Jupiter cnj Saturn in Aquarius ~ Love Them Anyway
Every 20 years, Jupiter and Saturn conjoin as The Great Conjunction. For the ancients, it was a Very Big Deal since this transit signals a major new beginning on multiple levels—and even more-so in 2020!
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
~ Keith M. Kent (often misattributed to Mother Teresa)
We are witness to a rather rare event - a very special conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. This current conjunction is in Aquarius—in fact, at the very first degree of Aquarius, making it extra significant and powerful. This conjunction releases raw, undiluted Aquarian energy into the world, and sets the tone of many challenges we will face and work through for the next couple of centuries!
Any conjunction of two planets begins a new cycle of their combined energies. This one involves Jupiter – typically signifying justice, the law, knowledge, vision, wisdom, foreign interaction, morality, ethics, religion, faith and hope. It also involves Saturn – associated with order, facts, maturity, discipline, responsibility, accomplishment, structure, expectations, manifestation, career, corporations, businesses, and working within realistic limits.
Combined, the two of them create the dynamic ingredients of leadership and achievement – the structure, maturity and discipline of Saturn with the vision, wisdom and promise of Jupiter. People born under a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction often have leadership or high achievement potential, rising to the top end of the spectrum in their career and life accomplishments.
In addition, Jupiter represents royalty and Saturn government. There is a slogan often associated with this conjunction: "The King is dead, long live the King" (or Queen). The end of the previous cycle passes away, and a new cycle/theme/initiative is born.
This current conjunction takes place at zero degrees which indicates an even more powerful new beginning. The first degree of any sign represents the raw life force of that sign. Like a newborn babe, it isn't developed yet and may be a bit ambiguous, unpredictable, impulsive or even unconscious in expressing that sign's energy.
So, this conjunction in Aquarius brings fresh hope for building a new vision. This is true both for society and personally. Look to the house in your Natal chart to see where 0° Aquarius resides, to see the area of your life where you have an opportunity to formulate a long-term goal. Look also to the houses in your chart where Saturn and Jupiter are, as well as the houses ruled by Saturn (Capricorn, Aquarius) and Jupiter (Sagittarius, Pisces). All of these areas may be stimulated with fresh potential and a need to build something new in your life.
On a more global scale, Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions are seen as a major crossroads that end one 20-year cycle and begin a new one. There are several reasons why this particular one stands out:
- As mentioned above, it takes place in the first degree of its sign, signifying an pulse of primal energy to do with things associated with that sign – Aquarius, in this case.
- It takes place in an Air sign which (with one exception) hasn't happened since 1405!
- It ends a period of Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Earth signs stretching back about 200 years.
- It begins a new period of conjunctions in Air signs that also lasts for about 200 years.
- It also marks a dramatic transition from one Saturn-ruled sign to another (Capricorn > Aquarius).
- It caps off the triple conjunction with Pluto that has haunted our skies throughout 2020, and even stretching back to 2015 when we include the Saturn-Pluto parallels (declination).
Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind, like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind
~ Michel Legrand and Marilyn & Alan Bergman
Although the Jupiter-Saturn cycle reaches conjunction every 20 years, the conjunctions themselves occur in a much larger cyclical pattern spanning about 850 years! Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions take place in signs of the same element for an average of about 200 years each. There is also usually a transition period where the elements overlap and flip back and forth between the old and new. This can last anywhere from 20 to 100 years before it finally remains in the same element for the duration of the cycle.
This Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is the first in an unbroken sequence of Air signs. There was one Air conjunction (in Libra) in 1980-81, which began a transition period from Earth to Air. That Earth cycle started in 1802 (Virgo) and ended in 2000 (Taurus). This Air phase we're moving into now will last until 2199. (And you thought you had trouble keeping track of your calendar...)
From the year 1 to 4000 CE, an unbroken string of conjunctions in the same element can span up to 218 years (3371-3589), although most of these cycles last for 100 or 120 years. There's always a transition period where the old and new elements overlap, lasting from 1 to 6 conjunctions (20-100 years). Ours is among the shortest transitions, with only one step back into the previous element. The first Air conjunction of our current cycle was in 1980-81 (Libra), then back to Earth in 2000 (Taurus), and now into Air in 2020 (Aquarius).
