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The January 2020 Full Moon Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 20 Cancer-Capricorn

The January 2020 Full Moon Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 20 Cancer-Capricorn

Finding Hope and Celebration As We Prepare For What’s Ending

This initiating, responsible, purifying and restructuring Penumbral Lunar Eclipse occurs at 11:21 am PST, 7:21 pm GMT on January 10, and falls at the 20th degree of Capricorn and Cancer. As with all Full Moons, use the light you’ve been seeing and expressing since the New Moon, and give it form and focus to see how to anchor those themes in expression. This is the Light of our mobilization expressed as the Light of rehearsing some sort of group activity expressed as our ability to enjoy ourselves and play the roles we were born to play.

As I told you yesterday, this Lunar Eclipse is fairly long in duration, but also very weak in strength. So we begin a period of several months where many old things will shut down in life areas where we have late Cancer and late Capricorn in our charts. We’ve all be seeing the Light of honesty since the New Moon Solar Eclipse two weeks ago, and given the impending Saturn septile Neptune, it’s time to forgive all we can and “let go, let god.”

Today’s Full Moon post will be an overview of the Lunation and some of its primary qualities. In parts 2 and 3 we’ll cover the Sabian Symbols, aspects, distributions, and patterns.

An Overview

We’ve all been practicing forms of spiritual service for the past 9 months, and from now on these skills will be a part of our everyday life. We are promised the end of many things over the next few months by this Eclipse, so take a new look at your commitments and how you want to “add value” to those things. This Eclipse also activates the Light of December as Mars occupies the same degree as the New Moon in Sagittarius, and as Jupiter leads the Sun, be organized and responsible in your communications, and forgive much, not as weakness but as an expression of your spiritual maturity.

At this Lunar Eclipse, we are just coming off the Superior Conjunction of Mercury with the Sun at 20 Capricorn, and are on the threshold of both Mercury and the Sun conjuncting Saturn and Pluto, as well as Saturn conjuncting Pluto! This Great Compression shows many old Capricorn parts of our lives are about to undergo a total transformation and radical restructuring, so when in doubt, “let go and let god,” since you cannot resist the larger tide of evolution in motion symbolized by the Saturn conjunct Pluto.

This is the second Full Moon with Jupiter in Capricorn, which is teaching us how to generate happiness despite the coldness of our times by sounding “an antiphonic response” (as Rudhyar puts it) to bring forth hope, joy, and a promise for the future where these are absent. Of course, many endings are promised by any Eclipse, and this one is sure to shut down and recycle parts of our lives, leaving space for new developments.

So it could very well be a time when our rehearsals are ending, and action is coming! Or it could be that we’ll shut down some old sense of duty or responsibility, or even an old way of enjoying ourselves in mundane ways. Whatever is touched by an Eclipse is sure to transform through endings which will be filled with new life material in the future!

We also approach the end of the cycle which began with Mars conjunct Jupiter in January 2018. The theme of that degree is transfiguration, whether at the end of a process or a promise of fulfillment to come. Mars is now at 5 Sagittarius on its way to its next conjunction with Jupiter in late Capricorn in March 2020. Take a look back on all which has culminated in a transfigured life since early 2018 to understand how everything has conspired to lead you to the end of an old service and the beginning of a new one.

This Full Moon features a very tight semisquare to and from Mars to the stellium in late Capricorn. There will be a lot of soul searching in the coming months, with the sense of oppression the strongest during the conjunctions to Saturn and Pluto. Still, this will be followed by the Light of new group work and power beginning March. So use this time wisely to face facts, being as honest with yourself and others as you can, but with compassion and as much forgiveness of the past as you can generate, since we’ll all know by Summer that some things are done and gone forever.

Is the Sun Following the Moon, or the Moon Following the Sun?

There are two patterns; one is when the Full Moon Sun is the same sign as the previous New Moon Sun, and the other is when the Full Moon Sun is in the next sign from the Sun in the previous New Moon. We are now in a period when the Full Moon Sun falls in the same sign as the Sun in the previous New Moon.

