I just saw a Brene Brown post with a quote about "Pandemic Flux Syndrome."
This is the first time I've heard about this, and if this is on your mind right now or orbiting in your awareness, I would like to offer some astrological perspective.
The quote was from a Washington Post article, citing Dr. Amy Cuddy and JillEllyn Riley, and said this: "If you're experiencing increased sadness and anxiety along with an urge to dramatically change something about your life - some of the markers of pandemic flux syndrome - be assured you're not alone. Many people are feeling such tensions. Although human beings are more resilient than we generally appreciate, it will take time for many of us to stably recover, to reflect and recalibrate."
My first thought was, "oh no, now a syndrome?"
But of course. And it deserves acknowledgement. The pandemic has traumatized us collectively. Even though it is the last thing we may want to hear more or talk more about, trying to sweep it under the rug and just move on will only keep us from truly moving on - that's the number one rule of trauma - it must be acknowledged, witnessed, recognized, rather than being dismissed and minimized.
But what does the astrology tell us about how the events of 2020 played out, what the bigger picture of 2021 is, and most importantly, what's next?
Here's a little perspective....
In 2018 Saturn entered its own sign of Capricorn, where Pluto has been since 2008, and started moving towards its January 2020 rendezvous with Pluto. These two are heavy hitters, Saturn being authority, and Pluto being power, Saturn being tradition and Pluto being regeneration, and the 2020 conjunction was the beginning of a fresh 35 year cycle.
The end of 2019 saw a Capricorn season including eclipses on the Cancer-Capricorn axis with Capricorn a planetary packed house. When so many planets are in a "traffic jam" in one sign, this makes the energy heavily weighted to just that one sign. With that sign being Capricorn, cardinal earth, the energy was that of being constipated, like compacted soil that needs to be aerated and then watered to bring life back to it.
That's how we began 2020 - energetically, like compacted soil.
Then as the year progressed, at equinox, on March 21, 2020, Saturn entered into Aquarius. It stationed retrograde there, returning to Capricorn on July 1st, 2020. Where I live, late March 2020 coincided with pandemic lockdown/shelter in place. That was Saturn, the planet associated with authority, rules, restriction, limits, boundaries, sickness, and depression, taking its first dip into Aquarius, the air sign (think lungs, breath) that rules the collective, innovation, the future, and humanitarianism.
Then, the last half of 2020, from July on, was dominated by Mars, the warrior, strong in its own sign of Aries and retrograde, coming into three challenging squares with Saturn retrograde in Capricorn. This was an energy of being forced to grow and transform under great pressure and restriction - transformation under circumstances much like a diamond might be formed.
Then in December of 2020, both Jupiter and Saturn entered into Aquarius, coming into the Great Conjunction on Dec. 21st, 2020, beginning a new 20 year cycle.
Keep in mind that Jupiter, planet of expansion, growth, abundance, and gifts, was traveling with Saturn through Saturn-ruled Capricorn all of 2020, so under the more strongly positioned Saturn and unable to bring gifts in its normal style. Then in 2021, it moved into Aquarius with Saturn. Jupiter is a little better positioned in Aquarius, but with Saturn also there, Saturn is still stronger, as it ruled Aquarius before Uranus was discovered. This won't be the case as we move 2022 - Saturn will remain in Aquarius while Jupiter moves into Pisces, the sign it traditionally ruled before Neptune was discovered. This puts Jupiter in the strongest position to bring growth and gifts its been in since when it was in its own sign of Sagittarius in 2019. (We got a taste of what Jupiter in Pisces in 2022 will feel like from 5/13 to 7/28 of this year - whatever expansive good things came onto the horizon then will be back starting Dec. 28th, 2021.)
Again, for most of 2021 (except for mid-May to late July), Jupiter has been under Saturn and debilitated.
The defining energy of 2021, however, is Saturn in Aquarius making three squares to Uranus in Taurus. The first one was February 17th, the second one was June 14th, and the third and final one, the resolution of the issue, will be December 24th (right before Jupiter returns to Pisces).
Just as 2020 began with a traffic jam of planets in Capricorn, 2021 began with a traffic jam of planets in Aquarius. Over these two years, we have made a monumental move from earth energy to air energy. The Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 2020 ushered in a new cycle of power, rules, and traditions. The Saturn-Jupiter conjunction of 2021 was the shift from us having this conjunction every 20 years in earth signs for the past 200 years to us having this conjunction in air signs for the next 200 years. When we look at the big picture, we can see how the pandemic forced us away from our traditions around a "brick and mortar" lifestyle of the earth element to one that is more of the air element - work from home, Zoom, online shopping, etc.
In general, the three squares between Saturn and Uranus over 2021 are helping us work something out having to do with innovating the way we feel secure and enjoy the everyday pleasures of life. Saturn is what is established and the past. It is tradition, authority, systems, structures, and rules that are time-tested. Uranus is the future and what is innovative. It is outside-of-the-box thinking and creating new traditions based on what is relevant to our present experience, and what benefits the good of the collective. Squares between planets create an energetic impasse - pressure that forces us to grow. They ask us to build a new foundation and new structure that was not there before, and this is exactly what we are doing in 2021.
From now, equinox, through the end of the year, we will be reaching resolution and moving forward via rolling waves of energetic shifts as Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter station direct and resume forward motion in October, we have our third and final Mercury retrograde, we move through our second eclipse portal of the year late November to early December, we reach the final Saturn-Uranus square on December 24th, and Jupiter returns to Pisces on December 28th. Then the big finally comes in mid-January 2022 when Uranus stations direct and we really start moving forward with "the new."
Keep in mind, astrologically speaking, retrograde planets always mean we are turning inward and in review mode, and Saturn in retrograde, as it has been since May, can have us feeling blocked, challenged, frustrated, unable to move forward, fearful, limited, anxious, and depressed. It is even more strongly felt being in Aquarius and in square to Uranus - a planet that pushes for innovation and forward motion which is now retrograde as well since August. Saturn is a centerpiece of this year, so we are feeling its repressive energy and push to keep nose to the grindstone and "do the work" even more acutely. At an impasse with Uranus calling for change, this can definitely have us feeling impulsive and restless and feeling like there is no way out and no end in sight - but there is.
Saturn stations direct in under a month on October 10th, amidst several other astrological shifts forward, and it will resolve its issue with Uranus on December 24th, just before Jupiter returns to a very strong position in Pisces for 2022 on December 28th. Whatever good stuff came up between mid-May and early July is back on at the end of the year, and after our several month review period, we will be more than ready to hit the ground running.
Change is the only constant and divine order is always at work. Keep going. We've got this.
*P.S. We have been under the influence of outer planets squares with Saturn in challenging aspect more or less since as far back as 2012 when we began "the awakening" with those 7 squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. 2022 is the first year we will not have any of that in play!
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