A look at the present moment & what’s ahead in 2021 – key dates and details, a summary of some of the significant happenings in the sky. Advance warning .. this is a long read!
Astrology is awe-inspiring. Reveals the invisible, what could potentially emerge, become visible and manifest in the world. At this point in time, there’s no denying life is confusing and it’s easy to lose our bearings, consequently the map in the sky is invaluable. Lends us a helping hand, enables us to make sense of the present and contemplate the future. Everyday I am filled with gratitude for the guidance and perspective astrology bestows. I truly hope this overview, what to keep in mind during 2021, assists with navigating the days ahead.
Without doubt 2020 was a tough, unsettling year. For years in advance astrologers had been noting it as a time of breakdown and trauma, with Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto all in Capricorn. With incredible accuracy, in 2011, the great French astrologer Andre Barbault (1921-2019) predicted a pandemic would occur in 2020/21. The Saturn-Pluto conjunction took place in January, followed by three exact Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions, then the “Great Mutation” Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in December. Mars joined the Capricorn trio in March as lockdowns around the world were imposed. Then for most of the last part of 2020, into the dawn of 2021, Mars was in a tense, combustible square aspect with Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto.
As we move into 2021, the difficulties and challenges that materialised in the world have not magically diminished – but – 2021 does bestows a change in influences. 2021 is different – the picture in the sky is more workable, not as ferocious – whilst still tricky, tense and unsettling, there is potential for healing as well as imaginative ways forward. The saying “it’s always darkest before dawn” seems really apt here, as 2021 does hold promise for a gradual improvement in outlook. Jupiter enters Pisces in May, and this is perhaps when we can expect a turn for the better. Experience an upswing in optimism and confidence around the future.
2021 sees us trying to mentally process the unprecedented times we are living through. Learn how to adjust to what has been dismantled, and then focus on where we wish to go from here. Currently, the landscape is unfamiliar. The atmosphere odd, out of kilter. A strange realm, neither the past, nor the future, but in between. As we seek to make sense of our individual experiences, what we have learnt and how we have changed, it may ultimately on one level or another, transform our perception of the past and our outlook on the future.
It is important to acknowledge that we are at a turning point. The wreckage is visible, unmistakable. Whilst we are perhaps over the very worst, we are all understandably discombobulated, uncertain of how the future will unfold. Recognition of this, leads us to see how the current disarray means that a multitude of possibilities exist, nothing is set in stone and the future is malleable. That, at this point we are seeding a future, not only for ourselves, but also the generations to follow.
On a personal level, awareness of the influences in play helps us to align with beneficial opportunities and do our best to avoid stumbling blocks. Gives us a frame of reference to decipher a clearer perspective. Enhance our awareness of the lay of the land. At this moment in time, there is support and encouragement to define new ways forward. Assistance to decipher and follow a fresh, perhaps unexpected (even unwanted) path ahead. Innovative ideas, new projects or opportunities could gain momentum, and potentially progress over time towards favourable outcomes.
It’s always beneficial to make a note how the current sky is influencing our chart. For instance, where eclipses fall or Mercury retrograde – especially if they touch a personal planet – indicates where we could possibly anticipate a change (eclipses) or perhaps the potential for needing a re-think on plans (Mercury retrograde). The Saturn-Uranus square – influential throughout 2021 – will be particularly relevant for fixed signs (Taurus/Leo/Scorpio/Aquarius), especially early degree placements.
Jupiter & Saturn in Aquarius
A major change from 2020 is that Jupiter & Saturn have now both left Capricorn.
Jupiter and Saturn met up for an exact conjunction on December 21st 2020 in Aquarius – known as a “Great Conjunction” – starting a new Jupiter-Saturn cycle. But, not only this, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is also a “Great Mutation.” For 200 years their conjunctions have taken place in Earth signs, now every conjunction – occurring approximately every 20 years – will be in an Air sign until 2159.
This heralds a major change in direction in the world. A shift of accent, as the Earth element – the material, what’s solid, realistic and traditional, manufacturing and manual labour – becomes less prominent, and we move towards an emphasis on the Air element – the realm of ideas, innovation, knowledge, communication, science and technology. A pivotal indicator of far-reaching change.
