As part of its predictable journey through the 12 astrological signs, planet Pluto can be relied upon to enter Capricorn every 248 years or so. Usually, that’s when all hell breaks loose.
From the vantage point of those on Earth, tiny Pluto appears to be besotted with powerful transformative energy. Astrologers report that major cultural restructurings or revolutions have occurred during this transit through Capricorn dating back to Roman times. And unnerving developments on the economic front have been common occurrences as well.
In the current cycle, Pluto entered Capricorn in January 2008, just in time to exacerbate conditions that morphed into the Great Recession later in a U.S. Election Year. More economic woes accompanied the planet’s continued travels through the sign in March 2020. Once again, the economy was in a sorry state in another Election Year with chances for speedy improvement less than encouraging.
All told, Pluto will spend 16 years in Capricorn before finally exiting the sign in January 2024. As it meanders its way through the sign, all of the swifter rocky planets will have overtaken and interacted with the slow moving planet time and again. And, in tandem, the slow-moving gas giants Jupiter and Saturn aligned with Pluto early in 2020 with consequential results.
In a rare confluence of planetary energies, the Sun, Saturn and Pluto arrived at 22 degrees of Capricorn on January 13, 2020 and Mercury joined the trio a day later. A month earlier, in December 2019, Venus had exactly conjoined Pluto at 21 degrees of the sign. Mars and Jupiter arrived together at 22 Capricorn two months later in March with Pluto still in close proximity. And, in January, the dwarf planet Ceres also was part of the alignment as were other rocky celestial bodies that roam the Asteroid Belt between Jupiter and Mars.
Astrologers were concerned enough about the daunting Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, the sign most identified with business and boundaries. But all the extra planetary activity in the sign elevated concerns exponentially.
In 2011, the late French mundane and research astrologer Andre Barbault studied the impending 2020 -2021 alignments and predicted that a pandemic was a distinct possibility. Barbault’s research tracked pandemics from ancient times; he found that the bunching together of the five slower moving outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) in tight celestial groupings invariably coincided with pandemics, wars and natural catastrophes.
Spacing Definition Fits
In 2020, Barbault noticed that Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto would be conjoined (aligned in the same degree) in Capricorn while the other two outer planets, Neptune and Uranus, would be nearby in the astrological signs of Pisces and Taurus, respectively. Only 100 degrees would separate Neptune and Uranus on the 360-degree zodiac wheel as they framed and contained the other outer planets. Ergo, the spacing met Barbault’s definition of a tight grouping.
In an article for The Career Astrologer magazine, astrologer Maurice Fernandez writes that at the end of 2019 astrologers were nervously anticipating the upcoming Saturn/Pluto “head bang” in Capricorn. While the world was preparing for the holiday season, Saturn and Pluto would be forming an exact conjunction at 22 degrees of the sign. Worst fears started to be realized as medical doctors in the city of Wuhan, China, reported “an alarming occurrence of severe and unusual pneumonia cases.”
Fernandez provides this chronology:
On December 30, 2019, Doctor Li Wenliang of the Wuhan Central Hospital issued and emergency warning to other medical facilities and later shared his report publically, noting his concerns about the contagious condition that would later be referred to as Covid-19. Tragically, Li himself succumbed to the infection on February 7, 2020, and by June five other doctors from the Wuhan “whistle blower” hospital had died of the disease.
“As the virus quickly spread beyond borders and affected people of all races or socio-economic backgrounds, it first migrated out of China to South Korea, Iran and Italy. Soon after, cases were reported everywhere on the globe, prompting quarantine measures and, by mid-March 2020, a more radical lockdown. Planes stopped flying, stores and restaurants closed their doors and toilet paper became more precious than pizza,” he wrote.
Fernandez titled his article Wuhan 3206: Tales of Astrology Synchronicities in the Covid-19 Era. In the article he commented on some of the lesser known celestial travelers that joined the planetary configuration in Capricorn early in 2020.
