The time has come to bid farewell to 2019 which in the eastern astrological tradition came under the sign of the Yellow Earth Pig.
The key word for 2019 is uncertainty and it has made itself felt in politics, in our personal lives and the professional sphere. No doubt many found that things they started had to be postponed or ended up being very drawn out, and that dealing with the mundane issues of everyday life seemed to take forever.
Responsible for this were Jupiter and Neptune, the two most important planets of the Solar System. A conflict between these two giants is one of the trickiest aspects of the astrological skies and they were in conflict throughout all of 2019.
A Jupiter-Neptune conflict tends to bring fraud, incorrect or intentionally falsified information as well as indecision.
Brexit has been the most visible scenario on the political stage. Would Brexit actually happen or not? The situation appeared to sway in one direction and then the other with any ultimate decision being postponed until 2020. Many people in this outgoing year have found their personal lives affected by the same element of uncertainty. On the one hand, a situation might have required that a decision be made and on the other hand, it has not been possible to make a decision for various reasons that have not always been clear.
However, on the first New Moon of 2020 which will be in Aquarius on 25th of January, the Yellow Earth Pig will finally wag its tail at us and depart handing over the reins of power to the White Metal Rat.
Readers of my book 'Complete Horoscope 2020' are asking me how it is that a difficult period can be indicated for the majority of signs for the second half of 2020. Surely this doesn't usually happen?
In this case, 2020 is an exception to the rule. The year 2020 will set the stage for significant astrological cycles responsible for powerful social, economic and political forces and these energies will serve as the main drivers for events in the second half of the year. The main astrological event of 2020 will be the first conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the sign of Aquarius on 21st December. This is when the renowned Age of Aquarius will finally begin.
In astrological terms an Age is a huge period lasting for 2,160 years and is determined by the transition of the earth's axis from one zodiac sign to another.
The past twenty years have been hectic and they have also served as a preparatory stage for the adoption of the new rules of the forthcoming age and 2020 will mark the final year of the outgoing Piscean Age.
The year 2020 will be a defining year for humanity. It is a year that represents the summing up of the past and the establishment of a new order.
The year 2020 can roughly be divided into two very different periods. The first half of the year, the period from January to June, will be a relatively calm time when many of us will be successful in realizing our dreams and putting concrete plans into place. The second half of the year from June onwards will be much more difficult as the warlike planet Mars will come closer to Earth in the sign of Aries, where it is incredibly powerful. The most unsettled period will be the autumn months – the second half of September and into October and November. During this time, many will find that the problems which their country is experiencing as a whole are affecting their own fate and professional activities. The stars, therefore, would suggest preparing oneself for potential financial difficulty and frustration during the calmer months of 2020, that is, between January and May.
With all this in mind, it is natural that this should be a turbulent time. Old economic and political systems will continue to break down. New countries will rise to a position of domination taking the place of others. This process is already taking place and come 2020, it will be plain for all to see.
But no system will give up without a fight. The resistance of the old world will be stubborn and belligerent but ultimately futile as the year 2020 will put paid in a powerful way to the old political world model as well as everything that has already exhausted its usefulness. We are already seeing signs of conflict between the old systems and the new. Hong Kong, Chile, Lebanon and the yellow vests movement in France are among the most evident signs of a new societal trend and it is highly likely that protest movements will become more intense and more frequent. In general, the world is going to become more multipolar whereas in the recent past it has been unipolar.
The peak of wars between supporters of the old and the new order will culminate in the second half of 2020, the period lasting from July to December.
Equally, the period between August and October may herald a huge, global economic crisis that will affect all countries throughout the world.
In this same period, we may witness peace agreements breaking down and active military hostility in hot spots around the world.
In 2020, there are six eclipses, whereas most years feature no more than four. It is to be expected that a greater number of eclipses occurs in years that are set to define the development of events for many years to come.
Personal life Love is not cancelled just because there is a crisis. There is reason to hope that while humanity exists, love will live on and in this regard, 2020 may turn out to be a surprisingly interesting year. Many will make unexpected decisions that have long been put off 'till later'.
