New Year Fireworks: The Astrology of January 2018

As an esoteric astrologer, I tend to see the first month of a new year as a tone-setting month for that year as a whole. January 2018, book-ended as it is by two full moons on the first and the last days of the month (and the second full moon is a total lunar eclipse–more on that in a bit), is a powerful month, indeed. True to its namesake of the liminal Roman god of doorways, Janus, the month will have us starting out facing the past (Cancer full moon on the 1st) in order to set our intentions for the future (Capricorn New Moon on the 16th and Leo total lunar eclipse full moon on the 31st). The fact that no less than 6 planets will be in Capricorn at the time of the New Moon on the 16th means that heavy Saturnian forces are at work to make sure that all of our aspirations firmly pass needed reality-checks before they can be set into motion. Personally, as a Virgo-Double-Aquarius, I’m loving what I see, as the end result will be liberation—from the debris of stagnant energies that clogged our progress in 2017, from falsehood, and from self-imposed limitations. If we play the energies right, the first month of the new year will have us learning to master the art of getting out of our own way!

The innocence of sleeping children

Dressed in white and slowly dreaming

Stops all time

—The Cure, “Primary” (1981)

Happy New Year! Dispatches from the Cancer Full Moon on 1/1/2018

On the first night of the new year—8:24 p.m. to be exact (note: all times given are set for Central Standard Time, so adjust to fit your time zones accordingly)—we’re greeted by the nurturing, full face of the moon at 8° of Cancer, opposing the immensely powerful stellium of the Sun, Saturn, Pluto, and Venus in Capricorn. Family-oriented, maternal, domestic Cancer—the sign ruled by the Moon—encourages us to focus on self-care and immerse ourselves in nurturing, nourishing waters; the Water element is given a huge boost by a Grand Trine in Water Signs, with the Cancer Moon trining Neptune in Pisces and Jupiter and Mars in Scorpio. This is a potent, heady brew of intuitive insights and applied mysticism—fellow witches and Pagans, make the most of this energy for ritual!

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 1.36.43 PM

The feminine, Cancer current finds its balance with the intensely masculine energies of Capricorn. The realm of the domestic competes for our attention with the Capricornian realm of ambition, worldly accomplishment, and status. Venus in Capricorn knows that this is a time to see and be seen, to show off what one prizes, but fickle encounters and cheap thrills simply won’t do: Capricorn’s mantra is “build to last,” so everything related to love and finances reflects the rewards gained after the investments of time, energy, and resources over the long haul. This is Saturn’s karmic modus operandi.

The Water energy from the Grand Trine nourishes the soil of the planets in Capricorn, asking all of us to hold onto our visions for what we want to create, ensuring that we’re solidly grounded to bring our Spirit-blessed ideals into the world of form (Saturn).

Uranus Direct and All Systems Go from 1/2/17—3/8/2017

The very next morning (8:13 a.m. CST), Uranus “the Awakener,” the planet of shock and awe, stations direct at 24° of Aries, and this marks something noteworthy: all planets in the zodiac will be moving direct until the first week of March! It’s rare for all of the planets to be moving forward together for longer than a month, so take advantage of this time as a Cosmic Green Light to get those New Year’s Resolutions underway!

The Will to Power

There is a lot of planetary activity from the first week of the month that builds in intensity and sets the stage for the powerful Capricorn New Moon at 8:17 p.m. the night of January 16, and in many ways it’s this New Moon that will feel more like the actual start of the New Year, as new projects commenced at this time will find tremendous support to yield rich dividends over a long period of time. To begin with, Mars and Jupiter will be exact in their Scorpio conjunction (at 18°) on January 6, sextiling the Sun, Venus, and Pluto in Capricorn in the process (this lasts until the 10th). Impressive enough on its own, this powerhouse of planetary aspects throws the transformative energy into profound high gear when, three days later on the 9th, there will be a triple conjunction of Venus, the Sun, and Pluto in 19° of Capricorn.

This is arguably the apex of energy for the month and one of the high points for all of 2018. Plutonian power plays aimed at transformation, augmented by passionate Mars in Scorpio (where Mars is thrilled to be) and expansive, luck-bringing, “Big Daddy” Jupiter in Their conjunction, will begin and churn their way well below the surface of conscious awareness only to be fully brought out into the light. This is intense but supportive energy for doing Shadow work, for processing and releasing personal trauma, for being fully present and authentic in all areas of intimacy (emotional and sexual), and for simply doing an Epic Reboot of Your Life. What and who has outworn its value, served its purpose, taught you your lesson so you can fully be free and move on into the next level of personal evolution? It’s time to push the plunger and detonate; it’s time to bring the hidden into light and fully deal with it. Screw Neptunian denial—Scorpionic and Capricornian energies won’t have it! What we resist, persists—hence the only way to be truly free is to accept, seize the reins of our personal power (if we’ve foolishly handed them over to anything or anyone external to ourselves) and transform for the better. The Universe has got your back!

