Wednesday, December 16, 2020

A new star rises: Jupiter and Saturn conjoin for the Solstice


“Bring on the future.” – ad, H&M







Remember all the fear and trepidation that swept over the U.S. during the late 1990s, becoming quite the apocalyptic fantasy as we finally took a collective “Wahoo” leap off the millennial edge? Looking back at that period from the perspective of planetary cycles, it’s probably fair to say that a lot of that pre-Millennial drama and hype had to do with the 1980 Jupiter-Saturn cycle being deep into its balsamic (waning) phase at that time, awaiting a new beginning that coming May, 2000. Not to torture the comparison too much, but it does seem to me that this year, characterized by the 2000 Jupiter-Saturn cycle’s last maneuverings into finality, has been a sort of Neptune-Pluto-enhanced nightmare version of that 1999 leap.


This week it’s all been made even more “loony” than usual by the added December 14th eclipse, triggering late Sagittarius points that fall square Pisces Neptune. Spirited forward motion on all levels challenged by Neptune’s watery undertow—clearly, the world we’re living in at the moment. For more detail on this impactful Sagittarius solar eclipse, please see the November 19th post here.  


A N.Y. nurse received the first COVID vaccine in the U.S. this past week.
There was a reason, for instance, that the first COVID vaccine was administered in this nation on the same day that our new duly-elected presidential team was officially confirmed by Electoral College votes from each state. Both were determined, consciously forward-looking moves (“bring on the future,” as the ad cited above says), but of course, neither was met with total acceptance and both are the subject of conspiracy theories and targeted undermining efforts. Everything at the moment is happening in a lead-booted “hurry up and wait” fashion, in fact, from our slow-motion, obstacle-laden move towards the Georgia run-off elections and Biden’s inauguration, to the projected months or more before enough of the country will be vaccinated to make a difference in the COVID “lifestyle” we’ve had to adopt.


And, most frustratingly for so many, every time Congress seems close to sealing the deal on another desperately needed COVID aid package, something (usually an ideological or administrative hang-up) intervenes to drag out the process. To compound things, now that a few high-profile GOP Senators have crossed over Trump’s aggrieved Rubicon to say that Biden is, indeed, our new president-elect, it’ll be a wonder if any bill gets signed into law before inauguration day.


Some of that administrative sluggishness is probably due to the fact that Jupiter is inching up so slowly on its December 21st appointment with Saturn in their cycle’s final waning days. And that they’re both spending these final cycle days widely conjunct Capricorn Pluto and square a potent Mars-Eris team in Aries that wants to challenge their every move.  We witnessed the fallout from this in Michigan when the Capitol building had to be closed against threats of violence so our state electors could meet safely and cast their votes on Monday. Thankfully, no one was hurt and our governor gave a stirring speech to mark the occasion of the vote. Of course, before that, pro-Trump protests in Washington, D.C. turned violent, with several people stabbed on the streets, banners ripped down from Black churches and so on. Supporting Trump is probably just an excuse on the part of the white supremacist groups protesting (like the “Proud Boys”), who are always looking for a fight. And Trump seems only too happy to provide them with reasons. 


The first Pfizer vaccines were shipped from Portage, MI this week.

In a definite victory and step forward, of course, the vaccine is being quickly shipped  across the country (from Portage, Michigan, I’m happy to say), to begin protecting our vulnerable healthcare workers, but it’s hard to celebrate this rollout too loudly when it’s happening in the wake of over 300,000 tragic U.S. COVID deaths—many of which could have been prevented. And, adding insult to injury, that number won’t cease climbing just because sleeves are being rolled up for a poke—that desirable impact may elude us until much later in 2021 unless people keep their serious guard up, despite the vaccine roll-out.


Still, every person vaccinated is a step forward, and we can’t ignore its importance—are you noticing the two-steps-forward, three-steps backward pattern I’m seeing?


So, despite a lot of background noise trying to distract and run interference, we’re rumbling hopefully up to the edge of one of the most important future-forward leaps we will probably ever take as a nation, one that—if we honor the planetary dynamics at work—will require a forceful burst of energy and no looking back. To look back will be to fall into the traps still laid in our path by those who insist on living out the tough Pluto and Neptune energies at work in counterproductive ways. Or who have fallen prey to others who play those energies like a piano. 




