Happy New Year

Alex Stein
4 min readJan 2, 2021

2020 is behind us, and while a part of me is tempted to say “good riddance”, the greater part finds itself in awe of the amazing year that just passed. My heart goes out to all those who have suffered directly from the pandemic, have gotten sick, have lost loved ones, or have lasting complications from the illness, as well as those who have lost jobs and businesses as a result of the lockdowns. Even for those of us fortunate enough to have our health and security, most have suffered from the restrictions to our basic freedoms and from the strain of cabin fever. Many are lonely, anxious, and depressed, and for good reason. It hasn’t been a great time to be single, and it has also, at times, been difficult to be coupled — that is, unless your partner never bothers you. Sometimes, it has seemed that there are no good options.

For many of us, despite the challenges, this year has been a gift. Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter, and Mars have kicked our asses, and picked our asses up again. So much of the darkness in our lives has now been exposed to the light, and so many of our highest-strung strings have been stretched to their breaking points and have finally broken. I am grateful for the massive, seismic changes I have undergone during this time, and which I have seen in others. I am coming into 2021 hopeful.

Things will not be a cakewalk from now on, but change is in the air. The change is air, with the beginning of Saturn and Jupiter’s two-hundred year cycle of conjunctions in air signs, following two-hundred years in earth signs. Over the next twenty years, be prepared for a fresh stream of new perspectives, creative solutions to intractable problems, and new lines of dialogue. Be prepared to take back your birth rights: a connection to natural wisdom, the healing power of breath, and direct spiritual experience. Cutting edge work is increasingly being done outside of the confines of institutions, by “amateur” researchers and thinkers, leading to an increasing democratization of thought and a quantum leap in creativity. Science and spirituality are beginning to tango without stepping on each other’s toes. For those interested in sampling some of these new directions, I recommend the film Fantastic Fungi, and the books Breath by James Nestor and The Flip by Jeffrey Kripal.

My feeling of optimism is underscored by the current Jupiter-Uranus square. This inspiring planetary duo encourages us to soar to great heights. It has been behind virtually every great scientific and technological breakthrough in history — the discoveries and theories of Galileo, Kepler, Einstein, and Bohr; the invention of the telegraph, the light bulb, and the PC computer; the first TV broadcast and first internet transmission; and the history of aviation from the Wright brothers to the Moon landing. The list goes on. Jupiter and Uranus open new horizons and deliver us from darkness into glorious light, exclaiming “si, se puede!”

But, before we fly away, we have to acknowledge that Saturn is also squaring Uranus. Sand remains in the oyster. Look around: is everything hunky-dory? Does it look like it could even possibly be hunky-dory for some time? No and no. We must accept that we live in a time of great tension. No planetary alignment spells tension more than Saturn-Uranus, as it represents the age-old battle of the old and the new, the conservative and the liberal, of preservation and change. Before we lament the difficulties of Saturn, let’s remember that a world of only Uranus would be manic, unstable, brittle, and nauseating — all change, all excitement, all novelty, all revolution, all the time. If we want change that lasts, Uranus has to come to an agreement with Saturn. I have pendulum fatigue and dearly wish for a day when we might get some rest from this carnival Viking-ship ride we’ve been on. Eventually, we need some perch on which we can rest. And, if we are to sail into a brighter future as I am hoping we will, our ship needs to be sound. We need to really face whatever we are parting from; we need to hold onto our deepest moral center; we need endurance; we need to be serious; and we need to distill wisdom from our hard experiences. All are gifts of Saturn. So, with Saturn square Uranus, expect the cold civil war between red and blue to continue. Expect both sides to get more and more hysterical. It is okay. Let them be them. Beautiful changes are waiting in the wings, and too much passionate attachment to our opinions — even if they’re really good opinions — dulls our imagination and disturbs our equanimity. Opinions and finger-pointing are old. Now is a time for imagination and strength. Now is a time to be a creator. Is this just another opinion? Look deeply inside yourself and ask whether or not you agree.

Wishing you a beautiful New Year, filled with many blessings.