Saturn and Pluto conjunction in Capricorn: 1518 and 2020
I wrote about the next big alignment, the 2020 Saturn-Pluto conjunction, a few days ago, and I feel inclined to go at it again, but from a slightly different angle. The conjunction will be in Capricorn in early 2020, and I suggested it would reflect an era of big business, when the multinationals would gradually become the biggest political force in the world, more powerful than national governments.
And maybe there’s another possibility, if you consider this: the last time there was a Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was in January 1518, 2 months after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg and began the Protestant Revolution.
But firstly, the natures of Pluto and Saturn.
Pluto is death. He is also power. His meanings are quite raw. He is sex. He is taboos. And he is not under our control. We can propitiate him by recognising him, and by yielding to his demands – and they may be to give up everything we have, in the interests of something that is truer about who we are. Pluto doesn’t care if things are comfortable in mere human terms. He is Necessity, that deep impulse in life to slough off the old and to renew itself. It is a process that can take years. It just seems to drag on and on sometimes. And it may not be that we are holding back, it’s that the new isn’t ready to be born, we are in the chrysalis phase
But when we are ready, it is definitely a new
power to live that surges up: something that was always there, but not
yet ready to be lived.
And if you watch your Pluto transits, or recall them, and enter your experience with that lens, you’ll start to understand astrology on your pulses, it’s real knowledge on which you can build. Learning the signs and houses etc is necessary, but it is seeing it work deeply for yourself, that is the real initiation into this esoteric knowledge. And all esoteric means is seeing how things really work, seeing through the illusion of our all-consuming sense experience to the dreaming behind it.
And these transits can occur on a collective, as well as a personal, level.
And then there is Saturn. Saturn is the worldly taskmaster. We often find him difficult when we are young, because he’s a planet of age: patience, discipline, practicality, responsibility, finding your place in the world. These aren’t necessarily easy things when we’re young, and they’re certainly not cool. And that’s why Saturn can seem difficult. But when we’re older, we’re often onside with all that stuff, and Saturn becomes our friend, a planet of abundance: but earned.
So Saturn gives form and shape to things: you put him next to the energy of an outer planet, and things happen. Outer planets, which are not visible to the naked eye (hence their late discovery), aren’t a part of our conscious endowment. They come from somewhere else. They certainly stir the pot. But it can be a difficult process translating that, integrating that into who we are. Put Saturn into the mix, Saturn who lives in the liminal zone between the inner and outer planets – one foot in this world, one foot in the other – and bang, you have Uranus, or Neptune, or Pluto transmitting their vast energies onto this plane.
Bet you hadn’t thought of Saturn as having a foot in the other world? He seems to be so much a planet of this world, in fact he often seems to deny the other world, that is his shadow. “You are what you earn”, rules Saturn.
Saturn needs to be turned into the protector, instead of the denier, of the inner world. That is the task of the US, with her Sun in square to Saturn, her Protestant Saturn that gives no-one a moment’s rest.
But just think about it astronomically. Not only is Saturn’s form-loving nature perfectly designed to be a bridge between the outer and inner planets. But one side of him inevitably faces towards us, the inner planets. And the other side faces fate, destiny, the outer planets. The demands of Saturn, at his best, aren’t just the rules of the world. They are tinged with our destiny, those things we need to do.
So when we put Saturn and an outer planet together, there is an immediate channel for those outer planet energies, you’re not waiting for years for the outer events. At the end of 1989, Saturn conjoined Uranus-Neptune, and the Berlin Wall came down. In 2001, Saturn opposed Pluto, and we had 9/11. And in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door.
Pluto energies either empower, or overturn, the entrenched status quo. Pluto is about new life, a new paradigm. It isn’t necessarily something we attach value to, particularly on the collective level. I think the outer planets show that there ISN’T a collective evolution going on. How would one judge that anyway? Was the world post 9/11 ‘better’ than what came before? This may be the case on a personal level too. We always have the choice to resist the deeper truth that Pluto wants us to live by. America, for example, could have seen 9/11 as its chickens coming home to roost, as Obama’s erstwhile mentor the Rev Wright later put it. That would have been a collective insight. But she chose, by and large, not to see this obvious truth (and this includes Obama): her response instead was to lash out at Afghanistan.
So because the collective tends to be unconscious in its responses, the events around Saturn-Pluto can just be a swing in the opposite direction. The last conjunction at the end of 1982, in Libra, could also be seen in these terms. It was the beginning of laissez faire economics, the empowerment of (relatively) rule-free capitalism. Essentially that was just a reaction to the rules around finance that had been brought in as a result of the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. Libra, losing our hard-earned balance. And of course the result of that was the Great Recession.
But it doesn’t have to be all bad! And maybe the good stuff doesn’t always get seen. Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn can be an empowerment of the rigid structures and hierarchies. But it can also be a revolution against them. This was what Martin Luther did to the Catholic Church. His actions contained a very powerful seed, which is often the way with Pluto.
If we look at the Saturn Pluto conjunctions of 1518 and 2020, they both have the Sun at 21/22 Capricorn. This suggests a connection between the 2 conjunctions, and that the successful opposition to entrenched establishment – in that case the multinational church – could, in 2020, see the beginning of a successful movement against multinational companies whose only interest, like the church at the time, is themselves.
So I think the coming conjunction is likely to be both an empowerment of big business – there is no obvious way of controlling it as it gets bigger – but also major protest against it.
There is a choice we can all make about what dream we live by. The big business dream is one of them, and seems to be getting stronger. But Saturn-Pluto also gives the chance to create other dreams, and make them practical (this is a very practical conjunction, with both Saturn and Capricorn present.)