We last had the Sun in the same sign in both the New Moon and Full Moon, the so-called “natural” order, between June 2016 and the late July 2017 New Moon in Leo, when the Full Moon Sun fell in the same sign as the Sun of the previous New Moon. We finished the period of the “natural” order of Lunation Suns at the August 2017 Solar Eclipse in late Leo and began the last period where the Full Moon Sun was in the sign following the New Moon Sun.

We were in this “reversed pattern” of the Sun of the Full Moon occupying the sign after the New Moon Sun for 20 months, and now are back to the “natural order” of the Sun in the New Moon being the same as the Sun in the next Full Moon. Our recent New Moon Sun was at 5 Capricorn, and this Full Moon has a Sun at 20 Capricorn.

Since the New Moon offers us seeds in the first half of the month’s lunar cycle, and fulfillment in the second half, we now are in a sequence with the “Seed Light” of Capricorn coming to a Full Moon illumination through the current Sun in Capricorn and Moon in Cancer. You can learn more about the recent New Moon Solar Eclipse at 5 Capricorn by checking out those two articles posted 2 weeks ago.

Planetary Distribution

In this Full Moon, the span occupied by the inner planets (in this chart the Sun at 20 Capricorn through Venus at 27 Aquarius spans 36+ degrees. This span will be the focus of specific activity in our charts. When we add the planets inside that span (Saturn and Pluto), and include Neptune in Pisces, it expands the active span to SEVEN planets in 67+ degrees. It’s becoming a VERY crowded house!

Now that the Sun, Mercury, and Mars are closing in on the outer planet span, our occupied planetary spread extends through 5 signs with the Moon outside the span in mid-Cancer activating a 6th. We last hit maximum compression in March 2018, with all planets between Jupiter at 24 Scorpio and Uranus at 27 Aries, making a very powerful triseptile between the bookends.

We’re now entering another period of major planetary compression because currently the widest span is between Mars in early Sagittarius and Uranus in early Taurus, bringing us back to an approaching Bundle Jones pattern except for when the Moon is outside the occupied span. That means every Full Moon to come between now and the Wesak Full Moon of May will have a Bucket pattern created by the Moon outside the occupied span.

At this time we have the 10 traditional planets occupying 6 signs, in an imbalanced hemispheric distribution. Currently, the outer planet occupied span begins with Jupiter in early Capricorn, then moves through Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, Neptune in Pisces, and Uranus in early Taurus, with the inner planets now occupying Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius. In this chart the Moon in Cancer is outside the occupied span.

The Jones patterns in the sky now change mainly due to the position of the Moon. While we’ve been in a Bowl pattern for a while, with this Full Moon in Cancer we continue our Full Moon Bucket patterns which will dominate every Full Moon through May 2020!

So What is a “Bucket Pattern” and how does it work?

This type of spread, with all the planets in about half the signs with one outside that span wide enough to be a handle, creates a “Bucket” Jones Pattern. The energies of the occupied half are focused through the “handle,” or “nozzle,” in this case the Moon, termed the “focal determinator.”

The handle, or focal determinator, represents the way to greater effectiveness, the cause to be embraced, the lack to be filled, or the way to use the total energies of this time in a focused manner. With the Moon in Cancer as the handle, we should be able to “get a handle on what we need to do” by demonstrating good Cancer skills and approaches. Thus the focus requires sensitivity, sympathy, caring, “enlightened self-interest,” active protective maneuvers, and a “sideways” approach to engaging other. This will yield personality “re-integrations.”

Dr. Jones states “the bucket type indicates a particular and rather uncompromising direction in the life effort.” This pattern gives “interest in a cause,” with executive tendencies that will adapt allegiances to maximize results of the effort. He says “the bucket type at its best reveals the real instructor and inspirer of others, and at its worst the agitator and malcontent.” This is the larger planetary pattern within which we’re all trying to do what we do.

We are also told this pattern is more about finding an effective release for energy within social settings, but also about the individual imposing their patterns on society rather than adapting to what is there. It’s about focused intention. So all of us can expect some sort of focused attention on the house where we have 20 Cancer.

At this Full Moon, the hemispheric emphasis shows us Mars is the opening planet and Uranus the closing planet in the occupied span. Find expansive wise approaches to initiate experience, figuring out how to express your truth in impersonal ways. With Uranus closing, keep everything on track as you allow your “new quality of Being rendering the old patterns obsolete” to continue to take shape. This leads with actional abstraction, and closes with actional substantiation. The handle, or nozzle for expressing our Sagittarius through Taurus activity is found in Cancer.

