transit begins – even if there’s a retrograde period, when it may retrograde even out of orb and then come back into orb – what I found was that once the transit has been initiated, once it’s come into orb, that energy is in the air. It’s been activated. It doesn’t just switch off because the retrograde’s happening. The retrograde seems to bring in its own particular revisionary elements, but the energy’s still there, and it seems to last all the way until the last time that it’s within orb on the other end after exact. And so one thing to keep in mind is that even though there is a tendency for events to happen with greater intensity and frequency right as that diagram that you showed shows the peaking of when the aspect is most exact, life itself seems to still have more of a continuity to it, so that even that in between period – September, October, November, as you’re going deep into the winter – it’s still got that energy going, but it may recede a bit, but it’s still very much in manifestation. I think, again —

CB: Yeah.

RT: — popular culture carries a lot of the Jupiter-Uranus energy quite vividly. And say the degree to which Taylor Swift has been a real phenomenon in this last year, with the enormously like, she’s a billionaire now, the enormously popular world tour that she was doing. World is very Jupiterian. But the – and all the excitement during the fall about her romance with Kelce, the Kansas City tight end and so forth, football player – that’s a typical way in which the popular culture would be carrying it. And then most recently, though – and in some ways, at an even new level of intensity – it was visible with the eclipse. The tremendous excitement that happened around this eclipse in particular. I mean, you and I have lived through many solar eclipses and total solar eclipses in our lives; they’ve happened around the world in an ongoing basis. But this particular one, partly because it was coming through the heartland of the US and with all the different population centers and the media really focused on it, and you got so many articles about eclipse mania – mania is a Jupiter-Uranus tendency. There was talk about Barbie mania last summer. There is a potential for manic expressions of Jupiter and Uranus together, but just tremendous excitement. Tremendous sense of something special. And with the eclipse, of course, it’s astronomical. Nothing can quite prepare you for what experiencing in person a total solar eclipse is like. It has a numinous quality that kind of breaks open your horizon of understanding of the cosmos and your sense of relating to it. So that’s got very deep Jupiter-Uranus potential, that broadening of horizon, the sudden witness of a seemingly miraculous astronomical event. The fact that the Moon is 400 times closer than the Sun, but is 400 times smaller than the Sun, and so they perfectly line up so that the total solar eclipse creates that inexpressibly gorgeous aura. That so is characteristic of the Jupiter-Uranus, but the sense that this particular eclipse seemed to get more attention, more celebration, more excitement than usual – well, that’s the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction coinciding with the eclipse that gives it that extra celebratory quality.

CB: Totally. That’s a really great point that one of the things we’ll see is that Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions tend to exacerbate or magnify whatever other planetary alignments are taking place at the time. So last summer, I think that was a great point about so many different cultural things were happening with the Venus retrograde that was happening in Leo and Barbie was released then, but that was closely configured to Jupiter and Uranus, which were in Taurus. And then here we have the eclipse that took place this month as the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction is getting so close and having it be, you know, such a cultural, memorable event. We’ll see more of that when we get to some of our events here.

One last thing I wanted to mention, though, is with my work, I think part of what we’re seeing also is that there’s something about – I know that you emphasized primarily aspects in Cosmos and Psyche, but I do think there’s something about the copresence of two planetary bodies in the same zodiacal sign. In this instance, it’s been in – once Jupiter went into Taurus last May of 2023, that the presence of those two bodies in the same zodiacal sign does have some sort of resonance that ties in well with the orb-based configuration of 15 degrees, but that there’s some useful overlap there when paying attention to world events.

RT: That’s good. I mean, the signs definitely seem to color the expressions of the planetary archetypes, whatever sign they’re in. I think of it almost like a tincture that that impulse has been informed by, and so it’s got a certain coloring whether it’s happening in Pisces or Taurus or Aquarius. We see this, I think, already with the Saturn-Neptune both, once Saturn got into Pisces and particularly with Neptune having such a Piscean, you know, resonance already. But once Saturn got into Pisces, it’s still pretty far away from Neptune, and yet already we started seeing certain characteristic Saturn-Neptune phenomena that even before it had gotten to the 15-degree orb it was visible. So I think that’s a very good point. Once they’re in the same sign, there is a resonance there, and I think it’s perhaps even especially pronounced when one of the planets rules that sign or is especially at home in that sign as it were.

CB: For sure. All right. And the last thing is, this conjunction – we’re only having one exact conjunction of Jupier and Uranus, but in other instances, it can be up to three conjunctions if the retrogrades take place after an exact hit. So some conjunctions, like currently in Taurus and Aquarius, are just single conjunctions, but there’s other signs like Cancer where you get three conjunctions during that alignment.

RT: That’s right. And those three seem to build on each other. You know, there’s like, a kind of a cumulative impact that the three peaks make. This one is unusual in that way in it not, as we talked about before, it didn’t get within five degrees and then – between seven and eight degrees as I recall last summer. And then, but now it’s really cooking. And I mean, April, May, into June, the Jupiter-Uranus energy’s really cooking, and Mars gets in there too, and that will play a role, I think.

You sometimes see Mars either if it’s early in a transit, it can activate it early. It can activate the larger outer planet combination early as a kind of trigger transit, triggering effect that Mars has. But it also can happen after exact and even after orb has been reached on the other side. We see it with the American Revolution, for example – that Jupiter-Uranus conjunction that happened 1775, ‘76, you know, which covers the whole period of Lexington and Concord, “Give me liberty and give me death,” all those different events are happening during that Jupiter-Uranus conjunction. But it’s right by the time you get to May of 1776 into June, Jupiter’s getting past Uranus by 15 degrees, but then Mars gets in there. And that seemed to activate and intensify and prolong the energy of it longer, and of course, June of 1776, right as Mars is going across Jupiter, that’s when Jefferson begins to write the Declaration of Independence which then is signed on July 4th, et cetera. So you’ve got – this is an important further point for astrologers to, and I’m sure most of them recognize it already, which is that you never are judging a particular planetary alignment in a vacuum. All the other planets and Sun and Moon and those cycles are all present as well and complexly interacting with the main alignment that you’re focused on. And so it’s important to take in the holistic picture and not get too focused on just a kind of breakdown of the part rather than seeing the part as an integral part of a whole.