Unstable unions are likely to fall apart and relationships that have been facing difficulties may find that any unresolved issues become amplified now to the extent that they are impossible to ignore and, in this regard, the second half of 2020 will prove to be the most problematic. Couples bound by sincere, genuine feeling, however, may find themselves taking their relationship to a new level by deciding to move in together or getting married.
That said, in the next few years, the very institution of marriage may come under serious review. In the Aquarian Age, marriages will tend to be built not on the basis of a stamp on a marriage certificate or material values but on love, equality and spiritual unity. 'Guest marriages' will see increasing popularity and women are likely to gain complete independence.
Gender roles and differences are also likely to continue to blur as Aquarius is a sign associated with androgyny. And whereas some signs of this trend are apparent now, in the near future, over the next decade or so, it will be become quite blatant.
Children born at the end of 2020 will show unusual abilities; the skies will grant them the talents of scientists and inventors and with time they will become true initiators of progress in their chosen fields. These will be the real Indigo children - clever, spiritually developed, talented and honest.
Climate A shift in astrological age equates to a shift in climate and the climate will be changing everywhere. Mars in the fire sign of Aries in the summer months may stimulate large fires in Russia and other countries.
The three summer eclipses may portend natural disasters around the world. In this regard, the Solar eclipse of 21st June 2020, which according to ancient texts threatens harmful atmospheric precipitation (floods), is especially significant. Countries whose borders are on a coast would be advised to take precautionary measures in particular America, England, France and Spain. In Russia, there may be repeats of floods and forest fires the like of which we have seen before.
In mountainous landscapes earthquakes are also a possibility in the second half of 2020.
Despite it all, this is not a forecast to predict an apocalypse. This will not be the first time that humanity has experienced periods of intense upheaval and we will cope as we always have done and more and more people will start focusing on ecological concerns.
Fashion With the three most important planets in Capricorn, designers will be impelled first and foremost to focus on the color black and classic combinations with white. A secondary place will be occupied by shades of grey with dark-blue and dark-green colors also getting a look-in. Leather will make a comeback and classical suits and retro outfits are likely to be popular again.
Discoveries Towards the end of 2020, we will be seeing the first inklings of innovative modes of transport which by 2025 will have become firmly integrated into our lives. Digital technology will flourish and the world will become even more virtual. There may be significant discoveries in medicine including a new cure for cancer. Likewise, important discoveries will be made in IT and the space industry.
Cryptocurrencies have a promising future. These will be adopted by many countries and over time come to replace our existing money, similar to when plastic bank cards replaced cash.
Health Mars in Aries is responsible for all ailments associated with the head, so people who suffer from this kind of health issue should be especially mindful to take good care of themselves.
The combination of Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn in the sign of Capricorn can provoke various skin-related illnesses as well as problems with the musculoskeletal system, bone structure and spine.
The number of people affected by cancer will increase, so make sure you take the time to attend regular checkups with the doctor as cancer can only be cured when caught in the early stages.
The World Stage The years 2020 and 2021 are crucial for all humanity. Unrest in the countries of the European Union will intensify as these populations come to understand that the position of the political elite fails to represent the interests of the majority. EU residents will face a fall in standards of living which may spark demonstrations and strikes in France, Germany and Spain.
The situation in England may become highly unstable and the United States will not be exempt from crisis either which will be economic as much as a political in nature. It is likely that the situation surrounding President Donald Trump will become even more complex. The confrontation between Trump and his opponents will intensify, and discord among the American elite could culminate in a crisis capable of rocking the entire system. This in turn would cause the value of the American dollar to plummet. It is probable that the dollar will begin to fall by 2021 and continue to decline.
The United States and China are unlikely to find a common language and I fear the trade war between these two great powers will continue and in the longer term, China may come out tops.
In China they have a saying, "God forbid you should live in times of change!" And yet we are living in times of change, global change no less, and so I wish everyone patience and the Earth peace and harmony!
