Most of my readers will have seen the joke on social media that features an astrology column with the same forecast for each Sun sign: ‘You’ll be spending more time at home’. A good gag and very apposite. So much for our promises of a humming social life!
However, it turns out that we astrologers are not completely useless. Most of us have spent recent months (or longer) warning that 2020 was destined to be a challenging year, belonging to the same family as 1914 (WW1), 1931 (great depression), 1947 (partition of India and Palestine) and 2001 (9/11 attacks); a before-and-after moment, one of history’s hinges, the common factor being the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto (plus unwanted extras) – ‘An ill-starred conjunction in the heavens which we could forecast but not prevent,’ as novelist Hilary Mantel puts it in her new best-seller about Henry VIII”s fixer-in-chief, Thomas Cromwell.
I’m not sure if any planet-plotter forecast a global pandemic – economic recession and war were more prevalent – but readers can check for themselves. The redoubtable Oxford Astrologer has a list of astrology sites that have commented on the Covid crisis.
I would like to add https://planetwaves.net, the site of New York’s Eric Francis, who writes about environmental issues as well as astrology. He has an interview with a professor in epidemiology who affirms that the virus is a zoomorphic disease with its origin in bats. So forget that ‘it came from a lab’ stuff. Lots more on Eric’s site, including his observations on the battle between the asteroids Chiron and Phollus, the latter being unknown to me.
Under ancient skies, Saturn was the planet most associated with death. In modern times Pluto has somewhat usurped the role. Put the two together and you have a doomy equation. Add Jupiter and the equation is amplified. Death is something of a taboo subject in everyday conversation, but one we are all currently being forced to confront. As I am just now recovering from a bout of flu – mercifully not THE flu – the Reaper has made a fleeting appearance in my own fevered thoughts.
One striking planetary pattern in 2020 comes from the lunar cycle. We have already had three successive new Moons at 4 degrees of their respective signs (30 degrees in a sign, x 12 equals 360 degrees, the only way to calibrate a circle), each aspecting the point of December 26th’s solar eclipse. The pattern isn’t really broken until June 21, a new Moon that is also a solar eclipse.
The most striking of these new Moons came on March 24, when the Sun and Moon were tightly aligned with Chiron, a planetoid whose mythological namesake is steeped in pain and healing, in self-sacrificing service. We are witnessing plenty of all three.
Perhaps Saturn’s temporary escape from the pervasive skies of Capricorn, into Aquarius for four months, will boost the community-oriented approach that will be needed to get through 2020. We are all searching for happier skies ahead, and finding a few in nature.
A friend commended the re-appearance of dolphins in the Bay of Venice as a hopeful omen, one that turned out to be bogus. We don’t have dolphins in Venice but we do have goats in Llandudno; a troupe of wild Kashmiri goats that normally stay up in the hills but have taken the opportunity to munch a few downtown hedges. As I said, Capricorn is pervasive.
I am out of time to deliver any Sun sign forecasts for April 1st, but will put up some this weekend (‘You’ll be spending more time at home’ and more). Meanwhile, with my music journo’s hat on, let me alert you to the Folk On Foot Front Room Festival, a crowd-funded podcast that intends to bring the cream of British folk musicians to your parlour on Easter Sunday, April 13th. Details here: https://www.folkonfoot.com/festival