Dear Friend and Reader:
Most years, the change of the civil calendar is more like a blur than a point of demarcation. We might count down the New Year, watch the ball come down on TV and toast to health, love and wealth — but the astrology is not usually sensitive to the civil calendar.
There are actually numerous ‘new year’ events in different cultures, spanning from autumn to mid-winter, and most of them have some connection to planetary movements. This year, the civil calendar we use coincided with a major event on New Year’s Day — the Capricorn New Moon.
This would be significant on its own, though what we got was a New Moon conjunct two planets, Mercury and Pluto, as well as square two planets, Mars and Uranus, and then opposite Jupiter. I’ve left numerous smaller planets out of this description (of which there were plenty) and just covered the better-known influences. The seemingly minor influences tell an interesting story, such as how this is really a struggle about narcissism and self-interest coming up against the necessity to think collectively.
What we had was a New Moon in the midst of the Uranus-Pluto square; which is now a grand square, because Mars and Jupiter are involved. Think of this as a setup with the Earth in the middle of a crosshairs. I don’t recall a grand square (sometimes called a grand cross) this powerful since the one on Aug. 11, 1999, for which I wrote the article Thinking of You on Judgment Day.
In case you have not happened upon any of my other explanations of this aspect, I’ll take another try at explaining it. We are in the midst of a generational aspect — the Uranus-Pluto square. This spans from 2012 through 2015, but with a several-year warmup starting around 2008 and a cool down that will extend to the end of the decade.
2014 is the peak of this astrology; here is why. These generational aspects can fade into the background and drive along ‘life as normal’ even if the new normal is really weird. Then every now and then during one of these eras, there is a planetary alignment grouped around the generational aspect that brings it to the forefront. Suddenly it’s really obvious what is happening. It’s like you wake up one day and figure out who you are, where you are, and what is happening around you.
Often this happens because something personal enters your consciousness. You might be someone who doesn’t pay attention to politics or the news, someone who tries to ignore technology as much as you can, and just live your life. Yet then the wide-ranging astrology can reach into your personal world. You have to make a decision; you figure out that it’s time for a change; you’re confronted with a situation; your own restlessness catches up with you.
We do a lot of stuffing down of our feelings in our society, and it’s not been until recently that I’ve noticed this trend starting to slow down or reverse. There’s only so much room to stuff down your love, your anger, your desire, your creative impulses. At a certain point you must do something that you regard as more meaningful. Even if you live from day to day, on some level you recognize that time, or your time in this body, doesn’t last forever, and therefore you must start exercising your options.
You may find yourself making decisions that you’ve put off for years or for decades. Try to do that compassionately. It’s natural to feel some anger or resentment at having delayed for so long, and yet at a certain point you will have to let that go in order to fully enter the moment. I suggest you do that all as a fully conscious process.
The New Year’s Day New Moon alignment comes with a message that 2014 will be a year with its own distinct character, one that will be unlike anything we’ve experienced before. The grand cross repeats in a more focused, more potent form on April 23, and will be immediately followed by a solar eclipse in Taurus. The April 23 version of the grand cross aligns exactly with the Sun in the main chart for the United States, so you might say that this is the year the astrology comes home.
I’ve been researching this for months with my writing team and we have some special coverage planned for you, taking the story of April 2014 all the way back to the early days of American history. I believe that April 2014 will fit that pattern, which means that the months surrounding it will be especially unusual as well. It’s fair to say: you can think of yourself as living in a different country, a different phase of history, a different quality of space and time, than you were one week ago.
In light of all of this, I am now completing the THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings. I have about two weeks’ more work till these are done, and they are coming out beautifully. The audio — about 70 minutes per sign, in two readings, is finished and posted; the articles are coming in; and my sign readings are moving along.
In this edition of Planet Waves, our news team has gone wild catching you up on the main events that transpired over the holidays, while we were on break. I’ve written an astrology interpretation of 2014 in the SKY section, and we have the January monthly horoscope for you as well.
I have often wondered what it would have been like to cover the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in realtime during the 1960s; I’ve wondered if astrologers were getting the message, and how they might have conveyed it to others, without the benefit of the Internet.
In any event, we are here for you now, with in-the-moment coverage of the peak of the Uranus-Pluto square, broadcasting on every channel with the hottest news team in astrology.
