January 2009: Focus Yet Remember to Breathe

Throughout the entire month of January, there is a clustering of most of the planets. Included in this cluster are the Moon’s North Node and Chiron. Excluded from this cluster are Saturn retrograde and Ceres which are both in Virgo. Due to the speed of the Moon’s travel, sometimes it is included in this cluster and other times it is not.

The cluster starts with Pluto in Capricorn, has most of its energy in Aquarius and, at the start of the month, ends with Uranus in Pisces. Eventually Venus moves beyond Uranus and ends the cluster. What’s interesting about this cluster is that both Capricorn and Aquarius are ruled by Saturn which is not part of the cluster.

When there is a cluster of planets, the energy is very focused and intense. Some of you may feel as if the world is moving too quickly and you can’t catch up. Others of you, however, may feel driven to achieve your goals almost as if you’re feeling that time is running out. The key is to understand what this cluster can mean and find a way to utilize the power that it can give you.

With the cluster beginning in Capricorn, organizing your life becomes very important. Take stock of what you have and throw out what you don’t need. Think about the future and where you want to be. Determine what mini steps you can take to achieve that future. And, if you stumble, imagine the image of a mountain goat (Capricorn) who can climb seemingly impossible hills, and realize that if you trust yourself, you can succeed.

Most of the energy of the cluster is actually focused in Aquarius, another sign ruled by Saturn and co-ruled by Uranus. The lesson that you can learn from Aquarius is that friends, as well as family, matters. In order to succeed in life, you need to know when to reach out. You don’t have to go through changes in your life alone. People are there and willing to give you support.

Finally, the cluster ends in Pisces, which is co-ruled by Jupiter and Neptune. Pisces can be the sign of illusion. But it is also the sign of transparency. Its symbol, fish tied together yet swimming in different directions, illustrates both the illusion and the transparency. You have a choice and you may want to make it this month. The choice is that you can ignore what’s going on in the world. Or, the choice is that you can look at things realistically and take action on what you see.

It’s important that both Saturn retrograde and Ceres are not part of the cluster. Yet, as already noted, Saturn rules both Capricorn and Aquarius and is therefore pulled into the cluster because of its position as a ruler of the signs. Saturn retrograde not being part of the cluster indicates that you may not want to look at the world right now. You may not feel like you want to take steps in organizing your life. But, Saturn not being part of the cluster indicates that if you ignore important things in your life, you’ll be left out of the growth patterns that can bring more success into your life. It’s very important not to ignore Saturn right now. Ceres not being part of the cluster means that once you set your goals, it’s important that you stick with those goals and nurture your plans.

The fact that Pluto starts this cluster is very important because Pluto just entered Capricorn a few months ago and it moves very slowly. It really won’t be leaving the early degrees of Capricorn until the year 2010. This means that you need to delve into your soul and find your inner strength. It means that you need to understand the magic you have within you and use this magic to create a better reality for yourself, your family, friends, and other loved ones.

Mercury starts off the month by entering Aquarius on January 1st and the need to discuss matters with other people is very important. Whatever plans you create need to involve those you love. However you want to implement your plans is important but what is more important is that you don’t want to go about these plans alone. Not only is involving your community important, but also creating new communities are important.

A few days later, on January 3rd, Venus enters Pisces and is in its exaltation. This means that you can feel more connected with your spirit. As you feel this connection with your spirit, you’ll be able to meditate and come up with new solutions that you didn’t consider in the past. This ability to connect with spirit and find power in your connection continues into January 4th when Venus forms a sextile to Pluto.

On January 5th, Jupiter enters Aquarius. This is a twelve-year cycle that lasts for about 13 months. Jupiter in Aquarius is a very interesting placement. The sign of Aquarius is one which can either represent the desire to find total freedom or the need to maintain total control. Which direction this sign takes depends on you. If you are operating from fear, you may let other people have control over you. You may give them power and hope that they can make life easier for you. If you are focused on your goals and realistic about your plans, you’ll find ways to bring increase freedom into your life.

