LIVING WITH CORONAVIRUS – A NEW PARADIGM
Hi Stella! I am emailing to ask you to write a post on Corona? What is going to happen and when is this going to end? Down under, we are witnessing what it’s like to be back in the Savannah – survival, and survival at all costs!! Everything we have ever learnt has gone out the window, in order for people to get their hands on… toilet paper!! Anyway, I look forward to reading something from you very soon. Fiona xxx
WORLD IN LOCKDOWN
When is this all going to end? Good question, Fiona! And probably more importantly; ‘What is the world/my world/our world going to look like when it does end?’!
I’m writing this in late March 2020 and it seems as though the whole world is in lockdown. As the fallout from the dreaded coronavirus lays waste to our communities, families, social life, work, finances, holiday plans, dreams and goals. Not to mention our physical, mental and emotional health! Retaining a sense of perspective can be challenging. But astrology certainly has some insight to offer.
As I wrote in last month’s column, the upheavals of 2020 began in January with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, with its themes: ‘destroying in order to rebuild’ and ‘redistribution of power’. Mars, planet of war, joined Saturn, Pluto (and Jupiter and the South Node) in Capricorn in mid-February. It will be there until the end of March, adding fuel to the Capricorn flames. First we had Brexit. Then Trump’s impeachment trial. Next, terrible bushfires and floods, and now it’s coronavirus.
CAPRICORN – BIG BROTHER OF THE ZODIAC
Capricorn is the authority figure in the zodiac – the school principal, the head of government, the police officer, the tax official. While every society needs Capricorn authority, when there’s too much of it, freedom and choice disappear, subsumed to the directives of those in charge. That’s why people hate dictatorships, totalitarian regimes, corrupt governments, power-hungry corporations etc. We recognise the need for rules and structure, but rules and structure for the good of all, not merely for government or corporate control.
But as 2020 unfolds, we find ourselves in a most unusual situation whereby governments all over the world have been forced to make heavy-handed Capricorn decisions to control the movement and behaviour of their subjects, regardless of their own political leanings or beliefs. This isn’t about left wing or right wing; rich or poor; Third World or First World. At its core, the fear and panic surrounding coronavirus and the legislation to restrict our freedom is about the survival of the human race. We are in unknown territory, reacting viscerally and emotionally as a species under threat.
However, humans have very short memories. A brief look at world history shows we’ve launched from war to crisis, from plague to famine, from boom and bust and back again. Empires and dictators have risen and fallen, but mostly we have survived, and once things have returned to ‘normal’ we tend to quickly forget the past, or at least discount its importance.
2020 ASTROLOGICAL CYCLES
Returning to the astrological cycles of 2020 and specifically the positions of the slower-moving planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), a clear picture emerges of the energies underlying the current crisis.
URANUS IN TAURUS – SHAKING UP & REVOLUTIONISING THE ECONOMY
Firstly Uranus (the great awakener and shaker-upper) is moving through earthy Taurus, sign of money, finance, banking, the economy, farming, food and basic survival. 2020 opened with devastating bushfires and floods, forcing even the most stubborn sceptics to confront the realities of global warming and the connection between environment and economy.
As the coronavirus crisis unfolds and Uranus challenges our attitudes to money and finance, millions more will be affected economically (rather than health-wise) by this pandemic. Lost jobs, businesses closing or going bankrupt, stock market crashes, unemployment, housing foreclosures and the list goes on. While many governments have stepped in to assist their citizens, many wonder how long this kind of aid can be sustained. Fighting over toilet paper and pasta is really a metaphor for the fear of running out of resources.
NEPTUNE IN PISCES – VIRTUAL REALITY – SHARING & SHAMING
Secondly Neptune (the planet of dreams, fantasy, creativity and spirituality) is moving through water sign Pisces. Neptune has been in Pisces since 2011, a transit widely considered by astrologers to parallel the explosion of virtual reality and online interconnectedness. Under coronavirus, within the space of a few short weeks, people who’ve never considered working from home have been forced to embrace tele-commuting. The role of the internet and smart phone to keep people connected and informed has been invaluable. Unfortunately this technology has also helped promulgate a climate of panic and fear, leading to judgement and shaming of others. We can check at any moment how many people have died from coronavirus and read harrowing stories about their demise.
JUPITER, SATURN & PLUTO IN CAPRICORN – DO AS YOU’RE TOLD!
Finally we have the Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto trilogy (plus Mars) in earth sign Capricorn which, as mentioned above, is the zodiac sign of authority, rules, regulations and ‘shoulds’. Jupiter in Capricorn is unable to access his normal optimism and champions the philosophy of law and order; Saturn in Capricorn also promotes law-abiding behaviour coupled with the fear of consequences if laws are not obeyed and Pluto in Capricorn adds power and authority to the mix coupled with the fear of death. A potent brew.
NO FIRE = PESSIMISM
If coronavirus had broken out last year, when Jupiter was in optimistic and confident fire sign Sagittarius, the public and government response would likely have been quite different and less fear-filled. 2020 has no outer planets in fire – the zodiac element of optimism, risk-taking and confidence. Uranus, Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter are all in earth signs and Neptune is in a water sign. Saturn does spend part of 2020 in air sign Aquarius (April to June) bringing fresh ideas and discoveries, but Aquarius is a somewhat impersonal energy so, even with Saturn in Aquarius (as opposed to Capricorn), any new ideas are likely to be ‘for the good of humanity’ rather than celebrating or taking into account individual freedom and preferences.
All for the good, you might say – we need a coordinated, sensible approach. Well, we will get one and anyone who sticks their neck out and protests at the restrictions/new world order is likely to be firmly reprimanded and pulled back into line.
