Starcodes  New Year’s Day 2016 — as the year dawns. Heather Roan Robbins

Starcodes  New Year’s Day 2016 — as the year dawns. Heather Roan Robbins

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“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” Willa Cather

“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, which takes imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for caring that ideal into practice.” Arnold Toynbee

We’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn from both calm and storm in 2016, and we need to stay awake, alive, engaged in hopeful to learn what we need to learn and direct the changes.

Let’s look at the lay of the land as 2016 dawns. Cultural earthquakes rumble on and momentum builds for the changes already in progress, but the dust is still so stirred up we can’t see the new pathways. We’re resonating from the 7 squares formed between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn between 2012-15, now waning but still within orb throughout the year, and the aftershocks will be with us for several more. Nothing, from our marriage systems to our ecosystem, will ever be the same as it was before. Think back to the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-68 (our last major Uranus-Pluto interaction), the enormous cultural shifts stimulated then resonated and revolutionized our culture and politics through the early 70s; we can expect the same few years of aftershocks creative bursts as our world culture and politics adjust to the changes wrought by that square.

Let’s take another look at the characters involved in the square. Pluto in Capricorn (2008-24) pushes us to renovate our approach to political, financial, and personal power around the globe. We see some people make an effort to crack down and tighten rule, here debates on how governing and policing structures need to evolve, from political parties to our own circles. Rebellion will naturally foment in response, energized by revolutionary, anarchistic, easily-ticked- off Uranus in independent Aries (2010-18). Over and over again we’ll learn the lesson that only a third perspective, where all parties can be heard and empowered, takes us beyond struggle and into creation.

The separating Uranus-Pluto square is still a powerful engine, it can amp up any fight or war we let get started, or leave us depressed or pushy if we don’t have clear goals. But, like any good engine, can also give us the charge we need to tackle our work and change our world for the better. We have an incredible potential to change what we do, and how we do it, around the globe, hopefully in enough time to encourage a more balanced climate.

Every time one of the faster moving personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars) hits Pluto or Uranus, they sound off that square and our whole world vibrates; we are thrown a few wildcards and all our ongoing cultural changes are stirred up again. We saw this as Mars rang that bell in November and December of 2015, as Mercury conjunct Pluto and twang our issues of mortality and power a week before Christmas, and we will feel it again next week as the Sun conjuncts Pluto and rings that bell again on January 6, 2016, just as Mercury turns retrograde.

Uranus in Aries strangely attracts people to drastic solutions. Lightning bolts can crack open our sky and shock us with sudden challenges or exciting opportunities. A new generation needs to sort out their relationship to violence, and we can help them choose peace if we encourage this urgent hope towards a balance of power, and prove that people will listen, that they don’t have to resort to violence to be heard. If we don’t give them faith in this process, we can expect the revolutionary momentum to build.

Underneath this compelling search for new answers, Neptune in Pisces (2011-25) lets the veil between the worlds stay thin. Our imagination and spiritual hunger sit like a welcoming pool, waiting for us, though we have to consciously reach in to activate. Neptune in Pisces also highlights water issues of all type. Water quality, availability, pollution, floods and droughts; and all this is underlined and emphasized as Saturn squares Neptune on and off from November 2015 through September 2016.

As Saturn in Neptune square we see how permeable all boundaries are, the boundaries of our immune system, the boundaries between countries. From the travel of disease to the patterns of refugee migration, be see how boundaries are an illusion, that we are all one, and that what happens to the least of us happens to all of us.

Saturn in Sagittarius (2015-18) puts on the front burner and gives us a chance to work on a restructure all international relationships, educational and legal systems. On a personal level Saturn in Sagittarius wants us to be honest about our work and asks us to walk, dance, and bring disciplined joy to our movement. Saturn in Sagittarius will support any effort we make towards greener transportation methods.

Jupiter in Virgo (until 9/10) spurs the urge for public health and encourages publishing and education on all health-related matters, and gives us visceral examples to show how our health and our work are deeply intertwined. Our work can set us free. Jupiter in Libra (after 9/10) encourages us to explore expanded concepts of partnership.

Just after New Year’s, the Sun conjuncts Pluto (1/4) and asks us to face our discouragement, work through it, integrate conflicting needs and find a productive and powerful way forward with unusual imagination and honesty. The Quadrantids meteor shower (1/3, 4) encourages new solutions outside our normal purview.

Stay cool, calm, and collected this week, especially under stress, because although the mood can be focused and determined at peace, it could get really volatile in the face of accident, confusion, or anger. Sunday, Mars enters its own sign (by traditional rulership, a sign where it is unusually strong) of Scorpio, then the Sun conjuncts Pluto on Tuesday as Mercury stations turning retrograde. Misunderstandings or missteps occurred easily, just as our temper sharpens. Although Mars encourages our immune system, it increases our tendency to get inflamed, from our muscles to our moods. We may be tested by an event, realization, or by a flood of memories, but Mercury encourages us to work through our discouragement, integrate conflicting needs and take an unusually honest and imaginative approach. Take note of any major international incident that occur this week, they will have long-ranging effects.

