A shorter version of this article has been recently published in the Uki Village News
April/May Astrology: unprecedented challenges and opportunities
Welcome. The January Saturn-Pluto’s alignment, whose previous climax in 2001 fell so close to 9/11, is delivering a more powerful punch than was expected. It is a truly global, profound and unprecedented experience, at least for the modern world.
Right now, we found ourselves in the eye of the storm; and the prevalent feelings, depending on temperament, age and experience, are either of anguish and panic, or a sense imminent danger, or great uncertainty, or even incredulity. In this atmosphere it is much better to concentrate on the fact that this, like everything, is a transitory reality.
The cosmic events that we are witnessing are part of a much greater cycle of becoming. So, no matter how dramatic and potentially dangerous the transits may seem, they too will pass. They may last longer than we wish for though, and also leave behind an extended period of difficult re-adjustments.
At the time of writing (late March 2020) it is difficult to be too optimistic. Too many real everyday problems are affecting us in the wake of the emergency to allow flights of fancy. We are asked, not just by the government, but by our common sense to be self disciplined and practical, accepting necessary limitations for the good of all (Saturn). The older among us are the worst impacted (Saturn rules old age and Pluto all endings).
We may be pulled down the dark abyss of loneliness and depression, a common Saturn effect too; while Pluto is forcing us to look into our deepest fear, the unknown. If mismanaged, personally and collectively, this calamity could affect not only our physical health and well-being. As importantly it could impact our mental health and relationships. We could experience the tightening grip of authoritarianism, bigoted nationalism and xenophobia too.
It seems to me though that there is here also an opportunity to begin ending the sort of globalization that is polluting the natural world; escalating climate change and making us into shopaholic, globally wired robots. We have a chance to embrace the globalization of good will and cooperation instead, for a greener, cooler more peaceful planet (the passage of Saturn into Aquarius, temporarily from the end of March to early July, definitely from mid December). Aquarius, presently and even more in the near is the light that could guide us out of this dark tunnel.
The famous phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ fits this era very well. It will be great if you could learn to self resource again, to make things, to learn practical skills, as individuals and individual countries. We could be brought down to our knees by this, in particular by the severe economic downturn that seems now unavoidable, but we could also learn to live more simply, growing our food, mending our socks, cooking our meals (exaggerating a bit here for good effect). We could discover that we can feel richer and more fulfilled rather than deprived. It is a big task but not an impossible one. Apart from nasty viruses, more sustainable, less wasteful lifestyles will also protect us from climate change and the wanton destruction of the natural world. It can be tough because we are so used to a ready made, button pushing way of living. So it could be time to toughen up while staying optimistic, there is no other way. If a crisis of this proportion cannot do it than nothing can.
The cosmic patterns
Here is a summary of the cosmic events involved in this global crisis, as they began to unfold in early December 2019. To unravel the mystery we need to observe different planetary cycles, involving slow and fast planets, as well as seasonal eclipses as they magically interconnect and overlap, creating the intense results we are all experiencing.
If an arbitrary beginning could be found it would be, for me, the ingress of Jupiter in Capricorn, on December 3 2019. Why? This was the first sign that emerging issues pertaining to Capricorn were going to be magnified during the year long Jupiter’s Transit.
Capricorn has a lot to do with the orderly working of government and business, our collective planning and practical concerns, already gravely challenged by the then imminent historical alignment of Saturn to Pluto. This occurred on January 13 2020, in the midst of a powerful Eclipse season, involving also Capricorn and its opposite complementary Sign of Cancer.
Let’s step back again. The Sun made its yearly ingress into Capricorn, on December 22. By Boxing Day the Sun was very close to Jupiter, nearly conjunct. This was the day of the Capricorn New Moon and a Solar Eclipse, the last of 2019 and the closest to the Capricorn Solstice, start of a new season. Jupiter right on the Solar Eclipse indicated that it was also going to magnify any effect, positive and negative, the Eclipse might have. The whole event was in turn aligned to the Moon’s Descending Node, what Vedic astrologers call the Dragon’s Tail, pointing to what of our collective past has not been yet integrated in our consciousness and need redressing. On January 9 2020 Jupiter and the Descending Node became conjunct.
