If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo word salad. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT, aka GMT). All mundane asrology charts are calculated for the location of the Great Pyramid at Giza. This is a purely arbitrary choice, and is as good as any other location in tlhat respect. (Better than most even, if only because it has been around for thousands of years.) Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a free (and greatly abbreviated) version of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights). If youíd like your own copy of the full 2016 Forecast Highlights (30+ pages, illustrated), itís available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761), and charged to any major credit or debit card. PayPal orders may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to email@example.com Ė or by using the astropro PayPal order page.
"Time is the longest distance between two places."
--Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie
Some years are like sleepy little backwater towns, where it seems nothing much ever happens. This will not be one of them. Ever since the Great Jupiter- Saturn-Neptune T-Square of 2006 (in Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius respectively) Ė the first appearance of this particular tripartite configuration since the year 536 CE - weíve been living through a sequence of longer term celestial formations not seen since the time of the so-called Dark Ages. A couple more of those world historic signs in the sky reappear this year, including the Saturn-Neptune square. A sign of the Dark Ages returning? No. Not yet.
Aside from the longer-term outer planet configurations just mentioned, there are quite a few shorter term but still quite dramatic alignments coming up in 2016. In fact, when it comes to headline newsmakers, things like planetary Max Cycles, SuperMoons and eclipses tend to grab more of the spotlight than the longer term, deeper rooted sky cycles. And 2016 has a good crop of these. There are, for example, two planetary Max Cycles; the common Mercury Max (four this year), and the rarer Mars Max (as in the St. Valentineís Day Massacre, the start of World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, 911 etc.). There are also six SuperMoons: three in the stealth (new moon) category (one of them being a solar eclipse), and three of the more popular full moon type. Add in five eclipses Ė two solar and three lunar, including a rare stealth lunar eclipse. It all adds up to high drama above in the sky, and down here below. Letís get ready!
The Dark Ages Sky Train
2016 brings several important milestones in the celestial kaleidoscope unfolding from the Great 2006 T-Square, just as their forbears followed the 536 T-Square. As detailed in my 2006 World Forecast Highlights, the Great T-Square of 2006 was a configuration comprising Jupiter in Scorpio squaring an opposition from Saturn in Leo to Neptune in Aquarius. Itís called a T-Square precisely because thatís exactly what it looks like: a draftsmanís T-Square. 2006 marked the first appearance of this particular formation of these planets in these signs since the year 536 CE (Common Era). That historic sky pattern ushered in the so-called Dark Ages, which in modern parlance generally refers to the period from the 5th to 10th Centuries CE. The year 536, when the Great T-Square appeared, came in the reign of the last Roman Emperor (Justinian), in a time of plague (the aptly named Justinianís Plague) and climate change (the latter ushered in by massive volcanic eruptions), and the disintegration of economic, social, political and cultural institutions. Justinian had a powerful and wealthy empire at his behest. But it was eventually run into the ground because it was stretched too thin. The soldiers wonít fight if they donít get paid. The people wonít be governed if theyíre not getting fed.
Look around you, at the world over the last 20 years or so. See the parallels? Climate change, major volcanic eruptions, plague, economic collapse, and the decay and failure of the institutions that hold global civilization together: itís all there. The only difficulty, as always, is deciding precisely where things begin. In reality, history has no precision on this kind of time scale. History doesnít change in an instant; a period of a few generations is more like it.
Whereís the modern plague, analogous to Justinianís Plague? Could it be AIDS, Ebola, or swine flu? Or some laboratory-made monstrosity, a military industrial or medical solution that ends up something worse? (Genetically engineered crops and livestock, perhaps?) We never know these things until after the fact. Just like the Byzantines didnít see the Bubonic Plague for what it was until it had already decimated the population and gutted the economy.
As for the volcanic component, there have been so many big eruptions since 1991ís Pinatubo that you can pretty well just toss a dart over your shoulder and hit a bullseye somewhere. And climate change? We can argue over how much of it is a purely secular natural cycle, and how much is attributable to human acidity or volcanic eruptions. But the indisputable fact is that itís here now, just as it was in Justinianís time Ė and itís having some of the same effects, including declining crop yields.
Historical quibbles and quandaries aside, thereís no arguing that the 536 and 2006 T-Squares were combinations of the same planets in the same configuration and in the same signs; and that until 2016, that same configuration had not been seen since the time of the last Roman Emperor, at the dawn of the Dark Ages.
If past is prologue, then the reappearance of the same Sixth Century celestial sequence starting with the Great T-Square of 2006 makes a lot of sense. Now, in 2016, we see the return of more of the same celestial events that followed in the wake of the 536 T-Square. It starts with Jupiterís waning (270°) square from Virgo to Saturn in Sagittarius, paralleling the one in 545-546 CE (in the midst of Justinianís plague). This occurs twice in 2016, on March 23 and May 26; following the first in this three-peat series, on August 3 of 2015. Jupiter and Saturn remain within a few degrees of their exact square from late February through late June this year. In short, this is no Ďone and doneí phenomenon. It puts its stamp on the nature and sequence of world events for much of 2016.
The 2015-2016 Jupiter-Saturn Square
What to expect, under the aegis of the Jupiter-Saturn square? It always bespeaks a time when bedrock institutions are undergoing major renovation. Not just tinkering, mind you; but wholesale remodeling, with a few teardowns along the way.
Never bet on the status quo at times like this, especially not in the wake of five years of the Uranus-Pluto square that ushered in the Arab Spring and Occupy Movement back in 2011. This operates at every fundamental level of civilization: the economy, government, politics, the social system, culture.
This last square before the next conjunction Ė thatís what a waning square is Ė always presages what amounts to a last ditch effort by the powers that be to maintain their grip on power, by using their power to restructure things in such a way that the masses wonít turn to "eating the rich".
Granted, thereís a whole spectrum for this kind of reform, from a well-managed transition to a calamitous revolution. Coming on the heels of the Uranus-Pluto square as we are, the outcome appears to lean more to the calamitous than the well-managed end of the scale.
The one thing you can be sure it wonít be, is more of the same. Things always fall apart, to a greater or lesser degree, when "the center cannot hold".
The center has held fairly well so far, in the advanced industrial West. But itís hanging on by a thread. As for the rest of the world, look around you Ė at Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, etc.
As Yeats described it in The Second Coming:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
This brief excerpt just scratches the surface, as far as 2016 is concerned. For the full, in-depth story, I refer you to the complete copy of my 2016 World Forecast Highlights. Itís 38 pages (8-1/2 x 11) in length, with color illustrations of the yearís major celestial configurations and corresponding astro-locality maps. Hard copy reports are available by mail ($75); PDF copies are available by email. Orders may be placed by phone (toll-free in North America), or by mail: see below for the number and address. Payment by major credit and debit cards (American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa) or by check or money order works fine. PayPal orders may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to firstname.lastname@example.org Ė or by using the astropro PayPal order page.