Recently in Kolkata India 100’s of astrologers met to deliver 30 minutes talks over a week at the 28th IVC Conference, hosted by the KIA – Kolkata Institute of Astrology  headed by Sri Gopal Battacharjee.  Many C*I*A Agents were also in attendance thanks to the work and networking of agent 144 Alex Trenoweth! As part of our invitation to present our lectures all  speakers needed to prepare a paper on the talk they would present, of 3000 words to be published in conference magazine CONSTELLATION NEWS .

Here and with permission from the IVC and KIA, we publish our Agents articles as we prepare for the next one in 2020.

Details via Banner above! Stay tuned for more!

Pluto transiting Capricorn in the sidereal and tropical zodiacs. What are the lessons for our times?

by Agent 38 – Roy Gillet

Pluto transiting Capricorn in the sidereal and tropical zodiacs  over thousands of years. What are the lessons for our times?

Synopsis The transit of the planets through the actual sidereal and symbolic tropical zodiacs represents different, but complimentary views of human understanding. In the context of the 25,860 Great Year cycle from and to the coincidence of two zodiacs, the transits of Pluto though Capricorn in both comes at times of major structural social change. Looking back over thousands of years, and especially the two most recent transits of Pluto in Capricorn to the 2008-40 one we are in midst of, suggests human cultural change as important as the development of writing 5,000 years ago. Turning away from the present greed motivated global economy is the key, irresistible first step towards a genuinely efficient way of creating our future together.

Biographical introduction: In 1977, my wife and I entered India for the first time on foot through the Amritsar arch; to be taken from the line to a senior official, sitting behind a desk, covered with flower-petals. He offered us a cup of tea and asked the reason for our visit. Puzzled, anxious and clearly out of my depth, I struggled to say we were coming to India to learn, awkwardly mentioning our prior journey through the Middle East, a hint of a ‘mission’ perhaps!
He listened politely, took a deep breath, scooped and then offered a handful of petals to my wife, saying: “Welcome to India! When you leave my country, you will not be more clever, but you will be much wiser.”
A ten-month stay followed, sometimes offering astrology readings, more often learning on pilgrimage. Numerous enlightening experiences could be crystallised into one short conversations at the Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala.

“Tell me, sir,” asked a stranger as we queued for the shrine, “which is best your country or India?” After pondering, I found myself saying: “Perhaps the United Kingdom is better technologically, but India spiritually.”

Much has been learned and changed, both for the better and worse in both countries over the past 40 years. Focussing solely on astrology, it is the West that has learned the most. Or, perhaps we should say re-learned. In 1977, what most western astrologers considered astrology to be was radically different to the thousands-of-years clear lineage of Indian astrology. Through the decades since, this has largely been corrected. Firstly, by the re-examination of 17th century English astrologers, such as William Lilly, then translations of earlier original medieval, classical and now even Arabic astrology texts. As the vast 1977 chasm of ignorance has been corrected, the similarities between Indian and classical western astrologer have become clearer. Advanced systems using essential dignities, placement in signs and houses and transposition of rulership are like yogas in Indian astrology. Bhukti and Dasha planetary periods are remarkably like Fidaria.

On the other hand, the western development of computer technology has opened up neverbefore opportunities for astrology. Precise calculations of planetary cycles, connections and correspondences over thousands of years are now possible using hand-held devices. This is an unbelievable advance; even as late as the early 1980s, calculating a possible birth chart for Jesus Christ required a vast commercial computer offering only approximate data for some planets.

This new computer power has encouraged very important studies of the cycles of planets that were first observed between the 18th and 20th centuries; Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. From Babylonian times, the cycle of Jupiter and Saturn [from conjunction to opposition and back to conjunction again] has been used by various astrological cultures to describe, even foretell, mundane events. Johannes Kepler’s in the 17th century argued that mundane astrology should focus on the cycles between planets as much as, if not more than, planets in houses and signs in individual charts. The subsequent discovery of three more planets, and the computer ability to calculate their interactive cycles over thousands of years in an instant, has enabled astrologers to demonstrate incredible new explanations for human behaviour and cultural trends. Four key books1 demonstrate this: Mundane Astrology: Introduction to the Astrology of Nations and Groups, Cycles of Becoming, Planetary Cycles2 , Cosmos and Psyche.

So, during my 40+ years lifetime in astrology, western and eastern understanding has brought our art/science to the point where it can offer clear, accurate guidance to our modern world. This could not be more timely. Today’s astro-cycles suggest the modern world faces a systemic crisis. We are at the beginning of a period of intense pressure for social change. It will be as immense as that brought about by the development of writing around 5,500 years ago.

