January 2016 Forecasts | Year Overview
Happy New Year! A Look at 2016…
There’s a feeling of excitement with 2016’s astrology and its many chances for fresh starts, flexibility and innovation. As usual, the ‘inner planets’ (Mercury, Venus, Mars) plus the Sun and Moon change zodiac signs regularly throughout the year. Yet Mars stands out as unusual by spending 2.5 months Retro (in Sagittarius/Scorpio) between April and June (17 April to 30 June). What can we expect from this planet of passion, action and focus going backwards?
If you are certain of your direction beforehand, April to June are great months to keep your head down, focus and achieve under the Mars Retro influence. Yet if the Mars Retro brings a stop and rewind in your life, it might be that another layer of your being needs to halt, modify, finetune or even enhance your previous plans, so that when Mars goes Direct around the time of the June Solstice, your focus and energy are fully aligned with your best pathways.
Mars going Direct in June coincides with a vibrant, once-every-seven-years Jupiter-alignment to the North Node designed to carry us forward into deep growth opportunities that either immediately or ultimately (depending on how we use our Jupiter energies) lead to our abundance. More on this fascinating Jupiter-Node alignment below, which kicks off this month with two power dates in January and another in June.
Adapting, Experimenting – Saturn Repeatedly Squared
Only one of the major ‘outer planets’ changes zodiac signs this year, and that’s Jupiter. Starting 2016 in Virgo, Jupiter shifts into Libra on 9 September. The rest stay in the same zodiac signs all year – Chiron in Pisces, Saturn in Sagittarius, Uranus in Aries, Pluto in Capricorn and North Node in Virgo. You’d think that would imply a bit of stability, but as with a lot of the astrology since at least 2008, we are in for another stimulating year.
The stimulation comes in part from quite a few major alignments to Saturn over the course of the year. Saturn constantly does its best to create stability and security, but with squares coming at it from Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter, the rules keep changing. There are many ins/outs, openings/closings the whole year through, including even into 2017 as Saturn doesn’t fully clear the influences of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune until then.
It’s a great year for moving in and out of scenarios, experimenting and flowing with intuition. But of course with all this taste-testing and flexibility, the downside is that committed follow-through might suffer. In many ways, the astrology brings out being idealistic, day dreamy and playful, and a tendency to duck and weave. Fortunately because Saturn is in Sagittarius the changeability can be pinned down to some degree so that important traditions, systems and connections are not lost among all the free flow.
January – Mercury Retrograde – Great to Review and Plan
The year starts with Mercury going retrograde. Mercury generally travels retrograde three times each year for three weeks each time. This year we get 3.5 Mercury Retro periods. The dates are:
Mercury Retrogrades 2016
6 January to 26 January (in Aquarius & Capricorn)
29 April to 22 May (in Taurus)
30 August to 22 September (in Virgo)
19 December 2016 to 8 January 2017 (in Capricorn & Sagittarius)
First on 2 January Mercury moves into Aquarius, but does an immediate about-turn by going retrograde from 6 January. We’ll need to wait until mid-February until Mercury returns to finish what it started in Aquarius. Mercury slips back into Capricorn on 9 January. All this gives the feeling of embracing our own rhythms and freedom in the first few days of January while Mercury is in spacious, independent Aquarius, but then after 9 January our minds and attention are back on practical Capricorn goals and tasks.
From the 6th, it’s a time to emotionally review and reflect, and from the 9th, as well as continue the emotional ‘filing’, it’s a time to action anything that potentially could put a spanner in the works after Mercury shifts Direct on the 26th and your year starts to fly. Try some decluttering, filing last year’s papers, scheduling bills, checking your budget, getting your car serviced and whatever else is on your to-do-list.
Mars in Scorpio for a long time – 4 months!
Mars moves into Scorpio on 4 January and stays there until 6 March (2 months) then on 27 May retrogrades back into Scorpio and stays there until 3 August (another 2 months). In January the Mars shift into Scorpio adds weight to the Mercury Retro because Scorpio is a deep focussed zodiac sign. If you need to focus your practical attention on how to get your finances on track this year, the combination of Mercury Retro in Capricorn and Mars in Scorpio helps you get realistic focus and powerful intention onto the task.
Be sure to focus your intention on shifting negative subconscious thoughts or beliefs, as the downside to this combo is the potential to succumb to feelings of defeat, failure or hopelessness. This goes for matters of the heart, intimacy, love and romance too. Mars in Scorpio helps get to the bottom of the deeper relationship glitches and can move mountains to get us on the right love tracks, but once again the downside of Mars in Scorpio and Mercury in Capricorn is falling into despair or getting trapped in grief or power games over love difficulties.
We’ve got Mars in Scorpio on our side until 6 March to help us get to the bottom of anything we are stuck with, but we must bring courageous focus to this, not emotional crisis thinking. Mars in Scorpio helps clear and purify any remaining emotional heaviness from 2015, as if giving ourselves a big emotional loofah. Some situations have such deep soul history they require more effort and time to sort out than others, in which case Mars being back in Scorpio from 27 May to 3 August will be a big help.
For many, the effort put into financial, love, self-love/self-value issues or power struggles or bad habits in January will pay dividends from 27 May to 3 August. Put the effort in now to find the right pathways to clear blocks and set strong intentions, and there’s a chance you could reap the rewards then.
