On minor planetary years and degree-families

In traditional textbooks, we often find a list of minor planetary years.
They indicate when planets get activated in a chart and are particularly important in zodiacal releasing. But what exactly are they ?

Let’s start with the numbers of the minor years. Saturn has 29, Jupiter 12, Mars 15, Venus 8, and Mercury 20. When we apply these numbers to the planets’ conjunctions with the Sun, we find interesting patterns.

The conjunction with the Sun always describes the begin of a new cycle, a fresh start. But astrology is like a spider web, every dot is connected with other dots and not just in a metaphorical or esoteric sense but also in astronomical terms.


The recent Sun/Saturn conjunction from February, 2, 2023 happend at 27°44’ Aquarius. If we follow Saturn’s path every 29 years, we see that the Sun/Saturn conjunctions take place each time about 5° EARLIER in the zodiac. What emerges is, therefore, a retrograde pattern. There is a set of six conjunctions in Aquarius, before the conjunctions move into Capricorn. His minor years -path covers 145 years (29×6) .
Feb 16, 2023, 27° Aq
Feb 12, 2052, 23° Aq
Feb, 6, 2081, 18° Aq
Feb 02, 2110, 13° Aq
Jan 28, 2139, 08° Aq
Jan 23, 2168, 03° Aq


Jupiter has a different pattern: The Sun/Jupiter conjunctions move forward in the zodiac at a constant “speed” of about 5° distance in zodiacal order from the previous to the following one. As for Saturn, there is a set of 6 conjunctions in the same sign before Jupiter moves to the next, covering a period of 50 years (6×5):
Mar 22, 1975, 00° Ar
Mar 27, 1987, 05° Ar
Apr 01, 1999, 11° Ar
Apr 11, 2011, 16° Ar
Apr 17, 2023, 23° Ar
Apr 22, 2025 26° Ar


Mars’ patterns are quicker, but, as for Saturn, his conjunctions also move in a retrograde fashion, of about 17° distance from one to the next. He has only two consecutive conjunctions in one sign before he changes it:
Nov. 18, 2023: 25° Scorpio,
Nov. 01, 2038: 08° Scorpio.
His minor years only cover a period of 15 years.


Venus has a very regular path and can make up to 15 conjunctions in the same sign. The exact number depends on the degree at which enters the sign. As Saturn, Mars and Mercury, she moves retrograde on her minor-years path. The following dates cover a set of 14 inferior conjunctions, but the principle is the same for the superior conjunctions.
A set of 8 years distant Venus conjunctions covers a max. range of 120 years (8×15).

Aug 22, 1991, 29° Leo
Aug 29, 1999, 27° Leo
Aug 18, 2007, 24° Leo
Aug 16, 2015, 22° Leo
Aug 13, 2023 20° Leo
Aug 11, 2031, 18° Leo
Aug 08, 2039, 16° Leo
Aug 06, 2047, 13° Leo
Aug 04, 2055, 11° Leo
Aug 02, 2063, 09° Leo
Jul 30, 2071, 06° Leo
Jul 28, 2079, 05° Leo
Jul 25, 2086, 03° Leo
Jul 23, 2095, 00° Leo


Mercury has a regular path. He makes 7 conjunctions in the same triplicity. Every 20 years, his conjunctions happen about 5° days earlier in the calendar and ca. 4° earlier in the zodiac. A set of 15 years distant Mercury conjunctions covers a max. range of 140 years (7×20), depending on the initial degree of the set. As Saturn, Mars and Venus, he has a retrograde motion regarding his minor years:
Feb 17, 1935, 27° Aq
Feb 12, 1955, 23° Aq
Feb 08, 1975, 18° Aq
Feb 03, 1995, 14° Aq
Jan 30, 2015, 10° Aq
Jan 26, 2035, 06° Aq
Jan 21, 2055, 01° Aq


As we can see, each degree of a planet’s conjunction has a “degree family” . In case of Jupiter and Saturn, there are 6, Mars has 2 and Venus has 15 members and Mercury has 7 . Only Jupiter has a forward motion, the other planets have a retrograde motion through their minor years-set.

Now, the same logic of the degree-family applies to other conjunctions, too, but of course with a proper number-sequence, since the minor years only apply to the Sun conjunctions . The most used one is the Jupiter Saturn conjunction.

This is a vast field to explore in (mundane?!) astrology and should make us aware how literally everything is connected in this universe.

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