The Grand Finale of 2020


Artist Unknown

This is a long blog. It has sections.

  1. Intro

  2. Eclipses (Do’s/Don’ts)

  3. I Ching

  4. Great Conjunction

  5. Mars

  6. Mayan Alignments

1. Intro


What can be said about 2020? It contains multitudes.


The drama has been non-stop. New challenges arose to expose the intolerable festering of our oldest collective issues like “How do we care for one another?” and “Who gets to be included in ‘we’?”


And now, for the curtain call. The astrological action in December is extraordinary, starting with the lunar eclipse on the final night of November, moving through a total solar eclipse, a once-in-a-millenia conjunction and a stormy full moon to close out the year.


This article attempts summarize these events from a variety of angles in such a way as to convey the interconnected web of intensity they create for we humble humans here on Earth.


These are truly transformative days. Even the most steadfast ostriches among us can no longer ignore the fact that we are in the midst of what eco-philosophers and activists like Joanna Macy call “The Great Turning.“


As such, this moment requires what Thomas Berry dubbed “The Great Work.” Berry says, “The next transition, from the dominant scientific-technological period to the ecological period, is turbulent indeed.


Meanwhile: “The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth,” says Joanna, “Is not that we are on the way to destroying the world — we've actually been on the way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other.”


Thank you, dear human, for being here on Earth with me in this precious, precarious, sacred time of tumultuous transition. May our individual trials generate greater collective camaraderie. May the fierceness of this strange phase demonstrate the true tenderness of our hearts.


Life is delicate. And, it is the most powerful force possible. It incessantly arises in spite of unimaginable challenges. Think of the microbes surviving for eons under the Antarctic ice; think of the mycelial spores surviving the journey through deep space to land on this planet. Life is resilient beyond imagination. And: it hangs in the balance, promising nothing from one moment to the next.

2. Eclipses


Total Solar Eclipse

Monday, December 14, 2020

9:16am Denver / 4:16pm Lisbon / 3:16am Tuesday in Tasmania


First, watch this brilliant presentation by Freedom Cole about what creates an eclipse. It is the most lucid explanation I’ve ever seen.


As Freedom shows, there are four types of eclipses from a Vedic perspective, which I have represented in this graph:




The Lunar eclipse of November 29/30 was a full Moon in Taurus joined with Rahu. Therefore it offered an opportunity to focus on external manifestations — outgoing actions to influence the outside world.


The total Solar eclipse at 28 degrees of Scorpio on Monday, December 14, 2020 is a new Moon joining Ketu. This indicates that it is time for a deep dive within. What is the inner work we need to do for our own soul growth? This eclipse is not about anyone else. It is not about the society or your role in it. It is strictly between you and your psyche.


Scorpio is the feminine expression of the warrior Mars. It is the sign of fixed (or stable) water. Water is the element most directly associated with the emotional body, so Scorpio is often understood to be the emotional warrior — the one with the courage to experience the full spectrum of feelings.


The image of ‘fixed water’ makes me think of the bottom of the ocean, where it is very still, very dark, where monsters lurk and where shipwrecks settle with all their treasure. It requires great courage to brave the depths and the threats to explore this mysterious realm. The promise, of course, is the possibility of retrieving a precious jewel lost for centuries, and return to the surface to share this forgotten gem with the world.


That is all just a big metaphor for the psyche, of course. This Solar eclipse represents an excellent opportunity to strap on your scuba gear and go treasure hunting in the shadowy depths of your sub- and unconscious mind.


The less preferable tendency in this case would be to escape and avoid the fearful mission assigned by the cosmos. Scorpio is also a place associated with drugs and addiction, representing a distorted form of the exploration of mysterious realms.


When the emotions overwhelm, it is only human to seek relief through some form of numbing agent. Alcohol is the most common strategy for this, followed closely by opiates.


28 (out of 30) degrees Scorpio is within the range known as gandanta — the joint between a water and a fire sign, where the boundary of two nakshatras coincide with the boundary of two signs. There are three of these points in the zodiac, and this one (between Scorpio and Sagittarius) is perhaps the most intense.


Scorpio is the sign where we learn about impermanence — everything changes, everything dies. Having learned this fact, often through shocking losses that liberate us from our delusional sense of material stability, Sagittarius arrives to enlighten us to the Truth that transcends the ever-shifting realm of name and form. It is in this area of the sky that we see the center of the Milky Way galaxy.


