In the last article, I’ve traced the rise, evolution and spread of the virus before it became an epidemic in Wuhan in mid-January this year. Now that this epidemic has become a pandemic, what’s going to happen? When will it end?
(Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay)
To start with, I don’t think there would be a clear-cut ending of Covid-19, unlike SARS which had a major outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003. This is because, first of all, Neptune is at its strongest in Pisces, hence also most elusive (it’s been staying there since February 2012). When SARS became an epidemic in Hong Kong around March 2003, Neptune was in Aquarius, which partly illustrated why the virus just came and went suddenly, as if in a flash, and never re-appeared afterwards.
Therefore, even if we don’t look at other astrological factors, we could already guess that in the long-run, we would probably have to live with this virus. This is the long-term prognosis.
The Big Picture
What about the short-to-medium forecast? A point that has so often been overlooked is, Neptune has been in sextile with Pluto, more or less, since the 1940s and it will stay this way until the 2030’s. This means any major aspects that either Neptune or Pluto makes to other planets would automatically trigger this sextile.
Neptune sextile Pluto in itself means, literally, "the potential for sea change”. But because this aspect has been in place for so long, we’ve almost forgotten its existence, ignoring its tsunami-like potential once it's unleashed.
When seen against this background, the Saturn-Pluto and Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions that are such defining astrological alignments in the year 2020 are in fact additions or trigger points to this long-standing “sea change potential” as represented by Neptune sextile Pluto - and what’s unfolding before us now is indeed the “sea change” activated by the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in mid-January - and these transformative changes, sweeping across the globe, will continue.
As Neptune is currently in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn, their sextile means outdated, not-fit-for-purpose structures/systems would be torn down and swept away, as if in a flood, so that what remains behind would be cleansed and purified, becoming less materialistic and more compassionate. As Pisces is Neptune’s home, I always feel Neptune here carries a particularly strong spiritual quality, as it can dissolve boundaries (especially petty divisions, narrow-mindedness, selfishness, etc) like no other.
The Coronavirus: Mutations and Spread
So what does it mean, in the context of a virus? I think Neptune in Pisces sextiles Pluto in Capricorn literally indicates “genetic mutations". Medical experts have told us that coronaviruses are basically constantly mutating, but sometimes it may mutate to such an extent that it becomes more infectious or deadly.
In the spring and summer of 2019, Neptune and Pluto have been relatively close to a sextile, indicating more radical mutations of the virus: Between June 9 to October 6 (all Hong Kong dates), the planets were under 4 degrees apart from an exact sextile. The closest time was August 7 when they were only 3’09” apart from an exact sextile.
As discussed in my last article, Jupiter in Sagittarius made three exact squares to Neptune, more or less over the same period too: January 13, June 16 and September 21.
Taken together, it means the virus was mutating to become ever more infectious in 2019.
What about 2020? Neptune and Pluto would also be under 4 degrees from an exact sextile between May 27 and October 22, with August 9 being their closest time. They would only be 2’45” apart from an exact sextile, even closer than in 2019.
At the same time, Jupiter in Capricorn would also made three exact sextiles with Neptune over the same period: February 20, July 28 and October 12, also suggesting spread of the the virus and the spread itself would be through “consolidation and taking root” (Jupiter in Capricorn). This means as the virus mutates more radically again during the warmer months this year, it would become ever more endemic, taking root in the human environment, making outbreaks recurrent, like the seasonal flu.
But the good news is, Neptune would be retrograde from June 23 to November 29, so there could be relief to the pandemic during the warmer months.
Three Jupiter-Pluto Conjunctions
However, obviously the situation would have to get worse before it gets better and I think the three Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions this year would reveal a lot, unleashing further sea change.
Jupiter and Pluto are almost polar opposite in nature. To me, Jupiter stands for “Hope” (hope that "things would be OK”) while Pluto is “Death and Re-birth”, so their conjunction is the “Death and Re-birth of Hope”. As the conjunctions will be in Capricorn which isn’t a very good place for Jupiter to be in, it means Hope must be based on preparations, good planning, taking responsibility, integrity, pragmatic assessments and real-life experience (not just mathematical models developed on paper, for example). That’s why Jupiter is weak in Capricorn, compared to say, in Sagittarius or Pisces because Hope there wouldn’t require much preparation or actual work. It would just be classic “leaps of faith”. As Jupiter moves over Pluto (which is the slower-moving planet) in Capricorn, this kind of hope would be put on trial through fire - and much of it wouldn’t survive, simply because the preparations haven’t been solid enough.
Among the three Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions this year (April 5, June 30 and November 13), as I’ve previously written in a Chinese article, the first one on April 5 in Capricorn 24’53” will be the most shocking and destabilising - because it’s the first time either planet has hit this exact spot. As the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction represents a process in which “Death and Re-birth of Hope” takes place, this April conjunction would kick-start this process with a big bang. In the context of a pandemic, obviously there would be a huge surge in the number of cases, pushing systems (healthcare for one) to breaking point, especially those that are ill-prepared for it. But for those that are well-equipped and pragmatic, they would be OK.
