As we move from Saturn-based serious Capricorn on January 20th, into airy Aquarius we can feel a easing of our mood. The sun in the expansive fixed, Air sign of Aquarius brings innovative ideas that can inspire and uplift your life. As you stretch your point of view to this vast outlook, you can gain new ideas and insights to stimulate your life plan. If you were working with the timings during the Sun in Capricorn, you most likely created your solid plan for the year ahead. It is time to allow Aquarius to work its magic. The Sun in Aquarius will give you a big overview of your life and help you put more goals and dreams in writing. Aquarius encourages you to not only think outside the box, but to let go of the box completely and reach for the stars.
The new moon in Aquarius coincides with a solar eclipse the day after Valentine's Day, this Thursday, February 15th. For millions of people around the planet, it is also Chinese New Year. Watch for another blog post about the Year of the Earth Dog later this week. This is a time for introspection, for reflecting on what needs to shift or change internally, before making what could be some sweeping external changes in March when the sun enters Aries and the whole cycle begins again.
The new planetary energies coming into the spotlight in 2017 will be fueling us to step outside the norm. The ordinary just won’t do now. It’s time to take things into a brand new direction. The more willing we are to let go, readjust our perspective and embrace something new, the better off we’ll be with what 2017 has in store.
January 20th to February 18th
In modern astrology, the fixed sign of Aquarius rules the 11th House, which is said to be that of “Hopes and Wishes” and also “Ideals and Aspirations”. The glyph for Aquarius is the Egyptian sign for “water above and below”. Therefore, Aquarius is said to symbolize the realm where the invisible waters of heaven pour down onto mankind, in the same way that a soul is poured into a human body. Aquarius has always been linked with Ganymede, who according to the Greek myth was the first mortal to become immortal. He was taken to Mount Olympus to become a “Cup Bearer” for the gods. When we see a symbol for the sign of Aquarius, we see a “water bearer”, which is Ganymede, pouring nectar for the Gods. He was the first man to understand the waters above and bring them down to others, the modern notion of “ideals”.
What is “above” is immortal and what comes from “below” is mortal and the waters of Aquarius are said to transcend both. When we tap into this flow our ideas, thoughts and requests flow up into the heavens where the Gods can look on them favorably. When the Sun moved through Aquarius, it was the coldest time of the year. However, as the earth reaches its darkest point, it holds the promise of future life. Underneath the ground, the roots are starting to prepare for new life. Everything in nature has to be self sufficient. Aquarius, as a sign, is infamous for non conformity. Uranus, its ruling planet shows the same traits. While most of the planets spin on an axis that is almost perpendicular, Uranus’ axis is almost parallel to the ecliptic. Aquarius is a sign of individuality and of looking to the future. The past has gone in exactly the same way as the old year has gone and Aquarian energy can only look to what is happening now and what will come in the future. Nothing practical can be done, but it is a time to give birth to ideas. It was a time when innovations and inventions were devised. During the darkest part of winter, the light comes from within. Anything that doesn’t serve will show itself and be corrected in spring. One of the greatest qualities of Aquarian energy is independence and it’s during the middle month of the winter that life itself is developing independently.
In Aquarius we find an energy that is “above” all the other signs. This is air energy, but unlike Gemini and Libra, this is energy that goes beyond the individual, to encompass humanity itself. Aquarian energy lifts above the mortal realm and the drudgery of daily life and taps into something higher. Therefore, Aquarius energy is always on the cutting edge, able to see further into the future and to greater heights than the other zodiac signs. It is a sign that is forward thinking; it is non conformist, balks at tradition and celebrates originality and individuality. It will rebel against repression of the human spirit. Thus Aquarius, as an air sign, is more exulted. Aquarian energy is often concerned about the plight of humanity. When people stage protests or speak out against oppression, they are using Aquarian energy. Where other signs may see what “is”, Aquarian energy sees what “can be”.