The Moon approaches her date with the Sun in the heart of the galaxy.

DO

  • Meditate

  • Chant mantra

  • Sing inspiring songs

  • Fast (from meat and alcohol; from grains and pulses; from food altogether; from sex; etc)

  • Journal your thoughts, feelings and dreams. They are likely to contain important messages from your subconscious right now.

DON’T

  • Look at the eclipse (only visible in Patagonia, Chile and Argentina)

  • Make any major decisions — don’t quit your job or end your relationship right now. Just wait, let this energy pass. The bubble of pressure will burst.

  • Travel long distances

  • Conduct important business

  • Get into quarrels — just let it go until later in the week.

  • Eat leftover food that sat through the eclipse. All its prana is gone.


For more detailed analysis, enjoy this video of Sam Geppi analyzing the eclipse for all 12 signs:



3. I Ching


The I Ching is an ancient Chinese divination system based on hexagrams. A hexagram is a stack of six lines, each of which can either be a full line or a broken line. There are 64 possible combinations of this binary code, each corresponding to a specific energetic signature. These signatures provide profound insight in the form of elemental metaphor, evocative imagery and cryptically specific phrases such as “One must see the great man. An advance to the South is fortunate.”


To generate a hexagram and obtain the sought-after oracular information, one would traditionally engage in a laborious process of sorting yarrow stalks. Modern practitioners commonly use a system of tossing three coins. Given that I am currently traveling and do not have my treasured workbook with me, I now use an app when seeking guidance from this honored source.


Recently I was asking for information pertaining to this Scorpio Solar eclipse and, by means of this “random” process, was directed to read hexagram #36 — Darkening of the Light.


Below are some selected interpretations from “The Gnostic Book of Changes” by Michael Servetus (pseudonym).

  • “Light enters into the Earth. Illumination goes underground.“

  • “Illumination is concealed. Light obliterated.”

  • “The Sun sinking under the Earth symbolizes the Darkening of the Light. In approaching the people, the sage veils his brightness, yet still has glory.”

  • “In dealing with the masses, true leaders act unobtrusively while in fact being illuminated.”

  • “It is a time of maximum darkness, maximum ignorance, a time when dark forces of the unconscious are at their strongest. We are reminded of the Dark Night of the Soul, an inescapable and inevitable part of the Work.”

These words need no further interpretation. I offer them to you as they were offered to me — as super potent insight into the qualities of this eclipsed slice of time and space through which we are living.


Be wise about how you choose to distribute your energy. “Cast not ye pearls before swine.”


This is an internal time, ripe for self-reflection. Do not let the “harsh light of an unsophisticated intellect” threaten the precious inner work you can now accomplish.

4. Great Conjunction


This extraordinary celestial event is getting a lot of attention, as well it should. I’ve been talking about it all year (for example, see Apocalyptic Astrology and Cosmic Cultivation) and now it’s here!


This is an excellent synopsis by Freedom Cole.


The tl;dr here is that Jupiter and Saturn will cross paths at 6 degrees of the sidereal sign of Capricorn on December 21, 2020.


The two giants of our local solar system overlap once every twenty years. The last time they met in Capricorn was February 1961, less than a month after JFK was inaugurated.


However, these 20-year cycles are only measured in latitude, so the planets pass but do not intersect. This year is different, because they criss AND cross, coming within 0.1 degrees of one another on the winter solstice.


According to earthsky.org, this is the closest they have been since 1623 (just 14 years after Galileo fashioned the first telescope), and the closest observable since 1224.


I strongly encourage you to watch the night sky as these luminous beings drift towards one another and, for a time, appear to blend into an enormous oblong blob of reflected light. Many generations of humans have passed who had not the opportunity to witness such a sight.


Here is an excellent video synopsis of the situation offered by my teacher Simon Chokoisky:


Astrologically, this is a complex interaction known as a planetary war. Who will win?


Well, Saturn rules Capricorn and is therefore quite strong, in good dignity. Jupiter, on the other hand, is debilitated in Capricorn, at his weakest point of least dignity. So it would seem that Saturn wins, yes?


