by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

January 2017: New Cycles, New Year

(image) The Rosette Nebula is situated some 5,000 light years from Earth in
the constellation Monocerous (the Unicorn)
(photo credit: Herschel/European Space Agency, PACS, SPIRE and HSC)
Welcome to January and a new calendar year!

Thinking to start this year off with a wee bit of a preview, in looking ahead, 2017 will feature two eclipse seasons (each with one lunar and one solar eclipse) and 3 1/3 Mercury retrogrades. 

Three and a third? What I mean there is that 2017 is starting off with Mercury in retrograde, with about a week to go. And seeing how Mercury goes retrograde for an average of 21 days at a time, we have a third of this current Mercury retrograde to go ... after which there will be three more full rounds of Mercury retrograde during the year: one in April, the second in August (lapsing over into September) and the third occurring in December, just in time to affect holiday shopping and all sorts of travel plans.

Also, about those eclipses ... As of the 2017, the eclipse cycle will move (in retrograde motion, as always) from Virgo and Pisces into Leo and Aquarius. This shift begins in February, with February hosting a lunar eclipse at 22 Leo (and a solar eclipse still in Pisces) with August hosting the first Leo solar eclipse we've experienced since August 2008. 

(It will be at 28 Leo, in case you want to know.)

Is this shift a thing we’re going to notice? In a broad sense, yes. Wherever the eclipse cycle is, that is where (and how) the social - and our individual - 'shadow psyches' get revealed to us, and often exposed to others.

Over the past couple of years of the eclipse cycle being in Virgo/Pisces, with the 'should do' North Node in Virgo and the 'easier' but ultimately less productive South Node in Pisces. During that time we have all had any number of examples and experiential moments which have brought out where and how our 'real time' (Virgo) choices have succeeded and failed in areas of proper morality or consideration of others and the greater societal 'pulse,' with the preference being to dictate to others how they should act (think, feel, prioritize) rather than deal with our own feelings of vulnerability (or) lack of 'healthy personal introspection' with regards to the biases (and source of biases) which have come to be ingrained in our thinking, priorities, choices and functioning.

Le Trait d'Angoul by Peter Paul Rubens
With the eclipse cycle shifting backwards into Leo and Aquarius (with the North Node in Leo), instead of the eclipses being in earth and water signs they will be in fire (Leo) and air (Aquarius) signs, so that which is going to be 'revealed' or brought out for examination, exclamation and 'repair' is going to come from the realm of ideas and our 'visions' for life - ours or that of the world we live in. What are 'individual rights,' and what does 'being creative' with our life mean? What qualifies as 'a contribution,' and are our contributions to be judged by quality of effort or quality of attribute? Should we be able to live and 'create' as we see fit, or do we have responsibilities to others? If not, where and why do our individual rights (or needs) to live creatively end in any metaphysical, philosophical or societal sense and should such 'standards' be universal or subject to personal choice?
Having the eclipse cycle in Leo and Aquarius can be counted on to ‘bring out’ (and expose for comment) everything which goes into and comes out of us as a result of human development and our 'visions' for life itself. It will bring out how public success and connection (or the absence thereof) does and doesn’t support creativity - and how all of that applies to survival in (and the navigation of) this world ... and the world's ability to navigate, survive and excel.

Sound like fun?

All of this gets even more interesting (and just possibly enlightening) when we realize Uranus - which just went direct on December 29th at 20 Aries - is the ‘outcome ruler’ of Aquarius. That always being true in the generals sense, having Uranus transiting the third and least personal part of  Aries while the eclipse cycle is in Leo and Aquarius suggests the biggest challenges and changes in life will pertain to societal connections (and) our awareness (or willing to be aware), with challenges coming from where we are not willing to deal with (a.) details, (b.) learning/knowing the truth of things and (c.) that or those who do not 'fit' the systemic mold or 'our vision.'

The temptation will always be to 'forget about' or 'exclude' that which falls outside 'standard parameters,' as if the 'exception to the rule' is that "exception's" 'fault' or choice.

And that would be wrong - which we will slowly come to understand, even if we still don't like the idea. (Which we probably won't, not that dislike changes facts!) 

The lunar nodes themselves change signs in May. And once they do, Uranus' energetic influence on the South Node 'side' of things speaks to a lot of relationships undergoing changes with a lot of 'recombining' of influences and allegiance being likely and unusual. Rejections, oddities and unique expressions of individuality and as that applies to the idea of 'groups' is also going to be seen.

Wherever the lunar nodes are, the planets ruling those signs are always key to advancement and the 'advancing of our cause,' whatever that may mean to us at any given time. So with Aquarius ruled by Saturn (first) and Uranus as the ‘outcome,’ our willingness to make a Saturn-type 'effort’ (particularly long-term efforts or those which require dedication, focus and responsible application) plus our willingness to be realistic and to hold ourselves to dealing with life on a factual basis without superimposing preconceived notions on things is a point of determination between whether we end up accomplishing things or adding to (or even exacerbating) existent challenges and problems.

Speaking of Saturn, our solar system's famously ringed planet has just entered its 2017 cycle as of December 30th when it crossed 21 Sagittarius 10, that being the degree and minute Saturn will go direct in this coming August after having turned to retrograde in conjunction with the Galactic Center during April.

The Galactic Center always speaks to the 'contributions' we make in life. And with that Galactic Center currently positioned at 27 Sagittarius, conflict(s) based on jealousy will be experienced when and where we fulfill our greater Purpose. In a strange way, this is one way to know whether we are are on the right track, as if there is no jealousy being aroused by what we're doing, we are probably not on the right track.

In any case, with Saturn being the object due to go on station conjunct the Galactic Center, there is some factor or facet connected with earning or what we are aiming to earn which is likely to get challenged ... or rewarded this year, with (or) in spite of how we or others feel. Alternately, because it is Saturn doing its turn to retrograde here, this next Saturn cycle may be all about ending a habit of being 'jealous' (or possibly reacting to others as though they are jealous when/where they are not) through some situation which allows for greater realism, clarity or opportunity to gain perspective on our Self.

So everything about January is part of Saturn's new cycle - which means we are 'back at the drawing board' and working on new projects ... or at least new phases of old projects.  And in light of that, we are in the right place at the moment for doing all the thinking, contemplation and considering connected to such efforts as there was just a New Moon in Capricorn (at 8 Capricorn) on December 29th, which being that Saturn rules Capricorn sets the whole of this lunar month out as prime territory for facing our inner twitches while figuring out what to do next. With that New Moon having occurred in tandem with Uranus’ station (as Uranus went direct) there is an energy of ‘newness’ and ‘groundbreaking’ we may well tap into ... though with Mercury in retrograde until January 8th we may want to (or need to) tie up loose ends, get the decks cleared, get assembled or otherwise organized and figure a few things out before charging ahead.

Any Capricorn New Moon cautions against haste even as we may be feeling hasty. Why this would be is because the Moon in Capricorn is the Moon in the opposition sign to Cancer its sign of comfortably, cozy rulership. When in Cancer (or in the Cancer-flavored 4th house of a chart), the Moon represents the idea of being (or at least feeling) connected with whatever gives us emotional security or provides us with a 'fall back' position ... all of which is tends not to be as available when the Moon is in Capricorn, giving the Moon in Capricorn a 'do or die' quality which may simply be a reaction to insecurity or feelings of being outside one's 'comfort zone.'

So is it any wonder that our yearly lunar month based in Capricorn involves that when we face a new year and not just the reconciling of the old, but all the 'getting back into gear' and facing of music which just about everyone groans at when January rolls around?

Other qualities associated with this lunar cycle would be the tendency to encounter challenges which hit us in our 'old habits' or habitual ways of doing things - which again, goes with the calendar new year as many new laws are always slated go into effect on January 1st. And with Capricorn being a worldly and public sign, the month founded in a Capricorn New Moon is also a time when there is (a.) a need to interact with worldly and public entities, and when (b.) we are likely to be more responsive (or) reactive to such contacts.
For more specifics on this lunation, check the post which precedes this one (searching for the date ‘December 29’ will get you there quickly). That said, with December’s New Moon having been at 8 Capricorn, this month can be expected to be one when our motivations and ambitions move to (or towards) ‘center stage.’ And whether because of (or) as part of that, our increasing absorption with our own business is likely to create distance (real or psychological) between our Self and others, with that distance either (a.) being a problem, (b.) serving to rob us of the ability to understand or remain current, (c.) increasing (or) altering perspectives ... or, particularly as Uranus was on station at the time of the New Moon, (d.) situations or feelings which produce enough determination, impetus or motivation to alter our priorities, whether in the short or long run.

