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Astrological Forecast for January & February 2017

by Armand M. Diaz, Ph.D.

   Last year’s major aspect was the square between Saturn – the planet we associate with structure, work, and responsibility – and Neptune, a planet that has a foggy, dreamy energy that pulls us beyond the boundaries of our structured world. Much of the year was spent in a state of disorientation and confusion as we lost our bearings, as though the letters slid off the compass and the numbers melted on the clock face. After the solar eclipse in September, we began to congeal a new reality, although many of us were surprised and disappointed at the direction it has taken. As Neptune met the south node of the moon in November of 2016, it was as though there was a tsunami in the collective consciousness, a swell of emotion that showed us viscerally the course we were choosing.

   We come into the present and future from the past, and it is worthwhile to remember that we have been through a very tumultuous first half of the decade. The Saturn/Neptune square was in many ways secondary to the Uranus/Pluto square that powered the years 2012-2015, shaking the foundations of just about everything in our collective and personal lives. As Uranus in Aries pulls away from Pluto, we begin to see increasingly powerful ‘outsider’ energy – going rogue is in vogue. 

   With the table thus set, 2017 offers us the opportunity, if not the necessity, of integrating the changes of the past five or six years. We have most or all of the elements on the table before us, and it is up to us to decide how we will use them. The aspects this year are not as dynamic as they have been in recent years, but that doesn’t mean our experience will be any less dramatic. In fact, we often seem to pause in a kind of awe before major aspects, and are more inclined to act on Earth when the skies settle down. The heavens are passing the ball to our side of the court, and it’s up to us to make the most of it.

   Mars meets Neptune just hours after we ring in the New Year on January 1st. Mars/Neptune aspects are tricky: they can bring about excesses of action, or create a kind of paralysis, sometimes both. Coming just two days after Uranus stations to go direct, it’s very likely that we’ll be at least inclined to act. Holiday festivities may get out of hand in some places, perhaps fueled by Neptunian spirits. 

    On the 3rd, Venus leaves sociable Aquarius and dons her Piscean robes. In the sign of the fish, Venus encourages us to spread our love beyond the boundaries of ego. Venus in Pisces is about agapé more than eros, compassion more than romance. We may all benefit from a less ego-driven approach to connecting with others. 

   By January 4th, Venus will have joined Mercury and Pallas Athene in making an awkward quincunx to Vesta, retrograde in Leo. These aspects ask us to consider what is really crucial and essential in our lives, and what is fluff. Vesta in Leo is reminding us that we can operate from the heart or the head (or elsewhere), and that while a strong ego is necessary, it isn’t everything.

   Just a week into the New Year, as the Sun meets Pluto on January 7th, we get a taste of 2017. This aspect asks us to consider two very different approaches to power: the Sun is overt and open, while Pluto is covert and subterranean. As these two celestial opposites meet each other, we can consider the role of light and shadow in our own lives, and perhaps develop an appreciation that without both, there is no cosmic drama.

   Mercury stations to go direct after three weeks of retrograding on January 8th. Some of the power plays of the last few days may be obscured or misrepresented, and it could be difficult to get accurate information on both the personal and collective levels.   

   The Sun’s square to Uranus on the 10th changes the channel on our collective mood. Sun/Uranus aspects require that we honor our sense of independence, yet follow our hearts rather than merely acting out of orneriness. Patience is likely to be low around this time, especially as we build toward the full moon in Cancer on the 12th. There may be a sense of restriction, or it could be that worries about safety and security hem in our desire for freedom and self-expression. Mid-month has its share of opportunities and challenges, yet with the full moon square to Jupiter in Libra, we have a reasonable hope for a diplomatic solution to tensions that develop.

   The full moon also illuminates a meeting of Venus and Neptune in Pisces. This aspect casts a soft glow around relationships, perhaps inviting us to dive once more into the waters of romance. Highs may be very high, and lows can be very low indeed – whether you find yourself in the Tunnel of Love or the House of Horrors, do your best to remember that your perceptions are likely to be exaggerated around this time. 

   On the 19th, Mars squares Saturn, an aspect that often feels like stepping on the accelerator with the parking brake on. Yet with the Cosmic Warrior in the sign of Pisces, energy may be lacking. We could leap forward enthusiastically, only to trip over untied shoelaces. Motivation may reach a peak, but dissipate just prior to action. Alternatively, a few of us will push past Saturnian resistance to accomplish our objectives – choose wisely if you are acting beyond normal boundaries.

   The Sun enters Aquarius on January 19th, shifting our collective focus towards the rational and intellectual. Yet we continue to revel in and revolt against things on the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes. 

   Venus is very busy towards the end of the month, aspecting Pluto, Chiron, and Jupiter before squaring Saturn on the day of the new moon, January 27th. This is a time to consider, and reconsider, our relationships and values. Some things will no doubt be brought to an end by the waning moon and cold decisiveness of Saturn, yet others will be strengthened by resolve and commitment. 
   February is a short month, but it’s feisty and fiery this year. Mars and Venus both enter the sign of Aries, where we energetically push forward with the determination of the ram. Venus is also very powerful as she slows down to prepare for her retrograde on March 4th, so we’ll begin to focus more on relationships.

   There’s more excitement in store for us this month, though. Jupiter stations to retrograde in Libra on the 6th, and he stations exactly square to Vesta in Cancer. Jupiter’s stations are generally times when we feel upbeat and optimistic, yet manners and diplomacy may conflict with security needs. In relationships, this may be a time when our urge to be outgoing and social is somehow restrained by subtle fears.

   Such concerns may be forgotten by the 10th. The Leo full moon is always the ‘Party Moon’ of the year, and this year it falls on a Friday evening – it may be time to celebrate Valentine’s Day a bit early. This is an extra-powerful full moon, because it’s also a lunar eclipse. The eclipse occurs at 7:44p EST, and should be visible in the East – check it out from about 7:00p.

   As we delve deeper into the month, tensions mount as Mars squares Pluto on the 22nd. The warrior energy of Mars conflicts with power broker Pluto, and he may seethe about his marching orders. Tensions could erupt on the 26th and 27th, as Mars opposes Jupiter (“Enough diplomacy!”) and meets Uranus. 

   The last week of the month may have some considerable stresses that erupt on various levels. With the Sun meeting Neptune on March 1st, it’s quite possible that we’ll have an exaggerated response to the challenges that come our way. This is an excellent time to push your agenda and work towards your goals, provided you know what you really want. Free-floating energy is likely to be problematic, and it could help to work off excess energy with some sensible exercise. If you feel you ‘have to do something’, try to be mindful and compassionate.

   The first two months of 2017 present a unique – but not unusual – mix of cosmic weather. As always, our personal and collective lives create cacophony and harmony that change into each other. There is never any real break in the action, and the peaks and valleys are all relative. We didn’t incarnate on this level or reality (at this time, no less!) for the sheer ease and pleasure of it. Yet there is some ease, and some pleasure, and we can learn to appreciate and experience the best and worst of times (along with everything in between) with equanimity and compassion. 

 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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