CB: Definitely. Well, I think that’ll come up in some of our first examples. I think, since we’re at an hour, I’d like to take a little break and then come back and just jump into and start doing examples. What do you think?

RT: Yeah. That’ll be good.

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All right. So we’re back from a break. So now I wanna jump into looking at some historical events that have coincided with Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions. There’s so many of these and so many major ones; I’m trying to think of where to start. I mean, one of the most striking ones as I was going back and reviewing them, though, is the Moon landing. And it’s always a toss-up between that as being one of the most striking, because of the exactitude alignments, versus some of the other ones like the American and French revolutions, which are the other classic ones, or even the parallel discoveries of Kepler and Galileo which you open your chapters on Jupiter and Uranus with. Where do you wanna start? Do you wanna start with the Moon landing because it illustrates that point earlier about the Uranus-Pluto alignment being in the background?

RT: Yes. Sure, that’s a great place to start, because you’ve got the triple conjunction, and that’s the closest those three planets got in the modern era. I mean, the one – there was a broader one that happened in 1844, ‘45, but the one that happened in 1595, ‘96, which is when Descartes was born – he had the Sun right on it – that one —

CB: Right.

RT: — was pretty tight as well. But this one was an unusually tight triple conjunction. What’s amazing is that at the moment of the Moon landing, the Moon was in a quadruple conjunction with —

CB: Yeah.

RT: — Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto. I mean —

CB: It’s extraordinary. Like, I’ll show that on the screen. But here’s an illustration from Archetypal Explorer to show the backdrop. Most of the – I think most astrologers agree that most of the energy that we associate with the 1960s and many of the things, the major social changes and political changes and everything else that was happening in the ‘60s, was associated largely with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction that occurred in that decade, which was operative for the entirety of the decade, and it went exact in the middle of the decade. But what’s interesting is that it was really, it seems like the Jupiter – when Jupiter swung in there later on into Virgo and conjoined Uranus and Pluto toward the later part of the decade in the late 1960s, it sort of seems like it threw gasoline on that conjunction and like, reignited it or accentuated it in some significant way.

RT: Yes. I mean, it’s just, it’s extraordinary. I mean, there’s – I think, I don’t know, there’s probably five or six pages in Cosmos and Psyche devoted to all the things. You know, one month after the Moon landing, Woodstock happens, which is, you know, the most celebrated and largest of the big countercultural celebrations, festivals of that time. But what’s remarkable is that it was just during that larger triple conjunction that happened in 1968 and ‘69 that I think it was 15 different rock festivals happened that had more than a hundred, hundred fifty thousand people in each one. There’s been no period in history before or after where you had that kind of density of enormous kind of countercultural celebrations, musical creativity that was coming through in those particular ways.

But you’ve also got that same triple conjunction coinciding with many other phenomena besides popular music and the space program. I mentioned feminism; I mentioned, you know, there’s the beginning of what we’re doing right now – using the internet. That was something that was basically initiated in the summer 1968 in that famous tech demonstration here in San Francisco by Douglas Engelbart, and it’s called the mother of all tech demos or something like that, and it just showed for the first time in a large public setting it was showing the possibility and showing it in action of the internet, of using the mouse, the cursor, sending text long distances, the beginnings of like, email communication and quite a few other technical breakthroughs that we now take for granted.

Many other things happened at that time; I won’t go over all of them, but. You know, of course, politically, this is when all the – whether it was the May 1968 phenomena that happened and the great revolutionary events that happened in Paris, France, but also Columbia, Berkeley, Harvard – almost every university town in the US had major strikes, anti-war strikes, et cetera. There was just a tremendous amount of cultural creativity and emancipatory defiance, rebellion, mass movements. The mass comes in particularly with Pluto, and Jupiter helps expand that even more, but then you bring Uranus and that creativity, the rebellion, and the synergistic energies between those three planetary archetypes really came through. And if anybody wants to see a period in history when a triple conjunction of three of the five outer planets that we’ve been focused on here, three of the five outer planets were all in a tight triple conjunction, that would be a very instructive set of examples to look at that’s in Cosmos and Psyche.

CB: Yeah. Let me show the chart for the Moon landing. So the Moon landing took place on July 20th, 1969 at 3:17 PM, Houston time – Houston, Texas, where NASA headquarters was located. So what’s crazy about this is at the time of the Moon landing, Jupiter’s at zero 44 – so zero degrees and 44 minutes – of Libra. Uranus is at zero degrees and 41 minutes of Libra. They had literally just – the exact conjunction had literally just occurred, what was it – it was earlier that same day, basically.

RT: As Apollo 11 – was it Apollo 11?

CB: Yeah, Apollo 11.

RT: Just as it was approaching, that when the Jupiter-Uranus was perfectly exact.

CB: Right, and at that exact time, at the exact time of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, the Moon happened to go into zero degrees of Libra and conjoin them at almost the exact same moment. So there was this incredibly striking alignment of, you know, Jupiter – the planet of growth and travel – Uranus – the planet of technology – and then literally the Moon itself that were all in alignment at that time. And this isn’t as like, impressive as an initial introduction one, but it’s much more impressive when you see how many scientific discoveries and advances and breakthroughs and different types of travel and everything else that occurred on preceding Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions led up to this one.

RT: Yes. Yeah, just to recognize that continuum that’s always at work. We don’t live in an atomistic divided sequence of time; it’s a continuum, and every present moment is deep. It’s carrying the past within it and bringing it to new expression. I mean, thinking of epic events there, if you’re familiar with Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” which he did on the last morning at Woodstock as I recall, right at the time he’s doing it, that’s when the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction and Pluto, the triple conjunction, is just rising at that point at the time of his playing it. And there is a kind of epic and epic-making quality to his performance there. And of course, Uranus is so electric; it relates to electricity, so the powerful electric guitar, and then the Jupiter – the patriotic celebratory element of the “Star-Spangled Banner” – but at the same time, he’s also bringing in a Uranian spin on it. Like, you know, bringing in the bombs bursting in air and making a comment about the Vietnam War and anyway. So it’s —

CB: Yeah.

