After Covid: the New Year's horoscope for 2021

(23 December 2020) After enduring this plague year of 2020, most of us feel that January 1, 2021 can't come soon enough.  The dreadful Covid pandemic has the world looking ahead with eager anticipation to the New Year.  Certainly, 2021 couldn't be any worse than 2020 and indeed there is good reason for optimism as vaccine rollouts are already underway.  A return to some semblance of normal life seems within reach over the next 12 months, even if a return to the status quo ante may take a while longer.

One way to glimpse into the future is to take a look at the New Year's horoscope.  The planetary alignments at the stroke of midnight on January 1 can provide useful clues for what is to come over the next 12 months.  A mostly good year will usually feature benefic planets like Venus and Jupiter in prominent positions while more challenging years will typically see Mars or Saturn occupying significant places in the horoscope. 

The Covid pandemic was not unexpected as I noted the close conjunction of the Moon and Neptune in last year's New Year horoscope.  Neptune symbolizes health and illness while the Moon represents the people as a whole.  Moreover, the conjunction took place in the 6th house of health and received a negative aspect from Saturn.  This suggested some kind of epidemic was more likely in 2020, even if I didn't grasp the extent to which it would upset our lives.

Happily, we can see that Neptune is much less prominent in the New Year's horoscope for 2021.  It's still in the 6th house of health, of course, since Virgo always rises at midnight on January 1 throughout the world, but it is not negatively associated with any other planets.  There is, however, a close sextile (60 degree) aspect with Mercury which likely reflects the ongoing importance of the pandemic.  Since it rules the Virgo Ascendant, Mercury is the chart ruler so its aspects can indicate important trends and themes for the upcoming year.  But the sextile aspect is not a negative aspect, so it suggests the virus will likely come under control even if it still is the predominant concern for 2021.  So that's a plus.

A greater worry may be our collective mood.  The condition of the population as a whole may be seen through the Moon and here it is opposed by Jupiter and Saturn.  This suggests we could see a time of austerity (Saturn), even if it is seen as the right and sensible thing to do (Jupiter).  A year of abundance seems quite unlikely with this pattern, as the the combined impact of Jupiter and Saturn symbolize lowered expectations and pragmatic recovery. 

The square alignment of Mars and Uranus with the Moon could prove to be more unpredictable, however.  The Uranus-Moon square speaks to possible agitation and protest and a sense of unease in the world.  Clearly, we have already had a strong taste of that in 2020 with various protest movements.  The Uranus-Moon square suggests that popular protest will continue in 2021 and this time with the possibility of more violence due to the placement of Mars.  Wars and popular revolts are also more likely with this Mars-Moon-Uranus planetary alignment.   A significant war is more likely to breakout sometime in mid-year (May to July) as Ketu conjoins the Mars node at 15 Scorpio.  We should also note that the Mars-Moon square is closer in Asia at midnight on January 1 than elsewhere, so that might be the more likely place where military conflict could occur.

The economy is another area of concern.  The conjunction of Venus (value, money) with ascetic Ketu (South Lunar Node) suggests significant changes in the economy are likely.  Another recession is possible, especially in the second half of the year.  The Ketu influence is perhaps less negative than bearish Saturn, however.  This could mean that the economy doesn't merely contract but rather is transformed along somewhat different lines than it has in the past.  Since the Lunar Nodes, Rahu and Ketu, symbolize change and transformation, we should not be surprised if new types of economic growth and regulation emerge in 2021, possibly as a result of the pandemic.  To be sure, the incoming Biden administration in the US is more likely to experiment with different types of economic arrangements following the Trumpian efforts to solidify purely capitalist principles.  The New Year's horoscope suggests that the economy may well undergo some meaningful structural changes.  

Overall, the indications suggest a very uneven return to normal may be in store for 2021.  The affliction of the Moon by Mars and Saturn suggests that a sense of unease and dissatisfaction will continue to percolate throughout the year.  While the aspects are not strongly negative, they are nonetheless more negative than positive in my view. The continuing sense of malaise may give rise to more protests and anger directed towards governments.  The economy well may be one of the main areas of complaint in this respect as Ketu's influence on Venus hints at a more austere or even spiritual turn.  It is possible that the culture of consumption (Venus) could evolve into something very different as Ketuvian principles of renunciation assert themselves.  In other words, I don't see the sudden emergence of a hedonistic Roaring Twenties scenario with this 2021 horoscope.   That may have to wait. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have weakened in recent days after a more infectious coronavirus mutation saw a spike of cases in the UK.  The uncertainty was more or less expected as Monday's Jupiter-Saturn conjunction and subsequent Mars-Pluto square hinted at possible troubles on financial markets.

Of course, we are now entering the traditionally bullish period for the Santa Claus rally from Dec 24 until about Jan 4. Stock prices typically melt up during this time as many traders are on holiday and institutions are reluctant to sell into a thin market. 

The planets here suggest a mixed market at best next week.  The early week could suffer from the lingering effects of the Mars-Pluto square.  The midweek looks somewhat better as Venus aligns with Neptune and the Lunar Nodes, however.   Overall, it could prove to be some tough sledding for Santa.

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