• Erin

The Great Conjunction of 2020

Doubtless at this point you have seen the headlines or mentions on social media about the “Christmas Star” or “Great Conjunction.” The internet has been abuzz with this for the past couple of weeks. Well, astrologers and astronomers have had this on their radar for years. Why?

Jupiter, based on the myth of Zeus, is known as the greater benefic. It expands what it touches and brings an element of growth or fortune, among other things. Meanwhile, Saturn is named for his father, Cronos, and is known as the greater malefic. It is a planet of limitation, restrictions, time, among other things. These two planets represent the outermost of the visible planets, meaning they can be seen with the naked eye. In order to see the outer planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, one requires a powerful telescope.

Jupiter and Saturn rotate around the ecliptic at roughly the rate of one revolution per 12 years and 28 to 30 years, respectively. This essentially means that Jupiter “catches up” to Saturn once per 20 years. This meeting is known as a conjunction.

When planets conjoin, their energies essentially merge and we feel the effects as a hybrid of the two (or more) through the lens of the sign, or location, in which they happen to be meeting in the sky. With the opposites of Jupiter and Saturn, we feel the effects of their opposing archetypal energies more strongly than conjunctions of faster moving planets, as they move more slowly and therefore the impact of their proximity lingers longer.

So, if this union happens every 20 years, what makes this particular conjunction so, well, “Great”?

Not only do the two planets meet on a 20-year basis, but they happen to do so in the same elemental signs for 200-year increments before switching to a new element. So, for roughly the past 200 years, the greater benefic and greater malefic have met in the element of Earth. In particular, we’ve felt their energy this year in Capricorn as the two have come ever closer together, which is Saturn’s domicile and Jupiter’s fall. That means Saturn (limitations, restriction) was much more functional while Jupiter (fortune and increase) was limited in its ability to do good. Add to that a Pluto conjunction and you have a planetary pileup bound for trouble.

But the conjunction does not perfect, or go exact, until this Monday. And it does so not in Capricorn, but at 00 degrees of Aquarius.

Why does this matter?

Well, not only is Aquarius also Saturn’s domicile, meaning the planet is more comfortable there, but Jupiter is also (finally) officially out of Capricorn, the sign of his fall. This means Jupiter is free to work his benefic magic once more. And boy do we need it!

But wait, there’s more!

This conjunction also happens to mark the first in a series of conjunctions in the air element signs, thus starting a new 200-year cycle in air. This means we go from the rooted and stable earth energy during this conjunction to the freer flowing air energy. Look for topics like data regulation and increases in technology, and preferences for more mobile or flexible lifestyles as opposed to grounded routines to be the name of the game.

But wait, there’s more!

December 21st, when the conjunction goes exact, is the Winter Solstice. This marks the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere (or longest night in the Southern). It marks a significant psychological shift from autumnal preparation to winter endings and new beginnings.

But wait, there’s more!

This conjunction also happens to be the closest conjunction in the night sky since 1623 and the closest visible from Earth since 1226 – that’s right, we haven’t seen such a bright conjoining of the two since the Middle Ages! If you’ve been looking at the night sky since December 15th, you’ve likely seen what appears to be a “super star” in the sky. How cool is that!?

I hope you are able to take advantage and see this literally once-in-a-lifetime event.

In peace & love,


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