Updated: Aug 3, 2021
On December 31st, 2019, as Saturn and Pluto were aligning to form an exact conjunction, China announced an eruption of a deadly virus in its country, named Covid-19. The virus would soon spread across the globe in freighting speed, and as reports about sick and dead victims rose daily, a world-wide pandemic was declared. A sense of panic took over. World leaders were predicting hundreds of thousands of deaths if no cure would be found soon. Preventative measures against transmission of the virus came into place: people were to keep 2 meters distance anywhere in the outdoors, and everyone was obligated to wear masks. Governments ushered in new sets of regulations every day: people were to stay at home, venturing out for food or necessary pharmaceuticals only. Those who trespassed the distance limit in their area were fined by police. Whomever contracted the virus had to go into quarantine for 14 days, and the elderly population – the most susceptible to the virus - were kept away from the young and from their families. Cities went into shutdown mode as travel was restricted, schools and workplaces closed, and large public gatherings were prohibited. The world had, in many ways, come to a halt.
The correlations between the Saturn and Pluto archetypes and the events of this period are striking. Saturn represents “limitation, confinement, restriction, constriction, death, poverty, lack, depravation, loneliness, old-age and the law ”. Pluto speaks of “transformation, death and rebirth, the unknown, the shadow, mass hardship and the eruption of overwhelming forces”. In addition, Pluto “compels, empowers, and intensifies whatever it touches, sometimes to overwhelming and catastrophic extremes”. Millions of peoples’ lives had changed overnight, and there seemed to seep through the collective an eerie sense of apocalypse as the world went silent. The fatal effect of this virus was no longer an anecdote reported in the media from a remote Chinese town, as people went into quarantine, and, in correlation with Saturnian meanings, had to deal not only with loneliness, but with anxiety which arises in the face of uncertainty. The anxiety produced from reports about high deathrates was intensified by the lack of knowledge of the virus’s behavior and how long it would take for the world get back on track. Moreover, as confinement continued, millions were losing their livelihood. This effect correlates with Saturn-related manifestations of “lack, deficit and poverty” and with Pluto’s destructive energies, which eliminate the illusion of a linear, structured, and controlled way of life. A virus doesn’t ‘care’ about borders between countries. Saturnian limitation did help the prevention of further transmission of the virus, yet the speed by which it travelled revealed the helplessness of human-made constructions. Pluto forces one to become aware of the “terrifying reality that lurks beneath the surface, beneath the veneer of civilization”. This terrifying reality which comes from the “underworld” is kept at arm’s length, or repressed altogether, in ‘normal’ times. Thus, even though medicalresearch centers world-wide were working hard, putting in long hours to create a vaccine for the virus, on the deeper level of the collective psyche, there was a “mysterious, uncontrollable force” to be contended with. Saturnian hard work and effort towards a worthy goal has merged with the Plutonic forces of the “shadow”.
All quotes are taken from Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas, Plume Publishing, 2007, chapters III and V.
And yet, there is a positive aspect to these planetary archetypes. Saturn relates to the wisdom that comes from experience and old age, and Pluto correlates with the “shifting of consciousness”. A deeper awareness to the shadow of humanity, both on the collective sphere and internally, as individuals, may be a positive outcome of this period. There is a possibility to take a good, hard, look at the way humanity has been treating the earth. From the onset of the pandemic, there were voices claiming that the eruption of Covid-19 was nature’s reaction to extremity which we have reached in exploiting its resources. Others questioned the way our work-life is arranged as thoughts of a new concept of work emerged. Educational systems were being reevaluated. Moreover, there was an ever-growing sense of alienation from those who were supposed to lead in times of crisis. Governments and decision-makers manifested lack of control as they zigzagged from one regulation to its opposite every other day. In addition, national medical systems were caught unprepared for the crisis. Hospitals nearly crashed from the overload of new patients that needed urgent treatment and had to put aside numerous scheduled medical procedures for the rest of the patients. The injustice of a system that does not provide equal healthcare for all was exposed. The rational which stands behind the whole economic-medical system, wherein the poor cannot afford basic medical treatment was revealed in all its ugliness. Pluto, as we have seen, unveils disturbing realities, and Saturn speaks of consequences of past actions. There is no need, it seems, to further elaborate on the striking correlation between the Saturn/Pluto archetypal complexes and the events which have taken place during this time.