The Jupiter Uranus cycle correlates with times in world history characterised by breakthroughs and discoveries in science, innovation in technology, creative and philosophical awakenings and new ideas, revolutions and increasing demands for freedom and equality, political and social rebellions, protests, and new beginnings in many areas.
The most obvious synchronicities of historical events tend to happen at the beginning of each cycle at the conjunction, and at the peak with the opposition, although the squares can be powerful too. The whole cycle recurs every 14 years, and each alignment within the cycle lasts about 14 months, sometimes less. For more on how this works read: Astrological Cycles & the Collective
You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that we’re currently experiencing an alignment between Jupiter and Uranus – an opposition. We’ll have a closer look at that in another post, because first we need to understand the archetypes involved in the alignment:
The Jupiter Archetype
The Jupiter archetype represents the principle of expansion and growth, and the desire to succeed, progress, ascend, and improve. It’s associated with optimism, enthusiasm, aspiration, abundance, and joy, as well as culture, higher learning, philosophy, religion and spirituality and the search for meaning.
Jupiter stands for liberal open-mindedness, hope, and visions of the future. But it can also become puffed up with its own importance and encourage arrogance, pride, aggrandisement, over-expansion, extravagance, and excess.
Jupiter is linked to Zeus, the King of the Olympian gods, and to his equivalent in Scandinavian mythology, Odin. For more on this read: The Story Behind Jupiter, and for more on the planet read: Jupiter Keywords
The Uranus Archetype
The Uranus archetype represents the principle of change and the unexpected, and the desire for freedom, rebellion, liberation, revolution and reform. It’s associated with sudden surprises, revelations, awakenings, insight, and new beginnings. As well as restlessness, individuality and eccentricity.
Uranus is the ‘cosmic trickster’ bringing disruption, excitement, unpredictability, and speed. It brings increased consciousness, esoteric knowledge, brilliance, and genius, which lead to originality, innovation, and new inventions. It’s associated with science and technology, cosmology, astronomy, space travel and aviation.
Uranus is linked to Prometheus, the Titan who stole fire from the gods to give to mankind. For more on this read: Planet Myths: The Story Behind Uranus, and for more on the planet read: Uranus Keywords
Jupiter Uranus Alignments
Jupiter tends to magnify and boost any other planet it aligns with. It expands and elevates, bringing out the best qualities of the other archetype. But it can also encourage things to expand too far and leave situations overexposed to a backlash. Uranus also stimulates Jupiter and kind of eggs it on, so these alignments often correlate with very exciting and fast moving times.
Each successive cycle builds on the events of the last and you can see patterns developing over time. One innovation leads to another, with ideas cross-fertilising and inspiring each other over time and around the world.
For example, the conjunction in 1775-76 saw the start of the American Revolution, as well as the publication of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, and Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.
The peak of that cycle came with the opposition in 1782-83 which saw the end of the American Revolution and the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
The start of the next cycle with the conjunction in 1788-89 brought the French Revolution and the fall of the Bastille. This alignment coincided with the Uranus Pluto opposition of 1787-98 which meant the revolutionary fervour was more widespread than 14 years earlier with the American Revolution. There were revolutions erupting around the world in Belgium, Poland, Ireland, the Haitian Rebellion and West Indies slave uprisings, and more.
Meanwhile, in America, they were building on the previous cycle and continuing to create a new country with the inauguration of George Washington and the passing of the Bill of Rights.
More recently, the Jupiter Uranus conjunction of 1968-69 coincided with a huge number of rebellions and uprisings, with the student revolts and protest movement, the insurgency in Vietnam, and the rise of the civil rights and black power movements. This time also saw the beginning of the gay liberation and radical feminist movements.
As with the French Revolution in the 18th century, this conjunction was boosted by the presence of Pluto, also conjunct Uranus in 1960-72, which spread the revolutionary spirit far and wide, with the impact still being felt today.
