January Forecast: Winter Is Here, Now Let’s See What We’re Made Of

December 31, 2019

December 2019 ends with a bittersweet mood that sets the tone for a momentous January, the threshold we cross into 2020, and a whole new decade. On December 30, Mercury in Capricorn makes its final aspect of the year by forming a strong, stimulating trine with radical Uranus in earthy Taurus. It shows where everyone’s mind is at beneath the holiday celebrations; how will we manage our shifting material needs and awareness moving forward?

We are already beginning to strategize, to think practically, while honing our ability to adapt to the forces of change within, and without. Topics of sustainability with our livelihood, and our relationship with the earth itself, will be greatly highlighted in 2020.

On December 31, there is one last winsome, idealistic aspect; the conjunction of the waxing moon in Pisces with transcendental Neptune, the planet of collective spirituality and vision. On New Year’s Eve, we come together, with heightened sensitivity, compassion, and emotional vulnerability, casting our hopes to set sail on the oceanic waves of the night. We have many wishes, many dreams that we would like to fulfill in 2020, but to realize these, there is much work to do.

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January 2020 begins with benevolent Jupiter newly in its dutiful, conservational role in Capricorn, joining the gravity of the stellium congregated in this constructive sign. This year, our values and lessons with be focused on our ability to preserve, conserve, and persevere. In medical astrology, Capricorn rules the bones, so it’s a time to densify and fortify ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually, as we bear what feels like heavy life burdens, until we develop the strength and fortitude to carry these with the ease our new capacities allow.

January also holds sign changes for Mercury, Mars, Venus, and the sun. There will be a full moon/lunar eclipse, a new moon, and Uranus, the planet of revolution and radicality, will move direct on its course again. There is also the great epochal conjunction between Saturn and Pluto, which only happens once every 30 years, signaling a new restructuring of societal power, authority, and monetary systems.

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January 2: Mercury is conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn
The energy of the month starts with a restless spark, with the active Aries moon forming a catalyzing square with the sun in stable Capricorn. This initiates the second quarter phase of the lunar cycle, amping up energy, initiative, and emotional directness that will peak at the full moon of January 10.
Meanwhile, Mercury and Jupiter come together in patient Capricorn, turning our mood pensive and thoughts practical as we contemplate sustainable material and monetary growth. We question: can there ever be such a thing? We may be evaluating our bank statements from 2019, recommitting to our health and our body/mind practices, and doing a deep, post-holiday house cleaning to make way for the new. It’s back to work for most of us today too, so it’s time to refocus and slide back into our regular schedules.


January 3: Mars enters Sagittarius
On Friday, January 3, that new year spark ignites newfound drive and enthusiasm, as Mars leaves its tenacious nocturnal home of Scorpio to explode into ebullient Sagittarius, where it will stoke and prod action until February 16. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, which is now cooled and grounded in Capricorn, so this may have a steadying, tempering effect on this typically spicy Mars placement, helping us to draw back on the reins and harness this drive in a constructive manner. Mars in Sagittarius can express in the collective as indignation and brutal honesty, as the centaur seeks authenticity, so whatever grievances we may have had simmering since the warrior’s planet was in secretive Scorpio may be emerging now. It’s a time to clear the air amidst the “let’s get real” cosmic weather.

 Courtesy of Debra Stapleton

January 10: Full moon/lunar eclipse, Uranus goes direct, and Mercury is conjunct the sun
Friday, January 10 is a truly momentous day, hosting three major planetary events with important symbolism for the newly unfolding year. First, the early morning conjunction of Mercury with the sun in stoic Capricorn indicates a time of purifying thoughts and intentions. This process is known as “Cazimi”, an Arabic word for “heart”, and so Mercury is re-forged in the fiery heart of the sun—a kind of crucible that burns away anything that is cluttering our clarity. A renewed and reset sense of awareness and purpose emerges, and in constructive Capricorn, it’s time to see reality as it is, with stoic acceptance, and time-tested wisdom.

Later that morning, there is an opposition between the sun in reserved Capricorn and the moon in emotive Cancer. This polarity between the luminaries of day and night form a full moon, yet in this case, the moon passes through the shadow of the earth, and in its potency and fullness become eclipsed. The moon, in turn, opposes all of the planets in the Capricorn stellium today, as we confront the emotional implications of the important work we are engaged in.

