Throughout humanity’s history, great civilisations have risen and fallen. For there comes a time when all systems, particularly hierarchical systems, crumble through becoming too rigid, self-serving and top heavy. We have been seeing the major deconstruction of our ‘world’, personal and collective, happening through 2020. It appears that the villain of this story is a pandemic, yet if we look more deeply, if we view that as just a means, we can see the system we lived within had served its time. Its roots are rotten, its structures crumbling. Given this perspective, we might see that the pandemic can act as a means to address what was already failing. It’s beyond time to re-design, to re-engineer or more appropriately, to utterly renew the structures that hold our way of life. Astrology reveals this is a bridge we are on now, taking us through to January 2024. It’s a bridge towards the Age of Aquarius.
Given the longer-term picture, we can see that particularly this year we’re in the midst of an evolutionary reset. The 2020 energies, the deconstruction we’ve been going through, are now about to reach a major shift point. It’s a renewal and a seed point as the two ‘teacher’ planets, also known as the ‘social planets’, Jupiter and Saturn move into Aquarius on 17 & 19 December respectively. They meet at 0 Aquarius on 21 December, the Solstice, in what is known as the Grand Conjunction. This meeting heralds the start of a new 20, 200 year and 800 year cycle (the last 800 year cycle marked the Renaissance emerging from the darkness of medieval times). We are entering the seed point of a new era carrying the air energies of Aquarius, the Water-bearer.
The New Vibration – Aquarius
Aquarius is traditionally known as the sign of freedom through innovation or rebellion. It represents the uniqueness of our individuality and how that contributes within the sphere of the group or collective. Aquarius delivers the possibilities and capacity for us to create innovative structures that support our wellbeing and that of our planet. Being an air sign, it signifies movement, fresh ideas, being curious and innovative. It stimulates us to make connections, through ideas and inspiration, through friendship and collaborations. Where previous sign Capricorn (where the main 2020 focus has been) is concerned with tangible material reality, Aquarius heralds vision, new architecture, inspired by what lies beyond the material.
The glyph of Aquarius looks like two electro-magnetic waves, a symbol for energy, information and higher frequency vibration. Uranus the modern planetary ruler of Aquarius, represents the ‘breakdown to breakthrough’ energy that precipitates change or revolution. Its energy acts like lightning, delivering the insight that precedes innovation. It’s connected with discovery, science and technology, astrology, ‘new age’ healing techniques, the worldwide web, humanitarian ideals, the universe and the future. Uranus is where we take risks, where we seek our fullest freedom and independence. Here we meet the Aquarian paradox, for although this air sign is ruled by erratic Uranus, its traditional ruler is Saturn, the planet more commonly associated with Capricorn. Saturn and Uranus are utterly different – one seeking freedom, the other valuing conformity – and yet the underlying nature of Aquarius brings them together – as the architect who innovates, conceiving and building the future forms. We see this through the Aquarian nature as an air sign, connecting people and ideas to build strong yet flexible networks and structures. With Aquarius, we don’t know what the future will bring but we are stimulated by the far-reaching nature of its possibilities.
Visions of a New Future – Jupiter in Aquarius
The expansive nature of Jupiter in Aquarius delivers the vision of a very different world, opening great potentials of discovery and innovation, particularly in science and technology (especially the alternative kind), global communications and the internet. There’s an urge to develop an ethical and holistic perspective on our collective challenges, motivated by equal opportunities, human rights, and with Aquarian ruler Uranus in Taurus, care for our environment. The demand for change and reform through experimentation is strong in this airy sign, as is the strong vision for greater freedom for all. There’s a strong calling for change and a broader vision of what’s possible that uplifts us in trust of the power of possibility. On a more personal level, this placement calls us to explore and uplift how we have been socialised, and where that has been perverted from a civilising influence to a controlling one. In understanding how we’re being controlled, we are equipped to make more conscious choices. How we do it is the key to whether our Aquarian ideals find new ground or not. Reaction against or conscious action towards innovation and connection?
Key question for Jupiter in Aquarius: What does freedom mean to you, not as a reaction, but as a considered movement within your own authenticity? The shadow of Jupiter in Aquarius operates as a reaction to previous restrictions, rather than in a ground-breaking way towards the new opportunities emerging. Or as dogmatic resistance through narrow belief systems that one believes are about freedom but actually are conflict-based, often just for the sake of it, or as a reaction to unacknowledged fears and insecurity. The free expression of Jupiter in Aquarius is to be the architect of one’s life through connection to the source of inspiration within oneself, through trust of your unique place within the web of life, through conscious choice, authentic action and contribution to a world of wellbeing for all.
We’re All Responsible – Saturn in Aquarius
2020 has demanded we let go of ‘normal’, the ways we live from security consciousness alone, within a system that is not supporting our collective wellbeing. Our ideas about security have been shaken up. We have been challenged to change, to open up to other possibilities. As we move into Aquarian energies these possibilities are based on collective need not personal greed. As Saturn moves into Aquarius the responsibility to think globally, act locally, becomes the imperative. As Jupiter in Aquarius challenges our old belief systems and introduces new ones, Saturn calls us to act on what we see is possible. More than ever before this is a calling to ‘walk the talk’ in daily life, challenging what is merely conceptual about ‘new age’ or alternative belief systems in order to ground a new living foundation of collective consciousness.
