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Jupiter–Saturn Conjunction 2020

Just as the cycles of Sun and Moon organise time into repeating patterns, so do certain other cosmic cycles—most of them little understood and hardly recognised—create recurring patterns that qualify time and shape destiny. The slow-moving planets (Jupiter, Saturn and the Nodes) mark phases of experience of long duration. For insight into the signposts of karmic opportunity, you need to analyse carefully the position of those planets in transit against your natal chart, because Jupiter remains one year and Saturn two and a half years in a constellation, plenty of time for their indications to condition your consciousness. Depending upon your birth chart, their influence can impact your life in powerful ways.

pawel-czerwinski-PPo9tjzjcPg-unsplashHowever, when these two giants come together in the same constellation, which happens approximately every twenty years, the conjunction they form generates an intense energy that affects everyone, both as individuals and societies, its compounded force bequeathing a certain flavour to an epoch that creates history. In fact, time could be measured and history studied against the recurring pattern of the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction. In Mundane Astrology, which analyses history astrologically, this conjunction is a major theme. And the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction in Capricorn in 2020 will be particularity strong for reasons you’ll see below. 

When exactly is this conjunction happening? 

Saturn enters Capricorn on 25 January 2020. Jupiter joins him on 30 March, which marks the beginning of the conjunction. But the timespan is not straightforward, because both Saturn and Jupiter turn retrograde later in the year. Though Saturn remains in Capricorn, Jupiter retrogrades back into Sagittarius on 1 July 2020, where he remains until 21 November. So the first part of the conjunction stretches from 30 March until 1 July. The second part begins on 21 November and lasts until 6 April 2021, when Jupiter moves into Aquarius. However, Jupiter turns retrograde again! He returns to Capricorn on 15 September 2021. So the third part, the tail-end of the conjunction, runs from 15 September to 21 November 2021.  

To sum it up, these are the dates that Jupiter and Saturn are together in Capricorn: 

30 March to 1 July 2020
21 November 2020 to 6 April 2021
15 September to 21 November 2021 

The period when both planets reside at the same degree, which is known as a Graha Yuddha or planetary war, is as follows. 

16 to 18 December 2020 — conjunction at 5 degrees
21 to 24 December 2020 — conjunction at 6 degrees 

The time of exact conjunction falls on 21 December 2020 and occurs at 6.20 degrees, in the nakshatra of Uttara Ashadha, whose shakti (energy) is the power to give unstoppable victory. It’s highly significant that this exact conjunction occurs at the Winter Solstice as well! The energy will be particularly acute at that apex point, though its effects will permeate throughout the period Saturn and Jupiter are together in Capricorn. 

Whose energy dominates?

When planets come together in a constellation, various factors determine their relative strength, and sometimes it’s complicated and difficult to discern which one overpowers the other. But that’s not the case here! Saturn clearly dominates in this Capricorn conjunction, with far-reaching implications for societies and individuals. What’s true for the Graha Yuddha—when two planets share the same degree—is true for the wider period of conjunction. In general, when Saturn is involved in a Graha Yuddha, his greater expanse due to his rings usually makes him the victor, even though Jupiter has greater mass. Since Saturn owns Capricorn, his power increases even more, because planets gain strength when residing in their own constellation. And Jupiter in Capricorn is debilitated, his light the weakest and most compromised therein. His precise point of debilitation is 5 degrees, exactly where he and Saturn come together in Graha Yuddha. Then magnifying Saturn’s dominance even higher, the point of exact conjunction happens at the Winter Solstice, when Saturn’s dark energy is naturally the strongest. The shakti of Uttara Ashadha reinforces the effect of Saturn’s conquest too. Though individuals will be impacted differently, according to their unique birth chart, everyone will experience an intensification of Saturnine energy and a diminishment of Jupiter’s light, as indeed will the world at large. Saturn wins this war! 

It’s significant too that the conjunction occurs in an earth constellation, for Saturn indicates earth, another point of confluence for his dominance in 2020 and 2021. Historically, the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction occurs in the same element for a large sweep of time, usually around 200 years, its twenty-year periodicity marking that epoch with the quality of the respective element. Transition periods, when the conjunction alternates between the previous and subsequent element, link the major periods and vary in length from 60 to 140 years. 

Implications for the World

The present earth dominant period lasts until 2199. It began in 1961, though a random fire conjunction in 2000, near the last degree of Aries, ensured that a bit of fire would contribute as well to the zeitgeist of the new century. That anomaly makes it possible to see the twentieth century as a peculiar and long-lasting transition period, because the movement from fire to earth, which began in 1901, wasn’t truly over until the end of the twentieth century. Fire favours nationalistic aspirations, even as they erupt into violence and war; it favours the fight for justice, independence and liberty; whereas earth fosters the drive for security and material interests, the pursuit of wealth, the exploitation of resources, and the development of technology. 

In 1921, the first earth conjunction in over 600 years followed the violence of World War I, the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Revolution and the Irish War of Independence. It inaugurated the financial speculation that led to the devastating crash of Wall Street in 1929. In 1941, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction occurred again in fire, marking the height of World War II and intensifying independence movements in Africa and India, which would result in freedom from colonial control for India and most of Africa over the next twenty years. In 1961, the new age of earth began in earnest, characterised by a sense of limitless expansion and development, manifesting as the material prosperity of the post-war era. Again in 1981, an earth conjunction accelerated the trend, with the growth of new technologies and corporate power expanding in ways never seen before, with national governments themselves becoming subordinate to the financial interests of powerful corporations, and corporations solidifying their control with digital technologies. 

