The Great Conjunction & Winter Solstice

May this be a morning of innocent beginning,

When the gift within you slips clear

Of the sticky web of the personal

With its hurt and hauntings,

And fixed fortress corners,

A morning when you become a pure vessel

For what wants to ascend from silence,

May your imagination know

The grace of perfect danger,

To reach beyond imitation,

And the wheel of repetition,

Deep into the call of all

The unfinished and unsolved

Until the veil of the unknown yields

And something original begins

To stir toward your senses

And grow stronger in your heart...

John O'Donohue


We have experienced our world grow darker and darker. Cycles of light and dark, day and night, summer and winter are in a perpetual dance of growth, bloom and going back to seed to prepare to bloom again. The darkest day of the year is at our doorstep. When the Sun enters Capricorn on December 21, 2020 marking the Winter Solstice, the new sun dawns with the promise of renewed light and longer days. A new year begins that kindles new hope and fresh possibility. The gift within the new light will be nurtured, gradually increase and come to full bloom during the course of the coming year.


This Winter Solstice is Not a Typical Day of Beginnings; it Heralds a Paradigm Shift


Perhaps because 2020 was not your typical year, the year provided the necessary ingredients to warrant a monumental cosmic alignment to carry us forward with a generative and radically new orientation for humanity. There was a deconstructing of the status quo in 2020 as Pluto, Saturn Jupiter traveled together in Capricorn. It was essential for normal life and business-as-usual to be interrupted so we could disentangle and detach ourselves from a habitual way of behaving. We were compelled to loosen rigid thought patterns around how life is supposed happen. There were a number of other astrological alignments that contributed to the dismantling our ways of engaging life Notable among these was the Mars Retrograde this fall that slowed us down and thwarted us from moving our life forward. The two recent eclipses afforded us the opportunity to release old patterns, habits, and beliefs and ready ourselves for the shift now taking place.


Throughout 2020, we were invited to step out of our comfort zone, let go of dreams of how we wanted our life to go forward and make room for something else that could set us on a new, more authentic course. And this new course, this new paradigm is occurring because the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn has timed its 20-year cyclical reunion to take place on the very day the sun dawns anew. The presence of the Great Conjunction amplifies both the meaning of the conjunction and the solstice, emphasizing and punctuating the notion of a true beginning.


A big deal has been made of this day by astrologers and the media in recent weeks. There is good reason for this. To better understand the significance of the winter eclipse, the next section contemplates the astrological components of December 21.


Winter Solstice – The Dawn of a New Cycle of Growth


This is one of the most significant days of the annual cycle. On this darkest of days, The Sun rising above the horizon as it moves into Capricorn is the very definition of The Winter Solstice. The Solstice Sun proclaims that the days will now increase and a new year has begun. Since the dawn of humanity, peoples in cultures around the globe have celebrated the rising of the Solstice Sun. Different holiday and religious traditions that happen around this time reflect and reinforce the celestial message of new light and a new hope.


For a seed to achieve its greatest expression,

it must come completely undone.

The shell cracks, its insides come out and

everything changes. To someone

who doesn't understand growth,

it would look like complete destruction.

Cynthia Occelli


The Great Conjunction: Jupiter and Saturn Join at 0° Aquarius

These two planets rendezvous every 20 years, and the dynamics of their meeting sets the tone and direction for the next 20 years, hence indicating the flavor of the coming generation.


Two Stars Become One. For the first time since 1623, Saturn and Jupiter will be at the same declination on the ecliptic path when they meet for the Great Conjunction, having them appear to us on earth as if they are one star, rather than two. In1623 though, the meeting of Saturn and Jupiter was not visible from the earth as the two planets were traveling in the sun’s light. The last time humanity could visually see the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter merging into one brilliant star was in 1226.


To witness this phenomenon, step outside in the hours just after sunset on the solstice and look in the SW part of the sky. Jupiter will be the brightest star in the sky, with Saturn’s much dimmer light joining it. As no one alive has witnessed this before, if for some reason it does not look like one large star, it will certainly at least appear as if the two planets are kissing.


