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To Err is….er?…Human

It’s a perennial mystery—what happens to all the lost socks in the universe. Do they somehow mutate into one, or is there a shadowy world inside clothes dryers and washing baskets that engulfs them in a black hole of anti-matter? If anyone eventually finds the answer, it may be an individual with Saturn in Virgo. They have the knack to spot the pattern within the matrix, to conjure control within chaos, and to engineer solutions to the most exacting problems.

The Mechanistic Universe

A prime example was mathematician and engineer Sir Charles Babbage. He formed the very Virgoan Analytical Society and deduced that past weather ages could be deciphered from examining concentric tree ring patterns. But his "piece de resistance" was the Analytical Engine. This was the first mechanical digital computer, capable of performing any calculation set before it, and printing the result. Prior to Charles Babbage nobody had ever conceived such a contraption, let alone attempted to construct it. Babbage was driven by the removal of human error, a dislike of untidiness and love of calculus.

Automation, the computer and the machine are the wheels that turn our world—even if it is the spirit that ultimately drives them. On September 2, 2007 Saturn will return to the fastidious sign of Virgo, and impress itself upon universal consciousness—not fully departing until July 21, 2010. The regulatory nature of Virgo, a scrupulous and exacting sign, leaves little to chance. Perhaps the advice that perfection is a direction rather than a destination may be appropriate advice, for this generational change.

The Ultimate Control Freak

The Saturn in Virgo meticulousness was aptly parodied, in the character of fault-finding, anal-retentive Felix Unger. Felix is famous for the line, “Everyone thinks I'm a hypochondriac. It makes me sick!” He was the pill-popping, clean freak half of television’s Emmy Award winning Odd Couple series. Felix was constantly picking up the gauntlets thrown down by the unshaven, beer slurping housemate Oscar Madison. Felix’s real life character, Tony Randall, was able to hilariously access his own Virgo Saturn, also closely tied to his birth Sun and Moon, making it infinitely more judgmental.

Parodies aside, the purist nature of Virgo benefits the health related industries where chance factors suggest critical errors. Chemistry is one area of science that benefits remarkably from this Virgo emphasis, if past evidence is to be repeated.

Mobilizing People Power

China has been one country that has risen from the most populous and isolationist culture to a leading world player under Saturn in Virgo. Saturn’s last three visitations coincided with pivotal periods of Chinese development. July 1, 1921 was the official founding date for the Communist Party of China, and subsequent rise of the enigmatic leader Mao Zedong. Mao took China from a sleeping rural economy to a unified world power.

Saturn’s next sojourn in Virgo locked in a week before the release of George Orwell’s classic totalitarian big brother world of 1984. It marked the creation of the People’s Republic of China. Mao’s violent revolution had taken the lives of millions of dissidents. Such potential was evident in the intensely explosive Sun/Mars/Pluto conjunction of the original Communist Party horoscope. And it was further reflected in the Mars/Pluto conjunction of the People’s Republic chart of October 1, 1949 at 03:15 pm.*

Mao’s death in 1976 signaled a power shift and further political purge. The next Saturn Virgo visit, from 1978, ushered in a new regime headed by Deng Xiaoping. The same year, China became the first nation to register one billion people, instituted sweeping reforms to state-owned industries, and introduced birth control via the one-child policy. (Also on July 25, 1978, the world’s first "test-tube baby," Louise Brown, was born in Oldham, England using invitro-fertilization).

The reorganization of the world’s largest labor force and subsequent free-market reform now sees the world’s oldest culture boasting the world’s fastest growing economy. With Saturn entrenched in Virgo they play host to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. No doubt this period will take them to a new level in political influence, national direction and military power.

The U.S.A. and Iran

The Iranian Islamic Revolution of February 1, 1979, created the world’s first modern theocracy when Saturn last travelled through Virgo. Militant students besieged the U.S. Embassy on November 4, 1979, taking U.S. citizens hostage. This resulted in a 440-day standoff between the Ayatollahs and the U.S. Carter Administration. Not until Saturn departed Virgo were the hostages finally released.

Today, under similar celestial conditions, another bitter opponent of the U.S. has arisen. Iranian PM Mahmoud Ahmadinejad already has temporarily detained British sailors. Is this a political ploy or the precursor of growing antagonism? Iran and the U.S. occupy opposite sides of the political see-saw, something that can easily become increasingly obvious during the current Saturn stopover. And yet every new Saturn cycle provides the opportunity for an unfoldment and unraveling of the previous one. Our hopes hang on that evolutionary basis.

Power to the Women

In what may be construed as a planetary positive for Democrat Hillary Clinton’s Presidential bid, the Saturn in Virgo cycle has been traditionally beneficial to women in politics. With the administrative planet in the sign of feminine ethics in 1921, Nancy Astor became Britain’s first female Member of Parliament. Margaret Thatcher also became Britain’s first Prime Minister under the same auspices.

In line with Saturn in Virgo’s reorganization of work practices and industry, Thatcher instituted total transformation of the labor market. She denationalized government-controlled industries in a determined drive for privatization; a policy since labeled “Thatcherism.” You’ve heard of big brother, now try big sister! Here is an influence that synchronistically and systematically streamlines work practices and methodologies. Greater emphasis is placed on quality control and consumer rights, engendering a more consistent and conscientious approach from the manufacturing and production end. 

“Conscience is God Present in Man”
Victor Hugo

On an individual level Saturn in Virgo is obviously ideal for re-examining your personal work practices, increasing health awareness, and generally cleaning up your act. Its critical faculty works best where organization, system and order are required, but not at the expense of spirit. As the famous French author Victor Hugo so aptly wrote, “concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life.” But he also said that, “habit is the nursery of errors.” So this is not about doing the same things, as much as it is improving the pattern. What is right for you now? Examine areas of repetition, conformity and order, often reflected in the structure of your working life. Rather than being paralyzed by the uncertainty of getting it all right, keep in mind that to err is truly human and that laughter is a gift from the gods.

*The Republic of China time from Nicholas Campion, World Horoscopes, Aquarian Press (current edition the Wessex Astrologer Ltd)


Ed Tamplin is a consultant, writer and researcher of astrology specializing in mundane. He is a regular lecturer on the Australian circuit and co-hosts an astrology talkback show on Sydney radio 2GB-AM every Saturday night. With partner and fellow astrologer Sherrynne Dalby he teaches at the Sirius School of Astrology and maintains an active personal practice.

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Other StarIQ articles by Ed Tamplin:

  • Presidents and Neptune   12/14/2013
  • Uranus in Aries   5/5/2012
  • Saturn in Libra   10/30/2009
  • Jupiter in Sagittarius: Nothing Exceeds Like Excess   12/8/2006
  • Mars and the Commonwealth Games   3/17/2006
  • Grand Cross or Southern Cross   11/11/2005
  • Gods or Monsters: Jupiter in Scorpio   10/25/2005
  • USA, Uranus & Iraq   9/5/2005
  • Saturn in Leo   7/8/2005
  • Election 2004   10/29/2004
  • Election in Oz 2004   10/1/2004
  • Jupiter in Libra   9/24/2004
  • Jupiter in Virgo   6/18/2004
  • Australia: Birth of a Nation   5/14/2004
  • Terror in Spain   3/25/2004
  • Pluto and Mars - Fiery Encounters   1/22/2004

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