The Astrology Blog 18 January 2021
All times in GMT
“Humor is the shock absorber of life – it helps us take the blows.”
Peggy Noonan – 7 September 1950, weekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal and contributor to NBC and ABC News
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Bernard M. Baruch
JUPITER SQUARE URANUS
This major aspect was exact last night and, as I wrote at the end of last week’s blog, it’s an alliance that occurs only once every 6 to 7 years as both planets are slow moving –
Sunday 17 January
- Jupiter 6 Aquarius square Uranus 6 Taurus 22.49
The rarer the aspect, the more clout it carries. Also the more it is likely to reflect the big events out in the world that affect many or all of us. If you have planets or Angles in your natal horoscope at the same degree/sign as a major aspect then it will count for you personally too and reflect a major event in your own life.
On this occasion it’s also one of those double whammy type combinations as Jupiter is now travelling through Uranus’ sign of Aquarius. So, from an astrological craft point of view, this strengthens the connection but gives Uranus the upper hand, a status that is in bold and underlined as this planet is now “stationary direct”, having ended the long retrograde loop in the middle of last week –
- 15 August 2020 Uranus turned retrograde at 10.41 Taurus
- 14 January 2021 Uranus turned direct at 6.43
Any planet switching direction, from retrograde to direct or vice versa, is an attention grabber. In your own chart you’ll find that these changes of direction either way, when they occur at the same position of any of your natal planets or Angles, mark notable turning points in your own life.
UNIVERSAL V PERSONAL
Starting with the universal this square (difficulty, stress) is obvious symbolism for the ongoing pandemic and its variants, and everything connected to worldwide attempts to control it, from vaccinations to curfews –
- Uranus and this planet’s sign of Aquarius are where we locate mankind as a whole, everything to do with the collective, innovation and progress through the development of technology
- Jupiter is the archetype of the Explorer but also the Protector and the Liberator
- Uranus in action brings everything that we would place under the umbrella of the unexpected – from surprises and spontaneity, to shocks, upheaval, rebellion or in extreme cases anarchy
- Jupiter in action brings everything that we would place under the umbrella of the expansion principle – anything that makes our world bigger and better, from luck and opportunity, to learning, travel and freedom
- The square is friction and restriction, things that are difficult to achieve but not necessarily impossible
HOW LONG DOES A MAJOR ASPECT LAST?
A major aspect is at its most powerful when it’s exact – now in this case – but can stay “in orb” for many weeks, sometimes months or even years. Look at any horoscope from the last 50 -60 years and you’ll find that Neptune is always sextile (two signs apart) Pluto.
The orb means the number of degrees between the two planets that are allowed for the aspect still to count. For major aspects – conjunction, opposition, square and trine – the orb is 8 degrees. This current Jupiter square Uranus will therefore count until 21 February when Jupiter reaches 15 Aquarius and Uranus will be at 7 Taurus. Between now and then the faster moving planets will play into this aspect, re-invoking the message. That starts immediately this week with Mars.
Learning to coexist with matters out of our personal control is of course part of the human condition but obviously this has become part of all our lives now on an unprecedented scale. Continually having the rug pulled (Uranus) makes it impossible to plan ahead (Jupiter) in that certain way that we’ve always taken for granted. This is a week that’s likely to bring yet more “what now?” and head scratching moments.
Possibly our most valuable skills now are those of adaptation and resourcefulness, skills that always come to the forefront in times of crisis. In some ways we’re hardwired for these responses, it’s pure survival instinct, so this isn’t really the Big Issue. It’s more the fact that we’ve never had to do this for so long, and is there no end in sight? That’s the overwhelming bit.
