A brief exploration of the conjunctions of 2020
Astrologically speaking, a conjunction between two planets signals the beginning of their cycle and it carries the signature of their themes and qualities. This means that the two years or so which lead up to the conjunctions represent the 'end of a cycle'. Which is where we are now.
This notion of cyclicity, so important in understanding the nature of our resonance with the planetary cycles in which we participate, can be likened to the familiar monthly cycle of the Sun and Moon. A New Moon occurs approximately every 29 days, during a period often called 'Dark of the Moon', when the Moon is no longer visible in the night sky. The New Moon energy can be readily felt on seeing the thin sliver of a crescent Moon, briefly visible in the Western sky around sunset, just a couple of days or so after the actual point of the New Moon. The Moon gets larger every night until it shines in its brightest glory, at Full Moon, two weeks later.
After this culmination, it wanes, and if we are sensitive to this movement, we will allow ourselves progressively more rest and reflection until by the time it disappears we may feel beautifully in touch with the 'in-between world' of dreams, reveries, subtle impressions and a felt sense of oneness with life. We prepare for the beginning of the new cycle, at the forthcoming New Moon. This does not mean that no action can be taken, but that we proceed not through force or ego-grasping, but rather through surrender and holding firm within. We cooperate with the dream of burgeoning future potentials, rather than seeking to 'overcome' unsureness and temporary darkness by 'reason' or forced practicality. We listen to the guidance of the heart.
This 'prototype' is a useful reference for other cycles too ...
The main four cycles of current interest are Saturn/Pluto, Saturn/Jupiter, Chariklo/Pluto and Jupiter/Pluto, all reaching conjunctions in the years 2019-2020.
On January 12th 2020, Saturn and Pluto will be conjunct, exact only one time. This is a powerful conjunction with an 'epoch-making' feel about it. Collective events exert pressure, necessity creates new directions, darkness is revealed, and the mood is mostly sombre. Pluto, as Lord of Transformation, faces down Saturn as the 'Guardian of the Threshold'. The threshold leading to the new, that is ... inwardly and outwardly.
So already now, while working towards 'The New' in our lives, individually and collectively, we can see/feel this pressure being exerted. There may be a dense, uncompromising quality about what meets us and seems to hold us back. But change will occur, possibly irrevocable. No going back, sort of thing. The 'blocks, delays and obstacles' which often signal the presence of Saturn's process do not mean that 'things won't work out', in spite of feelings of disappointment! But it does mean that we need dedication, determination and patience, for which Saturn may richly reward us. For he is also the 'Lord of Manifestation'. And this conjunction is notorious for accompanying times in which the seeming impossible is achieved! The level of challenge may be high, but the result may exceed expectations.
The last Saturn/Pluto conjunction was in November 1982, in the sign of Libra. Look back in your own life to this period (1981-83). What do you notice? What sterling qualities were 'born' out of this time, perhaps through hardship, that have influenced your life since then? If you were physically born or psychologically 'reborn' during this time, we could perhaps say that 'your time is coming right up'! Meaning both a deep letting go of the past, and also a determined move towards the future. The previous one, in 1946-48, occurred in the sign of Leo, accompanied by Mars for part of the time. The world was still reeling in the aftermath of WWII, and many world-shaping events occurred.
If you don't know the work of comedian Steve Bhaerman (a.k.a. Swami Beyondananda) do check it out here. Enlightening humour, sharp wit, big heart ... seriously funny! (Mercury-Jupiter-Mars in Scorpio, all conjunct and also square the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Leo. A perfect astrological signature for 'dark humour'!)
And now? The forthcoming conjunction is in the sign of Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn, who will put up a good fight before 'going down'! Saturn is associated collectively with the 'status quo', the current 'power and control system' and its history. And yes, the old structures, the old ways, the old beliefs and philosophies ... are dying, sometimes to be 'taken out' by the death of those who embody what is passing away. What has become crystallized (Saturn) is broken down and transformed (Pluto) and new energy is released.
And so it makes good sense, during this 'end of a cycle' time to not fret too much about delays, as they might be serving well the process of bringing in the new. Or protecting us from the unwanted consequences of our own haste! Allowing time for the 'dying away' while focusing on preparation, necessary elimination, introspection and realism is strongly favoured during this time. If we struggle too hard in a grasping sort of way at this 'end of a cycle' time, we risk linking our energy with that which is dying away, which is a recipe for exhaustion and despondency. Better to chip away at that which is possible in terms of 'preparatory outer work', while also attending faithfully to the 'inner work'.
The cycle of Jupiter is 12 years long, so approximately every 12-13 years, there is a conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto. The last one was in 2007, conjunct the Galactic Centre in late Sagittarius, and forthcoming in 2020 there are three exact conjunctions in Capricorn, listed below. (Times in GMT)
All the conjunctions in 2020 are ruled by Saturn, as they occur in signs which Saturn rules. Jupiter in Capricorn is said to be 'fallen'. What might this mean for us? And how might we engage fruitfully with this energy?
