2017 begins with a lesson about the fictional nature of reality. The Mars-Neptune conjunction on New Year’s Day asks us to accept that the world is slippery and unknowable. The best approach is a bemused spiritual detachment: to stand outside of events, in observation mode.
If our behavior (Mars) vacillates and equivocates right now (Neptune), it’s only appropriate. A test of how well we work with transient perceptions, this inaugural transit offers fertile ground for artists, dreamers and liars: those who work purposefully with ambiguity.
We’re channeling the god of illusion here, so we might as well do so knowingly. This means acknowledging that everything we do (Mars) contains an ocean of layered meanings (Neptune), like a well-crafted poem.
When Venus conjoins Neptune on Jan 12th, the theme of insubstantiality is reflected in our relationships. The conjunction is not about pledging a solid commitment. It’s a reminder that, at the best of times, our affections are ever-shifting wisps of feeling (Pisces). They’re a winsome plot line in a great inscrutable story.
This doesn’t mean we should be passive. Efforts to to avoid getting involved will probably just result in passive aggression. To use Neptune optimally means asserting the self sincerely, with a full heart, all the while accepting that we never truly know what’s going on. The law of unintended consequences is at work, and it’s way more powerful than our little plans.
If we feel like an actor in a great cosmic movie, it’s a good sign: we’re working with Neptune, rather than resisting it. This approach can be very effective. Just not in the way we expect.
Truth or Dare
Transit trackers have probably heard about the T-squares Jupiter is making right now with Uranus (revolution) and Pluto (breakdown).
This is the definitive configuration of 2017, very strong this last couple of months already, and continuing through most of the year. In terms of global events, it bodes extreme, explosive changes. (1)
In terms of how to handle it as individuals, in the monthly Skywatches we’ll be looking at how the T-square and its offshoots might manifest for us personally.
The transit rears its head during the second week of January. The Sun first conjoins Pluto (1/6-7), then squares Uranus (1/10) and then squares Jupiter (1/11-12). Think back to the key issues you wrestled with when the Cardinal Cross was peaking (2010-15). Identify the areas of your life that were subjected to an earthquake (Uranus); where you felt like a death of sorts (Pluto) was happening.
Those issues will reappear, to get you clear about their greater meaning. If you’ve been telling yourself that everything would go back to the way it was before, now’s the time to give up that idea.
Whatever happened during these years happened in order to dislodge you from your stuck places. If you let them, these transits will carry the re-vitalization process one step further.
Mars and Venus in Pisces, after conjoining Neptune early in the month, collide with Saturn towards the end of the month. On the 19th there’s a Mars-Saturn square that will present us with something we have to overcome before we can proceed.
Don’t sweat it. These hurdles are part of life. Try to figure out why, in the big picture, you needed a speed bump to slow you down.
On the 27th, Venus in Pisces – usually a dreamily idealistic placement — squares Saturn in Sagittarius, which encourages healthy skepticism. The distance between ourselves and others may seem a little wider.
This is about facing reality: the best of us are human, and humans are flawed.
Winter scene: Eugene Onegin ( Melancholy) – Anna and Elena Balbusso
1 This year’s trigger transits of the Uranus-Pluto square are detailed in “Truth or Dare,” The Mountain Astrologer, Feb/March 2017