*Times are Pacific Standard Time, unless stated otherwise. Planetary positions are expressed as the degree (rounded to the nearest whole degree) followed by the sign.
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Are you wondering why you feel some of the transits we talk about and not others or why a friend may feel one but you don’t? If the transiting planet affects a planet in your natal chart, that is, where the planets were at the time you were born, then you are more likely to feel the transit or may feel it stronger than one that does not affect a planet in your natal chart. Don’t have a chart? Would you like one? Let us know.
The out-of-sign opposition between Jupiter at 1° Taurus and a very slow moving Saturn at 29° Libra discussed in the last AstroCast is still in effect and will be activated in a T-square configuration by the Sun, Moon and Mercury during this period. An “out-of-sign” aspect occurs when two or more aspecting planets are in signs that are different “modes.” In this case, Aquarius and Taurus are both “fixed” signs whereas Libra is “ cardinal.” While the planets are in orb for the squares and opposition, because Saturn is not in a fixed sign, it is called an “out-of-sign” T-square. While this doesn’t diminish the effect of the T-square, it can modify it with its mix of cardinal (initiating) and fixed (sustaining) energies. While the Sun is waning off it’s exact square to cautious Saturn, it is now in sights of the square to optimistic Jupiter, and the Moon and Mercury aren’t far behind. Issues of faith and commitment may come into focus and require attention, or be tested to determine the authenticity of our purpose. Also at play at this time is the fact that both Mars and Saturn are moving very slowly in the degrees at which they will station, hanging motionless in the sky for extended periods: Mars at 23° Virgo until January 23rd and Saturn at 29° Libra until February 7th. Any aspects made by either of these to your natal chart or to any of the other transiting planets will be greatly intensified or exaggerated. The correlation for us here on earth is that it will be difficult to start anything new or move forward on an existing project or idea, so our efforts would be best put to use by reviewing, reassessing, readjusting and refining that which is already in motion.
We may receive some impartial help as the Sun enters Aquarius on January 20th. This naturally aloof sign is deeply concerned with humanity and its progress. Being able to stand back from the fray and be the observer allows greater perspective for determining paths to take and solutions to broker. The deep social consciousness associated with this third of the air signs, according to Dane Rudhyar in The Universal Matrix is a synthesis of the “natural type of thinking developed in Gemini” and “the individual type of mind flourishing in Libra.” As with all air signs, the challenge for the Sun here is to allow feelings to be taken into account rather than dismissed, no matter how prickly or awkward they are. With Aquarius however, feelings must be invested with a social cause. “Aquarians,” says Rudhyar, “are called upon to give civilization a Soul.” Revolutionaries and reformers are associated with Aquarius, which is governed by perennial rule-breaker Uranus, because they are tasked with disintegrating any crystalized form that ceases to function within the growing organism that is society. Ironically, it is in breaking up outmoded institutions where Aquarius is most constructive. “Aquarius is a sign of release of power,” states Rudhyar. Whether that power is socially “creative” or “explosive” entirely depends on our collective state of consciousness. Venus sextile Pluto on this day has the potential to infuse any release of power with relationship-transforming love.
On January 21st, the Sun at 1° Aquarius sextiles Uranus at 1° Aries. As the ruler of Aquarius, Uranus will imprint the suns’ transit through his home sign with a pride in uniqueness and insistence on independence. Later in the day, the Sun at 2° Aquarius ends the “translation” of the Saturn/Jupiter opposition with a square to Jupiter at 2° Taurus. This should be the point of maximum intensity for the Sun/Jupiter/Saturn T-square. From Earth’s point of view, expansive Jupiter is traveling faster than during the end of his retrograde period on Christmas Day, and during the next four months will more than triple his speed before he too gradually slows down in preparation for his next retrograde in October. The conflicting energies of the fast-forward moving Jupiter and a very slow Mars and Saturn preparing to retrograde can bring tension or anxiety to our endeavors over the next several days. Additionally, Saturn’s restraining energies are still in play. However, this restless aspect may propel us to commit visionary acts with the fearless feeling of indestructibility. The explorer in us will want to open our hearts to the joy of living so that we may experience whatever it is many call God. Once that happens we will have tapped the ultimate authority to become the leader in our own lives.
Furthering the explorer spirit, the New Moon at 3° Aquarius on January 22nd (or January 23rd in China) marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. This is the Year of the Black Water Dragon. It also is the start of a new cycle that may propel us to take a giant leap into the future. Aquarius is the sign of the genius who shuns common knowledge expounded over generations in classrooms, boardrooms and living rooms worldwide. Aquarius is the quintessential outside-the-box thinker able to resist pressures brought to bear by society. This sign of the water bearer brings about evolution by pouring advanced consciousness over society so that it may grasp more enlightened ways of being. She stubbornly lives by her freedom-loving individuality even if it means being in exile away from all those who think her crazy, including loved ones, which is the great irony because she does it for her love of humanity. She knows anything that has crystalized ceases to be an effective driver of growth and thus becomes the bringer of death. Under this annual union of the luminaries in Aquarius, we may meet our inner rebel, but one who will be the “Mother of Civilization” nurturing innovative social ideas in their infancy. With the stimulating squares to Saturn in Libra and Jupiter in Taurus, and the energizing sextile to Uranus, this New Moon will be concerned with finding original ways to ensure social equality and care for our natural resources.
