The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Cancer, January 2018

Chart for the Full Moon in Cancer
Chart for the Full Moon in Cancer

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.
~ Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Jan.01 – FULL MOON in CANCER (11:37 of Cancer)

2018 starts with a Full Moon! But different sources give different dates. Is it the 1st or 2nd? The answer is: Yes.

Essentially, if you're west of the Atlantic Ocean it's New Year's Day, and if you're east then it's January 2nd. (There may be areas that are exceptions to that, but you get the idea. If you're not sure, you can look it up here.)

Besides giving birth to a new year, the Cancer Full Moon also delivers a chart full of yummy trines and sextiles. This rings in the New Year with a big sloppy kiss!

Grand Trine in Water Signs

So, let's start with the Grand Trine in Water signs. This is a remarkable collection of planets since 3 of the 4 participating planets are in the sign of their rulership, making them especially strong.

It may be comforting to assume that trine aspects (120°) allow only "positive" qualities through its filter, but this is not true. Trines and sextiles simply let the energy flow more easily with less resistance, but the energy itself could be "positive" or "negative."

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
~ Helen Keller

The Moon in Cancer is very strong in its own sign, of course. Take the inherent intuition, empathy, caring and sensitivity of the Moon and multiply it times 3. Mind you, some of the more problematic qualities of the Moon are also amplified – neediness, moodiness, overwhelmed by feelings and emotions, extra sensitive to feeling lonely.

Neptune forms another point in the triangle. It's been in Pisces since 2011 and remains there until 2025, so this is a background energy that stays with us for a long, long time. The Grand Trine allows us to tap into its qualities more easily. Neptune is the planetary ruler of Pisces, using modern rulerships, so like Cancer in its own sign, Neptune's qualities are also amplified: dreaminess, idealism, compassion, creativity, artistic ability, intuition, being open to possibilities and just being Here Now. This can also include: deception, dishonesty, gullibility, lethargy and believing only what you want to believe.

Again, we have a planet in the sign of its rulership: Mars in Scorpio. So, we have amplified loyalty, perseverance, tenacity, passion, shrewdness, and the ability to penetrate the superficial to get to the heart of the matter. On the difficult side, there may also be jealousy, vindictiveness, resentment and sneakiness.

Jupiter is also in Scorpio and conjunct Mars (see Conjunctions and Sextiles, Jan.01, below for more about this). Jupiter in Scorpio at its best is about justice in the name of a deeper or hidden truth, and the wisdom that can be acquired through facing the difficult reality of a situation. At its worst, it can use blame as a weapon to humiliate and punish, or it could darken hopefulness until despair begins to look like the best case scenario.

The Grand Trine in Water Signs, at its best, can bring out deep, profound compassion and caring, whether that is focused on a loved one, yourself, the world around you or humanity itself. It can encourage you and others to be a little easier on each other, to recognize that we're all a work in progress, and to understand each other's struggles enough to allow some extra flexibility for human mistakes, poor judgment and shortcomings. On the other hand, if you or others are prone to jump to negative conclusions, judge harshly or assume the worst, this aspect pattern could make it all too tempting to take the easy path instead of the high road.

You are never given a dream without
also being given the power to make it true.
You may have to work for it, however.
~ Richard Bach, Illusions - The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

This Grand Trine is also a Kite configuration, which means it includes an opposition (180°) to another planet which is linked into the figure through sextile aspects (60°). In this case, the Sun-Moon opposition becomes the spine of the Kite. In addition, Venus participates through its conjunction to the Sun (1:43 applying orb). And Pluto insinuates itself into the mix through a wide conjunction to the Sun (7:11 applying orb).

Grand Trine Kite

The Grand Trine Kite is a good-news-bad-news kind of thing. On one hand, you have all that wonderful natural ability and things that come more easily, through the trines (120°), although those advantages can come so easily that we often take them for granted and don't put them to use as much as we could.

On the other hand, the Kite includes that stressful opposition, which creates turbulence in the otherwise freely running waters. The opposition essentially muddies up the clear waters of the Grand Trine. But that also means you have to pay more attention to it, so you're more likely to actually do something with the energy.

