You’ve probably heard quite a lot of buzz lately about the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that will happen on December 21st, 2020. And there are a few reasons why so many astrologers are very excited about this configuration. First, it’s happening on the Winter Solstice. And second, it’s happening at 0º Aquarius. So many are reading this as a sign that the much anticipated Age of Aquarius has finally arrived. And while this isn’t necessarily related to the “Age of Aquarius” (because that’s referring to the precession of the equinoxes — which is an entirely different astronomical phenomenon,) we can accurately say that the “Era of Aquarius” is about to begin. And this is in and of itself a really big deal. Here’s why.
The “Great Conjunction” refers to the fact that every 20 years, the planets Jupiter and Saturn form a conjunction in the sky. As these are the two social planets, their conjunction cycle tends to indicate the beginning of a new era in society, pointing to shifts in power and ideology. It’s a very significant and predictable cycle that astrologers have observed for millennia. Throughout history, the reigns of monarchs and the emergence of new political dynasties and even new religions have been linked with this cycle.
Before the discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto over the last 300 years, Jupiter and Saturn had previously represented the outer limits of our solar system. They remain the farthest planets from the Sun that can be seen with the naked eye. When they form this conjunction every 20 years, they often appear together in the sky as one big, bright star for a period of time. In fact, the Star of Bethlehem referred to in the bible is likely the Jupiter–Saturn conjunction that occurred in the sign of Pisces back in 7 BCE, which is another reason why Jesus was associated with the sign of Pisces. (The other being that it was also the beginning of the Age of Pisces, but again that’s precession, that’s another story.)
Great Mutation: A 200 Year Cycle
So, the Great Conjunction has been observed as a major cycle in astrology since ancient times. In addition to this 20 year cycle, there is also a greater cycle — because these conjunctions occur in the same element for 200 years. So, for the last 200 years, this Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn has occurred in Earth signs (with one expectation, which we’ll talk about later). With this year’s Great Conjunction, we are about to begin a new 200-year cycle where the conjunctions will occur in Air signs for the next two centuries, beginning with their upcoming conjunction in Aquarius on December 21st, 2020. When this shift in elements occurs, it is referred to as a Great Mutation. So this is adding extra emphasis to the significance of this year’s Great Conjunction. We’re also witnessing a Great Mutation. And we can even take it one step further, and see that this is also part of an even larger 800-year cycle, which is the last time we had a Great Mutation from Earth to Air, which last occurred in 1225 A.D.
This is why this is such a big deal. And it’s the reason why many astrologers are so enthusiastic about what it might portend for our society. And it’s made all the more significant as it is coming off the heels of another major configuration — that of Jupiter and Saturn both conjunct Pluto in Capricorn for most of 2020. This has been the configuration that has set the tone for the year 2020. (You might want to check out the articles I wrote on this subject earlier this year, Part 1 and Part 2, or the videos I made on the same topic).
Suffice it to say, this constellation is responsible for what we have collectively experienced as what I’ve been calling the Great Capricorn Challenge of 2020. It’s been a pretty challenging year — and that was to be expected as a result of this “stellium” in Capricorn. (Stellium simply means a cluster of three or more planets.) When three or more planets join together it can be very powerful, especially with three planets as powerful as Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. These are three of the “heavy hitters” of the heavens. And I don’t think anyone can deny that this has been a doozy of a year.
But now with this Great Conjunction, a major shift is beginning. We’re shifting from the energy of Capricorn into the energy of Aquarius — essentially a move from an Earth sign to an Air sign. In a way, this is a mini-parallel to the 200-year Great Mutation that is also under way, moving from Earth to Air. I mention this because I feel like the immediacy of what we have been experiencing over the last year is important to keep in mind. Because the imprint of that contact with Pluto in Capricorn is still very much felt by these two planets as they now move into Aquarius together. And the symbolism of this shift from Earth to Air, and in particular for Capricorn to Aquarius, is a really profound metaphor for our current society. There is a heaviness and a weight to this shift, as we are beginning the process of shedding 200 years of history and setting the stage for the next 200 year cycle to begin. And we have to realize that these kinds of changes don’t happen overnight. We’re not all gonna wake up on Monday, December 21st and find that the world has suddenly changed, and it’s all peace, love and happiness. It just doesn’t work like that.
