March 19, 2020

Astrology for these times

As I sit here in my home and ponder how to share the astrology of this time I feel challenged with the unfolding of this global crisis. At times like these, I will turn to Pema Chodron’s book, “Comfortable with Uncertainty,” to help ease the tightness in my heart and belly, to encourage an awakened heart that can be with what is in compassion and courage. At my annual astrology talk, Turning Point, 2020”, I discussed the planets Saturn and Pluto conjunct in Capricorn, defining a profound process of confronting extremes, and challenging times, that call for perseverance, and endurance, as the world goes through breakdown to a renewal. A mysterious process is calling us forth in ways that shake us to new realities. (Last time they joined in Capricorn was 500 years ago)

When Saturn conjuncts Pluto, we engage with a time of deep soul calling, of life and death, fear and courage. Though we didn’t know the alignment would manifest as the coronavirus, we experience the archetypes playing this out. Something that had been invisible demands attention, asks us to move into more deliberate considerations. It scrambles all known ways of living as we are impacted by the collective need to reestablish our relationships with each other and our Earth. It marks the time for recalibration and re-centering, for listening and coming to awareness in new ways. We feel the intensity of our separations and yet we are transforming our communities, the way we stay connected with ourselves and each other. It opens the space in our daily lives in ways we hadn’t known before.

The archetypal Saturn and Pluto conjunction is a signature time for the structures and systems (Saturn and Capricorn) as we have known them, to be transformed (Pluto). Pluto reduces to essentials our lives and values so there is the possibility of rebirth. Pluto then becomes a portal, “what must be passed through,” what is required as a foundation for some greater collective awareness, for greater personal awareness.

Here in the USA, in our USA chart, we see that our very values are being brought to the forefront for renewal and transformation. Now at our Pluto return (when the position of Pluto in 2020 returns to its natal position, where it was at the founding of our country, 1776) we have an opportunity to realign ourselves with, and to live out, our essential values and our relationship with both survival and money. It is a profound passage for our country. What leveling is taking place? How will this passage affect the extreme polarization that has taken over our country? How, through this quieting and deepening, through this calling to bring out the best in us, together as one country, will this affect our future? For surely the USA chart calls for healing, renewal and reuniting.

This quickening of events and rapid change corresponds with the exact conjunction of the Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. Mars gives energy to Jupiter, so situations expand, enlarge, and grow. Jupiter aligned with Pluto intensifies the transformative processes and hastens change. The exact conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto takes place on April 5th, which may be a peak during this time of ‘sheltering in place’. The directions from the county, and all around the bay area, say to ‘shelter in place’ through April 7. This corresponds with the planetary alignment. The alignment of Pluto and Jupiter takes place two more times during the year as we ride this wave of not knowing and disorientation to renewal. There are many people now involved in governing, tending, and healing others. With Mars conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn, it marks heroic effort and the hero’s journey. We say Mars is exalted in Capricorn which means one is strengthen to reach the goal, rise to the occasion, to, like the Capricorn goat with its surefootedness, reach that mountain top. We are called to take up the long view, to be creative in our problem solving, to engage the heart in courage, calling for our focus and attention, step by step. It brings our intentions together, as a strong and enduring force. Capricorn demands excellence, brings a return of the light.

Situations are changing, and moving quickly, while at the same time there is a need to simplify, slow down and transform our daily life. How do we best be with this?

For me it is helpful to understand the archetypal qualities of Saturn and to engage this time with deeper understanding of its positive wisdom teaching.

Saturn slows us down, through contraction, focus, and limitation. It can bring isolation in order to deepen, simplify, and protect with boundaries. Saturn creates containment, takes control, and defines instruction for protection. Saturn’s gift is the power of stillness, breath in and breath out. Its focusing abilities are meant to bring us into quiet and patient mindfulness of each moment. It brings forth inner resilience and deeper wisdom. It is like a great tree, still, observing and anchored during a storm. In fact it becomes our tree of life rooted and solid. Saturn gives us persistence and the ability to steadily face situations as we move through the powerful forces of upheaval and change.

We are being called to a collective retreat, to meet ourselves and each other, to enter a sacred space. Social distancing becomes an honoring of each other and the duality in which we live, body and soul.

Now is the stopping of the world, as we have practiced it. Before us is perceived danger and opportunity. Saturn takes us to the inner well and in the silence we find nourishment, a settling. Can we allow Saturn to instruct us in how to experience uncertainty so our hearts relax into the open quality of any given moment?

This “Turning Point Year”, speaks to each of us, asks each of us to partake in this awareness of sacred life, the sacred ground we walk upon, even as it feels we walk the razor’s edge over a deep chasm. It is the long view that Capricorn calls us to. We are being asked to stay steady, to pace ourselves, to climb that daunting mountain, cross that edgy bridge with greater awareness. Jupiter’s gift in Capricorn is the patience now needed so we arrive at our destination.

Saturn, the teacher, walks us into the mysteries of Pluto’s transformative powers. Pluto takes us into holy ground, asks us to discover its hidden riches.

Tomorrow, March 19th, is the Spring Equinox. The equinoxes and solstices mark powerful turning points and times to create ritual. The chart for this equinox is very unique. Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn in tight alignment sextiling the Sun as it enters Aries, conjunct Chiron, the wounded healer. Here is the intensification and drive to bring about healing. The Moon is in Aquarius, the sign of humanity, calling us together as one humanity. Tomorrow, as it has been through the eons of time, we honor the dawning light of Spring with our intention and prayers for healing, affirming ourselves as one humanity linked through compassion and spirit.

Sending love, appreciation and health to each of you.

Susan Heinz is a professional astrologer in Santa Cruz for 37 years, bringing together traditional & esoteric astrology, Tarot and Qabalah. For info on her Friday monthly astrology groups, her Qabalah, astrology and or, painting classes, and for personal consultations, call (831) 479-3751, or go to





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