The Astrology Blog 4 January 2016
All times stated in GMT
Hope everyone had a lovely New Year and welcome to the first astrology blog of 2016. Start by noting that if you have natal planets or angles at or close to any of the signs and degrees featuring this week then unfolding events will be especially significant for you. Here are the usual links for checking the position of your own planets and angles:
You can also try this calculator, which lists all your planets and angles rather than bringing up the visual of the horoscope, so for non astrologers it’s easier to use.
As I flagged up last week it’s not getting off to the easiest of starts as Mercury is in troublemaking mode and poised to switch direction –
• Mercury square Mars (12.01)
• Mercury turns retrograde at 1 degree of Aquarius (13.07)
Note that the square to Mars is the second of three, the sequence being –
• Tuesday 29 Dec Mercury 27 Capricorn square Mars 27 Libra
• Tuesday 5 January Mercury 1 Aquarius square Mars 1 Scorpio
• Saturday 5 March Mercury 29 Aquarius square Mars 29 Scorpio
This signals that this particular “station” (the moment when a planet turns from direct to retrograde, or the other way around) is likely to be characterized by a painful or warring factor. In other words, Mars is in on this act, and is especially powerful at the moment as he too has just changed sign, moving into his own sign of Scorpio yesterday (Sunday 3rd). Also Mercury has only just changed sign (Saturday 2nd) but it’s a false start in terms of new cycles, reaching only 1 degree of Aquarius before turning retrograde, and sliding back into Capricorn later in the week, where he’ll spend the rest of this retrograde period (up until 25 January which, in my view, will be the real New Year as I said last week!).
This might all sound very negative but what’s the upside of false starts? Sue just happened to mention this morning a great quote from Einstein – his definition of “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” When I checked for the exact wording – don’t you just love the internet – loads of other Einstein quotations came up too, and this one is also brilliant for the current astrology – “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
So, Mercury the mind planet switching to retrograde does stop us in our tracks but also stops us from ploughing on regardless with matters that are not working or which are not good for us. If we want different results then we have to do things differently, which is not astrology but science. If we have problems then it’s worth looking at our part in them, how we created or co-created them, even if they do appear to be happening “to us”, which is not astrology but psychology. The beauty of astrology is the “as above, so below” principle which is like a huge cosmic mirror reflecting these truths back to us.
Top of the advice list are the “re” words – revise, review, rethink – and to remember the right to change your mind. Similarly, if someone else changes their mind about something that affects you then now’s the time to give in with good grace rather than getting into a fight. The rest of this week’s aspects support the astrological view of a bigger picture currently besieged by roadblocks or even dead ends, the unexpected, catalytic events and turning points. Here’s the sequence –
Tuesday Venus square Neptune (14.35)
Venus entered fiery Sagittarius last week but her first aspect is this difficult one to Neptune – this is like looking through a rainy window, everything misty and foggy, especially in relation to love and money matters. Above all, especially with Mercury newly retrograde, don’t kid yourself about anything. Check out your facts.
Wednesday Sun conjunct Pluto (03.27)
The Sun’s conjunctions with the outer planets are annual events. This year the Sun catches up with Pluto at 15 degrees of Capricorn which is the position of a fixed star called Vega. As with all the fixed stars there’s a great deal of conflicting information with regards to their symbolic meaning but from a star catalogue compiled by The Traditional Astrologer, “Usually considered benefic, bringing refinement, hope and idealism.” That would seem to be the best possible interpretation of a conjunction that could otherwise be considered as malefic – the Sun being the life force but Pluto being endings, sometimes total and sometimes of the death/rebirth variety. But the conjunctions are variable when it comes to interpretation and I’ve often seen the union of Sun-Pluto in natal charts, in any sign, as denoting powerful Scorpio-type personalities, those who are resourceful in the extreme and who are capable of bouncing back from events that would flatten others.
Thursday Sun square Uranus at 16 degrees of Aries (12.23)
There is no such uncertainty about squares to Uranus! Although the huge Uranus – Pluto square is now separating they are still in very tight aspect to each other (only 1 degree apart) so, as the personal faster moving planets catch up with them, the square is brought back into play. Squares rock the boat, probably more than oppositions, and Uranus just loves to toss a firecracker into the mix. So midweek events are volatile and could bring aftershocks.
