Even before 2020, astrologers were giving 2020 the side-eye. I know you’re hearing a lot about the “Great Conjunction” in Aquarius on December 21st, but truth is, this entire year’s challenges can be attributed to the shifting conjunctions between the heavy-hitters in Capricorn: Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter. And we know what these past months have been like. Still, this last conjunction in 2020 is going to be a breath of fresh air. Aquarius is an air sign.
To understand the changes, it helps to look back a bit and understand Capricorn, and then Aquarius. It’s interesting to note that both these signs were ruled by Saturn in traditional astrology.
Saturn and Capricorn
Saturn was named for Kronos (the Greek name for the King of the Titans and God of Time) and for much of history, it was the farthest and slowest-moving planet humans could see. There are still astrological systems that don’t look past Saturn.
Saturn is regarded as a malefic and karmic planet. Its transits bring tests and restrictions. It teaches patience, humility, and hard work. Most people hate it.
Saturn rules Capricorn, the sign of the sea-goat: half fish (a swimmer), and half champion mountain-climber. The sign opposite in the Zodiac is Cancer, a water sign. These two form the Security axis, with crabby Cancer being somewhat concerned with emotional security (hard shell on the outside and resourceful as heck) while the goat is fairly exposed on the mountainside and concerned with outward show and achievement–but really anything that can guarantee material security.
Notable about the security axis: Capricorn is ruled by the planet that was the farthest out (until telescopes), while Cancer is ruled by the moon, the closest celestial body to us. Talk about extremes. Cancer and the 4th house govern our private home life and beginnings; Capricorn and the 10th house our career, legacy, and public face. These two signs and houses are also related with our mother and father, though there are disagreements over which house pertains to which parent.
Security = HUGE. Humongous. Crucial. Critical.
Understanding Capricorn is to see how security is built and maintained with family traditions, societal conventions, laws and rules, shows of power, governmental institutions, hierarchy (more mountain imagery) and physical infrastructure. Authority that comes from holding a particular role or privilege. Maintaining that authority with external control.
(Even if Saturn and Jupiter are leaving Capricorn this December, Pluto will be staying until 2024, so don’t expect us to suddenly become an Aquarian utopia even if Ascension or New Age literature keeps holding out that carrot.)
On the inside, Saturn and Capricorn are still about security, but on a higher level (from Evolutionary Astrology), they’re really about integrity and wisdom. In an ideal world, only these traits should get a person up the corporate or political ladders.
Integrity is about being honest and true to oneself. This is how in traditional astrology Saturn ruled both Capricorn and Aquarius, the latter of which is the sign of mavericks, eccentrics, innovators, and humanitarians.
The Dark Side of Capricorn
Authority can be abused. Authority can become hollow, without wisdom. It restricts and blocks needed changes when it sees these as threats to ego or security (see Saturn Devouring His Son). Authority can become so entrenched and automatic, dull and deadened that everything outside its comfort zone, good or bad, can trigger attempts to kill or control. Authority can be used to suppress.
Capricorn’s small dick energy is fear of challenges to its authority. But we can figure out that deeper down (deep, deep down; deeper than that. Some more, keep going) this is Capricorn threatened over its material security and survival. And under that (if it could admit to a feminine and feeling side), it’s about emotional survival too.
The Transit from Capricorn to Aquarius
Jupiter and Saturn arriving in Aquarius together will see us start to see, and practice, a different kind of authority. One of the more annoying things to watch in human history has been blind conformity (my rant for that here) and support for authoritarianism, which Pluto’s long transit through Capricorn (2008-2024) will continue to illuminate and hopefully transform.
These are slow changes, but people’s ideas about what authority really means should shift to something more egalitarian and… free.
Uranus and Aquarius
Uranus was found on March 13, 1781 by British astronomer William Herschel (yep, not just a bag brand) and was named after Kronos’ father, the original literal sky daddy. But thematically and astrologically Uranus is Promethean energy: rule-breaking, compassionate, genius, avant garde, a bit detached and eccentric. Think David Bowie, who was Aquarius rising. Elon Musk is another Aquarian type who has Uranus near his Libra ascendant. Outer space types. Counter culture, at least at the start.
(Yours Truly is possibly Aquarius rising; I also have Uranus on midheaven and was called “The Martian” for 2 years in school, but anyway)
Uranus keeps his ears close to the ground. Uranus believes in democracy, free will, choice, equality, community, and technological solutions. Of course all this stuff is a nightmare to strongman politics, yet (maybe because of people like Elon Musk?) we know that some heroes can be corrupted by pride.
Opposite of Aquarius lies Leo. The Leo-Aquarius axis is hard to name. Some call it the axis of ego, some the axis of creativity. I’m going to flex here and call it the axis of distinction. Both signs are immensely special.
They’re both fixed (ie. stubborn) signs that occur in the middle of their respective seasons (Leo in the summer, Aquarius winter). Leo is loving, warm, courageous, and desperate to shine (ruled by the Sun). Their talent and generosity comes from the heart. Meanwhile, Aquarius is the brainy alien everyone low-key hates because they think they’re so f*cking smart. Jeezus look at them smirk in class. Why do they always have to make the rest of us look ba–
Aquarius can be a bit of an outcast and misfit, which is why it can and does root for the underdogs. Aquarius simply has no use for bullies or outmoded structures. With any luck, Aquarius energy should liberate politics, community organising, human rights, relationships, sexual and self-expression in the next years. Aquarius doesn’t give a shit about tradition; it wants to just do what works as is obvious to its intellectual objectivity. And yet it’s not completely cold to feelings or emotions–it just wants the solutions to be mental and clean.
The Dark Side of Aquarius
Pride, as you’ve probably figured out. Over-rationalising. Disdainful of those who fear change or cannot keep up with their mental reasoning and prowess. Ignoring low-tech solutions. Ignoring mushy (emotional) or practical considerations.
I suspect if you could convince an Aquarian that its lofty detached view could be improved and made more distinguished by becoming holistic and balanced…it might just work. Uranus and Aquarius are not unaware or insensitive to emotional complexity. Being an outcast gives certain experiences and lends a certain insight into the human psyche. And Aquarius is still a humanitarian.
Saturn will stay in Aquarius for 2 years, after which it moves into Pisces. Jupiter’s transit through Aquarius is quicker (a year).
This transit of the two social planets through Aquarius should give us some breathing room after the heavy heavy Capricorn transits we had in 2020. (But as mentioned, Pluto remains in Capricorn till 2024.)
With Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, authority and deference should be less projected externally. Instead we should shift into recognising and using our unique likes and gifts–individuation. We get to “take back” our authority and use our personal genius for our chosen groups and communities. We can find our tribes and start to thrive on our own terms.
Our weird will become wonderful.
For those curious: The next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction will happen in 2040 in Libra. The last time this happened in Libra was 1980, which could mean 20 more years till when music won’t suck again. (Kidding. But, New Wave.)
If you read and parsed all of this, you might be an Aquarius. If no, I’m available for readings.