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Astrology of 2021: Change is in the Air

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

When the winds of change blow

Some build walls.

Others build windmills

Chinese Proverb

Earth to Air - A Fresh Wind

2021 features a shift from planets traveling in earth signs to traveling in Air signs. Air seeks movement, social engagement, and exchange of ideas. The Great Conjunction between Jupiter/Saturn on the Solstice, December 21 initiated a new 200-year cycle focused on harnessing, developing and enhancing activities associated with “Air”. Aquarius, an air sign, heralds reformation, innovation, decentralization of power, and a humanitarian approach to addressing issues. (Read the article on the Great Conjunction for more)

Life slowed down last year, a reflection of multiple planets in earth signs. The economy slowed down, our lives slowed down and in some cases came to a halt as we went indoors. What did gain momentum was the breakdown of structures of the status quo. Earth seeks to consolidate, but the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto conjunction in earthy Capricorn correlated with the destabilization of structures and routines that do not serve the functioning of a healthy society.

Pluto will stay remain in Capricorn until 2025. Its transformative energies will continue to focus on the deconstruction of societal systems, processes, and laws, clearing a way for a new social order. The reformation of society that follows will be aligned with values that nurture the Aquarian ideal and stewardship of all life on our planet.

Aquarius, the sign of the human being, de-emphasizes the myth of the rugged individual and illuminates how the individual moves as an integral member within a social network. A society that embodies Aquarian principles seeks to empower and serve the needs of all its people. Valued and empowered, the talents and skills of individuals will be drawn forth to serve the wellbeing of the greater community. Power becomes less concentrated and more decentralized. Authority is increasingly granted and held at the local or regional level with less coalesced control at a national level.

Aquarius is the sign of revolution, of rebellious and radical thinking. It distrusts the status quo and is inspired to act with a progressive vision for society. Its rebel nature will likely prove to be a double-edged sword in the process of shaping a shared vision of the revolution that needs to take place. Revolutionary thinking and action is what is called forth. We are charged with overcoming polarization and recognize our common humanity. The revolution is not against each other. The golden opportunity will be missed as long as we feed the divisions and differences between us.

Air, as an element: travels, circulates and seeks freedom of movement. It is not concerned with stability, and tends to disperse what has been consolidated, like how a strong breeze effects a stack of leaves that has been raked into a tidy pile.

Aquarius is slow to action and quick to share ideas. It revels in conversation, networking, and the developing of a vision. With a comprehensive shared vision, it is then ready for decisive action. As the year begins, we are encouraged to engage in conversations that shape, enhance or create a vision for how we can move forward, not alone, but together.

To meet the invitation of air and to ride on the current, it is beneficial to adopt an attitude of flexibility and adaptability. Seeking to stabilize what we have may in some cases create greater tension. The collective cry for change has led to this time of shifting sands and fluctuating circumstance.

Near the end of January, the Sun, Mercury, and Venus will join Jupiter/Saturn in Aquarius, forming the largest number of planets gathered in Aquarius since 1962. Mercury will turn Retrograde in Aquarius (January 30 - February 20). The events of January and February will set the tone and direction for the remainder of 2021. The year will see a huge strides towards reformation, innovative technologies and inspired visioning. Life and events will pick up pace, but the likelihood of returning to the life or world we had before 2020 is highly improbable, and the winds of Aquarius would say that it is not even desirable.

A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man.

Kites rise against, not with, the wind.

Lewis Mumford

Signature Dynamic of 2021 – Saturn square Uranus

It is not all smooth sailing in 2021. The image of the wind filling the sails and skirting effortlessly across the waters of life is not likely to characterize the year. We will, instead, meet unpredictable headwinds that bring our full attention to keeping our boat afloat and navigating towards a North Star, the vision of where we want to arrive.

Saturn square Uranus is the signature energy of 2021, just as the Jupiter/Saturn/ Pluto conjunction was the signature energy that marked 2020.

Saturn imposes restriction and seeks to stabilize. When Saturn first entered the air sign of Aquarius last March, we saw a restriction of air: air travel, social connectivity, and constriction in the lungs for those with covid19. The phrase, I cannot breathe, arose from being quarantined, from centuries of systemic oppression and from those laying in a hospital. We can expect to experience further constrictions associated with air this year.

It is in direct conflict to:

Uranus seeks freedom from constraint, actively cracking things open to release what has been suppressed. The Awakener, The Rebel and seeks freedom from constraint, Uranus in Taurus (the sign of The Earth) will destabilize activities associated with the earth and material resources. By breaking up what is rigid and stagnant, dynamic change becomes possible. There will likely be increasing instability in global food production/distribution and our financial systems. Weather conditions associated with climate change will be prominent spurring further conversation, innovation and implementation of ideas that promote sustainability. Uranus in Taurus (2019 – 2026) will awaken us to the necessity of finding new ways to manage and utilize the earth’s resources. The sudden shocks and unexpected events that occur while Uranus in Taurus will dislocate 'business as usual' and our dependence on a global system that is on a collision course with mass extinction.

