January 19 - February 19, 2021
When the Sun is traveling through Aquarius, it is as far from its home in Leo as it will be all year. Similarly, to the Aquarius Sun child, the world can feel like unfamiliar territory where, like a planet in detriment, one must pay close attention to the lay of the land in order to get on well. Here, there is no divine right of kings; no arcane and esoteric mandate from God. Power is derived from one’s constituents—given, not taken. Identity is self-determined—taken, not given. One may feel like a fish out of water, but at the same time, the ego is unburdened by inheritance and expectation; free from the pressure to perform, to lead, and to always measure up.
The Aquarian soul contains the story of Ganymede, the beautiful young shepherd who was abducted by the eagle Zeus, born aloft to Mount Olympus, and appointed as cup-bearer to the gods. His was a position of honor and privilege, to be sure, but nonetheless one he did not ask for. Some may identify with him as alien, or adoptee, plucked out of obscurity and re-planted in faraway soil. Some may see in him their own loss of innocence at the hands of a powerful figure, or experience of rude awakening. For some, it may be his liminal, or in-between, status. Close to power but still a servant…Not quite divine, but no longer human…Belonging to both worlds and yet at home in neither. And for others, it is dreams of flying and journeys into the clouds, to breathe the rarified air of Olympus. Ganymede, when present in the psyche, gives one a sense of distance and detachment, even dissociation. But the gift of Aquarius is that of individuation, and the knowledge that what makes us different is what makes us unique.
If calendar year 2020 was a plot line that held us in suspense, building to a crescendo just before the end, then 2021 is a plot line where the major events are presented at the beginning, and the rest of the story is an attempt to put together the pieces of what happened. The fixed signs, specifically Aquarius and Taurus, provide the primary setting, and Jupiter, Uranus and Mars are this week’s main characters.
Uranus activated brings awakening, sudden change, disruption, and the desire for liberation and new beginnings. Jupiter’s effect is to magnify, elevate or expand the efforts of a planet it touches—“crowning” them, to use astrologer Richard Tarnas’s words—as only the King of the Gods can do. Now in air sign Aquarius, I think “disseminating” is maybe more apt, and befitting of Zeus as the indiscriminate seed-spreader that we see in myth. The dance of these two planets takes place in 14-year cycles, and when they come together, they constellate in the culture what Tarnas describes as “sudden, often brilliantly successful, and later widely celebrated upwellings of a collective impulse for social and political emancipation, innovation and rebellion.” Exciting, if perhaps also a bit unsettling, to consider, and tracking with what we are so far observing of the current times. Only there’s one caveat: the next Jupiter-Uranus conjunction will not happen until 2024, and before it can take place, the two must confront each other in a tense and nasty square. That square is the main event of this week, as well as one of the defining events of this year, and as volatile as such a transit is on its own, it is being intensified by the raging heat of a fast-approaching Mars.
It is a clash of both Olympians and Titans, and the atmosphere is highly charged and full of electricity. The storm gods are out in force, whether it be Indra the bull, opening up the heavens, Thor riding his chariot across the sky, or Zeus hurling his thunderbolts. Uranus-Prometheus reacts, and the sky is torn asunder with fire and light. And if Mars fans the flames just so, then we have the potential to go from a single strike to a full-on blitzkrieg.
As the sky cracks and the earth rumbles around us, it would be wise to take cover and stay grounded. The upside, as I see it, is that like most thunderstorms, this transit is an isolated event, and will pass over relatively quickly. It is the cleaning up of the wreckage and the assessment of the damage in the aftermath that is the long, hard work. Another way to look at it: the ancients also saw these powerful bringers of rain and fire as gift-givers and providers to humanity, and held them in reverence. So as we play our hand this week, let’s keep in mind the most positive expressions of these archetypes: Uranus with its gift of awareness, Jupiter with its gift of faith, and Mars with its gift of courage. And lastly, the strong and steady influence of the fixed signs, that show us how to hold onto and stand up for the things we know in our hearts to be true.
January 8 - February 1, 2021
Venus in Capricorn is a goddess of power, protection and fertility, like mountain-born Cybele, or fish-tailed Atargatis. She is the muse of builders, architects and seafarers: we see her in the cathedral, with its arches, flying buttresses and rose windows; in the castle, with its towers and turrets; or on the ship, with its breast-bearing figurehead adorning the bow. In nature, she is the magic mistletoe that hangs from the sacred oak; or the queen bee sitting at the center of her hexagonal honeycomb hive.
This is a placement of strength, stability, chivalry and nobility. It has a love of the enduring and respect for the time-honored. Venus in your Capricorn house is coming to connect, and to attract. She is bringing value to the things you’ve worked hard for and invested in. Her love language expresses itself in tangible rewards and gifts of the best quality. The heart, though, is the most valuable possession, worthy of the most beautiful ornaments as well as the strongest defenses.