Raymond Merriman – The Great Mutation and the Start of a New Era: Jupiter and Saturn


Excerpt from Forecast 2020 Book1

The main difference between capitalism and socialism is the extent of government intervention in the economy. A capitalist economic system is characterized by private ownership of assets and business. A capitalist economy relies on free-markets to determine price, incomes, wealth, and distribution of goods. A socialist economic system is characterized by greater government intervention to re-allocate resources in a more egalitarian way. – Tejvan Pettinger, “Capitalism vs Socialism,” October 28, 2017, https://www.economicshelp.org. 

Whether you think capitalism is broken in the United States today depends on who you think the economy is supposed to work for. If it’s the shareholders and the CEOs, then capitalism is working just fine, thankyouverymuch. But if you think capitalism should also benefit the workers – the people who actually supply the majority of labor that makes economic productivity possible – then American capitalism is in desperate need of significant repairs. – Sally Kohn, “Warren May be Capitalism’s Last Hope,” USA Today, November 5, 2019.

In ancient times, stargazers were not aware of the existence of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The furthest-out planets visible to the naked eye were Jupiter and Saturn. Due to the fact they were also the largest known planets in the solar system, they would appear as very bright stars in the heavens for several months during the year, depending on their relationship to the Sun. That is, when the Sun was in signs opposite to those occupied by Jupiter and Saturn, these two planets would be brightest in the evening sky, especially in the case of Jupiter, which was larger and closer to the earth than Saturn. 

Approximately every 20 years, these two “bright stars” would appear to slowly move towards one another, creating an impressive “light show” in the heavens. As they converged to form their conjunction, astrologers believed it represented the start of a new 20-year cycle, the longest of the planetary pair conjunction (or synodic) cycles known to them. 

Jupiter and Saturn as a “planetary pair” was given the name of “The Great Chronocrator,” which means “Markers of Time.” Great significance was given by astrologers to these times. The Star of Bethlehem, for instance, signifying the birth of Jesus as a savior for humankind according to Christian religion, was presumed to have been the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 7 B.C., in the sign of Pisces, the “Fish,” which rules spiritual matters. 


On December 21, 2020, the day of the winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn will again conjoin one another for first time since May 28, 2000. It is quite symbolic to have the Great Chronocrator start its new 20-year cycle right on the day of the winter solstice, for both the conjunction aspect and the winter solstice represent important cyclical turning points in the cosmos. A conjunction is when the cycle involving the dynamics of two planets ends and begins. The winter solstice is the darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. From that day forward, the days start to become longer (light increases) and the evenings shorter (darkness decreases), as discussed earlier in this year’s book. Thus, it is as if the concept of an end and beginning is doubly highlighted on December 21, 2020.

The sign that hosts the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction is also given much importance. On December 17, 2020, Saturn will re-enter Aquarius. It initially ingresses into Aquarius on March 21, 2020, but only stays there until July 1, 2020, when it retrogrades back into Capricorn for the next five months. Then it resumes its direct motion, crossing over into Aquarius again on December 17, 2020, where it will remain through March 7, 2023. Two days later, on December 19, 2020, Jupiter will cross over into Aquarius too, and they will form their 20-year conjunction two days after that, on December 21, 2020, in 0° Aquarius 29’. This will be the first time that the Great Chronocrator has occurred in the sign of Aquarius since January 16, 1405 (more on this in a moment).

As mentioned above, the current 20-year Jupiter/Saturn cycle began on May 28, 2000, at 22° Taurus 43’. Taurus is known as “the money sign,” so it was not too surprising that a worldwide bear market in stocks began in 2000, following the burst of the dot-com bubble in technology. The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction of May 2000 furthermore formed a square aspect to Uranus in Aquarius. Both Uranus and its ruling sign of Aquarius relate to technology and computers. The bankruptcy of many new computer and technology startups led to the stock market collapse of 2000-2002. 