Beyond that, this 8 Capricorn New Moon did one other thing. By occurring two months before the solar eclipse which will take place on February 26th at 8 Pisces, December's New Moon also began the two-month period preceding every solar eclipse during which things which become 'destabilized.'

What exactly does that mean? Well, look at it this way: if solar eclipses refer to major life changes (which they do), by and large things are going to have to happen prior to that time to 'unsettle' the status quo, leading to those changes

That’s the process we go through during this pre-solar eclipse ‘break down’ period. How the process happens is widely (and wildly) variable, though most solar eclipses - even those which aspect our Sun and Moon - begin as a subtle set of circumstances. But as things build, implications become cumulative, leading us to understand that something isn't 'working.' It isn't going to last, or can't continue as it has been, and such situations may point to things we consider strengths or weaknesses, proving to us (ultimately) how our estimations and opinions of things aren't always right, just or even in keeping with our beliefs. 

So with all this starting to 'take hold' in our minds under Mercury retrograde, much may feel like it’s going on ‘out there’ - or we may be taking advantage of a 'time out' to think things through. 

That means, with Mercury due to be in retrograde until January 8th, 2017 is unlikely to start with our leaping into action like a line of thoroughbreds bursting out of the gate.Is this a problem? No, not necessarily. Any year which begins with Mercury in retrograde isn't likely to get off to a 'clean and tidy' start. For one, there may be ‘unfinished business’ to contend with. And we may just not be ready to take our 'next step.'

Besides, the holidays aren't even over yet for many - Epiphany still remains to be celebrated.

As for aspects and traveling configurations, the Jupiter-Pluto-Uranus t-square which has been us for a couple of months continues on (and on...). As the year starts, Saturn (in Sagittarius) will be trining the Uranus-Eris ‘goal’ end of the t-square, indicating a desire to ‘escape’ stress and stressful times even though we know there are things we are just going to have to face, whether we want to face them or not.

For most of the month, this t-square will represent all the things, people and situations which in real time are causing us to change our standards or alter our perspective(s) or thinking. But after January 20th, we can expect things to get more complicated, and for some more variable and interesting, as possibilities start popping up like dandelions in a wide, open field. The indications of this are multiple, including a Yod, a grand square and a grand trine (which evolves to becomes a Kite) towards month's end. And as at least some of that 'configuring' will be with us long enough to become part of the February 11th Lunar Eclipse at 22 Leo, things may get exciting, stressful - or even a bit of both as January heads towards its end.

As for the February eclipses (lunar and solar), both are going to be noted generally in the February monthly post (which will be available January 29th) ... and covered on an in-depth basis in a special and separate post which will be live here at the blog as of February 5th.

And with that - and a reminder (for those who may not read astroPPM regularly) how due to lack of support astroPPM will cease regular postings with the April 2017 edition, let’s take a look at January … 

January 3 
Having Lachesis enter Aquarius on January 3rd as Venus enters Pisces at 7:48 in the morning (UT/+0) time says a couple of things. For one, Venus entering the same sign as Mars (which entered Pisces back on December 19th) promotes feelings of unity and ‘knowing what we feel,’ which may relieve a certain amount of indecision and anxiety, simply making our days nicer, kinder and more friendly feeling, which is a nice enough way to start.

Venus in Pisces (glyph chart)
January 3, 2017 - 7:48 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Venus in Pisces (text chart)
January 3, 2017 - 7:48 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Asteroid Lachesis being named for one of the Greek Fates -- in particular that ‘fate’ which measures out a specific length of yarn as a symbol of ‘duration,' or how long something will last (whether that's our feelings, a thought, our lifetime or anything else). So wherever we see Lachesis, there is a concept of 'duration' - implying there is time now, but it may not last forever, or how we may have a deadline (or) simply something else we need to do. Therefore, having Lachesis enter Aquarius, a sign all about life's 'systems' and the 'currents' which 'power' the ability to function in life, in society, as part of a social system or marketplace speaks to a period of time or an 'opportunity' to achieve something which we may well come to be (or feel) rewarded by, with Venus' simultaneous entering of Pisces lending us a measure of 'grace' even if we don't feel 'as in control' of things as we'd like to feel.

Venus will also be entering Pisces in a sextile to Mercury – that same Mercury which, having retrograded back 0 Capricorn, is going to retrograde right out of Capricorn and back into Sagittarius as of January 4th.

For the moment, that suggests a gentling of attitudes, whether that softens or 'rounds the edges' of any existing convictions or merely refers to the manner in which new information will now be delivered. And with Mars having conjuncted Neptune just as New Years came upon us, there are likely to be a few who are just waking up (or sobering up) after their holiday extravagances feeling more than a little like an over-boiled noodle.

For most, Lachesis moving from Capricorn into Aquarius indicates some sort of subtle note or sub-text about the 'duration' of something, either in terms of how we are viewed (or how we see things) personally - or how some system or 'amalgamated group' works (or doesn't work) for us personally, and how long that may or may not last. With Mercury still in retrograde, opinions, estimations and conclusions may or may not be right (or lasting). We may also be looking at some sort of 'end' or 'deadline' with which we need to contend in anticipation of Mercury going direct on January 8th.

As for Venus, Venus is entering Pisces with asteroid Pallas just ahead at 1 Pisces, Plutino OR10 at 2 Pisces - and both Fomalhaut and the South Node at 4 Pisces, which doesn't exactly sound like a Venus cheering section. (At least not the normal Venus cheering section.) On one hand, this grouping suggests some sort of ‘tables turning’ - which with a lunar eclipse not that far away could spell something very good or something which really doesn't 'sit well' with us. Having OR10 conjunct Fomalhaut sounds a lot like the 'defense of the unpleasant' which has been with us for a while. (And which, given how Plutinos like OR10 don't move all that quickly, may well be with us for some while yet!)

So something may not meet with approval now - though whether that's us not approving 'them' or 'them' not approving us (or what we are doing/have done) is going to be purely individual.

But then there's the matter of Venus’ ingress also being at the apex of a t-square (yes, another one) ... with this one featuring Black Moon Lilith (at 25 Scorpio, which means conjunct fixed star Toliman) - all of which again suggests some sort of denial or rejection. (Strike two.)

And then there is the matter of dwarf planet Sedna, which at 25 Taurus is conjunct emotionally over-reactive fixed star Algol being in the 'goal' position this issue. So what are we wanting, wishing or otherwise dreaming about which concerns 'a new (Sedna) and more "matured" perspective' (plus) some (Algol) emotion-provoking thing which we may be swift (even too swift) to defend (more than necessary)? 

And with Venus at the t-square apex entering Pisces, what part of our 'belief' is feeling threatened - and why? What preconceived notion about our aims (or reasons for wanting them) are we not wanting to let go of, lest we end up feeling all quivery inside?

(Strike three is always quivery.)

Sedna seldom (if ever) speaks to new things, but rather habits and attitudes we have built our life and beliefs on ... in spite of which, they tend to be wrong as Sedna points to an area of life where our instinct is to make things 'all about us' when what we need to learn is to be all about others. 

And the Sedna part of all that is the process of learning just how wrong we've been - which makes it one of those points we make a point of avoiding. (Pointedly.) 

Plus there's Echo involved - with Echo being at 29 Taurus (and therefore exactly in opposition to Toliman), suggesting something which we're 'facing' which either isn't 'holding water' (holding up under scrutiny) or which we are realizing we have been irresponsible with (or) about.

Whether on the giving or receiving end (with metaphysics magically allowing for the possibility that we are acting as both ends of this north bound horse at once), with Echo in a degree which is said to be all about self entitled and sometimes even narcissistic qualities which often manifest as bullying (or being bullied), there would seem to be every chance we have been telling our Self (or others) ... or listening/hearing something which is 'deadly' to the extent that it proves we have not put any thought into anyone or anything around us (or which we have been dealing with).

Does any of this have anything to do with what will occur once Mercury backs into Sagittarius again? And if that is true, are we ‘resurrecting’ or perhaps just ‘getting back to’ something put aside some weeks ago? It could be. And with Echo due to go direct on January 5th, the surfacing of some result, repercussion or ‘echo’ of something already said or done is not unlikely.

Will such moments help us see how to do things more effectively? Or are we possibly about to learn how something said or done (whether on our part or otherwise) has betrayed our lack of care and lack of caring to ill effect?

Venus will be in Pisces until February 3rd. However, due to an upcoming March/April Venue retrograde which begins in Aries and backs into Pisces, there will be a second time around the Venus in Pisces mulberry bush during April - which may be welcome (or even a welcome relief) after plural weeks of Venus retrograding through Aries has been putting us through our 'more effort, less rewards' (at least in the short run) paces.

