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2021 transits and cycles of growth

2021 transits and cycles of growth

Credit: Simon Migaj

Discover how the cycles of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto might influence your life in 2021.

Astrology has so much to offer. It can help you understand your personality, the people in your life, even point you towards your potential. One of my favourite uses of astrology is forecasting, where astrologers use the cycles of the planets to highlight significant dates and periods throughout life.

There are many timing tools in astrology. Here, you will learn about one of the most commonly used techniques, transits. An astrologer would explore your individual transits in a personal consultation.

Some transits happen around the same age for everyone, like the Saturn return, which typically happens around 29 and again around 58. But there are other transits and timing activations that happen on a timeline that is unique for you, based on how the current movement of the planets will activate the sensitive points in your birth chart, as represented by the location of the planets in the Zodiac when you were born. This might include a transit like Pluto-square-the-Sun: this can happen at any age but will only happen once in your lifetime. Other slower planets, like Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, can also activate your planets at unique ages too.

While it’s not possible to provide individualised timing insights in a short article such as this, it is possible to identify some of the birthdates that will experience an important transit activation in 2021.

If you know your birth chart, and you know that you have planets, like the Moon or Venus, or angles, like the ascendant or Midheaven, in the degrees of the signs listed below, then you will have an important transit from either Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto this year.

Even if you don’t know your chart, if your birthday is one of those listed below, then either Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto will make a transit to your sun in 2021. Keep in mind, the influence of a transit planet doesn’t come in and out of your life the way light goes off and on with a light switch; it’s more like the fade in and fade out of a sunrise or sunset. If your birthday is the day before or the day after those listed below, you might also feel these influences.

Saturn: Maturity, responsibility, structure

In 2021 Saturn will activate 1–13 degrees of Aquarius. Based on how the zodiac signs interact with each other, this will have a strong influence on the same degrees in the other fixed signs of Taurus, Leo and Scorpio.

You will have a Saturn transit to your sun in 2021 if your birthdate is on:

  • 21 January — 2 February
  • 21 April — 4 May
  • 24 July — 6 August
  • 25 October — 6 November

Saturn brings responsibility and clarity and can help you discover inner strength. The insight and wisdom Saturn offers can help you be firm about what is and isn’t important. You might finally clarify a boundary or set a firm timeline with someone in your life. You might be willing to embrace limits, especially as a way of creating containment and providing a sense of safety. Saturn rules time, and you may think more clearly about what you really do — and don’t — want to do with your time.

Saturn transits can bring transitions and turning points, as you restructure your life based on a renewed sense of purpose. You may develop new time management skills, or finally come to a decision about who or what you really want to prioritise. You may get better at saying no, or declining offers and invitations you don’t agree with. In turn this will free up energy and time to devote to the people and passions that really matter.

Think of Saturn as your celestial support guide to help you get back on track with what really matters, and step away from some of the extra duties you’ve taken on, perhaps for the wrong reasons. Saturn can help you remember what you want to be responsible for, and help you push back on the inauthentic expectations others might try and push on you. You’ll emerge stronger and with a clearer sense of self after dancing with Saturn in 2021.

A special note on Saturn in Aquarius and the Saturn Return

If you have Saturn in Aquarius from 1–13 degrees, you will have your Saturn return in 2021. If you’re in your late 20s or late 50s, check to see if your birth month and year is listed.
You will have your Saturn return in Aquarius in 2021 if you’re born during the following periods:

  • February — September 1991
  • November 1991 — March 1992
  • August — December 1992
  • January 1962 — February 1963

Your Saturn return is a major life cycle. It represents ends and beginnings, and highlights that you’re graduating to a new a level of maturity. Clear boundaries, even if this starts with just knowing what you don’t want, will be important. You may gain new clarity about how precious time is, which can give you the strength you need to restructure your life so that it’s based on what you really want, and not on what others want from you.

If you’re in your late 50s, you had your first Saturn return during the early 90s dates listed above, and events from then may be on your mind now.

In addition, the planet Saturn comes into maturity in our birth charts from age 35–36. If you’re in your late 20s now and having your first Saturn return, set goals you hope to meet by the time you are 36. Any special challenges that arise during the first Saturn return can be shifted or transformed as Saturn matures.

If you’re having your second Saturn return now, think back to being 35–36 and reflect on how far you’ve come. If there are any big dreams or goals from then you still haven’t achieved — and they are still important to you — you might weave them into the fabric of your life as part of your Saturn return this year.

