January MMXXI | A.W. Clovenhopf

The upcoming year will continue to be shaped by events that occurred in 2020, but attended by a fresh breeze promising a new era. The Saturn-Jupiter conjunction, which occurred at 0 degrees of Aquarius on December 21, 2020, will continue to develop over the next several decades. Strange bedfellows they may seem to be, Saturn and Jupiter operate astrologically sort of like ohms and impedance. The leaden quality of Saturn keeps the levity of Jupiter in check. Blown fuses can happen without realistic assessment of both goals and obstacles. Working together, they can produce some great noise.

Aquarius features a glyph that looks like two zig-zag patterns sitting on top of each other. The two lines seem to represent the “dual rulership” of Aquarius, hosting both Saturn and, in modern times, Uranus. But do these lines represent flowing water, electric currents, or two snakes? Sources diverge on a consensus. The gist of the symbol seems to be transcending differences, a gift we could all certainly enjoy in the upcoming year. The imagery of two snakes holds place in many cultures representing diverse ideas such as fertility, medicine, occult knowledge, a cosmic connection and spirituality. Saturn, the ancient ruler of Aquarius, shows us discipline and responsibility. Uranus, the modern ruler, shows us a Promethean urge to grab the fire and run. The voltage runs high when we learn from the old to develop the new and improved. This can create a pervasive feeling of anxiety, but also restlessness and excitement.

In The Cosmic Serpent, a book by anthropologist Jeremy Narby, ayahuasca is seen as a bridge of understanding between spirituality and molecular biology. Visions of two connected snakes appear as strands of DNA. The mRNA components of the new coronavirus vaccine (and, demonstrating some potential, a vaccine focused on targeting cancerous tumors) usher in a new era of disease resistance. We are drawing new insights from an ancient knowledge and inching closer to understanding the connections between divergent cultural histories of the ophidian. One of the great skills of Aquarius, the water bearer, is the ability to move seamlessly between different cultures, finding commonality and a shared humanity. The downside is that if any inequalities are glossed over, this attitude paves the way for exploitation. An association of ancestral healers from the Peruvian Amazon had issued the Yarinacocha Declaration after the murder of 81 year old healer, Maestra Olivia Arévalo Lomas. This Declaration contains wise words for the Air era.

Colonialist tendencies to extract, predate and exploit need to be checked. In the words of the Shipibo-Konibo-Xetebo people, “The work of healing and the struggle for self-determination… must move forward on the same path,” which suggests that the political struggle for territorial sovereignty and the passing of knowledge on to the younger generations cannot be considered as secondary to the appetite for “consciousness raising.” Have we found our two snakes?

As we nourish this beginning, the Sun and Mercury move through Capricorn. There are practical details to which we must attend. On a global scale, progress is happening fast, but consciousness is required to ease the process. Presence and attention in a high-speed situation are necessary to avoid panic. Additionally, Mars is moving at full clip out of Aries and lands with a belly flop in Taurus on January 5. Mars has been in Aries for over six months now, and with this shift we are likely to feel a change in our motivation and drive. If we haven’t learned lessons related to the house holding Aries in our charts, we may find ourselves feeling dishonorably discharged in the New Year. Channel your anger or resentment appropriately and be mindful if you need to take a break from taxing circumstances. Saturn and Uranus square each other throughout the year and into 2022. We are straddling the old and the new. Uranus in Taurus echoes the instability of our climate and the resulting ongoing mass migration. Saturn in Aquarius forces us to create adaptive and progressive solutions, some of which may be based in conservative ideas, both in terms of resource conservation and political boundary setting. The humanitarian impulse of Aquarius begs for a middle ground as well as solutions to menial labor paying stagnant wages and increased automation displacing a human workforce. The Capricorn new moon on January 12 feels a little rough around the edges, with a square between Saturn and Mars and a Sun-Pluto conjunction. My advice would be to use the best of the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction to get real about your inclinations and desires and set boundaries from there. Saying “no” is also a choice—particularly to opportunities that seem appealing but also have a lot of nebulous strings attached.

Jupiter squares Uranus on January 17 and activities that emphasize freedom become appealing. Don’t allow fatigue of your responsibilities to keep you from owning up to what you need to do to stay disciplined. The temptation now is to throw out everything, but review your circumstances and make sure you aren’t overreacting to feelings of exhaustion. A refreshing wind is blowing on your circumstances as long as you handle it with grace. If you find yourself beating down a creative impulse with a chorus of “but I’ve always done it this way” it may be time to relax your rule and refresh your spirit with a new approach.