January 4 
The idea of Mercury retrograding back into Sagittarius at 14:18 (or 2:28 p.m., UT/+0 time) a day after Venus enters Pisces is worth note because Sagittarius is a sign in square to Pisces. Does that mean our ‘fondest hopes’ of the moment may encounter a few glitches or a handful of well-formulated questions? It could. Might it indicate a moment when what is being said or done (or which has been said or done) goes over some 'line’ whether that means a limit beyond which we are not comfortable or one beyond which things lack sanity or safety? That's less likely: overstatements now are more likely to be jokes or 'what if's than real proposals, but a few could be truly off-the-wall real time suggestions, so yes.

Might we coming across something which tests our ability to fill in ‘gaps’ in our thinking or manner of doing things about now? Yes we might be doing that, too - which brings out one of the prime notions here, which is figuring out how, when and if we are going to be able to avail ourselves of new information or possibilities beginning to be heard of (or about) now.

Mercury retrogrades into Sagittarius (glyph chart)
January 4, 2017 - 14:18 (2:18 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mercury retrogrades into Sagittarius (text chart)
January 4, 2017 - 14:18 (2:18 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Moreover, with Mercury coming to the end of its current retrograde, it would not be unlikely if things which got delayed (or omitted) prior to Christmas (when Mercury went into retrograde) become a consideration. All this is in keeping with a fixed star named Acumen, which at 28 Sagittarius represents whether we have learned how to work through  challenges and things which are in conflict with some mental or philosophical position which supports some personal aim or position.

In oppositional ‘balance’ to fixed star Betelgeuse which at 28 Gemini represents the ‘easy/easier thing to think' or agree with, Acumen asks whether we have learned something properly or not - and when triggered can indicate the 'learning of a lesson.' So to have Mercury going direct at 28 Sagittarius (and conjunct Acumen) with asteroid Atropos (endings) sitting in exact conjunction with Betelgeuse on the Gemini side suggests some situation where some Gemini thought or choice 'ends' as Mercury goes on station and then direct.

Maybe this still has everything to do with the holidays. Then again, maybe it has something to do with who and what we want to be going forward. 

January 5 
January 5th being the date when Echo goes direct at 29 Taurus, it may be worth a moment of our time to recall the story of the unfortunate Echo.

Echo was (and theoretically remains - at least in mythic terms) a nymph, one with the questionable luck of ending up as maidservant to godly husband and wife Olympians Zeus and Hera. Now you might think this was a cushy position - nice palace, good food, employers who are often away bossing humans around - and you might well be forgiven for thinking Echo had a delightful job. However, her job was also made unusually difficult by the fact that honcho god Zeus (or Jupiter, if you prefer his Roman and more planetary name) was an eternal grade A philanderer with a habit of lying to his wife about his latest dalliance ... a habit which, after a few million years (eternity is a very long time), has come to irritate wifely goddess Hera (Juno), who has truly had enough of Zeus’ excuses and his frequently faithless stories.

Mind you - all these characters represent attributes in us, this eternal argument between Jupiter (Zeus) and Juno (Hera) representing (in general) those parts we should prioritize in life versus those we tend to want to prioritize in life. 

So there is Echo in this job everyone would like to think they would envy, fielding lies from Jupiter and snark from Juno.

The bickering couldn't have been fun. After all, we don't like struggling with trying to justify what we want, and Echo didn't either. So after eons of same, it might seem understandable that Echo decides to deal with her prickly position in a more 'hands off’ manner by simply repeating whatever is told to her by rote.

Unfortunately, that didn’t work either – which is the point of the story. On his way out to commit yet another round of Olympian funny business, Jupiter leaves a message (read: a convenient lie) with Echo in an effort to distract the wife. But alas, the wife is on to hubby’s games. So though I’ve never read any version of this tale which details what Juno said when Jupiter brought his Olympian toga home, when it comes to Echo, Juno’s punishment was swift and exacting. Not only was Echo banished from Mount Olympus, but because she refused to think, because she was willing to repeat things regardless of truth (or the lack thereof) and because Echo did all out of a desire to focus on her own desires without having to be bothered by having to remain involved with others in a responsible manner, Juno declared that from that day forward Echo would lose any ability to be her own person (or nymph). Stripped of any ability to do anything but repeat the words of others, Echo was banished to the forest and there caused to fall in love with Narcissus, a young man so entirely captivated with himself that no one and nothing else would ever matter - including Echo, who now goes around repeating what she has just heard, because for her, nothing else will ever exist.

A point which brings out then need to think, the tendency not to and that very human habit of repeating things without thinking them through or thinking about the consequences, Echo's going on station at 29 Taurus emphasizes (or underscores) issues and situations having to do with where or how vulnerability turns into the urge to brag or bully (and) how those who bully or brag belie their insecurities even as they assert they are anything but insecure.

Having this station occur as Mercury is also about to station (and go direct on January 8th) certainly emphasizes our thought processes and 'thinking.' It also suggests whatever happens now will affect discussions and decisions over the next several days.

Does Echo being on station here indicate a likelihood of our wanting to 'pick and choose' what we deal with? It might, just as Echo's station may well indicate a moment when the tendency to 'rubber stamp' something or examine it closely may be more problematic than usual.  

January 7 
Remembering how everything we have been discussing thus is occurring under eclipse effects, having Saturn enter the orb of conjunction to the Galactic Center as of January 7th with Mercury on station and due to go direct tomorrow seems a bit of a quirky twist.

What exactly is the Galactic Center? Put simply, the “GC” (Galactic Center) is the center of the galaxy Earth is part of – the Milky Way.

The Milky Way (and Galactic Center's) Magellanic cloud
(photo credit Li Silla, ESO Observatory/Chile, February 2015)
Traditionally a point which refers to what we ‘give’ or ‘add' to the world, as of January 1st the Galactic Center will have been positioned at 27 Sagittarius 05. And as it moves only seconds of arc per year, that makes the 27 Sagittarius emphasis on jealousy and all forms of emotional unwillingness and 'give' (particularly that which promotes ‘attacks’ on others) something which is experienced, witnessed, heard about now or defended against (actively or passively) through that which we do (or) experience with, or in conjunction with others. Something is 'in the air,' or 'going around' at the moment. And with Mercury's station (at 28 Sagittarius) 'stopping short'  of the Galactic Center, we may be thinking about something we want to avoid affecting. Or, perhaps, with Mercury conjuncting Acumen, we are now learning learn why something works if done one way and not if done another way, whether or not that affects anything or not.

With Saturn just now coming into orb of the Galactic Center, its implied message about the need to make a contribution and the value of earning through effort can be expected to continue for some time.

Like, for months.

How so and why? The answer there is simple and straightforward: once Saturn reaches 27 Sagittarius on March 6th it will be lingering there for an entire month, turning to retrograde at that same degree of 27 Sagittarius on April 6th. So we know life is going to present us with all sorts of challenges (and reasons to take those challenges on) during that time. 

And even once in retrograde, Saturn will remain in orb of conjunction for some time, backing out of that orb as of July 24th only to re-enter that 5-degree orb on September 26 (once Saturn goes direct again) and finish up this round of Saturn (representing our opportunity to earn something) conjuncting the Galactic Center (a form of 'gateway' or 'connection point' with our world and greater society) during the period between November 24th and December 2nd when Saturn moves through 27 Sagittarius for the last time during this particular round of the zodiac.

By the time Saturn exits its Galactic Center conjunction orb on January 15, 2018, we will no doubt have made a few gains and earned a few brownie points while learning a few things about our Self and the whole idea of limits (and) contributions. And with Saturn now entering its orb to the Galactic Center as Eris and Psyche are moving on station (with Eris about to go direct and Psyche about to go retrograde as of January 9th), that may well be some sort of subtle (or not so subtle, come to think of it...) indicator of situations which provide 'clues' as to where and how we tend to indulge our Self even when unwise and how likely it is that we are going to have to spend some time (maybe some portion of the next year?) facing up to the havoc we cause our Self through an inability to trust - often because it is all too easy to be manipulated by those more interested in their own gains rather than our stability or any 'greater good.'

January 8 
After Mercury goes direct on January 8th, everything (apart from the nodes) is going to be in direct motion until Jupiter goes retrograde on February 6th - which may have us feeling 'free,' freed up, or simply in a position to operate more freely than at other times.

And with Mercury going direct at 9:44 in the morning (UT/+0 time), that doesn't seem entirely illogical. With Mercury doing its ‘turnaround’ at 28 Sagittarius, lore suggests this station as being centered in ‘thinking things through’ with an eye to understanding how something 'works' (or doesn't work, maybe) either through perspective (getting the 'big picture') or through considering enough results (or) results from over a period of time sufficient to reveal trends, themes, patterns and methods which are, or are not successful.

