Astrologers have long been forecasting that 2020 would be a year of deep transformation and upheaval of the status quo. Although few could have imagined the sheer scale and speed of what's happening with the Covid-19 virus, the signs were certainly there amongst the astrological community. Let's examine what the clues were, how the current situation is reflected by the planets and the insight this can give us into the potential longer term impacts on society. Can astrology help us to embrace change and emerge from this in a better version of the world?
Predictions are largely made by reviewing upcoming planetary cycles in our solar system such as transits,the movements of planets through different zodiac signs as they orbit the Sun and aspects, the relationships and patterns made between each other as they do so. In 2020 there is a series of major transits, aspects and shifts happening with the slower moving outer planets, said to impact generations and the collective more so than the faster moving, personal inner planets.
Saturn Conjunct Pluto: January 12th
In January of this year, there was a conjunction, an alignment or 'coming together of' Saturn and Pluto as seen from Earth which has set the underlying tone for this year. Saturn is known as the 'hard task master' of the zodiac and Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld. By combining these two energies, Astrologers were predicting total transformation (Pluto) of existing structures (Saturn). I wrote a short blog post about it at the start of the year and if you cast your mind back to January, which already feels like a different era, you'll remember that even by then we'd experienced significant global disruption - the Australian wildfires, a bill passed for the UK to leave the EU, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's announcement to leave the Royal Family and military action between the US and Iran. When President Trump ordered the killing of an Iranian general, I thought to myself "here we go, the 2020 astrology is going to manifest as war between these two countries." Whereas in reality this has now manifested as the world declaring war on a virus as we watch the unthinkable unfold around us.
Each planet in Astrology is associated with the mythology of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses and is said to embody their energy. Last year I attended a seminar on the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of January 2020, held by the Faculty of Astrological Studies. They produced the following images to examine how the energy could manifest - when I looked back through these last week, I felt a shiver at how real these projections have become:
The coming together of these planets takes place around every 35 years. In 1914 we saw the beginning of WW1, in 1947 the Cold War, in 1982 the beginning of the war on terror, and now in 2020 the war with Covid-19.
This planetary pairing is taking us below the surface, peeling away the layers and revealing what's been hiding in the shadows. This can be intense and painful as we feel naked, vulnerable and scared while we wait in the darkness, yet through this place of transformation, a renewal takes place. Space becomes available for something more real, more powerful and with greater integrity to be born.
We are seeing a dramatic and rapid change to a man-made system that we were refusing to adapt. Climate scientists and social activists were begging us to change our ways of living, and we said 'we can't'. We've been shown otherwise. Putting aside conspiracy theories around our governments or the idea of the revenge of Mother Earth, what we do know is that we were living unsustainably. Amidst the chaos we are presented with a rare opportunity for radical change in our relationship with each other and the natural world around us.
"Earth is not a platform for human life. It is a living being. We're not on it, but part of it. Its health is our health." Thomas Moore
Jupiter Conjunct Pluto: April 4th, June 30th & November 12th
Pluto also makes three conjunctions or 'meet-ups' with the planet Jupiter in 2020, the first is exact this week on April 4th and the energy remains present throughout the year. Associated with Zeus of Greek mythology, Jupiter is known as the king of the gods and usually has a jovial quality or is seen as a symbol of good fortune. However, being the largest planet in the solar system by far, Jupiter is also known for its expansive qualities and amplifying all that it touches, pushing hard and pushing fast. So some Astrologers are interpreting this influence as Jupiter literally expanding and spreading the coronavirus' reach - of note, Jupiter and Pluto were also in close contact during the Spanish Flu of 1918 and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968.
There is some good news on the horizon - all three planets Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto will be retrograde this summer between the end of May and mid-September. When planets go retrograde we see their influence as lessened or diminished. Could this mean we have a break or see a resolution by the middle of the year? Let's hope so. I personally think we will and may even see a semblance of life as we once knew it, but with a lesser second wave arriving in Fall and lasting until these planets start to separate and get some more distance between them at the end of the year.
Saturn in Aquarius - March 21st
Around the Spring Equinox, the planet Saturn and its themes of fear, responsibility, effort and barriers entered the zodiac sign of Aquarius, representing society, humanity, the collective, technology and higher ideals. Sometimes astrology is remarkable in its timing as the very next day it was officially announced that the term 'social distancing' (social = Aquarius, distance = Saturn) had just been added to the sign language vocabulary. It's as if a great finger from the sky came crashing down to hit the world's pause button, and it's impossible to deny how strongly these themes are being felt by every single person on the planet.
