January Astrology Overview
Lunar cycles structure our rhythms at such a deep level, we may be scarcely aware of them. It seems pretty obvious, but we may be disconnected from the fact that over the lunar cycle we go through a process of filling (the first half of the cycle from New to Full Moon) and expressing/emptying (the second half of the cycle).
At the New Moon, there’s something that we feel empty about, that we want to fill up in our lives. For two weeks we focus our efforts on doing that. At the Full Moon, we are full-filled, or perhaps over- or under-filled. This rhythm permeates all experiences and all levels of consciousness, so that some of this energy influx comes to us as light. In fact, the amount of light influx that we experience is expanded according to our “light quotient”, how much “window space” there is in our aura.
The place where we feel empty has something to do with the sign-house of the New Moon in our birth chart. The place and way we full-fill ourselves is where the Full Moon is found. (The First Quarter lunation has to do with preparation, while the Last Quarter is about integration of experience to create wisdom.)
Watch the lunar cycle as it unfolds each month, and we become more effective in using its rise and fall, and become more patient with life. Of course, the other cycles will steal our attention from this basic ebb and flow in our body’s fluids and rightly so; but it is always good to keep the Moon’s agenda somewhere on the table.
In January we begin to benefit more fully from planetary harmonies that have already been with us since early October, as an intermittent Cradle configuration grows stronger. (See the January Planetary Overview for details.) Now we see a way through a dilemma that seemed unsolvable. Yes, it is a long haul, but if we make the effort we will free ourselves from the situation.
There will continue to be quantum-change events for some people, but this year that’s not the only option. We can make smooth, graceful changes—a slower but gentler path, the yin option. We may not get to choose, and chances are we’ll each have a little of both. January will be just like that.
Some of us will encounter the doorways into a new dimension that changes everything, while others of us will continue to take those small nearly invisible steps that lead to a gradually opening vista.
There are two planetary clusters: The inner planets are closely grouped and getting more so. Venus trails but will catch up with each of the others in turn. Mars leads, but as the slowest of the pack will soon be overtaken. The climax of that process comes April 6 with the conjunction of these two lovers, reflecting a union somewhere in our life (not necessarily a personal relationship).
The month is not without its tensions. There is an ongoing yod configuration that started picking up steam in late October, focusing on Jupiter and its dance with the personal planets. The oppositions to Jupiter now behind us, all that remains is the drop of the other shoe, and resolution is not far off, related to issues that tie into events in May, June, and September.
A key date to this story in our life is January 14, when Jupiter, Chiron, and Venus make simultaneous contact. An awkward moment arises that opens an unhealed issue, an opportunity to clear the air.
The personal planets are transiting Capricorn, another of our countless encounters with the Uranus-Pluto square. This activates a long-term transformative process (which we may call a “problem”). This means that we will see changes in January, promises of things to come from Pluto, whose yearly cycle is just opening. However, we will feel a closing-completing energy to many events.
Mars gives us an early heads-up on February’s focus, as it travels Aquarius ahead of the pack. Events of January 6-7 are key, leading to resolutions on and after January 30. This is the date when Jupiter returns to forward motion in a particularly powerful yearly cycle for this expander of possibilities. Now we can harvest the results of our efforts to align with the forces of abundance in our life, wherever it is found (it isn’t always in finance).
As the month waxes, we will encounter increasing levels of fixity in our consciousness—places where we are stuck and don’t realize it. If there is an obstacle in our life, there is always a corresponding inner limitation we have put on ourselves. Look for your release within when you feel stuck or cornered, or you encounter stubbornness in another.
Mercury reaches its “Full” phase on January 18, the halfway point in its cycle of discovery and integration of new concepts. This one will carry emotional impact and release as it touches the point made sensitive so frequently over the past year, the last degree of a Cardinal sign. It is noteworthy that this occurs as it does just prior to the US inaugural. It signals a powerful turning point for the nation, toward the good.
January 18 carries a strong magic with it, as it comes on the First Quarter Moon, the moment when we can “turn” the energy to our (purified) will. Face your feelings with a steady heart and feel the cloak of divine protection as you take action, and you will be your own magician.