The planet-sign relationships between Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus in 2000 is significant, because the planet-sign relationships in 2020-2021 are quite similar. In 2000, Jupiter and Saturn conjoined in Taurus, forming a square (90°) aspect to Uranus in Aquarius. In late 2020 and in to 2021, Jupiter and Saturn will be in Aquarius (where Uranus was in 2000), and will again form a square aspect to Uranus, which has now advanced to Taurus (where the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction was in 2000). The same planets, same signs, and same type of aspect (square, although the 2000 instance was a waxing square and the 2020-2021 aspect will be a waning square) are involved, just with the planets reversing their signs. This would suggest something similar might unfold regarding the financial stability of the world or its equity markets, and perhaps the technology sector of the economy will be highlighted again as a major cause of whatever transpires.

The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius, square to Uranus in Taurus, may have an even stronger correspondence to other areas of human activity than the economic or financial, even though Taurus rules that sector. The presence of Saturn alone in Aquarius represents a classic conflict between the old (Saturn) and the new (Aquarius), the traditional (Saturn) versus the radical and modern (Aquarius). These dynamics are further highlighted by Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, which will be in a waning square to Saturn, which is in Aquarius (and is its co-ruler). If one considers Saturn as the “establishment” or “government” whose dictate is to maintain “control,” and Uranus as the “collective” or “populace” representing the urge of the people to pursue freedom, independence, and the value placed upon “individuality,” then the conflict begins to assume a shape that will be challenging. This is a combination that could lead to mass protests and even revolutions against the leadership that is presently in control of the government. It implies a period of great social unrest in which the collective’s demands for change (Uranus and Aquarius) is met with strong resistance from those who do not wish to relinquish their control (Saturn). Either the leaders of nations undergoing these uprisings will openly agree to change laws and policies that have become so unpopular (or that the execution of which has become so corrupt), or they will 1) be voted out of office, or 2) forced out of office. Saturn in a square aspect with Uranus is often a separation or divorce from duties. 


As Jupiter and Saturn orbit around the Sun and form their conjunction with one another approximately every 20 years, they do so at an advance of about 243° through the signs. That is, each conjunction is about 8 signs and 3° later in the signs than the previous conjunction. Thus, they will repeat in the same element (fire, earth, air, or water) for several cycles – 10 cycles of 20 years each – and then move into the next element for ten cycles. The time that Jupiter and Saturn spend in the same element lasts approximately 200 years. However, this repetition of signs-by-element usually becomes distorted at the end of each of these cycles. That is, it doesn’t just end one element and start a new series of ten consecutive cases in the next element. It will give a preview of the next element just before the tenth instance, and then return to that former element for its tenth case, and after that it will start a series of consecutive occurrences in that new element. When it finally starts the series of consecutive conjunctions in the new element, it is known as a “Great Mutation.” In this case, the word “mutation” refers to the change of elements-by-sign of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction.

December 21, 2020 will be a case of such a “Great Mutation.” It will start a series of consecutive 20-year conjunctions in air signs that will continue until December 20, 2159, when it jumps forward to Scorpio, a water sign. But then it reverts to air signs again in 2179 and 2199 before fully locking into water signs for the next several 20-year cycles.

The same disruption to the element cycle happened just prior to the current Jupiter/Saturn cycle of May 28, 2000. That is, the previous Jupiter/Saturn cycle unfolded in a 3-passage series in Libra, an air sign, December 31, 1980 through July 24, 1981. In other words, the Jupiter/Saturn cycle of 1980-2000 was a preview of the air element series of consecutive cycles that will begin December 21, 2020. The next seven Jupiter/Saturn cycles will be in air signs (through 2159), and after the 2159-2179 interruption, the two following cycles will also be in air signs. Or, it may be said that 9 of the next 10 cycles of the Great Chronocrator will be in air signs, 2020 through 2219. In 200 years (actually, 199 years), the next “Great Mutation” will occur, when Jupiter and Saturn begin consecutive conjunction cycles in water signs.

Furthermore, looking back, the 2000-2020 Jupiter/Saturn cycle was a reversion to the earth element cycle that had prevailed from 1802 through 1980, except for the 1821-1842 instance when it fell back to fire signs for one cycle, the element of the Great Chronocrator that was in force during the prior several cycles (1603-1802, with the exception of 1643-1663 when it reverted back to Pisces, a water sign). As we will describe shortly, the 1980-2000 air cycle of Jupiter and Saturn was both a disruptor of the status quo that had been in force since 1802, and a preview of possibilities that could unfold over the next 200 years in the cycles of human activity.

