The Mystical Meaning of COVID-19
My first astrology teacher explained to me one way to view a natal chart that has always stuck with me. He said, “it shows everything that is wrong with you, but also how to fix it.”
Evolutionary astrology is concerned with what the name implies – evolution, on an individual level, of the soul and, collectively, of human consciousness. It is less concerned with fortune-telling. There are already plenty of articles foretelling when the effects of COVID19 will end. I find the more interesting question to be, what can we learn? In other words, what is wrong with us, collectively, and how can we fix it?
The Capricorn Stellium
In early January, the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, and four asteroids met up with the South Node of the moon and an exact Pluto-Saturn conjunction in the sign of Capricorn. Pluto-Saturn conjunctions have historically been associated with war and economic downturn (WWI, the Cold War, the economic recession of the early 1980s and the AIDS epidemic, to name a few).
The subjects of war, economic downturn, and societal change (and any Saturn-Pluto conjunction) naturally test our reliance on current authority, restructure power dynamics, and force us to examine our use and allocation of resources. The particular subject matter will differ depending on the sign it occupies (for example, the Pluto-Saturn conjunction of the 1980s’ economic and AIDS crises appeared in Libra, the sign of governing relationship with others - shared (or contracted) resources and intimate involvement).
Capricorn is concerned with structure, organization, and discipline. The shadow side of Capricorn’s capacity for self-control is suppression of emotions. This inner conflict distorts subjective reality, and ultimately leads to misuse of authority and an “ends justify the means” mentality. Natural desires are repressed, outward approval is sought, and depression and loneliness brew.
“With Pluto in Capricorn . . . the very nature of the structural reality at every level will be metamorphosed through varying degrees of cataclysms. And those cataclysms will occur as a consequence of choices that have already been made, and will continue to be made in our collective future. . . The transit . . . is intended to get the attention of human beings to that other choices, choices in alignment with the Natural Laws of God/ess, can be made.” - Rad Zecko, EA Glossary, 2014.
Regarding the virus, we have learned that medical professionals in China who tried to sound an early alarm regarding the mysterious virus were seized by police, and that information was suppressed by Chinese authorities. This indicates how political stability was prioritized over the preservation of human life.
The responding economic crisis that has unfolded is beckoning us to examine our reliance on an economic system that bets on us spending money today based upon the illusory promise of tomorrow’s paycheck. Consumerism has conditioned us to accumulate things in an effort to make an outward appearance of our worth. Now faced with few distractions, many are confronted with the stark realization that these things bring us neither security nor happiness.
And as for our handling of the Earth’s resources? There has been much talk and little action with respect to climate change and, if natural disasters are any indication, the Earth seems, well, fed up. Last year, humans burned the “lungs of the Earth” to profit from dead animals, and now our lungs are infected with a virus borne in a meat market that has proven both a physical and economic killer. Did I mention Saturn and Capricorn are associated with the laws of karma?
But as a consequence of the shutdowns necessitated by the virus, we have seen a severe reduction in carbon emissions. There is even evidence to suggest the number of lives saved by two months of pollution reduction will outweigh the global death toll from the virus itself.*
Beasts and Values
This Earth connection cannot be viewed in isolation from Uranus’ current transit through the sign of Taurus. Taurus is a sign associated with the earth, farming, values, and security. Uranus is the planet that brings shocking liberation from conditioning and the known. The beginnings of this transit in 2018 and 2019 brought the popularization of Bitcoin and innovations in financial technology. We have also seen a shift toward veganism, innovation in food production, and increased environmental activism. And now COVID19 has opened up a discussion surrounding meat markets and the handling of livestock, since any virus of this sort can be linked to the domestication of animals.
But these observations bring us back to the Saturnic principles of action-reaction, sequence-consequence - the laws of karma. We are beginning to understand how our past actions have made us sick today - physically, financially, spiritually. And with those realizations, our value system must course correct.