While the morning’s Cazimi is purifying, the lunar eclipse is purging, a signal that heavy, unwholesome forces must be shed from our bodies and emotional field. As tempting as it is to do some ritual during this evocative lunar phenomenon, ancient wisdom tells us to handle eclipse energy with respect and care. Eclipse rays are all about release and are never meant to be captured, so this means no crystal charging, or talisman crafting, please. With this eclipse in Cancer, emotions may be running high, and we will be feeling especially vulnerable, so a day to one’s self at home, if possible, resting, reflecting, and conserving energy will help us come through this moment with our psychic energies intact. Take a purifying salt bath, as salt is detoxifying and protective. As always, drink lots of water to support your body’s cleansing, purging, and grieving processes.

In the early evening, Uranus moves direct again at 2 degrees Taurus, carrying the day’s symbolism and insight forward on our evolutionary courses of radical change and adaptation until August 15. Those with early fixed sun and rising signs will feel catalyzed by this shift in direction, and water + earth element people potentially will harness this force most constructively. For everyone, a direct Uranus asks us to expect the unexpected, especially in the Taurean matters of security, nourishment, fertility, and wealth acquisition.

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January 12: Mercury is conjunct Saturn and Pluto, and Saturn and Pluto form a Great Conjunction
Just past midnight, Mercury conjoins Saturn, and then Pluto in Capricorn, which indicates a centering of thoughts and communications around the themes of the epochal shift at hand as we move forward this month. Then, at 8:59 a.m. PT, the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto becomes exact at 22 degrees and 46 minutes. This once-every-thirty-years phenomenon marks huge shifts in societal growth, combining the themes of rebuilding systems, foundations, and boundaries with profound psychological transformation.

Since this Great Conjunction occurs in Capricorn, the themes of rebuilding and transformation are centered around power, authority, traditions, and commerce. It has huge implications for our governments and economies, as we see forces of reform and change renovating these matters on personal and collective levels. Capricorn is the sign of earthly leadership and mastery, so the time has come to set a new sustainable balance with how we uphold our societal order, morality and discernment, and grow into forming conscious economies.

January 13: The sun is conjunct Pluto and Saturn, and Venus enters Pisces
Early Monday morning, the sun conjoins Pluto, and later, Saturn in Capricorn, illuminating the themes of Sunday’s Great Conjunction. Awareness and energy are directed toward the Saturn Pluto conjunction, shining a light on our responsibilities, and revealing the truth of our current situation. It is time to take stock, be accountable, and mobilize the actions of rebuilding and reforming. Those with Capricorn rising, or cardinal signs on the angles of their birth chart especially, will be experiencing great changes that affect the four pillars of their lives; the concept of self, home life, relationships, and career. It is a time for everyone to work with a sense of duty, accountability, and pragmatism. The changes we make—and flow with now—are setting us up with an enduring new structure for many years to come.

Later in the morning, Venus moves into Pisces, her sign of exaltation. Planets in their exaltation have special power and importance, which heightens their ability to bestow their particular gifts. In this case, it allows Venus to build supportive and fortunate connections that have a transcendental and spiritual quality. Venus in Pisces is especially sweet and compassionate, giving our days an undertone of caring and healing between one another. The huge astrological shifts of the new year are already challenging and testing us, so Venus in Pisces is here to remind us to have patience and care when dealing with ourselves, and one another. We can take advantage of this mood until February 7 to establish cooperation and understanding, and to realign with love as our central motivation. On January 15, Venus in Pisces is sextile Uranus in Taurus, highlighting some unconventional alliances and support from unexpected places when we let love be our guide.

January 16: Mercury enters Aquarius
Mercury shifts from somber Capricorn into airy and unconventional Aquarius, shifting and opening our thoughts to new ways to approach challenges in strategy and communications. Mercury in Capricorn had us trusting the time-tested tools we have at our disposal, but Mercury in Aquarius is asking us to reach for the new and explore some contrary perspectives to find solutions and understanding. On January 18, our exploration of these contrarian perspectives reaches a climax as Mercury forms a catalyzing square aspect with revolutionary Uranus in Taurus. It is time to allow our thinking to become open, abstract, and adaptive, to meet the material needs and challenges of our times.

