When analyzing the astrology around the COVID-19 outbreak, most of us astrologers have been focusing – rightly – on the big planetary players, especially the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn that was exact in January 2020.
But all of the planets at any moment in time are worth looking at. They color the details of any breaking news, especially news that impacts the entire globe so quickly. They give us nuance, or alert us to trigger moments, or moments of change or new energy in the context of the longer emerging story.
In this post (and short video) I want to focus on Mercury, because its movement correlates with key details about how this story has been unfolding, especially in regards to Mercury-ruled dynamics like the spread of information, scientific testing and research, and messaging, whether from governments, the media or people sharing with each other over social media.
If you reflect back on the last couple of months (February and March 2020), would you say that information has been clear and presented objectively? Has it been easy access factual data – or any data for that matter? Do we have all the data needed to make the best decisions? Has there been a predominance of misinformation and confusion?
Last year I re-read the Saturn-Pluto chapter in Cosmos and Psyche in preparation for the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn in January 2020. It’s a pretty heavy piece of writing and research, and I thought, "this has to be unnecessarily bleak - surely there’s a positive side to this." Turns out the weight of the info matches the weight of this transit.
Here are just a few highlights of what Tarnas found correlates with Saturn-Pluto times like those we’re in now: "Challenging historical periods marked by a pervasive quality of intense contraction...grim awakenings and sudden breakdowns, whether political, economic or psychological...moral darkness...perceiving and constellating danger, subversive threat, and malefic shadow elements in a rigidly polarized world view...global economic and political collapse and fascist empowerment...mass suffering, disease, death and fear...the violent unpredictability of life...intensified collective awareness of dire threats to the human species..." And that’s just for starters.
There were some intense moments in 2019, but nothing quite as grim on a mass scale as the tone of this research. Looking back I can now see how pervasive the influence of Jupiter in Sagittarius was last year. Under that influence, we had space for optimism and best-case scenarios, even in the midst of our growing Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn fears.
When did things change? Almost instantly after Jupiter entered Capricorn. The virus was spreading in Wuhan, and by January, we knew there was a dire problem. Trump was impeached in the house, and afterwards the senate vote revealed the extent of corruption there. Trump nearly started a war with Iran overnight. Brexit got real. Then, as the COVID-19 virus was spreading in the US, politically-driven decisions led to delayed testing, which will undoubtedly lead to lives lost. As of today, testing is still not widely available or implemented. Numbers are being thrown around every day, but without extensive testing in the US, there’s not much we can say definitively without projections and models based on testing being done in other countries.
Life is feeling a bit intense these days. Have you noticed? As usual, astrology gives us insight into the collective energetics we all experience. Today, as I post this, Saturn and Pluto, two planetary heavyweights, are forming an exact conjunction in the same degree and sign of Capricorn. This formidable alignment heralds serious and often grave events, such as in 2001 when the World Trade Center was attacked, and these two planets were in opposition.
The conjunction marks both an ending to the previous cycle, which in this case began with the last conjunction in 1982, and the start of a new cycle. So we see endings and beginnings; chapters closed, chapters opened.
When Saturn got very close to Pluto last year, it was also conjunct the south node, which correlates at times with release, and the Notre Dame cathedral burned as we watched, unable to stop it. People around the world grieved for the loss.
Saturn has to do with the passing of time. Saturn transits mark time, remind us of its limits, and that so many things in life have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Combined with Pluto, in the current cycle we’ve been seeing the end of long story lines, such as with the cathedral, but also in lighter examples, like the culmination of 18 Marvel films with Avengers Endgame, the end of the Game of Thrones saga, and the last of 9 Star Wars epics.
Mars Out of Bounds - Innovation and Impulsive Misfires
We are now in a Mars out of bounds period which started April 21 and goes through June 12. This is an exciting time with the potential for innovation, breakthrough, and dynamism at the high end of possibility. At the low end, if this Mars is active in your chart, it might also be a time when you’re more likely to fly off the handle, take impulsive actions you later regret, or chase down “crazy” ideas that in the end turn out to be just that.
A couple of weeks ago, I predicted we’d see Trump’s Twitter feed heat up even more than usual because this Mars out of bounds is going to directly impact his chart. Mars will form conjunctions with his natal Uranus, North Node and Sun from April 25 through May 4. During this time he’s likely to be even more impulsive and erratic - Mars will apply some developmental pressure in the form of conflict and heat and the desire to take action. He may leap before he looks even more than usual. He may get angry and lash out. We can predict he’ll do that even without Mars going out of bounds on his Sun because he’s demonstrated that behavior repeatedly. This Mars transit just elevates the potential in a way that we can safely speculate about the outcome.
First Man, the feature film by Damien Chazelle about Neil Armstrong’s Moon landing, succeeds as a biopic where others fail by showing us a vulnerable human being rather than a larger-than-life hero. Normally in a film about someone so iconic, we’re presented with an amalgamation of ideals about that person that coalesce into an unrealistic but often entertaining one-dimensional portrait. I’m not faulting Hollywood. The format itself is limiting. I mean, just how do you convey something complexly human about a life in the span of two hours?
Some succeed by by focusing on a moment of time - a key transition or transformation the character undergoes during a crisis point. But director Damien Chazelle masterfully works his magic by showing us a series of human moments over time, conveyed with the seriousness and reverence its subject deserves. The result is a film that leaves the viewer with nail-biting anticipation even though we already know the ending.
Watching the films, and indeed, Chazelle’s entire filmography, the Saturn archetype stands out - from the dark father theme that fuels his stunning debut Whiplash, to this wounded but stoic, serious and responsible version of Armstrong. Chazelle’s second film, La La Land, brings sober Saturnian reality to the Hollywood musical romance with an uncharacteristic bittersweet ending.