Let’s face it — calling 2020 a tough year is an understatement. While the year will finally be sent to the history books when clocks chime in the new year, the substantial challenges and difficulties many of us are facing will stick around. But before you fear a repeat year, know the cosmos may just have your back. Astrologers watching the skies are forecasting more optimistic vibes in 2021, suggesting a happier path for the year ahead, all thanks to the changing locations of major planets. While their individual projections for 2021 vary due to the subjective art of astrology, most astrologers agree that one major celestial event on December 21, 2020 — deemed the Great Conjunction — will push us forward into a more positive year.
NASA says this cosmic event occurs roughly every 20 years when Jupiter and Saturn temporarily sync their orbits in space. But the meetup at the end of 2020 is the first time in nearly 400 years when the two giant plants have passed so closely (relatively — NASA’s definition of close still means millions of miles apart). Astrologers say the Great Conjunction influences not only the coming months but the next two decades, and this conjunction echoes traits of the zodiac sign Aquarius: innovation, progress, and social change.
If 2020’s theme was “the new normal,” the astrology outlook for 2021 suggests there’s no returning to pre-pandemic times. Instead, we might be moving toward something altogether better — here’s what the cosmos are hinting at for your new year.
Aries (March 21 to April 19)
Aries aren’t symbolized by a ram for nothing — known for being stubborn, those born under this sign are natural-born fighters. Most of 2020 required these independent thinkers to muscle their way through tough times, and for a sign best described as fast-paced (and at worst, as impatient), it was a long year that never seemed to end. But those tenacious go-getter traits might just play out well in 2021, according to astrologer Colin Bedell, who says the early part of the year could bring job changes and promotions. Dust off your resume, Aries, and don’t be afraid to schedule a few video chat coffee dates.
Taurus (April 20 to May 20)
Reliable, practical, stay-the-course Taurus are known for their stability. Virtually everyone craved structure in 2020, but those who felt it most acutely were earth signs like the bull. The reward of 2021 may just be that, according to astrologer Andy Bellati, who says a series of eclipses at the end of 2020 will ease the frenetic feelings we’ve all had and bring a more calming atmosphere to the first half of 2021. So, Taurus, shift slightly out of survival mode to keep the year ahead from being all work and no enjoyment — lean into your Taurisian love for luxury and comfort with an occasional treat (maybe a splurge item on your wish list or upscale takeout)? Better yet, lean into the new year’s theme of selflessness by unexpectedly spoiling a friend.
Gemini (May 21 to June 20)
Geminis are known as the chameleons of the zodiac, able to fit in with almost any group thanks to their strong emotional intuition and energetic nature that’s always seeking adventure. Astrologer Jaime Wright says she’s optimistic about upcoming adventures in 2021 — the cosmos (along with vaccine advancements) may bestow the ability to once again gather in small groups or open up some travel restrictions by late spring to mid-summer. Gemini, it may just be time to start planning for that long-awaited summer music festival or a much-needed vacation with friends. Fingers crossed.
Cancer (June 21 to July 22)
People born under the sign of Cancer are often imaginative, loyal, and nurturing (and not afraid to snap their claws when provoked). But when things get tough, these ambitious and emotionally intense crabs often retreat into their shells to weather the storm on their own. 2021 is the year you face your biggest fears head-on, Cancer. Astrologer Mecca Woods says that leaning into the fear of change is key this year, giving you the chance to reevaluate your values and goals in an effort to grow. Even when it’s most difficult, opening up about the challenges you face fits 2021’s vibe for community — those around you may rally to help you level up.
Leo (July 23 to Aug. 22)
No one needs to tell you that you’re bold, Leo. Your confidence may have been shaken a bit in 2020 (whose wasn’t?) especially when stay-at-home restrictions kept you from being the social star you naturally are. While 2021 could give us all the chance to see friends, it’s also about growing deeper in those relationships. Astrologer Kyle Thomas says that 2021’s theme of transformation means some people will hold tight to their beliefs and ideas, tuning out anything they don’t agree with. Use this year to expand your values and ideas — just don’t forget to occasionally silence your roar so that you can hear others’ viewpoints. Seeing beyond your own beliefs can open doors to new people, experiences, and personality development, which will keep you shining.
Virgo (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)
Sometimes-shy Virgos are known for being practical perfectionists, not to mention people-pleasers. Why not let yourself be front and center in 2021? If that sounds unnerving, consider focusing on yourself in another way. Matthew Swann, an astrologer who predicted 2020’s major financial upheavals, says that the coming year isn’t without its own monetary disruptions. Swann says key celestial bodies will be returning to the same spots they inhabited at America’s founding in 1776, which is a bit foreboding regarding big changes when it comes to money handling. So listen up, Virgo, pad your savings account or curtail bigger purchases until your bank account can absorb any shocks for a more comfortable year — something that puts your practical, plan-loving mind at ease.
Libra (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
Libras are rightly represented by a set of scales. These natural compromisers make great diplomats thanks to their desire for balance and harmony, not to mention their ability to create imaginative compromises. But in their quest to help others, Libras sometimes tip the scales too far, losing sight of who they are. Astrologer Tanaaz Chubb says that while 2021’s Aquarian influence will promote community building and teamwork, it’s important not to lose sight of yourself along the way. Find out what fulfills you this year by signing up for a new class, pursuing a new hobby, or blocking out some “me time” (even if it’s just a socially distant walk in the park).
Scorpio (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)
Scorpios are often painted as the zodiac’s most secretive, guarded, and intimidating sign, but what others miss is the scorpion’s independence, authenticity, and desire for knowledge. People born under this sign are creative and innovative thinkers who guard their most vulnerable ideas until they’re polished and ready for the world to see. Astrologer Jaime Wright says that Saturn and Uranus’ location in 2021 will reinvigorate our world, bringing an energy for change and improvement that makes room for substantial growth. Take that idea you’ve had simmering on the back burner for a while and make a plan to move it forward in 2021; who knows where it might lead you.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)
Sagittarius have a strong sense of self, making them fearless adventurers who sometimes feel on the edge of their friend group. Fortunately, the celestial calendar is ripe with cosmic activity that might make relating to others a bit easier for stand-out Sagittarius. Astrologer Ninah Kahn says eclipses influenced by Gemini and Sagittarius in 2021 will shift how we see our place in the world, giving archers a chance to reflect internally. This is your year for reevaluation and growth — revisiting what makes you tick through journaling, meditation, or therapy might help you better connect with others or find a starting point for your biggest dreams.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
Sea goats are hard workers who love rules and boundaries, and they may just find that 2021 uncomfortably pushes them past the usual order of things. Astrologer Tanaaz Chub says that 2021’s three Mercury retrogrades (which have a malicious reputation for wreaking havoc on communication and technology) are a reminder that abandoning old habits allows us to grow. This can be hard for Capricorns, who are known for their analytical nature and high standards, but that doesn’t mean the attempts can’t be fun. Something as small as reaching out to old friends by snail mail in place of a text or signing up for a pottery class (something that doesn’t have a predetermined outcome) can trigger new, serene experiences in 2021.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)
Aquarius, 2021 may feel like your best year yet, as the themes for the next 12 months echo the traits that define your personality. Aquarians are dreamers, unafraid to share their progressive ideas for making the world a better place. And as action-focused leaders, these creative visionaries are often at the front of social justice and progress movements. Astrologer Aliza Kelly says Saturn and Uranus’ movements in 2021 will echo their actions last year, which brought about protests and social activism — so we’re all more likely to see more work toward social equity and humanitarianism. Aquarius, lean into your heart’s desire to help others — let this be the year you finally launch a charity fundraiser, volunteer with an organization, or join a book club that connects people of different backgrounds.
Pisces (Feb. 19 to March 20)
Sensitive Pisces may not have had the most difficult time in isolation this past year thanks to their introverted tendencies, though big cosmic changes in 2021 that encourage community shouldn’t force them to fully surface from the depths. These imaginative fish have strong moral compasses, but their emotions can sometimes take center stage when it comes to action, making it difficult for them to participate in large groups with boisterous voices. Astrologer Lisa Stardust says while 2021 is the time to stay connected with others, don’t feel forced; we’ll all be busy taking stock of our values and beliefs. Pisces, that means your best year may come by leaning into your creative side to express your feelings and ideas, and reaching out when ready — just don’t let too much time pass between texts and FaceTime calls.