The Astrology Blog 28 December 2020
All times in GMT
“In a society that says ‘put yourself last’, self-love and self- acceptance are almost revolutionary.”
“The most powerful teaching moments are those when you screw up.”
Brené Brown – social worker and author on courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy, including – I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power
AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
Let’s just start with a reminder about what this phrase actually means. It’s a common experience when studying or reading about astrology to be persuaded by the commercial idea that your horoscope is something you have to use, that you have to “do something” with it. In turn this inevitably fosters anxiety, even fear. What if I’m doing it wrong? What if I’m missing out on the knowledge that would change things? But far more accurately astrology is a massive frame of reference, packed with clues about your life, nature, strengths and weaknesses, karma and about the things you are here to experience, learn and hopefully resolve in this lifetime here on planet Earth.
But even if you weren’t studying astrology all of this would be unfolding anyway. We don’t and can’t “make it happen”. That is in the hands of some power far greater than we can even begin to imagine who’s already got all the timings worked out. You come into this world with a horoscope in the same way that you arrive with the colour of your hair. It’s your celestial DNA and you can’t be separated from it. You are your chart, your chart is you. Same thing. Relax. Astrology is NOT causal ie the planets don’t make us do things or make us feel certain ways and so on.
Think of the heavens as a vast celestial mirror, reflecting life back to us, at a collective and individual level, at a natal and at a predictive level. In some symbolic, magical and meaningful way, it works. Putting prediction aside for the moment, if this were not the case, you wouldn’t be able to “retrodict”, locate events in the horoscope that have already happened in the past, and for individuals who knew nothing about astrology. Our job, if we can call it that, is to learn about our individual “blueprint”, our uniqueness (no two horoscopes are the same) and to connect and engage fully with whatever unfolds.
If you’re a regular follower of astrology you’ll know that the last few weeks have been characterized by intense activity – and the correlation with life on Earth at this time is obvious. In the midst of stacks of other aspects we had a Lunar Eclipse followed two weeks later by the Solar Eclipse, which in turn were followed immediately by Jupiter and Saturn changing sign.
For these two giants the change of sign happens once a year and once every two and a half years respectively, but on this occasion the change was momentous as they moved into the same sign at the same time. This means that they’d caught up with each other, as they do once every 20 years, and we’ve therefore just had the Great Conjunction at 0 degrees of Aquarius. Anything at 0 degrees packs an extra punch as this is one of the “critical degrees” – ie a point of transition and the starting point of new cycles.
THE BACKDROP FOR THE YEAR AHEAD
Both Jupiter and Saturn spend several months of every year in retrograde motion (looping backwards) and therefore often repeat aspects to other planets. For example last year we had Jupiter conjunct Pluto not just once but three times, the third and final one being just six weeks ago 12 November. On that day the news was full of reports about the vaccine waiting for final approval and development of plans for the biggest immunization program of our times. As above, so below – as Jupiter and Saturn moved into Aquarius, sign of the collective and mankind, that program got underway.
From the astronomical point of view this conjunction of Jupiter – Saturn is a one off. This is because Jupiter is at full speed and is in fact going to travel through the whole sign of Aquarius between now and 13 May. When he starts his usual four months of retrograde motion Jupiter will by then be streets ahead of the slower moving Saturn and in fact will already be in the next sign. So with an eye on the bigger picture for the year ahead here are some dates for your diary, starting with Jupiter’s journey –
- 17 December 2020 – entered Aquarius
- 13 May 2021 – enters Pisces
- 20 June – turns retrograde at 2 Pisces
- 28 July – goes back into Aquarius
- 18 October – turns direct at 22 Aquarius
- 29 December – enters Pisces for the second time
Saturn’s journey is slower –
- 19 December 2020 – entered Aquarius
- 23 May 2021 – turns retrograde 13 Aquarius
- 11 October – turns direct 7 Aquarius
- 31 December – by the end of the year reaches 12 Aquarius
So the astronomy tells us where the planets are and what they’re doing. Astrology however requires interpretation, so always start with “what might this mean” rather than “what does this mean?” Because there is no book in the world that we can consult for these questions. Every minute of every day is new. The astrologer must arm him or herself with all the information and rules of craft, but it’s the art of decoding it all that will reveal meaning. And the only way to decode is to establish context. For example, there’s no point in locating textbook marriage timings if the person is already happily married! Instead those timings would reflect events within their married life.