January 23rd begins a week dominated by fast moving Mercury who networks with stationing Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter, and changes signs. As he cross-pollinates the planets, sending and receiving messages on a diverse array of affairs, in Capricorn he’ll be all about the business of life. It will be interesting to watch the correlations trending here on earth in the media, social and otherwise. When he trines Mars at 23° Capricorn/Virgo we’ll have the competitive edge for clear, incisive thinking. Mercury channels Mars’ aggressive behavior into sharp communications. In Virgo, which is ruled by Mercury, Mars is mentally efficient so words will come swift and raw, without embellishment. With this aspect the pen is indeed mightier than the sword and cuts to the chase in all matters. It can cut deep too unless we find a proper outlet for the nervous tension associated with this planetary pair that favors impulsive action before thought. The challenge is to find a way to engage even the slowest of minds if we are to avoid frustration or simply boredom. Amplifying this energy, Mars stations retrograde this day, drawing Mercury in even further as a player during his long retrograde period to emphasize strength of mind and conviction of purpose. Welcome to mental boot camp.
On January 27th, Mercury at 29° Capricorn has his chance to activate the T-square to the Saturn/Jupiter opposition beginning with the square to Saturn at 29° Libra. He’ll have to slow down a bit to be able to discern Saturn’s purpose. This serious minded aspect is opposite to the Mars/Mercury pair as it will definitely think before acting and won’t speak out unless it knows what it is talking about. Deliberate, uncluttered reasoning makes for the voice of authority. Here the Ph.D. is mightiest of all; together this pair represents tested mental ability. As Saturn rules cardinal Capricorn, Mercury here will have to work doubly hard to resist negativity or overcome barriers to being understood. Thoughtful expression could be the key, at least until Mercury enters fixed Aquarius and elevates the chatter to a futuristic level. Mercury moving into Aquarius morphs from being the builder of society to the reformer of it. He endeavors to help society transform with state-of-the-art perception and will talk to anyone who will listen to his far out ideas. The challenge for him here is to stay grounded and find practical means to launch his innovations. Cool and detached, Mercury in Aquarius will help us tap into our inner group leader.
With Mercury’s sextile to Uranus on January 28th at 2° Aquarius/Aries, he will favor free speech and contrary opinions. Again, Mercury’s planetary partner rules the sign he is in so, in this case, Uranus has the upper hand and may open us up to unexpected understanding if we dare to speak the truth. That truth will be concerned with improving the future of our land as Mercury completes the T-Square configuration with a square to Jupiter at 2° Taurus. While we may be prone to over-mentalizing, this aspect could open us up to big ideas. It puts a wide-angle lens on perception that prefers philosophy over facts and broad-based knowledge over specialization. We may expose our arrogance as we grandstand for a cause, but hopefully with Saturn still linked in we will make sure we know what we’re talking about. The intuitive energy of Mercury/Jupiter is excellent at synthesizing myriad components to get to the heart of a subject in dramatic, inspirational fashion. It’s like taking a short distance trip to get a long distance experience.
The Romantic adventurer in all of us will definitely want to come out on February 1st as Venus opposes retrograde Mars at 23° Pisces/Virgo. In the sign of service, Mars will want to go with Venus wherever she is, and in Pisces, she’ll want to go out of this world, interested in merging with her beloved as a means of transcending the mundane. Mars’s strong need for love may find a cooperative partner in Venus, if he doesn’t make a competitive game of it. Outside of romantic relationships, this pair could spur creativity or it could just be a good day for relations of any kind with the opposite sex where charm, warmth and personal magnetism could win over hearts and minds.
Neptune returns home to Pisces on February 3rd for a 14-year stay. During Neptune’s last sojourn through Pisces 164 years ago we experienced the abolitionist movement and the beginning of the American Civil War. As early new thought movements and religious groups emerged, it was a time of scientific and intellectual expansion and advancement. At the dawn of 2012 we hope for a renaissance of the New Age that was defined by its goal of self-awareness. We dream of a world with a peaceful heart that lives by love and long to dive into the vast ocean of consciousness just waiting to be explored by all. Amid the despotic turmoil at the outer edges of our lives we’ve but to conquer our fear of the unknown, to shift our perceptions every so slightly and look through the gauze of physical reality where we will see the map to transcendence.
All happily grows towards knowledge and towards bliss.
A divine Puissance then takes Nature’s place
And pushes the movements of our body and mind;
Possessor of our passionate hopes and dreams,
The beloved despot of our thoughts and acts,
She streams into us with her unbound force,
Into mortal limbs the Immortal’s rapture and power.
An inner law of beauty shapes our lives;
Our words become the natural speech of Truth,
Each thought is a ripple on a sea of Light.
– from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo