What cycles represent
"Cycles are described as the means by which the enfolded, infinite and eternal potentiality of all ideas is unfolded in the dimension of Time. [...] Indeed, if time were not in some way related to eternity, and both to the idea of cycles, the very act of attempting to make astrological forecasts would be illusory. [...] Correctly read, the chart for the beginning of any cycle contains within it all that will subsequently unfold in time."
Charles Harvey – Mundane Astrology
We can understand cycles as the development of Ideas, and the time and phases of the cycle to be the way in which the abstract Idea is materialized in our world. When two planets (processes) meet (conjunction) they generate a new general phase of evolution, characterized mainly by the type of those planets (processes), but also by other astrological factors like the combination (aspects) with other planets.
From a general perspective, we can agree that the world is in a continuous process of evolution. To understand better this process of evolution, we can see that the world is not just a one single element, but a combination (amalgam) of processes (planets). It is something similar with the human body, which can be seen as a whole organism (one), but also like a bunch of organs: heart, lung etc. The Hermetic principle of correspondence "as above, so below; as below, so above", may help us to understand.
So, in this continuous process of evolution of the world, the planetary cycles are phases of evolution, shorter or longer, simple or complex, with favorable or difficult results, all depends on the astral context.
Ideas is also a good term for the planetary cycles because in the moment of conjunction of the two planets, it's just an idea. It is a vision of how those processes (planets) may work together. In business would be called a vision statement. Of course the idea, vision should become real, and this will happen in the time of the cycle and will become a new phase in the evolution of the world.
By analyzing cycles we can try to understand those phases of evolution and their succession in order to make good astrological predictions.
It is also true that the evolution and events of the world are a combination of all the cycles and their interactions in the same time, but as the human mind can't understand now and will never understand the whole combination of planets and other astrological factors in the same time, the best method is to use that analytical method of analyzing individual planetary cycles and then to try understand their combination as much as we can. We can see that the most important step is to understand every astrological cycle individually.
This is a phase of evolution (cycle) in the astrological thinking, as planetary cycles are phases of evolution of the world.
The important cycles in mundane astrology are:
Jupiter – Pluto – 12-13 years
Jupiter – Neptune – 13 years
Jupiter – Uranus -14 years
Jupiter – Saturn – 20 years
Saturn – Pluto – 33 years
Saturn – Neptune – 35 years
Saturn – Uranus – 45 years
Uranus – Pluto – 110-120 years
Uranus – Neptune – 175 years
Neptune – Pluto – 300 – 500 years
Phases of a cycle
The conjunction: 0 degrees
- the "seed idea" of the cycle, the vision of the whole cycle, it contains all that will follow
- the event that will start the changes which will happen in the cycle
- it is also the final of the last cycle
First square: 90 degrees
- the striving to manifest, to make an impact in the real world
- crisis in the development of the cycle, some elements will dissapear, others will become stronger
- the potential of the cycle become real, at least for a part
The opposition: 180 degrees
- the objective expression of the cycle, the results of what started at the conjunction
- it is also a crisis in the development of the cycle, as it represents the antithesis of the beginning conjunction thesis
Second square: 90 degrees
- a point of crisis in the cycle, the ideas must be actualised
- instability, tension
Work in progress.