January: Moving Ahead—Slowly

When the New Year began the Sun and Venus were conjunct in Capricorn. The Moon was in the last minutes of Gemini, about to enter Cancer, while opposing Saturn at 1 degree Capricorn. Mars and Jupiter were conjunct in Scorpio. All planets were in just half the chart, with the exception of the Moon, which was a singleton in the less occupied hemisphere. The Moon went into her own sign of Cancer at 11 minutes after midnight on January 1, in the Pacific Time Zone.

We can't help but emphasize the power of the Moon at the start of this New Year. She was isolated, alone in a hemisphere, and quickly building to fullness. A Cancer Moon is loaded, loaded with feelling, and wanting us to look within for that which we have brought to the moment, and then to feel safe, secure, and confident. That Cancer Moon was capable of overwhelming the remaining planets with her strength of emotion, particularly because the Sun was in its lest powerful position in the Northern Hemisphere, in this first month of winter. There were no planets in air signs, so we needed to breathe very consciously, and allow the feelings to flow so we didn't get overwhelmed. The Moon continued to be more powerful than usual during the entire month.

By evening on the 1st day of the year, the Moon was Full in Cancer at 6:24 PM PST. It was a Supermoon, meaning it was nearing its closest approach to earth, and if you were able to view it, appeared almost 30% brighter than an ordinary Full Moon. At the time, the Sun was conjunct both Venus and Pluto in Capricorn, giving the opposition a solid footing, while the Cancer Moon was in a water Grand Trine with Neptune in Pisces, and Mars and Jupiter, both in Scorpio. Given that the Sun and Capricorn planets were sextile the Mars/Jupiter duo, the entire complex created what is called a Kite formation.

There is great symmetry and balance in a Kite formation, and this one was no exception, despite the great power of the Cancer Full Moon. The emotional Moon was challenged by the Capricorn planets to stay on solid ground. The Mars/Jupiter conjunction reminded us to dig deep and find out what we really want, what we're really here for. The Capricorn planets said, "go for it." Do waht is needed to align with your purpose, fully supported by the emotions of the Cancer Full Moon. Not quite as strong, but certainly not our of the picture, were Uranus and Eris, making sure that we were questioning the old, perhaps worn-out mindsets, and seeing things from a new perspective. These ideas are revisited over and over this month, and in the coming year.

Uranus stationed direct at 6:12 AM PST on January 2 at 24 degrees 34 minutes Aries. This is significant, not because Uranus will go totally bonkers when direct, but because it means for a relatively brief period, all planets will be in direct motion! Putting ourselves in gear, and preparing for smooth flowing action is the order of the day! No planets will be retrograde for two and a half months, until March, when both Jupiter and Mercury begin retrograde periods.

The was conjunct its North Node at 15 degrees Leo at midnight on January 3, and square the Mars/Jupiter conjunction. The next day at noon, the Moon in Leo, Mercury in Sagittarius, and Eris/Uranus conjunction in Aries formed a tight fire grand trine. When the Moon conjuncts the North Node, we have feeling about the direction in which we should be going, not because we know why or what the future looks like exactly, but because our feelings, and our intuition, tell us the emotional quality we need to move forward and evolve in a positive way. And at the end of the month, the Moon will once again conjunct the North Node.

Mars and Jupiter formed an exact conjunction at 5:04 PM PST on January 6. That duo was sextile the rather tight conjunction of Venus, Sun and Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury was in a tight square with Chiron and a tight trine with Uranus. If you had an impulse to take action, particularly around relationships, between the 6th and the 9th, speaking your truth, and refusing to bow to conventional behavior, you were attuned to the energies of those aspects. We can look at the action of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) when she took a stand for what she believed to be the best for the American people, and released to the public the transcript of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson's interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee about the dossier regarding Trump and the Russians. Feinstein, the panel's senior Democrat, took that action over the objections of Chariman Charles Grassley (R-IA), and without a vote of the committee.

Mercury moved out of its retrograde shadow at 8:30 AM PST on January 10. Later that evening, at 9:10 PM PST, Mercury entered Capricorn, conjunct Saturn. This move altered Mercury's character to be much more disciplined, focused, and willing to follow the rules to get the job done. At that moment, the Moon was sitting conjunct Jupiter and Mars in Scorpio. The next day, the Mars/Jupiter/Moon in Scorpio definitely took over control of the U.S. President's communication, in a most shadowy form. That is the day he expresssed his attitude about immigration and immigrants, making remarks about El Salvador, Haiti, and African nations as being "shithole" countries.

The Sun and Uranus were in exact square on January 14. The Moon moved into Capricorn in its balsamic phase, joining 5 other planets in the sign, just prior to the New Moon. The key word for the balsamic phase of the Moon is release, for it is about to disappear into the dark, to prepare for what is to come—a new cycle. This situation is a great metaphor for where we are in our evolution right now. We sense a new world coming, but are truly in the dark about what that world will look like. We may have a vision of what we would like to see (Sun square Uranus) but in our gut, we also know that the relity is quite beyond our individual imagination (balsamic Moon).

