The astrology world was pretty unanimous in declaring that 2020 looked like a challenging year. But as we are all pausing to reflect on just how to think about the rest of 2020, I'd like to illustrate one component of that puzzle. Consider the superior planet conjunctions, specifically here the Mars-Saturn one.
In the classical period, the only conjunctions delineated were the Jupiter-Saturn, Mars-Jupiter, and Mars-Saturn. Later, there would be more possibilities, as additional outer planets were discovered. Of the three, the Jupiter-Saturn commanded almost all the attention. The twenty year duration of this cycle represented a significant period of time within a lifespan that often only extended for only one or two of these conjunctions. But beyond the twenty year beat, the longer cycle of mutations - where the conjunction repeated in the same element for longer periods of time before the entire sequence of four elements would repeat - gave still longer periods of historical time which were long enough to encompass whole dynasties, religions, and longer term patterns.
There was, however, one work specifically on the two shorter Mars series with Jupiter and Saturn written by the 17th century astrologer Richard Edlyn. (Edlyn, Richard. Observationes Astrologicae, or, An Astrological Discourse of the Effects of a Notable Conjunction of Saturn and Mars by Richard Edlyn ... London: Printed by J.W. for B. Billingsley, and O. Blagrave..., 1668.) That said, there are references to its use scattered through mundane discussions at least back to al-Qabisi (Burnett, Charles, Keiji Yamamoto and Michio Yano. Al-Qabisi (Alcabitious): The Introduction to Astrology. London: Warburg Institute, 2004, p. 109.)
The Mars-Saturn cycle was a roughly two year cycle which allowed the determination of which malefic would be dominant for that period. To be simplistic: would a period be marked by fires and fevers, or by famine and pestilence? However, this short period was also seen as part of a larger pattern of Mars-Saturn conjunctions which was a thirty year pattern beginning with the conjunction in Cancer, according to al-Qabisi. Our current Mars-Saturn series by this reckoning began in 2004. We will examine that conjunction in three different locations in order to see whether or how this cycle initiation chart impacts later conjunctions in the series.
This chart set for Rome, Italy is actually quite stunning for what is going on now with covid-19. The conjunction itself is in the 1st house: its angularity means that the effect will be visible to all. Mars rules the 6th house of illness: it is teamed with Saturn, the ruler of death. With Uranus at the MC one suspects a sudden cause, Jupiter in Detriment, which is the second ruler of the 6th, is partile conjunct the Part of Fortune at the IC, which among other things, rules the grave. If this is not enough argument of an Italian effect, the Sun for the 1871 Italy kingdom chart is at 10 Cancer.
But now let's consider this 2004 cycle beginning in Wuhan.
Notice: exactly the same planetary degrees: we are looking at the same chart, but in a different location. Now the conjunction is again in an angular house, with Saturn now the ruler of the 6th (disease), and Mars the ruler of the 8th (death), and Pluto conjunct the IC. Uranus in the 6th could represent the sudden appearance of the illness in this location
Now add the United States.
Here the Mars-Saturn conjunction is succedent, so not as dramatic as the other charts. And remember: we are talking about a thirty year cycle. Mars rules the 2nd, and between 2008 and 2020, the effect seems clear enough. Apparently, the effect shown is primarily financial, although we would wonder what Mars-Saturn is doing in the 5th house.
Obviously, there's way more to these charts than the present pandemic, but for the most part, we will ignore these other indicators. So if these charts are the beginning of the cycle, we can now skip forward to 2020, with the Mars-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius for 2020.
Comparing these two charts is astounding. There is a Moon-North Node conjunction in Cancer in all locations - but the 2020 conjunction sits on the Ascendant for Rome. The Sun for this 2020 Aquarius conjunction is partile square the 2004 Cancer conjunction: but in Rome, that 2020 Sun is at the Descendant - the Portals of Death. Debilitated Mercury (which co-rules the lungs) is conjunct Neptune, straddling the 6th house cusp here, with Jupiter ruling the 6th partile conjunct Pluto. Uranus IS conjunct the 8th house cusp. No wonder Italy has been hit so appallingly.
We should also add that as Spain has also had way more fatalities than the rest of Europe, that the Moon in the ascension chart for King Juan Carlos (22 November 1975 12:45 pm CET Madrid) is at 11 Cancer in the 6th house of illness, resonating with these conjunction charts.
Now we can repeat the exercise for Wuhan.
Here we see a stunning linkage with Wuhan as well: for this particular Mars-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius, the Moon-North Node degree is the Portals of Death in Wuhan. All of the aspects between the Cancer and Aquarius conjunction still hold true, the the angular connection brings Wuhan into focus for this picture.
What about Washington? Now things look more grim.
Whereas the 2004 conjunction did not have the same kind of disease impact as the other two locations, now we see the USA linked in by having the Mars-Saturn partile conjunct the Descendant. I have referred to the Descendant as the Portals of Death in the other charts.I have to say that this interpretation may have some merit, given the fact that the USA has already developed more cases than China, despite our smaller population size.It is also likely that both Italy and China are further into their infection cycles, suggesting that the mortality rates in the USA could still climb much higher.
That said, we are also confronted with more than one interpretation related to the 7th house:
- The 7th house cusp is the Portals of Death. In the USA, Saturn rules the 6th, and Mars rules the 10th. Take your pick: the president (10th) becomes sickened by the disease (6th) possibly to the point of death (7th), and/or actions of the president (10th) increase the amount to sickness (6th) leading to death (7th).
