Astrology Jan. 18th-24th: Out the Hellmouth

Astrology Jan. 18th-24th: Out the Hellmouth

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The Moon waxes toward full over another intense week.  The Sun rolls into Aquarius on Wednesday, the 20th, while Mercury emerges from the underworld, returning to visibility in the early-morning sky.  Finally, the weekend holds both Venus’ ingress into Capricorn and a dramatic Full Moon in Leo.

To The Underworld And Back Again

Struggling free from the hellmouth, wreathed in the red glow of social unrest and the particulate-rich smoke of industrial civilization, Mercury emerges from the underworld this week.

A now oriental Mercury makes his ascent out of the labyrinth’s winding tunnels, returning to visibility.  If local conditions permit, you’ll be able to sneak a peek at the messenger on the eastern horizon, in the hour before sunrise.  If your eyes were a little sharper, you’d also see dark, tiny Pluto hovering just behind him.

helldoorIn astrology, particularly in the more ancient forms, a planet’s return to visibility was thought to bring with it important messages.  This time,
Mercury’s emergence from the underworld coincides with a two week long conjunction with Pluto, not to mention a pair of squares to Uranus.

That Mercury’s return to the early morning sky is connected tightly with the Uranus-Pluto square suggests that the planet’s dramatic declarations will have much to do with the struggle between control and freedom which the square has overseen for the last five years.

The Pluto-Uranus squares have so far formed the background theme for the whole of this decade, highlighting the friction between security and freedom, stability and revolution.  Though the two bodies have departed their series of perfect clashes, much still remains to be done about the conflicts they initiated and the destabilizations they have overseen.

Mercury squares Uranus precisely mid-day on Thursday, January 20th and then conjoins Pluto on Friday, January 22nd.  However, due to the swift planet’s upcoming direct station, the messenger will tangle with the pair again, conjoining Pluto once more on January 29th and squaring Uranus a final time on the 31st.  In practice, this puts Mercury no more than a degree away from the pair for a solid two weeks, insuring that our thoughts, plans and communications partake of the duo’s volcanic potency.

On a collective level, the discussion, which will not end until January is finished, is likely to focus on flagging institutions and the necessity for new leadership. While the need for fresh perspectives and new ideas is apparent, matters of security and stability are likely to be overwhelming.

The best that can come out of Mercury’s entanglement with this pairing is innovative pragmatism.  As you consider your program for the year ahead, do not be tempted by the safety of stasis, nor the utopia of total revolution.  Start with what you have, from where you are.

A Pair of Eyes

On Wednesday morning, the Sun leaves Capricorn behind, abandoning the stony monoliths of established power for the abstract realm of probabilities symbolized by the Water-Bearer.   The Sun will be in Aquarius until February 19th.

sunmoonshadowCapricorn and Aquarius are the only two adjacent signs both considered to have the same planetary ruler in traditional astrology.  That ruler is Saturn, lord of law, order and the structure of both time and space.  While many astrologers are familiar primarily with Saturn through the lens of Capricorn, the Aquarian side of the old timekeeper is always important to consider during this time of year. Here we look upon the rules, not as they are but could be. Though the laws of the natural world are not a matter of human design, the model our societies and lives utilize most certainly is.  Thus, the Sun comes into Aquarius as a daydreaming legislator.

Shortly after its ingress in to Aquarius, the Sun finds itself opposed by the full Moon in Leo.  This lunation, which arrives on Saturday, the 23rd, highlights the tension between an abstract range of possibilities and the human meaning of living out each and every one.  The structure of our world is not merely a tangle of impersonal forces and ideological principles, but the dramatic matrix inside of which the tale of human life unfolds.   The Sun and Moon here are like a pair of eyes, one looking upon the human story from the outside, the other reflecting the perspective from within.

The heightened energy which surrounds this full Moon is particularly dramatic, especially late Saturday night, when Luna makes a potentially nasty square to Mars in Scorpio.

Pretty As A Pillar

Just before the full Moon on Saturday, Venus enters Capricorn.  While not especially empowered in Capricorn, Venus is traditionally considered to be at least adequately treated in the Goat’s sign.  Being an earth sign, there are manifest pleasures to be found there, whether they be the fruits of the earth or of labor.

The aesthetics of this position are perhaps best seen through architecture, which mixes the power of the manifest with the beauty of structure.  In matters of desire, Aphrodite counsels us with the wisdom of delayed gratification.  Restraint need not be a matter of repression, merely patience.  Venus will be in Capricorn until February 16th.


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Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer. They are fun and can be reasonably accurate, however. In addition to referring to your Sun sign, read from your Ascendant and Moon if you know them. If you don’t, find out! I’m a long time fan of the free chart generation software at
Aries: The Ram
Taurus: The Bull
Gemini: The Twins
Cancer: The Crab
Leo: The Lion
Virgo: The Virgin
Libra: The Scales
Scorpio: The Scorpion
Sagittarius: The Centaur
Capricorn: The Goat
Aquarius: The Waterbearer
Pisces: The Fish
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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.

1 Comment

  1. Michele White 7 years ago

    Sir, you have once again brought some needed clarity to a time when far too many thoughts have been crowding my mind.
    Thank you for your gift Austin!

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Astrology Jan. 18th-24th: Out the Hellmouth

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