Kate Arbon is an astrologer, writer and spiritual teacher. Living in West Cork for over 20 years she gives personal consultations locally and internationally using traditional natal and Horary astrology. email: astro@katearbon www.katearbon.com
Many people were pleased to say goodbye to 2019 and, yes, it was a very hard year. 2020 is a turning point and you may already feel the winds of change blowing. There is good cause to have optimism and anticipate good things ahead. This year begins a new decade and is the cusp of a new era. The real change of direction comes next year in 2021 but we are preparing now so we are ready to make the big shift as it comes. There are several culmination points this year that indicate we are resetting and restructuring our global society and personal perspective ready for a new direction in our collective evolution. The details and events that reflect this ‘makeover’ are happening on a worldwide, political and social level whilst also impacting us in our personal lives. The macrocosm and the microcosm. We are each part of this consciousness shift and all it takes to be an external influence is to work on the details within the structure of our own thoughts and habits.
The theme this year is all about letting go of our limitations and hindrances and about taking responsibility and stepping up to our true potential. 2020 will be a year for clearing out the remnants of the past. We need to have the ground prepared and have made the choices about what we truly value and which dreams we will follow. The planets are telling us a story, or giving us a message about what happens next. It’s not guaranteed that this will be a year of ease and pleasure, there is hard work to be done and a serious and diligent approach is required. Last year’s pain or struggle persists only when we hold on to the familiar just for security and comfort or adhere to rigid doctrines for want of an open mind. The way forward is to adopt a willingness to grow and accept new ideas or possibilities. Humanity is about to ‘grow up’ and this can be a very exciting time to be alive. ‘Growing pains’ are to be expected.
The strong focus on Capricorn, the sign that is very in tune with reality and the responsibilities that come with adult life, indicates that a mature attitude is required. Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 and a lot of the systems and established order in the world has undergone significant restructuring during these years. Saturn, the planet of constraint and limitation, joined Pluto in Capricorn two years ago. This combined energy has been increasingly putting pressure on us to get rid of what has broken or is holding us back. The recent reality check has given us the push to take back the control and learn how to make life into something sustainable, to take responsibility and become the director of our own lives.
Astrologically this year’s trend started back in December with the New Moon and solar eclipse on December 26, which marked the beginning of the Lunar phase that brought us into January. The culmination of that lunar cycle is the Full Moon and Lunar eclipse of January 10. It brings things to a head. This eclipse is a time of closure and endings and also new doors opening. It may not be apparent at once, but ideas and potentials are spawned and these seeds will germinate and flourish over the coming months. The few days following this eclipse are very potent with an intense combination of planet activity setting the tone for this year.
Uranus moves out of its retrograde phase on January 11 to finally make some progress into Taurus where it will stay until 2026. We may get the shake up and radical reforms that Uranus insists on, and it may not be what we expect. Uranus can bring a previously unknown option to the table. In Taurus we are focused on the things that sustain us in the physical world, food, shelter, fuel and money are all important here. Taurus is about what we put a material value on and Uranus makes this radically change. Some people are considering a cashless society with synthetic food substitutes and robot workers. With the Uranian wild card influence we could also see a revolution that takes us away from those 21st century sci-fi type predictions and brings us closer to a harmonious balance with the natural world and our resources, which is something Taurus also works hard to achieve. Ultimately the theme here is about what we consider to be of value to us as a physical human being.
The big story this year is the Saturn Pluto conjunction in Capricorn on January 12 and, as it follows on from the previous two big events, it has even greater impact. It may have passed in a day but it has a far-reaching consequence. The combined essential qualities of these heavyweight planets are enough to shake the foundations and rock the world. This may take a literal form of earth movements and weather events. In global systems it may undermine questionable practices or reveal something that can’t be hidden once seen. On a personal level it becomes clear that things were not what they seemed. In some cases a situation, person or possession needs to be left behind or released. The issues raised provoke questions about the use of personal power, free will and the limitations we have accepted or denied.
The shifts in the power balance begin to show as we progress through the year. Saturn moves into Aquarius in late March for a short time before it returns to Capricorn to finish up the business there, before moving on again where it is joined in Aquarius by Jupiter for the ‘great conjunction’ on December 21. This marks the start of a new era and a culmination of the Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn phase. This shift into Aquarius puts the focus on the bigger picture and a collective responsibility. It takes us into a future orientated state of mind that wants to construct a system that includes the good of all, not just the few.
