When I was pondering what to write about for 2021, for some strange reason one of my favourite singers came to mind with her song Beautiful Collision. Bic Runga is from my hometown, perhaps that’s why her words resonate with me.
What a beautiful collision
Things that go bump in the night
With such beautiful precision
Fate could create you and I
… Beautiful beautiful night
What a beautifully dangerous ride
What a beautiful day
We could hardly complain about
What’s going on in the sky …
written by Bic Runga
Well — perhaps we can complain about what’s been going on in the sky! The planets don’t actually collide of course, but they have been making some pretty challenging ‘bumps in the night’.
2021 — another challenging year
As I always say, we have to make these planetary contacts into ‘beautiful collisions’. So I want to take a look at 2021 and suggest how we might tune in to the possibilities of another challenging year. As I mentioned in my last post, we are within a number of cycles, however I want to single out two that are in play in 2021. One is a longer, probably more important one — the Saturn-Uranus cycle. The other is the Ceres-Pluto cycle, which is of interest since it began in that fateful January of 2020.
Heavenly Forms: The Uranus Saturn dance from Aidan Lincoln
The Saturn-Uranus dance
The current cycle started in 1988, when these two planets met three times on February 13, June 26, and October 18. Reagan was the president of the US and Maggie Thatcher became the longest serving UK Prime Minister of the 20th Century. Gorbachev was at the start of his leadership as the Head of State —one which would lead to the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and his reputation as a great reformer. He was instrumental in ending the Cold War. Looking back, these were extraordinary times on the global stage, with ties between world powers improving.
Saturn-Uranus in Sagittarius
In 1988 these planetary meetings took place in the international sign of Sagittarius, so the (when positive) themes of responsibility and change, represented by these two, were bound to be manifested at a global level. When these meetings work well, this cycle encourages responsible revolution, structured innovation, shake-ups in government, goal-oriented technology, accountable internet and systems that honour equality, to name but a few things.
When Saturn and Uranus meet, there is a dilemma, as these planets are pretty well diametrically opposed. Saturn wants discipline, hierarchy and tradition. The old. Uranus wants to break through, be rebellious and be independent. And he wants change. The new. And the signs they are in now are also very different Taurus and Aquarius. So it’s all about getting the balance right.
Main points in the cycle
There are four points in the cycle when these clashes are the most active. At the beginning — the last time in 1988. At the quarter point — the last time in 1999. At the halfway point — the last time in 2008-10, when they clashed five times! And most importantly for us, 2021, as we are at the last quarter point. So we are repeating the years 1975-7. Are there lessons from these years?
2021 — Saturn-Uranus meetings
The actual dates when they square up in 2021 are February 17, June 14, and December 24. However, we are already under their influence, which will definitely be active at least all this year. So back to the start to try and get some meaning. Of course these energies are reflected in virtually all events, so I must choose a few relevant areas to focus on, or I’ll be here all year!
Let’s look at the internet
This from wiki: “1988 was a crucial year in the early history of the Internet — it was the year of the first well-known computer virus, the 1988 Internet worm. The first permanent intercontinental Internet link was made between the United States (NSFNET) and Europe (Nordunet) as well as the first Internet-based chat protocol, Internet Relay Chat. The concept of the World Wide Web was first discussed at CERN in 1988.”
So this really was a year that changed everything. The old order (Saturn) could now be disrupted (Uranus) by anyone who had an opinion. This was the start of a platform that got us to where we are today. In deep schtuk! (Went down a rabbit hole looking up how to spell that — several to choose from.) We no longer have authorities (Saturn) that we can rely on for the truth (Uranus).
The first quarter point is when a bit of ‘gardening’ is needed to make sure that what was planted in 1988 was doing well. One site suggests that by the year 2000, 41% of adults in the US were using the internet. Looking up weather was a favourite! However, there was also the realisation that illegal downloading of music was happening on a wide scale. By this time, nearly half of internet users had purchased a product online.
