The two predominant issues we’ll be dealing with in 2016 will be the mutable cross between Jupiter – Virgo / Saturn – Sagittarius / Neptune – Pisces (with the nodes on the Pisces – Virgo Axis, no less!) and the Retrograde of Mars from Sagittarius back into the dark nether regions of passionate Scorpio during the Summer. Overall, it’s not a bad year, by degrees far less challenging than the last few, and minus a few set backs in the first half, from August things are set to get really, really good. Careful planning and waiting for the right time to execute will yield treasures in December, when a fascinating aspect pattern known as a bowl illuminates and confers incredible achievement, attainment and exciting exchanges.
Mars goes retrograde from April 18th – June 30th (from 8 Sagittarius – 23 Scorpio). The contact of Mars sextile to Jupiter February 13th signals the last outer planetary exchange the fiery planet of impulse and action makes until August 24th, when it conjuncts Saturn. Retrograde energy tends to have a renegade, almost subversive quality to it anyway, as it is perceived to function in a way that does not comply with societal norms somehow. Without influence from outer planets (and even the Nodes) for such a duration, it would seem for most of 2016 Mars is allowed to set much of it’s own agenda, even if that agenda is carried out in slow motion. It seems we’ll be saying goodbye in February (in either mind, body or spirit) as we undertake a personal, and even primordial journey (particularly while Mars transits back through Scorpio in June and July,) in preparation for that momentous meeting with Saturn. The activities we undertake may be highly personal, if not classified or covert, and will most definitely be concealed from the outside world until this Fall.
The retrograde period can signify a reconsideration of how we externalize and pursue our desires. As Venus indicates the way in which we most readily receive pleasure, Mars indicates how we take action to obtain what we want. For a while we might just be unsure of the appropriate course, though equally the thing or person we would seek in pursuit may also be unavailable to receive the advances. It seems either the destination or the route to get there is uncertain. From August, we’ll know precisely where we are headed. For now don’t rush. This is a very important time for soul searching.
A shift in the energy level should be anticipated with a retrograde Mars, as the pace or agenda changes substantially, and you may even intuit this change as early as February. Life doesn’t stop, just the output level changes, and this makes for a difficult period in which to begin new projects. As with any retro phase, we deal with repercussions of the actions we have taken over the prior two years, particularly if they were overtly aggressive or in relation to a masculine partner. It’s possible we’ll reconsider an affiliation, though this will be more likely if Mars is transiting one of the relational houses of your chart (4, 5, 7 or 8).
Mars and Venus, the cosmic lovers, do connect on several occasions, so the love/sex life presumably doesn’t suffer too much. An intimate relationship may in fact be the one thing that keeps us tied to earthbound matters while we take our journey into the hinterlands. From Scorpio (May 28 – August 2), retrograde Mars sees a deep intensification of passion, we’ll long for intimate connection, though we may have to wait until August to fulfill those desires. Perceptible intonations of the delays we experienced last summer (as Saturn transited these precise degrees of the Scorpio/Sagittarius cusp) may resonate. We may not be home free from the time of their conjunction (August 24th), but we have certainly come prepared to move the bloody mountain.
AND VENUS TOO!
Venus and the Sun renew their cycle in conjunction June 6th at 15 Gemini, a rather pernicious placement as it falls smack dab on the mutable cross involving Jupiter (Virgo), Saturn (Sagittarius), Neptune (Pisces) as well as the Nodal Axis. Ouch! It’s possible a relationship stimulated around this time is severely tested by external circumstances. The love is there, but many things vie for and demand attention, and with so much going on it may make it difficult to nurture the relationship. The Sun – Venus conjunction also represents the half way point between retrograde cycles. In 10 months we’ll receive the results of what we initiate at this time when Venus retrogrades in Aries – Pisces next March (2017).
Ongoing relationships will stage up, that is move to the next level of involvement or commitment. With all the Mutable Cross activity, it will be a very active period with much to attend to. This will not be the best time to plan any significant activity, i.e. starting a new business, planning for a vacation or a wedding. The ambience is incredibly vitalized, but there are just too many details to attend to all at once! The square of Sun – Venus to the Nodes suggests the relationship is being evaluated in regard to it’s ability to evolve towards the orientation of the future. This represents a crossroads and an affiliation may be reconsidered. It’s ok to pass on making a big decision for now. After August, when the ashes have scattered and the air has cleared, it becomes much easier to proceed.