(Except as otherwise noted, all interpretations in this astrological forecast are based on a natural chart, using the beginning of Aries as the ascendant, and times listed are Pacific Daylight Time (UTC–7).
A “Void Moon” or “Void of Course Moon” (or “VOC moon” for short) makes no significant aspects until it enters the next sign. Its void period is thought to be a poor time for starting new projects or making concerted effort toward existing plans.
According to William Lilly, the Moon in Cancer (Moon’s rulership), Taurus (Moon’s exaltation), Sagittarius and Pisces (signs ruled by Jupiter, the Great Benefic) “performeth somewhat.” Lee Lehmann reports that she has tested this, and “you can take it to the bank.” Another way of putting how this works in an astrological forecast is that, when an action is taken during the void period in one of these signs, you get “unanswered success.” That is, the lack of planetary action prevents your action from being denied.
Daily Astrological Forecast
The (secular) year commences with the Moon void of course in Leo, but that doesn’t last long. By game time, the Moon is in precise Virgo, but with hard connections to Neptune and Jupiter, the plays will be less than accurate. Take care not to be blind-sided yourself if you’re on the road. Use care and planning as you flow through today’s activities.
Our productivity is super-charged as Moon continues in Virgo to pick up the gentler side of the Cradle energies, making all harmonious contacts. Now you can use the revelations of the Full Moon (December 28) to maximum benefit.
Under the surface, our anxiety has been building about something since December 21, as the Sun has followed Mars in activating our biggest issue. Now Mercury squares Uranus, and we feel it as mental tension that wants a voice. Today is about finding a way to release this productively. As old thought patterns surface, let the heart’s voice push them gently out of your consciousness. The Moon in Virgo augments our process of inner and outer clutter-clearing as it takes us into the inner space opened by its void period, which starts at 4:15 am (7:15 am ET). This opening lasts until 5:11 pm, when Moon enters harmonizing Libra.
The urge to take action peaks today as Mars makes an uplifting trine to Jupiter. We feel optimistic, confident, but our emotions lag behind as we pass the Last Quarter lunation today and begin our once-monthly week of internalizing the developments of the past three weeks, the lunar cycle so far. The Moon energy peaks at 14°58′ Libra-Capricorn/7:58 pm PT (10:58 pm ET). There’s a whole lot of Moon energy to process, as it makes the passage through the Uranus-Pluto minefield. However, a glorious Grand Trine in Air Teflon-coats us with insights from a higher plane of awareness, inseminating our week-to-come with lightening objectivity. Mercury activates the Cradle when it sextiles Chiron to again give us a way to add to our new foundation of stability.
In the chart cast for Washington DC, the emphasis is on a budget deal, and emotions are running low enough to make a real deal possible. The key is for the “winners” to create a way for the “losers” to save face, and they will take it. (This is also true for us in a personal situation.) Skies are clear and travel is easy for the coming week as well.
The Sabian Symbol for 15 Libra is “circular paths”. The Sun’s Symbol at 15 Capricorn is “In a hospital, the children’s ward is filled with toys.” What goes around comes around, and if we’ve put forth good energy, blessings come in now. On both a personal and a collective level, we will see old unresolved issues come back for reconsideration. In politics, pet projects and earmarks of self-centered lawmakers will be exposed, weakening their “high ground” position and revealing hypocrisy. A new viewpoint brings a different outcome, with compensations for past injuries. This is a healing energy.
It is a day for thoughtful reflection, as Mercury quincunxes Jupiter to bring forward the subtler tones of recent events. Simple pleasures bring fulfillment—a warm touch, a cup of hot chocolate, a kind word. The Libra Moon enters its void period on a calming note at 3:13 pm, entering observant Scorpio at 10:09 pm.
Mental activity bursts forth with Mercury contacts bracketing the daytime hours. We come out of a night of deep process as it conjoins Pluto, and we may feel better spending the morning in quietude. This gives way to an afternoon of high, even joyous activity if we can cast aside our concerns and let invisible forces work their magic. The Moon in Scorpio lends a sobering note to our process as it connects with Saturn, but harmonies from Mercury open the doors to a real workable plan. Get out your notebook!
