Aspects and Planetary Trends in 2021

The Play’s The Thing

One great way to understand astrology is by seeing it as the drama of life, being acted on a stage.  The planets of our solar system are characters in the play.  These characters are universal archetypes, of the sort you have seen a million times in stories for adults and children (The Lover, The Hero, The Innocent, Death, The Magician, The King, Mother Nature, The Healer, The Trickster and so on).

Have you ever been in love and felt like your passion touched the universal?  Have you ever won a battle, felt like a hero and known that your battle was won for all humanity?  Have you ever been wounded, cut to the quick, and known, for an instant, the suffering of all beings everywhere?  This is archetypal experience.

Like every human being, you contain all these universal archetypes.  Sometimes they are active and other times they wait in the wings for their moment.  The characters are eager to be experienced by human beings.  Each one has something it is trying to say, teach or accomplish, using your human experience to do it.

The year of 2021 has an interesting set of dramas in it.  Now imagine yourself in a grand theater.  The lights are dimming.  There is a spotlight on center stage. You are about to meet the characters.

The Characters

Pluto icon by BetelgeuxMeet Pluto.  Pluto-type characters might be:  Death, Dracula, The Magician or Sorcerer.
Pluto says:  “I’m the agent of transformation.  Whatever I touch dies and is reborn.  Most people find this to be an uncomfortable, even painful process, because they don’t like death.  But the butterfly doesn’t care that it once was a caterpillar, does it?”
Neptune icon by Betelgeux
Here’s Neptune.  Think of Neptune as the Fairy Godmother, the Dreamer or the Visionary.  Sometimes Neptune appears as a ghost from beyond the grave or the spirit of an ancestor.  Neptune says:  “I represent the worlds of spirit and the unseen.  Things in my realm cannot be measured, yet when people have an experience of me, they know it, even though it cannot be proven.  When the spirit leaves the body, everyone agrees the body is dead, but no one can say what has gone.”

Uranus icon by BetelgeuxUp pops Uranus.  Uranus tends to appear as a force for change and progress.  He’s the Experimenter, the Revolutionary, the Voice of the People.  Uranus says:  “I’m the rule-breaker, the radical.  I bring revolution and sudden insight.  I descend upon you with the Eureka!-Aha!-lightbulb-going-off-over-the-head experience.  I alter your perspective so radically that you can no longer see things the old way and you have to change.”

Chiron icon by BetelgeuxNow Chiron steps forward.  He’s limping, because he’s a reminder that everyone has a broken place inside, and that as human beings, we are an uneasy union of the animal and the divine.  Chiron is The Broken One, The Walking Wounded, the Healer and every character who has ever touched greatness through suffering.  Chiron says:  “I’m the wounded healer.  I remind you of old, stuck pain from the past.  This may sound painful, but it’s actually an opportunity for healing deep, ancient wounds and recovering your human birthright.  My gift is accelerated evolution.”

Saturn icon by BetelgeuxNow it’s Saturn’s turn.  Saturn is the Elder, Judge, the Police, the Old Guard, the Traditionalist.  In more modern terms, he’s the CEO, the Corporate Executive.  His life is lived in bottom lines.  Saturn says:  “I’m the heavy.  I remind you of all the things you should have done and been.  I make you feel guilty, but behind that is a powerful drive to succeed and accomplish great things.  I won’t be satisfied until you are the best you can be.  Think of me as your own personal drill sergeant.”

Jupiter icon by BetelgeuxAnd finally, Jupiter takes the spotlight.  Jupiter is the Sage, the Storyteller, the Explorer and Adventurer.  He’s also the Perennial Student and the Seeker, always on a quest.  Jupiter says:  “I’m all about growth and expansion.  I know what greatness you’re capable of and I fill you with the hope and confidence to begin it.  I’m the one who encourages you to make the promises Saturn forces you to keep.  I play good cop to his bad cop.”