Interestingly, the Jupiter Uranus opposition of 1989-90 coincided with a different planetary conjunction, that of Uranus and Neptune in 1985-2001. Neptune gave the revolutions of that time a more uplifting and idealistic feeling with many relatively peaceful changes taking place, such as the demonstrations calling for freedom in Eastern Europe and the collapse of communism, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Velvet Revolution in Prague.
The Final Frontier
An example of how innovations build over time can be seen with the history of aviation and space travel. The first recorded case of a human being leaving the planet happened during the Jupiter Uranus opposition in 1782-83 with the invention of the hot air balloon and its first flight by the Montgolfier brothers.
The Wright brothers conducted their first experiments with gliders during the Jupiter Uranus conjunction in 1899-1901. While Charles Lindbergh was the first to fly solo across the Atlantic during the conjunction of 1927-28.
The first space flights by Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard took place during the Jupiter Uranus opposition in 1961-62, and this time also saw John F Kennedy’s announcement of the plan to put a man on the moon. The Apollo moon landing happened at the start of the next cycle with the conjunction in 1968-69.
As we’ve already seen, both of these last alignments coincided with the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in 1960-72, and in an incredible synchronicity (which was probably planned by NASA), the moon landing happened when the moon itself was in a fleeting one day quadruple conjunction with the Jupiter Uranus Pluto alignment, right at the time of the landing.
The alignments continue with the Viking space program and its successful mission to land probes on Mars during the Jupiter Uranus opposition of 1975-76. A later opposition in 2002-04 brought confirmation that liquid water existed on Mars in the past, and the Rosetta spacecraft was launched in preparation to land on the surface of a comet.
Science & Technology
Most of the major scientific works and breakthroughs have coincided with Jupiter Uranus alignments. The scientific revolution itself began with the conjunction in 1540-41 when Copernicus published De Revolutionibus, kicking off the whole shebang. Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton all published important works during subsequent alignments (too many to list here), building the foundations for future scientific discoveries. Here’s some of the highlights from the 19th century and beyond:
1830-32 conjunction: Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction; Charles Darwin embarks on his world changing voyage on HMS Beagle
1844-45 conjunction: Darwin writes the first version of The Origin of Species; invention of the telegraph
1857-59 conjunction: Darwin and Wallace announce the theory of evolution and Darwin writes the final version of The Origin of Species
1864-66 opposition: Gregor Mendel and his peas discover the laws of heredity
1871-72 conjunction: Darwin publishes The Descent of Man
1879-80 opposition: Einstein is born; invention of the electric light bulb
1899-1901 conjunction: Planck’s quanta start the quantum physics revolution; Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams which starts the psychoanalytic revolution; Mendel’s work with peas is rediscovered and verified
1919-21 opposition: Einstein’s theory of relativity is confirmed; first radio broadcast
1927-28 conjunction: Niels Bohr’s principle of complementarity (light is a wave and a particle), Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and the fifth Solvay conference (see image above); first sound motion picture (see below), and the first TV transmission
1954-55 conjunction: Steve Jobs is born
1968-69 conjunction: development of the Gaia hypothesis; first working model of the personal computer; first internet transmission
1975-77 opposition: Steve Wozniak builds Apple’s first personal computer
Incidentally, the first Macintosh 128K computer was launched in January 1984 just after the Jupiter Uranus conjunction of 1982-83, so it would have been in development during the alignment. The same pattern repeats with the launch of the first iMac G3 in August 1998, just after the 1996-97 conjunction.
Meanwhile, the first iPhone was launched during the Jupiter Uranus square in 2007. Although the first smartphone was actually made by IBM, called the Simon Personal Communicator, during the Jupiter Uranus trine in 1992.
Jupiter Uranus alignments often correlate with periods of rich cultural change, new ideas, and inspirational works. This can be seen by looking at the music, films and books that were created during these years.
The works that reflect the archetypal energies most clearly are the ones that tend to stand out or become celebrated over time for their Promethean, expansive and revolutionary spirit. These alignments also correspond to new beginnings: the first work by a major new talent, the first in a major series of works, or the first in a new genre or style, for example.
