Extraordinary times and Saturnian choices

In Astro Overviews by Gillian

Major Transits around the time of the 2020 Spring Equinox : Saturn enters Aquarius for three months and a triple conjunction of Pluto, Jupiter and Mars.


One doesn’t have to be an astrologer to know that we are collectively going through a risky, fearful, intense, deep and profoundly shaking time, a time that has the potential to transform (for good or ill, depending upon one’s perspective and our collective actions) the way we live. Yet it certainly chimes with the astrology as the outer planets conjunct and connect with each other in their endless and ancient dance. Outer planet transits such as the Saturn Pluto conjunction, which perfected in January 2020, tend to coincide with great challenges and extraordinary changes and we now find ourselves in such a time.

We need to remember that these things have happened before, many times; they are a natural part of the endless cycle of life. Our forefathers and foremothers faced similar challenges and, for those living in the Third World or in refugee camps, the risk of infectious disease is a daily reality; over 2,000 people worldwide, mostly children, die every day of diarrhoea alone.

In the West, maybe we have taken our recent good fortune for granted? For decades, since rationing ended after WWII, the great majority of us have enjoyed uninterrupted supplies and an ever-widening choice of food, a home, heating, sanitation and safe drinking water, soap and cleaning products, hospitals, medicine – many of life’s necessities – without a second thought. We don’t just have clothes to keep us warm but can indulge in changing fashions; we don’t just have regular breaks from work but can jet off on foreign holidays.

Yet even in the richest parts of the world, everyone finds themselves at the mercy of deeply threatening and difficult events which they cannot control at some stage during their life. We inevitably have to face our own mortality and that of those we love. Death, loss and grief are profound and tremendous experiences and they can slam us up against our limits.


In difficult times, if hard and painful events are happening and deeply affecting us personally and if we feel we have lost control over our destiny, we nevertheless still have a choice – the choice about how to respond. We can decide to face the challenges with all the courage, love, humour and equanimity we can muster. Being human, we will probably falter from time to time, but we can hold on to our ideals and return to them again and again. We can support and care for each other. We can do our best. We can stay alert and hopeful, know what we stand for, step up, do practical things for one another and strive towards a better way of life – a healthier and more equitable one.

We will get through this, collectively, transformed in one way or another. The way in which we do so is up to us. And the way in which we do so is vital, for our own self-respect and for our souls’ health and for each other’s well-being.

Staying true to our deepest beliefs and dedicated to our spiritual practice is very important now and will help to restore our equilibrium if we feel afraid. So will connecting to others via the numerous means of communication available nowadays. So will finding unexpected humour and sharing laughter. So will getting out into nature, or into our gardens, or listening to music. Some may navigate this testing time with utter faith in an ultimately beneficent universe but most of us will struggle a bit from time to time. Be kind to yourself and to each other.


“Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” Extract from ‘Desiderata’ by Max Ehrmann