Tag Archives: 1997 Jupiter/Uranus conjunction

Preparing for 2010/11: Prometheus unbound?

Astrology is a double-edged art.

It bestows the inestimably joyful gift of awareness that we are all woven into some vast, meaningful pattern – in which the tiniest of individual threads ( you, me….) is a key part of the weave. It contributes a significant lens to the many through which we limited humans  attempt to expand our vision and comprehension of both the collective and individual patterns of life on this tiny, precious planet of ours.

Astrology can also raise fear and apprehension: it provides very accurate timings so that we can know exactly when certain energy patterns are coming to their peak. But our attempts at predicting precisely how those energies will manifest – both collectively and individually – have ranged historically from considerable accuracy to being way off the mark. As a critic wryly observed not long ago, if astrologers could consistently predict accurately they would all be millionaires by now.

The myth of Prometheus, who stole the gods’ fire in order to use it for humanity’s enlightenment and was savagely punished for his hubris, is a salutary one to contemplate as we think of astrology’s double edge. Fire warms us, lights up the dark, protects us – but it can also burn the hand that bears it. All illuminating knowledge, everything which takes humans a step forward into the light, also casts a dark shadow.

And here we are, as another year and decade end, contemplating one of the astrological calendar’s most dynamic and exciting cycles. The fourteen-year cycle of Jupiter and Uranus, which last took place at 5-6 degrees of Aquarius in February 1997, is coming to an end. The new one zaps zero degrees Aries with its lightning bolt in June 2010.

And the myth of Prometheus, powerfully connected to the planet Uranus,  becomes once again startlingly relevant.



In my new book “Jupiter meets Uranus: from erotic bathing to star gazingpublished by the American Federation of Astrologers, (April 2009) the results of my extensive research project conducted during the 1997 Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aquarius are revealed.

The research includes both mundane events and the conjunction’s effects in individual lives, as I explain in AFA Interview: Jupiter, Uranus and the Purple People from Planet Zog first published in May 2009 by the AFA Newsletter.

I also offer insights into the upcoming Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions in Pisces and Aries in 2010/11, an extract from that interview.

It has been terrific to see the amount of interest generated to date, both by the book and by the above articles which appeared recently as posts on this site.

Next year, I will take some time to reflect on what the upcoming conjunction may mean in essence for individuals “plugged in” to the dramatic energy field of zero degrees of Aries/Libra/Cancer/Capricorn – the cardinal cross triggered by the upcoming Jupiter/Uranus conjunction.

Now, though, I feel it is time to return to first principles, to address those thoughtful individuals who understand that grasping the core meaning of  any combination of planetary energies is a fruitful way to proceed – prior to indulging in speculation regarding what branches may grow from that core!

The following is an edited series of extracts from Chapter One: Introducing Jupiter and Uranus, taken from   “Jupiter meets Uranus: from erotic bathing to star gazing

……Jupiter and Uranus form a conjunction in the heavens  every fourteen years. Why should the prospect of such a  meeting generate excitement, and anticipation of “fresh woods and pastures new” ?  How  did astrological Jupiter and Uranus acquire their individual names and meanings? Why are their energies in combination regarded as being so dynamic,unusual, disruptive?……

Planets’ symbolic meanings to date have been derived over time from the astronomy of the planet which is linked to the name, from the mythology associated with the name of the relevant god or goddess, and from empirical observation of the links between  planets’ movements by transit  and corresponding manifestations at both an individual and collective level of earthly life.


Jupiter King of the Gods

Jupiter King of the Gods

Thus, from a weave of the above factors, astrological Jupiter came to be known as “the great benefic”, the planet  bringing opportunity: personal wealth, political prominence, high social position, professional success – “kingship”of various kinds as befitted mythological Jupiter’s role as king of the Olympian gods…..

Psychologically, all forms of  over-confidence, inflated sense of one’s own importance, arrogance and hubris were assigned also to the realm of Jupiter. These represent the shadow side of Jupiter’s undoubted blessings of robust faith in life’s essential value and goodness, the longing to know and to grow in wisdom, and the ability to have fun and inspire other people.

Just as Jupiter the king in Roman myth ( Zeus in Greek myth) was the law giver, so Jupiter the planetary symbol came to relate to those laws, principles, perspectives and ethics which set a context for a larger vision of life than one would have without the prompting of this powerful, fiery force of nature. In its shadow face, those dimensions become distorted into that within human nature which imagines itself to be above the law, able to annexe God to its own side, always able to justify action no matter how dire and inhumane.

The restless drive to grow, to expand, to live a life rich in meaning, to push the boundaries of knowledge and experience as far as  possible, lies at the core of astrological Jupiter. So does its shadow; restlessness which cannot and will not accept the limits set by age and time, the domain of Saturn….


Uranus with Rings

Uranus with Rings

Uranus appeared in 1781, seriously upsetting  the orderly cosmic structure upon which astrology was predicated. William Herschel had not expected his exhaustive telescopic sweep of the heavens to yield another planet, but it did: the first to be discovered since prehistoric peoples began to scan the heavens….. The name finally settled for from Roman myth was Uranus, following the same mytho-logic which had named Jupiter, then Saturn…..

Astrologers also adopted Uranus as the new name, but there is just one problem. Empirical observation, as already noted, is the third strand in the weave of confirming a planet’s symbolic meaning. However, as Richard Tarnas points out in his masterly essay Prometheus the Awakener.there is a consensus amongst modern astrologers, based on empirical observation since its discovery, regarding the core principles associated with the  planet Uranus. However, the mythical figure most clearly evoked by those principles is not Uranus/Ouranos!

What are those core principles? Here I quote  from Tarnas:

“The clear consensus….is that the planet Uranus is empirically associated with the principle of change, rebellion, freedom, liberation, reform and revolution, and the unexpected break-up of structures; with excitement, sudden surprises, lightning-like flashes of insight, revelations and awakenings; and with intellectual brilliance, invention, creativity, originality, and individualism. In addition to the occurrence of sudden breakthroughs and liberating events, Uranus transits are linked to unpredictable and disruptive changes…Uranus is regarded as signifying the individualist, the genius, and the rebel.”

Tarnas points out that these observed qualities bear little resemblance to the mythic Uranus/Ouranos, there being nothing in his character to suggest rebellion, genius or the impulse for change….“….the mythological Ouranos not only diverges from but contradicts the meaning of the astrological Uranus.”….

It would seem from this,  that  the logic which allocated to the new planet the name of the next god in the mythical pantheon, broke down when this particular planet’s behaviour was subjected to empirical observation. It seems rather apt, given its reputation for contrariness, that the planet should be Uranus!

Which mythic figure best expresses the core principles manifested by astrological Uranus ? Tarnas links the planet clearly with Prometheus, a towering, unforgettable character from Greek myth. Prometheus was a Titan, descended from Ouranos, who rebelled against the gods, helped to overthrow the despot Kronos, tricked Zeus, and stole the divine fire of ultimate knowledge from Olympus in order to liberate humanity from the power and domination of the gods…..

Astrological Jupiter and Uranus together – the dream team ?

A first reaction to the combination of those two ‘masculine’ energies, fire and air, rulers of Sagittarius and Aquarius, tends to be positive and enthusiastic. Exploration and innovation, the quest for meaning allied with the drive for revolutionary change, are attractive facets of the human journey. What harm could come from them?

We certainly need the enthusiasm and exuberance of fire, and air’s spirit of enquiry. We need fun, adventure, learning, information and dialogue: life without them would be desperately dull and stagnant.

But deeper investigation can lead to a degree of disquiet! Again, reflecting on the Greek mythology of …. Zeus and Prometheus can help to build a picture which has dark as well as bright shading….

Prometheus had been Zeus’ ally in the Titans’ uprising against Zeus’ father Kronos. But Zeus (Jupiter in Roman myth)had a short memory for a favour, and showed no mercy towards Prometheus when the theft was discovered. He had him chained to a rock for eternity whilst a griffin pecked out his liver each night. Zeus’ harsh behaviour showed him to be  more interested in maintaining his superior position, than in sharing what the gods had for the benefit of both gods and humankind.

