Mirror Reflections of Shadow in the Saturn-Pluto Cycle


Richard Tarnas’s immortal tome Cosmos and Psyche reinforces a viewpoint that observes the heavens above and world events below in a linear, almost episodic, moving trajectory of the planets and their archetypal characters. The sprawling range and complexity this perspective yields gives us a never-ending array of minutiae to be unbraided from our personal lives, and the events in the world around us. Unraveling these correlations can provide insight as well as healing and growth. 

In 2020, in the collective psyche we all share, the Saturn-Pluto conjunction correlated with a global harvest of souls we called the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has left a progressively deeper furrow in history, but this is far from the first time Saturn and Pluto have correlated with what could be described, albeit forcefully, as a killwave. When Saturn conjoined Pluto between 1981 and 1984, the AIDS epidemic decimated populations and illuminated the dysfunctional way the United States deals with a public health crisis. We could argue that the AIDS crisis, propelling us head first into the underworld awareness that sex could not only be dangerous but also deadly, triggered a reaction in the collective that ranged from paranoia to denial. In that period we also saw a Saturnian solution to a darkly Plutonian problem with the necessity of protected sex emerging from the “underground” communities that needed it most. Saturnian personal responsibility compelled people to implement a barrier during sex for protection against a potentially fatal disease. The planets in aspect by transit describe both the problems and the solutions. 

Referencing the AIDS crisis, Tarnas writes, “Such characteristic Saturn / Pluto experiences such as mass suffering, disease, death, and fear arose at this time in relation to sexuality, as did a resulting conservative transformation of social mores with the establishment of new structures of inhibition and control, both external and internal.”
In the COVID-weary world of early 2021, it is now a commonplace safety practice to wear a mask in public, and to assert social distancing procedures, more Saturnian solutions to Saturn-Pluto problems. For Pluto’s part, we’re asked to dig deeply into our psyches to reveal shadow material that is just now ready to heal, both personally, and collective, relative to some of our greatest fears. 

One practical takeaway from Cosmos and Psyche is that we resist analysis of the cyclical nature of time at our peril. If we’re oblivious, we’re likely to get hit in the head when a previously-unaddressed collective aspect dynamic returns with another turning of the Astral gears to the same placements. Astrology can help us not only prepare for potential challenges, but actively participate in the healing. This is a message we should do well to heed, both now and forever.

Aubergine Bliss
writer / researcher 

Constantly searching for a more equitable co-regulation with the Earth and Stars. If I’m not negating the influence of the Plutocracy I’m faded on the beach looking for a natal chart more perfect than Rihanna’s. 

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