Mercury Joins the Stellium of Planets in Capricorn: More “Get ‘er Done” Mojo!

The fleet-footed Messenger of the Gods, my beloved ruling planet and Chief God honored in my home’s Polytheistic cultus, enters Capricorn at 11:09 p.m. CST on January 10. He joins the Sun, Saturn, Venus, and Pluto. Our mental focus is acute, and our thoughts turn to long-range planning. This is an excellent time to negotiate a pay raise at work, apply for a job or interview well for a new one, apply for a loan, or otherwise secure a long-term investment such as real estate. We’ve got money on the mind and Venus aids the negotiation process by making us likable and charming. Mercury and Saturn make sure that the terms are clearly stated, the fine print read and understood by all, and the deal a successful one.

Mercury will conjunct Saturn exactly at 2° of Capricorn on January 12, allowing us to express ourselves in the realm of worldly status with aplomb and an economy of words. Again, make the most of this energy for finalizing business negotiations.

The Capricorn Stellium Squares Off Against Uranus in Aries

When I describe the energies of Uranus to folks new to astrology but who aren’t new to Paganism, discussions of Norse Deities often arise. I tend to liken Uranian aspects in charts to the deeds of Loki as we have inherited them in the thirteenth-century Poetic and Prose Eddas of Snorri Sturluson: much of Loki’s behavior seems impulsive and reckless, causes temporary chaos amongst the Aesir and the Vanir, but in the end turns out to have served a higher, better purpose than one could have expected at the time.


Loki with the Rhine Maidens (1901), by Arthur Rackham. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

That’s how Uranus’ bolt-from-the-blue activities seem to express themselves: the warnings often nonexistent and the effects life-altering, and while they may be jarring at the time that they happen, in hindsight we see that they were operating for our highest good all along.

The squares to Uranus in Aries from Capricorn begin with Mercury on January 13—the Battle of the Tricksters!—and continue with the Capricorn Sun the following day. Venus squares Uranus on January 27. What are the ways that this can play out? Since Uranus rules electricity and thus innovative technologies, it might not be too far-fetched to expect unsettling news arriving via email, or a breakdown in equipment that prevents needed communication from getting across. Some revelation might surface that we just were hoping not to hear. Venus’ square can bring a love of weird people into our lives (they may or may not have Aquarius prominent in their charts), and fast, from social circles or backgrounds that we might never have expected. That square can also bring a desire to enter into kinky sexual territory, so enjoy!

New Moon in Capricorn on 1/16/2018

As I’ve stated earlier, the New Moon in Capricorn will feel more like the de facto start to 2018 than January 1 will. It will be exact at 9:17 the night of January 16, and will showcase the impressive 6-planet stellium of Capricornian energy (the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Pluto). Make sure all your intentions are realistic and set them in motion; this is a major Cosmic Green Light to GO! The squares to Uranus in Aries further compel you to make needed, grounded, life-altering changes and to 100% own your authority, work with your own power to manifest your desires.

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 3.23.35 PM

From Earth to Air: Welcome, Aquarius!

A mere 10 hours afterwards, the Moon will sojourn into Aquarius. Graceful Venus follows suit and enters Aquarius at 7:44 p.m. on the 17th, switching Her Earthy, Capricornian power-suit for a lab technician’s white Aquarius coat. Venus in Aquarius is intellectual and somewhat emotionally detached, prioritizing friendship at the root of romance and enjoying wide social circles; She excels at networking, fundraising events (Aquarius is the sign known for its humanitarianism), and being somewhat aloof in close one-on-one relationships. She needs Her independence and She’ll graciously breeze Her way past the slightest indications of clinginess from a lover.

The Sun enters Aquarius on the night of the 19th at 9:09 CST, emphasizing the progressive, group-oriented idealism of the Sign of the Water-Bearer. For the next month, the spotlight shines on innovative technology, having a social conscience, quirkiness, people in groups (friends or associations), and that paradox of emotional detachment with full soul engagement. The Sun is said to be at its detriment or “fall” position in Aquarius, as Aquarius is directly opposite Leo, the sign ruled by the Sun. The challenge at this time is to ensure that we fully balance head and heart in our interactions with others.