Mercury, arbiter of communications, nervous systems, and transportation, usually retrogrades three times a year, but this year we’re lucky and get four, starting Tuesday. Mercury retrogrades 1/5-1/25, 4/28-5/22, 8/30-9/21, and 12/19-1/8/17.  Throughout January let’s finish projects already in the works, review last year’s events, and change our plans based on this new understanding.

Leave the rest of the week to unravel and recollect. Keep the schedule loose and mobile, and be ready to respond to unusual short-term demands. Do not let little things snowball into big snafus, keep priorities clear. Let’s remember what we’re doing and where we want to go, and clear the decks of unfinished business. February launches a new chapter.

Friday, January 1: Let this morning be quiet and contemplative as the waning Libra Moon squares the Sun and Pluto. We need to sleep in. Review more than plan- and make resolutions on the following weekend’s New Moon in Capricorn. As Mercury trines the asteroid of Hygeia tonight and Mercury enters more philosophical Aquarius, our minds are brought to how do we make our lives healthier, and the world around us were connected. Collaborative dialogue picks up.

Moon sextile Venus 5:05 AM, Mercury trine Hygeia 7:07 PM, Mercury enters Aquarius 7:19 PM, Moon square Sun 10:30 PM, Moon sextile Saturn 10:35 PM, Sun semi-sextile Saturn 11:34 PM.

Saturday, January 2: Tie up loose ends, further ongoing conversations but keep the schedule loose, expectations low, and relationships prioritized. Uncomfortable thoughts or events may be likely early in the morning as the moon squares Pluto and opposes Uranus, but then the energy becomes more free-form and floating. Our brains may feel like a puddle and make it more comfortable to rattle around, do art projects and meander together.

Moon square Pluto 6:22 AM, Moon opposed Uranus 9:23 AM.

Sunday, January 3: Our tails twitch, crowds bug us, and we may have had enough of our relatives as the Moon and Mars both enter solitude- loving, serious Scorpio and conjunct. If we talk, we need to get real and get deep. Speak from compassion though, because confrontations and attempts to control will escalate. It may help to take a solitary journey or disappear with a good mystery story.

Mars enters Scorpio 7:32 AM, Moon enters Scorpio 12:35 PM, Moon conjuncts Mars 12:50 PM, Moon square Mercury 2:11 PM. Mars semi-sextile Hygeia 7:08 PM

Monday, January 4: The morning could be surly and uncooperative; low-level anxiety is distracting people. Give them room to be cranky and stay focused on the few things that actually need to be done. We may feel overextended, as if we have been doing too much for others and not taking care of ourselves as Venus trines Vesta and a day to renew the wells can make a difference.

Jupiter trine Pallas Athena 1:40 AM, Moon trine Neptune 3:56 AM, Moon sextile Sun 4:33 PM, Moon sextile Pluto 6:59 PM, Venus trine Vesta 9:20 PM, Moon trine Chiron 11:45 PM.

Tuesday, January 5: Safety first, it’s very easy to say the wrong thing and set people off on this tricky, emotional day as Mercury retrogrades and conjuncts Mars and the Sun conjuncts Pluto. We are not really able to see a healthy balance between our needs and others with Venus square Neptune, and are likely to project our feelings, our hopes and fears, on one another rather than perceive each other clearly. Drive safely, speak consciously, cut everyone a lot of slack, and check in on depressed friends.

Mercury square Mars 5 AM, Mercury retrograde 6:05 AM, Venus square Neptune 7:33 AM, Moon sextile Jupiter 10:47 AM, Sun conjunct Pluto 8:28 PM, Moon enters Sagittarius 11:56 PM.

Wednesday, January 6: The Moon enters Sagittarius and lightens the mood. It’s a bit easier to see what’s really going on with one another, or to speak up when we realize a misperception. Deal with present emergencies and begin a discussion about the future, just keep any plans adjustable through the end of the month.

Moon sextile Mercury 1:49 AM, Venus semi-square Pallas Athena 12:15 PM, Moon square Neptune 2:39 PM, Neptune trine Juno 4:59 PM, Moon conjunct Venus 5:54 PM, Moon conjunct Saturn 10:26 PM,

Thursday, January 7: An interesting shift in perspective lets us look at past events with fresh eyes as the Sun squares Uranus, we may need to correct or adjust projects already in the works, or wake up to our role in a former difficulty. If so, rather than beat ourselves up about the past, let this offer tools to make the future better. A temporary change in routine furthers. Issues of publishing, broadcasting, or PR may need to be put on hold briefly.

Mercury trine Hygeia for 20 4 AM, Sun square Uranus 5:22 AM, Moon trine Uranus 7:28 AM, Moon square Chiron 9:27 AM, Moon square Jupiter 7:44 PM, Jupiter retrogrades 9:40 PM,

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