That’s not to say there won’t be a palpable shift in the energy field that will occur on the 21st… on the Winter Solstice. It will. It’s there. We’ll see it in the night sky — on the longest night of the year. And this conjunction is made more powerful by the fact that Jupiter and Saturn will not only be conjunct at 0º Aquarius (meaning horizontally in the sky), but they will also be in parallel (meaning they are in the same position vertically in the sky as well.) This will result in these two giant planets appearing almost as one bright star in the nighttime sky. It will be like the Star of Bethlehem effect, which makes this conjunction all the more powerful. And the most sensitive among us will certainly feel this power. But it’s subtle. Because it’s a hint of things to come.
Changing of the Guard
Now, we’re likely to see some indications, some real events or symbolic gestures in the days, weeks and months ahead that will point to this grand shift that is taking place. But we have to understand that it represents a process that will take years to unfold. In fact, the Great Mutation from Earth to Air will likely take this entire 20 year cycle to fully unfold. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. I just want us all to be realistic about our expectations and take a practical approach to the changes that are now under way. There are many astrologers jumping up and down for joy, and declaring that this will instantly change the world. And I understand the need to reach for something hopeful right now. I do. And, believe me, I genuinely share in their enthusiasm for this event. I do think this is a big deal. This is a very real and significant inflection point. We are beginning a great shift in consciousness on this planet. But it isn’t going to be quick, and it’s not going to be easy. Because there is going to be a lot of resistance to the change. Which is an essential quality of Capricorn.
We need to consider the fact that we are initiating a shift from 200 years of an earth-centered social orientation, which coincides with the entire Industrial Age and the rise of global capitalism. But now, essentially, the Industrial Age is coming to an end, as a new Digital Age is being born. This is the shift from Earth to Air, and more immediately from Capricorn to Aquarius. And it’s been happening for a while. But we are starting to feel the acceleration of its effects. and it’s about to shift into high gear. Because digital and communications technologies are likely to continue their exponential growth over the next 20 years. We will witness a shift from top-down hierarchical structures to horizontal systems and peer-to-peer networks. We are going to participate in the transition from a model of private capital and personal wealth accumulation (which essentially capitalism — Capricorn/Earth) to a model of serving the highest good of the collective commons and instituting more equitable wealth distribution (which is essentially democratic socialism — Aquarius/Air).
That’s why we are witnessing the polarizing battles over competing ideologies in our contemporary political discourse. This shift is underway. And we’re witnessing an enormous resistance to this change, which is based on fear and insecurity — essentially the traits of Capricorn and its ruling planet Saturn. But ultimately the evolutionary process will unfold under the influence of Aquarius and its ruling planet Uranus — the great change agent himself. It’s just a matter of whether the necessary changes occur slowly, gradually and peacefully, or whether they occur through revolution, upheaval and catastrophe.
The resistance to this change is to be expected. The momentum of 200 years of earth-centered history has now become inertia. We’re stuck in our old modes of behavior, our old ways of being. What has worked extremely well for the last two centuries is now no longer working so well. But it’s the only way we’ve ever known, so we are struggling to find a way out of our current predicament.
This is the nature of these grand cycles. This is the message of these planetary alignments. A change must occur. And under their influence, something stirs in the collective psyche to produce the catalyst for the necessary changes. When we consider that we’re currently trying to move out of an earth-orientation, which is the element most resistant to change — then we can see that it’s probably going to be a hard sell for a lot of people. Especially for the most earth-oriented folks among us who are deeply invested in the old system. And even more so for those who have disproportionately benefited from the inequities of the capitalist system that — at this moment, the twilight of its era — has now resulted in the greatest income inequality in history.
This is the world of the 1% versus the 99%. And this is why such a shift must occur. That paradigm has run its course. It no longer serves humanity. But for those who hold vast amounts of weather and power, they have developed a memetic predisposition to resist these changes by any means necessary. And let’s face it — they have a lot of means. The 1% is essentially in control of the entire global financial system. They also have a high concentration of ownership of nearly all the major media outlets. Which means they can control and dictate the narrative. They can seek to “set the agenda” for this new cycle. And they can spin the message to serve their considerable interests, which are locked into the ways and means of the old system.
Now, I wanna be clear: I’m not necessarily proposing that this is a conspiracy of evil global capitalists. They are just playing the game of capitalism — a system based on the (false) notion of a scarcity of resources which thus rewards aggressive, winner-take-all competition, hostile takeovers and ruthless self-interest. These are the rules of the game, which promotes a certain set of values. And some human beings are really good at this game. They have played it well. And the better you play this game, the greater your ability to tilt the field in your favor. You can literally move the goalposts and get away with it. It’s what’s called asymmetrical power. It’s an inevitable byproduct of the capitalist system. And the values espoused by the capitalist system have reinforced in these power players the idea that they have earned it, and that they must necessarily fight to keep it. And, in that value equation, they are not wrong. They are simply being good capitalists.
