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How’s This Past Year Been?

photo: Dario Mueller/Unsplash

I’ve just returned to Oregon after 10 days in Colorado, my first trip since last year.

I tentatively (and eagerly) journeyed into a different landscape as travel restrictions have been (temporarily?) lifted. I imagine everyone en route — the airports and flights were packed — was feeling some version of being newly released from this long strange confinement.

Once settled at my dear friends’ house, I saw how we are drawn to talk about what this last year of isolation has been like. At a few small gatherings, and in close quarters with new and old friends, we talked. For me, it was a fascinating experience as it was like stumbling into new and distinct worlds with everyone I spoke with. I had a sense of some individuals becoming more who they are, more certain of themselves, more individuated, maybe? In these folks, the isolation became a sort of imposed vessel for self-inquiry which seems to have been greatly  rewarding. (I was connecting these types of stories to the engagement with the interior grounds pillaged and laid bare by Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn in January 2020. To me, these reports were examples that the deepest work is done inside; I took heart in hearing them.)

Experiences of the pandemic and reactions to it are unique for everyone, but another motif that seemed to waft through my random conversations was this shared sense that we are between worlds, or that no one really knows what’s going on, and confusion and uncertainly prevail. I was struck by how many people, in different life situations, spoke to this sense that we are on a journey with an “as-yet-to-be-recognized destination.” (My words: an amalgamation distilled from a slew of conversations.)

Collectively, we are certainly in a parallel process of inquiry: Who are we and where are we headed? As a family? As a town? As a nation? As a group of souls? As the human species? As the Earth herself?

As mentioned, I was in a wider circle of people than I have been in awhile, and most were not astrologically informed. Whether I was in a quiet conversation, observing from a distance, or hearing stories about other friends, I was struck by the insecurity/anxiety many people expressed. There was a sense of urgency — many felt they needed to make a big change, but not sure what or where.

I said a few words here and there about Saturn and Uranus, the aspect that we astrologers are acutely aware of throughout 2021 (and beyond). (1)

As astrologers we are used to articulating careful and specific timelines for our clients. In this situation, I voiced very basic themes of the ongoing Saturn/Uranus square and could see how helpful it was — by pointing to the archetypes moving in the current sky, a different picture of our current reality opened up — more space, more objectivity.

There are obvious external situations that are carrying the unmistakable shock and destabilizing of Uranus — in conflict with Saturn’s preference to rely on the known. We are all, one way or another, we all being dragged from the allure and pull of certainty into a different field of possibility. Keeping the nervous system regulated is a top-tier and ever-refining antidote for these days.

Transiting Saturn square Uranus in on full-fledged display in the current worldly conflicts and upheavals. If we can hold an observer frame of mind, the display of planetary archetypes unfolding in our world is (as usual) epic and literal.

And yet, on a personal level, we may be getting used to their antagonism, and are seeing old habits vs. new territory; stale vs. enlivening;  death vs. birth dynamics everywhere we look. The natural tension of the square may soften at times when we begin to get a sense of how to bridge the two — if we look from beyond the edges of the square, we may see a more inclusive view of reality. The view we see is unique to each of us — our natural proclivities, temperament, spiritual inclinations, etc., inform the templates through which we experience life, but one thing we can be sure of is that we are interconnected, and are all impacted by everyone and everything.

Take good care and have a good week everyone.


(1) Saturn is exactly square Uranus on February 17, June 14 and  December 24, 2021. They remain within 10° of the exact square for most of 2022, and come to within 1° exactitude in the fall of 2022.


  1. Greetings, Mary, and many thanks for this vivid, wise, reflective post. Much of what you say strikes a chord regarding how people are over here in Scotland too, and I very much resonate with the current patterns challenging one to do the inner work as a means of keeping balance in a liminal time of great uncertainty. All best, Anne

    • Hi Anne,
      Thank you for commenting. Enjoy your beautiful country..


  2. Mary,

    You have hit the nail on head.

    I have been staring at Saturn, etc. for a long time, as a good Capricorn should.

    This year has been a complete overhaul of my life, both good and less fun. I totaled my car in March, was getting ready to sell my condo, with monetary issues…

    I went into a retirement home, which is a good thing as I am house less, and car less.

    Now I am on pins and needles waiting for the sale to be completed…with Saturn on my Sun etc etc.

    • Hello Liz,

      Yes, I empathize. Capricorn placements have been at the center of many storms. I hope the sale goes through and your days get easier.

      All best,

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