2024: The Year Ahead

2024 Pointing to a veiled sunrise.

AI-generated by DALL-E.

The year 2024 begins a crucial turning point. It is the year that initiates a set of major astrological alignments that will define the next couple of decades. I've coined this period The Radical Era, which, if we look at the astrology more holistically, stretches from 2020 until 2050.

The first alignments to define this era began in early 2020, including Saturn conjunct Pluto and Saturn square Uranus, as well as the centuries-long influence of Saturn and Jupiter meeting at 0º Aquarius on the December Solstice of that year. When we consider the difficulties the past three years have brought — Covid, January 6th, culture wars, international wars, democracy in peril — we can easily see correlation with those particular alignments. But when we look forward past 2024 we see a more optimistic astrological landscape, where concentrations of power are broken and liberating new ideas and technology flourish.

One major transit of this year is the ingress of Pluto into Aquarius. This could be the defining transit of these times that colors, shades, and underpins everything else. When we take a macro view of these middle years of the 2020s, we see that Pluto's entrance into Aquarius is accompanied by a trine from both Uranus and Jupiter. This grand alignment of planets is quite the herald for Pluto's new ground. It evokes for the coming years a decidedly Aquarian political landscape — that is, progressive and democratic — along with surprising technological innovation and social change.

Like prior phases of this kind, Uranus trine to Pluto suggests we are heading into a new Industrial Revolution, facilitated and marked by technological leaps in AI, new forms of energy, and robotics. Jupiter's influence brings cultural revolution, or renaissance. The combo of Jupiter and Uranus this Spring, fast-followed by Jupiter's trine to Pluto, evokes a moment of moral clarity brought on by a technological advance, or by artistic or journalistic revelation. Populist rebellion could be a part of it, in both a destructive and regenerative sense. In any case, the sociopolitical strife of Saturn's square to Uranus since 2020 is ending, taking with it a good amount of wind from the sails of the extreme right.

Astrologer Steven Forrest recently referred to Pluto in Aquarius as "the fall of the Dark Fathers." It's an idea that I agree with, that autocratic tyrants and corrupt billionaires, made fat on gross inequities that have become increasingly apparent since Pluto's entrance into Capricorn in 2008, are likely to topple as Pluto transits Aquarius. Multitudes of people around the world who have worked hard to restructure their deeper moral convictions and courage throughout Pluto's transit in Capricorn have had enough and are ready to act for change.

To me, with Pluto in Aquarius there is also a danger: The rise of the Dark Factions. Pluto represents our most core, existential fears and drives. While in Aquarius, those unconscious collective psychic dynamics become expressed through group alliances. Whatever constitutes the values of the chosen group are absolutely right and just, and whatever groups appear to stand opposed to those values are absolutely wrong and deserve punishment. Corruption and even total dysfunction become justified out of fear of otherwise lacking a core human need: a place to belong.

Pluto in this context represents psychological shadow, psychic realities which are undesirable, thus made unconscious, within us. Qualities like deceit, theft, and violent control tend to get relegated to shadow as we convince ourselves that we are somehow above those human failings. When these shadow qualities are projected upon another group, whether a nation, religion, or social affiliation, a justification for acting out the very evil being projected takes place. It's easy to attack and kill others when they have been painted in the dark hues of one's shadow. They become "vermin," "terrorists," "infidels," something other than human that must be stamped out.

As psychologist Carl Jung pointed out, withdrawing shadow projection is one of the most important — and most difficult — things we can do, because if we do not, it will take a calamity to get us to acknowledge and atone for the evil we ourselves have committed. This points to the high ground of Pluto in Aquarius: The willingness of people to take objective stock of their own dark psychological propensities while working to disarm their impulses towards destruction. This becomes a lot easier in groups of like-minded seekers, whether meditation circles or AA. And since we are all people (if you're not, please email me), it is up to every one of us to invoke the humility and emotional courage to look deeply within and be true to what we see.

The initial movement of Pluto into Aquarius, corresponding as it does with the trines from Uranus and Jupiter, gives us a positive glimpse into the potentials of Pluto's transit through Aquarius for the next twenty years. But as we move forward into 2024, we see difficult waters stirring up potential conflict within the U.S. No doubt the presidential election will be contentious, as Uranus will be applying to square to the United States Moon (at 27º Aquarius), which tends to reflect a buildup towards war. That astrological tension has corresponded with a major war all three times it has occurred in U.S. history: The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. However, in those cases there were also major conflictual alignments between Saturn, Uranus, and/or Pluto, which is not the case today. In fact, we have rather harmonious alignments between Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter (and soon, Saturn and Neptune) to help ease the process. Therefore, if a warlike conflict does arise it will not be a years-long protracted war, and given the astonishing coincidence of the Solar, Jupiter, and progressed Jupiter returns for the US in July 2025, whatever conflicts arise this year will have a very good chance for peaceful resolution in favor of democracy.

Lastly, on April 8th, the path of a total solar eclipse crosses the United States from Texas up through Maine. This is a kind of bookend to the eclipse of 2017 that cut from Oregon through Florida. April's eclipse occurs at 19º Aries, ruled by Mars conjunct Saturn in Pisces. This all may reflect a boiling over of anger in the populace, leading to a necessity to confront the realities of our conflicting values and shared dependence on each other. It can also reflect the rise of strong leaders ready to fight for values that unite rather than divide us. Remember that eclipses tend to correspond with realities manifesting in the world several months before or after the actual eclipse moment. Eclipses are like broad strokes, showing us a theme that will gradually build into a moment that can forever alter our collective course.

I have personally been looking forward to the second half of the 2020s for many years, wondering how the astonishing alignments of all planets beyond Mars will show up in our world. While we cannot see through the challenges ahead of us in 2024 that will demand from all of us that we hold steady against fear, the other side of that veil looks rather good. The world will always have its problems, but I believe we may soon feel the warmth of hope in humanity's potential for emerging victorious from the rubble of its self-inflicted suffering.

Please share your thoughts...

4 Responses to 2024: The Year Ahead

  1. Prashanti says:

    Once again Brian,Good to read, the clarity is welcomed. It reminds me of the Moody Blues line, from the ashes we will build a better day. Keeping hope alive isn’t always easy but well worth it!

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