2021: A User’s Guide

Heavenly Writing Astrology by Michelle Gould

As we head into 2021, I want to offer a guide for you to refer to as the year unfolds. Last year was a difficult one by anyone’s standards; 2021 will be easier, but it comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. 

The first section of this guide includes an at-a-glance summary for hotspots and dates to be aware of this year. The second section provides you a bit of analysis on the big themes of 2021.

If you find this helpful, you can download it as a PDF here.

2021 HOTSPOTS

6-14 of Fixed Signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius

If you have planets or angles at 6-14ᵒ degrees of a fixed sign you’ll feel tension between the winds of change and the structures in your life that anchor you. In particular, Aquarians born around January 26 – Feb 2, Taureans born around April 27 – May 4, Leos born around July 29 – August 6, and Scorpios born around October 30 – November 6 should pay special attention to my section on the upcoming Saturn-Uranus square. In general, the fixed signs start a two-year period of change.

24-26 of Cardinal Signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn

Those people with planets or angles at 24-26ᵒ degrees of a cardinal sign may face a confrontation — externally or internally — that requires soul-searching and deep change. Some aspect of yourself or your life is ready for release or regeneration. If you are a Capricorn born around January 14-16, an Aries born around April 14-16, a Cancer born around July 17-19, or a Libra born around October 18-20 pay special attention to my section on Pluto.

18-23 of Mutable Signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces

If you have planets or angles at 18-23ᵒ degrees of a mutable sign, prepare to get spiritual and work on your detachment. Life works better this year if you go with the flow rather than trying to nail things down. This adage holds particularly true if you are Pisces born around March 9-14, Gemini born around June 9-14, Virgo born around September 11-16, or Sagittarius born around December 10-15. Read my section on Neptune for more detail.

16-24 of Air Signs: Gemini, Libra or Aquarius

If you have planets or angles 16-24ᵒ degrees of an air sign, you have the opportunity to revisit, revise or reorganize some aspect of yourself or your life (represented by the planet or angle at these degrees). Those born around January 30 – February 15, June 7 – 15, or October 3 – 19 are uniquely positioned to make the most of these periods and should check out my section of Mercury Retrogrades.

Where Are My Planets?

You can print your birth chart from the “My Astro” section at astro.com. Either create an account to login, if you want to save your chart, or simply enter your birth information as a guest user and print a copy. You’ll need your date of birth, time of birth (preferably from your birth certificate — accuracy matters), and place of birth to create the chart. After you enter your birth information, you’re taken to a new screen. Click on the option that says, “Chart Drawing, Ascendant” and your chart will pop up. To the left of the page, you’ll see an information box that lists the planet positions. EX: Sun 7 Aqu 55’ 4”.  In this example, your sun’s position would be 7ᵒ  degrees Aquarius 55 minutes and 4 seconds.  As 6-14ᵒ degrees of Aquarius is in a hot zone for this year, you would want to track that information. For a more detailed explanation, read this article.

Eclipses

DateTypeDegreeSouth/North Node
5/26/2021Lunar5ᵒ SagittariusSouth
6/10/2021Solar19ᵒ GeminiNorth
11/19/2021Lunar27ᵒ TaurusNorth
12/4/2021Solar12ᵒ SagittariusSouth

Planetary Stations

PlanetDateDegreeDateDegree
Uranus1/14/2021 Direct6ᵒ Taurus8/19/2021 Rx14ᵒ Taurus 47’
Pluto4/27/2021 Rx26ᵒ Capricorn 48’10/6/2021 Direct24ᵒ Capricorn 19’
Saturn5/23/2021 Rx13ᵒ Aquarius 31’10/10/2021 Direct6ᵒ Aquarius 53’
Jupiter6/20/2021 Rx2ᵒ Pisces 11’10/18/2021 Direct22ᵒ Aquarius 20’
Neptune6/25/2021 Rx23ᵒ Pisces 12’12/1/2021 Direct20ᵒ Pisces 24’
Venus12/19/2021 Rx26ᵒ Capricorn 30’1/29/2022 Direct 11ᵒ Capricorn 6’

Mercury Retrograde Periods

StartsDegreeStopsDegree
1/30/202126ᵒ Aquarius 30’2/20/202111ᵒ Aquarius 01’
5/29/202124ᵒ Gemini 43’6/22/202116ᵒ Gemini 09’
9/27/202125ᵒ Libra 28’10/18/202110ᵒ Libra 07’

