What's Up - January 2016

Mercury Retrograde
January 5 – 25

Capricorn New Moon
January 9 @ 8:30 p.m.

Aquarius/Leo Full Moon
January 23 @ 8:46 p.m.

Across the globe, reverberating echos of celebration welcome a new year. The ever-expanding powers of technology are bringing the world together, for better or worse.

It’s a Small World
How rapidly time marches on. Fifty years ago, Disneyland introduced a new and radically different ride to their theme park. Always the visionary and ahead of his time, Disney and his staff were heartened and ecstatic as families flocked to experience “It's a Small World.”

This ride is one of the most memorable experiences of my childhood as it introduced the idea of global connection. Mesmerized and delighted, I will never forget the sights and sounds of animated children from all nationalities dancing and singing in unison.

“It's a Small World” planted the seeds for acceptance of human diversity and individuality. This ideal lives on everyday. We must not lose sight of this reality, even in the hardest of times.

Jean Houston, one of the foremost visionary thinkers of our time, points out that each of us are faced with the challenge to solve a root problem defined as humanity's attempt to live in outmoded structures that are quickly losing relevance. Each of us is preparing for a new operating system. She calls it living in the parenthesis. Truly, a vast purging and upgrade is taking place on a planetary level. Predicted for centuries, the turning of the ages is upon us.

Upgrading Our Operating Systems
Along these lines, during the first week of January, Mercury enters Aquarius, the most futuristic and progressive of zodiac signs, only to go retrograde on the 5th, and slide back into Capricorn for the remainder of the month. These two zodiac signs interact in tandem as two sides of the same coin.

Capricorn tends to be conservative, respecting and maintaining the structures that provide stability and security. Aquarius tends to be liberal, and will radically break with tradition to implement new solutions for age old problems. These zodiac teachers emphasize the importance of keeping a conscious balance between what is working and what needs to be improved upon.

Mercury retrograde January 5-25 will only strengthen and further the natural themes of winter. Contemplative, introspective, quiet and restorative, winter is the season to take stock of your life by clarifying intentions and realistic goals.

As a result of the retrograde influence, you may encounter projects that need to be completed before you can attain and manifest new goals. Especially, be aware of January 20 – 31 as days of vital, significant, and perhaps life changing transition.

This Mercury retrograde is further intensified by its activation with the Uranus/Pluto configuration of 2012 – 2015. Recent years have been characterized by uncertainty, upheaval, unusual turns of fate, and vacillation in life direction.

It has been difficult to plan and organize according to the past, as there is no precedent for what is before us. Just like being in an earthquake, it is often frustrating and difficult to maintain orientation, balance and direction. The game plan seems to be changing from day to day.

Integrity & Moving Forward
The New Moon on the evening of January 8 is particularly potent in clearing negativity that may be standing in the way of constructive manifestation. A task oriented, practical and realistic trend continues as Sun, Moon, Mercury, Pallas Athene and Pluto transit the Capricorn sky.

The key phrase for Capricorn is “I utilize.” This zodiac sign takes us to the bottom line of what is no longer efficient and profitable. It is a detached perspective that sorts and sifts through what has outlived its useful purpose.

This process is happening in our personal lives on very deep levels as well as the planetary level. As the superfluous, disingenuous and artificial aspects of reality seem to unravel, there is great potential for relief and release. Capricorn energy provides a no-nonsense approach. Grounded, practical and wise, Capricorn aims to build sustainable and lasting foundations.

Pluto's transit through Capricorn (2008-2015) is illuminating weakness and lack of integrity in many areas while presenting the necessity to press forward in finding and manifesting viable solutions to the many problems humanity currently faces. In the meantime, all sorts of fundamental issues can surface and intensify. In the body, Capricorn rules over the bones, a vivid example of the essential role of structural integrity.

This grounded and earthy energy is furthered by Jupiter's transit through Virgo (August 2015 – September 2016). Jupiter goes retrograde on January 8, thus the year begins with another reality check. Jupiter in Virgo is like a fine-tooth comb going through and clearing out debris. It is a very exacting influence. If you have been finding yourself more detail oriented than usual, Jupiter is helping you to define and refine your unique vision.

However, as Virgo strives for perfection, there is a need to keep perspective and balance. This earthy dimension appears to be messy and distorted, always a mere reflection of the perfection possible in the vastness of universal existence. Especially in the arena of relationship, the drive for perfection can be very cumbersome, driving a wedge between people and interfering with communication.

De-Cluttering, Taking Stock & Consolidation
Jupiter in Virgo is excellent for health, lifestyle improvements, work, service, productivity and tasks that require precision. Improvements can be made in the work place as Jupiter will place more attention on the employer/employee relationship. We may see more mobility in the work force.