RT: — it’s a great musical milestone that also is carrying this same kind of energy. The whole first year of 2001: A Space Odyssey, that movie that was released in ‘68 but was shown over and over again in theaters throughout the world during the rest of 1968 and ‘69, had again that same triple conjunction is operative, and you have that music – Thus Spoke Zarathustra – by Richard Strauss, y’know, that bam, bam, bam, da-da! That really – which, by the way, was used by Barbie once again in the very creative beginning of that movie. But where it was used by Kubrick in the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey, you have it’s a very Plutonic showing of the primate evolution turning into the dawn of man as they called it there. But then the technological breakthrough from the first tool, weapon, and it morphs into the space… Like, a space shuttle or a space… I’m trying to think of the proper term for it. It’s like, it’s not a spaceship, it’s like where you would land up there. But in any case, it morphs into that in that great opening image. But that music was written by Richard Strauss right when Uranus was transiting his Jupiter-Pluto opposition, so it has that specific quality of almost like titanic ascent and brilliant breakthrough energy as the trumpets and brass and drums and everything reach a climax.

CB: Right. So going back to the Moon landing – so Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on this day became the first humans to ever walk on the Moon and ever step first on any sort of body outside of the earth. And the phrase that I think becomes paradigmatic, not just from that day but also for Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions in general, is “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” And I feel like that phrase is relevant for other Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions as well. But just to give people some picture, could you tell me just like a very quick bullet-point list of what other – there were other milestones in travel and flight before the Moon landing that aligned with Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions or other alignments, right?

RT: Sure. So for example, the very first – that Icarus impulse to ascend into the heaven – you know, like that into the air, become like a bird – well, the first successful balloon launch happened under the Jupiter-Uranus opposition, as it happens, in 1782, ‘83, which is right at the same time as the American Revolution reached its successful outcome. And so you’ve already got – and that’s right at the time of the discovery of Uranus, so – I think right around the discovery of the planet, you get that extra impulse coming through where the Jupiter-Uranus has even more potency than usual. But then —

CB: For flight and for literally like, breaking free of the constraints of gravity which humans had had for thousands of years.

RT: That’s great. That’s exactly right. And, you know, Saturn is gravity and being bound to the earth. And then Uranus has this impulse towards breaking free from that and flying, being free in the air. Then you’ve got the very first of the glider plane experiments at Kitty Hawk by the Wright brothers takes place under the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction of 1900, which —

CB: Right.

RT: — that was the same conjunction that coincided with the beginning of quantum mechanics and the quantum leap, as we call it with Max Planck.

CB: So that’s crucial. So the first airplane flights took place at the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in the year 1900.

RT: That’s right. But then the first successful powered flight happens in 1903, and Uranus and Pluto – so the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in 1900 is opposite Pluto. So it’s got, again, that three-planet energy again in the Full Moon position, Pluto opposite Jupiter and Uranus. And then, but then this is a point I really wanna emphasize is that often the Jupiter-Uranus moment is the beginning. It’s the birth moment. And then you, after it’s exact, it keeps working on the field, and then still under the Uranus-Pluto alignment but after Jupiter-Uranus has finished, but in 1903, Uranus opposite Pluto is still cooking, and that’s when the first successful powered flight takes place. So the Jupiter-Uranus energy initiates things but it can still come to greater maturation and empowerment later afterwards.

CB: Right. One of the analogy I thought is that it’s like, at the conjunction, sometimes it’s like a seed is planted and then a plant slowly grows out of that. But one of the interesting phenomena is that with the Moon landing, obviously, that was an obvious manifestation that everybody watched and saw. But many of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions and the events that coincided with them, especially scientific advancements, initially are not seen by many people and sometimes go overlooked, sometimes even for years. But it’s only in retrospect that people look backwards and realize that something really important began at that moment.

RT: That’s right. I mean, no one knew that the cultural cosmology had shifted when Kepler basically found the mathematical evidence that supported the Copernican heliocentric theory under the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction of 1609. And over and over again, you see that, and people didn’t, no one was paying attention to the Wright brothers in 1900 when they did that first experiment with the plane. And then, you know, Steven Jobs and Steve Wozniak, when they’re tinkering in their garage in Palo Alto under the Jupiter-Uranus opposition of 1975, ‘76, nobody knew that we’re all gonna be using what they initiated at that time. So I call these – and there’s many other examples; nobody knew that Beethoven was transforming classical music as he was writing the Eroica, his 3rd symphony, during the conjunction of 1803. I mean, it just —

CB: One of my favorite ones is the expanding universe theory, the introduction of that —

RT: Yes.

CB: — in a paper was at a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction which also was essentially the formation of the big bang theory —

RT: Hypothesis, that’s right.

CB: — hypothesis was introduced in. That paper that it was published in was initially overlooked, particularly because it was published in an obscure Belgian journal, and it took a while for it to become recognized until it was eventually adopted and embraced so much as it is today.

RT: Right. And what’s interesting is that it was so such a leap, which is typical with Jupiter-Uranus, it was such a big leap that even when the person who had the insight – his name was Georges Lemaitre, a Belgian Jesuit priest, and he went to that famous Solvay congress that Einstein and Niels Bohr and Heisenberg were at where the quantum mechanics or quantum physics revolution was kind of firmed up —

CB: Which was a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction itself.

RT: That’s right. Right during in October 1927, right at the same time that the first sound film was coming out, right at the same time that Charles Lindbergh makes the first transatlantic solo flight, et cetera. And then you have – the priest brings to the congress and shows his paper to Einstein, who brushed it away. He just was not ready for it. And as you say, it took years for that to be recognized. And that happens a lot. It happened with Mendel’s theory – who happened also to be a religious person, a monk, Gregor Mendel – in the 1865 Jupiter-Uranus opposition that basically founded what we know have as the science of genetics. But that was not rediscovered until, interestingly, 1900 under the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction a generation later that they recovered that and began that breakthrough understanding and experimental evidence, and then the synthesis of genetics and Darwinian evolutionary theory takes place in the course of the 20th century after that point. So that’s why I have a whole chapter called “Hidden Births” in Cosmos and Psyche because a lot of the breakthroughs that the Jupiter-Uranus combination represents are not known to the public at the time.

