Jan 2014
A Year of Wisdom and Foolishness

imagesOn New Year’s Day there’s a New Moon in the wee small hours of morning. The year is announcing itself like the blast from a trumpet. No one can say we haven’t been warned: the meaning of 2014 is being declared straight out of the gate.

It’s about exposing our cherished dysfunctions.

Mars and the Cross

The week before the 2014 kicks in, Mars and Jupiter have added their cardinal heft to the Uranus-Pluto square , cranking up the sense of crisis we associate with a grand cross. Events both internal and external will arise to make this happen, especially during the critical months of January and April.

In the blogs I’ll be addressing these dramas as they show up in the cultural arena. Here in the Skywatches we’ll focus on the personal life.

Well-Told Taleimages-6

A look at the contours of 2014 may remind you, as it did me, of Charles Dickens saying “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Astrologers have been saying much the same thing about the state of the world in the Cardinal Cross era.

What does 2014 have in store for each of us as individuals? This will have everything to do with how detached we are from our own stories.


There is no time more ideal to start cultivating this detachment than New Year’s Day, which coincides with the first of two New Moons (3:15 am PST) this month. Instead of the usual garden-variety New Year’s resolutions, let us consider resolving, right now, to live through our charts, to the best of our ability… for the rest of our lives. That is, to aim for the highest possible expression of those inner resources we were born with. It’s a commitment that begins and ends with self-honesty.

To accompany this resolution, try this exercise. Ask yourself what themes reared their heads about six years ago, when Pluto entered Capricorn. Consider these experiences as if they were plot lines in a masterfully told tale, co-written by you and the All-That-Is.

Something remarkable happens when we view our dramas as elements of a personal myth. In doing so we are not trivializing what happened; quite the opposite. We are holding our life story with great respect, as emanations of our soul being. We may even come to chuckle at events that might have thrown us for a loop before, now appreciating them as we would an ingenious twist in a brilliant movie.

This is the best approach with which to follow the transits ongoing. We’re watching our dramas as they happen, giving ourselves heads-ups about spikes in intensity, knowing what they mean in advance.

To start 2014 off with this perspective sets the template for the months to come. It’s a way to cultivate clarity where we might otherwise have felt reactive, victimized, even traumatized.

Four Corners

The Cardinal Cross is in its glory this year, with Uranus in Aries (cardinal fire) and images-7Pluto (cardinal earth) skewered by transits in the other two cardinal signs. Mars is now in Libra (cardinal air) for an unusually long eight months, whence it’ll be retrograding back and forth over the degree zone that will put Uranus and Pluto into T-square fighting mode.

Meanwhile, Jupiter has been in Cancer (cardinal water) since last summer. This puts all four elements into the mix, in a confrontation between leadership styles of equal strength.

The Cancer corner of the transit may feel at times like a harsh but loving parent, images-1who’s picked us up by the scruff of the neck to move us towards health and sanity.

The Capricorn corner may sound like the tick of an inescapable inner clock, pushing us towards emotional, psychological and spiritual maturity.

The Libra corner of the cross will come up in relationships, compelling us to seek union without losing sight of ourselves.

images-3The Aries corner makse us feel like a downhill skiier going at top speed, without a wasted motion, utterly focused on avoiding the trees.

Greater and Lesser Selves

Dickens called the years of the French Revolution “an age of wisdom, an age of foolishness.” Ours too is an age of extremes. The potential exists this year for each one of us to express our own particular version of genius, or to lock us further into our self-made prisons.

It is the nature of a grand cross to raise the stakes so high that the native makes bold moves to reduce the tension.  Our drastic changes may feel not so much chosen as stumbled into.

But these energies don’t come out of nowhere. They have been building. 2014 will push to extremes those tendencies that we’ve already set in motion. It will also give us, time and time again, chances to wrench ourselves out of toxic contexts and launch ourselves in fresh new directions.

But we have to know which way the wind is blowing.

We are partners with the cosmos in this exercise. It’s not about expecting the transits to cause things to happen, as if the planets were our puppet-masters. 2014 is going to demand our being awake and alert.

Pieces of the Cross

Here is a rundown of the major players in the Grand Cross of 2014, in order of profundity:

Uranus square Pluto. The defining transit of our era: a long, drawn-out struggle between the planet of revolution and the planet of breakdown (and breakthrough. Which it is depends on whether we understand what’s going on). As January begins the square is halfway through its riff of seven peaks. It’s exact to the minute of arc in April and December.

Jupiter opposite Pluto. The urge to believe in something is being pulled in extreme directions. When used consciously, this intensity leads to profound understanding; when we allow it to use us, instead, it leads to power plays: the urge to control others with our ideas. Pay particular attention in January and April.

Mars square Pluto. Here the ego is being fed by an instinctual craving to destroy or make something over. Everything depends on whether our willpower is understood to be a servant of Pluto (Natural Law) or the other way around. Most extreme in late December 2013, and in April and mid-June of 2014.

Jupiter square Uranus. Growth is available in sudden spurts, which can be exciting, disruptive or both. If you don’t know what houses these planets are transiting in your chart, look it up, think about it, get a reading. Take full advantage of this eye-opening transit, which peaks late February and mid-to-late April.

Mars opposite Uranus. Urgent calls to action may strike from within or without. Like a lightning rod in a storm, stay grounded. But don’t shut down, no matter how wild the energy. Most obvious Christmas Day 2013, April 23 and June 25 of 2014.

Mars square Jupiter. There’s an ambitiousness in the air that could manifest physically (as through athletics), financially (uncharacteristic largesse), geographically (adventure calls!), intellectually (taking great gulps of new knowledge). However it shows up, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Strongest early January, mid-to-late April and early August.