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Was COVID-19 written in the stars? Royal astrologer predicted crisis as she looks to future

"I knew this planetary line-up would bring fear to the forefront"

Debbie Frank

In times of turmoil people have often turned to astrologers to light the way. Not only that, the great astrologer of the 17th century, William Lilley, accurately predicted 'a grand catastrophe' more than three years before the great Plague of London in 1651, citing it as a 'great mutation into this monarchy and government as never yet appeared'.

Interestingly, the Saturn in Capricorn signature that dominated the heavens then was at the centre of the great Saturn, Pluto, Mercury, Ceres conjunction in Capricorn on 12 January 2020. Many years in advance it was possible to look at this upcoming configuration and ponder on its powerful impact on the world. Astrology tells us far more than our individual fortunes but paints an accurate picture of society at large. It shows what's going on at a collective level, the mood on the street, the change in the air. I knew this planetary line-up would bring fear to the forefront.

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Capricorn rules the status quo, the establishment, the suits, the leaders of the world, business and government. This wrecking ball of a rare astrological pattern did not bode well for the old set-up to continue. It spelt deconstruction and reconstruction. As the virus was unfolding in Wuhan, Britain was still reeling from the stresses of Brexit and the landslide December election – hoping the new decade and 2020 would bring light and hope. Instead, the January line-up of planets brought the further shock of Megxit – which hurled a bomb into the foundation of royalty. Yet this was just one change in a series of unfolding pictures that have brought the world to a very different place of sickness.

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Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic on 11 March

On 11 March, the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus was a global pandemic. Just at the time of the Sun's meeting with viral Neptune in Pisces opposing the Full Moon in the health moderator sign of Virgo. Next up was the arrival of Saturn into Aquarius for the first time in 29 years. Put the planet of stark reality and limitation into the sign of the people and we have a quarter of the wold's population in lockdown. Aquarius is thought of a sign of fraternity and liberty yet the water bearer as an individual is not just the friendly type but also often the loner. We are all constrained at a social distance, in separation from each other and our old lives. Saturn isolates – and as we come to the end of the month and Mars and Saturn join in Aquarius we are under strict rules of social deprivation. Even love has been rationed as Saturn is the planet of commitment so unless you and your amour are committed to being under the same roof it is temporary curtains for Cupid.

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What's next? Jupiter and Pluto join on 5 April – a symbol of renaissance and repair which repeats three more times before the year is out, but Venus planet of human relationship is retrograde between 12 May and 23 June – slowing our connections. After that perhaps we get a reprieve. The nodes move to Gemini and Sagittarius in May – the signs that keep us moving, travelling, learning and commuting – these areas are likely to be going through end of one era/beginning of another scenarios. But the planets keep spinning in their courses, producing more cycles and patterns, challenges and triumphs. Mars will go retrograde in the Autumn, signalling a further slow-down and when Jupiter and Saturn join in Aquarius at Winter Solstice it's the signal for pressing the re-start button on how society functions, how people interact and how technology and science bring new options.

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Debbie Frank is the author of Written in the Stars.

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