Right at this moment, things are happening around the world that are carrying this Jupiter-Uranus energy. Some of them are super visible, like a couple weeks ago with the eclipse, for example, and the excitement, the mania, et cetera, around that. The state of wonder, the state of awe, the state of wow, right? That’s the Jupiter-Uranus signature exclamation. But there it was very widely experienced. But there’s many things happening in the privacy of composers and songwriters and filmmakers in their studios and their private thinking, scientists are experiencing these things in ways that will later become more widely understood. But so often, you just do not have a public exposure to what’s happening because a lot of these things are beginnings. They’re births in a manger, as it were. You know, far from the centers of public attention in a stable. So that’s something to keep in mind is that we cannot – it takes a while before we have enough time has gone by where we have a historical perspective to see what hidden births have now come to expression. When JK Rowling published the first Harry Potter under the Jupiter-Uranus-Neptune conjunction – the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction of 1997 and it was in a triple conjunction with Neptune – and when she published the first Harry Potter book, no one knew it was gonna be the biggest seller of all time or anything, or that it would be a phenomenon that would keep expressing, you know, there’d be multiple volumes, whole generations of children growing up shaped by her vision, and then the films, et cetera. So the first moment is a birth, it’s a new beginning, but it isn’t necessarily widely recognized as such. Later it can be widely celebrated, and that’s a typical thing – the way we celebrate the Moon landing or we celebrate in retrospect the, you know, Woodstock or that tech demonstration that Douglas Engelbart blew away the engineering community in 1968, or now we all recognize the importance of Beethoven’s Eroica or Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde or Baudelaire’s beginning of modern literature as it’s called with Les Fleurs du mal under the conjunction of 1857, ‘58, which was also when Darwin’s theory of evolution was first publicly presented with Alfred Russel Wallace. And what’s remarkable is that even the theory of evolution, which now Darwin is looked upon by many in the scientific community as almost godlike in his importance, the creative inspiration, like a hero of the scientific epic like Galileo – but at the time, when Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace who had the breakthroughs for the theory of natural selection, their paper was read before the Linnean Society in London. At the end of that year, the president of that Society said, well, nothing happened this year that was really revolutionary compared to sometimes, you know, how we can recognize that a really great revolutionary event has happened this year? Well, that didn’t happen in the sciences this year.

CB: Right. He’s just like, “Sorry, guys. Maybe next year.”

RT: Yeah, exactly.

CB: Yeah.

RT: So I’m trying to convey how it takes time for historians and astrologer – astrological researchers to be able to have sufficient historical knowledge and perspective to be able to make adequate assessments of archetypal correlations.

CB: Yeah. I mean, I think there’s a lot of stuff this year that’s already been happening that we can see that’s visible that we’ve clearly reached an important turning point in history that matches the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction regarding, you know, artificial intelligence and just the leaps and bounds that technology is making very rapidly just over the past year. There’s monetary changes, like there’s about to be a big change with Bitcoin that takes place this month very suspiciously close to the conjunction, which seems important, and the continued sort of like transformation that’s been going on for a little over 14 years now since the last conjunction of the cryptocurrency starting to become a common thing in society.

And there’s almost a lot of unrest and a lot of protests under the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction over the past year that’s reminiscent of some previous conjunctions, and that’s something we’ll get into later is just Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions often coinciding with revolutions like the American Revolutionary War or the French Revolution as well as other periods of unrest and protest.

So there’s many things that are obvious, but then there’s many things that are happening right now that are not obvious and that we will not recognize until much later. Like, somebody in the world is gonna know because they’ll recognize at the time that they’re doing something really important and really groundbreaking, but it’s not gonna become widely known until later. And I’ve been reflecting on that lately, and I think the reason for it, partially, is because – in some research I did on eclipses late last year where I went back and looked at eclipses in history, one of the things I realized is that part of what an eclipse is is it’s an occultation. You know, one body moves in front of another and literally hides it from view. Like in a solar eclipse, the Sun is literally hidden from view behind the Moon. And we’ve lost some of the meaning for that, I think, sometimes in contemporary astrology of there being something symbolically then that’s being hidden or it is obscure or not visible at that time, you know, in addition to the meaning of it just being the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. So I think applying that to other planets is also relevant, that there was almost, with conjunctions, a quality of occultation where something is hidden or non-evident at that time.

RT: That’s really good. You’ve really – I think it’s, a skillful astrological interpreter needs to have a sense of the symbol. Needs to have a – like, what you just did was a kind of, you took the phenomenon of the eclipse and what is the nature of the eclipse? As you say, you’re suddenly having the Sun occulted – hidden – by the Moon coming perfectly into place in alignment with the earth, and you have in a sense rendered a kind of poetic grasp of the fact that what’s shining forth at that time may be hidden until later. And so you, yeah, you’ve really captured it. And every conjunction, as you say, it’s a beginning of a cycle. Every conjunction is in a sense a birth.

But there’s something – this is a point I wanted to make during our conversation here, but – you know, a lot of my research began 50 years ago with Stan Grof. We were researching the quality of people’s powerful experiences in extraordinary states of consciousness, psychedelic sessions, spiritual emergencies, sudden psychological breakthroughs and so forth. And one of the things that we discovered was that the Jupiter-Uranus combination seems to be especially characteristic of the experience of sudden birth or sudden rebirth, spiritual rebirth, sudden opening of horizons. Because people often go through some form when they’re deeply exploring their psyche in meditations, it could be an ayahuasca circle, it could be kundalini yoga, it could be a spontaneous spiritual eruption. But when it happens, there’s often a tuning into very deep archetypal levels, and at that level, there’s often an encounter with death and a facing of death but as part of a larger unfolding of rebirth. And often people relive their biological birth, where they have to die to the womb and be – lose the unity with the mother and then through that loss, achieve independence in their birth as a new organism. And when people reexperience that moment of sudden release from the birth canal, in which often, you know, like, oxygen was cut off with the umbilical cord being squeezed, the contractions of the birth, the loss of the womb – at the same time, at the moment of birth, there’s just this sudden light coming in and liberation of, release from the contractions, the constriction. New horizons suddenly open up carrying an unimaginable shift from the only universe that one had known up until that time. And so under Jupiter-Uranus, Uranus seems to particularly relate to what Grof calls that 4th perinatal matrix, the sudden birth, the sudden release, the new beginning. But the Jupiter is, grants success. It’s the moment of crowning glory as the baby’s coming out and embraced by her mother and so forth – or his mother. And so that’s… We find regularly that the very experience of birth, spiritual rebirth, reliving of birth, has a deep connection to the Jupiter-Uranus.

