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The astrology of social change

by Janette Dalgliesh
Reading Time: 7 minutes

By:  Janette Dalgliesh – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.

Welcome to the Confluence Daily weekly astrology post. You’ll notice that this week is not about the astrological weather of the next seven days.

This is about something bigger.

I’ve been getting a ton of questions about what’s happening in the USA.

And then, this meme landed in my inbox. More than once. And I got mad.

Let me share why – and what we can do instead.

Settle in folks, this could be long. Bring tea.

If you’re having trouble seeing the image of the meme, it’s simple white text on a black background. The copy says:

Food for thought

The last time Saturn was in Aquarius was during the Rodney King Riots.

The last time Pluto was in Capricorn was during the American Revolution.

Neptune was in Pisces when Rome fell.

We have all 3 right now.

The facts here are not exactly wrong, but the implied conclusion is entirely – and offensively – off.

The meme is basically saying ‘we are in big trouble because the stars are causing chaos in the USA’.

Or, more egregiously, ‘we white people are in trouble because the stars are making Black people riot and causing mayhem’.

Oh, hell no

That is cherry-picking astrology from a single point of view – in this case, a white US-centric view.

Worse, it is using astrology to abrogate responsibility.

The meme says ‘the trouble in the USA is happening because something outside (ie the stars) is making it happen’.


Let’s untangle the meme, dig into the details, and explore what’s really going on.


Saturn enters Aquarius every 29 years, and in that position he brings innovation and inventiveness to our individual and collective work in the world. 

Saturn rules concepts of authority and governance, both in terms of our individual lives (being an authority on a topic, and governing our own lives) and in terms of the collective (leadership and structures of how we manage the sharing of resources and decision-making).

Saturn in Aquarius seeks the evolution of systems within the collective, and changes to the relationship between the authorities and the people.

If change has been resisted, Saturn will also tap into the Aquarian spirit of rebellion, for sure – and if the old ways are clinging tight, that might take some shaking loose.

Basically, Saturn in Aquarius doesn’t cause riots. But the astrological weather of a Saturn in Aquarius is conducive, if a riot needs to happen in a society because all other avenues have been exhausted.

It’s worth noting that right now, Saturn has retrograded (moved backwards) into Capricorn, so that actually puts a big spotlight on whether the STRUCTURE of governance is sufficiently robust. Obviously, the US administration is not looking especially robust right now.

We also have to recognise that riots happen in protest of government policies in countries around the world FAR more often than every 29 years. 

The assumption in this meme is that Saturn in Aquarius causes riots and they never happen any other time. Um…. no.


Pluto is all about death and transformation, both individually and culturally.

Pluto has been in Capricorn for ten years. He was recently activated by Saturn (January 2020) and is part of this big ‘all change’ dynamic throughout 2020.

It’s clear the US is going through a deep reexamination of her own national psyche and how she treats her own citizens. 

This is not inherently a bad thing.

The violence emerging as part of the process is happening because the old guard has clung to the past so fiercely. 

It’s like someone clinging to a rock in white water – the ride would be much smoother if they simply let go and let the current move them downstream. 

Pluto is not causing riots. 

The Saturn-Pluto conjunction has invited an examination of foundations.

As the foundations of the USA (and Australia, and other countries) are shaken, they are found wanting. The end result is a bigger shakeup than is comfortable.

And Pluto is masterful at moving us through the ‘death-and-rebirth’ discomfort of transformation. The end result has the potential to be even stronger, IF we decide for that.


Neptune is the ruler of Pisces and he’s been in that sign now since early 2012. Neptune in Pisces is all about dissolving boundaries so we feel the sense of cosmic connection – a holistic realisation that we are all in this together.

Humans of all colours and creeds, animals, trees, rocks – all the various peoples of the earth, of all species, all together.

The greed of some has meant this feeling of connection is at odds with our lived experience. 

And when we see the suffering of those who don’t have a powerful voice, we either yearn to soothe the suffering and bring them to share in our abundance … or we let fear override our empathy, and push them away out of shame and guilt.

