**Degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
The call to freedom is upon us. Shaking off the shackles of conformity demanded by conservative Capricorn, the Sun enters the sign of the Rebel on January 19th. As is always the case when the planets move from one sign to the other, modes of expression evolve as knowledge builds. Whereas Capricorn taught us the value of structure and working within a system, Aquarius comes along to teach us the value of bucking that very system we just mastered. The Sun, representing our heart expressing its will and purpose in the world, now operating with the Aquarian spirit, beams down an imperative for us to break the rules, to speak our truth, to be unconventional and to shock the hell out of everybody when we insist on living out weird notions about expressing our individuality.
As the eleventh and penultimate sign of the zodiac, Aquarius’ position sandwiched between Capricorn and Pisces is the fifth stage in learning about the self in relation to society that begins with Libra. At this juncture, we’ve learned quite a bit about how the organization of humanity works and how we fit into it. Now we are ready to take a step back. In Aquarius, we learn how to become astute observers of civilization and masters of the dynamics of interrelating. From this archetypal vantage point, we are given the ability to see various behavior rule sets programmed from infancy and how they inhibit development of the individual. In a bit of an ironic twist, the influence of Aquarius also ensures that all individuals are plugged into the network of the masses.
Aquarius is fiercely independent and yet is generally known as the staunchest humanitarian around. The quirky link between these seemingly contradictory concerns is that Aquarius sees the value each individual brings to society by instigating new ideas that drive our communal growth. The Sun in Aquarius is the activist leader who thrusts us forward on the evolutionary path, or in many cases with this model, the revolutionary path. The Sun here looks outside the box, an Aquarian hallmark, to find ways to liberate the individual from outmoded patterns of being in order to enhance the collective operation of society.
Our ways of perceiving through the freedom-loving lens of Aquarius gets an energetic boost when Mercury in the sign of the Genius trines Mars in Libra on January 24th. Mind and body align harmoniously in air signs to help put our thoughts into action. This is the first of three trines this planetary pair will have between now and March 14th, due to Mercury’s impending retrograde (February 6th – 28th). In effect longer than usual for a Mercury transit, this mental muscle operating without restraint can be competitive, direct and incisive. Language will be the main mode of assertion and we’ll be inclined to not mince words as we tell it like it is, another strong Aquarian trait. Mars in peacemaker Libra, however, may inspire us to speak our minds diplomatically without sacrificing the impact of our sharp mental perception. Hopefully, Mercury will channel Aquarius’ well-known offbeat humor to keep us laughing. A mighty wit can expose many a flaw and still have the audience eating out of our hands.
To set the tone for caution in communications, the next day on January 25th, Mercury squares Saturn in Scorpio. As with Mars, Mercury will also be sparring with Saturn for an extended time with three exact squares through March 10th. Mercury jostling between impetuous Mars and serious Saturn for six weeks could see us alternating between feeding a hungry audience and eating our own words. Saturn in Scorpio’s influence on Mercury would have him think thoroughly and deeply before saying anything, demanding a level of scrutiny that may feel like it halts all forward movement. We’ll need to find a balance between the spontaneity engendered by Mercury/Mars and the Mercury/Saturn hesitancy to speak out for fear of not having all the facts, or sounding authoritative or articulate enough.
January 29th-30th, the Aquarian principle dominates when the Aquarius Sun and Moon sextile Uranus in groundbreaking Aries. The Sun makes the initial contact on the 29th to open the door for a breath of fresh uniqueness. Uranus rules Aquarius and thus embodies the spirit of individuality. In a smart sextile relationship, Uranus motivates the Sun to find his own tune and play it fearlessly. By the 30th, when the Moon sextiles Uranus just before conjuncting the Sun to initiate the next New Moon cycle, we may all get a taste of what it is like to have lightening strike. The Uranian/Aquarian theme of the next four weeks is “awakening” and it plays right into the longer cycle of the square between Uranus and Pluto that is currently tightening into the fourth of seven exact aspects culminating on April 21st. This month may best be dedicated to asking ourselves where are we not free? Where do we compromise who we are by conforming to a set of rules that inhibits our self-expression? Simply asking the question, “Who am I?” could set off a revolution in our personal lives and if enough of us do it, the effects on society would be palpable.
What is a revolutionary concept that would move society forward into a more balanced existence? How about “Reject capitalism and embrace Love.” If we could accept the radical notion that we are beings sent to earth to learn something and earth therefore is essentially the brick and mortar school offering myriad classes to help us remember who we really are, then we may realize there is more to existence than just this life on earth. This perspective gives us infinite more choices. In true Aquarian fashion, we could then step out of the humanity box to join the group of beings in other dimensions. We could look back and see all the conditioning humans have established to make the logistics of living in this school as sorely lacking in the essence of what we are here to learn. It has become narrowly focused on being all about the business and not honoring the unique offerings of each individual being. We may see that society as a whole is only concerned with the accumulation of wealth as representative of status and power with no concern for the collateral damage to the environment or those who haven’t mastered the ruthlessness it takes to win that game. We could then do something radical. We could love. The Age of Aquarius is upon us and this is our time to emanate what the Greeks called Agape, or unconditional love, out to everyone, including those we perceive as our mortal enemy. The chart pattern of the New Moon is called a “bucket with a handle.” Jupiter in the dominant position of the handle means there is ample opportunity to create a revolution in our life at this time. If we keep asking the question “Who am I?” we set ourselves on the road to discovery. If we are diligent we may experience revelation after revelation that peel away the layers of conditioning hiding our true nature. Then, when we least expect it, the look and feel of this school of life will change dramatically.
