Transformational Astrology – January 2017
by Henry Seltzer
The astrology of January features Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris. Both retrograde Mercury and Mars in Pisces are strongly placed this month, being aspected by the potent Capricorn New Moon from the last few days of December. Mars being conjunct Neptune in this timing, you can count on it that, for the entire thirty-day cycle of this lunation, lasting to January 27th, there is uncertainty of activity and of outcome. Mercury, also highlighted at the New Moon, remains in retrograde throughout most of the month, when you take the period of its retrograde shadow into account, roughly 2 ½ weeks following the station to direct motion that Mercury makes on January 8th, as it returns to its starting point in mid-Capricorn. We therefore have before us an introspective month of looking more deeply within ourselves for answers that can be found nowhere else. There is quite a lot going on. Jupiter and Uranus are found in a powerful T-square, being closely opposed, with Uranus conjunct Eris, and both in square to Pluto. Saturn is parallel Pluto. The presence of conservative Saturn in the same degree of Sagittarius as Jupiter is in Libra completes the picture, with Saturn almost precisely trine Uranus/Eris. This is an exciting aspect pattern, indicating that new information abounds, and that everything that comes to light contributes to the ongoing massive transformation, in this decade, of ourselves as individuals and of the society that surrounds us.
Saturn’s participation in this Grand Cross alignment is profound, and is reminiscent of the volatile sixties, when Uranus and Pluto, conjunct in Virgo, were opposed by Saturn during the 1965-66 exact conjunction, and when, during the famously divisive summer of 1968, Saturn stationed in precise quincunx to the position of Uranus in late Virgo. We have before us now a quite similar time, when polarities and fractures in the social structure are very evident, and when what is required of us is that we do our utmost to keep our own heads on straight.
The increase in consciousness that is part and parcel of our response to difficult circumstances is indeed important, which is also the message of prominent Eris, which my research has been able to characterize as Feminine Warrior energy for soul purpose, Eris is part of the powerful month-long T-square described above, and therefore greatly emphasized. Once we know of what our deep intention actually consists, we are empowered to attempt those changes in the social structure and within ourselves that truly support it.
Besides Saturn and Eris, another planetary archetype associated in the Grand Cross alignment is Chiron, the Wounded Healer. In the New Moon that characterizes the month of January, Chiron is located at 21 degrees of Pisces, in close semi-sextile to Uranus/Eris and in exact square to Saturn. With Chiron so fully participatory in these intense planetary patterns, we might want to ask ourselves what fears are coming up, and how do these tap into feelings of insecurity that we have going as a result of early childhood trauma, which is Chiron’s province. As we proceed through the decision process of this difficult time, we therefore also have another opportunity to move through our wounded places within us, toward a more integrated perspective.
Because transformational Pluto is so greatly emphasized in this first month of the New Year, and also the confusion and uncertainty of outcome represented by Neptune, we have a situation in which the best that we can do is to get clear in our very own minds and hearts on where we ourselves, personally, stand. Once we unequivocally know what we deeply believe, and can articulate that viewpoint, and decide to act on it, than nothing can harm us.
Bernie Sanders, who lost the U. S. presidential nomination over the summer, might prove to be a good example of someone who acts on this principle. Whether or not you agree with his politics, few would argue that he does not know what he wants. You didn’t see him upset or even dismayed by his primary election results, but, rather, you saw him digging in to fight even harder. He therefore exemplifies a battle cry for these fractious times that we are living through from which we can all take heart: when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
ARIES (March 20-April 19). This is a month of mystical confusion, Aries, sponsoring feelings of commitment to a higher intention. There are frustrations for you now, and yet also tremendous opportunities that are available to you provided you can stay open to all your possibilities. Proactive partners can help you to see the potential inherent in events, even ones that initially do not seem to be going your way. With Mercury in retrograde motion it is not the best timing to push the river or to wildly diverge from pre-existing plans, although you will likely be sorely tempted to make sudden departures into new directions. As you come to the beginning of another powerfully transformative year, you are rethinking the way that you exteriorize all that you have inside, with an eye for depth and for purity of purpose. Only the very best that you have will do, at this important life turning.
TAURUS (April 20-May 19). This is a month of profoundly changing worldview, Taurus, unbelievable as that might initially seem, and of a renewed sense of life mission. You are taken by a series of almost mystical visions for a future that you can actually live with, and for, as you explore new educational or travel moves, and the novel way that you are able to re-conceptualize the world around you. Sudden epiphanies that you have recently been experiencing intensify, as what is a fundamentally spiritual month for you continues to unfold. You are at times filled with great clarity, at times confused, so that you benefit from attempting to simply have faith in your process. Your angel guidance is diligently looking out for you, somewhere in the woodwork, and you can get yourself pretty far down the road of your onrushing destiny based on this simple assurance.
GEMINI (May 20-June 20). This is an interesting and contradictory month for you, Gemini, with tons of energy at your disposal and yet uncertainty about where to put it. You are on the cross of countervailing tendencies for movement and for stasis that is frustrating and yet profoundly enriching. Your ruler, Mercury, is moving backward in the sky, increasing introspection, and yet you remain, within many parts of your being, optimistic and outgoing. You are caught up in the contrast between the restrained and traditionalist outlook implied by prominent Saturn versus your impulse for adventure and for innovative approaches to future plans. These remain undiminished but must yield to the compromise of a more conservative attitude in order to be maximally effective. You want to leap tall buildings and burn all bridges, yet it is for the truly long (and thoughtful) haul that you must currently focus your energies.
CANCER (June 21-July 20) This month is another rather intense journey for you, Cancer, when you are investigating your relationship with significant others, and also within the home, family and root psychological structures that define you to yourself. You have been on a serious and lengthy developmental arc to better understand the effect of committed relationship upon your life, and this month, when Mercury is retrograding through your relationship sector, in connection with transformative Pluto, completes one important phase of this months-long exploration. You are also more connected in this quiet and meditative time with yourself at the deeper levels of your being. You seek new ways of showing up in the world around that express the facets of your personality that are most uniquely yourself, and this goal, like those concerned with partnership connection, is fundamental to what you are trying to achieve in this significant turning of the year.
LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) This is yet another month of important transition, Leo, even though a bit short in terms of concrete accomplishment. With Mercury currently retrograde, your progress is likely to be of an introspective kind, measured in attitude shifts and stages of preparation for coming greatness. You are quite introspective now. Areas of intensity are issues of higher mind: learning and teaching, perhaps foreign travel, beliefs and worldview. You are perfecting your notions of life mission, and you may discover that this involves an ideal of service to others. Startling realizations come fast and furious, and not all will survive the tests of practicality and of time. Those that do become tenets of a new way of seeing the world around you that makes for a better jumping-off point, leading to a more magical and expansive future than has lately seemed plausible, or even possible.
VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) This is a month of introspection and fantasy for you, Virgo, with also in the mix a conservative pulling back from over-idealism. This is therefore a month of contradictions, and of finding a careful balance between extremes. It is important to recognize that the retrograde of your ruler, Mercury, has a strong grip, nearly all month long, and that this is not a terrible thing. You are now inclined to look below the surface of your typical behavior, the way that you come across to others, and might remain longer in a state of simple witnessing than you are used to; and this is recommended. There are things in your life that you need to move beyond, and this form of seeing more deeply is a necessary precursor. As you think things through, and meditate on what you truly want, many doors that are now closed off will ultimately open.
LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) This is another wild and wooly month for you, Libra, one in which you will be celebrating and also pulling back from celebrating. The astrological indications are strong for both positive forging ahead, perhaps most especially in relationship matters, and for also making a conservative and meditative reassessment of where things are going for you in all areas of your life. Part of this forecast depends upon the existence of a rather potent Mercury Retrograde period, already underway, that is taking place in a key sector of your solar chart. Even as you expand your activities in both private and public spheres, and move in a positive direction (or several, all at once) toward committed partnership, you are likely to be feeling a bit isolated, and taking at times a pause in order to introspect, and to reconnect with yourself only.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This is another month of cosmic revelation for you, Scorpio. If you want to discover new philosophical and intellectual horizons, in the course of your daily life, then you have come to the right place; as they say, wherever you go, there you are. The themes of this month for you would seem to be that revelations continue to come at you fast and furious, granting you the choice to either go with them into new territory of beliefs and of life mission, or to decline to follow the call of your inner guidance. Be aware that the message is likely to repeat. As you reexamine your stance on worldview and self-identity, you move through confusion and illusion to a form of truth that feels somewhat right to you at this current moment in time. This is not perfect, but it might turn out to be enough.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) This is an interesting and changeful month for you, Sagittarius, continuing and accelerating the series of major life transformations that you have been subject to, over the course of this past year or more. With Mercury retrograding through your sector of values and assets, you have been somewhat questioning your very basis of security, financial and otherwise, as well as attempting to more realistically marshal your resources for the task of activism to which you have recently assigned yourself. You are comprehending in greater detail than ever before your deepest beliefs and standards, and the activity that these imply if you are to actually “put your money where your mouth (and heart) is.” You are feeling into your next stage, that will blossom at the end of the month and over the remainder of the new year, as you further refine your understanding of the talents and abilities that you bring to the table, and where to put them to best use in fulfilling your most sincere soul-level goals.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) This month represents a turning point for you, Capricorn. You are, in some important way, reborn. This is indicated by the flowering of astrological indications that represent significant developments on both outer and inner levels, evolutionary progress that has been slowly building up for some time now and is ready to move. It is a meditative time. Mercury is in backward motion, or recovering, nearly all month long, and located in your sign as it begins and ends its significant retrograde period. Refining your sense of identity through self-reflection comes up for you quite strongly now, with eventual partial resolution late in the month. You are trying hard to understand where your life is taking you and to what ultimate purpose. Your deep-seated intention for yourself has been a moving target in recent months, and yet this intensity of transformation – of identity and values – still takes a good deal of getting used to.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) This is another amazing and confounding month for you, Aquarius, one in which you come to more fully explore your own vast personal unconscious that reigns deep inside you. You could be one who lives gladly and exuberantly in the surface layers of your personality, filled with broad-minded understanding of the world around you from a logical/mental and quite conscious standpoint; or at least some part of this description might ring true for you. This month the astrological indications are there for you to delve, even more deeply than in recent months, into the shadowy and unknown realm of your innermost psyche, where dragons lurk. This is a different road to a darker form of knowledge and a fuzzy logic that defies simple binary decision points of right and wrong, up and down, familiar and unknown. The light of your conscious understanding still thrives, and helps you to integrate all levels of your experience into a more inclusive whole.
PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) This is a month of principled action, Pisces, and yet also of meditative refraining from activity; of feeling seriously stymied in following grandiose schemes and yet of dreams coming true. The paradoxical nature of life in the physical is fully upon you, and although your mind might have some catching up to do, you know in your heart of hearts what to expect. Because Mercury is in retrograde motion, or recovering, for most of the month, moving backward through the sector of your solar chart that looks to the future, you are driven to the inside in your quest for a more inclusive life direction. What is true for every moment of your existence is true today, and more greatly highlighted, namely that whatever you sincerely focus upon is very likely to eventually come to pass. The recommendation is that you choose wisely.
Henry Seltzer, transformational astrologer and creator of the TimePassages astrology software, is based in Santa Cruz, California. An extended look at this month’s star signs and a variety of astrology reports are available on his website, astrograph.com. His new book about Eris, the planet beyond Pluto only recently discovered, in 2006, is entitled: The Tenth Planet: Revelations from the Astrological Eris, and is available on Amazon, or from your local bookseller through New Leaf distributing. Henry also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at www.astrograph.com.