My contribution to this exciting symposium of astrological ideas draws on these astrological developments and ways of helping. For reasons that will become dramatically clear, it focuses on Pluto’s 246-year cycle and especially its movement through the sign of Capricorn in both the tropical and sidereal zodiacs.

The nature and complimentary potential of the tropical and sidereal zodiacs
A major disagreement in early years of the foundation of the Astrological Association of Great Britain3, of which I am President, was whether our studies would be based mainly on the tropical or Fagan/Allan sidereal zodiac. Although the western tropical system was chosen, from my experiences in India and studies since I have always felt that both systems are not only valid, but complimentary. Indeed, for vitally fundamental reasons, I see that together they give a much more complete description of life.

Because it calculates from the exact moment of vernal equinox each year, not allowing for its precession, the tropical zodiac forces an unnatural correction upon our view of the heavens. We refuse to accept the limitations of living on the earth, rather seek to master them and make this work to our personal advantage.

This is very much a western view of cosmic reality. It can engender great progress, but is it wise and sustainable? Might it not engender dissatisfied and competitive unstable societies, each obsessed with rules based on self-interest, and so faced with conflict and war?

The sidereal zodiac allows for precession and calculates the planets in their actual zodiacal positions. We are encouraged to accept what the heavenly cycles impose upon us, live this life to the very best, and so create the cause for fortunate future rebirths.

This is very much an eastern view of cosmic reality. Individuals are more easily-satisfied and fatalistically accept their lives, but can be exposed to exploitation. Societies are pliant, even wise, but do they progress?

When the two zodiacs coincide [approximately every 25,860 years] there is confusion. At the circle’s half way point [12,930 years on] the zodiacs oppose. At this point in the cycle it is claimed that the two viewpoints independently recognise and work together4. It is a time of the highest consciousness.

For the rest of this Great Year cycle, our consciousness is growing [waxing phase], or degenerating [waning phase]5. Today the world is at an early regeneration stage. Humanity has reached a stage of recognising its capacity to have great power, but, like an early adolescent, unaware of the proper nature of this power, or what is the right thing to do with it.

The Planets through the signs of both zodiacs 

Studying and interpreting the cycles of the planets passing through both zodiac backgrounds alongside historic events and cultural developments offers a vast area of potential research. It is important to consider which of the two zodiacs was transited first. Before 221 CE6, it was sidereal first then tropical. Hence cultures and their religions tended to be based upon the realities that heavenly and earthly cycles imposed on peoples’ lives. The Hindu and Greco/Roman religions had many Gods fulfilling various functions, but arranged in a hierarchy. Even where there was only one God [e.g. Judaism and Zoroastrianism], or a ‘way’ rather than a God, [Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism], systems, such as astrology, the Kabballah, or I-Ching were vital ways to guide decisions. Humanity’s role was to work within the way things were. Any Promethean attempt to over-reach led to negative life experiences, even punishment directly from the gods.

Confused, unsure, very slowly at first and then gathering pace; after 221 CE, this changed as the planets transited the tropical zodiac further and further ahead of the sidereal one. Now the individual ego became more important. Religions emphasised that devotees were especially chosen [Christianity /Islam]. Then from the 16th century came the possibility that God was not needed and humanity could understand and even master nature.

Astro-indicators of global crisis and social change

How far has all this progressed by our own time? Let us start by considering the moment Jupiter conjuncts Pluto in November 2020. When a special combination of astro-events is imminent, it is normal to check how often this happens and, if infrequent, whether there is a pattern from the past. Seeing the focus of outer planets in Capricorn building to the end of this decade, I checked for previous such patterns, using the Electional Search feature in Solar Fire 97. Diagram 1 shows a gap of nearly 5,000 years between Saturn, Jupiter andPluto being in Capricorn and the last two conjunct; this without considering Uranus being in Taurus -another earth sign.

Diagram 1

Even if we do another search, considering only the three planets together in Capricorn, a 2,443-year gap remains [1894 BCE to 549 CE] and then just the year 1284 before 2020. If we use a sidereal zodiac8, the gap widens to 3,714 years [3165 BCE to 549 CE] with just the years 1048 and 1283 before 2021.

