Your handy Astro Facts: The New Moon (in Capricorn) is on 1/15 (on 1/14 Pacific) with a Solar Eclipse at 4:05 am. The Full Moon (in Leo) is on 1/30 at 1:18 am. Saturn goes retrograde on 1/13 (thru 5/30), Mercury goes direct on 1/15 at 11:52 am, Jupiter enters Pisces on 1/17, and the Sun enters Aquarius on 1/19 at 11:28 pm. All times are Eastern Time.
2010 begins on the edge of an eclipsed Full Moon in Cancer - a water sign with deep emotional rhythms associated with changing cycles of life. Cancer is connected to family matters along with health and security issues. The Moon is the ruler of Cancer, so an eclipse here at the dawn of the year portends larger cycles of change than the norm. By definition an eclipse creates a shadow causing blurred outlines. It may be harder this year for the public (which the Moon also rules) to maintain focus on anything but their own immediate family and security needs as big changes occur at high levels of government and elsewhere.
The year also begins on a retrograde note with both Mars and Mercury moving backward on New Year's Day. Mercury starts the year at 18° Capricorn and backs up to 5° Cap before turning direct again on 1/15 then stays in Capricorn until 2/10, so if you Mountain Goats feel like you are slipping down the slope a bit, not to worry - stay focused on your goals and take care of business in the meanwhile. This is good advice for everyone else too! Mars beings the year at 18° Leo backs all the way to 0° Leo before turning direct on 3/11, so you Lordly Lions continue to be on everyone's radar.
Mars equates to Action and Mercury to Communication. Does this mean we are entering a year of missed opportunities to act and scrambled communication? It could. Then again, since understanding astrological factors is the key to mastering them, this retro energy can actually help in terms of refining your knowledge of when to act and how to achieve better communication skills. As always it is up to you to use the As Above - So Below to the best advantage, so it doesn't use you! Hints on how to do this are below, so read on. (If you want to quickly scan, I put these tips in bold.)
Mars continues his long visit in Leo over the next 5 months. Mars in Leo on the plus end is one of the most positive energies going, putting energy and focus on creative projects and ideas with gusto! On the down side Mars in Leo (ruled by the Sun) cannot see outside his own “rays” and pushes ahead with egoistic agendas regardless of any other input. Mars is connected to war and warriors and soon after Mars entered Leo last Fall, the violent Fort Hood shootings occurred. The troubled Army Major who carried out his demented plan utilized this powerful Martian energy to tragic ends.
By contrast during a Mars retrograde phase “blood lust” gets stale, and people tire of aggression. Leo is a fire sign and a very real world example of Mars' warrior energy being thwarted hit the world stage soon after Mars went retrograde on 12/20/09. It is the so-called “Underwear Bomber” apparently connected to Al Qaeda who was unable to light the fuse to a deadly bomb which would have exploded, creating mass destruction on-board an airplane about to land in Detroit on Christmas Day. Instead the bomb literally fizzled out (no fire!) and brave passengers wrestled the guy down. (A very positive use of Mars/Leo energy - putting their own safety aside to help others.)
Another example of Mars retro force happened just a few days after the Christmas Day bomb attempt. I am sure most people would agree that the CIA is one of the powerful covert military organizations on the planet. On 12/30 in Afghanistan a Jordanian double agent still loyal to Al Qaeda walked into a planned meeting and coldly blew himself up and executed 7 CIA operatives. The CIA publicly stated this is the single most deadly blow ever for their covert warrior (Martian) agency.
Here's another quote from Isaac Newton which beautifully states this “As Above” concept which is inherently neutral, but can be used positively or destructively by us “Here Below”, and by the way Newton was not only one of the first modern scientists, he was also an astrologer: “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.” (Wow!)
Mars will be retro until March 11th so although news of suicide and other bombings continues to fill the airwaves, look for local populations to begin gradually to take matters more in their own hands, finally getting the nerve to turn in terrorist operatives for example. Also expect more public demonstrations against top down, dogmatic governments, such as those in Iran.
In your own life utilize this Mars retro period positively by polishing and refining your creative concepts before presenting them to the outer world. It's also a great time to put energy into cleaning out old clutter and junk that has kept you from moving forward in creative ways in your life. This might mean cleaning out your attic, basement, etc. so you'll have room for the studio or workshop you kept saying you wanted, or the exercise room you always promised yourself.
Mercury is retrograde now as well - until 1/15, and is backing up in earth sign Capricorn. Capricorn is a stable and solid energy so Merc retro here is not as prone to the whacked out snafus for which Mercury retro is well known. In fact it creates a perfect opportunity for taking time to manage things you need to get done, doing your taxes for example, and looking ahead to organizing yourself better for the year to come. Mercury is joined by the Sun, Venus and Pluto also traveling in Capricorn, and will travel back over this cosmic group while retro. Think of it like this - Mercury, the messenger, is simply double-checking with all these other heavenly bodies to make sure they are on the same page. Follow his lead - if you take time to focus on the business you need to do now, when Mercury moves forward you'll already be prepared for a great year!
