2020 vision: Local astrologers talk about what’s in the stars for this year
As this year starts a new decade, it is a time for resolutions and looking ahead hopefully to blue skies and greener pastures. This year brings more excitement and even more uncertainty, especially for the United States, because of the national election in November. To better prepare ourselves for what the rest of the year brings, I spoke to two Triad astrologers, who both have lectures concerning the new year coming up this week.
(Please note, YES! Weekly is aware that astrology cannot be presented as scientific fact, and we are not promoting it as such.)
Cindi McNulty’s sun sign is in Leo, and she is a Winston-Salem astrologer, who runs her own practice called Essential Zodiac, located at 632 Holly Ave. McNulty’s upcoming lecture “Astrology of 2020” will be held at Fearless (1002 Brookstown Ave.) from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
“I have studied the universe, and I interpret what the planets and the zodiac signs mean and how they affect your life,” McNulty explained of her profession. “All my life, I have dabbled. But 15 years ago, I really studied in earnest. Now, I do astrology, for the past six years, as my full-time job.”
McNulty said she first took an interest in astrology from her aunt, who she used to spend the summers with.
“Every morning, my aunt would open the newspaper and read her horoscope,” she recalled. “She and I were the same sun sign, so she would say— ‘Oh, we are going to have a good day, Cindi.’ I can still see her sitting there, smoking her Lucky Strikes and drinking her black coffee.”
As she got older, McNulty said she kept reading her horoscope and got deeper and deeper into the study of astrology.
“When the internet came along,” she said, “I found the online college of astrology—it is called something else now—I was able to take online classes, which was great because I was working full time as a paralegal and raising kids.”
After her kids left the nest, she started dedicating more of her time to studying astrology. McNulty said being inducted into a coven also helped perfect her craft.
“I was quite a lapsed catholic by the ‘90s,” McNulty admitted. “I had a spiritual hole, so I was trying to fill that, and I was looking around at different belief systems. I settled on Wiccan because that really spoke to me—the duality, nature—it really tied in with my pursuit of astrology. Everything started making sense.”
Each year, McNulty presents an overview of what the upcoming year would be like for other members of her coven. So, her upcoming lecture at Fearless won’t be the first time she has forecast the new year. As a treat to YES! Weekly readers, McNulty said she could give a taste of what her lecture would consist of and what to expect in 2020.
“2020 is going to be not only the beginning of a new decade, but there is also going to be a lot of planetary upheavals,” she said, attributing it to the “rare configuration” of the planets this year. “In January, we are going to have a Saturn/Pluto conjunction, and this is very significant. This configuration only happens every 34 years. No one on the planet alive right now has experienced it in Capricorn. As the planets orbit around the sun, they stop into every zodiac sign.”
She said knowing that some planets move faster than others, this Saturn and Pluto configuration is rare because of how slowly both planets move.
“Capricorn is an earth sign, and you can almost define it as a ‘workhorse.’ Capricorn is a sign that likes to work, follow the rules; it has structure,” she said. “Saturn and Pluto together are looking at limits and wanting to move past them; they are catalysts. When this conjunction occurred in 1914, this is when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, and it was a key reason for World War I.”
With the 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction, McNulty said people could expect turbulence in their daily lives, “which sounds scary, but eventually, it will all make sense. We will probably look at different ways of not only the United States but globally changes in government, big business and the stock market. I always tell my clients during this time to get yourselves a financial advisor and listen to them.”
She said this conjunction would start another 20-year cycle that will “bring significant changes.” She said there would be another “big game-changer” at the end of the year, with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.
“The interesting thing about this is, the last time it happened was in 1980 when the personal computer started to be something the consumer could purchase.”
McNulty said this conjunction is also related to the upcoming election season, which she said would figuratively “be a bloodbath.”
“I think it is going to test us all,” she said. “I think when it is all over and done with, and we’ve gotten to the other side of 2020, I see it as very hopeful. Sometimes you need to shake everything up, break the mold, to start again. I am very hopeful that these changes are going to be good and help us navigate the future.”
McNulty said change could be scary, but it is necessary. Her favorite part about being an astrologer is by helping her clients adapt to change.
“My philosophy is, we can’t change the dynamics of the universe—they are there and are going to happen whether we like it or not —so, how can we best use the energy that is out there? How can we make lemonade out of lemons,” she explained. “Like, when people come to me with a romantic partner, I never discourage people from being together. What I encourage is how to work through your differences.”
Luke Baker is a Taurus and an astrologer in Greensboro, who also has his own practice called Baker Astrology. His two-day lecture called “2020: Year of the Shaman,” takes place at Terra Blue, located at 518 S. Elm St., in Greensboro on Jan. 4 and 5 from 4 to 5 p.m. each day. Both presentations will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A session.
Baker said he named the lecture “Year of the Shaman” because “like a Shaman, this year will guide us to be our own source for answers about this world, about what we are living for and about our own stories.”
Baker said he has always been interested in astrology, and when he was a boy, he would read books about it, and about how astrology was used in ancient cultures and societies. Baker said he was interested in astrology because it is the oldest practice on Earth, and has been used to explain patterns. Baker is from Raleigh originally, and he said he did his astrology apprenticeship with Debra Silverman. In 2019, he launched his own practice, Baker Astrology.
