Happy New Year! While we’re clearly not out of the woods yet, 2021 begins with lots of forward momentum and will have quite different astrological qualities than 2020. The change of emphasis from heavy earth energies to air and fire is suggestive of an upward creative energy. This time last year we could hardly breathe and the air quality was hazardous.
Astrologically 2020 was marked most painfully and transformatively by the January 2020 Pluto-Saturn conjunction. Subsequetly Pluto and Jupiter joined forces three times, coinciding with the three waves of the pandemic in 2020 (although Australia avoided the November third wave). The influence of Saturn was particularly marked in this equation as were the themes of the associated sign, Capricorn. Mars was hitting off a lesson about aggression versus assertion, while staying a unusally long time in Aries— from the end of June all the way through to the 7th of January. This included the back and forth of a retrograde period entirely in Aries, creating three squares with each of the Capricorn occupying planets; Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. These interactions with Mars made the lessons we were learning about boundaries, structures and the misuse of power even more palpable. With the South Node of the Moon also in Capricorn for the first five months of the year, ancestral and global karma was emphasised. With most of the planets spending some retrograde time in 2020, reflection and reassessment were on the agenda, as our world embarked on a profound economic and social restructure.
Pluto will remain in Capricorn until 2024 continuing to restructure the balance of power in the world. Nevertheless both Jupiter and Saturn are now in Aquarius having come together in the early hours of the 22nd of December 2020, just hours after the Summer Solstice of the previous day. While this marked a highly significant event and the birth of a new 20 year and 200 year astrological cycle, it also excited astronomers as this was the closest these two planets had been to each other while visible in the sky together for nearly 800 years. The previous, roughly 200 year cycle of the conjunctions occuring in earth had been birthed long ago in aquisitive Taurus.This cycle roughly coincided with the Industrial Revolution, the fallout from which is now manifesting as a climate emergency.
Together Jupiter and Saturn represent the social planets and, while this may take some time to unfold, we are collectively and individually finding a whole new paradigm and sense of social purpose with new solutions set to emerge over time. The cycle of the Great Timekeepers sets the backdrop for our worldview and greatly influences cultural achievements and social standards. While Jupiter ignites vision, truths, values and beliefs, Saturn follows on with its authorization turning Jupiter’s visions into reality and its structures upholding and working for these beliefs. The new cycle in Aquarius will inevitably speed things up with implications for the mind, body and metabolism, making it particularly important to take good care of our nervous system. Breathe deep!!
At best the move from earth to air enables a new more meaningful paradigm for humanity to unfold, beyond the current material focus as we move into the Aquarian Age. Although the earth cycle has been drawing attention to practical and financial matters, the Aquarius cycle will ideally bring more attention to culture, progress, and global emancipation. While Capricorn is associated with heirarchical power structures, Aquarius, for all its airy detachment, brings in a focus on freedom and egalitarianism. The Sabian Symbol for the first degree of Aquarius, which births this new 200 year cycle, is An Old Adobe Mission in California. This speaks to the power inherent in all great human works to endure far beyond the workers’ life spans. It suggests creating civilisation out of natural elements, spiritual retreats in natural surroundings and places that house and protect. On the flipside, the warning here is against indoctrination, dogmatism and pushing beliefs and ideas on to others. Surely these themes are already in evidence particularly following the shift of the lunar nodes into Gemini and Sagittarius in May 2020.
The transit of the lunar nodes, points where the moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic, speaks to our inherited collective karma. We are being challenged to learn the new lessons of the futuristic North Node while releasing the resisting energy of the past through the South Node. Achieving a balance between these two opposing lunar energies is one of the critical jobs our souls face. The call to home and a better work life balance described by the 18 month sourjourn of the North Node in Cancer ending in May 2020, became quite literal towards the end as we were forced to stay at home under lockdown. This was about harmonizing our compassion (Cancer) with our need to control and excel (South Node in Capricorn). No less literal has been the journey so far with the North Node in Gemini from May 2020 that has brought new information, new opportunities and much curiosity. We are encouraged to question dogmatic viewpoints, while being open to listening to and integrating new perspectives. We need to be ready to have our addiction to certainty or blind faith challenged, as we listen more and are receptive to being amazed at what we hear. With Gemini as the fact gatherer, the journalist and the lawyer, the truth is only as valid as the facts it rests upon. At the same time we are being challenged to let go of the teacher/preacher (South Node in Sagittarius) whose truth is absolute. This story will play out until 24th of December 2021 when the North Node will move into Taurus, bringing a whole new collective karma narrative.