The second conjunction on June 30 in Capricorn 24’06” would see both Jupiter and Pluto retrograde. After the turbulent first conjunction in which so many have failed the test and flaws exposed unequivocally, it would be like a second test to see if Hope this time is built on something more solid. Interestingly, it would also be the second hit (out of three) that Pluto and Jupiter would make to this exact spot. For Pluto, the first time it came to this spot was February 24 and Jupiter was March 30. Presumably, this second conjunction would see more countries around the world handling the surge in cases better, after having learned some of the tough lessons from the first. As noted already, Neptune would be turning retrograde around this time too, so some respite could be expected after this second test - but the sea change, social, economic and political, unleashed by the conjunctions would continue, especially for those that have failed so miserably in handling the crisis.
Saturn in Aquarius and Capricorn
Another thing of note is, these first two Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions happen when Saturn is in Aquarius (Saturn also rules Capricorn) while the last one on November 13 would have Saturn back in Capricorn for one last time (in fact, it would also be the time in 2020 when the three planets are closest to one another other).
With Saturn in Aquarius, being "well-prepared, pragmatic" would require a difficult balancing act between personal liberties and autonomy (including freedom of movement) while also taking responsibility for the common good (after all, Aquarius is a collective sign). So the lockdowns currently imposed (and would continue be imposed) on people’s daily lives would have to take this into account. The balancing act wouldn’t be easily, especially for the first Jupiter-Pluto conjunction on April 5 because Saturn would have just entered Aquarius on March 22 - and it takes time and efforts to master Saturn. Therefore, the second Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in June should see countries and individuals handling these bans and lockdowns somewhat better.
The last Jupiter-Pluto conjunction on November 13 in Capricorn 22’51” is very much about tying up loose ends in this process of “Death and Re-birth of Hope”: It would be the 5th and last time that Pluto come to this spot (the first time dates back to March 2019). It would also be Jupiter’s 3rd and last time here (first time is March 2020). As mentioned just now, Saturn would have moved back to Capricorn too. It’s like the finale of everything that has gone on in the preceding months, absorbing the “moral of the story”. With the three planets together in Capricorn, what needs to be cleansed would be cleansed in one final sweep, and what needs to be re-built would start from this point. The lessons would be huge and no denials or escapism would be possible anymore. All fantasies and wishful-thinking would have been destroyed. People would have learned what constitutes real Hope through this hell-like experience - New hope is thus born.
With the old shattered, people would naturally be more ready to sign up for collective action to combat global threats like epidemics and most importantly, climate change.
It’s therefore fitting that after both Saturn and Jupiter have met up with the Lord of the Underworld Pluto that both these “survivors” should meet up, before the end of the year 2020 - at the start of a new sign, leaving behind Capricorn: Jupiter will conjoin Saturn in Aquarius 0”29’ on December 22. If Jupiter represents Hope, meeting up Saturn in Aquarius would be another test, testing whether Hope, probably some newly proposed solution, derived from innovations and technology, can hold up to reality. In the context of a pandemic, well, it could indicate clinical trials of a vaccine indeed.
Again, certainly not all of those new solutions would meet the stringent standards of Saturn, but we could at least learn what works and what needs to be fixed.
The road ahead in Aquarius for Jupiter and Saturn will be tough and long. Almost right after 2021 begins, Jupiter and Saturn would individually square Uranus in Taurus. Hope is precarious and fragile, but that’s also what leads us on, no matter what.
Since three planetary cycles (Saturn-Pluto, Jupiter-Pluto and Jupiter-Saturn) start in the same year, which rarely happens, many astrologers have known for years that 2020 would mark the end and beginning of so much. Right now with this pandemic, people often ask "when will things get back to normal again?". The truth is, the old normal will be destroyed and gone forever. The year 2020 will see this happen, with the new normal beginning to emerge at the same time.
One Last Note
About epidemics: I think the Jupiter-Neptune cycle is always a very important indicator of epidemics. The last time Jupiter conjunct Neptune (in Aquarius) was in 2009. The planets were conjunct three times during the year (May 28, July 10 and December 21), coinciding with the swine flu, the last pandemic declared by WHO before Covid-19.
The next Jupiter-Neptune cycle will start in April 2022. Though it will only be a one-time conjunction for the planets, it will take place in Pisces, the home sign of both Jupiter and Neptune, with them in soft aspects with the nodal axis across Taurus-Scorpio. I can't say for sure whether there would be an epidemic (or even pandemic), but if one did occur (and astrologically, it does look likely), it would be highly contagious and even more elusive than this coronavirus. There’s no need to panic. Just don’t stay complacent.
Good luck, stay safe!
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Based in Hong Kong, Belinda has got over 10 years of chart-reading experience and holds four university degrees, including Psychology and Counselling. Before becoming a professional astrologer, she was doing a highly stable and well-paid job. She switched careers because astrology had simply changed her life… Read on