The long awaited conjunction between Saturn and Pluto becomes exact on January 12 2020, which also includes the Sun and Mercury, increasing its significance.
There is a Saturn Pluto conjunction very 33 to 37 years or so. Examples of others occurred in 1914, 1947 and 1982 and much has been written about these ‘coinciding’ with the beginning of WW1, The Cold War and the economic depression of the early 1980s.
However, this one seems especially dark to me. Put simply, in astrological terms, this planetary activity is taking place in Capricorn.
The goat represents the milieu of the status quo, business and politics. Saturn is in its own sign, very powerful, and represents authority and establishment.
Pluto, so much demeaned by astronomers for now being classed as a ‘minor planet’, shows no signs of having any corresponding minor impact in astrology. Most positively, the Saturn Pluto conjunction could be said to symbolise restructuring.
Pluto is about power and it tears down, exposes, transforms, brings forth what has been long concealed, but also intensifies. From this it isn’t difficult to see that is just the kind of thing that has been happening, particularly in the world of politics and it hasn’t been pretty.
In the UK we have Brexit, Britain’s exit from the EU apparently recently endorsed by the Conservative’s landslide win in the General Election. The country stands to leave at 11pm on January 31 2020.
There is much corresponding unrest in other European countries, violent protests and people questioning the future of the EU itself.
We have political chaos in America, where the President has been impeached, yet the process has not yet passed fully to the Senate – perhaps because it doesn’t stand a chance of being ratified, although at times the proceedings on all sides seems to beggar belief.
I could go on, but suffice it to say that I think the best outcome from all this is that we shall see the foundation of new political structures in the ensuing weeks, months and years.
I just hope and pray that this process of political transformation occurs as peaceably as possible and that we, the people, come out of it properly represented and wholly informed.
Much has been made of the up and coming conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, exact on January 12 2020 – and rightly so.
Jupiter ‘joins the party’ in 2020 too, to finally form its 19+ year or so ‘great conjunction’ with Saturn at the very beginning of Aquarius on December 21 next year. Mars too will be involved in the spring, probably ruffling a few feathers and possibly causing some serious conflict along the way.
There are other things I could mention but these are mere musings. So what does it all mean and why all the fuss?
Rare astrological line ups
Well, ‘meetings’ of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn are pretty rare, the last one being nearly four thousand years ago (as far as I can see), but we can’t say for sure what was happening then.
Capricorn is a pretty important sign for us all. It’s all about structure, the political and to some extent economic structure of the world and in our own lives. Capricorn is pretty important to certain countries to, the UK and China, for example, so all this activity is likely to affect these countries especially.
Saturn is very powerful in his own sign (he rules the Goat) and wants to set things straight. He’s fairly conservative, strict, maybe cruel at times, but usually fair. There may be a ‘karmic’ side to him, presenting us with what we have reaped, so to speak.
Sword of Damocles
Pluto, on the other hand, is the very slow moving ‘minor’ planet, with the big impact. He is at best transformative, which is probably an overused word. He brings change, sometimes drastic change and can present the truth to us, warts and all, dragging up stuff some people you’d rather not see or know about. Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 doing exactly this kind of thing and it hasn’t been pretty.
Put Saturn and Pluto together, as they are now and will be throughout most of next year, and you get a Sword of Damocles situation, where those in power seem to face imminent ruin, replacement or both.
The upsurge in alternative politics and perhaps in ‘right wing’ parties too, is probably a symptom of this, like a return to some form of fundamentalist belief which necessarily wants to clear the ground and start again… though this might well interest the ‘left’ as well. I think we are entering a period in history in which the old labels of left and right are becoming meaningless.
January 12 2020, hold on to your hats?
So whether we are to expect some crystallising event around January 12 2020, which might encapsulate all that which is deemed ‘wrong’ in the political/economic world, I’m not sure.
Some think we may see a huge economic crash (Uranus is in Taurus as well, indicating financial change), or another big political scandal which could envelope more than one country. It’s always difficult to predict such things and I’m not into prediction. Suffice it to say that we are likely to see more of the same political shenanigans but with the heat cranked up to eleven.
