Astro Journal

Saturn in Pisces: Recent History

Last time we explored the archetypes and history of Saturn in Pisces up to the start of the 20th century. The events of these transits, as well as Saturn Neptune alignments, include new religious and ideological political movements, social reforms, the spread of disease, an increase in drug use and/or its suppression, cultural developments in the arts, as well as shipping and issues around water.

Important note: as with the previous post, the dates here aren’t precise and Saturn dipped in and out of Pisces during these ranges. Please check your ephemeris for the exact dates!

Hitler greets Catholic dignitaries and fails to burst into flames 🔥

First up, Saturn was in Pisces from February 1935 to January 1938 which coincided with the Saturn Neptune opposition of 1936-37, reinforcing the archetypes. Fascism was growing in Europe, with Franco starting the Spanish Civil War in 1936, and Hitler killing undesirables in Nazi Germany. During this transit Hitler reinstated the Luftwaffe and reintroduced conscription to the Wehrmacht, gearing up for war. Other lowlights include:

  • the Nuremberg Laws which removed citizenship from Jews
  • the Lebensborn eugenics program founded by Himmler to increase Aryan births and achieve racial purity
  • the mandate for all boys aged 10-18 to join the Hitler Youth paramilitary organisation
  • Hitler’s declaration of the need for ‘living space’ for Germany

In the Soviet Union, Stalin’s socialist plan was failing and he was becoming more paranoid and determined to hang on to power. He began his Great Purge in 1936 to remove his enemies, imprisoning millions and killing at least 700,000 people. In China, the long march of the Red Army ended in Shaanxi province and the rise to power of Mao Zedong began.

Meanwhile in the US, Roosevelt was dealing with the consequences of the Great Depression and the drought that caused the Dust Bowl. The Social Security Act was introduced in 1935 to provide support for people who were struggling. The Hoover Dam was completed in 1936, and in January to February 1937, the Ohio river flooded leaving a million people homeless and hundreds dead.

In the UK, Edward VIII became king in January 1936 following the death of his father, George V. But it didn’t last long and he abdicated the throne in December the same year because he wanted to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorcee. This was good news for the country as Edward was a raging fascist and friend of Hitler.

In Jarrow in the northeast, the people were suffering after the closure of the shipyard and in October 1936 about 200 men marched to London to protest against poverty and unemployment. There were also protests in Palestine when the people revolted against the British government and in opposition to Jewish immigration.

This transit was the moment when a teenaged Sun Myung Moon claimed he had a revelation from Jesus telling him to complete his mission on Earth. He later went on to found the Unification Church, known as the Moonies. Meanwhile in the US, Alcoholics Anonymous was started by William Wilson and Robert Smith, encouraging people to surrender their addictions to a higher power.

Some cultural highlights of this time include:

  • the creation of the Hammond Organ
  • the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first feature-length animated film
  • the publication of Dr Seuss’s first children’s book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry St.
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, about the Great Depression, and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • Lovecraft was churning out stories including At the Mountains of Madness, and JRR Tolkien published The Hobbit
the Abernathy children with Martin Luther King on the Selma to Montgomery march, 1965

Saturn was next in Pisces from March 1964 to March 1967 which coincided with the Uranus Pluto conjunction of 1966-67 so there was lots of revolutionary activity, coups and uprisings. The Vietnam war escalated and there were massive anti-war protests around the world. Young men in the US burnt their draft cards, and in South Vietnam 20,000 Buddhists protested against the military government.

Alongside the anti-Vietnam protests, there were civil rights marches and race riots in the US. Black power was on the rise and Martin Luther King led the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965, and the Black Panther Party was formed in 1966. Some feared the changes and Malcolm X was assassinated, and the Ku Klux Klan committed multiple murders in Mississippi.

Lyndon B Johnson introduced spending programs to reduce poverty and racial injustice, called the Great Society, and the Civil Rights Bill was passed in 1964, abolishing racial segregation in the US. The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting, and the Social Security Act established Medicare and Medicaid. Cuban refugees began to arrive in the US in October 1965 and the Freedom Flights began in November.

In South Africa, ANC activist, Nelson Mandela, made his ‘I am prepared to die’ speech at the trial that led to his imprisonment in 1964. The following year, a million people were massacred in the Indonesian genocide when the army executed communists to stop an attempted coup.

Not to be outdone, the Cultural Revolution began in China when the CCP issued the ‘May 16 Notice’ in 1966 to justify the purges and forced reforms. Mao had become the focus of a personality cult and his ‘Little Red Book’ was used as a manifesto by the revolutionaries to purge unbelievers. They destroyed China’s traditional culture and millions were massacred, humiliated or driven to commit suicide.

There was more flooding in the US when the flood of December 1964 in the Pacific Northwest and northern California lasted into January 1965. The following year, the Arno river flooded and hit Florence in Italy leaving thousands homeless and destroying many artworks, and a huge tidal flood also hit Venice.

the Beatles in the studio with George Martin, 1966 🎵

Radio Caroline became the first pirate radio station in the UK when it started broadcasting from a ship anchored just outside UK territorial waters in March 1964. A couple of months later, fights between Mods and Rockers caused a moral panic about the state of British youth, although this was mostly hyped-up nonsense.

In April 1964, the Beatles held the top five positions on the Billboard Top 40 in the US, and in 1966, John Lennon announced that the band was “more popular than Jesus”. They started to record the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album at the end of that year.

In the US, LSD was made illegal in 1966 and even legal scientific research was shut down. But this didn’t stop the hippies who were busy spreading ‘flower power’ and getting off their faces. The Human Be-In happened at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in January 1967, a prelude to the summer of love later that year.