January 20, inauguration day in the US, features a Mars-Uranus conjunction. Surprises? Fireworks? We shall see. The full moon in Leo on the 28th features exact conjunctions between the Sun and Jupiter as well as Venus and Pluto. The symbolism combines love and power, ego and a feeling of divine right… quite the combination. If the Leonine impulse to eschew assistance is standing in the way of progress, recognize your pride and let it go. The squares between Moon/Sun and Mars suggest there may be a need to let the cookie fully crumble. If we’ve been trying desperately to support ourselves or act independently now we are called to find strength in collaboration. Honestly recognizing your shortcomings and asking for what you need may open up new doors of opportunity.


ARIES: Mars making moves at the beginning of the year suggests any coup de grâce you’ve been plotting since the summer may have assumed a life of its own. It’s not too late to change your plans and work out a compromise. Avoid the temptation to bully or shame others into going along with your plans, it won’t work and may even backfire.

TAURUS: Your ruler’s movement through fellow earth-sign Capricorn suggests a time for healing collective wounds is upon us. As she swings through your spiritual abode, caring for yourself takes on religious dimensions. Be gentle with your needs at the turn of the year – perhaps something indulgent, even if it’s just an extra-lengthy shower, may get you in tune with the spirit of this process.

GEMINI: So many challenges to communication are forcing you to be literal with your speech. The question is, how do you gain clarity when the situation is still developing? You’re like a reporter on the scene, Gemini—stick to the facts, work on your critical thinking skills, and ask clarifying questions.

CANCER: The Capricorn new moon on January 12 signifies a fresh start in your partnerships. Maybe you’re still dealing with someone who has some controlling tendencies, but your ability to cope or compromise has been improved. Circumstances may have also changed due to your own growth—were someone’s challenges intended to bring out a more authentic side of yourself, or put you in touch with your own power?

LEO: This seems to be a very public time for you, Leo. While that isn’t by itself an uncomfortable situation, there are signs that you may not be feeling on top of the heap right now. This isn’t a “fake it ‘til you make it” kind of scenario. Be honest with yourself and with your environment, you have an opportunity to rebuild your circumstances to something that’s more suited to the person you’re becoming.

VIRGO: It looks like you’re all fired up about a new learning venture at the start of the year, Virgo. That passion seems to be bubbling over into your social and romantic life in very positive ways. Finding someone who can challenge you and keep pace with your mental fitness is quite a skill! Allowing yourself to time to slow down and appreciate the small joys is the task for right now – can you recognize a good thing when it taps you on the shoulder?

LIBRA: A recent development in the relationship department heralds a more peaceful home life. Your ruler moving through the house of inner life suggests you’ve got some catching up to do with yourself—taking care of your appearance and home go a long way towards feeling more comfortable about all the big changes happening around you.

SCORPIO: All the focus on career goals over the past few months seem to have put a bit of a strain on your relationships. Now is the time to get back in touch with your loved ones and make sure they know how you feel. It’s not always easy for you to open up, but it’s worth every effort at the start of the year.

SAGITTARIUS: Recent eclipse activity in your sign has been challenging you to no longer accept what you’ve thought you understood. If you’re feeling a little ungrounded, the new moon on the 12th should help put some lead in your shoes. You are here, and we need your broad-minded thinking and optimism to get us through the long stretch of winter. Learning new ways of seeing and communicating are particularly important right now. Allow your confidence to build around the development of new skills.

CAPRICORN: There are a lot of astrological adjectives that have made their way into the English language. One of my favorites is “capricious.” We’ve appreciated your reliability during the challenges the past year has thrown at you, and now we get to appreciate your more fanciful side. You’re not one to let responsibilities slide, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to enjoy things on your own terms. Loosen up the tie for an evening, Cap!

AQUARIUS: There’s a feeling of closure around the new moon on January 12. Normally new moons signify some sort of beginning, but this looks like the beginning of the end. It doesn’t need to be a traumatic or terrible situation, Water Bearer, whatever is on the way out looks like it’s stayed long past its welcome. This could be an ingrained habit, idea, or even a person in your life. The current astrology is calling on you to stand on your own two feet—even if you don’t think you’re ready.