Prometheus at first glance appears the more enlightened and progressive of the two. Yet he displayed considerable arrogance in deciding what would benefit humanity without, presumably, consulting a few of their representatives to see what the general feeling was! In concentrating on what humanity could become, he was too far up in the airy realms of theory to think of what the repercussions of human beings having godlike powers might be. Compassion for the impact of mind-expanding theories on the lives of ordinary individual mortals was no concern of his.

There are other rather unsavoury aspects to Zeus and Prometheus which it is well to bear in mind…..

To put it bluntly, the mythology shows us that we are in the company of two archetypal figures who between them have a sweeping and bright vision of how humanity should conduct itself,  and what it can achieve. At the same time, however, they are prepared to be ideologues, hypocrites and thieves who can be motivated by greed and opportunism as well as idealism in the pursuit of their vision.

Light and shadow : current times

In the West at least, we have all  benefited from advances made possible by the restless brilliance of the human mind and spirit, that precious gift of divine fire symbolised in myth. The rapid development of our scientific and technological knowledge and expertise from the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century onwards has been particularly stunning.  Interestingly, these advances greatly escalated from the appearance to our view of the planet named Uranus in the revolutionary decade of the 1780s,during a time known in Europe as the Enlightenment.

But  the shadow side of that gift is becoming increasingly evident as our Earth becomes more and more obviously damaged by our drive to better ourselves. Further dangers now loom as our expertise in genetic engineering and cloning technology grows. We are increasingly able to take apart the very fabric of life, and weave it to a highly conjectural new pattern  unknowable in its ultimate results…..

I do hope that this edited extract has two effects!

One, to enable the reflective reader to gain a clearer core picture of  the combined planetary energies involved as the Jupiter/Uranus energy field of 2010/11 takes form. (Using a wide 10 degree orb, the conjunction begins to apply in March 2010,  finally separating in March 2011)

And two, to stimulate interest in

Jupiter Meets Uranus

Jupiter Meets Uranus

To buy “Jupiter meets Uranus: from erotic bathing to star gazing“, described in a five-star review by Leah Whitehorse as “a page-turner of the astrology world”, click HERE

UK buyers, click HERE


Any comments on this post are welcome


2000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2009
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


Anne Whitaker’s main blog is Writing from the Twelfth House, a lively and popular magazine-type site, set up in the summer of 2008   “….for those writers and readers – and fellow astrologers! – who share my preoccupation with questions of mystery, meaning, pattern and purpose….”

If you are looking for information, education, entertainment and inspiration, check it out !



May 2010

To read John Townley’s – and The Mountain Astrologer’s – generous review of ‘Jupiter Meets Uranus’, click HERE

Jupiter/Uranus meets “the Mutable Babe from Hell”!

The backdrop to the remarkable planetary line-up of 16th February 1997, centred on the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction at 5 deg.55′ Aquarius, was the approaching shift of Neptune into Aquarius, one of its major themes being the yearning for a more humane, spiritual sense of connectedness as world citizens. We could perceive the atmosphere of this shift pervading the global response to UK Princess Diana’s death and funeral in the autumn of 1997.

The unique group experience described in this book extract, for which Lucia’s creativity was such a potent catalyst in that same autumn, was a smaller scale manifestation of  the same collective theme:

(An account of the experiences of all 17 research subjects featured in my study of the February 1997 Jupiter/Uranus conjunction can be found in Chapters 6, 7 and Appendix iii of “Jupiter meets Uranus: from erotic bathing to star gazing”.)

Bridging the personal and the collective





During the period of 13th-15th October 1997, Uranus turned direct at 5 deg. Aquarius – where Jupiter and Uranus had met in February 1997. In response to my asking the 17 research subjects featured in my study whether 13th-15th October had been of any significance, Lucia’s response was to write TOTALLY AND UTTERLY, doubly underlined.

Her horoscope shows a very prominent angular Jupiter-Uranus opposition, in T Square with a Sun Mercury conjunction in Sagittarius, conjunct the IC which is also in Sagittarius. The transiting Jupiter-Uranus conjunction of 16th February 1997 fell on her natal Saturn in the fifth house, activating a powerful natal configuration also involvingJupiter and Uranus. Moreover, of  all the participants, her horoscope shows her natally to be more strongly “plugged in” to the outer planets than anyone else, with her 12th house Uranus rising in 5 degrees Virgo, predisposing her toward tapping very powerfully into the prevailing collective energies.