The way to get the water flowing freely again is to remove the obstacle in the stream. So, the way to work most effectively with the Kite is to deal with the planets in opposition. In this case, we have 3 planets: Moon in opposition to the Sun, to Venus and to Pluto. We already know about the Moon opposite the Sun – that's what a Full Moon is, which opens up our feelings, emotions, needs and intuition to full aperture.

Moon opposite Venus can bring a polarization between what you need personally and what you want socially. Venus in Capricorn wants to keep interactions clear, focused, realistic, useful and within acceptable limits. Moon in Cancer may want to be taken care of in a more caring, warm way than Venus is prepared to allow.

Venus wants to be in control in Capricorn, which could regard the Moon's neediness more harshly than the Moon would like. On the other hand, if Venus' structured preference is warm and welcoming then this could benefit the Moon who can then feel safe, secure and protected within that structure.

Moon opposite Pluto is a much heavier energy, and although the orb is still quite wide, it is a key player in the conjunctions and sextiles that dominate half of January (see below for more about this). When the Moon aspects Pluto, especially a stressful aspect like the opposition, it can be stressful.

Trust issues are common, as are feelings of vulnerability that are difficult to soothe. You might feel a prickly sense of defensiveness and find it hard to relax and be open. Alternatively, you might be a bit naïve and therefore a little too receptive to devious intentions in others, perhaps leading you to wish later that you'd been a bit more suspicious or cautious.

Pluto at its best is intimate, intense, insightful and passionate. When you hunger for these experiences in your life, it's easy to be fooled by people who have these qualities but may not have your best interests at heart. The Moon-Pluto opposite presents another step in the lesson of learning to distinguish intensity from overwhelm, passion from obsession, intimacy from invasiveness, and genuine insight from manipulative cunning.

Imagination is everything.
It is the preview of life's coming attractions.
~ Albert Einstein

In short, the Kite configuration tells us that there is enormous potential to tap into our better nature in terms of compassion, caring and healing, provided we are prepared to be extremely honest with ourselves about what we really need and want. Illuminating the hidden corners of our desires and yearnings takes courage and might not be easy, but doing this can open up reserves of our emotional and loving energy in a powerful way.

If you're artistic or just hoping for some creative inspiration for any kind of project, this Kite is your ticket to Wonderland! 600 planets in creative Water signs (give or take a dozen), all joined by flowing trine aspects, populated by 3 planets super-strong in their signs of rulership, and a Kite spine running between the Moon and a very creative Venus-Sun-Pluto conjunction in the Earth sign (Capricorn) known for bringing things together in manifestation. What's not to love?

Don't consider yourself creative? Pish tosh! Everyone is creative in some way. When you cook, when you arrange things on a table, when you decide where to place a picture on the wall. When you choose a word or phrase because it's funny or happy or sad or passionate or expresses some other feeling. When you are moved to dance to the music. When you do anything with a bit of flare just because you can. And if you never, ever do any of these things, then it's about time you did!

Do one thing every day that scares you.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

It's worth mentioning that Uranus is stationary at the Full Moon, turning direct just 12 hours after the Moon is exactly full. This is the last station Uranus makes before moving from Aries into Taurus. Mind you, it will dip back into Aries from November 2018 to March 2019, so this isn't THE final station in Aries ...but it's close!

That plume of smoke you see over on your left is Mr. Impatient-Uranus-in-Aries spinning his wheels trying to get some traction, and sadly discovering that he has to wait his turn like the rest of us. Yes, I believe that's him howling in frustration now...

All that pent-up energy from the stationary Uranus sends a lightning bolt of motivation, innovation and inspiration into the Grand Trine Kite. Uranus doesn't form strong aspects to those planets, but its energy serves to light up the skies while you're flying your Kite.

Uranus wants to keep things from becoming too serious or laid back. So, plan to try something new this year! Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone a bit. Dare to be experimental.

Don't be satisfied with stories,
how things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth.
~ Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi, The Essential Rumi

The best way to work with this New Year's Full Moon energy is to use it to envision what you want to accomplish in your life in 2018. All that Water-y imagination and creativity need somewhere to go, so let them water the seeds of your dreams.