Aligning with this influence, lockdowns bought in a sudden (abrupt) shift. Instantaneously the necessity to travel and be physically present was replaced by working, studying and meeting online where ever possible. Undoubtedly, working or learning remotely – digital living – will continue to be explored and expanded.
Jupiter is in his fall in Capricorn, so throughout 2020 Jupiter was not in the best place to bestow his benefic influence. Now Jupiter is in Aquarius, he is in a better position to influence more favourable outcomes. Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, so remains in a position of strength. A conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn unites to bestow faith and optimism, that combining careful planning with dedication and effort, will enable our dreams and vision of the future to materialise.
2021 is all about deciphering and enabling our vision to unfold. Challenges and opportunities. Finding our way out of the darkness, the confusion, into the light and clarity. We are seeking to discover our true path, understand our purpose in life, what would be meaningful and worthwhile, so as to ignite our aspirations and reveal our potential.
Jupiter and Saturn’s move into Aquarius is good news for those with cardinal sign placements (Aries/Cancer/Libra/Capricorn) – brings a release of pressure. Of course, Pluto is still in Capricorn, in the last decan, meaning that for later degree placements, whilst something has shifted it is not yet concluded. Pluto will enter Aquarius in March 2023.
Saturn in Aquarius Square Uranus in Taurus
February 17th – 7 13′ Aquarius/Taurus
- June 14th – 13 06′ Aquarius/Taurus
- December 24th – 11 05′ Aquarius/Taurus
This aspect is exact three times, but will be in orb – noticeably influential – throughout 2021. Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, Uranus the modern. Aquarius is fixed air, a sign symbolised by the Water Bearer pouring forth fertile waters of wisdom from his urn. Aquarius is inquisitive, values knowledge, likes to scrutinise and evaluate information. A purposeful clarity of thought that has a tendency towards idealistic, but emotionally detached thinking. Strongly principled, but a head over heart approach. Saturn is in a position of strength in his domicile of Aquarius, whereas Uranus is in fall in Taurus.
The square between Saturn and Uranus will highlight a push-pull energy between the old and the new, the tried and tested versus the innovative, the conventional versus the un-conventional. Saturn is inextricably linked with the material world, he grounds matters, brings them to reality. With Uranus also in an earth sign – Taurus – this influence looks to be strongly related to material concerns, money and financial matters, politics – the rules and laws that shape our everyday life, as well as our food supply and natural resources.
A Saturn-Uranus square provokes a potent desire for change. A square aspect highlights friction, and further exacerbating this, innately the natures of Saturn and Uranus are at odds, and both are in fixed signs. Saturn can denote authority and societal institutions, Uranus the individual, and the desire for personal choice and freedom. Saturn is the rule-makers, Uranus those that challenge the rules – shake them up – the rule-breakers.
Saturn is structures, Uranus is change, so ahead we can expect some substantial restructuring in the material realms to occur. Whatever breaks apart will be rebuilt, featuring a fresh, changed, (hopefully) more liberated approach. Looking back in time is useful, helps provides insight. This is the closing square of the current Saturn-Uranus cycle, which began in 1988, with three exact conjunctions in Sagittarius. This was followed by momentous, historic change in the world. Commencing with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, communist regimes across Eastern Europe collapsed, including the Soviet Union – bringing an end to the Cold War. A new situation emerged, as the United States of America became (was left as) the only world superpower.
On a personal level, we may have a strong sense that things are up in the air, uncertain. We could feel tense, on tenterhooks. Some of us will be excited about change, others resistant and anxious. In essence, this influence means we need to try and avoid clinging to things from the past that may be ready to disperse. We need to anticipate some changes and be prepared to go with the flow. If a surprising turn of events does occur, we need to look for the benefits, what could be advantageous. How it may open the door for more vibrancy and freedom in life.
The Saturn-Uranus square is a volatile cocktail, that could potentially provide clashes of opinion, turmoil and revolutions. An unsettled ambience. But equally, give rise to new outlooks and innovations that ultimately improve the material world. Taurus is connected with both finance and agriculture, and some meaningful themes arising from this influence are plain to see.