Other Aspects of Note Leading Up to the Full Moon Eclipse

Meanwhile, back in Capricorn World, Mercury conjuncts powerful Pluto at 20° of Capricorn on January 24. This is literally and figuratively Mercury the Psychopomp ferrying messages from the Lord of the Underworld. What revelations from your subconscious will emerge at this time? Keep a dream journal, propitiate your Gods of the Underworld and your beloved ancestors, perform séances, lead (if you have the skills to) or otherwise participate in shamanic journeys to the Otherworld. Record all messages you receive! The effects of such activities will be acutely transformative.

On January 26, action-oriented Mars leaves the intense waters of Scorpio and heads into the optimistic, fiery domain of Sagittarius. Believe it or not, Mars would prefer to stay in Scorpio, even though Sagittarius is a Fire Sign and Mars rules fiery Aries. Mars in Sagittarius sets His sights on far-off horizons, and attaining the goal isn’t nearly as important as enjoying the journey. Long-distance travel, higher education, philosophical pursuits, religious discussions and activities, publishing, teaching, and even lawsuits receive a favorable boost from this Martian transit, which lasts until March 16. You’ll really feel the effects if you have any planets in your chart in Sagittarius.

Mercury in Capricorn squares Uranus in Aries on January 27, wondering what other areas of our lives need to have drastic changes made to them. We’re ready for them, so embrace them fully. It’s also highly possible to receive unexpected or even jarring news on this day. Again, it’s nothing that isn’t for your ultimate good, so fear not and shake hands with the Joker.

Full Moon Total Lunar Eclipse at 11° of Leo on January 31

The month ends on a dramatic high note with this Leo full moon eclipse, which occurs at 8:26 in the morning (CST). This will be the first of 5 eclipses in the year, and given the heavy, Underworld-laden energies of Saturn in His home sign of Capricorn (a transit that lasts until 2020) and Jupiter transiting Scorpio (until November 8, 2018), you can bet that there will be major revelations reported in the news (Jupiter-in-Scorpio’s work) that result in high-level dismantling and restructuring from the ground up (Saturn’s specialty). Know that whatever passes out of your life is meant to; hopefully we can all come to realize the wisdom of Dostoevsky’s 1864 novella, Notes from Underground, whose protagonist likes to declare that “Sometimes, it is very important to smash things, too.”

This eclipse is a footnote to last August’s powerful total solar eclipse at 28° of Leo (which I had the pleasure to see in its totality in southern Illinois). What has been eclipsed from your life since then? Or, what has radically shifted? Leo rules the heart and asks us to operate from a heart-centered space with others, to be magnanimous in our loving generosity, and to exude true leadership. What impediments stand in your way to acting like the King or Queen in your own life? How can you maximize the eclipse energies to remove those obstacles so you can stand fully in your personal power, your heart-centric truth? That’s the message of this eclipse. Obviously, if you have personal planets in your own chart near the 11° mark of Leo (or Aquarius, Leo’s opposite sign), you will experience the effects of this eclipse more acutely than others.

The slight caution surrounding this eclipse is that the Leo Full Moon will form a quincunx to illusory Neptune, encouraging us to fully pay attention so that we don’t wind up being duped, whether in business dealings or in affairs of the heart.

Questions About How the Stars Will Affect You in 2018? Let Me Cast Your Chart for You!

So, as you’ve discovered after reading this lengthy post, the first month of 2018 will have quite a great deal of fireworks being set off, making for a very interesting year of “get real, or get out!” with Saturn as a leading player. If you’re curious as to how the transits and aspects I’ve written about above will affect you personally, contact me to have your chart done! We can look at your transits for the next 12 months, your progressed chart, readings for couples’ charts…you name it, and we’ll do it! If you don’t live in Chicago and can’t see me in person for a reading, no problem: I do most of my work on Skype. Feel free to email me, Anna, at jackalmoondesignsatgmaildotcom and all I’ll need is your date, time, and location of birth to get started. I’d be happy to put my Virgo Superpowers of Analysis to work for you!

Have a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! Please remember to celebrate safely and appoint a designated driver if you’re planning on being out tonight! (I know I’ll be giving my Lyft driver a generous tip!)

Blessings to you and yours! Thank you for reading my blog and I’ll see you in 2018! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s