The Earth phase we're coming out of remained unbroken from 1842 to 1961. The Air phase we're moving into will stay consistent from 2020 to 2140 and will finally end in 2199. The last time humanity was in an Air phase was 1186 to 1405 CE. I'm certain a learned historian (which I'm not) could show us fascinating patterns of growth and change in Humankind that coincide with these elemental time periods and transitions. The rest of us probably just go "Okidoki" and move on with our day.
The point here is that this current conjunction in Aquarius signals a major shift in how the collective moves, flows, functions, and views its purpose, which will play out over the next 180 years. Humanity is in the process of a wide turn in direction that will take it more into the realm of the intellect (Air) and less-so toward establishing, solidifying and developing (Earth).
Here is a table of the Earth elemental cycle we're coming out of and the Air cycle we're heading into:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things. They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do.
~ Rob Siltanen, et al, for Apple Inc. commercial
Aquarius is the sign related to the collective, groups, the greater community, institutions, and looking toward the future. This sign is also often linked to rebellion, disruption, humanitarian action and reform. In the zodiac sequence Aquarius is the sign following Capricorn, which is where Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto have been conjunct and parallel (declination) throughout 2019 and 2020. This triple conjunction/parallel has coincided with two of the most intense years in recent memory.
Both Capricorn and Aquarius are ruled by Saturn, which may be a surprise since the two signs seem as different as rock and wind. Capricorn is known for its structure, authority, responsibility and tradition. Aquarius is more often associated with breaking up old structures, challenging authority, living beyond the bounds of external expectations, and looking toward the future.
Even more mystifying, Aquarius is a Fixed sign which typically seeks stability, endurance and continuity – things that seem more suitable to Capricorn with its goals of building something that will last. Never let it be said that Aquarius isn't full of surprises!
However, when you think about it, it kind of makes archetypal sense. Aquarius seeks to preserve the relevant essence of a vision made manifest in Capricorn. It ensures that the structure remains open, flexible, and inclusive enough to sustain its inevitable evolution and growth—even if that means some of the existing framework must be torn down and rebuilt with the future in mind.
Aquarius is also an Air sign – the element known for its cerebral, conceptual focus. Air themes include thoughts, ideas, communication, interaction, relationships, social and societal interconnection, and the curiosity that leads to new knowledge.
So, the changes that Aquarius deems necessary in Capricorn's establishment are best approached in a logical, rational, intellectual and detached way—but not conventional, routine or ordinary! Where Aquarius can sometimes defy its contrary nature and demand conformity, can be summed up in a saying once coined by an old friend: "Everybody be different—just like me!" In other words, while Aquarius seeks to create dramatic change in the traditional, it may secretly want to create its own traditions that will be followed as steadfastly as the old ways.
How difficult it has become to decipher the truth from the fictitious,
to trust one’s own eyes over the art of image distortion. Information is power and
if readings have taught us anything, it is that power inevitably corrupts.
~ Aysha Taryam
In Air we develop ourselves within a wider social context, through information exchange (Gemini) or one-to-one relationship (Libra) or collectively (Aquarius). In the late 20th and 21st centuries, we have truly grown into a "global village." Our survival increasingly depends on us pulling together in more or less the same direction, so that our diverse needs can be met. Naturally, this is easier said than done (think herding cats).
We live in the Information Age. Information comes flying at us at a rate that would have driven our ancestors mad trying to grasp and make sense of it all. Is it any wonder our world seems both exciting and chaotic, stimulating and overwhelming?
While our social proximity has increased dramatically in the virtual realm, it has diminished considerably in the physical realm (especially in 2020!). This is changing our world in spectacular ways! In the past, if we disagreed with another culture, religion, nationality, etc, we could simply return to our own group, perhaps to commiserate about how odd, crazy or offensive we found the customs and worldview of the "others."