A whole lotta Mutable Cross:
THE MUTABLE CROSS/ROADS + THE VIRGO – PISCES NODAL AXIS
Jupiter conjunct North Node – January 15, June 21
Venus square Nodes – January 18
Sun conjunct South Node – March 12
Mercury conjunct South Node – March 17
Venus conjunct South Node – March 30
Sun conjunct Venus square Nodes – June 8
Mercury square Nodes – June 22
Mercury conjunct North Node – August 8
Venus conjunct North Node – August 16
Mars square Nodes – August 29
Sun conjunct North Node – September 5
Saturn square Nodes – October 8
Neptune conjunct South Node – November 18
Mercury square Nodes – November 19
Mars conjunct South Node – December 27
Jupiter square Saturn – (August 3, 2015) March 23, May 26 (2016)
Saturn square Neptune – (November 26, 2015) June 17, September 10 (2016)
We continue to see the unravelling effects of the Grand Water trine (Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter) of 2013 into the mutable t-square. We are encouraged/challenged to manifest (Saturn) and expand (Jupiter) a vision or dream (Neptune). All the t- square aspects have already occurred once by December 1st, 2015. This year through September sees realignment and reconfiguration, using the awareness that became stimulated during those initial aspects in Fall 2015 to reorganize our lives. Remember the old saying “third times the charm”? It has to be a reference to Saturn’s retrograde and the three aspects it generally makes as a result. The first aspect signals something requires our attention, the second to see how well we fared in trying to resolve it and then make modifications, the third the conclusive result and our final attempt at resolution. Put it to the test and use the dates above to see how it works out for you! It’s not necessarily bad, or good, it’s just about getting it together and finding a way to serve needs that currently feel incredibly disparate. T-squares stimulate a dynamic atmosphere, sending signals that it’s time to take action and this is not necessarily a bad thing. IMO, it’s way less abrasive than what we endured during the Cardinal Cross and Uranus – Pluto squares over the last few years. Like David Bowie said: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes.
The Nodes interacting on the Mutable cross does up the ante considerably. The changes we seek or even require to make are tied up with destiny and karma we may not fully understand yet. The most dynamic and challenging aspects are the square of Saturn to the Nodal Axis and South Node to Neptune. Saturn square to the nodes calls us to evaluate the goals we seeded during the conjunction phase (8 Scorpio, mid September 2013,) and place them in the current context of the evolutionary drive represented by NN Virgo. What are we building, and why? (Hey, there’s that 2013 again… I’m seeing a pattern forming, hopefully you do too 😉 This occurs October 8th, at 12 degrees Sagittarius. A crossroads quality is felt very intuitively at this point, and we’ll be making a decision that really sets a course for the next few years based on how well (or not) the late 2013 agenda is panning out. Saturn will conjunct South Node at 20 Capricorn in April 2019, in some way concluding the cycle began during the initial contact at 8 Scorpio, as well as the outcome of the decisions we make during this critical turning point in October.
Conjunctions to the South Node, particularly to Neptune, will reveal what needs to be released. It’s time to get real, so to speak, and the Nodal contacts will be reminders of precisely which behaviors, attitudes and circumstances have passed their expiry date. The most productive use of the South Node contacts is to determine what isn’t working anymore and simply drop it/him or her for the hot mess that it is. North Node in Virgo prizes pragmatism and efficiency after all! Jupiter conjunct NN in January points us in the right direction, and this aspect repeats on June 21st reminding us to stay the course. Squares to the Nodes by transiting planets can be a quite dramatic point of reconciling ourselves to the changes taking place as we realign with the evolutionary journey we are on. How successfully we are managing that reorientation will suggest how intensely we experience the square transits.
The eclipse cycle this year continues to fall on the Pisces/Virgo axis, and for the most part are milder than some we have had over the last few years. Meanwhile the Gemini New Moon June 4th falls right on the Nodal axis, completing the Mutable Cross. (See chart above!) The first two weeks of June are easily the most intense, noisy and complicated of the entire year. This lunation precedes the second Saturn – Neptune square (June 17th) by a couple weeks. With Saturn retrograde at this time, we’re really seeing the karmic implications of what we wrought in November – December 2015. This is a good time, (assuming we can work through everything going on,) to determine the right course based on what we are seeing in June to get on the right track prior to the final Saturn – Neptune square in September. North Node in Virgo reminds us that if we remain methodical and seek a solution, one will come, and a really stabilizing Grand Earth trine from Mercury – Taurus, Pluto – Cap, and Jupiter – Virgo underscores the mania with a steadying current that supports acquisition and material prosperity.