Under the earth influence, business concerns and large conglomerates thrive, giving rise to military prowess when corporate interests become threatened. Military power feeds upon mass fear and paranoia, which in turn feed upon a sense of scarcity, another effect of escalating corporate power, which increases the societal divide between the affluent and the disadvantaged. These are all themes of Saturn, which the 2020 conjunction will heighten even more, exacerbated by Jupiter’s extreme weakness in Capricorn. 

In worldly matters, Jupiter indicates ethics, justice, and higher principles, which will all be eclipsed by Saturn’s dominance. Financial security, corporate profits and control will take precedence. So in terms of mundane astrology, the advice for 2020 is stay vigilant!  Safeguard your personal data. Be mindful how you use social media, which has stealthily metamorphosed into a tool of propaganda and mind manipulation. While ensuring a reasonable amount of financial stability for yourself, never forget the bigger picture of social justice, environmental protection, and humanitarian outreach to the disadvantaged. For the entire earth dominant period ahead, the stakes are extremely high for issues around climate change, degradation of the environment and the extinction of species. And now in 2020, just when our planet needs the ethical vision Jupiter bequeaths, his light will be diminished. 

Spiritual Implications

However, important as these worldly ramifications of Saturn’s dominance may be, what matters most in the truly big picture is the spiritual. For those who’ve dedicated their lives to spiritual evolution, the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction has a deeper significance, and from Saturn’s power comes a hidden grace. Though Jupiter and Saturn both indicate spiritual potential, they manifest according to paths quite opposite to each other. 

As planet of light, abundance, benevolence and fraternity, Jupiter grants the ability to perceive the divine in every aspect of creation. His influence imbues all life experience with a spiritual dimension. It is spirit celebrating matter, for in every individual, in every detail of the manifestation, the face of God radiates. Thus, Jupiter engages with the world. He promotes principles of ethics and justice, magnanimously striving to serve according to the path of truth. Though material abundance may come to him in the form of wealth, children, social status and worldly acclaim, a well-aspected Jupiter never attaches to those gifts but employs them to serve higher principles for the good of all. He indicates advanced knowledge in all its forms, particularly those that uplift the material, such as law, medicine, philosophy and teaching. Jupiter is Guru, a high priest, his spirituality oriented towards ritual, mantra and worship. 

As planet of darkness, limitation, denial and solitude, Saturn restricts and frustrates everything to do with the material world. He brings physical illness, psychological suffering, financial hardship, mental disturbances, loss and pain. Though simple living does fall under Saturn’s domain, it is not necessarily so for everyone. Under the influence of Saturn, certain individuals can rise quite high in the world of power and money. But contraction is still there, expressed as discontent, angst and worry. In both cases, either through material deprivation or material gain, Saturn fosters some kind of existential despair. He teaches the ephemerality of all things material, orienting the world-weary heart that is ripe for transformation towards renunciation and transcendence. 

Saturn’s path is the “Way of the Cross”. It might take a very long time, because Saturn acts slowly and patiently. But eventually, Saturn’s path culminates in moksha, liberation from the bonds of materiality. Saturn in Sanskrit is Shani. Closely linked to Lord Shiva, Shani (like Shiva) dispels the distortions and myopia of maya (illusion).  He dissolves the veil of avidya  (spiritual ignorance) and grants realisation of Ultimate Reality. Through darkness the soul opens to the radiance of Infinite Light. That is the essence of the mystery which is Saturn. 

As Jupiter (Guru) is the planet of knowledge, Saturn (Shani) is the planet of wisdom. Saturn’s dominance during the period of the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction opens wide the door of possibility for profound spiritual transformation. It’s the unstoppable victory of eternity over time. This is the hidden grace available to all who are ready for it during this otherwise quite challenging transit. No matter what disturbances you may experience during this conjunction, the first remedy for you to employ is metanoia, a profound turning round of heart. Trust in Saturn! He is the irritant who grows the pearl. Have confidence that whatever he brings contains lessons leading to your Inner Awakening. Shani’s logic runs counter to the world’s. Look deeply into it and see the pearl of Divine Grace it contains.

Om Tat Sat

References and Notes 

1. Vedic Astrology uses the sidereal zodiac, which divides the heavens according to the observable constellations, known as rashis in Sanskrit. The twelve constellations (rashis) and the twelve signs of Western Astrology translate into English with the same words, even though they do not refer to the same part of the sky.

2. Calculations are based upon the Lahiri Ayanamsha, which on 21 December 2020, recognizes a – 24:08:43 degree difference between the Vernal Equinox and 0 degrees Aries. The conjunction is exact at 6.20 degrees from 17:32 to 19.20 GMT and again at 6.21 degrees at 20.23 to 21.09 GMT.

Behari, Bepin. Myths and Symbols of Vedic Astrology. Twin Lakes: Lotus Press, 2003.

Betz, Martha and Keith. The Beta Ephemeris 1940 – 2040. Laytonville: The Production Works, 2001.

Hathaway, Edith. In Search of Destiny: Biography, History and Culture as Told Through Vedic Astrology.  San Diego: Vintage Vedic Press, 2012.

Photography Pawel Czerwinski

Copyright © 2019 Marianne Jacuzzi – all rights reserved

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