The entry of Jupiter into Aquarius this year is important for another reason. Aquarius, as already noted several times, is co-ruled by Saturn and Uranus. Uranus is currently in Pisces which is co-ruled by Jupiter and Neptune. When two planets are in the signs of each other’s rulers, it means the planets are in mutual reception. And, mutual reception makes it easier for the planets to operate in harmony. Through this harmony, you may feel there is a mission you can accomplish and part of this mission is improving the status of both your life and the lives of others. This energy can also bring more people together who feel they have a common cause.

Jupiter is Aquarius is fascinating when it comes to leaders in the United States. Leaders during this period leave an important mark on history. For example: In 1985, Ronald Reagan was elected to his second term of office and is still remembered for his “Reaganomics” financial policy. To many he embodies one of the best and more loved Presidents of the United States. Richard Nixon met his “Waterloo” or more specifically his Watergate in 1973 when he ordered a break-in and resigned before impeachment hearings began in the Senate. Yet, President Nixon also opened the door to China and presided over the end of the Vietnam War. John F. Kennedy, inaugurated as President on January 20, 1961 and winning by a close margin over Nixon, is remembered for his “Camelot Days” and bringing both intelligence and glamour to the White House as well as his shortened career by assassination in 1963. Each of these men had a dream that the country could be prosperous even if their approaches to this prosperity were different. Also, each one of these men believed they had a legacy to fulfill. When you look at Barack Obama, you see he has this same belief. Even if you are not a national leader, you want to leave a legacy behind.

People all over the world try to join together to help others less fortunate when Jupiter is in Aquarius. In 1961, President Kennedy saw the need to help out other countries and give the youth of our society a means: The Peace Corps. Even the entertainment business got involved when, in 1985, musicians came together to help Ethiopia and produced the song, “We Are the World,” which raised funds for relief efforts. The theme for Jupiter in Aquarius is that you can do things to gain control over your life even if the economy is unsettling. The other theme for Jupiter in Aquarius is that gaining control over your life is easier when you join with other people in these efforts.

Unfortunately, the economy will be unsettling during this cycle. Price and wage controls will be put in place. Pension plans may be at jeopardy. Without the price controls, food costs will continue to rise while your salary either stays the same or declines. Yet there’s a backlash when prices either stay the same or decline due to artificial controls. One example of a backlash occurred in 1973 when President Richard Nixon implemented a second price control. Cattle producers slaughter their cattle rather than bringing it to market at a lower price.

While efforts are being made to improve the mortgage and credit interest rate situations, these efforts can also have a backlash. The lower mortgage interest rates are for 30-year loans. If you’ve already paid your mortgage for ten or more years, even the lower interest rates may cost you more if you refinance your home for a new 30 years in order to take advantage of the lower interest rate. And, while credit card companies will no longer be able to change interest rates at random, you won’t find as many cards offering “come-on” rates of 0 percent financing for a short-term period. So, if you relied on the strategy to swap out one credit rate for another to lower your bills, you won’t be able to do so.

But, Jupiter in Aquarius also increases good health prospects. Improved hygienic conditions are historically introduced during this cycle. Surgical techniques improve. The use of vitamins for preventive measures is better understood. Better understanding of how vitamins work in the healing process will give doctors another foundation for utilizing a holistic approach to your health care.

The full Moon which occurs on January 10th emphasizes the planetary cluster since the Sun is in Capricorn and the Moon is in Cancer. Both Mercury and Ceres are about to turn retrograde and do the following day. This really is a time to look to the past in order to understand the future. It’s also a time to provide nurturing to your loved ones as well as yourself. With the Moon out of the cluster, this means that you may focus too much on providing for your loved ones and forget to spend time with them. However, again you’re reminded that this is a period where you need to work with others and not try to do everything on your own.

The next few days really are about understanding how love operates in your life. When Mars forms a trine to Ceres retrograde on January 14th, you find it easier to connect with other people. You’ll also be able to negotiate difficult matters with the power of negotiations. On January 16th when Venus forms an opposition to Ceres retrograde, you may feel that perhaps you gave away too much. You may feel that you were taken advantage of. But if you maintain clarity of purpose, no one will be able to take advantage of you and you’ll understand this on January 18th when Mercury retrograde forms a conjunction to Jupiter.