Jupiter and Saturn combine about every 20 years and they mark social patterns and changing trends, as each generation moves over for the next. The 2020 event is especially significant. It’s the first in the air sign Aquarius since 1405. For the last 178 years the great conjunction has been in earth signs, which has given us a social reliance on material resources and tangible ownership. This shift marks the beginning of an era where the exchange and implications of new ideas, beliefs and social reforms become prominent.
There are other significant planet movements through this year although major aspects are less frequent. The big planet Jupiter is taking the spotlight as the main act after the Saturn Pluto duo move off stage. Jupiter brings new horizons and a broader view. It expands and develops what it connects with and takes us to a better place. Jupiter represents the impulse to have a new and improved version of ourselves, or our life. For the whole year, until December 20, it will journey through Capricorn and although it’s not about fun or pleasure in this sign, Jupiter here helps us to find meaning in the mundane. We can get things done and make real progress in practical ways.
A Jupiter and Neptune connection brings support to our dreams or spiritual aspirations and this happens throughout the year with three exact ‘hits’ in February, July and October. So even in the midst of the realism and practical tasks of 2020 there is this uplifting energy that connects us to a ‘higher’ viewpoint offering a sense of compassion and unconditional love as a real option.
Jupiter also connects three times with Pluto, in April, June and November, spreading this influence throughout the year. Jupiter seeks to understand or increase its scope, and Pluto’s message is about our hidden depths and what we have denied, misused or failed to release. Pluto purges the debris of old ways and insists that we move beyond the small version of ourselves. The greatest expression of these combined planets would be to discard of our “shadow” or “false” self so we can step into our true power as spiritual beings. The lesser expression is a grab for personal power by attempting to take control of other people, situations, resources or even society as a whole. We are likely to see examples of both scenarios during this year. It’s a personal choice as to which we adopt for ourselves. Pluto has a compelling movement towards the greater good of all, which means that holding power over others eventually destroys the one who tried to take that power for personal gain, as described in all the best stories!
Mars is another player in the 2020 clean up. It starts the year in the sign of Scorpio and travels rapidly through the next four signs; then in early July it enters Aries, its sign of rulership. Now moving much more slowly it finally stops and turns retrograde in early September. A Mars retrograde is a rare event happening only once every two years. It will be early January 2021 before it moves into the next sign Taurus. This is an exceptionally long time for Mars to be in one sign. Mars makes several aspects to the Sun during this retrograde phase and comes closer to the earth than usual. We can see this as representing a battle of wills or a conflict of interests between an individual and their outer circumstances.
During this retrograde, Mars also makes a challenging square aspect to all three of the big players in the 2020 story, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto and so this brings the bigger picture issues into the personal realm. There can be a heightened focus on confronting either the self and inner issues or confronting others and perceived threats. As with any retrograde it brings about unusual circumstances, so we have to go about the usual business of this planet in a different way. We cannot continue to operate as normal. This forces us to make changes in our daily habits or expectations and we may not be comfortable with this. We could find that it’s harder to assert our will or that we are required to direct our desire in a new direction. We may have to find an alternative route to get to our goal.
The main advice is to choose your battles wisely, concede to those with a higher moral ground and don’t engage in below the belt fighting. Use the retrograde for your own benefit to go back over details and address any flaws in your argument or strategy. Look for a win-win situation so there are no losers this time. And above all take the time to consider if what you thought was worth your efforts is still really true for you before you press ahead again in the new year. In our current time of such fundamental change and rapid social adjustment personal goals and values may need to be upgraded to fit with the new epoch we are entering.
For more about the year ahead please visit my website at www.katearbon.com.
Aries: Get involved in charity events or social action groups that interest you and you will make headway in many different areas of your life through the people you meet and the information you discover. You may be asked to take responsibility, or even a leadership role, or to contribute and participate more fully than you have in the past. You will enjoy being part of a team or group effort now. Being part of a community or circle of friends and building your social network is important to you after this New Moon phase.
Taurus: Over the New Moon don’t mix business with pleasure if you want to avoid trouble. Not everyone will be supportive over the next few weeks so you may want to choose your friends carefully and keep your personal thoughts and opinions to yourself. With your career and reputation close to your heart at this time, you can make significant gains regarding your ambitions. Recognition for your efforts and receiving credit for your accomplishments are likely now, but only if you’ve ‘done your homework’. This is an excellent time to ask for a promotion, or to attract the interest of those in positions of higher authority.
