dark stylized planet

Saturn-Pluto 2.0 ~ Second Chances

Ever wish you could have a do-over following a disaster? A chance to do things differently and hopefully create a better outcome? Well, this is exactly what's happening in the second half of 2020.

The skies over 2020 have been dominated by the dark clouds of Saturn conjunct Pluto, which took place in January. It's been a year for the history books, to be sure! A once-in-a-century pandemic of COVID-19 has burned a gaping hole in the world's population. Safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus – wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing – have dramatically changed the social interaction habits across all cultures and nations.

Although there is only one exact pass of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, they do come back very close to each other in September. Therefore, August through November of 2020 marks an important rite of passage in the Saturn-Pluto saga. On September 26, Saturn and Pluto reach their closest near-conjunction since their exact pass back in January.

The date itself may not be all that important, as such, since they remain within that same 2:50 orb for a week (September 23 to 30). This configuration is made extra powerful by the fact that Saturn is also stationary during this time, officially turning direct on September 29. As a result, Saturn energy is very intense and no-nonsense – he means business! This alignment is also part of a longer-term conjunction orb, with Saturn and Pluto remaining within 8° from Jan.15.2019 until Jan.07.2021.

And just to make sure we really get the point of their coalition, Saturn and Pluto are also closely parallel by declination when they make this near-conjunction. They have actually been more or less parallel since the end of 2015. They took a break from each other for 5-6 months (March to August of 2020), and now they come back for a final rendezvous that's closest on Sep.24 (1:15 orb), remaining within a 1½° orb from mid-August to mid-November.

So, this reunion in September is the final stretch of a 5-year transit when they have been parallel or conjunct or both.


Added Oomph

This near-conjunction in September is additionally significant for two reasons:

(1) Pluto is right on the Saturn-Pluto conjunction point from January (22:30 versus 22:46 Capricorn). Pluto actually makes two passes over that conjunction point (Aug.29, Nov.07), turning direct in between (Oct.04). This indicates that Pluto's transformative agenda is reactivating the themes and possibly the events that emerged at the first Saturn-Pluto conjunction.

January ushered in the coronavirus pandemic, and the last quarter of 2020 (autumn in the northern hemisphere) is when a "second wave" is most likely to happen. So, this resurgence of Saturn-Pluto energy in September, by both conjunction and parallel, is of great concern.

(2) Saturn stations direct on Sep.29, which makes this energy extra intense. In addition, Saturn is just 2:33 shy of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction point in January. With Saturn being stationary, he is extra powerful at the near-conjunction with Pluto in September. This is a no-nonsense encounter, with Saturn energy shaping our experience in order to work constructively with our shared reality.

Saturn's essential energy is about cause-and-effect – your actions evoke consequences and you get to take responsibility for this. So it's important to stay realistic and pay attention to what is likely to result from your actions and attitudes.

In addition, Saturn and Pluto remain within an 8° orb of each other until early January 2021. So, whatever else happens, from August through December we are dancing with Saturn and Pluto again. The effect might be just as powerful as it was in January. No doubt, we will need all our personal and collective strength to sustain us through these coming months.


On the plus side, this is not a new energy to us by now. We already know what these Big Bad Boys can do. We've been living with its disruptive, transformational effects all year. Therefore, we're unlikely to be blindsided, like we were in January when the coronavirus knocked the entire planet for a loop.

COVID-19 virus

That said, we still could be confronted by a resurgence of the many issues that have tumbled one after the other throughout this year, from the pandemic to racial conflicts to economic woes and more. One possible example is that we might see a "second wave" of COVID-19. With schools and businesses increasingly opening up around this time in the northern hemisphere, a repetition of the first wave is definitely a concern.

Another possibility that is already coming to light in the last few months is the many lingering health problems. Tragically, those lucky enough to survive COVID often don't get to simply put it behind them and get back to "life as usual." An increasing number of cases reveal serious long-term after-effects that affect the heart, lungs, brain, skin, kidneys, and more.

Evidence has also emerged recently that patients could be reinfected after recovery, and the implications of this, while very concerning, are still largely unknown. We are constrained in our understanding of how the virus evolves because we must observe it over time, and Saturn is the first to tell us that we can't push the river – it takes time to discover what is unknown.

On the hopeful side, new forms of treatment continue to be discovered that can increase survival chances and/or shorten recovery time. Research in developing a vaccine continues, and although it's still unknown whether or when an effective vaccine might be found, there is always hope that something can be discovered. Yet, progress in this too takes time, and the most knowledgeable sources continue to say it will most likely to 2021 before we will see a reliable or widely available vaccine.