But today, with mass media woven into just about every aspect of life, particularly through the Internet, we have lost much of that luxury. Now, we frequently and repeatedly rub virtual elbows with people who may push our buttons in ways that confuse, upset, anger, disturb or offend us. The resulting accumulation of stress likely contributes to problems in physical and mental health, as well as our relationships with loved ones, friends, the world around us, and even with ourselves.
It becomes even more important for us to find ways to understand and make peace with both the viewpoints we share and especially those we don't. To do that requires us to think and reason in ways that expand our appreciation for diversity. That's not to say we won't disagree about some things, perhaps vehemently, but it's important that we cultivate a certain tolerance—even an appreciation and respect—for differences of customs and beliefs.
I give you this to take with you:
Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again,
with pure joy in the uprooting.
~ Judith Minty, Letters to My Daughters
While our increasingly virtual world has opened up new possibilities for us, it has also become a great source of struggle. This has been amplified and aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic which hit our planet like a rogue asteroid at the end of 2019, sending shock waves throughout 2020 and continuing into 2021. The urge to demand that everyone align themselves with our own views, beliefs and practices has been rampant. And of course, everyone has a different idea of what those should be. There's nothing like a threat to one's survival to bring out the compulsion to control one's life and surroundings!
On one hand, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction brings a ray of hope. For starters, Jupiter is no longer in Capricorn (yay!) where it was in detriment (difficult to express its natural energy). Jupiter, normally upbeat, optimistic and confident, while in Capricorn tends to be more sober, cautious and skeptical. We've been experiencing Jupiter this way since December 2019 and astrologically it has contributed to a very uphill struggle through 2020.
Jupiter is now in Aquarius, and while it has little dignity there, Jupiter will likely find it easier to channel its buoyant nature toward the collective, and focus on the future rather than the heavy present.
Saturn is also no longer in Capricorn, and while it is a very strong placement for Saturn (it rules that sign), it also doubles down on the serious, hard-edged atmosphere we've gone through in 2020.
Saturn is now in Aquarius, which it also rules by traditional rulership and is therefore also strongly placed in that sign. But what Saturn will emphasize in Aquarius is more about opening up the Capricorn structures to encompass more of the diversity of the collective. And Saturn is in a better position to take concrete steps to make Jupiter's dream, vision or goal happen. A serious, methodical approach is still called for (this is still Saturn, after all), but there is now room for fresh inspiration that can illuminate a path forward.
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more...
~ Paul Simon, Sounds of Silence
Even though Jupiter and Saturn are finished with their conjunction to Pluto, Pluto has cast an indelible shadow over them that renders greater depth of contrast over their effects. Whereas Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen like clockwork about every 20 years, it's extremely rare that they happen in the vicinity of Pluto – 1440s, 1680s and 1980s were the 3 most recent times. And actually, to find the most recent Jupiter-Saturn pass that took place closely after their conjunctions with Pluto, we have to go all the way back to the 1280s! Suffice to say, this is a RARE occurrence.
Pluto's presence puts a slightly different spin on our 2020 event. After wandering through the Dark Night of the Plutonian Soul in opaque Capricorn, Jupiter and Saturn now come together in the more illuminating, visionary Aquarius. While they've been travelling with Pluto, we've seen some of Humanity's dark shadow open up to reveal extremes of human behaviour, attitude, passion, emotion and resolve. Especially since Jupiter joined Saturn and Pluto, we've seen strong polarization through taking sides, judgement and condemnation. And yet, we have also witnessed a remarkable display of constructive creativity, as well as destructive rage.
Now, Jupiter and Saturn have moved beyond Pluto's grip. We look for a promise that will carry us back into the light where we can "get back to normal." But what we have seen in those shadows can't entirely be un-seen. So our new "normal" needs to expand and transform to include ways to remedy the suffering, destruction and harmful realities that have become clearer to us.
In other words, this Jupiter-Saturn comes to us cloaked in a different context than we're used to. The conjunction, as usual, offers a fresh beginning based on an optimistic vision and the commitment to making it manifest – faith in the future combined with a willingness to do whatever it takes to keep that faith alive long enough to get the work done. But what do these qualities look like after coming out of Pluto's shadow?
