2020 Solstice and Jupiter/Saturn conjunction
Reflections by Dana Lynne Andersen
A Year to Change the World
Decades ago astrologers were talking about the year 2020. Looking at the momentous line-up of powerful astrological transits, astrologers considered what might unfold in the year that seemed destined to change the world…2020.
For the ancients, the movements and interactions of Jupiter and Saturn were the weavings of energy patterns that influenced the zeitgeist of humanity. In Ancient Babylon and Alexandria, Benares, Medieval Paris and Renaissance Italy- scientists of the time studied the astrological alignments that catalyze the evolution of humanity through the epochs of time. Contemporary astrologers continue this study adding the outer planets discovered in modern times; Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846) and Pluto (1930)
Astrology is not concretely predictive, but rather archetypally revelatory. It can’t tell us the particulars, but it can reveal the deeper currents and patterns beneath what will eventually crystallize. Astrology could not tell us that a virus would erupt in Wuhan China and spread throughout the world but it did foretell that the alignment of Saturn and Pluto would propel ‘confronting mortality on a mass scale’[i]. 911 (2001), WW1 (1914) and WW2 (1949) all occurred when Saturn and Pluto were in what astrology calls ‘hard aspect’ or challenging relation.
2020 began with the Saturn Pluto conjunction that has catalyzed a year of seismic change. It ends with an equally momentous alignment of outer planets to seed the coming decades and even centuries to come.
The Jupiter Saturn Cycle
The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction cycle happens every 20 years.[ii] As it occurs in different zodiacal signs it initiates the corresponding archetypal flavors. Because in 2020 both planets are in the sign of Aquarius, this next cycle activates the Aquarian patterns and ideals; a sense of collective connection, equity and equality, and power yielded through networks and cooperation. Aquarius is a sign of innovation and idealism, progressive cultural change, socio-economic reform and revolution.
Aquarius carries noble visions of humanity awakening to move swiftly forward with progressive change. Yet this is not the dawning of a new-age paradise, as every archetype has its shadow side. Aquarius can be rigid and dogmatic as well as zealous and maniacal in its idealism, ‘cancel culture’ is but one example. So long as we are in the turning cycles of time we are in a world of duality.
As these collective changes are flowing in the Zeitgeist, it is up to us how the archetypal energies will manifest. The power structures of hierarchy could easily be replaced with the tyranny of the masses or the repressive manipulations of ‘group think’. Yet we can also rise higher in this evolutionary moment and create healthier structures of interwoven interdependence.
The Grand Cycle
Jupiter Saturn cycle in Earth Element: 1842-2020
Jupiter Saturn in Air Element: 2020 – 2199
This 20 year cycle is also part of a larger 800 year cycle in which the dance of Jupiter and Saturn move through the elements of Fire, water, earth and air. For approximately 200 years the 20 year cycles all occur within the same element. Thus, for example, in the past 200 years the Jupiter and Saturn cycle has occurred in the earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. This year begins a new 200 year larger cycle in which all of the 20 year cycles will occur in the air signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
This is a longer rhythm transition. We are shifting out of era in which the backdrop of history was structured according to the values and patterns of earth. This was an era of Empires, in which power was established by territory. History unfurled according to the boundaries of nations, the lands conquered and defended. In technology it was an era dominated by the manipulation of matter- the industrial revolution, the rise of manufacturing and the culminating malaise of materialism and consumerism.
We are entering an era in which the ‘foundation’ will be not the ground beneath our feet but the ever fluctuating air. Historically EARTH periods have marked the building of Empires and the consolidation of power, while AIR periods have overseen the breaking up of Empires and the dispersion of power. The ‘Genghis Khan’ of our times is likely the internet and the technological revolutions that decentralize power. While earth settles, hardens, separates and holds; air rises, spreads, diffuses and disperses. In the coming era the locus of power will be increasingly drawn from what flows, circulates and connects.
A Turning Point in Civilization
This particular Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is also especially auspicious because it falls on the Solstice. The last Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on a winter solstice was 5,000 years ago. This rare Solstice conjunction marks a major turning point in humanity’s evolutionary journey. We are in the gyre of old worlds dying and new worlds struggling to be born. We are not facing merely a change of social, political or economic systems, but a profound transformation of civilization itself.
As Jupiter and Saturn conjunct old structures are crumbling. At this juncture we have a unique opportunity to build something completely new- radically NEW, not building on something old and trying to fix or refurbish it. With both planets in Aquarius this new epoch holds the promise of Aquarian ideals; noble visions of humanity awakening to cooperate in harmony.[iii]
At the historic moment we can offer our intention to align with these larger currents. We can honor within ourselves the principles of Saturn and Jupiter, finding the healthy integration of boundary and structure with the impulses for creative evolutionary expansion. At this unique moment we can plant the shining seeds of our intentions for a better future- for ourselves and for the world. We can affirm and crystallize something that will build slowly and firmly (Saturn) into something generous and expansive (Jupiter). This is a moment to dedicate ourselves to a ‘long journey’- one that will have Saturnian limits and details, but is infused with a Jupiterian spirit of expansive heart and vision.
At the start of this next 20 year cycle we have an opportunity to define our aspirations for the decades to come. And at the dawn of this new 200 year cycle, we can offer our heart-light of hope and cooperation into the growing light of humanities upward evolution.
Though reaching an apex on the 21st, these energies will continue to influence us in the days and weeks ahead. Take time to feel them and work with them. You may want to join us for an upcoming four day online workshop that will use creative process to embody this shift within ourselves.
[i] Richard Tarnas, cultural historian and pioneer of Archetypal astrology. Please see “What’s Happening in the Stars Right Now” for an excellent overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RTpTo1ZMEc
[ii] [ii] The cycle moves through four main stages. Imagine a clock; at 12 we have conjunction, at 3 a square, at 6 an opposition, at 9 a square and then back to 12. At 12 they are in conjunction. This begins a new cycle. At the first and third ‘quarter’ they are in a square- a ‘hard aspect’ that provokes and catalyzes the archetypal energies. At the half-way point they are in opposition, a time of tension and polarization. At the conjunction they converge to complete the current cycle and simultaneously initiate the next new cycle.
[iii] Though strongly flavored with the energies of Aquarius, this is not the official ‘Age of Aquarius’ as defined by the progression of the Equinox.