After this we have Mars (in the spring especially) and Jupiter joining the fray. Mars entering the stage in an already volatile situation is not a good sign, and at worst could lead to some kind of conflict, quite possibly arising (or used as an excuse) from a very serious political and economic situation.
Crisis brings opportunity
However, I think Jupiter’s involvement in Capricorn next year is key. Jupiter is fundamentally expansive and may represent a real opportunity amid scenes of potential panic in places like stock exchanges and governments.
It’s difficult to see what this might be, but perhaps a few years down the line, we might see that some ‘organisation’ founded next year as a result of the chaos begins to play a clearer and more beneficial role in steering us forward.
What is more, by the end of the year 2020, namely on December 21, both Jupiter and Saturn shake hands in early Aquarius. This is the so called ‘great conjunction’, a meeting of the two so called planetary giants, symbolising some kind of course correction, or minor reset which we go through every twenty years.
I might be wrong but I can’t help but see this as a possible silver lining of the year, a year which might go down as a whole as one of the most momentous in all our lives.
When I was a child there was much talk of the Age of Aquarius and this is (apart from a brief conjunction in Libra in 1980/81) the first time it has occurred in air since the late middle ages, a long time ago.
This begins an extended run of great conjunctions in air signs for the next century or more, following on from a period of well over a century with the great conjunctions occurring in earth signs. So what am I saying?
A less materialistic era?
Whilst this may not be the inception of the Age of Aquarius, what it does symbolise is the end of a particularly materialistic age and the true inauguration of a more rational, even more ‘spiritual’ age, where there will be a free flow of information and huge leaps in thought – maybe a new ‘renaissance’ of some kind.
So that’s my take on it. 2020 is likely going to be difficult, but we’re used to that. Yet, by the year’s end the light at the end of that long tunnel we’ve been travelling along, may be just that little bit brighter.
I have heard it said, and have had much experience of it, that astrological birth charts speak for themselves. What does this mean?
Well, for example, I chart I did recently for ‘Lenny’ who was born with Pluto exactly on his Scorpio midheaven, a part of the chart which is traditionally associated with career direction. I am treating this particular position pretty much in isolation in this instance.
The deep trawl of Pluto/Hades
So symbolically we have Pluto with all his associations of the underworld (masks), drastic change, transformation, if you will, tenured in the sign which some say he rules, Scorpio, a sign associated (along with the eighth house) with sex, death, regeneration, deeply intense things.
Of course Pluto is in each sign for many years but when he touches a sensitive angle or makes an aspect to another planet, then these forces will be felt much more keenly and personally.
An accidental career?
Taking ‘Lenny’ here as an example, he spoke to me of his growing love of investigation, how he had, quite ‘by accident’, gradually moved into a career involving crime investigation at a deep, more serious level. He hadn’t even suspected, until recent years, that he would find it so interesting.
The fact that transiting Pluto was hovering about another important angle, was clearly quite significant too, perhaps acting like a ‘slow’ trigger.
Later the Moon exalted in Taurus, once again trines Saturn dignified in Capricorn. This sounds reasonably positive, in a dour kind of way. As Taurus is the sign of money, finance and security, these issues could be affected more beneficially.
The general Taurean lunar mood will be of steadiness, encouraging us to appreciate the good things of life, though as the trine applies, maybe particularly for Taureans and Cancerians, there will be a more serious air as the weekend starts, which will encourage the acceptance of duty and conducting oneself in more responsible ways – not exactly weekend party time.
Loosen the air
Nevertheless, with Venus in Gemini and Jupiter retrograde in Sagittarius in their loose opposition, social conviviality, plus encouragement towards a more philosophical appreciation of life, will continue to loosen the air somewhat.
However, later the Moon trines Pluto once again; there is potential for more changeful happenings, maybe something ‘underground’ from fall out from political situations, which could easily turn out to be beneficial.
Saturn and Pluto probably have the darkest associations in astrology.
