Silhouette of 2016 at sunset

January and February Stargazer 2016

In Astrology, Insight and Experience by Stella WoodsLeave a Comment

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2016 predictions

A Happy New Year to all LivingNow readers – may your year be filled with joy, happiness, adventure, love and learning!  As usual at this time of year, I try to put together a few predictions on how things might turn out for those of us on planet Earth…here’s one of my favourites from last year: “Tony Abbott is a Scorpio and I believe it unlikely that he will be re-elected with Saturn in Sagittarius. His unsellable budget, intransigence on global warming and string of broken promises are all anathema to Sagittarian energy which champions truth, equality, freedom and an international approach.

On a more tragic note I wrote: Fundamentalist religious beliefs and religious fanaticism tend to rear their head with Saturn in Sagittarius. People are prepared to die for a cause noble or otherwise.With the Charlie Hebdo shootings; the Sydney cafésiege; the recent terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris, not to mention the ongoing daily bloodbath in the Middle East, this has unfortunately proved to be the case.

So what can we expect this year? First, none of the outer planets that govern collective trends (Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Chiron, Saturn and Jupiter) are in fixed zodiac signs, meaning the overall vibe is about new ideas, innovative projects, flexibility, cooperation and change. Secondly there is a strong practical focus with Jupiter and Pluto in earth signs (Virgo and Capricorn) and an ongoing desire for revolution and change with Uranus and Saturn in fire signs Aries and Sagittarius. 2016 is a year for decisive and courageous action.

Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024)

Pluto, the outermost planet in our solar system, symbolises death and rebirth, and his entry into conservative Capricorn in 2008 heralded the global financial crisis, whose effects are still evident. Pluto’s role in Capricorn has been to destroy and break down old models of power and authority (banks, mining companies, governments, corporations) and replace them with different and better ones.Anyone who has studied history will know this is an ongoing process (remember the feudal system…the slave trade…the Roman Empire?) but change is not always welcome!  Pluto is now exactly half way on his journey through Capricorn, meaning we still have another eight years to throw out old attitudes, systems and traditions…which brings us to shifting attitudes on the environment.

Old King Coal

Pluto in Capricorn has triggered a huge increase in public awareness about the environmental issues facing our world, in particular global warming and our dependence on fossil fuels and non-renewable energy. In the early nineties, I spent five years working for The Wilderness Societyand we were proud to have 5000 members. Today TWS has 40,000 members and hundreds of thousands of supporters. Last November, three-quarters of a million people attended the People’s Climate Change marches with the 60,000-strong Melbourne march the largest in the world. There is no doubt that this massive show of public support influenced the radical decisions made just days later at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris where, after 20 years of tense negotiations, world leaders finally agreed to aim for a 1.5 degree limit in global warming. In another remarkable turnaround, Britain, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, has called for the closing of all coal-fired power plants by 2025.

Uranus in Aries (2010-2017)

Uranus is all about sudden and unexpected change. Aries the warrior likes to fight and move fast. Put these two together and you have a revolution. It started with the explosive events of the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street movement and London riots, but since 2010 there have been many examples of revolution and change, both positive and negative.

If Pluto in Capricorn symbolises the breakdown of the old way of doing things, Uranus in Aries brings fresh energy, creative ideas and new solutions to old problems. One major fallout from the GFC has been the rapid rise of the sharing economy, triggered by environmental and financial reasons. Why own when you can share or borrow? This philosophy has given rise to Uber and car sharing vs. taxis; Airbnb and couch surfing vs. hotel chains; eBay, bartering, sharing and recycling vs. major retailers; peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding vs. bank loans; farmers’markets and vegie gardens vs. the supermarket chain; YouTube and Spotify vs TV and record companies and house sharing and renting vs. buying a home.What would have been regarded as fringe lifestyle choices 30 years ago are now mainstream and this trend towards sharing and downsizing looks set to continue.

World leadership and people power

As Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries push us towards revolutionary change, we have both Australian and US Federal Elections planned for late 2016.

In Australia, my money is on a win for Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition. Although we have no birth time for either Turnbull or Labor leader Bill Shorten, Turnbull’s solar arc chart is currently more favourable than Shorten’s. Turnbull became party leader as solar arc Venus contacted his natal Mars back in September 2015 and in late 2016 he will have powerful solar arc Pluto close to his natal sun. By contrast, Shorten has solar arc Pluto moving towards his South Node, a symbol o f endings rather than new beginnings.

The US election is harder to call, especially with wild card Donald Trump (the Kim Kardashian of politics) currently the frontrunner in the Republican camp. Leading Democrat candidate Hilary Clinton has favourable transits throughout 2016 – her natal Mars-Pluto-Saturn conjunction in Leo forms a grand fire trine (lucky formation) with Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries, while on 8th November, Election Day, the sun will transit her natal Venus, a sign of popularity. But Donald Trump also has favourable transits this year –a Jupiter return (good fortune/growth) and solar arc Pluto conjuncting his natal Jupiter, a combination astrologers say means: ‘win the lot or lose the lot.’

