The planetary alignments of 2020 look to be monumental and transformative! When the two giant planets Jupiter and Saturn meet in the sky, its astronomically known as the “Great Conjunction“, and it has traditionally been seen as a celestial omen. This alignment will be joined by Pluto, which often brings revolutionary events that change the course of history. When the planets align in the heavens, they begin and end cycles of energy with one another. There are numerous cycles going on at once and on rare occasions multiple cycles overlap as they will in 2020. The outer planets travel slowly, so when they meet it often signifies the beginning of a new epoch in history. To better understand the energy of the coming year, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the historical events that coincided with these planetary alignments in the past. To chart the planets, we used the Swiss Ephemeris provided by astrodienst which shows their location in the heavens for 4,000 years in the past and 2,000 years in the future. The long-term shifts created by these alignments generally begins at least a year before the actual conjunction (sometimes hidden at the time), and lasts a couple of years afterward, changing the course of history for decades to follow.
The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
Jupiter and Saturn hold over 90% of the planetary mass in the solar system and the composite picture above shows how small the earth is in relative scale. The “Great Conjunction” of these two titans occurs nearly every 20 years, a combination of Jupiter’s 12 year orbit and Saturn’s 29 year orbit. Jupiter and Saturn were the outermost known planets in the solar system in ancient times and they were referred to as the “Great Chronocrators”, which literally means “Time Lords”. This was because ancient astrologers noted that whenever these two planets aligned, it was a harbinger of social, economic, and political change. An interesting example from United States history is that out of the last 9 US presidents that were elected or inaugurated in the year of a great conjunction, 7 of them died in office (4 were assassinated), and the other two had failed assassination attempts. All of the deaths occurred while the pair aligned in earth signs, so hopefully this unfortunate pattern will begin to fade as the alignments begin to shift into air signs.
Sacred Geometry of the Great Conjunction
Sacred geometry studies the shapes and proportions found in nature and the symbolic meaning associated with them. An interesting geometric relationship of the Great Conjunction is that it forms an equilateral triangle in the sky with each successive meeting, as shown by Johannes Kepler’s drawing from the 1600’s. Astronomers and astrologers refer to a group of signs 120 degrees apart to be a triplicity, trigon, or trine. There are 3 signs for each of the 4 elements of the zodiac (Fire, Earth, Air, Water) and they are equally spaced at 120 degree intervals. Trine aspects are thought to be powerful, free flowing energetic alignments. Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions occur in the same element for nearly 200 years and progresses through all 4 elements after 800 years before repeating the cycle. The upcoming conjunction will be at 0 degrees of Aquarius, marking a shift from Earth signs to Air signs where the alignments will occur until 2199. Earth signs focus on material goods, slow and steady progress, ownership issues, money & financial planning, scientific knowledge; whereas Air signs focus on collectivism, communication, dream manifestation, inventiveness, and unity.
Pluto Cycle 1772-2020 ~ American Revolution to Today
The planet Pluto has been reclassified as a “dwarf planet” because of its small size, but astrologers have noted that it appears to have a profound affect on earth events, especially when it aligns with Jupiter and Saturn. Pluto has a long 248 year orbit, so to trace one full cycle from 2020, we would need to start in 1772 which was the formative years of the American Revolution. Pluto is associated with secret societies and uprisings by the masses, while Saturn rules governments and other organizational structures. From 1772-74, Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, and other Patriot leaders formed committees to coordinate responses to increasingly hostile threats by the British royal government. These “shadow governments” became civil structures once America declared its independence in 1776. During the early 1770’s, Pluto transited 20-24 degrees of Capricorn, which is where it will be in 2020. Pluto in Capricorn signals a shift in power, and with Saturn joining there’s often accountability of governmental power. Current U.S. President Donald Trump has been accused of mis-use of power throughout his presidency, and the House of Representatives recently voted to impeach him on charges of “Abuse of Power”. His impeachment trial in the Senate and the topic of the appropriate use of power will likely influence much of 2020.
Saturn-Pluto Alignment of 1786 ~ U.S. Constitution
Saturn and Pluto align about every 34 years, often bringing with them a monumental shift that redefines the structures of law and order (ruled by Saturn) based upon the will of the people (ruled by Pluto). When the two planets meet, there is often a clash related to any issues where the general public feels the powers that be are not working for their best interest. As the Saturn-Pluto alignment of 1786 takes form, there was a revolution of dissatisfied people that led to the adoption of the US Constitution in Sept 1787. The Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments) was debated for 2 years after, approved in Congress in 1789, and ratified to the Constitution in 1791. These documents defined the limitations on government’s power and guaranteed personal freedoms and rights. In 1787, Congress was also given the authority to ban international slave trade after 20 years, which it did in 1807, sparking a counter-revolt. The first president of the United States, George Washington, was established in 1789, and there was also the creation of the Bank of the United States, the creation of federal bonds to assume debts of the states, and a tax system set up to pay debts.
