This year begins with a death rattle and the cries of a woman giving birth. The sounds fill and confuse the air, composing an uncomfortably layered track. Such is the song of 2019, which will only grow louder in 2020.
Legions of tortured ghosts mix with brilliant visions of human triumphs guaranteed but not yet achieved. Promised Land panoramas transposed atop dystopian nightmare landscapes hurt the mind with their simultaneity. Empires of Cruelty past come into view, collective phantoms which threaten to possess the present, yet the torches of a legion of heroes blaze with a ghost light that has already banished the darkness. Birth pangs and death throes come in waves, rhythmic and with increasing acuity. The overlaps and contradictions provide headaches, and make it hard to anticipate what might actually lie ahead. There is an era beyond this one, but it is obscured by the smog of the time.
This is the land we’re travelling. We thought it might be a place we could settle, but we were wrong. This is a chapter in our Book of Exodus, the hard trail between one era and another. These are the sights and sounds of the road our caravan walks, and we’d best not stop. Our destination awaits.
The Elemental Era
The Middle of the End
Astrology frames time in cycles. Some are swift, such as the Moon’s quickly changing orb. Others are long, such as Saturn’ slow progress. It is by ascertaining the point in the cycle we’re at during any given time, and understanding its nature, that we can predict what type of events will arise.
The method of this essay, as stated above, will be to start with the biggest relevant cycles and to scale down from there.
The largest context for the year is its position at the end of a 200ish year Jupiter-Saturn cycle. This cycle, which started in 1802, comes to a definite conclusion at the end of 2020. Before continuing, this is how it works:
The Jupiter-Saturn cycle is one of astrology’s longest used and most reliable yardsticks for measuring history. The two planets conjoin every 20 years, providing a tool for examining history in two decade increments. But these 20 year cycles themselves form a larger pattern. For approximately 200 years at a time, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions occur in signs of the same element. This gives us 200 years of Fire, 200 years of Earth, 200 year of Air, and then 200 years of Water. The Jupiter-Saturn cycle thus offers us not only the ability to study history in 20 year arcs, but also to look at the larger spans of time enclosed by the 200 year periods.
The two planets have been making conjunctions in Earth signs since the early 19th century, enclosing and timing the waves of industrial revolution, overseeing the transformation of our relationship to the material world, and presiding over unprecedented wars for territory and resources.
The next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, which occurs during the last days of 2020, will be in Aquarius, an Air sign. This conjunction will begin another 200 year cycle of conjunctions in Air signs, thus bringing an end to over two centuries of meeting under the auspices of Earth.
It is worth noting that there are two methods of calculating when the Jupiter-Saturn cycle shifts from one element to another, the apparent and the mean conjunctions. By the mean cycle, which is a mathematical idealization, we entered the Air cycle in the year 2000. It is the apparent conjunction, actually visible in the sky, which shifts us unequivocally into the Air cycle in 2020. Since 2000, we have been in an unusual period where the mean and apparent cycles clash, a fact which nicely illustrates the dissonant nature of our current times.
It thus plays a complicated requiem for a pair of centuries which brought us both miraculous physical technologies and the most devastating, traumatic wars ever fought.
2018 was the true beginning of the end of the Elemental Era of Earth. Saturn’s movement into Capricorn last year began the 3 year arc which would take us to the change-over.
Another Small Apocalypse
We thus venture deeper into the crack between eras. We’ve been in these particular end times for a few years, but 2019 is going to make it obvious. As many have intuited but interpreted badly, this is a species of apocalypse. Some nuance is required here, as it is the end of a world, just not the end of the world. It is the conclusion of one thing in order to make way for another. Reminding ourselves of this banishes the world-ending dread which prevents us from clear thinking, yet it does not negate the very real practical problems that living through such a period entails.
The interstitial periods between Elemental Eras see power at the macro-political level shift significantly. The last hand-over was in 1802, and was followed almost immediately by the Napoleonic Wars, which began 1803. The Napoleonic Wars were a prototype for the type of huge land-acquisition conflicts which characterized the Earth Elemental Era. Prophetically, the Louisiana Purchase also occurred in 1803, granting a huge tract of land to the nascent US, which would eventually emerge as victor in the game to try to dominate as much land, and control as many resources, as possible.
