The Age Of Aquarius & The Great Conjunction

Jupiter conjunct Saturn on December 21st, 2020 surrounded by each of their moons.

December 20th and 21st, 2020 mark the Winter Solstice and The Great Conjunction of two astrological and planetary giants, the great benefic, Jupiter, and the great malefic, Saturn, the social planets that govern collective consciousness, great achievements, growth, in the wild, trail-blazing, and playful sign of Aquarius. The theme of this once in a lifetime planetary shift is being called, “The Great Awakening.”

The Great Conjunction marks the beginning of a new era.


When astrologers speak about the Age of Aquarius they are describing the phenomenon of the earth’s movement backward (or in “retrograde” motion) into the sign of Aquarius. As you know, there are 11 other signs of the zodiac — the earth will retrograde through each one. It will take the earth 25,868 years to visit all 12 signs. If you divide 25,868 by 12 signs, you will get roughly 2,100 years to each particular “age”. Thus, once the Age of Aquarius is upon us it will be the Age of Aquarius for two thousand years.

There is much debate in the astrological world about when precisely the Age of Aquarius begins and ends. This is mainly due to varying sizes and overlap of the various astrological constellations. However, many astrologers agree that this December 20–21, 2020 conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius is the moment we officially enter into it. I am inclined to agree with them.

The age before the Age of Aquarius was the Age of Pisces. Since the earth is moving in retrograde motion, we have just left the Age of Pisces, which marked the years 1–2020 AD. This time coincides with the age of Christ and Christianity. Early Christians used the symbol of the fish (symbol of Pisces) as a secret symbol of their faith. The emphasis on the washing of the feet as a ritual signifying purification of the spirit ties into Pisces symbolism as well, for Pisces rules the feet. Pisces “carry” the cares and burdens of others and often have sore feet. Jesus Christ spoke of his role as a servant to his flock, which is also a very Pisces notion.

Pisces says, “I believe you” and “you decide for me” without questioning it, whereas Aquarius, the age we are in now, says, “prove it to me” and “I’ll decide for myself once I know more”. Pisces is considered the last sign of the zodiac, a compendium of all the signs that came before it, from Aries to Aquarius. The Great Awakening marks the completion of a 25,868-year cycle through the entire zodiac.

This is a historic and once-in-a-lifetime moment to be sure.

Remember last year when we all held such high and misguided hopes for 2020 as the year of clear vision and roaring good times? Ah, the bitter laughter and hilarity of hindsight. 2020 wasn’t what any of us expected, but I found myself diving deeper into self-work, personal growth, getting comfortable with loneliness, connecting deeply with my close circle of loved ones, and settling into my home in a way I never have before. For all of the intensity, hardship, and unexpected isolation that 2020 gave us, there is a lot about the past year I feel deeply grateful for. I learned a great deal about myself and found a strength inside me I never knew I had.

There is no doubt that this year has radically changed our way of life. We have seen growing protests, outbreaks of armed conflict in various hotspots, rising tensions on the international stage, record fires, global economic crisis, and, of course, the global pandemic. We are bearing witness to an era of change; the world is teetering on the brink, and everything we thought was permanent and unshakable has turned out not to be. We learned that a microscopic virus can bring our world to a halt. We learned that we can connect and communicate even when isolated and alone (Zoom, howling together, FaceTime, and outdoor gatherings). We learned that we are highly adaptable and though we were shaken by all of the change, we prevailed, survived, and thrived through it all.

If you lived through 2020, then you can attest to the fact that it’s been rather intense, good and bad, and the astrology of 2020 reflects that. 2020 was full of rare planetary alignments that have brought forth change and upheaval on a grand scale, including the epic Great Conjunction in Aquarius that will close out the year on December 21 and usher us into a new era.

The deconstruction of our businesses and society was bound to happen this past year. Throughout this year the whole world has been suffering from the clash of the big planets Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, who rules the corporate and political sphere. When something deconstructs, it has to be built again, so when Jupiter and Saturn step out of Capricorn and meet at the beginning of Aquarius on December 21, the day of the winter solstice, they open the door wide open to the Aquarian Age.