Just fantasizing isn't enough, though, since you will need to apply some effort and action to "make it go." That's where the opposition aspects in the Kite come in – it's crucial that you identify any resistance, caution or hesitation you feel about moving toward your goal.

It might be that you need resources – money, assistance, cleared space, a new desk, more spare time, new skills, and so on. Or, you might need something a little less tangible – increased confidence, a clearer vision of what you want, a shot of motivation, more hope for the future, belief in yourself, or faith in the Universe to support your quest.

Perhaps you could find the time and the funding and the confidence and the reasons to pursue your goals, but you have no energy to spare after all the other priorities in your life have been paid their due. That one's a little harder to solve, but do-able! The Capricorn side of that Kite can help you schedule and rearrange those other matters to free up some energy for something else. In addition, you may find that by investing time and energy in your new project, it has a rejuvenating effect that gives back as much energy as it uses.

...I still hate to readjust my thinking, still hate to give up old ways of perceiving and conceptualizing,
yet at some deeper level I have, to a considerable degree, come to realize that these painful reorganizations
are what is known as learning.
~ Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

So, think of the activities and energy in your life like having too much furniture in a room, and you need to redecorate your life in order to fit in something new.

Maybe you could put something "into storage" for a while to liberate space for something new (take a break from something you're doing to make some time to do this new thing). Or you might amalgamate stuff from multiple areas, perhaps stacking things more efficiently or even getting a new cabinet that will fit the space better (find ways to double-up on similar tasks to save money, time or energy).

Simply rearranging furniture can sometimes make extra room (rescheduling activities), or you might move some things into a different room (finding others you can delegate tasks to). Beautifying your space might not make more room, but it might help to boost your energy (find opportunities to do things in a more pleasurable or joyful way).

You get the idea – transform your "space" to fit your needs better – literally and/or figuratively!

The point is that this is a time to dream about what you want to create in your life. And since it's happening at the beginning of the year when many of us make New Year's resolutions—or at least think about what the coming year will bring—this is the perfect time to become pro-active and get focused on where you want to be a year from now.

It's pretty easy to envision what you want to happen, but planning how to get from here to there, from now to then, is the trick. And that's what this Full Moon is about. Dream the dream and map your path.

Naturally, it helps to work with the flow of planetary energy, so knowing what's going on in your chart this coming year can give you some excellent ideas about the possibilities and the obstacles that might come your way. To help you get started, you can still take advantage of the Year-End sale on reports – up to 30% off! The sale ends January 7th! It was going to end on Dec.31 but I'm extending it another week.

So, this is the perfect time to get your forecast report for 2018, so you can study the map of the coming year, get a felt sense for where you want to go within it, plan out your itinerary, and anticipate how to conquer the obstacles.

I wish you the utmost best for a very Happy New Year in 2018!!

Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
~ L.M. Montgomery

Jan.01 – Mercury-Sun Greatest Elongation as Morning Star (11:39 of Sagittarius)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun today, meaning it's as far away from the Sun as it can get. Mercury is the Morning Star, meaning it is visible in the Eastern sky just before sunrise, which occurs after Mercury has turned Direct and a few days before it leaves the Retrograde Shadow.

Thoughts, awareness and decision-making tend to be clearer, and your path ahead may be easier to see. It can be a good time to reflect on the information and awareness you've gathered in the last couple of months and finalize plans for how best to act on these. If you were feeling confused or frustrated during the retrograde period, things can make more sense now. Let this be a time of fresh perspective and awareness.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Jan.01-16 – Conjunctions and Sextiles (18:09 of Capricorn/Scorpio)

There are two groups of conjoined planets gracing our skies in the first half of January, and the groups are in a tight sextile aspect (60°) to each other. (Individual aspects are discussed below.) That makes the first half of the first month of the year a powerful time to align your intentions and take careful aim at what you want to create this year. And like all power, it can be used for noble or dishonourable purposes, or a mixture of both. So, it's especially important to be extra vigilant about following your highest integrity when you use this potent energy.

