2021: The search for stability and a new normal
Upheavals continue in 2021 as Saturn and Uranus square off, triggering change and instability around the world.
After the turbulent astrological weather of 2020 we expect 2021 to be more subdued. For how could we go through another similarly intense year? In one sense, 2021 is less busy, because there are fewer astrological events in 2021 compared to the parade of horribles that was 2020. However, if 2020 saw the stone thrown into the pond, 2021 reflects rather substantial ripples, and we need to stay flexible this year before a “new normal” solidifies.
Solidification is the sphere of Saturn, the planet of boundaries, the Earth, and all that comes from it. In 2021 Saturn will continue moving through his own fixed, masculine sign, Aquarius. Because Aquarius is a fixed sign, Saturn will direct us to build something new and give form to our long-term vision. All that was destroyed in early-2020 will require us to imagine a new shape into which we integrate the rubble of the past.
Saturn, Aquarius and coagulation
Saturn’s transit through Aquarius represents the coagulation stage of the medieval alchemical motto “solve et coagula” — dissolve and coagulate. This phrase represents the deep essence of our universe; all things are constantly in a state of flux, alternately growing and decaying. The alchemical wisdom tells us to voluntarily embrace and encourage this process as a means of spiritual growth, rather than something that happens to us as unwilling subjects.
Saturn’s passage through Capricorn in December 2017 to March 2020 and July to December 2020, represented the dissolution phase. Saturn in Aquarius from March to July 2020 and December 2020 to March 2023 will call us to forge new forms. The novel coronavirus became a global pandemic as Saturn passed through the last degrees of Capricorn, and we can see how this illness has acted like a catalyst in stirring up all aspects of life, from politics to economics, on all levels, personal to global.
Years with Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions have been economically and politically challenging and destabilising
There was a similar pattern from February 1991 to May 1993, when Saturn last transited Aquarius. In Capricorn, Saturn seemingly effortlessly dissolved the Soviet Bloc, ending the fragile status quo of the 40-year Cold War. The early 1990s were marked by a frenzy of redefinition on a global scale, as old roles no longer fit and both individuals and nations were trying on new identities and ways of thinking.
Coalescence in the real world is not instantaneous but rather takes time as matter settles into new frameworks.
Against this backdrop in 2021, major astrological configurations emerge, providing important details about our handling of Saturn’s direction. Does reconstruction happen smoothly, or will circumstances temporarily knock us off track so that we have to keep readjusting our plans? 2021 brings several key configurations that will alternately help and hinder our readjustment period.
Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius
Most importantly, Jupiter and Saturn will be copresent in Aquarius for much of 2021, following their exact conjunction in December 2020. Though they will not meet again in 2021, their presence in the same sign indicates their ongoing mutual influence throughout the year.
Generally, years with Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions have been economically and politically challenging, and destabilising; one such period was 1979 to 1981, when the United States saw double-digit inflation and double-digit unemployment. The most recent such period was 1999 to early-2001, when the US stock market crashed and the dot-com bust wiped out a great deal of individual and business wealth.
Attaining permanent stability will not yet be possible in 2021; everything will simply still be too much in flux
These periods also coincided with a change in economic and political alignment in many countries, including the ascent of Vladimir Putin to the post of Prime Minister of Russia (1999), the transition from democratic to republican administration in the United States (1981 and 2001), Margaret Thatcher’s assumption of power in the United Kingdom and subsequent deployment of extreme austerity measures (1979), and the introduction of the Euro into the global financial system (1999).
This time, Jupiter and Saturn are close from December 2019 through most of 2021 and, based on previous experiences, we can expect this period to be economically challenging for countries worldwide, and for some time after. This planetary combination is a marker of new epochs in world affairs. We can expect many new political trends and regime changes to occur in 2021 that were foreshadowed or seeded in 2020, as the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction was close to exact. Based on this planetary alignment, attaining permanent stability will not be possible in 2021; everything will simply still be too much in flux.
Epidemics and economics: Saturn square Uranus
Another major planetary alignment shaking up world affairs will be Saturn squaring Uranus three times in 2021; exact on 17 February, 14 June and 23 December. This combination was highlighted by stock market researcher Louise McWhirter in the 1930s as depressing economic activity for its duration. She was looking at the five-fold Saturn-Uranus square that occurred from 1930 to 1931, at the start of the Great Depression, and even further back the Depression of 1884, a credit crisis that coincided with Saturn square Uranus and lasted until 1886. The most recent time this planetary square occurred was in 1975 to 1977, following the 1970s recession spreading through the western economies. This period also saw spiking oil prices, which further eroded incomes.
According to astrologer George McCormack, who wrote about the impact of planetary alignments on weather and epidemic conditions, Saturn square Uranus marked the beginning of the Spanish Flu in 1918 and subsequent peaks in 1919, as well as a major epidemic of pneumonia and influenza in the winter of 1931. From a weather perspective, this aspect brings colder than usual temperatures and “prolonged disturbed atmospheric conditions” in the weeks and months surrounding the exact aspect. Based on these observations, we can assume that COVID-19 or an established disease like influenza will continue to be a major problem in parts of the world in 2021. In the specific forecasts below, we will examine in greater detail the time periods that look particularly risky for the spread of disease.
