Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! After such a calamitous year everyone wants to move on so my final post of 2020 is a look ahead at the major astrological patterns of 2021. So, let’s get on with scouting the path ahead!
For this analysis I am going to present the information in two parts, the first part discussing each planet in turn with overall trends and the second part will look at each month. The planets that will be considered in this analysis are Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris, in transit. I also kept in mind the posiiton of the Sun when writing the monthly analysis. The first part will be helpful to people working with activations and conduction (see the archives for more on these topics) as well as providing a general overview of the influences each planet brings us this year. The second part is more of a weather map which shows a chronological sequence in which those influences emerge. Both parts of this message are drawn from the following graphic ephemeris, below:
Reading the graph is easier than it might seem at first. Read it left to right and notice the months along the top first. The wavy lines are the movements of the slowest moving planets, and their lines are labelled and show which sign they are in. When the line is going from top to bottom in the graph (moving down) the planet is moving forwards, when it is rising from the bottom to the top it is instead retrograde, and the points at which the curve turns the line one way or another are the planets stations when it is motionless. When planets reach the top or bottom of the graph they move into a different sign. When one or more of the lines cross over there is the potential for a major aspect. It will depend on what sign each planet is in. That’s it. You don’t need to understand the graph thoough, I try to do that for you here.
JUPITER & SATURN
It is appropriate to consider these two planets together for this year as they begin the year separating from a conjunction in early Aquarius. This means they bring similar themes but do so according to their own planetary principle. I wrote last month about the greater significance of this conjunction – this year we will be dealing with more temporary effects that are directly related to that larger picture. However as the graph shows Jupiter (the blue line) speeds through Aquarius, leaving it in mid May (as noted above, when a planets line reaches the bottom of the graph and returns to the top, or vice versa, it means it has entered a different sign), in comparison to the lingering curve of Saturn (the black line), which stays there all year. Yet Jupiter does not remain in the new sign of Pisces for very long, turning retrograde and returning to Aquarius for the rest of the year at the end of July. Therefore, there is an “island” between mid-May and the end of July in which the themes of Aquarius are less intense, but most of the year sees both of these planets in Aquarius. Jupiter enters Pisces again at the end of December 2021, marking its full entrance into that sign.
One important thing to note here is that these are signs which both of these planets rule (Saturn is the diurnal/Electric ruler of Aquarius and Jupiter is the nocturnal/Magnetic ruler of Pisces). It’s rare that both of these planets are in rulership at the same time, as they will be between mid-May and the end of July and for the last days of December 2021. For magicians, especially those involved in making talismans, opportunities to work with Jupiter and Saturn in rulership are rare, happening twice every 12 years (totaling about a year each time) with Jupiter, and once every 28 years for Saturn but in an extended period of about five years duration. So all of 2020 and all of 2021 are ideal times to make Saturn talismans or to work with Saturn in a magical context, and peeking slightly ahead he will stay in Aquarius until the first two months of 2023. In the case of Jupiter, there is an ideal period this year between mid-May and the end of July and one brief period at the end of December which flows over into 2022 and lasts until around mid-May of that year. Of course, you still have to choose the day and the hour in which Jupiter or Saturn are unimpeded and in commanding sky positions, as per the guidelines I have written about elsewhere. Some good places to look are in the sections below showing the months in which various influences arise.
For everyone else, a strong Saturn means that we all required to exercise patience, discipline, maturity, understanding and wisdom as well as long-term planning and hard work in order to move up some steep and tiring paths. We are halfway through an endurance marathon of Saturn in rulership, the first half being when Saturn was in Capricorn, and we now enter the second phase of the long, exhausting journey. However this one will be different to what we have just been through, as now new structures will begin to emerge as well as new ways of thinking and new rules to guide human interaction. The strong Jupiter that we get in the middle of the year brings a wave of compassion, empathy and much-needed Water to the picture, but we have to watch out for things like rising sea levels and melting ice being in the news. Sometimes the bounty of Jupiter is a deluge of the kind that is not welcome. However, the opportunity is there for us to reconnect with the spiritual and with deeper levels of feeling. There is a cool, distant, scientific detachment to Aquarius that can be aloof and alienating with extended exposure, and this dose of Pisces is a perfect remedy. We will feel things again very deeply after a long drought.
What this appears to be saying is that mass vaccinations (Aquarius) will lead to an outpouring of emotions (Pisces) that are most visible between mid-May and August. You can see this as indicating a level of protest, but Pisces is not an angry sign. On balance, it seems to me that Jupiter is finally gaining strength enough to match the strength of Saturn after a year in poor dignity in Capricorn (everyone poorer except the super rich). Jupiter in Aquarius lets us breath again, brings a sense of liberation, freedom and release that indicates places opening up, and this leads to the period of Jupiter in Pisces that releases a torrent of pent up emotions as people finally hug one another again without fear. In many ways it is the most beautiful moment that we can see symbolically reflected in the sky this year but it is definitely overshadowed by suspicions about the circumstances that make it permissible again. Pisces is also a supremely sensitive sign able to pick up psychic skill with ease, so this island of Jupiter in Pisces is ideal for that too, as well as for anything related to Jupiter or Pisces.
