The Rebel and Traditionalist: 2021 Archetypes by Zodiac Sign
Archetypes are symbols of our human experience played out by different ‘characters’ who are easily recognizable across diverse cultures that make up our world. The word can be traced back to the Greeks and Plato, but it was made popular in our modern days by Dr. Carl Jung who inspired many to continue to grow this body of work.
The use of archetypes for self-development is a natural fit with astrology. For me, bringing archetypes into my practice is a useful way for talking about particular energies because we have so many resources to draw on. Thanks to technology we have movies, news, and celebrities easily accessible and symbolically portraying these archetypes.
The definition of archetype is:
‘The original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies.’Merriam-Webster Dictitonary
Everyone has a diverse mix of archetypes to draw on and help us understand behavior both internally and externally. I am fascinated by how helpful it is to use archetypes in my astrological and coaching work. Some of the most recognizable archetypes are: Mother, Martyr, Teacher, Queen, King, and Hermit.
This article is going to draw upon two archetypes to help describe and understand a significant astrological signature that is active all of 2021. They are the Rebel and the Traditionalist and I talk about them in relation to each sun sign below.
Each year we tend to have an overarching astrological theme. These themes are reflected by the slower moving planets, who take longer to move through the signs, and therefore engage in relationships with other planets for longer periods of time.
These slower moving planets are Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. All of these planets go retrograde and can make contact with another planet 3 or even 5 times. If you want to understand more about retrograde motion in astrology, I explain it here in regard to Mercury retrogrades.
The two planets that are the theme ‘stars’ of 2021 are Saturn and Uranus. These two planets connect 3 times in 2021 in a challenging relationship called a square in astrology. Here are the dates where the energy peaks:
- February 8
- June 13
- December 24
Remember these are peak dates and the energy will be active all year at diverse levels of potency. The three months listed above are the most potent months. The energy graduates as the planets become closer in degree, are in the same degree, and moving away.
Challenges in life, as reflected by squares in astrology, are much needed because their challenging nature tends to push something into action that needs to happen. It facilitates change, action, and growth. These are life ingredients we all need to develop, or as Jung would say – individuate – in life.
As Saturn and Uranus push each other’s buttons, they are each traveling through a sign. Saturn is traveling through Aquarius, and Uranus through Taurus. We all have a birth chart, which is a wheel of all 12 zodiac signs. So we all have this square happening somewhere in our chart.
Your birth chart, a blue print of the sky at the time you were born, will show where the Taurus and Aquarius parts of your chart are, and what life topics they are related to. You only need to know your sun sign for this article. But if you do know your chart, you can see the specific part of your chart they are activating.
As you read this, if you realize that this energy is really showing up in your life right now, one or both of these planets is likely reflecting an active relationship with the position of something in your birth chart. Those who do have something in your birth chart activated will feel this energy more strongly.
Some of us will feel this energy more directly, while others will watch it play out on the world stage, in your community, and with family, friends, co-workers. This energy is clearly at play when you read the news. If you are not feeling this active energy directly, you will still see it around you and this article can help you make sense of it.
Let’s start by defining this Saturn and Uranus energy by archetypes.
Saturn the Traditionalist and Uranus the Rebel
Saturn represents authority, tradition, structures, discipline, limitations, awareness of time, taking caution, and using a practical step by step approach. The archetype is the Traditionalist who takes a traditional approach, the one who wants to do it the way it has always been done. Saturn is Kronos, the keeper of time.
Uranus represents innovation, sudden disruption, progression, change, and rebellion. This Rebel wants to break up things that have become old, outworn, and outdated. Oftentimes these are the things that we cling onto and hold dearly because of the security of the ‘known.’
It is clear these two have different operating systems, right? One wants to build on tradition while the other wants to break it up and create space for something new. Yep, I see that in the headlines practically daily.
It doesn’t matter which ‘side’ you subscribe to on the hot topics of our day, like climate change, the vaccine, or gun control. One side wants change, one side doesn’t want to subscribe to that change.
That is the basic energy of what Saturn and Uranus are representing and reflecting back to us from the sky. As human spectators, we are also the players. Ultimately we decide collectively what will happen with our free will in how we will each individually respond.