Sudden events with eclipses in Taurus, Gemini and Sagittarius
Eclipses in 2021 will continue to take place in Gemini and its opposite sign, Sagittarius, with one eclipse in Taurus. This means that among others, the following countries will be particularly socially and economically impacted: the Arabian Peninsula, Hungary, parts of Germany (Cologne, Nuremberg, Wurttemberg), Lombardy in Italy, as well as Moravia, Croatia, the Dalmatian coast, Belgium, Armenia, and England.
Gemini and Sagittarius hosted eclipses in 2020, so many of these countries and regions will already have seen heightened activity during this time. Notable among them is the Lombardy region, one of the world’s COVID-19 hotspots in early 2020. This area could continue to see problems into 2021, though hopefully less severe than in the previous year. The same goes for England, which in 2020 saw a high number of COVID-19 cases. It’s important to note that eclipses do not just point to epidemics, but rather any kind of sudden and dramatic event happening in the areas in question, so we need to think in terms of political and economic happenings as well.
The 19 November 2021 lunar eclipse will be in Taurus on the malefic star Algol. This eclipse has the potential to cause great harm. Some countries and regions ruled by Taurus and its opposite, Scorpio, include much of Italy, including Sicily, as well as Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Catalonia in Spain, and the German regions of Bavaria and Leipzig and surroundings. It is possible that there could be a wave of illness or economic/political turmoil that impacts some of these countries, especially if previously they were relatively untouched.
Foundations for the future
Despite these turbulent predictions for 2021, it’s essential for us to remember the Saturn in Aquarius backdrop of 2021 — it’s all part of the process of finding the new homeostasis, the foundation upon which we can build going forward. It can seem like a great deal to take in all at once, but the reality is that we can only deal with changes one day at a time. Remember, the goal of 2021 is that we search for stability, though we are not yet required to attain it. We should accept that the seas are still tempestuous, and our primary goal is to keep our ship upright, only after the storm has ceased, to refocus on navigating to our original destination.
Now, let’s turn to global and regional horoscopes for 2021. Though we will discuss the global astrological influences that are present worldwide, every region will be affected differently.
All dates are based on Pacific Time.
A wild January with respite in March
The first quarter of 2021 comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Fresh off the December 2020 Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius, 2021 starts off with the sense that events have accelerated now and challenge our ability to cope. Mars will enter Taurus on 6 January, then will rapidly square Saturn on 13 January, conjoin Uranus on 20 January, and square Jupiter on 22 January. The ongoing onslaught of hard aspects makes for a wild January, with dramatic and depressing headlines throughout the month. February continues the heavy tone, with Saturn square Uranus on 17 February simultaneously sapping the economy and public health. The respite comes in March, which brings no major aspects, offering us a chance to catch our collective breath.
New perspectives in May: Adjustments in June
The second quarter will start out relatively quiet, with few major aspects shaking up the status quo. May, however, more than makes up for that lull, with Jupiter’s entry into his own sign, Pisces, on the 13th, providing an opportunity to take a more spiritual, gentler perspective on the upheaval of the previous months. Saturn turns retrograde on the 23rd, making May a month for u-turns great and small. May ends with a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius on the 26th, impacting the Sagittarius and Gemini countries listed above.
The 19 November 2021 lunar eclipse will be in Taurus on the malefic star Algol
June begins with an intense Mars opposition to Pluto on the 5th, followed by a solar eclipse in Gemini on the 10th. Traditional astrologer sources say that eclipses in this part of Gemini bring fruitless treaties and angry petitions presented by the people to government, so we can expect much popular discontent in this month. Saturn makes his second square to Uranus on 14 June, as we digest the recent political and economic changes and find them unsatisfactory. Jupiter turns retrograde on 20 June, emphasising the theme of revisiting previous events to make adjustments, reevaluate, and prepare for the future.
After a wild July, relative quiet in August and September
The third quarter on 2021 starts with a bang, a near-simultaneous Mars opposition to Saturn and square to Uranus, on July 1 and 3 respectively. We may revisit themes from January, when Mars last made hard aspects to these same planets. Circling back to older events and problems also happens when Jupiter enters Aquarius again in his retrograde course on the 28th, and Mars promptly opposes him on the 29th. Individuals and countries have the opportunity to reevaluate past responses and make any necessary adjustments. August and September are comparatively quiet, providing much-needed breathing room — Uranus stations retrograde 19 August, emphasising retrospection.
A new chapter in November
The fourth quarter calls us “once more unto the breach” in early October, when Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter all turn direct on October 6, 10, and 17 respectively. The focus is now unambiguously on the future, and activities that had previously stalled will move forward. October 21 brings a Mars-Pluto square, turning up the intensity and stress of this period. November starts with Mars square Saturn on the 10th, and an opposition to Uranus on the 17th, followed by the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on the 19th, impacting the Taurus/Scorpio countries listed above.