Meanwhile, the natal Neptune of the USA is being activated right now with a kind of energy which says “hey, USA – are you living up to your dreams and visions?”

When the answer is so clearly NO, or ‘only for some’ – that’s deeply problematic.

The dreams will out. They seek expression.

So – that meme.

None of these astrological events caused the upheaval in the USA this week.

The astrological weather has put the focus on a specific topic at the time – and then humans have responded in whatever way they respond.

The astrological weather said ‘are you doing a good job of bringing your big dream into reality with solid founcations?’

The answer was ‘no, not for everybody’.

The old guard clung to old paradigms, when the weather said ‘time for things to be better’.

When the stars invite transformation and we collectively fail to act – that’s the source of the turmoil.

The stars don’t dictate an outcome. Our choices do.

I’ve been talking about the impact of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of January, since early 2019

Before coronavirus, before the incipient racism at the very foundations of so many western countries was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the daylight.

We are being invited – individually and collectively – to make sure that what we want to create has solid foundations.

The last time this conjunction happened in Capricorn was the beginning of the Reformation in Europe, when Martin Luther declared that people could have a direct experience of God without the intervention of the priests.

It was a time of huge change in the relationship between the authority of the Roman Catholic Church and the people of Europe.

We are always in the process of creating the world, and our choices are what create changes (for good or for ill). 

We’re not the victims of the stars. We can be the sailors who use astrological weather to navigate us to shining new shores.

And that only works if we abide by the dreams of everyone being included.

In the current situation in the USA, and in all countries where Black lives are demonstrably seen to matter less – now is our opportunity to navigate to new shores.

How do we best walk that path?

If we are white, we educate ourselves by following Black voices who are teaching how to be anti-racist, and we make space for Black voices whenever possible.

If we are Black – well, obviously that’s not for me to say.

And then we take appropriate actions. We vote. We march. We write letters and emails. We choose where to spend our money. We educate our friends and families. We stay fully open to being schooled when necessary (because we WILL get this wrong sometimes).

We cannot have true love, peace or joy until everyone has equal access to those things.

For all my fellow white people here – this next bit is especially for you.

Please remember that we grew up with racism embedded in our DNA. We literally start out racist by default, because we grow up in a system which does not question its own inherent racism.

The only way that can change is for each of us to educate ourselves on how to be deliberately, consciously anti-racist.

We have to unlearn the default thinking of decades, wired into us by the generations who went before. No matter how kind or compassionate we think we are, we are bred to be racist.

Anti-racism is not natural to us – it must be learned. And we have to take responsibility for that work.

Here are some resources to get you started

Anti-racism resources for white people – a brilliant collection of resources designed for white people.

Books to read on how to be anti-racist in the USA – useful answers to the question ‘how can I become more anti-racist’?

Teaching kids about how to be anti-racist – because we need to create change through the next generation, too.

The NAACP campaign website We Are Done Dying – this is a space for Black people so please respect that and only use it as an opportunity to listen to Black voices. And donate if you can.

Practical ways to support the Australian campaign Aboriginal Lives Matter – educate yourself on the largely ignored tragedy of Aboriginal deaths at the hands of police in Australia.

Educate yourself on how to positively engage with Australian Indigenous issues – links to multiple books and organisations which enable white people to educated themselves on how to be anti-racist in Australia, where many nuances are different.

Kick in a few bucks to help bring Science education to Indigenous kids across Australia (for non-Aussie folks, the word ‘deadly’ is used by many Aboriginal people to mean excellent, or very good)

And of course, read every article in this journal published by my dear friend, Iyabo Onipede, starting with her latest piece “For White People Only’.

Janette Dalgliesh has one mission in life – to wreak more joy in the world. That means no more walking through the day like a zombie, doing the job-from-hell, twisting yourself into a pretzel to suit other people, or putting off those secret dreams you’ve had since childhood for yet another year. Janette uses her unique blend of astrology and neuroscience-based coaching to help people take charge of their own lives with love, inner peace, fun and deep contentment – no matter the external circumstances. You can connect with Janette via her website, or hang out with her on Facebook.

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