Taurus and Aquarius: The energetic expression
Uranus is traveling through the sign Taurus and Saturn is traveling through the sign Aquarius. Most people know their birthdate sign, or sun sign. Below I will talk about what it means having one of these planets moving through your sign.
There are interesting features for each one. First, Uranus in Taurus is already a dichotomy. We have a disruptive and rebellious energy traveling through a sign known for its security, stability, and preference for simplicity.
This can direct the Rebels’ focus on Taurean things like food, security, and material things. Taurus is known as a builder, who approaches things with determination, and can be somewhat fixed and stubborn in nature. Yet breaking up old traditions, especially those things that are tangible, is highlighted.
The things that are going to be brought into the rebellion are going to be those things related to security, comfort, and material things. Remember that we are looking at a challenging relationship between two planets during this year. But Uranus will travel through Taurus from 2018 until 2026, so those themes will go beyond this year.
This square with Saturn will stir things up, and then move along letting Uranus continue to reflect the work of bringing rebellion, innovation, and change long after Saturn has traveled to the next sign.
Saturn is traveling through Aquarius all of 2021. You may already be aware that there are some modern astrologers who associate Aquarius with Uranus through rulership. But the ancient system of astrology has layered reasoning for why Aquarius is actually one of Saturn’s signs.
If you are a student of astrology, rulerships and the tradition as handed down from our past should be studied to have a solid foundation of knowledge around rulerships. But that is not what this article is about.
In my practice I attribute Aquarius to Saturn, and this means that Saturn is very comfortable in the sign Aquarius. Saturn the Traditionalist in Aquarius wants to build and progress as well, while keeping a rational, objective, and cautious approach.
Saturn will want to build upon what is already there and consolidate as much as possible. Uranus wants to blow the whole thing to pieces and start all over. Because Saturn is in a sign that represents innovation (Aquarius), and Uranus is in a sign (Taurus) that likes to build and maintain, we have an interesting dichotomy.
Saturn the traditionalist in a progressive sign, and Uranus the rebel in a material focused and security driven sign. It’s no wonder there is so much chaos and disagreement. It’s unlikely the participants of either side are lining up on all things. There may be overall agreements by a group that breaks down in the details and execution.
It is easy to ascribe the Rebel or the Traditionalist to one side or the other of any world, state, or community event or crisis. But the reality is that either ‘side’ can take either ‘role.’ Both archetypes exist in all of us, and play out around us and inside of us.
It is not a black and white, I am the Rebel or I am the Traditionalist, and you are the opposite. That would be too simple. The best use of archetypes is to open yourself to honesty about how they are functioning in your life and at odds within yourself.
The goal is simple, balance. When we find balance, we often find peace. I realize that life is not simple, and peace is an amazing state to find, but we are constantly in flux. I like to look at balance as a gauge and guide for how far away from the middle I have gone. And recognize that it is unrealistic to think I can achieve balance and stay there.
The more we swing to extreme sides of balance, the less peace we feel. The more often we recognize when we are moving out of balance before swinging to the extreme, the quicker we get ourselves back into balance, and experience higher levels of peace.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at each sign. If you know your rising sign, moon sign, and where the different planets fall in your chart, they will guide you to more personal information. Like the life domains, or topics, being activated.
The Traditionalist and Rebel in Your Chart
Aries you are kinda a Rebel by nature. You love a good challenge as it gets you moving and you can prove your warrior spirit. As a rebel, you may impulsively jump on one side or the other without doing due diligence or research.
The Traditionalist can come along and whack you with some information. Will you listen, probably not at that moment. Maybe not even later. As a passionate sign, you go with your passions. Will you rebel for something innovative, or will you fight to maintain the tried and true?
Whichever archetype you are emanating at any given moment, you will do it with passion. Never one to be wishy washy, you will make your views known. You may even become an activist if you are driven to make a change in the world.
Practical Tip: Research opposing viewpoints before voicing your opinion as fact.
Uranus has been traveling through the sign of Taurus since May of 2018. Taurus is one of the last signs that would be called a Rebel if we are looking strictly at Taurean energy.
