The question on everyone’s lips right now is: How long will Coronavirus last? Where will it take us? And: what will happen to the economy, especially our jobs? We’ll answer this first one later in our astrological analysis, but one prediction doing the rounds at present stems from an American novel published in 1981: “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments.” Does this sound familiar? It’s from Dean Koontz’s best-selling book The Eyes of Darkness. Creepy, right?
Of course, the conspiracy theorists haven’t been silent on this matter of the Coronavirus. For David Icke and his legion of fans it has been caused by the Secret Government who wish to control us by reducing the global population (in this case, the elderly). Coronavirus is thus a planned attack by a shady cabal of villains. (Presumably, Boris Johnson – who has recently contracted the virus – isn’t one of them. Or maybe he’s lying.) For Icke and his followers, anyone who cannot immediately see that a powerful, sinister elite has deliberately released this virus is somehow deluded. One commentator on YouTube writes: ‘If you think David Icke is a conspiracy theorist and isn’t speaking truth than [sic] you are suffering from “MoronaVirus” which is even more dangerous than Coronavirus. Ignorance of mankind is more threatening to our existence than any Pandemic.’
It’s true that ignorance can be fatal, but whether or not Icke is ‘speaking the truth’ is really what’s at issue, here. What gives him his superior knowledge? Unlike Icke, I would argue that (instead of a planned attack) there are astrological reasons. Whilst Coronavirus has crept up on us like a Black Swan event – the name for a wholly unlikely and unforeseen occurrence – there is a cosmic force at the heart of the outbreak. When we ask: How long will Coronavirus last?, the answer lies somewhere in the archetypal folds of the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in January 2020.
We’ll investigate this soon, but I hasten to state that planets in the sky do not literally cause things to happen in human lives. As the gifted philosopher Richard Tarnas writes, ‘astrology is not concretely predictive, but archetypally predictive.’ That is, we’re not dealing with detailed predictions, but the symbolic qualities of planets and how they are reflected and expressed on a mass level here on earth (as if we somehow ‘act out’ these energies). But we always have a choice whether to act them out or not! Nevertheless, as you’ll see, events with shattering consequences have occurred around the time of Saturn-Pluto configurations.
When we combine their energies we have the theme of great power and the potential to devastate and destroy (Pluto) and the need to fasten tightly to the status quo and preserve what’s there (Saturn). It’s rather like trying to keep all the interior of the house intact as the wrecking-ball does its work outside. Hence the impossible tension – the attempt to break down and reform, simultaneous with the urge to hang on to the old ways. (In the material world this usually produces the authoritarian, far right government hell bent on control.)
Saturn-Pluto energies can prove explosive, and often coincide with paranoia and fear (at best); and devastation of some kind (at worst), bringing mass hardship in its wake. For instance, back in Autumn 1914 the Great War deepened as Germany declared war on Russia and France. This was the precise time of the Saturn Pluto conjunction. The human cost of the First World War was incalculable, of course.
The next Saturn-Pluto conjunction occurred in August 1947 as the so-called Cold War was stepped up, in between the appearance of the Truman Doctrine (March) and the history-making foundation of the State of Israel (May 1948). The Truman Doctrine intended to counter Soviet geopolitical expansion, but its after-effects were deepening American paranoia about Communism, which in turn led to the McCarthy ‘witch hunts’ of the 1950’s and – arguably – the invasion of Vietnam. Plus, the issue of a Jewish state in Palestine had its roots in power play and controversy – to this day there are charges of ethnic cleansing levelled at Israel as it occupies Palestinian land. Only a month after the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in August 1947, the United Nations Partition Plan was already – essentially – deciding the future of the Palestinians. As Wikipedia notes: ‘The approval of the plan sparked attacks carried out by Arab irregulars against the Jewish population in Palestine. Fighting began almost as soon as the Resolution of November 29, 1947 was approved.’
The other momentous period of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction was in the early eighties – a time of massive apprehension not just about nuclear war, but the AIDS virus (first called such in mid-1982 before the conjunction in November). Both Nuclear Annihilation and AIDS had that large scale, foreboding feel of threat, so typical of Saturn-Pluto. Ramping up the paranoia and dread were Reagan’s alliance with religious fundamentalists, his remarks about the Evil Empire that was supposedly Russia, and his insane Strategic Defense Initiative (or ‘Star Wars’) project which looked ahead to a nuclear war fought in space. Both the Evil Empire and Star Wars speeches came in March 1983, whilst the conjunction reappeared in June.
All three periods of history were characterised by a sense of deep foreboding, of being subject to hostile forces one could do little to combat. Lately, as Pluto has passed through Capricorn we’ve seen the rise of the far right in world politics, as populist leaders seek to preserve a status quo and power structures usually not worth preserving. It has also encouraged the public to act out their ‘darker’ sides and look for a scapegoat to underlying world problems. Instead of co-operation and empathy for humanity, selfishness, nationalism and racism get the upper hand (just look at social media these days). This is set to change – or else it really is (as REM put it) the end of the world as we know it.
