Major Conjunctions in Mundane Astrology

[I used Deepl-Translator, free version, for this English translation; slightly revised by me]

In the brilliant lesson 12 of the Maharishi Jyotish Course Raja Luis states, among other things, that in Mundane Jyotish the conjunctions (yuvati) of the slow-moving grahas are seen as triggers for long-term global cycles of development. I have taken up this idea and will present here some conclusions that I have been able to derive from it.

The slow-moving grahas are Shani, Rahu and Ketu, and Guru. Shani circles the entire zodiac in about 29.5 years, Rahu and Ketu take a little more than 18.5 years and Guru about 12 years.

From the length of the orbital periods of these four grahas arise the lengths of their conjunction cycles. One might initially assume that conjunctions of Shani with Rahu and Ketu occur at the greatest intervals, but this is not the case. The reason for this is the permanent retrograde nature of Rahu and Ketu; this has the consequence that Shani and Ketu mostly run towards each other, which shortens the time until their next conjunction. As a result, the conjunctions of Shani with Rahu or Ketu occur approximately every 11 years. Conjunctions of Guru with Rahu or Ketu occur approximately every 7 years and consequently the longest cycle of recurring conjunctions is that of Shani and Guru: Shani-Guru conjunctions occur approximately every 20 years.

Note that in Jyotish, conjunction does not mean that the grahas are exactly in the same degree in the zodiac; rather, conjunction occurs as soon as two grahas are in the same zodiac sign, irrespective of their distance in degrees, minutes, etc.

The Meaning of the Major Conjunctions

A conjunction marks the beginning of a cycle of development, the nature of which is determined by the nature of the two grahas involved and by the nature of the zodiac sign (rashi). The strength of the two grahas in the Rashi in which the conjunction takes place plays a decisive role.

The conjunction stands for the initial impulse of the development cycle and the beginning is known to be the most significant point in time in astrology, as it determines the entire future development in seed form. This initial impulse then unfolds in 12 phases, corresponding to the 12 houses (bhavas), in the time until the next conjunction. Raja Luis only briefly hinted at this in his lecture and he illustrated it in a diagram which I have translated, slightly modified and retranslated:

Here are my thoughts on this: The conjunction itself represents the initial impulse and occupies the 1st house. When the faster planet then moves away from the slower one and is finally one sign further, it occupies the 2nd house, which represents a phase of growth. In phase 3, the development impulse comes to terms with competing projects and thereby (in a favourable case) gains strength, much like the 3rd house in the horoscope. This makes its own inner nature clearer to it (phase and house 4) and it gains self-confidence and strength as a result, etc. ... In phase 10 the impulse finally establishes itself in the world, in phase 11 it globally unfolds its benefits and in phase 12 it fades out and makes room for a subsequent new impulse.

For each phase, one can roughly calculate 1/12 of the cycle duration, which in the case of the Shani Guru cycle would be 1/12 of 20 years, i.e. about 1 year and 8 months.

The Conjunction Cycle of Shani and Guru

Let us look at the conjunction cycle of Shani and Guru, which covers the largest period of 20 years and therefore stands for very long-term developments.

Before actually calculating the conjunctions of Shani and Guru over a longer period of time, one might conjecture that these conjunctions are likely to occur quite widely scattered in a wide variety of zodiac signs. However, this is not the case. To reiterate and to note: in Jyotish, conjunction does not mean the grahas standing together in the zodiac exactly to the degree; rather, a conjunction occurs as soon as 2 grahas are in the same zodiac sign, quite independent of their distance in degrees, minutes, etc.

The following table shows the Shani Guru conjunctions in the 12 Rashis in the period 1800 to 2100; these show a striking pattern that will certainly come as a surprise to some:

I use the expression "primary conjunctions", because due to the slowness of Shani and Guru, a later "secondary conjunction" of the two grahas takes place in the next following Rashi and in rare cases even a third in the sign after next. These subsequent conjunctions are not listed in the table.

1900 - 2100: The Age of Fire

It is remarkable that from 1900 to about 2100, roughly speaking over a period of about 200 years, all primary conjunctions of Shani and Guru take place in the 3 fiery signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. So we are not only dealing with 20-year cycles here, but also with a larger 200-year cycle. We could thus call the period from about 1900 to 2100 the "Age of Fire", preceded by an "Age of Water" (Brahmanas, knowledge, discovery, seafaring, etc.) and then followed by an "Age of Earth" (Vaishyas, economy, primary products, etc.).

Guru and Shani in Fiery Signs

In Mundane Astrology the natural benefactor Guru stands for flourishing, development and expansion, the natural malefactor Shani for concretisation and stabilisation, in the negative case also for solidification, suppression and stagnation. In their conjunction these principles enter into a connection with each other and set in motion a development which unites both principles - expansion and stabilisation etc. - in itself.

In conjunctions in fiery signs, Guru is both the more positive and dominant factor, Shani the more negative and subordinate factor. The reason for this is the natural relationship of Guru and Shani to the lords of the fiery signs, which are Mangal, Surya and Guru himself. The lords of the fiery signs are far more friendly to Guru and support him; in Sagittarius Guru is even in his own Rashi. Towards Shani, the lords of the fiery signs are more hostile; in Aries, Shani even is in his debilitation. In the fiery signs, Guru's positive aspirations are encouraged, while Shani is alienated from his own nature, is weak and produces predominantly negative effects.

The fire element in Jyotish is associated with the occupational group (varna) of the Kshatriyas, which are the warriors (Aries), rulers (Leo) and lawgivers (Sagittarius). Fire also stands for power, willpower and transformation. In the dynamic sign Aries it is about conquering and asserting power, in the fixed sign Leo it is about stabilising and maintaining power and in the dual sign Sagittarius it is about legitimising, law-creating and also further spreading power as a legislative force (dharma).

""War is the father of all and the king of all; it proves some people gods, and some people men; it makes some people slaves and some people free" this remarkable statement by the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus (ca. 550 - 460 B.C.) on the subject of war might be quoted here. Already in the two earliest phases of the Age of Fire and Kshatriyas, two world wars occurred, through which the global balance of power was strongly and permanently transformed.

Future Prospects

Even these initial thoughts on the subject of "Major Conjunctions in Mundane Astrology", using the example of the Shani Guru conjunctions, already show, in my opinion, that it is worthwhile to pay attention to this subject.

Subsequently, one could, for example, examine each individual Shani Guru conjunction in its twelve unfolding phases and assign historical developments and events. One could also analyse the other longer cycles - Sa-Ra, Sa-Ke, Gu-Ra and Gu-Ke - and their unfolding in 12 phases and then examine how they mesh with the phases of the Sa-Gu cycle.

It becomes even more complex if one includes which other grahas are involved at the time of the primary conjunction through sign-ruling, aspect and further conjunction. Also conjunctions of 3 or more grahas would certainly be worth an in-depth investigation.

E-mail to the author: mstffm@gmx.de