Over the course of the year Jupiter and Saturn form the following aspects with other major planets, the details of which are discussed in the month by month section:
– a square with Uranus in Taurus in January (trouble when pushing your luck, ill-advised gambling or risk-taking, false projections, excessive idealism and impracticality, awakenings or mass movements, multiple choice moments, inflation/debt, ideological clashes, both secular and clergical)
– a sextile with Chiron in Aries in January (healing, growth through integration, talk of fixing things)
– three sextiles with Eris in Aries (opportunity or growth through discord, or possible escalations of discord?) in April, September and November
– a square with Mars in Taurus in January (putting the brakes on things, feelings of exhaustion or lack of energy, willpower being tested, the need for persistence in order to bite through things)
– three sextiles with Chiron in Aries in February, June and November (slow and steady healing potential for chronic conditions, application of remedies which prove to be permanent, closing of open wounds, agreements to act as a collective)
– three squares with Uranus in Taurus in February, June and December (restructuring, destabilising, revolutionary forces, paradigm emergence, reordering, new rules or laws, financial instability)
Chiron remains in Aries all year, beginning its journey into the second decan of the sign. You can find an extensive article about the meaning of Chiron in Aries here. Chiron brings teaching, healing/wounding, repair, integration and bridging. In Aries this is being applied to our use of willpower and courage, our warrior spirit and our ability to launch new enterprises.
One of the great blessings of 2020 is that Chiron was only in the early degrees of a Cardinal/Active sign and therefore remote from the troubles in the later degrees of those signs. A lot of things would have gone wrong and a lot more things would have been broken had Chiron been just a little ahead on his path. His big date with Eris in Aries is still a ways off as well.
Chiron in Aries combines well with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius (as shown by the sextiles in the section above) and it stays far enough away from Pluto in Capricorn that the square between the two is not an issue for now. Additionally it makes no major aspects to Uranus in Taurus or Neptune in Pisces. Therefore the overall territory traversed by Chiron this year is easy to manage and so the year provides strong potential for any healing journey. However it is interesting to note that between mid-March and mid-May Chiron and Uranus remain in a close semi-sextile, keeping pace with one another throughout April. Such an extended interaction may have unusual effects for semi-sextile aspects. Normally, interactions between Chiron and Uranus are not terribly easy to handle, even when they are sextiles or trines. The difficulties are usually that there are many jigsaw pieces laid before us and we have to puzzle over how they fit together without looking at the box lid.
– a sextile with Jupiter in Aquarius in January (healing, growth through integration, talk of fixing things)
– three sextiles with Saturn in Aquarius in February, June and November (slow and steady healing potential for chronic conditions, application of remedies which prove to be permanent, closing of open wounds, agreements to act as a collective)
Uranus journeys through the second decan of Taurus all year. It is one of the major players in astrological activity since it will form three squares with Saturn (first described above). Uranus in Taurus brings a great deal of earthly, physical change including financial disruption. A detailed article on its meaning can be found here. There is also the aforementioned article on the Saturn square Uranus aspect.
One of the major repeating themes of Uranus in Taurus, sadly, is famine or food shortage, and from current reports it looks like this could be a big problem in 2021. Trade agreements are also a theme, but the squares with Saturn do not help them stick. This square can bring wrangling and disagreements about quotas, tariffs, payouts and territorial claims alongside rebellions and kickback against material powers such as the state, economic hardship, crackdowns, surveillance, new laws and rules and struggles for freedom. This is a tough square with a powerful Saturn and a tense Uranus with both in stubborn posture due to Fixed/Stable signs. It’s explosive, dynamite type material and what gets blown up looks like normal life, normal routine, normal expectations. Conflicting new paradigms are struggling for future dominance, and its far more complex than a polarisation because it occurs on multiple levels. Its a confusing and disorienting part of the ride ahead, and people need to stay centred and grounded to navigate it safely.
Uranus in 2021 makes
– a square with Jupiter in Aquarius in January (trouble when pushing your luck, ill-advised gambling or risk-taking, false projections, excessive idealism and impracticality, awakenings or mass movements, multiple choice moments, inflation/debt, ideological clashes, both secular and clergical)
– three squares with Saturn in Aquarius in February, June and December (restructuring, destabilising, revolutionary forces, paradigm emergence, reordering, new rules or laws, financial instability)
Neptune finishes drifting through the second decan of Pisces and begins entering the third decan for the final (slow) leg of its journey through the sign. This transition occurs in January. This last decan is very much about the ending and dissolution of things as it is the last decan of the zodiac. Since Pisces is a Water sign, this year offers us the chance to resolve emotional things, essentially by letting them go or through forgiveness, but this is a theme that we will have until 2025/6, when Neptune enters Aries.
Neptune in Pisces is surreal, dreamlike, unearthly and calls for sacrifices. If you have been feeling that reality is not quite what it appears to be, or that life has taken on a super surreal tone, you are responding to Neptune in Pisces. If you have put the mask on and kept it on out of empathy, you are responding to Neptune in Pisces. If you are marveling at the way people have sacrificed their personal liberty, staying home and losing their jobs, you are also responding to Neptune in Pisces. If you think the election result is fake, or you can’t believe the gall of those bringing that accusation without evidence, the same. The point is that Neptune in Pisces transcends boundaries, it saturates everything with the same level of unearthly surrealism.
For those looking within, these are miraculous times. Deep inner reflection leads to catching whales rather than fish. Meditation with Neptune in Pisces brings an abundance of tranquility and peace, but also a more vivid life to the subtle senses, both visually and emotionally. Many people are having their clairsentience and other psychic abilities activated or developed.
Neptune in 2021
– Neptune makes no major aspects to any slow moving planets this year. As far as Neptune in Pisces is concerned, it is a quiet year.
