The 2019 Australian bushfires are not your average Australian bushfires. Vast areas of land are on fire all over the state, with just one fire in the Wollemi National Park burning out over 140,000 ha (300,000 acres) since it started just over a week ago. Almost 500 properties have been destroyed and at its worst, at the beginning of November, over 100 fires were raging on the east coast of Australia.
As of today, 19 November, 49 fires are still burning across my state of New South Wales, at least 20 of which are uncontained. And the danger is not over, temperatures of up to 39 are expected in some parts of the state tomorrow, with volatile winds gusting up to 50-60km/h. Yes, the 2019 bushfires are to be taken seriously.
Bushfire season in our area traditionally occurs in Spring, from 1 October until the rains arrive. Typically bushfire season in the Northern Rivers is not as severe as occurs in dry temperate climates, where Eucalypytus forest predominates. This area is mainly farmland now but it was once a vast rainforest known as the Big Scrub. Rainforest doesn’t burn as readily as Eucayptus, which is full of volatile oils. Also, we are blessed in our region to receive rain all year round instead of distinct wet and dry seasons as they do further north in the tropics.
But this year was different. In New South Wales we are officially in a drought. Many areas have been receiving lower than average falls for almost two years now. Everything is bone dry and withered. The landscape is grey and dusty. Smoke hangs in the air and stings the eyes. It feels somewhat apocalyptic.
Drought is a natural phenomenon in Australia, a part of the cycles of nature, as are floods. Indigenous peoples burned the landscape periodically to prevent the build up of litter in the forest that could so easily ignite during the hot dry, windy periods. The most severe droughts recorded in Australia since European settlement were between 1895-1903 and 1958-68. The longest drought in my living memory was twelve years duration.
Unfortunately, there has been a bit of mud slinging within the community as to what caused the 2019 Australian bushfires to be so severe. It’s so tempting to go looking for a scapegoat during a crisis! Blame is being thrown in two main directions, towards the ‘Greenies’ who supposedly stopped burning the bush as indigenous people did, and at the Consumers and Industrialists whose CO2 emissions they claim have dramatically changed the climate of our planet. People are feeling frightened and stressed.
Yet despite this conflict, which is to be expected under such stressful conditions, the communities in these rural areas are banding together in ways that have become uncommon in our day and age. The NSW Rural Fire Service, made up primarily of volunteers, has worked tirelessly alongside residents to save homes and properties all over the state.
The astrology of the 2019 Australian Bushfires
Many who follow astrology will already be aware that Saturn and Pluto are in the process of making a conjunction in Capricorn, an event that only happens once every 33–38 years. Saturn and Pluto have danced in and out of retrograde, and have already come very close to one another during 2019. Saturn is now making its final approach to Pluto which will culminate in a meeting of the two on 12 January 2020.
Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn brings about the breakdown and destruction of old structures and the creation of new ones. During the 2019 Australian bushfires we have seen many literal structures, homes, schools and other buildings, destroyed. At the same time we have seen many social structures undermined and crumbling, as well as new bonds of community cohesion and cooperation formed.
In the meantime, Mars moved into Libra and has been squaring first the Moons Nodes, then Saturn and finally Pluto. This long transit was occurring between 18 October and 11 November, during the peak of the 2019 Australian bushfire crisis. On 2 and 3 November the Moon past by and activated this t-square strongly, creating volatile, firey and generally explosive conditions.
The fire of Mars combined with Pluto, God of death and the harsh rule of Saturn has brought with it devastation, and a reminder that we humans are very small in the face of elemental powers such as Fire and Death.
Some people were hit harder by the 2019 Australian Bushfires
If Mars, Saturn or Pluto has been touching a sensitive point in your chart over the past three weeks and you live on the East Coast of Australia you would likely have been strongly impacted by the 2019 Australian bushfires.
For example, during the period when fires were raging most strongly, and Mars was squaring transiting Saturn, it was also making an exact conjunction to my natal Pluto at 16 degrees Libra. And transiting Saturn was conjunct my natal Sun, Moon and Venus! (I swear when this transit is over I will have nothing to write about :)
Predictably, I have had a particularly difficult three weeks with turmoil in my relationships, disruption in my living situation and feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion and general craziness. My little ones have also been out of sorts and behaving in needy and volatile ways.
On 8 November, as Mars was square Pluto, a fire started in the Mount Nardi National Park, 20km from where we live. Within a few days it had burned through several thousand hectares of bushland and was threatening homes and communities.
On Monday 11 November I took the difficult decision to evacuate my home with my children. We decamped six hours drive away, to where my mother lives, with smoke hanging low in the sky. The next day, catastrophic fire conditions were predicted in Sydney, Australia’s largest city and severe fire danger was predicted in our area. These are the highest ratings issued by the Australian Rural Fire Brigade.
With transiting Saturn on my natal Venus, transiting Pluto on my natal Moon and Mars on my natal Pluto I felt this transit very strongly. I expect anyone with planets or points between 11 and 24 degrees of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) would also have felt this transit heavily in their lives, whether or not they live in Australia.
What now with the 2019 Australian Bushfires?
I think the 2019 Australian bushfires will calm considerably after Saturn perfects its conjunction to Pluto on 12 January 2020. This will be the turning point, when the pressure begins to be released. There may not be rain on that day but from then on there will be increasing relief. This concurs with current weather forecasts which suggest rainfall will continue lower than average through December, return to normal in January, with higher than average falls expected in February.
Got your flood plans in place everyone?
Have you been affected by the 2019 Australian Bushfires?
If you’ve been affected personally by the 2019 Australian bushfires or are feeling these transits very strongly, please share your story below.
Faith is founder and principal of Insight Astrology and has been teaching and giving readings for over twenty years. She is fascinated by astrology as a tool for personal growth and passionate about empowering others to read its language.