The Astrology of 2016
The seed of any year is planted at the stroke of midnight and an astrologer can use this chart for any given location to describe the overall large patterns at work during the year. The birth chart for the year contains all the frustration, challenges, strengths, and possible rewards that can be used to effectively navigate ourselves through its waters, and as such, as long as we are willing to listen to its messages, we can control how we react to it and use its energies proactively. And this year, unlike the many before it, we are given a final opportunity to create lasting change.
There are several astrological patterns that highlight this year – Jupiter in Virgo will square Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter will square Pluto and oppose Uranus later in the year, Saturn in Sagittarius will square Neptune in Pisces, and Saturn will trine Uranus in Aries.
So, what do these patterns mean for us in the coming year?
Let’s break it down.
Jupiter square Saturn:
Let’s begin with Jupiter in Virgo square Saturn in Sagittarius. This is considered an incoming square because the current Jupiter-Saturn cycle is in its waning phase (think Moon cycles) before they conjoin again at 00 Aquarius in 2020. The waning phase is a summing up process before the next conjunction occurs.
Ancient astrology has considered the conjunction of Jupiter-Saturn to represent a change in leadership, or the death of a king, and denotes a particular period of reorganizational chaos that occurs with any new movement. Now, in the 21st century, with security measures that protect our leaders being more sophisticated, the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn does not seem to be as literal; whereas, each President of the United States from 1840-1960 that was elected under the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction died while in office. Reagan and Bush, of course escaped (although Reagan was shot) this fate. On the psychological level, this might reflect that what has died in the past, in a rather literal way, has been the ideals that occupied the collective psyche that have been replaced with new ideals and new forms that go through a period of chaos before it is firmly entrenched within society. Something old gives way to something new. And, this isn’t just by chance or because the world seems to move much faster in the 21st century, this pattern has existed as far back as Greek myth – which is revealed in the creation story of Kronos (Saturn) and Zeus (Jupiter).
In myth, Kronos (Saturn) wrestled his kingdom away from his father Ouranos (Uranus) by castrating him with a sickle that was fashioned by his mother Gaia. He became the ruler of the gods and he freed the Titans of myth from their entombment in Tartarus. One day, as often happens in myth, Kronos visits an oracle that reveals to him that one of his own children will overthrow him and usher in a new age. Kronos does what any other god that is obsessed with power would do and becomes increasingly paranoid and swallows his children the moment that they come out of Rhea’s womb. Of course, Rhea being another manifestation of Gaia whom does not like the unnatural state of affairs that violate the laws of nature, decides to trick Kronos by offering him up a stone wrapped in a blanket rather than handing over her just born son Zeus. Zeus lies in wait in a cave and waits for the right moment to strike. One day, while Kronos is suffering from some severe indigestion, Zeus attacks and out comes his brothers and sisters who begin a war with the Kronos and the Titans. The Titans are ultimately defeated and Kronos is cast into the underworld and a Zeus becomes the king of the gods.
Kronos reflects the old king whose reign is dying and Zeus reflects the new order. You can perhaps state that each generations ideals slowly die and are replaced by the new ideals of the next generation. However, before the ideals of the new generation can emerge in its fully developed form, a period of crisis and resistance to those changes seem to be what we desperately cling to, despite the fact that these new ideals are what we ultimately must accept. And, this resistance to change is occurring currently on the world stage as we approach the final Jupiter-Saturn square of this cycle, which began in the sign of Taurus in 2000.
In his ground breaking book on Mundane Astrology (co-written by Michael Baigent and Nicholas Campion), Charles Harvey says the following about this cycle:
“These two planets used to be known as the ‘Great Chronocrators’, or rulers of the ages. Their cycle can be considered the ground base of human development which makers the interaction between the perception of ideals, potentialities, possibilities (Jupiter) and their manifestation in the concrete material world (Saturn). As noted under the interpretation of the conjunction this pair has a great deal to do with the development and evolution of social structures and a sense of corporate national identity.” (pg.184)
So, what idealism began during the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus?
Although Taurus is the first of the earth signs, it is rather complex in nature. It reflects our need to “birth” things – meaning to give life to something and to build some form of structure that sustains us and fosters additional growth. Taurus is about reliability, productivity, and stability and it is rather uncomfortable in situations that might create change and unpredictability. In many ways, the old ways of the 80’s and 90’s have had to die in order for new things to be born in a more global and all-inclusive society. Our banking institutions have become more advanced, our focus on wealth building, the stock market, and other financial organizations have changed, been modified, and new laws enacted to enforce regulations of this brave new world, and many of the institutions that could not change or modify have crumbled in the last 16 years.