Mercury Direct (glyph chart)
January 8, 2017 - 9:44 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mercury Direct (text chart)
January 8, 2017 - 9:44 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
With the Sabian symbol for 28 Sagittarius being ‘A fat boy mowing the lawn of his home on an elegant suburban street,’ Mercury's taking station here brings out conversations, references, debates and contemplations with regards to all which ‘grows’ (or increases) as a result of being “well fed” (or) well provided with 'nourishment,' which in Sagittarius can as easily represent knowledge as food, money or anything else. 'Ideas' presented or in play now (and the discussions pertaining to those ideas) are likely to 'take a turn' now, and with fixed star Acumen in the mix (and in opposition to Betelgeuse) we may well now recognize how far we have come ... or how things have changed since we 'set out' on some sort of personal 'journey.' We may now capitalizing on what we have been working through under Mercury retrograde. Or we may be realizing how useful some previously learned (or) perhaps undervalued lesson or skill really is.

With Mercury doing its 28 Sagittarius pirouette in trine to Ceres at 23 Aries, there is some indication of misjudgments – or possibly the discovery of ‘mistakes,’ misunderstandings and misrepresentations now. And though Mercury is not in aspect to the Jupiter (which as part of the Jupiter-Pluto-Uranus t-square is opposing Uranus, Eris, Tisiphone and Byblis) ... that list is conjunct Ceres, which brings up a few other possibilities. One concerns how anyone exposed or ‘found out’ now is likely to respond with outrage, ire threats and and bluster - all of which may be real, or merely a bluff. And the other? That concerns how unwise it may be to choose this as the moment to ‘put one over’ (or fool) someone, as such actions may just start an avalanche of repercussions far larger than imagined.

In being unaspected by traditional planets (using standard aspects), this Mercury station may also mark something totally new or unrelated to anything else. It may refer to thoughts or things which seem to have no bearing on anything else (or) which seem oddly ‘out of place.’ Sagittarius being a sign which has earned its reputation for being (and representing) 'headstrong' qualities, with Mercury unaspected at its station it would not be considered surprising to hear something fabulously uncensored now ... or to hear of something new and rather extraordinary happening - to say nothing of the normal travel and schedule interruptions which occur around the time of Mercury's stations. 

January 9 
Even without any consideration of degrees, the combination of Eris going direct as Psyche goes retrograde speaks to something which 'startles' us through revealing something which is not about our surroundings or activities, but rather about the mind or mindset with which we are perceiving and responding to our life.

Eris Direct (glyph chart)
January 9, 2017 - 16:50 (4:50 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Eris Direct (text chart)
January 9, 2017 - 16:50 (4:50 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
With a 4.99 year-long orbit around the Sun and a size (mass) said to comprise around 1% of the entire asteroid belt, Psyche is one of the largest asteroids out there - which metaphysically says Psyche is both an important asteroid in our chart and how our periodic encounters with Psyche represent important moments for 'checking in' with our Self on how we are going to handle 'the unknown.'

That's part of what Psyche is about - how we deal with what we don't yet know. But as the myth of Psyche shows us, our Psyche also represents how we can get into trouble with our Self (and thus with others) because of an inability (or possibly an unwillingness) to trust not others, but who and what we are at some very basic level ... either because of who we are on an innate and personal level (or) because we are subject to being swayed or affected by the murmurings and opinions of others who may or may not have our best interests (or priorities) as their top interests and/or priority.

In stationing and going retrograde at 19 Virgo, emotions and emotionality are play with our toughness (as opposed to our vulnerability) being front and center. Assertiveness and - in particular - how we address others or the situation are key here, with Psyche's involvement pointing to the chance of people seeing 'more' about us (or the situation) than expected (or even intended).

Psyche will only be in retrograde until April 25th, at which point it will go direct in exact conjunction with Amphitrite at 6 Virgo with Orcus a degree ahead at 7 Virgo - a combination which suggests the need to accept and/or get accustomed to (or familiar with) something which cannot, or which is simply not going to change. Psyche going retrograde may also be a sign of introspection - which may indicate a period of thought, or which may simply indicate our attention being drawn by ‘internal matters’ whether that act (in itself) has a repercussion or not. Do we need to do a bit of “mental housecleaning”? Might we be voluntarily, knowingly, instinctively or even a bit compulsively refusing to consider something or someone without really knowing what we are talking (or thinking) about? 

L'Enlèvement de Psyché by Oscar Pereira de Silva (1914)
With Amphitrite due to go retrograde on the 14th, might we also be having to accept something which (at least from our current perspective) does not seem good - whether or not we will (at some point down the line) learn better?

That is the typical Amphitrite meaning, so yes. While familiarity may breed contempt (as they say), there is a different sort of contempt we reserve for things we aren't familiar with, but tend to be unwilling to get to know.

Beyond all that however, is the fact that this is just such a 'mental' moment. Think of it ... we have three objects - one a planet (Mercury), the second being a Kuiper Belt dwarf planet (Eris) and the third being one of the most major of asteroids (Psyche) all on station at once, metaphysically representing three different 'levels' or 'forms' of mental experience and perspective. Planets represent personal experience of self - particularly when we are talking about one of the inner (so called 'personal') planets like Mercury. Being an asteroid, Psyche represents something about our psyche we 'encounter' or meet up with in life. And Eris, in being an occupant of the Kuiper Belt (beyond Neptune) speaks to that which we would never suspect (never mind contemplate) unless it 'struck us' from out of the cosmic blue. (Or black, since this is space we're talking about). 

That the larger two objects (Mercury and Eris) are going direct as Psyche is going retrograde may indicate ‘taking a step back,' though why would be individual. Then again, where Eris is concerned, though only discovered in 2003, the astrological Eris has quickly proved itself to be a royal headache of often startling effect in it's ability to time out moments and situations which show us the difference - and the distance - between what we like and what might prove to our (or even everyone's) greatest benefit through consideration of the long-term consequences which may result from insisting on short term priorities. 

With this Eris-Psyche confluence (and parting of the ways) happening a day after Mercury’s 28 Sagittarius station, there is also a more than decent chance there may be ‘too much’ on our plate (or on our mind) at the moment - which may be clogging up the (Psyche) priority works. With Mercury known for going a bit 'overboard' and occasionally 'coloring outside the lines' when in Sagittarius, Psyche's turn to retrograde may also manifest in some form ‘balance’ (or our ability to balance) now causing problems, particularly if (or where) there is a lack of care or willingness to listen with an open mind (as opposed to dictating terms or merely ‘tolerating’ some conversation).

But hey, nobody's perfect, right? (Try as we may, yes.)

January 12 
For those sensitive to conversational temperature, the ‘cooling’ off of things likely to occur as (and after) Mercury re-enters Capricorn (at 14:04 or 2:04 p.m., UT/+0 time on January 12th) may come as a blessing.

Then again, things could get 'too cool,' or even chilly as Mercury in Capricorn moves us in the direction of ‘getting down to business,’ whatever our business of the moment may be. This is not about life becoming getting calm or freeze-dried into any lack of emotionality - that would be highly unlikely at the moment of any Full Moon, particularly one happening in the Moon's 'home sign' of Cancer.

Full Moon at 22 Cancer (glyph chart)
January 12, 2017 - 11:35 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Full Moon at 22 Cancer (text chart)
January 12, 2017 - 11:35 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
The current Full Moon being at 22 Cancer (and set to occur at 11:35 in the morning, UT/+0 time), we know the general feeling of emotionality is likely to be ambient at this time - everyone will be feeling their feelings, regardless of whether we agree. Much about what is 'afoot' now will be as yet undecided, or insufficiently ‘formed’ or ‘formulated’ as to be impervious to influence, which may be just a curiosity (considering Psyche having just gone retrograde)... but which may also be a sign of some psychic pudding thickening in such a manner as to cause us to take that 'step back' we were talking about.

Cancer being the first of the water signs, our feelings (or reactions) are likely to be primal or basic in nature, regardless of what is promoting them. And with the degree 22 Cancer being known for emotionally pliability, persuasion (whether on our part or someone else) may well be the tactic of the moment whether being purposefully plied or just part of some situation which is 'moving' the emotional status quo.

