2020 is set to be a watershed year offering many opportunities for change and recalibration. On considering the charts for this year I feel excitement about what could be, whilst being mindful of the fact that what will be is largely up to us! There will undoubtedly be challenges along the way, coupled with gifts and blessings. Our task is to rise to the former and welcome the latter with gratitude, knowing that both form part of the current evolutionary thrust.
The quality of energy throughout 2020 is defined by three core events:
1) The Saturn/Pluto conjunction which reaches exactitude on 12th January and begins a new 33 year-long cycle.
2) The Jupiter/Pluto conjunction which reaches first exactitude on 5th April, second on 30th June and third on 12th November. This begins a new 13 year-long cycle.
3) The Saturn/Jupiter conjunction which reaches exactitude on 21st December and begins a new 20 year-long cycle.
These influential conjunctions will shape our future direction both personally and collectively. Involving three of the outer planets, they remind us that what happens in our individual lives feeds into the collective stream of consciousness from which we all draw. Cultivating hope and envisioning a positive future can be a powerful act of creation. If that vision is imbued with commitment to being part of the solution, not allowing oneself to be torpedoed by negative doom-mongering, all the more so. The energy of a conjunction is fresh and innovative, allowing new possibilities, perspectives and potential to emerge. It enables us to combine inner resources and outer circumstances in such a way that we can forge a new path ahead, one that may have seemed out of reach or even non-existent not so long ago.
Three such conjunctions in one year signals the need for much adjustment during the coming twelve months. Indeed, with so much innovative energy in the mix, the future is highly unlikely to look much like anything we’ve envisaged from our current standpoint. 2020 will see arising new ways of perceiving life and our role in its unfolding. Being open to these perspectives is key to allowing their fruits to be realised in the years to come. Be prepared to release long cherished beliefs in favour of a more expansive view of what could be possible in the longer term. Human knowledge is forever evolving. There is so much more to be revealed. Beware of anyone who claims possession of the full facts and declares the debate closed – that it’s time to pick a side and either you’re right or you’re wrong, with us or against us. This string of conjunctions tells us there’s more to come, more to be revealed, discovered, surmised, hypothesised and tested against our current understanding of reality. There’s still so much we simply don’t yet know.
Further supporting a shift into new ways of living is Uranus travelling through Taurus. Facilitating a radical restructuring of the externals of our lives, it brings us into alignment with a more balanced and sustainable future. Here we find innovative solutions to the pressing global and local issues of our time, epitomised in a root and branch reshaping of our relationship with the physical and natural world. Our understanding of everything from money to the environment will be changed by Uranus in Taurus in the coming years. In 2020 we will find ourselves either hyper-energised to be part of the change or to resist it with all our might. Which is why what actually happens is up to each and every one of us!
The build up to the Saturn/Pluto conjunction
The immediate build up to the first of the 2020 conjunctions began with a solar eclipse in Capricorn on 26th December 2019. Conjunct Jupiter, trining Uranus and squaring Chiron, this eclipse provided a window of opportunity to stabilise energy and ground aspirations for the new year. Mercury in Sagittarius trining Eris at the time of the eclipse may have seduced us into over-estimating our capacity for rapid change. But Jupiter’s support in Capricorn balanced this with a more pragmatic approach to the pursuit of our goals. If events around this time left you feeling a bit flat when you hoped to be inspired, bear in mind that the peaks and troughs of energy flow can be communications from life itself, highlighting where and when we need to act, rest or recalibrate. There will be plenty of opportunity in the coming weeks to both light the fires of inspiration and get our hands dirty in the practicalities of implementing change. This eclipse was only the beginning…
Jupiter’s grounding influence in the 26th December eclipse is brought to fullness in its exact conjunction to the moon’s south node in Capricorn on 8th January. In doing so it reminds us that traditional bases of power are crumbling and placing our faith in their continuation is increasingly unwise! Relying on those in power to take action for our collective wellbeing may be the biggest mistake we could make this year! And being the change we want to see in the world, our greatest act of power. This conjunction affirms that political and economic systems everywhere are on their last legs, no matter how powerful they may appear. It has never been more timely to think in different terms about how we secure our personal and collective future; to recognise the power of living on purpose in our everyday lives. We are not victims and we are not powerless. Far from it in fact! But our strength is potentised not in a struggle against the status quo but in an affirmation of the potential for change and an expression of that change in our daily life and consciousness. What you resist persists is not a well-worn saying for no reason! Where we place our attention matters more than we can know. Turning away from the system and towards a new dawn allows us to invest energy in positive solutions, not in bolstering out-moded powerbases by fighting against them.