Other cultural highlights include:

  • thieves stole the head of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen
  • bourbon whiskey was recognised as a distinctive product of the US
  • Bob Dylan upset lots of people by going electric
  • the Surveyor 1 sent thousands of photographs from the moon
  • the mini skirt craze began when Jean Shrimpton wore a short white dress to the Australian Darby
  • the Church of Satan was formed by Anton LaVey in San Francisco
  • the Tom and Jerry cartoon had its first world broadcast premiere
  • The Sound of Music won Best Picture at the Oscars, Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win an Oscar for Best Actor in Lilies of the Field, and the Star Trek TV series premiered in the US
  • the first Mothman sightings happened in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the US
Skulls at the Nyamata Memorial in Rwanda

The most recent transit of Saturn in Pisces was from May 1993 to April 1996 which coincided with the Saturn Neptune sextile of 1995-96, and the Uranus Neptune conjunction in 1993. This period saw the fallout from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 (and the Saturn Neptune conjunction) which caused ripples around the world and tanked the Russian economy. Russia started the First Chechen war in 1994 and it ran until 1996.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was created in the Hague in May 1993 to prosecute war crimes committed during the Yugoslav wars in the early 90s. Meanwhile, the Bosnian War continued between Bosnian Croats and Serbs with atrocities and ethnic cleansing and multiple massacres. The war ended in 1995, and many Bosnian Serb commanders were charged with genocide and crimes against humanity at the tribunal, including Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.

The Rwandan genocide started in April 1994 when Hutu gangs slaughtered over 600,000 Tutsi, as well as moderate Hutus. Almost as many women were raped during the massacre, which finally ended in July. Meanwhile, the Iraq disarmament crisis following the end of the first Gulf War was bubbling under with lots of sabre rattling and zero trust between the parties.

There were multiple incidents of mass murder during this transit, including Buruch Goldstein, an Israeli Kahanist, who opened fire in the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank and killed 29 Muslims before the crowd beat him to death. In Japan, the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo, carried out two deadly sarin attacks, the second on the Tokyo subway.

Another cult in Switzerland, the Order of the Solar Temple, committed a series of murders and mass suicides, while in the US, Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City bombing. In Scotland, Thomas Hamilton opened fire in Dunblane Primary school killing 16 children and a teacher before killing himself. And the Provisional IRA broke their own ceasefire when they bombed Canary Wharf in London.

This was also when OJ Simpson was arrested for murder and then acquitted after a long show trial. And in the UK, Fred West and his wife Rose were arrested after excavations at their home found the bodies of multiple murder victims. He later killed himself while awaiting trial, leaving his wife to be convicted of 10 murders.

More bad news:

  • Kurt Cobain, lead singer and guitarist with Nirvana, committed suicide (allegedly). He was born during the previous transit and died just before his Saturn return
  • the car ferry, MS Estonia, sank in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people
  • Barings Bank collapsed after broker Nick Leeson lost $1.4 billion speculating on the Tokyo Stock Exchange
  • France tested nuclear bombs in the Pacific Ocean causing outcry around the world
  • China began surface-to-surface missile testing and military exercises off the Taiwan coast
  • the Israel-Palestine peace process failed when the Israeli PM was assassinated
X-Files – I want to believe…

There were plenty of positive events too, such as the first multiracial elections in Burundi since 1984 when Melchior Ndadaye was elected as their first Hutu president. South Africa also had their first multiracial elections and Nelson Mandela became president, and later abolished capital punishment in the country.

Russia and China agreed to stop targeting each other with their nuclear weapons, and the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty was extended indefinitely by 170 countries. The Australian government agreed to pay reparations to indigenous Australians who were displaced during nuclear tests in the 50s and 60s.

More good news:

  • the Church of England ordained the first female priests
  • the Schengen Agreement went into effect to allow easy cross-border travel in the EU
  • the Channel Tunnel opened, connecting Britain to France
  • construction on the Three Gorges Dam started at Sandouping in China

This was also the time when New Age spirituality finally went mainstream and there was a huge burst of interest in esoteric religions, astrology, paganism and goddess worship. The Dalai Lama proclaimed 6-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama in 1995. But later that year, China endorsed their own version, the 5-year-old Gyaincain Norbu instead.

More cultural highlights include:

  • Prince announced his name change to a symbol so people started calling him The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
  • the PlayStation game system was launched
  • huge growth in the use of psychedelics and UFO culture, and the X-Files TV series started
  • the K Foundation (KLF) did several situationist art projects and burned a million pounds
  • Edvard Munch’s The Scream was stolen in Oslo and later recovered
  • the first photograph of Pluto and its moon Charon was taken from the Hubble Space Telescope
  • Marmaduke Wetherell’s photo of the Loch Ness Monster was confirmed as a hoax
  • Jurassic Park with its groundbreaking CGI dinosaurs was released and became the biggest grossing film for the next four years, while The Lion King became the highest grossing animated film, and Schindler’s List won 7 Oscars
  • Toy Story was the first full-length computer animated film to be released
  • Waterworld was the most expensive film ever made at the time and was beset with problems – at one point the set collapsed during a hurricane

Other paradigmatic films released during this time include: Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, Ed Wood, Pulp Fiction, Interview with the Vampire, The Madness of King George, Immortal Beloved, Outbreak, The Prophecy, Leaving Las Vegas, and 12 Monkeys.

We’ll explore the possibilities for the next transit of Saturn in Pisces later…

Images: Hitler; Selma; Beatles; Skulls

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2 thoughts on “Saturn in Pisces: Recent History

  1. disney’s snow white is a nefarious travesty messing with the important metaphors and kid’s minds!
    not sure if you meant that to be positive. betttelheim’s book [ although i don’t agree with the freudianisms] ” the meaning of enchantment addresses that.

    Liked by 1 person

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