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope — January 2014, #981 | By Eric Francis
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You’re figuring out that you’re capable of great things. Yet none of it will be possible without fostering cooperation. There is, of course, the danger of giving away your power to others by depending on them for the completion of your goals, so you need to know about that potential pitfall and remain in full alignment with yourself. That means being the primary authority in your life. Cooperation is a peer-to-peer enterprise, a consultative role, an exchange of ideas, but without the competition or authority stuff that we’re so accustomed to in nearly every facet of existence. This is a seed moment for you, particularly where your work and your contribution to society are concerned. If you’ve been having ideas that you believed could change the world (and it looks like that’s been true for years) this is the time to act on them. The gift of the present moment is twofold: one facet is the birth of a new kind of confidence, despite whatever confusion you may be feeling. You are starting to trust that you can have an actual impact. Another is discovering evidence that you were on the right path all along. You have already learned most of what you need to know, and what you gained in the past is one of your greatest resources today.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Faith is your rock, or said another way, the axis around which your world turns. Yes, you may have your doubts. They will come and go. But they are part of the ‘turning world’ rather than the beam of faith around which it spins. Despite many challenges and the demand to call yourself fully present for everything you do, you’ve maintained a steady course of growth, of achievement and living in the moment rather than being lost in ancient history. Your chart suggests that you’ve been burrowing your own path through the remnants left to you by many ancestors whose combined influence has added up to little more than a reason to pretend you don’t have the strength to do what you came to the world to do. Once you admit that you possess actual faith in yourself, you will see your doubts in perspective, and they will be far less meaningful. The one element that is calling for a special focus is the exchange of resources angle of your chart — the zone where you share a field of influence with another person, often in intimate situations. You seem to come up against one circumstance after the next where there is a question — though as you’re probably learning, the solution is always spiritual. Love, forgiveness and understanding will light your way.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The edgy quality of your charts may be a reminder of the fragile, transient nature of existence, and this is summoning you into unfamiliar territory. That alone would be a value — the waste of time that the world withstands is a terrible loss, and most of it involves denial about beginnings and endings. You seem to be fully aware that time is transient and that relationships are experiences that exist only in the moment we notice them. With the world moving so fast, there is precious little time to waste. Many factors in your astrology have drawn you out to a region where you will feel better addressing people about what actually matters than you will engaging in any form of diversion or games. While superficiality is smothering consciousness, you are being confronted with facts about yourself that are calling you to engage fully with reality. This translates directly to having a respectful relationship with the unknown, and that which you don’t understand. It no longer serves you to do anything else — there are great rewards possible when you focus only on what is true. You may think this requires more courage than you have; courage is an option you can choose, and is almost always helpful. Meanwhile, I suggest you use curiosity and persistence as your main assets on this quest.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — It’s time to reclaim the young person you are inside — or be aware that little kid is claiming you. Recent years of your life have come with a maturity campaign, which has been a necessary part of your growth and have contributed significantly to your wellbeing. Yet at the same time, your chart illustrates a moment when you’re on a dare to make an impression on the world, to define your own terms and to be free from needless authority. One of the ways you render external authority as pointless is to take over the process yourself, which accounts for the value of your drive to be a mature adult. Without some discipline, you cannot get very much done. Yet the child in you wants to come out. There are a few ways that can happen — remembering what gives you the most pleasure in life, and doing those things, are among them. There is also a relationship encounter that will open the door to the playful, loving child that you are. This experience will call for a blend of maturity and thirst for freedom. The door is opening into a realm where all your relationships can deepen, as if you’ve mysteriously walked into common ground you didn’t know existed. It always has — you are opening up to it in a new way.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Focus on your health, which will mainly require managing your work responsibilities and your stress level differently than you currently do. You need to make some structural changes, including to your schedule and possibly to your physical work space. This is a quality-of-life issue, and you have the focusing power and determination to make real, lasting changes that help you and will improve your efficiency. If you’re facing puzzles or questions, most of the solutions or answers seem to be hiding in plain sight. One thing that may not be so obvious is addressing certain issues that are still hanging out in your life from early childhood. This may include insecurities that you’ve never quite been able to get a handle on, as well as the residual conditioning of being burdened with more than was appropriate for a child. These matters have a way of hanging on and sometimes become more challenging to address as time goes on, though the astrology of this time in your life is centered on making a clean sweep emotionally, as well as making sure your physical space is up to the task of supporting your life. It would be simpler to say take a holistic approach, where every aspect of your life, and every person in your life, is supportive of all the others.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — There is no question that relationships remain the focal point of your life this year, though the theme brings a deeper focus on sexuality. I would describe this as seeking a purpose rather than treating it as something that’s just there, or that can be taken for granted. Most people don’t consider the notion of existing with a sexual purpose, though they also don’t consider how disorienting the lack of one can be, and how it leads directly to giving away one’s power. You will begin to make discoveries the moment you make the commitment to doing so, and harness your creativity and life-force energy as you make contact with how real and how vital these themes are for you. The connection point to your relational experiences may seem intuitive or obvious, though it’s worth stating. What is healing and empowering to you will either strengthen the people in your life, or have a way of repelling them. You’ve needed to overcome the fear of that particular effect for a while; now you’ve reached the point where you must be in harmony with the people with whom you’re intimate, because you are now capable of embracing them more deeply than ever. To do this safely and honestly, having a sense of purpose, and sharing it openly, is essential.