Pluto through the signs of both zodiacs 19th to 21st century

If we are to choose just one planet, the cycle of Pluto best illustrates many key historical developments and, crucially, those the world faces today. To answer dwarf-planet-creating astronomers9, we must explain it is not suggested that Pluto, so small and far away, is actually doing anything to us! Rather it is a marker from which we measure predicable experiences over time. Imagine a string attached to a pole and then the changing experiences of walking at a distance the length of the string from the pole. We will experience grass, the road, pot holes, ponds, houses, rivers, even a sea shore perhaps. The pole does not create these experiences, but knowing where we are in the circle around it tells us what might happen each time we come around. The planets map our lives, they do not create them.

Pluto is chosen because its 246-year cycle indicates highly appropriate social trauma and change. The very nature of each of the zodiac signs it occupies, is shown by the list in Diagram 2. Use your knowledge of recent history to see how developments triggered by Pluto’s tropical period became consolidated during the sidereal period of Pluto’s transit.

Pluto in Capricorn through both zodiacs before the Christian era

Looking back thousands of years, Diagram 3 shows Pluto transiting Capricorn (where it is tropically today) at very special moments in eastern and western cultures. Appropriate to this sign, the emphasis is upon fundamental structural regeneration. Note, because Pluto and the other planets transit the sidereal zodiac first at that time in history, the right hand [sidereal] column comes first and shows the main practical work being down, whereas the left hand [tropical] column shows times of completion.

Diagram 3

Pluto in Capricorn through both zodiacs soon after their coincidence

When, in 221 CE, both zodiacs coincided, the six dynasties in China were particularly unstable, as was Rome, where astrology’s use degenerated into manipulation for personal power. Very early in the first Pluto-in-Capricorn period of the new Great Year cycle, with the tropical zodiac moving ahead of the sidereal [287-330(1) CE], Christianity was legalised in Rome [313 CE] and the Council of Nicaea was held [325 CE]. This seeded a tradition that was to dominate Europe and its drive to world colonialization. 320 CE was the beginning of the Indian classical period, which began a golden age lasting until the 7th century.

As planets transited the tropical zodiac ever further ahead of the sidereal zodiac, western and middle eastern cultures increasingly saw themselves as individually unique, with the right to understand and master the limitations of the Earth and heavens. Increasingly religions and cultures become focussed on the liberation of the individual, and that liberation being dependent upon the acceptance of a specific belief. Astrology and other esoteric knowledge was rejected or pushed to the sidelines.

Christianity and then Islam offered a special role for all individuals who followed the one true god. From 17th to 18th century, rationalism started to suggest there was no need for a god and assume humanity had the right to use and change the Universe at will.

Humanity is at a dangerous, early-adolescent stage in the Great Year Cycle – thinking it knows better than mother earth and father sky. Pluto transits through both zodiacs over the past 500 years show clearly how this has come about and what the world faces today.

Pluto in Capricorn through both zodiacs from the Renaissance 

We come to the chief focus of this paper; the two Pluto-in-Capricorn periods before today. These show direct development to our contemporary challenges. Now the planets transit the tropical [left hand column] first and sidereal [right hand column] second. Diagram 4 shows clearly that Pluto’s tropical transit through Capricorn came at a time of key changes in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, which are consolidated and institutionalised into permanent developments through the sidereal transit phase. In the West, we see the early beginnings of individual choice in belief with a breakdown of the central authority of the Roman Church. European and Islamic colonial exploration led to long term changes in Eastern Europe and Asian cultures.

Diagram 4

Diagram 5 shows just how far these developments had come by the time of the next Pluto in Capricorn transit. Human individuality focused increasingly on the scientific mind. Early inventions of the first machines led to factories and the consequent movement of people from the countryside to the towns. Rebellion against the old order gathered apace. By the end of the period both US and France had overthrown their monarchies. Captain Cook precisely mapped North America, Pacific Islands and parts of Australasia. The pattern of colonial authority was established in India, to be a model for a growing British Empire.

Pluto in Capricorn today

To describe fully world development from the late 18th century to today’s tropical Pluto-in-Capricorn period and then estimate what is to come, we would need to consider all the outer planets through the signs. Yet, just focussing on Pluto alone from its first tropical entry into Capricorn in January 2008 until its final sidereal egress in September 2040, reveals the depth of the challenge we face in addressing what was triggered by the two previous Pluto-in-Capricorn periods. Diagram 6 reveals major economic structural issues. What is claimed to be ‘economic reality’ dominates today’s social assumptions. It hangs like a dark cloud over every area of our relationships with each other. Does it have to be like this?

Diagram 6

Which brings us back to Diagram 1, where we started. Until 2040, when Pluto’s Capricorn sidereal transit ends, there are twenty-two more years, when regeneration is focused on structural change. Recent economic challenges are much more than sustainable natural market corrections. Astro-cycles suggest a major shift in the nature of civilisation comparable to more than 5,000 years ago.

