Winter 2015-2016

This winter allows us to realize how far we have come over the recent past. Even though we may have scraped our knees, been hit with a lateral lobotomy by a whack on the side of the head, not only are we still standing. We have come a long way, baby.

This winter can have us putting together in a focused and well-presented manner the many varied things we have learned through the school of hard knocks that we might have experienced over the past seven years.

Few people have been able to skate through easily or quickly these past few years. All of us may have experienced significant bumps in the road, sometimes feeling like falling into a chasm. But here we are at the winter season of 2015-2016.

I would suggest we have not only survived our different transitions but we have thrived through our own personal transformations.

The landscape of our lives could seem similar to that of our past, but it is we who have changed and changed dramatically. Even if our lives bear strong resemblance to our past, we have grown within ourselves and are ready to take our lives to the next level. The outer shell may seem the same, but the inner workings are churning.

This winter allows us to draw upon what we have gained from the roller coaster and whipsaws of our recent experiences and look for new venues and investigate different avenues in which to express our new sense of self.

The winter solstice in the northern latitudes celebrates the birth of light within the darkness, and the winter season gives evidence of our growing into the light as the days grow longer and the light dispels the darkness.

We begin the winter season with a Stellium of three planets in Capricorn and an Earth Grand Trine. Whatever resolutions for the impending new year we may make are likely to be well considered with an appealing blend of appearance in their presentation and a well-structured format with all details attended to. We are looking to put our spirit into action during the forthcoming year.

We also begin the year with the Mutable Sign T-Square that we have been going through since September and will continue through the summer of 2016. This T-Square with Jupiter transiting Virgo, Saturn transiting Sagittarius and Neptune transiting Pisces has stoked the extreme volatility of these times. To some large degree we have experienced and are likely to continue to experience what Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in a poem about a little girl:

When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

That sentiment pretty much sums up the way we might feel in regard to our days under the influence of the Mutable Sign T-Square. We have certainly witnessed these extreme volatilities in the equity markets with days when the markets go up extremely high, other days when the markets sink extremely low.

The challenge for all of us, a lifelong challenge for each of us punctuated now by this energy configuration, is a question of balance and trying to maintain equilibrium during these wildly metronome-like times.

While the Mutable Sign T-Square can heighten our anxiety and may have us realize that stability and solidity is but a hopeful concept in our mind, this T-Square also provides a dynamic, an ability to act or react quickly and dramatically. Significant changes can occur in a very short period of time. In order to walk the balance beam of this energy configuration, it is essential we engage the key elements for these times: awareness, mindfulness, adaptability and flexibility.

The early part of the winter season can seem quite pleasant and enjoyable. We may be engaged in holiday gatherings, seasonal events, and get-togethers with family and friends.

Despite the craziness occurring in the world-at-large, we are likely to shut out its static and focus instead on creating pleasantries in our personal realm.

The Winter Solstice occurs on the 21st – 22nd as the Sun exits Sagittarius to enter the Cardinal Earth Sign of Capricorn.

This Christmas week into the New Year has Venus sextile Jupiter on the 24th, followed by the Cancer Full Moon on Christmas Day, the 25th, when Mercury trines Jupiter and Uranus turns direct. The 29th has the Sun sextile Neptune and Mercury square Mars. The 30th has Venus exiting Scorpio, a Sign of its Detriment where Venus has not been especially comfortable, to enter Sagittarius. And the 1st of January has Mercury exiting Capricorn to enter Aquarius.

This early winter allows us to be upbeat and optimistic. We are looking for good times with good friends and shutting out all the external noise that would intrude upon our good intentions. We can feel as though we are traipsing through a winter wonderland with the sparkly lights and holiday decorations and without a care in the world.

Should someone puncture our ‘feel good’ attitude, we can turn snarky and critical. Somewhat akin to the extreme volatility of these times, we can flip from being exuberant and generous one moment to surly and Grinch-like the next, and we can shift in virtually a nanosecond of time.

Let’s allow ourselves a ‘time out’ from our frustrations or any sense of overload and just enjoy the magic of this seasonal holiday.

As we come into January, things can turn somewhat intense. The 3rd of January has Mars exiting Libra to enter its own Sign of Scorpio. We may feel more passionate, but our passion can turn to an ability and willingness to cut anyone off at the knees.

The first week of January has Mars entering Scorpio on the 3rd, followed on the 5th by Mercury square Mars, Mercury turning retrograde, Venus square Neptune and the Sun conjunct Pluto.

People may be feeling their oats but with a liability towards misinterpreting signals and expressing desires with a self-centered orientation and overblown intensity. We might all have a chip on our shoulder and taunting someone to knock it off.

This early part of 2016 can have us champing at the bit, wanting to get on with it, and looking to the promises of change that we assume a new year affords.