Despite the word “aqua” in its name, Aquarius is the last air sign of the zodiac. Aquarius is represented by the water bearer, the mystical healer who bestows water, or life, upon the land and its living beings. Accordingly, Aquarius is the most humanitarian astrological sign. Fiercely independent and community-oriented at the same time, Aquarius has been preparing us for this new normal for some time now.

Like air, Aquarius doesn’t have a single, clear shape and it seems to defy categorization. Aquarius can be quiet and gentle, but also exuberant and energetic. Aquarius loves to spend time deep in thought, especially when it pertains to matters of society. The world is Aquarius’ oyster, and she wants to do whatever she can to improve it and help others within it. This is where Aquarius’ humanitarian side comes into play; she longs to initiate positive change, an essential quality of Uranus, the ruling planet of Aquarius.

Uranus, the planet that governs innovation, technology, and surprising events. Uranus perfectly mirrors Aquarius’s distinctive attitude, complementing the nontraditional nature of this visionary air sign. The Age of Aquarius ushers in a collective shift away from the collective. Thinking for yourself, doing your own research, inviting something different, and an opening of minds is what Aquarius brings to this new astrological cycle on earth.

This Great Awakening will bring a new revolution and a massive shift in the collective consciousness over the next year most prominently. Aquarian themes will be highlighted profoundly until 2023. We must be ready to demonstrate our best eccentricity and uniqueness to the world.

The cyclical conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn that occurs every twenty years has been the preeminent method of demarcating historical eras in traditional astrology. When Jupiter and Saturn come together there is both the intensity of old forms dying as well as the fertility of new growth beginning to take shape.

2020 is the end of a two-hundred-year era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in earth signs. The earth element signifies a focus on material security and consolidation of resources that is resistant to change.

This new Age of Aquarius era of air will bring disruption to established orders and dramatic changes in collective ideas and the way we communicate. This is the beginning of the end of “group think”. Individuality, uniqueness, and self-discovery is the name of the game in the Aquarian age. Aquarius represents all things digital, conceptual, and fights for equality and self-rule, not hierarchical governance. Aquarius wants freedom and independence, and this bodes well for a huge change in the way many of us look at our governments.

The energies of Saturn and Jupiter are divergent if not oppositional. In terms of archetypes, I like to imagine them as Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges, respectively. Saturnian Clint is the stoic, punishing dad type, playing by the rules and prioritizing the hard-won over the deeply felt. Meanwhile, Jupiterian Jeff is micro-dosing psilocybin and asking what animal totems came to you in your dreams last night. These planets are joined in the sign of Aquarius, the member of the zodiac perched most definitely between genius and madness. Anything is possible under the influence of Aquarius, which leaves a large margin for both progress and destruction.

At this pivotal moment in our collective journey, the lightning bolts of Jupiter and Uranus will not only bring down old societal structures but will also impel us to release old ideas about how things “should be” and all of the anger and resentment we have attached to that.

The revolution starts as Saturn and Jupiter align in the sign of Aquarius. This alignment is so significant because it means we’ll continue to have these two planets come together in air signs until the year 2220. This alignment is in contrast to the intense Capricorn stellium that took place back in January and kicked off the rise of a global pandemic, during which Jupiter, Saturn, and several other significant points and planets were clustered together in rule-oriented Capricorn.

But the energy that these planets will express through an air sign like Aquarius differs greatly from the traditional and authoritative vibe they brought forth in Capricorn, which is the sign they resided in during the start of the year.

Air signs represent intellect and ideas, and Aquarius is the sign of innovation, technology, and revolution. While this alignment is unarguably going to be intense, the Aquarian focus on collective well-being, logical thought, and innovative growth will feel like a breath of fresh air — and it could deliver some much-needed glimmers of hope for the future. We’ve been collectively clamoring for change for years and it has finally arrived. Are we ready?

