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A New Age: the December 2020 Great Conjunction in Aquarius



On December 21st, 2020, the night of the Winter Solstice, there will be a conjunction between Jupiter & Saturn in Aquarius at 00'29 degrees Aquarius, the closest they'll be since 1623. Here's why it's important and what to expect.




The "Great Conjunction": What Is It & Why Is It So Important?


Every 19-20 years, Jupiter "the Great Benefic," will meet up in a conjunction with Saturn "the Great Malefic." The former planet is known to indicate abundance, expansion, freedom and wisdom, while the latter is said to indicate scarcity, limitation, bondage, and organization. Due to their opposing natures, the meeting of these two interpersonal planets were historically linked to the rise and fall of empires and societies and like eclipses, they were believed to herald great omens.


In fact, some astrologers speculate that the "star" Jesus was born under was actually a Great Conjunction that took place in the sign of Pisces in 7 BC, the last in a series of Water Trigons before the Great Conjunction of Sagittarius in 14 AD. This was a very tight triple conjunction that extended over a period of about six months and seemed to merge into a single star. The upcoming Great Conjunction in Aquarius will have somewhat of a similar appearance, leading some to believe it will herald the Second Coming of Christ. It does occur four days before Christmas, after all. Others, however, view it more ominously, suspecting that the end-date of the Mayan Calendar (said to be December 21st, 2012) was miscalculated, but if that indeed be the case, is it really the end of the world or merely the end of the age and the beginning of a new and better one?


In any case, it's important to know that Great Conjunctions happen in a serious of successive conjunctions known as "Trigons," or "Triads," in which every third conjunction occurs in the same vicinity, making a trine pattern. Essentially, each consecutive conjunction between Saturn & Jupiter will take place in the same element for a period of about 200 years or so. During the last two hundred years or so, these conjunctions have taken place almost exclusively in earth signs. I say "almost," because there were a series of three Great Conjunctions in Libra in 1981, towards the end of the Earth Trigon, the last being the May 2000 Great Conjunction in Taurus. Now, we're back to Air, with the Great Conjunction at 0 degrees Aquarius being the first in a series of Air Trigons that will last 200 years or so.




The Great Conjunction in U.S. History


The Earth Trigon started in 1782-1802, shortly after the birth of the United States of America. In the U.S, Great Conjunctions have actually been linked to what is known as the "Curse of the Presidents." Legend has it that a Shawnee Native American chief named Tecsumeh, angered by William Henry Harrison's unfair dealings towards Indigenous peoples, placed a curse on Harrison, leading to his death from pneumonia on April 4th 1841, just one month after being inaugurated. This coincided with the lead-up to a Great Conjunction (that actually became exact in January 1842) in Capricorn, the same sign as his Midheaven and Venus, his Ascendant ruler.


This pattern would repeat itself for the next 140 years, with every president who became inaugurated during a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction dying in office. After William Henry Harrison, the next president to get elected during a Great Conjunction was Abraham Lincoln. Elected in 1960, the year of a Great Conjunction in Virgo, Abraham Lincoln survived through the years of the Civil War, only to be assassinated months after his second inauguration in 1865. Then came James Garfield, elected in 1880 during a Great Conjunction in Taurus, was shot months after being inaugurated and died 2 months later. He himself had his Ascendant ruler, the Moon, in the sign of Taurus. Onto the 20th Century, there was William McKinley, re-elected in 1900, during a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn, only to be assassinated later that year. It was also his Saturn Return. After that, there was Warren Harding, elected in 1920 as a 'return to normalcy' at the end of the First World War, during a Great Conjunction in Virgo, opposing his Pisces Ascendant. He died three years later of a gastric disturbance that lead to pneumonia and sudden cardiac arrest, months after his scandals were exposed. The next one is interesting: Franklin D. Roosevelt got re-elected during 1940's Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus, which was square his Sun in Aquarius, and died just before his fourth inauguration in 1945. He was the only president to be elected for four terms and interestingly enough, he was also born during a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus. Lastly, we have John F. Kennedy, who was elected during 1960's Great Conjunction in Capricorn and shot to death three years later.


The next Great Conjunction in 1981 heralded a break from the Earth Trigons. On December 31st, 1980, we rang in the new year with a conjunction between Jupiter & Saturn at 9'30 degrees Libra. The two interpersonal planets met again on March 4th 1981 at 8 degrees of the scales and then again, on July 24th that same year at 4 degrees of the cardinal air sign. This series of Jupiter & Saturn conjunctions in Libra brought an end to the so-called curse of the presidents. Ronald Reagan, an Aquarius Sun and movie star elected on a ticket to reduce taxes and deregulate the economy, received injuries from an assassination attempt but survived and wound up serving two terms.