We may look to clear the decks, rid ourselves of the clutter with the affirmation that once we create some space, new and different and exciting things can come our way.

This desire for change that will provide us greater freedom of movement, increase our autonomy and allow us to journey more in accord with our heartfelt wishes could prove obsessive. We might try a little too hard to make the change we wish to be. And therein lies the rub — our attempt to control situations rather than allowing things to unfold in their own natural rhythm, in their own natural accord.

We might believe that we can make things happen, force matters to our will, but such a disposition buys into the old mindset of the old paradigm. As we enter this new year of 2016, a 9 year in numerology, it is important for us to acknowledge and appreciate the dance between old and new.

On the one hand, we want to engage the magic and miracles of the new paradigm of asequential reality. On the other hand, we want the unexpected and serendipity to act in accord with our desires, our hopes and our wishes. So much for letting go of control and being co-creators with the universal unfolding!

Yes, the challenge of this year will be how we place ourselves within the midst of our conditions and our circumstances. We may choose to steer our craft but we may need to acknowledge that the navigator lies beyond our personal control, that the navigator is in truth the natural unfolding of our life path.

In this beginning of 2016, we might feel as though we are tied in with ‘same old, same old’. We might assume that nothing has changed, that the landscape of our lives is the same as it has been. And there might be truth to that reality, and we could feel gravely disappointed, but we would also be discounting the enormous change that has gone on within us, inside of us, the internal stirrings of growth, transition, change and transformation.

First, the internal workings and then come the external expressions.

The 7th of January has the Sun square Uranus and Jupiter turning retrograde. We may feel ever more in harness of our normal responsibilities, the daily tasks with which we are so familiar. No matter how we might rail against our situation, we might still have to deal with the hand dealt us.

The 8th of January has Mercury exiting Aquarius to go back into Capricorn, and Venus conjunct Saturn. We could have the sense that we are doing the Texas two-step of one step forward, two steps back, two steps forward, one step back. We might feel as though we are going nowhere but moving slightly forward, slightly backwards, but always in place.

The Capricorn New Moon on the 9th of January can be a powerful one. This Capricorn New Moon has the Stellium in Capricorn trine Jupiter and square Uranus. We might realize that we have to deal with first things first. Although we may be unable to forge ahead as quickly as we might like, we can also deal with things in a focused, systematic manner, taking things step by step to advance our interests without glossing over relevant matters or skipping important details. Instead, we can put things neatly together and present our goals in an attractive and appealing package. Our talents and our abilities could be acknowledged, and we might have someone who suggests a project or involvement that allows us to express our creative talents.

Under the influence of January’s New Moon, the following week seems highly buoyant with new connections possibly established and with our feeling that nothing could possibly go wrong. The euphoria might be intoxicating but we have to be wary of irrational exuberance and maintain in mind the volatility of these times — when it’s good, it can be great; when it’s bad, it can be terrible.

The 12th of January has Venus trine Uranus. The 13th has the Sun trine Jupiter, followed on the 14th with the Sun conjunct Mercury and Mercury trine Jupiter. Urged on by someone we may have just met or egged on by a situation that seductively draws us in, we could make great leaps, feeling confident and expectant of a successful outcome.

This ‘feel good’ quality can continue through this mid-January period, as the energies on the 12th through the 14th are given a greater push the following week as Venus squares Jupiter and Mars trines Neptune on the 18th, Mercury squares Uranus and the Sun enters Aquarius on the 20th, Mercury conjuncts Pluto on the 22nd, culminating with the Leo Full Moon on the 23rd when Venus exits Sagittarius to enter Capricorn.

We may feel as though we are operating on greased wheels and take on ever more during that time without fully taking into account the trajectory on which we are operating nor the liability of unexpected hiccups along the way. If we rein in our blind faith confidence, maintain our focus and do our due diligence, we could avoid some of the pitfalls of unexpected situations that might otherwise derail us.

Nonetheless, January of 2016 can be a time when we advance our interests and can make hay while the sun shines. Let’s bear in mind that much of the month is under the influence of the Mercury retrograde. We need to avoid making superficial assessments and realize that Mercury retrogrades bring into play Murphy’s Law of ‘whatever can go wrong could go wrong’.

Mercury turns direct on the 25th of January, although we are under its ‘shadow’ [the retracing of the space through which Mercury retrograded] until the 14th of February. We shall need to keep our antennae up during this six-week period from the first week of January through mid-February, for appearance and reality might not always mesh.

As Mercury turns direct, Mercury will trip off with a third time over some of its earlier, and often difficult energies. Mercury conjuncts Pluto on the 30th of January, the energy configuration that Mercury triggered initially back on December 19th and again on January 22nd. And Mercury squares Uranus on the 31st of January, the energy configuration that Mercury triggered initially back on December 20th and again on January 20th.

