We made it! We survived the year that was 2020. Can we all just put this terrible year behind us and begin 2021 as if it all had never happened? Can we just go back to how it used to be? Well, yes and no. Yes, we will get back to some kind of normal. But it will surely be a new normal. Because the world to which many of us want to return can never be the same after the experiences and events of 2020. The reality of our world has simply changed, for better and for worse — depending how you look at it.
We can say that 2021 will be different than 2020 in many respects. As we have discussed at length over this past year, the weight of 2020 was connected to the very powerful stellium of three outer planets all in Capricorn — the sign of society and structure, rules and regulations, law and order, hierarchy and authority. All these aspects of our lives and our society came under enormous pressure when Pluto — planet of death, transformation and rebirth, combined its energies with Saturn — planet of limits, restrictions, challenges and losses, which was then exacerbated by Jupiter—which expands everything it touches. Thus, our entire world seemed to implode under the influence of these three major forces. Pluto represented the destructive nature of the pandemic, Jupiter the expansive energy that witnessed the coronavirus rapidly spread around the world, and Saturn the limits and restrictions of lockdown and shelter in place orders, along with the pain, suffering and loss of life. It was a sobering experience that brought the world to its knees and the global economy to a screeching halt. But now, we are left to ask ourselves, why did all this have to happen?
Because everything happens for a reason. And if astrology teaches us anything, it’s that there is always a deeper meaning to be recognized, a pattern of growth to be observed, and often a cycle of opportunity to be seized. For all the reasons I mentioned above, many of us in the astrology community had been looking ahead to 2020 with some degree of trepidation for many years. We could see the proverbially writing on the wall. Because these types of configurations — especially the conjunctions of Saturn and Pluto — almost always signal times of great difficulty and strife. War, terrorism and disease are all the usual manifestations of this cycle. And adding Jupiter to the mix only foreshadowed a magnification of the potential for massive disruption. That’s why astrologers were so anxious about 2020. And it certainly delivered on many of its dark promises.
But there was another piece to this picture that gave astrologers more hope, and that was the Great Conjunction of 2020 that occurred between Saturn and Jupiter on the Winter Solstice. In what became referred to in popular culture as the “Christmas Star,” the world got to witness a rare astronomical phenomenon where the two biggest planets in our solar system appeared as one bright star in the evening sky for several days right before Christmas. And in a year where we all needed something big and bright and awe-inspiring to focus on, the universe seemed to deliver us a rather poignant message in the evening skies. Now as astrologers, we recognize that part of the sky where this “Christmas Star” conjunction occurred as 0º Aquarius — which is very significant, because we interpret this as a sign of radical change and the beginning of a brand new cycle in history.
So the twin events of 2020 — the heavy-duty stellium in Capricorn, and the Great Conjunction in Aquarius — served as cosmic bookends to this most unprecedented of years. I wrote a few articles on both of these subjects (The Astrology of 2020 and The Great Conjunction of 2020) where I took a pretty deep dive into these “once-in-a-lifetime” astronomical events. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading them as a way to help you orient yourself and really understand why we experienced the events of 2020. It will help give you a proper context — a proper astrological framework for interpreting the meaning and the message of the year that was 2020.
If you didn’t have an astrological perspective going into 2020 — the year likely caught you by surprise. But now, having been shaken by the experience, many of us are awaking to the fact that a very significant shift is taking place in our world, and that we need to start paying closer attention to the signs and messages that we are receiving from the universe at this time. We’ve received our cosmic wake up call. No doubt, that’s why many of you are reading this article and others like it. You don’t want to be caught off guard again by what happens next. You really can’t afford it — mentally, physically, emotionally, financially or otherwise. You want to be prepared. You want to be ready.
Well, fortunately, you’ve come to the right place — because astrology can help us out here.
Now, I wanna be clear. I’m not saying that by using astrology we can predict the future. No. But what I am saying is that by using astrology we can better understand the energy patterns that are unfolding around us at this time and learn to work with these energies in a way that serves our highest purpose. We can align with them in a way that allows us to ride the waves of these energies like a zen surfer, and not get pulled down into the undertow of tumultuous events or get dragged out to sea by the riptide of the times. When we can see the waves coming, when we can time it up, paddle out and jump on our surfboards and ride the waves — then it’s actually thrilling, it’s epic, it’s what it’s supposed to feel like to be fully awake and alive.