I’ve received more than the usual number of emails and messages in the last week, some of which asked outright about how long I thought this pandemic situation would go on for. The short answer is that I don’t know, I wish I did. But if we’re going to use astrology as a frame of reference here’s the main timeline as reflected in the dance between the outer slower moving planets –
- This all started – as in first came to light – exactly on the huge Saturn – Pluto conjunction in January 2020 – once every 34 years
- We then had Jupiter conjunct Pluto (wipeouts) three times last year, ending in November – a union that happens once every 13 years
- We had the Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at 0 Aquarius (critical degree) in December – once every 20 years
- We now have the Jupiter square Uranus – once every 6 to 7 years
- This is paving the way to Saturn square Uranus – once every 14 years – that will form three times this year. The dates for this square are 17 February, 14 June, 24 December
Amongst other things Jupiter square Uranus is currently reflecting our struggle with curtailed freedom. For example, this weekend it was announced that France has imposed even earlier national curfews. Travel corridors into the UK have been temporarily suspended from 4am this morning, primarily to keep the new variants at bay, and (finally) travelers will not be able to enter the UK without a negative test. To put this in perspective that closure came into effect within 5 hours of this aspect being exact, an aspect that won’t happen again until 10 September 2027. Pretty accurate timing.
Saturn square Uranus is going to be much tougher, firstly because it’s serious Saturn who plays by strict rules and secondly because it happens three times rather than being a one off. But am hoping that this astrology timeline does at least suggest that the worst of it will be over by the end of the year. It also suggests a year of continuing to do things differently and having to operate within strict guidelines. At least Uranus newly direct has got to be good news for the worldwide vaccination campaign.
Another student asked about Summer School and I said I was cautiously optimistic. She replied optimism = Jupiter, caution = Saturn. Spot on Sandra! It’s intriguing how we “speak our charts” which, if you’re doing readings, is why you should always listen very closely to your clients and the words they choose. They bring the chart to life in front of your eyes. This made me smile because I realized that we unwittingly speak the universal language of astrology too.
Other news on the Jupiter – Uranus square is, unsurprisingly, the beleaguered airline industry. According to the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for the world’s airlines, airlines need another $70-$80bn of government support to get through the crisis, on top of the $170bn already granted. Jupiter as the planet of all things foreign and lord of the expansion principle clearly at work here in the square to off the wall Uranus with mind boggling figures. In terms of optimism though, “June is when he expects the first significant easing of travel restrictions, as the impact of vaccines begins to be felt.”
AQUARIUS & THE POWER OF OBJECTIVITY
Jupiter and Saturn entered Aquarius last December and will travel through this sign all year (apart from a brief visit to Pisces for Jupiter), Mercury followed 8 January and the Sun enters Aquarius tomorrow evening, followed by Mars playing into the Jupiter – Uranus square –
Tuesday 19 January
- Sun ingress Aquarius 20.41
Wednesday 20 January
- Mars conjunct Uranus 6 Taurus 20.38
Saturday 23 January
- Mars 8 Taurus square Jupiter 8 Aquarius 07.50
Also worth noting that Mercury at full speed can whizz through one sign in a couple of weeks but right now it’s the opposite picture –
- Mercury is going to get as far as 26 degrees of Aquarius and then turn retrograde 30 January, so is already slowing down – plan ahead and get ahead now wherever you can!
- We’ll then have the usual three weeks of Mercury making his backwards loop
- Mercury will turn direct again at 11 Aquarius on 21 February
- Moves into the next sign of Pisces on 15 March
- So Mercury will be in Aquarius for just over 9 weeks in total
So this is all adding up to huge amounts of Uranus/Aquarius and it might be helpful to make friends with this complex sign, traditionally ruled by Saturn and co-ruled by Uranus. Here’s my take on Aquarius as a natal Sun sign, From Be Your Own Astrologer, which also gives a flavor of the themes for this year and which we can expect to see being underlined by Mercury over the next couple of months –
Quirky, unusual, curious and usually of above average intelligence an Aquarian tends to make sense of the world through logic rather than feelings. Organized, systematic, compulsive list makers, placing great value on their own particular way of doing things, these individuals have strong and often unshakeable convictions.
The textbooks tell us that Aquarians are cold, detached and lacking in empathy. While it is true that they can definitely give this impression, and some Aquarians do end up in closing down a lot of their feelings or never fully recover from early repression, you can rest assured that more usually there is a turmoil bubbling behind the cool mask of indifference. Some of the most emotional people I have ever known are Aquarians, but they definitely take a lot of getting to know.
