During some periods, certain degrees or slices of the zodiac see a lot of action and catch our attention. We’re in such a period and the emphasized degree is a key one, the first degree of a sign that connects all people, Aquarius, related to the masses. It’s the sign opposite, and most in contrast to, Leo, the sign of royalty. The flavor of Aquarius is well expressed by the motto of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, fraternity. It imbues a humanitarian, gregarious stance, promoting common causes and no privilege for one group or person above another.
The zero degree (or first degree) of a sign (0º00’ – 0º59’) sets the impulse strongly for the sign. The symbol itself – 0 – looks like an egg! It presents seed energy. Each sign’s traits are very different from those of the adjacent signs, so the shift from one sign to the next can be notable. What exactly undergoes change depends on what celestial factors are moving through the zero degree.
First and foremost of the phenomena at 0º Aquarius in the current period is the most recent of the once-every-twenty-years Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions on 12/21/20 at 0º29’. These are the two biggest planets of our solar system and slow enough in their circuits around the zodiac that they spend sufficient time in a sign to make an impact on what’s associated with that sign. The average visit per sign is a year in Jupiter’s case and two-to-three years in Saturn’s case. The sign where they meet to start a twenty-year cycle directs the tempo and agenda for the whole period, regardless of what signs they move through during those two decades. Both planets have an association with laws, Jupiter with politics and the legislative process, Saturn with the enforcement and administration of laws. Saturn has a strong influence on business and government; Jupiter, on media and international relations. These are arenas for the application of the Aquarian approach.
More importantly, this conjunction kicked off a series of Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions in Air element signs lasting over a century. Such an elemental change is called a Great Mutation and signals big cultural movements over time. We’ve just come out of a long Earth sign era in which the material side of life took center stage. We developed and owned and benefitted by things. The Air element stresses communication and relationships, cooperation and ideas. It’s the Information Age. That already began, you say, and you are right. We had a single Air sign Jupiter-Saturn conjunction (in Libra in 1981) after more than a century of Earth sign conjunctions and before the final Earth sign conjunction (in Taurus in 2000). That two-decade Air cycle brought us PCs, the internet and cell phones. Imagine what will be invented in the coming century!
Zero degrees of Aquarius is especially important in the USA. Every four years, we inaugurate a President on January 20 when consistently the Sun, emblematic of leaders, passes through this degree. The ceremony is always in Washington, DC at noon and the Ascendant at that time and place is always in Taurus. This should help our leaders to focus on the people and put our values at the forefront. (The Ascendant, the degree rising in the east, is what you’re facing and Taurus is the sign of values.) The 12/21/20 Jupiter-Saturn conjunction was about a week after the certification of the 2020 election results. Joe Biden is the first President inaugurated since that major highlight of the degree of the Sun on Inauguration Day.
Most recently, quick Mercury passed through this degree three times in its retrograde zigzag. It was at 0º Aquarius on 1/2/22 before it went retrograde, 1/25-1/26 while retrograde, and following the retrograde on 2/14-2/15 (as I began working on this blog). The Messenger planet often is the bearer of news. I can’t say that I tracked any particular big news of an Aquarian nature on these days but I invite you to do some looking around and let me know if you find something significant.
You may hear astrologers talking excitedly about the Venus-Mars conjunction coming up on March 6 at 0º33’ Aquarius. It begins a new Venus-Mars cycle that will last almost two years until their next conjunction on 2/22/24, also in Aquarius, at 6º57’. The close proximity of their zodiac locations made me wonder if was common for a conjunction sign to repeat. In the century 1960-2059, there were sixteen conjunctions (of approximately fifty) that were sets of sign repetitions, either in pairs or trios. Only two of these are in Aquarius, now and in 2054-2056. So this seems pretty special, adding a little two-year pizzazz to the developing big twenty-year Aquarian Jupiter-Saturn cycle.
On 2/16/22 (yes, the full moon date), there was a Venus-Mars conjunction at 16º53’ Capricorn beginning a brief cycle, hardly a blip on our socio-cultural radar, only to be quickly replaced by the Aquarius vibe. Most often, there are about two years between Venus-Mars conjunctions but when they’re near one another and Venus has a retrograde cycle, it slows down and falls behind Mars, which is usually slower. Once Venus speeds up after its retrograde, it doesn’t take long to pass Mars. The two conjunctions in the duo can be almost three months apart. This one is quite close in time. An even closer one, only 9 days apart, comes up in 2029.
Venus represents social connections, affections and what we value. Mars enlivens and activates, pushing with assertiveness. Venus shows concerns for others; Mars indicates self-interest. You can also think of them as symbolizing women and men (think of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray). The two-year cycle with the Venus-Mars in Aquarius imprint will likely see more emphasis on (and acceptance of?) transgender and non-binary identification and issues around gender equality. (Will the Equal Rights Amendment campaign be resurrected?) Venus is affiliated with decoration, Mars with anything done using a sharp instrument, and Aquarius with unique, individual expression. Sounds like tattoos and piercing could become more mainstream or accentuated. Aquarius is the sign of friends and social circles. This cycle could see a lot more group socializing as opposed to couple-dating and bromance movies more than RomComs.
In 2023-2024, we see the zero degree of Aquarius popping up again. First, there’s a new moon close to this degree on 1/21/23 at 1º33’ and it’s part of the repeating pattern (which I call a “groove”) of new moons at 1º of successive signs for six months from the fall of 2022 to the spring of 2023. A new moon signals a beginning and the fresh energy is very potent near the beginning of a sign.
A major visitor to 0º Aquarius is Pluto, which crosses back and forth over the threshold between Capricorn and Aquarius. It will be in the 0º of Aquarius about two-and-a-half months 3/23/23 – 6/10/23, turning retrograde on 5/1/23 at 0º22’, and returning to 0º Aquarius again 1/20/24 – 2/22/24. After that, it stays in Aquarius for about 20 years. As the planet most linked to economic factors, wealth and resources, its time in the sign of equality – especially because part of it occurs during the Jupiter-Saturn-in-Aquarius cycle – will do a lot to level the playing field across the economic spectrum.
In July 2023, the Lunar Nodes are finishing their 18 months or so in the sign polarity of Taurus/Scorpio, shifting into Aries/Libra. These important intersections of the Earth-Sun and Moon-Earth orbits move backward through the zodiac. Thus the final degree they occupy in a sign is the zero degree. In 0º Taurus and Scorpio, they form a T-square to 0º Aquarius, which still resonates from the Jupiter-Saturn and Venus-Mars conjunctions and Pluto’s first transit through that degree. A T-square gives a push to make a change, which still isn’t easy because these three signs are in the Fixed Sign category. These signs have a lot of inertia – slow to bring about change but once a new direction is underway, it will persist. Individuals, companies or countries with something important in their chart at 0º of any of these Fixed Signs (as well as Leo, also in this category) will be more affected by the celestial happenings outlined here. They also have more inclination to utilize these energies.
There are a lot of opportunities from 2022 into 2024 to build on things that stem back to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in 2020. The Venus-Mars conjunction may seem like a little thing, just a rather ordinary get-together of two of the quicker planets. It’s not the big drumbeat of the 20-year Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. But it does plug into that energy and it tees up the stimulus from the Nodes shifting signs, the Full Moon “groove” and Pluto’s entry into Aquarius. March 6 is the perfect day to celebrate peace, love and brotherhood, and sing the Aquarius song, “Let the Sunshine In.”