On December 21st, on the Winter Solstice (the day the Sun moves into Capricorn), there’s a Great Conjunction. A Great Conjunction takes place when Jupiter and Saturn meet each other. Seen from our viewpoint here on Earth, these two planets will align perfectly on December 21st 2020 1.20 pm ET / 7.20 pm CET.
Please look up at the sky in the upcoming days. You can see the conjunction! It’s truly a sight to see and chance of a lifetime. Both Jupiter and Saturn are visible to the naked eye. You don’t need a telescope. You just need to know what to look for. The first thing you need to know, is that stars flicker and planets don’t; this way you can easily distinguish planets from stars. Jupiter is a bright planet. Saturn is darker. Second, it’s helpful to know where to look. The young waxing Moon will guide you, she will be near the two planets in the days leading up to the conjunction. If her guidance isn’t enough: in these modern times you can download apps that tell you exactly where to look. You don’t need to be an astrologer or astronomer to locate Jupiter and Saturn in the sky. Jupiter and Saturn are slow moving planets. They are incredibly close to one another already. On the 21st of December they will completely align, they will join each other. So, I advice you to look at the sky a few times in the upcoming week. You’ll see Jupiter catching up with Saturn, joining him and then, after the 21st, passing him. You can only catch a Great Conjunction every twenty years. This one will be super bright. They are not always this bright! The last time a Great Conjunction was this bright and this visible, was in 1226. In other words: this is a chance of lifetimes. If you want to go outside to watch Jupiter and Saturn: go out and look for them about an hour after sunset (the planets will set a few hours after the Sun sets, so don’t wait too long in the evenings, otherwise you’ll miss them). The planets will be quite low, near the horizon (again, the Moon will guide you).
Ok, now that you know how to catch sight of this astronomical event, you may want to know what all the astrological fuss is about. In this article I’ll first explain what Great Conjunctions are and I’ll tell you about their cycles. After that I’ll share my astrological interpretations of this Jupiter x Saturn conjunction. I’ll also share with you my insights on the meaning of, and possible significations of, Saturn (and Jupiter) in Aquarius.
Here’s a list of dates:
– On December 17 (12.04 am ET / 6.04 am CET) Saturn enters Aquarius.
– On December 19 (8.07 am ET / 2.07 pm CET) Jupiter enters Aquarius.
– On December 21 (1.20 pm ET / 7.20 pm CET) Jupiter will conjunct Saturn at 0 Aquarius 29′ (0 degrees and 29 minutes Aquarius).
Saturn entered Capricorn in December 2017. He spend two and a half years in Capricorn. Last Spring he entered Aquarius and explored the very first degree of Aquarius, to station retrograde and return to Capricorn in the Summer of 2020. Now, this December, Saturn finally and definitively leaves Capricorn to not return for another 28 years. Jupiter entered Capricorn in December 2019 and leaves this sign to enter Aquarius, just two days after Saturn leaves Capricorn. Jupiter takes 12 years to complete his travels through the twelve zodiacal signs. The astrological significations of Jupiter and Saturn in Capricorn and Aquarius are given in the second part of this article.
Jupiter and Saturn meet up about every twenty years. Once every twenty years there’s a Great Conjunction. Only a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is named to be ‘great’. There are several reasons one can think off, for this conjunction to be named as great. First, it’s a rare conjunction, that only happens every twenty years (while for example Mercury and the Sun conjunct multiple times in a year). Second, these two planets are named the greater benefic and the greater malefic in traditional astrology. In traditional astrology, certain planets are understood to bring good and life supportive events (benefics) and certain planets are understood to bring pain and challenge (malefics). The greater benefic (Jupiter) brings greater good than the smaller benefic (Venus). The greater malefic (Saturn) brings greater challenge than the smaller malefic (Mars). Third, the visual of this conjunction is great. Jupiter is extremely bright. Saturn is a darker planet. When the two meet up, the form a beautiful bright spot in the sky, almost like extra big planet or a star with a tail, a comet, or a supernova. It’s unique. Fourth, though this wasn’t known in ancient times, but we are aware of it now: Jupiter and Saturn are two big gas giants. These two planets are huge! These two planets are truly physically great. Our Mother Earth is tiny compared to these two big guys.
