Location : Astro Info / Articles / Winter 2004-05

Winter 2004-05 (published 1/10/2005)

Chaos Theory and Astrology of the Early 21st Century*

by Karen Steen, Astrologer

A Thumbnail Sketch of Chaos Theory
Chaos Theory (1, 2) is considered the science of wholeness. It describes laws that govern whole systems, from economics and weather to thought patterns and social change. Chaos Theory observes that when systems reach their inevitable limits of equilibrium, forces termed Strange Attractors generate turbulence throughout the system. This turbulence intensifies over time and leads to a bifurcation, or split, in the structure of the system. The characteristics of a bifurcation then provide the basis for new systemic order and dynamic equilibrium.

     Chaos Theory is a useful model with which to understand the dynamics underlying current global developments. Our modern civilization appears to have reached its limits of equilibrium within nature and between cultures. Global climate change and limited natural resources - especially fossil fuels and the phenomenon of peak oil production(3) - are acting as Strange Attractors, creating increasing turbulence in ecological and sociopolitical systems worldwide. Astrological indicators now and toward 2020 are for intensified turbulence and possibly bifurcation in our environmental, socioeconomic, and political systems.

Astrological Overview 1980 - 2020
Now and toward the year 2020, we are in transition within several major astrological cycles and subcycles.  The meeting of Jupiter and Saturn in 1980 and 2000 heralded a transition within their 800 year cycle together of global sociopolitical, cultural, and economic developments (4).  Their current subcycle transition is from an emphasis on material development since 1842, to an emphasis on global social development - that of ideas, information, communication, and relationships - for the coming 200 years. This emerging development theme will be substantially defined by 2020 (Jupiter/Saturn Mutation Conjunction in Air), and it will continue into the 23rd Century.

     Since 1995 and until 2008, Pluto’s travel through Sagittarius corresponds to transformation of established belief systems, world views (including humanity’s place in nature), and international relations. Such a transformation is necessary to cultivate a planetary culture and sustain a burgeoning global population. Historic events in 2000 and 2001 that corresponded to Jupiter and Saturn opposing Pluto (5, 6, 7) were crucial challenges for transforming established world views. People of developed nations worldwide, and many developed nations governments, responded to these challenges with progressive values for peace, socioeconomic justice, and environmental preservation - values necessary to develop a sustainable planetary culture. Especially the US, Israel, and fundamentalist Islamic governments, however, have implemented reactionary policies of limited self-interests that are failing to meet humanity’s momentous challenges.

     The travel of Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius in mutual reception (8) from 2003 - 2011, corresponds to emerging collective forces that are mediating the transitions of the above Jupiter/Saturn and Pluto cycles, and of two additional major astrological cycles. The 2,160 years Astrological Age defined by the Spring Equinox is now transitioning from Pisces to Aquarius. We are also near the completion of the current 5,126 years Mayan creation epoch that ends in 2012. Thus, the current Uranus/Neptune mutual reception bridges the changing Great Ages of Western astrology, and the old and new Mayan creation epochs. This Uranus/Neptune mutual reception should be fully appreciated - it corresponds to both inspired, innovative group and collective endeavors, and to ruthless sociopolitical ideology and mass deception. Such polarization characterizes many major global developments since 2003, and it may continue to characterize global socioeconomic and political developments for decades to come.

     Also yet to come are Pluto’s travel through Capricorn from 2008 - 2024, and the Cardinal Climax (9) of
2010 - 2015 .  These astrological events especially indicate a fundamental shift in world socioeconomic and political order, a shift analogous to bifurcation in Chaos Theory. To appreciate the potential correspondences of these coming Pluto events, consider their historic precedents. Pluto’s most recent passage through Capricorn was 1762 - 1778 - during that period, both the Industrial Revolution and the American Revolution began.  Also, a planetary pattern similar to the coming Cardinal Climax last occurred from 1930 - 1933, the years of the Great Depression and sociopolitical antecedents to World War II.

     To leave this overview on a positive note, recall that 2020 brings the Mutation Conjunction of Jupiter/Saturn in Aquarius. This conjunction fully establishes the 200 years global development theme that focuses civilization on ideas, information, communication, and relationships, a focus that carries into the 23rd Century. As I noted in my Summer 2001 and Fall 2002 articles, our responses and decisions now - as individuals and societies - are our collective future in the making.

*This article first appeared as Part I of ‘Astrological Highlights 2005: Churning of Strange Attractors’ on 12/30/2004. It was revised 1/10/05 to be a separate article and to provide a context for annual highlights in 2005 and the coming years.

Copyright 2005, Karen Steen. All rights reserved.

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making A New Science. Viking Penguin, Inc.:  New York, New York. 1987.
2) Koval, Barbara. ‘The Art of Chaos’NCGR Journal: Spring-Summer 1999. National Council for Geocosmic Research: MA, USA. 1999.
Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas describes ‘peak oil’ and provides current information about the world’s rapidly dwindling oil and natural gas resources.
4) In their transit cycle together, Jupiter and Saturn are regarded by Western mundane astrology as the Great Chronocrators, rulers  of the ages. Their recurring 20-year conjunction (synodic cycle) is the basis of three historic cycles.  First, their 20-years synodic cycle corresponds to a focus of social, cultural, and economic developments. Second, successive Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions occur in the same element for 200 - 220 years, corresponding to historic themes of structured expansion (a Mutation Conjunction marks the entry of their cycle into a new element). Finally, the Great Cycle of Jupiter/Saturn is 800 - 860 years - it begins with their conjoining in early Aries, and corresponds to fundamental shifts in cultural and economic developments.
5) See
Perspective as Power: Jupiter Opposes Pluto 2000-01 - Spring 2001 Astro Info Article. Discusses the first of Jupiter’s sequential oppositions to our outermost planets between 2000-03, this one associated with transforming righteousness to perspective.
6) See
Saturn Opposes Pluto 2001-02:  Evolving Structures of Thought, Language, and Communication - Summer 2001     Astro Info Article. Written one month before the terrorist attacks on America, this article discusses the Saturn/Pluto opposition of 2001-03. Included are brief astrological explanations (Basic Delineation) and past historical correlation for this powerful transit.
7) See
Current Events: Astrological Views of World Politics, Economy, and Culture - Fall 2001 Astro Info Article. Considers different astrological views - political, financial, psychological, and historical - on the global significance of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on America and the ensuing War on Terrorism.
8) Mutual reception occurs when two planets occupy the signs of each others astrological rulership.
9) Cardinal Climax describes the critical astrological T-square pattern that will occur from 2010 - 2015 between Saturn in Libra, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn - each in the very early degrees of these Cardinal signs. We owe Raymond Merriman, Financial Astrologer extraordinaire, credit for this descriptive term

About the Astrologer…
Karen Steen is a consulting and teaching astrologer at Water Bearer Astrology & Consulting, Bellingham, WA.  She has practiced astrology since 1984, professionally since 2000. 
Karen is NCGR Level II-III Certified (Astrology), and holds a Master of Nursing in Primary Care from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Louisiana State University. Information about Karen's astrology practice and services is available at her web site

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