The Close of a 200 Year Cycle. Since1802, Jupiter and Saturn have met every 20 years in an earth sign (Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo). The collective focus has been on earth, on the material world and on earthly resources. The industrial revolution, the mining of the earth’s riches (coal, oil, ore), and the accumulation of material wealth and comfort has been the collective aspiration of western society for this era. Progress has been measured by material accumulation and wealth. The excesses of this era have created dire consequences. In years to come, history classes may refer to this period as the Dark Age of Materialism.


A New 200 Year Cycle is Initiated

For the first time in 800 years, Jupiter and Saturn will come together in an air sign with the Great Conjunction on December 21 initiating the beginning of new 200-year cycle where the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn every 20 years will take place in an air sign. Instead of material wealth, progress will be measured by scientific, cultural, and intellectual wealth. The arts will flourish. Scientific and technological developments will seek to serve all humanity because there will be an increasing recognition that all life is interdependent.


The Great Conjunction at 0 Degrees. O Degrees is the first degree of each zodiac sign. Nothing has no numeric indicator, because if nothing exists then there is nothing to signify it. Therefore, O is the moment where something emerges from nothing, or rather the something that can be said about nothing. It speaks to the dawning of the potential emerging from the great void. 0 opens a portal to new potential for expression and growth. The Great Conjunction occurring at 0 Degrees Aquarius further emphasizes this moment as a great beginning of Aquarian ideals and values. It is as if the sky’s message repeats the theme of beginnings over and over and over so that we don’t miss it.


The Aquarian Age and the Great Reset

There are some who are referring to the Great Conjunction as the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. While the impetus to recognize the Aquarian Age is laudable, the dawning of an age happens over a 100 or even 200-year time period. It happens in stages. The impressive lineup of planets in Aquarius in 1962 can readily signify a boost in helping usher in Aquarian age as it led to a movement that professed brotherly love, pacifism and an end to an oppressive hierarchical structure that does not altruistically serve all within the structure. We can say that the December 20 Winter Solstice marks another turning point in the anchoring of humanity in the Aquarian Age. There will be another impressive lineup of planets in February 2021 which speaks to the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and will be discussed in the Astrology of 2021 blog.


The Winter Solstice each year is sometimes called the Cosmic Reset. Taoist Master Michael Winn describes the Cosmic Reset as the moment when “The heart of Mother Earth (matter) aligns in a new axial elation to the Solar Heat (spirit).” So, if each Winter Solstice is a Cosmic Reset, the one happening on December 21 is a Great Cosmic Reset initiating a moving away from a materialistic focus and towards a humanitarian focus, with less attention to accumulation and more on the vision and reform geared toward the wellbeing of all life.


You’re not stuck. You’re just committed to certain

patterns of behavior because they helped you in the past.

Now those behaviors have become more harmful than helpful.

The reason why you can’t move forward

is because you keep applying an old formula

to a new level in your life.

Change the formula to get a different result.”

Emily Maroutian


The History of Saturn and Jupiter conjunct in Aquarius

To understand what the Great Conjunction in Aquarius may bring, we can look back to the last time Jupiter and Saturn came together in Aquarius. As the Jupiter/Saturn cycle is an 800-year cycle, we need to go back to December 1285 when Jupiter and Saturn came together in Aquarius, initiating a 200-year period of Great Conjunctions in air signs.


Interestingly enough, the year before the Great Conjunction in Aquarius in 1285, there was a Pluto/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn (just as we have experienced this last year). It marked the pivotal moment that brought the Middle Ages to a close and gave rise to the Renaissance Age.

The Renaissance was a turning point in the history of Western Civilization. Quality of life improved with a celebration of the innovative spirt, a value for community and the common man, and a rebirth of artistic expression. Communities prioritized creating healthy can clean living conditions. Universities were built and there was a rapid increase of people pursuing academic and scientific studies. The creative arts broke away from convention and great and timeless works were created that paved the way for artists such as Michelangelo, DaVinci and Shakespeare. What had been suppressed in the Middle/Dark Ages, burst forth and flourished.