Examples from literature:
1436-37 opposition: Gutenberg builds his printing press, 100 years before the start of the scientific revolution (an important point, I think)
1623-24 conjunction: Shakespeare publishes the First Folio of his plays
1665-66 conjunction: Milton publishes Paradise Lost
1720-21 conjunction: Jonathan Swift publishes Gulliver’s Travels
1885-86 conjunction: Arthur Conan Doyle writes the first Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet; Robert Louis Stevenson writes The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Tolstoy writes The Death of Ivan Illich
1899-1901 conjunction: Henry James writes The Ambassadors, which prefigures the modern novel
1913-15 conjunction: James Joyce publishes The Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and begins writing Ulysses; Kafka writes The Trial; and Proust publishes the first volume of Remembrance of Things Past
1919-21 opposition: James Joyce finishes Ulysses
1927-28 conjunction: Virginia Woolf publishes To The Lighthouse; William Faulkner begins writing Sartoris, and The Sound and the Fury; Proust publishes the final volume of Remembrance of Things Past
1954-55 conjunction: Tolkien begins publishing the Lord of the Rings trilogy; the Beat movement delivers Howl by Allen Ginsberg, and On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs begins Naked Lunch
1968-69 conjunction: Carlos Castaneda starts the series on The Teachings of Don Juan
1996-97 conjunction: J.K. Rowling publishes Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
All these writers wrote or published their first works during a Jupiter Uranus alignment: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Dickens, Thackeray, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Henry James, Conrad, Kafka, Joyce, Evelyn Waugh, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, William Blake, Keats, Baudelaire, Auden, Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg… the list is almost endless!
Some musical and filmic highlights:
1913-15 conjunction: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring premieres and the audience riot; D.W. Griffith makes the silent epic film The Birth of a Nation; and Charlie Chaplin creates his famous character The Tramp
1927-28 conjunction: first talkie The Jazz Singer premieres; Duke Ellington starts playing at The Cotton Club
1940-41 conjunction: the bebop revolution in jazz with Charlie Parker and others
1947-49 opposition: the birth of cool jazz with Miles Davis
1954-55 conjunction: rock and roll explodes into the world with Elvis Presley’s That’s All Right, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry’s Maybelline, Buddy Holly, and Bill Haley and the Comets perform Rock Around the Clock in the film Blackboard Jungle, and the audience rip up the seats! Also, the birth of soul music with I’ve Got a Woman by Ray Charles; all three James Dean films East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant; Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront
1961-63 opposition: the first recordings by Bob Dylan and The Beatles, and the formation of The Rolling Stones
1968-69 conjunction: first broadcast of Monty Python; a ridiculous number of influential films and directors making their first movies, including Scorsese, Spielberg, Woody Allen, Herzog, Fassbinder, and many more; plus an insane number of musical highlights:
- The Beatles: White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be
- Rolling Stones: Beggar’s Banquet, and Let It Bleed
- Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding, and Nashville Skyline
- Jimmy Hendrix: Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, and his performance at Woodstock of the Star Spangled Banner
- The Who’s rock opera Tommy
- Miles Davis births jazz rock fusion with In a Silent Way, and Bitches Brew
Plus debut albums by bands and artists whose music became legendary: Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, David Bowie and many more, including Iggy Pop and the Stooges who would go on to influence the rise of punk…
1975-76 opposition: the rise of punk rock and new wave with Patti Smith, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Ramones, and Talking Heads. Plus the formation of U2 and the apparently unstoppable rise of Bono 😉 .
I’ve left out so many things and this list is already too long. It’s worth mentioning (if you’re still with me) that these examples are very Western-centric. This is mainly because my heritage is western so I’d struggle to evaluate the syncs from other cultures, but I’m sure you could add many more examples from around the world. If you’d like to find out more, I recommend Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas.
Next time we’ll look at the current Jupiter Uranus cycle in more detail.