The Earth Trigon wasn't over yet, however. The last Jupiter-Saturn conjunction happened on May 28th, 2000, the same year George W. Bush was elected. This conjunction occurred at 23 degrees Taurus, within three degrees of Algol, the most violent and fearsome stars in the Heavens. Located in the Perseus constellation, this star is believed to be the slain Head of Medusa, the snake-headed gorgon who could turn anyone who looked at her into stone. George W. Bush didn't die in office. In fact, he's still alive today at 74 years of age. However, on September 11th 2001, nine months after his Inauguration, a terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda in NYC happened under his presidency, catapulting us into another war that most thought was pointless.




The Air Trigon Throughout HIstory


I want to take a look back to the early 1980's, however, and the series of Great Conjunctions in Libra. Since this was the first Great Conjunction in an Air Sign since Medieval Times, I feel like it gives a preview of what's to come on December 21st and beyond. Aside from Ronald Reagan's presidency breaking the curse, the beginning of 1981 brought an end to the Iran-U.S. hostage crisis. This fits well with the Air Element's association with freedom from limitation. In June, shortly before the third and last Great Conjunction in Libra, the CDC discovered the first cases of AIDS in five gay men and a mass movement to educate people about safe sex quickly followed, changing relationships forever. Libra, of course, is a sign ruled by Venus, planet of sexuality and relationships and the marriage between Prince Charles & Princess Diana was also broadcast throughout the world at this time. Venus isn't just about sex, however. It also rules over the arts and aesthetics. MTV debuted their first video only a few days after the last Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Libra, corresponding with the popularity of the New Wave movement. New ways of connecting with others via phones and internet also gained traction in the years to come.


Aside from the 1981 Great Conjunction in Libra, the last Air Trigon occurred from March 5th 1226 starting with a Great Conjunction at 2 degrees Aquarius to January 16th 1405 with the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction at 23 degrees Aquarius. You may be wondering what looking back at the Middle Ages could possibly tell us about life today. But it can actually shed more light than you think.


In 1215, somewhere in between the end of the last Earth Trigon (1206 - Taurus) and the beginning of the last Air Trigon (1226 - Aquarius) the Magna Carta was signed. This document, drafted by rebel barons in medieval England, helped to limit the power of the king, bringing an end to absolute monarchy, making sure that even royalty was held accountable by law. This was the beginnings of an elected Parliament and "constitutional monarchy," in Britain, which official met during the 1265 Great Conjunction in Gemini. Following a similar theme, in 1226, the Roman Catholic practice of Eucharistic adoration spread from monasteries to lay people, as well. We shouldn't forget that these were the days of the Crusades & the Spanish Inquisition, but it was also a time of exploration, travel and trade exchanged between different cultures, and more importantly, many ancient trades were being translated into different languages and made more accessible. The next century marked the transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Period with many new inventions and lots of new technology (such as clocks, glasses, and unfortunately, handguns) forever changing humankind. Of course, the 1300's included the Black Plague and the Hundreds Year War, but the art and literature of the Renaissance Movement (such as Dante's Divine Comedy) was also made during this period.


The Great Conjunction in Aquarius 2020: Predictions



The upcoming conjunction of Saturn & Jupiter takes place at 0 degrees Aquarius. The first degree of any sign is a critical degree symbolizing new beginnings. Aquarius is a fixed air sign ruled traditionally ruled by Saturn. It is a sign associated with the community, large groups of people and the ideas that govern society. It is associated with freedom, equality, and the innovation of new technology. It is the sign of the humanitarian, concerned with all that might make things better for humanity. Depicted by the constellation of the water-bearer, it has ancient associations with purification and cleansing. This goes hand in hand with its more modern associations of revolution and rebellion. Essentially, this Great Conjunction will herald new beginnings related to technology, society, government, and the fate of humanity. It does away with the old, cleansing humanity of all that is no longer needed, replacing it with something new and hopefully better.


Since Aquarius is an Air Sign, associated with freedom and egalitarianism, I want to believe this conjunction of Saturn & Jupiter will pave the way for a more equitable and just society. The world doesn't have to be like this. New developments in communications make a real life utopia possible now. This new way of living could take the form of democratic socialism or anarcho-communism. However, others fear the possibility of a technocratic New World Order, and this is possible too. I suppose it all depends on how we choose to use this energy. Aquarius is very much a sign of evolution or human advancement. Do we want to go the route of true spiritual evolution or do we prefer to take the road of temporary material advancement?