The problem is, that value system is now outdated. It has run its course and must now be replaced with a new value system. The old, top-down, hierarchical Capricorn model is broken — it no longer serves. Now it’s time to repair and replace it with a new, bottom-up, horizontal, networked, peer-to-peer, egalitarian Aquarius model. It’s already happening on many levels. But this will be the essential battle that will take place in our society over the next 5–10 years. And this Great Conjunction that we are about to experience represents the inflection point of that shift.
Great Mutation vs. Great Reset
That gives us a broad view on what’s taking place here. And it puts things in perspective. So, it’s not surprising that one of the big themes being circulated in the culture right now is this notion of a “Great Reset.” This is an idea floated by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum — which is essentially a fraternity of the 1% — basically a billionaire’s club. And they are very open and articulate about their vision for a new global world order, driven by technology, efficiency and new revenue streams. And it’s got a lot of people up in arms. Some say it’s an attempt at world domination by a cabal of global technocratic fascists, while those on the other side proclaim it’s the only way forward and will lead us to a trans-human utopia where technology solves all of our seemingly intractable problems.
The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle. But it is entirely appropriate that we are having the conversation about a “Great Reset” amidst a “Great Conjunction” which is marking a “Great Mutation.” This is just par for the course. We shouldn’t expect otherwise. But we can’t be naive. This is the battleground. And the big question is: who sets the agenda?
It’s important to emphasize that the shift into the energy and vibration of Aquarius does support a transition to a bottom-up, grassroots, egalitarian society based on fairness, social justice, equality and human rights. These are the hallmarks of the Aquarian archetype. But these principles can only be realized through aware and awakened individuals who are connected to one another via communities with other like-minded individuals who form interconnected networks of influence. Aquarius is all about “network effects.”
Who Controls the Narrative?
The shift will require the coordinated effort of a well-informed public. That’s the key ingredient here. Which is why the power struggle is over information: who controls the narrative? We’re accustomed to a world when “experts” and “authorities” set policy and steer the ship of state from on high. But, due to the corrosive influences of special interests and crony capitalism, that system has broken down. It no longer commands our attention because it can no longer be trusted. There is no Walter Cronkite anymore. The burden of responsibility to be well informed is now shifted to the individual. And that is the shift — the sea change — of which we are in the midst. And many of us have yet to find our sea legs, so to speak. But this is exactly what this shift is intended to do: to awaken enough people and stir them into action so as to initiate these changes for themselves.
Aquarius is the patron saint of the rebel, the reformer, the innovator and the iconoclast. So watch for these highly-individuated types to emerge as the “leaders of the new,” to be first out of the gates, trailblazing new ideas and sharing new visions for the future. This will begin over the next 3–5 years. We will witness an incredible ground swell of support for these visionaries of a new society. What we have with this Great Conjunction is the energy of both Jupiter and Saturn being powerfully combined, establishing a new theme, setting a new tone. We’re ringing the bell of Aquarius, and that note will reverberate for the next 20 years.
Jupiter & Saturn: Building a New Society Together
And this is a very unique combination of two compatible yet seemingly conflicting planetary archetypes. Because when we consider Jupiter — which is all about expansion, growth, faith and optimism, it can seem to be the polar opposite of Saturn — which is about contraction, pessimism, fear and insecurity. But despite their different methods, the two planets are actually working towards the same goal, that of building and maintaining a social order. That’s why they are considered the social planets. It’s that tension between expansion and contraction, liberal and conservative, that is necessary for society to cohere, and to function, and thus to evolve.
Over the course of the next year, the faster moving planet Jupiter will start to separate from the slower moving Saturn and travel through the entire sign of Aquarius throughout 2021. It will carry with it the optimism, spirit and potential of the Great Conjunction and begin to set the tone for the new era. Meanwhile, the slower moving Saturn will take 2½ years to travel through Aquarius. During that time it will demand that we work hard to instigate the necessary changes. It will set boundaries and limits, forcing us to build structures and provide containers for all the innovative spirit and optimism that Jupiter provided as it sped ahead of it.
