At the extremely popular United Astrology Conference of 2018 in Chicago I presented a talk on the planetary nodes. Actually, perhaps overcrowded might be a more accurate description: despite having a double room for the talk, it was full to the point where people sat cross-legged and so close to me that they couldn’t even see the powerpoint! At *slide 44 I presented information on 5 of the major world conflicts of modern history: the American War of Independence, the US Civil War, the Taiping Revolution, and the first and second World Wars. I detailed how they began with an outer planet conjunction to, or square to, the south node of Saturn (around 22°-23° Capricorn) and ended when that contact moved on to aspect the south node of Neptune (around 8°-10° Aquarius). In that hot and crowded space, with some angry people turned away prior to the talk, there was a visible gasp at the information I had provided.
At the time, I said I didn’t know what was going to happen when both Pluto and Saturn were going to conjunct the south node of Saturn at the end of 2019. Clearly the evidence stated some kind of major world conflict. It is not my style to indulge astrological paranoia and in fact, I speak out around it – fearing that the superstition present in our profession will overburden it and cause it to inflict unwitting harm. The end of 2019 came and went. Nothing seemed to be happening. I myself thought, well maybe collective signatures are not always what they appear to be.
Yet the symbolism was very powerful: this new synodic cycle of Pluto and Saturn (see Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas) begin with both planets conjunct the south node of Pluto (widely) and the south node of Saturn (exactly). Unbeknownst to anyone, a virus emerged in China as early as the end of 2019 whose impact, initially concealed or denied, would begin to shut down the world much as if it were a major global conflict. In this case, this is an invisible enemy that, with a supreme irony, did not even harm much of the population but whose impact on others would overburden the health systems of even the most developed nations.
That the ‘war’ of our times asks most of us to do nothing is both a surreal irony and a point of significance involving the pause and reset function of Saturn on a collective level. That many others will work harder than ever and risk their lives to save others is something that I hold in my heart every day. Most of us, though, are asked to find a new way of being at home in both a literal and a metaphorical sense. There is an opportunity in that process if we can find a way to settle underneath the individual and collective anxiety, into a way of being with the world that supports the simplicity of life stripped away from the noise of the outer world.
With the likely cancellation of every major astrological conference this year I will miss the opportunity to sit close to my friends, colleagues, and those dedicated students who grace me with their presence at my lectures and workshops.
To those alone and frightened in isolation, to those who are fighting to protect their livelihood, to those struggling with illness or with the sickness of a loved one, to the fear and hurt inside all of us, I ask for divine mercy and protection. I extend to you all my very best and heartfelt wishes.