However, as people all over the world demand that their governments work together to save the planet, the old world order championed by Trump seems increasingly outmoded. In the aftermath of the latest US mass shooting, The New York Times is saying what the rest of the world has known for years – US gun laws are a disgrace and in urgent need of an overhaul. Hilary Clinton has been pushing to keep guns off the street for years and, in the current political climate, this policy might just push her over the finishing line on Election Day.

Saturn in Sagittarius – us and them

There’s no doubt with Saturn the great karmic teacher in Sagittarius, sign of international relations, that we are being forced to examine issues of race, culture and religion and in particular the concept of ‘us’ and ‘them’. From the ISIS attacks in Paris to Donald Trump’s call for mass deportation of millions of US immigrants, to the violent assault of an Indian-born Australian citizen in Ballarat, to the tragic images of Syrians fleeing their homeland, to the suspicious death in custody of an Afro-American woman pulled over by white US police officers for ‘improper signalling’, we have not yet learned to love and respect other humans, despite our impressive communications technology.

Saturn in Sagittarius (2014-17) is making people examine their core beliefs and hopefully paving the way for positive change and acceptance of difference. But Sagittarius is the comedian of the zodiac and what better way to draw attention to Islamophobia and all thinks racist than through humour. After Donald Trump suggested registering all American Muslims, Wajahat Ali wrote in The New York Times, “For the sake of efficiency, I created a card myself, listing my skin tone as ‘Caramel Mocha’, my ethnicity as ‘Bollywood’and my religion as ‘Sunny-Side Sunni.’

As a child, I found it difficult to grasp that Germans were the enemies of my countrymen in the Second World War. Maybe a child in the 22nd century will have that same difficulty understanding why people killed each other in our century because their skin was a different colour or because they were born in a different part of the world or worshipped a different god.

 

Neptune in Pisces square Saturn in Sagittarius

We’ve been enjoying the effects of Neptune in water sign Pisces for the past four years, in particular the massive explosion of creativity unleashed by easy access to digital technology. Nowadays anyone can make a film, write and record a song, create a blog or produce beautiful and original artwork. Instagram and Pinterest have opened up whole new worlds of beauty and ideas and this has translated to more and more people wanting to travel and experience the places and activities they’ve seen on their computer screen. Another major effect of Neptune in Pisces has been the rise in popularity of pilgrimages, retreats, ashrams and spiritual, energetic and alternative methods of healing. With Neptune in Pisces until 2026, we can expect much more of the same.

Both Neptune and Pisces embody the ideal of perfection. We see the shadow side of this with the rise of fat shaming, obsession with celebrity culture, the vanity of the selfie and the rise in eating disorders, gaming and drug addiction. It’s fine to aim for Neptunian perfection, but we live in a Saturnian material world where people grow older, bellies sag, relationships and dreams fail, bills need to be paid, toilets need to be cleaned and it’s impossible to be eternally beautiful, youthful, rich and adored. No wonder depression, mental illness and escapism are on the rise! The stark realisation of the difference between fantasy and reality is highlighted this year with the waning square between Saturn and Neptune, discussed in a previous Stargazer column.

A beautiful example of the balance between Saturn (real world) and Neptune (fantasy or dream world) is the 2016 Pirelli calendar shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz. Instead of snapping supermodels in skimpy lingerie, Leibovitz has taken photos of “real women of outstanding professional, social, cultural, sporting and artistic accomplishment”. The calendar includes photos of Patti Smith, Yoko Ono, Amy Schumer and Serena Williams, women who’ve worked hard to hone their talents in the real world and achieve their personal dreams.

Personal reflections for the new year

If 2016 is a year of change powered by decisive action ask yourself:

  • What radical changes can I make to be more authentic and effective?
  • What or who do I need to let go of?
  • What practical steps can I take to turn my dreams into reality?
  • How can I cooperate and share instead of compete and compare?
  • How can I make the world a better place for myself and others?

Moon calendar

Launch projects at the new moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the full moon to the third quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next new moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the full moon or when the moon is in the same sign as your sun (or star) sign.

January

Date

Sign

Element

Moon phase

1st

Virgo

Earth

1st-4th

Libra

Air

Third quarter

4th-6th

Scorpio

Water

6th-9th

Sagittarius

Fire

9th-11th

Capricorn

Earth

New moon 10th

11th-13th

Aquarius

Air

13th-15th

Pisces

Water

15th-17th

Aries

Fire

First quarter

17th-19th

Taurus

Earth

19th-22nd

Gemini

Air

22nd-24th

Cancer

Water

24th-26th

Leo

Fire

Full moon 24th

26th-29th

Virgo

Earth

29th-31st

Libra

Air

31st

Scorpio

Water

 

February

Date

Sign

Element

Moon phase

1st-3rd

Scorpio

Water

Third quarter

3th-5th

Sagittarius

Fire

5th-7th

Capricorn

Earth

7th-9th

Aquarius

Air

New moon 9th
Chinese New Year

9th-11th

Pisces

Water

11th-13th

Aries

Fire

13th-16th

Taurus

Earth

First quarter

16th-18th

Gemini

Air

18th-20th

Cancer

Water

20th-22nd

Leo

Fire

22nd-25th

Virgo

Earth

Full moon 23rd

25th-27th

Libra

Air

27th-29th

Scorpio

Water

 

Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant based in St Kilda, Melbourne.

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