The Rhombus

When Uranus went retrograde at 7 Taurus, it again began to semisquare Neptune, anchoring the off-again, on-again friction Rhombus Diamond configuration. We have to deal with this “cutting, grinding, and polishing” quality each time the Moon or another planet moves through the middle of the mutable signs and the beginning of the fixed signs.

In this chart it’s not activated by the Eclipse, or any other planet, though it will be in play as the inner planets move through early Aquarius and semisquare Neptune while squaring Uranus. These off-again, on-again aspects continue to generate a lot of friction “polishing us to perfection” wherever we have 15-21 Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, as well as 1-5 Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius.

If you have a planet in any of these 8 zones, be willing to allow your “will to wholeness” to break up old complexes so you can find a new way to represent yourself in the larger renewal of these times. Turn away from old social conditioning, see the blessings in your independence based in your mature experience, and join with others in some group building work. We approach several months of letting go to reintegrate our personalities so we can do the work we need to do in the future.

The perfect Rhombus Diamond is made every September when a planet is in mid-Virgo opposing Neptune at the same time another planet is opposed Uranus, with double semisquares and sesquisquares created between those planets. This creates a massive Octile frictional configuration, which was most recently activated during Mercury and Venus opposed Neptune and sesquisquared Uranus in early September.

This year it was perfected when the Moon was in early Scorpio on September 2-3, exactly when Venus in Virgo squared Jupiter and opposes Neptune. At that critical juncture we had tremendous friction due to SEVEN planets all in conjunctions and octile series aspects to each other! That friction continued for several weeks, since the Full Moon at 22 Virgo-Pisces had Mars square Jupiter and opposed Neptune, keeping 3 legs of the Rhombus active through late September.

Is the Grand Irrationality A Factor in this Full Moon?

First, what it is. The Grand Irrationality is a phenomenon we’ve been living within since 1993. Since then, we’ve been in an extraordinarily irrational period which continues to this day. To refresh you, the Grand Irrationality is a long wave configuration set into motion every time a planet makes a conjunction, septile, biseptile, or triseptile to Neptune and/or Pluto. Septile series aspects show us points in time when our future destiny is precipitated by critical choices made in the present.

Because this configuration involved Neptune and Pluto, two powerhouse Transpersonal planetary representatives of Spirit, they have symbolized the long wave planetary crisis the entire human race has been going through since 1993. From then to now, at one point or another, everyone on Earth has experienced a nonstop energy of having to choose, at the bottom of our beings, the path to evolution or devolution, progress or regress, love or fear, joy or control. It’s why things have been so weird, irrational, and hard-edged.

The Grand Irrationality V.1 was the period when Neptune was septile Pluto. It began in 1993, was very strong and in constant movement the last 5 years of the 20th century and the first 15 years of this century. This phase has now waned, since Neptune no longer makes a forming or partile separating septile to Pluto and won’t again for many centuries.

However, we have now moved into a new phase of The Grand Irrationality! It’s not the configuration as we’ve known it since the 90s, since the Neptune part of the equation has faded into a “pulse” that is triggered after the main configuration is set into play. I explain more downstream.

Uranus began to biseptile Pluto in the Summer of 2017, briefly setting the new configuration into play. That began the current “never-ending revolution” since Uranus, the Cosmic Awakener, is dancing off and on at its “fork in the road of destiny” with Pluto, the Lord of Transformation. I term this phase The Grand Irrationality V.2!

This particular larger period in time is even stranger than it was during the Grand Irrationality V.1, since this period combines the on-again, off-again Uranus’ semisquare to Neptune with Uranus biseptile Pluto. So along with the hard edge of the Grand Irrationality involving Uranus and Pluto in a 7th harmonic aspects, we also have Uranus in the Rhombus 8th harmonic frictional aspect to Neptune. So we have all three traditional Transpersonal spiritual planets in dynamic activation at this time in history!