Their Costumes

Each planet has a simple, pure nature but rarely gets to express itself purely, because whatever sign it happens to be in will limit and shape its expression.  The sign a planetary character is in is like a costume he is wearing.  The costume may constrict or enhance his movement and he may or may not be comfortable in the costume he finds himself in.  Each character has a costume that belongs to him, but he is not necessarily always wearing it and may be wearing a costume that belongs to a very different character (imagine the Hero wearing the Mother’s apron, or the Lover dressed up like the Businessman).  Some characters will wear a given costume for many years at a time, deeply exploring its comforts and discomforts, while others will pass through signs quickly, changing their costume every year for new ones.

The six planets I’ve listed above are passing through five signs this year: Aries, Taurus, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. This video discusses Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Chiron, Saturn and Jupiter in their signs as long-term “eras.” It was made for 2020 but most of it still applies:

Aries is a bold, adventuresome Fire sign.  An appropriately Arian costume would be a military uniform or a superhero outfit.  Impulsive Aries wants to get things done—or at least started, so any planet in Aries is dressed for active duty, armed, streamlined and ready to go. The Aries costume belongs to the planet Mars (another way of saying it is “Mars rules Aries”).

Chiron, the Wounded Healer, is wearing the Aries costume. Chiron in Aries reminds us of the Wounded Warrior within. There may be a wounding and healing of the masculine principle. In other words, men may feel wounded as men and those who move toward healing instead of blaming forces outside themselves can release a huge load of past pain. We will be called upon to be honest with ourselves and each other, and to assert ourselves in positive ways. It’s time for the grizzled, war-torn and hyper-vigilant inner Warrior to come home, heal that PTSD and become a hometown Hero. The world is not your enemy.

A Fixed Earth sign, Taurus is solid and reliable, and very close to the land. Taurus is about all things sensory and sensual and loves to be in the company of pets small or large. The Taurus costume must be something comfortable to wear indoors and out, something you might find on a hippie chick who does yoga wherever she finds herself. Or it might be the beat-up old blue jeans of a farmer or the flour-dusted apron of a baker. The Taurus costume belongs to Ceres the Earth Goddess, also known as Mother Nature.

Uranus in Taurus places the Rebel in a sign famous for stubbornness. This suggests a time of passive resistance and digging in the heels. “If change happens at all, it will be MY way,” calmly states Uranus in Taurus, “and no other.” Yet Uranus has been known to bring tremendous innovation to areas of life according to the sign it’s in at the time (think Uranus in Cancer / 1950’s / invention of domestic appliances), so who knows what changes may happen in industries connected with food (such as farming and food processing) or money (such as banking or finance)?

Imagine a three-piece business suit, well-tailored.  Or a uniform of any kind.  Any planet in the sign of Capricorn is expressing itself in a businesslike, serious way, disposing that planet toward structure and order.  Capricorn is ambitious and demands that something be built.  Capricorn reminds us to be self-disciplined and professional, and to be aware of our reputation.

Capricorn is the costume that belongs to Saturn, but right now Pluto the Transformer is wearing it.

Pluto in Capricorn is kind of like the figure of Death wearing a business suit.  Pluto is destroying the old and birthing the new through business and discipline.  Pluto in Capricorn says:  “I won’t be happy until everything we know about how to run a business or government is destroyed and rebuilt.  What is ‘order’ really?  What is ‘structure?’  What is ‘discipline?’  I must get to the essence of these things and to do so I may have to burn away everything on the surface until what is true underneath is revealed.”  Pluto will be in Capricorn until 2023—plenty of time for big changes to be made.

Aquarius is a Fixed Air sign and therefore both intellectual/cerebral (that’s the Air part) and also stubborn and fixed in its ideas (that’s the Fixed part). This costume consists of nerd glasses and a scientist’s lab coat, as is fitting for the sign of experimentation and brainstorming. Aquarius is about ideologies and paradigms–those belief-structures and “castles in the air” that might seem utopian to one person but dystopian to another. Aquarius gathers communities around a shared seed-idea and builds a sense of tribe and belonging–which can, for some, also mean the feeling of being a misfit or an outcast.

