Everyone, in the astrological world at least, has known that 2020 was going to be a special year – even if they did not know precisely why. The reason for this was the rare conjunction of Saturn with Pluto in Capricorn (it’s an approximately 36-40 year cycle) which is turbocharged by Jupiter, and – at the time of writing here in March 2020 – Mars. (Note 1.) You have to go back over 400 years for a previous triple conjunction as strong as this. Now perhaps, we do know what is special about 2020.

Schools, kindergartens and major public gatherings have been closed down. Airline travel between Europe and the USA have been halted for non-US citizens. Public workers have been sent home. The streets and public transport have been emptied. It’s like a war. There is a worldwide coordinated effort to slow the spread of the corona virus – it has too strong a grip to be stopped, but slowing the spread decreases the risk of emergency wards being overwhelmed and lack of respiratory facilities to those few that end up in intensive care.

This is a clever virus. Many people only experience mild symptoms, so they unknowingly infect others, leading to exponential infections. A virus like Ebola quickly kills and symptoms are obvious, so it is comparatively easy to stop its spread. Corona kills according to some estimates below 1% of those infected – it does not seem a lot – whilst seasonal flu normally kills about 0.1%. But then there are on average 20,000 flu deaths a year in the US. That is enough of a threat to force governments to take drastic action.

The December Solar Eclipse and China
As this virus got its name from its resemblance to the corona effect at a solar eclipse, it could be instructive to look at the eclipse last December, which coincided with the first recognized outbreaks of the corona virus in Wuhan, China. Horoscopes made for solar eclipses often spell consequences for months or even years, and by relocating the horoscope for the eclipse, its effect can be divined in different countries.
Solar Eclipse-Dec2019-China

December 26, 2019. 13.14 AWST Beijing. AS 1.51 TA

This eclipse shows Uranus rising in Beijing, which is square and in reception to Venus – an aspect that was exact at the winter solstice. This can show the social and economic disruption that was soon to close much of China and its industry down. (It’s difficult to see on a normal horoscope, but Pluto and Neptune configure almost to the minute of arc in the 5th harmonic with the eclipse, revealing a potential for dissolution and transformation).

What makes this particularly disruptive for China is that Uranus is at 4.58 Cancer in their national chart square Sun in Libra, and the eclipse takes place at 4.06 Capricorn, so the eclipse activates the potential for unexpected events that shake up the leadership.

Furthermore, as China has the Moon at 3 Aquarius conjoining its Ascendant, transiting Uranus at 2.45 Taurus is making a series of three squares to Moon-Ascendant – a clear indication of the incredible social and economic disruption that China is undergoing.

China horoscope

China. October 1st. 1949. 15.15 Beijing AS 5.56 AQ (Source BOWH)

Another indication of the suffering that China goes through in 2020 is that transiting Neptune makes a trine to China’s Venus in Scorpio and the 9th house. Whilst this may reflect the pain China is experiencing because of Trump’s trade war, it could also be related to sickness, and it does expose the inbuilt weakness of China’s Venus (in detriment) square Pluto – a signature for economic loss, amply reflected by earlier Chinese collectivization policies. On January 28th, at the time when the epidemic was reaching its peak in Wuhan, Venus conjoined Neptune in Pisces whilst Mars squared both. All three planets were at 16 degrees in an extraordinary astrological signature of chaos and suffering.

A far more devastating transit to China’s chart was the exact conjunction of Saturn and Pluto on China’s Jupiter in fall in Capricorn in the traditionally unfortunate 12th house. Jupiter is at 22.35 degrees and the Saturn/Pluto conjunction fell on 22.46 degrees. This dredges up the worst possible consequences of the natal Jupiter placement, leading to mass hospitalization, tent cities of infected people and draconian methods employed by the central government.

A Lesson in Materialism
At the eclipse, Jupiter conjoined the South Node. It is worth bearing in mind that when Jupiter conjoins Ketu (the South Node), then it is the meeting of two spiritual influences. But in Capricorn Jupiter desperately wants professional success, whilst Ketu is Capricorn wants to abandon material attachment. Thus, the deeper meaning of this eclipse chart is that the corona pandemic is an opportunity for the world to review its current obsession with money and power. It is worth bearing in mind that Jupiter goes on through Capricorn to make a sextile to Neptune in Pisces, which it does in early February, July and October 2020. This is a clear indication that the business of government is to look after the health of its citizens, and that is what governments will strive to do in 2020.

Health Care in America
Whilst China, and most developed countries, have universal health care, the USA does not. Those in good jobs with health insurance may be covered, but over 80 million Americans have no, or inadequate, health insurance. These people are not going to be motivated to self-isolate when experiencing mild symptoms, and consequently the spread of the corona virus is likely to be more far-reaching than in China.

The potential health care disaster in America is almost certainly going to start moving the USA towards some form of universal health care. A major transit in the (Sibley) horoscope for the USA is Neptune’s imminent opposition to natal Neptune at 22 Virgo square natal Mars at 21 Gemini. The US is probably feeling this now, but it kicks in proper in 2021, exposing the corruption associated with the pharmaceutical industry, with its promotion of addictive drugs, lobbying in Washington and gross inflation of health care costs. The USA ranks number 37 on health care in the world, after Costa Rica, even though more money is spent, squandered really, on health that any other developed country. (Note 4)

The January Lunar Eclipse
Perhaps of more significance than the solar eclipse in December is the lunar eclipse two weeks after in January 2020

Lunar Eclipse January 2020 - China

Lunar eclipse. January 10th, 2020. 14.22 UT Washington AS 14.06 GE.

