During the time I’ve been fortunate enough to do the Astrology column for Information Press, it has either been a monthly forecast or a quarterly article highlighting the upcoming Solstice or Equinox period, as in the the upcoming Winter Solstice.
However, as we know, the current political, social, and economic climate, especially in the US of A, is as unsettled and unpredictable as most of us can ever recall it being. Many of us are feeling a certain amount of anxiety and apprehension as we move toward 2017. As a result, it seems only right and relevant to take a brief astrological overview of the entire year on the horizon to see what we can anticipate as a society, as well as identify what we can do, individually and collectively, to creatively deal with the challenges and opportunities we’re being presented with.
So instead of using the Winter Solstice chart and various planetary interactions for the upcoming 3-month period, we’ll be referring to both the Birth Chart (July 4, 1776, 5:10 PM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and progressed chart of the US and transits (current trends), as well as the chart for January 1, 2017 at 12:00 AM in Washington DC.
Let’s begin with the chart for the coming year. Most notable is the tense interaction between celestial heavyweights Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto, a pattern that also included dwarf planets Ceres and Eris. As one might expect, the discord among the populace and decision makers, protest over economic, racial, and environmental injustice, and the heavy handed, authoritarian manner in which these problems are addressed will continue, perhaps to an even greater degree. Yet a helpful influence from Saturn, of all planets, will help provide a certain amount of stability, structure, and responsibility as even legal and political agencies and institutions address the issues that confront our society. In addition, a powerful interaction between Saturn and Uranus, the traditional and modern ruling planets of the sign Aquarius, will aid us in challenging the status quo in all areas of society. Confronting what no longer works, and accepting the reality that some form of revolutionary change must take place, will become the norm more than the exception. Of course acknowledging that this evolution of our society will not be easy, and will take much time, is part of the process as well.
What will be most helpful in the Chart of the coming year is the placement of both the Moon (the people, the national mood, basic needs for security) and Venus (attitude toward money, music, the arts, culture, the desire for harmony) in the humanitarian, egalitarian sign Aquarius, which of course is ruled by the revolutionary planet Uranus. Aquarian energy encourages us, both as individuals and collective humanity, to stand up for justice and truth when and where need be. It helps us recognize that what we have in common means more than whatever differences we may have between us, and that diversity stimulates an appreciation of others no matter what religion, ethnicity, or income. The fact that expansive, optimistic Jupiter also energizes the Moon and Venus helps broaden this perspective, and can also provide a sense of faith and optimism even in the most challenging of times.
However, a very powerful combination of the contradictory planetary energies of Mars (law enforcement, action and aggression, warfare) and Neptune (oil, pharmaceuticals, drugs, lies and deceit, glamour, escapism) may contribute to a sense of confusion and even hopelessness as we try to grapple with the reality of what our society has become.
In fact, during the entire year, the energy of illusory, transcendent Neptune will easily be the most important influence on both the Birth Chart and current planetary themes in the US chart. Among other things, Neptune rips aside the veil of illusion to reveal reality. Therefore, as a people, we will be forced to examine our national identity, the myths we have lived by, how we see ourselves, and how we are seen by others. We can be inspired by both our deep spiritual nature and desire to struggle with and overcome our shortcomings, or continue to live by the material values we have created that negatively impact both ourselves as the human race and the natural environment we rely on for our very survival.
As Neptune rules both addiction and escapism, opioid and heroin overuse and abuse in all geographic and income areas of our society will be even more apparent, especially as the resulting deaths due to overdose and suicide increase and become more apparent in the news. Yet, as Neptune also rules qualities of empathy and concern for the less fortunate, addressing the needs of the homeless and mentally ill in our society will be dealt with in a more caring and compassionate manner.
In addition, the placement of Mars, the God of War, in egoless Pisces and in the same place with idealistic Neptune, could also define the Mars energy as that of the Spiritual Warrior who nonviolently opposes injustice and stands for the collective well being of all peoples. Tapping into this dynamic of Mars energy can be a most productive use of the Red Planet, both individually and as groups of people coming together for a cause. A prime example would be the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux nation, and all those from our nation and around the world who supported and gathered with them as Water Protectors for the rights of Mother Earth.
There are more planetary influences affecting the chart of the United States in the coming year, too many to discuss in the remainder of this article. So let’s right now highlight two rather troubling planetary interactions, both of which occur basically during the summer months.
First, there’s a very tense interaction between the movement of unpredictable Uranus and intense, controlling Pluto in the US chart that will have a huge impact on financial issues. Whether it’s serious ups and downs in the economy, people protesting against economic inequities and/or the loss of jobs, the masses rebelling against the power and control of the very rich, or something totally unexpected that affects financial security throughout the nation, this will not be an easy time in the pocketbook for the working man and woman, much less the unemployed and the homeless.
Second is another very stressful contact between Saturn in the sky and Mars in the US chart, with Neptune involved as well. Whether it’s violence and unrest in the streets, war overseas, or both, it will be difficult to find a way to not get discouraged. Plus, with Pluto in the sky at this time affecting Mars in the progressed US chart in the next two years, it would seem that mostly war profiteers and gun manufacturers and sellers will say it’s a good time to be in business.
However, all is not lost by any means. In March through early May, Saturn in the sky above will helpfully engage with the Aquarian Moon in the US chart. As a result, it’s likely people in all areas of society will begin to coalesce and make their presence more known around issues of their choosing, especially those focusing on money, as in the need for a decent wage and job security. Most all Americans, “hyphenated” or otherwise, will relate to the challenges being faced by others. In other words, as we’ve already seen in recent years, people of all ages, nationalities, and backgrounds will come together, communicate with one another, and work together for the greater good of all.
Earlier I commented on the contact between Saturn and Uranus in the 2017 chart that indicates the ability to productively challenge the status quo and initiate meaningful changes in the year ahead. So, as we wind down the yearly Forecast, let’s make one more observation regarding the coming 12 months. We are quite fortunate to have a very harmonious interaction between expansive Jupiter and disciplined Saturn, the two largest planets in our solar system that represent and encourage growth, maturity, and responsibility. This combination can help us find a balance, both in our institutions and in the social fabric, between Jupiter’s sense of optimism and forward looking idealism and Saturn’s emphasis on structure, having respect for traditional, common sense values and setting realistic goals to be achieved.
So, in many ways, it is the strength of Saturn, the planet of hard work and lessons learned, and Jupiter, the planet of faith and hopefulness, that will aid us in the difficult and challenging times ahead. And it is with the emphasis on Aquarian/Uranian energy that represents both the power of the individual and the collective efforts of the community — communication in unity — that humanity will move forward in 2017.
Wishing you and yours the best moving forward into the New Year!