“My grandfather of mindfulness must watch constantly after this spoiled child of deluded mind to save him from disaster.”– Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
It would be wonderful if we could spend the month of January in a meditation retreat. Mercury in Capricorn retrogrades encourages us to be a wise and careful thinker, to develop a disciplined mind and focus on our work. Mercury retrograde asks us to look within to examine what we do and why we do it, review where we’ve been, reconnect with our deepest practice, and hold still.
But not many of us will be able to do this, so it may be a complicated month. Just as 2016 begins and we want to plan our year ahead, Mercury retrograde asks us to review the year behind, finish the work we began before the holidays, catch up, deal with issues already on the table, and wait to launch new projects come February. And there’s a lot of work to do because Mercury and the Sun both recently tagged Pluto and shook up our self-doubts, our concerns, shook our ground, and generally stirred the muck in our psyche. Mercury retrogrades back to Pluto before turns direct.
Of course even if we could take a meditation retreat it would need to include walking or dancing meditation too, as Venus in Sagittarius helps us feel upbeat in the face of difficulties and ready to travel, but can make us restless if we sit still for too long. Venus will conjunct Saturn this week which helps us put disciplined practice into anything we love. But our love life can feel like a lot of work, and will be helpful to practice good relationship skills rather than react off one another if the going gets rough.
Mars is now in Scorpio and also calls us inwards. Mars usually only spends two months in a sign every 2 ½ years, but because of its retrograde cycle will hover in Scorpio for an unusually long time, from January 4- March 7th—then retrograde back into Scorpio May 28-Aug 3. We’d better get used to it and learn how to work with its energies this year. And this can be tricky.
Mars is unusually strong in Scorpio, a sign it traditionally rules. North Korea declared they had tested a hydrogen bomb the first day Mars when into Scorpio. We don’t have to bomb anybody, though we may feel like, because this Mars can pump up revenge fantasies or strange obsessions that leave small groups of odd men taking over a bird sanctuary in Oregon. People can obsess on past wrongs and historic problems with Mars in vengeful Scorpio until they feel heard and hopeful about resolution. Don’t ask anybody to just drop it, that will only inflame the problem. Listen, and be quiet if your first response is dueling defenses.
Watch this cycle over the next eight months, look for examples of the worst of macho behavior in the headlines, and notice an extra twitchy tail and edgy take in our everyday lives. Our deepest triggers and darkest secrets, our fears that we don’t discuss can get poked and make us squirm, but in response we may find ourselves capable of bravery and leadership and able to set boundaries we didn’t even know were possible.
Mars in Scorpio holds darkest, deepest side of the zodiac, rife with our fears and compulsions, our secrets and fetishes. But Scorpio holds a truly heroic note and can lead us to save the day.
Over the weekend a new Moon in Capricorn can stimulate a review of our work: Are we engage in right livelihood? Are we doing what we came here to do? If we are, how can we further this work; if not, how can we get on track. Look for talk about the politics of work labor and economic support, mining, and construction. Venus and Saturn conjunct and can leave us less emotionally cuddly, more easily depressed if we don’t have satisfying work or a way to go deep with our work.
As the week progresses, we may be confronted with some surprising realizations. Listen for that glorious sound of an assumption breaking away, one we didn’t even know we had until we heard it fall. Now look around with fresh eyes while the Sun and Mercury conjunct the Sun and both trine liberating Jupiter. The new view could bring could bring new information or decisions around an old problem and help us finally free up some blocked energy.
Back to that Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, this can make us wise on a good day, but also mentally fixated or depressed on a bad one. So let’s give our mind good work to do. Take a mindful, meditative approach, exercise the muscles of the mind and watch constantly after that squirming child of deluded mind.
Friday, January 8: We may be tired or a little thickheaded today. Be wary of a sluggish depression that fixates on old wounds; honor it but don’t let it run the show. We know what needs to be done and will feel so much better when we put in a good day’s work fixing the past and catching up as Mercury retrogrades back into Capricorn and conjunct the determined Capricorn Moon. Engage competence midafternoon as the Moon sextiles Mars, and be responsible for one another. Let’s practice good relationship skills whether we feel like it or not tonight; let’s not test one another as Venus conjunct Saturn but build trust instead.
