Is there a cosmic connection between Jupiter-Pluto meetups and viral outbreaks? History reveals a surprising trend.
Throughout history, many of the biggest plagues and pandemics have coincided with a conjunction (meetup) between global Jupiter, the planet of expansion, and shadowy Pluto, which rules all things hidden and buried.
On April 4, Jupiter and Pluto will make their first of three conjunctions in Capricorn. In astrology-speak, a conjunction occurs when two or more planets align at an exact degree in the same zodiac sign. When the unite, they join their energies—to mixed results, depending on the planets.
The three 2020 Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions will be at:
April 4: Capricorn 24 degrees
June 30: Capricorn 24 degrees
November 12: Capricorn 22 degrees
Jupiter has been traveling in proximity to Saturn, Pluto and the South Node all year, but in April, the first official convergence arrives. In Capricorn, the sign of government, structures and the economy, this planetary alliance is already revealing its footprint. It started with a January 12, 2020, Saturn-Pluto conjunction that may now unfurl another chapter of its saga.
Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions and mythology: Heaven meets hell?
Supersizer Jupiter, the planet of global connections, expands whatever it touches. In Roman mythology, Jupiter (Zeus to the ancient Greeks), is the god of all gods—the ruler of the sky and thunder.
In mythology, Pluto (or Hades, to the Greeks) was the god of the underworld. Astrological lore contends that Pluto rules all things hidden—from viruses to government conspiracies. This shadowy sign governs death, rebirth and transformation that “rises from the ashes.”
During a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction (meetup), heaven and hell essentially come together.
Perhaps pandemic is our purgatory—that midpoint between the two realms.
Indeed we are living in a suspended state as we quarantine and wait interminably for answers, test kits, vaccine developments.
Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions occur every 13 years. They last connected in Sagittarius mid-December 2007. While not every meetup is eventful, some of history’s most devastating plagues indeed correlated with Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions.
The cautiously optimistic news? A couple of those plagues also peaked during those transits, and simmered down after Jupiter and Pluto parted ways. With grim headlines about rising infection rates and shortages of medical equipment and protective gear, it’s hard to hold onto hope.
Here’s what history has shown us during past astrological cycles, when Jupiter and Pluto were side-by-side as a pandemic broke out.
The 1918 Flu Pandemic: Jupiter and Pluto in Cancer
In January and February 1918, Jupiter and Pluto were traveling together in Cancer, the zodiac sign that rules the United States. The flu pandemic, which was also called the Spanish flu, broke out during this time, infecting an estimated 500 million people—one-quarter of the world’s population.
The Spanish flu was the first of two pandemics caused by the H1N1 influenza virus; the second was the swine flu in 2009. When the first case of swine flu was detected in early 2009, Jupiter and Pluto were briefly both in Capricorn, though not making a close conjunction.
1981 HIV Outbreak: Jupiter and Pluto in Libra
In 1981, the HIV epidemic—which remains one of the world’s largest pandemics—arrived in the United States, spawning the AIDS crisis. Jupiter and Pluto made their exact meetup in Libra, the sign of relationships, in October and November 1981.
Shortly after the next Jupiter-Pluto conjunction on December 2, 1994, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an oral HIV test, the first non-blood-based antibody test for HIV. This conjunction took place in Scorpio, which rules the sexual organs. By 1995, complications from AIDS was the leading cause of death for adults 25 to 44 years old.
Russian Plague of 1771: Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn
From 1770 to 1772, The Russian Plague, also known as The Plague of 1771, was the last huge outbreak from the bubonic plague, resulting in between 50,000 and 100,000 lost lives in Moscow.
In December 1770, Moscow General Hospital’s chief physician, Dr. Shafonskiy, reported a case of the bubonic plague, but public health officials—particularly a German doctor named Rinder (who died of the plague in June 1771)—were at first skeptical and dismissive.
The national government was slow to respond, sending military guards to the hospital to enforce a quarantine. In late February 1771, Jupiter and Pluto united at 18 degrees Capricorn. That month, Dr. Shafonisky submitted a report that was refuted by Dr. Rinder. However, in March (is this starting to sound eerily familiar?), the disease was spreading and Moscow officials began to implement protocols.
It was too late. In September 1771, Jupiter and Pluto united at exactly 17 degrees Capricorn—which brought the very peak of the plague. That month, the outbreak killed an estimated thousand Moscow residents a day and 20,000 were confirmed dead that month alone.
By then, three-quarters of Moscow’s population had fled the city. On September 15, 1771, the Plague Riot broke out, as residents revolted against the state and authorities, convinced that it was a government conspiracy.
As COVID-19 rages most fiercely in densely-populated cities, we must learn from history’s pandemics.
The Black Death of 14th Century Europe: Jupiter and Pluto in Aries
From 1346 to 1353, the Black Death swept across Europe, killing 50 million people—60 percent of Europe’s population. This was a period of the bubonic plague, an infection that circulates among rats. As the rat population died from this disease, their fleas began biting humans and infecting them as well. As the plague reached its peak in 1347, Jupiter and Pluto were conjunct, this time in Aries.
