Jupiter and Saturn join forces in Aquarius
Jupiter and Saturn are conjunct in Aquarius, at last! If you are lucky enough to have clear skies tonight, you will be able to see them really close together in the early evening hours. Look for them just above the southwestern horizon.
Saturn / Jupiter conjunction historically
The papers have been buzzing with the news of this special event.
But is it really such a big deal? Actually, yes, it is.
Let me explain. Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions occur approximately every 20 years, so they are not that uncommon. However, they go through their cycle one element at a time and for 200 years they will re-occur in signs of the same element, before they move on to the next one. It takes them 800 years to complete an entire cycle through all the signs of the zodiac.
This conjunction on December 21, 2020 is the first to take place in Aquarius, an air sign March 5, 1226 – some 800 years ago! Almost. Truth be told, their cycle undergoes a little wobble. So, in actual fact, they previously joined up in Libra for a conjunction on January 1, 1981, when Saturn and Jupiter were conjunct in Libra. But what is really special about this conjunction (if you are lucky enough to see it live) is the fact that the two appear so close to each other in space. Nothing like this has been observed since 1563, when they were conjunct in Cancer.
The Astrological significance of the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction
So, what does it all mean? Well, it’s a bit complicated.
Firstly, it would be a mistake to consider this planetary event astrologically as a single day occurrence. Contacts between slow moving planets tend to have a seminal effect. They set the ball rolling, or rather, they punctuate the ending of one era and herald the beginning of new one.
Jupiter, the ‘larger-than-life’ Ruler of the Olymp, has a 12-year cycle, meaning, it takes 12 years for Jupiter to go around the entire zodiac once. While that may seem slow, it is actually twice as fast as Saturn, which takes about 29 years for this journey.
Astrologically, Jupiter and Saturn are complimentary forces in the construction of meaning. Jupiter is expansive in nature. His energy is ’visionary’, although it would be a mistake to paint him as ‘progressive force’ in the dynamics of our social evolution.
Jupiter has an eye for the big picture. He thinks in terms of the ‘grand scheme of things’ and acts as a motivational motor to help us move forward into uncharted territory. He takes risks and follows his fancy in search of adventure. Yet, he is also concerned with questions of ethics and philosophy.
How should a species such as ours conduct their lives? What is it to live ‘a good life’? Philosophers throughout the ages have tried to find answers this Jupiterian Quest. In Aquarius, the answer is likely to be humanistic in nature. But at the dawn of the digital age we are forced to ask some serious questions: where are we headed with all our technology at our disposal? And where exactly do we draw the line between nature and culture? AI is already becoming part of our everyday lives, whether we like it or not. What will become of the human spirit when computers, and advanced technologies are no longer just employed to assist us, but increasingly also to control our social affairs?
The scope and potential for social engineering and mass surveillance has been brought into focus by the pandemic. What has saved lives during the pandemic can also be employed more nefariously to maintain control over discontented populations.
Jupiter in Aquarius is both, excited at the the prospects of novel opportunities and possibilities, and concerned with their ethical implications.
In Aquarius, Jupiter’s visionary spirit can inspire a mass movement, which may become a force unto itself. Individuality is easily lost amidst the hive mind of a mass movement. While group identity fosters social cohesion, it also harbours the danger of abandoning individual responsibility. Where identity is tied to external markers there is a real danger of ‘othering’ which can get pretty ugly.
It usually takes a bit more than a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction to instigate such fundamental change. But in this particular case, we could be on the verge of it. Saturn and Jupiter have been dancing with Pluto in Capricorn all year. Now Saturn and Jupiter are moving into Aquarius, a sign that is famous for its concern with social issues and even revolutionary change, while Pluto remains in Capricorn, finishing off its job of shaking up the foundations and pillars of our social structures. And, also on the horizon is the Uranus square Jupiter and Saturn early next year. These combined factors could indeed herald change on a massive and fundamental scale. A likely trigger for this scenario will be the economy.
Saturn, on the other hand, represents the traditional way of doing things, the old guard, if you will. But he also represents the actual institutions on which the social order is based, no matter what ‘vision’ is enacted on its stage.
The conjunction is an image of the struggle of integration. On the one hand, there is fresh, new impulse, a vision of change, growth, expansion, of hope and glory. A belief that a better world is possible and hope enough to launch into action to make it happen. On the the other is the resistance and fear of change.
This battle is primarily pitched against the more conservative forces, the nay-sayers and the traditionalists who want to keep things as they were. In the arena of world politics, Saturn/Jupiter conjunctions often coincide with mass movements for social change, uprisings, revolutions and particularly worryingly, battles of faith.
Aquarius is an idealistic sign, that believes in equality and brotherhood. However, it is a constant struggle to balance the ideals of equality with the desire for individual freedom and personal rights. (Aquarius/Leo conflict)
When Jupiter and Saturn come together there is tremendous potential for turning a vision into reality. However, no vision survives that process of materialisation without losing some of its sheen. The final result may not resemble what it had been billed as to begin with. Compromises are inevitable and disappointment is preprogrammed. Time will test what is being set into motion now.
Psychologically, the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction represents inner growth. It is the process of building resilience by overcoming challenges to achieve one’s vision. That takes openness and optimism (Jupiter) as well as hard work and determination (Saturn) to make it real. Saturn’s structures, organising and planning are a necessary pre-requisite for building a solid foundation. But existing structures may need to undergo a bit of remodelling to accommodate this vision. This is the ‘great work’ of individuation.
On the personal level, the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction will have the greatest impact in the lives of those who have personal planets (I.e. Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) or angles (ASC/MC) in the early degrees of the fixed signs (Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio). But even those who have those planets or points at later degrees in the fixed signs, will likely experience the effects keenly as these planets move through Aquarius.