The next big planetary alignment coming up is Saturn in Virgo opposite Uranus in Pisces. There won’t be an exact opposition until Nov 2008 – which should make for an interesting US Presidential election – but the 2 planets will come within an 8 degree orb of each other between Nov 2007 and Jan 2008, so it is worth bearing in mind as the Saturn-Neptune opposition draws to a close.
An obvious interpretation for this aspect is the forces of progress/radicalism (Uranus) vs the forces of conservatism (Saturn). The last time we saw this opposition was from 1964 to 1967, and we can see its outcome in the political protests of those times. The next opposition may or may not result in popular political protests, but one way or another we will certainly be able to see its action on the political stage. An interesting possibility is that as opposition to the Iraq War grows, there may be popular protests in the US this autumn/winter, as Saturn and Uranus briefly come within range of each other. The Iraq War ASC is at 14 Pisces, close enough to catch the opposition.
I think it is important not to see Uranus (progress/radicalism) as the good guy and Saturn (conservatism) as the bad guy. Because, for example, we could see the opposition as mindless rebellion (Uranus) vs common sense (Saturn). How you see it can depend on which end of the opposition you are more identified with. Astrology in itself does not provide such value judgements, and part of our job as astrologers is to reflect that impartiality.
Mythologically, Uranus was not a nice guy. He was one of the oldest gods, and he imprisoned his children in the bowles of the earth because they repelled him. One thing this says to me is that yes, Uranus can be about progress in the positive sense, but he can also be archaic and bloodthirsty. And I think we can see this in the French Revolution, ruled by the planet Uranus, which was discovered around the same time. On the one hand, it was a valid protest against rule by decadent monarchy. On the other hand, it was accompanied by a ferocious bloodletting. So the radical rebellion of Uranus can equally be about a reversion to something dark and archaic, as it can be about the emergence of a fairer, more conscious society.
So if there were to be protests against the Iraq War, we could validly ask who is Uranus, and who Saturn? Is it the healthy response of an ordered, prudent society (Saturn) against the archaic bloodletting of the Iraq War (Uranus), which is what it has become? Or is it Uranus as awakened protest against the dark conservatism of Body-bag Bush?
Oppositions are interesting things, they can appear as one pole vs another, and politically as good guy vs bad guy. However, not only are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ judgements we bring to it, but the 2 poles themselves aren’t necessarily as distinct as they appear. Even with Saturn-Neptune, 2 distinct opposites if there ever were, has the political acknowledgement of the true state of the Iraq War been a process of reality (Saturn) meeting illusion (Neptune), or the dissolution (Neptune) of a rigid, reactionary viewpoint (Saturn)? Or has it been, from Bush’s point of view, spineless liberals (Neptune) opposing his neo-orthodoxy (Saturn)?