Compared to 2020 the astrological energy of Pluto is greatly cooled off, but there is still an ongoing square with Eris in Aries that reaches another exact point in October that we have to be very careful about. Since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 we have been going through a series of financial collapses and apocalypses, and we are entering the final sequence of this theme as Pluto prepares to leave for Aquarius in 2024. The next four years are due to bring all of the financial meltdowns of the last decade to a culmination of some kind. This looks more dire for us in the latter half of the year from July onward as the square between Pluto and Eris remains tight for that entire time, culminating in October. What we are seeing here are actually the fourth and fifth squares in a sequence of five, packed tightly together in the last six months of the year. The first square between Pluto and Eris took place in January 2020, just as the coronavirus was beginning to transmit itself globally. The second and third squares then followed in June (as protests against totalitarian measures were increasing) and in this month, December (as numbers skyrocket with the mutated strain breaking out everywhere). The story of the pandemic is not over according to the story of this square. The final chapter will occur in the latter half of this year and it may bring the most extended disruption so far, because the Pluto/Eris square will be around in an almost exact aspect from the middle of August to the middle of October, as Pluto is at station. On the one hand what makes this less worrying is that Jupiter and Saturn are no longer in Capricorn and Saturn is about 6° away from squaring Uranus at the time. What makes this more worrying is this extended duration with two exact squares just weeks apart as Pluto is motionless and turning direct, while the Sun aided by Mars in Libra (from mid-September to the end of October) interact with both Pluto and Eris at just the wrong moment in just the wrong way. We receive a blessing in that Jupiter moves back into Aquarius out of Pisces and helps by giving a sextile to Eris and a trine to Mars, but this may just enlarge or expand upon the trouble instead of alleviating it. This is where we have to be careful of both financial disruption and the probability of war increasing as well as more from the pandemic. It is easily the most troubling feature of the year, with Saturn square Uranus as the next most troubling. We can draw some comfort from the fact that Chiron in Aries is nowhere near this square. However, we are still learning about Eris and her contributions, so it is possible this has nothing to do with the virus. It will be fairly telling what happens in this period as far as our understanding of Eris is concerned.
Pluto in 2021
– two exact squares with Eris in Aries, one in early September and one in early October, the last two squares of a sequence of five which began in January 2020. However these last two squares do not have the additional factors of Jupiter and Saturn in Capricorn to make them worse.
Our newest neighbour Eris continues to transit through the last decan of Aries, interacting with Pluto as described above but also having three sextile interactions with Jupiter in Aquarius that either serve to exaggerate and expand upon the discord of Eris in Aries or to cause opportunity and growth to arise from it. It will be interesting to see if this triple sextile with Jupiter brings help or an escalation. If it brings help Jupiter will be acting in accordance with its traditional nature, but if instead it brings a problematic escalation it may be because that is what is truly needed for our continued growth. Or it could just be because Eris cannot be pacified by Jupiter, which seems quite likely to me. Regardless, there are opportunities for anybody looking to really really shake up (or blow up) the way they express their Aries qualities such as their willpower or their bravery. I’ve also noticed that Eris in Aries seems to be bringing discord through disruption of gender norms as the trans community finally feels safe enough to come out into the open. Some of the kickback against this definitely reminds me of the way that gay and lesbian people were treated when they first decided that they were ready to seek acknowledgment and fair representation decades ago. The way these changes challenge our concept of identity and masculinity and the millennia of toxicity attached to that is very Eris in Aries. In this way we can see that Eris is actually a peacekeeper of sorts, striking at the poisons that have threatened us with war for so long, it’s just that unlike her sister Venus she uses no soft tactics to persuade men, and she is not actually interested in peace, she is interested in getting kicks out of creating discord by messing with the status quo. She doesn’t care about organising things into larger collectives or individual liberty and freedom like Uranus. She sees things in much broader terms even than Pluto, and so her ultimate motives are truly beyond our comprehension.
Eris in 2021
– two exact squares with Pluto in Capricorn, one in early September and one in early October, the last two squares of a sequence of five which began in January 2020. However these last two squares do not have the additional factors of Jupiter and Saturn in Capricorn to make them worse.
– three sextiles with Jupiter in Aquarius (opportunity or growth through discord, or possible escalations of discord?) in April, September and November
THE OVERALL TERRITORY
There is no doubt that everyone with a heavy emphasis on Active or Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) and especially the latter part of those signs can breathe a sigh of relief this year – while the pattern of 2020 overall has been ‘trouble whenever the Moon or Sun (or Mars) enters a Cardinal sign’ the pattern of 2021 is different. There is still a lot of trouble in the late Cardinal/Active signs with Pluto in Eris still in square, so the bumpy ride there is not over yet and the problems for these signs are not over, but the spotlight of challenges is now shifting onto the Fixed/Stable signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. In general, the overall territory of 2021 is instead ‘trouble whenever the Sun or Moon or Mars enters a Fixed/Stable sign’. This becomes less of a problem when Jupiter is in Pisces from mid-May until the end of July.
However although 2021 will undoubtedly be dominated by the squares between Saturn and Uranus, the underlying tension of a double Pluto square Eris will erupt in the later part of the year. We could say then that in the first part of the year it is the Fixed/Stable signs that produce most of the tension while in the latter part of the year both Fixed/Stable signs and Cardinal/Active signs are generating challenges for everyone. Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces – the Reactive/Mutable signs – are relatively quiet.
MONTH BY MONTH
What follows is a month by month arrangement of this information including transits of Mars which often acts as a trigger for slow moving planets.