With the Moon of this figure in a perfect inconjunct to Saturn + Juno (which at 22 Sagittarius are conjunct fixed star Ras Alhague) this Full Moon may bring healing or harm, depending on inclination and our wiliness to make an (Saturn) effort in the (Juno) managing of emotional expectations, demands and impulses, some of which may be 'compromised' (or modified) now. And as this is the "Virgo-like" 150-degree (as opposed to the "Scorpio-like" 210-degree) version of an inconjunct, efforts to bring things into being, create 'workable' dynamics and priorities are most affected here. With this Full Moon forming up a couple of hours before Mercury reaches the metaphysical Capricorn doorway, we may feel “pushed” to do or be something, making this a time when we are being asked to make a decision - which may make this Full Moon about our ability to think quickly (or) to take the time we need to come to our best decision. Either way, making certain things are done (or are being done) correctly is important - and with the Full Moon's Moon and Sun (a natural opposition) also being part of a cardinal sign grand square here, it does not appear to be the moment when guaranteeing we can come to any 'right' decision is going to necessarily be easy, – or even easy to insist on, for whatever reason.

When it comes to keeping things ‘cool and calm,’ having Pluto conjunct the Sun in this figure is something of a sign that things seem simple ... or very complex, and how either situation may represent an effort to ‘stir things up’ or get things into motion. Or it may represent a conscious effort to deal with (or take care of) difficulties and problems, particularly those which are undermining some status quo or some notion which has ‘long-standing’ status. Well known for bringing out latent compulsions or compulsivity, Sun-Pluto contacts can be obsessive or compulsive and bring these traits out in us, driving us batty while we keep wondering what is (or feels) so "wrong."

Metaphysically defined, that 'wrong-ness' is about not feeling in control - a notion which reflects Pluto's transpersonal nature. As for whether we really have lost control, for most of us that answer will be 'no' - we will retain whatever ability to pick, choose and be picky we came into this time with. However, there may well be some 'feelings' floating around in reference to some things we cannot change, such as how much time we don't have in which to get things done. Or how much we miss someone who is no longer with us. 

That asteroid Germania sitting right between the Sun and Pluto may well be an indication that whatever feelings are afoot, they have some strength to them. We are also likely to be dealing with some feelings of 'this will never change' futility - which considering how most of us will have 'lists' stuck in our head as to things we want to accomplish (now, and in the future) may simply arouse feeling of 'temporal frustration' (read: "I'm doing this instead of the thing I would really rather be doing?") with visions of risks and possible gains (as opposed to sugar plums) dancing through our heads.

In fact, given the lineup of Uranus, Eris, Tisiphone, Ceres and Byblis all in the third decanate (last ten degrees) of Aries, we may be second guessing ourselves now. Is that idea (plan, methodology) advisable or problematic? The fact that we do not know (and cannot know) at the moment may not feel all that comfortable - particularly if (or when) ‘pressure’ arises, or gets applied.

That idea of 'applying ‘pressure’ - whether emotional, hydraulic or otherwise - may prove particularly challenging now, with wheedling, maneuvering, or manipulation (whether real or playful) capable of setting off disruptions. This Full Moon is one where, for whatever reason, personality 'weak points' are likely to get found and poked - and when emotional tolerance may run low, particularly where our individual cultures or generational influences have caused us to have (or hold onto) ‘standard expectations’ about 'standards' which are currently conflicted.

Like any Full Moon, this one may well mark a ‘high point’ or a ‘highlighting’ of something which is (or isn’t) working. It can time out a situation or moment which marks the end of a ‘phase’ of something, whether we are planning to move on or declare ‘completion.’ With this Full Moon taking place in Cancer, the 'core' issue is home, hearth, culture and family - which with Pluto-Sun involved may indicate some form of emotional (or) ‘power' issue, whether that refers to the lights on the tree going out, the 'changing of the guard' when it comes to whose house celebrations are being held at, or some perilous and personal struggle to simply survive.

With Amphitrite about to station and go retrograde, some part of what happens now may also simply be about a dislike of anything 'new,' though those among us who do choose to ‘take on the new’ are likely to learn a good deal about life and our Self by tackling such a thing, no matter how well (or not well) things go. Of course there are going to be a few Grinches in the crowd - there always are. Depending on how urgent things are, not poking the Grinch while allowing sleeping dogs to slumber on (at least until the Full Moon passes) may be the better (read: more peaceful) course of action. 

January 14
Neptune and Amphitrite by Sebastiano Ricci (c 1691-1694, oil on canvas)
With the degree of Amphitrite’s retrograde station being 20 Virgo, how mindful we are (and aren't) of our own needs now affects both how we feel about our prospects for accomplishment ... and whether we are literally capable of  reaching some goal. Whenever Amphitrite comes into focus (by station or involvement in some configuration) the basic question is about confronting that which we are not familiar with. So, will we ‘run away’ - or try to run away? Even if we do, where Amphitrite is concerned, whatever is at stake tends to ‘catch up’ with us, which in the end may teach us to not run to begin with (and) how or where we tend to act (or react) with overblown, unnecessary, or even those concerns which end up damaging our better interests.

With this station taking place in Virgo (as will that of Kallisto, which takes place in a couple of days), all the earthiness and ‘realism’ Virgo requires is either called to our attention or put to use now. And with the Full Moon having just occurred, that even may have served to outline or initiate that which we will now be working through. And while this combination of sign and object may well be experienced as a critique of others, an Amphitrite station in Virgo may also have us speculating as to where and how we can improve our own lot, output and effectiveness.

Or it may cause us to face how something we have done, said, supported as a priority has compromised others - or sometimes our effort as a whole. 

January 16 
Two days after Amphitrite goes retrograde, Kallisto follows suit, doing so at 16 Virgo, a degree said to lend a quality of ‘invisibility,’ particularly as that applies to how we tend to 'forget about' or otherwise ignore things which are working well (or 'well enough') - with all of this being focused through the story of Kallisto.

So, who is Kallisto? Asteroid Kallisto is named after Callisto - the daughter of a local king, who decides to dedicate her life and Self to the service of Artemis, sister of chariot driving Apollo and the goddess of the Moon and hunting.

In taking her vows of service, Kallisto promised to live a life of chastity, which we may take as her choice to favor ‘personal reflection’ (the Moon) over the more typical life of emotional interactivity and relationships. This was not a problem to her initially - and may therefore, may represent that which is not difficult to begin with simply because we purposefully choose to avoid whatever feelings may be out there to be felt or become involved in.

Diana and Callisto by Sebastiano Ricci
(c. 1712, oil on canvas)
But since Greek myth is not about easy times and happy-go-lucky moments, Kallisto's tale doesn't end there. No, instead her plan gets altered by Jupiter (the principle of growth and expansion) - specifically when said chief honcho Olympian spots the lovely Kallisto and decides then and there how he must have her. In fact, being the unsubtle and overwhelmingly determined kind of immortal he is, Jupiter turns himself into an Olympian facsimile of Artemis. Then, while wearing the guise of Artemis (in other words while pretending to be reflective), he seduces Kallisto and promptly has his lordly Olympian way with her.

 At this point there come to be three somewhat different versions of the story, so let's go through them one by one.

In the first version, Jupiter purposefully turns Kallisto into a bear so that wife Juno (or Hera, if you’re thinking Greek) doesn’t find out - which considering all characters in every myth metaphysically refer to facets of our Self is a lot like trying to lie to ourselves about not having eaten that second piece of pie while still licking our lips because it tasted so good.

In the second version, its wife Juno (or Hera, if you prefer) who discovers Jupiter’s affair. And when that happens, managerial Juno manages to keep her temper just long enough to turn Kallisto into a bear so she (Juno) can then deal with bigger and more eternal (Olympian) betrayals.
The third version of the story makes a bit more sense, if only because it accounts for Kallisto bearing a son - Arcas - as a result of her evidently very ‘enlarging’ intercourse with Jupiter. In this version, upon learning that Kallisto has broken her oath of chastity, Artemis gets so angry she cancels Kallisto contract of service and then changes Kallisto into a bear herself - an act which clearly tells Kallisto how she had best hide her bear self in the depths of the forest lest the Goddess of the Hunt (Artemis) hunt her down and do away with her. 
However the transformation happens, Arcas grows up being cared for by Artemis’ followers with Kallisto staying as close as she dares, watching her son grow up from the woods. And when Jupiter finally realizes what has come of this mess he takes pity on Kallisto, rewarding her by setting Kallisto and Arcas among the stars as the constellations we know as Ursa Major and Ursa Minor - the Big and Little Bear.

And there they will forever be together, high in our northern (intellectual) sky, serving to remind us of what is ultimately important, and how in the end knowledge is there to rescue us - even from our own follies - and ultimately about respecting and protecting us.

With that much said, maybe you remember how last month we talked about Kochab and Vega, two of the ‘circle of stars’ which mark Earth’s 26,000 year precessional cycle (sometimes known as ‘the precession of the equinoxes’).