The world is now changing again, pivoting. China, for whom most of the Earth Elemental Era was an unrivaled disaster, is rising steadily to resume its historically-normal eminence. Other great civilizations, such as India, are also on their way back after dealing with a savage Earth Era.
We are, inarguably, entering a significantly more multi-polar period of history, as is consistent with the shifts between Earth and Air eras. The 3 previous shifts saw the emergence of disruptive conquerors, which broke up existing empires and left more multi-polar worlds in their wake. Alexander the Great broke up the Persian empire, the various “barbarian” tribes broke up the Roman empire, and Genghis Khan broke up both the Chinese and Arab empires. This time, it appears that the internet is our disruptive conqueror, our Genghis Khan and Alexander rolled into one. Its public appearance right around the time of the mean conjunction in 2000 reinforces this notion.
A more multi-polar world doesn’t sound all that bad. But power rarely lets go, and obsolete patterns of organization and control are rarely replaced until their dysfunction becomes painfully obvious. We live in a time where we are surrounded by a great number of decaying and undead cultural structures, ranging from the dominant paradigm of scientism to the workings of the global financial system.
The small swath of years that we are in is lined with the breakdown of worn-out systems. In some cases, such as the paradigmatic, the widening cracks allow a great deal more truth to get in. The breakdown of world-views is a liberation for those trapped inside it, but is a crisis for those whom it provided security for. The broken financial system is, however, good for only an extreme few. While 2018’s configurations suggested the beginning of a decline, 2019’s suggest the beginning of the next financial crisis, which will likely deepen in 2020, if the skies have anything to say about it.
2019 is thus positioned at the very end of one long cycle, right before the beginning of another. It’s a rough transition. It is not yet the future, but the weird stretch of road we must travel to get there.
With the macro-context of the changing Elemental Eras established, let us turn our thoughts to the smaller-scale cycles which comment meaningfully on 2019.
Uranus Re-Enters Taurus
Uranus is approximately three times slower than Saturn, and spends roughly 7 years in a sign. Uranus was in fiery Aries from early 2011 until May of 2018. Shortly after the ingress into Aries in 2011, Fukushima occurred and a spate of revolutions and protest movements erupted which would come to characterize the ensuing years. In Mars-ruled Aries, Uranus not only brought belligerent resistance and revolution, but also the next wave of military technology, the era of drone warfare.
Uranus entered Taurus in May 2018, but feeling tentative, returned to Aries in November of the same year. Uranus re-enters Taurus, this time until 2025, on March 6th, 2019.
In Taurus, Uranus’ interest turns toward physical things, intent on both disrupting and supercharging them. This will no doubt include the ongoing cryptocurrency drama, 3-D printing technology, artificial intelligence, and the integration of digital systems with physical objects. Historically, Uranus in Taurus has also overseen big shifts in the way that food is produced and processed.
New technology is a relatively safe place for Uranus’ disruptive and experimental impact. Unfortunately, Uranus’ time in Taurus also points the planet’s lightning bolts at things less happy to be interfered with. This is, in fact, one of the chief incongruencies between the planet Uranus
and the sign of Taurus. Whether Uranus disrupts or upgrades, it always seeks to change. Taurus, on the other hand, is the Fixed Earth sign, meaning it thrives on stability and regularity, moreso than any other.
Thus, the Bull’s pasture is unlikely to receive change-mad Uranus with open arms. Some of the inevitable changes will be repressed, as denizens of the pasture try to contain or minimize disruptions. This strategy is unlikely to work, as not only does it delay the inevitable, it often worsens it.
When the tension between tectonic plates is dispersed regularly through small quakes, there is a minimum of destruction. It is when that tension cannot be released that a big quake builds up. There is a lesson here for handling Uranus in Taurus, especially for those born to the Bull. Though the earthquake is an excellent metaphor for the psychological impacts of Uranus in Taurus, it is also one of the literal events which accompany the planet’s movement through the Bull’s sign, along with a variety of other destructive natural events.
