The Gospel of Mary begins with a line that articulates the profound interconnectedness humans have with each other and the natural world: Every nature, every modeled form, every creature exists in and with each other. It’s a phrase to which I keep returning, as the social, economic, and physical impact of COVID-19 deepens globally. We live in a different world now. Nature is greater than humanity and it’s changing, challenging us to transform with it. At some point in the future the immediate crisis will end and at that moment communities across the globe will have to pivot towards rebuilding local infrastructures. We each have a part to play, as the imperfections of our political, economic, and social systems come into greater clarity in light of the pandemic. Now is the time to go inward and discern what needs to be purged and what needs to be cultivated for a better a future. And a basic understanding of astrology can help in navigating these unknown waters.
I like to think of astrology as a psychological map of time. It’s a system of knowledge that provides a very high-level overview of the emotional climate of earthly life over the course of an hour, day, month, year, decade, etc. It does not govern free will, and therefore is not solely responsible for causing events in an individual’s life. But it does provide a broad overview, so that we can act accordingly in harmony and balance to the current the astrological aspects.
I follow Western astrology, which studies the progression of the sun, moon, planets, and asteroids across the twelve zodiac signs and astrological houses. Each celestial body represents an aspect of human life (mind, emotions, values, communication, etc.). As they traverse the zodiac wheel, the signs show us how the planetary influence will be felt, while the twelve houses point to where we may feel the impact in our personal lives, according to our birth charts. There are no shortage astrological storms brewing in 2020, including a Mars retrograde in autumn that will feel like Arteyu trudging through the Swamps of Sadness. But for the purpose of this essay, I want to look specifically at the placements and relationship of Jupiter and Saturn in 2020, which are encouraging us to innovate and work diligently towards practical solutions.
Jupiter will be traveling through Capricorn until December 19. It represents growth and expansion and spends about a year in each zodiac sign. Jupiter brings luck and rewards to the astrological signs and houses it visits, normally without asking much of us in return. But that all changes in Capricorn, where Jupiter comes back to earth for a bit of a reality check.
Capricorn is prudent, disciplined, and surefooted, just like the mountain goat that symbolizes it. And these are the qualities we are being asked to embody in order to reap the rewards Jupiter is storing for us. More than usual, in 2020 we are encouraged to put in a little more effort and elbow grease in order to reach our personal goals.
Meanwhile, Saturn this year is ping-ponging between two signs: Capricorn and Aquarius. While Jupiter expands, Saturn restricts. It brings things down to the foundational, pragmatic level. It establishes firm boundaries and encourages us to lay the path forward one stone at a time. Saturn brings our fears and insecurities into focus so that we can mindfully tend to these areas and build self-confidence.
In 2020, Saturn is transitioning from a three-year cycle in Capricorn and gearing up for another three-year cycle in Aquarius. As I write this essay in April, we’re right in the middle of this transition period. In Capricorn, Saturn was unrelenting in its critical eye towards issues of respect, responsibility, and our positions in society. As it transitions to Aquarius, we’re now asked to be honest with ourselves about our dreams, social structures, and contributions to humanity.
Aquarius is forward-looking, innovative, and concerned with justice and individual freedom. It’s a humanitarian sign, symbolized by the water bearer who brings spiritual and emotional nourishment. Imperfections in how we disseminate information and resources come under review as Saturn transits Aquarius. We’re encouraged to think outside-the-box, but to do so with an eye towards authenticity and equality.
So why does this all matter? Why should we be mindful of the lessons Jupiter and Saturn are teaching us this year? Because on December 21st, Jupiter and Saturn will come into perfect alignment in Aquarius, and the issues that are arising for us right now will become amplified on steroids. The hard work Jupiter has coaxed us tend to all year will reap its rewards, washing away outworn ideas for new inspiration and emotional freedom. Saturn will work to keep things grounded and practical, kicking off its longer journey through Aquarius until 2023.
December 21st is also the winter and summer solstice, depending in which hemisphere someone reside. In the northern hemisphere, this will be a time to hibernate and go even further inward dreaming up aspirations for 2021 (something that COVID-19 is extending this year as we sit in quarantine). In the southern hemisphere, this will be a time to start harvesting the fruits of our labors and store them for nourishment in the year to come.
