The Great Conjunction of Hemp
Perhaps you have heard about the upcoming astrological event, The Great Conjunction, the alignment and union of Jupiter and Saturn coinciding with the Winter Solstice on Monday December 21st - the longest night of the year. The two planets will appear to almost touch in the sky and will be the closest since 1623 and the brightest since 1226!
Whether you ascribe to the belief that stars influence events or not, prescientific scholars, healers, wise men & women used the ‘heavens’ as the backbone to their sophisticated work with plants. A complex symbolic map of attributes (born out of thousands of years of phenomenological observation) was shared between astrology, plants, and medicine. This system synchronized nature, the seasons of the body, and the procession of the planets into a coherent worldview that prevailed for 10,000+ years.
Using the cosmology of the ancients, their symbolic language of astrology and their association to plants and the organs of the body, I will apply this language to current events to elucidate a deeper understanding, especially in regards to the misunderstood and demonized plants such as hemp, (cannabis sativa), comfrey, poppies, henbane, ephedra and many other psychoactive plants & fungi and are often referred to as ‘seer’ plants. Plants & fungi that have a history of helping humans see deeper into themselves and connect with the forces of nature.
This astronomical event will be felt for the next 2 years, setting us up for the next 20 years of our lives here on planet earth until the next Conjunction on November 2, 2040. The “Great Conjunction” is a cyclical union between Jupiter and Saturn occurring every twenty years and is used to demarcate historical eras in traditional astrology.
In the past century, the Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions occurred conveniently demarcating the decades in this case 1980 and 2000. Their opposition (the farthest position of their orbits) occurred in 1990 and 2010. The next Jupiter/Saturn conjunction is occurring December 21st of 2020 in what is known as the zodiac of Aquarius (think of the sky divided into 12 pie slices each ‘ruled’ by a different zodiac sign). Even of more significance, the Jupiter/Saturn Great Conjunction of 2020 occurs at precisely 0º in Aquarius which is being interpreted as a great reset for humanity and the planet.
The Great Conjunction represents a changing of an era, and a time where we shift our way of viewing the world. This powerful conjunction creates an opening in the collective consciousness to let go of old institutions and laws that no longer serve society as a whole or the sustainability of the planet. There has been an atmosphere of apprehension and tension during the past few years as we approach the precipice of this new era, while simultaneously old issues and outdated laws have resurfaced in need of resolution.
To the ancients, Saturn was represented by an old man, the ruler of time. A modern day translation would liken Saturn to ‘Old Man Time,’ most familiar during the dropping of the ball on New Year’s eve. Saturn symbolizes the grandfather archetype and the old guard & old establishment, boundaries and limits, regulations & laws.
If Saturn is Old Man Time, then Jupiter is ‘Baby New Year’ grown up and 21, driving a Lambo. Jupiter is symbolic of expansion, growth, and elevated consciousness; the grandson always ready to learn, magnify, and create new structures. Herbs of Jupiter are the adaptogens and aphrodisiacs, helping us through turbulent times.
Grandfather Saturn meets with his Grandson Jupiter once every 20 years. When Jupiter and Saturn come together there is the intensity of old forms dying as well as the fertility of new growth beginning to take shape. At their best, Jupiter’s big ideas and enthusiastic largesse is structured by Saturn’s contemplative focus which trims the excess and strengthens all that is ready to ripen. Jupiter’s inspiration helps Saturn overcome fears of limitation and obstacles, leading to depressive stagnation.
When unharmonious, Jupiter’s energy of expansion can become over-expansion, not listening to the lessons of past generations, and striking out on delusions of grandeur from a place of greed and unadulterated egotism. Saturn can be rigid, overly severe, restrictive, and miserly, ignoring the humanity of the moment and clinging to outmoded and unserving ways of the past. During 2020, we have been dancing in a constant balancing act between Jupiter and Saturn, with a need to shift between the spontaneous growth of Jupiter and the methodical reordering of Saturn.
Though the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn every twenty years is always important, their union in 2020 has special and extraordinary significance. Jupiter and Saturn have traditionally met in zodiacs of the same element (zodiac signs also have an ‘elemental’ assigned to them). Jupiter met with Saturn in water signs during the 1400s to 1600s, fire signs from the 1600s to 1800s, and earth signs from 1802 to May 2000. The Great Conjunction this year marks the beginning of meeting in air signs until 2159.
The earth element signifies focus on material security and consolidation of resources that are resistant to change. This new ‘Age of Aquarius’ in Air will bring disruption to established order and dramatic changes in collective ideas and the ways we communicate. Hemp since the 1950s has been subject to a ‘war on drugs’. The Saturnian influence has locked the use of hemp behind governmental & legal boundaries. In recent times, you can feel the influence of Jupiter in the groundswell of states granting adult use and calling out for a rescheduling of cannabis.
Hemp in the cosmology of the ancients is ruled by Saturn. With the influence of the Great Conjunction in the Age of Aquarius (characterized by innovation, science, thought, open mindedness, truth seeking, humanitarianism, and freedom & equality), hemp is undergoing liberation from institutions of the old age and stepping into the new freedoms of broader acceptance and visibility. This Conjunction portends the federal rescheduling of cannabis and the eventual access to banking resources.
The future is moving beyond established institutional approaches to hemp. Younger folks are inspired to go back to their grandparents’ roots and return to farming. There is a growing interest in sustainable & regenerative farming practices. Hemp is helping to birth an herbal renaissance.
The future of hemp looks bright as Jupiter and Saturn conjoin in the Age of Aquarius. Science, Industry, and Society will be infused with the possibilities this simple and great plant offers, from non-fossil fuel based textiles such as fine linens, soft faux fur to automobile upholstery; bio plastics that have less impacts on the environment and oceans; bio fuels that have the potential to replace petroleum; highly nutritive animal feed stock; soil remediation; construction materials like varnish, papercrete, and insulation panels. You are living through the expansive possibilities that are becoming realities for our ally and friend, Hemp.
In summary, the Great Conjunction in Aquarius on December 21st, 2020 is an invitation to plant ‘evolutionary seeds’ to guide humanity over the next 200 years. It is a time to steward the energy and future of hemp, and give back to a plant that has given so much of itself to us. In a moment of stillness during the days before and after the Great Conjunction, you might want to ask yourself some of the following questions:
What do we leave behind in order to move forward?
What new possibilities are we being asked to reconsider? What new systems does the human collective need to build?
How can Hemp move our society forward?
Rather than looking to big governments or big businesses for support, how can we look to smaller, community-run organizations and small businesses?
There can be a greater focus on the idea that we all thrive when the collective thrives. How can you align yourself with like minded groups to work towards much needed solutions?
This cosmic reset invites us to seek and define for ourselves what is real especially in a hyper-mediated world.
As rapid changes occur around us and within us, it is understandable to feel uncomfortable and uncertain. Acknowledging those simple facts frees up the psychic energy wrapped in subconscious fear. How can you use that energy in your life, the lives of your friends and family, culture, and for the planet?