Currently cryptocurrency is big news, with Bitcoin recently reaching record highs. Most paper currencies in use throughout the world are fiat money, issued and controlled by governments, but not backed by a physical commodity. Whilst cryptocurrency is also not backed by a physical commodity, neither is it controlled by a centralised authority. Cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, that can be spent or received anywhere in the world without the need of a government or bank. That cryptocurrency may become more established and mainstream certainly seems possible. Simultaneously, this will likely lead to some interesting analysis and greater awareness around how governments create and utilise money.
Whilst Uranus denotes the new and innovative, in Taurus, Uranus is also a wake-up call reminding us of the age-old treasures of the earth. Uranus is putting us in touch with an urge to reconnect with the land, nature and the cycles of the seasons. To backtrack, return to a simpler, more harmonious relationship with the earth, with the aim of creating ways of living that are geared towards being respectful and sustainable. Perhaps encouraging a deeper appreciation of the soul-stirring splendour of the earth – and the cosmos. Ancient civilisations gazed in awe at the wonders of the heavens, the connection between earth and sky was deeply meaningful. Our ancestors discerned correlations, and mindfully sought to align and live in harmony with both. Saturn square Uranus points to a fresh take that brings together ancient, time-honoured understanding with original, idealistic ideas.
A move towards valuing life over money, what’s ethical over mindless consumerism. In sync and illustrative of this is the rising demand for, and growing choice and availability of plant based products as vegan diets/beliefs continue to become more mainstream. The revival of interest in, and increasing popularity of astrology, tarot, witchcraft and paganism will also continue to escalate. More and more are seeking solace and insight by exploring what lies beyond visible reality, sparking off awareness of (a reconnection with) ancient knowledge and wisdom.
Stellium in Aquarius
- February 11th – New Moon 23 16′ Aquarius ~ With Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter & Saturn all in Aquarius – (the New Moon/Stellium will be Square Mars & Uranus in Taurus).
Jupiter and Saturn are already in Aquarius, Mercury enters Aquarius on January 8th, followed by the Sun on January 19th, then Venus on February 1st. With each planet that enters Aquarius, the stellium expands and the emphasis gradually increases in intensity, coming to a crescendo with the New Moon. When the Moon enters Aquarius on February 10th at 01.21 am UT, until she leaves to enter Pisces on February 12th at 07.24 am UT – 6 planets will be in Aquarius.
This substantial, intense Aquarian energy is a potent influence, breathing life into the future. The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction signalled the seeds of far-reaching change being sown, and this pivotal, stand-out lunation will encourage us to clarify what we would like to become reality.
Opens the way to working out and liberating what our aspirations are. Helps us discover who shares our ideals, those who are like-minded as well as where we diverge and clash with others. Mercury is retrograde at this time, and will remain in Aquarius until March 15th. So it is possible that we will encounter scenarios that illuminate the division in the world – heated, conflicting opinions amongst friends, groups and communities – that leads to information or insight coming to light, that enables constructive discussion of the best way forwards.
On the same day as the New Moon, Venus and Jupiter – the two benefics – meet up for an exact conjunction. Jupiter and Venus are a prominent, powerful guiding light at the New Moon. Bestow a welcome, much needed, harmonious and uplifting influence.
More here – New Moon in Aquarius ~ February 11th 2020
Jupiter into Pisces
- May 14th ~ Jupiter enters Pisces
- July 28th ~ Jupiter re-enters Aquarius
- December 30th ~ Jupiter re-enters Pisces
When Jupiter enters Pisces – a sign he traditionally rules – Jupiter is in a place of strength for the first time since December 2019 when he entered Capricorn. In Pisces, Jupiter is free of the restraints imposed by Saturn. This is a beneficial transit – one of the most encouraging transits of 2021.
Jupiter in Pisces will bestow a loving, compassionate, comforting influence. A welcome return of a more relaxed, feel-good vibe that has been in short supply, elusive, of late. An ambiance we can lean into to find some support and healing.
Jupiter will enhance our imaginations and intuition. Call attention to – amplify – creative and spiritual energy that invites in a soothing and revitalising effect. Smooths the way towards discovering how to restore some faith in life, along with deciphering what’s truly meaningful for us. Could enable some hope, peace and ease to emerge – a morale boost – offering up resources that bring assistance to repair and heal our lives.
On the downside, Jupiter can also lead to the potential for overindulgence. The desire to escape the chaos and the madness of the world in whatever way works – such as (perhaps most discernibly) through alcohol or drugs.
