The 2020 Saturn-Pluto conjunction promises the transformation of social structures
Updated: Jul 25
In Evolutionary Astrology the relationship between Saturn and Pluto in the sky always represents how existing personal and collective structures in life are evolving over time.
The structures in our lives are a big thing even though we probably take them for granted most of the time; these structures can be tangible in the form of possessions e.g. house, car, phone, computer etc. Or they can be less tangible e.g. the work we do, habitual routines, the way we think, our relationships, sense of identity, and attitude to life.
In society, structures are everything; road systems, train networks, planes and airports, cities, museums, beach resorts to name a few… then there’s the internet and the mobile phone networks and of course social media. Less tangible are the structures of governance, such as the laws and constitution, or the cultural norms of the times expressed through social behaviour and cultural identity.
In astrology the planetary archetype associated with structures of all kinds is Saturn. It is obvious, if we look at larger vistas of time, that structures both personal and collective evolve and change.
Significant evolutions of this kind are: the establishment of the American constitution 1787, the right of women to vote (in the US in 1920, in the UK 1928 and in Australia as early as 1902), the abolishment of slavery (in the UK 1833, the US 1865) etc.
On Jan 13th 2020 Saturn will move into conjunction with Pluto for the first time since 1982 and will mark a significant change on a global and personal level. Collectively whatever was birthed into reality in the first few years following the last conjunction (Nov 8th 1982) may now be reaching a point of redundancy and 2020 will set the scene for new structures to emerge to deal with the problems of the times, which to my mind have much to do with the loss of community and care in our societies; since the 80s it’s been increasingly about money and power.
Using the UK as an example it is noteworthy that the referendum that led to Brexit occurred when Saturn was in a waning semi-sextile to Pluto; marking a time of culmination in the Saturn/Pluto cycle as old ways of doing things came up for review and the country was imbued with new visions and possibilities for the future.
Back in 1982 Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and in the years following the last Saturn/Pluto conjunction the two main features of that time are the privatisation of state owned industry and (with Ronald Reagan) the de-regulation of the stock market in 1986. The 80’s saw the privatisation of British Gas, Rolls Royce, British Leyland, British Shipbuilders, British Sugar, British Telecom, Britoil, Municipal bus companies, Water companies, Trusties Savings Bank, and British Airways to name but a few. Privatisation marked a significant structural change to British society, as the de-regulation of the financial system, another major change, was at a global level, which as we know led to the 2008 financial wobble and subsequent austerity strategy that occurred when Pluto first entered Capricorn.
In the last few years we’ve been feeling the pressure as the effects of de-regulation and privatisation have become clear; no-one is under the illusion anymore that constant economic growth is sensible or responsible, and the immense problems caused by privatisation are now well and truly felt. Even the political structure of the UK itself is challenged as the politicians struggle to find solutions, with the conservative party losing cohesion with internal conflict.
Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, Saturn has been finishing up it’s cycle with Pluto, and from this perspective it is not surprising that the issue over Brexit is not yet resolved because it is but one facet of the evolutionary challenge - as Saturn moves closer with Pluto it heralds a time of structural rebirth. There’s an election set for early Dec 2019 (with great national confusion over who is even competent to lead), with a radical manifesto proposed by the Labour Party (which I think speaks to the dreams and visions for a better future that the common person in the UK has, but which may not be grounded and practical to achieve)*.
Whatever happens the thrust of the new Capricorn energy coming out of the conjunction in Jan 2020 will be one demanding a mature, practical, and responsible way forward, for both government and the people, or else suffer the karmic consequences.
On the personal level, pay attention to the structures in your life, and notice if any are up for review. If the conjunction sits in a sensitive part of your natal chart it may be felt more strongly than for others. Pluto is asking you to stay true to your personal evolution, and old ways of being and old routines may well have to be surrendered now. It can be a bit worrying to move jobs, move house or sell a home, leave stagnant relationships etc, and if that’s happening to you, just remember that you are making way for new opportunities for growth and happiness further down the track.
* Since this piece was written, the conservative party with a drive to get brexit done, have been elected, making it clear now that Brexit and its consequences forms part of the new emerging structures for the UK, as reflected by the new Pluto-Saturn cycle.