The Astrology of January represents that special time of the year when hope begins again for the next major cycle of our calendar lives. This time it comes with a resurgence of the Saturn-Neptune opposition, returning from last summer, symbolizing practical reality versus starry-eyed idealism. We are enjoined to take the numinous possibility quite seriously now, or else we may lose faith and be silenced by the depressing potential for the failure of our dreams. We must choose. And as long as we can keep our hearts engaged we can prevail over attitudes of darkness and despair. These issues are very much with us now in the political arena of this country, as we seek to reap the benefits from the last election that will be inaugurated this month as the new congress takes office.
Amidst the backdrop of hope versus practicality represented by Neptune and Saturn, we have also trickster Uranus in Pisces, Neptune's own sign, being squared by expansive Jupiter, a pretty wild combination. While Saturn attempts to hold us back from necessary changes, the energies of Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune serve to push us on, beyond our previous limitations, although they work in different ways. Jupiter works by faith, and Uranus by the wildcard unknown factor and the surprising brilliance of the new idea. Neptune does his work by falling back on cosmic unity, the most fundamental truth that there is, that we are all one, a concept that we know beyond knowing deep inside of ourselves, but to which we are largely blind as we go about the world in our little ego-encrusted personal body vehicles.
Uranus is quite prominent in January, and brings in the startling new viewpoint, very appropriate for this time of the year, when we are looking forward rather than backward, and when the Sun is transitioning from conservative Saturn-ruled Capricorn to Uranus-ruled Aquarius, sign of the brotherhood of woman and man and of socially coming together for inventive technological solutions to pressing problems. We can still sing as we did in the sixties that this whole period represents "the dawning of the Age of Aquarius," although that dawning seems a long time coming, and involves more hard work than we used to think back in the rosy days of the hippy movement's youth. In these next five years, from 2007 to 2012, we will see all the major outer planets change signs, and re-align in the first square configuration of Uranus and Pluto that follows their conjunction of the sixties. Pluto will enter Capricorn in 2008, Uranus will enter Aries in 2010, squaring Pluto, and Neptune will first enter Pisces in 2011 and then re-enter in 2012. These changes of sign indicate world transformation of significant magnitude, as who would doubt in the light of what we have already seen so far. For starters, Pluto in the sign of Capricorn will transform the corporate power structure and bring out the worst of it and also the best of us in response to that worst, as the fourteen-year prior transit of Sagittarius has done for religious zealotry. A wonderful sage, Ellias Lonsdale, has said that the fourteen years of Pluto's transit of Sagittarius will look like more of the same business as usual for the entire time, while at it's end we will see that everything around us is transformed utterly, and we are living in a new universe. We can begin in these final years of Pluto in Sagittarius to get a glimpse of what he was talking about.
Uranus in square with Pluto, beginning to come on as early as this May (a ten-degree orb) will represent the "crisis in action" of what was begun in the sixties. Then we will see the limits and the clash of power stemming from the revolutionary ideals that were set in motion at that time, and that are still working their way through our collective social consciousness. Tune into this site for more information about the upcoming configurations of 2007, available in mid-January.
In the current month's configurations, the Full Moon that nearly begins the month on January 3rd, in Saturn's sign of Capricorn and the opposing sign of Cancer, sextiles and trines Uranus, bringing in the startling enlightenment of his trickster energy. Practical limits posed by Saturn and Capricorn are opposed by Neptune and by the Moon in Cancer, the sign where Jupiter is exalted, the principle of Spirit over matter.
Two weeks later, the New Moon in the last degrees of Capricorn takes us further down the path of our own spiritual evolution. Venus exactly conjuncts Neptune on this day, while Jupiter exactly squares Uranus with the New Moon at the midpoint. Sudden expansive breakthrough is possible, with the idea also of transcending outmoded patterns of behavior, since Chiron is closely involved in this latter configuration. The planetary archetypes of this monthly cycle conspire, as they always have, to lift us if we are willing out of our timeworn ruts of old thinking. They prepare us in the current month and year for the more massive changes to our society and our world that the next few years will see unfold. We can choose evolution over stagnation, open-minded acceptance over fear and pulling back. The doorway lies waiting before your outstretched hand, the lock uniquely shaped to your personal design, but only you hold the key and the power to turn it.
