The Clash of the Old and the New: January 2021

January Key Dates

The Roman god of the beginning of the year was Janus. This is how we got the word January. He is quite a complex god, associated with Quirinus, who became Saint Quirinus, who keeps away plagues, and Romulus, one of the founding figures of Rome.  So he had multiple origins and meanings and intricate connections to what is happening now. Janus-Quirinus is portrayed as having two faces conjoined in one head looking in opposite directions. This period from December 25th to around January 6th has been compared to ‘time out of time.’ It has been accentuated intensely by the unearthly sense of foreboding and quietness. There is near zero human activity in the streets and massively reduced traffic noise. Silence is new and it can be healing. The Dec 21st Saturn-Jupiter conjunction was hailed as the Christmas star. It gave leave for everyone to be armchair astronomer-astrologers as it was visible to all on clear nights looking beautiful and has contributed to this sense of new and sharper perceptions being enhanced as if the solid outlines of the concrete and material world are beginning to melt and rips in the fabric of the old paradigms are  more evident.


Time seems to stand still during these pivotal days where the end begins the new as if we are in a vacuum. It is perfect for deep reflection, meditation and doing a serious review of your life. If you did not have some kind of closure ritual for the end of 2020 and the trauma that it inflicted with the collective hysteria, then you risk tainting the fresh experiences of 2021 with the toxic residue from 2020.

For the beginning of the year however we need ‘beginners’ mind. It is useful every day but especially now. That is just a fresh and open mind wiping the slate clean and dealing with life as it is and not how we want it to be or fear that it might be. How you respond is as important as what happens and attitude counts a great deal.    There are genuine reasons for New Year’s Eve rituals, like toasting with a drink, throwing out old unwanted objects and food, wearing red underwear, smashing crockery, and singing “we’ll take a cup of kindness yet” which all symbolizes the need to recognize endings and beginnings. In Chile they have parties in the cemetery to be with those who have ‘passed on’ and drink to them. Janus-Quirinus represented a doorway, a portal into two time zones – the past and the future- hence it is a liminal space that is both transitional and emotional. So we may feel subtle energies and deep feelings more easily.

The first actions you take on January 1st have meaning who you speak to first and what you feel that day. Once we have done some self-examination and sorted how we feel about the dark ‘stuff’ that occurred in 2020, we now have to face are facing the prospect of 2021 and it looks bleak or wonderfully exciting depending on your state of mind which can condition the outcome. You may have to decide which side you are on in 2021 as battle lines are drawn. At least be clear who you are in relation to the truth and your own truth- this will bring authenticity closer.

Once this has been processed, we have little time but to gear up for Mars finally moving out of Aries where it spent six months, a large part of which was retrograde. This is a shift into a less dramatic, more stable, less confrontational and persistent use of the energy of Mars in Taurus. Mars moves into Taurus on January 6th so watch for shifts in dynamics on that day or a shift in your energy levels. It is not necessarily well received in the house of Venus but for that very reason is inspired to be more strategic, slower moving and pushes more for relational and possibly artistic purposes as it has more stamina and longevity there.

But no sooner has that happened but Mars then conjuncts Uranus in Taurus at 6 degrees on the 20th.  Then it squares Jupiter on the 23rd.  Think Energy, explosive, breakthroughs, revolutionary spirit, fiery rebellion, insurrection – all of these may heighten the already hyped-up trigger points and fault lines that exist among genuine and media-constructed social and political adversaries. This period in late January will not be boring  and the actors involved may do U-turns that surprise and puzzle us. Keep an eye on the ball as it will be tossed to the turbulent winds.

Venus is also on the move early January. It goes from Sagittarius where it traverses the Galactic Centre on the 7th and into Capricorn on the 8th. Venus in Capricorn is restrained and more conservative than usual. She is very aware of how she appears since Saturn rules that sign she is sees respectability as adding sexual allure to beauty, being less superficial or vain and taking a sober approach. She aligns better with Saturn than people might think. She’s still naughty but just doesn’t give it away on the surface but retreats behind doors for her pleasures.

For those in a Venus profection year or with charts ruled by Venus or whose Solar Return charts are governed by Venus, all aspects to Venus will have extra importance in 2021.  Don’t forget that the entire story of the battle between Chronos/Saturn and Ouranos/Uranus was that Saturn’s scythe, harbinger and symbol of death, cut off the genitals of Uranus and from that sperm Aphrodite/Venus was born. She trines Mars on the 9th always good for ‘tuning  in’ to partners, but it also gives a preview of the magical triple love connection she makes to Mars and the Moon in mid-July in Leo.  Check where Leo is in your chart for what that means.