This great conjunction will spark the beginning of many new advancements in technology, medicine, and ideas — and we’ll also see a spotlight on more humanitarian issues since Aquarius is the sign of the humanitarian. If you thought humanitarian issues came to the forefront in 2020, you can expect a lot more after the Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius alignment this December. Aquarius will help to focus and pinpoint where real change is needed and make it happen.

Jupiter and Saturn will join in our night skies on the winter solstice (looking like one bright star) in the element of ‘air’ sign — Aquarius. The only conjunction of its type until 2159. That’s the next 139 years for our Aquarian era transition.

Air brings us the qualities of transformation, spiritual knowing, lightness, swiftness, metamorphosis, collaboration, and oneness. It rapidly moves us out of complacency and heaviness, encouraging flexibility, independence, and a rise in self-development and personal responsibility.

Aquarius is all about revolutionary thinking, fervent support for “the power to the people,” aspiring to change the world through radical transformation, individual liberty, and personal freedoms. Aquarius is associated with electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealism, modernization, astrology, rebellion, nonconformity, philanthropy, veracity, perseverance, humanity, and uncertainty.

Aquarius is a rebel at heart, despises authority, and anything that represents conformity, obedience, group-think, or acquiescence. Aquarius absolutely refuses to be a sheep. Free-spirited and eccentric, Aquarius can often be identified by her offbeat sensibilities, unusual hobbies, and nonconformist attitude. Let your freak flag fly because Aquarius is inviting you to think and act for yourself. Aquarius may come off as weird, because of her free spirit, but she is extremely smart, outgoing, and sociable.

As an air sign, Aquarius is highly communicative, bent on gathering information. Let’s quickly list other qualities of Aquarius to get an even better feeling for what the Age of Aquarius will bring us. Aquarius has a strong need for independence and individualism, and while members of this sign can be somewhat idiosyncratic they are also very original and inventive. Aquarius is visionary and creative, but rebellious, too. Aquarius’ job is to challenge authority, tear down existing structures, and replace the outdated with something better. Thus, Aquarius can be capable of great extremes. This sign acts in rather sudden and unexpected ways, thanks to being ruled by Uranus, the planet of surprise.

Within this astrological weather, expect conflict between those who cling tightly to old patriarchal structures, and those who advocate for an outdated sense of righteous morality and political correctness. However, both groups will be feeling the stagnancy of the status quo and feel inclined to pushing back and moving forward. People and politics will be restless this year, but that unease lends itself well to human evolution. That word, evolution, comes from the Latin evolutionem, loosely translated as the opening of a book. I urge us all to keep this in mind as we move through 2021. How do we define community, our work, our families, our people, our close circle? What philosophy and visions guide us?

Like the Sun and Moon on the New Moon, when two planets conjunct they begin a new chapter; this one instigates a revolution in our Aquarian concept of community, government, authority, and social responsibility. Aquarius is a sign associated with an abrupt change, forming communities, fighting for causes that you care about, and a rejection of government overreach. Live and let live is a fully Aquarian mantra. We possess the framework for a finer, more humane future, but the book we open, and the story we write within it, are wholly dependent on our ability to operate with intellect rather than impulse and compassion over contempt.

With this Aquarian energy of ecliptic revolution entering the collective consciousness, it’s important to take a look at the word “revolution”. The word derives from the Late Latin revolutio — “a revolving,” from Latin revolvere “turn, roll back”. It entered English, from Old French révolution, in 1390, originally only applied to celestial bodies. Only circa 1450 was it being used to mean “[an] instance of great change in affairs or upheaval”.

Revolution doesn’t always mean drastic upheaval and a reinventing of the wheel. It can also refer to a return to something simpler that works better than whatever we have currently. Revolution actually refers to something cyclical and recurring. It’s almost as if this Aquarian revolution is bringing forth a return to what’s important. This may mean taking a look at the things that work in the world today and the things that don’t. Working from home, more time with family, less governmental control, holding onto those we love, more focus on health… all of these things could gain ground in Aquarius.

