Astrology of January 2009
by Henry Seltzer (
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The Astrology of January again features Neptune, Saturn and Uranus, with a Mercury retrograde period thrown in for good measure. Saturn stations into direct motion on New Year's Eve, just as the month begins, and starts to close in once more on its fertile opposition with Uranus. This aspect, exact at the time of the recent American presidential election, comes around again as the new administration takes office, and represents the tides of change sweeping through not only our collective experience but our individual lives as well. Uranus represents radical individuality, as well as clear-seeing into the hidden architecture of the universe that surrounds us, and this principle may serve as our guiding light amidst the uncertainties of these times. We win when we remember to be completely and utterly ourselves, no matter what may transpire. Saturn in opposition reminds us of the inherent limitations of life on this troubled planet, but the impulse for revolutionary and yes, evolutionary change is stronger, and will prevail.

Along with opposing Uranus, Saturn makes a powerful inconjunct aspect with Neptune at the start of this month and year that presages the difficulty in actualization of the dreams and ideals that we hold inside of ourselves right now. As the month wears on, this aspect fades away, but will return periodically through the next three years leading up to the crux of the societal transformation that we face at the end of 2011 and in 2012. By the end of the coming year Pluto will be strongly constellated in this configuration also, implying a still more radical transformation of all existing social structures. We are learning to live with one another in a new way over this period, just as we did in the amazing sixties, of which this current configuration is a powerful reflection. Only though connecting ourselves up with all of the various social layers that make up our complexly embedded existence will we be able to break through and triumph. We all have to start working together or we shall certainly, in the words of Ben Franklin, hang separately. In the process we will collectively become more cognizant of the sparkling individual elements that make up this fascinating and symbiotic mosaic that we could call the human tribe.

The New Moon from last month that took place on the weekend after Christmas also sets the stage for the New Year. Like the chart for the New Year's Eve itself, it features a Capricorn / Aquarius line-up. These are the signs ruled respectively by Saturn and Uranus, emphasizing once more their opposition, and its powerful reflection of these climactic times of change and possibility. The backlash of resistance to change is also inherent in these times and in this oppositional configuration. Denial is a big river, and well capable of holding a goodly percentage of the world's population. Jupiter enters Aquarius on January 5th and this more positive symbolism is also right in line with the enormous changes of this current month. When the Sun enters Aquarius on January 19th, it conjuncts Jupiter and ushers in an era of relative optimism.

We never could, after all, simply glide into our new destiny that awaits us without a certain degree of egoic kicking and struggling along the way. This is something to bear in mind as we engage in the specifics of our individual life paths that link up with the larger picture. Mars conjuncts Pluto in this New Year's Eve chart, reflecting ego, and we could well see some energetic and even violent reactions on either side; great activity both in opposition to allowing real change to come through and in support of that change, and this would be true on both a broader and a more personal level.

The Mercury retrograde period that begins on January 11th might send things into something of a tail-spin, introducing a self-reflective and inner-oriented period of time that is better perhaps for journaling on your situation than for forging ahead with entirely new initiatives. Mercury changes to direct motion on the 31st but remains in its retrograde shadow until the 21st of February.

All through this month, and triggered especially at the time of the Full Moon, a Yod to Saturn from Neptune and Eris emphasizes the limitation and lessons of the Lord of Time. There may be many lessons learned about conservation of our resources before this pivotal year is over.

Transits to the U.S. Chart USA

Last month we pointed out that the mid-month time frame, triggered by the Grand Cross Full Moon of December 12th, might point up surprises in either the military or the economic picture, with deception and illusion as important factors. It turned out to be the economic news that had the most juice, as Wall Street icon Bernard Madoff's investment company was exposed just at this time as the largest single-person financial fraud in history, with possibly as much as $50 billion in losses for an already-struggling economy. For a philosophical digression on this affair, see our zodiactivism blog.

As far as military news in this mid-month period, the most dramatic incident was caused by not bombs being thrown, but shoes. The Iraqi journalist who threw both his size-tens at President Bush was beaten afterward, but made a strong statement in the Arab world with the mark of disrespect. Bush hardly reacted emotionally, which seemed a bit odd at the time, although very much in keeping with his general demeanor and the constant tenor of his remarks disregarding any shred of opposition to his ideas or image. The symbolism again speaks to idealized illusion; the illusion of American prestige abroad versus the reality.