At the time of the eclipse the rare Saturn-Pluto conjunction (which occurs only once this cycle) was exact with 9 minutes of arc at 22 Capricorn from the 2nd to 8th house (relocated to Washington). Jupiter and the South Node were now exactly together at 8 Capricorn. Consider that this eclipse falls on the 2nd house Pluto opposition to 8th house Mercury at 24 Cancer in the horoscope for USA. What you have is an astrological signature for economic crisis. This is why, in articles I have written for the last few years, I have highlighted the danger of recession. This time last year I wrote:

”USA gained independence in 1776, and Pluto, with an orbital cycle of nearly 250 years, is returning to its position in the birth chart, which is a process stretching from 2020-2023. With the eclipse cycle and Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto opposing Mercury in 2020, this is the time when economic secrets come to the surface with a vengeance, when corruption is exposed, when old rules and old ways are abolished to be replaced by new, and when there will be the mother of financial crises. ” Note 2.

It seems almost inevitable now, that the “mother of all financial crises” is on the way, although who would have expected a virus to be the precipitating factor? There are other factors of course, not least the fact that Saudi Arabia and Russia are having a price war on oil, which in just one day in early March 2020 lost 25% of its value and is now trading at record low prices, which naturally affects US oil companies.

There is another factor which has been building up since the 2008 financial crisis. To help recovery at that time, interest rates in the US and Europe went down to zero, and sometimes below. This was an effective strategy, but basically it has meant that borrowing has been virtually free. As a result, companies that would normally have collapsed have been able to hang on because of free credit. Financial analysts have been warning for years that if an unexpected factor tipped the balance, then a large number of corporations would be in danger of collapsing.

Pluto and Exponential Growth
The most important thing about a virus is its exponential rate of growth. It is estimated that there were about 2000 cases in the USA in early March. According to the simple rules of mathematics there is an expected doubling of cases every 6 days. (Note 3) If some experts are right, that means there will be over a million cases in the USA in early April, 2 million by May 7th, and 4 million by May 13th. This process will not slow before hitting 1% of the US population. The US has 2.8 beds per thousand people. (China has 4.3 beds). By May 10th assuming 10% hospitalization of infected people, all hospital beds in the USA will be filled. Bearing in mind there is no vaccine and no immunity as yet, the consequences are dire.

It is Pluto that is connected with exponential growth. One illustration of this is the atom bomb, where one atom splits releasing neutrons which split more atoms etc. When either Mars or Mercury aspects Pluto there is a kind of virulent effect. At the Aries ingress on March 20th, Mars catches up with Jupiter, which catches up with Pluto, so we can expect the full extent of the pandemic to dawn in the last days of March, as Jupiter expands the viral effect of Mars-Pluto. Saturn then moves into Aquarius to be conjoined by Mars on March 31st and at this time we can expect the most draconian measures to be imposed on the social fabric, not just in Europe, but also in the USA, which, with its lack of comprehensive health care and an incompetent president, is likely to be on the ropes.

Aries Ingress 2020 - Washington

Aries Ingress. March 20th, 2020. 3.51 am UT Washington. AS 25 SC

By now, it has dawned on everyone that something extraordinary is happening. The corona virus will expose two things:
a) The weakness of national health systems
b) The vulnerability of current capitalist priorities.

As Mars and Saturn conjoin in Aquarius, we will get a foretaste of the world-changing conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, which takes place on December 21st, 2020. This shows a shift from autocracy and top-down leadership to social solidarity. In April, Venus moves into Gemini, where it goes retrograde, harmonizing with Saturn in Aquarius. Where governments fail, people will gather together to help. Because the USA has poor governmental safeguards for its citizens, the American people have traditionally taken more responsibility, personally looking after older family members and being extraordinary generous in the local community. The corona virus will evoke this solidarity.

Financially however, recovery will be slow. The pandemic will increase for several months to come. Worldwide supply chains will be, and are already, disrupted. Weak companies will go to the wall. Even some powerful corporations will be on life support. Government coffers will be emptied helping out citizens who have lost their source of income. Interest rates, which can normally be lowered to encourage growth are already near zero. Bad players will see the opportunity to seize land and possessions. Autocrats will fight dirty to preserve their power, especially when Saturn retrogrades into Capricorn, and when Mars goes through its retrograde cycle in Aries, repeatedly making square aspects to Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn.

But when autocrats have reached the pinnacle of their power, there is only one way they can go. Down. What we will see in 2021 is the dawn of an era of people power. If a transference of power does not take place then, it will do so less peacefully when Pluto arrives in Aquarius in 2024.

Adrian Ross Duncan
15th March, 2020.

1. This triple conjunction happened (weakly) in 1981 and before that in 1584.
2. Read Walls and their collapse: https://www.astrowow.com/blog/walls-and-their-collapse/
3. https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/10/simple-math-alarming-answers-covid-19/
4. See: Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism: “The American healthcare system is a leading example of an institution that, under political protection, redistributes income upwards to hospitals, physicians, device-makers, and pharmaceutical companies while delivering among the worst health outcomes of any rich country,”  (Authors: Anne Case and Angus Deaton who won the 2015 Nobel Prize for economics.)