Friday, January 1, 2021




 by astronomer John Flamsteed  (Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

 The Big Picture in January

The Moon is the significator of our emotions and the nurturing energy of the mother. Each month, we reset this energy at the New Moon, which this month occurs at 23 Capricorn 13 on January 12 at 9:00 PM PST. A pragmatic and ambitious sign, Capricorn inspires us to work toward concrete results in the areas of our pursuits. Around the New Moon we set our intentions for what we would like to see manifest at the Full Moon at 09 Leo 06 on January 28 at 11:16 AM PST. This month’s moon energy is a wonderful combination of serious commitment and hard work (Capricorn) and self-appreciation and celebration (Leo).

Last month Jupiter and Saturn, known as the social planets, moved into airy and detached Aquarius. A significant event occurred when they conjoined on December 21 that occurs only every 20 years. This initiation of a new cycle between the two planets is known as the Great Conjunction. Although many of our global and personal issues might still be with us in January, we draw from this cosmic event a new energy that influences the way in which we view matters and how we take action.

Planets entering new signs this month include the Sun into Aquarius on January 19 at 12:40 PM PST, Mercury into Aquarius at 4:00 AM on January 8, and Venus moves into Capricorn at 7:41 AM on January 8. Also, Mars begins its transit of Taurus at 2:27 PM on January 6.

Two planets shift their direction this month. First, slow-moving Uranus in Taurus turns direct on January 14 at 12:37 AM. Meanwhile, on that same day at 11:56 PM PST, Mercury enters its pre-retrograde shadow period. We might begin to experience topsy-turvy communications issues at this time. The communications planet turns retrograde on January 30 at 7:51 AM PST. Twenty-one days later, on February 20 at 4::45 PM PST, Mercury shifts into direct motion. Finally, Mercury leaves its post-retrograde shadow on March 12 at 9:09 PM PST.

Before it shifts to backward motion, Mercury, the planet of the mind and communications, interacts with various planets this month. On the first of the month, Mercury in Capricorn nudges Neptune with a sextile, signaling an easy relationship between the verbal and the spiritual or with aesthetics. The quicksilver planet also gets creative on the 3rd with Chiron, the planet of the wounded self, forming a quintile aspect that encourages healing, and presents an opportune time for using one’s talents for teaching and mentoring. On the 4th, Mercury joins forces in a conjunction with mighty Pluto, suggesting that this could be a time for the powerful transmission of ideas, or possibly a time of verbal power plays. Mercury shifts into Aquarius on January 8, feeling quite at home with that air sign. However, forceful Mars forms a square with the communications planet, which could prod it into some action or initiate a strategic combat. Additionally, in the days that follow, , Mercury conjoins Saturn and then Jupiter, indicating that communications might first feel constrained and then might give way to excess. Finally, Uranus, the planet of surprises and nonconformist behavior forms a tense aspect with Mercury on January 12; however, by January 27 the two are uniting their respective talents when they form a harmonious quintile relationship.

Venus sees both sides of the coin this month. In Capricorn, Venus might emphasize resources acquisition over relationship-building. Venus has pleasant encounters with artistic Neptune and productive Mars. In a tense aspect with Chiron she might have a health matter to address on January 12,  but she could creatively deal with it by January 27 when she’s in harmony with the wounded healer. She might feel pressured when she conjoins with powerful Pluto on January 28.

Saturn , the planet of constraints, and unorthodox Uranus are involved in a tense relationship this year, when they will form an exact square aspect three different times in 2021: February 17, June 14, and December 24. At the beginning of January, they form a square within a 5 degree orb and by the end of the month the square has reached a 1 degree orb. Events within our personal lives and in the social sphere will likely reflect the buildup of this tension. Next month I will express what I believe to be some themes represented by the Saturn-Uranus square.

Significant Days in January

Below you will find a table of astrological events for this month. You can assess the quality of significant days by noting when planets form exact aspects and where all this activity takes place in your natal chart.

Here is a basic key for understanding the meaning of the aspects:

The Conjunction: This aspect represents the merging and fusion of energies by two (or more planets) that have joined at a particular degree (or within a specified orb). This combined energy is very potent. When this occurs, we might feel subjective about a matter in our lives.

The Sextile (60°): Planets in this formation are harmonious and lend themselves to cooperation. Astrologer Sue Tompkins says there is a quality of “coaxing” in sextiles. In other words, if we put in a little effort at these times, we can take advantage of opportunities in a situation.

The Quintile (72°): Planets in this aspect represent the type of harmony inherent in creative endeavors. It might often describe the impulse to fuse an idea into a tangible substance. Quintiles often describe the talents possessed by individuals.