- The 7th doesn't refer to death at all, but to the enemies of the USA, which generally is the more common usage of the 7th. In this interpretation, enemies of the USA are afflicted.
- Could this lead to war with an enemy? While Mars can do this, given that Saturn is the more dignified planet in the conjunction, and therefore this meant that Saturn has primary rulership of the conjunction (Edlyn, p. 37), then Saturn's general rulership of pestilence but not war would be the general meaning.
The Aries Ingress for 2020, shown in the upper left, certainly shows the economic impact of the virus (2nd house) - while the Mars-Saturn conjunction (lower right) shows the economy as exalted over the longer period represented by the Mars-Saturn. The difference in length of the two cycles could explain the difference in economic result if there is a substantial recovery in 2021 that would mitigate the effect of the Aries Ingress for 2020. Uranus in the 6th for the Aries Ingress certainly shows the suddenness of the disease spike: but this chart lacks the severity of the Mars-Saturn conjunction on potential mortality.
But we have added two charts to be able to make more nuanced comparisons of what the times actually show. Because the next Mars-Saturn conjunction is at 22 Aquarius on 12 April 2022, the time period of the 2020 one almost completely overlaps these two Aries Ingresses. Neither of the Aries Ingress charts shows the danger of death as strongly as the Mars-Saturn: but the theme is there in the 2020 one. The 2020 Ingress has the ruler of the 8th at the 4th house cusp, which is an argument of death. And Mars, just about at the Mars-Jupiter conjunction, which we shall cover in another article, rules both 1st and 12th: the country is locked down or hospitalized: both 12th house scenarios. The pandemic theme is a bit less subtle than the totally afflicted 2nd house, but still very much present.
The 2021 Aries Ingress shows both of these themes still present. Mars in Gemini at the IC shows the state of the economy, and being mutable, it's mixed. The same Mercury in Pisces that denoted death in the 2020 chart here shows one segment of the people (1st) still still debilitated, applying to square Mars, the ruler of the 2nd. These people still need financial help because they are weak, and this could also be showing a higher population of people with chronic disease related to the aftermath of covid The ruler of the 6th (Moon) applying to the 8th (Venus) can indicate chronic disease, not death.
But one feature is very different between the charts. In the 2020 Ingress, the president is ruled by Mercury, in detriment, and applying to Uranus in the 6th: being over his head and making erratic decisions. In 2021 the president is Jupiter: out of Fall, and conjunct the 1st, thus being completely aware of and in tune with what is going on with the country. The preponderance of double-bodied signs associated with the 4th shows the land to be a mosaic of pockets: some areas good, some areas not so good. Recovery does not look like a proportional improvement for all segments of the population.
And finally, we return to the beginning: the 2004 inception of this Mars-Saturn cycle. We are just past the phase change to the cycle, which occurred with the conjunction on 2 April 2018 at 8 Capricorn. This one actually was in effect for this outbreak of covid-19.
We are brought back to the amazing and frankly eerie relationships between the Cancer conjunction, and the Aquarius conjunctions for Rome. But honestly, the Capricorn one, while it shows a hint of the danger, is not so impressive. However, the degree of this Mars-Saturn is the same degree as the Moon in the 1871 Kingdom of Italy chart, so while the planetary placements of the conjunction chart are not so impressive, that's a pretty clear hit to the chart of Italy. However the other feature we may be looking at here is the doctrine of apoklima: the twelfth portion. In return charts - and any consecutive conjunctional series may be considered as such - the transitional time from one series to the next is about 1/12 the length of the cycle. This is not a rule stated in the literature, but a working conclusion of mine, based on observations especially with solar returns and Aries Ingress series, but which I believe may be applied generally. Since the length of a Mars-Saturn is about two years, then the transition between them occurs about two months before the actual conjunction: which would be late January, in this case. Only the Wuhan outbreak would thus actually fall under the Capricorn Mars-Saturn, although this two month period is actually transitional, so both charts may apply simultaneously. This activation may thus be the primary significance of the Capricorn conjunction for Italy.
If we compare the results for Wuhan, we also see that the hits for the 2018 chart are not angular.
As we noted previously, there is evidence that the virus was already affecting people by November 2019, before the transitional period for the 2020 Mars-Saturn. Among the relevant charts, the only connection I might observe is that the Mars-Saturn conjunction occurred opposite the Part of Fortune for the opening of the
It's only with the Mars-Saturn sequence in the USA that there is a sense of continuity between the 2018 and the 2020 conjunctions. In both cases, the conjunction is at the Portals of Death, suggesting that the pathway for disaster was established much earlier in the USA. Could this have been the closing of the global health security team within the National Security Council, which began in May 2018 with the departure of Admiral Ziemer? (https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-fire-pandemic-team/) This occurred right after the 2018 conjunction, and contemporary critics of the closure pointed out how this decision would weaken US response to pandemics, which certainly turned out to be correct.
We have used the Mars-Saturn sequence here to develop the idea that this little-used cycle can in fact provide intriguing information if we use it according to its classically stated purpose: the examination of short-term dangers to communities and nations that extend beyond the seasonal effects of the Aries Ingress series.
We shall examine additional mundane factors in a future post.