Accelerating the planet to a dangerously lethal point, the previous two Pluto in Capricorn periods have triggered five hundred years of major global restructuring, based upon colonialism that grew into consumption-obsessed capitalist enterprise. To know and judge its nature, intrinsic sustainability and ultimate destiny, the full force of all the planets are needed.

The inadequacy of the world economic system and its regulation

Massive advances in world exploration in the early Renaissance were financed by royal patronage, or financial and seafaring adventurers. In the late 17th century, financial sponsorship was institutionalised into a system of shareholdings that was to revolutionise and form the basis of the way the world has since done business. Diagram 7 is the noon day chart of the Bank of England; originally founded to administer a highly successful share issue to finance the British Navy. It shows clearly a self-serving, speculative and deceptively exploitative attitude toward the organisation of human enterprise. [The dominance of speculative Leo planets, alongside a mutable grand cross between Mars in Virgo, Venus/Uranus in Gemini, Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Sagittarius.] With the focus upon acquisitive short-term success and competitive speculation, not the foundation of stable enduring businesses..

Yet, because it suited the times of colonial exploitation and future industrial expansion, this way of investing and dealing in capital and materials became the economic foundation of world affairs. Inevitably, such a system leads to price booms and busts. The present US Federal Reserve, founded in 1915, is the most recent of several previous attempts to correct them. Its chart, Diagram 8, reveals it to be no more than the custodian of a casino. [Mars and Neptune in Cancer rising opposed, Jupiter in Capricorn across the Ascendant/Descendant axis, and again a mutual grand cross with Mercury in Sagittarius opposing Saturn in Gemini.] Such casino economics needs new markets to exploit. It has survived to the present time through colonialism and neo-colonialism. In recent decades, computer digitalisation has brought in more and more money, making trading accessible to an increasing number of people. It has also enabled the artificial creation of credit and manipulation of the markets.

Times of earth planet dominance from 1925 to 2021[2]

The Bank of England and US Federal Reserve astrology charts reveal the key flaw in the system–that earth planets are afflicted or lacking altogether in these foundation charts. So, when the transiting planets are dominantly in earth signs, markets are confronted with reality and nearly always correct downward. This is particularly so, when outer planets are involved. Diagram 9 shows that, over the past ninety years, critical market corrections, leading to radical social difficulties, have coincided with the dominance of earth planets.

Earth planets bring economic realism to speculative capitalism.

As well as the extreme rarity of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto being in Capricorn together, the years 2018-20 will see ongoing pulses of earth stelliums every time the inner planets transit Taurus [now with Uranus there Tropically], Virgo and Capricorn. If past astro-experience is a guide, this period promises to be the greatest confrontation with reality business, and all in the world that depends on it, has faced for centuries, if not millennia.

A world economic system, appropriate for the colonial exploitation of virgin resources and markets, just is not suited, when all the world can be the producer and consumer. Neoclassical economists are fast running out of short term fixes that seem to just make us economise, while working harder and harder. In 2017, a new book TE10 was published by young economists. This demonstrated that the technical complexity of today economics puts power in the hands of an unelected elite, whose narrow ‘scientific’ models assume a world-view that most people may not accept, but feel powerless to understand and change.

Today’s neoclassical system, with globalisation in the controlling hands of an elite, is accelerating to its own incompetent destruction. The world economy will be forced to face the reality of expanding debt. The desperate pressure for growth will no longer be the happy panacea that solves all our problems, but the slave driver that creates most of them? By fighting to gain more than we need for ourselves with words, regulations, agreements, broken agreements, sanctions, force of arms and even war, we only make matters worse. To attempt to do so when Capricorn efficiency is insisting itself upon us, leads to equally powerful intransigence coming back from those we seek to exploit. To force more from the planet’s resources pollutes and makes our lives barren.

World choices for the future

How could people living in the fourth or third millennium BCE imagine what was to happen from the developing use of the written word? How could they visualise our world today? When Luther exposed the excesses of the Roman church in the early sixteenth century, could he and his supporters have imagined the consequent destructive slaughter. Could they have imagined that it would seed a humancentred process that side-lined Christianity as irrelevant in many peoples’ minds. When the first steam engine was created, how many people visualised today’s ‘technological wonderland’? When circumventing explorers found and mapped the entire globe, did they foresee that scientific advances would bring us ever-closer to a global village?

So, when we note the remarkable transits of the years we are now in the midst of, it would be unwise to extrapolate the world as we see it today for even hundreds and certainly not thousands of years into the future. The horror may be far greater than we can imagine, but also there will be far more amazing advances than we could ever dream of.

