Saturn-Uranus square 2021

The ongoing Saturn-Uranus square is likely to get heated this fall

Reading time: 10 minutes

We’re in for a wild ride this fall. Are you ready for some shake-ups?! One of the major astrology sagas of 2021 encompasses an ongoing tension between the planets Saturn and Uranus. Where Saturn restricts, Uranus wants to break free. All of us have felt this push-and-pull dynamic all year long, though in different areas of our lives. We have already had two culmination points: one on February 17th, one on June 14th and the final exact hit will reach us on Christmas Eve: December 24th. That’s not to say that the tension hasn’t been ongoing, but there have been moments in time when the frustration of this story has become more prominent than ever. This week will mark one of those amplified points, because Mars and Mercury have just joined the stage.

Saturn in Aquarius

Let’s backtrack for a moment first. What has this tension been about? Saturn currently sits in the sign of Aquarius, where it actually feels quite comfortable, since this is its traditional home sign. Saturn in Aquarius is teaching us to (re)structure our ways of thinking in a way that benefits the greater collective, with the aid of novel insights by means of technological, scientific and spiritual advancements. Aquarius is associated with a rebellious, non-conformist approach to life and a need for freedom and individuality. As a result of this transit, we’ve seen a lot of change and chaos in the structures of our lives as well as the collective. Saturn, however, asks us to go about realizing the needed innovations in a disciplined fashion. There is no room for shortcuts where Saturn is involved: the only way long-lasting change will be achieved is by thinking things through and taking it easy: one step at a time. We must restrain our impulses and keep thinking about our future aims, not just today’s sorrows.

Uranus in Taurus

That has proven to be quite hard with Uranus pulling on Saturn at the other end. Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius, wants to break free and it wants to do so NOW. Wherever Uranus is involved, change is often quick and disruption is likely to ensue. In the fixed and very grounded sign of Taurus, it has been trying to shake us out of complacency in the areas where we might have become maybe a little too comfortable. Taurus rules everything related to the material things of the Earth. That includes nature itself, as well as the food and physical pleasures that it brings us. Taurus is a deeply stable sign, and it has likely been quite the battle for Uranus to shake it up.

Saturn-Uranus square 2021

While we may have definitely experienced fast and intense bursts of change this past year thanks to sudden flashes of Uranus energy, overall, most of us have become intensely frustrated with what we haven’t been able to accomplish yet. Some area of our lives (or perhaps all of it) has felt stagnant and stale. We may have felt the deep need to change something that ultimately brings more freedom, independence and authenticity to our lives, and yet Saturn has made these changes painstakingly slow. As a result, we have likely felt caught between a rock and a hard place. Saturn, after all, has the ability to say “no”, while all Uranus cares about is to break free and to do so now.

Saturn-Uranus square

Collective shake-ups in healthcare, jobs, food supplies and more

It is easy to see how this tension has played out in the greater collective, where there has been a clash between a need to go about things in a responsible way and the resulting frustration in terms of individual freedom. Some people have started rebelling for rebellion’s sake, losing sight of the bigger picture here. Others have responded from a more fear-based place, choosing to ignore the changes that certainly need to be made for the greater good of all.

Affected areas include the global healthcare system, climate change, equality in terms of material possessions and the list goes on and on. Sudden flare-ups like COVID, supply chain issues, natural disasters, a mass movement away from jobs in certain industries have only placed the spotlight on large, underlying problems in these areas that have been there for a long time.

An example: working conditions in hospitality

As a small anecdote, let’s take the jobs of those working in the service industries – an area closely associated with the earthly zodiac sign of Taurus that houses the physical, sensory pleasures of life. As a former waitress, hotel receptionist and reservations agent – having worked in hospitality for roughly 7 years – I have long known how deeply disturbing the work circumstances are in this industry.

Working for minimum wages, most service personnel is constantly pushed to go above and beyond to ensure guest satisfaction. Oftentimes, shifts get extended way beyond an 8-hour workday up to 12-14 hours. Staff often has to work in “back-to-back” or “split” shifts, meaning they get only 8 hours in between a shift to catch up on some sleep or their shift gets split up into specific parts of the day (one for instance has to work 3 hours in the morning, 3 in the afternoon and 3 in the evening) so staff is available in peak hours whilst no “unnecessary” staffing costs have to be made in the quieter moments. The latter leaves a person with 2-3 hour gaps in their daily schedule, in which they have to remain close to work as they have to get back to it later on.

Working 10 days straight without any days off in between is very common, and it’s standard practice to work on all of the bank holidays. I have frequently worked 10-hour shifts without even getting so much as a lunch break, whilst the half hour designated for this was still deducted from my paycheck because it was “illegal” not to get breaks in between (no shit, Sherlock). Because of constant staffing shortages, guests often had to wait in long queues before they could check in and were quite annoyed by the time I was available to help them – which certainly didn’t help with staying positive all day long. I have seen and heard of instances where financial mistakes were deducted from an employee’s salary, such as when a guest got a parking ticket or a waiter put in the wrong food order.

Granted, there are some amazing upsides to working in hospitality, such as the feeling of working together with your “hotel family” or getting discounts when staying at hotels all over the world. Also, there are clearly differences between employers and not every job is the same in terms of the described. Yet, ultimately, for me the disadvantages didn’t weigh up to continue down this path.