Sun sextile Chiron 7:14 AM, Moon enters Capricorn 8:06 AM, Mercury retrogrades into Capricorn 12:36 PM, Moon sextile Mars 1:19 PM, Venus conjunct Saturn 9:10 PM, Moon sextile Neptune 10:07 PM.
Saturday, January 9: It furthers to rest and take it contemplative moment. The past hovers, a haunted frustration can make us restless or reckless as the waning Capricorn Moon conjuncts Pluto and squares Uranus midday. It can help us grow, but watch a certain recklessness. We won’t be feeling light and fluffy, but can let this review of the past allow us to make good decisions and real resolutions for the future tonight on the new Moon in Capricorn. These resolutions can stick.
Moon conjunct Pluto 10:40 AM, Moon square Uranus 1:58 PM, Moon conjunct the Sun 6:30 PM.
Sunday, January 10: We can feel a little old or creaky on this serious, thoughtful morning. but our mood and muscles improve with movement as the Moon enters collaborative Aquarius midday. Friends need to check-in, community responsibilities knock on our door. Our minds are brought to how community, politics, family and collaboration can improve our situation.
Moon trine Jupiter 1:33 AM, Mercury semi-square Venus 5:22 AM, Moon conjunct Mercury 10:39 AM, Moon enters Aquarius 1:22 PM.
Monday, January 11: A more cheerful stubbornness kicks in to cover up deeper concerns swirling beneath. Don’t ask anybody what they feel, we probably don’t want to go there. Keep conversation in the present to work around strong mixed feelings. Humor furthers as Venus in Sagittarius begins to trine Uranus. Work issues require us to track our progress carefully, but also notice some romantic or interpersonal sparks over the next few days; look for interesting new relationships or collaborations with roots in the past. Reconnect with previous contacts. Work on an old art piece. Hug an old friend.
Moon sextile Saturn 11:35 AM, Mercury semi-square Saturn 1:55 PM, Moon sextile Venus 4:58 PM, Venus semi-sextile Pluto 5:18 PM, Moon sextile Uranus 7:09 PM,
Tuesday, January 12: Stir the coals of hopefulness as Mercury trines Jupiter over the next few days. As important facts become clear, an old ally may need to be lovingly challenged as Mercury conjuncts the asteroid Pallas Athena, or an old foe held accountable. We grow more sensitive and can tap into our creative process tonight as the Moon enters Pisces. Blow on those sparks of romance and affection as new connections and old beloveds need warmth. If misunderstandings and distractions have recently stressed relationships, take a moment of fun or humor to support a healthy bond.
Mercury conjunct Pallas Athena 10:13 AM, Moon enters Pisces 5:53 PM, Venus trine Uranus 6:10 PM,
Wednesday, January 13: We waft around in our inner realms this morning as the Moon conjuncts Neptune in Pisces and the Sun semi-squares Neptune. Let’s be honest with ourselves if we feel moment of self-pity, feel the feelings rather than get stuck on that storyline, then look for an opportunity to help another from the benefit of our experience as Venus challenges Chiron this afternoon. Infuse a lighthearted moment when were ever possible as the Sun trines Jupiter, when we notice the light at the end of the tunnel, we stay on track.
Moon trine Mars 2:55 AM, Moon conjunct Neptune 7:16 AM, Sun semi-square Neptune 9:37 AM, Moon square Saturn 3:06 PM, Sun trine Jupiter 4:48 PM, Venus semi-square Chiron 6:26 PM, Moon sextile Pluto 8:13 PM,
Thursday, January 14: We are infused with great strength of mind as the Sun conjuncts Mercury and both trine Jupiter, but we can use that to obsess on our problems as easily as we can to find answers. Let’s be careful where we put our focus. Give people room to express and tell their story, taken the full picture, and let a challenge instigate a compassionate teaching moment.
Moon square Venus 12:54 AM, Sun conjunct Mercury 8:04 AM, Moon opposed Jupiter 9:13 AM, Moon sextile Mercury 10 of 9 AM, Moon sextile Sun 10:31 AM, Mercury trine Jupiter 8:15 PM, Moon enters Aries 8:48 PM.