With both these retrograde energies combined, here is your best advice: the first of the year is definitely a time to regroup, refine plans and even hold back on initiating projects if possible. When Mars goes direct in March followed by the Spring Aries energies arriving, delayed momentum will rush forward. Think of it like a rubber band slowly being pulled - when it finally lets go, there is a real forward snap!
The middle of January brings a lot of cosmic energy to the forefront. First Saturn goes retrograde on 1/13, then there is a Solar Eclipse at the New Moon on 1/15, the same day Mercury goes direct and is followed by Jupiter entering Pisces on 1/17.
Saturn, AKA Lord of the Material Plane, has been in Libra since 10/29/09 will go retro on 1/13 at 4° Libra and backs into Virgo again on 4/7 and returns to 27° Virgo before turning direct on 5/30. Saturn has to do with form, function, structure and discipline. Saturn rules Capricorn and is associated with all authoritative, top-down worldly bureaucratic structures specifically corporate and government, as well as the bureaucracies of large institutions military and religious included.
When Saturn retrogrades you have to work a bit harder to stay focused on the road ahead, and dig deeper to find order in your life. Those in authority sense this, and often try to pull the reins in tighter. Since Saturn rules Capricorn, those of you with Sun or any major Capricorn influence in your chart will notice these effects more than most, but if you’ve been following the disciplined path Saturn demands it might be a good time to take a breather and it could even be relaxing for you.
In terms of world events when Saturn retros in Libra any sense of balance gained over the last couple of months, may feel as though it's slipping away. Peace plans get put on hold and forward movement, even-handed working together can seem to evaporate as divisive partisanship rears up again.
I'll be talking more about the implications of Saturn's travels later in the Spring, as this important planet reaches back into Virgo again. In the meantime the best advice is to stay on track and maintain yourself in an assured and steady manner. (This is especially true for Libra.) Saturn's backward travels add to the retrograde advice above, making it an even better time to pace yourself. Take all the time you need to refine ideas and polish plans.
Two days later on 1/15 there is a annular Solar Eclipse at the New Moon at This Solar Eclipse is at 25° Capricorn at 25° Capricorn. This eclipse follows the Lunar Eclipse on New Year's Eve creating a big eclipse energy window cracking open as the year (and decade!) begins. Technical details can be found at NASA's site.
Throughout time all cultures have paid attention to eclipses and astrologers made note that eclipses create a different blend of energy from the norm. Solar eclipses became associated with conscious, outward worldly events, while Lunar eclipses indicate inward, unconscious, more emotional states. Many astrologers believe that prenatal eclipses, i.e eclipses which occur while you are forming in your mother’s womb, have life-long effects. During eclipse periods people feel spacy and often too distracted to maintain normal routines. Dreams seem more pronounced and even in waking states you feel dreamy and disconnected. Time morfs and it’s difficult to maintain a grounded state. You’ve probably been feelings this too, and now you know why you’ve been more disorganized, spaced out and fuzzier than usual. These disorienting effects can occur weeks before and continue weeks after eclipses.
During this current eclipse phase dreams seem to be very highlighted with lots of people reporting unusual lucid states, astral awareness and just downright weirder dreams in general over the last few weeks. Since both the eclipsed Sun and New Moon are in Capricorn, you Sea Goats are once again affected. The Solar Eclipse is at 25° Capricorn so anyone born from Jan 15 - 17, or who has any important planet near this degree in your birth chart might be more affected. When you add this to the energy of Pluto now in your sign (see below), this is definitely a karmicly powerful time for Capricorn!
Soon after the eclipse on 1/17, huge and important Jupiter makes his annual move into a new sign to enter Pisces, residing here throughout 2010. Jupiter stays in a sign for 1 year, and returns to each sign every 12 years. The last time Jupiter was in Pisces was 1998, so look back then for similar trends.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and has a big astrological impact as well. Jupiter, named after the Olympian King of Gods, affects states of optimism, enthusiasm, faith, hope, opportunity - many of the most positive feelings you can access. His function is to “expand” whatever he contacts, and of course Jupiter would prefer to expand those positive states. However, as with all planetary influences, Jupiter is essentially neutral leaving it up to you how to use his massive energy. You can choose to expand the good stuff, or just as easily choose to expand more dysfunction. Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius, and although everyone feels the energy of this massive planet, it more directly affects you Sages. Before Neptune was discovered Jupiter was the ruler of Pisces, so in many ways Jupiter feels right at home in Pisces.