Saturn remains in this sign until March 2023 and despite the hardships we're facing around social distancing, there are signs of some real positives to this placement. Over the past few weeks we've seen a lot to be proud of - abiding by regulations to protect our vulnerable, the realization that we're all in this together, vast and unprecedented movements by governments to protect its people from the economic fallout. In the UK for example, a general election was held shortly before the outbreak with the right-wing conservative party winning over the left-wing labour party. Yet the measures being introduced now through necessity, much more closely align with the values of the left - free food for the vulnerable, protecting salaries in the face of job losses, the possibility of re-nationalized transport systems and actions being taken to provide housing for the homeless. Uranus, 'the great awakener' and planet of sudden change is shaking things up in Taurus, the zodiac sign of stability, Mother Earth, farming and real estate from 2019 to 2026 and so we are expecting dramatic changes as new systems are introduced and settle into place for much of this decade.
Covid-19 is proving to be a great leveller amongst society, with the wealthiest far from immune and people going to great lengths to protect and support each other. This is however where we need to consciously look at the energies being presented and decide how we will engage with them. Astrology and the movements of the planets offer us archetypal energies woven into the fabric of life, and these energies can manifest in a variety of ways depending on how conscious we are. This is true for us as individuals examining patterns in our individual birth charts and for the wider collective as a whole.
With Saturn in Aquarius there is the potential for great effort, responsibility and commitment in the collective as we've seen with much to be proud of so far. However there is also a real risk of decline into authoritarianism as we have seen countless times with socialist regimes throughout history. Right now we are seeing vast amounts of power being granted to governments and militaries around the world, and the abuse of this already plain to see in countries such as India, Hungary, the Philippines, Kenya and Paraguay. In the Saturn-Pluto blog entry I posted earlier this year, I wrote:
We're being called to wake up, to rise in our own right and to overcome unhealthy imbalances of power. On an individual level, we're being invited to walk the sacred hero's journey in 2020, to face the shadow of our psyches, to tear down that which is outdated and delve deep for the gold buried within.
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates
To really embrace the highest potential of the astrology presented to us in 2020, we're being called to unite, to recognize our power as a collective, to protect each other and realize we are one. The forced separation between us ironically highlights just how much we rely on each other, take each other for granted and how important every single one of us is in the fabric of life - from the family and friends we're isolated from, to healthcare workers, refuse collectors and even workers in different countries such as India who right now will be struggling to feed themselves let alone be part of our supply chain. It's up to us to choose what kind of world emerges from this, to build from the ground up a newer, more humane and loving system that serves everyone in society, saying a firm no to authoritarian regime. We must be careful of this, the responsibility is with us all.
Saturn Conjunct Jupiter: December 21st
As if that wasn't enough, the biggest shift of 2020 is still to come at the end of the year. While Saturn and Jupiter meet around every 20 years, for the past 200 years this has taken place in Earth signs, and in December a new cycle begins as they meet in Aquarius and continue to do so in Air signs until the year 2159.
Saturn-Jupiter is a powerful combo and some believe that Jesus Christ was born during the meeting of these two planets. The real conversation piece though is around the historical shift from Earth to Air, and a change in focus from material issues such as wealth, accumulation and work to communication, technology and society. Even before the current crisis we could see huge changes on the near horizon such as the advancement of artificial intelligence, the internet being ever more central to life, increases in remote working, crypto-currencies etc. It doesn't take an Astrologer to tell you this is the way things were headed, yet what is exciting is that the symbols are unfolding in a way that sees 2020 as a gateway, ushering in a new way of being and interacting, of new ideas and innovation on a grand scale. Could this be the end of materialistic philosophy or the dramatic entrance of the Age of Aquarius we've been waiting so patiently for? One thing's for sure - we will see life before 2020 and life after 2020 as two very distinct eras.
It's up to every single one of us to step forwards and co-create a more sustainable and kind society based on equality for all, with consideration not only for our fellow human beings, but for the entire fabric of the natural world to which we are intrinsically connected. Let's own our power and choose love over fear as we walk through this gateway together. Hand in hand as soon as we can ;)
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Sending so much love and best wishes to you all. Take care, stay safe and wash your hands. Xx