The following table (from the Solar Fire astrological research program) lists the previous Jupiter/Saturn cycles, from which one can see this distortion, or interruption by element, that often occurs at the end of each synodic episode.

Notice that the first instance of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in earth signs occurred on July 17, 1802, in early Virgo. But then on the next occurrence of June 19, 1821, the “Great Chronocrator” returned to fires signs (Aries). After that, the next 7 synodic cycles of Jupiter and Saturn unfolded in earth signs. That series was then temporarily interrupted again on December 31, 1980 when the “Great Chronocrator” conjoined in Libra, an air sign. 

However, on May 28, 2000, the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction reverted to Taurus, an earth sign again, for one cycle. Now, on December 21, 2020, they will fully begin their cycle of consecutive conjunctions in air signs, as the Great Mutation from earth to air will get fully underway. Earth, and its inhabitants, will leave the 200-year earth cycle of the Great Chronocrator and resume its 200-year cycle of air elements that it previewed in 1980 through 2000.

What does this imply? In the study of astrology, earth signs pertain to the mundane world. It is associated with characteristics such as organization, logic, common sense, and practicality. It is therefore useful in the creation and implementation of governments and businesses. Earth signs value success in a worldly sense, believing that hard work, following the rules and obeying laws, saving money, investing in land, and providing services or products that others need, will be rewarded. Thus, in the last 200 years, humanity has embarked upon major accomplishments regarding the creation of organized governments with laws that are designed to support safe, orderly, and functional societies. This last 200-year period also provided opportunities for building successful enterprises, whether in farming, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, land development and real estate, or other forms of business enterprise – all within realms assigned to the element of earth signs. One’s status during this period was defined by the amount of material wealth one attained, or the influence and power one could accrue in the political or governmental sectors of each society that gained more and more control over the masses. In short, the series of earth sign conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn defined a very orderly and materialistic socio-political world. Things worked.

Until they didn’t. It is a characteristic of all cycles, and Jupiter/Saturn represents cycles related to socio-political matters. At the end of each cycle, things don’t work as well as they did before. The urge for change in societies grows.

The emphasis on orderliness, and the materialistic view of how to conduct a successful life will likely change, gradually at first, as the Great Mutation from earth to air takes hold and the Great Chronocrator resumes its campaign through air signs beginning on December 21, 2020. 

Unlike earth signs, which values practical and political matters as well as mundane success, air signs value creative and intellectual efforts. Status is likely to transition from the accumulation of wealth and power in controlled settings, to artistic, creative, and intellectual expressions in settings that are not so controlled. Ideas will be given more value, especially those that are original and innovative. Problems may arise when people, or groups of people, want to apply new ideas (experiment) without any history of testing those ideas. They sound good, they sound smart, and therefore they must work. Theory (air) is highly valued, but is not always an improvement over the tried and true (earth).  Hence, initially, there may be conflicts between the adherents of the earth (which is losing its grasp) and the air (which is gaining traction) principles, as people seek new solutions to longstanding problems. One can observe this today in the movement towards socialism (an air sign type of government where government intervention occurs so that everyone is ideally equal and taken care of regardless of financial status) and away from capitalism (an earth sign type of society where private ownership is valued and people are rewarded materially and socially – in terms of status – based on the success of their efforts).

As mentioned above, we have seen a glimpse of what the future will probably look like in the air sign element of the Great Chronocrator’s initial passage in Libra, December 31, 1980 through May 28, 2000. Looking back, that was a period of a technological renaissance, a “Communications Revolution.” It started out with much difficulty. The world was mired in a serious recession (actually, two). But something remarkable was happening too. The computer and the cell phone were becoming important tools of society, and soon after, of the business world as well. The way the world did business was completely transformed from the “brick and mortar” buildings of “earth signs” to the internet and “information superhighway” of air signs. Online retail transactions became increasingly more in use. Social media platforms put people around the world in touch with one another, in a manner never witnessed before. 

Incredible transformations were taking place in governments too, which is not surprising given that Jupiter/Saturn have always been considered powerful correlates to socio-political trends. The Berlin Wall was torn down and 300 million new consumers came into the free market world economy, freed from their prior existence under communism and its controlled economy, which was not working.