At a universal level then I’m inclined to think that the “one off” conjunction is good news for our current context of the pandemic and its variants. By way of illustration, if you get repeating aspects from transits in your own chart then you’ll find that these correlate with long drawn out experiences, often with a middle phase of things unraveling, rather than isolated events that tend to work through relatively quickly. And apart from Jupiter’s brief couple of months in Pisces before coming back again, both of these planets will spend all year in Aquarius. This would all seem to reflect that rolling out the vaccine on this scale is a one off, which in turn suggests that the vaccine should have the desired effects but that the overall situation and its consequences on society, work patterns, travel rules and so on will be ongoing themes.
Regardless of what you might think about personally receiving the vaccine the development, organization and implementation of this worldwide immunization project is actually a mind blowing achievement. As it’s distributed worldwide under the Great Conjunction of Jupiter (the Greater Benefic, archetype of the Protector) and Saturn (the Greater Malefic, authority and archetype of the Grim Reaper) in Aquarius (the collective, humanitarianism, technology, systems, technology, mass productions) it’s hard to think of anything that could remind us more of our shared humanity.
Back to ongoing consequences the themes already suggested are also indicated by the other backdrop feature of the coming year which is Saturn squaring up to Uranus, which is not a one off but a repeating aspect –
- 17 February – Saturn 7 Aquarius/Uranus 7 Taurus
- 14 June – retrograde Saturn 13 Aquarius/Uranus 13 Taurus
- 24 December – Saturn 11 Aquarius/Uranus 11 Taurus
This is a rare aspect (next time it happens will be 7 January 2043) and events around the 17 February will be ones to watch in terms of telling us more about how this will play out. We can say though that it’s going to be disruptive as Saturn, the traditionalist and playing by the rules, collides with Uranus the rebel and innovator. This feels like The Tower in the tarot, the card that signifies the arrival of the unexpected in the shape of seismic changes and the clear message that certain things are no longer sustainable in their existing structure. It’s also the astrology of protests, rebellion and revolution.
To glean deeper insights into any astrological feature, for the serious student it’s worth studying the horoscopes of those who have those features natally. A quick search for Saturn square Uranus immediately brought up –
- Sean Lennon – the shock death of the father
- Putin – appalling human rights record, amongst other things
- George Eliot – on a cheerier note, author who wrote under a male pseudonym in order to be taken seriously, and who broke the stereotype of women’s writing being just about fluffy romance. She also flew in the face of Victorian society with her relationship with a married man and then marrying someone 20 years younger than herself
- Thomas Hardy – author who was also highly critical of Victorian society and controversial on the subjects of religion, sex and marriage, second marriage to his secretary 39 years younger than himself
If you have planet or Angles at or very close to 0 degrees of Aquarius or the opposite sign of Leo then how your life rolls out under the Great Conjunction will inevitably carry hallmarks of huge change. So far I’ve seen this working out well for Saturnian types, particularly with career changes (Saturn) that involve moving to another part of the country (Jupiter).
If you have planets or Angles at 0 degrees of any other sign then this is also a significant time for you, but it’s a mixed bag in terms of whether this is welcome or not. A lot rides on which planets and which signs in which houses. But the hallmarks of the good cop/bad cop Jupiter and Saturn are the things to watch out for. Many changes will be characterized by the fact that they come with a price tag and a willingness to brave the new. Don’t be afraid to fly in the face of convention.