The point of this story? The hospitality industry has been a toxic work environment for as long as I can remember, but this year these issues became even more prevalent. Whilst many got laid off from their jobs because tourism took a massive hit, these people ended up working jobs that offered much better salaries and working circumstances – for example at the government that now needed additional staff to manage COVID regulations. When hotels and restaurants opened up again, there were hardly any people willing to go back to those shitty service jobs again.

As I said, we’ve only had a spotlight placed on these types of issues with the ongoing Saturn-Uranus square, but the pain has been there all along. And I’m sure there are many more examples like this. I sure hope that we have managed to find structured solutions to these types of material problems by the end of Uranus’ transit in Taurus by 2025-2026. I guess only time will tell.

Receptionists at work in a luxury London hotel (2011-2012)

The personal impact of the Saturn-Uranus tension

Now let’s take a step back from the collective, back to the individual. This Saturn-Uranus dynamic is likely playing out in a very similar fashion in most of our lives. Where some people may have made changes very abruptly without thinking things through, they have likely had to deal with the repercussions of these impulsive actions all year long.

On the other end of the spectrum, others may have put off the required changes for a very long time and are now starting to see how they’re still stuck where they started out this year: no closer to the liberation they sought. This year’s task has been to go about the desired changes in a structured, Saturnian way. This energy has asked us to keep the eye on the price, whilst not getting lost in the day-to-day mundane aspect of it. Those who have made slow but steady changes, are likely starting to see the benefits of this now. At the same time, others may be left with the same old frustration.

Where the described tension is taking place for you, very much depends on your own natal chart. If you’re interested in diving deeper into these dynamics as they are playing out in your life, I invite you to reach out for a personal consultation.

Mars and Mercury put gasoline on the flames

But if this tension has been there all year long, why am I writing about it now, you may ask? I’m getting to that. As mentioned, this energy has already peaked two times this year and is about to see another surge on December 24th. However, that’s not all.

We just had a New Moon, the beginning of a novel lunar cycle, in the intensely emotional sign of Scorpio, ushering in a series of eclipses a.k.a. wildcard energies. We’re currently in the midst of Scorpio season which offers the potential to look behind the veil. Strong emotions are likely to surface, as we get confronted with deeply hidden secrets related to our psychology, power and control issues, conspiracies, sex, other people’s money, obsessions and the like. Some kind of crisis is likely to take place, both in our personal lives as well as in the collective, with the ultimate aim of transforming the dark into the light.

November 10th will be a date to note, when Mars and Mercury conjoin in the sign of magnetic Scorpio to activate the ongoing Saturn-Uranus saga. Mars, the planet of action and willpower, is like gasoline on the flames of the frustration we’ve felt all year long. To speak in the words of my astrology teacher Heather Eland:

“This is a POWERFUL reminder to us all that ignoring an irritating or downright oppressive situation typically doesn’t cause it to just magically go away. When we feel that internal call for change, that ball of frustration brewing over our current circumstances—action must be taken.”

Mercury, which rules our rational mind and communication style, is likely to circle around already heated up Mars to cheer it on to take action RIGHT THIS SECOND. It’s definitely a great opportunity to get your ass moving if you haven’t already done so this year, but be wary of making rash and impulsive decisions because it just feels very hot underneath your feet now.

Venus in Capricorn for 4 whole months

Perhaps for some, the recent entry of Venus into the sign of stable, structured and restrictive Capricorn on November 5th, will help to emphasize what we truly value and need as a foundation in life. Those who have found a sense of harmony and self-worth in the past 2 years since the world has basically been turned upside down, are likely to find more stable ground underneath their feet now.

Yet, not to worry for those who have missed this opportunity. Venus, the planet of beauty and love, will stay in Capricorn (ruled by Saturn), for four whole months (a rare occasion), and any close relationships that do not sit on solid ground will likely to have exited our lives by the beginning of March 2022. While this may feel deeply uncomfortable to you now, remember that Venus in Capricorn ultimately ushers us back to the basics and to reassess what has true value. Its aim is long-term, and so whatever unfolds in your personal relationships in the upcoming months, is likely to contribute to a better balance in your personal life.

Fall eclipses 2021

And finally, after the intense Mars-Mercury energy on November 10th has passed – and it will likely be felt a couple of days prior to and after the 10th – we get to the very first eclipse of this fall on November 19th. Although the North and South Node technically haven’t left the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius yet, the Full Moon eclipse of November 19th in Taurus will provide a sneak preview into the energies to come for the upcoming series of eclipses the next 18 months.

For those less familiar with the study of astrology, eclipses bring massive upheaval to certain areas of our lives. Again, which area depends on your personal chart, but it’s safe to say that we can expect the unexpected during any eclipse season. In general, this past round of eclipses in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius have shown us the importance of remaining flexible and open to new ideas and inspiration, whilst letting go of old dogmatic beliefs and directions for the future. I’m sure all of us have seen this play out in one way or another.

It’s helpful to pay close attention to what comes up for you around November 19th in order to get an idea of what’s to change in your life between now and August 2022, when the nodes (and therewith the eclipses) change signs again. The final eclipse in the sign of Sagittarius on December 4th will mark the true culmination point of the story of the past eclipse series, and will push us to finally let go of some sort of (self-righteous) belief, bigger picture or direction of our lives that we’ve been urged to let go of for 1.5 years now.

Eclipses 2021

And so: are you ready for a wild ride?!

Yes, there’s a lot more to say about the final stretch of 2021 in terms of its astrology, but I think that this has been more than enough to digest for now. I guess what’s left for me to say is this: BUCKLE UP! We’re in for a wild ride the upcoming months. I’m as ready as can be. Are you?