Conjunctions and Sextiles

The first set of conjunct planets, Mars and Jupiter, are exact on Jan.06 but their combined energy actually lingers within a 6° orb from Dec.24 to Jan.18. Being in Scorpio (17-18°), this conjunction could unleash a volatile, obsessive storm at worst, or at best a passionate quest for justice, enlightenment and hope. Your natal house where this takes place will have clues about where and how you can most productively channel this dynamo of energy.

The other group is Sun, Venus and Pluto – another powerful combination. The conjunctions of each pair of planets become exact within a mere 2.5-hour timespan on Jan.09! Huddling together for a Board of Directors meeting at 18-19° in Capricorn, their intention is to plan out the coming year and make a list of the resources, allies and opportunities needed to turn passion and desire into reality. Used with love, this energy can be powerfully healing and transformative, but used with self-serving ulterior motives, could become a tangled knot of trickery that contaminates the results you're trying to create.

Each group of planets would be newsworthy on their own, but add to this the fact that the planets in each group form a sextile aspect to the planets in the other. This is a strong powerhouse of potential! The sextile aspect grants the ability to combine similar but different energies in ways that create or take advantage of opportunities that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. In other words, it's the ability to make lemonade out of the lemons, and then to use it to negotiate with the world around you to get something else you need or want.

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So, Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio are in tight sextile aspect to Sun, Venus and Pluto in Capricorn. When used effectively with love and integrity, this recipe could provide the secret ingredient to make your goals, desires and ambitions come together. On the other hand, if used only for self-serving purposes, it might look like a secret weapon that is the answer to your problems but likely comes with a hefty price tag that is more trouble than it's worth.

This is the light and shadow sides of the sextile. You have enormous ability to forge something new, but just because you can doesn't always mean you should. For best results, the sextile should be used carefully, mindfully and with your highest intentions. Applying the creative energy of the sextile to this powerful list of planets amplifies that advice 10-fold. At worst, you could get caught up in manipulation, rationalization and exploitation. But at best, you have the potential to wield ideas, resources, passion and caring in creative, innovative, imaginative ways.

Jan.02 – Sun sextile Neptune (11:56 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.01 in HAST)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Although this is mostly a very positive energy, you could become so immersed in your longing for the ideal that you have trouble dealing with the less-than-ideal realities that still must be dealt with. Gaining the benefit from this transit will still require some effort. Hope, optimism and imagination are in the air, which could bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity and imagination can be very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision, and you may experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential now to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime – spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately – although this will require your cooperation to take advantage of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off.

Jan.02 – Uranus Stationary Direct (24:34 of Aries; until Aug.07)  (Jan.03 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Uranus now turns direct, after being retrograde for the last 4 months. This often brings a turning point in situations involving spontaneity, freedom, breaking free of old patterns, rebellion and expressing your personal uniqueness. For up to a week before and after this date, it could feel a bit chaotic or erratic—or perhaps just spontaneous and exciting. However, Uranus' ultimate agenda is to clear the way for your true spirit to manifest in your life. You may experience unexpected changes, flashes of insight, or disruption of established situations that aren't working well (which might include computers, Internet, mass media, groups, friends or future plans). This can be the awakening of a new perspective, to be brought into a clearer focus through open-mindedness and being willing to try new things.

From here, Uranus begins a process of changing signs, which it does only about every 7 years! It has been in Aries since 2010, and was in Pisces before that since 2003. It will enter Taurus on May.15.2018 and dip back into Aries briefly from Nov.06.2018 to Mar.06.2019, after which it stays in Taurus until 2025. This direct-station begins the transition from Aries to Taurus, from a Cardinal Fire sign (focused, goal oriented, enthusiastic, independent, impulsive) to a Fixed Earth sign (realistic, practical, rational, ordered, paced). Get ready for a sideways shift over the coming year!

Jan.02 – Mars square North Lunar Node (15:14 of Scorpio/Leo)  (Jan.03 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

For a week or so, it might feel like the actions you must take to deal with current circumstances are at cross purposes to what you see as your higher purpose or optimal direction in life. You might feel at odds with others, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the other hand, this can be a time when being forced to take a temporary "detour" off your chosen path can bring an opportunity to gather new resources, information or insight that can actually help you more, in the long run, than if you had stayed on the main path. However, there's never any one way to experience a given transit. The question becomes: is veering off the main path something that enables you to avoid something you should be facing? Or is does this detour bring you to a new perspective or resources that you are resisting because it's off the main path? Either way, it's a good idea to balance your impulses and passions with mindful awareness.

