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Highlights for Jan. 11-17, 2021: A Powerful New Moon Week

A Powerful New Moon Week

Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.

Singing in unison

Think of aspects as a dialogue between planets. In a conjunction, when planets occupy roughly the same degree of a sign, the planets might talk over each other like pundits on a new show, or they might learn to sing in unison. Much depends on the nature of the planets involved. This week begins with a conjunction between Mercury and Jupiter (Jan. 11, 2021, 9:19 am PST). Picture them, for example, as a reporter and a lawmaker; ideally, the reporter will ask questions and gain more insight into the lawmaker’s mindset and approach, which would theoretically help the lawmaker share their message. But it doesn’t always work that way. Often when a reporter asks a question, a lawmaker ignores it and answers the question they would prefer to have been asked.

So, Mercury and Jupiter aren’t always on the same team. But this week, as both square Uranus, they must work together in response to unexpected developments. And since Jupiter makes critical aspects to Uranus only every 3.5 years or so, this unexpected development will be significant. Mercury first receives Uranus’s message on Jan. 12 (7:00 am PST); it can then relay it to the lawmaker, who can then better prepare for the big Jupiter/Uranus meeting on the 17th (2:49 pm PST).


An avalanche of planets in late Capricorn through early Aquarius dominates this New Moon chart. The Capricorn New Moon (Jan. 12, 2021, 9:00 pm PST, 23.13 Capricorn) point is tightly conjoined Pluto on the Sabian symbol A woman entering a convent. Entering the cloister, a woman surrenders her wealth, status, and personal agency – in short, her individuality – in the service of a higher power. That’s a good image for this New Moon, when starting fresh requires that we, too, surrender to something larger than ourselves.

But the New Moon chart features Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn in Aquarius and square Mars and Uranus. Here, we’re confronted with a radically changing landscape. There is no peace in this particular “convent.”

The New Moon phase symbolizes sowing seeds in the dark. Figuratively, as well as literally, we can’t see what lies ahead. We may be filled with Capricorn’s ambitions and objectives, but there’s no telling how, or even whether, they’ll be realized. What we do know is the seed we’re planting is in close proximity to Pluto, and that the only way it can grow into its full potential is if we embrace Pluto and its mandate for profound change.

So as we began this first New Moon of this new year, still hopeful about Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, part of us is still stuck in Pluto in Capricorn’s chrysalis.


This week brings the last of three squares between Mars and Saturn (Jan. 13, 3:02 a.m.); the previous two were on Aug. 24 and Sep. 29, 2020. The previous squares were lessons in chipping away artifice and tempering wayward impulses and rash impatience. What’s left are swords tempered by fire, and we wield them with confidence. But unless we learned from the first two squares, we may find they’ve hardened into unhelpful shapes.

The core

Sometimes, our minds are so filled with prescribed ideas about what and whom we should desire, that we can close our minds entirely to the choices that are really right for us. As Venus makes a trine to Uranus (Jan. 13, 3:02 am), our eyes are opened to what we truly value, and to the relationships that feel right – even if they look different than we had expected. Venus is also associated with personal values, and in a week of tension and unpredictability, this aspect helps us identify what’s unchanging at our core.

A woman of Samaria

Uranus stations direct this week, after five months retrograde (Jan. 14, 12:35 am PST). This station comes almost exactly one year after the U.S. House of Representatives opened impeachment proceedings against the president, and as I write this on Jan. 10, recent history is poised to repeat itself. Uranus, the planet of revolution, is in high focus not only during this pivotal week, but for the entire year, as Saturn (tradition and order) makes a series of squares to Uranus (on Feb. 17, June 14, and Dec. 24).

Through Feb. 9, Uranus is on Sabian symbol 7 Taurus, A woman of Samaria.  The biblical story of the woman of Samaria serves to show Jesus’ compassion for someone of a different tribe and with a bit of a reputation. It’s a story about refusing to judge others from stereotypes or prejudice, and reaching out to those who are traditionally seen as enemies. There’s seldom been a more appropriate message, nor a harder lesson to heed, particularly for the U.S. as it heads toward the inauguration of a new presidential administration amidst violent polarization.

The privilege of power

Where do you stand? The Sabian symbol for the Sun’s conjunction with Pluto (Jan. 14, 2021, 6:19 am PST) is  25 Capricorn, An Oriental rug dealer. The Sun with Pluto in Capricorn symbolizes those in power, and this Sabian symbol implies negotiation. When we’re intent on getting something we care very deeply about, we may tell ourselves that’s what’s good for us is good for all, and it may be. But this conjunction demands that we consider, honestly, whether our ends justify any and all means.

The struggle of the Sun together with Pluto, near the degree of last January’s Saturn/Pluto conjunction, is that it’s a very explosive combination. The Sun and Pluto remind us of the importance of respecting the power that is endowed in you when you are in a position of influence. The challenge is not to assume that power belongs to you, because it doesn’t. It’s a privilege, given with the caveat that it be used to unite, ennoble, and empower others.

Writing and collages © 2021 April Elliott Kent

Jen and I explore all the week’s highlights  in our latest podcast episode:

Episode 64 | Capricorn New Moon: We’ve Got You Covered!

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