Guest article By Dorene Carrel
January is a moderately active month, though it has a more introspective theme with elements of the past waiting to be reviewed and reevaluated. It is not a good month for new beginnings or risky activities, as Mercury is retrograde for most of the month. Jupiter also turns retrograde shortly afterward. In addition, since Uranus and Pluto are within one degree of each other until late February, the challenging square between them is being reactivated. There will still be the potential for changes, chaos and breakdowns. Breakthroughs are possible too, although the latter will more likely occur later in the month or next month.
The first week features Mercury and Jupiter turning retrograde. There will likely be some unexpected changes or delays in our routines and plans this week. Mercury turns retrograde on January 5 at 1 Aquarius, then enters Capricorn on January 8, and finally turns direct on January 25 at 15 Capricorn. It is best to try to simplify our lives now and hold off with important decisions, plans and long-term commitments until late January/February. Mercury remains in Capricorn until mid-February, which will help us to be more conscientious and organized. Something may need to be restructured or released during this cycle. Jupiter turns retrograde on January 7 at 23 Virgo, and turns direct on May 9 at 13 Virgo. During this cycle we can gain new insights and a better perspective on important matters, which enables us to move forward more easily after Jupiter turns direct.
The New Moon occurs on January 9 at 19 Capricorn. This lunation is aligned with Pluto and in a difficult square to Uranus, giving it a more serious and intense overtone. We may need to revisit challenging issues that emerged during the Uranus/Pluto square cycle, which began in 2012. Certain situations may need to be restructured or released. Even though circumstances may seem chaotic or restrictive, we can use this cycle to begin to make positive changes for the future. Earth changes and political unrest may also be prominent themes this month, so it is best to be prepared. A beneficial sextile to Chiron will help bring healing energies to all who are in need. The Sabian symbol for this degree area, “A hidden choir is singing during a religious service,” suggests the unity and harmony that can be created when like-minded individuals work together toward common spiritual goals.
On January 13-14 the Sun in Capricorn aligns with Mercury and makes a harmonious trine to Jupiter. This period can bring favorable outcomes and prosperity, especially to those who have begun working towards certain goals. Trines usually require that we put in some effort for manifestation to occur. Mars in Scorpio in trine to Neptune in Pisces on January 18 brings healing and grace to our efforts. We can feel more guided and supported by our spiritual guidance and intuition at this time.
The ongoing Uranus/Pluto aspect will be activated on January 20-31 by transiting Mercury at 16-17 Capricorn. Mercury (now retrograde) squares Uranus on both January 20 and 31, and then aligns with Pluto on January 22 and 29. The previous transit of Mercury to Uranus/Pluto was last December 19-20, so events occurring now can relate back to that time. This can be a challenging period for travel and communications. It is best to be on guard for possible accidents, misunderstandings, travel mishaps and computer breakdowns. It is favorable to cultivate more patience and flexibility at this time. Mercury turns direct on January 25 at 15 Capricorn, which initiates a period of returning to more harmony and clarity.
In the midst of the above cycle, we also begin a very favorable alignment of Jupiter and the North Node at 23 Virgo on January 23 that will last until mid-February. The North Node represents new growth opportunities that can come through beneficial connections and moving towards our greater destiny. At this time we can draw in a new relationship that helps us to clarify our life purpose or take the next practical steps to successfully reach our goals.
The Full Moon occurs on January 23 at 3 Leo 29. The Leo/Aquarius combination suggests that balance needs to be found between individual self-expression and aligning with a community of like-minded others. How can we use our creativity and enthusiasm at this time to work with others for the common good? This lunation aligns with the asteroid Pallas, which represents design and the use of strategy to further one’s goals. Issues connected with women’s rights may also be brought into focus at this time. The Sabian symbols for these degree areas, “A formally dressed elderly man stands near trophies he brought back from a hunting expedition,” and “A Hindu yogi demonstrates his healing powers,” suggests moving beyond a false display of power to a truer sense of spiritual power that expresses balance, strength and healing.
Thank you to all my readers and supporters this past year. Blessings for a happy and peaceful New Year!
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Dorene Carrel is a professional astrologer with over thirty years of experience. Donations towards this column are appreciated. Paypal accepted. Please use my email, firstname.lastname@example.org as reference.
Check out my astrology blog at www.astroconnections.blogspot.com for ongoing astrological observations on current events.
All references to Sabian symbols are from An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformation and Its 360 Symbolic Phases, by Dane Rudhyar.