Remember that each individual is made up of multiple planets in different signs, so no one is 100% one sign. Since May of 2018, you Taurus folk may have been feeling more rebellious than usual. More restless and needing to innovate a part of your life.
Taurus and Taurus rising may experience a sudden and disruption in life too. This unique and long visit by Uranus will prod you to change, often with unexpected events that force you to action.
The Traditionalist in you may be clinging to the secure and stable way of doing things. But you also quickly find out that you do have to respond and adapt to some situation. Uranus will travel through your sign until May 2026.
This year you may struggle with this tradition vs change. But you have until 2026 to work with Uranus going through your sign and helping you with your adaptation skills.
Practical tip: Break down change into small steps that are easy to put in a routine or schedule. This will break overwhelming change into realistic and achievable tasks.
Elusive Gemini may see this Rebel vs Traditionalist as a spectator sport. One day you cheer for one, the next day you are exhausted by the whole thing, you flip flop sides, and another day it’s the same boring story.
One thing is likely, Gemini will have something to say about it. Watch out for when you get overly identified with one side. That’s when the dogmatic side of Gemini can come out and start sounding a bit preachy.
Gemini may see the Rebel as more fun than the ‘stodgy’ Traditionalist. What can happen is that the Gemini will take their gift of wordsmithing and jump on their soapbox as the Rebel. Ironically, they could end up representing the Traditionalist, or the Rebel.
It just depends on how Gemini has decided to define each side. Just don’t be surprised if you find Gemini flipping sides, renaming sides, or even taking both sides. Gemini is the sign of the twins and duality.
Practical tip: Before jumping on your soapbox and preaching your gospel to others, be sure to fact check everything. Remember that people don’t tend to listen to preachy, know it all speakers. If you want others to listen, speak with compassion to all sides.
Why can’t we all just get along and do the golden rule of treating others the way we want to be treated ourselves? Cancer, you feel the pain of the collective. You care deeply for humanity even when humanity is destroying itself.
You may find all of the rebel rousing exhausting but at the same time uninterested in maintaining the outworn traditional ways. You see that change needs to happen, but you don’t see it happening in a just, kind, or even appropriate way.
What is a kindhearted and sensitive crab to do? Well hiding behind that tough shell is one way of weathering the storm. You may cheer on the rebels at home alone in front of the tv and donate some dollars to the cause.
Your sensitive heart may want to get out and protest, but it’s more likely you prefer to take a behind the scenes role.
Practical tip: Watch your compassion meter and if you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed by the things you cannot control, step away. Turn off the news and do self-care. There are ways you can contribute that do not blow out your nervous system.
As a sign with fixed views and attitudes, plus brilliance and creativity to boot, you may want to take a side. But you cannot disown a part of yourself. Both the rebel and the traditionalist live inside of you.
You may think you are one or the other, but if you climb up to a greater perspective, you will see that you do have both of these archetypes to draw on. As a sign who tends to fixate on a side and stay there, remember that your sign is one that represents creativity.
Use your creativity to envision your rebel and traditionalist working together. Then if you want to take them out into the world to contribute to problem solving, you will be prepared to lead.
Practical tip: Use a noble spirit when approaching the rebel or the traditionalist. People listen to you because of your magnetic presence, natural leadership skills, and creative problem solving. Don’t lead others down the garden path because of fixed and stubborn views. Use your creative skills to find solutions that work for everyone.
Rebel is not a term often used to describe a Virgo. Rather, Virgo energy is one that brings pragmatic and efficient organization to all situations. You may find yourself more interested in how to efficiently maneuver the Rebel cause, or the Traditionalist cause, into success. Success for the sake of success.
The old cliche ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ makes sense here. Remember the forest. Virgo sometimes can’t see the forest from the trees because of being caught up in all the details, the big picture fades into the background.
With your eye for detail and your analytical skills, the Traditionalist may think you are totally in their camp. But that is a misconception. Both the Tradition and the Rebellion need efficiency.
Virgo has the ability to analyze both sides before jumping onto a particular viewpoint. The key is to see the big picture so you can move forward with your head and heart aligned.