In mythology Saturn or Chronos (Ancient Greek), devoured his own children for his own protection. Yet it didn’t help him in the end.
Saturn was, until the discovery of Uranus in 1781, the outermost known planet. He sat on the limit, marking time, he was perhaps the ‘lord of karma’, taking nearly 30 years to return to the same part of our birth charts. This is the Saturn return, probably a testing time, but also one of re-evaluation, growing up, taking stock – and looking forward too.
Pluto or Hades, has obvious associations with the underworld of myth, leading astrologers to signify such words as ‘deep working’. Further analysis has led many to associate Pluto with Scorpio, the 8th house, though there is still much debate.
In recent years Pluto has been demoted astronomically to minor planet status, along with his twirling sibling, Charon. Yet, despite this there does not seem to be any lessening in the interest and conjecture on Pluto’s astrological significance.
Like a growing number, I stick to Mars being the ruler of Scorpio. I think the outer planets, so called, are significant but not as fundamental as the Sun to Saturn. They are generational influences.
Yet if Uranus, Neptune or Pluto are prominent by aspect or placement, then these apparently deeper influences come in to play and can be hard to understand and difficult to come to terms with.
Take Pluto’s present transition through Capricorn. At the very least, Pluto’s ‘influence’ can be unsettling, wherever he is found. And right now Saturn is in Capricorn too, approaching conjunction in January 2020.
In mundane astrology, as Capricorn is all about culmination, the establishment, politics, so we perhaps should not be surprised with the political chaos we witness all over the world at the moment. Established parties and political structures do seem to be under threat. In the final analysis, they either change – or die.
Pluto may also be asking us fundamental questions about what politics is for. Who does it serve? Isn’t it all just a charade, a game? If so, get rid of it.
The up and coming conjunction next year might well signify that most of the political crises will reach their apogee early next year, though it will all take years to fully work out, like it has taken years to get to this particular point.
It is interesting to note that the last time Pluto was in Capricorn was in the lead up to the American Revolution.
But what about Pluto in personal birth charts?
I know someone who was born when Saturn and Pluto were exactly trine, that is, in a harmonious 120 degree aspect. Saturn happens to be her ruling planet too and is angular, strongly placed.
We could say that she was born with the potential to harness practically Pluto’s deeply ‘transformative’ influence in her life. Pluto is in her 9th house, so there is a deep interest in different cultures, philosophical matters, like religion and spirituality, a yearning for the quest, so to speak.
Nevertheless, right now, both Pluto and Saturn are transiting together in Capricorn, in her first house. I have explained to her about the forthcoming conjunction next year. Here we see symbolised the coming together of the stock taking nature of Saturn and the deep seated need for change, as represented by Pluto.
This has not been easy for her. Some astrologers use words like ‘elimination’ for Pluto; politicians may use phrases like ‘draining the swamp’. But who is to judge?
Yet, I have talked to her about this ‘existential need’ (as she describes it) for readjustment in her life. Saturn is cautious, especially in Capricorn, the sign it rules; Pluto, it would seem, insists on change. So what gives?
Is Pluto really about necessary change? This person is uncomfortable, every avenue that seems open to her appears daunting. So if we do ‘drain the swamp’ in our lives, it is likely to be most uncomfortable. Even bad things, like bad habits, can give us comfort. Routines are Saturnian. The tried and tested.
Have you noticed how quickly time goes with a routine? When you go on holiday for a few days, somewhere different, where you’re doing different things, notice how slow the time appears to go those first few days.
Pluto won’t leave Capricorn until around the middle of the next decade. Our world will be quite different by then. And so will the world of the person I’ve mentioned here. But it will probably be a better world for her and all of us.
In astrology Mercury is associated with the signs Gemini, Virgo and the corresponding third and sixth houses of a chart.
Mercury, closely following the sun at all times, is said to represent the mind, how we think, communicate, our nervous system, their strengths and weaknesses depending its conditioning.