We are now at a breaking point with the final square, because the last roots of the old tree (80’s and 90’s) are being ripped out of the ground and we may enter into a period of turbulence and instability over the next year – especially around security and financial stability. While Jupiter is in square to Saturn, we will continue to make adjustments in our lives in order to accommodate modern living. It’s time for us to take full inventory of our current situation in order for us to decide what areas of our lives should be pursued (Jupiter) and what should be cut back (Saturn). Jupiter square Saturn can also bring forth a period of confusion and instability (which is the nature of squares to challenge us) and it is important not to be reactive during this cycle. If you push forward without having the necessary information, you will most likely experience a lot of frustration and anxiety, which ultimately pulls you back again. It is probably more fruitful at this time to wait things out and find solutions that work for you rather than just jetting off into unknown territory, and despite inward frustrations, the right answer or right path will ultimately come.
Saturn square Neptune
Saturn continues his head to head battle with Neptune (began in November) forming squares on June 17 and September 10. These two planets have a really difficult time with each other because they are diametrically opposed in nature. Saturn likes to crystalize everything it touches and Neptune wants to dissolve anything with form into something more malleable. This can create enormous confusion and the aspect is known to be depressive because forward progress cannot be seen clearly at this time. For some, this can even feel paralyzing because everything can seem up in the air and you don’t feel like you are standing on firm ground, which can result in negative thinking and pessimism about the future, that ultimately makes matters worse.
The key to this aspect is waiting it out – especially if it heavily hits your chart, which is likely if you are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces. Taking action at this time can lead to confusion or frustrations because one of the two planets energy will dominate leaving you feeling overwhelmed by life’s circumstances. Like Jupiter square Saturn, Saturn square Neptune requires one to wait for the answers or wait for the aspect to be over in order to begin to move forward because you need to be able to see the forest between the trees to make beneficial decisions.
In many cases, this aspect is one that requires a lot of soul searching and patience. It may mean that you need to question every aspect of your life and decide whether or not your current purpose is still aligned with your desires, which ultimately may be changing. If you tend to lean towards rigidity and structure, then Neptune will often make you feel like a victim to life’s circumstances because it will be difficult to create anything tangible that gives you inner meaning. If you lean towards Neptunian infantilism and refuse to face life as it is, then Saturn will often bring forth experiences that effectively force you to grow up and face reality on realities terms. In other words, it is necessary to give meaning to both of these planets in order to get to the core of its deepest creative meaning and be able to channel them into something meaningful that promotes individual growth.
Jupiter squares Pluto and opposes Uranus
Although Uranus in Aries does not technically make an aspect to Pluto in Capricorn in 2016, it is within orb, and will still have influence over the next year – especially when Jupiter moves into Libra and reactivates them during November and December.
Uranus and Pluto reflect a political vision (Uranus) with an urgent need to destroy (Pluto) structures that are no longer viable or that no longer contribute anything to the progress of the human species. Neither of these two planets are concerned with individuals, they are only concerned with the collective and tend to erupt in protests, uprisings, the collapse of governmental structures, and the collective trends of the day. This particular transit is responsible for revolutions in the middle east, Occupy Wall Street, protesting labor laws, women’s rights, and its most recent incarnation as Black Lives Matter.
Uranus is concerned with personal potency and rights of the individual while in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn reflects the need to review our social and moral values and re-align governmental structures as representative of their constituency rather than representing individual’s quests for power. Although it may take until 2046 (when Uranus in Virgo opposes Pluto in Pisces) for us to see the full effect of this cycle that began in the 1960’s, we are beginning to see the slow beginnings of progress now.
Despite the hard aspects that Jupiter will make to Uranus and Pluto, which could possibly reignite protests, revolutions, political scandals, and garden variety corruption, I am rather hopeful with this aspect. Jupiter is considered one of the planets that helps foster awareness and inspires us to be better individuals. This aspect may reflect a turning point in which human beings become more cognizant about what needs to change and grow by becoming active participants rather than simply reacting in fear and encouraging isolationism. Jupiter is an optimistic planet, and this cycle, which occurs during the holiday season, could actually evoke its central meaning: good will to all men and peace on earth.
Saturn trine Uranus
I’m going to give you all an early 2016 Christmas Present.