Saturn is the planet of responsibility and Aquarius the sign of self-autonomy. So Saturn in Aquarius calls us to make the ever-evolving higher frequency of Aquarius truly real within our self-authenticity – the buck stops here; no finger pointing to the government or partner blaming – for Aquarian freedom is only found when we stop looking ‘out there’ for answers. The vision of equality, individuality, connection, freedom and friendship is made real through our individual acts of stepping beyond the known to contribute to our collective wellbeing. The old paradigm of ‘everyone for their self’ and survival consciousness makes way for connectivity and collaboration, the empowerment of the individual within the group to contribute uniquely and uplift our collective wellbeing. Saturn, as planet of order, will still guide our systems and structures, but from a different place, hierarchy making way for teamwork. It’s a redistribution of power; from top-down to the worldwide web.
Saturn is associated with rules and boundaries, challenges and what we call problems. Its energy crystallises whatever issues are present in order to address them. Saturn in both Capricorn and Aquarius highlights the breaking up of patriarchal control-based systems, yet its shadow also operates as resistance from those very same systems. In Aquarius the shadow of Saturn expresses as personal and collective fears of ‘new’ or ‘different’, distrust in alternative or innovative ventures. At its highest this process calls the organisations within our global systems to truly fulfil their intended function. Saturn calls forth the responsibility for that. In Aquarius that is to deliver an enlightened freedom and independence to all individuals, based on innovative progress that benefits humanity as a whole.
Key question for Saturn in Aquarius: Where am I called to be more fully response-able for ‘the buck stops here’, my own authenticity? What innovative long-term endeavour am I called to take action on, as a means of my own evolution and as a meaningful contribution to the collective?
The Architects of our Solar System
As Jupiter and Saturn connect at 0 Aquarius on 21 December 2020, we are gifted a seed point of a new era. Jupiter brings the vision; Saturn calls for its execution. Together, they empower us to be the architects of our collective future. They represent the polarisation and complementary nature of contraction and expansion, consolidation and growth, practicality and vision, dedication and the blessing of grace. Like a hand that has to both open and close to function well, we need both Jupiter and Saturn to accomplish anything worthwhile in this world. Their conjunction on 21 December is a seeding point where we have opportunities for laying the foundations of new ventures. Tangible winds of change will be blowing as we move into 2021 and beyond. Any initial resistance will inevitably make way for the renewal of society, initiated by us as individuals and through our collective enterprise.
Asteroid of Wisdom Pallas Athena is a significant influence with this conjunction. She offers creative feminine intelligence into this mix, along with her penetrating clarity. Unlike the patriarchal top-down systems that have served their time, Athena carries the wisdom of the web, the interconnectivity and interdependence of all life. In Greek mythology Athena is the daughter and granddaughter of Jupiter/Saturn so acts as a mediator between their contradictory nature. She delivers a holistic perspective, focus, strategy and the balance of feminine wisdom to our futuristic vision at this time. An interesting point is that Athena also conjuncts asteroids Isis & Osiris at 4 Aquarius, with a pointer (through their mythology) to the renewal of masculine energies through the devotion of the feminine. A new integration of masculine/feminine within and in partnership perhaps?
At the Solstice conjunction Jupiter and Saturn will be closer than they have ever been since 1623, and the closest observable since 1226. They are visible in the south just after sunset now, growing closer as we approach the Solstice point, and clearly visible close to the waxing moon on 16 & 17 December in particular. Jupiter is by far the brighter of the two, as is its nature. Together they will be seen to form what looks like a very bright star.
Other Solstice Planetary Alignments
Much attention is being given to the Grand Conjunction at the Solstice and there’s no doubt it is potent. There are several other strong alignments taking place at the same time however, a major one being Aquarius ruler Uranus conjunct Dark Feminine Black Moon Lilith at 6 Taurus. This alignment injects an unexpected note of urgency to the seeding of new energy at the Solstice point that will grow stronger through to mid-January when Uranus stations direct.
The Taurean energies ( where Uranus the ruler of Aquarius is currently traversing) represent our connection (or lack of it) to our senses, bodies, nature and the environment. With Warrior Mars conjunct Goddess of Discord Eris in fiery Aries square to Lord of the Underworld Pluto in Capricorn conjunct the Lilith asteroid also (exact on 23 December), there is a dynamic immediacy to events or experience that requires new levels of consciousness. Around this time reactions are high-wired and potentially explosive and may be based in fear of change, or the need to fight, force, control in order to maintain a false sense of security. It’s the final scenario to what has been shifting through 2020, in early August and early October to now. With the Sun conjunct Mercury at 0 Capricorn, and commitment asteroid Juno at 0 Sagittarius on the Solstice also, the calling to step with courage into new ways of being is strongly highlighted.
The Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is a seed point for, at the very least, the next 20 year cycle of visionary realism. We are under the obligation to actively contribute and create a meaningful future for ourselves and our fellow human beings, as well as the generations to come. Wherever 0 Aquarius falls in your birth-chart you have an opportunity to share your gifts (Jupiter) and a responsibility to commit to a new level of collective contribution (Saturn) no matter the challenge. As the Jupiter/Saturn cycle takes twenty years, it may well take the ten years between their conjunction and opposition for the new vision of global interdependence to become manifest. There is no turning back now. ‘Normal’ has gone, if it ever existed.
Many astrologers are heralding this Grand Conjunction as the start of the Age of Aquarius. It is certainly a major contributing energy shift. With Lord of the Underworld Pluto in Capricorn until early 2024 however, deconstruction is still inevitable, yet we are moving in waves into the Aquarian era. The transition between ages sometimes take many years, even hundreds. Pluto enters Aquarius fully in January 2024, until then the ground is being prepared; in 2021 that’s through Jupiter and Saturn energies, the conscious involvement of the individual within collective evolution. What might your unique contribution be? The starting point is simply being radically new, with your self, within your own life, to see what that opens as inspiration and connection. As the Aquarius energies strengthen, the conscious participation of the individual – you – within our collective evolution, leads the way.