Now comes the work—the steady effort required to accomplish our goals, as Mars squares Saturn. We need to take on the biggest obstacle, the one that we’ve been afraid to broach. It may work better to set aside grand gestures in favor of a whittling away process where we are overwhelmed by the dangers and possibilities of a situation. The Moon leaves behind its productive period in Scorpio as it goes void of course at 3:31 am PT (6:31 pm ET), suggesting a day of integration, organization, and planning.
We are activated once more when the Moon goes into dynamic Sagittarius at 0:28 am (3:28 am ET). At 8:11 pm, Venus enters Capricorn, to bring us a more serious attitude toward relationship, with thoughts about our current commitments. Now that all the other personal planets have trooped through Capricorn, we’re ready to change our foundation in relationship. Our past love agreements will need changing in some way, perhaps transforming. We don’t need to know, only to feel, but the pragmatics of how we translate that into daily life are now key. The Moon goes void very early in its travel through Sagittarius, but fortunately this void Moon can be used for brilliant productivity.
A peaceful vision of the inner world and what we can create comes forward as Venus sextiles Neptune, the only contact of the day. Moon in Sagittarius, although void, can be used in initiating action if we so desire. This is the Wishing Moon, when we can cast our eyes forward into the coming month and see where we are empty and need filling. The Wishing Moon lasts until just before the New Moon on Friday.
At 0:54 am (3:54 am ET), Moon goes into savvy Capricorn. This takes us to the heart of our dilemmas, the first step in healing this round of circumstances. Let the day carry you without imposing deadlines and prior expectations, and peace will pervade your space.
We reach “maximum empty” in some area of our life as the New Moon occurs at 21°46′ Capricorn/11:44 am. Where do you feel unfull-filled or yearn for something more? This is your empty place, which you can work toward filling in the coming lunar month. Since this is Capricorn, the sign where Pluto currently resides, we are participating in a longer-term process than can be accomplished in a month, but there is one step you can take effectively in the coming four weeks. Head and heart are united in understanding this on the most pragmatic levels, as Mercury joins in the harmony party to create a new bottom line for your efforts. At 11:44 am, the Moon enters its void period for the remainder of the day.
In the chart of the US cast for Washington DC, secret deal-making in the Congressional basement meeting room will result in a resolution of the fiscal-cliff issues. Anything that is not pro populum will result in vigorous activism by the disenfranchised. A good time to anger the smallest possible group! No matter the outcome of the conflict, there is a blessing in the result because it reveals the truth about what needs to be done to bring balance and sanity to the nation’s long-term direction.
The Sabian Symbol for 22 Capricorn is “A general accepting defeat gracefully.” Someone looks, perhaps feels, like a loser, but who is to say what the long-range outcome will be? That is up to the legions, not just the leader. Who is the general? It is the authority figure in our head more than any individual.
At 1:01 am (4:01 am ET), Moon enters Aquarius, and we start to get an inkling of separation from our instinctual understanding of life in this moment. This can be an especially informative day, as what we encounter carries the essence of what we’ll work through in the last half of the month as we pass the Full Moon. Venus squares Uranus to introduce the unexpected into your day’s events. Be ready to change social plans. What happens now will carry a message about a deeper process in our relationships.
A highly charged late night Moon-Mars contact in Aquarius makes for wakefulness as our mind runs faster than our drowsiness can accommodate. Use the energy if you can’t override it. The Moon is void following this contact, at 0:37 am (3:37 am ET), until tomorrow. Enjoy a day of rest, recuperation, and completions, away from your focused initiatives.
Another trio of planets do their three-corner dance, as Venus sextiles Chiron and quincunxes Jupiter, as Jupiter simultaneously squares Chiron (the second of three). This opens the door to healing, but not a final release. Now we can begin to really address the deeper conflicts we’ve been caught in. Apologies are awkward but the right starting point for recovery. The Moon enters adaptable Pisces at 2:49 am PT (5:49 ET) to participate in the healing experience, taking us deep into what’s really going on. We begin to see it all now.
Head and heart are synched up as Moon in Pisces connects positively with Mercury, and feelings are easier to express today. It’s a good day for any mental activity, from taking an exam to writing.
