January 2017

[Before leaving, check out my support links at the end of the article. – Carl]


For some months I have been constructing a wider narrative and trying to provide a broader astrological context. This month I want to focus more narrowly on the climactic astrological conditions of January 2017.

In October’s post I discussed the development of what I have called the oligarchic alignment at considerable length. Before that post and since I have been discussing the slow breakdown of this structure following a roughly forty year run.

Those interested in more background might check out October’s post and other recent posts (linked below). Or, for a more concise summary, you can check out the summary at the beginning of December’s post.

Currently, I am focusing on the two most recent phases of the oligarchic alignment’s breakdown, phases that I have called the rectification and the restoration/rebuilding phases.

In recent posts, I have discussed the energies of rectification, like those of the now rapidly fading mutable T-Square. This important T-Square began life in late 2015 with Jupiter and North Node in Virgo, Saturn in Sagittarius, Neptune in Pisces.

The effect of the mutable T-square was to make us more sensitive to issues of truth and falsity and logical rigor. It supported a practical, down-to-earth, hands on approach to analyzing and solving problems.

I also discussed the slow emergence of restorative and rebuilding energies – of planetary placements that support the reconstruction and reorganization of our lives.

Jupiter’s Libra ingress, for example, is restorative. We note that the economy has shown significantly more vitality since Jupiter entered Libra in September.

In November’s post, I discussed Mars in Aquarius. Mars in Aquarius has in fact facilitated protest and reform efforts.

We have a very long way to go, but activists and reformers are increasingly better able to acquire needed resources and coordinate efforts. On an individual level, people are finding the resources they need to bring order to their lives again.

Our life has taken on a crazy quilt pattern.

We can point to real progress on many fronts. We are fixing many little things about our lives. But so many other things are not working. We are overwhelmed by the sheer number, variety and scale of the problems before us.

Depending on where we focus, we see either improvement and reason for hope or pending apocalypse.

Lots of small things are going better. Still, it seems like new problems are developing faster than we have any realistic hope of solving them. The mistakes of centuries seem to be catching up with us; the problems of the whole world seem to be piling up in our front yard.

We can neither rectify our thinking nor restore the broken parts of our world. Debate does not so much resolve issues as confuse them.

This month, by focusing more closely on the details of January’s chart and taking a closer look at a subject from last month, I think I can better explain the astrological basis of the crazed textures and patterns of our current lives.

January 2017 – Multiplying Battle Lines

January’s charts do not promise relief. In fact, they bring a generous crop of powerfully conflicting aspects that work strongly against resolution.

January’s astrological conditions are far better suited to multiplying conflicts than resolving them. They are highly likely to bring bad answers to difficult questions.

What we say about January, though, applies to one degree or another to the whole of 2017 and to anything, like the Trump administration, that begins in January. By the same token, any light we can throw on the astrology of January will help us get through what is sure to be a crazy quilt year.

I think a closer look at the inner workings of January’s chart is, in fact, particularly revealing.

The Moon’s Nodes and the Virgo/Pisces Polarity

The causes of conflict and bad choices are woven deeply into the fabric of January’s charts. They have to do with the way the powerful Nodal Axis is woven into the charts.

The North Node points the way forward. It indicates the proper way to address all of the challenges in a given chart – challenges large and small, simple and complicated, short- and long-term. The South Node points the way backwards. It tells us how not to do things, what approaches we should avoid or abandon.

Neptune, for its part, is affecting the entire Nodal Axis adversely, forging the elements of the Nodal Axis into a single, deceptive, counterproductive dynamic, a dynamic whose most likely outcome will be to cultivate conflict and perpetuate or deepen error.

The purpose of the Nodal Axis is to drive events forward. Neptune threatens to turn the great power of the Nodal Axis against itself.

Virgo vs. Pisces

Virgo North Node urges us to utilize detailed factual observation and a down-to-earth, nose to the grindstone approach to issues. Other Virgo keywords apply here: mutuality, reciprocity, and exchange. Virgo is about the humble commerce and diligent work that builds family and community, the careful account keeping that goes with it.

To these workaday Virgoan notions, Pisces South Node opposes overly expansive, metaphysical, speculative ideas, and definitions, and vague abstract, fuzzy terms.

The universe rewards us for North Node, Virgoan choices. It penalizes us for South Node, Piscean choices. Basically, North Node, Virgoan choices will earn us positive synchronicity. South Node, Piscean choices earn us negative synchronicity. It’s a good time for Virgos to be winning arguments.

The South Node’s Unfair Advantage

Clearly, the North Node solution is the much preferred solution – the recommended choice. However, for most people, South Node solutions have much stronger natural appeal.

There is no mystery about this. The South Node calls into play skills and resources we already possess. They come much more easily to us.

The universe wants us to be moving forward, to be learning new things. From the point of view of the universe, then, choosing in favor of the South Node, as tempting as it is, is a step backwards. The universe will ultimately penalize us for taking backward steps.