Do you remember what you were doing in 2010? What were the problems you were struggling with and the changes that you were making when Saturn in Virgo opposes Uranus in Pisces? What changed in your life?
Saturn trine Uranus occurs on Christmas Eve and is an amazing aspect when you are letting go of the old and outworn and embracing something new. It’s when you begin to see the products of your efforts to manifest new ideas into reality. Anything that you have spent time on that has required patience and discipline, will come to fruition and become a permanent part of your life at this time. Further, this aspect connects us with the energy of Sagittarius, insight that may have eluded you will make sense to you providing you with the information necessary to take action. So, those that have been influenced heavily by the Jupiter-Saturn and Saturn-Neptune squares, may get the relief they need at this time. Suddenly, which is usually the case with Uranian aspects, things will fall into place and you will be able to see your mission clearly and have the courage and tenacity to take advantage of opportunities that come your way.
The New Year’s Chart
The chart for the New Year is cast at the stroke of midnight on January 1st for the capital city in the country one resides. Since, I live in the United States, and the bulk of my clients and readers are American, I have cast the chart for Washington, DC.
The New Year’s chart is essentially a collective horary asking the question, “What will the New Year bring?” So, let’s take a look at what additional information about the New Year beyond the larger transits that the chart reveals.
The Ascendant is the most important position in a horary because it reflects the general energy surrounding the querent (the person asking the question) and in this chart Libra is rising which means our relationship to the outer world and our need to find balance, harmony, and a sense of inner meaning and purpose are highlighted throughout the year. And, in order to get there, we might need to look at our choices and clean up past problems, whether they are familial, financial, or career oriented by wiping the slate clean in order to pursue new goals and objectives.
The ruler of Libra, Venus, lands in the 2nd house of the chart in fiery Sagittarius. The 2nd house represents money and values and with Venus being in Sagittarius, a sense of adventure and the price those adventures cost will be our focus. Venus forms a square (obstacle) to Neptune and a conjunction to Saturn, which could severely limit how much spending we should do throughout the year and try to keep our fiscal perspective under control, which could easily feel agitating and make Venus in Sagittarius a little grumpy. However, it’s best to indulge a little, but keep the big picture in mind. Additionally, since Saturn rules the 4th house so problems within the housing market or with real estate values could fluctuate throughout the year.
Mars is located in the first house of the chart and is considered a co-significator. Mars is the planet that goes out into the world and gets us what we want, but this Mars is debilitated in Venus ruled Libra. After years of studying astrology, I have come to understand that planets in detriment tend to worry and since Mars rules the 2nd house (money and values) and the 7th house (relationships and open enemies), there may be concerns about finances, value systems, and terrorism. Now, all of these factors will be a concern in our current climate, but with it being an election year these issues will be prevalent through the media and social networking. The good news is that Mars is void of course, and most likely a major attack will not occur. Instead, I feel that this echoes many of the larger planetary movements that I discussed earlier and reiterates that 2016 is not an action oriented year, but one where we need to process our current situation and allow ourselves to feel settled enough to make better decisions about the future.
This brings us to the Moon, which is the co-significator of the chart. The Moon is located at 29 degrees of Virgo and is planted in the 12th house of the chart, which deals with ancestral inheritance. The sign of Virgo likes to keep things simple and small and that may be an apt word for 2016 – simplicity. The location in the 12th house reflects that on some level, those of us that are alive now, are responsible for dealing with the many issues that we have inherited. Traditionally, the 12th house is known for its connection to ailments and phobias, and much of what we are dealing with is not the result of our own doing, but the result of those that have come before us, which includes their fears and prejudices. Yet, any new generation inherits the mess that was made by the prior generation and 2016 is a year about cleaning up the mess. We can do this by being more mindful of the choices and decisions that we are making now. The Moon makes an applying trine to Mercury in Capricorn, which may make it easier for us to understand life in a more realistic way that promotes expressing our individual needs more effectively. Since Mercury does rule the 9th house of the chart, this could be a year in which we gain insight into how to live our lives more effectively through knowledge rather than being blind to our choices and how those blind reactions add to the collective problems rather than resolves them.
In closing, I would like to quote Albert Einstein who said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” I think for many of us, myself included, we have spent more than enough time trying to do things the way the world has told us it should be done. We are busy, busy, busy, achieving nothing, nothing, nothing. This year take a step back and breathe, and attempt to find your true passion and what really inspires you! And, when the time is ready, the door to your inner dreams will be opened.
BE FREAKING AMAZING IN 2016!
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