The Great Chronocrator in an air sign, 1980-2000, launched a very exciting and new world – until it crashed in 2000 with the burst of the dot-com bubble, and the return to the final earth element cycle of Jupiter and Saturn (2000-2020). The renaissance of people connecting with one another with enthusiasm and excitement stopped. Governments which recently began to experience free market economics and a loosening of central controls over their populations reverted to back to practices stressing control. Terrorism broke out and suddenly the urge for individual freedoms, exemplified by the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, was willing to sacrifice those newly experienced freedoms in exchange for security and protection, promised by the return of old-style leaders whose primary interest was … control and power. The newly applied tools of the technology revolution that connected people to one another would now be used to…. spy on one another, to influence the thinking and voting behavior of the masses. Data would be collected via technology on… everyone. 

The urge for safety and security became so great that the masses of people began to believe it would be better to go back to a former time when things were far simpler, less complicated, less stressful. They would vote for leaders who promised greater security, even though it might mean giving up new freedoms. Old rulers returned to power and new ones were elected who promised a return to the “good old days,” but in the end, their agenda was really to take greater control over their citizens. In many cases, this meant not an advance into democracy and the free markets of capitalism, but rather new dictatorships that implemented greater acts of censorship and economic hardships for their populations.

In the U. S., we see a conflict between many of these same forces today, symbolized by the difference between earth and air sign principles. One party wants to return to a society and economy that dominated the country prior to 1980, and probably even prior to that. President Trump, for example, wants to bring back the manufacturing economy, a sector of American society that suffered a steep loss in world dominance since 1980. He also wants to protect the coal industry as a source of energy, even though the use of coal is deplored by environmentalists. He wants to strengthen the military and police forces, under the premise that doing so will protect Americans and increase their safety. These are all directions in American society that had been waning since the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in 1980. Now they are coming back as we end the return to earth signs of the Great Chronocrator.

However, those trends are due to change again as the next 20-year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn get underway in late 2020. It may take several years to notice the change. As a point of reference, the renaissance in technology and communications didn’t really transform the world precisely in 1980-1981. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s and early 1990’s that the internet really became a dominant force in the society, and especially the business world. Yet, these tools were available before then and kept increasing in their use until they became dominant a few years afterwards.

The point is that the technology and communications renaissance of 1980-2000 is about to resume and will be very apparent in the next Jupiter/Saturn cycle in air signs in 2020-2040. Furthermore, the movement towards new or hybrid forms of socialism and further away from the “purist” forms of capitalism is also likely to continue (or resume), for the tenets of socialism postulate a more egalitarian way of distributing resources and wealth than capitalism, which is in line with the principles of air signs in comparison to earth signs. Being an earth sign Capricorn, I can’t say that I welcome this possible trend. But it appears (to me) to be in accordance to my understanding of these long-term planetary trends and therefore part of a greater “Cosmic Plan,” whose purpose is to enhance the evolution of humanity. Of course, such a statement requires a certain amount of faith that there is indeed some form of intelligence that constructed some set of universal principles by which human activity operates and for which it is accountable.


By 1215, thanks to years of unsuccessful foreign policies and heavy taxation demands, England’s King John was facing down a possible rebellion by the country’s powerful barons. Under duress, he agreed to a charter of liberties known as the Magna Carta (or Great Charter) that would place him and all of England’s future sovereigns within a rule of law. Though it was not initially successful, the document was reissued (with alterations) in 1216, 1217 and 1225, and eventually served as the foundation for the English system of common law. Later generations of Englishmen would celebrate the Magna Carta as a symbol of freedom from oppression, as would the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, who in 1776 looked to the charter as a historical precedent for asserting their liberty from the English crown. – History.com editors, September 20, 2019.

The Great Mutation occurs approximately every 200 years when Jupiter and Saturn begin a series of conjunctions in a different sign element. But there is an even greater 800-year cycle where the Great Mutation returns to the same element, and not just a different element. 

In December 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will start a series of consecutive conjunctions in the element of air. This is the first time since 1226 that a series of air signs will host the Great Chronocrator.

