By Dulce Bell-Bulley MA CHT
March 29, 2020
This column is dedicated to Dale McClanahan.
The June 2012 issue of Time magazine was dedicated to end of the world scenarios in a volume titled How To Die. It was 2012 after all and we were on the brink of existential oblivion thanks to the ending of the Mayan calendar. Of the top ten ways to go, pandemic was one of them. So here we are, in a pandemic.
So, what’s going on up there? With the planets?
The Wanderers have a vision much broader than ours, but remember, WE, all of us TOGETHER are creating this reality. Breathe deeply, as much as you can. Fill up your toes and your back body. Love as much as you can — build the strength and field of your heart chakra. We’re confronting what we created earlier, letting it go onto the compost heap, out of which we are tending the tiny shoots of our brilliant future. The power is the present. As you read this article and go through this time, remember we are interconnected. We are the one body. Align yourself to something higher, truer, and Divine, whatever that is for you. At times of endings we fear great loss but our open hearts, aligned spirits and our collective awareness will see us safely through.
The current major cosmic dance is a conjunction of slow-moving Pluto, he of the Underworld (an orbit around the Sun of 250 years), and Saturn, Father time and the planet in charge of reality as we know it (30-year orbit). Pluto’s modus operandi is to destroy, and Saturn’s is to maintain. This combo stresses existing structures and looking back in history we can see what that looks and feels like.
Alas, this cycle has taken us to dark places before – let’s start with WW1. Soldiers were confined to the trenches, when Saturn and Pluto met in Cancer (they’re in the opposite sign of Capricorn now). Think of our confinement now and their confinement in the trenches. How terrible that was for them.
Pluto and Saturn connected again, in September 1939, the beginning of WW2 when Hitler invaded Poland, and France and England declared war on Germany. The two planets squared each other then. And on 9/11/2001 they opposed each other across a major axis of the USA chart.
You get the picture. And here we are again. Perhaps we can say that the symbol for this time might be the Notre Dame fire April 15, 2019 when Saturn and Pluto conjunct at south node. It was the first “episode”.
If you’re feeling anxious, be kind to yourself. You are not alone. Saturn and Pluto together are associated with heaviness and loss. A tension. There’s an all-pervasive feeling of sadness. A lack of joy. What Carl Jung would call “the reality principle” and Nietzsche “the spirit of gravity.” An intense inner journey is at work. This is terrifying because it involves entering our shadow realm. Pluto is the guardian of the underworld after all. Think about the subterranean underbelly of the world – corruption, deceit, filth, yet also hidden gold, seeds of the future, and an enormous appetite for power and control, for rebirth. Pluto takes us on our death and birth journey. This journey into the depths takes us to our inner wealth, that which cannot be corrupted nor destroyed. With Saturn also present, we’re responsible for that journey. No one can save us but us.
Added to the recipe of stress is abundant Jupiter (12- year orbit) and Mars (2-year orbit) joining Saturn and Pluto at the south node. These add oomph, and up the ante. If this rare alignment wasn’t enough, we have three significant eclipses to deal with this year and something ominously called the Great Mutation. A bit more about that in a moment. Here are a few key words about the challenges Pluto offers:
Deconstruction and destruction
Fear of the hidden
The hidden coming up
Sorrow – the world dying, species disappearing.
Birth and death.
Power and control – (in Capricorn the power and control over the collective via government)
Dictatorship – martial law. Taking charge. Putin having absolute rule for example.
Flaws in structure/ government/leadership are revealed. Think Brexit.
Secrets. Power behind the scenes.
(Keep breathing, nice and deep!)
Pluto also governs shadow, things we don’t know about, that we’ve buried in the subterranean depths of our psyche. PROJECTION – where we throw our nonsense onto someone else because we don’t want to look at it; where we blame someone else for what we’re doing covertly but won’t face up to. Pluto is also excrement (yep, shit). Fear of what’s coming out of us. “The great scythe swinging through the world cutting down” excess.
And there’s Capricorn to consider — the sign Pluto and Saturn are traveling together in. Capricorn is associated with restrictions, government, rules and regs, protocol, authority, business, parents, tradition, commitment, duty. And cycles of development over time.
Finally, let’s take a peek at some of the key concepts for Saturn. It’s basically the same as Capricorn because Saturn rules Capricorn. These are: Scaffolding. Structure. Things to hold onto or the form and shape of society. Time. Limitation – lovers unable to get to each other; families separated. Obligations. Confinement – Think of people holed up together during this time; with both the negatives and the silver lining it provides should we choose to take it.
Let’s talk conspiracy for a moment. Pluto’s presence suggests the possibility that some power, somewhere, let loose this beast in an effort to control the world in order to mine it for their own wealth and ego. That this power wants to have absolute control over the populace, via martial law and the virus is getting that in place. Let me debunk this conspiracy – Jupiter is present in this whole thing. Jupiter is a planet representing ethics and advanced learning. In Capricorn, as it is during this entire year until winter solstice when it enters Aquarius, Jupiter in Capricorn is overly cautious. Prudent and careful to the point of extreme fussiness. This has proved to be very helpful and led to quarantine and stay at home orders. So, if there were some kind of Plutonian/Uranian conspiracy, Jupiter brought it back to Earth and is keeping us as safe as possible given the circumstances.