Friday Jupiter turns retrograde at 23 degrees of Virgo (04.41)
Jupiter spends 12 months travelling through each sign, turns retrograde once a year for four months at a time and moves back ten degrees of whichever sign he’s in.
So if you have planets or angles at 23 Virgo (the sign and degree of turning retrograde) this “station” will mark a turning point for you, and if you have planets or angles at 13 Virgo (the sign and degree of turning direct in May) then that station will also mark a major milestone on your life journey. Universally Jupiter turning retrograde doesn’t clang as many alarm bells as Mercury, but Jupiter issues are likely to be slower moving, up for review or more complex than anticipated. These include lawsuits and all legal concerns, anything linked to higher education, travel or matters related to overseas or foreign contacts. I’m really looking forward to May! 13 Virgo is my Midheaven (career and vocation) and Jupiter turning direct marks the beginning of this year’s summer season and the first courses at The Greek Island Summer School. Jupiter’s retrograde period therefore fits perfectly into my longer term view and work plan as my focus for the next four months will be to beaver away on marketing, talking to those of you want to come and study, and finding the best travel bargains for flights or packages. As some of you will know Lefkada is effectively “shut” for the winter, the airport closes to international flights at the end of October each year and then reopens at the beginning of May. So Jupiter turning around on my Midheaven as the new season kicks off and the airport reopens bodes well for a great season to come.
Jupiter rules luck and opportunity, and loves sowing seeds. Note that in traditional astrology terms he is currently in his sign of detriment (being in dignity in Virgo’s opposite sign of Pisces) so it pays to roll up your sleeves and work harder at the things you want to achieve, especially the things that you know will take several months to cook. Forget fast food! Virgo is the perfectionist and grafter of the zodiac – and likes to be fed carefully selected and super healthy produce…
Bear in mind that Mercury also slips back into Capricorn on the same day, as noted earlier, another earth sign also associated with a huge work ethic but also with definite goals, ambitions and empire building. So these next few months will be vitally important if you’re self employed or if you have a personal project to materialize.
Saturday Venus conjunct Saturn at 12 degrees of Sagittarius (04.12)
Having struggled through the square to Neptune earlier in the week Venus now meets up with Saturn. (So Venus is playing into the Saturn – Neptune square which is a backdrop until the beginning of September). I’d like to put a positive spin on this but let’s keep it real – as Saturn likes us to do. Venus is the love, pleasure and money planet, Saturn is work, barriers and delays – or just plain NO. As this aspect is exact in the early hours of Saturday then it’s at its most potent on Friday evening, so plan things carefully if you’re heading for a night on the town. This aspect is classic for cancellations or disappointments – don’t trust to luck in any shape or form – and make transport arrangements a top priority. Also check out costs before you commit to a club/restaurant etc.
Also on the money front look out for throwing good money after bad. Saturn says there has to be a limit.
Single? Guard against the Big Obsession or getting involved with anyone who’s unavailable. This isn’t to say that things won’t work out eventually but any kind of fraught love situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, and could come with heavy price tags. You’ll have to decide if these are prices worth paying. If you’re already battling with disillusionment this will weigh heavy on your heart, no way around it, but if you already know that you’re being distanced/it’s the end of the road then it’s better to get out now rather than live for a dream that is never going to make you happy.
The same could be said for the New Moon –
Sunday New Moon at 19 degrees of Capricorn (01.32)
New Moons, new cycles, but note that this one falls in alignment with the Uranus – Pluto square, ie conjunct Pluto and square Uranus, so look out for echoes of themes that started earlier in the week. In other words, new beginnings come along just as the heavens are already on overload with major aspects and turning points. For some new cycles will start with a decision to break with the past – such as a job, a relationship, where you live, and so on.
Remember that Capricorn is the ultimate realist of the zodiac but loves a project. If you’re shaking off the old it’s vital to set yourself new goals, no matter how small. In essence, it’s a momentous week, and we may well look back on the events now unfolding and see that they were even more important than we realized at the time. Tap into those survival skills – look after yourself, get plenty of sleep and be tough when you have to be!
Until next week, with love from Greece