All Along the Watchtower
Last week I attended a weeklong event in the Berkshires, where one of my highlights was hanging out with H. Byron Ballard, discussing what is going on in the world. For quite a while, Byron has been speaking about “Tower Time,” what she calls the cultural energies shifting in a way unseen in our lifetimes.
In one of her workshops, she quipped that when folks heard the term, some of them ask, “is that like Mercury retrograde, or something?” I have written elsewhere (and will write again) about how the 20th century excised all references to “malefic” planets or stars in astrology; but since stuff happens, and as “Mercury retrograde” became more well known in the popular lingo, poor Mercury picked up the blame for all ills.
Of course, Mercury retrograde is not what Byron is referring to.
After the workshop, I had a conversation with her about what actually IS going on astrologically now, and I realized that I don’t know that I’ve listed most of the “big things” in any one place here on my blog.
So here is an overview of some of the major planetary transits that are happening right now, going back to the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, without any real analysis, aside from pointing out some major correspondences. Each of them could be the topic for multiple articles and blog posts, and I hope to get to a number of the still-to-come transits soon.
Note that these transits all happen repeatedly. However, some of them only happen quite far apart in time, and they all seem to be lined up to happen overlapping each other in this decade in a rare way.
And though I won’t be providing major analysis right now, here are a few things to consider as you read through the list.
- Saturn and Mars are known as the “malefics.” They make life difficult. They come together every couple of years in a conjunction, and traditional astrologers use this moment to forecast which will be worse for the next ~2 year cycle: War and Drought (Mars) or Famine and Pestilence/Plague (Saturn).
- Pluto is the god of the Underworld, and is connected to death and transformation.
- Jupiter is usually a hopeful planet (a “benefic” or do-gooder), and provides some relief, but also sometimes false hope (depending on placements and other circumstances).
- Neptune is connected to fantasy, non-reality, idealism, escapism, and more.
- Uranus represents sudden events, unexpected ones, reversals, upheaval, and political revolution.
Recent Major Transits – the Covid Pandemic
Note that throughout 2020-2022, Saturn and Uranus were square to one another, or very close to it.
- January – Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn (joined by Mercury/Sun as well)
- March – Mars/Jupiter, then Mars/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn //
Mars/Saturn conjunction at 0 Aquarius (this is when the Covid-19 pandemic began, note also that Saturn is stronger in Aquarius [his own sign] than Mars, indicating plague rather than drought/war as a major issue)
- April – Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn
- June-July – Jupiter (retrograde)/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn
- November – Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn
- December – Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 0 Aquarius. (This is when the first Covid vaccines were available.) (Note that Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions are used to forecast the next 20-year cycle, until they conjoin again.)
- January – Mars conjunct Uranus, both square to Saturn
- May – Jupiter enters his own sign, Pisces (the pandemic begins to wane)
- June – Mars opposes Pluto / Saturn and Uranus are exactly square once again
- July – Mars opposes Saturn (Delta variant becomes widespread)
- November – Mars squares Saturn (Omicron variant becomes widespread)
In 2022, the Saturn/Uranus square begins to loosen up. It won’t be exact again in this cycle, but all year long, these two planets continue to come very close to an exact square.
Upcoming Major Transits
All of this sets the scene politically and economically for what is coming up next.
In the first week of July, 1776, Pluto was in Capricorn at 27 degrees, 33 minutes of arc. It takes approximately 248 years to complete a return around the whole zodiac. In 2008, right about the time that Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination for US presidency, Pluto entered Capricorn again. This was the beginning of the USA’s Pluto return, which became exact in February 2022, when Pluto reached 27 degrees Capricorn again. It would turn retrograde and hit that degree again in July and December 2022.
Pluto is currently at 0 Aquarius (see this degree highlighted multiple times above) and will return to Capricorn until January 2024, when the USA’s Pluto return is complete.
The Pluto return is a time of death, regeneration, transformation, rebirth (see “god of the underworld”). It is unclear what will be birthed, but it is unlikely that the USA will be the same on the other side of this. Note that the French revolution followed a mere decade later, with Pluto in Aquarius. So France is about to undergo its own Pluto return, though it has also had 5 republics since then, so perhaps it won’t be quite as intense.
When the USA was founded (1776), Uranus was in Gemini. 84 years later, the next time he returned to Gemini, the USA experienced a Civil War. Another 84 years later, once again with Uranus in Gemini, the USA entered into World War II. Each of those Uranus returns (Civil War, WWII) fundamentally changed the character of the Unites States, as well as its standing in the world.
Uranus enters Gemini once again in May 2026. If one were to track what happened the last few times that Uranus was in Taurus, leading up to his entry into Gemini, one would find a surprising parallel to what is going on today in the world.
Saturn (reality, physical boundaries, limitations, restrictions) and Neptune (fantasy, dreams, idealism) conjoin once every 35 years or so. There was a Saturn/Neptune (in Leo) conjunction during the Bolshevik revolution (the establishment of the Soviet Union). Their next conjunction was in 1952-1953 (in Libra, the death of Josef Stalin). And their most recent one was in 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down (in Capricorn, the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union).
Saturn and Neptune are now both in Pisces, and Saturn will catch up to Neptune in February 2026, shortly after both planets enter Aries.
There are, of course, other planetary (and star-based) things going on all the time. But this intense line-up, all focused on the first half and middle of this decade, makes these times especially fraught with insecurity. But it also can provide some hope. Hope that we are “on schedule”; in other words, that we are “supposed” to be doing this now. Whenever Pluto is involved, there is death and rebirth. So it’s up to us what we want to midwife into our future.
As I wrote earlier, I hope to give more detail to some of these placements in future posts, but for now, at least you can see that it’s not “just you,” or anyone else. Stuff really is happening out there, and inside of us, as well.