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Let this be the year you succeed at not making the same mistakes as in the past. Mistakes are excellent learning laboratories, though for that purpose, usually one or two tries is sufficient. This is your time to learn from past errors in judgment or less-than-careful decisions, whether they happened recently or in the distant past. Mars in your sign for most of the year will give you plenty of opportunities to review; so too will the retrograde of Venus that began recently. So much historical data may be bubbling to the surface that you may be overwhelmed. But it’s all going to boil down to one thing, which is how you make decisions. I am familiar with the special struggle that many born under your sign personally describe. It’s not that you don’t make up your mind; it’s about how you hesitate before doing so. That hesitation is different than considering the factors involved in a particular choice. These days, you’re likely to be pushed in some direction by circumstances or by someone close to you if you don’t choose a direction of your own. Though this may temporarily relieve the burden of making the decision, it doesn’t take away responsibility for the consequences. You know what is right for you. You always have and you always will. Trust that.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You may be feeling like you’re under some strange pressure, which on one level feels like the necessity to get control of your life. On another level you’re being pushed to cut loose, and to dive into your passions, your fears and the desire that you’ve spent so much time denying. So what do you do, hold fast or let go? Saturn in your sign is providing a boundary. Though it may feel like you have to make necessary changes, Saturn’s real message is about getting to know yourself. Meanwhile, Mars, your ruling planet, will be spending much of the year in the zone of your chart where you conceal your deepest feelings, needs and anxieties. Unless you follow Mars into that mysterious realm, you may feel like you’ve ‘gone missing’. If that happens, take it as a message to look within rather than obsessing over circumstances, other people or external responsibilities. You will get your work done; you will keep your promises. The time has come to keep a promise to yourself, which is to clarify your inner relationship as your top priority. Though many would think this idea as comprehensible as Mandarin, you know this already. The calling to absolute self-honesty has been nagging you very nearly forever, and it’s high time you answer.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Your life is not as complicated as it seems. It’s true that your sign is currently hosting one of the most impressive collections of planets I’ve ever seen (all of them ‘minor’ planets, but no less potent). You are indeed facing many deep spiritual issues, and it will help you to see them that way rather than as psychological. The prevailing theme of the next few seasons is about how you invest your life into the lives of others. It’s necessary to learn a mode of sharing with others that is not a general partnership/total surrender but rather a limited partnership on certain topics or themes. I don’t mean to imply being partially committed. I mean being wholly committed in specific ways, such that you are able to reserve enough of your time, space and vital force to create your own existence the way you want it. As you may know, it’s also time to get serious about money. It may seem like some great mystery how to acquire or concentrate the stuff, but it’s actually a practical matter based on specific skills. Make a point of acquiring those skills at the same time you do something more fundamental, which is make sure you don’t violate your own values or principles. There is no conflict here — they are really the same thing.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You know that you cannot be content with anything superficial or make believe, so you may as well not lose any more sleep over that. You’re discovering that you have something to say, and you may be wondering if anyone wants to listen. You can set that one aside too; your charts say that it’s time to get the word in before you get the word out. As you invest your energy in self-knowledge, and making the changes you have wanted to make for so long, you will become your message. Part of what you’re seeking in this process is an understanding of how things got to be the way they are. This applies to your life, and to any aspect of the world that you are seeking to influence, change, develop or in some way correct. The story of the world the way you perceive it corresponds directly to the story of your life. The changes you are going through connect to the urgent need for progress in the world. You are a kind of personal intersection between the two, but in order not to have that become a burden, I suggest you focus on your life and your learning process, and take action only when you feel profoundly moved to do so. Less is more — and when the time comes, that will be plenty.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may be feeling like you have too much responsibility and not enough in the way of personal resources to support what you have to do. This can include money, though I am really talking about inner resources of the emotional and spiritual kind. I can see why you would feel that way; yet I can also see that you have many hidden resources that you may not have discovered yet. These might manifest as energy, ideas or strength that you can access if you want. The key thing to remember is that they are there waiting for you. To find them, you must go underneath your outer circumstances and make contact with the underlying nature of your situation. This should not be hard — the dimension where this information and energy reside are bursting with life, wanting your attention, if only you would turn it there. You may have the sensation that you would evoke chaos or tap into something that you don’t really want to know about, though I assure you that this is life-giving information. If there is chaos, that’s the thing that provides the fuel for your strength and creativity. Think of it this way: you face no situation for which you lack resources. It’s a matter of having some faith, making contact and making use of what you discover.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Old friends will get you far this year, and they will be happy to hear from you. I suggest you look up everyone in your life whom you consider to have been a positive influence, and even a few people whom you think were a little dodgy, and see where they are at today. This will provide a point of grounding and orientation in what promises to be a truly extraordinary time in your life, especially where your mission is concerned. You are someone with a mission, and you are imaginative enough to dream it into reality. At the moment, your dream machine is running at full strength. You’ve never been someone who has done things just for business. You always act with a creative, social or spiritual purpose, which you then extend into your professional affairs. Some call this ‘right livelihood’. I would call it being aligned with your purpose, and then extending that into your personal relationships, your community and the world. It just happens that business is an excellent vehicle to conduct this kind of energy, and conditions are favorable to get the vibes rippling out into the world. You’re about to find out how much you have done right, how much you have left to accomplish, and that you possess the determination and talent to make it happen in high style.