2020: The Year our Reality Changed Utterly - AN ASTROLOGICAL DIARY - Blog 6
Blog 6 - 19th April “A great gift of astrology, perhaps its greatest gift, is this: it shows us we are part of something vast and meaningful; that life is not mere random accidents in space and time.”
This is from my friend, Scottish astrologer Anne Whitaker, who’s claiming that the cosmos is meaningful in itself, beyond any projections from the human mind. It’s just what I hope this series of blogs will demonstrate. At any moment in time, astrology allows us to step back and watch the ongoing themes arising in the public world and in our personal lives, whose development we can follow and understand in the context of astrology’s bigger cosmic picture. For example events related to the covid epidemic can be put in the context of a meaningful patterning covering a wider reach of time than these days and weeks, and the planets in their ongoing inter-relationships are keys to the developing meaning.
No great knowledge of astrology is needed to follow this development beyond an ability to recognise and understand the themes astrology traditionally assigns to each of the 12 signs of the zodiac and their planetary rulers.* Also a simple understanding of the different types of planetary relationships in their continuous process of change – conjunction, trine, square, opposition and sextile – is useful. To put it simply, these ‘aspects’ tell us whether the planets in their current relationships are supporting or hindering each other.
This week’s blog deals with transits of sun, moon and the inner planets – Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The effects of these transits are relatively short-lasting. However we need to see them in the context of 2020’s major conjunctions of the giant outer planets, namely January’s Saturn-Pluto conjunction), relevant for the whole year, and this month’s powerful Jupiter-Pluto conjunction (see blogs 1-3), which mark 2020 as a year of turbulent change. The respected French astrologer Andre Barbault, whose life work focussed on planetary cycles, stated that the closer the giant outer planets move together into a cluster the more momentous the changes are on earth, and we are now in one of these periods.
The wider picture of Spring 2020 shows the outer planets driving events from the signs Capricorn and Aquarius, in both of which the theme politics is written large. In these weeks while Mercury passes through Aries, populations are giving voice to rising impatience and anger ( Aries) at government decision-making, and the way the epidemic is being presented to the public (Mercury) by the politicians. Can we believe the numbers published daily of infections and deaths or are they manicured? What are the governments (Saturn) holding back? Are those in power using the virus as a political tool (Saturn-Pluto)? Scepticism is rife(Mercury).
Although both politically minded, Capricorn and Aquarius come from different corners. The priorities for Capricorn are control and security, and in this crisis to return to business as usual, minimising damage to the economy by getting trade and industry up and running as fast as possible. On the other hand the Aquarian will sacrifice control and security for freedom and radical change. This camp includes both far lefties and far righties – revolutionaries keen to overthrow present structures and replace them with a imagined ideal. The more grounded among Aquarians are concerned to reform society to introduce more social justice and equality. They defend the rights of the poor and oppressed and are continually demanding more money for the health and social services. In the coming weeks the Capricorn and Aquarius political agendas will clash.
11th April, As Mercury (intellect) enters Aries (fiery initiating power) to join the sun (consciousness) in that sign, and sextiles Saturn in Aquarius (science, technology, inventions), scientists across the world step up their efforts to research the virus in a race to develop better tests and to find a vaccine. Aquarius would favour a collaborative international effort with scientists sharing information and working together for the common cause, but Saturn (nationalistic, protective and suspicious) puts up barriers there, and all the while Mercury in Aries is piling on the pressure. Anger (Aries) is ignited by governments’ delays in rolling out wider testing, and providing frontline hospital and care workers with adequate PPE – face masks and protective clothing (Saturn), without which they endanger their own lives as they must out-stare death every day (Pluto).
14th April, Sun in Aries squares Pluto in Capricorn, Moon in Capricorn conjuncts Pluto, while Mercury in Aries conjuncts Chiron. The robust thinking of Mercury in Aries that’s immediately translated into action to drive things forward, is undermined by these Pluto aspects. Horrifying increases in the death toll are reported (Pluto), and the suffering of the stricken is felt acutely in the collective. Pessimistic prophesies are heard from government voices (Mercury) of economic meltdown (Saturn-Pluto) after the lockdown is over, and the public are shocked by interviews and footage from the intensive care units bringing home to all the reality of the deaths of loved-ones there, and the suffering of the bereaved (Moon in Capricorn conjunct Pluto and Mercury conjunct Chiron).
15th -16th April, Moon moves on into Aquarius to conjunct Saturn and later Mars, creating a bridge between the Capricorn and Aquarius outer planets. Mercury sextiles Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, now in Taurus, and the Sun squares Jupiter bringing reports of the spread of covid across the globe in an unstoppable path. Hundreds of thousands could die and millions starve across the world (Mercury square Jupiter-Pluto)! From the perspective of the waning moon, now losing strength in its final quarter, the future looks darker than dark.
18th April, Mercury in Aries sextiles Venus in Gemini reminding us of another way of living the lockdown – a happy, busy, communicative, creative way with humour. This aspect favours the flowering of community networks, zoom meet-ups and spurs us on to look up old friends by skype or phone, re-establishing contact with people we’ve lost touch with or finding new friends. There’s plenty of online gossiping happening today, and many people could be scrolling down on online dating sites, hoping to meet another lonely heart in lock-down. Careful! With Venus in Gemini (twins, duality), he or she may pretend to be single but really be hitched and looking for a bit on the side!
19th April, Sun enters Taurus, Mercury in Aries sextiles Mars in Aquarius. Normally this disturbing unreal reality we live in would be settling down into a more peaceful routine now, except for Mercury in Aries now aspecting Mars (creative tension). Over the coming days, and especially after the 23rd when the new moon in Taurus conjuncts Uranus, we’ll begin to feel the bridging between the Capricorn and Aquarius planets and Uranus in Taurus. Uranus is ruler of Aquarius and another giant outer planet. The two fixed signs of Aquarius (air, mind, rebellion, intellectual reality) and Taurus (earth, body, Nature, physical reality) are in a tense, square relationship to each other in the zodiac. With the covid virus, this tension will express in a conflict between those scientists and politicians who trust in the natural order of things and believe in the development of a ‘herd immunity’ (Taurus), and those who trust human intelligence, with its lately developed powers to ‘tweak’ Nature ( Aquarius). Some of the former believe a natural mutation could unexpectedly occur (Uranus in Taurus) and remove the whole problem, as has happened in other epidemics. In contrast, the latter propose to stop covid’s spread through vaccinating us all with a laboratory-created combination of chemicals, plus part of covid’s RNA, hoping it will give us all immunity. But in this case what’s the difference between a vaccination and an infection by a laboratory-created virus – if that’s what covid is? Looking at the world-wide spread of covid in a science-fiction (Aquarius) way, we could see it as a mutation of the human genome which Providence, or some hidden earthly powers, decided was necessary now in order to save the planet!
* For an introduction to the basic cosmic archetypes through twelve diagrams that clearly order their different types of themes into sets, see my book Inside the Cosmic Mind: Archetypal Astrology and the New Cosmology (Floris Books, 2014).