January: Reflecting on Change

January, the gateway to the New Year. The word January comes from the latin month name Januarius, which was associated by the ancient Romans with their god Janus, god of doorways and gates (in Latin, janua), and also of beginnings. This New Year arrived amid a great deal of hope. Many of us hoped the doorway to 2019 would be a reduction to the stress and anxiety we experienced in 2018. After all, Jupiter was in its own sign of Sagittarius, Mars was in its own sign of Aries, Saturn was in its own sign of Capricorn, and Neptune was in its own sign of Pisces ! Shouldn’t that mean some smooth sailing, at least at the start? Well, yes, and no. Planets in a sign that they rule can mean that they are in a high functioning mode. However, if they are in a hard aspect to another planet, and there are crises, then those crises can be quite demanding.

As an example, let’s look at Jupiter square Neptune. The two are square at the outset of the year, and the square will be exact on three separate occasions during the year (January 13, June 16 and September 21). Plus, they will be waxing and waning their square aspect for at least 9 months. These two slow-moving, outer planets do not form a square often, so when they do, we know there are lessons to be learned, for squares can bring about crises. These are the two planets we could label most spiritually-based, imaginative, idealistic, and without limits—all very positive qualities, until taken to the extreme. Then they can create a lot of confusion, delusion, denial, addiction, and consequently, much discomfort and damage. According to Kim Marie, of the Evolutionary Astrology Network, this Jupiter/Neptune square indicates a “spiritual crises in consciousness in every area of life.”

Both Jupiter and Neptune are now in mutable signs, meaning needed changes could be a little easier. It could also mean that we rush into situations before thinking them through thoroughly, that we have a difficult time determining fact from fantasy, that we take on too much and are challenged at finding a balance that’s good for us. But, as in every crisis, there is an upside and a downside. Will we become victims and just believe what others tell us, or will we take the opportunity to create a larger perspective, expand our beliefs, and search for a greater truth?

Jupiter and Neptune, particularly in their own signs, are incredible opportunities for expanding our hearts, finding deeper levels of compassion and connection to all other beings. Add to that, that the Moon’s nodes are now in the Capricorn/Cancer polarity, with Cancer at the north node.  Cancer wants to honor and nurture the earth and all of her species and create a feeling of security, which could mean more gender and wealth equality. Can we move away from the distortions and shadow sides of Capricorn, with its closed-heartedness and power/greed above-all-else (8 individuals worldwide have as much wealth as 1/2 of the human population) mentality to slowly but surely evolve in the direction of Cancer during this next year? May it be so.

There are other slow-movers in the chart in challenging aspects as well. Pluto in Capricorn and Eris in Aries have been square for some time, and we’ve talked about them before, particularly around the issues of women’s rights, and the need for women to speak up, loudly, and be persistent.

Another planetary pair that are going to be moving into a conjunction relationship are Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. That conjunction will not be exact until January of 2020, but I think we’ll see a lot of important items of interest relating to that aspect all of this year. Whether it be the financial markets, government instability, military buildup/breakdown, or the emperor has no clothes, all will relate to Capricorn issues that Pluto is transforming, for better or worse.

One of the important things to note about the chart of the birth of January and 2019 is the fact that there was no air in the chart. Fire, earth, and water, but no air. Personally, I feel that strongly. No air, no breath, puts stress on the system. By the end of the month, there will be air—Aquarius. But the birth chart of the year has none.

The first week of January saw a number of significant occurrences. First, Mercury moved out of Sagittarius and into Capricorn on January 4, at 7:40 PM PST, making a total of 5 planets in Capricorn, plus the south node of the moon. This could help us to have more focused and serious thought processes, and assist us with any resolutions we have formed during, or in honor of, this new beginning.

Next, the New Moon in Capricorn arrived—at 5:28 PM PST on January 5. It was also a partial solar eclipse. Such a powerful picture, with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Saturn, Pluto, and the south node of the Moon all in Capricorn! The Sun and Moon were conjunct Saturn and Pluto, and formed a very strong sextile to Neptune in Pisces. Mercury was strongly square to Mars, and in a waning trine to Uranus. Jupiter in Sagittarius was square to Neptune. Venus in Scorpio was in exact trine with Chiron, and in a waning trine to Mars.