I mentioned earlier that we must look at the astrological houses to understand where in our lives the planets are encouraging us to grow. There are twelve houses in astrology, and each rule an aspect of life that progresses from our understanding of ourselves (houses 1 through 6) to realizing our place in humanity at large (houses 7 through 12). The zodiac sign that rules the first house of a person’s birth chart depends on the placement of the sun at their time of birth. Which means, each time we take another orbit around the sun, we begin a new twelve-month cycle for us to deepen our understanding of ourselves in relationship to each other.
Every nature, every modeled form, every creature exists in and with each other.
We won’t all necessarily feel the impact of Jupiter and Saturn in the same way, because the signs they’re transiting this year (Capricorn and Aquarius) rule different houses for people of different sun signs (the placement of the sun at birth). Below are brief synopses of where Jupiter and Saturn are guiding us to transform.
Aries (People born March 21 – April 19)
Tenth and Eleventh Houses
Jupiter is encouraging those born under Aries to dedicate extra effort into tending to their reputation and career aspirations, while Saturn is eyeing their relationships to friends and community. Now is the time to discern how personal talents can help others.
Taurus (People born April 20 – May 20)
Ninth and Tenth Houses
Jupiter is teaching those born under Taurus how to expand their belief systems, which includes personal philosophy, education, and religious beliefs. Saturn has laid some groundwork in these areas already, but now is looking at how these people can apply themselves to boost their reputation. Now is a time to discern what about themselves they want to be recognized for by society.
Gemini (People born May 21 – June 20)
Eighth and Ninth Houses
Jupiter is nudging those born under Gemini to tend to issues around intimacy. It’s time to look at the deepest (and perhaps most uncomfortable) aspects of the personality. Saturn has been lurking in these shadows for three years and now is encouraging a change in belief systems. It’s time to gain new perspectives and heal old emotional wounds and insecurities.
Cancer (People born June 21 – July 22)
Seventh and Eighth Houses
Jupiter is teaching people born in Cancer to tend to their partnerships, both in romance and business. Saturn, additionally, is taking a closer look at issues around intimacy, either financially (such as debts) or sexually. Now is a time to work on establishing honest and healthy boundaries.
Leo (People born July 23 – August 22)
Sixth and Seventh Houses
Jupiter is teaching lessons in managing daily routines, especially how work and daily habits contribute to health and wellbeing. Saturn, on the other hand, is taking a closer look at one-on-one partnerships, whether personal or business. This year is a time for people born under Leo to cut chords with extraneous relationships that aren’t compatible with their needs anymore.
Virgo (People born August 23 – September 22)
Fifth and Sixth Houses
Jupiter is nudging Virgos to have fun and seek out joy, no matter the circumstances they find themselves this year. Saturn, additionally, is restructuring how daily routines sustain their health and wellbeing. It’s time for Virgos to laugh and nurture themselves, in simple and practical ways.
Libra (People born September 23 – October 22)
Fourth and Fifth Houses
Jupiter is calling Libras home and to return to what brings them safety and security. At the same time, Saturn is also reevaluating the ways Libras express themselves creatively. It’s time for Libras to consider what honestly supports them and brings sustained joy and comfort.
Scorpio (People born October 23 – November 21)
Third and Fourth Houses
Jupiter is teaching Scorpios new ways to communicate their thoughts and ideas, while Saturn is creating new foundations for feeling safe and supported. Now is the time for Scorpios to consider comfortable avenues for self-expression, whether through writing or public speaking,
Sagittarius (People born November 22 – December 21)
Second and Third Houses
Jupiter is nudging those born under Sagittarius to review to their values and ideas of self-worth, while Saturn is opening new avenues for communication. Now is a time to share what brings gratitude and a renewed sense of meaning to their lives.
Capricorn (People born December 22 – January 19)
First and Second Houses
Jupiter is teaching Capricorns to tend to their personal sense of self. Meanwhile, Saturn is also taking a critical look at their value systems and sense of self-worth. This is a time for Capricorns to really evaluate who they are now and who they hope to become.
Aquarius (People born January 20 – February 18)
Twelfth and First Houses
Jupiter is asking those born under Aquarius to tend to their spiritual growth and dreams, while Saturn is encouraging new foundations in a sense of self. Now is a time for Aquarians to realign with that which brings them sincere happiness and renewed faith in themselves.
Pisces (People born February 19 – March 20)
Eleventh and Twelfth Houses
Jupiter is encouraging people born under Pisces to tend to their aspirations and social circles. And Saturn is taking a critical eye to their hidden strengths and weaknesses. This is a time for Pisceans to be pragmatic about what makes them feel connected.