Reviewing what’s old in the new year, January 2016

At times it may very well be better to prepare than to repair, but at others we have much to gain by repairing what has become damaged, learning and improving along the way. Since Mercury will be Retrograde, spending additional time in Capricorn this month we will be reviewing some very old ties and themes as the new year of 2016 begins.

Capricorn is an earth sign nudging us to become more closely connected with the earth we inhabit. Its ruling planet Saturn rules age and time, so what better place to sit and review our lives than beneath a favorite old tree?


ancient tree – Beth Moon photography

Mars exits Libra on January 3rd and enters Scorpio for an extra long transit due to Mars exiting Scorpio on March 5th, going Retrograde in Sagittarius on April 17th, and back into Scorpio from May 27th until August 2nd. The passion planet has the potential for profound healing or terrible destruction in this sign. “Kick ass and take names” could be Mars in Scorpio’s motto, but for much of this year that Martian energy will have to take back seat and temper its go-get-it strategies. The backward motion could also point to a need to refine sexual energy or heal from sexual abuse.

Mercury goes Retrograde on January 5th, in an irritable square with Mars in Scorpio, on a 9 of Spades day – all together signifying changes, endings and deep emotions. In the Cards of Destiny, the 9 of Spade card strongly influences January 5, February 3 and March 1. It is the ultimate card of endings, death, and life changes on a massive scale. Ask anyone born on one of the dates above if their lives have not seemed to consist of one rude or huge awakening after another, and if they have reinvented themselves many times over. This card represents part of the energetic kick launching us into a cycle of review throughout the entire first month of 2016. In addition we have entered a 9 year universally, which indicates a collective focus on completions and endings.

On the 5th the Sun approaches a conjunction to Pluto and amplifies a building T-square including the Black Moon Lilith in Libra in opposition to Uranus in Aries. It’s one of those weeks we can basically agree to disagree in advance, just to be on the safe side…

Mercury backs into Capricorn on the 8th, joining the New Moon on the 9th, and moves into a conjunction with Pallas Athene by the 12th. Words take on extra meaning and impact during this time and should be spoken and written with great care. It will become evident the ways that words harm or heal, create or destroy.

Mercury stations Retrograde on the fixed star Altair, the brightest star of Aquila, the Eagle at 1 degree of Aquarius. This is Aquila’s power spot, signifying spiritual sight and healing ability. Spiritual sight can be misused and healing abilities can be twisted into forms of psychic manipulation. In the case of lower consciousness at work, we are challenged to become more attuned to the love, intuitive knowing, and wisdom within our hearts for true empowerment.

Mercury stations Direct the day after a Full Moon on the 25th at 14 degrees of Capricorn (right where the Sun was when Mercury turned Retrograde on the 5th) conjunct Vega. This star is fixed in the constellation of Lyra, seen in the shape of a vulture holding a lyre. This star may attune us to very subtle vibrations that yet again may either be used for healing or toward manipulative ends  – not without consequences. The vulture represents some rather intense medicine in Native American traditions. In the Animal Tarot deck that I often use by Ted Andrews the Vulture represents the Major Arcana card the Tower. Since the star Vega has some correlations with thievery we’re sure to receive some sort of wakeup call around who and what can and cannot be trusted in our environment. Musical healing and inspiration may be a more pleasant outer manifestation of this influence.

Throughout the month Mars is doing a little courtship dance with Juno in Scorpio, heating up relationship issues, questioning the levels of commitment, amplifying sexual vibes and interpersonal sensitivities. A conjunction, and perhaps a conclusion between these two is reached by the time Mercury goes Direct on the 25th.

Saturn in Sagittarius separates from a square to Neptune in Pisces while Venus steps in to take Saturn’s place the first week of January (don’t worry – Saturn will be back for more, and this square is in effect all year!), formulating what I like to refer to as an aspect of “divine discontent”. It’s great for revisiting artistic projects and spiritual pursuits, not so great for establishing trust and good feelings in a new relationship. If you take those rose colored glasses off before the seat of viewing gets too comfy you’ll be all set for whatever comes. Well almost. Needless to say, we’ve got enough squares to keep us busy for awhile.

The Moon will be in Scorpio when Mercury goes Retrograde on the 5th, another signal of a fierce of wave of emotion upon us. We are still releasing some of what came up for release last year and we’ll also be reviewing some of what went down when Mercury went Retrograde in Cancer (intense stellium in this sign) in the very steamy summer of 2013. Family issues will again be reckoned with. This all seems like a lot to deal with considering that many people haven’t even recovered yet from the last Mercury Retrograde between September and October of 2015, as the aftermath was more severe than the Retrograde itself. If we can embrace our shadow self and its experiences we develop greater understanding of why it has appeared in our life, also sparing ourselves a lot of unnecessary grief in the future.20a34b34ac6414c8f02cacd06ac0e4a2

We are never completely out of luck. Jupiter, turning Retrograde on the 7th, and the North Node in Virgo are in a trine to Pallas Athene as the month begins, and trine Mercury and the Sun in the days ahead. Our brains could be processing a lot of old information and understanding it in brilliant new ways. Knowledge is power!

In wading through much muck, somewhere in the gutters of our subconscious, the Sea Goat may come upon a genuine treasure chest in the first few weeks of 2016. By the time we’ve exited the Year of the Goat and entered the Year of the Monkey on February 8th, we’ll be moving out of Mercury’s post-shadow and onward into what may be a round of actual new beginnings.


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