So, how do we learn to surf the waves that are coming our way in 2021? Well, we look ahead and we observe where the planetary energies are pointing, we correlate them to our past and present circumstances, and we begin to map out a plan to navigate these energies and surf them towards our desired outcome — to reach the beach of our near future selves while learning to grow and evolve in harmony with the energy currents that are unfolding.
So in this article, we’re going to take a look ahead at the major astrological trends for 2021. We’ll be taking a “big picture” overview and trying to get a sense of the territory we’ll be charting in the coming year, so that we can begin to build out a good road map for how we intend to navigate these times of unprecedented change and hidden opportunity. To my mind, this is the true value of astrology, and why I’m so motivated — perhaps now more than ever — to share with you my understanding and my perspective on the times, so that we all might benefit from the wisdom encoded in what I believe to be at once a lost art and sacred science. I think we’re seeing that it’s a practice whose time has come… again. Astrology is experiencing a well-deserved renaissance in our culture. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the astrology of 2021.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FKISK2n8_bxI%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DKISK2n8_bxI&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FKISK2n8_bxI%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtubeYou can also check out Daljeet’s YouTube video on the Astrology of 2021
Beginning of the end, or end of the beginning?
So, is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? This is the big question of the day. What does this moment in time reflect? Where do we stand? What is really going on? And how are we to best move forward?
There’s a reason why these questions seem so monumental right now, and why we might be struggling to articulate clear answers. Because we are straddling between two worlds. It’s as if a chasm has begun to open up between the way things were and the way things ought to be—between the past and the future—and many of us are sensing we have one foot on either side of this chasm. But the chasm is starting to widen, quickly, and our intuition is telling us that the time is rapidly approaching when we are going to need to make a decisive move: either leap forward into the future, which is uncomfortable and unknown, or fall back into the past, which is comfortable and known. There’s also a third option: try to keep one foot on either side of this widening chasm. But the end result of that effort will be to get torn in two or plummet into the depths of chasm. The truth is, we are likely to witness groups of people exercising all three of these options in the coming years. The question is: which group do you want to join?
I know my answer, and I’m hoping I can enjoin you to see the way forward together. Because we’ll need each other to get there in one piece. It’s a leap of faith for sure. But one I think we all have to make, both individually and as a collective, if we want to keep this human experiment going much longer. Something old is ending, and something new is waiting to be born. The sense that there is a profound and rather pressing choice to be made between past and future is really going to be a major theme of 2021. We will see this play out in the conflicting energies of Saturn and Uranus — which is the major astrological theme of 2021.
Saturn Square Uranus: Clash of the Titans
For most of the coming year, Saturn will be in a challenging square aspect with Uranus. These two planets represent somewhat opposing energies. Saturn, on the one hand, represents limits and boundaries, codependency and control, structure and hierarchies, tradition and the past, and the comfort of the known, while Uranus, on the other hand, represents boundless freedom, unlimited independence, new horizons and a fearless exploration of the unknown. This is a classic Clash of the Titans. Both these energies are pretty formidable in their own right. And the energy pattern of the square aspect dictates a clash of wills between these two planetary forces. This is why the theme of past vs. future will likely predominate our consciousness in the year to come.
We are indeed at a crossroads in the history of humanity. I think anyone awake and alive right now has at least a dim awareness of this being true, if not blindingly obvious. We are standing at the threshold of some major evolution in consciousness. The human species is about to make one of its characteristic “great leaps forward” in its evolutionary journey. The convergence of artificial and human intelligence, the complete and total global integration and interdependence, the specter of world-wide systems collapse, self-terminating exponential technology and extinction-level environmental catastrophe. If you can’t see that we’re speeding headlong towards the cliff while driving forward and only looking through the rearview mirror, then you’re probably not paying close enough attention. It’s as if our culture has been strapped into a baby seat in the back as we’ve willingly handed the keys to who we thought were the adults in the room — the experts and the authorities. But it turns out they in fact are just an insecure clique of teenagers at best, and in many cases are really proving to be just a bunch of emotional and intellectual children who have no clue what’s really going on. Witness the way our politicians act more like bullies in a school yard than like mature adults. The emperor indeed has no clothes!