We have the New Moon in Capricorn, at 6:16 PM PST, on January 16. This is another powerful moment for the Moon this month. At the time of the Sun/Moon conjunction, there are 6 planets in Capricorn: Saturn at 3 degrees, Merury at 8 degrees, Pluto at 19 degrees, the Sun and Moon at just shy of 27 degrees and Venus at nearly 29 degrees. Five of the planets square Uranus in Aries, and sextile Jupiter and Mars in Scorpio. Jupiter and Pluto are in exact sextile, the first of three passes while Jupiter is in Scorpio this year.

With the heavy Capricorn influence, we might say "get with your executive function!" It could feel like rigid discipline and "going by the (rule) book." But wait—there's more! We've got very strong Uranus squares allowing innovation. There's Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio, that want their own way, and won't take "no" for an answer. At this New Moon, faith and trust are possible, but taking action is required, not for action's sake, but for the sake of heeding the call of your own purpose, preserving your own self-respect, while facing, almost assuredly, fears from the past. This is a Moon cycle of acknowledging limitations, but pushing beyond them, for the sake of the transformation we know is required for society in this very challenging time.

So, be prepared—there will be surprises. The New Moon/Venus conjunction is, after all, square Uranus and Eris, in Aries. We know Uranus, and are learning to know Eris, as disruptors, not just for disruption's sake, but for reasons that require change from the norm. We continue to learn, sometimes slowly, sometimes abruptly, that what we imagined to be "the way it is," was merely the status quo, and inappropriate for the world as it now is.

Venus moves into Aquarius at 5:44 PM PST on January 17. She joins the Moon there, bringing some air into the room, and energy that is more willing to think and act out-of-the-box. And given the Scorpio and Aries influences, we could push back on relationship behaviors that no longer suit us, and try new approaches. We may be more drawn to trying new things, indulging our curiosity, visiting an art show of a style we're unfamiliar with, or listening to music in a new genre.

The Sun shifts into Aquarius at 7:09 PM PST on January 19. This leaves just half the number of planets in Capricorn as we had at the New Moon three days before. AND the Sun and Venus are conjunct once more.

On January 20, with the Moon conjunct Neptune in Pisces, many women, and men, will be joining together for Women's Marches around the U.S. and perhaps the world. The Moon and Neptune may provide marchers with a higher spiritual feeling about their actions, while Mercury and Saturn in Capricorn, sextile to the Moon and Neptune, will provide a grounded, determined and responsible inspiration for their action. In my city of Oakland, CA, Women's March Oakland will partner with the League of Women Voters and Black Women Organized for Political Action to register voters throughout our county. Their plan also includes bringing voter education and participation resources to the most marginalized commuities to help make all votes heard. They have also been training volunteer Peace Ambassadors to help make the march welcoming to people of all ages and backgrounds. It is my hope that Women's Marches everywhere have similar stories, and much success.

The following week, Mercury moves closer and closer to Pluto, with an exact conjunction on January 24. There could be profound announcements leading to major changes, or just deep conversations that matter. They are square Uranus and Eris, so as unlikely as it would seem, with Mercury and Pluto in Capricorn, something could also be communicated that breaks up an old, outworn belief or convention which needs to be rethought.

Mars moves out of its own sign of Scorpio and into Sagittarius at 4:57 AM PST on January 26. It has no strong aspects at the time, so we can assume it will be acting more as a singleton, which Mars would love, but its energy could be easily distracted until working in tandem with other parts of the chart. If that happens, and you find yourself drifting off your focused project, and onto the bigger picture, us that energy if it's hellpful. Otherwise, know that it's time to get back to the subject at hand.

Mercury arrives in Aquarius at 5:40 AM PST on the final day of the month, just minutes following our second Full Moon, giving us 3 planets in the air sign of Aquarius, and further emphasizing a more Uranian way of perceiving the world.

We have our second, yes the second, Full Moon of the month at 5:26 AM PST on January 31. Not only is having two Full Moons in one month unusual, but both hold significance! The first one, on January 1 was a Supermoon, and in its own sign of Cancer, when the Sun was at its furthest from the earth and thus giving the Moon its full power. The second, on January 21, is a total lunar eclipse!

The second Full Moon is at 11 degrees 37 minutes Leo, conjunct the asteroid Ceres, also at 11 degrees Leo. The two of them are just 3 degrees away from the Moon's North Node. Both the Moon and Ceres are about nurture, mothering, feeding, and caring for others. In Leo, they want the spotlight at the Full Moon, in a way that bolsters the North Node, in other words, in the direction we need to be moving. This is definitely highlighting the Great Mother archetype. As such, our attention, as individuals, as nations, as human beings, needs to be on taking care of us all, in a just and humane manner, in a way that will eliminate hunger, and further the goals of justice, peace, and freedom. It is a day to put your attention and action, in whatever way works for you, on your inner "mother" who wants the betterment of all species.

See you in February!


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