Skywatchers will be able to see Jupiter conjoin Saturn on 12/21.


A Christmas Star


If you’ve frequented this site, you’re undoubtedly aware that the world has seen a lot of significant planetary cycles activity in the past four years, but perhaps no one cycle has been more anticipated as a critical threshold than the Jupiter-Saturn cycle. is telling skywatchers that the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on December 21st will provide the first visible “Christmas Star” since the year 1226, and the last one we’re going to experience before the year 2080. There are many reasons to look forward to any new Jupiter-Saturn cycle, but this one is clearly more significant and more hotly anticipated than others. I tend to believe that, like that famous “star,” this cycle may (if we play our cards right) help guide us to better, more enlightened times.


Launching at 0°+Aquarius, this cycle marks the very significant beginning of a whole new synod (or series in the same element) of such cycles, this time in the air signs. As such it is known as a “mutation conjunction” and signifies a major shift of tone in society, especially in regards to the social rebuilding we so seriously need right now. Obviously, I’m speaking from a U.S. perspective—this cycle is a global phenomenon, of course, and my fervent hope is that the U.S. will begin acting like part of the global community once again, this time for all the right reasons. For instance, so we can collectively get on with the business of rolling back climate change and regenerating not just our societies, but the Earth we all depend upon and Nature itself.


Not that the rest of the world has been standing still on this issue in the absence of the U.S. these past four years: the Mothers of Invention podcast makes clear that this is far from the case, that many nations have made great strides towards fulfilling their Paris Accord commitments and are simply moving on, with or without us. To that, I say bravo! That said, however, I believe there is a great pent-up desire in the U.S. to get beyond all the denialism and the capitalist cronyism and to begin tackling this critical project as if it really mattered to us (which it does), so it’s something we can definitely look forward to seeing.


It’s possible that a Jupiter-Saturn cycle in air sign Aquarius will be the perfect cosmic environment for beginning this serious effort because it will likely support a more enlightened approach to our dealings with the Earth and with each other. And as we’ve found out through the torturous immigration policies and practices of the Trump administration, how we treat the Earth is definitely reflected in how we treat human beings. In fact, our own military has been warning for years that climate change will cause massive dislocations of populations that will eventually overwhelm immigration systems everywhere. 


Migrants fleeing uninhabitable homelands face unimaginable dangers.
We’ve seen this very phenomenon unfold in Europe already, causing a rise in right-wing resistance to giving refugees safe harbor and a rise of anti-immigrant populism: perhaps if we collectively work overtime mitigating the damage wreaked in climate-stressed countries, we will all experience less turmoil from such dislocations? People don’t leave their homelands unless they simply cannot survive in them—what’s so difficult to understand about that?


Trump took the most belligerent possible position on immigration, of course, to the extent of trying to build a wall across our southern border and caging innocent would-be migrant children, but as with everything he does, his policies were a simple refusal to accept or to care about the very real stresses that have been placed on far too many underdeveloped and vulnerable nations. So I hope that the U.S. resumes its interrupted leadership role in environmental matters because, IMHO, the impact of our sheer size and carbon footprint requires that of us. No one country can do it all, but collectively we are not helpless.


Pope Francis’s much-overlooked 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, mapped out the challenge with great care and great ecumenical sensitivity. In regards to where we stand at this cosmic moment, I especially like the points he makes about humanity needing a new vision of progress that factors in the needs of humanity and the needs of what he calls “our common home.” He says:


“It is not enough to balance, in the medium term, the protection of nature with financial gain, or the preservation of the environment with progress. Halfway measures simply delay the inevitable disaster. Put simply, it is a matter of redefining our notion of progress. A technological and economic development which does not leave in its wake a better world and an integrally higher quality of life cannot be considered progress. Frequently, in fact, people’s quality of life actually diminishes—by the deterioration of the environment, the low quality of food or the depletion of resources—in the midst of economic growth…The mindset which leaves no room for sincere concern for the environment is the same mindset which lacks concern for the inclusion of the most vulnerable members of society.”[1]


Clearly, the Pope’s perspective is more universal than most people’s, but getting from our present nearly dire situation to the goals he has in sight will require committed world leaders working overtime towards the same goal, overcoming the very real obstacles he points out above. It seems to me that the coming Aquarius cycle will help because it will demand that we all expand our awareness beyond our own borders—beyond our own species, for that matter. Humans simply cannot live without the millions of plant and animal species that populate this Earth, so to save ourselves requires that broader perspective. There is no place for the narcissistic leadership we’ve been subject to these past four years in the U.S., and perhaps we can all agree that there simply is no more time to play corrupt and sinister games with the future.