At the halfway point, which is where ‘planting’ comes to fruition, the same site suggests that 35% percent of adults in the US had cell phones with apps. In 2010 Instagram and Pinterest were launched, and Facebook had 400 million users. By this time Twitter had raised 98 million dollars, and we had several browsers to choose from. The US election in 2008 made the most of the internet, with Facebook being used to full advantage. Wikileaks was also in cahoots with major media outlets. The US government tried to address security by passing the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, which was updated again in 2014.
So now here we are
The closing quarter is where we should look back to see what has been achieved and judge what needs to change in the run up to the next cycle, in our case 2032. Uranus rules technology and Saturn is about rules. At the first two points in this cycle we learned about both the dangers of internet and social media, and the benefits for all kinds of business. It is easy to see we are struggling with this dilemma now — how can we have rules and discipline, but also free speech? And who is responsible? The censorship now is very strong, even for the President of the US. And on social media many voices are being silenced. But who decides?
Is 1975-7 any help?
Well, not for the internet as we know it today, but there was a forerunner, ARPANET, which, in 1975, was placed under the control of the Defense Communication Agency (DCA). There were no tools to determine who used this network and the DCA, worrying about national security, tried to control it by issuing warnings and rules. With no ways to police these rules, it made not a blind bit of difference! Sound familiar?
Although the beginning stages of internet development were mainly technical, the moral and philosophical issues were discussed. An article written in 1975 asked whether ARPANET could be used for spying, and the answer was yes. However, protocols were set up, that still apply today. And the Apple II was launched that year, starting the consumer and small business market for computers. Exciting times. with a lot of Uranus (technology) and not a lot of practical regulation (Saturn).
Back to the same issues
Today we are facing these problems on a much vaster scale. How do we get this right before the start of the next round? If we go too ‘ruley’ that is too much Saturn and people will just revolt and innovate new ways to express their views. If we let it be a ‘free for all’, that’s not enough Saturn. There needs to be responsibility at all levels. If this combination of planets works negatively, all we get is blaming and rebellion. And everyone knows they are right!
Technology changes but people don’t. There will always be liars, cheats and charlatans. And there will always be many differing viewpoints. And influencers. Anonymity on the web makes it far easier to be scary and dangerous. Clearly, threatening violence and death threats need to be addressed.
Authorities must change
Up until now, people in authority, such as police and governments, expect to be obeyed. This just won’t work any more. Authorities (Saturn) need to be more positively Uranian — truthful, open, and adaptable to individual situations. If this had been the case, the Dutch Cabinet might not have fallen, which has just happened as I write. Authorities need to be accountable and not play old-style boss. They will only win our respect if they do this. Police need to get racism out of the picture. We will only respect fair policing that respects us. In Amsterdam, as I write, problems with a demonstration against the COVID-19 measures highlight this imbalance, with police seeming somewhat heavy-handed for the situation. But I wasn’t there, so who do I believe?
For the internet
Police and governments need to invent and invest in new ways of policing. Laws have always existed for crimes whether they are in person or online. It is not good enough anymore to shut down individual posts and accounts without a legal basis. If I have a different opinion I want to express — one that doesn’t harm anyone — then I expect there to be some legal justification provided if my post is removed. This is not what is happening. There will be trouble!
What about us?
However, we also have a responsibility on the net. And that comes down to what I said above. We can no longer trust authorities or anyone else to tell the truth. What we need to do is to take time (Saturn) to check if what we are saying or sharing is actually factual (Uranus). We need to do the work (Saturn) to check what we are posting. We cannot rely on others to do this as they may have a vested interest!
Recently, I listened to someone who suggested that sense-making and fact-checking should be taught in schools. Saturn and Uranus would totally agree — schools need to be more Uranus and less Saturn. Give students knowledge rather than rules. Teachers have to earn respect these days. The days of the old school ma’am are certainly over. Same goes for parents!
At individual level we now have to not only do the work, but perhaps go inside to judge if something feels right. And we need to be supported to stand up for this. Uranus with Saturn is about being brave enough to own our individual ideas. And be accountable for them. We have to stop feigning agreement with others if we have a different view. And we have to stop blaming others, be it the government or an individual. We need a different approach. Blaming might feel good but it gets us nowhere.