Interestingly, COVID19 disproportionately impacts men and the elderly. From a literal standpoint, Capricorn is a masculine sign ruling all things old, but we must also consider the karmic implications that such a demographic is largely responsible for past actions in the form of man-made law (as they have been the ruling authority). Others have noted that the younger generations who are more concerned with the environment and corporate transparency, are largely unaffected by the virus, and this could be related to Gaia’s cyclical nature and the up-leveling of consciousness happening on the planet.
Lessons from a Beneficent Teacher
Jupiter has been coming into close orbit with Pluto in Capricorn, and the two will conjoin on March 29. Jupiter is usually the bearer of good news, but there was a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction during the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918. Thus, some astrologers have cautioned that Jupiter will grow the virus (if Jupiter brings its expansiveness to the virus, represented by Pluto).
But Jupiter is also associated with overestimation and exaggeration. We have already seen both at play. Exaggeration of the problem leading to things like panic-buying and overestimation of one’s ability to fight it resulting in complete denial.
But when Jupiter and Saturn can work together, they can be fantastic builders and strategists. We are now familiar with “flattening the curve” – understanding that the virus will grow, but planning ahead to ensure overall success and the proper allocation of resources.
Jupiter is also the teacher or guru. We should be reminded that even the worst-case estimates place COVID19’s fatality rate between 1-2%, or somewhere around 10 times that of the common flu. The real pandemic that scientists are concerned about would have a fatality rate somewhere around 60%. Our response to COVID19 shows that we are terribly unprepared and ill-equipped to handle such an epidemic. So perhaps this is a dress rehearsal for us to become better prepared for the future.
Jupiter also rules travel, which has been extremely restricted (Capricorn). But pointing back to reductions in carbon emissions, there are lessons to be learned from these restrictions. How will we adjust our freedom to live our daily lives as we once knew them in view of the real environmental impacts that we have now measured from curtailing those actions?
Where Do We Go from Here? Home.
If the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn represents our collective karma, the North Node in Cancer points the way for us to evolve out of this mess.
Cancer rules the home, where most of us are spending much or all of our time these days. Cancer is also associated with sensitivity, and sensitivity requires protection. We are guarding ourselves against contact with others as a means of self-protection. The Crab retreats into its shell.
However, we have also seen the shadow of side of Cancer – the selfish hoarding of unnecessary resources to the detriment of others. And when Venus (governing our relationships) entered Aries (fear and aggression) to square the Capricorn stellium, we saw violent outbursts toward other shoppers and toward Asian individuals, as well as the quick implementation of social distancing policies.
But the North Node in Cancer points us to connect with our hearts and find compassion to support others – through things like group prayer and shared resources, which can all be achieved while protecting ourselves. We have seen some of this with stores opening early for the elderly and online funding efforts for those most impacted by the economic crisis.
The North Node in Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the archetype of self-reflection. And Capricorn in its most exalted form is self-mastery. So use this time to reflect, to learn a useful skill, to bring authority back to yourself. Question the ways in which you have given away your personal authority, or how you are not living in alignment with your values, and channel your discipline to become more self-empowered – whether that is through making your own food, getting involved in local politics, or becoming more financially resilient.
We know that those with afflicted lungs are more at-risk to the effects the virus. Lungs are energetically associated with grief, and grief is also the domain of Capricorn. 2020 numerologically is a 4 year, and 4 represents the heart chakra. Grief can provide an excellent opportunity to break the heart center open quickly. We also know that pranic practices (like breathwork and yoga) oxygenate the blood and prevent disease. (Lion’s breath anyone?) The same practices that will bring us physical wellbeing will also bring us spiritual enlightenment, and the choices we make with our finances can progress the consciousness of society forward.
“Forces of light on earth shall overcome the forces of darkness. Complete spiritual enlightenment on earth will occur.” – Edgar Cayce
Check out @selenicllc for immune-boosting and prosperity-generating yoga and meditation practices.
This article first appeared in AS ABOVE SO BELOW. Click here to download the entire ARIES issue.