Get set to leap into a whole new dimension.
In their tightest conjunction since 1623, Jupiter and Saturn – the farthest planets visible to the naked eye will appear to combine as a single ‘star’ over towards the western night sky, at their peak on Dec 21, 2020. Separated by a mere one-tenth of a degree, or 6.1 arc minutes, this stellar phenomenon will be akin to the biblical “Christmas Star”, seen during the year 7BC in the constellation of Pisces.
Occurring approximately once every 20 years, the conjunction of these planets is a rare lifetime event. It marks the commencement of an important cycle of temporal experiences. Jupiter symbolises how we get along with others; Saturn signifies restriction in some way. Hence, their conjunction suggests a critical turning point in our lives, one where we develop new perspectives on how we can reach out to relate to others with respect to the conditional influences of our times. Although the potency of the conjunction is relatively strongest for the few weeks leading up to the event, the socio-political effects of its day often set the flavour for the journey ahead.
Due to their 20-year frequency, we may be lucky to have observed the conjunction of such cycles on only three or four occasions during our lifetime. Why does today’s conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the first degree of Aquarius signify a most dramatic shift for all humans alive today?
THE GREAT CHRONOCRATORS:
There are many different synodic cycles formed between our Sun, Moon and planets. In western astrology, each cycle represents a distinct principle of life, each spanning its own unique rhythmic time patterns. Hence, we might define any specific cycle as depicting a progressive unfoldment of some idea or unity which essentially subsists outside of time.
Astrological cycles help us to see how a particular archetypal concept unfolds from its seed potential, through a series of phases to its fullest blossoming and fruition, and then back, returning through a process of maturation, withering and decay into its seed form again.
Of all these cycles, the Grand Conjunction of Jupiter/Saturn is the great marker of time itself – a cycle whose ebb and flow over its 20-year span most accurately captures the essence of mundane or worldly affairs, as defined by that period.
Humans rule the world because only we, as a species, are able to construct an interconnection of meaning: a web of laws, forces, entities and places that exist not only in our common imagination but indeed under a definitive banner, flag, logo, church, etc. This collective understanding that entities exist allows humans alone to form governments and corporations, appoint rulers and presidents, establish institutes and constitutions, organise crusades, socialist revolutions and human rights movements.
All throughout history and from culture to culture these notions of ‘reality’, which exist only in our intersubjective human perceptions, have been known to rise and fall with periodic rhythm. These are depicted in the prevailing trends and themes of our ‘times’ and we, as astrologers, aim to understand their inherent quality and flavour, as well as their relative duration of these ‘periods of time’, or ‘cycles of reality’.
Since 20 years is also a reasonable dividing marker between one human generation and another, we are able to draw distinct comparisons in how one generation’s ‘reality’ differs in flavour from the next. The collective existential perceptions in the average adult in the 1920’s, for instance, differs considerably from those of the average adult in the 1940’s, 60’s, 80’s, and so on…
Hence, the Great Cycles of these two planets have always been a reliable reference to the sociopolitical and scientific status of their times. As the great chronocrators, or timekeepers, Jupiter and Saturn become rulers of the Ages and together they mark the interaction between the perception of ideas, ethics, probabilities and possibilities (Jupiter) and their manifestation in the concrete trends – language, architecture, infrastructure, science, etc of the prevailing concerns of the material world (Saturn).
CYCLES OF HISTORY:
The Jupiter/Saturn cycle has always been considered of greatest importance by astrologers in terms of shaping the course of our history:
- Each 20-year span, known as a Minima, and appears to mark out a distinct pattern of development, typically symbolic to the sign, degree and aspects of other planets to its conjunction.
- Each Minima belongs to a greater family, called a Media, which spends approximately 240 years (10-12 cycles) in any one element.
- These Mediums cycle sequentially through the four elements (Fire, Earth, Air, Water) to complete a full Maxima through the Zodiac, lasting approximately 960 years.
The last Maxima in Air began at 12°03′ Libra in 1186 AD, although it was intercepted by a Minima in Taurus in 1206 before officially commencing the Air Media at 02°♒58′ in 1226 AD. This brings us to full cycle.
AUGURIES OF GREAT CHANGE:
The Great Conjunction of 2020 follows the conjunctions of Saturn and Pluto (Jan 13, 2020) then Jupiter and Pluto (Apr, Jul, Nov 2020).
It is observed that when several outer-planet conjunctions occur close to one another, there is a likelihood that we will enter a period of crises as if too many ideas or concepts are undergoing a fundamental death and rebirth simultaneously. When multiple conjunctions occur, the plot in humanity’s greater narrative thickens. Even seemingly minor events take on a global significance.