Uranus’ time in Taurus targets commodities and materials, and will likely oversee much more volatile markets for both. One of Venus-ruled Taurus’ crucial but less concrete significations is value. Although “values” are often spoke of in a psychological context, they are also the very real prices assigned to goods and services. During Uranus’ time in Taurus, we can expect a volatization of values on both a cultural and economic level.
Taurus is a Venus-ruled sign, and thus concerned with the arts. Uranus’ time in Taurus has historically accompanied periods of artistic revolution, the creation of new genres and forms of expression.
The ingress of slow-moving planets into a new sign is often accompanied by dramatic worldly events. Uranus’ movement into Aries in 2011 was within a day of the Fukushima disaster and occurred just as the Arab Spring was beginning. Uranus’ initial ingress into Taurus in 2018 synched perfectly with the volcanic Kilauea eruptions. It is thus worth keeping an eye on March when Uranus again ingresses into Taurus, the month, interestingly enough, when the UK is currently scheduled to break with the EU. For more on Uranus in Taurus, check out my webinar “Uranus in Taurus: The Earth-Shaker Arrives.”
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
With Uranus’ movement back into Taurus this year, we click into the outer-planet arrangement which we’ll live within until the middle of the next decade. Uranus will be in Taurus, Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn until 2025, when all three change signs.
There is a rare synchronization between their cycles in 2025 — they all change in the same year, a most unusual thing. Not only will Uranus, Neptune and Pluto remain in the same signs until 2025, but until then they will all be in signs of a yin or passive quality, and then enter signs of a yang or active quality. As the slow-moving outers all speak to longer-wave historical currents, that set of 3 ingresses in one year signals a massive shift, effectively and deeply dividing the 2020’s into two very different sections.
It will thus be Uranus in Taurus, Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn which will accompany us across the threshold of 2020, effectively bridging the end-times of the two-century Earth Era and the early days of the Air one. As always, the longer the trend, the smarter it is to understand and adapt early.
The Beautiful and the Brutal
2019’s skies are decidedly split between wonderfully benefic Jupiter in Sagittarius and the monstrously rough trio of Saturn, Pluto and the South Node in Capricorn. This means that the year will have some decidedly bipolar moments — glorious when configurations highlight Jupiter, and extra dark when they spotlight Saturn-Pluto-Ketu.
Jupiter in Sagittarius
Jupiter entered Sagittarius on November 8th, 2018 and will be there until its entrance into Capricorn on December 2nd, 2019. Sagittarius is one of the two signs ruled by Jupiter, the other being Pisces. When a planet is in the sign it rules, such as with Jupiter in Sagittarius, its nature is expressed powerfully and clearly, without any odd zodiacal admixtures or contradictions.
Jupiter is uplifting, powerful, moderate, triumphant, priestly, wise, optimistic and enthusiastic. Jupiter offers blessings of both a spiritual and material nature, as happy to lay a benediction on a bank account as upon a pious forehead. Jupiter spurs growth and expansion, and smiles on education.
In Sagittarius, Jupiter buoys spirits and is more than happy to get behind our attempts to increase the good in our lives and selves. For more extensive thoughts on Jupiter in Sagittarius, consult “An Arrow’s Intent” and “Jupiter in Sagittarius: Gods and Heroes, ” as well as “Luck of the Gods: Magical Approaches to Jupiter in Sagittarius.”
Jupiter aspects only one of the other slow-moving planets this year, Neptune in Pisces. Jupiter makes three squares with Neptune this year, one in January, one in June, and the last in September. While Jupiter is buoyant but substantial, Neptune is otherworldly, and points to the shifty, ambiguous realm of dreams. Both Jupiter and Neptune are expansive and spiritual, but Neptune knows no limits, and is happy to kidnap people off to the land of the faeries and return them wondering what happened.
This series of squares thus widens the scope of what dreams are possible to realize with Jupiter in Sagittarius. Neptune dosing Jupiter with imagination will also prompt some people to set wildly unrealistic expectations. Neptune does not contradict Jupiter’s benevolence, but its influence needs to accounted for and taken into consideration.
Regardless of the psychedelic infusion which Neptune adds, Jupiter’s nearly year-round presence in Sagittarius is the brightest thing in 2019’s skies.
