Transformational Astrology

January 2011

Henry Seltzer

The Astrology of January focuses on Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Also, Mercury is still emerging from its retrograde shadow period, until mid-month. The reason that all the outer planets are configured in this important transition month into 2011, both astrologically and calendar-wise, is that they are very much a part of the January lunations, especially the Solar Eclipse of the early morning hours of January 4th.  Taking place only a few days after New Year’s Day, this powerful Solar Eclipse links Pluto and Saturn, which are still roughly in square with each other, since it conjuncts Pluto while squaring Saturn quite closely. The eclipse also makes an ethereal quintile aspect to Uranus and Jupiter, which are exactly conjunct each other in late Pisces. It also makes a semi-square to Neptune and Chiron as well, also conjunct in the same degree of Aquarius as Jupiter and Uranus. With all the outer planets configured we will be inspired to move beyond our present dilemmas, one way or another. The outer planets are all about change, although they effect change with their very different energies in different ways. Enlightenment descends upon us quickly with Uranus, now prominently occurring with Jupiter in the sky, so that ideas for a better future come easily. Neptune, also quite prominent, presents us with ideals and with intimations of that which is beyond logical thought process, yet necessary for fully opening our hearts to each other. Pluto is the most drastic energy, and encourages us to be getting about our real business in being here whether we consider ourselves ready for that or not.

Saturn is also powerfully configured in this month’s sky. Saturn stations retrograde late in the month, around the 25th, and its symbolism of a sense of limitation will be more poignantly felt at that time. This takes place at about 12 degrees beyond its perfect square position with Pluto, but the square returns next spring and early summer to within 4 degrees. Saturn with Pluto is dire, as we have already seen over the past few months; in our individual lives we might be tempted toward doom and gloom in line with the television pundits. In political terms Saturn with Pluto represents a conservative empowerment that has never fully faded in recent decades since the time that it was rebirthed in reaction to the leftward political movement of the sixties. This conservatism has real consequences for us all. There are many signs right now of this trend of turning away from the more enlightened progress that is also our legacy from the sixties.

After June, Saturn’s square with Pluto fades, and the Uranus–Pluto square becomes more important. This square is highlighted in the last week of January when Jupiter crosses over into Aries, squaring Pluto there while remaining in contact with Uranus, a mere 2 1/2 degrees away. Uranus in dynamic aspect with Pluto means that we are primed for radical departures from our pre-existing patterns, for better or for worse. Uranus represents the vision of future possibility that can lead us out of our rut, while Pluto is the wrecking ball that comes along to make way for drastic change.

The January 17th time period also proves interesting. Not only is Mercury finally out of its retrograde shadow, but it also makes an exact conjunction with Pluto on this day, with the Moon opposed, triggering the conjunction. We will be all the more aware of our deeper desires and need for transformation. At the same time we will exhibit an intelligence that is slightly cynical and penetrating and that will see right to the heart of many matters.

Then, the mid-week Full Moon that follows, taking place on Wednesday, January 19th, puts us in another place altogether, occurring as it does on the very verge of the humanistic energies of Aquarius and Leo. With this culmination to the eclipse energy that began the month we are engaged mentally and viscerally to move beyond ego and into cooperation with the social forces that encapsulate us. Only by each one of us making a difference will there result a different outcome, a rescue from the road that appears collectively before us and that leads us over a cliff. We are encouraged to make this difference not out of blind obedience to the dictates of consensus thinking, but by rising up out of our own unique individuality. And we must do so if we intend to make an all-important directional shift for the society around us, in these crucial and nearly ultimate times.

ARIES (March 20-April 19). You are coming once more around the mountain of your destiny in this brand-new year, Aries. You are very business oriented now, but with a twist, as you seek also to radically transform your outer world presence. Careening almost battle-like into situations, wild with an enthusiasm for your ideas that only grows as the weeks roll by, you must nevertheless watch and wait for the right opportunity to present itself. Consult your inner guidance at all times. Observe carefully so that you will not be fooled as the universe like a magician pulls each fresh rabbit out of the hat. A false appearance can often masquerade as true quality.

TAURUS (April 20-May 19).  This is an active month for you, Taurus, as suddenly everything seems possible. A new you is emerging from the cocoon of your winter slumber. You are transitioning out of a contemplative end-of-year period with bells on and with only some small degree of trepidation. As you imagine a better future for yourself and seek to transform your beliefs to match your inner knowing, your old order is rapidly changing.  Travel plans might still be on the front burner but these too are swiftly evolving. There is plenty of excitement and no room for doubt; you are getting another take on where you are actually heading with your life right now and it’s no place where you have ever been before.

GEMINI (May 20-June 20). The holidays are over but the excitement of the season is only just beginning for you, Gemini. You are in the midst of far-reaching changes. Your sensitivity is high and idealism rages, so that you might need to defend yourself against putting someone on a pedestal or outright self-deception. You have been rethinking your partnership dynamic lately and that is just part of the story that is unfolding within the current timeframe. The most important relationship that is transforming for you right now is with yourself. Your largely hidden inner spaces are coming closer to the surface over the coming weeks and it opens up an entirely new way for you of being in the world.