Jan.03 – Venus sextile Neptune (11:57 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.04 in AU)

Artistry, romance, creativity and faith have the potential to flow freely now. Your creative Muse is whispering in your ear, although it will still take your own elbow grease to turn it into something real. Socially and romantically, things could run smoothly and even a bit magically, so be sure you are clear in yourself about what you really want. This can be a time of blessings and abundance (in all areas of life) ...but there is also the risk of overspending and being overly optimistic in your assumptions about money and relationships. Your natural beauty and warmth can be brought out by this transit, but don't just waste it on creating a façade of outer glamour and charm. Let the essence of your inner beauty and pure spirit shine through your appearance and mannerisms!

Jan.03 – Venus returns from Out of Bounds (was OOB from 25:47 of Sagittarius to 12:20 of Capricorn; next Venus OOB is May.05.2018)  (Jan.04 in UK, AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

Venus has been Out of Bounds (OOB) since Dec.21, and now returns within the bounds of the Sun, by declination. Venus is a bit harder to integrate into the conventional world while she's OOB – a little wilder and freer, and perhaps looking for a more adventurous connection with others, but also less grounded and realistic. Now that Venus is returning in-bounds now, you may find that these areas are a little easier to work and more likely to gain acceptance and approval from others. However, if you've enjoyed some extra freedom and release during the OOB, this might feel a bit like coming back from a great vacation and now it's time to get back to work. The best thing you can do with your Venus OOB experiences is look for ways to integrate them into your everyday life.

Coming back in bounds can be a bit of a bumpy landing as that unrestricted energy becomes squeezed back into its usual potency. This is a good time to observe your desires and social interaction, as well as changes in Venus themes in society around you. For several days before and after this date, pay attention to the things that amplify or cool down your desires and need for social connection. Realize that this is an adjustment period, and having some patience with yourself and others can help to smooth and soothe this time.

Alternatively, the re-entry can also be an eventful time when changes in Venus-related areas can occur. For example, you might feel this is the right time to start—or end—a relationship or friendship, or make changes to a social situation in your life. A shift in how you experience or handle desire, receptivity, diplomacy or compromise could inspire you to make positive changes in those areas. This might be due to a change in perspective as a result of your experiences while Venus was OOB.

Jan.06 – Mercury trine Uranus (24:34 of Sagittarius/Aries)  (Jan.07 in AU)

Unusual ideas, flashes of insight and seeing unexpected possibilities are all part of this transit. You may find it easier to be open-minded right now, especially about insights that have eluded you. Your ability to see beyond your usual horizon of perception can bring visionary brainwaves, as well as a fun sense of humour. You might be inspired to experiment with something new or do something out of character. You might have an impulse to break free of old habits or constraints. This can be a very liberating transit that opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas. However, be careful that you don't become so liberated and spontaneous that you become erratic, hyper or reckless. Words may come tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to consider their wisdom, or you might find yourself talking non-stop and interrupting, creating a bit of awkwardness in those around you. On the other hand, you might also find the clarity and vision that gives you the words to speak your truth with new conviction. It's a great time to do some writing or other form of self-expression, especially if it's spontaneous or involving technology.

Jan.06 – Mars conjunct Jupiter (17:55 of Scorpio)  (Jan.07 in UK, AU)

"When the Moon is in the 7th House and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace with guide the planets and love will steer the stars!" This quote from the song "Age of Aquarius" from the musical Hair describes this transit. When the aggression, drive, courage and desire of Mars are combined with Jupiter's love of justice, mercy and higher purpose, we can get the best of both worlds. On the other hand, we can also get the worst of both worlds; for example, self-righteousness or over-zealousness. This transit sparks a new beginning in our use of these energies, which unfolds over the next 2 years or so. The questions to ask yourself at its initiation, now, are: Will you use your energy to seek greater understanding, or to jump to conclusions? Will your courage be used to fight for justice or to blame? Will your passion and drive be used to advance a higher purpose or to inflict angry destruction in the name of judgment? The reality will probably lie somewhere in between, but awareness of which extreme you are drifting toward will allow you to make choices about whether you want to correct your course or go with the flow.