But what’s also we found with people who are doing this kind of exploration is that even though Jupiter-Uranus tends to be a very promising alignment for doing this kind of work because breakthroughs do tend to happen more readily, but there’s also a potential for inflation and for a kind of manic, “Oh, this is fantastic.” People sometimes who haven’t done all the inner work that is necessary for such a birth where there’s a lot of kind of suppression of not integrating the whole of what they needed to, so there can be a kind of denial of death or not wanting to experience more of that dark place and prematurely grabbing onto the state of birth or rebirth, and what happens is that the egoic – the ego is still very much in the defensive ego, the separatistic ego, the skin-encapsulated self as Alan Watts called it, is very much intact because the person hasn’t gone through the ego death rebirth because there’s an understandable fear there of the amount of hard work and pain that needs to be gone through. And so this premature holding onto like, “Wow, nothing can stop us now.” You get people suddenly telling the therapist, “Oh, I can stop now. We need to call the president of the United States and let them know; this is incredible. Everybody should be doing this. And what happened to me is so important, it’s world-changing.” That kind of inflation is quite a potential with Jupiter-Uranus. People who have like, gambling addictions or like, “This one’s gonna make me a million,” and overly risky behavior can come with the Jupiter-Uranus combination. So that’s something we need to balance off our happy description of the Jupiter-Uranus alignment is that it does have dangers. It always has a shadow. Any archetypal complex has a shadow.

CB: Right. That makes sense. So going back to what you were saying, though, so the conjunction – any conjunction – is the beginning of one cycle, so there’s something new that’s born then that starts to grow. But a conjunction’s also the end of a previous cycle, and so sometimes we see that dual quality where oftentimes the new development, especially in science, is based on some earlier development that came earlier. And sometimes is can be traced back to previous conjunctions —

RT: That’s right.

CB: — but also the conjunction is part of a broader cycle that includes the opposition. And I think when it comes to flight, that kind of illustrates the conjunction-opposition dynamic really well, where – I’ll just share my notes for this. Where it’s like, we have the Montgolfier brothers launching the first hot air balloon at an opposition in 1782 through ‘83. We have the Wright brothers doing the first aviation experiments at the 1900 conjunction. We have Charles Lindbergh’s first solo transatlantic flight at the 1927 conjunction, then the first space flights by Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shephard at the opposition of 1961 through ‘63, err, ‘62.

RT: ‘62, yeah.

CB: That’s also when Kennedy calls for putting a man on the Moon under the same opposition. And then at the conjunction in 1969, we get the actual Apollo 11 Moon landing.

RT: That’s right. Yeah. That carries – I think we managed to talk about most of those, but we didn’t include that very important – when Yuri Gagarin in Russia, or Soviet Union at that point, and Alan Shephard a short while later in the United States did their first space flights, that was the initial breakthrough, and then as you say the Moon landing is a kind of climax of what was initiated under the preceding opposition.

And one thing I wanna point out is that we not only notice in terms of the patterning of history and the tracking of any two outer planets coming into conjunctions, oppositions, et cetera, those cycles – as you track that through history, you see two types of correlations. One is synchronic. Namely, under the same conjunction, let’s say ‘68, ‘69, throughout the world in different fields of human activity – literature, film, science, technology, political social movements and so forth – fashion, you name it – that archetypal energy is coming through synchronistically or I wanna say synchronically. “Synchronistic” is a special meaning coming from Jung about the fact that it’s a meaningful coincidence. But just the fact that they’re coinciding, we use the word synchronic. Across many societies, different parts of the world, and across many different fields of human activity, the same archetypal energy is coming through simultaneously. So that’s the synchronic convergence that we notice each time that we’re tracking what’s going on under a particular outer planet alignment.

But when we look at these over the course of history, we see this other phenomenon that you were just pointing to, which is the fact that whatever happens under this particular conjunction bears a relationship to what happened under preceding conjunctions and oppositions going back in history in quite intelligible ways. So there’s a real connection between here in terms of the astronomy – sorry, the space flight – but you see this over and over again in so many fields of human activity. You know, for example, if we think of the Uranus-Pluto cycle of how the women’s suffrage movement begins under the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in the later 1840s, 1848 in particular with the Seneca Falls Convention for women’s suffrage and so forth. Then under the next opposition is when the women’s suffrage movement becomes a huge collective movement and you know, you get the mass demonstrations, the arrests, et cetera, in England and the US. And then under the next conjunction, you get feminism as a full society movement more empowered than ever before to take on patriarchy. And then under the most recent square of Urnaus and Pluto, you get many new expressions of that, whether it’s the MeToo movement or many women’s movements coming into more activity and power right around the world, even in Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as like, Israel and so forth. And you get the phenomenon of – here’s another form of that – this is called diachronic correlations. Through time. So you have the synchronic is many events bearing the same archetypal quality happening at the same time in many different places and fields of human activity, but then if you go through time and the different conjunctions and oppositions and so forth that you can track how the events of an earlier one bear a historical connection that quite important to the next time that those planets come into alignment. And so the fact that, for example, the two leading social movements of the Uranus-Pluto 1960s in the United States was the Civil Rights Movement and feminism, and you could also say, well, let’s just say, let’s keep with just those two. Then you come to the next square, and what happens is the two most popular candidates for the 2000 – the first presidential election that happens under the next Uranus-Pluto period, the two leading most popular candidates were a black man, Obama, and Hillary Clinton, a woman. We have to see that emergence in terms of the connection to what happened in the 1960s. So there’s a diachronic development, a set of correlations that is true for every planetary alignment as well.

CB: Right. For sure. All right. And even some of the developments can be traced even further back in history. Like, I’m thinking of how you opened the Jupiter-Uranus chapter of Cosmos and Psyche talking about the conjunction that occurred in 1609 and how that coincided with the discoveries or the work of Galileo and Kepler over the course of the same summer, like, very close to that conjunction, right?