However, as Simon points out in the video, relative dignity is not the traditional measurement used to determine the winner of a planetary war. It is, in some ways, much simpler than that. We look to see which planet is brighter (clearly Jupiter) and which one holds a superior position, higher in the sky from our perspective (in this case, also Jupiter).


Therefore, we can say that Jupiter wins this planetary war over Saturn. But Saturn is still very powerful here, and is not easily “defeated.” In the end, no one wins a war. Everyone loses. There are no heroes, only victims.


But let’s break down the specific dynamics a bit.

  • The scene occurs in Capricorn, the cardinal Earth sign. Capricorn is eminently practical, grounded, far more interested in real-world applications than theory. In fact, Capricorn has the tendency to shrug off any sort of sympathetic appeal to emotion or abstraction, instead focusing on the stark reality of the situation and acting accordingly. This can often seem harsh, but for Capricorn it just makes sense, it’s rational. Who cares what you believe, think or feel if what you do doesn’t match up?

  • Jupiter is the guru, responsible for expanding our horizons and inspiring our minds to connect with larger truths. Jupiter is connected to courts of law and formal religion — arenas designed to emanate a sense of righteousness. Jupiter is the part of us that has faith; the part that is willing to believe in something without needing complete proof, simply on the basis of its philosophical merit.

  • Saturn is a strict school-master handing out tasks. Saturn is the part of us that feels a sense of responsibility, an obligation to do the right thing even if we don’t want to. Saturn provides a sense of limitation in the form of limited time, energy, money etc. These restrictions compose the scaffolding upon which we build our lives. The fact that our time is limited helps us set priorities and identify that which truly matters. Saturn is all about delayed gratification, asking us to consider the long-term consequences of present-moment activities.

With all that in mind, I see two sides to the coin of a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn:

  1. Hope is lost. The pressure of Saturn squashes all possible inspiration Jupiter would offer. Jupiter’s attempts to connect our minds to a higher truth are too weak to overcome the compressive force of Saturn’s practicality. The dry realism of Capricorn crushes the spirit of expansive aspiration and we are left in the doldrums, hopeless within the walls of our concrete heart. The stock market crashes because faith is gone and quarantine continues because the truth is trapped in a capitalist cage.

  2. Hope is focused. The pressure of Saturn squeezes the otherwise diffuse energy of Jupiter into a concentrated beam of inspiration. Metaphorically, the same energy required to power a fluorescent bulb, with its diffuse light, can be concentrated into a laser that might burn wood or perform eye surgery. All the abstract ideas to which the guru has connected you now come into practice, finding their actual application within the natural constraints of your limited time and energy. Your religious beliefs become a spiritual practice. As a collective we quit spiritual bypassing and get real about what the world needs and make a plan of action that may not satisfy our crown chakra, but serves well the roots.

Which expression, I wonder, will we choose? Hint: the answer, I suspect, is Yes.


There is one major warning about this planetary war that comes from an classic astrological text known as Matsya Purana. The text states that if a planetary war occurs within seven days of an eclipse and there is no rain, then there is the potential for “destruction, earthquakes, war, disease, famine.”


This planetary war is exactly seven days after the eclipse. So: pray for rain.


5. Mars


Two days after the Great Conjunction, on December 23, 2020, Mars will move from Pisces into its own sign of Aries. This transition takes the Warrior across a gandanta point, marking a major transition from Water to Fire.


Mars is the red planet and prominently involved with this eclipse cycle as the ruler of Scorpio. Entering Aries indicates a more aggressive stance for the Warrior, a willingness to be a bit more impulsive, a bit more selfish in its aims.


Mars has been back and forth between Aries and Pisces all year, dancing across the gandanta point, torn between contemplative internal inquiry (Pisces) and aggressive outward activity (Aries).


Aries has been spending most of his time in that more peaceful, poetic place recently, but as he moves full force into Aries, we see Mars redirect all that dreamy energy into impulsive action.


As always, the question is whether the explosive qualities of Mars in Aries will be put to good use, to do the courageous work the world so desperately needs done; or will it just explode in our faces. And, as usual, the answer is probably “it depends” and “Yes.”


Suggestions:

  • Give yourself a healthy outlet for anger. Vigorous exercise; kickboxing; roaring; playing the drums; writing an unsent letter. Whatever it takes to safely express the rage will help you to direct its power in a skillful, helpful direction.