Take Luke (not his real name which is protected), a former teacher who’d taken early retirement a while ago. He came to me wanting to know why he’d become so restless and nervous. He explained that he’d always been a bit restless, but especially of late. He knew his birth time to within about five minutes, so I calculated his birth chart.
Immediately, one of the ‘reasons’ he described himself as restless leapt out at me from the computer screen. His Mercury was closely conjunct a Capricorn ascendant, trine Mars in Taurus, sextile Jupiter in Scorpio. There were no so-called difficult or hard aspects, no squares or oppositions to Mercury. He seemed curious as to why my eyebrows were raised. At the time he came to see me, transiting Pluto had been lurking with intent around his native Mercury for a few months.
Over the years I’ve found it remarkable (a lot of the time) how people ‘speak’ their charts. In Luke’s case Mercury here was doing all the talking!
Mercury in Capricorn represents a practical mind, that likes to spend its time productively; teaching would be one good outlet. Close to the ascending degree and energised by Mars and Jupiter, one might expect the native to be a little fidgety – he was, constantly scratching his head, re-arranging his seating position. He just had to be doing something!
So with all that positive energy from Mars in Taurus, which only increases the pressure to ‘do something’ practical like making money, and from Jupiter in Scorpio, encouraging him to go deep, plumb the depths of knowledge, it’s probably not surprising that Luke was a bundle of unresolved, nervous energy which now ceased to have a proper outlet or channel.
“Can you write?” I asked, rather glibly, picking at Mercury’s communicative qualities.
He nodded. “Yeah, I do it all the time.”
He shook his head and laughed. “Just jot things down and scribble, you know.”
But I could see something opening in his eyes, some kind of realisation.
“Don’t get me wrong,” I said, tentatively, “I can’t advise you to do anything but what might help is to find a project, a writing project, to really get your teeth into, to fill the gap that teaching filled. Something like that.”
He seemed interested, but with all that earthy mental energy, I figured that creative writing might not be the best outlet for him. “Serious themes, perhaps,” I continued, “history, religion, psychology, geography…”
“Ha!” he exclaimed, “I taught geography for thirty five years!”
“OK, apart from teaching it, have you written about it, expressed our own ideas, opinions? Have you done research, for instance?”
“Not since university.”
It was around six months later when I met up with him again by chance, not in my house, but in the high street outside a butcher’s shop of all places.
“You were right about the writing, by the way?” he said, smiling nonchalantly.
“I’m a regular contributor to a science magazine now… and I’ve started giving talks on geography and geology for adult education locally. In fact, I’ve been invited up to Sheffield next week to give a talk.”
I tried to disguise my own smirk. It would seem that his native Mercury, which may have given him the impetus to become a teacher in the first place, had now inspired a second career in his retirement, as a writer and speaker. Pluto’s close proximity to his native Mercury at the time, may just have done a little prodding from behind the scenes.
Ultimately, I think this example also shows a need to look for the obvious, stand out features of a birth chart first. “Keep it simple, boy!”
I have done a little research on and off for a few years now regarding the ‘outer planet’ Pluto and his supposed effects. Put it this way, I have not been satisfied with terms like ‘transformation’.
I shall not go into it too much here as it is ongoing, but suffice it to say that I find I’m in agreement with many these days who think that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the so-called outer planets, only really come into serious play by their placement, their relationship if you will, by either being angular or in close aspect to the true planets, or both. I don’t believe (yes, it is a belief) that Pluto rules Scorpio, for instance.
Of course Pluto was demoted from planet status several years ago, it being essentially classed a kind of minor binary system involving a sibling called Charon (the ferryman of Hades in myth), with whom Pluto does this merry dance in the remote, dark reaches of this solar system. Yet, despite this, there doesn’t seem to be any lack of interest in him in astrological circles.
Pluto was first discovered officially in 1930 and many have attributed the dark, ‘underground’, extreme forces that were appearing in the world at the time to the planet’s arrival in the mainstream.
Does he have a name?
Then of course we have the name of the planet. I mean why call him Pluto? The work of Percival Lowell led to the discovery of Pluto, and of course his initials are the first two letters of the name. Then of course we have Mickey Mouse’s dog, Pluto, named after him.