We make it into the deepest shadows of the Underworld as Venus conjoins Pluto. This is focused on social interactions and relationships. We will feel more like withdrawing than engaging in something insincere, but if called to action, we will insist on authenticity. The Moon goes void in Pisces at 1:32 am (4:32 am ET), until 8:07 am, when she goes into action-oriented Aries, lighting up the planets that have led us into the reality zone in our close ties.
The plot thickens, but there is a way to digest the substance of this sacred task. Making a plan, setting boundaries, developing spoken agreements, setting a structure—these are the way through a situation that requires many small steps to come to the final resolution. A Venus sextile to Saturn opens the doors of possibility. Moon in Aries augments the process, showing us where the pain is so we can clear it.
At 0:56 am (3:56 am ET), Mercury conjoins Sun, its Superior (“beyond the Sun”) Conjunction, its moment of giving us Full illumination through maximum separation. We can use this to get the Grand View of what’s going on. What have we been creating since mid-November when the current Mercury cycle started? Now we enter a less adventurous stage of the process, stabilizing what we have been able to create. This feeds into the power of the First Quarter Moon coming at 29°04′ Aries-Capricorn/3:45 pm. This is that magic moment when we can steer the forces in our life toward our desired destination, doubly informed by Mercury’s presence in the mix. This participates in an unfinished learning process we’ve been enduring since September, focused in our relationships and tied to experiences in 1981-82. At 4:40 pm, the Moon is void in Aries, until 5:36 pm with its entry into comforting Taurus. At 11:25 pm, Mercury enters Aquarius, bringing out our curiosity and lifting us beyond mental drama.
In the United States, this is the chart that will flavor the Inauguration. The firm foundation that President Obama built in his first term will work well for him in the coming four years, and he will get his way in more ideological struggles in this term, as his impartiality reaps its rewards. There are signs that this is the end of the time when ego runs the country into the ground (the high courts excepted). A renewed effort toward human (and civil) rights will be a trademark of this term.
At 30 Aries, the First Quarter Moon’s Sabian Symbol is “A duck pond and its young brood”. The Sun (30 Capricorn) activates “Directors of a large firm meet in secret conference.” While a population takes care of its own needs, the brokers of power are making decisions that affect us without including us in the loop. The resulting budget deal with bear the fingerprints of the financiers who pull strings from behind the curtain, but they can no longer hide from view.
We feel connected into the cosmic realms as the Sun enters Aquarius at 1:52 pm (4:52 pm ET). The Moon Taurus harmonizes with the planets that gave us trouble all week, a denouement after climactic resolutions. There’s something that feels final about what we’re experiencing now, but in reality the changes are just beginning to show in even the most obdurate or hopeless of situations.
On this Inauguration Day, the Moon in Taurus greets an empty sky soon after the oath of office is taken, at 1:16 pm (4:16 pm ET). The only applying contact it makes shows continuing conflicts between the Administration and political ideologues, but their strength will give way to the powerful persuasion of a consistent and persistent leader. Even though void after 10:16 am PT, the Taurus Moon is especially fruitful during its void period, which lasts until tomorrow. We will feel energetic, perhaps irritated, in clearing obstacles today. Remember to include flexibility in the mix.
At 6:04 am PT (9:04 am ET), the Moon enters sociable Gemini bringing out our places that need healing but also showing us how to rise above them. The realms of possibility are open to us today, sending us flashes of insight and ingenuity. The Moon occults (eclipses) Jupiter at 7:13 pm, augmenting and deepening the blessings, which reach into the farthest reaches of karmic/ancestral patterns to grace us.
It’s all about communications and connections today, as Mercury sextiles Uranus and trines Jupiter. Opportunities and optimism abound! Moon in Gemini echoes the tones they establish in our lives. It’s a great day to make agreements, have important conversation, or to connect in any way with other life forms.