A Lunar Eclipse in Cancer
Jupiter’s alliance with the south node continues into the lunar eclipse in the 21st degree of Cancer on 10th January. With the Sun conjunct Mercury, Saturn and Pluto at this point, it serves as a precursor to the Saturn/Pluto conjunction occurring two days later. It’s frequently the case that the build up to such a conjunction feels more stressful than the actual conjunction and its aftermath. Once the planetary alliance is exact the energy flows and we know what to do with it. Prior to this resolution of tension, the approach can feel unsettling and disruptive. It will come as little surprise, then, that the activation of Cancerian energy at the eclipse signals heightened emotional sensitivity and a need to take care of each other. We may find ourselves mysteriously free of recent troubles or increasingly weighed down by them. We may finally see their insignificance in the context of the vast universe or be unable to see around them no matter how hard we try.
This is an eclipse of extremes and therefore of extreme possibilities. It could bring liberation from a viewpoint that has kept us imprisoned – mentally, emotionally, spiritually – or it could strengthen those prison bars with a dose of so-called ‘reality’ which tells us nothing ever changes, life’s a struggle and the sooner it’s over the better. It reminds us that personal experience cannot be divorced from the collective energetic field in which lies the potential for all things. In seeing beyond our tiny fear-based perspective we can open ourselves to this wider potential with reverence and awe. There are always possibilities at the edge of our vision if we look in the right way. What was previously in our blind spot can come into view with a tilt of the head and this eclipse provides an opportunity to shift perspective to see things in a very different light. But the strength of our emotions may discourage us from believing this to be true! If you find yourself overwrought or overwhelmed at this lunar eclipse, ask yourself ‘How would it feel if I believed there was another way to view this situation?’. That question alone may take the heat out of the flames and allow a more cooling effect on an over-stimulated heart and mind.
The Saturn/Pluto Conjunction
Following hot on the heels of the lunar eclipse comes the Saturn/Pluto conjunction exact at 16:23 UT on 12th January in the 23rd degree of Capricorn. With the Sun and Mercury also conjoined, consider it a reminder of the power (Pluto) of thought (Mercury) and our responsibility (Saturn) to inform our evolving will (Sun) with greater insight into the true nature of ‘reality’. Perspectives formed at this time will be highly charged with the innovative force of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction. Unlike many outer planet conjunctions which recur over a number of months, this alliance occurs only once, intensifying the process of shift to a new perspective. Consider this a choice-point of sorts, during which we can decide how to approach the year ahead and draw upon the imposing energy of this conjunction to cement our commitment. Of course, this also means that if we allow negativity or despair to cloud our minds and hearts at this time, the ripple effect of doing so may lap upon our shores for some time to come.
But this doesn’t mean that if we’re having a hard time in January the whole year’s already a write-off. Far from it! The key is our response to that hard time: do we cement it with our reactions, adding misery upon misfortune, or do we embrace the conjunction energy to allow new understanding, perspectives and feelings to arise? Can we recognise the catalysing action of trauma or challenge, which can as much clear away old emotional debris as create more? Can we feel the energetic hurricane that up-ends a life as the winds of change that point us eventually in a new and more productive direction?