“Astrology is essentially the patterns and cycles that govern time,” Baker said. “Astrology is a marriage of the left brain and right brain.”
Baker said he offers a variety of services, including natal chart readings, which “go over the patterns and placements that occur within your personality and identity.” He does forecasting, which “takes your personal chart and looks at what has been going on and what you are moving into.” He also does chemistry readings, which “takes your chart and anyone else’s chart and looks at the interplay.” Baker Astrology also offers classes for anyone that wants to learn the language of astrology. He said students would get an overview of natal charts and would eventually be able to start reading charts themselves.
“We all have free will, so we get to choose how to respond to the times that we are in,” he said. “In astrology, you can absolutely see the pattern that is ongoing.”
Baker said 2020 would be a time where everyone is going to have to be more self-reliant. He said the year 2020 would be a year of independence and a “time of great change,” with “enormous potential for manifestation, for really making and covering a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time.”
“I try to steer away from doom and gloom,” Baker said. “We can say it is a very serious time, where we are asked to take full responsibility. We need to be our own source for what we have going on. We need to make serious considerations about our attachments. I am not going to say that banking systems are going to crash or that we are going to absolutely see a recession. But I will go as far as to say, we do need to think about what we are getting out of all of the attachments that we are sustaining.”
Baker said during his two-day visit to Terra Blue, he will go through the 2020 calendar and do a play-by-play of each month. There would be a powerpoint presentation followed by questions the audience can ask him. He also encourages folks to bring a pen and paper to take notes.
Baker said the planet Saturn is associated with karma, authority and constriction. Its transit into Capricorn will set the tone for all of 2020.
“Lessons and opportunities associated with Capricorn are really hitting us, and are a common thread through this time,” he said. “We have a Chiron, [which is the symbol that represents Baker Astrology] an asteroid that, in Greek, means ‘wounded healer.’ In somebody’s personal chart, it shows me wound, a psychological wound. Where Chiron currently is for this year, it is going to be in Aries and will be in Aries for about seven years. It just shifted. This is taking the psychological wounds at the max level, the global-conscious level, right out into the open. Aries is the first sign; it is cardinal fire—extroversion, blunt—that is where the wounds are going.”
He said in sum, the opportunity for “mass hysteria is going to hit an all-time high.” However, he does not say 2020 would be the year of mass hysteria.
“Just because it is raining, doesn’t mean we have to get wet,” Baker explained. “Polar opposites are going to push past the breaking points. It might be a time to pull back to an individual level, which is simple with all of that Capricorn/earth energy. Earth is very stable, it wants things that are consistent, reliable, and Capricorn is about achievement with consistency little by little.”
In other words, in 2020, he said he encourages consistency in self-care and getting back to the basics with clear intentions—disregard the drama and focus within.
“We want to be clear, I think the more everybody is clear about what you are available for, what you are not available for, in our own personal world—individual story—that only has to consist of what you want it to,” he said. “The first half of the year is going to be a lot of earth energy in the heavens. We are a little bit asleep at the wheel, so it is easy to be exhausted and run ourselves into the ground…There is going to be an enormous push, and the uptake will give us the opportunity to accomplish a lot. 2020 is asking us to become independent to be our source, so nothing can rise higher than its source. Nothing is involved unless it is evolved, and nothing manifests in effect unless it is in the cause.”
Dates that people should be aware of, Baker said, would be the periods of retrogrades as well as Jan. 12, which is when Saturn and Pluto in transit with Capricorn will reach its apex. Baker and McNulty both said there would be several periods of retrograde in 2020 that happen within the element of water (Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio).
McNulty said that Mercury, Venus and Mars would all go retrograde this year. Venus will retrograde into Gemini from May 13 until June 25. “So, not a good time for a wedding,” she said. “You don’t want the planet of love in cock-eyed motion when you want to get married.” Mars will retrograde in Aries from Sept. 9 to Nov. 13, “it rights itself before Thanksgiving, so that is good,” she said.
“This is always interesting,” she said. “When Mars goes retrograde in Aries— it rules Aries, and the Aries people get like lambs. They go from the big ram to the little lamb because their ruling planet is debilitated, and the rest of us have attitudes.”
Baker said retrogrades are a period of review, and a time to adjust and re-evaluate.
McNulty said Mercury [the planet that rules communication and logic] would be in retrograde in Pisces from Feb. 16 until March 9. Baker said that retrograde would partner logic with intuition. His directive for that period asks, “What do we purposefully choose to do, and are we just going through the motions?”
McNulty said Mercury would retrograde in Cancer from June 18 until July 12, and Baker said it partners logic with honest emotions. His directive for this period asks, “Where is self-confidence and self-value, how do we really feel about ourselves?”
Mercury will retrograde in Scorpio from Oct. 13 until Nov. 3, and Baker’s directive asks, “Are my thoughts centered around my ambitions or unresolved traumas?”
Katie Murawski is the editor-in-chief of YES! Weekly. Her alter egos include The Grimberlyn Reaper, skater/public relations board chair for Greensboro Roller Derby, and Roy Fahrenheit, drag entertainer and self-proclaimed King of Glamp.
To learn more about Baker Astrology, visit his Facebook page and website, bakerastrology.com/ for a full list of services. Contact @bakerastrology.com to book a session or ask questions. For more information about Cindi McNulty, visit Essential Zodiac’s Facebook page and website, essentialzodiac.com/.