In 7 BC there was a Great Conjunction of the two superior planets, Jupiter and Saturn. It fell at 20º PISCES 55’. Many have hypothesized this to be the fabled star of Bethlehem.
In the Arabic astrology of the middle ages many ancient techniques were used, which are now discarded. The famed astrologer Abu Mas’ar (787 – 886 AD) has preserved many of the Persian astrological techniques for predicting world events, or Mundane Astrology, as it is known. It is likely that the Magi themselves were of Persian origin, and it is possible that they used these, or very similar, techniques in determining the birth time, date and place, of the Savior.
Perhaps this is how the star led them to Him.
I’d like to now demonstrate this, as an exercise in Mundane Astrology.
The Great Conjunctions mark cycles in time, which are divided in ways from the Great Year (the Great Conjunction in Aries, once every 960 years or so) down to the syzygys of the years, occurring twice a month.
In this way, according to tradition, all time unfolds, each moment depending from the higher, longer cycle, right to the top.
Religions and prophets are signified when the Great Conjunction shifts from one triplicity to another. It is interesting to note that the superior planets most often conjoin 12 or 13 times in a single triplicity before jumping into another one. This is not always the case, however, but it is most common and frames the philosophical reasoning behind using these times. The switch in triplicty happens, on average, every 260 years.
The Great Conjunction previous to 7 BC occurred 26 BC, at 3º Leo 17’. Then, on May 29, 7 BC, the great conjunction occurred at 20º Pisces 55’. There was a change in triplicity ruler, so a prophet could be signified. Jupiter rules Pisces, so it is ruler of the Conjunction. The prophet will be a great ascetic, a king, magnanimous, compassionate, abundant, loving and kind.
Setting the chart for Jerusalem (the capital of Judea) we may raise a horoscope for the Conjunction: it lasts from 8:32 am to 11:23 am, local mean time. The middle of this time, then, is 9:57:30 am.
12º Leo 10’ rises, a fitting ascendant for the Christ, may heaven ever bless Him. The conjunction is near the ninth cusp, the house associated with religions and faith. If we take the chart for the onset of the perfection of the Conjunction, Aries rules the 10th house, and it is interesting to note the opposition with Mars, perhaps indicative of a challenge to the status quo, and Roman rule.
The distance from the Ascendant to the degree of the conjunction is 218º 45’. Abu Mas’ar tells us to count each sign as a year, so this distance then translates to 7 years, 106 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 54 seconds.
This places the birth on September 12 in the year 0, at 10:44 pm, local mean time.
This seems a fitting time, it is the year the Christian calendar begins, and at a time when Mary and Joseph would be seeking to bed down for the night. This date could fall close to the Jewish new year, Rosh HaShanna in this year. Fall is also an appropriate time for shepherds to be watching their flocks by night.
Interestingly, if we raise a chart for September 12, year 0, at 10:44 pm in Bethlehem, Saturn, ruler of the 9th house is rising in Gemini. A fitting portent of a great religious leader who speaks in parables.
However, this is of course speculation, although there seem to be interesting parallels we can draw. Minor errors in the time of the conjunction can change the date substantially. However, as an exercise in the ancient techniques, long forgotten and discarded in this modern age, it certainly raises some interesting questions.