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Covid-19 and The Outer Planets

Updated: Jan 4

The current situation in which we humans find ourselves is reflected in a combination of several planetary configurations. Please be mindful that the planets don’t “cause” things to happen. Humans do.

The current situation in which we humans find ourselves is reflected in a combination of several planetary configurations. Please be mindful that the planets don’t “cause” things to happen. Humans do.


As William Shakespeare reminds us,

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings." Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

To the best of my ability, I will discuss the astrological backdrop of our times and the messages to be heeded.


Several months ago, when I was outdoing what seemed perfectly normal at the time, running errands, I happened upon an interview of the son of Leonard Cohen. One of the questions that was asked was how his father responded when he realized he had to go back to work,because his fortunes had been stolen by an unscrupulous manager. The upshot of the conversation was that as a result of him having to return to writing and performing, one of his greatest works was created. That was the song“Hallelujah.”


It’s hard to imagine that we humans could muster up thoughts of gratitude to China for unleashing Covid-19 upon us any more than Leonard Cohen could muster up thoughts of gratitude to the selfish individual who robbed him of his hard-earned gains.


Yet, here we are, wondering if there may a silver lining in this ugly cloud that has brought untold numbers of deaths, devastated small and large business as well as global financial markets,and required many of us to hunker down at home.


The Capricorn stellium of planets


For those who have been following the planetary movements, you’re aware that we’ve had a parade of strong planets move through Capricorn. Those are Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, the latter two being heavy hitters. The buildup of Capricorn energy has placed tremendous importance upon government and big business. There is the perception that power and wealth have become increasingly potent in the hands of the few, leaving the rest of humanity to fend for themselves. As Saturn made its conjunction to Pluto back in January, Covid-19 was gradually making its way across the pond, into the home turf of the US. As our country went into lockdown and people sought shelter in their homes, non-essential businesses shuttered and large corporations (Capricorn and Saturn) such as airlines, witnessed plummeting (Pluto,death and rebirth) values. Their vulnerability has become more apparent as their stability has been knocked over, seemingly by a feather, by something Neptunian in nature. Something that can’t be seen with the naked eye, something whose origins may be illusive at best and yet something that, by its very nature, is difficult to contain because it has no clear boundaries.


Saturn represents discipline,structure, time, our elders, restriction, necessity, responsibility, the skeletal system, separation. Think of Saturn as traffic lights. If we don’t have traffic lights, what happens when we come to a busy intersection? We have chaos. We have no sense of order. We have no sense of timing, as to whose turn is it to go and when. Saturn is our skeletal system. It is the building blocks upon which our bodies are built. Our skeletal system creates a division between interior and exterior. Saturn is the girders of a building. Without walls, upon what do we have to build? Saturn also represents time. Think about the fact that we when refer to time, we refer to it as “father time” and we often see it as depicted by someone older, someone wise. After all, the longer we live, the wiser, hopefully, we become. As mentioned earlier, Saturn represents large business and government. Part of the function of government is to provide humanity with services that we as individuals require, that are more efficiently done on a mass scale. Large structures such as government and large companies provide us with utilities, roads, luxuries of human survival, such as access to clean water, electricity, natural gas and communication systems such as phone services. These are basic essentials that we can “utilize” to keep us functioning as a whole society.


As Saturn lingers in Aquarius for the time being, we are experiencing social (Aquarius) distancing (Saturn), and coming to realize that in order to maintain the viability and integrity of human life moving forward, we must abide by different rules. Hugs and cramped quarters will have to give way to elbow bumps and safe distances. In order to be of help to our fellow human beings, an Aquarian goal, we need to abide by more stringent, Saturnian rules. If we are vigilant as humans, foregoing outside entertainment, parties, lavish celebrations of life, those things ruled by Aquarius’s opposing sign of Leo, we thereby help our fellow mankind.


What is being underscored right now,is how interconnected we are with the rest of the world--that interconnection is part of the message of Aquarius, the sign of the masses. What happens in one corner of the world truly does have an impact on the other side of the globe.