This dynamic will be in play for the next 5 years, until the two planets form a square aspect in August of 2024, at which time Jupiter will have “ingressed” or moved into Gemini and Saturn will be in Pisces. This will be our first major check-in on the new Aquarian agenda: we’ll likely get an emotional “gut check” regarding how the “new ideas” are being assimilated by the “body politic” of the collective. And there will likely be some crisis of action that will need to be worked through at that time. By then, Pluto will have begun its own journey through Aquarius, so the Aquarian themes of innovation and future-orientation will be getting a powerful boost.
But before we get there, we have to endure Pluto finishing up its time in Capricorn over the better part of the next 3 years. This is a process which has been unfolding since 2008, one that began with the financial crisis that nearly melted down the entire global economy that year. And in many ways, we never fully recovered from it. This is because the Pluto in Capricorn period has been all about implementing much needed systemic changes and renovating the very structures of our society. That’s why we’re seeing so many of our social “systems” seemingly breaking down all at once, amplified by the stress of the coronavirus pandemic. These systems are in need of a massive overhaul. They need to be restructured so they can be of service to the new society that is in the process of emerging. So there is still a lot of work to be done. And the pull of the past and the resistance to that change (Capricorn) — and the power struggles over the way forward — will still be strongly felt during this 3–5 year transition phase.
The last few years have been a preview of this tension and struggle. It will only intensify over the next few years. This will tend to break down on generational lines in many ways — with older generations clinging on to the past and the younger generations striving to move into the new future. But, for folks of all ages who share in a progressive vision — and are open and ready to accept and implement the necessary changes — there is now light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why the specter of this Great Conjunction is seen as being so important and so inspiring for so many of us.
Aquarius: a complicated archetype
Now, I do wanna sound a note of caution when talking about the Aquarius archetype, because to my mind, it really is one of the most difficult of all the signs of the zodiac to completely wrap your brain around. And there’s a few reasons for this. One is that the sign of Aquarius is ruled by both Saturn — its traditional ruler — and Uranus — its modern ruler. And as these two planets are in many ways antithetical to each other — with Saturn wanting to set limits and put up boundaries and Uranus wants to break free of the chains of bondage and boldly explore the unknown. This creates a rather dynamic tension with the Aquarius archetype.
Also, when we consider that while its symbol is the Water Bearer, it is in fact an air sign. Rather than immerse itself in the emotional waters, the Water Bearer acts to contain the emotions — literally in a container — to stand back at a distance and observe the outpouring of the emotional nature with a rational detachment, with the purity of mind that is characteristic of the air element. This is what lends the sign its reputation for being cold, distant and aloof.
The other seeming paradox is that while Aquarius is all about individuality and freedom-loving expression, it’s also a fixed sign. So it can be very rigid in its point of view, displaying an intellectual arrogance and an exude an aura of unapproachability. I mention all this because many of these characteristics are likely to be on display during the next few years, particularly as it relates to Saturn moving through Aquarius. Because Saturn tends to reinforce some of these less appealing attributes of the sign. And Saturn, as ruler of both Capricorn and Aquarius, and now moving out of Capricorn and into Aquarius, will likely make its presence powerfully felt during the next 2½ years. And this will be amplified by the fact that Saturn will be in a square aspect to Uranus in Taurus throughout 2021. I’ll be writing more about this in upcoming articles, but it’s worth briefly mentioning here because it will have a significant impact on the tone of Saturn’s journey into Aquarius over the course of the next year or so, really amping up the tension between past and future. Consider yourselves warned.
Find The Others
Now, one of the greatest take-aways that I’m getting from all of this is what I’m calling the Great Aquarian Mandate. And that mandate is: find the others. And here I’m borrowing a phrase from the great psychedelic pioneer Timothy Leary — who was a classic Aquarian type if there ever was one (in fact, he had an Aquarius Moon conjunct Uranus!). And he coined the phrase “find the others” to encourage people to seek out those “others” who are of like mind.
And now, in this Aquarian Era, we need to do the same. We need to seek out those “others” who share our vision of the future we want to live in, and forge strong and valuable connections with these others. Within our communities, both on- and off-line, both default and digital worlds — we need to work to build and join these emerging networks, where new ideas are being shared and new innovations are being pursued. This is the realm of the new “Air Era.” The “Aira” if you will. This is the true and highest expression of the Aquarian spirit.