Adding to his already considerable weight as a major player in the Aquarian New Moon cycle, Jupiter also figures significantly in the era-defining Uranus/Pluto cycle, creating a forceful cardinal T-square configuration from his position in Cancer. He is now involved in his second of three passes through this configuration, commencing with an opposition to Pluto on January 31st. By itself, the powerful Jupiter/Pluto opposition represents an opportunity to become profoundly aware of the belief systems we identify with, which could help considerably if we are still asking that question posed at the New Moon. Revealing those automatic systems that are quietly humming along in our subconscious could make us question whether or not they are in the service of who we are. It may help to recall what happened last August when the first opposition occurred in order to get an idea of how this will play out. What sleeping giant was awakened at that time? Interestingly, Venus figured into the mix last summer, squaring the two from her home base in Libra. Now, she is in Capricorn, not only less than a degree and a half away from the Pluto/Jupiter opposition, but also will station direct on this day to bring relationships into a laser like focus. With this powerful combination at play, an incredibly deep desire to transform could manifest in profound feelings of a sexual nature. Transformation and sex are both very much under Pluto’s domain, as are the dynamics of power and who is wielding it. Jupiter’s imperative to expand could open a floodgate or two on these subjects. The merging of two individuals, after all, is symbolic of the process of letting go of the self so that radical unity may be experienced between souls. But what if our beliefs about sex are limiting? Have we been taught to think that it is the only way to experience true love? Are we using sex as a means of empowerment or to overpower? It is vitally important to become as aware as possible under this transit of the subconscious programming at work to ensure that whatever happens we remain true to ourselves but also act in a manner that takes our progressively extended family into consideration – that means to do the loving thing and find ways to appropriately channel the torrential flood of feeling we’re likely to experience.
Assistance on that score comes at dawn on January 31st when Mercury enters compassionate Pisces where he will emanate a high level of sensitivity and ability to tune in to the thoughts of others. A merging of the minds could inspire greater cooperation on all levels of relating and perhaps temper the potential for a Jupiter/Pluto self-serving power grab. Mercury will spend less than two weeks in Pisces due to his imminent retrograde motion. Before he backs into Aquarius on February 12th, he’ll activate our imagination to pull in omniscient perceptions from the ocean of consciousness at his disposal.
When Venus stations direct by lunchtime on January 31st, she is applying to the opposition to Jupiter and conjunction to Pluto but never quite gets there. This is known in traditional astrological circles as a “promise unfulfilled,” meaning her relationship to them is perceived as less powerful and expectations may therefore go unmet. But perhaps there is something deeper happening here. True to the theme of her retrograde through Capricorn, which she began unaspected to any other celestial body, Venus has remained her own woman. She doesn’t need to lean on the titans of the sky in order to strengthen her own position as the preeminent authority, not only on love and relationships, but also as a feminine force making her mark in the public arena. During her sojourn through the sign of industry, many a first has occurred for women: the first female Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank, the first female CEOs of Lloyds of London and General Motors, the first female board member of Twitter, the first female Ambassador to Japan, the first female four-star Admiral, and even the first female spokesperson for Hamas! As Jon Stewart summed it up in his January 16th Daily Show segment, Thumps Up, Women: “It seems like no matter where you go, the floor is littered with shattered glass.” In her own inimitable way, Venus is crashing Jupiter and Pluto’s party rather than the other way around, it being traditionally thought that the slower moving planets exert their unique brand of consciousness upon us with greater force than the faster planets. This is a time, however, when we may hear the clear voice of Venus guiding us on how to express a powerful type of love which is much, much more than simply a strong emotion projected onto another human being. Perhaps her influence over the philosophical faith of Jupiter and the transformational nature of Pluto, will open the door for us to experience a state of being called Satchitananda, the Sanskrit word for the triumvirate of Truth, Consciousness and Bliss. Through the path of Satchitananda, we may ultimately experience what the Being we really are desires above all – Great Love.
Here’s the data:
January 19th: Sun at 0° Aquarius 7:51 p.m.
January 24th: Mercury trine Mars at 21° Aquarius/Libra 6:57 a.m.
January 25th: Mercury square Saturn at 22 Aquarius/Scorpio 3:56 a.m.
January 29th: Sun sextile Uranus at 9° Aquarius/Aries 12:33 a.m.
January 30th: Moon sextiles Uranus at 9° Aquarius/Aries at 11:16 a.m.
Moon conjunct Sun (New Moon) at 11° Aquarius 1:38 p.m.
January 31st: Jupiter opposite Pluto at 12° Cancer/Capricorn 1:36 a.m.
Mercury at 0° Pisces 6:29 a.m.
Venus stations direct at 14° Capricorn 12:49 p.m.