 Courtesy of Debra Stapleton

January 20: The sun enters Aquarius, and the moon is conjunct Mars
Capricorn season comes to a close, and we enter the fixed air portion of the winter. This middle of winter phase is as cold, crisp and crystalline as the Aquarian mind, able to see through obstacles with objectivity and unfazed clarity. In classical astrology, Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, so there is a carry-over of focus on the serious matters at hand, yet if we can imagine that the structures and systems of our society are built by Capricornian forces, then we can imagine the Aquarian forces as those that test the relevancy and validity of these systems. It’s the time of year for deep contemplation within as we experience the isolation of winter, pondering the foundations of our lives from a new, unconventional perspective.

The shift of solar season is underscored by an expressive conjunction between the waning moon and Mars in outgoing, truth-seeking Sagittarius. It’s a time of emotional enthusiasm, speaking the mind and taking spontaneous action—the latter perhaps being somewhat impulsive and reactive in hindsight—yet certainly refreshing!
January 24: New moon in Aquarius
Aquarius season is emphasized by renewal and change with the joining of the moon and sun on Friday afternoon, forming a new moon. This phenomenon of the moon going dark signals a time to rest and go within our internal awareness to be contemplative and receptive. It is not a time to take action, or set intentions per se, but the house that the new moon occurs in our birth chart marks an area of our lives that is the setting of a new development, project, or activation that will come into focus in the upcoming days.

In six months when the moon is full in Aquarius, we will look back from a culmination on whatever was begun today. A moon in Aquarius has the effect of quieting the emotions, allowing an intellectual clarity to come forward. This is emphasized by the moon’s conjunction with Mercury in Aquarius the following day. It’s a time of objectivity and evaluation that we can take advantage of now stimulated by a motivating sextile with Mars in Sagittarius.

January 26: Venus is square Mars
Venus in her exaltation in compassionate Pisces comes into square aspect with Mars in enthusiastic Sagittarius. While Venus strives to mend and soothe from this sign, Mars is pushing for bold, fiery action, and may add an impatient energy to our connections today. With these two planetary forces working toward two very different objectives, there could be hurt feelings or misunderstandings while this clash of emotive water and assertive fire dominates. It is interesting to note, that in synastry, a square between Venus and Mars between two people can cause friction, yet this can cause sparks and heat that kindle an unlikely attraction. Pay attention to anything or anyone that you have an aversion toward around this time—what feels frustrating may be a magnetically creative or sexual dynamic trying to manifest in your life!

January 27: Venus is conjunct Neptune
Dreamy and affectionate Venus in Pisces is conjunct transcendent Neptune today, setting a loving, compassionate tone that encourages deep dreaming and vivid imagination. We may feel reconnected with our hearts, and a belief in love’s power as the prevailing force that makes all of our struggles worth the pain and effort. A grand vision of collective harmony and understanding feels possible and keeps us centered in our hearts as we navigate the new year’s important decisions and actions. It is a great opportunity to connect with our creative expression as a source of healing, alignment, and renewal. While not the most practical of aspects, it is a reminder that not everything in life needs to have some material value to be useful, and that productivity just for the sake of it is empty without any heart, belief, or goodwill as our guiding philosophy. What have we gained if we lose our soul?

January 28: Mars is square Neptune, and the moon is conjunct Venus
This time of month echoes back to the water trine between Mars and Neptune on December 13; what dream or vision were you inspired to begin then? Now that Mars has changed signs into more externally oriented energy, we may be trying to muscle in that idealistic project and feel that we are hitting a roadblock. Assertive energies are dominating and are trying to overpower intuition. The trick is to hold action and feeling in balance now, which will be supported by the powerful moon and Venus in Pisces conjunction today. Mars, however, gives us the courage to follow what feels impossible, and gives us a catalyzing push out of our daydreams into risk and action!
January 31: The moon is conjunct Uranus in Taurus
The month ends with the moon in her exaltation of Taurus—a time of nurturance, grounding, and self-care. This conjunction occurs on Venus’ day, while Venus, the natural ruler of Taurus, is in her own exaltation. It’s a cosmically well-supported, double blessing of luck, bounty, love, and beauty that carries us into the weekend and into the new month. This lofty, luxurious feeling however, is infused with the unexpected as the moon joins revolutionary Uranus in Taurus for the evening. Our emotions are grounded, while we receive insight and express adaptive energies that open up new opportunities and awareness. Can we feel held in love, and a sense of its abundance, while surveying the new vistas of change.