January begins the year of 2008, a year that punctuates the idea of out with the old, in with the new. Not only are we moving from one year to another. We are moving from a universal 9 year [2007 = 2 + 0 + 0 + 7 = 9] into a universal 1 year [2008 = 2 + 0 +0 + 8 = 10 = 1]. 2008 is the start of a new nine year cycle, a year of new beginnings. One of the new beginnings, first evidenced toward the end of January, is the movement of Pluto, which has been transiting Sagittarius since 1995, into the Sign of Capricorn. For much of 2008, Pluto [with apologies for the human condition of anthropomorphizing] will have one foot in Capricorn, the other foot in Sagittarius, until Pluto moves into Capricorn towards the end of November for its multi-year transit of the Cardinal Earth Sign.

2008 is likely to be seen as a year when, both on an individual level and on a collective society level, the question is raised as to whether we have built upon rock or built upon sand. 2008 is a year when much of the fluff and the inconsequential may be washed away and we are asked, even forced, to focus on the true necessities and the essential fundamentals of living life.

January begins with two planets in a Fire Sign, four planets in Earth Signs, three planets in Air Signs and one planet in a Water Sign. There are four planets in Cardinal Signs, one planet in a Fixed Sign and five planets in Mutable Signs. Five planets are in positive Signs and five planets are in negative Signs.

The year starts off with a focus on practical application. We may be utilizing New Year resolutions to start up new projects, begin new activities and get involved in new interests. Our sense of continuity and desire for maintenance might be minimal at best. We could initiate, only to find our follow through to wane as we switch gears and focus on something else. This month could have us bopping and weaving, going from one thing to another, always seeking that particular thing that will alleviate our frustrations and enthuse new life into our daily activities.

By Sign, January starts with a Grand Trine in the Air Element and a T-Square in the Mutable Signs. Prospects and possibilities may dance in our heads, enticing us to try this and then try that. A tendency towards a high level of nervous energy could also have us acting from an attention deficit disorder whereby we can become very interested in something until our interest flags or we get bored and then need to find the next distraction or project to grab our interest.

We do start the month of January with a significant power pack. We have a stellium of three or more planets in one Sign in Capricorn with the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter all in the Cardinal Earth Sign. This combination can help us focus on our personal ambitions and even allow us to blueprint the groundwork by which we can realize our hopes and dreams. But going from concept into execution might be a little dicey, especially in light of the fact that we may all want it yesterday or the feeling that we would prefer a magic wand to wave by which to make our dreams come true rather than the persistence, perseverance and work to make our wishes a reality. This Stellium is also influenced by Pluto. Although still in Sagittarius, Pluto is within orb of connection with the Capricorn Stellium and may prove the determining point in regard to our initiations. If things don’t work for us on a deep level, have true meaning and purpose for us, then we may find that while initially enthused by something, we quickly step away from it.

The month also starts with two vexing energy configurations both of which are oppositions that can prove dynamic through their friction but also offer the opportunity that from tension a combination and blend of the two energies can bring about integration, change and transformation. The two oppositions operational at the start of January are:

1. Mars opposed Pluto exact on the 2nd in Gemini and Sagittarius respectively, an opposition that is reenacted at the time of the Pisces New Moon on March 7th but then with Mars in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn.

2. Saturn opposed Uranus, an opposition by orb of influence at the beginning of January and by Sign through all of 2008 with the opposition being exact on November 4th, Election Day in the US.

The Mars Pluto opposition can have more than champagne bottles popping to begin the year. This energy configuration is an intense one and asks that we not get caught up in the frenetic energies of these times but rather amidst the turmoil that we focus on those situations that truly have meaning and purpose for us. Like a volcanic eruption, this energy configuration can either be explosive or effusive but in either case can be dramatically transformational. Throughout much of January, thanks to this energy configuration, we may find that nothing is done in half measure but is rather an all or nothing scenario. Influenced by this pattern, storm systems could prove intense with high winds and extreme precipitation. There may be incidents of dramatic geophysical activity of volcanoes and earthquakes. Foreign affairs and domestic situations might go through significant turmoil. And in our personal lives, we might feel as though doors are closing, leaving us to question what doors or windows are likely to open.

The Saturn Uranus opposition speaks to the conflict between old and new, between the traditional and the avant garde. While it may raise the question of throwing baby out with bath water, what is being asked of us is to look to the future in a visionary manner, break free of the outmoded and no longer relevant past patterns, and to build a suspension bridge between the old and the new by not merely seeing the horizon beyond us but to calculate and measure the steps needed to take to arrive at our future goals. This pattern also asks us not to get stuck in the way that things should unfold. Instead, it is important for us to adapt the Taoist saying of ‘bend like a reed or break like an oak’ and become more adaptable to the changing circumstances along the way, embracing the process rather than the intended results.

Increasingly, we are likely to be reminded that humankind can no longer master the universe but rather be co-creator with the unfolding of natural processes. We might come to realize that we don’t have to do it all. Instead, we are moving into the paradigm shift of a time when things are likely to arise from out of the blue, the synchronicity of ‘asequential’ reality and the mystery, magic and miracles of unanticipated variables and interesting surprises. Further evidence may likely be given that we are at the end of the world as we know it. And within this new schematic lies the challenge and the opportunity for us to feel fine with the transformations in our lives.