The two or three major features of this month are the square between Saturn in Aquarius and Mars in Taurus (Jan 13) and the squares between Jupiter in Aquarius and Uranus/Mars conjunct in Taurus (Jan 17 and 23). The conjunction of Mars with Uranus in Taurus in the middle of these squares (Jan 20) points to aggressive market activity and a desire for a rapid increase in the pace of life. The latter half of the month is the most challenging part of the month because the Sun will enter Aquarius and add a great deal of raw energy to the Saturn and Jupiter squares. The square interaction between Mars and Saturn suggests everything beginning very slow and sluggish (possibly this is a reflection of continued lockdowns beginning to wear on people) – the energy of Mars square Saturn is like the wheels of a car stuck in mud spinning extremely fast but going nowhere – while there is a feeling of impatience, frustration, restlessness and edginess coming from Jupiter. Tensions are very high this month. The best strategy is perhaps to proceed cautiously so as not to be taken by surprise when unexpected events disrupt plans or expectations. The energy this month is good for making breakthroughs if you can be patient, disciplined and persistent in your actions. Being pushy, obstinate or stubborn in your ways will only generate pressure and stress as well as drawing heat. It feels like the Jupiter in Aquarius and Mars/Uranus mood is to get out and break free of all the horrible restrictions that people have been living under, but the block from Mars square Saturn looks like the strong hand of authority preventing them from doing so. It also seems reasonable to assume that Jupiter in Aquarius square Uranus and Mars in Taurus is about the angry tension surrounding vaccination, which is likely to be an ongoing activity of this month. With Mars in Taurus the financial recovery will likely be beginning and people will probably want to be busy and get to work in need of money, but that square with Saturn makes it slow and confronts it with serious obstacles this month. This month also sees the first and only sextile of Jupiter in Aquarius with Chiron in Aries (Jan 11), which is a wonderful aspect for investigating alternative therapy and healing methods or just for venturing into a completely new direction with a bold spirit. Saturn square Mars is still holding things back, meaning that slow and steady progress is the optimal strategy, but this energy from Jupiter helps us to carry on despite any burdens and to endure and persist in a healing path.
Saturn is the major astrological factor of this month as it comes to make its first square with Uranus in Taurus (Feb 17) as well as the first of three sextiles with Chiron in Aries (Feb 9). Mars in Taurus is in a more stable mood this month forming a sextile with Neptune in Pisces on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) and a trine with Pluto in Capricorn (Feb 25). From this activity of Mars alone it would seem that February sees things gathering pace and momentum, freed more to move forwards, but the square between Saturn and Uranus denotes conflict between taking the tried and tested route or trying something innovative. This conflict must be confronted and at least partly resolved before things can move forwards this month. The presence of the Sun in Aquarius energises Saturn and gives him a greater degree of power in this first act. Whatever occurs in your life in February it is important to understand that it is the first act of three, with the other two acts emerging from the narrative in June and December. The same also applies to events that we see happening in the world during February. Whatever this first act sets up is important because it becomes the overall theme of the square between these two major planets, a theme that will be revisited in the course of the year. The first square between these two objects is significant because it sets the agenda for the next two. This is important for us to understand – whoever gets to set the agenda in February gets to set the agenda for most of the year.
Within our own personal and individual lives this square challenges us to put effort into some major restructuring or face the consequences of old ways failing as they meet new and unexpected challenges. During this time we may experience tension between a need to experiment and a need to conserve, and depending upon our personal circumstances we may need to make an adjustment there one way or another. Certain rules probably need to be rewritten at this point. Playing it entirely safe is not advisable, but neither is playing it without serious regard for unforeseen consequences. Something is happening to the irons that have already been placed in the fire, something unplanned, and we will need to adapt our long-term outlook around this turning point. It may take us in an entirely new direction, or it may force an adjustment of the course we are on at multiple levels. It is important for us to embrace this change as necessary but to take control over it. At the same time, our need for change has to be tempered by increased discipline and patience. It is a balancing act between our dependence upon stability/rule and our thirst for innovation/freedom. In June we face the first real test, as the first act is really an introduction and a roll-out of the agenda/s, so take note of what comes up and where possible do not allow the agenda to be framed for you. If you get locked in to something you will regret later, June will be a time in which you have to break free instead of a time in which you can overcome obstacles to actually make progress.
The first of three sextiles between Saturn and Chiron (Feb 9) serves as a follow-up to the previous months interaction between Jupiter and Chiron, implying that any healing path that was embraced in January now begins to make slow but steady progress and can be applied to chronic conditions. Healing work begun in January can now become grounded in reality and physical experience. At later stages in the year (see June and November) further progress can be made in these areas. Also, given that during February Mars in Taurus is providing metaphysical energy through an amorous and productive sextile with Neptune on Valentine’s Day and boosting the power and flow of the Earth Element on the 25th via a trine with Pluto in Capricorn, February is a month in which a lot can get done despite the challenges.
This looks set to be a faster paced, smoother month than the previous two with the arrival of Mars in Gemini bringing a trine to Saturn (Mar 22) and a sextile to Chiron (Mar 18), with no major aspects between the slow moving planets. The square between Saturn and Uranus is still active, however, as the planets are only about 1 to 2° apart. Whatever we were dealing with in February is still around, however the assistance of Mars brings fresh ideas and a new approach as well as an invigorating breeze of mental energy that helps to dislodge any impasse or blockage we are encountering, especially around the equinox week. Things get moving this month, and travel restrictions start to look less likely.
