Things have been tense and stressful over the last year and the pressure isn’t going to let up in 2020. We’re in transition between eras and old structures are breaking down to clear the way for a totally new way of doing things. So things could be chaotic for a while. Don’t hold your breath waiting for life to go back to normal (whatever that is!) – it won’t happen any time soon.
This year represents a major turning point in the development of the collective psyche with the start of three new cycles: Saturn Pluto, Jupiter Pluto, and Jupiter Saturn. Here are the basics for 2020:
- Pluto in Capricorn
- Neptune in Pisces
- Uranus in Taurus
- Saturn in Capricorn
- Jupiter in Capricorn
- Saturn visits Aquarius in March
- Moon Nodes enter Gemini/Sagittarius in May
- Venus retrograde in Gemini in May
- Mars retrograde in Aries in September
- Jupiter enters Aquarius in December
Note: the dates listed below may be slightly different in your time zone. And as always, major transits and alignments will probably only be significant for you if they directly activate your horoscope.
The year kicks off with the Saturn Pluto conjunction followed closely by the first Jupiter Pluto conjunction. There’s a brief respite from Capricorn heaviness when Saturn toggles into Aquarius in March, giving us a glimpse into the future and the Saturn square to Uranus in 2021. Then the eclipses start to shift when the North Node enters Gemini in May.
The tension ratchets back up in the second half of the year when Mars enters Aries, turns retrograde and forms several squares to Saturn and Pluto. The year ends with the Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Aquarius and a definitive shift in tone. But first we have to deal with whatever Saturn Pluto brings…
Saturn Pluto conjunction
We’ve been feeling this alignment for the whole of 2019 and it finally comes together in a single conjunction at 22° Capricorn on 12 January, along with the Sun, Mercury and Ceres. Mars and Jupiter are also in Capricorn and will form conjunctions to Saturn and Pluto over the following months. Here are the dates for your diary:
- Saturn conjunct Pluto – 12 January
- Mercury and Ceres conjunct Saturn and Pluto – 12 January
- Sun and Ceres conjunct Saturn and Pluto – 13 January
- Mars enters Capricorn – 16 February
- Mars conjunct Jupiter – 20 March
- Mars conjunct Pluto – 23 March
- Mars conjunct Saturn (in Aquarius) – 31 March
- Jupiter conjunct Pluto – 5 April
Saturn Pluto is in orb for the whole year until January 2021. Mars will stir things up when he conjuncts the configuration in March, and then squares it from Aries when he goes retrograde in September. This could indicate a tense time of severe conflicts around the world from August to the end of the year. Here are the hot spots:
- Mars square Pluto – 13 August
- Mars square Saturn – 24 August
- Mars retrograde square Saturn – 29 September
- Mars retrograde square Pluto – 9 October
- Mars square Pluto – 23 December (just after the Jupiter Saturn conjunction)
- Mars square Saturn – 13 January 2021 (in Taurus & Aquarius)
I’ve explored this in detail elsewhere so for more on the history of Saturn Pluto and the archetypes read this post; and for details on the current alignment read this one, or explore the whole series here.
Jupiter in Capricorn
Jupiter is in Capricorn from 2 December 2019 until 19 December 2020. This is the sign of Jupiter’s fall so he can’t be true to his expansive nature, but you can still work with the energies and get stuff done. Now is the time to put your faith and inspiration into something real and practical and work towards creating a better future – especially important if Saturn and Pluto have been causing problems for you.
This transit represents the paradox of expansion through contraction. In other words, you can grow by cultivating Capricorn qualities of discipline, responsibility and duty, and by being grounded in your body and building long-lasting structures that support your life. It’s a good time to diet or start an exercise regime, or make the most of what you’ve already got.
Check the house position of Capricorn for the area you need to work on.
Jupiter Pluto conjunction
The last time we saw Jupiter conjunct Pluto in Capricorn was in 1771, and before that was in 1522, so this doesn’t happen very often. Jupiter and Pluto align three times this year, marking the start of a new cycle:
- 4 April at 24° Capricorn
- 30 June at 24° Capricorn
- 12 November at 22° Capricorn
Jupiter boosts optimism and confidence and helps you to rebuild and reform the area of your life affected by the Saturn Pluto wrecking ball. You may find meaning or wisdom in what you’ve experienced and the inspiration to make real changes for the future. There may be an increase in ambition and a desire for power or wealth, and you could see great success in this area of your life.