This Jupiter-Saturn conjunction asks us for something a bit different, something extra. It requires a kind of hope and faith in Humanity that also recognizes the shortcomings and flaws that lurk in our own shadow. It's not enough to simply believe we will be reborn in our usual dreams and aspirations. In the twilight of Pluto's presence, more of us have begun to see that our "normal" is too narrow, too exclusive, too habitual, and too convenient for those who have benefited most from it.
Jupiter and Saturn seize the opportunity to start fresh, but Pluto has shown us that deeper change needs to happen if we are to forge a more effective world for all of us. This is a time when we need to come to a more contemporary rebirth that rebuilds our world with a new inclusiveness in mind. Aquarius "gets" that clinging to the same goals only begets more of the same results: "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." And what we've "got" doesn't work well enough for all of us.
This includes everything from mending our ailing planet to healing ourselves from the pandemic. It means finding ways to resolve differences that don't involve violence, cruelty, and polarizing condemnation. It involves a willingness to recognise that the human spirit manifests and expresses itself in myriad ways, and those differences don't necessarily equal something malevolent that must be eradicated. What is called for is a different understanding of our capacity for diversity.
The next problem is often the last problem in redress.
~ Craig D. Lounsbrough
Whatever is left unresolved from the previous cycle, gets reincarnated into the next cycle in some way. This is true of the lunar cycles (New Moon to Full Moon to the next New Moon), and it is true of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle too. In this case, many issues, urges, compulsions, passions and events were stirred up by the triple conjunction in 2020. Their roots run so deep in Humanity's collective psyche that Jupiter and Saturn now have their homework cut out for them. Using their energy, we need to sift through, organize, reform and integrate all that information and insight into what we know about who we are and what we are becoming.
The Paradoxical Commandments
By Keith M. Kent
(often misattributed to Mother Teresa)
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self‑centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
In the dawning light of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, we have the chance—nay, the need—to be more innovative and imaginative in how we piece ourselves and our world back together. And in the afterglow of Pluto breaking our world apart, we have seen more of what we're made of—positive, negative and neutral potential.
Jupiter and Saturn offer the opportunity to explore the truth that we are deeply flawed in many ways, immensely inspired in other ways, and that there is far more to us than we ever imagined, for better or worse. And some of it can be pretty baffling, scary and self-destructive, while it can also be amazingly beautiful, moving and uplifting.
As we shift into 2021, we will encounter challenging transits – Saturn square Uranus is a big one to watch out for (Feb. 17, June 14, and Dec. 24). But we are also starting to move out of the ordeal we endured in 2020. Rebirth comes with its own challenges – once the caterpillar emerges as a butterfly, it must then learn to fly.
The energy of all new cycles is raw, wild and primal. This is underscored by the fact that the conjunction is in the first degree of Aquarius. It takes time for something new to adopt a focus, find its direction, and take shape. Don't be surprised if it seems like that fresh beginning promised by Jupiter and Saturn is a bit slow to come. That said, watch for the shifting currents in the world around you – they may fluctuate in a back-and-forth dance, but the signs will be there if you look for them.
Above all, the one message that can bring us out of the heavy Capricorn-Pluto energy and into the Aquarian-Jupiter-Saturn revival is that we all have the potential for the best and the worst of our human capacity. We all do good things sometimes, and we all make poor choices at times too. It's been all too easy to channel anger, frustration, bewilderment and disappointment into judgment, condemnation and disgust toward our fellow humans. This has emerged on both sides of the political divide and other polarizing social issues.
We are all right sometimes, we are all wrong sometimes. We are all flawed, mistaken or misguided at times. And we are all inspired, brilliant and transcendent at times. We need to find a way back to a vision of shared humanity despite our differences – this is the ideal in Aquarius. This new Jupiter-Saturn cycle can help us find that again—or find it anew—even as we recognize that we have witnessed some of the best and the worst in each other and maybe even ourselves.
© Wendy Guy 2020, all rights reserved. Beyond brief quotes or strictly personal use, please obtain written permission from the author to reproduce this article. Collage by Wendy Guy uses photos of Jupiter and Saturn, via NASA.gov.