In other parts of the world, Great Britain established the prison colony of New South Wales in Australia in 1788. The French Revolution took place in 1789, and one of the contributors was the massive volcanic eruption of Laki in Iceland from 1783-84. The eruption caused drops in global temperatures from millions of tons of sulfur dioxide into the Northern Hemisphere. This created crop failures in Europe, livestock deaths, and widespread poverty and famine. Several years of extreme global weather followed, which ultimately led to hundreds of thousands of fatalities.
Saturn-Pluto Alignment of 1819, Jupiter-Saturn Alignment of 1821 ~ Volcanic Eruption, Famine and Depression
The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia was the largest, most devastating eruption in recorded history. Flames and rumbling aftershocks were still being reported in August 1819. Longitudinal winds spread fine particles from the eruption across the globe. The eruption released millions of tons of sulphur into the stratosphere, causing global climate anomalies in the following years that resulted in massive crop failures and dead livestock. 1816 became known as the “Year Without a Summer“, because of the persistent stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil in the sky that dimmed sunlight and wasn’t dispersed by wind or rainfall. European agriculture failed that year as did much of the northeastern U.S., which led to the worst famine of the century. The instability of the agricultural markets in the years that followed led to an economic recession from 1819-1821. The “Panic of 1819” was the United States first major peacetime financial crisis, bringing widespread foreclosures, bank failures, unemployment, and a slump in agriculture and manufacturing. The crisis brought attention for the first time to issues regarding debt-relief policy, poor relief, and it also increased support for the creation of protective tariffs, as many citizens blamed free trade as the cause of the depression.
Saturn-Pluto Alignment of 1851 ~ Abolition of Slavery
Pluto is named after the god of the underworld and has long been associated with the secret, hidden, or oppressed aspects of society. Saturn represents the structures of a society and the reckoning of karmic debts, so when the two planets meet there is often a reformation of any unjust organizations. As Saturn and Pluto head into alignment in 1851, the “Great Debate of Slavery” was taking place. There were many people who felt this widespread practice was morally inappropriate. In preceding years lawyer and congressman Abraham Lincoln had won cases and supported proposals aimed at ending slavery. By the 1850’s the Republican party dominated nearly all the northern states and the electoral college with the intent of stopping slavery expansion. With the Compromise of 1850, US Congress passed 5 bills that helped delay the American Civil War until Lincoln won office in 1960 on a campaign against slavery. The Civil War began and continued until 1865 just prior to Saturn and Pluto reaching opposition in 1866. The 13th amendment abolishing slavery was passed in 1865, followed by the 14th amendment granting civil rights in the states in 1868, and the 15th amendment in 1870 banning racial restrictions on voting.
Jupiter-Saturn Alignment of 1881, Saturn-Pluto Alignment of 1883 ~ Universal Time, Electric Lighting
Saturn’s name originates from the Greek Cronos and Chronos, the personification of time. Saturn has long been perceived as the cosmic timekeeper, or Father Time, and when the planet aligned with Pluto in 1883, the US adopted Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). On November 18, 1883 telegraph lines transmitted time signals to all major cities, uniting over 300 different USA time zones. The following year the GMT was adopted universally and the International Date Line was drawn up with 24 time zones being created. People all across the world were now “synchronized”, as we are still today.
The early 1880’s introduced electric lighting systems for streets and large public spaces that allowed expanded business in the US and abroad. Thomas Edison had developed the first commercially practical incandescent light bulb in 1879 and he followed it with a patented system for electricity distribution in the 1880’s. In 1881, the Savoy Theatre in London was the first public building in the world to be lit entirely with electricity. In September 1882, Edison switched on his New York City Pearl Street generating station’s electrical power distribution system in lower Manhattan. In 1883, the first standardized incandescent electric lighting system employing overhead wires began service in Roselle, New Jersey. Around this same time period, Edison also created the phonograph, the first device to record and reproduce sound, as well as major breakthroughs in telephone communication along with Alexander Graham Bell.
As with two previously mentioned Saturn-Pluto conjunctions, there was another massive volcanic eruption in 1883. The Krakatoa eruption in Indonesia was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history. The explosions were heard almost 2,000 miles away in Australia, and 3,000 miles away in Mauritius. The eruption caused multiple tsumanis and the deaths of over 36,000 people. The energy released from the explosion has been estimated to be about 4 times as powerful as the largest thermonuclear weapon ever detonated.