One interesting feature of this month is that an exact semisextile begins between Chiron and Uranus, one that will stay exact all through April and half of May. This gives us an extended period in which to observe the influence of this ‘minor’ aspect between a relatively new object and an extremely new one. It seems likely to me given my understanding at this time (which you can read more about in my numerous articles on Chiron and Uranus) that this period brings us an opportunity to integrate new ways of being and new ways of evolving if we can venture off of any predetermined pathways and explore the wilderness of ideas and methods. It may be significant in helping us to resolve the crisis represented by Saturn square Uranus as it may help us to integrate new methodologies and innovations in ways which do not bring painful consequences.
There is bountiful energy being supplied by Mars (especially for Gemini activities like writing, communicating or traveling) which gives us reason to believe that some places will see restrictions being lifted, or at least plans to (which may then come to fruition when Mars trines Jupiter next month). It is a good month to forge ahead and to make progress towards long-term goals after having to deal with the problems of the previous months. People are ready to look ahead, to actually make plans again, and those who keep busy will find the wind firmly in their sails. There is a sense of greater stability and a greater degree of confidence to the energy of this month thanks to this Mars and (after the equinox) the help of the Sun in Aries, which interacts with both Mars and Chiron in ways that also help to improve things.
Again, the outlook here is less troubled than in the first two months of the year, basically April looks like a continuation of March. There are a couple of new things to watch for, however.
First is that the energy of Mars will go through a degradation. The momentum of things in March will be stifled by a square with Neptune in Pisces (April 9) and then by its entry into Cancer at the end of the month. This means that April is clouded by confusion or doubt over actions and courses, that what we imagine (Neptune) is inclined to disrupt our own intent (Mars). The meddling of the unconscious is very strong as a result. Discernment is a key quality that we are challenged to develop in this time. Without it our aims and our actions will be undermined or made invalid by our own assumptions and projections. It is time to be clear about your intent, about what you are manifesting, and this calls for greater clarity on what is driving you as an individual. This aspect punishes fudging, vagueness and poorly conceived visions. Other problems to watch for in yourself or others are increased paranoia, addictions/cravings, martyrdom, nervousness, tumultuous dreams, insomnia, passive aggressive behaviour, pedantic argument (hair splitting), playing devils advocate for kicks and zealous extremism. The positive potential is in overcoming these challenges and also in meeting spiritual challenges in general head on.
The trine of Jupiter and Mars in Air signs (Apr 17) opens things up a lot. Given that these two Air signs (Gemini and Aquarius) are the two signs of the zodiac most concerned with freedom of movement, freedom of speech and freedom in general, the likelihood is that this month people will actually be able to move around and interact with one another in a socially dynamic way again. If lockdown is still in place they will probably just do so anyway, since Mars is such a defiant actor. Regardless, this month is excellent for any work with the Air Element.
Of greater significance to the rest of the year than all of this, however, is the interaction between Jupiter and Eris (Apr 5), the first of 3 sextiles that will also happen in September and November. We really don’t know enough about Eris to be able to accurately forecast what this will bring, earlier I said it may bring an escalation of the things that Eris in Aries is connected to, or it may help to bring some kind of benefit out of that or to that. It’s possible this represents the introduction of some new kind of technology or discovery, since new technologies and discoveries always have a disruptive effect while also bringing expansion. It’s possible given the nature of Jupiter in Aquarius and Aries that we will make some discovery connected with outer space or with human consciousness. By being attentive at these times and mindful of this aspect we could learn a lot about how new planet Eris interacts with human behaviour, because the generosity of Jupiter is legendary. On the personal level this seems to indicate a fortunate outcome when acting to bring discord as a positive force. It may also bring out fresh and radical opportunities we had never even considered before, or new developments to discarded paths which now seem viable or productive.
The big story this month is the shift towards the Water Element with the entrance of Jupiter into Pisces (May 13), with Mars in Cancer providing strong support all month. After what will seem like a long drought two things will happen – people will be able to express their feelings and let out a lot of emotions in tears (Jupiter in Pisces) while at the same time a long period of Jupiter being weakened (first by being in Capricorn all throughout 2020 and then by being inhibited by Saturn while in Aquarius) will come to a brief end. I say brief because he will retrograde back into Aquarius before the end of the year, reversing his motion next month, meaning that this year he will only be in Pisces from mid-May until the end of July as previously explained. A strong Jupiter brings a surge in confidence and optimism, but it will still be tempered by the equally strong Saturn around us which does the opposite. Nevertheless the net effect will be noticeable, and so this month is a month in which we will really begin to feel what we have all been going through. This is good evidence that things like weddings and funerals will finally be able to take place, as well as that things like parties, cinemas and gatherings will also be returning.
Even if this forecast turns out to not be the case it won’t change the fact that during this period people will really be feeling a lot more than they have done previously for quite some time. Pisces is very dreamlike and fantasy prone, and Jupiter definitely tends towards the idealistic and hopeful, so one thing to be on guard against here is that these things will get overblown and that we will begin taking a view of things which is far too romantic, and not see the thorns in the roses. Jupiter in Pisces offers delightful and enchanting escapism from reality, which will be welcome, but it is not until 2022 that this becomes a dominant theme, it is merely being introduced now. On the positive side this kind of Jupiter is an extremely powerful influence for anyone seeking mystical experiences or for meditation, and for creating talismans with the power to bring enlightenment and mystical states of consciousness to those who carry them.
