Happy New Year from The Realm of Astrology but will 2016 be a happy new year? The dance of the planets will be an interesting choreography of stop and go in 2016. There will be some wonderfully carefree flowing moves along with some challenging acrobatic leaps that will test our mettle.
If there is one signature that I think will define 2016, it will be “proceed with caution.” In other words, go back and retest the plan. I know, you are probably saying to yourself, “Wow that sucks because I have these wonderful new ideas and projects I want launch in 2016!” You can certainly do all that but the universe is going to ask you to test your plan to make sure it is feasible and to wait for the right time.
The first thing astrologers look for to get an idea of how the upcoming year is shaping up is the position of the outer planets of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The outer planets are slow to move around the Sun and all of them retrograde throughout the year; because of this slow movement they set the tone for the year and the collective at large.
The inner planets move quickly around the Sun and normally their mark is not felt as strongly. The exception to the rule is when the inner planets retrograde. We all saw how much havoc Venus left in her wake this past summer as she retrograded. Last summer could be coined the summer of breakups as Hollywood announced divorce after divorce. Poor Venus left a trail of broken hearts in her highly elliptical path last August. The good news is she won’t retrograde again until next year.
The other exception to this rule is Mars. Mars stays in a sign about six weeks. He is the energy planet. He is like the Energizer Bunny and energizes whatever he touches. When he retrogrades it is like the Energizer Bunny on low batteries which can be frustrating.
Of equal importance are the eclipses which come in pairs every six months and are the course correctors in our lives and in the world stage.
January to April 2016
- Cardinal Climax separates – 2016 begins with a huge sigh of relief. This is the first year we do not have to contend with that nasty cardinal t-square/cross or the Cardinal Climax as astrologers refer to it. We have been battling this cross since 2010. This cross began when Saturn entered Libra in 2010 and squared Pluto in the early degrees of Capricorn. When Saturn and Pluto make an aspect in the skies, their influence can often work so as to bring about the catabolic destruction of all structures. These two planets are karmic in nature. They seek to balance unjust conditions, circumstances, and situations.This aspect coincided with the global economic downturn, the unravelling of the subprime mortgage crisis and the weakness of the frail European union was challenged. Hard aspects of Pluto and Saturn always affect financial markets. It was joined by Uranus two years later and has been active for the last 3 years. Jupiter has joined the party occasionally magnifying the tense energies from time to time. Since this cross has been in aspect, world events have intensified from political, financial to environmental disasters. Uranus turned direct on December 26, 2015 and has parted from troublesome Pluto. We will briefly experience a déja vu in the fall of 2016 when Jupiter briefly squares Pluto but after that we should be home free. This is a welcomed relief.
- Mercury Retrograde – At the start of January we are thrusted into a Mercury retrograde which may be a frustrating way to start off the year but remember Mercury retrograde does a serve a purpose. It is the best time to review older projects that were begun earlier. It is great time to review, edit or redesign earlier written works. It is a wonderful time to refurbish, re-landscape or do away with clutter in your space. Notice how all the above sentences have the prefix “re.” Mercury retrograde is really about redoing things. It is not about launching or initiating new projects. If you do, be prepared for obstacles or worse be prepared for the project to come to a dead end. To find out more about Mercury retrograde you can read the article I wrote in December about it http://www.realm-of-astrology.com/mercury-retrograde-redux/#more-1621. Once Mercury goes direct at the end of January, plans for new projects can be put forward. February and the first week of March will be a great to start those new year projects.
- Saturn squares Neptune – One of the more troubling aspects that will be a running theme this year is the square from Saturn to Neptune. As we start the new year, this aspect is separating from its first contact which was exact on November 26, 2015. Saturn is currently in Sagittarius and Neptune is residing in its home base of Pisces. This aspect is about dreams versus reality. Neptune is about grandiose fantasies and creative endeavours. Saturn is about the reality of executing those fantasies in a real in concrete way. Saturn does not understand glamour. Saturn is the warden at the gate and him and Neptune may not see eye to eye. He is telling Neptune to “get real.” Neptune does not want to hear it. Neptune wants to continue believing in magical fairy dust and pixies. This is what astrologer Steven Forrest has to say about the Saturn/Neptune square,
All square aspects are about tension, but this is a particularly tense one because of the antithetical natures of these two planets. In other words, there seems to be a “natural square” between Saturn and Neptune, just in terms of their basic energies. Put quotation marks around everything that follows: Saturn is realistic while Neptune is flaky. Neptune is spiritual while Saturn is materialistic. Neptune imagines; Saturn counts beans. Saturn’s feet are on the ground, while Neptune’s head is in the clouds.