Well, star movement and other astronomical things being involved, it may help to know how back in the first millennia BCE (in other words, during the heyday of Athens and its mythic tales) the stars of Ursa Major (the “figure” of Kallisto) were ‘higher’ in the northern sky than they are today, metaphysically suggesting how over time, life has made it easier or perhaps even more necessary to ‘live’ in, and to acknowledge our emotions - and how as we ‘separate’ from a more or less 'purely' intellectual thought process, it may also get easier (and perhaps more likely) to get ‘caught up’ in things which change our ‘forever’ when we lose our ability to reflect.

With Kallisto going retrograde at 16 Virgo, our awareness of what is at stake may now become more real to us. Or we may come to some recognition that we have gone ‘too far’ in one direction or another, causing us to get off track with regards to an initial purpose which may or may not still be as important as it used to be (or at least seem). 

Whoever we are, Kallisto stands as both a warning and consolation. It teaches us that things may not turn out as we had planned, but how that does not mean there is no good to be gained from that which was not our first choice or goal. 

January 19 
The Sun’s yearly transit of Aquarius is (in part) defined as the Sun moving through the sign which is in opposition to that which it rules (Leo) - which says a couple of things. For one, Leo is a second zodiac quarter sign which is intrinsically about the private side of life, close friends and individual goals where Aquarius is a non-personal, third zodiac quarter sign which focuses and functions through collectives, systems, mass marketing, movements and the ideas which cause them to function (or not function).

Societies, organizations, groups, nations and the networks, systems, agreements (or disagreements) which connect us (even when we don’t agree) are all Aquarian, as are our efforts to connect with others (and our society) or 'find our place' in the world. Aquarius speaks to our relationship with acceptance (by others) - which makes total sense when we think of Aquarius as the polarity to Leo, the sign under which we do everything to develop and gain ('earn') respect and confidence from our Self.

As the Sun transits Aquarius, we all go through all sorts of experiences and moments which impart or relieve stress - mostly through making us aware of how 'on' or 'off track' we are when it comes to getting (earning) the Aquarian acceptance people naturally not only want, but certainly need as fewer and fewer of us live the kind of life where we are literally 'disconnected' from society living a self-sustaining, 'off the grid' type of lifestyle. Under Sun in Aquarius, it is our capacity to be 'real' (or at least realistic), responsible, timely and yet flexible which becomes the basis for accomplishment, though like Sagittarius, Capricorn and Pisces (the other three signs in the zodiac's last, and most non-personal quartet) 'success' in the Aquarian arena is ultimately not in our hands as, but decided upon by others. 

So all of this – plus all of the discoveries, airiness and odd snippets of humor which are so Aquarian – all this comes to be ours yet again once the Sun enters Aquarius at 21:25 (9:25 p.m., UT/+0 time) on January 19th.

Sun in Aquarius (glyph chart)
January 19, 2017 - 21:25 (9:25 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sun in Aquarius (text chart)
January 19, 2017 - 21:25 (9:25 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
By way of aspects, this ingress is not the most complicated ingress we've ever seen. The Sun is going to be entering Aquarius in conjunction with Icarus (at 29 Capricorn), suggesting some form of haste which will make for 'waste' or something coming to a sudden end. And with fixed star Altair at 2 Aquarius, one of the reasons why things 'suddenly' change direction will have come (or concern) the ability to do things in a timely way. With all of this also in opposition to Vesta (at 27 Cancer) and Plutino AZ84 (at 2 Leo) we may have been delayed by something which has naturally taken priority - or we may come to this moment annoyed with our Self for missing out on something because we were distracted or simply not paying attention.

Does this have anything to do with February's eclipses? It could, of course - and once the Sun is in Aquarius we are (in a sense) 'counting down' to the lunar eclipse, suggesting how things will be getting more intense, exciting or possibly volatile over this next little while. Is there some sort of 'dotted line' between this 'activation' quality and the the idea that dwarf planet Haumea will be going retrograde on the 22nd with asteroid Circe going direct in Gemini the day after?

There may well be. With Circe being all about ‘the power of enchantment’ and as one of Haumea’s chief traits concerns ‘shape-shifting’ (or) either the changing the nature of things or our attempt to change them ... what is true, or even seems to be true or ‘all important’ may go out the window(s) several times over the next few days as things change, or come to seem different.

But are they?

Ultimately this combination of Sun entering Aquarius plus Haumea’s station (and the incoming eclipses) may conspire to reveal fallacies in the way we think (or) approach things - particularly if our efforts are 'formulated' around the idea of our own positions, rewards or outcomes. Where problems exist (or develop), in all likelihood perspectives need to be broadened (or clarified, another Aquarian specialty) so as to understand how (or where) to alter or adjust the balance governing current dynamics -  even if such changes meet with hesitation or resistance.

That ‘situation’ (or our current position on that situation) being defined by Icarus + Sun + Altair, courageous if ‘fact free’ choice may become temporarily popular - and not a few toes are likely to get stubbed as some choose a foolish (read: unsuccesful) path.

Not that doing nothing is necessarily apt now - and problems may also arise if (and where) we lack sufficient courage to consider alternatives. (Which may not be a pleasant alternative to consider, she added wryly ...) Some will be defeated because they don't want to start (or try), and there will be those who choose to roll up their sleeves and dive in, but who will in very short order encounter difficulties in connection with wanting to see things in a particular light (or) from a preconceved perspective.

As I have often I said ...people want change, they would just rather not be the one who has to do the changing. 

January 22 
Apart from indicating changes of stances and the redefining of situations (or one’s involvement in some situation) having Plutino/dwarf planet Haumea go retrograde at 24 Libra promises changes which in turn either (a.) do change relationships because something now occurs (or) comes to be known - or (b.) which do not affect relationships because of some inability to see things clearly due to some (generally) unconscious need to prove to ourselves what we are capable of through relating (or) relationships, which would (of course!) be the standard Libra way of doing things.

And that very Libra quality - because it does involve others (whether in the flesh or by implication) may be of great importance now, as the stationing of Haumea speaks to a time when there is more of an ability (or capacity) to change the nature of relationships (or the focus of some reason for relating) than at other times.

There is, however, the wee fact that Haumea is a Plutino to consider however. Like all Plutinos, Haumea's orbit around the Sun is influenced (read: governed) by big blue Neptune. And because of that, Haumea's 'shape shifting' qualities - whether they apply to changing the 'shape' (nature) of a conversation, our persona or our personal appearance - it all may be real, and then it may simply be for effect.

Or we may be laboring under some illusion.

Or, with Ceres and Tisiphone (one of the Furies) sitting in opposition, something (someone ... or something about someone) may be driving us a bit crazy. 

Orestes Pursued by the Furies by Carl Rahl (1852)
At the other end of the spectrum, that Haumea's station is occurring in Libra's third decanate (its least personal and self-focused set of degress) suggests this as a good time to negotiate or discuss things which require compromise – or perhaps where we are working towards the cessation of ‘game playing,’ evasiveness, double-talk or ‘smoke screen’ tactics. With fixed stars Arcturus and Spica also currently at 24 Libra, having sufficient perseverance to achieve insight is a necessity - and with the object being Haumea, there is a good chance that avoidance and efforts which seek to avoid getting ‘pinned down’ may also be in evidence, whether they prove productive and successful (or not!).

January 23 
A reference either to our ability to be swayed by our own instincts (particularly those most primal and biological) … or to purposefully try to sway, convince or otherwise coerce others through appealing to (or exploiting) their most primal instincts, Circe going direct at 8 Gemini brings out two very different sides of things (or) two different sides of our personal nature.

Basically, one ‘side’ of 8 Gemini represents assertion and motivations stirred by the notion of personal gain (or advantage) while the other is more reflective, contemplative, and willing to share and/or support others.

Given how this is a first decan degree (a degree between 0 and 9), there is an 'automatic' reference to physicality things we do or say. And given how the object doing the stationing at 8 Gemini is Circe, the idea of 'enchanting' or 'enchantment' may speak to some effort to advance some personal aim, find ourselves enjoying some ‘enchanting’ entertainment, or we may ourselves be being enchanted by someone or something.

With this happening in the wake of Haumea’s station the idea of ‘playing a role’ is being underscored, with whether all is in the spirit of play or out of irresponsible personal desires being an emphasis, especially where priorities go askew because of some sort of 'fun' or fascination.

And on a whole other race track, for some these stations (meaning that of Haumea and Circe) will feed into existent situations indicating 'turnarounds' of efforts, situations, relationships and feelings the pluses and minuses/limitations of which are - as we can tell by aspect - already in the process of being ‘broken down’ by eclipse effects.