But Jupiter can also push things too far and make you believe you can’t lose. So there could also be great failure or losses, especially if you’re not playing by the rules. Watch out for greed, arrogance, and abuses of power, and remember that your goals need to be realistic and grounded in integrity.
Read Jupiter Transits to Pluto for a sense of how this alignment might feel.
Jupiter will also sextile Neptune through the year and this transit will soften the harder edges of the Saturn Pluto and Mars energies. Neptune supports Jupiter and brings inspiration and imagination to help fulfil your dreams. The exact transits are formed on: 20 February, 27 July, and 12 October.
Saturn in Aquarius
Saturn transits Aquarius from 2021 until 2023 but dips his toe into the sign this year for a quick recce. He enters Aquarius just after the equinox on 22 March and then goes back into Capricorn on 2 July, finally re-entering Aquarius on 17 December just before the solstice. This will give us a glimpse of what’s coming next year when Saturn squares Uranus in Taurus.
Saturn is at home in his own sign and this boosts all things Aquarian: science and technology, humanitarian ideals and social reform. The next few years represent an opportunity to radically change the structures and rules of society to create a better world for everyone. Saturn in Aquarius can turn ideals into reality and give form to humanitarian goals.
The increasing inequality and unfair political systems around the world could trigger a rise in civil unrest and a call for revolution. Expect to see even more social justice activism and identity politics. We could see the reform of social institutions and the economy via innovations in technology and radical new ideas. Whatever happens, it’s likely to be disruptive and chaotic, preparing the way for Pluto entering Aquarius in 2023-24.
Check the house position of Aquarius in your chart to get a sense of the issues you’ll be dealing with from 2021. More on Saturn in Aquarius later.
Moon Nodes in Gemini/Sagittarius
Although the nodes change signs in May, we still have a few eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn in 2020. This is an opportunity to tie up loose ends on whatever came up over the last 18 months, especially around the need to balance feelings, family and nurturing with work, authority and the structures in your life. The Cancer/Capricorn eclipses are:
- Solar Eclipse on 26 December at 4° Capricorn – conjunct Jupiter
- Lunar Eclipse on 10 January at 20° Cancer – opposite Saturn Pluto (!!)
- Solar Eclipse on 21 June at 0° Cancer – on the solstice
- Lunar Eclipse on 5 July at 13° Capricorn – last one, so weak
Meanwhile, the north node enters Gemini in May 2020 and leaves in January 2022. This happens the same month that Venus goes retrograde in Gemini, adding to the air emphasis along with Saturn in Aquarius. It also means the south node finally moves out of Capricorn and enters Sagittarius, taking the pressure off Pluto (a bit).
This shift means the new eclipses are in mutable signs so life will feel more changeable and dynamic. With the north node in Gemini the focus is on your mind and communication and how you use information. It’s a good time for learning and business but there may be a loss of deeper meaning and a tendency to get distracted or be too rational.
The south node in Sagittarius brings up the need to balance rationality with faith, and to find a way to communicate your spiritual beliefs in daily life. But beware of blind faith and superficial knowledge. The Gemini/Sagittarius eclipses are:
- Lunar Eclipse on 5 June at 15° Sagittarius – first one, so weak
- Lunar Eclipse on 30 November at 8° Gemini
- Total Solar Eclipse on 14 December at 23° Sagittarius
Check your chart to see if any of these eclipses activate important points in your horoscope. You may find the house axis is more relevant to your experience than the signs.
Retrogrades in 2020
This year Venus retrogrades in Gemini as it did 8 years ago in 2012, so check what you were doing then because it may reflect themes that come up again this year. Venus turns retrograde in May, but you’ll feel it for about a month before and after, so the whole thing will run from April to July 2020. Here are the dates:
- 10 April: enters retrograde zone at 5° Gemini
- 13 May: turns retrograde at 21° Gemini
- 3 June: inferior conjunction with Sun at 13° Gemini
- 25 June: turns direct at 5° Gemini
- 29 July: leaves retrograde zone at 21° Gemini
This is an opportunity to evaluate your relationships, business partnerships, finances, creative projects, and feelings of inner value and self-worth. Don’t take anything for granted because your feelings may change once Venus moves direct. So it’s unwise to invest or spend large sums of money on anything now, or get married or start a new relationship.
