Chart created using TimePassages Astrology Software
The Astrology of 2008
by Henry Seltzer
New Year 2008 Chart

This overview of the astrological events of 2008 is intended to help us to experience with as much grace as possible the challenges that are coming down in our lives and get the most out of them as we prepare for the changes in our social structures that these next few years will bring. I firmly believe that it greatly helps to get the astrological perspective on important life challenges so that they may appear in a greater context, a cosmic one if you will.

In these next five years, until the end of 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. 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 entering 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 twelve-year prior transit of Pluto in Sagittarius has done for religious zealotry. Pluto enters Capricorn in 2008, Uranus will enter Aries in 2010, squaring Pluto, and Saturn forms a T-square to Uranus and Pluto from 2009 - 2011. Jupiter will conjunct Uranus in the midst of this crucial time period, in 2010. Neptune will first enter Pisces in 2011 and then re-enter in 2012.

The most significant astrological event in 2008 is the entry of Pluto into Capricorn. Capricorn represents established authority, and Pluto's presence in Capricorn indicates changes to the important structures of our lives, both individually and collectively. Pluto enters Capricorn on January 25th, but then retrogrades back into Sagittarius mid-June, only re-entering Capricorn near the end of November. These transition times will be important, but the symbolism of the Capricorn ingress will still pervade the entire year.

In terms of the collective, Pluto in Capricorn will bring out the best and the worst of our current system of government by the corporate power elite. We will see flood tides threaten all entrenched power structures, especially those that have lost their relevance for the present day, and there will be a measurable back-lash from the establishment in response. We have already seen the beginning of this action and reaction over the past few years, one recent example being the candidacy of Barack Obama. Just a few short years ago, who would have expected to see a woman and a black man as the Democratic nomination front-runners? People in this country are finally tuning into the concept of necessary change in the power structure, as evidenced in particular by this man's popularity. The truth is that the establishment must change, and that it will not change willingly, and that there will likely be a struggle that will grow greatly in magnitude over the next few years as the pendulum swings.

On the personal level, as 2008 continues to unfold we are sure to see many changes in the structure of our individual lives as well. There are places where we know we are stuck, but seemingly powerless to make a move, and these are likely to be "up" for us over this next year. Then there are the places that we are just as fully stuck, but in a relatively unconscious way, and these may also become more noticeable for us as the year progresses. We tend to regard setbacks as bad luck that we wish had never occurred, but the truth is that these very setbacks can be powerfully healing for us if we learn something from them about our hidden patterns and agendas. This year is sure to be one to remember, bringing us events that are eye-opening and perhaps heart-opening as well.

There are also several retrogrades to deal with throughout the year. Coming first in the yearly cycle, Mars is retrograde throughout January, carried over from November of last year. The retrograde of Mars implies that we will have the chance to look closely at our desires and our aggressive urges as we connect more fully with our truest sense of ourselves. Although Mars turns to direct motion at the very end of the month, it takes until March to fully recover in terms of lost zodiacal longitude, referred to as his retrograde shadow. During this entire time we may find ourselves somewhat stymied in moving forward with what we intend to accomplish, but perhaps all the richer for these delays in terms of our understanding of our situation. Mars retrograded into the last degree of Gemini to exactly oppose Pluto just as the year began, and that alignment is significant, and signals that 2008 will be a powerful year of transformation.

Mercury also retrogrades three times this year, the first one beginning toward the end of January. During these periods of time, mechanical and communication breakdowns become the norm, and we do better to reflect on our circumstances. It is better not to move ahead with new plans at this time, as these will likely change after the retrograde period has passed.

The Mercury retrograde periods throughout the year are as follows, with the shadow period also indicated:

  • January 28 to February 18th, shadow lasts through March 9th
  • May 26th to June 19th, shadow lasts through July 4th
  • September 24th to October 15th, shadow lasts through October 31st

Then there are the eclipses. These are important lunations with a greater impact than usual. There are two important eclipse periods to consider, six months apart, beginning with February:

  • February 6th Solar Eclipse (New Moon and Aquarius line-up)
  • February 20th Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon)
  • August 1st Solar Eclipse (New Moon with Mercury and Venus both featured)
  • August 16th Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon conjunct Neptune)

The Full Moon eclipse of August 16th that brings Neptune into the picture also triggers a Mars – Pluto square. The month of August is therefore quite a powerful one for personal relationships and for going out and getting things done.