2020 really woke a lot of us up to the fact that no one is really at the wheel here, no one is really looking out for us, and we’re all on our own. And it was this fracturing—this tearing at the social fabric—that was wrought by Saturn and Jupiter conjoining Pluto in Capricorn. Capricorn is society. It is structure, it is hierarchy, it is all the institutional systems that make up an organized and functioning society: political systems, financial systems, agricultural systems, medical systems, communications systems. So whenever Pluto comes around and transits through the sign of Capricorn — as it does every roughly 250 years — then all these major systems of society come under intense scrutiny during such times. They all get stress-tested, to determine if they still function properly, if they still serve the greatest good and the needs of the ever-changing times. This is what Pluto is all about. Whatever sign it is transiting, it seeks to transform the aspects of life ruled by that sign.
So we are in an era where the entire structure of society is coming under Pluto’s transforming influence. And the energy of Pluto can be worked with in one of two ways: either you embrace its call for transformation and engage in a slow and gradual evolutionary process, or you can try to resist its call for transformation, which invariably results in rather cataclysmic changes and catastrophic events. Either way, the change will occur. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And perhaps more importantly — how.
As a society, we have been resisting some necessary changes for quite some time. When Pluto first entered into Capricorn back in 2008 we received an early warning sign that big-time change was on the horizon. That year a global financial crisis paralyzed the world economy and caused a “Great Recession.” In the aftermath of that catastrophic event, there was an opportunity to enact sweeping changes to the global financial system. To begin to build towards a more equitable future. But the calls for reform were largely ignored. The powers that be (Capricorn) resisted the necessary changes (Pluto), and chose instead to cling onto the old system, the old values. To selfishly protect their own interests (Capricorn). Instead, they tried to put a trillion dollar band aid on deep systemic problems. They bailed out Wall Street and the big banks, and stuck Main Street and the middle class with the bill. There was outrage. There was Occupy Wall Street.
At that time, Uranus was in Aries square to Pluto in Capricorn. This is a classic signature of revolution and upheaval, protest and rebellion. These are the characteristics and qualities that always emerge when these two planetary energies combine. Which is why that period saw witness to not only movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, but the Arab Spring and a wave of pro-democracy movements that spread around the world. Many of these protest movements were fueled by youth movements (which is typical of Uranus in Aries — it has a very youthful, rebellious energy). So the vanguard of the youth (Uranus in Aries) was clashing with the old guard (Pluto in Capricorn). And, at the end of the day, it seems like the old guard had managed to successfully fend off the rebellion and keep the established system in tact. But the rebellions all moved underground, and would emerge as a many-headed monster in the years to come.
Fast-forward to 2020. With the outbreak of the coronavirus, the quarantines and lockdowns, the economic shutdowns, the killings of George Floyd and Briana Taylor, the emergence of Black Lives Matter, Me Too and the Antifa on the left, Q Anon, Proud Boys and MAGA on the right, and a divisive and self-destructive administration inside the White House, and you now have a system under siege from all sides, within and without, on the verge of collapse. Astrologically, we now we had Saturn joining Pluto in Capricorn, and the power structure (represented by Pluto in Capricorn) was getting bolstered by Saturn — law and order, authority, restrictions, limits, control, and that combination was enhanced by Jupiter — bringing its global and expansive qualities to this mix. As a result, 2020 witnessed a world on lock down.
We all hit the collective pause button on our modern day-to-day lifestyles. There was a lot of fear, anxiety and uncertainty — fueled by a rather polluted information ecology that is making it harder than ever to make sense of the world, reinforcing the suspicion that there are no adults in the room looking out for us all. We’re on our own. And in that moment, many of us had what recovering alcoholics call a moment of clarity: we saw through the foggy haze of our hamster-wheel existence and realized there is something more, a deeper purpose to our lives that we were neglecting, ignoring, missing out on. This created a rather tectonic shift in the consciousness. It’s really quite powerful when events coalesce to allow for such a mass reorientation to occur. The synchronicity of so many people having this realization all at once produced an energy pattern that now must find expression and be channeled into new ways of being.