Aquarius is the costume that belongs to Uranus, but right now Jupiter the Expander is wearing it.

Jupiter in Aquarius (see this video for more) this year will cause many people to discover a tribe of like-minded people that they can feel a sense of belonging in. In the context of community many people will discover themselves and grow and expand and become more confident. As a side-effect of this, most likely there will become a growing tribalism and groups of people may conflict with other groups whose ideologies differ significantly with their own, and clamor loudly while coming from a place of tremendous confidence in their own ideology.

Saturn the Judge is also wearing the Aquarius costume this year. Saturn makes work of whatever sign he moves through and in Aquarius that’s mostly about social accountability. How do communities cohere, establish their paradigms and regulate their members? How do communities then relate with other communities? This is a year of community-building and also doing the work of benefitting all community members. Communities that are not doing this work are likely to become more rigid and fearful in their ideologies and in the ways those ideologies are lived out–or enforced. How easily the community nest can become a prison. More about Saturn in Aquarius in this video.

Pisces is oceanic, spiritual and boundariless.  Imagine a Piscean costume as the garb of an Illusionist, one who spins dreams, illusions and fantasies—or the messy, paint-smeared smock of an artist, someone who manifests a vision in reality.  And yet another Piscean costume might be the garb of a monk, someone who cares nothing for the physical world and has no possessions beyond a begging bowl.  Neptune is the owner of this costume.

Neptune herself is wearing Piscean garb this year, donning her own favorite costume and thus becoming the dreamiest Dreamer she can be.  “What magic I can make!” says Neptune in Pisces, dancing and casting sparkles everywhere.  “What dreams I will spin, what fantasies and imaginings!  I will feed the imaginations of artists, visionaries and poets everywhere.  Let me enchant you with the possibilities your life holds.”  Neptune will wear the Pisces costume until 2025.

The Scripts They Are Playing Out

Characters in a play do not stand about doing monologues.  Instead they interact with each other.  In the same way, the planets do not operate in isolation and the most interesting parts of the drama of 2021 will be the ways the planets dialogue with each other.

Planets in the sky form specific relationships with each other.  They assume roles toward each other and play out a script.  Some of these scripts are harmonious (astrologers call them trines and sextiles) while others are stressful (squares and oppositions).  And there is a third kind of script that brings two planets together in a neutral way, neither stressful nor harmonious, to ally themselves and have a meeting of the minds (conjunction).  We make videos every month discussing planets and their connections with each other. Here are some of the most important ones for this year…

More astrology news of 2021: 

Our video about Why and How 2021 Will Be So Much Better (than 2020 was).

In case you missed our videos during 2020, we explained why the year went the way it did, charted the course of the covid-19 pandemic and cast it all in a hopeful light. Here’s our video Pandemic Year 2020, A Retrospective.

And in this video, The Character of 2021, we discuss Saturn’s transits with Chiron (a harmonious sextile) and Uranus (a stressful square) and talk about how it might feel to be caught in the crossfire.

Jupiter conjuncted Saturn in December of 2020 in just one pass. We’re calling this the “Wisdom Hot Degree” and it’s not nearly as “hot” as the Pandemic Hot Degree was in 2020, thank goodness. But it’s still in effect all year until December of 2021, so here’s our video about it.

We’ll post and make videos about the further adventures and conflicts of these characters throughout 2021.  If you feel a strong resonance with one or more of these characters, it may be triggering your own birth chart (this page might give you a clue).  To find out more, you may want a full reading of your birth chart (for a list of our services, look here). We’ve always got at least two astrologers on staff providing readings at a variety of price points.

To find out more about other astrological events happening in 2021, such as eclipses and pivotal days, see this:  Transits in the Year 2021.

The gorgeous woodcut-style planet icons on this page were created by Betelgeux whom I found on and who appears to not be there anymore.