Jan.06 – Mercury square Chiron (24:48 of Sagittarius/Pisces)  (Jan.07 in AST, NST, UK, AU)

Your mental focus and perceptions may feel a bit strained right now. You could find yourself locked in a struggle of indecision that stems from a "glass half empty" versus "glass half full" dilemma. It may be difficult to stay objective and evenly balanced in your perspective, but by working with this you could also find a new mental focus that gives you increased clarity. It might be tempting to sink into cynicism as a way to deal with what seems like a no-win situation. On the other hand, this transit could bring your mental perspective to a kind of "healing crisis" that forces you to get a better grip on the ideas, communication and frame of mind that have been problematic for you. Instead of reaching for extremes (hoping this will clarify the path in front of you), it will help more if you can take a few steps back to allow all the conflicting and out-of-sync elements to coexist together – creative paradox. If you have been in denial about something, this could be a turning point that allows you to grapple with the complex reality of your situation.

Jan.08 – Sun sextile Jupiter (18:09 of Capricorn/Scorpio)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it has the potential to click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time. Just be careful that all this self-assurance and "knowing" doesn't backfire, by overestimating the extent of your knowledge or underestimating the reaction of your audience. It is possible to become a bit self-indulgent under this transit, so be careful not to overdo it. Beyond a reasonable caution, this is a transit to enjoy!

Jan.08 – Venus sextile Jupiter (18:10 of Capricorn/Scorpio)  (Jan.09 in AU)

There is an abundance of creative inspiration, material enjoyment, feel-good pleasure in the air! Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. It may be relatively easy to attract the people, possessions and opportunities you want or need, but you'll still have to work to get them. On the other hand, your eyes may be bigger than your stomach (as mother would say) and you might be tempted to charm, flirt or bluff your way through a situation more than usual. There may also be a tendency to self-indulgence. These are not necessarily bad things, but it's probably wise to remember to use this energy to enhance your best judgement, not override it.

Jan.08 – Mars sextile Pluto (19:02 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Jan.09 in AU)

This can be a time of intense and powerful energy. It can be especially so if you focus your intention to tap into and use this energy deliberately, although if you are triggered into a reaction you might find it is more forceful than you intended. This can be a good time to make changes that have far-reaching, transformative effects. Your powers of persuasion can be stronger now, so be careful you don't try to force things to the point of making something happen that perhaps should be left alone or treated with a gentler touch. Sex and other passionate urges may rise more easily now, although obsession and the need to control your surroundings might come up with them. This transit is perhaps best used to refresh your sense of passion and transform your sense of purpose and direction.

Jan.09 – Sun conjunct Venus (18:57 of Capricorn)  (Jan.08 in HAST, AKST, PST)

Your ability to radiate an aura of love, pleasure and beauty is very strong right now. You have the ability to soothe the rough edges – both your own and others' – and to spread joy and love around you. You are more able to come across in a diplomatic, gentle and easy-going way. This can also enable you to glide through tricky interactions with others with strategic finesse, as well as to negotiate through difficult conflicts with ease (at least, relatively speaking). Your ability to attract your heart's desire to you is especially strong right be careful what you ask for! This is a good time to take a look at your choices, to see how much you are living according to your values and how much your values bring joy and satisfaction into your life. Relationships may also be on your mind, either looking for someone new in your life or rekindling an existing one. This could apply to committed intimate relationships, business partnerships or close friendships. Your focus could be pointed at acquiring material abundance, gathering resources or cultivating self-worth. You are as beautiful and as prosperous as you feel!

