December 2019 and the Felt-Sense of End of Times
Updated: Feb 4
Unbelievably, we're less than a month away from the new decade. There is a felt-sense of end of times - global environmental crises, wildfires burning out of control on every continent, widespread collective discontent about government corruption, protests about the rising costs of living and the growing abyss between the insanely wealthy and the rest of us. I watched the movie Joker a week ago. It captures with disturbing precision the spirit of our times.
Astrology is based on the maxim "as above, so below". It means that what happens in the space surrounding earth - the solar system and beyond, symbolically mirrors what happens on earth collectively, socially, in our relationships and in our psyches. So what is happening in the solar system surrounding us at home on earth and can we use this maxim to get some clues as to the unfolding of these times?
2020 is labelled "epic" from an astrological perspective. Planetary cycles are a big deal in astrology. In 2020 we have the start of three new planetary cycles (in illustration above) and because they are all in range of each other, constitute a triple planetary gathering or stellium (Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter). Each cycle is associated with collective and personal trends, patterns and themes. Having insight into the start of a new cycle is like a surfer getting a heads-up about the arrival of a big wave. We can make sure we're in the right place, with the right heads-space to make the most of the ride.
The start of a new cycle means an ending of the current cycle. 2019 has been the year where these endings have played out. Pluto, Neptune and Uranus are called the outer (solar system) planets. The outer planets in Evolutionary Astrology shatter our egocentric reality to wake us up to something "greater than this". Saturn and Jupiter are called the social planets and form a type of boundary between the inner, faster moving and outer, slower moving planets. The social planets are symbolically associated with development and maturation both personally and socially.
Pluto and Saturn have been in a closing cycle "dance" during 2019. In astrology we use multi-layered symbolism to make meaning of the cycles. From a big-picture perspective, Pluto is about death and resurrection, transformation, evolution and empowerment. Saturn is about aligning to what is right (duty, laws, rules, morality) and judgement (consequences of our actions). Saturn symbolically represents time - "its time!", "your time is up!" Both Pluto and Saturn symbolically represent death as part of a process of transformation - end of times.
As a planetary pair the Pluto-Saturn cycle has a big-picture theme of the ethical or right use and distribution of power and the consequences of corruption or the wrong use of power. Looking back at 2019 with this big-picture theme, we can create a list of events in the collective as well as reflect on our own personal experience. What stands out for me in the collective is Harvey Weinstein and the Me Too movement, Brexit, South Africa's Zondo commission on state capture, Bolsenaro and Assange's extradition, US trade wars with China and Trump's impeachment to name a few.
In astrology we analyse the themes and character of the previous cycles to search for clues on how to extrapolate meaning for the next cycle. It's an art of synthesis because no one cycle can be analysed in isolation from the many other intersecting cycles always at play. We can all look back at the cycles listed below and together with our own memories and experience of historic events, come to our own conclusions about patterns and trends.
The astrologer Maurice Fernandez highlights the redistribution of power, the redefinition of political boundaries and the vacuum of power that is created between the close of one cycle and the start of the next. Everything is redefined and this state of flux impacts our sense of security. The vacuum of power creates opportunism and the emergence of new political players. If you do grab the opportunity and rise to power, one thing is certain, you will be tested.
We can also regard the period between 1981/2 and now as a personal cycle of our life. I added the astrology classification column in the list above to give an example of the type of additional information used to assist with pattern recognition and meaning-making. The current cycle (ending), started with the conjunction in Libra. Libra, together with the ruler Venus is about worth, exchange (commerce), finances-money and relationship. Holding the big-picture theme of right use of power, we integrate the theme of worth, exchange (commerce), money and relationship to create a personal picture of what this would look like in our lives. For me this cycle embodies my transformation into an Information Technology (IT) professional, with corporate demand for my time and skills (power) in exchange for money (worth). A challenge for the Libra archetype is balance. A downside is loss of identity and self-worth locked into the relationship or exchange.
The lunar nodal axis is regarded in Evolutionary Astrology as a portal of energy dominating personal and collective consciousness. The lunar nodal axis at the time of our birth (and therefore in our birth charts) is part of our seed or blueprint of our life. Since November 2018, the (transiting) lunar nodes have been in the Capricorn (south node) - Cancer (north node) axis, in the same domain as the closing Pluto-Saturn dance. The south node is where we are coming from and the north node what we need to learn. The Cancer north node translates into a need to slow down, personalise our life (make attachments), nurture & nourish, take time to digest & assimilate life experience, connect with our inner child, excavate and manage suppressed trauma, acknowledge vulnerabilities and weakness, build a support network and generally regain sovereignty of our lives.
The closing cycle of Pluto-Saturn during 2019 happened, not only on the transiting lunar south node but also on the planetary south nodes of both Pluto and Saturn. This communicates a strong need to deconstruct and transform (evolve) the current power and authority gatekeepers, values and structures in both the collective and the personal. For example, it is about deconstructing the "patriarchal" notion of power as force and submission and integrating the feminine (yin) qualities of emotional literacy, receptivity, deflection, compromise and surrender.
The new Pluto-Saturn (right/ethical use of power) cycle officially starts on 12 Jan 2020 with a conjunction in Capricorn at 22 degrees. The evolutionary intention of Capricorn is to align with something greater than ourselves, with what is true and right for us to achieve mastery and credibility in our lives. In 2008, Pluto entered Capricorn which can be seen on some level as a prelude to this shift. Look back at this year for clues as to what this next cycle may bring for you.
If you are interested in learning more about Evolutionary Astrology and the Lunar Nodal Axis, my 12 Steps to Mastery online course is an immersive, experiential study of the lunar nodal axis in our birth charts. Understanding this specific feature and how to achieve mastery of it, provides valuable insight and guidance on living our life in an integrated, embodied and empowered way. Visit the website for more details on the course and subscribe to the mailing list if you enjoyed this blog post and would like to read more.
Fernandez, Maurice. Astrology and the Evolution of Consciousness. Florida: Evolutionary Astrology, Inc., 2009.
Fernandez, Maurice. “Planetary Nodes From Saturn to Pluto.” Evolutionary Astrology with Maurice Fernandez, Maurice Fernandez, 2008, www.mauricefernandez.com/planetary-nodes.
Fernandez, Maurice. “The Powerful Astrological Cycles of 2020.” Evolutionary Astrology with Maurice Fernandez, Maurice Fernandez, Dec 2015, www.mauricefernandez.com/the-saturn-pluto-conjunction-and-the-transits-for-the-year-2020/.
Naragon, Bradley. Annual Planetary Node Cycles. United States: Bradley Naragon and Blue Dragon Arts and Astrology, 2012.
Unknown. Planetary Synodic Cycles. www.historicalastrology.com/planetary-synodic-cycles/saturn-pluto-conjunction/
Richelle Steyn certified as an Evolutionary Astrologer through The Comprehensive Diploma Course (Maurice Fernandez).
(C) Copyright 2019 Richelle Steyn. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the author unless credit and reference are provided. www.richellesteyn.co.za