The year begins with a host of changes in the sky above. Mercury, Venus and Mars all enter new signs, scurrying backstage to switch costumes for the next act.
A warm Leo Moon begins the week, though the air may be unnecessarily heated by the square between Mars and Mercury, which is precise on Tuesday morning. Late Tuesday night, Venus enters kinetic Sagittarius, whose wide plains she will ride until January 23rd. The middle of the week, Tuesday through Thursday, is overseen by a waning Moon in Virgo, which lends it a practical, problem-solving orientation. Friday and Saturday, though, see the Moon in social Libra, and on Friday night, an almost-retrograde Mercury makes his way into Aquarius. Finally, on Sunday both the Moon and Mars enter Scorpio, making an intense conjunction mid-day.
Venus: Tonight We Ride
Venus is the first planet to change signs this week, entering Sagittarius on Tuesday, the 29th. Here the bright jewel of the heavens, still well within in her morning star phase, trades the gothic stylings of Scorpio for a huntress’ cap and bow.
It is not beasts she is hunting, but excitement and glory. As Venus moves, so moves the sphere of ambient pleasures. Venus in Sagittarius revels in epic tones, the spectacle of suprahuman excellence and action-packed aesthetics. Her ride wakes sleeping spirits and kindles their fire. While offering a brighter color scheme, faster pace and rising tone in Sagittarius, Venus’s ride through the centaur’s sign will nonetheless be complicated by the Saturn-Neptune square, which she must cross early next week. Confrontation and congress between passion and duty await.
Mercury: The Postman Rings Thrice
Mercury is already making preparations to disappear from the evening sky. Though the swift and unsteady planet will not station retrograde this year-straddling week, the process is well under way. Mercury stations retrograde on January 5th and will resume direction motion on January 25th. The event horizon for the small planet’s retrograde cycle has already been crossed. The main roads are closing, but a variety of secret ways are about to open.
The tricksy planet spends the first half of the week in the late degrees of Capricorn, but on Friday, January 1st, enters Aquarius. Usually, when the messenger takes flight from the dark hills of Capricorn and launches into the cold winds of Aquarius, the mind turns from the past to the future. This year, though, the possibilities which float above are born on shifting and violent winds.
Though the mind takes flight this week upon these blustery currents, the planet’s upcoming retrograde motion will return the Mercury back to the mineral solidity of Capricorn by January 8th. Spending only 7 days in Aquarius, this ingress is thus a false start.
In practice, many will find their minds turning toward the future prematurely. Other matters must be revisited before the possibilities glimpsed here can be actualized. Do not rush toward the glittering new. Instead, place it behind a glass case- a protective vessel- and contemplate it, from different perspectives and in different lights, over the course of the next several weeks.
Mars: Red Questions
Often times, it is the week leading up to the retrograde station which contains the bulk of the phenomena typically associated with Mercury’s retrogrades. The potential for trouble along roadways and within circuit boards is further heightened by the square between Mercury and Mars, which is exact on Tuesday, the 29th, with another installment due next week. Thus, to Mercury’s potential for delays and detours, we must add the inflammation, irritation and impatience which Mars so often brings. Bandits hide along the road, ready to extract a toll.
Now that we have come to Mars, it is worth a few words to describe the disposition of his legions. Mars begins the week at the end of Libra, in a square with Mercury. Here his energetic, combative influence presses hard on the formation of thoughts and communications. In some cases, this will spark conflicts, yet in others this martial potency will push for definite plans of action. More walk, less talk. The themes of impatience and the seeming necessity for action cut across a variety of the square’s manifestations.
Here, at the end of Libra, Mars finishes retracing the complicated steps of his last retrograde, which occurred from March through May of 2014. The cycle which began then and ends now has been one of concealed aggressions and complicated diplomacy. By the end of the week, though, Mars will be in Scorpio, a sign in which the red planet’s nature is uncompromised. This shift towards the essential Mars, ruthless and intense, will be our first introduction to one of the cycles that will define much of the coming year, as Mars will spend over 4 non-consecutive months in Scorpio. This is due to Mars’ upcoming retrograde, which spans the beginning of Sagittarius and the end of Scorpio. From January 3rd onward, Mars will either be Scorpio or Sagittarius until the end of September 2016.
Brooding, intense and hungry for satisfaction, Mars in Scorpio stalks the next several months. He is particularly powerful in the first ten degrees of Scorpio, which he will be within until January 21st. Here he offers the gift of hunger, and the strength and will to satisfy it. His images are those of relentlessness. The hunt thus begins, where it is for knowledge, power, love or pleasure.
Mars’ entrance into Scorpio offers a cluster of questions which we will return to much later in the year. What and whom are we willing to bleed for? This blood, literal and metaphysical, is the only ink in which certain promises can be written. For what words and pledges do we reserve it? Once raised, it is a question not easily answered- nor should it be. Thus, with Mars as our metronome, we will take nearly half of the year to reach a conclusion.