New & Full Moons (eclipses in bold)

DateNew MoonDateFull Moon
1/13/202123ᵒ Capricorn 13’1/28/20219ᵒ Leo 06’
2/11/202123ᵒ Aquarius 17’2/27/20218ᵒ Virgo 57’
3/13/202123ᵒ Pisces 043/28/20218ᵒ Libra 18’
4/12/202122ᵒ Aries 25’4/27/20217ᵒ Scorpio 06’
5/11/202121ᵒ Taurus 18’5/26/20215 Sagittarius 26’ 
6/10/202119 Gemini 47’6/24/20213ᵒ Capricorn 28’
7/10/202118ᵒ Cancer 02’7/24/20211ᵒ Aquarius 26’
8/8/202116ᵒ Leo 14’8/22/202129ᵒ Aquarius 37’
9/7/202114ᵒ Virgo 38’9/20/202128ᵒ Pisces 14’
10/6/202113ᵒ Libra 25’10/20/202127ᵒ Aries 26’
11/4/202112ᵒ Scorpio 40’11/19/202127 Taurus 14’
12/4/202112 Sagittarius 22’12/19/202127ᵒ Gemini 29’

Equinoxes and Solstices

DateTime
3/20/20215:37am EasternSpring Equinox00ᵒ Aries 00’
6/20/202111:32pm EasternSummer Solstice00ᵒ Cancer 00’
9/22/20213:21pm EasternFall Equinox00ᵒ Libra 00’
12/21/202110:59am EasternWinter Solstice00ᵒ Capricorn 00’

2021 Major Themes

The Beginning of a New Era?

Though the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter fell on Solstice, December 2020, it’s worth a mention, as its influence will continue into 2021 and beyond. Many say this begins the Age of Aquarius and kicks off a new era. (Just a note of interest: ages are tied to the precession of the zodiac not the Jupiter-Saturn cycle. These two cycles are being conflated on social media. So, nope, not the start of the Age of Aquarius.)

I do feel it is an important pivot into a new period, but we should temper our expectations that dawn breaks and all things good will come to pass. We are between worlds, in some ways, beginning new cycles, but still completing others. (Pluto’s movement through late Capricorn for the next few years comes to mind.) 

That said, the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter does kick off a 20-year cycle between these two planets and heralds a new 200-year period where they conjoin solely in air signs. 

Over the last 200 years, Saturn and Jupiter conjoined in earth signs (with one exception between 1981 to 2000). Earth signs are connected with the material and physical security. Earth asks, “What am I trying to build, what resources do I need, and how do I make sure it lasts?” It conserves, consolidates, protects and accumulates. The establishment of national parks came about in this period, as did the full realization of the industrial complex. So earth describes conservation, but also can describe the hoarding of resources.

Moving into air signs for the next 200-year years, we’ll see new themes emerge tied to movement, ideas/communication/learning, technology, relationships and community — especially those communities based on shared ideas and ideals. 

Air circulates, changes, moves, and spreads. It’s speedy and disperses energy (rather than concentrating it like earth). Over the last 200 years, Saturn and Jupiter teamed up only once in an air sign — Libra, from 1981 to 2000 — as part of the cycle’s transition from earth to air. During that 20-year window, we had the advent of the personal computer and social media, the speeding up of communication and distribution of information, the waning of manufacturing, and a loosening of borders (the reunification of Germany and the establishment of the EU come to mind). I’d expect to see more growth and change along these lines.

On a more personal level, Saturn and Jupiter represent our social selves, denoting ways we want to interact with the greater world. Our Jupiter shows how we want to share our gifts, truths and personal vision with others, while our Saturn describes how we define ourselves, the roles and rules by which we abide. 

Jupiter’s strategy is to explore possibilities and grow beyond current limits (vision), while Saturn’s strategy is to set boundaries and engage in realistic assessments (necessity: doing what one must). At best, the Great Conjunction can describe a starting point, where we envision a future that inspires us and then commit to the clear-headed planning and discipline required to bring it about.

The house that holds Aquarius in your chart describes the arena in which you should plan for growth this year and hold yourself accountable to the plan. Through Spring 2023 Saturn will be in Aquarius,  requiring we do some growing up in the house Aquarius governs. (The sign and house where Saturn falls in your chart provide additional clues.) 

