April 1, 2020 438 PM
In January’s column (1/9/20), we made acquaintance with the 2020 Capricorn Stellium –– that rare concoction of three outer planets (Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto) all conjoining in a single zodiac sign (Capricorn) in a single calendar year (2020). We focused first on the dominant transit of this fateful celestial stew: Saturn conjunct Pluto. So what’s happened since? No bueno. It ushered in the new year with Australian wildfires, U.S. impeachment proceedings, swapping murder for missiles with Iran and a nasty global pandemic. Not to mention the swift erosion of more than three million jobs and at least three trillion buckeroos in stock market capitalization (as of this writing).
Saturn symbolizes fear, worry and a sense of loss. These emotions double down in the sign of Capricorn, which is ruled by the planet Saturn. The best way to endure this intense transit is a head down, chop wood/carry water approach. Granted, social distancing and sheltering in place are not much fun. But the silver lining is that by working with this saturnine energy, we can be more successful sooner at overcoming our problems.
Come April 4 (and again on June 30 and November 12), Jupiter applies its conjunction to Pluto to begin the second of the three major outer planet alignments of the 2020 Capricorn Stellium. This transit, whose terrestrial effects are already well underway, amps up the drama that the Saturn-Pluto conjunction initiated. Jupiter thinks big, and it’s no accident that the Federal Reserve and Congress needed to be all in with respect to the monetary and fiscal fixes directed at our current crises. And it’s not just the government that’s thinking big –– individuals, corporations and nonprofits are also stepping up with generous donations of time and money. A new local website, www.marfastepsup.org, is doing just that.
Little rocky Pluto likes to pop big gassy Jupiterian bubbles, which reflects the wild, irrational market fluctuations we’ve encountered. Financial astrologer Ray Merriman notes that, historically, when Pluto transits between 22 – 27 degrees in a cardinal sign (Capricorn is a cardinal sign), the U.S. has experienced some of its greatest depressions and market crashes. These transits coincided with the severe depression in the early 1840s (in the aftermath of President Andrew Jackson’s termination of the U.S Central Bank), and again in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Let’s not kid ourselves –– Pluto is plenty dark. It is 3.67 billion miles from the sun. This ancient Roman god of death rules the underworld; its favorite movie is Monty Python and The Holy Grail –– minus the humor. So yes, we are currently having a worldwide “bring out your dead” moment. You get the picture.
But that’s not the whole picture. After all, what kind of self-respecting astromancer would I be if I didn’t offer you the flip side? Evolutionary astrologer Maurice Fernandez reminds us that Jupiter-Pluto cycles reflect a remarkable ability to transform difficulty into opportunity, both individually and collectively. Pluto symbolizes death. But it also represents rebirth, transformation and empowerment. We eventually come through these crises stronger and smarter, but not before enduring great pain.
There are two astrological principles in play that give us a glimmer of hope. First, when a planet moves into a new zodiac sign, known as an ingress, the study of geocosmics suggests that there is a corresponding change in human activity and perspective. This effect is more pronounced when the ingress involves an outer planet. Saturn in Capricorn, representing contraction (as in the economy), just ingressed into the sign of Aquarius on March 21. It will remain there until July 1, before retrograding back into Capricorn. Aquarius is ruled by Uranus and symbolizes scientific breakthroughs. This change of alignment strongly supports the discovery of successful treatments for, and prevention of, COVID-19 infection. We won’t be out of the woods just yet, but the climate of fear and hysteria will subside and allow the country to gradually get back to work.
The second principle that may signal a shift in the global psyche has to do with the concept of planetary conjunctions. A conjunction is when two planets appear close together, as viewed from Earth, in their orbit around the sun. Conjunctions represent both the end of and the beginning of cycles. As two planets get closer to one another, they are in what is known as the balsamic, or ending phase of the current cycle. Sounds appetizing, but we’re not talking vinaigrette here. Like any good Hollywood script writer knows, the ending is the most difficult and challenging part of any [cycle] story. As the planets separate, they move into the first stage of a new cycle, and initiate a new trend and perspective in human activity and understanding. After April 4th, Jupiter and Pluto will begin a little social distancing of their own, giving rise to some cautious optimism.
That said, we’re still up to our necks in this powerful 2020 Capricorn Stellium. There’s a reason that the January column concluded with a quote from Woody Allen quoting Groucho Marx: “I’d like to leave you with something positive. I can’t. Would you settle for two negatives?” But do hang in there. 2020 concludes with Jupiter conjunct Saturn on December 21, the winter solstice, after both planets leave Capricorn and ingress into Aquarius. As the fabulous Marilyn McCoo and the Fifth Dimension proclaim, this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
Jack Copeland is a retired busboy radiologist and Judd Foundation tour guide. Sources for this column include: (1) “The Powerful Astrological Cycles of 2020” by Maurice Fernandez (article published in the Dec 2015 edition of The Mountain Astrologer; see also his website https://mauricefernandez.com (2) Forecast 2020 by Raymond Merriman.