Something has got to give but who will win the tug of war? Geminis, Pisces, Virgos and Sagittarius will feel the impact of this configuration most acutely. If you have a copy of your natal chart, you can see if you have any planetary placements in mutable signs and whether or not you will be impacted by this aspect. Neptune and Saturn will square one another 2 more times in 2016.
- March eclipses 2016 – As we head into March we begin our eclipse series for 2016. As I stated earlier eclipses are course correctors and they can be a welcomed change. Unfortunately, the first eclipse of the year might be a bit tense for mutable signs. I have to apologize to mutable signs in advance but this is your year to jump through hoops. Sorry guys. This is the testing of mettle that I was referring to in the opening paragraph. The solar eclipse on March 8, at 18˚ 55 Pisces forms a T-square with Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo. This eclipse on many levels echoes the earlier struggle of Saturn and Neptune; reality versus dreams. This year we will experience eclipses on the Virgo and Pisces axis. This polarity always examines the role of devotion versus the role of service. We will also have our final eclipse in the Aries/Libra polarity which always examines, self versus others. This eclipse series has been somewhat troublesome over the last two years because it made aspects to the Cardinal Climax. Luckily as a parting gift this lunar eclipse at 3˚ Aries/Libra will make a lovely sextile to Mars in Sagittarius. Something that began last September will come to fruition on March 23, 2016. We will not see eclipses on the Aries/Libra axis again until 2023.
- Mars Retrograde – One of the key transits that will define this year is Mars retrograding back in Sagittarius and Scorpio. Although Mars does not officially retrograde until April 17, we will start to experience slowdowns at the end of February. This simply means that the planet Mars will not be at its best to help out from the end of February until the third week in August where it finally catches up to where it was before the retrograde. This is because it is shadowing the degrees of the zodiac that it will be retrograding back into. I know, this means Mars will be out of commission for almost half the year. This is why I have cautioned readers not to get too attached to the idea of launching major projects in the first 3 quarters of 2016. In order for a new venture or project to succeed, the steam of Mars is needed. If Mars is not at full capacity the project will go up like a lead balloon. Life events like getting married, engaged, meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right, publishing a book, starting a new ad campaign, getting a new job or buying a house will have to wait until the fall of 2016. By the time the last week of April rolls around half the zodiac will be in retrograde motion. Starting anything new will be an exercise in futility.
- Mercury Retrograde again – Yes, our pal Mercury starts his retrograde motion through Taurus on April 28th. He wakes up on May 22nd. He will still be a wee bit groggy in May to be much help. He will be in better in June.
May to August 2016
As we begin May half the zodiac will be asleep. May is a great time to take it easy and not push forward.
- Jupiter goes direct – On May 9th Jupiter awakes from his long slumber which is a positive thing except that Jupiter is applying to that mutable T-square. Jupiter is beneficence and bounty. He can also be excess. He magnifies and expands whatever he touches. I would be a bit weary since he is making a hard aspect to Saturn and Neptune in this mutable T square. In this case I think Jupiter will only magnify the tensions that are already present. Jupiter is applying in trine to Pluto and is applying in conjunction to the North node. That always spells prosperity and abundance. That is a incredibly sweet aspect that everybody will get to enjoy. Check to see which areas in your chart Pluto and Jupiter are transiting through because those may be the areas you might see a windfall. This aspect becomes exact on June 24 through to June 26. It is important to note that Jupiter will be aspecting the solar eclipse points from last September 13th at 20˚ Virgo and this past March 8th at 18˚ Pisces most of July. Perhaps you have felt that you have not been the recipient of Jupiter’s sunny disposition in 2016 and you would be right to think that. After all Jupiter does slumber for almost 5 months but come July you will feel his sunny warm rays bestowed upon you. Think back to what was happening at the beginning of September 2015. Jupiter’s visit to this same place in your chart will add luck to that area in your chart.
