Sunday, January 1, 2012

Guide to Astrological Energies January 2 to 8, 2012

Astrology Journal
Written by Pam Younghans
Photo: The Pinwheel galaxy, also called Messier 101 (photo from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope)

THERE ARE MANY UNKNOWNS as the Sun rises today on our new calendar year. We've gone through many changes in the past 12 months, and many of us are still adjusting to life in the aftermath.

That place of feeling "in the void" after change can be disconcerting, since our minds want to know, to define, and to be able to anticipate what the future may hold. But when we are in the void, we truly are adrift while reality reshuffles and redefines itself, based on the choices we and others have made and the roads we have chosen to walk. The image of a dandelion seed comes to mind, being carried on the wind and waiting for the calm moment when it can reconnect with the Earth and begin the new phase of growth.

(It's interesting that the photo of the Pinwheel galaxy I chose for today's Journal actually looks a bit like a dandelion flower in full seed! Not at all planned, at least consciously...)

WE MAY ALSO be feeling unsettled because of the solar wind currently playing with Earth's energy field. says that this wind will be with us for the first two days of January, so our dandelion seeds are feeling even more up in the air right now.

The planetary aspects reflect a similar energy as we begin this week. Uranus and Neptune form semisquare aspects with Venus and the Sun, respectively, on Monday and Tuesday. Semisquares are usually not as potent as full square aspects, but they still represent minor challenges to our expectations and plans.

As we begin our week, and the new year, it will be important to be flexible and to let go of needing things to be consistent and reliable -- including ourselves! These aspects indicate we'll be challenged to give ourselves and others more freedom as we try on the new energies of this new year (Uranus semisquare Venus) and that we'll need to get comfortable with not knowing how to define reality just yet (Neptune semisquare Sun).

THINGS MAY BEGIN to make a bit more sense as we near the end of the week -- or perhaps it is just that we will be more used to the fluctuations in our perceptions of reality by then. On Saturday, Saturn and Neptune both form sextile aspects to Mercury, providing us with opportunities to look at the world through new eyes, and helping us adjust mentally to what we see.

Right after these aspects form, Mercury leaves Aquarius and enters Capricorn, and we'll be trying our best to make our plans for the future based on what we believe our goals to be. Jupiter will be in trine aspect to Mercury on Sunday, helping us dream big, but also assisting us in paying attention to practical concerns, since both planets are in earth signs.

But, it's not all smooth sailing, since we also have a Uranus-Mercury square on Sunday. This aspect may bring in another wave of change and new ideas, challenging us to rethink what we thought we already knew. Again, flexibility is key to navigating these fluctuating energies.

THE FULL MOON comes late in the day next Sunday in my part of the world (11:30pm PST), which means it will occur on Monday in many time zones. The Uranus-Mercury square is one of the highlights of the Full Moon chart, as are the other aspects to Mercury that have been in effect during the week leading up to the lunation.

Which all means that this is a powerful Full Moon for enhancing our conscious awareness, expanding our ability to envision new possibilities, and transforming old mindsets. This last quality is a product both of the Uranus-Mercury square and the alignment between Mercury and Pluto, which is in effect during the Full Moon and exact a few days later (on January 13).

THE SABIAN SYMBOL associated with the degree of the Full Moon (the 19th degree of Cancer) reminds us of the need to invoke the sacred when dealing with human endeavors, as well as the importance of ritual to sanctify our commitments:

"A priest performing a marriage ceremony: The ritualization of productive interpersonal relationships."

This symbol also acts as a reminder about taking a serious and realistic look at the status of our relationships. Saturn is now in the 29th degree of Libra, and is focusing on completing relationship issues that we have been working with since Saturn first entered Libra in fall of 2009.

Saturn will be in the 30th degree of Libra when it goes retrograde in early February, but due to the change of direction, will keep working with issues of partnership, balance and fairness until it finally moves into Scorpio in October. This means we have the first nine months of 2012 to finish our reappraisal of existing relationships, and to come to terms with our decision either to recommit to them (if they are truly mutually supportive) or to restructure those that cannot survive the stresses of real life in their current form.



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