While we may feel at times during this month as though we were on a hot griddle, or like a cat on a hot tin roof, the intensity of these times do allow us to consider and even structure new plans, new interests and new ways of doing things.

While the first week of January might be a good time to do an inventory taking of our lives and to get rid of the clutter and eliminate the superfluous from our lives, the Capricorn New Moon on the 8th allows us to put spirit into action and to begin to implement our goals. Mercury will have moved from Capricorn on the 7th and entered Aquarius. With the Aquarian Mercury aligned with the Capricorn New Moon which sextiles Uranus, we can have both the forethought and the innovative means to be more productive with less expenditure of energy. Some of us may be upgrading our IT systems at this time. Some of us may be looking at our future goals and laying the groundwork from which to base our operations in order to realize our dreams. Some of us may be considering how we can draw upon our past experience and our resume to look at new opportunities that are more reflective of whom we are becoming and where we are choosing to go.

Relationships can go through various twists and turns this month, largely due to the various Venus interactions. On the 6th, Venus squares Saturn. We might reconnect with people from our past or find that we, or the other person, is just a little too demanding and even being nitpicky. On the 12th, when Venus squares Uranus, we have to be careful that we don’t put our relationships through a ringer or expect other people to jump through hoops. The grass may seem greener elsewhere which could lead to infatuations or a desire to play the field. Once on the field, we might realize that we’re dealing with astroturf and not the real thing. The 16th has Venus sextile Neptune, a time when we could see our interactions from an idyllic perspective, seeing only the bright spots and the serendipity of our interchanges. The 19th has Venus opposed Mars and we could experience some tussles and intense discussions with people in our lives. On the 24th, just before Venus exits Sagittarius, Venus conjuncts Pluto. Our relationships can be incredibly passionate at this time or we may find that there is a parting of the ways. Venus then moves into Capricorn on the 24th and trines Saturn on the 29th. We can now be more content with the ‘tried and true’ in our relationships. Any desire to roam could be diminished as we focus on that which is both socially acceptable and those people that can benefit our ambitions.

On the 20th, the Sun moves into Aquarius creating a Stellium in the Fixed Air Sign as the Sun joins Mercury and Neptune in Aquarius. We have our ear to the railroad track, our finger on the pulse and we can foresee trends and give thought to our future plans. We may be more interested now in social action programs and get-togethers with friends. Group activities could beckon us as we look to broaden our scope.

The 21st has Jupiter trine Saturn. Not only can we expand our goals, we can do so in a pragmatic manner. We can see both the big picture and the details necessary to achieve our plans. Now is a time when we can accomplish much without glossing over the specifics.

The 22nd, a master number in numerology indicative of the master builder, has the Leo Full Moon at the same time that Mercury conjuncts Neptune. We are looking at being creative, expressing our individuality and enamored with the rapids of possibilities that may be flooding our mind. With a desire to be autonomous and free to call our own shots, we could easily be seduced by wish fulfillment, confuse real possibilities with grandiose illusions and spend the time meandering mentally through make believe scenarios.

On the 24th, Venus conjuncts Pluto and Venus then moves into Capricorn where it is joined by Pluto on the 25th. Pluto’s move into Capricorn will test the fundamentals and soundness of many of our structures — the structures in our own lives and the structures of society. We are moving into a time when we shall surely question, or have questioned for us, whether we have built upon rock or built upon sand. Anything that is not strong in substance can now easily be washed away.

On the 28th, Mercury turns retrograde, the first of this year’s three Mercury retrogrades. This Mercury retrograde lasts into the 18th of February. With this retrograde cycle, now is not a good time to make important decisions or significant purchases unless we have checked and re-checked to be certain that we’ve incorporated all important details and that there are neither misunderstandings or miscommunications. With Mercury retrograding through Aquarius, we could experience computer glitches and travel problems. Last winter’s Mercury retrograde had two incidents that made headlines: (1) the ten hour wait of Jet Blue passengers on the tarmac of JFK Airport in New York; (2) the twenty-four wait of passengers stuck on a Pennsylvania Interstate highway due to what Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell referred to as a breakdown in communications between state agencies. Mercury retrogrades some times replicate Murphy’s Law of ‘whatever can go wrong will’. Although we shouldn’t put our lives on hold during a Mercury retrograde, we do need to proceed cautiously, have our eyes wide open and check and recheck before moving forward.

The 30th has Mars turning direct. Our physical energy can be stronger and we may have various irons in the fire. While there could be a tendency for us to want to take on more and more, it would be wise to have a filtration process to see what truly works for us and what would only be busy work, keeping us involved, idling away with no real purpose to our activities.

This January can be a productive month when we can formulate the foundation stones of both our new year ahead and our future goals. Whether by choice or by chance, we may find that certain things are being eliminated from our lives. Inventory taking, clearing away the debris of the past and beginning to consider the new ingredients for our life and for our future can be much of the focus of this first month of this new year, the first year of this new nine year cycle.

January… out with the old, in with the new…

One Comment

  1. Janet Sunderland January 1, 2008 11:58 pm

    This morning, I wrote in my journal, “My life this since Christmas has been a Frank Don textbook case.” And it has. Slow down. Do what comes up instead of what you expect — all in the guise of family emergencies. Your words, even in retrospect (which is when I finally got to review them again) helped steady me. Thank you for your work.