For a visual feel for Aquarius and those familiar with the Tarot cards, focus on the Star card, which depicts the distribution of water from one pond to another, from one jug to another. This card represents, among other things, the distribution of knowledge and knowing, from one facet of humanity to another. It is a card of hope, inspiration,selflessness and great love.


When looking at astrological influences, it is often customary to look not only at the sign of the zodiac in which planets inhabit, but also their opposing sign. Why? Opposites attract.You can’t have one without the other. Heat is part of a spectrum that encompasses cold. We cannot have inside without outside.


By maintaining this apparent Saturnian rigidity, we find ourselves at home. All things domestic come under the rulership of the sign of Cancer, the opposing sign of Capricorn. We are, by necessity, focusing on domesticity. We are surrounded by family. Many of us are becoming reacquainted with that place called the kitchen. We are also holding vigil for caretakers, such as nurses, who also come under the rulership of Cancer.


As many of you may know, every sign of the zodiac rules a part of the body. If one were to observe the symbol of Aquarius, we could see that it mimics the motion of the ankles as we walk.Perhaps walking will become one of the safer ways for us to get our exercise,as an alternative to crowding into sweaty gyms.


Uranus in Taurus


How are we handling this sudden and urgent need for change? Uranus, the planet of inevitable change, is in the conservative and predictable sign of Taurus, the sign of money, values, that which is rooted in the earth. Uranus represents innovation. It turns things upside down. It is sudden,chaotic, unpredictable, unconventional, rebellious, erratic, intuitive and irrational. Are we making these necessary changes of hunkering down with ease and dexterity? Are we doing this without kicking and screaming? Probably not.Uranus does not find itself happily placed in the very fixed and rooted sign of Taurus. Yet, change we must. And how are we being asked to change? Our requisite changes are being suddenly thrust upon us, requiring that we play the game of Taurus, which is described in astrological terms as “fixed earth.” We are having to stay put. We’re having to upend our routines in order to “flatten the curve” and allow those on the front lines to do their jobs. Other changes that are unfolding are also reflective of this wave. We now look at money differently. How many of us relish the idea of touching paper money? Can markets get even more chaotic than they are at this time? Our values are inevitably undergoing a shift.


Uranus in Taurus suggests that it’s time to radically change our values. Many of those concepts are addressed in this article. But the bottom line is that we are coming to realize that what we once considered to be reliable, dependable and concrete is no longer working for us. The very norms that we considered tried and true, such as “cash” money, gathering together in innocent crowds, those things aren’t viable. We’re having to adjust to new realities.


Neptune, the planet of our ideals, our spiritual dimensions, continues its journey through Pisces, a very permeable sign of selflessness and sacrifice, a sign that lacks boundaries. Ruler of the feet, it reminds us that as spiritual beings, we are one and walk in one another’s shoes. This Neptunian placement makes it easy to drown ourselves, be it in our sorrows, our addictions, our means of escapism as well as our joys.How are we participating in this theme? How is this playing out? Are we drowning ourselves in escapism to weather this storm? Are we binge watching,getting sucked into our devices? Or are we finding balance by connecting with our spiritual dimensions and revisiting what it truly means to come to terms with the universality of our humanness, our humanity?


Is this the dawning of the Age of Aquarius?


Once again, a musical analogy seems fitting. For those of you familiar with the music of the 1960’s, you undoubtedly recall the iconic song, “This is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius.”


Just as spring doesn’t magically occur overnight as we transition out of winter, neither do astrological ages. Rather,they take place over vast stretches of time. As we move from one age to another, we begin to see signs of the next age emerging. Astrological ages move backwards, from a zodiacal perspective. We are leaving the age of Pisces and moving into Aquarius. Categorized as fixed air in astrological terms, Aquarius is the sign of humanity, innovation, invention, utilization of the element of air as well as the intuitive mind. It is the sign of the collective or masses, as opposed to individual egos (ruled by the Sun and by inference, also by Leo). Although co-ruled by Saturn, the modern ruler of Aquarius is Uranus, the planet of stepping outside the norms, breaking barriers and moving in unconventional directions.


