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This is the start of another Neptune-Pluto cycle of nearly 500 years, probably the longest cycle astrologer's commonly track (other than precession of the equinox). Falling just a few years before the start of the 20th century, this aspect can be said to mark the shift from the old world into the modern world. In the next few decades, numerous scientific and technological discoveries would totally remake our world view, while the rise of mighty military-industrial states would transform business, politics and warfare. The 1890's also mark the rise of the United States as a major world power, following the Spanish-American War. A century later, these degrees are still "hot spots" in the zodiac, especially for events related to nuclear power issues (which is a Pluto issue), and should be watched closely.
The final conjunction in this series was preceded by a solar eclipse (at 7Ta05) on 1892-4-26, a chart that one astrologer has dubbed "the Birthchart of Humanity".
If any aspect could be said to describe the 1960's, it's the conjunction of revolutionary Uranus and deeply transformative Pluto. This 140 year long cycle is an undercurrent for much of the societal changes we're undergoing, not to mention the radical shifts on the spiritual side of our lives. It sets the major theme of change and radical growth that is reflected in the subsequent aspects between Uranus and Pluto in this cycle, including their sextile (1995-1997), quintile (2002-2005) and square (2012-2015). Since Pluto was only discovered in 1930, this conjunction is notable in another way -- this is the first time in history humanity has been conscious of this connection (unlike the previous conjunction in 1850-1851). We tapped into powerful and fierce unconscious energies, which erupted in our psyches and in the streets. We are still learning how to tame this fire.
Due to Pluto's highly elliptical orbit and the slow speed of these two planets, this long lasting aspect is one of the most fascinating I've ever seen. The entire life cycle of the sextile lasts nearly a century and contains 45 separate exact contacts divided into 3 distinct groups which are separated by long periods of no contacts. This powerful aspect between two planets that rule the darkest corners of the collective unconscious has already presided over some of the biggest changes in humankind's history (the period since WW2), with the rate of change ever accelerating. It has also initiated sensitive people into ever deeper parts of the psyche, spurring on our spiritual development. Yet despite all this, astrologer's hardly ever seem to even mention this aspect -- perhaps we're also unconscious of its effects! I've come to think of this sextile as "the Silent Aspect" that colors a whole century.
Neptune and Pluto start to slip into the 6 degree orb for a sextile around 1943, as the faster moving Neptune starts to creep up on Pluto from behind. Their first exact contact was on 1950-1-22, with Neptune at 17Li21 and Pluto at 17Le21. These connections repeat twice a year until the 13th contact on 1956-10-18, at 29Li57 and 29Le57. At this point, Neptune pulls ahead until the mid 60's.
As Pluto approaches its perihelion passage in 1989, it starts picking up speed. By the late 60's, it starts to overtake Neptune from behind. The 14th contact fell on 1976-10-10, at 11Sa48 and 11Li48, repeating twice a year again. The 34th contact on 1986-6-9 is the last in this second phase, emphasizing 4Cp52 and 4Sc52. By Pluto's perihelion passage, it's firmly in the lead until about 2008, when Neptune starts to catch up again. Between 1990 and 2021, these planets slip in and out of orb each year, so the sextile never really stops.
After 2008, Neptune is once more the faster planet and by 2022, the sextile is firmly in orb a third time. The 35th contact is on 2026-7-24, at 4Ar21 and 4Aq21. The next few years are notable since Uranus joins Neptune and Pluto in a large sextile fan pattern -- the forces of transformation go into overdrive! The 45th and final contact is 2032-2-26, at 13Ar55 and 13Aq55. As Neptune finally pulls ahead for good, the sextile falls apart around 2040. These two planets have now chased each other halfway around the zodiac!
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