So 2020 and the powerful stellium of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn served as the catalyst for a Great Awakening. A major percentage of the population “woke up.” And now many of us are looking around at each other as if to say: “Now what do we do?” And this is where astrology offered us a way forward, with the symbolism of the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at 0º Aquarius that put a punctuation mark on the end of 2020, and opened the door to the way forward in 2021.
I mention all of this as a prelude to our discussion of 2021, because all of these planetary energies will be reactivated in new ways in the year to come. In particular, the energies of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus will combine in new ways that will challenge us to embrace necessary changes, and offer us opportunities, as well as the potential for sudden losses. The energy of Pluto in Capricorn, while less activated than in 2020, will continue to stress-test our social systems to the breaking point, forcing the necessary changes to be made on a massive scale. We will ignore or neglect facing these monumental changes at our own peril. We’re at a “buck stops here” moment. We can no longer continue to kick the can down the road. We’ve reached a collective dead end. The sweeping social changes we endeavor to undertake (or try to avoid) over the next 3 years while Pluto completes its transit through Capricorn will likely set the tone for the next 50–100 years. Yeah, it’s really that consequential.
Which is why we all need to be awake, aware, alert and proactive at this time. Don’t blink. Don’t go back to sleep. We’re all in this together now, and for each other. Let’s not forget this important fact. It’s all hands on deck. We all have our role to play. The challenges are big, but if we all pitch in and do our part, we can effect a massive shift in life on this planet for decades to come. That’s why we were all born at this time. We wanted to participate. We wanted to contribute our own small part in our own seemingly small way. But it’s not small when you multiply it by millions of people. It’s massive. It’s powerful. It’s a force to be reckoned with. That’s the true power of the people. And we are entering the “power of the people” era. This is it folks. The Age of Aquarius. The dawning of a New Age. So, let’s make our game plan.
2021 Energy Patterns
We will begin the year of 2021 by riding the wave of energy initiated by the recent Great Conjunction in Aquarius. This really gave us the opportunity to end the year of 2020 on a bit of a hopeful and optimistic note. It became known as the “Christmas Star” and served as a literal beacon in the dark and foggy night of what had been a rather insufferable year. This event signaled a palpable shift of energy from Capricorn into Aquarius, and initiated a new cycle in our society. We are now moving on from 200 years of earth-focused energy to a brand new 200-year period of air-focused energy. We’re moving from gravity to levity, from heavy to light, from slow and methodical to fast and energetic. This is the true shift to the New Age: the information age, the age of interconnectedness, the opportunity to create a truly integrated global village of ideas.
But again, it starts small. It starts on the personal level. It starts with all of us. How can we, as individuals, begin to form better connections, strengthen our communities, improve the quality and capacity of our social networks? This year of 2021 is set to begin with an incredible surge of energy for social growth, as expansive Jupiter begins to separate from its conjunction with restrictive Saturn and blaze a trail through innovative and socially-aware Aquarius. We will also experience an incredible urge to burst forth into the new year. Jupiter’s characteristic optimism and exuberance will stimulate us to grow beyond our previous limitations. It will motivate us to seek out new ideas and deeper truths. In Aquarius, this means a more detached and rational way of seeing the world. While Capricorn is all about attachment: whether it be to our old habits, our cherished possessions or our tried and true ways of doing things, Aquarius invites us to shed those old patterns and find new ways of being, to innovate, to invent and to reform.
In the first 6 months of the year, Jupiter will actually speed through the entire 30º of the sign of Aquarius, and even begin to dip its toes into Pisces by the time of the Summer Solstice on June 20th, at which time it will then station retrograde. So with this energy pattern, we could expect to see many of the grassroots social movements that emerged and fomented during 2020 to continue to grow in reach and scope during the first half of 2021. Many people will be feeling a need to participate in something real, something meaningful, to be a part of some cause to effect the changes they desire to see in the world. This should bolster the ranks of many of the grassroots organizations. There is also a tremendous potential for the various factions within these movements to unite under a common cause and interconnect their networks as a means of mutually empowering their various progressive platforms.