The Chart of the New Year
The chart of the New Year, calculated for midnight of the 31st in Washington DC (certainly one center of western civilization) can be summed up with the ideas of Saturn – Neptune and Jupiter – Uranus that we have already been discussing. The additional elements in this frozen moment are the Libra Rising (Venus – ruled) nature of this chart for the next year in the nation's capital. We find the chart ruler, Venus, in Capricorn, itself ruled by Saturn, and aspecting Saturn, as Saturn stands alone, opposed to almost all the rest of the planets, notably Neptune. The forming Jupiter - Uranus square is even more emphasized, although it will not become really close until the time of the January 11th Last Quarter Moon. This is because the transiting Moon opposes Jupiter and squares Uranus while it aspects the Sun by inconjunct, as the Sun itself aspects Jupiter and Uranus. The Moon in Gemini is exactly one sign before its opposition point in the Full Moon of two days later. This chart calls forth the themes of balance, surprising revelation and struggle for spiritual commitment that we see in the entire month's configurations.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
The transits to the U.S. chart are climactic as is appropriate in this year and month of transition for this country. The Full Moon in Capricorn and Cancer that begins the month exactly conjunct and oppose the U.S. Sun, while transiting Pluto sextiles the U.S. Moon to within a tenth of a degree. The American public is undergoing intense transformation. Meanwhile Jupiter directly opposes U.S. Uranus while transiting Uranus squares it, so that anything can happen, and probably will. These transits are intensified by the conjunction of Mars with Pluto taking place on the Last Quarter Moon of the 11th and 12th, and by the New Moon of the 18th that triggers the Jupiter – Uranus square. The New Moon also conjuncts U.S. Pluto in the Second House of the chart, again reminding us of our ongoing transformation of values. Of course, U.S. Mercury at 24 plus degrees of Cancer, representing the media, and U.S. Neptune at 22 plus degrees of Virgo, representing both the potential for deception and for higher mind involvement, are also impacted by transiting Pluto and by the Saturn – Neptune opposition that intensifies next month and then again in the June timeframe.
With an entrenched White House, unable or at least unwilling to give up its position regarding the occupation of Iraq and the establishment of a government there that is friendly to U.S. economic interests, and with the covers beginning to come off the unfolding scandal of the lead-up to war on false pretenses, and with the opposition party, such as it is, attempting to walk a very thin line of partial support for the powers that be in the face of crumbling approval ratings and a mandate from the public for massive change in the conduct of the war, an explosive internal situation is almost bound to develop. We still have it within our collective power to rise to the occasion.
The Full Moon of January 3rd (see chart ), at almost the very beginning of the month, aspects Uranus by trine and sextile and therefore triggers the upcoming Jupiter – Uranus square. At this time also, Mercury is the Sun in Capricorn. Uranus in Pisces brings a surprising, even startling point of view to placid Pisces, and encourages us to look deep within ourselves for answers that we have known all along had we but the courage to acknowledge it. In the days following, Mercury will conjunct the Sun bringing an emphasis on mental abilities, and Venus will enter Aquarius and conjunct Chiron by the time of the Last Quarter Moon, bringing up old relationship patterns that we are ready to gain a better and more distant perspective on, thereby beginning to heal them.
The Last Quarter Moon of Thursday, January 11th (), triggers the forming Saturn – Neptune opposition while the Jupiter – Uranus square is getting much closer. Both of these configurations push us beyond previous limitations. Saturn – Neptune urges us to find a spiritual middle ground, in which we neither leave planet Earth altogether nor give in to despair and the loss of hope for the future. We can use this energy to ground our dreams concretely into substance if we can only maintain our balance. In the days following, Mars conjuncts Pluto, triggered by the Moon on the 16th as Mars crosses into Saturn's sign of Capricorn. These are exciting times, and tough times. We may fall back on violence to ease the intensity of inner turmoil, or else take the high road of transforming our anger into positive action in support of a more enlightened point of view.
The New Moon of Thursday, January 18th (), occupying the midpoint of the nearly completed Jupiter – Uranus square and aspecting Pluto and Saturn also, reminds us to take our outrageous plans seriously rather than go out on a limb for no particular reason, although that also may happen, depending on the circumstances and our ability to keep our heads. Venus is also exactly conjunct Neptune at this time, putting us in closer touch with our dreams, especially our dreams of connection. Mercury is also beginning to conjunct Chiron, so that patterns of communication dysfunction are up for closer examination.
The First Quarter Moon, of Thursday afternoon, January 25th (), is accompanied by a Mercury – Neptune conjunction, bringing the possibility of mental deception or illusion into the picture. Jupiter still squares Uranus, and Saturn draws ever closer to an exact opposition with Neptune, as we assess the potential of our most recent initiatives actually working themselves out in reality. The themes of the Saturn – Neptune opposition will wax stronger next month, and then again in June and July for the final pass. We are enjoined to use these energies wisely, to ground our spiritual impulses into practicality, and to further our pragmatic ideas in accordance with the thrust of Spirit inside us.