I had hoped to have this completed in time for the Chronocrator Solstice (21st December) alas, the edits took some time due to the extensive ground covered in the following passages. Mercifully, conjunction periods are not a single gate opening all at once and then closing again, they are more like an infusion delivered over a period with increasing frequency as they build up to an exactitude. After which the energy begins to diffuse while still leaving its signature energy as a kind of background radiation that becomes the medium through which an age unfolds. Thankfully, the conjunction begins December 21 and lasts until January 7, 2021! The post is long, and so I have broken it up into parts to be read over time, and will release them a few days apart. There is much ground to cover and it is any wonder that 179 years of possible future history can be compressed into a protracted format. Read in stages if you must, skip ahead, I won’t mind. Exciting times ahead in all senses, read below for more!
*(please note all astrological placements used are utilizing the astronomical zodiac as used by modern astronomers, this will not align with the majority tropical astrology used in western astrology).
2020 has been a turbulent year, most of which has left us shaken to the core. Seemingly, the year has felt unpredictable and insensate, following no particular set of coordinates. A more intimate look reveals that there are signals in the noise and long established patterns of economics, society, and hegemonic orders, which have resulted in how 2020 would ultimately unfold.
Astrologically, 2020 was a pivot, a turning point and the final phase in a transition between two elemental eras and one larger fixed Dawr cycle spanning 595 years. 2020 would also feature epoch defining astrology as it would be delineated by an S&P Alignment (Saturn-Pluto Conjunction at 26° Sagittarius) and a Chronocrator (Saturn-Jupiter conjunction at 0° Capricorn, signaling an entry into a new elemental era), more on these later.
Astrologers long suggested 2020 would be a challenging year; the popular columnist astrologers notwithstanding who suggested it would be a prosperous and easy year. A cursory look at the dynamics of 2020’s planetary interactions show hard aspects involving heavy-hitting planets and asterisms, and are more apocalyptic in the original sense of that word of revealing something hidden. 2020 has featured disruptive events that have snatched the veil from the assumed eternal truths of global civilization. Revealing in stark relief that we cannot go back to a normal that left huge swaths of the world vulnerable to human induced climate change, massive inequality, volatile economies and supply chains that falter and break in a crisis.
It will take some time before the turning point becomes evident for those ready to make the leap, and for the world to catch up to the radical shift in energetic patterns, however the signal has not been lost in the noise. 2020 was a mediator between eras, the astrological configurations of which tracked with events that embodied this. 2020’s inception was delineated by the explosive events of a Saturn-Pluto conjunction.
Pluto-Saturn Alignment 2020: Rapid Oxidation and Chain Reaction
2020 began explosively with a Saturn-Pluto conjunction at 26º Sidereal Sagittarius with an exact conjunction on 12th, January. On this same day Mt. Taal in the Philippines erupted forcing the evacuation of surrounding areas, the grounding of flights, cessation of classes and schooling, and temporary closures of businesses in Manilla, Luzon and Calabarzon. Ash-falls landed on these metro regions forcing closures and grounded flights. The phreatomagmatic eruption of Mt. Taal killed 39 people; one died directly, the remainder died from disregarding the evacuation orders, returning to their homes before it was safe, and heart attacks caused by the anxiety of the eruption and subsequent evacuation. It would not be until 14 February that the volcanic activity threat level would be downgraded to level 2, due to degrading volcanic activity.
The 2020 conflagration continued with the Australian bushfires, which had ignited the year prior at the start of bushfire season. These bushfires would prove to be some of the worst in Australia’s modern history. The bush fires destroyed 186,000 square kilometers (72,000 square miles) of land, killed 34 people, created deadly air quality for much of the eastern and southern states of the nation, affected 3 billion terrestrial vertebrates, potentially driving endangered species to extinction and causing $103 Billion AUD in economic losses, Australia’s most expensive natural disaster to date. The symbolism of fire seems apt given that the conjunction occurred in a fire sign.