If you know your birth sign or rising sign, find it below to determine the areas Saturn in Aquarius governs for you:

Aries: your individual friendships, the groups/subcultures that share your vision for how the world could be, your goals and aspirations for the future

Taurus: your career and the public or visible roles you take in your life

Gemini: your beliefs/philosophies/understanding, travel and higher education

Cancer: your own and others’ psychology, your debts or shared resources, business, death/endings/closures of all sorts

Leo: your relationships/partnerships, negotiations with others, those with whom you’re in open dispute

Virgo: your daily routines and habits, your duties and obligations, illness/healing arts

Libra: your self-expression and creative projects, children, play and romance

Scorpio: your home/property, family, and foundations of life

Sagittarius: your communication, community and network, your habitual thinking or stories you tell yourself

Capricorn: your income and how you make money, values and self-worth

Aquarius: your identity and self-definition, health/body/appearance, branding or how you’re seen, your capacity to feel vital and alive

Pisces: your ability to face and transcend self-defeating patterns, your capacity to be of service to others

In many ways the Great Conjunction compliments the general message of solstice: new life is to come but first we must also clear away obstacles and take stock. We need to still ourselves and look inward, because only then can we see where we are versus where we wish to head. Besides, when we pull our dreams from our outer environment, they were never ours to begin with.

The Dance of Saturn-Uranus

Key dates: Feb 17 at 7ᵒ Taurus-Aquarius, June 14 at 13ᵒ Taurus-Aquarius, December 24 at 11ᵒ Taurus-Aquarius

The dance of Saturn and Uranus describe the friction between the principles of security, order, and limits and those of upheaval, change and freedom. One of the main questions of 2021 is how to enact change given the very real structures and limits of our lives and world. 

If we ignored tensions in our life, if we feel hemmed in or oppressed in any way, those stressors come to the surface to be resolved.

We structure our lives slowly over time. We define how we want to show up in the world, what it looks like to be a responsible person, and establish rules and routines that order our lives. This year, we need to revise some of our rules and notions about the world. 

We may discover that some of our past choices didn’t create genuine stability. Or that small compromises we made along the way have concretized into structures that feel impossible from which to free ourselves. For some, it’s our box — we built every cramped corner and wall — so we’re afraid to venture beyond it. For others, we may find that it collapses around us and we have no choice but to venture out.

Whatever our situation, 2021 asks that we begin to radically re-envision ourselves, to redraw the boundaries of our known four walls.

The challenge with Saturn and Uranus is that neither wants to bend. Saturn, the traditionalist, prefers familiar ways of doing things, the tried and true, and fears change. Uranus, the innovator, prefers to toss aside the rules and lacks patience for Saturn’s cautious approach. 

This year we all need to stay pliable and explore the ways in which we might move out of our comfort zones. With Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius, you may want to explore where your ideas or ideals have become fixed. Where does your freedom feel limited? Do you feel stuck or in a rut? Is the structure of your life an authentic expression of you?

If not, take active steps to enact change. As the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” If anything in your life falls into this category, you know where to start. Aligning with innovation and change will lower the pressure and make it less likely that tensions rise to a breaking point.

The focus this year is on Aquarius, so the themes of the house that it governs are highlighted, though Uranus in Taurus plays a role, too. In particular, make note of the events around February 2-18 when Sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn transit the sign. (Even if you’re not familiar with your chart, this concentration in Aquarius in February will provide clues as to the topics you’ll be exploring over the next few years.) 

Our challenge? To identify the systems, rules and structures that genuinely support us versus those that oppress, limit and cause us to compromise our growth.

Disruptive events can crop up that challenge our sense of order or bring us to a tipping point. The energy here is impatient and rebellious. Our lives need to be updated; we need to break free from the past. Change can come quickly or be a stressful grind between the old and the new as we reform within the existing architecture of our lives. 

Either way the process can be stressful. Those with planets or angles at 7-13 of fixed signs will feel the push for change most strongly.

When under this kind of pressure, we can be tempted to toss out the proverbial baby with the bath water — walk from that job or ditch the relationship in a fit of pique. But try to take stock first. Ask yourself whether the situation aligns with your greater purpose or whether you’ve accepted undue restrictions because of your need for security. If the structure of your life is essentially sound, you can reshape your life from within. If you’ve accepted limitations because you’re afraid of change, you may need a clean break.