Saturn, Pluto and Ketu in Capricorn
2019’s hardest moments are described by the copresence of Saturn, Pluto and Ketu in Capricorn. Just Saturn’s presence in Capricorn alone is a rather serious influence. As I wrote of it in 2017:
Saturn highlights the way time changes things, and separates the enduring from the fleeting. For living beings, time always leads to death, another fundamental Saturn theme. Relationships with the past and the dead are thus well within the Saturnian sphere. Saturn’s slow progression also illustrates the laws of cause and effect — how actions, over time, create reality.
Saturn is the Greater Malefic in astrology, as it brings deprivation, fear, excessive cold, brittle-ness, depression, confinement and exclusion. Yet Saturn also teaches the virtues of patience, discipline, endurance and duty, and shows us how to maintain glacial calm in even the worst conditions.
This time around, Saturn shares Capricorn with Pluto. Pluto has powerful effect on planets it conjoins, pushing them to extremes, exposing their internal contradictions and ultimately transforming them. Pluto demands that we look at the depths of our Saturnian desires for security, control and organization.
The Saturn-Pluto cycle is referred to by Richard Tarnas, in Cosmos and Psyche, as demarcating “Cycles of Crisis and Contraction.” Tarnas goes on to describe them as “…eras of international crisis and conflict, empowerment of reactionary forces and totalitarian impulses, organized violence and oppression, all sometimes marked by lasting traumatic effects.”
Patrick Watson’s research shows that the Saturn-Pluto cycle also describes the building of walls, the sealing of borders and the construction of prisons. All of these show Saturn’s contractive properties taken to an extreme by Pluto’s influence.
Now let us consider the third factor, the South Node. As I wrote in “The Alchemy of Lead:”
The South Node, also called the Dragon’s Tail or Ketu, is not a body at all, but one of the Eclipse points. Body-less, It is a shadow that nonetheless has the power to affect the substantial. The Tail is the solve function in alchemy, the separation of spirit and body which precedes their purification and reunification.
Ketu is a cleaning, purifying influence. Yet the process of detoxification requires that we get right up close to the toxic and putrid. When the body purges, one is left with quite a mess. Ketu thus targets the intense Saturn-Pluto conjunction for alchemical processing. The Saturn-Pluto materia, being composed of our relationship to fear, death, power, control guilt and responsibility, makes this a particularly dangerous operation, as the fumes given off are loaded with psychic poisons.
In Jyotish, the South Node-Saturn combination gives rise to two yogas. One of these is preta yoga, which is Sanskrit for “hungry ghost”. In a natal chart, it suggests that the person has to deal with unhappy, unwell ancestors, and will need to work on complicated multigenerational karmas, and that they will suffer to the degree that they are unable to heal or resolve those issues.
The South-Node Saturn combination is also said to give rise to shraddha yoga. Shraddha is Sanskrit for a sincere ritual act, but particularly one performed in mourning for a funeral. In a natal chart it means that the native is likely to suffer as a result of improperly mourning one of their parents.
In the case of both of these yogas, the theme is an unresolved relationship with the past. The medicine is reconciling oneself with those no longer here, and also helping the dead themselves to find resolution and peace.
This sorry business with the dead is evident on a historical level right now, as globally we are in the midst of an attempt to come to terms with the Earth Era, and the centuries of oppression and pain which it entailed. The same configuration which points clearly to this on a collective level also spotlights it on smaller scales.
The Saturn-Pluto-South Node combination unseals coffins, and calls the dead to testify. Although this configuration taps whole oil-fields worth of pain and injustice, it is nonetheless a profound opportunity to engage consciously in the healing process. If you don’t already have a regular ancestral practice, it is high time to begin. Sphere + Sundry provides an excellent guide to get started.
This section looks at 2019 on a more micro level, picking out significant configurations month by month. June and July are, hands down, the hardest months of the year, while December is a solid 3rd in the brutality rankings. Meanwhile, August, April and September all have some bright moments and lovely configurations. February, March and May are all mixed in nature. October and November are also mixed, but tending toward the negative. January, though it presents challenges, has those offset by some very positive configurations.
