Astrology 12/28 – 1/3: Start From The Beginning

Astrology 12/28 – 1/3: Start From The Beginning

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.

292980-space-marsMars: 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 cominscorpionwomang 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.



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

Venus’ transition into Sagittarius on Tuesday promises to reinflame your enthusiasm for long term goals, and may also put you in the mood for journeys of the mind, or body. Bring what ardor you can summon into alignment with your commitments and convictions.

Meanwhile, Mercury and Mars feud, suggesting friction between the architecture of your professional situation and the demands of various relationships. On Friday, Mercury’s ingress into Aquarius shifts the topic toward the role you play within groups, and the changes you might make to your identity within said collectives.

Shortly thereafter Mars’ transition into Scorpio on Saturday shines a red light on the exchanges of time, money and energy between yourself and others. You may find yourself hungering for what others possess, or the object of such desires. Be very thoughtful about what you want and what is fair if you find yourself in negotiations at this time. Nonetheless, great insights into the push and pull of desire can be gleaned from Mars’ coming movements.

Taurus: The Bull

Venus’ entry into Sagittarius on Tuesday moves your ruling planet into the house of others’ resources. Bolster shared projects with your enthusiasm, and be warmed by that glow. A bright hearth can light many torches.

Friday night’s movement of Mercury into Aquarius sees the messenger move into position to take a peek at your professional affairs. Fresh eyes on the existing situation seed the re-arrangements due over the next month, but those changes are contingent upon a reassessment of long term goals, which will come later.

Come Sunday, Mars enters Scorpio, and there begins his two month traversal of its dark terrain. In Scorpio, the red planet opposes you, masquerading as the Other. Allies, enemies and lovers show their faces. Hungers, needs and desires arise, spurring questions about the price of satisfaction.

Gemini: The Twins

Much of this week’s action concerns Mercury, your ruling planet. You are more likely than most to feel the pathways bending as Hermes begins his triannual journey into the underworld. Though answers will be some time in arising, questions begin to percolate this week surrounding journeys of both the body and mind. What are you seeking? What shall define your quest this year?

Despite the growing press of questions, the necessity of action becomes increasingly clear as the week progresses and Mars approaches his Sunday ingress into Scorpio. There are tasks to be accomplished in the short term, regardless the larger narrative of your quest.

While Mercury riddles and Mars pushes for action, Venus comes to the sign opposite your own- Sagittarius. Her time in the archer’s sign pulls your attention to your goals regarding partnership. You may have felt a greater seriousness settling about your relations- a need to establish firmer boundaries and intentions. Venus will press for both pleasure, as well as structure, during her time here.

Cancer: The Crab

What is it you share? And with whom do you share it- and under what conditions? These are the type of questions due to be raised by Mercury’s movements this week. Some clarifications and a few corrections as to what is yours, what is theirs and what is shared are on their way.

Meanwhile, Venus strides into Sagittarius, and there attempts to rally your enthusiasm for the tasks which lie before you. Ride with her, and strike each target as it appears. Let your satisfaction grow with each small achievement, kindling for the hearthfire of contentment.

Sunday sees Mars finally return home to Scorpio. Here Mars arouses the desire to manifest the pattern of your desires, to satisfy hunger with the act of creation. This press to create and to satisfy will temporary take precedence over the questions of ownership Mercury presides over.

Leo: The Lion

Early in the week Venus saunters into Sagittarius, with plans to rondezvous with Saturn. Here we see a potentially awkward collision of pleasure seeking and restraint. Venus’ time in Sagittarius may challenge those disciplines you have developed regarding your pursuit of love and pleasure. Find a place for joy within the boundaries of responsibility.

Meanwhile, Mercury stirs up practical matters, complicating simple tasks and raising health concerns. Later in the week, after his Friday night entrance into Aquarius, the messenger shifts topics, highlighting communications within partnerships. A nasty tone may sneak into some of these interactions- do your best not to feed what fires erupt.

Finally, come Sunday, Mars enters Scorpio, through whose terrain he will march over the next two months. Here Mars’ efforts are likely to stir up your living situation and familial relationships. You’ll need to consider which fights are worth having, and which are best left dormant.

Virgo: The Virgin

Venus strides into Sagittarius early in the week, where she intends to illuminate those pleasures which cluster about home and hearth. Yet there are responsibilities here, and causes for concern, as well, for Saturn also resides within Sagittarius.

It is likely Mercury’s movements which will be the most telling this week, gentle virgin. The questions which emerge surround the manner in which you structure your creative energy. What are you feeding, what are you building? Is it a shrine to self-doubt, or is there a more grand project underway? You have Jupiter’s favor this year, and it is up to you to decide how to invest what abundance of fervor you are blessed with. Mercury’s late week movement into Aquarius suggests that some new habits may well be necessary to succeed at the grander constructions glimpsed this week.

Finally, on Sunday, Mars returns home to Scorpio, where he will reside for the next two months. Daily and weekly labors are likely to increase in scope and intensity here. The ferocity with which you assault these small duties may temporarily eclipse matters of personal and professional re-organization raised by Mercury. You’ll need to find the space within your schedule to consider the questions arising from Mercury’s passage.

Libra: The Scales

Venus’ early-week entrance into Sagittarius attempts to kindle in you an enthusiasm for the host of regular duties which await you. Embrace the required discipline with fervor and see it transformed by that invisible fire. Let matters move both fast and slow, yet do not let your purpose waver.

While bright Venus attempts to rally your troops, Mercury raises questions and confusion regarding your living situation and then, after his Friday ingress in Aquarius, your life-style. It will take some time, but you’ll need to sort out the new parameters for what you expect out of your living situation, and to what degree your expenditures of time, money and energy are supporting or sabotaging your home base.