The Moon reaches its void-of-course period at 3:42 am (6:42 am ET) on a grace note, giving us a sweet send-off into early morning dream time. It’s a decision point, and we may be scarcely conscious of some of our motivations, as Mars square the Nodes brings our deepest urges forward into the visible world. We’ll act before thinking, or learn what we really want by seeing what we can’t stop ourselves doing. The keen observer will learn much about others by observing what they do today. At 7:00 pm, the Moon enters instinctual Cancer and takes us into the watery world of feelings with a trine to Neptune in Pisces.
The emotional hard edges of the Moon’s encounters with Uranus and Pluto are softened on a wave of joy and soul-perspective as Sun sextiles Uranus. Even the most difficult truths can be accommodated now.
The challenges we met on/around January 7 show up again in a form modified by what we’ve been able to do about them since then. It’s time to check in and reassess as Mercury squares Saturn. It’s a big task, so it’s good to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done so far. We’re feeling a relieving release, a weight removed as Sun trines Jupiter, opening the energy of Jupiter’s Station Direct, which officially happens next Wednesday (January 30). The Moon carries us forward on an emotional high, especially after 4:40 pm (7:40 pm ET), when it goes into its void period.
At 6:20 am (9:20 am ET), the Moon makes its passage into lively Leo, taking us into the Full Moon energy. The natural enthusiasm and optimism of this Moon are magnified by Jupiter’s expansion as it returns to forward motion. It’s like a great downward pressure is replaced by an upward-moving WHOOSH! The Sun and Moon oppose each other at 8:38 pm/7°24′ Aquarius-Leo, the Full Moon. This enhances the heady feeling. Warning: Standing in the Full Moon’s beams puts even the worst mood in danger of sacrificed to the light. Now we are filled full. What are you bursting to express?
The chart of the Full Moon cast for Washington DC places the President in the position of undisputed power, the power granted him by a public that adores him and trusts his leadership. The budget battle appears resolved, and although it is a mixed bag, inequities can be addressed through subsequent actions, both on the part of activists and the Administration. The result curves toward a more compassionate future. The eastern portion of the nation endures a cold, dry snap.
The Full Moon’s degree of 8 Leo carries the Symbol “An activist is stirring up discontent by spreading his revolutionary ideals.” The Sun’s Sabian Symbol at 8 Aquarius is “beautifully gowned wax figures on display”. There’s the appearance that all is well, but the portions of the economic deck that remain stacked against the common person are now the target of a growing number of activists responding to the deep-seated need for change that is being almost universally recognized now. People are beginning to realize that change is possible; they don’t have to live with impossible conditions or a system that undermines them while expecting flawless success.
Our Leo Moon continues to light our path, but not without a little consciousness-raising. Today’s the day for that, as our lunar companion connects mind and obligation.
The Moon in Leo reaches its void period at 8:59 am PT (11:59 am ET) on a strident note as it opposes Mars. We’re inspired to activity, but it’s best applied to completing things already started until the Moon enters Virgo at 3:27 pm. In Leo, we’re more likely to be centered on what moves us rather than those dreary tasks of organization and completion. Go ahead and dream!
Moon in Virgo bursts open as it encounters Jupiter, now virtually at its standstill before moving forward again. We can do some deep clearing today via flowing encounters with Pluto and Saturn—apply as needed.
It’s a red-letter day that has us feeling expanded as we become aware of the coming contraction that Saturn will bring in mid-February. Today’s Sun-square-Saturn opens the wormhole where our efforts are especially critical in what comes during Saturn’s 5-month retrograde that starts then. Jupiter returns to forward motion (Stationary Direct) at 6°20′ Gemini after four months in retrograde. It has been an intense retrograde during which we resolved karmic-ancestral patterns that dug deep but are clearing with unprecedented swiftness. The Moon goes void of course in Virgo at 5:59 pm on a soothing trine to Venus. It’s a good evening to bond and cuddle. At 10:36 pm, Moon makes its ingress into diplomatic Libra.
The Moon carries us forward through another gate of awareness where the big-gun planets Uranus and Pluto hold court. This also participates in a Kite pattern as it completes another Grand Trine in Air with Sun and the still stationary Jupiter. Our thinking is profound and again we feel the pressure to “decide”, as Mercury squares the Nodes. Writing it out will reveal what you need to know. Listen to your heart for answers.