Her friends call her “the mutable babe from hell” . She positively crackles with barely contained energy, and has a mass of black snaky hair. She is a freelance choreographer and dance teacher. Here is her account of her extraordinary experience in her own words.


I was sent away on Monday 13th October 1997 to a remote and very beautiful spot  in the North of Scotland with forty five unruly teenagers from deprived backgrounds, to create a piece of theatre and enrich their lives. “What a hideous prospect” I thought at first – but what actually evolved was completely mind blowing!!!  I had no idea what to do with them so I threw the whole thing open to discussion , and here’s what happened….”

(Background : the majority of the kids involved were not arty-farty privileged West enders. They had little or no experience of dance, drama or music or how to present themselves positively in a life context, never mind a theatrical one !)

However, I never baulk at a challenge and, while this seemed like a mammoth task, I felt I could contribute something valuable. The heading for the week was “Putting young people first” so I posed the following questions:

a) What does the title mean to you ?

( It certainly wasn’t providing ME with any creative inspiration!)

Responses varied, but the outcome was generally the same; they felt under pressure always to be the best, to think of me…me…me…stifled in their self-expression, not allowed to be who they wanted.

b) What do you really want from life ?

“To be happy” was the universal response, which surprised me with a group of 14 -17 year olds. I had expected   “Money, money and more money.” Many talked of finding a partner, marrying, settling down, having children. Working together, being part of a harmonious whole, appeared very  important.

c) What do you daydream about ?

I encouraged them to think really expansively to get us off the “being famous” crap and interesting things started to
happen: being free, being able to fly, climbing Everest, being able to see into the future. Fantasy took off…


I’d been dying to bring my astrology into a piece of theatre and it seemed like the Sun, Venus and Neptune were now jumping off the page at me. I had all the inspiration I needed and I set to work. Everyone was soon busying away on improvisation, song writing, creating movement and I was on  a total high.

The whole week, instead of becoming more frenetic, as I would expect, became calmer. I can’t describe it in words; but it was as though we were all tuning into this kind of “community” thing. We were by the sea, and I watched as real hardened city kids went to the water’s edge each day and sat, saying nothing, gazing into space beside new-found friends. I stood outside one evening, gazing at the magnificent sky and stars, when I was joined by an archetypal “wee hard man” who stood silently for a few moments then said “What’s happening, Lucia?” “Who knows. Enjoying yourself, Dave ?” “It’s pure brilliant, by the way,” he nodded quietly.

The unspoken communication was the most incredible thing we were all experiencing.

These are very noisy and rumbustious young people, yet they were walking around as though they were on tranquillisers. A small group approached and asked me if I would teach them how to meditate!!!

There was a whole higher consciousness, Neptunian thing going on here and I will never, ever forget it. Spiritual connection, I guess.

I told no-one where I had drawn my inspiration from until the piece was finished because I fully expected people to think I was a fruitcake. I sat everyone down at the end, explained my planetary springboard, and waited for the guffaws. They didn’t happen. They replied in a very sixties “Wow, man!!” kind of way. Unbelievable!

(On Friday 17th October at 3.17 pm , precisely when the young people finished performing the work they had spent the week creating, the clock  in the  room stopped. )

The piece called Mind, Body, Spirit was performed on 30th October 1997 at the City Halls, Glasgow, in Scotland… “I really, really hope I’ve been instrumental in expanding at least a few young minds.”

Lucia’s experience shows how vibrantly and creatively Jupiter and Uranus can work together at their best, to push human beings beyond what they thought were their limits toward creating new and satisfying ways of being alive. It reminds us, in its Aquarian context, that we are all interrelated.

Also illustrated, in a particularly striking manner, is an important truth which I believe the research in this study has helped to confirm in its own small scale: that the personal and collective lives of humankind respond in the same core way to the great music of the spheres,  played throughout space and time by the planets in their cycles.

Jupiter Meets Uranus

Jupiter Meets Uranus


To buy “Jupiter meets Uranus: from erotic bathing to star gazing”, described in a five-star review by Leah Whitehorse as “a page-turner of the astrology world”, click HERE

UK buyers, click HERE



1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2009 Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page