Mars in Cancer is about taking defensive or evasive actions, reinforcing protective barriers and so forth. It is the ultimate gaming defence turtle, adept at secreting things away and gradually building a castle without drawing any attention to itself in the process. During the course of the month it runs into a problematic encounter with both Chiron and Uranus (May 12), forming a square with Chiron in Aries at the same time as it forms a sextile with Uranus in Taurus. We have to be careful at this time that any actions we do take do not cause unintended harm to ourself or others. There may be a trap laid for us around this time, like a bear trap laid down in the forest, something that would cause great pain if we inadvertently stepped on it. Of the many options that are before us thanks to Mars sextile Uranus some or all of those options may be painful ones (Mars square with Chiron). In such a situation it is wise to assess the relative pain each course of action will take and then to proceed with heightened awareness looking for where the trap may lie. At the very end of the month, just as Mars is about to leave Cancer, it makes a trine with Neptune in Pisces (May 31) which brings the height of the Water Element to a near flood. This trine is about empathy in action, empathy towards oneself, and empathy powered by imagination and spiritual awareness. So while the early part of the month mainly present us with difficult choices, the end of the month brings a sense of relief. People may well remember this month as the month in which they could cry and laugh with one another again.
The turning point. This month sees the second of the three squares between Saturn and Uranus (June 14) and thus the second act of the drama which began in February. The second square is either about breaking free of something that was adopted during the first square or pushing forward with the agenda set during that time. It represents the first real challenge beyond setting the agenda itself. This time, the Sun is throwing its weight behind Uranus instead of Saturn, as it will be in Cancer making a sextile to Uranus Taurus.
As I’ve written about in a previous article, this square is about the creation of a new rulebook as a new paradigm emerges. It is about a direct conflict between the way things have always been and where they are going now and in the future. This applies to both the individual and the collective. Squares are turning points and 2021 is about turning points that decide what the new rules are going to be and who the players are, both in our personal lives and on the global stage. Economic restructure is coming, and along with it a reset of the socio-cultural norms. If you think for a moment as a corporate entity, one that employs a large manual labour force, it may be that you decide that given the way the virus has affected your bottom line in 2020 you are no longer interested in re-employing those people because you can program something robotic to do their job. These are the kinds of turning points we seem to be reaching, there are many more especially in relation to the environment, and this month is a critical juncture in that path for some reason.
These squares are not easy, but there are two things helping us at this time. The first is that shortly after the second square with Uranus, Saturn will make its second sextile with Chiron in Aries (Jun 24). It’s almost like there is an opportunity to fix or rebuild things immediately after or during breaking them. This sextile is also the point at which any healing activity begun under the first Saturn sextile Chiron in February can proceed even further. The second thing helping is that Mars will be leaving Cancer (where he is not empowered) for Leo (Jun 11) and so we will be feeling a lot more driven by our will and confidence in many people will be returning.
However, the course of Mars in Cancer in the early part of the month brings it into conflict with Eris in Aries via a square (June 2) and then with Pluto in Capricorn via an opposition (June 5). This means that the first week of this month is somewhat of a minefield. Again with things connected to Eris we are very much in the dark – it’s reasonable to assume that there will be aggressive and warlike behaviour in the air, but it will be difficult to separate this from the same energy that arises from Mars opposite Pluto. In essence the early part of June is potentially violent, but the weakness of the position of Mars points to a more defensive passive-aggressive escalation of tension. In our personal lives it’s important again to be careful that our actions do not cause unintended harm to ourselves or others, to back away from power struggles and temptations and to show that we are willing to have our will transformed and purified. This could be a good training period for people trying to control their temper, but is helpful for all of us because it will often show us where the way we are impressing our will on the world leads to our own downfall, the way we can all become the villain or our own worst enemy.
The story of July is of the Water Element supply being turned off and the return of tension and pressure mounting. This situation arises first from Mars opposite Saturn (July 1) followed by Mars square Uranus (July 4) at the start of the month, and then is concluded by Jupiter leaving Pisces for Aquarius with Mars opposite Jupiter at the end of Leo as it enters Virgo (July 28/29). It’s an explosive month as a Fiery Mars makes an opposition to Saturn and to Jupiter, one at each end of the month, with a Uranus square and an Eris trine (Jul 21) in-between. Mars trine Chiron (July 2) offers some comfort in the form of reconciliation and healing, but overall this month is packed with action.
The first situation in the early part of the month with Mars in opposition to Saturn and square with Uranus is dangerously stubborn and fixated, sure of its will and obstinate when meeting any opposition to its path. It has the energy of a juggernaut pushing things out of its way, so if this energy can be utilized in a positive form it can be extremely helpful. Usually, however it is not utilized in a helpful form that takes manifestation instead as an attack, struggle or conflict. The danger of tyranny and of ruthless action is very strong here. It is mercifully countered by the trine with Chiron in Aries, so that the energy of Mars is far less inclined to do damage, but this is still a tricky period. It enables us to test whether or not the course that we have set ourselves upon in relation to the Saturn/Uranus squares is a desirable one, and to forcefully correct it if it is not, but in either case there will be considerable resistance in some form. Mars opposite Saturn brings efforts at control, the need for uncomfortable restraint, blocking or the denial of aggressive instincts, heightened frustration, bitter anger, tests of self-control and the necessity to solve problems before they do serious harm. Mars square Uranus on the other hand emphasises rugged individualism, the will to fight for one’s freedom, inner tension and stress, the impulse to take sudden highly risky actions, accidental conflicts of interest, mob action and the power of demagogues and propaganda. You can see why this is such a heavy mix. Navigating through it properly is a complex process of looking at how one’s own desires impact the lives of others and vice versa and making many adjustments in the way we go after what we want and express who we are and what makes us unique.