This transit also gives a look ahead, an idea of what to expect in 2022 when Jupiter travels all the way through Pisces.
- May 26th – Lunar Eclipse ~ 5 25′ Sagittarius
- June 10th – Solar Eclipse ~ 19 47′ Gemini
- November 19th – Lunar Eclipse ~ 27 14′ Taurus
- December 4th – Solar Eclipse ~ 12 21′ Sagittarius
Eclipses bring turning points. Open a passageway between the past and the future. The intense emphasis and focus of eclipse energy stimulates endings and beginnings that shake us up and propel us along our fated path. Eclipses are of the most significance to us personally when they touch, and thus activate a natal planet, especially by conjunction. The news that emerges can be positive or negative. Either way, in time, as the turn of events unfold, awareness of what we have learnt and how we have evolved from our experiences will likely fall into place and become clearer.
Mercury is retrograde about 3 or 4 times a year, it’s a normal and fairly regular occurrence. As Mercury is the planet of communication, Mercury retrograde highlights a time of contemplation and reflection that enables us to gain new perspectives on what has already unfolded in life. Perhaps prompting us to re-view or re-do something that will ultimately prove to be beneficial.
Whilst Mercury retrograde is sometimes overhyped, gets the blame for a myriad of frustrations including missed flights and communication mishaps – which in all fairness can happen any time, not just when Mercury is retrograde! – this year especially (for obvious reasons), may well see Mercury retrograde coincide with disruption around travel.
All three Mercury retrogrades of 2021 are in Air signs (thoughts, ideas, communication & travel). This ties in with Jupiter-Saturn in Aquarius, underlining an emphasis on information, knowledge and technology. Not only this, the North Node is in Gemini, ruled by Mercury.
The Nodes lie directly opposite each other, so the South Node is in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter. The Gemini/Sagittarius axis relates to knowledge – teaching and learning, information – the news, publishing, social media, and travel – short and long distance, local and global community.
Our vision of the world, our beliefs. How we understand and find meaning in life.
Some of the present circumstances in the world clearly express the emphasis of the nodes. By necessity travel has become more local (Gemini) and less global (Sagittarius), censorship, misinformation and “fake news” underline the importance of facts and details (Gemini) in relation to the big picture (Sagittarius), how local communities (Gemini) have united to provide support and assistance to vulnerable neighbours during the global (Sagittarius) pandemic.
Essentially, recent events have indelibly altered the world. The nodes illuminate our connection to each other, regardless of our location on the globe. How the local amalgamates into the global, unites to manifest the whole picture. Now we are – individually and collectively – being called to evaluate (Gemini) our view of the world (Sagittarius). To engage with what we have learnt from the past to assist with working out what is meaningful ahead, our vision of the future (Sagittarius).
With the North Node in Gemini, the accent is on being more Gemini – be curious and challenge our assumptions, explore information, gather facts and details, ask questions and listen to answers, so as to build a foundation for our beliefs and clarify our ideals. With censorship and manipulation of information widespread, discovering good, genuine information is key. The North Node is encouraging us to look at all sides of the story. To take a level-headed approach, to help give us a frame of reference and valuable insight in the midst of these confusing, disruptive times.
The first Mercury retrograde of 2021 is in Aquarius, raising collective issues. The differing opinions and different versions of the truth. The divisions in society. Along with questions around the future, how to proceed from here.
Next, Mercury will be retrograde in Gemini, suggesting matters related to travel and education could be relevant. The possibility of the failure of travel businesses/airlines as well as new rules/border controls. Perhaps leading many to re-think holiday plans, be reluctant to travel abroad and decide to holiday closer to home. We could also be paying attention to our local neighbourhood. Become involved with local groups or provide much needed support to local businesses by shopping with them instead of online.
The last Mercury retrograde of 2021 in Libra, brings a focus to our relationships. The necessity for balance and fairness. Draws attention to communication as the key to resolving any tension in our relationships and interactions with others.
Currently unfolding scenarios in the world have bought to light that collectively we have diverse opinions. Differing perspectives on what is happening and how to handle it. It’s hard to avoid noticing the increasing censorship and lack of tolerance in the world, the heated judgements inflicted for not following or questioning the rules. We may be at odds with those we encounter in daily life or even those close to us.
