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.
Meet 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?”
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.”
Up 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.”
Now 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.”
Now 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.”
And 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.”
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: