*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.
A couple of lunar transits open this period offering up a challenge to rise above our personal dramas. On January 6th the talkative Gemini Moon trines aloof Venus in Aquarius, trying to engage her with sweet declarations of love. If he doesn’t get a response by the time he squares Mars in Virgo more defensive postures may take over. Understanding our emotions may help us navigate this seeming contradictory set of aspects. It may also help to look within for the love we seek.
Mercury has a lot to say during the next two weeks as he will aspect all the outer planets, asking us to stretch beyond personal realms of thought and pin our perceptions to the destiny of collective man. Beginning in the wee hours of January 7th Mercury in Sagittarius sextiles Saturn at 28°39’ Libra, then seven hours later sextiles Neptune at 29°04’ Aquarius. In the process he activates the developing trine between Saturn and Neptune, engaging our intellect to search for meaningful ways to link discipline with imagination to make our dreams become reality. Before bidding adieu to Sagittarius, Mercury goes “out-of-bounds,” which technically means it is extending beyond the “normal” north/south relationship to the earth’s equator. Symbolically this means that Mercury is no longer “bound” by usual rules of behavior; his archetypal energies become more intense and uninhibited. The best way to handle the planet of communication under these circumstances is to think first, then speak. It is similar to Mercury retrograde wherein we need to choose our words carefully, except in this case we don’t get the chance to revisit them. The consequences therefore have greater impact, for good or bad, without the opportunity to correct course, so be alert to all forms of communication for the next two weeks until Mercury goes back in bounds on January 20th. Before the clock strikes midnight, Mercury, after more than two months in fun loving, mutable fire Sagittarius makes his exit and joins the Sun and Pluto in practical cardinal earth Capricorn, shifting the overall planetary emphasis to matters of state. Dane Rudhyar in The Universal Matrix writes that Capricorn’s main focus is the welfare of humanity and each individual only in terms of his contributions to humanity. Mercury in Capricorn, he says, “is a constructive position which is of real value for anyone operating, in ever so small a manner, as a builder of civilization; thus many people of note have it in their natal charts: writers, statesmen, inventors, directors of large social movements or heads of collectivistic groups.” Setting the tone for the inaugural month of the mythical 2012, this is our collective moment to be the builder of a civilization that will mark a new era in our history. How do you want to write it in your life?
On January 8th, as music lovers everywhere honor the 77th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth, the Mercurial action continues when the thinking planet trines Jupiter at 0° Taurus, then squares Uranus at 1° Aries. Under this influence, it is conceivable that we could tune into an expanded consciousness so unconventional we would be challenged by the more conservative elements within society, our personal social network, and even ourselves. Just imagine what could happen if we would embrace new forms of thinking and not resist change even though we and everyone around us may be apprehensive about doing something unfamiliar and untried. The key is to tap into Jupiter in Taurus’ practical resourcefulness to identify what can reasonably manifest in the foreseeable future. All we need right now is that first step to begin building our new civilization. The Full Moon at 18° Cancer opposing the Sun at 18° Capricorn will undoubtedly impose its flavor into this aspect gumbo. The Moon is all about personal feelings, the way in which we sense the environment around us, without using our mind. Sublimely at home in Cancer, the Moon at her highest expression intuits the outer environment, focusing and integrating the energies within to a high level of concentration from which she creates form, her “shell” of protection against the cacophony outside. Her constant challenge is to bravely emerge from the secure confines of that shell to outwardly express all that she has discovered deep within using her extraordinary sense perception. The Sun in Capricorn is occupied with building solid walls of structure through which the network of society buzzes with activity. He is not programmed to understand the essence of what he is building; he just knows it is his responsibility to do it. While in his highest expression, the Capricorn Sun is integrity personified, he often times identifies that which he builds with his own personal ego and loses sight of its collective purpose. The dynamic polarity inherent in this annual Full Moon is the pull between the inner experiences of the exquisitely sensitive Cancer Moon and the externally engrossed Capricorn Sun. The key is what separates them – the membrane between inner and outer reality that contains the code to existence understood by both. It is the essence of relating. If we can put our vulnerable sensing nature under the full protection of our inner statesman, and if our inner statesman will allow himself to be touched by his soul nature, we will infuse our capitols, our temples, our universities and societies with their essential purpose to reveal higher truths so that our consciousness may evolve. As a secondary focal point to this Full Moon, Mercury is within orb of major aspects to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto activating our minds to reach beyond the personal to the transpersonal for creative solutions to build the bridge to our new collective reality.
