There are many, many reasons 2020 went off the rails. But some would argue the planets played a pretty significant role. Starting with Jupiter: For the past year, the planet of abundance was in hard-working Capricorn, a supremely uncomfortable placement. That's why we're thrilled to learn that Jupiter will spend the next year in optimistic Aquarius — a placement that astrologers are saying bodes very well for 2021.
Jupiter resides in Aquarius from December 19 to May 13, dips into Pisces, then goes retrograde and moves back into the sign of the water bearer on July 28, where it will stay until December 28. Since Jupiter spends around a year in each sign, we haven't felt this Aquarian energy from the healing planet in 12 years. And this year, we need it. "Leaving the industrious and oppressive energy of Capricorn to welcome the individualistic, freedom-seeking energy of Aquarius has never felt so liberating," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com.
She explains that while Jupiter was in Capricorn, it wanted us to focus on achieving our goals and accumulating wealth — which for many meant just making ends meet during a global pandemic. But in the progressive sign of the water bearer, it's a different story. "In Aquarius, the influence of Jupiter is more focused on the openness and expansion of the mind, the search for freedom, and the real value of individuality," Montúfar says. "Social activism, cooperation, and technology receive more attention, as we are encouraged to think outside the box and see the world from an 'us' instead of a 'me' perspective." In other words, Jupiter in Aquarius brings us some intense activist energy.
Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com, agrees. She says Jupiter in Aquarius is futuristic, revolutionary, and concerned with fairness and justice. "Jupiter’s expansive and freewheeling nature will work well in the sign that is associated with humanitarian interests, independence, freedom and innovation," she notes. "This will be a time of enlightenment on many levels, an increase of knowledge and understanding especially in technology, medicine, the internet, global communications, and human freedoms with a bent toward solving ethical issues that involve us all."
Think of it this way: 2020 got us fired up about many causes, from social justice to the climate crisis; 2021 will inspire us to take the actions needed to better our world. We'll want to donate, protest, and learn more about the world around us. The planet of luck in activist Aquarius is exactly the energy we need to make things happen and move forward with change.
The placement will affect us on a very intimate level as well. "We’ll change our personal beliefs, which may revise the way we feel about our families and personal relationships," says astrologer Lisa Stardust. "Yes, we’ll be more compassionate and understanding — but we will also be less affectionate. Aquarius isn’t a touchy feely sign." Stardust says that loving people from a distance will be easy (good news, given that social distancing will still be enforced during the slow COVID vaccine rollout), but showing our affections on an interpersonal level will be difficult.
There's no need to force yourself to be cuddly, but knowing that this is a factor this year means it's especially important to keep up communication with your loved ones in 2021, even if you stick to texts and Zooms.
Saturn is currently in Aquarius too, and together the two planets are gearing up to form something called the Great Conjunction. This is a rare, powerful occurrence. The two planets last aligned in 2000, and the conjunction last happened in an air sign in 1980, Montúfar explains. But during the placement, Saturn and Jupiter will both be closer to the Earth than they've been since 1623. "This conjunction will shift humanity from the materialistic and industrious energy of the Earth element (Capricorn) into the mental and humanistic approach of the air element (Aquarius)," she says.
So what do we need to do to take advantage of what astrologers are saying should be a very positive energetic shift at the end of 2020? Stay open, be flexible, listen to your intuition, and lean into your natural well of empathy, which may be feeling a little closer to the surface these days. Together, we have a chance to really turn things around next year.