Now, we do have to consider that as Jupiter moves to separate from its conjunction with Saturn, the pull of the old taskmaster will still be felt for the first month or so, so it may take a few weeks to ramp up to speed. But, while the Great Conjunction is still in aspect through the month of January, it remains a great time to make some solid plans for the New Year, to leverage the combined power of Saturn and its ability to create structure and build practical and valuable foundations with Jupiter’s inspiration and optimism. As I’ve been saying all year, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a fresh start, a new beginning. And for those of us who have already made significant changes, this is a time for growth and expansion.
Uranus: Great Change Agent
At this point we need to bring Uranus into the picture, because it will have a major influence on the energy of 2021. Both Jupiter and Saturn will begin the year forming a tense square with Uranus, the great change agent. And while Jupiter’s square with Uranus will only be in effect until mid-February, Saturn will remain in this challenging aspect throughout most of 2021. This will prove to be the major theme of the year to come. The first 6 weeks or so — while both Jupiter and Saturn square Uranus — will likely set the tone for the entire year, then Saturn and Uranus will be left to work out their differences over the remainder of the year.
I really wanna focus in on the rather dynamic relationship that exists between Saturn and Uranus. Because, by nature, there is an inherent conflict between these two energies, which will only be exacerbated by the challenges presented by the fact that they’ll be in a tense square aspect over the course of the entire year. This is going to be the most challenging energy that we’ll be called to work throughout 2021. So let’s try and unpack this relationship a bit.
When we talk about Saturn and Uranus we often use the work antithetical. While Saturn is conservative, practical and restrictive, Uranus is radical, revolutionary and unbounded. So we can expect a great deal of tension between these two energies and impulses. Saturn prefers the past, the tried and true, the proven, the known. Uranus is focused on the future, the unexplored, the unknown.
So which planet wins out in this Clash of the Titans? I’ll be honest, this is really a tough configuration to handicap. Especially when we consider that we have conservative Saturn in progressive Aquarius squaring off with progressive Uranus in conservative Taurus. Neither has a decided advantage here. So we will likely see a great deal of push-pull action between the two forces. It seems as if the cosmic energies are challenging us to walk a tightrope and strike some perfect balance here.
Perhaps the energy of Aquarius is the key to finding this elusive common ground. Because Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius while Uranus is its modern ruler. This creates the potential for some mutual receptivity between the two planetary energies.Within the sign of Aquarius these two rivals can find areas of agreement. Perhaps the changes won’t come fast enough for the overly Uranian types, while things feel like they’re moving way too fast for the overly Saturnian types. But for those who can strike a balance between the two, and intuitively hold the tension of opposites with a rational detachment — a quintessential Aquarian trait — then there’s likely a sweet spot to be found in there somewhere.
What’s the Fix?
One of the other themes of this Saturn/Uranus configuration is that this is a fixed square. Because both Aquarius and Taurus are fixed signs, with Aquarius being fixed air and Taurus being fixed earth. And fixed energies are all about consolidation — they’re about harnessing potential power and actualizing it. This is the dynamo energy of astrology, which is why we often find the fixed signs are often very capable and productive. So the energies of this Saturn/Uranus configuration will need to be grounded and channeled into practical outlets.
This brings to mind the notion of embodied practices like Yoga, Tai Chi, walking meditations — anything that fosters the mind–body connection. Beginning, developing or further expanding such practices will be an excellent way for all of us to ground these powerful energies of 2021. Our bodies are being charged by the powerful electrical current of Uranus in Taurus while our minds are being stimulated by the intellectual currents of Saturn in Aquarius. Practices like Yoga are the perfect bridge to connect these two influences and combine their strengths.
This will also help us avoid a natural pitfall to these fixed energies, which is to become too rigid in our positions or our beliefs. We will witness a lot of people “standing their ground” this year, refusing to budge, refusing to give an inch, for fear that they will lose their grip on their cherished beliefs and ways of being. There will be a lot of shouting matches in the public squares around the world. Saturn in fixed Aquarius is particularly susceptible to this behavior, and Uranus in Taurus can be equally as stubborn and prone to arrogance and a sense of superiority. So we just want to be careful that we aren’t being so rigid that we miss opportunities for growth this year. Because under the influence of Uranus, things may come suddenly and unexpectedly. And Saturn might resist change, insisting we need more time to figure out the best way forward.
