Highlights for Jan. 4-10, 2021: Shipshape & Bristol Fashion

Shipshape and Bristol Fashion

Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone. Click them to see the date and time where you are.

Essential list

New Year’s resolutions tend to have a poor track record for longevity. This year, yours might have a better chance of going the distance if you finalize your resolutions as Mercury comes together in a conjunction with Pluto (Jan. 4, 2021, 4:58 pm PST). This combination suggests a mind that will be laser-focused on what is truly essential for your 2021 to-do list – because you’ll not only be clear about what you really want, but what you’re willing to do to make it happen.

Pulling the plow

This week’s Last Quarter Moon in Libra (Jan. 6, 2021, 1:37 am PST) is on the Sabian Symbol, “A retired sea captain.” It’s an especially appropriate symbol and lunar phase for reflecting on past adventures, exploits, and relationships.

On the same day, Mars at long last leaves Aries (where it’s been since June 27, 2020) for the more measured and relaxed pastures of Taurus (Jan. 6, 2:27 pm PST). It’s true that Mars is not strong in this Venus-ruled sign; the fixed nature of Taurus slows Mars down, which can be frustrating, and its desire for pleasure and relaxation can be distracting. But it’s also a stabilizing influence, and this could be a time we start to get some traction on the ideas and projects we’ve been thinking about since early summer.

Imagine an ox methodically pulling a plow, making the earth ready to receive seeds. What Mars in Taurus lacks in speed, it makes up for in tenacity, patience, and joy in the physicality of action, effort, and exertion.


Mercury enters Aquarius (Jan. 8, 2021, 3:59 am PST) this week and squares Mars (6:44 pm PST) on the same day.

Planetary aspects show the nature of the discourse between planets, and the square points to sharp dialogue. In the case of Mercury and Mars, it could be due to Aquarius’ sudden insights and abrupt change in path. This is distinctly unsettling to Mars, which is just beginning to relax into Taurus’ steady pace. Then again, it’s not unlike Uranus (the modern ruler of Aquarius) traveling through Taurus since May 2018. It all just means that any wish for a static, unchanging future or an undeviating path is off the table. Instead, celebrate the feeling of being truly awake. When we’re not running on old programming, we’re open to new, innovative, and exciting ideas.


Maybe I’ve told you this story before. It’s about my sister, who was born with Venus in Capricorn. Venus symbolizes the things that give us pleasure, and one thing my sister has loved since she was a teenager is blueprints and floor plans for houses. At one time, she hoped to become an architect, way back before she went into banking (also a good fit for Venus in Capricorn), and later bookkeeping and raising a couple of awesome kids. To this day, you’ll find a book of blueprints tucked amongst her more conventional bathroom reading material.

The moral of the story: Venus in Capricorn loves the bare bones of things, the skeletal elegance of functional forms. So as Venus enters Capricorn (Jan. 8, 7:41 am PST, through Feb. 1), think about what you want to build in the coming year – and be sure it’s something that’s useful, and that you truly love and consider beautiful.

Love the one you’re with

Astrologically speaking, there are a few moments each year that are especially fertile for romance. Venus trine Mars (Jan. 9, 7:52 am PST) is one of them. Since both are in earth signs when they meet, there is an explicitly physical component to their harmony.

If you find yourself without such companionship, give yourself over to artistic projects that bring you pleasure. The objective is to revel in physical expressions of beauty and to create things that make you happy.

Bermuda Triangle

A month or so ago, I gave my office a thorough straightening out. It’s really been a pleasure going in there to work each day.

There’s just one fly in the ointment: a single basket filled with papers and file folders that I still haven’t put away. These are troublesome drips and drabs, oddballs and one-offs with no clear home in my filing system, but which can’t be thrown out.

I’ve been putting off tackling it – but I have a plan. This week, as Mercury conjoins Saturn (Jan 9, 2021, 7:17 pm PST), I’m tackling that bad boy. I can’t think of an aspect better suited to the tedious task of taming errant papers and setting up a civilized home for them in my filing cabinet.

Maybe you’ve got your own personal Bermuda triangle that Mercury and Saturn could help you out with this week! It might be a disastrous hall closet, a pile of junk mail, or the kitchen junk drawer where you toss twist-ties and those packets of pepper flakes that come with your pizza. Whatever it is, turn this dynamic duo loose and watch things get shipshape and Bristol fashion. It’s a great way to begin a New Year.

Writing and collages © 2021 April Elliott Kent

Jen and I explore all the week’s highlights  in our latest podcast episode!!

Helpful things…


1 comment to " Highlights for Jan. 4-10, 2021: Shipshape & Bristol Fashion "

  • Thank you for this comment. It helps me understand my placement of Venus in Capricorn, in the 5th house, no less.

    Venus in Capricorn loves the bare bones of things, the skeletal elegance of functional forms. think about what you want to build in the coming year – and be sure it’s something that’s useful, and that you truly love and consider beautiful.

    In my career in IT, I was known for (and really good at) finding the root cause of an issue that had been going on for some time and was usually well-hidden and insidious. In my real (not work) life, I have always been fascinated by “How Things Started”. I always like to know and learn the root of how things work today that came from a tiny seed of a movement or idea and how it grew and morphed into what we now see. Now I understand where that interest comes from!

    I also love to make and create, but nearly always have to have a USE for whatever it is I am making. Making something as a gift for someone else is sometimes purpose enough, but I have a hard time creating ART for ART’s sake if it doesn’t have a practical use!

    I always learn something from you. Thank you!

Leave a Comment