Updated: Feb 1, 2021
Astrologically, the 2020-21 period is a heady time with a range of powerful aspects occurring, with the Saturn-Uranus squares being the most significant in 2021.
The Saturn-Pluto conjunction that opened 2020 brought COVID to our attention and shortly thereafter in March we saw our lives change quickly and, in all likelihood, permanently. 2020 drew to a close with another powerful astrological event, the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction that occurs every 20 years, finally shifting from its 200 years cycle in Earth signs to its current 200 year cycle in Air signs (you can read more on that here).
Saturn, the astrological taskmaster, is once again influential in 2021. In Aquarius, Saturn squares Uranus in Taurus three times throughout 2021 on 18 February, 15 June and 24 December (Melbourne, Australia time). The astrological square, one of astrology’s so-called hard aspects, challenges us. Squares result in tension, not always a bad thing as it highlights that change is required.
Saturn, the planet of authority, limitation and tradition, demands we take responsibility but Uranus, the planet of rebellion, innovation and the future, urges us to break free and tear things down. When these planets meet society experiences breakdowns, breakthroughs and reform.
The 2021 squares are the waning, or final, squares of the approximately 45 year Saturn-Uranus cycle that commenced with the conjunction (1) in 1988. We saw the Berlin Wall fall shortly after, the demise of the USSR which led to the end of the Cold War and the overthrow of numerous governments in Europe. Major socioeconomic change, advances in technology, the rise of modern religious terrorism, a global surge of refugees and the subsequent rise in nationalism also followed.
The last two waning Saturn-Uranus squares brought turbulent economic times. The 1930 square was followed by the Great Depression and the 1975 square heightened fallout from the early 1970's recession and OPEC oil crisis resulting in high unemployment and stagnation (stagnant grow combined with inflation) in the late 1970s.
With Saturn currently located in Aquarius frameworks and structures that benefit society are now a focal point. The COVID crisis has reminded us of the importance of working together for the greater good, often challenging in modern western society with its focus on the self and personal rights.
In Aquarius, Saturn draws our attention to inequity in society and people power demands change. Meaningful action to address this situation is now required. As Uranus is involved this action will blindside the existing hierarchy and shake up the system.
We do, however, need to balance the greater good with mitigating the loss of individual rights and that too is a challenge. Aquarius rules both democracy and technology and the last few years in particular have really brought the shadow side and the vulnerabilities of each of these to our attention.
Social media and fake news has already left us gob-smacked at how easily technology can be flagrantly misused, both to inform (or misinform depending on your opinion) and to impinge on our privacy. Few would previously have ever entertained Trump’s disregard for, and abuse of, the office of the most powerful leader in the world, as being possible. Democracy is under siege and the storming of Capitol Hill on 6 January, 2021 is likely to only be a taster of the Saturn-Uranus square energy.
Bear in mind that technology is a larger theme than just the current set of Saturn-Uranus squares as we are also in the Age of Aquarius (2). While most people associate Aquarius with hippies and free love thanks to the song from the 60’s musical Hair, a key, if not the predominant, feature of this astrological Age is likely to be how humanity integrates technology without losing our human-ness.
Meanwhile Uranus, who revolutionises the sign he is traversing, has been in Earth sign Taurus since March 2019 compelling us to examine our values systems. Taurus represents our physical needs including our money, what makes us feel secure and even how we treat the planet. Taurus does not like change and is generally slow to make decisions so Uranus here is a very challenging placement. That said, we have already seen some changes at the collective level.
COVID has meant the Australian government’s corporate-like quest of recent years to maintain a budgetary surplus was quickly kissed goodbye. The shift away from a focus on being in the black and back to government's traditional role of funding services came out of the blue mid-last year as the government realised it must spend substantially in order to undertake one of its key responsibilities, stabilisation of the economy. I suspect we are likely to see revision of our monetary and fiscal policies at some point too, not only to assist with funding of COVID's substantial assistance packages but as a means of addressing financial inequity.
Environmental activism also underwent a significant shift just one week after Uranus finally settled into Taurus for his seven year sojourn in 2019 when millions of children from 110 countries around the world held school strikes to demand action to limit climate disaster. Those with the most to ultimately loose entering the climate change debate boosts the potency of the fight substantially.
Uranus rules sudden revelations and flashes of inspiration so we might see the Australian government suddenly change its mind and seriously start to embrace our climate change obligations. Taurus also rules property so we might see Australia’s obsession with real estate suddenly fade. Saturn squaring Uranus means things that have gotten out of control will now be reigned in.
The 2020-21 period is clearly a disruptive time for humanity thereby marking it as a pivotal period in our collective evolution. It is, of course, hard to focus on the bigger philosophical picture when you are struggling to pay the rent, home schooling the kids or anxious about getting sick or further lockdowns.
Challenging times also mean a highly emotional global atmosphere which can affect even those of us whose personal circumstances are OK. The intensity of 2020 might mean that for some this might be the first time they have felt the collective energies. Learning to consciously differentiate your emotional stuff from that of the collective is a handy skill to have now.
Each of us has a different style of handling transitions. There is no right or wrong way but rather it is about understanding your temperament type and knowing how to work with it (for more information check details of my Transition Style astrology readings).
Finally, while we are again in for some bumpy astro-energies this year history shows us that things have always settled down in the past.
Footnotes 1. Planetary cycles are comprised of the conjunction (planets meet side-by-side), waxing square (first aspect with planets at 90 degrees to one another), opposition and finally, the waning square (final aspect with planets at 90 degrees to one another). 2. Astrological Ages last about 2100 years and while there is much debate about when the Age of Aquarius actually started there is consensus that we are currently only in the very early stages.