Uranus: Change, Freedom and Chaos

In 2021 Uranus will most activate from 10–14 degrees of Taurus. Based on how the zodiac signs interact with each other, this will have a strong influence on the same degrees in the other fixed signs of Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.
You will have a Uranus transit to your sun in 2021 if your birthdate is:
31 January and 1-6 February
30 April and 1-7 May
2-9 August
2-8 November

Uranus is the planet of change, chaos and the unexpected. If you have a Uranus transit in 2021, expect a year of exciting, fast paced developments. You might make a totally right-for-you choice that surprises others, or you may decide to finally put a pet project or personal passion first. Uranus represents freedom, and it’s common to feel restless in a Uranus transit, especially if life has become more routine and restricted. A more flexible lifestyle might be needed, or you might be willing to walk away from a stable situation to have the space and energy to rediscover your excitement and enthusiasm for life.

If there’s any change you’ve been thinking about, a Uranus transit will bring the right celestial support to shake up your life. Uranus is known for creating surprises, and so even if you do have a specific change in mind, be flexible and spontaneous about adapting your plan or course correcting on the fly. Nothing is certain or set in stone when Uranus is active, making 2021 an excellent year to break with convention, or to try anything new, different or unusual. The craving for freedom that Uranus arouses can help you overcome fear and finally let go of a person, situation or responsibility that has been holding you back.

Neptune: Sensitivity, intuitive and compassion

In 2021 Neptune will most activate from 20–23 degrees of Pisces. Based on how the zodiac signs interact with each other, this will have a strong influence on the same degrees in the other mutable signs of Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius.

You will have a Neptune transit to your sun in 2021 if your birthdate is:

  • 10-14 March
  • 10-14 June
  • 12-16 September
  • 11-15 December

Neptune slows things down, and it’s common to feel sleepy or lethargic during a Neptune transit. It’s almost as if your soul is being awakened, and you’re less able to participate in the demands of day-to-day life while so much is shifting internally. Artistic, creative and spiritual interests may call you, and you may feel like you want to give up or walk away from anything or anyone that is draining or depleting you. You won’t be able to sacrifice yourself for the needs of others: now, it’s you that needs TLC and tending too.

Rest, relaxation and a slower pace can help your body and spirit recharge and remember the dreams that once were so important to you. You may be less productive and more reflective, making this a perfect year for healing work and inner practices of all kinds, like therapy, energy work, meditation, breath work, reflexology, as well as being in, on or near the water. You might be especially drawn to music, so play your favourite tunes more often this year.

Neptune’s slower, hazy quality can create confusion, and life might have a foggy, unclear quality for a while. If so, take more time with major decisions, and delay major upheavals that don’t need to happen right away. It’s hard to know what’s real and what’s imagined when you’re in the clouds with Neptune. You are being called to get to know your subtle self: your instincts, your intuition, your inner sensations. Instead of trying to gather facts and think harder, opt to daydream, slow down or take a break. It sounds counterintuitive, but not trying or striving is the best way to gain clarity and insight while you’re in a Neptune transit.

Pluto: Power, control and transformation

In 2021 Pluto will activate from 22–24 degrees of Capricorn. Based on how the zodiac signs interact with each other, this will have a strong influence on the same degrees in the other cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer and Libra.

You will have a Pluto transit to your sun in 2021 if your birthdate is:

  • 13-15 January
  • 12-14 April
  • 14-16 July
  • 15-17 October

Pluto is Hades, god of the underworld, and when you’re in a Pluto transit, events — and life — can seem intense and all consuming. You might be obsessed by a project or situation or feel as though your life depends on solving a current conundrum. Pluto represents the death/rebirth process, so a total transformation of some kind might be called for. Themes around power and control, especially relating to trust, loyalty, intimacy and financial matters can be highlighted. You might gain new insight as to a situation in which you have given away power or allowed someone or something else to take control. As you see the true balance of power between yourself and others, you’ll be inspired to make more conscious choices to help you reclaim a sense of control and influence. You may wake up to the need to take a more active role in what’s happening in your life.

Your relationship to power will be reworked during a Pluto transit and you may discover you are stronger than you think. It’s common to feel tested during a Pluto transit, like you’re not sure whether you can manage or handle events that arise. Pluto is about depth, and getting to know your true raw, real self is the gift of Pluto, even if you only get there by going through a challenging experience. During a Pluto transit, encounters with power are possible. You may touch new levels of wealth, potency and agency or make changes to bring back that feeling of being in charge of your life. This can be especially important if you have felt like events or circumstances are happening to you. You, and your life, may change profoundly during a Pluto transit, but the cleansing and purification qualities of Pluto will mean you emerge stronger, more focused and more capable. You’re ready to remove anything that’s become toxic and instead, start afresh with more honesty and openness.

2021 is a year of fresh starts and rebirth. If you have a major transit activating you in 2021, be ready for a big shift. Timing your life with the planets can help you evolve and grow at a time that feels just right for your soul.


Kelly Surtees

With more than 14 years in private practice, Kelly Surtees is experienced, warm and insightful. She loves exploring astrology’s history as well as escaping into the ocean. Kelly’s passion for astrology is infectious, and her specialty areas include career and life direction, health and fertility, love, health and happiness. Kelly is an expat Aussie who lives in Canada most of the year.