All Planets Direct – Imbolc 2023

January 27th ~ February 3rd

“Spring Scattering Stars” by Edwin Blashfield

Today is your life, the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto. ~ Dale Carnegie

One of the fixed cross quarters of the Solar Year, February 1st-2nd, Imbolc, is the midway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. A time of fertile potential, we too can see this as a time of potential in our own lives. Betwixt and between the cardinal points of the year, these cross quarters are times of transitory potential to what will and could be.

When Uranus stationed for its apparent direct motion on January 22nd, all the planets now appear to be moving forward. And although retrograde or direct motion of the planets are not necessarily good or bad, when the planets appear to be retrograde it can stall our progress and stall our forward momentum. Therefore having all the planets direct at once, can feel like we are being given permission to now proceed. All the pieces seem to come together, and obstacles seem to fall away. And perhaps we may even be given a glimpse of the potential promised at this cross quarter time of year.

This does not mean that we are necessarily going to come out of the gate racing. It can take some time for the planets to resume their normal speed once again. Mars has barely moved more than a degree since its station on January 12th. However, this weekend, the Sun will be trine Mars giving it a bit of a boost. This is when we can expect to see our motivation revived and our energy rekindled. This is probably one of the better times to begin new projects or take on new challenges, as the now forward momentum combined with the waxing Moon promises growth and achievement.

There are a few twists and turns as well in the coming week, as we approach the Full Moon on February 5th. As is the case every year, a few weeks after the station of Uranus, it forms a square to the Sun. Changeable and unpredictable, this is usually when the restless yearnings and creative ideas that were percolating during the retrograde phase of Uranus are being unleashed. What makes it a little more volatile, is that the square coincides with a Full Moon this year.

Don’t get me wrong. This can bring some much overdue and welcome changes. And we will feel the energy amping up days before-hand. The issue with Uranus is that it often brings some unexpected surprises, that can change the picture, and our circumstances. Our only recourse is to be open and flexible. The more we resist the changes that Uranus brings, the more difficult it is likely to be. But perhaps the most vexing thing about Uranus is its unpredictability.

There can be good surprises as well with Uranus. Mercury makes its 3rd and last trine to Uranus this week from the sign of Capricorn. The first was December 17th, the 2nd January 7th, and now the last will be on January 29th. The 2nd trine coincided with the last Full Moon, which was also when Mercury was making its transit to the Sun which marked the beginning of the new Mercury cycle. The Mercury/Uranus trine was setting the tone for the next 4-month Mercury cycle. This week’s Mercury/Uranus trine is like the green light for that cycle to now proceed.

What we can expect from this cycle, are new innovative ideas, flashes of ingenious insight, clarifying information, and the understanding that we don’t necessarily have to keep doing things the way we always have in the past. That there are alternatives.

Positively Uranus weather brings us the willingness to take chances, to try new things and experiment with innovative ideas. Even if we don’t personally go out to seek the things of Uranus (excitement, freedom of expression, creative authenticity, and growing awareness) it finds us. Illuminating and inspiring, even unwelcome changes under the aegis of Uranus can bring a flash of sudden clarity and renewed excitement into our daily lives.

The New Moon in Aquarius and Uranus stations Direct

January 20th ~ 27th

“Aquarius” by Johfra Bosschart

Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility. ~ Oprah Winfrey

The New Moon in Aquarius at 1º Aquarius 33’ on January 21st, is a Super Moon, which is ushering in a period of forward momentum. Super Moons occur when the New or Full Moon is also at its closest point to the Earth in its orbit. We have 3 Super New Moons this year. The closest will be the New Moon in Pisces on February 20th. We cannot see the New Moon, but if we were able to see it, it would appear to be larger than usual. It is said that these Super Moons not only have an effect on the tides of the seas, but seem to have an enhanced effect on the affairs of humankind as well.

For the past 2 years that the planet Saturn has been in Aquarius, it has been setting the stage for the ingress of Pluto into Aquarius this coming March. Pluto, the planet of transformation, will initially enter Aquarius for the first time right after the Equinox. But even now, at the very last degrees of Capricorn, the New Moon at just 1º of Aquarius will be within a few degrees of Pluto. So if your life is feeling a little extreme lately, or you feel as if you are on the verge of major transformative changes in your life, you are not alone. By meeting Pluto only half way, major transformations and insights can be had within the aegis of the New Moon.

Aquarius is traditionally ruled by Saturn, which is currently still transiting in its own sign of Aquarius. There is general agreement among a number of astrologers that the modern planet Uranus co-rules Aquarius as well. And just one day after the New Moon, Uranus stations for its apparent direct motion. Whenever planets station they are felt more acutely. With Uranus these stations can be accompanied by sudden and acute events that startle us into awareness. Chaotic and unexpected, Uranus also has domain over air/space travel, electricity, lightning-like weather events, and cutting edge technology. This is a planet strongly tied to the future.