The situation in the latter part of the month is different. Two things happen at once – Jupiter retreats back out of Pisces into the end of Aquarius just as at the same time Mars reaches the end of Leo and goes into Virgo. As the Water is turned off the opposition between Mars and Jupiter brings a fighting spirit fit for a moral or ethical cause. There is over-excitement, overconfidence, lack of moderation, inclination to hasty actions and opinions, competitive reactions, clashes of philosophy or principles and potentially also significant lawsuits. The Mars/Jupiter opposition in Virgo/Aquarius is not as stubborn and obstinate as the Mars/Saturn/Uranus situation at the beginning of the month, being more willing to compromise, but it is still very fixated and may be driven towards action which is not constructive. The key with dealing with Mars/Jupiter overload like this is to consciously slow yourself down and take stock of how you are spending your energy and your action economy, i.e. how you are going after your grand plan and what you might be wasting in the process that could best be used elsewhere.
It’s also important to point out here that with the shift from Jupiter in Pisces to Jupiter in Aquarius and the shift from Mars into Virgo, the ambient empathy evaporates at the end of this month. We are left with a much drier and rational astrological environment for now, but the empathy will return just before New Year and will be a major feature of early 2022. What we have this year is a preview that enables us to get in touch with what we are feeling and to take a deep breath, filling our lungs with air as next year we will be plunged into a deeper realm of feeling.
Aside from the exact square between Pluto and Eris at the end of the month (August 28) which will probably be more a feature of September, this month is comparatively quiet astrologically. Mars advances through Virgo to make a trine with Uranus in Taurus (August 22), which allows us to make progress in various ways and increases the supply of the Earth Element just as the Sun is doing the same from entering Virgo. Saturn and Uranus are nearing their maximum degree of separation from one another, so the tension between them is at the least it will be all year, so that August may bring good opportunities to really progress towards the things we want to achieve this year. So long as the square between Pluto and Eris does not present too many difficulties the end of this month is one of the more productive periods we have ahead of us.
Mars trine Uranus highlights the effectiveness of individual commitment and decision making (especially by delegation of various actions within a group), revolutionary ideas, the display of an iron will, accelerated activity, engineering and the desire to force changes. It encourages dynamic and responsive, adaptable leadership and decision making and stimulates our desire to be unique, different, stand-out or distinct within a crowd. The strong Earth Element supplied by this trine and the backing off of the Saturn/Uranus square implies that business and industry will be experiencing a more bullish and predictable period, but with Uranus this can never be stable. For the most part it is best to use this month to work hard consistently. In doing so by the end of the month you will find that multiple tasks have been completed in unexpectedly rapid time.
The major new feature this month is that there is a second sextile between Jupiter and Eris (Sep 10, see February for the first) but as I said there we do not know if this will cause an escalation or a benefit of some kind. However the ongoing square between Pluto and Eris, as Pluto approaches a station and turns direct is likely to be more significant in terms of what’s happening. We will have to see how active Eris is during September since there are no other major aspects in the sky this month. Mars does enter Libra (September 15) and loses some of the recent strength he has had in pushing things forward, but his path through the sign puts him on course to trine first Saturn (Sep 25) and then Jupiter (next month), giving momentum a lot of support. The kind of effort that Mars in Libra is good at, however, is diplomatic and cooperative, actions with a partner rather than solo. The opposition with Neptune in Pisces before he leaves Virgo (September 2) is tricky because it is delusional and self deceptive, descriptive of actions we put our will behind which are obscured by murky reasoning or false assumptions and the influence of the subconscious, it is effectively an opportunity to purge the willpower of these elements. This is especially true given that he will quickly make a trine with Pluto in Capricorn (September 6) which helps us to do so. So if we can rid ourselves of unrealistic pursuits at the beginning of this month there is real potential around the end of the month to make some kind of progress that we will consider a level up when the trine with Saturn takes place. Virgo and the Earth and Air Elements are dominating the Elemental balance at this time, with the Sun in Virgo and Libra this month. Earth is very strong until mid month when Mars enters Libra and then the Sun, after which the balance is shifting more to Air. You want to be busily getting things done in the first half, and looking for a partner to do them with after. However the things you get done under Virgo are more the things that help others rather than the things that help you. This is a great month for making repairs, tidying up or bringing order to something.
Trouble. We get the 5th and final Pluto/Eris square (Oct 9) while Mars in Libra opposes Chiron (Oct 1), then Eris (Oct 21), before squaring Pluto (Oct 22) and entering Scorpio (Oct 30) with the Sun. Tensions are just going up. This is clearly a worrying time but Jupiter in Aquarius comes to something of a rescue (perhaps) with a trine to Mars (Oct 19) as he stations and turns direct. This may of course just inflame or ignite things, we will have to see. At a guess months away, I would say it looks from here that Jupiter in Aquarius is about more vaccinations being rolled out as the viral numbers go up again, or that this is the narrative. And this is likely the trouble, because people are going to be forced into doing it, and that is unacceptable because it represents a lurch towards totalitarian control. With Mars in Libra, outrageous laws may be being passed, leading to civil unrest.