Gemini: This is a time to lift yourself out of your usual mundane concerns in order to get a larger perspective on your life. Although it may all seem overwhelming for a while remember that as long as you keep plugging away you will make gains. You really can get things up and running if you try. A chance to do things a little differently will make your world a better place. Don’t slow down because someone can’t keep up with you. You have to maintain the momentum. A teacher or mentor who appears this New Moon may be particularly important to you later.
Cancer: Don’t push your luck now. Joint financial affairs and investments are likely to be an issue at this time, and it is a good time to clarify each person’s expectations and to take care of any legal business, insurance, wills, and so on. On a personal level, there is a desire to intensify the level of intimacy and honesty in your closest relationships and to clear away anything in yourself, which is impeding that deeper union you seek. Any temptation to make abrupt decisions and changes could lead to additional problems that you can do without. Stick to what’s clear and avoid taking on other peoples responsibilities.
Leo: Partnerships, marriage, and one-to-one relationships take your attention now and you are called upon to cooperate and perhaps to relinquish some of your own personal interests for the sake of harmony and mutual benefit. You may end up questioning yourself, as well as the motives of the people around you. Get to the bottom of things before it’s too late. Once you have all the facts you will be in a much better position to make a decision. Don’t let anyone pull you in a direction you don’t want to go and do what’s best for you but the emphasis is on ‘we’ rather than ‘me’.
Virgo: Doing your best work and taking pride in it are a focus for you now. You should be able to make some worthwhile career moves or at least secure your current position so that you don’t have to worry about your financial future. This is a good time to examine how you use your time and energy, with an eye to improving your efficiency and productivity. Watch out for health matters as you are concerned with your body now, and you may be inspired to begin a self-improvement program, create better habits, or begin a new diet or fitness plan.
Libra: You are energised and inspired creatively and emotionally coming up to this New Moon time and you want to bring forth all that’s deep within you. You express yourself more freely, playfully, and spontaneously and are more willing to take chances. You will have Lady Luck in your corner so be sure to look for good deals. Social activities, travel and attending different cultural events will all lead to meeting people who can help further your goals. The dramatic and performing arts, sports and games, or other forms of self-expression and entertainment, appeal strongly to you now. You can accomplish much if you set your mind to it.
Scorpio: From the beginning of this month you will have been enjoying the success that you worked hard to achieve. Don’t be too quick to put your energy into new projects as you approach the New Moon, wait until the end of the month. All kinds of creative work are favoured and you might find yourself more closely involved with children at this time. Don’t be surprised if there is some conflict between your personal enjoyment and what others think you should be doing for kicks. Those things that need to be discussed and settled with the family can be dealt with in the next few weeks.
Sagittarius: Take a trip back into your past and you will find the answers you are looking for. Now it’s time to make changes instead of doing a repeat performance. Taking time to talk with neighbours and folks you cross paths with daily may result in more positive and smoother-running relationships generally. You’ll want to fritter away your time on fun and social events over the New Moon, but this may not be at all bad, things have been serious enough for you to want to take a break now. This is a good time to participate in or contribute to any community events in your area
Capricorn: Money, possessions, financial security, and practical matters are a focus for you now. You can make some very interesting professional or financial moves this month. Be ready to put your money on the table in order to get ahead. If you have tended to be generous or extravagant with your resources, you may begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At the least, it should become clear to you what your next steps should be regarding your finances. Your astute vision will enable you to correctly assess the right investment, job or any other money matter that arise after the New Moon phase.
Aquarius: During this time you can make an impression on others by making a strong statement to the world about who you are. People recognise you and are likely to follow your lead, or at the least they stay out of your way. You are likely to feel more confident and vital now. However, you may be so preoccupied with yourself and your own desires that you unintentionally ignore other people and their needs. Include the ones you love in your plans and things will get progressively better. You should be able to strengthen the bond with someone who has been an influence in your life.
Pisces: You’ll be torn between what you want to do and what you have to do. Retreating from the world for a while and spending some quiet time alone to relax and rejuvenate appeals strongly to you now. You may feel like you are at low ebb and as if nothing is happening or you may simply not want to be ‘where the action is’. Don’t overreact, overdo or over-indulge to compensate for things not going according to your plans. Sometimes it’s best to do what you must, get it out of the way now. You’ll get your turn to please yourself. Competitive ambitions and ego drives are on hold now.