One other December incident deserves recognition, and that is the death in a plane crash of Mike Connell, who was an experienced pilot flying alone, and who was warned not to expose himself to risk since he was scheduled as a witness in an investigation and trial regarding vote-tampering in Ohio during the 2004 election. His death is extremely convenient for the Bush White House and for Karl Rove in particular. Ohio, it is widely believed, would have gone for Kerry, giving the Democratic candidate the victory, except for massive tampering that involved the touch-screen voting system in place there. An IT guru who may have been closely involved, Connell had been deposed and was scheduled to testify. His death greatly weakens the case for the prosecution against the Bush and Cheney campaign. For more details see the story. This took place on just one week after the December 12th Full Moon, on Friday, December 19th , at the Last Quarter Moon, with U.S. Neptune still involved. This was also the day that the squared Moon came into the Tenth House of the U.S chart and squared in turn transiting Pluto. Once again deception and illusion are likely to be involved.

In the current month, the Full Moon is again the most dramatic time period. On or around this time, the weekend of January 10th, the transiting position of Saturn and Neptune are again emphasized, as Saturn squares U.S. Mars while Neptune trines it. Once more the prediction would be for idealism, deception and illusion to flourish, or else to be exposed in some manner. Perhaps further details of the Michael Connell tragedy will emerge at this mid-month time.

January 1st New Year 2009 New Year 2009
At dusk on December 31st the Moon appears in the sky very near Venus in a beautiful display. The Moon in sensitive Pisces conjuncts Venus in Aquarius, bringing both these signs into play for the coming year.

January 4th First Quarter Moon First Quarter Moon Chart
This phase is traditionally when the rubber meets the road and we are forced by bitter necessity to see what portion of our dreams and schemes from the time of the preceding New Moon will work and what will not survive into the next cycle. The Sun loosely conjuncts Mars while squaring the Moon in Mars' own sign of Aries, increasing the tension of this moment. The Moon also widely conjuncts Eris, indicating that making a courageous stand for ourselves might be in order at this time. Venus enters sensitive Pisces and as a consequence we will be more naturally attuned to each other.

January 10th Full Moon Full Moon Chart
This powerful Full Moon triggers the still-potent SaturnUranus opposition and the SaturnNeptune inconjunct aspect also, forming a mystic rectangle with Saturn and Uranus. This Full Moon takes place in the evening with the retrograde of Mercury about 12 hours away on the following morning, so the theme of the retrograde is very much part of the symbolism at this Full Moon time. The Full Moon triggers a direly expressive Yod to Saturn from Neptune and Eris, indicating the potential disappointment of dreams deferred, and the ascendancy of limitation over abundance on our emotional horizons these days. On the other hand, Jupiter, recently entered into Aquarius on the 5th, stands quite near Mercury in the sky, signaling an optimistic and eventful last three weeks of the month. Saturn opposite Uranus indicates that the push-pull of going wildly forward ("Yes, we can!") versus staying conservatively behind will be very active once again. This opposition perfects twice more this year, once in February, on the 5th, and once in early September.

January 11th Mercury retrograde Mercury SR
This Mercury retrograde period may be as wild and wacky as recent ones were because this time Mercury aspects Jupiter and Uranus instead of Neptune, but with equal potentially surprising and perhaps brilliant effect. Jupiter has entered the sign of Uranus and is therefore ruled by the cosmic trickster. The retrograde period lasts almost six weeks this time, when you count the period of the retrograde shadow, with Mercury not able to regain his lost zodiacal position in Aquarius until February 21st. Mercury stations direct at the end of the month. One highlight of this period would be the 20th, when the new president takes office, and another would be the 31st.

January 17th Last Quarter Moon Last Quarter Moon Chart
This phase is traditionally the "crisis of consciousness" when we learn from the perhaps painful lessons of the first three weeks of the cycle. Coming near the last degree of Capricorn and Libra, Cardinal signs, this period may signify a last look back at the energy of Capricorn which Pluto is currently transforming right before our very eyes. The Moon sextiles Pluto on this same weekend, after midnight on Saturday.

January 25th New Moon New Moon Chart
This powerful New Moon takes place in the late night hours of Saturday and the early hours of Sunday morning, depending on location, and is in addition conjunct Jupiter in the early degrees of Aquarius while Jupiter aspects Uranus. This signals a period of time when the trickster energy and the scientific viewpoint of this somewhat detached sign hold sway. The New Moon and Jupiter conjunct President Barack Obama's Jupiter within a few degrees, and therefore he is experiencing his Jupiter return over this January time frame. Barack Obama himself has Aquarius rising. Even though his Jupiter is in the reticent 12th House, we will see him unusually energized and with his popularity likely to be soaring all during this month.