The Saturn-Uranus Square and the Astrology of the Texas Blackouts
A discussion about the astrology of the February 13th winter storm blackouts in Texas.
A Prediction of Mine Came True... Sort Of
On New Years Day, a post I had written on Facebook went viral. This post detailed my predictions for 2021 above a meme that seemed to imply it was going to be as disastrous as 2020 was. For the most part, I disagreed with this notion. I had been dreading the astrology of 2020 for years and I have valid reasons to think 2021 will be better all around.
We started out that disaster of a year with a conjunction between Saturn and Pluto. Once thought to be the farthest planet from the Sun, Saturn was traditionally viewed as "The Great Malefic." Now, Pluto is known to be the farthest from the Sun and modern astrologers designate it as the "Lord of the Underworld." On it's own, this conjunction is believed to cause restriction, difficulty, oppression and corruption in government or other powerful institutions. It was made even stronger, however, by the fact that it occurred in Capricorn, Saturn's home sign. Since Capricorn is a sign often associated with business and work, I predicted widespread economic collapse, which indeed there was.
Interestingly, the lockdown occurred when the South Node was at the first degree of Capricorn and the North Node at the first degree of Cancer. The South Node is associated with endings or where we've been while the North Node is believed to tell us where we're going. The first degree of any zodiac sign is believed to be one of the most critical. With South Node in Capricorn and North Node in Cancer, people were put out of work and confined to the home.
With Jupiter involved, things were even more problematic. Traditionally known as "The Great Benefic," Jupiter is usually associated with hope, faith, abundance, freedom and luck. However, Capricorn is the sign of it's fall, meaning that Jupiter can't function to it's fullest potential when placed in such an unhappy environment. Perhaps, this is the main reason why all sense of joy seemed to be lost within those painful twelve months. Since Saturn, a planet associated with delays, depression, limitation and all about hardship, is at home in this sign, I will forever think of 2020 as the year when Jupiter was overpowered by Saturn. Jupiter expands everything it touches while Saturn limits: with Jupiter in Capricorn, it seems as if the topics associated with Saturn have been expanded upon while Jupiter's qualities have essentially been restricted. Furthermore, Jupiter's conjunction to Pluto has been historically associated with pandemics and plagues. This includes the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that experts have been comparing to coronavirus. Interestingly enough, in 1918, Jupiter met up with Pluto in Cancer, Capricorn's sister sign: history repeats itself.
Other problematic celestial events included Venus Retrograde in Gemini, which occurred during the first few months of lockdown when everyone was lonely & stir-crazy, jumping into connections with the first person who could provide comfort, as well as Mars Retrograde in Aries. With Mars in it's domicile sign of Aries for six months and squaring the cluster of planets in Capricorn, there was war, violence and civil unrest throughout the globe. However, I think Jupiter & Saturn are the most dominant forces here and their position carries the most impact.
In December 2020, Jupiter and Saturn left Capricorn and entered Aquarius where their conjunction seemed to provide us with the new hope of a vaccine. While Saturn is still very strong in Aquarius, Jupiter is actually much more comfortable here as well. Jupiter is an air triplicity lord by day. It makes sense that Jupiter should feel some sort of affinity with air signs, including Aquarius, given the element's association with freedom and the exchange of ideas. I personally felt 100% more lighter and freer as soon as Jupiter ingressed into Aquarius. I believe this transit to be like a breath of fresh air compared to what we dealt with last year.
Things will get even better in May when Jupiter will be entering Pisces, the sign of it's domicile, meaning that Jupiter is very much at home in this idealistic water sign. I expect that COVID-19 restrictions should be easing up by then and hopefully, infections will decrease as well, now that we have the vaccine, making it a safe transition. On a more personal level, we might even expect some of our dreams to come true. Granted, Jupiter will only be in Pisces for two months before dipping back into Aquarius, but it's transit into Pisces will resume in December and all the way through 2022. All in all, we should collectively expect this to be a much better time than what we experienced in 2020.
With all that said, 2021 will not all be rainbows and butterflies. As I discussed in my post, the year started out on shaky ground. With Mars conjunct Uranus & square Jupiter in January, there was political instability and in the U.S, riots around Inauguration Day, as many people did not want to accept the reality that Trump lost. The square between Saturn in Aquarius & Uranus in Taurus on February 17th was another worrying factor and the main subject of this article. Since Aquarius is widely believed to rule technology and Taurus is associated with resources & the environment, I figured this aspect could cause widespread blackout, potentially due to climate change. Essentially, I predicted that the power grid (Aquarius) would shut down (Saturn) as a result of catastrophic changes (Uranus) to the climate (Taurus).
Sure enough, this prediction came true. With severe winter storms sweeping throughout the United States from February 13-17 (the week of the Saturn-Uranus square), the State of Texas, not used to dealing with this kind of weather, shut down their power grid in order to conserve energy. As a result of the government's decision to shut down their electric grid, over 4.5 million homes in Texas were left without power... in freezing conditions without heat. Many households were left without running water, and some don't even have power (and/or water) to this day. Grocery stores shut down as well, leading to food shortages throughout the state. At least 70 people have been known to die from these conditions so far.
While unfortunately my predictions turned out to be right, I did not expect it to be so localized. This has me wondering, why did the Saturn-Uranus square hit so hard in Texas, specifically? Well, just as countries have natal charts, as I discussed in this article, states and cities have their own charts as well. Curious, I decided to look at Texas's natal chart to see if there were any clues.