To approach this process consciously, examine long-held notions about duty, responsibility, and your sense of order as a start. Where might you needlessly restrict yourself and require boundaries to be redrawn? The houses that hold Taurus, Capricorn and Aquarius provide clues. Since this influence comes with a great deal of tension — physical, mental, and emotional — remember that making time to exercise or having people you can talk to freely can be helpful releases this year.

Pluto 

Since 2008, Pluto has been making its way through the sign of Capricorn. In 2021, it stays between 24-26 of Capricorn. If you have planets or angles in any of the cardinal signs at these degrees, it’s a period of death and regeneration. You can confront aspects of yourself long denied or repressed and free up enormous reserves of energy, but only if you face the hidden elements rather than shoving them further from view. 

The planet or angle at these degrees provides further detail as to what has been obscured or needs regenerated. The sun? Aspects of one’s identity or purpose in life. The moon? Residual emotional patterns, sometimes inherited from our family, that need to be confronted and perhaps triggered through intense emotional encounters or issues of control. Venus? Relationship dynamics, old patterns around self-worth, obsession. Mars? A new relationship to power, aggression and ambition. Honoring our boundaries without trampling all over others’ boundaries. Jupiter? Spiritual regeneration and personal growth that benefits not just oneself but others. Saturn? A need to overhaul one’s life structures and eliminate that which isn’t working. Getting by with less.

Power struggles and power dynamics of all sorts fall under Pluto’s domain, so if you find yourself fighting for control, take heed. Pushing forward your agenda without accommodating the greater good of all involved will blow back on you. Conversely, if you find someone overstepping your bounds, you may be called to claim your power and stand your ground. 

Pluto rules all processes of decay/destruction for the ultimate purpose of renewal. If Pluto is active in your chart in 2021, ask yourself what needs to be torn down, eliminated, released. The aim is to transform, so embrace it. If you find yourself trying to control everything around you, rather than attending to what you can control (namely, yourself), you’re resisting the process. Something needs to die so new life can come into being. Actively let go of anything that isn’t working and then engage in the rebuilding.

The good news? Pluto operates on his own this year, so the process should feel more manageable. Over the past several years, Pluto had lots planetary company in Capricorn, packing quite a wallop for those of us with a predominance of Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). This year, most of that tension has moved on to the fixed signs.

Neptune

For those with planets or angles at 18-23 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces), keeping your plans loose and your expectations low works best right now. Neptune dissolves boundaries and definitions, so the more we identify with or invest in some aspect of ourselves or our lives — in short, the more ego is involved — the more challenging Neptune can be.

Neptune yearns to transcend ordinary reality. As such, our every day life can feel disappointing, unsatisfying. We may long for something grander, more rarified, and lose ourselves in those imaginings. A dash of magic, please! Or we may find ourselves overwhelmed thinking about our dreams and all we must do to bring them into being. Mundane responsibilities can feel too much.

Staying present to the moment as it is, without the weight of our hopes and dreams, often helps. Ride the wave of each day, do what you must, and remain detached from outcomes.

You may want to simplify your schedule and create a bit of wiggle room for daydreaming, meditation, or creativity.

Disorientation can be an issue. The world asks us to define ourselves, our plans, what we want, where we are going, and so on. Neptune requires we do the opposite: to surrender our attachment to certainty. A cognitive dissonance can ensue where we feel unmoored and unsure of ourselves. Self-doubt, worry and confusion follow. Again, cultivating a sense of detachment from the outer world of doing and achieving can help.

A key bit of advice: don’t take anything too much to heart. Neptune sensitizes us — we become much more porous and influenced by our environment and the people around us. We feel it all deeply, our imagination runs wild, and we can mistake the clouds for the sky. The feelings, sensations, hopes and fears: all clouds. If you don’t latch onto them and create stories around them, you can have a pleasant enough time watching them drift past and recognize them for what they are, temporal.

Activities such as vision-boards, dream interpretation, and creative brainstorming can be enriching, as the world of symbols falls under Neptune’s domain. 

Rather than pushing ahead, consider this time a gestational period, where your imagination moves beyond its normal limits. Embrace a sense of open-endedness and space. If you can, delay big decisions for now. Once your feet return to terra firma, you’ll be able to incorporate elements of Neptune’s vision into your life without getting mired in unrealistic expectations or plans.

