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What the Great Conjunction 2020 Actually Means

Is this the Age of Aquarius? Astrologers break down what exactly the Great Conjunction means and how to make the most of this significant astrological event.
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Photography by Guégan for L'OFFICIEL December 1969.

Considering all the once-in-a-lifetime events that have transpired so far this year, it's no surprise that 2020 wraps up with some pretty intense and rare astrology as well. Today, Jupiter, the planet associated with luck and abundance, and Saturn, the planet of authority and hierarchy, will meet in the night sky in a cosmic event known as the Great Conjunction, which is set to bring about social, political, and ideological change. 

“When two planets team up like that their energies combine and wonderful things start to happen,” Jake Register, who studies astrology and runs Jakesastrology on Instagram, tells L’OFFICIEL. Jupiter and Saturn meet every 20 years or so, but Register explains that this particular conjunction is significant because the planets will be extremely close together — as in, closer than the two have been in nearly 800 years — and will appear in the night sky as one giant star. Additionally, this conjunction ushers in a new centuries-long cycle of Jupiter and Saturn meeting in air signs. So, what exactly does this mean?

For the past two centuries, Jupiter and Saturn have been meeting in earth signs—Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo—but this winter solstice they will meet in an air sign, Aquarius, for the first time in 200 years. Earth signs are associated with the material, like money, physical resources, and external achievements, while air signs are all about the realm of the mind, connecting with others, and advancements in technology.

Jupiter and Saturn are associated with authority, and their alignment can be a harbinger of political and social change. This conjunction ushers in a new societal ethos that slowly moves away from materialism and toward Universalism and new ideologies. “Aquarius is the sign of teamwork, it’s the sign of society, it’s very progressive and it’s very humanitarian,” says Register. “During this pandemic people have been living in their own little worlds, and I feel like those walls are going to be coming down soon and people are going to realize that if we want change to happen we can’t go at it alone.” 

According to astrologer Alice Bell, the signs that are going to be impacted most by the Great Conjunction are Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio. “If you’re a fixed sign or have these as your moon or rising, it would signify changes and upheaval in the next year. It’s not negative, but you’re not staying the same person you were,” she says.

1608474707317114 lofficiel 1969 age of aquarius
Photography by Guégan for L'OFFICIEL December 1969.

So, is this a sign of the much-speculated-about Age of Aquarius? Both Bell and Register aren’t so sure. 

“I get how people are confusing this with the Age of Aquarius because it is huge Aquarius energy that we’re entering 2021 with. The actual Age of Aquarius is something different, where the equinox moves into a new zodiac constellation,” says Bell. “It has more to do with astronomy than astrology.”

Register explains that no one really knows when astrological ages start and there is no agreed-upon method for how to calculate them. The general consensus among astrologers is that astrological ages are approximately 2000 years long, and we have been in the age of Pisces for about the past two millennia. However, there is no hard cutoff date for when one ends and another begins. “My astrology teacher Annabel Gat thinks that the Age of Aquarius actually began in 1996 when Uranus entered Aquarius. I’m of the mind that the Age of Aquarius won’t properly start until 2024 when Pluto enters Aquarius,” he says. “I could see why a lot of people say that this is ushering in the Age of Aquarius, but honestly there might not be an official day one, we might just slide gradually into it.”

“During this pandemic people have been living in their own little worlds, and I feel like those walls are going to be coming down soon."

Regardless, this winter solstice represents a new beginning, and the energy is ripe for making changes that will carry over for the foreseeable future. “It's a good day to set intentions for where you want to be long-term,” says Bell. “This is not a new start that you're going to get done in a month, this is going to unravel over years, so whatever direction you are moving toward in 2021 will continue over your life for the next two decades.”

Register recommends using the next month to wrap up any projects or tasks you’ve put off, rid yourself of toxic relationships, and give yourself a clean slate before taking on any new endeavors. 

“Twenty twenty-one is going to be the year of ‘new year new me,’ but actually. It’s setting a New Years resolution and ending up changing your life kind of energy,” Register says. “You can make a lot of magic happen in 2021 if you play your cards right.”



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