“Review, Reflect, Revise”
The first Mercury Retrograde transit begins on February 6th in the sign of Pisces and then on February 12th backtracks into Aquarius until is goes direct on February 28th. What exactly does it mean when a planet is said to be retrograde? A planet is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. This concept arises in the planetary motion created by the orbital rotation of the earth, with relation to other planets in our solar system. Planets are never actually retrograde or stationary, they just seem that way, it is an optical illusion. During a “reversal,” the areas of life that the retrograde planet rules will feel askew until it catches up to Earth again.
Mercury retrograde is perhaps best known of all retrogrades. Since communication is Mercury's main domain, communication is greatly affected by this planet's pull. When Mercury is in retrograde, expect some difficulty in all forms of communication. Misunderstandings might happen like you’re not being heard or coming across clearly to others. You’ll suddenly find yourself in the middle of a ridiculous argument. Technology can also become problematic, emails could be mis-sent, text messages are misinterpreted or delayed, phones are suddenly not charging, laptops and computers crashing... you get the idea. In addition, travel and transportation is also affected. It could be as simple as delays due to a traffic jam or difficulty in getting a cab, but it can be as bad as your car breaking down in the middle of traffic. Since Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo, these individuals (and those with these signs prominent in their charts) can feel moody, pensive and out-of-sorts.
On the positive side, retrograde planets draw our attention inward and to the past. Mercury retrograde is a great time to review or finish up an old project, contact an old friend, or clean out the closet. It’s also a good period for introspection, dreaming, and deep thought. We look at the world a little differently--through different filters--and can come up with some very important inner revelations. It may be difficult to communicate them under this influence, but not everything needs to be rationalized. Mercury retrograde periods can be times of heightened inner awareness, when meditation, benefiting from keeping a journal, reworking old plans, and reviewing past work are favored. Minor breaks in the mechanical aspects of communication can actually re-connect us to other means of communication, such as when there is an unexpected power outage and we're forced off the computer and television, finding different and often satisfying ways to entertain ourselves.
This period begins with Mercury in Pisces. Pisces rules our spiritual and intuitive qualities that make our true beliefs seen in the outside world. The viewpoint of about humanity and our attitude about others will be seen as well. If we see ourselves separate than others, then our spiritual attitude is one that only exists within a compartment of church and does not venture out into our day to day lives. Since Mercury is in retrograde in the sign of its fall in Pisces, (Planets in fall are uncomfortable and weak, having much less power to assert their own identity.) this retrograde period creates mental and emotional confusion, with strange dreams and sometimes psychic experiences. Mental processes being entwined with emotions, we find it hard to separate ideas and opinions from passion and idealism. Our mental orientation can be unstable, unrealistic and overly-spiritual, but it also inclines to laziness and increases the urge to consume alcohol. Nervousness and stress, even unfounded fears and paranoia are stimulated, especially from working or living in a hostile environment. Maintain privacy and dignity in the working environment and don't try to read between the lines, when there is really nothing to find. On the 12th, Mercury will enter Aquarius which is a more comfortable placement for Mercury. As an air sign, Aquarius exudes qualities of the intellect and communication, especially to do with invention, new ideas and the pursuit of a higher truth; as a fixed sign, it is also reliable and resolute. Aquarius can also appear contradictory, in that they may be both social and individualistic at the same time; its intellect can appear detached and come from a standpoint of distant objectivity, and at the same time, its need for communication drives it to relate to others. When Mercury retrogrades in Aquarius, it's time to reconnect with old friends, new friends, new ideas, old ideas, and the internet. Check all the details of your connections to make sure they're versatile enough to handle the pace of your innovations and the vision of your creativity. Now that your mind is filled with cutting edge concepts and the latest information, think about how you can integrate and use these new and renewed connections, concepts, and products as everyday tools to help you attain your goals. Today the "glass is half-full and people are too trusting. That great deal, may not be all it seems, so have a Virgo read over that fine print. It's easy to insist on cutting your way through the confusion only to find yourself more at sea than before. Elusive concepts flee in the face of challenge. This can also manifest in ways that are positive. For example, if a person who is usually depressed finds hope or meaning in their life, it can open them to new possibilities and potentials. Just be aware that the collective exuberance is temporary. I am all for taking a leap of faith, but look very, very carefully before you do.
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