The position of a 'fallen' planet is often pre-judged as being 'negative'. While this can be valid when engaging traditional techniques such as horary or electional work, it takes on some interesting additional subtleties in the natal chart of a human being when viewed in terms of psychological process. It brings the very opposite of 'grandiosity' or 'entitlement'! In the case of Jupiter, with its focus on glory and expansiveness, our wings may be clipped, indeed. However, far from being a 'negative' condition, this actually promotes the wisdom associated with a mature Jupiter. Flights of fantasy which focus on 'potential' are re-directed into humbly serving 'what is there'. Realism is the order of the day.
Pluto, as Lord of Transformation, when conjunct Jupiter urges a review of our beliefs, ideals and aspirations, ever directing them into the Sacred Present. Horizons may shrink, but in the process we are released from striving towards what is ultimately false. We accept any diminishment which may occur, and allow the feelings of emptiness which may arise as the 'decks are cleared', philosophically speaking. The rhythm of expansion/contraction occurs across all dimensions of life. Indeed, our very breath expresses this.
So the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction will re-balance this expansion/contraction, drawing in energies which have become over-extended, and releasing energies which have become over-contracted. The opposites of mania and depression are encompassed, and a new 'Middle Ground' appears as we accompany this process. May we welcome it.
Late in 2020, on December 21st, there is a single conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, in the very first degree of the sign of Aquarius! These conjunctions are not as 'thunderous' in quality as the Saturn/Pluto pairing, but they do define themes which arise to dominate visible culture for the following 20 years.
The last one occurred in Taurus, in May 2000. Taurus being the first earth sign, and signifying 'money and resources', many predictions were made about finance, ecology and other related themes. Most came true! However, let's not lose sight of the fact that in addition to financial crashes and ecological disasters ... probably more people then ever have became aware of the fragility of the global economy and the earth's ecology. And many have changed their lives accordingly, whether or not their stories made headlines. We know that 'bad news sells' but this 'end of a cycle' is precisely the time to notice, attend to, respect and nourish all good news. Indeed, to seek it out. (See the UK website 'Positive News'.)
The sign of Aquarius brings the spotlight on to groups of people: intentional communities, 'non-blood families', groups with congruence of purpose and intent, groups which help to raise our consciousness. Look out for them, join with them, appreciate the networks you are already involved in ... and end associations which do not support and renew your energy. We hold the light for our own future, and the future of humanity by committing to full and heartful awareness in the present.
Aquarius also concerns our ideals and beliefs. This 'end of cycle' time, until their conjunction, is very auspicious for the examining of our own ideologies, prejudices and beliefs. Catch them as they sneak by when we are not looking, and stir up feelings apathy, doubt, fear, righteousness, rejection or aggression! Aquarius is the 'Water Bearer', which can be seen to represent the purification of our feelings, both through understanding and also through wise acceptance. So this is a perfect time to be re-establishing our connection with our highest ideals (Jupiter) and to consider what we really value ... knowing that the energy of Saturn will assist in the manifestation process. Saturn will bring the 'backbone', realism and dedication released by the the combination of Saturn and Pluto, mentioned above.
We are already in 'apocalyptic times', indeed. But do remember that the word 'apocalypse' actually mean 'a revealing'. So while we live through times when more and more darkness, suffering and horror seems to be revealed every day, let's not forget the 'revealing' of a smile, of intimate words with a friend, of a beautiful sunset, of the glory of the Moon at night ... the list goes on ...
Saturn and Jupiter could be seen to represent a pair of opposites, as suggested by their astrological glyphs which mirror each other. (Imagine the central symbol, a rotated 'Jupiter' [right], being flipped upwards to reveal 'Saturn' ... and vice versa ...!)
So the challenge of this conjunction is perhaps about how we can live with paradox, embracing opposites and differences, rather than projecting one or the other, denying it and then reacting with compliance, fear or hate. As always, we start with the work 'at home', in our own inner world. For at a deep level we are not separate from the 'outer world', and in the mutual embrace of 'inner' and 'outer', all opposites are safely held.
In 2019, Chariklo and Pluto conjunct three times at around 22°Capricorn:
We might perhaps regard this sequence as the quiet beginning, sowing the seeds of the new, under the fertile earth. We cultivate respect for the 'invisible' dark processes over which she presides. Read the article on Chariklo (wife of Chiron) here.
May we all be blessed in these times of elimination, darkness and preparation ...
May our sense of the new bring vitality and be based neither in false hope nor fear ...
(You are invited to create your own 'request to the cosmos' ...)
May we all have "2020 vision" !!