Look for a few reassessments - and the possibility of changes developing from those reassessments during the next few weeks to come. 

January 27 
As January 27th plays host to Rhadamanthus going retrograde at 28 Libra, we may find ourselves facing (or witnessing) making one (or several) decisions with the kind of super-human fairness reflective of Rhadamanthus as a mythic half human/half godly ruler capable of always holding himself to the just and 'eternal' solution.

So what might this concern? Because Rhadamanthus is taking its station in Libra, we know its turn to retrograde is going to touch on relationships, our the ability (or willingness) to 'relate' to something (or someone) ... and the very quality of fairness or 'justice,' however that applies to the moment. More to the point, perhaps, as the degree of station is 28 Libra, this station is referring to some 'a willingness to treat others (and their ideas) on an equal par particularly with our own ideas - and how in this moment, such qualities say much about people.

Yes, maybe even including us.

That may sound relatively simple. And yes, it may be simple in real time... apart from one thing.

And what is that one thing? That one thing concerns how this is the last day of Mars’ current transit of Pisces, a fact which not only puts Mars at 29 critical degrees of the water sign most adept at revealing our Self to our Self (often with iffy results)  while also putting Mars in direct conjunction with fixed star Scheat at the moment when a Yod is forming up between Saturn, Jupiter and Sedna (aka Sedna/Algol).

Moreover, this isn’t just 'any' transiting Yod which is going to behere for a few days and then gone. Instead, this Yod is going to be with us for a while.

For instance: it will still be around when Jupiter goes retrograde on February 6th (UT/+0). And when that happens, as Jupiter is involved in this Yod, it is to be expected that Jupiter's station will indicate a 'turn' in the Yod's native ability to indicate changes and 'adjustments' to plans, ideas, concepts and all else. So mark your calendars - Jupiter's station is surely going to ‘stir up’ a bowl of needs with a side order of personal preferences, all as the Yod continues to represent forces and dynamics which present us with the need to recalibrate, review or re-estimate.

And all of this continues until, as of February 15th, Jupiter (being now in retrograde) “backs out” of the Yod's narrow (2 degree) aspect of orb, leaving Saturn in an uncomfortable inconjunct with Sedna, not necessarily challenging our opinion not certain realities, but rather whether certain ‘realities’ are really real.

And just why (or how) does a Yod work? Composed of two inconjuncts (150 degree aspects) with both being focused at one end on a single point (in this case, Sedna). The first of these inconjuncts references the natural 150 degree position -- a "6th sign" Virgo-type influence which prompts us to pay attention to (or face dealing with) the 'responsible' and 'healthy' way to do and regard things, while the other inconjunct has a natural 8th sign (or) "Scorpio"- like quality emphasizing what we like and want out of any given situation even as it also instinctively unsettles us in that very special way which challenges even as it tempts.

The net of this combination manifests as tendencies which have us wanting to 'sit tight' or 'hold on to' whatever is represented by the single point of unity or 'commonalty' - in this case, Sedna. (Or more properly, Sedna + Capulus + Algol.) So with Sedna at 25 Taurus (and in retrograde) there is pressure on some ‘inner standard’ or ‘image’ we have - and which we have held onto - as to how things ‘should be’ (should work, etc.).

Often instilled early on whether by parents, media exposure or early experiences, our experience of Sedna is both so prevalent and so deeply ingrained in us that we only periodically confront our Sedna 'issues' - which is actually in keeping with an object which takes over 11,000 years to go once around the Sun. 

In other words, Sedna doesn't move very quickly, and therefore the issues it represents in our lives are things we do not 'move through' very quickly either.

So Sedna represents a combination of our young dreams and those qualities of 'imprinting' we get from culture, tradition and parental "expectations" - all of which come to formulate some sort of idea as to how life 'is going to be.'

And then life comes along and proves it is something different, giving us a Sedna headache and heartache.

Here surrounded by Capulus and Algol, Sedna is giving us the impression of a feisty and distinctly defensive-aggressive mélange which gets delivered with an accompaniment of pristine ‘we’re not talking about me, we’re talking about you’ type denials. Representing the sword of Perseus and our willingness to ‘put all on the line,’ Capulus refers to a 'cutting' energy while Algol, a reference to the severed head of Medusa refers to the kind of nebulous feeling of threat which causes us to lash out or go all mountainous on some problem barely worth treating as a molehill.

That said, whatever 'issue' is at hand here (and throughout this period) it is unlikely to be 'about' anyone else, but rather something in us (or) about our life which we are 'all alone' in thinking or holding to be true - that last part (about the quality of isolation) coming from Sedna’s current position at 25 Taurus.

Where Sedna is concerned, we feel 'entitled' to feel, think and act as we do. Yet here, the Yod is plainly showing us that some part of our Sedna 'image' needs updating (or at least some major adjustments), with there being a distinct possibility we are on a wrong track or acting from some conviction or 'image' pertaining to our Self, our life and our personal 'destiny.'

With Sedna in late Taurus, there is something about 'belonging' (or what we belong 'to') which may well be coming under pressure, though why that would be is completely individual. And as Jupiter, Spica, Arcturus and Haumea (all in Libra) involved in this inconjunct to Sedna, the pressure which arises now is likely to reference our having ‘put a spin’ (or slant) on something (how Sedna of us!) which may never have been true ... or which may have been true 'back then' but is no longer true in the here-and-now.

As for Saturn, Valborg and Plutino Ixion manning the other inconjunct, Ixion is always being a cup of bad news in that it references something we do more than once in spite of bad results, costs, warnings and punishments - which with Ixion at 25 Sagittarius refers to a specifically unmerited over-optimistic attitude connected with being 'part of a group.'

Does this mean we think we are part of a 'group' we are not part of? Might it refer to thinking the group (or belonging to that group or collective) is a good thing when it is not? Might we be 'overly optimistic' about being able to avoid being part of a group which itself is 'under the gun'?

Ixion-Sedna is not a lovely combination - this is two kinds of 'separatist' or 'separating' denial in one brew, both part of which speak to some kind of "I do not have to" conviction which is purely and plainly wrong.

However ... there is a twist here in the form of Valborg, an asteroid which refers to 'not enough' or 'insufficient,' 'weak' or 'unethusiastic' efforts. In conjunction with Saturn, there is therefore some chance that current issues may be due to insufficient optimism (or) a lack of structure, responsibility, justice, realism, standards or time, which (in true Saturn in Sagittarius style) may now be becoming something standing in the way of achieving our goals.

Or perhaps our efforts to reach our (Saturn) potential and goals is being (Valborg) weakened by some less-than-mature (Sedna) perspective or understanding of what reality is, or what the facts (or) necessities are.

With all of this occurring under Piscean eclipse effects, try as we may, we will not - in time - be able to avoid understanding where and how such issues pertain or apply to us. And as with all 'Things Piscean,' our efforts to 'escape' knowing the truth about our Self are as much a part of the lesson as anything else.

Of course, all this is going to manifest with greater or lesser effects depending (at this moment) on whether the 8 Pisces solar eclipse is going to aspect our individual chart.

Once we move into February, the effects of this Yod will change, due to the fact that there will be a lunar eclipse on February 11th. And as said lunar eclipse will be occurring at 22 Leo and therefore in square to Sedna, in trine to Saturn and in sextile to Jupiter, things (and our feelings about things) can be expected to get much more emotional as January ends, February begins and the lunar eclipse looms.

And yes, proximity to the lunar eclipse counts too - the closer the eclipse falls to any planet, axis, node or other sensitive point in our chart, the more the qualities of that aspected point can be expected to manifest.

Getting back to the Yod, the thing about Yods is that this is one of the astrological configurations which does offer us a specific solution, though it is generally one we neither want or find particularly easy to take. With the objects at the ‘Y’ end of the Yod being in sextile (and both in an inconjunct to the Yod's ‘base,’ there is always a point which is both in direct opposition to that base and also midway between the objects in sextile. That point is the Yod's solution point.

In this case that 'solution' point is 25 Scorpio, a degree said to be reckless and self assertive, often at cost to self (or) others. Having a reputation for tests (and) whatever results from being tested, 25 Scorpio is associated with how stress and stressful situations bring us to individual moments when we confront our ability to tolerate frustration (and continue functioning) in the face of knowing we cannot have what we want without a virtual certainly that we will pay dearly (or more than dearly) for continuing in a given 'direction.'