In this chart the configuration is extraordinarily active due to Saturn conjunct Pluto, reigniting the Neptune septile Pluto! Add that Mars is biseptile Neptune AND both the Sun and Mercury are in partile biseptile with Uranus and you have all the elements of BOTH versions of the Grand Irrationality in play! So expect very dramatic non-rational events to dominate the world stage over the next few months as we all navigate the larger planetary “rendezvous with destiny” promised by the many conjunctions, septiles, and biseptiles made to and from Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto over the next few weeks.

The active zones in the Grand Irrationality are a few paragraphs down, and if you have a planet or point in one of those zones, the Wisdom Forms coming forth for you this year and early 2020 will find you've navigated a fork in the road of your greater destiny, leaving you ready for a greater adventure and group work in 2020 and beyond! I'll discuss more in part 3 where we deal with the aspects in this Full Moon Lunar Eclipse.

Saturn’s Dance With Uranus

Saturn made the first of its long wave biseptiles with Uranus between January and May 2019, bringing the configuration into mass consciousness, triggering major life changes and realignment of responsibilities. Last month it again biseptiled Uranus, creating the structure for radical changes in December and January when transits activate major changes through biseptiles to Uranus. As noted, these will in turn lead to new initiatives in March when there are a huge number of conjunctions, septiles, and biseptiles created by the transits!

What Saturn structured in 2019 is now going to be part of the larger irrational shifts in destiny indicated by the transpersonal transformational energies again in play. Saturn is giving structure to the Plutonic seeds of the zones it occupied the past few years. Each time any inner planet transits the 7 active zones, choices, changes, and forks in the road of destiny are set into motion!

The first Saturn biseptile was active in February and March 2019, and activated a second time between late April and the end of May. These were our dress rehearsal for the third and final one which just happened. We also had a tremendous number of 7th harmonic aspects in play involving 6 planets in the Christfest Full Moon indicating this year’s World Teaching, indicating that humanity in general, and we individuals specifically, made major choices related to shaping our destiny this past year.

More on Uranus Biseptile Pluto

We have now moved through the second major phase of radical choices and changes associated with these two planets in a 7th harmonic aspect. As I offered in May 2018 when Uranus first entered Taurus, “.... they will soon make a biseptile, guaranteed to be a very unstable and irrational time!” That prophesy has certainly played out in the news this year with trumpets blaring, thanks to other transits triggering these 7th harmonic non-rational energies.

We first encountered Uranus biseptile Pluto very briefly in August 2017, and it went into nonstop pulses beginning at the end of June 2018 with Uranus again 101+ degrees from Pluto. This lasted through October when the orb became too wide. We experienced the return to the trielftile between December 2018 and April 2019 with the biseptile exact between May and July. As just noted, it is now back at full volume between October 2019 and December 2019.

This is the first biseptile in the larger Uranus/Pluto cycle that began at their conjunctions in the mid-1960s. The waxing septile occurred 1989-1991, so this is the next point in that larger “Pulse of Destiny.” The hot zones, measured from the October through December Uranus biseptile Pluto positions, are around 19-23 Capricorn, 11-15 Pisces, 2-6 Taurus, 24-28 Gemini, 15-19 Leo, 6-10 Libra, and 27 Scorpio- 1 Sag. If you have anything near these zones, your life has had some abrupt transformational experiences in late October and early November 2018 when Jupiter activated both Uranus and Pluto!

As I’ve offered many times during this era of the Grand Irrationality, if things don’t make sense, they don’t have to. The only thing that matters is to know how to focus and not get distracted by the craziness in the atmosphere. Sometimes, when we keep our heads when all around us are losing theirs, we come out on the other side looking and feeling good!

Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend

Because Saturn is in its home sign of Capricorn, it is the final dispositor of all planets transiting Capricorn and Aquarius from now through 2023. That makes it a dominant force through April 2022. And, now that Jupiter is in Capricorn, Saturn dominates the planetary stage as the final dispositor for all the planets except the current Moon in Cancer and Neptune in Pisces! This influence will last for a while, since Saturn also rules Aquarius, and therefore will be a dominant influence for years to come.

