A rare celestial occurrence is upon us: Today, Jupiter and Saturn will come together in a “great conjunction” — the nearest they’ve been in nearly 800 years. Their closest moment will occur this afternoon, at 1:21 p.m. ET. What does this mean, exactly? How should we gird ourselves? Will this blessed occurrence endow us with superpowers, as people have been saying on Twitter?
Astronomically speaking, a conjunction occurs when two planets appear to meet each other in the sky, as seen from Earth. We can imagine the night sky like a clock, with Earth at the center, and each celestial body going along the clock face at its own pace depending on its orbit speed. Jupiter and Saturn meet every 20 years or so, but rarely do they get so intimate. As NASA puts it, “On the 21st, they will appear so close that a pinkie finger at arm’s length will easily cover both planets in the sky. The planets will be easy to see with the unaided eye by looking toward the southwest just after sunset.”
For astrologers, unsurprisingly, this is huge. Jupiter and Saturn are outer planets, meaning they move much more slowly across the clock face of the sky; as such, they’re believed to have influence on a grander scale — on society as a whole rather than on individuals. On top of that, the conjunction is taking place on the winter solstice, one of the most spiritually significant days of the year. It’s the longest night, meaning it marks the point at which days will finally start growing longer — a time associated with rebirth in all forms. “People are saying that this is the same alignment that happened when Jesus was born. I have been hoping for a second coming of Christ to polish off the end of the year, but living in the 21st century, I speculate this can look like an alien invasion,” says Berlin-based astrologer Randon Rosenbohm. “It’s always been an omen in astrology.”
Jupiter is said to be the planet of optimism, expansion, healing, growth, and miracles; Saturn, conversely, is associated with restriction, responsibility, and long-term lessons. When these energies combine, we can expect a major ideological reset — as Charles Harvey puts it in Mundane Astrology, this conjunction can usher in a new way of conceptualizing the interaction between “the perception of ideas, potentialities, possibilities (Jupiter) and their manifestation in the concrete material world (Saturn).”
The great conjunction “sets the tone for the ethos for the next 20 years affecting the arts, music, theatre, literature, entertainment, designer fashion, food, music, mathematics, science, politics, and the government agenda,” famed astrologer Susan Miller writes on her blog. “In other words, everything!”
This conjunction is taking place in Aquarius, the sign of innovation, humanitarianism, and independence, where the planets have not met since 1405 — right around the start of the Renaissance. That would be notable on its own, but on top of that, Aquarius is an air sign, which is known to be intellectual, communicative, and idealistic. For the past two centuries, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions have mostly taken place in earth signs, which are practical and grounded by nature. Now, going forward for the next 200 years or so, they will only meet in air signs. Miller refers to this change as a “Grand Mutation” — from stable earth energy to inventive air energy.
So what can we expect? Lisa Stardust, a New York City–based astrologer, says we can expect “radical change,” growth, and renewed sense of hope. Both Rosenbohm and Stardust noted that the rollout of the COVID vaccine coincides with the upcoming conjunction. As Rosenbohm put it: “Jupiter is growth, Saturn is restriction, and Aquarius is invention. We are literally making inventions to stop the growth of a virus.” She also thinks the “Bitcoin boom” is a result of the transit, which, apparently, some financial-astrology blogs have long been anticipating. (“It seems highly likely that the expansion of Bitcoin, the blockchain, and other cryptocurrencies will be a result of the [great conjunction],” reads one.)
“The element of air is associated with the mind and communication,” says Rosenbohm. “Aquarius is all about social structures and can be either super rebellious or conservative.” It’s possible that we’ll see heightened restrictions around how we gather and communicate. Writing on RUSSH, astrologer Clarisse Monahan says we should “look for new laws to control what is allowed to be said or published online and new authorities to police online content.” (Aquarius is the sign of the internet.) But Aquarius is also the sign of friendship, meaning that we may see people coming together in the face of restriction and fighting for a more just world. “Politically we are able to overlook things that typically divide us, I think, in order to create either new laws or rewrite old ones, with a better vision of the future,” Rosenbohm said. “That’s definitely coming in 2021, too.”
Per Stardust, we just have to do the work: “If we’re willing to really dedicate ourselves to helping others, and to giving ourselves to a greater cause,” she says, then we can “definitely survive this time.”