The year begins with explosions, or personal implosions, perhaps, with Mars transiting the eclipse degree in Scorpio. The Moon joins Mars and Ketu in Scorpio, creating an emotionally challenging start to the year. This also reflects a peak in the cases of the virus, which is also part of the story of how the world overcomes the pandemic.
All planets are on one side of the lunar nodes at this point, showing a lopsided and divisive environment that needs more balance.
Venus continues its retrograde in Sagittarius until Jan 29, and Mercury begins its retrograde on Jan 14. This reflects a need to revaluate the people and things we hold dear, to aspire for greater in our pursuit of happiness and rethinking how we can get there.
The Sun moves into Capricorn on Jan 14 and is an important transition in the year, heralding longer days for those in the northern hemisphere.
Mars transits the juncture between Scorpio and Sagittarius from Jan 15-17. Its transition into Sagittarius and back to Mula, the ‘root’ lunar mansion is a return to the beginning of the origins of the pandemic. Mars externalizes our awareness of what was hidden, so we can overcome it once and for all.
Uranus stations direct in Aries on Jan 18, reflecting a need to gain freedom again, despite the uncertainties.
New Moon in Sagittarius (Pūrvāṣāḍhā) Jan 2
The New Year begins with a new Moon in Sagittarius and Pūrvāṣaḍhā, the 'fierce' lunar mansion in the heart of this fiery sign.
Pūrvā means 'former' and āṣāḍhā means 'invincible'. It is ruled by the goddess of the waters and reflects a need for purification and re-invigoration. This grants a sense of optimism, exuberance, and joy - usually, at any rate. The issue we have with Sagittarius these days is that the malefics are hemming in the sign.
On one side, we have Mars and Ketu in Scorpio in the 12th house of hidden enemies, and on the other, we have Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn in the 2nd house of resources. Any exuberance is probably curtailed due to a sense of being stuck in some situation.
Yet one of this lunar mansions symbols is an elephant's tusk, representing the ability to plough ahead and get through something. New Moons themselves are a time to start again in some way. It's about setting intentions to do so at the very least.
So, no matter how stuck things may be, can you think of something you would like to begin? Of course you can - it's a new year!
The New Moon doesn't always line up with New Year's, so best make the most of this new start and set the ball rolling. And while it may not feel very clear as to how you are going to make it happen, with so many unknowables hemming you in, you can certainly make a wish in a sign that is all about thinking big.
The Moon in Pūrvāṣāḍhā is a good time for water therapy. Starting the year off with a cleanse of some kind might be a good idea. And while you can take this literally if you wish, I mean it figuratively. Cleansing with water itself offers a cleanse on many levels, especially when we add our conscious awareness and intentions.
Now, there are some problems with this new Moon, apart from being hemmed in. Sagittarius can sometimes go overboard. Some astrologers refer to this lunar mansion as being about 'declarations of war'!
If you think about it, it makes complete sense. Sagittarius is about our beliefs. It's very subjective. What do people fight wars over - apart from resources?! When we add the fact that Jupiter is placed in the 3rd house of fighting from this New Moon, we can see how this could become an issue on the world stage.
Personally, it's about getting something we believe we deserve. Nothing wrong with that. The only issue is making it happen when apparently malefic situations restrict our movement. Saturn in the 2nd house is particularly restrictive. A retrograde Venus has just returned to Sagittarius to be hemmed in for this New Moon also.
Venus retrograde and hemmed in shows some issues around diplomacy which only adds to the potential for fighting. The economy and resources are obvious reasons for this.
And then there's Jupiter, moving into Satabhiṣaj on the day of the New Moon. This may express itself as fighting over resources like medicines, or fighting over beliefs about their efficacy, etc.
Whatever you are fighting for, there is something important here, or else you wouldn't fight for it!
Take some time for the New Moon and this New Year, to set an intention about what is worth fighting for. Ask yourself why do you want it. Will it truly make you happy?
If so, then set an intention.
Jupiter in Śatabhiṣaj Jan 2 - Mar 2
Jupiter transits Śatabhiṣaj in January and February next year, the lunar mansion contained entirely within Aquarius. There are many possibilities for this transit. Some welcome, some not much. There are always contradictions involved with Aquarius. You get one thing, but have something else to deal with because of the progress made.
One translation of Śatabhiṣaj is ''one hundred healers'', but another is ''one hundred demons''. The thing is, if you have a hundred different treatments, you've either got a lot diseases to treat, or a complex disease that needs a lot of different approaches. In the case of this pandemic, that means more and more vaccines, it seems.