The Saturn/Pluto conjunction has a great deal to do with the crushing and emerging entities (nations, corporations, etc), authoritarianism and very deep cultural transformations, purification, purgations, cleansings and resurrections. In some respect, it relates to the deconstruction, decolonisation and the re-development of cultural structures. The Jupiter/Pluto relates to growth in international power through fierce ambitiousness, the exploitation of global crises – be they on the material, emotional, ideological and spiritual level, and the rise of plutocratic and political power. [*Ebertin]
Thanks to Pluto, there are several massive, yet hidden or obscured variables currently acting to transform the stability of earth’s structures at this point ie. global pandemic, political unrest, looming ecological disasters due to climate change, oligarchic threats of nuclear war, AI automation of jobs and economies, etc. Each of these, on its own, holds quite a massive influence over the course of our future ‘reality’.
Even to the untrained observer, but one who is able to see the ‘big-picture’ transitions, it is apparently obvious that humanity is currently on the cusp of an epochal shift into a whole new intersubjective order. Not only the existing structure of our societies is falling away but the means and methods by which it once all held together via its customs, laws, social agreements and cultural mores are about to swing shift into a whole new realm of experience.
The Shift into Air
The transition of the conjunction from one Media element to another is known as a Grand Mutation. The mutation conjunction has always been considered to be of particular importance, marking a major shift in the emphasis and orientation in the world. However, the full transition from one to the next generally takes around 5 cycles (appx 100 years) to fully complete.
The last great mutation of July 1802, when the Media moved from Fire into Earth signs, is often related to the development of materialism and humanity’s increasing need to master over the planet’s corporeal resources, physical territories and capital wealth.
The shift to Air first occurred from December 31, 1980, to July 24, 1981, in early Libra, around the inauguration of Ronald Reagan as president of the USA and Margaret Thatcher as prime minister of the UK, both air signs.
Symbolically, we might expect that the switch to the Air Family would shift the secular concentration from material to intellectual. In the transition from the Earth Family’s symbology, administration, organisation, and doctrine evolve towards a more equanimous distribution of well-being. The emphasis shifts from an accumulation of material wealth, functionality and status, to living together in ideological harmony, sharing of ideas and inventions, resources, information, thus escaping from the anchors of physical or geographical stratification, or, indeed, arguing over whose idea of peace is the correct one to adopt.
As we have seen, with May 2000’s intercepting Great Conjunction in Taurus (fixed/earth), the transition to new world order is gradual and carries hangovers from the previous Media. There is still so much agony and terror on our planet. The Grand Mutation tendency to take five more cycles may not become completely settled within the Air Family until the year 2080. The evolution from the generational grips of trending religions, philosophies, and academic learning (Jupiter) becomes the paralysing fears of the symbol of time itself, the rigidity of tradition, and the tenets of authoritarianism and administrative dogma (Saturn). We witnessed it in the years 2000, 1981, 1961, 1940-41, 1921, and as far back as anyone here can remember (and, quite possibly beyond).
The Shift to Aquarius
On Dec 21, 2020, only two days after Jupiter (19th) follows Saturn (17th) into Aquarius, we will experience, with our naked eyes, the rare phenomenon of these two planets uniting as one in the western skies at the first degree of Aquarius (00°♒29′). The social and personal implications and astrological projections of this epochal shift into a whole new Medium are rich and varied. Aquarian symbolism is everywhere, from progressive ideologies to great technological leaps in both the more high-speed sharing of information and wonderful advances biotechnologies, more intuitive networking and humanity’s big dash at creating a more egalitarian, utopian vision for every member of tomorrow’s society.
However, we are seeing tremendous drawbacks from those who are still clinging to the spoils of earthly, physical and materialistic rewards. Our attachments are hard to let go of, and whilst I’d like to say that none of those things will matter by the time Jupiter and Saturn repeat their next conjunction in Aquarius (2080), like everything else Aquarian, it’s cold comfort.
The gritty, short-term details of how this transition will unfold for us, particularly the moral and ethical concerns around an almost pervasive emergence of brave new biotech, infotech and a growing sophistication in the algorithms of Artificial Intelligence are beyond the scope of this article. Of course, I cover these extensively in the latest episode of the ‘Cosmic Bus’ and the discussion continues, weekly.
More specifically, and in view that the two dispositors of Aquarius (Saturn and Uranus) being at odds in a fixed square throughout 2021, I have prepared special messages for each of the signs, with an aim to prepare you for which specific areas you should look to focus your own interests in hope of best attaining more far-reaching objectives through your industriousness, tenacity to improve your life, perseverance and patience.
Blessings, and may you have an amazing New Year xx