Saturn-Pluto Alignment of 1914 ~ World War I
Pluto is known as the “destroyer” and “rebuilder” of the zodiac, sometimes bringing catastrophic events that make way for new orders. When Pluto met Saturn, ruler of governments and political systems, in October of 1914, World War I had just begun. It would turn out to be one of the largest and most deadly conflicts in history. Besides the 16 million direct deaths from the war, the resulting genocides and 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50-100 million deaths worldwide (many more were disabled or seriously injured). Many new means of warfare such as poison gas, tanks, machine guns, lethal artillery, fighter planes, and aircraft carriers increased the casualties. The United States attempted to stay out of the war until 1917, when it entered and passed the Selective Service Act, drafting 2.8 million men to fight. The war came to a close as units of the German navy refused to set sail for a last operation in a war they thought was lost, initiating the uprising of the German Revolution.
Saturn also rules banking organizations, and in December 1913 Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act making the Federal Reserve System the central banking system of the United States. The telephone breakthroughs during the previous Saturn-Pluto alignment were revisited as the first U.S. coast-to-coast long distance telephone call took place in January 1915 between Alexander Graham Bell in New York City and Thomas Watson in San Francisco, California. Their newly invented vacuum tube amplifier expanded the reach of telephone communications and foreshadowed an interconnected globe.
Jupiter-Saturn Alignment 1940-41, Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus Alignment 1941-42, Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto Alignment 1945-47 ~ World War II, the United Nations
The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the 1940’s was joined by Uranus, a rare triple alignment that only occurs every 180 years. Uranus is similar to Pluto in that it is associated with mass revolutions, uprisings, and sometimes death and destruction. As Jupiter and Saturn aligned in 1940, Germany declared war with France and England causing World War II to spread worldwide. When Uranus joined the pair between April 1941 (Jupiter/Uranus) and March 1942 (Saturn/Uranus), the Pearl Harbor attack (Mars also joined at this time) brought the United States into the war, and the German Army and the Holocaust was in full force. Jupiter and Saturn then progressed to meet Pluto between 1945-47. As Jupiter and Pluto were nearing conjunction in 1945, the US dropped a uranium based atomic bomb on Hiroshima followed by a plutonium implosion bomb on Nagasaki, bringing the deadliest conflict in human history to an end in September. As Saturn and Pluto closed in on their conjunction in 1947, president Truman implemented the National Security Act that created the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council. On August 29, 1947, the US announced it had achieved plutonium fission suitable for nuclear power. These changes began the Cold War that lasted between the US and the Soviet Union for decades. The term ‘cold war’ was used by writer George Orwell in 1945 to describe a world living in the shadow of the threat of nuclear warfare. He explained that “the drift for many decades has been not towards anarchy but towards the reimposition of slavery…that is, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a state which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of “cold war” with its neighbours.”
While Saturn-Pluto alignments are often associated with the breakdown of old orders or outworn patterns, there is usually a follow-up with the establishment of a new order outlining a better path forward. When the two planets reached conjunction in October 1947, the United Nations officially came into existence in an effort to maintain world peace. The following year, the United Nations adopted the Declaration of Human Rights which would become the foundation of international human rights law. While the Declaration is not legally binding, it has been adopted in or influenced most national constitutions since its creation. It also served as the foundation for many national laws, international laws, and treaties, as well as numerous institutions protecting and promoting human rights.
Scientists who study sunspots have found that they follow patterns associated with the alignments of Jupiter, Saturn, and the other planets when they reach critical angles from a heliocentric point of view. The unusually large amount of planet alignments that occurred between 1940-47, ending with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in 1947, also coincided with the largest film-recorded sunspot group (14886) on the surface of the Sun. As the picture above shows, the size of the sunspots dwarfed Earth and was collectively as large as Jupiter. The active sunspot region was 3 times larger than the huge sunspot in March 1989 that triggered a geomagnetic storm that knocked out much of Canada’s power grid. Some astrologers believe that one of the mechanisms of how the planets shape events on Earth is that they alter the output of the Sun’s energy, which in turn affects the Earth’s magnetic field and climate.