Many people fear the action of Pluto in their lives. But fear is not a helpful response and be wary around those who encourage it! Pluto demands of us a mighty heart that can release all that no longer supports who we must be. Conjunct Saturn it reminds us that the most imposing change can also be a powerful catalyst for mature wisdom. Whilst this conjunction may have a purging effect on our lives at some level, if we can recognise its action as a solution not a problem we can ride those storms more wisely. This conjunction of planetary heavyweights invites us into a more mature and insightful relationship with our inherent power. It illuminates where we project it onto others or onto institutions which seek to control our lives for their own benefit. In the coming years we must own our power and the responsibility that comes with it. Or face with full force the consequences of refusing to do so. We must dig deep and rise strong in the face of increasingly desperate power-plays of those who sense influence slipping from their grasp as people wake up to their lies.
Uranus And Eris have their say
Both Uranus & Eris are stationing direct at the time of the conjunction, reflecting how this alliance between Saturn and Pluto may stop us in our tracks. Not immediately perhaps, but as its energies ‘bed in’ over time and pervade our everyday life. Grabs for power may occur on the world stage in unanticipated ways, whilst the karmic consequences of egotistical assumptions of entitlement become ever more evident. Those in power who refuse to pause a while to reflect on their intent may find themselves confronted with the inevitable outcomes of blind arrogance. In the words attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: ‘What’s the point of running so fast if you’re running in the wrong direction?’. In this new Saturn/Pluto cycle, slowing down becomes a radical act of self-determination: An opportunity to cease spinning in an endless whirl, gather up our thoughts and feelings and embrace their deeper contemplation for a while.
By contrast, a square from Eris to the conjunction heralds an opportunity to move through intensity much quicker than before. Here we see the potential for our perception of time to shift exponentially. What once took years to process we can now do in a few months and what took months can take weeks or days. We have the opportunity to suffer less and reap greater rewards, but we must choose to do so. Our attitude is key to this choice. If we focus on pain without hope of change, that’s what we’ll get. If we process the pain, work with it, be authentic within it, the outcome could be beyond our wildest imaginings as the rejuvenating power of a mighty heart is unleashed within us.
In this sense, the notion of ‘long term’ is shifting beneath our feet as evolutionary forces flood our lives with such intensity that we can be swept up in their embrace before we catch our breath. One day we’re living this life then, bam, it’s all change. Just like that. The external trappings may look largely the same (for a while at least) but the very fabric of our life has shifted beyond return. We know it and feel it, even if we can’t yet articulate it. This experience is becoming more frequent as we awaken to the forces of change that act on all levels of our being. We can no longer ignore or dismiss them for they have become us. They are the very life force itself, refreshed and renewed by the vital forces that flood this planet and all who live upon her.
Amidst these moments of sudden shift are those of mind-numbing mundanity which challenge us to put into regular practice all we profess to believe. This is the ‘work’ of conscious evolution: living the ordinary life in an extraordinary way, knowing material ‘reality’ as both the most and least real thing about our existence. We can reach out and touch it, identify it, name it, and yet if we seek its substance it melts before our eyes. Nothing is as it seems and yet we must live it anyway, both mundane and divine. In doing so we embody the unbounded human spirit which is rising triumphant, undeterred by the barriers it must breach to make its mark.
Occupying our own sovereignty
January will be intense, for sure. It will also be immense in terms of the heralded new beginning. Saturn/Pluto cycles speak of power and responsibility. Of what we do with the influence we have over life. Of what we choose to create and destroy. Of how well we mature (or not) into intentional beings of vast creative potential. With the Saturn/Pluto conjunction occurring in Saturn-ruled Capricorn squared by Eris, the tendency to concentrate power in the hands of the wealthy, the confident, the ‘entitled’ and the ‘experts’, will be dealt a mighty blow in the coming years. Many will be knocked off their perch and we’ll see some spectacular falls from grace. Those who propagate such power bases will face unyielding challenge to their assumptions of entitlement as individuals occupy their own locus of control rather than surrendering it to those who’d have us believe they know best.
By contrast, those who choose to project power onto others and perpetuate a ‘poor me’ persona will face some intense and unremitting challenges to that world-view. In times of change such as these we must first take charge of our own attitude. Then – and only then – can we occupy the sovereignty that allows our world to heal.