Jupiter Retro with North Node – Catalyst for New Directions
On 8 January Jupiter goes retro too (until 9 May) adding weight to the need to be deep and reflective in January. Yet this Jupiter Retro adds spice and joyful anticipation, plus helps create the optimistic Jupiter to North Node alignment, which has two exact dates in January and one in June:
Jupiter conjunct North Node dates
23 January 2016
29 January 2016
21 June 2016
The effect of this alignment is active all of January and February, as well as all of June, but wanes as June ends. Here we have many opportunities to pick up hints from our soul depths about what’s brewing and put in our ‘orders’ (as if at a restaurant) by interacting in soul conversation. By ‘soul conversation’ I mean doing things such as interacting with daydreams that spontaneously arrive, paying attention to song lyrics that appear from nowhere and changing the lyrics the way we want them; or when uncannily opening a book at a page with the same information we have just read by chance elsewhere, then writing our own thoughts, feelings and responses to that. In these ways, we interact with the soul data that comes to us and can check whether we like the next sign or synchronicity that comes along and if not, send it back to the chef for alterations!
When the Nodes are involved, there are always deeper soul mysteries that might take time to reveal themselves. With Jupiter involved, it’s important to check we don’t get caught up in flights of fancy or take signs and synchronicities literally, just as when interpreting dreams it often doesn’t help to take them literally. The more we sit with soul information rather than jump to the first immediate conclusions, the more we unfold the hidden messages.
The Virgo Factor – The Power of Practicality
The Jupiter-Node pair are in Virgo, which is a zodiac sign associated with health, digestion, holistic living and mind-body-spirit balance. It’s also a zodiac sign of our day-to-day habits and how they accumulate either positively or negatively. Jupiter always has the feeling of bringing change to ultimately break through to freedom, and the North Node persistently moves us forward toward deep soul wishes, so when these two come together in earth-sign Virgo, we get a chance to test new routines and apply small butterfly-effect tweaks that could quicken our way to fulfilment.
Most of all, Virgo is a zodiac sign of discernment. Jupiter is a planet that can get carried away with experiences of feeling good and feeling up. Discerning the difference between something that makes us feel good and something that is actually genuinely good is one of the gifts of Jupiter in Virgo. The downside of Jupiter is jumping too quickly into a new direction just because it feels right. It’s important to check that ‘feels right’ doesn’t mean jumping from one unsustainable ‘feel good’ to the next.
If you’re more of a Saturn-type and tend to believe only in being practical and never following the hunches, exuberance and gut feelings that Jupiter-types do, then Jupiter and the North Node in Virgo could help you find ways to break out of being too practical or limited and find safe ways to follow your inner passions.
Make a Wish on Jupiter! Set a Practical Intention
It’s worth making a wish on the Jupiter exact dates to the North Node. By ‘make a wish’ I mean put out for what you’d like in your life but be sure you’re an active participant and not just waiting for things to land in your lap. Virgo helps with practical specific wishes, such as ‘Help me see what I can do (tomorrow/this week/etc) to conquer my fear of (dating/looking for a new job/etc) so that I can (meet a new partner/get a new job/etc)’.
At the very least, get dreaming about new pathways on the 23rd and 29th when Jupiter and the North Node conjunct. You might even feel inspired and motivated to start exploring fresh pathways immediately, or take special time on those days to have adventures that help you connect with your soul’s longing. After Jupiter goes Direct on 9 May, the second Jupiter alignment to the North Node in June could see the new directions fall in place.
Of course, they might even fall into place in January then develop more deeply in June. The alignments work differently for each of us. The new directions might happen in someone else’s life but if you are close to them, these directions could catalyse change in your own life. Whatever the case, see how you go with using the Virgo energy to pinpoint your wishes/intentions with helpful detail. Use the power of practicality to forge the future you would like to have!
Deep Inner Work and Some Experimenting
Finally, all of the ‘outer planets’ are in cardinal and mutable signs this year. Cardinals pioneer, lead and initiate, whereas mutables go with the flow, experiment and taste-test. It helps to take turns with initiating and then adapting. So think of what excites you and initiate. Listen to what excites others and see if you can adapt and participate.
For example, you might try a new health treatment with Jupiter in Virgo, or exercise class, and decide it’s not for you and the flexibility of the mutables makes it easier to head off and experiment with something else. Or with Mars in Scorpio, you might seek some financial counselling to get out of debt, try those methods for a while, then have a go at another approach.
To sum up, the second half of the year looks good for flowing with new directions. Mars finishes being retrograde by 30 June and leaves Scorpio on 3 August. Until then Mars keeps us like a dog with a bone, going deeper and deeper with finding solutions to some of our most difficult problems to do with love, money and breaking free of bad habits. We can make great headway with turning things around to the positive of Scorpio: the contentment of intimate deep trust that allows freedom for following individual life-purpose-passions within the safe structures of powerful loyal supports.
Walking through New Doors
Jupiter’s last dynamic alignment to the North Node is on the 21 June solstice, which is already an annual turning point day in the year. This is another indication of a possible mid-year transformation. Until then, it helps to analyse, sift and sort through our greatest fantasies, longings, hopes and wishes to help us move toward the dreams we know are possible but can’t see how to make possible, then let life do the rest.
On 9 September, Jupiter shifts out of Virgo entirely and walks through a new doorway into the zodiac sign Libra. We will then be into a new 12-month Jupiter adventure with great potential for fresh opportunities in all things Libran, including relationships, social networks, work contracts and other agreements and plans.
So with all that in mind, I wish you an inspiring New Year with many openings for reinvention, transformation and exploration!
January’s New Moon
For information on the New Moon in Capricorn on 10 January, go here around that date. The interpretation will stay online until the next New Moon four weeks later.
January’s Full Moon
For information on the Full Moon in Leo on 24 January, go here around that date. The interpretation will stay online until the next Full Moon four weeks later.