Happy New Year, everyone. This reading covers the period between the Capricorn Solstice 2008 and the Aries Equinox 2009.
The passage of Jupiter into Aquarius is the first major event of the season, on January 6. This is Epiphany day, when many Christians celebrate the visit of the Mages to the infant Jesus, by giving gifts of toys and sweets to their children. The mythical sages reached their destination by following a bright comet, fact that suggests that their crafts must have included Astrology. Let’s hope that, in the next twelve months, the spirit of giving and cooperation will prevail among us too.
When we consider that a year in the life of the Earth (one full orbit around the Sun) corresponds, almost precisely, to a passage of Jupiter through one of the twelve Signs, the archetypal correspondence between the two cycles becomes evident.
Every year Jupiter is said to preside over the philosophical mind-set prevalent on the planet, reflecting our collective outlook and the principles we are more likely to uphold. The Sign that Jupiter is just leaving, Capricorn, tends to endorse somewhat pessimistic or reductive views, with the aim of preserving the status quo. After building security through hard work and the careful use of resources (Capricorn Jupiter in 2008), it is now time to spread our wings again and dare to aspire to something closer to our ideals.
The pursuit of knowledge is one of Aquarius greatest gift to humanity (the ‘fire’ Prometheus stole from the wheel of the Sun to give man renewed purpose), thus Jupiter transiting this Sign is always an opportunity for improving our conditions. Ideally it could bring the renaissance of a social conscience. From this Transit could in fact emerge a greater urge toward reforms (or revolutions), to improve the life conditions of the underdogs. As a collective we may become more critical of conservative ways and eager for change. Friendship and cooperation amongst people of different origin and religion will be encouraged. Those more directly affected will be Aquarius (Jan.19/Feb.6), Gemini (May20/Jun.8), Libra (Sep.22/Oct.11). This is an opportunity to participate more actively in the life of your community, discovering a more confident and successful you.
Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s classic silent movie, was released on January 10 1926, as Jupiter was also entering Aquarius. The movie is considered one of the most visually compelling indictments of the extreme modernization that threatens to destroy our humanness, real people versus heartless machines taking over the world. All these are great symbols for both the positive (social conscience, equality, freedom) and negative attributes of the Water Bearer (extreme rationalism and progress at any cost).
The Sun, entering the fateful gates of Capricorn, will meet Pluto right on the Solstice point, on December 21. Here the Sun will linger for a few hours, appearing to ‘stand still’ on its southernmost descent in declination. He will then retrace his steps towards the Equator, bound for his next journey northward.
Pluto will remain on the same cusp until nearly the end of 2009, a long visit!
When transiting these seasonal points the Sun, Moon and Planets become energetically stimulated. The Sun thus crossing the path of Pluto should make conscious (Sun light as symbol of Logos and Consciousness) what was before hidden and secret (Pluto, lord of the underworld).
Secrets can now be revealed that could change the course of our human history, perhaps a geological or archaeological discovery of great significance.
Going back to the last instance of Pluto in Capricorn we get an idea of the quality of this position by looking at the Horoscopes of some famous people: Ludwig van Beethoven (Sagittarius, born on December 16, 1770) with Pluto in Capricorn, most elevated of all celestial bodies, forming a powerful cosmic triangle (auspicious) with Taurus-Uranus and Virgo-Neptune, configuration implying his immense contribution to the collective psyche. Through his music he truly manifested (Earth) the metaphysical harmonies of the spheres beyond the boundaries of Saturn (Uranus-Neptune-Pluto). Another: Pluto in Capricorn in the Horoscope of Jane Austen (also born a Sagittarius, on December 16 as well, 1775), conjunct her Mars, harmoniously connected to Neptune, god of inspiration and poetry, and in difficult rapport to Moon-Saturn, factors that contributed to make her indomitable and relentless in her need to create, and helped her, despite the limitations of her circumstances and her relatively short existence (42 years), to explore unheeded the masculine and feminine psyches in their eternally complex interaction.
Here are some other sample Horoscopes revealing the intensity and depth of Pluto when strongly placed: the conjunction Sun-Pluto in wilful Taurus, in the Birth Chart of Howard Carter (May 9, 1873), explorer of Tutankhamen’s tomb, a secret kept hidden by time and sand for thousands of years. His spectacular and controversial discovery brought a whole culture back to life and influenced in very profound way our modern culture. Another: Sun conjunct Pluto in caring Cancer in the Chart of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (July 8, 1926), a scholarly physician-psychiatrist and also a popular writer, who has made a considerable contribution to our understanding of the psychological and spiritual significance of death, dying, bereavement and grieving, revealing much about a subject that often, at least in the West, has been treated like a taboo (On Death and Dying, 1969). In her case Pluto, god of the underworld, constellates the ‘real’ aspects of death, while, in the case of Carter, Pluto rather symbolizes the treasures and ancient remains hidden in the burial he helped to uncover, and also the whole legend of the pharaoh’s curse surviving to the present time.
Through Pluto in Capricorn the conscious changes which are demanded of us as a collective are becoming more pressing, leaving us little choice. Pluto embodies also the survival instinct which kicks in when the situation demands it; the resources we all have within to cope with extreme situations. This is indeed a special Capricorn Solstice, because the last time the Sun was conjunct Pluto on this very spot occurred in 1762, and before in 1516, 1270, 1024.