The Square (90°): Planets that line up in this aspect reflect incompatible energies with contrasting needs. Consequently, we can describe this planetary relationship as tense and strained. Because these energies can be working at cross-purposes, the situation at hand may require us to make choices. The “silver lining” is that squares compel us to take action and this often results in dispelling tension. If we are conscious of the dilemma, we can use the excess energy in a matter so that we can achieve something useful.

The Trine (120°): There is an ease in the relationship between planets involved with this aspect because they are of the same element. At this time, we can perform activities with a flowing energy. We enjoy these activities, and they often reflect our innate talents. Because this energy is so comfortable, it often does not promote growth. Yet, these aspects reflect how we can be healed.

The Quincunx (150°): Planets forming this relationship appear to have nothing in common. These planets display energies that are out of step with one another. There can be an element of irritation and stress because of this, but it is not a confrontative type of energy. If we are conscious of this reality, we can make adjustments to the relationship such that we do not feel so out of sync.

The Opposition (180°): This relationship between planets brings to our awareness how something is different from our preferred position. We could be in conflict with others about a matter. Also, we might shift our preference from one point of view to its opposite. Yet, we can also find common ground in this relationship. This aspect has the potential for us to integrate our perspectives.

Date of Exact or Near Exact Aspect

Pacific Time

Astrological Event

January 1

3:18 AM

Mercury (18 Capricorn 29) sextile Neptune (18 Pisces 29)

January 3

11:17 PM

Mercury (23 Capricorn 06) quintile Chiron (05 Aries 0)

January 4

4:58 PM

Mercury (24 Capricorn 19) conjunction Pluto (24 Capricorn 19)

January 6

2:27 PM

Mars enters Taurus

January 8

4:00 AM

Mercury enters Aquarius

January 8

7:41 AM

Venus enters Capricorn

January 8

8:53 AM

Sun (18 Capricorn 38) sextile Neptune (18 Pisces 38)

January 8

6:44 PM

Mercury (01 Aquarius 01) square Mars (01 Taurus 01)

January 9

7:53 AM

Venus (01 Capricorn 16) trine Mars (01 Taurus 16)

January 9

7:17 PM

Mercury (02 Aquarius 41) conjunction Saturn (02 Aquarius 41)

January 11

9:19 AM

Mercury (5 Aquarius 16) conjunction Jupiter (5 Aquarius 16)

January 11

9:23 AM

Mercury (5 Aquarius 16) sextile Chiron (5 Aries 16)

January 11

9:49 AM

Jupiter (5 Aquarius 16) sextile Chiron (5 Aries 16)

January 12

7:00 AM

Mercury (6 Aquarius 44) square Uranus (6 Taurus 44)

January 12

1:04 PM

Venus (5 Capricorn 18) square Chiron (5 Aries 18)

January 12

9:00 PM

NEW MOON (23 Capricorn 13)

January 12

10:57 PM

Sun (23 Capricorn 18) quintile Chiron (05 Aries 18)

January 13

3:02 AM

Mars (03 Taurus 05) square Saturn (03 Aquarius 05)

January 13

4:22 PM

Venus (06 Capricorn 44) trine Uranus (06 Taurus 44)

January 13

5:03 PM

Venus (06 Capricorn 45) quintile Neptune (18 Pisces 45)

January 14

12:37 AM

Uranus (06 Taurus 43) turns Direct

January 14

6:19 AM

Sun (24 Capricorn 38) conjunction Pluto (24 Capricorn 38)

January 17       

2:49 PM

Jupiter (06 Aquarius 44) square Uranus (06 Taurus 44)

January 19

12:40 PM

Sun enters Aquarius

January 20

12:38 PM

Mars (06 Taurus 44) conjunction Uranus (06 Taurus 44)

January 22

11:49 PM

Mars (08 Taurus 00) square Jupiter (08 Aquarius 00)

January 23

11:49 AM

Venus (19 Capricorn 01) sextile Neptune (19 Pisces 01)

January 23

7:01 PM

Sun (04 Aquarius 20) conjunction Saturn (4 Aquarius 20)

January 25

2:29 AM

Sun (05 Aquarius 40) sextile Chiron (05 Aries 40)

January 25

10:09 PM

Mercury (24 Aquarius 47) quintile Uranus (06 Taurus 47)

January 26

4:48 AM

Sun (06 Aquarius 47) square Uranus (06 Taurus 47)

January 27

6:22 AM

Venus (23 Capricorn 44) quintile Chiron (05 Aries 44)

January 28

8:18 AM

Venus (26 Capricorn 06) conjunction Pluto (26 Capricorn 06)

January 28

11:16 AM

FULL MOON in Leo (9 Leo 6)

January 28

5:39 PM

Sun (09 Aquarius 22) conjunction Jupiter (09 Aquarius 22)

January 30

7:51 AM

Mercury turns Retrograde (26 Aquarius 29)

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