Progressed Stationary Planets and Their Sabian Symbols – 1991 Fall of the Soviet Union

The most outstanding progressed aspect corresponding with the fall of the Soviet Union in December of 1991, was the station of Venus going retrograde after 74 years of Communist rule. This important dynamic aspect,1 based on the chart of the Bolshevik Revolution that took place on November 7, 1917, shines much light on the economic upheaval, value changes, and general discontent with political inequality taking place in the Soviet Union at the time. Venus rules a nation’s economy, and during the tense period of the attempted coup d’état by hardline Communists, the progressed station of Venus was buttressed by a transit of Venus stationing from August to September 1991.  

Marc Edmund Jones describes in his Scope of Astrological Prediction2 that progressed stationary planets, going retrograde or direct, indicate a time for a radical change in the life of a person or nation. This unique feature of the progressed charting calls for a turning away from obsolete routines, habits, and behaviors by becoming aware of issues needing reevaluation and renewal in self or country. New methods of resolving difficulties can emerge with stark revelations which may then lead to the fulfillment of present and future needs. Totally new ways of acting and attitudes need to be developed. In Marc Edmund Jones’ words:

Planetary Stations are established when a planet in secondary progression appears to come to a rest in the zodiac and begins to move retrograde instead of direct or vice versa. If the change is to retrograde the indication is more personal or intimate and if to direct it is more impersonal.

The phenomenon in progressions always identifies a subtle or psychological shift in the fundamental course of life such as requires a critical regrasp of experience and often proves to be an adjustment over an appreciable span of time whether marked by some single sharp event of easy identification or by a complex syndrome of changes of less obvious interrelation.

In the case of the Soviet Union, one can easily observe that the government and its people were in a great transition, one that obviously called for a serious regrasp of the entire situation. The progressed Venus station in 1991, occurs in the auspicious Sabian symbol degree of a Butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. This image is the symbolic testimony of a country in the midst of transformative times. The butterfly represents the potential freedom won through discarding the chrysalis of worn-out and stifling political circumstances.

AQUARIUS 29 Butterfly emerging from chrysalis This is a symbol of humanity’s insatiable appetite for experience on the side of an intellectual self-assurance, and of the nascent eagerness of the conscious self for a complete or effective grasp of all possible knowledge. There is a continually self-renewing purity of man’s mind at root, and he somehow feels that nature herself springs from her over-all potential as spontaneously as his own ideas come forth from the formless matrix of his inner being. The keyword is EMANATION. When positive, the degree is uncompromising faith in the promise of existence itself and in the wonders of a continuing creation, and when negative, utterly sluggish response to reality.

The Soviet Union was plagued by recurring upheaval and redirections during its relatively short history, synchronous with its numerous progressed planetary stations throughout its lifespan. Looking back to 1936, we find the progressed station of Saturn revealing the mystery surrounding the great purge orchestrated by Josef Stalin. Through the threat of death, he eliminated all possible opposition to his rule. This demonstrates the power of symbolism in its negative or reverse form through the Sabian symbol, A pageant at 14 Leo 32. Stalin sought to exhibit the fruits of his achievements for a heightening of self-significance which only encouraged the continuance of the evil dictatorship so prevalent in Europe at the time.

LEO 15 A pageant This is a symbol of man’s constant delight in exhibiting the fruits of his achievement, and of a naïveté dramatized in the world of everyday through a very human pride in common works and co-operative accomplishment. There is high magic in the public display of all the things in which the least of individuals may have had some minor part, and out of it comes a sense of fellowship through which the whole is revealed in an over-all excellence and every last inarticulate ideal somehow is exalted. The keyword is DEMONSTRATION. When positive, the degree is an irresistible heightening of self-significance across the whole face of experience, and when negative, unconvincing claims and embarrassing self-assertion. 

In 1965, progressed Mercury stationed to turn retrograde to usher in a new cycle that took twenty years to unfold. The older hardline generation, trained under Stalin, began to die out and give way to a more relaxed form of proselytizing under Khrushchev and Brezhnev. By 1985, Mercury turned stationary direct at 3 degrees Capricorn 28 and is associated with the Sabian symbol of A party entering a large canoe. Following the death of General Secretary Konstantin Chernenko on March 10, 1985, Politburo member Mikhail Gorbachev became the new General Secretary of the Soviet Union. This indicated the apparent decision to unite the previously provincial nation with the world outside its borders and toward the West. Gorbachev was given the “oars” as his rise to power corresponded exactly in that year with progressed Mercury station direct. 

CAPRICORN 4 A party entering a large canoe This is a symbol of man’s necessary adjustment of the practical details in his immediate environment as a preliminary to any personal participation in experience, and of his greater concern with these at times than with the real ends in view. Here also is his desire for the approval of his fellows before he commits himself, and his determination to involve them in whatever commands his own attention. The individual is sure of himself as he acts with others. The keyword is ORDERING. When positive, the degree is exceptional capacity for bringing all proper relationships to a point of effectiveness in any given exigency of everyday affairs, and when negative, inability to get along with anybody.

Gorbachev continued a bit unsteady as he rode the wave of another great turnabout during the progressed Venus station of 1991. At that moment in Soviet history, the Venus station synchronized with a basic struggle for a more satisfying ideal and ethic to rally around, as well as with the desperate need for practical solutions to economic problems, some as simple as food distribution. It was apparent that a totally new structure of government needed to be installed to replace the Communist regime. In reality, however, communism in its root concepts, defined in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto had never been truly practiced in the Soviet Union. On the contrary, it appeared that Soviet officials filled the empty shoes the hitherto dreaded bourgeois used to wear. Instead of abolishing classes, those considering themselves the proletariat before the 1917 revolution soon after became the new bourgeois.

The horoscope of the Soviet Union is set up for the revolution of November 7, 1917, at 1:02 PM in Petrograd (present-day St. Petersburg).  On that date, transit Neptune stands out in importance for the incoming governing body through its station going retrograde at 7 Leo 07. Neptune, associated with social equality, inequality, and the dissolving of separatist boundaries was in the Sabian degree of none other than A Bolshevik propagandist. This is the most uncanny and literal form of confirmation of celestial intelligence, given voice through Sabian symbol messaging, as they correspond with earthly affairs.

LEO 8 A Bolshevik propagandist This is a symbol of the indomitable expectation of the human spirit as it gathers strength from the innermost reaches of man’s own or enduring nature, here emphasized by the recurrent battles over social and political concepts. The exceptional dynamic involved is seen in the selfless energy developed to an extreme by the revolutionists of each new age. Implicit in the reversed symbolism is the need of the human community for a worthy cause to which to rally in every aspect of its potentials. The keyword is LEAVEN. When positive, the degree is a determination to share the soul’s vision and to make a permanent impact on history, and when negative, futile ranting against a multitude of superficial ills.


  1. Dynamic aspects are the progressed and transit planetary interactions with the natal planets.
  2. Scope of Astrological Prediction, Marc Edmund Jones.

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