A Look at January 2020

Planet SaturnWhile it appears there is a difficult start to 2020 with world-shaking events, eclipses and so forth, 2020 is in fact shaping up to be a positive year for many people. We look to the planets in January 2020.

Saturn conjunct Pluto.

Pluto is an outer planet, among the three planets prophesied in an ancient mss in Chennai, as (then) yet to be relocated. They are Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, said to be higher octaves or expressions of Mercury, Venus and Mars, respectively. Our practice is that neo-Vedic astrologers attend to the divinity within, ishvara sarva bhutanam – the Supreme Lord is situated within all that exists. Hence, the divinity within Uranus is Prajapati, the Creator; the divinity within Neptune is Varuna, god of the Oceans, and for Pluto, the divinity is Yama (Dharmaraja), the god of Death, and God of following right conduct in life.

The Saturn-Pluto conjunction occurs in Sagittarius, and is vargottama, making it more powerful and stronger in impact. Vargottama means in the same sign in both the birth chart – and in this case – the ninth harmonic, the Navamsa chart. The conjunction takes place in Uttara Ashada nakshatra, ruled by the Sun, giver of light and magnetism, and which relays the energies from the Grand Central Sun of our Universe, Sagittarius A, a dark star. Uttara Ashada is of the manushya class of ganas, the human, who is more properly the oen with the inner resident of the heart – Divinity itself.

Pluto as an outer planet thought to be cause of destruction and transformation, death and regeneration, catharsis and release, purification and cleansing, we look to the heart of the matter: the heart that the world saw when the New Horizons space craft did a fly-by in 2015:


Planet Pluto
New Horizons captured this image of Pluto a day before its closest pass, from a distance of about 740,000 kilometres; it includes a strikingly heart-shaped light patch that NASA referred to as a “love note” sent back to Earth.

What energies does Pluto as planet refract to the human? We keep in mind that the planets can raise us up, they can pull us down; it all depends on how we utilise their energy. When we look to Pluto, we engage with healing, being purified, being restored, reformed back into our our original expression of divinity. Pluto transforms, converts, cleanses, transmutes and remakes the heart and its expression of what is within the human.

This is a step-up to a higher level of integrity, a higher expression of true humanness, engaged by the energy of Saturn. The Saturn-Pluto conjunction reveals a higher frequency of light to the human, a call to a global humanistic culture of peace and cooperation, harmony and co-existence, and promulgation of the oneness of humanity within individuals, families, society and culture, and between nations. This is about following dharma, giving expression to true humannness.

So what role does Yama play here? Yama – also known as Dharmaraja – is both God of Death and God of Dharma, the following of right order, right conduct. As we are speaking about a conjuction with Saturn, it is meet and fitting to recall that Saturn and Pluto are brothers. Saturn is Saneswara, Pluto is Yama; both are surya-putraya, children of the Sun. Their mother is Chhaya, the Shadow and spouse of Surya, the Sun.

It is like the Sun and the Moon; both are luminaries and givers of light. Planets such as Saturn and Pluto, siblings we know as Shaneswara and Yama, are also givers of light in that they reflect the light of the Sun, their father. The conjunction of Saturn and Pluto is about giving of light, in the sign of Jupiter, the multiplier, the magnifier. Jupiter is neutral to Saturn and Pluto and hence, is able to lend his energy to this conjunction and assist the delivery of light from the far reaches of our galaxy to the heart of the human, and so restore the higher frequency within that enables the practice of right conduct as the essence of what it means to be human. This is the higher essence of this conjunction of these planets: they are givers of light, the light goes within, the light raises the frequency, the vibration of the human – indeed all species on the Earth – and in our galaxy.

Yama - God of Death, God of following dharma
Yamraj – the God of Death; the God of following Dharma

Dharmam moolam jagat, dharma is the proper order of the Universe,
dharma is the proper vesture of the human.

Ketu into Mula Nakshatra

This is a little movement of them South Node of the Moon towards the Galactic Centre. This movement represents a call to go within and discover our true nature – our Oneness with all that is, with the Source – who is One without a Second – and with all that we survey. It is like two sides of the coin, it is real, and it is illusion at the same time. Ketu is detached, Ketu explores the depths within, Ketu is at home going deeper and deeper within to the Source of it all.

Mula translates as the root or original star, which is symbolized as a tied bunch of roots. It is located around the galactic center of our universe. The ruling planetary deity is Ketu, the South Node of the Moon, which reflects the mystical nature of this asterism. The primary deity is Nirritti, the Goddess of Destruction. She lives in the Kingdom of the Dead and is associated with the powerful goddess, Kali. The shakti revealed here is the power to ruin, destroy, and to break things apart

So we see that Ketu is at home in what can be a destructive environment. We need to rein in our own self-destructiveness with discrimination and detachment. Spiritual advance is never advance without common sense. We have a searchlight within our hearts, forever pointing the way home, forever guiding us along the paths of truth. We should never let go of what we know as truth on our spiritual journey of any kind.

Ketu in Mula Nakshatra calls us to look to the signs of our intuition, our deep unconscious self, and take steps – with common sense – to progress on our spiritual journey. No experimentation with substances is needed; Ketu is entirely capable of sathyam anavesham – excavation of the Truth.


This sweeping panorama is the sharpest infrared picture ever made of the Milky Way’s galactic core , where massive stars are forming.

Credit for Hubble image : NASA, ESA, and Q.D. Wang (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Saturn enters Capricorn
January 24, 2020 – January 17, 2023

Planet Saturn
Capricorn (Makara) sign specialises in hierarchical pyramid-shaped social organisations, bureaucracy, social ranks and classes, structure and bones, orderly social leadership, regulation and legislation, policy and protocol, judgements and the rule of law.

Shani – Saturn in Makara (sign of Capricorn) find itself at home exerting restriction, delay, slow progress and drawing of attention to the dregs of society and culture. While abiding lawful authority, Shani is the agent of “no-change”, conformity, uniformity, non-movement, non-innovation, freeze-up, seize-up, stop. No-Go Shani says “not ‘no’, but ‘slow’” to the hierarchical, lawful, step-wise, ranked, punitive, bureaucratic, materialistic, socially stratified, conformist, regulatory, statutory, governing characteristics of Makara.

In other words, Saturn binds us with chains of responsibility, duty and completion of tasks set. When this is done, Saturn and will uplift us and set us on our path through life.

We keep in mind that the planets distribute light to us, on the subtle level. Hence, their influence on our karma is experienced. When Capricorn begins to operate, past karmas are activated. Consequently, many unusual events begin to take place. The past accumulated forces are worked out so that the burden is lessened and sensitivity is heightened for absorbing fresh inspiration. The inner light concealed under the deceptive mask is released. Disillusionment, destruction of traditional values, and a new alignment of forces all occur under this influence. Thereafter, we are uplifted, enabled, empowered to follow dharma in our lives.


Planet Saturn
Saturn helps us along our path in life after we have dutifully attended to our karma and dharma