Significantly Neptune has been squaring the Nodes since October 2020 and will be until February 2021, reaching a peak two degree orb which will be at its closest around the time of the US Presidential inauguration on the 20th of January 2021. While the Neptune square may be associated with cognitive confusion, even despair, it is reminding us to go within and to trust in our own intuition. Interestingly the last time that Neptune went retrograde in Pisces and squared the Nodes was when Lincoln was elected American President and the Republican Party was formed. The important issue of racism was high on the agenda at that time as well. Neptune entered its home sign of Pisces in 2011 and will reside there unitl 2026. Until recently both Saturn in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces were in their home signs. Now only Pisces is in rulership making its influence particularly fecund. It is helping us to find compassion, the higher octave of love, and to understand our connection to all things. Jupiter too makes a brief entry into Pisces, from May to July 2021, before retrograding back into Aquarius where it will assist us in the important project of increasing levels of compassion in the world.
Meanwhile Uranus, the Great Awakener, remains in Taurus until July 2025, continuing to bring changes in the way we conceive matter and material things (money, the body and the earth) as well as in our values. Perhaps the most important aspect of 2021 is the Saturn-Uranus square which will be in operation for the whole of 2021 particularly during February to July and again in December, becoming exact on the 18th of February, the 15th of June and the 24th of December. Under this transit, we are working out just how radical we want to be. Ideally this will help to produce a creative combination of practicality with progressive ideas and new methods of achievement. The Saturn-Uranus square will herald conflict between conservative and radical ideologies. Issues around cyber-security, civil wars and social unrest are all possible outcomes of the dissonance linked to this fixed square. On the positive side we can expect an awakening to humanity’s connection with mother earth and a focus on breaking out of destructive old habits while creating healthier new ones. Progress on addressing climate change springs to mind as does correcting our own personal imbalances and cutting out that which no longer serves in order to birth something new and beautiful. It is a perfect time to confront our fear of change.
Chiron, the wounded healer, has much to teach us about being human. It will remain in Aries until 2026, initiating a healing cycle centred on courage and the need to embrace our uniqueness. While healing the wounded masculine, Chiron in Aries is asking us to take on the power of individual choice and heal wounds associated with competition and identity. It is also assisting in healing our willpower while simultaneously becoming more aware of our instinctual responses. A sextile between Saturn and Chiron will be exact on the 9th of February and again on the 24th of June and the 27th of November. This will assist with the building of group consciousness of the reality that we are not really separate from each other, following up an intense course in this theme under the pandemic in 2020. Taking control over our nervous system and using the power of deep breathing are also associated. Jupiter will also form a healing sextile with Chiron three times in 2021, helping to strengthen the spirit and building a narrative around healing and hope.
After the intensity of Mars in rulership in Aries in the second half of 2020 it will move quickly in a forward direction traversing half the zodiac in 2021 while ending the year in the sign of Scorpio.
Another aspect of the 2021 focus on air will be in the area of communication. with the three Mercury retrogrades of 2021 all taking place in air signs. This sets the scene for a focus on assessing our relationships, figuring out how to better relate to people and working on eliminating negative relationship habits. Be prepared to talk through problems or frustrations you have with anyone. Perhaps there will be particular opportunities to develop our intuitive and telepathic powers.
The four eclipses of 2021 include a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius on the 26th of May, an annular solar eclipse in Gemini on the 10th of June, a partial lunar eclipse in Taurus on the 19th of November and a solar eclipse in Sagittarius on the 4th of December. Gemini and Sagittarius form an axis related to communication and learning, so you may be picking up practical new skills that you can use at work and teaching yourself a lot of useful, everyday information. You are also being urged to remain open and adaptable, as you may have to think quickly on the spot. Projects related to spoken communication and writing are highlighted.
Finally the Chinese New Year occurs on the 12th of February 2021 which marks the beginning of the Year of the metal Ox.
Gillian Dwyer is a Melbourne astrologer Agent 25 of the C*I*A and frequent participant at Kundalini House