On another front, a smoldering fire would begin burning its way through Wuhan China, a city of roughly 11 million people, 2.02 million more than the city of London in the UK. The World Health Organization (WHO) began receiving reports from the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission about mysterious cases of ‘viral pneumonia’. An additional media report from ProMed (a programme of the International Society for Infectious Disease) was picked up on WHO’s Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources about the same cluster of cases of ‘pneumonia of unknown cause’ in Wuhan.
Starting January 2020 the fire would grow into a conflagration and be on its way to consuming the world. On 9th January the WHO announced that it had determined that the mysterious cases of pneumonia were being caused by a novel coronavirus, which would later be given the moniker SARS-nCoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Corona-virus-type 2), and the disease it caused would be called COVID19 (Corona-Virus Disease 2019). The WHO announced on 30 January that COVID19 had become a global health emergency and by 11 March WHO declared that COVID19 had become a Global Pandemic. (WHO, 2020).
As COVID19 continued to burn through the world and Europe became the first epicenter, governments across the world, responded first by issuing travel bans (Saturn) from affected nations. As cases of infection continued to climb governments initiated total lockdowns (Saturn) on national populations to contain the virus (Pluto) and flatten the curve, to avoid overwhelming healthcare systems. For a time these were wildly successful with some governments opting out entirely and instead pursuing a watch and wait strategy i.e. Sweden. The US response was tepid at best with travel bans and lockdowns being initiated six weeks after the virus had already been circulating. Lack of a coordinated response would prove disastrous, as a second wave would sweep the world after the summer.
Starting in December the US would be facing the terrifying prospect of surpassing healthcare system capacity with transmission increasing. Coronavirus deaths by 20 December of 2020 in the U.S. tabulated to 317,597 encompassing 22% of all global COVID19 related deaths while only comprising 4% of the world’s population. The US currently holds the dubious distinction of being the corona-virus outbreak epicenter.
The events of 2020 and especially COVID19 would end up inverting the world order and ultimately expose many weaknesses and inequalities that are programmed into the current world operating system. In addition to the ecocidal trajectory that industrial capitalist civilization is on (the need for course-correction is very prominent). The pandemic would especially lay bare that neoliberalism (the current phase of Late Capitalism) and the austerity trumpeted by monetarists is simply no longer working, increasing inequality, breaking supply chains due to increased de-industrialization, scaling back of social services, repealing regulations on finance, labor, and the environment to maximize corporate returns.
The COVID19 Pandemic worsened unemployment that by April every state in the US and the District of Columbia had reached unemployment rates higher than their maximum unemployment rates reached during the 2007-2008 Great Recession. The ongoing pandemic still threatens to plunge the Global Economy into a recession and potentially worse.
The Trump administration spent months down-playing the pandemic, actively working against recommendations for wearing masks (it took until 12th July for Trump to publicly wear a mask), opposing further lockdowns and encouraging armed demonstrations to repeal lockdowns in some states. Mitch McConnell claimed in May of 2020 that there was no playbook for responding to an epidemic of this scale. Claims of lack preparedness are contradicted by a 69 page document prepared by the National Security Council in 2016 titled ‘Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents’ prepared specifically to coordinate a US government response to high impact emerging infectious disease anywhere globally. John Bolton, a former US National Security Adviser, restructured the National Security Council and disbanded the epidemic response team set up in 2016 under the Obama administration, to address shortfalls in the response to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa in 2014. There is no way to know if that restructuring negatively impacted the response to COVID19. The Trump administration’s uncoordinated response mirrors the Reagan administration response to HIV/AIDS, historically remembered as AIDSGate, during the Saturn-Pluto confluence of 1982.