This global experience is teaching the lesson of Earth, where everything is right now. We understand RESOURCES in a different way. It’s the birth of pragmatism and renewal. Saving things, recycling. Making things last. Stop throwing things away. Stop buying cheap plastic throwaway s**t because we realize that nothing is actually cheap. There’s a cost to everything either measured in the quality of human experience and/or to the natural world, the environment. And the cost is breaking our hearts.
We become aware of true RESOURCES – Spiritual awareness. An inner radical responsibility for the health and magnificence of our own souls.
Another thing we understand is that our care and love for one another is what we’re confined to and what we miss right now. Ask yourself, what is meaningful to you? Here’s what is meaningful to me: My physical and spiritual health; my family, friends, clients and animals; silence; my work and creative life; my garden, good food, my neighborhood, the library, community radio stations, wilderness, rivers, camping, music (lots of it) and really good beer and wine.
We are face-to-face with what we love and yearn for. We’re confined (Saturn) my friends (Aquarius), cut off from certain things and those we cherish. Use Pluto positively by opening up the closed places – the heart, the soul, and the mind. The earth is healing right now! The earth starts to heal when we stop hurting it. Look at the pics of Whutan and the canals of Venice. Sky and water are clear. Birds and animals returning.
What an opportunity to let what needs to die, die and to let go. Birth what is healthy. What is that for you?
Regarding a primary love we all share – the health and wonder of wilderness. There’s been deregulation (Plutonian method) of all things that protect our environment also known as the ESSENTIALS – fresh water, air and healthy soil. I’m grateful for all those who bring food, oil and gas to me but not at the cost of wilderness and the loss of species, nor at the cost of our health because we’re already been there and done that. Enough already!
Okay, how about Trump and the USA chart? Trump and the USA have six planets that fit hand over glove. They are related to karma and basic needs, fears about safety, money and resources. Mars, the God of war and action, is particularly featured in both his chart and the USA chart. There’s a lot more here to discuss but I’ll save it for another time. The time we’re in transcends the individuals involved though they are players in the drama. (Remember, you are the creator, not the story).
When will there be reprieve?
Soon. Let’s get through the Mars/Uranus square on April 7th, that’s kind of impulsive and could be dangerous. April 26th is a tentative green for go. Pluto turns retrograde April 26th around the same time the Sun connects with change agent Uranus. This is a huge sigh of relief. It’s a time of recovery. But it’s slow. Continue to be patient and practice safe socializing. There’s a dramatic shift for better with a little madness, or innovation, thrown in, thanks to Uranus.
The month of May looks like our best bet to go back to what we were doing before Covid 19 showed up.
Three planets turn retrograde in May and things settle down. Saturn retrograde May 12, Venus retrograde May 14, Jupiter retrograde May 15.
We’re going to go back to what we were doing. It’ll be like old home week and then …
A tricky period in June, a critical eclipse July 5th and then Saturn and Pluto within days of one another will turn direct in October. They’ll be conjunct with Jupiter so the virus, or something related to it will return at that time. The rest of the year reveals continued caution. The eclipses ahead reveal market changes and periodic outbreaks of the virus.
In a nutshell – Go slow. May is good, summer a bit tricky, October trouble returns. End of year an epoch shift.
Let me expand on this timeline a little more:
I urge caution from the Full Moon lunar eclipse June 5th through to June 19th – especially the 19th. Mars in Pisces conjuncts Neptune and the moon shows up. This is a cosmic recipe for poor immune systems. On the positive side it may also indicate the discovery of a vaccine.
The Full Moon lunar eclipse at 15° Sadge on June 5th has Venus both conjunct the Sun and retrograde. This speaks to financial matters and a possible resurge of old values.
The solstices feature prominently this year. On June 21st, for a new moon eclipse at 0° Cancer solstice point and again at winter solstice (in the northern hemisphere Dec 21, 2020) when the “Great Mutation” occurs. That’s the meeting of Saturn and Jupiter at 0° Aquarius, square Uranus. Both Saturn and Uranus rule Aquarius and they don’t get along. Uranus was Saturn’s dad and he ate him! This is a big game changer folks.
The full moon lunar eclipse July 5th at 13° Capricorn is an important eclipse and it has a lot to do with what we’re experiencing now. This eclipse features a tight Jupiter, Pluto conjunction and Saturn is nearby. This is what we’re experiencing as I write this in March 2020. These points activate planets in the USA chart, it’s personal for us. This could be the reignition of the virus or something closely associated with it. Thank God the planets are all retrograde! This diminishes their influence indicating that our old fears may surface but perhaps with no substance. There may be something we don’t know about covertly occurring behind the scenes.
Caution! August 13th and October 9th when Pluto and Mars square off.