In 1346, Jupiter pivoted between Aquarius and Pisces, as it will again in 2021. Aquarius rules large populations and Pisces is associated with hospitals and sometimes, illness. The crucial error that caused the bubonic plague to spread—like most pandemics—was a slow response or recognition time. The faster we can address an outbreak, as we now know, the better we’ll be able to contain it.
2020: How the 3 Jupiter-Pluto Conjunctions Could Play Out
On April 4, Jupiter and Pluto make their first conjunction. This is sure to set off some events that could go in two directions.
Global Jupiter expands, magnifies and spreads. Pluto governs all things hidden, like viruses. It’s also the ruler of death. On this date, we could see a spike in COVID-19 cases, perhaps to newer areas of the world like Africa and South America.
Optimistic Jupiter exposes what’s hidden, uplifts us and gives hope. We may hear a surge of positive information, such as progress toward a vaccine, deliveries of medical supplies to healthcare workers, or the re-opening of certain small businesses (Jupiter rules entrepreneurs). However, we guard against overconfidence, a temptation of Jupiter.
At their second alignment on June 30, both Jupiter and Pluto will be in powered-down retrograde. Inner planet retrogrades (Mercury, Venus, Mars) have a reputation for creating chaos. But when the slow-moving outer planets turn retrograde, it can actually bring improvements. We get a break from whatever they govern—and we could certainly use a reprieve from Jupiter’s wildfire growth and Pluto’s shadowy hand.
Late June has other potentially positive transits. Venus, the planet of love and social gatherings, ends a six-week retrograde in Gemini on June 25. Gemini is an interpersonal air sign and when Venus turns retrograde on May 14, friends and couples will struggle with separation (or post-separation) strain. Gemini rules the lungs and hands—two areas of the body that have been central to the COVID-19 crisis.
Saturn, which rules boundaries and barriers, will leave air sign Aquarius on July 1, not to return until December 2020. With this restrictive influence lifted, we may literally and figuratively feel like we can “breathe again.” (This lines up with research indicating that many flus recede during warmer months.)
Communal Aquarius is the sign of groups, friendship and social settings—Saturn here is the ultimate signature for social distancing. As Saturn’s gates lift for a few months, public gatherings may resume. But we should NOT abuse the privilege, as Saturn will return to Aquarius from December 17, 2020, until March 2023.
The final Jupiter-Pluto conjunction arrives on November 12, 2020. Both planets are both in direct (full-power) motion once again. With aggressive Mars retrograde in Aries from September 10 to November 13, people may be flaunting their independence and disobeying warnings to distance. At its worst, the double dose of self-interest from Mars in Aries could bring out people’s “Lord of the Flies,” survival-driven nature. A lack of resources might breed an “every person for him/herself” mentality. We expect a sharp rise in gun sales as Mars makes an extra-long visit to Aries from June 27, 2020, to January 6, 2021.
Given that this November 12 grand finale is a week after U.S. presidential elections, anger and frustration could reach a boiling point. No matter who wins the 2020 election, there are certain to be outraged people on both sides. Similar to the Plague Riot of Moscow, which coincided with the peak of the 1771 Russian Plague—citizen uprisings could run rampant if this final Jupiter-Pluto conjunction isn’t handled correctly.
Here’s hoping the world leadership handles this crisis appropriately enough to circumvent such worst-case scenarios. Let’s learn from history—astrological, too—and handle this crisis to avoid civil unrest and devastation. But we must be prepared to protect ourselves on many levels.
So, is there any hope? (Answer: Yes.)
Now, how do we get out of this place—and when will it be over?
We don’t want to spread feelings of doom, even though the world is in a dire place, from public health to the job market to the economy. But on the upside, science and technology are at a point of unprecedented progress now. Jupiter will leave its troubling position in Capricorn on December 19, marking a time of global innovation that will last throughout 2021.
And on December 21, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will unite in Aquarius, forming what’s called the Great Conjunction, a once-every-20-years alignment that can bring progress to the world. But we must take things slow and steady, as cautious Saturn reduces the reckless speed that Jupiter prefers.
The last Great Conjunction was on May 31, 2000. It took place in Taurus, which rules the economy, right as the dot-com bubble burst and a recession was beginning that spanned through 2001. That year, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates several times to shield the economy from inflated tech stocks.
What lessons did we learn about excess, balance and growth from this last Great Conjunction? As the new wave of Jupiter-Saturn meetups shifts from material-minded earth signs to communal air signs, we’ll need to apply the past (Saturn’s domain) to our future (an Aquarian hallmark), as we attempt to recover from the devastating toll of the 2020 pandemic.
Interestingly, the Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions that coincided with the major plagues were in driven cardinal signs, bringing lessons about leadership.
Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions can also spawn major moments of innovation and resourcefulness. Pluto governs our resources, and with generous Jupiter here, we are already being called to be more communal, to put our powers and innovative minds together for a common solution.
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