Saturn square Uranus : Dates to Ponder

January 30, 2020 Saturn/Uranus, by orb came into a square aspect.

March and April 2020 Saturn moved into Aquarius, and a true square aspect with Uranus

November 2020 Saturn/Uranus moved back into a square aspect

Dates Uranus/Saturn are in exact square :

February 17, 2021

June 14, 2021

December 24, 2021

2022, the influence of Saturn square Uranus will be felt even though there is no exact square aspect. The closest square aspect will occur September 17 - October 24, 2022.

Saturn square Uranus

Stability (dynamic Unexpected

Order tension Innovation

Slow that creates Fast

The Past crisis as a New Beginnings

The Old means to Youth

Time resolution) The Moment/Here and Now

Status Quo Revolution

Logic Insight

Conformity Rebellion

Restraint Freedom

Boundaries Breakthrough

Known Beyond the Known

Conservative Radical

Tradition Authenticity

Consolidate Disperse

A Parable Illustrating the 2021 Saturn/Uranus Square

In a time long ago when people spoke directly to God and trusted God to respond, there was a farmer who was angry after a particularly hard growing season. He decided it was high time he had a talk with God about farming.

The farmer spoke candidly, saying “God, Enough is enough! You don’t understand the first thing about agriculture! When the rains are needed, there are no rains; when the rains are not needed, you go on pouring them. This is nonsense! If you don’t understand agriculture, why don’t you ask me how its done? I have devoted my whole life to it. How about you let me take the lead. This coming season, let me decide the weather and conditions and than see what happens.”

God agreed to the request and said, “Okay, this season you decide!”

So, the farmer monitored the weather. He created the optimal growing conditions and he was happy. Whenever he wanted sun, there was sun. When he wanted rain, there was rain. When he wanted clouds, there were clouds. He expertly anticipated and avoided all dangers that could harm his crops. He made sure there were no strong winds or destructive weather to threaten his crops. His wheat grew higher than anybody had ever seen. His wheat grew taller than the farmer. The famer was pleased with himself and thought, ‘I am showing God how it is done.’

When it came time to cut the crop, the farmer was puzzled. There was no wheat at all — just empty husks with no wheat in them. What happened? Such big plants — plants big enough to have given wheat four times the yield of ordinary wheat — but there was no wheat at all.

Suddenly ,he heard laughter from the clouds. “Now what do you say?” God said, laughing.

The farmer responded, “I am puzzled, because there was no possibility of destruction and all that was helpful was provided. The plants were growing so well. The crop was so green and so beautiful! What happened to my wheat?”

God said, "You avoided exposing the wheat to any danger. It was impossible for the wheat to grow. It needs challenge to grow.”

Osho after telling this tale to an audience then said, “Challenge brings integrity; otherwise a person remains hollow, empty. If all facilities are provided for you, and there is no danger in your life, you will remain hollow and empty. God gives life with all its dangers.” And so, The Saturn/Uranus square brings the necessary challenge to activate the desired growth.

Another Analogy: The Making of a Pearl

The circumstances needed to create a pearl are another metaphor we can contemplate for how to embrace the changes of 2021. A piece of sand gets lodged inside an oyster shell. Through sustained friction over an extended period of time, a pearl emerges. The grain of sand is the vision for how we want to reshape our world. Withstanding the stresses, the pressures, and the challenges to enact the change is what is required as we move through 2021. Knowing that a pearl is the end result gives us the wherewithal to keep moving forward. If we keep the pearl, the vision, at the forefront of our mind, than the challenges can occur as molehills to navigate and less as mountains to scale.

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter/Saturn on December 21 opened a portal that brought forth potentials and possibilities not there before. It brought forth a visionary spirit that will serve to reshape the framework of how society is organized. For many who follow astrology, there was a cry of joy that the upsets of 2020, and perhaps the last decade, could be left behind as new opportunity took hold that would be marked by prosperity, harmony, stewardship of our planet, and upliftment for all. Yet, the increasing momentum of this new potential will encounter roadblocks in 2021 as it runs into an equal and powerful resistant force (Uranus/Saturn square). There will be a reality check on just how deep the roots are that anchor the status quo, and the strength of those invested and attached to keeping outworn structures intact. And truly, we may each encounter the depth of our attachment and dependence on some part of the current structure we habitually rely on, falsely believing it is essential to our well-being.

The Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto conjunctions of 2020 helped loosen the roots of the status quo, but the complexity of systems that manage 8 billion humans, however toxic or ineffective, are not dismantled overnight. One change can impact many levels of society and have far-reaching effects, like the adjustments we experienced with the pandemic. The collective desire for change will need to coincide with the collective actively letting go of systems that have brought a measure of stability. The Saturn/Uranus square will provide the necessary challenge that has us let go of the shoreline of habit and venture into unchartered water.

For many, the desire for change wanes when faced with the process of change. Courage and a dash of brazenness is required to take the necessary steps. For instance, anybody who has decided to start life in a new place can attest to size of this endeavor and what is required to make it happen. To buy a new house, sell an old one, move all belongings, start a new job, open a new bank account, find new doctors, and create new friends and routines is a mammoth undertaking. The is an implicit understanding that feeling acclimated and settled will take time. To create substantive change for a collective of people, one city to another, one country to another, requires a measure of patience and tenacity, and a measure of getting pushed into it.

True courage is like a kite;

a contrary wind raises it higher.

John Petit-Senn

The Fallout

The last decade. The planetary transits of the last decade have prepared the way for substantive and sweeping change. The 2012-15 Pluto/Uranus square up to 2020’s Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto conjunctions brought seismic jolts to ‘business as usual’. I grew up in an earthquake zone. We would experience a large quake and be relieved that the walls were standing at the shaking subsided. Yet, we didn’t know what structures had been weakened and where. The internal wiring could be damaged, and an aftershock could bring a wall crumbling down. Similarly, we are at the place where the big quakes have taken place and we feel the call to rebuild without yet knowing the full extent of the damage.

2020 was a year where we responded to crisis. We held everything together as best we could to weather unprecedented and unpredictable events. In the wake of this comes the fallout. The Saturn/Uranus square is alerting us to the nature of this fallout.

When the first influences of the Saturn/Uranus square were felt the end of January 2020, a global recession began in response to the announcement of a global public health emergency. The square aspect was active through March and April of 2020 when businesses closed their doors and 30 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits. As Saturn moves ever closer and closer in orb to Uranus, we are likely see increasing economic instability.

We can readily see how the staying of evictions and extension of unemployment for millions of Americans helped the United States weather the crisis of 2020, but at some point in the coming year the band-aids on a challenging situation will be removed. The instability and divisions in the U.S will not be resolved with the swearing in of a new president and administration. On January 1, Britain officially exited from the European Union and there is speculation and concern over how this will affect the economies of both Britain and the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her New Year’s address, told her country to prepare for hardship in the coming year. Russia and other countries are experiencing mass demonstrations and uprisings. The concerns that countries are facing are sobering, cuing us to the challenges that will be faced so the wheat can grow, the pearl can take shape, and a new way of living can take hold.

Historic Precedence

In the Saturn/Uranus cycle, stressful aspects between these planets are often markers of economic hardship. The most recent Saturn/Uranus cycle began in the fall of 1987 coinciding with the housing crisis and drop in the stock market. The 1929 stock market crash and onset of The Great Depression occurred during a Saturn/Uranus square. Yet, the 1930’s economic contraction led to the introduction of revolutionary programs that benefitted the low/middle income citizens. In the US, the Social Security program and Federal Housing Authority (FHA which insure home loans to lower income citizens) were initiated. We can expect to see similar types of programs introduced. For instance, the US will see further movement towards a single payer healthcare system and a movement away from trickledown economics.

The 20-year Jupiter/Saturn cycle promises that the first decade after a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction promises a time of expansion. The second decade sees contraction (which happened 2010-20) The first decade following the Great Junction of December 2020, we can expect Aquarian expansion: advancements in technology, reform of social media, developments in virtual conferencing, and a rise in innovative healing modalities that utilize sound. There will be a movement towards generating energy from air and solar, and a movement away from mining the earth’s resources (fossil fuels, coal, gas) as our energy source. While the arts is taking a hit and will continue to suffer in 2021, there is likely to be a renaissance in art during the course of the decade.

In our individual natal charts, the house where Aquarius resides will provide clues as to where the revolutionary and innovative spirit will take hold for each of us. Planets being transited by Uranus/Saturn will indicate where we can expect challenge and breakthrough. Some of us may have transits that indicate prosperity, but for society as a whole, it will be a time to tighten the belt. Having a Transit/Progression Reading can provide insight and perspective on how to navigate the opportunities this year will present. (Schedule your reading now)

The pessimist complains about the wind;

the optimist expects it to change;

the realist adjusts the sails.

William Arthur Ward

An Innovative Spirit Rises From Within

When freedom of movement is restricted, the strength of the human spirit rises to meet the challenge. Creativity, resourcefulness and care of each other are markers of how humans respond to adversity. We can be rest assured that innovation and creative solutions will flower while the outer planets (Saturn/Jupiter and soon Pluto) grace Aquarius.