COVID19’s aftermath has one silver-lining, the rapid pace of vaccine development and the deployment of a novel delivery method using messenger RNA (mRNA), a method that sped up the process of vaccine development. Deploying this novel technology made for a historically notable rapid vaccine development process; it has been roughly 12 months from the beginning of the Corona-Virus pandemic in December of 2019 to December 2020 when the first vaccines were being delivered. COVID19 vaccine development has smashed two historic records; surpassing the record for rapid vaccine development formerly held by the Measles vaccine which took four years of research and development. The second being the development of a vaccine with 94-95% efficacy, in the field of vaccinology anything higher than 60% efficacy is a cause celebre. The remaining challenge is to scale up production to address the immensely high numbers of doses needed to treat the global population. The deployment of the vaccine in a way that is fair and equitable (there remains an inequitable distribution many of the first deliveries in the US will fall short of providing doses to high-risk frontline workers), and combat considerable misinformation regarding novel Coronavirus vaccines. Scaling up production also has the additional problem of unequal international distribution with wealthier nations receiving vaccines before other nations extending the pandemic to continual outbreaks stretching into 2024, as other nations will receive their vaccines later.
Astrological Configurations 2020: Supplementary Factors
Beyond the Saturn-Pluto conjunction 2020 would be pivotal for featuring two additional astrological transitions the Saturn-Jupiter Conjunction at 0º sidereal Capricorn in December. Along with the initiation of a new fixed Dawr period transferring from a 595 year period where the dominant energy had been in the Saturn-Virgo mode beginning in 1435 and switching over to a Jupiter-Libra mode congruent with a cultural shift inaugurated during the liminal phase of this transition with the triple Saturn-Jupiter of 1980/81 in Sidereal Virgo. (Discussed in Part 4: Aeon: Accelerando).
Cosmic Convergence: Chronocrators A.K.A Saturn-Jupiter Alignments (Conjunctions)
Chronocrators are astrology’s oldest patterns and method for demarcating social aeons. The orbits of Jupiter (12 years) and Saturn (30 years) considered the longest observable orbits as the three outer planets were not identified until the 19th and 20th centuries. The alignments of Saturn and Jupiter as they entrained together in their orbital journey were effectively the largest ultra-cycle that could be described. Cultural conceptions of these conjunctions changed through the eras. In Medieval and Renaissance periods, they were grafted onto apocalyptic prophecies. Among the Jewish conjunctions of Saturn (Shabbatoi) and Jupiter (Tzedek) fueled messianic speculation.
The phenomenon of Saturn-Jupiter conjunctions occurs generally every 20 years following an angular progression of 243º, therefore for approximately 200 years more or less these conjunctions continually occur in a sign of the same element. This phenomenon produces the elemental eras. Roughly every 800-960 years these conjunctions will cycle through the four classical elemental trigons (the three signs of the same element in zodiacal order; Fire, Earth, Air, & Water) returning in a fire trigonalis or sign completing a Great Climactic Maxima Conjunction (completion one cycle through all the elements). Transitions into elemental eras will activate the energies of the signs and ruling planets involved in a trigon formation and shape the subjective themes of each era.
Chronocrator returns in the fire trigon and usually in the sign Sagittarius correlated to supreme epochs in human history, bringing much upheaval and radical change. This conjunction made its reappearance in the fire trigon around the decline of the Roman Empire (200 C.E.), with the trigon occurring in 193 C.E. at 0º Sagittarius, again around 1000 C.E. (988 C.E at 3º Sagittarius) which witnessed the zenith and nadir of many Southwestern US civilizations including the Pataya, Hohokam, Ancestral Puebloan, and Mogollon. The descendants of which would form the modern indigenous first nations of the Yuman-Cochimi, O’odham, & Puebloan nations i.e. the Hopi and Zuni (there are no known descendants of the Mogollon; it is believed the remnants of their society migrated to Mexico and their former territories were reclaimed by the Apache).
A fire epoch again starting in 1782 at 1º Sagittarius which tracked with the French and American Revolutions, the Enlightenment, the push for modern democratic nations, the Industrial Revolution, the peak of the North Atlantic Slave Trade, the transition to modernity and the dominance of Capitalism. All of which brought a particularly long period of upheaval and dislocation and are antecedents to many of the conflicts of our era, which will be confronted in the emerging Earth Era crowned by the 2020 Conjunction at 0º Capricorn.
