November 2020 - Jan 2021
November stands in stark contrast to December and December to January. Over the next three months, we will cross a threshold as we complete the lessons of 2020 and embark on a brand-new vision in our lives and communities in the year ahead.
November - Cautiously Moving Ahead
November begins fresh off the heels of the “blue full moon” (an additional full moon in the calendar month) in Taurus that took place on Halloween. This pivotal lunation sets the tone for the first half of November adding a touch of unpredictability to the atmosphere. Usually, the moon in Taurus is a grounding, earthy and satisfying lunation but because Luna will be conjunct Uranus, the planet of surprise, her stabilizing influence is thrown into a jolt. Nevertheless, it is still an enjoyable full moon that doesn’t need to contend with Mars square Saturn.
Mercury stations direct in late Libra on the date of the US Presidential election.
The retrograde ends but the planet of communication is not quite moving forward, he’s making an about-face while in a tense aspect with Saturn in Capricorn. Mercury may be done with technological hiccups, but he’s now tangled in red tape. It’s like standing in line at the DMV, the line is moving but it’s a slow creep and no one is marveling at the efficiency. The media is already priming us for ballot recounts and contested results, and this makes sense given the astrology — Mercury did the same station on the day of the 2000 Bush v. Gore election. (Googles “hanging chads” and closes computer.)
Venus is in Libra and on the 9th she’ll reach a stalemate with Mars in Aries. We could all use a little Venus doing Venus things as she does in Libra, but the harmony is lost during this opposition. She’ll be going up against Mars before he’s had his coffee and hit his stride. In the collective, I expect women’s rights issues (intersecting with race, sexuality and gender) to take center stage. During this opposition, the balsamic moon comes to conjoin Venus further emphasizing what is waning there. Battles on that front may be lost before the war can be won. On a personal level, find your pleasure where you can and relish meaningful relationships especially during prickly days.
On November 12th, we have two outer planets meeting up and without a doubt their influence will make headlines. Jupiter expands everything he touches, and Pluto forces the shadow up from the underworld. 2020’s shadow is, of course, a pandemic our leadership saw coming but did nothing to prevent. It now looks like we will be headed into a third wave, as the last two Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions earlier this year coincided with peaks in the virus. I also expect there to be some sort of monetary relief to taxpayers although I still think big corporations will get this bulk of the dollars. Remember that $1,200 that supposedly carried us through a pandemic? Me neither.
Mars stations direct on Friday the 13th, of all days, ending a roughly 9-week retrograde period. The worst is done but we’re not out of the woods.
Look to see what themes arose in conflict, energy levels, even freak accidents since Sept. 9th when Mars first reversed course. Mars continues to grind against Saturn but now we may be better able to understand when to fight and when to surrender — both require strength.
Next up is a new moon on the 15th. I love a new moon manifestation as much as the next star-gazing millennial but this new moon in Scorpio feels a lot like staring into the void and the gaze returned is unsettling. The moon in Scorpio is always prone to moods of a martial type (traditionally, we say she is “fallen”) and this one is ruled by a slow-rousing Mars. If you want to plant seeds of intention, wait a day when the moon enters Sagittarius, gains some light and the vibe lightens significantly. A visible moon is always more helpful if you want to manifest a goal for the month ahead.
November ends with a partial “penumbral” lunar eclipse on the 30th at 8 degrees Gemini. In ancient times, eclipses were bad omens because the light of one of the luminaries (the sun or the moon) was temporarily snuffed out. Today, I tend to think of an eclipse as an uncontrolled power surge in our lives. Radical shifts, usually ones we aren’t ready for, nudge us in fateful directions. This particular lunar eclipse is a relatively polite nudge since it is far away from the “nodes” or the moon’s eclipsing points.
But there will be time for this eclipse story to ramp up. It already began on June 5th during the lunar eclipse in Sagittarius and it will play out until December 2021. For clues into the theme, look to what fateful events took place in your life from December 2010 - November 2012 during the last Gemini/Sagittarius eclipses. (For me, I had a baby, met my future husband and changed jobs!) While different in tone since the nodes were reversed, the eclipses now will emanate a similar song. For example, you could begin to feel tectonic shifts around work and home, or your income v. you partner’s money just as you did back then.
December - Eclipse Season Year-End Finale
A far more potent solar eclipse takes place on December 14th at 23 Sagittarius. This eclipse on the south node is perfect for release and purification.
In astrology, the south node is known as the dragon’s tail and prompts us to let go of what is extraneous. We all have unprocessed grief from 2020 either in plans we had, loss of loved ones, loss of income etc. and thus releasing that seems like the best course of action.
You’ll also want to prepare for the complete change in tone that occurs in the second half of December. We’re entering into a new elemental era.
On December 17th, Saturn, the one who sets society’s inherent boundaries and structures, leaves Capricorn once and for all and moves into Aquarius for the next three years. This is a monumental turn of events as Saturn frees himself from Pluto’s cold grip and begins his reign from the sign of the water-bearer. Here, Saturn will imagine a new frontier and it is decidedly more forward leaning and active than his earth domicile of Capricorn. Jupiter joins Saturn in Aquarius just two days later and the vision for a new way forward has the benefit of optimism and expansiveness. On the macro, I expect to see an embrace of what I’m deeming “zoom culture” as well as data and information as the new currency. I encourage all my community-leading, grassroots-organizing individuals to be at the forefront of this new shift. The revolution won’t happen on video conference calls, but it will be planned that way. This is the end of the elemental era of earth and we are now firmly in the element of air.
2020 concludes with a full moon in Cancer and this will be one to embrace as Saturn is no longer glaring sternly at the moon and Mars is too far ahead to pay real attention. Finally, we get a robust moon in Cancer, her domicile, without malefic conflict.
This New Year’s Eve nourish and repair. Then, repeat.
January - Building the Vision
The beginning of 2021 is packed with fixed sign energy and continues for much of the year. Fixed signs are those that are situated in the middle of a season and so their job is to maintain status quo. By month’s end, five of the seven visible planets will be in fixed signs setting a secure framework for the year. My advice is to choose firmness over rigidness particularly when Mars enters the party.
On January 6, Mars leaves Aries where he has been for 6 months. During that time, we may have gotten more “Mars” than we wanted both in the collective and in our own lives. But by now, we’ve learned that there is no victory without a fight. Mars moves into Taurus and will continue to square Saturn in Aquarius. This fixed square is a whole other vibe from the cardinal square signature of 2020. This tense aspect is focused on strongholds and stubbornness. Instead of action, the malefic planets will want to preserve and conserve according to their own agendas. Saturn will win since he is at home and Mars is very much in exile.
Mercury joins Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius and enters his shadow mid-month. Not only has the new vision firmly taken hold but we are figuring out new ways to speak about it. It’s a bit of trial and error as he will station retrograde on the 30th. This Mercury is ruled by Saturn so I would emphasize speaking responsibly, particularly if you are the authority figure. In what ways can your message reach the masses with integrity?
January concludes with our attention on the Leo-Aquarius axis with a full moon in Leo. These pair of signs (opposite from each other on the zodiac) always demand our attention between the self and the greater good. With Mars and Uranus in Taurus inserting their power at this full moon, the goal and vision could feel at cross-purposes. Yet, I really can’t think of a better way to set up 2021. In the Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot, it’s the four beasts who anchor the zodiac. And here, we have the Lion, the Bull, and the Water Bearer pulling tightly at the fabric of fate.