Mercury Retrogrades in Air: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius

Key Dates: January 30 – Feb 20 (26ᵒ – 11ᵒ Aquarius), May 29 – June 22 (24ᵒ – 16ᵒ Gemini), September 27 – October 18 (25ᵒ – 10ᵒ Libra)

In 2021 the Air signs begin to dominate. We move into the realm of ideas, decentralization, and movement. Those of you with planets in air signs — and particularly those with planets or angles between 16-24 degrees — plug into the gestalt more easily this year. The opportunity being presented all of us in 2021 is to reexamine our thinking, views, and understanding. 

When Mercury turns retrograde, one of the swiftest planets slows to a crawl. The symbolism points to a constructive way to align to this cycle: slow down. This internal recalibration helps us clarify what we find important and renews focus. (Focus can be harder to come by when air signs predominate like they do in 2021, as air scatters and disperses.) Use this year’s Mercury retrograde periods to settle your thinking and anchor your ideas and activities. 

Mercury retrograde periods are a wonderful time to complete what you’ve started. Tackle all the loose ends that you’ve been meaning to clear from your to-do list. Declutter, organize, and streamline. 

Key areas that benefit from slowing down are planning and communication. Most of the headaches associated with Mercury retrograde have to do with avoidable missteps in these areas. Take the time to double check plans, to carefully attend to scheduling and details, and to be more mindful when listening or speaking. 

January 30 – Feb 20 from 26 to 11 Aquarius

January 30th Mercury turns retrograde at 26 degrees of Aquarius, the air sign highlighted in 2021. Aquarius is known for its future-orientation, inventiveness and independence. Use this period to revisit where life feels rigid or your ideals or plans need updated. What kind of future do you want and what needs cleaned up before you can move forward? If you’re feeling stuck, what aspirations might need revisited or refined?  

Aquarius is one of the most perceptive signs in the zodiac. Its super power: the ability to step outside of a situation and look at things askance. It sees how things work as a system and then it questions assumptions and innovates. Use this super power to hone in on your own life, and then pair it with Mercury retrograde’s “slowing down and reviewing” process to see where you are with fresh eyes. Aquarius knows how to fix problems within complicated systems, to think steps ahead in the future. Access that wisdom. Pay special attention to the topics that Aquarius governs in your chart.

In the middle of the Mercury retrograde period, February 10th, Mercury squares Mars, which we might describe as “fighting words” or “heated exchanges.” We tend to be more forceful and impassioned in our communication.

Again, slowing down before we speak can help, as we’re prone to blurt out what might be honest and direct but not skillful or kind. And with this square happening in the fixed signs of Aquarius and Taurus, we may have a harder time backing down or apologizing if we have the wrong end of the stick. 

May 29 – June 22 from 24 to 16 Gemini

On May 29th Mercury turns retrograde at 24 degrees of Gemini, where it will be in a tricky relationship to Neptune in Pisces. From the 21st of May to June 8th, these two planets are within roughly a degree of one another. They have a reputation for creating confusion and muddying the waters. The difference between facts and fiction can be slippery during this time.

To boot, this Mercury retrograde period includes two eclipses (on May 26th and June 10th), adding a layer of stress and emotional charge. Often people become more reactive, so simple miscommunications more easily derail trust and confidence. 

These two mutable signs find focus a challenge at times so, if you can, simplify your schedule around this time.

Mercury excels in facts and data while Neptune immerses itself in symbol and imagination. One is linear and verbal, the other nonlinear and visual — they tend to struggle against one another. Miscommunications, misinformation, and (self)deceptions can result. Paying attention to when people’s actions don’t align to their words (or our expectations) may help you spot problems. And, remember, sometimes those problems may be ones of definition. (My definition of “Clean the car” may differ from yours.)  

Skillful activities might include a bit of regular unstructured time for brainstorming/creative thinking, writing poetry or songs, or journaling about your aspirations. Try to determine if your dreams are fact or fiction. This period could be a process of reimagining possibilities and connecting with inner longings, opening your thinking where it has been needlessly restrictive. Or, conversely, it may help you identify where your ideas require more work and greater clarity.

September 27 – October 18 from 25 to 10 Libra

The final Mercury retrograde period starts September 27th at 25 degrees of Libra and pulls in Pluto and Jupiter. Mercury will be closely aligned with Pluto from September 19th to October 5th. 

