We're not even through the first quarter of 2021, but we're already about to experience a life-altering planetary aspect: On February 17, a square will form between Saturn and Uranus, an event that happens only once every 22 years. Astrological "squares" are known for creating tension between two points — and with this one involving Saturn, the Planet of Rules and Boundaries, and Uranus, the Planet of Freedom and Rebellion, you can bet that things are about to get pretty intense.
These two planets are vastly different. "While traditional Saturn likes to build and preserve, Uranus likes to change and destroy," Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com, tells Refinery29. "This aspect is basically the old versus the new, a clash between rebellion and tradition." We can expect this age-old struggle to define our year, Montúfar says, because the same square will occur three times in 2021 — on February 17, June 14, and December 24. In general, the two planets will be sticking close to each other over the next 12 months.
When Saturn (which is in Aquarius right now) and Uranus (in Taurus) form a square, we often see cracks appear in the foundations of society. The problems with our political, financial, and social institutions become exposed, and then they crumble, Montúfar says. In a way, we've already seen this coming. "The astrology of 2020 exposed the shadow side of our society, and in 2021, we will witness the collapse of many of our structural foundations so we can rebuild them based on the concepts of freedom, inclusivity, and individuality," she says. While this transit may feel a bit rough, it's exactly what we need to create meaningful change for the future.
On a personal level, we'll each be tasked with finding our own balance between the rigid energy of Saturn and the freedom of Uranus, says Lisa Stardust, an astrologer based in New York City. "This square will bring challenges our way, which will force us to reflect upon what we want to attain and achieve," she says. If you ever feel frustrated or stifled over the next week, ask yourself: Is there something I'm not ready to let go of that's holding me back? Montúfar stresses that this is not a time to stubbornly hang onto our past. "Within our lives, structures will also change and collapse, and the more we hang onto them, the more we will suffer," she cautions. "The best way to handle the energy of this intense square is by surrendering and going with the flow — and striving to have authenticity in a true Uranian way."
It's a year of evolution, and while sometimes releasing something you've outgrown — from hobbies to ways of communicating to relationships — can be scary in the moment, keep an eye on the long game to give yourself courage to push through. "The best way to handle this energy is to look toward positive changes in the future as opposed to the negative," Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer for Keen.com, tells Refinery29. "If a break-up occurs in your personal life, the relationship has, in all likelihood, outlived its purpose. Review the negative and the positive and focus on improving yourself or what you could do to find a more lasting and appropriate relationship in the future."
Also remember that Mercury is also retrograde until February 20. Stardust points out that the combined energy of the square and the retrograde make this a great time to revise and regroup.
Depending on which houses Aquarius and Taurus rule in on your birth chart, this transit can affect you in different ways. "Some of the manifestations of this transit may include: sudden job and work changes, break-ups of relationships that aren’t committed or stable, and desire for greater freedom from anything you find repressive," Hale says.
While all this might sound urgent, it's critical to take things slowly and steady. The third and final Saturn-Uranus square will be the strongest one, and that doesn't happen until Christmas Eve, Montúfar points out. "While we might begin to notice how this aspect will manifest for us now, we won’t get the full picture until December," she notes. So start to take those small steps toward change, and get ready to grow — it's going to be a big year.