On January 9th the receptive Moon trines ingenious Uranus at 10:29 p.m. giving us a brief window of opportunity to understand how to navigate the energies of transformation without feeling threatened by them. Then we enter another period of relative planetary quiet as Luna spends the next 47 hours without making an exact aspect to any planet. Finally she breaks the spell on January 11th at 9:28 p.m. when she opposes Venus, setting the stage for us to look at any unresolved issues between the need for security and the need for love, and how we may roll over to satisfy those needs. For several more days the Moon is still the only celestial body making exact aspects to the planets, which means that the only means of communicating they have with one another is through the Moon or our individual natal placements.
On the evening of January 12th the Sun at 22° Capricorn trines Mars at 22° Virgo. While this should indicate easy action, Mars is slowing down and within one degree of the point at which he will station retrograde, so he may not be in the best place to act or at least not act appropriately. While the slow pace Mars is keeping may make it seem like it is hard to get up to speed on anything the trine to the Sun should give us confidence that our core principles will guide us in the right direction, and that self-confidence may inspire others to follow our lead.
Friday the 13th may get a bad rap in certain circles, but the one on January 13th may give us reason to believe differently as Venus gets her chance to co-star in the dream building trine between Saturn and Neptune. First, she trines Saturn at 28° 57’ Aquarius/Libra shortly after 1:00 a.m. This is a harmonious aspect that favors long lasting love and stable relationships. Shortly after 7:00 a.m. she teams up with Neptune at 29°15’ Aquarius elevating her sense of love, beauty and art to the sublime. Not to be completely silenced by Venus’ scene stealing movements, in the midst of it all Mercury conjoins Pluto at 7° Capricorn to give us a profound message. Our deeply probing minds may reveal hidden truths but we must be aware of any mental obsessions. Returning for her final curtain call of the day, Venus detaches herself from Aquarius and enters, exalted, into Pisces. To Rudhyar, Venus is “full of charm and mystery. Venus in Pisces is the dream-lover, the mystic Beloved, Dante’s Beatrice, the ‘redeeming woman’ of the Romantics.” He describes her as fascinating and indefinable. Here at the end of the zodiacal rainbow, Venus wafts in the clouds of memories and fantasies where ideals are made and becomes compassion at its highest expression. Willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good, she would die so that collectively we may be rebirthed at a higher level of consciousness. Venus’ challenge in Pisces is to emerge out of the idealistic ocean of consciousness long enough to feel her individual form and use it to set some boundaries in relations with others and not be doomed to romantic martyrdom.
On January 14th Saturn reaches 29° Libra and will remain at this degree for the next 48 days as he continues moving slowly forward, stations on February 7th, then turns retrograde, not returning to 28° Libra until March 2nd. The Sabian symbol for the last degree of Libra is “Three mounds of knowledge on a philosopher’s head.” The keynote, from An Astrological Mandala by Dane Rudhyar is: “The fulfillment of man’s power of understanding at whatever level of existence the person operates.” Rudhyar goes on to say about this symbol: “A true philosopher is one who is able to ‘understand’ not merely ‘know’ the processes of life as he comes to experience them directly.” He calls it “a holistic approach to knowledge.” Giving us a little relief from Saturn’s long stationary dominance, early in the evening Venus at 1° Pisces sextiles Jupiter at 1° Taurus to give us the sweet taste of the good life. Then things seem to go quiet again with not even the Moon making an exact aspect for more than 30 hours.