Remember that while Saturn can feel heavy, it is also our ability to take command of our lives and destiny by using Saturn’s virtues in the right way and time. Our ability to steer our “ship of personality” into its rightful “current of destiny” is in front of us, based in how we have prepared for our “role of destiny” heading at us like an express train! In 2019 we rehearsed and perfected roles and skills we’ll need in 2020 and beyond as part of the Saturn-Uranus “dance of individualization” in our lives. This month we begin to crystallize present and future rewards. This begins a year of new group work and roles opening new chapters in our “hero’s journey” into our new quality of Being awakened by Uranus.

I explain how these two awaken us to our Higher Powers to take conscious command of our destiny in my book Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend.Saturn helps us give form and structure to our quest for Self-realization, and in Capricorn, teaches us how to construct an “organized personal structure” to the Uranian energies making our spiritual life come alive.

It was written for both astrologers and non-astrologers. Even those with little or no understanding of astrology will benefit from understanding why you had to make certain choices at crucial times that shaped your life in profound ways.

Each time you read any section of this book you will find new insights about your power to throw off all the attitudes and memories which hold you back from finding and living the life and purpose. If you’ve haven’t already gotten your copy, you can go to the Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend page on Amazon and this should be all you need to order your copy. It’s also available on Amazon and as an ebook on Kindle, so if that’s more to your liking, go for it! If you would, whether you’ve gotten the ebook or the paperback, please write a review on the Amazon site, since the more reviews, the more of a boost they give it.

On A Final Note

See you in the near future with parts two and three on this Full Moon Lunar Eclipse which will remove many old rules, limitations, duties, responsibilities, and habits over the next 5 months. The main theme concerns finding hope and inspiration in the midst of daily routines while seeing how everything is playing its part in somewhat enjoyable ways. We’ve been rehearsing, and the coming weeks will move us into a “real time” dress rehearsal as we stand on the threshold of a new Era!

New roles, new power, new influence, and new responsibilities are coming in 2020 for those who have trained, and will lead to new group work in 2021 and 2022. We saw broader truths and futures during the past year of Jupiter in Sagittarius, and now can take those great principles we glimpsed and practice them in forms of personal power. The friction of the next few weeks is mostly internal, but there are major forks in the road because of all the 7th harmonic aspects!

The more skillful we become in dealing with life’s aggravations, annoyances, disruptions, and unexpected diversions, the more we are able to keep our cool in the midst of the generic atmospheric conflict and irrationality. That way we can fulfill our destiny and enjoy the journey!

Again, our entry to experience during these weeks is via the expansive wisdom of Mars in Sagittarius leading us to act on our vision and truth. The Superior Conjunction of Mercury with the Sun heralds signs and signals of things to come as it approaches its coming retrograde in mid-February in Pisces. This Eclipse will help us eliminate a lot of old structures and rules which no longer serve our spiritual service, and Jupiter promises that if we can find “disciplined forgiveness” which communicates our sense of responsibility, we will see the Light of new approaches to teaching and learning.

With Saturn exactly conjunct Pluto and both Mercury and the Sun closing on their conjunctions with both, we can experience some very high states of consciousness if we allow ourselves to let go of fear and too many mental gymnastics related to “attaining higher awareness.” New teachers, new teachings, and new group efforts are all promised by this Lunar Eclipse!

Our lives have been transfigured since 2018 as we embraced the journey into the unknown. We have received the promise of rewards to come for doing our part in the Cosmic Choir. With Saturn conjunct Pluto, this is the cosmic moment to let go of fear, egocentricity, and feelings of fatigue or inadequacy. We are still finding healing through objectivity and a sense of humor as we practice a higher, more diplomatic and dignified way of interacting with others.

As we approach the Grand Mutation of 2020, the next two weeks complete many old cycles and open new ones. This is the time to let go of all which inhibits our ability to claim our power in a public way. Be willing to let go of fear and the need to control outcomes, and play the long game in every particular. Once Mars enters Capricorn in late February, the Capricorn promise of 2018 and 2019 will activate for decades to come!

I’ll see you soon when we’ll discuss Sabian Symbols, aspects, and other important chart factors.

© Copyright 2019 Robert Wilkinson -
Reprinted on with persmission from Robert Wilkinson.


© Copyright 2019 Robert Wilkinson -

About the author:

Robert WilkinsonRobert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
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