In my mind, we have several points leading us into a new year, the end of our calendar year not being one of the most potent energetically, but more of a marking of time for more mundane and fiscal purposes.
So here we are about to cross the calendar threshold into 2016.
The winter solstice, the honoring of the dark and celebration of the return of the light, is really that point, astrologically, where I feel most compelled to set my intentions for the new year. It is that point where we have reached the pinnacle of darkness and now can plant our seeds of intention so that they may grow along with the light for the next six months. It is also the time that the sun moves into the driven and motivated sign of Capricorn, ruler of Saturn, that urges us to do the practical work and get things done, taking action steps that celebrate the return of the light and the effort that must be put in to ensure growth, just as society tells us it's time to take a break.
The sun in Aries is actually the beginning of our zodiac cycle, but that doesn't happen until March 21st, the spring equinox. Aries is a fire sign and symbolizes action, motivation and being first. In the Northern hemisphere the time of Aries is the time that the first of the tender green shoots begin to push through the earth and we begin see the results of what's been happening below the surface through the dark months, and this is what I associate Aries energy with.
So now that we moving forward steadily through sun in Capricorn and the light is growing steadily toward spring equinox (sun into the first sign of Aries) and summer solstice (sun into Cancer), what are the predominant energies of 2016 we may want to take into account?
1. The moon is in Virgo, on now until the wee hours of the morning of January 1st; use this productive planning and analytical energy NOW to get a handle on any end of the year wrap up, intention setting, 2016 planning, or first of the year to-do's - next week is going to be characterized by a lot of planetary activity and will be much less predictable and probably less productive.
2. The year kicks off with a lot of planetary activity, so get things in place as much as possible before the first of January and get ready to ride out the eclectic nature of the first week of January with grace. On January 3rd, Mars moves into Scorpio, where it will be for the better part of 2016. This is strong action energy in the sign of transformation. On January 5th, Mercury begins its first retrograde of the year, signifying the reviewing or reevaluating of thinking and communications. On January 8th, Jupiter turns retrograde, indicating a period of reevaluating philosophies and beliefs and turning inward for answers. The activity with these three planets mean that all three energies will be heightened this week. That means we will have the fiery, passionate energy of Mars, the quickness and sometimes instability of Mercury and the optimistic but expansive energy of Jupiter. Remember that these energies are just energies, and it is up to us as to whether they are expressing more positively or negatively. The passionate energy of Mars can express as channeled energy to accomplish something or it can turn into arguing. Mercury can be quickness of mind, but Mercury is also known as the "trickster". Jupiter can signify desired growth, protection and luck but also overdoing it, as in expansion of the waistline or being larger than life or even "too big for your britches".
3. I'm using three main astrological themes to characterize 2016 - a) Mars in Scorpio (and Sagittarius), b) the Saturn-Neptune square, and c) the eclipses - one on the Aries/Libra axis, a throwback to the lunar tetrad of 2014 and 2015 involving self versus relationships and three that will be on the Virgo/Pisces axis. I will be expanding more on these but simply put, we have a) driving, passionate, motivational energy lighting up and activating the territory that Saturn covered starting in late 2012, bringing action to that area. It's the area of deep psychological work and death/rebirth that signifies a Phoenix transformation AND it relates to power, sex and intimacy and shared resources/other peoples' money. Mars is the energy of action that must be channeled consciously lest it turn into arguments and fighting. It is the energy of creation, but also destruction. The energy is one and the same it only depends on how it is used. Just as you wouldn't turn your back on a fire, stay conscious of Mars, especially while he is strengthened in his home turf of Scorpio. b) The Saturn-Neptune square is that push to hold your visions consciously as you create the action steps to bring them into reality. It will push and test you. You can read more about this energy here. c) The eclipses. You can read more on the Aries/Libra lunar tetrad from 2014/2015 here. The other three eclipses are on the Virgo/Pisces axis which is the mundane versus the spiritual, the detailed versus the broad, and reality versus fantasy.
This reality versus fantasy theme of three out of the four 2016 eclipses plays right into the territory the Saturn-Neptune square is digging up of teaching you how to make your visions real. All the while, Mars will be actioning that territory Saturn churned through starting in late 2012. What did you learn between late 2012 and September 2015 that you are now taking action on? Saturn is now in Sagittarius, where it takes the knowledge from his stint in Scorpio and uses it to create new ideals and take aim. Mars is now supplying the motivation and energy to take action. The Saturn-Neptune square is saying make the dream real. And the eclipses will be supporting that by teaching you lessons on micro versus macro, fantasy versus reality, the mundane versus the spiritual and asking you to balance those and integrate the two into something that works in your life. And one eclipse will be a reminder about how you are valuing yourself and how you are foundationing your relationships. Mercury in retrograde and Jupiter in retrograde starting this first week of January are a great kickoff to the whole scenario, as Mercury retrograde will allow you a chance to reevaluate your thinking patterns and communications and Jupiter retrograde will encourage you to turn inward, reevaluate beliefs and trust your inner guidance.
In 2016, we are being led to trust our inner guidance and align our beliefs, philosophies, thinking and communications to support the new inner selves that we uncovered between 2012 and 2015. We are being led to step fully into our new selves and value ourselves so that we have a strong inner foundation as we move into making our dreams real.
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