Unfortunately it is not as though the challenges of 2016 are simply going to go away but when I look at this chart for 2017 there is also much to like, including a stabilising sextile between Saturn and Jupiter. Even though we have had the last exact peak of the Uranus Pluto, the square is still energetically current with a 3° orb between their positions in Aries and Capricorn.
Once again then the year begins with the Capricorn Sun conjunct Pluto, pointing to another year of deep bedrock change and power struggles between the status quo and voices for change.
It is not inconsequential that the consort of Pluto/Hades, the goddess Persephone, is the highest archetype in the Australian chart, as it puts these co-rulers of death, transformation and rebirth firmly in the spotlight. Another big year approaches.
The Sun and Pluto along with Mercury in Capricorn have a series of supportive sextiles to a conjunction of Mars and Neptune in Pisces, a combination that, in the right circumstances, supplies both relief and alternative pathways to the harder challenges of this time.
The Mars/Neptune at its highest is an expression of evolved, spiritually connected masculinity, a Shiva-like energy that supports the expression of will and desire coupled well with heightened sensitivity and awareness. This is a good pathway for the healthy expression of conscious power also represented by Sun Pluto conjunction.
However, less evolved expressions of the Mars Neptune include underhanded and manipulative actions, seduction and betrayal and a kind of glorified, negative, idealised form of masculinity found in all religious and political fundamentalists, death cults and terrorist organisations.
The very same mix though offers access to exceptional states through practices that mix meditation and action such as chi gong, tai chi, ecstatic dance and tantra. With the conjunction also squaring another conjunction of Kali and Hygeia in Sagittarius and on the South Node of the Moon, great purging of old karmic patterns as well as great healing will also surface.
Against all in this rather nebulous, paradoxical background, it is very reassuring to have the two great giants that rule structure and growth in the world so well placed.
Saturn in Sagittarius exactly sextiling Jupiter in Libra may not be that sexy but having a balance between the forces of consolidation and expansion is a truly great thing, as it supports positive structural development on many levels. This can give form to our visions, manifest our creativity physically and bring a supportive mix of self effort and openness to grace all our endeavours.
This is an auspicious time for creating new enterprises and taking risks to express more of our individual uniqueness, as both Jupiter and Saturn are connected to the exalting energies of Uranus, by opposition and trine.
Uranus has been in Aries for the last five years - the liberating force behind the spirit of change and the urge to break free from old, redundant lifestyles, career paths and relationships. It has encouraged us to step out into the relative unknown, trusting an increasingly louder intuition to truly follow our passions to live an inspired life.
While Uranus and Jupiter share these inspirational qualities, he and Saturn are traditionally antagonistic to each other. However this year, and particularly in Sagittarius, this wise old man supports Uranus to go for it! The earth god and the sky god team up well, mediated by the harmonising qualities of Jupiter in Libra, a brilliant situation for the manifestation of creative, scientific and environmental innovation.
Generally speaking then, Saturn is very well placed this year, the one exception being a square to Chiron in Pisces.
This speaks of ongoing challenges and potential healing around the wounded masculine, with an emphasis on cracking old conditioning in ways that rejoin the healthy masculine with the capacity to be emotionally and spiritually vulnerable and open. The fact that we are seeing so many rabid and wounding expressions in our political and social cultures should be seen as crap rising to the surface as part of long term healing agendas.
On the relationship front, Venus in late Aquarius is generally well placed with good enlivening connections to Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. A square to the Black Moon in Scorpio describes the need for further shadow work and lower chakra purification to be able to come more fully into the heart of this goddess of love.
The marriage goddess Juno is conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius, a maturing and deepening influence on our primary bonds, one that also challenges us to face what is not working in our relating so that we may take deeper responsibility for necessary repair work. The connection to her traditional consort Jupiter through sextile is additionally auspicious as the gas giant is still conjunct the Shiva and Parvati asteroids. The image of the sacred marriage is thus held above us for inspiration.
So once again we have a year of great challenges and great opportunities. Watch out for the exceptional eclipse on February the 11 as a heightened and powerful time for accelerated healing on all the major themes above!
Daniel writes a monthly newsletter where he shares further astrological insights. To subscribe please visit his website www.sacredlawfirm.com.au
Daniel Sowelu (BSc Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist and groupleader in his 35th year of private practice.