The last time Jupiter transited Śatabhiṣaj was in the summer of this year, when, for example, the EU had reached 70% of its adult population with at least one dose of the vaccine, and had approved five therapeutics that could soon be available. Jupiter's return here in the New Year will likely bring more progress in that respect.
Jupiter expands on a theme, increasing whatever it impacts. Thus, it is easy to deduce from its transit in Aquarius and Śatabhiṣaj that more drugs and treatments for the current virus are on the cards in the New Year.
This can, however, show many other unclear results, as and when Jupiter gets involved with a sign that is associated with Rahu.
Rahu is everything Jupiter is not. Rahu is doubtful and deceitful. Jupiter is faithful and truthful. Rahu is literally a shadow that is cast over the Sun or Moon during an eclipse. But Rahu also overshadows Jupiter, by obscuring our inner light of awareness and intuition. Which is why it's a good idea to keep Jupiter, i.e., the inner search for truth, to the forefront at all times.
Aquarius questions everything. And while this is exactly what science does, a key signification of the sign, we will likely see more of this questioning spill out into all other areas of life that don't need this kind of questioning.
It's always best to leave science to the scientists, and faith to the faithful. When Jupiter and Rahu get involved in any way, it's like putting a priest (Jupiter) in a science lab, or a scientist looking for proof of God!
You cannot have ''faith in the science''. That sentence doesn't make any sense. We have to question the science. But we do so because that is how science progresses. The problems begin when we get sanctimonious about the science.
Yet believing something, even if it's not true, can have an impact. It can certainly impact how we act.
There are likely to be many more complex issues with Jupiter's transit in Śatabhiṣaj. Yet there are many possibilities and opportunities.
Jupiter rules life itself. Anytime it gets involved with Rahu, the 'anti-life', it can show all kinds of issues around moral and ethical behaviour, of putting progress ahead of life. Aquarius does so for the masses, for humanity. It is less interested in the individual. There are no easy answers at the Aquarius stage.
Rahu's nature is likely to increase paranoia and conspiracy once Jupiter expands on its themes in Śatabhiṣaj, and beyond, but we should see more hope as more treatments are rolled out. This can stabilize the oftentimes irrational fears of Rahu.
More than the other lunar mansions in Aquarius, Śatabhiṣaj encapsulates the dichotomies of the sign. Śatabhiṣaj is symbolized by an empty circle, representing the inclusion of all the apparent contradictions.
How can this AND that be true at the same time? Well, according to Śatabhiṣaj, they can!
There are no very bright or clear stars in Śatabhiṣaj. Instead, there are many faint stars. That alone will tell you all you need to know about the sign. The brightest is Gamma- Aquarii. Gamma Aquarii, or γ Aquarii, is a suspected binary star system. It is known as Sadachbia, from the Arabic Sa'd al-Akhbiyah, and Śatabhiṣaj or Śatabhiṣak in Sanskrit.
Śatabhiṣaj is ruled by Varuṇa, the Vedic god of the ocean. Uranus is the Greek god of the sky. Actually, Varuṇa was initially related to the sky and later to the oceans. So, you can see why there are many similarities between Rahu and Uranus. Rahu is the traditional ruler of Aquarius and is associate with Śatabhiṣaj in the planetary cycles. Uranus is the modern-day ruler. Both challenge the status quo, question everything and everyone, and create more progress than another other astrological signification.
Aquarius represents humanity. Interestingly, Aquarii is actually name given to the Christians who mix water with wine for Eucharist. The water is representative of humanity, and wine as the blood of Christ. The image of the water bearer has another significance according to this interpretation. Aquarius comes from Latin, meaning 'water bearer'.
In Greek myth, Ganymede was the cup bearer to the gods and is represented by the water bearer, serving cups to the gods. By doing so, he was granted eternal youth. In Vedic lore, Śatabhiṣak means '100 healers'.
Okay, you can see where I'm going with all of this!
We are likely to see a lot of drugs being rolled out in the New Year, along with more vaccines to treat the current virus. And while this will save lives, there are other issues around distributing drugs and vaccines to only some of the globe's population, many of whom are also at least a little dubious about the claims.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn Jan 14 - Feb 4
Mercury kicks off the year with a review in Capricorn, closely conjunct Saturn. Actually, Mercury is hemmed into between Saturn and Pluto, so no prizes for guessing what that means for the world!
