Future Trends (2)
Future Trends (3)
Future Trends (4)
Future Trends (5)
Notes to Trends
Footnotes & Bibliography
(2) Catastrophe: Fixed Stars
(3) Catastrophe: Planetary Aspects
(4) Catastrophe: Ceres & Nodes
(5) Catastrophe: The Number 11
Numerology of the event
The Cycle of Uranus and Algol in 2002
[editor's note: this page was reformatted in 2015 to keep up with technology but the content is the same as when published first in 2002]
"Is it me, or does it feel like Retrograde? I just looked, and it's not that time of year, but what is going on out there? Communications are funky, people are dying, war between Israel and Palestine, and lesser more annoying things are happening. Anyone know why all this is going on? Is it planetary?"
That message from a reader on our Forum has prompted an intriguing answer from Ian Thurnwald, leading Mundane Astrologer and co-founder of AstroScope Me.
The unpleasant feeling that surrounds us, generating a sense of uneasiness and anxiety is due in part to the cycle of Uranus, the force of upheaval and Caput Algol, the most malefic of the fixed stars.
Yes, Algol – the most malefic of fixed stars – appears to be the culprit. The planet Uranus (upheavals; sudden changes) and Algol are entering a critical phase of their cycle, which began with their conjunction back in 1941-42 – the height of World War II. This is an important 84 year historical cycle (albeit one which most astrologers don't seem to take account of), and it is one of the major influences for 2002. The other, the opposition phase of the Saturn-Pluto cycle, which began back in August 2001, relates more strongly to the so-called 'war on terror' and is yet to play itself out in full.
Algol, or Caput Algol – Ras al-Ghul, the brightest star of the Gorgon's Head – has consistently and universally been seen as a malefic star that brings calamity and loss to humanity. On a personal level it means to lose one's head, in other words, it makes people act rashly, without forethought or due consideration.
Algol is such a malefic fixed star that its zodiacal position assumes the importance of a critical degree that must always be considered when looking at unfolding trends (eg transits, solar returns, etc.). At present Algol is at about 26° Taurus.
The implications of this for natal astrology are that certain Taureans will have Algol strong in their birth-charts. Any Taurean born between the 15th-20th May will have at least their Sun conjunct Algol's zodiacal degree. So these Taureans will manifest the positive or negative traits of Algol.
Apart from the Uranus square (see below for details), the only other recent transit to Algol was the Mars conjunction of 5-8th April. This period saw the US assume a much stronger role in trying to end the violence in Israel-Palestine amid fears the conflict would spread. President Bush announced that Secretary of Sate, Colin Powell would go to the region. Interestingly, Bush and Blair held their scheduled 'war council' on Iraq that weekend, but it was overshadowed by the conflict in Middle East. Powell, an Aries, left on the 7th, two days after his birthday, so Colin Powell's solar return for this year has Mars conjunct Algol (he – and any other Aries born around 5th April – would be well advised to, literally, keep his head down when in a war zone). Meanwhile the Israeli incursions continued and the violence over this period was the worst to date, culminating in the deaths of 13 Israeli troops and more than 100 Palestinians at a refugee camp in Jenin.
Now let's look at the significance of the long-term Algol-Uranus cycle.
The first outgoing square occurred over three periods, from October 1960 to January 1961, and again in August to September 1961, and finally from February through June/July 1962. (The exact square is in force two times over this period: 17 Aug to 1 Sep 1961; 29 Mar to 10 Jun 1962. ) This period was marked by events which led to the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962 – Castro's Cuba aligned with the USSR, Kennedy was elected (Nov 60) and went ahead with the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion (Apr 61), the Berlin Wall went up (Aug 61), the Soviets began shipping missiles to Cuba (May 62). The missile crisis was the most severe crisis of the Cold War when the USA and USSR were a hair's-breadth away from all-out nuclear war. Another interesting fact is that the Sandanista rebels appeared in Nicaragua in 1961.
The opposition was in force over two periods, from October 1980 to January 1981, and again from May to October 1981. (The exact opposition was in force two times over this period: 21 Nov to 6 Dec 1980; 17 Jun to 20 Sep 1981.)
Robert Hand wrote an authoritative article on this 33 year cycle that appeared in 'The Mountain Astrologer' back in Aug/Sept 2001. He characterises the combined energies of Saturn-Pluto as "shrinking transformation". To paraphrase Hand, he says the opposition aspect, especially, relates to the destruction of an existing order of taken-for-granted reality and the creation of a new one. Usually this process of transformation occurs under conditions of privation that restrict our freedom of movement, or because some crisis makes it evident that our lawful, orderly and predictable system needs to be changed at a deep and fundamental level.