Back to the quotes at the top of this blog possibly the best way of capturing the revolutionary spirit is to put yourself first, not last, and not to aim for perfectionism or to over invest in what others think. In other words, have you been living your life in a way that suits others but which is not right or healthy for you? Bear in mind the paradox of the Uranus – Aquarius themes, that they rule the collective and society at large but that they also favour all that is different, unique and free spirited. If you want a relationship with a major age difference for example, why not? It hasn’t done Macron any harm.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
Compared to recent weeks this coming one is something of a lull, but the overall climate of new cycles and unpredictable changes is nevertheless still the backdrop. The main event this week is the Full Moon in her own sign of Cancer –
Wednesday 30 December
- Full Moon 9 Cancer 03.29
- Venus 18 Sagittarius square Neptune 18 Pisces 10.20
The water sign of Cancer correlates to the 4th House of the horoscope where we locate family, home and property. This also includes our “clan” even if they’re not blood relatives. In terms of principles and characteristics this sign is associated with care, nurture and protection, of self and of loved ones who rely on us, such as children. So issues related to these themes are the things most likely to take centre stage under the spotlight of the Full Moon, such as prioritizing the elderly in care homes for the vaccine program.
It’s worth noting too that a Full Moon is always when the Moon is exactly opposite the Sun, the full face of the Moon receiving the Sun’s light. That’s one of those astronomical things that many people don’t consciously know but I can’t count the amount of times I’ve explained that and got the, “oh yes, obvious now that you’ve said it” answer! So the Cancer Full Moon can happen only when the Sun is in Capricorn, the sign which in turn correlates to the 10th House of work, career, goals and purpose. For many it seems an obvious “take” that the juggling act of working from home or getting to grips with home schooling is going to be a top priority. Getting our emotional needs (Moon) met while keeping body and soul together (Capricorn) is also a tall order, and being stuck at home (Cancer) with no work (Capricorn) is sadly a new norm.
As always remember the “lunacy” (lunar) tag for any Full Moons. Wherever things are at full stretch or wherever feelings have been repressed the Full Moon can be a tinderbox moment. Otherwise the Full Moon’s job is to illuminate and shine a light on a path that you may not have previously noted or considered.
The Full Moon is followed by Venus squaring up to Neptune, her last aspect before changing sign, and the end of the week also brings Mercury aligning with Neptune on New Year’s Day –
Friday 1 January 2021
- Mercury 18 Capricorn sextile Neptune 18 Pisces 11.20
Neptune has two very definite sides in terms of our emotional worlds, and these two planets make one tough and one easy aspect respectively, so it’s another mixed bag.
Neptune – rules our night world of sleep and dreams, and any altered state of consciousness. He is god of the seas and psychologically his realm is fusion, the boundless watery world of the emotions, ruling the fuzzy world of falling in love right through to the suffering of loss, grief or personal sacrifice. On the plus side the Neptunian nature is magical, healing, boundlessly imaginative, empathic, subtle and seductive. The trickier side is addictive – ruling alcohol and drugs – mysterious, confusing or disorientating.
If you’re coping well then great, but look out for those who are not, especially as the Full Moon herself is in a water (feelings) sign. Watch out for your Piscean friends. The real challenge with Neptune stuff though is to distinguish between the genuine and the illusory, and to keep your own boundaries intact. If you’re an empathic type then it’s very easy to get sucked into other people’s whirlpools. Feel their feelings, feel your own feelings, by all means rush to the rescue, but don’t drown in the process. Top advice is to do whatever you need to do to get lots of good quality sleep this week because absolutely everything is harder to deal with when we’re tired, and don’t put yourself under any unnecessary pressure. Easier said than done, I know, but put these things into your consciousness and it may help.
Next week ushers in a far more proactive climate as the personal fast moving planets of Mercury, Venus and Mars are all going to change sign, and I’ll be talking about these new cycles next week,
Wishing you the best possible New Year’s Eve and see you in 2021,
with love from Greece