Finally, Mars enters Scorpio on Sunday. The red planet’s initial two month stay there will coincide with an increased focus on your financial status. How much is that you need, and how hard are you willing to work to acquire it?

Scorpio: The Scorpion

Venus enters Sagittarius early in the week, where she plans to bring attention to your financial status. Considerations may well turn to the matter of incomes and expenditures and the eternal friction between pleasure and discipline.

Meanwhile, Mercury ambles through the late degrees of Capricorn, raising questions about your relationship with the surrounding locale. You’ll return to this question of what and who runs your town, but later in the month. For this Friday, Mercury enters Aquarius and for the next week shifts the topic to your living situation itself.

Of greatest importance is Mars’ entrance into your sign on Sunday. In Scorpio for the next two months, Mars will here amplify your drive, desire and willingness to fight for whatever it is you will. The power to satisfy your desires is here, but caution is advised, for there is no empowerment as perilous as the ability to get what you think you want.

Sagittarius: The Centaur

Venus arrives in your sign on Tuesday, ready to rally your enthusiasm and provide you with pleasing spectacles. She rides for a conjunction with Saturn, with plans to succor recent sufferings and brighten the prospect of upcoming ordeals.

Meanwhile, Mercury climbs carefully through the late degrees of Capricorn, raising questions about the matter of your finances. Uncertain news about possible changes is likely here, though swift and certain resolution is not. On Friday, Mercury moves on to Aquarius, shifting the topic to your weekly schedule. Some reconfiguration of your regular labors is necessitated here. Your post-holiday return to work may well be different than your recent departure.

While Venus rallies and Mercury complicates, Mars makes his way toward Scorpio, where he arrives on Sunday. Here Mars will lead you into and through the hidden depths of your psyche, re-introducing you to your personal devils, one at a time. It may well be time renegotiate the contracts by which you’ve bound them.

Capricorn: The Goat

As the week begins, Mercury makes his way through the late degrees of your sign. Questions abound as to your situation, possibly reaching toward your identity itself. Where is it, exactly, that you’ve come to, and what do these circumstances say about you? On Friday, a slowing Mercury moves into Aquarius, shifting concerns to the resources you have at your disposal. Let the uncertainty arise this week- answers are due, but not for some weeks.

Meanwhile, Venus joins Saturn in Sagittarius on Tuesday, tempting you toward some indulgence. Take what joys you require, but do not exceed the boundary your own wisdom sets in the extent of your decadence.

Finally, on Sunday Mars enters Scorpio, where he will remain for the next two months. The red planet here throws its crimson light on your social sphere- the network of connections and acquaintances in which you are embedded. Mars’ placement suggests the possibility of social friction, as well as aid from potent allies. Consider what this web connects you to, and if a journey across it might be to your benefit.

Aquarius: The Waterbearer

Mercury begins the week in the late degrees of Capricorn, stirring up subconscious mud, but by Friday makes a dramatic appearance in your sign. Here the planetary postman begins to unload a hefty mailbag containing letters describing your present and past behavior, as well as lists of qualities you've hope to obtain. This delivery resembles and is the sequel to last winter’s reconsideration of your position. This time, though, you’ll be pulled backward from who you are and want to be toward those rarely glimpsed reasons you aren’t.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Venus enters Sagittarius, where she is intent on soliciting a bit of cheer from your social network. Pleasant relations are likely, yet Saturn suggests that behind such interactions there may be an element of duty or obligation.

Finally, on Sunday, Mars enters Scorpio, where he will push the pace of your professional activities for the next two months. Industry and strife are both suggested. Consider your professional goals, and ask yourself what you are really willing to sweat for. Success is a tree whose fruits are widely envied, but few are willing to water it with what it truly requires.

Pisces: The Fish

The week begins with Mercury at the end of Capricorn, leading your mind across your social network and the various positions occupied by its constituents. By Friday, though, the messenger enters Aquarius, and there stirs up perspectives on your story, past and future, which you hadn’t before considered.

Meanwhile, Venus enters Sagittarius on Tuesday, igniting professional pleasures and attracting kind words to your works. Yet Saturn also resides in Sagittarius, and there is an element of duty here. Your performance may be praised, but it is a command performance, for much is expected from you this year.

Come Sunday, Mars enters Scorpio. The red planet’s next two months in the sign bring hunger and force to bear on your long term goals. What is it you truly desire to achieve? What will you trade for those successes, and what will you endure to accomplish them? These and other questions emerge at the end of this week and are certain to intensify over the coming months.

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. Debi 4 years ago

    YAY! So happy for the first column!!

  2. ash 4 years ago

    Thank you~

  3. Jen 4 years ago

    Thank you for posting both the overview and the individual signs – most helpful. I read for Virgo ASC and it is spot on. And really good to know that the Mars in Libra has finished up the Spring of 2014 business – which was nasty. I really do feel this – it is very clear to me, and yes, even though in my 2nd H, it was very much about Libra.

  4. Mackenzie 4 years ago

    So poetic, informative and profound. I love your work and i’m so happy this is something you’re doing. Looking forward to more.

  5. Maggie 4 years ago

    I write from that place Down Under – and thank you heartily for your column, Austin!
    You write beautifully and with expressions that capture additional, subtle meanings to stretch the mind … to try and ‘get it’ …
    Certainly looking forward to these emails this year.
    Cheers and Happy New Year!

  6. Louie2U 4 years ago

    Thank you for a real sensible and worthy article. I will be looking forward to these – from a real astrologer’s perspective. This is something I would much rather pay for and support than waste money buying a newspaper or magazine with those silly sun-sign predictions! (and I too, come from a land down-under . . . . just love Men At Work)

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