JUPITER IN LIBRA + THE BOWL
It’s a pretty safe bet that the first 8 months of 2016 are really just about getting it together and setting the stage for what happens when Jupiter enters Libra on September 10th. While Jupiter in Virgo emphasized our efficiency and aided in the organization of our affairs, from Libra there are going to be some big developments on queue. Be wary of power dynamics that could surface when Jupiter squares Pluto on November 24th. Outside of that, things get really exciting for the rest of the year with very harmonious linkages and the more challenging issues far back in the rear view mirror.
This culminates at the end of the year when a bowl pattern forms linking up the Jupiter – Uranus opposition with Saturn in positive aspect to both. It’s a really brilliant time. It was in June of 2010 that Jupiter and Uranus linked up at 0’ Aries, signaling a very innovative project or new way of thinking was initiated. Also in the mix was Saturn in opposition at 0’ Libra. In January of 2011 we were well on the way to a brand new frontier of being, one that is ready to manifest in the final months of 2016. With Saturn so supportive within this configuration, we have genuinely built something substantial and long lasting into our lives. Venus and Mars transit from Aquarius, harmonizing fruitfully from November into December. This is a really amazing thing, and something to look forward to, especially if there are some dicey or challenging moments in the first two thirds. Look to events around March 6th as well as mid – July as Jupiter and Uranus quincunx in Virgo – Aries. We are compelled to finish the work of the cycle. Things really come together at the end of the year. A strange brew of optimism, innovation and perseverance pay off! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
MERCURY RETRO CYCLES IN EARTH SIGNS
Mercury Retrograde Dates 2016:
January 6th – 26th; 1’ Aquarius – 14’ Capricorn
April 29th – May 23rd; 23’ Taurus – 14’ Taurus
August 31 – September 22nd; 29’ Virgo – 14’ Virgo
December 19 – January 8, 2017; 15’ Capricorn – 28’ Sagittarius
Mercury transits retrograde in the Earth trinity (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) this year suggesting material considerations will factor for all. Resources will be the cause for question and you may wonder more than once where and when the money is coming from, though this is also a positive time for creating new strategies for earnings, savings or investments. Extensive contacts between Mercury and Jupiter/North Node in Virgo aids productivity enormously. Finding efficient ways of doing things proves beneficial and helps reduce expenses. With strong indications between Mercury to the Virgo – North Node/Jupiter and Capricorn/Pluto trine, really substantial growth and prosperity is possible where you are willing to put in the work. Pluto adds a great deal of depth, introversion and intensity to our thought process. We will be driven to find solutions towards tangible and transformative results.
Mercury RX note: In some cases there may be an absent mindedness with possessions, and losing things could pose a potential in this cycle. It may be worthwhile to set aside very important articles such as official documents, heirlooms or jewelry to a safe place, like a safe deposit box.
The 1st retro phase is tied into the Pluto/Uranus square dynamic and can be quite prickly as obstinate and disruptive forces clash and deter our progress throughout January. Hopefully we unentangle ourselves from this one quickly: Mars/Scorpio, Jupiter + North Node/Virgo are supportive in February and steer us back in the right direction.
The 2nd retro phase taps brilliantly into the Jupiter/North Node – Pluto trine, completing the earth trinity from Taurus. The RX cycle lasts the first 3 weeks of May and although we’ll have to make an effort to get the financials in order due to the retrograde, the overall the climate is incredibly productive and positive. Venus from Taurus augments this brilliantly making prosperity a distinct possibility this month.
Retrograde #3 transits Virgo, allowing us to really get to the nitty gritty in our endeavors, especially those that had been compromised during the Mars retrograde transit. Mercury is conjunct Jupiter for several weeks (August 20th – September 9th) and trine Pluto for the last two weeks of September. There will be some delays, but it’s really in this late September, early October period we drive it all home, especially now with Mars finally cooperating. Dream big and look to October 11th for a massive victory!
The final retrograde in December – January 2017 takes place in Capricorn, still in tight alinement to Pluto throughout the end of the year. Uranus has progressed far enough away by now to not be a contentious influence. Mars and Neptune from Pisces are harmonious at the year’s end and will provide a gentle ambience. Creative and visionary pursuits are highlighted, and a strong psychic influence provides access to the astral realms. Enjoy!
STARGAZER 2016 horoscopes by sign will be available exclusively in the upcoming 2016 STARGAZER Forecast book (available as a PDF) as well as the STARGAZER 2016 app for iPhone. COMING SOON ~ STAY TUNED