The current tensions we feel are necessary friction that will inspire great ingenuity. Inadvertently, we are the grain of sand that has found itself lodged in an oyster shell. The desire for a new way of living has led us the arduous process of becoming a pearl.

There will be increasing shifts from material (earth) to digital (air). Our monetary systems, world bank, stock market, currency will undergo a reformation. There will likely be a surge in Bitcoin or digital currency.

In the same spirit, as global food systems and distribution experience disruption, we turn our attention our own backyards. We will begin to better organize locally and look at sustainability at a community level. These are all steps towards the change that Aquarius is broadcasting. Society has become top heavy with all the power, influence, and prosperity coalesced in the top 1% of the population. In the process of redistribution, of having more authority and influence at the local and regional level, there will be more and more innovation and action to offset what the top of the pyramid can no longer promise or provide.

The internet, virtual programming, social media will see great advancement. There will likely be reforms and restrictions in how we use the world wide web. In our careers, it is beneficial to look how to enhance our virtual presence, how to keep tabs on new technological tools and not shy away from building an online business or marketplace.

We can welcome the challenge and the friction of the year to shape the pearl of a new life. The biggest challenge will be to address the rigidity of our thinking mind and the belief systems we have forged. The Mercury Retrogrades and Eclipses all point to the shifts that need to happen in the way we perceive truth, reality, possibility and life.

Most people do not see their beliefs.

Instead, their beliefs tell them what to see.

This is the simple difference between clarity and confusion.

Matt Kahn

The Thinking Mind: Reshaping Perception, Beliefs, Reality

The 2021 Mercury Retrogrades and Eclipses provide insight into how to best meet the challenge of the Saturn/Uranus square. They point us to the very thing we need to change for change to happen: it is all in how we think about it.

The Mercury Retrogrades and Eclipses are happening in Air signs, continuing the theme of Air and the shift away from the material (earth) to a focus on the power of thought, interaction and exchange (air). We are being urged to soften what we think we know, and open to something we don’t yet know in order to be part of the forward momentum and not part of the resistance and clinging to an outworn, unhealthy and habitual way of living.

2021 Mercury Retrogrades

January 30 to February 21 in Aquarius

May 29 to June 22 in Gemini

September 27 to October 23 in Libra

There are 3 Mercury Retrogrades annually. They are an integral part of the cycle of each year. In 2021, they are each in Air signs. Mercury Retrogrades are not inherently problematic, but become so in a culture that values continuous forward movement, and productivity. They point to the ebbs and flows within a year. We move forward, make decisions and put things into play. When a Mercury Retrograde rolls around it cues us that it is time to step back, review, re-evaluate, replenish and ready ourselves for forward movement again. It is contemplative rather than action-oriented. It is about research and review and less about making a decision. These periods cue us that more information is needed, something needs tweaking, or at the very least it asks that we rejuvenate, pick up loose ends and catch up to ourselves.

With 2021 Mercury Retrogrades in Air signs, we are cued to contemplate our own thinking processes, question our perspective, and be open to new ways to look at something. We can be curious about where we have closed our mind or become rigid in our way of thinking.

Being an American is more

than a pride we inherit, it's the past we step into and how we repair it. Andrea Gorman

2021 Eclipses

Annually there are two pairs of eclipses. An eclipse happens when the Sun and Moon are in close orb to the nodal axis. In 2021, the North Node is in the air sign of Gemini. We will be exposed to new information that may run counter to what we believe. We are to be curious about learning something we don’t already know.

The South Node is associated with the past and something that needs to fall away. The South Node in Sagittarius is looking to disillusion us of faulty beliefs. Our beliefs are shaped over time and form a rudder for how we make decisions, see the world, and navigate our lives. There is a belief or beliefs that need shattering as they were shaped from perceptions or information that was not whole or clear. The information and conversations this year (Gemini) will provide us the opportunity to open to a whole new way of thinking. From this, our beliefs are re-adjusted in alignment with truth, the role of humanity, and our soul purpose.

May 26: Total Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius.

June 10: Annular Solar Eclipse in Gemini.

November 19: Partial Lunar Eclipse in Taurus.

December 4: Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius

Eclipses provide a period of disruption where something there is an opening for something new to interject itself. They are moments where a seismic shift can take place. We can look to the eclipse dates this year as dates that can assist us in finally taking the blinders off and illuminating our blind spots. In the wake of the eclipse, we have the opportunity to embrace a more expansive view of life, what is happening, and what is possible.

The Aquarian spirit seeks freedom. The friction of the Saturn/Uranus square accompanied by the 2021 Eclipses and Mercury Retrogrades point to a seismic shift in our thinking. Reality is shaped by what we think and say about it. If we think and talk about life differently, than reality can shift. We are being invited, if not prodded, to letting go of who we know we are, and open to who we are becoming.


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