Practical tip: Use your brilliant analytical skills to research, write, and present objective and rational information. Your sign can help present coherent viewpoints that all sides can digest without feeling insulted, like a bridge to collaborative problem solving.
Why can’t we all just get along! Says the justice oriented Libra. It’s painful to see and understand both sides of disagreement, and the consequential outcomes of working together vs refusing to compromise on anything. It hurts, and to Libra it’s so obvious.
Unfortunately injustice and how to combat it is not so obvious to others as it can be to Libra. And frankly, there are many self-focused people who really don’t care about mutual justice. If you are not in a position of power to make change, you can suffer.
Libra will take on the Rebel or Traditionalist archetype as needed to fight for the justice of the underdog. So whether you are standing up for the rights for all like a Rebel, or trying to help a group retain its identity and culture like a Traditionalist, you will likely feel a calling to lead.
Remember that it is in Libra’s nature to be ‘other’ focused. In times when you feel called upon regularly, it’s easy to forget about yourself. You can’t take care of others if your own soul is depleted.
Practical tip: Build some ‘me’ time into your schedule. Libra has been called the iron fist in the velvet glove because of the innate diplomatic skills each Libra has. If you let yourself get depleted, you become the iron fist. It’s uncanny how many military generals are Libran.
Make sure you are taking care of yourself and keep that velvet glove on your iron fist. Remember this other cliche all too fitting for Libra: You can attract lots more bees with honey than vinegar.
Scorpio is the ultimate Rebel. This archetype is naturally associated with this sign. Scorpio is never satisfied with growth achieved, they always want more. You constantly push yourself and people around you to look deeper inside and become better.
Oftentimes that pushing looks like a metaphorical stabbing of the other person with your metaphorical stinger. Ouch, that hurt! I’m not talking about the dark side Scorpio who actually hurts other people, but rather Scorpio’s laser sharp way of using words to expose another’s blind spot.
So whether Scorpio is poking holes in the Rebels plan for progress, or bombing the cement blocks traditionalists are trying to keep in place, Scorpio naturally offers catalysts for change.
Practical tip: Scorpio is a water sign, meaning your response is often emotionally based. If you are triggered by a Rebel or Traditionalist, before you unleash your scorpion tail of truth serum, take a deep breath.
A small prick of truth may help everyone have a cathartic moment. But a big sweeping dose of truth serum can break down the very situation you are trying to improve. How you use your words is important. So how you manage your emotional response is important in order for you to be successful in getting your message across.
Like Gemini, you may watch the Rebel and Traditionalist like a spectator sport. Unless it starts interfering with your personal freedom. You mess with that, and Sagittarius the horse master may turn into the self-marshaled sheriff of the wild west.
It’s not so often that Sagittarius gets riled up. Usually we see the easy going Sag who likes to enjoy and experience life. Being idealistic and optimistic, you may find yourself at times wondering what the big fuss is about. Rebel or Traditionalist, you just watch them battle it out.
Let’s not forget that another part, or archetype, of Sag is the wise sage. You may be able to bring a solution to the table that hadn’t been brought up before. So if you have a flash of an idea, don’t keep it to yourself. The question is what interests you enough to put skin in the game.
If your freedom is impacted, you are much more likely to get in the game.
Practical tip: It’s hard to know if your brilliant solution is something that the Rebel or Traditionalist will also view as a solution. By getting involved, rather than staying on the sidelines as a spectator, you can help many people. Your optimism, smile, and cheery nature can diffuse tense situations and facilitate engagement.
If we were to pick an astrology sign to represent the Traditionalist, it would be Capricorn. But what happens when a Capricorn is blocked from his disciplined, structured, and serious plan? Does he not rebel against that which is blocking him?
We all get put in positions that require us to step outside our natures. It’s life, it’s one way of making us grow, and it tests our ability to handle stress and adapt to change. Capricorn can respond with a heavy hand, a team of lawyers, or a strategic compromise.
