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Astrological Forecast for January & February 2011

by Armand Diaz

We begin 2011 with a feeling of being in a count-down mode. This is a good time to remind ourselves that the first month of the year is named for the Roman god Janus, who looked both forwards and backwards. Each of us will be looking with anticipation to the future, even as we simultaneously look to the past.

To what are we counting down? The specifics vary. Astrologers are looking towards Uranus’ entry into Aries in March, and then the square between Uranus and Pluto that will take place in 2012 to 2014. Or maybe it is Neptune’s long-awaited return to his home sign in April of this year. There is certainly a lot of focus on the year 2012. But no matter what the target date or event, there is a sense of deep, impending change. It’s coming soon....

But not just yet. While we usually begin the year with a sense of going forward, the start of 2011 finds us in a holding pattern. Not that it won’t be an active time, but it will be very hard to have a sense of direction. Plenty of things are ending, yet it is very unclear what new realities are emerging to take their place.

It is just into that gap - our own not-knowing - that we must enter with courage and hope in the early months of 2011. We are not merely the recipients of some predetermined future that we must wait for, but the creators of a future that we must work to make happen. With Uranus and Jupiter both in the late degrees of Pisces, it might be all-to-easy to feel hopelessness and loss. If we convince ourselves that the end is truly near, then we might behave poorly when these planets spur us to action when they enter Aries. But if we can accept a dark night of the soul, we will be able to emerge stronger and more balanced.

The astrological aspects for January and February carry both the reverberations of the past year and the impending changes of the coming months, so it will be an active time. On many levels, January to early February is a time to work the larger changes in the world into our personal lives.

January starts out with a solar eclipse, on the 4th. The eclipse is visible in North Africa and Europe, but not from North America. There are many interesting aspects in the sky on this day, with Venus, the Goddess of Love, communicating with Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. This is certainly a time of recognizing our deepest needs and hopes in relationship, and perhaps for decisions about ending partnerships or taking them to the next level.

The eclipse is not all about our personal issues, however, as Jupiter and Uranus meet up in late Pisces on the same day. We are likely to be taking a collective look at our values relating to care and compassion - such as health care or unemployment benefits. Once again, a retrospective is in order as we consider how we have been handling these things over the last decade or so. This aspect also signifies technological leaps, so look to see what’s new in that area. The ongoing saga of Wikileaks is closely tied to this aspect, so we may get the next installment of that story around this time.

Ideas will be flying around on January 10th and 11th, as it’s Mercury’s turn to aspect the outer planets. Problems and disconnects that started before his retrograde in early December may finally be cleared up around this time. Impatient Mars is also active during this period, so while talk is one thing, actions will speak loudly, too.

The January Full Moon is on the 19th. This Moon is in the sign of Cancer, bringing to light our issues of security and comfort. We’re more likely to be focused on the kitchen than any other part of our metaphorical house at this time. Mercury meets up with Pluto just a day before, creating a time when we will say what we mean.

Jupiter enters Aries on the 22nd, in what may appear to be the first glimmer of dawn on the horizon. See what in your life feels ready to move forward.

Saturn appears to stop in the sky (what astrologers call a "station") on the 26th. This is likely to be a serious time, when we are focused on work and responsibilities. Even relationships will be colored by Saturnian seriousness, as Venus aspects Saturn just before his station. Remember that "reality" is relative, and what seems like the cold truth today may warm up a bit in the near future. On a practical level, colds and other minor illnesses tend to circulate around a Saturn station, so be sure to rest and be a bit protective of your health.

February’s New Moon is on the 2nd. It isn’t quite as dramatic as the eclipse of a month earlier, but there is again plenty of Venusian activity around this Moon. We’ll be more inclined to the lighter side of things, and although New Moons are quiet times, there is an openness and willingness to experiment in partnerships that is being seeded at this time. Take the time to imagine something different in your relationships.

As we move towards the 6th through the 9th, Venus will be making tense aspects to Jupiter and Pluto, so what hasn’t been creatively resolved in a relationship is likely to become contentious. On the other hand, where we have made decisions that feel right, these aspects give us the push we need to turn thoughts into actions.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, and you may decide to celebrate on the weekend before. Astrological logic says that if you can hold off until later in the week you may find that there is more fun and romance in the air, as the Leo Full Moon - always the party Moon of the year - falls on Friday, February 18th. Just a day before, the Sun meets up with Neptune - not great for practical decisions, but perfect for creating that romantic soft focus.Thursday and Friday should be good times to get out and socialize... or to stay in.

But fun can fade quickly, and later on the 18th a Venus-Saturn square may snap us out of a romantic haze. Call it "the morning after," the sexy candlelight of the previous hours is replaced by a harsh florescent light - showing off every wrinkle and roll on our partners and ourselves. It’s a testing time, a chance to see whether we were listening to our hearts or if it was just the wine talking. In the simplest terms, we are asking, "is it real?"

No such questions will arise on the 20th, when Warrior Mars meets up with Beyond-the-Limits Neptune, who’s also getting a visit from Messenger Mercury. Don’t even believe yourself today, let alone anyone else. The line between fantasy and practicality is completely blurred, and any of us may be blurting out fictions and facts without knowing what we are saying.

With Mars in the mix, we’ll be inclined to do something, too, so it isn’t just a matter of talking. Tempers may flare as the result of a misunderstanding that escalates. On the other hand, if you and yours passed the test on the 18th, that Martian passion could really take you soaring to those places where imagination and material reality blend together.

Jupiter and Pluto make the last of three aspects on February 25th. These two planets were in very close alignment through the "Dog Days" of the summer of 2010. When these two get together, power struggles emerge or come to a head. Jupiter can have a dogmatic, true-believer stance, while Pluto wants complete control. Add them together, and we find collective anger and a willingness to go "over the top" to get our way (after all, it is the right way!). Keep your eyes on the news during the last week of the month, and try to figure out who’s in control, who thinks they are, and who wants to be.

It’s a serious time, the beginning of 2011. Personally and collectively, we are witnessing the end of an era, and it is much easier to focus on what is passing away than on what is to come. After all, the future is uncertain. Yet we have many opportunities in these months to make conscious choices that will help to create that very future. In the midst of all of our material concerns, we would benefit from taking a few moments now and then to renew our highest spiritual aspirations.

Armand M. Diaz, M.A., C.A., is certified as a Consulting Astrologer by the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR). He is available for private consultations, in which he creates a supportive context for self-exploration, to help clients make decisions which are in harmony with their greatest potential, offering a truly integral approach to astrology. Armand has practiced divination for more than twenty years, working with the I Ching and Tarot in addition to astrology. He has published in various astrological journals, including The Mountain Astrologer. He can be reached at 917-216-1541 or armand@integralastrology.net,  or though his website at www.integralastrology.net.

Armand Diaz

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