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Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Saturn - Pluto Conjuction: Destruction of the Old, Making Way for the New

#Saturn / #Pluto conjunction (exact today after a tortuously long build-up) at 22 degrees of Capricorn. Destruction (Pluto) of systems, structures and constrictions (Saturn) which previously seemed useful but are now exposed as impeding progress and prosperity.

Decay/Death (Pluto) of structures and systems (Saturn) to make way for the new. Separation of the essential / useful from that which no longer serves. End of the cycle which began in 1982/83 - death of the last remnants of the NeoCons, for one thing (though their death-throes be nasty with long-lasting effects; they're still dying). Collective and personal grief and loss over the destruction of the status-quo; breakdown and failure of social and economic systems consolidating power and wealth in the hands of the few. 

They that are not busy being born are busy dying (Dylan, more or less). That's the theme of this transit.

The Saturn-Pluto opposition September 2001 brought us 9/11. There Saturn in Gemini (information, communications, immediate environment i.e. "our neighborhood") was opposed by Pluto in Sagittarius (religion, "foreign" people, places and things). We all know what happened.

At the conjunction of Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn we've seen the US and Iran at the brink of war last week. Iranian students are being seen refusing to trample US and Israeli flags after discovering their leaders lied about shooting down the Ukrainian passenger plane last week.

It's interesting to note than in his Sefer HaOlam, Ibn Ezra gives the zodiac signs and planets associated with certain cities and countries. He states that Bagdad (the capital of Persia during his lifetime as well as during other periods of Persian history) was associated with 21 Cancer: exactly opposite today's Saturn/Pluto conjunction. 

It's also interesting to note that in the natal chart for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Saturn/Pluto conjunction is exactly opposite the current Iranian government's natal Vertex. I call the Vertex "the rabbit hole" because in my experience as an astrologer it's the point where, like Alice in Wonderland following the White Rabbit, one unconsciously follows patterns which lead to repeating the same mistake over and over again until the lesson is finally learned. How many times must one fall down the rabbit hole until one learns not to follow that White Rabbit? 

The Vertex has to do with unchosen but seemingly "fated" encounters, those that seem compelled. In the Islamic Republic of Iran's natal chart, the Vertex at 23 Cancer in the 8th House (values/valuables/resources & intimacies we share with others) opposite Saturn/Pluto seems to be saying: Wait a minute! Was that really a White Rabbit I saw running past me, and do I really have to follow him down the rabbit hole again?

The consequences and long term effects of this conjunction will unfold this year as Jupiter and Pluto make three conjunctions in Capricorn, enlarging (Jupiter) the Pluto effect: death/destruction in order to create transformative change. Like the phoenix rising from the ashes of his own self-immolation, Pluto (modern planetary ruler of Scorpio)  doesn't do things halfway. There is no half-death and partial transformation: it's all or nothing now. Leading up to December 2020's Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at Zero degrees Aquarius (classically ruled by Saturn; modern ruler Uranus), by the time we get to the end of 2020 we'll be looking at ourselves and our world in the mirror and asking: Who is this? What are we becoming? Let us hope the angels of our better/best selves collectively agree we're getting better, not worse, as a human race.

Thursday, January 2, 2020


Capricorn "G'di" from the Hammat Tiberias Synagogue floor mosaic, 4th Century

Why is this Chodesh Tevet (December 28, 2019 – January 26, 2020) different than all other Tevets which have gone before? Tevet is the mazal of Capricorn / G’di, the mountain goat, the month ruled by the planet Saturn/Shabbtai, and associated with the Tribe of Dan. That never changes. What’s different this month is the long-awaited (and much feared by the non-Jewish astro-blogosphere) conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn which occurs January 12th, with Mercury, Jupiter, and the South Lunar Node in Capricorn as well. This conjunction is bookended by the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius, for the first time since the year 1405, which will take place in December 2020. The entire year of 2020 is parenthetically enclosed by these two powerful, historic Saturn conjunctions! 

Medieval commentators Abraham Bar Hiyya, Abraham ibn Ezra, Kabbalists such as Joseph Ashkenazi and Abraham Abulafia, Moshe Cordovero, and a host of others all mention the planet Saturn as having a special connection to the Jewish people. In classical astrology Saturn was the ruling planet of both Capricorn and Aquarius, though now modern astrology assigns rulership of Aquarius to Uranus. 

In personal astrology, Saturn’s role is to develop maturity. Shouldering adult responsibility and accepting hard work and personal sacrifice as the price of progress is essential. The Full Cancerian Moon / Lunar Eclipse January 10th opposite Sun, Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury and the South Node contrasts empathetic maternal energy with pragmatism so practical it’s practically heartless. Aquarius New Moon January 24 illuminates the value of compassion and tender care for the vulnerable and weak. Saturn’s transit through Capricorn into Aquarius this year is an unflinching, unvarnished, bottom-line reality check intended to ultimately develop the fully individuated, unique, empathetic and effective Self in each one of us. Growing up and getting real: these are our Tevet tasks.