PISCES: You may find yourself dealing with the issue of getting folks on your side to deal with a long-standing sticky situation. Your openness to people and their ideas can create opportunities now. The difficult situation may not go away overnight, but working together promises a better future for all involved. Your strength is in collaboration at the turn of the year.


ARIES: With your ruler Mars approaching eccentric Uranus mid-month, I get the feeling you’re trying to pull out all the stops right now. It’s important to find your freedom, but some moderation and patience is advised in sorting through your opportunities. You deserve wonderful things, but be mindful if embracing the new involves burning a bridge or two.

TAURUS: Can a ghoul get a minute?! Your struggle for stability is being rocked mid-month by the Jupiter Uranus square. An expansion of responsibilities may be a good thing long-term, but for now the disruptions are testing your patience. Be patient and keep an open mind—if you can avoid a tendency towards annoyance there are lots of exciting things happening right now.

GEMINI: Your ruler buzzing through Aquarius has your personal airwaves crackling with new insights and ideas. Receptivity towards new ways of thinking and communicating lead to new ways of addressing old issues. It’s alright if you’re having trouble getting focused on that to-do list, upcoming Mercury retrograde promises time to address old issues in February.

CANCER: If you’ve been in a bit of a malaise, some social alliances may want to shake up your situation mid-month. A full moon in your house of self-worth and assets at the end of the month demonstrates that you have some big questions to ask yourself about what’s been keeping you down and who you can consult for help.

LEO: Heavy is the head that wears the crown, Leo. A full moon at the end of the month reveals your updated station in life. If you find it lacking, it looks like your immediate partners are in no short supply of suggestions. There are no quick fixes right now, but there are ways to make meaningful improvements. Embracing your magnanimity through relationships and your career is one way to begin charting a new course.

VIRGO: Those learning opportunities we mentioned at the beginning of the month are taking on a life of their own by the end of the month. Has your able mind and quick instinct already outgrown a previously comfortable situation? You’ve got some big choices to make about how you’d like to proceed. Take your time. Mercury’s upcoming retrograde movement suggests you’ll be rethinking opportunities over the next month.

LIBRA: Ah yes, the archetype of the person who starts a new relationship then abandons all their good old friendships. It doesn’t have to happen to you, Libra! Even if you’ve experienced some serious alterations to your circumstances, the full moon in your house of friendships suggests there are people who miss you and want to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out, even if you’ve fallen out of touch. If you’ve outgrown old alliances, it looks like new ones are just around the bend.

SCORPIO: There is a lot of emphasis on the angular houses of your chart, Scorpio. This means that places on which you rely for stability, your home, your work, and your relationships, are all under duress at the same time. Being a fixed sign, you don’t take to adaptation quickly or easily. The lack of planets in your own sign seems to suggest this time it’s a little different—perhaps you are ready, or even eager, for change? It is my most sincere hope that your current willingness to go with the flow rewards you handsomely.

SAGITTARIUS: Jupiter’s conjunction with the Sun this month acts like throwing a piece of pottery in a kiln. Extreme heat fortifies, challenges, and changes the clay. If you can avoid the tendency to explode under pressure, you’re going to emerge stronger and wiser. With the transit happening in your third house, it’s an opportunity to find more meaning in your communications, neighborhood, and sibling relationships.

CAPRICORN: Venus moving through your sign promises a restorative time, if you’re open to it. The planet of love and affection conjoins Pluto at the end of the month, suggesting that even rest and relaxation are taking on heavy qualities. If you’re having trouble feeling pleased about your progress, remember that you don’t have to identify your worth with what you own or what you’ve accomplished.

AQUARIUS: With the Sun’s entry into your sign, December’s big events are starting to feel a little more personal. Your attention shifts from your communication house to the area of home and family. It feels like the work you’ve been doing to be more honest with yourself and your own needs is starting to show results at the end of the month. Being candid with your partners about your new goals could go a long way towards cementing your bond.

PISCES: A full moon in your house of daily work and habits at the end of the month suggests you need to pay closer attention to your immediate environment. A more watchful eye can benefit your goals—even if your heart is elsewhere. Maybe you’re feeling a little listless because your inner world is so fascinating right now? Make sure you take the time to deal with it through creative or therapeutic output, so as to avoid the negative consequences of locking your keys in your running car or forgetting to wear your mask to the grocery store.