Mercury is about working things out practically. When retrograde, it is more impractical. It requires rational thought to be able to plan anything. Yet Saturn and Pluto's influence can lead to irrational fears, together with some very real threats. Keep a cool head and a sense of humour for this one folks!
Mercury's station in Capricorn is a more sober reflection on what it's going to take to get to where we need to go, all the steps it requires. But first, we must retrace our steps.
Mercury begins its retrograde in Śravaṇa, which is literally symbolized by three footsteps. It returns to the beginning of Capricorn to meet with Pluto in Uttarāṣāḍhā, a lunar mansion symbolized by the planks of a bed, showing the austerities that are required to get wherever we wish to go, as well as the things we must give up to make it happen.
By the time Mercury station direct at the very first degree of Capricorn, on Feb 2, the Sun will have reached Saturn's degree in the sign (21 degrees). This brings a conflict and crisis to the world, as the population will be itching to move forward at this stage, creating power struggles on the international stage and in our personal lives.
Before that, Mercury's retrograde, as always, requires restraint. But this is even more so because of its position in Capricorn and conjunction with Saturn and Pluto.
Mercury meets with Pluto by exact degree on Jan 29, after meeting with the Sun for the midpoint of the retrograde cycle, on Jan 23. The month of January is thus a time to reflect on and rework some long term plans, while staying open to hidden influences and things that would sabotage our trajectory.
We rarely get from point A to point B in a straight line, but it never happens while Mercury is retrograde! Take your time with getting to where you need to be in January. It's probably a better time to figure out what's holding you back, including your inner saboteur.
Once you've figured that out, you can move forward in February with the plans you reimagine and rework in January.
Sun in Capricorn Jan 14 - Feb 12
The Sun's entry into Capricorn is a mixed bag. The Sun is leaving a more hopeful place in Sagittarius, but also a place it felt hemmed in, unable to think big. In Capricorn, it is more sober and subdued, less confident.
It is also possibly fearful, especially as it meets with Pluto, exact on Jan 16. Sun-Pluto conjunctions brings up more power struggles; between the unseen and unthinkable indications of Pluto and leaders who must consider that they are only leaders because people voted for them.
This suggests some changes in leadership roles, or at least some challenges to those in power. It also suggests that we will all be dealing with our own power struggles in January, just as we did in January 2020 and 2021.
This time, at least, is the last time the Sun meets with Saturn in Capricorn. By January 2023, Saturn will have moved on into Aquarius.
Mars in Sagittarius Jan 16 - Feb 26
Mars transits the volatile territory between Scorpio and Sagittarius by mid-month, moving from its own sign to a sign it is most welcome. Now, although that may be the case, Mars is the planet of war. The more capable it feels, either at home or in a friend's sign, the more likely it is to express itself.
In Sagittarius, Mars is fired up after a period of overcoming fears. As it moves into Sagittarius, it feels inspired to take action based on strongly-held beliefs. But here's the thing: it may show us fighting for our beliefs because we overidentify with them.
Anything you believe is just that a belief. It's not you! But Mars is a part of our being that is interested in protecting us. So, we get some potential issues around fighting for personal rights due to other transits and issues which challenge these.
Jupiter itself is transiting in the 3rd sign from Sagittarius and Mars, making it behave more aggressively also. Again, this points to fighting for some belief or right. There is nothing wrong with any of this of course. It's just that it might blow out of all proportion in the coming weeks as we expand on these themes globally.
And Mars is not alone in Sagittarius. It is with Venus, leaving these two planets together for a longer period due to Venus being retrograde. They get even close together in February, exact on Valentine's Day! That should be an interesting one.
Until then, Mars in Sagittarius is ready to roll, and ready to roll out the punches.
Full Moon in Cancer (Puṣya) Jan 17
The Full Moon is opposite Pluto and a retrograde Mercury conjunct Saturn. It has an aspect from Mars in Sagittarius also. Although in an auspicious lunar mansion, Puṣyā, reflecting a need to look after community and family, the influences from the ensuing power struggles on the other side of the zodiac shows some challenges.
Moon in Cancer is a time to go to the heart of the matter, to sense what we feel about important issues that make us feel safe.
This suggests that we are doing this because of things that don't feel so safe. We can look to what does make us feel safe during this Full Moon phase.
A Full Moon is always a time to balance two often disparate parts of our being, as each opposing pairs of signs are often polarized. Cancer is the home, the heart, our happiness. Capricorn is our ambitions, our work, and how the world works. They directly impact each other, of course.
