Let us face ourselves bravely as we are. For only a philosophy that recognizes reality can lead us into true happiness, and only that kind of philosophy is sound and healthy.
Lin Yutang (Chinese inventor, linguist, novelist, philosopher, and translator, 1895-1976)
For this first full week of the 2020’s, in a time as volatile and dangerous as I have ever seen in my life, a rare visitor has come calling. For only the fifth time since 2003, we welcome the sober, clear-thinking King of Swords.
And his gifts and challenges could hardly be more apt at this time.
Swords are the suit associated with the Element of Air, which rules the mind and intellect. Swords are about perception, thought, communication, and decision-making.
And as with all court cards, this is one of the Tarot’s “people” cards. So we must weigh whether this is an actual person we know, some aspect of ourselves, or, more generally, a kind of energy or perspective.
The King of Swords is the only court card that looks directly at us. He is very similar to The Emperor and Justice, two other figures who sit upon their thrones, gazing at us, and passing judgment.
(As you probably know, 2020 is the Tarot Year of the Emperor, which I admit I have had trouble delivering to you, since the context of this year, less than a week in, is so explosive. Still, it is in progress, so please check back later this week).
Notice that this King’s throne is surrounded by clouds. He may be an idealist, but his expression is utterly no-nonsense. His throne and his feet are on the ground, so he is not out of touch with life.
This King rules by the intelligence of his mind. You could call him the Mr. Spock of the Tarot – unemotional, often remote and aloof. But despite his seeming coldness, he also represents the pinnacle of what logic and intellect can achieve.
He (or she) is a successful leader in professions that require exceptional communication skills, visionary planning, and meticulous attention to details such as a judge, professor or teacher, scientist, researcher, politician (the good ones), writer, or public speaker.
As a perfectionist, he may be hard to please. His standards are sometimes impossibly high, and he can be a control freak. But at his best, he has an unequivocal view of how things really are. He is a champion for truth, and can impartially wield his sword for social justice and progress.
What Is True?
The King of Swords is likely to be the brainiest, most eloquent person in the room, and when he unleashes his opinions, stand back.
He doesn’t care how he makes anyone feel when he engages with them. He demands empirical evidence for arguments, and never tolerates the half-baked faux news, agenda-laden propaganda, and Twitterverse spew that is regularly passed along as if it is truth.
He knows that it is no understatement to say that the corrosive culture of attacking science, logic, and thoughtful discourse has put our entire civilization in peril.
The Shift is Now
Some might suppose that the King of Swords would not be compatible with astrology. But the truth is, some of the greatest scientists in history were astrologers and adept in the esoteric arts.
It is only in recent years that we have lost this entire dimension of the arts and sciences, and it is to our detriment, in my opinion.
Thus, it seems perfectly reasonable for the King of Swords to be our guide to this week’s exceptional astrological drama.
The astrology of 2020 starts off with a bang, as my friend Diotima Mantineia has so aptly described. In fact, as predicted by every astrologer I know, we are in the climactic period of an unprecedented (in our lifetimes) shift, bringing enormous pressure and change. If you didn’t read her New Year’s post that I suggested week, I urge you to.
On Friday, Uranus, revolutionary planet of ingenuity, epiphany, and nonconformity, stations direct. As the “higher octave” of Mercury, this is good news for all those seemingly endless technology and communication glitches that we wish we could blame on Mercury.
Uranus rules the sign of Aquarius, and astrology legend Rick Levine writes:
Revolutionary Uranus forced an uncomfortable calm when it went retrograde on August 11, 2019, which kept us from making the important changes we felt brewing beneath the surface.
But when Uranus turns direct on January 10, 2020, all of those urges we had been suppressing for that time will erupt on a personal and global scale.
Uranus is the planet of shocks and surprises, but it was inhibited while in retrograde. It’s been a period of relative quiet, but when it’s direct we may experience both brilliant and disturbing ideas and events.
Uranus in Taurus represents sudden and unexpected events, including revolutionary ways of handling and dealing with money, both nationwide and worldwide, which we’ve seen during its time in this sign.
So if you think the past five months have been chaotic, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.
My brilliant friend, Elisabeth Grace adds:
At 8:48 PM ET, rebel Uranus turns direct. Uranus is the disruptor of the status quo. It refers to freedom, technology, astrology, seismic activity, aviation, geniuses, mavericks and batshit crazy people with access to way too much power.
As I type this forecast on Monday, Uranus is at a virtual standstill from our perspective on Spaceship Earth. The image is that of a driver leaning on the horn of her car. Pay attention to all that Uranus symbolizes!
There is a potential disruption of the status quo wherever Uranus falls in your horoscope — and in the mundane world, in all things symbolized by Taurus: food, earth, fashion, art, property, money, etc.