Thousands of asteroids orbit the Sun, mostly between Mars and Jupiter. Some of the names they’re given are derived from mythologies or dialects unknown to most. Others are named for seemingly random things, like celebrities or locations. For example, Fernandez writes that in late March, 2020, astrologer Demetra George and colleague Brenda Wilson posted articles describing the misadventures of the transiting asteroid Wuhan, which was named for the Chinese city of that name.
The asteroid was discovered almost 40 years earlier on November 13, 1980, by astronomers at the Purple Mountain Observatory in China.
Ever Tighter Leash
“As astrologers were witnessing the mad effervescence of challenging alignments, including heavy players Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto all congregating at the end of Capricorn, the world was getting accustomed to an ever tighter leash, and to firm restrictions in movement and connection to help prevent the spread of the disease. Many astrologers noted the presence of Asteroid Pallas-Athena in the mix of the Capricorn cluster, but the more insidious asteroid Wuhan had already infiltrated the club and on March 20 had nested itself at 23 Capricorn,” Fernandez said, adding:
“And so it was, Wuhan, a city, a hospital, the epicenter of a global pandemic, found its way into our charts as well.”
Those who watch lots of science shows on TV may get the wrong impression about asteroids and the solar system space they occupy. The Asteroid Belt is about 40 million miles wider than the space that accommodates the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars combined. And all of the asteroids buzzing around in this space are relatively small, accounting all together for about the same amount of mass as the Earth’s Moon.
Some asteroids are as small as pebbles. Ceres, once considered to be part of the Asteroid gang, is 600 miles in diameter and was recently elevated to dwarf planet status. But even this spherically-shaped object is relatively small by solar system standards. About 500 Ceres-sized objects could fit inside the Earth.
The Earth is 91 million miles from the Sun. The Asteroid Belt objects closest to us are about 186 million miles from the Sun with a solar orbit of three years. At the other extreme, the most distant asteroids are about 370 million miles from the Sun and need twice this many Earth years to complete their solar orbits. The size of the objects, and the spatial distances involved, mean that if an astronomer was sitting on an asteroid anywhere in the Asteroid Belt he or she would probably need a telescope to see their nearest asteroid neighbor.
TV science shows dealing with asteroid encounters during the Solar System’s formative years show dramatic images of huge boulders hurtling through space in tight and menacing formations, rudely jostling and sometimes cataclysmically colliding with each other as part of a mutational process that enables large space rocks to either explode and shatter into pieces or meld into even larger space rocks (asteroids) that are soldered together by gravitational forces.
For the record, conjunctions described by astronomers and astrologers do not involve actual collisions of planets or asteroids but instead indicate that celestial objects are seemingly mustered on a straight line and, from an Earthly perspective, appear to be occupying the same – or practically the same – zodiacal degree. But there are millions of space miles separating Earth from any of the asteroids, and billions of miles to consider when Pluto is part of the conversation.
Given the oceans of solar system space at their disposal, it’s remarkable that so many transiting planets and asteroids would, in 2020, converge on planet Pluto in the closing degrees of Capricorn with such predictable or foreseeable results for humankind, e.g. contagion and economic ruination. Even more incredible is the fact that the asteroid Wuhan, named for the besieged city where the Covid-19 virus first emerged, would turn up on cue to trigger the volatile configurations forming in the winter sky. In describing these exotic developments Fernandez uses the term synchronicity, which first was coined by iconic psychologist Carl Jung. But it’s not far-fetched to describe cyclical 2020 developments as some of the most obvious and convincing evidence yet that astrology works.
We’ve hit an ugly patch. To right ourselves, we’re not without options. As astrologer Brenda Wilson suggests: “It’s time to keep safe and revive parts of us that have been forgotten. We will all have to adapt to a new normal, and recreate what we are missing in our lives. We are all in a cocoon with opportunity to emerge a butterfly. We can choose to get materialistic and go into fear, or we can witness as a neutral observer – present to what the moment is trying to teach.”