Check your chart to see which area needs re-evaluating. For more read: A Guide to Stealing Fire During Venus Retrograde
This year Mars retrogrades in Aries, his own sign, and forms a series of squares to Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. This whole period is likely to feel tense and frustrating. Mars enters Aries at the end of June and doesn’t leave until January, so he’s there for 6 months and the retrograde period runs for most of that: from July 2020 to January 2021. Here are the dates:
- 25 July: enters retrograde zone at 15° Aries
- 9 September: turns retrograde at 28° Aries
- 13 October: retrograde Mars opposite Sun at 21° Aries & Libra
- 14 November: turns direct at 15° Aries
- 2 January 2021: leaves retrograde zone at 28° Aries
Now is the time to re-evaluate goals and how you take action in your life. You can assess how you’re getting on with various projects and initiatives, and make necessary changes. When Mars turns retrograde your energy levels may go down as it turns inwards and away from being invested in worldly goals. You might begin to doubt yourself or feel unclear about what you want or how to achieve your desires.
You need to be especially careful this year because when Mars first enters Aries you’re likely to feel more energised and raring to go. But when it turns retrograde you could hit a brick wall and have to rethink what you’ve been trying to do. Bear in mind that whatever you’re doing in the second half of 2020 could take longer to finish and you may have to rethink or change tactics – especially when Mars squares Saturn and Pluto.
Pay particular attention on 13 October when retrograde Mars opposes the Sun at the halfway point of the cycle. This can be a challenging time under normal circumstances, but this year it coincides with Mercury stationing retrograde in Scorpio, and Mars’ square to Pluto on 9 October – count to ten and take deep breaths!
Check your chart to see which area could become frustrating or explosive. For more read: A Guide to Stealing Fire During Mars Retrograde
This year Mercury retrogrades in water signs again, although he’s beginning to toggle into air signs for 2021. These periods are a good time to rethink your emotional habits, heal old wounds, and let go of the past. The retrogrades fall in February/March, June/July, and October/November. Here are the specifics:
- 2 February: enters retrograde zone at 28° Aquarius
- 17 February: stations retrograde at 12° Pisces
- 26 February: inferior conjunction with Sun at 6° Pisces
- 10 March: stations direct at 28° Aquarius
- 29 March: leaves retrograde zone at 12° Pisces
- 2 June: enters retrograde zone at 5° Cancer
- 18 June: stations retrograde at 14° Cancer
- 1 July: inferior conjunction with Sun at 9° Cancer
- 12 July: stations direct at 5° Cancer
- 26 July: leaves retrograde zone at 14° Cancer
- 23 September: enters retrograde zone at 25° Libra
- 13 October: stations retrograde at 11° Scorpio
- 25 October: inferior conjunction with Sun at 2° Scorpio
- 3 November: stations direct at 25° Libra
- 19 November: leaves retrograde zone at 11° Scorpio
Check your chart to see which areas could get disrupted. For more read: A Guide to Stealing Fire During Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Saturn conjunction
This is the transit everyone has been waiting for. Jupiter enters Aquarius on 19 December, just after Saturn on 17 December, and the conjunction happens on the solstice on 21 December at 0° Aquarius. This conjunction marks the start of a new cycle between Jupiter and Saturn, but also the start of a whole new era that will last about 200 years.
Jupiter Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years and follow a pattern where they fall in the same element for around 200 years before shifting into the next element. We’ve just had 200 years of conjunctions in earth signs, so the current conjunction represents the Great Mutation into air signs which runs until 2219. There are different ways to calculate when this cycle started, but more on that later.
The shift into air means the end of building empires and consolidating power based on a top-down, hierarchal model. We have the opportunity to transition into something more ‘Aquarian’ based on power sharing and networking in communities around the world. This won’t happen overnight and things will be in flux for a while, especially the next few years with Saturn square Uranus, but this is when the change begins.
It’s now obvious that living in a materialistic globalised economy based on plundering the Earth for resources won’t work over the long-term. So with Uranus in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn, the Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Aquarius will encourage us to begin the search for better alternatives and new ideas.
I’ll be writing more about the Jupiter Saturn Cycle later, but in the meantime, keep your powder dry in 2020 and see you on the other side…
For a more in-depth Overview of the Year Ahead, check out the Astrology Podcast, if you haven’t already.