  • Wait. Just wait. When you feel the impulse for action arise, let it linger for a moment to be sure your next move is well-advised. You are wise to take a breath and move quickly if you must, but do not rush.

  • Watch your self-talk. Usually the first person to whom you are cruel is you, which eventually leaks out onto others. So cut that pattern at the root and use that fierceness on behalf of your inner child; apply that same power to defend the powerless one within you, to protect the sweet, gentle innocent beings within and around. Don‘t burn your own house down for the sake of self-flagellation.


6. Mayan Alignments


I have been intrigued by the work of Jose Arguelles for many years now, and I keep my eye on the Mayan Calendar. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this article which describes the many ways in which the Mayan calendrical system aligns with the celestial significance of this time.


I don’t totally understand all the references, and there is, as usual, a bit too much New Age fluff for my liking, but I have excerpted or paraphrased the sections that I find most interesting and relevant to share with you here.


The average human gestation cycle is 260 days, commonly rounded up to 9 months. The Nov 29 lunar eclipse (representing the flip of the switch for one of the most dramatic astrological months in living memory; also, the 333rd day of the year, with 33 left to go) happened 263 days after the World Health Organization declared COVID a global health crisis on March 11 (the 9th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster). The total solar eclipse of December 14 will be 9 months, 3 days from that date.


Has our collective water broken yet? Can you feel the contractions? To what are we giving birth?


The 13:20 pattern of the Mayan calendar places great focus on the number 260.

December 14 in this calendrical model is demarcated KIN 260 13Sun (13.20) — the completion of a 260 Tzolkin cycle that began on March 30, 2020 (a 33/22 day). The next day, December 15, starts a new cycle, and is marked KIN 1Dragon (1.1).


Earlier this year, there was a Solar eclipse on the summer solstice, June 20/21. That hasn’t happened since 1982. It won’t happen again until June 2039 — which is 26 Tzolkin cycles (6,760 days; 222 months) from Dec 14, 2020. Dec 14 2020 marks exactly 10 Tzolkin cycles (2600 days) initiated by the solar eclipse of Nov 3, 2013.


December 21, 2020 marks “the completion of 8 solar orbits since we crossed the Event Horizon of the 13th Baktun of the Mayan Long Count on December 21st, 2012 (2012-12-21) Long Count date 13.0.0.0.0. 4 Ajaw, 3 K'ank'in. This alignment is therefore bringing the 2012-12-21 date back to the surface of our collective awareness. It is also triggering all kinds of speculative narratives on this December 21, 2020 as being the “real” end of the Mayan Calendar.”


8 is the octave, the next harmonic. The 8th note from C is C, but at its higher frequency. Thus it can be said that 12/21/2020 represents the octave from the famous 2012 date.


CALENDAR REFERENDUM INITIATIVE

In the eclipse explanation video at the very top of this blog, Freedom describes the way in which the Gregorian calendar has no real world reference point.


Its relationship to organic time is equivalent to the Berlin Conference whereupon the continent of Africa was divided according to arbitrary lines on a map. As a conceptual map, the Gregorian calendar has little correlation to the actual territory of time.


So long as everything familiar is fading away, perhaps we are wise to embrace the opportunity to replace this inconsistent, chaotic and unnatural calendar imposed by Pope Gregor and generations of genocidal imperialism with a more harmonious option.


Here’s one description of the proposal and a petition to sign.


Here’s another in-depth resource.


January 2020 marked the start of 5 years dominated by the planet Saturn. Known as Chronos to the Greeks, Father Time is now transiting through the two signs he rules — Capricorn and Aquarius. He is in Capricorn until April 2022, and in Aquarius until 29 March 2025 (coinciding with a solar eclipse in sidereal Pisces, btw).


If ever there were a moment ripe for redefining our relationship with time, it is now. What else could it mean to be living in the End Times. The End of Time as we know it. Because of course, every ending is also a beginning.


If you are curious to learn more about how all these alignments interact with your unique cosmic identity, book an appointment and let’s take a look.



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David T McConaghay

Ayurvedic Doctor

Vedic Astrologer

D. Div. Candidate

Denver, Colorado, USA

ayurvedadave@gmail.com

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