What Is the ‘Great Conjunction 2020’ Everyone’s Talking About? (Psst: It’s Happening on December 21)

the great conjunction

Just when we thought 2020 was almost over, it’s serving us one last life-changing moment. Monday December 21 marks the Great Conjunction or a rare alignment of Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky. (Make sure to check your weekly horoscope that week!) This meeting of Jupiter (the zeitgeist) and Saturn (the structure of society) is a cultural reset. When these two planets come together, they don’t just inspire our collective imagination, but they give us the tools and discipline we need to make those visions into a reality. What happens now will have a ripple effect for years to come.

This conjunction happens once every 20 years, and though the last time these two planets met was in May 2000—Y2K, anyone?—this alignment is unlike any we’ve seen in centuries...yes, centuries. Astronomically, this is the brightest and most visible the two planets have been for their meeting since 1226! Though sometimes this alignment occurs with the two giant planets hidden under the sun’s rays, this year’s will be an extraordinary sight to see on the western horizon, just after sunset on the 21st. If you’ve been looking at the night sky all summer, you’ve likely seen them hanging out not too far from each other. But at the solstice, they will appear as one bright star. And yes, it’s perhaps a poetic coincidence that this is happening so close to Christmas as astrologers and astronomers alike have wondered if this type of alignment is what the wise men saw as the Star of Bethlehem.

2020’s Great Conjunction not only resets a 20-year cultural cycle, but it also is the dawn of a new 200-year elemental era. We are leaving an earth era which saw humans relentlessly growing industry and mining the land for resources. Jupiter and Saturn meet this time at 0º Aquarius—an air sign. The Age of Air will see humans make astonishing breakthroughs in technology and social change—Aquarius is the humanitarian, after all. Like it or not, the Zoom meetings aren’t going anywhere and the internet is about to become even more essential to our everyday lives. This is the future we’ve always talked about.

On a personal level, this change might not be as obvious. This is something that affects the collective as a whole and what happens to each of us individually may barely register. Mecca Woods put it perfectly on Twitter, saying “Dec[ember] 21 is not the day of spiritual awakening, enlightenment or transcendence that some people are making it out to be.” This is a marathon and there is so much work to be done for ourselves and for the world.

Let’s think of December 21 like a new moon, which is the end of a cycle and the beginning of another one. A time to set intentions and plant seeds. If we’ve been sitting on something that needs to be launched, this is an auspicious time to put work out there. Announcements are already being made and plans are being set for this day, like Ariana Grande’s concert special on Netflix. It’s also a perfect time to meditate, do some stream of conscious journaling and make a vision board for the year ahead. 

3 journaling prompts to try on December 21

1. What ideas, people or events can be left on 2020? How did those experiences teach me what I don’t want?

2. In the year ahead, what seeds am I ready to plant? What ideas am I ready to water and nurture for years to come?

3. What structures in my life feel positive and encouraging? How can I set better boundaries in 2021? What are my non-negotiable rules?

Let’s release the pressure to do something big on this day and just do what we can. Take notes because even some tiny things that happen now could be impactful for years to come.

RELATED How Long Will the Great Conjunction Last (aka the Christmas Star) & Where Can You See It?



Jaime Wright is an astrologer and writer based in NYC. She has been writing PureWow’s weekly and monthly horoscope columns since 2019, and also authors the cult favorite...