And it’s already happening. It’s nascent. It’s just percolating at the fringes. It’s being kept marginalized by the dominant consensus of the old Capricorn system. But that resistance is breaking down. We’re living in the midst of that collapse of the old paradigm, which is why it’s felt so disorienting and somewhat painful at times. But that stranglehold on culture by the old, Capricorn, hierarchical, dominator, broadcast model is being eroded by the network effects of the new digital information environment. This is the Information Age. And we now have all the tools and technology at our disposal. The tools are not the problem. It’s how we use these tools that counts. It’s now a matter of putting these tools, these technologies, to their proper and best use. Leveraging the power of social networks — not to divide and conquer — but to unite and to connect.
Because here’s the truth: if you are even reading this article, or if the ideas of astrology in general and the notion of the Great Conjunction and the Age of Aquarius all resonant with you, then you have already self-identified as being part of the leading edge of humanity. You have already differentiated yourself from the mass consensus. Just by virtue of your way of thinking, your openness and progressive values. You have essentially self-selected as part of the movement that will lead the rest of humanity into the future. We are the torch-bearers, and we are being called to light the way through the current darkness and into a brighter future — one that’s based on a brotherhood & sisterhood of humanity, where the sovereignty of every individual is sacred, where the value of the collective is celebrated, where the tragedy of the commons is healed. This is the great promise of the Great Mutation.
A Provocative Equation
I want to leave you with an idea that I think is really relevant to this time in our history. It’s the notion of the square root of 1% of a population. It’s interesting. Perhaps this is the formula for how we “flip the script” on the 1% versus the 99% paradigm with which we’ve been struggling. This idea comes from the Transcendental Meditation — or TM — Movement. The thinking goes that if the square root of 1% of any population were to set an intention and meditate on that idea together, that they could effectively change the consciousness of that population. This is a really provocative idea that has always stuck with me. Because when you start to do the math, it really puts things in a new perspective.
Consider the United States. Our current population is estimated at about 328 million. 1% of that is 3,280,000. The square root of that is 1,811. So, if about 1800 people got together and agreed to a shared vision for the future of America, it’s likely that they could effectively steer the entire country in that direction. That’s kind of astounding.
Then, consider the state of California where I live. As arguably the most progressive and populist state in the union, with an economy greater than most countries of the world, California has a population of roughly 39.5 million. The square root of 1% of that? 628. So, if 628 people got together and agreed to a shared vision for the future of California, they could effectively influence the entire state. That’s really astounding.
Let’s drill down even deeper and consider Los Angeles, the city where I live, which at times feels like a giant sprawling metropolis, but at other times feels like a big small town in some strange way. If we take the square root of the population of LA, which is currently around 4 million people, we get 200. Could 200 people, united in a common cause, effectively shape the direction and future of the city of Los Angeles? That’s just mind-blowing.
Now, consider the city where you live. What is that number for your city or town? It really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
Whether or not this math equation is valid has never really been tested or proven, or disproven for that matter. But, as I ponder the current state of affairs, and consider this threshold upon which we all seem to be collectively standing, it seems to me that the time is ripe for such a provocative formula to be put to the test. This is the time where the leading edge of humanity is being called to emerge — to individuate, ideate, iterate, to imagine, inspire, envision. The Great Conjunction in Aquarius is calling us forth as innovators, inventors, rebels, leaders, organizers, collaborators. To connect at the grassroots level, to rebuild society from the bottom up. To think globally and act locally. To be the change we want to see in the world. It’s not gonna come easy. We’ll have to roll up our sleeves and put in the work. But we can and we will get there. Because the future of humanity kinda depends on it.
And the rest of the world is waiting for those of us who hear the call to emerge and lead the way. Because, if we’re not a part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. So, first order of business: go out and find the others. Connect. Network. Help. Share. Do it for yourself. And do it for your community. I think we’ll all start to feel a lot better about ourselves when we feel we are moving with the current, with the direction and flow of this renewing cosmic energy. The winds of change are blowing, and we are now getting a good head wind. So, let’s set our sails and begin to tack our way forward, creatively navigate these dicey waters and set our course to the promised future.
I hope you’re inspired by this perspective. I hope it will motivate you to try and incorporate the spirit of this Great Conjunction into your life in some tangible, meaningful or significant way. I know I’m inspired by it, and enthusiastic about the near-term future and really excited to participate in the world that we’ll be creating together over the next 5–10 years. It really is an exciting time to be alive.
And do yourself a favor. On the night of the Winter Solstice, Monday, December 21st, go out and check out the night sky. The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be visible just after sunset in the southwestern sky. I invite you to take it in and set an intention. 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. Where will we be? What will our world look and feel like? Feel it now. And then start to live it into reality.