We are also realizing messages of Neptune in Pisces. Pisces is permeable. Like water, other than its molecular shape and the container in which it finds itself, it has no real boundaries. It is free to flow as it will. We are coming to terms with how permeable we are as humans, how sensitive we are to something that is seemingly invisible, yet can have profound impact on our lives.


That permeability can be viewed as something not just physical, but also speaks to our nature as spiritual beings.As we go within and latch on to our seemingly invisible spiritual dimensions,we come to realize that there are no real boundaries to the love we can muster for one another and that our spiritual essence knows no boundaries, be they physical or ideological. If we truly view ourselves as one, there is no need for greed and hoarding, because if we are all one entity, we are hurting the whole when we act selfishly.


How long will we have to maintain this sense of isolation?


Saturn temporarily set foot in Aquarius on the 22nd of March and will remain there until the end of June, returning to Aquarius at the end of the year, where it will remain for a couple of years. Jupiter moves into Aquarius at the end of the year where it will remain for a year. Pluto enters Aquarius in January of 2024, where it will remain for about 20 years.


Granted, the need for isolation began weeks before Saturn moved into Aquarius. However, as the slow-moving outer planets approach a sign, it is not unusual for us to experience the impact of their entrance into the next sign weeks before the actual entrance occurs. Therefore,it would not be unrealistic to expect that widespread social distancing will be the norm throughout the months of April and May and possibly into the better part of June. The True North Node remains in the homebody sign of Cancer through all of April, reinforcing the notion that we find our fulfillment in home and family.  As the North Node of the Moon departs Cancer and eases its way into restless sign Gemini on the 5th of May, we may start to see some pickup in traffic. This social butterfly sign encourages increased back and forth travel and lends itself toward more chatter. Perhaps by the time Saturn moves back into Capricorn on the first of July, widespread isolation will decline. This is around the time when the warmer months are upon us in the northern hemisphere, and apparently the time of year when viruses are less pernicious. Will we have a recurrence of this pandemic once winter comes around and Saturn re-enters Aquarius? Perhaps. Will we be better prepared? Hopefully that will be the case, as Saturn returning to Capricorn suggests that government and big business retool (Pluto) their roles.


What might we take away from this experience?


This is a time of going within, not just physically, but also spiritually. This is a great time for contemplation,to appreciate how inter-connected we are and how much we rely upon, perhaps take for granted, the opportunity to gather together in masses. Perhaps we are appreciating the value of meditation. For, within this practice, we become more connected with our own inner beings and hopefully increase our awareness of what it means to be a social creature, to be inter-connected with the outer world, the masses. We are realizing how selfish it is to hoard and that if we prioritize our own selfish needs over others, we are disregarding the needs of the masses.


How will this impact us in the long run?


Let’s look at potential outcomes. Will we see less pollution of our air, land and water as a result of hunkering down?Will we see more value being placed on telecommuting, telemedicine, teleconferencing? All these remote alternatives are reflective of the sign of Aquarius, the sign that favors innovation and the air waves. The business,Saturn, of technology, Aquarius, will likely strengthen by necessity. How many of us are utilizing and appreciating more than ever, the value of Skype, Zoom,GoToMeeting and other teleconferencing tools?


These days, we are finding that in order to be responsible to our fellow human beings, we are being of service to one another by abiding by the rules of Saturn and recognizing that discipline, separation and letting things play out over time, are the mandatory, wise, sober actions we can take. Leo, the opposing sign of Aquarius, represents our individual ego,our desire to celebrate life, to be entertained, to indulge in romance, to be creative, to make our hearts soar. We’re having to shelve those elaborate celebrations,those ego driven desires in deference to the Aquarian ideals of the greater good.


What happens once we venture back out of our homes and money is flowing again? Many of us will make our way back to our hairdressers and other service providers, eager to cross their palms with digital silver. But how do we imagine contributing to the larger, necessary changes that must unfold in order for humanity to survive? Will we look to YouTube for our favorite “social influencers” or do we look within to harness our own abilities to influence society?


The choice is ours. One thing is certain, “The times, they are a changing.”


Hallelujah!

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