RT: Yeah, the summer of 1609 – that’s when both Kepler published the first laws of planetary motion that basically mathematically solved the problem of the planets that astronomers had been working on since Plato’s time, since Plato called for them to figure it out. And Kepler figured it out, brilliantly recognizing the ellipses and particularly focused on Mars, which seems to be, Mars kind of often leads the charge. And then it was right during that same summer that a telescope found its way into – which had just been invented in Holland – found its way into Galileo’s hands, and he demonstrates it to the Senate in Venice there in the summer of 1609. And then during the later part of 1609, still under the conjunction, which went through the spring of 1610, he turns the telescope to the heavens that winter; he sees all sorts of phenomena that had not been seen before like, as he called it, the unimaginably large number of stars that are out there that are not visible to the naked eye but the telescope revealed, and he could see the craters on the Moon. And he could see that Venus had phases. And he could see that Jupiter had several Moons. And all of these gave evidence that, well, if there could be Moons moving around Jupiter, and Jupiter’s going around the Sun, well, maybe the earth is too. And if Venus has phases, that means that it too can be seen in terms of the Copernican hypothesis. And the craters on the Moon shows that the Moon is a physical object; it’s not just a spiritual being out there, which had been – you know, more the sense that the stars, Sun, Moon, there was a numinosity with which these were perceived, and now they’re recognized to be bodies that may obey material laws, which then Newton solves under the Jupiter-Uranus alignment of 1665, ‘66 when he, you know, the apple falling down from the tree that he’s by. That is an account he gave later of that period when he’s very young – I think 23 or so – where he recognized that just as the apple is falling to the earth as being pulled down there, so is the Moon being pulled towards the earth, and that’s why it is constantly going in circles rather than moving in a unstopped linear way through the universe, and the same thing with the earth going around the Sun. So yeah —

CB: Right.

RT: — and so he publishes, this is Galileo, publishes Sidereus Nuncius, his little book The Starry Messenger, and that just had an electrifying effect on the European intelligentsia in 1610 and kind of initiated the Copernican revolution now being taken quite seriously from that point on by intellectuals, though it didn’t conquer the day really until later – Descartes, Newton, and beyond – as they integrated it all.

CB: Think of the throughline of that, of the first humans in this year 1609 and 1610 that have a new technology using, you know, a telescope to be able to look at the Moon and recognize that it has craters in 1609 and publishing the first book with illustrations of the craters on the Moon in 1610 under the, while the conjunctions are still happening. Think of the throughline from that to 1969 – another conjunction takes place, exact to the day, with Jupiter, Uranus, and the Moon all lining up the day of the Moon landing and the first day that a human actually sets foot on the Moon. That’s just —

RT: Yes.

CB: — absolutely like, extraordinary.

RT: Yeah. It’s great. I mean, I have to say, studying the Jupiter-Uranus cycle in history is awesome. It’s awe inspiring. You cannot help but experience a state of wow, of wonder. You know, Chris, when I started this research in the 1970s, we didn’t have personal computers yet, astrological software wasn’t available, and we were dependent on people like Neil Michelsen and his astro computing services that was, at that time anyway, down in San Diego. And I’m living in Big Sur at that point. Remember, there’s no internet or anything like that. No email. So you fill out a form and you put the money into a little envelope and you mail it, and we didn’t have any – there was a, the most encompassing ephemeris that we had back then was one that went back to 1800, mainly for the outer planets. It was called MacCraig’s 200-year ephemeris and it went from 1800 to 2000 – very useful book for us. But if you wanted to find out what was going on in the Renaissance, or even anything prior to 1800, you had to write away to a service, a computing service, that would then send you back in the mail a week later what you requested. So, you know, I was doing this study on the Jupiter-Uranus cycle. I thought, well, I’d be really interested what happened on July 14th, 1789 when the fall of the Bastille happened and initiated the French Revolution. And so I write, I order that particular chart and I get it in the mail a week or two later, open it up, and there’s the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction really cooking there, July 14th, 1789. And I thought, “That is terrific.”

And then to discover that during that same conjunction on the other side of the world, where they didn’t have any communication possible, you have the mutiny on the Bounty taking place near Tahiti. That’s the most celebrated maritime rebellion in history, the mutiny on the Bounty, Fletcher Christian against William Bligh, et cetera, and memorialized in many films and books, et cetera – and then you’ve got at the same, you know, the French Revolution is getting underway there in 1789 under the same conjunction. So this is such a good example of how you can have two events that have no way of communicating with each other that can be simultaneously reflective of a similar or the same archetypal energy coming through in different ways. The most famous political rebellion in history initiating the French Revolution, the fall of the Bastille, and then on the other hand the mutiny on the Bounty. And you see that over and over again.

Today we have, with so many technological ways of communicating across the world instantly, it’s the coincidence in time of particular cultural impulses is more intelligible because we’re all interconnected now like Teilhard Chardin’s noosphere, this sense that we’re in a global brain that we’ll all nodes in. But back then and for most of human history, you did not have that kind of communication. And so it’s a perfect example of what Jung talked about as synchronistic phenomena that can manifest without any causal relationship, nobody’s calling Tahiti and saying, “Oh, by the way, there’s a great rebellion starting to get underway here in Paris. You might wanna try it out there with that oppressive ship captain there, Captain Bligh.” It wasn’t like that. It was just the energies in the air. It’s like there’s something in the air, something in the water, and we’re all collectively participating in that.

CB: Yeah, and it just arises – the archetype arises organically in many different levels of society and culture in different countries around the world at the same time, and you see people expressing it, the archetype, in similar ways. You know, like with Kepler and Galileo who were working independently of one another.

So it’s funny that you mentioned though how you did your research and had to write away in order to get charts, and it reminds me of one of my examples is the company Astrodienst was founded at the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in 1983, and they ended up providing a service for computer generated horoscopes or birth charts that you could write into. But what was most important for them for my generation is it became the primary website after 1996, 1997 that people used to get free chart calculations done. So that was like, a huge thing, and then eventually it became also the repository for Astrodatabank as well eventually.

RT: Yeah. That was such a – we can thank, of course, Lois Rodden for the Astrodatabank. She did such wonderful work —

CB: And now Alois Treindl for Astrodienst.

RT: That’s right. And so she started Astrodatabank; we often, many of us, you know, contributed to it like, with background information about Bob Dylan’s birth chart or whatever. And then she would incorporate that, and then Alois and Astrodienst – or Astro.com as many people access it that way now – became the repository for that. And that’s so important. Astrologers need to have solid data to build their understanding on. And you know, if you go back in history, astrologers were having to draw conclusions from a relatively small number of charts or a small number of examples to get their conclusions. And now, you or I or the people who are listening to us can literally examine more birth charts in a day than an astrologer could, would be likely to, in their lifetime or at least for many years. We just have such so much more evidence available, more astrological birth charts, the biographies are there, the work on certifying the birth data is more of a collective enterprise now, and we can thank Lois Rodden for initiating that.