While the planets appear to be quiet with only the Moon making exact aspects to them from the 16th to the 18th, all may not be as it seems. While the Universe may be giving us more time to ponder the significance of Saturn hanging in the last degree of Libra, there is a planetary configuration setting up to make some noise: Jupiter at 1° Taurus is in orb for an out-of-sign opposition to Saturn at 29° Libra while the Sun at 25° Capricorn is in orb for squares to both creating a powerful, potentially anxiety provoking T-square. This T-square will continue to get stronger as the Sun moves into an exact square to Saturn, which happens in the early afternoon of January 19th at 29° Capricorn/Libra. Sun square Saturn in itself may present obstacles at every turn. Everything that is being built needs to withstand all tests if it is to succeed. We’ll need to rely on discipline, endurance and determination to achieve our goals. A little sense of humor couldn’t hurt as well. Hopefully, the Jupiterian influence here will add a little levity to the uber seriousness of this configuration, if we can manage to maintain self-assurance in the face of whatever challenges arise. No respectable civilization builder ever left home without the notion that she was all in. Mars moves into 23° Virgo in the evening and will spend a week in this degree space before stationing and moving back to 22° Virgo. Aspects Mars makes to a natal chart or aspects made to transiting Mars by other transiting planets during this time will be greatly amplified. The Sabian symbol for the 24th degree of Virgo is “Mary and her little lamb.” Referring again to An Astrological Mandala, the keynote is apropos: “The need to keep a vibrant and pure simplicity at the core of one’s being as one meets the many tests of existence.”
On January 20th the Sun will bid adieu to Capricorn so stay tuned for the Aquarius AstroCast wherein we will explore this ingress and the other astrological events that await us.
Beautifully written, most insightful and even inspirational. I am now getting an idea why I have been feeling so many oppositional “forces” in my life right now. Thank you for the article. I will persevere and continue to tap my humor reserves!
Thank you for your question. To answer it, requires that we first look at what is “combustion” astrologically.
Combustion is an ancient astrology term referring to the 5 visible planets when they are closest to the Sun and can’t be seen. The outer planets aren’t visible to the unaided eye and therefore not subject to combustion. Because of their orbits, the practice was often limited to Mercury and Venus as they are never very far from the Sun and more frequently “combust” as they move from morning to evening star and back. The idea is that when combust, the planet is debilitated, that is weakened. To be combust, they had to be in the same sign as the Sun and within 8 1/2 degrees of the Sun. Combustion is rarely used today, except in horary astrology which normally does not use the three outer, invisible planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Relative to you question about Pluto; obviously, if Pluto were “debilitated” it would have less of an effect and wouldn’t be considered to be the cause of any “world turbulence.” To attribute any current “world turbulence” to just Pluto would be to ignore the other planets. Being weaker when combust, the effects of a planet will be lessened during that time not strengthened.
That being said, to apply the limits of combustion to the recent transit of the Sun over Pluto, Pluto could be said to have been combust beginning with the Winter solstice when the Sun entered Capricorn, December 21 through January 6, (not January 19 as you indicated) when the Sun moved more than 8 1/2 degrees ahead of Pluto. So, Pluto is already outside of the range of combustion.
As to your question about “world turbulence;” it is not unreasonable to expect it to continue as there are many unresolved issues on the world stage. To astrologically asses any of those events requires mundane astrology and the charts for that location and the date of the event. For example, the civil unrest in Syria would require an analysis of the chart for Syria and the chart for the onset of the unrest.
I wondered what your view was on Pluto ending its period of combustion on 19th Jan – the same time as Sun moves into Aquarius? Can we expect more world turbulence?
Wow. So grateful for your insights. Thank you.
. . . and not only useful, but such beautiful writing! I will love going back to it often, progressing through, and re-absorbing some of the former, as your words convey such beautiful imagery! Well done, you’re a good team.
Jim, I love this format..it allows us to take look at the future and make early decisions. well done and thank you for your hard work
I like how you normally sum up the month instead of going day by day personally, but this formats ok too.
You’re the best teacher!!!