Capricorns often find themselves concerned with their public face, their status and reputation. A Capricorn CEO may enjoy being labeled a Rebel if he/she/they is leading the charge to innovative new technology, products, and branding. You see, any sign (I mean person) can be a Rebel or Traditionalist.
Practical tip: Strategy is typically an innate gift Capricorns are born with. Use that strategic savvy to propose a plan that gets you what you want, but doesn’t hurt others. You are a natural born leader. Just don’t let your determination override your humanity.
When you take charge, you are more likely to get the outcomes you desire. Just watch that the shadow side doesn’t lead you down the garden path where your actions get you want you want, but hurts others in the process. If anyone can develop a plan that achieves mutual success, it’s you.
Aquarius and Taurus are the two signs highlighted by this 2021 backdrop planetary meetup. With your own ruling planet Saturn running through your sign, you may feel a rush of air under your wings that propel your visioning and execution of your goals.
You actually have Saturn visiting your sign until March of 2023. With Uranus pushing you to grow through surprising upheavals, you have been on your toes. But in the end, these surprises should propel you forward.
This is a year to embrace challenges and let them push you up a few rungs on your growth ladder of life. This is a great time to work hard because over the next few years what you are building now will result in great reward.
Aquarius is described as an innovator and rebel by nature. Aquarius is also a fixed sign that can become stubborn once an ideal has been decided on. This can be a somewhat confusing time because Aquarius likely views him/her/themselves as progressive or Rebel.
You may consider your cause innovative and have the mounds of research to prove it’s the right thing. While at the same time become the Traditionalist digging your heels in the ground and demanding it to be done this way, or the highway, resulting in blocking the rebellious and innovative progress. You have the free will to decide how to move forward.
Practical tip: Now is not the time to sit on your laurels, wallow in self-pity, or come up with excuses why now isn’t the time to do something. Now is your time. It’s just that you will have some challenges to overcome.
It’s not possible to realize the brilliance of your Aquarian mind without putting it to use. You have access to innovative thought and executive strength to pull off your vision. You make not like the word compromise, but it will open doors that seem tightly shut.
There is an African saying that when elephants fight, it’s the grass that gets trampled. Sometimes Pisces, you may feel like the grass as the Rebel and Traditionalist battle it out. It’s not that you are helpless as grass, but you feel the pain each blade of grass feels as it is getting trampled.
You connect to the collective unconsciousness and consciousness more easily than any other sign. You know deep in your soul that we are all connected and together we make up one. We are the one collective human race who can’t figure out, or agree, how to protect ourselves from disaster and sickness.
You want to Rebel against Rebels who are hurting us. You want the Traditionalist to stop holding on to what no longer works, and you want cultures and people to be allowed stay connected to their identities. But you can’t seem to get the offenders to listen, to compromise, to understand when they hurt the other they hurt themselves.
But your message is clear and it is out there. People are becoming more aware everyday and I imagine it’s because of Pisces like you who are diligently working behind the scenes to heal the world.
Practical tip: Cleanse your soul regularly. Pisces tend to absorb energy like a wet foot on dry sand. You are an open portal so please care for yourself. The only way you can plug in and know what you know is by this innate gift of collective awareness.
But if you let it fester in yourself, it can bring pain, depression, anxiety, and sickness. Wash away what isn’t yours. Think of this energy exchange like water. If the water is flowing like fresh water from a mountain top, it stays clean. But if it festers, it becomes overrun with problems like a goopy polluted pond with no drainage or cleansing properties.
Regularly jump in salty water, use essential oils or sage for cleansing the air, fire for purifying your soul, and bodywork for moving the lymph fluid inside your body.
We all have the archetypes of the Rebel and the Traditionalist living inside of us. We also all see these energies played out on the world stage. These archetypes live as symbolic characters in the collective unconscious, but can be consciously recognized with attention. Look around it’s easy to find, watch a movie, go on social media.
If you have your chart, then you will know where the signs Taurus and Aquarius fall in it. This will lead you to further personal information for where this Saturn and Uranus energy is focused in regard to a particular life domain (e.g. work, family, money, kids, etc.).
Keep this in mind the rest of the year and notice when the Rebel and Traditionalist show up in you, in your immediate environment and in the greater world.