January is, as a whole, a mix of the favorable and unpleasant, and of the fiery and the earthy. Mars is in Aries and Jupiter in Sagittarius for the entirety of the month, making sure there is an abundance of exciting fire. Venus joins Jupiter in Sagittarius on the 7th, putting both benefics together in the same sign. Together, Venus and Jupiter dole out good fortune and good times. Uranus stations direct in Aries, another fire sign, on the 6th, catalyzing latent changes with fingers of red lightning.
Fire is activating, arousing, and inspiring. It facilitates goal-oriented behavior and makes people eager to take on challenges and celebrate successes. It is a fine thing that January has the fire it does, because the Sun’s Eclipse in Capricorn right next to Saturn and Pluto on the 5th is a thing of earth, stone and shadow. These configurations are heavy and pragmatic, and ask that we deal with both practical matters, as well as the worries and anxieties which cling to them. This is the first Eclipse on the Cancer-Capricorn axis, which begins a series which will continue until mid-2020.
Things change when the Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th, which is followed by the total lunar Eclipse in Leo on the 20th, and Mercury’s ingress into Aquarius on the 23rd. These changes break us out of the heavy-earth elemental pattern, adding some much-needed air to the mix. The lunar Eclipse in Leo is the last of the Leo-Aquarius series which began in early 2017. Being the last, it will bring that arc to a conclusion, and facilitate clarity as to the nature and purpose of the cycle as a whole.
After a pair of Eclipses in January, February is a return to normal lunations. The New Moon in Aquarius occurs on the 4th, and the Full Moon in Virgo follows on the 19th.
Mars spends half of the month powerful in bombastic Aries before downshifting into Taurus on the 14th. In Aries, Mars advocates for action and blesses the ass-kickers, but In Taurus, Mars is in its detriment, and doesn’t provide much of a spark. There is thus a big difference in pacing between the first and second half of the month.
Just before entering Taurus on the 14th, Mars conjoins Uranus in Aries. Mars-Uranus conjunctions can be individually empowering, as they ignite the desire for freedom and personal sovereignty. Howeverm, they are best dealt with solo, as their spark can easily ignite arguments. Furthermore, Mars-Uranus conjunctions often accompany shocking and violent events on a collective level.
Venus spends most of February in Capricorn, entering on the Goat’s sign on the 3rd and not leaving until March 1st. This puts Venus in the same place as Saturn, Pluto and the South Node for all of February, which is emotionally complicated, potentially depressing territory. The most difficult period is the 18th-25th, when Venus conjoins Saturn, Pluto and the Tail over the course of a week.
The main story for March is Mercury’s long retrograde through Pisces and Uranus’ thunderous return to Taurus. Other than the big shifts catalyzed by Uranus’ ingress into Taurus, the pace of the month as a whole is quite slow and meandering.
Mercury stations retrograde early in the month, the 5th. This retrograde should be a classic one of lost phones, password lock outs, travel issues and other such fun clichés. The whole thing takes place in Pisces, the sign of its fall. Furthermore, it is co-present with Neptune the entire time, the planet whose trance-inducing potencies are at odds with Mercury’s attempts to create clarity.
Uranus returns to Taurus on the 6th, the day after Mercury’s station. Uranus entered Taurus back in May 2018, but regressed to Aries in November. From March 6th until 2025, Uranus will be in bovine Taurus. Uranus’ rare sign ingresses are often marked by big shifts during the surrounding days, so keep your eyes peeled.
The first two-thirds of the month, while the Sun is in Pisces, Neptune and very retrograde Mercury are murky and slow. The Sun’s equinoctial ingress into Aries on the 20th will begin to burn off some of the fog, setting the stage for a very dynamic April.
April begins with the Sun in fiery Aries and Mars in speedy Gemini, giving April a much more brisk pace than March. One of the month’s finer features is that Venus is in Pisces, her exaltation, until the 20th. Exalted Venus in Pisces, the exalted Sun in Aries and mighty Jupiter in Sagittarius make the first two thirds of April one of the nicest periods of 2019.