That very same day, not only is there a Full Moon in the sign that rules the Moon (Cancer), it features an eclipse. Elisabeth explains:
The Full Moon — also a lunar eclipse — is exact at 20 degrees of Cancer, suggesting illumination and/or a release. This Moon will oppose three planets by the end of the workday: Mercury, Saturn and Pluto — at 2:33 PM ET, 6:43 PM ET and 6:58 PM ET.
Those four planets in Capricorn (including the Sun) need to make things happen — damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. With Capricorn’s stellar talent for strategy and using whatever is available to achieve its goals, the Cancer Moon’s need for emotional and home/homeland security can become a talking point.
What may be lacking here is actual empathy for the Cancer Moon’s sensitivity. My dear mentor Noel Tyl sees this particular polarity as a “precarious” balance.
Thus, beware of the King of Swords’ shadow side: when he is out of balance, he may have a habit of belittling and repressing emotions, as if logic and analysis are “better.” He should be smart enough to know they are simply different facets of our humanity.
But of course, the really big event this week is the exact conjunction between Lord of Karma and Time, Saturn and the God of Destruction and the Underworld, Pluto.
Lorna Bevan guides us with a steady hand:
This is what is meant by walking the razor’s edge path between two great lines of force, as hardcore realist Saturn the Master Teacher encounters implacable change agent Pluto in Capricorn for the first time since 1518 when Martin Luther began the Protestant Revolution.
It’s a rite of passage, squeezing us through the eye of a needle into a whole new era. One we have never experienced before, with Ceres speaking directly to the toxic relationship between humanity and Gaia herself. This is the crisis point of no return.
Expect this cycle to have an exceptionally powerful effect in the next 2 years, stimulating significant geopolitical dynamics that will affect the distribution of power economically on a global scale.
Saturn conjunct Pluto is very much the nuclear missile of combinations. Hard aspects between Saturn and Pluto often bring natural disasters, particularly seismic and volcanic activity.
This is not a one-off dramatic event, it’s just the start of a huge chain of dominoes toppling.
Rick agrees, telling us:
Astrologers all around the globe have been talking about the January conjunction of Saturn and Pluto ever since Saturn flew into Capricorn in December 2017.
Back then, I announced, “Saturn has only one inevitable task as he moves through his home sign, and that is a meeting with Pluto, The Lord of the Hell Realms.”
Well, the meeting date has arrived!
The Saturn-Pluto conjunction is exact on January 12. We might as well consider it exact all month long, because astrological events this grand are not grist for the cosmic mill for only a day or two. The influence of this powerhouse of a conjunction has been building for a couple of years coming and will not start to lose significant momentum until after the Jupiter joins Pluto and Saturn in November/December 2020.
Ideas, cultures, nations, and individuals are colliding; tentative new boundaries are being formed. The current occurrence of this three-times-per-century conjunction is extremely rare for several reasons.
- It’s in Saturn’s home sign of Capricorn;
- The lunar nodes are in the same sign;
- Jupiter is also in the picture;
- There is a Lunar Eclipse with a couple of degrees/days of the exact conjunction, and
- It’s actually a four-planet conjunction with the Sun and Mercury conjuncting the Saturn-Pluto conjunction.
And look at what’s happening here on Earth! We are in the midst of a rare impeachment process in the USA that is throwing the country into a constitutional crisis.
The European Union is losing the UK. NATO is in jeopardy. Colonial interests are being challenged again in places like Hong Kong.
The Amazon, Indonesia, and now Australia are burning. Political differences seem insurmountable…
Sound like a meltdown in progress? Yes, but this is precisely where the King of Swords’ unique perspective can make all the difference.
Like him, cool-headed, sharp-witted people that love problem-solving, who can see the big picture and mind the details, and who relish complexity are desperately needed for this pivotal time.
From the Cosmic to the Personal
Who do you call on in such an emergency? Is there someone in your circle or wider community that you trust to handle difficulty with poise, fairness, and scrupulous integrity? Maybe that someone is you!
The King of Swords urges us to do our homework this week and stick to the facts. When times are difficult, we need to think clearly and logically, with precision and a certain amount of emotional detachment. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions, listen carefully for the truth, and make honest choices.
What is happening in your life that requires you to set aside your personal feelings? How might you handle these matters more frankly and without prejudice?
This card may show up for you this week if you are working with attorneys, government bureaucracy, or academia. This also might be an opportunity to make an important decision.
And this card is a good reminder that sometimes we need to break free of emotional and energetic obfuscation, including people who drain us with their drama.
The dithering, fiddly indecision of last week’s Seven of Cups has no place in this King’s world.
This week, let us do all in our power to ensure that facts, trustworthy analysis, and adult logic will prevail over reactive, infantile nonsense. May those in power know what they don’t know, and thus listen well to advice and expertise. And let us insist on candor and transparency from those around us, and from within ourselves as well.
The King of Swords’ gift is to see things with depth and wisdom. With his unflinching gaze, may we face ourselves bravely, as we are.