2020 – The year our reality changed utterly: an astrological diary


We are starting tonight with a new series by our in-house astrologer, Phoebe Wyss.

This series can be followed regularly by bookmarking this link: Phoebe’s Blog

Jupiter conjunct Pluto

Blog 1, 12th March

The full moon in Virgo three days ago occurring opposite Sun conjunct Neptune describes our present collective and personal state of mind very well. Concerns about health and hygiene (Virgo) arise from the threat of the coronavirus in the face of which we feel confused and helpless (Pisces and Neptune). As it’s also unstoppable – boundless and invisible – it freaks us out!

I see this scenario as occurring in the wider context of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of last December-January, which saw the first reports of the virus. It’s giving the tone to the whole of 2020 as it dominated the winter solstice chart.

In brief Saturn-Pluto symbolises exceptional hardship, materially and economically, and on the psychological level deep irrational fear and dread. Although Mercury in Pisces is now no longer retrograde, and more clarity leading to decisive action should be available, in the prevalent Piscean energy the heightened collective imagination can produce illusions and fantasies that panic us and undermine the potentially firm resolve offered by Mars, now also in Capricorn.

More drama looms as Jupiter moves into a rare conjunction with Pluto, exact on 5th April and already in orb. Occurring in the sign Capricorn, it would suggest governments and administrators become more level-headed, and more able to make informed, sensible plans to deal with the crisis. But the intense, passionate convergence of these two planets is known to symbolise distorted perspectives out of which desperate, exaggerated promises and directives could result. Under this conjunction, measures can be extreme, emotionally driven and also affected by hidden political agendas. As always with Pluto, there can be a lot of dark stuff – vested interests – going on behind the scenes that the public are unaware of.

So my advice to myself and you is to stay calm and carry on. Don’t let the Neptunian nightmares freak you out. Deal with the fear and dread by taking sensible grounding measures, like consciously and carefully caring for your body, and imbibing strength and inner peace by being alone as much as possible in Nature. Enjoy the Spring, and look forward to easier times later this year.

Blog 2, 18th March

Now Jupiter, in orb with Pluto since 10th March, is being felt more strongly and is approaching its first exact conjunction with Pluto on 5th April. This must be seen in the context of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, and the fear and dread it symbolises is becoming horribly and extensively visible. There will now be a rapid and uncontrollable global acceleration of cases and deaths from the coronavirus.

The Sun is still in Pisces and conjuncting Neptune as I write, and Mercury, though direct in Aquarius, will remain in the shadow phase of its retrograde until the end of the month before re-entering Pisces. Confused and fearful thinking, illusions and ambiguity, fake news, conflicting advice and directives, creating helplessness and panic are likely to dominate into April when Mercury has passed its conjunction with Neptune.

However, Mars has joined Jupiter and Pluto now, in orb from 14th March, and this triple conjunction, coming up to exactitude on 20th March will bring conflagration – fiery Mars driving the number of virus cases steeply upwards. However the sun enters Aries on 20th which is positive, as a phase of intense, powerful but exhausting action will take hold to try to slow down the momentum of the infection rate.

Saturn enters Aquarius on 22nd March, and we can expect draconian measures politically to get a grip on the situation. It is joined by Mars on 31st. Then, although we’re likely to see a more communal, powerful and effective action spreading to stem the virus, there will also be an increase in the limitation of our freedom – shut-downs and lock-downs. However, with Saturn’s shift into Aquarius we will have the chance to profit from the experience of Aquarian oneness with community and humanity, and there can be more altruism, focus on the general good and what’s really important in life for a change.

Looking ahead from this point – as the second exact conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto will be in July, we can expect echoes of the Jupiter-Pluto themes of March to re-echo then – the same energies but hopefully with a more positive expression. Saturn also goes retrograde and is in a wide orb of a conjunction with Pluto again in the summer, finally clearing it in October. Thus it’s possible that the danger of infection will still be with us in spite of the warmer weather, and we will certainly still be dealing with the dire economic effects of the events of March – the same energies but hopefully not the same actions if we have learned to be more positive and have found alternatives.

Finally, when Jupiter enters Aquarius in December 2020, where he joins Saturn to form what’s called in astrology a ‘grand conjunction’- an epoch-ending configuration – I predict the close of this phase of turmoil and collapse and the glimmerings of the start of a new Aquarian age.

Blog 3, 25th March

The triple conjunction of Jupiter, Pluto and Mars in Capricorn, in the shadow of January’s Saturn-Pluto conjunction in that sign, is scripting the course of the pandemic and pointing us to its deeper meanings.

As Mars (warfare and fevers) draws closer to Jupiter and Pluto he’s fanning the flames, accelerating the infection rate along with the steep surge in deaths in the West (surge=Mars-Jupiter, deaths= Pluto). Fear in the population intensifies. People in panic strip the supermarket shelves, aggressively acting out of self-interest (Mars) to stockpile huge reserves (Mars-Jupiter). The magnitude of the risk seems at last to be recognised by the leaders, shaking off the spell of nebulous Mercury in Pisces after, in the UK and America at least, dilly dallying and sending out mixed messages. But now while Mercury sextiles Uranus (20th-24th March) minds are suddenly changed and a Capricorn Mars now supports the push to take decisive action.

The directives in the UK over the weekend 20th-22nd were clear – those who showed symptoms were to self-isolate, all others were to practise social distancing.

But Spring had arrived punctually, the equinox bringing the first days of settled weather and continuous sunshine for months on end (Venus in Taurus sextile Neptune) drawing many people out of their homes into the parks and cafés, and breaking the rules. Saturn entered Aquarius at the same time, heralding a clash between authoritarian forces in the state upholding law and order and rebellious minorities asserting the Aquarian values of individual freedom and the right to self-determination. A change of sign especially for such a powerful planet as Saturn, who, since his conjunction with Pluto in January, has been central to current events, will bring a cosmic shift in emphasis.