So, this near-conjunction of Saturn and Pluto could bring a possible repeat of January's calamity, but it can also be a kind of do-over. Now that we know what we know, that we didn't know then, it gives us a chance to avoid another spike of deaths and infections, by applying the most effective prevention practices that we've learned this year.

More Than Just A Virus

The Saturn-Pluto effects run much deeper than just the COVID pandemic. These planets are also where authority and power meet – the rule of law combined with systemic power, or absolute power wielding law and order. This year we have seen widespread collective awareness and response to racial inequality, racial injustice and White privilege, as well as fervent accusations and protests against abuse of power by police and government. Regardless of which "side" you're on in these disputes, the fact remains that they have dominated the 2020 landscape along with the pandemic.

At one extreme end of the spectrum, Saturn and Pluto may combine in a way that harnesses absolute power in order to force compliance and obedience from the masses. At the other end of the spectrum, Pluto and Saturn could bring intense yet ultimately liberating transformation of the essential structures of society as well as individual lives. Either path is a rough road, full of resistance, struggle, controversy and tears. Finding our way through this transition is a predominant theme in 2020, under the influence of Saturn-Pluto.

Another long-running concern has gathered new fuel with Saturn-Pluto, which is climate change. As 2019 arrived panting and coughing on 2020's doorstep, one of the most shocking and disastrous events had been the ongoing wildfires in Australia. After month upon month of horrifying photos, it seemed like the deadly consequences of climate change might become the dominant story of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction.

As I write this now, the same kind of devastation has descended on the west coast of the United States. And in both cases, these events are not new but are just the latest in a series of recurring and escalating wildfire disasters. The loss of life, property and security have been enormous, which echoes the destructive sides of Saturn and Pluto, and the rebirth and rebuilding from what was lost is an arduous process.

All of these troubles began their rise long before 2020, and are unlikely to be magically resolved by year end. The point is that these catastrophes and controversies—and our collective understanding of them—have been rebirthed from the COVID egg in a renewed form. How do we protect all people, not just individuals or certain privileged groups? What responsibilities do individuals have toward the well-being of the collective, and what obligations does the collective owe to the individual? How can we act in the best interest of all when there is so much disagreement about the nature of the problems and what constitutes a resolution?

The latter months of 2020 provide a second chance for us collectively to pull more in the same direction. And if that proves impossible for now, then it's another opportunity to gain more understanding of why there is such persistent discord and what can be done to heal the split.

Especially during these challenging months: Stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you. 


What's Happening When

LEGEND: The events are grouped by year, with each row showing the events of the same month of the indicated year. Column headings show which event the dates refer to (e.g. Saturn parallel Pluto, Saturn conjunct Pluto, etc).

Each column shows the date of an (X) exact parallel or an (X) exact conjunction, as well as when these events (E) enter or (L) leave orb. When an parallel or conjunction is closest within orb, but doesn't become exact, it is shown in ( parentheses & italics ). The Enter and Leave orbs are 1½° for parallels by declination and 8° for conjunctions.

When a parallel or conjunction is inside the orb, the cell background is light grey. When all three planets are parallel, or when they're all conjunct, the background is a darker grey. And when all three planets are both parallel and conjunct (Sep to Dec 2020), the background is the darkest grey.

YearSat // PluJup // PluJup // SatSat cnj PluJup cnj PluJup cnj Sat
2015 (E) Feb 20          
(Mar 9-16)          
(L) Mar 27          
(E) Nov 17          
2016 (X) Feb 9          
(X) Apr 28          
(X) Nov 20          
2018   (E) Dec 8 (E) Dec 21      
2019   (X) Jan 14 (X) Jan 27 (E) Jan 15    
(X) Mar 9          
      (May 2)    
(X) Jul 15 (X) Jul 25 (X) Jul 21      
  (X) Sep 5 (X) Sep 21      
(X) Nov 5          
    (L) Dec 31      
2020       (X) Jan 12    
(L) Feb 29   (E) Feb 29   (E) Feb 10  
  (X) Mar 1       (E) Mar 8
        (X) Apr 5  
          (May 18)
        (X) Jun 30  
          (L) Aug 9
(Sep 24)     (Sep 26)   (E) Sep 17
  (X) Oct 3        
(L) Nov 10       (X) Nov 12  
  (L) Dec 5 (X) Dec 25   (L) Dec 28 (X) Dec 21
2021       (L) Jan 7    
    (L) Feb 8     (L) Feb 27



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