In contrast, the eclipses in February signal a month that is largely an internal one for several reasons. There are the retrograde periods of Mercury and Mars, as Mars re-enters Cancer and recovers his lost zodiacal ground. Then, the Solar Eclipse of February 6th conjuncts mystical Neptune, along with Mercury and Chiron lined up in Aquarius. There is also the February 19th entrance of the Sun into Pisces, initiating a period of time that is always a little removed from ordinary reality. We emerge in March from our thoughtful stance more ready to fully participate in world events, particularly so at the time of the New Moon of March 7th. This powerful lunation conjuncts Uranus, and represents a spring-board into a different way of looking at our lives.

Saturn in Virgo is also trine Pluto during the first half of 2008, beginning in late January and repeating the symbolism of Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn's sign. This configuration indicates that something must shift in the organization of our lives, and also in the surrounding social structure, and is particularly strong at the very beginning of May when Saturn stations. The confluence of these mighty outer planet energies echoes the theme of transformation that was so powerfully present in September 2001 when they were opposed. The present aspect being a trine does make for an easier blending. You might want to ask yourself where Saturn is in your individual chart, and whether that area of your life might not be transforming for you at this time. If changes are in the works for you they are likely to be necessary ones that have been waiting in the wings for some time now, and have only your preconceptions to hold them back from manifestation. The easiest way to get through might be to simply let go.

Saturn opposes Uranus during the second half of the year, meaning that we will likely experience quite strongly the push-pull of these two opposing energies, for holding back (Saturn) and for sudden change (Uranus). This configuration is most intense during October and November when the opposition becomes exact. The signs most affected are the mutable signs of Virgo, Pisces, Gemini and Sagittarius. Saturn is all about maintaining the status quo, digging in to resist change, while Uranus promotes the sudden shift. Uranus works through epiphany, the realization that comes in an instant and utterly transforms our thinking. As Shakespeare said, "there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so," and the new perspectives that Uranus brings to the table can be the precursor of massive changes in our lives. The opposition is exact at the time of the November 4th elections, which will undoubtedly reflect the polarity of change versus resistance to change that we have been seeing for some time now in the political picture. These energies of Saturn and Uranus can also work together at this time, creating a force for moving through the idea stage into concrete realization. During the whole course of 2008 we will feel this one-two punch delivered by the interaction of Saturn, first with Pluto and then with Uranus, clearing the way for necessary changes to actualize and to transform our lives from the inside out.

It is also important to mention the mutual reception and semi-sextile between Uranus and Neptune which becomes more significant as the year unfolds, and which represents the possibility of seeing our situation a little differently, with a greater reliance on the working out of Spirit in our lives. Uranus and Neptune were conjunct in the mid-nineties, the impetus for new beginnings of spiritual and imaginal achievement stemming from that powerful time of new visualization is still with us, although of course in some ways sadly side-tracked over the last few years. The impulse for new solutions will burst through again and again over these next few years, especially in 2010 when Jupiter conjuncts Uranus as it enters Aries for the first time. And this impulse will eventually triumph, since it is the direction of our spiritual evolution. We have the responsibility of helping it along as best we can over these crucial years of the transition.


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sun astrology The Sun

The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.

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moon astrology The Moon

The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.

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mercury astrology Mercury

Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.

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venus astrology Venus

Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.

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mars astrology Mars

Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.

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jupiter astrology Jupiter

Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.

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saturn astrology Saturn

Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.

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uranus astrology Uranus

Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.

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neptune astrology Neptune

Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.

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pluto astrology Pluto

Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.

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chiron astrology Chiron

Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.

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ceres astrology Ceres

As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.

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pallas astrology Pallas

The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.

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juno astrology Juno

The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.

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vesta astrology Vesta

In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.

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eris astrology Eris

While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.

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haumea astrology Haumea

The astrology of Haumea seems to be related to love of the natural world and to the fecundity of natural process. This archetype thus signals profound connection to Nature, connection to Source, and a form of natural charisma.

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makemake astrology Makemake

The astrology of Makemake is related to love of the natural world and to the activism associated with defending the environment. This archetype thus signals a profound connection to nature that is quite similar to the archetype of Haumea, his fellow traveler in the Kuiper Belt, with the same astronomical designation and also named from the pantheon of indigenous gods and goddesses.

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part of fortune astrology Part of Fortune

The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.

More about the Planetary Bodies...

north node astrology The North Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.

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south node astrology The South Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also known as the dragon's tail, the South Node indicates areas of mastery, often from a previous lifetime.

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aries astrology Aries

Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.

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taurus astrology Taurus

Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.

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gemini astrology Gemini

Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.

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cancer astrology Cancer

Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.

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leo astrology Leo

Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.

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virgo astrology Virgo

Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.

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libra astrology Libra

Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.

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scorpio astrology Scorpio

Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.

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sagittarius astrology Sagittarius

Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.

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capricorn astrology Capricorn

Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.

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aquarius astrology Aquarius

Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.

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pisces astrology Pisces

Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.

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