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General Astrological Influences, January 2002
by Maya del Mar

January has mixed influences. On the one hand, we want to build something. On the other hand, we’re ready to tear down old walls. Change calls, but resistance is strong.

We are in the midst of planets traversing the universal—or winter—signs, and the world is the primary stage for this action.

We begin the month with many planets in conservative Capricorn, the sign of structures, foundations, ambition, hard work, and business. We end the month with almost half the planets in disruptive Aquarius, the sign where we break up old structures and old conditions which are holding us back. Capricorn builds and maintains the walls; Aquarius breaks them down.

And yet—the freedom-loving Sagittarius Moon cycle, which began with the Eclipse New Moon on December 14, prevails until January 13, during the time the Capricorn planets hold sway. And the cautious Capricorn Moon cycle prevails until mid-February, as the disruptive Aquarian planets are piling up.

Thus there is no clear mandate for building or for breaking through, even though both urges dominate during this month. Both impulses will at times checkmate one another. Building something new is one way to reconcile them.

The safeguarding of money and of territory
will be major focal points

This is particularly true for the U.S. Vesta, guardian of the hearth, has been retrograding in Taurus, and will station and turn direct on January 14, near the Bush Inauguration rising Saturn. At this time Vesta will be close to the fixed star, Algol, which struck a loud note in that Inauguration chart. Algol is associated with great destruction, and we certainly see it happening in and emanating from the U.S. since GW took office.

Vesta turned retrograde on October 9. At that time the U.S. stepped up its bombing campaign, and there were great worldwide protests against it. Islamic leaders met in Qatar. The U.S. Senate passed a strong anti-civil liberties bill, and called it the U.S. Patriot Act. GW shut down satellite photos from Afghanistan, and had his first prime time press conference. Government surveillance, including the use of CARNIVORE, was expanded.

Fear, then, of "the other," of the threat to our home and hearth, will be featured this month, thanks to Vesta. Our national focus inward will intensify.

Saturn and Pluto work easily this month

We have some relief from the tough Saturn-Pluto opposition which has been with us since early August. Although they are still loosely joined in opposition, Saturn and Pluto each do their own thing for a few months before they join in tight opposition again in May.

Saturn is slowly retrograding, and now conjoins the U.S. Uranus, which is where the nation shows its independence, inventiveness, willfulness, and warring tendencies. All month Saturn—which includes the Uranian influence-- is building up to an easygoing trine with Neptune, which it achieves by January 27. Saturn is builder, Neptune is dreams, and the trine means that the U.S. is accomplishing a building of its dreams this month. Neptune is associated with oil, and securing (Saturn) access to oil will surely be happening.

At the same time, we all have available this energy to build our dreams. This is a building month. Saturn and Neptune are in air signs, and so communication is the main arena. This Saturn-in-Gemini activity includes the shutdown, shutoff, and centralization of communication which is occurring nationwide.

Pluto, gut power, goes into a brand new degree this month. This means that new aspects of power are opened to us. Pluto now relates to Ceres, the Great Mother, and this indicates transformation of the meaning of mothering, or nurturing, or transformation of the natural-human cycle which brings nourishment to us. Genetic engineering may burgeon.

Mercury turns retrograde in Aquarius on January 18

Mercury’s turning ushers in the second half of the month, marked by assertiveness, independence, and courage. It’s interesting that these qualities dominate at the same time as Mercury retrograde in Aquarius is helping us rethink our social ideals.

Mars enters Aries at the same time as Mercury turns retro. Mars in Aries will rush ahead impulsively to put into action the inventive Aquarian ideas which are now streaming forth through the ethers. New technology could be featured here.

And it could be featured on the battlefield, for warrior Mars, strong in Aries, squares Chiron and Jupiter, both often associated with war, from January 25-28.

During this very same period, there is in the ethers great creative, conscious, spiritually-oriented, and loving energy. During the last week of January, a great deal of light flows into our hearts. We can accomplish much healing then.

In summary, January has much constructive, harmonious energy which we can use to remodel something old or build something new. Communication is featured. By the end of the month, great healing is possible.

A strong assertive impulse can help us achieve our goals.

The period of January 25-28 is momentous. We open then to new world vistas.

go directly to January Daily Success Guide