And so back to our main topic: How long will Coronavirus last? As we now know, what began as an epidemic mostly restricted to China has become a full scale global pandemic. This began at the very end of 2019, when the World Health Organisation learned of a hitherto unknown virus connected to various pneumonia cases in Wuhan, Eastern China. Interestingly, the last time the Saturn-Pluto conjunction occurred in Capricorn another life threatening plague erupted. On the continent in July 1518, history bequeathed us the so called ‘dancing plague’ when about 400 people started dancing for days on end until they collapsed or died of heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion. Some experts speculate it was mass “stress-induced psychosis” as the area was subject to the deprivations of starvation and disease. As Wikipedia put it, the mania could have been caused by the ‘elevated levels of psychological stress, i.e. the despair caused by the ruthless years (even by the rough standards of the Middle Ages) the people of Alsace were suffering.’
In mid-January 1518 (six months before) the Saturn-Pluto conjunction was exact, forming a stellium with Mercury, who ‘rules’ bodily motion and the nervous system. (Hence the dancing.) But the connection between Saturn-Pluto and death (as if the signal for the Grim Reaper) is unavoidable. It’s much the same now with Coronavirus and the deaths it has caused, notwithstanding the massive impact on world economies. (And its ‘elevated levels of psychological stress’, to quote Wikipedia.) Many jobs which closed down during lockdown will simply not return. Following the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in January 2020 the downturn in the Financial markets started around 20th February 2020, reflected on the ‘birth chart’ for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (which measures the stock performance of 30 large companies on stock exchanges in America). Furthermore, on 22 October 2020 there is severe stress on the Dow Jones chart as transiting Saturn is conjunct the MC – this indicates possible severe economic stasis. The low point. One doesn’t need to be an astrologer to see that things will get worse before they get better. As Ruchir Sharma writes:
‘Signs of debt stress are now multiplying in industries impacted by the coronavirus, including transportation and leisure, auto and, perhaps worst of all, oil. Slammed on one side by fear that the coronavirus will collapse demand, and on the other by fears of a supply glut, oil prices have fallen to below $35 a barrel — far too low for many oil companies to meet their debt and interest payments. Though the world has yet to see a virus-induced recession, this is now a rare pandemic. The direct effect on economic activity will be magnified not only by its impact on balky debtors, but also by the impact of failing companies on the bloated financial markets. When markets fall, millions of investors feel less wealthy and cut back on spending. The economy slows.’
How long will Coronavirus last? When Will We Find A Vaccine?
However, there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. If I’m to make a specific prediction here, things won’t begin to improve until early next year, but there is indeed something to get optimistic about. There may be a vaccine discovered around the time of the Jupiter square to Uranus (mid-January and late February 2021). These two planets combined are associated with the benefits of heightened discovery, innovation and progress, often occurring suddenly. This can be the proverbial ‘Eureka’ moment (Greek for “I have found it”), which results in a much needed release of tension and pressure. Now get this: my researches have turned up an interesting fact, namely that the Jupiter-Uranus alignment is often present around the time of a significant medical breakthrough. Moreover, the breakthroughs include developing vaccines for diseases and viruses. Within about a month of the transit, whether a conjunction square or opposition (the most ‘powerful’ angles) we see typical effects of the two planets.
Some of the historical picture looks like this: Edward Jenner (1749-1823) the English physician who contributed to the development of the smallpox vaccine, performed a successful inoculation on 14th May, 1796 – only a month after a Jupiter-Uranus opposition (mid-April). Louis Pasteur (1822 –1895) was the nineteenth century French biologist, microbiologist and chemist who developed the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax, and had a breakthrough with cholera. He experimented on chickens in December 1879 and vaccinated them – the same month as a Jupiter-Uranus opposition (27th). In the early 20th century, the tuberculosis vaccine was first given to a human being on July 18, 1921 (a Jupiter-Uranus opposition had occurred, June 1st). Then, the virologist Jonas Salk (1914–1995) pioneered one of the first successful polio vaccines, finally declared safe by April 12 1955 (Jupiter making an exact conjunction with Uranus on 9th May).
Latterly, there is the Zika virus spread by mosquitoes which, whilst not typically fatal, caused an epidemic in 2015 and 2016 in the Americas. As of March 31, 2017, ‘a DNA vaccine has been approved for Phase 2 clinical trials in humans.’ (Wikipedia) Earlier that month (around the 5th), lo and behold, Jupiter was opposite Uranus in the sky. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
So then: how long will Coronavirus last? Press reports (of late March, 2020) suggest we may have to wait 12 to 18 months before a vaccine can be found – but this may come as early as January 2021 when generous and optimistic Jupiter aligns with the progressive, scientific genius of Uranus. Let’s hope so.