One of the most ancient forms of astrology, practiced since at least Babylon, is mundane astrology, the study of the fate of nations as reflected by the stars. The rise and fall of civilizations, mass movements, great leaders, natural disasters, and times of prosperity or woe for a nation are all part of the “mundane astrology” category.
One of the primary timekeeping devices in mundane astrology is the Great Conjunctions, the 20 year cycle of conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn. This past December, right at Winter Solstice, we observed a historic one. This cycle has the compelling trait that all the conjunctions occur in the same elemental triplicity for approximately 200 years. This past conjunction is also called a Grand Mutation, as it marks a shift from one element to another. For the previous cycle, all the conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn have been in the element of Earth, but now they have shifted to the element of Air when Jupiter and Saturn conjoined in Aquarius, marking the beginning of a new era.
Many prominent astrologers and authors have written excellent guides to the meaning of this conjunction for the world or for the USA. I want to keep my focus more local and cover details that haven’t already been described at length, so I am going to delineate the Great Conjunction for Austin Texas in my upcoming series of posts. Mundane astrology is performed using the capital of a political unit as the chart location. Why Texas? Because I’m here and I’m curious.
I am officially beginning the relaunch of my site, now with regular blogging. I have a few topics queued up, including a series on the mundane astrology of Texas, astrology of family trees, and some deep dives into the charts of historical figures.
I’m going to aim for a post most Wednesdays, and I am open for scheduling natal readings and topical readings most evenings and weekends.
I practice Hellenistic astrology, which is the modern recreation of the type of astrology practiced by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians in the era of the Library of Alexandria. I am strongly inclined to learn from history and I have found Hellenistic techniques to provide clarity of interpretation. I also find that the Stoic and Neoplatonist philosophies that influenced these ancient astrologers has a lot of value for me in my life today.
I believe that our souls are eternal and that they choose to come into existence in order to have certain experiences or learn certain lessons. I believe each person is born exactly when they are supposed to be, and that the symbols of astrology can be used to gain insight into the conditions that the soul needed to experience. I do not believe that the planets or stars cause things to happen in our lives. I think the divinatory approach is more accurate. I think that any symbol system that is deeply understood can be used as a key to access the parts of reality that our cause-and-effect rationalist minds can’t easily grasp. I think that astrology works because the universe is a unified whole and this wholeness expresses itself in every detail, in something of a fractal way. We humans have a really neat ability to notice symbols and derive meaning from them, and this is the part of that fractal expression that our minds can use to increase our understanding.
Do I believe in free will? Yes, as long as we are not defining free will as some kind of totally uninfluenced freedom. We are influenced by many things, and astrology can describe most of them. But our souls are something separate and deeper than any chart or any life experiences can fully describe. Free will, like every other human capability, is subject to conscious development. We can go through life automatically, driven by our instincts and our psychological defenses, or we can develop ourselves in more conscious ways. Every culture and every spiritual tradition that I know of has methods by which the soul can grow beyond its automatic responses. This, however, is the work of a lifetime.
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