Jupiter stations retrograde on the 10th, and will reverse until August. Jupiter does not become malefic during its retrograde period, but instead advises to consolidate the ground we’ve taken.
On the 20th, Venus leaves exalted Pisces and the Sun enters Taurus, ending the auspicious skies which floated above the first part of April. The last third of the month holds a number of changes and reversals, and will alter a number of trajectories. This is due to the Sun’s conjunction with disruptive Uranus on the 22nd, followed by Pluto’s retrograde station on the 24th, and Saturn’s retro on the 29th.
Surprising developments, both fair and foul, are sprinkled across the first two-thirds of May. Leave room to improvise and maneuver, just in case. Both Mercury and Venus conjoin Uranus during May, each conjunction sending a little shock through their respective sphere. These inner planet conjunctions to Uranus activate the distant planet’s plans for change on both personal and collective levels.
Mercury enters Taurus on the 6th and makes a conjunction with Uranus on the 8th. Venus enters Taurus on the 15th and conjoins Uranus on the 18th. Venus’ conjunction with Uranus on the 18th may require some serious adaptation, as it coincides with a rough Full Moon in Scorpio, with the Sun conjunct Caput Algol.
The middle of the month, the 15th, Mars enters Cancer. Mars does not do well in Cancer, and its time there points to general dysfunction in the martial current. Though it is an annoying influence during the second half of May, it will become a much bigger problem in June, when it clicks into configuration with Saturn, Pluto and the Nodes.
The 20th sees the Sun and Mercury enter Gemini and then conjoin immediately. Due to both the Sun and Mercury’s presence in Gemini, as well as Venus’ separation from Uranus, the last third of May is lighter and much more fun than the difficult middle portion.
June is a strong contender for the worst month of 2019. Mars spends the majority of the month in Cancer, conjoined the Dragon’s Head and opposed Saturn, Pluto and the Dragon’s Tail. With all of the malefics together on one axis, the configuration speaks to all sort of unpleasantness.
Although it is active all month, the most intense portions are the Moon’s time in Cancer, June 4th-6th, and the entirety of the middle of the month, going from June 10th-19th. This difficult middle portion is, ironically, host to a beautiful Full Moon in Sagittarius conjunct Jupiter. This Full Moon, which arrives on the 17th is a bit of saving grace in the middle of peak awfulness.
Though still difficult, the Mars-Saturn-Nodes-Pluto configuration lulls a bit during the last third of the month, though it will be reactivated again in early July.
July is tied only with June for the prestigious title of “Worst Month of the Year.” July begins with Mars’ movement out of Cancer and into Leo, which blessedly moves Mars out of configuration to Saturn and Pluto. Unfortunately, Mars’ removal from the battlefield is followed shortly by a pair of Eclipses, a total solar in Cancer on July 2nd and a partial lunar in Capricorn on the 16th, which reactivate June’s brutal dynamics. Furthermore, poor Venus enters Cancer in early July, getting her caught in the crosshairs that the difficult reshuffling of Eclipses augur.
Between the Eclipses, on the 7th, Mercury stations retrograde, conjunct Mars in Leo. This is a fiery and contentious move on Mercury’s part, and does not make an-already difficult set of Eclipses any easier. Mercury retrogrades back into Cancer on the 19th to make yet another pass over the difficult Cancer-Capricorn axis. Mercury will not station direct until August.
The Sun and then Venus’ movement into Leo on the 22nd and the 27th bring some relief and resolution to the month’s difficulties. It is the New Moon in Leo on the 31st, the first lunation not shadowed by an Eclipse, that decisively shifts the focus away from the Cancer-Capricorn meatgrinder. Not only that, the 31st also puts an end to Mercury’s retrograde.
August, though by no means perfect, is approximately one million times less awful than June and July. To begin with, the month starts with Mercury now direct. The first two-thirds of the month see the Sun, Venus and Mars all together in Leo. This trio is joined by Mercury on the 11th, making for a rare four planets in one sign. The unusual concentration of planets is one of August and September’s defining characteristics.
All of the planets in Leo get a happy trine from benefic Jupiter in Sagittarius, who stations direct on the 11th. These configurations are significantly more positive than anything the skies have had to offer since April.
