Spring Equinox is exact tonight at 8:49pm PST (0° Aries) with the waning Dark Moon in Aquarius. While it is beautiful and sunshine-y here in Portland, Ore., we’re asked to practice social distancing, when what we really want to do is socialize and share in the buzz of excitement as the Sun brings life back to the earth in the Northern Hemisphere.
Spring Equinox is the time to celebrate the sign of life’s return from Winter. However, it’s also a time to honor the balance of light and dark, since the Equinox splits the day and night equally. During the Spring and Fall Equinoxes we honor balance. The Sun rises directly in the East and sets directly in the West.
As much as we want to celebrate and be active, this year Spring’s entrance falls on a waning moon, a time when we are meant to honor the energy of discension and inner work. The Spring is about rebirth, but this year it is being born during the dark lunar time of going inward. And this lunar energy is certainly being highlighted!
As we quarantine ourselves, it’s an opportunity to use the Springtime energy of rebirth to reflect on our personal resurrection. To shine a light inward and honor the emotions we might be feeling during this strange and chaotic time.
We have been going through a Dark Night of the Soul together, and we are on the same ride for better or worse. As humans, we want to be productive, to stay busy and distracted from the things that cause us fear, and it’s much easier to ignore our feelings sometimes.
However, I think these intense times, which bring a lot of uncertainty, is ushering in a new era! There’s a huge shift happening this year, and we’re going through growing pains. The old ways aren’t working for the collective anymore and there’s a breakdown of old structures and traditions that are toxic and stagnant. As a result we are awakening to new ideas that will create significant shifts that I believe will not be temporary!
We will be going through these changes at least through December 21st--Winter Solstice—when many astrologers believe that the Age of Aquarius will be fully actuated. I realize that's a long way off, but I'm sure it will be worth it!
In tarot, this is an Emperor year (2020=2+2=4) that has been tinged with the Tower card's energy. Saturn is 29° Capricorn and will move through 1° Aquarius through June (where we will see a relief of some of these energies), and then he will retrograde back into Capricorn until he moves direct again in December (back into Aquarius by the end of the year). This movement of Saturn in 29° Capricorn is showing us huge karmic changes that we have been, and will be, working through the rest of the year.
The established ways are broken. The Age of Aquarius will put a halt on what isn’t working anymore. The “me against the world” attitude and “every man for himself” is no longer going to cut it. And, we are seeing that it does not work in the current situation we are finding ourselves. We are in this together and the humanitarian energy of Aquarius—the visionary, the reformist, the illuminated mind—is what will save us! We are on the precipice of change!
We started off the year with some positive energy last week! We're into week two and there are already three potent cosmic events, making it an intense start to the year.
The Cancer Lunar Eclipse is Friday January 10th at 11:21 am (not visible from America). The year begins with Full Moon in Cancer and we will end the year with one too (though December 29th won’t be an eclipse)! This is quite significant for 2020 as it puts a spotlight on feminine energy (Cancer is the utmost feminine sign). This year will bring more awareness to the topic of feminine empowerment and leadership. 2020 is a 4 year, meaning the tarot's Emperor is the archetypal energy for the year (leadership, authority, action, stability, structure and order). Combine this with the Full Moon Cancer energy, and we have the Solar Feminine archetype: leadership roles merging with feminine, nurturing qualities. The Solar Feminine is basically a merging of the Empress and Emperor cards.
This year we will see more and more women in roles of leadership continuing to increase. What would the world look like if everyone (not just women!) led with love and not fear-based energy. We are already starting to see this in various ways and it's so inspiring. The occult significance of the Emperor looking to the left shows that he draws from the qualities of the Empress in order to rule in a positive way—that is based on love and understanding, not fear and greed, which is Emperor reversed energy. It's great to see 2020 with Cancer Full Moons bookending the year. I think this shows that the Emperor can be a woman, or the Empress can be the one to rule.
Uranus goes direct on the same day as the eclipse! This planet is the rebel planet—the revolutionary. Uranus has been taking a retrograde nap in Taurus since August 11th 2019. If you feel like things have not been moving ahead enough, the evolution you’ve been waiting for (particularly in connection to your body, the earth, material realm or things you possess—Taurus related issues) is about to break you out of the rut you’ve been in. The Cancer Lunar Eclipse will help shake things up and us out of it, as eclipses tend to do.
With Uranus going direct in Taurus, it's a powerful time to start embodying your personal evolution. One of my astrology teachers, Divine Harmony, calls Uranus in Taurus a time for "embodiment evolution." What actions are you going to take toward the environment? How are you waking up in your body? This is the time to start moving: exercise, dance, or do whatever your Uranus in Taurus wants to do. Perhaps it's though ritual or invocation; bringing the spiritual into the mundane, and creating an embodiment practice.
The Saturn-Pluto Conjunction
Sunday, January 12th is one of the major cosmic events of the year. Saturn and Pluto join together at 8:59am PST. This "Great Conjunction" happens once every 33 to 38 years. This one marks the end of the Saturn-Pluto cycle that began in 1982! Sunday we come full circle to complete this cycle.