Pisces is a mystical water sign, the most spiritual of all signs with fluid, flowing, flexible, creative energy pouring easily into life when operating positively. Those born with Sun in Pisces are learning to tap this beautiful force, while those born with Jupiter in Pisces have it in spades already! Children born this year will be tapping this lovely pattern. Pisces symbol is the “Double Fish”. Picture the symbol for Jupiter in Pisces as two large, loving and playful dolphins bounding in and out of aquamarine waves, calling you to dive in and experience their joy!
As with all signs there is also a down-side. The less than positive side of Pisces is escapism, addictive and depressive tendencies (the double-fish chasing each other down the commode!) along with childish naiveté, “I don't want to grow up, don't make me grow up.” attitudes. When Jupiter travels in Pisces all these qualities, both the wonderful and not so, are charged with Jupiter's massive force.
For those with Sun in Pisces this is your time to shine! All the effort you have been putting into making yourself the best Pisces you can become will finally pay off. You may have felt like your loving, caring attitude was lost in the desert of a harsher reality, but Jupiter's energy will help everyone better understand how to love one another, to give a helping hand to those in need, because on the turn of a dime, it could be them just as easily needing that caring hand.
If you have Pisces rising, Jupiter will help others see you as the opportunity they have been looking for, and for Sagittarius Jupiter will enter you solar 4th house, seat of early childhood emotional conditioning. It is the ideal time for you frisky Centaurs to remember who you really are and where you first learned to capture your optimistic nature, so that you can tap it again.
Since Pisces is such a spiritual force, when Jupiter spreads opportunities in Pisces, they are not necessarily the norm. Think of Jupiter in Pisces as a Zen master who teaches with confounding riddles so that your tiny mind has to get out of the way in order to solve them. In fact, Piscean opportunities often involve learning to forgive, which implies that something happens which you need to forgive. (Ponder that.) Of course the loving, gentle and trusting nature of Pisces expands too, so it becomes easier to embrace whatever comes your way.
Pisces is connected to the devic realm of Mother Nature, so with Jupiter's help the higher vibration of plants and animals is more evident. It will be easier to play with fairies and pixies this year! And those connected to gardening and helping animals - organic farmers, veterinarians, animal shelters etc. will get a boost. Practices like Yoga, meditation, dream work, religious devotions, channeling spirit guides will all be maximized as well. Pisces rules alternative healing modalities so non-traditional practitioners will be more sought out than ever. Pisces is also one of the most effortlessly fluid artistic and creative energies of the zodiac. Combined with the creative force of Mars in Leo, this is definitely a year for everyone to let your creative self shine!!
All in all it bodes well for the year. Even in stressful times when Piscean energy is emphasized, it seems easier for people to let go of worry and strain, and learn to trust that all eventually turns out well in the end.
There are two major planetary connections (aspects) highlighted at the beginning of 2010 well worth discussing. The re-conjunction (meeting) of Chiron, Neptune and Jupiter in Aquarius, and a tense square (90 degree angle) between Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn in Libra.
Jupiter begins the year at 26° Aquarius with Neptune and Chiron close by within 3 degrees. This is a tight connection, and repeats the same conjunction which occurred last year in May-June 2009. It made big astrological news because it never happen before - at least in terms of human awareness. Maverick planetoid Chiron was not discovered until 1977, and the last time Neptune and Jupiter met in Aquarius was in 1844, 2 years prior to Neptune’s discovery. Neptune’s job is to help us attain the highest possible values in whatever sign he travels, while Chiron's role is to scour out festering sores and cleanse the wounds of the sign, so that true healing can begin. Jupiter’s energy brings optimism to the process and his massive force simply makes things move along much faster (whether you want it to or not!).
Aquarius is a sign associated with common people, the average citizens of the world. Aquarius is the most cutting edge of all signs with ability to look around the corner to the next level of being. Aquarius rules collective aspirations and its strength is the ability to rise above the personal and embrace a larger more objective understanding of reality - a 10,000 foot perspective. The intelligent energy of air sign Aquarius helps bring cooler, calmer heads to the forefront. Team work is valued over egotistical posturing and childish petty bickering is not tolerated. When important planets tap into this pattern together for the first time in human consciousness, there is a real possibility that more evolved values will being to take hold.
Here is what I wrote about this conjunction back in May, “We can use the impetus of this heavenly energy to envision a new world. One not driven by fear and greed, but motivated by love. As John Lennon, born with Moon in Aquarius, sang, Imagine all the people Living life in peace...Imagine all the people Sharing all the world..." Once again this lofty theme is being trumpeted in the heavens, just as the new decade begins. May it be so!