As I’ve written in the above, and as you can see on the photo that I shared in the above; an observer looking up at the zodiacal signs over many nights, sees Jupiter sneaking up behind Saturn until they are together. As slowly as they came together, Jupiter then pulls ahead on its way to a second pass twenty years later. It was this magnificent sight, the Great Conjunction, that motivated Johannes Kepler (astronomer, astrologer and mathematician) to the idea that perhaps a deity created a mysterious celestial dance between the planets. Johannes Kepler also pointed out that a Great Conjunction had occurred around the time that Jesus was born. Though Kepler didn’t argue it himself, other astrologers have picked up this notion and turned it into a theory, explaining that the Star of Bethlehem must have been a Great Conjunction. There are good arguments for this claim. Great conjunctions are visible for hours, even days, and they are unique celestial events. The only other astronomical explanation one can think of, that might explain the Star of Bethlehem, is a supernova (the explosion of a star). Thus, it’s quite possible that the birth of Jesus was announced by a Great Conjunction.
Kepler studied Great Conjunctions extensively. He concluded that a series of conjunctions in the same zodiacal sign, would take place every 60 years. Thus (because the upcoming Great Conjunction takes place in Aquarius), another Great Conjunction in Aquarius will take place in about 60 years from now. Kepler discovered that this recurring pattern takes place three or four times. Thus, three of four times a Great Conjunction takes place in the same sign every 60 years.
Kepler also discovered that in a period of 800 years, or 40 lots of 20 years, Jupiter and Saturn form a conjunction in each of the twelve zodiacal signs, three or four times in total. Kepler also figured that this cycle of 800 years can be divided into four equal cycles. Each of these 200 year cycles are related to the four elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Each zodiacal sign is related to an element. There are four groups of signs, based on the elements. The Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. The Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. The Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Kepler noticed that Great Conjunctions in 200 year cycles happen in the same element.
In the zodiacal belt we see that these elements follow the same order; thus zodiacal signs of the same element are always positioned to one another in a specific way. Signs of the same element are positioned to one another by 120 degrees angles. The three signs of the same element, together form a triangle or trigon. In the picture below you can see the beautiful pattern of conjunctions that is created in a cycle of 800 years. You can see the triangles in the pattern. In the picture on the top of this article, you can see the conjunctions that took place when Johannes Kepler was alive and studied the conjunctions. You can see that the conjunctions slowly shift there place around the zodiacal belt; thus creating patterns of triangles e.a. trigons.
In the past 200 years, Great Conjunctions have taken place in Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn). This upcoming conjunction will take place at the very first degree of Aquarius, an Air sign; at zero degrees and 29 minutes to be specific. In the next 200 years, the Great Conjunctions will take place in air signs. To get even more in depth, it will take about 2400 years before another conjunction will take place near zero degrees Aquarius. Thus; There’s a cycle of 20 years, within 200 years, within 800 years, within 2400 years. This is actually one the basics of astrology; astrology is based on cycles!
From Earth to Air
In the past 200 years, Jupiter x Saturn conjunctions have taken place in Earth signs. In the next 200 years, these conjunctions will take place in Air signs. Great Conjunctions always announce the start of new cycles, they at least announce the start of new 20 year cycles. This specific conjunction that takes place on the Winter Solstice, also announces the start of a new 200 year cycle. Let’s talk about the astrological significance.
