Monday, 21 December 2015

The Crusades and The Great Conjunctions

NB: This is a work in progress. I'd be delighted to hear your insights.

I spent a really wonderful few years teaching Religious Education. It was such an opportunity to see the world from someone else's culture and, as a personal interest, to explore how the sky is viewed from a different perspective. I loathe and despise spiritual superiority: we are all on our individual paths to seek higher knowledge so who is to say what is the right way and what is the wrong way to go about it? The most profound conversations one can have with another is on the topic of spiritual journeys. What an honour to be trusted to be able to listen on this level and how thought provoking to be put on the spot to explain one's own beliefs without fear of ridicule. Having said that, put someone in front of me who has a different view to mine on topics such a women's rights or children's rights or that idiots kicking a ball around on a football pitch should be paid more than teachers and it isn't going to be pretty.

The sky god Zeus looked down on us from his lofty position and as such had omniscience, omnipotence and therefore omnipresence. He knew it all and thus he has the ability to draw us together--for better or for worse. The planet Jupiter is a great analogy for these qualities: the confidence it would take to be the biggest of the planets in our solar system to manage all manner of asteroids, moons and other objects all zooming around in different directions, occasionally colliding but never stopping their motion.

Our spiritual paths are represented by the sign Jupiter occupies. Jupiter gives us the power to search, to philosophise and to have faith in the world. But lately I've been wondering what on earth this could possibly mean to us when two of the top world religions are on the brink of war. You know, like why can't we be friends?

Well I think the answer can be found in examining the patterns of the Great Conjunctions.

The "World Clock" is a huge span of time and as we humans live in such a small section of it, it can be very hard for us to absorb it all. But let's just say the Great Conjunctions serve as the main hands and that they are sometimes together at the same time (like midday or 5 minutes past 1, or 10 minutes past 2 or 15 minutes past three) say once every 20 years. So let's imagine there's a relationship between those number too, like a code. And someone clever like, oh let's say Johannes Kepler, wrote about it in De Stella Nova (1606) and even made a nice little diagram to help the rest of us dum dums understand:

Kepler helped us to understand that the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction occurred in the same elements for a couple hundred years, mutated into the next element once or twice before moving on to the next element. Thus the mutations between elements happen every few centuries.

Like we've just had a mutation into the air signs in 1980
Like the previous mutation in to the earth signs was around the time of the industrial revolution
The one before that, in the 1600s was into the fire signs (The Great Fire and Shakespeare)
And before that, the water signs in the 1400s (The Plague and the Renaissance)

Which brings us nicely to The Crusades. . .which happened as the trigons were again shifting from earth signs into the air signs:
Date of next conjunction nearest to the same degree
8 Nov. 1186
12°Libra 03’D
31 Dec 1980
4 Mar 1981
24 Jul 1981
16 Apr 1206
25°Taurus 46’ D
28 May 2000
5 Mar 1226
02° Aquarius 58’D
21 Dec 2020

Do you see what is happening here? In the 12th century, the holy wars were happening! Although they had begun during the earth triplicities of the 11th century, the 3rd crusade is significant as it re-ignited hostilities following the re-capturing of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187, bringing in European leaders from England (Richard the Lionheart), Rome and France. As an aside, when I was teaching about the crusades, the Muslim children clearly knew who Saladin was as they responded with hoots and cheers when his name came up (they were quiet--possibly sleeping--during the lessons about the other crusades).

And in the earth trigon before? Christianity was establishing itself in the Roman Empire and beyond.

So much work needs to be done on this . . .

But until then, can I just roll my eyes at this school district. . .Saturn in Sagittarius, eh?

About the Astrologer

Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound research and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via or leave a message in the comment section.


  1. Dear interesting that you mention this because the last time that Mars and Saturn retrograded together in sidereal Scorpio was in the 1200s during the political crusades. This of course is happening again in 2016 (following sidereal zodiac, they retrograde in Scorpio and in the tropical seasonal calendar they will conjoin and retrograde at same time in Sagittarius.

    1. Yes, very interesting indeed! Thank you for additional info x

  2. Hi Alex, I note you state your ideas here are a draft or work in progress. So I hope you are not offended if I suggest you may want to re-consider your theory that the crusades were a reflection of the transition to the air triplicity conjunctions. Both the First Crusade (1096–1099) and Second Crusade (1145–1149) took place during periods of Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions in earth signs. In particular the conjunctions in Taurus (1087) ,Virgo (1127) and again Taurus (1146). The transition from earth to air starts as you point out above in 1186 with that Libra triple conjunction. That does fit in neatly with the Third crusade (1189–1192) but I dont think we can argue the tradition of Crusades begins under air triplicity conjunctions. For example, The crusade against the Cathars (The Albigensian Crusade) took place during 1209-2029 which followed the last earth conjunction in Taurus in 1206. Good point on the Black Death. Also we see the beginning of the renaissance at the end of the air triplicity period from the late 13th century-to the beginning of the 15th century. On Christianity certainly the 'take over' under Constantine takes place during a period of earth conjunctions. Founders of major religions often seem to be born in periods of conjunctions in the water triplicity (Jesus, Mohammed, Guru Nanak, Martin Luther etc). Hence the triple conjunction in Pisces in 6BC was the last water conjunction in a period of Fire sign conjunctions. Incidentally, I take it you are aware many of the traditional astrologers used a system of 'mean conjunctions' that doesn't actually relate to astronomical reality in the sky. Hence they achieved clear cut transitions between the triplicities that doesn't occur using the conjunctions in astronomical terms. I could say more but that is enough for now I think.

    1. Hi Mark--lovely to hear from you. Yes, I should have added the date for when Saladin re-captured Jerusalem in 1187--the year after the Jup-Sat cj in Libra, the first conjunction in the element of air. It was notable as Richard I became involved as did several other prominent leaders from France and Rome. Also, as in modern times, although the anti Muslim sentiments began well before the actual change in elements, the intensity of the warfare increased with the 3rd crusade and hostilities remained throughout this trigon and remained a main theme. Also, when I was teaching about the crusades in a classroom of Muslim and Christian children, there were hoots and applause from the Muslim pupils when we got to Saladin--clearly they are taught about this crusade outside the classroom (they were quiet during points about the other crusades). Again this makes a great story but with things being as they are, I am reluctant to make too much of this. I only mention it now to make the point that the 3rd crusade appears more significant than earlier ones when examining heightened feelings of unrest between the two religions. I really thank you for your response--yes, am still working on it but have amended this post to explain my reasonings. Cheers, Alex