Let’s keep in mind the Law of Three, that often the energy configuration is strongest the first time over, allows for a review and greater comprehension as the planet retrogrades back over that configuration, and finalizes by offering greater comprehension of what is being asked of us by this particular energy configuration the third time over.

We have had some awakenings, some epiphanies of consciousness and increased awareness in regards to our selves and how we are doing our life. We may have seen alternate options for ourselves and given serious thought as to how we can shift and transform what we are doing and how we are doing it. We might have a realization as to what stands in our way and what we need to be rid of in order to streamline our lives and concentrate ever more on what we now consider to be the essential elements in our living.

At the same, it would be important for us to appreciate that there are times when we go through situations and are offered important lessons, but the understanding of those lessons come at a later time when the nickel drops and we have that ah-ha moment of greater understanding from a fresh perspective undaunted by the immediate experience of the events.

The 30th of January not only has Mercury conjunct Pluto but also Venus sextile Neptune. Our mind is likely to be sharp and laser-like even to the point of cutting away the niceties of conversation and liabilities to being overbearing, perhaps even belligerent. Fortunately, our appearance can belie the intensity of our ideas and the way we express our opinions, as we seek to present our case in an appealing and pleasant manner. It may be a case of the iron fist inside the velvet glove.

Early February can continue a rather pleasant advance. We have the passion and the determination to virtually move mountains without ruffling many feathers. We can be passionate and determined about what we are doing and the way we are accomplishing things.

The 3rd of February has Mars sextile Pluto and the Sun sextile Saturn. We can be resourceful and focused on our goals as we expand our interests and broaden our involvements. We may be looking at what best serves us as we determine to utilize only those things and people that can forward our plans.

Venus conjuncts Pluto on the 5th of February, followed on the 6th by the Sun sextile Uranus, Mercury trine Jupiter, and Venus square Uranus. The Sun squares Mars while Venus sextiles Mars on the 7th.

While we may be feeling upbeat and confident of our movement, it would be wise for us to accept the reality that very few things in life are solely a straight-line trajectory. We may find that the distance between two points is not a straight line but rather in true reality a zig-zag projectory. In the Jewish mystical system of the Kabbalah, movement between the sephiroth is between the two outer pillars until balance is reached in the middle pillar and in ascension at Tiphareth, when we come to the Center and the christed consciousness.

And so it is for our lives. Akin to a metronome, we tend to go between extremes until we find the balance point, the equilibrium point, the middle pillar in the Kabbalah, the middle path in Buddhism.

During this period of February 3rd through the 7th we may have to hopscotch in our actions and engage the tai chi movements working with the energies, all the while trying to maintain our balance and our equilibrium.

Maintaining equilibrium during these volatile times can be a challenge, but we have had much practice over the past seven years.

February 8th has the Aquarius New Moon and the beginning of the Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey. The auspices for this year based upon Chinese astrology are for a fast-paced, energetic year of risk-taking and grand adventures. There will be nothing static about the status quo, for this year promises to be a dynamic time. Upheavals could occur and the dynamics of the earth can be more evident with earthquake and volcanic activity and intense storm systems that may wreak havoc with the human population. This is a year when well-considered decisions and decisive actions can reap massive benefits. We just have to maintain flexibility and adaptability to shifting conditions and be ever aware, mindful and cognizant of changing circumstance.

Just as the Chinese New Year promises great opportunities within chaotic situations, the astrology of this winter season offers us the opportunity to make great headway in our ambitions. We just have to counter any irrational exuberance and over enthusiasm, watch the details as we go step-by-step but never negating keeping an eye on the distant horizon of our intended goals.

The 10th of February has Venus trine Jupiter with Mars sextile Jupiter on the 13th, the day that Mercury exits Capricorn to enter Aquarius. Social interactions can assist in achieving results and opening new doors for us to realize our goals. From suggestions made by someone, we can pursue our dreams in a resourceful manner, all the while having the optimism and confidence that we can actually realize our intended destination.

The end of January through mid-February is a great time for us to do what needs to be done regarding our present activities and projects, all the while that we are giving thought to our future plans and where we want to go in the days ahead.

The first six weeks of our winter season allow us to have our feet firmly planted on the ground and, once feeling solid and stabilized, we can then have our head in the clouds and reach for the stars.

New connections can be made as Venus exits Capricorn to enter Aquarius on the 16th of February. We may have drawn upon people we have trusted as solid sounding boards for our strategies and to provide encouragement for our efforts. Now, we are likely to be looking to new connections, those people who are marching to their own drummer, entrepreneurial in spirit, doing their own thing and unencumbered by the rules and regulations of the past paradigm.

