Leaning Into 2017

Astrologically speaking, this is a year of reckoning. The Uranus-Pluto square, which lasted from 2012-2015 is separating, as is the Saturn-Neptune square. These are big, outer planet transits, meaning their effects are very much out of our control. And if they’ve been hitting our charts personally, it can feel a bit like we’re being tossed about inside a washing machine.

Uranus is the rebel, Pluto the transformer. The last time these planets made contact was in the 60s. So it’s no surprise that we’ve experienced a similar level of social discord and upheaval. Saturn is structure and order, Neptune dissolves. Over the past year, we’ve seen the dissemination of fake news as the surreal has become the norm, calling into question our sense of reality, our footing. The effects of these aspects cannot be understated. Nearly everyone I know was affected in one way or another, whether they were conscious of it or not.

But, as with anything, time moves forward. Things are shifting and we’re now left with the aftermath. Venus will retrograde in Aries, on March 4th, move backwards into Pisces and station direct on April 15th, Tax Day. Venus retrogrades every 18 months for about 40 days, giving us ample time to reassess our relationships, our values and our finances.

Life is not a straight line. In many ways, this year offers us a chance for new beginnings (in numerology it’s a 1 year). New years always do. But it’s also a year of realizing what we already have and building upon it, staking our claim.

Satisfaction and fulfilment arise from the willingness to engage and overcome. Where can we take steps that might have otherwise eluded us? Where can we fortify our backbone? We may be taken and inspired by giant leaps and grand accomplishments, but it’s the micro intentions that constitute the bulk of our lives, the small decisions we make each and every day.

Choosing a word or phrase, just one, to motivate us through 2017 can be life-affirming and changing. Perhaps we’d like to root down or, conversely, invite more adventure. Perhaps we’re looking for deeper connection or to mature our finances. These things take time, they take attention and concerted effort in our increasingly distracted age. Focusing on just one feels almost radical.

We’re human, which means we’re fraught with insecurities and fears. We may not always live up to our own expectations. We will make mistakes, we will experience pain and disappointment, but we will also surprise ourselves and delight in our joys. We will learn, over and over again, how strong and capable we really are.

On February 10th, we will experience the first of 7 eclipses in the Leo-Aquarius axis. The last of these will occur on January 20 of 2019. Eclipses have a way of leading us in a new direction, especially if they’re hitting our charts directly. Over the course of these two years, no matter what our natal chart looks like, we’ll be confronted with the various ways in which we do or do not shine, how we express our uniqueness, how aligned we are with our fellow citizens of the world, how humane in our approach. These are fixed signs, which means they commit, they build, they sustain.

What or who will we choose to invest our hearts and minds in? What word resonates? What small action, done again and again, consistently over time, can shift our station and perspective?

Sometimes just asking the questions is the very first step we need.