It’s really just bringing – this is something I’m always trying to urge our astrological community to do, which is we need, astrologers need to adopt the same level of scholarly care and rigor that we would expect in any graduate school in the United States that’s worth its salt, from graduate students. College students, ideally, are supposed to move in that direction, but by the time you’re a graduate student writing your doctoral dissertation, you really have to have a certain scholarly care and rigor and know what your theories are based on and support your statements so you just don’t say, “Oh, well, Pluto in the 5th house means this.” You need to have adequate number of examples that would be intelligible to a wider public of astrologers, and they would say, “Yeah, that really fits, and it doesn’t – there’s no other astrological factor that could explain as well as this particular alignment or planetary position helps explain it.” But you need the rigor; you need the care. And I think that’s one of the things that Astrodienst and the Astrodatabank have really brought in.

I wanna also put in a shoutout to, you know, when in those early years when I was doing all this research, someone who helped me a great deal with providing a computer printout of planetary positions going all the way – outer planet positions – going all the way back to 1500 was Rob Hand, because he was an early adopter of computing techniques and very helpfully provided me with a printout for that which I used for years until we started getting the software on our own computers.

CB: Wow, that’s brilliant. Yeah, I mean, Astrodienst is the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction of 1983, and then we had the next conjunction in 1997, and that’s when the internet is really taking off and websites and astrology websites are starting to proliferate. The 2010 conjunction is right after, it’s like, the iPhone has just been introduced and this huge shift towards mobile computing is starting to take place with everyone using smartphones. And now it’s 2024 and I think the big thing that’s starting to happen over the past year is all of a sudden, AI is emerging as a technology that astrologers are starting to leverage for the purpose of research.

And I think one of the things that will be important is, you know, it’s probably good for the community to have multiple databases rather than just have a singular one that’s centralized under a single company and especially for the purpose of making sure data is accurate and reliable, because I think there are steps that could be taken to ensure the data’s more reliable, because there are like, false entries in Astrodatabank that are floating around. And so that’s something, I think, that and using AI to hopefully leverage some of this research will be the next step in terms of continuing to improve what we’re doing in our research.

RT: Yeah. I’m glad you’re calling for that. It really will be an important – I mean, it was a great advance to have one centralized depot for birth data. As Lois Rodden put it years ago, she said, “Birth data is fluid.” You think you’ve nailed it down, and then the person finds the birth certificate that is more reliable than the memory of one of the people that was at the birth or something like that. And so yeah, it can be very important to get as much ratification and certification of the accuracy of birth data because otherwise people create theories on the basis of not only minimal information but mistaken information and then you really got a problem.

CB: Yeah. I think that’s a big issue. So that actually brings up a point that I wanted to mention is just, you know, I periodically reread Cosmos and Psyche at different points, especially when there’s certain alignments coming up, but when I sit down and reread it and go through and start casting the charts myself, I’m just blown away by the amount of research that went into it, and I think it’s important for every astrologer to not just read your book and take it for granted as this like, list of dates and alignments, which is incredibly impressive in and of itself, but to go through and like, cast the chart. For example, to look at the chart of the Moon landing and to see how well it lined up with the exact day of the conjunction and to have the Moon swing in and conjoin Jupiter and Uranus at the same time. There’s a bunch of instances like that where if you go through and do the work yourself, or at least replicate some of the work you did, you will both see how much time and effort you put into it, and how accurate you were and consistent, but also it comes alive in a way that’s much more striking that I think people realize sometimes.

RT: That’s… You are the ideal reader of Cosmos and Psyche

CB: Right.

RT: — to basically take the baton and yeah. Because while there is a lot of data and quite a body of evidence in Cosmos and Psyche, one of the most encouraging things I’ve had happen to me over the last, what is it? I guess it’s been, what, 18 years since I published it, 20 years since I finished it. That I will get people from China or the Middle East or other countries, other societies with histories that I might not have treated with as great detail or with as much knowledge as I have of Western cultural history, which was what my education was in. And even though I strove to bring in the full global situation with a lot of the really big alignments, still you need to have people who grew up within that culture and have a sense for the nuance and have a more, a better capacity to judge what is the significance of this event? This is one of the things that is such a beautiful thing about astrology is that the more care, the more rigor, the more dedicated your research is and the more nuanced your understanding, your historical and cultural understanding, the more impressive the correlations are. That’s why —

CB: Right.

RT: — astrology should not be afraid of research. It should embrace it, because it’s just gonna keep, it keeps opening up the treasure chest of marbles that astrology contains. But more than that, none of us… Yes, there’s probably, I don’t know, there’s thousands of correlations in Cosmos and Psyche, but there are untold millions and billions of other correlations that are waiting to be discovered by people who know, you know, from their own lives, from their own cultural history and et cetera, significant events and then they do the research. They can use the patterns that I’ve shown in Cosmos and Psyche as a template to kind of help them orient themselves as they’re surveying their history, but it takes an expert in each field. Like, I’m pretty expert in, oh, I don’t know, the history of film or the history of philosophy or something like that, and so I can make pretty judicious assessments about what’s important, et cetera. But there’s other fields that I’m not expert in. I probably covered maybe 15 or 20 fields in Cosmos and Psyche pretty carefully, but there’s many, many other fields that I’m not an expert in that other astrologers are expert in, and they could do that research.