First I want to mention that this conjunction does not announce ‘the age of Aquarius’. The age of Aquarius is something that the New Age spiritual community is all hyped up about, for years now. Please don’t get hyped up about it. The age of Aquarius has nothing to do with conjunctions, it actually has to do with a completely different astronomical phenomenon (that is not taking place at this moment, that is too complicated to explain right here and now, and that astrologers don’t even agree upon). The age of Aquarius theories are also based on misconceptions and misinterpretations of the sign Aquarius; making people to believe that the age of Aquarius is about a new era in which humankind will grow into a more ethical, spiritual and intellectual gifted community. This is all bullshit. Excuse me for the harsh language, but we can’t give moral judgements to zodiacal signs. Nog sign is more ethical or spiritual than another sign. Aquarius isn’t better than any other sign. Zodiacal signs are traditionally understood to be expressions of divine energy, in modern astrology they can be understood as archetypes. Whatever way you understand them: no sign is more morally developed than another. All signs have their higher and lower expressions, their good and their bad expressions. ‘Stuff taking place’ in Aquarius, doesn’t mean humans will elevate to higher planes of consciousness or something like that. New Age peeps that know nothing about astrology are making claims that are based on fantasy and wishful thinking. Please don’t believe everything you read on the internet…
Ok, now that that’s out of the way. We are about to start a new 200 year cycle. Yes, Aquarius vibes are all over it! Aquarius marks this new 200 year cycle. But / And this 200 year cycle is also about Air signs in general. We are moving from a cycle of conjunctions in Earth signs to conjunctions in Air signs. Whenever these shifts in elements take place, we see shifts happening in the history books. When conjunctions started to take place in Earth signs, for example, the industrial revolution started to accelerate. Earth relates to the material and the practical; to working with resources; to building and creating stuff. Air relates to the intellectual; to thinking and to the mind; to knowledge, communication and theory.
Actually, now is good time to mention that the Great Conjunction on December 21st, isn’t the first in recent decennia that’s taking place in an Air sign… Even though all conjunctions since 1802 have taken place in Earth signs, and thus also the previous conjunction in May 2000 (Taurus); the conjunction in 1981 took place in Libra, an Air sign. The conjunction in the eighties gave us a glimpse of what to expect in the new 200 year chapter that we are officially starting now. Since the eighties we’ve been transitioning from Earth to Air. Air signs are all about knowledge, information and communication. We’re are shifting from an industrial era to an era that’s focused on building societies on knowledge and communication. The Great Conjunction in 1981 announced the birth of the internet. In the past year, due to the pandemic, we’ve been forced to spend more time online and work and communicate through the ethereal, WiFi, 4G (the Air element).
Capricorn and Aquarius
Let’s talk about the signs Capricorn and Aquarius. Both signs are ruled by Saturn. Capricorn is an Earth sign, Aquarius is an Air sign. At this moment, writing this article, Saturn is still in Capricorn. In a few days he’ll move into Aquarius, together with Jupiter. We’re shifting from a 200 year emphasis on Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn to a 200 year emphasis on Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. But / And, more specifically and especially for those of us who are alive at this moment and experiencing this shift, we are shifting from an emphasis on Capricorn to an emphasis on Aquarius. So, let’s talk about these two signs.
Capricorn and Aquarius have one thing in common. They are both ruled by Saturn. Saturn, also known as Kronos, is the ancient Roman / Greek God of time, agriculture and societies. Wherever Saturn shows up in astrology, whether it’s in a birth chart or in current transits and mundane astrology, Saturn teaches us about discipline, hard work, (re)structuring, boundaries and sometimes separation or loss. Saturn builds and creates, through discipline, setting boundaries and saying no. Saturn is the slowest moving planet (for our eyes to see). Thus, Saturn also teaches us about patience. Saturn is the planet farthest away from the Sun (for our eyes to see), so Saturn tends to bring us coldness. Saturn transits aren’t easy transits. In contrast to Jupiter transits. Jupiter, or Zeus, is known to bring luck, growth, abundance and expansion.