Inauguration Day in the United States of America is on January 20th. The day before the inauguration, the Sun enters Aquarius on January 19th. You’ll feel changes coming. You’ll see that compromise is important and that building coalitions with other people is critical to success.

The inauguration is scheduled for 12 pm EST in Washington, DC on January 20, 2009. This is an auspicious chart. Some people have raised the question that the chart has a void of course Moon. However, this isn’t the case. The Moon forms a parallel to Mars, which is in the ninth house. (The astrological chart is set up for Washington, DC.) A parallel operates very similarly to a conjunction but with the psychological feeling that “it is done.” It means that there can be a lot of energy surrounding the inauguration. With Mars in the ninth house, people are looking forward to the future with hope. With the Moon is in the seventh house, people want to be part of an alliance and part of the action.

This chart is also very important because it is a “fated chart.” The Moon is conjunct Barack Obama’s Midheaven. (His birth data according to his birth certificate is: August 4, 1961; 7:24 pm AHST; Honolulu, HI). Barack Obama is promising that he’ll step up to the challenge. He is telling the public that he is ready to lead.

If the actually swearing in begins around 12:16 pm EST, the chart is even more “fated” because the Ascendant will than form a square to Obama’s Ascendant. He is taking his duty personally. He is putting himself out there. He wants to do want ever is possible to succeed. He is also “putting himself out there.” What this means is that not only is he standing up for what he believes but he is also letting the public get close to him. Security is very high with this inauguration and it’s important that it is.

On the day following the inauguration, January 21st, Mercury retrograde re-enters Capricorn. It was in Capricorn from December 12, 2008 to January 1, 2009. During that time the election was won and Barack Obama was busy developing his cabinet and plans for his administration. This will be when he re-evaluates those plans. This is also the time for you to re-evaluate your plans.

On January 22nd, Mars forms a sextile to Uranus and Venus forms a conjunction to Uranus. This can be a scattered day or a day of joy. Whether you feel scattered or joyful doesn’t really matter because the world feels that a new time is beginning. With Uranus involved it’s not always easy to understand what’s occurring around you. Unexpected information is usually received. What is important is to open your mind to new concepts and ideas.

January 24th will be another intense day as the Sun forms a conjunction to Jupiter, Mars forms a trine to Saturn retrograde, and Venus forms an opposition to Saturn retrograde. Although the Sun is now in Aquarius, the Saturn energy is very strong because Saturn is one of the co-rulers of the Sun. With Saturn being the prime energy for today, it’s important that you don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s important that you don’t criticize yourself to the point of preventing action. Rather, use this energy to focus on your goals.

The month ends with an annular solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs during the time of a new Moon and in this case both the Sun and Moon are in Aquarius. This is the first eclipse of the year. The greatest portion of this eclipse takes place in the Indian Ocean and is totally visible in western Indonesia. The partial eclipse will be seen in the southern third of African, Madagascar, Australia except for Tasmania, southeast India, Southeast Asia, and the rest of Indonesia. (For a complete list of the actual countries and cities, as well as a timeline for the longitudes and latitudes, go to www.eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov)

This eclipse falls into the second house of the chart set up for Washington, DC. The second house deals with the financial well-being of the country, as well as all organizations dealing with finances, such as banks, investment firms, and the stock exchanges. The economy will be the most important issue during the year 2009.

While you may feel insecure about economic stability, this eclipse emphasizes the planetary cluster that has been operating throughout this month. Even throughout the year it’s important that you reach out to other people in your life. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. This is not a time for isolation but rather a time for action wherever possible. If you feel the world is moving too quickly, take time to breathe and relax. If you are focused on your goals to the point of ignoring personal relationships, take time to breathe and relax. A master teacher once taught me that while changes surround your life, when you breathe and relax you also hears the sounds of joy through the rush of the winds of change.