- The Mutable T square is activated again and again – We are thrilled Jupiter woke up so he can shower some goodness but a month later this mutable T square is activated by Neptune squaring Saturn again. We experienced this on June 17, 2016 while both planets were retrograding echoing the earlier energy of last fall. We are faced with the same dichotomy of sacrificing our dreams for cold hard reality. On August 24, Mars joins the party by conjuncting Saturn at 9˚ Sagittarius. Saturn went direct on August 12. Mars activates and energizes whatever is touches.This is a hard aspect and feels a bit like putting your foot on the gas and brake at the same time. You are being asked to be disciplined and cautious instead of plunging straight ahead which the urge. This mutable T square will be in effect until September 10th. After that Saturn will finally separate from Neptune and we can all exhale.
- Mars turns direct – On June 29th Mars turns direct after being asleep for two and half months. So does this mean you can go out and launch your new venture. I am afraid not. It takes a planet a long time to wake up after being asleep. It is also not recommended that you initiate a new venture while the planet is retracing the degrees it retrograded through. You won’t be thwarted in your attempts in the same way as it the planet was in retrograde motion but you won’t achieve the same results as with a fully direct planet. Better wait until the end of September to make plans.
- Mercury Retrograde again – Mercury starts his retrograde motion through Virgo on August 29th. He wakes up on September 22nd. He will still be a wee bit groggy in September to be much help. He will be in better in October.
September to December 2016
- September eclipses 2016 – We hit the ground running as we enter September. On September 1, 2016 we will experience a solar eclipse at 9˚ Virgo. This will trigger the mutable T square which has been one of the running themes of 2016. Whatever dream was held will either become a reality or will fall away. Neptune will be 10˚ Pisces and Saturn will be at 10˚ Sagittarius at the time of this eclipse. On September 15, 2016 we will have a lunar eclipse at 24˚ in Virgo/Pisces. This lunar eclipse will be emotional because it is squaring in Mars in Sagittarius at 23˚. This will be a very emotional time normally but with this square from Mars it will be even more emotional than usual. The best thing to do is to fly below the radar for few weeks. Sorry.
- Saturn squares Neptune – This aspect is in effect as we start September. This is the final face-off. Saturn’s teaching methods can be rigorous. He wants to make sure you learned the lesson so he does visit the same place in your chart 3 times which is why Saturn transits can be difficult. Saturn’s job is to test the foundation of your plan. He is not always kind but he is fair. Remember he metes out only what is deserved. He is the lord of karma. The aspect is exact on September 10, 2016. One word of caution while this aspect is separating over the week of September 10-17, there will be the lunar eclipse which will make this aspect more draining than usual. After that Saturn will separate from Neptune for good long while. They come together 2026 in conjunction at 0˚Aries on the world axis. Yikes!
- Mercury goes direct – On September 22nd Mercury goes direct.
- Mars conjuncts Pluto – On October 19th these two heavyweights come together. This can be an explosive aspect. People can be more emotional or prone to accidents when this aspect is in effect. Tread lightly around this time. Give it four days. The tension should ease.
- Mars squares Uranus – On October 29th these two other heavyweights face off. Again this a challenging, knee-jerk aspect. Luckily the aspect separates once we are into November.
- The last of the Cardinal Climax – On November 20th, we see an instant replay of this aspect as Jupiter squares Pluto at 15˚ Libra/Capricorn. On December 19 Jupiter will oppose Uranus, while still being in aspect to that square to Pluto, creating that T Square configuration. These two will separate but spar again 2017. Anyone with planets in Capricorn, Aries, Cancer and Libra will feel this jarring aspect.
- Mercury Retrograde – As we finish off the year Mercury will retrograde on December throwing a wrench into those holiday plans. My advice is get your holiday shopping done at the beginning of December.
This year will be about testing old beliefs, ideas and existing structures in your life. Saturn, Mars and the eclipses will work in conjunction to correct your path. Neptune like usual will push your boundaries to go beyond the limits but in the end it all balances out. 2016 can be very rewarding if you go with the flow. Resistance is futile.