For the 5 months that Uranus has been in its retrograde phase, creative ideas and urgent pleas for change have been percolating on the back burner of our lives. Within this period of time we’ve been setting the tableau, while internally adjusting to any changes already made, or those that we’ve been planning. We have also been made more acutely aware of where and how we have been limited in our growth and freedom of expression. Some may have become aware of the necessity for change through a series of unexpected surprises, twists and turns. With the current direct station of Uranus, launched by the New Moon in Aquarius, we are being given the green light to now put our creative ideas and potential changes into application.

Once Uranus makes its station on Tuesday, all the planets will be in apparent direct motion at once. This year this period of forward momentum lasts until Mercury stations for its next retrograde phase on April 21st. A full 3 months. Even though retrogrades are only apparent, and not actual they do cause some energetic shifts that can create lags, detours and delays. It will take some time for the recently stationed planets, Mercury, Mars and Uranus, to resume normal speed again, but having this totality of direct motion could be quite useful in our lives.

New Moons are traditionally a time of new beginnings. And this New Moon is even more fully invested in moving forward because of all of these simultaneous planetary events. And just to add a little fertilizer to the mix, any new beginnings, plans, or initiatives begun with the New Moon is being given an extra boost of confidence from Jupiter in Aries, inciting us to action.

Now that Mars, the ruling planet of Aries, is resuming its apparent direct motion, Jupiter will be urging us to get going with vim, vigor and enthusiasm. And what better time to launch any new initiatives than with a Super New Moon fully invested by both abundant Jupiter and powerful Pluto?

The New Moon on Saturday is an excellent time to set intentions, create some sort of plan, or recharge ourselves with affirmations. If you wish to set intentions or make affirmations with the New Moon, do so after the New Moon and up until the Crescent Moon on Tuesday the 24th. The New Moon occurs on January 21st, at 12:54 PM on the Pacific Coast of the US, 3:54 PM Eastern Standard Time, and 8:54 PM Universal or Greenwich Time.

The sign of Aquarius is a sign of ideology, unique independence, and a firm determination to follow a path based on one’s own ideals. Even if that means having to readjust the rules a bit in order to do so. We often think of the sign of Aquarius, and its ruling planet Uranus, as portents of a New Age glittering with crystals and humanitarian ideals. But also ruled by traditional Saturn, Aquarius can also be a very conservative sign, with its own stringent ideology.

One thing is sure: Aquarius is a sign of authenticity, where we are asked to uphold our own unique brand whatever that may be. And with Uranus currently stationing simultaneously with the New Moon, we’re all being asked to honor that which is special and unique about each and every one of us.

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives, may we choose to live it truly and authentically. 

Some possible intentions or affirmations for the New Moon in Aquarius might be:

  • I dare to walk my own path, following my own unique vision.

  • I am able to see solutions when I am willing to look at a problem from another perspective.

  • May I be open to alternative solutions in order to remove obstacles and achieve my goals.

  • I want all fear of being different or standing out from others be lifted from me.

  • I vow to uphold the noble aspiration to promote civil rights for each and all.

  • When I surround myself with others who share similar ideals, I find myself motivated and inspired to do good works.

The Aquarius New Moon corresponds with the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year. According to the Chinese Astrological Pantheon, we are entering the year of the kind and gentle Water Rabbit, which commences on January 22nd, and culminates with the lantern festival at the Full Moon on February 5th. Rabbit years are said to bring us greater peace and harmony, and may it be so! May all our good wishes at this glorious New Moon be in service to those ends.

The Direct Stations of Mars & Mercury

January 13th ~ 20th

The Passage of the Wild Geese by Jean-Francois Millet

Practice the pause. Pause before judging. Pause before assuming. Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret. ~ Lori Deschene

On Thursday, January 12th, Mars stationed for its direct phase in a Mercurial sign, at 8º Gemini 08’. This will soon be followed by Mercury’s station direct on January 18th, at 8º Capricorn 08’. This will all be thankfully so. But don’t expect to see our energy and motivation restored overnight. Mars is now at a dead standstill, and it will take several weeks for it to resume normal speed again. However, this apparent lull in the Mars cycle, is not about a reversal, so much as a reorientation. It’s the “Ready, Set…” before we “Go.”

In the mean time, that Mercury energy is still in its own awkward stage of reawakening this week, as it also appears to stop on Wednesday for its own direct phase. We’re still in the throes of this redundant retrograde weather. The days just before the station, are when we are readjusting to what we usually associate with the normal state of Mercury. And so when Mercury stations on the 18th it will finally begin to feel like we can resume business as usual. The trains and planes will get back on schedule, people will be able to return to their normal activities, and we can confidently follow through with our New Year’s resolutions and plans.

Whenever Mercury and Mars are in their retrograde phases at the same time we can usually expect a little mayhem. We rely on the normal activity of these planets to keep the balls rolling, and the wheels turning in our everyday lives. This was further complicated by the double-Mercury connotation of having Mars in Gemini, crippling transportation systems and hobbling communications. Even as Mars was stationing this week a system malfunction caused thousands of flight cancellations and delays both in the US and Canada (at the same time!). A literal dead stop in Gemini, the sign of transportation.