Following this the UK government muscled in to enforce a stringent clamp-down generally curbing freedom of movement. Social isolation is ordered for all save essential workers and the police are given powers to ensure the edicts are obeyed (Saturn).

On 24th March there was a new moon in Aries in which both Sun and Moon conjuncted Chiron and squared the Nodes in Cancer and Capricorn, setting the stage for the month ahead. Chiron in Aries is symbolised by the wounded war hero, outwardly bluffing toughness but inside weakened by the knowledge of his fragility, and dreading helplessness.

The north node in Cancer in square to the new moon brings us into our feelings and is reflected in the pain that the separation of families is causing, and the suffering of cut-off elderly people. The square to the south node in Capricorn is reflected in the fear of the hundreds of deaths ahead in the grandparent generation – alone and unavoidably prevented from being with their loved ones, and saying goodbye before their burial.

If hearts in our society, however, are touched now, that can teach the more callous amongst us, focussed on our work and internet connecting, with the mind-set that time is money, the importance of inclusive family relationships. Our way of life in general has leaned too much towards the Capricorn extreme and we have become a cold society. Many grandparents have been abandoned in care homes. But hearts that have generally hardened may soften up now.

March 2020 is revealing itself a massive watershed month for the world. Under the threat of the potential breakdown of our security structures, we have had to accept what we are powerless to prevent, and come to terms with our general vulnerability and need for a community of mutual support.

We must deal with our inner nightmares as we watch the sheer numbers of beds for intensive care patients grow, and the coffins piling up in mortuaries, while thousands are losing their jobs and others seeing businesses they’ve built up over years by great personal effort, collapse (Mars-Jupiter-Pluto in Capricorn in the shadow of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction).

However, Jupiter is also the planet of higher understanding and as he moves on, harried by Mars, towards his first exact conjunction with Pluto on 5th April, we’ll descend through dark Capricorn depths before we can rise to Jupiterian heights. “At the foot of the lighthouse the darkness is darkest“, as the old Chinese proverb runs.

Blog 4, 31st March

Timetable of Planetary Movements

28th March, Venus-Moon conjunction in Taurus trining Jupiter-Pluto in Capricorn.
30th March, Mars enters Aquarius.
31st March, Mars conjuncts Saturn in Aquarius. and Mercury in Pisces emerges from its retrograde shadow phase.
3rd April, Venus enters Gemini and trines Mars-Saturn in Aquarius, and 4th April, Mercury conjuncts Neptune in Pisces.
Finally on 5th April a big event – the first exactitude of the 2020 Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions!

Correlating Events on Earth

28th March: The great tsunami wave of the pandemic towers, and leaders give up on trying to delay it breaking. As Venus conjuncts the Moon in Taurus, billions of pounds (Venus trine Jupiter-Pluto in Capricorn) are pledged to save the UK health services from being overwhelmed. Also with extreme, unheard-of spending measures billions are thrown at trade and industry to prevent a wider meltdown (Jupiter-Pluto in Capricorn) while vast sums are pledged to businesses in an effort to safeguard jobs. But with Mercury in Pisces, not yet out of its retrograde shadow and moving into a conjunction with Neptune, is it all pie in the sky?

29th-31st March: As Mars approaches the end of Capricorn and enters Aquarius a more humanitarian emphasis appears in politics. Financial support is promised for workers who lose their jobs, and a law is passed to prevent landlords evicting tenants unable to pay their rent. There’s a wave of public support for the front-line doctors and medical staff who must work without protective clothing due to the government‘s delay in placing orders.

A tougher and more concerted effort begins to get a grip on the situation – to provide what’s needed and, most important to buy more kits to step up testing for the virus. But now, there’s a world-wide demand for the necessary materials and ingredients, and supplies are drying up so orders are put on hold (Mars conjunct Saturn in Aquarius). In general Saturn, when conjunct Mars, puts Mars in lock-down which then results in great Martian anger and frustration.

But the fresh wind of Aquarian energy can be felt now as thousands volunteer to help the NHS (the British National Health Service), and retired doctors and medical staff voluntarily return to work. Dedicated, unflinching service to society is a hallmark of Saturn in Aquarius and its most noble virtue. Also care for the old and vulnerable (Saturn) is being efficiently organised by hordes of volunteers (Aquarius).

The great positive of these times lies in the expansion of community solidarity. People are giving friendly smiles or thumbs-up to strangers in the street instead of ignoring them. And the budding of a new community spirit is perceptible – the cheerful feeling that we’re all in this together so let’s hold together, not seen since the war. Pioneering Mars in Aquarius is unleashing inventiveness in those who are starting online social initiatives (Aquarius), and experimenting with using Zoom etc. to get people connecting and having fun online while self-isolating – a trend favoured by Venus entering the fun sign of Gemini to trine Mars and Saturn on 3rd April.

I see the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction on 5th April as the peak of the first ‘shock and awe’ blitz phase of the pandemic, after which there’s likely to be a plateau and a slowing down of new cases – at least in Europe. Other countries may reach their peaks later this year at the times of the second and third exactitudes of Jupiter and Pluto. Meanwhile Nature, suddenly relieved of the noise, disruption and pollution our species usually creates, breathes a happy sigh of relief and moves peacefully on into the growing, blossoming and breeding season of Spring. Gaia smiles knowingly – when stretched to the limit she has her own ways of decimating populations to maintain a healthy balance on the planet.

Phoebe Wyss

Phoebe Wyss is a regular contributor for the monthly horoscope and is the author of various books on astrology, the latest being ‘Inside the Cosmic Mind’ – astrophoebe.com

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