Aquarium Age

Aquarium Age: February 3-February 9, 2021

By Ralfee Finn

Yesterday was Groundhog Day, and because I am writing this column a couple of days before the actual event, I have no idea whether the groundhog saw his shadow. (Talk about a time warp.) But regardless of winter’s length, we are seeing and living our collective shadows, which are pervasive as well as pernicious, which means our winter of discontent is going to last for a long, long time. I don’t know about you, but even though there are a new president and a new, more compassionate administration, daily life still feels like a slog through the wreckage of the past. Trying to heal the past in the present so that the future will be built on wisdom is a hard position to hold—it’s not impossible, but establishing and maintaining that balance requires effort and energy. So pace yourself and don’t let the bastards wear you down. We are healing the damage, but our focus must be on the world we are creating.

Mercury Retrograde, which began on January 30 and lasts until February 20, exacerbates what already feels like an endless retrospective on the last four years. There’s no sense in resisting this retrograde review, but you can focus on your recent personal past rather than dwell on our recent collective history, especially if our collective history is too hard to bear. Embrace this first retrograde phase of the year with the willingness to reconsider recent decisions, not with the intention to find flaws but rather with a strong desire to work on whatever needs attention. Mercury Retrograde is always about reviewing the details of what’s already in motion as you’re simultaneously coping with its predictable communication and travel snafus. This isn’t a good time to start new projects, but it is a good opportunity to slow down and reflect on where you find yourself in the present moment.

The astral air continues to be testy—a Mars/Sun square intensifies the already too-belligerent air, so try to exert a little restraint in social interactions. Try to remember that very few of our fellow travelers are trying to do harm. Unfortunately, there are those who thrive on discord and violence, and under this influence, it’s hard to stay patient and calm. Still, there’s no need to contribute to the irritation and aggravation. Avoid starting a fight just for the thrill of a volatile release. Be especially patient with children and pets, who are feeling the intensity and may not know what to do with it.

Decades ago, many local school boards were infiltrated by right-wing Christian groups determined to seize the moment and build their movement from the ground up by taking control of the curricula. According to Pat Buchanan in the documentary The Day the Sixties Died, Republicans knew they had lost the culture war of the ’60s, but they were determined to win the political battles of ’70s and ’80s, and they did, particularly as many Democrats, disturbed by the multitude of progressive cultural changes, shifted to the Republican Party to help form the silent majority.

Part of the Republicans’ success was their influence over what children were taught in schools—science and the liberal arts were diminished in stature; not everywhere but in enough areas to make a difference. Civics classes were no longer taught and the importance given to teaching critical thinking diminished, greatly. It became more important to teach children what to think rather than how to think. We are now living with the consequences of those efforts. If you can’t think critically, you can’t discern truth from the false or fact from fiction.

There’s no way to understand where we are without understanding how we got here. One way—not the only way—to make sense of the bizarre twists and turns of the right-wing zeitgeist is to understand that it was born as a reaction to change and matured (some would argue mutated) into a worldview that is exclusive rather than inclusive, more antiquated than it is contemporary.

As I keep saying each week, a lot of work lies ahead of us, and while a reasonable assessment of what needs to transform is overwhelming for us mere mortals, it is important to remember that it can be done—slowly, thoroughly, and persistently as we consistently work toward our best intentions for all sentient beings.


Sun Bursts:  If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.

Aries March 21-April 19
As you move through the first Mercury Retrograde of 2021 be sure to include an assessment of just how much you’ve changed. There are many more shifts to go and if you can track your process and your progress, handling the changes that lie ahead will be much easier.

Taurus April 20-May 20
During this retrograde phase, hold your light high and let it illuminate what needs to be refined as well as what’s actually working well. Not everything needs to be fixed, so keep that in mind as you reflect on recent history. Also remember: you’re seeking balance and your inner light will help you find it.

Gemini May 21-June 21
Mercury Retrograde is all about review—as you know—so use this time to reflect on your accomplishments. I realize it would be easy to concentrate on what went wrong, but I’m not sure that would be beneficial. Sometimes the best way to make it through is to accentuate the positive.

Cancer June 22-July 22
Facing all that’s expected of you and dealing with it during this retrograde is going to require a lot of strength, so it’s all the more necessary to take good care of yourself. No matter how busy you are, be sure to include enough time to renew and replenish your reserves—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Leo July 23-August 22
The retrograde emphasis continues to be on relationships with significant others, past and present. Be prepared for lots of conversations, some aimed at clearing the air and others designed to make amends. Also anticipate making some of those calls. Be thoughtful in this process and you’ll facilitate healing.

Virgo August 23-September 22
It would be wise to remember that Mercury is a trickster because as it reviews the recent past, you could discover a few loose threads that still need attention. The best way to handle these revelations is humor—if you can find what’s funny, you’ll have an easier time making the necessary adjustments.

Libra September 23-October 22
Balance is key to handling the many distractions Mercury Retrograde throws your way. But don’t worry; you can handle the entire load if you concentrate on taking your time and moving through each situation mindfully and with the intention to create order. So take a deep breath and continue to work hard.

Scorpio October 23-November 21
It’s a good time to clean house—literally—and get rid of all those things you’ve been meaning to give away or sell or simply dump in the trash. It’s also a good time to review your inner home and sort through mental habits that no longer serve but nevertheless keep you tethered to a certain way of looking at things.

Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Mercury Retrograde has you talking—a lot—especially as you try to digest and metabolize all that’s transpired. As you share your opinions with others, listen closely to what you are saying—conversation has the power to help us organize our feelings. As always, remember to listen to others as intensely.

Capricorn December 22-January 19
As you review your recent path, try not to fall into a pattern of regret. Yes, there are certain events that could have been handled better, but brooding will not improve your situation. Rather than dwell on your mistakes, learn from them so you can apply those lessons going forward.

Aquarius January 20-February 18
Mercury presents you with a jam-packed “to do” list, which at first glance looks like it’s almost too much to get done—but it’s not, especially if you prioritize your time and energy and aim your best efforts at the most important tasks. Take each day one day at a time and you’ll get it all done.

Pisces February 19-March 20
The advice this week is quite similar to last week’s: try not to get lost in brooding about recent mistakes by chewing compulsively on the details of what went wrong and why. The best way to handle this period of reflection is to practice self-compassion. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

This article was originally published on February 3, 2021.