The Great Conjunction and the Age of Air

An epochal shift starts today

Yes, folks, a Great Conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter took place today, December 21, 2020.

Although it’s not exactly the same one mentioned in one of my all time favorite movies from my childhood, The Dark Crystal, it is very momentous because it kicked off a new era for us here us here on Earth, one I’m personally more than ready for, namely, the age of air.

But let’s back up a bit and fill you in on some information before we get into just what that might mean.

The two outermost visible planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are slow moving giants. It takes Jupiter around 12 years to complete it’s orbit along the ecliptic while slow-poke Saturn’s orbit takes around 30 years–i.e. the rather infamous “Saturn return.”

Roughly every twenty years Saturn and Jupiter conjunct, which means they meet up at the same degrees of a particular astrological sign. Called the Great Conjunction, this alignment sets off a new 20-year cycle which will be colored by whatever sign the two planets met up in.

For around 200 years, these two gas giants continually meet up in signs from the same element, that is, Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) or Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).

Since 1802, Jupiter and Saturn always aligned in Earth signs (with one brief exception we’ll get to in a bit). 

However, on December 21 (Winter Solstice!), 2020 they aligned in the air sign of Aquarius. The 20-year cycle of Great Conjunctions between these planets will continue to take place between air signs until 2199.

Welcome to the new age of air!

What the heck does this mean?

Good question! Let’s do a little run down.

Without going into much detail, in Earth eras:

  • pragmatic thinking and hard work are particularly valued

  • there is a pronounced focus on materialism as well as Earth sciences and resources

  • the question “who gets and owns what” is of the utmost importance–and this also means actual chunks of the Earth

Some of the big time poster boys for the Earth era include Napoleon and Hitler, who were definitely of the “I should own everything” camp. 

Other events and movements that epitomize the Earth age include the rise of nationalism in Europe, the California Gold Rush (literally about extracting treasures that come from the Earth), inventions such as steam power, cement, much of the Industrial Revolution, the Louisiana Purchase and the modern rise of capitalism.

Believe me, you can nerd out very easily with this list and think of many more examples, but I think you get the drift.

So what about this new Air era

In the dawning Air era, it is likely that:

  • Innovative thought will be valued over pragmatism and materialism

  • Major strides will be made in mobility and how we travel in general, perhaps including travel to “the stars”

  • There will be a major focus on communication and in general networks will become more important that individualism

  • Technology will increase and become even more important than it is now

Our sneak peek in the past

Sound familiar?

That’s because we’ve already gotten a glimpse of this newfangled air age.

Before Jupiter and Saturn embark on a new elemental era, they always conjunct in a sign of the era-to-come a few Great Conjunction cycles before the final shift. This sneak peek happened from around October 1980 to November 1981, when Jupiter and Saturn conjuncted and hung out together in the sign of Libra. 

Some obvious air signatures from this time include IBM introducing the first Personal Computer, the debut of MS-DOS and floppy disks, as well as some space stuff, like the very apt first Saturn flyby in November 1980.

But it’s not just about this 13 month period: As I mentioned above, A Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in a sign and/or element greatly influences the next 20 odd years as well. 

Again, examples abound, but the most obvious one is definitely the age of air’s ultimate poster child, what was known in the 90s as the information superhighway.

Yes indeed, digitization and the rise of the Internet is about as airy as it gets. I still lived in the Bay Area when the “dot com revolution” was “changing the world as we know it forever;” not surprising that the bubble burst in 2000, considering Jupiter and Saturn conjuncted in Taurus in May of that year.

Although typical air signatures have never stopped since we first dipped our toes into the new era in the early 80s, in many ways, the past 20 years have been the Earth era’s last stand.

So, is this the dawning of the Age of Aquarius?

Oh yes, ye olde Age of Aquarius.

If you’re hoping for a new age of world peace and tolerance and brotherhood (listen to the song for the entire list) not to mention lots of 60s Cher hair, bell bottoms and macrame, then I’m sorry to say you’ll have to keep on dreaming.

That said, this next 20 years will indeed be marked by Aquarius, which is a humanitarian sign. On a positive note, this energy will lend us to thinking about how we relate and the ways we need to improve how we treat our fellow humans. 

Saturn in Aquarius is very much about creating positive new structures and rebuilding that which has broken apart or faded away, and it will be in this sign for the next two and a half years.

It’s no surprise to me that the idea of introducing a universal basic income has been picking up speed in Europe these days.

However, on a more negative note, Aquarius is a mental air sign that is in the “fixed” triplicity. This could manifest as rigid, overly ideological thinking or, at worst, extremist and/or radicalized thought on either the right or the left.

Not better, but at least different

We’ve been seeing the shadow side of the Earth era for a while now, and I know I’m not the only one who’s pretty damn sick of it (late-stage capitalism, ugh…). 

However, it is important to remember that the past 216 years have by no means been all bad.

Earth is tangible; it’s stable and can be contained, it’s stationary and reliable.

Air, on the other hand, is much more erratic, chaotic and unpredictable. Sure, a slight summer breeze is great, but you can’t say the same for that Category 6 hurricane that starts a-blowing ten days later.

Air is intangible; it scatters and is hard to contain.

Yes, this new era will hold the arts and thought and culture in much higher esteem; it will be a great fucking time for much of what I love the most, like writing and astrology and magic. It might well finally have us living on the Moon and Mars. 

The official age of air will bring about unimaginable advancements–think of how much the world has changed technology-wise since that peek behind the curtain 40 years ago! 

Hybridization, collaboration, open borders, blurred boundaries, these are concepts and virtues that will increasingly shape our world.

However, the unsteadiness and frequent changes ahead may just have us longing for a time when at least we knew who was in charge.

One last thing that unfortunately needs to be mentioned: Another common signature of air eras includes extreme weather patterns and novel diseases (the height of the plague was during an air age and the Aids epidemic was first officially acknowledged in 1981).

On a more positive note, since this era also fosters innovations on all fronts, we will likely be spurred on to tackle these issues in increasingly ingenious ways. 

The next 20 years will definitely have a learning curve, with the powers that be still seeking to solve “air problems” with “Earth solutions.”

But hold on to your hat, because the age of air is coming either way

I for one am thrilled and look forward to seeing more of you in my newsletters and podcast, Age of Air!

Rebeccah Dean is a writer and astrologer based in Berlin. To find out more about Rebeccah and her work, swing by rebeccahdean.com