Another area: COVID-19, vaccines and governing bodies
Dare I even go there?
At the start of this cycle in 1988, the WHO launched their campaign to eliminate Polio by what turns out to be roughly the first quarter point — in 2000. Indeed, by 2000 there was a huge reduction in cases, mainly due to a new version of the vaccine. There had been major problems with earlier ones. Just before the half-way point in 2007, 200 million dollars was raised, half of it being funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This was to vaccinate every child on the planet! We are finding now, at the closing quarter point, that this is virtually impossible, due to wars and other global issues. But we keep using the same strategy. Currently Vaccine-Derived-Polio is on the rise again. Yes — caused by the vaccine! We cannot stick to old ways of working when Uranus is in the clinch with Saturn!
Jonas Salk to the rescue
The person responsible for one of the vaccines that helped enormously with Polio elimination was Jonas Salk. The history of all this is too long to go into. There are some links below. But I will mention one major difference in the way the COVID-19 vaccines have been developed today (and of course ‘vaccinate everyone’ still seems to be the only strategy.) Again Bill Gates has donated 100 million dollars. However, where Salk didn’t want the vaccine patented — saying it belonged to the people — that is certainly not the case today! And the pharmaceutical industry definitely has too much authority (Saturn).
Yes — too much Saturn
The problem we create if too much Saturn is used, is that Uranus has to get bigger! Lockdowns, media coverage on what we need to do — wear a mask and get vaccinated etc. — are all very Saturnian. Of course we need to be responsible for hospitals and sick people, but if this goes on much longer there will be heavier rebellion. Any voices rightly questioning vaccine issues or rules, such as curfews, are shut down. Through fear (Saturn), protests are being stopped or challenged by authorities. Many people are truly frightened, when it is dubious as to whether statistics warrant the amount of fear being generated.
Give us some credit!
We need to be given credit for being intelligent humans, who, given the actual facts can make up our own minds. But we don’t know what is true, and that leads to the division we have and the suspicions of conspiracy theorists. The US storming of the Capitol building is a very apt symbol for this and Saturn-Uranus conflicts in general. Someone very Uranian, sitting in Pence’s chair in the Senate — a very Saturnian building and organisation — is the perfect image.
Only two sides?
The division in politics world-wide is showing that we are not combining these two energies at all. We definitely have Saturn on one side — e.g. Joe Biden (old, traditional, and decent) and Uranus on the other e.g. Greta Thunberg (young, rebellious, and honest). Of course all the leaders take sides on Greta — from ‘she’s amazing — let’s take a selfie’, to ‘she’s just a stupid child’. But none of them has really acted on what she (and her followers) are asking. This rebellion isn’t going to go away. Both sides need to really listen. In the US there is an attempt to keep the two party system, when clearly there are huge splits in both sides. Why not more parties? With an actual representation of different views in the House and Senate?
Civil disobedience is probably the way forward together with massive political reform. I must admit to getting slightly irritated by hearing how the US is the bastion of democracy. I wonder how this can be true when you need to have so much money to run as a candidate and therefore probably have to sell your soul in the process. This goes for other countries too, of course, but it very evident in the US.
The last opposition point 2008-10
The US offers a perfect example of how this conflict works. The symbolism of the US elections in 2008 was a delight for astrologers. Obama — the new, young, different, breath of fresh air Aquarius rising Uranian, was up against Saturnian McCain, the old, traditional, war hero. Here’s what I wrote back in 2008:
“I find it amazing that Obama and McCain represent these forces globally so accurately. Saturn is in Virgo and McCain is a Virgo. Uranus is in Pisces and although Obama is not a Pisces he has a lot of Pisces energy. This battle symbolises what is happening in the coming years for everyone on all levels. The finding of balance between the opposing forces of keeping what’s good and not stagnating and bringing in the new without too much disruption. Being unique and also having responsibility for, and being part of, the world. There seems to be enough momentum now with Uranian energy to change in a good way, to break through old structures and authorities that are no longer serving us.”
