The planets Jupiter and Saturn come into a conjunction roughly every two decades. “The Great Conjunction.” Traditionally, this astrological event is used to signal a new era, with old structures and ideas dying and new ones birthing. The previous conjunctions occurred in 1980 and 2000, with their opposition in the decades in between. The next conjunction takes place December 21, 2020, in the first degree of Aquarius, beginning the next cycle in the air element for the first time since the 1400s . A Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is a big deal, and so is moving from one element to another, making 2020 a momentous period of change.
Jupiter and Saturn were the outermost known planets in ancient times, and were called the “Great Chronocrators” by astrologers of old. For millennia, the alignment of these two planets has been regarded as a significator of great social, economic and political watersheds – historic turning points, if you will.
Who are Jupiter and Saturn?
So who are Jupiter and Saturn and what do they signify?
Nick Anthony Fiorenza, in his highly detailed article The 2020 “Societal Reset” and “The Great Transformation” 2020 – 2030, describes them beautifully –
Jupiter imparts a warming, expansive and mobilizing force. Saturn imparts a cooling, contracting and solidifying force. Jupiter is ligamentous and muscular while Saturn is calciferous and structural. Jupiter is inclusive and embracing while Saturn is exclusive and segregating. Saturn imposes boundaries, walls, rules and regulations. Saturn forces us to confront our fears and Jupiter impels us to claim our wisdom. Saturn demonstrates and validates by concretizing in form that which Jupiter expands to embrace. Jupiter expounds upon and mobilizes what Saturn consolidates and solidifies. Jupiter tends to magnify the limitations Saturn imposes and stimulates the expansion of new growth upon the established structures Saturn solidifies.
Saturn actually moves in Aquarius just after 2020 Spring Equinox, and again December 17. For those born with Saturn in Aquarius, this will mark their Saturn return.
With a windy gale at its back, Saturn in Aquarius will turn its scythe toward unknown terrain in order to gather and harvest wisdom off the mainstream path and beyond the norm. Saturn feels secure, strong, and comfortably at home in Aquarius. In the airy climate of Aquarius, Saturn turns its slow and steady gaze outward, reordering structures and boundaries in order to make connections, distribute information, and develop innovations.
* Saturn-Pluto synod (January 10, 2020), start of a new 34-year cycle
* Jupiter-Pluto synod (July 31, 2020), start of a new 12.5 year cycle
Ending of a 20-year Cycle
Whenever a period ends, it can be instructive to reflect on how it began. Take a moment now and think back to 2000, when this current Jupiter-Saturn cycle began. For me personally, it was the year I moved to Bermuda to finish my Chartered Accountant articling. I went on a two-year contract that became a five-year stay and the start of 17 years of living abroad and many life experiences. What about you?
A 20-year period illuminates many of our patterns, conditioning, and automatic behaviour. We can see where we showed up fully and where, less so. Obvious also is the personal growth, the resilience, deeper self-knowing that occurred over time. Connection points. Expansions. Contractions. Our rhythms, when they were free and when they were an artifact of our fears.
Some questions to ask:
What did you start then that is ready for wrapping up?
What positive and less glorious and even painful experiences are you ready to let go? So that we may live more fully in the present, without our ties to the joys and pains, the idea that that’s the way (our) life is and always will be.
What kind of relationships would you like? How can you be more present for yourself and others?
What is your calling? What skills would you love to call in? Just because we are adepts at something doesn’t mean that is our calling. Hiding in what gives us acceptance, approval or adoration is illusory.
What is your joy and opens your heart wide open? What helps you truly know we are protected, yielding to opening at a gentle and resonant touch?
Ending of a 200-year-ish Cycle
With the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in 2020, we begin the next cycle in the air element. The last element was earth – the material, safety, grounding, slower to change, practicality, the building, sense of duty, responsibility, dependability, conservatism, sensory experiences, comfort – comfort food, beautiful surroundings….
The air element is about communications. Ideas, analytics, innovative, intellectual, objective, balance, broad perspective, not overtly affectionate,..
With the next cycle in the air element, the focus, approach, and desire will shift. Things may happen more quickly, and suddenly…
Are you ready to shift speeds, still resident in your own frequencies, your own flow? Are you ready for new ideas that can propel your life and humanity forward into the next level of this game? How are your skills at focusing on your desires, rather than on your fears, or running from your fears? Because things will lightning-materialize. Maybe in unusual ways. That’s Aquarius for ya.
Preparing for the next 20-year Cycle
We can see Jupiter as expansive and Saturn as restrictive, giving a certain rhythm to the next. Both are needed as we cannot expand eternally and perpetual contraction is painful. Balancing forces, a rhythm.
Saturn oftentimes can come across as a stern teacher. As the traditional ruler of Aquarius, Saturn often illuminates our fears and feelings of being contained and limited. The thing about Aquarius, as astrologer Donny Lim reminds us, is that, being ruled by both Saturn and Uranus, it can be extreme. Will humanity rise to the challenge, initiating large-scale and sweeping changes to societal structures? Will people get more self-protective or even overly idealistic about what’s the “right” solution?
We exist on a spectrum so perhaps in some areas, we rise up strong and support the environment, for example. Or this cause or that cause. And when our fears are triggered, we may shrink into invisibility or stand up big against what we deem as potential disturbances to peace, safety, and society.
The thing is, it’s all linked. It’s not the issues as much as how we have dealt with our fears, whether we have even acknowledged them. Because we do not remember we are eternal, we live with existential fears, the deepest of them all – the fear of our death and non-existence. While this may not dissolve, becoming comfortable with what freaks us out is essential, without having to heckle other people or to bristle our hairs in protestation.
Knowing our pattern of response, seeing our own posturing, and deciding to choose a different behaviour can make such a tremendous difference. In our own personal relationships and on a grander scale. Our individual energy is part of the whole. Even if we feel we are not actively participating on a global level, we are.
What do you want the next twenty years, in this Great Conjunction cycle, be? What energy will you contribute? Who will you choose to be?
Resources and Further Reading
The Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction (published April 26, 1998) by Richard Nolle on Astropro
The 2020 ”Societal Reset” & “The Great Transformation“ 2020-2030 by Nick Anthony Fiorenza on Lunar Planner.
Saturn in Aquarius : Reordering Structures and Developing Innovation by Gary Crawford on astrology.com
The End of an Epoch: The Current Jupiter-Saturn Opposition by Phoebe Wyss. Astrophoebe