A final word

The role of astrology is not to instruct, or even advise, but to describe what fundamentally underlies our circumstances, and to point to the consequences of what we decide to do going forward. Yet good astrologers have learnt one lesson that can help decisions for the future. We know that selfish manipulation of others may work for a while, but never succeeds in the end. It just makes matters worse. So, any imminent world crisis will not be resolved by narrow economic solutions, propped up by laws and assumptions, based on greed and hatred of anyone in the way.

There is another Capricorn reality. It is offers deeper basic principles with economics as the servant, not the slave-master of decisions. Recognise things as they are. Care for the natural flow. Sustain a healthy world by celebrating new discoveries and adjusting, enjoying, making allowances and working less. Spend more time relaxing with each other. This may provide less of what we have been told we should want, but more of what we really want and enjoy. This is the positive way of looking at the economic realities of these years. Do not fight against what seems to be in the way, make use of it, let it be a lesson for a better world.

Think and acting like this will lead to genuine economic efficiency, as well as personal happiness. This is the life-changing opportunity offered at this key stage in human history. Perhaps, as in the past, it will take hundreds of years of false steps before we mature to understand the true nature of the true way. How long is in our hands and those of future generations. Astrology will always be there as a touchstone to guide our way.

© Roy Gillett – September 2017 [email: [email protected]]

Recommended Astrology Reading

Mundane Astrology: Introduction to the Astrology of Nations and Groups by Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion, Charles Harvey, [Pub. 1992 Aquarian Press]
Planetary Cycles Andre Barbault [Pub. 2016 The Astrological Association]
Cycles of Becoming: The Planetary Pattern of Growth by Alexander Ruperti [Pub. 2005 Earthwalk School of Astrology
Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas [Pub. 2008 Plume ]

Books by Roy Gillett

Astrology and Compassion the Convenient Truth [Pub. 2007 Kings Hart Books]
Economy Ecology and Kindness [Pub. 2009 Kings Hart Books]
The Secret Language of Astrology [Pub. 2012 Watkins Publishing]
Reversing the Race to Global Destruction [Pub. 2017 Crucial Books]
[Also available direct from [email protected]]

1 For full details, see Recommend Reading list above.
2 Andre Barbault published regularly in French in his Journal L’ASTROLOGUE and numerous books. A recent translation in English is Planetary Cycles Pub 2016 The Astrological Association
3 Since 2014 known as The Astrological Association, a registered charitable incorporated organisation.
4 The hexagram or six-pointed star is best known in the West for its connection to Zionism and the Israeli flag, yet is has been a core symbol used by many of the great world religions [especially Hindu and Buddhist] for thousands of years.
5 Developed from Sri Yukteswar’s thesis for the Great Year in The Holy Science. [Pub 1990 Self-Realisation Fellowship]. In his Galactic Alignment, [ [Pub. 2002 Bear and Company] John Major Jenkins extends its relevance to many esoteric traditions, suggesting all are focussed on our galaxy’s centre.
6 Based on the most commonly used ayanamsa calculation used by western sidereal astrologers. Further studies, using alternative ayanamsa calculation would be interesting.
7 Solar Fire v9 astrology calculation software distributed by Astrolabe Inc [ contact: or]
8 In the western sidereal tradition, the FaganAllen ayanamsa period is used. This takes 221 CE as the year both zodiacs were together.
9 The International Astronomical Union’s 2006 decision to demote Pluto was highly controversial. []. Astrologers may wonder that this happened the year before the world economy was to go into a massive economic crisis!
10 The Econocracy Joe Earle, Chahal Moran & Zach Ward-Perkins [2017 Manchester University Press]

Agent 38 – Roy Gillett B.Ed (Hons Ldn), A student of Tibetan Buddhism and President of The Astrological Association of Great Britain, Roy has been a full-time astrologer and consultant since 1976. He has been an astrology software adviser since 1988, is an astro-finance researcher and an international conference speaker.  Roy has published mundane forecasts from 1978, writing The Astrological Journal’s “Working with the Planets” column since 2002. His books include Astrology and Compassion the Convenient Truth; Economy, Ecology and Kindness and The Secret Language of Astrology. Published in 2017 his Reversing the Race to Global Destruction uses astrology to question and correct contemporary economic, educational and political assumed ‘truths’ and show how astro-objectivity, combined with rigorous principle, could start to heal the psychotic malaise that dominates today’s world affairs.

E-mail: [email protected]

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