In any case, this Great Conjunction in Aquarius will coincide with a square between Mars in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn exact on that very same day. This is a very destructive aspect. Mars is the god of war and Pluto is the god of death. This shows that the benefits of the new age will be born out of the ashes of the old. There'll be peace and harmony to come but not without violence and chaos first. At it's worst, this square between Mars and Pluto can cause an all-out fight to the death. When I first saw this chart many years ago, I feared that 2020 would be the year of World War 3 and possibly, Armageddon, or the end of the world. Now, I am less fearful about the world itself actually ending but this may bring an end to the world as we know it.


It's significant too that this conjunction between Jupiter & Saturn should take place on Winter Solstice, with the Sun's ingress into Capricorn, a sign associated with the authority figures & hierarchy that the Great Conjunction may help bring an end to. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year, in the Northern Hemisphere. Due to the cold weather and lack of sunlight during this time, Capricorn is often associated with darkness. It is ruled by Saturn, the farthest planet from the Sun and traditionally known as the Great Malefic. However, Capricorn Season is also a time for celebration: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, Three Kings Day, and the traditional pagan celebrations of Yule or Saturnalia all happen during this time. Despite the darkness, in ancient times, this day was celebrated as the birth of the Sun and was believed to be a spiritually significant time for regeneration, self-reflection and renewal. The Sun's conjunct to Mercury, planet of the mind and messenger of the gods, may help bring us clarity about what goals or resolutions we want to set for the year ahead, both for ourselves and for society as a whole. The Sun's conjunction to Mercury is also good for communication. This is a time to get the truth out and say what we want to say.


While I wouldn't normally pay attention to the Ascendant & Midheaven (two positions determined by location coordinates) in an event chart like this that applies for the whole world, I do think it's interesting that the chart I used for NYC has Uranus on the Ascendant & Pluto on the Midheaven. Uranus is actually Aquarius' modern ruler and a planet associated with chaos, rebellion and revolution. Pluto is associated with transformation, death & destruction but also rebirth. The key theme here is change. Big changes are happening and they may be unexpected or hard to cope with, at first. Pluto is square Mars in the 12th house which shows an attack unleashed by unknown sources, hidden enemies or an underground rebellion. Saturn & Jupiter are in the 10th house - the uppermost part of the earth - which is a prominent positions. The themes of the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction apply everywhere in the world but may be particular prominent in the East Coast of the United States where it falls in the 10th house.



Horoscopes


Now it's time to see how it will affect your sign. I suggest reading the horoscope for your ascendant or rising sign, first, instead of the sun. I find the rising sign horoscope to be more accurate than the sun, as these horoscopes are based on the houses. If you don't know your rising sign, click here to generate a birth chart. Yes, you will need your birth time for this. If you don't have your birth time, Sun sign horoscopes are the next best thing.


While I generally think of the Great Conjunction as more of a collective phenomena affecting countries and leaders before it does individuals, nevertheless, people with angles or personal planets (or even the North and South Node) between 0 and 5 degrees of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) will most especially be affected by this transit while people with placements between 25 and 29 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) may feel a weight being lifted off their shoulders. If you have angles or personal planets between 0 and 5 degrees of the other air signs, Gemini & Libra you may also be heavily affected by this transit.



Aries Rising (or Sun)

In the New Age, you'll learn to put your fiery, pioneering spirit to a good collective use, Aries. With the Great Conjunction in Aquarius transiting your 11th house of friends, there will likely be positive changes in your circle of friends, as well as in your community at large. You may be inspired to get more involved in politics, doing your best for the revolution, or anything that helps to benefit the group in some way. In any case, you're a fighter with a cause.



Taurus Rising (or Sun)

There may be changes with your career, when the Great Conjunction in Aquarius transits through your 10th house. You may find yourself in the public eye or in a leadership position you never expected. While you're used to staying in your comfort zone and stubbornly holding on to what's yours, Taurus, you'll benefit in this new age by being more flexible, and using your position in the workplace to create a better world.



Gemini Rising (or Sun)

With the Great Conjunction in Aquarius transiting through your 9th house, there may be changes in your belief system or general worldview. Whether its by taking you on a new journey or going back to school or even just watching a documentary on YouTube, you love to learn, Gemini. You've already got an open mind and boundless curiosity, so this period should be good for you. Not only will it help to expand your mind, but Saturn may provide better direction for what to do with that knowledge and giving more solidity to whatever philosophies you hold.