Another full moon lunar eclipse on November 30th at 8° Gemini contains the same conjunctions (energy) as the last eclipse. This one holds the potentials for market shifts. And finally, December 14th at 23° Sagittarius. The same lineup – in other words we’re dealing with whatever comes up. The virus may well be back, or again, issues associated with it. Let’s not rule out possible government intervention.
Caution! – December 23rd when Mars and Pluto square off.
And then … the Great Mutation. Freaky term but it refers to a once in around 600-year cycle. It’s been +- 600 years since Jupiter and Saturn last met in Air signs. They meet once every 20 years anyway, and spend 10 cycles in one element, then move to another element. In this case from Earth to Air. This is a zeitgeist shift. It’s a very old cycle!
So, my bottom line, this will pass. The Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn followed by the Great Mutation heralds a shift of enormous magnitude. I stand by what I wrote in October 2016: invest locally, plant a garden, take up a hobby, and be patient. Life goes on this year. There are better times than others. I’ve listed here the ones to be aware of. Stay healthy. Keep your expenses down. Develop close bonds of love and care with others. Support the things that mean something to you.
What’s the antidote:
Apart from medicine and healers the world over? LOVE. Love is the antidote. Always has been, always will be. Love is the thing that unfreezes the hatred of projection and keeps your spirit well. Corvid 19 affects the lungs. Chinese medicine tells us grief lives in the lungs. We’ve been grieving a long time my friends. Maybe we still have the trenches of WW1 in our collective memory and its bubbling up now for healing. This time of confinement is for our benefit. We get to feel and when we feel, we heal.
I think you’ve got the picture of what’s going on right now with the planets. If you’ve got it in you, let’s turn our attention back to the Great Mutation. A happening event this winter solstice – December 21, 2020.
This is the 20-year Jupiter/Saturn conjunction with a twist. This time they meet it’s called the Great Mutation. It’s given this gloomy name because Jupiter and Saturn will finally meet in air signs after 200 years of meeting up in earth signs (though they met in 1980/1981 in Libra, an air sign, it was considered a ‘preview’ – a natural part of the cycle). During their 200-year meeting in earth signs the focus was on materialism. It’s been +- 600 years since Jupiter and Saturn met in Air signs for their 200-year sojourn there.
2020 December 21st (solstice) begins a whole new 20-year cycle when Jupiter and Saturn meet in Aquarius, the sign of society, of people, rebels and rule makers. The last conjunction was in 2000 and involved Uranus. This cycle involves Uranus as well – Uranus is the great destabilizer. Nothing is certain when this planet shows up. Uranus in Taurus will square the conjunction in Aquarius which it rules.
This suggests mass protests against governments and rules. It’s a” don’t fence me in” attitude, a time of social unrest. A kind of FU to authority who may be trying to control the populace, maybe for good reasons. Perhaps this is helpful given that we’re in a phase where there’s a global tendency toward dictatorship. Mere mortals want to become Kings and take away freedoms.
I’m heartened by this next cycle even though it is socially disruptive (though hopefully we’re not looking at mob mentality) because folks believe in personal rights. I endorse the rights of waterways, air, wilderness and animals as well as human rights. Though there will be a strong resistance from the ruling party ultimately the people will win. Teamwork triumphs. Re-discover your people. Love and take care of them in that special way you have, that only you can do. By the way, the KGB was dismantled last time Saturn was in Aquarius.
Also, the move from Earth (materialism, possessions, ostentatious wealth, agriculture – both local organic and corporate farms) to Air will totally shift our values away from all that and move it toward the arts, literature, ideas, technology and all matters associated with the intellect and internet. It’s likely there will be struggles over controlling the internet and social and intellectual freedoms. If those things are important to you, you’ll naturally keep an eye on them ensuring our collective body will continue to create the ever-evolving world wide web. Since Saturn is in Aquarius now, for a brief while, we’re already feeling the importance of connection via the internet thanks to Zoom, Skype, etc.
Interestingly enough, when Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Aquarius in 1345 the plague, also known as the Black Death, came into being. Not a happy thought and yet we have come so far and hopefully, learned so much. Can we rely on each other? This time of group consciousness is also a time of personal accountability, isn’t it? We are aware of ourselves, individually, as One body. We’re aware we are the collective. This is how nature works. It’s how birds fly in a flock, fish in a school, and grasses in the meadow. How beautiful is that?
I’ll be writing about the Aquarius energy headed our way and will share that with you. I also hope to get you an April cosmic play by play. We’ll see, check back often. I want to thank my astrology colleagues the world over who’re examining the same skies and whose research has helped me. Please see a list of resources at the end of this article. Thanks also to my friend Karen, who mid-wifed this column. Together we pulled out the weeds and planted flowers in their stead.
In the meantime, take care out there. And remember, you matter, we are all connected. Earth is our home and love is our destination.
Message from my space buddies: YOU ARE NOT ALONE PLANET EARTH. DESPITE YOUR THICK HEADS WE STILL CARE FOR YOU. REPEAT – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
“Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View” Richard Tarnas. Viking Press 2006