“Battle lines being drawn 

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong” 

Stephen Stills, Buffalo Springfield, 

“For What It’s Worth,” 1966 

2022 – Safer and Saner? 

Unless you’ve been flipping pancakes on the International Space Station for the past year, 2021 felt anything but safe and secure. 2020 was even worse. So what do the cosmic tea leaves say about 2022? 

To answer that question, I think it’s best we discuss this over dinner –– my treat. Where, you ask? I learned of a delightful cosmic cafe, Le Petit Prince, when I was studying French theater in Avignon in the summer of ‘73. It’s located on Asteroid B-612, halfway between Mars and Jupiter. It’s a bit of a schlep, but I’m confident you’ll be impressed. We’ve got some perplexing astrological transits to discuss, and dining with a front row seat to the five outer planets of our solar system will make this task a tad easier. Besides, their bread is almost as good as Ganka’s. 


2022 MENU 

(All courses served with Sixth House Wine) 

Hors d’Oeuvres: Jupiter in Pisces 

   Jupiter in Aries 

Salades: Saturn Square Uranus 

Jupiter Conjunct Saturn 

Uranus in Taurus 

Entrees: U.S.A. Pluto Return 

U.S.A. Chiron Return 

Dessert: Jupiter conjunct Neptune (in Pisces) 

A single rose adorns our table. The waiter arrives, crisply dressed in traditional French garçon attire: black pants, black vest, white shirt and bowtie. “Bonsoir Mesdames et Messieurs, are you ready to order?” Now at this point you no doubt feel a bit overwhelmed. May I suggest we trust the waiter to select an assortment for us. If you have a burning question, now would be the time to ask. “What is the Chiron Return?” The waiter furtively looks around, drops his phony French accent and replaces it with his genuine Bronx elocution, and whispers conspiratorially, “ Lady, you don’t want to get near that one. The last time Chiron was in this position, the U.S. was still in Vietnam and Watergate was burgled. ” The waiter disappears into the kitchen. 

You’re probably wondering just what kind of cosmic heartburn we are in for? One important culinary caveat: It’s worth remembering that in astrology, planets and stars do not cause human behavior (or indigestion). Rather, what keeps things interesting is observing how cyclical celestial patterns correspond to historic human events. 

Let’s start with the Saturn – Uranus waning square. It was the dominant planetary transit we faced in 2021, and remains front and center in 2022. Saturn represents government, laws and regulations. Uranus symbolizes freedom, protest and rebellion against authority. Nothing illustrates Saturn square Uranus better than January 6th and its aftermath. 

Racial and religious tensions, voting rights restrictions, unruly airline passengers refusing to wear masks –– not to mention the vaccine chaos –– remain ongoing headlines and reinforce this Saturn square Uranus dynamic. The scientific gift of the mRNA vaccines –– m means messenger but I prefer to think of it as miracle RNA –– still deliver strong protection against hospitalization and death. Yet a third of our nation chooses to view vaccines as a violation of one’s personal right to be infected and to infect others. Instead, they confuse miracle for mandate

It’s not only the political arena where the Saturn square Uranus friction plays out. Last summer, tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open, where tradition (Saturn) requires players to address press conferences after matches. She refused, exercising a desire to protect her privacy and freedom of nonspeech (Uranus). Now, in January 2022, here we go again: On the eve of the Australian Open, tennis phenom Novak Djokovic (Uranus), lost his battle with the Australian Immigration Authority (Saturn) over vaccine and visa issues. 

The good news: These two planets are beginning to separate in 2022. The bad news: They still remain closely aligned all year, and will be within one degree of an exact square passage between September 15 and October 24. Oh boy, just in time for the home stretch of the midterm elections. 