That all this is happening with Mars at 29 Pisces is doubly interesting as 29 Pisces is the current position of fixed star Scheat, a star noted for denial exhibited at the 'societal' level resulting in positions or attempts to avoid or evade facing certain ideas - whether ours or those being proposed by others. With Mars at 29 Pisces, there is a natural 'pressing' of one's case (or some idea) whether on our part or that of others, with Scheat being equally likely to manifest emotionally as determination, stoicism, faith, patience or any other tact which exhibits strength of conviction.

A couple of other things to be aware of ... asteroid Sabine (a reference to being ‘held’ in place by involuntary means, situational or otherwise) – is going direct on January 29th, meaning its station begins on January 27th. The effect here is not likely to be notable in most cases, though we may well feel or sense ourselves (or others) being ‘caught’ or getting ‘caught up’ in something.

Amor will also be going direct (on January 28th) in Gemini. An indication of friendship or alliances with those we are not emotionally or intimately involved in, Amor's going on station at 2 Gemini is an indication of things which though strong in appearance may be compromised or weakened by dependence or 'narrow' definitions or design.

January 28 
Last month ended (more or less) with a New Moon at 7 Capricorn and Uranus going direct at 20 Aries - all as eclipse effects began. (It was a fitting send-off for 2016.) Not to be outdone however, January 2017 is ending with a New Moon at 8 Aquarius which occurs at eight minutes after midnight (in the UT/+0 zone) -- and with Mars entering Aries a few hours later (at 5:40 in the morning, UT/+0 time).

With asteroid Sabine going direct on the 29th, the energy of its station at 6 Gemini adds to eclipse effects which, with the (9-sign derivative) trine to the New Moon suggestive of personal-societal relationships which dictate certain limitations and circumstances - along with the notion of a 'busy' month, whatever that may mean. Not generally our favorite influence simply because it does either represent limitations or 'boundaries' we feel necessary to enforce, Sabine can, on occasion, symbolize the kind of 'irritation' which creates something wonderful, much as a piece of grit can cause an oyster to create a lustrous pearl.

That said, any Aquarian New Moon is going to combine that we like with things we would rather not deal with – and when it comes to Aquarius (and all things Aquarian, including the astrological Age we now live in), to not do required work, or to not make needed investments, to not put forth the effort to fully understand and accept all the facts (not just the ones you like or are in favor of) is ultimately the only path to success. A sign of ultimate universalism which manifests through ‘the idea of the thing,’ Aquarius is the sign of the marketplace, of politics, of energy systems and social movements, all of which are all about the idea of many 'things' (be that products, ideas, energy sources or individuals) with the aim being functionality, cohesive agreements which allow for individualities, mutual support and a universal ability or capacity to function - all of which comes up for questions and answers every time we get an Aquarian New Moon symbolizing the opportunity to make things ‘work better,’ even if we have to 'take them apart' in order to fix them.

And that's a useful point: Aquarius often 'breaks things down' into their component parts in order to put things back together in a new (and hopefully improved) manner.

New Moon at 8 Aquarius (glyph chart)
January 28, 2017 - 0:08 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
New Moon at 8 Aquarius (text chart)
January 28, 2017 - 0:08 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
As for 8 Aquarius in particular, apart from being a first decan degree (between 0 and 9), we know this New Moon (and the lunar month which goes with it) is going to be focused on what we do, in testing our 'relationship' to the good and bad (pluses and minuses) of our image (and) all the many things which initially seem to be about how much we know (or know how to do) but which in the end are being brought out by some issue we have with accepting both the strong and 'weaker' facets of our Self, personality and/or reputation.

And then there's Lachesis. Asteroid Lachesis is one of the Greek Fates - and specifically that fate which has to do with 'duration': how long something will last, or the idea of our having only a 'certain amount of time' in which to accomplish something. Conjunct this New Moon to the degree, Lachesis' position is likely to indicate some form of ‘pressure,’ though how and why that manifests will certainly vary.

If you look at the charts of this New Moon, one other idea may jump out at you - namely how there are no 'standard' (Ptolemaic) aspects to this New Moon moment. Yes, there is a semi-sextile from Neptune (and Pallas), but semi-sextiles are not considered part of the list of 'standard' aspects, which means this New Moon is 'unaspected' according to traditional astrological rules.

Why is that important? Any time any astrological ‘event’ is unaspected using standard aspects, we know we are thinking about something which will be 'on it's own' or otherwise uninfluenced ('un-aspected') by other things or people. So we may feel like we are 'on our own’ this month. Or perhaps we will be doing (learning, experiencing, researching, working on) something in isolation or on a 'solo' or solitary basis, whether that 'solitary' quality represents a trial or some exciting and tremendous opportunity. 

That aside, there is that (non-standard) semi-sextile to Neptune and Pallas warning us about blind spots and perspectives which may have us 'seeing' something in an idealized but not necessarily 'workable' light. Or we may be living in some sort of 'blind spot' caused by a desire either to justify our Self (or) critique/undercut others because of some need to feel secure - perhaps in spite of lurking (or rising) misgivings.

You know ... like the kinds of lurking feelings we might well be experiencing in advance of a solar eclipse in Pisces?

Yes - those feelings!

At the moment of the New Moon, Mars is still at 29 Pisces and thus conjunct Scheat, stirring up some sort of feelings or operational denial. That may be troublesome, and then again, with Euphrosyne (merriment) nearby and Venus at 24 Pisces, some sort of 'entertainment' or distraction may now be (or) prove sufficiently appealing as to allow us to weather whatever may seem daunting.

But then, just a few hours later, Mars moves on into Aries, ending its conjunction to Venus in the process.

Mars enters Aries (glyph chart)
January 28, 2017 - 5:40 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mars enters Aries (text chart)
January 28, 2017 - 5:40 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Being closer to the Sun and therefore the faster moving planet, Venus will catch up and re-enter an orb of conjunction to Mars within about eleven hours. But that Mars is not entering Aries in conjunction with Venus indicates Mars' transit of Aries is about us and our Self and not likely to be compromised by our feelings for, or need to please or impress others.

Mars in Aries is supposed to be about us and what we need to do in order to be the person we want to be. So that Mars is entering Aries not in conjunction with Venus but in a solid (if out-of-sign) trine to Black Moon Lilith at 28 Scorpio speaks to denials of rules, laws, standards or morals issue which we are having to face for some reason. And since this date is also when Mercury exits the shadow of its December-January retrograde, Mars entering Aries may well indicate the end of something we have been dealing with, a finishing of something or becoming 'free of' something now. 

January 29 
As Sabine goes direct at 6 Gemini, its energy to ‘capture,’ ‘control,’ ‘hold something close’ or ‘in confines’ shifts from something we feel more or less innately about our Self, our lot or life towards ideas which may 'stop' us, but more so that we will think them through (or because we are impressed) than otherwise.

Or, maybe we will now become more interested ('captured') by things going on in the world - meaning, this station could just be an indication that our days are becoming more interesting.
Rapto de las Sabinas (The Rape of the Sabine Women)
from the workshop of Peter Paul Rubens (17th century)
Apart from that, Sabine’s going direct in square to the incoming solar eclipse also suggests matters having to do with the eclipse will in some way ‘go public’ – which for all we know may show us how we are not ‘as alone’ as we thought, whether in life or in some idea. 

Either way, questions are now moving towards what we like and don't like - and how we feel about where we have come to be in life. And though that may not seem like a wonderfully poetic way to tend the month (and this post), when we remember how the next ‘lunar stop’ on our route through time is a Lunar Eclipse at 22 Leo (due to occur on February 11th), with Sabine going direct at 6 Gemini now - and with Venus due to enter the shadow of its upcoming March-April retrograde on January 30th (tomorrow), this Sabine station may represent a 'confrontation' with something (or) someone we have been, avoid ... but which really is going to have to be dealt with before we can "move on."

Venus entering its retrograde cycle in some ways represents our efforts move ahead in areas which, because we do not yet understand them (or the 'rules of play) typically get thwarted or delayed.

Unlike Saturn (which emphasizes intellectual understandings), Venus asks whether we understand the appeal and the nature of appeal - and how that appeal comes to be. Knowing that, and knowing that the month between now and when Venus goes on station will host a lunar and solar eclipse is certainly an indication of some changes, a few irritations and the chance of disappointments, particularly as we realize where or how we have been hampering our own cause.

Venus' retrograde cycles - inclusive of their 'shadow periods' - are when we 'wrestle' with that which we feel 'bound' by, or circumstances which are or tend to be inhibiting. It's a time when we can get 'caught' in something ... or when we begin to work on getting 'caught up,' whether with others, our Self or worldly standards. And no, they aren't always all fun and frolic, particularly when Venus is in Aries. 

But they are always useful - even if what we learn is something we didn't want to know.
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