This eclipse is the first after the Gemini/Sagittarius eclipse sequence, showing us that we are starting a new chapter; the lessons of 2020/21 will be with us for a long time, but we will soon have the opportunity to move forward for good. December holds a solar eclipse in Sagittarius on the 3rd, as well as the final Saturn square to Uranus on the 23rd. Jupiter reenters Pisces on the 28th, definitively dissolving the Jupiter-Saturn copresence in Aquarius since December 2020.
Around the globe
The theme for Australia in 2021 is debt management. The planets promise a hot first quarter for Australia, literally and metaphorically: fires, drought, and similar problems arising from Mars’ excessive heat and dryness. Financially, Australia may struggle, like the United States, but in this case due more to the low prices of many commodities that come from the earth. The second quarter is anxious, bringing concerns about death and debt, but not without hope and a sense that economic improvement is around the corner. The third quarter is financially more optimistic; things are not really better yet, but are noticeably on the mend, and Australia is now evaluating and considering past commitments. The public could still be fearful about illness circulating, whether or not this is actually happening. The fourth quarter brings concerns about financial and possibly food insecurity for many, as earlier promises may not be met.
Financially 2021 is a stop-and-start year. The first quarter begins with a heightened risk of epidemic illness, whether COVID-19 or the flu. Economic anxieties and political tumult now feed on each other, like a serpent eating its tail. The second quarter seems much more encouraging, with fewer scary new facts to process. The mood seems lighter and optimistic, both on the health and economic fronts. Yet, many will still be cloistered away, due to illness or unemployment, and economic activity will be sporadic and directionless. The third quarter brings a return to earlier conditions, revisiting lessons and information from the past, and continues the general financial difficulties. The last quarter carries a cautiously hopeful mood. More people emerge into public life, and financial life takes a few steps forward, too. Travel begins to return to normal, though still nowhere near its former frequency.
The first quarter of 2021 is marked by economic and political transformation strongly driven by the popular voice. Populist ideas and economic support of the public dominate now. Western European countries are taking on a great deal of debt to finance their largesse, and political institutions must fight for their very survival. The second quarter is highly contentious, with accusations of underhanded plots and previously hidden facts coming to light. There is optimism now, with a sense that the future will be better, though that is more a feeling than any basis in facts. The third quarter looks better financially; several countries will have done a good job taking care of those less fortunate, as well as addressing public health, and they may be seeing the payoff.
Nonetheless, some anxiety will still persist in people’s minds, particularly concerning foreigners. The fourth quarter sees a sudden shift to matters of health and nutrition. There are rumours and confusion swirling in the public discourse, ending the year on a note of instability.
Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East
2021 starts off with a bang; conflict and dissent is in the air. As in many other regions, money is tight and capital accelerates its flight to safer havens. Much of the financial uncertainty is driven by fear of illness and increasing instability. The second quarter sees a financial improvement, perhaps driven by substantial debt. The government now makes deals with foreigners and favours are called in.
The third quarter sees a return to the agitation of the first quarter, and former battles are now revived. Deals with foreign allies that previously looked so promising encounter unexpected reversals and disappointments. There is the possibility of an upsurge of illness and mortality. The fourth quarter continues to be tense, and finances are precarious. Governments try to help, but it’s largely ineffective. In fact, government officials seem suspiciously absent, having fled seats of power to avoid facing the music. 2021 ends balanced on a knife’s edge
The first quarter sees countries addressing financial concerns, as money is scarce. Debt may start to take a toll on the public purse, putting officials in unenviable positions, having to make impossible choices between political and fiscal stability. Much comes to light, and public calls for transparency intensify. In the second quarter, some Asian countries will see significant and public governmental upheaval, perhaps due to public health fears. Public awareness of death and debt becomes nearly unavoidable and takes on a more confrontational tone.
In the third quarter, the public questioning of past hidden facts continues and potentially destabilises weak power structures. Finances are poor this quarter, with links to faltering real estate prices. Ongoing anxiety about mass illness is putting the brakes on economic development. The fourth quarter brings many expenses; money seems to be flowing out or simply vaporising at the speed of light. This will affect the food security of many, partly impacted by issues with foreign imports. Public discourse has given way to more existential issues and building up supplies is now paramount. As in Eastern Europe/Russia, Asia sees the year end on a cliffhanger, with the future in the balance.
The first quarter’s challenges will be primarily financial, as several countries will struggle to find money for sustenance of a normal life. Multiple countries will undergo major changes this year, with opposition movements agitating for change. Simultaneously, real estate markets will wobble in the first quarter. The second quarter brings a more hopeful and patriotic atmosphere, but public discourse is still confrontational, and the fear of illness stalks the continent. Official structures look more stable, though that is a temporary respite from the previous quarter’s shakiness.
The third quarter looks difficult for governments across Latin America, and there will be tumult and changes in many positions of power this season, whether through health issues or political shifts. The public is focused on debt, and there could be increased mortality this season, or at least accounting for past deaths. The fourth quarter will be challenging in terms of health and finances, and countries may struggle to obtain necessary loans and aid — much negotiation and red tape will be involved, as well as potentially bad deal terms. People may hide away now, whether because there is little work or because of fear of disease.
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