Uranian energy is sudden, unpredictable and sometimes violent. It correlates with natural disasters, particularly volcanoes and earthquakes. This association is especially strong with Uranus transiting through the earth sign of Taurus (through 2026). Last year saw eruptions of four major volcanoes in Iceland, the Caribbean (St. Vincent), the Congo and the island of La Palma (Spain). At the time of this writing, an underwater volcano with tsunami warnings in the Pacific (Tonga) is underway. In Marfastrology terms, The Big Bend Sentinel reported just last week on the significant increase in seismic activity recorded in the southern portion of the Permian Basin. These tremors are believed to be triggered by repeated wastewater injections in deep wells used in fracking.


Uranus is also where you find the unusual. With respect to global warming, Uranus expresses itself as 100 degree F temperatures in the Siberian summer, rainfall in the winter in northern Greenland, more frequent and intense tornadoes such as the 200-mile track of devastation in western Kentucky, and forest fires in December in Colorado. 

Our waiter returns –– in the nick of time, because you must be starving by now –– with platters of the U.S.A. Pluto Return, served very rare. Why so rare? The waiter explains: “Rare indeed, because we only serve this dish once every 248 years.” That’s approximately how long it takes Pluto to orbit the sun. The U.S.A.’s birth was 246 years ago. So this period between 2021 and 2023 represents the U.S.A.’s first ever Pluto return. 

When Pluto’s long, grinding transit makes a hard aspect to an individual or to a nation’s natal chart, it always exacts a price. Pluto symbolizes death and rebirth, transformation and renewal. It incubates dramatic change over time. If you don’t work with its energy, the stakes are high. And the stakes for the U.S.A. right now have to do with its very survival from within. The good news is that our country truly has a strong birth chart, built to last. But if we can’t embrace a path of moderation through this current political morass of extremism, all bets are off. 

Here’s where the salad may help us out (yes, it’s customary here to serve the salad after the entree). Specifically, we’re talking Jupiter – Saturn conjunction, which began on the winter solstice of December 21, 2020, in the sign of zero degrees Aquarius. It’s a 20-year transit, and it signals the first of Earth’s passages into seven consecutive 20-year periods through air signs. Air signs are associated with innovative scientific and artistic breakthroughs, creative solutions to long term social problems, objectivity, and tolerance. The early Italian Renaissance began with a Jupiter – Saturn conjunction in an air sign. 

But here’s the rub. Jupiter (expansion) and Saturn (contraction) are opposite in principle, and this pairing’s shadow side can correlate with the bitter taste of conflict and dysfunction. Extremism will not win the day. Instead, sensible centrist policy that addresses a middle path of moderation and a measured pace of change, is the most constructive way to integrate the positive energies of this Jupiter – Saturn dynamic. 

So, will it be safer and saner in 2022? The bottom line, saturnine truth? Not so much. Plenty of challenges to negotiate remain, from our internal political divisions to external international tensions (that’s Jupiter in Aries talking), such as Russia – Ukraine, and China – Taiwan. Not to mention that array of ever intensifying climate change disasters. 

But the dawn of the Jupiter – Saturn conjunction in the air sign of Aquarius does herald longer-term optimism. It supports powerful advances in technological/scientific innovation to tackle some of these problems. This same cosmic symbolism also supports social, political and economic policies designed to avoid division, dysfunction and extremism. As The Little Prince learned in caring for his rose, “One sees clearly only with the heart.”

P.S. – Sometimes a cafe closes before you’re ready to leave. Up go the lights and out come the brooms. We didn’t get to sample all items on our astrological menu. Perhaps a second dinner date will be in the offing, if you’re so inclined. 

P.P.S. – Once again, Mercury is retrograde (Jan 14 – Feb 3). You know the drill. Work with it by doing stuff that begins with “re” – rescind your offer, recant your testimony –– whatever it takes. It’s only three weeks. 

Sources: 1) Forecast for 2022 by Ray Merriman, www.mmacycles.com. 2) Learn Astrology Vol One by Marion March and Joan McEvers 3) Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 1943. 

Jack Copeland is a retired busboy/radiologist/Judd Foundation tour guide and an active fake astrologer.