Jupiter-Pluto Alignment 1981, Saturn-Pluto Alignment 1982 ~ Computers, Information Age, Economic Recession, Nuclear Protests
Saturn-Pluto alignments often involve the re-organization of the masses, and the early 1980’s marked a turning point in the digital revolution. As the two planets met again at the end of 1982, TIME magazine awarded its “Person of the Year” title to the first non-human recipient, the computer. In the beginning of the 1980’s, IBM released the personal computer (PC), Commodore created the most popular home computer, and Apple introduced the first Macintosh computer complete with a “mouse”. Hayes Microcomputer Products begins selling the Smartmodem which connects remote computers and paved the way for the Internet and the World Wide Web to follow. In 1983 Motorola created the first mobile phone. These technological advancements changed the way people lived and led to the formation of a global communication network.
The digital age also became known as the “Information Age“, as data began streaming continuously. In 1980, the Cable News Network (CNN) became television’s first 24 hour news network. Music Television (MTV) was launched in 1981 with the first music video “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles, offering music videos 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 1982, the Weather Channel premiered offering weather coverage 24 hours a day, and USA Today published the first nationwide newspaper. The Digital Audio Compact Disc (CD) was released in October 1982, replacing analog formats such as vinyl records and cassette tapes. CD’s revolutionized both sound recordings and data storage. At the time of its introduction, CD’s could store more than 70 times more data than personal computer hard drives.
In 1982, the United States was experiencing its worst recession since the Great Depression. By November, nine million people were unemployed, businesses closed, many families lost their homes, and many farmers lost their land. There was an extraordinary amount of bank failures following the recession. More than 1,600 banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) were closed or received deposit insurance between 1980 and 1994, more than any other period since the agency began in 1933. During this same time, almost 1/3 of the savings and loan associations failed, making the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) insolvent. The severe economic recession spread globally and affected much of the developed world.
The Cold War that began at the last Saturn-Pluto conjunction was still going strong as the two planets joined again in 1982. That summer, the largest mass political demonstration in American history took place in New York City’s Central Park, as one million people gathered to call for a “nuclear freeze” agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union. Hundreds of national organizations and many major U.S. religious bodies endorsed the campaign. Petitions sent to the United Nations contained over 2 million American signatures, and in the fall elections the Freeze referenda appeared on ballots covering 1/3 of the U.S. electorate, making it the largest referendum on a single issue in U.S. history. Antinuclear movements occurred around the world with an estimated 5 million people participating in the fall of 1983. The massive protests of the people eventually led to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 1987, causing the Cold War to deescalate.
Saturn-Jupiter-Pluto Alignment 2020 ~ Internet Connectivity, Renewed Cold War, Presidential Impeachment, Cannabis Legalization
Based on the past history of these planetary alignments, 2020 looks to be a pivotal year. Saturn joins Pluto in January; Jupiter aligns with Pluto three times, first in April, retrograde in June, and last in November; and the finale is the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in December on the Winter Solstice! As with the previous alignments, the patterns of energy with these slow moving planets begin to show about a year prior to the actual alignment and echoes for a few years afterward. Many of the issues arising from past alignments will also be revisited.
The digital revolution that began at the last Saturn-Pluto conjunction has spread across the globe. As of 2019, more than 4 billion people are connected to the internet, almost half of the world’s population! There are multiple social networking platforms with millions of users creating communities of like-minded individuals. Facebook has grown to over 2.45 billion active users as of October 2019. Twitter has over 300 million users, including many politicians and even the President of the United States. President Trump averaged over 10 “tweets” a day since his election in 2016, and during the 2 week period surrounding his House impeachment, he issued over 700 tweets with an average of almost 50 a day! Keeping up with all of the internet activity has created a new dis-ease known as “information overload”. Contributing to the problem is the sheer volume of data available. As of 2014, the estimated world’s capacity to store information was 5 zettabytes, which is equivalent to 4,500 stacks of printed books from the earth to the sun! The global datasphere is expected to reach 175 zettabytes, or 35 times that amount by 2025. Digital technology is vastly exceeding the cognitive capacity of human beings.
While there is more information available than ever before, there’s also the modern epidemic of “Dezinformatsiya” or “disinformation“, a term that comes from the Cold War era related to intelligence operations. The spreading of misinformation or “fake news” to intentionally mislead people is becoming a common tactic used by politicians and governments. Social media has been plagued with “trolls”, but now we have “troll farms”, or organizations whose employees or members attempt to create conflict and disruption in online communities with coordinated posts. Russia has been accused of using troll farms and disinformation campaigns to alter U.S. elections, and all 29 nations affiliated with NATO have also noted Russian interference. This type of cyber warfare has proven to be effective, because even when misinformation is retracted, there’s a psychological phenomenon known as the “continued influence effect” where many people continue to treat the information as being true. The means at which to battle disinformation campaigns has been a major challenge and will continue to be in the future.
The Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union has been a thread during past Saturn-Pluto alignments and it appears to be resurfacing. In October 2018, President Trump announced plans to withdraw from the INF Treaty that was negotiated and approved in the 1980’s. The U.S. formally withdrew from the treaty on August 2, 2019, and just over 2 weeks later test fired a medium-range cruise missile previously banned by the treaty. Numerous prominent arms control experts equate the withdrawal as the beginning of a new arms race. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued counter tests and has announced that Russia is developing nuclear weapons that include cruise missiles, nuclear-powered underwater drones, and a new hypersonic missile that travels five times the speed of sound.
On Dec 20, 2019 Trump signed a defense bill that included the creation of a new branch of the U.S. Armed Services, the “Space Force”. This is the first new force since the Air Force was created in 1947 when Saturn and Pluto previously aligned. During the following alignment in 1982, The U.S. Space Command was established as a division within the Defense Department in order to unify and direct national security operations in space. After being dissolved in 2002, Space Command was revived in 2019 by the Trump administration and then integrated into the new “Space Force”. Trump proclaimed during the signing ceremony, “Space is the world’s newest war-fighting domain”. Experts have questioned the move as being provoking to countries like Russia and China, making our country less safe in the big picture.
In recent news with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction less than one week away, President Trump issued a drone attack on a high ranking military leader of Iran and Iraq without the consent of Congress. Many experts have said this is essentially an act of war, and Iran’s Supreme Leader has called for “harsh retaliation”. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called the killing “an act of international terrorism”. The assassination of Iranian Major General Soleimani, who was one of Iran’s most revered military leaders, has been condemned by other countries including Russia and China. President Trump’s decision to use aggressive force instead of taking proper diplomatic channels of appealing to the United Nations Security Council will likely escalate tensions in the region.
Saturn and Pluto alignments often signal the need for accountability for persons in positions of power. In December 2019, the House of Representatives voted to pass two articles of Impeachment against President Trump: one for “Abuse of Power” and the other for “Obstruction of Congress”. President Trump has also been accused of other abuses of power, such as violating the domestic emoluments clause in the Constitution by awarding contracts to his own business. In the latest conflict with Iran and Iraq, multiple representatives in Congress are challenging his authority to issue the military actions he is taking without their consultation. Trump’s presidency has repeatedly challenged the Constitutional authority between the executive and legislative branches of government. Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto will all be opposed to President Trump’s natal Saturn in 2020 which will likely bring these issues to the forefront and demand accountability for his actions.
As with previous Saturn-Pluto transits, there’s also been a public reaction to the escalating arms activity. In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly negotiated the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination. 122 nations voted in favor of the treaty text, while all of the nuclear weapon states choose not vote. Signature and ratification by at least 50 countries is required for the order to come into effect, and as of November 2019, 34 states have ratified the treaty. Hopefully, in the coming years enough states will sign on to bring the treaty into effect and encourage the nuclear armed states to join.
Saturn is associated with laws and regulations, and Pluto with underground movements and drugs. In recent years there has been a massive movement regarding the legalization of cannabis. The 2018 farm bill legalized low-THC hemp nationwide and effectively descheduled hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act. High-THC marijuana continues to be legalized by an ever-growing number of states despite it still being illegal federally. As of June 2019, 11 states (plus Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the District of Columbia) have legalized non-medical cannabis, and another 15 states (plus the U.S. Virgin Islands) have decriminalized its use. As of January 2019, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, 4 out of 5 permanently inhabited U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. In the fall of 2019 the House of Representatives passed the first standalone cannabis reform bill and the House Judiciary Committee passed the first cannabis legalization bill. Marijuana reform is a good example of populous demand creating new legislation and the challenge of authority between state and federal lawmakers. As of October 17, 2018, cannabis is legal in Canada for both recreational and medicinal use.
2020 ~ Year of personal transformation
While the planets are setting the stage for big societal shifts, they are also bringing personal growth changes and an opportunity to revamp the structures in our own lives. As described earlier, the underlying current of the planetary energy shifts have been coming in for the past year or two, so you likely have some hints about the areas of your life that will be affected. In 2020 the shifts will take on more concrete form that will shape our lives for years to come. This is the perfect opportunity to take a deep look at your life and figure if there’s any areas that you’d like to change or see improvement. Any work done in these areas will pay off for decades to come.
Be sure to check out Jupiter and Saturn in the sky throughout the year as they close in on their Great Conjunction! Thanks for reading, and Bright Blessings to all for a magickal 2020!