CANCER (June 21-July 20) The New Year holds many blessings for you, Cancer, not the least of which is a better handle on significant partnerships in your life. You are doing the relationship dance this month with many variations, all of them novel and some of them profound, and the shifts come over you quite suddenly. You might find that old wounds are coming up for understanding, acceptance and imaginative healing. The flavor of your experience shifts markedly as the days unfold. By month’s end you might even believe that the real heart of the story — and the most radical sense of newness – lies within your own soul, having profited mightily from the experience of the last thirty days.

LEO (July 21-Aug. 21) This still remains an important time of change for you, Leo. You have been mulling over your choices and it is perhaps only this month that you are beginning to discern what it is that you truly want to get out of life. An accumulating sense of softness for others around you might itself constitute a clue. You lately inhabit a place of greater compassion for your own internal nature also, wounded or not, reactive or not, and are perhaps finally willing to set aside feelings of lack. A new dawning of awareness comes with the Solar Eclipse that begins the first week of the month. Later on in January it becomes more obvious that you cannot entirely go it alone; friends and partners are vital components now of your own journey toward wholeness.

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 21) The holidays are over but your winter metamorphosis is still in full swing, Virgo. For you this is still a season of dreams and a season of sharing. You are participating in a multi-level series of deep inner transformations that began last month with the December 10th retrograde of your ruler Mercury in your creativity sector. You have been intensely watching all your reactions ever since, hoping to find the gold ring amidst the clutter and the misinformation of life. You are stalled for the moment in financial blossoming, awaiting the springtime. Your mystical moment of redemption comes then, and the payoff for your self-reflection also. You must wait for many weeks yet you are making an all-important start this month.

LIBRA (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) Your time for contemplation is nearly over, Libra. This is the best moment to reconsider relationship questions and communication issues that have long plagued you. Familial connections within tribe and domicile are also up for review and revision. Surprises abound, together with revelations concerning specific partners in your life and your relationship patterns in general. You must strive for clarity. You are reevaluating all that has gone before in a new light and things that once seemed clear are now less so, while what was complex now appears unbelievably simple and readily discernable. Your ideals are running strong as you prepare to commit in a new way to everything that you hold dear. Your task this month is to discover just what that truly consists of.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) You are moving quickly, Scorpio, in thought and deed, although something seems to be simultaneously holding you back from total completion. Life in the fast lane is not so bad as long as you do not mistake the glitter for the gold. Your communication is in some ways your most important product now, and you do well to recognize that fact, and the role that others play in keeping you on track. Meanwhile your fantasy life is improving, especially where relationships are concerned. You just want to be careful not to take illusion for the quote unquote real thing. Your currently brilliant ideas may yet save the day. Living out your ideals in spite of all the cynical information that’s around has quite a positive appeal

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 20) You are in some ways skating on thin ice right now, Sagittarius, but your positive mental state just might save you from a fall. This is definitively a good month to get better grounded. Family and home-based scenarios are taking off. Your sometimes naïve optimism is flaming up and lighting your universe on fire and it is helpful if you can make it a controlled burn. Your finances are in flux at the moment and essentially working for you, but the most important information there is that the non-material trumps the material in this day and age, and especially for you right now. Communicating your most closely held values is powerful as long as you can separate ideals from illusions while doing so.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) This is the season of your transformation, Capricorn, still ongoing.  Your outer world presence is more powerful than ever but it falls short somehow in capturing the real truth of what you are about. You have scaled certain heights during December, only to find that you have discovered further heights to scale.  As the new year begins, and rings in a new era for you, it is good to be aware that you must be patient and await the fullest outcome of your ongoing rebirth. The cosmos is your ally now. Strange epiphanies occur this month that can help to show you the way forward, mystical though that way might be, so long as you are prepared to meet its magical essence at least half way.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 17) This is a powerful monthly period for you Aquarius, a most magical time of the year. You are participating and somehow also not, suspended between realities of past and future and yet separate from each of these more productive bookends to this current time frame. Your head is only halfway embraced by the so-called real world right now, while the other half rests among the stars and dreams of what is not revealed by simple logic. Financial success comes knocking, but as you are at least partially surprised to learn, it is not sufficient to make up your happiness. Veils of illusion suddenly part, and then close again, but leave you knowing that there are wonders of the universe that underlie all that you say and do and that yet remain largely unseen.

PISCES (Feb. 18-March 19) This is a visionary month for you Pisces, when you will hatch concepts enough to last you the rest of the year and beyond. You have lately been conscious of a basic instability in your identity center that is also productive of new concepts that emerge, fully formed, to dazzle the thoughts of your normal waking awareness. This month these effects are accentuated, especially during the first two weeks, punctuated by the presence of the January 4th Solar Eclipse. Your ideas are potent right now, and whatever you sincerely wish for has every chance of coming true in good time. Later in the month you are applying concepts of connection with others directly to your work in the world, and this turns out to be a powerful combination. 

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 is available on his website. Holding degrees from MIT and the University of California-San Diego, Henry is a popular speaker and also offers life enhancing private astrological counseling. Call him at 831-425-3686, or visit his website at

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