What was fascinating, was that as soon as Obama got into power, he had to become Saturn and the Tea Party became Uranus. The huge, traditional political machine in the US put Obama back in his box. But of course Obama is also part of the political elite. We cannot go back to our old ways!
We have a chance in 2021!
A lot has changed due to the Corona virus, and just maybe that could lead to good changes. There are some good things happening — not that we hear about them much. But can we? I hope so! Because a positive combination could be really great! Real change could happen if we take advice from the planets when they are in a good mood.
The shorter cycle Ceres-Pluto
The points work the same way in shorter cycles but are more difficult to isolate because one runs into the next. However, I wanted to take a quick look at this cycle, as the start of it occurred when we heard about the first COVID-19 death in Wuhan. Saturn clouds the picture a bit as he was involved and the whole thing was heavily Capricornian. But we can still take a look at this cycle separately. I wrote a post last year about the virus called Corona — an unsung hero.
The ‘gardening’ point
On April 30th 2021 we will reach this point — a time to take the huge amount we have learned about Corona and weed out what doesn’t work. It may be that this is a turning point where vaccination is starting to help. However, I fear we need to look to these two planets for more advice. Pluto is about power and control. Ceres is about environments — both inside and outside our bodies. What most governments are doing (and I’m not saying this isn’t understandable) is controlling our environments by stopping us going places and meeting people. There are also suggestions of controlling our internal environments as well by considering mandatory vaccines or travel passports. But we need something more innovative.
‘I won’t have it!’
Ceres will say “I’m not having it!” She is a goddess who goes against power in this way. She negotiates and this is what we need, rather than domination by those in power. The opportunity here is to start to transform (Pluto) all things Ceres. This means a focus on getting people healthy food, so that immune systems are not compromised. This means changing the way we are dealing with the earth and all her creatures. Viruses flare up when we take away animal environments and plunder and pollute (Pluto) the earth (Ceres).
Give democracy a chance
We need to give proper democracy a chance and help the underdogs of society. It is pretty clear who the main victims of COVID are. Pluto means we need to attack the REAL problem — unhealthy people and an unhealthy relationship with nature. When will we learn that nature always wins? The Polio story shows us this. Of course one manifestation of this combination is amazing research into how viruses and vaccines work. But we need to be humble in our endeavours.
Saturn learns lessons!
Much was learned from a major Ebola outbreak at the start of this cycle from 2014-2016. But many lessons were never taken on board in the Corona crisis. Although much information was shared globally, one key lesson — to act quickly — wasn’t heeded. Most countries waited too long and didn’t work together in terms of travel issues. And many countries were ill-prepared for the supplies that would be needed. What is happening now is that poor countries have less access to vaccines. In a global pandemic this is counter-productive. Pluto asks for decisive leadership and countries who had this, seemed to have fared better.
I hope we learn something from the scientists currently in Wuhan looking for clues as to what happened, and that the result is not just finger-pointing blame!
The best things to do in 2021?
Take responsibility for your ideas and your health. Establish a healthy environment both at home and at work — and this includes avoiding toxic people and organisational structures. Protest and march, if that is your calling but do it with purpose and a practical goal, not just for the sake of it. Mobilise like-minded groups to make changes. We are indeed, and should be, in this together. And unlike the global response to the Corona virus, learn from your mistakes.
Here’s my happy new year take just in case you missed it!
Stay well and get healthier!
An interesting article How the internet was born…
A very well-organised site on The Pioneers of Vaccines
Some interesting things about Salk and the Polio vaccine
An up-to-date graph on Polio today
Some signs that Ceres might be having her way Has Coronavirus made us more ethical consumers?
And of course the song.
Quotes of the month
“You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.” Samuel Levenson
And ah yes – that dilemma!
“If we don’t have each other, we go crazy with loneliness. When we do, we go crazy with togetherness.” Stephen King