On May 5, 2000, much attention was focused on the grand alignment the six inner planets with the Sun and Moon. Remarkable though it was, this alignment was but the portentous prelude for the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on May 28, 2000. Although Great Conjunctions occur every twenty years, this one was special because it involved a “mutation”. A “mutation” indicates a shift in the Zodiac “element”― Fire, Earth, Air, or Water ― in which a series of Great Conjunctions occurs. For the past 200 years, the Great Conjunctions have occurred in the Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn). The Great Conjunction of May 28th in Taurus marked a “mutation”, because it was the last in the current Earth‑sign series. Beginning with the Jupiter‑Saturn conjunction of December 21, 2020 in Aquarius, a new series of Air‑sign Great Conjunctions will be inaugurated. The subsequent Great Conjunction on October 31, 2040 will take place in Libra, another Air sign.
While the Great Conjunction of May 28, 2000, took place in the Zodiac sign of Taurus, it actually appeared in the sky within the constellation Aries, quite close to the star Hamal, which marks the “head of the Ram”. Great Conjunctions follow a pattern know as a “trigon”, in which every third conjunction occurs in same vicinity. In this case, the conjunction of 2000 followed two others ― in 1881 and 1941 ― which transpired in the constellation Aries near the star Hamal. Nostradamus clearly refers to these conjunctions in Century I, Quatrain 51:
Jupiter and Saturn in the head of Aries,
Eternal God, what mutations!
Then for a long age his malignant time returns, …
This particular Quatrain is to be found within a cluster of references to the emergence of Antichrist and the attendant crisis in the Roman Catholic Church. So it is not difficult to infer whose “malignant time” is meant to coincide with the last of these Great Conjunctions in the “head of Aries”. While the Provençal physician generally shrouds his predictions in ambiguities, here he seems to go out of his way to leave no doubt by identifying the conjunction in question as a “mutation”. Quite deliberately, Nostradamus leaves us room for only one interpretation: The Great Conjunction/ Mutation of 2000 augers the appearance of Antichrist on the World scene. Logically, we might expect this to happen before we reach the other side of this “mutation” ― i.e., before the next Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction on December 21, 2020.
Prior to the current series of Great Conjunctions in the Earth signs, there was a series of such conjunctions in the Fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius). That series ended with a Great Conjunction in 1782 near the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn. Similarly, the next series of Great Conjunctions in the Air signs begins with the conjunction of 2020 right on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius. Viewed in its broadest sense, therefore, the current period of Great Conjunctions in the Earth signs can be viewed as spanning about 240 years (1782‑2020), with a 20‑year overlap on either end with the preceding Fire‑sign series (1782‑1802) and the succeeding Air‑sign series (2000‑2020). For this reason, the ancient astrologers considered the period initiated by each mutation as extending for 240 years.
Among the astrologically‑oriented priesthood of the ancient Middle East, these mutations in the Great Conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn were used in devising a prophetic calendar for the Great Year. As we know from the tradition embodied in the Six Days of Creation depicted in Genesis, this Great Year comprises a period of six thousand years. Divided into twelve months, the Great Year breaks down into “Great Months” of about 500 years. Since 500 years roughly corresponds to the duration of two mutations, every other mutation represented the transition between one Great Month and the next. The mutations occur in the sequence of Zodiac sign elements Fire‑to‑Earth, Earth‑to‑Air, Air‑to‑Water, and Water‑to‑Fire. Hence, the mutations that divide the Great Months are those that occur between the Earth and Air signs and between the Water and Fire signs.
Because the Great Conjunction of May 28, 2000, marked a mutation between Earth and Air signs, therefore, it also represented the end of a Great Month. This observation, however, begs the question: “Which month?” Jewish tradition as, set down in the Second Century Midrash Seder Olam Rabbah, assigns to the Great Month a duration of 490 years. This is based on Daniel’s prophecy of the “70 weeks” (9:24), which was interpreted to be 70 smittah “weeks” of seven years apiece. The Seder Olam Rabbah considered the “70-week”/ 490-year period to extend from the destruction of the First Temple and the Destruction of the Second Temple. Nostradamus likely drew upon this Midrash for his own prophetic chronology, which also specifies a 490-year interval between the destruction of the two Temples (Epistle ¶ 40). Historical records, on the other hand, indicate that this period actually lasted about 150 to 200 years longer. Since the Midrashic dating became the basis of the official Talmudic chronology, the Hebrew calendar has a “shortfall” of the same duration. Hence, while the Great Conjunction of 2000 corresponded to the Hebrew year 5760, it actually transpired somewhere between 5910 and 5960 years after the Fall of Adam ― which is to say, quite close to the end of the Sixth Millennium of human history.
