As the winter solstice draws near, the heavens are preparing for a once in a lifetime alignment between Jupiter and Saturn. For thousands of years ancient astrologers have tracked the movements of these two planets in an observable cycle of conjunctions. A conjunction occurs when two planets occupy the same zodiacal degree in the sky from our perspective on Earth. These massive bodies come together every 20 years, and mark the beginning and ending of eras in society. The last conjunction occurred in the year 2000 as we pushed forth into the 21st century. This brought with it a great deal of change around the globe over the last two decades. However, the conjunction in 2000 held a very special significance.
While Jupiter and Saturn have a 20 year cycle of conjunctions, they also engage in a larger cycle that lasts 200 years. For 200 years Jupiter and Saturn will align in the same sign’s element. So 2000 was the last conjunction in an earth element sign, bringing a dramatic end to the last 20 years of the 200 year cycle. On December 21st, 2020 Jupiter and Saturn will join together in an Air Sign, where it will spend the next 200 years taking turns meeting up in Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra.
The shift into a new element is an auspicious moment in history, which was first observed by ancient astrologers in Iran. They found that each time these planets changed elements via conjunction, a new world power (or dynasty as they noted) would take center stage. The most recent element change, into earth signs,began in the 1800’s. This brought the booming rise of the United States on the world stage, and it became the world’s first “super power” by the end of the century. Jupiter and Saturn moved from fire signs into earth signs officially in 1820. Here we saw the industrial revolution boom and the expansion of the textile industry, as we worked towards more comfortable living. Earth energy is ruled by textiles as well as coal. The power of the United States came specifically from manufacturing, which again is earth ruled. But like all earth energy, there is a danger of laziness, in favor of luxury. The last half of the earth cycle saw the negative side of this energy in the US with outsourcing.
Beyond the 200 year cycle, there is an even larger one which lasts 800 years, as Jupiter and Saturn move through each of the elements (Fire, Earth, Air, Water). We have not been in an Air ruled period since 1220 AD. As we enter the Air element energy we move into more communicative, intellectual, and social themes. During the last Air period we saw the rise of paper production, printing, and the establishment of colleges and universities, which helped share ideas more easily.
As Jupiter and Saturn draw closer to each other, we have certainly had a sneak peak of what we may anticipate in the coming 200 year air cycle. This year alone has seen a major leap in terms of digital communications around the globe, ranging from family gatherings, team meetings, and even medical appointments. Interestingly enough, this Jupiter/Saturn conjunction will occur in Aquarius; the air sign of innovation. By it’s very nature Aquarius rules digital communications, the internet, and global consciousness. We have have connected globally like never before, and it appears that will continue.
Since the 1960’s people have been talking about the Age of Aquarius. There have even been songs written about the idea, most notably the hit song “Aquarius-Let the Sun Shine In”. Many have speculated when this age would begin, with the majority of theories pointing towards 2000, with the dawning of a new millennium. Unfortunately, shifting into a new zodiacal age isn’t cut and dry with a clean beginning and ending date. Rather, it is more fluid as the energy shifts, much like attitudes, music, and fashion shifts gently from generation to generation. Astrologically, we see it as a series of events that lead us towards a new global mindset. The Great Conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn occurs in the first degree of Aquarius (the beginning). As Jupiter/Saturn alignments mark periods of time, this conjunction is likely the official heralding of the Age of Aquarius. In this new zodiacal age we will continue to see technological advancement, a boom in humanitarian efforts, as well as advancements in medicine. It’s a very exciting time, as we will begin to see old structures and systems break down and move towards more innovative and inclusive ways of approaching life.