As shown on the enclosed Solar Fire table of Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions between December 11, 1166 and February 14, 1425, the Great Chronocrator made its initial entrance into Libra, an air sign, on November 8, 1186. It then returned to an earth sign (Taurus) on April 16, 1206. Finally, it re-entered the air element (Aquarius) and began its Great Mutation from earth to air on March 4, 1226, where it continued for the next seven cycles. 

The pattern of 1186-1206-1226 is very similar to what has unfolded (and will unfold) in 1980-2000-2020. That is, in 1186, as in 1980-81, the Great Chronocrator interrupted its earth sign appearances and conjoined in Libra. It then reverted back to an earth sign (Taurus) 20 years later, in 1206, as it did in May 2000. Then, 20 years later, Jupiter and Saturn began their series of conjunctions in air signs when, once again, it took place in early Aquarius (March 4, 1226), just as it will on December 21, 2020.

Are there historical events or trends that occurred in that cycle that began 800 years ago that have themes possibly related to today? Yes, there are a few, and they also reflect the principles inherent in the sign of Aquarius, specifically the urge of the populace to have more rights, more freedom, and less repression. This is classic symbolism of the difference between earth and air, and in particular, between Capricorn and Aquarius.

One monumental event that stands out at the beginning of this period is the Magna Carta, a charter of liberties which forced King John to agree to new rights for the population that would place him – the ruler – under a new rule of law. These demands were made possible due to the heavy debt burden and consequent oppressive taxes his rulership had created. He would give up many of his oppressive actions and the populace would have new rights, which would become the basis for the future of English law and freedom from oppression (Aquarian ideals). Today, similar demands are being made of European, American, and other leaders to 1) lift the heavy burden of debt off their populations and 2) conduct their actions and behaviors within the rule of law.

During the beginning years of this same cycle, Genghis Khan invaded China, captured Peking (1214), Persia (1218), and invaded Russia (1223). Who is today’s Genghis Khan? Related to this is the adventures of Marco Polo in 1271, when he left Venice and traveled Asia along the Silk Road and stayed in China for 17 years. At the time, China had a very sophisticated culture that seemed unfathomable to anyone inside the reaches of the Vatican. The importance of China and its value to world trade during that period is similar to what is transpiring today. Even as early as the first passage of Jupiter and Saturn into Libra in 1980-1981, China has become increasingly more important in world matters. That is apt to increase in the next 20-year cycle, and even for the next 200 years.

In 1231, as the Great Mutation in air signs got underway, Pope Gregory assigned the Dominicans to begin an inquisition to combat heresy. It wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine that the current trend of “fake news” and falsification of facts by world leaders could lead to another movement that is symbolically a “great inquisition.” Censoring of the press that governmental leaders believe is unfairly (or dangerously) influencing public opinion towards those leaders could become a reality, especially as transiting Pluto will move into an opposition to Mercury (the news, the press) in the founding chart of the U.S.

And finally, in the middle of the last air sign Great Mutation, in 1325, the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy commenced. As discussed earlier, a renaissance in communications already started with the first passage of Jupiter and Saturn in air signs, 1980-2000. The momentum generated at the time regarding this modern age Renaissance is due to return in this new series of air sign conjunctions of the Great Chronocrator. In fact, it is likely to be recognized in the first 20 years (2020-2040). If this reading is correct, the inventions and applications enabled by advances in technology will be stunning.


The following represent the key concepts suggested by the Great Mutation that begins in December 2020:

  • A new era of world leadership and the emergence of bold new leaders espousing themes such as “social justice”
  • Greater liberties and rights for individuals via new laws and abolishment of older oppressive laws
  • The period may start with social upheavals, even revolutions, in which current leaders are either voted out of office or removed forcibly
  • Inquisitions and investigations increase early in this period
  • Collective values begin to change, transitioning the status given to personal, accumulated wealth, more towards the expression of intellectual, creative, and artistic endeavors
  • The rise of socialism, or a hybrid of socialism, over capitalism, as a base of economic and governmental structures
  • The rise in prominence of China on the world stage
  • The resumption of the renaissance in technology and connectivity of people across the globe



  1. Merriman, Raymond A., Forecast 2020 Book, MMA Inc, Scottsdale AZ, USA, published December 2019. 


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