Venus also trines Uranus on the 14th bringing in the unexpected freaky vibes into the social realm or among your acquaintances. She is sextile to Neptune on the  23rd January, and then at the end of the month on the 28th conjuncts Pluto still at 25° of Capricorn where she will be at the greatest peak of love intensity which may not be what we bargained for.

Uranus also goes direct on January 14th. This adds more electricity to anything that happens in the subsequent few days which will be very decisive one way or the other for the rest of the year. Whatever moves forward at this point will advance things fast and even gluing your hat to your head may not be enough.

Saturn Square Uranus rules the Year

‘The Mutilation of Uranus by Saturn’ Giorgio Vasari  (1550)

The broad outline of 2021 is defined by a square of Saturn to Uranus. It hits three times during the year. The first one is February on the 17th . The second is on the 16th June and the third is December 24th. This could bring clashes and huge frictional tension between the old structures and the new innovations and this will predominate in the following months jolted too by the four eclipses this year.  The scythe remember cuts off the powers at their most vulnerable point but Uranus the sky god is associated with Prometheus too and stole fire to bring to the people – challenging Zeus/Jupiter- so a struggle for freedom is on the cards. This too may be significant in any new access to technology that has been hidden by the authorities as not yet fit for use by the masses. This is a true clash indeed and all we can do is expect the unexpected.

Key words and themes for 2021 are: Learning, Accepting, Adapting and Resilience, but let’s stop here and say ‘resilience’ alone is not enough for what’s to come. Added to this square, the sun which enters Aquarius on the 19th conjuncts Saturn on the 20th and squares off to Uranus on the 26th so major upheavals can be expected to which we will have to respond.

January Key Dates
January: Key Dates (image source: Curator of the Past)

Learning to be ‘antifragile’ is not easy, but vital. It feels unsafe, but the skill is that to accept and embrace the fluctuations of the chaotic. Being antifragile is “beyond resilience and robustness” and declares that getting used to disruption to the old fixity of values and beliefs. These may have passed their sell-by-date. Add in loving the unknown for good measure and playing with that idea offers some leverage as “The antifragile loves randomness and uncertainty.” Can we learn to love it?

This applies in every single area of life from investments and finances, to politics, medicine, social media scams and even our love affairs. There will be a bleeding over of one area into another as the discourse has already been polluted. Those who already have any oppositions or squares involving Mars, Jupiter and Uranus in their charts will know this tension very well- that to take a leap into the unknown is scary and nerve-shattering but can often offer surprises. It’s where you land -preferably still bouncing on your toes- that will count.

Jupiter moving forward now in Aquarius does in fact square Uranus in Taurus on January 17th so get ready for that – more disruption to our world . A radical rethink of how we relate to laws and the government may set the new foundation here. These are both fixed signs so expect changes to the monetary system, crypto-currencies massive expansions of non-governmental control and the push backs to the system, massive expansions but also equally weighted social tension to equal te imposition of rules.

The new Moon on the 13th in Capricorn will be time to sort plans out with the intention of manifesting them in a practical manner, and the Full Moon in Leo on the 28th could bring those plans to one of their first fruitions.  

In 2021 if we haven’t learned not to push the river before, it will be more crucial than ever  just relax where possible and flow with events, riding the waves not being smashed by them. Martial art of any kind -even light Chi Gong- is a great way to think of this, to dance like a martial artist to avoid being hit by the shock and awe to come with the the three hits of Saturn square Uranus awaiting us this year. I always think of Bruce Lee’s advice not just his mantra ‘be like water’ which is worth remembering but also “Learning is never cumulative, it is a movement of knowing which has no beginning and no end.”

‘Antifragile’ Naseem Nicholas Taleb

Be fast on your toes, not just in January but the whole year. Spot the shadow coming, so you are ready to dodge the punch that is designed to knock you out.  2021 is numerically the number 5 the number of change and experimentation and risk, so understanding that events will move quickly perhaps the reverse of what you expected can help yo to appreciate change by learning not to resist it. To embracing ‘difference’ and adapt rapidly will be the way to extract the juice of what’s to come in 2021.

Author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks of wind too and all systems, institutions, stock markets, governments, subjects in science. He says “you want to be the fire and wish for the wind” in order to handle Chaos when chaos is inevitable in your world and randomness does not allow you to plan ahead in a straight line. What Taleb says neatly synchronises with the astrology as the Jupiter-Saturn at zero degrees presages a whole new era in the element of Air and to wish for the wind is to align with this coming sequence of changes. We will have to ‘be’ like the wind as well as have the fire of intuition, wishing may not be enough. ,


© Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, January 3rd, 2021.

All rights reserved.


Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook and my home page:

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Published by Kieron Devlin

Growing, guiding, nurturing, cultivating, encouraging, accepting kindness and truly understanding your place in life and the planetary archetypes and cycles of change.

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