As we cross the threshold into the new year, here are a few tips to keep in mind;
Introduction to 2017
The astrological energies of 2016 were tumultuous at times, starting off with Mars Retrograde bringing changes to your long-term path, career, or bringing new ambitions in the space of education, travel, and in broad topics such as philosophy and religion. But this ‘stop and go’ energy might have also made you question at times whether you were really on track with achieving your goals. 3 Lunar eclipses in the late summer (Aug 16, Sept 1, and Sept 16) brought added emotion and drama to the end of the summer, feeling needs and desires most intensly, or feeling overwhelmed in general by emotion and not knowing why. Following the late-summer season of eclipses, skies cleared for new beginnings in the second half of the year with a lot of forward-driving energy, bringing luck to new opportunities, and the launch of new ideas and new projects from about October until early December. The energy started to get sleepy as we settled into December 2016, and just when the holidays were ramping up, energetic forces started to work against us, tripping things up and slowing us down.
The theme for the beginning of 2017 is ‘Steady As She Goes’. The new year should not come in ‘with a bang’ as they say, and while it is important to take note of your short and long-term goals, especially in the first week of the year (more on this below), it is not necessarily a time to take drastic action to make changes just yet.
‘Lay Low’ During Mercury Retrograde (especially until January 8th)
We begin the year carrying forward the Mercury retrograde transit in Capricorn, which does not go direct until January 8th (the shadow period will actually continue until January 20th when we will be free of mercury retrograde energy until the next cycle which begins at the end of March). Holiday travel may have been muddled by this retrograde energy, and miscommunication and mis-coordination of holiday plans would have caused all types of frustration. This is a time to slow down and go over old ground, especially related to career and business, or your place in the world. Try not to set expectations too highly and make your plans flexible so you can go with the flow.
The new year starts out in the same vein, so if you are still reflecting on your accomplishments over the last few months, that’s okay! This is still the time to be looking backwards, reflecting, and finishing up any projects that have loose ends. Keep some days open for your self in your calendar to make room for this, and try to wrap up any unfinished business by Sunday, January 8th (although we still have to be cautious for another 2 weeks, this is when Mercury starts moving forward once again). Start to make plans for the new year, but know that this is not the time to start taking action or you may still be side-swiped by the circular retrograde energy. Avoid signing contracts or making big purchases also during this time when you may not have all the relevant information, or may not be seeing things quite clearly.
You will probably feel the retrograde energies being the strongest from January 4-8th, as Mercury drops back from Capricorn into free-spirited Sagittarius. Avoid making impulsive plans if you feel the urge during this time, and avoid any urges towards frivolous spending!! Remember, from January 8th onwards, Mercury will be direct and which each day the fog around communication, spending, and travel will start to clear. You will be completely free of the Mercury Retrograde energy by January 20th.
Questioning, Depression and Self Doubt? Mars/Neptune Conjunction
Perfectly timed with the holidays, Mars begins to come into conjunction with Neptune on December 26th and will be exactly in conjunction on December 31st, when you will likely feel the energies at their strongest. Ironically, this is also perfectly timed with New Year’s Eve. This Mars/Neptune conjunction occurs in the sign of Pisces, so for starters you may feel a severe lack of motivation and a high degree of distraction.
You can describe this energy as the ‘holiday hangover‘: days or weeks of excessive eating, drinking and socializing may suddenly feel like they are taking their toll, and you may be struck by feelings of self doubt and even depression, no longer wanting to be out with other people, or on the other end of the spectrum, endlessly seeking satisfaction by a desire to ‘lose yourself’ in the social scene, almost feeling disconnected from reality. Know that, although you may in fact have been excessively eating, drinking and partying…(wink) that you are ALSO feeling the forces of the universe at work!
So DON’T dwell on these negative emotions, and DON’T allow your mind to give them a narrative!! Use them instead as a reminder to slow down, take it easy, and BE KIND TO YOURSELF through the retrograde period. Don’t feel pressure to try to push yourself full speed into accomplishing a new goal because the energy of the universe will not support you right now. This is a time to look in the mirror, and accept who you are, for all your blemishes and what YOU THINK are imperfections. This is a time to have faith and trust in the positive outcomes that you are really hoping for and to remember that you are not alone. Remember also that THIS WILL PASS!!! These feelings should slowly start to dissipate by January 1st until until January 8th, when the energies will finally be dispersed.
Time to Set Goals
Astrologically speaking, the first week of the year is a very good time to write down and review your short and long-term goals. In addition to the reflective energy being brought in through Mercury Retrograde, a conjunction between the Sun and Pluto also in Capricorn signals that this is a time to hold fast to our goals and not loose sight. Pluto has been bringing transformation globally in the space of business, corporate forces and our place (our roles) in the world since 2008 and will continue to to do until 2024.
The Sun passing over Pluto brings light to this transformation in progress, all that has changed, and the continuing forces bringing us into a new age and new global marketplace. Therefore it is important to hold onto your personal objectives, and not to get lost in a feeling of being overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Write down your goals and also your plans to achieve them over the next 12 months. Keep them in a handy place so that you can review them again later this year as we approach key retrograde periods for Venus, Jupiter and Saturn over the next 6 months.
The overall message is this: Now is NOT the time for hasty actions without a plan! Now IS the time to reflect, look back, understand the lessons from the past year, and objectively reflect on where you stand now. Make room for new opportunities and new projects by finishing up any work in progress and clearing off your plate. Clearly envision your long term goals and realistically define the ‘stepping stones’ that you will have to achieve along the way.