After a nice trine from now-direct Jupiter and a trek through Leo, the planets, one by one, head into Virgo. Mars on the 17th, Venus on the 21st, the Sun on 23rd, and Mercury on the 29th. This is followed by the New Moon in Virgo, which for a day puts 5 of the 7 traditional planets together in less than 10 degrees of the sky, all of them hidden under the brilliance of the Sun’s beams.
The first half of September is defined by a mega-clump of planets, all moving through Virgo together. The Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars all walk the fields united until the 14th, when Mercury and Venus both enter Libra together. The 14th is thus a significant pivot-point, as it is also the date of the Full Moon in Pisces. Not long after, on the 18th, Saturn stations direct, bringing an end to the retrograde, which began in April.
The second half of the month has some rather choice skies. Jupiter and Venus, the two benefics, are both very strong, and Mercury is in a good place to benefit from said benevolence. The Sun’s equinoctial movement into Libra on the 23rd further emphasizes these happy configurations.
The first week of October sees three planets change signs, ending the particularly tasty skies which characterized the second half of September. Mercury slides into Scorpio on the 3rd, and Mars marches into Libra later the same day. Venus follows Mercury into Scorpio on the 8th. Both Mercury and Venus make oppositions to Uranus in Taurus, catalyzing surprises, insights, and sudden shifts. These oppositions sprinkle volatility over the first half of the month, and will be followed by more when the Sun opposes Uranus during October’s latter portion.
The New Moon in Aries on the 13th, which is configured nicely to Jupiter in Sagittarius, makes a fun, enthusiastic addition to the middle of the month, and helps offset the less pleasant alignments.
Things continue in the same vein until the Sun’s ingress into Scorpio on the 22nd, which puts the Sun opposite volatile Uranus. The New Moon in Scorpio on the 27th is almost perfectly opposed to Uranus, and tells of a fortnight laced with catalytic lightning. The last 10 days of the month have this instability built into them, and also ugliness from Mars in Libra’s harsh square with Saturn in Capricorn. As a final unkindness, Mercury stations retrograde on the last day of the month. It’s a rough ending.
November begins with a freshly retrograde Mercury and Mars in a grinding square with Saturn and Pluto, continuing the harshness with which October ended. Fortunately, Venus ingresses into upbeat Sagittarius on the 1st, and will share the sign with fortunate Jupiter for much of the month. It is the benevolence of the Venus-Jupiter copresence and the malefic Mars-ruled Mercury retrograde which speaks to the mixed good and evil that characterizes much of November.
The dynamics change between the 19th and 22nd. Mars enters Scorpio on the 19th, Mercury stations direct on the 20th, and the Sun enters Sagittarius on the 22nd, switching things up quite a bit.
Mars’ entrance into Scorpio puts it in opposition with Uranus from the 19th until the end of the month, catalyzing another round of shifts, insights and upsets. Meanwhile, Venus and Jupiter make a celebratory, doubly-benefic conjunction on the 24th at the end of Sagittarius, followed by Venus’ shift into serious, Saturn-occupied Capricorn on the 25th. Although the line-up changes during the last third of the month, November’s skies maintain a mixed nature.
December begins with Jupiter’s entrance into Capricorn, where it will be until the end of 2020. In Capricorn, Jupiter joins Venus, Saturn, Pluto and the South Node. The preponderance of planets in the the Goat’s sign dominates the month with heavy themes and serious considerations. Mars, meanwhile, spends all of December strong in Scorpio, which does not lighten the tone, but at least provides the fire to deal with Necessity.
Venus leaves Capricorn on the 19th, but is swiftly replaced by the Sun, who enters Capricorn on December 21st, the solstice. A few days later, on December 25th, Christmas day, we are treated to an annular solar Eclipse in Capricorn. This darkening of the light is an appropriate end to a difficult year, and a meaningful herald of 2020’s complicated dynamics.
For more on 2019, check out the yearly forecast episode of The Astrology Podcast. The Sun is still very much in Capricorn until January 19th, so for current horoscopes and more of a deep-dive into this particular time, check out “The Alchemy of Lead.”