Astrology of Now: The Stress Test
The conjunction of Pluto-Saturn-Ceres in January set up a stress test for the entire global system — government, health services, international co-operation, financial markets, capitalism in general. That was the Lord of the Undeworld, Father Time, and the goddess of human-nature relations getting together to see how they could test structures.
One teeny-tiny morsel of life, now named COVID-19, was the vehicle for the test. This reminds me of how in Hindu mythology, Ganesh, the elephant god and remover of obstacles, rides a mouse.
During February and March, Mars got the test going — distributing it around the world. And now Jupiter is making that test go large. The virus will break through any boundaries set by Saturn.
At the same time, Saturn, Lord of borders, was powerful in his own sign — and human borders closed. He continues to be just as powerful in Aquarius from March 22. People are “self-isolating”, imprisoned in their own homes, flights are cancelled and we are told “social distancing” is the thing. That is Saturn acting in the sign of society and the invisible threads that bind humanity.
Saturn in Aquarius demands order, discipline, boundaries — and a plan.
Mars left Capricorn on March 30, having thrown around the accelerant and given the stress test the fiery start it needed. Then, the god of war made a conjunction to Saturn, kick-starting his presence in Aquarius. This is a harsh conjunction, and it’s brought in more draconian measures to enforce social boundaries, it’s also brought in some of the talk of “battles” and a “war”. Saturn-Mars always has a military feel. But it’s still more useful, I think, to see this as a stress test, a test of our humanity, than as a war.
The important thing to keep in mind with the coronavirus and its effects on the way we live now is that this change is not temporary. The planets involved and the size of the stellium in Capricorn show that this is part of a permanent system change. In other words, it’s big, and it’s not going away. We don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but things will never be quite the same again.
We will look back at 2019 and say to each other, “That was the last year when things worked that way.”
The Warrior Planet in Aries
Furthermore, there will be more conflict later in the year when Mars goes into his own sign Aries on June 28. This is Mars at his most fiery and unrestrained. Aries is also a sign which is about individual action, so there may well be unrest in parts of the world.
Mars will be making hard aspects to planets in Capricorn for the following six months. This is very aggressive energy — and it may not be lovely. The stress test will continue — and other, as yet unknown, factors may be brought into play.
Jupiter makes three conjunctions with Pluto in 2020 — 5 April, 30 June, 12 November. The first one — just one degree from the January conjunction of Saturn-Ceres-Pluto — made the stress test much, much bigger.
The end of June and beginning of July looks like a critical period. Venus will come out of retrograde, Mars will go into Aries, Saturn will turn back into Capricorn — and we get the second Jupiter-Pluto conjunction, which will doubtless be another punctuation in the story.
The Jupiter-Pluto conjunction, among other things, speaks of debt, and that is reiterated three times this year. This would be global debt, government debt — and personal debt.
Saturn — and Saturn’s signs — expect reality, and this is one of key themes to keep in mind. What is realistic? What is sustainable? Many people will find that their jobs will no longer exist, because they were not providing a real livelihood.
The future must be sustainable — the question is: how do we get there?
Looking deeper into the future, Jupiter will be trapped in Saturn’s realistic signs — Capricorn and Aquarius — until May 2021 — and then for the second half of 2021. This does not look especially freewheeling. It’s a real reality check, and an end to the relentless expansion that fuels capitalism. Indeed, the world economy will contract a lot.
On the other hand, Jupiter’s sojourn in Pisces, his own sign, (May-July 2021 and Dec 2021-May 2022, October-December 2022) could see a tremendous flourishing of the arts, spiritual awareness and compassion. At the same time, Saturn will be in happily in Aquarius, laying down foundations for the new world we’re moving into.
So, the best advice is strap in for a long haul on this one. You’re going to need stamina.
This is not just a stress test for the global system, but also for each of us personally. Many of us are already grieving from the losses we’ve had, or anticipate. This is reasonable, and in times like these, it’s important to “be here now”, to engage with your feelings and acknowledge them.
It’s also important individually and collectively to strengthen the human bonds of friendship, neighbourliness and love. Your mental health may depend on it. Saturn in Aquarius helps us do that.
Contrary to the dystopian fantasies we’ve been watching for years, we won’t get through this by rugged individualism — despite where Mars in Aries may lead — but as a human family. Both Saturn and, later in the year Jupiter, in Aquarius show us that.
The presence of Ceres at the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto shows us that our relationship with nature is also at the heart of the problem. It was after all, a virus jumping the species barrier in a market that started the pandemic. And one of the wonders of the lockdown is the rapid cleansing of the environment. Nature got to work immediately.