Saturnian types in particular are easily embarrassed or uncomfortable with displays of emotion and can be disconnected from their own authentic feelings. They crave union yet they create distance, often by giving out the wrong signals of superiority, inflexibility or militant independence. Uranian types can also be intransigent but are more gregarious, easily embracing the unconventional and attaching huge importance to their many and varied friendships.
Aquarius is objective and stands for the bigger picture of society, the planet and the world at large… This is where the Aquarian low on drama streak works most effectively, on causes that need brain power rather than purely an emotional reaction to human suffering.
Along with humanitarian, ecological and revolutionary concerns many Aquarians are also to be found in political offices, social work or teaching roles, especially those linked to minorities or special needs. With Uranus’ link to technology many Aquarians are also drawn to the world of I.T. and inventions. With their curiosity, brilliance and being ahead of their time this is where we find the mad professor archetype, producing geniuses, scientists and original thinkers.
So this feels as if we’re all going to have to learn, or rather continue to learn, to compartmentalize. Objectively we’re all in this together and there’s no point in taking it personally. But, personally, we all have to find our own ways to cope, not least with the effects on our mental health. The Sun, the life force, is said to be in detriment in Aquarius – hot planet in a cold Saturn sign – and as noted last week the element of fire is non-existent at the moment (apart from the Moon who travels through all 12 signs once every 28 days) and will be until the Spring Equinox. That will be a positive turning point in itself, the Sun arriving in his strongest sign of Aries on 20 March immediately followed by Venus 21 March. Astrologer Maggie Hyde noted that the horoscope for the Equinox also boded well for pandemic progress.
For now though I don’t think that we can deny that we’re more conscious than ever of the world around us at so many levels. And are we becoming more political? I was somewhat taken aback by one of the emails from last week accusing me of “blatant political opinions” in response to my anti Trump report about the storming of Congress. I don’t mind being criticized as such, I’m interested in readers’ opinions, but this surprised me as I don’t usually consider myself an especially political animal, never mind a blatant one. I have friends whose political knowledge is awesome and way beyond me. I’m interested in people, not politics, but maybe it’s the same thing.
The real point is that someone else said that he didn’t think my blogs were political enough! My accuser also said that I wasn’t well researched, but another reader said she couldn’t believe how detailed my blog was and how much there was to take in. Another said could I include more about love and sex lol. I regularly get comments from students wanting more horoscopes and non astrologers saying could I make it less technical, but by far the most common message is that readers look forward to the blog and even get a bit jumpy when it’s late lol. So this is my area of staying objective and realizing that none of us can please everyone all of the time, and how it’s all down to perspective. I will write in my own way and style as I’ve always done and hope that you can all pick out the bits that are meaningful to you.
The other point is that I try, as all professional astrologers do, to illustrate the astrology. The art of interpretation is not to say what we want to happen but what the astrology indicates is most likely to happen. Last week I said that the Mars square Saturn was the stuff of impeachment, not just because that is what I wanted to happen but because the astrology indicated that outcome. And it did.
Some feedback from last week from another esteemed colleague, the brilliant Ingrid Hoffman who writes so evocatively –
The dark residue of 2020 is highlighted today by the New Moon in Capricorn. News of the turnaround on the stay of execution of Lisa Montgomery this morning is a grim reminder of a system rooted in retributive “justice”; the old code of human law—an eye for an eye law of retaliation. Today, Chiron in Aries makes a painful square to Venus. A reminder that misogyny and patriarchy are embedded in our collective value system.
The sign of Capricorn is linked to systems, authority and hierarchy. Last week’s New Moon was also exactly conjunct Pluto – endings, use or abuse of power, god of the underworld, the Rape of Persephone – and so on. The only person who could have granted clemency was Trump himself. Instead the execution of a mentally ill woman (not my view, a legal fact) was rushed through with only a week to go as Biden is against the death penalty. No country who upholds the death penalty has the right to call itself civilized. That IS my view, and if it’s blatant I make no apology for it.
Both of my quotes for this week are from Americans with links to politicians and presidents. Peggy Noonan was a primary speechwriter and assistant to President Ronald Reagan and her politics are center right, but that doesn’t stop me respecting her work output, including five best selling books, and loving her quote! That’s another Aquarian hallmark by the way, a whacky sense of humour – or humor depending on which side of the pond you are. Definitely add that to adaptability and resourcefulness as must haves.
