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Astrological Forecast for January & February 2016

by Armand M. Diaz, PhD

There’s a different feel to 2016. The turmoil and changes we’ve been experiencing for the past few years are unlikely to abate significantly, but our approach to them may change a great deal. As our collective concerns become more personal, we start to shift away from being exclusively concerned with our individual lives and begin to think of how we may contribute to furthering global well-being.

   It’s a daunting task to consider, but we can start in our own homes or next door, and work from there. Where do kindness and compassion find a place to alight in your life? Who or what would you help, all things considered? 

   The nodes of the moon have moved off of the more personal Aries/Libra axis, and the north node of the moon is now in the service-oriented sign of Virgo. Jupiter, the planet associated with expansion and philosophy, is also in Virgo, while Neptune – dissolver of boundaries – is at home in oceanic Pisces. Selfishness and egotism aren’t going anywhere, and a healthy bit of ego is a necessity, but with this strong Virgo/Pisces emphasis we may be feeling that we’ve had just about enough of our personal dramas and need to reconnect to a larger reality. That could be at the social or cosmic levels.

   The planets in 2016 are supporting this change. With the Uranus/Pluto square behind us (although still in orb), the focus shifts towards the square between Saturn and Neptune, which was exact in November of 2015 and will be again this June and September. Saturn/Neptune aspects lead us to question reality - just what is solid and dependable? With Saturn in Sagittarius, we’re likely to be considering if our philosophical, religious, and political belief systems are matching up with our experiences. We’ll also have four eclipses (two solar, two lunar) on the Virgo/Pisces axis this year, bringing our attention to issues like health care, nutrition, and spirituality.

   The year starts off energetically, with Mercury squaring Mars on the very day he stations to go retrograde - January 5th in the sign of Aquarius. Words could be sharp and may lead to action with this cosmic configuration. Mercury retrograde snafus may spark unusually irate reactions, and we may see a war of words based on ideals and principles.

   A cavalcade of celestial aspects continues from the 5th through the 8th, with Venus squaring Neptune, the sun meeting Pluto and squaring Uranus, and Jupiter stationing to retrograde. The period from the 5th through the 8th is likely to be quite charged, with uncertain information leading to impulsive action, especially with the moon in intense Scorpio and energetic Sagittarius around this time.

   The mood could shift considerably on the 9th, as Venus meets Saturn on the day of the new moon in Capricorn. Relationship expectations are brought down to earth, and it could be decision time (one way or the other) in partnerships of all kinds. The realistic vibe of the 9th may be sobering after the prior few days, and that could be quite welcome. 

   The 12th through the 14th features some easier energy, as the waxing moon forms a backdrop for easy aspects: the sun and Mercury trine Jupiter, and Venus trines Uranus. There’s an openness and freedom, along with a palpable sense of enthusiasm that should help us to sort out any conflicts of the past week. 

   On the 20th, retrograde Mercury squares Uranus. Brilliant insights will be flying around, so grab a pen and paper (rather than the electronic equivalent) to write them down. As Mercury is retrograde, you may be reconsidering an idea that was floated before but rejected or tabled for some reason. Experiment with idea(s), but consider waiting until Mercury passes Uranus while moving direct on the 31st to make a decision.

   Speaking the truth to power is the theme on the 22nd, as retrograde Mercury meets Pluto in Capricorn. The Cosmic Messenger began his retrograde in Aquarius, a sign associated with ideals and democracy, so he may bring the message that the masses are getting restless, or he might remind power brokers that they ultimately answer to society. Issues that were prominent around this past December 19th may be revisited, although you could have to wait until Mercury passes Pluto again on January 30th to get resolution - in fact, the issues may be on the table for the entire week, with new information leading to frequent reversals.

   The full moon on January 23rd is in the sign of Leo. The Leo full moon is always the Party Moon of the year, and this time around the calendar cooperates and places it on a Saturday night. Have fun - however you define it. Parties are a possibility, but so is a nice romantic evening, taking in a show or some music, or working on a creative project. 

   Mercury stations to move direct on the 25th. It’s right around the stations that we tend to see the most dramatic manifestations of the retrograde, so be extra careful with communication, computers, and travel.

   Ceres, associated with Virgo, mothering, and Mother Earth, enters Pisces on the 26th, adding more power to the Virgo/Pisces axis. During her stay in Aquarius, she helped to further our discussions about health and the environment, while in Pisces she may stir us towards greater compassion and understanding.

    The second month of 2016 starts off with tense aspects to goddess asteroids. Pluto squares Vesta while the sun squares Juno on the 1st and 2nd. Look for a prominent female to challenge power structures on the collective level. More personally, we may find that the drive for intimacy with our partners (Juno in Scorpio) is challenged by social obligations.

   Intimacy probably wins out, as Venus goes on to meet Pluto in Capricorn on the 5th. This aspect pulls us towards deeper connection, but the process of getting closer also opens up our vulnerabilities. The more we reveal of ourselves, the greater the potential to evaluate whether our partners are sharing equally. 

   Venus/Pluto makes everything more intense in relationship, and potentials and challenges both surface. As Venus squares Uranus in Aries a day later, on the 6th, we may decide it’s time to exit a situation that doesn’t meet our expectations. Yet this aspect also opens up the possibility of making needed changes to relationships and exploring new horizons. Constructive Venusian aspects to Mars and Jupiter over then next few days will help us to move forward no matter what we decide.

  The new moon in Aquarius on the 8th could signal endings, but also beginnings. It’s a good time to look towards your goals and aspirations for the coming year. Yes, it’s a bit far into 2016 and the second new moon of the year, but the entire time between the Capricorn Solstice in December and the Spring Equinox in March is a process of sorting through the past and looking towards the future.

   The full moon on the 22nd is in the sign of Virgo, once again highlighting the Virgo/Pisces themes that are so prominent at this time. This moon asks us to consider where we have succeeded in accomplishing something of value to the world, and what we can do to help in the future.

   The sun meets Neptune on the 28th, an aspect that can make people and things look very good, or very bad. Remember that the demons, dragons, knights, and princesses we encounter are really just people playing the role we have assigned them in our personal drama (or comedy). That’s not to say they aren’t into the part and acting it with gusto – after all they have accepted the projections we shine upon them. But most folks that have a part in our lives are not only teaching us something important, most are surprisingly similar to us. Enjoy the show, but duck out to the lobby for a while if it gets to be too much.

   Our partners may be key players in our melodramas, as Venus squares Juno and sextiles Saturn on the 29th. If we can get our priorities sorted out, we have the opportunity to build in our relationships. Yet if we cling too tightly to images and roles, we could find that we choke spontaneity in favor of certainty – only to find that the security we seek is actually elusive.

   The first two months of 2016 ease us into the year. The themes that emerge will be with us for the entire year, and some have been with us for a while. We’re called to go forward, with an eye towards the big picture as much our personal lives. Like Janus, the double-faced Roman god for which January is named, we will be looking backward and forward at the same time.

Armand M. Diaz, Ph.D. helps clients make decisions that 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.  His most recent book, Separating Aspects: The Astrology of Breakups, Divorce, and Other Partings, is available through Amazon and available on Kindle.  He can be reached through his website at www.integralastrology.net

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