We know that all New Moons are new beginnings, but this one, being so close to the beginning of the year, emphasizes the image of starting or beginning. We really must take our situation seriously. In addition to all the other aspects stated above, we must remember that Uranus and Eris are square the Moon’s nodes (south node in Capricorn, north node in Cancer) at this time. Uranus is particularly strong at that time because it has slowed to station. It will go direct at 12:27 PM PST the next day, January 6. We are being asked to become aware, no matter how shocking it may feel, that we are in a crisis on the planet at this time. The basic structures of our culture, that we have relied on for decades, centuries even, have been failing us. They are now at the breaking point. We must make changes that are huge, historic, and transformational if we are to survive. The philosophical shift is from being primarily individual-focused to one that is community or collectively-focused. It is time to acknowledge, in practical reality, that we need one another. When one of us is hurt and damaged, we are all hurt and damaged. We must put in place—and honor—structures, laws, and policies that provide safety, security, health and opportunity for all beings.

Venus shifted into Sagittarius at 3:18 AM PST on January 7. At that time, she was trine Mars and Chiron, and sextile the Moon in Aquarius. While Venus is in this position with Chiron and Mars, it may be a good time to explore painful events from your early childhood that you’ve been avoiding looking at, so that they will no longer have power over your feelings and actions. The world needs the very best of you, not the you dragging along old baggage from the past.

Late on January 13, with the Sun conjunct Pluto in Capricorn, the Moon will conjunct Uranus in Aries. Because the Sun and Moon will be square, this will be the first quarter square, halfway between the New Moon and the Full Moon, and it’s rather potent, with the close access to both Pluto and Uranus. It is also exactly halfway between the partial solar eclipse we experienced on the New Moon, and the total lunar eclipse to come on the Full Moon. Another wake-up call for change, in cardinal signs, saying “Get started, folks. There is work to be done.” It’s a great time to have a talk with our inner selves, ask our spirit guides what it is that wants to come through us and how we can be more accepting of it. When change feels scary, that’s when we need to lean in, not back away. Allow all that needs to be released to do so, and know that you’ll be stronger for it.

The Full Moon in Leo, which we can call the Super Wolf Blood Moon, occurs on January 20, at 9:16 PM PST, AND it includes a total lunar eclipse! This is a rare Full Moon! Why all the adjectives?  According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Full Moon in January is known as a Full Wolf Moon because it heralded a period when wolves would howl with hunger outside villages. It’s called a “blood moon” because of the reddish hue it displays due to some sunlight being filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere during a total lunar eclipse. Most of the light from the Sun is blocked by Earth, but some is refracted, allowing it to hit the surface of the Moon. The angle at which the light is bent produces the reddish tint of a blood moon. The term “super moon” is used because the Moon will appear bigger than usual, given its close approach to Earth.

Why is this a rare Full Moon? Well, total lunar eclipses are not all that common. This is actually the last one visible anywhere on Earth until May 2021. And the next total lunar eclipse coinciding with a supermoon will not occur until February of 2036!  So do try to stay up late, or get up early enough to view it. It should be visible everywhere in the U.S. with the exception of Hawaii. It should also be visible in Central and South America, and parts of Western Europe, including Scandinavia. Most of Africa will see a partial eclipse, but Asia will not due to it occurring in the daylight hours. If you look it up online, you can find exact timing for your zone.

This Full Moon forms a square to Uranus and Eris, and this aspect tells us we can count on nothing except to be surprised. So keep an open mind, and try to stay calm. We are being asked to open up to what needs to be revealed and healed. The Sun and Moon are conjunct the Moon’s nodes, and they can show us where we are stuck, on the individual level and also on the collective level, and where we need to take responsibility for contributing to the betterment of our social matrix. We must not stay closed off to possibilities for improvement and positive evolution. Yes, emotions will be strong, as they are on Full Moons, but we also have strong Capricorn energy to keep us grounded. Even Mars in Aries is exactly squared by Saturn, which could restrain some impulses for restlessness or rash action.

Venus and Jupiter are conjunct in Sagittarius at the Full Moon, and the two are square to Neptune in Pisces. We will be continuing to struggle with what is reality and what is illusion, what is true, and what is a part of an obsolete, irrelevant paradigm we’ve been clinging to. Let the beauty of this Full Moon lunar eclipse bring us to a deep moment, when the light of truth shines through the darkness.

Mercury moves out of Capricorn and into Aquarius at 9:50 PM PST on January 23, giving us two planets in the air sign of Aquarius, and a feeling of more air to breathe.

During the last week of January, Venus pulls away from both Jupiter and Neptune aspects, and toward a square with Chiron, while Mars advances to a square with Pluto, and a trine with Venus. This could spell anxiety in relationships as old emotional hurts can impel us to take words and actions of others a bit too personally. The Moon, meanwhile is moving closer to the end of its current cycle, and thus also encouraging us to release the old, to prepare for a new cycle. Try keeping this knowledge in your heart if old wounds emerge and create difficulties. Patience and sensitivity may be required.

See you next month!



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