Every 20 years Jupiter and Saturn make a conjunction marking the beginning of a new economic cycle. For around 200 years this conjunction happens in the same element:
Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Then there’s a shift. The conjunctions switch to a new element. This is called a Great Mutation. It happens around every 200 years and it marks a paradigm shift for the world of business.
There is usually a transition period as the new element is introduced. For example, in 1802 the conjunctions switched from fire to earth with Virgo, but then slipped back into fire with Aries in 1821 before establishing itself with the Great Earth Mutation in Capricorn in 1842.
As we’re dealing with long trend economic patterns here, the associations of the Great Mutations with shifts in economic activity are purely speculative. But trends can be seen.
Earth is a material element and the Earth mutations introduce a new method of physically moving goods and payments around. This can be seen in the 11th century in China which was the dominant world economy at that time where the introduction of paper money facilitated the trade of goods.
Air is to do with communication and ideas as can be seen with the Great Air Mutation in the 13th century when the Chinese invented moveable type which revolutionised printing. Later this technology spread through the Arab world to Europe.
The Great Water Mutation in the 15th century heralded the beginning of exploration by sea, the expansion of Europe in particular.
Then in the 17th century the development of the steam engine at the time of the Great Fire Mutation led to faster transport both by sea and by rail – as well as coinciding with the Great Fire of London in 1666.
The last 200 years have seen Jupiter and Saturn make a sequence of conjunctions in Earth signs. Trade and the transport of goods has been at the heart of global capitalism since the Great Earth Mutation of 1842.
Then in December 2020 there was another Great Mutation in Air – the first since the 15th century. We’ve been in a transition period since 1981 when the conjunction took place in Libra – the first time for 600 years that it had taken place in an air sign. The early 80s was when the first computers using integrated circuits became available.
Then in May 2000 it slipped back to an earth sign with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus, and we were in the middle of the dot com crash. It was simply too early. The world was not ready for a transition from a business based on atoms to one based on bits. (See ‘Being Digital’ by Nicholas Negroponte 1995.) In those days we were still using dial-up modems with a top speed of 56 kbit/s FFS! Fibre broadband, fast wi-fi and 5G were still many years away.
In 2020, on December 21st, the day of the Winter Solstice in the Northern hemisphere, Jupiter and Saturn were conjunct in Aquarius, in fact, in the first degree of Aquarius (00°AQ 29’). This was the first time that these two planets had been conjunct in that sign since the beginning of the 15th century, back in the days when movable type was invented, transforming the printing industry for ever (or at least until the development of computer technology in the 1980s).
And the communications revolution goes on; the growth of the information economy, the transition from paper money to digital currency, the use of Artificial Intelligence and algorithms to make decisions and then, who knows, on to decentralised cryptocurrencies based on blockchain technology, and er… quantum computing anyone?
In fact, Aquarius supports decentralisation. Politically its opposite sign is Leo, the lion, the king of the jungle, the monarchy, the centre of power. In medical astrology, Leo rules the heart, the central pumping station of the body, while Aquarius represents the circulation of the blood, the democratic distribution to all the cells of the body. Leo is the client server model. Aquarius oversees the distributed network that is transforming centralised power in business and finance as well as in the political realm.
There’s more about the Great Mutation and the Aquarian Economic Paradigm here.