But note, that this could actually be a good thing. These systems are in place in order to avoid accidents, and get people safely from place to place. Having a temporary glitch in these stop gap mechanisms are a hell of a lot better than an actual accident, and not knowing if there is some place for the planes to land when they get to their destination. The retrograde phases show us what needs fixing, and what is out-dated or vulnerable. Ignoring it will only make it worse, and harder to fix later on.

It’s like that in our personal lives as well. We are paused in order to regain our own orientation, so that we can be sure about where we are going, how we are going to get there, and why we are doing so.

We will want this orientation, because after Uranus resumes its direct phase on the 22nd, all of the planets will be direct, positioning us for this rare period of forward momentum. Falling right after the New Moon in Aquarius, all systems will be ready and set to Go. This rare forward momentum lasts until Mercury stations for its retrograde phase on April 21st.

Even though we are temporarily stalled, planets are always a bit stronger when they station. And they make their presence felt. For Mars that can bring a feeling of impatience and agitation. We want to get going again, to get on with business. And so Mars is setting a fire to the kindling that will get us motivated and moving again later on. Mercury gives us permission to look at situations from another perspective, to redress mistakes, and change our minds. Do not be surprised if decisions made during the retrograde phase of Mercury will soon have its faults revealed now that it will be direct again. Plans started over the past few weeks, may now need to be revised. We are reorienting ourselves.

We enter this week with the last quarter moon, gradually diminishing to the faint Balsamic Moon. And so as both Mars and Mercury pause, we too are advised to pause, release and tie up loose ends, in preparation for the New Moon to follow on January 21st.

Therefore, use this week to:

  • Reorient yourself to your surroundings.

  • Tie up any loose ends that have been lying around. Finish whatever needs finishing.

  • Fix whatever needs fixing.

  • Release what needs releasing.

  • Pause where and when you are needing to pause.

This morning I stopped to watch the geese fly, even though I didn’t have the time to do so. And I realized that not having the time to do something might be the very reason why I need to do it. ~ Craig D. Lounsbrough

The Full Moon in Cancer 2023

January 6th ~ 13th

The above image of a Full Moon over Snow is by H. Kopp-Delaney

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea! ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

On January 6th we have a Full Moon at 16º Cancer 22’. Nostalgic, emotional and protective, the Full Moon in Cancer is usually a time for reflection, looking back on where we have come, while also looking forward to where we hope to see ourselves going in the future. The Sun is in Capricorn, a disciplined and organized sign, armed with a plan and a resolve. And it can often feel at this Full Moon as if we are standing on a precipice, with one eye looking back, and the other gazing forward to the future.

In order to know where we want to go, we need to  find ourselves in the scheme of things, and know fully who we are. At the Full Moon emotions can come bubbling to the surface. All the more so with the Full Moon in emotionally laden Cancer where memories swirl up through the cosmic mists of time, carrying with them all of their associated feelings. Pay attention to those feelings, for they are trying to clue you in to a story about yourself.

This year the Cancer Moon coincides with the (inferior) conjunction of Mercury, which begins a new Mercury cycle in the sign of Capricorn. Occurring in the middle of the retrograde phase of Mercury, the conjunction between Mercury and the Sun sets the tone for the next whole Mercury cycle which continues through the 1st of May.

Although we are in the midst of the retrograde phase of Mercury, and Cancer is a reflective sign, there is no nostalgic clinging to the past with this Moon. With a square to Chiron and an exact sextile to Uranus this moon seems to be making quite a different statement. Limping into the New Year, Chiron square the Full Moon is asking us to face those problems that we’ve been trying to avoid. But in order to do so, we will need a safe harbor in order to heal old wounds, and receive the support we need in order to meet the world on its own terms.

The sextile to Uranus implies that we are looking towards the future with the hope for something better. One of the things that becomes apparent to us under these Uranian rays is that we don’t have to keep doing things the same way over and over. That there just might be better ways, and better solutions. Change is in the air. And many will be seeking the solutions that would best suit them and their purposes.

The time for action is not quite yet. But it is near. Mars is slowing for its direct station on January 12th. As it does so, it could feel as if the pause button is being pushed and we are being put on hold. This coming week can feel like a full stop. But a full stop just before we are about to take off.  Many will be agitated to get moving right away. But it will take some time for Mars to pick up speed again. So allow things to come together as they will, in their own time.

This pause can also be a good thing. Mercury is still retrograde until January 18th, and we stand here at the dawning of the next Mercury cycle, when the focus is directed within. Mercury in Capricorn, albeit retrograde, is very organized and goal oriented. But even before we take any action, we are being asked to orient ourselves within: Is this path truly the one for me? Are these goals at the expense of my personal needs? And if you were to make any changes in your life and goals, what might that look like for you?

This is when we are being asked to set our inner gps system, and make sure that we are aligned with the proper coordinates. The coordinates we truly wish to be aligned with. For once Mars, and then Mercury are direct again, all systems will soon be moving forward. May they bring you where you need to go in order to fulfill your heartfelt goals, and build more stately mansions ever more noble than the last.