Cancer Rising (or Sun)

You're no stranger to pain, Cancer. With the Great Conjunction in Aquarius transiting through your 8th house - traditionally known as the house of death - you may have to say goodbye to the things in life that are no longer serving you, or perhaps you'll experience another painful loss of some kind. Or else there may be changes regarding how you manage resources. In any case, this transition may be painful at first but ultimately, it will transform you into a better version of yourself, possibly by helping you become more comfortable being vulnerable with others.



Leo Rising (or Sun)

The Great Conjunction in Aquarius falls into your 7th house, causing new beginnings in your love life. You may feel a greater urge for freedom in your dating life, Leo, or no longer content with superficial interactions, a need for the people who really speak to your soul. You may find yourself attracted to someone unique or different from the norm. In any case, you're helping to usher in a whole new paradigm of how love works.



Virgo Rising (or Sun)

You're generally known for being health-conscious, Virgo, and with the Great Conjunction in Aquarius falling into your 6th house, there might be changes to your health, for good or for ill. Nevertheless, keeping up with the revolutionary spirit of the Aquarian Age, you may feel at your best by seeking out a more holistic approach for your ailments - or for remaining well, one that involves diet and exercise, along with both mind, spirit and body.



Libra Rising (or Sun)

The new age is inspiring you to be more creative, Libra, and use your artistic skills and eye for beauty for the good of all. Additionally, with the Great Conjunction in Aquarius transiting through your 5th house, you're exploring what brings you joy and experiencing the depths of what romance and pleasure have to offer. You are in your element, Libra, and this should be a very good time for you, with Saturn helping to bring more structure to your relationships or creative projects.



Scorpio Rising (or Sun)

Things are changing on the home front, with the Great Conjunction in Aquarius transiting through your 4th house. There may be new beginnings regarding family and your relationship to your ancestors, Scorpio, or you may be settling down some new roots, perhaps by re-locating somewhere new altogether. This transit may also help you free yourself from some deep-seated early childhood issues.



Sagittarius Rising (or Sun)

You're a talkative person, Sagittarius, and with the Great Conjunction of Aquarius falling into your 3rd house, you're finding new ways to communicate and share information with others, perhaps opening up your mind a little bit and discussing topics that help emphasize the greater good. While you're known for your big ideas and knowledge of faraway lands, the 3rd house is more about the neighborhood and local travels, the people and places that you're familiar with. Start getting acquainted with your immediate surroundings and find a way to make your knowledge more accessible or easily understood by the people around you.



Capricorn Rising (or Sun)

With the Great Conjunction in Aquarius falling into your natal 2nd house, you're finding new ways to make money or perhaps, adapting to a whole new financial paradigm altogether. You're known for being a bit of a materialist, Capricorn, and this isn't inherently a bad thing, but this new age is just as much about giving as it is receiving, and you're finding ways to extend that generosity onto other people.



Aquarius Rising (or Sun)

This is your time to shine, Aquarius. Expect more blessings to come your way, as you pave the way for others to shine in this new age. With the Great Conjunction in your 1st house, may be some major changes to both your life and your identity and this may be scary at first, but ultimately, they'll present you with life-changing opportunities beyond what you've even dreamed of.



Pisces Rising (or Sun)

You're a sensitive person, Pisces, and at times, you may get bogged down by the influences of the world around you. With the Great Conjunction in Aquarius falling into your natal 12th house - the house of self-undoing - it's time to clear the dark corners of your psyche and heal from any negative influences or past traumas. While it may mean letting go of some things and surrendering to the flow of the universe, this transit will new doors for you in terms of spiritual growth.



Conclusion

With Saturn and Jupiter conjunct at the first degree of Aquarius, starting off a new two hundred year cycle of Great Conjunctions in Air Signs, we can expect the Age of Aquarius to truly begin. With Mars in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn, there will likely be destruction and even violence, as the old paradigm comes to an end. We can expect major changes in our leadership over the next few weeks or even months following the conjunction and shifts in power as new empires rise and old ones fall. While the revolution may look ugly at first, due to that Mars-Pluto square, I would argue that this is an auspicious time overall, and it may feel like a breath of fresh air or a new beginning, where humans can truly live in freedom and at peace with one another, a society built on equality and empathy for all.



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