This combination points to a simultaneous deepening and expansion of our ideas. Our mind can have more focus, but also more vision. Keeping in mind that Mercury retrogrades ask us to tie up loose ends, review and reorient, this particular period suggests integration. Given that Mercury will be squaring off with Saturn, Uranus and Pluto throughout the fall, integration may come only after a clash of opinions, forcing us to reexamine our positions.

If others push back on our thinking or beliefs, we’re being asked to do a bit a soul-searching. Is our stance fair? Do earlier positions or decisions need renegotiated? Lean into mental restructuring and recalibrating this retrograde. Hubris can get us in trouble, whereas humility will ensure that our ideas are as sounds as we think they are. In this manner, we restore balance. 

Eclipses

The eclipses this year primarily fall in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius. These signs are connected to the pursuit of learning, our understanding, and wisdom and meaning. Eclipses speed up time and have a wild card energy about them, so the signs in which they fall can act as portals for radical discontinuity where we leap forward. The Gemini – Sagittarius axis points to rips in the fabric of how we know and understand things. 

Eclipses can also ask to look for what we’re missing or what is hidden from us. Our beliefs, the structure of our mind, the stories we tell ourselves and what we say those stories mean can act as pivots. Again, 2021 asks us to stay malleable and to question our assumptions. Get curious. Rather than staying in the comfortable corner of what you know, push yourself to discover and explore what you don’t know. What are your blind spots?

Other Influences of Note in Brief

First Quarter

On January 8th, February 10th, and March 23rd, Mercury squares Mars: Watch your tongue, as we are more likely to fall into heated exchanges.  

The first new moon of the year, on January 13th, underscores the need to release or purge. In 2020, we began the year with a Saturn-Pluto conjunction that colored the year with what some called “celestial death weather.” 

The first new moon in 2021 lands at 23 Capricorn, pretty much the same degree where Saturn-Pluto fell last year, and the new moon conjoins Pluto. January looks to be a continuation of 2020 rather than a new start. The following day, January 14th, Uranus, the planet of shocks and change, slows to a stop in the sky.

The symbolism suggests January’s new moon cycle (which lasts until the next new moon on February 11th) is a particularly fruitful time to confront one’s shadows and uproot anything that has outlived its purpose or doesn’t genuinely support growth. It can point to explosive, messy events or to inner catharses and epiphanies, where we face entrenched patterns and begin untethering ourselves from their influence. Pay attention to crises, disruptions, decay and compulsiveness mid-January, as they point toward old, change-resistant patterns that must be destroyed so we awaken from our slumber and regenerate. 

Around January 17th, Jupiter squares Uranus, providing a glimpse of how we might make constructive changes that promote growth, while the full moon on January 28th’s tight T-square of Saturn-Jupiter-Mars can bring disruption. Do what you can to keep pressure low the week leading into the full moon and avoid activities that could aggravate these already testy influences.

January 30th Mercury turns retrograde at 26 Aquarius.

On February 17 at 7ᵒ Taurus-Aquarius we’ll encounter the first of three Saturn-Uranus squares that shape 2021-2022. Now 2021, I feel, begins in earnest.

February 20th Mercury turns direct at 11 Aquarius.

On March 13 we have a new moon conjoined with Venus and Neptune,bringing an element of magic and dreaminess.

A Mercury-Mars square on March 23rd at 11 Pisces-Gemini can combine bluster or reactiveness with a dollop of confusion. If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves in heated conversations where we’re holding the wrong end of the stick. Around this time, we fare better by delaying conversations that call for diplomacy or require us to juggle details with precision. 

The new Venus cycle begins with the superior conjunction at 5 degrees Aries on March 26th, starting the evening star phase of its journey. (It will be the brightest in the sky a few days later, March 28th.) If anything connected to relationship dynamics, values/money, and self-worth crops up around this time, take note. These themes will continue to unfold when Venus retrogrades later in December.

Second Quarter

April 11 brings a new moon at 22 Aries with Venus squaring Pluto, which could stir up dynamics around relationships and/or control.

On April 26, we have a full moon in Scorpio at 7, picking up the tense Saturn-Uranus square, and the next day Pluto turns retrograde at 26 Capricorn.

Jupiter spends most of the year in Aquarius, our focal sign of 2021. However, it makes an appearance in Pisces from May 13th to July 27th before going back into Aquarius and is one of the brighter spots in the year. We may see travel pick up around this time and a sense of renewed optimism. After the emphasis on the mental realm (heady, intellectual air signs) in 2021, we receive a much needed infusion of water: emotion and heart. Pay attention to what opens during this period and the inspirations that take hold, as they signal future growth that will be further explored in 2022. And within the push-pull of 2021, such a vision can be used as a north star to guide and organize our current restructuring. Jupiter will return to Pisces on Dec 28th.