Chronocrator conjunctions represent a kind of cultural recalibration or reset period, and will often signal transformations in society, especially at the inception points of new elemental eras and following the maxima. These periods are a kind of renewal.
The Interregnum: A Liminal Space bridging two Aeons
Chronocrators create another occurrence during elemental epoch transition. Usually the eighth chronocrator in a generally ten-alignment cycle (there are sometimes more than ten due to zodiacal precession) will occur in a sign of the next element, and signal cultural changes that define what the next era will look like. The following conjunction (the 9th) occurs in the prior element, which is followed by a tenth conjunction in the new element signaling a full transition to a new elemental epoch. Additionally, it signals an energetic trace that will carry over the elements of the previous era into the new one.
The triple conjunctions that occurred in 1980/81 were in Sidereal Virgo at 15°, 14° and 11° of the sign. The era was also end capped by a Saturn-Pluto Chronocrator in Late Sidereal Virgo (33°). This period was unique for featuring an explosion in the development of personal computing and digital communications technologies. All of which had a role in the birth of an information economy and a global communications Renaissance (all symbolic of the Virgo sector which favors precision and measurement, and a computer is the ultimate calculator and Virgo’s planetary ruler Mercury, whose domain is communications.
Eleven European countries met in Stockholm in 1982 to discuss the feasibility of a Europe wide digital cellular telephone system. The TCP/IP migration that formed the backbone for the modern internet was completed on January of 1983. In 1985, Gorbachev introduced the idea of Glasnost as part of Perestroika, which translated, to a practice of increased transparency in Soviet Governance. Chernobyl occurred in 1986, beginning to destabilize central control systems in the Soviet Union amid increased cries for democratic governance (interesting to note, as the Soviet Union was formed one year after the Chronocrator at 2° Virgo in 1921!). The Berlin Wall fell in 1991 and effectively ended the reign of the Soviet Union; the public Internet launched the same year.
Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s the economy continued to put increasing value on information, with government, commerce, healthcare, and other sectors migrating to online platforms. The dot.com revolution witnessed the most robust economic expansion in history. The period marked a time of transparency and open communications that seemed as though it was uniting the world in a common matrix. The period culminated in May 2000 when the chronocrator occurred at the last degree of Aries.
The Aries chronocrator presided over a period in which the Virgo pattern came crashing down. The 2001 recession in which the dot.com bubble burst sent the value of technology stocks tumbling and crashing the economy. The recession was amplified by the events of September 11, 2001 when the New York’s iconic World Trade Center twin towers were exploded by a coordinated terrorist attack involving hijacked aircraft deliberately crashed into the towers. The threat of international terror and the trumped up claim of Iraq holding weapons of mass destruction prompted the Bush Administration to initiate a second Iraq war and became the inception of the War on Terror. The digital surveillance state went into hyper-drive in this interregnum.
As the period progressed many scandals involving tech firms, governments and the wealthy came to light. The Edward Snowden leaks proved the US government was spying on its own citizens through the national Security Administration. The Panama Papers outlined wealthy individuals using tax havens to dodge their tax obligations, the Cambridge Analytica scandal which indicated that illegally obtained user data from Facebook was used to target propaganda to shift the vote in the 2016 US presidential election, Brexit and other contested political contests. The Volkswagen emissions scandal which saw the US Environmental Protection Agency cite Volkswagen Group with manipulating emissions tracking software to meet US fuel efficiency standards by only switching on in laboratory testing conditions, and switching off in real world driving conditions. There was a seeming return to the elitism of the fire pattern with the election of many authoritarian and crypto-fascist governments throughout the world (Bolsonaro in Brazil, Trump in the US, Erdogan in Turkey, Orban in Hungary, and Dueterte in the Philippines). The world in this period seemed to get darker and more unstable, and ever since, we have been living in a confused interstitial state between eras. The 2020 Conjunction brings an end to this transitory period, re-energizes the developments of the Virgo (Earth) pattern and fully migrates us into the Terran aeon (explored in part 2!).
Stay tuned for the next installment!
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