The Natal Chart of Texas
The astrology of countries and states can be tricky, however, because it's not the chart of the land itself that we're studying, but the birth of it's government. Texas is especially tricky because it used to be part of Mexico, leaving us with two potential charts for it's birth as an independent territory. We could either use March 2nd, 1836 as the birth date for the Republic, since that's when it broke away from Mexico, or we could use December 29th, 1845 as its birthday, since that's when it got annexed by the U.S.A and became a state.
Personally, I'm more inclined to use the December chart, since it should in theory represent the state's current government. I also feel like it's conservative government embodies the nature of a Capricorn Sun better than it does Pisces. The Solar Return for the Pisces chart is happening now as I write this, which makes things interesting, but I am going to use the Capricorn chart for the purpose of keeping things simple. Still, I urge you to look at the chart for the republic on your own time.
While the birth time of Texas is technically unknown, I opted for using a noon chart. This places the Sun on the MC or Midheaven, the point ruling over reputation or career. This makes sense to me since the Midheaven is associated with authority figures or people in power and it's the chart of a government we're looking at here.
With an Aries Rising and Mars conjunct Uranus on the ASC, Texas has got a strong personality. As they say, "don't mess with Texas." After all, it is the Lone Star State. Mars conjunct Uranus in the 1st house highlights their fight for independence and passion for personal freedom. A big state with its own unique culture and character, Texas is almost like a country of its own, and many of its citizens are quite proud of where they come from. It's worth noting that the Sun (planet most often associated with pride) is exalted by Aries, and Mars is exalted by Capricorn, meaning that the Sun & Mars are in mutual reception. The Sun is in Mars' face or decan as well. In any case, the Aries Ascendant shows that Texas is a state you'll either love or hate.
Usually in mundane charts, it's the Moon that represents the people and I do believe that with the Moon conjunct the Sun on the Midheaven, the people of Texas, as a whole, are likely to be quite patriotic and proud of where they come from. In Capricorn, this is likely to suggest a preference for order, tradition and conservative values, as well as the idea that any of us can advance up the social hierarchy through hard work. This could suggest a controlling or capital-driven government. Because the Sun is conjunct the Moon, this government could be very changeable or the people may be subject to the the emotional whims of those in charge.
Capricorn's ruler, Saturn, is domicile in Aquarius, with Venus and Neptune. Venus conjunct Neptune suggests a certain sense of idealism and beauty. Located in the 11th house, there is a strong value placed on friendliness and the people are likely to be supportive of one another. Since Venus rules the 7th house, it could be that Texas is friendly with other states as well, or exerts a great deal of influence on them.
What About the Transits?
The first thing I notice about this chart is that Texas is currently experiencing their Saturn Return. Saturn is considered to be "the Great Malefic," in astrology. While it does bring some good things, like order and structure, it is more often seen as an indicator of obstacles, and generally speaking, Saturn Returns are notoriously known creating difficulties in the native's life. Human beings experience their first Saturn Return some time around the age of 29 or 30, and it's often seen as a wake-up call, demanding you to quit living in your teenage-like ways and get your shit together. State or countries may experience their Saturn Returns a little bit differently but the theme is similar. Saturn Returns are known for creating difficulties and challenges, usually (but perhaps, not always...) leading to maturation, particularly in whatever area of the chart it's located. Perhaps, Saturn's position in Aquarius (but ruling it's Capricorn Sun and stellium as well...) highlight's the government's apparent lack of empathy for the actual citizens of Texas (i.e. Ted Cruz and his vacation to Cancun) . With people suffering (and in some cases dying) as a result of the government's decisions, many people have lost faith in their leaders, which could potentially (hopefully) lead to change. Transiting Jupiter is about to make a conjunction with their natal Saturn as well, expanding on it's limitations and difficulties.
The second thing that stands out to me is the fact that this storm (and the shutdown) occurred only two days after a New Moon. I don't know about this for sure, but perhaps since the state of Texas was under a New Moon, they may extra affected by the transiting New Moon, as well? Maybe not, but in any case, the February 11th New Moon took place at 23 degrees Aquarius, the same degree as their Neptune-Venus conjunction. Perhaps, this ignited some confusion (Neptune) regarding resources (Venus, ruler of the 2nd in the noon chart).
Lastly, I notice that Texas is currently in their 8th house profection year. While we can't be sure of the houses in this chart, profections are dependent on age, and no matter what sign the house cusp falls in, 8th house years tend to indicate endings, changes, and overall distress. Traditionally, the 8th house is known to be the house of death, and while in practice, I find that this 'death' is not usually literal, in this case, perhaps it is; in that people have actually died as a result of this disaster. However, I would say that it indicates other endings and stressors as well. Using the noon chart, the 8th house cusp falls in the sign of Scorpio, which is ruled by Mars, meaning that transits made by this planet are particularly important and Mars in the 2nd house (and squaring the natal Saturn) points to a destructive climate and the loss of possessions or material resources.
This is a retroactive analysis, not a prediction. Hopefully, it doesn't feel like I'm stretching the meaning of these symbols too much in order to make sense of it. My hope is that by studying the astrological 'causes' of past events, we will be better forewarned about similar events that might happen in the future and better prepare for them, if we can't avoid them altogether.
If you're as upset about what's happening in Texas as I am, please considering donating, either to an organization or directly to someone who you know needs it.