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Will 2021 Be Better than 2020?

As divided as this country is right now, I think there’s pretty much universal agreement that the only appropriate response to the passing of 2020 is “good riddance.” This year as challenged us on so many  levels and brought so much conflict, sacrifice and death that it’s hard not to look to 2021 with hope and expectation. Unfortunately, a year is just a measure of time and the astrological forces driving all this pain and suffering don’t care what the calendar says.


We can see those force at work in the Sibly horoscope for the United States. (Click here to see the chart.) In that horoscope Mercury in Cancer is opposed to Pluto in Capricorn. During 2020, Saturn activated that natal aspect, opposing Mercury and conjuncting Pluto. These aspects, in themselves, were challenging, but since Saturn was also conjunct transiting Pluto during this time, they became part of a larger system of aspects that is still going on.


Mercury in the Sibly chart is in the Eighth House. The Eighth House has to do with our outstanding debts, both material and psychological. For the United States, the legacy of slavery represents one of those debts and it came due in a big way after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The massive protests that erupted in 2020 and the Black Lives Matter movement showed us just how far we are from ever paying off that debt.


The Eighth House is also associated with the irrational obsessions that haunt our otherwise rational existence. The COVID-19 pandemic was a worldwide phenomenon but in the United States the methods used to combat it violated our national obsession with individualism. Individualism is fine but there are times when it has to but aside for the good of the “team.” Unfortunately a lot of people on Team USA weren’t (and aren’t) willing to do that. Their obsession with “liberty” not only caused social unrest, it made this country a world leader in COVID cases and deaths.


At the other end of this opposition we have Pluto in the Second House. The Second House is typically associated with the economy. According to the stock market the U.S. economy is continuing to flourish. For middle class workers, many of whom were able to work from home via computers, it’s still not so bad. However, a few rungs down the social ladder there is an economic disaster waiting to happen and an extra 600 bucks is not going to make it go away.


That was 2020. Saturn has moved on into Aquarius, but now transiting Pluto is taking Saturn’s place in opposition to Mercury and conjunct natal Pluto. We might expect this to bring us more of the same in 2021, but I’m thinking that what we will be dealing with this year will have more to do with the economic repercussions of the pandemic. In any case, 2021 and this aspect system is going to continue bring us challenges.


Last month I discussed an article that I wrote for the Dec/Jan issue of The Mountain Astrologer. (Click here to see that entry.) In that article I offer a theory, supported by several historical examples, that this aspect system, which will end in 2022 and 2023 with transiting Pluto conjunct the Sibly Pluto, will eventually bring the people of this country closer together and create a greater sense of unity. Though one might think that the trials of 2020 alone would have been enough to do that, obviously that is not the case. It’s a scary thought, but in order to get us where we need to be as a nation, 2021 may have to be worse than 2020.

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