It's all about getting a work-life balance. This is even more important as the Moon acts as a counterbalance to all the planets heaped up on one side of the lunar nodes.
When we see these planets involved with the Sun and Moon, in Capricorn and Cancer, there is something important to work out about how life works. This could lead to power struggles in the world that impacts security, whether home security on a national scale or in a personal sense.
Uranus stations Direct Jan 18
Okay, enough with the inner changes already. Time to make some changes in our lives in a more powerful, obvious way. And while Uranus' station in Aries suggests just that in the coming months, hold onto your horses there! Not so fast!
Let's not forget that there are other things to consider, including Mars as it transitions into Sagittarius, while Uranus itself is slow in its turn around. Then we have Mercury and Venus retrogrades to deal with, and all the many reconsiderations they involve.
Yet there is something here to be mindful of doing - 'doing' being the operative word. Aries does first and thinks about it later. Uranus in Aries has already done it and is on to the next thing!
Uranus in Aries is volatile and unpredictable. But it's actually more so while retrograde, not direct. When planets retrograde, they behave more unusually. And Uranus is already unusual. So, while retrograde it further enhances this quality.
Now that it is direct, we can be more, well, direct. We can take action that is more - direct.
Venus stations Direct Jan 29
Venus stations direct at 16 degrees of Sagittarius, hemmed in between Saturn, Pluto and a retrograde Mercury on one side, and Ketu in Scorpio on the other. Venus has now been joined by Mars in Sagittarius, as well as the Moon, as it stations.
This may feel quite intense, or just tense, as all the visible planets line up in just three signs, hemmed in on one side of the lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu. That's a lot of hemming!
This suggests that everything feels like its on a knife edge, split, stuck.
Yet an edge that is stuck suggests digging deeper and changing something fundamental about what we believe is possible right now. And beliefs are certainly a big part of the story.
Make sure you choose your battles carefully, that you are fighting for something that means something to you. Otherwise, you are not likely to stick with it. If it gets intense, use that tension to make some meaningful changes in your life. Otherwise, you are not likely to find any purpose in what you are doing.
It's probably one of the most common questions I get when I do readings apart from love and work; that is, ''What is my purpose?''. And while there is an individual answer to that for everyone, based on the specifics of one's chart, I do like to say that our purpose is to simply be in our lives, to show up.
What does showing up mean? It simply means to be present with whatever is happening.
Now that Venus stations direct, we can begin to rely more on the things we were temporarily denied in the last weeks as Venus hesitated. Whatever that has been for you, now is the time to feel the appreciation for its return. Or maybe it's a newfound appreciation for something, or someone, else.
Kala Sarpa Yoga Jan 29 - Feb 11
While I am highlighting this particular configuration within this timeframe in January and February, it is in effect for some time before and after this period. The Moon transits one side of the lunar nodes and breaks the spell every couple of weeks. But even then, with all the planets on one side, everything feels a bit lopsided and imbalanced in our world.
This combination highlights extremes and uncertainties. It represents the many ups and downs we all live through. And while it generally suggests everything seems out of whack, how we each experience it will differ.
We all experience more intensely the configurations that are already present, including the fact that all the visible planets gather in either two or three signs in the coming weeks. Because this is occuring on one side of the lunar nodes, it further exaggerates this configuration, for better or worse
The end of January and beginning of February, from Jan 29 to Feb 2, is one such period, as all the visible planets gather in just three signs. This is called Shula Yoga in Indian astrology, a combination (yoga) that is symbolized by Shiva's trident.
The trident is symbolic of the three states or gunas of Vedic thought; creation, sustenance and destruction. Yet the trident is sharp, of course. This can show a sharpness in general, a war-like indication, especially when added to other significations.
By the end of February and into the beginning of March, we are going to see all the visible planets gather in just two signs, an even more intense configuration call Yuga Yoga. Generally, it is not seen as a good thing to have planets gather in signs like this, as it can show extremes. But I guess extreme times call for extreme measures!
The Kala Sarpa Yoga only adds to the extremes. Actually, these combinations are what make Kala Sarpa what it is. As all planets line up on sone side, they gather in signs, creating more extreme situations. However, I do think that this is a time when the virus pandemic, which had taken hold of all our lives, will be going through some major changes in the coming weeks as a result. We can only get there from here. This configuration suggests we are going to be going through it for a while, but come out the other end transformed.
We must accept some ups and downs on the way.
As always, I wish you the very best of what the month has to offer.
OM TAT SAT
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.