Historically, this has been an intense aspect! Saturn-Pluto conjunctions have seen major wars and economic upheavals that defined their particular era. (This is interesting given what has been happening between President Trump and Iran for the past few days. We will have to see what happens by Sunday.) Saturn-Pluto conjunctions are a collective experience that happens over a period of time where economic downturns, trade concerns, corruption and misuse of power are observed.
Saturn wants to protect the old ways—the established order, and Pluto wants to transform and reveal what’s hidden beneath the surface. I don't think it's a surprise that we'll continue to see (all over the world) political infighting and further division between those who insist things should stay the same and those who are ready to usher in something new! This is not just a singular cosmic event happening on January 12th. This cycle has been ongoing since 1982. In 2001, Saturn and Pluto were in opposition (180°, the halfway point) the month before 9/11. Saturn has been approaching Pluto for the past year, and its effects have been felt.
In 2019, the karmic South Node touched Saturn and Pluto several times. Last year was a big year for shadow work. Any personal work we did for ourselves last year will help toward healing the collective shadow this year. And there's still more to do...as always. This year we can focus on all the ways we can learn to grow. The more conscious we all are, the more we can evolve. I really do believe that more and more people are doing amazing things to better themselves and the world. I’m seeing it in so many ways and it's so heartening.
January 12th marks the end of the 38 year cycle of Saturn and Pluto, and the start of a new cycle! As Saturn slowly moves past Pluto this year, this new cycle promises change. There may be upheaval, but I think of the tarot’s Tower card where chaos is necessary to clear out the debris of the past in order to rebuild something better for the future. What comes after the fall of the Tower is the Star, where hope and clarity live.
And on that Star note, 2020 does bear astrological good news. The planet of expansion and abundance, Jupiter, will conjunct Pluto 3 times this year (April 4th, June 30th and November 12th). Jupiter will conjunct Saturn on December 21st (This happens once every 20 years. December's Jupiter-Saturn conjunction bookends 2020 with January's Saturn-Pluto conjunction. Two big conjunctions start and end the year!)
I’m seeing Jupiter's conjunctions with Pluto and Saturn as a sign that things are evolving and not devolving as it may sometimes seem. Jupiter meeting Pluto and then Saturn at the end of the year means there's a powerful force that's pushing for expansion and growth. Jupiter brings optimism and luck to everything he touches (like the Sun card does in a tarot reading)! Jupiter is connected to the tarot's Wheel of Fortune card, with its cycles and fortune. Change is on the horizon...and sometimes we need chaos to clear the way for change. That's what this Saturn-Pluto conjunction is all about. So when things feel like they are effed—and, well, they may be—try to remember that Jupiter, the “Greater Benefic”, is kissing these two planets with its luck and generosity all through the year.
Also, Mercury will be right on top of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction on Sunday, so we’re going to see communications flying over the news cycle this coming week. We will continue to see the push and pull of the multiple realities that currently exists in the news, and possibly more unusual ways of communicating that is not normal. We're already seeing this with high-level diplomatic situations being handled via tweets the past few days!
I’m trying to find peace in the fact that we are in a revolutionary time and that change is happening. Everything is impermanent. Everything! Even change. This too shall pass.
I’ve been using Jim Maynard's Celestial Influences calendars for years and he’s retiring after 46 years of making this amazing calendar. Quicksilver Productions (what he publishes under) says that they are trying to find a publisher to take over the calendar for 2021! I really hope they can find someone who can do as good a job as they have.
When I first found out that there wasn't going to be a 2020 release, I went in search of another astro calendar. I thought this would be easy, but as it turns out, it isn't because Maynard's calendar is an extraordinary and reliable resource. After some research, I ended up buying a few astrology-specific planners and a moon calendar to try out for 2020. Here are my thoughts on them so far.
1. Llewellyn's 2020 Daily Planetary Guide- If I had to pick just one of these astro calendar to buy, it would probably be this planner. It isn’t perfect, but this planner is complete with all the planetary aspects and ingress times that a professional astrologer needs. (It has all of the planetary aspects listed in the weekly section in both EST and PST.) I like that it lists the sign with the aspects too. It’s very helpful when I can’t remember which sign a planet is in, particularly the fast moving planets. The ephemerides in the back even includes the asteroid goddesses and Chiron. Love that!
However, the whole planner has such a dull black-and-white design with low quality thin paper and it doesn’t have a month-at-a-glance calendar, which is a big mark against it, but it includes all the information one needs within the weekly pages. It’s pretty inexpensive, and it shows! If they upgraded the paper quality and design, I would pay more for it. It has so much potential to be an amazing astro calendar/planner.
There are a few fantastic articles related to the upcoming year regarding the major cosmic events and how to find your opportunity days. There's also an in depth introduction about the building blocks of astrology. It has charts for the retrograde periods and planetary phenomena of 2020 and a page with the list of New and Full Moons and eclipses. It is a great astrology guide for the beginner and professional astrologer alike!
Yeah, it's not pretty, and it's missing the month-at-a-glance, but it's very practical and has all the times listed in PST, which is what I wanted. For reference, it’s about the same size as the We’Moon and Celestial Influences planners (5.5" x 8").