May 23rd Saturn turns retrograde. 

The period between May 26th and June 14th will be quite tense between eclipses, the Saturn-Uranus square, and a few other stressful transits. May 26th is an lunar eclipse at 5ᵒ Sagittarius.

May 29 Mercuryturns retrograde at 23 Gemini, which can bring quite a few missed signals,and Jupiter stations retrograde at 2 Pisces.

June 10th is a solar eclipse at 19 Gemini.

June 14 at 13ᵒ Taurus-Aquarius is the second of the Saturn-Uranus squares.

June 20th Mercury turns direct at June 25th Neptune stations retrograde at 23 Pisces.

Third Quarter

The start of July (1st-3rd) brings fireworks as Mars in Leo opposes Saturn and then squares Uranus. Folks are more easily frustrated and impatient these days, so schedule accordingly recognize when you need to blow off steam.

The July 9 New moon at 18 Cancer will be in tense relationship with Pluto, stirring our emotions and opening up the past. There’s a need for profound emotional encounters, whether it be a counseling session, a soulful talk with a trusted friend or even a film that speaks deeply about the human condition. 

July 28th Jupiter reenters Aquarius after two and a half months in Pisce, re-emphasizing the air element: movement, thinking and communicating, and a quick pace.

August 8, the New moon at 16 Leo squares Uranus which could bring disruptions but also the possibility of change and innovation.

Another bright spot this year, Venus will have a lovely run in Libra from August 15 to  September 9 where it acts as peacemaker, fostering relationship and agreement.

August 19 Uranus turns retrograde.

August 22 Full moon at 29 Aquarius conjoins Jupiter. I’m not a fan of moons in the last degree of a sign — they tend to be frantic and extreme – so hopefully Jupiter will take off the edge rather than blowing it up and making it extra.

Fourth Quarter

September 27 Mercury turns retrograde at 25 Libra square Pluto.  In fact, from September 19 to October 6 Mercury squares Pluto, asking us to reexamine our mental habits, the stories we tell ourselves, and our thinking. We may be obsessively working through an idea to get to the bottom of it.

October – November Mercury and Mars will stir up the Saturn-Uranus squares and eclipse season begins again.  On October 6 the new moon falls at 13 Libra, conjoining Mars and coinciding with Pluto stationing direct at 24 Capricorn. This contentious period might may be fraught with tricky dynamics around power, dominance, and control.

October 10th Saturn stations at 6 Aquarius.

October 18th Jupiter turns direct at 22 Aquarius and Mercury turns direct at 10 Libra.

October 20th Full moon at 27 Libra continues the contentiousness of the new moon on October 6th. Mars plays a primary role here and squares Pluto. 

The November 4 New moon 12 Scorpio opposes Uranus, so fans the flames of the this year’s Saturn-Uranus square. The days between Nov 4 and Nov 10 have quite a bit of friction. In general, November is a tense month, with both Mercury and Mars in clashes with Saturn and Mars. What strategies might you put in place to offset stress? Disputes and heated conversations can take on a life of their own so be mindful with your speech. 

The eclipses fall on November 19th at 27ᵒ Taurus (lunar eclipse) and December 4th at 12ᵒ Sagittarius (solar eclipse)

December 1st, Neptune turns direct at 20 Pisces.

Venus turns retrograde on Dec 19th, at 26 Capricorn.As Venus slows to a crawl, it conjoins and accompanies Pluto for the entire month of December. Intense encounters with others (or with ourselves) can churn up the dark underbelly of relationships, intimacy, values, self-worth, and money. Looking back at events around the week around March 26th — when new Venus cycle began — can provide additional insight. Venus remains retrograde until January 29, 2022.

On December 24th we have the final Saturn-Uranus square of the year at 11ᵒ Aquarius-Taurus.

On December 28th Jupiter returns to Pisces, so we end the year on a positive note that will hopefully take some of the stress out of the Saturn-Uranus square and Venus Retrograde. Think of it as an assist by a well-positioned teammate.

In all 2021 will be a mixed year, but it does have quite a few bright spots and a movement toward new growth, even if accompanied by occasional growing pains. That alone is a marked change from 2020.

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