Welcome to the first blog of 2017!  Many of us were more than happy to see 2016 pass into history but also looked towards 2017 with trepidation.  It’s here and we survived the cross over and will survive 2017 as well.

As I stated in my last blog, the “astronomical” New  Year is December 20/21 during the solstice when the Sun begins to increase its light.  January 1st was an arbitrary date, most likely chosen as the New Year due to the ending of the Solstice/Christmas season; it is not based on any astrological/astronomical timing.

Other traditions around the world choose the beginning of the New Year according to lunar cycles, and this year the Chinese New Year is, depending on the time zone, January 27th. It will usher in the year of the Rooster, a symbol of hard work, resourcefulness and courage – qualities that will be appreciated during the year 2017. January 27th represents the first New Moon of 2017 which takes place with the Sun and Moon exactly conjunct in the hard-working sign of CAPRICORN.

January 26th is the date of a big astrological change which is Saturn’s movement into the sign of SAGITTARIUS after his two and half year residence in the sign of SCORPIO.  (There will be a four month period from June 20 – October 25 when Saturn will slip back into Scorpio and give us all a “final exam” on what we learned while he was in Scorpio.) On a basic level this means that those who have strong planets in Sagittarius, Gemini, Aquarius, Virgo will be under the tutelage of Saturn – Sagittarius and Gemini will be receiving the strongest influence.  Those who were born between December 16 to January 15 (Sagittarius), June 16 to July 17 (Gemini), February 15 to March 15 (Aquarius) and September 17 to October 17 (Virgo)  will have their Suns in signs which will be affected by this Saturn transit.  However, those with their Ascendants, Moons or other significant placements in these signs will be attracting Saturn’s close attention as well.  Our friends with strong influences in Scorpio, Taurus and — on a lesser level — Capricorn and Leo, can exhale now and look forward to bringing new truth and maturity into their future.  Of course, we all have the influence of each sign somewhere in our charts and Saturn in Sagittarius will be affecting each one of us accordingly.

As we know, Saturn is the great teacher and does so through truth, reality, constriction, challenge and, far too often, loss. He is leaving the intense sign of Scorpio and has shone his special light on the darkest part of human nature along with frustrating many of us in appeasing our desire nature.  Scorpio is also a Mars sign, and Saturn brought out the angry and aggressive side of human nature.  Good-bye is not always hard to say!

Sagittarius is a different energy.  It is symbolized by the centaur and is a fast-moving, courageous, adventurous and forward thinking energy. Since Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, those with harmonious planets in Sagittarius can experience a positive ease as they gallop through life.  It is easy to see how those with planets in Sagittarius, Gemini, Aquarius and Virgo will be in for a time period that feels very restrictive to them.  All four of the signs that are going to be influenced are fast-moving and impatient by nature.  For many with these influences in their charts, it is going to be a challenge to sit in the quiet classroom of Saturn.  I’ve personally seen through clients, as well as the many Scorpio-influenced family members I have, an amazing growth in the past two and half years – they are more content, wiser and peaceful now than they were prior to Saturn’s attention.  I expect the same results for those who are now going to be under this influence.

I know that many are dreading this Friday when the grown-up leaves the White House.  The negative side of the anger and resentment of the Saturn/ Mars/Scorpio energy appears to have left all of us in quite a mess. It seems unfair that a bunch of people who refuse to move out of the lower energies of resentment, desire and ignorance have caused such an upset to our country.  However, it does no good to blame them because there was also a great amount of apathy and lack of civic responsibility along with a corrupt political system on all sides to get us to this point.

Saturn’s transit position always affects the entire planet, and it is interesting to note that Sagittarius is one of the “international/global” signs.  What we are seeing on a local level is also politically relevant for the governments of many nations.  Saturn will shift the order of the entire world as he moves through Sagittarius.

The mystical teaching behind the symbol of the centaur is that one of the basic impulses of Sagittarius is to move human beings further from the heavier/mundane nature of an animal toward the light that is supposed to symbolize the human being.  That light is the indicator of our soul/divine nature and, on many levels, the influences of materialism, desire, technology, and ignorance have buried the source of light throughout the world. Sagittarius is one of the signs of rulers and law and, for many centuries, the power wielded by the “powers that be” has been one of selfishness, greed, and corrupt power.  As all of us experience a shifting to a higher plane of energy along with the global economy and connecting technology, it appears a breaking point has been reached.  Scorpio is secrets and Saturn is truth.  The corruption can no longer be hidden from the people.

Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and is the significator of rulers, lawyers and politicians.  It would seem that they are also about to be treated to Saturn’s influence.  As lucky as Sagittarius can be, it also brings with it a strong dose of laziness, greed and hubris which has caused many people of power to fall down the ladder it climbed.  Of course, it is not just the powerful who deal with these qualities, and it is important for each of us to watch for these influences in our daily lives as ignoring the truth of Saturn can disrupt our own lives.

Saturn is considered the planet of the “people,” and he has truth and warnings for us as well.  The Sagittarius energy should make all of us feel lighter and more optimistic now that Scorpio is no longer the prominent sign.  It is important for us to not fall into laziness or false optimism.  Saturn will be working with us to bring our leaders into line and to cleanse out the filth of our political system, but Saturn demands work, focus, and steadfastness.  If the people want a system based on more fairness and higher moral values, it will be the people who will have to vote, write letters, stage peaceful protests, and get involved in local elections.  Most importantly, it will be up to the people to remember that in this time of new energy and global community, we all have to remind ourselves that unity is important and the work ahead is not just for our own benefit but for the benefit of all.

Jupiter has been considered the planet of the Republican Party here in the US and Saturn the planet of the Democrats.  It is of note that there was a time when it was the Republican Party which was the forward moving party but over the years they fell prey to the negative side of the Jupiter energy of greed, parochialism, fake morality and hubris.  Saturn can be an interesting player in the next two and half years as he works, like Siva, to light the fires of purification within the GOP and it may be the GOP which we see imploding.

However, Saturn as ruler of the Democratic Party now in the sign of politics, also has something to do with Democrats cleaning up their act.  Ultimately, Saturn and Sagittarius together have the potential to remind Democrats that they are supposed to be actively working towards the future for all people and that their apathy and determination to protect their own positions and security has not been effective in championing the average American citizen.  They need to be much more forward thinking in their approach to governing the people. Sagittarius is more youth-oriented, and it is time to let in some new blood and accept the new 21st century world.

As we close out this cycle, it is imperative to know that no one is going to save us and that it is going to take hard work, determination, courage, unity and patience to work with the opportunities offered by Saturn in Sagittarius.

On a personal level the New Moon is always a good energy for contemplation, silence and rest.  This New Moon is significant and the time around the twenty-seventh is a good time to reflect and perhaps journal on what has been learned about our own desires in the past two and half years.  Do our desires work to elevate us? Do our desires hurt someone else? Are they actually achievable or are they like sand castles in the sky?  Have we seen our own darker sides in the past two years? Have we handled loss with grace, and do we understand what in our own subconscious minds hold us back from worthwhile goals?

We can all work for the highest good through these tumultuous times but we can only be in complete charge of our own thoughts and evolution.  The cycles of the planets give us all opportunities to work with the universe to understand and grow on our own journey towards being.  Let’s all take advantage of this significant New Moon.

Happy Lunar New Year!