And this is something that I really hope people will do to broaden the relevance of this kind of understanding. It’s something I ask my audiences many times to do is that it’s really good for astrologers to become very expert in more than one thing – something else besides astrology – because, yes it’s great to be really great in astrology, but if you’re also really great in psychology or in medicine or in history or in mathematics or whatever it happens to be – finance – then you can use the astrological telescope and shine it to that set of cultural data, and you can recognize the patterns in ways that others of us can’t. So that will also help astrology break out of the kind of ghetto of being, you know, seen as we’ve talked about before, you know, it’s kind of, astrology’s the gold standard of superstition in our culture because it’s, by the mainstream scientific perspective with its more mechanistic materialism as a starting assumption, it cannot make sense of astrology, and when it tries to test it, it uses tests that are really scarcely relevant to the way astrologers actually practice their art or the way the archetypes can come through. So we have the continuing situation where there’s thousands of us now who have been illuminated by the astrological epiphany, recognizing the astrological universe, but we are living within a… It is secluded or sequestered from the high culture’s like, higher education and so forth in general, because it doesn’t fit in with the mainstream modern paradigm. But the more sophisticated people who come along who are recognized and are astrologically initiated and they’re good at other fields, they’re gonna be able to make the bridges that are gonna make the difference for bringing astrology into the public sphere in a way that will be more helpfully influential. Plus you’re gonna have the whole generation, I think, that’s born with the Uranus-Neptune conjunction and the Millennials. In my experience, because I’ve taught many Millennials in graduate school, they’re carrying less epistemological armoring. There’s a greater openness or flexibility in their willingness to entertain multiple paradigms, multiple ways of looking at the world, and astrology is especially popular in that generation, and I think that’s a sign of a kind of evolution within the cultural psyche.

CB: Yeah, for sure. Well, whatever that next step is, I think Cosmos and Psyche will have set the foundation for doing this type of work because of how expensive and how rigorous it was in pointing out the correlations and that to what extent future generations of astrologers are able to demonstrate that there’s this persistent correlation between celestial movements and earthly events, it’s gonna be standing on the shoulders of like, earlier giants like your work, which itself was part of that long chain of, you know, tradition and conjunctions and things that was passed down over the past several thousand years.

RT: Yeah. Well, thank you, that’s a very generous assessment of my work fitting into the larger whole, and yeah, I think we’re close to the end of our conversation here, but I really wanna convey my sense of appreciation and admiration of what you’re doing with The Astrology Podcast and your work generally. Just your care, your devotion, the precision that you bring to your work, your willingness to learn from many sources, you know, and to build on that. And you’ve created just an extraordinary community in your audience of astrologers who have now been initiated, some of them already were, but many are getting initiated through your work and getting more deeply understanding as a result of your work. And so it’s an honor to have this chance to converse with you again now a few years later about another planetary phenomenon that is an important one, and I hope our conversation today will be useful to those who view it in the coming months and years.

CB: Yeah, this was great. Thank you. I think – there’s a bunch of events we could have gone into. You have hundreds in the book, so I’d recommend that people get a copy of Cosmos and Psyche and read those middle chapters especially where you treat the Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions because you go into it seemed like, just hundreds of different examples of how this has coincided with major events in history and major turning points. I had a bunch of new ones I found we didn’t get into today, but I might record a separate like, follow-up for that. Is there anything else – what are you working on or where can people go to find out more information about your work right now? Or do you have anything coming up that you wanted to mention?

RT: I think, you know, I just retired after 30 years of being a professor at CIIS, California Institute of Integral Studies, and that allows me to begin to complete the books that I’ve been kind of working on on the side over these last 20 years or so. And so that’s, I hope to bring out three or four books in the coming years that hopefully will contribute to our community here. One really nice thing that I didn’t ever expect but, you know, one is this graduate program – Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness – that I started at CIIS along with Brian Swimme, the cosmologist, Robert McDermott, the philosopher, and several others. It has just flourished in ways that I never would have expected, and archetypal astrology has been a kind of key part of it for many graduate students who never studied astrology before. But they came into the program, saw the continuing learning community had kind of embraced this vocabulary and understood how to do charts and transits and so forth, and so it’s really has carried on in the program and in, you know, we have an accredited graduate school. It’s kind of amazing that it’s continued all this time and flourished so well, particularly now that we’re all online. The program’s online and so people can come from all over without moving here.

But the other surprise that I started to say is that my daughter, Becca Tarnas, who – she just somehow has her own direct illumination from the astrological universe, and I mean, she obviously learned plenty from me, but also so much from many others and she brings her own genius. She just was appointed as a professor in that program, so it’s nice that astrology still has a foothold within the academic world and is being taught in a way that continues to have an influence there. I think if people —

CB: Yeah.

RT: — look at, I got a website that I need to start connecting with again more deeply, but there’s a website called CosmosAndPsyche.com. I think you can also do RichardTarnas.com – gets you to the same place. And there are some essays there that you can access – interviews, things like that. I need to pay attention to that website more and update it, et cetera, bring it up to better condition. But it’s still got some good things there that people who are interested in my work besides Cosmos and Psyche, which is the big book, and then the smaller monograph called Prometheus the Awakener, you can get more of my astrological papers there, essays. And then one other thing is that if you go to the Archai journal – that would be A R C H A I – Archai, the Greek word, ArchaiJournal.org, I think it is – O R G.

CB: Yeah.

RT: And there you get the whole journal full of essays and also very helpful foundational material there that can give you good information. So those are a few clues to continue this work at least through the path that I have been making my way along.

CB: Brilliant. Yeah, that’s great. I’m doing an interview with Nick Campion next week about the rise of astrology in academia over the past few decades and astrology coming back into academia, and he teaches one of basically two programs in the world that have that as part of the focus, but yours is the other program, which is at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and if people wanted to follow in some of your footsteps and head in that direction, that would be the place to go, right?

RT: Yeah. If they want a graduate degree or if they just wanna audit classes in that – you can just take a class on its own, too, with permission from the instructor. But yeah, Nick Campion, who’s an old friend of mine, yeah, we’ve kind of been carrying almost during the exact same years, he in the UK and me in the US, carrying the astrological banner within the academic world. And this gets back to a point I made earlier is that if you devote yourself also to, you know, understanding another discipline like history, for example, archeoastronomy and things like that and the history of astrology such as Nick has devoted himself to, and then you have a better likelihood of being able to bring it into the mainstream academic world. And so those two programs continue. Of course, we’ve had Kepler. The Kepler school for years has carried an important educating function within the academic world too, even though it had to deal with other resistances as well. But knock on wood – we’ve got these doctoral and master’s programs in England and the US that have continued to be very fruitful.

CB: Yeah. Well, and hopefully that’s just the start. All right. So I know we’re out of time, so thanks a lot for joining me today.

RT: It’s been a real pleasure, Chris. I think we covered a lot of territory and I look forward to the next time we get together, and thank you very much.

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


Shoutout to our sponsor for this episode, which is the CHANI App, the #1 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 shoutout to the patrons on our Producers tier, including patrons Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Jeanne Marie Kaplan, Melissa DeLano, and Sonny Bazbaz.

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.