For me, the New Year really started with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on the Winter Solstice (December 21, 2020). This was an event that hasn’t happened in 800 years and the conjunction was so bright and easily seen with the naked eye that many were calling it the Christmas Star and saw it as a sign of hope. From my perspective, this signifies the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Aquarius is a sign that embraces technology, science, innovation, diversity, individuality, as well as cooperation, and progress in general. This seems like a good thing if we are going to share the planet with 7,874,965,825 other human beings and many, many plant, insect, amphibian, reptile, bird, and animal species.

We won’t roll into the Aquarian Age in a golden chariot, though. Great change can provoke great resistance because not everyone is at the same level of consciousness. The calendar year for 2021 started with some very difficult aspects that triggered both protest and violence. On January 6, transiting Mercury and Pluto formed a conjunction that squared transiting Mars. A configuration like this tends to cause people to dig in and double down on their closely held beliefs and argue heatedly about their position on the matter. This particular transit in the sky was also making harsh aspects the country’s natal Pluto. Here we see some of the ramifications of the Pluto return in the collective psyche of a nation.

In addition to the activation of the country’s Pluto return, other discordant aspects were taking place in the sky on January 6. The Sun was squaring (a hard 90 degree aspect) the Moon representing a disconnection between head and heart or conscious and unconscious. Venus was squaring Neptune indicating disillusionment, deception, and delusion. And Jupiter and Saturn, newly arrived in the sign of Aquarius, were squaring Uranus, the planet of disruption, explosion, and rebellion.

Inauguration Day was conducted on January 20, 2021 and was affected by many tense aspects, as well; although none of them as volatile as those on January 6th. I think it is interesting that the US conducts its Inauguration on a day that is often in early Aquarius. This is indicative of a country that ultimately wants to evolve and move forward, not backwards.

January 20 the Sun, Saturn, and Jupiter were all in early degrees of Aquarius and all three were in a tense 90-degree square aspect to Uranus, Aquarius’ ruling planet, and the Moon in Taurus. This was a transit that was asking the planets residing in Aquarius to be even more Aquarian than usual. The transit also asked for an emotional balance (the Moon). Diversity and bright colors marked the Inauguration and Amanda Gorman perfectly exemplified the best of both Saturn, Capricorn’s ruler and Aquarius’ co-ruler, and Uranus, Aquarius’ ruler, with her beautiful words. “Even as we grieved, we grew” and “Not broken, but simply unfinished” are the very essence of human evolution through the lenses of Saturn and Uranus.  Perhaps it is my bias as a lover of poetry that caused my eyes to well with tears of admiration and appreciation when she read, “The Hill We Climb.”  I thought she was exquisite and the perfect voice at the right time.

On a much more mundane note, January ends with Mercury going retrograde for three weeks. And after all the high energy we started the year with, this may just be a perfect way to step back a bit and reflect. Mercury retrograde is usually a good time to redo something left undone or incomplete. Mercury retrograde is not a good time to sign any contracts of initiate new agreements. It is a time for reflecting and correcting things that need to undergo a review or revision.

When Mercury finishes its “backward” motion through the sky in February, it will end by revisiting Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius and squaring Uranus again.

One thing about Uranus and Aquarian energy is that it will keep testing and retesting the water, so to speak, to find a way forward. Throughout February, all the planets, except Mercury, will be in forward motion. So don’t expect too much backsliding. Mars will also move into an easy 120-degree trine aspect with Pluto, ensuring continued momentum.