Jan.09 – Venus conjunct Pluto (19:03 of Capricorn)  (Jan.08 in HAST)

Intensity in love and close relationships can occur under this transit, as well as a compelling need to get more control over your finances and assets. This could manifest as power dynamics emerging in your interactions with others, in which you engage in a negotiation for a better balance of power that is more in your favour. Or, you might become somewhat obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure and beauty, possibly trying to compensate for a low sense of self-worth. Or, there can be a valuable opportunity to develop a deeper connection with those close to you. You might find it necessary to negotiate with others for financial support. You may have to dig deeper than usual to extract needed resources from hidden places (or to deposit them there, out of reach from others who want a piece of your hoard). Keep your integrity high and dry by being honest with yourself about the ethics of your actions.

Jan.09 – Sun conjunct Pluto (19:03 of Capricorn)  (Jan.08 in HAST)

Your sense of purpose is potentially very strong right now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so great in situations requiring delicacy, subtlety or diplomacy. You have increased ability to see below the surface of things, although it may not be as easy to articulate it in a way that is received comfortably by others. What you pick up from others can also become mixed up with your own personal issues, making it hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. Paranoia and suspicion can be strong. It is possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours and others'), but it is important to be prudent in how you respond to this awareness. You have the ability to wound as well as heal right now, so probe into the depths (yours and others') as you would into an egg shell that you don't want to break – gently, mindfully and respectfully.

Jan.09 – Venus sextile Mars (19:41 of Capricorn/Scorpio)  (Jan.10 in AU)

It is possible now to take a balanced approach to conflict, problems and projects that require effort. This can combine both a gentle touch and firm action; sensitivity and forcefulness. Negotiation and interaction with others could be aggressive and determined now, but also balanced with sensitivity and style. Any expressions of anger, frustration or discontent are more likely to be tempered with fairness, moderation and composure. You'll have to apply some effort to get these opposite energies working in sync together, but the potential and opportunity are there more-so than usual now.

Jan.10 – Sun sextile Mars (19:54 of Capricorn/Scorpio)  (Jan.09 in HAST, AKST, PST, MST, CST)

You have power, energy, motivation and enthusiasm to fuel your ambitions now! The catch is you will need to reach for it; it won't simply "come to you." Reach into your past experience and reach forward toward your vision of what you want. This will help to guide your actions and focus your assertive energy in the direction you want to go. This is a good time to make progress toward a goal. Or, you might want to take steps to leave behind inhibitions that have held you back. This transit can also make you more apt to take risks and find the courage to do things you might not otherwise do. Your tolerance for obstacles may be shortened, and making it easy to assume the only way through them is by using direct force. This may or may not be wise, depending on how extreme you want to take it, so use your good judgment and don't throw away your diplomacy.

Jan.10 – Mercury leaves the Shadow (29:18 of Sagittarius; until Mar.08)  (Jan.11 in AU)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow—the part of the zodiac where it was retrograde. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective after having reconsidered, rethought and rehashed information and perceptions over the past 2 months. This gives you more choices than you had before. In fact, you may find that although you thought something was a good idea a month or two ago, you now realize that a different approach, decision or way of understanding it is better. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something or taking action on something, this is the time to take another look at whatever that is. Just don't forget your common sense, and remember that Mercury is only one factor to take into consideration regarding the timing of a decision. Use your best judgment and wisdom.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Jan.11 – Mercury enters Capricorn (until Jan.31)  (Jan.09 in AU)

Cheerful, adaptable Mercury travels through conventional, structured Capricorn, bringing out his analytical, focused side. This is a good time to plan your projects and map out a game plan to reach your goals. It is probably best to choose discipline over distraction. Communication, ideas and awareness may become serious, structured, grounded and manifest now. Just don't let them become suppressed or censored. This is a great time to do some serious planning and organizing for future projects and goals. It is also a good time for analyzing and evaluating what you have been involved with during the past year or so. What have you learned? What information has come to you that has led you into new directions? What goals have you achieved, and what goals do you want to pursue now? What plan of action is required to get you from here to there? It may be a time when you can face some hard reality and tough decisions better than you normally do. Because Mercury in Capricorn tends to be serious and factual, it may also be a time when you are more prone to depression or discouragement. It will help to schedule regular breaks in your routine to get away and plug your head into a different perspective for a while.