This can bring promotion in the right situation, and more creative movement in the marketplace. As a result of the economic downturn of 2008-09, many people have been working at a lower experience and pay level than their training. Jupiter expands and improves, so employees may outgrow their current position, and find new doors of opportunity opening.

The year kicks off with Mars, the planet of action, entering Scorpio on January 3. This is a unique influence as Mars spends many months in Scorpio this year due to a retrograde phase this coming spring. Have you ever felt like you cannot start a project until the old one is cleared away? Even in the most mundane matters some people, like myself, need to have order and cleanliness to focus and be productive.

I liken this analogy to the Mars trend in effect for the next 6 months. It is an opportunity to clear out the clutter in order to be ready for the tasks ahead. In fact, along with other planetary influences, 2016 appears to be a year of deep review, taking stock and consolidation.

Interesting . . . considering this is an election year. No doubt the election of a new president will bring monumental and sweeping changes. However, this trend goes beyond petty politics and national issues. This trend has potential for a massive de-cluttering of global and cosmic proportions.

A Full Moon on January 23 is contained within Mercury's activation of the Uranus/Pluto alignment. These planetary patterns tend to be a strong blend of the stressful and extraordinary. Disclosure of the true undercurrent of things will shake things up. No doubt, the media will be buzzing with a variety of intense events as the wheel of fortune continues to turn.

Solutions Beyond the Personal
When Mercury, the planet of communication, joins with Pluto, there tends to be a harsh, blunt, unsympathetic and even cruel tone to many exchanges of information. This applies to our personal lives as well.

The wisdom of the Four Agreements are a good reminder to “not take things personally.” As my grandmother used to advise, “keep your wits about you.” A good dose of cautious circumspection can go a long way in softening these potentially disruption, tumultuous and destabilizing trends.

Like a startling breath of fresh, frigid winter air, the Sun enters Aquarius on January 20 paving the way for radical progress and evolutionary change. The zodiac sign of invention thrives in an atmosphere of freedom. Scientific discoveries and technology are booming, growing by leaps and bounds.

The symbol of Aquarius is the water bearer showering pure potential on a weary, beleaguered and troubled global society. The visionary potential of Aquarius is like an updraft, lifting and freeing consciousness from a narrow preoccupation with the past while providing creative solutions to real problems.

As the second half of the current decade is officially underway, it may do us good to look ahead, especially in regard to Pluto. With a 265-year orbit around the entire zodiac, it is a generational planet, giving each generation a unique and compelling piece of the evolutionary puzzle. This Pluto task becomes the taskmaster, the driving force for an entire generation to address and solve.

Currently Pluto is in Capricorn revealing the hidden side, the underbelly of government, business and economic structures. This constricting influence is revealing greed, avarice and self centered activity in high as well as low places.

The evolutionary potential for Pluto's transit through Capricorn is a strengthening of ethical standards, integrity and goodwill as the ground upon which our local communities and global society can thrive and move forward.

Pluto Progress
In less than a decade, in spring of 2023, Pluto transits into Aquarius, and shifts its evolutionary drive to all things having to do with progress. For example, technology is a two edged sword. As recent history has demonstrated, it can be used for massive destruction. Like staring down the barrel of a gun, matters of life and death are uppermost in the public awareness.

As Pluto anchors the Aquarian energies onto the planet (2023 - 2043), radical, and perhaps unbelievable, changes for the better will inaugurate the new age.

The era is rapidly approaching when technology, and its potential for good or ill, must be addressed. Clearly, technology is here to stay, and technological advancements have the power and potential for major, positive and life-enhancing improvements.

Recent decades have seen a fascination with outer space, and I suspect this is a reflection involving much potential, including the reality of inner space. Answers come in many forms, and Pluto in Aquarius will bring a massive and permanent leap into the future.

The seeds are already planted in scientific fact and fiction for extraordinary developments that are beyond our wildest imagination.

I realize we are getting way ahead of ourselves, but there is hope on the horizon. We don't have to wait for a better future, it is happening this moment. I see Pluto in Aquarius as the decisive force that will propel the global community into a major evolutionary leap.

In reality, if the human population does not make some significant and fundamental shifts, survival may be a moot point. The push for global survival, and all that goes along with it, will become a concerted effort orchestrated throughout the world, and this is very good news. 2016 . . . . here we come!

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Visit her website for an archive of past articles and a full listing of services at www.astrodelight.com - Phone: 828-215-2101,
Email: belinda@astrodelight.com