by Jeff Jawer
Putting thoughts in order and getting mentally organized are great ways to start the year. The Sun's presence in responsible and ambitious Capricorn indicates a need for discipline and commitment, and on Jan. 8 communicative Mercury enters this sign to further clarify thinking. It's vital to have facts to back up important statements and to plan what's going to be said in advance. Capricorn is a goal-oriented sign that can take us to the top of the mountain when we've done the necessary planning and preparation. Professional matters often benefit from the pragmatism and persistence associated with this sign. Jan. 8 should be mentally stimulating as cerebral Mercury forms a harmonious trine with visionary Jupiter and a stressful square with innovative Uranus. The former is excellent for logical thinking and realistic conversations. The latter, though, brings an edge of unconventionality that may spur brilliant ideas that can excite some people, but upset others.
The Full Moon in cuddly and emotional Cancer on Jan. 9 evokes strong feelings that contrast with the cooler Capricorn Sun. Its meaning is to remind us that worldly ambitions are best built on a strong personal life. Attending to inner needs is not an evasion of public responsibilities but the foundation on which success can be built. A favorable set of angles to the Sun and Moon from methodical Mars in earthy Virgo supports this lunation by helping us narrow focus to concentrate on achievable tasks.
A gentle breeze comes with lovely Venus' move into idealistic Pisces on Jan. 14. This begins a romantic period of increased sensitivity and sentimentality. Relationships can head off in magical directions as dreams inspire us. This could lead to some mistakes in evaluating others with a tendency to close our eyes to unpleasant facts if they get in the way of our fantasies. Yet this can also be an emotional transit that softens hearts and enhances imagination.
Reshaping major plans is possible as the willful Sun forms squares with demanding Saturn on Jan. 19 and expansive Jupiter on Jan. 22. Delays and frustration represented by the first aspect may be overcome with a broader vision of the future during the second aspect. These events bracket the Sun's shift from Capricorn to Aquarius on Jan. 20, which also reflects a change from conventional views to a more original image of the future. Aquarius brings experimentation and increases our taste for freedom. The rigid rules that normally constrain behavior tend to hold less sway in this independent sign. The New Moon in Aquarius on Jan. 23 reinforces a hunger for unique experiences.
Another significant transit also occurs on Jan. 23, when aggressive Mars begins its retrograde cycle. The backward turn of this planet happens every two years and demands more caution in our actions. Doubling back to complete unfinished tasks or refine systems and skills can be very effective until Mars turns forward again on April 13.