We can see some qualities of Saturn reflected in the signs Capricorn and Aquarius. Capricorn is a sign that’s known to build futures, building futures on the structures of old; conserving that what has proven its worth and building upon foundations that have proven to be reliable and sustainable. Saturn in Capricorn uses the material and the reliable to build societies. Saturn in Capricorn uses stones and woods. Saturn in Capricorn applies ancient knowledge to solve practical and societal problems. Saturn in Capricorn builds temples and patriarchal structures. Saturn in Aquarius, however, expresses himself in different ways. Saturn in Aquarius uses the ancient wisdom that he gathered in Capricorn and transforms and innovates it. Saturn in Aquarius doesn’t use bricks to build societies, but he uses communication and intellect. Societies based on rules and laws. Societies based on systems of knowledge. The infrastructures are not made of concrete roads, but of communication lines. Hence we can see, we’re moving from asphalt highways to internet connections. We’re moving from an era in which capital is found in the material to an era in which capital is found in knowledge.
Every zodiacal sign comes with positive and negative expressions, supportive and destructive expressions. Capricorn has brought us modern societies and material wealth. Capricorn (and the other Earth signs) brought us trains and airplanes, strong build houses, and access to long lasting plastic goods. Living has become so much more comfortable in the past 200 years! But it has has become destructive too. Those convenient plastic goods are ruining the Earth. Our industrial revolution has depleted Mother Earth. Here we see the negative qualities of Saturn in an Earth sign. Saturn in Aquarius will ask from us to change our ways. To shift from the practical to the intellectual. To shift from the use of burning oil, gas and wood, to the use of modern energy solutions like the use of solar energy. To shift from making money through fast fashion, to making money through the exchange of knowledge. Aquarius wants us to innovate our ways, in order to build a better future. However, since every sign also comes with negative expressions, here is the negative that I foresee… Aquarius is a fixed Air sign that’s often described as detached and cold. We are already experiencing distance between each other, with covid regulations ruling the world. Social distancing is very much a Saturnian thing. Even more so a Saturn in Aquarius thing (the first social distance rules in most places in the world announced themselves as Saturn was moving into Aquarius for a short bit last Spring). I suspect, that even after we’ve gained control over the pandemic, social distancing will remain present in some way. We’re shifting to living online; connecting via Instagram instead of in bars and pubs. The online world allows us to connect with people all over the world. The online world, however, has a tendency to disconnect us from the people that are closest to us.
From 2020 to 2021
In the past year, Saturn’s presence in both Capricorn and Aquarius has been felt by all of us. In Capricorn, Saturn was accompanied by both Pluto and Jupiter. Saturn and Pluto together brought the destruction of societal structures as we knew them; impacting our capitalistic and patriarchal world in both positive and negative ways. Jupiter is in his fall in Capricorn, meaning that the planet that’s supposed to bring luck, healing, support and positive vibes, isn’t really able to do so in Capricorn. I think we’ve all experienced that 2020 has been lacking luck and healing.
Jupiter will regain some strength when he moves into Aquarius. Jupiter is stronger in Aquarius than he’s in Capricorn; plus he won’t be bothered by Pluto (draining his strength in their war for power). Jupiter in Aquarius will however be under the ruling of and overpowered by Saturn. On the positive, Jupiter and Saturn are ‘sect mates’; terminology in astrology to indicate that two planets form a team. In other words, Jupiter will bring growth, luck and good stuff by supporting Saturn in his endeavours. Jupiter will lessen the destructive tendencies that Saturn sometimes brings about. Jupiter will support the constructive work that Saturn will bring about. In the coming year 2021 while Jupiter is in Aquarius; Jupiter will support Saturn in building new infrastructures in this world. New lines of communication, new ways of traveling, new ways of setting boundaries, etc.
In the upcoming year we will get a taste of what our future will look like. We will definitely not go back to how things were. There are great chances to build a better world. But nothing is given. Jupiter won’t save the world and Saturn won’t build it. It’s up to the human collective to make this world a better place.