With that said, will the obstacles to forward movement simply evaporate when Jupiter finally conjoins Saturn to form that lovely “Christmas star?” Hardly, but I dare say a critically needed reserve of hope will accompany that conjunction, and as COVID’s influence on our daily lives begins to wane, we will benefit from that fuel for the way forward. 




These two have a Solstice message for all of us.



Final thoughts


As you might be aware, I’ve written extensively here about this momentous Jupiter-Saturn moment we’re anticipating on December 21st , but rather than provide a host of links, I invite you to check out two timely resources: the first is on the Mountain Astrologer blog, an article adapted from the original April/May 2017 version, entitled “A Silver Lining in Aquarius:  Engineering the Future with the 2020 Jupiter–Saturn Cycle” will be available the week of 12/16/2020-12/23/2020—click here. For an expanded look at the same topic that includes some helpful cycles info resources, you might look for my e-book by the same title, available here.

For now, however, I leave you with the chart of this momentous Jupiter-Saturn moment, which happens almost exactly at the time of the Solstice, so another indication that this is a cosmic event of great importance. Notice that the angles of this chart set for Washington D.C. fall at the 0°-1°+ points of the Cardinal signs: these are very significant points often referred to as “world points” for their importance in world affairs, which certainly fits the urgency of our times, both in the U.S. and elsewhere. 




Chart #1. Jupiter-Saturn Cycle 2020, December 21, 2020, 12:08:17 p.m. ST, Washington, DC. Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast, courtesy of Kepler 8.0 Cosmic Patterns software.



In fact, contemplating this chart, you might even start to see the outlines of that “Star” we’ll be looking for in the skies on December 21st—it’s not an exact pattern, of course, but follow the 0°-8° points dotting the sky in the chart and a certain image starts to come into focus. Moving counterclockwise around, first there is the Aries ASC and Chiron, then Taurus Uranus (disposing the Aquarius cycle point), then around to the 1°+Cancer IC (ruled by the sensitive Pisces Moon, conjunct ASC), the 1°+Libra DSC (ruled here by bold and fiery Venus) and on to the lovely duo of Sagittarius Juno with that fiery Venus, the Capricorn Sun-MC-Mercury, and at last, the “stars” of this chart, Aquarius Jupiter and Saturn, escorted into their renewed cycle by a humanitarian, justice-oriented Aquarius Pallas. Closing out the circle, then, as if to remind us all of the serious imperatives at stake in this coming cycle is, finally, “earth mother” Pisces Ceres.  


Despite some signs of continued turbulence going forward in the chart, I think maybe these points we’ve tracked are telling us a story, the narrative we need to embrace going forward, in fact. It’s the narrative economist/humanitarian David Korten calls the “Sacred Life & Living Earth” story, and no surprise, the feminine players in this chart (Juno, Venus, Pallas, Ceres—not to mention the lovely late-Pisces Moon conjunct ASC) are key to its unfolding.


The implications of this are that we need to close the book on the nightmare alternative narrative we’ve been living by—what Korten calls the flawed “Sacred Money & Markets”[2] story, “dead world economics,” that produce “environmental devastation, economic desperation, social alienation, and moral and political corruption…”[3] Sound familiar?


Bottom line, for the sake of our children, of future generations, and of all our fates on this precious spaceship Earth, let’s hope that our leaders and fellow travelers will follow the life-affirming light cast by this month’s hopeful “Star.”  


Happy Solstice and happy holidays to all!




Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years; see the Publications tab on the home page for her two most recent publications, A Silver Lining in Aquarius: Engineering the Future with the 2020 Jupiter-Saturn cycle, and Pluto’s Sibly Return: Revisiting Paine’s Common Sense for Transformational Times..


For information about individual chart readings, contact:


© Raye Robertson 2020. All rights reserved. 




[1] Pope Francis I, Laudato Si’, On Care for our Common Home, Encyclical Letter, English version by Our Sunday Visitor,, 2015, p. 128.

[2]David C. Korten, Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2015.

[3]Ibid, p. 25.