WHEN WILL THIS ALL END?
So how long will the coronavirus crisis last? I’d say at least until December 2020, when Jupiter finally leaves Capricorn and moves into Aquarius alongside Saturn, the signal for pressing the re-start button on how society functions, how people interact and how technology and science bring new options. A friend who works in the airline industry told me yesterday that her colleagues are all on half pay until the end of October, with all planes grounded for the near future.
That’s not to say there won’t be shifts and breakthroughs, triumphs and disappointments over the course of the year, but the fear and panic and its knock-on economic effect are likely to affect us for months. And that is the real lesson of this crisis – we won’t be going back to ‘business as usual’ because things will change irrevocably for everyone.
One bright note is that action planet Mars moves out of Capricorn into Aquarius in April. With people reeling from the shock of recent events, human creativity will explode in April and May as billions all over the world work together to find solutions to deal with the crisis together. Mars will be retrograde from 10th September to 14th November, traditionally a time when things slow down and there’s time to pause and reflect before moving forward again.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE PAST?
It’s worth looking back at other Saturn-Pluto transits over the past few decades to see what events occurred, how we reacted to these events, and how society changed as a result. Remember the negative keywords for Saturn in combination with Pluto are ‘fear and control’. The positive ones ‘out with the old, in with the new’ and ‘destroying in order to rebuild’. As Shakespeare’s Hamlet famously said: There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
Although all the events listed affected millions of people and were all-consuming at the time, life has continued. And as a species we have survived, and grown.
|1947||Saturn conjunct Pluto in Leo||Start of the Cold War between USA & USSR||Threat of nuclear annihilation. Public awareness about the danger of nuclear warfare. The idea of East vs West.||Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Worldwide regulation on the manufacture and handling of weapons of mass destruction.|
|1965||Saturn in Pisces opposite Pluto in Virgo||Vietnam War||Horrific loss of life, aftermath of injury, pain and mental illness. Sacrifices made in the name of patriotism lose their sheen.||Greater compassion for returned servicemen and understanding of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and mental illness. War loses its status as a glorified activity.|
|1983||Saturn conjunct Pluto in Libra||AIDS epidemic||Massive change in sexual behaviour. Sex becomes linked with fear and death. The concept of ‘safe sex’ arises.||People forced to be more honest and upfront in their relationships. Wider acceptance, understanding and tolerance of same-sex relationships.|
|2001||Saturn in Gemini opposite Pluto in Sagittarius||World Trade Centre collapse 9/11||Worldwide restrictions on travel. Travel becomes linked with the fear of terrorism and death. Aeroplanes become potential weapons. The war on terror begins. Wake-up call for the US.||Greater government surveillance and increased airport security. Crackdown on immigration and more deportation. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.|
|2020||Saturn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn||Bushfires, Floods & Coronavirus Epidemic||Widespread fear of planetary destruction.
Fear of death on a mass scale. Worldwide restrictions on social contact, freedom of movement locally and internationally. Economic and financial turmoil. Businesses and stock markets in crisis.
|It is up to all of us to create new ways of being, thinking and behaving in response to the current crises. Seven billion people can make a difference.|
WE WILL SURVIVE!
Instead of simply focusing on the negatives of this coronavirus outbreak – fear, panic, loss of freedom, looting, panic buying and selfish or judgemental behaviour – we could look at 2020 as a special time where we can redefine how we think, feel, and respond to our loved ones. And how we treat ourselves, and use our personal time. This means connecting with more people at a heart/mind level rather than isolating ourselves and going into panic mode. Here are just a few positive consequences of the coronavirus seen over the past few weeks.
NATURE & THE ENVIRONMENT
Under lockdown, the canals of Venice have changed colour from murky green to clear blue. Fish can be seen swimming underwater. The arrival of a school of dolphins created a surprise in the port of Cagliari in Sardinia due to the slowing down of the marine fleet and human pollution.
With empty roads and deserted towns, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a pollutant emitted by road transport, have decreased in cities by between 24% and 56% over the past month. Birds and animals (and humans) are enjoying the new pollution-free environment.
LOVE & CONNECTION
The new lockdown laws are encouraging families to spend more time together. Traffic-free streets are filled with fathers working from home playing with their children. Families out cycling, chatting and walking the dog. Neighbours looking out for each other, and sharing smiles and stories of how they are coping. Short texts have been replaced by lengthy phone calls and online chat-fests.
You don’t really know what you’ve got until it’s gone… With society in lockdown, we are coming to understand the true importance of others and appreciating what they bring to our lives. Many are acknowledging the simple joy of being alive, of living in a country with a proper health system and stable government and having enough fresh food to eat and a place to live. Gratitude for education, travel, cafes, bars, pubs, gyms, restaurants, parks, freedom, unrestricted movement, friends, family and neighbours. Gratitude for an income. We can feel gratitude for all the great things that have been in our lives.
COMPASSION & ALTRUISM
In Britain, over 700,000 people have signed up to volunteer with the National Health Service delivering food and medicine, driving people to appointments and staying in touch with the socially-isolated. Thousands of former medics are returning to the health service along with final year students and medics. The same is happening all over the world and governments are sharing knowledge and resources.
Hostels and hotels have switched from paying guests to helping the homeless. Low risk prisoners are being freed from jail. Governments and businesses are supporting those who are struggling financially and economically. Musicians are giving free concerts. Schools are offering free or discounted online lessons and courses – there’s certainly no shortage of ideas and things to do. And there’s no shortage of abundance.
All over the world people are banding together to help solve the coronavirus crisis – together we can and will survive!
Photo by Amy Humphries on Unsplash.
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