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Today’s Jupiter-Saturn opposition will no doubt go unnoticed in popular culture. But even among astrologers, this isn’t the Big Doin’s it used to be.

Back before the discovery of the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn were the two furthest planets anyone knew about, and their 20 year cycle was watched closely for the social and political changes it heralded.

Now that we have Saturn in opposition to Uranus, who is about to square Pluto, the cycle of Jupiter and Saturn might seem as exciting as Pacman is to today’s video games. But... This cycle might catch our attention a bit more if we recognized some of it’s more concrete manifestations.

For one, it closely correlates with the Presidents-Who-Died-in-Office cycle which began with Lincoln and ended with Kennedy (during that time, the conjunction of the two planets was in Earth signs).

Because it is a 20 year cycle and has been falling on the decade line for some time, it has also contributed to the sense that the 60s were different from the 70s... or the 20s were different from the 30s. Social trends have seemed to hinge right on the “0” years for some time (although that is obviously very complex).

The latest cycle began on May 28, 2000. That was right around the time the Dot Com bubble burst and the high-rolling 90s came to an end. We all put out our cigars and put away our top hats, recognizing we might not be such investment geniuses after all.

The Euro was introduced around this time. Actually, the Euro became an electronic currency on January 1, 1999, at the closing semi-sextile of the cycle, and paper currency was introduced on January 1, 2002, at the opening semi-sextile. Thus, the midpoint in time of these two Euro landmarks was the 2000 conjunction.

For most of the past decade, the Euro has been gaining on the dollar as the international reserve currency. The history of the Euro is interesting, and extends back at least to the formation of the European Common Market, although it was really first put into concrete form in 1992. Germany, whose Deutsche Mark was a strong currency in its own right, pushed for the Euro after reunification of East and West Germany made economic ties seem more appealing.

Now, at the opposition, or peak of the cycle, the Euro is in crisis. The PIGS are pulling down the value of the currency, which dropped to 2004 levels on the news of the economic crisis in Greece (the Euro is still strong against the dollar compared with it’s rate at introduction).

As we work through this peak in the Jupiter-Saturn cycle through March of 2011, we are likely to see the Euro severely tested as an international currency. Clearly, the honeymoon period (and it was a rough one, all in all) is over. Jupiter and Saturn represent inflation and recession, respectively, and at present everyone is concerned about these two economic scenarios.

There are other social manifestations of Jupiter-Saturn, and these may get more airplay than economics as the opposition moves from Virgo-Pisces to Libra-Aries for the next two rounds. Still, the Aries energy (supported by Uranus) may have some countries questioning their participation in the Euro.