The Great Conjunction in Aquarius taking place marks the first alignment of Jupiter and Saturn in the sign of the water bearer since 1405, and the closest conjunction between the two celestial giants in nearly 400 years. With Saturn in Aquarius through 2023 and Jupiter remaining here for most of next year, too, we’re officially entering a period marked by this sign’s dynamic, reformist, forward-thinking energy. People who thought they were on opposing sides of an issue or a conflict could find themselves mysteriously aligned in the near future. Flexibility of thoughts and ideas are going to play a large role in this Aquarian age.

In February of 2021, we will see a whopping seven planets, the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn, plus asteroid Pallas, all clustered together in the sign of Aquarius, creating what’s known as a stellium in astrology. This assembly of planets will hyper-focus expansive Aquarian energy to start the new year. This intense influx of Aquarius’ fixed air sign energy in February will shift our focus to altruistic themes, technological advancements, and unconventional innovations and ideas.

Jupiter and Saturn both intermittently square change-maker Uranus throughout the year, keeping politics and tectonic plates restless; we may be unable to settle, but that helps us continue in our evolution. Transformation is inevitable, but which way that change goes will be up to us.

Jupiter and Saturn, and soon Pluto in Aquarius, call us to truly think globally and act locally. But this is just a taste, a preparation for the big social and political work we’ll need to do when Pluto enters Aquarius in a few years, from 2023–2044. The last such relationship that occurred was from 1777–1798 when the United States labored to form a country that embodied its Constitutional vision. We succeeded.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the year 2021 is the Year of the White Metal Ox. The Chinese or Lunar New Year will begin on February 12th, 2021, and end on January 30th, 2022. The Metal Ox is a symbol of hard work, discipline, and the lasting effects of playing the long game. This year will be associated with ethics, decency, and rebuilding. The Ox is very hardworking and methodical, 2021 is going to be a year when hard work will be rewarded. Doing the hard work on ourselves will see surprisingly fruitful results in 2021. This is going to be a year when we will fully feel the weight of our responsibilities, a year when it is necessary to double our efforts to accomplish what really matters. Hard work WILL pay off. The Ox signifies strength through obedience, peace, industry, and unity, loyalty, hard work, determination, confidence, and discipline. This should be interestingly advantageous and lucrative paired with this new Aquarian energy being pushed to the forefront.

I am prescribing a few rituals to ensure that 2021 is as good-luck laden as possible. Start the year by saging your entire house, the office, your car, and even the backyard. Additionally, various cultures subscribe to the practice of opening every door and window in a home on New Year’s Day to let the energy of the past out and invite the fresh newness of the future in. Once you have a solid cross breeze circulating, tradition holds that you should make as much “loud noise” as possible to raise the energy in the home and rid yourself of any lingering dark spirits or unfavorable juju. The baddies don’t like noise, so by all means, crank the music up, bang some pots and pans, and sing your heart out. It’s time for a fresh start.

The wildfire that was 2020 has been put out and green new growth is peaking out from beneath the ashes. The proverbial smoke is clearing and we have much to be grateful for and even more to look forward to. We are shedding our old skin and starting anew. 2021 will not be an easy year, and many will have a difficult time — this is the result of the immense changes taking place. This is the continuation of the growth we have been experiencing due to the period we live in. We will gain experience, strength, determination, and wisdom, on our journey that will help us cope — if we are willing to learn.

We will see the emergence of new technology, which will open a new chapter in human history. We can all feel rest assured and certain that after a transition period, the Age of Aquarius will be the beginning of a pioneering new and beautiful world. These themes will guide the framework of our society and our planet throughout all of 2021 and for many years to come. Hold onto your hats, because it’s about to get really exciting.

Welcome to the Age of Aquarius, Cheerful Winter Solstice, & Happy New Year.

Love and blessings,

Justin Buchanan

Astrologer, writer, journalist, buddhist, outdoor enthusiast, and foodie. Living in Denver, Colorado and studying life and spirituality.

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