The future of humanity and indeed all life on earth depends on us—Sir David Attenborough
The weary Sun lies low on the horizon and pauses at the mid-winter Solstice. The lights of Christmas sparkle in the windows and a cold wind rasps across empty streets. Many people will be at home alone this Christmas. Here in the UK, a new variant of COVID-19 heralds a third national lock-down in the new year reminiscent of March 2020. As the Sun moves into Capricorn on December 21st, he is joined by Mercury in Capricorn and Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius, a Saturn-ruled sign. Saturn accompanies a heaviness and melancholy. Jupiter is the astrological ruler of Sagittarius and also of Pisces, an archetype so often imbued with a tincture of loss and longing. This Christmas may feel more like The Pogue’s Fairytale of New York than Mariah Carey’s boisterous rendition of All I Want for Christmas is You.
If we look to the West, we may see two bright “stars,” Jupiter and Saturn glittering in a tangerine sweep of evening sky. The sky script reflects the heaviness and exhaustion so many of us are feeling as this year of austerity and confinement draws to an end. For the first time in 20 years Saturn (restraint, contraction, and realism) and Jupiter (faith, expansion, and optimism) come together to symbolise the destruction of the old and the birth of something new. The cameo of Saturn and Jupiter in the skies depicts an age-old conflict between the old order and the new. What this “new” will be depends, as Sir David Attenborough is famously quoted, entirely on us.
These two planets foreshadow the dawning of a new age, a new geological epoch: The Anthropocene, The Age of Man. It aligns with the much anticipated “dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” Every 2160 years the Precession of the Equinoxes means a change of sign and a dawning of a “New Age”.
Jupiter and Saturn conjunct were seen by the Wise Men—astrologers—between May, September and December, 7 BCE marking the Age of Pisces, a sign infused with sacrifice and redemption, faith and renunciation.
This conjunction is different. This Great Conjunction, or Great Mutation, marks an elemental shift from earth to air. It is more about thoughts, communication, human rights and human wrongs. Saturn and Jupiter unite in the sign of Aquarius, which is associated with humanity, a broad-sounding brief. Like all astrological signs, Aquarius is complex and nuanced. Aquarius casts a long shadow that is mired in ideologies, cloaked in clever marketing and catchy slogans. Fanaticism, hive mind and totalitarianism. Conflict and unrest may be inevitable as the old order resists the cries for freedom and independence by the populace. Climate-crisis driven immigration will add more pressure to our overpopulated cities. Mooted Antitrust Laws may make it difficult for Google, Facebook, and Amazon to control our digital lives and personal privacy.
The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction will also square Uranus throughout 2021; coming close in January and February, September, and October, accompanying an economic rupture that follows this year of lockdowns and stimulus packages.
We begin a series of consecutive 20-year conjunctions in air signs that will continue until 2199. For the past 200 years, Jupiter and Saturn have united every 20 years in earth signs, except for a brief encounter in 1981 in the air sign of Libra. This conjunction in Libra (1980-1981) birthed the personal computer and the mobile phone, neoliberalism, deregulated markets, and an ominous widening of the gap between the rich and the poor.
The current Great Conjunction takes place when the Sun enters Capricorn, underscoring the serious Saturnian flavour of the moment. Saturn is the celestial task master, Lord of Karma, demanding accountability, enforcing rules and regulations. This conjunction is significant because the last time Jupiter and Saturn joined in the sign of Aquarius, a Renaissance—a new consciousness was beginning to blossom. This was the dawn of a new age of scientific discovery and unprecedented exploitation of the natural world and indigenous peoples.
At the threshold of a new age on this over-populated planet, what are we paying attention to? What is the future we envision? Greta Thunberg (Sun, Moon and Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn) says, “this is not the time and place for dreams. This is the time to wake up. This is a moment in history where we need to be wide awake.” As the ghost of Jacob Marley brings us glimpses of Christmases past and present, and still yet to come, we may awaken this Solstice with more awareness and more integrity, sobered by the spectre of climate change, strengthened by hope and the will to imagine another way to live.
Thank you for all your love and support during this difficult year. Wishing you and those you love and a peaceful and restorative festive season.
There is hope—I’ve seen it—but it does not come from the governments or corporations, it comes from the people. The people who have been unaware are now starting to wake up, and once we become aware we change. We can change and people are ready for change—Greta Thunberg.