Eclipses nearly always come in pair, so a Lunar Eclipse at the next Full Moon in Cancer occurred on January 11. The Moon did not just oppose the Sun, as at every full phase, but also Mercury, the collective mind, and the largest of our closest asteroids, Ceres, symbol of Mother Earth herself, not in her nurturing but rather in her vengeful mode! To top this up the eclipsed Cancer Moon was also opposing the Saturn-Pluto’s conjunction, which became exact on January 13. This alignment as I described many times in earlier posts, is considered a make or break transit of great significance, the very same astrologers were waiting for with some trepidation.
We come to mid February, when things got even more interesting and complicated, with the ingress of trouble making Mars into Capricorn too, February 16 (transit due to last until March 31). And, like if the above wasn’t enough, Mercury of the collective mind began his retro period on February 17 in the Sign of Pisces, the most receptive and dangerously exposed to outside influences.
On March 8 the Sun, symbol of our collective consciousness aligned with Neptune in Pisces, setting the scene for a period of confusion, misinformation, anxieties, extreme sensitivity, but also compassion, sacrifice, redemption. Neptune is indeed a very spiritual energy when in its high vibration. We all have felt the universal sorrows the news were spilling everywhere and began praying, meditating, going within.
Mars in Capricorn has also been a leading character in March. It acted clearly as a catalyst of the energy packed into the slow moving planets, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. It became conjunct Jupiter on March 20, day of the Aries Equinox, marking the start of a new season with a big bang. Then Mars aligned with Pluto on March 23, extremely intense, unleashing hidden resentments and rage, mounting fatalities and suffering, a crude and cruel wake-up call.
Capricorn Mars also triggered the still energized degrees of the December-January Solar and Lunar Eclipses. Mars has definitely inflamed and worsened an already difficult situation. We must be glad to see him moving out of Capricorn on March 31st. The crisis will continue, I believe, with Jupiter soon to conjunct Pluto, as early as April 5; more of that later. To finish with Mars for the immediate future he will align with Saturn on April First, thus ending for now its direct link with the Capricorn big picture planets. On April 9 a right angle between Mars in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus could add to the surprises of this amazing times, most possibly in an unsettling way but perhaps also in a positive way, with some exciting breakthrough.
On March 23 Saturn entered Aquarius, one of the silver linings of this emergency, Aquarius being the Sign of universal cooperation and mate-ship. For now this transit will last only until July 2, when he will re- enter Capricorn until December 17, with the definite ingress into Aquarius and soon after, on December 22, a very promising alignment with Jupiter by then also in Aquarius.
Now to Jupiter who, on April 5, will align with Pluto. This transit is one of the reasons why I feel that the emergency could escalate for another while, not necessarily for Australia but generally speaking. This transit cannot be underestimated in its potency because it will return two more times, on June 30 and November 13, more Eclipse Seasons. Jupiter seems to want to expand the situation, to its limits. This is a challenge to embrace a truer philosophy of life, to transform our beliefs in full blooded knowledge, to give up on what seemed so essential before and now may have to be discarded, surviving the whole things wiser and stronger. The other strong reason in my eyes for this situation to linger is the retrogradation of Mars in Aries from September 10 to November 14, again interacting by square with Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter, three times into January 2021. And finally also the Solar Eclipse on the Cancer Solstice, on June 21, sort of eclipsing another season.
I cannot see how this crisis could really end until, at least, the end of this year. With this I don’t mean that we will all be in lock down the whole time, but that there will be peaks and lows, the crisis abating in one place and surfacing in another. I am saying this especially thinking of the retrogradation of Jupiter and Mars.