The Great Conjunction of 2020

You have probably been hearing about the Great Conjunction that happens tomorrow, December 21st, when Saturn and Jupiter will meet together in the sky for the first time in about 20 years. Or you might remember that I wrote about it in the third installment of my “Unpacking the Astrology of 2020” series this summer.  A lot has happened since then but what I wrote still holds up, even with new context (go me!) I am repeating a lot of that post here, with a few additional insights I have gathered since then.

Before we get into The Great Conjunction, a reminder of the big astrological themes of this year.

Our three big, heavy planets Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter have all been dancing close together in the sky for most of this year in the sign of CapricornPluto has been bringing the dark side of Capricorn out in to the open – including abuse of power in our governments and businesses and extreme conservatism at the expense of others (sexism, racism, xenophobia, nationalism).  Saturn is teaching us hard lessons around responsibility and which structures are working or not working (in our personal lives and in the collective) but also giving us the patience and fortitude to keeping working through it. And Jupiter has just been expanding all of that hard stuff. It’s been fun!

This week, we got a breath of fresh air, when Jupiter and Saturn both moved into Aquarius.  When these huge planets move into a new sign, the general vibe changes.  We are moving out of Capricorn energy (building a solid foundation, doing the right thing, being conservative, working hard) into Aquarian energy (freedom, new ideas, change).  See why it might feel a little lighter?  On a recent Astrology Hub podcast episode, Rick Levine described 2020 in Capricorn like being stuck in Groundhog Day.  We have been trying to move forward all year, but we kept getting sucked back in to the muck by Capricorn over and over again to do more work.  When two of those three big planets shifted into Aquarius, we finally started moving into something new.  Yay!!!

Unfortunately, Pluto will stay in Capricorn until January 2024 so the work of exposing the dark stuff in our governments and societal structures (and our own personal structures) is not done.  It will continue to be in the background of everything for a few more years, but Saturn and Jupiter will be helping us find new solutions.

This brings us to The Great Conjunction when Jupiter and Saturn come together in the sky, which happens about every 20 years.  This is happening tomorrow, December 21st. (The last time it happened was May 2000)  Great Conjunctions usually indicate new cycles of socio-political growth and change.  Some say they mark the rise and fall of empires. (queue ominous music)

This specific Great Conjunction is extra special because this is (almost) the first time in 200 years that it is happening in an air sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) instead of an earth sign (Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo). And it is happening in the very first degree of that air sign AND its happening on the Solstice which both make it more powerful astrologically (just trust me on that).

(Technically, we had a preview of a great conjunction in an air sign in 1980 when they met in Libra, but then in 2000 they met in earth again.  This time they will be in air for good, for the next 200 years so this is really the big shift.)

Jupiter is the planet that wants us to grow and expand and pursue our highest ideals.  Saturn helps us put structures and discipline in place so we can achieve that growth.  If they are working together in a positive way, they can get A LOT of good stuff done.  On the flip side, if we take Jupiter too far and cross into its darkness (greed, overindulgence, extreme ideology), Saturn brings out the discipline and restricts Jupiter to reign it back in.  (Hence the “rise and fall of empires”)  We humans go through cycles of expanding and contracting and finding a balance between the two.  The sign the planets are in, gives the theme of those cycles.

Saturn and Jupiter have been coming together in earth signs (Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo) for the past 200 years.  Earth signs are about material things that we can see and touch and practical solutions rooted in common sense (food, shelter, money, the actual earth, our bodies, systems, structure, rules, caution, responsibility).  For 200 years we have been going through cycles of growth and excess around themes of government, hierarchies, laws, capitalism, making stuff, buying stuff, building stuff, growing stuff, using earth’s resources, and our physical health.  We have placed a high value on wealth, status, beauty, and power.

We used that earthy Saturn-Jupiter energy to lay a solid foundation in our societies and build some great stuff, but we also took some things too far.  Global warming, the economic divide, growing authoritarianism, etc.  As the end of this cycle approaches, Saturn is reigning things back in with its tough love, and Pluto and all of the other planets are joining in to help.