This mid-February into the Spring is a time when we may take on a more universal overtone. We might have been concentrating on laying down the foundation stones for future projects earlier in the winter season, but the last six weeks of the winter season can have us doing a stretch into considering different possibilities that we might engage as early as this coming Spring season with its annual promise of renaissance.

The Sun exits Aquarius to enter Pisces on the 19th of February, followed by the Virgo Full Moon on the 22nd.

As the personal planets move into Pisces, first the Sun on the 19th of February, then Mercury on the 5th of March, followed by Venus on the 12th of March; the Mutable Sign T-Square that we have dealt with since the beginning of this past Autumn and will continue to deal with through the Summer of 2016 is reinforced.

The volatility of ups and downs can be ratcheted up severalfold with extremes of irrational exuberance and devastating despair. The key to sanity will be to minimize the extreme emotional mood swings and maintain some semblance of balance with our emotions.

With the increasing Pisces energies during this latter part of the Winter, we may feel more emotional, moody and sometimes feeling out of our body. We can be like a dry sponge taking to water, soaking up the vibes of those around us and influenced by what is going on in the world-at-large.

We may not be totally spacey at the end of February thanks to Mercury transiting Aquarius sextile to Saturn on the 25th and Mercury sextile Uranus on the 26th. We can devise a well-structured format by which to expand our interests, and we could draw upon innovative techniques and technologies to streamline our operations. This is also a time to reach out to people from our past for their assessment of our projected plans and also to broaden our social circle with exciting new types of people who are doing their own thing and mirror our own interest in developing new trajectories for ourselves that reflect where we want to go and not merely where we have been.

On the 28th of February, the Sun conjuncts Neptune. Our spiritual nature can be enhanced but like the Pisces symbol of the interlocking fishes with one fish swimming up towards the spiritual realm, the other fish swimming down into the physical plane; we can feel torn between our sensitive nature and our ego personality. We could find ourselves in a world of confusion, questioning who we really are and wondering if we are truly on the right path for our journey.

Just as Mercury had recently done before, Venus triggers the sextiles to Saturn and Uranus, first with Venus sextile Saturn on the 29th of February and then Venus sextile Uranus on the 2nd of March. The comparison between old and new by the Mercury trigger may have been in regard to our mindset and our comparison of our old involvements and new trajectories with a hope to create a suspension bridge between the two. The Venus trigger can have us reconnecting with old friends, contacting even those far afield, yet also looking for those serendipitous encounters where we meet someone exciting by happenchance.

The weekend of March 5th – 6th could prove a real whipsaw. On the 5th of March, Mercury in Aquarius squares Mars in Scorpio, just prior to Mercury entering Pisces and Mars entering Sagittarius, both of which planetary movements will put more weight behind the Mutable Sign T-Square.

Relationships could prove somewhat dicey at this time, both as a result of our own personal confusion about whatever is going on and by the increased volatility whereby things can shift on a dime — not only conditions and circumstances but also our moods and emotions.

The 6th of March has the Sun square Saturn and the Sun sextile Pluto. We may feel weighted down by our obligations and responsibilities. Any sense of overload can be mitigated by our prioritizing our affairs and by clearing away the clutter. We could have outstanding matters to complete and now would be a time for us to do so. Although we might be liable to being tripped up by old issues, we have the ability of cutting away the dross and focusing on creating space for new initiations.

The Spring season is forthcoming in two weeks, the Vernal Equinox being astrology’s new year and with it the springtime rebirth, renaissance and new beginnings.

The Pisces New Moon on the 8th is a Solar Eclipse with the Sun opposed Jupiter. With the New Moon influencing the next two weeks, and the Solar Eclipse even longer, the Mutable Sign T-Square is heavily in play through the end of the Winter season.

Mercury conjuncts Neptune on the 11th of March, Venus exits Aquarius to enter Pisces on the 12th, Mercury squares Saturn and Venus squares Mars on the 14th, and Mercury opposes Jupiter on the 15th.

Our emotions and thoughts may be tossed about from the Pisces New Moon through the end of Winter. If we can maintain a handle on the energies and not get swept up by the extreme volatilities of these times, our intuitive sense could be strengthened and we might find a way or ways to transform the crazy-making maze into a focused and centered labyrinth.

This ability to create a masterpiece from the messy ingredients may be encouraged by Mercury sextile Pluto on the 15th and by Jupiter trine Pluto on the 16th of March.

The winter begins with us able to virtually move mountains in accomplishing plans and getting ever closer to realizing our goals. As the Winter progresses, the energy picks up, triggering a greater dynamic and in the process a liability to increased anxiety.

It would be wise for us to always remember the true saying that ‘we never get more than we can handle.’

Winter 2015-2016… Highly Productive in a Swirl of Influences…