With so many groundbreaking medical advances being revealed to the world every single day, you would imagine there would be some advancement on the plethora of many female-prevalent diseases (think female cancers, Alzheimer's, depression, heart conditions etc.) that women are fighting every single day.
For Anna Villarreal and her team, there frankly wasn't enough being done. In turn, she developed a method that diagnoses these diseases earlier than traditional methods, using a pretty untraditional method in itself: through your menstrual blood.
Getting from point A to point B wasn't so easy though. Villarreal was battling a disease herself and through that experience. “I wondered if there was a way to test menstrual blood for female specific diseases," she says. "Perhaps my situation could have been prevented or at least better managed. This led me to begin researching menstrual blood as a diagnostic source. For reasons the scientific and medical community do not fully understand, certain diseases impact women differently than men. The research shows that clinical trials have a disproportionate focus on male research subjects despite clear evidence that many diseases impact more women than men."
There's also no denying that gap in women's healthcare in clinical research involving female subjects - which is exactly what inspired Villarreal to launch her company, LifeStory Health. She says that, “with my personal experience everything was brought full circle."
“There is a challenge and a need in the medical community for more sex-specific research. I believe the omission of females as research subjects is putting women's health at risk and we need to fuel a conversation that will improve women's healthcare.,"
Her brand new biotech company is committed to changing the women's healthcare market through technology, innovation and vocalization and through extensive research and testing. She is working to develop the first ever, non-invasive, menstrual blood diagnostic and has partnered with a top Boston-area University on research and has won awards from The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Northeastern University's RISE.
How does it work exactly? Proteins are discovered in menstrual blood that can quickly and easily detect, manage and track diseases in women, resulting in diseases that can be earlier detected, treated and even prevented in the first place. The menstrual blood is easy to collect and since it's a relatively unexplored diagnostic it's honestly a really revolutionary concept, too.
So far, the reactions of this innovative research has been nothing but excitement. “The reactions have been incredibly positive." she shares with SWAAY. “Currently, menstrual blood is discarded as bio waste, but it could carry the potential for new breakthroughs in diagnosis. When I educate women on the lack of female subjects used in research and clinical trials, they are surprised and very excited at the prospect that LifeStory Health may provide a solution and the key to early detection."
To give a doctor's input, and a little bit more of an explanation as to why this really works, Dr. Pat Salber, MD, and Founder of The Doctor Weighs In comments: “researchers have been studying stem cells derived from menstrual blood for more than a decade. Stem cells are cells that have the capability of differentiating into different types of tissues. There are two major types of stem cells, embryonic and adult. Adult stem cells have a more limited differentiation potential, but avoid the ethical issues that have surrounded research with embryonic stem cells. Stem cells from menstrual blood are adult stem cells."
These stem cells are so important when it comes to new findings. “Stem cells serve as the backbone of research in the field of regenerative medicine – the focus which is to grow tissues, such as skin, to repair burn and other types of serious skin wounds.
A certain type of stem cell, known as mesenchymal stem cells (MenSCs) derived from menstrual blood has been found to both grow well in the lab and have the capability to differentiate in various cell types, including skin. In addition to being used to grow tissues, their properties can be studied that will elucidate many different aspects of cell function," Dr. Salber explains.
To show the outpour of support for her efforts and this major girl power research, Villarreal remarks, “women are volunteering their samples happily report the arrival of their periods by giving samples to our lab announcing “de-identified sample number XXX arrived today!" It's a far cry from the stereotype of when “it's that time of the month."
How are these collections being done? “Although it might sound odd to collect menstrual blood, plastic cups have been developed to use in the collection process. This is similar to menstrual products, called menstrual cups, that have been on the market for many years," Dr. Salber says.
Equally shocking and innovative, this might be something that becomes more common practice in the future. And according to Dr. Salber, women may be able to not only use the menstrual blood for early detection, but be able to store the stem cells from it to help treat future diseases. “Companies are working to commercialize the use of menstrual blood stem cells. One company, for example, is offering a patented service to store menstrual blood stem cells for use in tissue generation if the need arises."