The other major aspect as 2010 dawns, is a square between Saturn and Pluto. This is not a once in a lifetime event, like the Aquarius connection, but Pluto in Capricorn square Saturn in Libra IS. The last time Pluto traveled through Capricorn was from 1762 to 1778.There was a Saturn square then as well - Saturn traveled in Aries, the opposite sign of Libra where it is now - a whole book could be written just on this! With the advantage of hindsight, we know this revolutionary period was a very pivotal time in world history. Pluto entered Capricorn to stay for this current transit on November 26, 2008 and will remain through November 2024. (For more info on this transit ask for Pluto - Capricorn transit 2008-2024 article at email@example.com )
Squares are a 90° angle between planets and represent challenges where strength must be applied to rise above a situation. A square can be pictured as a wall - an obstacle which must be overcome, or as a box you are stuck inside, which limits you unless you resolve to get out. You may need to climb over it, push through it, dig under it, but you must do some action to resolve the challenge. Of course you can also do nothing - stare at the wall aimlessly for example - then you succumb, and weakness results.
Pluto represents complete transformation. Phoenix-like this powerful cosmic entity's entrance into Capricorn was a bell tolling for the end of centuries of dogmatic, top-down, patriarchal institutions of worldly authority. Entrenched and crusty governments, business, religious and all other authoritative bureaucracies, if not willing to embrace this change are like dinosaurs walking. They are already extinct, but don't yet know it. The Solar Eclipse this month in Capricorn continues to highlight this theme. “Business as usual” is being eclipsed to make way for new energy forms to emerge.
Then arrives Lord Saturn, the ultimate patriarch of the worldly domain, who entered Libra on October 29, 2009 and at that moment began to mold Pluto's force. Libra is ruled by Venus, the ultimate feminine expression operating from a platform of love, harmony, peace and justice for all. Saturn's disciplined strength tamed by Venus' soft elegance represents those who have matured in their understanding of human relationships. They are fair, kind and balanced in their dealings with all. The symbol for Libra is the Balanced Scale, indicative of these principles.
Libra intuitively understands how to relate, and does so eagerly. Working together to achieve mutual goals, with ability to see others point of view and compromise if need be, is second nature to Libra. Saturn/Libra is considered 'exalted' in traditional astrology, meaning it reflects the highest potential of Saturn's energy representing the ideal of justice - an excellent diplomat, a wise judge, the consummate peace-maker.
So we have Pluto/Capricorn working both overtly and covertly to produce profound lasting transformation, and Saturn/Libra attempting valiantly to bring people and nations together for their mutual good. They are not in contrast to one another (called an opposition) but forging together to break through old structures that must be overcome with strength and persistence. These are Capricorn themes by the way, and in fact Saturn rules Capricorn which makes this challenge all the more potent.
In worldly affairs the list of where these factors are in play is obvious and lengthy. Large bureaucratic corporations “too big to fail” specifically Big Bankers, unjustly raping and pillaging taxpayers and even their own customers with untrammeled greed as governments bail them out, but give pittance to average people. Governments all over the world who are corrupt and weak and therefore challenged, or dogmatic and autocratic therefore challenged. Change is being heartily embraced by many, while others equally wrap themselves in the status quo. Something has to give somewhere - what will it be?
World affairs are ultimately conducted by individuals, making individual choices. Yes, politicians and others in power claim to honor their constituents, but it is they alone who decide which constituent views to heed. It is all too easy to listen to the voices of power (Pluto) who pad pockets with cash and heads with glory. The old phrase “peace begins with me” has never been more true. Saturn/Libra calls upon each of us personally to live up to better ideals, to turn away from judgmental and violent methods toward creative expression to get ideas across. The challenge lies in creating this harmonious environment in your own home and work place first, before expecting your elected officials and other leaders to create it for you.
Pluto in Capricorn along with the Aquarius conjunction at the beginning of the second decade in the 21st century, herald the fact that Top-Down, “Father Knows Best - let me make the decisions for you” institutions are a dead and dying breed. Mutuality, team work and pulling together for the common good are on the ascendance, and Saturn/Libra's role is to aid in tearing down the old structures and building the new. When you embrace this challenge at a personal level, and work honorably and steadfastly to demand it of those in power the world - with amazing ease and flow, your own life becomes a place of peace, prosperity and harmony, and you become a light for others to follow. The cosmic forces are there to be utilized, but it all begins with you.
At the beginning of this new decade, this time of undeniable change, may you easily begin your own transformation into the best human being you can be, and be mightily blessed in the process!
Copyright 2010, Melissa Stratton
Melissa has been actively involved in metaphysical studies for over 3 decades, with a specific focus in Astrology, Tarot, and Dream Analysis. If you would like personal heavenly advice, you may reach Melissa at 570-839-7064 and email firstname.lastname@example.org