Early born Capricorn (Dec.21/23), Cancer (Jun.21/23), Aries (Mar.21/23), Libra (Sep.22/24) could find themselves so busy and involved in what they are doing to forget a host of other important things. Being so focused has its drawbacks: you may become obsessed, perceiving your project, relationship, business venture, children (whatever is very important for you at the moment) as the only life line, the last boat, the sole chance of survival. They are not; they too will pass, one day. Life changes demand resilience from us and flexibility.
After entering Aquarius on January 2, Mercury will begin to slow down and become retrograde between January 12 and February 1, affecting in more obvious ways the everyday life of Aquarius (Jan.19/26) and Capricorn (Jan.12/19). You might realize that projects, studies, conversations, bills, repairs, all sorts of issues which seemed already wrapped up will resurface in your life. You will need to pay attention to them again, and again. This could be a slow moving and perhaps frustrating period if you don’t have much patience and take time to consider everything carefully and methodically.
The first Solar Eclipse of 2009 will occur on January 26. During this Annular Eclipse the Sun will show as a circular bright ring (annulus) behind the dark moon’s body, Sun and Moon will be conjunct Jupiter in Aquarius, acting as powerful catalysts for the releasing of the Aquarian energy discussed earlier. A Solar Eclipse is always a beginning of sort and one that can produce more far reaching consequences than the average monthly New Moon. The people in the direct line of influence of this event are Aquarius (Jan.25/27), Leo (Jul.28/30), Taurus (Apr.25/27), Scorpio (Oct.28/30). The conjunction with Jupiter enhances the positive outlook of this influence. If there is room for improvement in your life Jupiter will make the most of it, while over-expansion or ego-inflation could also be real risks in the circumstances.
Partial phases of this Eclipse will be visible from South Africa, Australia, South East Asia, Indonesia
The second is a Lunar Eclipse (Leo Full Moon, February 9/10). The Moon will move only in the Penumbra (lighter shadow) of the Earth producing a dimmer effect.
The Sun will be conjunct Neptune and Chiron in Aquarius, making this event emotionally loaded especially for Aquarius (Feb.8/14), Leo (Aug.12/19), Taurus (May9/17), Scorpio (Nov.11/18).
Since 2007 Neptune has introduced a sense of the uncanny, romantic, mystical or artistic in your life, depending on your age and temperament. What Neptune’s transits bring is always difficult to define, because it is subtle and very personal. Often our sense of reality loses its solid contours, becoming blurred, like the profile of a cloud. This Neptune’s effect could prove very positive, enhancing the spiritual, intuitive and creative you, but it contains also negative potentials through feelings of hopelessness, accompanied by the desire to evade what are felt as difficult situations. Escapism is one of Neptune’s key words, achieved in all sorts of ways: fantasizing, excessive alcohol or drugs use, self-delusion, and the experience of unreliability and even betrayal and victimization from others. Types who usually keep their feet firmly on the ground could find this experience bewildering (what to believe, who to trust?), while more artistic and dreamy types may be completely swept away by the rip current of oceanic Neptune, losing the plot all together, for a time.
This Eclipse will be visible in its entirety from Australia, Alaska, Hawaii, East Asia
In the last issue I discussed at length the opposition Saturn-Uranus, exact in November 2008. Due to Saturn’s retrogradation the same configuration is returning (second pass) on February 5. This cosmic pattern will be really over only after September 2009, but, by then, both planets would have moved ahead of their present positions, influencing other birthdays. For now the most affected will be Virgo (Sep.11/14), Pisces (Mar.9/12), Gemini (Jun.10/13), Sagittarius (Dec.11/14). This is an opportunity, if lived rightly, to integrate what of the past is still valid and useful with the compelling present need for renewal and change.
For Virgo born September 9/15 Saturn is slowly transiting your Sun. You should be busy at work or study and, if you are not, you could be feeling depressed and useless. Get going, good deeds are often the best remedy for Saturn’s woes.
For all of us Saturn in Virgo has kept his promise to create severe economical limitations, affecting business and general wealth in developed countries while causing severe food shortage in developing countries. This is certainly a lesson in true Virgonian humility for the whole planet.
Uranus this season is moving over the Sun’s position of Pisces born March 8/14, a once in a lifetime opportunity to make radical changes in your lifestyle, relationships, career. There may be risks involved, but also exciting and empowering prospects. Uranus has been knocking at your door since last year, have you answered his call yet?
Between March 7 and April 18 Venus will perform her once in 18 months loop, retracing her steps from the middle of Aries to the end of Pisces. This retrogradation will have a more marked effect on Aries (Mar.21/Apr.5) and Pisces (Mar.19/20). Do the values, general ambience and relationships in your life reflect your true self, your aspirations and dreams? Have you found some contentment, peace and sense of security (emotionally, financially, creatively)? If the answer is a definite ‘No’ this introspective time will help you to understand what choices in your past have contributed to create the present situation. The self-reflective knowledge that Venus retrograde can bring will illumine your more profound emotional and creative needs.
The Transits of Mars, returning to all Sun Signs every couple of years, accelerate the pulse of life, providing us with more energy, competitive spirit, courage and higher sexual libido. Mars however also increases the potential for anger and a forceful fighting spirit that can attract antagonism. This season the transits of Mars will pass through the following Signs between the given dates: Sagittarius (Nov.16/Dec.27, 2008) – Capricorn (Dec. 27/Feb.5) – Aquarius (Feb.5/Mar.15) – Pisces (Mar.15/Apr.22).