This will be a tension we’ll all have to negotiate in our personal lives, and it will also be a theme playing out in the collective in 2021 as well. How do we move forward? What are the best next steps? Whose plan is sound? Whose vision is clearest? We are all going to be asked to walk new paths in the coming years. We are entering uncharted territory. So the better we can get in touch with our own needs and motivations, the better we can navigate our way forward.
But it will all come back to the theme of Aquarius: how do we move forward in a way that serves all of us, not just the privileged few. What social forces can generate the kind of rising tide that lifts all boats? This type of future-oriented Aquarian vision is what is being called for on the planet at this time. And the hope is that it will help us navigate our way out of the inertia of the past and all its unnecessary baggage. With Pluto still in Capricorn for another 2–3 years, there is still some major work to be done on a societal level.
Hopefully the energy of this year can stimulate the change in thinking that allows us as a society to pivot away from our reliance on heavy, earth-focused resources like fossil fuels and move to more renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydro-electric. Some form of a Green New Deal — hopefully with broad bipartisan support, might be put in motion in 2021. But it only happens when the people demand it. The energy patterns of this year might stir Americans to wake up and decide to take back their political system. It’s been rather successfully hijacked and captured by huge transnational corporations with armies of lobbyists. It’s no secret that our politicians have become beholden to the wealth donor class than to their constituency.
And We The People have become rather complacent with this as the status quo, distracted by advertisements for latest shiny new toys in consumer electronics or the latest buzz show on Netflix. But in 2020, the veneer of our consumer culture was tarnished a bit. It lost its luster. We stopped and looked around and saw a deeper reality hiding in plain sight beyond the illusion of the perpetual rat race that we’ve all been running. This was the silver lining of 2020: a chance to make a major shift in how we live our lives. What’s really valuable? What’s really important? And now, with the energy patterns aligning in 2021, there’s a real opportunity for a coalition of well-organized and concerted grassroots efforts to mobilize enough support to effect real and meaningful changes in our political system at this time. So if you’ve ever had an inkling to participate in the process, now is the time.
Now is the time to get involved. Now is the time for change agents. And this can happen on many levels, from national to local, from collective to personal. It can be as big as solving global warming or as small as changing your diet to reflect that desire. No action, done with conscious intention, is too small or insignificant. It all matters. It all counts. It all adds up. We all have our role to play in creating the greater good. So what parts of yourself or your own life are you dissatisfied with? What steps can you take in 2021 to change that? How can you become your own change agent?
Remember that you always have agency over your own life and the decisions you make for yourself. Exercise that right. Exercise that personal sovereignty. Empower yourself. And then empower others around you to do the same. Mutual cooperation and support: that’s the highest expression of Aquarian energy. And that’s the name of the game in 2021.
So, I think you get the idea here. We’ve spent a lot of time on this topic, but it really is the major theme of the year, and so I wanted to get you properly oriented so you can make well-informed resolutions for yourself for the New Year.
There are a lot of other themes and issues that will present themselves over the course of 2021, and I’m going to cover them in future articles. In the next article I’m going to focus on money, because that’s likely to be a major issue this year with Uranus in Taurus. We can expect some sudden disruptions in the economy and the financial markets this year, and we’ll want tobe prepared for that. I’ll also be writing an article on what I’m calling Summer of Love ‘21 — because this summer during the month of July, we’ll have a conjunction of Venus and Mars in Leo, so we can look forward to a steamy summer on the love and romance front for sure. I’ll also preview the eclipse seasons for 2021, as well as highlight some of the opportunities that will present themselves via Saturn’s elegant dance with the Nodal Axis in the coming year.
I hope this information has been helpful and insightful and motivating you to become your own personal change agent. Let’s all set our intentions for the new year. And then let’s all paddle out and ride the big waves coming in 2021 like the Zen Surfers we were born to become. All right. See you out there. Happy New Year, everyone. Sat Nam.