We all have our individual, inner thoughts, our personal principles and philosophies. Mercury retrograde in 2021 touches on the many, varied connections we have with others. Calls attention to the war of words, the tussle between our right to independent thought, to express our views and coerced conformity to the message deemed as being correct. Our right to think for ourselves rather than being told what to think. Connects with Saturn square Uranus – the big alignment of 2021 – that can correlate with attaining and/or losing freedom and rights. Mercury retrograde reminds us of the need to listen to and respect each other, to endeavour to heal our divisions instead of expand them.
January 30th (26 29′ Aquarius) – February 21st (11 01′ Aquarius) ~ Mercury enters pre-shadow on January 15th (11 Aquarius) & leaves post-shadow on March 13th (26 Aquarius)
- May 29th (24 03′ Gemini) – June 22nd (16 08′ Gemini) ~ Mercury enters pre-shadow on May 15th (16 Gemini) & leaves post-shadow on July 7th (24 Gemini)
- September 27th (25 28′ Libra) – October 18th (10 08′ Libra) ~ Mercury enters pre-shadow on September 6th (10 Libra) and leaves post-shadow on November 3rd (25 Libra)
Venus-Mars Conjunction in Leo
- July 13th, 13.32 BST ~ 19 48′ Leo
A Venus-Mars conjunction emphasises creativity and motivation, love and enthusiasm, peace and war. Whatever we are passionate about, we are going to seek to attain, even if we have to work hard, or even fight for it.
Leo is ruled by the Sun, illuminates fun and creativity. Leo is also the opposite sign to Aquarius, whereas Aquarius is all about the group, Leo relates to a desire for the spotlight, to stand out as an individual. This Venus-Mars conjunction speaks of evaluating our desires, our goals, to align with what is truly authentic – significant – to us personally.
- December 19th (26 Capricorn) – January 29th 2022 (11 Capricorn)
Venus retrograde puts Venusian ruled areas of life under the spotlight – our relationships, love life, pleasures, creativity and money. This can bring a significant time of change, when our feelings and emotions around what we desire and value in life are put under scrutiny and re-evaluated – who we love – what we love – and how we love.
Venus retrograde is always meaningful, this one, perhaps especially so, as it is relevant to how we proceed forwards. Due to Venus retrograde, there will be a total of 3 Venus-Mars conjunctions, the conjunction in Leo will be followed by 2 more in 2022 –
- February 16th 2022 – 16 53′ Capricorn
- March 6th 2022 – 0 02′ Aquarius
That the final Venus-Mars conjunction is on the degree of the 2020 Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius, is of course highly conspicuous! The future calls us, beckons us towards our destiny. The July 2021 Venus-Mars conjunction engages us in a voyage of discovery, that could well by March 2022, see us adjust our values and actions in emotionally and spiritually uplifting ways. As we embrace inner and outer changes, align with what we have learnt, together with our updated vision of the future.
Aquarius ~ The Star
Lastly, some guidance from the Tarot, that resonates with the times.
Aquarius corresponds with The Star card in the Tarot. A stunning, captivating card, that offers hope, healing, renewal, opportunities and a new path. The guiding light of the stars and the cosmos shine brightly, reveal the inner illumination discovered after a time of upheaval, and the inspiration and blessings that can result from a deeper understanding of our destiny.
Reminds us that potent, magical guidance and wisdom is always there, giving insight and casting light upon our path. As we make our way across the bridge from the past to the future, listening to our inner voice – our inner intuition – opens the way to finding our true self, and the path that enables us to shine and sparkle.
Top image ~ by Anne Nygard from Unsplash
Saturn and Jupiter Conjunction ~ by NASA/Bill Ingalls from Wikimedia Commons
Constellation of Aquarius the Water Bearer ~ by Johannes Hevelius from Wikimedia Commons
Flammarion Woodcut 1888 Color ~ from Wikimedia Commons
Solar Eclipse Drawing ~ from Wikimedia Commons
Venus and Mars ~ from Wikimedia Commons
Moon, Venus and Joshua Tree ~ by Steven Wilcox from Unsplash
Planetary Cycles by Andre Barbault