There were notable inventions that created sweeping change. In the 200-year focus on “Air” reflected in the Jupiter/Saturn cycle beginning in 1285, the emphasis was on ideas, modes of communication, progressive vision, and the betterment of society. The most significant invention of this time was the printing press. It had a staggering effect on how knowledge became readily available and shaped modern society. Other inventions included the microscope, telescope and eyeglasses. Aquarius is about Vision, the ability to see beyond what is readily seen, both the large and the small. It is remarkable that inventions of that time have supported humanity in literally doing just that.


The Renaissance did not come to full flower overnight. It was a 200-year process. Early into the process was the Black Plague which served to provide the ingredients needed to fuel the Renaissance. In the midst of chaos and lack of leadership, when liberties are restrained, the creative and innovative spirit surged to fill the void. This does not necessarily mean that we will need to endure a prolonged pandemic, but it may mean that there will be restraints that provide a necessary friction – akin to a grain of sand rubbing against the shell of the oyster that transform it over time into a pearl.


It was also the time of the Inquisition and the burning of women at the stake. The restraints placed on society by the Catholic Church paved the way for Martin Luther to post his theses on the door which led to Protestantism and the freedom to practice one's religion in the way one was called to it. Chances are religious power structures and religious practices in the coming years will see a breakdown and breakthrough that removes unnecessary restraint or misuse of power so that spirituality can flower and support the collective rather than control it.


What is being seeded


The keyword is Reform. A new social contract will be shaped through revolution and through increased regulations. It will be the friction between these two, with both revolution and regulation engaged to bring a movement that will better protect and uphold the wellbeing of all terrestrial life. In the upcoming newsletter on the Astrology of 2021, the the dynamic friction between these the impulses of revolution and restriction will be explored with how they may play off each other in the coming year.


Changing Values.

  • From competition to cooperation

  • Recognition of intellectual wealth as a measure of success versus material wealth. Intellectual can mean scientific or academic, but it also means the visionary, the inventor, and the inspired idea.

  • From distribution of resources (food, energy, healthcare) operating in a pyramid structure to gradually creating a structure that is increasingly egalitarian.

  • Societal organization overall will become less a pyramid structure of top down and become more horizontal. Rather than looking to some authority, some father figure to fix it, do it, change it, people will become more self-responsible and resourceful. There will be greater empowerment and decision-making authority happening at the grassroots and community level. The focus shifts from global production and leadership to local production and leadership. Distrust of current elected officials to serve the people they were elected to serve will continue to pave the way towards this as will disruptions in the global distribution systems to successfully deliver food, water and material goods.

  • What it means to be an individual will shift with greater and greater recognition that we need each other as it will be increasingly difficult to go it alone. Rather than rugged individualism and looking out for #1, asserting ‘my rights’, we will gradually move towards personal responsibility with a value for community, the collective and how we our talents and life's work can be channeled into making life better for the whole community.

  • A reformation of the meaning of freedom. Aquarius is the sign of the individual and of freedom. The US was founded on Aquarian ideals, but there will be a maturing of these ideals that include an understanding that we are all connected. As a collective, we will come to see that it is not about doing anything we want without considering and being responsive to how our actions support, demean, hurt or uplift others.

  • Our heroes will be seen as those that have provided the greatest service to others and whose life’s work has benefited the community, and there will be increasingly less heroism assigned to those that boast great achievement by rising to the top of their field or have made the most money - especially if it is not intrinsically tied to the care and well-being of their workers and the greater community.

Technological Developments. We will see another technological revolution. This one will harnesses qualities associated with ‘air’. Solar Power will gain further support and strides will be made to further utilize the power of wind, light and electromagnetic waves. There will be a gradual shifting from fossil fuels to more sustainable forms of energy. We will see a rise in research and discovery of healing methods that use sound and vibration. Because Aquarius rules innovation and technology, we are likely to see a technological revolution unlike anything we have already experienced. The shadow side of this would be the further mechanization of humanity in the name of the welfare of the world’s citizens. This would include further development of Surveillance Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the use of robots to conduct societal functions, and a further mechanization of humanity.


