2020 has been the most difficult year in memory - and ever, for many. We all know why because we've lived it.
On the world stage, the hard times appeared as:
Political obstacles (especially in the U.S.)
Closer to home, in our personal lives, this "bad" year brought so much sadness to so many people because of:
Lack of social contact
Lack of physical and emotional contact and support
Fears over health
Not being able to be with sick loved ones; and for those who passed away, not being able to have funerals or other rituals to comfort the bereaved
Having to learn new guidelines for safety measures such as masking and distancing
Having to adapt to new ways to do everyday tasks, from grocery shopping and food pickup to school and work routines
Having to learn new technology on a tight timeframe to enable distance learning, remote work, and virtual family gatherings
For essential workers, this past year has been a time of great testing. For those still employed and working from home, 2020 has brought stress and blurred boundaries between work and home.
For those unemployed, sick, grieving, uninsured, homeless, hungry, or otherwise suffering from lack, 2020 has been a blow to the spirit in addition to being an often stupendous material challenge every single day. This year has exposed the cracks in every system that have allowed the vulnerable to be at even greater risk or suffer increased hardship.
Extra eclipses – generally, we experience four eclipses a year, but in 2020 we had six. Eclipses end things, start others, and generally disrupt the status quo to force us to evolve.
Lunar nodes change signs – the Moon's nodes affect eclipses because the nodes' locations tell us which zodiac signs will see eclipses. In 2020, the north and south nodes shifted from Cancer and Capricorn to Gemini and Sagittarius, meaning we had not two but four signs in play for major endings related to solar and lunar eclipses. Four signs meant four different areas of our lives affected.
Venus retrograde – Venus goes retrograde less often than most of the other planets. Thank goodness, because when Venus is retrograde it feels like all her charms (especially love and pleasure) are missing. Well, in 2020, Venus was retrograde for six weeks, adding a "where is the love?" feeling to May and June. Also, her retrograde happened in Gemini, taking away diplomacy, tact, love, and other civility from communications of all kinds - and complicating relationships already frayed from stress and isolation.
Mars retrograde – Mars goes retrograde the least often, reversing course every two years. This year, you guessed it, Mars went retrograde and made the autumn a deeply frustrating time for anyone trying to accomplish anything. Also, Mars spent this retrograde it his home sign, Aries, which pushed tempers to the boiling point and made patience evaporate. The retrograde also meant Mars spent not just two months but six months in Aries, giving us a half year of "can do" energy that couldn't do much of anything and felt pretty angry and volatile about it.
Mercury retrograde – although we're used to Mercury going retrograde three time each year, in 2020 the communication planet did so in water signs. That raised the stakes, ratcheted up the drama, and made everything feel personal, sad, and perhaps hopeless. In 2020, we were forced not only to slow down and stay in one place but to feel everything - deeply. (And then analyze it.)
Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn – these three slower moving planets take a long time to move through each zodiac sign, and wherever they are they amass power and effects by waiting us out. We might avoid their energies for a while, but after a while they build to a point at which we must respond and change. That makes them planets of opportunity, but in heavy, duty oriented Capricorn, they felt like anything but an opportunity (except to feel overburdened). Jupiter in Capricorn expanded the amount of work we had to do (especially for essential workers), Saturn pushed us to step up and assume responsibility, and Pluto showed us some of the darkest parts of abusing power or giving up power. Throughout 2020, we all had plenty to do, whether for a job or to improve ourselves inwardly, and not doing the work had consequences.
Was 2020 A "Bad" Year?
On the face of it, 2020 still may feel like a "bad" year.
All have suffered losses of some kind as well as shocks and sudden changes.
To label 2020 a "bad" year, however, is to miss the point of it all.
No matter how sad or bad we felt, 2020 included its share of bright spots:
People came together in ways they'd never considered before, using technology to stay connected.
Countless people learned new skills on the job and personally in order to make it through 2020.
Essential workers turned in heroic performances to help others via emergency services, health care, growing and processing food, managing the supply chain, keeping transit operating, and all the other jobs that otherwise remain invisible. For many, particularly nurses, 2020 was a time of testing that may make their careers - and their lives. In the future, their contributions will go down among the selfless acts of courage that got us through a worldwide crisis.
Many learned how little they truly needed to live well and be happy.
Others felt a call to greater service and to new careers, wanting to contribute in meaningful ways rather than simply chase a paycheck.
Gratitude became more widespread, as did a desire to love and care for others as well as guard personal health in preparation for brighter days.
Brighter Days Are Coming
Those brighter days are coming.
At the end of December, Jupiter and Saturn finally left Capricorn. Within a matter of days, some of the gloom, heaviness, and weariness began to lift.
Then, on the Solstice, December 21, Jupiter and Saturn came together in the grand conjunction in Aquarius. That's the final piece we needed after the big Aquarius alignment of 1962 in order to move humanity into the new Age Of Aquarius.
In addition, this 2020 grand conjunction was the first of a series that will occur in air signs over the next 200 years. We've moved out of 200 years of earth emphasis (and materialism) and into a new era that will help us shake off the dust and lift ourselves into the skies to dream new dreams and embrace new ideals.
In the coming 20 years, for example, we'll have new opportunities to explore the mind, ideas, communication, and relationships. Insights likely will come suddenly to help overcome obstacles, and the Aquarian focus will promote more optimism, greater world harmony through friendship, and rising desires to pursue humanitarian goals.
When "Bad" Turns Into "Good"
That's when "bad" turns into "good."
Because we experienced 2020's challenges - and did it together - we're ready for the new era.
We've seen how bad it could get, we rejected the trough of despair, and we got on with the work. Together, we endured.
We've been tested, toughened, and turned into a force for good.