Midrashic tradition also taught that the Messiah was to be born at the beginning of the 8th Great Month ― which was calculated to fall late in the First Century BC or early in the First Century AD. This explains why Messianic anticipation was at such a feverish pitch when Jesus of Nazareth arrived on the scene. Jesus was actually born in 7 BC during a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that took place, appropriately enough, in Pisces, the sign of the Fish (See Appendix 1). The Great Conjunction of 7 BC was a triple conjunction, extending over a period of about six months. It was also a very tight conjunction, so that Jupiter and Saturn on three occasions seemed to merge into a single, exceedingly bright star, which we know as the “Star of Bethlehem”. The Great Conjunction of the Nativity was the last of its series in the Water signs, with the next Great Conjunction (14 AD) located in Sagittarius, a Fire sign. Thus, the Nativity coincided with the Water‑to‑Fire mutation which launched the 8th Great Month.
By this reckoning, the 9th Great Month would have kicked off with the Earth‑to‑Air mutation associated with the triple conjunction of 411‑412 AD. Interestingly, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of November 411 was followed in the same month by a conjunction of the two outermost planets, Neptune and Pluto. By an amazing “coincidence”, Neptune-Pluto conjunctions occur at 490-year intervals ― precisely the length of the Midrashic Great Month based on Daniel’s “70 weeks”! Since successive Great Months overlap one another, the 9th Month would have extended from 411 to 829 AD, when a new series of Great Conjunctions commenced in the Fire signs. The 10th month, in turn, lasted from 809 until the next Air‑sign series began in 1246 AD, overlapping for 20 years each with the 9th Month (809‑829) and the 11th month (1226‑1246). Similarly, the 11th month spanned the years 1226 AD to 1623 AD, overlapping with the 12th Month for the interval of the Water‑to‑Fire mutation 1603‑1623.
The beginning of the 12th ― and final ― month of the Great Year was accompanied by remarkable cosmic portents. The Great Conjunction of December 1603 in Sagittarius was followed by a dramatic massing of Mars with Jupiter and Saturn the next year. The Mars-Saturn conjunction of September 26, 1604, was followed by a Mars-Jupiter conjunction on October 9, 1604, which coincided with the appearance of a brilliant Supernova. Blood-red in color, Supernova SN 1604 ― as it was later named ― appeared very close to the three conjoined planets. Astronomer Johannes Kepler observed it in the “right foot” of the “Serpent-Handler” Ophiuchus, a constellation symbolically linked with Antichrist (see Chapter 5, “Moloch”, at footnote 12). The Supernova was at the apex of a triangle with Saturn and Mar/Jupiter at the base. Within a few days, SN 1604 ― or “Kepler’s Star”, as it was also known ― outshone the three planets and every other star in the sky. It would continue to dominate the night sky for 17 months, after which it faded away.
“Kepler’s Star” was the last supernova observed in our galaxy up to the present date. This extraordinary celestial phenomenon stimulated a wave of intense apocalyptic speculation which culminated in the emergence of an occult “secret society” that called itself the “Order of the Rosy Cross” ― or “Rosicrucians”. Anonymous Rosicrucian “manifestos” began to appear, proclaiming that the Supernova of 1604 was a heavenly sign signifying the discovery of the tomb of one Christian Rosenkreutz ― whose name means “Christ of the Rosy Cross”. Christian Rosenkreutz was reputed to have been initiated into a something called the “Priory of Solomon”, allegedly founded by the Knights Templar when they occupied the site of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem during the First Crusade.
Thus began the 12th Great Month, which extends from 1603 to 2020, when the next series of Great Conjunctions will move into the Air signs. The transitional period, during which the 12th Month will overlap the 13th, began on May 28, 2000, with the Great Conjunction in Taurus (22degrees 43 minutes), and ends December 21, 2020, with the Great Conjunction in Aquarius (0 degrees 29 minutes). But what are we to make of the “13th Month”? In most ancient calendars, including the Hebrews’, a 13th “leap” month was periodically added to reconcile the solar year with the lunar month. This perhaps suggests that a great era of human reconciliation and restoration of equilibrium and Justice is at hand. Such a hopeful message seems to be implicit in the location of the Great Conjunction of 2020 in the 1st degree of Aquarius, the sign associated with the ultimate liberation of the human Spirit.
On the other hand, however, the 23rd degree of Taurus, where the Great Conjunction of May 2000 occurred, has very sinister connotations. Its Sabian symbol is the false King, the Usurper. Thus, it signifies the dark spiritual energy of the Ezekiel's King of Tyrus, the same energy that will invest the False Messiah prophesied to appear at the end of this Age. According to eminent astrologer Willem Koppejan, the 23rd degree of Taurus was ascendant at the conception of the famous French artist‑occultist Jean Cocteau (1889‑1963). Cocteau is reported to have served (1918‑1963) as the Grand Master of a secret masonic society ― the “Priory of Sion” ― dedicated to the restoration of a dynastic monarchy in France. Such a monarchy would claim descent from the “royal bloodline” of King David and Jesus Christ. The Priory of Sion ― like Christian Rosenkreutz’ Priory of Solomon ― traces it origins to Mount Sion in Jerusalem and the Knights Templar.