AS THE CLOCK winds down on 2019, we are in an oddly uncomfortable “tween time,” that two-week period between eclipses. We are also energetically aware of the greater significance of these days, that goes beyond a simple change of calendar year.
January 2020 marks the end of one Saturn-Pluto “synodic cycle” and the beginning of a new one. A synodic cycle is counted from the time two planets align until the next time they align. For example, the synodic cycle between the Sun and Moon lasts just about 29 days. The beginning of each new cycle, when the Sun and Moon align, is marked in our skies by the New Moon.
For Saturn and Pluto, the synodic cycle is much longer, lasting an average of about 35 years.
EACH TIME Saturn and Pluto align, we experience a profound shift, usually a completion followed by a slow building into a new phase of our lives. As the slower-moving of the two planets, powerful Pluto is the Director of proceedings, taking us deeply into a process of transition, of death and rebirth. Saturn plays the role of the Project Manager, planning and executing every step, making sure that all occurs on schedule.
The Saturn-Pluto cycle that is now ending began in 1982. If you were on the planet during 1982-83, you may want to consider the changes that occurred in your life at that time, what you learned as a result, and how your experiences over the intervening years have perhaps been defined by those events.
You might also want to ponder a few other dates. Within every synodic cycle, there are key dates when the two planets are in hard aspect to each other. These are often very significant times, directly related to the core issues of the cycle.
For the Saturn-Pluto cycle that began in 1982, key dates were all of 1993 (waxing square), the last half of 2001 and the first half of 2002 (opposition), and late 2009 through most of 2010 (waning square).
ALTHOUGH the exact alignment is still two weeks away, we are feeling its effects very strongly now. In actuality, we have been working with its influence in varying degrees throughout most of 2019. But, it is definitely building to a crescendo now. No doubt you’ve been feeling the stress.
There are other complicating factors, that I’ll talk more about in next week’s Journal – other planets are involved when Saturn and Pluto align, and there’s a powerful Lunar Eclipse on January 10. But for this week, in addition to doing a personal review of your experience at each phase of the Saturn-Pluto cycle, it’s perhaps most important to realize how vital self-care and a spiritual focus are right now. These are the tools we can use to keep us sane and healthy, and on track with our highest potentials.
THIS WEEK there is a strong pull into old attitudes, outdated mindsets and perceptions of reality that keep us bound to the past. This tendency to revert to unconscious and unproductive behaviors is emphasized when the Sun (on Monday) and Mercury (on Friday) each aligns with the South Node.
The South Node is a marker for traits that we are called to leave behind as we seek our evolutionary high road. Currently in Capricorn, the South Node represents old patterns of control, rigidity, pessimism, fear, a lack of sensitivity, and protectionism. We will know when we have reverted to the shadow side of Capricorn by the way we feel internally. When we are stuck in the past, our hearts feel constricted. Our breathing is shallow and our bellies feel tied in knots.
THESE ARE TIMES that call for strong spiritual discipline. This may manifest through a deeper commitment to a meditation or mindfulness practice, but even more importantly, we are called to maintain a spiritual perspective and attitude throughout the more mundane activities of daily life.
Thankfully, we have planetary assist this week to help us in these endeavors! A Mercury-Uranus trine on Monday can help us link our minds to the higher mind, bringing in new insights and a higher perspective. This is the energy of “the Eureka effect,” which Wikipedia defines as “the sudden, unexpected realization of the solution to a problem.”
And, Mars enters expansive Sagittarius on Friday, helping us take steps to realize our ideals. We can feel more restless with this placement of Mars, since Sagittarius does not like to be contained. The Mars-Chiron trine that perfects on Sunday builds self-confidence, encouraging us to risk the unknowns of new adventures – whether they be in the physical world or in spiritual realms.
Mars will be in optimistic, visionary Sagittarius until February 16. The Red Planet may very well be just the lucky talisman needed to help us move beyond places where we currently feel stuck.