The Great Conjunction is bringing us the opportunity to re-build things differently.  As we kick off our next 200-year cycle of socio-political (and individual) growth in air signs (Aquarius, Libra, Gemini) that all have themes involving ideas, communication, and social connections.

The first 20-year air cycle is in the sign of Aquarius.  The themes of Aquarius are freedom, innovation, science, technology, facts, and humanitarianism (and astrology!).  Aquarians want to try new ideas and to fix things to make the world a better place.  They want freedom and revolution.  But, at their worst, Aquarians can be detached, like mad scientists, and lose track of the humanity behind their ideas.  They can play god and get fanatical, opinionated, selfish, and erratic.  They can also fall in to group think (like the Borgs on Star Trek that have “hive minds”)  (Watch out for the dark Aquarians!)

For the next 20 years, we can expect to see growth and changes in our socio-political systems based on Aquarian themes.  This will bring lots of new ideas, new ways of thinking, and advances in technology and science (perhaps space travel).  We will (hopefully) build new societal structures that are better for humanity and less hierarchical that shift more power into the hands of the people. We are being asked to completely re-think everything from the bottom up, instead of top down.

We will, of course, have to watch out for the dark side of Aquarius which could include extremism and revolution based on herd mentality without critical thinking behind it.  And, our freedoms may continue be constricted by Saturn, until we prove that we are responsible enough to be set free. Astro Butterfly explains it like this

“Saturn will ask Aquarius to ‘uplevel’ and transform from a rebellious and spoiled adolescent into a responsible, society’s-interests-first citizen of the future.”

The balance of Saturn and Aquarius is about setting up the right structures that support all of humanity equally and allowing us all to have personal freedom, that does not come at the expense of others. Jupiter is in the mix  asking us to look at our higher ideals as we explore those structures and freedoms.

The Great Conjunction kicks-off  this Aquarian 20-year cycle on December 21st, but Saturn and Jupiter don’t stay in Aquarius for 20 years.  We get the big bang in the beginning and then this theme lingers in the background, mixing with lots of other themes and happenings in the cosmos in the years to come.  Life is so complex!

Saturn and Jupiter are both in Aquarius for most of 2021 which will give us an extra boost to start re-building things in new ways (like a Super Mario  power up !) Pluto has been exposing, for all of us, the dark stuff in our structures that need to change. Perhaps things have been revealed in your own life that are not working (a relationship, a job, a living situation, your health).  Maybe you have started to make changes already or maybe you are still resisting.  (Unfortunately, in our US politics, there are different ideas about what the dark stuff is and there is certainly a lot of resistance.)  We have been in this energy for six months and we will feel it all through 2021 so its not all about this ONE DAY.  This next year, should give us all that extra “power up” to help us re-build what is not working in new ways. (For those not familiar with the Super Mario video game, the mushroom image I used for this post is the most famous Super Mario power up, The Super Mushroom, that gives him special powers!)

Everyone has been asking me what 2021 looks like and I will talk more about 2021 in another post, but from what I understand, we are not really done with the energy of 2020 until the end of February 2021. (Sorry!). 2020 had an unprecedented number of rare planetary cycles all happening together in the same year which correlated (as predicted) with a lot of intensity here on earth.  In 2021, we are back to a normal level of planetary action which should correlate to less intensity (if astrology is real). Hang in there and if you can see Saturn and Jupiter in the sky enjoy it!!

Here are a few of other interesting facts about Great Conjunctions if you are not tired of reading this really long post yet:

    1. In the United States, eight presidents have died in office. Seven of those presidential deaths happened when the election or inauguration year was the year of a Great Conjunction (which I learned from Jessica Lanyadoo)
    2. During the presidential terms that started with the last two Great Conjunctions (1980 and 2000), there were presidential assassination attempts (Reagan and Bush) that were not successful
    3. It is believed that the Star of Bethlehem was also a Great Conjunction and the first in a 200-year cycle of Pisces
    4. The Great Conjunction is NOT starting the Age of Aquarius. We are getting closer but ages are based on the precession of the equinox  not planetary alignments.  I am told we will enter the Age of Aquarius around 2160. But ages are over 2000 years long so we may start to feel their vibes about 200 years before they start, which explains why we are starting to feel that Aquarian vibe!