A Too Typical Scenario

In general, in my experience, people usually discover the deceptiveness of South Node allure the hard way. They usually turn to their North Node after a crisis caused by a flirtation with their South Node, sometimes a lengthy flirtation.

When people see first hand, close up, the real cost of embracing the South Node, it makes a lasting impression. The blessed relief we experience when we finally turn to the North Node also makes a lasting impression. Once we have experienced the benefits of the North Node path, we are very hesitant to give them up.

We are far less likely to make the same mistake again. However, the learning curve can be steep.

The Less Trodden Path

The North Node represents the unknown, the future, the next thing, the as yet untried thing, the adventurous thing. North Node solutions generally require skills and resource we do not yet possess and must often work hard to acquire.

Typically, the North Node solution will mean long bouts of unglamorous, sometimes arduous work. We often have to start from scratch, learning required skills.

The universe will reward us generously for any steps we take down the North Node path. In fact, we often experience benefits immediately. But before we make the North Node choice, it is not at all clear to us that we have anything to gain by it.

The North Node path is very often an unfamiliar path. We need to overcome our natural resistance to set off on an unfamiliar path.

For all these reasons and more, people find the South Node path far more appealing than the North Node path.

Neptune to the Nth Degree

The long and the short of it is that, given the way our experience with the Moon’s Nodes normally plays out, the odds are naturally weighted in favor of a South Node option. Neptune’s conjunction with the South Node further strengthens its deceptive appeal. It puts a thumb on scales already heavily weighted in favor of the South Node.

Neptune’s deceptive allure will compound the South Node’s strong natural appeal. Neptune’s opposition to the North Node will also obscure the subtle benefits of North Node solutions.

In January 2017, then, Neptune in Pisces will amplify the risks and challenges posed by the Virgo/Pisces Polarity by dramatically and consistently increasing the likelihood of wrong moves.

The Nodal Axis vs. the Dispositorship

In all cases, the North Node points you in the right direction. The South Node always points you in the wrong direction. The logic of the Moon’s Nodes is a constant and a given.

Depending on their placement, however, the planets can support or oppose the momentum of the Moon’s Nodes. Neptune’s conjunction with the South Node and its opposition to the North Node, for example, biases us strongly in favor of bad, South Node solutions.

January’s Aspects

January brings us the worst of all possible worlds. Planetary aspects bring us a generous crop of conflicts and challenges. And underlying planetary relationships bias us strongly in favor of South Node solutions.

The following difficult aspects will generate rancorous conflict in January. They are all but guaranteed to bring the opposite of consensus.

~ January 1, Mars conjoins Neptune; zealotry, fanaticism, extremism.

~ January 7, Sun conjoins Pluto; Full Moon opposes Sun/Pluto; vigorous power struggles ensue.

~ January 10, Sun squares Uranus; change is difficult. People feel a baseline mistrust of and resistance to change.

~ January 12, Sun squares Jupiter; financial conditions out of balance.

~ January 12, At the Full Moon, a Grand Square in Cardinal Signs; conflict blocks consensus. Agreement is very elusive if not impossible.

~ January 17, Mars conjoins Chiron; illness, injury, violence; disorienting realizations and destabilizing expansions of consciousness; social and psychological dysfunction.

~ January 19, Mars squares Saturn; extreme impatience.

~ January 28, At the New Moon, T-square in Cardinal Signs; conflict undermines consensus, blocks progress.

(All times UT.)

January’s charts are a set up for bitter, intense, lengthy clashes and bad choices. They demand that we make important and difficult choices under difficult conditions and under astrological circumstances that all but encourage bad, south node choices.

Neptune’s Dubious Disposition

Of those dispositor charts that I cast for January, Neptune is the sole dispositor on the following dates, a representative sampling. In each case, Neptune brings its South Node bias to the chart. There were similar dispositor charts at the New and Full Moons in December 2016.

~ Midnight on New Year’s Eve.

~ Full Moon chart on January 12, Neptune shares the dispositorship with the Full Moon.

~ Inauguration Day, noon January 20

~ New Moon on January 28.

As pointed out just above, the planets in the chart are affected by difficult, conflicted aspects. Each is also heavily entangled in the illogic of Neptune’s flawed relationship to the Nodal Axis.

Between the innate strength of the Nodal Axis itself and Neptune’s prominence in the dispositor charts, the illogic of Neptune’s flawed relationship to the Nodal Axis is all but burned into the chart and we are unlikely to escape its influence.

Hope rests in our ability to see through the false appeal of South Node thinking and to embrace the North Node challenges. That is a lot easier said than done.

The only sense I can make of these charts is to see them as a final test of our ability and our willingness to see through and transcend the errors of Pisces thinking as we move into the Aquarian age.


As part of a continuing effort to keep my astrology work accessible to all, I am posting a link to my Google+ profile for those who might find it useful as an alternative to FB.


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