Reform and Change for Social Media and Virtual Exchange of Information. The FAGA giants (Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon) will face regulations, rules and accountability. Cyber wars will increase with cyber attacks and cyber technology drawing greater attention and resources. From governments to organizations to individuals, there will be a movement towards social responsibility in how we engage in the virtual world. Aquarius is the sign of the anarchist, and the internet mushroomed in a joyful Aquarian way without oversight or regulation, which allowed any and all to participate in the way they wished. There will be movements to address the current chaos of misinformation and divisiveness so that facts are not irrelevant or arbitrary and that we are supported to better engage in generative interaction. People will need to be responsible and accountable for their use of virtual communications, with consequences when they don’t. The shadow side of this would include over-regulation, censorship, and increased surveillance, but the energies of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius ultimately support positive reforms in this area.


“If you love beauty,

it’s because beauty lives within you.

If you love art,

it’s because you are creative.

If it wakes up your heart,

a receptor for it already exists within you.

Your soul is drawn to the things

that will help you unfold your most glorious expression.

Give in.” ― Cynthia Occelli


What to Expect


On December 21

We may or may not experience anything that radically shifts our awareness or ushers in some great opportunity in the days around the Eclipse. Still, if we quiet ourselves, we may feel something quickening within us.


The light of the new day will not reach its full influence for another six months and the influence of the new 200-year cycle of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction will be experienced for years to come. And yet, it marks a profound shift from the heavy and intense energies of 2020 and heralds a wholly different and lighter vibration for 2021.


In the News

Often what is happening on the world stage at the time of the Great Conjunction will illuminate the flavor of what we can expect to hear more about in the coming year. For instance, the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke the day Jupiter moved into Scorpio, sign of sexuality and secrets which gave rise to the MeTo movement the following year. So, we can look to what is happening this week fo a glimpse of what Saturn/Jupiter is reflecting for 2021.


The day of the December 14 eclipse (marking a letting go of the past and moving towards a new beginning):– The US Electoral College officially confirmed the election of Joe Biden. The first US citizen received the Covid19 vaccination. Both these events was a turning point that brought the events of 2020 to a close and had us set a new course.


Just after the stroke of midnight EST on December 17, Saturn moved back into Aquarius, and on that day the following announcements were made:

  • Deb Haaland will be the new US Secretary of the Interior, and

  • A cyber attack by Russia penetrated US military and government systems.

  • The US Congress has asserted that monopoly of Facebook needs to split up its companies (such as Instagram and What’sApp)

Each of the three events listed above speaks to the Jupiter/Saturn Aquarian energetic. Deb Haaland will be the first Native American who has held a Cabinet position. She has been a fierce environmental activist and will be overseeing the nation's national and wildlife parks as part of her job. Her appointment represents a tide towards environmental responsibility on the part of the US government. The cyber attack alerts us that cyber technology and cyber wars are likely to take on more and more prominence and attention, as will the focus on how to create accountability and appropriate regulations for internet activity and global internet-based companies.


In the days following the Great Conjunction and Winter Solstice, what is happening in the news can alert us to the themes of 2021. Closer to home, we can notice signals and clues we are receiving about what will draw our attention this year and what is calling out to us to nurture and grow.


Next Step

The big shift taking place can come and go without making any impression on personal impact. The cosmic event is still happening. Yet, we can take some time to honor this time, to participate in the paradigm shift taking place.


On the darkest night, December 20, we can sit by a fire or turn the lights low and feel the pregnant potential held in the womb of this night. There is benefit to creating a small ritual where we let go and release behaviors, patterns, the year – whatever we wish to leave behind and not carry with us into the new year and new cycle.


After the dawn of the Sun on December 21, we can go out and welcome the emergence of new light. We can be quiet within ourselves and write down what we wish to seed, grow and have in our lives moving forward. We can read this out loud, post it on our fridge, or bury it in the ground to symbolize the planting of a seed we wish to grow.


And if the sky is clear, on one of these nights to go out after dark and look for Jupiter and Saturn as they come together in the SW sky. We can feel the wonder of the sky above us as we witness the joining of these two planets, something humanity has not seen for almost 900 years.


However, we each decided to mark this dark night and this new dawn, we can recognize that there is a great change taking place and we are each part of it.


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