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Jan.13 – Mercury conjunct Saturn (02:48 of Capricorn)  (Jan.12 in HAST, AKST, PST)

It's time to take a serious look at the circumstances and situations in your life. This transit may not exactly be "party time" but it's a great transit to have when you need to take a dispassionate, objective, clear view of life. You may be called upon to make a decision about something. For example, you might need to commit yourself to a particular plan of action, or start developing plans toward a particular goal. In either case, it may be necessary to limit or let go of other options. You might come to the conclusion that something has run its course and it's time to leave it behind – like an opinion or project or mindset. It's a time when your perception, thoughts and words may not be exciting, imaginative or entertaining, but you're probably more able to be clear, grounded decisive and hard working.

Jan.13 – Venus square Uranus (24:37 of Capricorn/Aries)  (Jan.14 in AU)

Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise.

Jan.13 – Venus sextile Chiron (25:01 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.14 in UK, AU)

Although this transit lasts for only a few days, it is possible to make some progress in your healing and rebalancing efforts, although it will take some effort to make it happen. This may show itself in relationships, social interaction, finances, values, health or your spiritual connection to the Universe. You have an increased ability to negotiate with others and with your circumstances to achieve a fair compromise that results in equal sacrifice and benefit for all concerned. However, there is a risk of wanting to avoid conflict and discord so much that you negotiate beyond what you are truly comfortable with – peace at any price. By accepting and embracing the effort or struggle that is required, you can get out of your own way and achieve a more healing balance in those struggles. You now have increased ability to facilitate changes in situations that are within your control. It can also be easier to accept and adapt to that which lies beyond your control. Your effect on others can be potentially healing right now, especially by helping them find a new balance and point of acceptance in the conflicts and struggles of their lives.

Jan.14 – Sun square Uranus (24:38 of Capricorn/Aries)  (Jan.15 in AU)

Your world may experience a bit of a shake-up right now, as the Universe decides it's time to make things "interesting." This is a wake-up call, designed to loosen you up from the ways you have become too habitual, stuck or inhibited. The "radical rascal" in you may be itching to come out and stir up trouble, which on one hand might be necessary but also very disruptive and possibly even destructive. Be alert to new insights and opportunities disguised as accidents or crises. Your usual sense of self and purpose may become somewhat unsettled right now, but a space is likely being cleared to make room for new growth and possibilities. If you're looking to break old habits or break free of old restrictions, this may be the time – but it could create a mess that you'll have to clean up later. Resist the urge to rebel just for the sake of doing something different, and aim instead to break free of old forms of self-expression and ideals that don't work for you anymore. Expect the unexpected and then surf the shock-wave.

Jan.15 – Sun sextile Chiron (25:04 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.10 in HAST, AKST, PST, MST)

This is a time when you have an opportunity to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life. You may find new inspiration, motivation or confidence that can help rejuvenate waning enthusiasm or reconcile persistent problems, although you'll still have to apply effort to bring it all together. You might get the chance to demonstrate your ability to walk your own path in a new way. Or, you might get a peek inside the hidden shadow of your worries and discouragement, giving you new insight into how you might be unconsciously sabotaging your conscious efforts. You may have to face a bit of your own fear of failure or low self-esteem before you can get beyond these feelings and tap into the benefits of this transit – not because you are failing but because these concerns may arise in response to the new potential now available to you. By tapping into this potential for creative problem solving, you can bring some healing to whatever your situation is.

Jan.15 – Jupiter sextile Pluto (19:17 of Scorpio/Capricorn)

A deeper level of understanding and wisdom is possible under this transit, which is in strongest effect for about a week before and after this date. When a broad perspective (Jupiter) is combined with depth of insight (Pluto), the results can be profound! This is a good time to explore deep philosophical and spiritual questions; to delve into the vast mysteries of life. There is a risk, however, that your ideals of truth and justice could also be used as a weapon or used to support arrogance and domination. When someone is convinced they're right, it might not be easy to see how knowledge and power can be misused. It's your own creative ability (in the broadest sense of the word) that can bring these energies together, and it is your own integrity and self-awareness that will guide you in how to use them. When in doubt, consult someone whose opinions and knowledge you trust.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in CAPRICORN. Available by January 16, 2018.

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