This is speculation. To navigate this minefield we have to understand the situation, and it is too far away to see what the specific circumstances might be. In general, however, the overarching theme of Pluto/Eris is of things that are being torn down, destroyed, or obliterated, never to return. This question has been hanging over cinema releases of films, for example, but it is everywhere now. We need first to understand that things are going to get hit by a wrecking ball, and make sure that what it hits is something that really needs to be demolished. The great danger is that without our actions, without our guidance, the wrecking ball will just run amok.
This understood, the rest of the challenges this month come from Mars in Libra, and they are all reminiscent of the sequence he put out in 2020 whenever he was in a Cardinal sign, the implication being that this is indeed about the numbers connected to the virus as it was then. Regardless, individuals must proceed with greater care this month. Actions may have very destructive consequences beyond what was intended. Being considerate of others will go a long way, especially around the 19th. The trine between Mars and Jupiter on that day brings confidence and mental energy, it increases the likelihood that positive and successful attitudes will lead into winning situations and stimulates healthy competitive urges and a spirit of enterprise. It is excellent for mind/body training such as athletics or competitive sports and can help inform us as to the direction in which our own unique philosophy lies. In general it speaks of doing it with a partner (Libra), and keeping an open mind (Aquarius), so that the potential for positive reinforcement multiples for everyone.
The first half of this month is much bumpier than the last half. This is because in the first half of the month Mars in Scorpio triggers both Saturn by square and Uranus by opposition (11th and 17th), acting to bring the tensions of the ongoing square between them to the surface more forcibly. This is the inverse of the pattern we saw in July when he was opposing Saturn and squaring Uranus, so it is feasible to expect some kind of development of events that stem from July during this period, events that are likely to be confrontational and somewhat aggressive in nature as Mars calls upon us to confront things that need confronting. The Sun in Scorpio is also outlining a similar theme. In the latter part of the month however we get the third sextile between Jupiter and Eris (Nov 18), the third sextile between Saturn and Chiron (Nov 27), and a trine between Mars and Neptune (Nov 29). These are iterations of previous aspects I have described and simply bring those influences to a conclusion so I will not go further on them here except to talk about the trine between Mars and Neptune. There was a previous Mars/Neptune trine at the end of May and this one will be little different except for the fact that Mars in Scorpio is very strong and the empathy is more passionately driven.
The overall trend for the month seems to be connected to things ending, since the square between Pluto and Eris is winding up, so are the sextiles between Saturn and Chiron (see Feb and Jun) and Jupiter and Eris (see Apr and Sep), Jupiter is finding its way out of Aquarius and the theme of Scorpio (a sign of endings) is written large. Additionally, Mars is again challenging us to reassess whether what is being built up with the Saturn/Uranus squares is really something that we want to see built up, and he is producing tests and challenges that are designed to increase our power and our determination. As many of the ongoing narratives wrap up this month we head into the third and final Saturn/Uranus square at the end of the year, which fully resets things so that next year we have a significantly different set of astrological factors to live with.
As noted above, December is the last square between Saturn and Uranus (Dec 24) – they will come to about a degree apart in October 2022 when Saturn turns retrograde, but they will not complete the aspect again. The narrative of this square is concluding, and this is really the last chance to make an impact on how it will all pan out in the end. The advantage of the third square is that we have had two previous ones and now know something of what to expect. In 2021 you have either been busy with restructuring your reality to incorporate new methodologies and ideas, or you have been really struggling to keep up with the pace of change and stubbornly resisting to let go of your attachment to the way things have always been. This doesn’t mean that you have to accept every change that is being forced upon you, only that you have to accept a serious measure of change is absolutely necessary and very timely.
If you have embraced this aspect as a positive force that can help you to change your paradigm and introduce you to new ways of understanding, this final square is like your final exam. It will establish whether you have grasped what you need to have grasped. If you have, a significant breakthrough is due if it hasn’t already happened. If instead, like many people, you have not really been aware of this need at this time, you will have found it forced upon you in all kinds of unpalatable and unacceptable ways and this is the point at which you will find your lid blowing off. The path that navigates through 2021 successfully is one that understands this. Busy yourself in grasping the lessons that this square presents you with in February, June and December and you will breakthrough into a new level of some kind. This applies to the individual and collective of course.
Mars leaves Scorpio and enters Sagittarius (December 13) but not before making a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn (December 6) and a square with Jupiter in Aquarius (December 8). This final sequence of Mars in Scorpio therefore brings a boost in confidence that may be overblown, and there is certainly an increase in the hunger of the desire nature. The Mars/Jupiter square may be about consumer spending in the run-up to Christmas, as people run up debts. Mars/Jupiter squares are often dangerous because they imbue us with a false sense of optimism and overconfidence that becomes somewhat embarrassing in many cases later down the line. Once in Sagittarius, Mars makes a trine with Chiron on Christmas day and a sextile with Saturn (Dec 30), showing a somewhat more active and exuberant end to the year than the sluggish beginning was. The true climax of the year is when Jupiter fully enters Pisces (Dec 29), just before the New Year, perhaps, just perhaps, indicating that people will be able to release their pent up emotions and actually celebrate together again. Yet in the background of Pisces there is always the notion of sacrifice, a notion that seems to dovetail with the theme of freedom vs control described by Saturn square Uranus, and so there will likely be strong feelings about the heavy price that people have had to give up in order to regain what they once freely had. Regardless of whether or not authorities allow people to congregate during this time, emotions will be running high and they will stay at high tide throughout the first quarter of 2022. But we will come to that further on down the road.
I want to thank all my readers for joining me on my journeys this year, especially my magnificent patrons, and wish you and your loved ones all the best for the coming year. Bon voyage!