The astrology of social distancing 2020

Saturn is digging in its heels at the final degree of Capricorn. The last degree of any sign in the Zodiac is never easy terrain; the Anaretic, or Critical 29th degree, holds immense potency, intensification and stress. As Saturn goes through this chrysalis, the Capricorn dialogue of the recent past centering commerce, capitalism, “the rich” now shifts toward the Aquarian narrative of life itself; togetherness, solidarity, community, being connected in isolation.

Saturn, 20 June 2019: NASA Hubble Space Telescope

When Saturn ingressed into Capricorn on the Winter Solstice (Northern Hemisphere) 2017, its presence was felt immediately. Saturn descended with its heavy hand of stern realism and immediate lockdown. Remember the travel ban, the wild fires in Southern California, the Catalonian push for Independence and North Korea’s missile program?  Shit got real immediately.

Saturn is a planet with visible, distinct rings enveloping it. When it descends, the weight of pressure, restriction, and responsibility arise. The rings bind, contain and confine that which was once free and uninhibited. Considered a malefic due to its excessively harsh & cold properties, Saturn does not foster growth of the abundant Spring variety. Its quarters entertain loneliness, inadequacy and introspection as it pressures us to grow through discipline and even isolation. Saturn is the parent who sends you to bed early, the teacher who punishes you with detention, the boss who yields authority, the master who toils for years to perfect their craft, the Elder who holds the wisdom of time. Saturn asks us to grow by transforming our fear into our mastery.

While we haven’t forgotten world events that unfolded since December 2017, there is also no way we are able to hold such weight at every moment. The intensity has only increased as we’ve progressed, and we’ve had to put it somewhere; different communities holding different aspects for different reasons.

The Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn) are all fuelled by a survival instinct. Where Aries takes on the archetype of the hunter, fearlessly brazen and bold, Cancer understands that we’re nothing without each other. Libra knows that we’re hardwired to be social, while Capricorn takes what it has inherited and builds upon it, aiming to succeed and surpass the generation before. Each Cardinal sign is acutely attuned to failure in their respective realms. 

When slower moving planets, such as Saturn and Pluto, move through these Cardinal signs (as is happening right now in Capricorn), we are all on high alert for an extended period of time. Without sufficient rest and recuperation, it gets exhausting. While Covid-19 is not the ideal situation, it is offering us a moment to stop, assess and regroup before we step forward into a significantly different future. 

For many people, survival and protection has been at the forefront of their existence far longer than this Saturn transit. However, the relatively recent surge of awareness of the suffering of others is owed greatly to Saturn. Where we once spoke of billionaires as distant, remote, unknowable people we now call them personally to account. Where Imperial conquerers of the past desecrated Indigenous sovereignty, language and culture we are now able to acknowledge it still occurring and understand the responsibility to ask: Whose land do I stand on and what has passed before me? How am I further adding to this?

With both Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, our collective experience of grief is palpable.  Chinese Medicine teaches us that grief is processed through the lungs. It’s no surprise therefore, that a respiratory condition has been the catalyst for isolation and great structural change.

Photo credit: Pintrest

While not everyone is safe being quarantined with family / partners / roommates, any cracks we’ve been avoiding will inevitably start to appear in our self-isolation. Fast forward two months and we find Venus retrograding through the sign that rules the lungs, Gemini, on May 13 followed by Warrior Mars taking up its sword and retrograding through Aries in September. Astrologers have had to strike the healthy balance between waving red flags about 2020 and not sending people into an early tailspin.

And here we are.


We started this year with an uncomfortable collision between Saturn and Pluto. The last time this conjunction occurred in Capricorn ushered in the Protestant Reformation in 1518 which has had lasting effects spiritually, communally and consciously. The end of the year will be capped by a once every 200 year changing of the guard conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius. Right now we’re getting a glimpse of what that Jupiter – Saturn story will herald: community, connection, ideas being implemented as reality, strengthening the underdog so that we all rise with the fall of systems that rely on inequality to thrive.

We’re seeing how interconnected everything has always been, yet it is the cracks that offer glimpses into what’s important to focus on. Our Western experience of isolation is buffered by technology. The reality is that we should be preparing for loss of internet, electricity and water, also. With Governments’ failure to act on climate change, natural disasters are becoming more frequent, and they are events that force us into shared physical spaces. We are currently not prepared for that. If isolation proves that we can rapidly reverse climate damage, then it’s not completely out of the question for us to call a collective strike. Governments are giving us an opportunity to experience first hand collective effort.

Prime Minister Scott Morison goes on vacay to Hawaii as Australia burns. Good job, Scottie.

Capitalism’s death is nigh

We have been taught to defend the small patch of security we could carve out for ourselves as individuals. Our survival, however, is now dependant on implementing community values that understand we are only as strong as our weakest link. In the old capitalistic model where Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and corporation driven politics thrive, you’re only as strong as the resources you can steal for the duration of time that you don’t look back. 

This invisibility of this virus represents more than the corrupt security and data breaches we’ve been subjected to in recent times, it also alerts us to things currently hidden that will inevitably come to light as accountability beckons.

Aquarius will open its borders and welcome Saturn home on March 21, 2020 at 11.58 pm EST. Saturn will only dip its toe into the first two degrees of Aquarius before returning to this terrain we’re in right now from July 1 – Dec 17, 2020. That in itself tells us to utilise Saturn’s gifts of patience, perseverance and dedication to long, slow change.

Pace yourself as we transition and upgrade. Don’t be deterred by the voices of the old world that tell you this is a time to work, capitalise and catch up. Instead, reach out, connect and align yourself with the changes. Create the new world now; that’s our personal responsibility. We’re doing it with our hands, our tweets and every intention we have for a better world.

Do you think I’d crumble, Did you think I’d lay down and die? Oh no, not I…❣️ @jfancyblooms – –

The hand over from Capricorn to Aquarius

The greatest transition is occurring in the sign of Capricorn. Capricorn needs respect; being taken seriously is its love language. While it’s a fine line between allowing fear to take hold and being pragmatic, those who aren’t taking this C-19 seriously will eventually be confronted by Saturn with their irresponsibility. Being so removed from compassion for people who die alone in isolation is the kind of rectifying Saturn works on.

As we all self isolate, shit’s gunna get weird. We all know Aquarius walks to the beat of its own drum, and so shall we. Saturn will ask us to find our edge, our boundary; the point where our sense of self transitions into collective contribution. Looking back over Saturn’s journey we have a lot to learn, but looking forward we have a lot to be consciously responsible for and heal.

There is no living in isolation when we live the threads of our connectedness.

Dru Ish is available for readings

Read more by Dru Ish:


Empaths and Saturn’s Boundaries

Dates to watch 2020

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