Bernard Baruch’s quote I loved, because it encapsulates the good mental health of being ourselves and honouring how we feel but from a position of healthy detachment. It’s also a quote that I immediately recognized, as you may well do too. I think it’s one of those sayings that has been used many times as it’s so clever and neat, without being attributed to its original source. And to illustrate my ignorance of who’s who in the political world I had never heard of either of these people until I researched them for this week’s blog.
But Baruch’s horoscope is fascinating so I had to read more about him. He was an American financier and philanthropist, turned political consultant to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D Roosevelt. He continued to advise on international affairs until his death at the grand old age of 94, and was known as the Park Bench Statesman –
“Baruch was well-known, and often walked or sat in Washington, D.C’s Lafayette Park and in New York City’s Central Park. It was not uncommon for him to discuss government affairs with other people while sitting on a park bench. This became his most famous characteristic.” (Wikipedia)
Students, note the Kite formation in his horoscope (link at top of blog), ie the Grand Trine in fire including his Leo Sun, with Jupiter as the handle of the Kite, in Gemini in the 7th exactly opposite Saturn. What an absolutely perfect piece of symbolism for holding court and dispensing his wisdom (Jupiter – Saturn) in the form of discussions and chat (Gemini) with those caring to join him. It’s a common hallmark of Leo that people come to them, not the other way around.
MARS IN ACTION
Just before we wrap up the week those Mars aspects to the Jupiter – Uranus square are well worth treating with caution. Mars is in his sign of detriment in Taurus, he’s the god of war and rules all things connected to the military, and this is already the hallmark of Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Thousands of National Guard troops are being deployed to Washington and security measures have been described as “extreme”, including closing roads and erecting barbed wire fences.
What personal messages can we take from this? Whichever way you look at it this is the stuff of renewed and tough lockdown strategies. No matter what you’re hankering to do or where you’re longing to go, stay put. This is not a week for any kind of risk taking. Mars also rules speed but this is a picture of slowing things down. My advice would be not to force anything as you could make a sensitive situation worse and it could even blow up in your face. Frayed tempers and frustrations need to be smoothed and soothed, not aggravated. Look out for anyone you know who’s at risk of domestic violence.
Venus, the top love planet, puts in an appearance at the weekend, repeating the aspect made by the Sun 8 January. If you have a new romance or attraction unfolding it might be revelatory to look back and see what happened on or close to that date. Venus also rules money so any financial issues or plans are also likely to reach the next stage –
Saturday 23 January
- Venus 19 Capricorn sextile Neptune 19 Pisces 19.57
Sunday 24 January
- Sun conjunct Saturn 4 Aquarius 03.03
Venus – Neptune combinations, especially by harmonious aspect such as this sextile and with Neptune strong in his own sign, bode well for emotional connections of the meaningful kind. It’s a lovely Saturday night for closeness, however that can be managed, or for getting together with those in your bubble. Neptune rules the booze so why not splash out on something special. Another lesson learned is not to save our pleasures just for special occasions or for rainy days. These ARE rainy days! And in spite of lockdowns people are still meeting new people, and not just online, so if you’re single and searching pay close attention to any new face entering your world this week.
Neptune also rules suffering but if this is you don’t do it in silence. Reach out. The circumstances are not easy, to put it mildly, underlined by the fact that the Venus aspect is immediately followed by the Sun – Saturn conjunction, and Venus herself is in Capricorn, Saturn’s sign. This is the stuff of loving responsibly, waiting games, rules, limitations and curfews. But it will be the Sun’s turn to play into the Jupiter Uranus square next week so nothing is set in stone. The best way to treat any Saturn moments is with patience and to take the longer view. Saturn is Lord of Time. Remember the mantra of this isn’t forever, it just feels like it. Keep tending to your emotional and financial foundations.
Next week we also have the Leo Full Moon and Mercury turning retrograde so there’s a lot going on and I’ll hopefully be able to shine more light into our ever changing picture,
Until then take care,
With love from Greece