So the question is, did the recognition of each ‘outer planet’ reflect the time of its discovery?
I have seen it said that Uranus, discovered in the late 18th century, coincided with the American and French revolutions, plus the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Well, I suppose Uranus has a reputation for turning things over.
Neptune was discovered in the mid 19th century, though it is far less clear what was going on then (spiritualism?) which we could call Neptunian – but maybe that’s just Neptune being Neptune, hard to make out really.
And then Pluto around 1930 and the rise of fascism, communism: I get the point. Pluto is the Roman name for the Greek Hades, king of the Underworld. In mythology Hades had a helm, cap, or mask, which reputedly made him invisible, sometimes also called the Helm of Darkness. All these are what we might associate with Pluto. Either way, the mask allowed the wearer to disappear, or be undetectable, a bit like Pluto on his 248 year travail around us. I’m not sure I believe in synchronicity.
But the mask of invisibility only belongs to Pluto/Hades, others wore it to become undetectable, it is not Pluto himself. So maybe, to conjecture, in astrological terms Pluto by close aspect lends secrecy to whomever he is masking/aspecting? I don’t know, it’s something I’m looking at.
Can you keep a secret?
Nevertheless, we all know how dangerous and devastating secrecy can be, hiding true intent, a bit like the cloaking device used by the Klingons in Star Trek, or even like a ‘bird of prey’ using extreme speed (peregrine falcon for example) to disguise its final, devastating kill.
As an example, take a native with Mars closely conjunct Pluto, might the interpretation be that the Martian energy has the potential to be hidden, yet also potentially more focused and dangerous as a result? And if that energy is hidden, suppressed even, then there may be deep psychological implications too. If Neptune were conjunct Mars we might expect dissipation of that force; with Uranus we could see sudden, violent outbursts of energy.
I will leave the musings there but I intend to try and use living examples in later posts. I’m trying to keep an open mind, with the understanding that the whole truth can never be known. Thanks for your patience – these are just my musings.
It has often mystified me how the second sign of the zodiac, that particular 30 degree division of the ecliptic, got associated with the bull – Latin name Taurus. I’ve read theories but I guess the real truth is lost to time somewhere in ancient Mesopotamia and Greece.
Taurus in pure astrological terms is the fixed earth sign. Earth is pretty fixed as it is but add the ‘fixed’ condition to it as well..? From this it gets its traits of solidity and dependability. OK, a bull is solid – but is it dependable?
Taurus is ruled by Venus, some say the more negative side of the lesser benefic planet. From this Taurus is also associated with beauty, but perhaps a more particularly sensuous, earthy type of good looking things. In the human anatomy the sign is said to rule the neck, that natives may have weak spot in this part of the body, especially if the Sun or planet in the sign is ‘afflicted’ by negative aspects.
The sign is also associated to the second house in birth charts, which is all to do with our personal security and money, basically the Taurean traits applied our personal world. In mundane terms too, Taurus rules money, finance and securities. Aries is said to plough the first furrow, it initiates. Taurus is all about consolidation, big time.
However, last year the ‘outer planet’ Uranus entered Taurus for the first time since the early 1940s, which ended a tenure spanning back to 1934. Naturally, you don’t have to be a brilliant student of history to know what was happening in the world then.
But let’s not be alarmist. What does it all mean? Taurus is money, Uranus breaks up. It could be that by 2026 when this shaker-upper of a ‘planet’ leaves Taurus, our views on money, what it is, how we use it – might be radically different from what they are now. We should also remember that Pluto remains in Capricorn until 2023. Capricorn is the cardinal earth sign and is politics, the establishment, big business. This combination may represent a double whammy for the way things are at present.
My prediction (I know many would say that it’s an easy prediction to make) is that the world of 2019 compared to 2026 will have radically changed. We might see digital currencies running the world by then, which would entail along with it drastic changes in lifestyle.
And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t actually change for the better, for once. That goes for you too, Taurus.